- - Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It didn’t take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Why is an agency that provides benefits to 56 million retirees, disabled workers, widows and children stockpiling ammunition? Whom are they going to use it on?

One website suggested the agency was preparing for civil unrest. And comedian Jay Leno wondered just which senior citizens the agency thinks are about to storm its offices.

The explanation, it turns out, isn’t as tantalizing as an arms buildup to defend against unruly old people. The bullets are for nearly 300 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and made almost 600 arrests last year. Most of the ammunition will be expended on the firing range.


NORTH CAROLINA

Booze, bingo offered as options for conservatives

CHARLOTTE — Conservatives aren’t exactly welcome (and probably couldn’t find a room if they were) at the Democratic National Convention here, but that hasn’t stopped them from finding ways to enjoy themselves as they prepare for President Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night.

The influential political website Redstate.com has prepared a “DNC Buzzword Bingo” card, with the “O” employing the red, white and blue circular logo of the Obama campaign. Players can fill in their cards every time a Democratic speaker mentions specific names and terms, including Bush, Akin, middle class, fair share, bin Laden, choice, 1 percent, Bain and inherited.

The free center square is a star labeled “Me.”

And the website www.debatedrinking.com has compiled its own Democratic Convention Drinking Game, with contestants urged to imbibe after every mention of Medicare, billionaires, Bush, voucher, the middle class, the Mayan Apocalypse and “magic underwear.”

VERMONT

Even presidential candidates foiled by slow-moving tractors

Even the contender for the highest office in the land sometimes has to wait.

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s motorcade, en route to the home of former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey in West Windsor, Vt., on Tuesday morning, got briefly waylaid — by a tractor.

Mr. Romney’s motorcade was winding its way through the mountains, driving past red barns and horse farms and leaving the highways behind in favor of gravel roads that often carried the cars far out of range of any cellphone signal. At one point, the motorcade came upon the tractor, slowing it to a stop before the tractor got out of the way.

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