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At Pacific Standard, David Dayen, himself one of the finest bloggers on the left, writes about the renowned Duncan Black, aka Atrios, in How a Frustrated Blogger Made Expanding Social Security a Respectable Idea:

One of the more influential letters to the editor in American history appeared on September 30, 1933, in the  Long Beach Press-Telegram. It was penned by a broke citizen named Francis Townsend, a one-time hay farmer, dry-ice manufacturer, real estate agent, and physician living in Southern California. His letter pitched a simple idea for how to end the Great Depression: The government should send $150 a month to every American over the age of 60 as a reward for a life of toil. Doing so, he argued, would stanch mass poverty among the elderly and kick-start the economy with new spending.

The elderly doctor’s message spread like wildfire. “Townsend clubs” sprang up across the nation, gathering at least 1.5 million members in the first couple of years. By 1935, 56 percent of Americans favored adoption of the so-called Townsend plan—influencing the establishment of the Roosevelt administration’s Social Security Act that same year. […]

Duncan Black’s neighbors probably can’t hear him tapping away on his laptop in his Philadelphia row house, but he has been doing his best to become Townsend’s modern heir. An economist and former college professor, Black—who goes by the pseudonym “Atrios” online—is one of America’s most popular political bloggers; his typical output consists of short, snarky quips on the news from a liberal perspective. But in late 2012 he embarked on a sustained crusade, on his blog and in a series of columns for USA Today, to inject a single idea into America’s policy discourse: “We need an across-the-board increase in Social Security retirement benefits of 20 percent or more,” he declared in the opening of a column for USA Today. “We need it to happen right now.”

The proposal was not exactly attuned to the political winds in Washington. Indeed, for anyone inclined to think in terms of counting potential votes in Congress—especially this Congress—the idea of expanding Social Security is the epitome of a political non-starter. Black’s proposal was attuned, however, to a mounting pile of research and demographic data that describes a gathering disaster. The famously large baby boom generation is heading into retirement. Thanks to decades of stagnant wages and the asset collapse of the Great Recession, more than half of American working-class households are at risk of being unable to sustain their standard of living past retirement. To put it even more starkly, according to research by the economists Joelle Saad-Lessler and Teresa Ghilarducci, 49 percent of middle-class workers are on track to be “poor or near poor” after they retire.

There is very little safety net left to break this fall. The labor market for older workers is bleak. Private pensions are largely a thing of the past. Private savings are so far gone that some 25 percent of households with 401(k) and other retirement plans have raided them early to cover expenses, and a growing number of Americans over age 50 find themselves accumulating, not settling, debt. On the whole, 401(k)s have proved a “disaster,” as Black puts it, one that has enriched the financial sector but lashed the country’s retirement security to a volatile stock market—and left 75 percent of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 with less than $30,000 in their accounts.

What’s left? Social Security. Though it was never meant to be a national retirement system all by itself, that’s increasingly what it has become. For Americans over age 65 in the bottom half of the income distribution, Social Security makes up at least 80 percent of retirement income.

And yet, when Social Security has been in the news in recent years, it has usually been because someone wants to cut it. […]


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010Suppressing the vote:

The late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist cut his political teeth suppressing the vote in Arizona. It was an issue at his confirmation hearings, but it didn't prevent his being seated.

One of the more under-reported stories about the stolen Florida presidential election of 2000 was the racist and partisan purging of legitimate voters, to suppress the Democratic vote count. And in Florida, it didn't end there. […]

We later found out that the Bush White House had been replacing U.S. attorneys for refusing to play along with their attempts to intimidate voters.

In 2007, the Republican Secretary of State of Louisiana purged tens of thousands of mostly minority voters, without going through proper procedures.

This year, groups tied to Koch Industries are continuing their efforts to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, where a champion of campaign reform may lose his Senate seat to a climate denierand enabler of pederasts.


Tweet of the Day:

The Christian right hates Halloween. Not because it's pagan, but because it involves handing out free food.
@TheTweetOfGod


On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin recaps the Sebelius appearance on the Hill, the continued debunking of ACA "horror" stories, and the latest polling. We were joined by Joan McCarter, discussing the "can you keep" your crappy insurance flap, the next Senate nominations standoff, NSA snooping (including brain-shattering statements from House Intel chair Mike Rogers), and the Food Stamp Cliff. Tired of "sexy" everything costumes (including "Sexy Hamburger")? Tired enough to say a website featuring better costumes for women & girls should get $10,000+? And from Joshua Holland at BillMoyers.com, "The High Cost of Low Taxes."


High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  navajo done great banner !! (19+ / 0-)

    crusher bots continue to trounce recent diary list:
    whack 'em !

    and thanks to dkos tekkies for a well-scarified font choice for halloween ... now on to the day/s of the dead: where much disagreement continues, despite age-old practices.

    be a rodent? be a pumpkin? be feast? be eater?
    Joseph Campbell ... now THERE'S a good costume for ya.

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:34:54 PM PDT

  •  I wish that Markos still referred to Atrios .... (13+ / 0-)

    ..... as the Baby Blue Cherub.

    "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

    by Ed Tracey on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:35:46 PM PDT

  •  This is going out as my Christmas Card greeting (23+ / 0-)
    “We need an across-the-board increase in Social Security retirement benefits of 20 percent or more,” he declared in the opening of a column for USA Today. “We need it to happen right now.”
    ...to all the wingnuts in my family.
  •  It's like Toronto elected Blotto from Animal House (9+ / 0-)

    as their mayor or something.

    And yes, he's a right winger.

    In Very Spooky Press Conference, Rob Ford Says He Won't Resign:

    Toronto police are in possession of a tape of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack and the guy still won't resign. Here, appearing in front of his office—done up as a haunted house for Halloween—he speaks with reporters: "I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately I can't, because it's before the courts. And that's all I can say right." Asked if he's going to resign, he says no: "I have no reason to resign." Well, there's the crack tape! But, sure, pal.

    http://gawker.com/...


    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:39:14 PM PDT

  •  The "Townsend Club" was an (0+ / 0-)

    unsustainable Ponzi scheme that forced Roosevelt to propose SS to keep populists of the Huey Long and Bob LaFollette ilk from using the despair of the Depression to win the Presidency.  

    No one should ever want to be "the heir of Townsend".  

    Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

    by SpamNunn on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:39:45 PM PDT

    •  So, I guess we can't expect any diaries from... (18+ / 0-)

      ...you praising the Swiss proposal for giving every citizen 2500 francs a month.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:24:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, no. (0+ / 0-)

        Dispensing subsidies from the public coffers?  No.  That's not anything that the government is supposed to do, ever, under even the most expansive reading of the powers of the Constitution.

        Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

        by SpamNunn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:22:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Change your perspective perhaps (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, this just in, Calamity Jean

          and you'll be able to see it...That's not an act of the government dispensing subsidies from the public coffers, its an act of the government ensuring that money is actually circulating through the economic system, at a time when the market forces aren't doing that and are endangering the economy.

          The government subsidizes many things in order to protect overall functioning of the economy.

          Gotta loosen up a bit on your very rigid definitions and ways of seeing things!!

          ;-)  

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:25:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  'Ponzi scheme'... (9+ / 0-)

      I do not think those words mean what you think they do...

      Unless you consider all taxation and social programs 'a ponzi scheme'.

      From what is written above, the idea was nothing more than what we already have in all sorts of ways.  Governmental redistribution of wealth collected through taxation.

      And, of course, we have all sorts of non-partisan studies that show that transferring wealth back down to the poorest among us generates the best return on value in terms of creating economic activity, to boot.

      It's win-win, because those dollars go right back into circulation, keeping the engines of the economy humming.

      •  The Townsend Club was unsustainable. (0+ / 0-)

        You need to read what is written, before you comment.

        It's not the job of government to "transfer wealth back down", either.   By your logic, everyone should get a subsidy to "stimulate the economy" and social programs are the highest form of economic stimulus.   Please.  

        Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

        by SpamNunn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:30:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If 'the general welfare' of the people is not one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          of the central purposes of government, I don't know what is.

          It is undeniable that we have a vast trove of evidence that economic inequality is horrible for the health of a country, and its people.  So yes, 'transferring wealth back down', or reducing economic inequality created by the concentration of wealth through capitalism is central to government.

          And you have certainly incorrectly followed my logic if you believe I'm saying 'everybody should get a subsidy'.  The more income someone has, the less impact on the economy giving them subsidies have.  That's why I specifically used the words 'the poorest among us'.

          You need to read what is written, before you comment.

          •  Not here, it's not. (0+ / 0-)
            'transferring wealth back down', or reducing economic inequality created by the concentration of wealth through capitalism is central to government.

            Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

            by SpamNunn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 12:15:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And we have dysfunctional government here now. (0+ / 0-)

              The country thrived, and government worked when we worked to reduce economic equality.  When politicians took it upon themselves to enact policies that increased, rather than reduced economic equality, the country grew more polarized, government began to function ever more poorly, and we began to move from economic crisis to economic crisis, and having to devote ever more resources simply to keeping citizens alive.
               

            •  Reading the Constitution w/one eyed closed (0+ / 0-)
              "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
              Because the Right and Libertarians (not TOTALLY cross overs) each find vindication for their view of limited government in the 'provide for the common defence' clause but tie themselves into knots insisting the 'general Welfare' clause doesn't actually mean anything at all about government. Despite their fealty to those same Founders who straightforwardly explain that 'this Constitution' was ordained and established to do just that.

              Plus they seem to have that same eye closed and be squinting with the other when reading Article 1 Section 8

              Section. 8.

              The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

              Because you can't be any kind of 'Originalist' and still claim that 'taxation is theft' or even argue that it was supposed to be limits to tarriffs. Because the distinction between 'Taxes' and 'Duties, Imposts and Excises' is pretty clear to those who are not willfully blind.

              It is also worth noting that Congress in providing for the 'Common defense' is OBLIGATED to provide and provision a Navy. But PROHIBITED from establishing a Standing Army. Which to people with powers of thought would suggest a new reading of the intent of the Second Amendment, since for the Founders the Militia is clearly the Army in Reserve. And not some counterforce to Executive Power as the Tea Tards would have it.

              To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

              To provide and maintain a Navy;

              Originalists like Biblical Literalists are more interested in proclaiming fealty to the text than actually reading and heeding it. Both prefer to work from a text of their own imagination. That oddly happens to match their own preferences.

              SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

              by Bruce Webb on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:16:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The General Welfare clause is limited by the (0+ / 0-)

                Tenth Amendment.   That's why we have the Tenth Amendment.  Otherwise, the General Welfare clause would mean whatever a new Congress says it means.  

                The Army limitation just means that Congress gets to pull the plug every two years if it feels threatened by the Army.   The Navy was not so limited only because it takes several years to build and deploy one.  

                Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

                by SpamNunn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:32:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Where in the text do you find THAT (0+ / 0-)

                  Mr. Originalist

                  Amendment X

                  The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

                  First you would have us believe that the Founders ratified the Constitution with not one but two references to the 'General Welfare' and then immediately turned around and amended it. And in fact suggest that the PURPOSE of the 10th Amendment was to gut the 'General Welfare' clauses.

                  But where would you actually find that in the text? On a plain reading the Congress accepted and mandated some responsibility for the 'General Welfare' right along its right to tax. It then laid out some more specific powers in the rest of Section 8.

                  That the 10th Amendment means that all Powers NOT laid out in Section 8 as "delegated to the United States" is a plausible one. But exactly how do you razor blade out the 'General Welfare' clause and ONLY the 'General Welfare' clause out of Section 8 and leave the rest.

                  I know that State's Rights folk are ready and willing to read 'enumerated powers' into this language, and maybe have some justification for that in the later writings or hell maybe even the earlier writings of Madison, but it just isn't in the plain text. Still less in a way that justifies claims "That's why we have the Tenth Amendment".

                  And your Army argument is frankly silly. If the Congress really felt threatened by the Army then moving to cut off FUTURE supplies wouldn't do much. The Third Amendment explicitly and the Fourth Amendment implitictly are direct reactions to the previous policy of the British government in establishing and quartering troops on the soil of the colonies. And it is just as plausible to read the restriction in Article 8 as an attempt to assure the States that there wouldn't be a similar standing Army ready and able to suppress their rights, something REINFORCED by the 10th Amendment. And that they were right to do so is proved by the occurance of the use of Federal Troops against our own people in the course of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791.

                  Feel free to counter this argument however you will. But your plain assertions are not particularly convincing and if anything reinforce my opionion that so-called 'Originalists" are some of the most creative post-facto readers out there. Behind perhaps those who manage similar selective reading of such Books as Leviticus. (Where it appears that Capitalist Jesus gave a dispensation to the lobster eating bankers but left the Gays to burn).

                  SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

                  by Bruce Webb on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:15:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Read a book. (0+ / 0-)
                    'But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.

                    But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter. The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are "their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare. '' The terms of article eighth are still more identical: "All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,'' etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever.

                    But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare?
                    I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!

                    - PUBLIUS

                    Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

                    by SpamNunn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:34:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That is a lot of weight (0+ / 0-)

                      resting on a semi-colon and a Pseudonym. Plus the core argument rises to the status of a strawman. Because it is the very illustration of a rhetorical question and one designed NOT to have an answer.

                      For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.
                      Because here is a purpose. What if the counterargument for the claim of any specific power was that "well that cannot be considered inherently part of the 'general welfare' based on (insert one) Natural Law". By DOUBLING down and listing SPECIFIC powers as part but not necessarily the whole of the GENERAL power one would and I argue does add clarity.

                      But Publius (which from my dim memory is actually Madison) is making essentially a grammatical argument that clauses following a general one can only limit it and not clarify or expand it. Well I am not sure this comports with usage in the 18th century or now, nor am I willing to throw the welfare of millions of people under the bus because some logical grammar chopping 'makes' me do so. I don't expect you to agree but to me that is a perfect example of the kind of post facto reading back of conclusions into presumed logical premises that I refered to in passing before.

                      "Taxes bad. Therefore let us find reasons why the 16th Amendment doesn't mean what its plain text says it does. Or at least doesn't apply to Sovereign Citizens"

                      Well most people think that kind of logic is between silly and very dangerous, the kind of thing that applies deep meaning to gold fringes on U.S. flags in courtrooms. From where I sit the main difference here is that 'enumerated powers' fanatics just have a longer and deeper pedigree.

                      "Because what Publius has put forth let no man put asunder". Wait! What? Who is Publius and why should that be dispostive? And "convincing to me" is not really an answer. Except of course to the answerer.

                      SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

                      by Bruce Webb on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 06:02:52 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  And please "Read a book" (0+ / 0-)

                      First of all that is quite the dick move. I mean I don't even accept that when it is "Read the Book" and still less when it means "Read MY reading of THE Book".

                      Second I have read books. And then thought about them. Rather than just blindly following the opinions of Authority. Not that one should discard informed and expert opinion, because that is the road to crankdom, at a minimum one should take it into account and think about IT.

                      But the flip side of being a solo Crank is being the True Believer. Who generally always have a book that becomes THE BOOK. Whether that be Mao's Little Red Book or ElRON(sic) Hubbard's Dianetics. I don't have a lot of patience with people who treat the Federalist Papers as having the same authority as the Talmud in relation to their Ur texts. Or the Christian Fathers in interpreting the Bible. Because that all stretches the concept of Revelation to the snapping point.

                      'But, but PUBLIUS! In a BOOK!!!'

                      Whatever.

                      SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

                      by Bruce Webb on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 06:15:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I answered your question. (0+ / 0-)

                        You didn't like the answer.  

                        I am pretty sure I understand what the Founders meant the "general welfare" language to mean.   It's not what you think it means, IMHO.  

                        Try the decaf.  Then read a book again.  

                        Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

                        by SpamNunn on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 02:27:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You didn't answer the question (0+ / 0-)

                          You gave someone else's answer to the question.

                          And I don't care much that you are "pretty sure" because you show no particular evidence of having a single original contribution to make here beyond aping talking points you lapped up from 'books'.

                          Plus I don't drink coffee.

                          So three strikes on you.

                          SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

                          by Bruce Webb on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 05:03:56 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  insuring that money circulates through the economy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW

          is part of the government's overall mandate to "provide for the general welfare", its about stewarding the economic system.

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:05:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even Justice Brennan never read the (0+ / 0-)

            General Welfare clause this expansively.    It's not carte blanche for anything that you can argue is a cure of a societal or economic ill.  It's certainly not justification of a "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" wealth redistribution scheme.  It's just not.  

            No one understands the limits of the Federal system anymore.   Just as long as "it's good for the people", people think that the Federal government can do whatever it wants to.   That's not the case, and it never will be, unless they change the Constitution.    

            Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

            by SpamNunn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 12:14:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  so I guess you'll be refusing your SS.. (0+ / 0-)

      ...benefits when your time comes? We sure would't want you to sensory over-load your high moral standards by forcing your monthly check that you worked so hard for all your working life down your throat.

      "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:52:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. Why would I or why should I? (0+ / 0-)

        I expect to be paid back all that I paid in.  It was my money paid into my account. I want it all back.  I'll never get it, though.  

        I won't sue, however, for the loss of return on my investment because of how poorly my "Federal account" retirement funds were handled by Uncle Sam.  

        Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

        by SpamNunn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:27:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  loss of return? how so? ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          ...don't make me laugh so hard Spamm. You're gonna make my liver hurt. SS is NOT a ponzi scheme. Remember AMWAY when they first came out? SS is not a gambling casino like the Stock Market. There's no winners or losers. And it's not a zero-sum game. My first hospital bill was $140,000, my second was $180,000, and my last one was $89,000. I've been medically retired on disability since 1997. I worked 32 years. Do the math. But the most important thing is, becuase of SS/Medicare I got the VERY BEST doctors in  the world. I'm still alive and you can't put a price on that.

          "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

          by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:03:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)
          I want it all back.  I'll never get it, though.  
          It takes less than three years to collect back all of the Social Security taxes that you've paid in.  If you include the share that your employer paid (or you paid if you're self-employed), it takes less than six years.  And that doesn't include the value of the disability protection that you have while you are working.  If you expect to live for at least six years in retirement, you have no cause to complain.  

          Don't believe me?  Call the Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213) and ask for a benefit estimate statement.  It will show your past earnings history.  It will also include the amount of taxes you paid on those earnings.  Add them up and divide by what your benefit is predicted to be.  

          Now quit posting conservative lies.  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:08:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only way to claim "I'll never get it back" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            is to assume that historical rates of returns on equities never vary over the life of any particular worker (so that you don't retire during a market downturn), that you can discount all the survivors and disability components of Social Security to zero when calculating ROI, and that it is only important to calculate PV of the principal at time of retirement as compared to initial benefit and not to give any numeric value to the inflation protection afforded by annual COLA's.

            Not only do almost all workers who survive to retirement get all of their money back, they also get it at a cheaper cost than it would require to provide the same inflation protected annuity cum survivors/disability insurance. True enough this calculation becomes a close thing for people who earn near the cap during the last years of their working life, which is why I almost alone among my progressive fellow Social Security Defenders am leery of raising the cap. Because currently only a tiny, tiny fraction of people actually come out behind on a PREDICTABLE at point of entry into the system basis between Social Security and private account alternatives.

            But the same people who were born on third base, ended up crossing the plate without injury and so insist they were invincible all along and never needed government income or health insurance because 'Look At ME!' will never accept this argument. Because as we all know rich kids never ski into trees and become permanently paralyzed. And would eschew any posssible government help if offered. You know 'Freedom!!.

            SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

            by Bruce Webb on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:27:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Perry sends his posse after Lady Parts in Texas (16+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:42:21 PM PDT

  •  I think I found a Russian spying gadget (18+ / 0-)

    in my daughters trick-or-treat bag tonight. I hear Putin wants access to American chocolate technology. :)

    Kremlin slips spying gadgets into G20 summit gift bags, newspapers say:

    Russian hosts of the Group of 20 summit near St. Petersburg in September sent world leaders home with gifts designed to keep on giving: memory sticks and recharging cables programmed to spy on their communications, two Italian newspapers reported Tuesday

    http://www.latimes.com/...

    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:48:32 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. (9+ / 0-)
    How blogger Duncan Black made expanding Social Security respectable.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:48:51 PM PDT

  •  Yo, Teabaggers . . . (14+ / 0-)

    halloween photo 388418_2534688727554_1263652070_32967782_230848205_n.jpg

    Be sure you put your feet in the right place; then stand firm. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by noweasels on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:49:42 PM PDT

  •  Okay. All the candy is gone and I blew out the (9+ / 0-)

    candles in the Jack 0' Lantern. Now I'm looking for a good, creepy, gory flick on TV. A Dario Argento-style film would be nice. (Too bad a corny Vincent Price thing is on TCM right now.)

    But overall, I told my wife when we were outside handing out candy that I always thought Beetlejuice was the perfect Halloween film: stylish, witty, funny, creepy, magical, brilliant production values, off-kilter use of music, sudden, explosive weirdness, and on and on. Tim Burton's best, I think. And Keaton never duplicated the level of this once-in-a-lifetime role.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:50:58 PM PDT

  •  Shameless Halloween story plug... (6+ / 0-)

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:51:32 PM PDT

  •  22% (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Jeff Y, viral, Aunt Pat

    I think that ebola has a higher approval rating.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:52:24 PM PDT

  •  We had 5 bags of candy... (12+ / 0-)

    ...and what with the rain, we thought we wouldn't use them all. But the rain let up, and Calamity Jean sent me to the store for a sixth bag since we were getting trick-or-treaters.

    They stopped, except for one group of kids around 8:25 PM., and now we have that sixth bag, plus a few from the previous 5 left.

    It will be a nice change of pace one we move out to the farm, since the neighbors are further away, we probably won't see any trick-or-treaters.

  •  About those letters.. (14+ / 0-)

    Chris Hayes talks with health insurance expert Wendell Potter who explains the truth about cancelled insurance policies. They’re junk.

    Plus, Insurance companies are using republican fear mongering to take advantage of people by Up – selling; using PPACA as an “opportunity” to gouge out more profit

    Cancellation letters are being investigated, and in most of the cases (all I’ve seen so far) they are phony stories easily debunked. In every case it was the insurance companies that chose to cancel policies they were designed for profit not for actual medical coverage and did not meet the minimum standards required to law.

    the trick the insurance companies are pulling is that when the cancellation letters are sent out included are options for replacement plans that are more expensive – Up selling – when the same insurance company (in some cases)  has plans according to some excellent investigation @ American Prospect by  Paul Waldman that are less expensive and meet the minimum standards | October 29, 2013

    Time to Investigate Those Insurance Company Letters

    Are they trying to pull a fast one on their customers?

    As a follow-up to this post, I want to talk about the thing that spawns some of these phony Obamacare victim stories: the letters that insurers are sending to people in the individual market.

    People all over the country are getting these letters, which say "We're cancelling your current policy because of the new health-care law. Here's another policy you can get for much more money." Reporters are doing stories about these people and their terrifying letters without bothering to check what other insurance options are available to them.
    There's something fishy going on here, not just from the reporters, but from the insurance companies. It's time somebody did a detailed investigation of these letters to find out just what they're telling their customers. Because they could have told them, "As a result of the new health-care law, your plan, StrawberryCare, has now been changed to include more benefits. The premium is going up, just as your premium has gone up every year since forever." But instead, they're just eliminating those plans entirely and offering people new plans.

     If the woman I discussed from that NBC story is any indication, what the insurance company is offering is something much more expensive, even though they might have something cheaper available. They may be taking the opportunity to try to shunt people into higher-priced plans.

     It's as though you get a letter from your car dealer saying, "That 2010 Toyota Corolla you're leasing has been recalled. We can supply you with a Toyota Avalon for twice the price." They're not telling you that you can also get a 2013 Toyota Corolla for something like what you're paying now.

    -    Added blockquoting by me

    (short ad – sorry)
     
    Transcript @ link:  http://video.msnbc.msn.com/...

    Plus the President calls out the MSM for failing to resist repeating the republican/teabagger slanted half of their ginned up lead story;

    “You’re being grossly misleading to say the least”
    Happy Halloween eveyone :)
    •  I really really like it (14+ / 0-)
      “We need an across-the-board increase in Social Security retirement benefits of 20 percent or more,” he declared in the opening of a column for USA Today. “We need it to happen right now.”
      Forget about the exploding heads, (very possiblity not just from the right), but what a great Idea.

      Dems should just start proposing all their most progressive ideas with absolutely no allegiance to any of the "common wisdom" that moves around Washington.

      In fact the more surprising the better. Blow the lid off.

      For once I would love to see real solutions without the restictions/limitations put on by "bipartisanship".

      No more Dems engaging in the deficit reduction talk, or agreeing with the "common wisdon' that is "widely excepted" BS. Bs that can be traced directly back to the monied interests every single time.

      Such a good thing that Atrois  did.

      Thx MB

      Yep just do it

      •  We also need a guaranteed annual citizens' stipend (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson, Aunt Pat, Calamity Jean

        and I guess that would be a lot less expensive than a whole bunch of welfare programs that require eligibility certification to cover the same needy population. The human dignity factor is there too, but I'm a bleeding heart radical.

        Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

        by Zinman on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:35:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Name it medical care as a right, part of.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, JeffW

          .."General Welfare" that the preamble to the Constitutional spells out:

          We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

          That would be one of the best moves that we the peoples government could establish imo.

          Imagine if people didn't have their medical needs chained to their work place.

          That kind of  freedom is something one would think the "libertarian" would go for. But it's not, but like what Atrios suggested would stir things up, we should promote this idea - medicare as a right and part of the general welfare spoken of.

          Why not?

          imo

          source: Cornall University Law School

    •  Of course, none of those facts have stopped (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, JeffW, Naniboujou, Aunt Pat

      certain 'journalists' from pushing the "OMG! Thanks to Obamacare, I'm losing my insurance" meme.

      In that clip, it was Wall Street water carrier, Maria Bartiroma, who was doing the honors.

      "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:47:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Secretary Hagel (yay!) (13+ / 0-)

    As Rachel Maddow reported tonight, Secretary Hagel is taking on the Adjutants General of the National Guard in 12 states where the anti-gayz are refusing to enforce the law.  In a speech to the ADL tonight, Secretary Hagel said this:

    When the Supreme Court issued its decision on the Defense of Marriage Act this summer, the Department of Defense immediately began working on providing the same benefits to all eligible spouses, regardless of sexual orientation. We did it because everyone who serves our country in uniform should receive the full benefits they earned, fairly and in accordance with the law. Everyone’s rights must be protected.

    This means that all spouses of service members are entitled to DoD ID cards, and the benefits that come with them. But several states are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities. Not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.

    This is wrong. It causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish.

    Today, I directed the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Frank Grass, to take immediate action to remedy this situation. At my direction, he will meet with the Adjutants General from the states where these ID cards are being denied. The Adjutants General will be expected to comply with both lawful direction and DoD policy, in line with the practices of 45 other states and jurisdictions.

    Link (The link includes video and and whole speech.)

    Be sure you put your feet in the right place; then stand firm. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by noweasels on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:58:28 PM PDT

  •  Nice banner! (13+ / 0-)

    From Vyan's comment:

    It's just gone from "Obamacare sucks because of death panels" ... to "ObamaCare sucks because YOU CAN'T GET IT."

    ---> Vyan

    Oh, I used to be disgusted
    Now I try to be amused
    ~~ Elvis Costello

    by smileycreek on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:59:29 PM PDT

  •  It's a shame atrios couldn't get similar traction (6+ / 0-)

    with the platinum coin. The debt ceiling kabuki resumes in a few weeks... Thinking outside the box should be the order of the day, because inside the box stinks to high heaven.

    But his thinking on Social Security is the more weighty of the two ideas, to be sure.

    (Still can't comment on his site - disqus sucks!)

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

    by chuckvw on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:00:49 PM PDT

  •  Hello. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, OLinda

    Dare I say more?
    Yes. I do.

    Last night, I asked if it might be a possibility that I am related by blood to First Persons. No one deigned to inquire. It could have been embarrassing if they had. As a matter of fact, I am eight, possibly nine, different bloods.
    Mainly, like John Merrick, I am a human being. Sorry to be a bummer, but that means quite a bit more to me than all the rest.
    I'll never learn.
    I sent a message to the help desk, explaining what happened, and, relying on the record of what occurred(it's there for all the world to see), I hope to be exonerated as far as the HRs go. It happened that I used the word, "civilized" when replying to a First Person. As I stated in the message, if I had it to do over again, I would have used the word, "civil." Not because of what anyone thought I may have intended or not, but because I think it would have been closer to being grammatically correct.
    Then again, in FAQs I ran across this:

    Do not troll rate people for expressing a contrary opinion, so long as it is expressed in a civilized(really?) fashion. The exceptions are for conservative talking points or debunked or false information; this isn't a site for conservatives, they have entire swaths of the internet in which they can regale each other with their reality-impaired fantasies.
    In any case, we shall see.
    As it is, I stand branded, in all but name only, of bigotry. Then again, what's in a name? The government refuses to call it, "torture," but it hurts like hell no matter what it's called.
    One of the people that concurred, though did not hide rate me, has known of me for quite sometime, and I would have thought known better. As for the rest, that don't know of me, and I couldn't care less about them.
    I haven't been this disappointed in a long time.

    And now, as I like to say, back to our regularly scheduled snark.

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:01:09 PM PDT

    •  Mr. Merrick's name was actually Joseph. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      franklyn, Wildthumb

      In spite of the film and play that would have you believe otherwise.

    •  You got HR'd. (5+ / 0-)

      Either apologize or get over it.

      Either way you'll live.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:25:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, cain't hep ya. (0+ / 0-)

        Truth is the only way to live. Even if it kills you.

        We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

        by franklyn on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:36:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      franklyn

      I know you didn't mean it that way, franklyn.

    •  Context matters. n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:35:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So does reality. I'll stand by that, (0+ / 0-)

        and, as I said, it's there for all the world to see.
        Every single thing I've ever written is there. Even the part when I wrote to you about Bob Costas.
        Or was that 11th dimensional chess?
        I am so disappointed.

        We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

        by franklyn on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:41:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It IS there for all the world to see... (4+ / 0-)

          ...as is your tip to the most racist comment in the diary.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:43:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You also tipped *all* the comments criticizing (4+ / 0-)

          American Indian issues in that diary AND all the comments insulting Meteor Blades. All of them.

          And now you're whining in his diary tonight after supporting his detractors criticizing his diary last night???

          Wow. Just wow.

          I didn't know this but Kossacks who are familiar with you report in that diary that this is your M.O. To support racist comments.

          Help desk can't help you much with that problem of yours.

          You'll need to help yourself.

          •  I think that if you go back you will see (0+ / 0-)

            where you are wrong. You are wrong about my intention. Very wrong. Read carefully what I said. Primarily, I did what I always do. I commented on the messaging, as opposed to the message.
            I believe that all of us here have the righteous message on all issues, but, how it is presented is another story. I've said this numerous times. I rant about it.
            Let's get to the racism.
            I don't know who has said that I'm a racist. What should I do? What would you do? Anonymity  is not only cowardly, it's damn near impossible to combat.
            Now. Here is the truth.
            My father told me that a relative had written a history of the family. Apparently, there was once an ancestor, a blond haired, blue eyed Don from Spain. he was granted all the land around Somerset, Texas which is in the south-west corner of San Antonio de Behar where I was born and live.
            He married a young woman there. She was full blooded Comanche. She is my ancestor.
            Later, he was found in a creek bed shot full of arrows. I don't know why.
            This is what my father told me. Full disclosure, I never could stand the old bastard(it's a long story), but I see no reason to disbelieve him.
            I could swear on everything I hold sacred that I have never been any kind of a bigot of any kind(well, maybe death), but what good would it do? I can only offer my comment and diary history as evidence.
            You must do what you must.

            We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

            by franklyn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 12:02:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You tip and support racist comments and (4+ / 0-)

              commenters. You can call it what you want but that's what you do. Pull your tip of cdreid's racist comment if you want to show us something of worth.

              Many, many folk have family stories of Indian blood. Interesting how you present that now as if to redeem your behavior. What would be more convincing to me is that you would have taken our side in the first place if THAT ndn blood really mattered to you. That blood doesn't matter to you because you have sided with people who are against us.

              That is your intention.

              •  I defy you to present a particular where I have (0+ / 0-)

                ever supported a racist comment.
                As for tipping, I( God, knows why I waste my time) recommend that you read my reply to MB on this subject. I don't have time to lead you by the hand.
                I will never rescind my tip. Like the American people, I refuse to be taken hostage by you or anyone else.
                Now, here it comes.
                Many folks have history of  "Indian blood." That dismissively rolls off your keyboard like you and you alone are of any importance. T'ain't true. We're here and we've got a stake in the game. It not only matters to us, but to non First Persons, as well. It's called justice and no one part of humanity owns that.
                "Ndn blood," as you so despicably put it, or not, I will never automatically respond to any question on any issue.
                I will take my leave of you, now, with the immortal words of Chief Joseph, " From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
                Peace.

                We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

                by franklyn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:02:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Despicably put it? What ARE you talking about?... (2+ / 0-)

                  ...And for the record, the guy (Lieutenant Charles Scott Wood) who claimed to have quoted the verbatim words of Chief Joseph published 19(!!) versions of the surrender speech over a 50-year period. In the margin of his report on the surrender in 1877, he wrote "Here insert Joseph's reply to the demand for surrender." It's interesting how much that insertion reads like a sonnet. Chief Seattle didn't make the famous speech ascribed to him either.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:45:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, and Davy Crockett did/didn't surrender. (0+ / 0-)

                    Churchill did/didn't surrender Coventry.
                    Who the hell really knows?
                    Point is, me and Joe are out of here.

                    Oh, yeah. Can you possibly, in your wildest dreams imagine what would happen if it had been me that said, "Idn?"
                    You don't find the term despicable? Fancy that.

                    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

                    by franklyn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:04:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  what's offensive (0+ / 0-)

                  is making up some bullshit term like "first persons", that almost no member of any racial or cultural group in this country actually uses, because it's oh-so-difficult for racists and their supporters, such as yourself, to use what those groups prefer at any given time.  

            •  Here's the deal. Many people make racist... (6+ / 0-)

              ...comments but are not intentionally racist. But that doesn't mean the comments they made aren't racist. I don't know what your intent was because I cannot see into your heart. What I do know is what you said, and more importantly, what comments that were said that you supported. One of those commenters launched a vicious attack on an Indian activist, an attorney, telling her she was playing the victim and that she didn't know what she was talking about and should educate herself. Bad enough. But he went on to actually make stuff up, displaying ignorance about tribal police, ceremonial headdresses, the reservation system, all of this whitesplaining while ignoring Indians who disputed his concocted "facts."

              When you tip somebody who makes such racist comments, you enable racism even if you have no racist intent.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 12:27:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  'First person'? (0+ / 0-)

      First person - I
      Second person - you
      Third person - he, she.

      •  If you'd like to try starvation as a new and (0+ / 0-)

        exciting experience, go into comedy.
        Remember, you started it.

        We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

        by franklyn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:28:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I wasn't trying to be funny. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          It's simply the fact that I had to figure out what you were actually talking about from other commenters replies.  I almost never hear 'first person' used that way, except occasionally from Canadians mostly.

          •  Ok. My bad. Been a hell of a night. (0+ / 0-)

            There is quite a discussion about what the original natives of the Americas should rightfully be called, even amongst themselves. I just happen to go with First Persons. Somehow, that makes it for me.
            I know full well, despite rumors to the contrary, that individual groups are a'gin being collectively called anything.
            It's an ongoing thing.
            Again, apologies.

            For God's sake, don't hide rate me. it's damn near becoming viral.

            We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

            by franklyn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:48:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Did Chris Christie make a terroristic threat? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, JeffW, Jeff Y, drmah, Calamity Jean

    [http://christiegonewild.blogspot.com/2013/09/]

    by Ken Bank on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:03:58 PM PDT

  •  983,435 registered users on dKos now. (9+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    crushers (user #983,426: already banned)
    Wraith
    Silicon Valley Kossacks (group)
    ella0525 (user #983,429: spammer)
    laep
    DENS
    sanogo547 (user #983,432: spammer)
    ementrings113 (user #983,433: spammer)
    bocahbatam (user #983,434: spammer)
    prezo (user #983,435: spammer)


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #983,200: quitword (spammer)
    #983,300: riverine
    #983,400: epatm

    We've added 273 more users in the last two days.  We're no longer being flooded with all those fake users.


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, for Halloween night, here's Weird Al Yankovic's "Nature Trail to Hell".

  •  Great work by Duncan! (8+ / 0-)

    Though he would probably agree that increasing Social Security payments has always been a "respectable" idea.  Can't imagine any way it wouldn't be "respectable".

    Now the idea needs some traction.  We need someone to start pushing for a jobs program, too.  Anyone?

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:17:53 PM PDT

  •  I did my part in Oct 2012 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, JeffW, Calamity Jean

    I wrote a diary in which near the end I advocated raising benefits.  I got that idea from a Tom Geoghegan NY Times op-ed from 2011.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:32:03 PM PDT

  •  Obamacare lies and GOP civil war (5+ / 0-)

    Chris Hayes talked about these topics with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Josh Barro.

    Rachel covered this with Sam Youngman.

    Lawrence looked at this with Steve Schmidt, Joy Reid, Michael Hiltzik, and Wendell Potter.

    Ed Schultz covered this with Tom Colicchio and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

  •  Chris Hayes on the lack of black Senators (4+ / 0-)

    He discussed this, and also looked at the Senate map for 2014, with Goldie Taylor, Willie Brown, Hilary Shelton, and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)

    Somewhat related, Lawrence talked with 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley.

  •  Rachel Maddow to be on The Simpsons!! (5+ / 0-)

    Yep, she's appearing as herself this Sunday!  Here's a sneak peek.

  •  NSA Propaganda paper "when in doubt,invoke 9/11" (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    NSA's Advice On How To Defend Its Domestic Spying: When In Doubt, Invoke 9/11!

    The National Security Agency released a "final talking points” memo in response to an Al Jazeera Freedom of Information Act request this month, showing that the agency had advised members of Congress, the media and the Obama administration to bring up the Sept. 11 attacks in defense of NSA's mass surveillance.

    The memo was drafted in June, soon after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s rogue disclosures of massive NSA spying on ordinary Americans. The document repeatedly advises officials defending the program to emphasize its “lawful,” “narrow” and “limited” scope. It cites “9/11” more than 30 times.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:41:54 PM PDT

  •  Hawaii marriage liveblog? (0+ / 0-)

    Is there one?

  •  Rachel's full interview with Harry Reid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    this just in, Pam from Calif, Jeff Y

    This was from yesterday when I wasn't around, but figured it was still worth posting.  Here's the full interview.

    Tonight, Rachel also covered the topic of gay rights in the military, and how certain states (looking at you, Texas) don't seem to care.  But for some reason, that clip wasn't put online.

    Lawrence also discussed the latest news about the state of Syria's chemical weapons with Steve Clemons and Richard Wolffe.

    Oh, and look, the FAA will allow you to have your phone on now!

    •  The Kochs... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      should be forced to store all that toxic waste in their mansions.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

      by richardak on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 11:06:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does anyone know if the Healthcare.gov (0+ / 0-)

    web site is improving any yet?

    I'm getting tired of hearing wingnuts blather about it.

    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:58:32 PM PDT

  •  As violence is the last resort of those who have (0+ / 0-)

    run out of ideas, so is innuendo the last resort of those who have failed the debate.

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:17:36 PM PDT

  •  as far as I can tell, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, JeffW

    no mischief in my neighborhood, but the dawn will tell

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:51:51 PM PDT

  •  "'Lou Reed died looking at the trees"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    I had no idea that they were married...

    Laurie Anderson: 'Lou Reed died looking at the trees and doing tai chi with his hands'

    To our neighbors: What a beautiful fall! Everything shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water surrounding us. Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in the past few years, and even though we're city people this is our spiritual home. Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it! Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air. Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 11:04:08 PM PDT

  •  Jeers to insomnia. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, JeffW

    I much prefer to read the night owl thread at 8am or so, not between 3 and 3:30...

  •  Stop Sheriff Arpaio and the Arizona Police State (0+ / 0-)

    How?  Click and Read the case papers.

    SUPREME COURT NEWS - FIRST AMENDMENT ATTACK UPON ARIZONA HARASSMENT STATUTE - Sheriff Joe not happy

    Scott Huminski v. City of Surprise, Arizona  
    Washington D.C.

    In a filing received by the U.S. Supreme Court, government is portrayed  fervently defending a state criminal harassment statute that makes any speech contrary to the government's goals a crime under.  AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-2921 (criminal harassment)

    Speech that tends to "alarm, annoy or harass" anyone, including government officials and police, is a crime in Arizona. Silencing dissent is the hallmark of a police state.

    Petition for Writ of Certiorari here...

    http://www.scribd.com/...

    No surprise that this statute exists in Arizona.  Under the patently unconstitutionally vague and overbroad harassment statute, this Supreme Court litigation is a crime as is this article when read by a resident of Arizona, say … Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  No doubt that the litigation and this article tends to "annoy" the Sheriff and like-minded residents of Arizona.

    -         Scott Huminski

  •  Michelle Rhee caught influence peddling? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, Eric Nelson

    Has anyone been following this story on al Jazeera? CA state Sen. Ronald Calderon under FBI investigation for bribery, and Michelle Rhee appears involved. Al Jazeera is investigating the Calderon family, influential in CA politics for the past 30 years.
    http://america.aljazeera.com/...

    Lobbyists representing the nonprofit founded by education reform activist Michelle Rhee met privately with Thomas Calderon, a political dealmaker here, the day before Calderon’s brother, state Sen. Ronald Calderon, introduced a controversial bill that would have toughened teacher performance evaluations, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The meeting with lobbyists for StudentsFirst, Rhee’s nonprofit lobbying organization, occurred on Feb. 20 of this year. The next day, state and other public records show, Senator Calderon introduced the bill championed by Rhee’s group. There is no indication that Rhee attended the meeting, and she did not respond to requests for an interview.

    Ronald Calderon’s push for the education bill came after Rhee’s organization earlier had provided critical financial support to the political campaign of his nephew, Ian Calderon. In May 2012, state records show, StudentsFirst funneled $378,196 through a political action committee to the young Calderon’s successful campaign for the California Assembly.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/...

    According to al Jazeera the FBI is investigating Senator Calderon for allegedly accepting $60,000 in bribes from undercover agents.

    I don't know beans about CA politics, so maybe someone would like to follow this up - haven't seen anything in the US press about it.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UID: 8519

    by Bob Love on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:52:10 AM PDT

  •  Love the tweet of the day! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    And thanks for the reminder that blogging, or just engaging in public discussion and seeding the conversation CAN make a difference.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:03:53 AM PDT

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