Social Security outlays are projected to rise from 4.8 percent of GDP now to 6 percent of GDP in
203032030 (yes, Doris put her paw on the Fcat button). This is a huge crisis, requiring complete overhaul of the system.
Defense spending rose from 3 percent of GDP in 2001 to 4.2 percent last year; you should also add a couple of tenths of a percentage point for non-defense security spending. This was no big deal — certainly not a reason to reconsider the tax cuts sold back in 2001 as easily affordable given large projected budget surpluses.
Bob Herbert on why Obama should have made jobs his priority.
Warren with a beautiful song that was covered by Linda Ronstadt:
Remember, kids, it’s perfectly okay for Tea Partiers to carry guns at rallies and to presidential appearances, but it’s never okay for a black man to carry a baton at a polling place:
The Commission on Civil Rights today approved a motion asking Congress to essentially allow it to take the Justice Department to court if it refuses to enforce the commission’s subpoenas and other “lawful requests” pertaining to a lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party.
Commission on Civil Rights passes motion that could take DOJ to court.
In a heated, often unruly meeting where tempers flared, most of the eight-member, conservative-heavy commission accused the Justice Department of failing to enforce the voting rights law in a race-neutral way in the case of the black panthers.
The Bush administration filed a voter intimidation lawsuit against three members of the New Black Panther Party in January 2009, alleging that they intimidated voters outside a polling place in Philadelphia in November 2008 by hurling racial slurs.
Videos circulating on the Internet showed a man holding a baton outside a polling station.
But the Obama administration dropped the lawsuit in May against all members save Malik Zulu Shabazz, who was accused of yielding the baton, saying that it couldn’t find any evidence and claims by voters that they were intimidated.
That’s because it’s a black neighborhood, and I seriously doubt anyone was intimidated. Contrast this with the numerous incidents of black voter intimidation by Republicans that are simply par for the course.
“The department concluded that the allegations in the complaint against Jerry Jackson, the other defendant present at the polling place, as well as the allegations against the national New Black Panther Party and its leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz, did not have sufficient evidentiary support,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez told the Commission in May. “The Department reviewed the totality of the evidence in the applicable law in reaching these decisions.”
But conservative members of the commission say they want more evidence from the Justice Department, especially because a former trial attorney at the DOJ, J. Christian Adams, testified in July that the agency repeatedly showed “hostility” against cases like those involving the New Black Panther Party.
“The section doesn’t want to protect white voters,” Adams claimed of the DOJ’s civil rights division.
This Republican bully boy won’t be happy until he convinces white people they’re victims of racism. Poor, poor white people! No, they’re victims of Republican economic policies — but this is a useful diversion in the meantime.
Aug 15th, 2010 at 9:55 am by susie
In Obama’s weekly address, he warns about Republican leaders who want to privatize Social Security, saying he’d thought that the Wall Street crash would have put that debate to rest.
This is classic sleight of hand, and might be one of the most cynical political moves I’ve seen. Because, as you already know from what I’ve written, the imminent threat to Social Security is from the administration — and its pet Catfood Commission.
It’s not as if this is a big secret to anyone who works in the District, or the people who talk to them. But everyone’s agreed to act as if it’s otherwise, because activists believe pretending the current attack on Social Security is only coming from the Republican leadership will create such an uproar that the administration will back off from their plans — and not incidentally, get the base motivated to turn out for the mid-term elections.
It might work. But it seems to me that such a deeply dishonest strategy is not only an insult to the voters, it encourages the kind of “bipartisan”, split-the-difference policies of the president, and has the potential to backfire in a major way.
And it raises another question: Namely, if bloggers sacrifice transparency to the strategic goals of the Democratic leadership, why should anyone trust us — about anything?
But GOP leaders are not pressing for privatization. The idea proved so unpopular when President George W. Bush proposed it in 2004 that Congress, then led by Republicans, never took it up. The concept lives on in a budget proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the senior Republican on the House Budget Committee, but only a handful of GOP lawmakers have signed on to that measure. And, in the aftermath of the worst shock to the financial system since the Great Depression, many Republican lawmakers would just as soon see the idea forgotten.
Meanwhile, a coalition of 60 liberal groups and advocates for the elderly, including the AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org, are predicting a different threat to Social Security: the possibility that a bipartisan deficit commission created by Obama will propose slashing benefits to help dig the nation out of debt.
Coalition members plan to buttonhole lawmakers as they campaign for reelection this fall, demanding that they sign a pledge to oppose any cuts to program entitlements, such as raising the retirement age.
“Over the coming weeks and months, we’re making sure every politician is put on notice: If you’re looking to raise the retirement age, you should be looking to retire in November,” said Nita Chaudhary, campaign director at MoveOn.org.
Such an effort could make the work of the deficit commission far more difficult. Commission members from both parties view Social Security as a prime opportunity for compromise — far easier to address than, for example, an overhaul of the tax system — and say they want to stabilize the program’s finances.
But forging a bipartisan compromise is likely to require cost-cutting as well as higher taxes. House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) have both suggested raising the retirement age, and leading economists and budget experts have strongly advocated it as a cost-cutting solution. The commission is also studying less dramatic options, such as changing the way inflation is measured for the purpose of adjusting benefits and slowing the rate of increase in benefit payments for better-off retirees.
As an aside, you’ll notice the Post reporters (having already accepted the Village wisdom) don’t even mention any dispute as to whether Social Security cuts are, you know, actually needed.
I was reading this article about how women, if they figure out and understand the patterns in their past failed relationships, are better positioned to have a healthy one.
So I took a look at my pattern of semi-serious relationships: The main thing they had in common was that, with only one exception, they were musicians. (The other one mostly played with people’s heads.) One played bass and drums, the Dead Ex played the banjo and guitar, one was a piano player, another one played rhythm guitar, the next one was a drummer, the next one played bass, guitar and keyboard, another played bass, and yet another one played keyboards. (Oddly enough, these lips have never touched those of a lead guitarist.)
So what I figured out is, it wasn’t so much that I wanted relationships — I wanted a band!
The next time, I’m gonna make it simple. I’ll just look for someone who owns a studio.
He cuts a Dr. Laura-like character off at the knees: