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Jobless claims

Revised upwards.

Satire – or reality?

This really is a satire, but as Chauncey DeVega points out on We Are Respectable Negroes, it’s the subtext on just about anything conservatives say.

Hmm

Alex Lawson said last night he was hopeful that all the ruckus raising over Social Security and Medicare would get Obama to back off. Looks like the White House is reading the poll numbers:

President Barack Obama’s new deficit-reduction proposal will leave out changes to Social Security, and may exclude any increase in the Medicare eligibility age, people familiar with the discussions said Wednesday.

President Obama is considering a deficit reduction proposal that leaves out two of the most controversial measures he has put forth before, one affecting Social Security and the other Medicare. Laura Meckler has details on The News Hub.

“As the president has consistently said, he does not believe that Social Security is a driver of our near- and medium-term deficits,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said in a statement.

Changing the inflation formula so Social Security benefits grow more slowly and raising the Medicare eligibility age were ideas Mr. Obama had been willing to accept this summer, when he was trying to strike a deficit-reduction deal with House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio).

That deal ultimately collapsed after Mr. Boehner walked away from the talks. Democrats, who believe it is strategically unwise to put forward a compromise position at the outset, have urged that Mr. Obama not include them in the new deficit plan he is set to unveil Monday.

Instead of raising the Medicare eligibility age, the White House is considering recommending cuts to providers and possibly increasing premiums for wealthier recipients, people familiar with the discussions say. It’s also possible the president would propose changing the inflation calculation for other government programs, which currently use the same measure as Social Security does. The White House declined to comment on those discussions.

The whole f*cking thing is coming down

You can tell how bad the economy is, because I no longer get emails saying, “You should have marked that NSFW because I almost got in trouble.” But in case you’re one of those people who is still lucky enough to have a job, this is definitely NSFW.

Advice

Carville to Obama: Panic!

Bright spot

Looks like Gov. Scott Walker might be the target of a federal investigation. Woo hoo!

Madison – About a dozen law enforcement officers, including FBI agents, raided the home of a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday as part of a growing John Doe investigation.

The home on Dunning St. on Madison’s east side is owned by Cynthia A. Archer, who was until recently deputy administration secretary to the Republican governor. Archer, 52, now holds a different state job but is on paid sick leave, records show.

“We’re doing a law enforcement action,” one of the FBI agents told a reporter.

He didn’t identify himself or provide further comment but confirmed that he and three others were with the FBI and that a Dane County sheriff’s deputy was present.

The raid on Archer’s home coincides with a John Doe investigation in Milwaukee County.

That probe was started last year after the Journal Sentinel reported that another Walker staffer who was being paid by Milwaukee County taxpayers to help citizens with county services was instead using her work time to post anonymous comments supporting candidate Walker on websites and blogs. As part of the investigation, authorities earlier seized the work computers of two former Walker staffers and executed a search warrant of one of their homes.

Archer, who also held the top staff position under Walker while he served as Milwaukee County executive, said as recently as Friday in an email to the Journal Sentinel that she was “not involved in any way in the John Doe investigation.”

Bruised

Since I had boys, I dealt with gender issues from that end. (I still remember my youngest drawing a family picture that included me wearing high heels, a dress and a frilly apron, carrying a tray of cookies. Dad was wearing a tool belt. I pointed to the hammer and said to my child, “Honey, when have you ever seen Daddy use one of these?”)

Educating boys about gender expectations was exhausting enough; I can only imagine how hard it is to try to educate a daughter against the subtle gender messaging all around us. I swear, if I see the ad for the Disney “Princess Charm School” DVD one more time, I’ll kick in the TV. Fuck you, Disney.

PA

Good op-ed on proposed electoral changes.

Fuckwad Rand Paul

Go read the whole thing:

Census data revealed today that a record 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010. But in an aptly-timed hearing entitled “Is Poverty A Death Sentence,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) flat out rejected the idea that poverty in the U.S is worrisome. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Health subcommittee, Paul offered a dissertation-length statement on how the correlation between poverty and death is only found in the Third World and to claim such a connection within the U.S. is nothing more than “socialism” and “tyranny.”

Stating that “poor children today are healthier than middle-class adults a generation ago,” he even blamed the poor for their own health problems, suggesting “behavioral factors” like a higher incidence of smoking, obesity, or weak family support structures as the only correlation between poverty and health.

Citing the deficit as a primary priority, Paul questioned whether federal low-income programs are “creating unnecessary and unhealthy dependence on government.” He unequivocally declared that “poverty is not a state of permanence” and that “the rich are getting richer, but the poor are getting richer even faster.”

PAUL: We also need to understand that poverty is not a state of permanence. When you look at people in the bottom 5th of the economic ladder — those at the bottom — only 5 percent are there after 16 years. People move up, the American dream does exist…The rich are getting richer, but the poor are getting richer even faster.

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich looks bemused, even dumbfounded, and I can’t help thinking it’s because President Obama’s policy decisions are slowly driving Reich crazy

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