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11 декабря, 02:30

Patton Oswalt Reacts To Russian Hacking Revelation With No-Holds-Barred Post

Comedian Patton Oswalt has officially had enough with both Republicans and Democrats after the latest political scandal to erupt in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory.  Following the release of a CIA report that concluded Russian hackers interfered with the election to help secure the White House for Trump, Oswalt shared a no-holds-barred post on Facebook expressing his disgust at the state of American politics.  “These newest revelations, that Russia hacked the election. Piles of evidence, teetering up to the sky. That Russia ALSO hacked the [Republican National Committee] and are holding them over a barrel because of what they know. Which would be hilarious if it wasn’t so frightening,” he wrote on Saturday.  “And the boiling chaos that’s resulting from it. I’ve got conservative friends actually DEFENDING Russia on this,” Oswalt continued. “I’ve got progressive friends gloating that we’ve finally had done to us what we’ve done to other countries. That Hillary somehow deserves this. That WE somehow deserve this. That infuriating cliche about, ‘It’s actually GOOD if Trump destroys everything it’ll start a revolution BLAH BLAH BLAH F**KING BLAH.’” On Friday evening, Trump’s transition team dismissed the CIA report as a fabrication in a statement that also described the intelligence agency as “the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” “It’s time to move on and ‘Make America great again,’” the statement said. But Oswalt, for one, is putting his foot down and refusing to normalize the president-elect, whom he likens to a “grope-y, racist uncle who just won $50,000 playing scratch-offs.” “In the middle of it all is Trump ― bloated, grinning, oblivious, wearing his cheap baseball cap and ruining people’s lives with his Twitter,” Oswalt wrote. “While all around him ― smarter, better, exhausted people scramble around, trying to sweep up a china shop he keeps stumbling through, laughing the whole time at these stupid nerds picking up the broken pieces on the ground.” Read his full post below:  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 декабря, 00:34

IN “SITUATIONAL UNAWARENESS,” RICHARD FERNANDEZ WRITES: How much of what we think is true it …

IN “SITUATIONAL UNAWARENESS,” RICHARD FERNANDEZ WRITES: How much of what we think is true it fake; what proportion of our portfolio of Hope is real if even Hillary can be fooled?  Just how completely they were snookered is exemplified by [MSNBC anchor and self-admitted socialist] Lawrence O’Donnell who, genuinely perplexed at Hillary Clinton’s loss, argued that America had […]

11 декабря, 00:24

If You Are For Peace You Are A Russian Agent — Paul Craig Roberts

If You Are For Peace You Are A Russian Agent Paul Craig Roberts Speaking of fake news, the latest issue of the National Enquirer at the supermarket checkout is giving the mainstream presstitute media a run for the money: “Castro’s Deathbed Confession: I Killed JFK. How I framed Oswald.” That’s almost as good as the… The post If You Are For Peace You Are A Russian Agent — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

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11 декабря, 00:00

New ‘secure schools’ launched in bid to cut youth reoffending

Core education and work skills at heart of radical change of approach to young lawbreakersThe government is to launch two “secure schools”, and introduce measures to monitor progress in English, maths, health and behaviour among young offenders, in a radical change to youth custody.The number of frontline staff dealing with young offenders will be increased by 20% and a new head of operations will be appointed with responsibility for driving up standards. Continue reading...

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10 декабря, 21:34

Disagreeing with Paul Krugman: His friends probably do vote against the interest of the working class (white and other)

from Dean Baker Paul Krugman told readers that intellectual types like him tend to vote for progressive taxes and other measures that benefit white working class people. This is only partly true. People with college and advanced degrees tend to be strong supporters of recent trade deals [I’m including China’s entry to the WTO] that […]

10 декабря, 20:06

THIS TRAUMA CENTER THAT HELPS MILLENNIAL SNOWFLAKES ADJUST TO ADULT LIFE IS FASCINATING, HORRIFYING:…

THIS TRAUMA CENTER THAT HELPS MILLENNIAL SNOWFLAKES ADJUST TO ADULT LIFE IS FASCINATING, HORRIFYING: Thomas Szasz is not the hero we deserve, but the one we need right now. That’s the implicit takeaway from Fusion‘s impressive profile of Yellowbrick, a mental health facility and trauma center for a certain kind of patient: relatively privileged millennials […]

10 декабря, 19:58

How Much Does it Cost to Build a House?

If you're in the market for a new home, you might be tempted to build a house from the ground up. Here are the costs you need to keep in mind.

10 декабря, 15:45

How the Democratic Party Lost Its Way

During my 20 years in Democratic campaigns, I’ve seen the party operation decline into an insular and myopic letdown. But I also know how it can recover.

10 декабря, 14:42

About Last Night: Speaker Ryan's Interview With Sean Hannity

After meeting with President-elect Trump earlier in the day, Speaker Ryan appeared on Hannity to discuss the priorities of the new unified Republican government. “We finally, finally have this great opportunity that’s been given to us by the American people to get this country back on track, to relimit our government, to honor the Constitution, to clean this mess up,” he said. Check out more excerpts below: Speaker Ryan on Obamacare: Repeal Is Relief  “It’s getting worse with Obamacare. … Double-digit premium increases. They’re making the deductibles so high, it’s not like you even have insurance in the first place. What we anticipate coming in 2017 is more of that.” “What we want to do is bring relief immediately. We are going to work on our repeal legislation immediately. And then we have to make sure that there’s that good transition period, so that people don’t have the rug pulled out from under them, and we can bring relief as quickly as possible.”  Speaker Ryan on Working Closely with President-Elect Trump “The conversations we have always revolve around just getting things done. How we’re going to replace Obamacare. What tax reform looks like. How we’re going to secure the border. How we’re going to get people from welfare to work. What does rebuilding the military look like. These are the things we’re talking about, and now we’re just talking about, how do we execute it.” “What I’m really impressed with is the Cabinet that he’s putting together. This is a very good Cabinet. He is picking very good people. This is something that those of us who have been fighting against this liberal progressive government really excited. … The way I look at it is, why don’t we all stop underestimating Donald Trump? I think that’d be a smart thing to do.” Speaker Ryan on Border Security, the VA, and Education “What President-elect Trump has asked us to focus on is enforcing current law… and getting the border secured. That’s what he says he wants us focused on, and that’s exactly what we’re working on.” “House Republicans—Jeff Miller, the chairman of the committee—he's the one who uncovered the disgrace at the VA. So we're the ones who brought the Choice program in place to give veterans recourse away from these waiting lists, so absolutely. That place really needs a clearing out.” "I can't think of a better person than Betsy DeVos, who has really been a trailblazer in education reform on behalf of choice and charter schools, which to me is really one of the critical components of fighting poverty more effectively. ... We've already pushed the dollars back to the states. Now we want to encourage innovation, like choice and charter, to actually take place, because that is how you get people out of the poverty trap.” .@SpeakerRyan on Obamacare: “What we want to do is bring relief immediately. We’re going to work on repeal legislation immediately” — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 10, 2016

10 декабря, 14:33

Book Bits |10 December 2016

● Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer By Dean Baker Summary via publisher (Center for Economic and Policy Research) There has been an enormous upward redistribution of income in the United States in the last four decades. In his most recent book, Baker shows […]

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10 декабря, 14:00

Weekly Address: It’s Time to Get Covered on the Health Insurance Marketplace

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which began November 1. The deadline to sign up for coverage beginning on January 1 is this Thursday, December 15, and the final deadline to sign up for 2017 coverage is January 31. Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, every American with insurance is covered by the strongest set of consumer protections in history. For every person with insurance, preventive care is available with no cost sharing; there are no more annual or lifetime limits on essential health care; you can’t get charged more just for being a woman; young people can stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26; seniors get discounts on their prescriptions; and no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Although Republicans in Congress want to repeal this law, the President emphasized that we should build on the progress we’ve already made. To sign up for health care coverage, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.    Transcript | MP4 | MP3

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10 декабря, 14:00

Weekly Address: It’s Time to Get Covered on the Health Insurance Marketplace

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, President Obama discussed Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which began November 1. The deadline to sign up for coverage beginning on January 1 is this Thursday, December 15, and the final deadline to sign up for 2017 coverage is January 31. Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, every American with insurance is covered by the strongest set of consumer protections in history. For every person with insurance, preventive care is available with no cost sharing; there are no more annual or lifetime limits on essential health care; you can’t get charged more just for being a woman; young people can stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26; seniors get discounts on their prescriptions; and no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Although Republicans in Congress want to repeal this law, the President emphasized that we should build on the progress we’ve already made. To sign up for health care coverage, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.    The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00AM EDT, December 10, 2016.

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10 декабря, 11:08

This Past Week in Gold

Summary: Long term - on major buy signal. Short term - on mixed signals. Gold sector cycle is up. Trend is down. A counter trend bounce is in progress.

10 декабря, 08:31

Obama warns against impatience with 'slowness of democracy'

President Barack Obama says he's wary of Americans turning away from the "core values and basic institutions" of democracy out of impatience. During a wide-ranging interview with VICE airing on HBO Friday that ran the gamut from the political gridlock in Congress to the explosive and polarizing 2016 presidential campaign, the outgoing president acknowledged that he had failed to deliver on his calls to reduce D.C. partisanship, pointing to recent political results as cause for concern. "I have not changed Washington the way I wanted to change it," Obama said. "And what I worry about in our politics is people getting impatient with the slowness of democracy, and the less effective Congress works, the more likely people are to start giving up on the core values and basic institutions that have helped us to weather a lot of storms." The president added that while he believed in political reform, institutional stability was key to maintaining a functioning democracy. "The one thing I've learned in this job is that I have really progressive policy beliefs but I'm more conservative when it comes to our institutions," he said. "I've seen enough around the world when it comes to the result of complete revolution or upheaval that it doesn't always play out well." Confronted with his own 2007 campaign calls for reform in Washington, when upon announcing his presidential bid he asserted that "the ways of Washington must change," a humbled Obama conceded defeat. "Well, that didn't work out did it?" he quipped. The president added that while he stood by the work of his administration, many of the practices in Washington he condemned in 2007 remained unchanged in 2016. "You know, I could not the prouder of the work that my administration's done, but there's no doubt that one of the central goals that I had had, which was to make the politics in Washington work better, to reduce the knee-jerk partisanship, to elevate the debate, I haven't accomplished that."

10 декабря, 05:54

The Master Builder

Donald Trump is a builder. The first thing he pledged to do in his election night victory speech was to ``begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation.'' ``We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,'' the President-elect promised. ``We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.'' That kind of talk thrills the white working class voters who put him over the top. What they hear is ``jobs.'' It also piques the interest of progressive Democrats. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told the AFL-CIO executive council, ``[Trump] spoke to the very real sense of millions of Americans that their government and their economy have abandoned them. And he promised to rebuild our economy for working people.'' What some progressives hear is ``economic stimulus plan.'' But Trump is freaking out Tea Party conservatives. What they hear is ``big government.'' Conservatives are ideologues. They care how things get done. If a project looks like big government, conservatives are instinctively against it. Developers like Trump don't care how things get done as long as they get done. That's what his supporters like about him. He's a ``doer.'' Trump drives conservatives crazy because he's always taking positions and then changing them. Is he going to deport eleven million illegal immigrants? Maybe two or three million who have criminal records. Is he going to kill Obamacare? Maybe he'll keep a few popular provisions. Remember, Trump is a deal-maker. His positions are all starting positions. Everything is negotiable. Meanwhile, Democrats are horrified by the radicals and extremists Trump is appointing. He has named a secretary of education who doesn't believe in public education. An environmental protection administrator who doesn't believe in climate change. A labor secretary who opposes worker protections. A national security adviser who traffics in conspiracy theories. What's next -- a secretary of state who doesn't believe in diplomacy? Trump's appointments reflect his defining attitude: defiance. He won by defying the leadership of both political parties. That's the way he intends to govern. Trump's infrastructure plan defies conservative ideology. It looks to conservatives like a reboot of Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan. Still, a lot of congressional Republicans are likely to support it because Trump is a winner. He didn't just win the White House. He saved the Republican Senate. It's like Richard Nixon going to China in 1972. Only a Republican could do that. To Tea Party conservatives, all government spending is evil. But not to American voters. They see a big difference between spending on public works, which is what Trump is proposing to do, and spending on social welfare programs that Democrats favor. Public works spending involves benefits that are available to everyone and that people cannot provide for themselves, things like good schools, fast highways and gleaming new airports. Social welfare spending is targeted by need. It helps disadvantaged people get things that others are able to provide for themselves like housing, food and medical care. Middle class voters are O.K. with that as long as they are convinced that the benefits are going to the ``truly needy'' and that no one is taking advantage of the system. Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist, sees Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal as a model. The New Deal was not a social welfare program. The Great Depression was like a natural disaster that affected everybody, the just and the unjust alike. When the Democrats took over in 1933, they did not attempt a massive social welfare program. They came up with an ambitious program of public works. ``We're going to build an entirely new political movement,'' Bannon told the Hollywood Reporter. ``It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything.'' Sounds like big government conservatism -- the exact opposite of austerity plans that small government conservatives in the U.S. and Europe have been pushing since the Great Recession. Trump's plan, like the New Deal, will be driven not by ideology but by experimentation. ``We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks,'' Bannon said. ``It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution.'' Bannon sees Trump as the leader of a new coalition that will pull together ``America First'' conservatives and populists. Bannon calls it ``an economic nationalist movement'' united by opposition to globalization. Totally different from the kind of austerity plan that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Tea Party conservatives are pushing. Builders do not think small. Trump's plan sounds like the sort of thing populist demagogues have done since the Roman empire -- massive public works projects to put people to work and build national greatness, sometimes with dangerous consequences. In Trump's words, ``Make America Great Again!'' -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 декабря, 03:42

Trump Team Requests List Of Government Employees Who Worked On Climate Change

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has asked the Department of Energy to compile a list of all the employees and contractors who worked on a number of different initiatives related to climate change, sparking fears of witch hunts and drawing parallels to McCarthyism. The request, a copy of which was first obtained by Bloomberg, specifically seeks the names of those who attended climate change meetings at the United Nations in the past five years and the names of Obama administration staffers who helped set a metric for calculating the social cost of carbon. Unnamed employees at the DOE told The Washington Post that it seemed as if the Trump transition team was intentionally singling out individuals. “It’s certainly alarming that they would be targeting specific employees in this way,” Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists told Bloomberg. “Scientists are looking at this with some suspicion, because many of the people who have been chomping at the bit to dismantle federal climate change science programs are now deeply embedded in the transition.” Neither the Trump team nor the DOE has commented publicly on the questionnaire. Several politicians have voiced their alarm, however. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of the Senate Climate Clearinghouse, sent a letter to President-elect Trump on Friday cautioning that retaliatory action taken against staffers on the list would be illegal. “Any politically motivated inquisition against federal civil servants who, under the direction of a previous administration, carried out policies that you now oppose, would call into question your commitment to the rule of law and the peaceful transition of power,” Markey wrote. “Civil servants should never be punished for having executed policies with which a new administration disagrees. That would be tantamount to an illegal modern-day political witch hunt, and would have a profoundly chilling impact on our dedicated federal workforce.” Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), meanwhile, compared it to the politics of the Cold War, when dissent was stifled with fear and prosecution, including the hearings led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. “These Cold War era tactics threaten to undo the decades of progress we have made on climate change and to dissuade a new generation of scientists from tackling our world’s biggest problems,” Foster said in a statement. “No one should have to work in fear of political retaliation.”  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 декабря, 02:11

Top House Republican Unveils Plan To Gut Social Security

WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump distinguished himself on the campaign trail as the rare Republican candidate promising not to cut Social Security and Medicare. But Republicans in Congress have other plans for the two popular social insurance programs ― and they are wasting no time rolling them out. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, released a plan Thursday to reform Social Security that would drastically reduce benefits. The bill would make the program less of a universal earned benefit and more of a means-tested safety net that aims only to provide basic support to the poorest retirees and disabled workers. In order to close Social Security’s long-term funding gap, Johnson would make Social Security’s benefit formula less generous for all but the lowest earners, rapidly raise the retirement age and reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment, among other changes designed to save money. Johnson also proposes changes that would cost the program money, like an increased minimum benefit for the poorest retirees ― provided they have a long history of covered employment ― and the elimination of income taxes on Social Security. Under Johnson’s plan, a middle-class 65-year-old claiming benefits in 2030 ― one with average annual earnings of about $49,000 over 30 years of covered employment ― would experience a 17 percent benefit cut relative to what the program currently promises them, according to the Social Security Administration’s chief actuary. A 65-year-old with the same earnings history claiming benefits in 2050 would experience a 28 percent benefit cut compared to current law. “For years I’ve talked about the need to fix Social Security so that our children and grandchildren can count on it to be there for them just like it’s there for today’s seniors and individuals with disabilities,” Johnson said in a statement introducing the bill.  “My commonsense plan is the start of a fact-based conversation about how we do just that. I urge my colleagues to also put pen to paper and offer their ideas about how they would save Social Security for generations to come.” Due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, Social Security faces financial strain in the coming years. If Congress fails to act to either reduce the program’s obligations or increase its revenue by 2034, a 21 percent across-the-board benefit cut will automatically take effect. Conservatives like Johnson favor closing this funding gap by reducing benefits. Many progressives would rather address it entirely through revenue increases, such as lifting the cap on earnings subject to Social Security taxes. President Barack Obama and the vast majority of congressional Democrats have recently even coalesced behind expanding benefits to address the inadequacy of Americans’ other sources of retirement income. Linda Benesch, a spokeswoman for Social Security Works, a progressive organization supporting benefits expansion, noted that for many workers, Johnson’s plan would cut benefits more than if Congress did nothing and allowed the automatic cuts to take effect. Benesch dismissed the increase in benefits for the poorest earners, which she said would be insignificant relative to the large cuts for middle-class earners and tax cuts for wealthy retirees. “A minimum benefit increase is a staple of a lot of Republican plans to cut benefits because they want the veneer of increasing benefits,” she said. “But that’s just a stalking horse for what this plan would do over time, which is to turn it into a poverty-level benefit and not an earned benefit.” That would in turn risk reducing popular support for Social Security, which enjoys widespread backing thanks to its status as a universal wage replacement program, Benesch argued. Protecting Medicaid, Benesch said, “is going to be a lot harder precisely because it is [a] benefit targeted to poorer folks rather than a universal benefit.” Even Third Way, a more business-friendly Democratic think tank often at odds with Social Security Works over the former’s support for other plans that cut benefits, largely panned Johnson’s bill. “Chairman Johnson deserves credit for putting out a plan,” Gabe Brown, deputy director of Third Way’s economic program, said in an e-mail. “But this is the Bernie Sanders plan of the right. It is a partisan, ideological plan that reaches solvency entirely through benefit reductions, and harms retirement security as a result.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has built a career on ambitious proposals to scale back social insurance programs, has repeatedly said he plans to prioritize overhauling Medicare. Although Trump hasn’t weighed in on the matter since the election and Senate Republicans have signaled their wariness at the prospect, Congressional Democrats are already expressing their excitement at the idea of a fight over the popular seniors’ health insurance program. In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” this past Sunday, however, Ryan indicated he had no comparable plans to reform Social Security. But Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the incoming ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, seized on Johnson’s plan as a sign that Ryan has already changed his mind. “As Congressional Republicans prepare to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, it now appears that Social Security has been added to the Republicans’ chopping block,” Neal said in a statement Friday. “America’s seniors will be alarmed to hear that the top Republican on this important Subcommittee quietly put forward a plan to drastically cut Social Security benefits for millions of seniors.” “Democrats will fight any effort to undercut Social Security, just as we will fight any plan to replace Medicare with a voucher,” he added. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 декабря, 02:11

Top House Republican Unveils Plan To Gut Social Security

WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump distinguished himself on the campaign trail as the rare Republican candidate promising not to cut Social Security and Medicare. But Republicans in Congress have other plans for the two popular social insurance programs ― and they are wasting no time rolling them out. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, released a plan Thursday to reform Social Security that would drastically reduce benefits. The bill would make the program less of a universal earned benefit and more of a means-tested safety net that aims only to provide basic support to the poorest retirees and disabled workers. In order to close Social Security’s long-term funding gap, Johnson would make Social Security’s benefit formula less generous for all but the lowest earners, rapidly raise the retirement age and reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment, among other changes designed to save money. Johnson also proposes changes that would cost the program money, like an increased minimum benefit for the poorest retirees ― provided they have a long history of covered employment ― and the elimination of income taxes on Social Security. Under Johnson’s plan, a middle-class 65-year-old claiming benefits in 2030 ― one with average annual earnings of about $49,000 over 30 years of covered employment ― would experience a 17 percent benefit cut relative to what the program currently promises them, according to the Social Security Administration’s chief actuary. A 65-year-old with the same earnings history claiming benefits in 2050 would experience a 28 percent benefit cut compared to current law. “For years I’ve talked about the need to fix Social Security so that our children and grandchildren can count on it to be there for them just like it’s there for today’s seniors and individuals with disabilities,” Johnson said in a statement introducing the bill.  “My commonsense plan is the start of a fact-based conversation about how we do just that. I urge my colleagues to also put pen to paper and offer their ideas about how they would save Social Security for generations to come.” Due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, Social Security faces financial strain in the coming years. If Congress fails to act to either reduce the program’s obligations or increase its revenue by 2034, a 21 percent across-the-board benefit cut will automatically take effect. Conservatives like Johnson favor closing this funding gap by reducing benefits. Many progressives would rather address it entirely through revenue increases, such as lifting the cap on earnings subject to Social Security taxes. President Barack Obama and the vast majority of congressional Democrats have recently even coalesced behind expanding benefits to address the inadequacy of Americans’ other sources of retirement income. Linda Benesch, a spokeswoman for Social Security Works, a progressive organization supporting benefits expansion, noted that for many workers, Johnson’s plan would cut benefits more than if Congress did nothing and allowed the automatic cuts to take effect. Benesch dismissed the increase in benefits for the poorest earners, which she said would be insignificant relative to the large cuts for middle-class earners and tax cuts for wealthy retirees. “A minimum benefit increase is a staple of a lot of Republican plans to cut benefits because they want the veneer of increasing benefits,” she said. “But that’s just a stalking horse for what this plan would do over time, which is to turn it into a poverty-level benefit and not an earned benefit.” That would in turn risk reducing popular support for Social Security, which enjoys widespread backing thanks to its status as a universal wage replacement program, Benesch argued. Protecting Medicaid, Benesch said, “is going to be a lot harder precisely because it is [a] benefit targeted to poorer folks rather than a universal benefit.” Even Third Way, a more business-friendly Democratic think tank often at odds with Social Security Works over the former’s support for other plans that cut benefits, largely panned Johnson’s bill. “Chairman Johnson deserves credit for putting out a plan,” Gabe Brown, deputy director of Third Way’s economic program, said in an e-mail. “But this is the Bernie Sanders plan of the right. It is a partisan, ideological plan that reaches solvency entirely through benefit reductions, and harms retirement security as a result.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has built a career on ambitious proposals to scale back social insurance programs, has repeatedly said he plans to prioritize overhauling Medicare. Although Trump hasn’t weighed in on the matter since the election and Senate Republicans have signaled their wariness at the prospect, Congressional Democrats are already expressing their excitement at the idea of a fight over the popular seniors’ health insurance program. In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” this past Sunday, however, Ryan indicated he had no comparable plans to reform Social Security. But Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the incoming ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, seized on Johnson’s plan as a sign that Ryan has already changed his mind. “As Congressional Republicans prepare to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, it now appears that Social Security has been added to the Republicans’ chopping block,” Neal said in a statement Friday. “America’s seniors will be alarmed to hear that the top Republican on this important Subcommittee quietly put forward a plan to drastically cut Social Security benefits for millions of seniors.” “Democrats will fight any effort to undercut Social Security, just as we will fight any plan to replace Medicare with a voucher,” he added. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 декабря, 02:08

Armada Hoffler Acquires Retail Assets: Time to Buy AHH?

Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc. (AHH) recently announced the acquisition of retail properties Renaissance Square in the greater Charlotte area and Columbus Village II in Virginia.

10 декабря, 01:25

Don't Miss Opportunities To Bridge The Gap With Rural Voters

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and his colleague Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio are on a mission to stop business as usual in Washington, D.C. and shine a light on the shoddy way Congress has treated miners. I wonder: Is the health care of retired mineworkers on the radar of climate change activists? What about Democratic party strategists? There is a golden opportunity now and in the future if progressives can wake up and rally. Despite the fact that over 10,000 miners are less than a month away from losing their health benefits, with thousands more to follow, there has been radio silence on Twitter from Donald Trump who ran as a champion of coal miners. Why is he not standing up to establishment Republicans who refuse to take a vote on a bill that would extend miner benefits? Donald Trump's meeting with Sen. Manchin, who he is considering to head the Department of Energy, has been rescheduled to a later date as Sen. Manchin and some colleagues attempt to delay the passage of a continuing resolution to fund the government in an attempt to gain leverage and force Republicans eager to head home for the holidays to simply extend the health care benefits for the 16,000 or so miners total who may be left in the cold without health care for another year. Blog posts and tweets from the right indicate an eagerness to forget the sacrifices of miners and Donald Trump's promise to them this last election cycle. The Daily Signal article headline on the Senate continuing resolution fight reads, "Senators Vow to 'Use Any Means Necessary' to Ensure Taxpayer Bailout of Private Union Pension Plan," and goes on to call this effort by Sen. Manchin and Sen. Brown, "Pandora's Box." The only Pandora's Box that may be opened is if environmentalists and Democratic strategists don't seize and continue to seek out opportunities like this that demonstrate what "stronger together" looks like. The left should be hyper aware of the consequences of not recognizing the very real needs of rural and blue-collar constituents who have felt forgotten too long. The fact is 13 of the 25 Senate Democrats up for re-election in the next cycle are from states that Trump won. From a strictly horserace perspective it's clear that rural voters matter but they should also matter to Democrats because it is unethical and wrong to cast rural Americans aside as relics from an old time. It was not that long ago that we relied heavily on the work of miners and other blue collar workers. In fact, even the most fervent of environmentalists has undoubtedly benefited on numerous occasions from power that can be traced back to a cold and dangerous mine somewhere in the foothills of Appalachia. It is not right to sit back and let the miners that risked their lives to help light our highways and power up our computers suffer from black lung without help. If climate change advocacy groups and Democrats continue to stand with these miners, challenge Trump and raise the issue of miners' health care and future job prospect needs to their supporters they will send a clear and important signal: Miners are not the enemy. This signal could prove to be a strategic one if Trump does end up tapping Sen. Manchin to lead the Department of Energy. In the end, no matter what happens with the continuing resolution fight it is important for Americans of all elks and constituencies ask themselves: How can we allow corrupt CEOs to get golden parachutes and energy company after company to write off their debts but not keep coal companies promise to miners of lifelong health benefits when these workers risked their lives to get the coal that helped power American prosperity for years? The answers that Donald Trump, climate change activists and Democratic leaders come up with will say a lot about American greatness, or its lack thereof, in the months and years ahead. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.