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limpyhobbler's Journal
limpyhobbler's Journal
August 26, 2012

Upcoming opportunities for screwing up Social Security.

After the the election there is probably going to be another budget fight. Social Security benefits will be on the table for compromises. Most of us DU folks probably would address any Social Security issues by raising or lifting the payroll tax cap.

But the Republicans are also going to propose benefit cuts. These could include raising the retirement age or changing the way the cost of living adjustments are calculated, by adopting something called a "chained CPI".

It's important to elect as many Democrats as possible. It's also important to keep an eye on the Democrats to make sure they do not cave in and compromise with the Republicans on any Social Security benefit cuts.

It would be nice to get all our Democratic candidates on the record now, before the election, stating they will not vote for these measures including raising the retirement age or adopting the chained CPI. This will help Democrats win elections by drawing a sharp contrast with the Republicans on this issue. Consider asking your candidates about these specific issues. It couldn't hurt to get a response in writing or on video.

Who remembers President Clinton's budget fights with Gingrich and company that actually led to a government shutdown? That was over cuts to Medicare, among other programs, that President Clinton refused to accept. Looking back it's one of the best things that he did. He took a stand for something. We ought to be ready to take a stand like that again. We shouldn't compromise away any benefits on Social Security or Medicare. These programs should not be on the table for negotiating with Republicans, some of whom openly admit they want to privatize or end the programs.

Some Democrats in Congress or in the Administration may like the idea of compromising on this and will start laying the groundwork for it now. So be skeptical when people start talking about how bad the gridlock is and the need bipartisan compromise with Republicans. Mr. Boehner has been very clear that he never compromises. All the compromising is one way.

Here's a recent news article about items that will be on the table for compromises after the election.

Social Security is ensnared in the same debate over taxes and spending that has gripped Washington for years. Liberal advocates and some Democrats say benefit cuts should be off the table. Conservative activists and some Republicans say tax increases are out of the question.

Others, including a deficit commission created by President Barack Obama in 2010, have called for a combination of tax increases and cuts to future benefits, including raising the retirement age again.

Janice Durflinger of Lincoln, Neb., is still working at age 76 running computer software programs for a bank. Still, she worries that a higher retirement age would be tough on people with more physically demanding jobs.

"No matter how much you exercise, age takes its toll," Durflinger said.


August 26, 2012

America handed WV over to the coal industry and said "Here have your way with her."

Why do they side with the coal industry, their oppressors? The government has abandoned them and the coal industry is what puts food on the table. Racism and homophobia does play into it. But if the Democrats had a strong economic populist message, we could cut straight through that racism.

If we could say all the money made off WV coal will go to benefit the communities of WV, instead of mine owners in New York and London. If we could say we will make full employment in WV by hiring people to build and install solar panels and wind mills. These would be popular.

Could you imagine a Democrat candidate saying these things? It's almost inconceivable. And yet those solutions are obvious even to "hillbillies".

This whole region of our country and quality of life for generations of families have been sacrificed for industry profits. And the people who live there know it. Liberal America turned it's back on Appalachia so if WV moved into the Republican column it's not surprising. At least a job in the mine puts food on the table.

We can win this state back by supporting strong economic populist policies. If we said from now on the mineral wealth of West Virginia will belong to the people of West Virginia. If we directly hired people to build the energy systems of the future. So let's do that.

August 18, 2012

South African miners' families back Julius Malema's call for nationalisation

Found via LBN.


They were there in their thousands, leaning against tin shacks or sitting in the dusty veld: miners and their wives still looking for answers after a massacre by South African police that left 34 striking workers dead. A red T-shirt worn by a rally organiser seemed to offer one, stating: "Fuck capitalism."

The huge crowd erupted as a charismatic young politician, Julius Malema, took the microphone. He is seen by some as a dangerous demagogue, but to the grieving angry community at the Lonmin mine in Marikana he came as a messiah offering a radical future".

"The British are owning this mine," he said. "The British are making money out of this mine ... It is not the British who were killed. It is our black brothers. But it is not these brothers who are mourned by the president. Instead he goes to meet capitalists in air-conditioned offices."

Malema was expelled this year as president of the youth wing of the governing African National Congress after falling out with President Jacob Zuma, whom he accuses of failing to challenge "white monopoly capital". He has since been in the political wilderness; once contemptuous of the media, he now courts it. As the Marikana tragedy lays bare discontent over inequalities 18 years after apartheid, he senses his moment.


August 18, 2012

Economic Left/Right: -9.62 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.92

Here's what I got... neat thread.

August 18, 2012

Voter Advocates Call On Husted To Restore 2 Weekends Of Early Voting

COLUMBUS - A group of voting rights advocates (listed below) today called on Secretary of State Husted to restore at least two weekends for in-­‐person early voting.

"While we understand Secretary Husted's desire for uniformity, early voting hours must also be reasonable," said Carrie Davis, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. Norman Robbins, Research Director of the Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates" added, "Voters in many counties have come to expect that they will be able to cast an early ballot on Saturday or Sunday. Challenging budget times may mean that county Boards of Elections cannot offer early in-­‐person voting every weekend, but even offering two weekends for early voting would make a big difference for working Ohioans"

Recent restrictions on extended hours and weekends for early in-­‐person voting have eliminated the voting times when some 257,000 Ohioans voted in 2008. Secretary of State Husted's Directive 2012-­‐35 restores only 53,000 of these votes but denies the public the opportunity to vote on weekends. Restoration of two weekends for voting would permit another 51,000 to vote, and most of all give working people and African Americans (who used in-­‐person voting heavily) a chance to vote the way they preferred in 2008. Indeed, more than this number might vote on these weekends because 3 other weekends would still be denied to them. We note that despite availability of mailed vote-­‐by-­‐mail applications in 2008 in some counties, many voters in those counties chose to vote early in-­‐person rather than by mail. Therefore, mail applications are no substitute for our proposal.


This statement endorsed by: League of Women Voters of Ohio, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, Ohio Conference NAACP, Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates, Project Vote, Ohio AFL-­‐CIO, Miami Valley Voter Protection Coalition, Ohio Women with Disabilities Network, and Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections

(emphasis added)

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