I follow Jane Hamsher on Twitter so I can keep an eye on what she is up to in her quest to have monuments built to her and have her worshippers wiping her feet. She is the one leading the charge to primary President Obama, anyone who thinks she isn’t, needs to look into it a little more. Her irrational hatred for President Obama isn’t new, she had it during the primaries in 2008 and has never let it go. My personal theory is that she doesn’t respect President Obama because he is black, brilliant, charismatic and doesn’t give a shit what this person Jane Hamsher thinks. As I’ve tweeted several times, 99.99% of people in polls say “who the fuck is Jane Hamsher?” Unfortunately, the rapidly deteriorating MSNBC likes to trot her out every couple of days to spread her lies, that’s why I feel the need to expose the type of person she is and how she is a parasite on the liberal community and a very petty person.
One of the latest targets for her vitriol is the AARP. Apparently Jane doesn’t approve, in her infinite wisdom, of their ideas about Social Security and has begun one of her lie filled, propaganda campaigns…against the most powerful lobby in the US…nice plan Jane. It all stems from the AARP’s decision to belly up to the bar on the negotiations about Social Security and ideas for saving it. How has Jane been characterizing it?
Tweets from the “Veal Pen” of Jane Hamsher
Fmr Obama Social Security adviser Eric Kingson: With AARP Supporting Social Security Cuts, Time to Burn My AARP Card:
As AARP Abandons Social Security, Firedoglake Refuses to Give Up the Fight
Why AARP’s Support for Social Security Cuts Matters
AARP has Been Talking for Months About Being Open to Social Security Cuts
Save Social Security, burn your AARP card:
Dear AARP: Enough With the Weasel Words. Will You or Won’t You?
Those tweets included links to blog posts that Jane has written that are just filled with lies and mischaracterizations like the following…
Much of the divergence of opinion hinges on what one makes of AARP’s attempts at damage control. After AARP’s policy director, John Rother, told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that they were open to cutting Social Security benefits, AARP issued a clarification supposedly “denying” that this was true. Or at least that’s how most people interpreted it. “Oh, don’t worry, that was a gaffe. AARP has clarified for the record that it’s not true.”
The Wall Street Journal apparently mischaracterized what was said to them and started this mess that Jane has waded into and shown her ignorance and vile tactics, against senior citizens, no less. The Wall Street Journal piece is behind a wall, but the AARP issued a statement reaffirming their support for Social Security and making clear that they do not support benefit cuts. How does Jane characterize it, “AARP issued a clarification supposedly “denying” that this was true.” Supposedly “denying” it was true? Jane, you ignorant…oh wait. They actually did deny it. Like Richard Pryor said, “Who you gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes?” From the AARP…(emphasis mine)
AARP Has Not Changed Its Position on Social Security
Reaffirms that program must be strengthened to maintain critical benefits
“Let me be clear – AARP is as committed as we’ve ever been to fighting to protect Social Security for today’s seniors and strengthening it for future generations. Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security.
“First, we are currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause. Social Security should not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit. Any changes to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion and make retirement more secure for future generations, not less.
“Second, we have maintained for years – to our members, the media and elected officials – that long term solvency is key to protecting and strengthening Social Security for all generations, and we have urged elected officials in Washington to address the program’s long-term challenges in a way that’s fair for all generations.
“It has long been AARP’s policy that Social Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and that it is sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for the next 75 years. It has also been a long held position that any changes would be phased in slowly, over time, and would not affect any current or near term beneficiaries
So because AARP wants to be a part of the negotiations that have already been going on without them, Jane has begun her campaign of lies to slander the organization, for what reason, I have no idea. I think her vitriol speaks for itself, really. This tweet is just crazy, “As AARP Abandons Social Security, Firedoglake Refuses to Give Up the Fight”. As you can see from the actual statement from the AARP, the last thing they are doing is abandoning Social Security and the fact that Jane would type that massive lie shows the type of person she is, the very worst kind of propagandist, playing on the fears of the elderly.
Another gem from Jane, “Save Social Security, burn your AARP card:”. She thinks that by burning their AARP cards, that they are going to somehow benefit from it? AARP is the most powerful lobbying group in the country by many accounts and as their website says all over it, they are committed to the program and are going to continue to fight for the people they represent. Jane’s blatant mischaracterization of their position as “abandoning” social security, when their entire mission revolves around strengthening such programs for the people they represent, is a complete fabrication. I’m still trying to figure out why Jane has taken this tact.
My hope is that she continues her downward spiral into irrelevancy and keeps revealing the type of vile person she is. I have written extensively about her because I truly think she is a parasite on the liberal community and is damaging our causes by her actions. I wonder if her reason isn’t to try to drive a wedge between the left (which MSNBC likes to trot Jane out to represent) and the AARP. Her attack on the AARP and senior citizens makes absolutely no sense, unless it is for political reasons. And lastly, I’m sure the fact that the CEO of AARP is black has nothing to do with it, at least I really hope it doesn’t, but with Jane’s “blackface incident” from years ago, I’m not cutting her any slack.
Update: Thanks to @snkscoyote on Twitter
Roll Call is reporting that the GOP has now targeted the AARP as the next supposed “liberal” group that they want to take down. They are some stupid motherfuckers, if you ask me. Hell yea, us Democrats will take the senior vote anyday. Thanks. But it raises an interesting point that Jane Hamsher and the Republicans are very coincidently targeting the same group at the same time. Hmmmmm, From Roll Call…
Republicans have launched an assault on AARP, which joins a growing list of groups supportive of the Democrats’ agenda that are being targeted by conservatives.
House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday released a report that accuses the influential senior citizens organization of having a conflict of interest because it will financially benefit from the health care overhaul that the group heavily lobbied for last year. AARP collects royalties from endorsing health insurance policies and other products.
The Republicans came after your Medicare and now they want your Social Security too. The only way to insure that you won’t lose either is to vote Democratic in all future elections. Republican’s used to be much more subtle about how they want to throw seniors into the private market to go head to head with health insurers and Wall Street, but lately the new leaders of the GOP apparently have no idea what they are getting into. When the Bush Administration flirted with it in 2005, they learned very quickly that it was a bad idea. But the new GOP feels so empowered that they think they can just come right out in the open with their stupid ideas. As a Democrat, I want to thank them. Here are some details from Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly…
Alas, that’s not the case. A few days ago, Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, a member of the House Republican leadership, unveiled the “Savings Account For Every American Act,” which would allow Americans to withdraw from the Social Security system and opt into a privatized system.
Of course, with Social Security functioning as a pay-as-you-go program, if workers “opt out” of the system, Social Security would either (a) crumble with insufficient funds; or (b) need Congress to spend more money to make up the difference. How would Sessions address this? By all appearances, he hasn’t thought that far ahead.
I guess we Democrats should be encouraged by the Republican’s lack of political savvy, but their propaganda machine is pretty effective and they will have some success with their brain-dead, Rush Limbaugh/Fox News programmed followers. But those people will never vote Democratic anyway, so the real audience for this is the moderates, who will clearly be able to make the connection between the risks of privatizing and their future security. It’s one of those ideas that is rather easy to counter, from The Hill, courtesy of Steve Benen...
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday predicted that House Republican plans to let workers opt out of Social Security would fail as voters realize how it will threaten their retirement.
“Seniors who have paid into Social Security through a lifetime of hard work shouldn’t end up in a risky privatization scheme to gamble their retirement on Wall Street,” Israel said. “The public has rejected this kind of Social Security privatization in the past and will again.”
Israel accused Republicans of looking to resolve the government’s fiscal crisis by scaling back Medicare and Social Security, while ignoring higher corporate taxes.
I don’t see any adults in the leadership of the Republican Party so I anticipate even more boneheaded moves in the next year and a half leading up to the next election. I don’t even think the complicate media can help spin them out of some these messes they’ve created. It will take a lot of distractions to keep people from seeing what is going on and the difference between the 2010 race and 2012 is that President Obama is in this race, with his bully pulpit, his 75% personal popularity and his unmatched ability to deliver a message in a clear and concise way. The only thing the Republicans have in their arsenal is their appeal to racists. And with the president at 75% personal approval, their clearly aren’t enough racists to put them over the top. It should be a fun ride to November 6, 2012.
Updated Below with just found information!
Republican’s have consistently lied about Social Security and for many years. As with most of their lies, they come to believe them after repeating them enough. We’ve all known liars who are sociopathic and truly believe their own lies, well, I put a lot of the GOP in that category because it’s hard to explain how they can continue the lie, even in the face of the actual facts.
Social Security is not “on-budget” and has no effect on the deficit or the national debt. People pay in and people draw on it. There have been many accounting gimmicks used over the years to use Social Security surpluses to hide the actual debt for any given year. Go here for a detailed history of Social Security, it’s interesting to read if you are a total geek like me. Here is a summary of Social Security and it’s “on-budget” and “off-budget” status…(emphasis mine)
So, to sum up:
1- Social Security was off-budget from 1935-1968;
2- On-budget from 1969-1985;
3- Off-budget from 1986-1990, for all purposes except computing the deficit;
4- Off-budget for all purposes since 1990.
Finally, just note once again that the financing procedures involving the Social Security program have not changed in any fundamental way since they were established in the original Social Security Act of 1935 and amended in 1939. These changes in federal budgeting rules govern how the Social Security program is accounted for in the federal budget, not how it is financed.
It’s interesting to note that during Reagan’s term, they did a hybrid approach, make it off-budget except for computing the deficit, nice little trick Ronnie and Company.
Another lie being perpetuated by both Republicans and Democrats has to do with the life expectancy of Americans and whether it has increased very much over time. This is new information to me, I have to admit, but it makes complete sense. Thanks to Steve Benen once again for his great writing and insight, from Steve…(emphasis mine)
After Simpson made some bizarre remarks about retirement ages and the history of Social Security, Grimm pressed the former senator on his understanding of the basics.
“HuffPost suggested to Simpson during a telephone interview that his claim about life expectancy was misleading because his data include people who died in childhood of diseases that are now largely preventable. Incorporating such early deaths skews the average life expectancy number downward, making it appear as if people live dramatically longer today than they did half a century ago. According to the Social Security Administration’s actuaries, women who lived to 65 in 1940 had a life expectancy of 79.7 years and men were expected to live 77.7 years.”
I don’t think a lot of Democrats even know that fact, to be honest. I often hear them say that we have to do something because people are living longer. When in reality, they are only living slightly longer because averaging things out tends to skew reality and give people like Republican’s a kernel of misinformation that they can run with.
The other big lie is that Social Security is in dire straights and something has to be done immediately to fix it. It just isn’t true, the latest estimates that I found say it is solvent for the next 27 years, nearly 3 decades. From Pacific Progressive…
Many policymakers and analysts are insisting that there is an urgent need to make major changes to Social Security. Their argument that long-term imbalances make the case for action now have even swayed some who consider themselves supporters of the program. A new issue brief from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, calls attention to the fact that Social Security will be fully solvent for the next 27 years and any premature action to make changes to the program will have a severe impact on millions of near retirees.
“Misinformation about Social Security has led many to believe that Social Security is in immediate danger of insolvency” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and author of the report, “but the program will be fully solvent for almost three more decades. Furthermore, even if no changes are ever made, a child born in 2010 can expect to see a benefit that is more than 50 percent larger in real terms than what current retirees receive today.”
So don’t believe the “sky is falling” folks who are trying to create a false urgency in order to undo the social safety net that Americans have been relying on since it was implemented 70 plus years ago. I always have to think that these people must be extremely rich if they don’t see a need for Social Security for themselves, their parents and grandparents. Damn, it must be nice to be so comfortable that they don’t have to rely on Social Security when they retire. But to me the larger issue is how can they care so little about the people who aren’t rich and have paid into the Social Security trust fund their whole lives, counting on it for their later years. What sort of person is willing to hurt the seniors in our country who I was taught to take care of, respect, and who’s wisdom should be cherished.
I’m encouraged by the announcement yesterday by Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, when he said “he doesn’t think Congress will address Social Security as part of an effort to reduce government borrowing.” I would have preferred a more definite statement, but I’ll take that one. I wonder if the whiners in the Professional Left, who wasted so much time and energy bitching about the “cat-food commission” and their recommendations, will spend just as much time lauding the President and Democrats for not touching Social Security. Yea right!
Update: The People’s View has a post up responding to an Ezra Klein post that sheds more light on the above. I’ll just send you over their if you want to get into the minutia. There is more to the idea that people aren’t living that much longer. Go read it for a great analysis, albeit pretty deep, of Social Security. That’s a great site over there.
From Jacob Lew of the OMB, via USA Today… (emphasis mine)
The budget put forward by President Obama last week is a blueprint for how we can live within our means and win the future. As this begins the budgeting process in Washington, we need to be clear about the causes of the pressing fiscal problems we face. Specifically, looking to the next two decades, Social Security does not cause our deficits.
Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries.
When more taxes are collected than are needed to pay benefits, funds are converted to Treasury bonds — backed with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government — and are held in reserve for when revenue collected is not enough to pay the benefits due. We have just as much obligation to pay back those bonds with interest as we do to any other bondholders. The trust fund is the backbone of an important compact: that a lifetime of work will ensure dignity in retirement.
According to the most recent report of the independent Social Security Trustees, the trust fund is currently in surplus and growing. Even though Social Security began collecting less in taxes than it paid in benefits in 2010, the trust fund will continue to accrue interest and grow until 2025, and will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years.
For years, the surpluses in the Social Security trust fund have helped to mask our deficits elsewhere. Now that we are paying Social Security back, the problem is not with Social Security, but with the rest of the budget. In 2001 and 2003, Washington cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and later expanded Medicare without paying for it. Blaming Social Security for our fiscal woes is like blaming you for not saving enough in your checking account because the bank lost all depositors’ money.
The problem is not Social Security; the problem is the mismatch between outlays and revenues in the rest of the budget. Closing that gap and paying down our debt will take tough choices, and the president’s budget makes them. Strengthening Social Security is an important, but parallel, issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. But let’s not confuse it as either the cause of or a solution to our short-term fiscal problems.
Printed in full because it is too damn important.
I’ve been a blog addict for a long time, I admit I have a problem, which is the first step towards recovery. It has led me to start this blog after years of reading and at some points, commenting on them. When the enemy was George W. Bush, it seemed like everyone was on the same page, cheering each other on as we all bashed in unison. It was very much a “pig pile”, to use a term from my childhood. Many cottage industries popped up that played on the anger towards Bush. The biggest of these was The Huffington Post, started of course by Arianna Huffington who seems to have gone from the far right spectrum (worked for Newt Gingrich) to being considered a liberal blogger for some odd reason. I think she gained her street cred as a liberal by merely attacking a massive target, George W. Bush, and cashing in on it with liberals. She spawned many offshoots which copied her model like Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars, Taylor Marsh and many others. There was money to made on that hatred for ole’ Bushie boy.
Since Bush has disappeared from the scene, thankfully, it seems like they lost focus for a while, their clicks started to diminish and I think they all decided, either collectively at some bloggers conference or independently, that they were at their best when they had an enemy. Now you would think the logical choice would be to go after the Republicans who have really made a right hand turn over the last 4 years and presented them with all sorts of targets to shoot down. Some certainly have taken them on and done a wonderful job of it, but others like Crooks and Liars, Huffington Post, Young Turks and others seem to have decided that President Obama is the real enemy. There is so much irrational hatred for this man who is working his ass off in untenable circumstances (60 vote threshold) and in a media environment that has completely dropped any pretense of fairness or accuracy, it’s a goddamn free-for-all these days on cable news and radio. This irrational hatred sure does reek of racism, although I don’t think it is the major force driving these folks.
My theory on the reason for the hatred is that after 8 years of being so pissed as they watched the GOP run roughshod over our rights, values and principles, they naturally want some payback. And in this lust for payback, they seem to have lost all sense of perspective, reasonableness, political savvy, and common sense. The health care debate was the perfect example of how their anger and revenge mentality made them completely oblivious to the reality of the 60 vote threshold, the conservadems and the compliant media. Instead of helping the administration push for progressive movement on health care, they sat on the sidelines throwing pot shots at him, whining, spilling pages and pages of digital ink on what “might” happen or what was currently being leaked by one of those 535, independent, wanna-be presidents. Do you remember all the ups and downs along the way base on those leaks, based on speculation, based on anger and cynicism?
We have a current example of how some in the left blogosphere have been fighting a phantom enemy, what might happen . It has to do with the Deficit Commission, which some haters on the left call “the cat-food commission.” Go here for a previous post I did on this. For the last year, several websites have done it with this topic, and I’m going to pick on Crooks and Liars, coming off my recent banning from that site for calling John Amato out on his hatred. You probably heard that the president has decided not to raise the retirement age for Social Security and not to touch any of the benefits. My first thought was, I TOLD YOU SO, YOU ASSHOLES, so I thought I’d wander over to Crooks and Liars to maybe remind them that I told them they were getting all worked up over something that WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! That is when I discovered that I could no longer comment over there, in fact, when logged in I can’t even read their posts anymore. They showed me, didn’t they? I did a little searching on their site and came up with a whole pile of crap attacking our president for going after Social Security, in their fantasies. Here is a sample from Crooks and Liars….
The idiotic Cat Food Commission is going to advise that entitlements gets cut. That will only lead to another disaster for the working class that families cannot withstand.
Giant leap there from the commission advising and it actually happening. Funny how reality sometimes happens despite the faux reality created in the haters minds. Another example.
William Greider has been writing about economic issues since the 1960s, and is best known for his book Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. He’s been warning us that the Obama administration intends to cut Social Security (this video is a year old):
NOT! If you go and read his rant, it all is true and makes complete sense, no doubt. But the rub is that it ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN! I wonder how many hours he spent writing that piece that was based on pure conjecture. What pissed me off so much when I read this crap over the last year is that simply appointing a commission does not make everything that commission does and recommends the law of the land. Especially this weak commission that is merely offering suggestions. And of course, when you try to be bi-partisan, you unfortunately have to appoint people from the other party and there really is no reasonable person left in “the other party”, so we get people like Alan Simpson. Some more hyperventilating from Crooks and Liars…
Polls show President Obama’s talk on Social Security is turning voters off to the Democratic Party’s handling of the program
These results are depressing. To think that American believe Republicans, who clearly have been trying to destroy everything associated with FDR’s New Deal, are more trustworthy in dealing with Social Security is absurd. I think a lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of the ridiculous creation of the Cat Food Commission. Kowtowing to the Beltway media and the GOP on the issue of our national debt not only strengthened their position with Americans, but also weakened the outlook Americans have on the entire Democratic Party.
Oh sure, Amato, it was the creation of the commission that did it, not the over 1 dozen posts you did about it scaring your readers into thinking that the Obama administration was surely going to raise the retirement age. Or the dozens of posts that Firedoglake has done which are even worse. That wouldn’t have anything to do with it, now would it? Next thing you know, they will be taking credit for making the President bend to their will. It is very similar to them taking credit for President Obama repealing DADT, even though that is what he said he was going to do since he began running for president. In their narcissistic minds, I’m sure they fully believe that they deserve the credit. So they beat the hell out of the president for two years over DADT, the same type of “what might happen” conjecture and hyperbole, contrary to everything the president said…and then when he does exactly what he promised, no credit…none, no appreciation…nata. Go look at the archives of the harshest of the presidents critics, Americablog, Firedoglake etc. and try to find the thank you to the president. Rachel Maddow, being classy and able to admit a mistake, came right out and said it on her show. These other asshats, not a peep. Thank goodness the president just keeps moving the ball down the field and for the most part ignores these assholes. For the most part, that is.
Here is an exchange in a live chat with Amato on Crooks and Liars, very revealing…
“The question now is why Social Security is even on the table and why the commission is being considered the be-all, end-all of fiscal policy, which is actually the role of Congress.”
So that CONgress can point the finger at the commission and say “We had nothing to do with it”. Because they’re ALL lying sacks of corporate owned shit, save about a handful.
Amato’s Response -
Has always been the prize for conservatives. When Dems move rightward this is what we get. That’s why Blue America is here and why we’re supporting Rep. Grijalva.
So the commenter is a good example of the people who have been lingering in the comment sections of these blogs. The ones that pounce on anyone who tries to argue their points. “The question now is why Social Security is even on the table…”, well maybe it is because almost every damn commission ever created seems to go into the process with “everything is on the table”. Merely having something on the table really shouldn’t get these people all worked up, to me it shows political immaturity. The commenter continues with “the commission is being considered the be-all, end-all of fiscal policy, which is actually the role of Congress.” Now I don’t know where the commenter got that impression, the commission has no actual power and was formed to offer suggestions…but somehow in the hyperbolic world of comments at these hateful blogs, it somehow becomes “be-all, end-all”. The commenter brings it home with this whopper “Because they’re ALL lying sacks of corporate owned shit.” Sure, all of those folks who went into public service, decided to try to make a difference in their communities…they are ALL lying sacks of corporate owned shit. Got it. So how does John Amato respond to this comment? He blows right by it and goes right for the PAC plug, get money from that angry commenter now before they cool off.
So the state of the liberal blogosphere is bad. But you are always welcome to come and visit this blog and I promise you I won’t ban you for calling me out. If you type racist comments or attack another commenter personally, I will certainly delete that post. But I have never banned anyone, ever, and I don’t plan to. I hope the trolls don’t take that as a challenge. Thankfully I can moderate the blog on my iPhone.
I have a feeling the president is going to “kick some tall ass” tonight in his State of the Union. Let’s see how the haters respond.
Presidents have been creating commissions since the beginning of our Republic, it’s become a cliché’ over the years whenever a difficult decision has to be made or some horrible disaster needs to be investigated or a president wants to dodge an issue. So any commission starts out handicapped for sure. I usually react by shaking my head and saying “not another one” when I hear about the latest commission, whether it be a R or D president doing it. I reacted much the same way when President Obama created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Now just because I shake my head when these things are created, doesn’t mean that I don’t think they can produce results that might be of use or help to clarify things. I also never waste my time tracking a commission because it is an exercise in futility for a couple of reasons. First, because during the process, the sources of information are usually pushing their own agenda and feed the starving “media beast” what they are promoting and try to scare people about what others are promoting. Second, a commission simply produces a report that the President and Congress sometimes agree with and other times doesn’t, and it really has nothing more than a minor role in the whole process of making laws and governing. So why should I waste my time watching the bouncing balls when the report might end up being ignored anyways. A little background on commissions…
Historically, commissions have enjoyed a colorful chronology. In 1794, farmers in western Pennsylvania revolted against the federal excise tax on spirits. Faced with the Whisky Rebellion, President George Washington sent a commission to investigate the situation and attempt to mediate a settlement.
Now there is a good reason for a commission, whisky. (sarcasm) If you are curious to know more about the history of commissions, check out this article I found on the History News Network. If you are into that sort of thing, that is.
Alan Simpson’s comments have caused all sorts of propaganda to spew forth. He’s an asshole and has been one for many years, he masks his “asshole-ness” by trying to crack jokes and be a fucking stand up comedian. I think Alan Simpson should be fired from the commission for his comments. He has a long history of saying stupid shit and really shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone. Having said that, after reading some posts by liberals about how they think that the deficit commission is really a front for cutting social security and from what I can tell, it centers around Alan Simpson for the most part. I started looking into the deficit commission because to be honest, I haven’t tracked it much. I found stuff like this…
As the news site AlterNet reports, President Obama has stacked his new 18-member committee charged with dealing with the deficit, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, with a number of figures who have staked their careers on undermining Social Security.
So “President Obama has stacked his new 18-member commission”, really. I went to the executive order that created the commission and learned that this is how the 18 members were selected.
(a) six members appointed by the President, not more than four of whom shall be from the same political party;
(b) three members selected by the Majority Leader of the Senate, all of whom shall be current Members of the Senate;
(c) three members selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be current Members of the House of Representatives;
(d) three members selected by the Minority Leader of the Senate, all of whom shall be current Members of the Senate; and
(e) three members selected by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be current Members of the House of Representatives.
Ut oh, the truth is the president didn’t “stack” anything, he appointed 6 members of the commission, 4 of them democrats. It looks like they set up the commission to include both parties and both houses of congress. Sounds pretty bi-partisan to me which probably pisses off those firebaggers who demonize anyone who doesn’t think exactly like them or doesn’t hate Obama. We are Obamabots, you know, or apologists.
Consistent with the Obama-haters other overreactions and made up controversies, they seem to have planted a virus in their heads that makes them think that the deficit commission is really the “eliminate Social Security commission.” They’ve even come up with a cute term for it ” the cat food commission”, aren’t they soooo clever. The main source of that virus appears to be Alan Simpson’s participation in the commission and they seem to have elevated him to being the only member of the commission and Social Security is the only topic. It’s so much easier to distort things to match your narrative than it is to actually deal in reality. It’s sooooo Republican of them. Besides the above “stacking” distortion, let’s look at some of the others…
Nobody really thought Alan Simpson could top his video appearance with Alex Lawson where he talked about “the lesser people” on Social Security. But once again, President Obama’s hand-picked Co-Chair of the Catfood Commission tasked with “tweaking” Social Security has proven us all wrong.
That’s from the one and only queen of hate, Jane Hamsher and notice how Alan Simpson is “tasked with ‘tweaking’ SS”. Really, that’s his job on the commission, huh? Very subtle and typical of Hamsher’s tactics. Somehow, she’s assigned roles to certain people on the commission and if you look at the title of her post, which I won’t link to…no fucking way…you see what her goal is in her snarky, misleading bullshit post. “Obama Appointed Deficit Commission Co-Chair Alan Simpson: Social Security Is Like “A Milk Cow With 310 Million Tits”. Man, she had to work her ass off to get all that propaganda right in the title of her post. She just had to make a direct connection between Alan Simpson’s comments and President Obama. Nothing too subtle there, I guess. From what I can tell the whole basis for the virus in their brains is that people have said that Social Security is on the table. That’s it, it’s on the table.
President Obama is not stupid, unlike many of his critics. There is no way in hell that he is going to mess with Social Security, people who are saying he will are out of their fucking minds. The most he would possibly do is minor tweaks and probably to make it better. He is a progressive, whether the haters will ever believe it or not. That’s where the demagoguing comes in. These haters are preying on people’s emotions with a completely made up idea, sounds a lot like a “death panel” technique to me. You wonder why I have such disdain for those people? They are getting their panties all in a bunch about something that hasn’t happened and never will happen, but that clearly is not their goal with the latest attack.
I found this great post about some of the distortions coming out in this Alan Simpson inspired “propaganda-fest”. From William Greider at the Nation via Michael Moore’s site…(emphasis mine)
…Social Security, as Nation writers have explained many times, does not contribute a penny to federal deficits and it never will, according to the terms of the law. The opposite is the case.
On the same page the Times reported Simpson’s latest gaffe, political reporter Matt Bai contributed a far more outrageous falsehood of his own. In condescending style, he dismissed opponents to Social Security cuts (dimwits like me) as stuck-in-the -past liberals, trying to defend big government against harsh reality. Bai celebrated the courage of Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, a Democrat who evidently embraces the same view. Bai did not mention the people and public opinion overwhelmingly opposed to benefit cuts (check the polls if you doubt this). Someone should ask Congressman Blumenauer’s constituents how they feel about his brave stance.
Bai’s great falsification was to insinuate that the Social Security’s trust fund is bogus–that the massive surpluses collected from working people to pay for their future retirements are meaningless. Social Security, he acknowledged, has amassed a pile of Treasury bonds–IOU’s from the government–but he says as a practical matter that money can’t be paid back because taxes would have to be raised or more funds borrowed elsewhere. “This is sort of like saying that you’re rich because your friend has promised to give you 10 million bucks just as soon as he wins the lottery,” Bai explains.
His comparison is a clever but consequential lie, consisted with the elite propaganda. Bai makes it sound like the government is going to give this money to retirees. In fact, it’s the other way around. Social Security collected this money from workers as their involuntary savings, better known as FICA deductions. Then the federal government borrowed the money from us and spent it on other things. Congress raised the FICA deductions 25 years ago on all working people to pay for the baby boom generation’s coming retirements. The Social Security trust fund has since built up massive surpluses–$2.5 tillion now and growing to $4.2 trillion in 2023–and set it aside for the future. But, starting with Ronald Reagan, the federal government ran massive deficits on its own budgets and borrowed the savings from Social Security to pay for wars and military build-ups, regressive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, among other things.
This vast wealth belongs to the working people who paid it–not to the federal government or Congress. Naturally, many politicians would like to get out of paying it back, but that constitutes a massive bait-and-switch swindle of working people. Bai and many other reporters of the mainstream media have been assured by their sources it is impossible to pay back that money, but that is a political choice, not a fiscal requirement. It would make working people pay for Republican gravy that went to someone else.
It is to weaken him, hurt him and in the process they are hurting the entire progressive agenda. What really pisses me off is that if they succeed in damaging Obama, like it appears they are, the result is going to be Republicans in charge. And if we thought we were fucked with the Bush administration, just wait till the new Republican Party takes over. It will take the concept of “fucked” to a whole new level. And I’m going to be in those motherfuckers faces reminding them that they are responsible for it.
Photo borrowed from KayinMaine at WhiteNoiseInsanity
The media has been telling us how the Republic Party is in such great shape going into the midterm elections, making wild predictions about taking over the House of Representatives and narrowing the gap in the Senate. I haven’t bought into this meme for many reasons.
The 4 “phone repair” guys who were messing around with the phones at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office in New Orleans are now the victims, somehow they were trapped into putting on uniforms, wearing a bug and converging on the senator’s office. KayinMaine has more on the denials of any connection to the culprits.
Seniors take note, Republicans want to mess with your social security again. They want to privatize it for you, put it in the hands of those Wall Street guys who’ve done so well handling your pensions and 401K’s. They want to cut your benefits, because your doing so well right now, right?
Republicans are gearing up to fight financial reform, really. Frank Luntz is giving them their talking points and apparently the Repugs think it’s a winning issue for them. We’ll see, won’t we?
Who The Hell Am I!
I’m a liberal that is extreme in some ways and not in others. I support President Obama and make no apologies for it. I think he has done a phenomenal job, especially when you consider that he inherited a huge mess and has faced unprecedented opposition from a lazy & desperate Republican Party. I’m a film producer/director/editor, adjunct professor, technician, media critic and photographer when I’m not reading left wing blogs and typing on this one. – On Twitter @ExtremeLiberal or Email at liberalforreal (at) gmail.com
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