Posts Tagged ‘cpi

08
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago today (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:05: President Obama departs the White House

4:30: Arrives in Hartford, Conn.

5:45: Delivers remarks on common-sense measures to reduce gun violence

6:45: Departs Hartford

8:15: Arrives at the White House

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ThinkProgress: Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (D) tore into the National Rifle Association during an appearance on CNN’s State Of The Union on Sunday. The NRA this week introduced its legislative response to the massacre in Malloy’s home state. Its plan focuses on arming school staff.

Malloy specifically called out NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre for his absolute opposition to commonsense gun regulations, including the new gun law just enacted by Connecticut. After watching a clip of LaPierre mocking Connecticut’s new law, Malloy shot back, “Wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus. They get the most attention”…..

More here

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AP: Talks between two influential senators have emerged as the most promising route for a bipartisan breakthrough on expanding federal background checks for gun buyers, a pivotal part of President Barack Obama’s plan for combating gun violence.

One possibility being discussed by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., would involve expanding background checks to gun show sales and firearms transactions online, Senate aides said.

More here

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The Hill: President Obama, Vice President Biden and first lady Michelle Obama will hold events this week designed to build momentum for a Senate gun control package as lawmakers return to Washington from the Easter recess.

The White House said that in addition to a previously announced trip by Obama on Monday to Connecticut, the first lady will travel to Chicago on Wednesday to rally for gun control measures.

… Carney also announced that Biden will appear on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday for a roundtable discussion on gun safety.

More here

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NYT: The days ahead could be decisive ones for the main pieces of President Obama’s second-term agenda: long-range deficit reduction, gun safety and changes to immigration law.

…. Members of both parties say Mr. Obama faces a conundrum with his legislative approach to a deeply polarized Congress. In the past, when he has stayed aloof from legislative action, Republicans and others have accused him of a lack of leadership; when he has gotten involved, they have complained that they could not support any bill so closely identified with Mr. Obama without risking the contempt of conservative voters.

More here

As Greg Sargent said about that second paragraph: “This is another way in which the whole “Obama must lead Republicans out of their intransigence” line of punditry is just a crock.”

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Steve Benen: The White House has not yet released President Obama’s new budget plan, but it’s on the on-deck circle and we have a reasonably good idea of what’s in it. As we talked about last week, the administration hopes to resolve the parties’ fiscal fight by trading entitlement “reforms” for new revenue — Democrats would accept cuts to social-insurance programs, including chained CPI for Social Security, and Republicans would accept closed tax loopholes and fewer deductions.

Republicans, who reject the idea of compromise, hate the plan. Democrats, who see no reason to cut Social Security, hate it, too. So what is the White House up to?

More here

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The People’s View: Yes, yes, this will be another post on Chained CPI. But a little more dry. This is about the math. Previously, we have discussed why Chained CPI isn’t actually a cut in benefits, what different it makes in the calculations of the cost of living adjustments, and why in the context of broader reforms and progressive social investments, it’s worth doing. But what we haven’t talked about in very explicit terms is what the minor reductions in COLA will end up adding up to. The scaremongerers are very interested in exploiting this. They are very interested in scaring people with numbers about how much they will lose.

More here

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A personal tribute to Margaret Thatcher:

Well, you’re not meant to speak ill of the dead, so I’ll say nothing ……

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Charles Pierce has something to say, though:

I am going to leave the encomiums to the late Margaret Thatcher to the people who loved her best, of whom I am decidedly not one. What I remember best about her is that she pretty much invented the modern concept of the distracting Wanking Little War  ….. and that she once held this view about Nelson Mandela:

The Conservative prime minister had dismissed the ANC as “a typical terrorist organisation” and refused to back sanctions against the apartheid government, pursuing instead a policy of “constructive engagement”. South Africa was then seen as a vital ally in stemming communist expansion.

More here

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Random old pic:

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MooOOOOoooorning!

07
Apr
13

Rise and Shine; It’s Sunday…And There’s News

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Obama Compliment Sexist? I Call It A Compliment

Roxanne Jones: “Thank you, Mr. President, you’re not such a bad-looking guy yourself.”

 That would have been my response if I were California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who finds herself in the middle of a media dustup after President Obama introduced her as: “by far the best-looking attorney general in the country,” at a fundraiser earlier this week. Harris is a beautiful woman. She’s also super intelligent and accomplished, which the president also noted. In fact, he lauded her professional merits first. So, I say take the compliment and move on. Or, if you’re slightly embarrassed by the comment, give it back and move on. President Obama’s observation is not a major offense to women around the globe. Ridiculous flaps such as this one have always made me uncomfortable with calling myself a feminist, especially if that means I have to fly into a fit each time a man makes an awkward comment about a woman.

Clearly, the president realized in hindsight that his comment didn’t go over very well, and he has apologized. But I don’t believe an apology was necessary. It’s impossible to believe that anyone could seriously call President Obama a chauvinist over this banter between friends. No matter your politics, you will have a hard time finding a president who has included women more in his agenda. What has he done for us lately? Let me recall just a few things: Appointed two female Supreme Court justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Appointed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored worker protections against pay discrimination. The bill had failed in the Senate in 2007.

Read more here

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Reid Epstein: President Barack Obama’s got a volunteer army — and all their marching orders come from carefully organized paid generals back at headquarters.

Obama won two terms by harnessing a grassroots movement through a tightly controlled, top-down campaign organization. Now the group formed out of Organizing for America is now bringing that approach to Organizing for Action.

It’s what differentiates OFA from other grassroots groups, and even the Democratic National Committee: they’re combining large-dollar donations and unpaid local leaders for a carefully built, lasting structure that they believe will be just as effective in supporting the president as it was in electing him.

So far, OFA has alternated its agenda – a week on gun control, then a week on immigration, with some connection to Obama’s White House schedule. Starting next week, OFA will for the first time run concurrent national campaigns on gun control and immigration, blasting emails to supporters and holding local events

Read more here

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Surrounded by members of Congress, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Bill, Jan, 2009

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In Defense Of Barack Obama’s Kamala Harris ‘Best Looking’ Comment

Angela Rye: I have never labeled myself as a feminist, but I wholeheartedly support the parity of the sexes particularly as it relates to justice, and fairness. The values listed are those shared very clearly by President Barack Obama—as evidenced by his words and more importantly, his actions. Let’s start with the very first piece of legislation ever signed into law by the 44th president—the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. He went on to establish the White House Council on Women and Girls.  Most recently, the president signed a re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. And remember, the president’s two appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States were also women.

The president was inspired to ensure parity in the health care system because of the challenges his motherfaced with ovarian cancer. The president lovingly called his wife the “closer” during the 2008 campaign because of the critical role she played and now, as first lady, she continues to address some of the most important policy issues of our time.  The president has openly stated that his daughters have everything to do with his evolution on gay marriage. The president has a cabinet full (not just binders, but actual appointments) of women and one of his closest advisors is Valerie Jarrett, among many other key White House personnel. Needless to say, the president is influenced by women personally, professionally and politically.

Read more here

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Ambassador Susan Rice conducted an interview with Andrea Mitchell and she was great. She discussed North Korea, the Middle East, and Women’s Rights. She was wonderful in pushing back against Mitchell’s erroneous claims about President Obama and his white house being hostile towards women. This is a must watch interview.

It can be viewed here

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For  The Ideologue Left, Social Security Concern Trolling Is A Racket

The People’s View: Dejavu. Once again, both the Republican right and the inconsolable whiny Left have found common ground over just how much they hate President Obama. Neither like the president’s upcoming budget – or at least the reporting on the upcoming budget. Why not? Well, because it looks like the President is going to propose a compromise that neither side’s ideologues are going to like (surprise!).

The president’s budget, it’s being reported, will include both revenue increases by closing tax loopholes for the rich and the use of Chained CPI to calculate the cost of living adjustments under Social Security. John Boehner seems to be grasping for a drink and complaining loudly that the president is being a meanie by asking the super rich and the corporate behemoths to pay their fair share. And the Left? They can barely contain the traitor-drum:

I have explained this before. The President’s proposal would create a minimum baseline for Social Security benefits so that no one who works their whole life has to live in poverty in retirement. The minimum benefit would be above the poverty line, for the first time fulfilling the promise of Social Security to end elderly poverty and actually boosting benefits for the lowest wage workers, which the protectors of the Entitlement Status Quo are effectively against. The president’s proposal would also boost benefits at age 85, making sure the people most at risk of running out of their savings are taken care of. Let me say that again: for those in the greatest need, the president’s proposal would increase benefits.

Read more here

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The Left’s Math Problem: The Truth About “Cumulative” Social Security Benefits

The People’s View: Yes, yes, this will be another post on Chained CPI. But a little more dry. This is about the math. Previously, we have discussed why Chained CPI isn’t actually a cut in benefits, what different it makes in the calculations of the cost of living adjustments, and why in the context of broader reforms and progressive social investments, it’s worth doing. But what we haven’t talked about in very explicit terms is what the minor reductions in COLA will end up adding up to. The scaremongerers are  very interested in exploiting this. They arevery interested in scaring people with numbers about how much they will lose.

Take the AARP’s “How much you will lose calculator,” for example. Did you know that if you are a retiree with an average $15,190 in benefit today, over the next 30 years you will lose $20,000 in benefits? Wow. Talk about catfood, right? Somebody stop that conniving bastard Obama! I mean, right?

Giving context to scary numbers: Actually, there’s a lot of funny math going on here. First, the 30-year math completely ignores that President Obama is proposing to boost benefits for the oldest beneficiaries, at age 85. But let’s play along. $20,000 out of how much? The context is to define this “cut” they are talking about with respect to currently scheduled benefits. We can use total benefits in nominal dollars under current methods of COLA. So let’s work out those numbers. Let’s use AARP’s own calculations

Read more here 

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It’s Sunday….let the Crooner-In-Chief serenade you.

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05
Apr
13

This and That

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Greg Sargent: Liberals who oppose Chained CPI need to start thinking right now about how to answer this question: Which is worse, a Grand Bargain, or continued sequestration? It’s unclear to me that there is any other likely outcome. Either Republicans will decide to weather sequestration or they will agree to some kind of a deal to replace it. So liberals need a good policy answer to that question…..

Michael Tomasky: I Think Obama Is Bluffing

Steve Benen: The President, for good or ill, is once again returning to the negotiating table with pre-emptive concessions, offering cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In exchange, Obama expects Republicans to scrap the sequestration cuts and accept about $600 billion in new revenue through closed loopholes, limits on deductions, and ending tax breaks for industries like Big Oil.

Business Insider: Barack Obama’s Budget Will Contain A Massive ‘Screw You’ To Mitt Romney

Steve Benen: Sequestration takes a toll on cancer patients, Medicare… Sequestration cuts are affecting Medicare – though not as much as some other programs — and cancer clinics really are turning away thousands of patients as a result of the Republican spending cuts….

Greg Sargent: The economy added only 88,000 non-farm jobs in March. Could that be the beginning of sequestration? Or, alternatively, it could be wrong and could end up getting revised upwards. Indeed, January was revised upward to 148,000 jobs, and February up to 268,000. Of course, we may soon find out whether the sequester will undermine whatever recovery is underway

Steve Benen: Jobs totals stumble to 10-month low

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Washington Post: Maryland’s already-strong gun laws will become among the strictest in the nation with a measure passed by the General Assembly Thursday, sending the bill to the Democratic governor who proposed the legislation in the aftermath of December’s massacre at a Newtown….

Business Insider: Actually, Obama Really Does Have The Support Of Gun Owners

Ronald Brownstein: Why the Culture Wars Now Favor Democrats – Gay marriage, gun control, immigration – the wedge issues now divide Republicans…

Steve Benen: And then there were four …. This morning, freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) of North Dakota issued a statement endorsing marriage equality …. almost immediately after, freshman Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) of Indiana published a statement saying he, too, supports equal marriage rights for all….

Charles Pierce: Former freakishly elected senator Scott Brown has been listening to those consultants again, and is spoiling to get his leather-shorted ass kicked by another woman in another New England state….

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President Obama bows his head in prayer during the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House, April 5

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Next week, there’s a major push by the White House on gun violence reform – on Monday, President Obama will speak on the issue in Hartford, CT; on Tuesday, VP Biden will host law enforcement officials at the White House; on Wednesday the First Lady will speak in Chicago on gun violence, and on Thursday VP Biden will appear on Morning Joe for a roundtable discussion on the issue. More details soon.

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Good-looking-gate:

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What am I missing from today?




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