by Carl, 01/07/2013, 8:02 AM

All questions edition:

- Is the best fact about Patty Murray her college major?

- Is a hostage negotiation the best metaphor for what the GOP is trying to do with the budget?

- Wouldn’t you want a beer after you’d shot yourself? (h/t)

- Anyone interested in seeing Sarah Weddington at Town Hall?

- Did you get called for jury duty?

- How about those Seahawks?

- This… I… um… What?

99 Responses to “Open Thread 1/7”

1. Serial conservative spews:

We reached these conclusions, and presented them in an article in the journal Demography, after finding that the government’s methods for forecasting Americans’ longevity were outdated and omitted crucial health and demographic factors. Historic declines in smoking and improvements in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease are adding years of life that the government hasn’t accounted for. (While obesity has rapidly increased, it is not likely, at this point, to offset these public health and medical successes.) More retirees will receive benefits for longer than predicted, supported by the payroll taxes of relatively fewer working adults than projected.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/opinion/sunday/social-security-its-worse-than-you-think.html?_r=1&

The title of the piece in which the above was written is

Social Security: It’s Worse Than You Think

I guess this means the pain that Lib Sci’s children will experience in shouldering the burden of paying for all of it also will be worse than currently believed by those people, like Harry Reid, who claim that Hey, Social Security is fine, just fine.

Gee. That’s too bad. How high do you think the FICA payments coming out of your childrens’ paychecks will be in a couple of decades, Lib Sci?

2. Serial conservative spews:

The Democrat Party is a one-trick pony.

Democrats look for up to $1 trillion in new tax revenues this year

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/275815-democrats-looking-for-up-to-1t-in-new-tax-revenues-this-year#ixzz2HJJcPctv

3. Serial conservative spews:

“This is business as usual,” Mr. Jones said. “It’s a huge loophole in the Affordable Care Act,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/business/despite-new-health-law-some-see-sharp-rise-in-premiums.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0

Good thing we passed the bill so we could find out what was in it, eh, Nancy?

4. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

In case anyone was wondering, yes, Dr. Robert the Radiologist remains an asshole, a snide, greed-driven asshole who demonstrates the height of self-unawareness when he mewls about the Democrat (sic) Party being a ‘one-trick pony’.

5. headless lucy spews:

“More retirees will receive benefits for longer than predicted, supported by the payroll taxes of relatively fewer working adults than projected.”

It’s also predicted that about 30% of these retirement age baby boomers will, of necessity, be working into their 70′s and continuing to pay into social security — thereby paying for their own generation and, as we always have, taking care of ourselves.

6. rhp6033 spews:

My comments to my teenage kids:

“It takes almost a quarter-million dollars to raise a child and provide them with a college education. What you need to be asking yourself is… is this a gift, or a loan?”

Their response:

“We will keep that in mind, Dad, when we pick your nursing home….”

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

We don’t have a spending problem, we have a loophole problem. Loopholes cost taxpayers (i.e., people who actually pay taxes) $1.1 trillion a year. What did you say the deficit was again? $1.1 trillion? Then we don’t have a deficit. We have $1.1 trillion of tax dodging. If we make the dodgers pay like the rest of us, we’ll have a balanced budget.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100357525

8. rhp6033 spews:

I know the new Congress is just getting sworn in and settling into their offices.

But I’m a long-term planner, so I’m already looking ahead to 2014.

What Congressional districts in this state are vulnerable to turning from Red to Blue? And are any Democratic congessmen from the new Washington State districts which could use some extra effort this year?

I’ve become a firm believer that by the election year, it’s too late to change minds with respect to party affiliation. With Fox News doing 24/7 anti-Democratic propoganda, we need to be countering it with our advantage in numbers and using personal contacts to influence neighbors, friends, and relatives.

9. rhp6033 spews:

Speaking of Fox:

The Fox Sports announcers of the Seattle – Washington game obviously had some bias. They seemed to be very careful about what they said, but they were rather effusive in their praise of Washington, and their comments about Seattle were at best “damnation by faint praise”. Lots of Washington-area sports outlets are quoting them to the effect that Seattle won only because the Washington quarterback was playing hurt. That’s true, as far as it goes – but football by definition isn’t a one-man team game.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

Re the ant photo: Looks to me like the bitch is about to eat the poor little bastard — would that be considered child abuse?

11. ArtFart spews:

@5 In case some of y’all haven’t noticed, an increasing number of articles have been showing up in places like the Fairview Fanny business section about “financial makeovers” for boomers in less than wonderful situations (one piece a week or so ago was about a father of two who found himself divorced at 51 with custody of the kids) in which they’re being advised to expect to keep working into their seventies. The obvious implication is that the rest of us ought to expect the same thing. Slightly less obvious is the fervent hope that we’ll be so kind as to croak before we collect any Social Security benefits.

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

@4 There wouldn’t be a Medicare funding problem if radiologists like Dr. Bob didn’t need $400,000 a year to live.

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

@11 “the fervent hope that we’ll be so kind as to croak before we collect any Social Security benefits”

That’s what wars are for. Social Security was on track until the Warmonger Party lost. Now they don’t know what to do.

14. Geoduck spews:

When the Seahawks play Atlanta, it will be interesting to see who gets the favorable press; I don’t think the Falcons are any more media darlings than the Seahawks.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

We won’t have a Social Security funding problem if we collect enough taxes from the warmonger class to repay the money they borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund for their wars.

16. wharfrat spews:

I have the solution to excessive Social Security and Medicare payments, an idea I got from Mitt Romney. It’s called self-termination. A Medicare actuary goes over my health records, my family tree, etc. and comes to the conclusion that I’ll live another 15 years but the last 5 will cost Medicare $400,000 in costs due to my lupus, diabetes, and corrosive flatulence. I say to Medicare gimme half the cash now, no taxes, and I will agree to forgo any transplants, crash carts, heroic treatments so long as I get the normal meds and a giant dose of “death with dignity” meds so I can check out on my terms. I also want some very pure, CIA quality LSD as I’m going out Tim Leary style. If Medicare bets right, they save oodles. I’m checking out anyway, how can I lose?

17. Serial conservative spews:

@ 16

I say to Medicare gimme half the cash now, no taxes, and I will agree to forgo any transplants, crash carts, heroic treatments so long as I get the normal meds and a giant dose of “death with dignity” meds so I can check out on my terms. I also want some very pure, CIA quality LSD as I’m going out Tim Leary style. If Medicare bets right, they save oodles. I’m checking out anyway, how can I lose?

Uh huh.

And then, after blowing your wad, you show up at the ER pleading for help, and anyone who refuses gets their ass sued and their license revoked for denying care to a human being in need.

18. Serial conservative spews:

@ 12

There wouldn’t be a Medicare funding problem if radiologists like Dr. Bob didn’t need $400,000 a year to live.

Um, without all of us high earners, who do you have to tax? Only the middle class. Except you now made all of those Bush tax cuts, on 99% of America, the ones you fought against tooth and nail both in 2001 and 2003, permanent.

You want me on that high-earning wall. You NEED me on that high-earning wall.

19. Serial conservative spews:

I hear that if Chavez continues to improve, they may be able to declare him dead by week’s end.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/venezuela-vp-attacks-chavez-health-lies-042523391.html

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

@18 High earners don’t pay Medicare taxes on their high earnings. Medicare is paid for by taxing wages of $113,000 a year or less.

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

Family Values Party #1

GOP Senator Rand Paul’s teenage son was arrested for drunken and disorderly conduct on a commercial flight after the plane landed.

http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/son-us-sen-rand-paul-arrested-nc-airport-1B7832681

22. ArtFart spews:

@12 And the whole mythos about “Social Security going broke” would disappear if he and his ilk had to pay FICA on their entire income like we serfs do.

23. Roger Rabbit spews:

Family Values Party #2

GOP Senator David Vitter called Senate Majority Leader an “idiot.”

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/07/16396198-la-sen-vitter-calls-reid-idiot-for-sandy-katrina-comparison?lite

Roger Rabbit Commentary: The Constitution doesn’t bar idiots from serving in the Senate. If it did, no Republicans would be there.

25. Serial conservative spews:

Roger Rabbit spews:
@18 High earners don’t pay Medicare taxes on their high earnings. Medicare is paid for by taxing wages of $113,000 a year or less.

Actually, RR, to no one’s surprise you are again incorrect.

For employment income, the amount subject to Medicare taxation has no upper limit.

http://taxes.about.com/od/payroll/a/Medicare-Tax.htm

Further, the tax rate goes up this year.

Forming an LLC, S Corp, or other entity can allow one to shield income from this by calling it a profit distribution above what one chooses to pay oneself.

I would think a retired attorney would know the difference between Social Security and Medicare. A competent retired attorney, anyway.

26. Serial conservative spews:

@ 22


@12 And the whole mythos about “Social Security going broke” would disappear if he and his ilk had to pay FICA on their entire income like we serfs do.

More ‘If only we could tax someone else to get us out of our problem.’ rhetoric.

See @ 2. Thank you for validating my point.

27. Serial conservative spews:

@ 22

If I offered to pay FICA on my entire income, as you do, and in exchange asked to pay the same marginal tax rate on my income as you do, would you take me up on that offer?

‘s what I thought. Hypocrite.

28. headless lucy spews:

re 17 — You make it sound like you are doing us all a favor with your quack-ass, overpriced medical services.

It was Reagan who turned all the loonies loose and created the rule that anyone showing up at an emergency room deserved free services if they could not pay.

Blame yourself.

29. Serial conservative spews:

@ 28

You clearly were not following the thread. Regardless of the entity responsible for a requirement for care regardless of ability to pay, the point is that if that rule exists, why would one agree to pay someone up front in exchange for a supposed agreement by that person not to seek extra-ordinary medical care in the future? This is an idiotic prodigal son scenario. Less charitably, another liberal wanting free stuff now with a promise not to burden the system later. Been there, done that.

30. headless lucy spews:

re 29: You have the typical mistaken self-agrandizing notion of your own mental facilities that afflicts most conservatives.

You are the one who misapprehends the real solution to the problem. The solution lies in expanding the pool of insured healthcare recipients to better cover the costs of providing healthcare to the poor rather than punishing those you deem unworthy of extraodinary measures.

But what else can we expect from a person whose philosophical father (WFB Jr.) stated that the definition of a conservative is one who stands on the tracks of history and tells the train that it may proceed no further?

Good luck with that one, dumbass.

31. headless lucy spews:

Serial: I question your mental stability. You are not a god who decides who shall live and who shall die. Your entire attitude gives the lie to any claim you may have ever made to being pro-life.

People like you should be prevented from owning firearms.

32. Serial conservative spews:

@ 30

Actually, I thought I was just unwilling to believe that someone asking for something, now, in exchange for a promise not to ask for something else, later, would keep that promise.

Now I see that I was misapprehending. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. Please, accept this higher tax payment from me as compensation for my silly disbeliefs. Go spend it as you please, without accoutability, and when you need more, do not hesitate to come back to me and extract more. It is, after all, why I exist.

33. Serial conservative spews:

@ 31

People like you should be prevented from owning firearms.

Gee, and I thought you guys were all about keeping me from having post-taxation assets beyond your ever-increasing grasp.

You really just wanted my guns?

Don’t have any, sorry.

Maybe try preventing me from voting or peaceably gathering somewhere.

34. headless lucy spews:

‘silly disbeliefs’ — What an idiotic thing to say.

You are not paying for anything that the rest of us are not. You do, however, have a sort of sick conviction that you are being singled out for punishment — that only you pay taxes.

I did notice that you avoided confronting my criticism of your dopey plan to have people sign away their medical rights because you find it offensive that they show up at an emergency room without adequate medical insurance.

Your ideas wouldn’t even fly with the other guests at a dinner for schmucks.

35. Serial conservative spews:

@ 34

Um, I offered no such plan. I dismissed someone else’s suggestion that they could elect to opt out of future care in exchange for some consideration provided up front. That would be wharfrat @ 16, and he actually used the word ‘gimme‘.

Actually, people in my income range WERE singled out. A tax increase was selectively applied to us this past week. I have, numerous times, expressed willingness (you can do a search) to pay higher taxes but I believe that should be a much more widely shared burden. The deficit has no chance of being materially addressed without higher taxation pretty much across the board.

Why can’t someone making $100K pay a few hundred dollars more for the same public benefit we all receive? If higher taxes are patriotic and a fair requirement for expanded services, shouldn’t the burden be shared across a larger population of taxpayers? Is that an inhumane and selfish thing to say? I fail to see how.

36. headless lucy spews:

re 33: “Maybe try preventing me from voting or peaceably gathering somewhere.”

You are clearly projecting here. More evidence of mental instability.

When you ‘peaceably gather’, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that others will be present at the gathering. The way you wrote the sentence indicates otherwise. The linguist Noam Chomsky would have much to say (in a negative way) about your ability to string a cogent sentence together. This indicates that there are real problems with your thought processes.

37. headless lucy spews:

re 35: “Um” — Too precious for words?

38. headless lucy spews:

re 35: “Actually, people in my income range WERE singled out.”

So, you don’t have enough investment income to cover the modest 3% increase? You are such a sorry specimen. You deserve to be picked on. You win the George Costanza King of Wedgies award — and the year has barely begun.

39. Serial conservative spews:

@ 36

I offer my wrist, palm up, for you to slap with the ruler you no doubt clutch in one hand as you type with the other.

40. Serial conservative spews:

A week or so ago Michael posted a comment that mentioned one of the NRA big-wigs has a son who had a road-rage incident in his past. Fair enough.

It’s probably equally noteworthy to point out that a member of Joe Biden’s gun control task force has a son who was convicted of plotting mass murder, Columbine-style, at a school:

Judge convicts ex-student in school plot
Pair had planned massive attack in Marshfield

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/02/15/judge_convicts_ex_student_in_school_plot/

I suppose that means that a panel member has some first-hand experience with mass murder violence.

Kid’s father is Thomas Nee:

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2013/01/sipsey-street-exclusive-thomas-nee-key.html?m=1

41. MikeBoyScout spews:

@40 Kap’n Kornflake,

I understand from Darryl that you reneged on our bet regarding who would win the presidential election.

Care to offer an explanation?

42. ArtFart spews:

@35 I have to say I’m with Bob on this one. I make just under $100K, and our household income also includes what my wife brings in from working part-time as a “health-care professional”. We’d be OK with paying a few bucks more in taxes if it helped assure that we don’t wind up living on dog food ten years from now. In fact, I was highly disappointed by Obama’s doing us a “favor” by cutting the payroll tax and putting another dent in SS. In point of fact, Bob’s kind of stuck in the middle. He put a lot of time, effort (and probably money) into becoming a Doc, and radiology is to say the least a capital-intensive speciality, what with all that equipment from the likes of General Electric (and how much did they pay in taxes last year?)

30 years or so ago, people referred to Beechcraft Bonanzas as “doctor killers”. I don’t know all that many physicians who own their own planes any more. Either they can’t afford one, wouldn’t have the time to fly one, or both.

43. MikeBoyScout spews:

@42 Art,
The payroll tax holiday did not putting another dent in SS. You felt and viewed the tax cut in your FICA, but the revenue came from the general fund.

You (and I) are credited for the full amount and will be eligible to collect as though we paid.

44. headless lucy spews:

re 39: “I offer my wrist, palm up….” You’d think a doctor would have the physiological knowledge to offer his hand palm up instead of his wrist.

45. Politically Incorrect spews:

“Slightly less obvious is the fervent hope that we’ll be so kind as to croak before we collect any Social Security benefits.”

When Social Security was established in 1935, the average life expectancy for men and women was about 62. FDR and the boys knew full well that most people, given the current 1935 life expectancy, would never get much out of Social Security because of this.

Over time, however, we’ve improved life expectancy to the point where we expect to live until about age 78 or so. A slight adjustment to this was made in the Eighties, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the increasing life expectancy. If the politicons were acting in the original sense of those back in 1935, the Social Security retirement age would be something like 80 or so. Of course, this is not politically popular, and the likelihood of increasing the retirement age to something in excess of 70 or 72 seems highly unlikely.

Even so, the system actually benefits from those who die before reaching the age where they can start getting payments from SS. That’s just a simple actuarial fact.

46. MikeBoyScout spews:

Hey Roger, have you trademarked or copyrighted your standard response to Usually Incorrect?

47. Politically Incorrect spews:

@46,

You can’t ignore the facts, MBS. Life expectancy has increased, and Social Security has not kept up with the changes. The system is helped when people die before they are eligible for benefits. If you don’t think the actuaries over at the Social Security Administration haven’t considered early death in the equation, then you obviously don’t know very much math and statistics.

48. Politically Incorrect spews:

The real way to save Social Security forever is to get the damn politicians’ hand off of the trust fund and put that money under no-kidding professional management. I was thinking of the type of people who manage Harvard’s endowment fund, for example. If we let the pols get at the money, then the trust fund is simply a slush fund for big government, whether it has a “Democrat” or “Republican” label, it matters not: they just want to spend and spend and spend, and they’re counting on SS funds to do just that!

49. wharfrat spews:

@17, 47, 48 and numerous others….I don’t particularly like being accused of unethical behavior so, Doc, for fun I typed in “radiology fraud” in Google. Boy oh boy, you radiologists are one busy bunch aren’t you now. Now I understand why you would so easily accuse others of dishonesty as you are intimately familiar with it yourself. Don’t let that scan fry your nuts now.

50. wharfrat spews:

Oh, and BTW Doc, do you really welch on bets?

51. MikeBoyScout spews:

@50, yes Kap’n Kornflake does renege on his obligations. Surprised?

52. EvergreenRailfan spews:

Anybody notice the news about another lineup change at KIRO-FM? John Curley out of the Seattle’s Morning News block, and Dave Ross pushed up to that one, with an hour of his old show as well? The first time Bonneville owned KIRO it seemed like they did a good job, this past couple years, it’s been a roller coaster of lineup changes.

53. ArtFart spews:

@48 Good point….but that’s another horse that’s long since left the barn. In fact, the replacement of the cash in the trust fund by government securities constitutes a significant chunk of the national debt.

54. Roger Rabbit spews:

Golden Goat Award Nominee

Yes, I know it’s only the second week of January, but I think we have a winner. When a Republican APOLOGIZES for what she did, you know it’s going to be rancid. And this one certainly is.

“A Connecticut state representative is apologizing for a Facebook post warning Gabby Giffords to stay away, ahead of the former Arizona congresswoman’s visit with Sandy Hook Elementary victims’ families last week in Newtown. ‘Gabby Giffords stay out of my towns,’ the post on the Facebook page for State Rep. DebraLee Hovey, a Republican who represents Newtown and Monroe, said last week.”

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/08/16407588-conn-politician-apologizes-after-saying-giffords-should-stay-out-of-my-towns?lite

Roger Rabbit Commentary: The only bigger jackasses than Hovey in Connecticut are the voters who elected her. They deserve Golden Goat replicas.

55. Roger Rabbit spews:

@48 Does it really matter where they borrow the money from? If I had to manage the Social Security Trust Fund, I would rather lend its money to the U.S. government than, say, Italy or Bain Capital.

56. Roger Rabbit spews:

@53 Some conservatives claim Social Security has no money because the government spent it all. The “logic” of this argument rests on the crazy notion that every IOU in the world is enforceable, except when our government borrows from itself. For some reason, they think those IOUs needn’t/won’t be honored. Of course, if that reasoning falls apart, so does their argument that benefits have to be cut because Social Security has no money.

57. Roger Rabbit spews:

@46 Yeah, but I’ll give you a free license to use it.

58. Roger Rabbit spews:

Our little friend Politically Incorrect has overlooked one demographic detail: The millions of illegals who are paying into Social Security and will never get a dime of benefits. Their contributions will pay for a hell of a lot of longer lifespans.
(At the very least, we should thank them.)

59. Roger Rabbit spews:

I sure hope a bunch of illegals are working under my Social Security number. I wonder if there’s a way to check up on that?

60. Roger Rabbit spews:

Maybe I should stand at a Yakima intersection with my SS# on a placard.

61. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

@59, 60
That’s a fascinating example of a win-win relationship depending on identity theft. You could monetize and organize it – register people who want their ‘contributions’ to go up, and distribute those SS numbers in a controlled way, for a fee, of course, to undocumented workers, making money on both the utilization of the #, and the ultimate increase in what was pain in using that number.

That might be the best money making scheme I’ve heard all week.

62. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

What Politically Incorrect above seem not to understand, despite being corrected repeatedly, is that increases in life expectancy have not been evenly distributed – most of the statistical increase has been among the already wealthy.

Moreover, his contention about life expectancy at the founding of Social Security reflects LE at birth, which was indeed much lower in the early 20th century, and is a different animal than LE calculated at later points, removing the artifact derived from high infant mortality in the early 20th century.

This is illuminating, the summary:

This reinforces a growing body of research on life expectancy and socioeconomic status showing disadvantaged groups falling farther behind and sometimes even losing ground.

63. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

…and, as I read the above thread and catch up with what the community has been discussing, I am again struck by the propensity of Cap’n Crunch to engage in nakedly false dichotomies and snide self-congratulation.

What an ass.

64. Serial conservative spews:

@ 51

What bet-welching, MBS?

I paid off in full, posted the text of the acknowledgement on Dec 31, and emailed Darryl a photograph of the computer screen showing the line-item charge on my credit card. You can ask him to forward it to you if you wish.

65. MikeBoyScout spews:

@64 Kap’n Kornflake,
All I want you to do is to live up to the terms of the agreement of our wager as stated in the comment threads.

I’ll be back on this topic later tonight, showing that the agreement was to send Darryl a check, but unless you can find a comment from me and/or Darryl on this board stating that the loser would email Darryl a photograph of a computer screen you have reneged on the agreement.

Color me not surprised.

66. Serial conservative spews:

@ 65

Got it. I said I’d pay off in C-notes, but I used twenties instead. Therefore I welched on a bet.

Asshole.

67. Steve spews:

“Asshole”

Loser.

Your candidates lost, your political party is imploding and has a 0% approval rating, and none of your predictions came true, leaving all of your ball-spiking at mid-field the most pathetic display to ever grace these threads. Yup, loser.

68. MikeBoyScout spews:

@66 Kap’n Kornflake,

Are you upset because you’ve been called out for reneging on your obligation?

Because I don’t think you get much of anything. Feel free to throw your strawmen of C-notes and twenties into the discussion, but the wager was very specific and we’ll be looking at your words.

Of course, you could end this now simply by owning up to your mistake and sending Darryl the check today. Don’t use the USPS, FedEx it overnight.

Don’t see you doing that.

69. Steve spews:

First we had Mark the Welcher and now we have Bob the Welcher. The lesson here? Don’t bet with wingnuts. They bet like they campaign and govern, with lies and deceit.

70. Serial conservative spews:

@ 67

Hi Steve, hadn’t seen you posting of late. Glad you’re still around. Happy New Year.

@ 68

Debt’s been paid. Thanks for participating in the bet.

71. Gman spews:

@4 for a ridiologist he is a pretty stupid person.

72. rhp6033 spews:

Seriously, how does one transfer massive wealth from one generation to the other – exspecially when we have a “baby boom” distortion of the demographics? Sure, on a micro-economic sense, we can do so within a family. But what about the largest economic nation on earch?

We could keep it all in cash, but that cash is simply a number on the spreadsheets. Will that really transfer wealth from one generation to the next?

We can invest it in ourselves – buy T-bills, which are the medium for infrastructure projects (plus more). This assumes that the government can pay those obligations when they become due, but there was no doubt about that until the Republicans tried to play politics with the issue.

We can invest it in the stock market. But as the past decade + has shown, the only ones who profit from that are the wall street tycoons, who will scrape off any potential profits and leave any losses for retirees to deal with.

Of course, Serial is just banging the drums that “Social Security is Dying” because it’s a precurser to Republican plans to privatise Social Security like they did pension plans, substituting guaranteed retirement obligations for riskier 401(K) plans where the mutual fund folks make all the profit and the retirees are lucky to get what they contributed into the plan.

Or, they can do away with government retirement plans altogether, making room for them to claim further tax deductions for the rich.

73. rhp6033 spews:

The problem is, the rich folks have plenty of time to talk about strategies for seperating us from our money. They do so in board rooms, country clubs, family gatherings at the beach house, corporate executive retreats, etc.

The middle class standard is now for the average American worker to hold two jobs just to get by – and that includes both spouses in a married household (a total of four jobs). They simply don’t have much time to consider such issues, they just know they are getting screwed.

74. No Time for Fascists spews:

http://upload.democraticunderground.com/imgs/2013/130107-mitch-mcconnell-its-time-to-confront-our-spending-addiction.jpg

I guess if a republican goes GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, it’s all Santa Claus for them.

Why don’t our conservatives attack the republicans for their reckless spending?

75. Serial conservative spews:

@ 72

I’d look at the fact that people are living longer, and adjust the retirement age accordingly.

It wouldn’t help me personally, but I’d create some form of means testing – richer people probably should have to wait a little longer before benefits commence.

I actually didn’t think much of the chained CPI concept. I suppose that’s one more way but to me that sounded too much like ripping off seniors by ignoring what food actually costs.

76. Serial conservative spews:

@ 74

Why don’t our conservatives attack the republicans for their reckless spending?

Some of them did. Not enough of them.

77. No Time for Fascists spews:

@52.
Commercial radio stations don’t care what format they are, as long as it’s profitable.
Is it any wonder many listeners have turned away from commercial radio stations in favor of digital devices and XM?

http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/2012/10/09/radio-trends-behind-the-recent-upheaval-on-the-amfm-dial/
1) Pop is king
2) Rock is a pauper
3) AM is losing listeners
“When FM came along, AM went to spoken word to survive,” Seidel says, because FM’s sound quality and coverage was vastly superior to AM. “Now they have to reinvent themselves again. To what, I do not know.”
4) Alternative listening options are blossoming.

For a market of this size this is pathetic. How much conservative talk can one have. Geez! I know there is a market targeting the demographic for right wing talk, but wow!!!

Radio has been dying since the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Big companies like Clear Channel bought up most of the radio stations in this country so they can run them right into the ground.

78. Roger Rabbit spews:

Boeing 787s seem to be leaking fuel and catching on fire. Maybe they should’ve built them with union labor.

79. Roger Rabbit spews:

When you buy stuff from a Right To Work For Low Wages state, you get what you pay for.

80. Roger Rabbit spews:

@69 That loser Mark the Welshing Redneck never did pay the $100 he owed to Goldy. Come to think of it, guys like him never pay up on anything. They live from one bad loan to another.

81. Roger Rabbit spews:

Shakespeare had the right idea about deadbeats.

82. EvergreenRailfan spews:

No Time For Fascists, good point. I was just looking at Blue Oregon, and they got a post about the first ratings since KPOJ changed form Progressive Talk to Sports. It got a .2 share in the Portland Market. I guess not bad for a new sports talker in a market that already had one, prolem is, the format it replaced, had been averaging between .8 and a 1.4 share. I think the decision was made by Clear Channel, if not as revenge for the Romney Defeat, for business reasons, as they are owned by Bain Capitol, and they are probably trying to get as much money out of Clear Channel as they can, and that meant making some cuts. FOX Sports Radio is a Clear Channel brand, and most of the progressive talkers that KPOJ had on their lineup(except local host Carl Wolfson, and Mike Malloy and Norm Goldman, who are independents are syndicated by DialGlobal, which has their own sports talke brand, NBC Sports Talk, and Randi Rhodes, who is syndicated by Clear Channel). Clear Channel, before Bain invested in them, had a reputation for cutting local staff, such as automating their stations in Minot N,D, which, when an emergency broke out, robbed the city of the ability to send out emergency information. Although in CC’s defense, they claim the local government never connected the Emergency Alert Systme to their stations. Still, should have been at least one person there, to answer the call from the local government, instead of a robostation with the playlists being transmitted from San Antonio.

83. Steve spews:

Happy New Year to you too, Bob.

84. EvergreenRailfan spews:

A little background on the Minot Derailment I mentioned. The EAS was operable, but nobody sent the activation code. Both public and private sectors failed that day in 2002. The train was carrying anhydrous ammonia, although there is another, more very hszardous cargo that may be moving in and out of that area. During the Cold War, Minot AFB was operated by Strategic Air Command, and is still home to Bomber and Missile wings, with strategic, i.e, Nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, the station would have been staffed anyway, to put out the emergency alert, just in case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minot_train_derailment

85. Serial conservative spews:

Steve, I followed a link off Wheedle’s Groove you introduced me to, got to Funky 16 Corners, wasted nine bucks buying it, and found two really great numbers by James Reese and the Progressions. You can find the songs on Youtube – same two numbers all the time. Check it out.

86. rhp6033 spews:

Talk about eating your own….

Birther’s groups (especially those involved in the Kansas petitions to remove Pres. Obama from the ballot) are threatening a recall petition against Justice John Roberts if he swears in President Obama for a second term.

Which brings about the prospect of Roberts being removed from office and replaced by a nominee of President Obama’s choosing?

Of course, the whole threat demonstrates yet again how little the birthers know about the U.S. Constitution. The only way to remove a sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice is by impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial by the Senate, for “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

But he, if Roberts were too choose to voluntarily resign rather than fight the birthers, why not? Go Birthers!

87. EvergreenRailfan spews:

RHP286, I think Chief Justice Roberts has nothing to worry about. Their are probably not even enough votes in the House(don’t they need 2/3 in the House as well?), let alone the Senate to remove him from office. Plus, what’s the High Crime and Misdemeanors? Carrying out one’s official duty? I know the tea party/birther types don’t believe the President is Constitutionally eligible to take the oath, but going after the Chief Justice. I don’t think Roberts will resign, although the Republicans seem to not like him right now since he ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act. They wanted him on the court, knowing full well he would be there for life.

88. rhp6033 spews:

#87: Yes, everything you say is true. But one can dream, can’t one?

89. rhp6033 spews:

It looks like state Sen. Pam Roach is still in trouble for harrassing staffers:

Pam Roach Faces Another Report of Mistreating Staffer

The report mentions that she failed to meet the counseling conditions set forth in the previous disciplinary decree, and recently got into abusive shouting matches with a staffer specifically delegated to keep her way from other staffers, as well as from another Senator.

90. ArtFart spews:

@84 Seems a lot of stuff like that “failed” in the early 2000′s….

91. EvergreenRailfan spews:

88)

Yes one can. I might disagree with Clarence Thomas on his rulings, and that he sometimes goes a long time without asking questions during oral arguments, but I doubt he could be impeached either. I was wondering, in the 21st Century, could we hold a Supreme Court Justice accountable for what their spouse does for a living? Even if they might be ruling on an issue that the spouse’s employer has taken a stand on? I remember hearing something that the Supreme Court justices don’t have to recuse themselves from cases they might have a personal interest in, but lower Federal Court judges do. If that is true, how about one standard?

92. rhp6033 spews:

A California man was ticketed for driving alone in the HOV lane. He is contesting the ticket, arguing that his incorporation articles (which were in the car at the time) constitute another “person’ under California law and U.S Supreme Court decisions.

The prosecutors scoffed at the argument, saying it doesn’t pass the “smell test”.

Well, neither does the Citizens United case, for that matter. It’s just a logical application of Citizen’s United to the other aspects of our society.

93. rhp6033 spews:

# 88: Each court (or “level” of courts) makes it’s own rules regarding recusal for conflict of interest. District Courts have to follow one standard, and Appellate courts have to follow a different (but similar) standared, if my memory serves correct. But the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t have any rules on the subject.

That being said, the Court has usually bent over backwards to prevent any “appearance” of impropriety, and recused themselves of cases for any number of reasons – including having argued similar cases previously as judges in lower courts. Most justices realize that the authority of the court only goes so far as the public is willing to acknowledge it as the final arbiter of the law of the land. The armed forces at it’s disposal to enforce it’s orders are miniscule in comparison with just about every other governmental entity.

But Thomas has gone out of his way to scoff at this.

And no, I really don’t want to see Justices impeached for their decisions. That would cause a bigger problem. Remember the courage of the Southern federal judges who enforced the segregation orders of the U.S. Supreme Court, despite the danger to their persons, property, and families? We need principled people in those positions, and they shouldn’t be subject to whatever political passions are convenient at the time.

94. EvergreenRailfan spews:

In Detroit, Clear Channel went one step further when they took WDTW off the air. They said that they were donating the station license to a minority ownership group, but those owners will have to get new transmitters, as Clear Channel just took down the towers. I would like to see more diversity in ownership, but the new owners would need more than just the license.

95. EvergreenRailfan spews:

RHP@93, good point, they need to be independent, and sometimes they evolve, like Justice Stevens did, although he claims that he never changed, it was that the Reagan and Bush appointees after him that were even more Conservative than he was.

96. wharfrat spews:

Is Pam Roach armed, does she have a carry permit. If so, how did she get one unless she lied on the mental health question.

97. YLB spews:

Here’s one for Evergreen Rail fan:

Short line railroads is one industry that came out on top in the fiscal cliff deal. Congress’ last-minute negotiations extended a generous tax credit for repairing old tracks, and some of them could really use the help..

Most of the short lines were sold to mom-and-pop operators in the 1980s because the big rail companies weren’t making money on them. In some instances, the tracks have been worth more dead than alive, just in the scrap metal value of the iron rails.

“There are lines being abandoned more times than we care to say,” says Matt Prince, manager of Tennessee Southern Railroad…

Even as a mode of transportation associated with bygone days, 2006 was the industry’s best year. That’s according to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

Association president Rich Simmons says there are pockets where railroad companies are again making money hand over fist — near natural gas fields.

“If you happen to be a short line that’s in and around and operating near one of these shale formations, the money that you are making is unprecedented,” he says.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/sustainability/fiscal-cliff/short-line-railroads-face-tough-track-ahead

That last part made me laugh.. What a world we live in.. Anyone’s ship can come in when you least expect it.

98. EvergreenRailfan spews:

I have vaguely heard of the tax credit for Short lines, and the article is right, some of them do need it. Not all of them are owned by big conglomerates like RailAmerica, there are even a few that are Ma and Pa operations. Many of them could use new locomotives, as they often do not have the capital to buy new. The article is right about the ones where oil extraction is underway, they are seeing massive growth.

Short lines had been around for a long time, but they really took off as a result of deregulation making it easier to drop underutilized branches.

99. Politically Incorrect spews:

@58,

rodent, you’re actually proud of the fact that illegals are paying into the SS system so you can get a monthly check!!

Un-fucking-believable!!