Re: Hot or Not, redeaux

1

How do you put on jeans without pulling them on?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:30 AM
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How are you pronouncing 'redeaux'?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:30 AM
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Speaking for myself, almost certainly incorrectly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:37 AM
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I still don't see how the jeans pictured are out of the ordinary. Is it because the jeans-waist is back up on the people-waist?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:56 AM
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It seems like they might fit better for the hordes of women out there whose waist-to-hip ratio doesn't match up with most available non-elastic-waisted jeans.

Maternity jeans and pants fit me way better than regular ones ever have. Even though the waist part is going the opposite direction (much bigger than the hips, whereas pre-pregnancy the problem was that my waist was much smaller), just having a waistband made for any kind of curves is amazing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:57 AM
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I consider those heinous.
(The look exactly like a pair of weird European "skinny jeans" Baby O has.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:58 AM
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4: They don't have an actual fly, just a faux one. The waistband is elastic.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:58 AM
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1 4

Apparently pull on jeans don't have zippers.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:58 AM
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I consider those heinous.

Definitely not for wearing with shirts tucked in.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:59 AM
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7: Thanks. I suppose after the tights-as-pants thing, it was inevitable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:59 AM
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How do you put on jeans without pulling them on?

1) suspend the jeans in a NASA-style Jeans Donning Support Framework that holds them upright. Take a decent run up, bounce on the springboard (I assume you all have springboards in your bedrooms) and leap into the air, descending feet first into the jeans with a shout of "Lafayette, I am here!"

2) Lie supine on your bed with your legs straight and feet approx 20cm apart. Bend at the waist and raise your legs, keeping them straight, until they are vertical. Your spouse stands at the foot of the bed, facing the bed, holding the jeans behind his head by the waistband or belt loops. When your legs are fully upright, he whips the jeans over his head from behind and down over your raised legs with a butterfly-net type motion. Once you have mastered this, you can try the more advanced approach in which your spouse faces away from the bed holding the jeans in front of himself and whips them back over his head on to your legs without looking.

3) Cut carefully down the inside leg seams of both legs. Make another cut all the way down the outside leg seam of the left leg. (Naturally, sew in zips, velcro, cross-laces, hook-and-eye fasteners or similar along both cuts.) The jeans can now be hinged open, using the outside leg seam of the right leg as the hinge. Simply stand them, open and upright, on the floor (I am assuming that the jeans are either filthy enough or starched enough to stand up by themselves, like the pants Che Guevara wore for two months solid for a bet), walk into them and close the door behind you. Fasten up whatever fastenings you put in. Advantage of this method - by undoing the inside-leg seam only, you can also place the jeans horizontally on the floor, crawl into them head-first from the ankle end, and do them up afterwards.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:01 AM
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Advantage of this method - by undoing the inside-leg seam only, you can also place the jeans horizontally on the floor, crawl into them head-first from the ankle end, and do them up afterwards if you go with velcro for the fasteners, you can use these jeans for your side job as a stripper.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:04 AM
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It's more of a tease if you use hook-and-eye fasteners, Blume.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:05 AM
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Let's not assume stripping is the side job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:07 AM
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I was imagining that sudden rip-away move, but yeah, I suppose it depends on your stripping style. Big tent!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:07 AM
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13: These are Amish strippers after all.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:08 AM
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Ironically, "Big Tent" is my stripper name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:11 AM
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That would explain why they're doing it in a big tent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:11 AM
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Ironically, big tent is my signature stripper move.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:13 AM
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I'll sue you for taking my intellectual property.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:18 AM
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20: no, that's Halford's signature stripper move.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:19 AM
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My daughter cannot do zippers or buttons. She needs the pull up ones so she can pull them down easily to go to the bathroom.

So I love pull on jeans. She can look cute and sassy.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:22 AM
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Now that I'm attending high school lacrosse games a couple times a week, I can report that nearly every girl that attends Keegan's school (well, the ones that show up to watch the lacrosse team anyhow) wears skin-tight yoga pants all the time. I don't know who's responsible for starting this fashion trend, but they should get a medal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:34 AM
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Yeah. Working near a university is a great place for that reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:35 AM
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Plus, less of the pervy old guy factor when everybody is past high school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:45 AM
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||
This is pretty seriously messed up: Daniel McGowan, earth liberation prisoner, was hauled back to jail, apparently for writing about the conditions of his incarceration in "Communication Management Units". We're basically back in the 19th century here, with the torture, the being held incommunicado, the totally arbitrary prosecutions of radicals.

http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/daniel-mcgowan-back-in-prison-cmu-huffington-post-article/6837/

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:54 AM
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25 - You say that like "pervy old guy" isn't a plus for Apo.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:01 AM
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How do you put on jeans without pulling them on?

4) Paintbrush.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:01 AM
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26: What the fucking fuck?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:37 AM
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26, 29 -- This really looks amazingly stupid. Apparently, they have a media policy, and McGowan would have needed permission to do an interview while still in a halfway house. So, is writing a blog post "an interview"? No, and even if it was, jailing the guy until his sentence runs out in June is just asking for more attention (a) between now and then and (b) once he gets out.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:51 AM
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It's all a conspiracy to make me say "jag off".


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:13 AM
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26, 29, 30 -- the article is unclear as to what actually happened, but if the feds really did reincarcerate him for making the excerpted statements, that's a pretty clear and outrageous first amendment violation and the CCR should have fun with it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:30 AM
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I can report that nearly every girl that attends Keegan's school (well, the ones that show up to watch the lacrosse team anyhow) wears skin-tight yoga pants all the time. I don't know who's responsible for starting this fashion trend, but they should get a medal.

You might be able to wangle a job wrangling your son's groupies, Elvis style.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:31 AM
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5: I agree that it would be very nice if women's pants were cut for women with curves, but I can't agree with you about the maternity jeans. I stayed in my regular pants + bella band for about 30 weeks (I was carrying very high), just in time for the bump to get big enough that maternity pants didn't fit, either. So now it's maternity pants + bellaband, plus a lot of maternity dresses, which have been fabulous.

Plus -- and this is the problem with the linked pants -- it is hard to find maternity pants that flatter the butt.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:44 AM
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33: Unless his son starts to do background checks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:47 AM
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The secret is that almost every tight pant flatters the butt.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:47 AM
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I assume these pants - even if I could get over the pull-on-ness - would look awful on me, because the people I know in person from the list-serve have very small waists and fuller hips and thighs. I tend to have skinny legs and carry weight like an apple-shaped linebacker. (I always feel like Harley Davidson women and heavy beer drinkers are shaped like me. Broad backs, thick torso, skinny little legs.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:53 AM
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I was given to believe that you had a beautiful ass, HG. In that case a tight pant can do you no wrong.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:56 AM
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The beautiful ass was always a well-constructed illusion. The photos that circulated made it look great, but that was three pregnancies and a carefully orchestrated photo shoot ago.

In reality, it is sadly flat and funnel-shaped.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:58 AM
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Like an inverted funnel?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:00 AM
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Nope. A functional funnel.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:00 AM
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In other news, it turns out that Bob and PGD were absolutely right about Obama.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:01 AM
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where's the spout?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:03 AM
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We bombed Fukushima?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:04 AM
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My urethra, I suppose.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:04 AM
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I'M A HARLEY_DAVIDSON WOMAN, SHORT AND STOUT
HERE IS MY TATTOO, HERE IS MY SPOUT


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:05 AM
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Do you mean funnel cake?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:06 AM
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OG, what kind of tattoo you got?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:08 AM
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49

We must go to very different county fairs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:08 AM
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I only go to the ones with the goats that fall over.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:09 AM
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We bombed heebie's urethra?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:15 AM
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From the men who stare at them?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:15 AM
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Not yet. Memorial Day weekend.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:16 AM
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51: It shouldn't resemble a warzone for another two weeks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:16 AM
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I know you've been visiting a lot of Ob/Gynes lately, but how many urethras do you have?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:16 AM
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No, we photo bombed Heebie's urethra.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:16 AM
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Somebody photoshop Labs' colon into heebie's urethra.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:17 AM
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THEY AIN'T BUT ONE URETHRA AND THAT'S THE QUEEN OF SOUL, HONEY, AND SHE'S TOO BIG TO FIT IN HERE.


Posted by: LABS'S OPINIONATED COLON | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:19 AM
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Usually it requires movement, or an umbrella.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:22 AM
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In my youth, when I was bored, I used to go on hot or not and give all the unattractive people 10s, and all the attractive people 1s. Those were my only categories.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:26 AM
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In other news, it turns out that Bob and PGD were absolutely right about Obama.

Strong words. What changed your mind? Is he supporting the phone unlocking bill?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:42 AM
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61. Cutting Social Security.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:48 AM
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37: If it makes you feel better, I'm basically the opposite of you and nothing fits either, and those pants would look heinous on me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:49 AM
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I think those pants are for the both of you.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:51 AM
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At the same time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:53 AM
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62 - yes. Bob's core argument, made since 2008, was that Obama would affirmatively try to cut Social Security because be wants to do so. I and others laughed him off at the time and later, but I don't think there can be any real dispute he was right about that.

I mean, he was wrong about a lot of non-core things, but he got that one right, and did so early.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:53 AM
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Do the elites in this country have some sort of notion that the 401k movement made people more prepared to retire, instead of what it really did was remove people's ability to retire? Do people not realize what a terrible blow defined-contribution plans have been?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:57 AM
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67: I think they are too busy counting their management fees to care.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:58 AM
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I genuinely don't think the elites give a shit, for the most part. They see the world as split into people who would be wealthy enough to retire comfortably, and people who will be poor in retirement, and they don't really think that policy choices affect the groups in any way worth caring about.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:03 AM
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The real question is whether his speech-making is inherently useless.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:04 AM
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61. Cutting Social Security.

Ugggh, I hadn't checked the news yet this morning. Reading up on that now.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:06 AM
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I genuinely don't think the elites give a shit

They really don't.

Do people not realize what a terrible blow defined-contribution plans have been?

Mostly not. They have internalized all the 80s Reaganite bullshit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:07 AM
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61 was pretty great, Nick. I giggled. (I mean, the whole thing is kinda laugh-or-cry.)

And I'll +1 the "they don't care, and have internalized." Almost everyone with decision-making power, for one, has a pretty decent defined-benefit retirement plan (in addition to Social Security). And the vast majority are wealthy enough that they've been net winners from the increasing share of profits going to capital.

More generally, the shift to DC plans has been horrible because of the way that it complements the "rising asset prices are good for everyone!" & stock market fetishization bullshit of the last 15 years. If your 401k is all you've got, you want it to go up, even though that going-up is directly connected to the companies that make up your portfolio extracting more surplus (or credibly promising to do so) from workers.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:24 AM
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More generally, the shift to DC plans has been horrible because of the way that it complements the "rising asset prices are good for everyone!" & stock market fetishization bullshit of the last 15 years. If your 401k is all you've got, you want it to go up, even though that going-up is directly connected to the companies that make up your portfolio extracting more surplus (or credibly promising to do so) from workers.

This point can't be emphasized enough. It was a nice strategy for temporarily building popular support for short term corporate looters and stock-price manipulators, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:27 AM
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For some true comedy value, you can head over to Lawyers, Guns, and Money, where the indefatigable Joe From Lowell is defending the "This is all masterful nine-dimensional chess move" line until the death.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:52 AM
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Why would we go elsewhere for true comedy value?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:57 AM
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75: He is consistent, I'll give him that.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:59 AM
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77: Well, I think he's right that the Republicans will turn this down, and there won't be any deal. Also, proving that he has no allegiance to liberalism of any sort will marginally improve the media coverage of Obama.

So, what's the problem?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:05 AM
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78. Already have.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:09 AM
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79: I can even predict things that have already happened!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:10 AM
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I predict peep isn't going to see the problem. And ogged is going to leave the blog.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:12 AM
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So, what's the problem?

The problem is that now, when Republican campaign against Democratic plans to cut Social Security, they won't actually be lying.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:12 AM
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I can't wait until election season. He cut your medicare; now he's coming for your Social Security. Vote Republican.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:13 AM
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So, what's the problem?

The motherfucking problem is that Social Security is one of the few functional programs left in the country and it's totally godamn fine and could be fine long term with minor tweaks. I don't think it's too much to ask the fuckstick in charge to actually publicly point that out. TGI fucking F because I'm going to start drinking early.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:15 AM
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I have to admit that I was surprised when the media seemed to briefly grasp how intransigent the Republicans are, thanks to Obama's previous preemptive surrender offers. Thank goodness they came to their senses and discovered that any proposal that isn't accepted by both sides is unserious. My faith has been restored.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:20 AM
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86

So, what's the problem?

As someone pointed out ATOP, even if he is playing eleven-dimensional chess it's bad rhetoric to constantly put Social Security on the table (even if it's only pretend on the table), because it reinforces the elite opinion that it's something that hard-headed people should at least Think Seriously about cutting for no good reason.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:22 AM
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That is to say, I expect this will generate maybe a weeks worth of negative coverage of the Republicans before the media adjusts to the new normal. The damage done to Democrats will be deeper and more persistent.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:23 AM
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I think you guys should balance your budget by totally cutting out the cost of holding elections, because when the Republicans win, the Republicans run the country and when the Democrats win the Republicans run the country.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:23 AM
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Let's ponder happier things like how Boston judges loves them some child porn.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, a search of Smith's computer uncovered multiple still images of young girls between the ages of 5 and 14 years old, some naked and some engaged in explicit sexual activity...On Thursday, a Boston judge sentenced Smith to 2 1/2 years in jail, but suspended the sentence in favor of five years probation in Utah


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:25 AM
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81: Wrong! I do see the problem. I was either being sarcastic or trolling.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:26 AM
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I had to read the article to understand that Smith wasn't being exiled.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:27 AM
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Yet another opportunity for Be Depressed About Everything! How nice. (You are included in Everything, yoga-pant lechers.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:27 AM
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86 - And bad politics, because it lets Republicans position their plans to destroy Social Security as the only way to save Social Security from the Kenyan Usurper. Don't forget that part!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:28 AM
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On Thursday, a Boston judge sentenced Smith to 2 1/2 years in jail, but suspended the sentence in favor of five years probation in Utah

Because he thought that was a worse punishment?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:28 AM
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The eleven-dimensional chess is being played by whoever got 401(k) holders to think of people with pensions as the enemy -- either sucking down that sweet corporate profit, or sucking up tax monies. This apparently keeps us from noticing that having a pension is less precarious than small investments.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:29 AM
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(You are included in Everything, yoga-pant lechers.)

Come on, yoga pants and alcohol are all the day has left to offer.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:30 AM
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Doing this on a Friday ensures it gets little mainstream coverage. He's both trying to offer concessions for the GOP to reject (showing themselves to be extremists) and trying to avoid publicity for offering concessions. He's at cross purposes with himself.

Also 86 and 87 are correct.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:32 AM
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Also I love the N-dimensional chess analogy. Problem is, N = 1 and Obama keeps trying to move like a knight. Or not. Nonetheless chess analogies are awesome.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:35 AM
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Nonetheless chess analogies are awesome.

Although banned.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:39 AM
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My chess analogy would be that Obama has the Republicans in a zugzwang, but instead of waiting them out, he keeps on making moves.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:39 AM
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I think Obama took the November election as validating his bargaining strategy for the past four years:

1. Concede everything pre-negotiations
2. Eventually get a completely rightwing "compromise",
3. Be surprised that the Republicans keep shrieking just as loudly as ever
4. Watch Republicans hang themselves with their own rope come election-time for reasons that are completely unrelated to your sell-out legislation, which is now law.

Four more years!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:44 AM
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102

On the subject of yoga pants.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:44 AM
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103

He is trying for tenuki.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:47 AM
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100: too bad that chess analogy doesn't make much sense, because how can Obama keep making moves, if it's the Republicans' move?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:48 AM
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In go, passing is an option, to make zugzwang impossible.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:51 AM
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102: The hyphenation that article uses in "high end-pants" seems questionable.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:52 AM
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103: I thought you meant tanuki (NSFW-ish) and was very confused until I googled tenuki.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:52 AM
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108

Best quote on the story in 102: "It seems that some women were showing upward beaver while doing downward dog."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:03 PM
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I actually don't think 101 accurately describes much of anything to date, but still.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:03 PM
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104 : That was supposed to be stay in Standpipe's blog.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:05 PM
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110: be stay

That was like in chess when you can't decide between two good moves, so you do both.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:09 PM
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109: It describes the healthcare debate pretty accurately.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:09 PM
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Not really at all, unless you actually think something like single payer had a reasonable shot, which is totally wrong (the idea that the PPACA was a "totally right wing compromise" in anything like existing political reality is IMO nonsense). But we've had that argument many many times before and just plain disagree about it, and it's probably not rehashing again.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:13 PM
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114

totally *worth*


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:13 PM
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115

Aggh. PROBABLY NOT WORTH REHASHING AGAIN!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:14 PM
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I'm willing to believe that the PPACA was the best that could get through the Congress at that point in time. But a plan designed by the Heritage Foundation, originally run on by Bob Dole, and first implemented by Mitt Romney is definitionally a right-wing plan. That the current Republican Party has gone so far to the batshit end of the spectrum that right-wing has been rechristened middle-of-the-road is another debate altogether.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:17 PM
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117

And I'll let it drop with that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:21 PM
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118

In response to this news, I plan to go completely Russian and sit on a stove and moan all day.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:21 PM
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Anyhow, what about legalizing the herb? Guess that's just a few years away now, according to the parlour pink pundits? That would be pretty awesome, I have to say.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:31 PM
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I plan to go completely Russian and sit on a stove and moan all day.

Note for H-G -- check to make sure Unfoggeddecacon location has a stove, it may be needed.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:35 PM
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44:We bombed Fukushima? h-g

Not that I ever suggested bombing Fukushima, just trying to conceive of more radical solutions than blindly trusting the powers-that-be to protect us. Fukushima is very very far from fixed yet.

Fukushima fallout may be causing illness in American babies: Study

Babies born in places including Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington shortly after Fukushima were 28 percent more likely to suffer from the illness*, according to the study, than children born in those same regions one year earlier. The illness, if untreated, can cause permanent handicaps in both the body and brain.

*congenital hypothyroidism

And this is just the earliest and most easily detected radiation effect.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 12:53 PM
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Congenital Hypothyroidism ...Wiki has that latest study

"As the child grows up, these levels are checked regularly to maintain the right dose. The dose increases as the child grows." ...probably dirt cheap

"although as a population academic performance tends to be below that of siblings and mild learning problems occur in some."

Well, I guess it's all ok fine. Just a little slow. Well, worth it so that we...what? Didn't make an all-out int'l effort to contain the damage?

And we check this. 10-20 years on when other problems spike we'll have the typical bitch of a time proving the cause.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:07 PM
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116 gets it exactly right.

The other one that comes to mind is when the Bush tax cuts were set to expire at the end of December 2009, and Obama didn't ward off the explicit threats to make the debt ceiling an issue the following summer, when he was holding all the cards at that point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:11 PM
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And it's a thought I remember having throughout his first term, even if those are the only two examples that spring to mind at this moment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:11 PM
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To me "right wing" (or "left wing") denotes more than just "right of center." I'd say PPACA is a center-right plan.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:16 PM
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It is, now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:17 PM
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the idea that the PPACA was a "totally right wing compromise" in anything like existing political reality is IMO nonsense

Because the Overton Window has shifted, right?!?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:18 PM
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I'm willing to believe that the PPACA was the best that could get through the Congress at that point in time. But a plan designed by the Heritage Foundation, originally run on by Bob Dole, and first implemented by Mitt Romney is definitionally a right-wing plan.

Wait a second, isn't the devil in the details?

If the three basic tenets of the Romney plan (according to the NYer) are "mandate, regulate, subsidize" my intuition is that you could get a right wing or left wing plan depending on how exactly each of those pillars are implemented.

At that point I have to admit that I haven't followed the details closely enough to know exactly what that PPACA implementation will look like -- it might be a complete train-wreck, as apo has been warning for ages -- but the fact that it has structural similarities with the heritage foundation plan shouldn't be the end of the analysis.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:32 PM
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128:it might be a complete train-wreck

Wonkblog, but not Klein of course, Klein's job is the good news, or the spin

Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients

Blame the sequester? Blame Republicans?

Obama signed that fucking sequester, and if you think getting past the filibuster is hard, try getting 67 votes in the Senate.

Kermit will come around telling me Utopia is coming, with the homeless living to be a hundred while the hedge fund traders wear barrels, but I think the details of the PPACA fuck-the-workers-and-enrich-the-rich act will be opaque. So we can look at GINI, life expectancy in lower quintiles stuff like that.

Oh, and morgues.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 1:46 PM
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The broader and far more important point right now is this: Obama's move on social security isn't being driven by being a "bad poker player" or "bidding too low" (such a stupid, stupid analogy and such a dumb theory of politics) but because he actually wants bad social security reform full stop. That's the insight Bob had many years ago, and is one that appears to be entirely correct.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 2:13 PM
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130: Why don't you buy the explanation that he expects the Republicans to reject it, thereby revealing themselves as unserious? I mean, I know why I don't, buy what's your reason?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 2:17 PM
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Oh, I think he does expect that, and it might even be a political gambit that works. But he also has to know that for a Democratic president to put cuts in social security on the table in this public a manner right now means that they are forever on the table, and that therefore when a deal does get done (and, at some point it will, even if not in this Congress) it will likely include such cuts. That's why I'm fairly confident that this isn't just something Obama would be willing to live with (which would be bad enough) but affirmatively wants to help make happen.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 2:24 PM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 2:27 PM
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And Josh Marshall gets it exactly right:

But there's the third point that I think is most important to understanding what's going on here. This isn't only about President Obama's negotiating acumen. In conversations with the president's key advisors and the President himself over the last three years one point that has always come out to me very clearly is that the President really believes in the importance of the Grand Bargain. He thinks it's an important goal purely on its own terms. That's something I don't think a lot of his diehard supporters fully grasp. He thinks it's important in longrange fiscal terms (and there's some reality to that). But he always believes it's important for the country and even for the Democratic party to have a big global agreement that settles the big fiscal policy for a generation and let's the country get on to other issues -- social and cultural issues, the environment, building the economy etc.
This has always struck me as a very questionable analysis of the where the country is politically and what it needs. But I put it forward because I don't think these moves can really be understood outside of this context.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 2:51 PM
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The idea that one can stop conservatives complaining about an issue by enacting their plans needs to die.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 4:30 PM
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When you've lost Lemieux on domestic policy... Bonus: Emerson laying waste to the comment section.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:45 PM
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But he also has to know that for a Democratic president to put cuts in social security on the table in this public a manner right now means that they are forever on the table.

This I do not follow. Why would they stay on the table for the next democratic president, or even for next week, if Obama doesn't want them around? Is this one of those really sticky tables?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:56 PM
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136: My first thought was, why bring up hockey.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 5:58 PM
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130: The problem with your broader and far more important point, Halford, is that it is an assertion for which you have no support aside from writing things like "full stop". You have no way of knowing what Obama really wants, nor do I. He offered a compromise which contained cuts and the compromise was rejected. I would rather he hadn't offered it, but I also lack the information that would be required to comment on his negotiating tactics with any intelligence.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:03 PM
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This may have been mentioned upthread, but the link at Digby's place to Robert Reich's 2 minute video explanation of what's wrong with chained CPI is outstanding.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 6:59 PM
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67

Do the elites in this country have some sort of notion that the 401k movement made people more prepared to retire, instead of what it really did was remove people's ability to retire? Do people not realize what a terrible blow defined-contribution plans have been?

There is nothing wrong with defined contribution plans as such. As I have mentioned before (given equal actuarial cost to the employer) I prefer them. Reduced retirement benefits for some groups of workers just reflects their reduced (relative) compensation in general.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:06 PM
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135 -- The idea isn't that you can stop conservatives from complaining about something, or make them not be assholes, or anything like that. This is a maddening strawman, because I don't think it reflects the goals of the proponents. It's not a matter of what the 27% of crazies are going to do -- they're a lost cause. It's a matter of what the next 40% of the attention-paying public can be talked into supporting.

I don't agree with the strategy. But if/when the government adopts chained CPI, no one had better come even a small step towards SS benefits for a generation at least: everyone will have given up all they'll be willing to give up, no matter how much the plutocrats and their henchfolk whine about it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:20 PM
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OT: If you type 'FFS' in Word 2002, it asks if you want to look for a stock ticker for FFS.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:31 PM
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It's a matter of what the next 40% of the attention-paying public can be talked into supporting.

Look, this is a self-defeating approach to the matter: not enough people are paying attention. I strongly suggest that more progressives make their voices heard. Call your Senators (read the entirety of digby's post linked in 140).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:32 PM
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Sorry for the "look" there -- I just can't stand conciliatory language where reduction of SS or Medicare benefits is concerned. The notion that we must straighten our national affairs on the backs of already poverty-stricken seniors is unacceptable.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:35 PM
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because he actually wants bad social security reform full stop

Why do you say this? If Obama really wanted "bad social security reform," why wouldn't he propose it as part of a budget that has any chance of passing?

Just to be clear, like you, I think this latest proposal is a lousy move, both as politics and policy. But I can't imagine how you're divining from it what Obama actually wants (which, as I've said before, seems to be some sort of a Grand Bargain).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:36 PM
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Oh wait, you agree that he wants a Grand Bargain. Now I'm really confused.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:38 PM
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But if/when the government adopts chained CPI, no one had better come even a small step towards SS benefits for a generation at least
Or what? Do you think any of the people interested in destroying it will be satisfied with CCPI? Will the reasonable centrists stop listening to these people?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:47 PM
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The next Grand Bargain will be the Grand Bargain to end all Grand Bargains.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:49 PM
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Would you rather your bargain be "grand" or "corrupt"? I'm afraid those are your only two options.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:51 PM
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150 - What about "naked, stoned, and stabbed"?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:54 PM
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Why choose?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:54 PM
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Don't get me wrong; I'm sure a Grand Bargain will take the issue off the table for a few years, if only to make room for the next manufactured crisis in need of compromise.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:56 PM
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151: don't be ahistorical.

152: fair point. You can, if you want, have it both ways.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:56 PM
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Meanwhile, the sequester is cutting and the jobs are disappearing and the wages are declining

but the markets are booming and the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and

147:Now I'm really confused.

I doubt it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:57 PM
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153: wait, you don't think I think a Grand Bargain is a good idea, do you? Maybe you're talking to someone else? Carp? Regardless, I think any sort of grand bargain, including a Grand Bargain, is likely to be a complete train wreck as policy if not necessarily politics. But since this bargain has not yet been unveiled, and since the future is murky, I'll hold off on offering my much-anticipated predictions.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 7:59 PM
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Yeah, seriously, supposing for a moment that Josh Marshall as quoted in 134 is right -- and Greg Sargent over at WaPo is saying something similar about Obama's motivation -- why does Obama et al. think the Republicans would abide by such a grand bargain for the next couple of decades?

I really don't get that. Hasn't it been clear for some time now that conservatives want to dismantle The Great Society?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:02 PM
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Or what

Or opponents of cuts will be in a much stronger position.

Cuts to SS now don't make cuts in the future easier, they make them harder. Much harder, especially as it becomes clear to beneficiaries that they got cut. I think it's bad politics and bad policy to be out in front with this, but I don't think it's likely to be the camel's nose or whatever analogy you might want.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:05 PM
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And that's how, in theory, a Grand Bargain would stick. You don't bet very many chances to touch the third rail. O is wrong, imo, if he thinks he can get away with touching it even once, absent getting something much better than anything he's playing for now. But additional cuts? No way.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:10 PM
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especially as it becomes clear to beneficiaries that they got cut

To be honest, I think the seniors who actually feel the cuts won't be in a position to make their voices heard. That's part of the genius of the plan.

Has AARP made a statement about this? I haven't seen.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:12 PM
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http://www.rollcall.com/news/aarp_warns_against_use_of_chained_cpi-223610-1.html

I don't think there's any danger of Congress not hearing from SS recipients who get cut.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:16 PM
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Cuts to SS now don't make cuts in the future easier, they make them harder.

Honestly, Charley, I think you're in cuckoo land. Boehner has already come out with a statement to the effect that a switch to chained CPI doesn't really amount to a cut as much as a correction to the way the cost of living adjustment is calculated.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:17 PM
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161: Thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:19 PM
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Parsi, I have no idea what you are talking about. Boehner isn't talking to the hordes of elderly voters who will be up in arms if something passes -- he doesn't have to yet, and can just talk to plutocrats right now. But once a cut gets passed, if it does, all hell will break loose. You think seniors are going to give a flying fuck about Boehner, Pete Peterson, the Broderistas, or pretty much anyone else? No, the money they paid in, what was promised, is getting cut. They'll be out for blood.

I think it's a terrible idea for O to be taking responsibility for this, but even chained cpi will be a blood bath. No one is really going to try for any more. Not from SS.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:23 PM
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Let me tell you about the violence of the elderly.


Posted by: Opinionated Dan Rostenkowski's Car's Struts | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:27 PM
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164: Hm. Okay, I'm considering that.

I was mostly thinking that politicians of both parties are responsive to the middle/upper middle classes, the ones with the most influential voices, so making the relatively less well-off suffer more has little downside.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:31 PM
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You'll recall after their losses in the 2006 midterms, due in part to their attempt to privatize Social Security, how the Republicans never mentioned modifications to the program again. Anyways, if you are a Republican, potential voter backlash is a good reason for the plans to be phased in and for getting the Democrats to take the lead.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:33 PM
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No, the money they paid in, what was promised, is getting cut. They'll be out for blood.

It's going to be up to the AARP and other organizations to get the word out, because otherwise the cut, phased in quite gradually and increasing over the years, might not be noticed on an individual level.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:34 PM
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Yeah, and old white people.

Republicans only want to dismantle the Great Society as applied to people not voting for them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:35 PM
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158: Cuts to SS now don't make cuts in the future easier, they make them harder. Much harder, especially as it becomes clear to beneficiaries that they got cut. I think it's bad politics and bad policy to be out in front with this, but I don't think it's likely to be the camel's nose or whatever analogy you might want.

This is so opposite of everything real. SS cuts used to be absolute political suicide -- just the idea of possibly talking about taxing SS benefits for the wealthiest seniors was political suicide. Then we got the drumbeat of the last 20 years or so that Gen Xers would never see a dime of SS benefits, until nowadays I think you have to look pretty hard to find any of us who don't believe that. Every time the window gets pushed, it opens further. At this rate, we'll be seriously talking about completely eliminating all federal benefits of any kind in 15 years or so. And a Democratic President will be the one who makes it happen.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:35 PM
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Jane Fonda on the screen today, convince the liberals it's okay.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:39 PM
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if you are a Republican, potential voter backlash is a good reason for the plans to be phased in and for getting the Democrats to take the lead.

and Jesus Christ, how could Obama be so stupid?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:40 PM
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167, right, and there may well never be a better time (in our lifetimes, anyway) to pitch privatization than 2005. Stock market looked good, Republicans were still ascendant, housing bubble made a lot of people feel rich. Not only would it be harder now, but I don't think you could get pretty much anyone who lived through 2008-2011 to buy into a privatization model (except people in a position to make money from the transition).

It's still the third rail.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:40 PM
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146-47: I view a "grand bargain" as bad social security reform. Don't you? Or is the idea of slightly higher tax rates on the rich plus benefit cuts to the main backstay of retirement savings for the poor good social security reform? As to how I know what Obama wants, it's based on a combination of what he's said, how he's acted, what other people have reported about what he wants, and reasonable inferences drawn therefrom. I don't have a window into his soul. How else do we know what any public figure "really" thinks about anything. But at this point we can be near-certain that Obama thinks that substantial cuts for social security in exchange for mildly higher tax cuts is a pretty good idea and should be a focus of Democratic Party policy, and all the eleven dimensional chess arguments are, to my mind, pretty clearly rank bullshit and wishful thinking.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:44 PM
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170 -- Natilo, I think you could do very well among seniors with a proposal to cut benefits for people born after, oh, 1965. Maybe even 1955 -- I presume Ryan's people did some real figuring on his medicare thing. Those goddam kids with the droopy pants, what do they deserve anyway? But cutting someone now getting checks? Still a third rail. As I think O would learn to his great displeasure if anyone took his deal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:44 PM
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Oh, and re: "do they know/care?", well, there's this:

Recent evidence indicates that "affluent" Americans in the top fifth of the income distribution are socially more liberal but economically more conservative than others. But until now there has been little systematic evidence about the truly wealthy, such as the top 1 percent. We report the results of a pilot study of the political views and activities of the top 1 percent or so of US wealth-holders. We find that they are extremely active politically and that they are much more conservative than the American public as a whole with respect to important policies concerning taxation, economic regulation, and especially social welfare programs. Variation within this wealthy group suggests that the top one-tenth of 1 percent of wealth-holders (people with $40 million or more in net worth) may tend to hold still more conservative views that are even more distinct from those of the general public. We suggest that these distinctive policy preferences may help account for why certain public policies in the United States appear to deviate from what the majority of US citizens wants the government to do.

Posted by: X.Trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:48 PM
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I view a "grand bargain" as bad social security reform. Don't you?

I think I view any social security reform, other than expansion, as bad social security reform. But it still isn't even remotely clear to me that Obama wants to reform social security. Floating this proposal, which he knows with ironclad certainty will be rejected out of hand by the GOP, certainly doesn't seem to indicate as much. And it seems to me that that's simpler than chess played in three, much less eleven, dimensions. That still doesn't make this proposal a good move (I think it isn't); it just means that I'm not sure why anyone is extrapolating from the news today to deeper claims about what Obama really wants.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:50 PM
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174 -- I agree with this. O has been pushing chained cpi since 2011 at least, and maybe longer. My guess is that he thinks it's "fair," that some reduction in outlay is required, and that this is the least painful way to get it.

I think he's wrong if he thinks he'll get any political benefit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:50 PM
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Again, if Obama thinks chained CPI is such a hot idea, then why doesn't he offer it as part of a package that doesn't include what amounts to a poison pill? You think he wouldn't get any takers from the opposition? I really don't understand these arguments. If reforming social security is his druthers, full stop, why doesn't he just propose up social security reform, full stop?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:55 PM
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176: Huh, so it's almost like there's a special class of people that winds up ruling over everyone else?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 8:55 PM
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179: He wants the cover of a Grand Bargain. Or, perhaps he wants the GB for its own sake.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:02 PM
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I should probably just go to sleep and try to dream of a world that does not so closely resemble Hell.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:06 PM
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179:Because Obama wants House Democrats to be the ones to cut Social Security, just as he wanted Hpuse Democrats to be the ones to make the Bush tax cuts.

No, he couldn't and can't get his budget passed by Republicans with the "poison pills." But the tax increases may just be enough, under crisis/shocks conditions, to get 190-200 Democratic House members to vote yea, and another 30/220 Hpuse Republicans.

Logically, the tax increases only make sense if Obama is seeking Democratic votes in the House


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:10 PM
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181: not to belabor the point, but this doesn't seem to make any sense. If the contention is that Obama wants to reform social security, full stop, there's a very easy way for him to do that: propose a budget with cuts to social security but no new taxes. As for political cover, why? He's never going to run for office again. So yeah, he may want a Grand Bargain, but that's not the same thing as wanting to reform social security, full stop, which is what Halford, among other people, are saying today.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:12 PM
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Sorry for the typos "make Bush tax cuts permanent"

Have we forgotten so soon how Obama got that done?
Have we not figured out why he didn't try in 2009?

No, Obama is not seeking a "grand bargain"
No, Obama is not seeking 200 Republican House votes.

This is tiresome.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:14 PM
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175: I think you could do very well among seniors with a proposal to cut benefits for people born after, oh, 1965. Maybe even 1955 -- I presume Ryan's people did some real figuring on his medicare thing. Those goddam kids with the droopy pants, what do they deserve anyway?

Seniors are pretty messed up in that case: people born between 1955 and 1965 are, what, 48-58 years old. They're not wearing droopy pants. I don't like to think that our seniors are quite that demented.

See what's happening: a growing war between the over-68s (or so) and the rest. This is bullshit in its own right.

Just raise the payroll tax cap.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:16 PM
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there's a very easy way for him to do that: propose a budget with cuts to social security but no new taxes

Neither a majority of Republicans or nor a majority Democrats will vote for that. That is not how he works.

You still don't get it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:16 PM
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Wait, why wouldn't a majority of Republicans vote for that?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:22 PM
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Going back as fucking far as TARP in the fall of 2008, when has Pelosi not been able to deliver her caucus to Obama? It was a test.

The revised HR1424 was received from the Senate by the House, and on October 3, it voted 263-171 to enact the bill into law. Democrats voted 172 to 63 in favor of the legislation, while Republicans voted 108 to 91 against it; overall, 33 Democrats and 24 Republicans who had previously voted against the bill supported it on the second vote.[6][12]

Wafer, you are a bore. You know this stuff.

Boehner will let it get to the floor when he gets some concessions, and Pelosi will deliver.

175 Republicans and the National Committee will run on in it 2014.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:23 PM
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188:Because an important part of their base is old people and they want to get re-elected?

See, the real question is why do the Democratic and "Progressive Caucus" always fold, so much so that it can be predicted and used in calculation?

And fold so badly that they lose their jobs in the 2010 midterms?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:28 PM
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175

... But cutting someone now getting checks? Still a third rail. As I think O would learn to his great displeasure if anyone took his deal.

You aren't reducing their checks, just slightly (.3% a year or so) reducing the rate at which their checks are increasing. I don't think there would be all that much outrage.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:29 PM
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But it still isn't even remotely clear to me that Obama wants to reform social security.

But who cares what Obama wants, in the innermost recesses of his heart, or what have you? We should only care about he says, and, more importantly, about what he says he will do, and about what he is prepared to do.

No doubt every politician has an interior life (whether rich or impoverished, laden with meaning or sadly attentuated). We on the outside, we have no access to the depths or to the shallows, to the riches or to the deficiencies of motivation and intentionality: we can only go by what we see, and by what we hear. A mere skimming of the surface, perhaps, but we can only judge by what information we are given.

I have no idea what Obama really wants, but it looks to me like he is ready to make a bad bargain on social security. Why defend the bad bargain that he is prepared to make, on grounds that, 'Well, he must really believe in something better'? As if this were fundamentally about Obama! As if this were about the psycho-dynamics of his inner life, rather than about the material conditions of the lives of (how many thousands? or hundreds of thousands?) of those who will be affected?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:30 PM
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190: Because an important part of their base is old people and they want to get re-elected?

Okay, so it has to be presented as a bargain, perhaps a grand bargain, so that voters can be given to understand that their representative just had to do it.

Still, I'm pretty sure the House has passed two or three versions of the Ryan budget several times, and that budget cut Social Security with no tax increases, indeed with tax cuts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:34 PM
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I imagine we're talking about the Senate, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:35 PM
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Why defend the bad bargain that he is prepared to make, on grounds that, 'Well, he must really believe in something better'?

Because I'm not mounting any such defense and to the best of my memory never have? If you read what I actually wrote, MC, I said -- both today and in the past -- that I'm deeply skeptical of claims regarding what Obama really wants and also that a Grand Bargain is a terrible idea.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:36 PM
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178

174 -- I agree with this. O has been pushing chained cpi since 2011 at least, and maybe longer. My guess is that he thinks it's "fair," that some reduction in outlay is required, and that this is the least painful way to get it.

The thing about chained cpi is that adopting it also increases taxes over time (because of the way inflation adjustments in the tax code work). So it would be a tax increase as well as a benefit cut.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:38 PM
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174: in light of the fact that none of us possess windows into the souls of world figures, typically we find a way to base our opinions on something other than what we truly believe they secretly want.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:42 PM
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Unless -- I don't know -- Halford, are you Obama's mistress?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:43 PM
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Sorry, MC, I'm not skeptical of claims that a Grand Bargain is a bad idea; that's actually what I think. But I am skeptical, as I wrote, of claims that people know what Obama really wants.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:51 PM
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I plan to go completely Russian and sit on a stove and moan all day.

It's sit by the stove in the kitchen with a bottle of vodka, doing 1dl shots while munching on rye bread and salt pickled wild mushrooms you gathered yourself. This should work a lot better than your method, though I guess burns on the butt would distract you from the news of the day.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:52 PM
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175: I'm outraged they're fucking with it at all.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:57 PM
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and 191: See? I need my SS$ to cover the dementia induced by trying to follow posts here.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:58 PM
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But I am skeptical, as I wrote, of claims that people know what Obama really wants.

But I think I sort of covered that, when I suggested that we should not concern ourselves with any notions of what Obama really wants?

But probably the wires crossed, and I have no doubt that we are on the same page.

Have a donut, VW: maple cream, with a double double.

I am sorry if I offended you, Von Wafer, truly.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:00 PM
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure we're on the same page, MC. And regardless, I'm not offended at all.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:02 PM
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154: Don't be ahistorical, Jeffrey.

ftfy


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:08 PM
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197: Contrariwise, "If the Czar only knew he would fix it" is a faith dearly held.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:57 PM
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I think PPACA demonstrates the stakes when politicians try to play 11-dimensional chess. The Heritage Foundation plan was a purely strategic move by the Republicans to stave off health care reform, one that they never wanted to enact into law. But look how that turned out?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:35 PM
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I included the question mark at the end of 207 as part of a Grand Bargain.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:37 PM
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206: Clearly Obama really wants to call out the Cossacks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:42 PM
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On Social Security, obvs. They'll know how to implement meaningful reform.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 11:42 PM
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136. Nice to see that Emerson still has what it takes. The guy called "Random" in that thread must be the biggest prat on the internet.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 5:03 AM
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TBH the elite consensus about austerity is so powerful, it's an achievement he held out this long.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 5:05 AM
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Professional pride requires me to say that while the ACA has many bad components (EHBs? SHOP? The ESI affordability standard?) it is much better than the alternative (no ACA).


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 5:54 AM
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As an exercise in praising with faint damns, 213 is stellar.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 6:21 AM
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Does anyone have good tips on how to write to a legislator?

I want to send a letter against these proposals. I also want to write a letter to my state reps urging them to support Parrick's income tax hike and sales tax reduction to support public transportation and education. (The speaker and Senate president are opposed, so I'm guessing that my e-mail won't do much, but I figure that I should make the effort.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 9:26 AM
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"Dear Legislator:

"I [oppose/support] [bill/initiative/program] and urge you to [oppose/support] it as well.

"[Brief summary of why I support/oppose the issue.]

"Sincerely, your constituent, BG."


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 9:29 AM
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Don't use your main email address. Whatever you say, you'll get on their spam list.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 9:45 AM
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211: agreed.

Look, to clarify what I think was VW's misunderstanding of what I was saying, a "grand bargain" IS bad social security reform. I think it's also abundantly clear that in any meaningful sense this is what Obama wants -- that is, that in currently-existing reality he thinks a deal in which modest tax increases combine with benefit cuts in social security would be not only a good thing politically but a substantively good thing for the country. At this point, I think that's pretty obvious. The alternative explanation that he's engaging in a masterful political judo move to avoid his ultimate desired outcome of no social security cuts seems to me to be ... laughably implausible.

Now, it's true that we don't know what Obama wants in his heart of hearts, and maybe on alternate universe planet Zaxxon where he's faced with nothing but Trotskyist opponents, Obama would act differently, but it's pretty clear that a reduction in benefits (combined with a modest tax increase) is something that Obama sees as a medium-term good idea.

And if all of the above is true, I think I (and probably other people here too, but I don't want to speak for them) owe Bob and PGD a "you were right on this one." Which is to say that they were more right on this big issue than the people (including me) arguing the reverse, over a number of years.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 10:12 AM
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"Avoid" should be "achieve" in 218.2, to have that make any sense at all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 10:13 AM
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but it's pretty clear that a reduction in benefits (combined with a modest tax increase) is something that Obama sees as a medium-term good idea.

No it really isn't, certainly not from any of your turgid sentences. In order to say something interesting, it helps to support your argument in more ways than labeling it "abundantly clear," then labeling the alternative "laughably implausible." In addition to being meaningless, it's boring to read. I can't imagine that sort of reasoning helps your clients.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 10:18 AM
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196: The thing about chained cpi is that adopting it also increases taxes over time (because of the way inflation adjustments in the tax code work).

I didn't understand this at the time, and now I see Lemieux mentioning the same thing:

There is a reasonable response to complaints about the inclusion of a bad Social Security policy in Obama's budget proposal: namely, it comes with a condition (higher upper-class taxes) that Republicans clearly won't accept. And this is, in fact, true!

I haven't seen an explanation of this; forgive me, but is anyone willing to explain why/how a move to chained CPI necessarily involves higher taxes for the rich?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 12:36 PM
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216: My question was more about what constitutes a "good brief summary."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 12:41 PM
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Okay, sorry, a quick google yields at least a rough explanation. Still not sure why this would affect upper-class taxes primarily.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 12:41 PM
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It shouldn't. The effect of chained cpi is that brackets adjust more slowly to inflation. This has a proportionally greater effect of people with incomes that just exceed the bracket limits, and letting effect (relatively) on people making a lot more than the line for the top bracket.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 12:48 PM
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224: That's what I would have thought.

I'd been laboring under a misapprehension: I thought that chained CPI would be adopted *just* for calculation of COLA for Social Security and Medicare, under the theory that seniors adjust to living expenses differently from the rest of us. Apparently a shift to chained CPI would apply to all calculations of the consumer price index.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 12:55 PM
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I haven't seen an explanation of this; forgive me, but is anyone willing to explain why/how a move to chained CPI necessarily involves higher taxes for the rich?

It doesn't. Lemieux is saying that Obama's budget proposes chained CPI as well as (directly) higher taxes on the rich, thus ensuring that Republicans won't accept it. (He, like everyone in this thread except Shearer, understands that it's a terrible idea even if the budget doesn't get accepted.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 12:55 PM
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224 -- Actually, I was thinking of the old brackets. Now even people in the 400k range would pay real money in extra taxes using chained bracket movement. It's not a huge percentage of overall tax receipts because there aren't that many people making that kind of money. But if an accountant explains to people between 200k and 400k what this would cost them, they'll lose enthusiasm (even if that is a prime market for Broderism).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 1:00 PM
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226: I see. I'd been misreading Lemieux's emphasis.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 1:09 PM
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227

224 -- Actually, I was thinking of the old brackets. Now even people in the 400k range would pay real money in extra taxes using chained bracket movement. It's not a huge percentage of overall tax receipts because there aren't that many people making that kind of money. But if an accountant explains to people between 200k and 400k what this would cost them, they'll lose enthusiasm (even if that is a prime market for Broderism).

By my estimate (for single taxpayers) the effect is about $50 (per year) in the $200-400k range. Over $400k more like $130 (per year). Not that big a deal (although it does accumulate over time).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 4:34 PM
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||

The umm commenters over at CT are dissing Marx and Marxism at great length when they aren't trying to define "objective." So is Capital a Bible?

Nah. Trying to read turn of the last century sociology:Weber, Durkheim, Schutz, Parsons felt like I would have to internalize a completely new vocabulary with each author. And this is why theoretical sociology with one exception is not yet a science.

"Commodity fetishism" has a history and social meaning among a certain group of thinkers and actors that can veer very widely and broadly and tendentiously but can be checked against an original explication that can help make disputations more manageable. Like temperature, volume, population. That is all.

Try following the CT thread on "objectivity."

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 4:46 PM
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Can I get drunk first?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 5:24 PM
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Very tense moment, basketball-wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 5:32 PM
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Tension over.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 5:38 PM
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230: when they aren't trying to define "objective."

I was amazed the other night that people were diving into it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 5:43 PM
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Well, right, it's the out years that matter on the benefit and tax sides both. I would suppose that the debate ends up framed with 10 year figures on both. And politically, with aggregates: an X zillion tax increase, a Y zillion benefit cut.

So maybe most people with think the numbers are too low to care about, in which case Obama's not taking much risk, or maybe more will get swept up in the thing. A law professor here tells a story about how his dental hygienist was so relieved by the repeal of the estate tax -- I think hysteria is usually a safer bet on tax matters.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 6:28 PM
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A law professor here tells a story about how his dental hygienist was so relieved by the repeal of the estate tax

That sort of thing does drive me nuts: people understand so little about how their taxes actually work.

BTW, I've discovered just today that the mutual fund I inherited from my mom is actually what's colloquially known as junk bonds. Huh. This bothers me a bit, but I'm not sure if I should be bothered.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 6:34 PM
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Don't you like me?


Posted by: Opinionated Junk | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 6:47 PM
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Dear Junk,

Are you really actually junk, or just angel investy like?

Thx,
p


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 6:53 PM
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I don't know. That's the point.


Posted by: Opinionated Junk | Link to this comment | 04- 6-13 7:51 PM
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236: If you don't like it, you can sell some of it to buy equities or safer bonds or put in a bank account.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 8:23 AM
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236 240

You should also check what fees (expense ratio) you are being charged.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 9:24 AM
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As far as I can tell you want to put long-term investments into the lowest fee boringest (i.e. closest to the S&P 500) fund you can find. Probably mixed with some similarly low-fee and boring bond fund and maybe a similarly low-fee and boring international index or smaller cap index. The lower the fee the less money they're pocketing, and since the non-rich can't get in on any actual market-beating investments there's no point paying someone to think about your money.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 9:42 AM
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I got an expense ratio of .07% which is pretty good, but some funds offer even lower fees.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 9:45 AM
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240: I'm utterly ignorant about investing, and wouldn't even know how to go about buying equities, though I imagine I can suss out something on the investment firm's website. I still don't have a retirement account (yeah, I know) and intend to open one this year, now that my student loans are finally paid off; now I'm wondering if I should move some of the junk bond money into the IRA. But I haven't even figured out yet what kind of IRA I should set up. I suspect I really am going to have to procure a financial advisor just to avoid making wild guesses about these things, as I really hate doing things I only half understand.

Just thinking about all this because I'm doing my taxes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 9:47 AM
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242: Good information! Alas, I would, I think, have to pay someone to do the things you suggest (and teach me about it), because I really am like 6 years old on this topic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 9:51 AM
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244

... I suspect I really am going to have to procure a financial advisor just to avoid making wild guesses about these things, as I really hate doing things I only half understand.

Just be aware the primary concern of many financial advisors is to change as much of your money into their money as they think they can get away with. I would be very careful, it is really better to learn something about the subject yourself.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 9:56 AM
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the primary concern of many financial advisors is to change as much of your money into their money as they think they can get away with

"Your money is now our money, and we will spend it on drugs!"


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 1:21 PM
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I think Halford is clearly and obviously correct in 174. Not only is Obama clearly in love with the idea of a 'grand bargain', he thinks the chance of getting one (or even establishing yourself as the party who most wants one) is worth endangering the Democratic Party's role as the defender of the crown jewels of the safety net. Whether he wants a grand bargain for political or policy reasons is less relevant than the intensity with which he wants one. I think he sees it as a way of establishing a new centrist consensus. I suspect that he likes this in part since he himself is tempermentally centrist and consensus minded, but that gets into speculation.

I differ from Bob tempermentally and on the centrality of burning shit down, but the area where we agree is the importance of understanding the different between the Democratic party and a really liberal/left party.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 1:41 PM
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But I am actually happy that Obama stepped back from raising the age of Medicare eligibility, or calling for an additional increase in the age of SS eligibility. I had low expectations.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 1:44 PM
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Re financial advisors, get a fee-only financial advisor who is registered under the Advisors Act and is a fiduciary. Don't listen to a broker who is being paid by a bank to steer you into shit like this .


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 1:46 PM
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200: LB is correct as the stoves of houses of tolstoyevkian ancient wonderment were huge brick things that were the center of the house, with "dutch" tiles on parts of them, bench seating at one side, and at another an entire place to lie down. I mean, they had no other means of heating the house and it was often -20 F outside. everyone slept on the stove at night, in a pile, so they didn't die. the layabout, no-good-nik alcoholic brother or whoever would lie on the stove drinking vodka during the day, while everyone else was engaged in laborious toil. LB proposes to join the ranks of these shiftless types, and chase her troubles down the neck of a bottle of nail polish remover as she curls atop her apartment's 1940s vesta stove. the pilot light for the oven makes it slightly warm all the time. it's-a no problem.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04- 7-13 10:31 PM
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