Saturday, February 26, 2005

The NCLB Business Model

Congratulations. You work for a company that makes widgets. Not mass produced identical widgets, but rare and unique one of a kind widgets. Each one tailored to your local community's needs and made from raw materials found in the community itself. You are on the front lines of the widget factory, having a hand in the creation of thousands of widgets over your career. Your company produces nearly all the widgets for your community. With the exception of a small percentage of you budget, the sales of widgets to the local community supports your business almost entirely. You business in turn supports the surrounding community, striving to meet its needs hiring managers and a board of directors from community members. Local control of your widget design has led to great success in the manufacture of widgets sold in your community, and you are justifiably proud to be a part of the widget industry.

But now those lawmakers in Washington, under political pressure, have passed strong new regulations intent on reforming the widget industry. It seems some people think widgets are being poorly manufactured everywhere, leading to a calamity of blind widgets. Since you are in the industry, you know some communities have widget factories that could use improving, but the one in your community is working fine. You are puzzled as to why lawmakers think you are doing such a bad job at supplying the widgets for your community. But regulations can't help but improve the quality of widgets everywhere, you reason, so you are open to listening to the government's proposal.

These new regulations are entitled No Calamity Leading Blindness, or NCLB.

Under NCLB it seems your method for measuring widget accuracy has been found to be inadequate. Rather than look to your whole manufacturing chain as you have in the past, you will now have to conduct very out of date quality control tests that focus on just a few portions of your manufacturing process to attain certain preset goals, known as Accuracy Yield Profile (AYP). Often these quality control tests do not actually measure what they are suppose to measure, nor to they accurately represent true field testing your widgets will face. What's more, these tests are now required at a frequency that is really too often to be meaningful. Finally, the costs of these additional tests will have to come out of your bottom line, so you will either have to lay off staff, raise the cost of widgets, or ask your local community to hold a bake sale so you can buy special equipment for your plant. You will be given no additional time in the manufacturing process to conduct these tests either, so you will either have to speed up production, or cut corners to meet them, or both.

On top of this, NCLB classifies widgets in more product lines than there really are. Although you've always seen most widgets as one product line that may be broken into a few sub-\groups due to special needs or abilities, NCLB now requires product testing for widgets that have 40 or more in their production line in your factory. So even though some widgets were never intended for the levels measured on the quality control tests or whose skills are specialized enough to have been exempt from product testing before, all of them must be tested for quality now using the same quality control measures.

What's worse is that now that you are quantifying the quality of your widgets, your AYP will be expected to increase until 100% of the widgets you produce pass 100% of their quality control tests in 2014. That's right: one-hundred percent. Even though you will be asked to do more testing with no additional funds and no additional time, and you have absolutely no control over the raw materials from the community you are asked to manufacture widgets out of, all your widgets must achieve 100% accuracy in just over nine years. NCLB provides no incentives, additional funding, or help what so ever in achieving this. What it does provide is punishment.

First you have to be a highly qualified widget manufacturer. You have to have a degree in widget manufacturing, be certified by your state as a widget manufacturer, and demonstrate mastery of widget manufacturing in area of the plant in which you work. Although you meet all these criteria, you wonder about the people who started in the mail room and worked there way into management. They are fine widget manufacturers, but don't meet these qualifications. You also wonder about the couple of specialty manufacturers, who came from a whole different industry, and now include those skill sets in the specialty widgets they make. They don't meet those qualifications either.

But the worse punishment is for the factory as a whole. If you don't meet your AYP goals for two years - in any one of the 40 plus categories of widgets the government says exists - your plant will be placed on a Watch List. Your plant must then complete and submit for approval an improvement plan. This plan details how you will meet your quality control goals set by the federal government. This could include hiring special trainers, extra helpers, outside consultants, or replacement staff. You will be given no extra time to do this. You will be given no extra funds to do this. Yet you must complete and follow this plan or else.

Should this plan not work and you only meet the ever increasing AYP goals for 39 of 40 sub-groups of your widgets, the real punishment starts. First your plant will be labeled a "Failing Facility". Your plant may lose what little federal funding it receives due to this label. People will move away from your community due to this label. Top executives from your company will be fired and replaced with those from outside the community. Whole departments of workers may be fired and replaced with new workers. You may lose your job even if your widgets meet their goals. Worst of all, production of widgets may be moved from your community plant, to that of another community regardless of the effects on your community. Plants that may meet their AYP goals will be flooded with new orders for new widgets from outside their communities.

And you wonder why such a plan as NCLB, obviously written by those who have not spent much time on the widget assembly line, would be passed into law. You wonder why 80% of the widget plants in your state are running a deficit. You wonder when, not if, your plant will be labeled a failing facility.

They Wouldn't Mislead Seniors?

That's right, boys and girls, those purveyors of the truth, the Swift Boat liars, are back at it again. Only this time their name has changed but the people behind the curtain are vastly the same. For the Swifties, the game was to sink Kerry by smudging the record of a guy with three purple hearts, and a bronze and silver star. This time around as as United Seniors Association, a front organization for USA Next - a wonderful company run by a cabal of wingnuts intent on ending Social Security, the game is to sink Social Security.

Just like Kerry was the Swifties target, and their attacks on him filled with mistruth, misleading statement and outright shameless lies, USA Next (or would that be United Seniors) has a target too: AARP. Yes, that ultra liberal, troop hating, gay loving, benefit cheating, tax increase loving organization. Why those vile scum are out to raise all our taxes, don't care if Social Security goes belly up, and are pushing (gasp) the Gay Agenda! Yes, that AARP.

Go ahead and laugh. But USA Next must have a good argument for the privatization of Social Security. I'm sure so much of a good argument that it wouldn't need to resort to wedge issues and complete misleading untruth to get it's point across, right? If you believe that, then I've got a story to tell you about the Easter Bunny.

Just like the Swifty attacks were carefully crafted slime machines, so are the tactics USA Next is using on AARP. What's more interesting however, is that they don't care is they are misleading seniors, or anyone else for that matter, to achieve their goals. They've been there before and have no problem with deception. In fact, they've been found guilty of doing just that in August 2003 (emphasis mine):
An entity may be found liable for contravening the proscriptions of section 1140(a)(1) of the Act if it sends envelopes that it knows are deceptive, where it is indifferent to their deceptive appearance, or where it is negligent in ensuring that the envelopes that it sends are not misleading. The preponderance of the evidence in this case establishes that Respondent violated this standard. First, Respondent's intent to deceive is evident from the design of the envelopes. Second, Respondent was on notice from the SSA I.G. that the envelope designs were likely to be found to be illegal but sent them anyway. This evidence is not rebutted by the denials of Respondent's officers of any intent to send misleading envelopes.

Respondent is a sophisticated mass marketer of ideas. Its life blood is its appeals to senior citizens on a range of social and policy issues. It has vast experience in making mass mailings. That sophistication makes it obvious that Respondent knew what it was doing when it designed the envelopes that are at issue in this case.

The inescapable inference that I draw from the envelopes' designs in light of Respondent's sophisticated marketing experience is that Respondent intended that its envelopes would deceive recipients into believing, at least momentarily, that the envelopes were from or authorized by the Social Security Administration.
They knew the mailings were misleading and probably illegal and mailed them anyway. How very moral and ethical of them. For this they were fined $554,196: $1.00 for each of the envelopes that were sent as part of their illegal mailing.

This is what we're up against. Again. People who don't care about truth. Don't care about Seniors. Don't care about the poor. Don't care about anything they claim to care about. They have no facts on their side. They have not truth to their argument. And they have no shame either. Their one goal is to win. And winning to them means dismantling Social Security by any means necessary.

Be informed. Learn about the Social Security debate here, here and here.

Social Security is healthy and successful.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

National Call Joe Lieberman Day

I've been less than kind to Joe Lieberman. My personal opinion is that he should be thrown out of the Democratic Caucus. Today. The man does more to undermine the Democratic Party as a whole than any other Democratic senator we have. Due to his high profile, he is able to garner media attention for everything he says. And what he says too often supports GOP talking points. The President and the GOP seize on such a high profile Democrat reaching out in "bi-partisan" fashion that it allows them to deflect criticism of their actions by the Democratic party as a whole. This behavior has got to stop.

Right now the Democrats are united in opposition to Bush's Social Security reform that seeks neither reform or repair, but the dismantling of Social Security. Since the GOP doesn't have enough votes without some Democrats on board, the plan right now is dead in the water. But good old Joe is rumored to be thinking of offering a compromise. In so doing, he will rescue the President's plan from legislative defeat, and allow the GOP to claim a false bi-partisanship as they remake any "compromise" Lieberman proposes to their own liking. Lieberman will certainly speak to GOP talking points in proposing his plan, undermining the Democratic unity against any attempt to undermine one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in history.

So let's give Joe a talking to. Teaser has posted an idea on MyDD that the blogs will get behind: National Call Joe Lieberman Day. Give Joe a call and a piece of your mind. Details:

Tuesday 2-22-05
Starting noon eastern
Fight for Social Security
Call Joe Lieberman

(202) 224-4041 Voice
(202) 224-9750 Fax

Give Joe a call and tell him to shape up and get with the program.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Walking Eagle

From the email forward files comes this tale:
During a recent campaign tour of the Apache Nation in the state of New Mexico, President George W. Bush said that he planned to increase every Native American's income by $40,000 a year. The President refused repeated requests for details of his plan. However, he also told the Apaches that during his career as Governor of Texas, he signed YES 9,637 times on Indian issues that reached his desk for approval.

Before his departure, the Apache Tribe presented the President with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, Walking Eagle. After the President's departure on Air Force One, tribal officials explained to the news media that Walking Eagle is the name given a bird so full of shit that it can't fly.
Ah, what's in a name!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Oreo Budget Priorities

Thanks to Shelia for sending me this from True Majority Action.

See how our budget stacks up using Oreos. It's outrageous. Click on "See What's Wrong" first, then play with the budget yourself.

Here's a quick bit from the cookie budget for you:
We spend $400 Billion on the Pentagon's annual budget. Education gets $3.5 billion. Our nearest "competitor," Russia, spends only $70 billion. China: $50 billion. Axis of Evil: Less than $10 billion combined.


Yet Bush is slashing education funding while raising the Pentagon's budget. Ignorance is the only way this can happen. It's time we paid attention.

The Battle for America

I just picked this up from MyDD. It's well worth the viewing and sums up the work we have before us.

The Battle for America

Santorum's Enron Accounting

So I'm watching Face the Nation's debate on the privatization of Social Security. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is on and doing his best to laugh off some very good criticism of Bush's bamboozle plan by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Il. The debate is starting to focus on the cost of privatization and how to pay for privatization's cost when Bush and the Republican congress already has run up a record deficit, that if it included the costs of Bush's war in Iraq and making Bush's tax cuts permanent, would be much higher than currently stated.

When pressed, Santorum finally admits that he's borrow the money to "fix" Social Security because borrowing the money wouldn't be all that bad. In fact, he goes so far to say it would actually be a good investment and fiscally smart thing to do! Now I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of what he actually said. I'd quote him if I could get a transcript.

How do you solve any accounting problem: use Enron accounting.

His argument goes like this:
1. Social Security is like a Fram Oil filter commercial: Pay me now or pay me later. If we don't pay only $1-2 Trillion now, the sky will fall later.

2. That $1-2 Trillion isn't so bad anyway because much of the borrowing for it would be bought up by private account investors buying government bonds.

3. Since these bonds are used to finance government spending, these bonds could then be set aside to pay for Social Security shorfalls.

4. Since the bonds are being bought to pay for Social Security, a government program, they don't really cost the government anything, and hence would reduce the cost of money borrowed by the government.

See how easy Enron accounting is? Yes that really was his argument. I just couldn't make up such logic.

So you see, by Santorum's Enron accounting, government bonds bought by Americans that are used to pay for government programs don't actually cost the government anything. Never mind that government bonds still have to pay out a return beyond their original cost. That doesn't count. Never mind that government bonds still have to be paid to the bond holder be they American, Japanese, Chinese or other. That doesn't count for government programs. Never mind that government bonds will not be the only bonds used to invest for a private account when other more higher paying bonds and securities are available. Since the President has not specifics to his plan, this doesn't count either.

According to Santorum, it just wouldn't cost that much and the government deficit just wouldn't be that large. Just like Enron's debts weren't that large either.

But didn't Enron go bankrupt?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Chairman Dean

I must say, it was a happy moment as I watched on C-Span the election of Gov. Howard Dean as the new Chairman of the DNC. This is significant in many ways, most of which surround the reasons the majority of us who supported Dean in the primaries thought he was the best man to lead the nation. He is authentic. He stands for all Americans. He tells the truth. All these qualities will serve him and our party well now that he leads it.

The GOP didn't want this. The status quo Democrats, like Lieberman, didn't want this. Dean represents a driving force that will give the party back to the people. This is a threat to those in power. As long as we are ignorant, they can rule. Dean refuses to allow us to remain ignorant any longer. As such, those in the GOP will open up with both barrels on him, probably starting tomorrow on the Sunday talking bobble head shows. We must watch Dean's back, and close ranks in support of him.

One way we in the Blogosphere can do this is through showing our support with our wallet. Please consider donating NOW to the DNC in support of electing Howard Dean to the chairmanship. The form below will is linked through Act Blue to a Blogosphere wide donation effort in Howard's support:

  Contribution amount:
  $
 
 
 
 

Go Dean. Go Democrats. This is a wonderful day.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Preemtion in Reverse?

The Bush Doctrine of "Preemption:"
The United States is pursuing a policy of "anticipatory self-defense" also known as a policy of preemption to defend itself against any future attacks such as those at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon despite the objections and reservations of allies and the United Nations. Preemptive use of force is designed to combat imminent and emerging threats and is widely recognized in international law specifically in Article 51 of the UN Charter. Preemptive has been defined to mean marked by the seizing of the initiative: initiated by ones own self. Preventive use of force is normally associated with depriving another their use of power or hope of acting or succeeding.
George Bush on Preemption:
Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th, but we know their true nature.

"North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens....
North Korea on Pre-emption:
Thursday's statement from the North Korean Foreign Ministry said nuclear weapons are "for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's evermore undisguised policy to isolate and stifle" its government.

[...]

"The U.S. disclosed its attempt to topple the political system in the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] at any cost, threatening it with a nuclear stick. This compels us to take a measure to bolster its nuclear weapons arsenal in order to protect the ideology, system, freedom and democracy chosen by the people in the DPRK."
Gee whiz, I thought only the US had the right to preemptively protect itself. Who knew those damn commies would use their nukes preemptively to protect themselves from the US of A?

Brilliant doctrine there George.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Just Don't Do It!

Remember Bush and his culture of life? You know, that highly framed way of putting that he's against abortion and wants the government to have a seat between a woman and her doctor. Well, just like his one trick pony for solving all economic ills is a tax cut, his one trick for solving abortion is to promote abstinence programs. That's right boys and girls, just don't do it.

Ya, that'll work.

It worked so well when I was a hormone filled teenager who, like most young men, was obsessed with getting past second base. It worked of so well when I was a horny college student that I can remember more about my sexual encounters than I can about my professors or their lessons. It worked so well that I did indeed have sex. Not as much as I'd like, but then again I was obsessed and filled with raging hormones so how could reality ever measure up.

People have been telling people not to have sex forever, and yet, here we all are. How'd that happen? Abstinence "education" doesn't work. That's why. People have sex. The have sex for the right reasons. They have sex for the wrong reasons. They have sex when they didn't think they were going to. They have sex when they knew there were going to. They have sex in astounding places, at astounding times, in astounding ways (however I've never understood stairs). Most often in the heat of passion. And we all know who's doing the thinking then.

Hint: the last thing on our minds isn't that talk from dear old dad about the birds and the bees at that moment.

So of course Bush is cutting the budget in efforts to bring down the record deficit he created. Wonderful things like cutting education, raising co-pays for Veterans, eliminating environmental standards... you know, everything but doing away with his tax cuts for the wealthy. His motto for the cuts: If the program doesn't work or show results, then it get's cut.

Well about that abstinence education ideas. It's doesn't work:

Buzz Pruitt, professor of health and kinesiology at Texas A&M University, and colleagues examined five abstinence-only sex education programs at more than 24 schools across Texas. For the study, junior high and high school students filled out an anonymous 10-page questionnaire on their sexual behavior. The study found that 23% of ninth-grade girls reported having had sexual intercourse before they received abstinence education, a percentage below the national average.

However, the study found that 28% of the same girls reported having had sexual intercourse after receiving abstinence education, a percentage that is "closer to that of their peers across the state," according to the Morning News. In addition, the study found that the percentage of ninth-grade boys reporting having had sexual intercourse remained unchanged before and after abstinence education; however, the percentage of 10th grade boys reporting sexual activity "jumped" from 24% to 39% after participating in abstinence education, according to the Morning News. "We didn't find strong evidence of program effect," Pruitt said, adding, "We didn't find what many would like for us to find."


That's right boys and girls, they didn't find what Bush wants you to find. Surprisingly, you tell that sophomore horndog boy he can't have it, and blamo, he just wants it more. Fifteen percent more to be accurate. Freshmen girls had the same amount of sex they did before and after being told to just say no.

Typical GOP. Just say no! If that doesn't work, then go get pregnant. That's what you get for being a whore. Punishment rather than understanding. No wonder, after reaching all time lows under Clinton, abortion rates have again risen under Bush's "just don't do it" approach. When you cut family planning you wind up with unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. When you force more people into poverty yo wind up with people who can't afford to have kids. No wonder that abortions then result.

No one if pro-abortion. But the fact of the matter is this: if you do not teach people how to avoid pregnancy, you put them into a position in which abortion may be seen as an option. Rather than doing this, why not try to reduce abortions by promoting abstinence and safe sex. Why not teach people who are going to have sex anyway how to do it in a way that will prevent the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancy.

Saying "just don't do it" doesn't work.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Expose Their Priorities

So Bush finally has produced some hard numbers, based on fuzzy math, on how he plans to reduce the record deficit he created in his first term. A first term in which he signed each and every spending bill that crossed his desk. In his budget, Bush shows what his priorities, and through the support of GOP legislators, what the priorities of his party are.

The difference in priorities could not be clearer. The GOP value wealth. Democrats value hard work. The GOP value advantage. Democrats value opportunity. The GOP value outward displays of strength in the world. Democrats value real security that begins at home. All these differences should be stated repeatedly in short phrases like this:

As a Democrat, I believe any veteran who has fought on foreign soil and known real fear should not know a co-pay.

As a Democrat, I believe that the strongest national defense begins with the education of our children.

As a Democrat, I believe we should not add funding for law enforcement on foreign soil while cutting funding for law enforcement at home.

As a Democrat, I believe that an ownership society means one is on one's own until one realized that we are indeed our brother's keepers.

As a Democrat, I believe we are not a nation of individuals striving to get rich, but a community striving to better our world.

As a Democrat, I believe labor creates more opportunities for capital than capital creates opportunities for labor.

As a Democrat, I believe hard work and playing by the rules should be rewarded with opportunity.

As a Democrat, I believe that in a world based increasingly on technology, technical and vocation education are essential.

As a Democrat, I believe an honest budget includes all planned expenses, not just those spent outside Iraq.

As a Democrat, I believe health care for children is more important than tax cuts for millionaires.

As a Democrat, I believe that Social Security is a promise that must be kept, not something to be gambled with.

I'm sure there are more. The difference between us and them could not be more stark. I only hope the Democratic leadership highlights the differences as a good opposition party should.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The GOP's Latest Frame: Educated Elite

That's right boys and girls, get an education and you too can be called elite. Go to college and you'll turn into a liberal. Learn about more than just the community you grew up and and you are going to be hugging trees, anti-war, and all for killing babies. Should you try to improve yourself, you too can be labeled into a new and very bad class of people: The Educated Class.

What a load of crap. David Brooks today has published his latest pile entitled "A Short History of Deanism" in which he laments the country's move away from the good old boy culture of the Elk lodge to faceless sponsorship of organizations with their liberal agendas like the Sierra Club. You see, in the Elks, rich and poor mingled together. In the Sierra Club, we liberals plot to overthrow the world and foist our leftist agenda upon all the salt of the earth people we hope to dominate.

It's crap like that that just fuels the divide in America. And that divide is what is required to keep the GOP in power. Never mind that the GOP raised money for their candidates from the ultra rich elite and Howard Dean's campaign raised record amounts for average citizens with average donation for his whole campaign around $100. Never mind that the GOP is business first and fought every civil rights act that benefitted the people. Never mind the facts. Facts are for the Educated Class of elite liberals. They're bad for the country. Best of all, he bases his agument on papers from Harvard, the mothership of his so-called Educated Class!

Here's a short bit that is just astounding:
Since the 1960's there has been a breakdown in the machinery that allowed Americans to work together across class and other divisions. The educated class has come to dominate, and the issues of interest to that class overshadow issues of interest to the less educated and less well off.

But the two major parties were affected unequally. The Republican coalition still contains some cross-class associations, like the N.R.A. and the evangelical churches, which connect corporate elites to the middle classes. The Democratic coalition has fewer organizations like that. Its elite - the urban and university-town elite - has less contact with the less educated.

Not coincidentally, Republicans have a much easier time putting together electoral majorities.
That's right, the GOP is the party of the people. The 1960's was the breakdown of our society. Damn civil rights! Now all the rable can vote! But at least those good old Republicans still reach out across that cultural divide to save the US of A. I'm sure that has nothing to do with their use of deceptive framing, fear mongering, and adept application of mistruth, deception and lies as campaign strategies. None what so ever. I'd guess that's why labor, you know those people who do all the salt of the earth jobs the Educated Class wouldn't deem to do, back Democrats exclusively.

But hey, don't believe me. Just go watch the President's State of the Union again. I'm sure you can find it at C-Span (but that's an Educated Class channel). Look at the GOP. They are the ones that all look alike. They are overwhelmingly white, male, lawyers in dark suits with white shirts. Now that's the diversity that is America! Then look at the Democrats. They are the ones in suits, dresses, multiple colors, different races, with both men and women featured prominently. Obviously this is not the party of the people but of the Educated Class.

Dean is about to be DNC chair and lead the party. Dean is returning the party to local politics and to the people of the nation. He is about empowerment at the local level. This scares the pants off the Privileged Class and Wealthy Elite that is the base of the GOP.

It's about time they're scared.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

He Was a Bad Guy & Other Lame Reasons

Sadam was a bad guy. Well no shit. I keep having this discussion lately on the blogs with people who buy into the crap about Iraq being a just war because Sadam was a bad guy. We did a good thing because look at the Iraqis voting.

Do you think for a minute that that argument would have garnered enough support to start this war? Bull shit. Congress voted for that war resolution because it was the politically correct thing for spineless Democrats to do at the height of the President's popularity. None of them wanted to look weak or oppose Bush riding high as he stood atop a mass grave with a bull horn and promised to get those responsible. He soon enough forgot that promise, and looked to invade Iraq instead. Spineless politically opportunist Democrats fell right in line.

Those who had objections based them on the talk of mushroom clouds. Mushroom clouds pushed by Bush, Cheny, Condi and the other architects of this atrocity. Mushroom clouds that were rhetoric filled with lies chosen to manipulate the electorate and the congress.

Sadam was a bad man. No shit. So are many others in the world. So are many others who repress, kill, torture and rape their citizens everyday, some of whom are our allies just as Sadam was up until he left the reservation and invaded Quaite. This is not a justification that would have prevailed for war then, and still does not justify Bush's war in a historical view through the retrospectoscope either.

Don't believe me. What about one of the wingnut elite: Sean Hannity. Thanks to "wackyguy" at dKos for Lexus Nexus-ing this quote and many others that contradict the "bad guy" argument, and many other stupid ideas about Bush's war, from one of the Right's very own golden boys:
"Slobodan Milosevic is a bad guy. He's an evil man. Horrible things are happening. I agree with that. Is Bill O'Reilly then saying we go to Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Sudan? Where does this stop? And when you look at sheer numbers, 2,000 -- and I'm not minimizing death. It's horrible. What this man is doing with ethnic cleansing is abhorrent, but sheer numbers -- 2,000 killed in the last year versus hundreds of thousands, millions in some cases in other parts of the world. Are you saying the United States should go to all those places?"- Hannity, on "The O'Reilly Factor," April 5, 1999
If this argument doesn't hold water for Clinton or the Right, than I'm in agreement with it not holding water for Bush either.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Social Security Adds 10 Years

Remember all that talk about the sky falling and Social Security going bust just around the corner in 2042? Well, it seems the crisis that isn't just keeps on getting less crisis like. Case in point, from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office we get this news of impending doom:
WASHINGTON - The Social Security system will take in more money annually than it pays out in benefits until 2020, two years later than earlier estimated, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday in a modest change unlikely to alter the growing political debate over the program.

Congress' budget analysts also estimated the program's trust funds will be depleted in 2052, "meaning that beneficiaries will be able to count on receiving only 78 percent of their scheduled benefits beginning then.

[...]

In both cases, the CBO estimates are more optimistic than the most recent projections made by the Social Security Board of Trustees. In the annual report it issued last March, the board said annual income would fall behind benefit payments beginning in 2018, and the trust funds would be empty in 2042.
What's that? Social Security is now going to take in more than it spends for two years longer, and be solvent for ten years longer than was thought? Wow. Now that's a crisis. Not.

No On Gonzales

STOP
TERROR
STOP
TORTURE
STOP
GONZALES
 
 

Kos says we might get 30+ Senators to vote no on Gonzales. Time to keep up the pressure. Here's some helpful links:

Contact you Senator.
Flyers by state for distribution.
Gonzales to be investigated for war crimes.
30+ Senators post from Kos