There is nothing "grand" about Obama's "Grand Bargain"

Despite the fact that Americans want Medicare and Social Security protected, President Obama has once again included cuts to the vital programs as part of his new budget proposal. As he's done previously, the President has offered up a change to cost of living increases – called the chained CPI – which reduces benefits paid to seniors, veterans, and the disabled.

A new report from Alternet highlights several facts that the President should consider before asking the poor to bear the brunt of more budget cuts. According to the report, half of American workers are “not at all confident” that they will be financially stable in their retirement, and only 57% have managed to save $25,000 or less.

Another stunning factor in these proposed cuts is the decline of pensions in our nation, which shows that over 84 thousand pensions have disappeared since 1985. And with the decline of pensions, we saw a rise in 401(k) retirement plans, however that experiment has been a complete disaster. According to Alternet, “401(k)s are volatile, complicated, expensive, and inadequate,” and they don't provide retirement security for workers.

These are only a few of the reasons why President Obama must take Medicare and Social Security off the table. Many older Americans rely on this meager benefit to survive as they get older, and benefit reductions will only make it more difficult for them to make ends meet. There is nothing “grand” about this “grand bargain.”

Let's stand together to fight these cuts. Call the White House and demand President Obama preserve our social safety net.


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago

By all! Write letters! Send Emails! Tweets! It might make you think you are going to make a difference. But it won't!!! There is only one thing (well, maybe a couple of things) that will make a difference. And those things won't fall into the category of making our politicians and their puppet masters, the rich and powerful, chuckle at all of the fools they have under their control. They wouldn't laugh if the entire nation really did something useful about it. They wouldn't laugh if the entire nation figuratively (or even literally) broke out the guillotines and went after the criminals who are doing this to us. The rich are just playing psychological games with us, like a cat toying with a mouse just before they eat it. They know they can get away with this because they know that all we will do is "call the White House or their Senators", or write letters or emails...all fodder for a good chuckle. They don't fear us because the game is rigged...democracy is dead.

They use liberal or progressive democratic sounding names of their organizations, or infiltrate the once honorable institutions with traitors, to throw us off-guard.

Democrats, liberals, and progressives are suppose to be about peace and human rights and not war-mongers like the Republicans. So what do they do? The ruling elite, the cats, send in their pretend Democrats, liberals, and progressives who speak the language we all want to hear and then they slowly infuse the language of our exploiters, our real enemies. People like Obama. People like Suzanne Nossel. Chris Hedges has even resigned from PEN in protest against Suzanne Nossel being appointed head of PEN. He knows what she is and what she really stands for.

Quote Chris Hedges:
The appointment of Suzanne Nossel, a former State Department official and longtime government apparatchik, as executive director of PEN American Center is part of a campaign to turn U.S. human rights organizations into propagandists for pre-emptive war and apologists for empire.

Nossel, who was deputy assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs under Hillary Clinton in a State Department that was little more than a subsidiary of the Pentagon, is part of the new wave of “humanitarian interventionists,” such as Samantha Power, Michael Ignatieff and Susan Rice, who naively see in the U.S. military a vehicle to create a better world.

She was running Amnesty International USA when the organization posted billboards at bus stops that read, “Human Rights for Women and Girls in Afghanistan—NATO: Keep the Progress Going.”

The current business of human rights means human rights for some and not for others.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, the Peace Alliance, and Citizens for Global Solutions are all guilty of buying into the false creed that U.S. military force can be deployed to promote human rights. None of these groups stood up to oppose the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan, as if pre-emptive war is not one of the grossest violations of human rights.

The creed of “humanitarian intervention” means, for many, shedding tears over the “right” victims. Its supporters lobby for the victims in Darfur and ignore the victims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza. They denounce the savagery of the Taliban but ignore the savagery we employ in our offshore penal colonies or our drone-infested war zones. They decry the enslavement of girls in brothels in India or Thailand but not the slavery of workers in our produce fields or our prisons. They demand justice for persecuted dissidents in the Arab world but say nothing about Bradley Manning.

Mauiman2's picture
Mauiman2 10 years 8 weeks ago

Here is a take on the subject. I happen to agree with a lot of things said here (like this is just the start of the pain, Medicare is still heading for insolvency) for example, but I'l pass on the article without any more comments.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago

"Just about everybody in between knows that eventually there will be more spending cuts and higher taxes. Smart Americans will plan for it." ---from that article.

Yeah, smart Americans will plan to buy more guns and stock up on hollow points.

"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" --Emiliano Zapata

If they steal the contributions you have put into Social Security or if they steal right out of your savings accounts you have as much right to use force as any cop does in going after bank robbers. And it won't be long before they will be Cyprus-izing our bank accounts.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago

Newest Wikileaks release...called "plusd".."Public Library of US Diplomacy"....What Kissinger said and when he said it. "The Kissinger Cables comprise more than 1.7 million US diplomatic records for the period 1973 to 1976. Dating from January 1, 1973 to December 31, 1976 they cover a variety of diplomatic traffic including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence."

"The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." -- Henry A. Kissinger, US Secretary of State, March 10, 1975:

Kissinger quote from half way down item #5 in response to Macomber: "That is illegal."

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 8 weeks ago

This is just the tip of the iceburg. About 80% of the private pension funds are underwater And they are going to drag company after company under with them. I don't no how you think you can put $500.00 a month for 25 years into a pension fund and expect get $4,000 to $6,000 out for 30 years the numbers don't add up. Look what it did to General Motors.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago

Anonymous hacked Decell...

"Decell Inc. is (apparently) a privately held company founded in 2000, fully owned by Israel ministry of defense."

"...we have managed to hack Decell servers, acquiring some highly sensitive information, including exact GPS coordinates of every City, Highway, Streets and of course every sensitive buildings located within Israel boarders!"

"We are asking every Zionist around the world to pay careful attention to the following statement:

TIME.......... "

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

Louise Hartmann wrote ~ "And with the decline of pensions, we saw a rise in 401(k) retirement plans, however that experiment has been a complete disaster. According to Alternet, “401(k)s are volatile, complicated, expensive, and inadequate,” and they don't provide retirement security for workers. "

Were just figuring that out now? Well thank you Captain Obvious! Anyone with a calculator can figure that out. I once sat down and figured with my 401k I could easily retire at the age of 65 and continue to live my present life style. The only problem was the I would have to get a raise totaling 7 times what I made at the time, and put every dime of it into the plan. Right!

A far better approach to retirement is to create a savings account in a proved high yield, low risk mutual fund. At least then you eliminate the middleman and always have direct control of your savings in case of an emergency. However, even this won't be adequate in most cases because people live paycheck to paycheck. Only Social Security has the ability to payout a substantial amount for average people. The problem here is that the fund needs to be expanded by putting it to work for the future recipients in the form of government loans and investments.

It's a crime the way we Americans mismanage our resources!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

Reprinted from yesterday for your approval:

Just for the record I've just got an idea I would like to share with numbers freaks on how we can balance our National budget and have a $10 Billion surplus.

I call this the 25% plan.

The overall national budget outlays for 2012 is $3.803 Trillion. The overall revenue is $2.902 Trillion. $1.359 Trillion is derived directly from payroll taxes. An additional $959 Billion is collected in Social Security taxes. This leaves a total budget deficit of $901 Billion. 1

Reducing the deficit. Rounding off the overall military budget to a conservative estimate of $1 Trillion; and, cutting that by 25% reduces the debt by $250 Billion. Eliminating the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) gives an additional projected savings of $ 55.4 Billion. Ending the War on Drugs contributes an additional $26.5 Billion. The total savings in turn total $331.9 Billion; thus reducing the deficit to $569.1 Billion.

Increasing revenue. I would propose an across the board income and social security tax increase of 25%. The total increase from payroll would then be $339.75 Billion and from social security taxes $239.75 Billion. Of course this tax would have to be proportionate to income level. I'm not suggesting a flat tax only an 25% increase in overall revenue. The total increase on revenue would be $579.5 Billion.

Therefore Gentlemen, as you can see, by eliminating gross waste and with a small sacrifice by all we can balance our budget with a $10.4 Billion surplus.

This approach doesn't cost our social safety net one dime.


Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 10 years 8 weeks ago

President Obama stated: “What’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, and secure their retirement.” But the reality is that fewer and fewer Americans will be prepared for their income needs during retirement as their savings are and will continue to be meager, pension plans will be less secure and viable, and 401(k) retirement plan investments will become more risky. Why, because there is a significant paradigm shift occuring in the economy that academia, economist, and national political leaders are oblivious to. That is, tectonic shifts in the technologies of production are destroying and devaluing the worth of jobs, and replacing people with "machines" as the primary means of producing products and services needed and wanted by society.

As long as working people are limited by earning income solely through their labor worker wages, they will be left behind by the continued gravitation of economic bounty toward the top 1 percent of the people that the system is rigged to benefit. The tiny minority is the prosperous ownership class who own and control most of the productive capital wealth of the nation. Without policies to ensure that FUTURE productive capital economic growth is financed to create new owners, broadly including EVERY citizen as individual owners, working people and the middle class will continue to stagnate, resulting in a stagnated consumer economy. More troubling is that this continued stagnation will further dim the economic hopes of America’s youth, no matter what their education level, and, of course, dampen prospects for economic security in retirement. The result will have profound long-term consequences for the nation’s economic health and further limit equal earning opportunity and spread income inequality. As the need for labor decreases and the power and leverage of productive capital increases, the gap between labor workers and capital owners will increase, which will eventually result in upheaval. Thus, it is imperative that we set a corrective course to put us on the path to prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice.

In this essential respect, President Obama is failing the American people by allowing the limited financial securities present today to be siphoned off without the prospects for building stronger, more self-reliant alternative financial security. The ONLY way this can be accomplished is to create the means for viable ownership of productive capital by EVERY American and not just for the tiny elite who now own our corporations, and thus effectively the nation's productive asset wealth.

The proposed Capital Homestead Act would make it possible for every American to become a viable owner of FUTURE productive capital. According to its architects, it would “enable every man, woman, and child to accumulate wealth and receive dividend incomes from newly issued shares in new and growing companies, without being taxed on the accumulations (including property and shares gained through inheritance, savings, and arrangements like Employee Stock Ownership Plans/ESOPs, Community Stock Ownership Plans/CSOPs, and Community Investment Corporations/CICs). In addition to serving as a source of capital credit for corporate workers, CHAs would also provide an ownership-building account for individuals who do not work for profit-making enterprises, such as school teachers, civil servants, military personnel, police, and health workers, and for individuals who have no remunerative employment, such as the disabled, the unemployed homemakers and children.”

Under the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading more just and simple tax system, the following is proposed:

• Eliminate all tax loopholes and subsidies,

• Provide an exemption of $100,000 for a family of four to meet their ordinary living needs,

• Encourage corporations to pay out all their profits as taxable personal incomes to avoid paying corporate income taxes and to finance their growth by issuing new full dividend payout shares for broad-based citizen ownership,

• Eliminate the payroll tax on workers and their employers, but

• Pay out of general revenues for all promises for Social Security, Medicare, Medicare, government pensions, health, education, rent and subsistence vouchers for the poor until their new jobs and ownership accumulations provide new incomes to substitute for the taxpayer dollars to fill these needs.

• The tax rate would be a single rate for all incomes from all sources above the personal exemption levels so that the budget could be balanced automatically and even allow the government to pay off the growing unsustainable long-term debt, but the poor would pay the first dollar over their exemption levels as would the hedge fund operator and others now earning billions of dollars from capital gains, dividends, rents and other property incomes which under some tax proposals would be exempted from any taxes.

• As a substitute for inheritance and gift taxes, a transfer tax would be imposed on the recipients whose holdings exceeded $1 million, thus encouraging the super-rich to spread out their monopoly-sized estates to all members of their family, friends, servants and workers who helped create their fortunes, teachers, health workers, police, other public servants, military veterans, artists, the poor and the disabled.

• The Federal Reserve would stop monetizing unproductive debt, including bailouts of banks "too big to fail" and Wall Street derivatives speculators, and

• Begin creating an asset-backed currency that could enable every man, woman and child to establish a Capital Homestead Account or "CHA" (a super-IRA or asset tax-shelter for citizens) at their local bank to acquire a growing dividend-bearing stock portfolio to supplement their incomes from work and all other sources of income.

• The CHA would process an equal allocation of productive credit to every citizen exclusively for purchasing full-dividend payout shares in companies needing funds for growing the economy and private sector jobs for local, national and global markets,

• The shares would be purchased on credit wholly backed by projected "future savings" in the form of new productive capital assets as well as the future marketable goods and services produced by the newly added technology, renewable energy systems, plant, rentable space and infrastructure added to the economy.

• Risk of default on each stock acquisition loan would be covered by private sector capital credit risk insurance and reinsurance, but

• Would not require citizens to reduce their funds for consumption to purchase shares.

The end result is that citizens would become empowered as owners to meet their own consumption needs and government would become more dependent on economically independent citizens, thus reversing current global trends where all citizens will eventually become dependent for their economic well-being on our only legitimate monopoly –– the State –– and whatever elite controls the coercive powers of government.

Support the Agenda of The Just Third Way Movement at

Support Monetary Justice at

Support the Capital Homestead Act at and

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 8 weeks ago

I'm bewildered as to why we have to plead with Obama not to cut the social safety net in the first place. As usual this keeps the Democrats on the limp side playing defense. Aren't we all tired of watching the Teabillionaire Party rub Obama's face in the sand? Why in hell isn't he doing just the opposite of what they want and demanding upgrades to the safety net? For god sakes, just for once make the Republicans go on defense and make them fight Democratic attempts to strengthen and upgrade the well loved social programs. This would at least be a good way to set up for the midterms.

Make the general public aware of which party is pushing poverty for seniors. Make it clear to the voters how the Republican Party supports budget legislation in favor of it's billionaire benefactors so they can continue to avoid fair share taxation. Stop holding out the olive branch and fight the scoundrels!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

2950-10K ~ wrote: "Stop holding out the olive branch and fight the scoundrels!"

Personally, I couldn't agree more. However, if you ask me, that option isn't written into the script. This Government seems as though it is being run by a Hollywood Director since the Administration of President Ronald Wilson (666) Reagan.

If you are waiting for rhyme and reason, my brother, I would suggest that you do not hold your breath.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 8 weeks ago

What I really wanna know is; When will Americans get off their sedintary asses and take this fight from the Internet to the streets. It's sad that here we are living in the "information age" under a Democratic Government (quickly being reduced to surfdom by Corporate Fascist)...Neverthe less a Government founded on the premiss that is Of, For, and By the People...Everyone is whinning and crying, yet no one is taking action against those we have elected that continue to allow Corporations to plunder and loot our wellbeing as a rich and prosperous country. A country that is suppose to be one that offers the Equal RIGHT to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

So how about it!?!?Who here is ready to live up to our duties as U.S. Citizens and revive the philosophies and virtues that once made us true leaders for Peace, Independence, and Justice...Set forth by example and not illegal occupation and forcing a "brand" onto others.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 8 weeks ago

10 K you are bewildered let me help you out. Obama wasted trillions on failed chosen projects that he got sucked into "investing" in And now that he spent 5 trillion dollars and has nothing to show for it he has to find a way to pay for that wasted spending. He got his 39% tax on the rich he told everyone would fix everthing (Bush Tax break) and of course it changed nothing. He is failing and doesn't want to go down in history as the President who blew trillions . Hope yet hat helps you out.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 8 weeks ago


HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 8 weeks ago

I once reviewed my retirement assets in our company's Wall Street Retirement Plan. It had been increasing nicely; however when I took out the effect of my pay-check contributions, I discovered all my "investment gains" had been eaten by management fees. "Plan Returns" had been flat.

So when I retired, the fastest thing I did was remove my retirement funds from the Wall Street Plan, and put them into my own managed retirement accounts --> broadly diversified (Total Stock and Bond Markets) low-fee Indexed ETFs and Mutual Funds. It has worked very well; I slept through the 2007 crash and recession, and am now fully recovered.

I'm recommending to kids: If you are 45, planning to retire at 65, living until 85: HALF of your present income MUST be set-aside (at a reasonable CPI-growth-rate) to fund your Retirement Years. Note: Your house, and Social-Security and various retirement plans are (or might be) part of the mix. HOWEVER, If you ain't saving HALF your income now, for later -- you're gonna be living poor ("S.O.L." as they say on the streets). Don't tell me you can't afford to save; you can't afford NOT to save. Cut your lifestyle to what you can really afford, and save what you MUST -- even if it is a huge change.

BTW: Pulling big chunks of money out of a traditional IRA later can incur a big-shock Income-tax liabilities. Buyer Beware.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

MMmmNACHOS wrote ~ "The 40 year war on drugs has wasted billions of dollars incarcerating harmless dime bag users as if they were violent rapist murderers.

If you wanna get a true grip on our drug laws and their history read Judge James P. Grays book "Why Our Drug Laws have Failed and What We Can Do to Change Them". What's interesting about this book is that its author served on the California Circuit Court and later its Appeals Court, and gives a first hand account of the mess our government has created a much larger mess with it's Zero Tollerance Drug Laws. As well he shares with the reader some history regarding Americas hang-ups with drugs and the fear campains used to get the public on board with a "War on Drugs", which is actually a war on you and me weither you use drugs or not.
As well he shares what other countries have done to successfully quill the issue of "crime" that comes with such irrational drug laws by actually legalizing drugs and offering state funded drug rehabilation clinics to the general public...Which has proven successful in grossly lowering street crime and reducing prison population of non-dangerous people; all at a cost of less than 1/2 of what it annually cost to incarcerate a person here in the U.S.
STOP the insanity...LEGALIZE & EDUCATE!!!

Another great book on Drugs is Mark Torgoff's "Can't Find My Way Home" Here you can read timeline anacdotes about 20th century America's drug history as told by those that lived through it's different periods."

Thanks Buddy! DAM. ;-)

ccarfan 10 years 8 weeks ago

Obama's "Chained CPI" says that if someone is eating steak, they will substitute chicken. Please ask our fearless, persecuted President, what if someone is already eating chicken? Are you saying they should switch to cat food? And what if they're already eating cat food?

His agenda has consistantly promoted austerity, pure and simple, same as the plutocrats. Everything, and I mean everything else, is just a distraction. He was elected, they took him in the back room and showed him the mother of all power-points, now he has seen the(ir) light.

All his back-room negotiations to reach various compromises are intended to hide the debate from the public. What happened to the "Transparancy" administration? A ruse, nothing more. Only a Democrat could provide that kind of cover for the rent-seekers, to subvert real democracy. A Republican president with Obama's policies would have been stopped by an outraged populace.

douglas m 10 years 8 weeks ago

You can come up with any and every idea that's right and make sense.But when both parties are against the American people and the parties are about saving themselves only, What do you do? You also have a country with citizens that will not even stand up for themselves. A congress that cant see how they will destroy themselves. America has a very rough ride ahead. I wish I felt pity for it, for there is obviously a change coming. When your leaders are blind, the obvious is a fall. You can't steal from what isn't there for long.

The real question is how to make the blind see and stay on the path again?

We had politicians that cared about themselves and their people once.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

HalFonts ~ Half your present income? Well, it sounds like we are both on the same page in this book. However, the kids today aren't going to listen to your sage advice as sincere as it may be. Regardless, thanks for offering these poor kids some sincere sage advice. ;-) God Bless them all!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 8 weeks ago

Well, I guess I am not the only one who is pissed off enough to ask why the people are not in the streets and demonstrating about what this President has done and what he said he would never do. When I stated in my past comments, that eventually people will form groups and act in peaceful demonstrations and when that did not work it would be necessary for the masses to begin to use force to make changes in Washington and all I read in your comments was how it would never work and I needed to be careful about what my rants were calling for. Now I see Palindromedary and others call for the same thing. Palindromedary, I agree with your comments a 100% about what is needed to force change. Be careful or you will end up in a Federal holding cell next to mine! We need Ar-15's in the streets, not guillotines.

This President is not for the middleclass workers of our country and he sure as hell is not in the corner of the poor. This is the guy that came up with the legislation he himself has called a "poison pill”, the Sequestration Bill to get the Republicans to agree with his budget requests. Bullshit, it is nothing more than an Austerity measure to put the burden upon the working class and not the wealthy. The stock market has done great since Sequestration has been enacted. Kend - sorry guy, but this President did not raise the tax on Capital Gains to 38% as he said he would. He agreed with the Republicans to raise it a mere 5% on C.G. and then let the income tax on the middleclass and poor workers go up 2%. Thanks to Obama the wealthy are still not paying what was considered by this jerk of a President to be a fair amount. Once again he sold us out for the benefit of the wealthy that fund the elections in Washington since Corporations became people and Money became free speech thanks to our broken Supreme Court of Idiots. We no longer have politicians who care or fear the American People. Time to change both of these factors in whatever manner is needed.

Now, here in California the Obama Un- Affordable Healthcare Act will cost those who buy their own healthcare insurance an additional 30% over what they already pay out of their pockets for themselves and family members! This is one of the loop holes he said he would fix in his second term! Hell, I say it was put there on purpose to offset any lost revenue the Insurance Corporations might incur due to his A.H.A.! Americans are finally waking up and realizing they have now been screwed over by both parties in Washington and it is in our hands to make change happen. I will not elaborate on what we need to do because all of you that have made comments today know what physical measures I think need to be taken, regardless of age or gender, to get our country back from the bastard politicians in Washington and the cronies in the Corporations that pay them to do their bidding at the costs of our own needs as a Republic that are not being done, from Education to Infrastructure our money is being given away to the wealthy in the form of tax breaks and loop holes that save the Corporations billions if not trillions of dollars that should go to heal this country, not destroy it. , the The only E-mails these crooks in Washington read are from the Wealthy cash donors and the Corporations that pull the strings in Washington through threats of backing someone else using their lobbyists, the everyday person has no lobbyist in Washington and our votes have been given away to the highest bidder. Time to take to the streets in whatever manner works the best to enact change now....Ken Ware.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 8 weeks ago

What god do you think is going to pull our asses out of the fire we are now in? I have seen no proof of any action that some deity is out their working for our good. Just the opposite as far as I can ascertain! Just bugs the hell out of me, excuse the reference to hell, when people sit on their butts and think all will be well if god blesses us one and all. Since we all share freedom of speech, for now anyways, I felt compelled to make this statement. I am not saying you should not believe, that is your choice in life; just do not expect some god to fix things for this country. Our forefathers knew better than to include god into our politics. I am not angry at your god, I just doubt his or her existence and any impact that he or she has made on mankind. Those of us who are kind and good do so because we believe that is the right thing to do, not because we are ordered to do so by doctrine written by other men eons ago. Have a good night....

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 8 weeks ago

DeAnneMarc - I agree, if you choose to live your life in a haze from drug use (light drugs) it is your choice. When it comes to drugs like heroin, coke or crack, there should not be a choice to use, due to the great deal of suffering these types of drugs have done to the children of our nation through the use of such drugs by their parents and the damage done. Someone has to protect the rights of the children of our nation and when it comes to the use of hard drugs the parents choose to use and their choice to let their children suffer the consequences. This is something that is always left out of the discussion concerning the consumption of drugs in America. Children’s rights to life over the right to abuse them with the adult’s drug of choice. You want to light up a pipe or joint that is up to you, you want to abuse hard drugs that choice is up to society to police, literally. I grew up in the first generation that used drugs like pot, acid and hash. Hard drugs were never glamorized or endorsed by the our generation, to many came home from an unpopular war with hard drug habits and it destroyed a sizable part of our generation that were called upon to serve in Asia. Hard drugs should continue to be included in a war on drugs. Lighter drugs as I have mentioned should be left up to the individual, even though these drugs can also damage a child’s family needs when used by their parents. This is a very uncomplicated and simplistic answer, but I have seen the damage first hand and I do not need a complicated analysis or book to say what should or should not be done in the so called War on Drugs. Been there, seen that…K.W.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 8 weeks ago

Oops I thought the Bush tax break took the top earners from 39 % to 36% and they let that expire so they back to 39. Sorry ill read more into it.

Oh by the way go ahead and tease me about my frozen north. I am Scottsdale AZ Golfing after a long cold winter. I sure liked it better when they called it global warming. Ever since they changed it to climate change I have been freezing my butt off And my back is killing me from shovelling snow. Nice to here from you again. Are you a grandpa yet?

JessieV's picture
JessieV 10 years 8 weeks ago

Why o why is Social Security on the table at all??? According to Senator Bernie Sanders, SS is fully funded for the next 22 years. Why would we need to go to chain CPI to extend SS out to 50 years? Sounds like post office legislation to me. As long as President Obama surrounds himself with Wall Street "advisers," we will never get his ear. He will continue to ignore us. I have emailed him on his White House website re chain CPI and the Post Office, and only get a form letter in return that says nothing, never addresses my concerns and, as far as the PO goes, silence from the White House. I do not understand why Obama would tour the U.S. to promote jobs but never, ever address postal jobs being lost all because of that ridiculous GOP legislation that demands the postal service to prefund pensions out for the next 75 years to be paid within a 10 year window, and can only be paid out of stamp revenues.

I retired 22 years ago and let me tell you, the SS cola does not keep up with inflation particularly if you live in a rural area where petrol and food costs more because of transportation costs. And Obama wants to cut that, too?? He's taxing me. Taking away what little I have.

Then there's the Medicare cuts the president is proposing. What are they? I haven't heard anyone give a picture as to what's proposed. Is President Obama slashing Medicare to extend Obamacare? Will all of us wind up with inadequate health care as a result? Right now my healthcare premiums take 20% of my income. Add dental, medications, and my share of medical payments, that's almost one-third of my income....quite a chunk.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 8 weeks ago

ccarfan and others write: "Obama's 'Chained CPI' says that if someone is eating steak, they will substitute chicken."

First, it's not Obama's "Chained-CPI" and it doesn't say folks will just substitute chicken for steak. See:

"Chained-CPI" (C-CPI-U) was developed by statisticians at Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLI) as a refinement to more accurately measure the inflationary values of the dollar over time. CPI's are various INDEXs (of many) which may or may not be used by various groups or agencies for many various purposes tracking dollar-values over time. The trend towards Chained-CPI algorithms is inline with international statistical standards.

Various CPI Indexes go back to 1913, and the "Chained-CPI" was proposed after several decades in 2002, as a fine tuning of the baskets of goods and services tracked.Whether Chained CPI results in more or less over time is irrelevant if the result is a more accurate index. It's the responsibility of users (SSI, Contracts, you, me, etc) to adjust our Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) algorithms, using the most accurate CPI's available. Not tweek the messenger.

CPI measures what happens; not what people think should happen. It's the difference between science (reality) vs opinion (fantasy). It's like rejecting increasingly-refined, more-accurate global temperature measurements or models, simply because they differ with people's second-hand faith-based opinions about climate change (up, down or whatever).

But: In political discourse: "Don't confuse opinions with facts; my mind is already made up."

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 8 weeks ago

MMmmNACHOS calls for folks to take the fight from the Internet to the streets. Beware of what you wish for. We have had four-decades of demonization demoggery: The Politics of Division. The assault weapons are out there, and both Left and Right see the others as the most vile of dilusional enemies, responsible for our problems. Look around the world: whenever there is trouble, it's tribes (of the 99%) fighting and slaughtering other tribes (of the 99%), while the 1% laughingly haul their loot to their tax-free off-shore or foreign bank accounts.

We have had a huge influx of population entering the bottom (poverty) sector (from bottom and middle). This increase of un- and under-employed, just puts downward pressure on wages all up the scale -- benefitting: Guess Who? Note that throughout this Recovery from The 2007 Crash, who got bailed-out and who wasn't? Duhhhh. Socially we ARE gonna wind up in a third-world colonial situation; prepare for it. And our kids --(under-educated, out looking for anyone to "give" them a job -- doing what?)-- are gonna find life tougher and tougher. Read the Tea-Party's leaves.

When the government found it had the tools to manage the composition of society, and the availability of the money-supply; it either had the obligation to work for The People (the 99%), or the opportunity to sell it's services to the highest bidders (of the 1%). Meanwhile, as described well above, (Reber #10) the technological-economic environment has changed fundamentally. So, why is there any question about what has been and is happening?

Note: The news today is that companies are starting to bring manufacturing plants back to the US. Good news? Perhaps not. Perhaps it's simply a sign that US-Labor (relatively over-priced by global standards) has been broken, to where US workers are now competetive in the global marketplace. But, hey -- it's a job, take it.

Meanwhile we babble amongst ourselves, following scripts passed down through corporate media-channels, about each day's diversionary "topic-du-jour."

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

Ken ware ~ Your points about God are well taken. However, why do you feel God owes anything to this Nation? What has this Nation done so far to it's people that compares to what this Nation has done to the rest of the world with the blessing of it's people? People like you!

How much objection have you offered to the violence perpetrated on other countries by the United States that may gain favor from God? Please tell, God is waiting for your response! So am I!

The truth is this nation hasn't begun to experience what it has asked for or what it deserves from a just and benevolent God! I am here only as an adviser from the Most High. I can tell you right now that with an attitude that violence will solve your problems, you can expect that this will only escalate those problems to levels that you cannot comprehend.

To summarize the situation, until this nation humbles itself, repents from it's Sins, and embraces God for the Power of Love that He is, this Nation will continue to tumble into the abyss of despair as soundly as water in a toilet is flushed. Do enjoy the ride!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

Ken Ware ~ I'm sorry. MMmmNACHOS wrote that about drugs, not me. If you read the previous posts he asked me to cut and paste it for him. i agree with the post however. As I've stated previously we need to end the War on Drugs. It's just a disguise for a War on American Citizens and a gross waste of money.

I strongly feel that we as a Nation rely far too much on sedation to deal with our life's. Not only from illegal drugs but legal ones as well. I think you and I went around and around about this before. Drugs help relieve pain; but, when that pain is caused from society the drugs tend to allow the underlying causes to go 'untreated'.

I agree with you that we would be a far better Nation if we were drug free. However, that goal cannot be mandated with law. To free ourselves of this bad habit we must focus on the causes of drug addiction and not fixate on the drugs themselves. I firmly believe that the first step to solve this problem is the end of the so called, War on Drugs. I also firmly believe that this War is a prime incentive for the masses to use drugs.

We read in scripture,

1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

Therefore, prohibition increases the addictiveness of drugs. Go figure!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago

Chained CPI? When everyone switches to chicken (or even cat food..eventually) the price of chicken (or cat food) will shoot up to the price of steak. An increase in demand will elicit an increase in price. We are all going to be "chained" right into our death beds. Soylent Green anyone?

It's not a good idea to eat steak anyway...I sure don't and haven't for about 10 years (no beef or pork..or road kill of any kind...just chicken, turkey, or fish and, of course fruits, nuts, and vegetables..lots and lots of garlic, onions, and lots and lots of Tabasco sauce). I just hope the FrankenFish doesn't cause me to mutate...or the cheaper non-range chicken cause me to get cancer. And I don't even want to know how they make Tabasco sauce.

I just heard that L-carnitine, found in red meats, causes heart diseases. It was the Mad Cow Disease that scared me away.

Love2fish's picture
Love2fish 10 years 8 weeks ago

We are looking at the taking over of America, plain and simple. The president is in on it, maybe even orchestrating it. And it is happening at a faster and faster pace now. This is an inside job. We have been lied to. We have been set up. They are laughing at us. Former USSR president Kruschev knew this, and said so back in the 60's, hence Russia didn't have to worry about taking over America, America would be taken over from the inside. Incredible that this could be happening to America but that is exactly what is going on. America as we know it, is going to be no longer and I suspect fairly soon. The talk about Social Security and Medicare is a distraction. They are going after that plus bank accounts and pension funds. They've already got many of our jobs, the middle class is being destroyed, FEMA camps have been set up. I believe they are expecting and preparing for a revolt. The militarization of our police. The flying over Southern California by drones. And our pres. signing an exec. order giving he and his family lifetime S.S. protection. When we finally wake up, all of us, IMHO, he will need it.

Here are some links that are really eye-openers!!



3. (I first heard about this in 2005. I thought it was nonsense. Well, I now take this guy quite seriously. I have checked out a bunch of stuff he says and it turns out to be true.-this is truly a nightmare of mega proportions.)

4. Dr. Lorraine Day -The New World Order

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago

I agree with most of what you say, Ken, except that I am not "calling" for people to do anything. I'd kinda like to stay out of a cell. I am just saying what I think is necessary for real change...and that history has shown that things won't change when the game is rigged; and, that it was only when people raised up against the crooked system and scared the crooks, who rigged the game, that there was meaningful change. Yes, lots of brave or desperate people got hurt but they fought back and eventually won a change in the system.

Most of us have been very lucky because we have all lived in the good times. But now the times are eroding and we are all starting to see the same kind of suffering that some of our Grandfathers/mothers, or Great Grandfathers/mothers experienced. I believe that masses of people are on the verge of a very terrible hardship and when they reach that point of desperation they will react violently. We are already seeing a rise in violence...home invasions, shootings, bank robberies. It's too bad it is not all directed toward those who really deserve to be targeted rather than upon one another. But when things become so uncomfortable for the ruling elite, when they begin to fear the wrath of the people once more, change in favor of the people will eventually it has in the past.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago
Quote Love2fish:
Russia didn't have to worry about taking over America, America would be taken over from the inside.

That's for sure! They knew that capitalists would sell the hangman the noose to hang them with. Just a matter of time and the greedy maggots would control the government to serve their selfish ends. And the whole country would collapse. They knew how Wall Street and banksters would once again, and again, and again cause major financial debacles... antagonizing the masses. And they knew that it was only capitalist crazies who were loony enough to actually trigger a nuclear holocaust...having already done so on a small scale in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and threatening many, many times of doing it again in other places like Korea and elsewhere. After all, they already caused massive horror in firebombing all those civilians in Germany and Japan.

Yes, the US outspent the Russians in the cold war..after all..when the US got to Japan and the Philippines, beating out the Ruskies, they managed to get a lot of the Golden Lily treasure..billions of dollars (trillions today) in gold bullion and precious gems that the Japanese stole from Manchuria, China, and SE Asia and buried in tunnels in the Philippines.

I wouldn't be surprised if that was one of the big reasons why it was so important for the US to conquer Japan with nukes before the Russians could get there. I'm sure it was no secret what the Japanese were doing...confiscating all that wealth all those years. Even a sizable stash of gold was stolen from the British who had vaults in SE Asia.

The Japanese Operation Golden Lily (code named Kin No Yuri) spent 10 years before WW2, and during, pillaging all that wealth and used forced labor (Filipinos and captured US soldiers) to dig those 100+ tunnels. And the ruthless Japanese overseers murdered, in those very tunnels, the many who dug them, including their own men, to keep hidden the locations of those tunnels.

But MacArthur had hastily hanged General Yamashita after a Kangaroo court conviction to keep him from blabbing to the world about the treasures; and, they tortured Yamashita's driver to find the tunnels (many of them). And I wouldn't be surprised if one of the reasons why they let Emperor Hirohito live was because of some kind of a deal to keep the confiscated wealth under wraps where both countries would be able to use those Golden Lily funds in the struggle against Russia.

Marcos spent his whole Presidency trying to find other tunnels and found many..which is why he and his heirs were so wealthy. In fact, Marcos was just a lowly poor lawyer before he became President and he allegedly murdered one of his clients who had discovered one of the tunnels and sought legal advice from Marcos the lawyer. The sudden wealth Marcos attained put him right into the Presidency. That was an interesting story about the hollow 1-ton Golden Budha filled with precious gems and Rogelio Roxas who found it. Marcos had him beaten and took it away from Rogelio.

Walter Mittee's picture
Walter Mittee 10 years 8 weeks ago

I agree that all hell should be raised in regards to the Presidents proposed budget cuts to social security and medicare.

However, I do not believe that republicans will even consider anything Obama offers as long as new revenue is included.

President Obama could offer to privatize the safety net along with new revenue and regressive republicans would turn it down. It is President Obama's gambit

In the lead up to 2014 the President must repeatedly expose the regressive, destructive (support the wealthy) intent of republicans to America.

President Obama has proven that there is a majority of sane Americans. It is that majority that rejected the utter insanity of the Iraq war and elected our first Black president.

Only by vividly exposing the racist, regressive 'anti American' nature of wealthy conservative republicans to America can the sane majority be motivated to act.

We can not allow this contemporary crop of republicans( neo cons, tea party and ignorant) to control our government on any level.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

Palindromedary wrote ~ "Yes, the US outspent the Russians in the cold war..after all..when the US got to Japan and the Philippines, beating out the Ruskies, they managed to get a lot of the Golden Lily treasure..billions of dollars (trillions today) in gold bullion and precious gems that the Japanese stole from Manchuria, China, and SE Asia and buried in tunnels in the Philippines."

Burying a fortune doesn't seem to be a particularly bright idea, is it? You would think that the descendants of the ones who pillaged that fortune would know better than to repeat that mistake. If you have a fortune, the best thing to do with it is to put in into motion, investing in society, the community, business, or anything else. Sitting on it like a mother hen is very irresponsible and has the effect of painting a huge target on the back of that hen.

Maybe that's why fried Chicken is so popular in this country.

I wonder who is going to pillage the fortunes that the one percenters stole from We the People. Strange thing about stealing money, if some other crook steals it from you, who are you going to call? We the People? We'll be applauding! Strange the way history repeats itself, isn't it? Maybe that's why so many Filipinos and Japanese welcomed us. Money truly is the root of all evil!

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 8 weeks ago

I had to read your post twice - HALFONTS - since the first time made my blood boil. The second read was still aggravating but I was able to understand your point much more clearly.

I am not "wishing" for a blood bath between Left and Right political "belief systems". More so I am encouraging of ALL of us - Left and Right - to work together in regaining control of our government from the corporations.
I don't support political or social belief systems that take "sound ideas" and turn them into absolute belief system.
I see that both sides are to close to the elephant to realize it's an elephant. We all need to take a step back "together"; only then will we have a Eureka...That moment of when we discovered the world was round - and look at each other and see that We are ALL in this together; when one side suffers we all suffer. As I have said before; 1% + 99% = 100% ACCOUNTABLE. We need each other...Just like a THRIVING bee hive, we all serve a valuable purpose; LIFE IS NOT CHEAP, no one as a human being is worthless.

Without a hive we suffer.
Without worker bees we suffer.

OR...As Danile Quin states in his book "Ishmael"; "With Man gone, will there be hope for Gorilla?" "With Gorilla gone, will there be hope for Man?"

Sooooo Halfonts, my question to you is; What is your answer?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 8 weeks ago
Quote DAnneMarc:
Burying a fortune doesn't seem to be a particularly bright idea, is it?

I suppose if the Japanese leaders had believed that Japan was really going to win the war, they would have continued to take the treasure back to Japan as they did in the beginning. But they realized that Japan would lose and the rats at the top tried to hide that treasure in secret places where they would have been able, after they lost the war, to return and recover it. The Japanese even had to disguise their ships, carrying the gold, as hospital ships to avoid the blockades. Some ships were even sunk in shallow spots in Manila Bay and near Japan so that the Japanese leaders would return to the spots later to recover the gold. The Japanese had initially built massive tunnel vaults of their own in Nagano where they started to amass the gold but had to find other solutions because of the naval blockades by the Allies.

Quote the article:
Old mines in the Japanese mountains served as repositories for portions of the Golden Lily treasure. Near the Olympic Village of Nagano, a tunnel complex was dug by Korean slave labors. A ten kilometer tunnel completed the complex.80 This complex was used to hide portions of the Golden Lily.

I had also read this, along with the whole Golden Lily story, many years ago in Sterling and Peggy Seagrave's book "The Yamato Dynasty: The Secret History of Japan's Imperial Family"

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

Love2Fish ~ Your points are well taken. Mr. Jones certainly has instilled the same reactions in myself over time. However, I refuse to allow unbridled paranoia to run my life. I respect the Government; I don't fear it. I consider it a tool that serves me. I do not fear people. I only fear God. This gives me a unique perspective on things that Alex lacks.

You see, he looks at the facts and concludes the worst. He might be right, but he might also only be partially right. FEMA camps and thousands of body coffins could also be created to deal with national emergencies. After all, FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, right? If these resources were under the jurisdiction of the army, and were shrouded in secrecy instead of left out in the open and visible from Google Earth, I would be very concerned. But this is FEMA.

Remember, fear God not man.

Off the coast of Africa is an set of islands known as the Canary island. There is a huge mountain that is attached to a volcano by viscous and loose dirt. It is a known geological fact that a minimum jolt of energy, such as from the volcano trembler or eruption, is all it would take to send that mountain plunging into the sea and create a tsunami that would destroy the entire east coast of the United States. It is not a question as to if it will happen, but when it will happen.

The island of Japan is sitting on a overhang of its tectonic plate. This is why it is so prone to catastrophic earthquakes. Geologist have theorized, and Prophets (most notably Edgar Cayce) have prophesied that a major earthquake could cause the overhanging plate that Japan sits on to split in two resulting in a large portion of that island plunging into the sea. There is good reason to believe this will trigger a tsunami of Biblical proportions that will destroy the west coast of the United States. It is not a question as to if it will happen, but when it will happen.

Sitting in the heart of the United States is a Super Volcano called Yosemite. Geologists recently have monitored disturbing amounts of seismic activity near the caldera. The floor has swollen several feet and the local animals are dropping dead from released sulfuric gas. The scientific community isn't sounding any alarms yet, however this volcano is already overdue for a massive eruption. Such an event would destroy the United States. It is not a question as to if it will happen, but when it will happen.

As recently as two months ago three large asteroids simultaneously passed uncomfortably close to the Earth. Fortunately, only one of them, a smaller chunk took a dive into the atmosphere over Russia. Despite is small size it exploded in the atmosphere causing a concussion blast over a city that sent over 100 people to the hospital. NEO's (Near Earth Objects) are occurring far more frequently now than ever. (Of course, our ability to detect them is also better than ever.) However, it has been speculated by some astronomers that we may be currently passing through a rock rich area of space. According to un fulfilled Biblical prophecy we are due for several noteworthy asteroid impacts that will have catastrophic effects worldwide. Regardless of this significance, it is generally believed by the science community that clear evidence exists that major asteroid impacts have occurred in the past. It is also believed that they will occur in the future. It is not a question as to if it will happen, but when it will happen.

If any of these events were to occur, FEMA camps and body bags would be direly needed to help save the survivors from the ravages of the aftermath. That is why they do not concern me.

When you lift up your head and look at the world around you one sees a United States that sits surrounded by highly unstable geographic and natural weapons of mass distruction pointed directly at it. Despite all of its military, wealth, and technological might, the United States is quite helpless to defend itself from these dangers. Only God can sway the impending doom that we as a people actually face. Also, only God has the ability to pull the triggers of these natural weapons of mass destruction. No gun, no tank, no rocket and no bomb is going to help any of us if God decides, "You know what, I've had enough of this bunch of losers. Time to take this place to the cleaners."

Not to distract anyone from the seriousness of the problems at hand; but, seriously, lets keep them all in perspective. If we paralyze ourselves with fear, nothing is going to get done. Remember, everyday that is unfettered from disaster is a great day--for it is testimony that God still loves us. With God anything is possible! Never give up hope! ;-)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 8 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Thanks for the info. I too love stories of buried treasure. I guess it's the Pirate in me. RRRR!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 7 weeks ago

Obama cares about his vested interests not ours. They all do after they are elected. For us no deal is better than a bad deal. For him a bad deal is better than no deal.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 7 weeks ago

MMmmNACHOS (#36) Sorry for any confusion.

I wasn't attacking your "call to action in the streets" -- I totally agree with that. I've long argued that radicals on the Right and Left (who both see themselves as Moderate), need to focus on the Core masses, to avoid open conflict and move this country forward.

Meanwhile there is the third point of the triangle "$$$" -- the moneyed power-elite. The 99%-ers -- Left, Right and Core(Moderates, Independents, Uninvolved) better make their peace; or they're gonna continue being manipulated with distractions that can become much-much worse (see the Mid-East).

My answer? Unfortunately I'm approaching my 2nd retirement. What I see don't look good. The People just can't seem to get it together enough to regain power themselves, as fast as the professionals hired by the moneyed power-elites can manipulate, retain and expand their hold on power.

So it don't look good -- despite some real powerful increasing awareness across political divides, in some of the upcoming generations. We'll see. It'll be what it will be -- despite what I want or can do.

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