Surprise?….Social Security is good In Full for the next TWENTY YEARS…..

Another thing I have pointed out at this place….

Social Security is good shape….

And the better the Economy…The Better Social Security and Medicare are…..

And even more interesting…Immigrants actually are helping things…..

There is NO reason to cut these benefits drastically it appears …..

Social Security trustees report show program is still not in crisis

by Joan McCarter @ Daily Kos…..

Social Security card with $100 billThe 2013 Trustees Report on the state of Social Security was released Friday, showing little change from last year’s report. The report covers both trust funds, the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund and the Old-Age and the Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund. Bottom line, Social Security’s cumulative surplus is projected to be roughly $2.8 trillion in 2013, and will reach $2.9 trillion in 2020. That allows full benefits to be paid out until 2033, same as last year.

The slow economic recovery over the past year shows how closely Social Security is tied to the overall economy. Economic growth, higher employment, and wage growth strengthen the program and the economic gains made in the past year contribute to the stability of the program. Instead of focusing on cutting Social Security, President Obama and Congress should still be focusing on the economy. On jobs. Social Security doesn’t have to be slashed to be saved. The economy needs a full recovery for Social Security to be saved.

The most troubling aspect of the report is the disability program, which does need saving, and soon.

The disability insurance trust fund is projected to become depleted in 2016, after which the money coming in will cover only 80% of scheduled benefits. That strikes at some of the neediest Social Security beneficiaries and their families. The disability program has long been the most underfunded element of Social Security, and this deadline has been anticipated for years. In the past, similar shortfalls have been closed by reallocating payroll tax revenues and other income from the retirement to disability. That’s an appropriate short-term fix, but something more permanent is needed now.

But, like the positive Medicare report, here’s one more report showing that Social Security on the whole is not in crisis. Any politician or pundit who says otherwise is not telling the truth. It does not need to be cut to be saved……

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Breaking…Twister hits Oklahoma City western suburb….5/31/13…10:00PM

…from the Washington Post…

(The Omaha World-Herald, Chris Machian/ Associated Press ) – A tornado touches down near El Reno, Okla., Friday, May 31, 2013, causing damage to structures and injuring travelers on Interstate 40. I-40 has been closed after severe weather rolled through the area.

By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, May 31, 9:27 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY — A violent storm formed over the prairie west of Oklahoma City late Friday afternoon, dropped a tornado in a suburb and rolled into the state capital as viewers brave enough to remain above ground watched on statewide television. State troopers reported a number of injuries.Storm chasers with cameras in their car transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm as it passed south of El Reno and into Oklahoma City just south of downtown. Police urged motorists to leave the crosstown Interstate 40 and seek a safe place…..

More…..

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Tumblr intro’s a new form of advertising….

The changes appear to have been in the works well before Yahoo’s splashy $1.1 billion acquisition, announced earlier this month. Tumblr rolled out sponsored posts to its once ad-free site last year and had plans to increase advertising on the site even before the acquisition.

Tumblr had already introduced ads to the Radar and Spotlight sections of its site, where Tumblr highlights noteworthy content and accounts, and to the mobile version of its site. Starting this week, Tumblr is giving sponsored posts even more visibility, telling users they’ll now see ads in their Dashboard, the main feed of posts users see when they log on to the site. (The mobile Dashboard already offered such ads.)

According to TechCrunch, users will see no more than four ads in their feed a day, and ads will be identified by a dollar-sign on the top right-hand corner.

tumblr ads dashboard
An ad from Denny’s as it appears in the Tumblr Dashboard.

Tumblr promised in its announcement that the sponsored posts “will simply blend in with the posts from the blogs you follow,” but users aren’t so sure…..

More…..

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A Lot of the IRS’s problems are Congress’s fault…..

I’ve said this here before…

The IRS doesn’t write the tax code…Congress does…

Cut’s by the same Congress has HURT the agencies ability to do it’s jobs….

And on the whole….

The IRS collects a LOT of money ….A LOT…..

In January, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp came forward with a bold idea to change the way financial derivatives are taxed.

Under the Michigan Republican’s proposal, all derivatives used to make speculative bets would be subject to “mark to market” taxation, meaning their increase in value would be treated as ordinary income even if they weren’t sold. Meanwhile, derivatives purchased by businesses to hedge against risk would continue to be taxed as they had in the past.

The distinction would be worth huge sums of money, and the law would present a challenge for the IRS. The agency would have to sort derivatives into two categories, either as bets or hedges, based on the seemingly vague concept of the motivation of their owners.

Committee staffers argued that the IRS would be up to the job.

These days, such a confident assertion about the tax-collecting agency is hard to imagine, and it illustrates how lawmakers have relied on the IRS to sort out the critical details of tax legislation.

Now, of course, the IRS is at the center of major political controversy, having apologized for improperly screening conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status. Far from trusting the IRS to handle difficult assignments, Republicans such as Camp are taking aim at the agency, portraying it as a symbol of government overreach and incompetence.

“This is a problem of the IRS being too large, too powerful, too intrusive and too abusive of honest, hardworking taxpayers,” Camp said at a May 17 committee hearing.

There is little doubt that IRS bashing is back in vogue on Capitol Hill. Less clear is where the outrage will lead. Ways and Means Republicans may make subtle adjustments to the tax overhaul legislation that they plan to finish by the end of the year. But, according to experts, there is only so much they can do to limit the power of the agency, which will always be needed to enforce and interpret laws in a complex economy.

As lawmakers look more closely at the IRS and, during calm moments, consider ways to improve it, some see a risk of overreaction.

“I think this institution is basically sound,” said Donald Korb, a former IRS chief counsel who now practices law at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. “For the most part, they’re good at what they do.”

There is evidence to support that view.

More…..

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Larry Sabato on the 2014 House Races…5/31/13…

Notes on the State of Politics

May 30th, 2013

U.Va. Center for Politics

Exit Bachmann
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R, MN-6) decision not to seek a fifth term in the U.S. House makes it likelier that Republicans will hold her heavily Republican district. So we’re switching the rating in MN-6 from “leans Republican” to “likely Republican.”
Yes, it’s odd to argue that a party is better served by an incumbent retiring […]

Size Matters

When it comes to U.S. House districts, that is

May 23rd, 2013

Kyle Kondik, House Editor

After the 2004 election, a map showing President George W. Bush’s (R) reelection map by county became a notable Republican souvenir and bumper sticker. Entitled “Bush Country,” the map showed a largely red map with the election results shaded by county. Of course, Bush only beat John Kerry (D) by about 2.5 percentage points, but […]

More including the Sabato Crystal Ball House ratings Here…..

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On Mitt Romney re-joining the Republican’s…..Red State…

Could we say the person below is STILL bitter at his parties 2012 candidate and the way he ran his campaign?

Mitt Romney: don’t waste your time. Just give *me* $50 million to work with.

By: Moe Lane (Diary)  @ Red State….

Come, I will conceal nothing from you. I only read this:

Romney Planning to Rejoin National Dialogue

Months After Election Loss, He Will Host Event in Utah for 200 Friends and Campaign Supporters

…the rest is behind a paywall.

Still: you want to rejoin the National Dialogue, Mr. Romney? This is how you do it: you give me fifty million dollars and then you tell me what you want said. Assuming that what you want said is nothing nasty – a safe bet; you’re ridiculously squeaky-clean – I’ll then say it for you. If you like how it came out, you can keep giving me money until it’s gone, or you’re happy.

No, seriously. How the heck would I do worse than the people that he got doing messaging for him in 2012? – The Team Romney folks that I worked with at ground level were all right, but the money that got raised and spent in that election pretty much could have been more profitably piled in a field and set on fire. I don’t particularly like DC itself and I’m absolutely indifferent to what the Beltway thinks of me, so the odds of some (read: “most”) of that cash going to Righty political operatives with a lean and hungry look is pretty dang high.

Yeah, yeah, yeah: and after that, somebody can buy me a pony. Still.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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Why Senators are elected NOT just picked anymore……

It wasn’t always that way….

Seems that in the beginning they where elected by their state legislatures…..(Governor still pick replacements before a full Special Election)

And the money changing hands thing and deadlocks  got so bad they had to change it up back in the day…..

That’s why 17 Amendment to the Constitution came into being….

Today in History: Senators Forced to Face Voters

SALE 445x303 Today in History: Senators Forced to Face Voters

(Courtesy Senate Historical Office)

For a Friday of a recess week, it’s a pretty big day for the Senate.

It was 100 years ago today that oft-failed presidential candidate turned Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan declared by proclamation that the 17th Amendment had been ratified and was added to the Constitution. For the Senate, that meant a fundamental change in the way the chamber did business, because it meant senators had to face elections by voters instead of state legislatures.

The 17th Amendment made news last year, when a number of Republican candidates for the Senate mused about having it go the way of prohibition. As I wrote in August 2012, the 17th Amendment came to be viewed as necessary largely because corruption grew to ran rampant in state legislatures:

For instance, with the states soon to consider the constitutional amendment to subject Senators to the voters, the Senate expelled Sen. William Lorimer (R-Ill.) in 1912. Newspapers discovered that supporters paid about $100,000 to secure the selection of Lorimer by the Illinois Legislature.

In many states, Senate seats that become vacant during a term may still be filled by appointment, as was the case when former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed fellow Democrat Roland Burris to serve out the term of President Barack Obama apparently after being unable to find a bidder for the office.

Based on the pay schedule from the Lorimer case, Balgojevich may have undervalued the Senate seat. Federal investigators found Blagojevich was seeking $1.5 million in benefits and contributions for the seat. By contrast, Lorimer’s associates would have paid almost $2.4 million in today’s money for the office.

Full story

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In a country with a Black (Mixed) President we have this…..

A Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial couple sparked such a vicious racism-fuelled backlash on YouTube that the comments section on the video had to be shut down.

The ad, featuring cute interactions between parents and their daughter was posted on May 28, has been viewed more than 260,000 times and received more than 3,000 likes.

But soon after its posting, the comments section was flooded with racist references to Nazis and “racial genocide”, according to Adweek.

The company shut down the comments section but made no reference to the backlash in a statement to Gawker.

“Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all,” said Cheerios Vice President of Marketing Camille Gibson.

Racist comments continued on Reddit where some users said they would boycott the product because of the ad.

Others lamented how quickly the feedback descended into racist diatribes from online trolls.

“So, about 50 years we’ll see our first commercial with same sex parents… Progress!” wrote Reddit user ‘farris25x’ on the site…..

The New York Post…..

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Miami Heat Top Indiana Pacers, 90-79: LeBron James Scores 30 In Game 5 Win….

Moody and off and on…..

But when Lebron James on HIS game…?

Lebron James

LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts after a basket in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 30, 2013 in Miami, Florida.

There will be no win-or-else Game 6 in the Eastern Conference finals for the Miami Heat this season. LeBron James saw to that, and now the reigning champions are one victory from a third straight trip to the NBA Finals.

James finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Udonis Haslem made his last eight shots on the way to a 16-point night, and the Heat used a dominant third quarter to turn things around and beat the Indiana Pacers 90-79 in Game 5 on Thursday.

Mario Chalmers scored 12 points and Dwyane Wade added 10 for the Heat, who lead the series 3-2 and will look to close it out at Indiana on Saturday night. The Heat ousted the Pacers in six games in a second-round matchup last season.

Paul George had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who got 22 points from Roy Hibbert and 17 from David West. The Pacers led by as many as seven at one point, but had no answer for the Heat in the third, getting outscored 30-13 in the period, including 21-6 in the final 7 minutes.

James and Haslem combined for 26 points in the third, and were simply too much.

More…..

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For 2014 races….A Good Economy…..Good Obama Medicine….

All that throw down on President Obama messing up the Economy?….

Trust the Republicans?

Not  a Good Look Folks….

Dr Obama’s medicine seems to be better than the GOP stuff….

photo….WashingtonPost.Com

The federal deficit is around half the size it was when the tea party reached its apex, due to tax hikes, spending cuts and stronger growth.

Consumer confidence this week hit a level not seen since the financial crisis rocked the economy in 2008. And economists say there is enough time between now and when voters go to the polls next November for the improvements to actually be felt throughout the economy. Even conservative economists predict somewhat stronger growth next year, while left-leaning forecasters are borderline giddy.

“The fact is the economy is probably going to look and feel very good next year,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics. “The most likely outlook for Obama and the Democrats is pretty good growth and employment rising strongly. If you step back and look at it, it’s a hugely favorable scenario for them.”

Obama landed himself in trouble early in his term for appearing to spike the ball too soon on economic growth. So he’s hesitant to make that mistake again when growth remains fairly soft and joblessness is still at 7.5 percent. But he’s shown signs of campaigning for the midterms on a message of a renewed prosperity — threatened only by Republican demands for more cuts and threats of fiscal standoff.

“If you read the headlines over the last couple of days, you’d actually see housing recovering; the economy stronger than expected; stock market hitting record highs,” Obama said at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Chicago this week. “Our economy is doing better than just about every industrialized country in the world.”

At another recent fundraising event in New York at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s town house, Obama blamed GOP partisanship for blocking his efforts to improve the economy even more. “My thinking was after we beat them in 2012 that might break the fever,” he said to a group that included singer Justin Timberlake and actress Jessica Biel. “It’s not quite broken yet, but I am persistent and I am staying at it.”

More…..

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Political Roundup for May 31, 2013…Cook moves Mass Spec to Toss-Up?…Red Racing Horses

by: shamlet
Senate:

NC-Sen: State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Corneilus) is announcing his run for Senate, as expected. Tillis has low name rec right now but the potential to be a force in the GOP primary field.

MI-Sen: Ex-SoS Terri Lynn Land (R) is sick of waiting for Rep. Mike Rogers (R) to make a decision on the race, and will enter on Monday if Rogers doesn’t get a move on it.

NH-Sen: Ex-State Sen. Jim Rubens (R-Hanover) is considering a run against Shaheen. Rubens is better known as a fierce gambling opponent.

MA-Sen: For reasons I don’t really understand, Cook has moved this race to Tossup. We actually have a little money left over from the last fundraiser, so if we can raise $400 in the next couple weeks RRH will poll this race.

Governor:

IL-Gov: Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) entered the race yesterday, giving the GOP a proven statewide winner among its primary options. Rutherford will likely face State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale and Investor Bruce Rauner in the primary; the Dem primary is up in the air based on what AG Lisa Madigan does.

MD-Gov, MD-LG: MD Governors don’t have to name their LG picks until after the primary, but LG Anthony Brown (D) is getting a jump on it. Brown is naming Howard CE Ken Ulman, himself talked about as a gubernatorial contender, as his running mate. The move is a smart one for Brown, as he combines their two large warchests to create a geographically and racially balanced ticket well-positioned to grab the left-wing vote. Brown will face AG Doug Gansler and/or Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger in the D primary.

AK-Gov: Upset over a new oil tax program, State Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) is considering an uphill run against Gov. Sean Parnell (R)….

More…

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Medicare Trurstee Report….Better Economy…Healther Fund….

As we kinda though….

Nothing does the Government better than a better economy…..

More people working…..

More taxes paid….

More taxes paid better for the Medicare and Social Security funds….

Now if we can just get those Republicans to STOP cutting jobs…..

Here’s the big takeaway from the new report: Slower health care cost growth has improved Medicare’s financial outlook, extending the program’s trust fund to last until 2026, two years later than forecast last year.

For those who prefer a 280-page report to a one page summary, we have you covered. The full Trustees’ Report is below. And stay tuned for more Wonkblog analysis!

For the report Here…..

Note….

I did a piece yesterday that pointed out that illegal Immigrants ALSO help funding the countries social programs…..

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 5/31/13: Ken Cuccinelli plans to win by ignoring polls he doesn’t like

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest banner

Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.

Leading Off:

• VA-Gov: God, Ken Cuccinelli’s pushback to PPP’s new poll showing Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a 5-point lead in the Virginia gubernatorial race is super pathetic:

In response, the Virginia attorney general’s camp touted a poll of their own: this one from the Republican-leaning firm, “Republican Republican Republican (RRR).” The mock poll showed Cuccinelli leading McAuliffe by a whopping 12 points, carrying an impressive margin of error of 0.00 percent.

Did these new pollsters attend Republican Campaign Manager School? Of course, PPP absolutely nailed Virginia last cycle, perfectly predicting both President Barack Obama‘s and Sen. Tim Kaine‘s margins of victory, so it’s especially telling that Cuccinelli hasn’t released contradictory internal polling of his own. But I always enjoy it when Republicans stick their heads in the sand and plug up their ears whenever PPP releases numbers they don’t like. If they want to be wrong, so much the better.

P.S. McAuliffe is out with his third ad, a boring spot in which he says Virginians care about “job growth” and “economic development,” and don’t want to pursue a “divisive ideological agenda” (obviously a reference to Cuccinelli’s conservatism). Someone needs to tell T-Mac to slow down and not speak so quickly……

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The Holder – Media Meeting…Promises…Promises…

photo…atlanticwire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder had a sit down with some media people  yesterday….

The AG wanted it off the record….(THAT WAS a joke….)

In response to the Governments investigations into leaks the media has been having a ‘shit-fit’….

Today’s reviews on the meeting has produced all sorts of media pieces about promise’s from Holder and Obama about how they are gonna write all sorts of rules that gives the media advance warning and gives away the governments ability to check on the media like they can CHECK ON THE GOVERNMNET….Get it?

I really don’t think in the end the media is gonna get much of anything different then what they have now…

Most people out there in the real world could care less about this….The fact is the Government DID go to judges get the supeopa’s served on AP, Fox and others….

The fact is the First Amendment has NOTHING top do with this….Everyday people are subjected to these actions by the government…For some reason the national media thinks it entitled to different treatment from the system….

Why?

Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday promised media outlets he would overhaul how the Justice Department handles future leak investigations and expressed regret over the seizure of journalists’ records, according to reports.

In an off-the-record meeting with several media organizations, Holder also reportedly promised to learn more about how journalists report on sensitive stories, Reuters reported.

Gerald Seib, Washington bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, told Reuters “there was a commitment to change the department’s guidelines for handling cases such as these and a renewed commitment to support a federal shield law for journalists.”

Holder has invited several more Washington media chiefs for more meetings on Friday — even as many other press honchos skip the off-the-record event.

Holder is at the center of a political storm over his department’s investigation of national security leaks, which has involved subpoenaing reporter emails and phone records and labeling one Fox News reporter a “co-conspirator.”

The meetings with bureau chiefs were supposed to help Holder dig out of a hole, but demands that they remain confidential have sparked more howls of protest.

More….

Note…

The whole thing about what agency is gonna send a rep to the meeting was comical….

These people are ABOVE going?…..(Their job IS to report the news remember?)

Of course SOMEBODY was going to go….

How would everybody else know what happened?

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Jamie Rubin, Christiane Amanpour to London….

A look at a power couple and a man who has dropped his stuff in New York to move to London for his wifes’s sake….

A good look at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey the people that own the World Trade Center ( and the difference in NY and NJ politics and the agency ) at the end of the linked piece….

photo…zimbo.com

James P. “Jamie” Rubin, the former assistant secretary of state, has resigned after a year and a half as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on international issues, to move to London with his wife, Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and ABC’s global affairs anchor.

Amanpour has been anchoring her daily foreign-affairs program on CNN International, “Amanpour,” from New York and now will air from London, where she will be closer to many of the hot spots she needs to visit for both networks.

Of his work with the Port Authority, Rubin said: “I got a real intense dose of New York politics … I operated in international affairs, but I had never really gone down into the real nitty-gritty of local politics. So I learned a lot about mayors and governors. … And I learned a lot about Jersey politics, which I knew nothing about. And I tell you: That’s hard core. …

More….

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The Supreme’s let Federal Agencies decide intent of unclear regulations….

Federal Agencies Win the Power to Expand Reach

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Arlington v. Federal Communications Commission, which empowers federal agencies to interpret ambiguities in the law even where it expands its own jurisdiction, “is an important win for all future presidents,” writes Cass Sunstein.

“For almost three decades, the court has ruled that when Congress gives a federal agency the power to issue regulations, that agency is usually authorized to interpret ambiguities in the original legislation… For more than a decade, judges and scholars have differed over what happens when an agency is deciding on its own ‘jurisdiction,’ that is, on the scope of its own authority.”

“Scalia’s opinion reflects his longstanding commitment to clarity in the law, a commitment that Thomas shares. It also reflects the majority’s belief, cutting across ideological divisions, that ambiguities in the law should be resolved by officials who are ultimately accountable to the people and likely to be experts on the issues at hand.

Wonkwire…..

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