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The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Here is our weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 19th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves”

  1. canary says:

    Saw part of this ObamaCare ad millions from taxpayers money went towards on FOX news.

    The artist named Alphacat poses as a rapping Obama (commander in chief at that) to a Snoop Dogg song with a couple of background dancers crotch grabbing to appeal to his friends and peers no doubt.

    It’s entirety at this link


    Had difficulty finding the above, because this shocking Obama Care ad to appeal to the LGBT crowd seems to be more popular.

    “Latest ObamaCare Commercial Features 1/2 Naked Gay Men Licking Candy Canes
    Dec 20 2013 Posted by Ben Swann Staff

    The Obama administration has recently teamed up with a campaign called #Out2Enroll, the brainchild of the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that focuses on “improving the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community,” according to their website.

    Read more: http://benswann.com/latest-obamacare-commercial-features-12-naked-gay-men-licking-candy-canes/#ixzz2rBVv7jpy

    It’s hard to believe all those millions were needed to produce such garbage and likely the performers would have done it for free just for exposure and experience. It would be nice to see how each penny was spent.

  2. captstubby says:

    hey boys and girls,
    one way anybody who wants to watch the SOTU Address,
    is to compile a ;

    2014 State of the Union Address Drinking Game list.
    (must be 21 or older to play. Pot is not to be substituted for obvious reasons.)

    last years list,
    remember, if you don’t tune in, you are probably a Racist.
    (or you started the Game much too early in the day.)

  3. captstubby says:

    apples and oranges.
    Chained CPI?

    Office of Management and Budget
    if the COLA indexation switched to the chained CPI (CCPI-U). This index typically shows a rate of inflation that is 0.2-0.3 percentage points lower than the CPI-W. The reason for the difference is that CCPI-U incorporates the impact of substitution on consumption costs. If the price of apples rises less rapidly than the price of oranges, and people switch from consuming oranges to apples, then the CCPI would lower the weight it assigns to oranges and increases the weight it assigns to apples. This leads it to show a lower measured rate of inflation, which arguably reflects actual patterns in consumption.

    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    January 16, 2014

    Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
    The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.5 percent over the last 12 months
    The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 1.3 percent over the last 12 months.
    The gasoline index rose 3.1 percent, and the fuel oil and electricity indexes also increased, resulting in a 2.1 percent increase in the energy index. The shelter index rose 0.2 percent in December. The indexes for apparel, tobacco, and personal care increased as well. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for airline fares, for recreation, for household furnishings and operations, and for used cars and trucks, resulting in the index for all items less food and energy rising 0.1 percent.

    January 24, 2014

    Obama has “proposed nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts in his budget, including a switch to using the Chained Consumer Price Index, which liberal policy experts estimate could cost seniors thousands of dollars in benefits over their lifetimes,” according to The Hill.

    the Office of Management and Budget
    The White House

    Chained CPI Protections
    The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget demonstrates that we can make critical investments to strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow the economy while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way.
    The Budget does all of these things as part of a comprehensive plan that reduces the deficit and puts the Nation on a sound fiscal course. Every new initiative in the plan is fully paid for, so they do not add a single dime to the deficit. The Budget also incorporates the President’s compromise offer to House Speaker Boehner to achieve another $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced way. When combined with the deficit reduction already achieved, this will allow us to exceed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, while growing the economy and strengthening the middle class. By including this compromise proposal in the Budget, the President is demonstrating his willingness to make tough choices and his seriousness about finding common ground to further reduce the deficit.
    * * *
    The Budget contains the President’s compromise offer to Speaker Boehner from December. As part of that offer, the President was willing to accept Republican proposals to switch to the chained CPI. But, the Budget makes clear that the openness to chained CPI depends on two conditions. The President is open to switching to the chained CPI only if:
    The change is part of a balanced deficit reduction package that includes substantial revenue raised through tax reform.
    It is coupled with measures to protect the vulnerable and avoid increasing poverty and hardship.
    The Budget contains two types of protections:
    Benefit Enhancement for the Very Elderly and Others Who Rely on Social Security for Long Periods of Time
    The benefit enhancement would be equal to 5% of the average retiree benefit, or about $800 per year if the proposal were in effect today.
    It would phase in over 10 years, beginning at age 76, or (for other beneficiaries, such as those receiving Disability Insurance) in the 15th year of benefit receipt.
    The benefit enhancement would begin in 2020, phasing in over 10 years for those 76 or older (or in their 15th year of eligibility or beyond) in that year.
    Beneficiaries who continued to be on the program for an additional 10 years would be eligible for a second benefit enhancement, starting at age 95 in the case of a retired beneficiary.
    Because of the benefit enhancement for the very elderly, the Budget proposal would not increase the poverty rate for Social Security beneficiaries, and would slightly reduce poverty among the very elderly according to SSA estimates.

    Desperately Seeking “Serious” Approval
    Paul Krugman – New York Times April 5, 2013,

    Sigh. So Obama is going with the “chained CPI” thing in his latest proposal — changing the price index used for Social Security cost adjustments. This is, purely and simply, a benefit cut.
    Does it make sense in policy terms? No. First of all, there is no reason to believe that the chained index is a better measure of inflation facing seniors than the standard CPI. It’s true that the standard measure arguably understates inflation for the typical household — but seniors have a different consumption basket from the young, one that includes more medical expenses, and probably face true inflation that’s higher, not lower, than the official measure.
    Anyway, it’s not as if the current level of real benefits has any sacred significance. The truth — although you’ll never hear this in Serious circles — is that we really should be increasing SS benefits. Why? Because the shift from defined-benefit pensions to defined contribution, the rise of the 401(k), has been a bust, and many older Americans will soon find themselves in dire straits. SS is the last defined-benefit pension still standing — thank you, Nancy Pelosi, for standing up to Bush — and should be strengthened, not weakened.
    So what’s this about? The answer, I fear, is that Obama is still trying to win over the Serious People, by showing that he’s willing to do what they consider Serious — which just about always means sticking it to the poor and the middle class. The idea is that they will finally drop the false equivalence, and admit that he’s reasonable while the GOP is mean-spirited and crazy.
    But it won’t happen. Watch the Washington Post editorial page over the next few days. I hereby predict that it will damn Obama with faint praise, saying that while it’s a small step in the right direction, of course it’s inadequate — and anyway, Obama is to blame for Republican intransigence, because he could make them accept a Grand Bargain that includes major revenue increases if only he would show Leadership (TM).
    Oh, and wanna bet that Republicans soon start running ads saying that Obama wants to cut your Social Security?

    What’s the Chained CPI?
    Bottom line: Cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security would be lower with the chained CPI than with the “plain” CPI
    by Kim Keister, AARP, February 2013

    What’s the difference? Here’s the difference: The initially small benefit reduction between the plain CPI and chained CPI amounts to large losses down the road. — | The acronym is easy: CPI stands for consumer price index, a formula that looks at how the prices of stuff we need (food, for example) change over time. It’s used to make cost-of-living adjustments in programs such as Social Security, veterans benefits and food stamps.
    The chained CPI is a twist on that: It measures living costs differently because it assumes that when prices for one thing go up, people sometimes settle for cheaper substitutes (if beef prices go up, for example, they’ll buy more chicken and less beef).
    Bottom line: Cost-of-living adjustments would be lower with the chained CPI than with the plain old CPI. So depending on which formula is used, the amount of your Social Security payments could change over time.
    How much could payments change? Estimates show that under the chained CPI, your cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) would be about .3 percentage point below the plain old CPI. That works out to $3 less on every $1,000, which doesn’t sound like much — except that it keeps compounding over time.
    Look at it this way: The COLA for this year was 1.7 percent. If your monthly Social Security check was $1,250 last year, it increased to $1,271.25 this year.
    With the chained CPI, you would be getting $1,267.50 — or $3.75 less a month and $45 less a year. Again, that might not seem like a big reduction, but if the COLA is the same next year, the difference increases to $7.61 a month and $91.32 for the year.

    You start to get the picture. The gap accelerates and begins looking like real money. If you’re 62 and take early retirement this year, by age 92 — when health care costs can skyrocket and more than 1 in 6 older Americans lives in poverty — you’ll be losing a full month of income every year.

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