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chart of opinion on wealth distribution by party ID
From Gallup
Gallup:
Majority in U.S. Want Wealth More Evenly Distributed

Wealth distribution is a key polarizing issue in contemporary U.S. politics. Partisan reactions to this question reflect that polarization, with more than eight in 10 Democrats saying money and wealth need to be more evenly distributed, compared with 28% of Republicans. There is a similar, although less extreme, divide between the views of liberals -- 79% of whom say money and wealth should be more evenly distributed -- and those of conservatives (41%).

Note once again that independent ≠ moderate.

The Guardian:

Two Norwegian politicians say they have jointly nominated the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel peace prize.

The Socialist Left party politicians Baard Vegar Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen said the public debate and policy changes in the wake of Snowden's whistleblowing had "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order".

Being nominated means Snowden will be one of scores of names that the Nobel committee will consider for the prestigious award.

In case you were wondering, most people have not been nominated for a Nobel peace prize, and fewer have won.  I don't remember Nixon winning (but Henry Kissinger did in 1973). Or either Bush. Or Reagan. But past winners include Mandela (1993), Carter (2002) and Obama (2009), MLK (1964) and Mother Theresa (1979). Hmmmm.
BIG: Morgan Stanley analysts say fully two-thirds of drop in labor force participation rate since 2007 is result of aging population.
@morningmoneyben
More politics and policy below the fold.

UNH/WMUR on NH: 32% say they are less likely
to vote for Christie because of Bridgegate, only 2% say they are more likely to vote for him
@DemFromCT
Link for UNH/WMUR poll is here (.pdf), with Rand Paul leading at 16% and Christie in fourth at 9%.
MT @pollreport: NEW HAMPSHIRE D prez preference: Clinton 74% / Biden 10% / (UNH/WMUR, Dem primary voters, 1/21-26) || statistical tie
@DemFromCT
And from ABC/WaPo, more of the same nationally, with 6:1 Clinton lead (a statistical dead heat, Wolf) and
The new survey puts Christie in third place — with the support of 13 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents — behind Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) with 20 percent and former Florida governor Jeb Bush at 18 percent. The rest of the scattered pack includes Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), who are at 12, 11 and 10 percent, respectively.
NY Times:
Intense rainfall and extreme heat combined with predation and starvation have led to an increase in mortality among Magellanic penguins chicks, according to a study.
NY Times:
To Representative Steve Daines, Republican of Montana, his vote this month against a 1,582-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill was at once a stand for fiscal sanity and a protest against spending cuts to rural communities, a “constructive no,” as he put it last week.

His opponents in the race for Montana’s open Senate seat quickly labeled it a vote against increased funding for the Indian Health Service, Pell Grants for low-income college students, mental health benefits for veterans and traumatic brain injury assistance for those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an effort to dry up the clean water supplies of rural Montanans.

The attacks on that one vote from Montana Democrats, including a possible challenger in Lt. Gov. John Walsh, highlighted a vulnerability to the Republicans’ quest for control of the Senate: They draw heavily from the unpopular House for candidates.

Austin Frakt:
These two tweets [by Avik Roy] tell you all you need to know about the politics of health reform

This is precisely why I’ve responded to journalists’ inquiries about the Patient CARE Act by pointing out, among other things, that it’s clearly designed to serve the objectives of the campaign(s)—2014 and then, perhaps, 2016—not as an effort to engage in good faith negotiation with Democrats on health policy.

I have said on multiple occasions it's always worth reading Avik, but don't think for a minute it's about policy when it's about politics.

Jonathan Bernstein:

Which is pretty much the lesson for other bills. If mainstream Senate Democrats (and the White House) and mainstream House Republicans want something to pass, it will happen. But that usually requires those mainstream Republicans to expose the distance between themselves and the radical Republicans. That works for the radicals, who desperately want to differentiate themselves from their more mainstream colleagues in order to show that they are “real” conservatives.
Greg Sargent:
One last point: Obama cast the need for robust government action to restore economic mobility for the middle class as integral to “who we are.” This is an implicit rebuke of Tea Party dogma, and on the substance, Obama has the big story right. As economic historian Michael Lind has put it: “The middle class in America, outside of the South, has always been in part a creation of economic engineering by means of laws and public policies…middle classes are made in part by enlightened public policy.”
Dana Milbank:
These developments are all good news for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has been struggling for three years to corral his caucus. And they are good news for the country because they hint at the possibility that Washington is beginning to function again. But it’s a delicate spot to be in for Republican lawmakers because the conservative activists who brought them to power — and who still dominate the party’s grass roots — feel betrayed.
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Comment Preferences

  •  All tax policy is redistributive. We've just (23+ / 0-)

    redistributed our taxes to the top of the pile, not the middle or bottom since Reagan, and completed by Bush/Cheney.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:22:40 AM PST

    •  Completed by Bush/Cheney? (4+ / 0-)

      No, I don't think so.  Didn't Obama make permanent all the Bush tax cuts for the upper quintiles of taxpayers?

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:11:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why we need a Democratic Senate (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv, Josiah Bartlett, deha, SueDe

        and House of Representatives.  That is our only chance to get tax equity, and a meaningful end to upward wealth transfers through the tax code.  It has also happened in most of our states, especially the states with ALEC and Republican dominated legislatures and governorships.

        Obama got the only tax increase for the plutocrats in many years.  Did he get enough?  No, he had to deal with the radical republicans in congress who will nearly give their lives to protect tax breaks for the rich.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:31:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. The opposite actually. (6+ / 0-)

        The Bush tax cuts were made permanent for everyone but the top bracket which went back up to Clinton era 39.6%.    It's also worth pointing out that Clinton raised taxes (and even Raygun—but that's a different story)  during his admin as well, something the Ohiodem1 left out.

        Fiscal Cliff deal

        New taxes in 2014

        I know, it's Forbes, but this particular writer is generally fair and accurate.

        America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

        by Back In Blue on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:42:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the trend, the mindset of tinkle down, was (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Josiah Bartlett, Back In Blue

          established by Reagan, it had its first implementation in his administration, if by fits and starts.  Reagan was in love with the Laffer curve, and thought it explained everything, and it reinforced his desire to implement tinkle down on the heads of the middle and low wage earners.  It made a fine talking point, despite the objections from professional economists.

          I didn't intend to present a complete survey of national tax policy, just to make a point that Bush/Cheney took implementation of tinkle down about as far as it was possible to go at the national level.

          Most of the action in advancing the use of the tax code for upward transfer payments to the wealthiest among us is happening at the state level, out of the eyes of the media.  In Ohio, Governor Taft, then more recently, Kasich have implemented soak the poor tax policy that provides enormous tax cuts to those earning over $200k and a pittance to those whose family earnings are less than $100k.  And a family earning less that $50k got nearly no income tax relief.  I ran some spreadsheets on the Taft tax policy, which was implemented by the Republican legislature, and it was ugly, and regressive.  More of the same with Kasich, likely the same with Walker, Snyder, Scott and other states around the country.  Wealth is being redistributed up, and the tax code is only one vehicle for that to happen.

          Personally, I don't give a damn if the plutocracy types whine that we don't like them because we want them to pay their fair share for the benefits of being an American.  It's been proven, through the policies that their bought legislatures (national and state level), have implemented, that they don't like us, so turnabout is fair play.

          Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

          by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:21:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Didn't mean to fault your comment. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ohiodem1

            Just adding them because it's easy to forget.  Otherwise, I completely agree. The state level action is particularly the fault of the national dem party taking it's eye off everything but the white house for far too long.  

            America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

            by Back In Blue on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:47:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  One thing that really needs doing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Back In Blue, Ohiodem1

          is to make capital gains just income. There is absolutely no basis for favoring one source of income over another. It just makes hedge fund managers, like Mitt Romney, much richer than they would otherwise be, and is actually unfair - amazingly - to other wealthy people who get very high salaries but pay more than twice the tax that someone making the same amount from trading stocks and buying and selling assets would.

          Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

          by Anne Elk on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:44:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great point. Income is income. GOP talking point (0+ / 0-)

            is - you can't tax capital, you can't tax job creators, it's double taxation because the corporate income already pays income tax, (except for, of course the 39 per cent of corporations that pay no federal taxes), blah, blah, blah.

            If it's income coming into a household, it should be taxed as ordinary income.  End of story.

            Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

            by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 12:27:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The top income tax rate is currently 35%. (0+ / 0-)

          Check here.  The top rate has been the same since 2003.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:06:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  With the exception of Mandela, that's (0+ / 0-)

    NOT a list that Snowden wants to be on, I suspect!

    •  As I think he has a snowball in hades chance of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MartyM, SoCalSal

      winning I'm sure he shouldn't be losing any sleep over it.

      Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

      by Morgan Sandlin on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:32:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  any human would think that (10+ / 0-)

      the list is pretty amazing company.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:39:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, amazing for sure (0+ / 0-)

        but in a bad way.

      •  btw, I just assumed that's what you (0+ / 0-)

        were going for by the names you gave!! (with the exception of Mandela  of course, which was confusing why he was lumped in with the others).

        •  well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wintergreen8694

          I actually didn't recognize many of the names, ashamed to say.

          but what do you and Snowden have against MLK and Mother Theresa?

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:48:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  plenty of bad things (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, samddobermann

            to say about Mother Theresa.

            You should google it sometime

            My litmus test. If you voted for the farm bill, you are not a progressive.

            by GideonAB on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:53:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, she was an awful, awful person (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              samddobermann

              mind-bogglingly so really.

              But an good example of the PR power of the vatican, I suppose.   Something they continue to excel at.

            •  Particularly, google what Christopher Hitchens (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              had to say about her.

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:13:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, I think "missionary position" are key words (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SueDe

                along with his name that will facilitate the search.

                Although it turns out that he was more or less just putting out information that was already out there . .. (i.e., from local sources in India - but IMHO I suppose we owe him some gratitude for seeking out this information and making it visible to a US/UK audience).

          •  If you listen to Snowden fans ... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            samddobermann, askew, freerad, Texdude

            ... Obama is the worstest, evilist of all.

            Funny how we haven't heard a word from Snowden about Russia's plan to actively monitor the phones and e-mails of journalists at the Sochi Olympics.

            And I'm wondering what nearly triggering a shooting war between Australia and Indonesia has to do with the privacy rights of Americans.

            So - Obama kinda sorta spying on Americans = BAD!!!, Putin very intrusively spying on Russians and former journalists = No Problem!

            From day one, this has had nothing to do with the privacy of Americans and everything to do with Glenn Greenwald's obsession with embarrassing President Obama. And he's done real damage to American business interests and worldwide diplomatic efforts.

            So yeah, give Snowden the Peace Prize. Ugh.

            I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

            by ObamOcala on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:24:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  About MLK, I don't have anything against him (0+ / 0-)

            really, per se.

            However, if we as a group here at DailyKos don't want to come across as huge hypocrites, we really can't laud him too much based on his plagarism of his Ph.D. thesis, which IMHO is a much bigger deal than what Rand Paul has been endlessly mocked for.

            •  what he stood for and what he did (0+ / 0-)

              is so much greater than picky human failings, i don't get the idea.

              "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

              by Greg Dworkin on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:55:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I tend to agree with you that what he (0+ / 0-)

                accomplished "on the ground" was more important than his plagiarism sins.

                But still, they are still WAY more seriously than what our opponents (e.g., Rand Paul) have been roundly derided for on this site.

                Which makes me just a tad queasy from the hypocrisy POV.

                but I suppose a rebuttal to that is like Leonard from the Big Bang Theory (defiantly) says "What, have you never seen a hypocrite before?" when he was caught in an act of undeniably hypocrisy.

                •  honestly this is a bizarre case of false (0+ / 0-)

                  equivalency. MLK was assassinated in 1968 while in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers. Rand Paul is a child of privilege who in 2016 wants to be president.

                  They both breathed (one no longer), both had childhoods, both pooped, both had human foibles, and so what? BFD.

                  Rand will be judged now as a presidential candidate. Lying (or not) is part of the brief to be examined. What in the world  does that have to do with MLK?

                  Just my opinion.

                  "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

                  by Greg Dworkin on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:51:01 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So the bottom line for you is that MLK's (0+ / 0-)

                    plagarism (in obtaining an advanced academic degree, which is usually a huge issue) not a problem for you, while non-stop mocking of a political opponent for much less severe violations is totally OK?

                    If so, that's strange, strange stuff.

                    But whatever, as long as I understand that that's your point, and that you're totally down with the hypocrisy involved, I'm willing to say "whatever"!

                    •  I reject the idea that disagreeing with you (0+ / 0-)

                      is a priori hypocrisy. I might add the equivalent is suggesting that if you don't agree with me, you're an asshole. personally, I don't believe either one is true.

                      What is true is this:

                      1. MLK did not win a Nobel because of an advanced degree. he won it, fairly, on his work on the ground.
                      2. Plagiarism was handled, as it should have been, by BU.  Yes, plagiarism, yes, an attached letter to his dissertation. Undoubtedly, had it been discovered in his lifetime, different handling.
                      3. Point 2 has just about nothing to do with point 1.  it has nothing whatever to do with what MLK is known for, this is. Even today.

                      None of that excuses plagiarism (not acceptable) or denies MLK's culpability (he was guilty). And for a man 40 years dead, seems a pretty small minded point.

                      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

                      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:23:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It doesn't bother me if you think that I am (0+ / 0-)

                        personally an asshole.

                        That's not really the point.

                        And I wasn't really keeping track of the individual authors of the diaries involved, you very well might not have been (so this discussion with you personally could be a tad misguided).

                        But it is crystal clear that overall this for site, including many frontpagers (again, not you personally, necessarily) the plagarism of Rand Paul was made into a huge, huge deal (which I actually protested against, btw, to not a lot of agreement).

                        Essentially all that I'm saying here is if plagarism when done in a rather minor way (as Rand Paul did it) is such a freakin' huge deal, how can we overlook plagiarism in a much more serious setting?

                        •  ah, ok, that I get (0+ / 0-)

                          on the grand scale of human achievement, it's not a disqualifier for Rand Paul, IMHO.

                          But it is a discussion topic, it knocked Joe Biden out once (historical political fact, 1988) and in the context of running for president, fair game.

                          In any case, what I object to isn't that it's wrong to say plagiarism is bad for Paul but good for MLK (it's bad, period), it's that it's an absurd comparison. Why? You can't compare a live politician currently running for president to a deceased cultural touchstone from a different era. it's apples and oranges on a grand scale. And to accuse someone who disagrees with you doing it as a hypocrite, which you did, is bullshit.

                          Just my opinion.

                          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

                          by Greg Dworkin on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:39:33 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget other notables such as... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, Roadbed Guy

      noted pacifist Teddy Roosevelt and civil rights campaigner Woodrow Wilson.

    •  Can we nominate Pete Seeger? (6+ / 0-)

      Actually we can't; the only people who can nominate are past recipients of the Prize plus those pesky Norwegians. (If you have good ideas in future years, one of the past recipients is the American Friends Service Committee (1947) and they often ask for suggestions and are thoughtful about who they nominate.) And I think you're not allowed to win it after you die. Maybe they can give him an honorary one anyway.

  •  Re the Distribution of Wealth chart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo

    Why is there such a disparity between those who are listed as Dem/Rep/Ind  versus  those who are listed as Conservative/Moderate/Liberal?

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:32:04 AM PST

    •  I think this poll must be flawed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, BPARTR

      When you have a poll where 41% of those identifying themselves as "Conservatives" who think wealth should be more evenly distributed  (WTF?), you've got a problem.

      The second question in that poll is much more meaningful, I believe.  That first question is one of those soft questions.  Of course most people want to see wealth distributed fairly.. hard to argue with it.

      But the second question asks if the government should be the one to re-distribute it..

      The question does not address the issue of who or what is responsible for this distribution of money and wealth in American society, or who should be responsible for changing it. A separate question focuses more directly on these issues, finding that 52% of Americans think the government should redistribute wealth "by heavy taxes on the rich," while 45% say it should not. Thus, slightly fewer Americans favor active government intervention to redistribute wealth than believe the current system is unfair.
      But once again.. 34% of Conservatives believe "government should redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich?"

      Where the heck are they finding these "conservatives"?  I don't buy it.  (and the poll is almost a year old)

      •  That's a branding effect. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Back In Blue, Sylv

        The decades-long marking blast from RW media has, in the minds of a fair number of people, created a shallow association of liberal with bad and conservative with good. These people label themselves at odds with their actual policy positions.

        There are people who label themselves vegetarian while eating chicken and fish.

        So, yeah, this isn't surprising at all.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:45:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are dems who label themselves conservative. (0+ / 0-)

        And there are indies who label themselves as conservative.  But clearly, there are not many repubs who label themselves as moderate or liberal.

        America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

        by Back In Blue on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:46:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  In need of a new way to say It's Cold Out There? (7+ / 0-)

    I spotted 11 Obscure Regional Phrases to Describe the Cold

    Here they are if you don't want to click the link:

    1. It's so cold, milk cows gave icicles
    2. Whizzing Cold
    3. Cold as a Whiz
    4. It gives the body a flesh-creep
    5. It's so cold, ager bumps a-poppin' out all over me
    6. Cold as Blixen
    7. Colder than the hinges of Hell
    8. Hasn't been this cold since eighteen-hundred and froze-to-death
    9. Cold as Blue Flujin, where sailors say fire freezes
    10. As cold as Finnegan's feet the day they buried him
    11. Colder than a brass toilet seat in the Yukon

    My favorite is a toss up between 8 and 9

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:39:43 AM PST

  •  Unconditional Surrender on the debt ceiling..... (7+ / 0-)
    •  which just shows (10+ / 0-)

      that Democrats can fight and win, if they force the Republicans to defend their positions in public.

      If only, Democrats would show similar fight on food stamps

      My litmus test. If you voted for the farm bill, you are not a progressive.

      by GideonAB on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:46:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, they did (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew

        The cuts went from $40 billion to $9 billion (Senate Democrats had proposed $4 billion).

        Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

        by skohayes on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:08:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  which is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wintergreen8694

          still a cut.

          In other words, Republican agenda won

          Warren lost the rank of progressive when she voted for the farm bill in 2013

          by GideonAB on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:11:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, Dems should've proposed an *increase* (0+ / 0-)

            "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

            by nosleep4u on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:47:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What was cut? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            checkerspot
            In more than a dozen states and the District, the level of assistance provided to some SNAP beneficiaries is tied to eligibility for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Such payments are usually made to apartment dwellers whose utility costs are included in monthly rent payments. In order to keep such low-income residents from choosing in winter months between paying a heating bill or buying groceries, the states provide minimal LIHEAP payments, often as low as $1, making them eligible for higher SNAP payments.

            The negotiated farm bill would tweak the program by requiring states to pay at least $20 in heating assistance to eligible households. The change would reduce, but not eliminate, SNAP payments based on heat-and-eat eligibility and save nearly $9 billion, aides said.

            In other words, the states are picking up the slack, and there are no cuts in food benefits at all, so no, the Republicans didn't win, SNAP beneficiaries did, because of Democrats fighting for them.

            Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

            by skohayes on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:31:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, APR at 5 AM? (13+ / 0-)

    I could get used to this...now back to reading.

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:40:25 AM PST

  •  call it "distribution, " not "re-distribution"! (12+ / 0-)

    The issue is that different policy structures lead to different distributions of wealth on an aggregate level. It is a demonstrable fact that the current skewing of the total distribution to to the to 1% (and within that to the to 0.1%) is not simply a fact of nature, but the result of a whole range of policies.

    If you call it "re-distribution," that makes it sound like you want to take money out of some people's pocket and give it to others. The truth is that all possible scenarios represent different distributions of wealth. Republicans favor policies that distribute wealth one way, we favor another outcome.

    See here: http://www.demos.org/...

    •  It bothers me (12+ / 0-)

      that the fair taxation of the populace is always described as redistribution.  Gives the right a big shovel to fling their poo.  There has never been a larger more prosperous middle class than after the policies of FDR and the high taxation of the Fifties.  Every time the country sinks into letting the wealthy do what they want we sink into malaise and stagnation.  Why don't we learn?  The equation is simple...those with the money have to pay the bills.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:59:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's an intentional framing (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, gffish, skohayes, Josiah Bartlett

        The wealthy leave unsaid, but strongly implied that because they "generated the wealth" to start with, no one is more "qualified" as to how that wealth is and should be allocated or applied.

        Therefore a double-an-Olympic-sized pool with "disappearing edge" is much more important than fixing the potholes in the roads after this winter is (eventually) ended.

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:27:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What really needs to be said ... (6+ / 0-)

      ... Repeatedly and loudly by as many politicians and pundits as we can get to say it ... is that the capitalist system depends on the constant redistribution of wealth.

      People do work which creates products and services. Those products and services are assigned a value in currency, and when they are purchased, the currency with which they are purchased is distributed among all involved — those producing the goods or services, those all along the supply and distribution chain, workers, shareholders and executives. Those to whom the currency is distributed then turn around and use that currency to purchase more goods and services.

      The CEO of McDonald's doesn't raise or slaughter the cows, pick the lettuce or tomatoes, bake the buns, make the cheese or mix the special Big Mac sauce. He doesn't cook the burgers or serve them. He doesn't sweep the floors in the restaurants. Without the people who do all those things, and thousands of others, there is no McDonald's, no billions of burgers sold, no profit and no wealth. How, then, has the CEO of McDonald's "created" wealth, and why does he deserve hundreds of times more in compensation than the people in the restaurants where working people fork over their money for the junk McDonald's sells?

      When all the money is concentrated in the hands of a few — when 75-80% of an economy's wealth stagnates instead of being re-distributed — a capitalist economy fails.

      I'm tired of hearing Republicans and Tea Partiers trumpet the wonders of the free market and the capitalist system. They don't actually believe in those institutions. Their aim is plutocracy, which is anathema to a functioning capitalist/free market economy.

      I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

      by ObamOcala on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:47:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Call it re-redistribution (0+ / 0-)

      It's already been re-distributed to the top. Nearly everybody knows this, and the "redistribution" rhetoric from the right is designed to lull them into forgetting it.

      •  Makes it worse. (0+ / 0-)

        We need to call things what they are and not counter propaganda with more propaganda.  And we need to defend the truth instead of run from it when the right tries to re-define words.

        America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

        by Back In Blue on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:55:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Blatant Self-Promotion........Reince says it's a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, salmo, Josiah Bartlett

    healthy thing.....so do a lot of GOP 'strategists'......can hardly wait for the primaries.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

  •  Where is Christie? (11+ / 0-)

    Not out there much lately. I think Bridgegate is the least of his problems at this point - messing with the Sandy money and vetoing a bill that would have provided oversight of the funds will be his downfall.

  •  What a load of crap @ Austin Frakt (8+ / 0-)
    The two sides cannot be reconciled right now or soon. (Don Taylor is more optimistic.) The best bet for health policy compromise, in my view, is if the GOP sweeps in 2016. It is hard for me to believe they would actually repeal the law in that case without implementing a substantially similar replacement. Nothing of the sort could happen before 2018 anyway. And by then, four years after full implementation of the ACA’s insurance reforms, as well as many years into its payment and delivery system reforms, far too many people and stakeholders will be invested.

    What could happen in 2018, under a unified GOP government, is something called “repeal and replace” that alters the landscape a bit, but not too much. It may not be viewed as completely benign by all parties, but it won’t be a complete gutting of Obamacare either in anything but name only. Meanwhile, some moderate Democrats will likely go along, and will certainly be interested in negotiating. If the GOP controls the government and is unified in purpose, there’s no stopping them anyway.

    Conservative means to progressive ends is the best bet for evolution of health policy. That’s how we got a Medicare drug benefit. And, despite the howls of protest, that’s how we got the ACA. It may not be conservative enough for 2014, but it’s not that far off either, if the Patient CARE Act is any guide. By the time the GOP could actually gut Obamacare, they won’t, despite the rhetorical packaging and campaign promises.

    But that time is 2018, not sooner.

    The best bet for health policy compromise in MOST people's view is for the DEMOCRATS to sweep in 2016.  That way they can tweek Obamacare, make it better and get us on a path to single payer.  In 2017 states will be able to set up their own single payer programs which will go a long way to insuring it will happen at the federal level or countrywide after that.  

    This idiot though thinks the GOP will repeal and replace with something similar.  Their Patient CARE Act is a blatant political gambit in light of the fact that they have FAILED to stop Obamacare and people are beginning to like it.  They have no intention of making healthcare better for Americans.  If they did they would have offered this up FIVE FUCKING YEARS AGO when it was relevant to the policy discussion.  

    Progressive pushes forward with the knuckledraggers getting clubbed over the head and dragged into the new world is the ONLY way to get to where we need to be.  Conservative means to so called progressive ends DOES NOT WORK!!!  By citing Medicare D this idiot just proves that point.  Medicare D was a fucking disaster and remains only less so because Democrats improved upon it rather than stomping their feet and shutting the govt down in a temper tantrum when they didn't get their way.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:11:29 AM PST

  •  Are MorganStanley analysts reading DailyKos now? (9+ / 0-)
    BIG: Morgan Stanley analysts say fully two-thirds of drop in labor force participation rate since 2007 is result of aging population
    Funny, because I was just saying a few days ago:
    It turns out that there's an interesting scientific explanation for the migration of individuals away from the Labor Force.

    The oldest members of the baby boom generation reached retirement age a few years ago. The US population distribution by age shows the widening bulge in the profile at age 65. As the bulge moves upward toward the top of the pyramid in the years ahead boomers retiring from the Labor Force will shift the balance of blue to red in the pie chart.

    Why on Earth would this be important enough to write about?

    Because one of the GOP's central campaign themes this year will be the downer of long-term unemployment with millions of people who gave up looking for jobs, thus driving the Labor Participation rate lower.

    Problem is the stats don't support it. Not that the GOP bothers with stats other than the ones they hallucinate.

    Sure there are some people who remain long-term unemployed. But the number of people leaving the work force for good old-school retirement is much larger.  It's the wide bulge in the US age distribution profile known as baby boomers. The oldest of them turn 68 this year.
    A nice ripe age for retirement, maybe even with a 401k that appreciated well since the dark days of the meltdown 5 years ago.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:18:33 AM PST

    •  Baby boomers retiring (7+ / 0-)

      You may be right however, I suspect that the shitty economy is leading more baby boomers to retire earlier than originally planned.  Not at the ripe old age of 68, but rather at the ripe old age of 63.   Given a choice between not getting an unemployment check because the gov't decided not to extend benefits or going into early retirement and getting something, most will opt for something is better than nothing.   I'm sure some are retiring at 67 or 68 but the ones who are doing so, with a somewhat fatter 401K's are probably more well off anyway.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:25:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. I notice certain patterns that people (5+ / 0-)

        follow when they try to make sense of everything in their surroundings. The thread that was going full-tilt on the
        cut in SNAP is a good example. There was no way that you could successfully introduce new information, even if it was true, factual, relevant, and essential. That plays out on a mass level in the political discourse of this country, too, when the public is given erroneous or incomplete information like Mike Huckabee's claim that 92 million Americans have left the labor force because they couldn't find jobs. It's like creating a kind of panic in a dark room full of people. My job is finding the light switch and turning it on.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:15:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What is interesting about that report is the spin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aznavy

      rather than the data.

      About a year and change ago the same research shop at MS issued a brief which explained that 2 million plus folk were exploding the drop in labor force participation rate (LFPR) by going on disability.

      Now they come out with the startling (?) revelation that more LFPR drops have a huge number of older past participants exiting.

      The first instance was touted by the shills as bad (moochers!, poors!, takers and fakers!).

      The second instance is touted by the same shoal of shills as good (it's just the olds leaving, pay no attention!).

      Both reactions miss the point.

      In truth, when you dig just a very little the most recent analysis hinges on the following:

      In an interesting research note, Vincent Reinhart of Morgan Stanley analyses the much-discussed decline in the labour force participation rate in America (the rate is at its lowest since the 1970s). More than half of this is due, on his analysis, to the ageing of the population; older workers are giving up early as they approach 65.
      OK, so at an early retirement point older workers are just giving up on trying to find a job (which is also a key thing, labor force participation rate is the percentage of people who are 16 and older who are employed or looking for employment). It is also likely that some of those older workers were given the boot to make room for younger cheaper-by-the-hour younger workers.

      (A similar argument also would point to those disdained moochers revealed in the 2012 report - they often are also older, worn out).

      What is the upshot then? What does this actually mean for the economy? Bad news really, and the MS Research note does not dismiss that at all - at least not on the raw data. Here is why it cannot do so.

      -- A previously gainfully employed older worker exits the labor force (or, in other words, takes early retirement).
      -- This means that older worker will no longer be getting the salary or hourly wage he previously enjoyed.
      -- This means the worker will be dependent on either Social Security alone or a combination of that with retirement income (401K). It is as rare as hen's teeth for that combined retirement to equal the previous pay.
      -- Which means the now retired worker has less to spend, and, recall, consumers are the key driving force in propelling our manufacturing deficient economy.
      -- If the older worker's job is taken over by a new college graduate or HS student good for them, but let us not ignore the obvious: such younger workers get paid less than the veteran employees exiting stage left.
      -- Which means that, in toto, the disposable income per capita shrinks.

      That is why LFPR declines (whether you try and argue them to be demographically structural, or structural with a kicker from the Great Recession) bode ill for us all.

      And Politico's spin on this is blithe and incredibly ignorant.

      It is instantly bad news - and continuing bad news for the future.

  •  A link within the Plum Line (9+ / 0-)

    Just saw the block everything and blame Obama strategy phase 2 in action on Morning Joe regarding the economy - a back & forth between Joe & Steve Schmidt promoting President Obama "owning" the fiscal failures of his administration. Jonathon Chait sums it up rather nicely (so did Jon Stewart last night).

    The basic underlying fact of the situation is that the economy is growing very slowly because Congressional Republicans have done everything in their power to apply the fiscal brakes to the recovery.
    and this
    Obama’s greatest political puzzle, for the entire duration of his presidency, has been the ability of conservatives in Congress to block recovery proposals while foisting the blame for the consequences onto him. He’s tried to crack this many times, with little success. The main solution available to him is for the economy to recover without much help from Washington. In the meantime, his best course of action is simply to talk about plans to help the economy as much as he can.
    Chait link:
    http://nymag.com/...
  •  Messaging: "Hello-o-o..." (6+ / 0-)

    Memo to Dems: Right now is the time to push back on the "poor little rich kid" meme.
    It isn't about "eliminating" the rich.
    It's about fixing Wall Street so that our economy is
    SUSTAINABLE
    That includes sustainable profits for the investment class, which includes a lot of middle class folks with 401 Ks and large educational and research/medical institutions which are needed for upward mobility and better standard of living for the poorest.

    It's about vampire/vulture capitalism that is destroying the middle class and destroying the "demand" side of the "supply and demand" system.

    The comments of Tom Perkins, which are the buzz of the cocktail parties of his class, are the beginnings of the push back narrative, the backlash, which will be seized upon by the gop and their handlers.

    Right now is the time to push back the push back.
    Don't leave it up to the Pres. as usual. It's time for some of the Senators to step up and show a little effort. With a couple of exceptions, I'm disgusted with Dem Senators.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:33:44 AM PST

    •  But..but..."pursuit of happiness" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54, Stude Dude

      Why do you want to deprive some future aristocrat of the divine right of the Constitution to be even more wealthy than any previous Robber Baron in history? Records were made to be broken, you know.

      Where is you sense of fairness??? :-p

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:38:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I cannot think (0+ / 0-)

      of any Senator who will vote the right way.

      I had hoped that Warren would change that

      Warren lost the rank of progressive when she voted for the farm bill in 2013

      by GideonAB on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:18:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not just talking voting. They need to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GideonAB, wintergreen8694

        out there in the news cycle, in the narrative, setting the messaging straight.
        There are some good ones, Merkley, for example. Franken, but he's lying low.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:55:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could not agree more (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wintergreen8694, Stude Dude, David54

          If we have the debate, we can force the Republicans to back down.

          The Republican illusion vanishes when you look closely

          Warren lost the rank of progressive when she voted for the farm bill in 2013

          by GideonAB on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:03:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  by the way (0+ / 0-)

          Where is Merkley on the farm bill?  Has he spoken out against it?

          Warren lost the rank of progressive when she voted for the farm bill in 2013

          by GideonAB on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:08:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not getting his newsletter. I'm not sure. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tb mare

            You're right. The Farm Bill is exactly a good opportunity to make the case.
            The fact is that the gop wants to cut food stamps specifically because it would provide at least a "micro-drag" on the Main Street economic recovery.
            Ditto the UI benefits.
            They've already made it clear that they're running in 2014 on the sluggish mainstreet recovery which they have engineered.
            They should be made to own it, but they're not.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:41:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  ps: Right now I'm in the process of (0+ / 0-)

              unsubscribing from all Senate and Dem fundraising emails, as well as most of the other groups.
              I get about 100 fundraising emails a day (I have no money) and I'm not hearing what needs to be said from the Dems who are in office.

              I keep getting more and more unsolicited emails.
              I know its from signing petitions.

              I'm just going to help a couple of Texas candidates, that's it. Wendy Davis, Maxey Scherr, and Neal Marchbanks.

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:47:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  i totally agree. it's just like TARP. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54

      we lost that narrative to THE TEA PARTY of all places...
      jeesh.
      hope we don't wonk our way away from our good poll numbers.

      I am tired of laughing at the irony of their stupidity.

      by stagemom on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:52:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gallop Poll (0+ / 0-)
    Note once again that independent ≠ moderate.
    The Gallop links point to a poll taken nine months ago. The margin of error does not really support this conclusion, particularly of an out of date poll.
    •  true in all polls (0+ / 0-)

      not just this one.

      Unles you think the same findings over decades is out of date, the poll is not out of date. And it's a very relevant topic.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:10:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's amazing to me that in poll after poll (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, wintergreen8694

    the Republicans are on the wrong side of every issue.

    60% of Republicans think income distribution is fair.
    Obviously those larger amygdalae impede rational thought.

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:48:19 AM PST

    •  Repubs have a lockstep agenda and it shows. (3+ / 0-)

      They do not care what others think, they do not care about how their action affect others (although I think they have a meannness contest going and that they high-5 themselves every time they fuck America more).

      Republican beliefs are not legitimate: they can believe whatever they want, but they horribly divorced from reality and they really do want to create a fuedal society with a small class of rich people, a layer of robots and immigrants wo work cheap and really, everybody else can drop dead.

      That's why they fight healthcare reform (so you can stay sick and die) it's why they cut foodstamps (so you can starve and die) and they want to kill your job so you can't afford anything in this heinously expensive country....and drop dead.

      The amazing thing is that more Americans haven't figured it out.

      Republicans should be terrified of us.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:10:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish they were afraid, but they're not and (0+ / 0-)

        people vote for them.  We are not defining them as the sickos that they are.

        It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

        by Desert Rose on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 05:04:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gallup poll consistency (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, Sylv

    Gallup also asked whether people support "heavy" taxes on the rich to redistribute wealth. Currently, 52% support this, and 45% opposed it. The consistency is impressive. Both support and opposition have existed within a band of 45% and 52% since the late 90s.

  •  This guy is a frickin' presidential historian! (11+ / 0-)
  •  Hardhats, etc..... (0+ / 0-)

    Last night I dreamed that a revived Li'l Abner run a strip that was sympathetic to white victimization. The cognitive dissonance caused a Facebook backlash.

    Now that I'm awake, I was thinking that Al Capp did do Bedtime Stories for Hardhats, which I nicknamed Bedtime Stories for Hardheads.

    So were the Hardhats grassroots or were they astroturfed like the Baggers?

    Amazingly enough, I'm influenced by Al Capp. A lot because as stupid teen boy, I didn't pick up that some of his husky busty women were supposed to be grotesques. I was like "Whoa! A big blonde with the boobs!" So I went on to create Flexia, Revellia, Pex, Agriculture and Industry, etc....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:38:17 AM PST

  •  Rand and Cruz (0+ / 0-)

    Rand worries me that if he runs on legalizing pot and against drones and the NSA, that he could pick up a lot of youth vote and even knock loose of some of the rest of the Left.

    Cruz worries me because he's sharper than he seems, with academic credentials similar to Obama. He's just playing dense to pander to his Poe's Law base and probably to get the Democrats to underestimate him and not take him seriously.

    If W could get electech twice, and Reagan would dominate '80 after his '76 fizzle, these two guys could be too possible.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:44:45 AM PST

  •  About that Morgan Stanley study (fffffft) (5+ / 0-)

    By "due to an aging population," are they counting in that category the scores (thousands? millions?) of people in their 50s and 60s who are hale and hearty and eager to keep working, but got canned by their employers so they could replace them with adjuncts, temps, or newbies working at one-third the salary? I have two friends in that category just this month, one a tenured professor. (No, you can't terminate a tenured professor with a union contract -- unless you eliminate the position, wait a year, and then advertise virtually the same position again at the bottom of the payscale.)

    •  it's based not on who loses a job (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv

      but rather, continued interest in looking.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:49:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's room for multiple trends happening all at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv

      once in a country as large and diverse as the US. Trends that involve 20 million people over a 5 year span probably have a few underlying elements. Baby boomers are retiring  for lots of reasons. Some who retire early decide to look for work again a few years later which is a countertrend.

      Politicians interpret this activity in simplistic ways to gain an advantage for their agenda. Individuals look for understanding by referring to their own life experience and they believe in the evidence of their own perceptions.

      In the competition of ideas, the pro-business, reactionary rightwing saturates the public. I reject that. I don't want to play a role in their script.

      Progressives, in general, need to have their own script. It should be based on tradition Progressive values and an understanding of the world that uses empirical methods, observation and study, the intellect, reason, and logic.

      It's the other side who rejects these principles in favor of whatever subjective bias suits them.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:06:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  economic news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv

    U.S. GDP Advances 3.2% in 4th Quarter

    Economy Grows at 3.7% Pace in 2nd Half to Lift 2013's Rate to 1.9%

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:52:03 AM PST

  •  Now about that poll: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom, aznavy

    And about how it's biased.

    Where's the fourth option, "the rich should have even more."?

    Ever wonder what the effect would be if it was included?

    Ever wonder why it's omitted?

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:31:26 AM PST

  •  US Wealth: the ideal, the delusion & the reality. (0+ / 0-)

    America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

    by Back In Blue on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:36:47 AM PST

  •  Call me crazy (0+ / 0-)

    I have been unemployed for over 18 months and haven't has a penny of income in those months, I can't take a handout , if I didn't earn it with my mind or hands I can't put money in the bank.  My life savings are drying up fast but I can sleep well knowing I am not taking something I didn't work for.  My friends both dems and republican alike call me nuts.  

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