DailyKos has this four minute video and a map which examines the “hardest and easiest places to live in the U.S.” It seems many of the harder places to live are in the south. That said, it looks like parts of Missouri also earn that distinction.
How many times have you wondered why people vote against their own economic interests? Why would these sections of the country highlighted in the video do that? Matthew Pulver of Salon takes a shot at answering this question in The South’s Victim Complex.
Since Reagan, then, conservatism’s principal issues cannot be extricated from what animated them in the Southern milieu of their birth. The North, if now only a phantom, prefigured the foreign other always at work in the modern conservatism borrowed from the South. Every major issue is argued in terms of persecution and attack. The racial minority is not the oppressed subaltern but a threat, whether physical or fiscal. Liberatory advances for women and LGBT Americans are assaults upon the family. Religious pluralism and fortifications of the wall between church and state evoke biblical accounts of Christian persecution. Deviations from increasingly neoliberal capitalism are described as authoritarian socialism. Relaxation of military aggression, especially under Obama, is even seen as collusion with the enemy.
Yeah, that might explain it.
Green Car Reports has the story of a new battery prototype featuring Titanium – Dioxide that can recharge in 5 minutes and last for 20 years. That would be a game changer!
These impressive experimental results were achieved by replacing the graphite typically used in lithium-ion battery anodes with a titanium-dioxide gel.
Currently used as a food additive and an ingredient in sunscreen, titanium-dioxide can be reconfigured into nanotubes, which allows chemical reactions in the battery to take place at a faster rate, researchers say, lowering charging times.
In addition to faster charging, the estimated 20-year lifespan of this new battery could make it possible for some battery packs to outlast the plug-in cars they’re installed in.
That would not only reduce the chances of an owner having to shoulder an expensive battery-pack replacement, but also the volume of used packs needing to be recycled or trashed.
As the midterm elections draw near, FRONTLINE examines Why Voter ID Laws Aren’t Really About Fraud.
Voter fraud generally rarely happens. When it does, election law experts say it happens more often through mail-in ballots than people impersonating eligible voters at the polls. An analysis by News21, a journalism project at Arizona State University, found 28 cases of voter fraud convictions since 2000. Of those, 14 percent involved absentee ballot fraud. Voter impersonation, the form of fraud that voter ID laws are designed to prevent, made up only 3.6 percent of those cases. (Other types included double voting, the most common form, at 25 percent, and felons voting when they were prohibited from doing so. But neither of those would be prevented by voter ID laws, either.
Legislatures all over the country, well as Judge Richard Posner noted – Republican legislatures, have been pushing Voter ID laws. What else could they do? I mean, 4 Presidential elections, 3 min-term elections, countless state and local elections and all of 28 cases of voter fraud have been prosecuted to conviction.
I look forward to this level of activism when the first 28 cases of wage theft are proven. The first 28 cases of corporate corruption. The first 28 cases of unfair trade practices, etc. Will the chances for success be increased if we join the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)?
itndy Borowitz gives his take on a controversial new law that would require Gubernatorial candidates present the results of an IQ test...
A controversial new bill in the Texas House of Representatives would require those running for governor to show proof of the minimum I.Q. necessary to perform the duties of the office.
If the bill were to become law, every politician in Texas with gubernatorial ambitions would be issued an I.D. card featuring his or her photo, current address, and performance on a state-administered I.Q. test.Carol Foyler, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, acknowledged that the idea of a minimum I.Q. for candidates was viewed as incendiary in some circles, but insisted that the requirements of the I.D. card were not onerous. “All they have to do is show mastery of simple tasks, such as uttering complete sentences and things of that nature,” she said.
But the bill faces an uphill fight in the House, where representatives like Harland Dorrinson, of Plano, have vowed to defeat it.
“I know that the folks behind this so-called bill are well meaning,” Dorrinson said. “But if this had been enacted fifteen years ago, it would have choked off our supply of governors.”
This week’s audio netcast: Ten years ago, Thomas Frank wrote the landmark book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” Today, he says the same thing is still wrong in the Sunflower State – Governor Sam Brownback – and he is ripe for defeat. Constitutional law professorWilliam Forbath explains how the concept of “originalism” works for progressives, too. And Bill Press interviews Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky, about the congressional response to ebola.
The Business section of the Sunday Post-Dispatch featured You may be your retirement fund’s worst enemy Did you know?
The typical working household close to retirement age had only $111,000 at the end of 2013 in their 401(k) savings plan at work and individual retirement accounts outside of work, according to Alicia Munnell, the center’s director. That $111,000 would provide only $500 a month for living expenses if converted to an annuity. Despite a stock market that’s soared the past five years, households have less stashed away for retirement now than they had in 2010. Then, the typical household had $120,000. Her report raises questions about whether the 401(k) system of preparing for retirement is failing Americans. In the early 1980s, most employers offered workers pensions known as defined-benefit plans. With those plans, employees who stayed on the job long enough to qualify for a pension didn’t have to think about saving or investing. Employers promised to invest and then provided guaranteed monthly payments to former employees throughout their retirement. Munnell says only about 17 percent of private employers still provide pensions.
What are the main problems with 401(k)’s
The mistakes of not saving, saving too little, borrowing from a 401(K) and paying expensive fees have a huge effect. Munnell calculates that a 60-year-old in 2013 who had saved since the age of 29 would end up with only $100,000 versus $373,000 if they hadn’t been sidetracked by the common mistakes. It breaks down like this: Fees reduce the balance to $314,000; withdrawals during job changes or loans cut it to $236,000; inconsistent contributions further reduce it to $165,000; and a failure to contribute at times can lower the balance to $100,000.
So if folks can’t save enough with a 401(k) what will they depend on in retirement?
With too little in savings, the typical household is going to be highly dependent on Social Security. But Munnell notes that Social Security is going to provide less to future retirees. The retirement age is moving from 65 to 67, so people who retire at 62 to 65 will see their monthly benefits cut more than now. In addition, people will need to pay more for Medicare. Medicare payments are taken out of Social Security before the government sends checks to retirees. In addition, higher taxes will reduce their Social Security because benefits are not indexed to account for inflation.
The average monthly Social Security benefit in 2013 was $1,294.
If we combine the Social Security benefit of $1,294 with the average $500 annuity that the average savings would provide the typical American will have a monthly retirement income of $1,794. Will you be able to live on that?
If you can live on that or less vote Republican and support the party that has opposed Social Security and Medicare since their inception and are still aggressively trying to reduce your entitlements. If you can’t live on that vote Democratic as they are the party fighting to maintain and expand Social Security and Medicare.
To be sure, some Democrats have already signed onto the idea, including Senators Tom Harkin, Sherrod Brown, Mark Begich, and Elizabeth Warren
Nobel Economist Paul Krugman gets to the credibility of certain economists that are pretentious to the point of speaking for the entirety of the market place in What Markets Will.
To get more specific: We have been told repeatedly that governments must cease and desist from their efforts to mitigate economic pain, lest their excessive compassion be punished by the financial gods, but the markets themselves have never seemed to agree that these human sacrifices are actually necessary. Investors were supposed to be terrified by budget deficits, fearing that we were about to turn into Greece — Greece I tell you — but year after year, interest rates stayed low. The Fed’s efforts to boost the economy were supposed to backfire as markets reacted to the prospect of runaway inflation, but market measures of expected inflation similarly stayed low.
How have policy crusaders responded to the failure of their dire predictions? Mainly with denial, occasionally with exasperation. For example, Alan Greenspan once declared the failure of interest rates and inflation to spike “regrettable, because it is fostering a false sense of complacency.” But that was more than four years ago; maybe the sense of complacency wasn’t all that false?
All in all, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that people like Mr. Greenspan knew as much about what the market wanted as medieval crusaders knew about God’s plan — that is, nothing.
In fact, if you look closely, the real message from the market seems to be that we should be running bigger deficits and printing more money. And that message has gotten a lot stronger in the past few days.
That’s right, the GOP has written a new page in their cookbook for electoral success. Sure it’s basically the same recipe used to enact policies that cut wages then convince working people that the elephant party is for them. The same recipe that allows them to vote against equal pay for equal work, keeping salary information secret by law, and support restrictions on contraceptive coverage and deny there is a war on women.
This recipe is an ad that dresses some dude as a millennial to talk about why he is a Republican… Priceless. Be sure to dig the tasty duds on this guy. Then check out John Oliver’s parody – may I have another please?
Progress Missouri has combed through the Missouri Ethics Commission reports and found The 158 Missouri Candidates Who Have Received Rex Sinquefield Campaign Contributions This Election Cycle. It seems some of Franklin County’s own, particularly some that like to talk about the Constitution and government of, by, and for the people may like some people named Rex more than actual constituents.
- Dave Hinson – $1,000 – Grow Missouri - 12/20/2013
- Dave Hinson – $5,000 – Missourians for Excellence in Government - 9/5/2014
- Dave Schatz – $4,500 – Grow Missouri - 6/30/2014
- Dave Schatz – $1,000 – Missourians for Excellence in Government - 9/5/2014
- Paul Curtman – $2,500 – Grow Missouri - 9/9/2014
- Paul Curtman – $10,000 – Missouri Club for Growth PAC - 9/30/2014
- Paul Curtman – $10,000 – Missouri Club for Growth PAC - 9/30/2014
- Tim Jones – $10,000 – Grow Missouri - 8/29/2014
How are these State Representatives going to pay King Rex back?
If you’re scared to find out support candidates that finance their campaigns through small donations from people and organizations not named Rex and Grow Missouri, such as…
Susan Cunningham in the Pacific, Robertsville, St. Clair area
Bobbi Bollman in the Villa Ridge, Union area
Tom Smith in the Washington, Hermann area
Lloyd Klinedinst for Senate District 26 covering Franklin County