Making politicians and media accountable to ordinary citizens since 2000.

Home | Unconservative Listening | Links | Contribute | About

Join the Mailing List | Contact Caro

Make Them Accountable

Bloodbath

Last night was a bloodbath for Democrats.

But liberal ISSUES won, in two ways—via ballot measures on minimum wage, gun control, and marijuana laws, and by Republicans pretending to change their beliefs on those issues plus women’s health rights.

Obama has literally destroyed the Democratic Party.

Time to rebuild from scratch, and jettison all the so-called Democratic consultants, who keep advising candidates to be moderate instead of all-out populist.

When Democrats start to act like Democrats, they’ll win.

Why We Are So Easily Manipulated by the Politics of Fear

Why We Are So Easily Manipulated by the Politics of Fear

(David Ropeik, Psychology Today) The real threat eating at a majority of Americans is from falling behind financially and losing the economic capacity to control our lives and protect ourselves…

And one of the responses to that threatening sense of powerlessness is to turn to your tribe… Buying into the fear beliefs of the tribe is a way to feel safe.

So the partisan nature of the current Republican fear appeal magnifies its effectiveness, by tapping into not only our innate sensitivity to anything that might be a threat and our greater sensitivity to threats making news, but to our instinct to circle the tribal wagons to protect ourselves when we feel like we can’t protect ourselves as individuals.

Fear is good. It helps keeps us alive. And most of the time we get things right. But oh how the instinctive nature of our risk perception system makes us gullible, manipulable, simple-minded fish chasing the shiny false lure of safety. We might make smarter choices if we are wary of that lure when we step into the voting booth.

Income equality slows growth, prosperity

Income equality slows growth, prosperity

(Washington Monthly) We’ve all seen the grim signs. At the personal level, more and more families are losing ground as they struggle to reach, or remain, in the middle class. At the national level, sluggish economic growth isn’t producing good new jobs for our young people, or preserving good jobs for mid-career workers. The two—growing inequality and anemic growth—are intimately connected.

Rising income inequality, for example, crimps the customer base that supports businesses large and small. And the growing inequality of wealth makes it harder for fledgling entrepreneurs to bring good ideas to the market. Similarly, the education achievement gap between the children of the wealthy and the rest of us is widening, and will lead to future declines in productivity. These trends do not bode well for new U.S. generations as they enter the workforce and begin to save for retirement.

Social Security isn’t keeping up with seniors’ costs

Social Security isn’t keeping up with seniors’ costs

(Mark Miller, ReutersMoney) Social Security’s annual inflation adjustment is one of the program’s most valuable features. But it’s time to adjust the adjustment.

Retirees will get a 1.7 percent bump in their Social Security benefit next year, according to the Social Security Administration, which announced the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) [last week]. Recipients of disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income also will receive the COLA.

That reflects continuing slow inflation in the economy - the COLA has averaged 1.6 percent over the past four years – but it’s not enough to keep up with the higher inflation retirees face…

A recent national survey by the Senior Citizens League illustrates the cost pressures seniors, especially those living on fixed, lower amounts of income, face. Half of retirees said their monthly expenses rose more than $119 this year, while an even higher percentage (65 percent) said their benefits rose by less than $19 per month…

A more generous COLA would come via the CPI-E (for “elderly”), an alternative, experimental index maintained by the BLS that is more sensitive to retirees’ spending. That index generally rises two-tenths of a percent faster than the CPI-W.

Are same-sex marriages good for the economy?

Are same-sex marriages good for the economy?

(Gordon Hodson, Ph.D., Psychology Today) With noticeable declines in the numbers of heterosexual marriages, marriages between gay couples can boost the economy among businesses linked to the wedding industry. By similarly tuning self-interests toward economic strategies that cut carbon emissions, can psychology help save the planet?

Giving Poor Families a Chance

Giving Poor Families a Chance

(U.S. News & World Report) Housing location matters for poor children’s futures. Poor kids growing up in poor neighborhoods with poor schools do worse than poor kids growing up in better neighborhoods with better schools. That sounds right, but a major new report by my Center on Budget and Policy Priorities colleagues Barbara Sard and Douglas Rice impressively marshals the research that proves the case, while acknowledging that federal rental assistance policy has had limited success to date in actually moving poor families into better neighborhoods.

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat

(University of California – San Diego) A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity.

It’s time to get mad about the outrageous cost of health care

New posts at Many Years Young 10/14/14

It’s time to get mad about the outrageous cost of health care

Most Expensive Cost in Health Care? The Doctor

After Surgery, Surprise $117,000 Medical Bill From Doctor He Didn’t Know

‘Perverse Incentives’ Add Costs to Dying When Patients and Families Want Less

Plus lots more.

Senate shaping up 50-50

Senate shaping up 50-50

By Brent Budowsky

There are so many razor-thin Senate races that confident predictions of which party holds Senate control are, to paraphrase a line from Jack Nicholson in “Chinatown,” wind from a duck’s derriere. My best estimate today, which could change tomorrow, based on events, is that the next Senate will be divided 50-50 with independent Sen.-elect Orman deciding control. In this scenario, as Kansas goes, so goes the nation. Orman’s leverage to demand Senate reforms could be earthshaking…

Most statistical analysts and insider pundits miss significant qualitative factors that will have increasing influence in the coming weeks.

Obviously President Obama’s unpopularity hurts Democrats. But Republican hatred of Obama does not a Senate majority make. Right-wing anger, vindictiveness, dog whistles and derision do not create one job, make life better for one woman or make one American town safer. Serious and concerned voters want more, which is why the GOP wave has not materialized and so many Southern and red-state Democrats are still standing after a year of onslaughts, attacks and, at times, flat-out lies arrayed by the armies of the right against them.

Many Democrats running in 2014 come from storied and highly respected Democratic families…

Meanwhile, while insiders are obsessed with the Obama drag, the cavalry for Democrats is coming, in the name of the Clintons. Bill Clinton’s barnstorming in Arkansas will give Sen. Mark Pryor (D) a lift. Bill and Hillary Clinton have been promoting Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) in her race against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Grimes recently pulled ahead of the Senate minority leader in a Louisville Courier-Journal poll, which may or may not be an outlier in a race that will be closer than statisticians suggest.

Read more.

Busts hurt more than booms help

So why do we keep having booms and busts? Cui bono? Why, the 1%, that’s cui.

Busts hurt more than booms help: New lessons for growth policy from global wellbeing surveys

(Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, University College London, and Michael I. Norton, Harvard Business School) We find evidence that the life satisfaction of individuals is between two and eight times more sensitive to negative growth as compared to positive economic growth. People do not psychologically benefit from expansions nearly as much as they suffer from recessions.

These results suggest that policymakers seeking to raise wellbeing should focus more on preventing busts than inculcating booms. Our results also offer an explanation for why increases in GDP do not always pay off in increases in happiness – the modest happiness gains accrued over years of growth can be wiped out by just a single year of contraction.

Bill Clinton can save Dems

Bill Clinton can save Dems

By Brent Budowsky

With Americans deeply concerned about the direction of the nation, [Bill Clinton] can explain to voters the great stakes of the midterm elections — with credibility unparalleled in national politics — on terms favorable to Democrats…

My advice to the Democratic Party for the close of the midterm elections would be for Clinton to tape a series of 3- to 5-minute videos supporting top Democratic Senate candidates, in addition to personally campaigning for them. These videos would offer a thoughtful and conversational explanation of why those Democratic candidates should be elected, and why all-Republican control of Congress would bring total gridlock in Washington and worsen the poisoned politics that is held in widespread contempt throughout America.

These videos would resemble a modern version of FDR’s fireside chats, when serious and concerned Americans would gather around their radios to hear Roosevelt talk intelligently and respectfully about how to end the Depression and win the Second World War. They would frame the election choices, achieve saturation coverage in states Clinton addresses and reverberate throughout modern communications of TV, print and social media.

In the sour political climate today, Americans hunger to be treated respectfully by political leaders who explain how tomorrow can be better than today, and why everything will be OK if we do the right things. Clinton can explain with unmatched credibility why liberals must vote and why swing voters should support Democrats.

Read more.

Income redistribution still happening–upwards!

Poverty dropped but household incomes didn’t rise, Census Bureau says

(Washington Post) The nation’s poverty rate dipped slightly last year as more Americans shifted from part-time work to full-time jobs, but wages barely kept up with inflation so there was no significant change to incomes, according to Census Bureau statistics released Tuesday.

The new census figures reflect a nation that is still struggling to emerge from the severe recession that officially ended almost five years ago. Poverty, though in decline, remains high. The increase in jobs has not affected the degree of income inequality. And median wages have been stuck at the same level since 2009.

Preventing Cancer Through Good Food and Exercise

New posts at Many Years Young 9/16/14

Preventing Cancer Through Good Food and Exercise

Cancer Survivor Numbers Triple From 40 Years Ago: Report

Man Survives Rare Cancer Thanks to New ‘Targeted’ Therapy

Some Cancer Experts See ‘Overdiagnosis,’ Question Emphasis on Early Detection

Plus lots more.

Health Is Cornerstone of a Happy Retirement

New posts at Many Years Young 9/16/14

Health Is Cornerstone of a Happy Retirement

7 Health Boosters That Will Surprise You

Yes! Sweat the Small Stuff

More General Health News

Plus lots more.

The Psychology of Terrorism

New posts at Many Years Young 9/15/14

The Psychology of Terrorism

Study examines impact of violent media on the brain

The Mysterious Case of Primate Peacefulness

Self Improvement Tips

Plus lots more.

Governments hold key to unlocking billions for social good – G8 report

Governments hold key to unlocking billions for social good – G8 report

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) Governments can unleash billions of dollars to tackle social problems more effectively if they take bold steps to reduce barriers to investing for both profit and social good, a task force set up by the world’s richest nations said on Monday.

In its first report, the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force calls on governments to make tax and regulatory reforms to catalyse the market in investments that generate social or environmental benefits alongside financial returns.

“This is not about increasing or reducing public expenditure, but helping government to benefit from innovation and private sector capital in order to achieve more impact with the money it has,” Ronald Cohen, the chair of the year-old task force, said in a statement.

‘Fat Shaming’ May Actually Lead to Weight Gain

New posts at Many Years Young 9/12/14

‘Fat Shaming’ May Actually Lead to Weight Gain

Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths

10 Tips to Stick to Your Diet

More Weight Loss Tips

Plus lots more.

Fitness: Fountain of Youth?

New posts at Many Years Young 9/11/14

Fitness: Fountain of Youth?

An hour of moderate exercise a day may decrease heart failure risk

Short Walks Reverse Negative Effects of Prolonged Sitting: Study

More Information on Exercise as Medicine

Plus lots more.

Business leaders are blowing smoke on corporate taxes

Business leaders are blowing smoke on corporate taxes

(Richard C. Longworth, Chicago Council on Global Affairs) The big American corporations – the ones threatening to pick up and move – actually make out like bandits at tax time.

Experiences make you happier than possessions — Before and after

New posts at Many Years Young 9/8/14

Experiences make you happier than possessions — Before and after

Older People Draw Happiness from Ordinary Experiences

5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Feel Happier

8 Smells Proven to Make You Happy

Plus lots more.

cialis pharmacie paris firmel levitra levitra belgie cialis tabletten viagra on line comprar cialis acheter prozac vente cialis zithromax prix prix cialis andorre tadalafil precio sildenafil sin receta trouble erection pilule viagra cialis que es kamagra online potenzmittel kamagra commande cialis generique achete viagra levitra tabletas potenzhilfe viagra europe comprare cialis cialis quebec disfuncion erectil pastillas levitra receta viagra sin receta probleme erection levitra precios kamagra indien cialis para mujeres clomid combien de mois achat cialis en france generic sildenafil viagra generika viagra 50 mg kosten levitra cialis france traitement impuissance acheter cialis en pharmacie viagra italia emergency3 viagra pillen dysfonction erectile cialis en ligne comprare viagra cialis nederland comprar sildenafil cialis genericos viagra argentina levitra generico medikamente rezeptfrei cialis temoignage levitra argentina generieke medicijnen le viagra tadalafil soft generique cialis werking kamagra cialis receta medica la viagra vente kamagra sildenafil genericos levitra kosten tadalafil 20mg prix cialis 20mg site kamagra costo levitra cialis generique acheter cialis farmacia andorra viagra acquisto viagra viagra indien achete levitra cialis auf rezept levitra zonder recept viagra kauf acquistare levitra tabletten ohne rezept commander kamagra firmel sildenafil viagra vrouwen cialis apotheke levitra rezept cialis precio cialis prescrizione citrate de sildenafil tadalafil 10 mg cialis retina generische cialis viagra donna cialis generique achat acheter cialis pas cher viagra belgique levitra svizzera zithromax medicament impuissance homme cialis generica impotenza rimedi levitra 20mg vente de cialis sur internet acheter clomid sans ordonnance levitra costo viagra bestellen vente viagra emergency2 viagra kosten sildenafil 100mg kamagra online bestellen propecia prix acheter du kamagra vendo cialis viagra preisvergleich viagra frauen levitra nederland sildenafil preis cialis pille propecia en ligne levitra indien viagra espana achete cialis levitra a vendre cialis sans prescription levitra espana erectiepillen sildenafil 50mg prix cialis 5mg venta de tadalafil viagra deutschland kamagra online kaufen prezzi viagra levitra sur internet cialis italia kamagra verkoop cialis sur internet acheter cialis pas chere levitra apotheke levitra farmacia emergency cialis farmacia cialis resultados cialis o viagra cual es mejor generische viagra levitra preis viagra 50 mg pastillas cialis viagra 100 mg levitra venta libre generique du viagra cialis generica kamagra inde cialis bestellen vardenafil 10 mg cialis moins cher acheter prozac en ligne levitra pharmacie prix cialis 10mg emergency5 cialis necesita receta medica cialis zonder recept cialis prix de vente cialis sur ordonnance viagra fur frauen sildenafil shop aquisto levitra curare impotenza achat levitra sildenafil citrate tablets acheter bupropion medikament viagra mannen pil cialis pharmacie prix emergency6 achat pharmacie viagra acquisto online viagra prezzo cialis vente en ligne conseguir viagra cialis preise internet apotheke kamagra pillen cialis instrucciones cialis à vendre receta viagra viagra prescrizione acheter cialis moins cher prezzi cialis cialis donna levitra in deutschland lange erectie sildenafil moins cher viagra rezeptfrei cialis ficha tecnica achat cialis en ligne versand apotheke internetapotheke cialis tadalafil generico viagra generica propecia generique internet apotheke cialis online vente de propecia viagra vente libre cialis luxembourg kamagra 100 mg kamagra kopen viagra kopen levitra prescrizione sildenafil rezeptfrei levitra versand viagra ricetta clomid prix medicament levitra vardenafil generika propecia vente erectie middelen cialis venta acheter cialis paypal vendita viagra acheter clomid en ligne prix du cialis cialis suisse vente de cialis en belgique cialis donne achat vardenafil levitra indien viagra pil cialis vente libre sildenafil espana acheter zyban achat de cialis erectiele dysfunctie cialis svizzera levitra en pharmacie potenzmittel rezeptfrei kamagra rezeptfrei acheter kamagra cialis internet sildenafil farmacia acheter propecia pas cher levitra donna cialis versand online apotheke venta de sildenafil kamagra pille cialis mujer acheter isotretinoine levitra kopen apotheke bestellen viagra ordonnance posologia viagra levitra rezeptfrei viagra online cialis kauf levitra sin receta viagra effet secondaire cialis pil viagra kostenlos tadalafil rezeptfrei cialis tous les jours venta viagra emergency7 impotenza sessuale commander cialis generique kamagra verkauf kosten cialis acheter cialis en belgique viagra auf rezept achat cialis generique cialis bon prix leivtra moins cher acheter cialis tadalafil frauen levitra kostenlos citrato de sildenafil vendo viagra emergency4 cialis levitra comparison viagra bestellen vente cialis en ligne cialis tabletas venta de levitra vardenafil generico viagra prijs vendo sildenafil