The Starting Line – ‘Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire’; Seniors Push Back Against GOP Plans to Slash Medicare and Social Security

by on July 31, 2012

in Columns, Government, Politics, The Starting Line

As the LA Times fronts today with an article detailing GOP lawmakers’ plans for dismantling Medicare, a senior citizens group supported by organized labor has began a national campaign to educate seniors on Medicare and Social Security issues. The Times article details how conservative critics of Medicare are readying a new push to dramatically scale it back should the GOP win control of the White House and Congress in November. GOP governors are leading the fight by blocking expansion of Medicaid to meet the goals of the Affordable Care Act.

Yesterday senior citizens groups around the country participated in events marking the 47th anniversary of the Medicare act. Billed as the ‘Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire’ Campaign, the DC-based Alliance for Retired Americans will be sponsoring additional educational events at senior centers in coming months and organizing protests outside offices of lawmakers who have voted against the needs of local retirees.  For more information on click here.

San Onofre nuke plant plans to be on-line by the end of 2012… The twin reactors at the San Onofre nuclear power could restart by the end of the year, according to Southern California Edison. Tentative dates for powering up are November 18 for the Unit 2 reactor and December 31 for Unit 3.  These dates were submitted to state power managers for planning purposes. Official permission for a restart will come from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Edison told the California Public Utilities Commission staff of the proposed “return to service” dates at a July 23rd briefing. The dates are required for planning by the agency that operates the state’s wholesale power system, the California Independent System Operator. A three-month federal probe blamed a botched computer analysis for generator design flaws resulting in excessive wear to pipes. Edison has yet to announce a plan to correct the problem, which environmentalists assert is a disaster waiting to happen.

Survey says it’s a toss up in the 52nd Congressional contest… A poll commissioned by Democratic candidate Scott Peters shows a dead heat in the race against incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray in the 52nd district. The candidates came in tied at 40%, including those only leaning toward either candidate. Undecided voters equaled 19% of those surveyed. This is a critical race for Democrats, who are seeking to pick seats in California in their quest for a majority in the House of Representatives. The poll of 400 likely voters was taken July 16-18 and had 4.4-point margin of error.

DeMaio’s big news may not be quite so big…. The  Mayoral candidate’s announcement that Art Castañares — a former San Diego County Democratic Party chair – was joining his campaign team was carried as “news” by much of the local media. He was touted as being able to deliver the message of the DeMaio campaign to communities that may have not have been exposed to it previously, which is political consultant double speak for people living south of interstate eight. Castañares may have trouble in at least one of those communities, as labor leader Lorena Gonzalez pointed out via Twitter, asking “Wasn’t he the last dem to refuse to walk in Pride?”

Voters in the southernmost part of San Diego below interstate eight may also look down on the former Democrat—who hasn’t actually been involved with the party going back  a decade—as his energy company, Manzana Energy, has thus far failed to deliver on a 2008 promise of installing solar panels throughout the San Ysidro School district.  Adding insult to injury, Castañares’ company has gone to court, asking for $17 million in alleged “damages” from the cash-strapped school district. So DeMaio’s “Democrat” might be better described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

 If it’s Tuesday it must be time for more wingnuttia.  Yes folks, the craziness just keeps on keepin’ on, and I’m makin’ sure that you keep up with the latest stuff rather than waiting for those recycled emails from your crazy uncle…

We’ll start today with the mother of all wingnuttia, Rush Limbaugh, who claimed  claimed during Monday’s broadcast that the tribute to the British National Health Service (NHS) during the Olympic opening ceremony was part of a conspiracy to help Obama win reelection.

Now, the guy who put together the opening ceremony, Danny Boyle, who did Slumdog Millionaire, the movie, he’s a big leftist. They made no secret of this. They actually pulled working nurses out of the hospitals to have ‘em participate in the opening ceremony. They honored the Industrial Revolution. They honored unions. This guy decided, okay, we’re gonna put an opening ceremony together of what is good and righteous about the United Kingdom

 “…Of all the things that you want to honor. I mean, the people of Great Britain don’t even like the National Health Service! And then it hit me, and then it hit me. It was actually done on behalf of President Kardashian. They did it for Obama. Nobody will convince me otherwise. I mean, they had the cover of doing this and honoring Great Britain, the opening ceremony, but we got a presidential election coming up, three checks away for you welfare recipients, and they honor the National Health Service, and we’re in the midst of a giant controversy.”

FYI –Rush, facts matter—An Angus Reid Public Opinion survey released yesterday says that only one-in-ten respondents (9%, -1) in Britain believe the NHS has to be completely rebuilt; that Three-in-four Britons (74%, +2) are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that they would have access to all the help that they would need from doctors and hospitals if they were to become sick, and a sizeable majority of those who are confident they would get the help they need (59%) outline their trust on UK physicians and nurses. Conversely, most of those who express little or no confidence in the NHS cite concerns over cuts to services.

Washington State counter-protest knocks Westboro Church loonies dead… Counter-demonstrators dressed up as zombies last week to protest against members of the small Kansas church outside a Washington State military base. The Westboro church members, known primarily for their vociferous intolerance, claimed soldiers died because God is angry with America over gay marriage and tolerance of “gay lifestyles.” The Washington State appearance was prompted by news that the founder of Amazon.com has pledged $2.5 million towards support of a same sex marriage initiative that appears on the fall ballot in that state. The zombies completely outnumbered and surrounded the anti-gay zealots, peacefully shielding them from public view.

Tennessee Dept of Tourism poster child for 2012

And finally we turn to Tennessee, when two conservative candidates are slugging it out in front of voters to see who can be the most anti-Muslim candidate. Courtesy of Mother Jones, we’ve learned that incumbent Congresswoman Diane Black, who was rated the most conservative member of Congress by National Journal, is fighting for her political life in a race against former county commissioner Lou Ann Zelenik. They are both Republicans, as Tennessee’s 6th District is so conservative local Democrats aren’t even fielding a candidate this year.

The challenger’s campaign is build around the premise that the impending Islamist takeover of the Bible Belt can only be stopped by electing her to Congress. Zelenik’s Tennessee Freedom Coalition hosted a conference last fall featuring the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who says anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. She has publicly supported proposed legislation that would define the practice of Islam as treasonous. Incumbent Black is no slacker in the fight against “radical Islam”; as a state senator, she cosponsored a bill called “Tennessee Laws for Tennessee Courts,” that was designed to protect the state from creeping Shariah.

On This Day: In 1928 MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, “White Shadows on the South Seas.” In 1961 the first tie in All-Star Game major league baseball history was recorded when it was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Boston’s Fenway Park. In 1969 the chief of police in Moscow reported that thousands of Moscow telephone booths had been made inoperable by thieves who had stolen phone parts in order to convert their acoustic guitars to electric.

 Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Coronado (1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing) 2:30 – 6 pm, Escondido  (Grand Ave. btw Juniper & Kalmia St.) 2:30 – 6:00 pm , Mira Mesa  (Mira Mesa High School 10510 Reagan Rd.) 3–7 pm, Morena District   (1240 West Morena Blvd.) 3 – 7 pm, Otay Ranch – Chula Vista (2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.) 4 –8 pm, PacificBeach  (Bayard & Garnet) 2 – 6:30pm.

I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas toDougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013 and 2014. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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