Has it really been a year? Yep, the tea partiers marched on the U.S. Capitol a year ago, delighting Fox News and scaring the heck out of NPR listeners. Yesterday, they were back again in the same spot, rallying before the upcoming midterm elections. The prevailing emotion a year ago was anger, but a year later the tea partiers can be characterized by a prevailing sense of… hope.
I’m still trying to figure out the difference between this and Glenn Beck’s Hope-A-Thon 2010. Event organizers say that Beck’s rally sapped the 9/12 gathering of much of its audience. Some true tea partiers believe that Beck knew this would happen, scheduling his event only weeks before in hopes of crippling the 9/12 rally. Not to worry, though. “Even though it’s smaller,” said one woman, “every person who was here last year is still with us [in spirit] and more.”
The White House has created an eighteen-member panel to discuss how to improve Social Security. John Boehner, a panel member, Ohio Republican, and Obama archenemy, has suggested raising the retirement age to 70. He’s gained support from panel Democrats despite opposition from liberal groups. The panel will issue a report in December. Although it might make economic sense, the raised age is screwing over hard laborers.
The debate over the retirement age seems to have forgotten about those in their 60s who still work physically demanding jobs. In a new study, the Center for Economic and Policy Research revealed that one in three workers over 58 still do physically demanding work. While life expectancy has increased, these workers don’t necessarily enjoy the same projections. Blue-collar workers usually start working full-time earlier than others, so they’re paying into Social Security for a longer time. The proposed increase won’t affect those currently in their 50s or 60s but looks to become a problem in the future.
The Obama administration is going to notify Congress of plans to offer Saudi Arabia an aircraft worth up to $60 billion, with additional naval and missile upgrades possible. The proposed deal is set to create as many as 75,000 jobs and will strengthen U.S. ally support in the Middle East against Iran, according to officials. Opponents of the sale say that the U.S. shouldn’t be supporting a government with such a poor human rights history. They also see it hurting Israel’s position in the Middle East.
Lady Gaga won nearly everything at the MTV video Music Awards last night, collecting eight awards, including “Best Video.” The real story here is that she collected one while wearing a dress made of red meat.
Other winners included Jay-Z, Eminem, and Justin Bieber. At 16, Bieber won the “Best New Artist” award for his song “Baby.” It should mark Bieber’s first and last VMA, as he’s scheduled to hit puberty within the next six months.