CNN reported on the Obama portrait unveiling yesterday, but it’s not yet available in the public domain so the image above is from the Bush portrait unveiling. Instead, I can only offer that you look at the link above and promise that I’ll update the placeholder images below when available. My reaction to President Obama’s picture:  it’s OK, I guess.  I know that it’s the style of the artist, Kehinde Wiley, to depict “African-Americans posed in the style of Old Master paintings,… Read more

This is a very short item but something I came across the other day that was entirely new to me.  The “Dreamers,” we are told, are in need of legal residency in the United States because they left the countries of their birth so long ago that those places are wholly unfamiliar to them, including language and school system.  But there’s another category of individuals in the same circumstance:  sons and daughters of people who came here on H-1B visas…. Read more

As reported in various sources, including Politico, the Trump administration in its latest budget has proposed reducing food stamp allocations and replacing them with packages of actual food, shelf-stable items including ” shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned fruits and meats, and cereal.”  The plan would save money because the government could source these items at much less than retail, and would combat fraud, because users can’t sell cans of tuna in the same way as they can sell food stamps. … Read more

Yesterday I spent too much time summarizing Teresa Ghilarducci’s Rescuing Retirement, in which she promotes her GRA retirement concept.  Today I’d like to give a bit of an evaluation. The core idea — make people save their own money instead of increasing Social Security — is a reasonable one, and is, after all, similar to the Jane Plan, except that in my plan I start the saving requirement only after a given earnings threshold.  But here are where the plans… Read more

That’s the claim, anyway.  She’s been flogging her “Guaranteed Retirement Account” concept for longer than I’ve been flogging my Jane Plan, since her first book, When I’m Sixty-Four, published in 2008, so, in my pre-blogging days, so I can’t reference a “from the library”-style blog post about it.  (Though I can point you to How to Retire with Enough Money and How to Know What Enough Is, a Clear Answer in 116 Pages, but that was a rather throwaway sort of… Read more

I’ve been sitting on a Brookings paper that argues that we need to take a break from worrying about male labor-force drop-outs, and worry instead about women who are not working: In recent years, there has been a reduction in paid work among U.S. women, one that is not paralleled in other advanced nations. Getting more women into the labor market is perhaps an even higher priority than raising male employment rates. This is important, the authors write, because nonworking… Read more

Something that caught my attention via twitter today:  a proposal for a new way forward on parental leave, put forth by a group called the Independent Women’s Forum, in a report called, “A Budget-Neutral Approach to Parental Leave.” The core of their idea is this:  as a means of providing parental leave without adding to the budget, we could allow new parents to “borrow” against their Social Security, that is, by “purchasing” leave time now and “paying for it” by… Read more

The first, from an article in the Chicago Tribune, “A Kansas chemistry professor got his kids ready for school — then ICE arrested him on his front lawn,” goes like this: a 55-year-old father of three,  Syed Ahmed Jamal, an immigrant from Bangladesh who’s been in the U.S. for 30 years, with graduate degrees in molecular biosciences and pharmaceutical engineering, whose 5 siblings are American citizens, who regularly volunteers at his children’s school, who had had an H1-B and student visa… Read more

Being obnoxiously facetious here: I am spectacularly non-athletic.  I get out of breath quickly, I’m slow, I’m short.  And I’ve passed those genes on to my kids, one of whom was in physical therapy as a toddler, the other in occupational therapy in his early elementary school years.  The third is just skinny, and has always been at the very bottom of the weight chart.  Do they meet the definition of “disabled”?  No.  But neither could they have any hope… Read more

In the news today, a literal Nazi will be on the ballot as the Republican candidate in Illinois’ 3rd district this fall.  Not because actual Republicans support him, but because Illinois’ laws around primaries enabled the crackpot, a man named Arthur Jones, to get on the ballot with a mere 603 signatures, according to CNN. which also reported that the state Republican organization is now trying to come up with a work-around, such as declaring a write-in candidate to be… Read more

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