Chained CPI, Indefinite Detention, & Obama’s Social Security Cuts

“The chained-CPI cuts the (Social Security and Medicare) cost-of-living adjustment each year by three-tenths of a percentage point. … This is $28,000 if you live to the age 95, out of the pockets of beneficiaries. … They’re trying to say is that people with disabilities, older people, veterans … are getting too large a cost-of-living adjustment.”

– Eric Kingson, co-director of the Strengthen Social Security campaign on why he believes President Obama and other lawmakers who have made campaign promises not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits are being disingenuous about making a “little tweak” with the chained CPI. This year, the cost of living adjustment was 1.7 percent; none in previous years.

Indefinite Detention Without Charge or Trial Triggers Widespread Guantanamo Prisoner Hunger Strike

Interview with Omar Farah, staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, conducted by Scott Harris

The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba that President Obama pledged to close during his first year in office continues to operate four years later and is again the focus of attention for the treatment of prisoners held there. A widespread and growing hunger strike by an undetermined number of prisoners among the 166 men held at Guantanamo since early February has resulted in the force-feeding of a number of strikers via tubes inserted into their noses and down to their stomachs. The Pentagon has recently blocked media access to the detention center. Story continues
Progressives Organize to Stop President Obama’s Proposed Social Security and Medicare Benefit Cuts

Interview with Eric Kingson, co-director of the Strengthen Social Security campaign, conducted by Scott Harris

President Obama’s proposed federal budget that was unveiled on April 10, provoked the ire of many progressive groups that had supported him in his last two presidential election campaigns. The flashpoint for anger, and in some cases charges of betrayal, sprang from the White House plan to impose changes to the Social Security system’s cost of living adjustment formula, known as “Chained CPI,” reducing benefits totaling $100 billion or more over 10 years. The president is also calling for $400 billion in unspecified cost savings from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which assist both senior citizens and the poor and disabled. Story continues
Yale University Forum Debates Natural Gas Boom’s Impact on Climate Change

Excerpts of Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies’ panel discussion on climate change: U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry at Yale, and Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale School of Forestry’s Project on Climate Change, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus

The Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, along with the Sierra Club, sponsored a March 27 panel discussion on energy policy and climate change on the Yale campus. Speakers included Connecticut’s U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal; Nadine Unger, assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry at Yale, and Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Forestry School’s Project on Climate Change Communication. Story continues
This week’s summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon

In early April World Bank President Jim Yong Kim outlined an ambitious goal to eliminate extreme poverty for those making less than $1.25 dollar a day, by boosting the income of the bottom 40 percent of wage earners by the year 2030. (“World Bank chief: global poverty bigger challenge than action on Aids,” Guardian, April 4, 2013; “World Bank aims to end extreme poverty by 2030,” Inter Press Service, April 2, 2013; “BRICS ‘big five’ find it hard to run as a herd,” Reuters, March 27, 2013)
Nearly 25 years after the Soviet Army fled Afghanistan, Russia is planning to return to the war-torn nation to set up “maintenance bases” to service Russian-made military equipment purchased by NATO. (“Russia going back to Afghanistan? Kremlin confirms it could happen,” Christian Science Monitor, April 1, 2013)
The enforcement of New York City’s “stop and frisk” policing strategy is on trial in federal court in Manhattan.(“Lawsuit challenges NYPD ‘stop and frisks’,” Los Angeles Times, April 3, 2013; “2012 stop and frisk statistics,” Center for Constitutional Rights; “Recording point to race factor in stops by NY police,” NY Times, March 21, 2013,)

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