Happy 80th Anniversary, Social Security! …

Commissioner’s Message

Check out all the events scheduled …http://www.ssa.gov/80thanniversary/events.html

I am thrilled to join our employees and stakeholders in celebrating Social Security’s 80th anniversary. Eighty years ago, on August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked the signing of the Social Security Act into law with profound and relevant words:

Read Full Message Watch Our Video

I am thrilled to join our employees and stakeholders in celebrating Social Security’s 80th anniversary. Eighty years ago, on August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked the signing of the Social Security Act into law with profound and relevant words:

Read Full Message Watch Our Video

These Nine Indigenous Voices Are Inspiring Us Right Now

Português | Español | Deutsch | [+]From everyone at Amazon Watch, we wish you a happy International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples!

We are deeply appreciative for the honor of collaborating with indigenous peoples, organizations, and activists, from around the Amazon rainforest and elsewhere. It is extraordinary to find common cause in high-stakes human dramas that, we believe, will help shape the future of the entire planet.

The struggles of indigenous peoples often center on collective rights such as self-determination, territory, and control of the environment in which they live. In highlighting the following nine individual indigenous voices, we recognize that there is danger given the context of collective peoples and struggles. Each person featured here is one of many who are doing amazing work together, on the particular indigenous rights campaigns mentioned and on many more.

All that said, allow us to introduce several amazing people we are looking to right now for inspiration. We collaborate with some on an ongoing basis. Others are activists we have yet to have the pleasure of meeting. All are profound voices to which the world should be listening.



Morning Digest: Opponents start to line up for indicted Pennsylvania attorney general

  • PA-AG: Oof. State Attorney General Kathleen Kane continues to assert her innocence in the face of charges that she unlawfully leaked secret grand jury materials to embarrass a critic, then lied to cover it up—and she’s now claiming that somehow her misfortune has to do with an internal investigation relating to the Penn State sex abuse case that had uncovered pornographic and racist emails sent by government officials. That inquiry led to the resignation of several prominent figures, including a state Supreme Court justice, but what this has to do with Kane’s own alleged wrongdoing she did not explain. In any event, life is moving on without her. Republicans in the legislature are taking tentative steps in the direction of impeachment, and one of Kane’s fellow Democrats just announced that he’ll run for her job next year, prosecutor Jack Stollsteimer of Delaware County. (If you have an incredibly good memory, you may recall that the DCCC unsuccessfully tried to persuade him to run against GOP Rep. Pat Meehan in PA-07 back in 2012.) Several other Democrats are looking at the race or thought to be interested, including Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, and Republican state Sen. John Rafferty is already in the race. No matter who runs, though, it’s virtually impossible to imagine a scenario where Kane is her party’s nominee next year.


  • LA-Gov: MarblePort Polling’s latest survey of this fall’s gubernatorial race in Louisiana offers a return to normalcy after the bout of temporary insanity induced by a recent Verne Kennedy poll that somehow found Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle in first place. Not so, says MarblePort. The jungle primary is still a two-way race between GOP Sen. David Vitter and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards, who take 31 apiece. The two other Republicans running, Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, are well back at 14 and 13, respectively. That’s pretty much unchanged from MarblePort’s last poll, and it’s similar to what everyone but Kennedy has seen. This being Louisiana, where candidates often file very late to run, there are a few other names hovering around the edges, and if any Democrats get in, they could block Edwards from the runoff. (Amazingly, the filing deadline is not until Sept. 10; the primary is Oct. 24, and a second round, if no one gets 50 percent, would take place Nov. 21.) MarblePort didn’t test any of those alternatives, though, so for now, there’s not much new to see here.
  • VT-Gov: State House Speaker Shap Smith, one of the leading Democrats considering a bid for governor, just filed paperwork to register as a candidate and has an announcement of some sort scheduled for Wednesday. In classic silly style, Smith is refusing to say what exactly his plans are, but come on. Several other people in both parties have been looking at the race as well, but assuming Smith doesn’t pull a Trent Franks, he’ll be the first to formally enter the contest to replace retiring Gov. Peter Shumlin.


  • NV-04: Six local labor unions, representing some 23,000 workers, just endorsed state Sen. Ruben Kihuen in his bid to win the Democratic nomination in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. Kihuen faces three other prominent Democrats—former Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, non-profit executive Susie Lee, and former Assembly Speaker John Oceguera—for the right to take on freshman GOP Rep. Cresent Hardy.

Grab Bag:

  • FL Redistricting: Uh, wow. Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown has completely lost it. Just read this mind-boggling exchange she had Thursday with two reporters, in which she insisted, over and over again, that the proposed new 5th District would not elect an African-American—and that it wouldn’t even elect a Democrat! (Around 63 percent of the Democratic primary electorate would be black, and the seat would favor Obama by about 20 points.) When pressed for statistics to back up her claim, Brown declared, “I’m not giving you the numbers.” If that’s the approach she’s going to take with her new lawsuit to block any attempts to redraw her district, her case is going to get laughed out of court.
  • United Kingdom: Something remarkable is taking place across the pond: The shock frontrunner in the race to lead Britain’s Labour Party is Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing throwback to the days when the party wandered the electoral wilderness in the 1980s. Among other things, Corbyn wants to nationalize the UK’s energy companies—a popular position—but he also happens to have bizarre views on foreign policy. (Corbyn loves him some Hugo Chavez and blames the west, not Vladimir Putin, for the crisis in the Ukraine.) As David Beard details in an excellent new piece, Corbyn’s ascent speaks to the unhappiness Labour’s vanguard has long felt toward the centrist Tony Blair wing of the party, aka “New Labour.” But Britain as a whole doesn’t seem interested in electing someone of Corbyn’s ideological stripe, which means Labour would likely face disaster in the next general election. That won’t take place until 2020, but whomever the party elects now will ostensibly be its standard bearer five years hence, and Labour’s tearing itself apart at the prospect. Click through for the entire picture on these stunning developments.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, and Daniel Donner.

Don’t Let Businesses Weaken Health Care Law Protections

NWLCbannerBusinesses are trying to roll back protections that can save women and their families thousands of dollars — unless you help us stop them.

Not so long ago, medical debt was the number one reason for bankruptcy in this country. Then the health care law put a limit on out-of-pocket costs women and their families pay each year for medical bills, offering a critical protection against medical debt. But businesses want a loophole that will weaken this protection for families.

We need your help to keep the law’s strong protections in place.

Keep the Health Care Law Protections StrongTell Secretary Burwell to stand strong against efforts by businesses to roll back protections for women and their families.

Take Action

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released guidance to protect families from extraordinary health care costs. But businesses are fighting back, claiming it will cut into their profits.

Stand up for women and their families. Sign our petition to Secretary Burwell and ask her to stand strong against attacks by businesses.

Thanks to the health care law, women and their families finally have peace of mind, knowing that they’re protected against insurance companies. Let’s make sure those protections stay strong.

Thank you for everything you do to ensure women and their families have access to quality, affordable health care.

Gretchen Borchelt
Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights
National Women’s Law Center

In the Library … “Social Security Works!”

Nancy Altman and EricKingson, Social Security Works’ co-founders, have written a book that representsthe culmination of the work that we have all been doing. Simply called “Social Security Works!”, the book explains why NOW is the time to expand Social Security.If we can reach a #1 ranking on Amazon.com during this week, that will send a strong statement that the movement to expand Social Security and increase benefits cannot be ignored.

Click here to get Social Security Works (the Book)!Here’s what Senator Bernie Sanders has to say about the book:

“Social Security Works! puts expanding Social Security front and center on the national agenda, where it belongs. Everyone who has a stake in the debate should read this important book.”

Simply put, the book makes the case that Social Security is the program that can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality.

Click here to get Social Security Works (the Book)! If you already read your copy click the link and give us a 5 star review on Amazon.

We’re going all-in on expansion in 2015 and we’re kicking the year off with a book release that will bring the real story of Social Security to the entire country. The book explains that not only can we afford to increase Social Security benefits, we can’t afford not to.

This book is a culmination of the work that we have been doing since our founding in 2010 and comes at the perfect time to grow the movement for Social Security expansion.

Thank you,
Roger Hickey
Campaign for America’s Future