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Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:31 PM

 

Trends with benefits, This American Life drinks the kool aide.

I was yelling at my car sound system this morning. The podcast of This American Life was playing the march 22 episode, Trends With Benefits, and it was rightwing radio hour.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2013/03/trends-with-benefits-web-extra

The story was the long term upward trend of Americans receiving disability benefits, how they track other trends (unemployment and the de-industrialization of our economy), but beyond the actual facts was an underlying theme of, well, Cadillac Welfare Queen, is what came to mind.

This sentence grabbed my attention:

And it's a deal 14 million Americans have chosen for themselves.

Well no really it isn't. The vast majority of people on disability are people who have not made a choice at all, they have serious physical or mental problems that offer them no choice but to try to get by on the miserable disability stipend.

I wanted to strangle Chana Joffe-Walt, the author of the piece, when I heard that sentence. Interestingly, apparently I was not the only potential neck wringer as the web site notes that sentence has been revised to read

And it's a deal 14 million Americans have signed up for.



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Reply Trends with benefits, This American Life drinks the kool aide. (Original post)
Warren Stupidity Mar 2013 OP
Iris Mar 2013 #1
Iris Mar 2013 #3
Dawson Leery Mar 2013 #4
Iris Mar 2013 #5
olddots Mar 2013 #2
Warpy Mar 2013 #6
Warren Stupidity Apr 2013 #24
Bluenorthwest Mar 2013 #7
LiberalEsto Mar 2013 #8
Warren Stupidity Apr 2013 #12
Geoff R. Casavant Mar 2013 #9
MADem Apr 2013 #10
Warren Stupidity Apr 2013 #11
MADem Apr 2013 #23
winter is coming Apr 2013 #26
MADem Apr 2013 #27
HiPointDem Apr 2013 #13
bemildred Apr 2013 #14
GiveMeFreedom Apr 2013 #15
otohara Apr 2013 #16
Javaman Apr 2013 #17
Orrex Apr 2013 #18
Javaman Apr 2013 #19
Orrex Apr 2013 #20
Warren Stupidity Apr 2013 #21
Orrex Apr 2013 #22
Warren Stupidity Apr 2013 #25
lunasun Apr 2013 #29
Arcanetrance Apr 2013 #31
Liberal_in_LA Apr 2013 #28
Warren Stupidity Apr 2013 #30

Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:35 PM

1. I think they are getting called out on it.

I saw a news report about some questionable parts of the report. I'll try to find it and post it here.

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Response to Iris (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:37 PM

3. Here - Media Matters and International Business Times

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/03/28/npr-adds-clarity-to-discredited-disability-repo/193340

www.ibtimes.com/ira-glass-american-life-stand-disability-story-after-media-matters-calls-it-error-riddled-1152957

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Response to Iris (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:38 PM

4. Let us know.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:38 PM

5. Look up!

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:36 PM

2. NPR has come a long way from the Fire Sign Theater to this dreck .

 

I'd rather listen to elevator Muzak than what NPR has become =yuppy patter for farts that don't like music .

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:51 PM

6. Mostly it's being driven by people over 50 who can't get hired anywhere

in this miserable Republican Depression but who have been soldiering on with severe chronic illness for years because they know they'd live better on a paycheck than on a disability check.

It's an average 3 year slog to get disability benefits. It's not like they prance in, plop down, and get rubberstamped into them on the spot. They don't.

This is another article written by an idiot pulling things out of thin air and right wing prejudice.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:44 PM

24. The stupid piece couldn't even substantiate that claim.

 

They did claim that the growth could not be accounted for by boomers alone, but they did not get around to actually accounting for it, other than of course the innuendo that it was a bunch of shirkers taking advantage of hard workin murkins.

They did manage to observe that quite a few 50+ people in de-industrialized non-urban america were in fact unable to physically work in the service jobs that remain (e.g. retail, health care, truck driver). But could not quite grasp the obvious conclusion: that means they are disabled.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:52 PM

7. I too was furious with that hack and her slanted piece of so called work.

 

This American Life and NPR can kiss my ass with their calcified cronyism and right wing blather.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 09:46 PM

8. A woman I know lost her mother, for whom she was the caregiver

 

Then she lost the home because her siblings decided to sell it and split the proceeds,
Then she lost her job and health benefits.
One of the neighbors took her in, or she would have been homeless.

Her untreated diabetes got worse because she couldn't afford medical care.
She could no longer see to drive, and couldn't see to fill out the forms to apply for SSDI. Another neighbor helped her fill out the forms. Her brother and sister wouldn't lift a finger to help her, or take her in.

Social Security rejected her because they thought she could still work as a cashier or bank teller.
They ignored the fact that her vision was so poor that she couldn't tell a dollar bill from a twenty. The neighbor, a retired lawyer, helped her appeal, and after more than a year of hassles she finally just started receiving it.

Now she's getting treatment for her eyes, but it's likely that the lack of early medical care cost her most of her eyesight permanently. They're trying to salvage what little sight she has left. And her diabetes has been brought under control, for the most part.

If it weren't for her wonderful neighbors, she could have ended up blind and homeless, or dead from additional diabetic complications.

Had she been able to get SSDI when she initially applied, she could have gone to the eye doctor sooner and been able to retain a little more of her eyesight.

She certainly didn't CHOOSE to collect SSDI -- she ended up desperately needing it in order to survive, through no fault of her own.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:30 AM

12. Not according to TAL.

 

Last edited Mon Apr 1, 2013, 04:08 PM - Edit history (1)

I kept waiting for any data regarding the extent of unjustified recipients. There wasn't any. Just innuendo.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 10:17 PM

9. I only caught a few moments of it, and I was seeing red.

I'm usually impressed with NPR fact-checking, so when I heard this, my first impression was, this must be pretty accurate. I know many people on disability who truly deserve to be there, and my thought was those who are gaming the system are giving the rest an undeserved reputation.

I wonder how much truth there is to the segment of the show about the companies that assist folks in moving from welfare to disability though?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:10 AM

10. The Bush administration's "gift" to NPR--a bunch of assholes hired by his appointees during his

reign of terra! He appointed some real assholes to the board of directors, and this is the fruit of that action.

It'll take forever to shift 'em all. The well is poisoned for some time to come--be sure to "filter" your listening, because you'll hear some shit now and again for the foreseeable future...

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Response to MADem (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:28 AM

11. I could be wrong but I don't think NPR has any government appointed directors.

 

Last edited Mon Apr 1, 2013, 04:07 PM - Edit history (1)

The explanation for the rightward drift is more complicated. Anyway the media matters fact check on that piece is startling considering the reaction TAL had to Mike Daisey's embellishments.

http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/03/22/this-american-life-features-error-riddled-story/193215

But Ira is standing firm. Oh yeah they "revised" a bit of the more egregious bullshit. But nothing wrong with that piece at all.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 06:36 PM

23. CPB does. And they have oversight over both PBS and NPR. Background....

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/16/business/media/16radio.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

WASHINGTON, May 15 - Executives at National Public Radio are increasingly at odds with the Bush appointees who lead the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

In one of several points of conflict in recent months, the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which allocates federal funds for public radio and television, is considering a plan to monitor Middle East coverage on NPR news programs for evidence of bias, a corporation spokesman said on Friday.

The corporation's board has told its staff that it should consider redirecting money away from national newscasts and toward music programs produced by NPR stations.

Top officials at NPR and member stations are upset as well about the corporation's decision to appoint two ombudsmen to judge the content of programs for balance. And managers of public radio stations criticized the corporation in a resolution offered at their annual meeting two weeks ago urging it not to interfere in NPR editorial decisions....Last month, the corporation's board, which is dominated by Republicans named by President Bush, told the staff at a meeting that it should prepare to redirect the relatively modest number of grants available for radio programs away from national news, officials at the corporation and NPR said.

....


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/business/media/12npr.html

Times Executive Resigns to Lead NPR


The network has gone through several high-level power struggles in recent years, including clashes with Bush administration appointees at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting who suggested that NPR had a liberal bias. In 2006, it pushed its top news executive into a lesser job, and last March, the NPR board forced out Kenneth Stern just 18 months after naming him chief executive.


In 2003 Bush appointed Kenneth Tomlinson, director of the Voice of America under President Reagan, to head the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the congressionally chartered caretaker of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR). Soon after his appointment, Tomlinson determined that it was necessary to restore ideological "balance" to public broadcasting, and launched a series of broadsides against PBS, NPR and even the CPB itself.

Tomlinson has surrounded himself with conservative partisans, including a Bush White House communications official, with a scheme to change public broadcasting to suit their political agenda. Tomlinson replaced a non-partisan professional chief executive at CPB with Ken Ferree, the top media adviser to former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell. Ferree was the chief architect of a failed effort to dismantle the FCC rules that prevent media concentration. This week, Tomlinson was successful in pushing through the appointment of Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, to run CPB.

Conservatives on Capitol Hill and on the CPB's board targeted legendary broadcaster and popular PBS journalist Bill Moyers, demanding that he be "dealt with." In response, Tomlinson secretly hired an outside consultant last year to track the political leanings of the guests on "Now With Bill Moyers." Moyers resigned in December and funding for the news program was subsequently halved.

In contrast, the Wall Street Journal, which has frequently called for the elimination of government funding for public broadcasting, is now being sponsored and promoted by the CPB to espouse conservative, pro-business views via a new weekly program featuring the Journal's editors....


http://eshoo.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=112


http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/4149_Previous_Version_2007-06-01.pdf

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
The CPB serves as an umbrella organization for public television and radio
broadcasting. The CPB is a nonprofit private corporation and is guided by a 9-member
board of directors, of which the members are appointed by the President with the advice
and consent of the Senate. The directors serve for staggered six-year terms. Although its
creation as a private nonprofit corporation was motivated by the desire to eliminate
political influence, it is required to make reports to Congress and submit to audits. The
CPB’s principal function is to receive and distribute government contributions (or federal
appropriations) to fund national programs and to support qualified public radio and
television stations based on legislatively mandated formulas. The bulk of these funds are
to provide Community Service Grants (or CSGs) to stations that meet specified eligibility
criteria, including the amount of matching funds they receive from non-federal sources.
By law, the CPB is authorized to exercise minimum control of “program content or other
activities” of local stations. The CPB is prohibited from owning or operating any of the
primary facilities used in broadcasting. In addition, it may not produce, disseminate, or
schedule programs. In November 2005, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Chairman of the CPB
Board of Directors, resigned shortly before a CPB Inspector General’s report was
released, critical of his use of CPB contract money. The current president and CEO of
CPB is Patricia S. Harrison, appointed by the board in June 2005.

Overall, 15.6% of all public television and radio broadcasting funding comes from
the federal appropriations that CPB distributes. However, among individual public
broadcasting stations, the amount of federal dollars that contributes to a station’s annual
budget depends on whether it is a television or radio station, the funds it receives from
non-federal sources, the number and extent of broadcast transmitters required to service
its coverage area, and the extent a station is serving rural areas and minority audiences.


It will take a decade or more to get the crap out of public radio and television. When there are people on boards that control purse strings, they find ways to plant seeds downstream.

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Response to MADem (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:57 PM

26. I remember when this happened. The Capitol Steps had a song about it...

"You're listening to the new conservative-run PBS. Now known as GOP... BS."

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #26)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 12:20 AM

27. I used to love going to see those guys--I am a fan of that kind of cleverness!

They nailed it, too!

It's not just CPB--they're all over government, in staffer jobs in all the executive branches and the sausage making ends of Congress--those "Liberty University" grads in the Justice Department and elsewhere...they get in on a political appointment and slide into a GS job the minute they see an opening--and they know about them before they're posted, and they have the briefest of learning curves, and references.

I'm sure there are mouth breathers at all levels of CPB, still...Let's hope proximity to intelligent thought, and time, will soon change their hearts!

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:46 AM

13. not the first time tal has presented the neolib POV

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:18 AM

14. Yeah, people just love poverty, that's why all the well-off are so eager to give their money away.



Notice how weasely the revision is? You can't deny they all signed up for it, yeah, and that way you can still pretend they "chose" it for themselves, that it's a life-style choice, they could have just starved quietly. That really shows the level of mental duplicity at work.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 02:59 PM

15. Well,

I for one like my SSDI, I make $2005.98 a month from the fund. I have cancer, fatal for sure, no cure. Having the ability to retire and enjoy what's left of my long life (I Hope) is very nice indeed.

Metastatic renal cell carcinoma is a devastating disease. There are roughly 20-25,000 new cases per year in the United States and it is increasing for some reason. For patients who present with mRCC their median overall survival is only about 15 months and 90% of the patients won’t live 2 years. It is quite an aggressive disease.

Renal cell carcinoma comes in 3 different grades. There are patients that present with favourable risk, meaning that they have none of the 6 risk factors that physicians look at to determine the severity of disease. If you have favourable risk you have a reasonably good prognosis – the median overall survival is 43 months.

If you have 1 or 2 of the risk factors you are classified as intermediate risk and the survival drops down to only about 22.5 months.

If you are poor risk, meaning you have 3 or more of the 6 risk factors then the survival is only about 7.8 months.


I am in the first category, so far.

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Response to GiveMeFreedom (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 03:37 PM

16. Me Too

 

I am grateful I was able to work as long as I did - SSDI is a life saver.

I never thought I'd become disabled, disabled....I've always been disabled with polio, but then when I was 32
a new thing called post-polio-syndrome hit me like a ton of bricks. But I kept working and looking for help, when there
was no help available for this new thing. I worked another 10 years and I was miserable.

I am grateful my peers lobbied congress to include PPS into the disability book as a permanent disability.
I was pleasantly surprised when we also received money for our kid until he was 18. I had no idea - that's how ungreedy
I was - just desperate to be at home vs the torment of working 40 hours per week in head to toe chronic pain and weakness.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 03:48 PM

17. The American Life gets a lot right generally, but when they get something wrong...

it's spectacularly wrong.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #17)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 03:50 PM

18. They have a good track record to owning up to their mistakes, though

Far better and more thorough than conventional news outlets.


I didn't hear this particular show, but I'll be interested to see how they address the backlash.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 03:52 PM

19. Me too.

When I heard it, my first reaction was,

I listened to this weeks episode and no correction or owning up to it.

Let's see what happens next week.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 03:54 PM

20. Yeah...

I just finished reading @ the link to MediaMatters and am a bit... disapointed in Ira Glass' response.

We'll see if he has a change of heart in the coming days.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 04:07 PM

21. So far they are "standing by the story" despite having already made corrections.

 

Tone deaf I'd say.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #21)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 04:20 PM

22. Yeah, I saw that after I posted

Disappointing, at the very least.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:47 PM

25. Oh and the "comment on" for this crap is exquisite.

 

At least one supporter of the piece is seriously proposing euthanasia by neglect as a "final solution" to the "problem" of disabled people in our midst.


taxman1000• 3 days ago −
The policies encourage poverty and slums. Without these policies the weak would most likely perish resolving the problem.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/03/28/175583318/comment-on-our-disability-series#commentBlock

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 01:10 AM

29. Wow truly sickening exchanges @ the NPR blog-

If you truly wanted to get into the workforce you would. As a separate. Issue what is the societal benefit of subsidizing the unproductive on a permanent basis. This seems to be poor public policy
^

...couldn't agree more - we need to encourage our citizens to be productive - otherwise it's a drain on the economy pulling everyone down ultimately...

^
Exactly, if they cannot generate enough income to be self supporting then they should not exist
^
That kind of attitude could be classified as fascist eugenics.

^
It is not fascist as there is no coercion, it is simply allowing the market to properly function. Those that can sustain themselves will those that cannot will not. There is nothing wrong with eugenics

I am able and working but it is of comfort to know I am contributing to a system that has my back, and others' too , if something happened and I couldn't

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Response to lunasun (Reply #29)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 08:53 AM

31. Sadly those comments don't surprise me america was one of the earliest supporters of eugenics

American culture is a particularly cruel one.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Original post)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 12:24 AM

28. did u listen to the very end? she realizes that no one in that town

 

Can imagine a job that isn't physical labor. Have only experienced back breaking labor. And the town doc supports their filing for disability because
They have no opportunity or educ for desk jobs

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 07:24 AM

30. Yeah that was the part where she almost fill into a pit of truth.

 

But quickly ran away back to her, "but my back hurtz two" meme.

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