Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: May 22nd through May 28th

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings posts give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

Welcomings will be posted at the start of each week (every Sunday morning). To find the posts, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?

NOTE: The comments page will now split off after 20 or so left margin comments with the most recent comments on the current page. To see the older comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link.


  1. Morning all! Very warm here today, summer is upon us.

    Between Sanders refusing to accept that he’s lost and naming Cornel West to the platform committee, on one side, and Trump bringing up Vince Foster and Bill’s indiscretions on the other, I’m so sick of the election I could scream. Someone I follow on twitter said the other night ‘I’m making arrangements to have myself cryogenically frozen till November because I can’t take any more of this” and I am right there with him. I honestly don’t know how Hillary does it – just keeps her head down, speaks to the issues, and keeps a smile on her face. It’s amazing.

    ok, off to take out garbage and then try my new game ‘Overwatch’ out – made by the same company that makes World of Warcraft that Dee and I play. It’s a “first person shooter”, which I normally cannot play at all because they make me nauseous with vertigo (this happens to many people). You’re looking out thru the eyes of the character you’re playing, and normally the movement or something makes me sick, so I haven’t played them – but I tried this one in a trial weekend a couple of weeks ago, and it didn’t seem to have that effect. And the design is very appealing – bright colors, clean lines, not all the doom and gloom that so many games have, so I am giving it a try.

    Have a great day everyone!

  2. Good morning, meese! Wednesday …

    It is 61 degrees in Madison on its way up to 80. Afternoon showers are in the forecast.

    A federal judge restored early voting in Ohio yesterday. The lawsuits striking down voting restrictions that are winning now have a good chance of being in force for the fall election because of the 4-4 split on the Supreme Court – they will not be able to block implementation. Yesterday, the 5th Circuit (en banc) heard the challenge to the Texas voter id law. The lower court declared the law unconstitutional but it has been used in the last two elections. Our chances of turning Texas purple get better when all eligible voters are allowed to vote. Funny how that works.

    So the contours of the 2016 presidential race are filling in. Trump will attack Hillary Clinton on her husband being a well-known philanderer and general slimebucket and Hillary will hit back on Donald Trump’s slimy business dealings. I like our chances better of landing a blow that will resonate with the voter. Elizabeth Warren as a Democratic Party surrogate (she has not endorsed yet) is leading the way on this.

    “Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap,” Warren said. “What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van? What kind of a man does that?

    “I’ll tell you exactly what kind,” Warren continued. “A man who cares about no one but himself. A small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it. What kind of man does that? A man who will never be president of the United States.”

    See all y’all later!

    • Well, THAT’S good news! Re the voting rights, I mean. And hey, Elizabeth Warren is a lioness, going in for the kill! (Everyone knows that lionesses do all the work while the males laze in the sun, smoke, and play cards.)

  3. Happy Woden’s Day, Moosekind! And a beautiful morning it is, for a welcome change. Clear and 54 F. now, going up to 83 F. later. Today is the day to get out and plant! (And a great day for solar energy panels too.)

    My reducing diet is not going well. The less said about that the better. This explains why I’m even grumpier than usual.

    Gatsby Woods held an event at a winery not far from here for everyone on the Priority List whose birthdays fall in January, February, and March. It was a lovely luncheon and the winery, on Route 15 North in Leesburg, VA, is a beautiful place. I asked my husband to study hard to win the lottery so we could move to GW. He said he’d try.

    Trump’s people did a little rioting in Albuquerque, from what I hear. What an election year it already is and will be. Wishing everyone a good day!

  4. I came in to work. But that in itself was exhausting. I’m hot – but that’s because we have a heat index (pre-sunrise) of 78 degrees outside. Got to give being at work a try, though. Might have to leave early, since I’m already thinking about a nap.

    I’ve had ‘70s music (anyone else remember the Little River Band?) stuck in my head since yesterday. No idea why. I’m playing U2 at it, hoping to drown it out.

  5. Good morning Meese.

    Got my registration and flight booked for NN in St. Louis. Discovered my passport has expired. Headed off to the PO to put in renewal. Found out that airports in NY may not accept Drivers license as ID! This is insane – am calling them now.

      • Apparently – NYS has an extension till October 2016 – after that you will need an “enhanced drivers license” (REAL ID) if you don’t have a passport.

        This is beyond stupid. But at least it gives me time to renew my passport.

        They have a map showing which states are in compliance

        and a list

        I’m all for security – but a NYS Driver’s license should be valid for domestic travel


        • I got a REAL ID when I renewed my drivers license a couple of years ago. It cost an extra $35 but it means I don’t have to carry my passport when I travel.

          • Yes, yes it is! One of our scared-hiding-under-his-desk Wisconsin congressmen, James Sensenbrenner, was instrumental in passing the law creating them. It requires a passport and a social security card in order to obtain one.

        • Oh man, I rarely travel these days, but I guess I’d better get my passport renewed just in case. Thanks for the alert, Dee.

  6. Good morning, 52 and partly sunny in Bellingham. We have a long day ahead, driving to Kennewick (5 hrs) and then coordinating with the estate seller to find all the items family members want to keep. I had planned to be there when the boxes were unpacked, but with so many changes I wasn’t. So I’ll just do my best when we get there. Seeing the photos of Bill and Emma’s belongings spread out for sale is hard for me.

    Because of the volume we decided to add another day to this sale so my plans for a relaxed travel day had to change as well. But if I can just stay flexible this will soon be over….good motivation!

  7. Happy dark, drizzly, damp, chilly-ish (63 heading for 82 presupposing that massive front heading straight for us moves on through) Woden’s Day. It’s so dark the street lights are on and my system is in “night mode” – not exactly my favorite sort of day. Rumbly thunder and drizzly all night – aids me with light sleep but not the deep sleep. Still, not a bad night.

    I’ve got some serious deadlines today – couldn’t do them earlier because waiting for the previous step to get though the approval chain. Hurrah for Elizabeth Warren! I want that woman in the Senate minimum 18 years doing her good work and speaking Truth to Power (and slimeballs who want power). Why anybody wants to limit her to the White House I’ll never understand. Anyway, bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

      • Exactly!! Harry Reid said, in no uncertain terms, DO NOT choose any redstate Senators as running mates. We can probably get the 4 seats we need to take back the Senate but not if we give the Republicans a freebie.

        Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida are all good possibilities. Add Arizona, Iowa, Missouri, and Georgia to the long shot list.

        We have to hold Nevada and Colorado. There is no margin for error.

        • Harry Reid is 100% correct. Hillary is no fool – she knows she’s going to need a Senate that will back her.

          • And she needs to choose a person, a politician, that could step into the Oval Office should, Goddess forbid, anything happen to her. No owners of stupid sports teams please, no matter how luscious someone (pond-its?) think they are.

    • Agreed. She’s just started a new initiative for economic justice, which affirms my own opinion that Warren wants to run her own show – I cannot see her acting as second fiddle to Hillary as a VP candidate. I don’t share the high opinion of Warren that many people have, probably because I’ve met her and have colleagues who know her well, and I see her as a typical law professor egotist, a type I’m extremely familiar with. But she’s effective in the Senate, and I think that’s where she should remain.

      • You and I have always agreed about Warren. She has strong pluses dealing with banking and consumer finance – but certainly doesn’t a wider vision (or experience) – foreign or domestic.

      • I was trying to get a handle on what her economic initiative is all about and how it will supplement the Hillary Clinton campaign. I am sure there will be more details forthcoming. I am just glad to see DEMOCRATS running on Democratic Party values and running against Trump rather than our nominee. If Sanders takes his show all the way to the convention instead of bowing out after he has his ass handed to him on June 7th, I will be very peeved.

  8. I’m not a comic book person, but I’ve liked the movies & Agents of Shield because Joss…… so I hated the announcement that Captain America is actually a bad guy. This twitter thread goes all into story telling & why stupid twists-just-for-shock-value are, well, stupid


  9. Good morning, meese! Thursday …

    It is 65 degrees in Madison on its way up to 86. Scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast.

    Wisconsin joined 10 other states to sue the federal government over their guidelines for transgender bathrooms. Filed in Texas, of course, where they are likely to find a judge willing to go along with it. I hope this time the federal government does not let some deadender Bush appointee put a hold on the civil rights of the entire country (See Hanen, Andrew – DAPA/DACA). p.s. Wisconsin has a multi-million dollar budget gap which they “solved” by deferring a loan payment at the cost of $3 million in additional interest. Where did the Republican Party get the reputation of “fiscal conservative”? Probably the same place it got “will protect us from evildoers”. Sigh.

    Josh Marshall sums up the nothingburger of the State Department Inspector General’s report on Secretary Clinton’s email server:

    … the report says the issues with the management of the Secretary of State’s emails are of longstanding and go back with the last five Secretaries of State. The report also singles out Colin Powell, who had a similar set up. The criticism is there. It definitely wasn’t a good arrangement. But to see this as a damaging report after the hyperbolic and frequently insane coverage of this issue is crazy. This was never more than some poor judgment overlayed by a big bureaucratic pissing match all slathered over by a thick layer of partisan game playing and media derp.

    See all y’all later!

  10. Happy Thor’s Day, Meese! Today in NoVa cirrostratus clouds are veiling the pale blue. Current temp. is 61 F., going up to 81 F. later. It will be a pretty good day for solar energy panels as thunderstorms are not expected until nightfall.

    Training this morning at the gym. Monday’s training left me aching for two days. However, I was able to get into my size 12 shorts easily when the weather turned torrid yesterday afternoon, so clearly, something is working.

    We planted the squash, zucchini, and potatoes yesterday. Still have to get the herbs, flowers, and onions in. I’m sure Miss Pink Cheeks will want to help.

    I’m sick of the Rethugs, sick of the “newspapers of record,” and sick of Trumpy-bumpy. Even listening to coverage of the “race for the White House” on PBS irritated me yesterday. A thought: let’s ban evening TV until 7! I am learning not to base my daily schedule around news broadcasts, very difficult for the daughter of journalists.

    Wishing a good day to all at the Pond and Beyond!

    • It is not only too soon to pay attention go polls but too soon to pay attention to the news. I have been reading the stories about Trump’s campaign decisions (are they really decisions, do you think, or just whatever the hell happens?) and it is interesting. Trump decided to trash the Republican governor of New Mexico, who is a Latina, because she won’t endorse him. Why should she? He is horrible to Latinos and horrible to women and horrible to poor people. She knows that when he crashes and burns he will take most of the party down with him. Those left with political careers will those who kept an arms length away from him. Martinez is no saint, she needs to be retired, but it is nice to see someone stand up to a bully.

      My Internets were down for about an hour but I see now that Sanders has agreed to debate Trump. Ha!! It will be a ratings bonanza: two old men taking turns dissing the Democratic nominee! Senate Democratic leadership keeps telling people to “lay off Bernie”. Meh.

  11. I think I finally feel human. I can more or less breathe. Haven’t had a 5 minute sneezing fit in a while. So I’m declaring myself well.

    Hot again — we’re not supposed to have early morning heat indexes yet, but we do — a heat index before sunrise is weird. Supposed to rain, possibly severe, today. They say it’ll clear out for the weekend, but Memorial Day in Austin means floods, so I’m assuming the storm will decide to just hang around. Built-in iPod is back to playing U2.

  12. Good morning Meese
    Can’t believe it is 70 here – going up to 89.

    Got to clean the grill today. Have no plans to go anywhere over the weekend – will just stay home and eat :)

    Chuckled at this story

    Obama can’t endorse during the Democratic primary, so he’s just pointing out how hard the job is instead

    World leaders are worried about Trump’s rise, Obama suggested on Thursday, pressed by reporters to weigh in on Trump.

    “They are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements but they’re rattled by him, and for good reason,” Obama said. “A lot of the proposals that he has made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is required to keep America safe.”

    Cannot wait till he is out on the stump.

    • It’s sad (sad!) that President Obama has to answer questions like “WTF is going on with the presidential election!!??” I will also be glad when he is on the stump for our nominee. His approval/disapproval is now a 10 point spread 53% approve 43% disapprove. So Hillary Clinton’s decision to run on President Obama’s record and run with his coalition was not only the right thing to do but it turns out to be paying dividends politically. With the economy up, a popular president, and the worse possible candidate on the Republican side, I like our chances.

      Have fun cleaning the grill!! I have not decided what to do with the long weekend yet but it will probably not include outside things. Rain is in the forecast for the next week.

  13. 73 at dawn and sunny – it got over it. Now 77 and overcast. Also humid. If it actually gets into the 80s it’s going to feel like a steam bath. (OK, a tepid steam bath. heh) Feel fuzzy and lethargic. Not helpful for dealing with all the different little messes on my desk. sigh.

    Ignoring B.S. as much as the Hillary diaries at GOS will let me. He’s like a fly buzzing on the outside of the screen – irritating but harmless (unless I open the screen and let him in). It’s pretty much been his role in Congress, too. So proud of Hillary and the race she’s running. So relieved that she will be steering the Ship of State and not “wrong-way orangefuzz.” (Am I counting chickens? yeah. so sue me.)

    So, off to deal with messes on the desk. Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

  14. Good morning, 58 and sunny in Kennewick, Wa. Our drive was relatively easy yesterday, and to my relief the estate seller is doing a good job setting up the sale. We found the items family wants to keep , got them packed, helped with pricing, answered questions, etc. The sale stars today and I don’t have to be there, yay!

    The belongings of the building owner and a few things from other estates are also being sold, but the majority of the sale is the stuff I have been dealing with for the last three years. Bill and Emma lived full busy lives and enjoyed their collections and antiques. I hope the new owners will as well!


    • This makes me even more determined to shed all my worldly possessions while I am alive and not have to have my family deal with it. I want to end up as a little old lady living in a one bedroom apartment with all my belongings in a bankers box. As long as I have my computer and decent Internet, I am good. :)

      • That’s the ticket, Jan! I gave all my Goddess and Craft accoutrements to the New Alexandrian Library in Delaware. Now I have only an athame and an incense burner, which somehow got overlooked in the packing ordeal.

  15. Good morning, meese! Can it finally be Friday? Why, yes, yes it is!

    It is 62 degrees in Madison on its way up to 79. Scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast. I hate that we have to have the air conditioning on so early in the season but I can’t sit in an 80 degree house. I am a wimp.

    A quick scan of the headlines showed that Republicans want to just let the planet melt, the U.S. Congress does not care if the Zika virus kills and/or creates a generation of American babies with debilitating birth defects, and there is now an antibiotic resistant germ. Some days you wonder if the planet is worth saving when the people on it care more about emails than survival of our species.

    From TPM’s Josh Marshall on the proposed Trump Sanders debate:

    It is only a spectacle by which both candidates, Trump and Sanders, can indulge their tacitly-agreed common interest in sidelining and diminishing Hillary Clinton, who of course will be the nominee.

    I don’t know if it will happen but if it does, it will only be used to feed the false narrative by the Sanders campaign that he is a better general election candidate against Trump. But it really does not matter – the Superdelegates are not going to thwart the will of the Democratic primary and caucus goers and elevate Sanders based on one debate (assuming, for a moment, the complete delusion that Sanders would best the vulgar talking yam).

    Jon Lovett, former Barack Obama speech writer, tweeted this last night:

    Jon Lovett ‏@jonlovett 10h 10 hours ago

    We should all be talking more honestly about how sad this election is making us. I’ll start. I am sad.

    I don’t know if it was snark or not – he has a very dry sense of humor – but this election does make me sad. It used to be convenient hyperbole to call an election “the most important election in your lifetime”. But this time it really is and I worry that people have heard it so often that they won’t believe it any longer. I worry that in a truth-optional America that this election won’t be an exchange of ideas but an exchange of mud – last person standing wins. People deserve better.

    But what also makes me sad is the mess that a bitter old man and his Fauxvolution has made of our nominating contest and threatens to make of our unifying convention. [badword] you, Bernie Sanders.

    See all y’all later!

  16. 66 going up to 87 with rain here in the Catskills.

    Have a calendar on my desktop – marking down the days till the primary season is over – even though Hillary has already clinched in reality

     photo 4a4d2483-a529-4777-ac2c-8be3a4d90414_zpsicrf3qyc.jpg

    Anyone here going to Netroots Nation in St. Louis …so we can hook up?

    • Facts!!! Do not trouble my beautiful mind with facts!!! ;)

      The race will be over at 8:01pm on Tuesday, June 7th when the results of the New Jersey primary are announced. President Obama said this about “unifying” in a presser yesterday:

      Look, would it be nice if everybody was immediately unified and singing “Kumbaya,” and whoever the nominee ended up being could just take a nice two-week vacation to recharge? Absolutely. I guarantee you that the eventual nominee sure wishes it was over now, because this is a grind. It’s hard. And in some ways, one of the things I’ve always found is that it’s a lot more draining arguing against your friends than it is arguing against your political opponents. It just — it weighs on you more. Being criticized by folks who are in your own party always hurts just a little bit more.

      And so it takes a little energy out of you. But these are folks who are serious about trying to solve the country’s problems. They’re both veterans of the political grind. And so they’re going to hold up. And by the time we get to the convention, I’m confident they’ll be in good shape.

      I hope it happens well before the convention. If violence from bernt-enders mar our 4 day infomercial in Philadelphia, it will be more difficult to get up a head of steam going into the general election.

    • I’ve volunteered to work the Registration desk so I should be easy to find. :)

  17. Good morning, Meese! Whereas last Sunday I had to wear a sweater and a tweed jacket to breakfast at The Virginia Kitchen, today I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt to sit on this uncomfortable yoga ball. It’s 68 F. here in NoVa, going up to 87 F. today with attendant humidity. We’re trying to avoid turning on the air conditioning, so right now are relying on open windows and fans. The result is that we had a miserable night.

    The unfortunate women who discover they have Zika while pregnant won’t be allowed to get abortions, and after their brain-damaged babies are born they’ll get no help. I hate Republican men.

    The Trump-St. Bernard debate is not going to happen, according to the Trump campaign. Wonder what he’ll do when he has to debate Hillary?

    Wishing a good day to all at the Pond and beyond!

    • THIS!!

      The unfortunate women who discover they have Zika while pregnant won’t be allowed to get abortions, and after their brain-damaged babies are born they’ll get no help. I hate Republican men.

      And the women who enable them. They should know better.

      I love sleeping with the windows open but I can’t sleep when I am uncomfortable. We seemed to have missed the “warm days and cool nights” part of late spring. Maybe we will get it in August.

  18. We had flash flooding overnight, roads washed out, evacuations & water rescues. Because Memorial Day weekend. When will people learn? Anyway, here I am, eating oatmeal & drinking nice, super-cold tea. No idea about the weekend. I don’t need to cook, I have enough left, and only a 4 day week next week. If it stops raining, I might go swimming in my complex’s pool.

      • Swimming is….. an issue for me. I really only do it when there’s no one else around — I suck at it, I’m awkward, having an audience makes it worse because wow do I suck at it and I hate it. But the marathon training group meets right by there so I walk past Barton Springs all the time. Or do from August-February.

      • Only certified members of the polar bears’ club swim at Barton Springs – that really is a spring-fed pool and it’s friggin’ cold! :)

  19. Our “low” of 64 was just after midnight – 67 at dawn and 73 now. It’s not really expected to get any warmer unless these clouds go away which they are not predicted to do. sigh. Managed to get, along with an inch or so of rain, just over 10 KWHs yesterday bringing the total for the month to date 425. Still hoping to meet or beat May 2015’s total of 474.788, but it’s going to be iffy. Hope it clears off enough by this afternoon that I can walk home. For me low-80s in the house is shorts & t-shirt comfortable, but upper 80s (especially with humidity) is turn on the A/C weather. Last year I first turned on the A/C in March. Haven’t turned it on this year yet.

    The only reason I am not totally ignoring B.S. right now is because of the Hill folks’ reactions to him in the Hillary diaries at GOS. Since I enjoy the diaries, I keep reading them but I’ll be glad when it’s hard to find even a mention of or allusion to B.S. in them. Not sure what to call Trump that isn’t insulting to whatever you’re comparing him to, so I guess I’ll leave it at calling him by name. :)

    Need to see if I can untangle all the messes I was dealing with yesterday. Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

    • Here’s hoping you can walk home, bfitz!

      Sigh. Wish I could go to Netroots Nation so I could meet you and Denise in person.

      Someone should win the lottery and convene a Moose Pond get-together for all of us! :)

      • Well, rain seems to be moving in again. We shall see. A Moose-meetup probably would take somebody winning the lottery considering that you, Denise, and Geordie are on the east coast, Jan’s up close to the Great Lakes, princesspat’s on the west coast and I’m here in NW AR. St. Louis is the most central a location as we could find. The only reason I can go is that it’s within driving range (between 5 and 6 hours from here) and I paid off a credit card a few months back.

      • I thought you already had your lottery winnings assigned to getting you into Gatsby Gulch! Are you planning on carving out a bit for a moose reunion? ;)

  20. Morning Meese! Up earlier than usual today, but spent the first hour catching up on twitter – my gosh, is it a time sink! But I read lots of good stuff there, and really, this is what I love about being retired – I can spend my day doing whatever I want!

    This stupid debate, combined with the media (looking at you NYTimes) obsession with Hillary’s e-mails (spoiler alert – NOT a scandal, go look at Colin Powell and then come back and tell me about Hillary, ok?), is just driving me nuts. But then I read something beautiful like the wonderful post at BNR by Leela Daou and it makes me feel better. I’m sure someone has linked it here, but I’ll do it again in case anyone missed it – it’s great.


    My brothers and I are finally selling the last piece of property we inherited from my mom – it’s an undeveloped piece of land, 26 acres, about 30 miles from Nashville, that my parents called “The Briar Patch”. It was the first place they had to keep their beehives other than their back yard (they bought it for a few hundred dollars back in the 70’s), and they spent many happy hours there, doing beekeeping, picnicking and just generally enjoying the country. My dad grew up on a farm in southern Indiana, and he never really liked living in the city, so it was a great retirement haven for him.

    We’ve held onto it for 7 years now, but none of us would ever have used it for anything, and a buyer popped up out of nowhere so we’re just taking what he offered and moving on. It’s another chunk of money that will help me put off drawing Social Security for another year or two, so I can maximize my benefit which is the only guaranteed retirement income I will have. Since my earnings record is a bit spotty from being in the Federal government for years before Fed employees were covered by SS, the bonus from the delayed retirement credit will help make up for that.

    Have a great day everyone – it’s beautiful here today but the temp is already climbing, so I’ll be inside, playing and reading!

    • My news feed featured this story about Social Security benefits and how more people are taking early retirement now. Only 9% are able to hold out until 70:

      The average age at which people expect to start or have started collecting Social Security benefits is 64. Just 9 percent said they would wait until after they turned 70.

      While the retirement age has been rising in recent years, particularly for women, the average American still retires relatively early, at age 64 for men and age 62 for women, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

      Unless they fix Social Security, benefits will begin to be reduced starting in 2034. I hope they get it done because most people who are on SS only, who don’t have 401ks or IRAs that will reach deep into retirement, or other pensions, will not likely be able to find other ways to supplement. For example, if I stay relatively healthy, I expect to be able to supplement SS until I am 70 but definitely not past 80 when benefits would reduce. There will be a lot of us living in cardboard boxes under bridges if that happens.

      I love Twitter and use it as a news feed! But I don’t spend more than 5 minutes on the While You Were Away list except to check on friends because most of the stories will be repeated – with more up-to-date information – later in the day in any event.

      • I retired at age 62 because (1) I hated my job; (2) I wanted to enjoy a few years of not working before the Rethugs killed SS (remember, in 2005 the talk was of the Catfood Commission trying to kill this “middle class entitlement”); and (3) my chronically ill mother could no longer drive and needed someone to take her to doctor appointments.

        That was in 2006. For the first couple of years I did free-lance editing 30 or 40 hours a month (at $25 an hour that was a nice little supplement even after taxes), but the Great Recession of 2008 killed that business. Since then I’ve been keeping Younger Son from slipping out of the middle class by taking care of his children. Happy to report that Younger Son’s finances have improved greatly and will continue to do so, which means I am more and more free of child care obligations.

        Social Security income should be RAISED, not lowered, and war-related budgets should cease. If Kim Wrong’un lobs a couple of nukes in our direction our war machine won’t matter anyway.

        • The decision of when to retire has a lot of moving parts. Do you wait until you can’t work and then, very likely, you can’t do much of anything else either? Do you retire when you are relatively healthy so that you can enjoy more spare time but risk that the smaller benefit payments you will get FOREVER will not be enough to live on down the road? Can anyone really predict what you will need to live on 10 or 15 or 20 years in the future? Can anyone predict whether we will have a government run by granny-killer Paul Ryan or one run by granny-who-cares Nancy Pelosi?

          The best any of us can do is assess the risks, balance them against the rewards and make a decision that takes everything into account. And vote for Democrats!!!

    • Glad the finances will work for you, Geordie! Retirement income is such a worry. Those of us already on SS haven’t had a cost-of-living increase for two or three years—forget how many.

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