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ELDER MUSIC: Eleven Eleven Eleven

PeterTibbles75x75This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.


The most pointless war of the 20th century, the most useless, the one that should never have happened, is the First World War. The world fell into it by accident and it caused so much suffering, so many people dead, so much change that it altered forever what came after.

It was the cause of the Second World War and most of the ructions in the Middle East that are still going on, as well as most other conflicts in the last 90 years.

This was an awful war. I know, all of them are awful but without this one, things would have been different, at least I’d like to think so.

So, I’m starting with a song about it. It’s one from an Australian perspective. We were dragged into it as, although we were an independent country, the politicians tended to do the bidding of Britain back then.

During that war there was considerable opposition to our participation in the conflict; after all it was on the other side of the world and it really had nothing to do with us.

The government of the day tried to bring in conscription but it was defeated in Parliament. So they tried for a constitutional amendment to do the same and that was defeated.

The idiots tried a second time with the same result. So all the Australians forces in that conflict were volunteers.

Even given that, many lined up to participate. They thought it would all be over in a short time and, besides, it was a bit of an adventure. They soon found out that was not so.

One of the greatest songs about that war is called The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. There are many versions of this. The one I’ve chosen is by the man who wrote it, ERIC BOGLE, who was originally from Scotland but has called Australia home for many decades now.

Eric Bogle

♫ Eric Bogle - The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Everyone seems to think that the Second World War was the good war and given the circumstances at the time that’s quite right. However, if it hadn’t been for the first one, this one would not have happened.

Rather surprisingly, there’s a song about this one too, written sometime afterwards, of course. You may not be too surprised that this is another Australian song. Again, there was no conscription for overseas service.

As with the first war, if men were thought to be shirking their responsibilities, they were often accosted on the streets by people who would hand them a white feather as a sign of contempt for them, assuming they were cowards, without necessarily realising the circumstances.

It seems it was ever thus during wars. This is a song about that. The group is WEDDINGS, PARTIES, ANYTHING and the song is Scorn of the Women.

Weddings, Parties, Anything

♫ Weddings, Parties, Anything - Scorn of the Woman

It wasn’t just the First World War that this country was dragged into a conflict that was none of our business. The right-wing government of the time pretty much insisted that we should be part of the Vietnam War even though it was obviously going to end in disaster and these bastards did bring in conscription, but only if your number was pulled out of a barrel.

Well, Australians like a bit of a gamble, don't they? By far the best song about that sorry conflict was by REDGUM. It’s called I Was Only 19.

Redgum

♫ Redgum - I Was Only 19

In the seventies Australia’s great rock band, COLD CHISEL, performed a song about the Vietnam veterans who had returned to this country. That song has become Australia’s unofficial national anthem. It’s called Khe Sanh.

Cold Chisel

♫ Cold Chisel - Khe Sanh

JUDY SMALL has an excellent overview of everything that's gone before.

Judy Small

Judy's songs cover a wide range of topics and styles with a particular emphasis on feminism and peace. Her song combines both of those topics. It is Mothers, Daughters, Wives.

♫ Judy Small - Mothers, Daughters, Wives

Well, that’s the Australian content out of the way.

I first discovered RICHIE HAVENS through what is often thought to be his first album (but is actually his third) "Mixed Bag," and a fine piece of work it is.

Richie Havens

Richie opened proceedings at the Woodstock festival because legend has it (and probably truth as well) that he was the only artist present at the time who wasn't stoned out of his gourd. As a consequence he played for about three hours, the longest of any artist.

One of the songs Richie performed is Handsome Johnny. Richie wrote the song along with Lou Gossett. Here is the version from "Mixed Bag.”

♫ Richie Havens - Handsome Johnny

I don't think too many people think of the song Galveston in the context of today's topic. That's probably due to the influence of Glenn Campbell's version of the song. However, when you hear JIMMY WEBB perform the song, one he wrote, it takes on a whole different perspective.

Jimmy Webb

♫ Jimmy Webb - Galveston

You probably figured I'd have the famous track by COUNTRY JOE MCDONALD from Woodstock, and you won't be disappointed.

Country Joe

Joe actually appeared twice at the festival, the only artist who did. In all its glory here is I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag.

♫ Country Joe McDonald - I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die

I had originally penciled in Phil Ochs for the column - after all, he wrote many anti-war songs, but I changed my mind and decided to go with one of Phil’s good friends, TOM PAXTON.

Tom Paxton

It's not a standard antiwar song, it's about the losers plotting their revenge. A Thousand Years.

♫ Tom Paxton - A Thousand Years

I've come full circle and will finish with DAVID OLNEY who wrote and performed a song called 1917. Nobody could follow this one.

David Olney

The song has an alternate title, The French Prostitute. I first encountered the song when Emmylou Harris performed it (under the name 1917 - the song's name that is, not Emmy's) on her marvelous album, "The Western Wall" with Linda Ronstadt.

People who know me might be surprised to learn that I prefer David's version and that's the one I'm going with today. I can't imagine anyone not being affected by this song.

♫ David Olney - 1917


INTERESTING STUFF – 9 November 2013

EDITORIAL NOTE: Like last Saturday when I was preparing to fly to Rhode Island, this is a particularly short Interesting Stuff because I'm still tired from the trip. Things should be back to normal around here by Monday or so.



BANKSY'S MOBILE GARDEN

TGB reader Suz sent the story about a recent moveable art installation from British film director, political activist and stealth artist, Banksy.

Banksy Truck

Yes, that's the inside of a New York City delivery truck looking like a gorgeous garden with a waterfall, butterflies, a rainbow and more. It parks in different locations each night for people to see.

For a closeup look at the painting, go here where you can also get more information about it. If you don't know who Banksy is, try Wikipedia for some background. And there is more of his works at his website.


HAPPY AT HUNDRED

The older I get the greater appreciation I have for old, old faces. Between 2006 and 2012, German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen posed 40 centenarians on their hundredth birthday that were published in her book, Happy at Hundred. Take a look at two of them.

Old faces 1

Old faces 2

TGB reader Nana Royer emailed about these photos with a link to a web story about the book. The website's writer, who doesn't have a byline, wrote:

”I was at the store a couple of weeks ago when I noticed a very small, weak elderly man browsing as well. He must’ve been at least 90, maybe older. A minute later, a couple of teenage girls walking past were looking his direction and laughing.

“Fortunately, he didn’t see or hear them, and I can’t say for sure if they were even mocking him but it reminded me of society’s perception of the very elderly. You hear it all the time: Ew. Gross. They smell. Disgusting.

“So that’s what prompted me to do this post.”

You can see nine more of Thormaehlen's photos of beautiful old faces here and at her own website too.


IDIOM ORIGINS

The Mental Floss YouTube channel is back with a terrific video about the origins of 42 common idioms – things like the modern “jump the shark” to “caught red-handed” and “bite the bullet” and “busy as a bee” with a special section on the many Shakespearean origins.

Host John Green is finally speaking a bit more slowly than in the past so it's more fun to watch now that he doesn't sound like he's racing the clock. Enjoy.


NEVER TRUST A PHOTOGRAPH AGAIN

”They” have always told us that a picture is worth a thousand words. Oh yeah? Maybe a painting but you'll never trust a photograph again after watching this jawdropping Photoshop transformation.


A NINE-YEAR-OLD STAR IS BORN

We have Peter Tibbles (yes, that Peter Tibbles, Sunday's TimeGoesBy musicologist) to thank for this extraordinary video from the semifinals of Holland's Got Talent.

Nine-year-old Amira Willighagen told the TV show's judges:

"My brother Vincent plays violin, and I also wanted to do something...So I thought, I'm going to sing…and then I heard opera songs, which I found very beautiful and that's when I started singing.”

Further, she is completely self-taught having used YouTube videos to learn how to sing. The aria is O Mio Babbino Caro from Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi.”

You can read more about the talented Ms. Willighagen here.


Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog if you have one.


Crabby Old Lady's Air Travel Travails

It was a terrific day at the Business Innovation Factory conference on Monday - a lot learned and good things to tell you about it, just not today. Here's why.


By the time Crabby Old Lady got home from Providence, Rhode Island on Tuesday night, she had been en route for 14 hours. Count them: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14.

If you think all those numbers are painful to read, try living them.

It wasn't supposed to be that way. According to Crabby's itinerary, the trip should have been (snark alert) only 10 hours and 50 minutes. Bad enough but Crabby was mentally prepared for them. Those unexpected three hours, however, left Crabby ragged and frayed and worn down for the next two days.

When did air travel become wholesale torture?

Changed flights, delayed flights, miles of corridors to and from gates – “oops, lady, somebody gave you the wrong gate number” - lines for boarding, lines for the lavatory, no food for 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-13-14 hours.

It is doubtful that any of this is news to you but somebody needs to bitch instead of meekly accepting the abuse (abuse that we actually pay for in real dollars) and Crabby Old Lady is good at that.

When Crabby checked her flight curbside at the Providence airport, the agent wrote down her gate number and made a joke about the ten mile hike she was in for.

Crabby told him that at her age that isn't a joke. He told her to order a wheelchair next time - “people who don't need them do it all the time,” he said.

Crabby was appalled that such cheating is not only tolerated but encouraged by the airline staff. Whatever happened to those six-person people-mover carts that once patrolled airport corridors? There were none in any of the four airports Crabby passed through on Tuesday.

Fortunately for Crabby, she knows how to pack lightly and together with her recent, 30-pound weight loss, the long treks were much easier than the last time she traveled by plane two years ago.

Then there was the food issue. Knowing there would be nothing but tiny packets of stale pretzels and/or past-their-use-by-date peanuts on board, Crabby looked for carry-on food stalls along the corridors.

The choices are awful. Wraps and sandwiches filled with dubious kinds of meat and cheese, hundreds of sugar- and fat-laden pastries, sodium-laced chips in a zillion chemically-made flavors and candy bars – candy bars lined up into an infinite distance.

It's 3,000 calories per item or starvation. No other choices.

At last, in the corner of a refrigerator case, Crabby found a few eight-ounce cups of fresh fruit – grapes, cut up melon and pineapple, sliced apples, etc. She bought two. Ahem - at $6 each.

She didn't discover until she was in flight that they must have been left over from a day or two earlier – rubbery, dried out and sour tasting. Crabby ditched them in the flight attendant's trash bag.

Now here's a tip for air travel that may be as new to you as it is to Crabby: never worry about missing a connecting flight again.

Crabby discovered on this trip that nowadays airlines are so allergic to having even one empty seat, they hold planes way past take-off time when expected connecting flights are arriving late.

Then, of course, the transfer passengers must walk those ten miles to their next plane. That would be yours - the one you've already been sitting in with no fresh air for 45 minutes while the guy crammed into the seat next to you has used up six packets of Kleenex loudly blowing his nose non-stop which he will continue to do for the entire two-hour flight.

That really happened to Crabby. Isn't there a law against flying with a cold – or at least an advisory not to do so?

Crabby might have felt sorry for him traveling in his sick misery but he shouldn't have been spreading his germs all over a packed plane, so she doesn't.

On these flights – there were three – Crabby chose window seats so she would have a wall to lean against to help her sleep part of the way. But that poses a problem if you fail to correctly balance water intake to prevent dehydration against the need to pee.

To her chagrin, Crabby flunked this basic travel skill forcing her two seatmates into the aisle three times on the longest leg of her flight while Crabby crawled out of the row. The third time, they both looked exasperated and who could blame them.

All this is in addition to what Crabby, in her on-board boredom, calculated to be a miniscule 27 cubic feet of personal space allotted each passenger with, unless you need to pee, zero opportunity to stretch your legs for hours and hours and hours.

What Crabby doesn't understand is why we go along with this torture like sheep. In fact, flying reminds Crabby of some other animals humans slaughter - all those corporate-raised pigs and chickens crammed together in their pens with no space to turn around.

How is plane travel these days any different?


TimeGoesBy Takes a Break

Beginning today, Time Goes By is taking its first-ever-in-ten-years hiatus as is the companion blog, The Elder Storytelling Place.

The reason is that I am in Providence, Rhode Island today for a conference about “connected aging” at the Business Innovation Factory. Three thousand miles is a long way to travel for a one-day meeting, but this invitation was particularly intriguing to me.

”At the Business Innovation Factory (BIF),” wrote one of the organizers, “we believe that we need to look at aging differently, that by framing the aging through the lens of care and increasing weakness, we’re missing whole opportunities to facilitate healthy aging – ones that support optimal personal choice in how we age...”

No kidding. Anyone who has been hanging around this blog for even a short length of time knows that I could have written that myself. The invitation continues:

”We believe that the future of aging can be characterized by how we contribute to our communities, families and professional environments.

“Additionally, we believe that by focusing here, we also can improve general health as we age. By framing the 'connected aging experience,' we believe we can influence everything – from a sense of well being to meaningful contributions to independence, social connection can open up opportunities for living a fulfilling life at all ages.”

That's as close to the guiding principles of this blog as anything I have seen.

In the main, conferences are about sitting in a large room or auditorium while “experts” deliver presentations to the attendees. There's nothing wrong with that format; over the years, I've learned a lot in such settings.

But the people at BIF have a different idea – not to mention that I'm as susceptible to kind words as anyone else. They also wrote:

”It will be a day-long session with an intimate group (around 12 participants) including a mix of elders, people working with elders and folks in other areas that could impact the aging experience. We would love to harness your deep expertise on aging as we try to transform this space.”

So that's where I am today, flying home tomorrow and, undoubtedly, prostrate with fatigue on Wednesday although I have every expectation of being equally energized from a productive day of stimulating work with a group of like-minded people interested and concerned about the future of aging.

The Elder Storytelling Place is on hiatus for this entire week, returning with new stories next Monday 11 November. Time Goes By will return on Thursday or – maybe on Friday.

See you then.


ELDER MUSIC: 1938

PeterTibbles75x75This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.


WHAT HAPPENED IN 1938?

  • Etta James was born
  • A new comic strip (Superman) appeared
  • Hitler and Mussolini got chummy
  • Orson Welles' radio play of War of the Worlds caused consternation
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood was released
  • America won the Davis Cup
  • Carlton were premiers

Today's column is unofficially, and inadvertently, a semi-Gershwin column. Not completely but more than I expected when I started it.

KENNY BAKER sang the song Love Walked In to Andrea Leeds in the film, The Goldwyn Follies.

Kenny Baker

The song was one of many by George and Ira Gershwin. Unfortunately, George died before the film was completed. Accompanying Kenny is an orchestra conducted by Harry Sosnik.

♫ Kenny Baker - Love Walked In

Another song by George and Ira, this time sung by FRED ASTAIRE.

Fred Astaire

This was one of nine songs they wrote for the film, A Damsel in Distress. Fred was in that one along with George Burns and Gracie Allen as well as Joan Fontaine.

You can also hear Fred tap dancing (now there's a surprise) and playing the drums as well. The song and footwork is to the tune of Nice Work If You Can Get It.

♫ Fred Astaire - Nice Work If You Can Get It

The SIDNEY BECHET Quintet perform another of George Gershwin's compositions.

Sidney Bechet

The tune is Summertime from Porgy and Bess, of course. I have previously written columns on both Summertime and Porgy and Bess but Sidney's version wasn't in either of them. It's time to rectify that omission.

♫ Sidney Bechet Quintet - Summertime

ALLAN JONES sang The Donkey Serenade in the film The Firefly.

Allan Jones

This was a film adaptation of the operetta by Rudolf Friml and Otto Harbach. It was a loose adaptation because although they used pretty much all the music, they completely changed the plot.

The one new song they added was the one we have today. Although technically serenading his donkey, it's really Jeanette MacDonald that Allan's interested in.

♫ Allan Jones - The Donkey Serenade

I Let A Song Go Out My Heart was written by DUKE ELLINGTON.

Duke Ellington

Later lyrics were added by Irving Mills, Henry Nemo and John Redmond but that's not relevant here as it's Duke's instrumental version today. Benny Goodman, Mildred Bailey, Dinah Washington and Thelonious Monk all later had a crack at it.

♫ Duke Ellington - I Let A Song Go Out My Heart

BING CROSBY is one of several artists who appear regularly in these early years.

Bing Crosby

You'll pretty soon discover the others too, if you haven't already figured out who they are. It means I'll run out things to say about them and I'll just waffle on like this. Bing's song is I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams.

♫ Bing Crosby - I've Got A Pocketful Of Dreams

So to Bing's sparring partner and golf buddy, BOB HOPE. Bob appeared in the film The Big Broadcast of 38 with SHIRLEY ROSS.

Bob Hope & Shirley Ross

W.C. Fields was in the film as well but that's not relevant to today's column. The film featured the debut of the song that became Bob's signature tune, Thanks for the Memory. The version here is from that film.

♫ Shirley Ross & Bob Hope - Thanks for the memory

BUNNY BERIGAN was an influential jazz trumpeter who died at only 33 from cirrhosis of the liver. Boy, he must have been hitting the bottle early.

Bunny Berigan

His recording of I Can't Get Started was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. I didn't realize the Grammies had a Hall of Fame. You'd think they'd want to keep quiet about some of their choices over the years.

Anyway, the song was written by Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke, and it's Bunny himself singing.

♫ Bunny Berigan - I Can't Get Started

Bulee (Slim) Gaillard and Elliott (Slam) Stewart performed under the name SLIM AND SLAM.

Slim & Slam

Slim played guitar and piano and Slam played bass. They both sang and Slim came up with this ditty, Flat Foot Floogie. The song is full of slang references to naughty carryings on.

♫ Slim And Slam - Flat Foot Floogie

Don't Be That Way was written by Edgar Sampson, BENNY GOODMAN and Mitchell Parish.

Benny Goodman

The tune has become associated with Benny and he opened with it in his famous Carnegie Hall Concert this very year (1938 that is, not this year).

♫ Benny Goodman - Don't Be That Way

1939 will appear in two weeks' time.


INTERESTING STUFF – 2 November 2013

EDITORIAL NOTE: Interesting Stuff is short by a couple of items this week because I am running short of time in getting ready to leave town tomorrow for a conference on aging in Rhode Island. But I'll be back before next weekend so don't let my absence prevent you from sending your Interesting Stuff items.



OLDEST FACEBOOK USER

Edythe Kirchmaier is 105 – apparently the world's oldest Facebook user. According to a Huffington Post story,

”Kirchmaier first gained attention when Facebook would not allow her to enter her birth year of 1908, a problem the site's engineers ultimately fixed.”

Here's a short video interview with Ms. Kirchmaier from the Oprah Winfrey Network. (Hat tip to Nana Royer and others)


PRANCERCIZE

You're on your own on this video. I have no idea what to say except that it's strange, really strange. Hat tip to Celia of Celia's Blue Cottage.


A NEW SIMON'S CAT

And it's kind of Halloween-ish.


NO WOMAN NO DRIVE

Hisham Fageeh explains that he is a Saudi artist social activist. His video mocks the kingdom's ban on female driving and it's gone wildly viral. According to Raw Story,

"The video that sarcastically tells women not to consider getting behind the wheel was posted on the day set by female activists to launch an new campaign to defy the kingdom’s ban on women driving.

"At least 16 women were stopped by police while at the wheel on Saturday. They were fined and forced along with their male guardians to pledge to obey the conservative-kingdom’s laws.

“Nearly 3.5 million people had seen the 4:15-minute video by Monday, two days after the adaptation of the reggae legend’s No Woman, No Cry had been posted on YouTube.”


THIS MAYBE BE A BIT TOO MUCH NOSTALGIA

TGB Reader Diane Sartell sent a Pinterest page title “Back in the Day” with such images as

Simplicity Pattern

Here's another:

How to use a dial phone

Sally Balm has collected an amazing number of different images of mostly forgotten artifacts from our childhoods. Take a look – there is certainly something for everyone in the collection.


SHREDDIES

Remember that item from Interesting Stuff two weeks ago called Poopourri? This may be a perfect companion product. It seems to me they could be sold together.

These Shreddies should not be confused with the Canadian breakfast cereal of the same name.

You can find out more about Shreddies here.


FANTASTIC MARCHING BAND MOVES

Here's my dilemma: I have zero interest in any spectator sport but I love marching bands. Solution: YouTube. Hurray!

This video of the Ohio State marching band has been all over the internet this week. It's an amazing, gorgeous, fantastic show and accomplishment. Pay special attention at just after six minutes to the tyrannsaurus rex – watch carefully to what happens.


Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog if you have one.


Social Security COLA Increase: 1.5% - Whoopdedoo!

On Wednesday, it was announced that the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2014 will be 1.5 percent. With the average benefit at around $14,000 per year, that means about $19 more per month for the average elder.

Don't spend it all in one place.

The small good news (gee, thanks) is that the Medicare Part B premium which is deducted from Social Security checks, will remain the same for most elders at $104.90 per month. There have been years in the past when the increase in that premium was larger than the COLA for the year.

Let me repeat that 2014 increase: 1.5 percent. Just this week I was notified that the premium for my Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) policy is increasing by 7.74 percent. Increases in other fixed expenses for next year will soon be forthcoming although I don't yet know hard numbers.

As Huffpost helpfully explains,

”By law, the cost-of-living adjustment is based on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers...

“The COLA is calculated by comparing consumer prices in July, August and September each year to prices in the same three months from the previous year. If prices go up over the course of the year, benefits go up.”

Unfortunately for old people, the urban price index undercounts or does not measure the different kinds of expenses people who are retired have resulting in a gradual erosion of Social Security income such as I am experiencing (again) this year - and I'm pretty sure that's happening to many of you too.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama, many Congressional Republicans and some Democratic legislators want to change the COLA calculation to a measurement of inflation called chained CPI that further reduces the annual COLA.

Here is Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont writing this week at TalkingPointsMemo and at his Senate website:

”Believe it or not, the 'chained CPI' is based on the theory that COLAs are 'too generous' - despite the fact that, in recent years, COLAs have been negligible or even non-existent...

“Further, not only would enacting a chained-CPI be harmful to senior citizens, it would also make substantial cuts to the VA benefits of more than 3.2 million veterans.

“Veterans who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55 and $3,231 at age 65.”

As you know, the Congressional agreement that stopped the government shutdown after 16 days funds the federal government only until 15 January 2014.

Senator Sanders has been appointed to a 29-member Congressional conference committee (seven senators, 22 representatives) tasked with coming up with a budget to prevent another shutdown in January.

That committee met for the first time earlier this week and their deadline for a budget is 13 December. It is not unlikely that chained CPI will become a pawn in these negotiations.

The committee is chaired by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, [D-WA], and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, [R-WI]. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published a guide to the eight committee members to watch most closely during their negotiations and had this to say about Sanders' role on the committee:

”An independent caucusing with Democrats, he’s been very critical of White House proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. If liberals want a squeaky wheel on the conference committee, Mr. Sanders can play that role.

“He could provide cover for Democrats if they don’t want to negotiate, but he won’t look the other way if he feels like Democrats are giving anything away to the GOP.”

Personally, I don't have much hope for the committee; historically, little has ever come out of any bipartisan Congressional committee and this one has just six weeks to perform.

Maybe the most we can expect is that Senator Sanders, who is the number one D.C. legislator reliably committed to representing elder issues, can hold the line for us against chained CPI. Here he is speaking earlier this week at a conference on Social Security:

How about taking a couple of minutes to tell Senator Sanders that you support and appreciate his hard work for elders. You can do that here.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, U.R. Israel: The Atom Bomb Club