I've always been sympathetic to Paul Kirk since a Los Angeles reporters' breakfast in 1985 where he proposed "means-testing" Social Security benefits--that is, scaling them back for those who didn't need them. This was, and is, a forbidden thought among mainstream Democrats, who argue that the strength of New Deal entitlements is that they're available equally to rich and poor.*** Senator Edward Kennedy, whose seat Kirk has just been named to fill , had a few months earlier gone out of his way to subtly denounce the idea as an attempt to "repeal the New Deal and the New Frontier."
Kirk's subsequent s**t-eating recantation was comically, almost self-defeatingly, transparent. By bedtime on the same day, he put out a statement declaring: "I was wrong. Our party ... is unalterably opposed to any cuts in Social Security benefits. I should not have mentioned the subject of a means test . I plan to undergo electroshock therapy to insure that this idea never again appears within my cerebral cortex without producing immediate nausea and revulsion." [E.A.]
OK, he didn't say that last sentence. But he said the one before it. ...
The incident is reported in a 1985 L.A. Times story . ...
***-- A fine sentiment, until you go broke. ... 1:02 P.M.
BREAKING : The person who was the Former NEA Director of Communications has resigned (after being reassigned) in the wake of the conference call scandal . But this person, if in fact he ever existed, wasn't the worst offender on the call . That was Buffy Wicks, who works for Valerie Jarrett in the White House. Wicks was the one who gave her squishily grandiose idea of "change" and "service" an ideological cast by urging arts types to "connect" with "labor unions, progressive groups." Bet she stays. ... 3:49 P.M.