Politics and Millennials: Will They Vote?

Come Election Day 2016, the country will elect a new president after an endless round of campaigning and debates. How will our adult children influence the selection of the new POTUS? A quick bit of political history: Millennials were a key factor in the election of Barack Obama. In 2008, Obama won 66 percent of the youth vote and in 2012, 60 percent of those younger than 30. The millennials were critical in helping him win the electoral vote in …

AARP Praises House Ways and Means Committee Effort to Find Bipartisan Solutions on Social Security

On July 9, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), in his opening statement in the House Ways and Means Committee, said, “Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson has been working on solutions all year.” And a few months back, he laid out four principles for reforming disability insurance (DI) — all of which I fully endorse: “First, no 20 percent cut. Full stop. Not gonna happen. Second, make sure all benefits are paid on time. Third, make the program …

How to Follow the 2014 Midterm Election Returns

Whether you’re a hard-core political junkie or just an ordinary citizen who’s interested in the outcome, there are a wealth of ways to follow the midterm elections on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Here are some suggestions: TV news websites ABC News will provide a live streaming webcast of its election coverage, anchored by George Stephanopoulos, starting at 7 p.m.  Additionally, the network will augment its programming with live blogging by a team of analysts from FiveThirtyEight, including Nate Silver, …

Arkansas Senate Candidates Brawl Over Medicare, Social Security

In their final scheduled debate, Arkansas’ two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate vigorously slashed each other on Social Security and Medicare issues. “The game plans for both men were plain as day — [Rep. Tom] Cotton repeatedly tied [Sen. Mark] Pryor to President Obama, while Pryor said Cotton was beholden to big-money interests who didn’t share the same goals as Arkansans,” a visiting newspaper columnist wrote of the Oct. 14 exchange in Fayetteville. In contrast to recent Senate debates in other …

When It Comes to Politics, the Nose Knows

In the endless search to make sense of American politics, scientists have determined that smell matters. Individuals who are attracted to the body odor of others (including spouses), it turns out, are more likely to share their political and ideological views. This from a new study (“Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues”) published in the American Journal of Political Science. >> AARP Voter Education Guide The three authors of the study write that olfaction — the sense …

Groundhog Day for Medicare ‘Doc Fix’

Another year, another last-minute “doc fix” by Congress. Am I the only one starting to feel a little like Bill Murray in the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day? On March 31, just one day before Medicare payments to doctors would have been slashed by 24 percent, Congress approved a short-term patch to delay the payment cuts for another year. This is the 17th time in 11 years that Congress has had to delay the Medicare reimbursement cuts created by SGR (the …