Paul Ryan Uses His Own Mama to Defuse Medicare Drama

In Rep. Paul Ryan's 'The Path to Prosperity' budget, Medicare, the health insurance program that is loved by older Americans and hated by deficit hawks, will cease to exist some time around 2022. The program - a lasting stipulation of Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society - will be transformed into a voucher system, where anyone born after 1956 will be forced to seek private insurance instead of having the government pick up the bill. The HMO machine spurs on and, by 2033, you will have to be 67 to receive all of this good stuff.

Well, one main problem with this insurance realignment is that Americans in their 30s and 40s do not want to hear that shit - according to a poll conducted by the Washing Post a year ago, 78% of Americans are opposed to Medicare cuts as a way to solve the deficit problem. And that makes absolute sense: who would want to give up their entitlements to fix a problem Washington created? National sacrifice is one thing but this is hard-earned health insurance we're talking about here, right?

Wrong. As the campaign season heats up during the later days of August, the most recent pseudo-controversy is the to-and-fro arguments over Medicare cuts by the two tents. The sides are pretty simple: the Obama/Biden camp believes government needs to continue to pick up the tab for elders while the Romney/Ryan camp seeks to shift responsibility over to the private insurance companies. 

And today, down in Florida, Rep. Paul Ryan brought out his own mama to tell the world's largest retirement community at the Villages that the change in Medicare will not hurt them... just everyone else.

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Photographer Lauren Fleishman Chronicles 'Love Ever After'

Lauren Fleishman
After freelance photographer Lauren Fleishman's grandfather died, she found a book next to his bed containing love letters written to her grandmother. "That inspired me to start seeking out couples that have been married for over 50 years," she told Runnin' Scared on the phone today. Fleishman has been working on the project for three years, and is now seeking funds on Kickstarter to help her photograph more couples and turn her work into a book. We admit we have been cynical about the current onslaught of love-themed media, but we are smitten with these stories of long-lasting New York-area romance.

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Donald Trump: 'I Wouldn't Say Retirement Is for Losers' (But You'll Probably Get Fat and Old)

Donald Trump spoke to SmartMoney recently and revealed some things of potential interest to the career-interested layperson. For one, though he's 65, he's planning to stick around for a long time, work-wise: "My father, who worked until he passed away at 93, used to always say, 'to retire is to expire.' And I feel the same way. I love what I'm doing - and when you love what you're doing, you don't retire."

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Middle-Aged Women Are Kind of 'Meh' About Their Careers

According to a new McKinsey report covered in the Wall Street Journal, women get way less ambitious around middle age. "About 64% of women ages 45 to 54 years old expressed a desire to advance professionally, compared with 78% of the men in the same age range. The comparable figures were 92% and 98%, respectively, for women and men aged 23 to 34."

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430 Times Normal Radiation Near Fukushima Nuclear Plant; Indian Point Operators Consider Changes; William Shatner Is 80

• Soil tested 25 miles from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Monday had radiation at "430 times normal levels" as reported by Japan's Science Ministry. Tokyo Electric's executive VP has visited evacuees in the area to apologize for the situation. In addition, it seems that multiple reactors are more damaged than initially thought. The current death toll from the earthquake and tsunami is 9,080, with 13,561 missing and 2,675 injured. [CNN]

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NY Senate Votes That Your Old Horrible Teacher Should Be Fired

The New York Senate approved the repeal of the "Last In, First Out" policy for New York City school teachers in a vote today. The senate voted 10-8 in favor of a new policy that says teachers with seniority should not have precedence over their more junior coworkers. With Bloomberg planning to cut 5,000 teacher jobs soon, the policy is coming under heavy fire -- even by the mayor himself. The New York Post quotes the mayor as saying that the downsizing should be done "intelligently and not based on something that doesn't have anything to do with the quality of education."

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Oldest Cat in the World Wants Her Due

via Daily Mail/Wales News Service
Things that may surprise you: There is no Guinness Book of Records entry for the world's oldest cat. Even so, the human handler-servants of Lucy, a Welsh tabby who's allegedly been torturing mice since 1972, would like it to be noted that she is the oldest in the world at 39, which would make the deaf but otherwise healthy cat 172 in human years, which would make her ancient. In terms of elderly cat fame, Lucy beats out Possum, 28; Kataleena Lady, 32; and even Cat World's oldest cat in the world, Cream Puff, who lived to 38. Plus she has a better name. [via the Daily Mail, Animal Tourism]