Jumbling Towers {new music}

This post is part of my ongoing series, Writing about Music Badly in the Hopes that I’ll Get Better at it Sometime.

The singer of Jumbling Towers sounds like the Joker, spilling out lyrics and quickly reeling them back in.

Information about the band is difficult to find, as evidenced by the cryptic “About the Band” page on their Facebook page:

Jumbling Towers is a musical outfit from St. Louis, MO. A former subsidiary of Money Buckets, LLC, Jumbling Towers has been selling musical entertainment and related merchandise since 2006. Their products have received various reviews, drawing descriptors such as “eerie” and “off-kilter”.

Here’s one of the more mellow tracks:

Jumbling Towers — “At the Cashier’s Station” {mpthree}.

From Jungle’s Going to Be on My Mind {spotify}.

Disability Insurance for All

Welfare v. Unemployment Chart

Crazy report from This American Life and Planet Money about the rapid rise of disability insurance claims, and how it’s come to replace the federal welfare program in many ways.

A person on welfare costs a state money. That same resident on disability doesn’t cost the state a cent, because the federal government covers the entire bill for people on disability. So states can save money by shifting people from welfare to disability. And the Public Consulting Group (PCG) is glad to help.

PCG is a private company that states pay to comb their welfare rolls and move as many people as possible onto disability. “What we’re offering is to work to identify those folks who have the highest likelihood of meeting disability criteria,” Pat Coakley, who runs PCG’s Social Security Advocacy Management team, told me.

The company has an office in eastern Washington state that’s basically a call center, full of headsetted women in cubicles who make calls all day long to potentially disabled Americans, trying to help them discover and document their disabilities…

This issue seems more complicated than the episode implies, but it is certainly something we should be looking into.

Listen to the teaser, the full episode, read the whole interactive piece Unfit for Work: The startling rise of disability in America, and check out this rebuttal from Media Matters.