Regarding the Socialist Question: I don't use the word "socialist" as an insult. I use it to label a person who espouses a particular philosophy and economic system. It's not a dirty word, and if you take it as such, then honestly, that is your issue, not mine. I'm not trying to invoke a bogeyman or scare people by using the term. It is a convenient way to refer to those that believe in socialism, social democracy, social interventionism, etc. I'm not going to list every single type of "social" philosophy and economic system (just as my political opposites do not use every conceivable term to label "conservatives" or "capitalists").
I'll refer to those systems by the trait that they share, in my view, which is that of socialism. Again, it is not an insult, it is simply a word that represents a particular economic system. If you are embarrassed by it or put off by it, I suggest you rethink your positions. Otherwise, relax. Considering that many of the people who now post here, Democrats in leadership positions, and liberal talk show hosts/guests refer to Tea Partiers as racists and teabaggers (so accusing us of hating and discriminating against people based on their race, and a term for a sexual act), I don't see how labeling someone according to the economic system that most closely matches their beliefs and statements can be so insulting.
Many people on the left (I didn't say all!) have long tried to use "conservative" or "capitalist" as dirty words, constantly trying to tie those labels to the actually reprehensible belief systems of racism, sexism, nationalism, etc., Of course, these ties are completely false and truly insulting. Therefore, I feel much of the outrage at the use of the word "socialism" is manufactured at worst and hypocritical at best. And if it really riles you that much, you may want to tell the explicitly socialist groups that show up at most liberal/progressive rallies and protests that they do not represent you if that is the case. Every progressive leaning rally that I have ever attended usually has a large contingent of people carrying signs from various groups that use the word socialism or socialist in their titles. If that does not represent you, then fine, but if it does, then don't be ashamed or insulted.
Lastly, do labels oversimplify things? Yes. However, that is sort of the nature of our language and conversation. Labeling someone as a socialist may oversimplify their belief system, but it is one of the most accurate methods of describing a certain, basic set of principles. Labeling people as socialists is not meant to paint them as uncaring people or anything like that. I know, as most of my personal friends are progressive (hello, I live in Seattle), that the majority of liberals are incredibly kind people that have different ideas about solving society's ills. However, knowing people are kind does not preclude me from fighting against their solutions while simultaneously fighting for mine.
Thus, I may disagree with socialism and all of its variations, and I may personally find the outcomes of socialistic-like policies to exacerbate the problems they are supposedly solving, but I still respect the people who believe in those types of policies. I also acknowledge that it is not a fully descriptive term, but that is what discussions are for. I ask for the same respect and acknowledgement from those that find fault with the conservative or capitalist point of view. To assert that I am not compassionate and do not care simply because I believe in different solutions to the problems in our communities is ludicrous and gets us nowhere. We would move very far down the road in talking to one another if we could at least come to the table agreeing that the other side cares about people. Then we can focus on issues and policy, and debate the various methods of moving our country forward.