Archive for unemployed

The Next Senate Plan To Pass The Unemployment Benefits Extention



When at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That's what I was taught.

Maybe this would be a good lesson for Harry Reid and the Senate. The Majority Leader has the position, like the Speaker of the House, to bring any bill he wishes to the floor, and as often as he wishes. Think about the 46+ votes they have had in the House on abolishing the Affordable Care Act. So there's no limit on this.

The Senate leader also has the power to stifle any bill he doesn't care to debate. According to The Hill, Harry's decided to put off the plight of the unemployed for a bit. And that's disappointing because it's really his decision.

Senate Democrats are dropping the issue of extending federal unemployment benefits — at least for now — despite intense lobbying over the recess by outside groups targeting Republicans.

The timing of the next unemployment vote is uncertain, though the aide added that Reid could bring the issue back to the floor quickly if a compromise emerges.

Remember the "try, try again" reference? Now here's a novel thought, something for Nevada's senior senator to ponder. Every day that the Senate is in session, it's begun with Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black leading those in attendance in daily morning prayers. It's a tradition that's been with the senate for over two hundred years. The point is, every session begins the same way, with prayer.

So why not build on that tradition? Start every session with raising the long term unemployment bill. Even if it gets voted down by the Republican minority every day. If the Democrats want to put their money where there mouth is -- and certainly the starving millions of unemployed want to put something where their mouth is -- then bring up the U.I. bill. Doesn't matter how many Republicans they get to go along with it. Show up the senators who are voting against the unemployed every day. Make it a roll call vote. Harry has the ability to do that under the current rules of the Senate. Let's see how long these upper house members can take their names being associated and as anti-worker.

The GOP has demanded that the cost of extending federal unemployment insurance be offset with other spending cuts.

Well, the Democrats acquiesced.

Democrats are standing pat on their latest offer, which has drawn the support of only one Republican — Sen. Dean Heller (Nev.). It would extend unemployment benefits for 11 months, offsetting the $17 billion cost by expanding a provision included in the recent budget agreement to extend a portion of the sequester.

Shame the GOP and Tea Party (yes, I break them into two parties -- they are going to have two responses to the SOTU address, so that must mean they are not the same). They said pay for the program. The Democrats said, "Okay." Now the GOP-ers can't accept yes for an answer.

Let them face the public record and their constituents. Let America see who's not for supporting those with an offset spending bill to bail out those who have worked hard (you have to have worked, not just signed up, to qualify for UI). There are thresholds and it's not all that easy to qualify unless you've paid your "dues" by earning enough to be eligible. Evidently the lack of GOP support is nothing but spite. 

Harry, here's the plan. Open with prayer. Follow it with a vote on saving our unemployed from starvation and their loss of shelter, then get onto other business.

The Senate voted Monday evening to begin dealing with the bipartisan flood insurance bill, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also hopes to schedule floor work on the farm bill, military sexual assault legislation, and several of President Obama’s nominees, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

All of those are important issues, but they are not any more important or urgent than the U.I. bill. Let's shame the Republicans into action. It can be done. There were skeptics on changing the filibuster rule. But Reid finally took the reins and made that happen. Well, looks like it's time Harry to take the reins again. Time, heat and food are running out on millions. This U.I. bill is the only hope for those without a jobless benefit check. So let's get America's priorities straight.


Eric Cantor Celebrates While His Constituents Starve



Ah, the beauty of Davos, Switzerland. Snow-capped mountains, chalets, a playground for the uber riche. I can only describe it as I've seen in the pictures, like the one above. I'll never be able to afford it, so that's as close as I'll ever get.

But if you're a multi-millionaire House Majority leader, you can just have someone on your high-priced (taxpayer funded) staff make all the arrangements. The finest foods, plushest of accommodations -- even the lift tickets and ski rentals. No need to worry about what it cost because -- that's right, the taxpayers are paying for it.

You'd think that with a constituency like his 7th Virginia District having an unacceptable 6.5% unemployment rate, the congressman would pass on a World Economic Forum and put his efforts into finding the votes on long term unemployment benefits and bring the bill to the floor. He has that power. He's chosen not to use it. Instead, this is what he's doing -- in Davos

From Peter Goodman at Huffpo:

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Fresh from Washington, where he played a leading role in preventing the extension of emergency unemployment benefits for Americans mired in joblessness, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor appeared to be enjoying one of the perks of his own employment: a sumptuous breakfast in this ski resort in the Swiss Alps, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.

So I approached Cantor's table and asked him who was paying for his trip. He took in a breath, grinned sheepishly and said, "I paid for this," gesturing at a table bearing the remnants of a buffet breakfast whose offerings included smoked salmon, croissants, freshly squeezed orange juice, assorted Swiss cheeses and mineral water.

Maybe you're buying into he paid for this, but I bet by saying "I paid for this," he really meant his office which means you and me. I hope he liked his lox (smoked salmon) a lot.

Eric Cantor breakfast receipt

Cantor's table had ordered a bottle of San Pellegrino water, plus a Coca Cola and a cappuccino, all of this running 94.70 Swiss francs, around $105 -- a bit more than a third of the maximum $378 a week a jobless person can draw in benefits in Cantor's home state of Virginia.

Think about it -- one third of a weekly unemployment benefit in his state -- spent just on breakfast for one day.

Justifying his attendance at this "forum" as benefiting his constituency or even the greater good of the US, is nothing more than a taking us for idiots.

And who paid for the rest of his visit to Davos, a veritable Disneyland of ostentatious cocktail parties underwritten by global banks, technology companies and other well-heeled concerns?

Cantor took a glance sideways. "It's an official trip," he said, leaving it at that, and presumably confirming that taxpayers paid.

This cretin has the audacity to stay in Washington long enough to make sure a long term unemployed bill would never see the light of day, then took off for a playground of the rich and famous.

This is the norm, not the exception for conservatives like Cantor. They have a feeling of entitlement, even if their money was inherited. And who knows how many more thousands he spent on this forum with no binding resolution outcomes? While needy Americans cry out in starvation, this is the Republicans' response.

Though it's only a rumor, Cantor stayed in the "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" Suite. And if your French isn't too strong, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" translates to "let them eat cake."


Sunday Talkers - Unemployment No Longer A Problem



That's the amount of coverage the four largest Sunday talkers ("Fox News Sunday," ABC’s "This Week," NBC’s "Meet The Press," and CBS’ "Face The Nation")  gave to the crisis of the long term unemployment extension that ran out right after Christmas. From that , you can only draw one conclusion: unemployment is no longer a problem.

Who's going to break this joyous news to the 1.3  million unemployed who've had their benefits cut? Or the additional 3 million family members of this socio-economic formerly depressed group? Certainly not the public service shows whose responsibility it is to report and examine such pressing issues.

Last Sunday I took these chat fests to task over their not mentioning anything about the West Virginia water poisoning. This week they've gone to, as a member of Chris Christie's inner circle, David Waldman reported, "radio silence."

Fortunately, I was able to grab a screen shot of the CNN talker just before camera's began to roll. That's Candy Crowley on the right.

ostrich head in sand


To the defense of the talk shows, they did have a lot to cover. And certainly who can argue that the future of 4.5 million Americans potentially starving, living without heat or shelter could possibly be as important as Chris Christie possibly blocking the George Washington Bridge, Obama's allowing us to be spied on, Edward Snowden being accused by right wingers of working for the Russians, and Robert Gates' new book where he confesses to being a borderline alcoholic having to knock back a stiff one every night to deal with the pressures of his job?

Priorities are important. But where does the well-being of fellow Americans rate? Certainly on Sunday public service qualifying shows who have a responsibility by law to provide public service information, the plight of the long-term unemployment barrier is quite insignificant.

Or maybe the truth is that it's these shows that are not significant. You could make that argument easily based on what they fail to report, more than what they do cover.


Destruction Of GOP Talking Points In Real Time


Nikpour, Boykin

Maybe it's because I'm fighting (and barely holding my own) with the flu, but a day in bed with just the TV to keep me warm when I'm chilled and cooled down when I've feverish, did I get a chance to see two unarmed Republican spokespeople hung out to dry yesterday on Jansing and Company. I write and produce television series for a living. I'm pretty sure when I've hit gold. First it was Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, now it's leading Republican strategist, Noelle Nikpour. In both cases, 24 carat gold.

So what I'm about to share with you is a dollop of love. Here's Democratic strategist Keith Boykin totally destroying Noelle Nikpour. This is a totally dismantlement of the Republican arguments that they're not at war with the poor and middle class.

Now just before you watch this, keep in mind the estimated cost of the three month extension of long term unemployment benefits is just under $26B according to Fox Business news. And in case you forgot, the estimated cost of the government shutdown last year was... $26B. I haven't seen the Republicans looking for any offsets to cover their shutdown.  And we got nothing back for that. Here we're going to see $26B put back into the economy -- saving and perhaps even increasing jobs. What's wrong with this picture?

If you think the Republican plan isn't to harm middle and lower class, hold onto your hats and watch this. When you take in this clip, you'll see all the other programs of spending of the GOP's which had no "off-sets."

Enjoy seeing destruction of the GOP's talking points in real time.