Archive for unemployment benefits

Fox Biz: Weekly Jobless Claims Slide to Lowest Level Since ‘07 + Bonus #BlameObama News!

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fox biz

The only way I know how to stop all of you nag-nag-naggers to stop bugging TPC to post more reporting from the most reliable name in news-- Fox-- is to post more reporting from Fox. So here you go, via an email alert from the one source you can trust: Fox. Fox Biz to be exact. They always come through for us, rain or shine, and today it's a ray of shine:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell to 300,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 332,000 the week prior. The reading was the lowest since May 2007. Economists expected claims to fall to 320,000 from an initially reported 326,000.

But wait! There's more! This news comes from a Gallup email alert:

After hitting a low point at the end of President Barack Obama's first term, U.S. leadership ratings worldwide rallied in 2013 as he began his second.

Waitwhat? President Obama's worldwide popularity is rising? But... but... Republicans have been relentlessly mocking the decline in his global approval numbers and called him "feckless"! (Which is kind of funny considering they also call him a dictator.)

What must this all mean? Could it be that they're *gasp!* wrong? (Again. Like they are about just about everything.)

Gallup:

Global Image of U.S. Leadership Rebounds

Median approval rating of 45% in Asia is highest on record.

Not to say there aren't challenges and that everything is hunky-dory, but per Gallup, "the image of the leadership of the U.S. showed signs of rebounding in 2013."

President Obama must have dictated that poll.

UPDATE, via another Fox Biz email alert:

The Treasury Department reports the federal budget deficit fell to $37 billion in March from $107 billion in the same month last year. The fiscal 2014 deficit is running at $413 billion, down from the $600 billion gap the year prior.

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US economy grows, jobless claims fall to four-month low #BlameObama

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It's the economy stupid pin Clinton US economy

Via MarketWatch.com, Exhibit A:

Applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in four months, offering further evidence U.S. layoffs have slowed sharply and perhaps a hint that hiring is about to pick up.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000 in the seven days ended March 22, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was almost 10,000 less than economists polled by MarketWatch had expected.

Next, Exhibit B: another email alert from your favorite and mine, Fox Biz! Yes, good old reliable Fox has come through for us again. Don't they realize that this is good US economy news? How can they continue to blame President Obama for all our nation's ills when they keep reporting this kind of upbeat stuff?

Ruh-roh Foxers, you're slipppppinggg...

The Commerce Department reports the U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, up from a previous reading of 2.4%, but slightly below the 2.7% rate Wall Street expected.

Say it with me now:

blame Obama 2

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Weekly jobless claims fall, federal deficit narrows, retail sales better-than-expected #BlameObama

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jobless claims unemployment down

Jobless claims fell? What? Did anyone tell the Republicans? Why yes, yes someone did. Fox Business did! As you can see by this email alert that magically appeared in my inbox, Fox Biz is letting everyone know, even the GOP, that jobless claims fell just when Wall Street expected the opposite to happen. Damn you, Fox Biz! Just when we crazy lefties were having field day after field day mocking Fox in general, you have to go and ruin everything with some upbeat economic news!

but wait there's more smaller

But that's not all, nosireeBob! Defying the usual Debbie Downer expectations, retail sales went up! Up, I say! Or rather, Fox Biz say. Or rather, the Commerce Department say. What's a poor conservative to do? Other than wish for a lousier economy, that is, because if they don't have bad news to report, they can't-- say it with me now-- Blame Obama:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 315,000 from an upwardly revised 324,000 the week prior. Wall Street was looking for claims to rise to 330,000 from an initially reported 323,000.

The Commerce Department reports retail sales rose 0.3% in February, slightly higher than the 0.2% pick-up economists expected. Excluding the auto segment, sales rose 0.3%, verses expectations of a 0.2% gain.

But wait! There's even more! And again, from Fox Biz, this just in! Literally:

BREAKING NEWS: February Budget Deficit Narrows

The U.S. federal government posted a budget deficit of $193.5 billion in February, down from $203.5 billion in the same month last year. For fiscal 2014, the deficit is running at $377.4 billion, also less than the $494 billion deficit from the same period in fiscal 2013.

blame Obama 2

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Elizabeth Warren obliterates Republicans for blocking unemployment benefits

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Image: politicker.com

Image: politicker.com

Note: This is a crosspost from our wonderful friend Anomaly at FreakOutNation

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took to the Senate floor and blasted Republican lawmakers for blocking an extension of federal unemployment insurance. Those benefits would have helped 1.6 million Americans. When Romney/Ryan ran for the 2012 ticket, they vowed to stand up for the middle class. Republicans have continued with this mantra without backing it up with votes.

Warren

She said, “Unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline for people who are trying their hardest and need a little help—a recognition that Wall Street and Washington caused the financial crisis, but Main Street is still paying the price.”

Warren continued, “Republicans line up to protect billions in tax breaks and subsidies for big corporations with armies of lobbyists but they can’t find a way to help struggling families trying get back on their feet.”

Watch. This is one of Warren’s best speeches yet (I say that each time):

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VIDEO: Elizabeth Warren kicks ass... again.

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elizabeth warren wing of dem party

Did you see Elizabeth Warren on "Now with Alex Wagner"? If not, here you go. She kicked major ass, as she always does. And whaddya know, I also got this email (bolding is mine):

Laffy,

Millions of families are hanging on by their fingernails to their place in the middle class – and the United States Senate just voted to let them fall.  

I'm ashamed that the Senate didn't extend unemployment benefits yesterday. I'm sickened that my colleagues went home last night knowing that they just cut off a little help for millions of people who have worked hard and who can't find a job.

And I'm appalled that so many Senators cannot admit the simple reality: we are still in the middle of a jobs crisis. People have been looking for work for months or even years. Many are starting to give up entirely. Young people are beginning to think that there isn't a future out there for them. Long-term unemployment isn't just about money; it's also about losing hope.

These people – our friends, our families, our neighbors – they weren't the ones who broke our economy. So many people worked hard, played by the rules, and did everything we told them to – and now struggle to find work. They need our help.

We help because we care about people, but we also help because it is good for the economy. The numbers show money put into unemployment goes right back into the economy to help stimulate more demand and more business activity. According to a new Congressional report, in just one week after unemployment benefits expired, our state economies lost $400 million. Extending unemployment makes good business sense.

There's so much we should be doing to strengthen our economy and rebuild our middle class, and yesterday we took a step backwards. Washington needs to get back to work solving problems – not making them worse – so families can get back to work.

I really don't get why the Republicans would stand in the way on this issue. I don't get it, but I'm taking stock – and like many of my colleagues who voted to help people yesterday, I'm not giving up. 

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

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ENTIRE VIDEO- Pres. Obama on extending unemployment benefits: "Hope is contagious."

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obama speaks on extending unemployment benefits

Via UpTakeVideo:

President Obama says Americans who need an emergency extension of unemployment benefits are "not lazy" as some might want you to believe. He points to the case of Katherine Hackett who introduced him. As an unemployed mom of two military sons she keeps the heat down just to make ends meet as she looks for a job. Without unemployment benefits, it makes it harder for her to find a job.

I wish the video had included Katherine Hackett, who introduced the president, because she was so effective, exactly who Americans, especially Republicans, needed to hear from. One memorable quote was, "'I am not just sitting at home living the good life." Got that, GOP?

The full transcript can be found at WaPo. Here are some excerpts:

For the Americans who join me at the White House today and millions like them who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance has been a vital economic lifeline.

For a lot of people it's the only source of income they've got to support their families while they look for a new job. These aren't folks who are just sitting back, waiting for things to happen. They're out there actively looking for work. They desperately want work. But although the economy has been growing, and we've been adding new jobs, the truth of the matter is, is that the financial crisis was so devastating that there's still a lot of people who are struggling, and in fact if we don't provide unemployment insurance, it makes it harder for them to find a job...

Katherine went on to say, I've applied to everything for which I'm possibly qualified, to no avail. I've worked hard all my life, paid taxes, voted, engaged in political discussion and made the ultimate sacrifice: My two sons serve in the U.S. military. Job loss is devastating, and if I could fix it myself, I would. I challenge any lawmaker to live without an income. (Laughter.) That's what Katherine said. It's hard. (Applause.)

So when we've got the mom of two of our troops who is working hard out there but is having to wear a coat inside the house, we've got a problem, and it's one that can be fixed.

And Katherine's not alone. Develyn Smith (sp), who's watching today from her home in California wrote me about her hunt for a new job. Since she was laid off 13 months ago, she's sent out hundreds of resumes, she's volunteered, she's done seasonal work, she doesn't want to just be sitting around the house. She's been taking online courses to learn new skills. Without unemployment insurance, though, she won't be able to pay for her car or her cell phone, which makes the job hunt that much harder...

Now, two weeks ago Congress went home for the holidays and let this lifeline expire for 1.3 million Americans. If this doesn't get fixed, it will hurt about 14 million Americans over the course of this year -- 5 million workers along with 9 million of their family members, their spouses, their kids.

Now, I've heard the argument that says extending unemployment insurance will somehow hurt the unemployed because it saps their motivation to get a new job. I -- I really want to -- I want to go at this for a second. ... (applause) -- that really sells the American people short. I meet a lot of people as president of the United States and as a candidate for president of the United States and as a U.S. senator and as a state senator. I -- I meet a lot of people. And I can't -- I can't name a time where I met an American who would rather have an unemployment check than the pride of having a job. (Applause.)...

Katherine, in the letter that she wrote to me, said, do folks really think that cutting this benefit will make someone hire me? I mean, that's not how employers are thinking...

Voting for unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs. And voting against it does not. Congress should pass this bipartisan plan right away and I will sign it right away. And more than 1 million Americans across the country will feel a little hope right away. And hope is contagious...

You know, when I was listening to Katherine, I was just so struck by her strength and dignity, and I think people, when they bump into some tough times like Katherine, they're not looking for pity; they just want a shot.

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Jobless, aidless, homeless v. the wealthy who live in homes with moats, Botox rooms

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makers takers Luckovich cartoon workers joblessVia Mike Lukovich, amuniversal

In the past couple of days, the Los Angeles Times letters to the editor about the jobless and homeless knocked it out of the park. I'm sharing a few samples, because our voices matter:

Re "222,000 in state to lose jobless aid," Dec. 25

So, Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky claim that funding extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless would hurt their chances of getting hired.

By that logic, it would necessarily follow that the homeless should not be given rent subsidies for an apartment because it would hinder them from buying a house someday.

I get it now.

Jerry Lasnik

Thousand Oaks

***

"222,000 in state to lose jobless aid" — that was the headline I saw Christmas morning, and it totally ended the joy that day should have brought.

I hope Santa had 535 lumps of coal for each voting member of Congress.

David Mathews

Downey

That was just in California. Nationwide, the number of those who will no longer receive unemployment benefits skyrockets to 1.3 million. Did I mention that Congress members-- who are paid $174,000 a year-- are taking a holiday break (yes, another one) to rest from all the work they didn't do?

And we all know what unemployment can lead to, right? If you answered "homelessness," you would be correct. And as so many American families struggle to eat and stay alive, the very, very wealthy struggle to come up with ways to keep up with the over-the-top Joneses by outdoing one another with preposterously showy novelty perks.

There is no link to the following letters, because, true to form, The L.A. Times failed to post these online. I transcribed these from my morning paper and added a link that is a MUST-read:

Re "Union Station's homeless," Editorial, Dec. 25

Once again we read on this Christmas Day that the business community-- in this instance, aided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority-- finds no room for the desperately poor at Union Station.

One way to justify keeping the homeless at bay is to perpetuate blatant stereotypes, exemplified by the oft-repeated phrase "aggressive panhandling."  Both words are extremely negative and imply that people asking for charity are not only "bums" but that their actions, as the word "aggressive" conveys, border on violence.

When our favorite nonprofit organizations beg for our money, we call it intensive fundraising and assume it to be normal and expected, even when we are "aggressively" bombarded with stacks of nuisance letters and phone calls-- something no person without a home has ever done to me.

I suspect The Times was being ironic when it mentioned that only 4,000 shelter beds are available each night for Los Angeles County's more than 57,000 homeless, and then that outreach workers should encourage people at Union Station to seek out Shelters.

Douglas J. Miller

Santa Barbara

***

On Christmas Day, an article in the Business section reported on houses built with moats and other luxuries selling for as much as $50 million.

In the same paper, The Times editorialized on the homeless in Union Station. The editorial noted that there are 57,000 homeless in L.A. and only 4,000 beds to serve them.

Something is seriously wrong.

Jan Goldsmith

Sherman Oaks

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