Cutting unemployment is NOT the answer.

One point three million people have lost their unemployment benefits. Americans who have been out of work for six months or longer are suddenly without the vital lifeline that kept them from ending up homeless and hungry. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that extending these benefits will be a priority when Congress returns on January 6th, but some Republicans are already indicating they may try to block an extension.

If those on the Right keep long-term unemployment from being reauthorized, another 850,000 Americans will find themselves without financial support within the next three months. The current unemployment cuts alone may cost our economy as much as 0.4 percent of our GDP, and that number will only get larger as more Americans loose their financial assistance. And, these cuts won't save taxpayers any money, as our government will have to dramatically increase spending on programs like food stamps and housing assistance as more people have no where else to turn. If Congress doesn't act fast, more Americans will soon find themselves without any income, and many could wind up on the street.

As if that wasn't bad enough, without this meager financial assistance, out-of-work Americans will no longer be able to contribute anything to their local economies. That, in turn, can pose a serious risk to our modest economic recovery. Allowing unemployment benefits to expire isn't just immoral and un-American, it's also a bad idea for our nation as a whole. We shouldn't be imposing more austerity – we should be investing in our nation. And, our government should step in as the employer of last resort. If Republicans really want to lower spending on unemployment benefits – the answer is not slashing aid – it's helping out-of-work Americans find a job.


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 28 weeks ago

Quote Palindromedary:28 pages of an 800 page report, based on FBI and CIA documents, that was censored by the Bush Administration are still being censored by the Obama Administration. And the couple of Senators that managed to read parts, after a great struggle to do so, were very much disturbed by what they read...and they were not given all those 28 pages...only a few select pieces...most of which was blacked out...whole pages.
Quote Palindromedary:But, the Saudis weren't alone in planning and carrying out 911...the Bush administration and the Royal Saudis were hand holding...nose rubbing..conspirators. And I believe it is not just a matter of trying to protect the Saudis...I believe the Neocons conspired with the Saudis and others in carrying this out. That's what US officials are most worried about...that it was mostly an "inside job" and high level US officials committed treason against the American people.

Palindromedary ~ Thanks so much for repeating that news bomb shell. For your convenience I'm going to repeat my response:

Repeated post from Dec. 20, 2013 blog ~ As always you are a virtual fountain of information. Let's start with Saudi Arabia. Fascinating and quite unbelievable that this story could fly under the radar for over a decade. The Patriot act, undermining the Constitution and three illegal wars? Talk about a day late and a dollar short. We should also add our voices to the Congressional efforts and not beg but demand that President Obama release these documents. The man promised to prosecute the Bush Administration for war crimes if there was credible proof. That time has come and gone repeatedly so far; yet now, he is clearly implicating himself as an accessory if he buries this compelling official information. He either acts now; or, finds himself brought up on charges as an accessory by a future Administration, or, by the court system. Of course, if this information somehow implicates the Obama Administration as well he might have to cover it up. After all, it was Obama who also charged us into the war in Afghanistan. A war that is supposed to last another 10 years. In either case, a revelation that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda had nothing to do with 911 isn't going to help his popularity much. It beats the hell out of a war crime rap though. In either case, I sure am glad I'm not in his shoes right now.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 28 weeks ago

I am not saying global warming isn't happening. The earth has cooled and warmed for millions of years And it will continue do do so. What I am saying is North America isn't the problem China and India are and we should be focusing our attention on them.

What if the sceintists are wrong? They have been before. Many new studies from the universities up here are showing some different facts. The polar bear commercial showing they couldn't find ice was a lie. Maybe you are not old enough to remember when sceintist thought we should spray the Acrtic with insulation because the earth was cooling. Of course the science was wrong then.

Any way happy new year to all of you. It has been fun getting beat up by you all. I wish you all a healthy, happy, prosperous new year.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 28 weeks ago
Quote Kend:I am not saying global warming isn't happening. The earth has cooled and warmed for millions of years And it will continue do do so. What I am saying is North America isn't the problem China and India are and we should be focusing our attention on them.

Kend ~ North America isn't the problem? The problem was originated in, perfected in, and exported by North America, Kend. Don't you think North America should take some of the blame for what is happening in China, India, and the rest of the industrialized world. After all, if three people are sitting in a boat that starts to sink it doesn't make any sense to waste time accusing each other of who caused the problem. Only by working together and baling is there any chance to survive the situation. Personally, I think the full responsibility for doing something about this problem falls on the shoulders of North America. Our innovation caused it; and, our innovation might just be able to resolve it. Before we clean our own house we are really in no position to point fingers at anyone.

Aside from that Happy healthy and prosperous New Year to you, too.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 28 weeks ago

DAnne with all due respect. My house is clean. Canada is only responsible for 1.6 % of the worlds green house gases. We could shut down everything and it would change nothing. We are also reducing those numbers every year. There is only 33 million people here compared to 1.2 billion in India. So again lets focus on the problem. India and China. The past is what is what it is again let's look at the future.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 28 weeks ago

Kend -- Are you saying because Canada has such a small contribution to climate change, they are not willing to help China and India bail out their sinking boat? I think putting a huge export tax on all the fuel
Canada exports would help a lot.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 28 weeks ago

DanneMarc: Yes, and Obama "claimed" to have "murdered" Osama Bin Laden. Yet OBL, most likely, had nothing to do with 911...he was framed...just like the alleged hijackers were, most likely, patsies.

Bandar (Bush) Sultan and his buddy George (Bandar) Bush had more to do with 911 than OBL. Even the alleged "hijackers" may have thought they were part of some operation; but, not necessarily one that entailed dying in airliners smashing into tall buildings. They may not have even hijacked those planes but could have just been passengers thinking they were on their way to another meeting. Some of those alleged hijackers were not even on those planes. Some showed up, after 911, in their countries of origin. Their deaths were greatly Mark Twain would have said.

I believe the airliners were electronically hijacked by Neocon conspirators and remotely electronically guided to their targets. Those "hijackers" couldn't fly small craft let alone airliners! How do you find your way all the way back to New York and the Pentagon in Virginia and manage to accurately guide those planes, at those high speeds, to hit buildings, when you can't even fly a small plane very well? And that tight descending circle maneuver at the Pentagon was way too difficult even for experienced airliner pilots to handle. And we are expected to believe that someone who flunked out of flight school on small planes could pull these stunts off? No way!!!

It is even possible that the original airliner pilots could have been knocked out with remotely controlled gas injected into the cockpits. In fact, the whole airliner cabin could have gassed everyone on they wouldn't be any trouble.

Everything else, phone calls, etc could have easily been faked. And cell phone calls couldn't have even worked at those altitudes back in 2001. The on-board phones would have worked but again they could have been faked. So, the fact that some calls were allegedly made from cell phones just adds to the many, many other things that didn't add up either. Glaring signs that something is rotten in the United States of America and their "official conspiracy theory".

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 28 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Again, you are preaching to the choir. (Sorry for the religious reference.) Just because Saudi's pulled off the impossible in the Pentagon attack doesn't mean too much. First of all, from your own sources, the pilot training was fully funded by Saudi Arabia. They can easily afford the best training. In addition, training in this country doesn't mean they weren't also trained in Saudi Arabia before coming here. Most important of all, closer observations of the crash raise questions as to whether or not the Pentagon was hit by a plane or a cruise missile dressed up to look like a plane. Almost any alternative explanation makes more sense than the official story.

Just because the official story is hard to swallow doesn't mean we should not consider more reasonable stories with an open mind. Having said that I would ask your oppinion on the death of JFK Jr. Check out this story:

Do you think a missle took out JFK's kid? Inquiring minds want to know. There are a lot of reasons to be suspicious of that so called, "accident."

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 28 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Thanks for that link! That was quite a read! And the reporter who saw a white streak in the sky right at the time of the crash....and the news media squashed the story.
He was shot down!
And I sure had not read about this! ...

Quote whatreallyhappened:Finally, last year, trapped by his own handwritten notes uncovered in the National Archives, Warren Commission member Gerald Ford admitted that the Warren Report altered the official location of the entry wound on JFK's back. While the admission was made to appear quite trivial in the media, a moment's consideration reveals that this confession triggers some important consequences.

Oddly enough, Richard Nixon was forced to resign because of the John F. Kennedy assassination. The break-in at the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee would have never become the issue to topple a President, but for the need to protect just WHY the crime had been committed. The Democrats had obtained photographs which showed Nixon "associate" E. Howard Hunt to be one of the tramps arrested and then released in Dealey Plaza. This is why Hunt led the break-in at the Watergate. He was protecting his own posterior.

Rather than risk exposure of a far worse scandal, Nixon resigned, turning over the White House to Gerald Ford, the Warren Commission member who last year admitted last year to altering the official location of JFK's back wound.

And, holy cow, what John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the New York Times, said at the New York Press Club was quite an eye opener. What we all knew to be true was just doubly confirmed by that top level insider.

And how about that James Clapper testifying before congress that millions of Americans were not being spied on...when it was revealed that we are being spied on. Man, these top level bastards get away with lying to Congress and committing the foulest of deeds and they get away with it but let someone like Edward Snowden leak the criminality of these top criminals...these top terrorists...and they're all for prosecuting or even executing him.

You know, that British woman from Wikileaks, Sarah Harrison who flew to Hong Kong, then to Moscow, and assisted Snowden can't even go back to Britain because they consider her a terrorist. Anyone who leaks, or assists anyone who leaks, is considered a terrorist by Britain. Before long they'll consider those of us who don't buy their terrorists as well.

And that idiot Hayden has called Snowden a traitor..but fact is that top level people like Hayden and Clapper are the real traitors...the real criminals that should be prosecuted.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 28 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary:Anyone who leaks, or assists anyone who leaks, is considered a terrorist by Britain. Before long they'll consider those of us who don't buy their terrorists as well.

Palindromedary ~ Actually, in my opinion they already do. In fact, I would say, they even consider those of us who have bought their lies as terrorists. You have to look at it from the perspective of the deceivers... They can't believe their own lies so how can they possibly believe anyone else can indefinitely? There only logical recourse is to assume everyone will eventually wake up to the truth. Remember Edgar Allen Poe's, "Tell Tale Heart?" The paranoia of guilty people can lead to some pretty wacky behavior. What else can better explain FEMA concentration camps, appropriations of huge amounts of ammo, and a stockpile of body bags all in the name of "Federal Emergency Management." No, in my humble opinion that line was crossed a long time go. The only reason we haven't been targeted as charged yet is because the culprits are hopelessly outnumbered and there is a big difference between what they want to do and what they can actually pull off.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 28 weeks ago

We are doing everything we can with the limited resources we have.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 28 weeks ago

No excuse, eh?! Bill Clinton helped pave the way for this nightmare. Will that sanctimonious prick ever get an up-close-and-personal view of the pain and ruin he has caused? I see the day coming when all over this country, except gated communities and the richest neighborhoods, our streets will be teeming with multitudes of homeless people and their kids, all begging for small change or a chance to "work for food". As if ushering in NAAFTA and ripping people's livelihoods out from under them wasn't enough, President Clinton had to gut the welfare program too, thus destroying part of our safety net right when it was most needed! Real gem, that guy.

Fabian, who is the "we" you are referring to in your post, where you claim that "we" agreed there is "no excuse" for long-term unemployment? I never agreed to that. In fairness, I will concede that back in the "good ole days", before the factory closures and the outsourcing ad nauseam, I encountered lots of middle class people with a condescending, judgmental attitude towards the poor. It bothered me, and I recall thinking less of them for it. I never believed strict time limits on unemployment benefits were fair or justified, as each situation is unique. When it comes to employment issues, there is no one-size-fits-all. I never made knee-jerk assumptions about those who were down on their luck because I happen to know better. So many people insulate themselves from this harsh reality by assuming the homeless got there because of "bad choices", laziness or whatever. It always made me sick to hear anyone say that unemployment benefits were a "disincentive" to "get up and find a job". Where are the jobs? Having never enjoyed job security myself, I feel nothing but empathy and compassion for those shut out of the system. Were it not for dumb luck, I could easily have wound up on the streets. I'm not perfect; I have my shortcomings; but I'm not lazy or stupid either. So why should I assume that about anyone else who's been marginalized, without the good fortune of an inheritance to save their butts?!

The reason I bothered sharing my perspective here at such length is that I can't believe everyone bought into Clinton's assumption about the unemployed being always to blame for their fate. There's got to be a percentage of the population who shares my perspective on class issues like homelessness and poverty. I doubt DAnneMarc and I are the only ones with this point of view, especially here on Thom's blog.

If there is one thing I've feared more than death, it's homelessness. Shakes me to the core, just trying to imagine what those 1.3 million unemployed individuals and their families must be going through right now. I can't help wondering, how many of the newly destitute were middle class at one time? How many shared Clinton's view that unemployment should be tantamount to a scarlet letter? How many of these people once assumed all those left destitute by circumstance somehow deserved their fate? After laying out the red carpet for NAFTA like he did, ole Billy Boy had one helluva nerve talking that shit… about the very ones whose livelihoods he destroyed, at the stroke of a pen! As for all those formerly-middle-class individuals who once looked down their noses at the poor, and are now homeless themselves, I suppose it could be argued that this sad scenario has at least a kernel of karmic justice. But I take no pleasure or satisfaction from it. To the contrary, it pains me to see anyone suffer such a cruel fate.

It grieves me to know we live in a culture that is spiritually bankrupt, where nothing is sacred and money trumps everything, where extremes of wealth & poverty are now the "new normal". From the corporate fascist media to the socioeconomics of it all, we are skillfully and methodically isolated, kept at odds with one another. "Divide & Conquer" takes many forms. These master manipulators have it down to a science.

Every president since Reagan, without exception, has dug us deeper in the hole. Evil, stupid little men… including Obama! I hate every damn one of 'em, along with their enablers. And let's not forget the master puppeteers who nobody elected, pulling the strings behind their little curtains like clones from the Wizards of Oz! No president has been an island unto himself, no matter now dirty his deeds.

I remember the day Carter got elected. Having voted for him, I was delighted. But I vividly recall a powerful premonition I had right then, that Carter was destined for one term as our president. I had this horrible gut feeling Reagan would be next. Reagan seemed popular among moderates & conservatives. Having seen him in action already, as Governor of California (where I lived at the time), I saw nothing but trouble ahead. I had this feeling of foreboding and it was overpowering. I'll never forget it. In retrospect, it seems a bit odd, as there was nothing in my background that should have sensitized me to the kinds of problems a Reagan presidency could plague us with. I'd grown up comfortably middle class, in the fifties & sixties. Prior to adulthood, I'd never been poor or experienced an economic crisis. But when my premonitions tell me things I don't want to hear, I'm almost never wrong (SIGH). And look where we are now! This is what happens when people get too comfortable, too complacent, and take too much for granted. We fell asleep at the wheel, and now we're screwed..

It bothers me that even among liberals & progressives, the focus always seems to be on the middle class while the working poor are left out of the discussion. But Fabian, when you mention the "lib media", who are you referring to? MSNBC? Democracy Now? Thom's radio show? Just curious. But what has me scratching my head is you saying the "lib (liberal?!) media" is who has deliberately distracted We The Peons from the real source of these problems. Isn't that what the corporate fascists are known for? If it's the "libs" misleading the people to protect the elite, then what is there to distinguish them from the fascists?

Anyway, that's all for now. Reckon I've rambled long enough…. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 28 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:But I vividly recall a powerful premonition I had right then, that Carter was destined for one term as our president. I had this horrible gut feeling Reagan would be next. Reagan seemed popular among moderates & conservatives. Having seen him in action already, as Governor of California (where I lived at the time), I saw nothing but trouble ahead.

Aliceinwonderland ~ That is quite a coincidence. I had the same premonition. It was strong. The only other time I had such a feeling was when George W Bush was elected. I seemed to know he was going to be a horrible tyrant and commit such heinous crimes that it would take a long time to discover them. I also felt that once the full truth came out, it would be far worse than anyone could ever imagine. Did you experience that one?

As far as Fabian and the "lib" media is concerned, that statement pretty much says it all. I don't know if I would waste too much time with that kind of a mentality. Thanks for jumping on the grenade for us all! Well done!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 28 weeks ago

kend -- what are some of things Canada is doing. I know Trans-Canada (a corp not a govt) is asking the police in the US to arrest protestors as terrorists.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 28 weeks ago

AIW -- A couple of things. When Haiti suffered its earthquake, I remember Bill C realizing that the support he gave to Arkansas farmers was a significant contributor to the desolation in Haiti.

Secondly, when you speak of the current culture be sure where you look. When progressive ideas are floated in polls, often 70% of the people agree with them. One I recall is the progressive budget that the senate came up with. Where is the disconnect?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 28 weeks ago

"Chuckle", I can't answer your question without knowing specifically what you're responding to. That was a long post, even by my standards. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 27 weeks ago

AIW -- I think the disconnect I was speaking of was our view that the culture is spiritually corrupt and yet in polls 70% of them are concerned about the poor and want a budget to help the poor. Their concern for the poor is far greater than their concern for the national debt.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 27 weeks ago

But those 70% aren't calling the shots, and here lies the problem.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 27 weeks ago

AIW -- The interesting thing is that if you I identify progressive ideas as progressive the support for them drops below 50% (based on polls about the several proposals for the budget). The 70% think they are calling the shots, but the $600 billion in advertising is telling them what to shoot at.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 27 weeks ago

Yes "chuckle" I agree. And that is exactly the mentality that keeps fascists in power.

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