Showing posts from September, 2010

The Ed Show: 99ers Still Need Help

Tonight's Ed Show began with this discussion of yesterday's action on the Senate floor: The full video with transcript is available on MSNBC. Interviewed: Mignon Fields (@agape122 on Twitter)

What Would You Do With $700 Billion?

Republicans argue for an extension of these tax cuts for the rich while objecting to a discussion of an extension of unemployment benefits for the 99ers. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

"So with that, Mr. President, I object"

The quote is from Senator George LeMieux, R-FL, who is objecting to a request for unanimous consent by Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI:
"And so, Mr. President, on behalf of millions - we know at least 2 million to 3 million people who find themselves in this particular situation, who are asking us to understand, who are asking us for help, asking us to give a lifeline to them so they can care for their families and get back to work - I would ask unanimous consent that the Finance Committee be discharged of S. 3706, the Americans Want to Work Act, that the Senate then proceed to its immediate consideration, that the bill be read three times, passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, that any statements related to the measure appear at the appropriate place in the record as if read." Senator Stabenow followed through on her commitment to bring S. 3706 onto the Senate floor, and both she and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) spoke eloquently about the need to pa…

Breaking News

@StabenowPress - Senator Stabenow's bill, #S3706, The Americans Want to Work Act, will be on the Senate floor tomorrow. More info:

Yes, We Are The Party of No

The Republican Party's slow-motion shutdown of the government continues: Senator Jim DeMint is planning to end the 111th Congress with a glorious show of all-points obstruction. Everything he hasn't personally agreed to, he'll hold. The idea is to just run out the clock so the Senate has to adjourn for the election. No wonder Senate Democrats are beginning to murmur again about filibuster reform - though first they'll have to survive the election.The Senate has two main functions: deliberate on legislation, and vote on legislation. The Republican Party in the Senate is doing nothing more than throwing sand in the gears of the government.

An Open Letter to All Republican Senators & Representatives

Post by Snowman on Fri 24 Sep - 16:10, reposted here by requestDear fellow conservatives,I write this not as an opposing faction, but speaking as one from within your own rank and file, a fellow Republican.I was raised in a Democratic family, but during the Reagan years I found my values were more in line with the Republican party. They still are.However.While I believe in fiscal responsibility, there comes a point where the well-being of your own must take priority. By "your own" I do not mean Republicans or Democrats. I am talking about Americans, specifically the hundreds of thousands of us who remain unemployed through this economic crisis.America has always been a great nation, rising to the aide of other countries during times of disaster. Please consider that a vast number of us in your own land are facing homelessness. Many already are. We watch as millions of dollars are sent overseas and say nothing. Will you turn your back on those who supported you right here in …

Will Senator Stabenow Introduce A Discharge Resolution?

"Hi Rob, this is Ed Schultz." His next words were: "I just got done talking personally with Debbie Stabenow," stating that he had a commitment from [the Senator] to bring S. 3706 to the Senate floor for debate and a possible voice vote, next week. Donnalee King broke the story on this potential breakthrough on Saturday night, in her reporting on an e-mail and phone exchange between Rob Curtis and Ed Schultz.

The next question is: how can Senator Stabenow do it? 3706 hasn't yet been placed onto the Senate Finance Committee's legislative calendar, and until it is, the prerequisites of committee hearings, markups and CBO scoring won't happen.

It turns out that Senator Stabenow can make use of a Senate motion: the discharge resolution. Quoting from
Discharge Resolution: a special motion in the Senate that any senator may introduce to relieve a committee from consideration of a bill before it. The resolution can be called up for Senate appro…

Thought For The Day

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." - Dale Carnegie I salute the 99er community, who keep on trying in the face of Sisyphean odds.

Get Out And Vote

The November midterms are coming soon, and we are faced with a few decisions come Election Day: do we vote, or do we stay home? If we vote, do we vote for a Democrat, for a Republican, or for someone else?This note arrived at my inbox, and I've reprinted it with permission:Have seen two different opinions from your group on the Ed Show.Just want to say one thing. If you don't vote, you are giving the Repubs exactly what they want! If you think that the Greed Over People will change its mind and vote for us next time, you are wrong!The only way to show them that you are serious is to vote Dem! The Dems are the only ones who have helped us and the only ones who will try to help us in the future! The Republicans will be happy if you don't vote because that's just another vote for them!You cannot protest by saying nothing; you must speak and speak loudly - VOTE! If you want help for us, VOTE!Thank you,CN(editor's note: CN used quite a few more exclamation points for em…

Not The Kind Of News You Want To Read...

Wonkette highlights a report from the Roosevelt Institute:"Starting at the beginning of 2009, it is now more likely that someone who is unemployed will drop out of the labor force than find a job." Uhh... that's probably a bad thing, right? Anything else to weep about, behind the dumpster? "Underemployment, or those employed working part-time for economic reasons, has increased greatly, often more than doubling. This is across all analyzed sectors and occupations." Hey, that kind of sounds like everyone we know!The full report, "The Stagnating Labor Market," is posted on the Institute's website (PDF link)

Don't Kill Growth And Jobs In The Name Of Deficit Reduction

The statement below, signed by more than 300 economists and major civic leaders, reflects a grave concern that the "austerity economics" being advocated by many politicians in Washington will derail our already weak economic recovery. This statement outlines a progressive approach to reviving the economy and addressing the federal deficit, with the top priority being putting people back to work and investing in the foundational elements of a new economy of broad prosperity."In the fall of 2008 the U.S. and other major economies were in a free fall in the wake of a global financial crisis. Emergency stimulus policies here and around the world broke the fall, but brought us only part way to full recovery.Today there is a grave danger that the still-fragile economic recovery will be undercut by austerity economics. A turn by major governments away from the promotion of growth and jobs and to premature focus on deficit reduction could slow growth and increase unemployment –…

Call to Action - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The American 99ers Union is calling for action:On Wednesday, September 22nd we want everyone who reads this message to take action between the hours of 9am and 9pm in order to show our power and numbers, to call for the immediate passing of Senate Bill 3706.We want every one of you and as many friends, relatives and others as you can convince to do so, to send a fax, web mail, and/or make a phone call to your own two Senators and ask them to please support and vote for The Americans Want To Work Act, S. 3706.Please mark your calendars. The more people who participate, the more effective this call to action will be.On September 22nd, let Congress hear your voice.

Unemployment Extension and Tier V News: Pelosi and Reid Confirm No Action Pending (All247News)

Michael Corliss, who has taken a lead role in reporting on long-term unemployment and the 99ers specifically, writes: The leadership of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives yesterday publicly discussed their plans for the remaining days of the current Congressional session and it is now clear that they are putting off any discussion whatsoever about unemployment extensions or Tier V until after the mid term elections.

Tier 5: Long Odds For Legislation To Help The 99ers (Huffington Post)

Arthur Delaney, writing in the Huffington Post, reports: There are no plans in the Senate to take up legislation anytime soon to help the "99ers," people who have been unable to find work after exhausting the 99 weeks of federally-funded extended unemployment insurance available in some states."I think that's going to be a real challenge in the next three weeks," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) when asked about her bill to provide an additional 20 weeks of benefits to the long-term jobless in states with unemployment above 7.5 percent. "We're going to continue to look for a way to get bipartisan support so we can get through a filibuster and be able to get that done."

An Open Letter to the White House

Valerie Jarrett
Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC
Dear Ms. Jarrett,"The American people are suffering terribly. Policymakers need to find the will to take the steps needed to finish the job and return the American economy to full health, and no one should be blocking essential actions for partisan reasons."Those are Dr. Christina Romer's words, from her recent farewell speech at the National Press Club.I'm one of the Americans who is suffering terribly. I lost my job when my company reorganized in April 2008. My co-workers and I were offered severance packages and placement assistance, and sent on our way. The placement company offered little in the way of assistance, and our mortgage, property taxes and living expenses erased the severance package before the end of the year.My wife and I have survived on her income plus my savings, but those reserve…

Unemployment? Outlook Not So Good

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In memoriam


The United States of Inequality

Come election time, you'll almost always hear the question: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"The above chart will help you answer the question.The source data comes from Professor Larry Bartels. The chart is from Catherine Mulbrandon, and the reporting is from Timothy Noah and his series The United States of Inequality on Slate.comThe topic of income inequity is something we've looked at in the past, and I encourage everyone reading this to read the Slate article carefully: it's a subject that deserves our careful attention.Update: a frequently-asked question in response to Professor Bartel's research is "isn't Congress more important that the President when it comes to passing bills?" He addresses the concern in his book, Unequal Democracy:If patterns of income growth differ so dramatically under Democratic and Republican presidents, it seems natural to wonder whether similar differences are attributable to Democratic and…

Why We're Fighting

The One Chart Everyone Needs To UnderstandComparing the number of unemployed, in red, with the number of job openings, in blue (source: FRED®, updated 9/09/2010) Remember playing musical chairs as a child? That's what the job market looks like across the nation: as of July 2010, there were 14,599,000 unemployed workers trying to fill 3,042,000 available jobs. That's roughly five people for every one job. (actual ratio: ~4.8)To put these numbers in perspective, the EPI put together a Flash-based chart comparing the 2001 recession and the 2007 recession. In the 2001 recession, the job seekers-to-job openings ratio went from a low of 1.1 to a high of 2.8. Today, that ratio has gone from a low of 1.5 to a high of 6.2 - more than twice as bad the the 2001 recession.This chart is also reproduced on the Stat Pack page.

Rebuild America - Jobs, Justice and Peace March - Detroit, MI 8/28/10


Americans Need Work

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The 99ers' Letters To Washington

Below are the three letters that Connie Kaplan hand-delivered to the White House, the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee on behalf of the 99ers. I've republished them here as written with the kind permission of Paladinette, one of the letters' authors.99er Letter to David Axelrod The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, DC 20500-0004Delivered via Special Courier Mr. Axelrod,This letter is written on behalf of the 99er community. The purpose of this letter, is to bring to the attention of President Obama the wants and needs of the unemployed Americans who have exhausted all of their unemployment insurance. We have been humiliated in the newspapers, on radio and on television, being called lazy, drug addicts who live on handouts from our Government. A perfect example was the Glenn Beck television show recently, where he said he would be ashamed to call us Americans and even went so far as to single out one 99er named Connie …

How Long Should These Benefits Last?

1. "You can’t go on forever," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, of Montana, whose panel oversees the benefits program. "I think 99 weeks is sufficient," he said. (source)2. "You have the 99ers. Have you heard of the 99ers? Oh, there they are. The Democratic Socialists of America. The 99ers. These people, some of which, frankly, I bet you'd be ashamed to call them Americans.""They think that 99 weeks on employment benefits just aren't enough. Last week they went down to Wall Street and they protested. 99er Connie Kaplan asked, 'Are you going to tell us, President Obama and Congress, that our lives are not worth saving?'""Connie, here's an idea, I'll save your life. Don't spend your remaining money on travel to get to a protest, go out and get a job. You may not love the job. Work at McDonald's. Work at two jobs. There's been plenty of times in my life where I've done jobs that I've…

Connie Kaplan on The Ed Show - August 30, 2010

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Transcript follows (source) SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, Glenn Beck spent the weekend hollering about restoring honor, but all he offered was a bunch of self-serving rhetoric and no solutions. I got a suggestion for how we can really restore honor in America. Help the unemployed, help the 99ers. My next guest is in Washington, D.C., to deliver a letter to the White House on behalf of herself and her fellow 99ers, begging to be heard.Connie Kaplan joins us. Connie, conservatives, namely Beck, as labeled 99ers as un-American, saying that you‘ve had benefits long enough and then asked the question, how long should these benefits last? What‘s your answer to that?CONNIE KAPLAN, UNEMPLOYED FOR 99+ WEEKS: My answer? The benefits have to last until we have jobs in America. We can‘t stay unemployed. We have to do something. I‘m going to plead with President Obama tomorrow and with the DNC and the RNC. We want jobs. If…