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This will be short, as I'm reading all these diaries and comments about this Faux-scal Cliff deal.

The point I see pressed the hardest by those trying to convince others to see this deal as a good thing is that Unemployment Insurance needed to be continued.

Do we honestly think that, given the jobs numbers and, how those numbers are often worst in Red states, that UI would not have been extended independently of this deal?

Or that the administration couldn't have found money from somewhere else - like say, some money sitting around in the defense budge - to move over and fund UI with?

And what is all this talk of 'permanent?' These are just laws, created by our legislators. New laws get created all the time which override old laws. What the hell do we mean by 'permanent', anyway? The Constitution itself is amendable, so nothing in our legal code is untouchable.

I'm not bothered by whatever was deemed to be permanent.

I'm bothered by how the balance of things always benefit the monied interests and are not moving toward anything more just and sustainable for the rest of us.

Was there anything in this deal which even begins to address the downward spiral of middle-class financial well-being? Or the upward spiraling disparity between the rich and everyone else?

My family just spent a year and a half living on UI. Well, surviving with the help of others. UI barely covered the cost of health insurance and food. Even after finally getting a regular job income, we're still at risk of losing our home, because there is nothing in our legal code which protects families from the greed of banks when they hit a crisis. Nothing. The banks make a profit from the insurance and other security instruments they trade on your mortgage and they can still demand that you pay them when a crisis hits. They are fine with making you homeless while they continue to rake in the big bucks.

UI? Really. This was all about UI? Because there was no other way that UI would have gotten extended?

12:53 PM PT: I need to go now and won't be back for several hours.

I'd like to pause while pondering a concern: it really doesn't make any sense to claim that all inability to govern with any vision or principled agenda is because "those other guys are sociopaths!" First of all, it looks weak. Second, you are basically signaling surrender. The way to get destructive people out of favor is to expose them. People are naturally unwilling to see the destructiveness of those they consider powerful, particularly if they've been convinced that those people are really on their side.

I've seen it over and over in my life. People won't believe someone is a liar until something really blatant happens. That liar has to make others suffer before they will get it.

Right now, we're all suffering on a trajectory of more and more poverty and disparity and eco-destruction. Just as you have to take the risk of getting hurt when you protest in the streets, you have to take the risk of some hits when battling with destructive people.

Why aren't all the unemployed people up in arms? Between those who have given up and those on the rolls, there must be at least a million who are suffering because of the tanked and visionless economy. And what of those who are underemployed? Those without health insurance? Those losing their homes? Are we not suffering enough to fight back?

I hate to say it, but, as I've seen in so many work and social situations, people never seem to fend off the bullies, liars, manipulators until they or a loved one has suffered so much that they can't turn a blind eye any longer.

At some point, we're going to have to let the so-called sociopaths cause some serious damage. Enough that there is the political will to punch back hard and start taking care of people. We still don't have the will to change the momentum. That's so sad, but it's apparently true. What will it take?

Calling the other side sociopaths isn't going to do it. People stop listening to you.

These are just some current thoughts popping into my head. I may reconsider how I hold this. But, every time someone uses this 'sociopaths!' excuse, this is where my thoughts and instincts go.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In 2010, there were suggestions of using (8+ / 0-)

    unspent TARP money as long-term, low-interest loans to the unemployed, if UI was not extended in a more conventional way.

    That option may well still be available.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:39:59 AM PST

  •  We didn't avoid pain, we traded pains. (5+ / 0-)

    I agree. If there's nothing you won't give for X, there's nothing the GOP won't ask for.

    UI may have been in limbo for a week or two had there been no deal -- which is too long for some, I agree. But then it would have been resolved separately.

    But if not getting the debt ceiling issue decided results in chained CPI, or Medicare eligibility age rises, or slashing of social programs (is anyone arguing on the record that it won't?) we've only traded pain now for vastly more pain later. And, in the case of social programs, not that much later.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:40:48 AM PST

  •  I have my doubts actually (7+ / 0-)

    The extension of Emergency Unemployment was DOA as late as two weeks ago. Very few legislators were discussing it during their 'serious' negotiations and the common theme in the industry was that there was no shot at an additional timeframe.

    It's extremely important to remember that this extension is only an extension of the time in which someone may participate not a new extension of actual benefits.

    So someone that had already progressed through a federal emergency extension is still out of luck. This extension is for those that are just now reaching the end of the regular UI benefits - be it 20 weeks, 26 or whatever the state guidelines is. However, even the length and amount of the extension(i.e. the tier) will be dependent on the state they live in. In some places it will likely only afford an additional 14 weeks of payments.

    Just my opinion of course.

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:42:02 AM PST

  •  short answer, yes (6+ / 0-)

    there is a portion, if not a majority of legislators who think there should be a time limit to UI.

    Some have offered alternatives, such as the loan scenario PhilJD mentioned above.

    Others just think there should be a time limit on UI. They argue that XXX weeks should be enough time to find a job, or alternative income. While some think 52 weeks is the right time others think 200 weeks, there is no general consensus.

    I am not saying they're right, just pointing out that there is that argument out there.

    •  How many though? Rhetorical question; (5+ / 0-)

      I'm not expecting an answer.

      No doubt some rightwing ideologues would indeed end UI, chortling with glee while they did it. There are a lot of unemployed residents of red states though; maybe more per capita than there are in blue states.

      Even the wingiest winger wants to be reelected.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:52:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  but, if people lost access to what had been (5+ / 0-)

      in place, there would be a lot of screaming. And House Representatives are the most vulnerable to small constituency groups.

      Given that the jobs numbers are still bad. That 350,000 have left UI and just given up looking for jobs. I would think it would be very likely that they would pass something quickly.

      You don't think so?

      •  I think we need an unemployed union (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        liberaldemdave, UnaSpenser

        to push these things.  Or at least an association.  There's enough people who are out of work for long enough that it could be useful.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:28:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If House Reps are in gerymandered (0+ / 0-)

        districts, they can basically tell us all to go pound sand and their constituents will nod their heads sagely.

        If the House GOP was so vulnerable to small constituency groups, don't you think they would have done it already by now??!  That makes no sense...

      •  not really (0+ / 0-)

        even in the bluest districts there is a portion of the community that can and would argue that "we're paying people to not work for 2 years. when does it end."

        it's not that they want to take away UI benefits, just that there should be a time limit.

        again, not supporting their plan, just saying that putting a time limit of checks being sent out is not even close to the wingnutties idea out there

        •  but, here is the bigger point: there will always (0+ / 0-)

          be something for conservatives to hold out and say, "give us what we want or we will let these people suffer." And the Dems have basically proven again and again that they will let go of a bigger agenda in order to save whatever the hostage of the day is. There will always be a hostage.

          And, see, we can't really effectively take hostages. The wealthy aren't going to be unable to eat or keep their homes or go to the doctors, no matter what is done to the tax code. So, we can never put anything on the table which would cause them to suffer enough that they would cave in on anything else.

          We simply can't negotiate with hostage-takers. How far down the abyss will we be before we come to terms with that?

      •  I don't know where you live, (0+ / 0-)

        but I live in MN-06 and it is a very common view here that UI is welfare and should be abolished.

        And some of the people that believe that are on UI.

        These are very common views outside of the blue bubbles in this country. I encourage kossacks to get out and explore more.

  •  Also, UI is state dependent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser

    There are different rules and lengths for collection (# of weeks), and they vary by states.  There was talk here yesterday about that, but I did not learn how it is supposed to dove tail with the vote yesterday for extension.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:44:39 AM PST

  •  They wouldn't and they didn't in 2009 (9+ / 0-)

    and just like they didn't let SCHIP not get extended in 2007 despite 2 vetoes as I showed in my diary.

    Only people not aware of this say that making sellout deals is the only way to pass UI.

    Great diary, Una.

    I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

    by priceman on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:45:34 AM PST

  •  My frustrations exactly.... (5+ / 0-)

    Why is protecting UI the sole role of Dems. PBO has spent a lot
    of capital maintaining this. The repubs begrudgingly grant another few weeks and demand more tax breaks or spending cuts in return. Their districts certainly benefit from this also. It all fits the narrative that they don`t want the economy to succeed or people to survive while Obama is in office.

    Politics is like driving.... (D) forward, (R) reverse.

    by Tribecastan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:10:13 PM PST

  •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, GoGoGoEverton

    The Republican party is currently composed of sociopaths.
    UI would not have been extended.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:16:00 PM PST

    •  that's our position? that this is all we can do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, liberaldemdave, PhilJD

      because the other team are sociopaths?

      that's the excuse for not actually changing the trajectory of anything?

      and making this deal gets us any closer to getting rid of the sociopaths?

      cause if our entire governance is now based on fear of sociopaths, we might as well give it up, unless we're doing things to guarantee their departure.

      •  What the heck else would you have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG

        us do???!!   Una - this deal wasn't about getting rid of the sociopaths.  That part comes under the heading of VOTING and a subheading called GERRYMANDERING. Are you so blind that you can't see that the House GOP has become a sort of suicide cult?

        "cause if our entire governance is now based on fear of sociopaths, we might as well give it up, unless we're doing things to guarantee their departure."

        OK - you want to give up, go ahead. Good bye. Because that is where we're at now.  Sorry to disappoint you. That is where we're at now.

        Why is protecting UI the sole role of Dems? Because they care somewhat more than the GOP. You pick from one of the other...

        •  When I say "get rid of the sociopaths", I mean (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, PhilJD

          do things which back them into a corner where they behave so atrociously they can't get re-elected.

          We keep caving into them, playing the part of the victim to all these "sociopaths" and then can't figure out why they get re-elected.

          Of course, all of this is also a distraction from the real problem: both parties are beholden to the same monied interests. That's what is really at the bottom of it all.

          The Repubs playing the role of sociopaths just conveniently fits into a drama where the monied interests get the Dems to forward their agenda and get the voters who would normally see it as a betrayal as a success, because "what can you expect with those sociopaths over there!"

          If they're sociopaths, they're going to send us to our doom, anyway, because we don't seem to know how to stop them. This whole 'sociopath' line of argument is really disturbing.

      •  Well, that's the problem isnt it. (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks to the left generating the "enthusiasm gap" in a redistricting year, the House is likely to be composed of sociopaths until 2020 at a minimum.

        Certainly until at least 2014.  So let's work on getting rid of them in 2014 instead of wasting time an energy bitching about the unchangeable fact that we couldn't do more because of the sociopaths we are responsible for putting in there in the first place.

        Obama is walking that fine line between doing what is possible to govern and showing up the opposition party for the sociopaths they are, in the hope that WE learn our lesson and get rid of them in 2014.

        We could've gotten rid of them in 2010, had we played our cards smarter.  Sadly, I see no indication that a lesson has been learned and that we will play it smarter in 2014.

        I hope I'm wrong, but I very much doubt it.

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:33:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find it hard to believe that anyone thinks its a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          viable argument to claim that all agendas, decisions and actions are now based on deeming political opponents to be sociopaths.

          Isn't it more likely that if we look at the money trails we'll see that both parties are beholden to the same people?

          •  No. (0+ / 0-)

            Conspiracy theories are never the answer.

            The answer is to get rid of the sociopaths.  But people always seem to want to bitch about the past, rather than look to the future.

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:42:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You mean like you just did upthread a few (0+ / 0-)

              comments ago?

              But people always seem to want to bitch about the past, rather than look to the future.
            •  ... (0+ / 0-)

              That's because bitching about the spilled milk is so much easier than keeping the milk from spilling again.  However, then there's that argument about how to clean possible future milk spills and what to use to clean those spills.  Then there's that whole "just let the milk spill" crowd and the sanctimonious "you should be drinking milk try soy milk or almond milk" crowd...  Basically, there's no pleasing anyone.

              The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

              by lcj98 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:01:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Bravo sir or madam, well said. (0+ / 0-)

                Consider yourself tipped, because due to site hypocrisy, I currently can't do it myself.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:04:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Conspiracies like "The republicans are sociopaths" (0+ / 0-)

              ?

              Because that doesn't seem like it's been held up by any evidence except us not liking their agenda.

              The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:01:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  And what would that do? (0+ / 0-)

            They get money from the same group of people and have been for decades, and it has been pointed out for decades.  Maybe you should stop worrying about who's giving and concentrate on how that money is utilized.

            The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

            by lcj98 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:48:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Your meme has been discounted over and over (0+ / 0-)

          again.  Just because you keep saying it doesn't make it true.

          •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

            No one has ever disproved that the left is responsible for the enthusiasm gap.

            They claim the left got out and voted (which is true) as an answer to my argument. But that's not the argument Im making.

            The constant bashing from the left cause more people to stay home, which substantially outweighed the votes they provided.  Frankly, we'dve gotten better results had the left just stayed at home and shut up.

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:03:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The sole responsilibity for the ass kicking the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              UnaSpenser

              Democratic candidates got in 2010 belongs to the Democratic elected leadership from 2009 and 2010.

              To blame people for not being enthusiastic about the shit sandwiches they were handed is wrongheaded.

              •  To expect good results (0+ / 0-)

                without first demonstrating that you can get and keep people in office is wrongheaded.

                It'd be nice if politics worked the way you think it does, but it doesn't.  The sooner the left realizes that and adjusts their strategies accordingly, the sooner there will be progress on progressive goals.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:17:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We did our job and beyond in 2008. (0+ / 0-)

                  It was there choice where they wanted to go.  

                  •  You hated Bush in 2008. That's all. (0+ / 0-)

                    You promptly turned on the Democrats at the first chance you had to demonstrate you were a constituency worth listening to- 2010.

                    You epic failed, and then have the clueless gall to complain that there's no progress.

                    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                    by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:55:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  So 2006 didn't count? (0+ / 0-)

                  Exactly how many times do we have to put people in office for it to count? It seems like Obama had it figured out given his actions immediately prior to the election.

                  The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:50:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  2006 was about hatred of Bush (0+ / 0-)

                    and the Republicans, as was 2008.

                    Your first chance to demonstrate you could put and keep people in office was 2010, and you blew it big time.

                    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                    by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:53:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I blew it? (0+ / 0-)

                      You failed too.  Where I'm at we got everyone Dem in Office.  Don't blame Californians, we're straight dem for every statewide office.

                      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:22:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  So progressives and the left need to shut (0+ / 0-)

              up otherwise we'll lose elections.  And by "we" I mean people who don't support things that the left supports.

              Maybe there's a lesson here.  If the left has the power to keep people at home then it might be a good idea to give them something to stop them from doing that.

              And if your theory is right then why is it that 2012 went so well?  It isn't as if people stopped complaining.

              The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:04:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because of Romney. (0+ / 0-)

                Any candidate that appeared to care about the people would've crushed Obama/Biden, especially given the left's toxic messaging.

                But the Republican's put their sociopathy on full display.  Voters can be easily fooled( especially by poor messaging from the left), but they arent stupid.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:15:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh and if the left wants to get something done (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                then it needs to stop electing Republicans and change their electoral strategy.

                I thought I saw the beginning of that wisdom emerging in 2012, but judging from the comments around here, I was mistaken.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:18:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  and, is there a tacit admission that the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                are not "left", now?

                •  Of course they arent left (0+ / 0-)

                  The "left" has been forcing Democrats to run hard away from them for almost 40 years, and then complainging about how rightward the Democratic party has gone- when they're responsible for it.

                  "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                  by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:57:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Why Doesn't Voter Education (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          Concentrate on things like "redistricting years are really important, because you'll have to live with the results for ten years..." ?

          And why aren't out-of-cycle redistrictings done more often, like Delay did in Texas ~15 years ago?

      •  It does make for great excuses, though. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnaSpenser, AoT
        because the other team are sociopaths
        And that way, no one has to take responsibility. See, it was the other guys.

        I agree.

        cause if our entire governance is now based on fear of sociopaths, we might as well give it up, unless we're doing things to guarantee their departure.
  •  I am pretty sure... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberaldemdave, glynis

    They would not even think twice about doing it. Of course, if it were corporate welfare that were offered up as a hostage it would be a war.

    ePluribus Media
    Collaboration is contagious!

    by m16eib on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:27:04 PM PST

  •  I have no doubt they would (0+ / 0-)

    let UI expire.

    The argument that there are many unemployed people in red states and that's why they would continue it makes no sense.

    There are alot of retired people in red states too yet the GOP hates medicare/SS and wants to gut them.

  •  I adopt Brooklynbadboy's comment here. (5+ / 0-)
    Once again, (25+ / 0-)

    you all have to stop letting yourself get wrapped up with things Republicans don't care about. Republicans don't care about unemployment insurance, get it? They'll gladly give that up for something they really do care about: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Food Stamps. The big shit.

    The point is Republicans would have conceded UI easily...they always do because that's a small fish for them. They'll throw that back in the water every time. Do you ever hear them out campaigning on "Remorming Unemployment Insurance" No. Because they don't give a shit about that. What they care about is cutting entitlements and keeping taxes low on rich people.

    So stop letting yourself get rolled with "oh no...what about the unemployed." The GOP will always give you that because it means nothing to them. All we had to do in this case was jam them on taxes and then they'd throw in unemployment insurance gratis because its insignificant to them.

    Yo.

    by brooklynbadboy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:56:43 AM EST

  •  With this deal, you don't have to leave it up to (0+ / 0-)

    predictions, fortune-telling, anything...UI has been extended for a year. Huzzah.

    Principle before Party! Recession 2013!!

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:56:32 PM PST

  •  Yes. It is likely that there would have been a (0+ / 0-)

    deal of some kind sooner or later that probably would have included some form of UI extension. But if if was up to Rs they would have stopped it.

  •  Yes they would, because they're evil nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Absolutely they would let it stop (0+ / 0-)

    there is no way that was coming back. UI was one of the big teabegger rallying points. And no, the president can't just grab money from somewhere else on the scale you're talking about.

    It would have ended, it would have hurt a lot of people. sorry if that's inconvenient for some around here, but it's true.

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