[I]ntroducing a little bit of historical context shows just how extreme the Republicans’ position is, and it shows us how, over time, what used to be crazy-radical becomes normal with the people. [...] I don’t know if the Democrats can win this on the floor. Maybe the horrible jobs report from December helps a little, maybe not. But since public opinion is already on their side, they can at least take this issue and make it hurt Republicans in states with high unemployment or Republicans who are singing a different tune than they did in 2010, a list that starts with Mitch McConnell, who agreed to the 2010 extension and is now going around saying that if Democrats want UI benefits extended, they’d have to agree to a one-year delay in the individual mandate under Obamacare.Eugene Robinson says Democrats should be more outraged:
And if Democrats win, great. But it looks like they’ll only win by agreeing to the pay-for demand, which means that there’ll be new demands next time. There’s no end to how far right these people will go.
Shame on Republicans for blocking the resumption of long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans. And shame on Democrats for letting them.Much more below the fold.
The GOP cannot be allowed to cast this as a bloodless policy debate about “incentives” that allegedly encourage sloth. Putting that spin on the issue is disingenuous, insulting and inaccurate: As Republicans well know, individuals receiving unemployment checks are legally required to look for work.
Republicans should also know that the jobless desperately want employment. For some, a new job might be just weeks or months away. But the benefits cutoff may make it impossible to keep house and home together in the meantime.
Outside Cincinnati, Tammy Blevins, 57, fears that welfare is her next step. She was let go as a machine operator at a printing plant in May. Her unemployment check and a small inheritance from her father helped cover her $1,000-a-month mortgage and $650 health insurance premium. Now, with her benefits cut off and few openings in manufacturing, she dreads what could be next.Jim Lardner and Chi Chi Wu at US News:
“I’m going to have to try the welfare thing, I guess,” Blevins says. “I don’t know. I’m lost.”
Most people have figured out that a bad credit report makes it hard to get a loan. What might come as a wider surprise is that, nowadays, bad credit can also keep you from getting a job.Switching topics to the ongoing scandal involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the editors at the Times of Trenton add their perspective:
Credit checks have become a routine part of the hiring process. Nearly half of all companies run them on potential employees, according to the Society for Human Resources Management. One in four Americans say they have been told that they missed out on a job because of their credit history (this from polling cited in a recent report by Demos).
And yet, as Richard Tonowski, chief psychologist for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, testified a few years ago, there is "very little evidence that credit history is indicative of who can do the job better."
It’s nearly inconceivable that a politician with his eyes on the Oval Office would blatantly use the power of his office to achieve unprecedented exposure at the expense of those still waiting for federal aid more than a year after Sandy.Speaking of Nixon, David Frum says that Nixon's fate holds a lesson for Christie:
Then again, until last week, it would have been beyond belief that the governor’s staff would have engineered an epic traffic jam to punish a Democrat who chose not to endorse the governor’s re-election campaign.
Christie's team broke the rules to score revenge against a political opponent. Would a Christie White House govern the country in the same score-settling way? Even people inclined to support Christie are now wondering. His future will depend on convincing people that he's learned his lesson and changed his ways, and the best way to convince people that you have learned a lesson is actually to learn that lesson and actually to change your ways.Eleanor Randolph at The New York Times:
At the end of his own career, Richard Nixon delivered an eloquent self-assessment of his own failure as president: "Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself." Unlike Nixon, Christie can benefit from that wisdom at the beginning of a presidential career rather than at its tragic end.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s troubles are not going away. Questions about whether the governor’s team was responsible for a giant traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., convulsed the national news shows over the weekend. More subpoenas are expected, probably for staff members Mr. Christie fired last week. Added to the pyre, federal investigators are now looking into whether the governor misused almost $5 million in Hurricane Sandy relief funds for his “Stronger than the Storm” ads featuring himself and his family in the months before his re-election.Jay Bookman, meanwhile, examines the latest lies over at the FOX "News" machine:
Fox viewers feel oppressed and victimized because they've been told they are being oppressed and victimized, and if facts have to be twisted and even fabricated to justify those sentiments, they and the network are clearly willing to live inside that warped reality.
In effect, they're insisting that 2+2=46, then whining that they're being discriminated against when the outside world points out that no, it really doesn't, because 2+2=4. And if you go even further and build a cultish political movement around the idea that 2+2=46, using various contrived "facts" as evidence, you pretty much ensure that outsiders will begin to look upon you as the political equivalent to Scientology.