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U.S.Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks out after President Barack Obama announced the first five
Did you see what we did there?

Prospects are poor for relief for the 1.4 million-and-counting people who have not only been jobless for six months or more but have lost their unemployment benefits as well. Senate Republicans blocked two bills Tuesday that would have extended the emergency aid, one for 11 months and one for three months, and House Republicans show no interest in bringing the issue to a vote at all.

Republicans continue to try to change the subject from their own filibuster of unemployment aid, claiming essentially that Harry Reid is somehow forcing them to block the bills by refusing to allow them to attach a long series of unrelated or unacceptable amendments to a very simple, straightforward bill extending emergency unemployment insurance as has been done time and time again—and done, when George W. Bush was president, without Republicans holding it hostage to offsetting cuts. Reid is not too concerned that he'll take the blame among voters:

“When people start talking endlessly about process, write op-eds about process and on the other side you have 1.4 million people who are desperate, desperate for some help, what argument wins?” Reid asked reporters Tuesday. “Of course, it’s the one trying to help 1.4 million people.”
The fact that Republicans want to distract from this vitally important issue to talk about Senate procedure is an insult and an additional injury to all the people waiting for the Senate to pass an unemployment aid bill. "Not only are we blocking the unemployment insurance you need, we're working to make it part of our longer partisan war against the Senate ever passing anything," is the real message here—and too many reporters are going along with it, writing process stories that gloss quickly over the number of people suffering.

Reid can bring the three-month extension bill back for a vote, but with Republicans still standing in the way and Congress on recess next week, chances of getting it passed anytime soon don't look good.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:24 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  McTurtle just said something about the Keystone (6+ / 0-)


  •  Bas+ards! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, tb mare, jck, Matt Z, leonard145b

    And so proud of themselves!
    The whole damm party is Chris Christie.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:45:00 AM PST

  •  The D's can try to score political points on the (7+ / 0-)

    backs of the unemployed... or they can change the Senate rules and pass the damned unemployment extension.

  •  Perhaps we need an unemployment march on (7+ / 0-)

    Washington: not just a march, but culminating in an Occupy-style continued presence of millions of people.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:19:53 AM PST

  •  Compensation! (8+ / 0-)

    What is so hard about that word? When people are left without jobs and no regular income, they are entitled to collect the deferred compensation that was collected and set aside on their behalf. Why is that so difficult to understand? It's not as if deferred compensation weren't well known to every major CEO.

    Well, the answer is probably to be found in the fact that "to compensate" is to make up for a lapse in meeting one's obligations and, if there is anything the Cons hate, it's the very idea of obligations and the entitlements that give rise to them. Entitlements, of course, is a fancy word for rights. And rights are what humans have by virtue of being what they are. They have a right to speech because most humans are endowned with the ability to speak. Ditto for perambulation that's derived from humans being ambulatory. Of course, the expression of our talents and rights depends to a large extent on them being respected by some other person. Speech is more than howling at the moon. Speech relies on reception and comprehension. In other words, rights are a matter of mutual recognition and obligation.
    And there's the rub. It seems there's a considerable body of humans who are not capable of recognizing other people as organisms that have rights. Many, it seems, don't even recognize that they have obligations to themselves. Which would account for the obvious prevalence of lots of self-abuse. Which raises the question whether it is a good idea to install self-abusive people in public office.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:23:22 AM PST

    •  Yeah, but how does one know (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, shoeless, Steve BF

      if a person is "self-abusive" before they win an election? This is not exactly something that will come up in the campaign, unless there's a past history of it and someone's trying to primary the pol in question.

      At that point, for all intents and purposes, it's not terribly useful anyway, as a tool--invariably, someone will call you out for being an armchair psychologist.

      Of course, the expression of our talents and rights depends to a large extent on them being respected by some other person.
      Understand something: Congress does not have to respect our talents. OTOH, they need to respect the rights of people and they haven't done that for years. It's just that since 9/11, they aren't falling all over themselves to hide that from us anymore. Except during active campaigning.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:07:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True. Elections are a crap shoot -- the first (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steve BF

        time around. That's why we have elections every two years.

        That's not to say it is the voters fault. If there is a derth of candidates, it's hard to make a good choice. And, in that regard, the major political parties can and should be faulted.

        Of course, if we're to have government by the people, then the political parties are superfluous, unless they can come up with some useful service to provide -- like insuring that districts are equitable, access to voting facilities is adequate and candidates are qualified by something other than good hair.

        What's your political party done for you lately? Mine, mostly, just asks for money.

        Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

        by hannah on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:59:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The GOP in Congress (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      think the word "compensation" is "constipation" and since they are already full of XXXX, they have enough already.

  •  On top of screwing the unemployed.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, shoeless, Anne was here, Steve BF

    this will also remove another $24B from the economy over the next year.

    Just imagine how well the economy would be doing if republicans in Congress gave democratic presidents the same tools that they grant to republican presidents - spending money.

    Of course, republicans in Congress never shut down the government when President Bush was doubling the deficit with a republican Congress.  Nope, they just all of the sudden become frugal when democrats are in the White House.

    By the way, in case nobody noticed - stock market hit another new high today.  According to GOP folklore, the record corporate profits lifting the stock market should start to create new, high-paying, jobs any day now.

  •  Memory Lane (5+ / 0-)

    Does anyone else remember when GW Bush was passing out those $300, $600, and $900 checks and Republicans unanimously  extended unemployment benefits for two years without so much as a "How do you do"?

  •  C'mon, Hannah. You are addressing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, shoeless

    the wrongs perpetrated by the US Monarchy upon its people (we serfs). It took 40+ years since Nixon and the Powell Memo, but they sure succeeded.

    Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know. -- L. Spencer

    by orlbucfan on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:36:16 AM PST

  •  Was there anything else in those bills? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, shoeless

    Or just the unemployment extensions?

    If not, Democrats need to tout those bills (and Republican obstruction) every chance they get for as long as they can.

    Remember: unemployment is available only to those people looking for work. AND -- it's intent is to provide a cushion so that people can get jobs appropriate to their skills and needs.  It is a bad thing for the economy and the country to have architects and bankers and engineers and computer programmers delivering pizzas.

    With at least three people looking for every job available, this problem is not going away. AND -- the numbers don't even count the folks who have just plain given up (or, just as likely, not bothered reporting their frustration ) and been out of work for more than a year.

    It's not rocket science.  Get a good story and pound it, pound it, pound it, pound it, pound it.

    If you can get all lathered up for Chris Christie, surely you can get all lathered up for millions of people who really need somebody to fight for them.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:37:53 AM PST

  •  Right-wingers notice (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, jck, shoeless, Anne was here

    They just dismiss unemployment insurance as moochers looking for another handout from Obama.  Until they lose their own job.  Then they have all day to go "shooting 'cans".

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:38:18 AM PST

  •  All about punishing your enemies, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, shoeless

    as their man from NJ so aptly demonstrated. All those people voted for the Kenyan Muslim Socialist, so to hell with them and their families.

  •  Gleeful (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, jck, shoeless, Anne was here, Steve BF

    The Thugs right now are almost gleeful about this.

    I saw some of them on various news outlets mocking the recovery and the 6.7% unemployment rate, asking why we were still even talking about extending benefits in the face of such a "robust" recovery and precipitous fall in the unemployment rate.

    They take such joy in kicking people who are already down. It is disturbing.

  •  If 1.4 million people were devastated by a flood.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, Anne was here, Steve BF

    They would get government aid.  What's the difference?

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:45:03 AM PST

  •  Our biggest problem here is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, Steve BF, dagnome

    that  the republicans go out to the airwaves and say that  the democrats are obstructing their  ability to  pursue "amendments" to the bill. Most people will believe that these amendment are germane to the bill itself and that it is the dems that  are obstructing the ability of the  republicans to improve the bill. In actuality these amendments are  to score political points  and  have noting to do with  unepmployment compensation. That point  never gets made in the shorthand discussions.

  •  Reid should bring it back for a vote as many times (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, dagnome, sfbaytransplant

    as the Rethugs brought up ObamACAre repeal votes.

  •  At what point do we stop being (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, Anne was here, AlexDrew

    Surprised or Outraged by this?

    Too many reporters are going along with it, writing process stories that gloss quickly over the number of people suffering.
    It's called propaganda. The Big Media in this country are all regular practitioners of it.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:02:02 AM PST

  •  That photo is terrifying! XXX Rated (0+ / 0-)

    He looks like a lecherous old man. It's just disgusting.

  •  Irony... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, dagnome

    ...Mitch McConnell whining, "Why can't we just have a vote?"  (Referring to non-germane, poison pill amendments.) Then Mitch McConnell refusing to end debate, preventing a vote on the bill.  Yes, Mitch, why the FUCK can't we have a vote???  Fucking wanker...

  •  Where was this outrage before Christmas? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve BF

    you know...when we actually had leverage. Who could have predicted the Republicans would block this...? God, Republicans are dumb, but Democrats sure give them a run for their money...

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:30:17 AM PST

  •  More hostage taking (0+ / 0-)

    This is the same as kidnappers claiming that the police are forcing them to kill their hostages because they won't come up with the ransom money.

    Jesus loves Republicans, and shares their hatred of homosexuals and Hilliary Clinton.

    by shoeless on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:48:27 AM PST

  •  The Dems never should have agreed to the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew, dagnome, sfbaytransplant

    budget extension without dealing with this issue of the UE extension.

  •  And Governor Christie, (0+ / 0-)

    with 90k constituents on extended benefit,nthe most of any state,hopes no one will notice that he has not uttered a peep about the cutoff.

  •  Repugnent Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    Sometimes it's just simple alliteration.

  •  Not Worth it Fellas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What are the lives of 1.4 MILLION to them? Nothing of course... Nor the 14 MILLION friends, family and neighbors that will - In some way - be directly effected by the continued heartlessness of this supposed 'body' of leaders...

    Nor the additional 8.4 MILLION cashiers, gas station attendants, grocery baggers, retail assistants that will see THEIR JOBS - already tenuous - now even MORE SO because these people have no money for even the most VITAL of necessities.

    So, "no", the nearly 24 MILLION lives effected by this IDEOLOGICAL IDIOCY isn't anything to lose sleep over fellas. Go have a great steak dinner tonight. You deserve it.

  •  Golden calf worshipers (0+ / 0-)

    That's what those GOPs are, and that's the "real god" they're serving.

  •  Hey Republicans! (0+ / 0-)

    We see what you did there...

    Your legislative careers are TOAST come November.

    America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

    by dagnome on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:50:22 PM PST

  •  I truly feel for all the long-term unemployed, (0+ / 0-)

    because on Monday of this week, I stopped being one of them.

    My last day at work was June 18, 2009.

    Yes. 2009.

    I was unemployed for 54 months. That's 4.5 years in people years. During which my lovely family has kept me afloat, saving my home of 30 years and me from the streets. They have my undying gratitude.

    So when I say FUCK THE REPUBLICANS, we need to help these poor damned American Families when they are down so far that they can't even fucking remember what good luck looks like?

    I mean it.

    If every soul in this nation who thinks of themselves as Liberal and Progressive brought just two new voters to the polls this November, then come January 2015 the Congress of these United States would be looking one pretty shade of cerulean and that Congress would be sending Bills to the desk of the man who's shoes rest beneath the Resolute Desk for signature into LAW, at the speed of #OnceAndFutureSpeaker Nancy Pelosi's big, bad Gavel!

    Get off your asses and spread the word to every person you know who still is unemployed or has a family member who is still unemployed or has a friend who is still unemployed. Because you know, one of them probably still is.

    Tell those people to get on the phones and call the local offices of their US House and Senate members and DEMAND they help our brothers and sisters who are facing actual doom when it comes time to pay the mortgage or rent at the end of this month.

    Tell them to #RememberInNOV just which Party it is that just doesn't give a shit about the working people in this country anymore - and to VOTE accordingly!


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:02:54 PM PST

  •  YIKES! (0+ / 0-)

    Whenever Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell breaks into one of his rare, endearing, ear-to-ear, shit-eating grins of his (as is shown in the photo), why does he always end up looking even MORE evil and mean? This motherfucker looks like the monster that lives under little kids' beds. McConnell's smiles could scare the stink off a skunk. And why does he always grin at the most INAPPROPRIATE of times?

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