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President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013.
With congressional Republicans refusing to act and even blocking emergency jobless aid, President Barack Obama is trying to address long-term unemployment using the power of the executive. Unfortunately, the options without Congress are fairly limited. One of Obama's new initiatives involves basically asking large corporations to please stop discriminating against unemployed people:
President Obama has persuaded some of the nation’s largest companies, including Walmart, Apple, General Motors and Ford, to revamp their hiring practices to avoid discriminating against applicants who have been out of work for a long stretch of time.

Mr. Obama hosted a group of corporate chief executives at the White House on Friday to highlight those efforts and the use of presidential persuasion to help the jobless find work. In all, White House officials said, about 300 businesses have agreed to new hiring policies, including 21 of the nation’s 50 largest companies and 47 of the top 200.

If this helps people who've been unemployed for six months or more get hired, that will be wonderful. But workers shouldn't have to rely on the boss to be nice and fair out of kindness.

Obama's efforts in this area do go beyond asking corporations to improve their practices, to where he can affect government practices:

Presidential Memorandum to Make Sure the Federal Government Does the Same.  The President will also lead by example and use his executive authority to issue a Presidential Memorandum to ensure the long-term unemployed receive a fair shot in the Federal hiring process. The Memorandum directs federal agencies to review their recruiting and hiring practices to determine whether these practices put long-term unemployed individuals at an undue disadvantage and report the results to the Office of Personnel Management. This process will help to make sure the unemployed or individuals who have faced financial difficulties (a common side-effect of long-term unemployment) are fairly considered for jobs.

$150 Million for “Ready to Work” Partnerships to Support Innovative Public-Private Efforts to Help the Long-Term Unemployed Get a Fair Shot. Today, the President and Department of Labor are announcing $150 million in existing resources from the H-1B fund to support high performing partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations and America’s public workforce system that will help provide long-term unemployed individuals with the range of services, training, and access they need to fill middle and high-skill jobs.

It's better than the nothing that Republicans in Congress would offer to help jobless Americans, but so much more is needed.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:58 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Democrats who did not fight for this (16+ / 0-)

    unemployment extension should hang their heads and the Republicans should just keep their heads down in shame, permanently.

    What are these people supposed to do?

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:18:55 PM PST

    •  Serve or starve. (7+ / 0-)

      That's really what all the Republican word salad comes down to.  Serve at the pleasure of the rich, or starve.

      And if you're not one of the Lucky Duckies chosen to serve, you can starve anyway, and decrease the surplus population.

    •  I'm reeling .W HAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm SO losI'm BEYOND lost. I'm not sure you would be any  better than I am

      What are you DOING man? he pushes for the fast track, then he does the right thing on this?


      WHO's side is the president on? If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

      by daeros on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:49:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's obviously not black or white across the board (0+ / 0-)

        of what any particular one of us might desire.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 01:32:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's very hard for me to understand what he's up t (0+ / 0-)

          because obama has god forgive me for fighting with the site recently I almost cried becaue of the earlier fight. i'm more more sensitive than I let on (you might not have seen it) I tihnk too many people are trapped in his spell.

          they don't know about the TPP and they don't like being called certain names that imply they aren't thinking.

          I'm sorry. but too many people are blind to what is happening behind the scenes.

          IF they just gave me time to explain they would not react to me this way but it's frustrating how asleep they are.

          as far as obama is concerned I don't know what to make of him anymore.

          It's not "any particular one of us" though. 66 labor organizaitons oppose this bill.

          the opposition is the fiercest it's ever  been. It's not "one of us" it's ALL of us who OUGHt to know, just like everyone who should have known knew the levees needded to be built higher- it was the poltiicans that said it was too expensive.

          anyone who is qualifed to know knows this bill is bad news. only"Experts"even are qualifed to have an opinion on it and they all hate it.

          The thing is though Barack obama has toured he country in his credit .he's solved the iran problem in his credit.
          He's gotten us all talking about inequality and he has some solutions that will work

          in his credit.

          some of his solutions make things worse though. example? race to the top.

        •  I don't know how else to elucidate the problem but (0+ / 0-)


          if you're here at dailykos you SHOULD know this.

          now if you'll excuse me while I cry.

  •  It may look like a small thing. But it is so much (9+ / 0-)

    more than that.

    The Republicans can't let anything good happen to unemployment or low wages Obama would get the credit. No help for the unemploymed, no increase in wages. All under Obama. Obama gets the blame.

    Obama's wrecking their plans.  He's making a clear case that the Democrats want to raise the minimum wage and care about the unemployed. It sets the R's up as the bad guys. That's a fight they can't win.

    These actions by Obama seem like a small thing. But they've got the markings of a snowball rolling down a high hill, written all over it.

    ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

    by denig on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:45:43 PM PST

    •  Republicans are dirt stupid (7+ / 0-)

      Didn't they promise jobs in 2010 if they took over the House? Why the hell wouldn't they try to help Obama out and then take all the credit like they did for the successful Clinton years? I mean, Republicans are really, REALLY stupid. And it's kind of a recent thing. They used to be kind of idiots anyways but now they are dumber than a gaggle of Gohmerts.

      I agree this is gonna blow up in their faces. And they are gonna be just as surprised by that fact as Rmoney was on election night.

      Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

      by Matt Z on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:06:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. I've tried to figure out what the hell (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        they think doing. But it is beyond me. In order to grok them, I would have to twist my brain into such contortions it would become unusable. Maybe that's what's happened to them.

        Or as trumpeter said, 'They're brains have been eaten. From the inside.'

        dumber than a gaggle of Gohmerts
        I love that.

        ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

        by denig on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:08:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  jeez. 'what the hell they think they are doing' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z


          what the hell they think doing

          ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

          by denig on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:09:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's not Congress that is the problem (7+ / 0-)

    It's the Republicans.

    I wish Obama, and the media, would quit referring to the Congress not acting. It's the Republicans in Congress that are not acting. BIG difference.

    If it wasn't for the Republicans doing everything they can to  obstruct there would be no reason to "go around" anybody.

    •  That is the problem I have with our (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Capt Crunch

      circumstance also Capt Crunch , the only thing dems really have left is to shame the GOP publically and use the media to bring them down , maybe force them to cave , or at least make a difference by Nov , imo Obama does not use the bully pulpit at all , and it is all he really has left

      Hopefully the dems will start hammering ,  what do the have to lose ? NOTHING !!!!

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:53:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it is both sides (0+ / 0-)

      Yes the thugs are horrible, but the Dems don't even try to fight them.
      So much 'powder' that is being kept dried.
      For what?

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity, nothing exceeds the critisism made by the habits of the poor by the well housed, well fed elites.

      by snoopydawg on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:02:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had recruiters take me out to lunch 2 years ago (5+ / 0-)

    and their pitch was they were only interested in representing "winners who had jobs".

    They were that matter of fact. The only reason they called on me was they knew my company was being bought and soon a lot of folks would be hitting the pavement.

    Their not so subtle advice is don't call us if you wind up being laid off, run away with us now.

    I thanked them for lunch and for their time and told them I'd take my chances with the company.

    The very idea of participating in what these guys were pitching bothered me horribly.

    What irks me is I am working on my own now (on a book) so I would be one of the "not winners" to these fellows now.

    Was a nice lunch though...

  •  It is important the President brings attention ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politicalceci, fidlerten, Patango, daeros

    to this problem.  Long term unemployment affects Americans across the political and geographic spectrum.  It is especially hard on Americans that are older than 50 but too young for retirement.  Companies don't even respond to resumes from that demographic.  What a frightening concept, to work for 30 - 40 years and be dumped into an abyss only to watch all the savings and assets you have saved up dwindle away as you face an uncertain future.  What a failure of the United States adopted economic system.

    On a different note, if President Obama is taking requests for Executive Orders, how about one declaring the Internet part of the commons and declaring protected status for it, as Theodore Roosevelt did Wilderness areas?  I mean, it was the American Taxpayer that financed the development and expansion of the Internet to start with, not the factions of Private Industry that currently claim ownership over it, and wish to exploit it ... just an O/T thought.

  •  Bully for him! =) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Wow (3+ / 0-)

    A memorandum? I hope it is strongly worded.

    Oh and a sit down with some corporate CEOs. Color me impressed.

    If that is what we are supposed to be excited and impressed about? Really?

    From the header I actually believed the president was going to do something.

    Health insurance is not health care.

    by Jarrayy on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:18:36 PM PST

  •  mostly training (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten, politicalceci

    In the NYT, it stated that Obama used a veteran as an example, with the euphemism skills that did not match available job.  It also claimed that someone out of work for a year or two still had relevant skills.  That may have been true 20 years ago or more, but it is not true now.

    A big issue, in my mind, is that a lot of people are being trained to do a specific job, but there is precious little high level training going on that will prepare a person for a number of different jobs.  So one might go into the military, or to a technical school, and get some training on a task, and maybe get a job for a few years, and not work for a year, and by the time one tries to get a job the skills are obsolete.

    From a technical point of view, imagine being trained on MS Windows XP, but not having the deep understanding to transfer those skills to Windows 8.  All OS are basically the same, if you are trained properly.  Yet so many corporations had a temper tantrum with Ribbons.  Because so many are trained with only the lowest expectations in mind.

    So here is the problem.  It is expensive to train someone at a very high level of expertise.  Firms won't pay for it because it makes little economic sense.  Schools won't do it because no one is asking for it.  All anyone wants is a certificate. I see it every day, kids who are happy with crap education.  

    And every year there is a new high school class, a new college graduating class, the can be hired, trained badly, and then thrown away.

    I think we need to supplement colleges with good accredited training programs.  Colleges should be about education, not getting trained for a job.  College is to expensive a way to train someone for 5 years of work.  We should have the expectation that every several years we might have to go into a training program.

    The partnership with corporations then would be to hire a qualified candidate, give the candidate time to train, then start work.  One problem we have now is a lot of people accumulate a lot of student aid for technical schools to train for jobs that don't exist.

  •  Out of work nearly a year (4+ / 0-)

    And my ex military husband has just been asked to "do training" for a year, at UE standard pay for him in a field he's got 12 years experience all those who were trained for HVAC and solar and there are no jobs for those skills!

    ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

    by Arianna Editrix on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:28:04 PM PST

  •  If anyone in NYC, LA, SF is out of work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten, Patango, politicalceci

    Send me a Kosmail message.  I'll direct you to a networking group that can help (a real one) in the job search.

  •  Credit checks (5+ / 0-)

    for potential employees need to go too. Not sure if Obama can do anything about that.

    It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

    by Blue Intrigue on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:30:17 PM PST

  •  What this shows is that the Repubicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten, MKSinSA, MikePhoenix

    can't have it both ways due to their heavy handed tactics.  

    After all, they bullied their message through the media and sabotaged voting rights. They even disrespected the President to ensure that their policies would take hold.  Everyone could see these tactics, but nothing could be done against them because of the reluctance to correct this behavior.

    However, their rigid stance backed them into a corner without any way to maneuver themselves out.  They can try, but what they didn't count on is people seeing through the charade--especially the POTUS.  Everyone is growing tired of thirty years of bad GOP ideas ravaging the American people.

    They are in too deep and they know it.  They want mindless allegiance from their constituents.  However, when you can't find a job and you have a family to feed everything changes.  Even your outlook of conservative policy changes because of its damage to your life.  Survival becomes more important.

    It is about time for Mr. Obama to pick up the executive pen, make things right and show these GOP a-holes who is boss.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:44:21 PM PST

  •  Obama's success... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, politicalceci

    will be Republican's failure.

    It really is a shame he has to go it alone to get things done. He does not deserve his current approval ratings.

    I think he realizes that if he sits around waiting for Republican lawmakers to do anything, his approval rating will drop like theirs has.

    I just published an article about this today:

    Obama's Go-It-Alone Approach Steps Over Republican Barracades

    Still, I believe history will show Obama as one of the greatest presidents of our time, especially much higher than George W. Bush's. The Affordable Care Act will eventually prove to have changed our health care system for the better and equality for all Americans will have improved, thanks to Obama.

    His need to use his own executive powers to get anything done will finally reflect on Republican obstruction and will cost them dearly in the long run.

    All I can say is: Go Obama, Go!

    Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

    by fidlerten on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:47:35 PM PST

  •  Any Help Would Be Greatly Appreciated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, politicalceci, fidlerten

    After all, we know the Republican plan for helping the unemployed:

    Don't get unemployed. But if you do get unemployed, die quickly!
    Perhaps someone with flip charts could make a short presentation like this on the floor of the House.

    Not that it would shame them.

  •  The H1-B visa program is a good choice as a (0+ / 0-)

    source to pull resources from. We don't need to aid companies to hire foreign workers when we have a jobs crisis.

    You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

    by MikePhoenix on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 01:26:40 AM PST

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