People Want Jobs – Congress Focused On Taking Money Out Of Economy

This situation of crony government protecting the connected rich while people are in the streets demanding change is more and more reminiscent of Egypt under Mubarak. In the real world tens of thousands are in the streets around the country demanding taxes on the rich and an end to corporate rule, as a new report lists profitable companies that pay no taxes at all. Today’s jobs report is not enough to even keep up. But in the Congress Senate Republicans filibuster another jobs bill and the “super committee” is looking at how much to take out of the economy and out of the things We the People do for each other — in order to keep taxes low for the rich and their giant corporations.
Filibustering Jobs
Yesterday Senate Republicans again filibustered a jobs bill – a plan to hire people to repair our country’s infrastructure. This is work that has to be done, and right now millions of people need work. But Republicans filibustered this bill. The corporate-owned mainstream media, however, largely refused to tell the public what is happening, instead blaming “the Senate.” The Washington Post headlined, Senate blocks $60 billion infrastructure plan, another part of Obama jobs bill. Politico blamed “both parties,” with Both parties block jobs bills. MSNBC: Senate blocks $60B part of Obama jobs plan. CNN: Competing infrastructure spending measures fail in Senate.
So the big-corporate media leads the public to blame “the Senate” and government, providing few clues that tell people where to apply the pressure that makes representative democracy function.
Big Corps Paying No Taxes, Not Just Low Taxes
From Citizens for Tax Justice report: Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010,

280 Most Profitable U.S. Corporations Shelter Half Their Profits from Taxes.
“These 280 corporations received a total of nearly $224 billion in tax subsidies,” said Robert McIntyre, Director at Citizens for Tax Justice and the report’s lead author. “This is wasted money that could have gone to protect Medicare, create jobs and cut the deficit.”

  • 30 Companies average less than zero tax bill in the last three Years, 78 had at least one no-tax year.
  • Financial services received the largest share of all federal tax subsidies over the last three years. More than half the tax subsidies for companies in the study went to four industries: financial services, utilities, telecommunications, and oil, gas & pipelines.
  • U.S. corporations with significant foreign profits paid tax rates to foreign countries that were almost a third higher than they paid to the IRS on their domestic profits.
  • Who Are “The Markets?”
    Who are we talking about, when we talk about “corporate taxes?” Just who do we mean when we talk about “the markets?” See for yourself why the #occupy movement talks about the 1% vs the 99%.
    When you hear about corporations and “the markets,” think about how that connects to this chart:

    wealth2

    People In The Streets
    Yesterday, in the post, Oakland Occupied — Will Washington Listen At Last?, I wrote about the large demonstrations that are spreading and growing: spreading to more and more cities, and growing with larger numbers in each city. I warned that this is starting to look like Egypt with the people in the streets protesting Mubarak’s cronyism:

    A Warning Shot At Washington’s Increasing Irrelevance
    As I said, this public protest is spreading and growing. People have had enough and are taking to the streets in increasing numbers. But Washington continues to ignore the public, debating a national motto, as Repubicans block jobs and an elitist “super committee” debates cutting the things government does for the 99%.
    Poll after poll shows the public overwhelmingly supports increasing taxes on the wealthy, bringing corporations under control, and reigning in trade agreements that suck our jobs, factories, companies and industries out of the country. People do not want Medicare, Social Security and other essential government programs cut, they want the rich and corporations and Wall Street to start paying their share.
    The public wants something done about these problems. They want jobs, they want something done about the increasing
    If Congress continues to ignore the people of the country it will not be long before the situation is like Mubarak pretending he is still in charge of Egypt, while the people of the country are in the streets planning how they will run the country without him and his cronies.

    Super Committee To Take Money Out Of The Economy
    A representative democracy serves the 99%, a plutocracy serves the 1%. Currently in Washington Congress’ elite “super committee” represents the 1%, looking at ways to take more money out of the economy, discussing cutting Social Security at a time when many people have lost their pensions and savings. They are discussing cutting Medicare and other health services at a time when more and more people are in need. They are discussing cuts and cuts and cuts, when working people are falling behind and behind and behind.
    But the actual causes of the deficits that have Congress so concerned are ignored. Reagan and the Bushes cut taxes on the rich and increased military spending, and the deficits and resulting debt soared. It is right there in front of our faces. But even with such “concern” about deficits the tax cuts for the rich continue and the huge increases in military spending are left alone. Instead Congress discusses austerity – making the 99% pay for the benefits and bailouts for the 1%.
    People are fed up, and rightly so. Poll after poll shows that the public wants taxes on the rich increased to pay for the deficit, infrastructure, education, health care, retirement and the rest of the things We, the People need. But our captured government is only serving the top few when they talk about cutting these things in order to keep taxes low at the top. The 1% would be well-advised to pay attention to what has happened in other countries where government ignores the people and takes care only of the connected rich.
    This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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    Republicans Hearing Citizen Backlash At Town Halls – Actions You Can Take

    Note – see action updates below.
    Members of Congress are holding local town hall meetings now and into next week, and Republicans are hearing from constituents angry that they voted to privatize Medicare to pay for even more tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
    Think Progress has the story: More Republican Congressmen Face Town Hall Backlash Over Tax Breaks For Wealthy And Medicare Privatization,

    Earlier this week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) held town halls across his district to defend his budget’s plan to end Medicare and extend tax cuts for the wealthy. During a stop in Milton, WI Ryan’s constituents made their feelings apparent, booing down the … congressman when he defended tax breaks for the rich… Yesterday, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) received the same hostile reception from his constituents for voting to end Medicare.
    This town hall backlash is now spreading to other districts across the country. As Huffington Post reports, freshmen Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL) and Charlie Bass (R-NH) got an earful from their constituents for voting in favor of the Republican budget this month. During a Buffalo Grove, IL town hall, Dold caught a lot of flack for supporting corporate tax breaks and voting to end Medicare: …

    Please go read the rest. And click this link to find out if your member of Congress is holding a local town hall meeting this weekend or next week!
    And if you can get video or audio recordings of citizen reaction to the Republican votes please post them to YouTube and let me know!!
    Here is Ryan being boo’ed by constituents:

    Here is Barletta:

    Update — ACTIONS
    Click this link to find out if your member of Congress is holding a town hall meeting this weekend or next week, and attend! Ask questions and demand answers
    MoveOn has an action page where you can locate your representative’s local office, asking you to drop by. Note that this is different from attending a town hall meeting. Here is what MoveOn is saying on the page:

    Drop by and tell your Representative:

    Eliminating Medicare is unacceptable!

    Congressional Republicans just voted to eliminate Medicare for anyone under 55. It’s time the Republicans hear from us, loud and clear: voting to end Medicare is completely unacceptable and we will hold you accountable.
    No need to RSVP. Just follow the instructions below and drop by with other MoveOn members at 12 noon on Thursday, or any other time during business hours this week.

    Click through for the rest at the MoveOn page
    This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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    Extend Unemployment Benefits Not Tax Cuts For Wealthy

    This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
    In a stunning public display of just who our government works for and who it does not work for, unemployment checks for people out of work longer than 26 weeks run out tomorrow night. Congress, meanwhile, is caught up in a debate over extending a special tax break for the few people making more than $250,000 a year.
    This is the situation. Here is a chart of the number of people unemployed for 26 weeks or longer: (click to enlarge)

    Here is a chart of the economic divide, showing members of Congress receiving employment benefits from Wall Street: (don’t click the pig is big enough already)

    Yes, the extended unemployment benefits that go people who have been unemployed more than 26 weeks will run out at the end of November – tomorrow night. Congress did not extend this program because Republicans blocked it, saying the cost is too high, since we spent so much money making sure that the banksters continue to receive their bonuses. Instead of acting on extending these unemployment benefits Congress is currently debating extending a special tax break that goes only to wealthy people making more than $250,000 a year.
    The Human Cost
    The terrible human cost doesn’t even get considered. According to the Ayn Rand terminology that conservatives favor, considering the human cost would be wrong and would enable the parasites (us) to feed off of the producers (the wealthy few).
    Pennsylvania: Food pantry organizers hope stockpiles hold up in case unemployment benefits run out,

    Unless Congress extends unemployment benefits, an estimated 83,000 people will see their benefits run out in December and another 200,000 in the first four months of 2011, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

    Kentucky and Indiana: Thousands in Kentucky and Indiana face lapse of unemployment benefits,

    Amid an anti-spending atmosphere in Washington, funds to extend unemployment compensation for more than 33,000 Kentuckians and nearly 67,000 Hoosiers are likely to run out next month.

    Maryland: Benefits due to end for thousands in Md.

    Thousands of Marylanders face being cut off from unemployment benefits next month — just in time for the holiday season — as Congress remains undecided on whether to extend the payments in one of the worst job markets in decades.
    An estimated 2 million people nationwide are slated to lose benefits, including 14,000 in Maryland. And more than 30,000 laid-off Maryland residents will exhaust their benefits early next year. The phase-out is happening because a federally funded program that gave residents payments beyond the normal 26 weeks lapses on Tuesday.

    Iowa: Interactive map shows unemployment by county,

    Extended federal benefits lapse on Nov. 30, giving Congress only two days to pass an extension. If they fail, hundreds of thousands could lose benefits. Failure to pass an extension would mean nearly 44,000 Iowans will see an immediate reduction in benefits and 8,700 Iowans will be prematurely cut off completely. Every week beginning Dec. 1, another 1,500 Iowans will lose their benefits.

    Michigan:
    Flint: Many Genesee County families could lose unemployment benefits without vote from Congress
    Grand Rapids: With unemployment benefits to end this month, Gov. Jennifer Granholm makes plea for extension,

    Michigan, with the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate at 12.8 percent, would see 168,520 unemployed workers lose their benefits between December and April 30, according to new figures from the Michigan League for Human Services. But even if an extension is granted, 13,011 will lose their benefits because they will have received the maximum 99 weeks of assistance.

    Ohio: 2,332 Muskingum County residents face losing jobless benefits,

    Statewide, 301,404 people will lose jobless benefits in the same window.

    Arizona: Many Arizonans on verge of losing jobless benefits,

    PHOENIX — About 90,000 Arizonans will lose their unemployment benefits soon unless Congress passes an extension, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

    Alabama: Unemployment expiration could leave thousands without benefits,

    Unless Congress extends unemployment benefits by Nov. 30, Alabamians could begin losing unemployment compensation and nearly 58,000 residents could be off the rolls by April.

    Mississippi: Editorial: House failing the jobless,

    An effort to extend unemployment benefits past Nov. 30 for an estimated 53,000 Tennesseans, 8,000 Arkansans and 6,600 residents of Mississippi fell short of the necessary votes in the House of Representatives last week.

    Colorado: 150k unemployed Coloradoans at risk of joining more than 26k with no UI benefits,
    North Carolina: Unemployment Extension Standoff Makes NC Woman ‘Feel Like A Pawn In A Chess Game’,

    “My last check will be the week ending Nov. 30 unless they come back on Nov. 29 and miraculously vote an extension,” said Millen, who lives in Charlotte, N.C.

    Will Congress act before tomorrow night and extend unemployment benefits to people who are suffering because of the greed of a few?
    Action Items
    Click here to call your members of Congress and demand they act!
    Sign this petition to Congress: Continue the Federal Unemployment Insurance Programs
    Sign the petition: Tell Congress: Don’t extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy
    Visit unemployedworkers.org
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    What’s Next, Impeachment from the Republicans?

    So much for making nice Mr. President, the gloves are off as the Republican leadership comes out swinging. These folks don’t want to work with you, or your minions or any of us. Just tune into FOX News at any random moment, and the disdain is visceral. And to be blunt, what’s to keep them from starting impeachment proceedings as a tactic to erode your precious time and focus? Not much, if you listen closely to the Senate Republican leadership, the soon to be Speaker of the House, and all the other hooligans over the last few days, and even on the Sunday morning talk shows. Senator Mitch McConnell’s words sure don’t sound like a lullaby to me. Do not be fooled, it may be more than making sure that Obama is a one-term President. These are fighting words: “The only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto…”
    And if that’s not bad enough, there’s dissent and discontent (as usual) among our fellow Democrats. The so-called Blue Dog Democrats are acting out by attempting to distance themselves from the prevailing incumbent-rage by attacking now Speaker Pelosi. Have they no shame? This is self-serving hypocrisy at its worst. Not now kids. Go back to your corner and sing “Kumbaya” to keep from shooting off your big mouths at this fragile time. Enough of your ranks have been lost in this recent election. Stop with the posturing, and the “Anti-Pelosi Caucus.” These types of shenanigans only fuel the fires, and distract us from our goals. Please realize that we are under an unprecedented assault from the rabid Republican leadership. They will attempt to sink the Obama ship at any cost.
    Democrats (Blue Dogs, Moderates, and Progressives) hunker down. Put a stop to the malarkey from the newly anointed Republicans. This “lame duck” session is vital. We have barely two months to protect Social Security for the elders, unwind Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and fund many, many programs. Consider that the Congress may be deadlocked for two years with very little emerging from gridlock, and Pelosi’s steam rolling machine has taken heavy artillery hits. If you feel compelled to beat up on someone or something, go after the bad guys. And pray that all attempts to bring impeachment proceedings against Obama are quashed. This would be a travesty filled with hate and racism from which this country might never recover. Don’t let them take our President away.
    Note: A version of this article was published earlier today in the Huffington Post.

    Rebuilding America. Is Bill Clinton Up for the Fight?

    The US and the economy were for the first time a big focus at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting last week in New York City. Hallelujah! The former President hinted at an effort to get the unemployed back to work and retrained for the new and emerging jobs. Of course, Tom Friedman from the New York Times showed up with a lofty panel of experts, and there were sessions on new market-based solutions, worldwide manufacturing and clean tech. Admittedly, there was a discussion on “Robust Job Creation in the United States.” The former President did address the issues of small business, manufacturing and clean energy. There was a panel where players such as Wal-Mart, Timberlake and others discussed the in overhauling their operations to reduce carbon emissions and create jobs. And there was the tireless work of Laurene Powell Jobs together with her co-founder Carlos Watson at College Track that has been working for over a decade to change the lives of under privileged youth by keeping them in school and preparing them for college.
    So why not have Bill Clinton turn his full attention to rebuilding America? Obama’s not doing it so what the heck? Call it whatever you want to, but just do it. Bring together all of the Laurene Powell Jobs with those like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Mark put his money where it mattered – the City of Newark, New Jersey’s inner city public schools, a place close to my heart. Consider the results, if the Clinton Global Initiative took a year or two to turn their full force to rebuild this country, not some third world country. We need the likes of Clinton to mobilize, incentivize and give us comfort as the Tea Party rains empty sound and fury rhetoric down on our heads. Who better? To heck with those who do not believe it is politically expedient!.
    Bill Clinton gets it because if the US is broken, it will derail all of his global initiatives and we would not want that. If we can’t get it done in Congress (and we cannot), then we must forge new public/private partnerships. The former President hinted at an effort, like the WPA (Works Progress Administration), in which people went back to work to rebuild the infrastructure of this country. In fact, the WPA was the largest agency of the New Deal employing and feeding millions. Who knows why the White House isn’t using an Executive Order to start such a public works program instead of fighting about extending unemployment benefits.
    I like my fellow blogger Yotta Point believe that there is work to be done on the domestic front that could leverage the infrastructure of a CGI-like effort. It will take a village to start the hard work of rebuilding this country, and it must be done brick by brick. Indeed we are falling behind the world in terms of education, math and science, and qualified job applicants for the next generation of jobs. The call to action is to make this happen. Instead of being one of the many threads at the annual convening of CGI – this could become the sole focus, or at least an independent focus, to repair America for the next few years. We might make it happen if Clinton and his mighty Foundation marshal their forces to rebuild this country’s economy, and heal the social fabric. Instead of rage rallies and tea, the best and brightest could come together for public discourse, and problem solving in CGI-like forums. CNN and the other broadcasters cannot do, and there are few other outlets capable of something of this magnitude.
    Mr. Clinton, we need your global initiative to become local. After all, we’ve got Madame Secretary watching over the world from the State Department for the next few years. The people of this country are in big trouble. Help us think globally and act locally.
    Note: originally posted on the Huffington Post, “Clinton’s Global Initiative Gets Local.”

    p5rn7vb

    President Obama, Make Congress Stay In DC Until They Pass Jobs Legislation

    This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
    The Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 3: “He may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them…
    We have a jobs emergency and the Congress has not acted. Almost everything the Senate does is being blocked by an obstructionist minority that is trying to tank the economy, hoping a demoralized public will blame the other party and won’t bother to vote, which will help them take power in November.
    The government is not governing and the consequences for working (and out-of-work) people are severe. Millions of unemployed are not finding jobs. People can’t pay their mortgages or rent and are losing their health care. Small businesses are reaching the end of their ability to hold out. Communities, even whole states are out of money to cover even basic services.
    The President has the the power to do something about this. He has the power to show the public where he and his party really stand on doing something about the jobs crisis. He has the power to show that he can put his foot down and demand action.
    The Congress is planning to go on recess in August and the President has the power to make them stay until robust jobs legislation is passed.
    This is an opportunity to apply pressure to get badly-needed job creation and further stimulus underway. This is an opportunity to show the public who is acting and who is blocking. This is an opportunity to clarify for the voters who is working to get jobs going and who is keeping the Congress from acting.
    The President has the opportunity to lead. He has the opportunity and the responsibility to govern.
    This is an emergency. Make them stay.
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    Congress FAILs On Jobs AGAIN!

    This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
    It is hard to imagine out here in the real world, but there seem to be people in the Congress who think they can get (or deserve to be) re-elected when they are failing to do anything about jobs or extending unemployment and COBRA with unemployment at 10%, underemployment at 17%,and forecasts that say this will go one for years.
    The public certainly is well aware of the disconnect:
    jobsbillboard
    This billboard was put up by a local Buffalo group representing young people, and I recommend clicking through to see their site. Especially if you are a member of Congress.
    Failing is the wrong word this time. Maybe “disgusting” better fits the lack of seriousness of our representatives. Childish and spineless are the words that come to mind. Anti-porn provision sinks Dem jobs bill,

    House Democrats had to scrap their only substantive bill of the week Thursday after Republicans won a procedural vote that substantively altered the legislation with an anti-porn clause.

    Quick backstory: Bush’s SEC, the people who were supposed to be regulating Bernie Madoff and Wall Street banksters were instead spending days surfing for porn on their computers. Republicans — the people who put the porn-surfers into the SEC — offered an “anti-porn” amendment to the jobs bill.

    That provision scared dozens of Democrats into voting with Republicans to approve the motion to recommit. After it became clear the GOP motion was going to pass, dozens of additional Democrats changed their votes from “no” to “yes.” In the end, 121 Democrats voted with Republicans — only four fewer than the number of Democrats who voted with their party.

    Because of idiocy like this,and a few other killing provisions they had to set aside the bill. The unemployed sit and wait for news. Playing games and posturing when we have a serious set of problems to solve, and real people out here in the real world are facing the worst crisis since the Great Depression. You can try to blame this on the obvious conservative obstruction strategy to stop the government from working, but spineless Democrats were stampeded into going along with it! Who’s “not serious” now? If there are disruptive kids in the back of the class snickering and giggling, you aren’t supposed to join them.
    A new WSJ/NBC poll came out yesterday. 72% disapproval of Congress. (I wonder why?) Highest priority: Job creation and economic growth 35%, Deficit and government spending 20%. (Guess which one the out-of-touch DC elite are concentrating on.)
    Listen, Congress, in DC you are employed, or you wouldn’t be there. And the people you know are probably all employed. The lobbyists swarming you are employed. The people in the nice restaurants you enjoy are employed. But out here where I live the “official” unemployment rate is 13%. People we all KNOW are out of work and getting desperate. People in our families are out of work and getting desperate. 10% is NOT OK!
    Trillions given to Wall Street, used to pay bonuses, FAIL on jobs. Do they think the public doesn’t see that? What is the matter with these people?
    Lesson: It’s the jobs, stupid. JOBS FOR MAIN STREET!
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    Update I got fooled by that billboard. The group behind it is just another right-wing front group. Sorry.

    Congress Giving Up On Helping Unemployed?

    This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
    Suddenly the word is all over the place that the Congress is not going to extend unemployment benefits further! It seems that the economy is booming (for Wall Street, top corporate executives, and Washington legislators) so it doesn’t feel like there is a need to keep carrying these people.
    Is the economy booming? Michael Moore’s movie “Capitalism, A Love Story” brought attention to a concept known as “plutonomy,” referring to economic growth that is powered and consumed entirely by the wealthy. The idea is that the world’s economy no longer needs regular people or a middle class to keep it going. The thinking is that the rich at this point are just carrying them along for the ride – for now. And for sure, an attitude seems to have set in among the elites that they are carrying the rest of us, and we are a burden. Stock markets are up, bonuses are up, we’re out of the woods. Next month the jobs report is expected to be 300,000 new jobs created. Problem solved. So why are we still acting like there’s a problem?
    A Bloomberg report yesterday that Congress won’t be extending unemployment benefits reflects exactly this worldview, quoting Sen. Max Baucus,

    Democrats who have pushed through the past extensions agree there’s insufficient backing to go beyond 99 weeks, largely because of mounting concern over the federal deficit, projected to reach $1.5 trillion this year.
    “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.
    “There’s just been no discussion to go beyond that,” said Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat.
    Some Republicans say cutting off aid will spur people to find work.

    Goldman “designed to fail” Sachs is quoted seeing no “political climate” for helping the unemployed,

    “The political climate is not as conducive to additional expansions as it had been last year,” a Goldman analysis said. “The result is likely to be a greater share of unemployed workers not receiving unemployment compensation.”

    “Why don’t they just give themselves million-dollar bonuses like everyone else does?” one expects to hear next.
    The radio show Marketplace interviews Stuart Rothenberg, confirming that Congress actually might not extend benefits to the millions and millions of unemployed,

    We just don’t have the resources to do this. The money’s not there, and we’re already in debt. Everybody’s fighting for every nickel, and so it would be difficult to extend benefits.

    The Marketplace correspondent adds,

    But there is an argument that paying benefits for longer actually keeps the unemployment rate high. That’s because people who get a check don’t search as hard for work. And they’re picky.

    “The money’s not there.” Maybe because we got tricked into giving it all to Wall Street?
    So is it just a problem if people not wanting to get jobs? The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes unemployment rates for metropolitan areas. Scroll down to number 209, Prescott, AZ, where the numbers first reach 10%, then scroll to the bottom where number 372, El Centro, CA is 27%. If any of those people in those 163 metropolitan areas do find a job all they are doing is taking a job from someone else, at a lower wage. (Which may be the objective of denying unemployment benefits, to drive wages down further.)
    What are people going to do? Job seekers still outnumber jobs by 6 to 1. Deborah Weinstein of the Coalition on Human Needs says,

    We have 6.5 million people who are long-term unemployed. The numbers jump each month. Even from Feb to March the number grew by 414,000 in just that one month. There are record-breaking numbers of people who have been unemployed for 6 months or more. If we cut off benefits we are hurting the people who are hurting the most and we will threaten the very fragile beginnings of the recovery that we are only just starting to see.

    Meteor Blades, writing at Daily Kos, adds,

    Among those politicians who are too sensitive to invoke the specter of hobos, there’s still a widespread view that most jobless people so much enjoy living on benefits that they won’t look for a job until the benefits go away. So, take the benefits away and, magically, everybody is employed again.
    Then there is the real world.

    Are they just engaging in magical thinking
    The Congressional leadership has to come out right now and tell us what they are doing about jobs. Are they or are they not extending unemployment, COBRA subsidies and COBRA itself? Are they supporting the Miller Jobs Bill? What about additional proposals? What about aid to the states? Like Nevada, New York, Virginia, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, and that is just from 5 minutes of The Google.
    You can help the Congress figure out if they should be helping the unemployed. You can call your own member of Congress and let them know your own thoughts on this.
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    Republicans Block Everything, Now Say Nothing Getting Done So Vote For Them

    Remember how impeaching Bush was “off the table” so the Congress could get important work done? For a refresher, here is one conversation with Speaker Pelosi on this:

    Dave Johnson (of Seeing the Forest):

    We seem to be at a historic time right now with an administration that is starting to frankly assert that they are above the rule of law, and I’m wondering if you as Speaker can give us a short statement on this issue and what Congress is prepared to do to re-assert the rule of law of the people of the country.

    (Follow [this link and scroll down] to read her response.) Then Mike Stark asked about impeachment. Her reply,

    I made a decision a few years ago, or at least one year ago, that impeachment was something that we could not be successful with and that would take up the time we needed to do some positive things to establish a record of our priorities and their short-comings, and the President is… ya know what I say? The President isn’t worth it… he’s not worth impeaching. We’ve got important work to do… If he were at the beginning of his term, people may think of it differently, but he’s at the end of his terms. The first two years of his term, if we came in as the majority, there might be time to do it all…

    Mike, of course, responded,

    Mike Stark: Respectfully, that’s not the question. Respectfully, the question is whether or not the Constitution is worth it.

    Many argue that impeachment will distract the Congress from passing a progressive agenda. That is a pipe dream. The Republicans in the Senate are blocking everything. The President will veto anything that passes. And if something somehow manages to become law the Republicans and the President will just ignore it anyway.

    The following from today’s Wall Street Journal is right-wing propaganda so of course doesn’t explain that the reason nothing got done is that Republicans blocked everything. But this was the point we in the Netroots were trying to make — the Republicans are going to block everything anyway… Here is the right today: As U.S. Economic Problems Loom, House, Senate Sweat the Small Stuff,

    Barring a burst of legislative activity after Labor Day, this group of 535 men and women will have accomplished a rare feat. In two decades of record keeping, no sitting Congress has passed fewer public laws at this point in the session — 294 so far — than this one. That’s not to say they’ve been idle. On the flip side, no Congress in the same 20 years has been so prolific when it comes to proposing resolutions — more than 1,900, according to a tally by the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.

    In November 2007 I made some predictions for what we would see happen in time for this year’s Presidential election. One of my predictions for the w008 election was:

    3) Accusations that we have a Do-Nothing Ineffective Congress — Republicans are filibustering everything, and Bush is vetoing the rest. Every single bill. The media is already running with a “Dems won’t compromise’ and “Dems can’t get anything done” narrative and Congress is at a record low approval. You bet we’ll be hearing this – they are hard at work developing it. Unless the Democrats start making a lot of noise about this and sustain it -and get the media to report the facts – the Republicans will get away with it.

    Guess what, the Republicans blocked everything, and now say the Democratic Congress is not getting anything done. Duh!
    But who could have seen that coming?

    A Call With Speaker-To-Be Pelosi

    I just got off of a 40-minute call with a few bloggers and Speaker-To-Be Pelosi.
    Here are some things can be and will be changed right now, as a matter of the rules the House sets for itself:
    Earmarks – Any earmarks must be presented in public before the committee, be publicly justified and approved by the committee. NO tax earmarks at all. This ends the system of purchasing earmarks.
    Lobbying crackdown – NO gifts, meals, trips, etc. from lobbyists, period. Plus other reforms.
    Open government – the leadership will not restrict amendments to bills. This means that Republicans will be able to offer amendments to bills before the House – something they prevented Democrats from doing. This lets policy be set by the strength of ideas rather than corrupt deals and hidden agendas.
    Some needed changes require legislation, which will be introduces ASAP, including:
    – Public financing of elections to remove the entire campaign contribution corruption system.
    – Requiring non-partisan redistricting of every state, decided by a non-partisan commission, which will occur only after each 10-year census. Political considerations will be removed from the drawing of district boundaries.
    – Oil subsidies ended and the money used to fund alternative energy.
    There was a discussion of Iraq. I’ll wait for other bloggers from the call to post and link to that.

    One More Race This Year

    This is bumped back to the top. Send this guy some money!
    Steve Young for Congress. Go look at the great special effect at his site.
    This is the last race this year, and 30% would be a win. Even 30% would force the Republicans to spend to defend every single Congressional district next year, instead of focusing their resources. After what happened in last Tuesday’s elections it would send a huge Democratic “momentum” message.
    But, actually, Steve Young has a chance to win in this Republican district.
    More later. Go donate — help him get out the voters December 6. More ways to help here.