Unemployment · Unemployment Benefits

Mario Piperni: Cutting Off The Unemployed Takes A Special Kind of Evil

Mario Piperni

It takes a special kind of evil to deny the unemployed extended benefits while at the same time calling for permanent tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires – a move which will increase the deficit by $700 billion over the next decade.

Washington is poised to stop providing extended unemployment benefits despite the huge number of laid-off workers, the paucity of job openings, the high rate of underemployment in every sector of the economy and stubbornly slow economic growth. That’s because Republicans in the Senate insist that, unlike the hefty tax cuts they covet for the wealthy, the comparatively slender subsidies for the unemployed must not be financed with borrowed money. This penuriousness is not just hypocritical, it’s bad economics.

The current federal program, which offers up to 73 extra weeks of unemployment benefits to idled workers, is due to expire Nov. 30. If it does, about 2 million unemployed people will have their benefits cut off in December.

…and it takes a special and pathetic kind of stupid to buy into so blatant an example of Republican hypocrisy.

Political Humor · TSA

Your Guide to Navigating Airport Security With Ease

In order to reach the comforts of the friendly skies, you must first pass through America’s famed airport security. Which can be quite an ordeal, at times! Below, ten tips to make your security experience as fun as possible.

 This is hilarious piece is from Gawker

1. Packing

Pack your own bags. Don’t pack your bags while drunk. Don’t let a stranger pack your bags. Don’t let a drunk stranger pack your bag, while you’re drunk.

2. Dressing for travel

Loose, comfortable clothing is best. Bring layers so you can be prepared for any environment. But none of your layers should be bulletproof, because that would be suspicious. On second thought, just one layer is fine. Not a Muslim-looking layer. J. Crew, a nice cardigan, something very WASPy.

3. Off to the airport

Do you have everything you need packed in your car? Except a bomb? Not that you need a bomb, because you don’t, but if you think you need one, don’t pack it in your car, regardless. Okay, off we go!

4. Parking

Don’t park on top of a TSA employee.

5. Entering the airport

Just play it cool. Don’t look around nervously. Just be calm. Don’t look now, but there are two cops right behind you… we said don’t look! Just act normal.

6. Checking in

GOOD: “Hi, I’m here to check into my flight to Atlanta. Here is my driver’s license. I’ll be checking one bag.” BAD: “Hola, I’m here to check into my flight to Kabul. Here is my smudged and dubious foreign passport. I won’t be checking any bags, because who needs luggage where I’m going, right?” Also, be sure to smile.

7. Going through the security line

Your big moment is here! Time to run down your mental check list: Did you remember to shower, shave, deodorize, and take your beta blockers? Did you remember to cover all visible tattoos and remove your piercings, visible and otherwise? Did you remember to bleach your skin and stuff your unruly hair into a sensible hat? Did you remember not to attach any unwieldy objects to your genitals, lest they arouse suspicion during groping? Great! Press on!

8. So you’ve been selected for a special search

Don’t get a boner. Don’t get a boner. Don’t get a boner. (Repeat).

9. Into the terminal

You’ve made it! Put on your shoes quickly, repack your rifled luggage, and walk, don’t run, to the nearest Cinnabon. They never suspect anyone at a Cinnabon.

10. Boarding the plane

Keep your mouth shut until you’re airborne. Then it’s party time.

GOP · GOP Agenda · GOP Dirty Tricks · GOP Hubris · GOP Hypocrisy · GOP Lies · GOP Obstructionism · John Boehner

Here’s John Boehner’s “scheduling conflict”

We all know there was no “scheduling conflict” when the GOP leaders opted out of an invitation, scheduled for today, from the POTUS to sit down and have a talk about pressing issues that need to be legislated.  What a bunch of idiots!

Daily Kos – by Jed Lewison

You know how John Boehner and the Republicans were too busy to meet with President Obama and Democrats to talk about tax cuts?

Well, here’s what caused their “scheduling conflict” — a press conference…at which Boehner demanded, among other things, that Democrats agree to extend all Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000.

I guess Boehner figured why bother sitting down with President Obama and the Democrats (who still met to discuss tax cuts today) when he could just as easily throw bombs form the sidelines?

Sarah Palin · Uncategorized

Sarah Palin: ‘I Believe’ I Could Beat Obama In 2012

There’s something in the air in the state of Alaska that makes some of its political figures over confident.  Joe Miller comes to mind (sorry fella, it’s over, Murkowski won!) Then there is the half term Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin who Sen. Lisa Murkowski believes “does not like governing” and “lacks the intellectual capacity to become President”.

Yet, Sarah Palin says she can “take Obama down in 2012”.  The collective progressive message to Mrs. Palin is bring it on!

Huffington Post

On a day with increased buzz over Sarah Palin’s potential decision to announce a run for president in 2012, a video released Wednesday provides a clear indication that if Palin lacks anything necessary to embark on that mission, it isn’t confidence.

In an interview with ABC News scheduled to air in full on December 9, Barbara Walters asked Palin, “If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?”

“I believe so,” Palin responded.

“I’m looking at the lay of the land now, and … trying to figure that out, if it’s a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it’s a good thing,” Palin said in the segment, set to be part of Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” of 2010.

Her response is no huge surprise. Most candidates who would be willing to pour millions of dollars and thousands of hours of work into a campaign presumably can be expected to believe that they could end their quest in victory — especially a contender with a strong following, like Palin. Nonetheless, the former vice-presidential candidate’s response appears to be the most expressive of her still undecided, yet increasingly anticipated, 2012 presidential run.

Earlier Wednesday, the New York Times Magazine released a profile that seemed to insinuate similar aspirations for Palin. In her interview with Robert Draper, the author of the piece, Palin spoke candidly about her need to prove herself to voters and to add more substance to her political persona. Talking to the New York Times, a symbol of Palin’s commonly degraded “lamestream media,” may be a sign that Palin is trying to nip some of her most common criticism in the bud.

Video here.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama makes Vogue’s top 10 best dressed

I really like Michelle Obama.  She’s attractive, intelligent, she’s independent and no doubt a great mom and wife. 

However, I cannot say that she has been consistent with her taste in fashion.  There were times when I had to take a deep breath and asked myself, “what in the world was she thinkingwearing that mess?”  Other times her beauty, poise and elegance outshines everyone else around her.

Therefore, I give Mrs. Obama a hearty “you go girl” for making Vogue’s 10 Best Dressed list.  That is no easy fete.

The Grio

From: NBC New York

Further proof that the glossy is becoming more Web-savvy: Vogue assembled its very own top 10 best-dressed list. Naturally, it includes Michelle Obama.

To Vogue’s credit, the ensembles they chose to highlight on said best-dressed ladies aren’t exactly tried-and-true favorites: There are no Academy Awards red carpets shots, nor are there street style snaps. (Case in point: Jessica Biel’s photo features her wearing a pantsuit.)

However, to no one’s surprise, the list includes a who’s-who of Vogue’s regular favorites — Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan,and Alexa Chung. Lady Gaga makes a note-worthy appearance (apparently Anna Wintour has forgiven her slightly off-kilter performance at the Met’s Costume Institute Gala), though, and Vogue also shines a spotlight on some less-lauded (but no less worthy) style mavens like Liya Kebede and Shala Monroque. In terms of Blake Lively’s inclusion, we can’t help but imagine that Leighton Meester is feeling a bit like Jan to Blake’s Marsha.

There are also some note-worthy omissions: Diane Kruger, for one, who has remained virtually flawless in terms of her choices both on and off the red-carpet. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy might have also been in the running (if she is a bit ho-hum of late), as well as Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Frankly, they might all have been a better candidates over Ms. Lively, but, then, that’s our opinion.

Naturally, the current winner in terms of public voting on the best-dressed list on Vogue’s site is Lady Gaga.

Click here to read more from NBC New York…


Bill Collectors Turn Up on Facebook

One thing is certain for Facebook users…listing too much information about yourself on Facebook is never a good idea.  See my post on 13 things NOT to post of Facebook.

AOL News

The relentless phone calls were one thing, the Facebook messages were another.

Melanie Beacham, of St. Petersburg, Fla., said she fell behind in her car payments after falling ill, and she contacted MarkOne Financial to say she would make a payment when she could.

Still, she kept getting up to 20 phone calls a day from the lender and said it contacted her sister in Georgia and other relatives via Facebook.

Beacham contacted a lawyer, Billy Howard, who filed a lawsuit against MarkOne, asking a judge to ban the company from using social networking sites like Facebook to contact Beacham’s friends about her debt, according to WTSP.com.

“Now Facebook does a debt collector’s work for them,” Howard said. “Now it’s not only family members, it’s all of your associates. It’s a very powerful tool for debt collectors to use.”

Beacham said the incident was embarrassing.

“Nobody should have to go through what I went through,” she said. “I was hurt because I just felt I didn’t need my family going through that. Even though that’s my family, I don’t need them to know my personal business.”

MarkOne Financial was unavailable for comment to the station.

GOP · GOP Agenda · GOP Folly · GOP Obstructionism · GOP Political Attacks

G.O.P. Opposition Dims Hope for Arms Treaty With Russia

NYU Local

What happened to fiscal conservatism and national security — the two (supposed) central tenets of the Republican Party? There is something seriously misguided about believing that adding to the deficit to increase the stockpile of weapons is a more efficient way of strengthening national security than an enforceable agreement with your rival to not stockpile weapons at all (or at least less of them).

The New York Times

President Obama’s hopes of ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia by the end of the year appeared to come undone on Tuesday as the chief Senate Republican negotiator moved to block a vote on the pact, one of the White House’s top foreign policy goals, in the lame-duck session of Congress.

The announcement by the senator, Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican point man on the issue, blindsided and angered the White House, which vowed to keep pressing for approval of the so-called New Start treaty. But the White House strategy had hinged entirely on winning over Mr. Kyl, and Democrats, who began scrambling for a backup plan, said they considered the chances of success slim.

Winning approval of the treaty will only become harder for the White House next year, when Democrats will have six fewer seats in the Senate, forcing the administration to rely on additional Republican votes to reach the 67 needed for ratification.

The treaty, which would force both countries to pare back nuclear arsenals and resume mutual inspections that lapsed last year for the first time since the cold war, is the centerpiece of two of Mr. Obama’s signature goals: restoring friendly relations with Russia and putting the world on a path toward eventually eliminating nuclear arms. A failure to ratify the treaty could freeze both efforts and, some analysts said, undermine Mr. Obama’s credibility on the world stage.

“Failure to pass the New Start treaty this year would endanger our national security,” Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has led negotiations with Mr. Kyl, said in a statement. It would mean “no verification regime to track Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal,” Mr. Biden said, and would sour a relationship that has helped open a new supply route to troops in Afghanistan and increase pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program.

Continue reading…

U.S. Politics

Thursday Morning Blog Round Up

Video: GOP’s anti-Obama strategy undermines national security
Rachel Maddow talks with Josh Rogin, writer for Foreign Policy’s The Cable column, a..

Palin Says She Could Beat Obama
Sarah Palin told ABC News that she is seriously considering a White House bid and bel..

Unemployment Insurance Keeps Middle Class Families Out of Poverty
photo: C-Monster via Flickr As Arthur Delaney reports , CBO just came out with analy..

Tea Party, Republican Activists Circulate Anti-Semitic E-Mails Against..
In Texas, a leadership battle is brewing over the election of the next state Speaker..

Republicans block Paycheck Fairness Act
Shocker : Today, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against legislation to close t..

Republican irresponsibility on START
The Republican attempt to derail ratification of the new START arms control treaty w..

Yes, DADT repeal could still pass, Senate staffers say
Good news: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal is not dead yet. It’s widely assumed that the..

Little Big Moron
Cavuto asks AK GOPer Joe Miller: Do you feel like Custer now ? Watch . Between you a..

AP Calls It For Murkowski
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s historic write-in campaign has allowed her to retai..

Thank You, David Vitter
Having seen the path blazed by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) from family values pariah to..