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A serious quote for today… listen up:

Economist Paul Krugman

…compassion is out of fashion — indeed, lack of compassion has become a matter of principle, at least among the G.O.P.’s base.

“And what this means is that modern conservatism is actually a deeply radical movement, one that is hostile to the kind of society we’ve had for the past three generations — that is, a society that, acting through the government, tries to mitigate some of the “common hazards of life” through such programs as Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.”

– Paul Krugman

Be aware…be very aware. Remember it was the tea party audience at the recent Republican debate who yelled “Let them die!” when Ron Paul (a “doctor”? Really?) said the poor could get their own health policies if they wanted coverage.

What is becoming of our country? To think there is a percentage of our citizens who would believe in such a thing. I don’t care what anyone thinks of the limitations of Barack Obama. I don’t remember him EVER hoping that children and seniors would die for lack of medical coverage.

This is more than a little depressing.

 

Unusual Vote Watch in the Senate…

About an hour ago the Senate started moving forward the Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits bill (actually based on HR 4853) and, since they need to get 60 votes to pass it, this is being held open so all Senators can vote. Given the weather conditions nationwide, some Senators have had trouble getting back from the weekend, and I am not sure who we are waiting for and how long they will continue to hold it open.

At the one hour mark the vote was 58 – 6 in favor of passage. The 6 NO votes so far are all Democrats (Bingaman, Feingold, Leahy, Sanders, Gillibrand and the Udall from Colorado.) You can see Senators wandering in here and there on screen and the Senate Pages wandering around and talking to each other. They are in the W’s on the Roll Call and the fellow with the list is calling out  vote results (so far, I guess). Sounds like the AYES are a mix of Dems and Reps. Brown of Ohio just became the seventh NO vote.

———

Baucus is now the 59th AYE… one more and this passes.  66 have voted so far and that means there are 34 to go, assuming they all vote.

However, Senator Lincoln just voted AYE, so it looks like they have the 60 that pass the measure.

I’m not sure, but I think all this vote means is they move forward now to 30 hours of debate on the final bill. It’s now 63 – 8. The actual, final, real vote on this will not happen until tomorrow or Wednesday, I guess. At an hour and 20 minutes, I’m checking out.

Five for every one… and why unemployment will go on longer than we want it.

The current Dept. of Labor statistic is that there are five unemployed job searchers for every one job that opens up at present. This means that only 20% of people seeking work right now are likely to get it, leaving the rest of us to ponder our futures in different ways.

Some, of course, will retire or take early retirement with reduced Social Security because they have little or no choice. Some, who have access to some investment money, will set up new small businesses… often with themselves as the only employees… and hope that something will come along at some point to get them off their own dime (I call this the freelance graphic designer option. I’ve been there, too.) Some will turn to crime… no joke…it is happening already.

The 20% who do get work are, for the most part, getting jobs which pay less than they were making before they ended up on the unemployment rolls, while their day-to-day cost of living expenses are significantly higher (just take a look at gasoline!)

So what is the government planning to cure this situation? Damn little, I’m afraid. Congress will be a left-right wrestling ring. The Obama Administration will hope Congress does something…but it won’t. The Supreme Court will continue its firming up of the Corporate Wealthy.

And we’ll watch a lot more television, cry in our sleep a lot more, and go progressively downhill as the Middle Class disappears.

A Quote for Tea Party Members & The Republicans who are living off of them…

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

– President Dwight D. Eisenhower – November 8, 1954

If Ike were here now, I bet he’d be surprised at the success of the Texas Oil Millionaires and the politicians and businessmen who have suckered so many Americans into today’s mess.

What do you think?