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I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.



Dec. 16th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
"He bought jobless benefits"
Not exactly, though that's a common myth.

This bill continues to allow the unemployed to collect up to 99 weeks (though not always that many, it depends on their state of residence). If/when those weeks are up, then those people become reclassified as not seeking employment, drop off of the official statistics, and receive nothing. In the middle of the worst job market in at least 80 years, this bill does zero to help people in this group.

Some of these unemployed people (some of who call themselves the "99ers") have been ineligible to collect benefits since as long ago as April. I have seen their numbers estimated at 4.8 to 5 million people. But as those currently receiving benefits are unable to find jobs and hit the (up to) 99 week maximum, then their numbers will continue to grow weekly.

The lack of help for these people in this legislation was one of the Democrats' biggest objections to this bill, though this objection was widely ignored by the mainstream media. The American people might genuinely have little to no sympathy for this group and might not care if more and more of them fall into increasingly dire straits that will lead to an increase in homelessness (and probably suicides and other negative consequences as well). But we as a country are not even discussing this question, as so few people are paying enough attention to the current circumstances as to even know that this is an issue.
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
Re: "He bought jobless benefits"
Most of what you're saying is true, but I have two points of contention. First, that this was a major issue for the Democrats. It wasn't. Certainly it was never as big an issue as the estate tax concession. There's a reason people have not really heard about this, the Dems never made it a talking point.

Second, the issue with the classification of not seeking employment versus unemployed is not new, its actually a fairly old statistics debate (and its a debate we've been on the losing side of for a while). But the reason the Dems won't make a deal out of it is because then they look like they're responsible for even larger unemployment numbers. If they fight for reclassification, no one will understand why unemployment spiked from 10 to 16 percent, but they'll see it happen.

Its cowardly, I know. But I do take the Jon Snow approach with this. What he did to protect Mance's baby was abominable. But what do you do? Risk a large amount of people or risk everyone? Knowing you're fighting a losing battle?

No seriously, I'm asking! I'd love a good answer to this question! Cuz I don't think anyone has one.
Dec. 16th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
Re: "He bought jobless benefits"
How long are we, as a nation and as a people, supposed to support those who do not have a job? I certainly do not want anyone to be jobless or homeless. But 99 weeks? That's 23 months. Almost two years.
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
Re: "He bought jobless benefits"
And in this economy... it's not that unusual. Brutal, but there it is. I would be totally on board with some form of workfare for these folks--hire them to work on infrastructure projects or something. But failing that, the least we can do is keep the lifeline out.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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