No Doubt Republicans Hate the Unemployed

On Thursday June 24, the elected Republicans in the Senate gave more evidence that they hate the unemployed. The Senate rejected an extension of unemployment benefits for 1.2 million people. People who have never lost a job can decide that others who have no job don’t “deserve” help. Normal people should be outraged about that. But there is other insults the GOP heaped on the unemployed.

Rachel Maddow summed it up best:

MADDOW: We’ve got the worst long-term unemployment since the Great Depression. This is going to have repercussions in our country and in our culture for generations. The political leadership we’re seeing on the right in response to that called the unemployed animals, drug test them, call them bums, say they’re only out of jobs because they’re lazy and want to be. Insult, insult, insult. To add real injury to all of that insult today every Republican in the Senate plus our friend Ben Nelson, blocked a vote on a bill to provide badly needed help to the long-term unemployed in this country.

And as a result, starting tomorrow, more than a million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. This might sound like something you’ve heard before. This is the sort of thing that’s been knocking around in and out of the headlines for months now. And it’s true. It’s because Republicans have blocked extensions of unemployment benefits before. It’s kind of been a Republican hobbyhorse lately.

But in the past, the measure has always been saved at the last minute. That didn’t happen this time. Senate Republicans and Ben Nelson really are cutting off the benefits for 1.2 million unemployed people and probably tossing at least some of them out on the street. And as an added bonus, they’re giving up the opportunity to stimulate the economy in the most efficient way we know how. Ta da.

This pisses me off. As someone who has been on public assistance in the past and know many who are on assistance or unemployment, I can tell you NO ONE WANTS TO BE UNEMPLOYED. Republicans just rehash the old “welfare queen” red herring whenever real people need help. They didn’t bat an eye bailing out the banks and automakers but when real people need help they complain about the deficit.

The Democrats in the Senate don’t get off the hook totally. Why in the hell do you keep letting the GOP screw the pooch? Need 60 votes for unemployment extension? Really? Knock the shit off and act like a majority party. Letting a minority of 41 control things make you all look stupid.

Of course passing out checks without doing anything substantial to solve the economic problem won’t solve the jobs problem in the long run but not putting oil in a car low on oil just because it hasn’t reached 3,000 miles isn’t going to be good for a car either.

As blogger digby noted:

I have thought from the beginning of the crisis that this was a problem. I could tell from some conversations I was having that people were under the misapprehension that the deficit caused the recession and that ending the deficit is the only way to fix the economy. Many wingnuts are making that explicit claim.

This is one of the reasons why I have been so frantic that the administration was feeding into the deficit hysteria. They don’t seem to get that people don’t actually care about “the deficit,” they care about “the economy” and they fail to make a distinction between the two, especially since we have right wing wrecking crew that makes a point of conflating the two.

Conflation Fail

I just don’t have time for people who are soooooo full of themselves, who lack any minimal amount of compassion, and who refuse to see the world outside their self involved bubble.

Here is an example:

Missouri farmer David Jungerman has raised the hackles of local residents with a politically-charged sign he’s placed on his “45-foot-long, semi-truck box trailer” on his farm. The trailer reads: “Are you a Producer or Parasite Democrats – Party of the Parasites.” Now, the Kansas City Star reveals that Jungerman has been the recipient of over a million dollars of federal farm subsidies since 1995

Trying to defend himself, Jungerman told the press, “That’s just my money coming back to me. I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite.”

Farmer who put up sign claiming Democrats are ‘party of parasites’ has taken $1 million in farm subsidies.

What this Einstein doesn’t know or refuses to know is even people on welfare pay taxes. They may not pay income taxes but they do pay sales tax plus they paid taxes when they did have a job. Don’t they deserve to get back the taxes they paid?

Jungerman reminded me of those morons during the health care reform town halls when they shouted they didn’t want government run health care while admitting they were on Medicare.

What should really make a normal human mad is that the extension only would have added 0.00043 percent to the national debt.

Rand Paul not racist just ignorant

Rand Paul won the right to be on the ballot for the US Senate from Kentucky. He comes from a family known for their libertarianism – his father is Ron Paul. The problem with his libertarianism is what is wrong with libertarianism in general – it ignores reality and so it sounds stupid.

On the Rachel Maddow show on May 19th Rand Paul claimed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went too far by forcing integration of private businesses. He believes that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate. He isn’t a racist per se but is ignorant of history.

The common libertarian argument about social issues in a private setting is that people will “vote with their dollars”. They feel that the free market will force out any businesses that do discriminate because it isn’t acceptable behavior.

The problem for that argument is that it makes sense for white men who have never experienced discrimination.

Back in the 1960’s integrated businesses were the exception not the norm. There were business sections for whites and separate area for blacks – even in Columbus Ohio. Mt Vernon Ave was a strong African-American business area.

That type of discrimination lasted more than 100 years after the end of slavery and the 14th amendment. Either the voting with dollars doesn’t work or is very slow.

Today a business that is overt about it – putting up signs or calling the police to remove non-white people – is ridiculous BECAUSE of laws like the Civil Rights Act.

Of course Paul’s beliefs aren’t surprising:

But the idea that the Civil Rights Act overstepped in its pursuit of guaranteeing racial equality in the South is hardly an alien idea to political right. In fact, in certain conservative circles — especially the anti-government, libertarian wing Rand Paul represents — it’s practically an article of faith.

Consider Ronald Reagan, now part of the pantheon of Republican and conservative heroes. Reagan got his start in national politics stumping for Barry Goldwater, whose fierce anti-government views led him to view the Civil Rights Act as an attack on “the Southern way of life.”

When Reagan made his own run for the presidency in 1976, he positioned himself as Goldwater’s heir, picking up his first primary win in North Carolina on a platform stoking resentment of government intrusion in the South. In 1980, the Californian consciously launched his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi — just miles from where three civil rights activists were killed in the 1960s.

Like Rand, Reagan insisted his views were anti-government and not pro-discrimination — ignoring, of course, that in practical terms, opposing federal civil rights standards would ensure that discrimination persisted.

Why Rand Paul’s views on civil rights are no surprise

Of course some conservative Republicans are trying to use the Paul blow up to try and rewrite they history of the civil rights movement. They want to blame Democrats for fighting the Civil Rights Act back in the 1960’s while white washing the GOP’s racist campaigning since Reagan.

“Everybody knows that in 1964, a proud southern Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson, pushed hard to secure the Civil Rights Bill, with the aid of a coalition of northern Democrats and Republicans,” Wilentz said. “This sent the defeated segregationist Southern Democrats (led by Strom Thurmond) fleeing into the Republican Party, where its remnants, along with a younger generation of extremist conservative white southerners, including Rand Paul, still reside.”

NRSC Calls Dem Condemnation Of Paul Civil Rights Act Statements ‘Ironic’

Democrats reach for the anal lube again on health care reform

It would make a great episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Health care reform is currently being debated in the Senate and before yesterday it looked like something might be passed that was decent. The public option was pulled but a compromise was reached to lower Medicare age to 55. Now it seems the Democratic majority can’t do that either.

Basically due to the work of a few Senators we might have a bill that has a mandate – you must buy insurance – without any public option to encourage private plans to do better than they do now.

What we might get is Medicare Part D for health care.

We were told then it wasn’t what was needed but it will help seniors. It didn’t allow negotiation on med prices, didn’t allow importation of meds, has a trigger that never has been pulled, and gave a big bag of money to private insurance to provide crappy coverage. I mean when the generic medications at Walmart are cheaper than copays through Medicare Part D for same medication something is wrong.

There have been attempts to “fix” and none of them have even come close to passing.

So forgive me if I call the point of this blog post on Daily Kos is BS and will probably still be BS when the details come out.

I would rather have the best bill which would help all 40 million without insurance then settle for one where the insurance companies win and maybe it helps 150,000 people.

How hard is that to understand?

Democrats have long recent history of bending over and I know they will on this issue and we will never hear about Health care reform again if this bad bill is signed into law.

It’s that simple

What happens when rich elitists get to decide on a budget for all Americans? We get the Senate version of the stimulus bill. *sigh*

Well, this week, the political elites who live in the Senate decided that we didn’t need to help the states,. our schools, or our health. The Senate version of the stimulus plan, the one needed to keep this country from driving over a cliff, removed $86 billion dollars of spending that would’ve had an immediate effect in the country – money to the states and education. Yes, the bubble returns to Washington. Douchebags!

Some of the listed cuts in the Senate version include:

$40 billion State Fiscal Stabilization
$16 billion School Construction
$7.5 billion of State Incentive Grants
$5.8 billion Health Prevention Activity
$1 billion Head Start/Early Start
$2.25 billion Neighborhood Stabilization

What the Senate’s cut: Funds for states and schools

Or as Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) said on her Twitter: Proud we cut over 100 billion out of recov bill.Many Ds don’t like it, but needed to be done.The silly stuff Rs keep talking about is OUT.

Yes, funding the states and education is silly stuff….. classy!

Paul Krugman (remember – the guy who is actually an economist and who won a Nobel Prize) said in his New York Times column:

Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.

What the centrists have wrought

And why did this happen? Krugman has an idea:

[C]entrism is a pose rather than a philosophy. And to support that pose, the centrists are demanding $100 billion in cuts in the economic stimulus plan — not because they have any coherent argument saying that the plan is $100 billion too big, not because they can identify $100 billion of stuff that should not be done, but in order to be able to say that they forced Obama to move to the center.

Appeasing the centrists

It is all about being bipartisan – you know where the minority party gets what it wants in full – even though they are in the minority. It’s the bizzaro Congress.

Meanwhile the Wall Street douchebags will be getting more money to spend on hookers and blow…. well does it really matter? They still don’t have any rules on the use of their bailout funds.