The Three R's: Reichwing Republican R...
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1045 Dec 6, 2013
Go Blue Forever wrote:
And, for them to...somewhere down the line...make a big production outta giving some of their loot, back to charity....just to ease their conscious of the inhumanity they have perpetrated on so many human beings....is sickening.....
Yes, it is sickening,
It's all one big act on their part to attempt to appear charitable. but it's a tax write off.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1047 Dec 7, 2013
Rant!!!!

hannon Watts knew she was heading into a rough neighborhood when she became an activist in the battle over gun control. A former corporate executive and mother of five children, Watts launched a gun-control group, now called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, not long after the Newtown shootings. As the new push to restrict guns grabbed attention over the ensuing year, Watts and other activists experienced the blowback up close, in sometimes frightening detail.

At protest rallies, they have been met by men carrying rifles.(It's legal: many states permit the open carry of “long guns.”) Watts has had her home address in Indianapolis posted online along with the suggestion that “people show up and show why it’s important to have a gun.” She has gotten letters at home saying that the sender knows where her kids go to school and where her husband works. On the lighter side, an ironist has been sending her free issues of Guns & Ammo.

She has a harder time finding irony in images floating around online featuring her head bloodied by a huge knife stuck into her skull.

As the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre nears, the gun politics battle is playing out not only in Washington and state capitals, but on the Internet, where some gun-rights defenders have decided to counter the social-media strength of gun-control supporters (Moms Demand Action now has more than 127,000 followers on Facebook) by resorting to aggressive online harassment. The targets of the harassment are taking it mostly in stride, viewing it as a sign that they’re having more impact than downbeat media assessments of the gun control movement typically assume.

“The more traction we get, the more it becomes very, very aggressive,” Watts said in an interview.“Their concern level is so heightened that they’re going to fight back with everything they have.”

All the same, the tone and substance of the online vituperation is telling.

The harassment comes from multiple sources, but much of it centers around a few Facebook pages, one of them called Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates and another called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a Fraud. For Colette Martin, a Moms Demand Action member in Queens, the chief nemesis has been someone who goes by the nom de Facebook of Manly McBeefington (“Paging Dr. Freud,” she quips). Martin's sleuthing leads her to believe that McBeefington, in real life, is a tattoo artist in Long Island.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1048 Dec 14, 2013
Rant!!!!!!!!!!

And of course O'Reilly never says a word about any of it, because he is a Republican that is happy to let McConnell lie about it.

WASHINGTON -- It was just Wednesday night that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) railed against the Affordable Care Act, calling it a "catastrophic failure" for people everywhere.

Which is the same thing O'Reilly says, O'Reilly calls it a disaster as he ignores all the good news about Obamacare.

But the governor of McConnell's home state came to Capitol Hill on Thursday with a vastly different message: the health care law is working, and people in Kentucky can't get enough of it.

"I have a U.S. senator who keeps saying Kentuckians don't want this. Well, the facts don't prove that out," Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) told reporters.

Beshear said more than 550,000 people have visited the state's Obamacare enrollment website since it launched on Oct. 1. More than 180,000 have called into the health care call center and about 69,000 people have signed up, or about 1,000 Kentuckians per day.

Of those who have signed up, he said, 41 percent are under the age of 35.

"This is beyond fixing. It needs to be pulled out root and branch and we need to start over," McConnell said during an interview on Fox's "On The Record With Greta Van Susteren." "It's been a catastrophe for health care and for the economy at large."

"There is a tremendous pent-up demand in Kentucky for affordable health care," Beshear said. "People are hungry for it."

The governor also boasted of the law's economic benefits to the state. Over the next eight years, he said, it will generate $15 billion for Kentucky's economy and create 17,000 new jobs.

Beshear made his remarks during a press conference with House Democratic leaders, just after meeting with the full Democratic caucus. He said his message to them was to "be patient, take a deep breath" as the administration works out kinks in getting the health care website fully up and running for people around the country.

Asked if he thinks Obamacare will be a factor in McConnell's reelection campaign in 2014, Beshear said "it may well be," but perhaps not in the way McConnell hopes.

"I predict it will be an issue where people start looking at the critics and say,'What was all that yelling and screaming about? I think you must have misinformed us about the Affordable Care Act,'" he said.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1049 Dec 17, 2013
Rant!!!!!!

It’s a rare day indeed when Next New Deal bloggers support economic arguments with links to the Weekly Standard, the American Enterprise Institute, and Goldman Sachs. But at this moment, in this economy, we are all singing the same tune about the absolute necessity of extending unemployment insurance and providing additional support to the long-term unemployed. So, consider our current alignment a sign of extraordinary times.

Extraordinary because six years after the recession, there are still at least 4.1 million long-term unemployed Americans who have been looking for a job for more than six months and have yet to find work. Extraordinary because despite agreement from both progressive and conservative economists on the need for government action, the congressional flank led by Paul Ryan and Rand Paul is so far outside the mainstream that they are arguing to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed. Extraordinary because the 113th Congress is so dysfunctional that these extremists just might succeed in their goal.

Protecting unemployment insurance is a “disservice” to the unemployed, Rand Paul told the morning shows Sunday. The clear logic being that those folks looking for work for the last six months have been all-too-coddled by their $300-a-week government check, when what they need is some real motivation to pound the pavement even harder.

Unfortunately for Mr. Paul and his friends, there are a few flaws in this latest version of the up-by-your-bootstraps logic. But, don’t take our word for it. For a full outline of the arguments in support of extending unemployment insurance, we turn to the conservative intelligentsia and financial establishment.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1050 Dec 21, 2013
Rant!!!!!!!!!!

Senate Republicans are still so piping mad over the filibuster changes on nominations that, well … they’re going to cede total control of the chamber to Harry Reid and the Democrats over the weekend. Take that!

For the past couple of weeks, Senate Republicans have not been granting unanimous consent to shorten debate periods and bring various nominations to the floor, slowing the chamber’s schedule by using up all of the allotted debate time on each nomination. That’s continuing now with the 10 or so remaining nominations on the calendar year.(Unless Democrats and Republicans can agree to some sort of deal — ha ha — unconfirmed nominees would have to be renominated in the new year.) Reid seems to have settled on getting through four of the nominations before adjourning for the year, and getting everyone out of town sometime mid to late weekend after working around the clock for the next couple of days.

Now word is coming in that Democrats’ friends across the aisle may not even stick around for this weekend’s #senateparty. Daddy Cornyn says they can all go home and he and a few others will stick around to finish off the important work of annoying Democrats for no reason. From the Hill:

Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn (Texas) said it is up to individual senators if they want to stick around Congress on Friday and Saturday to vote on nominees Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has put on the schedule.

Cornyn said his leadership would make sure at least one Republican senator remains on or near the floor at all times to object to Democratic requests to waive various procedural hurdles.

“I’m not sure how many Republicans will stick around,” said one GOP senator.“I don’t think the Democrats remembered how important it is to get unanimous consent on little things to make this place work.”
ZCs

New York, NY

#1051 Dec 21, 2013
Republicans ARE drinking the Kool-Aid.
On Wednesday, Politico published an article in which John Podesta, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff and current adviser to President Obama, said that Republicans are, "a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress."
Those comments caused outrage with Republicans in Washington, and in the interests of political correctness and civility, Podesta apologized to Speaker of the House John Boehner.
But apology aside, Podesta was right.
The Republican Party is a cult worthy of Jim Jones, and all across America, it's killing off its followers, just like Jim Jones did.
For reasons that typically have to do with god, gays or guns, low-income people across America frequently vote Republican, thus becoming Republican cultist followers.
And then, just like the followers at Jonestown, they let their leaders in the Republican Party pass out "policy Kool-aid" that actually kills some of them.
For example, right now, 23 states, led by mostly Republican lawmakers, are refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
As a result, millions of low-income Americans won't have access to life-saving health care and medications.
And those millions of Americans include the "followers" of the GOP who helped give Republicans control of the House.
Meanwhile, as Republicans are taking away health care from their "followers," they're also taking away their food.
Last month, thanks to Republican opposition, Congress failed to extend food stamp benefits to more than 47 million Americans. For a family of four receiving food stamp benefits, that means 21 fewer meals per month.
And, 2.3 million children in California and Texas alone have lost access to food thanks to the Republican-backed cuts.
So, the Republican Party is killing off its "followers" by denying them health care and food. But it doesn't stop there.
For "followers" of the Republican Party who are lucky enough to still have access to food, that food might be contaminated with diseases, parasites and other less savory things, because Republicans don't want us to know where our food comes from, or what's in it.
They oppose GMO and country-of-origin labeling laws, which would require all foods to be clearly labeled.
And since Republicans hate regulations, they've cut funding to the food inspection programs that keep us safe from contaminated, and potentially deadly, foods.
Take shrimp for instance.
Nearly 85 percent of the shrimp Americans consume is imported, and much of it is never inspected.
As Jill Richardson over at AlterNet points out, that means that shrimp is making it to the marketplace that all too often is riddled with salmonella, covered in antibiotics or pesticides, or contaminated with neurotoxins.
Not that much different from Jim Jones' cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Yummy.
Republicans are also killing off their "followers" by taking away their homes and jobs, and condemning them to lives of poverty and despair.
They support corporations that lay off millions of American workers each year, and then ship their jobs overseas to the lowest bidder.
And when those millions of Americans get laid off, Republicans refuse to help them survive.
Yesterday, the Senate passed the bipartisan budget deal, but noticeably missing from the deal was the extension of unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans, benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.
Unemployment benefits were left out of the deal because Republicans think unemployment insurance makes Americans dependent and causes them to stop looking for work.
They think that Americans will magically find jobs if they aren't receiving unemployment insurance.
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1052 Dec 21, 2013
ZCs wrote:
Republicans ARE drinking the Kool-Aid.
On Wednesday, Politico published an article in which John Podesta, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff and current adviser to President Obama, said that Republicans are, "a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress."
Those comments caused outrage with Republicans in Washington, and in the interests of political correctness and civility, Podesta apologized to Speaker of the House John Boehner.
But apology aside, Podesta was right.
The Republican Party is a cult worthy of Jim Jones, and all across America, it's killing off its followers, just like Jim Jones did.
For reasons that typically have to do with god, gays or guns, low-income people across America frequently vote Republican, thus becoming Republican cultist followers.
And then, just like the followers at Jonestown, they let their leaders in the Republican Party pass out "policy Kool-aid" that actually kills some of them.
For example, right now, 23 states, led by mostly Republican lawmakers, are refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
As a result, millions of low-income Americans won't have access to life-saving health care and medications.
And those millions of Americans include the "followers" of the GOP who helped give Republicans control of the House.
Meanwhile, as Republicans are taking away health care from their "followers," they're also taking away their food.
Last month, thanks to Republican opposition, Congress failed to extend food stamp benefits to more than 47 million Americans. For a family of four receiving food stamp benefits, that means 21 fewer meals per month.
And, 2.3 million children in California and Texas alone have lost access to food thanks to the Republican-backed cuts.
So, the Republican Party is killing off its "followers" by denying them health care and food. But it doesn't stop there.
For "followers" of the Republican Party who are lucky enough to still have access to food, that food might be contaminated with diseases, parasites and other less savory things, because Republicans don't want us to know where our food comes from, or what's in it.
They oppose GMO and country-of-origin labeling laws, which would require all foods to be clearly labeled.
And since Republicans hate regulations, they've cut funding to the food inspection programs that keep us safe from contaminated, and potentially deadly, foods.
Take shrimp for instance.
Nearly 85 percent of the shrimp Americans consume is imported, and much of it is never inspected.
As Jill Richardson over at AlterNet points out, that means that shrimp is making it to the marketplace that all too often is riddled with salmonella, covered in antibiotics or pesticides, or contaminated with neurotoxins.
Not that much different from Jim Jones' cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Yummy.
Republicans are also killing off their "followers" by taking away their homes and jobs, and condemning them to lives of poverty and despair.
They support corporations that lay off millions of American workers each year, and then ship their jobs overseas to the lowest bidder.
And when those millions of Americans get laid off, Republicans refuse to help them survive.
Yesterday, the Senate passed the bipartisan budget deal, but noticeably missing from the deal was the extension of unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans, benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.
Unemployment benefits were left out of the deal because Republicans think unemployment insurance makes Americans dependent and causes them to stop looking for work.
They think that Americans will magically find jobs if they aren't receiving unemployment insurance.
Republicans are drowning in Kool Aid, namely that imbecile, Darrel Issa.
It's now his turn to look stupid after Ted Cruz did a bang up job of doing it.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1053 Dec 24, 2013
Rant!!!!!!!!!!
On December 10, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 332-94 in favor of changes to the federal budget for 2014. The House vote in effect adopted the proposals of the "Joint Congressional Committee," co-chaired by Republican Tea Party House leader Paul Ryan and Senate Democrat Patty Murray. The measure excludes extending benefits for the 1.3 million long-term unemployed. 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats in the House voted for it.
What happened to the Democrats, who promote themselves as representing workers' interests? 163 House Democrats in effect voted to exclude the long-term unemployed from receiving extended benefits. Only 32 voted against the deal.
On December 18, the Senate voted 64-36 in favor of the Ryan/Murphy plan. All 5s Democrats voted “yes,” along with the independent (Bernie Sanders and Angus King). So the cruel and callous exclusion of benefits for the 1.3 million long-term unemployed is now law. The benefit will expire on December 28 for these workers.
Yes, there are promises by the politicians that the issue will be taken up when Congress reconvenes in January. But it faces an uncertain future as the Republicans will make every effort to extract their pound of flesh in order to approve extending unemployment compensation for the long-term unemployed. First, they will demand an "offset" for the $25 billion cost of the program for one year, meaning the probability of cutting other social programs to pay for it. Second, they are likely to make qualifying for the benefit more difficult and onerous. Third, they may well attempt to reduce the amount of the payments. Of course, if the Democrats had been steadfast on behalf of the affected workers during the negotiations that led to final enactment of the budget, there would have been no need for uncertainty on any of these scores, at least in the near term.
So whom else does this new budget deal benefit and whom else does it hurt?
The measure will now be taken up by the Congressional appropriations committee in time for meeting the mid-January 2014 deadline date agreed to last October for adoption of a resolution to provide funding so that the government can continue to function.
The dysfunctionality of the government may have ended temporarily for the corporations, investors, and wealthy Americans -- the 1%-- but it hasn't for the remainder of households, as the details of the recent deal clearly illustrate. Last week's Ryan-Murray "compromise" unambiguously promotes the interests of military corporations and the wealthy at the direct expense of millions of U.S. government workers, millions of unemployed workers, veterans, retirees, tens of millions of Americans on food stamps, and middle-class households in general.
In 2011 House Republicans and the Obama administration agreed to cut $1 trillion in discretionary social spending programs, mostly education, plus another $1.2 trillion in discretionary cuts deferred until 2013. This is called the "sequester," about half of which represented military spending cuts.
Beginning on March 1, 2013, the $1.2 trillion sequester spending cuts were allowed to take full effect for non-military spending, while Pentagon spending cuts called for in the sequester were shielded and offset in various ways by the Obama administration, with the concurrence of Congress. Pentagon spending this past year continued at the $518 billion level (not counting another $100 billion or so for "overseas contingency operations"- i.e., direct war spending).
That both the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate had every intention throughout the past year to restore the military spending cuts called for in the sequester was evident in the House and Senate Budget proposals, both of which called for increasing Pentagon spending to $552 billion in 2014, according to a front-page New York Times article (December 11, 2013).
ZCs

New York, NY

#1054 Dec 24, 2013
Rant!!!!!!!!!!

Earlier this year, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk became a cause célèbre for the Religious Right after he was supposedly relieved of duty for opposing gay marriage; so much so that his tale of victimization was even the focus of an entire panel at the annual Values Voter Summit.

The only problem was that his tale of anti-Christian persecution was false:

The Air Force has found unsubstantiated the claim of a senior master sergeant who said he was reassigned after making known his religious objections to same-sex marriage.

Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, now assigned to the 59th Medical Wing, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, said he was relieved July 26 of his duties as first sergeant of the 326th Training Squadron and forced to take leave because he disagreed with his commanding officer’s position on gay marriage.

The investigation, initiated Aug. 15 by Col. Mark Camerer, 37th Training Wing commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, found the claim unsubstantiated. The investigation also concluded Monk made false official statements, but did not violate Articles 107 or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two,” Camerer said in an Air Education and Training Command release.

“In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights — not religious freedoms,” he said.

Monk was not removed from his position, but rather moved, as scheduled, to another Lackland unit, an assignment he was notified of in April, the release says.

Like so many other right-wing myths, the fact that the central claim is entirely untrue does not in any way stop the Religious Right from repeating it endlessly, as demonstrated by the fact that the Family Research Council has produced a new video featuring Monk claiming that "his punishment was intended to have a chilling effect on service members throughout the military."

"I was the victim here," says the man that a military investigation found repeatedly made false statements about his supposed victimization:
The Great Bass Reeve

New York, NY

#1055 Dec 28, 2013
Rant!!!!!!!!!!

WASHINGTON - More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as extended federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend, with potentially significant implications for the recovering U.S. economy. A tense political battle likely looms when Congress reconvenes in the new, midterm election year.

Nudging Congress along, a vacationing President Obama called two senators proposing an extension to offer his support. From Hawaii, Obama pledged Friday to push Congress to move quickly next year to address the "urgent economic priority," the White House said.

For families dependent on cash assistance, the end of the federal government's "emergency unemployment compensation" will mean some difficult belt-tightening as enrollees lose their average monthly stipend of $1,166.

Jobless rates could drop, but analysts say the economy may suffer with less money for consumers to spend on everything from clothes to cars. Having let the "emergency" program expire as part of a budget deal, it's unclear if Congress has the appetite to start it anew.

An estimated 1.3 million people will be cut off when the federally funded unemployment payments end Saturday.
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1056 Dec 28, 2013
The Great Bass Reeve wrote:
Rant!!!!!!!!!!
WASHINGTON - More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as extended federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend, with potentially significant implications for the recovering U.S. economy. A tense political battle likely looms when Congress reconvenes in the new, midterm election year.
Nudging Congress along, a vacationing President Obama called two senators proposing an extension to offer his support. From Hawaii, Obama pledged Friday to push Congress to move quickly next year to address the "urgent economic priority," the White House said.
For families dependent on cash assistance, the end of the federal government's "emergency unemployment compensation" will mean some difficult belt-tightening as enrollees lose their average monthly stipend of $1,166.
Jobless rates could drop, but analysts say the economy may suffer with less money for consumers to spend on everything from clothes to cars. Having let the "emergency" program expire as part of a budget deal, it's unclear if Congress has the appetite to start it anew.
An estimated 1.3 million people will be cut off when the federally funded unemployment payments end Saturday.
The Republicans lack of action on this is what makes this shameful.
They only care about the wealthy and corporate interests; the ones who buy and peddle influence among them, make generous campaign contributions to their coffers and don't care about middle and low income Americans.
The Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves.
The Great Bass Reeve

New York, NY

#1057 Dec 28, 2013
ILAL wrote:
<quoted text>
The Republicans lack of action on this is what makes this shameful.
They only care about the wealthy and corporate interests; the ones who buy and peddle influence among them, make generous campaign contributions to their coffers and don't care about middle and low income Americans.
The Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves.
And the people should let them know. It is truly a damn shame.
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1058 Dec 28, 2013
The Great Bass Reeve wrote:
<quoted text>
And the people should let them know. It is truly a damn shame.
All of the Republican creeps, scumbags and do nothing obstructionists whose seats are up in 2014, will be tossed out on their asses and rightfully so.
American voters will not forget what they've done.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1059 Dec 28, 2013
Rant!!!!!!!!!!
A couple of weeks ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reemphasized his opposition to extended emergency unemployment benefits in a rather startling way. To continue to provide assistance to these jobless Americans, the Republican senator said, would be to “do a disservice to these workers.” He repeated the line a week later.
In other words, for Rand Paul, cutting off aid to those struggling to find work during a period of high unemployment is actually doing those folks a favor.
He continues to believe this.
Paul, who’s openly considering a bid for president in 2016, said in a Friday interview with NBC News that extending unemployment benefits past 26 weeks will hurt workers – and that paying for it without raising taxes weakens America.
“Does it make sense for our country to borrow money from China to give it to the unemployed in America? That is weakening us as a country,” Paul told NBC News.
It’s important to understand how misguided his argument really is. For one thing, China owns only a small percentage of U.S. debt. For another, there’s no reason policymakers necessarily have to borrow the funds needed to help the unemployed (though borrowing costs are low and it makes perfect economic sense to do so).
But the notion that helping the unemployed “is weakening us as a country” is plainly ridiculous. Will the nation be stronger on Sunday when 1.3 million Americans lose their purchasing power, costing the country as many as 300,000 jobs in 2014?
Indeed, it’s not unreasonable to consider this a binary choice. Under which scenario is the United States better off: helping these 1.3 million jobless or cutting them off? Paul believes the latter, but every shred of evidence points in the opposite direction.
The senator elaborated on his approach during a recent Fox News interview, arguing,“There was a study that came out a few months ago, and it said, if you have a worker that’s been unemployed for four weeks and on unemployment insurance and one that’s on 99 weeks, which would you hire? Every employer, nearly 100 percent, said they will always hire the person who’s been out of work four weeks.”
Ezra Klein did a nice job explaining why this is a “correlation/causation error of staggering size.”
Imagine a study that asked doctors whether they thought a patient who’d been under treatment for a serious illness for four weeks was more or less likely to survive than a patient under treatment for a serious illness for 99 weeks. Of course the doctors would say the patient under treatment for 99 weeks was less likely to survive.
Paul would look at that study and argue for removing the treatment from the patient who’d been sick for 99 weeks. After all, doctors thought it made the patient less likely to survive!
It’s true that these studies exist, and that the long-term unemployed are often stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle. But Paul’s recommended remedy – abandoning those struggling most by cutting off jobless benefits – is truly bizarre given the nature of the problem. Ezra added:
ZCs

New York, NY

#1060 Dec 28, 2013
Continue.

The problem for the long-term unemployed isn’t that their lavish government checks keep them from wanting jobs. It’s that they can’t get jobs – in part because they’re unemployed. And that makes them even less likely to get jobs in the future. The long-term unemployed are slowly becoming unemployable.
The federal government could move aggressively to put them back to work. It could hire them directly as teacher’s aides and park rangers. It could pass a large tax cut for employers who hire new workers and an even larger one for employers who hire the unemployed. It could invest hundreds of billions in infrastructure repair.
Quite right. Policymakers have choices and could take job creation seriously, but instead, Paul believes the nation will be stronger when the unemployed are forced to struggle even more – and his argument is winning thanks to his like-minded allies who currently control the House of Representatives.
The fact that Rand Paul is eager to cut off the unemployed is alarming. The fact that he doesn’t understand the substance of his own argument is considerably worse.
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1061 Dec 28, 2013
ZCs wrote:
Rant!!!!!!!!!!
A couple of weeks ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reemphasized his opposition to extended emergency unemployment benefits in a rather startling way. To continue to provide assistance to these jobless Americans, the Republican senator said, would be to “do a disservice to these workers.” He repeated the line a week later.
In other words, for Rand Paul, cutting off aid to those struggling to find work during a period of high unemployment is actually doing those folks a favor.
He continues to believe this.
Paul, who’s openly considering a bid for president in 2016, said in a Friday interview with NBC News that extending unemployment benefits past 26 weeks will hurt workers – and that paying for it without raising taxes weakens America.
“Does it make sense for our country to borrow money from China to give it to the unemployed in America? That is weakening us as a country,” Paul told NBC News.
It’s important to understand how misguided his argument really is. For one thing, China owns only a small percentage of U.S. debt. For another, there’s no reason policymakers necessarily have to borrow the funds needed to help the unemployed (though borrowing costs are low and it makes perfect economic sense to do so).
But the notion that helping the unemployed “is weakening us as a country” is plainly ridiculous. Will the nation be stronger on Sunday when 1.3 million Americans lose their purchasing power, costing the country as many as 300,000 jobs in 2014?
Indeed, it’s not unreasonable to consider this a binary choice. Under which scenario is the United States better off: helping these 1.3 million jobless or cutting them off? Paul believes the latter, but every shred of evidence points in the opposite direction.
The senator elaborated on his approach during a recent Fox News interview, arguing,“There was a study that came out a few months ago, and it said, if you have a worker that’s been unemployed for four weeks and on unemployment insurance and one that’s on 99 weeks, which would you hire? Every employer, nearly 100 percent, said they will always hire the person who’s been out of work four weeks.”
Ezra Klein did a nice job explaining why this is a “correlation/causation error of staggering size.”
Imagine a study that asked doctors whether they thought a patient who’d been under treatment for a serious illness for four weeks was more or less likely to survive than a patient under treatment for a serious illness for 99 weeks. Of course the doctors would say the patient under treatment for 99 weeks was less likely to survive.
Paul would look at that study and argue for removing the treatment from the patient who’d been sick for 99 weeks. After all, doctors thought it made the patient less likely to survive!
It’s true that these studies exist, and that the long-term unemployed are often stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle. But Paul’s recommended remedy – abandoning those struggling most by cutting off jobless benefits – is truly bizarre given the nature of the problem. Ezra added:
He's against extending unemployment benefits just as he's against raising the minimum wage, but he's all for the $4 BILLION subsidy given to big oil, an industry that is profitable and not in need of government assistance.

Since: Oct 12

Location hidden

#1062 Dec 28, 2013
ILAL wrote:
<quoted text>
The Republicans lack of action on this is what makes this shameful.
They only care about the wealthy and corporate interests; the ones who buy and peddle influence among them, make generous campaign contributions to their coffers and don't care about middle and low income Americans.
The Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Republican's will never run outta reasons to feel shame.....but, i am not completely sold on this being one of them.....Job openings are currently at a five-year high...layoffs are at their lowest, since before 2001.....The number of people this effects is less than one third of one percent of our total population......We, need to quit being the party of government assistance, and this may be that crossroads....Do you disagree?
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1063 Dec 31, 2013
Go Blue Forever wrote:
<quoted text> Republican's will never run outta reasons to feel shame.....but, i am not completely sold on this being one of them.....Job openings are currently at a five-year high...layoffs are at their lowest, since before 2001.....The number of people this effects is less than one third of one percent of our total population......We, need to quit being the party of government assistance, and this may be that crossroads....Do you disagree?
I totally agree with you on not being the party of government assistance, only for those who truly need it; the elderly, disabled and those needing a hand up while trying to get work, not bums looking to make a career out of government help.
Clinton's welfare reform was one of the best things he could have done, it got able bodied individuals off their duff and contribute to American society rather than take.
On extending unemployment benefits, it should happen, there's many right now having a tough time seeking work and they are the ones who always worked and recently laid off for whatever reason.
Republicans need to get up to speed on the current reality, not their imagination without talking to their constituents.

Since: Oct 12

Location hidden

#1064 Dec 31, 2013
ILAL wrote:
<quoted text>
I totally agree with you on not being the party of government assistance, only for those who truly need it; the elderly, disabled and those needing a hand up while trying to get work, not bums looking to make a career out of government help.
Clinton's welfare reform was one of the best things he could have done, it got able bodied individuals off their duff and contribute to American society rather than take.
On extending unemployment benefits, it should happen, there's many right now having a tough time seeking work and they are the ones who always worked and recently laid off for whatever reason.
Republicans need to get up to speed on the current reality, not their imagination without talking to their constituents.
There was a work requirement to Clinton's welfare reform that has been dropped.....wonder why that happened? Generational welfare, of all types is a huge problem.....
ZCs

New York, NY

#1065 Jan 11, 2014
RANT!!!!!!!!!!

I’m freezing in Chicago. Meanwhile, in Washington, Republicans say they won’t extend emergency unemployment benefits unless their cost is offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.

But they won’t even consider offsetting the cost by closing tax loopholes for the rich — such as the “carried interest” loophole that gives hedge-fund and private-equity partners an annual $11 billion tax subsidy, almost twice the cost of extending unemployment benefits.

Put this in a larger context and see the pattern:

(1) Not only do they oppose extending unemployment benefits, but (2) they oppose any jobs program to put the long-term unemployed to work,(3) they want to cut food stamps,(4) they refuse to raise the minimum wage, and (5) they’re determined to kill off unions.

Connect the dots and you have a calculated strategy to keep wages as low as possible — forcing large numbers of Americans to choose between working for peanuts or having nothing at all.

Republicans are pushing this strategy because lower wages give their big-business patrons fatter profits (at least in the short term; longer term, they reduce overall demand for goods and services).

The strategy is already succeeding: Real median household incomes are now 4.4 percent below what they were at the start of the so-called recovery, and corporate profits are up.

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