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As the weeks sneak past, the cry of the unemployed becomes fainter and fainter.  It’s official. The Republicans won. They were right; we were wrong. For them, indeed, it was a good political move. They were right. Everyone cares about money saved; no one cares about people anymore, even those suddenly destitute, hit almost without warning.

I guess since there are no stories out there now of what it is like to have no money, the Republican got it right about our concern over the long term unemployed. Those unemployment checks were going to freeloaders and as soon as the money quit, they all got jobs.  At least that is what one would certainly think, from the silence, from the complete lack of stories, lack of diaries, or even lack of pleas to get something moving again on the assisting the unemployed.  It’s like the Republicans said “no”, and that was it… no more long term unemployment… Gravy train—> over… Back to work you scum….

Who would have expected it could have worked out this well?  Certainly no one I know.  We are all shell-shocked that any concern for these fellow citizens has just gone, evaporated. It appears that people are indeed, despite their lip-service, privately tired ot those lazy, cheapskates, mooching off the public dole, and that, though they say “tisk, tisk, you shouldn’t cut them”, there simply is no heart in them anymore to treat people more humanely than say, corporations….

Just out of curiosity over how this could be so, how we could have been so wrong, I wanted to crunch numbers for myself to see if it was true.

It is estimated that there are 4 million workers who are over 26 weeks unemployed. As of December 28th, there were 1.3 million who would lose benefits.   That would be week zero of the crises.  From December 29th through January 4th.  70,000 more were Immediately dropped high and dry. Then the following week, January 5th through the 11th,  another 70,000 tumbled off the roles.. The week following, January 12th through the 18th, 70,000 more…. Last Saturday, saw the grand total rise by another 70,000 people…. We have now gone a full month, at four times 70,000 and have added 280,000 more destitute families to our national roster….  1.58 million families are facing their own personal Grapes of Wrath… In the silence of public outcry, Republicans just laugh and laugh while they swim in the Congressional pool and wipe their clean butts now with clean towels, (now that the sequester and shutdowns are over)….

What’s the effect of all this?  I do Federal Budgets so these numbers are small to me… What’s a million?.  Chump change…  or  1 X 10^-12  or 0.000000000001 of my problems….It is so small it is very hard to visualize the human cost.  It is far easier to visualize the dollars saved.. The initial cut saved approximately . $ 397 million  ($306 listed as the average unemployment check amount)… Each subsequent week that total climbs as 70,000 X $306 or $21,420,000 gets added to the amount the Republicans are saving America….So as of last week, January 25th the chart of weekly savings looks like this….

  • $397 million  as of January 4th
  • $418 million as of January 11th
  • $440 million as of January 18th
  • $461 million as of January 25th.

Total saved America courtesy of the Republicans of the United States of America is… $1.76 billion dollars! Roughly one thousandth of our budget….

The total number of people claiming unemployment benefits in all programs for the week ending January 4 was 3,706,087, a decrease of 1,003,734 from the previous week. There were 5,659,482 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.

Hats off to them.  They saved money by taking care of a problem Democrats were too squeamish to handle.  Why have extended unemployment at all?  There was no where else that money could be saved, and it was time those lazy, useless freeloaders went back to work anyways.   There is no where else to make up that money.

For last month they already let tax breaks expire for college tuitions.  That’s been done; $4 billion saved.. Last month they let teachers writing-off their classroom expenses, expire.  That saved almost a billion.  No mortgage insurance premiums can be now be deducted. That saved over $5 billion dollars.  If you lived in a state with no sales tax, where you used to be able to deduct state and local sales taxes, .. you can’t now. Savings of $16 billion. The mortgage-modification tax break expired… meaning if your home was under water,  and you got relief from a bank, you get taxed on the amount of relief, thousands more than you can afford….  Got to love those Republicans, saving America money..

And of course no one can make changes to these tax breaks... The Cato Institute estimates that direct  federal subsidies to corporations costs taxpayers almost $100 billion every year. Furthermore, the tax code gives corporations special tax-breaks which reduced what is supposed to be a 35 percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually,,, Likewise, special tax breaks for hedge fund managers allowing them to pay only 15% rate?  (This is the break where the multimillionaire manager pays less of a percentage in taxes than her secretary). Estimates are that this costs taxpayers $83 billion annually and 68% of those who receive this special tax break earn far more than $462,500 per year (the top one percent of earners).

So Republicans are laughing all the way to the bank.  None of their money was touched, and $1.6 billion was saved on the backs of people who apparently live inside the cone of silence… I don’t hear outrage anymore, do you?

After all, what they did all those freeloaders, was apparently a favor. They finally got them off their ass and made them get a job. No lazy asses in a Republican-run world.. Bring on 2014…

They did all get a job, right? No one is saying anything to the contrary, so surely, they all got a job, right? All you have to do is walk up to a business and say, “I need a job” and they give it to you on the spot, right? Of course, right? Isn’t that how it’s done on TV sitcoms? If you need a job, you just go out and get one. Like Drake and Josh? So, everybody is now working, right, except those lazy butts whose long term still has not run out!

Let’s look. Here is the unemployment table for December 2013….

  • A)  According to the BLS 37.7% or over one third of all our unemployed are over 27 weeks…
  • B)  24.4% or one fourth land a job in 4 weeks and start in 5…
  • C)  Another quarter or 24.4% get a job their second month… that’s up to 8 weeks between jobs.
  • D)  The remaining 16% or one seventh of the unemployed, get their replacement job somewhere between the 3rd and 6th month….
  • It is the first third, or 37.7%,  who will lose benefits…. They are the losers….

“These had better get off their sasses, get over to Burger King, and start flipping (cooking) burgers.” (actual statement by Congressman on Budget Committee). So are they?

The advanced number for seasonally-adjusted insured-unemployment during the week ending January 11, was 3,056,000, an increase of 34,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,022,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,939,000, an increase of 31,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,908,000.

What? Unemployment claims are rising? That can’t be. People should be going back to work, not more people getting laid off! How will those long-term people now with no income, courtesy of the laughing House Republicans, get all those jobs they were supposed to walk in, demand, and get? You say there are now even more unemployed?

December’s unemployment for the month, was at a 6.7 %… The last monthly rate below 6.7% occurred in October 2008... the month after Lehman collapsed. (Amazing this Obama)  Unemployment is almost at pre-recession levels. But wait! Something must be wrong… 1 million unemployment claims just disappeared overnight on December 28th… What jobs did they all get? Burger King?

January’s jobs data is embargoed until February 7th…. But based off of December’s estimates, here is what HAS to happen for Republican wet dreams to come true. Over the course of last year, across all of 2013, the ranks of the long-term unemployment declined by 897,000. For Republican dreams to materialize, this month of, January 2014, total employment must rise by 1.58 million workers or by a total equal to all those left unpaid by long term employment…. For the record, that would be a 60% increase in one single month, over the entire past year’s hirings decreasing the totals of the long-term unemployed….

It probably won’t happen.

Since the unemployed usually spend all their check each week, the economy for January just toof a hit of $1.67 billion dollars from the lack of money these unemployed would have spent.. Most of that was felt immediately in retail. Retail just hired 55,000 new hires in December. I hope most still have jobs.

One further factor which sort of smudges up the calculations, making things not so clear cut, … is the the huge number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) which has remained essentially unchanged at 7.8 million through December. These individuals who are working part time because their hours have been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

I expect this to probably be where most of the absorption of the ex-communicated long termed unemployed will be found…..

Now so far, all I’ve talked about is money. But being unemployed is much more. It is about people…Human beings less fortunate than you or I, but, at a moment’s notice, at the whim of a boss and having no protections, we know we could be there too.(let’s hope the swirling rumors over HSBC’s imminent Lehman-sized collapse, aren’t true.)

How does one possibly show the human cost that this Republican obstinance is doing to the optimism, and the pride of this nation, the United States of America? Many of you are too young to remember this image ingrained in us,  but try to imagine a map of the United States of America and that it is under attack by nuclear weapons… When a strike hits, a white circle flashes on the map showing each lost city….

December 28th 2013….. San Diego…… Gone…… 1.3 million people.
January 4th 2014….. Wilmington Delaware…. gone… 70,000 people
January 11th 2014….. Canton, Ohio…… gone…. 70,000 people.
January 18th 2014….. Rapid City SD … gone…. 70,000 people.
January 25th 2014….. Scranton PA…… gone…. 70,000 people.

If these were real nukes dropping on our fellow citizens, launched by a sub-class of our fellow citizens, would we still be as silent, afraid to step out of line and express concern over fear of how we’d look to our corporate bosses and the snitches we work beside, and just shrug off the laughing Boehner and Cantor as they dry off with clean white cotton towels in the U.S House of Representatives members-only pool? I’m worried the answer is yes.

Well, guess what? There is something you can do. Act. Stop waiting. Do something. Act. Phone. Email. Text… Just act and tell your friends to act too.

Addendum: I saw this afterwards… it’s so ironic. After snuggly bashing the Soviets for years (and I was good at it) as being softly inferior to us tough, old capitalists, I with pure admiration today see their progeny in the squares of Ukraine, who won’t accept injustice lying down, who won’t see their dreams arbitrarily squelched, who won’t let something just get taken away from them because that entity is so powerful and distant, it seems senseless to contest it… I see them, and I say… wow, we really suck as human beings.. What is wrong with us?

And then I again see by the pool, Boehner and Cantor, just gaffawing away at us timid Democrats… Oh well. I guess that is how it goes. Sigh.

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I apologize to all. i too was lulled by press reports that led me to think we could coast two months without resolving the fiscal cliff. I just read data otherwise. I did not know that the debt ceiling fell on December 31. I have been lulled into thinking it wasn’t until February that it became due.

That is because the press assumed that since we got through two months of stopgaps last time, we can do it again.

There is the possibility that we can. But what scares me are the scenarios which portend we will not.

The debt ceiling crises is like a cancer. The United States of America is the patient. We know that at some point the cancer will be so advanced it will be untreatable; after which it will become too pervasive and it will win. We could walk into the cancer center right now, and say “let’s get this started”, and know that we will come out ok. Although we don’t know for sure, the predictions are that our point of no return is at the end of February. If we are wrong, and the cancer unbeknownst to us is too rampant, it will win.

Our huge problem is that we need a consensus to get ourselves into the cancer treatment center. And one party whose vote is required, will not vote yes, because they believe only in medicine proscribed by witch doctors. They will not consider to committing the patient for medical treatment, until a witch doctor has been brought in from deepest Africa to perform his rituals…. That one small contingent believes in mystical witchcraft so much, they refuse to allow medical treatment.

Of course when the line of death approaches and all others remain adamant that saving the country is more important than proving the existence of witchcraft, we assume they will give in….

The real question is whether or not we can get them to commit before it becomes too late….

If not, the Tea Party contingent of the Republican Party of the United States of America, will have signed our nations death warrant.

I know a lot of people raise hell over every crisis in order to promote their argument. I’m always the cool headed one. Simply put, we are now in a minefield because all markets are maxed out, because leverage is off the scale, because the treasury can’t help, so that if the markets were to fall because of the threat of a credit downgrade, there will be no bottom. The financial system as we know it, will be no more….

Today’s Tea Party in the House of Representatives is the metaphorical equivalent of putting 4th Graders in control of our nuclear arsenal… There is still a good possibility that they will act rationally and all will go ok; nothing catastrophic will happen.. But should they not, the results will not be a little minor blip….

Nothing…….

If someone downloads a Hollywood movie or television series…. is that a loss of profit for a Movie studio?

They would like you to think so…

But most people download movies because they do not have the money to otherwise spend.

Therefore, they would never buy that product …. If it were not available, they would just do without…..

Today, everyone has access to a computer. There is no market for movies copyied on CD and sold on the black market. There is no money in downloaded movies. They are worthless entities…

What the availability of downloaded movies actually do, is to effectively market that product.

How often have you been in a group of strangers with time to kill and get stuck searching cable for a movie?

Do you trust the reviews, obviously slanted so you pick their product, or do you listen to other people and pick one that they have seen and say is good?

You know that answer.

One day soon it will be proven. The reason profits of movies studios and the entertainment industries are up, is because of the ability to “globally” upload movies on the internet…. More people now (or did) have access to “Hollywood” across this globe than ever before… Theoretically, even if one out of ten viewers later buys the product after testing it, that is a boon for movie moguls. Don’t ever think anyone in the Third World will buy without first testing.

Without such glowing reviews from our peers, when it comes to fluffy entertainment, …. we will prefer to spend our hard money on more worthwhile causes.

As a concerned citizen, I am beginning to accept that a boycott of Hollywood until charges against MegaUpload are dismissed … is exactly the precise action that is needed…..

After all, “Hollywood Jobs are at stake.”…..

The recession has popped a lot of dreams… It has forced a re-evaluation of priorities. It has put reality in the forefront.

So wiping off the table of everything, everything, and sitting down to a blank space, and asking myself, … what do I want, by the time I die.

It is:

A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement,”

After watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” you can be sure it can’t happen on a Republican’s watch….. For that dream to happen, we need protection from corporations and Big Money; not giving them more and more of what we make.

We need more money funneled away from big business, to be reinvested into the Middle Class… Since they haven’t done it voluntarily, we’ll have to force it.

Republicans can’t force anyone to do anything. They are putz’s. It will take a government of all Democrats to make Americans who die, at least die happy that they were able to secure:

“A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement”.

Call it temporary insanity but let’s pretend, let’s just say, …that at one moment in time, if I chose to donate my youth out for my country, to be compensated back in the form of low pay; to completely and unjudgingly offer my fate up to the will of bureaucrats, all for the loss of my own self esteem, all for unending stretches of boredom, sparsed with interludes of a few intense seconds, that fortunately thorough my reactions and training, enabled me to continue living as I do today………….

I could reasonably be expected to be honored for that service to my nation, right?

In a perfect world, that is….

One would think, that in a perfect world, as needs were being debated across the universe of public funding, that a hierarchy resembling this, would sort of be the guideline, if not the rule?

National Heroes…..

over

We, The People…..

over

LLC corporations….

After all, if it weren’t for us, there’s a good chance those LLC. corporations wouldn’t be able to do business in a free and prosperous society, you would think?….

One would think, that if one of these heroes needed medical care, with the tremendous amounts of money being thrown away by our government daily, in the forms of corporate tax breaks enabling corporations to make “record breaking profits”…. that they would be put at the top of the list.. don’t you think?

Sorry, CEO… your operation will have to wait… We have a veteran who is in dire need ahead of you….

In a perfect world….

One would think, that a voucher system would be in place, or a blank check, where any veteran could walk into any hospital, and get immediate, necessary medical attention, have his prescriptions filled as a privilege for his service, and that the bill would be willing be paid by those with monetary resources more than adequate for their own needs?

One would think, (right?)… that it would be CEO’s, those who give pink slips so they can break profit records, those who cut benefits so they can break profit records, those who don’t invest in America so they can break record profits, ….who should be the ones finding themselves regulated to CEO hospitals, where they would then have to settle in on a waiting list for the next opening to occur, where they had to endure budget cutbacks and go without life-saving medicine because there was no money left in the CEO fund, perhaps because it had all gone to Veterans to pay THEIR expenses?

In a perfect world…..

In a perfect world, veterans would need no freebies…. They would not need welfare, or a pension, or a humble stipend to eke an existence… They would be working, contributing to society, in any way they could… If they had no legs, they would be outfitted at corporate’s expense, so that would not be an issue… If they had no arms, they could be outfitted at corporate’s expense so that was not an issue. If they had psychological damage, (and who wouldn’t?) they could be treated at corporate’s expense… so that was not an issue.

If they were so badly damaged that they create an efficiency drain on society, they could be honored for their sacrifice, and a useful voluntary capacity could be created to honor that commitment once made so long ago… Perhaps speaking about serving one’s country in every class, in every school, in every county? Can you think of any better civic’s lesson?

There’s a lot that can be done…

The problem is that veterans are deemed as just another expense…. Because to corporate America, that is just what they are… An expense, an obligation to be met that gets in the way of their making more money…

Unfortunately, our Congress is owned by Corporate America….

What should and does need to happen, is this relationship needs to be exposed. We need to call them out on it…

Republicans and Democrats are both complicit in allowing corporate raiders this unprecedented power. But Republicans are the symbol of Corporate America. Republicans are the ones who championed the Corporate Takeover. Republicans are the ones who dismanteled the safeguards that had been put in place to prevent that takeover from happening. That is why they need to go. Disappear… Whoever is left, the remainder, most likely after seeing the elimination of a large majority of their peers, will think twice before following their Dark Lord, now a soul less wanderer eking existence.. ……

In a perfect world…

Unfortunately, today we need to contend with obscene amounts of money saying Corporate is Good; Government Fairness is Bad….

But we have our lives telling us the opposite… It will take courage and strong will, to override all the overload of sensory data being pipelined into our soul, but we still have hearts, and those hearts are attuned to what makes America special. great, and the best place to live on this earth….

WE can still dream….

And those dreams should include a perfect world… one we CAN make happen, at least for those without whom we would not have the freedom, the resources, the nation, we have today….

Here’s to a perfect world?

First it was Donald Trump’s amateur fillies… now it’s the professionals… Delaware has lost twice to California…

In the Ms USA pagent, Delaware’s own Katie Hanson, lost to Ms California who naturally, took the crown… When it came to Thoroughbreds, Delaware did a little better……

Delaware’s Havre De Grace, took the lead and California’s blind luck, just came up in time for the wire.

Even when he drew even with Havre de Grace, Gomez said he was unsure Blind Luck was going to get past her.

“We came up to her and she fought back,” her rider, Gomez said. “I thought I might be in a little trouble. But with this filly, as soon as you pull her out and she pins her ears back, she accelerates in two jumps.”

It was all the horse…..
“My horse dragged me to the front, and turning for home she gave me all she had and really kept on digging,” said Dominguez, who was the dominant rider at Delaware Park when he rode there from 2003-2008. “It was just a head bob and the other filly got up just in time.”

The final time of 2:01.28 was the fastest running of the Del Cap since Unbridled Belle’s 2:01.16 in 2006.

It may seem unfair that “great big ole California” beats out the state with the fewest number of counties (only 3) … but, if you compare populations, the simple fact that quite often Delaware and California are pitted neck to neck just before the final wire, it is fair to say that with California’s population of 37,253,956 versus Delaware’s of 897,934 it takes roughly 41.49 Californians, to match up to and equal one Delawarean….. 🙂

We may be small, but we ARE tough!

There is no better time for a federally elected legislator, than the State of the Union address… It’s the one time they taste the luster of government’s pageantry.

Delaware’s newest senator’s “date for the evening” was Arkansas’ newest senator, Senator Boozman (R). Mr. Coons was dressed for the occasion in what looked like a forest green jacket, and a red tie… Christmas in January.

Although this was Mr. Coons first time, officially at a State of the Union, his Republican “date” had been there 6 times before as a Congressman.

They spent barely a half hour getting to know each other, before heading down the aisle together…. Unfortunately, Senator Boozman mispredicted. Too many congressional delegate, way more than normal, had shown up to hear the nation’s executive, leaving too few seats for the two of them.

Mr. Boozman graciously gave his seat to Mr. Coons, and settled for standing against the back wall for most of the speech.

Senator Boozman particularly liked the new bi-partisan seating arrangements and the muted hostility, different from the years before.

“I actually got to listen to the speech,” he was overheard saying. “It was great, not having to jump up and down every few minutes like a Jack-in-the-box.”

(It is this commentator’s opinion, for that one fact alone, this is probably one of the best State of the Union experiences he’s witnessed over the past 16 years.)

One Black, One White, One Orange
photo courtesy of (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Congratulations are in order to the Dutch company ING for successfully being the first corporation, since last January’s Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vrs. FEC, to get their corporate advertising as a backdrop to the President’s State of the Union.Speech…..

One black, one white, one Orange.

U.S. staff in embassies around the world were ordered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to obtain frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even iris scans, fingerprints and DNA of foreign officials.

Can you imagine the innocent picking a dangling hair off an others sweater is not as innocent as it looks?

Soon all diplomacy will be across a giant screen as typified in Star Trek, to prevent the spread of DNA information. Why do we need DNA?

To make lookalike clones which we can insert in their place, … of course.

Today there was a lot of discussion over the Democrats chances in future elections… Someone this morning on the Al Mascitti show, likened it to the Colts-Jets playoff game….

For a while, it looked like the Colts were outclassed… But somehow they regrouped and came back, passed the Jets, and never looked back….

The fear is that the Democrats instead will act like the Vikings… First poised to win, then create enough turnovers to allow a squeaker of a loss…. again.

The difference between the two scenarios, is attitude. The Colts, executed beautifully, and got things done… The Vikings didn’t.

Everyone agrees the election is the Democrats to lose. There is not a Republican out there who is a decent candidate… Some will run, but if they win, it is because the Democrats did not fight hard enough to stop them….

Here is why a Republican can’t win. Voters remember.

Republican policy caused our economic woes today. Republican policy took money from the middle class, and slid it upwards to the upper crust. Republican policy, rewarded the removal of our jobs overseas… Republican policy, made profits more important than people. Republican policy, moved our government from the Democrats pay as you go plan, to having our grandchildren go pay for our excesses. Republican policy allowed for deregulated derivatives. Republican policy allowed for AIG to pretend to insure investments, but instead spend the money on themselves… Republican policy, added the prescription plan to Medicare, without finding any way to pay for it… After we are dead, the bill comes due for our children and grandchildren.

Republicans will say that life was good during the Bush years… Hell, my life would be great too if I could spend whatever I wanted and have my children pay the bills…. But unlike Republicans, I know that is unrealistic… I know that sooner or later the bills come due.

We are fortunate that when they came due, a Democrat was in charge. We are fortunate that Democrats control both houses… We are unfortunate, however, that since the Republicans collapsed the hedging house of cards they built with our money, the money required to fix it must come from somewhere… We have none here now; we have to borrow it from our future. Today, Republicans want to cut all services which have no benefit to the wealthy, to pay for the excesses they spent on themselves when they controlled both houses..

When reminded of this, voters will remember… The Clinton Days are a fond distant memory… Back then we had peace, we had international respect, we had prosperity, and all of us were making far more money than we ever were before…

Nothing has changed: Democrats build. Republican tear down.

So we don’t need to be panicky over the news of one week. Yeah, some mistakes were made, but being panicky, as the Vikings found out, creates more… Better to say… “ho, hum… we can do this; it’s business as usual…” and continue to make life better for those who do vote, such as stimulate their economy, cut their health care costs, lower their energy costs, give them a job, lower their credit card charges, remover their bank fees, make it cheaper and easier to get their loan, drop their gasoline into the dollar range…. Those priorities are what they need to focus on….

They are our government. They can just do it. They don’t need anyone’s permission…. We elected Democrats to undo the Republican’s mess and make our lives more like the good years of the 90’s. They need to do it…. They don’t need to ask Republicans for permission.

Because their days are numbered. Republicans don’t have a chance in hell… You can have the best well dressed candidate, who says the right things, who proclaims themselves to be one of the people, and all it takes to deflate their balloon, if for one single person to stand up at a town meeting, and say… ” Sir/ Madame: The policies you are advocating cost my mother in law half of her savings… She has half of what she would have had if your party hadn’t tinkered with a thing...”

Suddenly everyone realizes… “hey, I lost half my savings too….”

Republicans are dead in the water…. The only way they have a remote chance in hell of winning is if we’re panicky, and they’re not… My prediction is that with all the evidence on our side, and everyone (who didn’t listen to me) still wheeling from a loss of 50% of their retirement plan… it will be the Republicans who are panicky, and not everyone else…….

We just have to calm down and let that prediction come true on its own…..