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July 6, 2010 - by Moshe Bildner

With the House and Senate both out of session until Friday, July 9th for their “Summer District Work Periods,” it’s been a comparatively slow week for news on Congress. Here are some links to hold you over until next week, when Congress gets back to work and things pick up a bit.

  • There may be more left-right agreement on stimulus spending than meets the eye, at least outside of Congress. (Ezra Klein)
  • Eugene Robison says that members of Congress are too busy trying to spin the unemployment insurance situation to actually do something about it. (WaPo)
  • Pressure is mounting for Governor Manchin to appoint himself to fill Robert Byrd’s Senate seat.  Senator Byrd died on June 28, 2010, and his seat in the Senate has not yet been filled.  (NYTimes blog)
  • Obama blames Republicans for lapsed benefits in his weekly radio address. (AOL News)
  • Seven senators have written a letter to President Obama asking for White House input and support for their new cybersecurity bill.  (The Hill)
  • In total, the financial reform bill calls for 68 new government studies, some warranted and others the result of lobbyists watering down statutory language. (Washington Independent)
  • Brian Beutler outlines a perspective on the financial reform bill that he says has some traction in D.C. — it may be too good at stopping future bailouts and, hence, lead to a major economic collapse. (TPMDC)
  • Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA] is liking what he’s seeing on the final financial reform bill. (The Hill)
  • Dean Baker argues that TARP was not necessary: "[not passing TARP] would have meant the demise of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and most of the other Wall Street titans, but probably would not have led to a qualitatively worse economic situation for the rest of us than what we actually saw. (CEPR).
  • Companies are already finding creative ways to get around the House’s July 3 ban on earmarks for for-profit companies.  (NYTimes)
  • Congress ha reauthorized the National Flood Insurance program, which has been inactive since May 31. (First Coast News)
  • Congressional incumbents try to capitalize on anti-incumbency sentiment (The Swamp).
  • Govtrack is announcing a summer citizen reporter contest. Get a video interview with your Rep. or Sen. and win some money (GovTrack)
  • 12 horribly designed government websites. (Information Week)
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Comments

  • Chris51 07/06/2010 8:10pm

    Eugene Robinson from Washington Post, the story on Unemployment Emergency is right on the money http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/05/AR2010070502658.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    We need to make the politician that we are paying to run our country “At Will Employees”, starting with these Senators. When we start doing performance evaluations on each individual and holding them accountable to their resposibilities, then we can fire them and bring in people with work integrity that will work to find 100% solutions for the biggest problems Americans face… Unemployment, Wall Street Greed, etc.

  • fanofjims 07/07/2010 5:14am

    To me I believe we have hit the stage in American history where there are no true “for the people” polititions. The greed of this country among those who run it is obvious and has been for quite some time. When over 5 million people are told to wait for help while Senators making 174,000.00 a year play political chess so one party looks better than another just before elections says it all. Not only did they close down a day early, but broken down they each made about 4,000.00 for their PAID week off. Then a few of these senators made durogatory comments about those who lost their jobs. This really shows the mentality and human compassion of those making decisions for us all. Last week when the unemployment extention decision kept failing, my local news medias didn’t even mention it. I had to look up recent events on the internet.
    Are they afraid the Chaos Theory is coming—They Should Be—

  • desperatentx 07/07/2010 5:33am

    here i am again finding myself in deeper debt than ive ever been while my country is living life as if it has no worries. how many of you feel youre sitting in a dark empty cold room and hear the sounds of people laughing and carrying on? my daughter will soon have her 3rd birthday, family and friends will be handing her gifts and i know shell turn to me waiting for me to hand her a gift…..my heart might as well be torn out of my ashamed, tired, worthless body!!!!! i continue to pray for good health, strength, family, and sanity for myself along with everyone who is in the same situation im in. i also pray for job and an extension until a job comes up…..this country can no longer let us down, we need you now more than ever!!! the 12th seems as if it will never get here! how many of us can continue this battle, really?

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/11/2010 9:32am

    Governer Machin like most Americans. He wants to preserve the job he has(Politician), and advance his career. He is probably making decisions by listening to political power and money. Does anyone really think he or any of the SENATORS who have stood in the way of passing Unemployment Insurance Extension to the millions who need it, are losing any sleep?

    The worse SENATORS are the ones who are probably lining their pockets big time right now by being the one vote that completely blocks UI Bills from passing. That would probably be Senators like Ben Nelson and Jim Bunning on the obvious ungly corrupt Senator list.

    The millions of ordinary Americans that have been forced into unemployment lines may not have very much money, or even empathy from other fellow employed Americans at this point, but you have the power of your vote in November. Take names, and make sure you make it to that appointment.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/11/2010 9:13pm

    FreedomWorks(Tea Party) has big money donations. Oil&Gas Industry Special Interest group contribute 80%+ to Republicans. Koch Industry lead in contributions. Senators will be listen to them, not the cries of the average Americans. Here are donation recorded. The unemployed dont have Lobbyist and Special Interest groups. This is how it appears for Democrats and millions of average Americans. NO MONEY, NO VOICE, NO CRUMS.

    Total individual contributions by party, 1989-2010
    The following individuals contributed at least $50,000 to federal candidates and parties during one or more election cycles while affiliated with the organization. Based on data released by the FEC on June 13, 2010
    Koch, Charles&Elizabeth Total $494,700 Soft Money $0 Democrats $1,500 Republicans $298,200 Democrates 0% Republicans 60%
    Koch, David&Julia Total $2,009,095 Soft Money $1,222,500 Democrats $0 Republicans $1,911,095 Democrats 0% Republicans 95%

  • skrapper 07/07/2010 1:13pm

    I feel your pain,,, I have lost everything, and now back in the same boat again this time with the husband.
    You can dial 211 on your phone, and if you get threw it will be THE UNITED WAY. They can help you out with answers to all your questions. Make sure you have a pen and paper you will need it. Also contact your local St Vincent De Paul, they can help with utilities and more. I’m sure you can get a gift for your daughter there, Google Angel Food Ministries. $30.00 gets you $60.00 in food.
    They are all over the country. Hang in there, we all are.

  • Comm_reply
    desperatentx 07/07/2010 1:45pm

    thank you skrapper…i will try 211 and see what they can help with…ive never depended on anyone or any assistance i feel like im at the bottom of the barrel but im going to do what i have so that my children and myself can survive….im so ashamed….thanks again!!

  • Comm_reply
    DyinInATL 07/09/2010 12:15am

    Hi skrapper," thanks for the info you posted. I don’t know what I’m going to do, like millions of others. I pray all the time, I feel, and I’m hanging on a weak limb, especially mentally. I’m singe, no children and everyone here in my county in Georgia said there is nothing for me because of that. Do you happen to know if that is true. I’ve never been in this situation. And I’ve never been seriously depressed. Just wanted to thank you for the information you posted.

  • Comm_reply
    skrapper 07/09/2010 1:10pm

    DyininATL:
    I don’t no the law for every state. but I do no if you have been laid off, and there are no funds, then you are entitled to aid. Kids or not. Yes it’s true with kids you will get more money… But you are entitled to food stamps, help with your utilities, and medical in your state. “If you apply and they give you a hard time, tell them they are full of something! You need help and want it, don’t take no for a answer” You will have to fight for what you want.
    211 is free! dial it if it goes threw, it’s available in your area. Talk to them, they can help with allot. St. Vincent De Paul will pay your shut off notices for up to 1 year. “Some are helping with RENT” Check them out.
    Google Angel food Miniseries there for everyone. They show their monthly menu and price. Food is always double the amount, compared to price… Hope this helps. GL.

  • Comm_reply
    DyinInATL 07/10/2010 11:51pm

    Thank you so much! I just have gotten on the computer to read. Trying to stay strong. I appreciate all of the info you listed. I will check everthing out!!! Thanks so much!!!

  • skrapper 07/07/2010 1:53pm

    Don’t be ashamed at all… That number 211 was designed for us, the people that have been laid off. If you can not get through, Call the United Way in your area. They might be able to help. But try 211. Medication, Food, Dept Consolidation, what ever you can think of even help with free Medical care.
    You are Welcome, and our Country won’t help us so we have to help each other. So spread the word. Good Luck.

  • skrapper 07/07/2010 2:35pm

    It’s a hand up! Not a hand out!!

  • Comm_reply
    desperatentx 07/07/2010 2:56pm

    ok i’ll try to look at it that way…i did start on a food program and didnt think of it til late june after realizing i had only recieved $200 for the whole month of june….i was too caught up in keeping up with the extention everything else went right passed me. but it is taking them a while to let me know whats going on…im trying to be patient but again its easier said than done….and yes i will spread the word and thank you so much again!!! God bless you!!!

  • Chris51 07/07/2010 9:03pm

    CNN has actually screened and blocked several comments/blogs that expose the truth about the Republican Senators in regards to the UI Ext bills.

    Here are some stories written with very accurate reporting of the UI Ext Crisis.

    The unemployment emergency
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/05/AR2010070502658.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    Senate struggles with unemployment benefits
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Tax-VOX/2010/0707/Senate-struggles-with-unemployment-benefits

    Calls to Suicide Hotlines Skyrocket Along with Unemployment
    http://uspoverty.change.org/blog/view/calls_to_suicide_hotlines_skyrocket_along_with_unemployment

  • Comm_reply
    Kerlynne 07/08/2010 11:50am

    THEY BLOCKED IT????

  • firestorm145 07/08/2010 9:19am

    We cannot afford to wait for the passing of the extension until a replacement is set up for Senator Byrd. They said it may take a week or two. We need the help now. The americans need the extension now. Too many people are losing everything and contemplationg suicide because of this wait. Pass it now

  • Comm_reply
    DyinInATL 07/09/2010 3:33am

    @ firestorm145 – You are absolutely right in your post. And I am very saddened and ashamed that I have called several “hotlines” this week and am probably going in-patient later today. Who ever knew. Prayers. Prayers for EVERYONE.

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 9:32am

    Read and sign this petition on Change.org today if you agree.

    Petition Title: Tell your Senators to vote for an emergency extension of UI Benefits.

    http://uspoverty.change.org/blog/category/employment_unemployment

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 5:59pm

    Senator’s excuse for not passing is a false statement.
    Read all about it:
    The funding argument is even harder to swallow. I’d be more sympathetic with these new converts to fiscal responsibility if they were as enthusiastic about paying for extending $32 billion worth of special interest tax breaks as they are about funding the unemployment extension. If I understand correctly, these lawmakers insist that Congress fund every dime of added jobless aid, which nearly all analysts agree will help boost the economy. But they feel no need to pay for continuing these special interest tax breaks, which will not.
    Full Story:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Tax-VOX/2010/0707/Senate-struggles-with-unemployment-benefits

  • Comm_reply
    DyinInATL 07/09/2010 3:05am

    @Chris51 – Thank you for all of your posts and links! They are much appreciated. I am trying to find out if anyone/anybody/any organization, etc., is planning on scheduling a protest/rally, etc., on the Capitol steps in Atlanta, Georgia come Monday, July 12, 2010. Also, one other question that maybe you could possibly help me understand as I have never been in this situation in my life. I only had 3 weeks of SEB (State Extended Benefits) left before they shut it down…after that, my state (GA) tells me, that’s it for me. Is that what it boils down to? After you run everything out (and I am not a “99’er…”) that’s it…you’re done…LITERALLY? Or are they trying to work on something for those of us in that position? Thanks for any help or knowledge you can give.

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 6:31pm

    GOP are determined to bloc everything the President is trying to do for the USA right now. He has a vested interest, and seems to take pride in doing the best job he can while in office.
    We are in trouble as long as Republican politicians continue favoring their special interest.
    How can any CEO or Owner of business get anything done if half of his managers or executives stand in his way just to be defiant.

    President Obama speech on CSPAN today, while in Kansas City, MO to support a future candidate. Was right on.
    If you are an unemployed American, and are thinking no one understands the difficulties of being jobless. Obama speech articulated the financial and emotional struggles well. Hat’s off to the President for saying what needed to be said.

    http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/07/08/HP/A/35248/Pres+Obama+Remarks+at+Fundraiser+for+Missouri+Senate+Candidate+Robin

  • DyinInATL 07/09/2010 2:58am

    Does anyone in the State of Georgia know of, or plan to attend any type of protest/rally at the Capitol in downtown Atlanta? If so, I would appreciate any details. WE HAVE ALL GOT TO DO SOMETHING…LIKE ALL OF YOU AND MILLIONS MORE, I’M AT MY BREAKING POINT. I’m so far down, that if anyone has any ideas or can help me see a beam of light, I’m posting my e-mail address for responses.

    jlkinser@comcast.net

    Thanks so much!

  • Chris51 07/10/2010 6:27am

    Republicans filibustered UI Ext bill! They’re asking for UI Ext be paid, while at the same time they’re fighting to give their Special Interest groups special tax stimulus. Rep are trying to look like they care about the deficit, but for 10 yrs (Bush Admin) they never spoke of concerns for the huge deficit they were digging us into as they approved large spending for Special Interest. The Rep debate on these UI Ext bills are like “broken record”. They want USA to use the stimulus money that is already committed to the agreed upon projects, programs, etc. Republicans want USA to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, so they can try to prolong the problem past November election. This is how they have operated for YEARS, and we’re in worse shape now because of their IRRESPONSIBLENESS. People should not be in Leadership positions if they cant make decision for the problems at hand.
    Dont take my word for it. Please read links Donny Shaw and others have provided with accurate research and reporting.

  • Chris51 07/10/2010 9:55am

    Top 5 Contributions from Oil&Gas Industry 2009-2010:
    1 Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86%Repubs
    2 Exxon Mobil $548,214 13% Dems, 87% Repubs
    3 Chevron Corp $516,891 18% Dems, 82% Repubs
    4 Valero Energy $467,000 17% Dems, 83% Repubs
    5 Marathon Oil $378,190 23% Dems, 76% Repubs

    http://www.wvcoal.com/ 2007 data
    Chevron Total coal production: 12.1 million tons
    ExxonMobil Total coal production: 2.1 million tons

    Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Money flowing primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks receives substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, which make substantial annual donations to conservative org…
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tea_Party_movement_funding

  • Chris51 07/10/2010 1:48pm

    Letter was written to Senators:
    On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to carefully consider all aspects of H.R. 4213…

    If the bill comes to a vote as currently formulated, we encourage you to vote NO, and will track the vote on our Economic Scorecard….

    FreedomWorks(FreedomWorks funders for Tea Party;)

  • Chris51 07/10/2010 1:50pm

    Sharron Angle a Tea Party favorite:
    If you’ve been following the ongoing Senate campaign of Nevada hopeful Sharron Angle, you know that she’s sick and tired of the long-term unemployed taking home all of those cushy unemployment benefits. Angle’s angle is that these millions of Americans are just living large on the dole and need to have their unemployment benefits terminated so that they will be motivated to go out and get a job — one of the millions of magical jobs that exist in Sharron Angle’s mind!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/30/sharron-angles-unemployme_n_631350.html

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 8:55pm

    Republicans only care about one thing, their own job preservation. Reps are working hard to win November’s election with the help of Tea Party Movement (FreedomWorks) and their BIG CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST.

    Oil&Gas Industry Contribution 2009-2010
    Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86% Repubs

    Kosh has made big contributions to FreedomWorks, a non-profit that funds Tea Party. These 2 organizations are putting a great deal of pressure on Senators to not support UI Ext. with stimulus that require corporations to help pay back through taxes.

    Most big corporations have made record profits this year by cutting jobs long-term. They started layoffs in 2007, and putting millions of Americans on unemployment.

    They created the business mantra of “DO MORE, WITH LESS”, causing todays workforce to do more job responsibility with no more pay.

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