I mean, what can you say at this point? How does one explain such suicidal behavior? Unemployment claims "unexpectedly" rise by more than the 3 previous months combined -
The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The surge is evidence of how volatile the job market remains, even as the economy grows.
Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 471,000 last week, up by 25,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the first increase in five weeks and the biggest jump since a gain of 40,000 in February.
- and Republicans react by promising to kill the jobs bill?
If House Republicans follow through on their promise, they'll try to force a floor vote today on eliminating the $2.5 billion Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund. It's the result of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) "YouCut" gimmick -- and it's a spectacularly bad idea.
If you're just joining us, Cantor's new toy was launched last week -- Republicans will pick government programs they don't like, and then encourage the public to vote on which one they want to see eliminated. GOP lawmakers will then try to cut the "winning" program, responding to public demand.
This week, the initial round of voting wrapped up, and the first measure on the chopping block is the TANF emergency fund -- which will enable states to place 186,000 unemployed individuals in subsidized jobs by the end of the summer, and which Cantor's office deliberately mischaracterized to YouCut participants.
Yep, House Republicans plan to force a vote on cutting a jobs bill.
In an election year? When they're getting trounced practically everywhere? And their BD buddies are on the ropes as well?
Am I missing something here?
Of course, Democrat Senators should talk. They've just passed the financial "reform" bill, one of the lamest reform bills since...well, since the healthcare "reform" bill. And mind you, despite legions of lobbyists and their loot, it's stronger than it was originally (if not by much).
The Senate Thursday night passed the most sweeping changes in government regulation of the nation's financial institutions since the Great Depression, including strong new consumer and investor protections and provisions that seek to shine a bright light on the dark corners of Wall Street.
In a 59-39 vote, four Republicans joined 53 Democrats and two independents in approving the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. Two Democrats, Washington's Maria Cantwell and Wisconsin's Russ Feingold, as well as 37 Republicans, voted no.
Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, as well as Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Charles Grassley of Iowa voted yes; Democrats Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who lost in Tuesday's primary, didn't vote.
TPM's David Kurtz looks ahead and sums it up pretty succinctly.
Historians will probably conclude that the package of reforms was surprisingly modest given the depth and severity of the 2008-09 financial crisis. A harsher historical judgment might find that the political and economic power wielded by the financial industry in the late 20th and early 21st centuries was so extensive that it could weather a near total collapse of the system without having to yield its power or privilege.
Nor can the WH say much seeing as how the Obama Admin is helping BP cover up the extent of its destruction of the Gulf.
BP's estimate that only 5,000 barrels of oil are leaking daily from a well in the Gulf of Mexico, which the Obama administration hasn't disputed, could save the company millions of dollars in damages when the financial impact of the spill is resolved in court, legal experts say.
A month after a surge of gas from the undersea well engulfed the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in flames and triggered the massive leak that now threatens sea life, fisheries and tourist centers in five Gulf coast states, neither BP nor the federal government has tried to measure at the source the amount of crude pouring into the water.
Estimates differ, some suggesting as much as 70.000/bbls/day are spewing from the hole, but the one thing they all have in common is that 5,000/bbls/day is way too low. It's also become fairly clear that BP is covering its ass at our expense.
It's time for the federal government to directly take over the monitoring and reporting of the BP oil spill's impacts on marine life, the environment and public health, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger said in testimony before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee today. He highlighted BP's failure to publicly disclose results from its tests of chemical dispersants, as well as BP's efforts to withhold video showing the true magnitude of the spill.
The National Wildlife Federation joined with 10 conservation organizations in sending a letter to President Obama today urging a more direct federal role in the spill response.
"The federal government should immediately take over all environmental monitoring, testing, and public safety protection from BP," said Larry Schweiger. "Too much information is now in the hands of BP's many lawyers and too little is being disclosed to the public.
"The statement yesterday from BP CEO Hayward that the environmental damage will be 'very modest' lacks common sense and common decency," said Larry Schweiger. "The Gulf of Mexico is a crime scene and the perpetrator cannot be left in charge of assessing the damage. The government needs to make sure that the right testing is done and that all data is disclosed to the public."
All in all, it doesn't much seem as if anybody cares what we think or how we're going to vote, and solving problems is a wayback, sad second to spinning them to protect the perps.
It's almost as if the whole damn political system is on its knees, begging us to end its misery. I think we ought to oblige.
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