Monday, March 1, 2010

March 01 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The Battle Lines Are Drawn - 'America's Unemployed Workers Vs The Republicans'

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceMarch 01 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The Battle Lines Are Drawn And They're Drawn Right Here... 'America's Unemployed Workers Vs The Republican Party'

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In The News:
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In light of the commentary and despite the fact I don't trust the IAM because this is one of the 'unions' responsible for working on US manufactured weapons systems, and is HARDLY anything resembling Internationalist, I'm posting this anyway.
"UCubed (UR Union of the Unemployed) is the brain-child of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), whose leaders feel that the millions of unemployed workers need a union of their own to join in the struggle for massive jobs programs." [In Full]

Tsunami Damage - Santiago - Chile QuakeOn Saturday morning an 8.8 Richter magnitude earthquake struck near Santiago Chile with aftershocks felt as far as Buenos Aires Argentina (and a smaller 6.2 quake in the hinterlands of that country). Due to previous experiences, the building codes in Chilean cities are strictly enforced meaning few collapsed buildings, and there are fully trained search and rescue crews on-call in the country. But as can bee seen in the thumbnail (click it for the picture and story at the NYTimes), there were other unavoidable problems. So far, the death toll appears to be less than 1000.

Marja Afghanistan CitizensThe "second phase" in "The Battle For Marja"[tm] begins with a ceremonial flag raising over the local government building. Now NATO will attempt to place a "Government-In-A-Box" in Marja, protected by more than 2,000 US Marines and some 1,000 Afghan troops (who it was recently discovered were trained by alcoholic/drug using contracted 'trainers' for a period of 'weeks')
...some markets reopened Thursday. But there is little food because the major road into Marja is still mined, and the city remains a dangerous labyrinth of buried bombs, booby traps and pockets of insurgents.
Meanwhile there has been an attack on a police station and a roadside bombing in Kandahar, a city of over one million and the next objective in NATO's "Government-In-A-Box" attempt at assimilating Afghan traditional tribal government to a Western style police state government complete with Afghan cronies and foreign 'administrators'. There are also ongoing attacks on government facilities in Kabul even as Afghanistan's elite loot the nation's wealth and move it to Dubai.

The extension of US unemployment benefits has been stalled by Senator Jim Bunning (R-Ky) who's state is currently sporting a 10% plus unemployment rate even as Toyota facilities in that state are now closing, pushing the rate upwards even further. A temporary bill is likely to pass soon but "as many as one million people could lose their unemployment benefits if the matter is not resolved this month."

Bunning's obstruction will ALSO affect the currently employed!
The action by Mr. Bunning, who is insisting that the spending on the jobless pay not be added to the deficit, is also affecting other federal programs, including federal highway construction spending since the measure Mr. Bunning is impeding also extended the highway program. Some workers at the Department of Transportation may be furloughed since their salaries are paid out of the expired program.
An excellent analysis at Firedoglake
Jim Bunning got away with blocking an extension of unemployment benefits and COBRA on Thursday night because “coordinated support materialized” among Republicans to help Bunning in his cause, Sen. Jeff Merkley explained in a conference call this morning.

Merkley (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI) participated in the call, about the urgent need to pass an extension of unemployment benefits and the 65% COBRA subsidy, which will run out for hundreds of thousands of Americans on Sunday. Bunning (R-KY) waged what amounted to a one-man filibuster at the end of the week, refusing unanimous consent to move to a short-term extension of benefits before the deadline. Bunning wanted the package of extensions to be paid for, but when Harry Reid offered Bunning an amendment to that effect, he said he wouldn’t accept that because the amendment wouldn’t pass. (Really.)

All three Senators, whose states are experiencing high unemployment rates, expressed outrage at Bunning’s action, discussing the real-world consequences for their constituents. Stabenow said that 62,000 Michiganders would lose their unemployment benefits on Sunday, and by the end of March, across the country 1.2 million would lose them if no action was taken. Furthermore, almost half of those now receiving unemployment benefits are getting them through some form of extension, so the result of inaction could be catastrophic.

Reed added that historically, whenever the unemployment rate exceeded 7.4%, Congress has always extended benefits, and that such extensions generally create $2 in the economy for every $1 spent (you could say that they pay for themselves, which was Bunning’s entire objection). [In Full]

Welcome To Santa CruzSan Francisco city commissioners will hold hearings today on whether one can "sit or lay" on the sidewalk, while the mayor claims they are on track in the city's 'ten year plan to house the homeless'... The "in-your-face" ones... not the working homeless Which may explain why so many of San Francisco's working homeless are ending up in my town about 90 miles down the coast. A town of 55,000 with ZERO jobs that can't be done by college student labor, and ZERO housing for anyone working a full time minimum wage job, if there was such a job in the city... a city that has been in violation of the state charter for about 20 years due to their non-fulfillment of state law requiring them to produce a housing plan showing that they have plans to house the people who actually live and work in the city.

A Spanish judge has accused Venezuela, in conjunction with the Spanish separatist group ETA and the Colombian FARC rebels of a plot to assassinate Colombian president Alvaro Uribe. More at Colombia Report.

In OTHER News...

Lied To Again? General Odierno Requests More Combat Forces In Iraq (beyond the Obama deadline)

From Tom Ricks @ The Best Defense, Foreign Policy Magazine:
In a move that could force President Obama to break his vow to get all combat troops out of Iraq by August of this year, his top commander in Iraq recently officially requested keeping a combat brigade in the northern part of the country beyond that deadline, three people close to the situation said Wednesday.

Gen. Raymond Odierno asked for a brigade to try to keep the peace in the disputed city of Kirkuk, but only got a polite nod from the president when the issue was raised during his recent meetings in Washington, according to two of the people familiar with the discussions. If the brigade in northern Iraq is indeed kept in Iraq past the deadline, there will be a fan dance under which it no longer will be called a combat unit, but like the six other combat brigades being kept past the deadline, will be called an advisory unit.

I can imagine the press releases that will follow-

"Three U.S. Army soldiers were killed last night in an advisory operation . . . ." [In Full]

...and last but NOT least:

If you're confused, it's because you listened:

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), on “Meet The Press”
“Robert Byrd also in the 70s exempted Social Security, Social Security cannot be considered in reconciliation. We should do the same thing with Medicare. Lindsey Graham and I'll be introducing legislation; entitlements should not be part of a reconciliation process i.e., 51 votes. It's too important. It's one sixth of our Gross National Product.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), on “State of the Union”
CROWLEY: “Is there any way the president can reconfigure this bill that would get your support?
MCCONNELL: “I don't think so, Candy. This is a massive overhaul of one-sixth of the economy. Republicans don't believe half a trillion in Medicare cuts and half trillion dollars in new taxes and possibly higher insurance premiums for all in the insurance market is reform.”

H/t: State of the Union, Candy Crowley's Crib Sheet for Sunday, February 28th (CNN)
(We watch the other Sunday shows so maybe you don’t have to.)


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