HomeUncategorized5/22 TGIF – Long Weekend News Round-up and Open Thread
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A debate over whether to extend enhanced unemployment benefits is emerging as a significant obstacle to getting a deal on another round of coronavirus relief legislation.

With the national unemployment rate expected to creep toward 20 percent in the months ahead, the fight over whether to boost benefits for Americans who lose their jobs or to keep benefits lean to motivate laid-off employees to rejoin the workforce is set to become a defining issue ahead of the election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says that Senate Republicans don’t have any interest in extending the $600 federal increase to state unemployment benefits that was a core component of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.

But not all Republicans are on board with McConnell.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said “my inclination would say that that’s going to have to continue for a while.”

“I get it, I talk to a lot of business people in Kansas — and South Carolina — about that and the disincentive if you continue to pay it to work. So I say it’s a tough a choice. But I think under the circumstances it should be continued in some form,” he added.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Democrats “absolutely” will insist on extending the federal increase to state unemployment benefits.

“It’s been a longtime Republican plan to reduce the amount of UI to workers, to shrink the number of weeks and to make fewer people eligible. In Ohio, only a quarter of unemployed workers are eligible for Ohio unemployment,” he said.

He said Democrats will make extending the program a top priority.

“Democrats are the party of workers, clearly, and they aren’t,” he said of his GOP colleagues.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who was a competitive candidate in the Democratic presidential primary and whose support is seen as crucial to turning out voters in the fall, also weighed in Thursday.

“Republicans are going nuts about the $600 per week expanded unemployment benefits that workers now receive. Imagine that! Americans not forced to live on starvation wages. What a frightening precedent. What will they want next? Health care as a human right?” Sanders tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Some Democratic moderates, however, have signaled in private talks that they’re open to negotiating with Republicans to scaling down the $600 in additional weekly assistance after July.

A Republican source familiar with the preliminary talks said that moderate Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have expressed interest in finding a compromise.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) has also signaled a willingness in reviewing the impact of the generous federal payment on people rejoining the workforce.


Yeah, the DINOs are just another branch of the GOPukelican party. I know people down here in FL who still have not seen 1 cent of the fed unemployment money. Forget the state cos FL is a hideous right-to-serf joke to start with! The incompetency is just mind-boggling!


Wi has the same problem a major part of it is Wi is using a computer system from the 90s, possibly older it cant handle the volume that unemployment forms being throne at it.


That is also a big problem in FL. But, the FRighties who run things HATE helping out the “deplorables.”


A friend of mine in CT has been waiting for over three weeks to receive any unemployment money. She’s getting very depressed, is scared, and almost out of funds.



With no national hazard pay, essential workers are left to the mercy of their employers. Some retailers offered temporary $2 pay bumps at the beginning of the pandemic, but many companies are starting to roll these “hero” raises back. At the same time, workplace safety has often fallen by the wayside. This week, the AFL-CIO filed a lawsuit asking a court to order the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop temporary emergency standards for workers; the union says OSHA has so far issued zero coronavirus-related citations in the pandemic, despite egregious outbreaks in dozens of meatpacking plants and food packing facilities.

“At a time in our nation’s history when we need a very strong labor department and a very strong OSHA inside the labor department, it’s basically dead,” says Robert Reich. He would know about the capacity of these federal agencies: He served as labor secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1993-1997, and helped implement the Family and Medical Leave Act and a minimum wage increase during his tenure.

Things look a little different these days. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia has been making Fox News appearances urging corporate tax cuts and liability shields for employers who bring employees back to work. Trump’s labor department “wants to be as friendly as possible to business and not impose any burdens on business whatsoever,” says Reich.

We saw some hints of this last year and the year before, some of the wildcat strikes of teachers in states that are very unfriendly to unions. The governors caved in. Those strikes were very popular. Teachers were very popular. We’ve seen the same thing with nurses. Nurses are now national heroes. If they weren’t before, they now certainly are. And nurses are paid very little. Hospitals are cutting nursing salaries even as we speak. I think nurses really are going to be better organized and more vocal, just like teachers.

A lot of the workers who have not had adequate representation, after risking their lives in the way they have been risking their lives and after putting up with the lack of paid sick leave, a lack of paid family leave, lack of hazard pay, I think workers have had enough. Frankly, I think that we’re going to see a wave of labor activism such as we haven’t seen in this country in decades.


Well this interview was depressing


Yes, there are unemployment benefits. And some unemployed people may be making more money than when they were working. But those unemployment benefits are going to run out in July. The consensus says the unemployment rate is headed to 25 percent. Maybe we get lucky. Maybe there’s an early recovery, and it only goes to 16 percent. Either way, tons of people are going to lose unemployment benefits in July. And if they’re rehired, it’s not going to be like before — formal employment, full benefits. You want to come back to work at my restaurant? Tough luck. I can hire you only on an hourly basis with no benefits and a low wage. That’s what every business is going to be offering. Meanwhile, many, many people are going to be without jobs of any kind. It took us ten years — between 2009 and 2019 — to create 22 million jobs. And we’ve lost 30 million jobs in two months.

So when unemployment benefits expire, lots of people aren’t going to have any income. Those who do get jobs are going to work under more miserable conditions than before. And people, even middle-income people, given the shock that has just occurred — which could happen again in the summer, could happen again in the winter — you are going to want more precautionary savings. You are going to cut back on discretionary spending. Your credit score is going to be worse. Are you going to go buy a home? Are you gonna buy a car? Are you going to dine out? In Germany and China, they already reopened all the stores a month ago. You look at any survey, the restaurants are totally empty. Almost nobody’s buying anything. Everybody’s worried and cautious. And this is in Germany, where unemployment is up by only one percent. Forty percent of Americans have less than $400 in liquid cash saved for an emergency. You think they are going to spend?

You’re going to start having food riots soon enough. Look at the luxury stores in New York. They’ve either boarded them up or emptied their shelves, because they’re worried people are going to steal the Chanel bags. The few stores that are open, like my Whole Foods, have security guards both inside and outside. We are one step away from food riots. There are lines three miles long at food banks. That’s what’s happening in America. You’re telling me everything’s going to become normal in three months? That’s lunacy.

I am not an expert on global climate change. But one of the ten forces that I believe will bring a Greater Depression is man-made disasters. And global climate change, which is producing more extreme weather phenomena — on one side, hurricanes, typhoons, and floods; on the other side, fires, desertification, and agricultural collapse — is not a natural disaster. The science says these extreme events are becoming more frequent, are coming farther inland, and are doing more damage. And they are doing this now, not 30 years from now.

And then there’s the pandemics. These are also man-made disasters. You’re destroying the ecosystems of animals. You are putting them into cages — the bats and pangolins and all the other wildlife — and they interact and create viruses and then spread to humans. First, we had HIV. Then we had SARS. Then MERS, then swine flu, then Zika, then Ebola, now this one. And there’s a connection between global climate change and pandemics. Suppose the permafrost in Siberia melts. There are probably viruses that have been in there since the Stone Age. We don’t know what kind of nasty stuff is going to get out. We don’t even know what’s coming.


same article

If Bernie Sanders had become president, maybe we could’ve had policies of that sort. Of course, Bernie Sanders is to the right of the CDU party in Germany.



A new report released by The Democracy Collaborative (US) and Common Wealth (UK) contends that it is time to stop treating high-speed internet like a luxury commodity and instead consider it public infrastructure. And as with other infrastructure, this means taking it out of the hands of corporations and putting it under democratic and public control.

In the United States, one way to realize this vision is to empower and support communities that want to establish their own broadband internet networks. First and foremost, this means passing federal-level legislation that overturns pro-corporate, state-level “preemption laws” that ban or restrict municipalities from launching or expanding their own public broadband networks. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) both supported such action during their recent presidential campaigns, and legislation to this effect—called the Community Broadband Act—has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).



Call it the Bernie Bump.

Clout wondered if an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist from Vermont who ended his Democratic bid for president last month, could create a fundraising windfall in a Philadelphia race for the state Senate.

It did for Nikil Saval, the community organizer, writer, and ward leader trying to unseat Sen. Larry Farnese in the Democratic primary for the 1st Senate District.

The Sanders endorsement brought in $11,286 from 2,477 donors from “every single state,” according to Amanda McIllmurray, Saval’s campaign manager. She and Saval worked on Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and then helped start Reclaim Philadelphia.

Saval had been raising about $10,000 per week just before the endorsement.

Sanders listed Saval among nine candidates for state legislatures in a May 11 email to his vast list of fervent, small-dollar donors.

He noted that “state legislatures have a tremendous influence over our daily lives” and said the nine “progressive candidates will represent our movement at the state level.



Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has yet to unlock a key part of the party’s fundraising base less than six months before Election Day: Bernie Sanders’s army of online small donors, a Wall Street Journal analysis found.

About 60,000 people who gave to the Vermont senator during the Democratic primary had also chipped in to Mr. Biden’s campaign by the end of April, according to the Journal’s analysis of Federal Election Commission data filed this week. That group amounted to just under 3% of the roughly 2.2 million total Sanders donors the Journal identified in public filings.

Joe Biden has yet to tap into the majority of donors who gave to Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential primary. Through the end of April, less than 3% of the people who donated to Sanders also doanted to Biden.

The large pool of Sanders donors who remain untapped by Mr. Biden presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the former vice president as he heads into the general election campaign against President Trump. It means new sources of cash are possible if Mr. Biden wins over these voters, but it also indicates that the presumptive nominee hasn’t yet generated enthusiasm among many backers of his former rival.

Mr. Biden trails Mr. Trump’s reelection effort in available funds despite frugal spending in April. Mr. Biden’s Democratic rivals routinely outraised him in the primary, although he has posted two strong fundraising months in a row, raking in cash after winning the South Carolina primary Feb. 29 and after Mr. Sanders dropped out in early April and endorsed him, public filings show. Now, the coronavirus pandemic has prevented both presidential campaigns from holding big in-person fundraisers.

Tarik Abdelazim, 46, a frequent Sanders donor, said he would vote for Mr. Biden in November but has no plans to donate.

“I will not be donating to Biden, unless he pivots and supports Medicare for All and other key progressive policies that the majority of Americans support,” said Mr. Abdelazim, who lives in Binghamton, N.Y., and works for a national nonprofit.

Former aides to Mr. Sanders said even if the Vermont senator shared his fundraising infrastructure, it wouldn’t immediately mean a windfall for Mr. Biden.

“It’s not an ATM, you can’t just tap it and it spits out money. Regular people contributed because they were respected and valued,” said Josh Miller-Lewis, the former creative director and digital communications director for the Sanders campaign.

“It’s not a matter of taking tech from Bernie or lists we’ve developed. It’s about embracing some of the ideals,” he said of Mr. Biden.

Of the donors who gave to Mr. Biden for the first time in April and had given to another candidate, the largest share are former Warren donors, followed by former contributors to Mr. Buttigieg, the Journal found.


Braindead keeps insulting voters, he can kiss more than Bernie’s donor list goodbye.


him as the nominee IS the insult.


He’ll never get what Bernie did. A lot of us added to our already sizable debt for Bernie.


This article is LOLworthy. The establishment thusfar has told us they don’t want or need our support. Why would they get our money? People aren’t as stupid as the MSM thinks they are.


This reminded me to change my registration. Free and sad.


T and R, Ms. Benny!!😊🕊Wishing all the Progressives on our Nest a safe Memorial Day weekend. It is hot down here 🌞 I won’t be anywhere near a beach this weekend. They are open, and will be crowded with or without a pandemic. 😡


Was off the last two days, catching up yard work , Garden in. Sunday is the relax day as my boys are coming over for a cook out BUT holding it in the garage as the eating area– nothing inside the house. Since the Mrs is a nurse as is my sons fiancée so best to be outside. Weather looks good with high around 80. Feeling my age with the yard work.