November 15, 2010


Random animal picture, this one being of Little Edith Ann at Halloween, yet another reason why dogs hate that holiday.

The lame duck session of Congress that begins today has some serious business to take care of, provided it has the guts and will. Around two million Americans are going to exhaust unemployment benefits in December. In West Virginia, the number is around 11 thousand. The numbers will only get worse in 2011.

This needs to happen, given that there are around five jobless workers for every new job that opens up. And economists are expecting sluggish job growth for the next year or two, maybe longer. Ideally, the extension should last for a year.

Ever since the 1950s, Congress has acted to extend benefits when unemployment was 7.2percent or higher and we're way about that point now.

This extension has to happen in the lame duck session because the new majority in the House is not likely to do it. I'd really like to be wrong about this, but I think it's a good bet that the new majority will be hostile to anything that benefits working people, the unemployed and people in poverty. And for all their talk about fighting deficits, you can bet that they'd like nothing more than to extend Bush era tax cuts for the rich indefinitely.

There is something we can do about this. Tomorrow, Nov. 16 is a national call-in day to Congress to extend unemployment. The WV AFLCIO is urging people to participate in the call-in campaign tomorrow and has provided a toll free number: 1-877-662-2889.

Please take a minute to make the call. This is an all-hands-on-deck situation.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH, here's yours truly on the need for the WV legislature to take some action of its own on unemployment insurance modernization.

CAVING (METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING). The White House, that is. Maybe.

SPEAKING OF METAPHORS, they seem to live in certain regions of the brain.

ANOTHER FIGHT IN THE WORKS is preventing repeal of health care reform.

SOMETHING ELSE TO DENY. Melting glaciers. It might be a bit harder to deny rising sea levels in the future though.

UN-WELL BEING. West Virginia takes the lead again.


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