December 07, 2010

Now what?

Ken Ward's Coal Tattoo blog post on the retirement of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has an interesting point to ponder:

...there’s no question that Blankenship’s departure from Massey also costs environmentalists and labor unions not only an easy nemesis, but steals from them some rare common ground. Without Blankenship to jointly hate, will coal miners and other coalfield residents fight more amongst themselves or perhaps find ways to more forward together?

Interesting question. While Blankenship was a polarizing force, he was also a unifying one, in the sense that he gave people who disagree on other issues something to agree about.

UNSAVORY DEAL. It looks like the Obama administration has reached a deal with congressional Republicans to extend Bush tax cuts for the rich in exchange for extending unemployment and some other measures, which has some Democrats hopping mad.

SLACK MARKET. According to this Economic Policy Institute snapshot, 17 percent of American workers (or worker wannabees) can't find the amount of work they want.

WHO'D A THUNK IT? Battlefields might be going greener.




Hollowdweller said...

El Cabrero,

I know extending the benefits is something you have been hoping for pretty hard.

What is your opinion of what had to be done to do it?

Is it true the 99'ers would still be exempted?

I don't really have a great understanding but to my mind extending the benefits while giving the rich a huge tax cut and defunding Social Security is sort of like giving Chemo to somebody who already has brain metastasis.

Give me something to be hopeful about???

El Cabrero said...

I'm doing no cartwheels. From what I hear some groups are urging progressives to hold out for a better deal.

I'm not sure how this affects 99 weekers. I think it varies from state to state as to how long you can draw depending on the rate. I'm with you on the rest.

I guess it's good news (he said ironically) that they didn't cave in this much for a three month extension.