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Congress has just recessed without extending unemployment insurance for those who need extended assistance. Happy Holidays from the Republicans who see them as “takers.”
Now those needing extended benefits have to stressfully penny-pinch through the holidays for fear of not getting any more benefit checks even though they and their companies have contributed to the government for years, for just this time of need. In addition, they’re continually demonized as lazy freeloaders in the black-or-white, zero-sum world of the Mitt Romney right wing.
People getting unemployment benefits are those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. That’s how you qualify. The insurance only pays a fraction of what they were earning when they had a job. For example, somebody making $1,200 a week will only get around $400 a week in unempl
oyment insurance. That’s the maximum payout and it is taxed to boot. This small amount only helps with life’s necessities for survival. When asked, the unemployed would much rather have full-time jobs than get a fraction of their salary to live on with the insurance money. Yes, there are some gaming the system, but most jobless people are seeking work. Unemployment benefit money is good for the economy because it’s all spent money; there is no surplus to save and squirrel away.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) just said that he is against extending unemployment insurance benefits because companies would much rather hire somebody who is only 26 weeks unemployed than somebody who is 90 weeks unemployed. Talk about callous, distorted logic! Because somebody is unemployed longer doesn’t mean he or she is less valuable. Most of the more senior or specialized workers don’t find jobs for at least six months, or even a year. Surveys tell us so. In Paul’s whacky Libertarian world, there is no government helping anybody because it limits one’s freedoms.
Come next election, let’s hope the unemployed and demonized remember those who abandoned them when they vote. It’s time to take back the government for the people.
by Lloyd Carroll
Re John LaPorte’s Feb. 21 letter, “You’re wrong on Obama”:
John, you’re on the wrong side of history!
Your deficit and debt remarks did not tell readers why those are so high. GOP presidents racked up $11 trillion, vs. $6 trillion for Democrats. Remember the credit card spending by Bush-43? Two unpaid wars and two huge tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 resulted in his $6 trillion debt and the recession.
Government spending should be higher now than it was in the 1940s. Our population was 140 million then, vs. 310 million now.
“Job creation is stuck in neutral” was a false remark. Under Bush-43, 750,000 were being laid off per month. During Obama’s first term, 6.2 million jobs were created. Oh yes, GOP governors laid off 500,000 public-sector workers: police, firefighters, teachers. Corporations are holding back $2 trillion not invested in the economy: why?
Your best remark was that Obama is “clueless.” Again, weak on facts. Our president crafted the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus. We all know that the GOP opposed this, and all other Obama recovery plans. But boy, when the funds were allocated to GOP states, their governors held gala ribbon-cutting events. Remember Obama’s auto bailout plan, opposed by Mitt Romney? It put one million assembly line workers back on the job. And what did the GOP House do to Obama’s American Jobs Act? It killed it. Hundreds of thousands of construction workers would be repairing over 70,000 bridges, roads, tunnels and airports today if it had passed.
Why did the GOP “just say no” to all Obama’s recovery agenda? Remember in 2010, GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s famous remark, “Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.” Folks, whatever happened to the GOP’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan, “Country first”?
In a recent op-ed piece in The Washington Post, Mark Thiessen noted the latest hypocrisy of the Obama administration.
In his article, Mr. Thiessenrecounted how during last year’s election, Obama’s campaign went nonstop after Mitt Romney for having investments in the Cayman Islands even though Mr. Romney did nothing illegal. He noted that Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt stated that even though Romney’s actions were legal “is not technically breaking the law a high-enough standard for someone who wants to be president of the United States?”
Now, it turns out that Obama’s pick to be Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, had an investment based in the Cayman Islands. I guess if you are a Democratic nominee for a cabinet position you can get away with things that would outrage the far left ifa Republican were to do the same.
Obama’s hypocrisy is one thing you cannot blame the Republicans for, even though I am sure some will try it. Kool-Aid anyone?
One issue in the 2012 presidential election was immigration reform. America wanted to know how each candidate would deal with undocumented citizens in the U.S. The public paid close attention as they learned what each candidate would do with the estimated 2.1 million undocumented youth that have grown up in this country and are essentially American minus 9 numbers (Social Security).
While Mitt Romney supported “self-deportation,” President Obama planned to continue his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. However, DACA is only a temporary help for undocumented youth. Now that Obama has been re-elected he can focus his attention on passing what was once a bipartisan bill, the federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act. Not only can this be used as a platform to help mend the political divide in American politics, it can help jumpstart a struggling economy.
While Americans were reflecting on the memory of the horrific World Trade Center tragedy on 9/11, our nation was caught up in another tragic event in Libya. Terrorists attacked our consulate in Benghazi, killing our Ambassador and three staff members.
Mitt Romney immediately criticized the Obama administration for having falsified the incident. According to GOP critics, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, on “Meet the Press,” gave a conflicting report on the Benghazi incident.
For the past several months, Republican leaders, as well as Fox News, have been beating the drums calling for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to appear before Congress. One week before her date to testify at a House committee hearing, Secretary Clinton — the most-traveled secretary in history, having visited 112 countries — became ill, causing her to cancel her appearance at the hearing. However, she did send two department officials.
While being interviewed on Fox News, President George W. Bush’s UN ambassador, John Bolton, said that diplomats the world over use a technique known as “diplomacy illness” to avoid attending an unpleasant meeting. Well, we now know that Hillary’s medical condition was serious enough, requiring her to be hospitalized.
If Ambassador Bolton has any decency, which I doubt, he should make a public apology — on Fox News, of course.
If you’ve been procrastinating about what to get the special people in your life or simply want to reward yourself, here are some last-minute ideas.
Electronics have long been the consumer goods holiday marquee item. The good news is that the combination of competition and advances in technology have reduced the prices of some once very pricy gizmos.
The closing days of the 112th Congress, known as the lame duck, will see a historic debate called Fiscal Cliffhanger. Budget cuts vs. higher tax rates are at the heart of this battle royale between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
However, behind the scenes, a nonelected GOP politician will play an important role. His name is Grover Norquist. For decades, he was the antitax advocate and “field marshal” for the Republican Party. He manipulated most GOP congressionals into signing his “no new tax” pledge. If anyone violated the pledge, Grover had enough clout to see that member of Congress defeated in his or her primary bid for re-election.
Mr. Norquist is best known for saying, “My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) responded to his remark by commenting, “I hope he slips in there with it!”
Since the Republican Party was unable to elect Mitt Romney president, there are signs that, for the good of our country, some GOP members of Congress will reject their pledge to Norquist. Are Grover’s days numbered? Only time will tell.
When does a small-government conservative Republican with a strong libertarian, laissez faire approach to business, want to impose a new mandate on the private sector?
When he can’t get gas to fill up his sweet white Jag, that’s when!
Just as the fall general manager meetings got under way in the Palm Springs area, the Mets announced that they were going to buy the remaining year on outfielder Jason Bay’s contract. It’s estimated the overall cost to the team is in the range of $21 million.
It’s debatable which expensive free agent signing was more disastrous for the Mets: the three-year, $36 million contract given to pitcher Oliver Perez or the four-year, $66 million pact with Bay. But it should be pointed out that while there was some concern over Perez’s work ethic, Bay literally, to borrow a phrase Mitt Romney used in his concession speech, left it all on the field as he suffered concussions by running into walls and fences chasing after long fly balls as well as getting nailed by a fastball into his batting helmet.
Speaking to voters in Rego Park, Corona and Middle Village on Election Day, it became clear that many Queens residents hold incumbent President Obama in high esteem, although perhaps not by as much as he may like.
Polled voters in Rego Park and Corona expressed overwhelming support for Obama.
Democrats appeared to retake control of the state Senate Tuesday, as Republicans failed to win a Queens race they had poured resources into and may have lost several other tight contests around New York.
The likely changeover from GOP control would be one more victory for the party that saw President Obama re-elected and solidified its control of the U.S. Senate even as it lost a few more seats in the House of Representatives.
Hurricane Sandy was a horrific event, by far the worst thing to happen to New York City since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
And while the two events are vastly different in scope and impact — Sandy is known so far to have killed 34 people in the city, while nearly 3,000 died in the massacre at the World Trade Center — they have more in common than just the temporary closure of the New York Stock Exchange. Because Sandy, like the Sept. 11 attacks, has shown how lives can be changed or ended in an instant, and has brought out the best in many of those who survived it.
Ice cream and politics go together like bread and butter. Right?
Well, they do at least for the family- owned Long Island City ice cream shop Malu, which made flavors for the Taste of LIC and the SculptureCenter’s block party.
The United States remains a country faced with a multitude of problems, but we are much better off than we were four years ago, thanks to the leadership of President Obama. He should be re-elected on Nov. 6.
The president’s opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has a lot going for him but has not made a compelling case for changing course.
The race for the 6th Congressional District has now turned into a war over polling. Mainly, whose is better?
An internal poll released Monday by Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) shows the Republican within the margin of error against his opponent Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) in the 6th Congressional District race.
The race for the 6th Congressional District has now turned into a war over polling. Mainly, whose is better?
Consider, for a moment, six hours of unadulterated free time. How about twelve? You’re entitled to a folding chair, an electrical outlet, about three square feet of table space to call your own, and an LG plasma screen TV feeding you footage of two empty chairs in a makeshift town hall. Six hours. Maybe twice as much. In some cases, even more.
You’re waiting for those two chairs to be filled. Spent weeks predicting what would happen when they were finally occupied. The chairs are literally a stone’s throw away in a neighboring building. But thanks to the grimacing Secret Service agents roaming around and the helicopters humming overhead, the two chairs might as well be in Siberia.
More than 60 million people watched CNN’s Candy Crowley moderate the debate between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney on Tuesday night. In a few decades, many more may watch Joli Russo of Howard Beach do the same.
The 9-year-old says she wants to be a broadcast journalist one day and has her eyes set on the Nightly News desk. “One day, she wants to be a broadcast journalist,” explained Joli’s mother, Lisa Russo. “She likes to say ‘watch out Diane Sawyer, I’ll be taking your job one day.'”
It’s less than a month from now that voters across the United States will determine the direction of the country for the next for years, by either re-electing President Obama or choosing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney instead.
The voters will be answering fundamental questions about how best to boost a still-lagging economy, what the nation’s role in world affairs is, how healthcare should be provided, how big the military should be and more — including, yes, whether the taxpayers should continue subsidizing Big Bird or if he should be left to stand or fall on his own in the marketplace.
With the 2012 season now history, the Mets look ahead to 2013. General Manager Sandy Alderson makes no secret that the first order of business is to sign long-term contract extensions with Cy Young Award candidate RA Dickey and third baseman — and, far more importantly, franchise face — David Wright.
Alderson should also budget some funds for free agent-to-be outfielder Scott Hairston. On a team infamous for its collective lack of home run prowess, Hairston belted 20 dingers playing more or less in a part-time role. Although known for his bat more than his defense, Scott was also very reliable with his glove — and he’s a go-to person for the media to speak with before and after games, after losses as well as wins.
The debate results are in, and even though most say Obama was short on spunk that night, the bigger news is that Romney spent the night telling whoppers … 27 falsehoods in 33 minutes by the latest fact-checking count! Yes, fact checking counts.
Obama was right to say at a rally the next day that he didn’t know who that guy was he was debating the night before. He should have said that during the debate. Mitt had Etch-a-Sketched himself to please the vast television audience, many of whom are low-information viewers who haven’t been following his campaign. Mitt took the night to spin himself as a different guy in order to fool those who don’t follow politics.
For a guy to stand there and take the complete opposite position on key issues to the stances he’s taken for the last two years is mystifying. Obviously his handlers wanted him to do that, because he had been preparing his aggressive boilerplate answers with them for weeks prior. Did it work? He got a little bump in the polls, but the media was more occupied with his lies, so much so that it became the whole major headline of the debate. Obama’s lackluster performance was overshadowed by Mitt’s fibs.
To just take one, Mitt said that he had great successes working with an 87 percent Democratic legislature when he was governor of Massachusetts. He said he successfully reached across the aisle and mended fences, and he could do the same as president. Was that true? Democrats in Massachusetts at the time said that he often used charm offensives while he routinely opposed them, ignored them, or even insulted them. He took pleasure in vetoing 844 legislative initiatives, only to have many overturned by the majority. Mitt even went as far as to mount an unprecedented vindictive campaign to unseat Democratic leaders who opposed him, which backfired, leaving the Republicans with the smallest legislative group since 1867.
His claim to have cut taxes 19 times in Massachusetts is also inaccurate because many of the tax cuts were first proposed by the Legislature, not Romney, and many were routine extensions of existing tax reductions. Several included one-day sales tax holidays for shopping like we have here occasionally. Mitt was trying to take credit when credit is not due.
One has to look at Mitt as a master salesman, the Bain boss guy who’s called in from the other room to close the deal with a smile, a firm handshake and a pat on the back. “Don’t worry folks; “we’ll take care of you.” We all know the type. That’s what he says when economists and the Congressional Budget Office says his numbers don’t work out: “Trust us.” That’s what Paul Ryan was saying when he answered a reporter’s budget question by saying, it would take “too long to provide specifics.”
No thanks, guys. I want specifics, and I don’t trust anyone who waffles on important issues when the audience changes. As they say, the devil is in the details. And, above all, I hate being lied to, especially when I know the truth.
With only 29 days to go before Election Day in what national pundits are unanimously calling a safe Democratic Congressional district, Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) was out campaigning like a challenger.
She says she is trying to run the last days of her campaign against Republican Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) as she has run her Assembly career.
The race between state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and challenger Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) is tight, according to a Siena Research poll released Monday, with Addabbo holding a slight lead within the margin of error.
According to the poll, Addabbo leads Ulrich 45 percent to 43 percent, with 17 percent still undecided four weeks before voters go to the polls. Addabbo leads by 5 points in the section of the 15th State Senate District he has represented since 2007, which includes Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth. Ulrich leads in parts of the district added in redistricting earlier this year, including the Rockaways and Kew Gardens Hills.