Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bringing The Pain, Part 7

(Part 1 including the setup is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here, Part 4 is here, Part 5 is here, and Part 6 is here.)


Ah, it’s time to turn to our beloved commonwealth at last. But before I do, let’s replay this moment of infamy from Governor Tom “Space Cadet” Corbett that should have cost him the election last year (and by the way, speaking of voters, I thought this was a refreshing bit of candor - I don’t know who this guy is, but I hope he isn’t now forced to write some kind of post about how rabid partisans on each side of the political divide are equally at fault, yada yada…).

This provides some background on who you might consider to be typically unemployed residents (the article is a year old, but I’m sure it still holds true). Also, here is an opinion column on the subject which basically tells employers in this state (and across the country) to stop being so damn choosy about applicants and put more money into training instead (yes I know, I can dream, can’t I?).

As noted here, an extension in June “(froze) the maximum benefit rate at $573 in 2012 and slow(ed) future benefit growth, and it limits benefits for people laid off with severance packages” (that’s still a lot better than what I collected when I had to file under former Repug Guv Dick “Six Times The Weekly Benefit Rate” Thornburgh).

When it comes to the politicians in this state, this tells us of the Orwellian-titled “right to work” legislation courtesy of that fathead Daryl Metcalfe (R-Crazy). Also, this tells us about the latest corporate “astro-turfing” from a group called Americans for Job Security (dated a year ago) running ads attacking the “stim” along with would-be U.S. House Rep Bryan Lentz and actual U.S. House Rep Jason Altmire (both Dems, of course… the group just loves “No Corporate Tax” Pat Toomey, wouldn’t you know).

On the “D” side, state rep John Galloway introduced legislation here to mandate that all employers use eVerify to check the immigration status of their workers; short of federal immigration legislation that may never be forthcoming because not enough of our politicians want to act like grownups on this issue or most others, this may be the least bad option out there, though it is opposed by immigrant right groups and “undocumented” workers generally.

(Note: The Galloway House link is flaky, so try this instead.)

Oh, and once more, here is the latest from “Sideshow Bob” Casey on this subject (sad…even worse considering the state had an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent last month as noted here– better than the national average, but still not great).

Puerto Rico

The unemployment rate in this U.S. territory was 14.9 percent in June (ugh). Also, here is a hodgepodge of news articles about Puerto Rico in general from resident commissioner Pedro Pierluisi.

As noted here, though, there is support on the island for President Obama’s jobs bill…
Through a press release, Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Alejandro García Padilla expressed his support for the president’s bill. Both he and PDP Senator Eduardo Bhatia encourage Gov. Fortuño to distance himself from the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and support the president.

In an interview with the Daily Sun, Bhatia said that “President Obama has delivered on his promise to help invigorate the economy of Puerto Rico. The Jobs Act is a great step in the right direction lead by the White House. Bhatia, a candidate for Senate president in the next term, were the PDP to win the senate, warned that “A true plan for increasing jobs in Puerto Rico will also require bold steps by both the local government and the private sector. Small and medium-sized businesses must make the effort to quickly identify areas of growth and development and proceed to hire new employees. While I commend the resident commissioner for his leadership on this issue, I hope to hear the same position by Gov. (Luis) Fortuño and truly hope that he will not side with the Republican Party in the Congress. One additional job created on the island makes the program worth it,” concluded Bhatia.
Now all they have to do is win over “Democrats” like Bob Casey.

Rhode Island

Based on this, it sounds like the “Family Guy” state could get $24 mil from the aforementioned jobs bill (assuming “Man Tan” Boehner and that sleazy weasel Cantor each come down with an attack of conscience and decide to move on it – not likely I know). And as noted here, the unemployment rate was 10.6 percent in August, which actually is a dip of two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month (yeeeoooowwww – the rate actually went down in June to 10.8 percent even though the state lost 1,500 jobs, as noted here).

And as noted here, Rhode Island is one of twenty states participating in a work-sharing program, which involves cutting the hours of the workforce instead of laying them off (what a concept…I believe Germany has had success with this also – Dem U.S. Senator Jack Reed has sponsored federal legislation on this, which, as far as I’m concerned, is long overdue).

(By the way, this doesn’t directly pertain to jobs I know, but it’s really impossible for me to say something about this state and not mention state rep Dan Gordon - what a sociopath.)

South Carolina

Warning, people – we’re about to journey through the looking glass again.

As noted here, Repug Guv Nikki Haley wants to drug-test the unemployed, though there’s no evidence to support it of course (she said that half the people who applied to work at a nuclear facility in the state had failed drug tests – wrong of course).

And in case you were wondering, this tells us that every Repug in the state’s U.S. congressional delegation – including Huckleberry Graham, DeMint, teabagger token Tim Scott and Joe “You Lie!” Wilson…what a sorry lot – voted against extending unemployment benefits last year. DeMint in particular wanted all Repug presidential candidates to support “cut, crap and balance” here even though that meant slashing unemployment benefits, as noted here.

The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that I should have linked to the CNN Granderson post here instead; want to know how this state could elect such buffoonish politicians? Check this out.

“Oh, you danged li-bu-ruul, your state should be ‘right to work’ like ours. That would shut up you and your socialist friends in the Democrat Party!”

Uh, no. And furthermore, here is an enlightening comment from the Media Matters post…
Here in SC unionization is actually illegal. As you all can see, SC is a vibrant, thriving, beacon of hope for all states to look up to:

--41st in age 25 and over with High School diploma
--1st in the country in mobile homes as a % of total housing
--42nd in disposable personal income
--9th in families below poverty
--9th in individuals below poverty
--38th in median family income
Oh, and by the way, the unemployment rate in August was 11.1 percent (here). Maybe they should try Democrats next time, huh (yeah, dream on, I know).

Update 9/29/11: I wonder if Marie Antoinette ordered the peasants to be "cheerful" also (here)?

South Dakota

As noted from the South Carolina link, the unemployment rate in this state was 4.7 percent in August, third lowest in the nation, though there are apparently worrisome signs based on this.

And by the way, all of you who voted from Kristi “Unsafe At Any Speed” Noem last year, I hope you’re still pleased with yourselves after reading the utterly vapid nonsense on jobs from her web page (and John “Looney” Thune doesn’t support infrastructure spending, of course, as noted here).

In addition, I don’t really have anything to add from here, but I just wanted to give the site a plug.


The unemployment rate in the “volunteer state” was 9.7 percent in August (also from the South Carolina link). And this tells us the following…
NASHVILLE — Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester called out Republican lawmakers Thursday for being “out of touch with reality” on growing the state economy and assisting Tennessee’s 300,000 job seekers.

“We don’t have a shortage of work ethic in Tennessee, we have a shortage of work. We have roads and bridges to fix, safe energy to harness, and schools to rebuild,” Forrester said. “Instead of playing politics and mocking people who have lost their jobs by no fault of their own, Republicans should want to work with Democrats in finding ways to make Tennessee work again for Tennesseans.”
Uh, yep.

And on the subject of jobs, this tells us how Repug U.S. House Rep Marsha Blackburn asked Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz to be her guest at Obama’s speech on that subject, alleging persecution from that Kenyan Socialist Muslim over Gibson’s illegal importing of wood, when in fact the current administration was administering a regulation from the ill-fated term of Number 43 (and if the wood had been imported as a finished piece, that would have been that, as they say…more here).

When it comes to anti-union antagonism, though (as demonstrated here), there aren’t too many people who can touch Bob Corker and his anti-UAW antics (from 12/08, while our government was trying to bail out the automakers). And this tells us that Corker and his fellow Repug U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander voted against extending unemployment bennies in March 2010.

At least the legislature in this state, along with North Carolina, restored unemployment benefits after they lapsed in April, as noted here.


Ummm…now who is that governor from this state running for president again? No wait, don’t tell me, I’m keen to guess.

Oh yeah, “Goodhair” Perry! What was I thinking?

Want to know something funny, though? As noted here, under his term, public sector jobs grew twice as fast as private sector jobs (and as noted here, the state has the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs in the nation).

Meanwhile, it looks like Lamar Smith is sponsoring the same legislation on the federal level that John Galloway is sponsoring on the state level in PA, as noted here (wonder if Galloway knows that?).

Oh, and just to show you how serious Repug U.S. House Rep Louie Gohmert supposedly is on jobs, he introduced his own “American Jobs Act” before his spineless “leadership” introduced Obama’s bill by the same name; of course, Gohmert’s joke of a bill was loaded up with more stinking tax cuts (here). And in this story, Gohmert’s fellow House Repug Jeb Hensarling utters the thoroughly laughable line of “deficit reduction is part of job creation.” (uh…proof?)

As far as that state’s U.S. Senate delegation is concerned, Repug John Cornyn said here that any disaster aid that could be put to work to rebuild people’s homes and communities must be “offset” (didn’t hear that when these clowns ran up about a $10 trillion tab on two wars, Medicare Part D and Dubya’s stinking tax cuts, of course). And the state’s unemployment rate in August was 8.5 percent (referring back to that same link for S.C., S.D. and Tennessee one more time – not bad by comparison, but certainly nothing to crow about).

In conclusion, this tells us that Richard A. Dunn of Texas A&M co-wrote a study with Timothy J. Classen of Loyola University Chicago that found that mass layoffs and long stretches of unemployment were attached to increased suicide risk (it should be noted, though, that underlying mental health issues frequently come into play here; if there’s an existing issue, it’s made worse by unemployment…would that the numbskull politicians of this state, and too many others, got that through their thick heads; I’ve got some suggestions for what they can do with that “yellow rose”).

Update 9/29/11: On jobs, "Goodhair" strikes again (here).

Update 10/5/11: And to think, Davy Crockett died at The Alamo for the likes of this clown (here).

I should be able to finish this up next time.

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