Friday, October 07, 2011

Bringing The Pain, Part 8

(Time to end this - Part 1 including the setup is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here, Part 4 is here, Part 5 is here, Part 6 is here, and Part 7 is here.)

U.S. Virgin Islands

As noted here, the unemployment rate “jumped” to 9.5 percent in August. Also, from what I can find out anecdotally online, there seems to be a higher disproportionate amount of repetitive strain injuries and accidents in this territory due probably to lax enforcement of workplace safety regulations, as noted here (and the Isles owe the feds $38.5 billion for loans they took out to prop up their unemployment insurance initiatives based on this).


Turning to Mormon-land, the state cut unemployment insurance in April “as a motivation to get people back to work” (nice, as noted here), even though the unemployment rate has been stuck at 7 percent for the last 28 months (here).

Still, though, the state is ranked as one of the ten best for unemployment benefits (here), and this recent item tells us that fewer people in Utah and across the country sought unemployment benefits (indeed, the recent numbers show about 103,000 jobs added last month, as noted here…better, but let me know if and when it becomes a trend, OK?).

Concerning the state’s politicians, “Saint” Orrin Hatch wants to supposedly create jobs by repealing “Obama Care,” even though the evidence from the world of reality tells us that won’t happen (here), which I’m sure he said because of this. And Repug U.S. House Rep Jason Chaffetz (who was thought to offer a teabagger challenge to Hatch, though Chaffetz ended up declining) supports eVerify to supposedly create “millions of jobs,” as noted here (again, wonder if John Galloway in PA knows how much he’s of one mind with the “loyal opposition” on this issue?).


In the Green Mountain state, unemployment was 5.9 percent in August (here), and this gives details on the “One Away” program for workers 55 and older, aiming to find new jobs or keep existing ones. And on top of that, this tells us that “single payer” health care passed (and the world actually didn’t come screeching to a halt), with Dem Gov. Pete Shumlin claiming it will be a “huge job creator” (we’ll see).

This tells us that the state’s farmers oppose the “Secure Communities” initiative since it could be harmful to the dairy industry, which is a big deal (again, this is an argument for common-sense immigration reform including passing the DREAM Act, providing a “carrot” for people who do the right thing instead nothing but a bunch of sticks).

As far as the other politicians are concerned, Sen. Bernie Sanders helped mark the completion of that state’s National Guard solar project, one of the country’s largest solar installations (here), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (along with Shumlin and Sanders) managed to get housing for residents displaced by Hurricane Irene here (again, not completely relevant to jobs, but still noteworthy...might lead to construction jobs to rebuild from the damage).

(By the way, this also doesn’t have anything to do with jobs in Vermont, but it is the state’s fall foliage report…absolutely gorgeous up there this time of year.)


Welcome to the “Let’s Bash House Majority Leader Eric Cantor” Show! And why? Because he completely and utterly deserves it, that’s why…
- Here is Cantor’s supposed plan for job creation (no regulations for business, no taxes of course, and lots of “free” trade agreements).

- This tells us of the Holiday Inn in that state that kicked out progressive groups gathered for a jobs rally (see, that sleazy weasel Cantor was scheduled to speak at that location, and “the rabble” had to be dealt with).

- Here, Cantor called the unemployed a “distraction” and refused to meet with them (of course).

- Oh, and Cantor also says here that the U.S. House won’t vote on the “entire” Obama jobs bill (just the parts Cantor likes, I suppose, which is probably tax cuts and nothing else).
And in case you were wondering, Repug Guv Bob McDonnell is no better on jobs, as noted here…

Looking for good news? Well, based on this, it looks like the upcoming movie on Lincoln will be filmed in VA (kind of interesting since our 16th president really did not have a connection with that state, though his family did). Also, this tells us that the state’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in August (and as noted here from July 2010, that supposedly “zero-job-producing” stimulus funded broadband development through 8 VA counties…I see a few “D”’s supporting it, including U.S. Senators Mark Warner and the departing Jim Webb, but no “R”’s of course).


Gosh, are the residents of this state lucky! It seems that Sen. Patty Murray will serve on the super-duper-Gang-of-6 committee between the U.S. House and the Senate that will bring us sunshine, lollipops and rainbows every day, as noted here (of course, Pat Toomey of PA will also take up space there also – maybe Murray can cancel him out somehow). Murray also deserves credit for funding job retraining programs, as noted here (and as noted here, the state’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent in August).

And heading through the looking glass once more, this tells us that “Lonesome Rhodes” Beck was cited here for his incendiary language that got this nut case named Charles Wilson all stirred up to the point where he threatened Murray and was stalking fellow Dem U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (and why am I not surprised that Billo has embraced this lunacy also, as noted here?). Again, I know this isn’t related to jobs, but I think it deserves to be mentioned.

So what of work matters, anyway? Well, Cantwell supports the BEER Act to provide excise tax relief to small breweries in the state in the hope of job creation, as noted here (I’ll drink to that – too easy). And here is news of a “Working Washington” protest aimed right at this state’s thoroughly execrable Repug U.S. House Rep Dave Reichert (who is apparently considering a run for governor based on this).

West Virginia

Congratulations to Dem Earl Ray Tomblin, who defeated Repug Bill Maloney and became the governor of the state for real (he had been “keeping the seat warm” after former governor Joe Manchin took over the U.S. Senate seat of Robert Byrd when he passed away). This tells us more about Tomblin’s jobs agenda, which includes lower business taxes (yes, I know it’s corporate blackmail, but I don’t have a better idea at the moment…and by the way, as noted here, the Governor-elect needs to have a chat with “The Big Dog” on the environment).

This post from February, though, tells us about unemployed coal miners in the state installing rooftop solar panels (a step in the right direction), and this tells us that the state could be looking at a “mixed bag” of intermittently rising and falling unemployment over the next year (the state’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August).

The Times West Virginian story also tells us the following...
Most of the job gains have come in the service-providing sectors, like health care, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. Employment growth is also evident in natural resources and mining, and manufacturing jobs have begun to grow again, (Dr. George Hammond, associate director of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research) said.

“So for West Virginia, the unemployment rate is down from its peak in part because we’ve seen a bit of a rebound in job growth and partly because we’ve seen the labor force decline,” he said.

Hammond explained that some individuals who were employed have dropped out of the labor force. The decline in the labor force isn’t a particularly good sign and is a factor that must be taken into account.
The contingent of U.S. Senate Democrats includes Manchin, who is absolutely odious, truth be told (remember his campaign ad where he shot a gun at a target that had what was supposed to be regulations from the Obama Administration attached to it?), though he definitely stood out against Repug John Raese in the election for Byrd’s former seat last year (with Raese bringing us such slap-your-open-palm-against-your-forehead moments like this). And this tells us how Manchin, his fellow Dem U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and U.S. House Dem Nick Rahall all helped to secure a $5 million federal grant to help unemployed workers find jobs.


At long last, we come to Hosni Mubarak Walker-istan. And to recall how we got to where we are currently at, I give you the following two videos: the first features Ed Schultz with two Wisconsin school teachers and the statement about Walker making public sector workers pay more (along with Ohio and elsewhere)...

...and the second features Rachel Maddow on Scott Walker and Wackenhut (the clowns in Afghanistan), hired to take care of security at the state capitol after Walker canned the public sector security guards, and she connects the dots between the Repugs attacking unions and their support of Democrats (and this may have been Rachel Maddow's finest commentary, by the way).

Continuing, this recent post tells us of 200 school unions in the state that have applied for recertification; this means that those unions would be able to bargain on behalf of their members, but as the post tells us, recertification won’t be easy (and even if a union doesn’t recertify, it will still exist, but it won’t be able to bargain on behalf of its members…to which I say, why exist at all, which definitely is part of the Walker/ALEC/Koch Brothers strategy…also, here is a site containing all manner of articles related to the protests at the state capital earlier this year).

Oh, and lest we not forget, this tells us that Repug U.S. Senator Ron Johnson not only got his business up and running with government help (the same government he now decries when it tries to support the economy), but he staffed his business with prison labor instead of hiring law-abiding constituents from his state and paying them a livable wage.

For anyone who needs a history lesson, there is a reason why the Repugs targeted this state first in their war on workers, and that is because Wisconsin is the state where the progressive movement pretty much began, as noted here. And by the way, the state unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in August (here).


In case you had any doubts about where Repug U.S. Senator John Barrasso stands on the issue of working men and women, this should answer your questions (and as noted here, the state’ s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in August – not bad, but I wonder if that’s partly due to a dispersed population also?).

Also, this tells us that Barrasso and fellow U.S. Senate Repug Mike Enzi have claimed that building up the Powder River Basin coal reserve will create jobs, when in fact the coal has already been sold to China (nice).

In addition, I know this doesn’t directly relate to jobs, but Repug U.S. House Rep Cynthia Lummis declared here last November that the estate tax is causing her constituents to kill themselves, or something (to which K.O. replied, “well then, wouldn’t a better form of protest be to do just the opposite?” or something).

And for good measure, Bushco’s former Minerals Management Service director Johnnie Burton, who is apparently now a congressional staffer for Lummis, is noted here for the shenanigans that went on during her watch (again, not directly related to jobs, but noteworthy as far as I’m concerned)

Update 1/13/12: And it looks like there are some unresolved workplace safety issues in the state, as noted here.


There you have it; I set out to go across the country and look at unemployment in all of our states and territories in an effort to pay more attention to this issue, and I hope that I’ve been successful and maybe, just maybe, spurred some type of positive action on this issue by the politicians who are supposed to represent us. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I have to say that I couldn’t think of a way to wrap this up as I would have liked, but I did manage to come across this item which, I think, helps to reinforce everything I’ve tried to do here. It’s not a real upbeat tune, but given everything going on particularly with the “Occupy Wall Street” and “99 Percent” movement, it might be timelier than we realize.

Update 10/8/11: And this is a reminder as to who "has our back" and who doesn't.

Update 10/20/11: What else could we have expected from the Teahadists (here)?

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