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Rep. Barbara Lee's Statement on BLS May Jobs Report

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Post by PamelaJo on Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:06 am

Forgive me in advance if this has already been posted somewhere on this forum. I just checked Barbara Lee's website and she released this statement on Friday, June 3rd. If you haven't seen it, thought I'd post it:

Barbara Lee: With Unemployment Rate Still High, We Must Reject
Drastic Republican Cuts to Programs That Help the Most Vulnerable and
Needy Populations


June 3, 2011 Media Contact: Joel Payne, (202) 225-2661 Washington, DCCongresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement this morning in reaction to the May jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“While the overall economy may be showing signs of improvement, too many people are unable to find work and millions are still feeling a great deal of pain. Clearly there is still much work to do to ensure that our economic recovery is felt in every community.

The national unemployment rate rose to 9.1%. That number rises to 16.2% in the
African-American community and 11.9% in the Hispanic community, both increases from last month. And among teenagers, the unemployment rate is at 24%.

“This reality underscores the importance of the message that we relayed to the President yesterday at our White House meeting. We outlined to the President that we cannot accept a budget that penalizes the most vulnerable and needy populations with drastic cuts to important programs like WIC, food stamps, and job training.

Republicans have yet to create a single job in the 5 months since they’ve taken control of the House, yet they want to cut these programs that assist the most vulnerable. And they won’t even allow for a vote on the ‘99ers’ bill that I introduced with Congressman Bobby Scott to provide emergency aid for those who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.

“The extreme Republican agenda of paying for tax cuts for millionaires and subsidies for oil companies on the backs of the low-income and the poor is hurting millions of people in a very real way. This jobs report should serve as a stark reminder that Republicans need to work with us and get serious about creating jobs, fostering new economic opportunities and providing pathways out of poverty.”
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Post by Guest on Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:28 am

Thank you for posting this, Pamelajo! I have split this from the other topic to create a new one to ensure all our members read that Rep. Lee has NOT forgotten us.

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Post by mj33 on Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:39 am

This was nice and reassuring to see/read yesterday afternoon, a statement in her behalf directly addressing the specific issue at hand as it pertains to the situation. It's going to be interesting to see what transpires in June and July though with not much emphasis and support on either side of isle yet for legislating or debating this bill.

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Post by Guest on Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:46 pm

Thank you for posting this MaryJo!! It is reassuring to see that she is still trying to help.

I think we need to start targeting the more unknown GOP reps in the house, instead of just the GOP leaders. We could target the ones who's districts have the highest unemployment rates.

Call me naive but maybe if we can get one or two on board with this bill, they can push their own party to go along as well. I know its a long shot but its worth a try. There has to be at least ONE republican in the house that if pushed enough will support HR 589. They cant all be heartless...can they?? confused

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Post by Jobless_in_Ma on Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:08 pm

I guess the big question is if 589 will ever get out of committee.

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Post by Rose on Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:54 pm

Rep's are as happy as can be now that the country is bad. This is there plan to see Obama fail. Mitch McConnell has said his main goal is to make Obama a one term president. They know damn well the 99ers need help but they help the rich. Why because helping the 99ers will aid in job creation as more UE money will be pumped into the econ.

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Post by Guest on Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:06 pm

Not only will money be pumped into the economy, but our extension is taxable which generates more revenue through taxes, not as much as a job would, but it would be more revenue.

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Post by Guest on Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:11 pm

Jobless_in_Ma wrote:I guess the big question is if 589 will ever get out of committee.

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Post by Guest on Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:22 pm

I think it will depending on housing, the next few jobs reports and consumer confidence. If they keep tanking, they will HAVE to do something. Attempting to create jobs would also help, since they feel they don't have to do that. If they don't start soon, revenue will decrease to really scary levels. and . . . if businesses think returning to pre-Bush era tax rates are horrible, let revenues keep decreasing, their taxes will go through the roof, there will be no other choice. Why the DCer's don't get this is beyond me.

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Post by Ron S on Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:28 pm

First of all, to the community of unemployed friend’s members, please bear in mind that the following is not intended to be a personal “rant and rave” by me , but more of an analysis and assessment of the various issues involved that are of concern to the long term unemployed who have been affected by this economic catastrophe.

Moreover, because many of the forum members who may read this evaluation may be in a vulnerable emotional state and/or critical financial shape, perhaps being desperately dependent on the fate of HR 589 or similar governmental assistance being passed, I recognize that there may be a temptation to perhaps read into more than what is said for its face value. Therefore, to attempt to limit that unintended exposure of perhaps having any readers misconstrue the intent and effect of this analysis, I feel that it is incumbent upon me to issue a disclaimer about the nature of this analysis.

Specifically, any conclusions I have come to and have publicly offered up for anyone’s review are based on my opinion, informed and perhaps limited as it may be, and any residual judgments I have made based on these various observations. Please know that I have not attempted to “sugar coat” this situation in order to concoct an exaggerated positive spin, nor have I taken a strictly draconian outlook, as some on other websites have evidently consistently done. I sincerely believe many of these views as put forth to be closer to the truth of the matter than not.

These various recommendations that follow are what I believe it will likely take to enable HR 589 to move out of the House Ways and Means Committee and have a good chance to prevail in a House Chamber floor vote. However, I am neither saying nor predicting that this is the course that will absolutely occur, but rather that it is the path that probably will have to occur in order for any relief to be had on behalf of the cohort of the unemployed. Certainly, this relief is needed for constituents across this country, whose lives are at the very least, significantly diminished, if not now in dire desperation, sustained from the ill effects of this unprecedented economic collapse and residual unemployment crisis.

As many UFF 2 members probably or should realize by now, over a year has passed since many of the unemployed initially exhausted their last tier of available federal extensions in the face of continuing to remain jobless. Since then the ranks of the jobless without any remaining unemployment insurance benefits has only increased, and significantly so. The outset of this ongoing unemployment/jobs/benefit campaign has essentially coincided with the initial exhaustion of federal extensions, which ran their course in the spring of 2010. Unfortunately, since then, through this protracted time period, in spite of the relentless efforts of a few congressional members in tandem with a large coalition of the unemployed who have been politically proactive, nothing tangible has been accomplished toward obtaining any further government assistance.

As this is a complex multi-faceted political problem, there are a number of resistant reasons why further government assistance has not been forthcoming to-date. To give you a corroboration of the sense of that resistance from someone who is in a position of influence and power, as far back as last September of 2010, I received a rather responsive reply to an email I sent from my Senator, who you may know of as Dick Durbin from Illinois. As you may know, Senator Durbin is the current majority whip in the U.S. Senate, or otherwise known as second in command to the Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Pertinent parts from Senator Durbin’s reply along with my accompanying comments are quoted as follows:

“Thank you for contacting me regarding the extension of unemployment benefits. I appreciate hearing from you and share your support for this vital part of the safety net.” Sounds good so far; maybe there is hope that he will sincerely advocate for a “safety net” type of parachute, as it looks like the senator’s political rhetoric may support this plea for additional help inspiring one to read on! However, tread with caution here, as the devil is usually in the details, and as many know, congressman routinely resort to “boilerplate clichés” to give the appearance of a responsive answer in hoping to placate a constituent.

“Unfortunately, on three occasions, certain members of the Senate Minority have objected even to temporary extensions of these programs, forcing thousands of individuals to lose unemployment benefits for weeks at a time. It is irresponsible for members of Congress to play politics with this issue while forcing citizens across the country to pay the price. I am pleased that we were able to find the votes necessary to pass this extension.” Certainly, this blame game is expected as congressmen are notorious for resorting to political “tap dancing”. Shifting the blame for failure by claiming partisanship reasons is the excuse for congress as a whole acting irresponsibly; this certainly is in their political gamesmanship play book.

“At the same time, a growing number of individuals are exhausting the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment benefits available to them. Many are now advocating making unemployment benefits available beyond the current 99 weeks.” This is at least a good truthful admission by the Senator of the current problem with respect to how it has evolved. After all, one cannot just rest on what was previously done. Serious complex problems are usually in a constant state of flux. Given the instant case, this particularly is a problem which has changed significantly in what it started out being and certainly now requires that further actions be taken.

“To address this growing problem, I cosponsored the Americans Want to Work Act (S. 3706). S. 3706 would create a 5th tier of unemployment insurance, providing an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed in states with 7.5 percent or higher unemployment. The bill also increases tax incentives for businesses that hire someone eligible for the new 5th tier or have exhausted all rights to unemployment benefits.” At least the Senator is doing something beyond just offering up the usual political rhetoric by virtue of his co-sponsorship of this bill. For now, he has my attention.

“Unfortunately, the intense focus on the federal budget deficit and the continued opposition to the program is making it increasingly difficult to maintain the current level of benefits. Any further expansion of benefits, like those in S. 3706, faces an enormous uphill battle.” Oh well, after granting a semblance of hope it is immediately dashed by the Senator’s caveat that the deficit problem will now be a significant obstacle to manifesting an expansion of this “vital safety net”, as it was previously characterized by Senator Durbin at the outset of his response. However, in retrospect, give the Senator his due, as we all know now, it certainly has been quite true regarding his statement that this bill faces (has since faced) an enormous uphill battle.

”Unemployment insurance is a critical safety net for our nation's workers. In these difficult economic times, our first priority must be to help Americans return to work, while ensuring that the unemployed receive assistance to help make ends meet while they look for a new job. I will keep your support for unemployment insurance in mind as Congress debates unemployment insurance and other programs to assist the unemployed. Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch. Sincerely, Richard J. Durbin United States Senator.” In closing, the Senator uncategorically states that this is “our first priority” with respect to both jobs and benefits. However, the reality with congress since then has been far from living up to this assertion. Given how congress has treated this situation, this sound’s like another meaningless platitude in light of today’s circumstances and current state of affairs the long term unemployed are now faced with.

Well, doesn’t this type of congressional response sound very familiar to you?

The point of going through this particular Senator’s response in a piecemeal fashion is to both illustrate and emphasize how the Congressional actions to date are not living up to their “lip service” with respect to their intents and purposes toward advocating for further assistance for the millions who continue to remain unemployed throughout this crisis. I will give Senator Durbin his due. He was previously one of the most passionate and vocal proponents for passing the last federal unemployment insurance tier in the fall of 2009. Senator Durbin constantly came to the Senate floor and spoke for the need to pass this legislation in the face of significant GOP obstructionism at that time. However, since then along with Senator Stabenow and others, Senator Durbin has become non existent in the continued advocacy for measures that would help the long term unemployed.

There seems to be a prevalent pattern going on among a number of congressmen and senators who will at one time or another come out and publicly verbalize their support with the usual rhetoric and sound bites. However, they usually then figuratively just crawl into a proverbial mouse hole and remain hidden, mute or non-committal with a lackadaisical manner toward staying the course for this campaign on behalf of the long term unemployed. Certainly, it goes without saying, congressional jobless constituents need and deserve much more of a commitment than this from their elected representatives.

Moreover, as you may recall, specifically, Congresswoman Shelly Berkley of Nevada sponsored an unemployment insurance expansion tier 5 bill last year in the house chamber in tandem with the senate S.3706 bill. Now the last time I checked, Nevada was still at the top of the heap in states with the highest unemployment rate. As we all know, that bill died a slow death last year; however, I ask you… where is this Congresswoman’s advocacy today? She appears to be “no- where” to be found when it comes to this issue. However, we are all still “now-here” with an even bigger problem facing the long term unemployed approximately one year later. Congresswoman Berkley is not even listed as a co-sponsor for HR 589; why? I point all this out because it is finally apparent that the long term unemployed exhaustees now need more than the Congressional Black Caucus to be the political face of this movement in Washington, D.C., if there is ever going to be any success with this H.R. 589 bill eventually passing.

Certainly, I have no problem with extending my considerable heart felt thanks to both Representatives Lee and Scott and the CBC for taking this issue up and electing to carry the gauntlet by sponsoring this very meaningful legislation on behalf of the unemployed across America. Unfortunately, my identification with them, as well as with many others who are similarly situated, I suspect, is also limited as they are not my or their direct representatives, who, unfortunately, in my case, happens to be a representative who is a neophyte dyed in the wool Republican. However, I will say it is highly likely that without the CBC’s help, this whole matter may not even have a prayer or a political face in the halls of congress and would likely have caused it to long since drift off into oblivion. With that said, however, let’s not loose sight of the fact that the CBC, or if you prefer, the “Crew of 42” representatives are exclusively a black minority caucus, and first and foremost are looking out for their special minority interests. That is there primary identity purpose, and expertise; this type of narrower minority constituency representation is what they are most comfortable and adept with handling. With that said, HR 589 purports to potentially affect a much wider constituency base that far exceeds what this group of representatives alone are likely comfortable with and perhaps even entirely competent to deal with.

Moreover, this unemployment crisis stemming from the recent economic collapse is only part and parcel of their overall issue pertaining to their minority constituent’s particular unemployment issues. Remember systemically, poor black areas have had consistently high unemployment rates that long pre-date this specific unprecedented economic collapse. To be more distinctive, causation for their constituent’s unemployment problems may not be entirely identical to the wider cohort of long term unemployed who are only similarly situated primarily because of an economy which collapsed in an unprecedented fashion not seen in our lifetime. It is this very factor that likely detracts from the overall effectiveness of the Congressional Black Caucus’s exclusive advocacy on behalf of the long term unemployed of this country, which is a much more diverse group of jobless individuals that do not necessarily all hail from poor depressed congressional districts that apparently the CBC members primarily represent. In other words, relatively speaking, my point is that the millions of jobless arising from this specific economic crisis are not the homogeneous group of constituents that are likely found in the minorities that the CBC normally represents. Consequently, it is probably asking allot of the CBC to take the exclusive advocacy upon their political shoulders of a much more diverse, complex, and likely sophisticated group of unemployed constituents, then what they are trained and accustomed to usually representing.

Essentially, to commingle all the unemployed in this fashion can potentially hurt and just obfuscate the problem rather than clarify the real truth of the matter. Characteristically, an “Archie Bunker/All in the Family” mentality of prejudice and discrimination against the faction of jobless evidently proliferates in this employment arena today. If so, it is likely a carry over from the days previous to the 2008 economic collapse, where a typical unemployed person at that time was more likely to have a “tale of woe” indicative of truly being more personally at fault for his or her given unemployed status, than for the current mass of unemployed victims who are really just innocent jobless casualties stemming from the crisis situation we now have before us. If credible, that is certainly a worthy distinction for the unemployed that needs continued amplification as this campaign for HR 589 seemingly progresses.


A case on point is when the CBC recently met with President Obama. The CBC reported that the President was apathetic or waffling toward supporting HR 589. Apparently, as reported, the President expediently stereotyped this unemployment problem as primarily a “black issue”, which in normal times it probably is, figuring he already has the support of the black vote in the 2012 election. So if President Obama concludes, by virtue of just being black himself, that I already have the support of the black community for the next election, how motivated is he going to be in rallying his administration toward supporting HR 589 if he further concludes by the CBC’s representation that this is primarily just a “black and/or minority unemployment issue” which for the most part it is in more normal times and circumstances? Notwithstanding the additional problem, is that if the President supports this legislation it may give the wrong appearance to the rest of the country by emphasizing that this massive unemployment crisis does in fact cut across class lines and is still a lingering major national problem. If that is the impression it generates, then the President and his advisers will likely conclude that promoting this legislation will only hurt his chances for re-election in 2012 by magnifying the unemployment issue as it stands. Apparently, if the President does discount this by writing this off in mistakenly dismissing this as primarily just a black or minority unemployment problem, based on the CBC’s appearance of their exclusive frontal advocacy, then others in Washington may be just as susceptible to this same misperception as well, further undermining any credibility and necessity for HR 589. Furthermore, I highly suspect that the President as long as last year made a tactical decision to refrain from giving any additional support to an expansion of the entitlement unemployment insurance program. Why? Because the democrats were still holding the majority in the house and were certainly still in a position to pass an expansion of unemployment insurance last December when the Bush era tax cut extension bill was set to expire. President Obama had the political leverage so that he could have persuaded the GOP to go along with a benefit expansion in conjunction with the unemployment insurance time extension that was passed. He didn’t and has been evasive on this “99er” issue ever since. It is obviously just not in the best political interest for the President to favorably engage this issue.

Additionally, another specific instance of concern is that both Representatives Lee and Scott came away from their recent meeting with both Representatives Boehner and Cantor reporting that it was a positive meeting and there was some cause for optimism for HR 589’s future. Given what has followed, I seriously have to question their judgment in thinking that there was a genuine basis for that kind of an optimistic assessment. Going forward, the CBC reported that Boehner advised them to work with the House Ways and Means committee; the question I have is did Lee and Scott ever follow-up by attempting to get the ball rolling in that regard? It sure doesn’t appear so, since they apparently were completely astounded when the GOP/Camp contingent came out with a bill such as HR 1745. Certainly, on its face, that was a bill surely at complete odds with the intent of HR 589. It is developments like these that tend to erode any degree of confidence building toward the CBC’s on-going ability to be the sole congressional messenger on behalf of the millions of suffering unemployed across this once great nation.

Beyond this particular point, in looking down the road of political adversity, is the fact that the CBC is strictly relegated in their political influence to the House chamber. I believe they have no corresponding like political faction in the senate chamber. In fact, I believe President Obama was the only elected black man holding a senate seat until he resigned to run for President. Since then Roland Burris, a black man from Illinois temporarily took over that seat, but he was appointed by an impeached governor who is currently on trial here in Illinois for a corruption scandal. Although Roland Burris was a supporter for the downtrodden, he has since been replaced by an elected congressman from my 10th district of Illinois. Unfortunately, newly anointed Senator Kirk is truly GOP all the way and thus a staunch adversarial opponent for this particular cause.

Which now brings me to the issue of why are the 80 plus co-sponsors for HR 589 continuing to remain so passive some four months after this bill was first introduced? Do these other house representatives really and truly support this legislation or is this just another academic exercise for them? Perhaps just another episode of “show time” in paying “lip service” only done for making some political gains with the voters? This campaign has gone on far too long with far too many people left hanging in the wings who are seriously hurting to enable this stalemate to continue to drift and drag on to no avail. Anyone can add their name to a list and give the appearance that they want a given piece of legislation to pass for political gains with certain constituents, knowing full well that the likelihood of its passage is when perhaps “hell freezes over”. Consequently, it has now come to a juncture with this bill that these various co-sponsors now need to “put up” or “shut up”, as the colloquial lingo goes.

More to the point, both Lee & Scott and any other CBC members need to start seriously collaborating with these apparent other Democratic supporters. If these other co-sponsors start taking a higher profile with this much needed legislation by taking house chamber floor or media time to advocate for this HR 589 campaign, then I think the GOP will start to get serious about negotiating a real compromise. Certainly up to this point in time, the GOP’s actions have been extremely disingenuous. After all, one would conclude that it shouldn’t be all that difficult for the CBC to collaborate with their other democratic colleagues in order to get a strategic game plan in place by motivating them to become equally proactive in this campaign. However it does seem odd that after all this time that the CBC is still solely the only proponent faction who are out in front on this campaign. Given the economic recovery’s sluggishness, I think it is reasonable to assume that other democratic representatives would now be out front alongside the CBC seriously advocating for this bill. Since that does not appear to be the case as of yet, it makes me wonder how the CBC is really perceived on the inside of congress by their democratic colleagues. Are we facing a similar situation that occurs routinely among government agencies who refuse to cooperate and work together to achieve a common end? This apparently was a factor in why 9/11 was able to happen, because the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies failed to work together and information that could perhaps have helped to circumvent those events was not shared among these government entities. Frankly, however, it appears that the CBC is solely not strategically very well prepared to move this legislation forward against enormous GOP opposition. It is now time to call for reinforcements to get more congressional democrats into the fray. Otherwise, this bill will continue to get stonewalled and go absolutely nowhere. Also, I believe if these other co-sponsors step up their level of activity that it will only generate even more democrats jumping on board to support this legislation, which is what is now seriously needed. I firmly believe that an infusion of new congressional blood, so to speak, will give this campaign for HR 589 the transfusion that is now needed to move this bill to the finish line. Ultimately, lets face it, its’ going to take a total democratic consensus in the house for this bill to pass, in addition to getting a percentage of the GOP cohort to eventually support it. Fortunately, we don’t need a complete consensus of republican support to get this bill passed, because the ultra or so-called “tea party” conservatives are a lost cause, and attempting to solicit their support for this bill will no doubt just hit a brick wall.


Now in terms of the nation of unemployed member’s direct advocacy, going forward, I believe it should be entirely focused right now on the democratic co-sponsors and the remaining democrats who have yet to publicly support HR 589. It is just not a productive use of both time and effort to continue running a campaign focused on fruitlessly trying to sway members of the GOP. By now, it should be extremely obvious, the GOP is the established and sworn enemy for this issue as they have proven time and again that they are not going to be persuaded by what the mass of unemployed is either saying or doing regarding the need for an expansion of unemployment benefits. Many republicans are not only administratively opposed to this in terms of financing a bill of this type; they are morally and ethically against it as well. In fact, this issue is so polarized and inflamed it almost rises to the level of where the capital punishment/death penalty debate currently is in this country. It is well documented that the GOP is totally beholden to the corporate lobbyists who are their masters in terms of what legislation gets pushed or does not on Capitol Hill. In their view, HR 589 would be akin to a promoting a bad disease. To just continue this mindless flurry of activity with all the blizzards of emails, letters, faxes, phone calls and tweets by the unemployed to the GOP’s support help minions is akin to an “ostrich head in the sand” approach that amounts to really nothing more in effect than “graffiti on a back alley wall” or “confetti thrown to the wind”. Rather, to spend time more productively, I am convinced that if enough democratic representatives begin advocating alongside the CBC contingent, then you will eventually obtain the GOP’s attention and some meaningful negotiations can then be subsequently implemented. Given the ineffective results to date, it should be very clear by now that continuing to ask the unemployed troops to contact the GOP directly is tactically just not very smart. It is like trying to negotiate directly with them as social equals and they will absolutely not have it. It is obvious that they will dismiss the unemployed forthwith as perhaps unworthy bums, not worthy of their time and attention. I say, let the democrats deal with them, as it is part of their job, coupled with the fact that their social status is on much more equal footing. The congressional democrats, unlike their unemployed constituents, can talk face to face in a meeting with the GOP, which is much more effective in terms of negotiation.

In a recent development by the GOP with pulling back on their HR 1745 legislation, this bill was never going to pass anyway, as it was much too much of an extreme legislative measure to begin with in the face of these continuing dire economic conditions. Also, ever hear the phrase ‘Indian Giver”? Well, that is what the HR 1745 bill would have likely amounted to in its ultimate effect; essentially placing an extreme negative stigma on the GOP that they would never likely live down. Nonetheless, once the mainstream GOP caucus had a serious discussion about the bill on the threshold of Chairman Camp bringing it out to the floor, it probably sobered their thinking up considerably, causing them to finally reconsider. Also, I am sure that the recent special election in New York State, in which a democrat unexpectedly won over a republican challenger, gave their membership cause for some concern motivating them to backtrack on this bill. It appeared that there was a “grass roots” backlash regarding the Republican Party trying to pull back on some senior citizen programs like Medicare which helped to give rise to that result.

Previously, I recall some member of this UFF 2 forum putting together a grid of the 435 house representatives, bracketing them essentially into four groups in terms of their anticipated level of support for HR 589. This spreadsheet would probably be a good tool to utilize toward fine tuning a revised congressional contact method. Going forward, the key words are first and foremost, collaboration, and then secondly, compromise. With the collaboration phase of the campaign, this is where the unemployed who stand to benefit from this bill need to be the most proactive; essentially, assisting the CBC by implementing a contact assault on the democratic leadership such as Pelosi and Hoyer, the Democratic co-sponsors, and the remaining rank and file of the Democratic representatives of the house chamber by strongly urging them to stand up and start advocating alongside the CBC on behalf of HR 589.

Certainly, in tandem with the efforts of the unemployed, as this is a joint venture, the CBC members need to seriously start caucusing amongst the other democratic house factions to garner their support, so they will proactively start amplifying the need for HR 589. So in essence, the collaborative phase amounts to a two-pronged assault by both the CBC contingent and the unemployed cohort on the Democratic Party. The CBC can function as a soloist by melodically singing the “HR 589 blues” all they want, but the time has now come to add a chorus of other congressional proponent voices to sing the harmony for this cause loud and strong alongside them. Only when and after this is accomplished will the GOP respond with their figurative tune; probably, they will initially reciprocate with something akin to the 1812 Overture, which is a bombastic piece in line with their party’s personality. Of course, in the initial stages of this “chess match”, the GOP will want to flex their proverbial muscle and beat their chest like ”King Kong” in order to publicly show everyone whose “in-charge”, privately knowing full well that they intend to ultimately compromise their position knowing full well that “Tarzan” is now waiting in the wings. To a large extent, I think coming out with such an extreme bill such as HR 1745, actually, was tactically designed for just this very purpose…to exhibit the whose “in-charge” show of administrative force.

So once the collaborative phase runs its course, assuming that it was effective in rallying the rank and file democrats to step up for this legislation, then negotiations are then ripe for both parties to move into the compromise phase. At this point, both parties then begin merging their so-called “job’s creating” agendas to draft some “meaningful legislation” in order to save face with the voter populace, inclusive of the intent of HR 589 that would then be ready for a floor vote in the house chamber.

Now some of the unemployed who stand to benefit from this legislation may think why in the world wouldn’t we just include a certain faction of GOP leadership and some of their representatives who might be deemed vulnerable enough to be swayed within our activities in the collaborative phase of this campaign? Well, because procedurally it will not work, as the political protocols in place do not really allow for it. Try to view this campaign from this vantage point. HR 589 is a democratic bill that the long term unemployed desperately want and need. The GOP neither proposed this bill, nor do they now want this bill. The CBC, a faction of the Democratic Party, and American 99ers coalition are publicly and politically bonded in this campaign for promoting HR 589, so efforts brought forth by the faction of unemployed to sway other democrats is much more appropriate; somewhat akin to working within your own fort or community, if you will. Spending valuable time, going after very adversarial Republican representatives in the long shot hope that they can be swayed to support HR 589 will no doubt be a fruitless and frustrating endeavor. The evidence clearly establishes that… that has been the case all along and going forward, there is no intelligent basis to now think otherwise. Why? Because the reality is that the rank and file republicans are nothing more than foot soldiers who are strictly beholden to the GOP party leadership. They operate very much in the sense of the military chain of command, because if they didn’t they would be ostracized by their fellow party members and their careers likely would be ultimately short lived. So even if some of these GOP representatives privately are sympathetic and would like to lend their support for HR 589, unless their GOP leadership gives them the green light to do so, they will stand mute and hold with the party line like a good congressional soldier. So then, if that’s true, why not just focus on the GOP leadership? First of all, it is not the job of the unemployed to really do that, as it goes against proper political protocol. It is what the democratic politicians should or will do, as they should act in the role of the unemployed’s counsel for that phase of the advocacy. Once this campaign evolves to the compromise phase, it becomes a very professional negotiation based on insider knowledge. The unemployed for the most part are likely not initiated enough to carry on directly in negotiations with professional politicians who are in a leadership role on a national level. Negotiating at this level takes considerable knowledge, training chutzpah, and experience, which the bulk of the unemployed are probably devoid of possessing. One has to know an insider’s political lingo to carry on with a meaningful discussion and know the “rules of engagement” at this point, as this is where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak. For the unemployed to directly continue clamoring and railing in this fashion against the GOP leadership for this bill is both juvenile and naïve. The GOP is not interested in hearing personal or anecdotal desperation stories from the unemployed, who passionately offer them up en masse to serve as a political platform for why HR 589 should be passed into law; that is not what will move them. What will be effective in moving them is discussion involving “quid pro quo” tactics; that is what is now called for in these circumstances. For those of you who are not familiar with this legal-latin phrase, it essentially, more or less, boils down to meaning “political horse trading”. If this HR 589 bill is going anywhere, the democratic professional politicians have to finally demonstrate that they are truly the unemployed’s allies and are massively in their corner by stepping up and connecting on some level with the GOP to accomplish getting this bill eventually passed into law. Both parties will have to compromise by bartering with perhaps their special “pork barrel” interests and that is how this will likely occur if indeed it ever does occur.

Another issue I wanted to touch briefly upon is the relationship of this HR 589 issue and the media. Certainly it would make logical sense to solicit individuals of celebrity to offer their testimonials on behalf of millions of unemployed. I am somewhat surprised that this has not already occurred to any extent. Previously, I did attempt to reach out to movie maker Michael Moore of “Roger & Me” fame among others thinking that this issue was “tailor made” for someone like him to take up. Not only did I not at least get a considerate refusal, perhaps thanking me for patronizing all his previous work, he never even bothered to reply to my email. Perhaps some successful people are changed by their success and become what they rail against when they are unknown and struggling on the way up the ladder?

Beyond this, in terms of this campaign for HR 589 being exposed through the media, it is apparent that many of the mainstream media are completely allied with the GOP mindset. The recent interview that FBN did with Mr. Rosen clearly illustrates that point. That interview was totally adversarial. The Fox networks are supposed to adhere to at least a semblance of journalistic standards requiring their reporting to be impartial. However, it was clearly apparent that having Mr. Rosen on was just an opportunity for them to carry out an assault that was akin to a “crucifixion” of this HR 589 campaign. What this shows is that one has to pick media opportunities very carefully. Media exposure certainly can be beneficial to the overall cause if it is truly impartial. However, attempting to shoehorn a positive spin on this issue into a completely adversarial format is not very helpful. All it does is further antagonize the unemployed community against the status quo, nor is it effective toward positively influencing the audience who you are trying to reach and persuade to your point of view.

Now the recent C-Span media opportunity with having Representative Lee on for approximately 45 minutes was the type of format that is made for extrapolating on this issue. However, I believe Rep Lee did not really take very good advantage of that format as she just generally touched on this subject matter just briefly.

Finally, one thing of ancillary concern I have observed that has developed in conjunction with the plight of the millions of unemployed, is a number of individuals who have apparently evolved into full time proponents of the jobless victim’s cause who have been spawned from this economic crisis. In some cases, it appears to resemble a “cottage industry” as they have taken on the appearance of a “pied piper” who seemingly has a dedicated cohort of unemployed people following them, who have been victimized by this catastrophe. I think some of these individuals are primarily into self promotion and may be more involved now then they ever were with any of their past employment opportunities. Some of these individuals may be adept at ranting and raving against the establishment, and thus are entertaining to some unemployed people who are very frustrated by telling them what they want to hear to make them feel better in the moment. Sort of like playing to the idea that misery loves company. Some of these people in these roles appear to be very radical; however, I will not identify them by name. However, advising someone to take the “red pill” and trying to wrap this unemployed 99er movement up into the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by calling it the “Easter Project” in my view is a “hair brain scheme” that will only make fools out very vulnerable and gullible people only detracting from the message. A more recent “ex lax scheme” that was proposed certainly falls into that same bag of absurdities. Fortunately, it appears that scheme has not been given any added thrust at least from members on this forum and eventually will disappear into oblivion. With that said, I do think some proponents of this issue are genuine in their efforts and are very helpful and do offer rational advice. One in particular I will name who was very good was Michael Collis. He was a Capitol Hill insider who still had connections in Washington so his information and insights were usually on target and better than most. Michael Collis was actually helpful because he did not make his audience by polarizing them exclusively with rants against those he viewed as the problem. Unfortunately, he met with an untimely death earlier this year.

So, if you have elected to read through all this, there you have it, for what its worth! I will not apologize for the length of this analysis, because this is a subject matter that warrants the time and effort to articulate about it to this degree, given the many worthy lives hanging in the balance over the outcome of this legislation. Again, its’ just an opinion and its’ my personal opinion and you all know what they say about everyone having an opinion, but for our sake, I won’t go there.

If you have seriously considered what has been said here, you may think how credible can this view be? Well being the author, I can tell you I base it on my life experience. I previously served in the United States military, and was based in the Washington D.C. area and have been employed in a number of large corporate environments in the decades since then. Working in those models have given me a good paradigm of what is probably going on in Capitol Hill these days and how these congressman likely think and operate and how that may effect this legislation that we are all concerned with and perhaps stand to benefit from, if it ever passes.

In closing, the latest statistical unemployment figures seem to still indicate that the economy is a long way from coming back to the point that it was at before all this business happened. So there may be a basis to think that some minimal degree of financial salvation may yet be forthcoming from the powers that be? I am convinced that the CBC can prevail if they are willing to both collaborate and compromise as outlined throughout this analysis.

Going forward, however, we shall see what we shall see!

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Post by mj33 on Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:38 pm

that was definately the longest post ive read on this forum over past couple years, without question. I think its safe assessment to realistically conclude that the 'view on CSpan was likely planned being taht it was end of the month and good time for PR etc... on generalities of 'items' being brought up, and anyone can realize the long term unmeployed was vaguely 'touched upon' as the poster says. While many insighful things are known and stated on the previous posters comments, with all due respect the Reprentatives Lee and Scott are as qualified as any other member as for advocating and supporting a bill for long term unemployed citizens, as they are very experienced like their colleagues and tackle many issues, not just other social movements on socioeconomic status', underprivaleged etc.. , case and point is all the bills they vote for and partake in daily/weekly on foreign wars, spending, budget, etc...., so to say that they are 'not comfortable dealing with such an issue/bill' is not on target at all in my humblest opinion, and if anything, they would be more likely than some others as being poor is poor and underprivaleged is underprivaleged and taking advantage of public assistance programs is just that, as is filing for bankruptcy, home foreclosures is what it is etc... so Id say we need to continue to have that total faith and support for both Lee and Scott, since they are the 2 that created the bill, and again is their job to influence their colleagues and as group with their party line (plus whomever else, Senator snowe etc...), come aboard and do whatever it takes, such as SELLING it to Nancy Pelosi or Ways and Means (which by the way, they have experience doing in past for other bills). Just my objective 2 cents worth which thought should be mentioned here.

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Post by Guest on Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:43 pm

Agree that Rep. Lee introduced the bill, but as I have been saying, there are 82 co-sponsors who also signed on. They should be just as proactive as Reps. Lee and Scott, and if they aren't, then they only signed on for political gains. Rep. Lee only represents a small portion of the 99er population - time for the other's who agreed this bill was worth pursuing to follow her lead and SPEAK UP!

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Post by mj33 on Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:05 am

Desperate:

I think nobody would argue that point at all, as its quite obvious and equally imperative to get vast numbers on board, whatever colleagues they may be, including or especially the co-sponsors. The important piece here is that nobody of those 84 in total either cared enough or had the right selling pitch to Nancy Pelosi to even get a simple 2 minute floor time with President Obama in thursdays special meeting so they ARE ALL EQUALLY AT FAULT, PLAIN AND SIMPLE, nobody is any more than anyone else, and they have to work together as a team I think we all agree on and is the only thing we basically are all stating.

We are slowly, very very slowly starting to rethink their own personal agendas and arguing amongst themselves and sole focus on the budget/deficit, which takes time to plug into their brains, so we have to be patient as June will likely continue to be not much different, at same time I will continue to fight the fight and educate those to get more involved on our end. We need PBS, CSpan, and even a major news station to now more than ever get involved, and even moreso take sole responsibility as indiv's to make sure all those 99ers sitting behind the door complaining about no action being taken to let them know to personally take action themselves. I personally had to inform 2 people on Friday alone about this at local workforce center whom I educated month and half ago on last time saw them, but just shows how people are 'sleeping under a rock' so to speak and just don't have the 100% care/concern they should have.

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Post by Fuentes on Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:45 am

Good job Ron. Comprehensive yes, verbose no.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:24 am

DesperateInRI wrote:Agree that Rep. Lee introduced the bill, but as I have been saying, there are 82 co-sponsors who also signed on. They should be just as proactive as Reps. Lee and Scott, and if they aren't, then they only signed on for political gains. Rep. Lee only represents a small portion of the 99er population - time for the other's who agreed this bill was worth pursuing to follow her lead and SPEAK UP!

I agree. I've put a lot of thought into which supporter would have the true dynamics, tenacity, and know-how to spearhead HR589 out of committee deadlock and through to conclusion.

My personal choice is Rep. Anthony Weiner. I've already sent him a note of urgency for us all tonight. I hope when you think this through 360, you'll understand my reasoning.

If you'd like to ask Rep. Weiner for his help, here is his contact page (I think we need funnel our message through one mailbox at this point)... http://www.weiner.house.gov/email_anthony.aspx

Good luck to us. Jazzy X

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:19 am

MaryKay wrote:I think it will depending on housing, the next few jobs reports and consumer confidence. If they keep tanking, they will HAVE to do something. Attempting to create jobs would also help, since they feel they don't have to do that. If they don't start soon, revenue will decrease to really scary levels. and . . . if businesses think returning to pre-Bush era tax rates are horrible, let revenues keep decreasing, their taxes will go through the roof, there will be no other choice. Why the DCer's don't get this is beyond me.

While this may be true, many of us can't wait for the next few jobs, housing and consumer reports. We have one more round of reports in July before they take their month off. This puts us into the Fall and you know where the focus will be then - extending the deadlines past 12/31/11. The 99ers are going to get pushed aside once again and the focus will be turned back to the extension of deadlines for the current Federal extension program. We need this before they go on break, or we will never see it.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:27 am

X wrote:
DesperateInRI wrote:Agree that Rep. Lee introduced the bill, but as I have been saying, there are 82 co-sponsors who also signed on. They should be just as proactive as Reps. Lee and Scott, and if they aren't, then they only signed on for political gains. Rep. Lee only represents a small portion of the 99er population - time for the other's who agreed this bill was worth pursuing to follow her lead and SPEAK UP!

I agree. I've put a lot of thought into which supporter would have the true dynamics, tenacity, and know-how to spearhead HR589 out of committee deadlock and through to conclusion.

My personal choice is Rep. Anthony Weiner. I've already sent him a note of urgency for us all tonight. I hope when you think this through 360, you'll understand my reasoning.

If you'd like to ask Rep. Weiner for his help, here is his contact page (I think we need funnel our message through one mailbox at this point)... http://www.weiner.house.gov/email_anthony.aspx

Good luck to us. Jazzy X

Excellent choice! I agree with you. Rep. Weiner has never been afraid to stand up for anything and makes himself heard on the House floor. He does need some good PR right now and this is his chance. (I don't believe all that crap that is going on now - he was hacked). Other sponsors who can be just as vocal are Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr., McDermott and Rangle.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:04 am

Yes L, I'm glad you saw through my "lens". Rep. Weiner could just be our RFK to bring this inhumane treatment to the forefront. I'm sick of saying this bill isn't going to go through. We need this bill run swiftly as the economy comes around, because we are at the edge of the falls and simply have very little ability to "wait".

I do know what you mean about the PR, good it was brought up, agree, but I hope going forward in this discussion we will be without dissertations of a dumb tweet scandal.

We need Anthony based on his super merits, which have been many.

Thanks L.

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Post by exhaustedandtired/1208 on Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:18 am

DesperateInRI wrote:
X wrote:
DesperateInRI wrote:Agree that Rep. Lee introduced the bill, but as I have been saying, there are 82 co-sponsors who also signed on. They should be just as proactive as Reps. Lee and Scott, and if they aren't, then they only signed on for political gains. Rep. Lee only represents a small portion of the 99er population - time for the other's who agreed this bill was worth pursuing to follow her lead and SPEAK UP!

I agree. I've put a lot of thought into which supporter would have the true dynamics, tenacity, and know-how to spearhead HR589 out of committee deadlock and through to conclusion.

My personal choice is Rep. Anthony Weiner. I've already sent him a note of urgency for us all tonight. I hope when you think this through 360, you'll understand my reasoning.

If you'd like to ask Rep. Weiner for his help, here is his contact page (I think we need funnel our message through one mailbox at this point)... http://www.weiner.house.gov/email_anthony.aspx

Good luck to us. Jazzy X

Excellent choice! I agree with you. Rep. Weiner has never been afraid to stand up for anything and makes himself heard on the House floor. He does need some good PR right now and this is his chance. (I don't believe all that crap that is going on now - he was hacked). Other sponsors who can be just as vocal are Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr., McDermott and Rangle.


Isn't this he same thing you said about Lee!

. Rep. Weiner has never been afraid to stand up for anything and makes himself heard on the House floor. WOW!
All these people not afraid to stand up and when they do they are heard! AND then ignored!

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:26 am

Then give up, 1208! There is no time for the constant bashing of everything I say! You do realize that if this isn't addressed in the next 5 weeks we are screwed again. When they come back in September, the fight will start to extend the deadlines past 12/31 for the existing program and we will be thrown under the bus again.

WE HAVE 5 WEEKS! That is it! No time for the continual antagonistic comments to everything I post. Let's move on with this while we still have a slight chance of getting some help.

If you can think of anything better, please post it. I, for one, do not feel like sleeping in the streets this winter!

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:51 pm

DesperateInRI wrote:Then give up, 1208! There is no time for the constant bashing of everything I say! You do realize that if this isn't addressed in the next 5 weeks we are screwed again. When they come back in September, the fight will start to extend the deadlines past 12/31 for the existing program and we will be thrown under the bus again.

WE HAVE 5 WEEKS! That is it! No time for the continual antagonistic comments to everything I post. Let's move on with this while we still have a slight chance of getting some help.

If you can think of anything better, please post it. I, for one, do not feel like sleeping in the streets this winter!

Yes Desperate, well said. I'm facing the streets in less than two months if I don't find employment. To EVERYONE, please don't be the reason "why not", be the reason "why" we just might succeed. Or step aside and don't try to derail the train that's we're trying to refuel.

Let's start with Rep. Weiner. His contact information is in a prior post in this thread. Please let him know you believe he has the fortitude and skill to make this happen, and fast. Not a long note, just effective.

I'm not discounting Rep. Lee or Scott. We just need a very strong individual that can do this quickly while working with the other reps.

Actually let me provide his contact information again.

If you'd like to ask Rep. Weiner for his help, here is his contact page (I think we need funnel our message through one mailbox at this point)... http://www.weiner.house.gov/email_anthony.aspx


And of course you can tweet him, etc. But let's make our request clear to him so he can fit this in his schedule if he wishes to. Then let's tell the press we have asked Rep. Weiner for his assistance. Let them have their 2 cents of fun but it will sure bring some attention back to our plight.

Thank you.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:06 pm

Many Representatives require that you be in their district in order to email them. To contact Congressman Weiner, use one of these addresses:

80-02 Kew Gardens Rd.
Suite 5000
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

1800 Sheepshead Bay Rd.
Brooklyn, NY, 11235

90-16 Rockaway Beach Blvd.
Rockaway, NY 11693

If the correspondence requires the additional 4 digit zip, you can find it here by typing in the address:
http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp

No time to waste! Please start contacting him! Even though the House is not in session next week, it is their "District Work Session".

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Post by exhaustedandtired/1208 on Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:07 pm

DesperateInRI wrote:Then give up, 1208! There is no time for the constant bashing of everything I say! You do realize that if this isn't addressed in the next 5 weeks we are screwed again. When they come back in September, the fight will start to extend the deadlines past 12/31 for the existing program and we will be thrown under the bus again.

WE HAVE 5 WEEKS! That is it! No time for the continual antagonistic comments to everything I post. Let's move on with this while we still have a slight chance of getting some help.

If you can think of anything better, please post it. I, for one, do not feel like sleeping in the streets this winter!


But I respect your words and everything about your efforts on the forums we have participated with, but its human nature to "differ" and not bashing! BTW!
Its weak to use words of disagreement as bashing! It would look better if one had a counter that discounted my words!
If someone has a different opinion then its offensive to you! I respect you and all your hard efforts but it is what it is! You can legitimately blame the repubs. Yes!! Hello, but the repubs. are not a big surprise! However Obama and the dems. and even Lee not being vocal and angry and standing up for the unemployed, I hold them accountable. Hello! When Obama wanted healthcare, he fought and pulled dirty politics to force it in.. he got that and yet where is he??? the dems have gone silent with no cause... they do not even speak out for anything! They are afraid of their political lives. they have a president that jumps ship against them and also they are afraid of the tea party and their standing in American voters, because they are scared and have no agenda and are afraid to say anything about unemployed because we are a hot potato . So IMO!!! they are making the republicans look good!~Thats my opinion. And I stand by it.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:18 pm

1208, it is not a matter of difference of opinion. Every time someone makes a suggestion, as X did above about a different way to go about getting some relief to this crisis, you have a negative comment. I don't think you realize that many here, just like you, are holding on by less than a thread right now. Before mocking someone else's suggestions, think about that and rather than just trash that position, offer a suggestion of your own.

It is only my opinion, but the response you made to X was mocking. We don't need that right now. We need action and any new ideas and suggestions are desperately needed. This comment does not help and only discourages others from posting their thoughts:

Isn't this he same thing you said about Lee!

. Rep. Weiner has never been afraid to stand up for anything and makes himself heard on the House floor. WOW!
All these people not afraid to stand up and when they do they are heard! AND then ignored!

Please take anything else to a pm.

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Post by mj33 on Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:24 pm

Its quite obvious your comments are w/o question 100% true all in all as once again, there's no argument whatsoever to be made and shouldn't be, as very few amount of constituents in congress up to this point have taken the anacity to fully come aboard our 'ship' as a nation in taking anywhere near enough of a proactive approach for moving forward quick enough on long term unemployed, 589, and immediate financial assistance for long term exhaustees. We can only agree on that and agree on facts, which is recognizing and coming to acceptance I think that the blaming and 'finger pointing' our representative leaders play amongst themselves is common nature that they think makes/breaks their job positions and being elected, so other than Reed (Rhode Island), and McDermitt (about 3 speaches,), we haven't really heard ANYONE 100% truely speak in a true calm but assertive and planned out voice and/or intent to work WITH their constitutents and 'other isle'. Let's just all come to acceptable and realization perhaps on that point, and work on how we can focus our phone calls and letters to our state rep's and US district reps on our own personal situations and the need for them taking a firm stance on why we need immediate emergency assistance and them to help assist us being that we have heard a lot of rhetorical written verbage over time, but now has got to a climax that is almost embarrasing to them as indiv's , which is not the reason we voted/support them from our districs and in who they truely are.

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