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Friday, July 2, 2010

House Approves $37B for Wars - Unemployment Rate 9.5 Percent

Sometimes I wonder our priorities.  The Senate has yet to pass a bill to extend unemployment benefits, yet we approve $37B for wars.  I am tired of these wars.  Let's get the hell out and take care of our own!

The unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in June from 9.8 percent a month earlier, according to statistics released by the Department of Labor Friday morning. But the economic news was still disappointing: The jobless rate fell because 652,000 people gave up on their job searches and left the labor force. People who have given up looking for work aren't counted in the data. And payrolls declined by 125,000 as the government cut 225,000 temporary workers conducting the 2010 census. In initial reactions, economists saw the numbers as a sign that America's job-loss recovery is years away.

The House of Representatives approved a bill to reauthorize expired unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless on Thursday, after a similar measure failed for the fourth time in the Senate the previous night due to a Republican filibuster.

The House measure, sponsored by Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and Sander Levin (D-Mich.), is essentially moot until the Senate is able to pass a bill of its own, which, because of the Independence Day recess, won't happen until July 12 at the earliest. The Republican party, along with Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, is objecting to the bill because it would add $33 billion to the federal budget deficit.

Democrats are increasingly showing their frustration with President Obama’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan. They stalled for weeks before narrowly approving a further $37 billion to fund the United States’ two wars—which must also be voted on by the Senate—and, even then, made sure their overall disapproval with the war was known. Along with nine Republicans, 153 House Democrats voted for an amendment to the bill, which would require Obama to offer a plan next April for the "safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops" and make a provision a vote in Congress to block additional funding if withdrawal does not begin by next July. Ninety-three Democrats also supported an amendment that would allow the war funds to be spent exclusively on withdrawal. Neither amendment passed, but it was enough to make the point. “There is a growing level of concern,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said. “The vote reflected it.”

What do you think?  And what do our politicians really care about?  Getting reelected.  McDermott echoed other Democrats who've said the Republicans will benefit politically if they can stop the legislation (Sen. Debbie Stabenow said last week the GOP wants to "create as much pain as possible" to foster anti-incumbency in November). "It's all about making the Democrats look weak, therefore we can take back the House, we can take back the Senate, and we'll also take back the presidency, because we've made the Democrats look weak," he said. "It has nothing to do with deficits. They don't care about deficits."

Getting reelected and wars are more important than people.

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