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2010 March 02 — Why Now?
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The Senate Finally Votes

CNN reports: Senate passes $10 billion jobless benefits measure

Washington (CNN) — The Senate voted Tuesday to pass a $10 billion measure to extend benefits for unemployed workers and fund road projects after Sen. Jim Bunning agreed to end his filibuster.

The 78-19 vote on the 30-day extension known as H.R. 4691 came minutes after the Kentucky Republican made a final plea on the floor of the Senate for his colleagues not to borrow the money.

Bunning blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for Bunning’s almost weeklong block of a vote on the 30-day extensions and said his amendment would remove “black liquor” — a byproduct of the pulp and paper process — from eligibility for a bio-fuels producer tax credit, saving $24 billion.

But Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said that very action is already part of a bill that will came up for a vote Wednesday — the long-term extension of those jobless benefits.

“The senator from Kentucky, after one week, has decided to accept exactly what was offered to him last week,” Durbin said. “The senator from Kentucky said ‘No, I may lose. I am not going to offer an amendment, I am just going to object.’ “

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March 2, 2010   Comments Off on The Senate Finally Votes

The Stupid Season Is Here

Today is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. It means that for the next sixty days the residents of the state of Florida have to live in fear of the newest atrocities to be visited on them by the legislature.

This rookie team [term limited, so no one has more than 8 years of experience] of creative writing rejects actually has only one job, the creation of the budget for the next year. Nonetheless, they manage to create havoc in the lives of ordinary people, usually by finding some new location where shooting each other is perfectly legal and reasonable.

As two-thirds of both house are Republicans [they can’t write, but they had some people who were very creative drawing election districts], the minority party in the state, they won’t be raising taxes. No, all of the horrendous increases in costs to the average person will be due to doubling “fees”. Taxes become fees just before the Republicans increase them. For example, the road maintenance tax became a special assessment fee when the county decided to pave the road, instead of just smoothing out the red clay after every rain.

We have major problems in the state and a group of people who are committed to not doing any of the things that might actually fix them, so the result will be a piece of fiction that isn’t just not ready for off-Broadway, it isn’t ready for off the Azores out in the middle of the Atlantic.

Eat your heart out Bulwer-Lytton, the Florida Legislature has been producing the worse fiction in the English language for over a century.

March 2, 2010   2 Comments


Unemployment insurance is a state system with some federal funding. The amount of money a person receives as unemployment compensation is not fixed and varies a lot from state-to-state, as do the rules for eligibility. It should surprise no one that it is harder to get an unemployment check in red states, than blue states, and the worker doesn’t get as much.

While the national rate is currently around 10%, the unemployment rate in Florida is almost 12%. Florida’s dependence on the construction industry and growth has caused the state to swing from having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, to having one of the highest.

Everyone is in pain, except the pundits. It is just a sharper pain in some areas.

March 2, 2010   6 Comments