Monday Humor: Over Hill, Over Dale, As We Hit the RustBelt Trail

The highly esteemed chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tim Kaine, gives The Hill and the Democratic Congressional candidates a pep talk before the August recess, and was allegedly sighted on the NBC’s Today Show with Matt Lauer this morning.  


http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…

“If you distance yourself from the president, you can pour cold water on the excitement about what he is doing,” said Kaine, who alluded to Democrat Creigh Deeds’s problems

“What is the alternative?” he said. “When the – when the Republicans were in control during the Lost Decade, Americans lost 8 million jobs. We gained 700,000 private-sector jobs this year. We’re growing again.”

{Historical footnote for Kaine’s spotty memory.  Creigh Deeds ran for the Governor of the state of Virginia.  Creigh Deeds actually was against the Public Option in the health insurance bail out bill, just like President Barack Obama turned out to be.  He lost.  

I believe the saying is, re Blue Dogs trying to be relabeled Republican Lites,  if you are presented with the choice of an imitation or an original, if they cost the same, voters will pick the original every time. }

From the transcript of the Today Show Mon Aug 9, 2010


http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/…

Matt Lauer NBC:

so the president is out there campaigning for some candidates. others don’t want anything to do with him. i want to take you back to election night 2008 in that scenic grant park when the president walked out onto that stage. i mean, you had to hope — democrats had to hope — this was going to be a president who was going to open up new political territory for the party. and here you’ve got a president and some candidates don’t want to be seen with him. what happened?

Tim Kaine, DNC Chairman:

well, i think the candidates who are worried about it are making a mistake because i think this president still is doing the great work that the americans expect of him. the president and i met a month after that in grant park , and we talked about the fact that midterms will be very tough because they always are. since teddy roosevelt was president, the average midterm involves the party in power losing 28 house seats, losing 4 senate seats. and look, it’s a tough time economically, and that means it’s volatile. but the democrats have been doing the work necessary to get the nation going again. as the president says, the car was in the ditch. we’re getting it out of the ditch with job creation , with a new energy strategy, with infrastructure investments.

Matt Lauer:

here’s what frank rich wrote in the paper over the weekend concerning the democrats’ prospects for the midterm elections . he said, quote, they are doomed to fall short if they don’t address the cancer in the american heart , and that’s joblessness. we saw the latest figures come out. 9.5% unemployment as of friday. even if there is a series of small miracles between now and the midterm elections , governor, you know that number is going to be unacceptably high when people go to the polls. so why shouldn’t they hold democrats accountable?

Tim Kaine:

because, matt, what is the alternative?

/snip

well, i think, matt, what they mostly want to hear is the record of accomplishment. and so whether it’s health reform that helps the middle class with medical bills, credit reform, wall street reform or recovery that’s investing in green energy and made in america jobs, we always lead with the things we’ve done.

Dear Tim Kaine,

Being on TeeVee is harrrrrd wurk.

Poor Tim Kaine.   He must not have heard about the Senate deep – sixing the Energy/ Climate Change bill during July.  

Here are some recently released Bureau of Labor statistics from the U.S. Government (that’s the business the President works for) concerning The Employment Situation  July 2010 to help you out:


http://www.bls.gov/news.releas…

Both the number of unemployed persons, at  14.6 million, and the unemployment

rate, at 9.5 percent, were unchanged in July.
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.7 per-

cent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.1 percent), whites (8.6 per-

cent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.1 percent) showed little or no

change in July. The jobless rate for Asians was 8.2 percent, not seasonally

adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and

over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9 per-

cent of unemployed persons.  

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes re-

ferred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged over

the month at 8.5 million but has declined by 623,000 since April. These in-

dividuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or

because they were unable to find a full-time job.

About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in July,

an increase of 340,000 from a year earlier.
(The data are not seasonally ad-

justed.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were avail-

able for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They

were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the

4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers

in July, up by 389,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally ad-

justed.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because

they believe no jobs are available for them.
The remaining 1.4 million persons

marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks

preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsi-

bilities.

Government employment fell by 202,000 in July, largely reflecting the loss of

143,000 temporary workers hired for Census 2010. Employment in both state and

local governments edged down over the month.

Gains, July:

Manufacturing +21,000 adjusted

Healthcare  +27,000

Transportation and Warehousing 56,000

Mining +7,000

The civilian labor force participation rate (64.6 percent) and the employment-

population ratio (58.4  percent) were essentially unchanged in July;
however,

these measures have declined by 0.6 percentage point and 0.4 point, respec-

tively, since April.  

Adding up the real number of unemployed,  AND the number of people who gave up looking for work, plus the millions stuck in part time jobs because there is no full time work for them, the real number of unemployed Americans looking for a full time job is at least 25.7 million.  

So the humorous part of this is that Tim Kaine of the DNC/OFA is only off by 17.7 million.  

If 2/3 of the civilian population works, roughly (see last paragraph of above BLS quote) and that’s 64.4% of 307,000,000, or 198,322,000.   If there are actually 25.7 million additional people looking for full time work,  that’s coming out to around 1 in 11 workers are looking for a real job.    And they don’t really care who’s “fault” it is.  Life’s unfair like that.

And one of the things that comes with chronic un or under- employment is that a person is more likely to have moved because of it due to job loss or foreclosures. (900,000 + houses going into foreclosure a year, 1 out of 5 mortgages “underwater,” or the amount owed exceeds the appraised worth, or the payments are behind, and people just walk away).  So the voter demographics in many of those districts that might have voted for a Democratic Congressperson or Senator in 2006, the year the majority Party changed, have definitely changed and accelerated.  What I can tell you is that the people who forcibly were moved from their abodes because of the suck economy are not highly motivated to re register to vote for the political party in power since 2006.  

The Senate, with its near “supermajority,”  dithered all spring and summer on a “jobs bill,”  ignoring all this massive unemployment.  They did manage to find time and money to pass a war spending supplemental, HR 4899,  to support a surge into a small, poor mid eastern country that we invaded 9 years ago and to expand that operation into yet another one. http://www.commondreams.org/ne…   Finally, before recessing for a 6 week summer vacation,  they finally managed to pass something that might help a few hundred thousand people here in this country avoid yet MORE layoffs.  Not as at all as a jobs bill, but as an amendment to yet something completely different.   Senate amendment  S.AMDT.4575  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/…

“In the Nature of a Substitute ”

http://www.govtrack.us/congres…

This is the text from THOMAS where the Democratic Majority Senate discusses this.

You would think that having states faced with laying off hundreds of thousands of teachers in the fall, they could at least come up with a bill that was to the effect of “Give money to Schools this Fall.”    Oh, hell no.  First, here’s the title

FAA AIR TRANSPORTATION MODERNIZATION AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENT ACT — (Senate – August 05, 2010)

And here’s the discussion.  (excerpted)  When they refer to Madame President, they mean Sen.Kay Hagan of NC

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/…

1\ Savings in Titles II and III that would result from changes to programs and rescissions of funds previously designated as emergency.

Sources: Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation.

  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, there can be no doubt of the need for this bill, which includes an extension of enhanced Medicaid funding to States and funding to help keep teachers in the classroom and out of the unemployment line. Failure to enact this extension would place services to those most in need at terrible risk, and it would place many States, including my own, in an untenable budget situation.

  Failure to enact the continued enhancement of Federal assistance for Medicaid and other health care programs would leave a hole more than $300 million wide in the budget of my State. Other States would face similar shortfalls. Plugging that hole in the current economic environment would almost certainly require service cuts or tax increases above and beyond those suffered already by so many of our States.

  There is also little doubt of the need for the funding included in this bill to preserve teaching jobs. In the current climate, we should be looking for ways to preserve jobs. But that is especially true when loss of the jobs at stake would harm not only workers and their families, but students depending on these teachers to help them prepare for the future. Failing to approve this funding would damage our nation now and in the future.

  The excuses our colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle have used to prevent passage of important legislation in recent weeks do not apply here. This measure is fully paid for. I regret that some of the pay-fors are accomplished by borrowing from other important programs, and efforts are under way to correct that problem.

  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I come to the Floor today to discuss something very important to Illinois and so many others states FMAP.

  As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we increased the Federal matching rate for Medicaid, FMAP.

  This is smart policy in a recession, because not only does it help people in a time of need, it is also one of the most effective ways to stimulate the economy.

  Temporarily increasing Medicaid costs allows States to sustain their programs, rather than cutting them when families need them most.

  It also generates business activity, jobs and wages in States that they would not otherwise have seen.

  But the temporary FMAP increase we passed is scheduled to end on December 31 right in the middle of most States’ fiscal year.

  For the 3rd consecutive year, States are facing vast revenue shortfalls. One estimate is that States will face deficits of over $350 billion over the next 30 months.

  As a result, at least 30 States are proposing cuts to their Medicaid programs for fiscal year 2011–cuts that will harm people right when they need help most.

  These include cuts to eligibility, fewer benefits, more cost-sharing, and lower payments to the medical providers who see Medicaid patients.

  The measure we are considering today would extend and phase out increases in the Medicaid matching rate for 6 months, through June 30, 2011.

  It will provide $16.1 billion to States to ensure that they continue to receive an increased FMAP rate through the end of most States’ fiscal years.  

  Illinois would receive about $550 million in Federal funding to help keep the State’s Medicaid program afloat.

  The spending in this measure is fully offset. It will not add a dime to the Federal deficit.

  My home State of Illinois is facing a budget shortfall of $13 billion in FY11.

  This is at a time when the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in June, and the State’s revenues from sales tax and individual and corporate income taxes are down more than $3 billion since the fiscal year 08 peak.

  The State doesn’t expect to return to fiscal year 08 revenue levels based on the current tax rates until fiscal year 15.

  Because of this deficit the State has already started making hard choices.

  Just last week, the Governor announced that to save $18 million, 2,700 non-union State workers would be required to take 24 days off without pay.

  That is just one measure to save money, and they will be forced to consider additional painful cuts if we do not extend the increased FMAP rate through the end of the State’s fiscal year.

  Today, the Medicaid program in Illinois covers 2.6 million low- and moderate-income people in the State, including children, pregnant women and people with developmental disabilities and mental illness.

  Illinois saw its FMAP rate increase from 50 percent to 62 percent as a result of the Economic Recovery spending.

  The state of Illinois assumed a 6-month FMAP extension in its fiscal year 2011 budget.

  Without an extension, the State will be short an additional $750 million this year.

  Illinois has reviewed its Medicaid program, and determined that without an extension of the increased Federal matching rate, it may be forced to consider eliminating services for: 168,000 children from families with incomes just above the Federal Poverty Level; 18,000 adults from families with incomes greater than 133 percent of the Federal Poverty level; 200,000 adults covered by Illinois Cares RX–a state program that helps low-income adults afford prescription drugs; 63,000 children covered by Allkids–a comprehensive State program to provide insurance to kids who would otherwise not have health insurance.

  Illinois was not alone in planning for a 6-month FMAP extension in 2011.

  In fact, 30 States assumed that an extension would be provided, and as of today, about half of those states do not yet have contingency plans for how to balance their budgets if an FMAP extension is not passed.

  If Congress does not extend the funds, governors and legislatures will have to revisit those budgets and consider new cuts, which will hurt the Nation’s most vulnerable residents and will affect a variety of services.

  These will be on top of cuts that have already been made over the past few years.

  The National Association of State Budget Officers estimates that even as the need for State-funded services rose, states cut funding for services by 4 percent for fiscal year 2009 and almost 5 percent for 2010.

  That’s why 47 governors–Democrats and Republicans alike–have signed a National Governor’s Association letter urging Congress to extend the Recovery Act’s additional Medicaid funding.

  In these difficult economic times, we are trying to help Americans return to work AND take care of those who are between jobs.

  These benefits include continued access to quality health care under the Medicaid program.

  Extending and phasing down the increased FMAP rate for another 6 months is a win-win for all of us. It will protect the most vulnerable during this time of need and provide immediate relief to State and local economies.

  MEDICAID PHARMACY REIMBURSEMENT

  Mrs. LINCOLN. I ask to engage in a brief colloquy with the distinguished Senate majority leader and Senator Murray as it relates to the intent of a provision in this legislation regarding average manufacturer price–or AMP.

  Do I understand that the provision in section 202 of this bill is solely intended to ensure that Medicaid rebates are collected from the manufacturers of the particular drugs specified in the bill, that is inhalation, infusion, instilled, implanted, or injectable drugs not generally sold at retail pharmacies?

  Mr. REID. Yes, the intention of this provision is to ensure that rebate dollars are collected for those particular drugs. Drug rebate dollars have long helped support state Medicaid programs and the provision will ensure an accurate calculation of AMP for the purposes of these drug rebates.

  Mrs. MURRAY. I thank the Senator for engaging in a colloquy with Senator Lincoln and me and would also like to clarify that this provision is in no way intended to impact reimbursement to retail pharmacies participating in the Medicaid Program. Is that the Senator’s understanding?

  Mr. REID. The Senator is correct. The Secretary should direct drug manufacturers to calculate AMPs for these drugs to allow States to collect rebates. In order to maintain pharmacy reimbursement at appropriate levels for these drugs, the Secretary should use the discretion that is provided under the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act to calculate a Federal upper limit, FUL, at an amount that is at least 175 percent of the weighted average AMP for those covered outpatient drugs.

  Mrs. LINCOLN. We would like to thank the leader for his clarification and shared goal of protecting access to critical drug therapies for vulnerable populations at retail pharmacies.  

  Mrs. MURRAY. I agree.

  Mr. REID. I agree with the Senators on the importance of protecting beneficiaries’ access to these drug therapies and the retail pharmacies that faithfully serve them. I thank the Senators for their shared commitment to this goal.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.

  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I ask for the yeas on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1586 with amendment No. 4575.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to be a sufficient second.

  Amendment No. 4576 is withdrawn.

  The question is on agreeing to the motion to concur in the House amendment to H.R. 1586, with amendment No. 4575.

  The clerk will call the roll.

  The legislative clerk called the roll.

  The result was announced–yeas 61, nays 39, as follows:

This is where I point out two things:

1.  The Senate wouldn’t be bothering with this pared down “jobs bill” at all,  unless they could continue to ensure they would get Pharmaceutical lobbyist dollars for drug rebates in return for tossing a few crumbs to the states.

2. That Plantation Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas was one of the Democrats most vociferous in her objection to the Public Option in the health insurance bail out bill.  And although she beat Lt Gov Bill Halter in the primary (barely). she’s still behind in the polls for her Senate seat re election against the Republican.

Here’s how the Senate voted on this

Roll Call Senate #225  Aug 4, 2010

http://www.govtrack.us/congres…

Now the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, gets to call the House back tomorrow off of Summer vacation to vote on the thing.

You see, Tim Kaine, it’s not The President that everybody wants to distance themselves from, per se.  It’s his alma mater.

It’s people that keep making excuses for this POS “Democratic” Senate.   And everytime the President’s helpers tell us to be more polite to them or they might ignore us, we laugh.

We think this is funny you don’t get it.  Yet.

3 comments

  1. …. somehow I managed to get thru this without mentioning the first family’s weird split vacation, which was the red meat Lauer was trying to go for.

    Does the Democratic Party know about the war supplementals eating the budget,  or have they been anesthetized every time they vote ?

    • Edger on August 10, 2010 at 2:39 am

  2. in the building codes are going to kill off any recovery of the real estate markets by making even housing a disposable commodity in this you vill be “up to code” world.  The main key to this is in high density housing as one can simply not afford that ancient concept of .25 acre suburban single family housing.  When one must occupy high density housing one must COMPLY with the RULES, condo association fees, contractual law lease agreements regardless of how many hot babes occupy the exercise room.

    In short we are neither free, nor independent nor even remotely occupying or attempting to occupy that mental space of greatness and individuality which our ideals used to be founded upon.  It degrades into arguments about how some asshole left their garage door open all day, or parked a lowly tradesman lettered van in the driveway.

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