Is This Thing On?

by digby

I felt like my head was going to explode when I read this:

Moments ago, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) took to the chamber floor with a strange claim about the urgency surrounding legislation to extend unemployment insurance.

“The benefits haven’t run out yet,” Kyl said. “We’re going to pass this before the benefits run out.”

It’s tough to decipher exactly what he means. Roughly 400,000 folks exhausted their federal unemployment benefits in September, with another 200,000 projected to do the same by the end of October, according to a recent study by the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group. By the end of the year, NELP estimates that 1.3 million Americans will have exhausted their benefits unless Congress steps in with an extension. Each day the Senate dallies, another 7,000 people go off the rolls.

I guess Kyl thinks these lazy bastards should just tap into their trust funds. isn't that what everyone does?

And in case anyone doubts that the Republicans are holding a gun to the heads of the unemployed purely for political purposes, put them away:

Kyl claimed that Democrats are to blame for stalling legislation to extend unemployment benefits because party leaders are resisting consideration of several unrelated GOP amendments.

“We could have been done with this bill 24 hours ago,” Kyl said. “We didn’t ask for the delay.”

Right. If the Democrats want to help these unemployed people all they have to do is pass a bunch of bills declaring ACORN a communist organization and bashing immigrants and they can have it. They only have themselves to blame if the people suffer.

And then we have the words of the man fighting for Joe Lieberman's old position as the most sanctimonious, fatuous blowhard in the House of Lords:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the slow pace of the Senate is a blessing of design, shielding the country from de Tocqueville’s feared “tyranny of the majority.”

“Unlimited debate. Unlimited amendment,” Alexander said. “There’s no need for the United States Senate if we don’t have that. … This is the body that protects the minority view.”

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!

yes, it's an inspiring thing to see "the minority" literally take the food out of people's mouths and then brag about it. Makes you proud to be an American.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) offered his own theory about why some lawmakers seem content to crawl toward passage of the unemployment benefits extension: they’ve simply been sheltered from the crisis.

“Not very many of our colleagues really know any unemployed workers,” Brown said. “We don’t spend our time with people who are really suffering.”

Hey, Kyl's manservant brought him a tepid cup of coffee this morning. Don't ever say he doesn't know about suffering.

I wish I knew why the Democrats weren't making a big deal out of this. I know they are dealing with health care, but they aren't going to get any Republicans on board, so there's no need to play nice nice and this issue illustrates the painful results of the Party of No strategy perfectly. If they are afraid of the ACORN stuff then they need to get a grip. Nobody even really knows what ACORN is, but hundreds of thousands of people are suffering due to no fault of their own. There are no jobs. These Republicans are playing Russian Roulette with their lives and the public should know about it. It's a perfect depiction of everything disgusting about the conservative philosophy.