These are my links and comments for November 4th through November 6th:
- Most of the unemployed no longer receive benefits – The jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America’s unemployed are no longer receiving unemployment benefits.
Early last year, 75 percent were receiving checks. The figure is now 48 percent — a shift that points to a growing crisis of long-term unemployment. Nearly one-third of America’s 14 million unemployed have had no job for a year or more.
Congress is expected to decide by year’s end whether to continue providing emergency unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks in the hardest-hit states. If the emergency benefits expire, the proportion of the unemployed receiving aid would fall further.
The ranks of the poor would also rise. The Census Bureau says unemployment benefits kept 3.2 million people from slipping into poverty last year. It defines poverty as annual income below $22,314 for a family of four.
Yet for a growing share of the unemployed, a vote in Congress to extend the benefits to 99 weeks is irrelevant. They’ve had no job for more than 99 weeks. They’re no longer eligible for benefits.
Their options include food stamps or other social programs. Nearly 46 million people received food stamps in August, a record total. That figure could grow as more people lose unemployment benefits.
So could the government’s disability rolls. Applications for the disability insurance program have jumped about 50 percent since 2007.
“There’s going to be increased hardship,” said Wayne Vroman, an economist at the Urban Institute.
- Bachmann goes after Cain, calls him ‘inconsistent’ – In an interview airing Monday, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told radio host Scott Hennen that Herman Cain has been “inconsistent” on key issues — the most forward-leaning attack she has made to date on Cain, who remains neck-and-neck with GOP front-runner Mitt Romney in recent polling.
Notably, Bachmann declined to directly answer questions about charges of sexual harassment against Cain — dating back to his time running the National Restaurant Association during the 1990s — that have threatened to stall his campaign for a week now, and instead hit him on matters of policy.
“Well people are looking for an adult in the room. That’s what I am,” Bachmann said, deflecting a question about whether the Cain saga helps her own campaign.
An excerpt of the interview was made available on a blog run by the co-host of “The Scott Hennen Show.” The interview was taped Friday during a brief telephone call into the show, according to the Bachmann campaign.
- Cain/Gingrich in 2012? – Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich were on stage together in what was billed as a classic Lincoln-Douglas style debate. As I sat and watched the entire event, I came away with one vivid impression: Did I just finish watching the Republican presidential ticket in 2012? Cain/Gingrich? Don’t laugh. It could happen. Romney has a ceiling of support and Rick Perry seems stuck in neutral.
Herman Cain’s poll numbers continue to impress and like Ronald Reagan, he seems to have a Teflon quality to him. Gingrich is steadily rising in the polls due to the fact that voters are starting to realize that this guy is REALLY smart and is an idea factory. Could this be a ticket that provides both style and substance?
First of all, let’s start with this: They both respect each other and genuinely have a heartfelt friendship. Plus, for those voters concerned with Cain’s policy chops bringing on Gingrich could placate some wary voters. When I watched them on stage together Saturday night you could tell that Cain would LOVE to have Gingrich as his VP candidate. He even gave a big hint when he asked Gingrich the following question:
Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich: “If you were Vice President of the United States, what would you want the President to assign you to do first? (Gingrich then began to laugh heartily)
Probably Romney – Gingrich is more likely.
- DeMint: No king to make, no candidate to back – My colleague Marc Thiessen breaks some news in reporting that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will not be endorsing a Republican presidential candidate in the primary. This is a surprising but understandable recognition (as Bill Kristol did in his own way) that there is no viable not-Romney in the race.
Anyone who expected he might endorse Mitt Romney hasn’t been paying much attention to either the GOP race or DeMint’s role in the Tea Party movement. When DeMint did offer supportive words for Romney, he was beset by angry activists and soon backed off. DeMint is not about to sacrifice his role as a prominent Tea Party leader by endorsing the not-Tea Party candidate, Mitt Romney. DeMint and Romney most likely both know such an endorsement would be worthless in any event. DeMint’s followers wouldn’t follow his lead on this one; Romney supporters and potential supporters are not the type to be swayed by the hard-line DeMint.
The real news here is that DeMint couldn’t find anyone else to back. If he could champion a viable Tea Party type, he certainly wouldn’t hesitate to be kingmaker. But really, who’s he going to back? It’s evident the Herman Cain phenomenon is dissolving. (In his Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Newt Gingrich Saturday, Cain, in passing on the first question about Medicare, once again showed he’s not well-informed enough to be a credible blogger, let alone a presidential candidate.)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was supposed to be the credible Tea Party-friendly alternative to Romney. DeMint’s decision not to give him a hand highlights just how far Perry’s fortunes have fallen. One has to think back to the forum DeMint hosting over Labor Day. Perry had accepted, campaigned in South Carolina and then canceled at the last minute, citing the Texas wildfires, even though DeMint offered to flip the order of speakers and let Perry go first. From hindsight, after a series of dreadful debates, one can surmise that Perry wasn’t all that anxious anyway to be grilled on constitutional issues. But standing up DeMint probably didn’t endear him to the South Carolina senator.
- A year left: Obama running against history – With today marking the one-year countdown to Election Day 2012 and his approval rating stuck in the low 40s, President Obama will have to defy American electoral history if he is to win re-election.
At 43 percent approval in a Gallup poll conducted Oct. 28-30, Mr. Obama recently referred to himself as an “underdog” — with good reason. Of all the presidents since World War II whose job-approval scores were lower than 50 percent one year before Election Day, only one went on to win a second term.
That was President Nixon, whose job approval stood at 49 percent in November 1971. He rebounded to defeat Democrat George McGovern in a landslide in 1972.
Mr. Obama does have some advantages. He is still a formidable fundraiser, having amassed more than $150 million for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee this year.
Also, his re-election operation is more robust than any of the GOP camps, which are waging a long and costly primary battle. Mr. Obama’s campaign is able to build on a 50-state network from 2008, an email list of more than 9 million potential supporters and an experienced staff with unequaled savvy in digital marketing and social networking.
In early polling of head-to-head matchups with potential GOP candidates, Mr. Obama comes out on top in nearly every instance. One poll in the battleground state of Florida this week showed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tied with Mr. Obama.
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-06 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-06 #tcot #catcot
:: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – After 9 mile run breakfast with Alice, Marianne, Tara, Nancy (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-05 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-05 #tcot #catcot
- Medscape: Medscape Access – Medscape: Medscape Access
- Medscape: Medscape Access – Medscape: Medscape Access
- Flap’s Blog.com Links and Comments for November 4th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for November 4th #tcot #catcot
- Medscape: Medscape Access – Vaccination Exemptions Rise in California Amid Concerns
- Medscape: Medscape Access – Stroke Damage to Insular Cortex Boosts Smoking Cessation