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Peeing in a cup for UI benefits

I’m not sure politicians are getting it.  Some of us have been laid off multiple times and others just can’t find a job.  It’s not like we’re passing the dutchy around because we have nothing better to do.  Nevertheless, Congress is determined to cut our benefits and test our pee for illegal substances:

The duration of federal jobless benefits — which generally kick in after 26 weeks of state-provided benefits run out — was reduced to a maximum of 73 weeks in high-unemployment states and 63 weeks in average states, compared with as much as 99 weeks currently. That’s better than the 59 weeks that Republicans had called for, but it is still stingy at a time when there are 5.5 million people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks.

Democrats successfully blocked Republican demands to impose uncalled-for conditions on applicants for jobless benefits, including drug testing and requiring them to be high school graduates or working toward an equivalency degree. (A fig leaf requires applicants to be drug-tested if they lost their job because of a failed drug test or if they are seeking a job that generally requires a drug test.)

I believe the NYTimes is calling this a good compromise.  I guess it’s because none of them have to be drug tested like some low life junky who can’t hold down a job because they’re high all of the time.  We’re supposed to be grateful that they are only requiring this of people who lost their jobs because of previous drug use.  But we know what they’re really thinking.  They’re thinking that they just want to be mean and make our lives even more miserable, lowering our morale and assaulting our dignity.

Yes, I can hardly wait until we chemists and biologists, pharmacologists and engineers have to go down to the unemployment office to take a pee in front of some officer of the law.  Just a couple of years ago, we looked like nice, polite middle class men and women, driving our Dodge Caravans and Toyota Priuses to work and back.  But once we got that pink slip, we shed our labcoats and became wild and crazy fiends.  Sex fiends too.  We just can’t get enough.  And we listen to Def Leopard and Pink Floyd all day long.  (I’m dating myself, aren’t I?  Must consult number 1 child to see what the debauched are doing these days)

Come on, Congress, drug testing?  Really?  We’re drug designers and chemists.  We could whip up a batch of something that you haven’t made illegal yet that will make meth look like baby aspirin. Can we please be serious?  What a phenomenal waste of money.  Money, I might add, that would be better used to extend the UI benefits.  I’m not worried- yet.  But reducing the bennies at a time when COBRA is already eating up half of a month’s benefit is not especially compassionate.  How about NOT making us pee in a cup and give us the same consideration as the previous 99-ers?  Or would that interfere with the maximum pain that you intend to inflict just before the election?

Is that the plan?  Everyone pointing fingers?  The Democrats will be whining, “Don’t look at us, we didn’t cut your bennies and make you pee in a cup”, while the Republicans will have another temper tantrum, shrieking, “If Barack Obama and the Democrats had only cut the deficit, we wouldn’t have to apply these thumb screws, gouge out your eyes and put you on the rack.  By the way, we’re going to bill you for the screws, racks and icepicks”.

Hey!  I have an idea!  Let’s vote all of them out and once they’re all unemployed, let’s make them pee in a cup, have them tested for AIDS (*I* passed, will you?), make them wear ankle bracelets and phone their mothers before they go anywhere, do a background check on all of their friends and make them attend mandatory counseling where they will have to acknowledge their addiction to doing stupid things followed by making amends to all of the scientists and other innocent working people they have insulted and whose lives and careers have been ruined while their elected officials played mean-spirited political games.

I can hardly wait.

14 Responses

  1. I love the idea of putting these asses out of office and then making them pee in a cup to get their benefits – oh, wait, I’ll bet they will be exempt from this crap, er, I mean pee.

    BTW, I just saw this lovely news from CNN.

    THIS is what Obama has done to women and to our rights to contraceptives. If he hadn’t made this a political “bargaining” chip, none of this sick dialogue would be filling the news, the pundits, FB. Instead – now we have a country divided. That’s what politicians want, sheeple! If we’re fighting between ourselves over stupid positions then the real problems and solutions get passed by. Thanks for nothing, Obama.


    • from that post:

      Surveys on this topic tell a mixed story because many Americans know little about the issue. Recent CBS and Fox polls indicate support for the new policy, using questions that describe the new policy in some detail. But in the CNN poll, when asked their opinion of the Obama policy with no details spelled out, support was much less and a large partisan divide emerged. A recent Pew poll also suggests Americans are closely divided, and that poll may hold the key to the differences. Nearly four in ten Americans say they have heard nothing at all about this controversy.

      It sounds like responses change once people know more about the policy.
      Looks like the Republicans have used another wedge issue to split up the Democrats and make them so angry they stay home in November. He shoulda seen it coming. Why is Mr. Brilliant 11 Dimensional Chess Guy looking so inept? I mean, again?

      • Perhaps he was a secret agent Republican all along. That’s what I have long since come to believe. He and the Republicans have been co-conspiring to restore Republican Mastery over all branches of the political system. The fact that he can get away with looking “inept” and having “let” this happen “by mistake” is just part of his mastery of disguise, in my opinion.

        • Almost right, RUR.

          Of course, I can’t PROVE this, but:

          He’s a not-so-secret agent of the 1%, who own BOTH corporate parties. Obummer has served the 1% diligently enough that they want four more years of him. Hence, they’ve ordered the Reptilians to take a dive in the presidential election this year, as they also did in 2008. The Reptilian determination to nominate Romney The Dog Abuser illustrates this. Mittens will not beat Obummer, because the Talibangelicals will not turn out to vote for a heathen who wears magic underwear. 😈

          • Well, its like Lilly Tomlin said: “No matter how cynical I try to be, I just can’t keep up.”

            My hope is that if Romney gets nominated, Obama will lose as many Class War Democrats and Independents as Romney loses Talibangelicals. In other words, I hope that a nominee Romney will cause the loss of nominee Obama by even-greater voter-defection on the “Democratic” side.

          • The Rs take-a-dive-in-2008 bit of analysis brought back to mind some clever words from Mike Ruppert:

            “The Republicans are trying to throw this election like it was a flaming bobcat on meth.”

  2. Gas around here went up 6 cents a gallon over night and a York, PA newspaper ran a story about it topping $5 a gallon by summer. My guess is that Wall Street and Big Oil decided to stick it to Obama because of the Milque Toast rules he put on the Banksters and the denial of permits for the Keystone pipeline project.

    I don’t know how they believe in your neck of the woods but here in Alabama County PA the Christians equate wealth with godliness. If you are collecting UC benefits it’s because you are a sinner. The same if you are making minimum wages at some Mcjob. Jesus judged and found you wanting. So it makes perfect sense that republicans want to test you for drug before you collect.

    • They can test whoever they want but they shouldn’t be surprised if those whoevers now consist of people who they depend on for their votes. The suburbs are getting hit hard.
      BTW, my mom lives in H-burg and she is one of those people. Completely drunk on the red kool-aid.

    • Mr. Mike,

      Dare I suppose that the Christians you referrence includes Christians themselves who are themselves on UC benefits or working at a Mcjob? That this is their judgement upon their own selves?

      • RUR–It wouldn’t surprise me. Poor folks of any gender can be taught to hate themselves and support the ideology of their oppressors, just as women of any wealth level can be taught to hate themselves and support patriarchy. 👿

    • Yep, and never mind all those Bible verses that instruct believers to take care of the unfortunate members of society. Never mind that Jesus hung out with poor folks and outcasts (and got criticized by the smug religious establishment hypocrites of His time and place for doing that). Never mind all those Bible verses denouncing the predatory rich.

      The “Christians” of whom Mr. Mike posts don’t follow Jesus or His Heavenly Father, they follow the false prophet John Calvin, who IIRC, founded that pseudo-“Christian” claptrap that wealth indicates the favor of God, and its converse fallacy, that poverty indicates His curse. 👿

  3. Slowly . . . slowly . . . the Upper Class frontfolk recruit more people into the Class War and Justice Party if it ever emerges.

  4. I steadily read a good blog called Ran Prieur. He recently wrote something so good about the need for an aggressive forward stance on change-forcing that I will cutpaste it here:

    “February 13. Back in Vermont I met a lot of people who are engaged in some kind of political cause, and I noticed that lefty political causes tend to be defensive. Even if the tactics are offensive, the greater story is: “these bad people are doing this bad thing, and we have to stop them.”

    In a football game, if one team is always on offense and the other is always on defense, who’s going to win? There’s a memorable scene in the novel Shantaram, where the narrator is being attacked by wild dogs and fending them off with a steel pipe. He’s about to be eaten, until another guy shows up who knows how to fight wild dogs, by wildly swinging a pipe while jumping into the middle of the pack!

    I can think of two high-profile political movements where “progressives” are actually walking forward, taking the fight into enemy territory: same-sex marriage and cannabis legalization. It’s going to take decades, but I think total victory is inevitable in both.

    The Occupy movement is defensive, trying and failing to stop the increasing concentration of wealth and power. Even if they pass a law canceling personal debts, that’s only a temporary setback for the giant blocks of money, which will just start building the debts up again. The permanent solution is to build alternate economies which have negative feedback, not positive feedback, in the concentration of wealth. Charles Eisenstein has written a whole book about this, Sacred Economics, and I’ve written about it briefly in a few posts, including this one on fire and water economies.

    To join these new economies, people first have to get out from under the control of the old economy. Basically that means we have to get food and shelter without money. This brings us to a third, lower-profile effective political movement, which is mostly fighting at the local level: occupying vacant properties, changing laws to legalize the occupation of vacant properties, and changing laws to expand urban farming rights.”

  5. Here is the link to Ran Prieur. I think people may find it worthwhile.

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