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  1. #12946

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Census Counts
    BREAKING: 87 companies urge Congress to extend statutory reporting deadlines for #2020Census.

    “The business community worries that rushing to complete the census prematurely will drastically undermine the quality of the data that we rely upon so dearly.”

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  2. #12947

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Don't forget the House passed its bill in May. It's sitting on Mitch's desk.

    White House clarifies limits of jobless aid plan as talks with Congress dim
    Unemployment benefit will be $300 per week, not the $400 Trump promised on Saturday

    Jeff Stein,
    Tony Romm and
    Erica Werner
    August 11, 2020 at 5:39 p.m. EDT

    President Trump’s senior aides acknowledged on Tuesday that they are providing less financial assistance for the unemployed than the president initially advertised amid mounting blowback from state officials of both parties.

    On Saturday, Trump approved an executive action that he claimed would provide an additional $400 per week in expanded unemployment benefits for Americans who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

    By Tuesday, senior White House officials were saying publicly that the maneuver only guarantees an extra $300 per week for unemployed Americans — with states not required to add anything to their existing state benefit programs to qualify for the federal benefit.

    The clarification came as the odds of a bipartisan stimulus package grew increasingly dim and state leaders clamored for the White House and Congress to approve legislation that would more directly address the expiration of unemployment benefits.

    The president and his senior advisers have expressed optimism that the economy does not need an additional package following the White House’s executive maneuvers. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows — the president’s emissary in negotiations with congressional Democrats — left Washington this week for an unspecified amount of time.

    White House officials are privately studying other options for approving economic boosts without a deal with Congress, according to two people aware of internal conversations granted anonymity to discuss private conversations. For example, they are exploring whether more money could be repurposed for emergency pandemic relief.

    But signs also have continued to mount that the White House’s willingness to go-it-alone may prove unsustainable. States have expressed frustration over the practicality of the president’s new unemployment aid plan because the White House initially suggested states would have to contribute more money even though many are facing major budget shortfalls. The president’s favorite economic indicator — the stock market — began to slide Tuesday amid growing evidence that an additional aid package was not on the way.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq, which had been trading near record territory, slid 186 points, or 1.7 percent.

    “The White House’s credibility is on the line here in terms of their ability to execute the stimulus they announced over the weekend. And the stock market is telling you here that whatever they’ve announced is not enough — more money is needed to keep the economy recovering, ” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

    Speaking on Saturday in Bedminster, N.J., Trump said he would repurpose unspent money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide enhanced unemployment benefits to tens of millions of Americans. Congress previously provided $600 per week for every person on unemployment, but that program expired at the end of July.

    “$400. Okay? So, that’s generous, but we want to take care of our people,” the president said. “Under this plan, states will be able to offer greater benefits if they so choose, and the federal government will cover 75 percent of the cost. So we’re all set up. It’s $400 per week.”

    The Saturday directive from the White House said that 75 percent of the new benefit would be paid for by the federal government. That was interpreted by many states to mean that they would have to provide an additional $100 per week for their residents to qualify for the benefit.

    On Tuesday, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow suggested that adjustments had been made to that plan and that no new money is required from the states for their residents to qualify for the $300.

    “We modified slightly the mechanics of the deal,” Kudlow told Fox News.

    The White House guidance means all states will likely be able to implement the program without spending new money on aid. It also means people on unemployment will see their benefit effectively cut from $600 to $300 — a 50 percent reduction — rather than from $600 to $400.

    The clarification came after state leaders from New York, New Jersey, Arkansas, Minnesota and elsewhere raised concerns about their ability to pay for the benefit. Other states have expressed concern about their ability to set up the benefit. In Pennsylvania, for example, the state’s Department of Labor under Gov. Tom Wolf (D) warned on Tuesday that it would have to start from scratch to implement the president’s order. Similar technical hiccups plagued the nation’s unemployed workers at the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak, so another round of troubles could once again leave Americans without the cash they say they need as their bills come due.

    “This is not something that any state will be able to do quickly,” said Penny Ickes, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania labor agency.

    Asa Hutchinson, the Republican governor of Arkansas, said his state had set aside $200 million of its allocation just in case the pandemic worsened in the fall and winter. “We would have to adjust that completely,” he said in response to Trump’s order.

    “If we knew that this was a short-term fix, and we could plug the hole and get the money to those who are struggling, we would want to do that,” he said in an interview. “But we would hope Congress would finally get a resolution and be able to replenish that money to the states.”

    Governors’ offices and labor agencies in Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan and Oklahoma said in recent days that they are awaiting federal guidance before making a determination about their benefits.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the orders would be swiftly implemented.

    “Within the next week or two, we think the states will be able to execute,” he told reporters.

    Under Trump’s directive, the federal government may only have enough money to pay the enhanced $300 benefits for about five weeks. After that, it would be up to states entirely to cover perhaps billions of dollars in unemployment aid using their own money, creating a financial headache for those that are anticipating multibillion-dollar budget shortfalls as a result of the pandemic. To do so, some states’ legislatures — including those that may not currently be in session — also may need to intervene just to authorize new spending or reapportion existing federal dollars to unemployment.

    “States are going broke and millions of Americans are unemployed, yet the solution calls for states to create a new program we can’t afford to begin with and don’t know how to administer because of this uncertainty,” said Phil Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, at a news briefing this week.

    On Capitol Hill, there was little evidence that talks on a relief bill would come back to life to relieve pressure on local governments.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) nominally kept the Senate in session this week — instead of going on August recess as planned — in hopes of voting on virus legislation.

    The Capitol was mostly empty of lawmakers. Instead, for the second day in a row, McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) delivered floor speeches to a largely empty chamber blaming each other for the state of affairs.

    “Democrats are willing to compromise,” Schumer said. “Republicans are being intransigent, and will not move from their position, which is totally inadequate for the needs of America at the greatest economic crisis we have had in 75 years and the greatest health crisis in a hundred.”

    After lashing out at Democrats in his own floor speech, McConnell told reporters about a conference call he and fellow Republican senators had held with Mnuchin and Meadows.

    McConnell said in an interview with Fox News Channel that he was also not aware of communications between Mnuchin, Meadows and the Democrats.

    “We’re waiting for the Democrats to indicate some interest in getting an outcome,” McConnell said. “There’s a sense of urgency that the American people need us to address the situation. And so I think it’s high time the Democrats indicated they were willing to talk rather than continuing to insist on things, for example, like tax breaks for rich people in blue states."

    A few hours later, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters she’d had no communication with Mnuchin or Meadows.

    “Our differences are vast, and our members want us to get the best for our children,” she said.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  3. #12948

    Re: Politics Random Random

    McConnell needs to be quiet as he chickened on the negotiations last week.
    2017 & 2018 Australian Open Champions

  4. #12949

    Re: Politics Random Random

    I have a new question to ask. I am basing it on the old Saturday Night Live game "¿Quién es más macho?"

    This version can be called "¿Quién es el más terrible?"

    We all agreed on who the worst US president ever is. So, my question is: Who is the worst US vice-president ever? Though any of them can be mentioned, I would probably favor limiting this to VP's of the last 60 years. I'll give you a list of nominees from that time frame:

    Dan Quayle
    Dick Cheney
    Mike Pence

    All 3 are very worthy, I'm sure. I actually left Spiro Agnew off as a nominee, because, until he had to resign for being a crook, I didn't think he was doing all that bad a job (mostly staying out of the way, but not making waves). So a vote for him would depend on how serious you think it is that he was a crook.

    I will also tell you that my vote for worst goes to Dick Cheney. And, I'll tell you that it grieves me that I think there is actually someone who was worse than Mike Pence, whom I see as totally horrible.


  5. #12950

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Is Mike Pence actually doing anything? Good or bad. To me seems completely overshadowed by Trump...
    Roger forever

  6. #12951

    Re: Politics Random Random

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  7. #12952

    Re: Politics Random Random

    As I said, my vote (like Ti) is for Cheney. But I would give Mike Pence a huge negative score for his performance as chair of the Coronavirus Task Force. Other than that, maybe Suliso is right. I find Pence totally offensive, but that opinion goes back to when he was governor of Indiana, a state less than an hour away from us. So looking more objectively, he probably has done very little as VP, good or bad, until the virus. Therefore, he is maybe a bit more like Spiro Agnew, who did very little good or bad except for his very crooked dealings, much of which occurred before he was VP.

    Which brings us back to our choice: Cheney. He was evil personified and did FAR too much as VP, including doing things that had a profoundly negative effect on the whole world. I'm beginning to think that calling Cheney the worst VP ever may be about as easy as calling Trump the worst president ever.


    P.S. I think Indiana, as a state, should still be very proud of having provided us with 2 such outstanding politicians as Dan Quayle and Mike Pence to grace the office of VP.
    Last edited by GlennHarman; Yesterday at 05:44 AM. Reason: added P.S.

  8. #12953
    Director of Nothing
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    Re: Politics Random Random

    Cheney by far.

  9. #12954

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Can you include people that then went to be President? Because Nixon was vice-president too. And then you have a real competition between Cheney and Nixon.
    Story about Dan Quayle. I worked at the USDA office in the Caracas Embassy from 1989 through 1994. Quayle went to visit the embassy and all employees were asked if we wanted to "meet" him. Meaning, quick shake hands and take a shot. Out office was small, with only the Agricultural Counselor and three local employees (us).
    Our boss gave us the invitations, and we all declined. Which got him in trouble, because he also forgot and didn't go, so there was nobody there from "Agriculture" to shake hands with the VP. I remember that, being a ceremony late in the afternoon, if you did not want to go you could split earlier. I did, and went to play some tennis.
    That was how insignificant that guy was.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  10. #12955

    Re: Politics Random Random

    My comment on Cheney vs. Nixon:

    For the sake of this "contest", we should judge Nixon on his performance as VP. He was not universally liked as VP, partly because he took a much more active role than most VP's had done. This included much more international travel in an official capacity (to Vietnam, all over South America, and, even more famously, to the Soviet Union, where he had the infamous, but in fact rather silly, "kitchen debate" with Khrushchev. His most famous moment, though, was probably the "Checkers speech" while he was merely the VP candidate and not yet elected. He had set up a campaign fund for himself that was probably at best a little shady, and maybe illegal, though never really proven as such. It was a way for people to donate to a fund to pay for his and his wife's travel expenses while he was a candidate. The obvious concern was that people were buying future favors from him. That speech came to be known as the "Checkers speech", partly because he claimed that there was one gift that he had been given as a candidate that he wouldn't give back, his dog, Checkers. He weaseled his way out of any lasting negativity, something he would do a lot until his ways caught up with him in 1974.

    Anyway, solely as VP, there is very little question to me that Nixon was not as bad as Cheney.

    Ponchi's story about Quayle's trip is fascinating. Nixon's trip to South America included Caracas, which was one of the places where he was spat on and threatened with worse violence by an anti-American mob. Ponchi was too young to have taken part in that. But I'm sure he's heard about it.


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