Breaking: GOP blocks unemployment extension by one vote

An estimated 1.7 million unemployed Americans were kicked in the teeth today by the Republican party — again. The extension was filibustered in the Senate, and lost by one vote.

Harry Reid vows to bring it up again for another vote:

H/t attorney Kush Arora.

Book review

West of BabylonWest of Babylon by Ted Heller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why isn’t Ted Heller famous? Every time I read one of his books, I can’t believe that he’s not acclaimed for his smart, funny, exhausting and heartbreaking tales.

I read far too much for my own good — so much, I frequently forget authors and titles, remembering only whether I liked a book. I’m also a very busy person, and it’s rare that I would go out of my way to recommend a book. Ted Heller, I didn’t forget. I read his “Pocket Kings,” which I loved. I bought “Babylon” months ago and just got around to reading it yesterday. (I have to admit, I didn’t like the cover.)

If someone described this book to me, I never would have read it. A bunch of old rockers (from Long Island, no less) on their last tour? No, thanks. Boy, am I glad no one described it to me. It’s a wonderful read, a bit slow as we’re first introduced to the band members and their assorted family members, but it rapidly picks up the pace. Great musical references (points for Delaney and Bonnie!), beautifully developed characters and deep humanity.

Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

What ‘state of emergency’?

These towns and counties are really feeling the financial crunch, and the state-wide state of emergency didn’t help:

South Jersey asks ‘What state of emergency?’ (via

It appears South Jersey has bone to pick with Gov. Chris Christie’s office. While residents in northern and central Jersey spent their morning shoveling out their cars and driveways, the southern half of the state barely got a dusting of snow or ice…

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Dear corporate media, your class bias is showing


I can’t tell you how many Democrats tried to explain to me that the Dems had no other choice but to vote for this. I dunno, evil is evil:

Following an initial Senate vote Monday night and a House vote last week, today the Senate is expected to pass a farm bill that cuts food stamps by over $8 billion in the next decade. The White House has signaled that President Obama will sign the bill, ending a two-year fight in which key Democrats and Republican disagreed over how much — but not whether – to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“Our political system is basically evil versus spineless now,” former Clinton USDA official Joel Berg told Salon following the House’s vote. Berg, the executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and author of “All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?,” blasted White House “disingenuousness,” Republican “race-baiting,” media “class bias,” and progressive “weakness” for the ultimate outcome. “There is no mechanism now,” he argued, “to hold people accountable for shafting poor people.” A condensed version of our conversation follows.

The Associated Press described the ultimate deal as having “a mostly symbolic cut in food stamps.” Is that accurate?

It’s not accurate, and shows you in a few words virtually everything wrong with the American media today. It shows you class bias, reporters listing as a fact something that’s an opinion, it shows you lack of empathy.

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