fresh voices from the front lines of change







Before you read on, yes this is for real. Yes, Democrats are joining with Republicans to fight help for the long-term unemployed. Yes, members of Congress are blaming the unemployed, calling them names, and proposing that the unemployed be publicly humiliated. And yes, for some reason they think this will win them votes. If you have the stomach for it, read on.

Do you remember last month when members of Congress said that people are unemployed because they are "lazy?"

Wasn't that insulting enough? Apparently members of Congress think it was not, and now want to insult the unemployed even more by adding a good, strong dose of humiliation to their lives.

As Digby wrote the other day after a previous episode of Democrats joining with Republicans to block help for the long-term unemployed, "This is simple cruelty at this point."

Not cruel enough, apparently. Sen. Hatch wants unemployed to face mandatory drug tests. What is Hatch's reasoning for a requirement that the unemployed publicly humiliate themselves?

"This amendment is a way to help people get off of drugs to become productive and healthy members of society, while ensuring that valuable taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted.”

Previously the reasons for not helping the unemployed included President Obama saying, "government can't create jobs," or ideological nonsense like it is not government's role, or the deficit is too big, or they are lazy. But I think this one takes the cake. Now the excuse for Congress' inaction on the economy is that the unemployed are out of work because they are on drugs.

It is enough to make me want to go get stoned. Come to think of it, California will be voting on legalizing pot in November! If members of Congress keep spouting this nonsense, keep refusing to act on jobs and keep taking it out on the unemployed, the poor and the elderly, we might see a migration west of people looking for a different kind of relief.

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