Blog Archives

Pelosi: No Tier V for Unemployment Benefits

One of the enduring confusions amid the debate over extending unemployment benefits revolves around the fact that the Democrats’ proposals don’t actually extend UI benefits at all. They simply extend the filing deadline to apply for existing benefits.
That dynamic…

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House Splits Extenders Bill, Cuts COBRA Benefits Out

House Democratic leaders just started a series of procedural votes leading up to what they hope will be passage of sweeping legislation extending a number of expiring tax breaks and unemployment insurance benefits.
To appease budget hawks in their own…

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Unemployment Benefits Likely to Expire June 2

It’s pretty certain, at this point in the discussion, that Congress will leave Washington today for a week-long Memorial Day break without passing legislation to extend a number of tax breaks and emergency unemployment benefits.
Not only have House Democrats…

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Dems Scale Back Unemployment Benefits Extension

After hitting a wall of moderate Democrats wary of more deficit spending, House leaders on Wednesday scaled back their sweeping proposal to extend certain tax breaks and emergency unemployment benefits.
While most of the roughly $50 billion savings under the…

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BP’s ‘Top Kill’ Efforts Are Working

So reports the L.A. Times, citing U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen.

The “top kill” effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, has pumped enough drilling fluid to block all oil and gas from the well, Allen said.…

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Shocker: BP Chose Cheaper, Less Safe, Oil Well Seal

The New York Times reports:

The concern with the method BP chose, the document said, was that if the cement around the casing pipe did not seal properly, gases could leak all the way to the wellhead, where only a…

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Both Parties See Immigration as Path to Victory in Arizona

As The Washington Post’s Peter Slevin reported last week, GOP Senate hopeful J.D. Hayworth might be down in the polls, and he might have just a fifth of the campaign funds accumulated by his primary opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).…

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Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine Still Racking Up Safety Violations

The coal mine that exploded last month in West Virginia — killing 29 workers and all but killing a 30th — may be shuttered in the wake of the blast, but federal regulators continue to find safety problems there. As…

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Extension of Unemployment Benefits Stalled in House

Officially, House leaders are saying they’ll have the support to pass an enormous jobs proposal that would extend the deadline to file for additional unemployment benefits (but not create new benefits) through the end of the year.
“We will have…

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Third Time: GOP Blocks Bill to Raise Oil Spill Liability Cap

Twice this month, Senate Democrats have tried to pass their proposal hiking the oil spill liability cap from $75 million to $10 billion. And twice Republicans have objected, calling the $10 billion figure “arbitrary” (which is precisely what the Obama…

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Environmentalists Roll Out National Ad Targeting Mountaintop Coal Mining

When most of us flip on the lights (or type into our computers, for that matter), we aren’t thinking about how those simple acts might affect those living in coal country. Yet nearly half of the country’s electricity is generated…

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Massey Miner: ‘I Felt Like I Was Working for the Gestapo’

Stanley "Goose" Stewart, right, testifies alongside relatives of victims of the Upper Big Branch explosion before the House Education and Labor Committee in Beckley, W.Va., on Monday. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/

A coal miner working at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine when…

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Why Is BP Controlling Louisiana’s Cops?

By now, we all know that the federal government is pretty much impotent in the face of the seafloor gusher that’s been spewing unknowable amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for a month, reliant instead on BP to…

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Senate Dems Seek Probe Into Transocean’s $1 Billion Shareholder Payout

Transocean Ltd., the Swiss company operating the Deepwater Horizon oil rig when it blew up last month, raised plenty of eyebrows last week when it announced its plan to pay out $1 billion in dividends to shareholders.
“It’s heartwarming to…

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Report: 1.2 Million Set to Lose Unemployment Benefits in June

Having unveiled their plan to extend unemployment benefits through the end of the year (not to be mistaken for a plan to create new benefits), Democrats will no doubt be racing to pass the measure before June 1, which marks…

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Massey Miner: Upper Big Branch Was ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

Members of the House Education and Labor Committee are holding a satellite hearing this morning in Beckley, W.Va., to examine the Upper Big Branch mine explosion, which killed 29 Massey miners and almost killed a 30th not far from Beckley.…

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Rand Paul on Deadly Mine Collapse: ‘Sometimes Accidents Happen’

Late last month, two young coal miners were killed in western Kentucky when a roof collapsed at the Dotiki coal mine, a non-union operation owned by Tulsa, Okla.-based Alliance Resource Partners.
Today, Rand Paul, the GOP nominee to replace outgoing…

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Another Massey Miner Dies in West Virginia

About 15 hours after Massey CEO Don Blankenship told Congress that worker safety is the company’s top priority, another Massey miner died in West Virginia, The Associated Press reports.

State of West Virginia spokesman Hoy Murphy says 55-year-old James Erwin…

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Massey CEO Pushes Blame for Deadly Blast on Government

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship testifies before a Senate committee on Thursday. (Pete Marovich/

Under fire for his company’s safety record following a deadly mining accident last month, Massey CEO Don Blankenship tried to shift the blame Thursday, telling Senate…

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Mexican President Calls for U.S. to Reinstall Assault Weapons Ban

Roll Call reports:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon called for the reinstatement of a ban on the sale of assault weapons in the U.S. while reiterating his opposition to a controversial Arizona immigration law during an address to a joint session…

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