FROM Casey Mulligan
Out of Work and Out of Luck: The Politics of Unemployment The Senate returned from recess today to consider Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a three-month extension to long-term unemployment insurance that lapsed over the holidays for 1.3 million Americans out of work for more than six months. Programs like it have been passed in every recession since 1957. This one had been re-authorized 11 times but expired when Congress failed to include an extension in the latest contentious budget battle. As a result only one in four unemployed Americans is estimated to receive jobless benefits, the smallest proportion in half a century. Last weekend President Obama urged Congress to re-instate long-term jobless aid. Does federal aid help job hunters stay in the labor market or discourage them from looking? How does the loss of benefits affect the economy as a whole? Should government put the money towards creating economic and job opportunities rather than providing cash?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.