Tuesday night owls. EPI calculates 3.4 million new claims for jobless benefits were filed last week

Tuesday night owls. EPI calculates 3.4 million new claims for jobless benefits were filed last week

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

As social distancing advisories turned into orders as the coronavirus spread, new claims for unemployment insurance benefits soared to 281,000 the week ending March 14. That was 70,000 more than in the first week of March, and a larger increase than any week since December 2009. No surprise.  And it will be no surprise to see they’ve soared again when the Labor Department releases the new figures for the week ending March 21. But if the latest estimate for that week put together by Aaron Sojourner and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham at the Economic Policy Institute proves true new claims will have rocketed nearly out of sight:

Many states reported initial claims growth of over 1,000%. Our model predicts that 3.4 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment insurance this past week, although we believe that number could be as low as 3 million or could be substantially higher. This will dwarf every other week in history, as can be seen by comparing the projection against the trend in initial claims back to 1967. 



“Too many Americans who are uninsured or under-insured do not receive regular checkups because they can’t afford coverage or their insurance doesn’t cover enough of the costs. The lack of preventive care results in countless emergency room visits and health care disasters for families.”
               ~~Sen. Jeff Merkley, 2009 


Trump wants to open up the nation by Easter because he clearly observes Christian holidays. For example, he gave up your grandparents for Lent.

— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) March 24, 2020


At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Strategy Memo: putting a silver lining on GOP obstructionism:

As debate on the reconciliation “fix” bill winds down and Senate Democrats have been unifying around a strategy of defeating all amendments (including a public option amendment, which is why we won’t see it offered) so that the bill remains intact, I’ve been wondering whether that strategy could or should change if a Republican amendment were somehow adopted despite the plan.

The adoption of any amendment anywhere along the line would make the question of whether or not the reconciliation bill would have to go back to the House moot. Any change would send the bill back to the House. So if the bill were amended at any point, it would basically be costless to attempt to send the bill back to the House with a public option attached.

But it now occurs to me that the points of order the Republicans are threatening might not be handled until the end of debate on the bill and any amendments, so it may well be the case that Democrats are able to prevail against all amendments and keep the bill intact until that point, and only after the opportunity for amendments to be offered had expired would any of the changes that points of order could force actually be made. So it could be that supporters of the public option in the Senate would feel constrained from offering it until it was too late. The “costless” opportunity to add it by amendment might arise only after amendment time had come and gone.

But if the bill does have to be amended due to Republican points of order, that just creates an opportunity for public option supporters in the House. Yes, the path of least resistance at that point would be for the House to concur in the Senate’s changes and pass the reconciliation bill without further amendment. But if the House is going to have to take another vote on the bill, it might as well extract some price for it.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Trump’s idiot shock troops roll out the Let’s Maybe Kill Everybody plan that was too stupid & barbaric for Boris Johnson. Meanwhile, Joan McCarter notes how much worse Moscow Mitch McConnell had hoped to make things, but might be able to pull off.

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