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Why We Reform by Paul Krugman

Posted by: ogenec

Op-ed by Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, New York Times

Paul Krugman, New York Times

NYT~One way or another, the fate of health care reform is going to be decided in the next few days. If House Democratic leaders find 216 votes, reform will almost immediately become the law of the land. If they don’t, reform may well be put off for many years — possibly a decade or more.

So this seems like a good time to revisit the reasons we need this reform, imperfect as it is.

As it happens, Reuters published an investigative report this week that powerfully illustrates the vileness of our current system. The report concerns the insurer Fortis, now part of Assurant Health, which turns out to have had a systematic policy of revoking its clients’ policies when they got sick. In particular, according to the Reuters report, it targeted every single policyholder who contracted H.I.V., looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, for cancellation. In the case that brought all this to light, Assurant Health used an obviously misdated handwritten note by a nurse, who wrote “2001” instead of “2002,” to claim that the infection was a pre-existing condition that the client had failed to declare, and revoked his policy.

This was illegal, and the company must have known it: the South Carolina Supreme Court, after upholding a decision granting large damages to the wronged policyholder, concluded that the company had been systematically concealing its actions when withdrawing coverage, not just in this case, but across the board.

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Little-Known Black History Fact: Molly Williams

Posted by BuellBoy

Drawing of Molly Williams pulling fire pump through snow storm

Drawing of Molly Williams pulling fire pump through a snow storm in 1818

A slave named Molly Williams was the first known female firefighter in the United States. Little is known about her life, but female firefighters know her heroic story.

Owned by a New York merchant named Benjamin Aymar, Williams became part of the Oceanus Engine Company firehouse in 1815 and would be known as Volunteer Number 11. The members of the house credited her for being as tough as the male firefighters. She would fight amongst them in a calico dress and checked apron.

Besides the bucket brigades, Molly pulled the pumper to fires through the deep snowdrifts of the blizzard of 1818 to save towns. On December 27, 1819, the Fire Department reported that the fire buckets were rapidly being superseded by the use of hose, so the era of fire buckets ended.

Even as a slave, Williams had gained the respect of her fellow firefighters. Her story and strength paved the way for other women, including one the first paid Black female firefighters and the most tenured in the country – Toni McIntosh of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who served for over 11 years.

Today there are many African-American women working as career firefighters and officers in the United States, along with a number of counterparts in the volunteer ranks. The African American Fire Fighter Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, conserving and sharing the heritage of African American firefighters.

The Museum is housed at old Fire Station 30. This station, which was one of two segregated fire stations in Los Angeles, between 1924 and 1955, was established in 1913, to serve the Central Ave community.

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Breaking News: Bill Clinton Hospitalized for Chest Pain


4:23 CST~President Bill Clinton was rushed to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan today after experiencing chest pain.

Douglas Band, a counselor for the 63-year-old former President, says he is in “good spirits” and released the following statement:

“Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of NY Presbyterian hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest.

Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place 2 stents in one of his coronary arteries.

President Clinton is in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti’s relief and long-term recovery efforts.”

The statement continues, “In 2004, President Clinton underwent a successful quadruple bypass operation to free four blocked arteries.”

UPDATE: Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has announced that she’s on her way from Washington to be with Bill.

Story developing…

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    NYC Oscar® Party to Shine at GILT at the New York Palace Hotel

    Posted by: Audiegrl

    On Oscar Sunday, March 7, 2010, New York-area members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the 82nd Academy Awards® at GILT at The New York Palace hotel.

    Since 1990, the Academy has hosted a New York Oscar celebration for its East Coast members, many of whom are previous Academy Award® winners and nominees.

    We’re delighted to be holding this year’s Oscar Night® party at this historic venue,” noted Bud Rosenthal, chairman of the Academy’s New York Events Committee. “The blending of old and new is a perfect expression of the tradition and innovation that we celebrate with the year’s films. And our celebration will only be enhanced by the artistry of GILT’s culinary team.”

    The evening’s festivities will begin with a reception in the GILT Bar, renowned for its selection of signature cocktails. Following the reception, the invited guests will adjourn to the restaurant for a multi-course Oscar-themed dinner and live viewing of the 82nd Academy Awards telecast. Executive Chef Justin Bogle and Executive Pastry Chef David Carmichael will create a special menu for the occasion.

    The New York Palace hotel incorporates the landmark Villard Mansion, which features elegant cathedral ceilings, gilded walls, carved moldings, and mosaic tile floors. GILT opened in 2006 and has since earned international acclaim. In 2009 the restaurant received two Michelin stars under Executive Chef Bogle, who at 28 was the youngest New York City chef to ever earn this distinction.

    Highlights From the 2009 Celebration

    Academy members got a chance to eat, drink and be merry while taking in the live telecast on February 22, 2009 at The Carlyle. Award-winning actress Elaine Stritch welcomed two 8-foot golden statues as part of the advance preparation for the Academy’s official New York Oscar Night Party. Guests included Geoffrey Rush, Patricia Neal, Rip Torn, Shirley Knight, Denis O’Hare, Burt Young, Celia Weston, Sylvia Miles, Amy Wright, Elaine Stritch, Tovah Feldshuh, Lisa Eichhorn, Tina Louise, Cynthia Wade, David Rasche, Sid Ramin, Nathaniel Kahn, Richard Barclay, Jimmy Picker, Robert Richter and Ken Ascher.

    Please click on the images to enlarge.

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    The Death of U.S. Political Democracy For The People

    Posted by: LibbyShaw

    Will the Senator from Wal-Mart please yield to the Senator from Halliburton? The Congressman from Black Water has 5 minutes remaining before the Congresswoman from United Health may speak.

    Mark your calendars, folks. January 21, 2010 is the day the radical and activist Supreme Court of the United States delivered the U.S. Democracy into the hands of the corporate sector and special interests groups. According to an article in the New York Times corporations, lobbyists and unions can now legally purchase their candidates of choice.

    “We have got a million we can spend advertising for you or against you – whichever one you want,’ ” a lobbyist can tell lawmakers, said Lawrence M. Noble, a lawyer at Skadden Arps in Washington and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

    The decision yesterday will usher in unimaginable numbers of Swift Boat attack ads. Corporate fat cats can now threaten and bully politicians to do their bidding or else.

    “It will put on steroids the trend that outside groups are increasingly dominating campaigns,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “Candidates lose control of their message. Some of these guys lose control of their whole personalities.”

    “Parties will sort of shrink in the relative importance of things,” he added, “and outside groups will take over more of the functions – advertising support, get out the vote – that parties do now.”

    Front row: Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin G. Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Back row: Associate Justices Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.

    Some have called the SOTUS decision a power grab that is intellectually dishonest.

    In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.

    Many of those commenting on the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have focused on the power-grab part. I agree with them. It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts had not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.

    “If it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more,” a wise judge once wrote. That was Chief Justice John G. Roberts — back when — and dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens rightly turned that line against him.

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    Republicans naturally and predictably love this recent ruling. But of course they would. Republicans embrace and fully support authoritarian forms of government. And the sad truth of the matter is the GOP has always worked for the corporate sector.

    It is devastatingly unfortunate that Republican voters have never been able to understand the hard, cold and mean reality of those they elect into office. Politicians take an oath to serve the people in their districts but many merely give their constituents nothing but empty rhetoric. If one were to closely examine one’s Republican lawmakers’ voting records one would find who their elected officials really work for.

    My guess is the teabaggers will wraps it head around the reality of the SCOTUS decision like we progressives have, for the only one imperative we do share in common is a collective outrage over the corporate takeover of the U.S. government and its legislative process by special interest groups and corporations.

    But unfortunately teabaggers, unlike progressives, are far too easily led astray by the likes of Dick Armey, one of the numerous behind the scenes leaders of the teabagger movement. Armey’s main mission is to promote the interests of the health care industry. He and his organization, Freedom Works, uses teabaggers as its tools.

    Republicans and teabaggers alike have been led to believe that the government is the root of everything evil while progressives know that government is the only force that can and will protect us from the evils of self-serving greed mongers of the corporate sector.

    We are where we are today b/c the corporate sector has been enabled to run rough shod over the American people. We are broke. There are no jobs. We lost homes. We lost retirement savings. Meanwhile on Wall St. the fat cats who can now purchase politicians get richer by the minute.

    Elections have consequences. The nice guy or girl candidate with whom to have a beer could very well be an anti-political democracy devil in disguise who has every intention of throwing the middle and working classes to the lions.

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    Oh, and Prince Alwaleed, grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia and the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup and second biggest shareholder in News Corp (Murdock’s FOX “News”) doesn’t like Obama’s tax on the banks.

    Who would have thought?

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    Michelle Obama Wax Figure Unveiled on The Wendy Williams Show

    Posted by: Audiegrl

    ChicagoNow~“How you doin,” Williams uttered her trademark into a new wax figure of the first lady. Viewers of “The Wendy Williams Show” got the first look at the figure, which will debut at Madame Tussauds New York on Tuesday as part of its Black History Month events.

    The Obama figure is dressed in a replica of her inauguration gown, Williams showed. She then rattled off some fun facts about the statue, including that its hair is human and individually inserted into the scalp. The hair is washed regularly.

    The statues are almost true-to-size. “They take three to six months to create,” she said. “They make them all about 2 percent bigger than the actual bodies of the people that they do because wax shrinks.”

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    Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” Video highlights

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of great music and a show of support for the people of Haiti

    Posted by: Audiegrl

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    President Obama Signs Legislation

    President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions January 22, 2010.

    President Obama Is Making It Easier for Americans to Support Haiti
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    In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.


    Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

    WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
    Yéle Haiti

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    Republicans Stand by Their Man: Fat Cat The Banker

    Posted by: LibbyShaw

    Meet Fat Cat the Banker

    Meet Fat Cat the Banker

    Who would have thought? In its true and hypocritical form The Party of No and Obstruction opposes President Obama’s proposed fees on banks.

    Dick Cheney must be hard at work at that printing press in his undisclosed basement.

    Prominent Republicans are coming out in opposition to President Barack Obama’s proposal for a $90-billion fee on large banks that took bailout money, a move that political observers say could force the GOP to choose between their traditional anti-tax position and populist anger over the bailout.

    On Thursday, GOP Chairman Michael Steele declared that the bank fee — which would be levied only on banks that took bailout money and have more than $50 billion in assets — is “another tax on the American public.”

    The GOP is standing by fat cat the banker in yet another effort to oppose President Obama. Republicans demonstrate time and time again that they are willing to put politics ahead of working on solutions to solve the daunting challenges that we face on local, state and national levels.

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    All of the Republican’s ranting and raving about the federal bailout is nothing but ginned up rhetoric. Apparently GOP lawmakers hate the bailout and yet they love the banks so much that they do not believe Wall St., aka gambling casinos that put Las Vegas to shame, should have to make reparations to the taxpayers for squandering and stealing our money. God forbid should the big banks have to pay fines for its appallingly irresponsible and over the top reckless behavior that annihilated the U.S. and global economy.

    The financial services industry lobbied for the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act in 1999. That allowed banks to use their custodial power over your money to assume huge risks in investment markets.

    They also lobbied for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which allowed banks to trade their crooked insurance in secret and exempted from all supervisory authority.

    And to help grow the hurricane, then CEO of Goldman Sachs Hank Paulson made a personal plea to the SEC to allow banks to leverage more money against their capital. As much as $4,000 for every $100 in capital they held.

    Wall Street may claim this was caused by a perfect storm, but the only thing perfect about it was their ability to line their pockets at the expense of our country.

    Republicans apparently think it is a good idea for the banks to return to its wild, careless and out of control gambling practices that all but destroyed our financial security.

    The proposed tax would apply to bank, thrift and insurance companies with more than $50 billion in assets and would start after June 30. It would not apply to certain holdings, like customers’ insured savings, but to assets in risk-taking operations. The levy would raise an estimated $90 billion over 10 years, according to the White House.

    But it would remain in force longer if all losses to the bailout fund, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, were not recovered after a decade. The Treasury now projects that the losses from the $700 billion loan program, which was created in October 2008, could reach $117 billion, about a third of the loss that it projected last summer — an improved forecast that reflected the renewed strength on Wall Street.

    After all, last week during the Texas Republican gubernatorial debate Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said she and John Cornyn hated voting for the bank bail out. But, alas, they did so only because then President G.W. Bush instructed them to do so in order to save the U.S. and global economy from a complete melt down.

    A glimpse at a Texas Republican clown show.

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    In their twisted logic Republican politicians insist they hated saving the banks but now they hate imposing punitive fees on the banks’ biggest gamblers.

    I suppose now that Sarah Palin has been hired as a professional analyst by FOX, the Propaganda Arm for the RNC, all of the GOP’s verbal inconsistencies and contradictions will soon be fully explained.

    Republican lawmakers will howl like possessed banshees about terrorism and the profound urgency for our national security. They also routinely cry for border fences, racial profiling and full body scanners at all airports. And yet when it comes to safeguarding our financial and economic security, Republicans, it appears, are not in the least bit concerned. For them Fat Cat the Banker can do no wrong.

    According to an article written by Mr. Frank Rich of the New York Times:

    The Other Plot to Wreck America

    Americans might be fluent in global terror and the horrors of terrorism but we are woefully uninformed about our domestic financial weapons of mass destruction.

    Americans must be told the full story of how Wall Street gamed and inflated the housing bubble, made out like bandits, and then left millions of households in ruin. Without that reckoning, there will be no public clamor for serious reform of a financial system that was as cunningly breached as airline security at the Amsterdam airport. And without reform, another massive attack on our economic security is guaranteed. Now that it can count on government bailouts, Wall Street has more incentive than ever to pump up its risks — secure that it can keep the bonanzas while we get stuck with the losses.

    The Director of the Financial Crisis Commission intends to shed some light on the big banks and its financial practices (greed, hubris, stupidity – gosh, why this sounds like a typical old home week of the W. Administration of arrogance and incompetence) over the last several years.

    He wants to examine the financial sector’s “greed, stupidity, hubris and outright corruption” — from traders on the ground to the board room. “It’s important that we deliver new information,” he said. “We can’t just rehash what we’ve known to date.” He understands that if he fails to make news or to tell the story in a way that is comprehensible and compelling enough to arouse Americans to demand action, Wall Street and Washington will both keep moving on, unchallenged and unchastened.

    Maybe the W. Administration and all of its lackeys including Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison were far too distracted by non-existent WMD’s in Iraq and no bid contracts to the military/industrial complex to worry much about Wall St.

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    Noel Coward’s Star Quality to Light Up Academy Gallery

    Posted by: Audiegrl

    Noel Coward by Edward Sorel

    Noel Coward by Edward Sorel

    Star Quality: I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got it,” said Noel Coward in his inimitable style, cigarette in hand and a twinkle in his eye. The life and career of playwright, composer, director and actor Noel Coward will be celebrated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a new touring exhibition, “Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” opening on Saturday, January 23, in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.

    Coward is well known as the creator of such stage classics as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Cavalcade, Design for Living and Blithe Spirit, many of which were adapted for film, and as the composer of such timeless songs as “I’ll See You Again,” “Mad About the Boy” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” “Star Quality” will be the first exhibition to show the full extent of Coward’s talents as a director of plays and movies, a stage and film actor, songwriter, cabaret artist, wartime patriot, painter and patron of charitable causes.

    Noel Coward and stage partner Gertrude Lawrence 1936

    Noel Coward and stage partner Gertrude Lawrence 1936

    With unparalleled access to the Coward Archives, and drawing on public and private collections in Europe and the U.S. as well as the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, the exhibition brings together dozens of rare photographs, drawings, paintings, original manuscripts, letters, sheet music, posters, playbills, set and costume designs, personal memorabilia, audio and video clips, and original costumes, including several of the silk dressing gowns that became Coward’s trademark. Coward’s friendships with many of the 20th century’s leading artists and film personalities also are documented throughout the exhibition, as are his contributions to the film world through his on-screen appearances and the numerous film adaptations of his stage work.

    Noel Coward and Judy Garland 1951

    Noel Coward and Judy Garland 1951

    Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” is presented in association with the Noël Coward Foundation and the Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco. The Academy’s installation has been guest curated by Brad Rosenstein and Rosy Runciman; the original exhibition was conceived and developed at Ten Chimneys by Erika Kent. Rosenstein will lead a public gallery talk at the Academy on Saturday, January 23, at 3 p.m. No reservations are required.

    Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward” will be on display through Sunday, April 18. The Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit http://www.oscars.org.

    Stephen Fry, Michael York and Pat York attend the opening of the exhibition Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward presented by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Academys Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills on Friday, January 22, 2010

    Stephen Fry, Michael York and Pat York attend the opening of the exhibition Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward presented by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Academys Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills on Friday, January 22, 2010

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    The GOP Refuses to Read a Bill it Opposes

    Posted by: LibbyShaw

    What is it with Republican Party? Does it utterly despise hard working and desperate Americans?

    Is the GOP too stubborn, lazy or too dumb to wrap its head around a very complex bill? Or maybe reading is a very tedious and beyond boring act that takes time that could be otherwise spent playing golf or sipping martinis with health insurance lobbyists.

    Hundreds of Americans die every month because they lack health care insurance. Do Republicans, including the self-serving,vindictive and tool for the health insurance companies, Joe Lieberman care?

    Can obese pigs fly?

    I did not think so.

    Everyone is entitled to one’s opinion but not to making up the facts.

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    Whether it is health care reform or the economic meltdown, Republicans refuse to realistically acknowledge the domestic disasters that confront us whether it has to do with thousands upon thousands of Americans who die because of lack of access to health insurance. Republicans are also unmoved by the thousands upon thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs, homes and everything they have worked so hard to achieve.

    Check out how the Republican tools for health insurance lobbyists operate.

    Witness a work in narcissism.

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    Oh, so, Republicans want to improve the bill? For whom? The insurance health care industry?

    You betcha.

    Oh, Joe, come on, be brave and come out of your Republican closet. Admit that you are a tool for the fat cat health insurance lobbyist. And so is your wife. Come on Joe, admit this is all about you and you don’t give a rat’s derriere about your constituents who will die sooner than they should because you care about your ego more than you do about the people who elected you.

    The inconvenient facts.

    Disaster and Denial.

    Given this history, you might have expected the emergence of a national consensus in favor of restoring more-effective financial regulation, so as to avoid a repeat performance. But you would have been wrong.

    Talk to conservatives about the financial crisis and you enter an alternative, bizarro universe in which government bureaucrats, not greedy bankers, caused the meltdown. It’s a universe in which government-sponsored lending agencies triggered the crisis, even though private lenders actually made the vast majority of subprime loans. It’s a universe in which regulators coerced bankers into making loans to unqualified borrowers, even though only one of the top 25 subprime lenders was subject to the regulations in question.

    Oh, and conservatives simply ignore the catastrophe in commercial real estate: in their universe the only bad loans were those made to poor people and members of minority groups, because bad loans to developers of shopping malls and office towers don’t fit the narrative.

    In part, the prevalence of this narrative reflects the principle enunciated by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” As Democrats have pointed out, three days before the House vote on banking reform Republican leaders met with more than 100 financial-industry lobbyists to coordinate strategies. But it also reflects the extent to which the modern Republican Party is committed to a bankrupt ideology, one that won’t let it face up to the reality of what happened to the U.S. economy.

    Republicans are not going to lift a finger to help our country recover from the carnage wreaked by its ideologies and agendas since Ronald Reagan.

    I think we can safely trust that Republicans will never get it b/c their salaries, as quoted above, depend upon their never getting it.

    Nor do the Republicans give a rat’s derriere about the recent poll that reveals the full extent of the horrible misery and suffering taking place throughout the United States.

    A few mere examples of the extent of the suffering.

    More than half of the nation’s unemployed workers have borrowed money from friends or relatives since losing their jobs. An equal number have cut back on doctor visits or medical treatments because they are out of work.

    Almost half have suffered from depression or anxiety. About 4 in 10 parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children that they attribute to their difficulties in finding work.

    Joblessness has wreaked financial and emotional havoc on the lives of many of those out of work, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll of unemployed adults, causing major life changes, mental health issues and trouble maintaining even basic necessities.

    The results of the poll, which surveyed 708 unemployed adults from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, help to lay bare the depth of the trauma experienced by millions across the country who are out of work as the jobless rate hovers at 10 percent and, in particular, as the ranks of the long-term unemployed soar.

    Roughly half of the respondents described the recession as a hardship that had caused fundamental changes in their lives. Generally, those who have been out of work longer reported experiencing more acute financial and emotional effects.

    Republican solution: Tax cuts for the wealthy. Trickle down economics works.

    With unemployment driving foreclosures nationwide, a quarter of those polled said they had either lost their home or been threatened with foreclosure or eviction for not paying their mortgage or rent. About a quarter, like Ms. Newton, have received food stamps. More than half said they had cut back on both luxuries and necessities in their spending. Seven in 10 rated their family’s financial situation as fairly bad or very bad.

    But the impact on their lives was not limited to the difficulty in paying bills. Almost half said unemployment had led to more conflicts or arguments with family members and friends; 55 percent have suffered from insomnia.

    “Everything gets touched,” said Colleen Klemm, 51, of North Lake, Wis., who lost her job as a manager at a landscaping company last November. “All your relationships are touched by it. You’re never your normal happy-go-lucky person. Your countenance, your self-esteem goes. You think, ‘I’m not employable.’ “

    Republican solution: Let the banks continue to rip off and rob the American people. Block all efforts at regulating the banks. Fight President Obama’s job efforts. Solution: tax cuts for the wealthy. Trickle down economics is what we need.

    “Every time I think about money, I shut down because there is none,” Ms. Linville said. “I get major panic attacks. I just don’t know what we’re going to do.”

    Nearly half of the adults surveyed admitted to feeling embarrassed or ashamed most of the time or sometimes as a result of being out of work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the traditional image of men as breadwinners, men were significantly more likely than women to report feeling ashamed most of the time.

    There was a pervasive sense from the poll that the American dream had been upended for many. Nearly half of those polled said they felt in danger of falling out of their social class, with those out of work six months or more feeling especially vulnerable. Working-class respondents felt at risk in the greatest numbers.

    Nearly half of respondents said they did not have health insurance, with the vast majority citing job loss as a reason, a notable finding given the tug of war in Congress over a health care overhaul. The poll offered a glimpse of the potential ripple effect of having no coverage. More than half characterized the cost of basic medical care as a hardship.

    Many in the ranks of the unemployed appear to be rethinking their career and life choices. Just over 40 percent said they had moved or considered moving to another part of the state or country where there were more jobs. More than two-thirds of respondents had considered changing their career or field, and 44 percent of those surveyed had pursued job retraining or other educational opportunities.

    Joe Whitlow, 31, of Nashville, worked as a mechanic until a repair shop he was running with a friend finally petered out in August. He had contemplated going back to school before, but the potential loss in income always deterred him. Now he is enrolled at a local community college, planning to study accounting.

    “When everything went bad, not that I didn’t have a choice, but it made the choice easier,” Mr. Whitlow said.

    Republican reaction: Fight, block and obstruct the Obama Administration and Democratic Party’s efforts at reform. Solution: tax cuts for the wealthy. Trickle down economics is the solution we need.

    Sure, that and there is a boatload of cheap oceanfront property for sale in the middle of the blistering Mojave Desert.

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