Michelle Malkin, Cynthia Tucker Spar Over Unemployment Benefits (VIDEO) [UPDATED]

UPDATE: Larry Katz, the Clinton-era economist cited by Michelle Malkin today as offering dire warnings of the way unemployment insurance incentivizes unemployment showed up in yesterday's New York Times saying remarkably different things about unemployment insurance:

Traditionally, many economists have been leery of prolonged unemployment benefits because they can reduce the incentive to seek work. But that should not be a concern now because jobs remain so scarce, said Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard.

For every job that becomes available, about six people are looking, Dr. Katz said. "Unemployment insurance gives income to families who are really suffering and can't find work even if they are hustling to look," he said.

With the economy still listing, he added, a temporary extension can provide a quick fiscal stimulus. And, Dr. Katz said, when people exhaust unemployment and health insurance, many end up applying for disability benefits, which become a large, unending drain on the Treasury.

Crooks & Liars has much more.

"Larry Katz" vs Larry Katz [Beautiful Horizons]


[Original Article]

Michelle Malkin, for some reason, was invited to be a part of today's THIS WEEK panel, maybe because she was wandering through the Newseum or something. Anyway, she took on the issue of unemployment benefits by saying that "If you put enough government cheese in front of people, they are just going to keep eating it," which explains why America has never grown tired of cheap cheese and why it's totally led to nobody wanting to strive or excel or have a job in the past three decades.

Malkin went on to say that "smart economists," including Clinton economist Larry Katz, say that unemployment insurance only prolongs joblessness, and that, basically, if the jobless started starving to death and dying on the streets, it would give them the kick in the pants they needed to get a job again. Everybody just sort of looked at Malkin, like she was INSANE, and George Stephanopoulos very politely said, "Uhm...I don't know if I follow that." To which Malkin replied: "BUT IT WAS A CLINTON ECONOMIST, BLARGLE!" Stephanopoulos was still a bit dumbfounded, wondering why anyone in their right mind would take unemployment benefits "when a job was available."

Malkin's counter argument is that, for some reason -- who knows why really, maybe there was a presidential administration that recorded epic job losses for a decade maybe, it's a real mystery -- there has been unemployment insurance for many weeks. And for some reason, they are going to keep extending it -- as if there was some sort of ongoing economic crisis or something! And because of that, "people will delay getting a job until three weeks before the benefits run out."

Finally, Cynthia Tucker kindly points out that...uhm...if there are no jobs to get, literally no jobs to be had, then it's probably a good idea to sustain people's lives until such time as there are actual, real-life job interviews to go on and real-life employers actually taking resumes and whatnot: "That might be true when there are jobs out there that are available, but there are very few jobs available at the moment. So I don't think that people are just using that unemployment to be lazy, instead of going out and searching for jobs." Malkin attempts to yammer about incentives, but Tucker shuts that down by pointing out that when jobs get advertised, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ATTEMPT TO APPLY FOR THEM, which is a weird way of staying on the dole, forever.


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Palin Lawyer Threatens To Serve Libel Papers At Kindergarten

Sarah Palin's lawyer threatened to serve a blogger with libel papers at the kindergarten where he works for writing a post saying the former Alaska governor was getting divorced.

Gryphen, who writes a blog called "The Immoral Minority," wrote on Saturday that "according to my source Sarah is finished with Todd and has decided to end their marriage."

Palin's lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, wrote a letter to the blogger, asking "if you want to be served with the summons and complaint at the kindergarten where you assist or at your residence."

Gryphen laughed off the threat, telling Alaska Report, "Nothing that I wrote in my post was meant to be malicious. I trust my source and simply reported what I had been told.
Threatening to serve legal papers to an educator in a room full of five year olds? Now that is malicious."

Palin's spokeswoman issued a statement denying the divorce story on Saturday.

Yet again, some so-called journalists have decided to make up a story. There is no truth to the recent "story" (and story is the correct term for this type of fiction) that the Palins are divorcing. The Palins remain married, committed to each other and their family, and have not purchased land in Montana (last week it was reported to be Long Island).

Less than one week ago, Governor Palin asked the media to 'quit making things up. We appreciate that the more professional journalists decided to question this story before repeating it.

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Charles Warner: Media Health Care Coverage Is Unhealthy

Most of the dinosaur media's coverage of the government's effort to reform the nation's broken health care system is inadequate and unhealthy. Much of the news coverage concentrates on strategy - the horserace - not on the issues. Many media organizations are covering the health care debate like they cover a presidential campaign.

The worst coverage, of course, is on the cable news channels, which no longer cover serious news or news seriously. They have become video versions of People magazine in the ultimate irony - vapid celebrities reading poorly written copy about vapid celebrities.

This era of cute, air-head news readers was put in bold relief by the tributes to Walter Cronkite and the elevation of comedian Jon Stewart to Cronkite's long-vacant pedestal of being "the most trusted man in America."

Stewart is good. We can trust him to pull the wings off of political gadflys, which in the current age is a necessity. But we also need comprehensible coverage of the health care debate. Where are we to turn to get health care news we can really use, if not to cable television or the broadcast networks? In The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or the Washington Post?

The broadcast and cable media, by their short-form, sound-bite, linear access nature, cannot cover a complex subject adequately, so don't expect them to do so. Similarly, don't expect general assignment reporters or non-experts to cover the story adequately.

Here are some sources that I have found or that have been recommended to me that shed some light on the health care debate:

I'm sure there are many more Web sites and publications that have good coverage, but I think the lesson I learned in looking for useful health care debate coverage is that you won't find healthy coverage on cable or broadcast news (with NPR as a notable exception, although it tends to emphasize the horse race aspect), you have to go to the internet and search for expert coverage on blogs or major publications' Web sites.

Contrary to popular belief, blogs are more trustworthy, more comprehensive, more thorough, and more helpful, than TV. To be informed, turn off the tube and go the Web.

It Never Stops

Lovely piece by Maira Kalman on Ben Franklin:

Don’t mope in your room. Go invent something. That is the American message.

Electricity. Flight. The telephone. Television. Computers. Walking on the moon. It never stops.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Giving Birth to a New Conspiracy

During a recent train ride, a fellow commuter, who was reading the news on his laptop, asked me what I thought of the "birthers". I told him commuter trains don't have sleeping accommodations.

"I'm talking about birther, i-r." he said.

"I'm sorry. We're on a train. I thought you were referring to berths".

"I'm talking about the birther movement." He was getting more emphatic.

"Oh, the birther movement, you mean midwives, those who assist women giving birth -"

"No" he interrupted, "I mean the birther movement that is gaining quite a bit of support. Don't you surf the net or watch television? There are a growing number of people who don't believe Obama was born in the United States-"

"Wouldn't that make him the "birthee"? Wouldn't his mother be the birther?"

"No, this is not about his mother" he countered. "This is about whether Obama was born in the United States. There is no conclusive proof that he was and if he wasn't, he cannot legally be President."

"Where was his mother when he was born?" I asked.

"What's that got to do with it?" I could tell he was getting annoyed.

"Babies like to be born near their mother, it makes them feel more secure. His mother, an American citizen, was in Hawaii at the time of his birth. Maybe that's just a coincidence but it could be significant."

"As I said, there is no conclusive proof that he was born in the United States."

"Are you saying that Hawaii isn't considered part of the United States? I know Hawaii didn't start off as the United States, but for that matter, neither did the United States."

"There is no proof that he was born in Hawaii. His father was Kenyan, he may have been born in Kenya which would mean he wasn't born in the United States and therefore is illegally holding the office of the Presidency."

"Interesting concept. Where were you born?"

"What difference does that make?"

"Are you hiding something?"

"Of course not. It's a ridiculous question."

"Pago Pago?"

"No. Delaware. Why would you suggest Pago Pago?"

"It's fun to say, but more importantly, why should I believe you? I don't know you. I haven't seen your birth certificate."

"I'm not the President of the United States."

"I appreciate your honesty about you not being the President." We finally hit on something we could agree on. "So there is no reason for me to believe you."

"Why should I or anyone else believe Obama?"

"He has been more vetted and subjected to more scrutiny over the past three years than any other Presidential candidate in history. You think the idea of him not being an American citizen just happened to slip by?"

"I think there was a conspiracy to get him elected without verifying his citizenship - a lot of right minded people are looking to protect our country and keep it in American hands." He was getting more agitated.

"A conspiracy to hijack the Presidency hatched by a biracial couple 46 years ago." I said. I was distracted by a shiny object soaring across the sky. "Did you see that?"

"See what?"

"The flying saucer that just flew by."


I pointed. "The sky is out there."

"I didn't see it." he said looking out the window.

I shook my head. "That's another conspiracy. The government doesn't want us to know about the outer space visitations we've had, the alien abductions. You know about the flying saucers and alien bodies recovered in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947."

"I've heard about that. Was there any definitive proof it happened?"

"Plenty of proof for those who believe the proof there is, but not nearly as much proof as there is supporting Obama's birth in Hawaii."

"That's not funny." He closed his laptop, picked up his briefcase and moved to another seat.

He was right. It's not funny. It's frightening, frightening that the media lends credibility by seriously reporting on a group that has no factual foundation for its claims and rejects all factual materials that refute them. I thought that's why there were shows like Jerry Springer, to accommodate the fringe and the audience who enjoys such sideshows.

The birthers however, could be right about a conspiracy, the conspiracy to destroy any credibility the right may have by devoting and diverting attention to this kind of destructive nonsense instead of having informed debate about real issues like healthcare, the environment and foreign policy.

There are currently ten co-sponsors for a bill originated by Representative Bill Posey of Florida to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and create requirements to assure candidates meet the qualifications for the Office of the President. I commend Posey and his co-sponsors for creating a bill to address a problem that was created so there would be a problem to address. Obama, our 44th President and the first black President, is the first to ever have to tolerate questions regarding his legitimacy to hold office. Is there any relationship there?

The birthers have given birth to something that is embarrassing and insulting to all of us. Congratulations on your new baby.

Dr. Tian Dayton: Narcissism in a Bottle: The Self Centerdness of Addiction

Over the years I have listened to a sort of running monologue from clients who grew up with an addicted parent. It goes something like this..."I felt like it was all about them, like what was going on inside of me was sort of invisible, like what they wanted or needed always came first." They go on and on describing a family dynamic that circulated around the immediate needs of the addict. They talk about how they often found themselves staying quiet and "well behaved" so as not to disturb a drunk or hung over parent or bring a torrent of anger down on them. They also describe a world in which their other parent was constantly over burdened;hiding the extent of the problem and working double time to make the family seem "normal". Both parents became absorbed by either addiction or the problems surrounding it.

In this family children tend to fit in or not fit in according to their ability to meet other people's needs. These kids often experience their parent's needs as more immediate and important than their own. And to further complicate this dynamic, children of addiction COA's, may experience relief and satisfaction by meeting another person's needs while remaining somewhat unaware of their own. Their own inner worlds can feel somewhat hazy and confusing to them while the worlds of others seem clear and distinct.

Why Living with Addiction Feels Like Living with Narcissism

The narcissist tends to view other people, not necessarily as individuals in thier own right, but as extensions of himself. A narcissist often prefers to have people around him who behave in such a way as to meet and gratify his own needs or enhance his own vision of himself. If they act separate, have too many of their own points of view or their own opinions they threaten the narcissist's equilibrium.

How does this mirror addiction? The addict is ever absorbed with getting their next fix; that's how they maintain their equilibrium, albeit very dysfunctionally. Their needs come first.

The narcissist also tends to be absorbed in themselves and in meeting their next need and rather unaware and even uncaring of the needs of those around them.

Same with the addict, the needs of those around them have to come second to their meeting their own, often overpowering desire for their next "fix" whether it be a drink, drug, food or sexual encounter.Both the narcissist and the addict are first and formost self absorbed, they come first.

Addiction creates a kind of narcissism. It is constantly preoccupying; it takes a person over body, mind and soul. For those who live with an addict, love them and depend on them to be at the other end of a relationship, life can be discouraging. It's a lot like living with a narcissist because no matter what you do or how hard you try, you will always come second; second to the addict's pressing needs, second to their constant preoccupations, second to the disease.

Freud said that we become jealous of the narcissist, they seem to be so pleasantly oblivious to the feelings of accountability to others that the rest of us are plagued by. "Wouldn't it be nice" we think "to be free of this burden of awareness of the needs and feelings of others and simply ask ourselves one question, what do I want?" But if you could drill a hole into the inner world of the narcissist or the addict and peek inside you might be startled at the emptiness and loneliness you'd find. Because ultimately being oblivious to the cares and needs of others, leaves us feeling like strangers in our own relational worlds. Whatever they are doing to meet their needs isn't working all that well for the long run.

How In Recovery, We Sometimes Misinterpret the Concept of Self Care

Recovery and pop psychology are famous for telling people to "take care of themselves". I see a lot of people in the addictions field confused at just what this means because the models they have seen "taking care of themselves" have been unhealthy ones. COAs don't necessarily learn the difference between healthy self care, the kind that recognizes that you won't be any good to anyone, including yourself, if you let yourself fall apart and the selfish, narcissistic models they have grown up with. They confuse healthy self care with the selfish variety that discounts others. Frustrated and disheartened from years of feeling unseen and unheard, they grab onto the concept of self care and use it to justify gratifying their own needs in the same selfish way that they have seen others do and then wonder at why they feel so lonely. And their self care can be so mixed up with the kinds of fear, guilt and pain that we discussed in our previous two blogs on codependency that they really can't figure out how to take care of themselves and still be well related and aware of the needs of others.

One of the important tasks of any person is to learn how to be well related to others. Humans are tribal at heart, pack animals if you will. We are always in relationship to someone, it's part of who we are and how we got here in the first place. Learning what to let metter and what to let go of, and how to hang onto our own sense of self while in the presence of others is one of our most important developmental tasks. This is challenging in the most perfect of circumstances but for those who grow up with addicted or narcissistic parents who aren't good at fostering self esteem in others, developing a secure sense of self can be challenging. This delicate process of untangling of conflicting needs and emotions will be the subject of my next blog; "Emotional Sobriety in Relationships".
For further info see Emotional Sobriety: From Relationship Trauma to Resilience and Balance," by Tian Dayton PhD.

Weekend Vid Picks: Let’s Get Excited About Some Movie (Trailers)!

The first videos I ever watched on the Internet were movie trailers, and they continue to be some of the most watched content around — to the point where Visible Measures partnered with Variety.com recently to chart their viewing rates. Their data doesn’t include the trailers that launched this week in the aftermath of the Comic-Con publicity blitz, but some of these videos were the most discussed of the last few days.

What’s everyone so psyched about? Well, first there’s the whimsical stop-motion of Wes Anderson’s adaptation of The Fantastic Mr. Fox:

And then, there’s animation on a totally different scale. Tron Legacy’s “concept grid test” is available for embedding on DailyMotion and other sites, but if you haven’t checked out the clip in HD, you’ve not read Shakespeare in the original Klingon (to paraphrase Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country).

But it’s possibly the least showy of these that’s the most intriguing. It’s easy to imagine that the trailer for a film about a Jewish man in the 1950s having an existential crisis would be boring. But A Serious Man is the new upcoming Coen Brothers film, and it looks anything but.

Of these, A Serious Man’s trailer stands out as the most artistically unique, and the excitement inspired by all three is palpable. After all, done right even a commercial can make for great content.

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