And the Captain Obvious Award goes to…The NY Times for this Headline!

White House Optimism Not Shared by Republicans – NYTimes.com.

Wow…Really?  You’re kidding?  Republicans don’t SHARE the White House’s Optimism?  That’s SHOCKING.  That’s never happened before.  I don’t know what the next year holds or what the next decade holds.  But I do know that it took lot’s of different people around the globe in many different fields to dig the economic hole we’re currently in.and it’s going to take a united effort involving everyone-from main street to wall street and around the globe to fix this.  Republicans can say whatever they want about plans…until they have something better, we’re sticking with what we’ve got.  Also, who got us into this mess?  8 years of a Republican White House…specifically George W. Bush.  Has anyone else noticed that Bush’s name is RARELY used now?  It’s almost as if they are trying to make American’s forget who was at the helm when the warning flares were signally…as if they want American’s to forget how many lives have been lost and how much money has been spent on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq…wars that we’re no closer to winning now than we were when we invaded.  Bankruptcy?  Oh yeah…Obama is the reason the country might be bankrupt in a few years…it has NOTHING to do with the tax cuts or stimulus checks or the FDIC not making banks pay their annual dues or unchecked spending by the former administration.

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Mo’ jobs fo’ Mo’ Menthz?

Interesting article from Slate Magazine about the not-so-new Stimulus plan and the gender gap.  The article asks why the new administration didn’t allocate more funds for female dominated sectors of the economy like child care, education and social services.  Personally, I think women need to put some hard hats on and get out there and break down the gender walls in the work place themselves.  There’s nothing wrong with providing funds for construction and other male dominated industries if there’s a call for it…and I think there will be…and those fields aren’t discriminating against women.  It’s up to women to break into those fields and, frankly, most women chose not to.  Where are our generation’s Rosie the Riveters.  Funding for new construction has pretty much stopped from what I gather and, as the daughter of a carpenter, I know that economic down-turns are murder on industries like construction and home building.  Another note…construction workers are not all unionized…most aren’t.  In New York, a non-union construction site will typically have a huge blow-up rat outside of it.  Carpenters, Electricians, and Plumbers and other skilled workers are almost always unionized.  A LOT of construction workers are non-union who will work for less and for no benefits.  Hopefully the new plan takes this into account and allocates money for union workers rather than allowing construction companies to pick the cheapest labor.  As someone who lived three blocks from one of the crane’s that collapsed in Midtown, I think the more oversight there is on construction sites…the better.

COBRA-YES WE CAN!

DSC03097, originally uploaded by ecallanet.

I have already posted about this but it’s SUCH an important part of the Stimulus plan that people need to be paying attention to NOW. If you’ve been laid off since September 1, 2008, you should read this article on the COBRA section of the new Stimulus plan. Until now, COBRA has been so expensive it’s almost not an option for the recently unemployed. Thanks to the new President’s Stimulus Plan, COBRA is finally affordable. Under the new plan, your employer has to cover 65% of your COBRA costs (the employer is then reimbursed by the US Treasury-but that’s not your concern!). As I’ve said before, I think this is a HUGE step in the right direction. To see Suze Orman’s take on it, skip down to my first posting.

COBRA Stimulus Plan – How the COBRA Premium Subsidy will Help More Get COBRA Benefits

The Suze Scoop from Suze Orman

HOLLLLLLLLL-AR!!! Change YES WE CAN! Barack Obama just did an amazing thing…he’s keeping me single! Let me back up…my boyfriend and I had already casually talked about not being totally opposed to the idea of getting hitched…then I got laid off and I was all…so how ‘bout we get ourselves civil unionized tomorrow? With fake plastic flowers? At the courthouse? I’ll buy you White Castle after? And you can get me on your insurance plan so I can get an epidural for my herniated disc in two weeks! YAY! Romantic, right? Who wouldn’t say yes to a proposal like that?!? Having been recently ‘emancipated’ from my job…I can’t really afford to buy him a ring…or a flat screen TV…which is what I’d imagine the male equivalent of a ring is…But I figure we could buy one in less than two months with all the money we’d save NOT paying for my COBRA plan…yeah…COBRA…incase you didn’t know…is INSANELY expensive…to the tune of near $500 a month in my particular case…

SO, back to the bit that can help you out if you get laid off…and why I am so darned pleased with Mr. President…the NEW Stimulus plan reduces COBRA payments for people who were ‘involuntarily’ removed from their jobs by 65%!!!! It makes COBRA affordable! Reachable! DOABLE! Personally I think this is brilliant because the next looming national crisis is going to be healthcare…First people get laid off, now they don’t have homes either, so the next thing to go…the next major expense that families can’t afford is ALWAYS health insurance. And when that happens, the uninsured become a burden on the rest of the healthcare system. Hospitals and doctors can’t deny people service…but people have empty pockets-you can’t garnish wages and you can’t put a lien against a home when they don’t have a home or any assets at all! So I think this is an absolutely brilliant plan…this will make it feasible and possible for families and individuals to continue health insurance and that is a step in the right direction-for everyone! So cheers to Barack and cheers to ME not having to race down the aisle for some sort of weird nouveau shotgun Brooklyn-style wedding.

The Suze Scoop