Jan 06 2014

Daily News Flash with Courtney Morris on Jobless Benefits Restoration, Janet Yellen Confirmation, and Snowden Clemency Debate

Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and women’s Studies at Penn State University and a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University, analyzes today’s news headlines:

President Obama is urging Congress to make restoring jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans their first order of business” this year. Obama, over the weekend criticized Congress’ refusal to extend a temporary benefit for the long-term unemployed, saying “denying families that security is just plain cruel.” The two year budget deal reached before the end of last year included a restoration of the military budget. Republicans, who dominate the House, want unemployment benefits to be paid for with cuts elsewhere. Their logic is that unemployed people will become so dependent on government benefits that they will lose the incentive to find work. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

In other economic news, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Dr. Janet Yellen, is expected to be confirmed as head of her organization today. She has wide support from the Democratic Party, but has faced opposition from the Republican party over her adoption of her predecessor Ben Bernanke’s policy of federal stimulation of the economy. Yellen will become the first woman to ever head the Federal Reserve. Click here for Los Angeles Times article about the story.

After the New York Times’ Editorial Board took a courageous position last week calling for clemency for NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden, Sunday talk shows discussed the topic at length. Janet Napolitano, former head of the Department of Homeland Security, told NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday that she disagreed that Snowden deserved clemency. Republican Senator Rand Paul told ABC that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also deserved prison time for lying to Congress. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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