Beltway Insider: Obama Signs Farm Bill; SNAP Cuts; January Job Reports; EUI Bill Fails; Putin Reigns at Sochi

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2642, the Agriculture Act of 2014, into law this week deeply disappointing advocates of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program who expected the president to veto any version that included SNAP cuts.

 

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week remained steady at 41% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President also remained the same at 51%.

President Obama Signs Farm Bill; SNAP Benefits Cut

President Obama introduced the Agriculture Act of 2014 indicting the legislation "was not perfect" it did however provide protections to vulnerable Americans even as it included cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formally known as Food Stamps.

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture addressed the members of the media this week, with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, to discuss some of the finer points of the Agriculture Act of 2014.

The SNAP program directly impacts the lives of senior citizens, people with disabilities, and working men and women and their children, over 40million families receive some form of SNAP Benefits.

With 92% of SNAP beneficiaries falling into those four categories, it is estimated that less than 1million recipients, according to the White House, will be affected by the cuts resulting in a maximum of $90.00 reduction, for a family of four, in monthly benefits.

"I'm very thankful that we're dealing with that kind of reaction to the SNAP program as opposed to the $40 billion cut that was proposed in the House, which would have taken 2 to 3 million people off of the program and we wouldn't have had the opportunity to bring those people into the program," Secretary Vilsack said

The safety nets created in 2009 to ensure that those in need received SNAP benefits throughout the economic recession were limited. In theory the economy is improving and unemployment is slowly coming down, those who qualify for the benefits still exists in even greater numbers simply due to the economic situation over the past five years.

The cuts don't factor in price index per state. Some SNAP participants travel some distance to purchase food at lower cost, they spend additional monies in transportation, others may be fortunate to have neighborhood groceries that sell at a low cost maximizing the benefit without subtracting from the household budget.

"What we've essentially done and what the Congress has essentially done is they've basically said, look, those people who qualify for food stamps and for the SNAP program they're going to have a slightly higher bar to cross before they qualify, "Secretary Vilsack said.

January Job Reports Shows Slow Signs of Continued Recovery

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released January Job Numbers this week and the news continues to reflect the slow signs of recovery as the overall unemployment rate decreased .04% from 7.0% to 6.6%.

Adding just 113,000 non-farm jobs to the economy, while paltry and under expectations, maintains the upward economic recovery trend and resulted in an overall drop in unemployment to the lowest in more than five years, and a .06% decline since October, 2013.

Long-term unemployed, defined as those who have been without employment for more than 27 weeks declined by 1.1million over the past year.  The president has recognized this demographic of 3.6million Americans as the slowest to regain pre-recession strength and has created a task force designated to address this group.

Senate Fails to Pass UI

President Obama is continuing to lead the charge as the Senate failed again, by one vote, to pass the emergency unemployment insurance benefits the White House has been championing since the expiration in December.

"It is disappointing that Republicans in the Senate chose to again deny emergency unemployment insurance for 1.7 million Americans who need this vital lifeline to support their families as they actively search each and every day for a job," said Jay Carney White House Press Secretary.

Congress has stalled the passage of the emergency unemployment insurance holding the American people hostage as they continue to suffer with the unexpected loss of financial assistance, which breaks the upward economic momentum.

"Both sides of the aisle have worked together to prevent this kind of hardship in the past, and neglecting to do so now is unacceptable – especially given the high long-term unemployment rate," Carney said.

The proposition isn't dead and Senator Harry Reid, (D –NV), has indicated he will attempt to advance the bill again. The president stated in his state of the union address that one area that he must work with congress on is raising he national minimum wage above $10.00 per hour.

UI Insurance and Unemployment Benefit Loops Holes

The recent failure of the Senate to pass emergency unemployment insurance has caused, once again, bi-partisan bickering over the state of the economy and has resulted in reflection of actual unemployment numbers.

The recent release of Labor Statistics is reflective of the national unemployment average they do not reflect actual, state by state unemployment numbers. Unemployment, contrary to the numbers, the cheerleading white house, still rages with 18 states at 7.0% or above the national average.

Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee all have a state unemployment rate of 7.0% or higher and California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada are at 8.0% or above. The state unemployment rate for Rhode Island is a staggering 9.1% and an astonishing 15.4% for Puerto Rico.

Ohio, at 7.2%, a battleground state with 18 electoral votes, creates even more hardships for unemployed workers as the state unemployment compensation laws mandate that workers must complete a twenty week minimum.

The second determining criteria that masks the true unemployment numbers in the mid western state, Ohio workers, who are employed part-time at 20 hours, earning 10.00 an hour, in a state where the minimum wage is $7.95, and complete the 20 week mandatory claim time cannot collect unemployment benefits as Ohio also mandates workers earn at minimum $233.00 per week to be deemed eligible to collect any benefits.

California, New York and most other states, have not had one or both determining criteria, since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2009, which allows for greater transparency in actual unemployment.

Workers returning to the drastically changed workforce believing that at the minimum they would collect Unemployment benefits at the lowest level have zero income protection by the state should they face lay-offs.

Putin Reigns at Sochi

President Vladimir Putin welcomed the world to Sochi, Russia as the Games of the XXII Winter Olympiad opened, without the slightest ripple of security threats, in a dazzling celebratory display lasting just over three hours.

 The United States, maintaining  security protocol and aware of the security concerns, sent an official delegation that included former Homeland Security Director Janet A. Napolitano, who was chosen to lead the United States Delegation.

The delegation also includes Michael A. McFaul, United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Robert L. Nabors, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Mr. Brian A. Boitano, Olympic gold medalist, figure skating, Ms. Caitlin Cahow, Olympic silver and bronze medalist, women's ice hockey.

President Putin, former head of the KGB, as lead agency and host nation has security measures seen and unseen guarding the XXII Winter Olympics. His global reputation, as elevated security measures are surrounding the seaside village, is on the line.

The Sochi security strategy, as in any modern game in any nation, falls under the Russian military.  Putin has 70,000 soldiers in ready alert patrolling the Olympic Village and Russian military missile launchers are stationed in the hills above the village, prepared should the need arise to shoot down any incoming airplane targeting, reminiscent of 9-11, the Olympic Village.

The United States continues to offer assistance and remain in a ready mode, with aircraft carriers headed to the Black Sea. Security, a concern for every nation, remains on heightened alert and on the minds of all involved with the Olympics.

Sochi Opening Ceremony

Fisht Olympic Stadium was transformed into an interactive time machine, an attention grabbing, absorbing live presentation, celebrating life in Russia while communicating the struggles and progression of the Soviet Union and its people.

The United States television audience of 37million saw nothing except the celebration of life in Russia with light shows, dancers wearing long LED lights performing to Swan Lake, a flying girl who appeared to walk ahead, the next rising generation, performance artists of every kind, dancers, mimes, acrobats, children, men, women, a celebration of life that included all kinds.

The Opening Celebration of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russian Federation were completed by the lighting of the Olympic Flame by former Russian Olympic champions, figure skater, Irina Rodnina and, the hockey player, Vladislav Tretiak.

 

 

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com,

For more information on President Obama: www.whitehouse.gov  

For more information on the Affordable Care Act: https://www.healthcare.gov/

автомобильные аккумуляторы
автострахование калькулятор
детская посуда

Haute Tease

  • Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Found Guilty

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, the notorious leader of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, has been found guilty, after six days of deliberations, on all ten counts associated with running a global narcotics distribution organization, in Brooklyn Federal court.

     
  • US, World Markets Stay Strong

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a strong week, surging, the market gained enough momentum to end the week on a respectable note, and once again close above the 17,000 point record set over one month ago.

     
  • Please Stand By Review – Unexpectedly Charming, Uplifting, A Trekki Fan Finds Hope and Courage

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Please Stand By, from Magnolia Pictures, presents the story of an functional autistic girl obsessed with Star Trek who decides to enter the script writing contest and her journey to make the deadline despite her beliefs of limitation.

     
  • The Fifth Letter Review - Page Turning Legal Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Fifth Letter, a novel by research scholar Dr. Vivian Carpenter, introduces Katherine Helena Ross, the first black female Supreme Court justice caught between her conscience and political expedience when forced to consider the most important question facing the U.S. Supreme Court today: Who is a person with inalienable rights?  

  • Weinstein Lexus Short Film Series Three Review – Attention Grabbing, Comedy, and Mysticism Make the Cut

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Four films, Game, Friday Night, Messiah, and The Nation Holds its Breath, selected in Series Three of the Lexus Short Films competition continue to raise the bar in what has become an extremely successful partnership.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Dems Stall on Wall, Primetime Plea, Secret Russian Meets; Dems and 2020; Sylvia Chase

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump has remained steadfast in his demands over the Border Wall sparring with democrats as the atmosphere has shifted with the revelations the Mueller investigation indicates he assisted Putin in destabilizing the government to secure victory.

     
  • Moana Review - Awesome, Magical, Gorgeous South Sea Adventure

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Moana, from Walt Disney Animation, brings to the screen a stunning south sea adventure with lush tropical flora and fauna, beautiful crisp blue oceans, breathtaking starry skies, and a Fijian tribe of seafaring adventurers and of course, one demigod.

     
  • Outlaw King Review - Gripping, Stunning, Captivating

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Outlaw King, from Netflix, Sigma Films and Anonymous Content, presents the historical and epic odyssey of bravery, triumph, heartache and separation as the 14th century Scottish King hunted by the English Army used the land they desired to defeat them.

     
  • Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation Announce New Dates for 2020

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Award-winning small ship line Windstar Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, today reveals six new cruises being added to the James Beard Foundation (JBF) Culinary Cruise Collection for 2020.

     
  • CNBC: J. Crew is Preparing for a Bankruptcy Filing that Could Come This Weekend

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    J. Crew is preparing for a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this weekend and is working to secure $400 million to fund operations in bankruptcy, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

     
  • Wartime Presidents: Who Presided Over the Most Years of War

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Often, in times of war, a leader is judged on his ability to rally the nation think President Franklin Delano Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor or President Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” speech in West Berlin during the Cold War.  

  • TRISHNA, A Tragic Love Story, From Director Michael Winterbottom

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    TRISHNA, a tragic, ill-fated, love story, highlights the societal struggles in contemporary India while weaving a tale of lovers who try to move beyond the confines of position, cultural structure and boundaries.

     
  • Spectacular 17-Carat Diamond Solitaire Ring Achieves $1,447,500 At Bonhams New York

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    An important diamond solitaire ring, weighing 17.97 carats realized $1,447,500 at the Fine Jewelry auction at Bonhams on Dec. 6 in New York, NY. The sale, which featured a strong group of sapphires and emeralds made a total of $6,381,000.00.

     
  • Gunpowder & Sky Closes UK Deal With Arrow Films On Sundance Stunner ‘Lords Of Chaos’

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Gunpowder & Sky, the global content studio, announced they have sold the UK rights to Grammy-Award winning Director Jonas Åkerlund's Lords of Chaos to Arrow Films, ahead of the film's UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival next week.  

  • New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Resigns

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned after an expose in the New Yorker Magazine presented allegations from former relationships of aggressive controlling behavior, physical violence, forceable theft of prescription medicine, drug, alcohol and sexual abuse.