Wiretap: Congress failed the unemployed; Gessler blew up his own budget

The failure of Congress to do anything about the long-term unemployed is the real scandal of 2014. The Senate failed twice to pass a bill before taking time out for yet another embarrassing recess. Even if the Senate gets a bill through when it gets back, no one expects the House to even vote on it. So who’s the winner here? Alex Seitz-Wald argues in the National Journal that both parties win, even if the Democrats actually wanted a bill to pass. The losers are easier to figure out: The people who can’t find a job.

Both parties win by screwing the unemployed. Via the National Journal.

Why is Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office budget a bleeding mess? Unsurprisingly, he says one thing; lawmakers say something else. The Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel filed an open records request. His take: “[I]t was Gessler’s own choices that largely account for a $5.1 million loss… Gessler, a Republican, is running for governor, and he touts his cuts to business fees on the campaign trail. But under the Capitol dome, he places blame for his collapsing budget on [a Democrat-backed mail-voting bill] passed last spring… On five occasions, Gessler cut business fees, either temporarily or permanently. The biggest one was a three-month fee holiday from December 2012 to February 2013, when fees of up to $125 were reduced to $1. Gessler’s office lost $3 million in revenue those three months.”

James Fallows asks an excellent question: Have Democratic senators (like Michael Bennet) signing on to Iran sanctions actually read the bill?

A warning to Democrats for 2014 elections: It’s time to buck up. Via The Hill.

The myth of the independent voter. Despite the growing numbers, they’re a vanishing breed. Via the Cook Report.

How the two best movies of the year didn’t make the Oscar cut. Via Salon.

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