Guess what expires on November 30? Unemployment benefits, that's what. Splendid! I was so looking forward to Republicans waging yet another battle for the soul of America by keeping those layabouts from getting fat on their $300 a week! So the National Employment Law Project helps you tell Congress to extend unemployment benefits when they get back on November 15. They'll only be in session for five days before breaking again for Thanksgiving recess, so they'll need to act quick. It's not just because unemployment benefits stimulate the economy (the unemployed have to spend the money they get, and people with money are generally better for the economy than people with no money). It's also because Congress has done just about zilch to fix an economy where corporate profits have exceeded $600 billion since the end of 2008, and yet just can't hire people. Corporations don't need tax credits; they need to do their duty to their country. And if Congress isn't going to make them do that, then Congress at least ought to help keep the least fortunate among us from drowning in poverty.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Senate race took an unexpected turn last week, when Democratic candidate Jack Conway suddenly began running an ad playing up an elaborate prank Rand Paul allegedly perpetrated in college. The ad ominously asks why Mr. Paul belonged to a "secret society" that was "banned for mocking Christianity and Christ," then runs through the rest of the Aqua Buddha story that I heard and dismissed as college boy foolery months ago. Then he cites Mr. Paul's feelings about Mr. Bush's faith-based initiatives, as if they're wrong or something (churches not getting "corrupted with government money" is more or less what I tell everyone, too). Quite frankly, I'm disappointed with Mr. Conway -- this ad panders to the worst in the electorate, and he could rightly attack Mr. Paul on so many other fronts. I shudder to think that, in Kentucky, it might work -- though a vaguely similar gambit backfired big-time on Elizabeth Dole in 2008. (I noticed the "exotic" faux-Asian music, too. It seems to be the week for that kind of crap.)