Ed Schultz must have had the shock of his life Thursday when a jobless advocate told him, "It was the Democrats that caused us to be in the situation that we're in."
Mignon Veasley-Fields is a 61-year-old Los Angeles grandmother who has been out of work since June 2008. Her unemployment benefits ran out over three months ago.
Since then, she has been bringing attention to the long-term unemployed in this nation referred to as "99ers" signifying the number of weeks they received benefits before they stopped.
In recent weeks, a new group has emerged called the 99er NOVOs: they are so angered by Washington that they are refusing to vote in the upcoming elections.
On Thursday's "Ed Show," Schultz did his darnedest to get Veasley-Fields to encourage the NOVOs to cast ballots for Democrats in November despite their economic woes (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Joining me is 99er Mignon Veasley-Fields who has vowed not to vote in November. That was our last interview on this program a few weeks ago. Mignon, the Democrats tried to do it. Is that going to be enough? Do you change your mind? Do the NOVOs now change their minds and get back engaged in the process? What do you think?
MIGNON VEASLEY-FIELDS: Well Ed, yes, we have committed that we are going to encourage our fellow 99ers to vote for either party that their choice. However, Ed, yesterday was very disappointing for us. And even though we are trying to tell them to vote, many of them are not going to vote even though the No NOVO says to go ahead and do this. They were disillusioned by what they saw on the Senate floor yesterday. We were grateful for Senator Stabenow for her effort, but we thought it was just sort of put together really quickly like a dog and pony show in order to get us to vote for them. This is a sentiment across this nation.
SCHULTZ: But if the Republicans, but Mignon, if the Republican Senator had not stood up, this would have gone through, and you would have had the votes, and you would have gotten an extension. It's the Republicans. Why take it out on the Democrats, the majority Party that time and time again has been there for the unemployed?
A little unemployment background is needed to understand Veasley-Fields' answer. Emergency Unemployment Compensation Tiers are extensions to the original 26 weeks of benefits qualifying unemployed persons are entitled to.
There currently are four tiers of declining length. What's been debated for months is adding a fifth tier:
VEASLEY-FIELDS: Well you know, Ed, we have gone back in the history of the tiers. We as 99ers have tried to figure this out ourselves. What has happened is we can remember the time in which the Republicans said, "Sure, get another tier. Use the stimulus fund." And the Democrats said, "No, we need to find sourcing for unemployment." So now we're thinking back on that, and we're realizing it's not the Republicans. It was the Democrats that caused us to be in the situation that we're in. We want the Democrats to come back before this election, and we want them to come back and rectify this, Ed.
Ouch. Of course, Veasley-Fields was right. What Republicans have been doing for over three months is requiring that any additional tier be paid for either with stimulus money or some other part of the budget rather than just added to the growing deficit.
As Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CNN's "State of the Union" on July 18:
Somewhere in the course of spending a trillion dollars, we ought to be able to find enough to pay for a program for the unemployed...If we can't pay for a program like extension of unemployment insurance that virtually every member of the Senate - I think, in fact, every member of the Senate wants to extend, then what are we going to pay for? When do we start?
Despite this, shills like Schultz dishonestly tell their viewers that the impasse is all the Republicans' fault.
Apparently, the 99er NOVOs aren't buying the nonsense the Obama-loving media have been feeding them.
After Veasley-Fields told Schultz a story about some 99ers desperately in need of benefits extensions, the host continued to plead with her to change her mind:
SCHULTZ: Well Mignon, as a broadcaster and as an advocate for American workers, I have to tell you that I'm at a loss. I, I, I mean, I did everything that I could, and, it's we're stuck. And it's unfortunate, and I hope that the. I think the unemployed people in this country can save the majority. I really do. And I, and I hope they engage, and I think President Obama deserves to work with the majority for another 24 months, and if they don't get it done then, then make a decision in '12, but. I mean, Bush had eight years. You mean to tell me the progressives can't give this president, you know, 48 months? I mean, it just amazes me.
Boggles the mind, doesn't it?
These folks have been out of work for over two years, and Schultz thinks they should put their financial troubles aside and vote to save the majority.
President Obama deserves to work with the majority for another 24 months while all you unemployed people lose everything waiting for Hope and Change to become more than a campaign slogan.
Well, Mr. Schultz, maybe these 99ers are realizing unemployment was 4.6 percent before the Democrats became the majority and that almost 8 million Americans have lost their jobs since January 2007.
Unfortunately, that's way too complicated for the likes of most of the anchors on MSNBC. Maybe that's why the President considers them so "invaluable."