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Think ProgressThe Wonk Room spotlights more jackassery on the part of State Senator Jim Lembke (R-1) and a few of the impressionable, tea party cub scouts (Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-28), and Sen. Brian Nieves (R-98) have been mentioned) who made it into the legislature while the state’s adults weren’t paying attention:

In Missouri – where the unemployment rate is currently 9.5 percent – Republican state senators are filibustering legislation that needs to pass today in order to prevent unemployed workers from losing their benefits
With the aid of several conservative freshman senators, [Senator Jim] Lembke (R) managed to successfully hold up the debate on the bill, which funds unemployment benefits for those Missourian unemployed for between 79 and 99 weeks. The extension bill has already passed through the House and is expected to easily pass the Senate when it is called up for a vote.

“Ninety-nine weeks is too much,” Lembke said. “It’s too long. Enough is enough.”

The extended support actually affects folks who have been out of work for 79 weeks, but who’s counting, right? I hope a few of the more rational and informed types representing the unfortunate citizens of Missouri can manage to explain to Lembke that 79 weeks, 99 weeks, or 109 weeks would only be too much if he and his cohorts had done anything to address the lack of jobs that makes the unemployment compensation so crucial. It’s hard for Lembke to understand, perhaps, but non-existent jobs don’t provide paychecks for anyone. Maybe if he could get over his red light camera spleen fit (and, incidentally, face up to the fact that 70% of Missourians think they’re a great idea), he’d have a little more time to spare for crucial economic issues that face the state.

On second thought, I forgot – he has so much time for tantrums because the GOP in Missouri doesn’t have to do much about economic issues – all they need to do is put their brains on cruise control and follow instructions from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. Not that that particular anti-worker agenda is going to do much for those unemployed citizens Lembke believes have no need to eat or pay rent after ninety-nine weeks of fruitless job hunting have passed.

But it’s worth it, isn’t it, to let Jimmy Lembke and his playmates hold their breath, stamp their feet and send a message to mean old daddy …. I mean the federal government. Who wants to act like a grownup. Let them send all that taxpayer money to California instead of Missouri; just wait and see if Jimmy cares.