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Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning
Photo: Susan Walsh/AP
K.W. Jeter

Just because Harry Reid & Co. squeezed out another month’s grace period for everyone feeling nervous about remaining steadily employed, that’s no reason to doubt that a weekly magazine picked up for free on your way out of Albertson’s is your best source of career advice. The dire prospect described in the February 17 issue of the Weekly (“Get Fired Before March 1!”), that employees given the boot after February 28 would be on the hook for 100 percent of the COBRA payment necessary to keep their medical benefits, rather the federal government picking up 65 percent of the tab, was temporarily dispelled by the Senate passing a $10 billion stopgap measure last Tuesday, extending both unemployment benefits and COBRA relief through March.

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From the Archive
Get fired before March 1! (02/17/10)

Actually, chances are brighter now for a bill extending benefits to the end of the year, as Republicans scurry from being associated with Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning, whose one-man filibuster had held up what would otherwise have been a done deal for the nation’s unemployed. With his creepy-scary gaze and literal “tough shit” rhetoric about the jobless, Bunning had managed to turn himself into the poster boy for latter-day “Are there no workhouses?” empathy failure. That was a windfall for Democrats still wincing over the president’s recent rhapsodic admiration for bank moguls walking away with $9 million year-end bonuses while constituents Dumpster-dive for groceries. These days, the political high ground consists of being able to say, “Hey, we might be incompetent, but at least we’re not as actively evil as that guy.”

So feel free to go back to your boss and tell him you’ve reconsidered how soon you’d like to be out on the street. We’re just glad nobody actually took our recommendation about asking to be fired before the end of February. You didn’t, right?

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