Many 99ers took a great deal heat for their position on NOVO - but looks like it may have worked. When brave 99er souls began to speak out publicly about voting only for those in Congress come November, who actually were willing to help with our Tier 5 bill, they took a great deal angry grief from many Americans. Even the 99er Nation was somewhat divided on this NOVO issue. A small group of 99ers were quite vocal in their opposition to the idea of not voting.

99er Advocate Mignon Veasley-Fields, when she appeared on the Ed Schultz show, took the lion’s share of the public outcry against the NOVOs. There were others like Connie Kaplan and Cindy Paoletti (even though neither spoke of the NOVO movement on their Ed Show appearances) who also took some public criticism, especially Cindy for her outspoken blogging on the various 99er support sites.

Fact is, to vote or not and who you vote for are your own personal business. Many patriots died over the years to preserve the right of every American to freely choose whether to vote or not and who they wish to vote for or against.

It is not easy to hold to your convictions, especially when those positions face vocal opposition from many of your peers. It speaks well of the character of those who were willing to go out on a limb to stand up for what they believe in so strongly. Applause to all those who did so and exposed themselves to the ire of opposition to their stance.

The NOVO idea was conceived by 99er leader Rob C. and came to fruition in the PalTalk chat room, Tier 5 to Survive - unemployed unite. The idea was actually voted down by the members of that group about 1 month ago. Nobody liked the idea that this very well could hurt the Democrats in November.

Once it was confirmed by Senate Finance Committee staffers, that S3706 would likely not come out of committee before the election, drastic measures were warranted. So in a bold move designed to inspire the Democrats to move on this bill before they go home yet again, the 99er NOVO movement was born. It took off like wildfire and seemed everyone had an opinion about this one way or another.

When the news broke yesterday, about Stabenow's commitment to bring S3706 to the floor, the Jobless Talk radio show was all ready to announce the news, with special guests Mike Thornton (from and Rob C. himself. Unfortunately the Blog Talk Radio servers were down and it was not possible for Jobless Talk to air yesterday. My apologies to all faithful listeners.

One thing I do not hear being discussed much in the national dialog is the benefits that a Tier 5 for all states would bring to the American economy.

The population of US unemployment exhaustees has grown immensely since June. In June there were 3.8 million, but the ranks have grown by about 1 million since the retroactive extension in July, via HR 4213.

So at about 5 million exhaustees using the average weekly benefit of $300.00 would put 1.5 billion dollars into the economy every week once our Tier 5 is passed. Factor in the stimulative effect of every UI dollar spent and you have 2.6 billion, which would provide the demand required to keep the recovery going in the right direction, prevent further layoffs and stimulate the creation of jobs within the individual communities throughout America right where they are hurting most.

Passing a Tier 5 for all states is good for employed Americans as well. Injecting demand into the local economy at a community level, keeps struggling businesses within those communities open for business. It justifies an employer keeping that employee, who now isn’t as so busy because the demand is not there. Employers would have to hire in many communities to handle the increased demand created by that 1.5 billion per week.

Many think not voting is un-American. Isn’t it far more un-American letting 5 million of your constituents starve to death? I cannot condone that with my vote and if S3706 is brought to the floor for a fighting chance at least, the 99ers can see the Democrats might be worth saving after all. The alternative is an excruciating step backward.

In the end, you are alone in the voting booth and must vote your heart. If Stabenow’s commitment to Ed Schultz is indeed fulfilled this week, the threat of the 99er NOVO movement will have done the job it was designed to do: motivate the Democrats to bring the Americans Want to Work Act to the floor, where - if it is voted down by Republicans - that will expose the GOP for the heartless, uncaring party that it truly has become, making the choice crystal clear come November 2, 2010.

Many 99ers are dismayed about giving up the NOVO movement on just the promise of our bill coming to the Senate floor. It is true that there is no guarantee S3706 will pass before the election. But it is a certainty that without the bill even coming to the floor, we had no chance whatsoever for our Tier 5 bill becoming law. At least now there is a slim chance the bill could pass this week.