Lunch Links: Jobless benefits clear a hurdle, DHHS takes more heat, and 22 powerful images by Dreamers

It’s lunchtime and only 21 degrees outside, so let’s see if we can’t find a few stories to warm you up for this afternoon.

First, in case you missed it, the U.S. Senate voted 60-37 to advance legislation that would extend federal jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The bill still has a ways to go, but check out this piece in Mother Jones that introduces us to some of the 1.3 million Americans who are desperately hoping that Congress passes the benefits bill this week so they are not left out in the cold.

‘If Congress fails to renew these benefits, only a quarter of jobless Americans will be receiving any benefits at all, according to the Huffington Post.’

The New York Times editorial board explains how Mel Watt can make rental housing more affordable in his new role as leader of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The editorial boards for the Charlotte Observer and the Winston-Salem Journal turn-up the heat on the McCrory administrations after DHHS mailed nearly 49,000 Medicaid cards to the wrong recipients. Here’s a excerpt from the Journal:

‘The mistaken mailings are no small matter. They constitute a violation of federal privacy laws. The information on those cards is not public information and was not to be shared with anyone but covered persons and their parents or guardians.

The mistaken facts coming from [spokesman Ricky]Diaz just perpetuate the impression that DHHS leader-ship doesn’t take seriously its responsibilities for accurate public information and open government. The young Mr. Diaz, who has little experience in public life, clearly doesn’t understand the necessity to be accurate with information released under his agency’s letterhead.’

Today’s Fitzsimon File details the reality behind McCrory’s misleading “Carolina Comeback”.

Think Progress is reporting that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will announce a proposal for statewide universal Pre-K in his State of the State address on Wednesday.

Buzzfeed has posted 22 powerful images by Dreamers – offering a window into the life as an undocumented immigrant in America.

Finally, to end on a lighter note, we’ll close out lunch links with this Kenny Loggins medley, recorded in 1992 at the Grand Canyon. Loggins is rockin’ his 66th birthday today:

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