The Senate, with Democrats again able to muster 60 votes, will pass an extension of unemployment benefits today.

Then comes the battle of the talk shows. Who wins? The Democrats, for doing the right thing by working people? Or the Republicans, with their sophistry? The Republicans say they’d be for unemployment benefits if only they could be paid for by cutting the budget. This is a budget the Republicans wish to cripple further by cutting taxes on the wealthy. They also decline to name a specific program they’d cut, except for — generally — stimulus spending, already less than the country should be spending in an emergency to prime the economic pump.

Self-interest is running strong these days — care for fellow man not so much. The outcome of the talking points battle isn’t easy to predict.