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Sunday Roundup

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When the latest unemployment numbers arrived on Friday, I was in Atlanta, putting three human faces on the dreary stats. The first belonged to Brenda Carter. I had written about her in Third World America and invited her to appear with me on Good Day Atlanta to tell what her life has been like since losing her job three years ago. Hers is the face of the long-term unemployed: bruised, bloodied, but, in her case, unbowed. I encountered the second face at the headquarters of Coca-Cola. After my speech there, I met people with well-paying jobs and great benefits who nevertheless are in the grip of economic anxiety. One woman teared up telling me about having to support her sister -- a single mom with two children -- who had lost her job. The third face belonged to Dr. Robert Franklin, the president of Morehouse College, who told me of a sleepless night after getting a call from a mother who could no longer afford to keep her son at Morehouse and was asking about the best time to remove his things from the dorm with the least embarrassment. Numbers -- 9.6 percent unemployment, 95,000 more jobs lost -- don't begin to capture the human devastation.