Sentator Going Rouge or is he just NUTS!

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    Mar 02, 2010 5:12 PM GMT
    Lone Republican Senator blocking a million-plus Americans from receiving unemployment benefits

    (Tuesday morning update: He's still at it. Sen. Jim Bunning this morning again blocked a proposed 30-day extension of unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies. The extension proposal came from fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.)

    Sarah Palin stormed the bestseller list last year with "Going Rogue"-a political memoir whose title coyly referenced the former GOP vice presidential nominee's supposed defiance of the consultants running the McCain campaign. But this year we have a new poster boy for the Going Rogue playbook: GOP Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky. For the past week, Bunning has been single-handedly blocking more than a million Americans from receiving unemployment and COBRA health insurance benefits, as of today, when their benefits funded under the 2009 stimulus law run out. The suspension of benefits affects everyone from doctors to government employees.

    Since cutting health and unemployment benefits isn't the most popular thing to do in a job-starved recession, the Senate had reached near unanimity on extending these programs. But near-unanimous isn't enough when senators are looking to stretch out the lifespan of benefits about to lapse-they need to reach unanimous consent. And that requirement has delivered a great deal of power into Bunning's hands-- power that has allowed him to block the extension until the Senate find $10.3 billion in spending cuts elsewhere to fund the safety-net spending.

    "I believe we should pay for it," Bunning said. "I'm trying to make a point to the people of the United States."

    Bunning has long been something of an outlier, even within his own caucus. Last year, he announced his plans to retire, having received de facto votes of no confidence from most Senate campaign strategists. And now that he's got nothing to lose next November, he's bucking all kinds of pressure from GOP leaders, who argue that Bunning's quixotic stand has done nothing to improve the party's "party of no" image.

    And indeed, Bunning has seemed oddly cavalier about the broader fallout from his one-man crusade -except that is, when it comes to his own college hoops-viewing schedule. "I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00 and it's the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they're the only team that has beat Kentucky this year," he said on the Senate floor last Thursday night. Later, when a Senate colleague pleaded with him to drop his objections to the extension, Bunning reportedly responded by saying, "Tough sh*t."

    Many on the right and the left have weighed in on Bunning's stance in recent days. The Atlantic Monthly's Megan McArdle called it "political poison," as she says that even conservatives are sympathetic to the needs of the nation's jobless right now. She added that Bunning's efforts would probably be better served if he found "some useless defense appropriations to complain about" instead. And well before this latest flap, blogger Matt Welch wrote in a review of Bunning's odd, belligerent career that the lawmaker has obviously "lost his marbles."

    Still, some conservative writers are hailing Bunning's efforts. Redstate.com, for instance, praised the senator for "standing strong for the American people," adding that Bunning showed courage in daring "to ask the simple question of how these extensions would be paid for."

    One thing is quite clear: Senator Bunning is not backing down. When questioned today by ABC reporter Jonathan Karl in the hallway of the Hart Office Building, Bunning refused to answer any questions about his actions. When Karl attempted to follow him into the elevator with a cameraman in tow, Bunning yelled "Excuse me! This is a Senator's only elevator!" And to drive the point home, Karl writes, the senator "walked toward the elevator and shot the middle finger over his head."


    My comment:

    Further evidence that we need term limits in Washington!

  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Mar 02, 2010 6:11 PM GMT
    He's Republican = Nuts
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    Mar 02, 2010 6:18 PM GMT
    going rouge.jpg, really? ... icon_eek.gif
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    Mar 02, 2010 6:20 PM GMT
    This is stunning. He's having a hissy fit because Mitch McConnell told him not to run again. Meanwhile, he's really hurting millions of Americans who can't find work in this economy.

    On top of which, he's a hypocrite who voted in favor of every unfunded mandate the Bush Administration wanted.

    I hope he rots in hell.
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    Mar 02, 2010 6:30 PM GMT
    I wonder what all of the unemployed tea baggers think of this? One their own screwing them. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 02, 2010 8:55 PM GMT
    It's estimated over 44,000 Georgians stand to loose their benefits because of this crap and close to 400,000 by the month of May. Crazy!
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    Mar 02, 2010 8:56 PM GMT
    That's Kentucky for ya, where the men are men and the sheep are nervous.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Mar 02, 2010 10:57 PM GMT
    Personally, good for Sen. Jim Bunning. He was making a point, and one that, frankly, needed to be made. The scary thing is that all he was asking is that we find a way to pay for extending these unemployment benefits, specifically by using some of the unspent stimulus money, and he is lambasted for this like it's some sort of cockamame idea.

    Make no mistake about it, I am very sympathetic to those who are unemployed. That being said, there is a case to be made that EXTENDING benefits, while it is necessary for some, only enables others who will take and take and take as long as they can. Meanwhile, where and when do we draw the line? I applaud Senator Bunning for taking a stand against this ridiculous out of control spending, even if he's having to do it alone.
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    Mar 02, 2010 11:52 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said--Personally, good for Sen. Jim Bunning. He was making a point, and one that, frankly, needed to be made. The scary thing is that all he was asking is that we find a way to pay for extending these unemployment benefits, specifically by using some of the unspent stimulus money, and he is lambasted for this like it's some sort of cockamame idea.--The cockamame idea is that he waited until the expiration date of the COBRA subsidy to say NO yet again. I work in the industry and COBRA medical can range from $400 to over $1000 a month in premium just to have medical insurance continued. You have to pay 100% of the actual medical premium and an additional 2% administrative fee to keep the insurance and if you don't pay or miss a payment, guess what? You can not have COBRA reinstated. And if the unemployment is stopped, how are these people suppose to keep the insurance, let alone get their own insurance? Typical. No with no alternative. Just NO. Stimulous money to pay for it? Then it should have been talked about BEFORE the deadline. He is just mad he is being called out (by his own people no less) and has the audacityto say he is doing it in the name of the American people.

    CuriousJockAZ said--Make no mistake about it, I am very sympathetic to those who are unemployed. That being said, there is a case to be made that EXTENDING benefits, while it is necessary for some, only enables others who will take and take and take as long as they can. Meanwhile, where and when do we draw the line?--While your symphathy is admirable, it does nothing to shore up the benefits in the state this economy is in. The case to be made for extending the benefits has already been made. Check each state's unemployment numbers, the amount of jobs removed & created comparision in that state and the rules for gaining benefits in that state. You have a right to your opinion, but at the very least, make it an informed opinion based on facts.

    CuriousJockAZ said--I applaud Senator Bunning for taking a stand against this ridiculous out of control spending, even if he's having to do it alone.--He has never done it alone. Senator McConnell of the same state is probably an even bigger embarrassment to this country than even Bunning. And while he says he is doing this in the name of the American people, he is waiting for a 12th hour deal with Senator Reid ( bribe, which was vehemently opposed by the Republicans when healthcare was being hashed out in the senate). He's not running in the fall because he doesn't have a chance in hell. Good riddance!
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:16 AM GMT
    Fanned!
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:17 AM GMT
    I applaud Senator Bunning for having the guts to do exactly what the majority of his Senate Republicans would like to do.

    The Republican message has been clear:

    'SCREW the Economic Recovery! Bring On the Misery. America's Loss is Our Gain.......as hardship always favors the opposition party'

    Senator Bunning is simply stating the Republican message OUT LOUD.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Mar 03, 2010 12:39 AM GMT
    LikeableGuy saidI applaud Senator Bunning for having the guts to do exactly what the majority of his Senate Republicans would like to do.

    The Republican message has been clear:

    'SCREW the Economic Recovery! Bring On the Misery. America's Loss is Our Gain.......as hardship always favors the opposition party'

    Senator Bunning is simply stating the Republican message OUT LOUD.




    This is just silly. If we keep up this spending "The Misery" hasn't even begun yet.
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:41 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidThis is just silly. If we keep up this spending "The Misery" hasn't even begun yet.

    If the Repuglicans hadnt mismanaged the country in favor of letting business run wild, we wouldnt be in the position. Repuglicans need to hang their heads in shame and STFU.

    This Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act is the law that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that had kept our financial institutions safe.
  • OutdoorAdvent...

    Posts: 361

    Mar 03, 2010 12:45 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidPersonally, good for Sen. Jim Bunning. He was making a point, and one that, frankly, needed to be made. The scary thing is that all he was asking is that we find a way to pay for extending these unemployment benefits...I applaud Senator Bunning for taking a stand against this ridiculous out of control spending, even if he's having to do it alone.

    And where was Senator Brunning, and his ilk, during President Bush's repeated requests of Congress for the now $710 billion we have spent to attack and fight a war against a country that posed no threat to us? That didn't have weapons of mass destruction, that wasn't enriching uranium, and that had no Al-Qaeda? www.costofwar.com
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:45 AM GMT
    He's nuts. I covered him for four years at two tv stations. I covered McConnell, Lugar, Mike DeWine, and a handful of other both Republican and Democratic senators. Whether I agreed with them, they all seemed rational.

    Bunning? 100% insane. If you talked to his legislative assistants, you'd understand more. The dude is not stable.
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Mar 03, 2010 12:48 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]CuriousJockAZ said[/citemoney, and he is lambasted for this like it's some sort of cockamame idea.

    Make no mistake about it, I am very sympathetic to those who are unemployed.

    That being said, there is a case to be made that EXTENDING benefits, while it is necessary for some, only enables others who will take and take and take as long as they can..[/quote]


    Your sympathy is touching.
    I wonder how you would feel if you were one of the "good" unemployed that had to suffer because YOUR Republican President and YOUR Republican Congress had years and years to come up with a better system of monitoring unemployment benefits.....but failed.




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    Mar 03, 2010 12:52 AM GMT
    Apparently they settled tonight. In a way I do think the money should be coming from the unspent stimulus. Isn't there quite a bit left?
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Mar 03, 2010 12:53 AM GMT
    I know, I know, it's all those evil Republicans fault blah, blah, blah, blah, freakin' blah.
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:55 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said....only enables others who will take and take and take as long as they can.

    Like the banks and financial institutions that caused this mess. Let the money go to the unemployed because of this fiasco and let the bankers be stripped of their wealth and have it put back into their institutions.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Mar 03, 2010 12:58 AM GMT
    Caslon13000 said
    CuriousJockAZ said....only enables others who will take and take and take as long as they can.

    Like the banks and financial institutions that caused this mess. Let the money go to the unemployed because of this fiasco and let the bankers be striped of their wealth and have it put back into their institutions.




    I agree, accept they are doing it all ass-backwards. Maybe they should have just given the bailout to "The People" from the get-go instead of bailing out big business.
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:00 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI know, I know, it's all those evil Republicans fault blah, blah, blah, blah, freakin' blah.

    But it is. Trying to shirk it off with glib blah blah blahs only shows you are irresponsible and one of those living in Idiot America.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Mar 03, 2010 1:02 AM GMT
    Actually, refusing to admit that there is plenty of blame to go around rather than placing the blame on one president or one political party is idiocy.
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:07 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidActually, refusing to admit that there is plenty of blame to go around rather than placing the blame on one president or one political party is idiocy.

    That's like little children whining that everybody else is doing it. The others werent in control. If you are in control, you are responsible.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Mar 03, 2010 1:11 AM GMT
    Going red? Rouge vs. rogue.
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:27 AM GMT
    While this in-depth article is referencing John "Bronzer" Boehner, his feelings are certainly shared by Bunning: http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/my_constituents_care_way_more