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Posts Tagged ‘Senate Republicans’

Bunning Whines About Missing Basketball Game, Tells Dems ‘Tough Sh*t’ On Unemployment Benefits

Think Progress- By Pat Garofalo at 9:57 am

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an extension of unemployment benefits on a voice vote. The Senate, however, has yet to act on the same measure, as various senators are throwing up procedural roadblocks. On Wednesday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) asked for unanimous consent to approve an extension, only to see the motion blocked by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) over “a dispute over how [the bill] should be funded.”

Late last night, Democrats made repeated attempts to pass the extension by unanimous consent, and Bunning blocked them all. He then complained that the Democrats’ insistence on trying to ensure that unemployment benefits not expire had caused him to miss a college basketball game:

I want to assure the people that have, heh, watched this thing until quarter of twelve — and I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9 o’clock, 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 — all of these things that we have talked about and all the provisions that have been discussed, the unemployment benefits, all these things. If we’d have taken the longer version of the job bill…we wouldn’t have spent three hours plus telling everybody in the United States of America that Senator Bunning doesn’t give a damn about the people that are on unemployment.

(Bunning’s beloved Kentucky Wildcats went on to defeat South Carolina.) Watch it:

At one point, while Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) were asking him to relent, Bunning was overhead blurting out “tough sh*t” as he sat in the back row.

Not only did Bunning’s antics go on all night and ultimately prevent an extension from passing, but other Republicans went to bat for Bunning, arguing that the Democrats should simply respect Bunning’s hold. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said, “I believe we’re stooping to a low level. This is not the way the Senate functions. Everybody in the country now knows that the senator from Kentucky has a hold on this bill. … That’s something that we honor in this body.”

“I just don’t think one senator ought to be able to heap this kind of suffering and misfortune on people who are already struggling in this economy,” Durbin said. “This is a wild pitch you are throwing tonight because it is pitch that is hitting somebody in the stands.” 1.1 million workers are scheduled to have their unemployment benefits expire next month, and 5 million will lose their benefits by June.

Update—  Sen. Durbin tried once more to pass the extension by unanimous consent this morning, and Bunning objected again.

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There’s a killer web graphic that was created back in the post-Republican Convention days while everyone was writing spasmodic, breathless “Obama should [fill in the blank]” blog entries and “Oh crap! We’re gonna lose!” newspaper columns. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, really. The Obama campaign slipped in the polls during Sarah Palin’s very brief golden age — an era of roughly two weeks following the Alaska governor’s successful recitation of a convention speech without, you know, choking on her own vomit.

Very few of us were confident of an Obama victory at the time. After all, previous Democratic nominees had been riding bullet trains to victory in the polls, only to gradually and utterly bonk as the summer segued into autumn. Even candidate Obama was warning us about the Democratic habit of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” Yeah. Anyone who claims to have been absolutely 100 confident of a Barack Obama victory in the first week of September 2008 is either lying or lying.

However, some people were more confident (hopeful, perhaps) than others.

The web graphic is actually a photograph of Barack Obama from his Invesco Field acceptance speech. In it, he’s looking directly into the camera with an expression of fierce determination on his face — his teeth gnashed in an Eastwood snarl, his left hand gesturing as though he’s kung fu fighting his way through an oversized cinderblock made of SlapChop-minced Republican skulls.

The large, white text superimposed at the top reads: “Everyone chill the fuck out.” The text at the bottom exclaims: “I got this!”

Sure enough, two months later, we watched as this liberal African American man with the noble yet politically unusual name “Barack Hussein Obama” defied the odds and won red states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana and the commonwealth of Virginia.

Fade out the roaring crowds at Grant Park. Dissolve to late January.

The economy continues to creep nearer to the crumbling ledge of yet another Depression — if it isn’t there already. And yet the Republicans who very nearly shoved us over the ledge are prancing around as if their collective Reaganomics don’t stink.

(more…)

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