A collection of newsworthy information as reported from newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Democrats pounced on both Bunning and his party for "obstructionist politics."

Bunning, of Kentucky , told Democratic colleagues "tough s---" on Thursday when they tried to get him to change his mind about blocking the programs' extension, according to several Senate insiders who spoke only on condition of anonymity.  The Department of Transportation said Monday that Republican Sen. Jim Bunning's blockage of legislation designed to keep a host of federal programs operating forced the agency to furlough nearly 2,000 employees without pay, temporarily shut down highway reimbursements to states worth hundreds of millions of dollars and stalled multi-million dollar construction projects across the country.  Read More.

Friday afternoon, Bunning's regional offices in Hazard and Louisville received bomb threats, according to the Kentucky State Police . Police evacuated the premises and searched the area with dogs but found nothing.  Bunning isn't running for a third term. Kentucky Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo , a Democratic candidate for Bunning's seat, pledged to hold a protest rally if unemployment benefits are not restored. Mongiardo also encouraged Kentuckians to call Bunning's offices to complain.  During the 2004 campaign, Bunning said Mongiardo, looked "like one of Saddam Hussein's sons." Mongiardo is an Italian-American. Bunning later apologized for the statement.

The impact of Jim Bunning's decision:

1.  Unemployment benefits for 400,000 Americans allowed to elapse.
2.  Triggered the furlough Monday (03/01) of 2,000 transportation workers.
3.  Shut down multi-million dollar construction projects across the country.
4.  Cut Medicare reimbursements to doctors by 21 percent.
5.  Lose access to local televison stations because a copyright law expired Sunday night.


"Jim Bunning has done more to draw attention to the procedural abuses in the Senate than ever before," Van Hollen said. Compared with Sen. Richard Shelby's (R-AL) short-lived "blanket hold" last month, Van Hollen said Bunning's action has done far more to make the Democrats' point that the GOP is holding up the works in Washington.  "This is part of the wake up call for Americans that Republicans are abusing the rules in the Senate," Van Hollen said.  Klobochar agreed. "To see that one Senator could hold up what pretty much everyone thinks would go through," she said, sounding exasperated at Bunning's move, "well, that just makes no sense."  Clyburn continued the theme of the call, stating that how Bunning could do what he did "is beyond me."


Orrin Hatch defends senator's block on unemployment benefits.  Hatch and Bennett voted against the final bill.

Maddow Slams Orrin Hatch For Lying, Washington Post For Printing It (VIDEO)

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