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AdLib On March - 2 - 2010

What is the difference between an arsonist and Sen. Jim Bunning?

Most arsonists never pitched in major league baseball.

The last 3 years have been a primer on how broken the system is in Washington. The Dems took over Congress in 2006 promising an end to Iraq and accountability and promptly after winning, proclaimed that that impeachment was off the table. We soon watched as many more things, including taking any steps to end the Iraq War were off the table.

Thankfully, Pres. Obama was elected to end the Iraq War and has taken action to do so.

Still, as the Stimulus battle and the ugly process for HCR has reinforced, our government simply sucks when it comes to getting anything meaningful done in a timely way.

The fact that one sociopathic Senator can kill Medicare expansion as a public option or stall hundreds of presidential appointees and judges from working for our nation or  suspend salaries and unemployment compensation for millions of people, just screams out that our system of government has become terminally corrupt.

In a democracy, how is it that one person’s non-vote has more power than 99 people’s vote? How is that representative democracy?

It needs surgery.

The Founders’ structure for our democracy was based on reasonable assumptions. They assumed that people would naturally proceed in good will, whether they agree or disagree on issues. The Founders assumed that the system they were setting up would be a constructive dynamic, that each branch would work actively to move the nation forward but through checks and balances, prevent any one from becoming too powerful or going overboard.

Let’s be honest, it’s just not working anymore. The Presidency has become supremely powerful over Congress, against The Founders’ design. The Senate has become a tar pit. All the rules put in place to protect civility and responsibility have been corrupted into becoming weapons of mass disruption.

The filibuster was put in place as an emergency cord, to be pulled when legislation might head the nation into disaster. The GOP has destroyed this intent, they are on the train pulling the emergency cord whenever the train just tries to leave the station…making it nearly impossible to get anywhere.

Our government is corrupt and broken. A majority of Americans have come to or are coming to this conclusion.

What we really need is a new Constitutional Convention to reform our democracy into one that can function properly in the 21st Century. However, doing so in the 21st Century when corporations control politicians and legislation would likely be disastrous.

It’s a conundrum. The system is corrupt but the status quo wants nothing to change and controls all the levers that would need to be used to create profound change.

Add to that, any move to do something as radical as reconstitute the The Senate would be attacked by the Status Quo as if it was terrorism.

It still doesn’t change the fact that having two Senators from each state has become a failure of democracy. It is easy for corporations to buy Senators in low population states and doing so gives them a cheap and easy route to blocking ANY legislation they don’t like.

Additionally, how democratic is it for a small portion of the population of the U.S. to have as much representation as the vast majority?

If I had a magic genie who could grant my wish, I would like to see the makeup of The Senate changed so that it has some of the genuine representative democracy of The House.

My revision of The Senate would be:

a. One Senator minimum from each state with the remaining 50 distributed based on population of a state.

b. Either the removal of the filibuster or restrictions that limit how often it can be used.

c. For The Senate, House and Presidency, public funding of elections, no accepting of any lobbyist gifts, vacations or anything else.

d. A 10 year ban on being able to lobby the government once leaving office.

d. The ability for the people of all states to impeach their Senators and Congresspeople for cause (limitations to prevent corporations or ideologues from using this unfairly).

And overall, The Congress needs a therapist to resolve its feelings of inferiority so it can take power back from the Executive Branch and truly act like a responsible and equal branch of government again. This is not aimed at Obama, it is looking ahead to the day when  a Republican will be president again and recognizing that the concentration of power in the presidency, as evidenced by Bush’s destructive and anti-democratic reign, is a danger to our nation.

Meanwhile, Bunning has again today blocked passage of this bill and many Americans, who can’t get a job that doesn’t exist in our economy right now, won’t receive unemployment checks. Neither will tens of thousands of federal employees and all the people across the nation working on infrastructure projects this bill continues funding on, receive paychecks this week. Some of these people, now not able to pay for groceries or rent…all because of this one insane political arsonist.

This corruption of democracy needs to be extinguished.

Only you can prevent Jim Bunning.

Categories: Congress, Featured

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

29 Responses so far.

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  1. Kalima says:

    Like the small tidal waves that unexpectedly flooded a small costal village in Japan overnight on Monday, these people can hold a whole country hostage.

    How can one person have the power to block the benefits of so many?
    My sick friend in NC, uninsured with 3 hospital stays since last May costing more than he can ever pay back. A mother with MS who risks her health every day to go to work to make ends meet, how are these and all the others going to live their lives if they are too sick to find work?

    How can one Senator have the power to block almost 80 Obama appointed nominees like Sen. Shelby did until the President had to threaten him?

    Something really need to be fixed, there are too many band-aids patching up the system. Too many “mini ” dictators in the Congress playing a deadly game of Russian roulette with the American people’s lives. It’s about time to tax the filthy rich, get them to pay for their idyllic life styles at the expense of the middle and working class. iI’s time to distribute the wealth as the President suggested.

    The taxes are quite high here and if something happened to my hubby, the tax people would be here in 24 hours, knocking on my door, freezing his bank account and proceed to steal half of what he has worked so hard for, and has already been taxed on in the last 30 years. The rich tax evaders here, when caught, can afford to pay what they earn, it’s pocket change to most of them, we on the other hand have to live from day to day for the remainder of our lives.

    The gap between rich and poor has widened so considerably over the last decade that the “middle” class all over the world will soon be as extinct as the wild life in many parts of our planet. Progress is a great thing in many cases but when progress destroys the very core of life for millions through greed, it becomes the beginning of the end of life on this once green planet, an end to humanity as we once knew it. The world needs a shake-up.

    • javaz says:

      Good evening, Kalima, and well said.

      Some thing’s got to give sooner or later regarding the wealthy elite and their greed that causes so much suffering for so many throughout the world.

      • Kalima says:

        Good afternoon javaz, how are you feeling?

        I just needed to have my Wednesday morning vent. I’m worried about my friends over there. :(

        I have nightmares about the tax people coming to my house and taking half of everything in it, including my cats. Wake up it a cold sweat and remember what hubby tells me so often, that should something happen to him, I should take his money and run. Run where and how fast?

        I haven’t been able to do a thing at full speed since I got sick and quite honestly get a sinking feeling in my stomach every time I think about it. Last year the whole family gathered with our lawyers to start on our wills, I felt so sick and strangely alone, the feeling stayed for several days after. I was suddenly very scared.

        • javaz says:

          I’m better, Kalima, thank you for asking, but have been taking short naps off and on most of the day but am ready for bed and will be heading off shortly.

          The tax laws in Japan sound frightening, and I don’t understand.

          As bad as our tax laws are here in the USA, if something should happen to my husband, the IRS would review our tax records, and hopefully we’ve never erred, but if we did, then I would simply pay what was owed with high penalties.

          I wouldn’t lose everything, and hopefully not half of everything, and would also be able to collect his social security, since he collects more than me.

          I dislike thinking about any of that, but understand your fear.

          Do not fret, Kalima, as you have many friends, and we’d find a way to help you whatever way we could.

          Plus, I’ve learned and try to practice the teachings about not worrying about things that haven’t happened yet.

          • Kalima says:

            Well in case I should miss you before you leave for the night, take care and rest well.

            Thank you for your kind words, I worry sometimes but I think it’s a side effect of having to rely on others for so many things that I was able to do before I got so dependent on the help of others. Although I appreciate it so very much, it has often robbed me of my dignity, something that is hard to regain when simple things become a challenge.

            I’m afraid that asking for help isn’t one of my strong points and I tend to just plod on by myself, foolish pride I suppose.

            It is my life’s work to keep hubby healthy, so far, so good. :)

  2. AdLib says:

    It’s over! The vote is going ahead on the Senate bill, Bunning Sensation has agreed to allow a vote as long as he gets his amendments voted on.

    Like placing his picture in the dictionary next to the word, “dick”.

  3. PepeLepew says:

    Do you know Jim Bunning four times led the league in hit batsmen. He hit 160 guys in 17 years. Yet, he never walked more than 74 guys in a year, so he didn’t have control problems.
    By comparison, notorious roided-up headhunter Roger Clemens hit 159 guys in 24 years.

    He was an ornery cuss as a ballplayer and he’s still an ornery cuss.

  4. javaz says:

    Check out media matters --

    FOX, Limbaugh, et all praise Bunning as a hero --

    http://mediamatters.org/

    My favorite is Limbaugh saying that he’s rarely wrong, and when he is, it’s like a tsunami.

    Hilarious.

    • bitohistory says:

      Remember what great fun the RW had with Senator Kerry’s line (taken out of context) ” I actually voted for it before I voted against it”?
      Oh hey had such fun with that line for along time.
      What was he talking about-- in context? Paying for the Iraq war. He voted to put the cost on budget first, then voted against it when it was put “off budget.” What fun they would have had if he had put a hold on it.

      HIPPO-CRITTERS!

      • javaz says:

        More hippo-critters --

        In recent days, Sen. Jim Bunning has been obstructing the passage of a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for nearly a million Americans, claiming that they aren

  5. javaz says:

    Republicans afraid to speak out and criticize Bunning hide behind Collins --

    Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) has been blocking important legislation that would temporarily extend unemployment and health benefits to laid-off American workers; these benefits expired on Sunday because Congress failed to pass an extension. Because of Bunning, 2,000 federal highway employees were furloughed without pay as of yesterday, and doctors are facing a 21 percent in Medicare fees, and more than a million people in rural areas may not be able to watch television.

    Today, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke up and asked for

  6. javaz says:

    Republicans afraid to speak out and criticize Bunning hide behind Collins --

    Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) has been blocking important legislation that would temporarily extend unemployment and health benefits to laid-off American workers; these benefits expired on Sunday because Congress failed to pass an extension. Because of Bunning, 2,000 federal highway employees were furloughed without pay as of yesterday, and doctors are facing a 21 percent in Medicare fees, and more than a million people in rural areas may not be able to watch television.

    Today, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke up and asked for

  7. PatsyT says:

    From Reuters
    Republicans rip on Bunning
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6213XI20100302
    And in other news from Kentucky. . . . . .

    Published on Monday, March 1, 2010 by The Courier-Journal (Kentucky)
    Socialists Get Newfound Attention as ‘Red-Baiting’ Draws Interest From Youth

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/03/01-5
    Many very interesting comments after this story

  8. javaz says:

    Here’s a fun and funny diary from dailykos --

    Jim Bunning has broken my heart. I’d always consider myself able to out-dick at least an average Dick walking around town. Not that I’m a dick constantly, mind you. But it’s good to know you can be the bigger dick if the need arises.

    But the Kentucky Republican has raised the bar for us all, leaving the rest of us to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Every last one of us is going to have to step up and bring out our A-material if we’re gonna measure up to one of the biggest dicks American politics has ever seen.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/3/2/842167/-Out-dick-Jim-Bunning!

  9. Chernynkaya says:

    At the end of the day, most people will not think about Bunning or Reid. I think they will only see that Rome is bunning while the Senate fiddled. People are disgusted and a pox on both our houses of Congress. It’s not productive, or nuanced or thoughtful, but it’s the gut reaction of almost everyone, except for those of us who pay attention to the intricacies of government.Maybe that’s a good thing, in that is underscores our broken system, but too often, when looking at a fix, people react hastily and just throw the bastards out. That’s not entirely a fix.

    • AdLib says:

      Co-sign and well said!

      The anger will indeed be at inaction. The Dems may have an excuse for their impotence but it’s still humiliating.

      The Dems need some political Viagra, they certainly could have stayed and outlasted Bunning but instead, they fell asleep and turned over.

      As for your point about the American habit of wanting quick fixes, so true. That kneejerk thinking of “getting” the people in office now by voting them out…shows such ignorance because there is no thinking of what they’re voting in.

      Another 4 years of Bush policies? Really? Would that be better?

      Let alone the near term issue that a Repub controlled House or Senate under Obama would lead to total gridlock for 2 years…in the midst of a record recession when so many other pressing things need to get done.

      People are frustrated about government no working so what kind of foolishness is it to go from watered down reform to total gridlock?

      The masses are indeed asses.

    • AdLib says:

      I’m not a big fan of Reid but I think it’s unfair to put that much blame on him.

      I do agree that Reid and the Dems should have forced Bunning to spend all night and morning there, to get done what was desperately needed to get done. So, I’d agree that they should have tried to outlast him that way.

      At the same time, they were there for 3 hours going around and around in circles with Bunning, arguing and cajoling non-stop. Bunning may have had 3 pots of coffee in his system, knowing what he was going to do and Dems may not have been prepared.

      This is squarely on Bunning’s shoulders but Reid and the Dems should have shown more strategy and determination in beating him, indeed.

      No doubt, the Dems had some political consideration of how this would damage the Repubs and help them, image wise. It may be cynical but perhaps that factored into their not sticking it out…which would be pretty terrible, making all those people suffer unnecessarily just for political games.

      • Khirad says:

        Last paragraph: I wouldn’t put it past them. It sounds like something I would do -- if I knew I could get it through soon anyhow. The last part I’ll have to see. I don’t want people to lose out just to shame Republicans in the short term.


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