Archive for February, 2010

Bunning Blocks Benefits

Posted in Politics on February 27th, 2010

Late last night, February 26, 2010 Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) highhandedly and successfully blocked a bill to further extend a number of federal subsidies including, among other things: expanded unemployment benefits; surface transportation programs; the compulsory copyright license used by satellite TV providers; the federal flood insurance program; and health insurance subsidies for the jobless.

Senator Bunning’s objection to the Democrats’ proposed legislation was that the Democrat’s had made no provision for paying for it and it would therefor just add to the already crushing weight of the federal deficit.

Everybody in this chamber wants to extend unemployment benefits, but if we can’t find $10 billion somewhere for a bill that everybody in this body supports we will never pay for anything.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)

To be clear, Sen. Bunning had no stated objection to the bill in question other than the funding of it. He wanted some of the large amount of still unused Stimulus funds to be used to pay for the extension of the programs but his amendment to the bill to that effect was rejected by the Senate Democrats several times.

Sen. Bunning’s actions don’t surprise me. He’s a true fiscal Conservative who previously voted against both TARP and the Auto Bail Out, so this is consistent with his economic views.

So who really blocked this legislation and allowed these various programs to sunset tomorrow, the one Republican Senator who wanted the programs to be paid for or the numerous Democrat Senators who didn’t want to pay for them?

Related Reading:

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
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Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?
Equilibrium Unemployment Theory - 2nd Edition

The Healthcare Show

Posted in 2010 Election, 2012 Election, Politics on February 26th, 2010

On Thursday, February 25, 2010, President Obama and a select group of both Republicans and Democrats gathered together for the titular purpose of working out at least a framework for a bipartisan Healthcare Reform Bill.

Of course Obama chose to have this event televised unlike much of the previous, substantive meetings involving ObamaCare.

As anyone with a working brain could expect, this was far more about politics – specifically the upcoming 2010 Congressional Midterm Elections and Obama’s bid for reelection in 2012 – than it was about legislation or building consensus or bipartisanship. It was a many hour long series campaign ads paid for by we, the People.

From the reactions to it that I’ve seen today, I’d say that it was a failure and one that hurt the Dems more than the GOP since the Dems have more incumbents in the 2010 elections than the GOP does. Oh well, perhaps they’ll learn something from this – but I doubt that, on the off chance that they do, it’ll be the right lesson.

Related Reading:

The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science- and Reality
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The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
How Data Science Is Transforming Health Care

Hot Chocolate (NSFW)

Posted in Books & Reading, Food & Drink, Humor, Society on February 25th, 2010

I live in NYC and we’re experiencing yet another snow storm. This one promises to be interesting since it will supposedly involved “mixed precipitation” – that would be rain, sleet, and snow all together – and increasing winds throughout the day and evening.

A hard day for any us who had to go into work and a hard day for any of us, et al, to stay warm. That being the case, I’d suggest that as many of us as possible enjoy some hot chocolate today.

HeidiliciousHot Chocolate!

In my personal and rarely humble opinion I’d say that the above constitutes some truly hot chocolate and would keep just about anybody warm on a day like today. 😉

These absolutely delicious images of Heidi Klum are from her and the renowned photographer Rankin’s 2009 book, Heidilicious which they created during Heidi Klum’s pregnancy.

And, if hot chocolate doesn’t work for you or if it just isn’t quite enough, you could always try some Warm Milk. 😛

Related Reading:

Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are
Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
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Nude In Photography