The Comprehensive Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1986 or COBRA was instituted to help people who lost their jobs to hang on to their health insurance with bridge money from the government, you know, that big bad government thing. I believe that bill was passed by reconciliation. Looks like parts of the mammoth health care bill will wind up the same way. Not the best, but certainly not the worse option for the Senate. God, I am beginning to hate that body. YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK, GOOD-BYE.
And now what’s with Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) filibustering an extension of unemployment benefits and halting highway construction. Another WTF! I know he is not running for another term, but how cold and callous can that wiener be? Yeah he pitched a perfect game back in ’64 and was marvelous. but now he has gone off the rails. He has thrown a vicious curve ball that has furloughed a number of federal projects, most notably highway. At last count he has, by his asswipe tactics thrown 2000 Department of Transportation out of work. They were furloughed Monday because Bunning’s deed halted their pay. Ironically, if the furloughs continue, those employees could need the unemployment benefits and health coverage that also are being held up. Sigh. I know it is not right to wish someone ill, and I do try and forgive, but I find it hard to do so. Maybe tomorrow.
“My husband is not working today,” Pamela Nunley said. “He is a statistician for DOT. We cannot pay our bills without his paycheck. Why does Congress allow this to happen? Do they never think of the American people?”
For Bunning, it’s all about deficits and having the money to pay for programs. As he said on Friday, “When 100 senators are for a bill and we can’t find $10 billion to pay for it, there’s something the matter, seriously the matter, with this body,” he said to an empty chamber. “There are going to be other bills brought to this floor that are not going to be paid for, and I’m going to object every time they do it. . . . I have got too many young grandchildren that want America to be the same America that I grew up in. And I’m worried to death that that’s not going to be the case.”
The America he and by extension I grew up in no longer exists. Besides the increase in population, financial instances have been turned on their head. So much good and not so good history has flowed since I was a kid. No need to go into detail of the slide into near bankruptcy for the country begun during the Reagan years. (I will save that for a series on the Reagan myths later on this month.)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, if you are not affected directly by his sad principle, then this act means little. That’s what has happened to us over the years. We have become selfish and complacent and not very patriotic. Oh we wave the flag, but that doesn’t make us patriotic, it makes us nationalist. I believe it was Time magazine that nominated Bunning as one of the nation’s five worst senators. I know of highway workers and those laid off who can heartily agree.