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Sen. Jim Bunning Filibusters Unemployment Extension, Dems Roll Over

They need to beat him like a rented mule. Shame on him, and shame on the spineless Democrats who let this mean old snake go home to take a nap and t

They need to beat him like a rented mule. Shame on him, and shame on the spineless Democrats who let this mean old snake go home to take a nap and then rolled over for his blackmail, adjourning for the weekend and letting desperate families hang:

Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) late Thursday launched a one-man crusade to block an extension of unemployment and COBRA insurance benefits, vowing to allow the benefit programs to expire Sunday unless Democrats agreed to pay for them with unused stimulus funds.

Bunning’s quixotic pursuit of deficit offsets at the potential expense of payments to unemployed or uninsured citizens enraged Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and other Democrats, who vowed to keep the chamber in session until Bunning relents or collapses.

Yes, last night the brain-addled Bunning complained about missing a college basketball game, and responded "Tough sh*t" when Sen. Jeff Merkley begged him to drop his opposition.

A senior Democratic leadership aide said Durbin would ask for unanimous consent to pass the extensions without Bunning’s payment scheme every half hour for the foreseeable future. “We’re going to keep doing it until we break him,” the aide said.

Break him, huh? David Waldman:

So they had him to the point where he was shouting obscenities on the Senate floor and decided... to let him go home for a good night's sleep.


He probably slept a hell of a lot better than the Kentuckians who are out of work and depending on those benefits, I can tell you that. No word on whether Senate Democrats actually tucked him in.

This morning, the fight resumed, presumably after a nourishing breakfast which some of those Kentucky families would probably have liked to have had themselves. The unanimous consent request to pass the extension was made, Bunning objected, gave a short speech, and then suggested the absence of a quorum, which you may recall is often used as a stalling tactic to avoid conducting an actual filibuster.

[...] UPDATE: Never mind! The Senate appears to have adjourned for the weekend. Bunning has won for the day, and Durbin's threat has shockingly failed to materialize at all. The extent of Bunning's punishment: he missed prime time TeeVee last night.

Oh, and when the DSCC calls you for a donation? Refer them to this. You can also let Sen. Bunning know how much you appreciate his politicking over benefits for the neediest in the worst economy since the Great Depression. Flood his offices with faxes and phone calls.

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