Rachel Maddow breaks it down with regards to Bunning:

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It is shocking how one narrow-minded man can single-handedly destroy lives — just to try & make a political point. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is blocking legislation that effects thousands of jobs around the country plus health insurance and other benefits for the unemployed. He says he wants unspent stimulus funds to pay for Medicare payments to doctors, important road construction projects, unemployment benefits & more. Because he’s worried about the deficit. But you and I know he’s just trying to get a dig into President Obama in an election year.

Looks to me like it’s backfiring. For once, Democrats are fighting back hard to shame a callous political hack who doesn’t care who he hurts — as long as he gets a little attention. It’s yet another example of the GOP acting like the Party of No — refusing to help keep America on track over arcane & vague ideological issues even in a bad economy when so many are struggling. After all Bunning voted for these same benefits 2 years ago. His ridiculous reluctance now is hurting the people of KY he serves in addition to everyone else.

Democrats are fighting back indeed…with the facts. Kentucky Jim is about to get Kentucky Fried by both fellow Republicans & Democrats. Here’s the Dems’ main stance (from Sam Stein at HuffPo) – I agree with every word:

· Last week, Democrats and Republicans came together in the House to pass an emergency bill that will temporarily extend benefits for American workers and small businesses. It showed that in times of great need, our elected officials can still set aside their differences to do right by the American people.

· But just when we thought we were seeing progress, we have been confronted with a disappointing return to tactics that could be harmful to the American people, with Senator Jim Bunning blocking the extension of several critical priorities for middle-class families.

· The consequences of this blatant, partisan obstructionism at a time of economic need could not be clearer, and will be felt starting today:

o For the first time in 20 years, thousands of construction workers across the country aren’t at work today and major road projects are halted.

o 2,000 employees at the U.S. Department of Transportation are furloughed at a time when vehicle safety problems are threatening lives on our nation’s roads.

o Federal reimbursements to states for highway and transit projects–on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars each day–will stop, which could force a halt in construction work and layoffs of construction workers in the middle of worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

o An estimated 500,000 workers who lose their jobs will be ineligible for subsidies to cover the cost of health care over this month. Over the rest of 2010, an estimated 5 million workers will be ineligible for the Recovery Act COBRA subsidies that cover 65% of the cost of coverage. Without this assistance, many of these families will be forced to join the ranks of the uninsured.

o Nearly 3,000 businesses this month will be denied access to the loans they need to run their businesses, to pay their employees and vendors, and to create new jobs.

o 400,000 individuals who cannot find work will lose their unemployment insurance. And within a month, that number of Americans who lose benefits will increase to 1.5 million and within two months nearly 3 million Americans will have lost their benefits.

o If Congress fails to act quickly, payment rates for doctors in Medicare will be cut by 21.2 percent. These cuts will substantially impair doctors’ ability to maintain care for Medicare patients. This will affect 600,000 doctors nationwide, including 8,105 in Senator Bunning’s state of Kentucky.

· There’s nothing wrong with someone taking a principled stand for something they believe in, but Senator Bunning voted to extend these same benefits in 2008. And over the past decade, unemployment insurance extensions have been passed as emergency measures under Republican and Democratic Congresses alike. So what we’re seeing right now is politics at its worst. It’s a perfect example of why so many Americans are fed up with Washington.

· We need to think about how our actions will impact the American people, because they sent us here to work for them. We need to put an end to the gamesmanship, and do whatever is in our power to put Americans back to work. They expect and deserve nothing less of us.

If you live in Kentucky, please reach out and tell your senator what you think. Here’s all his office info:

Washington, D.C.

316 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202.224.4343
Fax: 202.228.1373
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District 4 – Ft. Wright (Main State Office)

1717 Dixie Highway
Suite 220
Ft. Wright, KY 41011
Main: 859-341-2602
Fax: 859.331.7445
Toll free: 1-800-283-8983
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District 1 – Hopkinsville

1100 S. Main Street
Suite 12
Hopkinsville, KY 42240
Main: 270.885.1212
Fax: 270.881.3975
Toll free: 1-800-283-8983
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District 2 – Owensboro

423 Frederica Street
Room 305
Owensboro, KY 42301
Main: 270.689.9085
Fax: 270.689.9158
Toll free: 1-800-283-8983
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District 3 – Louisville

600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Place
Room 1072 B
Louisville, KY 40202
Main: 502.582.5341
Fax: 502.582.5344
Toll free: 1-800-283-8983
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District 5 – Hazard

Gorman Education Center
601 Main St., Suite 2
Hazard, KY 41701
Main: 606.435.2390
Fax: 606.435.1761
Toll free: 1-800-283-8983
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District 6 – Lexington

771 Corporate Dr.
Suite 105
Lexington, KY 40503
Main: 859.219.2239
Fax: 859.219.3269
Toll free: 1-800-283-8983
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