Tag Archives: Jim

Harry Reid’s Office: Jim Bunning Holding All Presidential Nominees

Posted by: BuellBoy

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)

TPM/Rachel Slajda~Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), who has become a one-man filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment benefits, apparently placed a hold on all presidential nominees last week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office confirms to TPMDC that Bunning has placed the holds.

It turns out that not only has he been blocking the unemployment insurance bill, he has also been blocking the confirmation of nominees since last week as well,” said Reid spokesman Jim Manley.

Bunning’s spokesman tells TPMDC that he doesn’t know about the holds.

I don’t know that. Right now the senator’s number one priority is reaching an agreement to get this bill paid for and passed,” said the spokesman, Mike Reynard.

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Filed under (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid, Obama Administration, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Republicans, Senate, Uncategorized

Not A Game by Senator John Kerry

Posted by: Betsm

Written by Senator John Kerry/Cross-posted from TPM

Senator John Kerry

Senator John Kerry

Too often, the way it’s played and the way it’s reported, Americans might think everything that happens in Washington is a game.

But look, this is anything but a game. The business before the Senate is literally life and death on many issues, and the parliamentary tricks to delay and obstruct the basic workings of our government have real-world consequences.

What am I talking about? Start with the latest example: one Senator’s effort to delay the votes on some critically-needed legislation for Americans out of work and hurting in our economy.

A lot of people today are clicking on this news story about Senator Bunning.

Political theater? Much more than that. Here’s what’s at stake: 2000 federal highway workers were furloughed this morning, losing the pay that their families depend on and halting work on critical national infrastructure. Nearly 1.2 million could lose their unemployment benefits without an extension of that program, pulling away a critical financial lifeline.

This has to end.

In the last Congress, the Republican minority more than doubled the previous record for filibusters, and they are on a pace to challenge or surpass that “accomplishment” this Congress as well. And filibusters are only the most obvious part of it. (TPM put together a great chart on filibusters which you can see here.)

On issue after issue, votes large and small, the strategy from the GOP at the highest levels has been the same: exploiting every Senate rule, playing every trick to try to slow things down. They put holds on bills that later pass by 90 votes, filibuster things they later vote for, block things they previously proposed. They used the filibuster to shoot down a debt commission that they themselves called on President Obama to implement! They block completely uncontroversial nominees and cause days of delays on the most critical of legislation. They even stalled on money for our troops last year, just to try to delay debate on health care reform.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are good Senators on both sides of the aisle. Last week, five Republican Senators (including Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and I don’t care about party label, I call it the way I see it – Scott cast the right vote for Massachusetts there) joined with Democrats to break a GOP filibuster to pass a jobs bill helping small businesses hire in this tough economy. Senator Lindsay Graham and I are working hard together to develop a bill on energy and global climate change.

But as long as the GOP leadership continues with the scorched-earth campaign, it will be tough to get done the things we know we need to do.

We need this to end. Debate big differences. Disagree. Use the filibuster when big matters of principle hang in the balance – and sometimes they do. But at the end of the day, Washington has to function – people are counting on it. When it comes to unemployment insurance for workers who have been laid-off through no fault of their own, stop playing games immediately, allow a vote, and then get to work trying to solve some problems, not playing tricks with the Senate rules. The framers invested the minority with rights to protect the Senate – not to destroy it.

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Filed under Economy, Jobs, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Sen. John Kerry, Senate, Uncategorized, Unemployment

Republican Senator Jim Bunning’s Impasse Puts 2000 Federal Employees Out Of Work Today

AP~Two thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay on Monday, and the Obama administration said they have a Kentucky senator to blame for it.

Federal reimbursements to states for highway programs will also be halted, the Transportation Department said in a statement late Sunday. The reimbursements amount to about $190 million a day, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The furloughs and freeze on payments were the result of a decision last week by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning to block passage of legislation that would have extended federal highway and transit programs, the department said. Those programs expired at midnight Sunday.

The extension of transportation programs was part of a larger package of government programs that also expired Sunday, including unemployment benefits for about 400,000 Americans.

Bunning objected to the $10 billion measure, saying it would add to the budget deficit. He didn’t respond to a request Monday for comment.

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Filed under Jobs, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Senate, Uncategorized, Unemployment

A Disappointing Return to Political Games with Severe Consequences for Those Who have Lost Their Jobs

Posted by: BuellBoy

Written by Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director
Cross-posted from WhiteHouse.gov

On Thursday, 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 Bunning (R-KY) blocking the extension of several critical priorities for middle-class families. If Senator Bunning gets his way, hundreds of thousands of people could be ineligible for COBRA tax credits for health coverage created by the Recovery Act; 400,000 individuals who cannot find work will lose their unemployment insurance; thousands of small businesses will lose access to credit; transportation projects and public safety programs across the country would be halted; critical transportation safety personnel will be furloughed at a time of increased concern about the safety of our roads and highways; and 600,000 doctors across the country who care for our seniors and veterans could be subject to a 20 % pay cut, including 8,105 in Senator Bunning’s home state of Kentucky.

Make no mistake about it: this bill is too important to fall prey to the political games of one person. If Senator Bunning succeeds, it would have a devastating effect on millions of people as early as Monday.

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. 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.

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Filed under Economy, Jobs, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Senate, Uncategorized

Republican Jim Bunning Repeatedly Blocks Unemployment Benefits Extension for 1.2 Million Americans, Tells Dem ‘Tough Shit’

Posted by: Audiegrl

Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.

As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.

And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: “Tough shit.”

Bunning says he doesn’t oppose extending benefits — he just doesn’t want the money that’s required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate’s GOP leadership did not support him in his objections.

And at one point during the debate, which dragged on till nearly midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.

I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00,” he said, “and it’s the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they’re the only team that has beat Kentucky this year.”

Jed Lewison of Daily Kos produced a video of Bunning’s obstruction:

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made a last-minute attempt on Friday morning to get Bunning to let the Senate move forward with extending benefits.

We talk a lot in the Senate about procedure. Our debate sometimes relates only to procedure. And often that’s appropriate,” Reid said. “And, as we know, sometimes these procedural rules we have in the Senate are complex. But the issue before us today is not something that’s arcane, very ritualistic or complex. It’s very simple. And it’s clear — clear that it’s going to be a lot more noticeable by people Monday morning, because it’s going to affect the lives of thousands of Americans and their livelihoods.”

By Monday morning tens of thousands of Nevadans and more than one million Americans who rely on unemployment insurance and health benefits will simply lose them.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) took the floor after Reid to stick up for Bunning. He noted that there is broad bipartisan support for extending benefits, but said Bunning was right to take a stand against adding $10 billion to the deficit. He also pointed out that the jobs bill that Reid scrapped two weeks ago, crafted by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), contained an extension of UI and COBRA.

I admire the courage of the junior senator from Kentucky,” he said. “Somebody has to stand up finally and say, ‘No more inter-generational theft!‘”

And with that, the Senate adjourned for the weekend.

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Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky

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Academy Award® Nominated: Star Trek

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, BuellBoy, Ogenec and TheLCster


On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was looking for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan at that time, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet even as he annoys his instructors like young Lt. Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever even as the new version of it is just beginning.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Damon Lindelof
Co-Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Witz
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Baronoff
Executive Producers . Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk, and Roberto Orci

The cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworkth, Jennifer Morrison, and Rachel Nichols

44D’s Reviews

TheLCster
As an aspiring nerd (no not geek, nerd, yes…there is a difference) I have been trying to break into the world of Star Trek in the traditional sense…watching it episode by episode, series by series. I take sci-fi very seriously! lol This new movie although entertaining feels like a ‘watered-down for the masses’ version of a topic that I know people spend their lifetime’s trying to perfect. Although I don’t speak Klingon, I respect the franchise and was disappointed at the simplistic (often trading true character growth and dynamic for witty one-liners) nature of some of the characters. I am glad, however, that at least a new generation of viewers will be introduced to the characters. Hopefully those who enjoyed the movie will research the series in the proper manner.

Ogenec
“No one does geek-pop chic better than J.J. Abrams. I never watched Alias (dunno why), but I am hooked — hooked! — on Lost and Fringe. Unlike many TV auteurs, J.J.’s vision adapts quite well to the big screen too: see, for example, MI:III, the best movie of the trilogy.

So I was really excited when I heard that J.J. would be doing the reboot of Star Trek. I knew it’d be edgy, yet fun. I knew it would mix in enough of the mythology for the hardcore Trekkies, but also introduce some fresh elements. And I knew there would be a very good mix of bombastic action sequences and intelligent dialogue. I knew all of that. And yet, I was completely blown away by the movie. The dialogue was even better than I’d hoped. The interplay between the characters (like Bones and Kirk, or Scotty and Kirk, and most importantly Kirk and Spock themselves) was just phenomenal. The action was totally kick-ass. In fact, I’m about to unleash my id by watching it again tonight with the subwoofers set to “Stun.” But, above all else, two things really endear this movie to me as a total keeper. The first is the subversion of the operating premise of the Kirk-Spock relationship, where Kirk is the impulsive one, and Spock is all logic and rationality. In the movie, Kirk proves himself to be quite the thinking man, and Spock gets very emotional. Man, I ate it up. You will too, on the off-chance that you haven’t seen this excellent movie yet.

The second is the casting of Chris Pine as Kirk. Sometimes you hear the casting choices and you go “Hell Naw!!! What were they thinking?!?!?” Most times, your concerns are well-founded. Think George Clooney as Batman — ’nuff said. But sometimes, you’re just totally wrong, and you have to admit it. So I admit it — Chris Pine is such an inspired choice for Kirk that he seems borne for the role, just as much as Daniel Craig is, to me, now the definitive James Bond. All I knew of Chris Pine was his role as a homicidal maniac in Smoking Aces. Fantastic role, and he’s obviously quite the actor. But I couldn’t see how THAT guy could pull off a Captain Kirk. Well, I’m extremely happy J.J. Abrams doesn’t listen to me. And, by the way, Eric Bana also is fantastic as Spock’s Romulan nemesis. In short, fantastic movie. Can’t wait for the sequel.”

Audiegrl
“Loved it. J.J. Abrams did a outstanding job of re-energizing the Star Trek franchise. With 21st century special effects, he really updated, the normally slow-moving action viewers were used to. Spock and Lt. Uhura hooking up? Brilliant…we get to see what made Spock who he is, and his ongoing struggle to determine if he was more human or vulcan. It was also good to learn why Doctor McCoy aka Bones, earned his nickname, saying…“My wife took everything in the divorce, all she left me was my bones.” Abrams successfully introduced the series to a new generation of Trekkies, somewhere out there, Gene Roddenberry is smiling 🙂

Did You Know?

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie-Mellon Computer Science professor (and “Star Trek” fan) who gained widespread fame as the author of a “Last Lecture” in which he discussed living the life of his dreams in the face of terminal pancreatic cancer, was invited by J.J. Abrams to appear as an extra in this film (he is the Kelvin officer who says “Captain, we have visual“). Pausch wrote in his blog about the experience, “I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!” Pausch died on July 25, 2008; his paycheck of $217.06 from working on the film was donated to charity.

While most Trekkies will have known this detail for decades, this is the first time that Uhura has been given a first name on screen: Nyota. Gene Roddenberry never came up with a first name for her, so many thought this meant she did not have one, although in literature, Uhura is often referred to as Nyota by her comrades, and she is also referred to as Nyota Uhura in the DC Comics publication “Who’s Who in Star Trek“. There are several nods to this history in the movie: first, when Kirk first meets (and hits on) Uhura in a bar and tells her, “if you don’t tell me your name, I’m gonna have to make one up,” and then when she refuses to tell Kirk her first name throughout the film.

Majel Barrett, the wife of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, has a role in this film as the voice of the Enterprise computer. She completed her voice-over work two weeks before her death on December 18, 2008.

The Korean-American actor John Cho was initially uncertain about being cast as the Japanese-American officer Hikaru Sulu, but George Takei, who played Sulu in “Star Trek” (1966), encouraged him to take the role as Sulu was a character who represented all of Asia.

Four Nominations

Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Makeup

Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Meets the 21st Century

Posted by Audiegrl

It’s been 166 years since the publication of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ seasonal story of redemption wrapped up in a biting indictment of 19th-century capitalism.

Scrooge (Jim Carrey) and Tiny Tim (Gary Oldman) are prepared to get you into the holiday spirit.

Scrooge (Jim Carrey) and Tiny Tim (Gary Oldman) are prepared to get you into the holiday spirit.

Telegraph.co.uk/Paula Bustamante—Yet in the era of global financial crisis and multi-billion-dollar fraud, Jim Carrey believes Dickens’s tale about how the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge learns to change his ways remains as relevant today as ever.

I think it’s a very pressing story nowadays, too,” said Carrey, the star of Disney’s re-imagining of the classic, released in North America on November 6. “I think stories get told at times when they’re supposed to be told.”

a_christmas_carol_jim_carrey_photoScrooge is the first corporate scumbag. The unloved scumbag. So, in this time when all our constructs are breaking down because of greed, this story is so pressing,” Carrey added.

“Everybody loves a good transformational story. You know, somebody who sees the light, who finally finds out what’s important in life. And, this is one of the greatest ones ever written.”

Just like the character of Scrooge, Carrey was confronted with a vision of his future during the making of the film.

But while Scrooge’s insight came via the spooky Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Carrey’s own premonition was entirely due to his appearance after the 3D movie’s special effects wizards went to work.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Instead of the familiar 47-year-old face known to millions in hits such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Bruce Almighty, Carrey said he was left staring at the spitting image of his father.

When I saw the movie, one of the first things I said when I saw the first close up of Scrooge is, ‘my family is going to have a heart attack, because that is my father,'” he said.

It’s unbelievable. It’s really a look into the future for me. Not the long chin and the long nose, but the look is what I’m going to look like when I’m old,” Carrey added.

Disney’s new take on the classic is the latest in a long line of adaptations of the beloved 1843 novella, with the first screen version coming more than a century ago with in the 1901 British short Scrooge.

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A Christmas Carol Tops Weekend Box Office with $31 Million

5926A Christmas Carol unsurprisingly topped the weekend box office with an estimated $31 million in receipts.

The latest foray by Robert Zemeckis into motion-capture filmmaking came in lower than initial expectations but easily bested the $23.3 million open by The Polar Express, his last holiday CGI film. With the holiday season only now ramping up, A Christmas Carol should continue to play strong for weeks to come.

A Christmas Carol starring Jim CarreyCharles Dickens’ timeless tale of an old miser who must face Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come, as they help to bring kindness to his otherwise cold heart. The Ghosts remind him of the man he used to be, the hard truth of what the world is today, and what will happen if he does not strive to be a better man. Set around Christmas, the most joyous day of the year, Scrooge realizes the sharp contrast of his own personality.

Jim Carrey plays four separate roles in this updated version of A Christmas Carol. Carrey portrays Scrooge, as well as the three ghosts (Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come). His dynamic character roles keep the four characters as diverse as being played by four actors.

Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy) has his chance to dabble in telling a story through the windows of time, as he directs the long-awaited remake.

Our Favorite Versions

Each December my family and I watch our favorite versions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. What’s your favorite?

A Christmas Carol starring Alastair SimA Christmas Carol starring George C. ScottA Christmas Carol starring Patrick StewartScrooged starring Bill MurrayEbbie starring Susan Lucci
Ms. Scrooge starring Cicely Tyson

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