This rich old white guy Senator is more interested in basketball than unemployed Americans

I tweeted all day yesterday (www.twitter.com/marywallace) during the Healthcare Summit at the White House.  A great website, www.sunlightfoundation.com live streamed all day, updating charts next to each speaker with a list of their top career donors!  Not surprisingly, many of the Republicans who oppose healthcare reform are fully funded by insurers, banks and lobbyists.

It was shocking to hear man after man after man say, let’s get out a clean piece of paper and start over again.  REALLY?  After they had done so much work on their own bills?  DID THEY BRING CLEAN PIECES OF PAPER TO START WORKING ON THE SPOT? No.

I noticed that the overwhelming majority of Republicans were old white men (I’m talking to you Boehner, even though you’ve got that fake tan going on).  In the pockets of the insurance industry and their lobbyists.

But I woke up today to this guy’s face, it looks so shocking in its aged meanness.

Its Jim Bunning, from Kentucky, who single-handedly blocked the Senate from extending unemployment benefits for 1.2 million Americans, while complaining

‘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.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Kentucky is 10.7 percent.  With a population of 4,200,000, that’s over 420,000 unemployed.  NOT GOOD.

As I said yesterday on twitter, Americans forced their government to pull out of the Vietnam war when TV images and newspaper images of dying and dead American soldiers inundated American households.  We had believed the rhetoric from Washington, but when our own young men and women came home in wheelchairs and body bags, it was the power of the images that turned the tide in the US government’s ability to continue the war.

We are inundated these days with image after image of Congressmen who deny health insurance reform to working Americans (while covered under government plans themselves), who deny childcare to the working poor (while having it available themselves), who send other people’s kids to war while their own drink excessively underage in bars (I’m talking to you, George W. Bush).  The images from the bargaining table yesterday were predominantly old, white men.  Sure, old white men run the insurance companies and the banks and the lobbying firms.  But if you walk around any city in America, you’ll see all different ages and colors and sexes.  How did we whittle down our vision of who should represent us in Congress to one color, one age AND one sex? How did that one type of person end up in charge of everything?

Its time for new employment rules: in order to serve in Congress, you have to agree to take 1/2 the $170,000 salary until your state’s poor and homeless and lower class and middle class are stable.  The other half? It goes into a fund to counter the lobbying of your beloved insurers and banks.  You get no health insurance until all your state’s citizens are covered.  Can’t make that work? Then you don’t deserve cadillac coverage yourself.  And if you have a daughter or son of military recruitment age? They go to war until no citizen from your state is overseas.  That would stop the illegal multiple re-ups that the military is getting away with.

Seriously, to be in Congress, you should REPRESENT your people.  And I’m sure the 10.7% unemployed in his state are not thrilled with his current, very visible, choice of basketball over their ability to feed themselves.  Especially knowing that Bunning fought to keep campaign donor information hidden, and paid himself an additional $90,000 a year 2006-2008 from his FOUNDATION while donating less than that from his foundation to charity, because, you know, the Senate paycheck of $170,000 isn’t enough. His greed is shocking, in light of the funds he’s withholding from Americans and his own constituents.

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