Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dr. No

Meet Dr.Tom Coburn, Republican Senator from Oklahoma:

"Why?" you ask.  Because he is attempting to stall the extension of the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill unless Congress eliminates funding for the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program which makes up only 2% of the federal transportation budget.  Why is he so worried about such a miniscule amount of money and what does that mean to you and me if he is successful?  If he kills the TE program, then the money guaranteed to help maintain bicycle and walking projects including bike lanes and byways, paths and trails, all disappears.  Why does he have such a beef with federal funding for bicycling and walking?  Who knows - but his nickname in the Senate has become "Dr. No" for his tendency to vote against bills he views as unconstitutional - and also because both his hands were burned off in a vat of acid and have been since replaced by mechanical prosthetics.  Ok - that last part's not exactly true....
The original Dr. No from the similary titled and infamous 1962 James Bond film.

(In case you're wondering what else Coburn has been up to - he tried to block bills honoring Rachel Carson, author of the book Silent Spring, which is credited by many to have initiated the environmental movement calling it "junk science", he opposed legislation creating a wilderness area around Mount Hood aimed at protecting wildlands in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and he also put a hold on a veteran's benefits bill in 2009.)  So what can you do?  Here's your chance to play James Bond (or his lovely companion du jour Honey Rider, played by the sumptuous Ursula Andress - but I digress) and shut Dr. No's ass down!
Aw yeah....that's my boy.

"How?" you ask?  Spend about 30 seconds and go to this website:

It will prompt you to enter your zip code and then will send automated letters to your congressmen or women on your behalf to encourage them to not let the bill be stalled, thus allowing the TE program to proceed and our walking and cycling infrastructure continue to be paid for by federally mandated funds - since those are our taxes, afterall.

Then - after you do that, reward yourself by watching this.  It has nothing to do with Dr. No, or Sean Connery, or even Ursula (unfortunately) but it is pretty kick-ass.....and it features two cycling commentators who make Phil and Paul look like they are both in comas.  Make sure to turn your speakers up for full effect.  My favorite part is the commentary at the 1:13 minute mark.


  1. HE'S GONNA SMASH THAT TIME!!! SET BY SPATTGONNA!!!(Spangnolo?) awesome.

  2. Done and done!

    Loved the video reward as well. I think the announcer probably needed a wet wipe or at least a Kleenex to clean himself up after his climatic description of the Danny Hart's mind-blowing run.

  3. Our efforts paid off! I received the following email from Tim Blumenthal of

    The U.S. Senate affirmed its time-tested support of bicycling Thursday by forcing Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to withdraw his proposal to eliminate dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements program. supporters and our advocacy partners influenced this outcome by sending close to 50,000 emails and making thousands of phone calls to their U.S. Senators in just 48 hours. Thank you!

    As a result, funding for all federal transportation programs has now been extended to March 31, 2012. The key, cost-effective programs that make bicycling safer and easier -- Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails -- will continue to receive modest, dedicated support -- about 1.5 percent of the total federal transportation investment.

    Every U.S. Senate office received an unprecedented number of well-crafted emails and articulate phone calls this week from people who bike. This powerful show of support for bicycling made a strong impression on Congress and influenced the positive outcome.

    We reminded the Senate that bicycling investments support a growing number of transportation trips coast to coast, and save government agencies money on road repairs, parking infrastructure costs, and health-care costs. They recognize that this is a small investment with a big payback that makes Americans safer.

    A huge thanks to the thousands of Americans, our supporters, who rallied quickly to contact their elected officials on this challenge. We will continue to keep you posted on key issues and opportunities that affect the future of bicycling in the United States.

    I hope you'll join me in taking a ride this weekend to celebrate!

    Tim Blumenthal

    PS-- cool video reward...

  4. Nice post...I look forward to reading more, and getting a more active part in the talks here, whilst picking up some knowledge as well. Buy Neopoints Online |