"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.