Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Maybe you don't give a damn, but you should

Colorado suffered the most destructive wildfire in state history
It’s hot! More than 1360 counties in 31 states have been declared natural disaster areas due to a drought the likes of which we haven’t seen since dust bowl days. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 55 percent of the nation’s pasture and rangeland is in poor to very poor condition. Wildfires have plagued the nation the last two years. Last year it was drought-plagued Texas that suffered the worst of the fires. This year it’s Colorado, which suffered the most destructive wildfire in state history. Some holdouts on the global warming issue are beginning to wonder if climate scientists might actually have it right. There’s nothing like climate effects hitting close to home to change minds about global warming. But climate scientists will be the first to tell you that weather isn’t climate.
Weather is what we have today (did I say “hot!”). And what we had a few weeks ago, thunder storms, with an impressive display of lightening. Weather is the wind blowing our 8-iron shot in the canal on the Canyon Lakes golf course, and the overcast days we experienced early in the year here in the Mid-Columbia.
Climate is what weather does in a particular region over the long term, usually 25 to 30 years. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), when scientists talk about climate, they're looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, fog, frost, hail storms, and other measures of the weather that occur over a long period in a particular place.
So do we really need to worry about all this hot weather this year? Well consider this:
  • June 2012 was the fourth warmest June since records began in 1880
  • The Northern Hemisphere land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2012 was the all-time warmest June on record
  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature for June 2012 was also the all-time warmest June on record
  • World-wide ocean surface temperature ranks as the 10th warmest on record
  • Longer term, global surface temperatures have increased since the late 19th Century and the linear trend for the past 50 years is nearly twice that for the past 100 years
So the answer is, “Yes,” we have to worry, not because it’s hot this year, but because it keeps getting hotter year after year.
Now you might ask, “So what? Isn’t this a natural warming cycle, maybe caused by sun flares, or water vapor, or political Super PAC ads? Why should I worry. It’s not going to effect me, is it?”
Let me answer your question concisely: It’s not a normal warming cycle. It’s caused by human activities, including burning fossil fuels and forest destruction, and yeah, it’s going to effect you, but if you live here in the Mid-Columbia, it probably won’t effect you as much as it will people in say, Bangladesh, who you don’t give a damn about anyway, right? Right. It will almost certainly effect your grandchildren, but you don’t care enough about them to do anything about global warming either, right? Right.
Now here’s the kicker. If our climate reaches a “tipping point,” then all bets are off. The climate will destabilize; droughts will spread and persist, desertification will take place,  ice will melt, hurricanes will blow, wildfires will roar across the land, tornadoes will rip apart whole cities, oceans will rise and flood coastal cities, and, in short, all hell will break loose. At that point, global warming will effect you and you’ll complain, “Why wasn’t something done!”
"Is this scenario even possible?" you ask? Yeah, it is. I’ll explain in a future post.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Basil Cell Carcinoma Ruins My Movie Career

In July 2012, I was diagnosed with a "superficial" basil cell carcinoma on my right forehead.

A basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer -- the most common form in the United States. It starts in the top layer of the skin (the epidermis). Most basal cell cancers occur on skin that is regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. This includes the top of your head, or scalp. Basal cell skin cancer is most common in people over age 40. However, it occurs in younger people, too, especially in people who insist on year around tanning, for instance those using tanning studios.
You are more likely to get basal cell skin cancer if you have:
  • Light-colored or freckled skin
  • Blue, green, or grey eyes
  • Blond or red hair
  • Many moles
  • Close relatives who have or had skin cancer
  • Many severe sunburns early in life
  • Long-term daily sun exposure ( such as building in the building trades receive)
I am Italian-American, have a relatively dark complexion, brown eyes, few moles, and no freckles. I love the sun. I didn't wear sun block as a kid growing up in Southern California. I started wearing sun block later in life, but not religiously.

That's me in the photo below.
If you look carefully, you can just make out the small
circular spot on my forehead above the right eye. The
picture was taken 6 weeks before surgery.
I had Moh's surgery on July 25, 2012. Eleven stitches were required to close.

Blood draining from the wound 2 days later pooling in eyelids.
Why didn't I use sun block? Just stupid, I guess.
Blood pooling in eye lids worse 48 hours after surgery.
Taking 500 mg Tylenol every 6 hours for pain.

Wound 72 hours after surgery. Blood still showing in lids and under eyes.
Pain has abated to the point I no longer require medication.
Scar, stitches removed, 14 days after surgery.

The Difference Between Automatic and Semi-Automatice Rifles

Gun rights advocates argue that legal "automatic weapons," such as the AR-15 used by the shooter in the Aurora, Colorado theater are not automatic (which are illegal), but semi-automatic, meaning that they require a trigger squeeze to fire each shot. Even at that, a practiced shooter can probably squeeze off 45-60 rounds per minute (rpm). However, "bump firing" a semi-automatic rifle emulates automatic firing (although with significant loss of accuracy), and an after market manufacturer offers a special stock that essentially turns a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic with a firing rate of up to 800 rpm. Take a look.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Aurora, Colorado Changes No One's Mind

"No one cared who I was until I put on the mask"  (Bane, in The Dark Knight Rises)
For two evenings in late June of this year I participated in a forum hosted by our local paper, the Tri-City Herald. Termed a "Community Conversation," the focus was on the Second Amendment and Gun Control. About a dozen people showed up for the facilitated discussion. My impression was that participants were evenly split between strong gun rights advocates, and proponents of greater gun control. I am a member of the latter group.
After the event, I was asked, along with others, to contribute an article describing my impressions of the conversation. I was just sitting down to do this when I heard the news of the shooting in a multiplex theater in Aurora, Colorado. My feelings on hearing of yet another case of senseless gun violence were a mix of shock, sadness, and anger. I had to step away from my keyboard to give myself time to decide how what happened in Aurora, would color what I was about to write.
I decided that rather than write about my own feelings, I would asked myself what the twelve people in that June “Community Conversation” would have to say if faced with one of the worst mass shootings in US history. Based on what I heard last June, here is what I think.
Gun control proponents would call for stronger restrictions on gun ownership, including re-instituting the 1994 ban on assault weapons (which expired in 2004). They would call for closing the loopholes on gun show sales, and on private sales. And they would want  restrictions on where guns could be carried.

Gun rights advocates would argue that there are already enough regulations. One participant in the June discussions stated angrily that there were already over 20,000 U.S. gun laws. According to a study published by the Brookings Institute, the 20,000 figure is a fiction popularized by the NRA, but in any case, gun control proponents would say that the sheer number of laws (probably around 300 major state and federal laws) tells us nothing about their stringency, breadth, or effectiveness.
I would hope that face-to-face with a parent or loved one of a victim of the Colorado shooting, one of our gun rights advocates wouldn’t parrot the NRA’s palliative, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” But as pointless as that phrase is, that’s what they stand by. Gun control proponents would argue that it begs the question of what guns the public should be permitted and what measures are necessary to ensure that the guns they are permitted don’t get in the wrong hands.
But the gun rights advocates in our conversation last June would bristle at the very thought of being “permitted” to own guns. They firmly believe that, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” and encouraged by recent Supreme Court Rulings, they see very little if anything they’ll accept as limiting that right.
Gun control proponents would argue that at the very least, private citizens should not own assault weapons; they are considered impractical for hunting (especially the .223 AR-15 used by the Colorado shooter), and are lethal in the hands of a deranged killer. This is where gun control proponents miss the point.

Gun rights advocates see themselves as the “well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.” They are extraordinarily protective of their rights, and they are convinced that given the chance, our government would rescind those rights and confiscate their guns (if you doubt this, do an Internet search using the terms, “gun,” and “confiscation”). Some members of the gun community are of the opinion that the time for taking up arms against this "overreaching" government might be approaching.

Gun control proponents have difficulty imagining the violent overthrow of a freely elected American government, but until they come to grips with what they see as the paranoia of gun rights extremists on this issue, they will always and forever fail to convince the gun community of the need to limit arms sales. 
Finally, gun rights advocates believe that self defense is a “God given right,” and reject the notion of gun control proponents that “stand your ground laws” are an unnecessary and dangerous extension of that right. Faced with the Colorado massacre, they would have argued that if some theater patrons had been armed, they might have shot the gunman and saved lives.

The thought of this firefight in the darkened confines of that crowded, smoke-filled theater, against a heavily armed gunman wearing body armor and a ballistic helmet, would boggle the mind of most thoughtful people. But the gun rights blogosphere is full of articles, posts, and discussion forums promoting this very thing, right down to the type of weapons participants in the discussions own and would have been carrying.

In the final analysis, it is my belief that had the Colorado shooting occurred before we had our "community conversation," the same opinions and beliefs would have been voiced -- no one's mind would have been changed.

In my own opinion, with respect to the Colorado killings, both sides of the issue are wrong. Stricter gun laws would not have stopped James Holmes. He would have found some way, somewhere, to act out whatever crazed notion he had of revenge, renunciation, death, or redemption.

But gun rights advocates are wrong to use that as an excuse not to accept reasonable safeguards on the ownership and use of guns. To argue that because you can't stop the determined, suicidal individual from killing with a gun, you shouldn't do everything possible to prevent the spread of the most lethal of those guns in our society, is worse than pigheaded, it's criminal.

Finally, the vigilante ethos of a large segment of the gun community is one that any law-abiding person, especially anyone who argues we are "a Christian nation," must reject.

Batman, "No guns, no killing" 
Catwoman, "Where's the fun in that?"
(The Dark Knight Rises)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Probable Impact of Republican Rule in 2013

Mitt Romney has switched gears (something he does regularly) since he debated contenders for the Republican nomination in what may seem for some ages and ages ago. But if you have tracked on Republican rhetoric over time, you know what they really stand for. If you're okay with the Republican agenda, and you think Romney would make a good president, then okay, no problem. But I'd urge anyone with an open mind to consider how things will go down with a Republican president and the Congress split, or for better or worse, depending on your point of view, if Republicans control both the House and the Senate.

On the economy, Republicans have been vocal about what they'd do:

The negative impact on revenues will then give Republicans the excuse they need to drastically reduce the size of government, by eliminating, combining, and/or cutting back government agencies, including (of the ones they remember) the:

  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Department of Commerce.

Republicans have called Social Security a "giant ponzi scheme," and although their rhetoric has moderated as the election year advances, there's no question that they would overhaul the program given the chance. Their favorite fix was "privatizing" social security, by diverting funds to allow individuals to have tax deferred private savings accounts. Republicans were not as vocal about that idea after the stock market crashed, savaging people's IRAs, 401Ks and other retirement accounts.
Republicans have proposed turning Medicare into a voucher program, which would slash benefits and result in increasing costs borne by seniors. Presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney has specially endorsed such a plan. It does nothing to control health care costs, thus more and more of the costs of health care will be the sole responsibility of seniors.

Republicans stance on women's rights are well known. America under Republican rule would see women's access to safe abortions greatly restricted, if not eliminated. Roe vs. Wade could well be overturned. The idea of women being required to undergo intrusive ultrasound tests before undergoing an abortion would likely become widespread.

Republicans will also cut "burdensome" regulations, or cut the funding of agencies which enforce them. They will:

Republicans have made it clear that if they are in control, they will go full speed ahead on opening new areas for oil and gas drilling, including in the Gulf (site of the recent BP disaster), in Alaska, and on the continental shelf.

Republicans will eliminate the funding for:

  • Planned Parenthood
  • Public Broadcasting
  • National Public Radio
  • National Endowment for the Arts

A current House Republican bill would cut funding for implementation of provisions of Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are to go into effect this year. If Republicans control both houses of Congress in 2013, they will repeal ACA, as they have promised.

Republicans have been outspoken on their opposition to same-sex marriage and a constitutional amendment prohibiting even civil unions may well come about under Republican rule.

Gun control will be forgotten under Republicans. In fact, the spread of laws, such as Florida's "stand your ground" law can be anticipated, creating a nightmare of further Trayvon Martin type shootings and difficult to impossible prosecution of offenders.
Republicans may well have the opportunity to further seed the US Supreme Court with conservative justices. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer, both liberals, are in their seventies and would likely retire in the next president's term. A 7 to 2 conservative majority in the SCOTUS is a virtual certainty in a Republican presidency and congress.

If Republicans control Congress, they are very likely to eliminate/modify the filibuster rule to prevent Democrats from obstructing Republicans the way Republicans have obstructed Democrats. The on-going debate between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell demonstrates the probability of the so-called "nuclear option" being employed by a Republican-controlled Senate.

There is also the question of what Republicans will NOT do. We'll cover that in a future post. Think climate change, campaign finance reform, and reform of Wall Street.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What is Fairness?

Conservatives take issue with liberals when we argue for fairness in American economic, political, and social life. “Life isn’t fair,” they argue, with more vehemence than I think warranted, but conservatives can get pretty worked up over anything that sounds like socialism, and to them, everything we liberals say sounds like socialism. I think we liberals are partly at fault for this knee-jerk reaction on the part of our conservative friends, because we use the term “fair” too broadly.

So what is fairness? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) introduced a law in 1949 that required the holders of broadcast licenses to present both sides of controversial issues of public importance. News was to be presented in a manner that was, “honest, equitable and balanced.” The FCC doctrine is no longer with us (that should be obvious), but the words honest, equitable, and balanced constitute a good definition of “fair.” But when we liberals discuss fairness with our conservatives we sometimes misuse the term, or use it imprecisely.
Consider the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, for example. One of their rallying cries is, “We are the 99%.” The slogan refers to the income disparity in America, which has grown significantly since the late 1970s to the point today where the top 1% control 40% of wealth in the U.S. When liberals, who are largely sympathetic to the OWS activists, argue that this isn’t “fair,” conservatives are apt to call us socialists, or worse, communists, who want the state to dole out equal shares to all.

We liberals give conservatives the opportunity to construct this straw man by not being precise in what we’re saying. What we mean is that policy distortions that lead to inequality, such as unregulated or under-regulated financial institutions, the near monopoly power of too-big-to-fail, and preferential tax treatment for special interests, are bad for America. They’ve allowed unethical and even criminal enterprise, decimated the middle class, led to shrinking opportunities to realize the “American Dream,” resulted in a deteriorating infrastructure, and decreased overall economic efficiency. Clearly, this is a nuanced treatment of “fairness,” and in today’s political climate, nuance is rare.
"Corporations are people too, my friend"
On a related issue of fairness, voters, both liberals and even many conservatives I know, question the “fairness” of the unrestricted flow of cash to political parties, candidates, and their surrogates. This flood of money resulted from the 2010 Citizens United case in which the Supreme Court decided (5 to 4) that bans on corporate contributions were unconstitutional, or as Mitt Romney put it, “Corporations are people, too” (the ruling applies to unions and NGOs, as well). Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his dissent, “The ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation.” In this sense, when we complain that campaign financing is no longer “fair,” what we mean is that they are not “balanced” -- they allow moneyed interests to wield disproportionate influence on both elections and the elected.
We depend on our elected officials to represent the people, all the people. And yet the median net worth of our congressional “representatives” is almost nine times the typical American household. Fully 250 members of congress are millionaires, and 57 have a net worth that puts them comfortably in the 1%.
The founding fathers, well read in history, and well versed in the literature of the French enlightenment and the philosophy of Descartes, Voltaire, Bacon, Locke and Hobbes concluded that successful republics required an equitable distribution of wealth.  They knew that where wealth concentrates, political power can never be democratically shared. They knew such a situation to be inherently unfair. And they knew what unfair meant.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Great Dying and Climate Change

13.7 Cosmos and Culture

The most famous mass extinction is the one that ended the dinosaurs and some 50 percent of life on Earth about 65 million years ago. The culprit was mostly the impact with a large asteroid, about seven miles across, that hit the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. I wrote about some of the scary details a couple of months ago.
But the Yucatán event pales in comparison with the mass extinction that happened 252 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period. Scientists estimate that about 95 percent of all marine species, and an unknown "but probably comparable percentage of land species, went extinct in a geological heartbeat," as Alanna Mitchell reported recently in The New York Times.
Although an impact has been proposed as a possible culprit, recent work suggests that the vast die off was related to a lack of oxygen in the water, coupled to an excess of carbon dioxide, which implied in an increase in ocean acidity and water temperatures. A nonlinear feedback from these effects amplified the damage. Corals and sea sponges were devastated, and trilobites were gone.
In a paper for Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jonathan Payne, from Stanford University, and Matthew Clapham, from the University of California at Santa Cruz, suggest that the catastrophe coincided with one of Earth's largest continental flood basalt provinces, the Siberian Traps. In other words, a gigantic volcanic eruption launched enormous amounts of gases into the atmosphere, compromising global ocean chemistry, causing climate change and, possibly, the destruction of the ozone layer, which would explain the land extinction. In studying the climate change in the past or present, the coupling of the oceans with the atmosphere is crucial.
The extinction serves as a laboratory to what is going on now, as even larger amounts of CO2 are being launched into the atmosphere, causing the rapid acidification and warming of the oceans. In 1996, Andrew Knoll, a Harvard geologist, and collaborators suggested that increases in atmospheric CO2 had severe consequences for marine life in the late Permian Earth. "Today, humans turn out to be every bit as good as volcanoes at putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," he said to the NYT's Mitchell.
Of course, we are not at the late Permian, a time when all continents were united as one, Pangea, and the ocean's chemistry was different. But the lesson is loud and clear for those who choose to hear it: increased concentrations of atmospheric CO2 acidify the oceans and kill marine life. The key difference is that now we are the main culprits and can take measures to attenuate the ensuing changes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Changing Face of Health Care

We recently received a letter from our primary care physician of some 17 years inviting us to “enroll” in his new program, a nontraditional upscale approach to health care variously referred to as retainer practice, boutique medicine, or more commonly, “concierge care.” According to the service with which he’s affiliated, MDVIP, he will be the first primary care physician in our community, the Tri-Cities, Washington, making this change. I have the feeling he won’t be the last.
Why is my doctor doing this, and how will his decision, and if I’m right, the coming wave of Washington primary care physicians following suit, effect our health care choices?
Primary care physicians, faced with discounted HMO and Medicare fees (as well as managed care limitations) reportedly boost their patient load to maintain a satisfactory income. This can result in a patient spending 10 minutes or less actually consulting with the doctor. Often, patients may see only a nurse or physician assistant. Physicians are also doing their own lab tests, and operating weight loss clinics and “medical aesthetic services” in order to bring in extra dollars. All this takes away from the doctor’s original reason for entering the profession.
According to the letter I received from my doctor, his primary motivation for making this change is enhanced patient wellness. Under the concierge care business model, my doctor’s patients will pay a retainer fee of $1650 annually and will receive “enhanced medical care,” including an annual physical exam from which a “personal wellness plan” will be developed. Patients will receive same-day or next day appointments that “start on time,” unhurried office visits that “last as long as you need,” and 24/7 access to the doctor. Office visits/consultations are not covered by the annual fee. Interestingly, this retainer-based medical practice model was pioneered in Seattle in 1996 by the former team doctor of the Seattle Supersonics.
How is my doctor able to provide this enhanced care? By drastically cutting his patient load -- by something like 75% (from 2500 to 600). And this is part of a doctor’s motivation for making the change. Under the concierge care model, doctors feel they are able to spend more quality time with patients. But concierge medicine has an added benefit for primary care physicians. They typically average about $175,000 per year; much lower than medical specialists. Working under MDVIP’s concierge care model could boost my doctor’s income by as much as $485,000 a year; a 277% increase.
What about the patients? How will they be effected by the change? Patients who can afford the retainer fee will probably feel better about their care. But those less well off, especially older patients on Medicare, and the poor, dependent on Medicaid, will find themselves looking for a different primary care physician, disrupting sometimes long-standing physician-patient relationships.
According to several journal articles, medical ethicists and consumer advocates are concerned that the move to concierge care creates a two-class system of medicine and, with the growth of concierge practice, selective rationing of health care services and expanding class distinction. Fewer and fewer medical school students are choosing to become primary care physicians and projections are that by 2020 there will be a shortage of from 90,000 to 200,000 primary care doctors.
One can understand that long hours and lower expectations concerning reimbursement may be drivers for a changing medical practice model, but is concierge care the solution to this problem, or another symptom of a broken health care system?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Unusual Weather in the U.S.

The state in which I live, Washington, is having a cooler than normal summer (blue),
while much of the rest of the U.S. is suffering an extreme heat wave (red)
The intensity and scope of the heat wave in the western United States is visible in this map of land surface temperature anomalies for June 17–24, 2012. Based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the map depicts temperatures compared to the 2000–2011 average for the same eight day period in June.

Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the 2000-2011 base period are blue. Colorado experienced the brunt of the heat wave and had eight large wildfires burning on June 28, 2012. Wyoming and Utah—other states that have seen unusually hot weather—together had nine wildfires burning.

This heat wave, like all extreme weather events, has its direct cause in a complex set of atmospheric conditions that produce short-term weather. However, weather occurs within the broader context of the climate, and there’s a high level of agreement among scientists that global warming has made it more likely that heat waves of this magnitude will occur.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Campaign Finance Takes Another Hit from Republicans

A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes.

Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---59
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Goodwin (D-WV)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---39
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brown (R-MA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting - 2
Hutchison (R-TX)Murkowski (R-AK)