Monday, February 4, 2013

Politics Matter!

By Jeff Simpson

Just ask New York Fire Fighter Lieutenant Martin Fullam, except for one of the heroes of 911 passed away recently!  No I am not talking about the massive incompetence of the Bush administration that led to 9/11 happening to begin with:

That has been already well documented.  I am talking about something that has not gotten the publicity it needs to get.  

What has happened since!  

Let's look at Lt. Fullam:
H/T Reuters : First responders: Lt Fullam, far left, was one of the rescue workers carrying fatally-injured FDNY Chaplain, Father Mychal Judge, from one of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001
 Let's look at the cause of death for Lt. Fullam:

A hero firefighter who bravely served on September 11th alongside hundreds of other first responders has died of a rare lung condition, and was laid to rest yesterday.
FDNY Lt Martin Fullam contracted polymyositis in 2005, and had also suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, which left him breathless and exhausted after the simplest of tasks.
The late firefighter, 56, was one of the men carrying fatally wounded FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge through the still-smoking rubble on 9/11. 
The image of Lt Fullam and four others carrying the chaplain has remained one of the most poignant and haunting pictures from that horrific day.
 A true American hero was forced to die a slow painful death from a rare disease and it did not have to be that way.   The Bush administration knowingly lied to the heroes of that time.  

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available.
That finding is included in a report released Friday by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA. It noted that some of the agency's news releases in the weeks after the attack were softened before being released to the public: Reassuring information was added, while cautionary information was deleted.
"When the EPA made a September 18 announcement that the air was 'safe' to breathe, it did not have sufficient data and analyses to make such a blanket statement," the report says. "Furthermore, the White House Council on Environmental Quality influenced . . . the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."

The Statue of Liberty stands in the foreground as New York is shrouded in smoke and pollution in New York image made from television, Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001. (ABC via APTN)
On the morning of Sept. 12, according to the report, the office of then-EPA Administrator Christie Whitman issued a memo: "All statements to the media should be cleared through the NSC (National Security Council in the White House) before they are released."


So the Bush Administration lied to the heroes of 9/11, who instead of taking simple steps to protect themselves, went about their business helping others, while unknowingly to them, sealing their own fate.    At the very least, we will at least help these people be comfortable and extend their life as much as possible right?

Not with Paul Ryan on the job!  Paul Ryan actually voted against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, THREE TIMES, which luckily President Obama signed into law in 2010.   

 Let's let Paul Ryan(R- Ayn Rand) himself explain why he voted to leave Lt Fullam stranded: 

 Paul Ryan's Floor statement "A deeply Flawed Bill"
Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin.
      Madam Speaker, I was absent for legislative business and missed rollcall vote 663 on December 21, 2010, and rollcall vote 664 on December 22, 2010. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yes'' on H.R. 6547, the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act, and ``no'' on rollcall vote 664 (H.R. 847).
   The vote I wish to discuss is the bill H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Without a doubt, Republicans and Democrats can agree that both the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, and the first responders who bravely served following the attacks deserve to be fairly treated and compensated. However, this bill would create a new health care entitlement, the World Trade Center Health Program, while also extending eligibility for compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. As a result, had I been present, I would have voted against passage of the bill.
   Since the terrorist attacks occurred nearly nine years ago, I have supported legislation to ensure that these individuals are cared for and receive access to the services they deserve. However, rather than working with Republicans to craft a bill which truly addressed the shortcomings in care provided to those directly impacted by the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Majority instead rushed this bill to the floor in the waning hours of the 111th Congress, refusing to allow an open debate or consider amendments.

   The result is a deeply flawed bill. H.R. 847 creates yet another mandatory spending program--increasing spending by $4.2 billion dollars over 10 years--and paying for it by an Excise Tax on Foreign Manufacturers, an extension of Travel Promotion Act fees, and the extension of HI-B visa fees.
   There is no doubt that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who came to the rescue of countless individuals following the attacks on September 11, 2001, but these provisions distort that noble goal. At a time when our budget deficit is $1.3 trillion and our national debt stands at $13.8 trillion, we must accurately account for those programs that take priority. I remain hopeful that as the 112th Congress convenes, my colleagues and I can work together to reform some of my concerns with this proposal and truly provide the services these first responders deserve.

So Paul Ryan played politics, tried to stop our heroes from getting the healthcare they so rightly deserved and needed and offered up ZERO alternatives to this "flawed bill".  

I wish they had made all of the republicans who played silly partisan games, show up at Lt. Fullams funeral. 

They could have then explained to his family and friends, why Lt Fullan, after a life of public service, had to fight his own government for help!  


 Hero's welcome: Lt. Martin Fullam is cheered by firefighters from across the city while leaving New York Presbyterian Hospital after receiving a lung transplant


  1. I love how according to Ryan it's "deeply flawed" because it is paid for by a tax on foreign companies, but the wholly unfunded Medicare part D, Bush tax cuts, and Iraq war were the cat's meow.

  2. These guys also don't like to admit that they were in a rather big hurry to get as many people i nthere to haul away the as quickly as they could health be dammed...

    lets not even mention all those police and firemen who's remains ended up in the freshkill land fill...the very reason rudi guilliani will for ever be dead to New York City