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Posts tagged “new york

GOP Senators derail 9/11 health bill

There has been so much going on in Washington, that its hard to keep up with all of it. The negotiations on extending the Bush tax cuts have grabbed most of the headlines, which is understandable. What caught my attention today though, was the 9/11 health bill, and the fact that it has been derailed by Republican opposition.

The fateful day seared in all Americans memory....9/11

The James Zadruga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act would have provided $7.5 billion in healthcare and compensation for first responders, and survivors of the brutal 9/11 attack on our country. The bill is named after NYPD officer James Zadruga, who like many first responders, lost his life due to inhaling toxic fumes and dust near the 9/11 site. James Zadruga’s son Joseph put into words the pain and suffering many of the familys are feeling, as well as their frustration at Congress for their inexcusable inaction on the matter:

It could have been a good Christmas present for the first responders who are dying,” he said. “Every month we lose a couple. It’s going to increase as the time goes on.

Republicans refused to let the bill move to formal debate until the Bush tax cuts were extended for the wealthiest Americans. The final vote was 57-42, with all Republicans uniting in opposition to the bill. To me, it is unconscionable that Republicans could act in such a cold hearted manner, and refuse help to policeman, fireman, and other workers who risked their lives to save and protect those hurt in the twin towers because of the terrorist attack. I truly wonder what type of human being can make tax cuts for Americans who don’t know how many homes they have(as John McCain famously put it in 2008) a bigger priority than looking out for the brave workers that risked it all to keep America safe in its gravest hour.

This did not have to be a partisan issue at all. Osama bin Laden and the other terrorists did not distinguish between Republicans or Democrats when they decided to fly the planes into the building and cause the mayhem they did. Just as we came together as a nation after September 11th, warring politicians should be able to end the partisan bickering, at least for a bill like this. Sadly they missed the mark again.

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Eric Massa….GO AWAY…that is all

Just when you thought that President Obama and my fellow Democrats had a full plate, the Eric Massa scandal hits.  For those of you that dont know, Massa is a first term Congressman from the 29th district in New York.   He lost his first race for Congress by only 5,952 votes to former Republican Rep. Randy Kuhl in 2006.  As is customary, Massa basically began campaigning right after his loss, to prepare for a rematch with Kuhl in 2008.  In November 2008, Massa was elected by a slim 1.5 % margin over Kuhl.

You would think that Massa would understand that he needed to focus on constituents, fundraise, and prepare for a tough re-election.  A normal person would have realized that any slip up would mean the end to a short political career.  All of this went in one ear and out the other, as Massa resigned on Monday because of health concerns and a pending ethics investigation related to possible sexual harassment charges made by staffers.

It seems as if it was only a matter of time before some issues surfaced in regards to Massa.  According to some Democratic insiders, Massa hired quite a few gay male staffers, and paid them so little that they were forced to all share living quarters with him.  I just want to state that someones sexual preference is their business, and I’m just stating the facts of the situation.  It seems that Massa’s inappropriate behavior  has been going on for some time now.

According to The Atlantic Online, “Past shipmates of Massa are charging that he used his status as a commander to subject underlings to abusive sexual advances.”  I am glad that he resigned, but I cant believe he has the nerve to be going on all these talk shows trying to say Rahm Emmanuel and the White House pushed him out of office because of his opposition to healthcare reform.  In my opinion, that is simply an excuse used to try and save his shattered reputation.  There are quite a few Democrats(many Blue Dogs)who opposed some pieces of the healthcare legislation, and while they may have received some tough calls from the White House, I’m sure no pressure to resign occured.  The fact is that his improper behavior finally caught up with him, and he wasn’t man enough to accept that.

I’m resigned to the fact that a Republican will most likely regain this seat. I guess thats life.