Don't give those first responders money! Look, you're making the eagle cry!On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked airplanes and flew them into two skyscrapers in New York City. As office workers panicked and their formerly mundane work environment suddenly became a gnarled warehouse of firy death, selfless firefighters and police officers ran into the building to try to save lives. Many of them didn’t make it out alive. But all of them went there with a common purpose. A sense of duty, yes, but something more than that: They went in there to contract cancer and other health complications from the smoke and dust so that they could make the government pay for their medical bills. And Congress is having so much trouble obstructing itself these days, it just might do exactly that. UPDATE: And it has!

“This legislation as written creates a huge $8.4 billion slush fund paid by taxpayers that is open to abuse, fraud and waste,” said Representative Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas

These no-good 9/11-cancer queens think they can just sit around getting cancer from trying to save their fellow citizens’ lives in one of our country’s most trying hours. But if the true heroes, Republican obstructionists like Tom Coburn, have their say, it’s going to be a long time before any of these schemers try to rob the taxpayers with another one of these “rescue people from a collapsing building of fire” frauds again. We’ve wisened up to their little game.

Democrats have been very successful finding agreement with a handful of Republicans in the lame-duck session. That’s easy to do when we’re talking about something bipartisan and universally beloved, like giving free money to the obscenely wealthy in the form of tax cuts. But giving money to pay the medical bills of those living with 9/11 cancer? That’s just too extreme. Especially when that health coverage costs about 1/130 of the tax-cut deal, and is actually all paid for through fees. [NYT]

UPDATE: But it has been passed! How could they? It’s so close to Christmas. Show a little compassion, Congress, for the national debt.

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  • DogCooties

    This word wizened, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • gef05

    I've nothing snarky to say about this. The poor bastards were made a rallying point by Bush immediately after the attacks – "heroes… true Americans" – but as soon as the surviving responders got ill they were told to fuck off.

    I imagine if Smith were exposed to some of the toxins the responders were exposed to, the "slush fund" might look a little different. Bastard.

    • horsedreamer_1

      At least it's consistent with GOP abortion policy: every life is precious — until it has exited the womb. After that, fuck you. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, Nancy!

    • Rotundo_

      The reason for the Republicans fighting this one is that it was supposed to be funded by closing a loophole for foreign owned businesses that allowed them to escape taxation on income from US operations by offshoring (Cayman Island Mailbox) their financial base. The swell folks at the US Chamber of Comerce were "strongly suggesting" that they vote against the measure to kill the closing ot the loophole. Had they suggested funding it by de-funding food programs for children or care for veterans the Chamber, and the Repukes would have been happy to pose alongside a convenient hero/victim with a big shit eating grin. But since Chamber money talks…

  • Mindblank

    This is a good argument for perpetual lame-duckage.

  • WarAndGee

    Why with the Repugnant Party is there concern for monetary abuse when American's need assistant with natural disasters and illness but when it comes to the "lost" billions in Iraq mums the fucking word?

    Oh wait I remember why…there is no major favorite corporate interest ready to skim a worthy profit from the funds designed to help 9/11 recovery victims.

    (Profits are the only worthwhile measure of life's worth and freedom.)

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Neil Bush is setting up a corporation to help the 9/11 responders as we speak.

  • John Stewart did a sweet job on these losers last week.. But since they don't watch him it probably had no effect. No give until Faux and Newsmax started blasting them.

    • freakishlywrong

      Oh no, Clancy, they know damn well they had been outed, as did the lame-ass MSM. That's when cable "news" was shamed in to reporting it, (although with the ridiculous "Senate" failed to pass…) It really was the public that sat up and noticed this one, and noticed it didn't smell right, (like constipation and bad feet, as mentioned earlier).

      • You're not suggesting that the Senate Repubs are listening to the public?

        • freakishlywrong

          You mean "The American People" ™? Hell no. Repubs don't give a rat's ass what we think. I think we all turned and started questioning the usual complacent media as to why this was being mis/under reported, as usual. This was one they couldn't just make go away and they were busted for being on the wrong side of it. Once Shep Smith got on board it was over. If Fux is shaming you, you really are a low, mangy dawg.

    • mumbly_joe

      Actually Shep Smith has been doing a decent job excoriating the Rethugs holding this thing up. Basically the only person on Faux who is actually mentioning which senators are responsible for this, by name (ie, Coburn), let alone party affiliation.

      Too bad as soon as he's done, Glenn Beck explains why this is secretly part of a progressive plot to overthrow the government and replace it with United Socialist Islamic States of George Soros

      • bagofmice

        When the bodies hit the floor, Shep Smith is there.It's sad that this is anomalous behavior.

  • iburl

    We need smaller government! These 9/11 buttinskis should have just let everyone die! Then we would have a higher body count on 9/11, which would have better supported such national priorities as toppling Saddam. We must see that our GOP Tleaders ban all fire, police and rescue units, so that the government can spend our poor's tax money on only the most crucial priorities, like dinosaurs in our new national mall Noah's Ark (to be built over the FDR memorial)

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Apparently, the WTC did at least pay their $75 firefighting tax.

    • jim89048

      We're gonna need a deeper reflecting pool, then.

  • nounverb911

    I bet Tom Coburn would help the people of Oklahoma if there was a terrorist attack there. Wait, where did Timothy McVeigh bomb a building?

    • Cat_Damon

      Doesn't count in Coburn's books, brah. He was white. And Christian.

      • ChessieNefercat

        And therefore not a terrorist.

  • Serolf_Divad

    The headlines should read: Republicans strip 3.1 billion dollars from bill meant to aid wounded 9/11 rescuers.

    Mind you, that's what they should read. I have no illusions as to what they will say.

    That said, I sympathize with the GOP on this one, I really do. After all, it's hard to think of just where they might have found the money to cover this.

    • Respitetini

      No, it really should read "Democrats don't let anyone leave Capitol Hill until Freaking 9/11 Freaking Medical Care for Freaking People Who Run Into Burning Freaking Buildings Bill is passed"

      But it won't, because Democrats have no spine, and prefer to whine about how that mean ol' party over whom they have a significant majority keeps cock-blocking their billz. Rather than, you know, running shit, like we elected them to do.

  • SmutBoffin

    Republicans love 9/11 and the fact that it happened, but they also love fucking people over. What to do…what to do?

    • BaldarTFlagass

      A Gordian Knot they can't cut with a professional-grade Stihl chainsaw.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    I guess nobody really wants to pin a medal on cancer riddled coughing semi corpse. That would be tacky.

  • OkieDokieDog

    Tom Coburn, MD, and Southern Baptist, is pro-life. Everybody else can just die as far as he's concerned.

    • PsycWench

      Nah, he can't figure out why their churches don't just raise the money with bake sales. Surely there is a way to raise this money by just baking several million cupcakes and brownies.

  • V572625694

    If Herr Doktor Nazionalrat Tom had been in the Senate when the Oklahoma City bombing happened, you can bet he wouldn't have objected to any benefits paid to its victims.

    Nounverb911 stole the foregoing idea from me with evil mind control and quicker fingers.

    "Slush fund," what horse shit. The entire federal budget is a slush fund, and Congress exists just to direct the flow towards their home districts or campaign contributors.

  • fuflans

    i don't know, seems a slush fund for police / fireman first responders of 9/11 is better than a slush fund for those afghan contractors who drink booze off each other's butts.

    but maybe that's just me.

  • jodyleek

    Lesson learned people! Never, never, ever help people when there are burning buildings involved. Bryan Fischer told us that Jesus wants it this way!

  • MARCdMan

    They pay for the campaigns. Until the 9/11 responders, people with wells poisoned by coal mining/gas drilling/toxic waste, Muslims etc. start funding campaigns the Republicans will say they can just go to hell.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Rep. Coburn, your nice, steamy bowl of schadenfreude is ready. Hope you enjoy it. Mange tout!

  • x111e7thst

    As one of those horrid little people coughing their wretched 9/11 dust filled lungs out in the hope of getting on that sweet federal $$$ gravy train, all I can say is that I feel terribly ashamed of myself for inflicting this on Representative Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas.

  • Extemporanus

    In retrospect, the whole "NO MASK AT GROUD ZERO!!" campaign may have been somewhat misguided.

    • bagofmice

      Dear Penthouse, I never thought I'd have to use the term "homophilic semantic stretch" before…

  • SorosBot

    It's nice to see the Senate actually getting some things done for once, but why couldn't they have done any of this before the election? Hell, if the Democratic party had any political sense they could have scheduled this vote just a few weeks before the election, so the Republicans could either pass it or have the image of their filibustering against treating the 9/11 responders with cancer all over the TV right before facing the voters.

    • HistoriCat

      Nonononononono! Before the election is the time to play nice and try to get everyone to sing Kumbaya. That's the only surefire way to get your opponents to respect you.

    • ChessieNefercat

      I dunno, maybe all their obstruction over the last two years will backfire on them. If any of these bills had passed one at a time in a timely manner, they would have been forgotten by the time the next one came along.

      Instead Reid bitchslaps the Senate and says that as a matter of fact, they WOULD work until the job was done. Then one after another, a bunch of bills benefiting individual average people pass. These bills all generated a fair amount of Republican criticism of Republicans.

      The START treaty had massive and distinguished Republican support and passed.

      People might leave 2010 with the bowled over impression that Reid is a badass and that the President is frighteningly effective.

      If this causes Sarah to shut her squawkhole for even a day, that is just icing on the cake.

  • CapeClod

    A fund to help people who work in UNIONS? Screw that. Let the invisible hand of the markets fix the problem.

    • SilverFox

      Seriously. These guys are just a bunch of northerner union thugs looking for handouts. 9/11affected people like Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas and his constituents just as much as those WTC first responders. Think about all the flag pins/stickers/car magnets and matching truck nutz they had to buy. Where's their bailout!?

      • BaldarTFlagass

        Not to mention how much it costs for tailgate murals with pithy statements like "Everything I Needed to Know About Islam I Learned on 9/11."

        • chickensmack

          I don't know why that's not acceptable. I'm thinking about getting some of those tacky magnetic signs for my car, like you see evangelicals driving these days. The top one can say "Everything I needed to know about Chrisitianity I learned–"
          while the ones below can float based on mood.

          "from Oklahoma City in 1995."

          "when Dr. Tiller was killed in church."

          "from the Knoxville UU shooting."

          "from Pastor Terry Jones."

          "from Westboro Baptist."

          "from Christian side hugs."

    • x111e7thst

      Interesting historical note. In the days immediately post 9/11 there was a need for qualified welders in what was then being referred to as "the punch". There was also no time for a qualification test. Mayor Rudy therefor decreed that the qualification would be possession of an Ironworkers Local 40 & 361 card.

    • Kidneys4Sale

      Well, yeah. If we let this thing run it's natural free-market course, just think of all the jobs that will be created in indigent care centers and contracted corporate security firms when the time comes around to inadequately treat these people and then tell them to get the fuck out again.

  • Spenceredux

    What freaks me out about this story is this. If these buildings were so very, very toxic after they collapsed. weren't they kinda toxic before? All that material was in the buildings after all, and if, say, you worked in the WTC for 30 years, wouldn't that have had an effect as well?

    • BlueStateLibel

      According to NJ Gov. Christie Whitman, the buildings were perfectly safe while intact, and even when destroyed–you could drink those buildings and it would be safe!
      But I would also say if you smashed open thousands of flourescent lighting fixtures, PCs, etc., and then inhaled the contents, you wouldn't be too safe. The EPA also says indoor offices are typically more toxic and polluted than the outdoors, but what do they know.

    • bagofmice

      Well, it WAS relatively safely ensconced in a building. Behind walls.

      • Rotundo_

        Exactly, the pre-ban asbestos and other nasties were encased behind walls. When said walls vaporized along with the nasties, the survivors and first responders were dosed heavily with it all. I suspect that even if they had known this, the folks that went in and searched for survivors and victims would have gone anyway. Amazing people.

        • bagofmice

          Hence the explicit capitalization of the word WAS.

  • StillGoinGreen

    Let this be a lesson to us all – if you want a good congressman, you must first vote him/her out of office. Hengh?!!

  • DaSandman

    Billionaries need more money bitches. The fake "heroes" and their malingering, all those poorly fed retarded fat kids and that goddam climate hustle you hippies are running can piss off.

    Billionaries need more money for shit like hunting bald eagles. Why do you hate the New Order so?

    • SorosBot

      I don't hate the New Order, but got kind of sick of them because I had a college roommate who was really into them and played them constantly.

      • elviouslyqueer

        Oh shit, man, I'm sorry. You could've at least told me before I cued up the Blue Monday 12".

        • DaSandman


  • SayItWithWookies

    9/11 — Never Forget*

    *Does not apply to 9/11 widows, 9/11 first responders, Iraq, common sense, Ahmad Chalabi, Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, all the al-Qaida supporters in the Saudi royal family, the ISI in Pakistan that supported the Taliban and al-Qaida, the fact that failed states pose difficult and multifaceted problems with complex solutions, the fact that most Muslims aren't terrorists, or the fact that the US is not the only country in the world that has ever suffered ever.

    • jim89048

      I wonder how many of the people opposed to this 9/11 first responders health bill were also up in arms because not every single cent that was donated to the Red Cross for the widows of civilian workers at WTC was actually being given to them? Wife of a dead janitor= >than that of a living cop or fireman, obvs.

  • neiltheblaze

    This will be just like the stimulus – everyone who voted against the stimulus took credit for the benefits. In this case, they'll all be talking about what a great idea the 9/11 responders bill is, and isn't it wonderful how here in Amerika we take care of our own.

    And the toothless yokels who voted them in will lap it up – and the Media who ignored the bill until Jon Stewart peeled the skin off their lazy, complicit asses – will give a free pass to every motherfucker who tried to torpedo it.

  • BlueStateLibel

    Wow, and it only took them almost a decade! BTW, the next time the terrusts bomb some power center, maybe those first responders and volunteers won't be so quick to respond?–you've taught them quite a lesson, Repubatards.

  • nounverb911

    Shepard Smith you did good too.

  • PublicLuxury

    non snark

    About Fucking Time! This bill should not even have caused ANYONE to blink. I remember sitting in my classroom (taught on West Coast) and watching those building fall. I kept thinking… they evacuated. They got them out. They had to have gotten them all out. But no.

    I worked with little kids. Most of them from military families. They all knew something had happened. A child with a parent in the military has a knowing look about them. They seem to understand that when something happens their mommy or daddy may not be home, ever again.

    Well, at least the 9/11 rescue workers running toward disaster can breathe a sigh of relief that this health disaster has been averted.

  • PublicLuxury

    The idiots holding this up need to burn in hell while sucking McCain's cock.

    • ttommyunger

      A. What cock? I think there must be at least six inches erect to qualify as a cock. McCain has, at best, a weenie.
      B. Why make Senator Crankypants fantasy come true?
      C.Thank you for making my brain synapses connect McCain/Sex.Now.Must.Wash.Brain

  • Oldskool_

    Whew, those sacks of shit will have to scramble to find something to bitch about for the next two years.

  • bumfug

    Newt Gingrich wanted to wait til they all got cancer, then go fuck their wives.

    • nounverb911

      Now that Newt married his latest mistress, who is he schtuping?

      (Is schtuping spelled with one or two p's?)

  • Steverino247

    I'm glad to see the Congressional leadership was able to close the barn door after 63 blue horses got out.

  • ingloriousbytch

    I'm out of snark. I hate these fuckers.

    ETA: I'm glad they passed it but they should've passed it six months ago so yeah, I still hate these fuckers.

  • Dimitrios_M

    They are merely acknowledging that they will syphon off nearly as many liquid assets as were put in any fund for ordinary heroes.

    With the top 2 per cent , they will wait patiently with hands outstretched and lips firmly pressed against a well-to-do sphincter.

  • Schmannnity

    Modest proposal: Congress meets in November and December only of even-numbered years.

    • Cicada

      I'm more in favor of the Jonathan Swift version of a modest proposal when it comes to Congress. Well, except for McCain. He's probably really gamey.

  • SudsMcKenzie

    Lets celebrate with a new Mosque!!1

  • ttommyunger

    So Tom Coburn, better known as "The bag man of C Street" took time off from saving Whore-Master John Ensign's bacon to try to fuck over Firemen and Cops in NYC. This self-righteous little prick would have to stand on his grandmother's shoulders to look any of the First Responders in the eye. I would avoid the Big Apple from now on, if I were him. What goes around, comes around.

  • PresBeeblebrox

    I suppose Spooky Doktor Tom thinks faith healing will make them all better.

  • AntonovBureau

    Hmm, and I had thought 9-11 was when the gubberment planted explosives in the towers and told all the jews not to come to work that day.

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