Both Erik Paulsen, my representative to the US congress, and Michele Bachmann, the infamous insane person who represents my neighbors a few blocks away, have elected to vote against worker’s health compensation for 9/11 first responders.

And they dare to call themselves Americans!!!

According to my other neighbor, Jim Meffert, who happens to be running against Paulsen:

It absolutely sickens me that Representatives Paulsen and Bachmann were among those who turned a blind eye to the health needs of 9/11 rescue workers. These two should be ashamed of themselves. They denied critical help for our national heroes in their time of need, and along with their colleagues, hid like cowards behind a procedural vote so they wouldn’t have to take responsibility. Where would we be if those rescue workers had run away like Paulsen and Bachmann did?

Over 90,000 first responders and rescue workers served at Ground Zero, and more and more of them are suffering respiratory problems and other ailments as a result of their service. Some could face the same fate as James Zadroga, an NYPD officer who spent 450 hours at Ground Zero–and in 2006, died of respiratory disease due to toxins at the site.

After exploiting the 9/11 tragedy for years for political gain, the fact that Paulsen and his House colleagues would deny our heroes this health assistance is heartless and hypocritical.

But Paulsen and his colleagues did not want to pay for it by closing tax loopholes for foreign corporations. With this vote, Paulsen chose multinational corporate interests over our heroes.

The Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 84) (named for James Zadroga, an NYPD Ground Zero responder who died of a respiratory disease in 2006) would help cover just under 100,000 first responders (including volunteers) who worked on rescue and recovery operations on 9/11, providing up to $3.2 billion over the next ten years to pay for the 9/11-related health problems of 9/11 victims and rescue workers and up to $4.2 billion compensation for victims over 10 years, and $4.2 billion for the following 11 years.


  1. #1 Pierce R. Butler
    July 30, 2010

    Congress is an embarrasssment, period.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 30, 2010

    Pierce I don’t buy it. It is not sufficient to paint all of congress with the same brush if one of them is Michelle Bachmann. That’s like saying all diseases are a bummer, let’s have some aspirin.

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    July 30, 2010

    Yep, I have an awesome congressional rep. They don’t get a whole lot better than Ellison. Putting him in the same category as Bachmann is nigh unto criminal.

  4. #4 MadScientist
    July 30, 2010

    Well, obviously those folks are just all acting up like those sissy soccer players – you know how they fall over clutching their nuts whenever some other player gets the ball off them. (That’s also why soccer is a sissy’s sport and will never be popular in the USA). Besides, we obviously need that money to pay out the bonus of the chief of homeland security – who wants to waste it on those weak folks demanding communist free care.

  5. #5 Aratina Cage
    July 30, 2010

    Coincidentally, I just happened to ring up a fun little old post of yours on Bachmann using the google machine. It’s hard to be surprised anymore when Michelle Bachmann takes the unsane political stance.

  6. #6 Walter
    July 30, 2010

    I usually get my news from the BBC or sciencblogs, but today I came across the 9/11 workers story on the yahoo page. What shocked me the most were the comments following the article. I guess my mind has been perverted by the lefty scienceblog writers because reading the yahoo comments got me really depressed. I understand politicians playing their usual games, but the comments posted were from citizens, and they were hateful. Every single comment defended republicans. They blamed undocumented immigrants, liberals, politicians, but all defended the vote against the 9/11 workers. I do not mean that there were a few hateful comments, they all were hateful. Some even called for violent action. Reading at scienceblogs has kind of insulated me from the hate out there. We here are a tiny, tiny powerless minority. The rest of the country is against us, and they hate us. I fear November, I really do. I think there some very dark days ahead. If 9/11 rescue workers are not deserving of our compassion then what is left for the rest of us? Am I paranoid?

  7. #7 Nemo
    July 30, 2010

    Walter, yes, you’re paranoid. I don’t think the Yahoo commenters are much more representative of the general population than Sb’s. You’ve got to remember, first and foremost, that the vast majority of people don’t even care enough to comment. That’s the biggest bloc. Of course, they probably don’t vote, either.

  8. #8 chris
    July 30, 2010

    Just FYI it’s H.R. 847, not 84. As a resident of MN6, I have to stay on top of these things. Here’s a link to the bill summary.

  9. #9 HP
    July 30, 2010

    I just caught Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) ripping into these cowards on the floor of the House. I thought for a second I’d died and gone to a parliamentary democracy.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    July 30, 2010

    HP: Nice. Blogged.

    I’m going to try that next time I’m in a big argument.

    “The Gentleman Will Not Yield” and “The Gentleman is Right to SIT DOWN”

  11. #11 Pierce R. Butler
    July 31, 2010

    Greg Laden @ # 2: It is not sufficient to paint all of congress with the same brush if one of them is Michelle Bachmann.

    The body of Congress as a whole is an embarrassment to the nation, to put it more precisely.

    At least the Senate acted today to protect us from pot brownies!

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    July 31, 2010

    The Senate is an embarrassment! Period!!!!

  13. #13 Pierce R. Butler
    July 31, 2010

    We agree at last…

  14. #14 Susan
    August 2, 2010

    @HP, Greg:

    My favorite headline from the Weiner rant was on Reddit (but may have been on CNN at one point, not sure): “Weiner pissed on House floor”

  15. #15 Snakey
    August 10, 2010

    You are not alone.
    The legislature in Australia makes the Yanks look good.
    Lies are deceit are the order of the day.
    We do reptile parties, reptile shows, school incursions using surgically devenomized snakes, having removed the venom glands by surgery. Now you don’t have to be a genius the realise that once removed they never grow back (yes we know this after a decade with these snakes).
    Notwithstanding this obvious truth, the government here is legislating to ban these snakes on the basis that the venomoid snakes regenerate venom glands“, which is a total lie.
    We have since got letters from the people working in the government on this admitting they know they are lying, but this hasn’t stopped the new “laws” going through.
    Now before someone gets on this blog and says, “but this is trivial” compared with other issues, it is symptomatic of a government bureucrats and the like who will lie about everything, including even the smallest of things.
    In summary it gives us little hope for the future.