From Heroes to Parasites in Only a Decade

Get this

The tens of thousands of cops, firefighters, construction workers and others who survived the worst terrorist assault in U.S. history and risked their lives in its wake will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list, according to a letter obtained by HuffPost.

Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists would be barred from getting treatment for the numerous, worsening ailments that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law was passed to address.

In other words, before they can receive health care benefits Congress (begrudgingly) voted to give them last year, their personal data must go to the FBI to be sure they aren’t terrorists.

It defies reason that a terrorist would have taken part in the rescue and recovery work and then spent the past ten years being a law-abiding citizen in the U.S. The provision’s advocates point out that funds are available also for people who lived and worked in the vicinity who are suffering health problems from breathing the air (that the EPA insisted was not dangerous at the time). But it also defies reason that such a person would be more likely to be a terrorist than anyone else receiving federal benefits of any sort.

You’ll remember that House Republicans didn’t want to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law at all, and only did so after Jon Stewart made fun of them about it. But apparently they were so resentful about having to appropriate health care money to the one-time heroes of 9/11 that they had to toss in this petty insult.

12 thoughts on “From Heroes to Parasites in Only a Decade

  1. Sometimes you read something and you wonder (again) if you somehow or other didn’t trip a black hole somewhere about 10 years ago, and have found yourself in some alternate universe – one where there are some of the same laws of physics, but where ‘the stupid’ laws outweigh the physical ones. Where ignorance plays more of a factor than gravity.

    And not only is this insulting (again), but I wonder how these oh so serious Republican mavens of cost efficiency and debt supervision will justify the cost for this? Will they just throw it on the debt tab along with the tax breaks, two wars/occupations, and the Big Pharma handout?

    For the life of me, I can’t see how this kind of thing benefits them politically. It seems to me to be just malicious spite.
    So I don’t understand why? I’d love for one of them to explain this to me. Do you really need to degrade the hundreds or thousands of survivors just so you can say that no known terrorist was (f*cking stupid enough to think it was a good idea to get) in the same line as firefighters, cops, and other aid workers for money? Really? I don’t think the terrorists are as dumb as Republicans, and to assume that they are, you insult these workers, and run up some additional cost.
    Oh, wait, maybe their cronies have the contracts?

    It’s almost as if these same people that Repulicans hid behind and then extolled for years had the temerity to get or stay sick, and are now an annoyance to Republicans.
    I suppose that they were expected to die in quiet dignity, not asking for help, or for a single thing from the rest of us, for whom they’d given so much.

    These people are lower than the shit from those sea creatures they’ve recently discovered at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
    And you can’t get any lower than that. Not on this planet. At least not on this planet in this universe. Oh, wait…

  2. .
    Heh, I say we DO the actual experiment and FIND OUT if:

    A) they will leave,

    and then we can determine, if A), then:

    B) will we notice.

  3. I suppose that they were expected to die in quiet dignity, not asking for help, or for a single thing from the rest of us, for whom they’d given so much.

    What amazes me is that the lower class Republican sycophants really seem to think that they will actually be rewarded for their faithfulness in ferreting out the “bad” elements in society to their overlords…

    I would love to see their faces, in the same way I would love for the Christian god to exist so I could see them meet Him!

  4. It’s beginning to look like the GOP has morphed into the party of All for me and none for thee.

  5. Just an aside. There were 10 confirmed terrorist attacks against the US in 2010. The 10 are Muslims. There were 25 confirmed terrorist attacks against the US in 2010. The 25 are non-Muslims.

  6. “I would love for the Christian god to exist so I could see them meet Him!”

    The thing is these guys aren’t Christians and won’t be seeing the Christian God when they die. They are going straight to hell, no passing go, no collecting $200. But, I would love to see their faces when they find out they aren’t in heaven. Hahahahahahaha

  7. It’s clearly petty and ludicrous, but to be honest I think this is just a particularly egregious and unfeeling example of standard Conservative mentality: making sure that people who deserve help get it comes a (very, very) distant second to making sure those that don’t deserve help don’t get it.

    Once you use that as the central principle of organised Conservative thought, you very rarely go wrong. And in this case, once the Republicans found themselves forced to do their very least favourite thing – giving money away to those sorts of people that can’t afford an appropriate thank you cocktail party on a luxury yacht – they had to console themselves by throwing in an arbitrary sifting process to ensure “the wrong types” don’t get ahold of the goodies.

    I’m not sure why they picked “terrorist” as the search option here, though at a guess it’s because everyone who stands to benefit is already proven ill and a US citizen, so the usual tricks won’t work. “Terrorist” sounds scary, though, so they probably figure they can get away with it. It’s not like their similar trick with the no-fly lists did them much damage.

    And like the no-fly lists, the true scandal here isn’t the sifting itself, it’s that one needs only to be unlucky enough to share a name with a known (suspected?) terrorist to be shit out of luck. Which, as I’ve said, is just the way these people do business. Remember all the hyperventilating about how “Obamacare” might make it easier for illegal immigrants to get healthcare? I mean, who cares about the millions of US citizens at risk, we can’t risk helping our own people if it means some foreigners get in on the action!

    It’s all just another manifestation of the Republican worldview: “Better a hundred innocent men starve than one guilty man gets the crumbs from the table”.

  8. SpaceSquid,
    Thanks for wrapping your tentacles around why they do what they do.
    It makes a lot of sense.

  9. I think Felicity is on to it.
    While on the surface it seems like nonsense, the definition of “terrorist” means different things to different people.
    There are”American” extremist groups that hate the “government” just as much as the most rabid jihadist. I think the NSA and FBI are overwhelmed with information, leads, and threats, some real and others imagined.
    Several weeks ago, I was calling my various reps. in support of Our high speed rail project; one aid seemed very timid, so I asked him if things were getting a bit creepy with people calling their office with threats, etc. His answer was simply that he was not at liberty to discuss that, but the inflection in his voice said “YES”.His boss is a Republican state rep who is in favor of the (communist plot) high speed rail project.
    There are millions of loose cannons on the internet literally screaming death threats.
    Most are harmless old farts venting, but some are dangerous, having been whipped into a frenzy by their fellow haters.
    I’m convinced that the reason TSA has increased security has something to do with this also. The” terrorist” lurking in the shadows may be a 60 something grumpy white guy from UP Michigan rather than a swarthy dude from Iran.
    That little silice of libertarian in me thinks the idea is absurd, but then I project outside tha box a bit and see a different facet.
    Just a thought.(in a world that gets more absurd daily)

  10. This fits tangentially into another conservative theme, namely, “the government can’t do anything right.” They have injected an intrusive bureaucracy and a lot of needless cost into the process. These are two things they claim to hate (unless someone can make a profit from it) But, the electorate will soon forget who created the situation and decide that the problem is government after all.

    Right wingers don’t hate all government. They love the security state apparatus. They hate government that works and is beneficial because it contradicts their worldview. The last thing conservatives wanted was for government to rescue the economy, because they would have to overcome a real world example of how the government worked and the “free market” failed. It’s better to bog down the process and make government dysfunctional so they can take a giant step toward their Randian paradise.

    One of my conservative Christian friends was complaining about the “greed” of people who want “free” health care or a 40K a year pension, as if it were incomprehensibly selfish. Did I hear a word about CEO’s who make 40K before they go to lunch and get 20 million as a golden parachute after they’ve driven their corporation into the ground? Of course not.

    There is also a logic to the focus on conservative social issues. The Republican agenda as it is being revealed will destroy the economic security of a huge section of the population, including a lot of their base. Social issues serve as a distraction and a shibboleth. Social issues help to convince working class Republicans that they are “insiders” and will be cared for. After all, they all hate gays and abortion, so they share a common bond, they’re one of the gang. They don’t see that they are just being manipulated and will be discarded after they’ve served their purpose.

    The Harvard/Cambridge Healthcare Alliance study found that working age people who lose their health insurance are 40% more likely to die. If medicare is destroyed in favor of a “market solution” two things are so likely as to be inevitable, early death and bankruptcy.

    Sorry, I got on kind of a rant there.

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