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Posted at 1:53 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Dems enlist a new face in push for 9/11 bill: Bush

By Greg Sargent

With even conservatives warning that the GOP is taking a big political risk by blocking the 9/11 health bill, Senate Dems clearly see the opportunity for political gain, and they're out with a new video featuring footage of Republicans themselves hailing the bravery of the 9/11 responders that would be helped by the bill they're opposing:

In an interesting touch, the video opens with footage of George W. Bush at Ground Zero with his arm around an exhausted and dazed firefighter, yelling into a bullhorn: "The nation sends its love and compassion to everybody who is here." This is, of course, supposed to be an iconic moment for many conservatives, and the video goes on to ask: "Whatever happened to supporting our nation's heroes?"

The video reflects the fact that Dems think the momentum in this particular fight -- and in the lame-duck session generally -- is swinging their way. Not only does New START appear on the verge of passage, but even Joe Scarborough and Fox News commentators are bludgeoning the GOP for their opposition.

It gets better. Rudy Giuliani, also an iconic 9/11 figure, has hopped back on his 9/11 magic carpet to denounce the GOP and demand Republicans let the bill pass. Giuliani even said Bush would want this to happen:

"In a way, I wish President Bush were around, because I think he could explain this to some of the Republicans who are being recalcitrant better than anyone else, because he lived through this."

But senators Tom Coburn and Mike Enzi don't appear to be moved by such entreaties. They are still threatening to block the bill in order to get their concerns met and think they can prevent it from moving forward before the lame duck session's time runs out.

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 1:53 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: Lindsey Graham: Senate owes Jon Kyl an apology for moving forward with New START

Comments

Giuliani! Perfect!

Mr. A noun, a verb and 9/11

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how the people of Oklahoma City, which suffered their own mass killing by a domestic terrorist, feel about how their Senator Coburn is treating the valiant rescue workers of 9/11?

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

And kudos to Shep Smith who's still on the case...

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/shep-smith-names-every-goper-who-wouldnt-come-on-his-show-to-talk-911-first-responders-bill.php?ref=fpb

This really does present the current Republican office-holders in an accurate light and the more attention on it the better.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I am confused about Guiliani's comment that "in a way, I wish President Bush were around." Did I miss something in the news? Is George W Bush dead? Is he now living someplace without access to a telephone or television? Is there something preventing George W. Bush from coming out and being able to "explain this to some of the Republicans who are being recalcitrant?"

Posted by: zattarra | December 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party is a problem unto itself. Examples:

* Barbour's racism is Presidential

* 9/11 first responders and survivors aren't worth helping

* Opposing the military on DADT repeal and START

* Michael Steele

on and on and on...

It would be fine with me if they weren't a disaster for the rest of the country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I like Michael Steele, and I am mystified as to why Republicans are trying to get rid of him. Look at how well they have done in elections, since he took over. Compare the results under Michael Steele, to the results we have obtained under our DNC chairman.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"Anything more than a platitude is too expensive."

GOP, Grumpy Old Pouters

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@zattarra,

I wondered the same thing. Dubya isn't dead, he's on a book tour.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Compare the results under Michael Steele,"

A great example of the wealth management skills of Barbour Gillespie & Rove, running it all under the nose of the RNC. They'll bypass Palin eventually, sadly, she knows it too.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the voters who elected these jokers in November are are starting to get "voter's remorse"?

I love the smell of GOP cannibalism in the morning.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 21, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

chuck,

The GOP should be regretting the dump they took on Lisa Murkowski. She has sided with the Dems on EVERY vote taken in the lame duck session.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027192.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@sue - Where is that quote from?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

bernie, I should have said, "Shorter GOP...."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans hate America?

Why don't they believe the military on New START and DADT?

Why don't they support 9/11 heroes?

Posted by: paul65 | December 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I think we also ought to consider the possibility that these conservatives opposed to aiding the 9/11 responders comes not out of a cynical political strategy to make Obama look like a failure or even out of a soul-deadening corruption which leads them to support only those who give them the big political donations. To suppose either is perhaps unfair.

It could also be that these people are merely operating from the sincere assumption that if these firefighters, police and volunteers are now ill, God will heal them (if they deserve to be healed - and we'll know that when we see if them heal or continue suffering)...

"Gallup released a new national survey the other day, noting public attitudes on the origins of life. The results weren't exactly encouraging.

A 40% plurality of Americans seriously believe that humans were created by their God, in our present form, about 10,000 years ago. That's two-fifths of the U.S. population. Another 38% believe evolution occurred, but was guided by divine intervention. Just 16% believe in an entirely natural process, though that number has nearly doubled in recent decades.

...most Republicans (52%) in the United States embrace the notion of young-earth creationism, while Democrats and Independents accept this in much smaller numbers.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027188.php

Thus global warming, thus poverty, thus torture, etc

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@sue - it's your line? It's right on the money.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If I were dems I'd be running ads in their home states asking, "Why does Senator_____ hate the 9/11 responders"

Posted by: lcrider1 | December 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Then again, on the soul-deadening corruption hypothesis...

"Despite New Funding Offsets, US Chamber Of Commerce Still Opposing 9/11 First Responders Bill"

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/21/chamber-911compensation-oppose/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie-

The incoming chair of a House subcommittee is evidence for your assertion:
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/climate_change_denier_shimkus_to_head_environment_subcommittee_video.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 21, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is the argument Republicans are making in voting against this bill?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

If they would only ammend the bill and put a few billion in it for all the Wall Streeters who lost their corner offices on 9/11 and may have had their wine at Windows on the World destroyed and their limos demolished, then the Reps would definately support the bill.

Posted by: msjn1 | December 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

bernie: "@sue - it's your line? It's right on the money."

Yes, it is... :o)

Feel free to use it...a lot!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Icrider1 - You bet. And I'd add the counter-effort coming from the corporate entities which make up and fund the C of C.

The C of C and its allies have very effectively kidnapped the "populist" dynamic for their own entirely cynical purposes.

But of course it is the regular people who are continually being screwed over in order for corporate wealth and power to be maintained and expanded.

I can't think of another issue as important to push forward in citizens' awareness.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

: bernielatham
That is better than I hoped, more than 1/2 believe in evolution. Since we can be nearly positive that either evolution occurred, or someone put out an amazing amount of effort making it look like it did, its a shame that so many doubt it occurred, because it means they believe in a lying God.

There is of course no way to tell if evolution was guided or not even if we could watch it all. You can get strong evidence that it could have been the decided non-random result of a partly random process, but its impossible to prove a negative. So you can prove that a man or women in the sky with unknown powers isn't guiding it.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | December 21, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is the argument Republicans are making in voting against this bill?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 3:02 PM |

.....................

When they voted against cloture, they claimed that it was because the bill was raising taxes to pay for it.

The tax raise they were fighting against was the removal of the GOP created tax incentive for companies that outsourced jobs, to other countries.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@sue - It's quite brilliant and I would steal it regardless but thank you for the legal waiver.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The C-Span footage is good. But there also must be archived photos of many of these Republiclowns showing their patriotism and solidarity with 9/11 first responders by wearing assorted "NYPD" and "FDNY" hats, shirts and jackets. It is past time to shame them not only with their words, but also their cheap "patriotic" displays.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 21, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

All, this is pretty amazing: Lindsey Graham apologized to Jon Kyl on behalf of the rest of the Senate because it didn't do his bidding and instead ratified New START:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/lindsey_graham_senators_should.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 21, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

So, boiling it down, I understand the Dem position to be that everyone who was exposed at all to the vicinity of 911 WTC should be given free care for whatever health issues they have, without regard to their cause. And if you resist this you are unpatriotic and hate America.

Very typical.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still "What exactly is the argument Republicans are making in voting against this bill?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 3:02 PM |

.....................

When they voted against cloture, they claimed that it was because the bill was raising taxes to pay for it.

The tax raise they were fighting against was the removal of the GOP created tax incentive for companies that outsourced jobs, to other countries."


I think the second part of the argument (which may or may not be accurate) was that this was letting the insurance companies and workman's compensations funds that should be paying these claims off the hook. I.e., it was a bailout for those who should have been liable for the claims.

Given that 9/11 has been treated as an act of war, not some sort of natural or man-made disaster, there's a pretty good case for nationalizing the costs of the response. They should probably tack this on to Ken Feinberg's mandate to keep out any scam artists, etc, since he's already very familiar with the facts at hand and wouldn't need to get up to speed due to his work as Special Master of the U.S. Government's September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Feinberg

I'd rather see the ethanol subsidies wacked to pay for this, but as long as it's offset by other spending cuts or removals of tax expenditures, that's the main thing.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 21, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@muddy - You point to a valid positive in the findings. One of the traditional moves the creationists have made re evidences of evolution (the "lying god" as you have it) is that He put that stuff there merely to challenge peoples' faith. It's the epistemic closure thing in spades.

One other example of the sort involved the Shroud of Turin. Believers put in some effort to have the Shroud tested with dating techniques and when those tests brought back a date matching the crusades rather than 2000 years ago, they proclaimed that we can't ascertain what energies are involved in an Ascention and which thus might mess up the molecular structures of the Shroud.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

O The Irony.

Remember when Right Wingers used to keep saying to all of us who opposed the stupid Iraq invasion: "Have you forgotten what happened on 9/11?"

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Liam-stil, it's neither irony nor stupid. Have YOU read the proposed bill? Did you even know that free healthcare is proposed for civilians, including myself since I spent five days there, not just first responders?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Republicans care more about passing out twelve billion dollars in actually currency , in Baghdad, with no records kept, than they do about looking after the sick 9/11 first responders.

The Republicans now want us to forget what happened on 9/11/2001

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Clawrence, watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahc1Wmq1G2M

You are exhibiting a September 10th, 2001 mentality.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

To place these heroes at the mercy of worker's comp insurance companies is a disservice to those who literally risked everything for their fellow man. W/C insurance is NOT in place to assure the best care is provided for the injured. It is now set to protect corporations, minimize costs, and kick injured to the curb within two years. In many states such as FL, the injured has NO recourse as to the medical and compensation judgements of interested ($$$) parties. The docs work for the insurance companies and meet their quotas. A second, outside opinion is at the cost of the injured and there's no requirement that it be considered. Its a sham.

Posted by: Concerned58 | December 21, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Pick me! pick me! I've read the bill. I have it open right now. Health insurance silos are my specialty. What do you want to know?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

It's officially bizzaro world. Democrats use Bush in an ad that portrays him positively.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 21, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Reminding people of how Bush and The Republicans used 9/11 for their own cynical political advantage is not putting him in a positive light. It is just reminding people about how cynical and uncaring they really are. All Bullhorns And Flight Suits, but not a drop of real compassion for those who did the rescue work, and the fighting and dying.

Apparently Jim DeMinted does not give a rat's arse if the 9/11 first responder families have a good holiday season or not.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

OK, shrink2.

Why are civilians within 1.5 miles of WTC site -- not just "first responders" -- covered under this bill? Why not 1.6 miles? There are thousands of other Americans who are suffering because of 9/11, so why aren't they getting billions? Why should we cover healthcare costs that have been determined to be non-work related? To use the Democrat's class warfare argument, there's no means test for assistance, why should millionaires get this? Does the U.S. Constitution provide the authority to Feds for this?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Liam -- I'm about as cynical as you can be when it comes to politicians. And i'd agree that the flight suit photo-opt/stunt was at a minimum I'll advised. But I think the bullhorn speech was authentic.

And the GOP has been using 9/11 as a club for far too long. It's just a shame that the Dems have seen fit to do the same. Dems are exploiting this as a political opportunity -- nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are merely trying to shame Republicans into doing the right thing.

As for Bush and his Bullhorn stunt. I would say that was the right thing to do, if he kept his word, and hunted down those who did it, instead of diverting most of our forces to launch his stupid invasion of Iraq.

He pulled Tommy Franks out of Afghanistan, just as soon as we had entered the damn place, and tasked him with preparing the Invasion of Iraq.

So what happened to all that megaphone guff about chasing down the bad guys who brought down the twin towers. It was all lies. He already knew that he was not going to devote much effort to doing that, because he was going to become the historic President who had transformed the middle east with his brilliant transformation of Iraq, and it's neighbors. Well, he sure did that. He made Iran much stronger, than they ever were before, and less afraid to stand up to us.

The media often talks about the War in Afghanistan lasting so long, but never bother to point out, that under Bush it was not actually being waged.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

OUCH! OUCH!!

That is the sound of the GOP getting bitten squarely in the buttocks over this issue (911-responders), which should really be a no-brainer.

Of course, to pass a no-brainer, you have to at least have a brain in your own head.

Posted by: bonncaruso | December 21, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

bonncaruso (since you have the brain):

Why are civilians within 1.5 miles of WTC site -- not just "first responders" -- covered under this bill? Why not 1.6 miles? There are thousands of other Americans who are suffering because of 9/11, so why aren't they getting billions? Why should we cover healthcare costs that have been determined to be non-work related? To use the Democrat's class warfare argument, there's no means test for assistance, why should millionaires get this? Does the U.S. Constitution provide the authority to Feds for this?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey claw, you need some back up? Us conservies need to stick together.

Posted by: 6pack | December 21, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse


Thought this would be of interest to readers.

Since September 2001 I have maintained the "9/11 list-serv" which distributes daily e-mails containing newspaper articles and other relevant information re: 9/11 issues of interest to 9/11 families, 9/11 organizations and interested individuals.

The 9/11 List-serv archives can be accessed at http://groups.google.com/group/911-list-serv

If you would like to 'subscribe' to this free news service - send an e-mail to amkorotkin@aol.com with the word "subscribe" in the subject box.


Arnie

Posted by: arnoldkorotkin | December 22, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

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