Monday, December 13, 2010

42 Scumbags

Back in September, US Rep Mark Kirk from the Fightin' 10th in Illinois, was one of 17 Republicans to break ranks and vote in favor of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.

At the time, Mark was running against Alexi Gainnoulias for the about-to-be-vacated seat held by Roland Burris, who of course took over for Barack Obama.

Kirk's TV ads were almost constant (as were Alexi's) and in the last couple of weeks before the election he was actually referring to himself as "Mr. Independent." Never afraid to vote his conscience. All about doing the "right thing."

Well, Mr. Independent won the Senate race, and because of Blago's hijinx, Kirk was allowed to take the Burris seat back in late November rather than waiting for the end of the lame duck session.

When the James Zadronga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 was about to come up for a test vote in the Senate last week, Chuck Schumer was begging, begging!, two Republicans to step forward and do the right thing.

The Zadronga Act would provide $3.2billion to track and treat illnesses suffered by 9/11 responders, and another $4.2billion to re-open old claims for people who are still suffering as well as the families of those who died.Most of the $6billion originally earmarked for these people ran out back in 2003, long before many of the responders became ill.

One such guy, Kevin Czartoryski, a 46 year old NYPD detective, died last week after battling a lung disease.

Anyway, back to Schumer's plea to the Republican party to put aside political differences and do the right thing for these 9/11 victims.

Great time for Mark Kirk to show me that he wasn't lying.

Great time for Mark Kirk to do the right thing and break ranks.

No such luck.

In short, the test vote failed 57-42, with Mr. Independent Mark Kirk, my new junior senator, following his party and voting against providing medical care for these people, same thing he voted for back in September when he was a US Rep., simply because the Dems wouldn't compromise on tax cuts for the wealthy.

All 42 no votes were cast by Republicans, which in my mind makes them all scumbags. I don't care what this fucker Kirk does for the rest of his career now. This one vote tells me all I'll ever need to know about this gutless turd.

Shame on all 42 of these Senators.


MichaelRyerson said...

Don't know whether or not you'll see this in time but for what it's worth, when you're in Joplin tomorrow stop by Fred&Red's Chili House on s. main street. You won't be sorry. Loooongstanding tradition. The chili's great but the spaghetti's the best. have either or both. perfect 'joint' ambience because, well, because it's a joint.

Michael said...

I keep getting to Joplin late Michael. Outbound, it's 600 miles from Chicago so it's like 7 or 8 PM when I arrive. On the return, it's about the same distance from where I am tonight, Tucumcari. I lose an hour as soon as I enter Texas in the morning, which puts me in Joplin after dinner again. I'll try to save some room and keep an eye out for Fred & Red's. You've spent mare than a few nights in Joplin? Nice town you know? Missouri's a nice place in general.

Stopped at one of the newly opened rest areas near Amarillo on Christmas. Much as I like to make fun of the Texas panhandle, gotta admit it's really pretty country. Rugged.

MichaelRyerson said...

Too bad, keep it in mind although I heard the place was up for sale so it may not be around all that much longer. Opened in the '20's I think. My family came out to California from that area (mostly se kansas) and Joplin was the closest 'big' town so it figured in many family stories. We have good friends who moved there for a job opportunity 15 or so years ago and we alternated holidays with them for a long time although that's kind of dying away, too. It is a nice little town with some interesting history (Bonnie and Clyde shoot-out happened here. The house is still standing but you need a local to find it). If you drive around in the countryside you can still find little stretches of old '66 with weeds growing up through the pavement. Yeah, the Texas panhandle. Had an epiphany there once about loneliness or some such.

Michael said...

I pulled out the Joplin phone book and was just about to tell you that there's no Fred & Red's listed, when I decided to do a web search.

According to Wiki, Fred & Red's has no drive-thru, no listed phone number,but does a brisk carry-out business.

Red died in 2005, and apparently his son Larry considered selling but hasn't done so yet.

I'm at the Range Line Rd. exit, and it looks like red & Fred are back at the 43 exit. Sounds like my kind of place bud. Next time thru I'm stopping there.

Couldn't stand the suspense any longer so I called Driver Rick to ask him what F.M. stands for on Texas exit signs. Farm to Market.

Learn something every day.

Jesus, that stretch from Tucumcari to Shamrock is taking years off my life Michael.

MichaelRyerson said...

Yeah, think about doing it on actual steel rims, no real suspension, sitting on an oak plank, at about two miles an hour, looking up the tookis of an ox and you gain a new appreciation of your forebears. Did you start early on any New Year's resolutions?

MichaelRyerson said...

I hope you're moving right along. You've got weather coming in from your left and it ain't gonna be no picnic.

Michael said...

I'm home bud. Pulled into Chicago at 7:30 last night. Dodged weather the whole way. What a trip! I'll be uploading some vids and pics here at some point today. Gotta get these road-weary bones moving first, and check out my office.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Schmutz - been awhile since I checked in here. I was wondering if you were taking the trip west since I hadn't seen mention of it recently. Did you attack from the west coast? Highway 46 across from 101? James Dean's last ride. Anyway - looking forward to hearing about your exploits.

- - Robert

Michael said...

And the same to you Robert. Thanks for stopping by. Just got back from the Grand Canyon yesterday. Stayed south, thankfully. Route 66 (44/40) was a breeze, weather was perfect. Uploading some vids from the trip to YouTube at the moment. TravelogueBlog to follow. Still collecting my thoughts s from a really memorable friggin' trip.

switters said...

glad you're safe. don't do that. been watching jimmy fallon sp? channeling neil young for 3 days straight. you really shouldn't be driving.

Michael said...

Buffalo Springfield Swit. Stills and Messina tend to balance out the suicide-inducing sounds of Neil. This whole trip was oldies. I'm telling you bud, I'm stuck in the 60s-70s.

switters said...

just come home safe to us. by the way, this is really great. turns out you're actually younger than i am, at heart. so you'll have to travel for the both of us. demolition gave way to fuel harvest, but you knew that.

Michael said...

We're close enough in age for it not to matter. Highway miles mostly.

That 6 weeks of fuel from the elm on Al's property ....that the shit there my friend. That's why brothers are brothers.