Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Breath taking cynicysm

MSNBC is breaking an investigative report on the stone walling of benefits to the survivors of safety officers who die as a result of heart attacks and strokes on the job.

Congress passed the Home Town Heroes Act of 2003, which was signed by the President. That act purported to give the presumption that a death by a police or fire officer caused by heart attack or stroke while on the job would be considered to be in the line of duty, and benefits given to survivors accordingly. The Justice Department has already denied 34 claims, with 206 cases pending. Not one... let me reiterate this point... NOT ONE of these claims has resulted in benefits being paid to the survivors of the deceased safety officer.

That is bad enough, and I'm certain much deserved righteous indignation will flow based upon that alone. However, the part that stuck in my craw is the following blurb from MSNBC:
With heart attacks recognized as the leading cause of on-the-job deaths of firefighters, the Hometown Heroes Act easily passed the Congress with support of both parties. President Bush signed the law in a ceremony on Dec. 15, 2003, and both he and Vice President Dick Cheney have used their support for the law as a sure-fire applause line in speeches before fire and police organizations.
What kind of sick, cynical cretins are these? They publicly pound their chests about their concern for survivors in a cheap applause line, but not one survivor has yet seen the benefit they so publicly praise because of the obtuse, and hostile attitude of the Justice Department to the law. It appears this is a case of the Justice Department running out the clock and stonewalling survivors who are clearly intended to be the beneficiaries of the Home Town Heroes Act. This administration is filled top to bottom, by self interested, incompetent, blowhards. They are the modern day Pharisees and Sadducee's of Christs time. Detached, wealthy because of public largess while the common citizen toils and is harmed by their policies, publicly pious and ingratiating while privately corrupt. The notion that Bush and Cheney pop off with their supposed support of this law even as their administration stone walls the beneficiaries is highly objectionable to me.

Maybe this will be the final straw for Gonzales. Beyond all the lying, pro torture, bull crap we now have the Justice Department being hostile to the interests of survivors of safety officers. One must wonder how that's going to go over in what must already be a very difficult time at the DOJ.

Let me end on a positive note. I must commend MSNBC on this story. This is investigative reporting as it is meant to be done, and it is good to see. Thank you to MSNBC, and keep up the good work.

What is really outrageous is that Bush signed a law allowing federal tax money to go to local cops and firefighters. That is not permitted by the constitution. Local services should be handled locally, without federal interference.
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