HEALTH CARE — HOUSE GOP LET BILL TO AID 9/11 FIRST-RESPONDERS AND RECOVERY WORKERS FAIL: While the Senate is infamous for its legislation routinely being blocked by minority obstruction, the House of Representatives yesterday took after the upper chamber when a measure “that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust” failed to pass even though a majority, 255-159, voted for it. The bill was aimed at “9/11 rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the trade center ruins.” House leadership used a procedural method that let the bill come to floor without amendments but required a two-thirds majority for passage. Only 12 Republicans joined Democrats to support the bill. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), one of the 12, said the GOP would have likely added an amendment “that could ban the bill from covering illegal immigrants who were sickened by World Trade dust.” GOP leadership urged its members to vote against the bill, calling it a “massive new entitlement program.” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) ripped into Republicans for voting against the bill as a protest against not being able to offer amendments, screaming on the House floor, “You vote ‘yes’ if you believe ‘yes!'” Lamenting the GOP’s obstruction, he said, “We see it in the United States Senate every day, where members say, ‘We want amendments, we want debate…but we’re still a ‘no.'” Without an aid bill, “a judge and teams of lawyers have been urging 10,000 former ground zero workers to sign on to a court-supervised settlement” splitting “$713 million among people who developed respiratory problems and other illnesses after inhaling trade center ash.” The settlement would cover less than a tenth of the assistance in the House bill. Health problems caused by dust from the World Trade Center include “breathing ailments with symptoms similar to asthma” and “heartburn or acid reflux.” “Studies have shown that firefighters who worked on the debris pile suffer from elevated levels of sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease,” and many workers “fear that the dust is giving people cancer, although scientific studies have failed to find evidence of such a link.”
I recommend checking out the Mann V Ford post and click on some of the links … the link above is a hidden gem of fierce documentation of corporate excessive use of and possibly the worse abuse of power …
Fishermen Sign On to Clean Up Oil
Kim Vo of Sharko Seafood, a local seafood company in in Venice, La., was selling the company’s final 50 pounds of shrimp.
VENICE, La. — About 1,000 angry and frustrated fishermen packed an elementary school gymnasium here Friday afternoon. In a cruel occupational twist, they were seeking employment with the company they blame for an oil spill that may wipe out their industry this year and beyond.
Fishermen gathered at Boothville-Venice Elementary School and registered to take a safety awareness class so they will be able to participate in the oil spill clean-up efforts.
Life in this coastal community centers on seafood — mullet, shark, shrimp and oysters. From May to December, dozens of boats haul shrimp here from the Gulf of Mexico. But aside from two days of fishing allowed this week ahead of the approaching oil slick, the shrimp season has been suspended.
So the fishermen came to receive training in how to clean up the oil spill that was creeping up on the nearby coastline. They were hoping to be hired by BP, the company blamed for the spill and responsible for cleanup efforts.
“Either the seafood industry or the oil industry — that’s the only jobs down here, so I guess I’m trying to move from seafood to oil today,” said Bernel Prout, 55, a fisherman and Venice native.
Friday’s training session was led by local firefighters and law enforcement officials and attended by representatives from BP, the parish government and the local fishermen’s association.
BP has said it will hire as many local residents as possible to clean the beaches and distribute booms through the surrounding marshes and waterways.
But the fishermen said they were reeling from the loss of revenue. They were not told how many would be hired, at what wages, or when. But they were asked to fill out forms listing their names, contact information and available equipment and skills.
“This is not our fault,” Mr. Prout said. “It’s the fault of the oil company.”
The mood inside the crowded, hot gymnasium was one of confusion and growing anxiety.
“We have bills to pay,” said Acy Cooper, the president of a local fishermen’s association. “I don’t care if it’s the federal government or BP, but someone needs to step up and compensate us.”
David Kinnaird, a project director for BP who is coordinating the company’s response in Venice, said BP would hire as many local workers as possible. “We’re not asking the community to do this work for nothing,” he said. “BP is willing to compensate them.”
But Mr. Kinnaird could not say when local fishermen would be hired, how much they would be paid or whether they would be compensated for their lost revenue.
The fishing industry is just now recovering from the hurricanes of recent years, said Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, where Venice is located. But he said the oil spill could be an even greater setback, potentially changing fishing conditions for years.
“This could be six Katrinas, where for years and years and years there’s not as much work,” he said. “These people have fished their entire lives. They don’t know anything else.”
Still, he said, his job requires balancing the area’s two dominant local industries. He urged federal officials to not let this disaster lead to less oil excavation in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Don’t overreact,” he said. “We don’t ground every plane every time one plane crashes.”
All skiffs were docked in their harbors Friday. A local seafood company, Sharkco, was selling its final 50 pounds of shrimp and had already been depleted of oysters and fish.
“Last shrimp for a long, long time,” yelled Kim Vo, the owner of Sharkco, to passing fishermen, who paid $3 a pound.
“This is for us to eat,” one fishermen said. “We can’t use it for bait. There’s not going to be any fishing around here for months.”
“First Katrina, then Ike, Gustav, the fishermen’s strike — and now this,” said Thi Lee, 35, whose husband lost his 45-foot skiff in Katrina and only recently restored a second skiff to working condition after it was battered by another hurricane.
“We have no idea what to do,” she said.
A group of fishermen who were gathered around a car in the Sharkco parking lot grew more agitated as they listened to radio reports about the worsening spill.
“This spill isn’t going to be fixed in a day, probably even in a year,” said Chuc Nguyen, 35, who emigrated from Vietnam as a child and has fished his entire life. “What else can I do? I don’t know how to read and write. If you tell me to do something other than fishing, I don’t even know what it would be.”
Chan Tran, a dock owner in Venice, said insurance had risen more than 200 percent since Hurricane Katrina. Insuring her fishing dock now costs $50,000 a year, and she planned on paying the bill due this summer with money from the sale of shrimp.
“I cannot sleep for two days,” she said. “I’m done for business.”
Women Who Ran for President
Who were the early women candidates for president? Hillary Clinton in her 2008 run for the Democratic nomination for US President came the closest so far that any woman has come to winning the nomination of a major political party in the United States. But Clinton is not the first woman to run for United States President, and not even the first to run for a major party’s nomination. Here’s a list of the female presidential candidates, arranged chronologically by each woman’s first campaign for the office. The list is current through the 2012 election; women running in 2016 will be added after that election’s over.
What woman ran for US president first? And which women have run since?
Equal Rights Party: 1872
Humanitarian Party: 1892
Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president in the United States. Frederick Douglass was nominated as Vice President, but there’s no record that he accepted. Woodhull was also known for her radicalism as a woman suffrage activist and her role in a sex scandal involving noted preacher of the time, Henry Ward Beecher. More »
National Equal Rights Party: 1884, 1888Belva Lockwood, an activist for voting rights for women and for African Americans, was also one of the earliest women lawyers in the United States. Her campaign for president in 1884 was the first full-scale national campaign of a woman running for president. More »
Surprise Party: 1940Comedian and actress, partner with husband George Burns on the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Grace Allen ran for president in 1940 as a publicity stunt. She was not on the ballot — it was, after all, a stunt — but she did get write-in votes.
Communist Party: 1968Nominated by the (tiny) Communist Party in 1968, Charlene Mitchell was the first African American woman nominated for president in the United States. She was on the ballot in two states in the general election, and received less than 1,100 votes nationally.
Democratic Party: 1972She was the first Asian American to seek nomination as president by a major political party. She was on the Oregon primary ballot in 1972. She was at that time a member of the U.S. Congress, elected from Hawaii.
Socialist Workers Party: 1972Underage for the Constitution’s requirements for the presidency, Linda Jenness ran against Nixon in 1972 and was on the ballot in 25 states. In three states where Jenness was not accepted for the ballot because of her age, Evelyn Reed was in the presidential slot. Their vote total was less than 70,000 nationally.