Friday, January 20, 2006

You Can't Make This Stuff Up ...

Public figures come and public figures go and most of the time they don't leave much of an impression. But some live on in our language, like William Lynch, Charles Cunningham Boycott, Vidkun Quisling and, of course, Joseph R. McCarthy. With those examples in mind, I've often thought it was a shame that New Jersey's own Christine Todd Whitman managed to skip out of Trenton without contributing her name as a common anathema.

Reading this story about the health problems of rescue workers who helped comb through the rubble of the World Trade Center, I think we have may finally have found Christine Todd Whitman's place in the American language.After she bailed out of Trenton to take a job handling smoke and mirrors for George W. Bush at the Environmental Protection Agency, Whitman's most signal achievement was to repeatedly assure New Yorkers that the air in Lower Manhattan was perfectly safe to breathe mere days after the towers came down, even as the EPA's own studies showed the environment was actually thick with airborne toxins. (By the way, here's what happened to long-term monitoring of the health and environmental impact of the WTC attack.) It's puzzling that none of this is mentioned in the Associated Press story about the health problems of people who were there in the aftermath of the terror attacks, but hey, that's journalism these days.

So, I propose that those respiratory problems stemming from exposure to the air near Ground Zero be called "Whitman lung," in honor of the good moderate Republican soldier who helped let them happen. And every time a rescue worker coughs up bits of bloody gravel, we'll call that a Republican thank-you.
-- From The Opinion Mill, Jan. 17

4 Comments:

Anonymous Gen. Patton said...

Wow, powerful stuff. As someone who lived through that day, working just blocks from ground zero and living in my home on the banks of the Hudson River, I remember vividly the wrenching, choking black fumes that rose from that horrible scene and moved slowly down the River. The smell - an awful mixture of burnt metal and plastic - floated in the air for days. "Whitman lung" - that's pretty clever. But anyone with sane mind knew to stay the hell out of downtown Manhattan in the days that followed 9/11. But people also have to go to work and live their lives. The City just couldn't shut down. Whitman doesn't deserve the title, friend. The death of those men and those that will follow. And there will be others and not just people who combed through the rubble. What about the traders on Wall Street just blocks away. They breathed the same rancid air and so did I. Blame the deaths on the Terrorists and pray America kills as many as it can.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...

Patton, why is it that you accept with glee when your government LIES? How is that a CONSERVATIVE BELIEF?

Sure, people COULD go back to work. People COULD return to their apartments. Volunteers COULD have helped with the clean-up.

But SHOULDN'T people have been told the truth about the air quality at the time? Or is it ok that the administration LIED to them about that, so that they COULD NOT make an informed decision?

I understand that true conservatives want LIMITED GOVERNMENT. That isn't the same thing as a GOVERNMENT LIMITING its citizens' knowledge level.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous ash said...

Patton the libertarian. If you suffer the consequences of believing the gov.'s reassurances, well, you were just too stupid to know better.

That aside, at least Whitman had enough conscience to resign her post, did she not? I do give her credit for that.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did the Bush Administration lie about the air quality at ground zero? Simple economics. Closing down half of Manhattan would have cost the government a lot of money. We cannot have the government waste all this money on such a frivolous thing as saving people's lives.

9:32 PM  

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