Tag Archives: Jon Stewart

Sen. Paul approves big tax cut, but blocks 9/11 relief bill

Let me see how this works.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was among the Republicans who voted for Donald Trump’s big tax cut in 2018, the one that helped a lot of rich folks and, oh yes, helped run up the national debt to its current level of $22 trillion.

Then the senator this week has blocked a bill to reinstate a relief bill aimed at helping 9/11 first responders battle ailments caused by the terrible terrorist attack on this country. Paul’s rationale is, shall we say, ironic to the point of hypocrisy.

He said the country’s debt is too steep. We need to find spending cuts to pay for the relief package, he said.

Hold on! But … Sen. Paul, your vote on the tax cut helped roll up that national debt! The debt has skyrocketed because you and your Senate colleagues along with the president wanted to slash taxes for wealthy Americans.

I should point out, too, that the 9/11 relief initiative got national attention because of the fiery and emotional testimony delivered by comic Jon Stewart (pictured with this post), sitting alongside first responders suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

This is disgusting in the extreme, Sen. Paul.

Can’t this guy run for high office?

The more I hear from Jon Stewart the more I like, respect and admire him.

He’s a comedian, a writer, a producer. He’s also become an advocate for 9/11 first responders who have been caught in a legislative sausage grinder. Congress has until just recently failed to renew a 9/11 first responders emergency fund. A House committee recently voted unanimously to provide an extension for the fund, but only after Stewart tossed aside his prepared remarks and reamed the members for their inaction, their cowardice and their insensitivity toward those who rushed into the fire on that terrible day.

Those police officers, firefighters, medical personnel and civilians are paying the price. They are dying of 9/11-related ailments. Stewart has taken up their cause.

This past Sunday, Stewart appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” and was asked by host Chris Wallace to respond to those who say the federal government should cede that assistance to the states, that the cost was greater than the feds could afford.

Wallace teed the question up perfectly for Stewart, who then proceeded to hit it out of sight.

He responded, “What about Pearl Harbor?” He said such a notion is as ridiculous as suggesting that the military attack against the United States in December 1941 should be a “Hawaii problem.” He said that the terrorists committed an act of war against this nation on 9/11 and, therefore, that makes it an urgent national priority.

I cannot stop believing that Wallace knew that his friend Jon Stewart would have a ready answer to that question and I also believe that Wallace appreciated — and likely agreed — with what his guest said in response.

I am left to wonder: Why isn’t this guy, Jon Stewart, running for high public office?

Jon Stewart stands up for our heroes

Forgive me for using a word that I have contended over the years has been misused, but I’m going to use it anyway.

Jon Stewart is my newest hero. He stood up today for the first responders, the men and women who rushed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 9/11. He sat before a House Judiciary subcommittee and excoriated the House members for failing to act to protect those heroic first responders.

He spoke for millions of Americans who want the government to deliver on the promise it made 18 years ago, that it would ensure that the first responders — the firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, military members — would always have the medical protection they would require if the needs arose.

The comedian, producer and writer spoke of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund that has yet to be extended. Why? Because the Senate cannot muster up the guts to do what it should do, which is provide the money set aside for the fund; the House has approved this legislation, but it goes to the Senate essentially to die.

Steward acknowledged that he sounded “angry and undiplomatic” but still spoke forcefully to House members. Were they moved in any form by what Stewart said? I have no clue. They should have been moved.

He berated House members for their “callous indifference” and their “rank hypocrisy” as it relates to the 9/11 victims fund. He noted that first responders have died from illnesses related directly to their exposure during those first horrific hours after the terrorist attacks.

Jon Stewart put on a rare display of visceral anger coming from a celebrity who happens also to be a taxpayer, a citizen and a man whose voice needs to be heard.

Will those who serve in our federal government answer the call to stand behind those who risked their lives on their behalf?

Yes, those responders are the real heroes in this discussion. I want to salute Jon Stewart, too, for the courage he exhibited in giving Congress the a**-chewing it deserves.

GOP offers a flood of SOTU responses

Jon Stewart is a comedian, an entertainer, a satirist of sorts.

He also has a way of bringing some harsh truths to light, such as when he poked fun at the multiple Republican Party responses to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.


The “official” response came from freshman U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. That’s fine. Ernst is a rising Republican star, having taken over a seat held by longtime Democratic liberal Tom Harken, who retired from public life in 2014.

Then came — count ’em — three TEA party responses.

Rep. Curt Clawson of Florida weighed in for the TEA party wing of the GOP. But wait. There were more.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had his version of the TEA party response. I guess Sen. Paul represented the isolationist/dove wing of the TEA party.

And then, of course, we had Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with his TEA party response. Cruz represents, I reckon, the loudmouth wing of the TEA party. The young man hasn’t shut his mouth a single time since taking office in January 2013. He’s become the Republican version of, say, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Stewart asked a foul-mouthed question about “how many TEA party members are out there?”

The query speaks to a potential problem facing Republicans as they prepare for the 2016 campaign for the White House. Cruz and Paul and potential presidential candidates, along with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (man, I love writing the word “former” in front of Perry’s title), Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and maybe a dozen more individuals I can’t think of at the moment.

They all represent varying wings of the GOP. They all are going sling barbs and arrows at each other. They’re going to bloody each other up, seeking to court the “base” of the party — whatever it has become.

The multiple TEA party responses illustrates what’s both right and wrong about Republicans at the moment.

They’re right to welcome a lot of voices; diversity is a good thing. They’re wrong in trying to outshout each other.