Thursday, October 25, 2012

Romney; a Disaster for the Disabled

What's fascinating about having written a novel about disability is that everything, politics in particular, can be seen through a focused viewpoint.

Take Willard Romney. Please.

Even if you're not disabled, you probably know someone who is. One in four Americans have some form of disability. Among adults, that makes for a lot of potential voters. None of them should vote for Romney/Ryan, whose draconian platforms eviscerate funding for disabled veterans and others who need some aspect of medical assistance.

Romney's "contemptuous snub" of veterans has been well documented. After being questioned why he failed to even mention them in the debates or his convention speech, he shrugged it off as not being on his "laundry list."

To take him literally at his word, when the f*ck has he ever done laundry?  He's flaunted his wife's Multiple Sclerosis as proof that he "cares," enough to fund his wife's "therapy," a $77,000 tax write-off in the form of show horses, her chosen leisure sport. That might be excusable if it weren't for the fact that Ann's horse, when sold, was proven to be so full of steroids and drugs that it was unable to compete.

But let's limit our critique to Romney's mistreatment of humans. Even by narrow-casting to the issue of disability, Romney has been called "cruel," "inhumane," "unfeeling" and a virtual sociopath.

One of his many snidely misleading ads makes more false claims than a snake oil salesman.

An excerpt of that article:
The ad also gives you the incorrect impression that the ACA is detrimental for people with disabilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Disability rights advocates have vociferously supported its passage and implementation.

As for taxing wheelchairs and pacemakers, that claim is misleading. The ACA will impose a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices. But remember, thanks to the ACA, everyone will have health insurance, so necessary devices such as wheelchairs and pacemakers will be covered. That means the tax will not directly be paid by consumers, but rather—to the extent the manufacturers can pass the cost on rather than accepting lower profit margins—by the insurance companies.
Another excerpt:
The crowning irony is that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney actually did want to impose taxes on the disabled. He proposed a $10 fee for a state certificate of blindness and a $15 for a photo ID card, a $100 fee for an intake session for the developmentally disabled and a $400 fee for anyone with tuberculosis. Clearly, Romney lacks the standing to criticize President Obama’s record on disability issues.
John Wren and his girlfriend and caregiver Tammi Martin

Disabled people in Pennsylvania are protesting potential healthcare cuts.
Wren, 45, of Erie, Pa., was among dozens of people with disabilities, their caregivers, families, activists and volunteers who laid siege this week to Pennsylvania's capital city, Harrisburg, during protests organized by ADAPT, a national organization that advocates for disability rights.
President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have vastly different visions for the future of Medicaid and people like Wren and his fellow protestors understand the stakes all too well. While Obama seeks to expand Medicaid to cover millions more, Romney would move in the opposite direction by slashing federal spending and turning over control of the program to states.

The most known scandal in Romney's anti-disabled history is perhaps the most preposterous. Romney vetoed funding for two elevators for the disabled, then bought himself an elevator for his cars in the Massachusetts state house.

An excerpt:
The denied piece of legislation came to Romney’s desk in 2006; the first legislation asked for a $40,000 elevator improvement project while the second asked for $25,000 to make ADA improvements so people with disabilities could actually use the elevators they were suppose to have access to. At the time Mitt Romney said the programs:
“Would be nice to have, but which we cannot justify paying for out of rainy day funds. A smaller number of these projects are just pure pork.”
We are not really sure how fixing an elevator to make it Americans with Disabilities compliant is pork spending at its worse. Of course we will never know Romney’s real reason for denying the ADA elevator fix because he used $100,000 of taxpayer dollars to have all records of his governorship destroyed after he left office. Ironically that $100,000 could have fixed the elevators with $35,000 still left over.

Want more proof? Watch this video of Romney dissing a man in a wheelchair over the issue of medical marijuana.

Voters are not taking this well. Did you know there's a Political Action Committee by and for disabled people? Understandably, the people of Disable Citizens United are not supporting Romney.

But wait! It gets worse! As governor of Massachusetts, Romney even fired a disabled worker for disagreeing with him. This was while the guy was home with a crippling hand injury.
The letter informed Powers that he was fired, effective immediately. Eventually, Powers successfully sued the state for back pay and health insurance. But this is the Mitt Romney that Massachusetts knows: The destruction of his enemies is more important to him than the well-being of his constituents. 
As if multiple cases of Republican-engineered ballot fraud weren't enough, Romney promised to strip LGBT families and individuals of rights, even including the right to get birth certificates for their children. Should your partner be hospitalized and then temporarily or permanently disabled, under a Romney regime, you won't even be allowed to visit them in a hospital.

His son Tagg not only threatened violence against the President, he also owns part of of the ballot company in tough swing states like Ohio. How convenient.

Romney's supporters are no better. One of his underlings loves to make jokes about "wheelchair races."

A top surrogate to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is coming under fire for his off-color joke that the Senate is good for little more than “wheelchair races.”
In comments Monday afternoon, Rep. Jason Chaffetz – a Utah Republican who has emerged as one of Romney’s key surrogates – jokingly said he was unsure what lawmakers in the Senate did other than “the Wednesday night bingo and wheelchair races.”
Chaffetz’ comments drew a sharp rebuke from Democratic Rep. Jim Langevin, who is disabled. "While wheelchairs definitely are fun to race, my friend from Utah may be interested to find out that they also help many Americans, including members of Congress, work, improve their communities and serve their country," Langevin told Buzzfeed.
At age 16, Langevin was working as a volunteer for the Warwick Police Department. He was shot after a weapon accidentally discharged, and the wound left him a paraplegic.

John Franklin Stephens and the horrid Ann Coulter
Romney supporter and consistently reprehensible Ann Coulter used the term "retard" to attack President Obama.

John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete. A 30-year-old with Down Syndrome, Stephens has spoken out frequently on the use of "retarded" as a slur, and wrote an open letter to Coulter on a Special Olympics blog.

An excerpt: 
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are — and much, much more.

The choice is clear. If you're a cold, inhumane, money-grubbing snot who doesn't care about your fellow humans, vote for Romney.

And don't read my books.

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