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Not a Drug Addict, Mr. Gibbs – My Family is Suffering

These guys can't get away with a half-done job, Gibbs, neither should your boss. (photo: WSDOT via Flickr)

So, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, this diary is for you. How dare you suggest that my complaints about Obama have to do with drug addiction. To say this — to take a Republican right-wing meme and turn it on us — it’s sinister and abusive. It’s a power and control move to say “If you are complaining, you should not be heard.” But here’s the deal. I want to be heard. I want you to understand why so many Americans are unhappy with President Obama. It’s not because we are on drugs and just distorting our reality. No, it’s because you have a distortion about reality for the middle class. Here’s my reality, Mr. Gibbs…

1) My husband is a union construction worker. His union crew got hired to work for a local contractor who is anti-union. They call the job “Code of Excellence.” They have a “Three strikes you are out” policy on illness or injury, knowing full well that 250 guys sit the bench waiting for work. They use this to their advantage. This week the heat index in Omaha has been over a 110-115 degrees every day and this will continue through Friday. My husband is building a multimillion dollar ball field with tax payer money while we are laying off teachers and policemen and taxing every thing we can. My husband is glad for the job, but yesterday, the contractor failed to get water to the second tier where my husband was working. They also refuse to buy carts so the crew can carry their tools with them instead of running back and forth from the job box. So for the last three hours of the day, there was no water for the guys on the second tier of the job. Do you know who you tell when this happens and 250 guys sit the bench? No one. You keep your mouth shut and hope and pray you can drink enough water overnight to stay hydrated. The climate has changed and clearly a worker is just a body.

2) Maybe I am angry, Mr. Gibbs, because I have a predatory loan with GMAC and have spent literally eight years trying to keep my house. Maybe it’s because the new finance reform does nothing to stop GMAC from charging me outrageous fees. It does nothing to force GMAC to refinance through HAMP with me. It doesn’t give my bankruptcy judge jurisdiction to stop their illegal behavior. Maybe it’s because as I pay off my Chapter 13 bankruptcy, with my debt on the house completely repaid through the court, GMAC says I owe $10,000 more than I did when the bankruptcy started. Maybe it’s because the only way I can stop this is to sue them, which requires that I record every payment I ever made on a database to fight their inaccurate bottom line — which means that they would immediately throw me into foreclosure once the bankruptcy is resolved. (cont’d.)

3) Or maybe it’s because I was laid off from my job a year ago in an agency where I worked for 12 years. Maybe it’s because I started my own business very happily but unfortunately got sick this spring. I got sick because of a surgery that took place 10 years ago, contracting a MRSA infection while under the knife, which did not blow up and rear its head until this spring. The mesh infection caused a blood infection so they had to remove the mesh and undo the first surgery to get rid of the MRSA. But guess what? I contracted two more infections while having surgery to fix the first one. That meant 10 more days in the hospital and four more surgeries. My self-employed status is okay but it’s awfully hard when you aren’t able to work at all. Then to top it off, our medical bills will be well over our heads. And we will have to fight for every dime as they deny one expense after another. Insurance companies don’t like to pay for hospital-acquired infections. They blame the hospital and then the hospital blames the patient and then…nobody pays the bill. Nothing in the health reform to help us with this problem. Nothing.

Maybe Mr. Gibbs it’s because the unions are losing power and you aren’t helping us. Maybe it’s because finance reform does little to impact those suffering from out and out mortgage fraud. Maybe it’s because medical costs and insurance are too high. I could spend the rest of my life doing the paper work and follow up for the mortgage company, and the insurance company that will deny a majority of my claims without my diligent care, but that leaves little time for me to spend with my kids. Like so many middle-class Americans I am just trying to survive. How dare you suggest that my complaints are invalid or misinformed. I am living it.

The economy is stalled precisely because of a lack of jobs, medical and health care costs, POOR medical care and medical errors, with absolutely no recourse for middle America when the corporate world makes a mistake. It seems to me that while your administration has put a bandaid on my gaping 10-inch surgical wound, you have done very little to treat the underlying problem that corporate America has too much control over our lives. We want to see you fight corporate America, not bloody the eyes of left-wing liberals and then kick us to the curb calling us drug addicts if we complain.

I have never felt more angry and more disappointed. I wish Mr. Gibbs would ask me why I complain…ask me, and I will give you the facts of my life. I know that while we suffer at my house, my life is not much different from others.

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Not a Drug Addict, Mr. Gibbs…My Family is SUFFERING

So White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, this diary is for you. How dare you suggest that my complaints about Obama have to do with drug addiction. To say this, to take a Republican right-wing meme and turn it on us, it’s sinister, and abusive. It’s a power and control move to say "If you are complaining, you should not be heard." But here’s the deal. I want to be heard. I want you to understand why so many Americans are unhappy with President Obama. It’s not because we are on drugs and just distorting our reality. No, it’s because you have a distortion about reality for the middle class. Here’s my reality, Mr. Gibbs…

1) My husband is a union construction worker. His union crew got hired to work for a local contractor who is anti-union. They call the job "Code of Excellence." They have a "Three strikes you are out" policy on illness or injury, knowing full well that 250 guys sit the bench waiting for work. They use this to their advantage. This week the heat index in Omaha has been over a 110-115 degrees every day and this will continue through Friday. My husband is building a multimillion dollar ball field with tax payer money while we are laying off teachers and policemen and taxing every thing we can. My husband is glad for the job, but yesterday, the contractor failed to get water to the second tier where my husband was working. They also refuse to buy carts so the crew can carry their tools with them instead of running back and forth from the job box. So for the last three hours of the day, there was no water for the guys on the second tier of the job. Do you know who you tell when this happens and 250 guys sit the bench? No one. You keep your mouth shut and hope and pray you can drink enough water overnight to stay hydrated. The climate has changed and clearly a worker is just a body.  . . . (more…)

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