Federal Emergency Management Agency

Washington Legislator Calls For Tea Party To Stockpile Ammunition For Dystopic Future

This guy sounds like he has total disregard for the oath of office that he took…

Think Progress

At a Tea Party “Self Reliance Rally” in Idaho, organized by the Oath Keepers, Washington State Rep. Matt Shea (R) reportedly warned survivalist attendees to stockpile ammo, practice shooting, and learn defense tactics to prepare for a massive economic collapse.

According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Shea — an Assistant Republican Floor Leader — told the crowd to be ready for an impending government takeover after the U.S. economy falls apart:

We need to prepare for theinevitable collapse that is going to happen. You know it’s going to happen. That’s right, I am a politician and I am standing up here and saying that. … When it happens, we need to look at this as a opportunity, not a crisis. Who’s job is liberty? That’s our job.

Shea proposed a bill last February to ban the U.S. dollarheaded one of his state’s anti-marriage equality organizations, and has claimed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency operates concentration camps in the U.S.

According to the Spokane Spokesman Review, he was cited for two violations of Washington’s firearms law after he “pulled a gun during a confrontation with another motorist last November in what police reports describe as a road rage incident.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Oath Keepers, a group that encourages military and public safety officials to refuse to obey any order they deem unconstitutional, as part of a new wave of militias.

 

Oklahoma Senators Repeatedly Opposed Disaster Relief Funds

Jim Inhofe Tom Coburn

Undoubtedly, they’ll have a rapid “change of heart” now that this horrible devastation has it home…

The Huffington Post

As frantic rescue missions continued Monday in Oklahoma following the catastrophic tornadoes that ripped through the state, it appeared increasingly likely that residents who lost homes and businesses would turn to the federal government for emergency disaster aid. That could put the state’s two Republican senators in an awkward position.

Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, both Republicans, are fiscal hawks who have repeatedly voted against funding disaster aid for other parts of the country. They also have opposed increased funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers federal disaster relief.

Late last year, Inhofe and Coburn both backed a plan to slash disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy. In a December press release, Coburn complained that the Sandy Relief bill contained “wasteful spending,” and identified a series of items he objected to, including “$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies.”

Coburn spokesman John Hart on Monday evening confirmed that the senator will seek to ensure that any additional funding for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma be offset by cuts to federal spending elsewhere in the budget. “That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” Hart said. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.” Those offsets were achieved in 1995 by tapping federal funds that had not yet been appropriated.

In 2011, both senators opposed legislation that would have granted necessary funding for FEMA when the agency was set to run out of money. Sending the funds to FEMA would have been “unconscionable,” Coburn said at the time.

Hart said Coburn had “never made parochial calculations” about Oklahoma’s disproportionate share of disaster funds, “as his voting record and campaign against earmarks demonstrates.” Hart added that Coburn, “makes no apologies for voting against disaster aid bills that are often poorly conceived and used to finance priorities that have little to do with disasters.”

A representative for Inhofe could not immediately be reached for comment. Inhofe earlier tweeted: “The devastation in Oklahoma is heartbreaking. Please join me and #PrayforOklahoma. Spread the word.”

Coburn also put out a message on Twitter, writing, “My thoughts and prayers are with those in Oklahoma affected by the tragic tornado outbreak.”

Oklahoma currently ranks third in the nation after Texas and California in terms of total federal disaster and fire declarations, which kickstart the federal emergency relief funding process. Just last month, President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state following severe snowstorms.

And despite their voting record on disaster aid for other states, both Coburn and Inhofe appear to sing a different tune when it comes to such funding for Oklahoma.

In January of 2007, Coburn urged federal officials to speed disaster relief aid after the state faced a major ice storm.

A year later, in 2008, Inhofe lauded the fact that emergency relief from the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be given to 24 Oklahoma counties. “The impact of severe weather has been truly devastating to many Oklahoma communities across the state. I am pleased that the people whose lives have been affected by disastrous weather are getting much-needed federal assistance,” he said at the time.

The cost of the recovery effort for this week’s tornadoes is likely to be high. After a spate of tornadoes in the state in 1999, Oklahomans requested and received $67.8 million in federal relief funds.

GOP Threatens To Hold Disaster Relief Hostage To Spending Cuts — Again

Think Progress

The White House last week requested $60 billion in federal disaster relief to rebuild the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, but some Republicans are again threatening to hold disaster relief funding hostage unless it is offset by other budget cuts.

A day after Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) called disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy “wasteful spending,” Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Steve King (R-IA), Raul Labrador (R-ID), and Jeff Landry (R-LA), all from the more conservative wing of the House GOP, told The Hill that they will demand offsets for disaster spending:

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who sits on the Appropriations Committee, said she will need to see offsets on Wednesday as did Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).

We have these emergencies every year and we should prepare for that in our budget,” Labrador said.

“No pun intended, we should have a rainy day fund,” Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) said.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) rebuked conservative members of his caucus for demanding spending cuts for disaster relief. “It is right to borrow to pay for it,” he said. But since the GOP took over the House in 2010, it has routinely made such demands. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) promised to block disaster funding in the wake of tornadoes that devastated Missouri, an earthquake that hit his own state, and Hurricane Irene.

House Republicans also cut disaster relief funding in a 2011 spending measure and cut it this year to preserve military spending. The GOP also reneged on a deal it struck with Democrats to make emergency disaster relief funding easier in the future.

UPDATE 

Politico reports that other Republicans, like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), want spending offsets for disaster relief:

This country can’t continue spending money that they don’t have,” said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). “So rather than go borrow the money, we ought to say, ‘What’s a lower priority than helping the people of Sandy?’ And that’s how we ought to do it.”

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) told Politico, “Anything needs to be offset right now.” And Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) added, “If you look at what we’ve pushed for in the past, it’s to properly fund for disasters and when we fund for disasters, we also control spending in other places. We can’t give up our desire to control spending on any front.”

FEMA boss fires back at Brown

Politico

FEMA Director Craig Fugate had a blunt response on Wednesday to his Bush-era predecessor who criticized President Barack Obama’s early preparation for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

“It’s better to be fast than to be late,” Fugate said on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Michael Brown, who ran the agency during Hurricane Katrina, told POLITICO Tuesday that he stood by his criticism that Obama moved too quickly federal relief and response to Sandy.

“In the context of the election, I simply said he should have waited,” Brown said. “The storm was still forming, people were debating whether it was going to be as bad as expected, or not, and I noted that the president should have let the governors and mayors deal with the storm until it got closer to hitting the coastal areas along the Washington, D.C.-New York City corridor.”

3 ways Hurricane Sandy complicates Mitt Romney’s path to victory

The Week

Mitt Romney is rewriting his itinerary for the final days of the campaign thanks to the storm’s rampage. Will that hurt his chances?

Mitt Romney sits on his campaign bus on Oct. 29 en route to a rally in Avon Lake, Ohio: The Republican presidential nominee canceled his campaign events Monday and Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy.

Mitt Romney canceled several campaign events Monday and Tuesday “out of sensitivity for the millions of Americans in the path of Hurricane Sandy,” his campaign said. The GOP presidential nominee was scheduled to attend a Tuesday event in Ohio dedicated to hurricane relief, but he has towalk a fine line, say experts, keeping his campaign going while avoiding any suggestion that he’s scoring points off the storm(which is no longer technically classified as a hurricane). “It’s a very difficult situation for the challenger to strike the right note to not look too political but to also [be] empathetic with the victims,” says Mary Kate Cary, a former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush. How has the monster storm that hammered the Northeast made Romney’s final push toward next week’s election more difficult? Here, three obstacles it’s thrown in Romney’s path:

1. Romney has ceded the spotlight to Obama
Romney has been trying not to completely “cede the mantle of leadership to Obama,” say Jim Huhnhenn and Steve Peoples at The Associated Press. He has spoken by phone to officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Homeland Security Department, and the National Weather Service, and publicly warned those in the storm’s path to expect extensive damage. “In the competition for attention, Obama held the edge, however,” going on cable TV, live, to call for people to heed evacuation warnings and pull together. “Such is the advantage of incumbency, provided things don’t go wrong.”

2. This undermines Romney’s final pitch in Virginia and New Hampshire
Romney is tied with Obama nationally, but he still needs to eke out gains in a few critical swing states, says James Joyner at Outside the Beltway, if he hopes to collect the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. It’s “next to impossible to say how or whether the storm is going to impact [his] ability to persuade a relative handful of undecided voters” in the battlegrounds, but it’s distinctly possible that he could “lose the race because he’s unable to campaign in Virginia and New Hampshire in the final days.” On the other hand, he’s left with “an extra couple of days in Ohio,” which could be “a blessing in disguise” if it improves his chances of winning there.

3. The storm derailed Romney’s bid for Wisconsin
With Obama still favored in Ohio — the swing state many expect to decide next Tuesday’s election — Team Romney was making a compensatory play for the long-reliably blue state of Wisconsin. Now-post-tropical storm Sandy “may be a safe distance from Wisconsin,” says Matt Taylor at The Daily Beast, “but the Frankenstorm has upended Mitt Romney’s late push to claim [its] 10 electoral votes.” The GOP nominee “was compelled to ax an event in suburban Milwaukee, a GOP stronghold, Monday evening,” and his team “apparently decided to stop politicking with flooding, power outages, and even deaths on the horizon,” leaving Obama in command in Wisconsin, according to the latest polls.

Mitt Romney Refuses To Talk About FEMA After Hurricane Sandy Event

Mitt Romney Fema

Here are my thoughts:  1) Mr. Romney refuses to show his tax returns beyond 2010, why?  2) Romney refuses to tell the American people about his economic plan, why?  3) He also refuses to talk about his Mormon faith.  4) He refuses to talk about his pervious statements on FEMA and how he would hand over FEMA’s duties to the states and the private sector…why?

My guess is that he doesn’t want to upset voters who would otherwise vote for him but would change their mind about voting for him if they knew the truths that he has been hiding since the GOP Debate days.

The Huffington Post

Mitt Romney refused to answer reporters’ questions about how he would handle the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), after a Tuesday “storm relief” event in Ohio for Hurricane Sandy.

From the Romney pool report:

TV pool asked Romney at least five times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president/what he would do with FEMA. He ignored the qs but they are audible on cam. The music stopped at points and the qs would have been audible to him.

A follow-up report noted the specific questions Romney ignored, as he was collecting hurricane supplies following his event:

“Gov are you going to eliminate FEMA?” a print pooler shouted, receiving no response.Wires reporters asked more questions about FEMA that were ignored.

Romney kept coming over near pool to pick up more water. He ignored these questions:

“Gov are you going to see some storm damage?”

“Gov has [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie invited you to come survey storm damage?”

“Gov you’ve been asked 14 times, why are you refusing to answer the question?”

During a GOP primary debate last year, Romney had said he supported the idea of states and private sector groups taking over responsibility for disaster relief.

“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction,” he said. “And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking, ‘In the federal budget, what we should cut?’ we should ask the opposite question: ‘What should we keep?'”

“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney continued, when asked specifically about disaster relief. “It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

Those comments were highlighted in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as a sign of how Romney might respond to natural disasters. His campaign quickly clarified that Romney’s emergency management response would include FEMA.

“Governor Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

The Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan,suspended all campaign events on Monday evening and Tuesday “out of sensitivity” to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Bush’s disgraced FEMA director stunned at Sandy response: ‘Why was this so quick?’

Former FEMA director Michael Brown. Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.

Former FEMA director Michael Brown.

Shaking my head at the sheer idiocy of this man’s statements.

The Raw Story

Michael Brown, the former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief under President George W. Bush — best known for his pivotal role in the bungled federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — said Monday night that President Barack Obama’s disaster response effort has been so quick, it might just raise questions.

Brown, who Bush famously called “Brownie” and said he was “doing a heckofajob” while thousands struggled to survive for days in the flooded streets of New Orleans, is today no longer in government. He instead spends his day opinion-making on an AM news radio station in Colorado, where he’s been obsessing about the attack on America’s embassy in Libya for the last several weeks.

Speaking to Denver alt. weekly Westworld for an interview published Monday night, Brown criticized New York officials for what he called a “premature” decision to shut down the public transportation infrastructure. “I don’t object…they should be doing all of that,” he reportedly said. “But in the meantime, various news commentators…[and others] in New York are shrugging their shoulders, saying, ‘What’s this all about?’ It’s premature [when] the brunt of the storm won’t happen until later this afternoon.”

Brown added that he felt Obama’s press conference on Sunday, just one day before Hurricane Sandy barreled into the eastern seaboard, was politically driven. “My guess is, he wants to get ahead of it — he doesn’t want anybody to accuse him of not being on top of it or not paying attention or playing politics in the middle of it. He probably figured Sunday was a good day to do a press conference.”

For the disgraced former FEMA director, that’s the rub: “[Obama] probably could’ve had a little more impact doing it today,” Brown said, failing to note that Obama did hold yet another press conference on Monday.

“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on this so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” he asked, trying to equate an isolated terrorist attack with the largest storm to every hit the U.S. mainland. “Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.

Continue reading here…

Romney’s Spin On Disaster Relief Is Coming Your Way

Mitt Romney - under water - relief disaster    :    http://mariopiperni.com/

What will Romney” The Shapeshifter” think of next?

Mario Piperni

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the loss of life and billions of dollars worth of damage, Mitt Romney’s statement from last June calling for the privatization of disaster relief services, should spell the end of his presidential dream. But it won’t, even though for-profit disaster relief would be a nightmare of epic proportions. It won’t end Romney’s chances of winning in the same way that getting caught on video dismissing 47 percent of the population as lazy free-loaders didn’t hurt Romney much. Nor did his refusal to release anything other than two years of tax returns create much of a stir.

How about the fact that a man who is running for the office of president of the United States has Swiss bank accounts and tax havens in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands – all for the purpose of avoiding income tax. Was that a game changer? Nope. Nor was his op-ed piece in the NY Times calling for the government to let GM and the automobile industry go bankrupt a big enough error in judgment to dismiss him as suitable for the Oval Office.

Why not?

The fact is that in saner times any of the above would have killed off any possibility of a presidential candidate winning. But not so with Romney. With the help of an influential and morally-bankrupt conservative media that shields this shyster with layers and layers of spin, Romney is still in the running.

Un-fucking-believable.

Let’s see how Romney spins his way out of his FEMA comments. I’m not sure what he’ll say but whatever it is, it’ll satisfy conservatives. They’re an easy bunch to please when the only true conviction so many of them hold is ensuring that the black guy is a one-term president.

 

Cantor: No Hurricane Emergency Funding W/O Spending Cuts – Democratic Underground

Think Progress

Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere. The Washington Post reported this morning that FEMA will need more money than it currently has to deal with the storm’s aftermath and is already diverting funds from other recent disasters to deal with the hurricane, but Cantor’s comments suggest Republicans won’t authorize more funds without a fight.

Cantor took the position following the tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere in the spring and summer, and after last week’s earthquake, the epicenter for which was in his district, but the hurricane’s level of destruction is far beyond that of those disasters. Still, Cantor told Fox News that while “we’re going to find the money,” “we’re just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so.”

Cantor referred a bill the Republican-controlled House passed that approves $1 billion in disaster relief, which was financed by a $1.5 billion cut from loan program to encourage the production of fuel-efficient vehicles. But the need in the wake of the hurricane will likelygreatly surpass $1 billion, and that spending package was supposed to be used for tornado recovery efforts, for which several hundred million dollars has already been outlayed.

Related articles

FEMA Declares Eric Cantor a Disaster Area (Humor)

Andy Borowitz is hilarious!

The Borowitz Report

One day after Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) stirred controversy by withholding funds for tornado relief, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took the extraordinary step of declaring Rep. Cantor a disaster area.

Within hours of the declaration, FEMA officials were dispatched to assess the damage to Mr. Cantor’s status as a human being capable of empathy.

“I’ve seen a lot of hurricanes and tornados, but this is something new,” said FEMA spokesman Tracy Klugian.  “Rep. Cantor appears to have been caught up in a moral vacuum.”

While concerned FEMA officials looked on, the morally ravaged House Majority Leader took to the floor of the House to make the case for denying funds to repair himself.

The FEMA spokesman said that the agency was currently trying to estimate the cost of rebuilding Mr. Cantor’s soul.

“Quite frankly, I’ve never seen devastation like this,” Mr. Klugian said.  “It’s like there’s nothing there.”  

More Borowitz here