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Republican Hypocrisy on Federal Disaster Help

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posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 04:55 AM
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Remember how the Republicans' proposed budget cut FEMA by $400 million, and how Romney wanted to do away with FEMA and other federal disaster relief and leave it to local and state government to take care of such matters, and that it would be even better to leave it in the hands of private businesses -- or at least that was what Romeny and the Re-bumble-licans said before the Etch-a-sketched it after Hurricane Sandy hit.

Well now Republican congressmen are calling for federal help for power restoration in the storm-affected areas.

Republican congressman Peter King, 3rd NY Dist., has sent a letter to President Obama, asking for the Federal government to take the lead role in restoring power to the areas of Long Island devastated by Hurricane Sandy because of the Long Island Power Authority's (LIPA) failure to do so.

news article link

Peter King's press release on the matter

Now admittedly LIPA is a municipally owned utility; however, power transmission and distribution is handled by National Grid USA, which has a maintenance contract. NG-USA is North American operations of the British company National Grid.

LIPA

National Grid Inc

So we have here a very conservative Republican congressman calling for the federal government taking the lead role over a locally-owned municipal utility, which in turn has a contract with a private, foreign company to maintain the system. Now I don't live anywhere near the area, so I can't say just how well LIPA is doing; this was a major storm that caused massive damage, so the fact that not everyone's power is back after almost two weeks is not really a surprise to me. However, I have read posts on ATS from Floridians and Texans who say that being without power for a month isn't unheard of after a major storm. Hence, I am not going to condemn LIPA or NG-USA. Whether they have been overwhelmed by the job and are not doing all they can would appear to be a matter to still be determined.

BUT the fact that yet another Republican elected official is calling for the federal government to take charge of the matter belies the GOP's ideological mantra that the federal government should get out of the disaster relief business and that such matters can be handled best by local and state authorities and private businesses. Can we all agree on this point now, that smaller government, and in particular smaller federal government, isn't necessarily better? That during times of major disasters the federal government needs to come in and hep, and therefore an agency in the US government needs to exist and be funded to handle such contingencies?

I hope during the upcoming congressional deliberations that Rep. King's and hopefully some of his fellow caucus members' legislative actions will be guided by this experience rather than adhering to strict party-line ideological views on the role of government and the funding thereof. If not, I hope his and other Republican congress men's/women's constituents finally learn their lesson and throw the bums out in 2014.

And nothing against Britain, but why do we continue to allow British companies to have us by the short hairs in crucial industries, letting them drill oil irresponsibly and dangerously without concern for safety or environmental protection, and outsourcing to them the maintenance of our utilities?




posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 05:03 AM
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Fema probably should be eliminated for the most part. Give the funding to states for emergencies.

Whatd you expect from republicans anyway?



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 05:07 AM
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Originally posted by phroziac
Fema probably should be eliminated for the most part. Give the funding to states for emergencies.

Whatd you expect from republicans anyway?


Thanks for not bothering to read much of the OP. According to the congressman and local citizenry, the local municipal utility is not cutting it in this matter. You've responded before to threads involving federal disaster relief/help and your stock answer is get rid of FEMA. You're a broken record.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 05:36 AM
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I lived on L.I.at the time of the public take over of the Long Island lighting company at the time.They tried to complete a nuclear power plant at Shoreham until the people pretty much revolted and killed the project and were taken over.I called an old lady family friend Friday to check on her(I'm in MI.now)and was told she STILL had no power as of Friday.Obviously they were simply overwhelmed.Its idiotic to not want access to governments combined resources,IMO.
edit on 11-11-2012 by AgentX09 because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-11-2012 by AgentX09 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 05:40 AM
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Didn't union line workers turn away non-union help?

I guess they figured it wasn't a big deal then.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 05:53 AM
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It isn't just a hypocrisy on FEMA. It is long past time to face the power grid is aging and not well. Yet somehow private industry has not managed to keep up with the growing demands and need to upgrade it. Pretty much we are right back where we were when the Federal Government had to build transmission lines into rural areas so private industry could profit from it. It is this corporate welfare that is killing us. The private sector isn't going to pay to modernize the grid, so once again it is gonna be the Federal Government that will end up having to do it.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer
Didn't union line workers turn away non-union help?

I guess they figured it wasn't a big deal then.


Want to provide a link/citation that confirms your claim, or did you not learn your lesson yet of not believing everything spewed in the right-wing echo chamber, and rather look for independent news sources?

I just spent a minute googling, and found and read several news stories stating that non-union workers were, indeed, accepted to help:

LIPA Union: Workers not turned away

Non-Union Help Not Rejected After Storm: Utility Co.

Where do you get your information?

This seems to be how the right-wing and conservatives do things: They make some unsubstantiated claim in response to a story that conflicts with their world view. The rumor that supports their theory/world view they accept as gospel without fact checking it.

Seriously, if you are going to respond to a thread that doesn't jive with your world view/political ideology, then please back up your assertions with some legitimate news sources, or don't make your unfounded claims, because such intellectual laziness and/or dishonesty just isn't appreciated or needed. It certainly isn't productive.

Dude, you got a stupid Obama Bunny as an avatar because you lost a bet on the election based on all the misinformation you and all your conservative fellow travelers have been fed. AND YOU'RE STILL DOING IT. Karl Rove, Mitt Romney and all the conservative pundits were either drinking the same kool-aid or knowingly dispensing to you folks. And you're still gulping it down -- that's what I can't understand.
edit on 11-11-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by KeliOnyx
It isn't just a hypocrisy on FEMA. It is long past time to face the power grid is aging and not well. Yet somehow private industry has not managed to keep up with the growing demands and need to upgrade it. Pretty much we are right back where we were when the Federal Government had to build transmission lines into rural areas so private industry could profit from it. It is this corporate welfare that is killing us. The private sector isn't going to pay to modernize the grid, so once again it is gonna be the Federal Government that will end up having to do it.


Heavens no, we can't spend public funds on updating infrastructure. That's COMMUNISM! -- or at least socialism. What could be a worst waste of tax dollars than building necessary infrastructure improvements that will better weather natural disasters and help to spur the economy? Rather, we must cut taxes on the rich because trickle-down economics has been proven time and time again to be the only way to improve the economy. Just ask David Stockman, Reagan's economic guru who fathered this theory. Oh, wait, he repudiated this theory more than a decade ago. Oops.
edit on 11-11-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:26 AM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


Very well put, F&S for the OP!

On the other hand, did you really expect anything less? The current and might I say losing political strategy, for the GOP is founded on fear, hypocrisy and lies. Furthermore, Congressman Peter King is probably one of their best examples of this strategy.

We should definitely throw the bums out in 2014! Not just in N.Y., but across the nation.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:38 AM
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allthough i hold very stong opinions on this topic.....i have to temper it by saying, that the massive scale of damage done, coupled with the wide swath of dense populations in the areas affected, lead me to believe that no amount of moblization would get this fixed quickly. the hundreds of thousands of workers, that are working around the clock, know that lives are being threatened...and it is going to take a few weeks, if not months, to get things back to normal. quit blaming, and give some credit...it's not easy for the people that live there, or the people that have to go in and fix it.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:46 AM
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Instead of nation building overseas, our money should be building up our own failing infrastructure. Why should my tax money go to building a school in Iraq when we have people in the mountain region of appalachia who haven't got a good school. Why should my tax money be building roads in Afghanistan when people in Baltimore are living in cardboard boxes? Our own bridges are literally falling into rivers. Our own power grid can't handle summer heat waves or winter cold snaps. Our FEMA can't handle emergencies.

As far as I'm concerned ... the entire government is screwed up and mis-spends. It EQUALLY wastes money - like to investigate Nancy Pelosi's mice and like it wastes money to fund the republican 'bridge to nowhere' projects. All this wasted money should be spent on securing our infrastructure so FEMA wouldn't have such a tough job all the time. All this wasted money should be spent on building up America ... which makes America stronger and creates jobs.

Kill the pork. Kill the nation building (leave it for faith based groups).
Build and update the infrastructure. Then disaster relief won't be needed as badly.

Makes sense to me.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by jimmyx
 


As a 56 yr. resident of the Texas gulf coast, I have lived through the aftermath of numerous severe hurricanes, including going weeks on end without power, clean water or gasoline. I know what these people are going through and I sympathize with them.

On the other hand, I can still recognize a hypocrite when I see one and today's GOP is infested with them. To advocate for the privatization of a much needed disaster relief function of the federal government and then turn around and ask for help from that very agency is about as hypocritical as Paul Ryan asking for stimulus funds after voting against them. IMO, they're bums and they need to be thrown out at the earliest opportunity.
edit on 11-11-2012 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
Instead of nation building overseas, our money should be building up our own failing infrastructure. Why should my tax money go to building a school in Iraq when we have people in the mountain region of appalachia who haven't got a good school. Why should my tax money be building roads in Afghanistan when people in Baltimore are living in cardboard boxes? Our own bridges are literally falling into rivers. Our own power grid can't handle summer heat waves or winter cold snaps. Our FEMA can't handle emergencies.

As far as I'm concerned ... the entire government is screwed up and mis-spends. It EQUALLY wastes money - like to investigate Nancy Pelosi's mice and like it wastes money to fund the republican 'bridge to nowhere' projects. All this wasted money should be spent on securing our infrastructure so FEMA wouldn't have such a tough job all the time. All this wasted money should be spent on building up America ... which makes America stronger and creates jobs.

Kill the pork. Kill the nation building (leave it for faith based groups).
Build and update the infrastructure. Then disaster relief won't be needed as badly.

Makes sense to me.


Flyersfan, this is the second topic on which we have agreed lately -- Bloomberg's attempt to hold the NYC Marathon a week after the Hurricane being the other. Seriously, I am glad to see that. It would appear that we have some common interests. It would be good if the various political groups (not parties, but different schools of thought, i.e. liberals/progressives, conservatives and libertarians) across the spectrum could get together on stuff that we agree on and form a big-tent third party that could start taking power away from the political establishment.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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The fact that Republican senators want to revamp fema has no bearing on the fact that Fema is paid for by all taxpayer money. It is not "Hypocricy" to utilize the system that is in place at present to deal with emergencies.

Fema does need to be revamped. It is a big government money hog that is poor on results but it's what we have to work with until improvements are made.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


Before you get your hate on. . .


DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -
A Decatur Utilities crew left Alabama to help with storm recovery in New Jersey, but did not make the trip because of what they are now calling confusion over union paperwork.


The six-man crew staged in Virginia, but Decatur Utilities said they were never able to get in touch with officials or utility companies in New York or New Jersey. While the crew stood down in Virginia, Decatur Utilities officials claimed they received a union contract they thought they would have to agree to before helping storm victims.

General Manager Ray Hardin appeared on Fox Business Channel Friday morning saying, "We were presented documents from IBEW that required our folks to affiliate with the unions and that was something we could not agree to."

Decatur Utilities later released a statement expanding on that, "Upon arriving at a staging area in Virginia, crews were held in place pending clarification of documents received from IBEW that implied a requirement of our employees to agree to union affiliation while working in the New York and New Jersey areas. It was and remains our understanding that agreeing to those requirements was a condition of being allowed to work in those areas."

Late Friday at a press conference, Hardin said the documents actually came from Electric Cities of Alabama, a coalition of the state's municipally owned utilities.

Bottom line, it appears now that Decatur Utilities wrongly assumed they would have to agree to the union contract before traveling to New Jersey to help with recovery efforts. The IBEW said in times of crisis, help is welcomed from union and non-union utility workers

www.waff.com...



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


Before you get your hate on. . .


DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -
A Decatur Utilities crew left Alabama to help with storm recovery in New Jersey, but did not make the trip because of what they are now calling confusion over union paperwork.


The six-man crew staged in Virginia, but Decatur Utilities said they were never able to get in touch with officials or utility companies in New York or New Jersey. While the crew stood down in Virginia, Decatur Utilities officials claimed they received a union contract they thought they would have to agree to before helping storm victims.

General Manager Ray Hardin appeared on Fox Business Channel Friday morning saying, "We were presented documents from IBEW that required our folks to affiliate with the unions and that was something we could not agree to."

Decatur Utilities later released a statement expanding on that, "Upon arriving at a staging area in Virginia, crews were held in place pending clarification of documents received from IBEW that implied a requirement of our employees to agree to union affiliation while working in the New York and New Jersey areas. It was and remains our understanding that agreeing to those requirements was a condition of being allowed to work in those areas."

Late Friday at a press conference, Hardin said the documents actually came from Electric Cities of Alabama, a coalition of the state's municipally owned utilities.

Bottom line, it appears now that Decatur Utilities wrongly assumed they would have to agree to the union contract before traveling to New Jersey to help with recovery efforts. The IBEW said in times of crisis, help is welcomed from union and non-union utility workers

www.waff.com...


But this story shows they were not turned down and the alleged memo came from Alabama. So why repeat a rumor that has already been proven wrong?


General Manager Ray Hardin appeared on Fox Business Channel Friday morning saying, "We were presented documents from IBEW that required our folks to affiliate with the unions and that was something we could not agree to."

Decatur Utilities later released a statement expanding on that, "Upon arriving at a staging area in Virginia, crews were held in place pending clarification of documents received from IBEW that implied a requirement of our employees to agree to union affiliation while working in the New York and New Jersey areas. It was and remains our understanding that agreeing to those requirements was a condition of being allowed to work in those areas."

Late Friday at a press conference, Hardin said the documents actually came from Electric Cities of Alabama, a coalition of the state's municipally owned utilities.


www.waff.com...



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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What do you guys want a dictator or a monarchy?

Just wondering.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by FreebirdGirl
 


Becase ofthe percieved memo, help did not arrive,ergo causing delay. Now you can blame whomever you want for that, butin the end,people got screwed.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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I've lived and been active through Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike, The Gulf Oil Spill, the 2011 Mississippi River flood, and Isaac. FEMA should be slashed back in many ways. Granted, the Northeast isn't as used to emergencies as we are down in Louisiana, but the best response generally comes from state and local sources. Federal FEMA funds are often used in rebuilding, but FEMA's bureacracy,red tape, and inefficiency are pitiful. Instead of trying to control the situation (which always ends in failure and frustration), FEMA should act in a manner similar to the National Guard Bureau during such events. The EMAC agreements between individual states is a great thing.

FEMA should act as an administrative and central coordination agency. And for really big events - Katrina/Rita level events - it can provide funding. But otherwise stay out. As far as funding, instead of the incredibly idiotic process it currently uses, it should carry out straight reimbursement based on audits and rational policy.
FEMA's process is beyond ludicrous and a large waste of money. Some of that money goes to good things.

As someone intimately familiar with FEMA, I would say that the Republicans are correct. FEMA's role needs to be clarified and reduce, but they, or a similar agency, should still exist to some extent.

Even during an extreme event like Katrina, FEMA often acts in ways that hinder proper response. Including from other Federal agencies that were actually better prepared.



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