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The politics of FEMA and Disaster Relief

FEMA Politics Romney 2006 Flooding Massachusetts Election 2012

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#1 Cait

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:35 PM

I really was curious about Romney's actual record on disaster relief, and the only place to find out was to look into his record as Governor.  Something I wish we'd done more of this election cycle.  In any event, here is an editorial about the 2006 flooding in Massachusetts and how Romney responded.

Apparently his idea of disaster relief means that the states should wait to help victims until the Fed kick in their dollars.  Sort of a reverse state rights thing.

here is a link to the news site, it's a pay for an archive article, and won't show unless you pay.
http://nl.newsbank.c...l_useweights=no

And here is a link to Daily Kos about the 2006 Editorial

http://www.dailykos....ef-A-TRUE-story

Quote

No relief from Romney
The Lowell Sun

We find it inconceivable that Gov. Mitt Romney claims the state can do nothing to help those residents still struggling to rebuild homes and businesses after the May flood.Massachusetts is sitting on millions in unspent emergency funds from Hurricane Katrina and more than $1 billion in cash reserves, yet Romney has failed to even respond to the Lowell delegation's requests to discuss additional aid for victims.
The governor's spokesman -- since Romney can't be bothered to comment now that the photo opportunities have dried up even though some residents' basements haven't -- said the state will not consider spending its own money for flood victims until it's clear how much cash the federal government will give.
It's been two months, governor. Many Massachusetts residents are still living in temporary housing or trying to rebuild destroyed basements and first floors, racking up credit-card debt and taking out home-equity loans.
What's wrong with fronting the money and having those loans repaid when, and if, federal agencies come through with more cash?
If ignoring the pleas of legislators and constituents is the way Romney's going to handle a crisis situation, why would anyone vote for him for president? How would he handle a national crisis, by flying in for photo ops and then hiding in his White House office?
The Lowell delegation came up with a plan that includes five ways to channel additional state aid to residents who lost property and possessions to the floodwaters. They're good ideas that deserve consideration. They include: one-time grants of up to $10,000 each for those without flood insurance; one-time grants from Mass. Development for small business owners; and tax deductions.
If Romney wants to tout his Bay State experience in a run for president, he would be wise to make sure he has something to brag about. Helping residents rebuild their homes and businesses would be a good start.


Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#2 cl05

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:25 AM

I had always known that many people in Mass. didn't like Mitt much. This is a perfect example of how the man governed his state and would lead the country. Anyone on the fence should pay attention to articles like this. The man hasn't been for all the people in his life. I doubt that will change if he becomes president.

#3 DarthMarley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

I don't see how this is such a hard knock against him.
Conservatives generally speaking don't favor bailouts.
Two months after a flood, people are not drowning, they are just looking for subsidies.
Flood insurance? Or payouts to homeowners?
Bad things happen and the government is not there to solve every problem like a wet basement.
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#4 BklnScott

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

I can tell you, DM, that two months after THIS flood, people will still be drowning... just drowning of a different sort... and I *do* think it's the government's job to provide rescue and relief to its citizens after a natural disaster.  

Romney -- and much of the far right -- apparently believe otherwise.  They apparently believe that disaster relief can and should be block granted to states (because natural disasters always respect state lines) and/or private corporations.  Can you imagine?  Disaster relief for a profit?  "I'm sorry about the flood, earthquake, fire.  There's nothing the government can do for you.  But I can give you Halliburton's toll free number..."

No.

"Why, no sir/ma'am, it is the Romney administration's position that the rise of the oceans is not something that is happening, and even if it is, it is not the place of the Federal government of the United States of America to seek to, y'know, do something about it."  In other words: Republican Party to Most Populous Part of America: seek higher ground, 'cause we cain't do nuthin' fer ya.  

No.  

Vote.

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There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!

#5 DarthMarley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:32 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 04 November 2012 - 10:59 AM, said:

I can tell you, DM, that two months after THIS flood, people will still be drowning... just drowning of a different sort... and I *do* think it's the government's job to provide rescue and relief to its citizens after a natural disaster.  

Romney -- and much of the far right -- apparently believe otherwise.  They apparently believe that disaster relief can and should be block granted to states (because natural disasters always respect state lines) and/or private corporations.  Can you imagine?  Disaster relief for a profit?  "I'm sorry about the flood, earthquake, fire.  There's nothing the government can do for you.  But I can give you Halliburton's toll free number..."

No.

"Why, no sir/ma'am, it is the Romney administration's position that the rise of the oceans is not something that is happening, and even if it is, it is not the place of the Federal government of the United States of America to seek to, y'know, do something about it."  In other words: Republican Party to Most Populous Part of America: seek higher ground, 'cause we cain't do nuthin' fer ya.  

No.  

Vote.

Fair enough that you think the federal government has a role to play after a disaster, I can think of things I think they should do.
But isn't the criticism here a matter of taking what Romney did as governer, waiting to see how the feds would help a different question?
Frankly, such a stand strikes me as a rather liberal position. I don't have to defend it because I think state money should be used to the maximum extent possible.
But it is a more Landrue than Regan. If the complaint is that Romney is a hypocrite who acted like a liberal as governor, I agree.

In terms of block grants, there are legal issues involved, like how taxpayer money is collected demands adherence to taxpayer money being distributed to states according to population under certain circumstances.
But don't let the law get in the way of a fun rhetorical opportunity to bash the other side.

Private organizationjs also do charity work. I can see an advantage in sending a large federal check to the Red Cross rather than hire a bunch of union workers to dispense occasional disaster relief, but still collect a salary and pay union dues. So the Halliburton, or "for profit" claim has no legs, at least, it doesn't if you have a bit of imagination.

But I get it, conservatives are bad people because they would not do things the way you want them to do things. Odds are many of them think the same of you. So I get that.

http://online.wsj.co...3245350506.html

http://www.ronpaulfo...Disaster-Relief

http://www.christian...r-relief-84295/

Do you really think that this megastorm has something to do with, what exactly is the measure of the rise in the oceans?

In the history of the USA, there have been significant natural disasters, while there has not long been any federal role in providing relief.
Somehow life carried on before people got into the habit of shaming those who think relief should be offered as a matter of charitable altruism, not a tax obligation.
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#6 BklnScott

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:12 PM

The "measure of the rise in the oceans" is literally the rise of the oceans.  it's the literally unprecedented flooding of lower Manhattan, Jersey City, Hoboken, Staten Island, southern Queens and Brooklyn, the Jersey Shore and the south shore of Long Island -- all under water, many feet of water.  


The governor of my state said the following: "We are having the storm of the century every two years now."  

It's true.

It doesn't matter what caused it.  It's here, and we have to deal with it.  But one of the two major political parties denies that it is happening -- they claim loudly and often that it's a "hoax" -- so a vote for them is a vote to do nothing and a vote for the Democrats is a vote to TAKE THE THREAT SERIOUSLY.

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There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!

#7 DarthMarley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:44 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 04 November 2012 - 01:12 PM, said:

The "measure of the rise in the oceans" is literally the rise of the oceans.  it's the literally unprecedented flooding of lower Manhattan, Jersey City, Hoboken, Staten Island, southern Queens and Brooklyn, the Jersey Shore and the south shore of Long Island -- all under water, many feet of water.  


The governor of my state said the following: "We are having the storm of the century every two years now."  

It's true.

It doesn't matter what caused it.  It's here, and we have to deal with it.  But one of the two major political parties denies that it is happening -- they claim loudly and often that it's a "hoax" -- so a vote for them is a vote to do nothing and a vote for the Democrats is a vote to TAKE THE THREAT SERIOUSLY.

Let us be quite clear here.
You are claiming that flooding from a hurricane storm surge is a matter of "the oceans rising?
Is that really what you mean to say?
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#8 BklnScott

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

My entire family is shivering and running out of food after an unprecedented flood destroyed my home.  The governor of my state pointed out, correctly, that we now have "the storm of the century" every two years.  It's true.  It's not just hurricane weather.  It's blizzards, too.  

The climate has changed.  The cause is not important.  What IS important is that we have one candidate who acknowledges it is happening and another who mocks the whole subject matter with his 'stop the oceans from rising' punchline.    

THE OCEANS ROSE A HELLUVA LOT HERE ON MONDAY NIGHT, DM.  I've lived here 40 years.  I've never seen anything like it.  Because nothing like it has ever happened.  I'm not playing.  

We have a stark choice before us on Tuesday, one that seems far more urgent for people in the northeast than it did a week ago.  One party believes in science, which predicted this; and one party DOES NOT.  People should vote accordingly.

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There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!

#9 Cait

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

View PostDarthMarley, on 04 November 2012 - 01:44 PM, said:


Let us be quite clear here.
You are claiming that flooding from a hurricane storm surge is a matter of "the oceans rising?
Is that really what you mean to say?

Are you saying that the increase in Mega Storms has nothing to do with Climate Change?  

I can concede that we all might not agree on the "cause" of climate change, but seriously, is anyone still denying that we are in the middle of climate change and that the weather patterns are more menacing to life now?

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#10 BklnScott

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:29 PM

Not to put too fine a point on it but we are now expecting a ferocious nor'easter on Wednesday.  In addition to all that entails -- more flooding, more people without power, etc -- temps are supposed to go down to the 20s.  This with most of Long Island, Staten Island and much of jersey still without heat and gas.

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There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!

#11 DarthMarley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:29 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 04 November 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

My entire family is shivering and running out of food after an unprecedented flood destroyed my home.  The governor of my state pointed out, correctly, that we now have "the storm of the century" every two years.  It's true.  It's not just hurricane weather.  It's blizzards, too.  

The climate has changed.  The cause is not important.  What IS important is that we have one candidate who acknowledges it is happening and another who mocks the whole subject matter with his 'stop the oceans from rising' punchline.

THE OCEANS ROSE A HELLUVA LOT HERE ON MONDAY NIGHT, DM.  I've lived here 40 years.  I've never seen anything like it.  Because nothing like it has ever happened.  I'm not playing.  

We have a stark choice before us on Tuesday, one that seems far more urgent for people in the northeast than it did a week ago.  One party believes in science, which predicted this; and one party DOES NOT.  People should vote accordingly.

I am certain that many are indeed suffering.
This is a rare meeting of storms, and the same Internet that lets you post here can explain it to you in meteorological terms, and you can even look up the big words online.

Meteorologists can tell you how much the climate has changed over the course of millenia. It is a fascinating study.
There are even geological and architechtural features taht tell us global ocean levels were once much higher and much lower.

Think about the statement "We now have the storm of the century every two years."
It is absurd on its face.
It is like something Yogi Berra might have said.
People who would say "Its true!" to such a comment are fortunately not in any position to tell us what a "new normal" of expected climate might be going forward.

And if you consider Romney mocking Obama's speech to be a punchline, don't you think that if, as you spurriously claim, the oceans rose a hell of a lot in a local region, that Obama failed you on a very personal level? Or maybe this storm was the fault of Bush, extreme right wingnuts, and the TEA party. Might as well fill in the blanks with those factors as a cause if you really don't know better.

When one says the ocean level rises, it means, among people who discuss this kind of thing as a matter of scientific inquiry, that ocean levels rise in NYC as well as off the Ivory Coast and in Sydney by an amount that is "the same" under accepted methods of measurement.
Yes, a killer storm hit a region. People suffer as a result.
But in no way does that bolster any claim that the level of oceans are rising.

As for the all caps screed, you need to check your attitude. If someone tells me face to face that "I'm not playing" after a shrill tirade, they become face to ground in a heartbeat. There is no reason I should be subjected to this.

To invoke science, which you clearly have a cripplingly limited knowledge of as a reason to "vote for the good guys!" is farcsical. You invoke what you think is science when it suits you.
This is a local phenomona that is a tragedy.
But the ocean did not rise, you were hit by a storm. Little bits of the ocean were blown by strong winds. Rain fell filling tributaries. It is a hurricane and a flood, and those don't happen where you live nearly as often as they do in other parts of the world.

Even with that, your candidate can't stop the "oceans from rising" or don't you think he would have done so?
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#12 DarthMarley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

View PostCait, on 04 November 2012 - 03:06 PM, said:

View PostDarthMarley, on 04 November 2012 - 01:44 PM, said:


Let us be quite clear here.
You are claiming that flooding from a hurricane storm surge is a matter of "the oceans rising?
Is that really what you mean to say?

Are you saying that the increase in Mega Storms has nothing to do with Climate Change?  

I can concede that we all might not agree on the "cause" of climate change, but seriously, is anyone still denying that we are in the middle of climate change and that the weather patterns are more menacing to life now?

Cait, I was asking for a clarification which I didn't get.
It seemed a rather simple question that has gone unanswered.
I will not be so discourteous.
I suspect that global warming would indeed increase the occurance and magnitude of certain storm types. Some models indicate that. but they are only models, and predictive meteorology is far from perfect, as weather is a complex system. I find it unlikely that there is a single cause, as the earth has warmed in the past, and weather patterns have cycled through calm and rough times.

Weather patterns have menaced human life as long as there have been humans. In pre-industrail times, weather was still a life and death threat.
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#13 Cait

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

View PostDarthMarley, on 04 November 2012 - 07:34 PM, said:

View PostCait, on 04 November 2012 - 03:06 PM, said:

View PostDarthMarley, on 04 November 2012 - 01:44 PM, said:

Let us be quite clear here.
You are claiming that flooding from a hurricane storm surge is a matter of "the oceans rising?
Is that really what you mean to say?

Are you saying that the increase in Mega Storms has nothing to do with Climate Change?  

I can concede that we all might not agree on the "cause" of climate change, but seriously, is anyone still denying that we are in the middle of climate change and that the weather patterns are more menacing to life now?

Cait, I was asking for a clarification which I didn't get.
It seemed a rather simple question that has gone unanswered.
I will not be so discourteous.
I suspect that global warming would indeed increase the occurance and magnitude of certain storm types. Some models indicate that. but they are only models, and predictive meteorology is far from perfect, as weather is a complex system. I find it unlikely that there is a single cause, as the earth has warmed in the past, and weather patterns have cycled through calm and rough times.

Weather patterns have menaced human life as long as there have been humans. In pre-industrail times, weather was still a life and death threat.

Thanks for the response and the clarification.  :)

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#14 BklnScott

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:23 PM

View PostDarthMarley, on 04 November 2012 - 07:29 PM, said:

View PostBklnScott, on 04 November 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

My entire family is shivering and running out of food after an unprecedented flood destroyed my home.  The governor of my state pointed out, correctly, that we now have "the storm of the century" every two years.  It's true.  It's not just hurricane weather.  It's blizzards, too.  

The climate has changed.  The cause is not important.  What IS important is that we have one candidate who acknowledges it is happening and another who mocks the whole subject matter with his 'stop the oceans from rising' punchline.

THE OCEANS ROSE A HELLUVA LOT HERE ON MONDAY NIGHT, DM.  I've lived here 40 years.  I've never seen anything like it.  Because nothing like it has ever happened.  I'm not playing.  

We have a stark choice before us on Tuesday, one that seems far more urgent for people in the northeast than it did a week ago.  One party believes in science, which predicted this; and one party DOES NOT.  People should vote accordingly.

I am certain that many are indeed suffering.
This is a rare meeting of storms, and the same Internet that lets you post here can explain it to you in meteorological terms, and you can even look up the big words online.

Meteorologists can tell you how much the climate has changed over the course of millenia. It is a fascinating study.
There are even geological and architechtural features taht tell us global ocean levels were once much higher and much lower.

Think about the statement "We now have the storm of the century every two years."
It is absurd on its face.
It is like something Yogi Berra might have said.
People who would say "Its true!" to such a comment are fortunately not in any position to tell us what a "new normal" of expected climate might be going forward.

And if you consider Romney mocking Obama's speech to be a punchline, don't you think that if, as you spurriously claim, the oceans rose a hell of a lot in a local region, that Obama failed you on a very personal level? Or maybe this storm was the fault of Bush, extreme right wingnuts, and the TEA party. Might as well fill in the blanks with those factors as a cause if you really don't know better.

When one says the ocean level rises, it means, among people who discuss this kind of thing as a matter of scientific inquiry, that ocean levels rise in NYC as well as off the Ivory Coast and in Sydney by an amount that is "the same" under accepted methods of measurement.
Yes, a killer storm hit a region. People suffer as a result.
But in no way does that bolster any claim that the level of oceans are rising.

As for the all caps screed, you need to check your attitude. If someone tells me face to face that "I'm not playing" after a shrill tirade, they become face to ground in a heartbeat. There is no reason I should be subjected to this.

You're speaking colloquially here, right?  I mean, no one is meant to interpret that as an actual threat.  You just mean that what I posted angered you.  Similarly, I was speaking colloquially when I used the Romney campaign's derogative formulation, "the rise of the oceans."  I assumed that anyone who read it would be familiar with the reference and understand that I meant it the way Romney did: as a shorthand for the whole issue of climate change.  I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.  Further to the point: when I say "I'm not playing," what I mean is that I'm not interested in side-tracking into some reductio ad absurdum strawman about definitions.  

Not incidentally, I suspect that what Governor Cuomo meant when he said "we get the storm of the century every 2 years now" is: storms with huge destructive capability that have hit the region very rarely now happen routinely.  The predicted future is here.  And we have to deal with it.

Quote

Even with that, your candidate can't stop the "oceans from rising" or don't you think he would have done so?

I guess his diabolical weather ray was on the fritz.  On the issue of climate change: it takes two to tango.  What do you do when your dance partner is in full-on, unhinged denial that the issue even exists?  What do you do when the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Environment and Public Works -- who would be the chairman of the committee if the GOP took back the Senate -- insists that climate change is a "hoax" perpetrated on god-fearing Americans (who rightly believe the earth is just 7,000 years old) by a global conspiracy of scientists intent on conning the taxpayers into funding their (cough) "research."  

Seriously: what do you do?  I don't know, but meanwhile, the climate has changed and the most densely populated part of the country just got decimated... with a ferocious nor'easter on its heels... and who knows what kind of winter after that?  And then another summer of record-breaking heat?  

All I know is: it's better to vote for the guy who understands this is actually happening and that we have to figure out how to weather it -- pun very much intended :) -- than it is to vote for the guy who is in denial about it and therefore will do nothing to address the problem.

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There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!



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