Southern Man... Don't Forget What Your Good Book Says
My sister didn't move far from where we grew up. She and her family live in Manhattan Beach, a very narrow spit of land in Brooklyn between Sheepshead Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. She's been in Florida since right after SuperStorm Sandy inundated her home. Her husband and two kids have moved into hotels while they renovated the house and my brother-in-law's business, also wiped out by the storm. Manhattan Beach was almpst completely devastated by the storm. My sister's refrigerator was last seen floating down the street towards Sheepshead Bay and her car drowned too. Her insurance company has already replaced the car but, like most of her neighbors, she had no flood insurance and FEMA... well, this is the longest time in history that natural disaster victims have been made to twist in the wind waiting for assistance. Rotten reactionaries from the South, who are calling aid "pork," are getting even with the North for freeing the slaves and disrupting their unique way of life down there-- and they're as worked up into a blood lust today as the Tuaregs in Mali are and for the exact same reasons.
Last night the Southern sociopaths who control the House Republican Caucus tried again to prevent federal aid from reaching the survivors of Sandy, primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The setting was a Rules Committee meeting in which Confederate obstructionists offered dozens of amendments to a bill to get aid to the victims. The craziest amendments by die-hard Confederates like Paul Broun were all disallowed, although some of the Southern assholes and hatemongers like John Fleming (R-LA), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Bill Flores (R-TX) and Jeff Duncan (R-SC) got their bullshit through the committee. Long Island Republican Peter King was flipping out and told the media that "the amendment free-for-all goes counter to assurances" Boehner made to him on Jan. 2 that the bill would be given expedited treatment.
Boehner made assurances to King and other northeast lawmakers after pulling a $60.4 billion Sandy appropriations bill from the floor in the waning hours of the 112th Congress. King and other Republicans, including Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), publicly denounced Boehner for withdrawing the bill, and some lawmakers hinted they would not vote for Boehner when he came up for reelection as Speaker the next day.Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the committee's ranking member, denounced the tactics the anti-North reactionaries are using. “It’s time to deliver long-overdue emergency assistance for victims of Superstorm Sandy without further delay or dysfunction. Instead of simply considering a clean measure, the Majority has submitted over 45 amendments to the Rules Committee to cut, hinder or offset the aid found in this package. Never in the modern history of the United States have victims of a natural disaster waited this long-- 78 days and counting-- to receive federal aid. The only difference is today we have a faction in Congress that regularly uses self-imposed crises to hold the interests and the people of this country hostage to their ideological demands."
House leaders in the new Congress split the bill up, allowing a $9.7 billion flood insurance measure to pass.
...“We were told the bill was coming up as is,” King said. By Friday, 92 amendments were filed to the bill.
“Obviously some of them would kill the bill,” King said.
Here are some of the nonsensical amendments proposed by Republicans:
Amendment #4: Proposes an across the board cut of 1.63 percent to all discretionary appropriations for fiscal year 2013 in order to offset $17 billion in Sandy aid.
Amendment #78: Zeroes out all foreign aid and assistance except for Israel and Pakistan.
Amendment #86: Prohibits funds from being used to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
Amendment #7: Strikes $19,500,000 in funding for a study to address future flood risks.
Amendment #9: Strikes $25,000,000 in funding to “improve weather forecasting and hurricane intensity forecasting capabilities,” among other things.
Amendment #11: Strikes $8,500,000 in funding for “improvements to weather forecasting equipment and supercomputer infrastructure.” [John Bircher Paul Broun (R-GA) has introduced a number of amendments like this that seek to cut funding for climate change mitigation efforts. Even other Republicans in The South think Broun, a former drug addict, is certifiably insane and dangerous.]
Amendment #12: Strikes $13,000,000 in funding to “accelerate the National Weather Service ground readiness project.”
UPDATE: Confederate Obstructionists Overruled by Congress
Extreme right-wing South Carolina secessionist Mick Mulvaney introduced an amendment that would have forced the government to pay for $17 billion in SuperStorm Sandy aid by cutting social programs right-wing freaks like himself don't like. Although virtually all the worst Confederates in the Republican caucus supported it, all but 5 right-wing Democrats opposed it (Blue Dogs Jim Cooper, Jim Matheson, Colin Peterson, and Kurt Schrader plus New Dem John Carney) and they were joined by 71 Republicans, enough to shut the Confederates down, killing the amendment 162-258. True to form, Eric Cantor (R-VA)-- who the DCCC gave a free pass to reelection last cycle-- stuck with his Confederate allies and voted for Mulvaney's amendment.
In the end the Sandy relief bill passed 241-180-- but with only 49 Republicans voting for it. The only Democrat voting NO was Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN). Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), like every Member endorsed by Blue America, voted for the aid. “There is a long tradition in Congress," she explained to her constituents after the vote, "of passing disaster aid and I am glad that we were able to continue that today. There is no place for politics when helping our communities recover from a disaster.”