Friday, November 02, 2012

Fermé pour le week-end

An update for those of you scoring at home: A certain Shady Dame and I will be winging our way back to Brooklyn -- 4th largest city in America, as viewers of Welcome Back, Kotter will recall -- on Sunday.

Brooklyn, fortunately, was spared The Wrath of Sandy; my beloved Hackensack, NJ (Paris of the Tri-State Metro Area) was not so lucky; it is, along with the rest of Bergen County, officially a disaster area. No electricity at the moment, although I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will have been restored by the time I get back.

My younger brother has been taking care of our Mom in my absence,and although they're shivering in the cold, they are otherwise well, and I will be taking over his duties on Monday.

If we don't have power, of course, I won't be posting until it comes back on.

Until we meet again, then -- in the immortal words of Casey Kasem, Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Also -- fuck every Republican/climate change denialist who voted to slash funding for FEMA.

With a rusty chainsaw.


Gummo said...

Just one correction, steve:

Brooklyn was NOT spared the wrath of Sandy -- there are thousands along the coast who are without power, heat & water; some have lost their homes, others have lost everything in their homes.

Hope your mother is safe, warm & dry.

steve simels said...

OUR area of Brookly was spared.

I regret the error, and how ghastly.

On a happier note, my mom's power came back on this morning at 8:30 am their time.

Anonymous said...

Obama’s 2013 budget for FEMA

Under President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, FEMA’s Disaster Relief Funds would be cut by $1 billion, bringing funding levels down to $6.1 billion from $7.1 billion in fiscal year 2012, a 14 percent cut. An administration official says the drop reflects decreasing tail-costs from Hurricane Katrina and stresses that the 2013 request is $500 million beyond the disaster fund’s anticipated needs, according to a Congressional formula based on the cost of disaster aid.

Overall, Obama’s budget would reduce FEMA funding by $453 million — a 3 percent cut from 2012 that would bring the agency’s total funding down to $13.5 billion, according to FEMA’s budget estimates. The Disaster Relief Fund would see the single biggest cutback, but staff salaries and expenses would also be cut by $200 million, along with smaller cuts to emergency food and shelter ($20 million) and radiological emergency preparedness ($39 million). However, funding for state and local programs and flood insurance would see a big uptick.

That said, FEMA is still protected from new funding cuts that other agencies now face. Under an agreement from last year’s debt-ceiling deal, FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund is exempt from the Budget Control Act’s spending caps. And FEMA is also able to carry over unspent money from one year to the next, which boosted its disaster relief coffers from $7.1 billion to $7.8 billion this year

Reid's senate hasn't put out a budget in 3+ years.

Both parties muck up this country more than they help. Thank God we have the non-government organizations to help (Red Cross, etc).

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve simels said...

The history of FEMA, from some Nobel Prize winning economists column in the Times today.

Consider, in particular, the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Under President George H. W. Bush, FEMA became a dumping ground for unqualified political hacks. Faced with a major test in the form of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the agency failed completely.

Then Bill Clinton came in, put FEMA under professional management, and saw the agency’s reputation restored.

Given this experience, you might have expected George W. Bush to preserve Mr. Clinton’s gains. But no: he appointed his campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh, to head the agency, and Mr. Allbaugh immediately signaled his intention both to devolve disaster relief to the state and local level and to downgrade the whole effort, declaring, “Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level.” After Mr. Allbaugh left for the private sector, he was replaced with Michael “heckuva job” Brown, and the rest is history.

Like Mr. Clinton, President Obama restored FEMA’s professionalism, effectiveness, and reputation. But would Mitt Romney destroy the agency again? Yes, he would. As everyone now knows — despite the Romney campaign’s efforts to Etch A Sketch the issue away — during the primary Mr. Romney used language almost identical to Mr. Allbaugh’s, declaring that disaster relief should be turned back to the states and to the private sector.

Also I notice you didn't mention the climate denial stuff, for obvious reasons -- i.e., there's not a single Democrat on the side of the deniers.

So spare me the both sides do it false equivalence.

GLLinMO said...

Interesting quotes above, which only proves that policital hack-dom is alive and well on both sides of the aisle. Too bad a Nobel prize doesn't mean much anymore - it too has been politicized.

Very fresh to see both Christie and Obama working toether. Which supports my point in that Fed assistance to states and local government is the best option. Avoids bungling Fed politics from both sides, be it for FEMA or other agencies.

Global warming's problem is the deniers on both sides - cause and effects. Too bad a true diptard like Al Gore is it's chief face. Else more people would pay attention to the issue.

But I got to admit - democrats are great little soldiers. They do not march out of step.

All this makes me sound like a republican / Bush supporter. Wrong - glad he's gone, alhtough he's not the fault for all wrongs either. I just do not belive in a nanny government either.

steve simels said...

Which supports my point in that Fed assistance to states and local government is the best option. Avoids bungling Fed politics from both sides, be it for FEMA or other agencies.

Translation: Which guarantees political payoffs to local cronies rather than delivery to those who need it.

steve simels said...

Besides, as Stephen Colbert observed, who better to administer infrastructure relief than the states whose infrastructure just got blown out to sea?