If Romney were prez, that damn rude water would have stayed where it belonged.

And FEMA? You know Willard says give that function back to the States, don’t you? Well, Colbert agrees with him. On the Report the other night, Stephen sez “Mitt’s got it exactly right! States with shattered infrastructure and devastated communications systems are the best equipped to handle their disaster.”

17 responses to “If Romney were prez, that damn rude water would have stayed where it belonged.

  1. Paraphrasing the past:

    “Well, there you go again, using reality to prove a point!”
    “Read my lips: no new disasters!”

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  2. Except he’d never say “damn” gosh darn it.

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  3. So far FEMA has had very mixed results and is incredibly inefficient. It probably would be better to move that service to the several states. If nothing else, it would eliminate the issues we had with Katrina when FEMA wasn’t allowed to help when they wanted to because authorization for them to do so hadn’t been granted by the Governor.

    Federal involvement should probably be limited to- and supplied by the Military who have many units very well trained and equipped for disaster work…and, by and large, that’s a use for the military that few would gainsay.

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    • FEMA is far from perfect but using Katrina as an example is bizarra – that was entirely a failure of politics, not of the technocrats who are the agency. The Gov screwed up for sure. But the Fed failure was just disgraceful and c an be traced directly to Bush who downgraded the agency and put a babysitter in charge. It’s a far more functional agency today. It’s also essential.

      States do plenty right now – all first responders are local – police,, firefighters, nurses, city workers – the people down in the subways and workoing on the lines are municipal or private employees. And they do almost all the work of physical recovery and always will. What a Federal agency provides reallt cannot be provided by states, since disasters don’t respect borders. An agency like FEMA has teams all over the country – not full time employees, but situtional and called in as needed – who are activated as neccessary and called into the affected area. THey set up in communities and bring very specific skills to help neighborhoods connect with federal or natioanl non profits. Sometimes just being able to answer questions is essential.

      We have a combined effort, which is exactly what we need. Imagine if you wiill the Jersey shore trying to deal with the aftermath – they’d have their hands tied behind their backs and they’d be spread so thin . . .unthinkable.

      Plus, these disasters don’t hit states – they hit our country. Sandy affected 20 states – try to coordinate recovery and financial aid with 20 bosses all fighting for their slice oof the pie and share of hte money.

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      • Moe,

        Politics can’t be extricated from FEMA and politics will always be its failing, just as it is the failing of every federal effort. Moving this to the states would alleviate some of that and make responses more efficient, especially since those teams you mentioned are almost entirely comprised of private sector contractors local to various regions.

        We have successful NGOs, e.g. the Red Cross for the rest. There’s no real need for a federal bureaucracy to attempt to coordinate things.

        Nor does any of that preclude financial aid from the federal government, so you still would get to “print mo’ money.” To be fair though, like most efforts at subsidiarity, it won’t save the People must money in taxes; it’ll just shift them from federal to state taxes.

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        • You think politics wouldn’t rear its head at the State, county or municipality level???

          I’m curious about which part of FEMA’s work you think should be moved ot States? All the NGO’s specialize. The Red Cross certainly doens’t involve itself in funding or moving bulldozers in or trucking fuel in or a million other things. Just what does FEMa do that should go?

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          • Politics will always rear its head but removing whole levels of it has to be a good thing.

            As for what to move to the states – Just about all of it that has anything to do with putting boots on the ground. A small agency left to process disaster relief funds and “broker” specialists is all that is really required.

            You see, Moe, all that ” moving bulldozers in or trucking fuel in or a million other things” isn’t done by FEMA. It’s just contracted by them, which can just as easily done by the states who know their types of disasters and where to focus preparations best.

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    • Also jonolan, much as you hate to hear it, when money is needed nad states don’t have it, they – unlike the Fed govt – cannot print it. We can and in a case like this we should.

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      • Well said, Moe, in your two counter-comments. I suggest that the FEMA issue is a paradigm of the larger one, i.e., federalism versus states’ rights. For federalism to be persuasive the citizen needs to believe that all Americans have enough in common that some significant amount of personal money and autonomy are worth the price of our collective security. Those at the other end of the spectrum, the Teavangelists, the libertarians, survivalists and militias, have tribes smaller and less ethnically diverse. There’s the problem in a nutshell. Absent an external national threat like the U.S.S.R., the fundamentalist Christians leading the charge for national disunity less and less want to be their brothers’ keepers. Ironic.

        There is a different solution, however. If everybody will become Mormons they will be cared for because the LDS Church has a vast modern network designed specifically to offset the effects of misfortune for their members – warehouses, stores, equipment, management. Problem solved.

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        • To me, the phrase in the Preamble about providing for ‘the common good’ is clear as a bell and wide as the ocean. I see no other way to read it than that we should pursue policies that are beneficial to the largest number of people.
          I just listened to a lecture this am (CSpan) by Hedrick Smith about his new book “Who Stole the American Dream”. I’ve just put it on the old Amazone wish list. He starts with the story of the Powell memorandum. Are you familiar iwth it Jim?

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          • I was unaware of the Powell “memorandum” and I have you to thank for causing me to look it up. From what I can see, Powell sowed the seeds of the nefarious Citizens United decision. Ug. Not surprising that he was a lawyer for the tobacco industry.

            Smith’s book does look good and I’m downloading a “sample” to my iPad to check it out. Thanks for the tip, Moe.

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          • Yes, that Preamble and the following General Welfare Clause have caused America nigh on untold amounts of harm and mischief. It’s the first, last, and best hope for the statist fools and the power-hungry politicians and bureaucrats who feed of them.

            I say in response that “promote” does not equate to “provide.”

            And that doesn’t even address the very real question of whether or not FEMA, in anything like its current form, even promotes the common good or general welfare by being better than States run systems would be.

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