FEMA or no FEMA

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emember that big banner at the Republican Convention, “I BUILT IT”?

Remember how Mitt Romney and others claimed that no one needs to rely on others or the government?

Remember when Mitt Romney announced he would end FEMA?

Well, I don't know about the willfully blind, but during Sandy, I saw pictures and news coverage of firefighters putting out fires and facing what happened in Brooklyn, attempting to get to houses through flooded streets.

I saw EMT's and other first responders pushing injured people through flood waters in orange boats.

I saw police officers helping stranded people and showing people, who needed to know, where to go for help.

I even saw interviews with parents who complained that their children's schools had been closed and they would have to entertain them at home.

But in the face of all these pictures and witnessed events one has to remember that even though Republican governors of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey praised FEMA for its efforts in helping them prepare for the approaching storm, and handle it after, it wasn't all that long ago that major Republican politicians, including their own candidate for president, spoke about getting rid of it.

Mitt Romney has suggested that FEMA should be shut down in favor of states handling major disasters. It doesn't appear that a state like New Jersey is in a good enough condition right now to handle everything that happened with Sandy and the estimated $100 billion it will take to put things right.

He even said there was something immoral about FEMA.

When asked about ending FEMA Mittens said,

“Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?

We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids.It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

I hope, if he gets to do away with FEMA and hands disaster relief over to the private sector, those of us who might be impacted by a natural disaster either have the premiums all paid up or the cash on hand to pay for relief.

And it would also appear that those future kids he is worried about are the kids presently dealing with the aftermath of Sandy.

I am sure whatever he thought before, Governor Chris Christie might think differently now.

He now sees the considerable value of FEMA and the federal funds. He not only wants it, he wants it NOW, not after Congress discusses what offsets they should put in place.

Now that the damage is in his own backyard, the Governor who supports Romney's rhetoric on the issues says, “Nobody was asking about offsetting budget cuts in Joplin, and I don’t want to hear about the fact that offsetting budget cuts have to come first before New Jersey citizens are taken care of.”

He did forget that, when the tornado hit Joplin MO, House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, required offsets before he would agree to help out there.

Christie also said, “You want to figure out budget cuts, that’s fine. You’re going to turn it into a fiasco like that debt-limit thing where you’re fighting with each other for eight or nine weeks and you expect the citizens of my state to wait? They’re not gonna wait, and I’m going to fight to make sure that they don’t.”

Seems these disasters only count when they happen to the Republican whose constituents get hit.

Christie even complimented President Obama, “I appreciated the president’s outreach today in making sure that we know he’s watching this and is concerned about the health and welfare and safety of the people of the state of New Jersey.”

Not missing a chance to flip flop, Governor Mitt I-wanna-get-rid-of-FEMA Romney issued this statement:

“Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions. As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

And what was Mitt's own response to Sandy?

He issued a plea to his supporters to bring items like non perishable food and clothing to what was to be his Ohio Rally (nee campaign rally) for those states that are considered swing states, with none being solicited for New York or Connecticut. He selected the places to get help according to which places might vote for him. He is going to bribe those voters with charity.

And then, when his team got worried that people might not show up with the requested items, he had his people go out, buy at least $5,000 worth of items to be handed out to people who showed up so they could hand them back to Romney and appear to be making donations.

It was almost as honest an event as Paul Ryan's pot washing theatrics a few weeks before.

So, this is a man who not only modifies his beliefs to get votes, but as with Benghazi, will grab any misfortunes and make it a political statement on the backs of those who are suffering.

He accepts donations from people of the things he bought for them to give, so he would look so christian while the cameras rolled.

How sad.

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