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Republicans are going to screw the blue northeast states over Irene

National Guard vehicle surrounded by Irene flood waters, Somerville, NJ, 08-28-11

Update: Corrected.  I had Ohio on the brain this morning for some inexplicable reason.  My bad.

So, we have devastating floods here in the Northeast and it’s particularly bad in NJ, NY and VT.  Only a few miles from my house, there are towns under water even after the flood control measures that were instituted after Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  I can’t imagine how much worse it could be.  Even my own house was flooded when the power went off and my basement sump pump couldn’t keep the water at bay.  The townhouses on my side of the street that never had floods before in the 26 years since these houses were built, now have wet basements, warped drywall, damaged furniture and the possibility of black mold that will lower our property values if something isn’t done about it as quickly as possible.

I’m lucky because my insurance policy covers this kind of damage but I also have a large deductible and now that I don’t have a job, I can ill afford to shell it out.  In this Lesser Depression, there are hundreds of thousands of families like mine in central NJ who are stretched to the limits financially when just a year ago we were paying some of the highest taxes in the nation and filling the coffers of other states, like Virginia.  Now, here come Republicans like Eric Cantor and Ron Paul who are stirring up resentment of the “heartland” voters who don’t want to pony up when it’s their turn to lend a helping hand.  From the NYTimes story Federal Austerity Changes Disaster Relief we get this little “mine, mine, mine!” moment from Cantor and Ron Paul:

Holding fast to their push for lower federal spending, top Congressional Republicans have argued that any federal aid in the aftermath of the double whammy of an earthquake followed by a hurricane should be offset, if possible, by spending less on other programs.

“Clearly when disasters and emergencies happen, people expect their government to treat them as national priorities and respond properly,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for Representative Eric Cantor, the Virginia Republican and majority leader who has advocated offsetting emergency aid. “People also expect their government to spend their dollars wisely, and to make efforts to prioritize and save when possible.”

Representative Ron Paul, the Texas Republican who is seeking his party’s presidential nomination, has gone beyond that view to argue that the federal government’s role in disaster preparation and relief should be cut substantially. Mr. Paul said he saw little value in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying the federal approach has given birth to an intrusive bureaucracy and supplants what should be an area for private insurance.

“The bleeding heart will say, well, we have to take care of them,” Mr. Paul said on “Fox News Sunday,” calling FEMA “a gross distortion of insurance” and saying that workers for the agency “hinder the local people, and they hinder volunteers from going in.”

Let’s not let Obama off the hook here.  He went after the caucus states to “win” the nomination in 2008 but if he wants a second term, he would be very stupid to ignore our plight.  Actually, given his knack for capitulating to Republicans, we’re probably screwed.  Thank you DNC.

Lest anyone forget what it is we Northeast states contribute to the federal coffers, here’s a handy map from 2005 that in all likelihood, probably hasn’t changed significantly in 6 years.  See that little navy blue state hugging the Atlantic?  That is New Jersey.  For every tax dollar we send to Washington, we get 61 cents back.

 Eric Cantor’s state of Virginia benefits from New Jersey’s largess so I suggest that the first place we look to make cuts would be Ohio.  Let’s shave some funds off of your educational budget next year.  Or maybe we can cut back on your agricultural subsidies.  I can almost see the Virginia rural farmers, mean little faces screwed up with rage, angered beyond all reason that they have to fork over even one penny to keep some hapless, unemployed schlub in Somerville from losing everything he has.  Texas almost breaks even so it really should be more sympathetic but when have we ever expected Texans to act like their part of the Union?  Let that be a lesson to us bleeding hearts to be a lot more particular about the states we send our money to in the future.

We should set up a review panel to decide which of them is deserving.  I have a soft spot for Vermont.  It has never hurt anyone.  But do we really have to keep bailing out Alabama year after year?  Why don’t they just pay people in that state more money and impose a more progressive income tax?  And all those red states in the middle of the country.  There’s hardly anybody there.  (hmmm, didja notice how many of those states caucused for Obama in 2008?  And look at all the blue states that the DNC shafted. Yes, let’s just ignore all of the people in the most densely populated states.)  Shouldn’t there be a threshold level population before we give them our hard earned cash?  Maybe we can make them all take random drug tests or get tested for SDIs.  Yes!  That’s the ticket.  Let’s make all of those judgmental Tea Party voters pee in a vial periodically before we give their states money.  Oh, we know they aren’t really druggies (or DO we?).  We just think it’s only right that they undergo ritual humiliation and put in a couple hours at a crisis intervention session if they want our charity.  It will make us feel good about our superior, upstanding, moral lives.

Don’t piss us off or we’ll send Snookie after you.


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27 Responses

  1. I am so sorry about your troubles. Maybe there’s nothing for it but to use a wet/dry vac, scrub down your basement as thoroughly as possible with bleach, and then hope for the best.

    I feel a little guilty that the hurricane let us off lightly. I walked the dog about 5:30 in the morning after it hit. There was still some rain and very harsh winds. An old guy living across the street sat naked (or nearly so) on his front porch, enjoying the sheer wildness of it all. I think he had been there for hours. Sweartagod.

    The chart you show tells a story that red-staters refuse to acknowledge. They live in their own worlds. I used to make a similar point in the early days of my own blog — the terms I used were “leech states” and “producer states.” For decades, California has been a strong producer state. Until fairly recent times, Texas was a leech state. Most of the south is leech territory.

    In those days, I had some conservative readers, and they never liked being told that Californians, who opposed the Iraq war, were paying for the thing.

    “Not true,” they said. It couldn’t be true. California was a blue state. Therefore, they were leaches.

    Facts don’t matter to many people. They believe what they WANT to believe.

    • yup, I told some conservative friends that Red states generally took more from DC than they paid in and blue states generally were just the opposite. It just could not sink in. Of course I look at Pa and I can’t help but say “good for us, we aren’t suckers”. Not a good attitude I suppose.
      Mostly I just wonder what the hell happened to the idea that we are all in this together?
      I’d like to take Ron Paul and shake him. Who the hell does he think is paying his salary? Someone needs to remind him that he is on the public dole.

      • Ron Paul is not typical, even for Texas. He is a bit of a crazy man, but Texas has Lloyd Doggett to offset him.

        Anderson Cooper pointed out Rep. Cantor’s hypocrisy when his state needed disaster funds in 2004. I think he will back off — his state is more likely than the NE to get hit by another storm, and payback is a b-tch.

        djmm

    • Good advice for the basement. Back when I did mold inspections as an industrial hygienist we usually followed a similar protocol. Eliminate the water source first, then dry everything out with dehumidifiers, blowers, and HEPA-filtered ventilation units exhausted to the outside. All wet/moldy carpets, rugs, curtains, etc. generally are immediately thrown away. Any visible moldy drywall is not salvageable (even if dried out), as it is a long term porous food supply for fungus to re-grow later that have already sent out runners in the material, and needs to be cut out along with the insulation to a point where it is not moldy and wet. You can check wood studs (and drywall that is not visibly moldy) to see if they have dried out with a Delmhorst moisture meter. Your insurance company should be able to provide a short list of qualified remediation contractors and qualified consultants for independent verification in your area. Cleaning of non-porous surfaces (concrete) can be cleaned with regular soap and water or EPA approved anti-fungal (ShockWave). If the basement was contaminated with black water (sewage), the bleach solution is good. Independent surface verification for black water is usually done by a swab test kit that is provided by and sent back to a microbiological laboratory for testing. Don’t rely on any air sampling of culturable or non-viable fungal spores for area clearance or reoccupation purposes. It has limited use as a snap-shot tool only, of outside vs. inside relative comparison to indicate effectiveness of remediation/cleaning controls. Mold spores are everywhere. Final visual inspection with a moisture meter is the best option.

    • This has been true for a long time. I posted the same fact to my site during the 2000 election.

  2. I totally agree that Cantor is a jerk, but he’s Virginias jerk, not Ohios.

  3. I thought Eric Cantor was from Virginia. Maybe I am missing your point, will read again. We’re stuck with Boenher here and Kasich as governor, please, we don’t need any more of these guys!

  4. Please do not take this the wrong way, and I agree with you 100%, but tone it down and ask civilly and very loudly for the assistance that is needed for the east coast. The Republicans are trying to pick a fight so do not fall for it. The rest of the country has its disasters and relate very well to what you are going through. Take the high road and make the argument that everyone deserves help when it is needed.

    • Red Staters have no qualms going to the Feds to leech blue state money while all the time bashing our so-called immoral lifestyles and Socialist political leanings. Have you ever heard any of the AM talk show hosts?

      If the Red Staters are so compassionate, why do they keep sending people like Cantor, Bachmann, Inholfe, and Cantor who spout this nonsense to Washington?

      • We can’t get all of them voted out of office all the time! NC was blue in 08 so now we’re all of a sudden a leech state? Com’on. Give those of us who busting our humps trying to get these assholes voted out some help rather than heaping more scorn on us. Each state has its own unique contribution to the union. More ridicule is not helping and just inflames the GOPers even more. It’s tough enough to battle the GOP, Fox News, and worst of all, the churches, without our side supplying even more ammunition. And as remarked the other day, to be fair and make sure one isn’t a blood sucking parasite, you need to go back to the dawn of time and the era of Haim Solomon. Now there’s a blue stater who really got screwed.

        Excuse my rant. But the 35% of my income I paid in Federal tax last year doesn’t make me feel like a leech.

  5. What Joe said.

    We should push for ending farm subsidies and price supports, why pay people who are too stupid to put a seed in the ground and make it grow into food?

    Same for ethanol subsidies, end them then make those companies pay for all the cars that were ruined by it. The wife saw one burst into flames out on Rt. 283 the other month. Ethanol attacks the rubber fuel line hoses and seals used in older cars.

    Next end all the breaks the oil industry pays congress for, sure you gas prices might go up but then it make investing in alternative energy feasible.

  6. We have a lot of elected aholes in Ohio but Eric Cantor isn’t one of them.
    We also have Dennis Kucinich and Sherrod Brown.

  7. it will be interesting to see if the media ignores the left on their own plight in an area right under their NYC offices nose. Since Bill left office, everywhere disaster has struck is still a mess…or reshaped and plundered via shock doctrine . Just cause Obie came to the hurricane command center in his golf cleats for a photo op, that doesn’t mean there will be Fed money…on the contrary

    Oh and people, you need to talk to you obot friends and family if you want to now cause the window to be able to do so without having Obama constantly in your face is closing….the Repugs will put up Perry or whoever and scare the ’08 obots back into line…that’s the GOP’s candidate’s job after all . So you want to vist with them before hand , do so shortly is my advice

  8. Hey, how about exempting Arkansas along with Vermont? I live in the Arkanshire, after all. :mrgreen:

    • I have read that Arkansas is a very beautiful state. Is that true and if so where would you recommend someone visit in Arkansas?

      • As with any other state, the beauty of the Arkanshire depends on the region. The mountainous areas are best for scenery, especially the autumnal foliage.

        I don’t own a car, and don’t get to travel very much, even in Arkansas.This site could give you better advice than I could give.

        Stupid Internet Exploder won’t let me copy and paste the address, so
        http://www.arkansas.com.

        • Well, the link came up anyway. 😕

          I wish I had the authority to ditch IE for Firefox or Chrome here at work.

          • thank you. I see that there are lots of waterfalls. If the car trip I plan ever materializes I am going to book some time for waterfalls. To me there is nothing more magical in nature.

  9. totally OT, but has anyone else noticed that obama has recently had some work done to improve his jaw line? Looks like several tubes of the injectable fillers.

  10. I think it’s time we let them know that they need to pull back from friendly nations and at least one of those wars so they stop pi$$ing away the money they need to spend on their own citizenry.

    We put them there,we pay their salary and need to get some attention here at home.

    I’ve had it with these playground fools – its time for them to act like adults if at all possible.

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