There Seems To Be More To This Story Than Is Being Reported By Most Of The Media

The Conservative Treehouse posted a story today about the crisis in Puerto Rico following hurricane Maria. The mainstream media is making all sorts of charges against President Trump’s handling of the relief effort. Well, it seems that there is a little more to the story.

The article reports:

Puerto Rican born and raised, Colonel Michael A. Valle (”Torch”), Commander, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, and Director of the Joint Air Component Coordination Element, 1st Air Force, responsible for Hurricane Maria relief efforts, has the following comment:

…They have the generators, water, food, medicine, and fuel on the ground, yet the supplies are not moving across the island as quickly as they’re needed.

“It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18 wheelers. Supplies we have. Trucks we have. There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20% of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government”.. (link)

The ports are so full of relief supplies they can’t fit any more on the available space.

This is a report posted on Twitter from someone who is there:

There is nothing that President Trump could do in any situation that would make the media report on him favorably. I wonder if they are even aware of what is actually happening in Puerto Rico.  It’s just a shame that the union drivers won’t help in the effort to help Puerto Rico recover from this massive hurricane.

Avoiding The Truth For Political Purposes

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted a story about the hospital ship USNS Comfort which is headed to Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief. The story details the attempt by Hillary Clinton to take credit for the ship heading there.

The article reports:

The Washington Post is praising former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who tweeted about sending the hospital ship Sunday, for the federal government’s decision to provide additional relief.

The Post article links Clinton’s tweet to a petition that was launched on change.org to send the Comfort to Puerto Rico, even though the petition appears to have been put in motion before her social media post. The petition gained more than 100,000 signatures, but there is no clear indication that Clinton’s actions triggered the deployment of the Comfort. The WaPo article may be a logical “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy.

“I don’t know anything about that,” a Department of Defense official told The Daily Caller News Foundation when asked if the Pentagon took the former Democratic presidential nominee’s tweet or the petition into consideration when it decided to send the Comfort.

The U.S. deployed naval assets to assist in the aftermath of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsage and the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill were dispatched to provide aid to those in need in Puerto Rico, which was recently devastated by Hurricane Maria.

The efforts by those on the political left to deny that President Trump is helping Puerto Rico have reached an unbelievable level. It would be nice if those who accuse the President of being divisive would at least unite behind him on the relief efforts.

For those of you still claiming that the president is a racist, how do you explain the awards he has been given in the past for promoting harmony between races and providing job opportunities for minorities? Also, have you looked at the history of Mar-a-Lago? Donald Trump literally fought city hall to allow blacks and Jews to come to his resort. Why was he never called a racist until he became a Republican?

Accountability?

Fox News posted a Wall Street Journal story today about a federal audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The article reports:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency can’t adequately account for more than 70 percent of the money spent on fuel for New York in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, a federal audit released on Friday found.

FEMA spent $6.37 million for 1.7 million gallons of fuel as a gasoline shortage crippled the New York City area after the October 2012 storm, according to the audit from the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security.

Has it occurred to Congress that this might be a part of the reason federal government spending is out of control?

It gets worse:

But the audit found “incomplete and questionable” documentation for $4.56 million of that spending. Additionally, $1.81 million worth of fuel went to recipients outside the scope of work that FEMA established for the crisis, the audit found. As a result, FEMA can’t be sure any of that fuel went to approved power restoration or emergency public transportation work in New York, the audit said.

…The unaccounted fuel deliveries occurred because FEMA didn’t comply with federal regulations requiring the agency provide proper documentation accounting for its work, the audit found.

There is a bit of irony here–a federal agency did not comply with excessive federal regulations.

Continually raising the debt limit is not a solution, because it does not address the actual problem–the spending.

 

Using The Government To Punish Those Who Don’t Agree With You

One of the side effects of having a petulant person in the White House is that anytime someone contradicts the wishes of the White House there is retribution of some sort. This has now extended to the matter of Climate Change.

On Thursday, The Weather Channel posted an article entitled, “FEMA Won’t Help States That Don’t Plan For Climate Change.” Thank about that for a moment. The federal government should be willing to help all states in case of emergency. Climate Change is not settled science, and no natural catastrophe has ever been linked to climate change. In fact, as climate change believers howl about increased damage from hurricanes, the amount of hurricanes since 2005 have gone down significantly. Also, the true numbers (rightwinggranny.com) show that the earth has not warmed for more than a decade.

The article at The Weather Channel reports:

States publish reports every five years or so detailing their vulnerability to natural disasters, such as floods, storms and wildfires, and how they plan to protect themselves and recover after them. Such plans are needed in order to qualify for a share of nearly $1 billion in Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants provided every year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But those plans rarely consider climate change impacts in detail — an omission that could see states become ineligible for the grants after new guidelines take effect early next year. Under FEMA’s updated guidelines, published last week, state disaster plans will only be approved if they adequately describe how the likelihood and intensity of natural hazards could be affected by growing levels of greenhouse gas pollution.

“The risk assessment must provide a summary of the probability of future hazard events,” the new guidelines state. “Probability must include considerations of changing future conditions, including the effects of long-term changes in weather patterns and climate.”

This is more of the government attempting to control the debate. Why does the government support global warming? If the earth is warming at a catastrophic rate, the government will have to take action (thus gaining more control over its citizens). It is interesting that study grants are more like to be given to groups that support global warming than groups that do not.

From a comment left at wattsupwiththat:

Sir Harry Flashman says;

If you can tell me where to line up for my AGW money I’d really appreciate cause I could use a few extra bucks right now.

Well you could try applying for a grant from The Rockefeller Brothers Fund:

From 2003 to present;

Bill McKibben’s;
Step it Up ($200,000)
1Sky.org ($2,100,000)
350.org ($875,000)

Total RBF grants to Mckibben = $3,175,000

Al Gore’s – Alliance for Climate Protection = $250,000
David Suzuki Foundation = $185,000

The Sierra Club = $1,665,000
Friends of the Earth = $777,500
Friends of the Earth International = $290,000
The Pacific Institute (President; Peter Gleick) = $670,000
Greenpeace Fund = $550,000
Center for Climate Strategies = $5,171,600
The Union of Concerned Scientists = $75,000
Media Matters for America = $375,000
Environmental Defense Fund = $550,000
Natural Resources Defense Council = $1,660,000
National Wildlife Federation = $1,025,000

Sceptic ‘think tanks’;
The Heartland Institute
The Cato Institute
The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)

= $0.00

That pretty much tells the story.

Looking Past The Current Crisis

The current crisis in Washington is the Democrat filibuster of the Homeland Security Department budget. The news media doesn’t frame it that way, but the last time I checked, the people doing the filibuster were the people preventing the bill from being discussed or passed.

At any rate, the Republicans refuse to fund executive amnesty, and the Democrats refuse not to fund executive amnesty. That is the discussion in a nutshell. So how in the world can we be safe if the Department of Homeland Security is not funded (please excuse the sarcasm)? We will be equally safe whether the department is funded or not. You see, even if the department is not funded, ‘essential’ workers will still report for work. (If they are not essential, why are they working there in the first place?)

Today the Washington Free Beacon posted a story about the Department of Homeland Security and some of their budget.

The article reports:

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—which is due to expire at the end of this week unless an agreement in Washington is reached—has continued to rise under President Barack Obama. His administration claims the agency’s increased funding is necessary to protect the homeland, but records show that the DHS has continued to increase its spending on furniture and office makeovers as its budget has been increased.

A review of records on the official government spending website by the Washington Free Beacon shows the agency has spent nearly $150 million on office furniture and makeovers since Obama took office. Those fiscal years for which he has been responsible and whose budgets have been enacted are FY2010 through 2014.

“The FY 2015 Budget reflects the Administration’s strong commitment to protecting the homeland and the American people through the effective and efficient use of DHS resources, continuing the focus on preserving frontline priorities across the Department by cutting costs, sharing resources across Components, and streamlining operations wherever possible,” the administration’s request states.

Each year under Obama the administration, DHS funding has increased. The FY 2015 budget request is $60.9 billion, compared with FY 2014’s budget of $60.7 billion. In fiscal year 2013, the DHS budget was $59.2 billion. By contrast, President George W. Bush’s last budget for DHS for FY 2009 was $52.5 billion.

Please understand. Whether amnesty is funded or not, there is never any desire on the part of most Congressmen to cut the federal budget. Money is power, and Congressmen like power. The problem is on both sides of the aisle. The reason the Tea Party and Tea Party groups are such a threat to both parties (yes, they are a threat to the Republicans as well as the Democrats) is that they support smaller government. America will not see smaller government unless we elect fewer Democrats and fewer establishment Republicans. We also need to take the leadership of the Republican party away from establishment Republicans and put it into the hands of people who support the values the Republican party used to espouse.

The article concludes, reminding us:

Although the upcoming budget has not yet been approved, records show the DHS has already signed contracts in the amount of $2.2 million for new furniture for FY 2015. A total of 247 contracts have already been signed. They include a contract signed two weeks ago for $294,058 for “furniture and furniture installation services” for the agency’s office in Coleman, Fla.

Jeh Johnson, the secretary of the DHS, went on five talk shows Sunday urging passage of his agency’s budget and said the national security of the country is at risk. Essential employees of the DHS, including border patrol agents, members of the Coast Guard, and Transportation Security Administration workers are required to report to work even if the budget is not approved.

Wouldn’t we all like their furniture budget?

Some Of Many Reasons The Damage From Hurricane Sandy Has Not Been Repaired

On Monday the Wall Street Journal posted an article telling the story of one homeowner‘s struggle to rebuild her damaged home in Connecticut.

The article relates the homeowner’s story:

Our first exposure to the town zoning authorities came a couple of weeks after Sandy. We’d met with insurance adjusters, contractors and “remediation experts.” We’d had about a foot of Long Island Sound sloshing around the ground floor of our house in Connecticut, and everyone had the same advice: Rip up the floors and subfloors, and tear out anything—wiring, plumbing, insulation, drywall, kitchen cabinets, bookcases—touched by salt water. All of it had to go, and pronto, too, lest mold set in.

Yet it wasn’t until the workmen we hired had ripped apart most of the first floor that the phrase “building permit” first wafted past us. Turns out we needed one. “What, to repair our own house we need a building permit?”

Of course.

Before you could get a building permit, however, you had to be approved by the Zoning Authority. And Zoning—citing FEMA regulations—would force you to bring the house “up to code,” which in many cases meant elevating the house by several feet. Now, elevating your house is very expensive and time consuming—not because of the actual raising, which takes just a day or two, but because of the required permits.

The article further explains that there is also a zoning limit on how high your house can be–so if you meet the requirement to raise it, you have to make sure you don’t raise it too much.. The homeowner goes on to detail the maze of government gobbledygook encountered in trying to repair and re-occupy his home.

The article concludes:

We’ve spent a few thousand dollars on a lawyer to appeal to Zoning, many thousands in rent, and hundreds getting a fresh appraisal of our house. The latest from our lawyer: Because of our new appraisal, we may be able to “apply for a zoning permit.” “Apply,” mind you.

I used to think that our house was, you know, our house. The bureaucrats have taught me otherwise. But then I also used to think that Franz Kafka wrote a species of dark fantasy. I know now that he was turning out nonfiction.

Our problem is not the lack of money to repair the damage from Hurricane Sandy–it is the government bureaucracy that is hindering the homeowners from getting back into their own homes.

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Please Excuse Us While We Interrupt This Campaign For A National Emergency

Yesterday the National Journal Daily posted a story saying that the Democrat party had cancelled its planned Florida events during the Republican convention due to the hurricane. Oddly enough, the protestors were not enamored with the idea of standing outside in hurricane-force winds and tropical downpours while the conventioneers enjoyed their inside climate-controlled environment.

The interesting part of the article:

The White House took care to note Obama’s work on Sunday to manage federal preparations for Isaac. Obama called Florida Gov. Rick Scott and received a briefing from Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center, while at the presidential retreat at Camp David. FEMA has, the White House said, deployed disaster-preparedness teams to Florida and Louisiana. In a statement consistent with the day’s storm-tossed partisan hush, Obama said he had asked Scott to “let him know if there are any additional resources the administration could provide, including in support of efforts to ensure the safety of those visiting the state for the Republican National Convention.”

If Isaac intensifies into a hurricane, as predicted, it could threaten a swath of the Gulf Coast and might require Obama to scale back plans to campaign this week in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. A senior administration official said that no decisions have yet been made about altering Obama’s campaign schedule.

Note that no plans have yet been made to alter the President’s campaign schedule. I don’t think we should re-elect President Obama–I think we should just send him out on the campaign trail for the next four years–he seems to enjoy that more than actually governing.

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Does Anyone Actually Believe This ?

 

Shamrock Texas Tornado

Shamrock Texas Tornado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Real Clear Politics reported yesterday on a statement made by Senator Dick Durbin earlier this week.

The Senator stated:

“It’s your money or your life. We are either going to dedicate ourselves to a cleaner, more livable planet and accept the initial investment necessary or we’re going to pay a heavier price in terms of loss of human life, damage and costs associated with it.”

This statement was made in response to the recent tornadoes in Texas. There are a few problems with the statement. I don’t think any American politician supports pollution–I just don’t.

I might be a good idea to remember that hurricanes and tornadoes have been with us for a long time. Out of curiosity I looked up the Rhode Island hurricane of 1938 (I couldn’t remember the year). In reading the article, I found a reference to the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635. In 1939, Hollywood produced “The Wizard of Oz.” Obviously, someone familiar with tornadoes wrote the script. In the 1930’s America did not have the highways and power generating plants that it has now, and weather was still happening. Imagine. Again, I support clean air, but I don’t like being threatened.

This is simply another attempt to convince the American people that the government needs to take more of their money.

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Fear Mongering For Fun And Profit

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner posted an editorial by the newspaper staff on the practice of using fear to block Republican attempts to cut the federal budget.

The editorial states:

“To be a little melodramatic, the budget would kill people,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently told CNN about House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity. “No question.” With the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund set to run out of money Thursday, and with none of the federal government’s 12 appropriations bills signed into law so far, you can expect a lot more melodramatic quotes like this one in the coming weeks.

Oddly enough, when faced with a Congress that was not going to give it more money, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discovered that it actually did have enough money to finish the fiscal year.

The editorial reminds us that sixteen years ago, when the Republican Congress was debating welfare reform, Bob Herbert in the New York Times warned its readers that welfare reform “would hurt many people, would kill some and would help no one.”

The editorial at the Washington Examiner reviews the history:

Herbert could not have been much farther from the mark. Two years later, after President Clinton had signed welfare reform into law, New York Times journalist Jason DeParle reported that “welfare rolls have fallen more than 40 percent in three states that have been among the most energetic in urging recipients to work: Oregon, Wisconsin and Indiana. And caseloads have declined by 25 percent or more in 16 other states.” DeParle’s article said nothing about people dying in the streets of Portland, Milwaukee or Indianapolis.

Please follow the link to the Washington Examiner editorial for more examples of using fear to avoid reducing the size of the federal government. The cure for fear is knowledge, and it is time for American voters to understand the negative impact on America of an ever-increasing government.

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