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Hurricane Sandy Relief and the Debt Ceiling

179 Republicans do not think this is worth cleaning up.

179 Republicans do not think this is worth cleaning up.

So we have another standoff on the debt limit, this seriously cannot surprise anyone. House Republicans are threatening to default if there are not spending cuts while President Obama has refused to negotiate with “terrorists”. At a breakfast I had with Speaker Boehner at the end of last year, he said that Congress would raise the debt limit because it was their responsibility to do so. Now I am not convinced this will happen. The sanity of Speaker Boehner is being vetoed by the extremism of the Republican Party. The Speaker is coming dangerously close to losing control of his members.

Why do I suddenly think Republicans might push us into default? Hurricane Sandy. The fact that 179 of 233 House Republicans voted against giving aid to Hurricane Sandy victims shows they would rather make an ideological stand than help the American people. No matter how bad it hurts the American people and economy, Republicans might push us to bankruptcy to prove a point.

Patriotslog has been a loud advocate for spending cuts since our beginning, so I understand the Republican concern. But I find myself more in the President’s corner on this issue. The simplest way to explain the debt ceiling standoff, in case you just returned from Gilligan’s Island and have not heard anything about it, is that Congress passes laws telling the Government how much it can tax, then passes laws telling the Government how much it can spend. Now a significant group of Congress is telling the President he must break one of those laws they passed by taxing more or spending less than they have allowed, or our nation will have to declare bankruptcy. Congress has racked up the credit card bill, now half of them are suggesting we refuse to pay it. Maybe Warren Buffett was right. Jokes aside, our deficit problem would go away faster than Michele Bachmann’s support for her presidential campaign if these guys were disqualified for re-election because of too much red ink.

77% of Republicans voted against the aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims. Many of whom are the same Republicans who voted for more defense spending. It is crazy that these people would rather see our military–already bigger than the next ten largest militaries combined–get even larger than help someone rebuild their home, their business, their school, and their life after blunting the second most destructive hurricane in our history. Only Hurricane Katrina was more destructive.

So I got to thinking, how many Republicans voted against Hurricane Katrina relief? Only 11. Then I decided to look further than that. I looked at every disaster I could find since 2000 with over $10 billion in damages, and what I found made me even more concerned about the Hurricane Sandy relief vote. The 9/11 relief package had zero Republicans oppose. Ditto for Hurricane Ivan. Hurricane Rita? Only 19. When additional hurricane damage burdened the gulf region zero Republicans opposed additional aid. There was no vote for wildfire relief, but I think it is safe to assume it would have had large support.

So why the lack of support now? It could be because the Sandy hit heavily Democratic states, so it provided a convenient opportunity for Republicans to prove a point. If this sounds farfetched, consider–this and keep in mind I am not a Democrat, so I have no party bias against Republicans. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, cut his own states firefighting budget, then criticized FEMA because he thought Texas deserved more aid for wildfires. Republican Congressman Steven Polazzo of Mississippi lobbied heavily for Hurricane Katrina relief, then voted against Hurricane Sandy relief. The Kansas City Star highlighted a handful of Congressman that voted against Hurricane Sandy relief after heavily benefitting from federal disaster aid themselves.

So the question that I think all 179 Republicans need to be asked is, “if your district had needed the disaster relief, would it have changed your vote?” I would have serious moral concerns about any representative that answers yes. American people are suffering; United we stand, divided we fall. To discriminate aid and relief because of geographical location or political party is beyond low. If these Republicans would vote against aid to every district, including their own, this might not concern me, but I just cannot believe that would happen. It would appear they care less for the good of the American people than the finances of the nation. That is why I cannot be so sure our debt ceiling will be raised. Default would be catastrophic both for our nation and the world. But if pulling the rug out from under our economy and livelihood proves a point, it seems conservatives are all for it.

What concerns me most is that last year’s ultra-conservative caucus–Representatives like Eric Cantor, Tom Cole, Scott Garrett, and Frank Lucas –voted for the relief bill. So exactly how extreme is this new Republican House to vote overwhelmingly against it? Extreme enough to take the unprecidented measure of default? It seems plausable to think so now.


–Matt Young

16 January, 2012

Cable News Propaganda; November, 2012

                Patriotslog makes no secret of the low regard we have for Fox News and MSNBC. Skim through our blog for just a few minutes and it becomes clear we have as much respect for these scum bag propaganda stations as we have for Bernie Madoff, Warren Jeffs, and Benedict Arnold. Fox and MSNBC are not news stations, they are propaganda hubs. The biased information coming out of these stations would make fascists proud. Big Brother cannot do a better job at brain washing. Patriotslog will continue to run a column on the ramblings of these useless stations. Not only are they the two the least informative “news” sources in the nation, they are constantly negative, and only function to divide the nation.

                This week, it almost felt like I was watching Will Farrell cut a scene from Anchor Man with raw sewage that spews from their mouths. It probably would not surprise anyone to hear Fox propaganda say that President Obama knew about Hurricane Sandy for days, and did nothing to stop it. At least no one has made the ridiculous accusation that he owns a weather machine, or he hates white people…yet. With these stations one never knows the lies they will conjure up to keep their junkies inebriated.

                This week, in their continued attempt to blame the Benghazi attack and subsequent tragedy of Ambassador Stevens’s death on President Obama, the Fox and Friends mourning crew essentially said that there did not need to be an investigation into the attack! Of course, this makes sense…why would we need to know what actually happened? As President, it is the civic duty of Barack Obama to ignore the facts and that he was responsible for the attack, and even admit he wanted this to happen. The facts do not matter, and no matter what they are they do not change the fact that everything in the world that goes wrong is to be rightfully blamed on President Obama.

                To even make the asinine suggestion that we do not need an investigation into the Libya attacks illustrates perfectly the lack of credibility Fox should have; unfortunately, like a dog to its vomit, conservatives return to this time and again. But of course Fox would not want an investigation, the facts point to the President actually doing the right thing in Libya. Patriotslog has made no secret of our opinion that President Obama does not deserve a second term, but that does not mean he was responsible for the failures in the Benghazi attack. The saddest part of all of this is the bigger picture of just how far from the American dream propaganda channels like this have taken us.

                Fox actually wants the President to be responsable for this. They have divided the nation so thoroughly that they have made people actually hope the Commander in Chief is conspiring against the success of his own nation, his own government, his own people, and his own friends. They have created such a hatred that they have made people think it is a good thing, because it might help their ideological battle, that the President is killing his own citizens and friends. We need no investigation, we need no facts; Obama is guilty because Fox wants him to be. Then they have the nerve to call themselves patriotic. Disgusting.


                MSNBC is no better. According to the propaganda channel that tells us it is bad to be rich, to be successful, to work hard to earn the American dream and provide your kids privileges you never had, it is also bad to help people. Believe it or not, MSNBC had the gumption to go on air and say what a bad person Mitt Romney is for helping people. When Mitt Romney sent his campaign bus into the path of destruction left by hurricane Sandy, MSNBC criticized him. When he and his campaign organized relief efforts, providing much needed food, clothing, hygiene supplies, and blankets to thousands of victims displaced by the hurricane, MSNBC tried to tell their viewers how awful he is for not following the Red Cross guidelines for relief aid. Watching the video you would have thought he had given them the small pox blankets that were once given to Native Americans, and that he was doing this all in an effort to cut the Liberal base down in the north east, steal a state, and win the election.

                Never mind the fact that the Red Cross is not a government organization, and only has the authority to issue guidelines, not rules; never mind the fact that Mitt Romney and his campaign did everything in their power, taking personal risk along the way, to help disaster victims. Mitt Romney is a terrible person because he chose not to do exactly what the Red Cross suggested, and went ahead and helped people. MSNBC has divided the nation so thoroughly that they have brainwashed their viewers into thinking that helping people is a bad thing.

                I have even heard liberals suggest that Mitt Romney is a bad person because of the amounts of money he gave to charity. It was pointed out that Mitt Romney gave a large portion of his charitable deductions (which by note, were more last year than President Obama has given in his entire life) to the Mormon Church. The suggestion was made that Mormons only help Mormons, so his charitable giving does not actually reflect his character. Patriotslog has made no secret of the fact that we are not big fans of Mitt Romney, but it is ridiculous to make the suggestion that giving to charity is bad. There are a few facts that need to be addressed about giving money to the Mormon Church: 1. Nobody gets paid. Unlike other churches, giving money to the Mormon Church will not be paying for a new Cadillac for the pastor; the church uses all of the money to help people. 2. There are two different funds for charitable contributions to the Mormon Church. The first is called tithing; the church members are asked to give 10% of their income to the church to help with functions such as building churches, sending out missionaries, and helping other Mormons. The second is called fast offerings; members are asked to give as much as they can possibly afford to fast offerings. This money goes directly into providing relief from hunger, war, and natural disasters for anyone in need. 3. Studies have shown that the Mormon fast offering program is one of the most efficient charities on the planet. While even the best charities can only guarantee around 85% of donations go to relief, almost every penny of Mormon fast offerings go to relief. If you want to make a charitable donation that has the most impact, go find your closest Mormon church, and give the pastor money for fast offerings.

                Fathom a nation where half of the citizens actually hope their President conspired to kill his own people because they believe if he did, it will be good for the nation; move to Syria, then tell me this would be a good thing. Picture half a nation that actually hopes their President is guilty of treason. Fathom a nation where the other half of citizens disdain a rich man for using his riches to help other people. What he does is not important; if he is rich he is evil. It is a bad thing for a man to give to charity. Sadly, this is the nation Fox News and MSNBC are trying to create.

–Matt Young

5 November, 2012

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