Friday, February 1, 2013

Act of God and Vote of Hypocrites

Members of the House GOP, and Rep. Paul Ryan in particular, took a public relations beating when they voted against the pork-filled aid package, and on Monday, 36 senators voted no on a $51 billion aid package. Memories of that vote were fresh on quite a few people’s minds.

When the Senate passed the long-delayed $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package Monday, 36 Republicans voted against the bill. But of the 32 no-votes from Senators who are not brand-new members, at least 31 came from Republicans who had previously supported emergency aid efforts following disasters in their own states.

Among the no voters were Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) who requested disaster aid after flooding in the past, and Johnny Isakson (R-GA who also requested disaster aid after flooding in the past.

Storms have caused widespread damage across the state.  A tornado touched down in Adairsville destroying parts of the Daiki plant and flipped 100 cars on I-75.  The tornado shut down I-75 for a few hours as crews removed debris and flipped cars.  Unfortunately, the storm also took the life of a man in Adairsville. In Gordon County, eight people were injured as trees and power lines fell around Calhoun. This storm system is a reminder that parts of Georgia are in the crosshairs of “Dixie Alley”.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in Bartow and Gordon counties Wednesday, as several states in the central U.S. and South surveyed damage left by fierce storms and reported tornadoes that left one dead in Tennessee and another in Georgia.

A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviors, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms, even if guaranteed under the constitution.

Former Sen. Al D'Amato of New York has called the opponents of Sandy relief a "bunch of jackasses." It's a term that these persecuted members should embrace proudly. The newly formed "Jackass Caucus" should accept among its membership all those who reject the notion that government should provide for those suffering from devastating weather emergencies.

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