The deadly tornado that struck Greensburg Kansas last Friday was but the first affliction soon will come the second. As certainly as thunder follows lightning after a disaster of this magnitude comes the Bush full Monty stump speech full of euphemisms and faux promises of assistance. Coming soon to a disaster near you! George of the bungle will set up his standard kiss and consolation photo op offering kisses kind words and consolation but not much else.
The administration learned well from the publicity disaster of hurricane Katrina, the problem they surmised was that the New Orleanians were offered too much assistance. If those programs were cut or eliminated entirely then they couldn't blame the government if they received no help. You see, a month and a half into the 2006 hurricane season, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced an overhaul in core disaster relief programs. The biggest change is a sharp cut in emergency cash assistance to families, which will be slashed under the new rules from the $2,000 previously allowed per household to $500.
President Bush Sunday in sad somber tones remembered the "pioneer spirit" that built the Midwest, and which he said Kansans would draw upon to rebuild," Which was code for don't look this way for much help sucker! In addition, states are being asked to foot 25 percent of the bill for the emergency cash, which will only be provided after an affected state signs off on the program. You're doing a heck of a job there Paulie! Brownie's successor is even sharper than his pony-posing predecessor.
FEMA director R. David Paulison, who took over after the resignation of former head Michael Brown, heavily criticized for his miserable performance following last year's storms, expressed the federal government's disregard for the effect the changes will have on future disaster victims. "This is still going to be a compassionate organization," he stated. "We simply have to do a better job of protecting the tax dollar." We are using artillery shells that cost forty thousand dollars a piece to take out one sniper in Iraq but when it's our own people in the streets. A kind word, a cup of coffee and a kick in the ass!
But Kansas don't feel persecuted or put upon George promised Senator Trent Lott a new house too and that didn't happen either. So take your FEMA check and stand in line while they rebuild the bank because under the new rules you can't be trusted with cash. The administration that lost nine billion dollars in Iraq fears what sort of mischief you could get into with five hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket. The message is clear, contractors can be trusted but American disaster victims must be treated like retarded children.
Years ago I lived in Kansas for a short time, the small towns are islands of population separated by the ocean prairie seas. The small towns are support centers for the surrounding farmers and ranchers the motels are small mom and pop affairs several hundred rooms might be hard to acquire. Friends and relatives will take many in, which makes George's ironic statements of "Pioneer spirit" even more insulting.
"I'm confident this community will be rebuilt. To the extent we can help, we will," the president said, in brief remarks after attending services at St John's Episcopal Church.
But since we cut disaster relief benefits keep us posted on how that works out for you!
"They said to me it's hard to describe how bad this community was hit. I have declared a major disaster for that community and I hope that helps," Bush said.
But I'm far too busy to come see for myself, I went to church what do you people want from me! But have no fear if the press beats me up about it or another scandal breaks and I need a good photo op I'll be there for you but for now I'll sign some papers and take my photo op here.
"The most important thing now is for our citizens to ask for the good Lord to comfort those who hurt."
Because God help you if you expect help from the Bush administration!
"It's going to take a long time for the community to recover. And so we'll help in any way we can," the US president said.
And they say the man can't tell the truth!
The FEMA overhaul was also not discussed with state officials in advance, but presented as my way or the highway. Mark Smith of the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, commented, "Historically, FEMA doesn't make major changes until it's at least talked to the states and tried to assess the impact. That hasn't been done yet, and these changes need to be stopped in their tracks."
FEMA officials have shrugged off such criticism from the state governments. Director Paulison reiterated that if the states were unwilling to commit to contribute a quarter of the funds, they would not get anything. "It's their citizens," he said during a news conference at FEMA headquarters. "If they don't agree to it, we won't do it."
I guess the let them eat cake line was taken old Paulie's a real piece of work by suggesting we are going to make draconian cuts and blame it on the states to boot! It's a darn good thing Oliver Twist didn't ask old Paulie for another cup of porridge.
Mark Smith countered in a comment quoted in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, "If a catastrophic event like Katrina hits a poor state like Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana, they most assuredly won't be able to pay and the people will suffer. They are citizens of their states, but they are also citizens of the United States. Is [Paulison] saying the federal government will turn its back on its citizens, its taxpayers?"
Yes, that's exactly what he is saying, hide and watch.
Under the new rules, states will also not be reimbursed for the entire cost of debris cleanup done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The new rate will be either 75 percent or 90 percent of the total cost.
I think the best course of action for the Kansans is to blame the tornado on insurgents or Al Queda then the have the Army Corp. of Engineers to build a tornado proof wall around Greensburg then Halliburton can get a no bid contract rebuild the town gratis! But without the Green zone of Greensburg prospects are dim. Your just Americans George has done all he can for you he said a prayer and paid you a compliment now you're on your own.