Sandy: The Departure

Our dear friend Sandy departed yesterday leaving us without internet service all day.  Our lights flickered for a second Monday evening but we never lost power.  We have some small branches down and some plant debris all over the pool cover but that’s the extent of the hurt felt here in Mt. Penn.  I’ll head up to the Fleetwood house after lunch and I expect a lot of tree damage there.

We made every preparation we could save buying a generator and that’s on the list for the future.  Luckily Berks was close enough to the eye that we missed the devastating rain and winds.  I spent my early years outside New York City in North Jersey and feel for those whom the storm devastated.  The damage on the news is sickening.  The only positive from all of this are the jobs created for the clean up and rebuilding.

Remember, Mitt Romney said he’d privatize FEMA.  If you vote Republican please go out and repair your own roads, bridges, electrical grid and public works.

FEMA Update

The latest FEMA update call at 2:30 said Sandy is speeding up as it hits the warm Gulf Stream.  This means the storm is gaining energy.  Landfall is estimated to be between 7-8PM tonight.  It will come across New Jersey and come across southern Pennsylvania.  The hardest hit counties are going to be Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, York, Adams and Franklin, the southern tier.  The storm will slow down once it hits land.  It is expected to sit over us.

They estimate the storm surge along the Jersey shore to last until late Wednesday.  Tonight’s full moon will contribute to, perhaps, an additional foot storm surge but not significant considering the huge scope of this storm.

People are advised to remain off the roads, Pennsylvania has reduced speed limits on interstates to 45 mph in the region and banned trailers.  

Our conditions here in Reading as steady hard rainfall and increasing winds.

Brace For Sandy

Hurricane sandy is headed directly towards us today.  The eye is set to hit New Jersey and the storm is due to pass over Philadelphia, swing across southern PA then west.  This puts a major storm surge into New York City and all of northeastern Pennsylvania in the brunt of the northeastern winds.  We’ll be getting the worst of this massive storm so be prepared.  Schools have closed and most businesses should be also:  there’s no reason anyone should be anywhere today unless you’re in emergency preparedness.  

Weather experts are predicting today to be the worst.  5-10 inches of rain.  Much preparation has been done.  Here in Berks County, for example, Blue Marsh lake was dropped five feet to prevent the Schuylkill River from flooding.  Flashlight batteries have been impossible to find and folks were stocking up on water.  Fill your bathtub an duse that water for flushing toilets.  Keep a radio tuned in to a local station for local announcements.  If you live in Lancaster listening to a Harrisburg station won’t help you.

Keep your cell phone charged.  If you have a smart phone disable things like wifi and bluetooth.  Close any apps which are running to save juice.  I turned mine off last night.  I have a car charger and will use that to recharge it if the power is out for an extended period of time.

If nothing gets posted for several days assume our power is out here.  Be safe and stay indoors.  Don’t remain near glass doors and large windows.

Sandy Advances

Experts say u to 50 million people will be impacted as Hurricane Sandy advances on the Mid Atlantic region.  New York City is evacuating and all transit in the Big Apple will shut down at 7PM.  Delaware closed Route 1 in the Dewey Beach area this morning.  FEMA and the National Weather Service will not issue tropical storm warning so as not to confuse people when it loses tropical status.  They are simply issuing storm watches and warnings and encouraging everyone to tune in to their local authorities, local weather services and emergency preparedness instructions.

Though this is just a Category 1 storm it is hitting another storm moving east with a cold front moving south and all three will merge into a super storm.  President Obama is being briefed regularly and will return to the White House Monday to supervise the federal response.

Forecasters are predicting Sandy will stall over us and drop rain for two days.  Please prepare as best you can but don’t panic.  I spent all of yesterday afternoon searching for D cell batteries with little luck.  I’m hoping stores will be restocked Monday and try again.  I did get all of our water containers filled and will move some additional firewood down from our old house.  Power could be lost for several days so we aren’t stocking up on additional food.  Bring in any items which could blow around.  If you have yard signs out for your candidates also please take them in.

The storm could very well impact the election due to widespread flooding.  If we had early voting as they do elsewhere that would mitigate the impact on polling but, unfortunately Republicans here block those efforts.  If you think flooding may impact your ability to vote contact your county election services about an absentee ballot.

Visit From Sandy: Preparations

Sandy is coming sometime Monday night and everyone and their uncle is out today gathering emergency supplies.  On a FEMA conference call this afternoon federal officials, including the head of FEMA Craig Fugate, said they expect the eastern third of the nation to feel her presence.  Florida is the only eastern state which will miss her.  West Virginia expects up to two feet of snow and we’ll see between 5-8 inches of rain.  A cold front moving south from Canada will join the tropical storm and another storm front moving eastward to create what’s being called a Frankenstorm.  This one is of our own creation, a result of climate change.

FEMA has moved emergency personnel into Pennsylvania and has supplies stored in New Jersey which expects a ten foot storm surge along its coast.  Winds are expected to hit 60 mph.  The Defense Department has also pre-positioned personnel to assist if needed.

Water and batteries are now scarce commodities.  Get your while you can, the stores are mobbed.

Hurricane Irene Open Thread

Hurricane Irene is slamming the east coast and hit landfall again in Little Egg Harbor, NJ.  It remained a cat 1 hurricane through the night according to reports.  Post your experiences and pictures and share the agony of getting through a hurricane.  Everything is nice and peaceful out here in New Mexico, I feel as if I dodged a bullet.  Meanwhile the White House continues having press conferences with FEMA and issuing statements about their readiness.

News & Notes August 27, 2011

As the east coast braces for Hurricane Irene I’m monitoring things as well as I can from Santa Fe.  The advantage of being here is my power won’t go out and I can monitor FEMA and news sources for the latest information.  I’ll do my best over the weekend to provide information.  If you have news and information let me know and I’ll get it out there.

It’s rained every day since I arrived in northern New Mexico which is very unusual.  This is the high desert and climate change has been effecting the southwest quite significantly.  These storms break a severe drought and are quite welcome to the residents and Native Americans.  

I met a couple from Los Alamos yesterday whom I knew from our Democratic Talk Radio facebook group.  It’s so nice to put faces with names and actually get to know people.  I’m trying to do some work while here on shale gas fracking.  It’s been going on out west for years and I’d like to learn what the longer term effects are on the environment.  Larry and Shirley Jeffreys are steering me to some people in Santa Fe with whom I can meet.

FEMA seems to be managing preparations for Irene pretty well. They have been conducting news conferences and sent people into the projected path of the storm ahead of time to deal with the aftereffects.  Following just days after the 5.8 earthquake this is a double whammy for the region.  Meanwhile Eric Cantor is insisting on more federal cuts in exchange for disaster aid.  Since the epicenter of the quake was in his own district there is no larger evidence of the need for him to go.  Government exists to provide disaster aid in the event of major events and if he cannot even support disaster aid for his own District his constituents need to elect a new Congressman.

Speaking of weather, drought and climate change Texas Governor Rick Perry said this in New Hampshire this week:

“I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data, so that they will have dollars rolling into their, to their projects,”

Al Gore responded back saying most scientists have no financial gain by calling for action about the issue.  He’s correct as most of them are academics.  If they owned companies who stood to gain financially from their work that would be a conflict of interest and cloud anything they said.  Sort of like the climate change deniers who are funded by ExxonMobil (to the tune of $18 billion) and other energy companies who do actually have a financial interest in denying the science.  They do have a conflict of interest and Perry apparently is too stupid top comprehend this fact just like he’s too stupid to understand the science.

The more we learn about Perry the more radical he is and we don’t need another radical Texas Governor in the White House.  Texas is being hit with severe high temperatures and drought this year due to climate change yet he thinks the solution is a prayer meeting.

Another closeted gay Republican surfaced this week when Puerto Rican Senator Roberto Arango. was outed by Gawker for explicit pictures he posted on the smartphone gay hookup site Grindr.  I love the sarcastic commentary in their article.

Congressman Tom Marino was targeted with a mock funeral in Williamsport over the death of jobs:

Republican Members of Congress are now charging the public to attend their events in a total effort to keep the people from expressing their concern and outrage over recent votes.  If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

The White House is moving towards approving the controversial tar sands pipeline in the face of a continuous protest about running an oil line straight down the country from Canada to Texas.  With a straight face they are saying there’s minimal environmental risk.  One more reason not to vote for Barack Obama next year.

Irene Coming For A Visit

Hurricane Irene will be visiting Pennsylvania this weekend and prognostications are calling for heavy rain and strong winds for the weekend with the worst arriving Sunday.  Please make preparations by bringing outside furniture indoors or tied it down.  Stock up on water, candles, batteries and other emergency supplies as power may go out in your area.  The White House has announced FEMA is already in place:

WASHINGTON – As Hurricane Irene moves closer to the East Coast of the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working closely with states up and down the East Coast to ensure they have the resources they need to prepare.  FEMA strongly encourages all East Coast residents to take steps now to prepare for severe weather in the coming days and urging them to listen to and follow the instructions of their state, tribal and local officials.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Watch for the North Carolina Coast from North of Surf City to the North Carolina-Virginia border.  A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible in the area within 48 hours.  For more forecast information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center, click here.

Under the direction of President Obama and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, the entire federal family, coordinating through FEMA, is leaning forward to support our state and territorial partners as Hurricane Irene continues to threaten the east coast, having already impacted Puerto Rico.  FEMA through its regional offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston are in constant contact and coordination with state, tribal and local officials that could be impacted or have already been impacted by this storm, to ensure they have the support they need to respond. FEMA’s regional response coordination centers in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta are operating at heightened levels to ensure federal coordination and support to states that may be affected by severe weather.

Since the federal government first began monitoring the storm, FEMA officials have been regularly updating President Obama and Secretary Napolitano on the federal efforts to support storm response and preparation needs. Earlier today, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Secretary Napolitano briefed President Obama on the latest preparation efforts with states and major metropolitan areas, including the pre-positioning of staff, teams and commodities across the entire East Coast.

“All residents along the East Coast should be paying close attention to this storm and listening to their state and local officials for key updates and information, including evacuation orders,” said Administrator Fugate.  “Now is the time to prepare your families, homes or businesses, so if you haven’t already, visit or”

In advance preparation for the storm, FEMA National Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) are on the ground in North Carolina and Virginia and arriving in South Carolina, today in anticipation of further deployment to potential impact areas along the east coast of the U.S.  In addition, Regional IMATs are being deployed to Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont, to coordinate with state, tribal and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls impacting potential disaster response and recovery efforts.

FEMA has also placed liaison offers in state emergency operations centers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and with New York City emergency management officials.  Liaisons are also deploying to New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.  These liaisons will coordinate with the state for any support needed and requested.

At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories.  In Atlanta, for instance, FEMA has more than two million liters of water, more than 1.3 million meals, and more than 16,000 cots and 56,000 blankets.  These resources may be moved to Incident Support Bases (ISBs), which are distribution centers located closer to the impacted areas, allowing FEMA and federal partners to proactively stage commodities closer to areas potentially affected by severe weather, allowing supplies to quickly be moved throughout nearby affected states, should they be needed and requested.  Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for example, has been designated as an ISB to support federal operations, and ISBs are being set up in Massachusetts and New Jersey, to support states within the regions.

These commodities are meant to supplement state resources if needed, but it’s critical that individuals and families build their own emergency supply kits so that in the event of a disaster, state and local resources can be focused on the most vulnerable citizens.

In Puerto Rico, federal personnel are joining commonwealth and local officials to conduct joint preliminary damage assessments, as weather permits. These damage assessments are the first step in helping a governor determine whether the scope of the damages are beyond what the commonwealth is capable of handling, and if additional federal assistance is needed.  This past weekend, FEMA proactively deployed regional IMATs to the Caribbean to coordinate with territory and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls impacting potential disaster response and recovery, and on August 22, President Obama signed an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, making federal funding available to supplement commonwealth and local response efforts in the area.

FEMA is coordinating across the federal government to ensure territorial and state officials have the support they need as they respond to or prepare for Irene. New actions as of today include, but are not limited to:

   * NOAA’s G-IV research jet is scheduled to fly surveillance missions today and tomorrow. The G-IV flies at high altitude (40,000’+) to measure the steering currents surrounding the hurricane, improving forecasts of the hurricane’s track.  Additionally, the agency’s WP-3D is also scheduled to fly multiple research missions into Hurricane Irene today. Flying through the eye of the storm at low altitudes, this aircraft collects research-mission data critical for computer models that predict hurricane intensity and landfall.

·         The Department of the Interior units affected by the storm, primarily national parks and fish and wildlife refuges along the coast, are taking all appropriate actions and informing the public through local announcements as actions are taken.  In the Washington, DC area, the National Park Service (NPS) is coordinating closely with FEMA other federal partners to monitor the storm.

·         The U.S. Coast Guard will identify and track all vessels in port, establish contact with emergency management agencies at the local, state and federal levels, and work closely with port and industry officials to minimize damage in the event the storm impacts key shipping ports and facilities.

·         The U.S. Department of Agriculture is releasing information on food safety tips in advance of severe weather.  Visit for more information.

   * The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun preparing its facilities along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. in advance of potential landfall of Hurricane Irene.  Although all VA facilities remain under normal operations at this time, the Hampton, Va. VA Medical Center will be conducting a partial evacuation of its facility, sending some patients requiring advanced care to the Richmond and Martinsburg, Va. VA Medical Centers.

   * The American Red Cross is mobilizing disaster relief workers and relief supplies for an East Coast response.  The Red Cross is opening shelters in North Carolina as local evacuation orders begin to go into effect. Additional shelters in North Carolina and other states are being prepared along the east coast. More information is available about open Red Cross shelters at

Click here for the previous update on these activities.

FEMA encourages everyone, regardless of whether they live in a hurricane-prone area, to take steps to ensure their families, homes and businesses are prepared for a possible emergency.  As a reminder, the month of September is designated as National Preparedness Month (NPM), an opportunity to encourage Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. Individuals and families can learn about events and activities, and groups can register to become a NPM Coalition Member by visiting  NPM is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Ad Council.

FEMA’s ongoing support of disaster response activities in Puerto Rico and its proactive support for East Coast storm preparations, does not diminish its focus from critical federal disaster response and recovery operations that continue, across the nation, including flooding in the Midwest and the ongoing recovery from the southeastern tornadoes.  Every disaster is a reminder that they can happen anytime, anywhere.  Now is the time to prepare–visit or for tips on creating your family emergency plan and putting together an emergency supply kit.

This is a serious hurricane and damage will be severe.Be prepared!

On Living Up To Your Words, Or, Tornado? That’s Not In The Constitution.

There are lots of big tough words coming out of our friends in the Tea Party these days, especially when it comes to the permissible functions of the Federal Government.

“If it’s not specifically enumerated in the Constitution,” they say, “It must be a function of the States-and the 10th Amendment says so!”

None are tougher in their language than those living in the States located below the old Mason-Dixon line-and by an amazing coincidence, just this weekend pretty much all of those States got a bit of a “gut check” in the form of dozens of tornados that slammed into the area.

So we’re going to put the Tea Party philosophy to the test today, and see just what exactly the Federal Government should-and should not-be doing to fulfill the Tea Party vision and to help those folks who were hit by this particular natural disaster.

“…For that was not true; his attitude was not to be explained by greed, or at any rate by greed alone, but rather by the touchiness which his great labors and their complete unsuccess had bred in him.”

–From the story The Village School Master [The Giant Mole], by Franz Kafka

Stories often begin by setting the terms of the discussion; that will be true today, and the framework for where we’ll start is Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution, which is the “unless it’s enumerated…” part of the Tea Party argument:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

OK…so, let’s talk about “who’s who” in this little drama (for the record, this won’t be a complete list of events or people; it’s just a sample for the purposes of discussion):

Arkansas had tornados Friday night; seven people died (five of those from winds not attributable to a tornado), and according to “The Post and Courier” of Charleston, SC, there had been three days of warnings from the National Weather Service before this particular weather event.

The paper also reports that Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi were hit.

North Carolina was hit with as many as 62 tornados over the weekend, with at least 22 dead.

In Virginia, Saturday, a 12-mile swath of Gloucester County was severely damaged, with a total of 5 dead in the Commonwealth.

North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi have declared a State of Emergency, so has Virginia. Oklahoma has been under one State of Emergency due to wildfires since March, a second Emergency was declared over the weekend, and Federal assistance was again requested by Governor Mary Fallin to help make things better.

To keep this to a reasonable length, we’re going to drill in on three States, and three Governors; those States are Virginia, Alabama, and Oklahoma.

Alabama’s new Governor, Robert Benchley, is one of those “enumerated powers” kind of guys, in fact, he signed The 10th Amendment Pledge; the parts which concern us here read as follows:

The phrase, “General Welfare,” in Article I, Section 8 does not authorize Congress to enact any laws it claims are in the “General Welfare” of the United States.  The phrase sets forth the requirement that all laws passed by Congress in Pursuance of the enumerated powers of the Constitution shall also be in the General Welfare of the United States…

… I do, and will continue to, oppose any and all efforts by the federal government to act beyond its Constitutional authority.

Let’s move on: the Tenth Amendment Center is proud of Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin for turning down the Federal grant to set up the State’s “Obamacare” insurance exchange (officially part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [PPACA]) on 10th Amendment grounds-and she would also want you to know that:

“…I believe, as I know many of our legislators and the majority of our citizens do, that the PPACA is unconstitutional, fatally flawed and ultimately harmful to our economy and the health of our citizens…”

And then there’s Virginia:

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Friday drew cheers from the tea party crowd as he announced support for a “Repeal Amendment” to the Constitution.

“There has been a bi-partisan trampling of that federal compact of the 10th Amendment,” said McDonnell as he spoke at the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention in Richmond.

A “Repeal Amendment” was proposed last month by House Speaker Del. Bill Howell, R- Fredericksburg. The amendment to the U.S. Constitution would allow a federal act to be over-turned if two-thirds of state legislatures voted against it. Such an act would sway power to state legislatures, and is a popular concept in tea party circles.

When the panel moderator asked McDonnell is he would support such an amendment, he replied “yes.”

And now it’s disaster time, and these Governors are looking for disaster help…but they have a very particular view of how the Federal Government and the States ought to relate to each other…so… at this moment of urgency, just what precisely are the specifically enumerated powers that the Federal Government has at our disposal for disaster relief?

Well, according to my quick re-reading of Article 1, Section 8, that would be exactly…no power at all, except to act in case of insurrection, to try any Federal criminal offenses that might occur, and to repair any Federal docks or other needful Buildings.

(You’ll note I did not say “try and punish” any Federal criminal offenses. That’s because there’s nothing I can see in Article 1, Section 8 about Federal prisons.)

I don’t see anything in there about the National Weather Service, either, so from now on, if a State wants to know if a tornado’s coming, I guess they better pony up the cash and start themselves a State Weather Service, or buy the forecasting and warning services from a private contractor.

(This could be good for the economy, by the way: forecasting the weather requires satellites, and if every State that believes in self-reliance each launches their own satellite constellations…that’s some jobs, right there.)

FEMA? In the view of those who truly understand, it’s unconstitutional on its face, and, therefore, the Governors shouldn’t be looking to them for help.

The loans that businesses and citizens rely on to get back on their feet? Show me the “enumerated” language that permits those activities, because I can’t find it.

Grants to States to cover their extraordinary expenses? I don’t see anything authorizing such activities, and with that in mind…I don’t think so.

According to the “purist” view, the 10th Amendment requires all of this to be handled by the States, not the Federal Government; that’s why, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why these Governors weren’t thinking about disaster planning from the start of their terms.

Why weren’t these supposedly self-reliant States ready when this happened?

I mean, each of these States already has an emergency management department, and I’m sure they can manage much better locally than the Feds (or at least they claim they can), so why are they even asking for Federal help in the first place?

How is it possible that these Governors never considered that protecting the citizens of their States would be “Job 1”, to steal a phrase, and, to make a moral point, why should the rest of us be bailing them out now?

I mean, hey: you told us these were State problems, and now you have problems, and you still have States, so you know what?

Live up to your words: get all “10th Amendment-y”, and suck it up, and deal with it yourselves.

That’s what you told us you wanted, when you were Full Of Big Campaign Talk, so now do it, Governors, and stop all that crying and whimpering to us for outside help, and go make that 10th Amendment work for you.

Show us how much better local control is than when the Giant Hand Of The Federal Government Tells You What To Do.

Be the self-reliant Brawny Men that you were in your campaign ads.

And I’d pose the same challenge to anyone who voted for these Governors:

Remember how you all cheered when your candidates told you Government wasn’t the solution; that it was, instead, the problem?

If you really believed that, then what in the world are you doing asking for the Federal Government’s help now?

After all, you said you wanted Government “off your back”, and “the Government that governs best governs least”, right, so why would you want Government in your faces at a time when you’re trying your hardest just to get back on your feet?

Why aren’t you (and I’m thinking specifically of you, Tri-Corner Hat Patriot Guys) demanding that the Federal Government stay out of this and leave the States alone?

And it’s only fair: there was no tornado in California this weekend, so why should Californians pay taxes for your disaster?

And remember how adamant you were, just a couple of weeks ago, that the budget cuts associated with those Continuing Budget Resolutions weren’t deep enough?

Well, how are we supposed to make the kind of budget cuts y’all wanted on the Federal side when you’re coming around here demanding more money?

We have a deficit, remember, and we can’t be spending money we don’t have-and even if we had the money, we couldn’t spend it on helping you, because, as you all recall, there’s nothing specifically in the Constitution to allow it.

This is your problem, Constitutional purists, and, according to your own logic, it’s not ours…so if you want your roads and schools fixed, ask your citizens to volunteer to do the work or something.

Since we can no longer help you, maybe the Red Cross or some other private charity could fund the rebuilding of your communities.

Since so many conservatives believe corporate and religious philanthropy will fill in the gaps in the shrinking “social safety net”, you could try asking churches and private industry to do the work for you as a community service; I’m sure they’ll jump right in and pick up all the slack.

Hey: you were the ones full of tough talk last November, my Tea Party friends, and now it’s 10th Amendment “gut check” time, and I want to see you live up to your own words, if you have the “man pants” to do it…or I want you to see you acknowledge that this was all a giant load of hooey.

That maybe there’s a place for a United States of America, that maybe there is such a thing as “general Welfare”…or maybe even that being a 10th Amendment purist might be great down at the ol’ Heritage Foundation when you’re hustling for campaign money, but that once the big winds start blowing, ideology ain’t worth spit compared to a system of weather radars and satellites and a FEMA that will come and bail your butt out if it all goes wrong.

And if you voted for one of these clowns…either you need to get smart, right now…or maybe we need to cut the cord.

Maybe you need to see what your own vision of “10th Amendment reality” is really all about.

Maybe, just as so many of you have demanded, we should mind our own Federal business and let local government govern best.

And if it doesn’t work out, then, maybe, you’ll wake up and realize that Ronald Reagan was wrong: sometimes Government is the only game in town, and when it’s not around, providing helpful solutions…that’s when you got real problems.

Does God send natural disasters as punishment?

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