Both Oklahoma Senators, James Inhofe and Tom Coburn voted in January against funding the FEMA disaster relief funding for the victims of Hurricane Sandy which ripped apart coastal New York and New Jersey. They called the bill a “slush fund” and opposed infrastructure spending for projects which would help strengthen the coastline construction against future hurricanes–further stating that the bill wasn’t offset by budget savings elsewhere. It wasn’t about people for Coburn and Inhofe–it was about money.
Flash forward, and in blows the monster tornado that ripped apart Moore, Oklahoma this past Monday killing more than twenty people with 200 mile an hour winds. Speaking of wind, Coburn then announced “As a ranking member of the Senate committee that oversees FEMA, I can assure Oklahomans that any and all available aid will be delivered without delay”. Inhofe parroted Coburn swearing there’d be no “pork” like what he alleged took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Preparedness be damned. Oklahoma has very little in place to help residents build or acquire tornado-proof safe-rooms in the homes, schools and public buildings. But what do you want to bet that preventative measures and new safety construction proposals are made by the two senators from Oklahoma? You can count on it. It might even be a good idea–like hurricane-proof construction along the eastern seaboard or earthquake safe buildings on the west coast.
Inhofe and Coburn are a pair of ideological idiots who only care about their own constituents largely so they can keep their cushy part-time jobs as United States senators–each working about 126 days out of the year. When disaster strikes hard working people who live by coastal areas, these two think it’s the resident’s faults for choosing an unstable place to call home. When it happens in cyclone-prone places like Hurricane Alley–the path of which leads right down the middle of Oklahoma, no such charges of bad-land homestead choices are “leveled” (so to speak). There is a double standard when it comes to red or blue states as if one is more worthy than the other.
In truth, the northern states pay far more into disaster relief funding than less densely populated states who have a long history of being in the paths of tornadoes–and being prone to droughts. States like New York and New Jersey rarely need to tap into the FEMA funding. It’s as if the people of the disaster-prone southwest are somehow “godlier” and therefore more deserving of help and mercy than the more sophisticated “pagan” northeastern states.
Inhofe and Coburn have hornswoggled their gullible constituents to vote them into office largely because Oklahoma is a red state that leans toward believing Rush Limbaugh is a thinking man–and in spite of their not becoming a state until 1912, somehow feel the Confederacy will rise again.
But when all is said and done, the people of Oklahoma are every bit as deserving of federal assistance in their time of need as are the people of the northeastern shores of America, where neighborhoods and homes are as uninhabitable as they were the day after Hurricane Sandy. Human compassion and the need for federal assistance shouldn’t be a political football–it should be a matter of common decency. Decency however, isn’t what snake-oil salesmen like Coburn and Inhofe are selling. Those two are looking after their own asses, and that’s the business they’re in.
– Disassociated Press, 5/22/13
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My book, An Early Work Late in Life is available through PixelPreserve for $29.95 plus shipping and handling at: http://www.pixelpreserve.net/bookstore/
A book signing is scheduled for Saturday, June 1st at 5:30pm at Giovanni’s Room, 345 South 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA. http://www.giovannisroom.com/