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Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Over half of the Congressional delegation from Oklahoma voted to deny Hurricane Sandy relief aid. Are you comfortable paying to rebuild their state tomorrow when they ask for aid?

Asked by Imadethisupwithnoforethought (14671points) May 20th, 2013
68 responses
“Great Question” (12points)

Both of their Senators and two of their 5 congressmen voted to block funding for Hurricane Sandy. Should we help them out tomorrow when they ask?

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Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Excellent question. I’d say let them squirm for a bit and hold up the aid, but we have people hurting. Let’s ram it through as fast as we can. Fucking politicians. We’ll deal with them later.

Mariah's avatar

Blocking the funding wouldn’t hurt them as much as it would hurt the innocent victims of the tornadoes. It’s not worth it.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

So you two are both comfortable with their behavior and want to reward it? This is not a new thing. Oklahoma is the 28th most populous state. They are number 2 in annual FEMA spending. Every year, just behind Texas. Why does helping them out after the Sandy vote make sense?

Mariah's avatar

No, fuck them for what they did, but I care more about the people who are in trouble getting aid right now.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought No the politicians are morons. They pound their chests and proclaim how independent they are and how everyone else should do the same. And then the shit hits the fan and they stand around and say huh? I haven’t seen a member of their delegation there. And this is day two. Effective representation? That’s for the Okies to decide.

filmfann's avatar

Give them the vote, but make them explain what the difference is.

Kardamom's avatar

Of course we should help the people of Oklahoma. Just because their senators are stupid doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help our people.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I get it. But they elected these people. And they know they are getting way more money than they receive. How long do we allow this weirdness of paying for them and them calling us deadbeats to continue?

chyna's avatar

@Kardamom I agree, but they do need to be called out on it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yes, we need to hold them accountable. Everything in life is a two way street. But right now is not the time. Get them the help. Then we can throw darts at them. The one’s hurting right now aren’t the idiots, it’s the people trying to make a life out there.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not a chance.

bob_'s avatar

Send emergency aid. Once everyone is safe and shit, let them eat cake.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@bob_ Shouldn’t that be a sandwich? Sorry I needed some humor.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m really sorry to have to say this, because I like you so much, but this question really pisses me off. Congress voted against aid, not the citizens who have lost their homes. And let’s not forget their children, some of whom are dead, injured, or still missing.

And to say that “the people of Oklahoma elected them” is bullshit. You can’t hold civilians accountable for the stupidity of their leaders. If we go by your logic, I should be fucked over just because my local Congressman, Ralph Hall, does something stupid.

So, if ole’ Ralph and some others in my state had voted against Hurricane Sandy relief aid, then my city was leveled by a tornado, my children were in one of the schools that was leveled and were either injured, dead, or still missing, my house and all my possessions were gone, leaving me with just the clothes on my back….. you would tell me to fuck off because of something my congressmen did?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate We disagree, and I love you too darling.

If you lived in a State that consistently was hit by tornadoes, and every year the Federal Government had to pay for them, at outrageous cost, and your congressmen told 26 other states to F* off when they needed help, I am gonna struggle mentally with how to react when just a few months later you need help.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Again, the people are not the congressmen. Fuck the congressmen, help the people.

So you’re uncomfortable giving aid to thousands of victims because their leaders are assholes, but you’re completely comfortable with screwing over thousands of victims just because their leaders are assholes. Even victims that have possibly just seen their children be dragged out of a pile of what used to be a school? Victims that have lost everything?

That’s like chopping off your entire hand just because your thumb needs to be amputated. We only disagree on this because your attitude is completely fucking inhumane.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Easy guys. Let’s stick together til we have a handle on this.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe She told me she likes me, I told her I loved her, I don’t think we are at the flame war level yet :)

Judi's avatar

I refuse to allow right wing wackos to destroy my compassion. There are mothers who will never hold their babies again. There are children who no longer even have a pillow to sleep on tonight. Of course we will help.
My question is, why the heck would we help them rebuild in the same place? Why not help them relocate to a safer place?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought She said she likes you? You’re toast dude.

bob_'s avatar

This is an interesting read.

Judi's avatar

@bob_ I’m so surprised my congressman Kevin McCarthy didn’t vote against it!

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@bob_ Thank you. I thought only two out of their five voted against it. Apparently it was 3 out of their 5 and all of their Senators.

bkcunningham's avatar

Why do you think they opposed the $51 billion?

bob_'s avatar

@bkcunningham One of the Representatives from Oklahoma issued this release.

Let’s see how much this fucker cares about fiscal responsibility now that shit hit the fan in his district.

bkcunningham's avatar

RED CROSS

Text Red Cross to 90999 to send a $10 donation.

SALVATION ARMY

Donate online: donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/eds/aok

Donate by phone: 800–725-2769

Or send a check to: The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. Designate Oklahoma Tornado Relief on all checks.

FEED THE CHILDREN

Donate online: www.feedthechildren.org/disaster

Donate by phone: 800–627-4556

And don’t forget to donate blood.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Who cares if it was 58 senators that voted against it? How many people were hurt and lost everything, that didn’t even vote for those senators, eh? What about them? What’s the ratio of dumbass elected officials to victims here?

I’ll repeat myself: your logic here is like cutting your entire hand off because your thumb needs to be amputated.

There are only 7 confirmed child deaths so far, but they anticipate it to reach 20. Yeah, we should totally abandon those grieving parents because of what some fucking asshole in congress did. You’re no better than those congressmen right now.

Maybe we should wait until a tornado levels your house, kills one of your children, and takes Every. Single. Fucking. Thing from you. Should we help you because you’re a human and you need help? Or should we just laugh, call you a douchebag for wanting to ignore helpless people, and leave you to pick up the pieces without any help?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Lady, I am a firm believer that the Federal government should help people out. I am not posting daily that the Federal government shouldn’t be helping people out.

The people of Oklahoma have spoken through their reps that they will not help others out. Are you ok with that? Do you want me to feel comfortable bailing them out indefinitely? I mean, I was, and am, as long as I felt like we were in it together. They don’t seem to feel any responsibility to me, however. They said no when my neighbors actually did lose their children.

Rarebear's avatar

Yes, of course. I totally and entirely agree with @WillWorkForChocolate She is expressing my point of view far more eloquently and spicy than I could.

Rarebear's avatar

You get him Nina!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought You’re seriously not understanding the level of your own hypocrisy and ignorance right now. I don’t give a flying fuck about your comfort level when it comes to helping Americans in genuine distress.

I will refrain from posting any more of what I think of your cavalier, “fuck ‘em” attitude, because it would only get modded off. Rest assured, it involves a lot of things that would prevent me from ever being called a lady again.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I understand you completely. You believe I am being cavalier and dismissive of human suffering, and are outraged. I am sitting here wondering if tomorrow we rebuild Oklahoma City, because we want to care for them, are they going to re-elect the people who refused to rebuild New England, and call them great statesmen because of their refusal to help us. I am wondering if this is a wise move on our part.

bkcunningham's avatar

Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.

Henry Ward Beecher

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@bkcunningham Appropriate if Oklahoma had actually shown compassion to other states. As I state, and no one disagrees, the people of Oklahoma receive the lions share of emergency funding by population, and have for years.

JLeslie's avatar

I have to admit I’m torn.

I also am shocked that FL congressmen have the chutzpah to vote against this sort of aid.

I wonder what exactly the aid goes towards for Sandy? As far as Oklahoma I would guess the cost is much less. Tornadoes don’t damage large areas. People most likely have windstorm insurance.

Do you have a link for dollars spent on Oklahoma vs. other states?

bob_'s avatar

Ah, nothing like a thread that gets people all pissed off, for no real reason.

bkcunningham's avatar

Compassion isn’t something that is given tit for tat. Oh, never mind. If you don’t have the extra money to send right now, don’t forget to donate blood.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t see any connection between wacko politicians and helping the people of Oklahoma.

zenvelo's avatar

Before i saw this thread, i was wondering what the hell Inhofe would say, probably just like Rick Perry was for a storm last week and the explosion at the unregulated fertilizer plant.

I’d want the approval in the Senate to be tied to any other disaster funding the rest of the year. But FEMA needs to be in there tonight.

Bellatrix's avatar

Some things should be above politicking. There are people in real need and just because the politicians they voted in are dicks, doesn’t mean those people like you and me who’ve lost family, their homes and possibly their jobs, should suffer more to make their idiot representatives pay.
The politicians won’t suffer.

woodcutter's avatar

Someone wasn’t thinking before they made this question.

augustlan's avatar

Of course we should help them. Then, after that’s taken care of, perhaps we need to look more closely at how much each state contributes to federal disaster relief (in the way of taxes, I assume?) In the future, maybe we should require states that consistently use more federal disaster relief funds to contribute more, proportionate to their use.

johnpowell's avatar

Just for some perspective here. The county this hit is one of the more liberal in the state according to the 2012 presidential election results. It only went 60.4% for Romney. If it was Cimarron county that went 90.4% for Romney I would say, fuck em’.

edit: botched the county..

mattbrowne's avatar

Paying of course, but then have a meaningful discussion. It will be embarrassing for the Oklahoma naysayers. They should be forced to apologize.

ucme's avatar

I don’t care enough to give a shit, but if I did i’m firmly in @WillWorkForChocolate‘s camp…obviously.
On a more humane level, loved that old woman finding her dawg live on air, bless her.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Oh yes, please, let’s kick them when they’re down. This is such a nice game. I like this game.

I was born and raised in Oklahoma. While it is no longer home for me, I have many relatives there. My ex-wife has a brother, several aunts and uncles and many cousins near the town of Moore. All are safe and sound.

If we are going to start linking spending to some scale of compassion, who gets to make that scale?

This question sickens me.

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Guess where I am going tomorrow? Oklahoma. I am going for a family reunion. I am happy to be going even though the place holds many abhorrent memories for me. I will be meeting cousins who hold reprehensible views toward me.

I don’t give a flip flying fuck what party the dead or those left behind voted for in the last 100 elections. We do not make policies based on emotions of retribution. We make policies based on human and humane values.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry to ask questiöns, but as I look into this more I am more confused. It doesn’t seem like they voted against help for hurricane Sandy, but that they voted to cut spending/budget, because Sandy cost so much money. Can someone straighten me out on this?

About states that cost more contributing more to the fund. I personally do not agree with doing it by state. FEMA has maps, they track flood zones, tornado probability, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the insurance requirements should be based on that. States are not the same from end to end. This is true about disaster prossibilities and true about the electoral college map. A state can be 51% Republican in a Presidential election for popular vote, but on the map it visually makes the impact of 100% red state. Also, disasters are tricky, they happen sometimes where least expected.

I also am curious if FEMA is funded by tax money (I think @augustlan brought this up and has me curious) or by what we pay into FEMA as insurance. Does anyone know?

JLeslie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I think the argument would be the Republicans in this case are making policy based on numbers and a general mission to lower taxes, not humane values. And, I don’t want to be insensitive, because goodness knows I have been through disasters personally, although gratefully I have never had very extreme negative effects, one time $30k in damage to my house, no electricity for over a week, and, just going through the events suck. My aunt and sister were affected by Sandy and it was awful, I won’t bother with the story. Anyway, you speak of the dead. I assume disaster relief money is spent on search and rescue, and some of that is finding and dealing with those who have died, but it is the people who are alive who need the help. A place to live, food, water, medical care, etc.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@JLeslie I think you may have skipped a few words of my post. I said ”...the dead or those left behind…” implying the living.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, it’s 5:45 am. I missed it.

ucme's avatar

I’ve changed camps & pitched up with @Hawaii_Jake, good fishin around here.

josie's avatar

I think the thread reveals some confusion between the notions “compassion” and “politics”.

It isn’t being compassionate when you let corrupt politicians take your money and spend it on votes.
The way to tell how compassionate people are is to find out how much time and money they personally direct at charity, not how eloquent they are when they describe how the decadent goons in Washington spend their taxes. Anybody can talk the talk. Very few walk the walk.

I assume all you compassionate folks are writing checks to the various relief funds that are and will be appearing to help the people in Oklahoma. Here’s one http://www.okdisasterhelp.com/

Or not.

Anyway, it is not the OK delegations job to make sure people on the East Coast get their tax money. It is their job to make sure that people in Oklahoma get their money.

Bellatrix's avatar

In Australia a couple of years ago, much of the country was hit by major flooding. The Federal Government imposed a levy to help pay for the additional costs to repair infrastructure and to support those whose insurance didn’t meet their needs. I did not hear one person complain at the extra tax. No matter how much or how little they earned.

Similarly, the Federal Government has just imposed an increase to our healthcare payment. All workers pay 1.5% of their income to fund Medicare. Nobody complains. From July 2014, that percentage will increase to 2% to fund DisabilityCare to fund the care of people with disabilities and to provide the modifications to their homes, wheelchair costs and the like. Again, I have not heard one person complain.

I’m therefore stunned to read people questioning whether aid should be given to people hit by a major disaster. They are your fellow citizens. Most of the people posting here are US citizens. This isn’t charity, it’s looking after your own. It’s taking care of family business.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It looks like they are one of the poorest state so perhaps there are sound financial reasons for making sure they aren’t bankrupted helping other people.

10. Oklahoma
> Median household income: $43,225
> Population: 3,791,508 (23rd lowest)
> Unemployment rate: 6.2% (8th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 17.2% (16th highest)

Oklahoma remarkably low unemployment rate of 6.2% for a state that is among the nation’s poorest. The poverty rate of 17.2% has inched up each year from the 2008 rate of 15.9%. The low median income suggests a need for higher paying jobs as Oklahoma relies heavily on agricultural production. Also, government and military, which tend to be low-paying jobs, account for the highest percentage of jobs in the state. But Oklahoma is also a major producer of oil and gas. Growth in the energy sector, which tends to pay more, would help improve on Oklahoma’s median income of $43,225.

Read more: America’s Poorest States – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/09/20/americas-poorest-states-2/#ixzz2TwCVCFUw

OpryLeigh's avatar

I would like to think harder about this and read up on all the facts (reasons etc) but based on what you have said in the details my gut reaction isn’t to deny aid. The people of Oklahoma need help right now and I feel denying that would be petty and cruel. Hopefully the people that did vote against aid for Sandy will think twice next time.

zenvelo's avatar

@josie and @KNOWITALL Your statements about Oklahoma being “bankrupted“by helping others is a specious argument. Inhofe and others are mean spirited and said there was no justification for Hurricane Sandy relief.

I hope Oklahoma is helped by everyone and my heart goes out to them. But, as some have said, to say the population doesn’t bear any responsibility for what their congressional delegation says and votes is just flat out wrong. They can vote those guys out of offce, and they can also call their reps and tell them they are wrong, just as I can in my state. Instead, all of their congressmen are secure in their support from the voters.

@KNOWITALL regarding Oklahoma poverty, consider Inhofe’s repeated voting in favor of de-regulated industries with no unions and opposition to minimum wages. In other states, heavy energy industry is a source of high paying jobs. In Oklahoma, it is a means for high profits with no corporate responsibility.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@zenvelo Well let’s make sure to combat perceived mean-spiritedness with more mean-spiritedness then, which seems to be suggested by the Q.

Politically, it’s their problem to vote out idiots, and I hope they do, but when lives are lost like this, we need to pull together not be nasty, it’s a humanitarian issue now.

josie's avatar

@zenvelo
I didn’t say anything about bankruptcy

woodcutter's avatar

Voting people out of office is not that simple. Voting districts can get drawn in a way that stacks the deck in the incumbent’s favor. This is a practice used by both parties. I love it when things are over simplified for the sake of argument because the author is intellectually lazy.

zenvelo's avatar

@woodcutter Please, I don’t question your thinking, don’t call mine lazy. Oklahoma is unusually homogenous in its voting pattern; they have repeatedly and consistently voted for those like Senator Inhofe. There was not a storm of outrage when they were advocating no relief for Hurricane Sandy victims.

@josie My apologies, I was conflating your statement about the delegation making sure Oklahoma “gets their money”. But that is a false responsibility to me. As a Senator, a member of the great deliberative body of the Federal Government, his duty is to negotiate for legislation that meets the nation’s needs, and in a way that is consistent with what he would want for his own state. His voting record shows he does not believe Oklahoma should get disaster relief, unless he is inconsistent..

josie's avatar

Say what you want. If my senators and district rep want to be assured of my vote, they better be looking out for the interests of my state and district.

They are not going to Washington to be members of the Great Collective. They are going to be the voice of the people of the state and district that they represent.

If they have to make a deal here and there with representatives of another state in order to get what we need in our state, well that’s politics, and up to a point I understand that. But if they forget where they came from, and whose money they are spending, I will work against them in the next election, not contribute to their campaign, etc. etc.

woodcutter's avatar

All politics is local, that much is true.

@zenvelo Yes your comment was intellectually lazy. Or…you can choose intellectually dishonest. Pick one. State voters are concerned with their state.Thats where their vote is going. It’s only normal for a state to lean to one side or another. Everybody rebuilds.

Rarebear's avatar

This is such an interesting thread. People’s true colors are being displayed.

ucme's avatar

^^Yep, tubthumping lightweights banging on their puny little political drum, high-larious stuff.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Rarebear @ucme Comments from the peanut gallery are always welcome…lol, you two rarely ever talk politics. Hmmm, maybe you really are smarter than the rest of us. :)

ETpro's avatar

Senators Inhofe and Coburn voted against Sandy relief as well. You don’t defeat evil and greed by emulating it, though. You defeat it by shining the light of love and compassion on it. But a pox on the lot of them.

ucme's avatar

@KNOWITALL Well, I don’t like to brag, so i’ll keep my powder dry…us smart folks know better see :)

JLeslie's avatar

Those who talk about donating money to help, which I am all for, implying don’t worry about getting government help, if we all pitch in privately it will be enough, that is part of the same thinking that has been going on amoung many republicans. I am not saying the people who suggest it here are to the extreme on this, I have no idea, but there definitely are many voices around me who talk about this. They bring up Bill Gates and other private people who do great charitable work (by the way a significant amount of our tax money goes to his charity). This general thinking is anti-tax anti helping people through government and always points out people and communities should get their own act together and rely on each other and themselves, not the central government. So, it is logical that when something like this happens to people who talk like this in the extreme, and vote like this, and vote for representatives who follow what the population itself talks about that people who believe in bigger government and the central government being there to help in this sort of situation have a felling of, “well, you said you don’t want tax money spent on things like this. Sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard people say, ‘those people down in LA after Katrina just sat around waiting for the goverment to help them, up north that would never happen.” That happens to be a racist statement, they were talking about poor black people. That’s part of it, they don’t see themselves when they think about who needs or will be denied money.

I still am not sure congress actually voted against money ofr Sandy, or just money for the budget in general, but I just wanted to say something about those saying donate to help.

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