Does anyone even remember what FEMA stands for?
I woke up this morning to a story entitled “Economic Woes Lead to Proliferation of Tent Cities Nationwide.” The surprise was that it was a Fox News Fair and Balanced story. Even stupid itself now knows it’s the economy, stupid. Everybody knows now except the Republican congressional leadership, who are beyond stupid.
We learned recently that FEMA, the federal agency famous for having the words “emergency” and “management” in its name and not being able to manage in any emergency, has decided that to manage its own budget shortfalls it needs to raise the bar on what constitutes an emergency.
In the estimation of FEMA, it no longer constitutes an emergency that increasing numbers of homeless people must create their own shelters in the form of tent cities. This allows the fine citizens who run FEMA and work at FEMA the ability to feel that they are still doing their jobs (managing what remains within the definition of emergency) without having to do anything like march over to Congress and demand more funds to do what FEMA was meant to do.
Everyone knows this is an emergency. Fox News knows it. FEMA employees really do know it. But everyone also knows that the Republicans aren’t going to raise the taxes on the rich that would pay for the continued proper funding of agencies like FEMA.
What I found out attending meetings of the King County Committee to End Homelessness is, when it comes to bureaucracies, no one (within the bureaucracies) is going to waste any breath arguing that the things which everyone knows are true ought not be true.
So the hard-working citizens at FEMA will just settle for the funding they can get and do the best they can with it, even if that means that the agency ultimately is a colossal failure in terms of its original intent. Not their problem, after all. They still have jobs.
And those who don’t? Well, they’re living in newly built tent cities, so they can’t be objective about it. The Republicans aren’t going to listen to them. Therefore, it is essential that we all shut up and live in the world that the Republicans are creating for us.
To do better we need to anticipate what that world is becoming. For example, right now if 12 percent of all the adults in this or any other county are out of work, and the rest are millionaires, that does not constitute an emergency—unless the U.S. Census Bureau can certify that at least 11.5 percent of the total population haven’t given up looking for jobs. But if they all moved to a county that had enough of that kind of unemployed, that would be an emergency.
So, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, please send us your out-of-work people, so we can get our numbers back up. Oh, you’re already doing that? Thanks.
In the future, after the congressional super committee gets done fixing everything up real good, FEMA will primarily define an emergency as any severe congressional hangnail.
The rule for deciding which counties warrant emergency funds will be tightened considerably. The names of the 3,143 counties and county equivalents will go in a hat. The county that wins the draw will receive all that year’s FEMA emergency funds allotment, enough to buy a first-aid kit, which will be kept handy to treat any congressperson who happens to suffer severe hangnails.
Everyone at FEMA will be very happy with that arrangement because they will be doing the work of FEMA as best they can with what Congress is willing to give them. However, when word gets to the Republicans in the House that some of the Band-Aids are getting used to treat undeserving non-Congress people, they will vote to limit the Band-Aid giveaway to every other year. When Democrats object, they will accuse Democrats of favoring Band-Aids for problems that call for more serious measures, like fewer taxes.
I’d rather be in a homeless camp, then a FEMA camp. Look at the horrors of Katrina FEMA camp in the Astro Dome - rape, theft, murder, starvation, thirst, etc..
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