This reality has been stewing in my brain for the past several days but I could no longer internalize my outrage and frustration: Out of the 5-man Wisconsin Tea Party Congressional delegation in Washington, NONE of them voted in favor of providing relief funding for the states, municipalities, businesses, families and individuals devastated by Hurricane Sandy? That's right...ZERO. Not Paul Ryan, not Jim Sensenbrenner, not Tom Petri, and most certainly not Sean Duffy, who has absolutely no concept of what the ACTUAL "real world" is like for most people. You know...a world full of people who don't whine to their constituents at Town Hall meetings about their constant personal "struggle" to get by on a $174,000 annual Congressional salary.
The week before Friday's House of Representatives vote passed by a 354-67 tally, Teabagging Senator Ron Johnson remained steadfast in his douchebaggery by voting to deny federal funding for Sandy's victims, as well. (Oh, and in case you didn't know or hadn't guessed, all 67 members of the House to vote "No" to funding Hurricane Sandy flood relief were "Republicans.") Then again, for all of the oxygen he wasted droning on about protecting regular Americans and their freedoms from the horrors of health care, our sociopathic "Shame in the Senate" wouldn't recognize a sense of compassion even if it offered him a shoulder to cry on after one of his colleagues verbally smacked him down for being such an ignorant and arrogant lout.
Congressman Reid Ribble couldn't even be bothered to cast a vote on the woefully insufficient $9.7 billion appropriation merely intended to fill in the gaps for flood insurance claims. As Raw Story noted:
The $9.7 billion package passed Friday is intended to pay for flood insurance claims, but little else. Funding requests from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey alone add up to more than $83 billion.But I guess I can forgive Ribble for his shameful indifference towards this vote...I mean, it's only people's lives that are at stake here. Over $50 billion worth of additional relief, already passed by the U.S. Senate, have yet to be brought to the floor by John Boehner and his obstructionist Teahadists in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Within days of Hurricane Katrina coming ashore in Louisiana in 2005, nearly $10 billion in disaster relief had been approved by Congress and approximately $50 billion was approved for disaster relief within ten days of Katrina ravaging the Gulf Coast. The long-awaited vote on relief funding for the victims of Hurricane Sandy didn't even take place in Congress until approximately TEN WEEKS after Sandy first came ashore on the East Coast. Of course, if Wisconsin were in dire need of federal funds for disaster relief following a drought, flood or tornado, you just know that these hypocritical weasels would be banging the podium and demanding money NOW, then bragging about it afterwards, as Paul Ryan did following the floods that ravaged the Midwest in the summer of 2008. (Hat tip to Kossack Jeff Simpson for bringing that to my attention.)
When natural disasters hit the United States, especially a disaster of the magnitude and cost of Superstorm Sandy, it should be a given that our country bands together to help those in harm's way, with their plethora of dire needs, as quickly and as thoroughly as humanly possible. It is incumbent upon our elected officials to take their duties seriously and put their uncompromising ideologies aside in order to do what needs to be done for the sake of those affected by such tragedies. Sadly, yet predictably, Wisconsin's Congressional Republicans and many of their fellow Tea Partiers in Congress shirked their duties. As John Nichols pointedly stated for "The Nation":
One of his few clearly defined responsibilities, one of the few clearly defined responsibilities of any House member, is “to provide for the general Welfare.” They swear an oath to do so. And, barely hours into the new Congress, Ryan and his compatriots rejected that oath and a fundamental premise of the Constitution it supports.
Remember these unconscionable actions the next time Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson or any of these other heartless bastards pretends they give a shit about everyday Americans, let alone the Wisconsinites they were elected to represent. Badgers they most certainly are NOT! These cowardly Wisconsin Weasels may "represent" our great state at the federal level of government, but they are not representative of the heart of its citizens. Shamefully, these individuals, along with Scott Walker, epitomize the present-day Republican "leadership" in Wisconsin and all of the incompetence and intolerance that comes along with their steaming pot o' Tea. Grand Ol' Party, my ass.
Please follow and help support my friend and fellow Badger, Jenna Pope, and her fellow heroes at Occupy Sandy, Occupy Sandy Relief NJ and Occupy Sandy Relief NYC. They have been providing direct boots-on-the ground relief, support, documentation and far-reaching compassion for those affected by Sandy from Day One of the disaster. Their heroic round-the-clock efforts and continued advocacy to draw attention to those in need, especially in the most hard-hit areas, is a cause worth championing. While much has been done, thus far, to assist the victims of Sandy, much is still needed for the relief effort and the region's recovery has a steep uphill climb ahead of it. Let's keep those adversely affected by Superstorm Sandy in both minds and hearts. Solidarity.
For donations, please go to: https://www.wepay.com/...
For volunteer information, please go to: Occupysandy.org
For Jenna Pope's blog and photo documentation of her efforts on the front lines of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort go to: http://jennapope.com
You can also check out the Facebook pages for Jenna and the various Occupy Sandy groups by following the links in the above paragraph.