With Tropical Storm Chantal headed for South Florida with landfall likely Saturday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is sounding alarm bells about the impact of National Guard furloughs on state storm preparations. “The problem is you’re losing training time, you’re losing preparation time,” Scott said during a radio interview in Jacksonville. “When will the National Guard make the decision that we stop the furloughs? Right after the hurricane hits?”Mr. Scott, I have it on very good authority that the National Guard has been implementing furloughs because Republicans insisted they not be paid enough to avoid furloughs. It was called sequestration and it was in all the papers. You may have heard of it.
Scott joined with two other Southern Republican governors whose states are in the path of tropical storms to write a letter to President Obama urging him to call off the furloughs. In Florida, nearly 1,000 employees of the National Guard are furloughed once a week, saving the federal government money under the congressionally mandated sequester but costing the state in readiness.One of those two other Southern Republican governors is of course Bobby Jindal, most famous for being pissed off at something called "volcano monitoring" because his state doesn't have volcanos, but a firm believer in "hurricane monitoring" because Bobby Jindal only believes in things he can see out his window. It isn't so much an ideological conviction for him as it is pure self-centeredness, self-centeredness above and beyond that of the usual Republican wag.
So that's great, you're sending a letter off to President Obama saying you're very very peeved about the congressionally mandated requirement that members of the National Guard be furloughed because Republicans have insisted not just on implementing what all parties agreed at the beginning was the Stupidest Possible Way to cut spending, but are now insisting that we not actually fix because Congress is literally simply too incompetent to pass any better idea. You know who would be a better person to complain to than President Obama? The damn Republicans who insist on the furloughs. The people who put the "mandate" in the "congressional mandate" part. You even have their numbers, it wouldn't be a hard call.
Unless, of course, this isn't actually about avoiding potentially dangerous cuts to government safety programs, but about moving money around (the executive branch can't do a whole lot of that either, by the way) so as to screw somebody else in order to reverse only the cuts to government safety that affect you, and your state, and the people who will have your head on a plastic cafeteria tray if you screw things up. Because that wouldn't just be stupid, that'd make you kind of a bastard.
My lingering suspicion has long been that the House, crippled by their own ideological schisms, incompetence and eff-it-all approach to government, will never be able to actually pass any legislation that removes the need for government-wide furloughs, program cancellations, and other drastic measures. They'll just go through the entire roster of government duties one-by-one, refunding each and every thing a week after the cut to that thing resulted in either a minor fiasco or an outright disaster, and only when the fiascos or outright disasters are things they can personally see out their office windows. That seems to be the case—though if we count recent House Republican reactions to natural disasters not in their own states but merely in other Republican-led states, even that might might be expecting too much of them.