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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Texans don’t trust the federal government, and Texas politicians don’t like federal disaster relief. Until they do.

As floodwaters ravaged Central Texas, President Obama reached out to the state Tuesday afternoon to pledge the full cooperation and support of the federal government, exactly the kind of aid Texas has desperately needed and vocally rejected for so long.

Kriston Capps at Citylab has a comprehensive account of the Lone Star State’s tangled and troubled relationship with FEMA. As Capps notes, “Texas suffers more natural disasters than any state in the nation” and it “absorbs more federal disaster assistance funds than any other state.”

The state’s antipathy toward any kind of federal involvement reached comical heights in recent weeks, when residents of Bastrop County, Texas became convinced that a training exercise taking place near them was part of a federal plot to invade the state. Texas governor Greg Abbott caved in to the insanity when he ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor the wargames, and Ted Cruz (R-TX), senator from Texas and GOP presidential candidate, supported the move.

Unfortunately, this mentality has destructive consequences. As Capps writes:

FEMA plays a prominent role in this fever dream: Conspiracists fear that the agency means to erect prison camps. In fact, FEMA stands to play a prominent role in places like Bastrop, where county emergency officials performed multiple water rescues after the Bastrop State Park dam failed.

The tragedy unfolding in Texas highlights why it was so dangerous for Governor Abbott to flirt with extreme paranoia in the first place. By endorsing extremist skepticism of the federal government, even tacitly, the governor exacerbates unfounded fears of FEMA and other federal assistance providers. And at a time when the state cannot provide for adequate flood-control infrastructure—and cannot pass legislation to let cities lead the emergency housing response—the state of Texas cannot afford to promulgate widespread fears about FEMA.

Looking forward, it doesn’t seem like Texas’s knotty relationship with FEMA will get any better.

Under new FEMA rules, states seeking federal money for disaster preparedness will be required to summarize the future hazards facing them, and that includes acknowledging the “changes in weather patterns and climate” that pose a threat. For governors who, like Abbott, deny the science on climate change, this makes it difficult to adequately protect against natural disasters.

Other governors in a similar fix include Florida’s Rick Scott, who has banned all mention of climate change, and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, who called FEMA’s new policy an act of “coercion” that was forcing states to “submit to [Washington’s] liberal ideology.”

Via Citylab

Photo: Volunteers Steven Moon, from left, Joseph Buswell and Garett Roy help remove a flattened house on the banks of the Blanco River after the flood in Wimberley, Texas, on Tuesday May 26, 2015. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)

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    Once again the right wing hypocrisy is exposed!

    • dpaano

      Yeah, they’re always ‘agin” it until they are “for” it!!

  • dr_benton_quest

    The federal government should lend them the money and then force them to pay it back loudly and publicly.

    • Rick Mage

      Well, if the federal government pays back the trillions of dollars that they illegally stole from the citizens of the United States, by illegally spending money on issues that are directly outside their enumerated powers, maybe the feds would have room to talk. 😉

  • Grannysmovin

    Cruz demanding that the federal government fulfill its obligation and provide disaster relief to Texas, but yet he voted no on aid for Sandy victims because of the “pork” and “wasteful spending” in the Disaster Relief Act of 2013. Cruz did not have a problem asking for federal aid in the wake of the deadly explosion in West, Texas, and that was not a natural disaster but rather a man made one by not enforcing safety codes, I am not against providing disaster relief to Texas, just the hypocrisy of Cruz and his followers,

  • gmccpa

    Each year Texas is one of the top recipients of FEMA funds. Yet, thanks to the so called ‘liberal’ media, idiots like Cruz and Gohmert are given a free pass by the media to rant against Federal spending.
    And no offense to National Memo…..but articles like this, while well intended, simply wont reach enough people for the truth to get out.

  • Robert Hunt

    So typical of GOP standards, they don’t want government to help YOU, just them, from corp. welfare to emergency funds to infrastructure repairs. If they could figure out a way to get federal funds for healthcare without ACA, they would, like Scott is trying to do in Florida.

    • dpaano

      Maybe they should also turn to those big corporations to help them put Texas back together again??? Why should we taxpayers pay for their idiocy….let the big corporations (or the Koch brothers) foot some of the bills!!!

  • charleo1

    There is always hypocrisy when radical ideology, meets reality.

    • Irishgrammy

      AMEN! Perfectly said!

  • ps0rjl

    For every dollar Texas sends to the federal government, it gets back $1.65. That is true for most red states. They distrust or hate the federal government but like the way the money flows. Most states who get less from the federal government than they send in are blue states. You know where all the welfare queens live. Of course as long as the Republican politicians in those red states keep adhering to the policy of God, guns, and guts then the ignorant rednecks will keep supporting then

    • Mark Asteris

      You are incorrect, not that I would expect that you might actually check facts. For every dollar Texas sends to Washington it only gets 97 cents in return.

  • latebloomingrandma

    Since Texas distrusts FEMA, maybe they should send them boxes of bootstraps instead, whatever it is that bootstraps look like.

  • docb

    Just was reminded of the jomac cruz vote Against Sandy Relief for NJ but demanding aid for texass flood victims when texass should have planned better…Those folks in the Hill Country are not happy and they vote!

  • johninPCFL

    Will Cruz and Abbott claim that Obama sent in all this rainfall to provide cover for the FEMA camp construction in Bastrop? After all, Jade Helm 15 is still going to happen, right?

    • Allan Richardson

      The scary magic black man used his black magic to bring rain? Sounds like something those idiots would say. But if a LIBERAL city or state has a natural disaster, then GOD did it as a righteous punishment!

  • ulfur

    I would be happy to cut Texas off from all federal aid but for the young people and minorities that are victims of suffer under GOP rule there.

    • Mark Asteris

      Oh yes the suffering is horrible. No state income tax, low unemployment, low cost of living, etc.

  • Offdachain Jules

    My deepest, sincerest apologies to the rest of the country; Democrats in our state didn’t get up off their asses to vote, leaving us with the bottom of the barrel, Abbott et al, to make decisions (most often, the wrong ones) for us. Texans are a diverse people, and often suffer from our own arrogance. Cruz does NOT speak for us.

    • edslides

      but he DOES speak for our Constitution. im a texan, and i disagree with you.

  • Irishgrammy

    “Texas doesn’t like federal aid, until they need it”……tell me something we don’t all know already!!!!! Texans really don’t like Federal Aid going to any other state i.e., Sandy Relief…..I wonder if the people out trying to get Texans to sign their petitions to secede from the United States, which up until two days ago was having strong support, are getting those signatures they need right about now???? Or if Texans will ever figure out that “climate change” that, YES, IS happening RIGHT NOW, is in large part due to their oil industry state poisoning our world as we speak…..this is more than ironic, this is without doubt hypocrisy on steroids…….I don’t mean to be angry, but golly with all the hateful things Texans spew about “liberals”, or our President, along with the idiots they send to DC like Cruz, Gohmert, so many to mention, it is real hard to work up some sympathy…….and I am the child of a TEXAN, whole family to be exact on my mothers side…….

    • Allan Richardson

      Conservatives in general don’t want anyone but themselves being helped by public funds. And they pretend the don’t need any help, until they do. Remember the lyrics of the Beatles classic “Help?”

      It’s just shouted louder in Texas than in some other states.

      • pjm19606

        I prefer to reference that other Beatles song: “I, Me, Mine”!

  • Mortalc01l

    Texans think FEMA stands for “Federal Extreme Military Attack”…

  • JenellYB

    Stop the “Texans” this or that!
    That *Some* Republicans, voters and politicians, say or do certain things, is not “Texans” in general doing so. There are many of us just as “Texan” as anyone else…I’m a native born Texan…and are progressives, liberals, moderates, and doing our best to vote in every election in hopes of changing things

    Now, let’s be honest here. The problem with Texas legislators in the “Sandy” relief bill was all the outrageous pork completely unrelated to Sandy that made up a huge portion of the funding in the bill as it was originally presented. I absolutely despise our present Texas representation in Congress, I had to agree with them on that.

  • penguintruth

    We’re talking about people who don’t remember that “Don’t Mess With Texas” was an anti-littering campaign slogan.

  • pjm19606

    Aid to a state bucking for secession. The hypocrisy of the Right will NEVER end. Let Texas loose with their National Guard and then turn the US tanks on them and reclaim them before Mexico turns theirs on them. Un effing real!

    • Mark Asteris

      Consider it punishment for not letting us secede.

      • pjm19606

        Punishment? The very fact that Texas is part of the US is saving its very life! The very thought that any one state is critical to the nation is absurd.

        • Mark Asteris

          Wrong. For every dollar Texas sends to Washington only 97cents returns. You need out oil and energy. We can get along with better without you than you could without us.

          • pjm19606

            Crock! Then why are they seeking federal aid? Need Texas? We will just take it back. The Texas National Guard will be crushed by the US armed forces.

          • edslides

            “why are they seeking federal aid”? when you are 65, ill ask you “why do you need social security”? ill save you the wait. BECAUSE WE PAID INTO IT AND ITS OUR RIGHT.

          • Insinnergy

            Then why block it for other states.

          • Mark Asteris

            The Sandy bill was full of pork.

          • pjm19606

            You are equating federal disaster aid with Social Security? You are the definition of Right Wing STUPID!

          • edslides

            the point being, that texas pays in, and should have no problem asking for some of it back. the sandy aid was bloated with pork. we did not say they shouldnt have it, we said ONLY they should have it, not give it out to slimy political pork barons. do your homework.

          • JPHALL

            Then why deny it to others who also paid for it?

          • dpaano

            But, you didn’t pay a fair share into the Federal Government, did you?

          • Mark Asteris

            Yep you need us more than we need you.
            Here are the FACTS (I know facts don’t mean anything to liberals who live by their emotions). AGAIN, for every Texas dollar sent to Washington only 97 cents
            In 2012, Texas grossed more than $264.7 billion a year in exports—more than exports of California ($161.9 billion) and New York ($81.4 billion) COMBINED.
            As a sovereign country (in 2015), Texas would be the 12th largest economy in the world by GDP (ahead of South Korea and the Netherlands).
            35% of all US crude oil
            33% of all US natural gas (More than all of OPEC)
            #1 in cotton production
            #1 in cattle value (20% of the entire US)
            #1 in chemicals
            #1 in the manufacturing arena is the manufacture of computers and electronic equipment
            #1 in pecans, cabbage, watermelons, grapefruit
            #2 in wholesale trade
            You whiny liberals won’t take anything; you don’t have the stomach for it.
            Just like great leader who left Iraq too soon.

          • pjm19606

            And they will lose to an assault by federal troops. Oh and don’t forget, Mexico will probably attack too!

          • Mark Asteris

            Again, you don’t have the stomach for it.

          • pjm19606

            Another non-answer. Stomach for what? I don’t, and never will, live in Texas. Don’t have to stomach anything!

          • Mark Asteris

            You can’t stomach a fight with Texas. And answer what? Still waiting for you to produce 1 stat.

          • pjm19606

            Who ever said I would fight Texas? The Federal Government will do that! you haven’t stated how Texas will supposedly achieve its goal of succession?

          • Mark Asteris

            I sure did and if you’re that thick no to see it, there’s no hope for you.

          • pjm19606

            Just reviewed all your assinine responses and you never made such a statement. What a jerk!

          • edslides

            *secession* we have already achieved our goal of succession. succession: noun the action or process of inheriting a title, office, property, etc. we ARE Texas, not Tejas.

          • pjm19606

            And Texas wants to remove itself from the union. Let’s see how that works for ya!

          • Mark Asteris

            Stomach for a war. Guess you can’t connect anything, typical.

          • edslides

            first of all, the fed wolud NOT attack texas. john lennon once said “suppose they gave a war and nobody came” thats what would happen if the u.s. soldiers were asked to fire on Americans citizens, but the converse would not apply if Texas citizens were forced to fire on anyone that threatened their lives. mexicans dont even play in. hell, a large percentage of Texas citizens are Mexican, and they love Texas. besides, we love tacos.

          • pjm19606

            “The feds would not attack Texas”? Don’t bet on it. Mexicans don’t play in? We took the land Texas sits on from them. But you are making my point that secession will never happen.

          • dpaano

            Gee, if Texas secedes, they would no longer be “American” citizens, am I correct? You can’t have your cake and eat it too, you know? We love tacos in California too, so that’s kind of a stupid analogy, isn’t it?

          • Mark Asteris

            Never said we wanted to be. Just like a typical lib, keeps wandering outside the scope of the argument

          • dpaano

            Your last comment shows how ridiculous you are….it was your friend, GWB, who was the one that set up the timetable for us to leave Iraq…..President Obama was only following his timetable….he had nothing to do with it, and besides, the Iraqi government would not allow our servicemen and women to stay….but, I guess you didn’t get that part. You can’t force a country to continue to allow our troops there if they don’t want them!

          • Mark Asteris

            Whatever GWB’s timetable was is irreverent. Obozo left Iraqi too soon.

          • dpaano

            Again, if you read my post, and if you did the research, you would be aware that President Obama (not sure why you RWJN can’t seem to spell is name correctly) had nothing to do with the troops having to come home early….the Iraqi government would NOT give the US permission to leave them in-country. It was Iraq’s decision, NOT President Obama’s decision. Again, you might want to learn the facts before you respond to someone who DOES do the research. Again, as I said above, we can’t FORCE Iraq to allow our troops to stay if they don’t want to give us permission to do that….that would be considered “invading” a country, not assisting them.

          • Independent1

            So, in other words, Texas like the 2 other Red States that get less back in federal dollars than they send to Washington in taxes, gets virtually almost as much back as they pay in, (all 3 Red States get 96-98 cents back per dollar), meaning they’re doing little or nothing to support all the other almost exclusively Red States that get back more than $1.50/dollar of taxes in order for them to survive financially. While it’s 14 Democrat Run Blue States – all of which get back less than 85 cents/dollar of taxes – and a number that get back close to 60 cents/dollar of taxes – THAT ARE ACTUALLY SUPPORTING THE RUNNING OF AMERICA!!

            If Texas and all the RED STATES seceded from the union, the Blue states would survive with ease, while virtually every single Red state would quickly drown in their own bankruptcy!!!!!!

          • Mark Asteris

            First of all you obviously need a class in statistics and urban planning. Since Texas has a larger population Texas still pays a higher amount than state with lower returns and a fraction of the population. Further states with higher population density can operate more efficiently fir various reason.

            Second, where did I say ANYTHING about any OTHER Red States? Love how you just added that. The point that was obviously lost on you was SIMPLE. TEXAS can stand on its own.

          • dpaano

            Gee, I’m willing to let them try and see how long it lasts….I bet a lot of you here on NM would love to see that too! I would also bet a load of Texans would be moving out of the state rather than live in a state that has no Federal Government backing and will try to function on their own!!! It would be an interesting experiment!

          • dpaano

            If you knew your statistics, it doesn’t matter how many people Texas has living there…they still take more from the Federal government per person than they pay into it. Population has nothing to do with that statistic.

          • Mark Asteris

            Once again you’re wrong. Texas get 97 cents for every dollar sent to Washington. YOU need to check research.

          • dpaano

            Like Brownback’s Kansas and Jindal’s Louisiana….neither are doing especially well financially!

          • dpaano

            We get most of our our oil from overseas anyway…Texas is only a stopping point for Canadian oil going to other countries. By the way, I was born in Texas, and am GLAD that my parents got me out of there before I became indoctrinated into the ridiculous mindset that pervades that state! And, as a note, California agriculture outgrows any other state in the country for fruits, vegetables, almonds, avocados, etc. What in heck does Texas grow except hard-hearted, non-thinking Republicans? Texas couldn’t live on their own without the rest of the United States!

          • Mark Asteris

            Again see already states facts

      • dpaano

        I would LOVE to have Texas secede, but where in heck would they go and who would they go to when they need Federal money???

        • Mark Asteris

          Gee Why don’t you read FACT already stated? Oh I forgot libs can’t argue when presented with facts.

    • edslides

      sorry, pjm. the tanks in texas belong to texas. as they once said in Gonzales Texas during our birth years. “come and take it” see how that worked out…? they were paid for with texans money as well, so well just keep them if you dont like texas, thats cool. dont come here and try to turn into something we dont want it to be. if you like socialism, go to new york, or cali. oh that wont work. not enough state tax money to bear the weight of the social programs for welfare leeches.

      • pjm19606

        Sorry, you can’t read. I said Texas would keep their National Guard but all other troops and equipment would be removed. Texas does not “own” federal troops. Another Right Winger who can’t read! Would lovwe to see the look on your face if Sanders wins in 2016.

      • JPHALL

        Where do you idiots come from? US military equipment belongs to the national government, not the states even when it is stationed in that state.

        • edslides

          come and take it.

          • JPHALL

            And if they do, what will you do besides running your mouth like you have diarrhea? Subject: Re: Comment on Texans Don’t Like Federal Aid. Until They Need It.

      • dpaano

        Gee….California has a surplus in their budget….guess you didn’t read that, did you?


    Hey maybe the Koch brothers will donate a few million dollars to help these people rebuild.

    • Magnus Thunderson

      dream on they only care for there rich friends

  • Osai Kanusi

    Hey now…. Not all Texans are republicans. Austin is flooding and we’re surrounded by those other Texans!

  • bhndr

    Maybe what might be done is to ask political affiliation in order to qualify for emergency support. If republicans really want to be left alone then give them what they want. Then the people who remain rational could still be helped and the republicans can learn to accept the consequences of their actions and words.

  • Geoff Miller

    They pay federal taxes. They get federal emergency aid. If you hate your auto insurance company but continue to pay your premiums, will you refuse the insurance money if you are involved in an accident?

    Do all of us have our own good reasons to distrust the federal government? Yes… except for people who are totally obedient to authority… or lefty union thugs… or libs… but I repeat myself.

    • edslides

      smartest comment ive read in a while, but i ll bet the analogy will be lost on far too many liberals.

      • Jayneen

        Oh please….we libs get that repukes are some of the dumbest people on the planet.

    • Lucas

      Idiots, did you read the article, the problem is they hate the federal government, oh wait until the need and they hate FEMA, oh wait, until they need it after a disaster, the government is taking over the state, but oh wait, texas has more bases and troops than any other state…Why do you hate unions? If you have crappy benefits fight for yours, not against theirs

  • moose2271

    FEMA having the states summarize future hazards is just stupid, there is no way to know what will happen except things that already have. We will have drought, floods, hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and blizzards. It is easy to not trust the government after all of the B.S. they put into the “Sandy” bill. Lots of spending on nothing that had to do with the damage suffered. The author does not realize that the rain event over Houston is probably a once in a thousand year event, even though it could happen again anytime. No amount of flood control is going to be adequate in that situation.

    • Magnus Thunderson

      FEMA is not asking for all variables just what is substandard infrastructure such as dams who rate a D or F rating and yes there such thing as perfect flood contol as weather patterns are changing as the oceans warm up which will intensity storms so expect more often so the Texas city’s should do more to reduce damage from future floods

  • Rick Mage

    The federal government does not have lawful authority to use our money for this type of aid. They are only allowed to use our money in ways that are listed in the Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution. I just looked in there, and I do not see where we (the creator of our government) gave the federal government the lawful authority to give federal aid for any type of weather disasters in any state…With that being said, the states should bare responsibility in this type of aid as long as it does not conflict with their state constitution.

    • Hank

      You need to read the whole constitution Especially the commerce clause

      • Rick Mage

        You need to quit listening to those idiots on Fox News and actually study the Constitution like I do. The Commerce Clauses does not give our government the lawful authority to use our money any damn way that they want to.

        Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says “commerce” is the buying and selling of goods.

        In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (9th & 10th paras), Hamilton and Madison explain the primary purpose of the clause: To prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tolls on merchandize as it is transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling.

      • Rick Mage

        And no. I am not a CNN fan. I am a conservative who knows that our Republican party is just as stupid and corrupt as the criminals in the Democrat party…

      • Rick Mage

        ^ Uh, I’ve read the Constitution. I have also studied it and the Federalist Papers. It’s too bad that you haven’t. The Commerce Clause does NOT give our federal government permission to do anything that it wants to do. The Commerce Clause only prohibits our states from imposing taxes and tolls on merchandize as it is transported through the states for the purposes of buying and selling. If you do not believe me, read Federalist Papers 22 (4th paragraph) and Federalist Papers 42 (9th and 10th paragraphs). Also, know this….If you mention the Necessary & Proper Clause “as your reason” why you think that the feds can do anything that they think is “necessary”, there is a very good chance that I will make you look pretty damn silly. 🙂 Remember, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers supersedes any and all federal judges, including our criminal Supreme Court justices.

        Oh, and Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says “commerce” is the buying and selling of goods. 😉

        • Independent1

          Wow!! Of course the Constitution itself doesn’t deal with disaster relief funding to states. Our forefathers when they were drafting the Constitution never even conceived of the country growing as rapidly as it did which has required the federal government to coordinate disaster relief funding for the states.

          The federal government has been coordinating disaster relief since about 1930 when Herbert Hoover created a government agency to do that because over 125 years or so it became clear that the states themselves were not capable of providing for and coordinating their own disaster relief (many states tried unsuccessfully to do that – always coming to the federal government for assistance in repairing one disaster after another),

          The disaster relief agency Hoover created has morphed into what is known today as FEMA. And here’s how justification was created for the Federal government to do what you claim the Constitution does not cover. And just for your information THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT EXPLICITLY DEFINE ALL THE POWERS THAT ARE GOVERNMENT HAS OVER THE STATES.

          See this from


          To understand the role of the Federal government in disaster relief, it is worthwhile to brieflyreview the history of its involvement. During the period from 1803 to 1950, Congress passed 128 separate laws dealing with disaster relief. Because there was no comprehensive legislation covering disaster relief, Congress had to pass a separate law to provide Federal funds for each major disaster that occurred. The system was a cumbersome one.In 1950, Congress passed the Federal Disaster Relief Act (Public Law 81-875), authorizing the President to provide supplementary Federal assistance when a Governor requested help and the President approved the request by declaring a major disaster.

          A critical statement in the act established the philosophy of the nation’s disaster response and recovery program. Federal disaster assistance would “supplement the efforts and available resources of the State and local governments.” In other words, the act made it clear that the Federal government would not function as the first-line provider of emergency assistance and disaster response and recovery. It would support State and local governments—not supplant them.

          To further underline this philosophy, the act required that Federal assistance be supplied when, and only when, State and local governments had themselves committed “a reasonable amount of the funds” needed. In 1968, the Federal government took another step aimed at benefiting communities; but again, it was linked to steps that had to be taken by communities. This was the year that the National Flood Insurance Act was signed into law. Community participation requires adoption and enforcement of prudent, flood-resistant construction techniques for all new, substantially improved, and substantially damaged structures located within identified floodplain areas. The Act gave individuals and communities a way to reduce their reliance on
          the Federal government and take personal responsibility for their own recovery

          • Rick Mage

            ^ Uh, dude, our founding fathers were pretty damn smart people. Do you seriously think that they wrote the Constitution without thinking about the future? Really? The states are responsible for anything that is not listed in the Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution. Do you seriously think that the states could not get along without the federal government’s help on issues that are not listed in the Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution? Well, they could if the federal government would just get out of the way. Instead, the federal government would rather violate the Constitution and make the states dependent on the federal government. They would also illegally steal trillions of dollars from the people to give aid to other countries. That is theft, and it is a crime. Had the federal government obey the Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution, we would not be 18 trillion dollars in dept. And violating the Constitution is a crime no matter how you look at it.

          • Independent1

            What utter hogwash!! NO STATE, can afford to maintain the resources (people, equipment and supplies) needed to repair the damage created by a major disaster such as caused by a major hurricane, series of tornadoes, severe flooding like Texas is now experiencing, or a fire that leveled San Francisco in the early 1900s, or wiped out billions upon billions of dollars of property like Hurricane Sandy recently. Anyone who thinks that a state can maintain their own Disaster Relief is totally clueless!! Not only could they not maintain the emergency repair resources – few if any states could afford to pick up the astronomical costs that some major disasters create. Only totally clueless right-wingers such as yourself would even suggest such a thing.

            States realized that as far back as 1803 when legislaltion had to be passed allowing the federal government to provide financing and assistance in helping a New Hampshire town rebuild after a devastating fire that virtually leveled the town. And over the next over 130 years one state and town after another kept coming to the federal government for financing and assistance in recovering from one disaster after another that their state could not handle.

            The problem was, that every time a disaster would happen that needed federal assistance, the state or town would funnel their request for help through a different federal agency. Which is why in 1930, Herbert Hoover, a Republican, created the agency that has morphed today into FEMA. Hoover created that federal disaster management agency so that there was ON PLACE in the federal government where all cities in states in America that were devastated by a disaster, could come to from assistance.

            Just keep living in your LA LA Land. You prove with your posts that you know absolutely nothing about what you’re posting about, just like every other RWNJ that comes onto the National Memo.

          • Rick Mage

            ^ Yeah, and in the meantime the federal government is 18 trillion dollars in debt. So, it looks like the feds don’t have the money to give any relief, anyway, even if they had the lawful authority to…Well, they do not. They never had the lawful authority to spend money on disaster relief for the states. What Herbert Hoover and the states did was a direct violation of the Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution. Yeah, he may have been a “Republican”, but Republicans are just as retarded and criminal as the Democrats. They violated the Constitution whether you like it or not. It is never wise the let those in power bend or break the rules, because once they break one rule, they’ll be more than happy to break the other rules. Do you not see this happening with all the federal government’s illegal gun control laws? You DO know that all federal gun control laws are unlawful, don’t you? So, are national parks, Obama Care, social security, and so on and so on… However, if you want to keep head in the sand and pretend that this debt is simply going to go away, go right ahead…Meanwhile, there are a few countries who are going to want their money….Do you think that they are going to wait forever? People like YOU are the reason why our government ignores the Constitution and why we are probably going to end up having some type of war, on the homeland, in the future….Is illegal money from the feds really worth our country going down in heaps? Our states can survive, without illegal money from the feds, whether you like it or not. Or, do you think that the people are just going to just pack up and go to Mexico if they don’t get that illegal money from the feds? 😉

          • Independent1

            Wow!! Talk about being grossly misguided. You have your head up your butt so far you can’t see the light for the darkness. Your interpretation of the Constitution is so misguided and convoluted that discussing things with you is clearly a waste of time.

            And just for your information, if America’s debt is really that onerous, then virtually every other nation on the planet is on the verge of bankruptcy as America has the lowest debt to GDP ratio of any similar industrialized nation on the planet.

          • Rick Mage

            lol……Insulting me isn’t going to make you right. :p I understand the Constitution a heck of a lot better than you do. Hell, I know 11 year old kids who understand it better than you do. :p However, why don’t you humor me, and tell me where in the Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution did we the people give our creature (the federal government) the lawful authority to use our tax money for disasters… And please….Seeing other countries in debt does not make our 18 + trillion dollar debt any better…China is way better off than we are, and we owe them over a trillion dollars. As of right now, they are currently trying to take over the Pacific by building islands to use for military bases…What’s next? Are you going to say that it is okay for our policemen to murder civilians, because that’s what they do in Russia?

          • Independent1

            You’re obviously fixated on the wrong section of the Constitution. You’re clearly missing the ability of the Executive Branch (the President), to pen Executive Orders that have enormous power. It was the power given to the President to do almost anything he wants at times of emergencies (read disasters) that allowed Hoover to pen an Executive order which created an agency to coordinate the requests from various states for assistance after disasters; an agency which years later became FEMA via another President’s Executive Order. And whether you like that or not, it was the failure of state to adequately take care of disasters that occurred in their states; and therefore required them to come to the federal government for help, which is why today, there’s an agency called FEMA charged with coordinating disaster recoveries for state after state around t he nation.

            See this from the University Colonel Law School with respect to the power a president has (remember FDR penned an Executive order which created the WPA which used taxpayer dollars to put millions of people to work for years rebuilding America during the Depression):

            And excerpt from Colonel Law on the President’s powers:

            Executive Orders

            In times of emergency, the president can override congress and issue executive orders with almost limitless power. Abraham Lincoln used an executive order in order to fight the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson issued one in order to arm the United States just before it entered World War I, and Franklin Roosevelt approved Japanese internment camps during World War II with an executive order. Many other executive orders are on file and could be enacted at any time.


          • Rick Mage

            Dude, that link you have is utter garbage. The Federalist Papers supersedes your garbage link.
            The powers of the President are “carefully limited” and precisely defined by our Constitution. In Federalist Paper No. 71 (last para), Alexander Hamilton asks,

            “…what would be … feared from an elective magistrate of four years’ duration, with the confined authorities of a President of the United States?…” [emphasis added] 2

            The answer to Hamilton’s question is this: There would be nothing to fear if Presidents obeyed the Constitution. But they don’t obey it because the dolts in Congress don’t make them obey it!

            Well, then! Here is the complete list of the President’s enumerated powers:

            Article I, Sec. 7, cls. 2 & 3, grants to the President the power to approve or veto Bills and Resolutions passed by Congress.

            Article I, Sec. 9, next to last clause, grants to the executive Branch – the Treasury Department – the power to write checks pursuant to Appropriations made by law – i.e., by Congress.

            Article II, Sec. 1, cl.1, vests “executive Power” [see below] in the President.

            Article II, Sec. 1, last clause, sets forth the President’s Oath of Office – to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.

            Article II, Sec. 2, cl.1:

            makes the President Commander in Chief of the regular military, and of the Militia when they are called into the actual service of the United States. 3

            authorizes the President to require the principal Officers in the executive Departments to provide written Opinions upon the Duties of their Offices.

            grants the President power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for offenses against the United States, 4 but he can not stop impeachments of any federal judge or federal officer.

            Article II, Sec. 2, cl. 2 grants to the President the power:

            to make Treaties – with the advice and consent of the Senate. 5

            to nominate Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls, federal judges, and various other officers – with the advice and consent of the Senate.

            Article II, Sec. 2, cl. 3 grants to the President the power to make recess appointments, which expire at the end of Congress’ next session.

            Article II, Sec. 3:

            Imposes the duty on the President to periodically advise Congress on the State of the Union, and authorizes the President to recommend to Congress such measures as he deems wise.

            Authorizes the President, on extraordinary Occasions, to convene one or both houses of Congress [e.g., when he asks Congress to declare War]; and if both houses can not agree on when to adjourn, he is authorized to adjourn them to such time as he deems proper.

            Imposes the duty upon the President to receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers.

            Imposes the duty upon the President to take care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and

            Imposes the duty upon the President to Commission all the Officers of the United States.

            That’s it! Anything else the President does is unlawful and a usurpation of powers not granted.

            What is the “executive Power”?

            So! The granting of the “executive Power” to the President is not a blank check giving him power to do whatever he wants. The “executive Power” is merely the power to put into effect – to implement – those Acts of Congress which are within Congress’ enumerated powers. Thus, if Congress establishes “an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (as authorized by Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 4), it is the President’s duty to implement and enforce the law Congress makes. The President is to carry out – to execute – Acts of Congress.

            But note well: His Oath of Office – to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”, shows that the President must use his independent judgment 6 as to which acts of Congress are and are not constitutional. Thus, as shown in this paper, “The Oath Of Office: The Check On Usurpations By Congress, The Executive Branch, & Federal Judges“, the President has the duty, imposed by his Oath, to act as a “check” on Congress (and on federal courts, as well). Accordingly, when Congress makes a “law” which is not authorized by the Constitution, it

            “…would not be the supreme law of the land, but a usurpation of power not granted by the Constitution”… Federalist No. 33 (last two paras); 7

            and since the President’s Oath requires him to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution“, the President must refuse to enforce an unconstitutional “law” made by Congress. Otherwise, he’d be in collusion with the legislative branch to usurp power over The People. 8

            So, then! Acting as a check on Congress (and federal courts) by refusing to enforce unconstitutional “laws” (and opinions), as well as the duty of entertaining foreign dignitaries, are the only occasions where the President may act alone. His prime responsibility is to do what Congress tells him.

            Article I, Sec. 1 & The Unconstitutional Administrative Law State

            Now, you must learn of “administrative law” – i.e., rulemaking by Executive Agencies. 9 Article I, Sec.1, U.S. Constitution, says:

            “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.”

            That little phrase is of immense importance. It means what it says, that only Congress may make laws: laws are to be made only by Representatives whom we can fire every two years, and by Senators whom we can fire every six years.

            But in Joseph Postell’s “must read” paper, “Constitution in Decline“, he shows that during the administration of the nefarious Woodrow Wilson, Congress began delegating its lawmaking powers to agencies within the Executive Branch. Since then, Congress passes an overall legislative scheme, and delegates the details to be written by un-elected, un-accountable bureaucrats in the various Executive Agencies. They write the “administrative rules” which implement the Legislation. The result is the execrable Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which is accepted, by the indoctrinated members of my profession, as “law”. Go here to see the abominable CFR.

            May the President Lawfully Make “Executive Orders”?

            The Guiding Principle is this: The President has no authority to do ANYTHING apart from constitutional authority or statutory authority (assuming the statute itself is constitutional).

            1. So! Respecting those matters within his constitutional authority & duties, and authority & duties imposed by constitutional statutes, the President may make “orders” – call them “executive orders” if you like. For example: It is the President’s constitutional duty “to take care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. Thus, he has the duty to enforce [constitutional] laws made by Congress. How does he enforce the laws? Sometimes, by means of “orders”. To illustrate: Say Congress makes a law, as authorized by Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 6, making it a felony to counterfeit the Securities and current Coin of the United States. If U.S. Attorneys are not prosecuting counterfeiters, the President should “order” them to do it. Or fire them.

            But say Congress makes a law which purports to make possession of shotguns shorter than 18 inches a crime. Since the President’s Oath requires him to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”, he is obligated to “order” the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Attorneys to refuse to prosecute anyone for possession of sawed-off shotguns. Why? Because such a “law” is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers granted to Congress in Our Constitution. It also violates the Second Amendment. Clearly, such an order to refuse prosecution falls within the President’s constitutional duties (enforce the Constitution), and he is giving an order to people within the Executive Branch.

            The President is the one who is charged with carrying out the Acts of Congress – he has the “executive Power”. But because of his Oath, he may not carry out unconstitutional “laws”. That is one of the checks on Congress.

            The President may also properly make orders addressing housekeeping issues within the Executive Branch: Dress codes, no smoking or drinking on the job, he may encourage executive agencies to hire qualified handicapped people, and the like. Just as if you have a business, you may make orders addressing such matters.

            So! Do you see? The President may lawfully make orders to carry out his constitutionally imposed powers and duties, and powers bestowed by statutes which are constitutional; and he may address “housekeeping” issues within the Executive Branch.

            2. But a President may not lawfully, by means of “orders”, exercise powers not delegated to him by the Constitution or by (constitutional) Acts of Congress.

            Yet Obama has issued various executive orders which are unlawful because they are not authorized by the Constitution or by (constitutional) Acts of Congress. Here are two executive orders which are particularly pernicious because they undermine our foundational Principle of “Federalism”, and have as their object the “improper consolidation of the States into one … republic.”: 10

            E.O.13575 – Establishment of the White House Rural Council: This E.O. provides for over 25 federal departments & agencies to run every aspect of rural life!

            E.O. Establishing Council of Governors: The effect of this E.O. is to erase the Independence and Sovereignty of the States and consolidate us into a national system under the boot of the Executive Branch. Joseph Stalin couldn’t do better than this.

            These E.O.s are blatantly unconstitutional as usurpations of powers not granted in The Constitution! So, Nullify them!

            3. Likewise, executive agencies may not, by means of “administrative rulemaking”, usurp the powers of Congress. (Remember, because of Art. I, Sec.1, all rulemaking by executive agencies is unconstitutional)! Here are several cases of such unconstitutional rulemaking:

            a) When Congress refused to pass the DREAM ACT, which provided a path to citizenship for certain categories of illegal aliens, ICE had no authority to implement it, in whole or in part, by executive “memo”! Power over Rules of Naturalization (i.e., who qualifies for citizenship and what are the procedures) is expressly granted to Congress by Article I, Sec. 8, cl. 4, which grants to Congress alone the Power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”. The President has no constitutional power over immigration & naturalization except to enforce the Acts of Congress respecting those subjects. Article II, Sec. 3, which imposes upon the President the duty to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed”, requires the President to enforce such constitutional Acts of Congress. But if Congress refuses to make a law respecting naturalization, a President who enacts it anyway, via “executive order”, or “administrative regulation”, or “administrative memo” by his underlings in the various executive agencies, is acting lawlessly. His unlawful acts should be nullified, and he should be removed from office for his usurpation.

            b) Congress recently did not pass three sinister and grotesquely unconstitutional bills Obama wanted: “Card check“, “Cap and Trade“, and the Disclose Act. These bills are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers granted by our Constitution to Congress. Nowhere does our Constitution give Congress authority to make laws about labor unions (“card check”), or to regulate carbon emissions – CO2, the stuff humans and animals exhale, and plants & trees need for photosynthesis (“cap and trade”), or requiring people with federal contracts to report their personal political activities to the Executive Branch (“Disclose Act”)!

            Since Congress may not lawfully make laws on such subjects, no one can. Yet, Obama is circumventing the Constitution and implementing these three failed & unconstitutional bills by agency rulemaking or executive order!:

            The National Labor Relations Board, is implementing “card check” by agency regulation. Read this.

            The Environmental Protection Agency is implementing “cap and trade” by agency regulation. Read this.

            And it appears that Obama – in furtherance of his “agenda” to reward his supporters and punish non-supporters – is considering signing an executive order to implement the Disclose Act. Read this.

            So! Let us sum this up: The President must always uphold our Constitution. When Congress makes an unconstitutional law, the President must refuse to implement it; and he may, by means of executive orders, instruct people in the Executive Branch not to comply. E.g., if a President orders the U.S. Attorneys to decline to prosecute persons for possession of sawed-off shotguns, he would be acting lawfully because Congress has no authority to ban them. But the President is violating the Constitution when he implements “card check” by agency rules made by the NLRB; when he implements “cap & trade” by agency rules made by the EPA; and the “Disclose Act” by executive order, because the President and executive agencies (as well as Congress) do not have authority over these objects; and further, no one in the Executive Branch has authority to make “laws”!

            What Should we do about illegal Executive Orders & Rules made by Executive Agencies?

            A Congress filled with he-men and she-women, instead of ignorant cowards, wusses, and wimps, would impeach obama for his usurpations in signing unconstitutional executive orders, and in circumventing Congress by having executive agencies implement, by means of administrative rules, legislation which Congress did not pass. In Federalist Paper No. 66 (2nd para), Hamilton expressly states that impeachment is an essential check on a President who encroaches on the powers of Congress; and in Federalist No. 77 (last para), points out that impeachment is the remedy for “abuse of the executive authority”.

            But since the people in Congress are too ignorant and weak to rid us of the abomination in the White House, the States and Counties must nullify unconstitutional executive orders and administrative rules, or submit to slavery and the destruction of our Constitutional Republic. Since State and County officials have taken the Oath to support the U.S. Constitution (Art. VI, last cl.), they are bound by Oath to refuse to submit to illegal executive orders and illegal agency rules.

            And of course, WE THE PEOPLE and our businesses must also spit on such illegalities by the Executive Branch. Our “creature” (Federalist No. 33, 5th para, Hamilton), has turned into Frankenstein, and has lost all legitimacy. PH


            1 In Federalist No. 45 (9th para), James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, says,

            “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface added]

            2 In Federalist No. 48, Madison points out that in our representative republic,

            “…the executive magistracy is carefully limited; both in the extent and the duration of its power… (5th para) [i.e., limited & enumerated powers and 4 year terms] …the executive power being restrained within a narrower compass [than that granted to the legislative branch], and being more simple in its nature…” (6th para)

            In Federalist No. 75 (3rd para), Hamilton says,

            “…The essence of the legislative authority is to enact laws, or, in other words, to prescribe rules for the regulation of the society; while the execution of the laws, and the employment of the common strength, either for this purpose or for the common defense, seem to comprise all the functions of the executive magistrate…” [boldface added]

            In Federalist No. 78 (6th para), Hamilton says,

            “…The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules … The judiciary … has no influence over … the sword or the purse …and …must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm … for the efficacy of its judgments.” [boldface added].

            Read the list of the President’s enumerated powers! The President’s powers really are “confined” and “carefully limited” to carrying out laws made by Congress and enforcing certain judicial decisions, military defense (a power shared with Congress), appointing officials (subject to Congress’ approval), and entertaining foreign dignitaries. That’s it!

            3 Only Congress has the power to declare war (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 11)! See clauses 12-16 showing that Congress has the power to determine the funding for the military, and to make the Rules for the discipline & training of the military and the Militia. The most instructive Federalist No. 69 (6th para) shows that as CINC, the President is merely the first General – the first Admiral.

            4 Re “Offenses against the United States”: I explain here the criminal laws Our Constitution permits Congress to make. It’s a short list. Take note, you federal criminal defense lawyers.

            5 I explain the treaty making power of the United States in two papers here .

            6 During the Terri Schiavo case, Alan Keyes spoke on the radio about the constitutional powers of the President. I seem to recall that Dr. Keyes spoke of the President’s obligation to exercise his “independent judgment” as to whether an act of Congress or a federal court opinion is constitutional. Whatever he said, he opened my eyes, and enabled me to see the elegant beauty and simplicity of our Constitution.

            7 Hamilton also says in Federalist No. 33 (6th para):

            “…it will not follow…that acts of …[the federal government] which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of … [the States], will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such… [T]he clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union [Art. VI, cl. 2]…EXPRESSLY confines this supremacy to laws made PURSUANT TO THE CONSTITUTION …” [caps are Hamilton’s, boldface mine]

            8 Madison says in Federalist No. 44 (last para before 2.):

            “…the success of the usurpation [by Congress] will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; …” [boldface added]

            The President must not collude with the legislative or judicial branches to usurp power over The People! He must honor his Oath!

            9 Most of the existing “federal” executive agencies are unconstitutional. They meddle in matters which are not the business of the federal government, as power over the matters is not granted by our Constitution to the federal government. Here are a few of the unconstitutional federal agencies: the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Education, Transportation, and Homeland Security. Likewise for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the National Economic Council, the Small Business Administration, the Council on Environmental Quality, etc., etc., etc.

            10 Progressives have erased the concept of “federalism” from our minds. “Federalism” refers to the form of our government & the division of powers between the national government and the States. A “Federation” (which is what our Constitution creates) is an alliance of independent States associated together in a “confederation” with a national government to which is delegated authority over the States in specifically defined areas ONLY (i.e., the enumerated powers granted to Congress by our Constitution). Those enumerated powers are the only areas wherein the national government is to have authority over the States. In all other matters, the States have supremacy, are independent, and sovereign!

            Learn more of “federalism” here and here.

            Our Framers warned against the consolidation of the sovereign States into one national sovereignty: In Federalist No. 32 (2nd para), Hamilton writes,

            “An entire consolidation of the States into one complete national sovereignty would imply an entire subordination of the parts; and whatever powers might remain in them, would be altogether dependent on the general will. But as the plan of the convention [the Constitution] aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States….” [caps are Hamilton’s; boldface mine]

            Federalist No. 62 (5th para) says,

            “… the equal vote allowed to each State is at once a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual States, and an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty. So far the equality ought to be no less acceptable to the large than to the small States; since they are not less solicitous to guard, by every possible expedient, against an improper consolidation of the States into one simple republic.” [boldface mine]

            And in Federalist No. 39 (6th para), Madison says,

            ” ‘But it was not sufficient,’ say the adversaries of the proposed Constitution, ‘for the convention to adhere to the republican form. They ought, with equal care, to have preserved the FEDERAL form, which regards the Union as a CONFEDERACY of sovereign states; instead of which, they have framed a NATIONAL government, which regards the Union as a CONSOLIDATION of the States.’ And it is asked by what authority this bold and radical innovation was undertaken? The handle which has been made of this objection requires that it should be examined with some precision….” [caps are Madison’s]

            Madison then gives a brilliant exposition of the “national” and “federal” aspects of Our Constitution. More than any other Paper, No. 39 addresses the primary political problem of our Time: The destruction of “federalism” by eradicating all vestiges of sovereign & independent States.

          • Independent1

            An in addition, keep in mind, that the Federal government is not going to get involved in disaster relief, unless it is requested by a state.

            Here’s an article from Tennessee that covers some of the guidelines (thresholds) that must be exceeded before a disaster reaches the point where FEMA becomes involved.

            What are you suggesting by your constant negative rhetoric?? That the victims of countless disasters that occur across the nation each year should be left to sink or swim on their own???

            You claim to not be a conservative – but guess what I’m not buying it. Only conservatives are as clearly heartless as you are!!! (With comments about the federal government doesn’t have ‘the right’ to use YOUR TAX DOLLARS, to help others recover from a disaster. Wow!! How heartless can you get!!!

          • Rick Mage

            In addition, it does not matter if all 50 states are BEGGING for the federal government to violate the Constitution and use our money on issues that are listed outside the federal government’s enumerated powers. The federal government cannot use our money on issues that are listed outside their enumerated powers. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt cared little about the Constitution. So, they ignored it. They are criminals, who got away with murder, nothing more.

  • Insinnergy

    Texan Hypocrites.
    As usual.

  • Jayneen

    Repukes’ stupidity shines on.