Gut Rumbles

February 14, 2006

it's only money

Put the federal government in charge of ANYTHING and this is what you get.

The two audits found that up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received aid under FEMA’s emergency cash assistance program — which included the $2,000 debit cards given to evacuees — were based on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers, or false addresses and names.

I don't do math, but I think the gozintas indicate that more than one-third of the people that FEMA paid handsomely for "hurricane relief" simply stole the fucking money. I'm not surprised, because in the aftermath of Katrina, the government's objective was to throw as much money as possible at the problem. The money-throwers didn't really care where the money went. They just didn't want to be called stingy, heartless or racist.

It sure makes ME feel warm and fuzzy knowing that my tax dollars were spent so carelessly compassionately. People NEEDED that aid so that they could:

*Afford a $450 tattoo. (SO? It said "I Survived Katrina.")
*Buy a diamond engagement ring for $1,100. (HEY! Valentine's Day was coming!)
*Purchase a .45-caliber handgun for $1,300 (HEY! That one makes sense to me! The dumbass just paid too much for a .45.)
*Indulge in "adult entertainment." (WHAT?? Hooker rental isn't on YOUR list of emergency expenses?)

Of course, these expenditures were mere petty cash. I'm amazed that the government even noticed it. Big-ticket items included "114,341 trailers for $1.7 billion," which the government may or may not have received and which may or may not have been occupied. "Discrepancies" in FEMA's bookkeeping make it "difficult to ascertain the exact units available or whether government-owned property was otherwise accounted for."

That's nice to know. It makes the "24,967 manufactured homes obtained for $857.8 million and 1,295 modular homes at $40 million — resulting in 10,777 such homes sitting empty in Hope, Ark., in sinking mud without proper storage" a lot easier to understand.

I'll tell you what I DON'T understand: we still have people in this country convinced that government should be in charge of health care.


We were hit hard by Ivan and FEMA also gave out the debit cards here.
One of the "assistance" churchs where the cards were given out was in the middle of a drug, crime and poverty stricken part of town. Everyone in that area (mostly public housing) were lined up at the church the night before.
My best friend and I went down at 7:30 am, we were told (by battery powered radio) that the doors would open at 9 am. By 9:15 we were told that the cards were gone and there wouldn't be anymore. Turns out that instead of opening at 9 as they said they would (since there were so many people camped out) that they began passing out these cards at 6 am.
A week or two later, after reviewing their records they found that the people who were there all night
were turning around and getting right back in line for a 2nd handout before the rest of the county had even got there.
Since then there have been numerous drug busts in the area and law enforcement confiscated 100's of these FEMA cards presumabley traded for drugs.

Myself and my my best friend never received a dime of help from FEMA. Never a single dime and we were without food, water, power, ice etc for almost 3 weeks. If not for all of our neighborhood joining forces to feed the masses with what we had defrosting in our freezers, I don't know how we would have made it.
No FEMA trucks showed up with ice, water and MRE's until 5 days after the storm. Where was the big stink when it happened to us? But because of the large black population in N.O, everyone started yelling "racism" isntead of banding together to help each other out.
I could go on forever but I'm sure you'd rather me not. :o)
To make my point. FEMA sucks and has absolutely no place being in control of disaster relief. Like you said, leave it up to the governemnt........

Posted by: Dawn on February 14, 2006 11:27 PM

shit...sorry for the highjack there Rob!

Posted by: Dawn on February 14, 2006 11:28 PM

Are you really surprised by these figures? This is nothing compared to the almost 9 billion dollars in U.S. taxpayer dollars not accounted for in Iraq. When are you gonna realize that Republicans don't care about taxpayer dollars wasted as long as their cronies are making millions on corrupt contracts? And then after they have bilked money from ordinary American taxpayers, they love to talk about individuals pulling themselves up by their bootstraps to be successful. G.W. is a perfect example of this idiotic hypocrisy, especially since he is one of the only oil men ever to fail miserably in business and need to be bailed out by daddy and his cronies. No wonder the rich little bastard has no clue of what a budget is all about.

Posted by: AustinYellowDog on February 15, 2006 01:46 AM

austinyellowbellyasshole: Eat Shit!

Posted by: TomCat on February 15, 2006 06:26 AM

For anyone who remembers how the black racists were screaming "racist genocide and ethnic cleansing", did you ever follow the actual death stats as they came in after the hurricane hit New Orleans? Although the press didn't report it, the preliminary stats in December of 2005 reflected that fewer than half of victims were black, and whites died at the highest rate of all races.

According to the latest Louisiana demographics of 745 identified victims, 374 were black, 310 were white and 61 were others. If you take into consideration that of the two hardest hit parish's, New Orleans had 484,674 people (67% of whom were blacks) and St.Bernard parish had 65,554 people (88% of whom were white) and you look at the victim stats above, who got hit disproportionately?

Dawn, while you were suffering, I saw carloads of card recipients in the Houston area buying pricey items that I would not have considered, and I'm not on a tight budget. We absorbed so many of the criminals, our communities are going to be dealing with it for a long time to come. What a mess.

Posted by: Tessa on February 15, 2006 09:00 AM

Dawn: I carelessly failed to notice that you said Ivan, not Katrina. Same point applies though.

Posted by: Tessa on February 15, 2006 09:06 AM

The same congress bitching about FEMA and the trailers is the same congress that passed the laws that prevent the homes from being placed in a flood zone even during a disaster and what the congress didn't forbid the local "i'm better than you " crowd made it impossible to place a mobile home anywhere and it's not just in La. People should realize by now that congress in now in the CYA mode because they are the root cause of all the problems. However, no one on earth could have managed the relief effort any better than what they managed to do, unless you want to hire 50,000 more workers and station them on military bases around the country and forbid them from leaving except during a disaster (permanent standby). Congress just likes to Monday morning quarterback and make you think they're smart when they are really brain dead..

Posted by: scrapiron on February 16, 2006 02:19 AM
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