Black Helicopters

Krugman on Romney’s FEMA gaffe:

So let me just take a moment to flag an issue others have been writing about: the weird Republican obsession with killing FEMA. Kevin Drum has the goods: they just keep doing it. George Bush the elder turned the agency into a dumping ground for hacks, with bad results; Clinton revived the agency; Bush the younger ruined it again; Obama revived it again; and Romney — with everyone still remembering Brownie and Katrina! — said that he wants to block-grant and privatize it. (And as far as I can tell, even TV news isn’t letting him Etch-A-Sketch the comment away).

There’s something pathological here. It’s really hard to think of a public service less likely to be suitable for privatization, and given the massive inequality of impacts by state, it really really isn’t block-grantable. Does the right somehow imagine that only Those People need disaster relief? Is the whole idea of helping people as opposed to hurting them just anathema?

It’s a bit of a mystery, calling more for psychological inquiry than policy analysis. But something is going on here.

Really, is the idea of killing FEMA any weirder than clamoring for the gold standard? I mean, the whole GOP platform is basically pathological.

Krugman is certainly right that part of it is the idea that somehow disasters only strike “Those People” — you just have to look at how the GOP talks about New Orleans — but the FEMA obsession is also part of the Black Helicopter/UN paranoia among rightwingers.  In their minds, FEMA is part of the jackbooted thug mafia that is only, just barely being kept in check because Real Americans are exercising their Second Amendment rights to prevent tyranny.

When Romney talked about killing FEMA it wasn’t because he really thought the states could or should do it, nor did he think the private sector could or should. When Romney went after FEMA in the primary debates, it was all about letting GOP voters know that he sees the Black Helicopters too.

 

239 replies
  1. 1
    Maude says:

    Romney did a 180 on FEMA yesterday through a statement.
    The Republicans, starting with Reagan, have wanted the rich to prosper and the rest of us to die off.
    It was to starve funding from government agencies.
    Poppy Bush got caught because of Hurricane Andrew that really hit Florida.
    Bush the Son, didn’t care about anyone in the country until he had to do a Katrina PR tour.

  2. 2

    Really, is the idea of killing FEMA any weirder than clamoring for the gold standard?

    Yeah, but the difference is that the GOP really could kill FEMA if they win this election, and pick up a Senate majority either now or in 2014. And there’s little reason why they’d hold back.

    But even the plutocrats who really run the GOP aren’t crazy enough to really want us to go back to a gold standard. It’s in there to keep the Paulites happy, and because nobody else gives a shit.

  3. 3
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Its their philosophy, government bad, private sector good. When you are as rich as Romney and the Bushes, FEMA’s capabilities are of no consequence to you. As for the idiots who vote for them, I have no idea.

    If you are not in the 1% and still vote for the Republicans, you are not voting logic and reason, but your tribal identity.

  4. 4
    bemused says:

    There’s no doubt in my mind that most Republicans should be under intensive psychiatric care.

  5. 5
    redshirt says:

    Logic need not apply when it comes to Republican Faith. All that matters is it was spun from all the regular sources then marinated in the cesspools of gossip, talk radio, and now the internet, for a sufficient time that it sinks into their cavemen brains, and voila! Truth! No matter the facts or the reality.

  6. 6
    jibeaux says:

    @bemused: I always say, it ain’t a political philosophy, it’s an entry in the DSM-IV.

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    In the old days, the rich Lords and Ladies built their castles on the high ground, leaving the peasants to either drown, or get killed by the enemy, on their way to the castle.

    The LI and NJ shores used to be the homes, and small summer homes, of the middle (to upper-middle) class.

    Then, the Galtian Overlords wanted mansions on the beaches, and took over the beachfront properties when the poorer people died, or left.

    You’d think they’d have an appreciation for FEMA now that they’ve moved down from the high-ground, and decided to lord it over the peasants who still live next to them by the water.

    Feckin’ idjits!

  8. 8
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    This is a result of 1) the Republican war on Government and 2) the Republican political strategy of opposing anything supported by Democrats.

    Thank FSM Chris Christie is a reasonable Republican we can work with and the future of the Republican party and I like him dammit.

  9. 9
    Scott S. says:

    I’ve never really understood why they latched onto FEMA, of all the utterly mild governmental institutions as their horrific bogeyman. I could figure out the ATF because GUUUNS and the IRS because MUNNY, but the people who hand out bottled water after tornadoes?

    I assume there’s some poor schizophrenic’s mimeographed street-corner rantings enshrined somewhere in the GOP headquarters as the Holy Writ that explains all this…

  10. 10
    presquevu says:

    And to add to that, the blah helicopters.

  11. 11
    different-church-lady says:

    it was all about letting GOP voters know that he sees the Black Helicopters trailer/concentration camps too.

    FTFY

  12. 12
    yam says:

    Oh yeah, can you just imagine the Alabama or Mississippi funded/run version of FEMA?

  13. 13
    karen says:

    The truth is W and Brownie saw Katrina as a death sentence for the poor they felt deserved to die. They did jack shit until it was televised by a reporter who was horrified. Mississippi got more aid faster and, surprise, surprise, it was the richer WHITER districts who got that money. FEMA is an anathema to them because it helps the very people that the GOP feels deserves to die because somehow, Jesus wants them to.

  14. 14
    karen says:

    @yam:

    If they’re the white areas? No question about their aid.

  15. 15
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @low-tech cyclist: They won’t go to the gold standard, if the US does that, the dollar will no longer be the de-facto currency of the world neither will NYC be the financial capital of the world. This would be terribly destabilizing for the global economy as well.

  16. 16
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The first email I will send my family in the event Obama wins re-election is a message indicating that I’ve been deputized by OFA to start collecting guns (in exchange for abortion vouchers). Then I plan to send an email that issues “Death Panel” appointment dates for my parents. I also plan on asking if anyone can recommend a nice FEMA Concentration Camp (preferably one that takes abortion vouchers as payment) I can stay at on my next vacation.

    Anyone got any other suggestions?

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    First move of a Real Tyrant: paint the helicopters a different color.

  18. 18
    tom says:

    Right now FEMA is in the Department of Homeland Security. Can’t we just put into the Department of Defense? Then everyone will love it.

  19. 19
    jibeaux says:

    I don’t understand why anyone finds that a convincing argument. Do natural disasters follow state lines? Is your state one of the 49 with a balanced budget amendment? If so, do you want higher taxes or no emergency management services?

  20. 20
    karen says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    So does my dad and he’s been volunteering with OFA. I told him that Christie isn’t the Jacob Javitz reasonable Republican or Rockefeller Republican but I don’t think he believed me.

  21. 21
    jibeaux says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Well, they need to report for their microchip required by Obamacare, but maybe you could give them a lift in your Chevy Volt.

  22. 22
    Cassidy says:

    Stop thinking of what FEMA does and in terms of what they can do: they’re a federal organization that can arrive in scene and immediately take control of state and local resources. They have power.

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    Honestly, I think what Kthug is onto is that FEMA is where institutional racism shows itself.

    Institutional racism is how the GOP policy hides the mean-spirited and tribal nature of their world view.

  24. 24
    bemused says:

    @jibeaux:

    Yup and it’s way past time these folks were relegated to shouting on soapboxes at street corners.

  25. 25
    Scott S. says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Just go through the Snopes pages on Obama and design your email from the crazies there… :)

  26. 26
    muddy says:

    The word is “heliOcopters”. Just remembering from Bill Maher’s old show.
    ETA: It was Helen Chenoweth of Idaho.

  27. 27
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I don’t think it’s because they have some personal animus against FEMA. It’s more the case that they’re signaling to their tribe that even this perfectly reasonable government function is ideologically abhorrent because it’s a government function. Romney was saying in that statement, essentially, that federal X is always worse than state X which is worse than private-sector X, regardless of the value of X. He barely listens when John King says “even disaster relief?” because he’s not answering that, he’s answering “should the federal government do things?” with “no, because dependency.”

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    There’s something pathological here.

    In the way that politics trumps basic human decency. What other agency, when it is needed in action, is more affirming to the concept of a peoples government rescuing them when they are utterly helpless in the wake of disaster. It offends about every tenet of the conservative belief system

  29. 29
    MattF says:

    There may be a call-out to the Black Helicopter crowd, but I think overall it’s simpler. The right believes that the poor don’t deserve any help. They should suffer floods, diseases, malnutrition, whatever– it’s their fate, and it’s their own damned fault. And attempts by the Federal Government to avert war, starvation, plagues are just contrary to nature, God, and the way things ought to work. And as for racism… well, let me tell you…

  30. 30
    Maude says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    I have a feeling of sorrow over what has happened to NJ with Sandy. Some people’s lives are completely changed and not for the better.
    Gov. Christie has been out there and talking to the residents.
    He is making sure that things work and got the fed help he needs to help people.
    I don’t like his policies, but right now, he is doing an excellent job.

  31. 31
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @low-tech cyclist:
    I’m in Texas, and I know plenty of people who think that going back to the gold standard would eliminate the need for much of the government and free the economy.

  32. 32
    BudP says:

    They yearn for the classic social contract: 1) Give us massive tax cuts. 2) If you are drowning due to a hurricane, we will throw cans of beans at you.

  33. 33
    Napoleon says:

    Bernard nails it.

  34. 34
    JoeShabadoo says:

    The gold standard is popular with the nuts because it makes a very complicated system easier for them to understand. They still don’t really understand it at all but it is easier to wrap your mind around “This equals such and such gold” than “This equals what people believe it equals because of taxes and faith in a government we hate.”

    FEMA isn’t an attempt to simplify a world that must be complicated so I think its pretty different because it onlynrelies on hate for anything government and those people.

  35. 35
    TR says:

    FEMA’s history is proof of the old adage that Republicans campaign on claims that government is incompetent and then, once they’re in charge, they prove it.

  36. 36
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Romney’s on MSNBC right now tearing into Obama. It really is remarkable how someone so tall can look so small.

    He hasn’t said anything newsworthy yet. I don’t know why they’re showing the whole speech.

    Well, I guess the fact that he’s in full campaign mode and back to insulting the president while the president is managing disaster relief is kinda newsworthy.

  37. 37
    R-Jud says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Needs moar Muslin.

  38. 38
    beth says:

    Have any of these people actually addressed a plan to block grant FEMA to the states? How do they intend to do it? Disburse the money evenly to all 50 states, use past disasters as a basis, throw darts at a giant map of the US? I’m curious how they figure out who gets the money. Can you imagine Congress trying to figure out that one? In a just world, some journalist would actually ask those questions.

  39. 39
    dmsilev says:

    I’m pretty sure that even as we speak, the NRA is working on pushing a bill that will legalize concealed hurricanes.

  40. 40
    SFAW says:

    @yam:

    Oh yeah, can you just imagine the Alabama or Mississippi funded/run version of FEMA?

    I can, I simply can

  41. 41
    Napoleon says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    And there’s little reason why they’d hold back.

    You mean other then the fact Wall Street money is seriously behind the Republicans and as recent events have shown Wall Street in in a prime huricanne alley. For that reason the whole defund FEMA thing goes out the window the second Romney puts his hand on the Book of Mormon in front or Roberts.

  42. 42
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Can I drive the Death Panel truck? I will even dress as Darth Vader.

  43. 43
    artem1s says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    Notify them that the IBEA (Incandescent Bulb Eradication Agency) has set a date to inspect their home for contraband. Each violation will result in a forced gay marriage union with the same sex partner of their choosing.

  44. 44
    jibeaux says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I agree with that. There’s a formula there, and if you aren’t talking about the military you follow the gorram formula. contractors > state government > federal government

  45. 45
    beltane says:

    The other day I was watching a PBS documentary about the Pashtun controlled areas of Pakistan. A local journalist was asking men (there were no women about) their opinion of the Taliban affiliated political parties. The men questioned were almost universal in their criticism of theses parties, calling them terrorists who confiscate their music cassettes, and don’t allow their daughters to be educated. These men were also unanimous in saying that that have, and will continue to vote for these extremist parties. Why? Because they are members of the same tribe.

    If only our red state tribalists were this self-aware.

  46. 46
    Napoleon says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    You have to work the Black Panthers in there somewhere.

  47. 47
    Arm The Homeless says:

    OT: I suppose Kay is already on this, but just caught the story that the Sixth Circuit has stayed the Ohio ‘right church, wrong pew’ decision.

    What is it with Ohio SoS? Between Husted and Blackwell, they are making me forget all about horse-lady Katherine Harris. Is that the position where GOP hacks go to get their final BS programming?

  48. 48
    SFAW says:

    Majorly OT, but:

    I was trying to spot Tom Levenson in this.

    Tom, were you in any of those vibrant crowd scenes? Perhaps in Lobby 7 or the Infinite Corridor?

    Seeing Noam in it was kinda weird.

    OK, back to black helicopters …

  49. 49
    lonesomerobot says:

    FEMA CAMPS! EXECUTIVE ORDERS!

    This is a real sub-section of the republican/tea party base. The ironic thing is that the executive orders that establish FEMA and give it the (so-called) “dangerous” emergency powers that allow the federal government to take control of all transportation/media/etc. were put into effect by republican jesus St. Ronnie Raygun.

    And yes, I know so much about this nonsense because during the Clinton years I was a libertarian and I actually bought into this bunk. Thank goodness I grew out of it.

  50. 50
    beltane says:

    @Mouse Tolliver: Has anyone asked Romney for his opinion of Chris Christie? That should make his screen freeze at least temporarily.

  51. 51
    gene108 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Thank FSM Chris Christie is a reasonable Republican we can work with and the future of the Republican party and I like him dammit.

    Reagan did more to help poor people and minorities than Gov. Christie has done.

    Also, too Reagan was/is very likeable, though he isn’t popular with the “libtard” crowd that gathers to places like this.

  52. 52
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    Anyone got any other suggestions?

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Move and get an unlisted phone number. I have unstable family members that would put a bullet in my head if I did something like that.

  53. 53
    Eric U. says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: even the 1% are costing themselves money by voting for Republicans. The NYTimes had an article about that recently. But they’d rather have less money and watch the blah suffer. I find it hard to believe that Buffett is the only rich person that realizes that Dems are better for business.

  54. 54
    nemesis says:

    Sans Brownie, FEMA is an effective government operation. So it must be eliminated.

  55. 55
    Josie says:

    It seems to me that block grants are just a step away from privatization, i.e. funneling money from federal coffers into the hands of private entities owned by the “right people.” Here in Texas (I don’t know how it works elsewhere) block grants can be used by the state in whatever way it wishes. So, a block grant for education can be used to beef up the highway system and so on and son on and so on. If they can get enough Republicans in charge of state governments and use block grants for everything, they can clean up.

  56. 56
    lonesomerobot says:

    @BGinCHI: I vote for sky blue, with a logo that employs both rainbows and unicorns.

  57. 57
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Eric U.: May be so, but if the rest of us become poorer, while they stay just as rich, I guess it is fine by them.

    Besides, there is not that much difference between 10 million and 10.1 million is there?

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Thank FSM Chris Christie is a reasonable Republican we can work with and the future of the Republican party and I like him dammit.

    I’ve been very impressed by his responses over the last 24 or so hours. I’m not sure yet where we see eye to eye on governing policy but I feel that no matter what, I’ll know where he stands on something and we can work with him.

  59. 59
    batgirl says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    he first email I will send my family in the event Obama wins re-election is a message indicating that I’ve been deputized by OFA to start collecting guns…

    I work at a public library reference desk and I had a patron come up and tell me all about those FEMA concentration camps. It took every ounce of my being NOT to tell him that I was passing on his name to the Obama government for internment. :)

  60. 60
    BGinCHI says:

    This morning I woke up afraid, and looked outside for the black helicopters, but there weren’t any.

    It was just like Calcutta.

    /what, too soon or late?

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon:

    Bernard nails it.

    Wait a second…holy shit, Bernard wrote this? I had been assuming it was mistermix.
    It seems strange that no one’s been attacking him to this point.

  62. 62
    Montysano says:

    I used to read and comment at a libertarian financial blog. At one time it was a moderately interesting forum. But the Benghazi thing has sent them all careening over the edge into Black Helicopter territory. Didja know that Valerie Jarrett and Huma Abedin has Chris Stevens whacked? Totally true!

  63. 63
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Democrat Partisan Asshole:

    I usually take every opportunity I get to remind my older brother that he thinks that Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster and that Bill Clinton killed two teens who discovered his drug running operation out of the Mena, Arkansas airport.

  64. 64

    @nemesis:

    Sans Brownie, FEMA is an effective government operation. So it must be eliminated.

    I don’t think it’s more more complicated than this. Same goes for Social Security, Medicare etc.

    The GOP mantra pretty much boils down to “GUBBMINT SUCKS! LET US RUN IT!”

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @beth:

    I’m curious how they figure out who gets the money.

    Shoot, that’s the only question that needs answering, and it takes about 3 seconds.

  66. 66
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    Also, too Reagan was/is very likeable

    @gene108: Sure, if you could get over the “kicking tied up nuns out of helicopters” thing. I couldn’t. I am no friend of the Catholic Church but that’s a bridge too far, no?

  67. 67
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: Why hasn’t any reporter asked a Republican running for office, if the government is so bad, why are you running for office.

  68. 68
    Cacti says:

    @Maude:

    The Republicans, starting with Reagan Rutherford B. Hayes, have wanted the rich to prosper and the rest of us to die off.

    Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower were aberrations.

  69. 69
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone: Exactly. And getting the money is the whole point. It’s not politics; it’s pure greed.

  70. 70
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I’m also planning an email alerting my wingnut relatives to a secret directive from the Obama adminstration that orders the U.N. to paint their black helicopters a different color to confuse folks headed for the FEMA concentration camps. “Any color from the GLAAD rainbow will suffice.”

  71. 71
    Cacti says:

    @Democrat Partisan Asshole:

    Sure, if you could get over the “kicking tied up nuns out of helicopters” thing. I couldn’t. I am no friend of the Catholic Church but that’s a bridge too far, no?

    Reagan made white people feel comfortable with their prejudices again. And they adored him for it.

  72. 72
    Violet says:

    Krugman is certainly right that part of it is the idea that somehow disasters only strike “Those People”

    I’ve seen lots of expensive vehicles destroyed in the post-Sandy images and video. Some reporters have talked about some destroyed areas being affluent areas. Maybe because it didn’t just happen to “Those People” it will get more attention.

  73. 73
    burnspbesq says:

    @karen:

    I told him that Christie isn’t the Jacob Javitz reasonable Republican or Rockefeller Republican but I don’t think he believed

    Christie is not Javits, or Case, or Percy. But right now he’s as good as it gets. He’s the David Wright of politics, the best player on a crap team.

  74. 74
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    In their minds, FEMA is part of the jackbooted thug mafia

    None of those pushing this propaganda actually believe things like that. Their goal is to rig the game so they can keep more and more of the profits they make using everyone else as beasts of burden, essentially.

    It’s like ranchers using loud noises to scare cattle away from a gap in a broken fence, “don’t go that way! Danger!” until they can get the hole fixed. The ranchers don’t actually believe there’s any danger out there, just a way to escape.

    Since they can afford virtual private armies of security and whatever else they need, they want to stop paying taxes for things like FEMA or anything else, except for war. They know we’ve already cut services to the bone, the “Danger! Almost Communism!” stuff is scare tactics for the masses.

  75. 75
    Roger Moore says:

    @Scott S.:

    I’ve never really understood why they latched onto FEMA, of all the utterly mild governmental institutions as their horrific bogeyman.

    For the same reason they see universal healthcare as proof of a communist plot. They don’t like any government agency that’s competent and provides people with essential services because it gives the rubes a reason to oppose the destruction of the government in the name of reducing taxes.

  76. 76
    MattF says:

    @burnspbesq: I agree. It’s a low bar for Republicans– Christie manages to hurdle it, which is saying something.

  77. 77
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: If you want to really freak out the paranoiacs, tell them they’re putting LED screens on the bottom of the helicopter with video cameras on the top of the helicopter so that when you look up at them now all you see is sky.

  78. 78
    MattMinus says:

    I think it’s simpler than black helicopters or right people vs wrong people. These guys simply hate seeing any big bucket of money from which no one is extracting management fees.

  79. 79
    Ash Can says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Don’t forget to tell them that they’ll be required to give up their US citizenship and get UN passports.

  80. 80
    muddy says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: When they started with all the warrantless wiretapping under Bush, I had a conservative friend who said no one should mind if they were innocent. I used to live overseas, so I told this guy that whenever I spoke to someone from or in the Middle East, I would immediately call him afterwards so he would be on my “phone tree”. He thought this was terrible and abusive of his right to privacy. It was fun to call up and just say, “I spoke to our mutual friends and the plans are in place” and then hang up.

    Some people just don’t get it unless it is happening to them.

  81. 81
    Chris says:

    but the FEMA obsession is also part of the Black Helicopter/UN paranoia among rightwingers.

    I heard that in the X-Files – “secret government” because it has the power to declare a state of emergency, or something. Didn’t realize it was actual mythology, but I’m completely unsurprised.

    Interesting show, the X-Files; ostensibly liberal (the whole Kennedy nostalgia/Oliver Stone “JFK” streak running through it), but it really spoke to the paranoid terror that was spiking on the far right during the Clinton years when it aired.

  82. 82
    Amir Khalid says:

    As I understand, the gold standard wouldn’t work because there’s not enough gold in the world anymore to serve as a medium of exchange. And there hadn’t been enough gold for a long time, when the gold standard was finally abandoned. going back to it would mean a world economy with too much of value, and not enough money to trade it with. Is there some place I could go for a quick rundown on its emotional appeal to certain political types?

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @Violet:

    The notion that disasters only happen to Those People would surely surprise the generally Republican former owners of what used to be multi-million-dollar homes in northern San Diego County that burned over the last few years.

  84. 84
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @muddy:

    That’s awesome!

  85. 85
    aimai says:

    @MattF:

    Its a mixed bag–poor whites should get help when its “us” and not get help when its “them.” Non whites and non white poor people are always “them” and never us.

    If you read poor white/working class right wing blogs its always about how Obama’s liberal/non white government doesn’t do anything for white people. When a white guy like Bush is in power its assumed he probably takes care of his own (white people) and anything that doesn’t get done is put down to generic reagan era induced suspicion of government as basically inefficient and corrupt. So bush would have fucked up New Jersey pretty badly, and Romney definitely would have, but he’d have taken pains to look like he didn’t, published pictures of the clean up for a few days, and non Jersyite white peopel would have been satisfied.

    aimai

  86. 86
    beltane says:

    @Violet: I saw pictures multi-million dollar mansions in Old Greenwich on the Long Island Sound crushed by trees or burnt to the ground. Most of these homes likely belong to hedge fund people. To me, they are “those people” to the Republicans they are not.

  87. 87
    aimai says:

    @muddy:

    I love you for this, whoever you are.

    aimai

  88. 88
    RaflW says:

    I suppose it may be the Black Helicopters thing for the seriously wingy. But I think it’s mostly more mundane: when FEMA works well, it proves that government has a role in people’s lives and that government can work pretty swiftly and efficiently.

    Both of those are major, major heresies. Just look at how the #tcot nutjobs are attacking Christie on Twitter. They cannot stand bipartisanship of any sort, even if it saves lives. And they cannot even notice for a second that government can work.

    Its pathological, but not to the level of whirlybirds (for some of them…)

  89. 89
    jibeaux says:

    @MattF: For the second time today (Christie said he and the president were both ‘big boys’), must…..stop self….from making….fat joke….fat jokes uncool….

  90. 90
    scav says:

    Also, too Reagan was/is very likeable

    Reagan was superficially affable. There was a great description of one of Reagan’s speeches in one of Oliver Sack’s books. People with certain brain functions impaired had an entirely different reaction to the speech: they thought it and he were hilarious. Slightly different brain tweek found him unintelligent. That man seems to been skilled at evoking warm fuzzies on a few wavelengths. But his actions speak more about what he was.

  91. 91
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: There’s just a kind of weirdness in basing your financial system on a commodity whose value has no relation to the workings of your economy. The commodity doesn’t have to be gold, it can even be another currency. A good current example of this is the problems that Greece has with the euro. The ups and downs of the euro are unrelated to the Greek economy, but the values of things in the Greek economy are all nailed to the euro, regardless.

    A terrific book about how the powers-that-be gradually came to this realization in the ’20’s and 30’s is “Lords of Finance” by Liaquat Ahamed.

  92. 92
    schrodinger's cat says:

    OT: Has anyone checked in to see how Sully is surviving in Calcutta?

  93. 93
    Corner Stone says:

    Speaking of FEMA, and crossing it with the Zombie thread earlier…I don’t want to unduly alarm anyone but I’m pretty sure the end is nigh! The FYWP virus has spread and mutated. At Atrios’ site he has the same post repeated 5 times in a row, just like the comments section here! (no, this isn’t meta criticism about Duncan making similar comments routinely).
    I think we’re all gonna die! We’re doooooommmmeeddd!!

  94. 94
    1badbaba3 says:

    KRUGTHULU! ! !

  95. 95
    nemesis says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Yeah. How many other jobs could you apply for when your position is:
    “I deeply dislike your company. Im fact, I hate it. You have successful business units that I will work to destroy and eliminate. I will work tirelessly to decrease your good standing in the world. Nothning about your company is worth salvaging. So, now thats out of the way, hire me for big bucks. Ill get results.”

  96. 96
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Scott S.:

    I’ve never really understood why they latched onto FEMA, of all the utterly mild governmental institutions as their horrific bogeyman.

    Among the tinfoil-hat crowd, the ability to take control of a disaster area and direct resources such as the National Guard to maintain order makes them see FEMA as a shortcut to martial law.

    1) Huge nationwide disaster strikes
    2) FEMA takes control and suspends the Constitution with the help of the underwear gnomes
    3) ???
    4) New World Order!

  97. 97
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @nemesis:
    “Oh, and you want to check my references and work history? FUCK YOU.”

  98. 98
    muddy says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: @aimai: The best part was that I didn’t really have to wait for one of those phone calls to do it. I would just randomly call up and pretend I did.

  99. 99
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Maude: I doubt that Rmoney’s 180 on FEMA was anything other than a pit stop on the way to a 360 on said topic!

  100. 100
    danimal says:

    When the Republicans gain power, they don’t defund FEMA, or block grant it to the states, they simply staff it with hacks and forget about it. They aren’t obsessed with FEMA; they could care less when they control it.

    But when Dems use FEMA to show the population that government can effectively meet real needs, in real time, FEMA becomes a threat. Thus, the rhetorical anti-FEMA campaign continues.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    These people are not sane.

    They all need to be put in padded cells, and left there, to die.

    Fuck them all. I have no use for such rubbish.

  102. 102
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Chris: The first time I remember hearing some FEMA paranoia was back during the 1980s, in Jack Anderson’s Washington Post column. Then it was that FEMA had plans to become the de facto government of the United States in the event of nuclear war. Presumably we’d beat the Russkies only to find that FEMA had stabbed us in the back.

  103. 103
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    Reagan made white people feel comfortable with their prejudices again. And they adored him for it.

    @Cacti: I was 14 when he was first elected, and I didn’t know anything about how the country worked, or about politics, but I knew that the hateful bigots and bible-thumpers I saw on TV who were for Reagan terrified me, and that Reagan was a vicious liar with no loyalties who would say and do anything to get into office, and whose first priority on getting into office was handing out goodies to all his friends who got him there. I’d never seen a man like that in public office before, not even Nixon. He absolutely terrified me. He was bellicose, mean, stupid and had his finger on the trigger. I was certain we were all going to die in nuclear fire, and I couldn’t understand why most people my age, or of any age, couldn’t see that.

    My first vote was for Mondale. I was certain there was no way the nation would let this guy stay in office, especially after what he’d done to the economy during his first term. I learned a lot about the “intelligence” of the public, and about the defeat that all too frequently comes along with being a Democrat, in the 84 elections. Good practice for the future, I guess.

  104. 104
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’ve been very impressed by his responses over the last 24 or so hours. I’m not sure yet where we see eye to eye on governing policy but I feel that no matter what, I’ll know where he stands on something and we can work with him.

    He’s a straight talker and dare I say, maverick? He’s like this awesome combination of Gruff Daddy and Teddy Bear. You just wanna hug him half to death while he berates you for being a stupid loser.

    Christie may be the first politician to ever transcend politics.

  105. 105
    Roger Moore says:

    @Democrat Partisan Asshole:

    Sure, if you could get over the “kicking tied up nuns out of helicopters” thing. I couldn’t. I am no friend of the Catholic Church but that’s a bridge too far, no?

    With nuns, yes. If it had been Cardinals they were kicking out of helicopters, I’d be lining up for a chance to wear the boot.

  106. 106
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Here’s to the hope that he does NOT survive, and we’re rid of the Brit twit forever.

  107. 107
    presquevu says:

    1) Eliminate FEMA.
    2) Institute conscription for disaster victims.
    3) Start some more wars.

  108. 108
    Roger Moore says:

    @muddy:

    When they started with all the warrantless wiretapping under Bush, I had a conservative friend who said no one should mind if they were innocent.

    I’m not doing anything wrong when I take a shower, but that doesn’t mean I’m OK with the government videotaping me.

  109. 109
    nemesis says:

    So Chris Christie is THE moderate wing of the gop.

    Its not a fat joke to say he is the moderate wing all unto himself.

  110. 110
    Mandalay says:

    @Bernard Finel

    Krugman on Romney’s FEMA gaffe:

    Romney’s remarks on FEMA during the Republican primaries hardly qualify as a gaffe. Those remarks had not been an issue in the presidential campaign until Sandy had the bad manners to turn up uninvited. Rather, Romney’s original remarks were simply wrong and stupid.

    he sees the Black Helicopters too

    Boneheaded as it may be, the mainstream Republican position on many major issues is to ignore complexity, and have things simple and straightforward: deport all illegals, repeal Glass Steagall, no “slippery slope” for gun control, be able to fill out your taxes on the back of a postcard, etc.

    The problem with that approach is that complex issues usually require complex solutions, and for a huge natural disaster you INHERENTLY need federal, state and local solutions. So Romney was obviously wrong about his original FEMA remarks, but there is no need to invoke black helicopters. Occam’s razor and all that.

  111. 111
    1badbaba3 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Need you ask? The man is a rock. ‘Ol cucumber head, they call him.

  112. 112
    piratedan says:

    I happen to think that Obama is going to win and win by a fairly comfy margin and as a result of this we’re going to see some very serious charges of election tampering/fraud because of the MSM narrative that has been calling this a horse race all along. Guessing this will cause folks to believe that this election was “stolen/rigged” all along and the R intransigence will continue apace and we’ll still muddle through another two years which I’m not sure we can actually afford. Just hopin’ like hell we can turn the house.

  113. 113
    rb says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Start signing them up for everyone’s mandatory gay marriage. Give ’em a couple dates to choose between.

  114. 114

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: this made me LOL. I admire your spirit of revenge.

  115. 115
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Ask for a good madras at your FEMA camp because you love nothing more than to hear Das Kapital read in it’s original Arabic.

  116. 116
    Mike E says:

    The chip from my time working the 2010 Census is still operational. Forward!

    Gawd, Thanksgiving is gonna be so fun this year!

  117. 117
    different-church-lady says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I heard a barista put regular milk in his soy mocha latte and as a result he rushed to the hospital to be checked for typhoid.

  118. 118
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone:

    At Atrios’ site he has the same post repeated 5 times in a row…

    How can we tell that’s a bug?

  119. 119
    Paul says:

    Together (with FEMA for example) we are the most powerful nation on the planet in handling disasters. But doing it state by state, not so much. Does anybody really think for a second that Louisiana would be better equipped than say, Iceland, in handling a disaster?

    And that, together with idiotic privatization idea is what the GOP is proposing.

  120. 120
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    I first ran into hatred for FEMA in the early 90’s. The Mississippi river flooded massively through eastern MO and southern IL. The rural locals were extremely grateful for FEMA and the National Guard during the disaster. It was afterward that they started to have serious issues with it. They called it the “second disaster”. The problem was that the agency wanted to prevent future massively expensive flooding. So, the plan was to send inspectors to assess whether the land should be bought out to prevent rebuilding in flood prone spots. But it took YEARS for the inspectors to do that job. In the interim, people ran out of insurance money paying for the basic necessities (including hotel expenses). Once the trailors finally arrived, they were stuck living in metal trailors without air conditioning (which the local churches pitched in to provide). People basically felt like they would have been better off if they had just taken the insurance money and rebuilt, rather than being broke, stuck, and with their lives on hold waiting for the government to resolve whether or not they COULD rebuild.

  121. 121
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m not doing anything wrong when I take a shower, but that doesn’t mean I’m OK with the government videotaping me.

    I put on a little show just in case. I have three falafels I use, sorta like chickpea pompoms.

  122. 122
    Unsympathetic says:

    FEMA is already funded by the states.

    The definition of FEMA funding is 25% state, 75% federal.

    Romney’s statement is pure wingnut fantasy.

  123. 123
    muddy says:

    @Roger Moore: As long as it’s a legitimate innocent shower that’s okay.

  124. 124
    taylormattd says:

    This is weird, because it’s my understanding there are no significant differences between Obama and Romney.

    But in any event, don’t worry Bernard, Jill Stein will solve all of this when she is president.

  125. 125
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’ve been very impressed by his responses over the last 24 or so hours. I’m not sure yet where we see eye to eye on governing policy but I feel that no matter what, I’ll know where he stands on something and we can work with him.

    I don’t know enough about Christie to assess how accurate your view is. I am only going to observe that sometimes “straight shooters” are actually BS artists who’s BS cuts in unexpected ways.

    But I’ll say this much for him: he clearly decided that fondling Mr. Romney’s privates was far less important than doing the right thing for the people of NJ, something none of his brethren on the right seem capable of anymore.

  126. 126
    Ben Cisco says:

    @BGinCHI:

    First move of a Real Tyrant: paint the helicopters a different color.

    Also, logo!

  127. 127
    SensesFail says:

    @muddy:

    DUDE, that is so awesome!

  128. 128
    different-church-lady says:

    Nobody has said the obvious yet: the conservative mind inherently hates anyone who is weak or needs help. They don’t hate the poor because they are poor; they hate the poor because they have no power. Anyone who is weak for any reason whatsoever deserves contempt, not help. Needing help is weakness, and the last thing someone who needs help should get is help.

  129. 129
    catclub says:

    Does anyone else think the drift of Florida polls toward Obama is related to Sandy 1) missing Florida and 2) Obama and FEMA being competent?

    I would love to see Obama win Florida ( and Arizona is the other cherry on the sundae).

  130. 130
    Chris says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Yeah. It’s an interesting pathology, in a really sick kind of way, but it runs through the entire GOP base. They’re drawn to power and hate the powerless something fierce.

  131. 131
    Mandalay says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    He’s a straight talker and dare I say, maverick? He’s like this awesome combination of Gruff Daddy and Teddy Bear. You just wanna hug him half to death while he berates you for being a stupid loser. Christie may be the first politician to ever transcend politics.

    Notwithstanding the past three days, Chris Christie is an incompetent reckless nasty piece of work.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.s....._chri.html

    I am astounded at the non-troll adulation he is getting here.

  132. 132
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I don’t know enough about Christie to assess how accurate your view is. I am only going to observe that sometimes “straight shooters” are actually BS artists who’s BS cuts in unexpected ways.

    Well, honestly, I’ve kind of forgotten most of what little I knew about Christie’s policy choices. These last few post-Sandy press conferences seem to me to be more than enough to answer any questions I may have had about him. He tells it like it is, and that’s refreshing after all the BS and shenannies we’ve seen from the GOP these last years. Policy discussions can be worked out but I think the main thing is it’s pretty obvious he’s a guy we can work with.

  133. 133

    @Chris:
    It’s amazing to me just how large a percentage of RWNJ mythology is just stolen X-Files plots.

  134. 134
    LanceThruster says:

    @MattF:

    So very true. It’s the flip side of their “Prosperity Gospel.”

  135. 135
    danimal says:

    @catclub:

    ( and Arizona is the other cherry on the sundae).

    I keep wondering if AZ is much, much more in play than the national pundits predict. With an engaged Hispanic population that historically hasn’t voted, and a non-AZ resident running for Pres, the margins should be considerably closer than in 2008. I predict Carmona wins, and I won’t be shocked if Obama does as well.

  136. 136
    Violet says:

    @burnspbesq: Yeah, but when it happens in NYC and surrounding areas, then It Matters. It’s where our media lives, so everything that happens to them or their friends gets more attention.

    The flooding of New Orleans after Katrina was bad, but not enough to wake up our media types to global warming, climate change, etc. After Sandy, the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek is “It’s Global Warming, Stupid” in black letters on a vivid red background. Why? Because it happened in their own backyard. It happened TO THEM.

  137. 137
    LanceThruster says:

    @Mandalay:

    I am astounded at the non-troll adulation he is getting here.

    I think you don’t have to be a Machiavelli to play nice when you need a big favor over a long period of time, but as gleaned from my Reich Wing acquaintances, I feel he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Kind of like the “compassionate conservative’ moniker, he’d just served to put a “friendlier” face on the same old Rethuglican bullying.

  138. 138
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Amir Khalid: Oh no, don’t go down that road with a goldbug- you’ll be on the recieving end of a long, smugly delivered sermon on fractional something-or-other values. I don’t remember the details, I try to block that whole episode out.

  139. 139
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mandalay:

    I am astounded at the non-troll adulation he is getting here.

    Yes, FSM forbid should he be liked for doing his job, battling nature and saving lives, crimefighter-style, Barackman and Round’un. I like him, flame away.

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub:

    The worthless hackification of FEMA is what led to Poppy Bush being shown the fucking door to the White House, don’t let it hit your ass on the way out, douche, in 1992. He lost Florida because FEMA was a joke dealing with Andrew.

    Clinton fixed it, but then his vile spawn, the deserting coward, came in and re-hacked it with that utter assclown Brown.

  141. 141
    LanceThruster says:

    @Violet:

    Why? Because it happened in their own backyard. It happened TO THEM.

    Not to worry. Help is on the way. Willard Do-Right is rushing them cans of creamed corn.

  142. 142
    LanceThruster says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    As Doug Stanhope remarked in his special Before Turning the Gun on Himself, “Milton Freidman says in this economy, you’d better keep your 4ss pvssy tight.”

  143. 143
    Chris says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    There’s a Christian belief that the devil cannot create, he can only corrupt. It’s as good an explanation as any…

  144. 144
    steveday says:

    @Maude:
    And they get elected, and they get re-elected, because so many, many people are not paying attention. Actively, seriously, not paying attention. Lalala ican’thearyou not paying attention.

  145. 145

    When Comrade Dread was younger, he was a pretty stalwart conservative who was attending a particularly hard core conservative fundamentalist seminary where he planned to become a hard core conservative fundamentalist pastor upon graduation.

    I recall one of my professors telling me (this was back in the 90’s) how FEMA had emergency powers to declare martial law, how they had armed troops, and how they had already set up concentration/re-education camps in Montana and Alaska to house conservatives and Christians for when the godless Bill Clinton decided to flip the switch on the New World Order and kick off the whole book of Revelation stuff.

    Suffice to say, Comrade Dread has since left conservatism after being hammered repeatedly in the head by reality and has tried to excise the crazy from his politics and religion, but Comrade Dread’s former professor is now a respected senior pastor at a church.

    So yes, there is a strong and persistent belief among at least some factions (probably 27%) that any day now FEMA is going to up and take over the country, suspend elections, and cart off millions of mega-church going believers off to the gas chambers of Alaska.

    Also, if you haven’t read this yet, it’s one of the funnier and simultaneously depressing things you’ll read today.

  146. 146
    Joel says:

    @Mouse Tolliver: Looks like desperation to me.

  147. 147
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mandalay:

    JSF was trolling with that very comment.

  148. 148
    MikeJ says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    As I understand, the gold standard wouldn’t work because there’s not enough gold in the world anymore to serve as a medium of exchange.

    There’s certainly not enough in government hands. Of course when we were on the gold standard it was illegal to own gold. The government would have to seize the holdings of all those goldbugs to make it work, and they would never again be able to buy gold on their own.

  149. 149
    Chris says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I am astounded at the non-troll adulation he is getting here.

    I think you don’t have to be a Machiavelli to play nice when you need a big favor over a long period of time, but as gleaned from my Reich Wing acquaintances, I feel he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Kind of like the “compassionate conservative’ moniker, he’d just served to put a “friendlier” face on the same old Rethuglican bullying.

    I agree with you both.

    He’s the Republican governor of a severely liberal state, so he can’t be ideologically pure or he doesn’t get reelected. It’s that simple. Remember when Mitt Romney was “reasonable” enough to be pro-choice and the original implementer of Obamacare? Where’s that Mitt now?

  150. 150
    bemused says:

    @scav:

    I’d love to know how those folks who read Reagan’s cadences and mannerisms react to Mitt and Ryan speechifying.

    I don’t get how Christie has almost been put on a pedestal by some liberals. Sure, it’s a good thing he’s working hard on disaster remedies and praising FEMA and Obama but he’s still the same guy. He can actually care about helping folks in his state while at the same time stick the knife into Mitt and pad his resume for 2016. It’s all good for him.

  151. 151
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Steeplejack: “Trolling” is such a limited concept. I like to think of it as Comment Art.

    Anyway- pound for pound, Christie can’t be beat.

  152. 152
    catclub says:

    I am getting ads to learn about dead voters determining the election. The zombies will rise!

  153. 153
    Mandalay says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    battling nature and saving lives

    Please. What is the evidence that Christie is “battling nature and saving lives”? He is reacting as a governor to a natural disaster in a responsible and professional manner, that happens to also serve his self-interest. But he would also shit in Obama’s mouth if he thought it would give him a two point boost in the polls.

    Look at his overall record as an attorney general and governor in NJ and review your insane notion that “Christie may be the first politician to ever transcend politics”.

  154. 154
    LanceThruster says:

    @Cacti:

    Reagan made white people feel comfortable with their prejudices again. And they adored him for it.

    This.

  155. 155
    Bailey says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I miss “The X-Files”, too!

  156. 156
    Steeplejack says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Both you and archenemy Corner Stone are putting up some great work here. I am in awe.

  157. 157
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Comrade Dread: How did you escape? Tell us your story. As for me, I was always a godless heathen.

  158. 158
    Bailey says:

    Does no one remember seeing this full blown paranoia depicted in the first X-Files movie?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOfr1Ob35us

  159. 159
    Joel says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You and Corner Stone have gotten too good, because I swear that you two have just been trolling John Cole the past few days.

  160. 160
    Hob says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Thanks, I knew I couldn’t be the only one who remembered this going around during the Reagan years. It was not by any means limited to right-wing/libertarian circles– I heard it mostly from lefties who were very worried that Reagan was the tip of the fascist iceberg. This was particularly prevalent among people who were active in helping Central American refugees, which makes sense since they were confronted every day with the nightmarish shit that Reagan was supporting down there. Between that, the leftover taste of Nixon, and the rise of the religious far right, it was at least slightly plausible that some people in the government at least would like to pull something like that, even if you didn’t think they had the camps ready to go.

    I may be biased by having grown up in the ’80s, but I honestly feel like we were the pioneers of this brand of fear, or at least incubated it, and that the right-wing variety from the ’90 onward is largely a reflexive imitation of something whose original rationale has been forgotten–with encouragement from non-deluded right-wingers who understand its political value. The right-wing variety isn’t based on any history of Democrats helping to organize mass murder and torture in our back yard, or receiving support from apocalyptic cults; the closest thing they can point to is the violence at Ruby Ridge and Waco, but the paranoia preceded and inspired those.

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Its their philosophy, government bad, private sector good. When you are as rich as Romney and the Bushes, FEMA’s capabilities are of no consequence to you.

    But this is not entirely true. A plutocrat might be able to get to higher ground, but hurricanes wash away the homes and businesses of the rich and poor equally; the storms don’t detour around the 1%. And rebuilding for anyone is costly.

    Romney is signalling the GOP core that he believes in the same fantasy of individualism (maybe with an acceptable dose of charity) and self-reliance that informs the wingnuttia. This even goes beyond the previous fantasy that local first responders were all you would ever need.

    It is doubly strange to watch Romney talk this stuff even as New Jersey governor Christie is shown on the TV praising the shit out of the feds and Obama. I really don’t kno

    But the GOP delusion of self-reliance and volunteerism as the only permitted response to disaster is not only irrational. It is suicidal.

    @catclub:

    Does anyone else think the drift of Florida polls toward Obama is related to Sandy 1) missing Florida and 2) Obama and FEMA being competent?

    I certainly hope so. On the other hand, the hard core of deluded racists proclaim that Obama is only out in front doing a photo op, and has not done anything. And of course, had Obama continued to campaign, and note that competent subordinates would handle the FEMA public engagements, the haters would insist that Obama was neglecting his duties, and proving that he hated white people harmed by the flooding.

    The Obama hatred is unremitting, and sadly predictable.

  162. 162
    Joey Maloney says:

    @yam:

    Oh yeah, can you just imagine the Alabama or Mississippi funded/run version of FEMA?

    You don’t have to imagine. It’s called “Alabama” and “Mississippi”.

  163. 163
    different-church-lady says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: The friendly enemy of my friend is my friend… no, wait, my enemy… my friendly enemy? Screw it, I give up.

  164. 164
    Maude says:

    @bemused:
    Christie stepped up to the plate and is helping people in NJ. A lot of peoples lives will never be the same. They are in complete upheaval.

  165. 165
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Brachiator: I am not saying that it is true, it is what they believe. They have their insurance policies and their connections and the losses they incur won’t paralyze them forever, as it would someone with more limited means.

  166. 166
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator:

    A plutocrat might be able to get to higher ground, but hurricanes wash away the homes and businesses of the rich and poor equally

    But the rich seldom have a single point of business. A hurricane isn’t going to wipe out all of Mitt’s homes. It isn’t going to take out every store in a regional chain. The odds of a rich person losing everything they have in a natural disaster just aren’t the same as they are for the poor or middle class.

  167. 167
    Rathskeller says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Do not recommend, even as a joke.

    It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure that’s in the opening chapter of The Turner Diaries. Armed black thugs, controlled by sinister Jewish agents, went from house to house, taking guns.

  168. 168
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Comrade Dread: Ohhh man that Onion article is just too right. Sad the satirists are the only people able to accurately describe reality.

  169. 169
    flukebucket says:

    @yam:

    Oh yeah, can you just imagine the Alabama or Mississippi funded/run version of FEMA?

    The sale of mint julep would skyrocket!

  170. 170
    1badbaba3 says:

    Ah, who trolls the trolls?

  171. 171
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bailey:
    funny enough, my own first exposure to FEMA paranoia was on The X-Files — actually, the first movie, where Martin landau’s character tells Mulder all about FEMA and the (real-life) Hantavirus outbreak.

  172. 172
    cyntax says:

    @JoeShabadoo:

    FEMA isn’t an attempt to simplify a world that must be complicated so I think its pretty different because it onlynrelies on hate for anything government and those people.

    Exactly. Preference for a gold standard represents a (misguided) response to a complicated issue and spans a range of economic perspectives mostly clustered around Austrian school of thought. And comparing it to wingnuts’ reaction to FEMA is pretty apples to oranges for just the reason JS cites.

  173. 173
    catclub says:

    @Hob: “the closest thing they can point to is the violence at Ruby Ridge and Waco”

    Howard Zinn would point out that there has ALWAYS been substantial violence against the lower classes and against religious minorities (the Mormons, for pete sake) in the US,
    and it has been pretty well organized or sanctioned by the authorities.

    Ruby Ridge and Waco just let a larger group fear they are not immune from it, who may have thought they were.

  174. 174
    Josie says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I very seldom laugh out loud at a comment, but you just made me do so. You are very good at your art.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator:

    A plutocrat might be able to get to higher ground, but hurricanes wash away the homes and businesses of the rich and poor equally; the storms don’t detour around the 1%. And rebuilding for anyone is costly.

    Ah, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”
    But, of course, only the poor would actually be in danger of having to sleep under a bridge after a natural disaster.

  176. 176
    Violet says:

    @Steeplejack: It really is impressive stuff.

  177. 177
    Violet says:

    @Steeplejack: It really is impressive stuff.

  178. 178
    catclub says:

    @SatanicPanic: I liked the one:
    “Mom calls to make sure you are not under that crane.”
    Only read the title. (tl;dr)

  179. 179
    ericblair says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Both you and archenemy Corner Stone are putting up some great work here.

    Well, yes they are, although there are a dozen jokes about the sun shining out of Christie’s ass that are just writing themselves and nobody’s bothered yet.

    Christie’s a grade-A asshole that’s made life harder for a lot of his residents for no reason except Republican bullshit dogma. Every Jerseyan here should be voting against the bastard next year. Still, it is within the realm of possibility that he may be actually upset about his home state being flooded and ruined, actually want to fix the damage, and is actually grateful for federal help. After the mess is cleaned up he’ll likely be back to his asshole self, but he could be useful in the meantime.

  180. 180
    bemused says:

    @Maude:

    Yes, he is. I didn’t say he wasn’t. He can lead with his heart on the disaster and think ahead to his political career at the same time. Politicians are skilled in multi-tasking. I think he’s doing exactly that. I’d probably believe in him on disaster relief if I lived in NJ but I wouldn’t trust him on much else.

  181. 181
    danielx says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Ain’t no such thing. Christie puts on a good front because he’s in a red state, but he’s not reasonable. I don’t give a shit how much he likes the Boss.

  182. 182
    Brachiator says:

    @Hob:

    I may be biased by having grown up in the ‘80s, but I honestly feel like we were the pioneers of this brand of fear, or at least incubated it

    An understandable historical short-sightedness, but there have been very few decades since the 20th century when America was free of some political or social paranoid fear.

  183. 183

    @Bailey: Yeah, but some folks missed that it was science fiction, not actual science.

    Of course, he also believed that UFOs were demonic activity, so… he wasn’t quite Agent Mulder.

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I graduated, was hired on as a youth pastor and got backstabbed a few times by church politics. Got rather disillusioned, went into an extremely dark depression, quit, and abandoned my faith for a bit.

    I went back to church to spend time with my then-girlfriend, now wife. Same type of church, but I didn’t really care. I just showed up because a part of me still believed in hell and I didn’t particularly want to go there and if I’d learned anything from American Christianity it’s that as long as you say a magic prayer, show up, and at least act moral in public, you’d be a Christian in good standing.
    After about twelve years of that hypocrisy, it wasn’t enough anymore and I began exploring other Christian traditions. Simultaneously, I decided that if I was going to call myself a Christian, it might be a good idea to figure out who Christ was. So I started my own personal study of just the gospels.

    I discovered a Jesus who didn’t care for religious phonies.

    A Jesus who spent every moment written about Him helping others and meeting their needs, and a Jesus who loved screwed up, flawed people and demanded that His followers do the same. I also found a Jesus who embraced people with honest doubts.

    So I started asking more questions. Eventually, I broke ranks with my old traditions when I could no longer believe in a God who loved us who would sentence persons to an eternity of torture without hope of respite.

    Politically, my journey moved from hardcore conservatism to libertarianism right around the time I was disillusioned with the church and discovered Ayn Rand and Mises and the whole anarcho-capitalist nonsense. But it all sounded great in theory and it fed my existing conservative biases against the government, so I embraced it. Of course, I continued to vote Republican.

    Until George W. Bush, when the party branded me a liberal because of my opposition to the Iraq War. Then I voted straight Libertarian in 2004. Then 2008 happened and I realized that contrary to Rand and Austrian economics, you really can’t trust people to act in their own long term best interests and, shoot, maybe it might be a good idea to have a vigorous government enforcing the laws and regulations on irresponsible greedy douchebags after all.

    So, it was a slow journey, and I’m not entirely proud of it, but I’m now a committed Democrat and liberal.

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah, I imagine this was what Rome was like just before its fall, with the peasants looking at their sacked homes, their burning fields and shrugging, “Another barbarian attack. Must be Tuesday.”

  184. 184
    Woodrowfan says:

    Of course when we were on the gold standard it was illegal to own gold.

    Actually you could own gold. How could we have gold money (gold dollars, etc) if it was illegal to own? It was when we got off the gold standard that private individuals were prevented from owning more than a few ounces.

    I may be wrong about this last point, and so am open to correction..

  185. 185
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Dread: Not to be insensitive, but was there a lot of medication involved along the way?
    This sounds like Hell.

  186. 186

    @Corner Stone: No, just a gradual peeling away of years of bad tradition and ideology.

    But it was quite painful and if there is one thing I’m going to impress upon my children it will be to ask questions, to explore other points of view, and to realize that no matter how certain someone claims to be about something, that there have been millions of other people out there who had differing interpretations, thoughts and ideas who were just as certain.

    I will also impress upon them that science does not have to be the enemy of religion and that you can embrace and love both.

  187. 187

    @Steeplejack:

    Both you and archenemy Corner Stone are putting up some great work here. I am in awe.

    Seconded. This is like “Glenn Beck in his prime” level performance art.

  188. 188

    @muddy: This is the most awesome thing I’ve read in weeks, and I am stealing it.

  189. 189
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    When Romney went after FEMA in the primary debates, it was all about letting GOP voters know that he sees the Black Helicopters too.

    Pandering to the natural serfs that are the GOP base.

  190. 190
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mandalay:

    Look at his overall record as an attorney general and governor in NJ and review your insane notion that “Christie may be the first politician to ever transcend politics”.

    Hurricanes, or more accurately, post-tropical cyclones, don’t care if you have an R or a D beside your name. All they care about is inflicting maximum pain on anyone in their way. Christie understands that mentality, thrives on it, and this is what makes him so uniquely qualified to stand athwart the political divide and bring America together during this crisis.

  191. 191
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Comrade Dread: What was the seminary?

  192. 192
    burnspbesq says:

    @Chris:

    [Christie is] the Republican governor of a severely liberal state

    Say what, now?

    No state that repeatedly sends an odious piece of business like Scott Garrett to Congress can accurately be called “severely liberal.”

    Also, the current NJ Congressional delegation splits 7-6 D.

  193. 193
    catclub says:

    @Comrade Dread: “study of just the gospels”

    reading ‘just the red words’ can be very illuminating (pun intended).

    I was tempted to write you off as a very slow learner, but must compliment you for much more change than I have accomplished. Cheers!

  194. 194
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder:
    /Obot AWAAAAYYYYYY!

    That shit always kills me.

  195. 195
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Comrade Dread: Wow that’s quite a story, thanks for sharing.

  196. 196
    MaxxLange says:

    The idea of going back on the Gold Standard could seem plausible or appealing, if you didn’t know much about history or economics. The idea that FEMA shouldn’t exist seems to be in a different category: you have to ignore current events and recent history, ignore it completely, to believe that.

    I haven’t read the thread yet, and someone has probably already said this. They loathe FEMA because its existence refutes their ideology of the complete uselessness of the Federal Government.

  197. 197
    Ash Can says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Barackman and Round’un

    I lol’d.

  198. 198
    Chris says:

    @Hob:

    I may be biased by having grown up in the ‘80s, but I honestly feel like we were the pioneers of this brand of fear, or at least incubated it, and that the right-wing variety from the ‘90 onward is largely a reflexive imitation of something whose original rationale has been forgotten—with encouragement from non-deluded right-wingers who understand its political value.

    I think this kind of paranoia’s thrived on the fringes of politics since long before the eighties. The New Left in the sixties and seventies had its moments, the John Birchers and McCarthyists were thriving on exactly this kind of anti-government hysteria back in the fifties, and I’m sure the populist and anarchist movements of the early twentieth century had their equivalents.

    And the same for the anti-Catholic, anti-Masonic and other nutjob movements of the nineteenth century.

  199. 199
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @bemused:

    I don’t get how Christie has almost been put on a pedestal by some liberals.

    All it takes is a very sturdy windlass.

  200. 200
    catclub says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: “first politician to ever transcend politics”.

    Yeah, I read that and remembered all the articles fluffing Paul Ryan, which said he was unambitious, but was also the head of the House Budget Committee. Something there does not compute.

    Also, funny thing about Fox trying to stick it to Christie as the bridge and tunnel guy. He cancelled a tunnel because he was a complete GOP political ass, and now FOX is turning on him for that.

  201. 201
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Chris:

    Interesting show, the X-Files; ostensibly liberal (the whole Kennedy nostalgia/Oliver Stone “JFK” streak running through it), but it really spoke to the paranoid terror that was spiking on the far right during the Clinton years when it aired.

    Well, the whole Black Helicopters thing translates well to political paranoia, period. My first real introduction to it was via the paranoia classic Behold a Pale Horse, which is a fairly right-wing book (big on patriot-militias always having guns at the ready in order to execute Second Amendment remedies) that was popular with left-wingers (particularly in the hip-hop community, which is where I got introduced to it). The whole secret government/black helicopters/”THEY are going to enslave us!” thing is just a framework onto which one projects his particular flavor of political paranoia. THEY can either be right-wing fascists or the left-wing multinationalists (one-world government) or whatever it is you’re afraid of.

  202. 202
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    This isn’t nearly as complicated as most people think it is.

    If something would prevent or alleviate human suffering, Republicans are against it. Full stop.

  203. 203
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @catclub:

    Also, funny thing about Fox trying to stick it to Christie as the bridge and tunnel guy. He cancelled a tunnel because he was a complete GOP political ass, and now FOX is turning on him for that.

    Christie cancelled the tunnel because he had the vision and foresight to know it would flood during Sandy.

  204. 204

    @catclub: We have ALWAYS been at war with Oceania.

  205. 205
    Chris says:

    @catclub:

    Ruby Ridge and Waco just let a larger group fear they are not immune from it, who may have thought they were.

    Exactly. The people who were mad at Ruby Ridge and Waco were the same people who’d spent the previous two decades cheering deafeningly at the militarization of the police, the growth of the unaccountable security state, the “war on drugs,” etc. Waco and Ruby Ridge, they hit the ceiling because for the first time in their lives, that shit was actually being directed at them rather than These People.

  206. 206
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Has Obama hugged Christie yet? That should finish his chances for running in 2016, worked with Charlie Christ.

  207. 207
    the Conster says:

    @Violet:

    I actually saw the cover and said the exact thing to the person who posted it on Facebook this morning. It’s only real now, because they’re literally up to their knees in reality.

  208. 208
    kd bart says:

    Iowa:

    Gravis Obama +4
    NC/Marist Obama +6
    WeAskAmerica Obama +2
    Rasmussen Romney +1

    Wisconsin:

    Marquette Obama +8
    NC/Marist Obama +3
    Rasmussen Tied

    Ohio:

    CBS Obama +5
    SurveyUsa Obama +3
    Ohio Poll Obama +2
    Rasmussen Romney +2

    It’s quite uncanny how Rasmussen can always find Romney either tied or ahead where other recent polls find Obama with a slight lead. :)

  209. 209
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    You should be proud of your journey. You’ve joined us here on the Light Side. The result is, you’re actually following the teachings of Jesus now, not Jeebus, son of Mammon.

  210. 210
    Violet says:

    @the Conster: Yep. Seems like typical Republican crap. It’s only real when it happens to them.

  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    Many have hit upon why FEMA is despised by conservatards. It has power over the states, it helps anyone who needs it regardless of race or political standing or whatever, it takes money to run it and make it work…

    But the number one reason is that when democrats run it, it actually works and helps people in dire need.

  212. 212
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Seconded.

    As someone who flirted with fundamentalist Christianity in college, I’m always interested in hearing this kind of story, especially from people who were a lot deeper in it than I was.

  213. 213
    Ben Cisco says:

    So Christie managed, somehow, NOT to call the President an asshole during a crisis and thanked him for doing a good job.

    I think Chris Rock covered this already.

    Also, Will Smith.

  214. 214
    Dr. Loveless says:

    @Brachiator:

    Since the 18th, I’d say. Reading The Paranoid Style in American Politics was an eye-opener for me.

    I’m not a sociologist, but I’ve always had a theory that this collective paranoia derives from the fact that we’re a population largely composed of the descendants of immigrants, many of whom were fleeing economic hardship and/or religious/political persecution. They came here looking anxiously over their own shoulders, and they transmitted that anxiety to their descendants.

  215. 215
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I am not saying that it is true, it is what they believe. They have their insurance policies and their connections and the losses they incur won’t paralyze them forever, as it would someone with more limited means.

    One can never be sure of what Romney actually believes about anything. But certainly, the crap he spews is as much political bullshit as it is some assertion of wealth immunity.

    Yes, some people have connections and other resources. Still, the hard fact is that the wealthy have been wiped out along with everyone else during major disasters.

    And btw, there is a lot of hypocrisy at work here as well. In Southern California, for example, some wealthy people who push into formerly wooded areas deliberately forego having sufficient insurance, and have no problems talking conservative talk while taking advantage of FEMA and federal disaster area benefits after massive brush fires. The same is true with respect to foregoing earthquake coverage (which can be ridiculously expensive anyway).

    @different-church-lady:

    The odds of a rich person losing everything they have in a natural disaster just aren’t the same as they are for the poor or middle class.

    Fair point, but this really depends on a lot of variables, including the extent of the disaster, doesn’t it?

  216. 216

    @Chris: I don’t mean to paint with broad strokes. Some of my friends from that time are good folks who are involved with doing good work for the poor.

    And I am grateful to the churches I used to attend for introducing me to Christianity.

    I just wish churches in general were a bit more humble and open to doubt. There’s been 2,000 years of thought, opinion, and tradition in Christendom, the idea that somehow only the school of American fundamentalist Protestant evangelical conservative churches which only appears 1850 or so years after Jesus managed to be the only Christians who really got everything He was saying is a bit of a stretch.

  217. 217
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dr. Loveless: I’m not sure it’s uniquely American, though. I mean, for pretty much the mid-16th through the mid-19th century the Brits thought all Catholics were part of a global conspiracy to enslave and massacre Protestants. Few things more paranoid than Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

  218. 218
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator: Not to mention the variables of any given person’s circumstances be they rich or poor. Ain’t that the problem with categorical statements…

    Probably most accurate to say that the rich do not get away unscathed by natural disaster, but on the whole the impact on their lives is probably not as catastrophic as it is for those of lesser mean. But that’s not very punchy, is it?

  219. 219
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Yeah, but you know who else called in the National Guard?

  220. 220
    Chris says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I hear what you’re saying, on all counts (I don’t hate everyone from my couple years of dabbling in fundiism, but I sure as hell couldn’t live in that kind of community long-term). And having been raised Catholic, I definitely can relate to what you’re saying about churches not being open to doubt. Everyone’s just so sure God’s writing on their teleprompter and no one else’s…

  221. 221
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    IIRC, it’s less that not enough gold exists and more that the world economy has grown to the point where trying to warehouse enough gold to back it up becomes stupidly impractical. You can’t fit the US economy into the amount of gold that fits into Fort Knox anymore, much less the global economy.

  222. 222
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    The people who were mad at Ruby Ridge and Waco were the same people who’d spent the previous two decades cheering deafeningly at the militarization of the police, the growth of the unaccountable security state, the “war on drugs,” etc. Waco and Ruby Ridge, they hit the ceiling because for the first time in their lives, that shit was actually being directed at them rather than These People.

    Yep. The “special rights” they’re pissed off about was their special right to get a free pass from the cops based on their skin color and social class.

    Now that they’re being treated just like The Poors or The Browns if they get caught speeding or have too many guns, it’s an OUTRAGE!

    My suspicion of the Reason crowd is that they would immediately lose their interest in criminal law and civil liberties if we went back to a system where middle-class whites got a free pass if they were caught drunk driving or buying drugs.

  223. 223
    ET says:

    I think anti-FEMA attitudes among the GOPers is a combination of 2 things.

    1. Their generally anti-government stance. They want government to fail at everything so they can point to the failures and say “we told you so” (leaving out the “we set them up to fail” part of the equation).

    2. With regards to FEMA specifically I think that many GOPers feel that only those least likely to deserve help (i.e. the takers) actually need FEMA’s assistance. “Good Americans” (i.e. white ones that live in red states and/or vote GOP) don’t need FEMA because they believe in taking care of themselves and therefor would have all things in place if something catastrophic went down. They wouldn’t need FEMA because they are people who will “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and not wait around becoming dependent and letting the gov’mint bail them out because of their poor life choices.

  224. 224
    The Other Chuck says:

    What FEMA does is a legitimate function of a healthy government. Therefore it legitimizes government — if even only some small fraction that even the hardcore libertarians tend to think government is appropriate for.

    Therefore it must be destroyed. When you want to kill someone, you don’t start by hacking off the unhealthy bits he could do without. The republicans are nihilists, and the sooner everyone sees that, the sooner we can get back to some semblance of sanity.

  225. 225
  226. 226
    Mike G says:

    Rightards love punishment.
    Government is only supposed to punish people they don’t like, and dish out crony contracts to people they do like. The idea of government helping everyone is anathema to them.

  227. 227
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Hob: Nah, McCarthy and the John Birch Society were doing this on the right back in the Fifties. Glenn Beck is basically a Bircher. That stuff was what inspired Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” in 1964.

    And it really goes back to the beginning of the republic; Thomas Jefferson got basically the same “war on Christianity” attacks that Obama gets.

  228. 228
    El Cid says:

    I don’t believe in the oppressive hand of a State directing emergency relief.

    We need to make sure all disaster response funding and coordination and such is at the county or city level.

    Once that’s done, and we get all that excess FREEDOM built up, we can then improve things by making sure that disaster response is entirely funded and staffed and coordinated at the neighborhood level.

    Finally, we’ll all be safest and best off when we can improve disaster response and efficiency from running it out of each and every household, self-funded, self-staffed, self-directed.

  229. 229
    catclub says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: In the dim past, the Obama admin hugged Mitt Romney by praising the ACA as his baby. I still think that was dumb. It also did not kill Romney’s chances with either the GOP or the general public.

  230. 230
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Cid: Eventually you can get it to the point where it’s dealt with on the cellular level. Individual strands of DNA taking responsibility for their own predicaments.

  231. 231
    shpx.ohfu says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:
    Let them know that effective immediately, DOE will be staffed exclusively by Solyndra personnel. Likewise, FEC will be reconfigured with an all-ACORN staff.

  232. 232
    Chris says:

    @Mike G:

    Rightards love punishment.
    Government is only supposed to punish people they don’t like, and dish out crony contracts to people they do like. The idea of government helping everyone is anathema to them.

    QFT –

    Roger Moore had them pegged when he said the entire worldview is hierarchy based. There are deserving people, and undeserving people, there are good people, and bad people, etc. They not only want but expect, as a matter of duty, that the government will discriminate between the two and will have the good taste to recognize that THEY are the good, deserving people, and THESE PEOPLE are the bad, undeserving ones.

  233. 233
    Fred says:

    GOP wants to ditch FEMA for the same reason they want to kill Social Security, Medicare, the Post Office,… These are government programs that work and are popular.
    Ya can’t talk people into killing the government if they like it so pick off the good most well liked programs one at a time with the bull shit argument that they need improvement.
    They keep throwing this junk out there figuring one day the stars will align and enough idiots will give them the power to do it. Once it gets the ax it will never come back. Remember Wall Street regulation that worked so well for over half a century? Quoth the Raven, “Never more”.

  234. 234
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @muddy: I approve. More of this, please.

  235. 235
    elftx says:

    Christie is being an excellent politician at the moment. He is well aware the National attention being paid to the area.
    OTOH he is unable to contain himself when it comes to local politics.
    http://thehill.com/video/in-th.....y-response

    Just Some Fuckhead…you always have a way of making me smirk..esp when you actually “get” someone.

    also too..Comrade Dread..keep the faith man..and I don’t necessarily mean the church.

  236. 236
    Cmm says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    I’m sure the part about evaluating where people should not rebuild will come into play with Sandy as well. They have been trying to push construction back from the beaches on the barrier islands for years, and there are lots of properties that were grandfathered in–they could be left as is, but not rebuilt. That is going to be a battle royale I predict.

    When I was a kid the houses on the barrier islands were all summer homes (I grew up in and around Ocean City and Longport, NJ). Houses with no heat or AC, lots of windows and cross ventilation and porches, and old or cheap furniture and decor that wouldn’t be too awful to lose in a flood. A lot of the houses were on stilts. You opened them in May and closed them in September, turning off the water and draining the pipes.

    When casino gambling came in, the land rush really started and homes were bought to tear down and replace with year round luxury homes, that cost much more to replace because they have more complicated structures and a lot more contents. With climate change, I think the smartest thing would be to go back to old style seashore houses so the losses aren’t so huge when this inevitably happens again and again, especially in the more marginal areas where the “town” is only a block or two wide (like Strathmere, for those familiar with the Ocean City area.). Those, too, have gotten very built up over the last two decades and they tend to get hammered by every sizable storm, not just the hurricanes. Of course that won’t happen though, too much has been invested in these towns. And I was in Ocean City in July during a brutal heat wave this year–no going back to the days of no AC, either.

  237. 237
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Yes, I suggest you make plans for Thanksgiving, because it doesn’t sound like the family will invite you. You’re welcome at my place, though. :D

  238. 238
    Hob says:

    @Brachiator: @catclub: I didn’t express myself well, but I was referring to the “there’s going to be a military coup any day now and we’re all going to be rounded up and put in concentration camps that FEMA has been building” story, not paranoia or reactionary victimhood in general. I’m sure the Birchers and earlier groups had similar stories.

    We started out talking about this specific FEMA story and several people were saying it was a right-wing thing that developed in the ’90s. I’m just saying that it goes back further than that, and that in the Reagan years when FEMA was still a novelty, it was mostly lefties who were afraid of it.

  239. 239

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