It amazes me the way so many politicians are posturing over the Sandy Relief Bill and how easily people are buying into it, sadly many of the victims themselves.
While the Republicans in congress are being vilified by some elected loudmouths for not passing this massive bill loaded with pork many of the most desperate victims believe that is what is keeping them from getting the help they so desperately need. But these politicians aren't concerned with the victims, they are focused on the next election cycle and need sound bytes. What the victims don't seem to realize is that the $9 billion passed is to fund the FEMA claims already approved, not for so many living in despair.
There is not one dime there, or in the remaining $59 billion, to put a furnace in grandma's house who had no insurance and was turned down by FEMA, no help for the double amputee veteran that was denied because he failed to obtain newly FEMA mandated flood insurance after Irene since such notice comes either from the mortgage provider or the tax collector, he had no mortgage and he was tax-exempt due to his combat related disability. It is all for future spending.
But there is pork, $58.8 million to reforest private land. $150 million for fisheries in Alaska and the Gulf coast. $10.78 billion for public transportation projects. $17 billion for Community Block Grants just to name a few and there are many. But not a word about the scoundrels that added these earmarks, earmarks that were supposed to be prohibited, but found their way into a bill that was to benefit NJ.
So when we hear Congressman Pallone or Governor Christie or any of the other office holding parasites waxing eloquent about the evil Republican congressman we should ask: what are you doing to stand up to FEMA and help grandma still today living without heat or that vet now stuck in a VA hospital, perhaps forever stripped of his independence. Ask what they are doing to aid the thousands being kept from their homes, forced to live cramped in motel rooms by onerous FEMA regulations. And in Pallone's case why he refuses to answer a call or an email. though every time I call his office he seems to respond quickly by uploading a few more pictures from photo ops in disaster areas to his Facebook page, never doing anything but always looking sharp in a nice suit.
This is not, or should not be a democrat vs republican issue, this is not an opportunity for a glossy election flier, this is a human issue and the humans are losing, the cracks are filling up with our neighbors. So please, pay attention and remember the next time we go to the polls.
And if you want to actually do something for the victims please go to www.U-needhelp.org and donate your time or money to a group giving 100% to those victims in the Bayshore and beyond.