With the horrific tragedy happening in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey, the politicization doesn’t seem to take a timeout for “sucking on orange slices” (a little league sports reference, for those who are unaware) and even a breather in a moment of compassion. Many decided to chastise the State of Texas as to whether or not prayers should even be administered, solely based upon how their citizens voted in the Presidential Elections.
In fact a “Dear Prudence” question and answer column, which appears in Slate Magazine, covered a similar sentiment.
Q: I come from the Houston area and have been heartbroken about the damage and scenes from Harvey. I decided to donate $250 and asked my girlfriend if she would match it. She agreed, and then when I asked if she had given to the Red Cross or someone else, I learned that she donated to the Humane Society. I know she’s absolutely nuts about animals, especially our own dogs, but to give to animals when people are in trouble seems heartless to me. She’s much more politically active than I am, and I finally asked if she did that to avoid the possibility of giving money to someone who voted for Trump, and she admitted that was one of the reasons. I think that’s awful, and we’ve been fighting about it ever since. She thinks as a gay woman I should see her side, but I just can’t. There are good people everywhere, and she went out of her way to avoid helping. We’ve been fighting about this ever since. Who is right?
Luckily, Slate somehow injected compassion and reason into their column with their reply.
A: It took me a few times to parse this letter, because at first I thought your girlfriend was somehow concerned that someone in the Red Cross might have voted for Trump, but it sounds like she is actually reluctant to support human flood victims on the off chance that they may have voted for him, which is nonsensical and unconscionable. “As a society, we should help victims of natural disasters” is a complete sentence that does not require additional clauses, addenda, or stipulations. This is worth fighting with your girlfriend about, and you should strongly oppose her bizarre moral calculus.
But those in the media decided to continue to politicize this disaster in lieu of simple compassion, by attacking Trump’s executive branch.
And, of course, that received 10K retweets to the unassuming masses. The retraction, similar to a newspaper placing a damning and misleading headline on the front page while the correction appears days later on page 75, came next.
Only 252 retweets on the correction. That’s about .024% of the people actually shared the correction. That sounds about the way the media usually operates.
MSNBC decided to also earn political sniping points, while getting the inside story on the reaction of the Texas government officials during the horrific devastation. As they asked as much as they could regarding the recovery and rescue efforts in Texas, they couldn’t leave out an opportunity to throw a political “Gotcha!” question at the very end.
What MSNBC doesn’t understand is that backing Ted Cruz into a corner isn’t always the best course of action. As he tries to restrain himself from unloading politically in the midst of tragedy, the reporter continued to press the issue. That’s when Senator Cruz spoke of the “pork”, the added spending measures, that were littered within the propsal and how it had nothing to do with the intentions of the proposal. He made the case that it wasn’t helpful to the recovery efforts whatsoever. So, let’s unpack the Sandy Relief Bill and look at the specifics.
Heritage.org covered the specifics in great detail. The 60 billion measure is ostensibly aimed at providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Most of the funding, however, goes well beyond assisting actual victims. Moreover, none of the spending is offset by reductions elsewhere. It will be allowed to exceed current spending limits by exploiting two exceptions built into the Budget Control Act (BCA)—one for additional “disaster” relief funds, and another for “emergency” spending. Most of the $9.7 billion in borrowing authority in the relief package will be needed to pay benefits to thousands of Sandy victims who hold insurance contracts with the program and have paid premiums for the coverage. The legislation also contains $5.4 billion for repairing tunnels and other infrastructure damaged by the hurricane, another legitimate proposal. Apart from that, much of the $60.4 billion in requested emergency spending is aimed at either mitigating future events and repairing or replacing federal assets. Of Obama’s requested items, less than $23 billion of the $60.4 billion involves addressing emergency damages sustained by state and local governments, private-sector businesses, and individuals. As a point of perspective, with the vast majority of homes and businesses privately insured, the total cost estimate for the entire private industry is just more than $20 billion. Why is the federal spending proposal three times as large? The bill includes money to improve weather forecasting by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), funds for weather research programs, additional cash for upgrading NOAA reconnaissance aircraft, and state and tribal assistance grants for clean water and pollution control. These items should clearly be run through the regular budget and appropriations process rather than tacked on to an emergency spending bill as a kind of wish list of agency requests.
You’ve just witnessed an act of political propaganda, as delivered to you through the Mainstream Media. The narrative of “heartless Republicans voting against Federal relief and now asking for it themselves” is how it’s being framed. What you can clearly see is that the real truth is fiscally responsible elected officials saw that the relief bill was being politically exploited. It was dog piled with wishlist project funding and unnecessary spending. Those proposing the bill were holding it to their heads, like a pistol, and saying, “Go ahead. Vote this bill down and you will look like a heartless, evil political hack.” But, what Ted Cruz and the others that voted against it actually did, was to kick it back to the drawing board and demanded it be redrafted with a focus on fiscal responsibility. Take your interest projects away from Federal funding and rewrite it. Allocate the funds specifically for the Federal relief and those who require it. This is something that the media will never include in their reporting because they want to use this as a way to destroy political enemies, in place of simply reporting the news. This is a perfect example as to why the Mainstream Media are completely distrusted.
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