Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 2, 2009

NOT A GOOD SIGN.... Paul Krugman noted the other day, "Bobby Jindal makes fun of 'volcano monitoring,' and soon afterwards Mt. Redoubt erupts. Susan Collins makes sure that funds for pandemic protection are stripped from the stimulus bill, and the swine quickly attack. What else did the right oppose recently?"

Well, as it turns out, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) doesn't want to let the Senate vote on President Obama's nominee to head FEMA.

A Louisiana senator is stalling Florida emergency management director Craig Fugate's nomination as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fugate had sailed through his nomination hearing and Monday cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by a unanimous voice vote. Republican Sen. David Vitter said, however, that he'd blocked Fugate because of concerns he has with FEMA.

"I have a hold on the FEMA nomination because I sent a list of hurricane recovery questions and projects to FEMA, many of which have not been adequately addressed," Vitter said in a statement. "I'm eager to get full responses and meet with the nominee immediately."

Fugate, of course, was chosen to lead FEMA in large part because of his impressive work responding to hurricanes in Florida. His nomination has garnered bipartisan support and Fugate was supposed to be easily confirmed.

But Vitter, who is seeking re-election next year despite a prostitution scandal that undermined his "family values" agenda, isn't quite satisfied.

Given the recent history with Jindal and Collins, I guess this means we should be bracing for a natural disaster sometime soon.

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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Republicans are the Party of Petty more than the Party of No.

Posted by: Bob Johnson on May 2, 2009 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

Vitter should go home and change his diaper, let us hope the porn star will get elected she will be better than this idiot.

Posted by: JS on May 2, 2009 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

I understand Vitter's angst entirely. He sent some questions to some people at FEMA. They didn't answer to his liking. Thus, the only possible reaction is to block the nomination of a competent fellow to head the agency.


Posted by: Domage on May 2, 2009 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and did Vitter do anything about FEMA's response to Katrina? I haven't checked, but my assumption is that the record speaks for itself.

Posted by: MattF on May 2, 2009 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

What's his specific beef? Not enough budgeted for emergency diapers?

Posted by: JoeW on May 2, 2009 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Vitter's just another spoiled senator who needs to be Pampered.

Posted by: TR on May 2, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

1) They do want Obama to fail, which is why they block almost all of his nominees.

2) You'd think they could have found someone either without an upcoming election or from a safe state for this one - certainly someone whose state doesn't define Republcian Fema incompetence.

Posted by: Danp on May 2, 2009 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if Vitter can stall this until June, hurricane season will start.

Posted by: shortstop on May 2, 2009 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Ditto Domage. If Vitter is unhappy with the way FEMA is functioning, then blocking a new agency head, one with impressive credentials and unanimous support, is 180 degrees backwards.

Hmm. "180 degrees backwards". Come to think of it, that label fits a great many minds in what is left of the GOP.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 2, 2009 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans are the party of stupid. There is no other way to put it. GOP stands for - Greedy, Obtuse and Petulant...

Posted by: Nick R. on May 2, 2009 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Well we are heading in to the height of tornado season. I guess we can expect a series of Cat 5s all across the Midwest.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 2, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

"Greedy, Obtuse and Petulant..."?

And here I was thinking it was "Gross Old Perverts" (esp w/r/t Vitter).
Learn something new every day.

Posted by: smartalek on May 2, 2009 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

I guess this means we should be bracing for a natural disaster sometime soon.

The swine flu has the potential to be a natural disaster...and FEMA is already providing support for local agencies preparing to deal with a large-scale outbreak.

Interaction between all emergency coordinators at the federal, tribal, state and local levels is very important,” said Brad McDannald, FEMA Regional Continuity manager. “We work to get agencies at different levels to come together during an emergency and accomplish one goal. Partnership is key to ensuring every emergency manager at every level gets mutual support to ensure there is continuity of essential services."
So, yes...Vitter's opposition to Fugate's nomination to head FEMA is a very bad sign, as was the opposition to Kathleen Sebelius' nomination as Health and Human Services secretary.

Of course, right-whingers will continue to argue that Obama (and by extension everyone who doesn't agree with them) is a modern-day version of Typhoid Mary...

But everywhere Obama is spreading Obamaism, there is a deadly disease taking place, either in the TARP community or in the newspaper business. Obama goes to Mexico -- they have an earthquake. Obama goes to Mexico -- get pig flu.
Unbelievable. And this guy feels that he's serious enough to engage the President in debate?

Posted by: grape_crush on May 2, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

"I have a hold on the FEMA nomination because I sent a list of hurricane recovery questions and projects to FEMA, many of which have not been adequately addressed,"

and what fucking party was in charge of fema's inadequate responses during the past hurricane seasons that louisiana is still recovering from. goddamn, i hate these lying, thieving, scumbag sons of bitches.

Posted by: linda on May 2, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Technically, disasters are only linked to projects whose funding Republicans oppose.

This is a particular guy's appointment in question. If it was merely the FEMA director's salary that Vittar opposed, maybe we'd all run for cover.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on May 2, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Given New Orleans' recent history, let us hope instead for personal disaster--a private video, thought to be private, ends up on YouTube, or someone sends Larry Flynt a date book.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on May 2, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

My god what a slimeball.

Posted by: Gandalf on May 2, 2009 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Not to worry -- hurricane season is still two months away. Plenty of time.

Posted by: majun on May 2, 2009 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

I was just thinking about this the other day. The extremist Christian GoOPers are always going on about how some natural tragedy is "God's retribution" for an immoral act. So why aren't they saying the same thing about Mt. Redoubt after Jindal whined about volcano monitoring, and H1N1 after Susan Collins got pandemic preparedness funding stripped from the stimulus package?

Oh yeah, it's because they're stupid lying hypocrites. I keep forgetting. Silly me.

Posted by: PattyP on May 2, 2009 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK
Not to worry -- hurricane season is still two months away. Plenty of time.

I don't know where you live, but here in Florida, it's only one month away. ;-)

Posted by: PattyP on May 2, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

The not-yet-satisfactory FEMA answers were probably stuff like.

"No we won't rebuild your house first. Barbour tried that shit."

"Yes, after you evacuate the colored people, you have to let them come back, too."

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on May 2, 2009 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Bullshit! Republicans have met and assigned members to block every nominee Obama puts forward for no other reason than to just delay Obama's agenda. Note that there has been a delay for every nominee for the most un-serious reasons...just a hold up.

Vitter has no 'real' reason to hold up Fugate's nomination...("I have questions that need answers"???).

We have got to get these pathetic game playing obstructionists rats out of office. Where was Vitter when Bush's unqualified nominee for FEMA was being confirmed. Vitter's dominate trait becomes more apparent now...his 'hypocrisy'.

Posted by: bjobotts on May 2, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't got a clue how Vitter can even show his face in public, let alone pull all of the sh*t he's been doing in the Senate. (no diaper jokes, OK?)

Absolutely no shame whatsoever.

Posted by: Hannah on May 2, 2009 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hushup, Steve! Fuck hurricanes - It's tornado season through the nation's midsection: Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee.

And May is the month that gets the most deaths. jesusfuckingchrist. I'm moving to the basement for the duration.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on May 2, 2009 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Winds just shy of a tornado destroyed the Dallas Cowboys' training camp today, and heavy rains in Tennessee have caused flooding in areas south and southwast of Nashville, including Columbia, Centerville, Hohenwald, and Linden. People in Hickman County had to be rescued with boats.



Rethugs really don't think this shit through, do they?

Posted by: Keori on May 2, 2009 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK



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