FEMA office on Staten Island closed “due to weather”

November 8th, 2012 at 1:22 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   I saw this in the NY Post.  The article says:  “Ten FEMA centers in the area reportedly suspended operations because of weather (Staten Island had 2-3″ of snow), although the location with the sign at the Mount Loretto Community Center did open at noon.”    Now I ask you…does the Red Cross close “because of weather”?  Or the Salvation Army?  Catholic Social Services or Christian Reformed World Relief?

177 Responses to “FEMA office on Staten Island closed “due to weather””

  1. GunLakeDeb says:

    FEMA is clearly a “fair-weather friend”….LOL!!

  2. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

    Closed due to 2-3″ of snow? Seriously??? Pathetic.

    1. Cort S. says:

      Perhaps, but it was heavy, wet snow, Central Park’s earliest 4″ snowfall on record, and Newark’s heaviest single-day November snowfall. And peak wind gusts were 40-50 mph. Certainly the hardest-hit areas were NJ and CT, with a foot of snow in some spots, which exceeded expectations. There appear to be a few hundred thousand new power outages due to this storm. Certainly a sad situation all around. I’ve seen some Gulf Coast residents commenting on the internet, essentially saying, “Wow, we’ve never had to worry about freezing to death after a hurricane before.”

  3. Cort S. says:

    Look, I’m not here to defend FEMA or risk myself to be labeled a bleeding-heart liberal, but a blog post like this is just asking for continued unproductive back-and-forth political animosity among the blog members.

    We need to take several steps back and examine the whole situation and its complexities without jumping to conclusions. What exactly does it mean for FEMA to “close”? Are they closing shelters and kicking everyone out into the street? Or are they just giving their paper pushers a snow day? Perhaps I am showing my ignorance here, but at least I am asking questions and seeking answers without rushing to judge. Wouldn’t the Red Cross also have difficulty serving the victims if their trucks weren’t able to hit the roads because of all the snow? After a major disaster that washes away all infrastructure and isolates communities, can any private organization do all the work needed to quickly rebuild roads and bridges to reach the victims without a little heavy muscle from the Federal government first? Perhaps the state and local governments, whose infrastructure has been destroyed by a disaster, are not the best suited to respond to said disaster either? We live in a complex societal ecosystem. Things are rarely as simple as they seem. Now, of course, FEMA should have its limits and it should strive to do the best job possible, but doesn’t it have at least some purpose, especially in the immediate aftermath?

    To answer your questions, yes, it appears that a wintry nor’easter does impact private relief organizations too. Perhaps they don’t run and hide as much as FEMA may or may not have done, but they can’t stay in the danger zone when nature turns against them either. Again, no defense of FEMA or rush to judgment here.

    http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/171919/nor-easter-brings-snow–surges-to-storm-shocked-city

    “In the Rockaways, members of the Southern Baptist Convention and Red Cross volunteers were forced to stop preparing hot meals for Sandy victims due to the nor’easter.”

    “Members of the Southern Baptist Convention say there were major concerns they could be injured if they continued to cook or their equipment was ruined, while the Red Cross, who delivered the meals, said they could not put their trucks on the roads due to the snow.”

    http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/media/?ID=2efd8fc6bef865e7dc1b821a17cf10b3

    “In some areas, The Salvation Army is planning to curtail certain services on Wednesday until the storm passes in New York and New Jersey. Overall, need is expected to increase throughout the next several days. Survivors of Sandy will need not only food and water, but also warm clothing and shelter to protect them winter conditions.”

    “In New Jersey, The Salvation Army may be forced to suspend mobile feeding kitchens (canteens) until the storm clears. Previously, The Salvation Army lost a mobile feeding kitchen to Sandy, due to flood waters that engulfed the vehicle.”

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Cort – pssst: if you look REAL close at that sign – the words “closed due to weather” are crossed off and “open at 12:00″ are written under it in orange ;-) I think they just let their workers come in a bit later, probably after the roads had been cleared a bit?

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      From the NY Post article: “Ten FEMA centers in the area reportedly suspended operations because of the storm, although the location with the sign at the Mount Loretto Community Center did open at noon.”

      1. Cort S. says:

        Yes, I did already read that in your blog post. But then I asked, what exactly does that mean? Did they kick people out on the street? That would be horrible, no doubt. Or did they just stop handing out blankets, food, and water during the storm for the victims who would have walked to those centers? Okay, that’s still bad, but then again, so did the Red Cross and Salvation Army some areas. Sometimes, no relief organization can help but curtail operations when the weather turns against them. Granted, you are asserting that FEMA shut down unnecessarily, for a measly 2-3″ of (wet) snow (and 40-45 mph gusts). That’s certainly possible, knowing the government, I would agree! But my beef comes with people on either side of the aisle who take a complex problem that has some shades of gray, and turn it into a black-and-white issue. (“FEMA always bad! Red Cross always good!” “Vice versa!” “Rabble rabble rabble!”)

        1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Hmm, I like your last few sentences, Cort. I know I tend to be “black or white” about issues and don’t consider the gray. That is something I have been challenged on this year. Thanks for posting!

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          Keep in mind, Bill’s motive is to smear a government program. He’s in the Mitt Romney camp where it was proposed that FEMA would be better privatized. This is nothing more than rhetoric. Republicans would privatize everything from police to schools if we let them. They’ve already privatized half the fighting forces we use oversees.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          BigDaddy’s motive is to destroy the private sector and have the government run everything. Collectivism has failed wherever it has been tried on a national scale (it can work with a smaller, uniform group like the Amish community). Look at the old USSR, North Korea, Cuba…it doesn’t work, despite what Michael Moore would have you believe. Collectivism creates a large poor underclass. The rich are in government instead of business, but there is still a rich class. In Russia, the government leaders had their limousines and their dachas.

        4. Brad says:

          More extreme rhetoric from Bill Steffen, McCarthyite. Yet, never a word about the inefficiencies or corruption of the private sector. Unfair and unbalanced.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          More shallow name-calling. People have a choice whether to tolerate inefficiencies and corruption in the private sector. They can refuse to do business with that company. They can decline to work for that company. Corrupt businessmen often end up in prison. Ask Bernie Madoff or Jeff Skilling.

        6. Irish coffee says:

          Right you are Bill…big ugly corporations are NOT responsible for mandating,legislating or sanctioning behavior- that’s Big Bros’(governments’) role vs. say Koch Bros.Now Brad will probably respond by positing how corporate wealth “buys” influence,etc, but the buck still stops @ gov’t doors. For instance, Exxon/Mobil doesn’t force anyone to do business w/ them just as GM doesn’t require consumers to buy their product as it’s about FREE market economics….where FORCE comes into the picture is when gov’t decides to mandate beverage size limits, healthcare options, restrictions on land use, taxes + regulations on nearly everything from Alpha Bits to zinc!

        7. Brad says:

          Ah, Bill is wrong, as predicted. Are you saying I can “choose” whether Goldman Sachs or Enron influences the economy? I can “choose” whether to shop at the only grocery store in my town? Lame, Mr. Schteffen. Lame.

        8. big Daddy BC says:

          I like the free-enterprise system just fine, but some jobs are best done by government. I’m sure you’ll be collecting Social Security and Medicare some day. I like the fact that cops don’t work for Walmart and firemen don’t drive around in Pepsi trucks. I wouldn’t charge money for people to enter a library and I wouldn’t deny anyone from entering a public school based on a disability or income.
          As far as your comment about income leveling goes. That’s just what this administration did as soon as it took office. They took 10% of wages and benefits from the public sector and gave it away as tax breaks to the private sector. You guys are total hypocrites. Here’s what’s happened to that divide between the rich and poor:
          http://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2009/8/19/saupload_rich_us.png

        9. Bill Steffen says:

          You’re jealous of success. For the sake of equality you’d prefer to have everyone poor rather than 90% rich and 10% poor. I don’t care what “the rich” make. Most of them earned their money fair and square. Look at Greg Jennings, Derek Jeter and Floyd Mayweather. They’ve worked hard to be the best at their profession. It’s not right to confiscate increasing amounts of their very hard-earned money and then squander the money on worthless boondoggles like Solyndra and LG Chem (and dozens of others). If I could have kept the money that I have already paid into Social Security and Medicare and invested it, I’d have more money than the government is going to pay be in my retirement (if I ever get there).

          Instead of worrying about how much money Floyd Mayweather gets to keep, you ought to be worried about how much money the middle class is losing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/household-income-is-below-recession-levels-report-says/2012/08/23/aa497460-ec80-11e1-a80b-9f898562d010_story.html

    3. bluewind says:

      Cort,you should have just responded with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BOG4p1-H2Q

      1. Cort S. says:

        Trololo!!! R.I.P., Eduard Khil !

  4. fixxxer says:

    2-3″ or feet? If inches thats pathetic.

  5. Jaye says:

    This is unconscionable! And every bit as unconscionable are the editors at the NY Times for deciding that this news is not “fit to print.”

    And to “Cort S” above? When people in public housing have endured 10 days in winter temperatures replete with freezing winds, rain, sleet, snow, zero heat, fresh water, and plumbing, they don’t have the time or energy to waste ruminating as you do above.

    They’re freezing, hungry, in desperate need of some basic food, clothing, and shelter, and FEMA has the temerity to close due to inclement weather?

    UNCONSCIONABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Cort S. says:

      I figured my pragmatism would not be well accepted here. I’m not sure if you read what I wrote, but I did imply that FEMA is not the ultimate solution and it should strive not to fail the people who are suffering. Private and non-profit organizations can do a lot of things better than the government can, but private and non-profit organizations cannot do everything on their own either.

      Mind you, I did donate a portion of my money to the Red Cross in the wake of Sandy, as well as post a number of comments on this blog shedding light on the whole Sandy situation, even as the national media seemed to be focusing more on the national election. Did you also see how the Red Cross and Salvation Army had to curtail some of their operations during the winter storm also? Unconscionable, I say!!!!! No, just kidding, they are not immune to adverse weather either. They can’t help it, and sometimes, neither can FEMA (although whether or not they could is what this debate is all about). Point is, my ruminating does no more help or harm the people who are suffering than your emotional tirade does. Since we are both geographically removed from the disaster, after we donate our money or actually go there to help, we have nothing else we can do but take some steps back and examine the failings of our system with a logical eye (or an emotional eye, if that’s your style), and find ways to improve it.

      1. bluewind says:

        “we have nothing else we can do but take some steps back and examine the failings of our system with a logical eye (or an emotional eye, if that’s your style), and find ways to improve it.”

        Crazy talk! Obliviously we needed magic Mitt to have won and have fixed everything in one year.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Maybe now it won’t be so hard to get drunk teachers out the classroom: http://protectingmichigantaxpayers.com/truth

        2. joanne says:

          While we are privatizing disaster relief and our schools, maybe we should privatize the coast guard too. Maybe boarder patrol.
          Bill, your extremest party, and I don’t mean Republicans who are fewer and farther between, have been handed a crushing blow. Deal with it and stop with your political banter. Your regulars have all seen through it as you are reading over and over. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO BACK TO WEATHER. Enough already.
          Why should the Koch brothers get rich off of disasters? They have enough money. Go back to weather. Go back to weather.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          Disaster relief has been largely from the private sector because they do disaster relief well. I support the military. It’s a part of the Federal government that worked well during Katrina and other disasters. Remember how fast General Honare got people out of the Silverdome and Civic Center. But there are those that would just as soon do away with the private sector and throw everything to the Federal government. That would be a tragic mistake.

          Prove that the Koch brothers “get rich of of disasters”.

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          As you’ve said repeatedly, PROP 2 failing changed nothing. Please explain why it’s easier to get drunk teachers out of the classroom now OR, if you please, how PROP 2 passing would have made it more difficult.

          Inflammatory rhetoric. Nothing more.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          http://protectingmichigantaxpayers.com/laws-that-proposal-2-changes

          http://protectingmichigantaxpayers.com/truth

          Since that Bay City contract has now been given more widespread publicity, I doubt the MEA will be able to get that language into the contract next time, much less trying to get that language into other teacher contracts.

    2. Mark(Okemos) says:

      Even snowplows stop running when the snow is coming down hard. Doesn’t do any good.

    3. big Daddy BC says:

      Keep back peddling Cort lest you be labeled a socialist liberal who supports big government!! LOL Perhaps we should sell FEMA to the Koch Bros.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        From M-Live: “Protecting Working Families raised more than $21.5 million – led by $3.3 million from the United Auto Workers, $1.2 million from the Michigan Education Association and $1 million from the National Education Association. The USO Crisis Fund, a nonprofit labor organization based in East Lansing, also gave $1 million.

        Proposal 2 final numbers:

        Yes: 1,337,453 41.7% No: 1,867,583 58.3%

        1. Kris says:

          Bill~I have always been a supporter of you and all of the things you have done on this blog, even when I disagree. I am so offended, as a teacher, that you are buying into the notion that teachers are showing up for work drunk. While it does talk about that in a contract highlighted by the ads against Prop 2, can you give me real, factual numbers that show how many teachers actually show up for work drunk? Can you give me that link as you do other things on this blog?

          I have been a faithful viewer for 30 years but this rhetoric and bashing of me personally (and yes, it is very personal) causes me to rethink my options. It makes me sad to think that someone so educated continues to attack the very people who provided that education.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          As a teacher, aren’t you embarrassed to see the Bay City Teachers Contract? http://protectingmichigantaxpayers.com/truth Why did the union insist on that language?? The union wanted that language! Proposal 2 would invalidate criminal background checks for teachers. Every single newspaper in the state was against this power grab. Why don’t teachers like you tell your union that kind of language is unacceptable!

        3. Kris says:

          I don’t work for Bay City. I am looking up the information in our contract and will let you know what it says. I am curious – what does the contract at Wood TV 8 say about coming to work drunk? And yes, I know you don’t work with kids but you have a direct impact on a huge number of the general population and therefore should be above reproach. At least, according to these arguments.

          Do you have actual numbers that state how many teachers were found to have come to work drunk and have been disciplined?

          I just don’t understand why the majority of us are being vilified for what a very, very small number do. It is both frustrating and disheartening.

          But hey, look at it this way – when good teachers start leaving this state because we can no longer afford to live here because our pay has been reduced to minimum wage (despite having a master’s degree and being 15 hours short of a doctorate), you will get what you voted for. I just hope it’s worth it.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          I have never in my 38 years seen someone come to work drunk. We all have a general morals clause. Why even propose writing language like that into a contract (Bay City). No, I don’t have figures on drunk teachers, but we have done several stories lately on high profile cases: http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/sw_mich/super-drunk-teacher-mom-found-guilty and http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/kalamazoo_and_battle_creek/john-thompson-parchment-ad-trial-100912

          What teacher’s pay is being reduced to the minimum wage?

          This website: http://www.teacherportal.com/salary/Michigan-teacher-salary says “New teachers make an average starting salary of $47,440 and an average overall salary of $63,940.” They cite the NEA as a source. The benefit package is superior to the average of the private sector.

        5. Brad says:

          Because the private sector’s benefits package is pathetic?

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          Most small businesses can’t afford to offer relatively large defined pensions, relatively young retirement and health care forever.

          Why are there so many waivers for Obamacare? The politically connected don’t want any part of this beast.

        7. big Daddy BC says:

          Kris, Bill’s not just buying into these notions. He’s selling them publicly. …Has been for years. He sneaks teacher-bashing in among the comments in his blog. You must understand that for him it’s an ideological issue. He and his ilk would prefer to de-professionalize education. That’s why Snyder ended the mandate that teachers continue their education after they receive their certificates. Masters level teachers are expensive.

          The corporate right-wing, of which Bill is a card carrying member, would like to see that $7000 per pupil going into the hands of corporate shareholders rather than being spent on things like athletics, clubs, and highly qualified educators. Think about why the deck is stacked against public education. With every new charter and cyber school, an increasing portion of that money goes to the GOP backed CEOs that own them. Charters don’t have pesky unions, athletic programs, or even the same state-mandated standards.

          Bill will take every opportunity to smear your profession because it makes money. It isn’t about kids or what’s right. For people like Bill, it’s about grabbing cash and nothing more. Invite him and the weather team to your school soon!

  6. Brad says:

    Ah, the outrage industry continues to churn.

    1. Paul says:

      Just like Katrina, right Brad?

  7. Boomer says:

    That darn George Bush! It’s all his fault ya know. Where is the outrage from left????

    1. big Daddy BC says:

      I’m outraged about Bush too!! But as far as FEMA goes, they’re doing a great job. Who’s complaining, besides Mitten and Bill?

    2. bluewind says:

      Outrage is still here. We are still cleaning up his eight year mess.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Let’s see…unemployment higher than 4 years ago (African American unemployment significantly higher than 4 years ago)…no plan to reduce unemployment…price of gasoline has doubled…we had an 800 BILLION dollar stimulus that didn’t work, and you laughed about it not working: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p4-vPrcDBo And you lied about a video that no one can find causing a riot.

        Final results on Proposal 2 in Ottawa County:

        Yes 31,250 No 100,743 That’s 76.3% to 23.7%

        1. Cort S. says:

          *Flag on the play*

          Concerning: Use of gas prices as a metric for presidential performance, no matter whose team you’re on.

          Can we get Patrick DeHaan here to weigh in on how gas prices work?

        2. bluewind says:

          Unemployment will never get as low as some people want it again. Under anyone. It will not happen. Why do some people think it can happen in this day and age?

        3. Brad says:

          Ronald Reagan? LOL!

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          Under GWB it went from 4.6 to 9.3%. Reagan and Tip O’Neil did a great job, getting down to 5.3%, but Clinton did a better one. Under Clinton/Gore, unemployment dropped to 4%. If the GOP gets out of the way, we might see numbers that low again.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Here’s where you can look up unemployment numbers: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet Unemployment peaked at 10.8% in 1982 and dropped by half to 5.4% on the day Reagan left office in 1989. It would be nice if we could go back to the Clinton years (without the lies and cheating on his wife). Clinton did welfare reform, which Obama is undoing.

          Again, there is nothing that we are doing now that will significantly reduce unemployment. Everything from tax increases to over-regulation (you can’t have a groundhog in an orchard??) to the fact that we can see what the same policy of massive debt has done to countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland…all of that suggests high unemployment will continue.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          The unemployment rate when UP a tenth of a percent last month. (that number doesn’t count those not currently looking for work, and the latest report shows roughly 6.5 million people are in that category despite still wanting a job.

          The number of unemployed grew by 170,000, to 12.3 million.

  8. Jimbo says:

    Still towing the Romney line Bill? He lost Tuesday night and the election is over but it’s no surprise you are still fighting the good fight. What is the purpose of this story, other than to please your flock of those without lives?

    Give it a rest Bill, talk about the weather. No one cares about your politcal leanings. You want to talk politics all the time? Become a politician.

    1. Paul says:

      Jimbo needs a good rest.

    2. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

      Take a hike Jimbo.

    3. Paul says:

      When Jimbo took that hike he was “towing” a line, but he stubbed his toe.

    4. big Daddy BC says:

      Way to say it like it is, Jimbo, but be careful. This crowd will eat you for dinner. Just kidding. Paul’s witless and Ned wears a football helmet. Most of these guys are trailer park republicans.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Nothing but name-calling. That’s all you’ve got left.

        1. joanne says:

          That’s all you got left? LOL the people just handed you your pickled anus. NOBODY cares that you are an extremist hate monger. Go back to the weather please.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          Again, nothing but name-calling. Unemployment is stuck at 8%…it’s going to go up. Regardless of what happens with the “fiscal cliff”, current policy ensures that employers will be less apt to hire and less apt to hire full-time workers. http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/nov/8/picket-companies-plan-massive-layoffs-obamacare-be/

        3. big Daddy BC says:

          Hey, Bill. Pickled anus aside, you’ve called me everything from a NAZI to a telemarketer. Hypocrite much. LOL What I have left is a president that won’t side with billionaires and corporations over working people. A few threads back you wanted to know how much money the special interests spent oppose PROP 2 and working families. That number’s now out.

          “The proposal was beaten by corporate opponents that spent $32 million…”
          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-07/michigan-voters-reject-collective-bargaining-protection.html

          Your team spent $32 million dollars fighting against a proposal that did nothing more than guarantee working people would have a say. Wow. Imagine why they’d spend that kid of dough. They wouldn’t if it wasn’t worth a hell of a lot more.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          You side with corporations when it suits your purpose: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-electric-paid-federal-taxes-2010/story?id=13224558#.UJ2gPGcV-So and http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-09-18/news/ct-met-kass-0918-20110918_1_solyndra-loan-guarantee-obama-fundraisers-obama-white-house

          Working people have a say…they just had a say on Tuesday, and over 58% of them said no to a big special interest group. Now that Proposal 2 is dead, nothing changes. There is still collective bargaining.

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          Nothing changed, true. The middle class already lost as this legislature passed more than a 100 anti-labor bills over the last two years. You’re right. Those are still laws and those are still hurting the middle class. We do still have a right to bargain, but for how long.

          Your rich friends spent almost $40 billion on ads meant to confuse the public. It worked. You and your country club friends won. We lost. Michigan’s middle class lost.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          It’s not 100 “anti-labor” bills…it’s really a thousand bills, NO TEN THOUSAND!!!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!! LOL!

          Here’s the link that YOU, BigDaddy provided us to check out the groups supporting Proposal 2 and the money they spent: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Michigan_%22Protect_Our_Jobs%22_Amendment,_Proposal_2_%282012%29

  9. Paul says:

    Thanks for the good mention Bill. CRWRC is now named with a shorter and less descriptive handle: World Renew.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Thanks, Paul – we mentioned that on the news tonight. We appreciate what they do.

  10. INDY says:

    Jimbo lolololololololololololoo wow BIG blogger u are! Dumbo has a way to go to be Bill’s best!!! Keep up the smarts Bill U thee man….INDYY….

  11. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    What a joke.

  12. Scott (west olive) says:

    Btw i have seen CSS closed before. Used to plow the parking lot. Lol mostly office personel, prob like that Fema office. You would think Sandy victims would have found shelter by now in some sort of venue.

  13. Brad says:

    Bill’s a misanthrope looking to score political points.

    1. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

      Misanthrope? Say, that’s a pretty big word for a ten year old.

      1. big Daddy BC says:

        Bill’s a tad narcissistic as well, but Ned you’re just a sycophant. ;|

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Final vote totals for Proposal 2 in Kent County: No: 191431 Yes: 91926
          That’s 67.6% voting NO and 32.4% voting YES. That’s more than a 2 to 1 margin.

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          So in ultra conservative Kent County alone, almost a hundred thousand people wanted the amendment? Holy smokes!!!! That’s a lot of people. I hope the governor realizes what that number of people could do when he’s trying to get re-elected.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          Proposal 2 will be long forgotten by the next election. It was a landslide defeat. Proposal 2 was defeated in 81 of Michigan’s 83 counties! In fact, 64 counties — more than three quarters of all Michigan counties — rejected Prop 2 by more than 60 percent. Ottawa County voted overwhelmingly against the proposal, with more than 75 percent of voters rejecting it. That’s about as close as the Lions came to the Super Bowl in 2008!

        4. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

          Don’t you mean psychopath :-)

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          I’m not denying it was defeated, what I’m saying is that 100,000 people in Kent County alone voted for it, then we’re looking a SIGNIFICANT number of citizens state wide that believe we should have constitutional protection for labor. That 40% of the electorate could make or break Snyder’s run at the governorship in the next cycle.

          And I disagree that it will be forgotten, especially if this legislature continues to attack labor.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          Republicans still have solid control of both the Michigan House (59-51) and Senate (26-12). Republicans gained in a number of state houses. There are now 26 states where Republicans control both state chambers. Indiana passed Right to Work in 2010. Unions said they’d vote the lot of them out here in 2012. What happened with this election? Republicans handily won an open Governor’s race and picked up a whopping 10 seats in the Indiana House.

        7. big Daddy BC says:

          Michigan is NOT Indiana. Not even close. BTW, we picked up 5 seats in the house, so GOP control is now significantly limited. We also picked up a labor-friendly judge. Don’t forget that we, as a state, rejected Mitt Romney and his ideas. It wasn’t even close! Millionaires spent almost $40 million dollars confusing the public about Prop 2. It worked. Labor couldn’t compete with that much money. And yes, you and WOOD tv were the real winners as the middle class lost. Congrats.

          Keep bragging. In two years, I’ve never seen so many people go after you on this blog.

        8. Bill Steffen says:

          The GOP majority in the Michigan House is 59-51. Nothing will change. The Michigan Senate is still 26-12 Republican. I’ll admit that WOOD-TV was a winner with Proposal 2 in a way…we got a lot of money in ads (from both sides). For a comparison of what groups supported and funded Proposal 2 ads, check out this link that BigDaddy provided to all of us: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Michigan_%22Protect_Our_Jobs%22_Amendment,_Proposal_2_%282012%29

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      And it’s hypocritical to criticize FEMA under Bush and give them a free pass under Obama (NOTE: FEMA is NOT a first response agency, and has been unfairly criticized both during the early days of Katrina and the early days after Sandy for not showing up the next day with sandwiches and milk. That’s not what FEMA does). That said, the government could have listened to forecasters like Joe Bastardi – who plotted the path of this storm five days in advance very close to actual landfall. They could have prepositioned fuel, generators and supplies to use after the storm let up. I’d put Rudy Giuliani in charge of FEMA. They could also take a lesson on government response to disasters from Governor William Janklow’s action after the Spencer, South Dakota tornado of May 1998.

      1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

        Great point about the free pass under Obama, Bill.

        I think it is hard for people to believe any forecast Joe Bastardi puts out. While it is fun to hear or read his forecasts, he often over-sensationalizes his forecasts with “doomsday, apocalyptic” type forecasting that has earned him somewhat of a reputation of being a joke. I read his forecasts purely for entertainment and would find it difficult using them on a professional basis.

        A suggestion for you Bill…although I don’t mind talking politics, I fear you may lose some of your blog audience because of the overwhelming thread posts about politics, involving the usual antagonists. Perhaps you could make a thread that is purely about politics so that weather-enthusiasts can enjoy discussing weather with other and you. I admire your passion for politics and debating for the conservative side, but there is a time and place…and I am sure that I am speaking for others, as well as myself, I miss talking about the weather! There is so much junk to sift through on here right now.

        Obviously, it is your blog, and you may do as you wish. Just asking for you to consider it. :)

        1. big Daddy BC says:

          Kind of funny that you put this post up on a non-weather related thread.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          If you’ve followed the threads, you know the “antagonists” wouldn’t stick to a political thread. I’d be glad to do that if it would work. If you go back through threads in the last month, there are numerous threads that have nothing to do with politics and they just appear like an unwelcome telemarketer to interrupt the comment flow. I would much rather engage them through private emails, but they register under phony names/addresses and are not interested in private communication. If I were to try and kick them off (I do like free speech), they can just come back under another phony name/address. I fought back against the communists when I was at the Univ. of Wisconsin (pretty easy – I remember Gus Hall saying that “Communism fostered the development of technology” – I asked him to describe the technology coming out of Cuba – of course, he didn’t have much of an answer – look at all the good Cuban-Americans we have today that Castro pretty much pushed out of the country). I’m also ticked at the whole “Forecast the Facts” campaign: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/16/facts-about-the-forecast-the-facts-campaign-theyre-just-another-mouthpiece-of-the-center-for-american-progress/ They have sent phony emails complaining to TV station managers about meteorologists who don’t blame every storm on “global warming”.

        3. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Hey, Big D, perhaps you should read the title to the thread. It is certain posters “ahem” who change the content of a thread. Bill definitely put a political emphasis on it, but it is a weather-related thread. If you promised to keep your junk here, I wouldn’t have had to post it. So, I will continue sifting… :)

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          I disagree. It wasn’t about weather. It was about FEMA. It was a jab at FEMA. Don’t forget that Bill Steffen thinks FEMA should be sold to the private sector along with public schools, the army, and libraries.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          I do NOT think that FEMA (or anything else you listed) should be sold to the private sector. I disagree with those who want to transfer private charity to government agencies. You would destroy charter and private schools. I want great public, private and charter schools. I also want accountability.

          Also – big time cold and snow across western Canada: “Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park announced it will open Friday, its earliest ever season start.”

        6. big Daddy BC says:

          Who’s “I”? Is this Bill or an intern posting. Or are you now Bob Dole speaking in third person?

        7. Brad says:

          Narcissists tend to speak and write in third person.

        8. big Daddy BC says:

          Agreed. LOL

      2. GunLakeDeb says:

        It seems that *some* folks (not FEMA) were holding generators in reserve, to offer WARMING TENTS for the NY Marathon participants. Until the media got wind of it and they canceled the race at the last possible minute – I heard someone say each generator could power a LOT of homes…..

        Ironically, they showed video of people in shelters walking around wrapped in orange blankets – the ones that were going to be handed out for the racers. I can’t imagine the outcry, had the race been allowed to continue….LOL!!

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Laura said there were huge supplies there in the park for the marathon that were sitting there for days, just a few miles from where they were desperately needed.

  14. LightningWatcher says:

    From what I have seen down here, FEMA has been pretty quick in processing claims. Quicker then the Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee response in 2011, and from what I’ve heard from the veterans so to put it, a hell of a lot quicker then Katrina. The state of New Jersey on the other hand, I think is being a little over ambitious. Tent Cities coming into winter doesn’t sound like a great idea to me.

    1. bluewind says:

      Oh man, My Uncle* was great to visit today. Hes one of the crazies that thinks PRESIDENT Obama is a Muslim. Of course I don’t see what would be wrong if he was,then again I’m not racist.

      *My Father’s side of the family are all Forest Hills Central grads,and boy..it shows. Massive bubble over this area of the state.

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      My daughter was one of the folks handing out FEMA checks to the folks affected by Katrina – they pretty much handed a $2000 check to everyone who showed up in line – and remarkably, every single person had “4 children” (the max FEMA would cover). I can’t imagine any faster way to help people other than dropping hundred-dollar bills from helicopters…..

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        And it was your money, tax money…and they traced the money to casinos and porn theaters. When I was a church deacon, with very few exceptions, we didn’t give money. If someone needed food, we made sure they went to a food pantry or someone went with them to the store to make sure they didn’t just buy booze, drugs, or lotto tickets. We spent the time to help take steps to make them self-sufficient. We took care of current need and provided hope for the future.

        1. big Daddy BC says:

          Porn theaters? BS!!!!!! Yeah I’m sure all the people in line were collecting checks and running off to the dirty theaters to spend that extra cash. Give me a break!

          Inflammatory nonsense, Deacon. Great idea, let’s demean anyone that needs help by walking them to the store so that we can approve of their purchases. Great argument for why government help is much preferred to the condescending judgements of Deacons like yourself.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          From MSNBC: “Two audits found that up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received aid under FEMA’s emergency cash assistance program — which included the $2,000 debit cards given to evacuees — were based on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers, or false addresses and names. The GAO audit was first reported by NBC News last Friday.

          From the Seattle Times: “In other instances, recipients improperly used their debit cards intended for food and shelter for $400 massages, a $450 tattoo, a $1,100 diamond engagement ring and $150 worth of products at “Condoms to Go.”

          Two women who had made purchases with the card each bought a signature monogrammed Louis Vuitton handbag in the $800 range.

          “Houston police yesterday discovered the cards, provided by FEMA and the Red Cross, being used at local strip clubs. According to a report by KPRC, Channel 2, in Houston, a manager at Caligula XXI Gentlemen’s Club said he has seen at least one debit card used at his club. A bartender at Baby Dolls, identified only as “Abby,” said she has seen many of the cards used at her establishment.”

        3. big Daddy BC says:

          So the investigative reporters found $4000 in questionable spending including some expensive bags and a gaggle of condoms. Hmm. Imagine that, fraud. I’m sure if the Church and Deacon Steffen were in charge, things would be very different. You could have walked those women right past the purse store to the corner store and loaded their carts with church appropriate groceries and such. And condoms? …Not with catholic money!!

          It’s terrible that people scam, but you use the police to catch the crooks, not deny the victims.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          No one denied victims…it was just more fraud and what I posted was not the entire list.

          Let’s see…Recall Snyder – BIG FAIL – didn’t get off the ground.
          …Proposal 2 – BIGGER FAIL – landslide loss and millions down the tubes (well, not really, the media says “thank you”).

          Time for something new…how about forcing home health care workers to join a union and sucking hundreds of dollars away from their health care…naw, tried that. Hey!! Your union can build a bridge to Canada! We can have a choice…the Maroun Bridge or the union bridge. Why not?

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          How funny is it that you just changed the subject, Deacon. LOL You look like an overbearing, holier than thou, busy body who wants to control everyone and everything with your charitable giving. Of course take aid out of the hands of government.

          Government doesn’t force its spiritual beliefs on the people it helps like you admit to doing.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          The government is forcing everything from the light bulb you use to the size of the soda you can drink in NYC. Government rewards the politically connected: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2010-10-07-healthlaw07_ST_N.htm

          Here’s the latest polling data on abortion: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx
          Would you be in favor of forcing Catholic hospitals to do abortions?

          If you’re so against the government “forcing spiritual beliefs” then you have to be in favor of the Death Penalty. The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill”. So by not having a Death Penalty, you are forcing a spiritual belief.

      1. bluewind says:

        And yet people trusted him over Romney. Care to explain that?

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Care to explain this:

          Final statewide totals on Proposal 2:

          Yes: 1,337,453 No: 1,867,583 That’s 58.3% vs 41.7%

      2. bluewind says:

        Why do you keep linking prop 2,Bill? Do you think all Dems are for it?

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          No, a LOT of democrats voted against the union bosses and that’s why Prop. 2 was a landslide defeat.

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          The opposition spent $32 million dollars lying to us about that proposal. They confused the public into rejecting every single prop on the ballot. Wake up and smell the corporate crap.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          You should have bought banner ads on Bill’s Blog. Big mistake on your part. You couldn’t convince one daily paper in the state to support Prop. 2. It was opposed by even a significant part of the education community including:

          Michigan Association of School Boards, representing 600 boards of education across Michigan, nearly every public school district in the state;

          Michigan School Business Officials;

          Michigan Association of School Administrators, representing public school superintendents in 584 school districts and 57 intermediate school districts;

          Michigan Association of School Boards, representing 600 boards of education across Michigan, nearly every public school district in the state;

          Also the Michigan Sheriffs Association, representing Sheriffs and law enforcement officers across Michigan; and

          Small Business Association of Michigan, which represents small businesses across the state from accountants to appliance stores, restaurants to retailers.

          Contribution list From M-Live: $3.3 million from the United Auto Workers, $1.2 million from the Michigan Education Association and $1 million from the National Education Association. The USO Crisis Fund, a nonprofit labor organization based in East Lansing, also gave $1 million.

          The Grand Rapids Public School teachers gave $250,000.

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          That’s a great list of middle class organizations digging deep into their wallets to support a measure that might have been our last chance at saving labor in Michigan. A better observation is the fact that CEOs and millionaire organizations like the Mackinac Center spent $32 million to fight against the middle class.

          Ask yourself what they stand to gain by denying us that protection. FOLLOW THE MONEY!

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          The last chance at saving labor??? LOL What nonsense!! Nothing changes now that Proposal 2 is on the ash heap of history! It lost in 81 of 83 counties! It lost by more than 2 to 1 here in Kent County and more than 4 to 1 in Ottawa County!

        6. big Daddy BC says:

          And Romney lost every swing state except N. Carolina, but that doesn’t mean the people who voted for him are now a moot point. Use your brain, Bill. When and if labor falls back into the cross hairs of this legislature, there will be an election day reckoning.

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          And the Boogie Man is in the closet!!!! The legislature in Michigan is doing no such thing. Look at Wisconsin, which went significantly for Obama and elected the uber-leftist Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate…the Republicans GAINED 3 seats in the Wisconsin Senate, giving them a solid majority. Scott Walker is still there. The legislature is still solidly Republican. The middle class is not anti-union, but when unions overreach (like forcing health care workers to join the SEIU without their knowledge, much less their vote) they will correct the imbalance.

  15. bluewind says:

    “Now I ask you…does the Red Cross close “because of weather”? Or the Salvation Army? Catholic Social Services or Christian Reformed World Relief?”

    Subtle,Bill.

  16. bluewind says:

    We need some republican math to fix FEMA! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1lJ3tfQFpc

        1. bluewind says:

          Bill,that is the problem with your party. You keep looking at the past.

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          Except they like to skip right over the GW Bush years. Those are embarrassing and evidence for what would go terribly wrong if the GOP were ever in charge again. But that hope is fading with the change in demographics. Angry white men may never win again.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          You can blame Bush forever, but the average unemployment for the 8 Bush years was FAR lower than the average of the last 4 years. You should be looking at what Reagan did, because it worked: http://www.angrybearblog.com/uploaded_images/a1-773149.JPG Reagan won a 49-state landslide in 1984 and left office with a 63% approval rating.

          You have no plan. It’s just hate for Bush and hate for “rich people” (btw, I don’t make over 200K). Venting your jealous rage on “rich people” doesn’t get poor people or middle class people a job.

          You want an 80 billion tax hike. There is NO assurance that the money would be used to reduce the deficit…NONE. It just gets thrown into the general fund. We just had an 800 BILLION dollar stimulus, ten times the amount of the proposed tax hike. Where did all that money go? Where are the new schools? the new roads? did we cure a disease?

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          We didn’t cure a disease, but we did avert a depression. That money and the bailout of the auto industry literally saved our state. And listen, I don’t care if you make just shy of $200K. Congrats. But what I do care about is that the hard working people of this state are providing tax breaks for you and your country club friends. We don’t hate the rich, but we certainly don’t want to provide welfare to you.

          Bush IS the reason we’re still digging out. He tanked the entire country and so what do you repubs do? You try to run another rich white guy. LOL I guess that strategy didn’t work. This country may not be thrilled with the state of the economy, but it’s obviously not dumb enough to jump back on the Bush/Romney train to economic collapse.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Where did the money go? 800 BILLION dollars and the unemployment rate is higher than it was 4 years ago. Where did the money go? Who got it? 800 BILLION. Economic growth right now is barely over 1% and companies are laying off people now because of the looping tax increases of Obamacare: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/nov/8/picket-companies-plan-massive-layoffs-obamacare-be/ The stock market tanked over 400 points…business is going to contract, that will mean layoffs and moving to part-time workers rather than full time. Things are not going to get better.

        6. big Daddy BC says:

          That list was put together by Freedom Works who’s tagline is LOWER TAXES, LESS GOVERNMENT, MORE FREEDOM. I don’t think we’ll trust their opinion on universal healthcare. Besides, I saw Stryker on the list. I have several friends who work for Stryker. They subcontract for tons of their work so they don’t have to pay benefits. The middle class gets screwed again. This is WHY Obamacare is so necessary. You can’t have it both ways, Bill. If the employer doesn’t provide benefits, someone must. If we continue the trend of subcontracting services, we’ll need more government help, not less. It’s called logic.

          As far as that $800 billion goes, where do you think it went? It’s not sitting in Al Gore’s personal account. It was put back into the economy so it’s in the accounts of millions of Americans and small businesses.

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          So, I assume you’re against the waivers for Obamacare for the politically connected: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2010-10-07-healthlaw07_ST_N.htm That includes unions with “Cadillac health plans”. Can we force the MEA and UAW into Obamacare?

          There are no provisions in Obamacare for additional doctors and nurses. Here’s a survey of doctors on the Affordable Health Act: http://jacksonhealthcare.com/media-room/surveys/physician-attitudes-on-the-affordable-care-act-2012.aspx and http://www.jacksoncoker.com/physician-career-resources/newsletters/monthlymain/des/PresidentialPoll.aspx

          The survey said: “When asked how they felt about the Affordable Care Act, 55 percent said “repeal and replace” the new law while 40 percent said “implement and improve” the ACA.” That leaves only a sliver of a minority of doctors who like the bill as written.

  17. joanne says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVwXA7sHUlE

    I know Bill hates Rachael, but listen to the logic that she is making. She is really pointing out the lies and fear that people like Bill push for extremist to funnel money to the super rich. Just watch this. IT’s so true

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Bill O’Reilly gets 2-3 times as many viewers as Rachael. She speaks to the fringe of class-haters. When you get beyond them, people watch Stewart and Colbert.

      Interesting election facts:

      Romney did the best among the 18-29 age-group of black voters (8%). In other words, older blacks voted about 4% more for Obama. Hey, it’s better than the other way around. In 4 years from now, when black youth unemployment is sky high, this number will be higher.

      53 percent of those surveyed in the early exit polls said the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. That’s a gain of 10 points from 2008. Clearly, the Tea Party message is resonating.

      Romney won 32% of the Jewish vote. That is the highest share since ’88.

      Among those who said that unemployment was their most important issue (the largest share of the electorate), Obama won 55-44. Since unemployment will not improve, given current policy (we spent 800 BILLION dollars in the stimulus and unemployment went UP and we have nothing to show for it). Even Keynesian economic theory says you should not have a massive tax increase in a weak economy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdXrfIMdiU

      The spending is unsustainable. It cannot be fixed with a 4% tax on “the rich”. Obama said that will generate 80 billion dollars. I think that’s high…whenever you raise a tax level, some people adjust so as not to pay it. When you add $1 tax to a pack of cigarettes…some people will quit…others break the law and smuggle cigarettes (from Indiana or the nearest Native American reservation) The annual deficit is 1.7 TRILLION dollars. 80 Billion vs. 1.7 Trillion. That’s less than 1/20th of the deficit. This is the ultimate greed. Stealing the money from our children and grandchildren to waste on Solyndra and LG Chem and dozens of other wasteful projects. What will happen when they can’t cover Social Security payments? Or Medicare/Medicaid? It’s unsustainable!

      1. Cort S. says:

        Every side makes good points and has good ideas to offer, as long as those ideas are reasonably and logically constructed. But is there any reason why we can’t use all the tools in our toolbox to fix our problems? Why can’t we increase taxes on those who can afford it AND close tax loopholes AND cut spending on wasteful programs? Why’s it gotta be one or the other?

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Cort…you’ve had math…explain how an 80 billion dollar tax increase fixes a 1.7 trillion dollar debt. This doesn’t get fixed until we address entitlements. You’re young. Do you really think Social Security can continue on its present course? Do you think Medicare will be there for you some day? It’s you’re generation that’s getting the bill…you’re generation that’s going to have to pay for this overspending.

        2. Cort S. says:

          “explain how an 80 billion dollar tax increase fixes a 1.7 trillion dollar debt”

          It doesn’t… it only takes care of 5% of the annual deficit, as you’ve said. But that’s not an insignificant fraction. Why not do that, along with wiser handling of corporate taxes and subsidies, in concert with cutting spending (and there’s lots of things for both sides to agree on), in order to balance the budget?

          On the flipside, could I please get some assurance that all of those extra 80 billion dollars are actually going into the American economy, and not into someone’s offshore bank account or non-American-manufactured yacht? I’m asking respectfully. I see some pundits equating a return to the Clinton tax rate as the equivalent of communism. That’s a little hyperbolic, and it rubs a lot of intelligent people the wrong way.

          “Do you really think Social Security can continue on its present course?”

          No.

          “Do you think Medicare will be there for you some day?”

          No.

          “It’s you’re generation that’s getting the bill…you’re generation that’s going to have to pay for this overspending.”

          Agreed.

          My biggest problem is with our highly polarized discourse, in this blog, in the media, in our politics. It’s not getting us anywhere. Problems get amplified and proposed solutions get simplified. Yet out there in the world, there are people of all classes and creeds at work together, sharing the road, and building great things for America. Every day. No matter what our political leanings, somehow we all understand, quite automatically, how to perform a zipper merge in traffic. That’s symbolic of how we are capable of treating each other. Am I the only person on this blog who is willing to acknowledge that there are good arguments and flawed arguments coming in from both sides? I feel as though I am the only person here who tries to learn more about unknown complexities in this chaotic social-economic-political system of ours, and who implores others to do the same. Perhaps I’m naive for doing so. But in my years here on this blog, my proudest accomplishments have been teaching people how the atmosphere is more wonderfully complicated than any of us realize, and watching them discover new things about it. In the process, I learn more about the atmosphere myself. I’m trying to do that with politics in this thread now, even though I’m not as much of an expert on it as I am the atmosphere. But I’m here to learn. We’re all put on earth to learn from each other.

          Cool your jets. Everyone.

        3. Brad says:

          $80B does not fix a $1.7T debt…yet we need to cut PBS funding ($445M total for CPB) to…you guessed it…fix the debt. WTF!?

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          Weren’t you paying attention to the debates, people?
          All we need to do is close loopholes.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Brad – Why do we have to subsidize one TV station – and the one with a very high average income of its viewing audience. the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, 150 other channels manage to survive without government subsidies.

          Again – 80 billion does not fix a 1.7 trillion dollar debt. (“1.7 trillion dollars worth of loopholes”? you want to list those “loopholes” for us – be specific). You have no plan…none…it’s the ultimate of greed leaving that debt for our children and grandchildren.

        6. big Daddy BC says:

          When a network must sell itself for ratings, it’s perspective becomes skewed. It’s nice to know PBS is there to provide a balanced view.

        7. Cort S. says:

          An argument I have heard about why it might not be a good idea to let an educational TV station be at the mercy of the marketplace is this…

          NASA and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare founded The Learning Channel in 1972. The channel was privatized in 1980. After the bankruptcy of its sister channel, it went through a couple of buyouts. Long story short, to increase its viewership, the content of TLC evolved to what it is today:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9nbhzKaqvA

          And, The History Channel now? …Aliens.

          Basically… good, quality educational TV channels are usually not as profitable as the alternative.

        8. Cort S. says:

          Also, if you’re interested, here is Fred Rogers melting the heart of a congressional committee in the face of proposed funding cuts:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXEuEUQIP3Q

          And I did my research. Here was PBS’s revenue sources in 2009. Tax money was not even half of it, but it was still a good fraction.
          http://www.cpb.org/stations/reports/revenue/2009PublicBroadcastingRevenue.pdf

          No matter what, it would be unfortunate see PBS’s content devolve the way TLC’s did.

        9. Bill Steffen says:

          Cort – an educational station? Lawrence Welk reruns? Antiques Roadshow? Masterpiece Theater? Animal Planet is educational, the Travel Channel is educational. They could take a little bigger cut of the Sesame Street Merchandise. From the Tampa Bay Times: “”According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 — nearly a million dollars — in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, Sesame Street made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales. Big Bird will be just fine without his federal subsidies.”

          With a 1.7 Trillion dollar deficit – we can’t continue on the present path. You’ve admitted that “eating the rich” covers just 5% of the deficit – and that’s only if the additional money is used to reduce the deficit – you really think that’s going to happen?

          You’re a young guy. I’ll probably be gone when this all comes crashing down (and it will). You know it’s unsustainable. Drastic change has to come, whether by choice or forced upon us by circumstance. Checks will bounce or we’ll print money until we’re Zimbabwe. We can’t have government employees that can retire at age 47 (my daughter can take early retirement/pension after just 20 years), working for 20 years and then expecting to live off others for 40 or 45 years. The math doesn’t work. Someday you’ll remember that I told you so.

        10. Cort S. says:

          Thanks for the response about PBS, Bill. I’ll take that into account. It’s certainly not all educational when it’s not geared toward children, but it has done a lot of intangible good for all of the children in the country who have grown up on it. Perhaps the percentage of PBS’s revenue is different (smaller) now than it was in the 1970s. One more thing to add, I know I’ve advocated for using every tool in the toolbox, but 80 billion dollars sure seems like a heck of a lot more than 450 million. So why are we spending so much time picking on public broadcasting? I’m not saying it should be completely off the table, but it seems that if we are going to look for ways to reduce spending (note to everyone, I’m not saying cut completely, but reduce), a more efficient place for you and I to start looking may be Defense or something… (I’ll throw you a bone, too, to show you that I’m not a flaming liberal: food stamps.)

          “You’ve admitted that ‘eating the rich’ covers just 5% of the deficit”

          You’re making it sound like I’m a silly liberal who just got forced to admit he was wrong. I was merely agreeing with the fraction that you posted in the comment above mine. Then I went on to say, 5% doesn’t seem like it’s too insignificant of a fraction to be not worth considering, so long as it’s combined with all of the other tools we have available to erase the deficit (and the debt’s gonna take a whole lot more work, that’s for sure). Also, I really, realllllly don’t think that ending the Bush tax cuts equates to “eating the rich.” That’s a poor phrase to use. (Get it? “Poor.” Ha, very punny… okay not really.) I think to classify it as “eating the rich,” the highest marginal tax rate would have to become a whole lot higher than 39.6%! But of course, I’m not proposing that. Let’s settle down and call it what it is… a 4% increase back to what it was not too long ago.

          “You know it’s unsustainable. Drastic change has to come, whether by choice or forced upon us by circumstance. [...] Someday you’ll remember that I told you so.”

          I’m not sure if I was ever disputing this…? But thanks for engaging with me on these issues. Sadly, I never really did get much of a response (I think) to the following: “Could I please get some assurance that all of those extra 80 billion dollars are actually going into the American economy…”, and, “Am I the only person on this blog who is willing to acknowledge that there are good arguments and flawed arguments coming in from both sides?”

          I hope we get some Midwest winter storms soon, because this is exhausting… :)

        11. Bill Steffen says:

          The deficits are enormous and unsustainable. The crash (which may come in increments instead of a flash) will get more and more painful the later we wait. Here’s my plan. Boehner should go along with the 4% tax, but insist on moving the $250,000 limit to at least $500,000 if not $1,000,000 to protect the many small businesses that report income as personal income. If another 4% is sucked out of them, a significant number could fail. He should come up with a list of specific cuts…very specific and very significant cuts…be flexible to a point, but insist on curtailing the madness in a significant way. And insist that ALL the extra 4% go to reducing the debt – ALL of it! While we can’t address entitlements, (Soc. Security and Medicare/caid) and get it done before Jan. 1, he needs to demand a path to sane fiscal policy, not promises. Obama could reassure the business community (which is clearly on edge now…the market dropped 400 points in 2 days after the election and his election brought news of thousands of layoffs). We need to build wealth, and the difference between an economy growing at 1% and one growing at 4% is gigantic. Just that change could bring in a trillion dollars in new taxes without raising rates. Obama needs to appoint a decent Treasury Secretary. Let’s not have a tax cheat this time. Erskine Bowles (part of the Bowles/Simpson commission) understands the debt problem and the need for a vibrant private sector. He’s just one option.

          State governments are becoming quite contrasting. Leftists control California with super majorities in both the State House and Senate. Let’s see if they can create their statist utopia. I predict they will eventually come to the Federal government looking for a bailout. The Federal Government should say no. Illinois is in the same boat. You could move a business from Chicago to Florida and gain 8%. If you’re looking to start a business that is not dependent on geography, you’d be much more inclined to head to Texas than go to California or Illinois. Republicans now control both the State House and State Senate in 26 states, including Wisconsin, where they gained 3 senate seats. The leftist national media can do relatively little to affect state politics. Ultimately, people and businesses will “vote with their feet” – leaving overtaxed and regulated states (my mother quickly changed her residency from Illinois to Tennessee after my father passed away) for states with more reasonable fiscal policy.

        12. Cort S. says:

          Just going to note here that I read what you wrote. I have no more points to bring up … partially because I think what you said is fine, and how you said it was a little more calm, respectful, and constructive than what I have been seeing from both sides lately … partially because I do not know enough about the system and its complexities to be able to identify any potential problems and dispute this any further … partially because I’m kinda sleepy and ready to go back to staring at dual-pol data. But if anyone does have problems with portions of what you wrote and would like to discuss the finer details of it further, I certainly hope both parties can do so calmly, respectfully, and constructively.

        13. Cort S. says:

          Oh, but one more thing. This is just a broader observation and lamentation.

          It’s unfortunate that because of our two-party system, we are more or less locked in at choosing between policy “packages,” as it were. If the two parties were only contrasted in terms of economics and fiscal responsibility, it would be a lot easier, but there are so many social issues that make up the platforms of these parties also. It would seem that a fair portion of the electorate, on both sides, is swayed by the social platforms more than they are by the economic platforms, might you agree? Of course, if you wanted to bring up, “It’s the economy, stupid,” you would be right about that, but then again, candidates who say dumb things about rape don’t do so well either.

          This gets back to my feelings that the whole social-economic-political system is more complicated than we often realize. Certainly not everyone who voted Democrat did so because they wanted bigger government and more handouts, and vice versa. But those who felt more swayed by the social issues had to also buy the package which contained the associated fiscal platforms. Anyway… just something to think about. Maybe fiscal conservatism is not as unpopular as it seems right now, it’s just that the Republican organization has been losing out lately on how they connect with a number of minorities, young adults, women, homosexuals, other religions, etc. Fiscal conservatism and social conservatism should not necessarily go hand-in-hand, but because of our system’s structure, it’s really getting intertwined.

        14. Bill Steffen says:

          That’s why it’s prudent not to have a Ginormous Federal Government that regulates and mandates every aspect of life, from the light bulb you use to the car you drive to the size of your soft drink. Read the 10th amendment. At the very least, when we can, we should encourage decisions to be made at the state or local level. With 50 states doing things different ways, we can see what works and what doesn’t work. People aspire to live where they are most comfortable. When circumstances change, they can often move. My mother faced enormous and growing taxes in Illinois. So she changed her residence to Tennessee. I prefer living in an open space, so I moved from my 3rd floor apartment to a house in the country when I could afford it. My daughter opted to live in downtown Chicago. Different tastes each satisfied.

        15. Cort S. says:

          Rephrasing: Fiscal conservatism/liberalism and social conservatism/liberalism should not necessarily go hand-in-hand, but because of our system’s structure, it’s really getting intertwined. And it’s messy to try to unravel it.

        16. Brad says:

          Ah, Bill…yet you want big federal government filling the vagina and womb…go figure.

        17. Bill Steffen says:

          I think you’re referring to Sandra Fluke.

        18. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

          Cort…….i think you have just typed out why there needs to be third party. Being all white or all black all of the time obviously is not working.

  18. Jack says:

    High…After Reading all This ….. This OLD HIPPIE…Says…….CUE: Canned Heat – Let’s Work Together (Best Version) – YouTube

    ► 2:51► 2:51
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsRUi51QWM4
    PEACE,GOD BLESS !!!!

    1. big Daddy BC says:

      You’re NOT a hippy, Jack. Hippy’s care.

        1. Jack says:

          He Can’t Prove It Bill…Because It’s TRUE…Peace and GOD BLESS Ya All ( even big daddy ) !!!!

        2. Jack says:

          Geezzz This Old Hippie ..Didn’t mean , I’m NOT ah OLD Hippie…I am OLD HIPPIE, Can’t ya Tell Bye The way I Ramble….. Just Sayin…I guess… ;-)

        3. big Daddy BC says:

          Prove that Hippies care? Seriously. Jack’s the latest sycophant. You have several on here. They’re attracted to your celebrity and so try desperately to impress you and only you. It’s revolting. Whether Jack’s really an old hippy or not, I can’t honestly say. What I can say, however, is that his comments are not peaceful nor do they cry out for the things hippy’s stand for…equality, harmony, or brotherhood. Again, difficult to provide proof for an opinion, but there’s my rationale. Jack’s just another butt kissing wanna-be.

        4. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Big D,

          It’s not that we’re kissing Bill’s butt. I, for one, do not feel the need to have a rebellious spirit at all times. You’re assuming that “others” are bowing down to Bill, when perhaps maybe some agree with him. It’s not hard to tell that he is one man standing up for his beliefs against a group of individuals determined to get their point across. I also try hard to be respectful to Bill. It is his blog, after all. He is only allowing you to say what you say.

          Be careful about having a rebellious spirit. It may come back to bite you in the butt when the “almighty” government begins making you do things you don’t want to do.

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          Matt, I’m not claiming that everyone who agrees with Bill is a butt kisser. There are, however, several on here who have absolutely no opinion or the knowledge base to form one, yet they continually chime in with insults, ridiculous links to insulting pics, and parroted responses.

          Your characterization of Bill fighting the good fight against we rebels is ludicrous. I began posting on here a couple years ago because it was so damned imbalanced. Bill’s fight started long before any of the moderates or liberals started voicing their opinions here. This blog started as a weather blog, but was transformed into a podium for fossil-fuel-funded denier science. I almost couldn’t believe it when I began following.

          As far as my rebellious spirit goes, okay, but I don’t really think debating an old weatherman on the merits of climate change science is really very rebellious. Especially since he’s in the tiny minority of so-called professionals that actually believes these temp increases aren’t man made.

        6. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Thanks for the response, Big D. It was much more pleasant to read than some of your posts when you’re in “attack mode”. :) I have been a member of this blog for a little over three years, and in that time I have mostly witnessed you, Brad, and a group of others persistently posting links and info. on global warming. As I have said before, I am not really sure what your point of arguing this with Bill on the public threads is. I know you want the public to see how Bill “is wrong”, but I think it hurts your cause, as people just get sick of it and put a wall up. I think you and Bill just need to come to a peace treaty, because I don’t think you’re going to change each other’s minds. Or maybe your goal is for people to get sick of the blog so people want come and look at “Bill’s evidence” against global warming? Anyways, your motives are your motives.

          If global warming exists, what do you wish people to do about it? What are proposed solutions?

          My one thought about global warming: some of it seems natural. The earth has had cycles of warming and cooling. Yes, humans may be contributing to the warming of whatever cycle we are currently in I think it is difficult for Americans to jump aboard the renewable resources ship because the cost to begin using them is high…expensive! However, in the long run, we would see the costs diminishing…AND we wouldn’t have to rely on other countries for fuel and other energy!

        7. big Daddy BC says:

          I’ll never convince Bill of anything, Matt, but keep in mind he’s just another ‘company’ man. No one with all the years of experience he has in meteorology is as daft as he pretends to be. He does have ‘some’ scientific training and knows better than to provide UNsupported conclusions and anecdotes as evidence, yet he consistently does so. That makes him dishonest and that really pisses me off. So as a company man, he’s willing to lie and misrepresent to push the ‘greater’ corporate agenda. To the extremists on the right, our environment is just an obstacle to profit. They spend millions every year in support of political prostitutes like Spencer, Bastardi, Maue, and Watts. And so people like Bill, who make a lot of money and work for the corporate right, further those efforts by using cherry picked data and lies to create doubt about science in the minds of viewers.

          As far as a truce goes, I’ve said many, many times that I’d just go away if he’d stop lying. He’s not a climatologist, not even a physical meteorologist, and has never been published anywhere, yet he goes on and on as if he were. I do realize that our discussions just look like noise to many, but it’s important people see that we’re not ALL just willing to sit back and let it slide because he’s a local celebrity.

          As a teacher, you should check your own priorities and get on the right side of things. Instead of looking for a truce, you should be demanding he recant all the slanderous misrepresentations he’s been posting about educators. Again, true or false, it doesn’t matter because it’s just part of the corporate agenda.

        8. Bill Steffen says:

          What Mike said above is right. BigDaddy is the one who lies. He said Romney was a polygamist. I called him on it. BigD is what we call a “climate profiteer”. There’s BIG money to be had in global warming. Some of it without risk. Solyndra got 535 million dollars – all down the tube. Where did the money go? The “investors” didn’t lose anything on the deal…only the taxpayers. How about LG Chem. 150 million down the tubes. I heard they didn’t produce a single battery. How much of our tax money did the Koreans get? Where’s the accountability? That’s a big 150 million dollar carbon footprint. What do you think educators could have done with 535 million or 150 million. I said in one of my comments that we could have provided a full scholarship for every engineering student at Grand Valley. Think of what those engineers can produce. A whole lot more than these bankrupt crony companies.

      1. Jack says:

        Big Duddy, I Am And Old Hippie, But First and Foremost I’m A … CUE :Jackson Browne – I Am a Patriot

        ► 4:08► 4:08
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saYvWAVmT_s
        Mar 29, 2009 – 4 min – dosmetrosdos
        Album: World in Motion (1989)

        1. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

          I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer Jack but i think you were mentioned above. “There are, however, several on here who have absolutely no opinion or the knowledge base to form one, yet they continually chime in with insults, ridiculous links to insulting pics, and parroted responses.” Ring a bell?

        2. Jack says:

          Wbwtsbtcant: I don’t waste my Time Responding To , Arrogant Numb Nuts, Like bdbc. He doesn’t add Nothing too My Knowledge, He is just Plain… We’ll I think we All Know, What I Mean. P.S. He’s not God, and Niether are You . Ring…Ring… Duh, Duh, Parrots Talk Back. Get a Life Both of You !,,, … ;-)

        3. Jack says:

          On Second Thought…I Think bdbc is Ah Jack, wanna Be !!!! Phhhhhhhttttttttttt.

  19. William says:

    HEY BILL….Stick to forecasting the weather. At least you can be wrong a lot of the time and most people won’t complain. (leave the partisan politics to Rush Limbo)

    1. Brad says:

      Mr. Schteffen is out of control! Let us hope he can be reigned in and not go full Zundel on us!

    1. big Daddy BC says:

      Here’s what the author, Steyn, wrote in the article you posted:

      “What’s more likely to determine the course of your nation’s destiny? A narrow focus on robocalls in selected Florida and New Hampshire counties every other fall? Or determining how all the great questions are framed from the classroom to the iPod to the movie screen in the 729 days between elections?”

      LOL You righties are insane. Brainwash, brainwash, brainwash…..

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Brainwashing is what you guys do. You’re guys came up with the idea to deceive the public about the riots in Egypt…a YouTube video!! Yeah, right.

        What do you think the reaction of the Mainstream Press would be to the Fema sign if Bush were still President. It’d be the lead story every night!

  20. hurricane hunter says:

    As a Red Cross volunteer I know our shelters stay open. They will have workers stay in place to be there for the clients. The driving in weather is another story, my friend and I on a D.R.O. were only a couple who braved the 2-3 inches (being sarcastic) to meet with our clients. There were several of us workers from West Michigan and we all went to work and carried on with our day. We have workers from all over the U.S. and most come from southern states and out west who have never even seen snow in person only on t.v so they get a little freaked out about driving in it. I’m sure our 2 guys from Grand Rapids (Roy and Dave) were out doing their jobs driving the E.R.V.

  21. Occupy Sandy is suspending operations due to weather on December 29th. Where is the outrage?

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