Tim Kaine and Mark Warner both embarrass Virginia with relief legislation vote

Midwest apocalypse.

  As of March 30 satellite data shows that flooding caused at least one million acres of Midwest farmland to be covered in water for at least seven days in March. One million acres is 1,562 square miles. Up to a million calves may have died in Nebraska alone. This is a disaster of unprecedented magnitude. On April 1 a relief bill was put forth in the US Senate that earmarked $13.45 billion of aid for the Midwest and Puerto Rico.  Democrats killed the bill claiming that the amount allocated for Puerto Rico was too little. Both of Virginia’s U.S. Senators voted against providing relief to the U.S. Midwest and Puerto Rico.

Disgraceful.  Both Tim Kaine and Mark Warner claim to be members of the party dedicated to the little guy, the Democrats. To hear them tell it, the Republicans stay busy tending to corporate interests while ignoring the plight of average Americans. However, it was Kaine and Warner who decided to play petty politics with an aid bill that is desperately needed by our fellow Americans in the Midwest. Virginians should be ashamed to have elected these two senators.

Maria. Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017 (18 months ago). The recovery effort for Puerto Rico has provided $11 billion of federal funds in assistance to date but has been seen as slow and underfunded by some people. The relief bill rejected on Monday began as a source of additional funds for Puerto Rico but had vastly more money added to it for disaster relief in the Midwest U.S. Kaine and Warner should have supported this bill to get much needed funding to the Midwest and left the debate over the ongoing support for Puerto Rico for another day. Instead, their actions left both the Midwest and Puerto Rico without funds.

Fly-by deplorables. The Democratic Party has been quite clear in its distaste for Americans living in the heartland. Barack Obama claimed our fellow Americans were clinging to guns and God. Hillary Clinton called them deplorables. Tim Kaine was Hillary’s running mate so we can assume he also sees hard working blue collar Midwestern Americans as deplorable. Mark Warner is apparently nothing more than a sheep who trots through the field of life mindlessly looking to  Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi for guidance at every turn. Both have embarrassed the Commonwealth of Virginia.

But, but, but …. Trump. Does Donald Trump play games with people’s lives based on their loyalty to him or the Republican Party? Yes. His capping of state and local deductions was testimony to that. But Trump was elected by America, not Virginia. In Virginia we have have a right to expect and demand that our statewide elected officials behave better than the average swamp dweller in D.C. In this case we have been sorely disappointed. Shame on both Kaine and Warner.

Our time is going to come. Virginia is highly susceptible to damage from hurricanes and the concomitant flooding hurricanes bring. Hampton Roads, in particular, is vulnerable. When (not if) disaster strikes Virginia, we can only hope that U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen from places like Nebraska can forget the buffoonery of Kaine and Warner, put petty politics behind them and vote to aid the Old Dominion.

— Don Rippert

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20 responses to “Tim Kaine and Mark Warner both embarrass Virginia with relief legislation vote”

  1. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: “leave Puerto Rico for another day” when the POTUS is spouting idiocy with respect to whether Puerto Rico “deserves” any aid and his GOP enablers stand by and say nothing?

    I absolutely HATE the divisive partisan politics but this is an example of how it starts…. and blaming only one side for it – just encourages more of it.

    If we NEED to help the midwest in a timely manner and the argument is that we need to that but helping Perto Rico in a timely manner is not the same thing… well… who would support that? Obviously some!!

    1. djrippert Avatar

      Puerto Rico was hurt 18 months ago. Puerto Rico has already received $11B with another $80B planned. Time matters. The US Midwest was inundated two weeks ago not a year and a half ago.

      We should expect more from Kaine and Warner.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    We’ve ALWAYS gone to the aid of the state or locality during a disaster whether it be Houston or New Orleans or Flordia or Gaston or Sandy in New Jersey – until now.

    So Now, we impugn Puerto Rico AND California wild fires as somehow their fault and so we’re not going to render the same level of aid that we do to other places?

    This is the idiocy we are now engaged in due in no small part to the asshats in Congress and the White House who can’t just be fair to everyone. We even used to help countries overseas when they had disasters – and now look at us.

    DJ – you’re a fair minded guy – do you REALLY think this?

    1. djrippert Avatar

      California and Puerto Rico have gotten aid. Maybe they need more. However, this bill was focused on the Midwest. Arrogant asshats like Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton and Mark Warner don’t care much for “fly-over” states. Maybe Virginia needs to care less about Kaine, Clinton and Warner. Buffoons!

      1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        “… However, this bill was focused on the Midwest. Arrogant asshats like Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton and Mark Warner don’t care much for “fly-over” states. Maybe Virginia needs to care less about Kaine, Clinton and Warner. Buffoons!”

        This statement I agree with. Both Virginia Senators are cartoon character examples of today’s corruption of American politics. Their myopic focus on the petty and cheap, the dishonest and invented issues, for selfish political advantage, at the expense of solving big and real problems, this conduct is the emblem of today’s politics in America.

        Other examples of this political cowardice and opportunism, was Kaine’s and Northham’s bogus public announcement about school safety in C’ville schools immediately after the initial report of prankster postings on internet, without knowing any real facts of the matter, sending protesters into the streets. And the Democratic political establishment’s shameful blowing up of 2017 C’ville riots for craven political advantage. And their abject failure to fix troubled local schools, but instead using those school problems as grandstands to promote their race bating allegations of systemic racism to win black votes in elections.

      2. LarrytheG Avatar

        Well you’re right about Asshats but you got the wrong guys – It’s KING Asshat and his loyal subjects following his lead.

        He’s the one that politicized the issue to start with and instead of standing up for what is right – i.e. EQUAL treatment of ANY state or locality that suffered a disaster – he now says it’s up to him to decide if they “deserve” the aid.

        This is the kind of idiocy that now is being supported by some folks.

        So yes… it’s ASSHAT for sure…

      3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
        Dick Hall-Sizemore

        Interesting that Kaine and Warner are accused of not seeing Midwesterners as being deplorable. Warner was born in Indiana and part of his childhood was spent in Illinois. Kaine was born in Minnesota, grew up in Kansas, and graduated from the University of Missouri.

        1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
          Reed Fawell 3rd

          This is quite common, to despise or be embarrassed or too ashamed to admit, where one comes from. So many people hide the facts of their origins, while others remain proud for good reason, irrespective.

          This shame or embarrassment phobia applies particularly to overly ambitious people. They also are prone to overplay and “put on the airs” of the culture they chronically aspire too, or feel they have not or cannot reach, even through they are accepted by it and/or have succeeded in that culture. Indeed this embarrassment and chronic shame often drives their ambition “to put things right.” Nixon and LBJ were classic examples of this pathology.

          Does this phobia also apply to Kaine or Warner? I could speculate, but that is all it would be, speculation.

  3. musingsfromjanus Avatar

    Good and true points here nearly obliterated by an unnecessary, irrelevant, and inaccurate ad hominem attack on Trump.
    Capping State and Local deductions is not remotely testimony that Trump plays games with people’s lives, a slur which with or without deductions is ridiculous.
    First the caps are such that those affected are higher income buyers. Second, the caps in effect stated that the high density, big-spending and losing states like California and New York can’t raid the pocket books of taxpayers from other states for their bad economics and management.

    1. djrippert Avatar

      Please … High cost areas have high real estate taxes. Those areas are largely urban and suburban. Whether Trump’s tax cap was fair or not is a reasonable question. Whether he know it would impact the people who voted against him is not. I voted for Trump (actually more against Hillary) and I’m going to pay higher taxes because of those caps. I definitely feel like it was a form of payback against places like Northern Virginia where Trump Derangement Syndrome reigns supreme.. But I’m not living in a tent or a shelter like many in the Midwest. My livelihood was not threatened by Trump’s tax cap. I can live with Trump’s revenge against urban areas a lot easier than I can live with Kaine and Warner’s self righteousness about “the little guy” followed by their actions with regard to relief.

      The partisan game is played in both directions but war and disasters should be off limits in politics. Kaine and Warner have violated that fundamental tenet. A pox on both.

  4. Floods-
    Million dead cattle is hard to imagine. This is what I am trying to say flood waters are highly contaminated. If there happens to be a little coal ash in the flood water, it is not going to make it too much worse. Also this good opportunity to send a team from the storage tank safety report people who say Virginia cannot have storage tanks because a flood might wipe them out some day due to climate change.

  5. musingsfromjanus Avatar

    Why the ad hominem appellations? Now it’s Trump’s revenge against urban areas. Isn’t it a reasonable debate whether the people of Wyoming should underwrite Rippert’s ownership of expensive real estate on which he is likely to make a handsome return net of any taxes he pays?

    The bill was introduced by Kevin Brady of Texas with the deduction. The Senate version was introduced without deductions. Please share your evidence that Trump authored or somehow injected these provisions to” further his animus toward urban areas” which is, in my opinion, a figment of your imagination. That would be an interesting lesson on how these bills gestate.

    However, I want to underscore your point that ignoring the immediacy of the needs in the Midwest to grandstand and demagogue on the Puerto Rico situation where the US has invested incredible resources to attempt reconstruction moves our representatives from political hypocrisy to outright immorality and appalling irresponsibility. But that has been their consistent record on Kavanaugh, immigration and any of the other major issues on which they have recently voted.

  6. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    “However, I want to underscore your point that ignoring the immediacy of the needs in the Midwest to grandstand and demagogue on the Puerto Rico situation where the US has invested incredible resources to attempt reconstruction moves our representatives from political hypocrisy to outright immorality and appalling irresponsibility. But that has been their consistent record on Kavanaugh, immigration and any of the other major issues on which they have recently voted.”

    I could not agree with these musings more. For example, in earlier post here labelled “Disaster + Fiscal Insolvency = Puerto Rico posted Sept. 29, 2017, I suggested:

    “These comments should not obscure the important point Jim article makes. Puerto Rico internally was particularly unprepared for what happened.


    Although emerging facts might show that the Federal Government was slow to appreciate the fragile nature of Puerto Rico’s dilapidated public infrastructure and services when confronted with back to back hurricanes of historic proportions and power that hit the island directly (and other parts of America) in rapid succession, likely the causes of crisis are complicated by many highly unusual events acting in concert in perhaps unforeseeable ways. Looking at history, and very current events, then should be our best guide.

    So a few pertinent questions might be: How often has this immense devastation and resultant public health crisis happened before to Puerto Rico? Why? What was response back then? Have similar events under similar circumstances happened one time, a few times, or many times? What was the island and the Federal response at this time? Why is this time so different if it is, and in what degree is it different?

    The rabid and highly politicized of so much of the Press and the usual Politicians and their flack ideologue allies to gain cheap political advantage irrespective of the truth only points up the fragile and broken nature of our nation’s body politics. And the life threatening course our nation is on.

    Or see this found here at https://www.baconsrebellion.com/who-were-the-puerto-rico-3000-how-did-they-die/:

    Reed Fawell 3rd | September 14, 2018

    “The political part of all this is mainly Trump’s doing, with his initial claim to have conducted The Best Ever Disaster Response in the History of the World, and then hyper-sensitivity when this came out. There is nothing in the report in any way critical of the disaster response, no effort to imply things were worse in P.R. than following a similar situation somewhere else.”

    In fact, the response of FEMA under the Trump administration to this unprecedented series of Hurricanes last season was extraordinarily successful by reason of the competence of FEMA at the time of these events and also because of extraordinary local civil competence in states like Texas.

    In stark contrast, the debacle in PR was caused by confluence of an extraordinary, indeed an unprecedented, series of hurricanes that hit the island as well as the long standing and extraordinary incompetence and corruption of the local PR. government and civil society there. The fault for the ensuing debacle overwhelming resides on onshore with PR, its lack of governance and civil society, not by reason of incompetence offshore.

    As usual, however, the usual suspects, including a public university uses typical propaganda tactics to gin up garbage that target scapegoats to insure that real problems are never exposed to the light of day or solved, but instead fester and worsen so they can regularly be milked for political advantage.

    To the degree that blame was not cast expressly in the university report, you can be sure that the bogus report was only the first part of a larger highly organized propaganda attack designed to work in sequence for cumulative on several levels. How do we know this? We see this all the time now. For example, many of events on the 1st anniversary of the August 11/12, 2017 events in Charlottesville, Virginia, were ginned up for political advantage.

    Such is the world we now live in. The generation and coordination of university research and mainstream reporting, here it is garbage called university research used by the media to discredit by lie and splattered all over the heroic federal and local responders to last years unprecedented hurricane season. Before the usual suspects move on to sex, including alleged she said / he said sex 35 years ago by a Supreme Court nominee when he was in the tenth grade, more garbage all weaponized to smear then blasted by national media into the public arena.”

    This is not the age of information we are now living in. Instead we now are flooded with propaganda, not useful information. Hence our political ignorance grows daily all around us, about socialism, for one of almost endless examples.

  7. I don’t know the particulars for this latest kerfuffle. However, my son and his wife live in Puerto Rico, she is a NASA scientist at the radio telescope there.

    They have reported for months about how much of what was promised in recovery funds and activities for the island has failed to materialize.

    There was great concern when it was reported that much what has yet to be delivered in funding was going to be diverted to build the wall.

    I don’t know the facts of the matter, but I suspect that the further truncation of funds and activities for Puerto Rico was of great concern to those asked to vote for the bill. Many people on the island still do not have the basic level of services they had before the storm.

    By lumping in the cuts to Puerto Rico with the much needed relief to the Midwest, the typical political game was being played (as it is by both sides). Issues supported by a minority are often attached to defense bills or budget bills that everyone will support.

    If the intention is to help the Midwest, put that in a separate bill and let’s get on with it.

    What is happening (or not happening) in PR deserves a transparent evaluation and vote. Members of Congress should not be asked to help the farmers at the expense of the people of Puerto Rico who have already waited far longer for proper relief compared to disaster areas on the mainland.

    I do not know for certain, but that might be a reason that people voted against the bill. Political maneuvering, no matter how frequently applied by both parties, should not be at the expense of humanitarian aid to our own citizens.

  8. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: Ad Hominem about the idiot POTUS.


    This fool POLITIZES disaster aid to various parts of the USA based on his ideas of who deserves the aid and the GOP goes along with it and we call those who stand up against it – ASSHATs.

    yes.. there is PLENTY of Ad Hominem to go around – agree.!

  9. musingsfromjanus Avatar

    That those who would label others fools should get their spelling correct in their rants aside, just let me say that some facts indicating and sharing knowledge of how the decision to apportion relief funds is made with some thoughtful comments on how it could be improved would be more helpful.

    Since the dispensing of other people’s money is by definition political, some additional information about what would make such decisions acceptable to partisans would be most interesting.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Yes, I agree, additional information might well be helpful here.

      For example, I recall a lengthy article that appeared some while back in a highly reputable national magazine reporting that disaster relief aid to PR typically disappears as if to evaporate into thin air. Apparently this dubious technique of distributing public aid to repair and rebuild the island after storms is an art form that has been developing and refined since Spanish rule started there in 1493. Indeed, the evaporation of public monies into nowhere, without any apparent result, is a primarily reason why the island sits so naked in the path of all hurricanes since recorded history.

  10. We need to do a better job of rebuilding after storms. I understand that the federal dollars cannot be used to rebuild something better than what it was before. In the case of Puerto Rico, the electricity system was a mess. Outdated, inefficient equipment and a hodgepodge of various designs were commonplace. Updated equipment with some “hardened” facilities would greatly reduce the costs of the next storm, but that was usually not allowed. I can see why we don’t want to gold-plate systems on the tax-payers’ dime, but doesn’t it make sense to spend the same amount of money now in a way that will save money in the future?

    I guess some common sense is a little too much to expect in these situations.

  11. The Midwest is another case of short-term thinking. We have reduced the development of farm ponds that increase the holding capacity of excess rains. Industrial ag has emphasized monocultures and fenceline to fenceline plowing. Soil is heavily tilled and chemical pesticides and herbicides have reduced soil organic matter (which increase tilth and water absorption). Because of the huge modern farm machinery and the lack of integrated livestock operations, soil is more compacted and less able to absorb heavy rains.

    Major rivers are now channelized for barge traffic and floodplains and marshland has been developed or destroyed.

    All of this increases the chance of floods because the natural landscape is not as able as it once was to respond to extreme weather events, both floods and droughts.

    Every major civilization declined because they destroyed their topsoil and debased their currency.

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      Makes sense. Better conservation practices would help. Or that’s what I learned while working at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources during my college and law school days.

      But I cannot escape noting the irony that Warner and Kaine are on the Climate Change bandwagon to protect, inter alia, coastal land reclaimed from the sea and its bays. For example, much of the San Francisco Financial District is built on reclaimed land. Ditto for most of the land in Manhattan that flooded in Hurricane Sandy. Is it appropriate for some people to pay higher prices for energy to protect buildings on land that, absent human intervention, would be under water anyway with or without rising seas?

      How much of Virginia’s coast line buildings, etc. are built on reclaimed land?

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