Mitt Romney is the current GOP nominee for president, which means that, for the next six days, he’s the head of the Republican party. We’re pretty sure that’s in the Constitution? Anyway, in the wake of the hurricane that’s crippled New York City (and also exiled Your Wonkette to Tumblr, even though Tumblr is based in New York, hmm), people want to know his position on federal disaster relief aid. He won’t tell you anything about them, but last June he said, “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction.” And this week a spokesperson said “States should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions … and direct[ing] resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.” So there you have it: the feds should give disaster relief to state governments to spend as they wish, which they’ll probably screw up somehow, but at least they’ll screw up on the state level, and the invisible hand of the market will guide you to a better state, unless you die. EXCEPT … what’s that, Steve King? The federal government needs to tightly control how disaster relief money is spent, lest it go to handbags or prostitutes or, worse, disaster preparedness??? Tell us more!

Steve King was debating his opponent in next week’s election (Christie Vilsack, wife of Secretary of Agriculture and Winnie the Pooh cosplayer Tom Vilsack!) and had this to say on the subject of disaster relief:

I want to get them the resources that are necessary to lift them out of this water and this sand and the ashes and the death that’s over there in the East Coast and especially the Northeast. But they need to come with a plan on how to spend it.

First off, a dozen flood-ravaged indie rockers in Williamsburg are planning albums called “This Water and This Sand and The Ashes and The Death” right now. But anyway, hmm, that sounds like an interesting plan for big government bureaucrats to get bogged down in the details of disaster relief, which is an area that our Founders definitely wanted states to be in charge of. But why should the voracious, always wrong Federal government get involved in the affairs of the virtuous, never wrong states in this matter?

King defended his vote seven years ago, when he was one of only 11 members of Congress to vote against a $52 billion second installment of aid for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. King had voted for the $10.5 billion first installment but explained that he opposed the content of the second package, which included temporary trailer homes and measures to plan for future disasters. “Can you imagine in the middle of a disaster to ask for appropriations for mitigating future disasters?” King said. “That’s why I said no on that second round of appropriations for Katrina … because they spent it on Gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of — in addition to what was necessary.”

Can you imagine, using the burst of energy and concern that comes after a major disaster to try to put safeguards in place in order to make sure that future disasters are less deadly and expensive? Why not just put the money straight up your butthole? Plus handbags or whatever, we’re sure everyone in New Orleans got a new Gucci handbag after Katrina. The last thing New Yorkers need is more handbags, trust us, we’ve been there, they sell those things on the sidewalks, they’ve already got too many of them. [TPM]

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  • Tealiban

    Handbag libel!

  • Please … *pants* ..editors . .. *cough* it's hard to fist everybody while clicking at breakneck speed through your post-athon

    • BaldarTFlagass

      When the levee breaks, mama you have move.

      Move fast, that is.

    • Caelan Aegana

      I speed-read your post, read "pants" and "fist" and am just going with that first thought.

  • MosesInvests

    I don't know about handbags, but the GOP seems determined to send the US to Hell in a handbasket.

    • hagajim

      They can't….too much government involved in that effort.

      • Negropolis

        Not if they send it FedEx or UPS.

  • coolhandnuke

    King obviously picked up this "massage parlor" factoid from Fox News.
    Psst Steve…the media is the massage.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and pretend that you didn't, and then gripe about subsidies and stimulus and shit like that, that’s the right direction.”

    • decentcitizen

      That proves good politics in Texas.

  • Indiepalin

    Wha' happened?

  • HistoriCat

    they spent it on Gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of — in addition to what was necessary.

    It was those people – need I say any more?

    Edit – this is fun! I don't usually get to comment before all the big guns have wrung out all the humor. But does that mean I need to be funnier?

    • It automagically makes you more funny! Cool, huh?

    • SigDeFlyinMonky

      I spent mine on rims.

  • Obvious Commie Bastard, that's not a 'Murican Flag button on his lapel

  • SorosBot

    So Steve King is the guy in the disaster movie who inevitably betrays the heroes, even though the villain is a natural disaster and not an actual sentient being.

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Kinda like that Dr Smith guy in Lost in Space.

      • SorosBot

        And yet Oldman was the only decent part of that piece of shit; really, who had the bright idea to make Matt LeBlanc an action lead? Ugh thanks for dredging up horrible memories; that was one of the worst movies I've ever seen, even worse than Armageddon which I was thinking of writing that comment.

        • BaldarTFlagass

          Oh. They made a movie? I was talking about the TV series. I plead old.

          • SorosBot

            TV series? Huh, according to wikipedia it was based on a show; had no idea.

          • BaldarTFlagass

            Danger, Will Robinson!!

          • bobbert

            The robot was recycled from Forbidden Planet.

          • Nope.

            Although Robbie the robot of Forbidden Planet did make three guest appearances in the series.

  • widestanceromance

    I could live without helping Florida and Texas every damn time the universe bitch-smacks them because they are hateful.

    • mbatch

      But you can be fairly sure that Rick Perry will break the land speed record complaining about not getting the cash they were due the next time Texas gets hit with the usual weather-based disaster.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Rep King, I agree that we should have givebacks in the budget to make up for disaster relief. I nominate agricultural and ethanol subsidies.

    • Cleopatriot

      Don't forget defense spending. How about we don't buy those helicopters the Navy says it doesn't want?

      • BaldarTFlagass

        Meh, the Navy doesn't have a base in Iowa, and I don't think they build helos there either. Corn, though…

  • Yellerdawg

    Put this guy in a room with Chris Christie for five minutes and let him explain how he thinks Christie is a 47% freeloader who expects the government to take care of him.

    • Tundra Grifter

      53% of Chris Christie is still a full load of Chris Christie.

  • Lot_49

    Rep Steve King: will you please please please run for president at the earliest opportunity? You so funnee!

  • CrunchyKnee

    Didn't read, I'll just wait for King's next hi-larry-us tweet about the issue.

    GOOCHI BAGS 4 LIBZ!!!!!!111

    or some such shit.

  • Interesting to hear a Republican sounding like he's coming out on the side of regulation of procedure.

  • Nostrildamus
  • CommieDad

    To sum up Republican Position (which is not reverse cowgirl, my favorite):

    * States should be in charge of Disasters [ NOTE: They currently are ].
    * FEMA should be eliminated (Clarification: FEMA should leave the states in charge and help when asked.) [ This is currently the case ].
    * Federal money should be spent with strings attached, to prevent states from being in charge [ ???? ].
    * Gucci handbags are bad [ As a Keynesian, I say it is good for the economy ].

    • CommieDad

      When Mitt was Gov'na his policy was:

      * States should be in charge and do nothing.
      * States should keep disaster money in neat piles around capital building.
      * When municipalities need money to stop disasters, fuck them.

    • shelwood46

      The more these guys (Romney, King) talk, the clearer it is that they do not have clue one what FEMA does or what disaster money is used for or how it is distributed. I shudder to think who Romney would appoint to head FEMA should the disaster arise that he is elected.

  • coolhandnuke

    King so wants to be Mitts Secretary of Agriculture and even though dog whistle was screeching 11, he tapped the brakes on the stupid. But what he really wanted to say was "I'll tell you what the disaster victims want. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit."

  • Goonemeritus

    The concept of insurance is to spread the risk over a “pool” of people some of which in a given year need help and some do not. If FEMA money were spread like peanut butter across the states some states that needed a lot of help wouldn’t have enough and some states that needed none would have too much. On a long time scale this would work out well for the Northeast and it would crush the good people of the former Confederate states who live in tornado alley. This year ironically it is the opposite.

    • CommieDad

      Alabama is allergic to FEMA butter. They blew all there Katrina money on death-trailers.

  • Steve King's role in disaster relief is disastrous.

  • Cleopatriot

    He kind of looks psycho in that picture.

    • BumbleKid

      I am always super squicked out by his resemblance to Gollum

    • Bodeburu

      The resemblance to Michelle Bachmann is disturbing. Have we ever seen them together? Maybe he's a graduate of Marcus's "program".

  • Loch_Nessosaur

    If I got disaster money I would spend it on dog fighting. Oh, wait a minute…

  • Schmannnity

    Why is rat face Eric Kantor not demanding spending cuts before FEMA money is sent to Virginia?

    • yeah, where's that dude been recently?

      prolly getting shot or something.

  • BigSkullF*ckingDog

    What percentage of the country lives in the path of Sandy? 47% is my guess.

    • hagajim

      I heard 60…but what do I know.

  • BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Alligator handbags for some, buttholes full of cash for others!

  • Detesticle

    My whole New Orleans family had to move to Little Rock for a year because of Katrina, and then they lived in a FEMA trailer in their New Orleans front yard for a year. That money did not go to Gucci handbags, obviously, because duh. This fucking fuck can suck a fuck. To quote an old Rajin Cajun expression, I wouldn't piss down this guy's throat if his heart was on fire.

    • Cleopatriot

      I wouldn't piss down this guy's throat if his heart was on fire.

      I love this. I'm stealing it.

  • OT:
    Today, at the dog park, 2 of my dogs went as "Obama dogs" complete with Bo buttons and Hawaiian leis. I wore an Obama/Biden shirt and "Women for Obama" button.
    Anyway, this person came up to me and said: "Obama? Really?" (rude!) As if I was wearing the T-shirt of some obscure candidate, not THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!
    She also stated that Romney was getting support from more and more women. Unable to hold back any longer, I snapped back, "Well, they are idiots, then! I have two daughters and I care about their rights."
    Realizing that maybe she had gone too far, she changed the subject to neutral topics. However, (like a moth to a flame), she returned to the subject and bemoaned the fact that a great guy like Marco Rubio(!) was too young to run for president.
    I'm so sick of these Baggers that think they have all the answers, and if they just "enlightened" the rest of us, we'd agree with them! AAARGH!!

    Oh, and Steve "Crazy-Eyes" King is an asshole.

    • emmelemm

      I hate it when people talk to me at the dog park.

      (Bravo, though, on dressing up the dogs.)

    • kyeshinka

      They can't talk about anything except politics. They're the most boring yet most dangerous people this side of Kandahar. On no account should they be approached or talked to.

      • CommieLibunatic

        Word. It seems like the only time I hear from some relatives on The Facebook is politics, and except for one broken LGBT record it's always about NObama destroying the country or whatever the fuck. It should be a warning sign when one conversation is enough to get my otherwise non-confrontational wife to unfriend you.

    • well they better hurry up with that support b/c they only have 6 more days and the gender gap is still trending to an all time high.

    • One of the ladies who comes regularly to the dog park, is very conservative, but we NEVER discuss anything controversial.
      In fact, I saw her today, in all my Obama regalia, and it was not a problem for her at all.
      We agree to disagree, and have a mutual respect thing going.
      (She must not be a Bagger.)

  • CindynEncinitas

    They're going to piss all the money away on Easy buttons from Staples, which will become the main supplier of disaster relief when it's all privatized.

  • Callyson

    Gucci? Prada bag or GTFO.

  • BoroPrimorac

    I would like it if FEMA gave local contractors preference. It's fucked up to watch a bunch of local guys (especially black and latino) stand by with their dick in their hands while out of state contractors do simple shit like: clear debris, cut fallen branches and other simple shit like that.

    • TxSpinyLizrd

      I can understand your concern, but there's a reason it's done the way it is. In these large natural disaster situations, the national companies typically will have a larger pool of equipment and people that they can mobilize, and often have existing master agreements set up with the federal government, so response is relatively quick and can cover a number of different services. The process of qualifying and letting contracts to a fleet of smaller local companies at a natural disaster site could slow down the response and add administrative effort for FEMA. They would rather manage and invoice a few large entities than a bunch of small ones in an already chaotic situation. What I think could be done would be to require the national contractors they hire to subcontract a certain percentage of their piece of the pie to smaller local contractors so that a substantial portion of the recovery money stays local.

  • ChrisM2011

    Obviously a huge Kreayshawn fan

    • Well, in fairness, Kreayshawn was a great wide receiver. Wait, what?

  • Jus_Wonderin

    That photo is just screamin' for some Photoshop love.

  • TootsStansbury

    These assholes are a man made disaster also too.

  • TxSpinyLizrd

    Jiminy Christmas. what is it with these guys and their comb-overs? Guys: we prefer you bald than with the comb-over look. It does not make you look younger nor more attractive.

  • kyeshinka

    Give the man a break. Most people in western Iowa have never seen a Gucci bag nor a black person, so how the hell are they supposed to keep 'em straight?

  • kyeshinka

    Looks like Putin, minus the judo routine and the botox.

  • Tundra Grifter

    That whole "give the money to the states and local communities" thing worked out sooo well with the Department of Homeland Security.

    Local police forces purchased armored cars and tanks and all kinds of military hardware they won't ever need unless Cuba finally does invade Florida, although in that case I seriously doubt any of them will get through the Everglades.

    Or the first shopping mall.

  • mbobier

    Well, OF COURSE the states should come to the Gummint with "a plan on how to spend" any disaster relief bucks they get. Clearly, the state officials of, say, New Jersey, just as a completely random example, have nothing at ALL better to do right now than to spend a couple of months in committee meetings, hammering out a grant proposal to the Feds for how to deal with 50 million feet of flood waters, downed trees, storm-destroyed buildings, power outages, fires, and overflowing emergency shelters that are happening right now!

    No wonder Steve King has such a glassy-eyed look; he needs a change in his meds, STAT.

  • BumbleKid

    “Can you imagine in the middle of a disaster to ask for appropriations for mitigating future disasters?”

    It practically snarks itself.

  • OneYieldRegular

    What Steve King means is that if human misery and suffering can't be turned into corporate profit then America is not properly fulfilling its God-given mission.

  • Why is Christie Vilsack not light years ahead of this guy in the polls? Is there lots of lead in the water in Iowa's 4th district? A shockingly high number of head trauma victims? Excessive inbreeding? I hope it's not excessive inbreeding because that's just gross.

    • Wile E. Quixote

      The answer is "all of the above", how else would King have gotten elected and re-elected in the first place.

  • Franknflower

    What's with Republicans and crazy eyes?

    • MegPasadena

      I am scared of that picture. Maybe he also eats babies.

    • ID

  • Angela Eloise

    Hey, if I have to be a bag lady because my house got swept away in a frankenstorm, I want a nice handbag!

  • decentcitizen

    What are the qualifications to be a republican politician from the Mid-west? I bet they're not as hard a drawing a turtle on a matchbook.

  • Negropolis

    "Gucci Gucci, Loui Loui, Fendi Fendi, Prada. Basic bitches wear that shit so I don't even botha."

    Basic bitches, indeed. Kreayshawn FTW.

  • But I wanted to spend my FEMA monies on weed!

  • Nowisallthereis

    Dog rape stands is what we need so King and his cronies can have more fightin' dogs. I only want King to demonstrate their proper use to us. First he gets on his knees, struggles while a handler ties him to the stand and then – OPEN WIDE STEVIE. You know that Rotweiler that you kicked down the stairs when he was a pup – well he's grown up now. By the look in his eyes, he has not forgotten all the love taps you gave him. ENJOY!!!!!!

  • ttommyunger

    There is just something about that face that tells me it would not be good for me to bump into him in a public bathroom. I wonder how much extra time I'd get for beating a Congressman…..with votes.

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