Third Party & Independents Archives

GOP seeks to slash to tsunami warning funding

Do you ever get the felling that the problem with our “distinguished leaders” in Washington isn’t that they don’t *get* what the problems facing average Americans are; but they simply don’t *CARE* what the problems are?

The official death toll in Japan from last week’s 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami topped 10,035. And what “critical legislation” are the Republicans in the House of Representatives trying to force through? A spending plan being pushed by Republicans would slash funding by one-third for the agency that warned Hawaii and the West Coast about the devastating tsunami’s carnage in Japan.

The plan, approved last month by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, would cut an estimated $126 million from the National Weather Service budget, the agency that houses the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

The center issued widespread warnings less than two minutes after the earthquake and issued instructions, guidance and updates throughout the day.

A union representing workers at the tsunami center said the proposed cuts, part of $454 million in cuts for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, could result in furloughs and rolling closures of weather service offices and will undoubtedly cripple the center’s ability to issue warnings similar to those issued Friday.

“I understand the tsunami is the disaster of the day — and it’s terrible — but the bigger issue for the U.S. is that we’re coming up on tornado season, we’re coming up on hurricane season,” said Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization. “The number one mission of the National Weather Service is to save lives. If you start deconstructing the early warning system, something is going to fall through the cracks and people are going to die.”

A spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, which is leading the budget-cutting effort, said deep cuts were needed to restore the country’s fiscal health. The party’s plan would cut spending for NOAA operations by nearly 10% below the budget enacted last year.

“The nation is in a historic fiscal crisis, and it is imperative that the Congress roll back spending in virtually every area of government — including NOAA — so that we can help our economy back on track,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Hing.

But Congress continues to ignore GAO REPORT IDENTIFYING $200 BILLION IN WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE.

But it’s fairly simple to understand at least one of the motivations behind this latest “screw the people” move by the right-wing. Hawaii usually votes Democratic. So if its population gets wiped off the map, that’s two less Democratic Senators the Republicans will have voting against them, and they can always import their pineapples from central and/or South America. It wouldn’t be difficult to see this as the same kind of political power-grab used in Wisconsin.

If there were a similar threat to one of the always-vote-Republican states, you can be certain that the Republicans would appropriate a sum bigger than the Pentagon’s contractor catering budget to save it.

I would like to go to each member of Congress, right and left, and find out what caused the death and/or suffering of someone in their immediate family, and then announce that I’m going to slash all funding that helps that organization because “America needs to cut spending.” Make it personal. Make it affect THEM. Let’s see how eager our “best and brightest” are to slice budgets then.

It’s just this simple: The tsunami warning center provided critical information to public safety officials for an effective and almost immediate response to the tsunami that directly saved lives in Hawaii and California. The House-passed bill that attempts to slash the warning center’s budget is shortsighted and puts our nation’s security, health and infrastructure at risk.

The GOP claims that their cuts to the tsunami budget would save $126 Million next year. How about this: How about Congress picks one of the multi-billion-dollar corporations that still haven’t paid back their Bailout money and prevents the CEO and other executives from getting any bonus next year. Based on commonly available figures, that could save upwards of $400 Million.

Better still, how about they immediately act on the GAO’s report and cut just 10 percent of the overspending identified there. That would immediately save $200 Million.

No wonder the American education system is in the toilet. Our “best and brightest” can’t do simple math.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at March 25, 2011 11:10 AM
Comments
Comment #320641

Gary St. Lawrence, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but this post eliminated that altogether.

It’s hard to imagine 200 billion in waste and NOAA is it’s little bubble of perfection imune to cuts in waste and duplication. And then to insinuate that Republicans want to destroy Hawaii because they could gain 2 more seats in the senate simply defys sanity. I quit reading after that.

Get a grip on your partisan shill games, Gary St. Lawrence.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 25, 2011 4:46 PM
Comment #320642

This is what happens when the GOP vows to cut spending, but takes entitlements and defense spending off the table, even though these two expenditures are the source of nearly all of budget woes (apart from the historically low tax rate).

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 25, 2011 5:50 PM
Comment #320646

I’m a little disappointed in WW for falling for this liberal diatribe. GSL’s post was supposed to be about cutting the budget of the National Weather Service, but has jumped all over the place, sharing with us his anger at the Republicans for a litany of subjects. It is an attack on unions, the GOP wants to see Hawaiian people die (this is sick), corporation CEO’s and executives, and let us not forget one of the left’s favorite subjects, children being denied an education. These liberal talking points have nothing to do with the original thread of the post.

This is part of a CR and if the Democrats had done their job last year, we would have a 2011 budget, but they didn’t pass a budget because of the Nov. 2010 elections. So we can lay this one at the feet of a Democratic controlled House and Senate. Secondly the cuts only amount to $160 million for the balance of the year. Thirdly, the NWS receives funds for their budget; it is up to the NWS to determine the importance of where the funds are spent. Lastly, the loss of jobs is about a rolling blackout of NWS offices for 27 day periods.

This is another clear-cut attempt by the left to create a crisis. Two weeks ago it was Wisconsin and today it’s the NWS. The left goes from one crisis to another, throwing shit against the wall and trying to see how much of it sticks. Warped, you seem to be a smart guy, but to fall for this is disappointing.

Posted by: 1776 at March 25, 2011 7:36 PM
Comment #320652

I agree that the Democratic Congress should have done its job and passed a budget last year, but what’s done is done; today is 2011, not 2010.

I assume GSL’s statement about Hawaiians was just a bit of hyperbole; however he brings up the important point that the GOP is being very political in deciding where to make its cuts. Entitlement programs, defense programs, agriculture subsidies and tax expenditures are all sacrosanct while services such as the NWS and CPB bear the brunt of the cuts. I could tell that the GPO clamor about the deficit was nothing but grandstanding; the new GOP House of Representatives has done everything it can to ensure that the government services that primarily benefit the right wing are unharmed.

Regarding Wisconsin, there’s a reason you never saw me comment on any of those articles. Most of the hoopla over there was really silly on both sides.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 25, 2011 8:24 PM
Comment #320653

As 1776 mentions, this is the typical way to attack any cuts anywhere.

they call it the Washington monument trick. The close the most noticeable and politically salient things.

It is the same strategy your kids might use if you ask them to spend less money. They use their smaller budgets to buy the same amount of music concerts and new clothes, but complain there is not enough for food.

Gary

You mention the duplications and waste. Do you suppose that none of this waste and duplication is in the weather service and that the only thing they can cut is this alert system?

BTW - this post is close to being about money and banking. I thought you said you would defer to the MBAs on this one.

Posted by: C&J at March 25, 2011 8:42 PM
Comment #320656
You mention the duplications and waste. Do you suppose that none of this waste and duplication is in the weather service and that the only thing they can cut is this alert system?

Thanks, C&J, I couldn’t have said it better.

I don’t know why this:

It’s hard to imagine 200 billion in waste and NOAA is it’s little bubble of perfection imune to cuts in waste and duplication.

is considered falling for Gary St. Lawrence’s “this liberal diatribe”.
This type of crisis blackmail is a cancer and shall not be tolorated.

It is possible for NOAA to suppliment it’s income with sales of the information it collects to local tv stations. Local stations can accent their own capabilities or new stations can compete with existing capabilities of other local stations with purchased information from NOAA.

There’s no reason to resort to this fearmongering in order to protect the coasts. It can be done with an orderly transfer of priorities.

Crisis politics must come to an end.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 25, 2011 9:16 PM
Comment #320661
It is possible for NOAA to suppliment it’s income with sales of the information it collects to local tv stations. Local stations can accent their own capabilities or new stations can compete with existing capabilities of other local stations with purchased information from NOAA.

I don’t think you know much about weather forecasting works. First of all, NOAA is currently required by law to make all the data it collects publicly available in the public domain. So a change of law would be needed in order to let NOAA charge for its data.

Secondly, charging for the data would drastically disrupt the way forecasting is currently done. Forecasting is done not only by local television newscasts, but also by a large variety of private firms advising a wide variety of businesses, especially the aviation and agriculture industries. Presently, local TV station meteorologists as well as meteorologists in other businesses all use NOAA data and little else. There is no other data source, unless one desires to use data from another country. Most of today’s forecasts come from two gigantic computer models run by NOAA: the Global Forecast System and the North America Model. This means that stations don’t have “existing capabilities”. The only capabilities a TV station has is a trained meteorologist. While a trained meteorologist with a good feel for the weather was sufficient fifty years ago, no human can compete with the computer, which revolutionized forecasting in the 1970s & 1980s. The meteorologist hired by the TV station just interprets the output of the model (a nontrivial task, but its not what the general public usually imagines).

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 25, 2011 11:05 PM
Comment #320663

NOAA Budget (Source):

FY2009 (Actual) $4.454 Billion
FY2010 (Actual) $4.853 Billion
FY2012 (President’s Proposal) $5.498 Billion
===============================================
3 Year Change + $1.044 Billion
+ 23.44% Increase

So, is it really unreasonable to cut the budget of a department that has seen an increase to its budget of greater than 23% over the last three years? The originally proposed cuts, as part of the CR, were $336 Million (Source). I don’t know whether or not that has changed being that everything is still in limbo, but I’m sure if it has the number was lowered since the Democrats seem to be opposed to cutting anything (especially Senator Reid’s “cowboy poetry festival”). If the $336M in cuts went through, NOAA would still have a net increase in their budget of about 16% over four years, which is much more than the average person has seen their income grow over the same time period. Let’s put it into perspective before we all go running through the streets with our hair on fire.

This is just another example of the left engaging in the same exact fear-mongering that they constantly accuse conservatives of.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 25, 2011 11:49 PM
Comment #320664

Oh, and perhaps we might want to show a little bit of restraint and not criticize the GOP for their spending priorities considering their budget proposal won’t be out until next week?

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 25, 2011 11:52 PM
Comment #320666

We should also recall that the so-called “cuts” are very often reductions from Obama proposals, which were very much larger than previous budgets and that the Democrats in Congress never bothered to try to pass.

The Democrats irresponsibly refused to pass any budget at all when they controlled Congress. The new Congress that the American people chose to replace them is NOT cutting from the budget, since there was no budget. The Democrats, in this sense, have set up a fictional amount, which they could not or would not pass themselves and then calling everything a cut from nothing that never was.

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand accounting or even simple chronology, so the Democrats can fool the ignorant and the credulous, as they evidently have in this case.

Kevin

Thanks for the figures in this specific case. I have found that many liberal arguments fall if you actually follow the evidence. I suppose that is why so many of us start off as liberals and end up as conservatives as we get more experience with how things really work in life.

Posted by: C&J at March 26, 2011 12:50 AM
Comment #320668

I’m not opposed to cutting NOAA’s budget, however I find it incredibly disturbing that NOAA is receiving cuts before the conservative cash cows. For the most part, NOAA has no reputation of wasting taxpayer money and returns an array of very valuable services. On the other hand, other sectors (defense spending, entitlement spending, farm subsidies, etc) have been passed over by the GOP. The GOP should have looked for cuts in those areas first before touching NOAA’s budget.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 26, 2011 1:20 AM
Comment #320669

Warped,

We’re talking about CRs, which are fairly limited in scope and are not a good barometer of any broader fiscal plan. Let’s wait to see the GOP’s budget proposal and then we’ll see if they are, in fact, passing over things that should be cut.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 26, 2011 1:25 AM
Comment #320678

The whole problem with NOAA is it’s science. And as we are all so painfully aware the right and the teabaggers do not believe is science.

Posted by: Jeff at March 26, 2011 1:21 PM
Comment #320679

Jeff

Thanks for the stereotypes. Some lefty has usually deployed the prejudice by now and we were missing the ignorance. Now everybody is happy that the left has lived up to its reputation.

Didn’t we recently have a debate here where most of our liberal deployed their self assessed formidable rhetorical skills against GMOs?

It seems like the left —baggers do not believe in science very much either.

Posted by: C&J at March 26, 2011 1:27 PM
Comment #320686


In terms of nuts and bolts:

What the left has done was to create an artificially high standard of living in America. Capital and the right are demanding that the American standard of living be reduced to a more realistic level.

To achieve this, all the socialistic aspects created by the left through manipulation of the government must be eliminated. In addition, voting rights must be restored in accordance to those granted by our Founding Fathers.

Only through this accomplishment can the golden age of America be restored.

Posted by: jlw at March 26, 2011 2:21 PM
Comment #320687

The trouble for Republicans here is that they define wasteful spending independent of purpose or benefit of purpose.

NOAA serves a very important purpose. It helps us understand and predict conditions that affect our ability to do commerce. The Framers would very likely consider such a service well within the authority of the government under the constitution.

America is not what it once was. It has advanced technologically. It has changed culturally. It has changed Demographically. It has changed constitutionally, with seventeen amendments made to the constitution since the time of the Framers, including an amendment that modern Corporations use to justify themselves as legal persons, with all the powers that come of that.

Our government is meant to be an adaption to current times and current issues. If we’re setting up a government to deal with the world as we did in the 1700s, when most people lived on farms, when moving quickly and communicating quickly both meant traveling on horseback, when flying through the air was a mad notion, and landing on the moon even more mad, then we’re not setting it up to take care of our needs.

American should not be forced into a state of maladaptation to please the political prejudices of a few.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2011 2:23 PM
Comment #320689

Thanks for the stereotypes. Some lefty has usually deployed the prejudice by now and we were missing the ignorance. Now everybody is happy that the left has lived up to its reputation.

There are stereotypes sprinkled all over the place from the right. But only the right has the right to self righteousness.

Posted by: Jeff at March 26, 2011 2:35 PM
Comment #320703

Stephen said:

“The Framers would very likely consider such a service well within the authority of the government under the constitution.”

Thanks to RF and a few others, the word games of Mr. Daugherty have been exposed. Now he is telling us what the Framers of the Constitution would or would not have considered. Great…

Mr. Daugherty once again wants to “Dazzle us…” with his knowledge of NOAA, but the point remains; their budget was cut, but only cut from a budget proposal that has never been voted on; the NWS has the right to choose where to cut spending; it is part of a CR; and this whole subject is nothing more than another crisis the left wants to exploit for class warfare purposes.

Posted by: 1776 at March 26, 2011 10:14 PM
Comment #320705

Stephen Daugherty used to say the words of the Framers are outdated and immaterial.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 26, 2011 11:50 PM
Comment #320706
Weary Willie wrote: “Get a grip on your partisan shill games, Gary St. Lawrence.”


Pot, meet kettle.

Weary Willie chastising somebody for “partisan shill games” is like Josef Mengele chastising someone for human rights violations.

Your hypocrisy is dwarfed only by your intentional ignorance.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 27, 2011 12:09 AM
Comment #320707
1776 wrote: “This is another clear-cut attempt by the left to create a crisis. Two weeks ago it was Wisconsin and today it’s the NWS. The left goes from one crisis to another, throwing shit against the wall and trying to see how much of it sticks.”

Gosh 17, I’m terribly sorry that “the left” stole your lunch money and caused your acne and is responsible for every personal misfortune you’ve ever suffered in your life.

And as for creating a crisis, I guess this must be just another “smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.”


Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 27, 2011 12:13 AM
Comment #320739

1776-
Simple logic and generally known facts suffice to back my claim. The implications of weather systems for multiple states is a regular matter of concern, and the disruptions that can be caused by bad weather invariably affect interstate commerce.

Why are Republicans seeking cuts to it? What’s the point? You know your people cut funding from border patrols and things like that? Your people are being so fricking indiscriminate, it’s not funny.

James Lankford, a Republican Representative, had this to say : “The issue is not whether they’re good programs,” says Lankford. “They’re good programs. The issue is we’re broke.”

Which is the entire problem with the way Republicans approach the matter of budgeting.

First, we’re not broke. Broke is in debt, and unable to pay. They might get us in that position if they get in the way of raising the debt ceiling, but we haven’t run screaming off that cliff just yet. America’s recovered from worse percentages of debt to GDP before, and come back to prosperity. Republicans want a panic to justify policies otherwise too extreme to be palatable to people.

Second, though, Republicans aren’t being careful. There’s no systematic thought, no systematic consideration of the consequences of those cuts.

This is political posturing, not responsible governance. This is people who confuse being symbolically righteous with being truly right in their judgment.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2011 7:02 PM
Comment #320743

Stephen

The Congress didn’t actually make a cut. They cut back from a proposal that President Obama made but Democrats never bothered to pass. It was fiction.

Beyond that, the cuts are given to the agencies. They make the choices whether to cut things like extra trips for appointees to vacation spots or cutting tsunami warning systems. Only a Democratic congress is dumb enough to try to mico-manage every agency in the government. Actually, even they are not that dumb.

Posted by: C&J at March 27, 2011 8:16 PM
Comment #320744

Silly Stephen said:

“First, we’re not broke. Broke is in debt, and unable to pay.”

$14+ trillion that we know of; so we are in debt, and if the Fed stopped printing money, we wouldn’t be able to pay.

Posted by: 1776 at March 27, 2011 8:22 PM
Comment #320745

1776

You know where Stephen gets that idea. It is from Michael Moore. Take a look at that guy and you know that he doesn’t believe in cutting out much of anything. Perhaps the answer to being too fat is more donuts.

Posted by: C&J at March 27, 2011 8:44 PM
Comment #320751
C&J wrote: You know where Stephen gets that idea. It is from Michael Moore. Take a look at that guy and you know that he doesn’t believe in cutting out much of anything. Perhaps the answer to being too fat is more donuts.


So you’re saying that being overweight only occurs among Democrats?

Let’s ask
Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee (and his entire family) what their thoughts on obesity are.

Fat, like stupid, is plentiful in both parties.


Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 28, 2011 12:01 AM
Comment #320759

So GSL, change the subject to fat people instead on national debt.

Just curious GSL, why are you writing in the green column? You are more liberal than SD; so why not write in the blue column?

Posted by: 1776 at March 28, 2011 9:50 AM
Comment #320761

1776, do you *decide* to be a troll or does it come naturally?

*I* didn’t change the subject to fat people, C&J did. If you’d bother to read entire threads instead of seeking out pin-points to drop in your asinine pro-GOP-no-matter-what drivel, you might have noticed that.

My response to C&J was COMPLETELY independent. But, clearly, if someone isn’t blowing sunshine up a Republican’s butt, you automatically classify them as a “lib.”

Why are you even aware of the green column? You’re more of a teabagger than Glenn Beck.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 28, 2011 11:28 AM
Comment #320774

KN,

Warped,

We’re talking about CRs, which are fairly limited in scope and are not a good barometer of any broader fiscal plan. Let’s wait to see the GOP’s budget proposal and then we’ll see if they are, in fact, passing over things that should be cut.

I hope I’m wrong and you are right, but what I’m currently reading doesn’t seem to pan out that way.:

Republicans are poised to reject a White House offer, TPM has learned, that would cut over $30 billion in current spending because of disagreements over whether the package should include cuts to mandatory spending programs. Democrats are pushing for such cuts, which include the big entitlement programs, though the specific cuts they’re proposing remain unclear. In an ironic twist, Republicans oppose those cuts and want to limit the negotiations to non-defense discretionary spending, a smaller subset of the federal budget.

1776,
Despite its physical location on the WatchBlog homepage in between the Red and Blue columns, the Green column is called “Third party & Independents” not “Moderates & Centrists”. The Green column is the home of centrists, moderates, people too far left or too far right to be classified as red or blue as well as people who don’t fall along this single dimension of measuring political philosophy (including supporters of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and others). I don’t know GSL’s politics, so I don’t know why he chose to write for the green column, but I’m sure he has his reasons.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 28, 2011 6:28 PM
Comment #320780

Warped

It is funny, though, that there doesn’t seem to be an extreme right here at all, but there is lots of extreme left. Gallup tell us fairly consistently that around 40% of Americans are conservative, 20% liberal and 40% moderate.

I think it is fairly common for people who write or comment on this blog to think they are independent, but we have to look at behaviors not ostensible beliefs. I have never registered for any party and I have occasionally voted for Democrats, but most of my behaviors are Republican and conservative. I think that others should check to see how well what they say conforms to what they call themselves and what they do.


Gary

I understand subtlety and do not extrapolate. When I was talking about Micheal Moore not being able to control his impulses, you could logically infer that I was referring to his lack of weight control. But extrapolating to the idea that it implied that weight problems occur only among Democrats is beyond what a reasonable person could infer. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

BTW - on your earlier post referring to the ostensible ignorance of tea party members, the information you quoted was not in the the study you referenced. Since I assume you based your conclusions on something, I asked about it, but you evidently didn’t notice. If I am mistaken, please give me the page numbers. Otherwise we will have to assume this is another example of an extrapolation beyond the evidence, always more fun but usually less enlightening.

Posted by: C&J at March 28, 2011 8:21 PM
Comment #320788

C&J,

I did respond. Pages 8, 9 and 10.

And for corroborating/supporting sources:

http://pantslessprogressive.com/post/4007884654/a-new-cnn-opinion-research-poll-shows-70-of

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/03/tracking-gop-pr.php

http://www.mediaite.com/online/cbs-news-poll-americans-back-obamas-handling-of-libya/

I’m not trying to create “fun.” I’m not trying to allegiance myself with you, or Royal Flush, or 1776 or anybody else on WB. If I agree, I agree. If I disagree, I don’t go into attack mode and initiate a childish name-calling tantrum. If I insult someone, it’s because they insulted me in response to my posts. Unlike many here, I attack the message, not the messenger. The bear only attacks when poked.

And the fact that I won’t align with right-wing and uber-right-wing “values” 100% of the time does not make me a “liberal.” If I’m on a tear against the right lately, it’s because the “right” have been wrong so often, and in such egregious ways, and before such massive audiences, that I can’t help but point out an asinine, hypocritical or just-plain stupid/ignorant statement. Sadly for the Fox News lemming society, the most stupid statements, and the most frequently stupid, have been coming from the right wing’s champions lately.

If you can show me current Democrats making as abjectly stupid statements out of sheer ignorance as much as Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have been making recently (and not just verbal gaffes), I’ll gladly revile them along with you.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 28, 2011 10:26 PM
Comment #320790

Gary

I checked those pages. They do not feature the wording of the questions you pose, nor is there anything about the sample sizes you mention in the link intro.

Specifically, I cannot find your key questions “Do you support the United Nations’ implementation of a “no-fly zone” in Libya?” and “Do you support President Barack Obama’s implementation of a “no-fly zone” in Libya?” in the texts. Nor can I find anything referring to sample sizes of “100 Democrats, 100 TEA Party members, 100 Republicans, 100 Independents and 100 people who declared no political affiliation.” this would be a troubling sample, since tea party members would overlap with all the other groups. I wondered how the pollsters would address the contaminated sample.

Since we are basing our information on the specific polling data, the additional would not address those concerns.

I do not believe that a sample drawn the way you described could possible yield a statistically valid result and I am surprised that a reputable polling organization would do something like that, which is why I want to check the source documents. As you know, exact wording is very important and a poll based on a bad sample is worse than useless and a post based on such a poll would not be valid.

I am not trying to annoy you here. I usually check the source documentation if I find something that doesn’t make sense to me. Often the source documentation explains the problem. In this case it does not. I looked through the sources and even did searches on the wording and the samples you mentions to no avail.

I am not attacking the messenger or even the message. I just wonder about the facts on which the message is based.

Posted by: C&J at March 28, 2011 10:53 PM
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