The Wisdom Of Ozark Billy Long

In all the excitement over what freaked-out conservatives are calling President Obama’s “gun grab,” we perhaps lost sight of what Republicans actually tried to do to the citizens of the Northeast, those who suffered from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy.

A staggering 179 Republicans voted against helping those folks affected by the massive storm. It’s a wonder that there are any members of the Republican Party left in New York or New Jersey, but I saw plenty of them thanking “Congress” for helping them out. But, once again, it was Democrats who saved the day, with all but one of them in the House voting to help (that one nay vote by a Democrat was scandalous, by the way).

But perhaps the biggest scoundrel of all the 179 Republicans who voted against aiding storm victims was our own Ozark Billy Long, who, after bragging about all the help he secured for Joplin after our tornado, couldn’t muster support for equally needy folks in the Northeast.

Look at this headline from NPR in 2011, after our killer tornado:

A Foe Of Big Government Seeks Aid For Joplin

That article ended with this:

Long says he’s confident that whatever tough choices may have to be made, Uncle Sam’s not going to skimp on helping people laid low by a natural disaster.

As for the government, there are still a lot of things Long aims to change, but it’s less likely you’ll hear him complaining any more about being “fed up.”

Ozark Billy earned from the American Conservative Union a 92 rating, which made him “the most conservative member of the Missouri delegation in 2011,” said Billy. Congratulations to him. And with the “no” vote on help to victims of Hurricane Sandy, he is on track to be a hero of reactionary conservatives again in 2013.

But he is, without a doubt, a hypocrite, a self-serving scoundrel who takes credit for helping the local folks with dollars from others, including dollars from people in the Northeast, but is unwilling to do the right thing when those other folks need our help.

The people who voted for Billy Long should, but won’t, be ashamed of themselves. He could run and be reelected a thousand times in this sense-forsaken area.

And, by the way, who could have guessed this:

Rep. Billy Long said he is categorically opposed to the new gun restrictions proposed by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, arguing they would interfere with Americans’ ability to defend themselves.

The Springfield News-Leader also reported some Ozark Billy folk wisdom:

“People need to be able to defend themselves, as crazy as this world’s getting,” Long said.

When he was a child and learned about some tragedy like a shooting, Long said, his grandmother would tell him “there’s just a lot of meanness in the world.” That still resonates with him today, he said, adding “we need to figure out as a society what we’re doing to augment that meanness.

Meanness. It comes in all forms, including withholding help from folks in need in a part of the country that would, because they are sensible Americans, laugh Billy Long off any goddamned ballot.

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9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  January 18, 2013

    I had looked up his vote after the first smaller installment of aid and I believe he did vote for that, why he would vote against the second bill is quite amazing. I suppose the Right will start a campaign to say how the East should be more like conservative, Christian Joplinites in their recovery from disaster, but the truth is that Joplin would still be digging itself out if not for the quick and amazing clean-up that was made possible by FEMA. I have said this before and will continue to say it. We would not have been able to start the equally amazing efforts to rebuild Joplin if not for the clean up, temporary schools, and FEMA housing that were provided to displaced residents. My first reaction after the Tornado was to leave the area and let someone else buy my home since I am not from here. I was worried that this area would not have the resources to recover fast enough and I was concerned also because I have a child in our High School. Of course, my worries were proved wrong due to the single fact that the Federal Gov, under the direction of President Obama, stepped up and provided the funds to start this entire recovery. Hell, now they (FEMA) are cleaning up lead by replacing entire yards with new dirt and turf, all under the notion that the Tornado caused it! No complaints there, right? Shame on Billy Long!

    Kabe

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  2. janice reed

     /  January 18, 2013

    One question. Who was the democrat who voted against aide for those folks in the northeast.

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    • Anonymous

       /  January 18, 2013

      @ Janice , Jim Cooper of Tennessee 5th Dist.

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    • Janice,

      I linked to an article on Rep. Cooper in the piece:

      It’s hard for me to believe that on this issue a Democrat would side with teapartiers. There are some issues where I can see how some Democrats might have a different view from mine, or yours perhaps, but on this one it is hard to understand what makes a man call himself a Democrat if he is willing to forego government help in this case.

      Duane

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  January 18, 2013

    No way do I try to defend OBL (ole Billy Long). But I do note the following.

    The only time I ever saw a public announcement (it was in the Globe) was about a year ago reporting the source of funds to “rebuild Joplin” after the tornado. At that time it was reported that Federal funding amounted to $250 Million (mostly cleanup and trailers it seems as big ticket items) and $2.5 BILLION from private sources, insurance being the dominant source. Total cost was thus about $2,750 Million ($2.750 Billion)

    That is about 9% federal and 92% “private” funding to rebuild Joplin. The recent TIF proposal is about $57 million “government funding” of about a total of $806 million total funding. That works out to about 7% government funding and that money will NOT come from deficits for sure nor will taxes be raised to create the funding from government.

    I have no idea the total funding needed to cleanup after Sandy but if 9% of that total funding is $60 Billion dollars, well do the math. That would suggest that it will take around $666 Billion total to cleanup after Sandy or about $606 Billion from non-federal sources (200 times the amount of “private money” to cleanup and rebuild Joplin before TIF).

    I also would point out that the “unfunded) $60 Billion federal aid (deficit spending all, as far as I can tell) consumes the entire amount of the recent tax increase on the “rich” in one year. I also wonder just how much “pork” is contained in that $60 Billion figure? Even it the “pork” is “only 10%) well the Northeast will get…….!

    There are reasons to be suspicious is my only point in how again, we spend our federal dollars, borrowed dollars each and every one of them in this case.

    Finally Kabe, the federal money to cleanup Joplin helped a lot for sure. But that money did very little to, for example, open our schools on time. That was done through superb local leadership by and large and a lot of hard work by thousands of volunteers.

    Anson

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    • I won’t quibble with your stats, Anson, and I won’t argue against the notion that “there are reasons to be suspicious” about how we spend federal (or state or local for that matter) dollars.

      Sure, there will always be pork in bills like these. That’s the way the sausage is made, unfortunately. And I am sure it has always been made that way in Washington, or heck, anyplace where democracy is practiced.

      But the larger point is that OBL is wrong to plead for money for his constituents, then vote for a bill that gave us (borrowed) money, and then deny the same courtesy to other congressional districts, most of them having paid in more to the federal government than they had ever received before.

      Finally, you rightly praise our local leaders, most of them government officials and staff of one kind or another. But FEMA was indispensable to getting our schools opened on time, Anson. Where do you think that initial money came from to move into Northpark Mall or the other buildings used for classes?

      Duane

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    • Anonymous

       /  January 18, 2013

      Anson, I searched for info on the aid for Joplin. A May 24, 2011 article in the Huffington Post says the House GOP approved a 1 Billion dollar package for Joplin. We had about 8 square miles of damage.There were also other funds approved, such as this past October 45 million dollars for the lead clean-up. I was not aware tornadoes contained lead! I though the mining operations may have caused that, I could be wrong! LOL. Now, I am not sure of the dimensions of damage from the Hurricane, but I am sure it was much much lager than 8 square miles. Also, I have nothing but praise for our local leadership for all efforts concerning Joplin’s recovery, but without the Federal funds we would be nowhere. To say that the initial clean up of all debris “helped for sure” is a severe understatement.I would say that the clean-up played a major role in reopening our schools. It brought hope that we could get through this mess. I think many would have left with out the clean-up, some having no choice. But lets remember, the gist of Duane’s article is that OBL ( I like that ) is being a severe hypocrite.

      Kabe

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  January 19, 2013

    I in no way, again, try to defend OBL and agree that he is a “dumb hypocrite”. As well I in no way denigrate the federal and state money spend to “cleanup” Joplin. My only point was the appearant magnitude of the money being considered in Joplin and the Northeast.

    The now passed $60 Billion is yet again another example of an immediate demand to meet “needs” with little on no time or effort to substantiate the “needs”. If $60 Billion was really needed to do what was done in Joplin, federally, I would say “yes” in my vote. But you know as well as I do that such a sum has all sorts of “stuff” in it, “stuff” having nothing to do with meeting emergency needs of victims, real victims of that disaster.

    I suppose I am simply saying that anytime a federal bill of such magnitude is passed based on “needs”, well, you both already know how I feel about such “stuff”. I would have been much more comfortable with a more incremental funding approach, say $10 Billion NOW and more later as more legitimate “needs” are identified and clearly defined. And I am not just talking about “waste, fraud and abuse”. I am sure deep within that bill there are some “needs” funded that are not really “needs” if the true light of day was shown on such matters.

    Anson

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    • Anonymous

       /  January 19, 2013

      AB, unfortunately that is the way the game is played. It looks like OBL has been sucked into the DC Machine as well. Very depressing sometimes.

      Kabe

      Like

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