Socialism’s Surprising Supporters In Southwest Missouri

Let’s begin with a relatively lengthy selection from the Joplin Globe’s endorsement of Mittens Romney in 2012, and please follow the logic the paper used to toss its 2008 Obama endorsement under the editorial bus:

And on the issue that most threatens our nation’s future well-being — unchecked federal spending — this nation is more than stalled. It is in reverse. […]

During the first debate, Romney bluntly warned moderator Jim Lehrer that he would cut off funds for public broadcasting if the nation was having to borrow money from China to pay for it. If true, it’s the kind of thing a debtor nation must do.

The Obama campaign attacked Romney on that point.

Sure, funding for public broadcasting is an insignificant part of the budget, but if Obama isn’t even willing to cut one one-hundreth of 1 percent of federal spending for something that is non-vital to America, then the president is not serious about reducing spending at all.

If Obama is not serious about that, he is the wrong person for the job.

Let’s review:

♦ “Unchecked federal spending” “threatens our nation’s future well-being”

♦ A “debtor nation” should not spend money on “non vital” stuff, if it has to “borrow money from China to pay for it”

♦ Because Obama doesn’t  recognize what “non vital” stuff is and won’t therefore cut it out of the budget, “he is the wrong person for the job”

Got it? Okay. Now, we can proceed to this morning’s banner headline in the same paper that endorsed Mittens:

joplin globe headline on federal money

Just where, you might ask, will Joplin “get” all that dough? Oh, that’s easy:

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin will receive $113 million from a $125 million state grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for disaster recovery.

And:

HUD statements said the award came from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act that President Barack Obama signed Jan. 29 that designates $16 billion for U.S. disaster recovery.

“President Barack Obama signed…” Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. The scary socialist president sent our city some socialism-tainted simoleons.

Amazingly, Joplin’s city manager wasn’t expecting the windfall:

City Manager Mark Rohr said the grant was a surprise to city officials, who earlier had applied for $1.72 billion from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program for tornado recovery and received $45.2 million.

Rohr said city officials thought the $45 million award, made in January 2012, was the result of the application and did not know that more money would be on the way.

“We’re very pleased and grateful for the assistance we’ve gotten, and we intend to use the money wisely to help the city recover in the best way possible,” Rohr said.

The city manager didn’t exactly say this money was “vital” to the needs of Joplin, did he? In fact, he sort of sounded like he—we—had won the lottery.

Well, this liberal—and Joplin resident—says good for Joplin.

But conservative readers of the Joplin Globe, especially readers who lauded the paper’s endorsement of socialism-hating Romney, had every right to expect, upon reading this story, that the paper would publish an editorial this morning expressing grave concerns about all that “unchecked federal spending,” right?

I mean, the Globe told us that we should not borrow money from China to pay for “non vital” stuff because we are such a “debtor nation,” so logic would dictate that the paper tell the city manager to wrap up the money and send it right back to President Obama, right?

Wrong.

In today’s paper, there was no such send-the-money-back-to-the-treasury editorial. Nope. Nothing about unchecked federal spending, debtor nation, or China. And I would bet ten-thousand Romney dollars that there will never be such an editorial in the Joplin Globe. Never.

Oh, by the way, speaking of the money the feds—no, the good people of the United States—have sent here to J-Town since the tornado in 2011, the Globe reports:

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said the block grant raises the amount of federal funding Joplin has received to more than $350 million. 

I’m not a math whiz but I think that amounts to about $7,000 for every man, woman, child, and editorial writer in this Romney-for-president town.

Finally, to top off the amazing account of all that federal money rolling into the Republican-red, socialism-hating streets of Joplin, we have this from the Globe’s story:

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s office issued a statement saying that the award was the result of legislation Blunt sponsored that made the $45 million available to Joplin. He also has sought continued aid that is earmarked for the areas in most need, his staff said. Blunt, R-Mo., met at City Hall with Joplin and Duquesne officials within weeks after the May 2011 tornado to ask them what would be needed for recovery.

“When a disaster exceeds the ability of communities and states, the federal government has a responsibility to help people rebuild,” Blunt said in the statement. “I’m pleased these funds will continue to help local leaders, businesses and families in Missouri recover and reinvest for the future.”

If you made it through that without spewing up your breakfast—because you remember that small-government Roy Blunt voted against helping victims of Hurricane Sandy—then maybe you can agree with me that the headline of this story should have been:

Joplin Benefits From More Socialism, Thanks To Selective Socialist Senator Roy Blunt

9 Comments

  1. Dennis Nave

     /  March 28, 2013

    I’m guessing that most of your fellow Joplinites don’t want to hear this, Randy. But it would be interesting to know how Sen. Blunt defines the differences between Hurricane Sandy & the justification for the needs of Joplin.

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    • Dennis,

      By the way, good to hear from you again. I trust your move went well and welcome back to the area, although God only knows why you would want to live in Oklahoma!

      Blunt, along with most of the other 35 Senate Republicans who voted against Sandy relief (as well as 78% of all House Republican), claimed that they’re not opposed to helping those victims, but that the money needed to be “offset,” i.e., something else in the budget needed to be cut in order to fund the assistance. That, as I’m sure you know, has never been the case historically and was merely a game these Tea Party-influenced Republicans were playing with a Democrat in the White’s House.

      Just after our tornado, Eric Cantor tried the same thing relative to helping Joplin. I personally confronted Rep. Billy Long (known here affectionately as Ozark Billy) about the offset issue, after a talk he gave in what was left of Cunningham Park, across from what was left of St. John’s Hospital. He wouldn’t answer my question, even after I shook his hand and ask him directly to his face. He kept walking and wouldn’t say a word. I followed up with is office and never heard a word about it.

      And to be honest, our local paper, the Joplin Globe, rarely reports on Long’s activity, and when it reports on Blunt’s, it is in the form we saw in the article yesterday. Basically it is just reporting the press release of the Senator. Rarely is a critical word written about Blunt and rarely are local readers even aware of what Billy Long is up to in Congress, if all they do is read the Joplin Globe.

      I don’t necessarily blame the local reporters, as most of them are overworked because of understaffing due to the corporate bottom line. But I do blame the publisher of the paper who supervises a newspaper that essentially allows local politicians to have their way without any real accountability. If readers find in the paper anything critical of any of our local politicians, it is usually because of letter writers or “guest columnists” on the op-ed page.

      Sadly, the Joplin Globe, with respect to local political coverage and with a few exceptions, is often merely a conduit for passing on local Republican propaganda.

      RDG

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  2. Indeed, hypocrisy is rife in our little corner of the world. A brief search turns up the fact that the federal budget dispensation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in a recent year (2010) was $420 million, only a little more for the whole country than the $375 million shunted to Joplin missouri for tornado relief. And, I also find it interesting, as I’m finding out lately by listening to pod-casts at the gym, that NPR is not at all the nest of socialist-thinking vipers that many conservatives think it to be. As evidence I cite the same link I provided in a comment I made to Duane’s previous post. Ironic, isn’t it?

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    • Jim,

      I appreciate that link and to be honest I don’t have the time right now to do it justice by investigating it thoroughly. But it sounds like something I have been wanting to get into, as I think there are legitimate criticisms of some federal disability programs, including one rarely mentioned: military disability.

      In my 30 years in civil service, I saw many veterans come to work as civilians with partial disabilities for which they were receiving compensation, and then go out on civilian disability at some point. I always thought there was something wrong with that picture. I remember one guy had a disabling back injury (according to the military) for which he received a check each month, but due to veterans preference hiring, was hired as a letter carrier, who by regulation is required to shoulder 35 pounds of mail! Needless to say, that letter carrier-disabled vet retired on a civilian disability, too, and is making more money between his combined military-civilian disability compensation (most of it not taxable) than he ever made working.

      As I said, something is wrong with that picture.

      Duane

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      • That’s right, Duane, something is very wrong with it. I hope you had time to read through the whole report – it’s really not all that long, and the reporter did an excellent job on the subject in my opinion. NPR said they would have some follow-on stuff as well.

        As for the military aspect, I completely agree. A lot has changed since I retired from the USN in 1981, the same year in which I had a herniated disc go out in my back and in which a Navy doctor delayed surgery on it to the point that I have partial paralysis in my legs and plumbing. At that time I had no recourse to remedy or disability and I went on to do a second career without any. (I still do not have enough control to run, but surprisingly have regained some feeling in the affected areas.)

        What concerns me most about the trend is its rate of growth and that there is no objective way to diagnose “disability”. This is a prescription for demographic disaster because it is synergistic with our dysfunctional healthcare system. Who is going to work at a stand-up job when they can say “my back hurts” and thereby get a gratis $1,000 a month and virtually free healthcare along with it? Our waitress at a local restaurant last night looked to be in her 60’s, albeit thin, perky and efficient. I couldn’t help but admire her work ethic and wonder if she knows how the system works now.

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  3. Like you said, Randy, a pretty weak approach by the Tea Partiers.
    As for our move, Tulsa was in some ways a compromise. We wanted to be lots closer to four Johnson Co. KS grandkids (& their parents) without the more bracing weather change that south TX to KS would have involved. And we wanted a bigger metropolitan area than Joplin. Hence, Tulsa. It’s a more suitable location for us.

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    • Tulsa is one place in Oklahoma that I can tolerate, Dennis. What I can’t tolerate is having to pay $8 for the privilege of driving there on I-44. Missourians don’t ask Oklahomans to pay for driving on our part of I-44. They are free to come and go without a toll because at one time we appreciated the idea of “public” roads, paid for by taxes, and open to anyone. But then who knows what the future will bring, given that Republicans now dominate this state.

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  4. During the 5 yr. we spent in south TX, all the states I’ve spent considerable time in became much more conservative & Republican. OK lost its sole Dem. House member about the time the Dem. governor finished his term of office. Meanwhile, MO, KS & TN all became solidly Republican and conservative states. The state with a chance of coming back from the “dead” is actually TX, if the Hispanic growth continues and the legislature doesn’t dilute its voting strength with punishing voter reforms.

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    • I have a brother and sister in Texas (Dallas area), as well as other family members, including a nephew who lives in Austin. While I was aware of the liberalism rampant in Austin, I wasn’t aware that Dallas actually voted for Obama by almost as much. Obama won the four largest cities in Texas, a phenomenon, as you noted, may soon sweep the entire state by the next generation.

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