Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 15, 2016

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on January 15, 2016

William R. Cumming Forum

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34 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 7:56 am

WOW! A first from FFF to FFF without intervening comments. Assume no one out there but the usual suspects reading and thinking about HS and EM!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 8:02 am

With MLK Day on Monday then two weeks to Iowa! It fascinates me that flood hazards in Iowa never make the political debates but perhaps wrong. Disaster payouts in Iowa enormous since the end of WWII. And the discussion of mitigation and its opportunities in Iowa at the highest level always but words not deeds. And while he has left the NFIP as the key administrator in FEMA an Iowan did run the NFIP recently for several years as a career SES.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 8:19 am

The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Service & Insurance subcommittee held two days of hearings on H.R. 2901, a bill that would promote cherry picking by surplus lines insurers of the NFIP!

Ans the head of the NAIC [National Association of Insurance Commissioners] the Insurance Commissioner of Pennsylvania testified in favor of this poorly drafted and not well understood bill.

IMO any claim against the NFIP where NO POLICY IN FORCE regulated by State laws.

Disclosure: Although not shown as within the 100% annual occurrence flood on NFIP flood maps do I live on a spit of land in the Chesapeake Bay and Great Wicomico River. My first year in my present location I did have an NFIP policy. Its premium was $600 per year with a $600 deductible. No losses reported.

There will be a re-authorization of the NFIP next year [2017] and possible for major changes largely driven by the $24 billion indebtedness of the NFIP to the Treasury Department. This debt overhang, largely caused by failure to identify on NFIP maps flood-prone areas behind structural protection works, seems to bother a Congress that largely caused it by failure to understand the NFIP is a LANDUSE program not an INSURANCE program.

And Congress Maxine Waters [D-CA] one of the authors of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Reform Act commented the Act had largely been a mistake.

My comment at this point is without the NFIP in the last decade over $100 billion more would have been spent of federal disaster relief outlays.

And HUD continues to fund disaster outlays well beyond FEMA through its Community Development Block Grants.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 8:22 am

Again I recommend that the application for NFIP insurance and the policy itself have the following language added:

NO COVERAGE UNDER THIS POLICY WILL BE OR IS AVAILABLE FOR ANY IMPROVED REAL ESTATE DAMAGED BY FLOOD WHERE THAT PROPERTY WAS CONSTRUCTED OR IMPROVED IN VIOLATION OF ANY STATE OR LOCAL BUILDING OR ZONING FLOODPLAIN ORDNANCE!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 8:23 am

Note Bene! Since WWII ended 80% of all federal disaster relief has been to physical damages from floods.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 15, 2016 @ 10:42 am

Bill, good Friday to you!

Thanks for this information as “80% of all federal disaster relief….” I certainly agree given the enormity in such dollars required to bring remedy to such disaster caused by flooding that someone in a leadership role should be discussing…very helpful information.

Emergency Managers have played an important role in coordinating and bringing help to those in desperate need and we should encourage more of our youth to choose Emergency Management as a professional career choice as a rewarding role as so many are adversely affected by so many varied challenges though admittedly never thinking that flooding has such an impact whereby maybe our City and Urban Planners should be planning community development with all such in mind….

“The profession of emergency management did not exist 35 years ago, and in
many ways, the growth of the emergency management profession mirrors the
history of FEMA. Two professional organizations, the International Associa-
tion for Emergency Managers (IAEM) and the National Emergency Manage-
ment Association (NEMA), have played key roles professionalizing emergency
management in the United States.

In 1952, just two years after the establishment of the initial Federal Disaster
Assistance Program, a group of Civil Defense officials formed the U.S. Civil
Defense Council. In 1985, the Civil Defense Council became the National
Coordinating Council of Emergency Management, and subsequently changed
its name to the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) in
1996. According to its website, IAEM now has more than 5,000 members in
58 countries and is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting
the goals of saving lives and protecting property during emergencies and
disasters” –

Christopher Tingus
(MUA) Master’s In Urban Affairs
Housing /Transportation
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

Thanks Chris and both HS and EM policies and issues face all kinds and levels of government worldwide!

One set of issues for future Presidents is how, when, and why to reinforce the Nation State system! IMO nation-states are only as good as it HS and EM activity. That that activity depending on how designed and implemented can reinforce or undermine any given Nation States system of governance.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 3:01 pm

This is the 25th Anniversary of enactment of the PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT. SCOTUS rule against the notion that criminal or civil actions could be brought by those injured victims. It happens that test case brought by a family in which the father was employed by FEMA as an SES and the victim was enrolled in a Virginina State supported university and she was raped by several members of the football team.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 15, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

BTW how many movies and/or tv shows depict violence against women and children?

Comment by Tom Russo

January 15, 2016 @ 4:51 pm

The historic rainfall in SC this past October and the subsequent breaching of 23 dams has tapped my intellectual curiosity. Why do these scenarios persist?

Another historic national disaster, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, as well suffered from cascading catastrophes but plans, actions and common sense failed to protect New Orleans . Again, why do these incidents persist?

The lack of governance. Emergency managers can run models, justify and recommend needed mitigation project and secure funding for those needed mitigation projects. But if elected officials, including those seated, way too long in state (and federal) legislatures fail to follow recommendation from professional managers…disasters happen.

And so it is with the historic flooding in SC. Three state agencies, two national-based, professional associations reporting on vulnerabilities and one incident caused the eruption of a single, persistent factor…the lack of collective governance whether one prefers to suggest it is the legislative branch (funding), Governor (political partisan actions) or responsible state agency (politicizing regulatory department for oversight).

But the state’s (SC) 2400 dams are private sector owned by 81 percent vs. nationwide private sector dams owned by 65 percent. Somehow, this public/private sector partnership are not working re dam safety with state government oversight.

So CT to your comments re NFIP…somewhere this dam safety program is failing and the Volker Alliance referenced 12/18/15 provides insights to the persistent failing of our state/federal structures.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 16, 2016 @ 6:33 am

Thanks Tom for this useful comment! Many states historically [usually meaning the Great Depression of the 30’s] in the Eastern USA followed a system of riparian ownership and eastern water law that almost encourage private dams. The best built dams in the USA have a useful life that may be as little as 75 years. Dams, unlike levees are often heavily compromised by silt.

Dams should never be studied individually even for safety but as part of a water course. Always remember BTW the NFIP does not map riverine/inland watercourses with les than 800 cfs [cubic feet per second] flowage rates.

There are severe limitations to the HEC-5 modeling even when updated.

Water policy looms again as a major federal failure. The President failed to have top level senior advisers on water policy and the failure to statutorily update the 404 permitting system borders on tragic from a resilience standpoint and even public safety. A request was submitted by the Governor of Michigan for an EMERGENCY DECLARATION for Flint. IMO this will be denied. No reason has to be given.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 16, 2016 @ 6:40 am

BTW Eastern water law basically allows riparian owners to use water in almost anyway without considering downstream impacts. Western water law almost the reverse. The Colorado River has reached SCOTUS 4 times if memory serves and IMO will be up again.

Along the Potomac River where it forms a Virginia/Maryland boundry Maryland “owns” the river to the Virginia shoreline but use by Virginia has also reached SCOTUS several times.

The citizens and residents of the USA often have no knowledge of the complexities of water law, including pollution and impoundments.

And the USA continues to be a big factor in the continuing poisoning of Mother Earth.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 16, 2016 @ 6:47 am

In my 34 years as a federal lawyer and largely a creature of the Armed Forces and federal Executive Branch I found few in any department or agency that understood the role and legal authority of their respective department and agency even as to regulatory authority. And as to understandings gaps in the federal system few understood those.

AND CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS OF THE U.S.A. ARE VERY SKILLFUL IN EXPLOITING GAPS IN THE FEDERAL SYSTEM!

I put the lawyers of the federally recognized native-American tribes in the top-level of exploiters. And those of the extractive industries.

Did you know that of all coal produced in the USA comes 40% from federal lands?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 16, 2016 @ 7:00 am

From time to time will provide FP links that I view as useful to understanding our world as it operates in the 21st Century!

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-syria-agreed-open-ended-military-presence-moscow-095030573.html

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 16, 2016 @ 3:51 pm

On this Friday and wknd, the new Math of this Obama administration which does not seem to add up, however apparently for many, either somehow better understood or folks just apathetic and indifferent, however even with the release of four Iranian Americans, two still remaining, yet real terrorists released by this administration to the Iranians coupled with lifting of sanctions while US seamen shown on their knees and one apologizing….now coupled with AQ’s attack in western Africa striving to get a foothold reestablishing itself it seems since the fellas at ISIS have stolen the terror show, a new mathematics as more GITMO detainees released and a Republican led Congress and Senate doing little to thwart this present Marxist led White House!

What a pity this nation has fallen to its knees before the Mullahs and this Oval Office now seen apologizing to the Muslim world for America, kissing the ring of the Saudis and now releasing terrorists to strategize again against America – what a government we have here who dismisses the oath in pledge to keeping America safe and to a steadfast commitment to our Constitution!

God Bless us all and God Bless America!

The next election cannot come soon enough and if America does not take a hard look at its debt and its weakness now so obvious even to those who seek our demise, the future looks quite bleak indeed!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 17, 2016 @ 1:31 am

In June the 100th birthday of Associate Justice Brandeis will occur. There is no term PRIVACY in the Constitution but Justice Brandeis is the inventor of the concept and marked the issues related to technology and surveillance for the Court’s consideration.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 17, 2016 @ 1:38 am

CORRECTION: This June is the 100th Anniversary of Justice Brandeis becoming an Associate Justice on SCOTUS. He was born in 1865!

Wiki Extract:

Louis Dembitz Brandeis (/?brænda?s/; November 13, 1856 – October 5, 1941) was an American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939.

He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Jewish immigrant parents from Bohemia, who raised him in a secular home. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of twenty with the highest grade average in the law school’s history.

Brandeis settled in Boston, where he founded a law firm (that is still in practice today as Nutter McClennen & Fish) and became a recognized lawyer through his work on progressive social causes. Starting in 1890, he helped develop the “right to privacy” concept by writing a Harvard Law Review article of that title, and was thereby credited by legal scholar Roscoe Pound as having accomplished “nothing less than adding a chapter to our law”. He later published a book titled Other People’s Money And How the Bankers Use It, suggesting ways of curbing the power of large banks and money trusts, which partly explains why he later fought against powerful corporations, monopolies, public corruption, and mass consumerism, all of which he felt were detrimental to American values and culture. He also became active in the Zionist movement, seeing it as a solution to antisemitism in Europe and Russia, while at the same time being a way to “revive the Jewish spirit.”

When his family’s finances became secure, he began devoting most of his time to public causes and was later dubbed the “People’s Lawyer.” He insisted on serving on cases without pay so that he would be free to address the wider issues involved. The Economist magazine calls him “A Robin Hood of the law.” Among his notable early cases were actions fighting railroad monopolies; defending workplace and labor laws; helping create the Federal Reserve System; and presenting ideas for the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He achieved recognition by submitting a case brief, later called the “Brandeis Brief,” which relied on expert testimony from people in other professions to support his case, thereby setting a new precedent in evidence presentation.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Brandeis to become a member of the Supreme Court. However, his nomination was bitterly contested, partly because, as Justice William O. Douglas wrote, “Brandeis was a militant crusader for social justice whoever his opponent might be. He was dangerous not only because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage. He was dangerous because he was incorruptible. . . [and] the fears of the Establishment were greater because Brandeis was the first Jew to be named to the Court.” He was eventually confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 47 to 22 on June 1, 1916,—21 Republican Senators and one Democratic Senator (Francis G. Newlands of Nevada) voted against his nomination—and became one of the most famous and influential figures ever to serve on the high court. His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the Supreme Court.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 17, 2016 @ 1:40 am

One of the reasons DHS was established was to protect the PRIVACY of citizens and residents of the US as HS policy and issues developed over time! What has happened to this mission?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 17, 2016 @ 8:07 am

Bill,

Ken Belson in October ’15 wrote:

“Dion Lewis, who played three unremarkable seasons with Philadelphia and Indianapolis, has made up for their absence. In the first four games this season — the first four starts of his career — Lewis has rushed for a team-leading 180 yards and two touchdowns and has 23 catches, the second most on the team, after Julian Edelman.

Belichick, who offers praise carefully, told reporters that Lewis “makes the most out of what he’s got” and has “a good skill set,” a reference to his ability to run inside and outside and catch the ball.”

That’s it Bill, – a good skill set – I will reiterate, – a good skill set – much of what is truly lacking by so many in all societies and one of the reasons we are on a precipitous decline from one sovereign nation to another and such uncertainty in the global economic and geopolitical markets despite the abounding technology being developed by the more disciplined among us who seek attainment in utilizing innovation and being resilient and open to a quest to bring quality to Life, not to destroy Life….

To many who watch the New England Patriots, despite their roster list of injured players, the Patriots portray a commitment in their ongoing diligence, dedicated to the principles and the achievement attained only by a tenacious character in discipline, practice and an inherent understanding what achievement requires so William, there is little restlessness among the many who know that Brady and the “Gronk” will lead the Patriots to another super bowl win given the team’s tenaciousness even when confronted by only minutes and seconds remaining to attain a level of achievement which break records and afford the winner the accolades and sense of doing what is expected to be productive….

Bravo to all those in professional football and sports who seek to continually push themselves no matter the challenges and no matter the odds to attain achievement and winning ways….Deserving accolades who in our scientific and engineering disciplines and in business development seek to enhance Life by making a difference and reaching with a firm handclasp in their “skill sets” to others who need their help w/these successful individuals having sensed the wonder of achievement through tenaciousness, simple hard work overcoming whatever obstacle and presenting to us here the real spirit of the American dream, helping one another!

I make this reference Bill because when I read “breaking news” that John Kerry and Barack Hussein Obama et al from this Oval Office allowed long standing and meaningful “sanctions to be lifted” against the no. 1 sponsor of terrorism against humanity, William, in picking up my Bible and referencing Wikipedia15 which says of the – crown of thorns- to which I have at least now placed on this biased and tainted Oval Office in its divisiveness and factual commitment in weakening our nation and “apologizing” for America when no apologies are due….

….from here on “Main Street USA” as a proud American citizen who much appreciates all who have served our nation throughout our proud history and continue to do so and in my commitment as well as citizen in obligation to protect and preserve the Constitution and assure that the laws of this nation are enforced just as those elected by “precious vote” are obligated by law to do so, yet we see such self-serving and partisan agenda instead….

….and to both sides of Congress and the Senate who allowed such travesty after missiles have been fired and our sailors depicted on their knees, hands up and don’t shoot with the Red Brigade holding AK-47’s and Mikhail Kalashnikov’s “Kalash” pointing to their heads and forcing at least one of our US sailors to go on television and “apologize” for going off course and a Senate and Congress not standing in outrage and damning Tehran for such behavior contrary to the rules of seamen, I shout, “How dare you” —

Now an elder, while I have little anger or restlessness in Life about much for I am a hearty New Englander who has read of the great New England gales of the 1600’s, 1700’s and 1800’s and like others who even endured Mother Nature’s fury in the “Great Blizzard of ’78” and never underestimate the forecast of another nor’easter approaching Boston and admittedly put little credence in climate change, global warming or whatever Al Gore and those lusting to make another buck clamor about when in fact Earth and its planetary cycles depict cooling and heating and I prefer looking deep into the ice pack to see real fact and history of such cooling and heating over thousands and tens of thousands of years as I pick up rocks small and large rocks embedded in the soil from my garden here on Cape Cod left by the last glacier pointing to the fact we are so blinded by those tainted and biased, losing sight of just how minute mankind is and how much we have been Blessed hanging in the heavens as another planet among many thousands of universes so Blessed by the hand of the Lord giving each of us such similarity and yet a distinct difference in us all much like every snowflake we reach out to touch at least as children in awe of such beauty bestowed upon us and the landscape….

Well William, when I concern myself in my loving pride as an American and in fact proud as a Greek-American who can point to the fact that when my Grandparents came as youngsters in 1900 from Sparta with nothing and toiled and worked and met bias like every other immigrant, yet overcame the odds by utilizing discipline and understand like the Hebrew that while the soldiers of Lucifer may march human beings, men, women and children naked into the gas chambers, understanding that “education” and the attainment of knowledge which helps to create the prerequisite “skill sets” necessary to gain independence from enslavement of corrupt government, overcomes much….

The lewd ways of those we see in the White House who leave stains on dress, the repugnant demeanor of those who stand shoulder to shoulder in “blatant lie” at the “Benghazi Massacre” and in a nation who continues on both sides of the aisle to allow open borders w/tolerance towards those seeking to kill innocents among us as we have seen supposed washington leadership fail to pass Kate’s Law and allows the funding of Sanctuary Cities and funding of late term abortion and so on and so forth, the continued lawlessness of this “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington charade” and some at DHS who tag along for the sake of their pensions and release convicted felons to walk among us or from this Marxist nurtured Marshall inspired White House and the likes of Billy Ayers and others such who support the Muslim Brotherhood, the Mullahs of Tehran who I refer to as the “Brutes of Tehran” and just plain “thugs” who now have billions in federal reserve notes released into their crafty and devious hands to encourage terror especially to be seen in East Jerusalem sooner than later….

….and while many of us must await Karl Guttenberg to take the torch from Merkel to thwart such dastardly deeds of those who hide behind their supposed religious dress and commit atrocious acts against innocents and seek the demise of our Judeo-Christian values as I watch like many the ever corrupt vatican stand and speak of “Climate Change” instead of the many Christians especially brutalized, tortured and killed by these wretched men willing to slaughter before the eyes of God, YHWH, Jehovah or as referred to by others, Yahweh – how dare you?

“According to three of the canonical Gospels a woven crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus during the events leading up to the Crucifixion of Jesus. It was one of the instruments of the Passion, employed by Jesus’ captors both to cause him pain and to mock his claim of authority. It is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew (27:29), Mark (15:17), and John (19:2, 5) and is often alluded to by the early Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and others”

Christian writers associated thorns with the Fall of Man, following God’s pronouncement to Adam that “thorns also and thistles shall [the ground] bring forth to thee” (Genesis 3:18, KJV). They have also seen a shadow of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, which was averted by the appearance of a ram caught “by its horns in the thicket” (

Proverbs 16:17 syays, The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life. 18Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.…

Proverbs 19:16:
Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life, but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.

Isaiah 35:8:
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.

So William as we watch to see who are our favorites to eventually play the Super Bowl 50 and who may win the Academy Awards in best motion picture, today when we talk about the security of our nation and watch political debate and candidates aspiring to lead the greatest nation in the world, now having our American sailors on their knees in full view of the internet by the same corrupt Mullahs who twist and manipulate Islam in such outrageous ways and proceed in launching missiles within yards of our Naval Vessels and brandishing their arrogance and the personification of evil in their overall demeanor sponsoring such horrific travesty against the innocent and I wonder William, could it be that we have become the Great Satan this regime of thugs refers to us as it gives us the finger and we from this Oval Office bargain with other such Satanic evil doers for we allow the Oval Office in all its bias to release known terrorists to be freed on a Saturday morning when the world bereaves innocents and youth slain by the hand of such soldiers of Lucifer in Paris and we see a US administration seeking to release known criminals, law breakers serving lengthy terms released to walk among us and we see the spending and spending of dollars we simply do not have and enslaving more and more among us to a government seeking to line the coffers of the Clinton Foundation while prostituting America and seeking to divide us by color when in fact, the majority voted a minority to the highest office and we have seen such disrespect for our history and our way of Life led by Michelle Obama as well when she talked about how she, too like her husband, decried America!

We have become a nation who has willingly besmirched the pride of ‘ol Glory attained through “skill sets” which have been developed based on our Judeo-Christian values, our ethics and e have become a nation I guess from stats which depicts a populous who is so engrossed in pornography and a nation where so many prefer to remain indolent rather than to help on another as family, neighbors and friends to seek a way forward to attain the “skills sets” that a 21st and 22nd century demand and a demeanor which seeks out God and his guidance and the promise of wonder among us all if we would just stooping down to impart often texts meaning little and lift our heads upwards to the awe of splendor and beauty which God has painted for us in the stars and the planets we can see with the naked eye and so Bill, are these thugs in tehran who will now utilize the lifting of sanctions by those tainted and biased among us, the followers of the illustrious Rev Wright who in ’08 stated quite clearly that as long as the “Zionists” had WMD in hand, why not Tehran and a young Barack Hussein Obama so influenced by Frank Marshall Davis as well, sitting in the pew for 20 years and never getting up to leave such biased spinning from the pulpit so I wonder possibly like others whether our indolence, our indifference and our apathetic ways so contrary to those with the willingness to make use of precious time and reach to broaden their knowledge, to develop skill sets to help humanity and we enable those we elect by precious vote to offend our values and commit murder by supporting late term abortion among so many other dastardly deeds and the attempt to take guns from lawful Americans who understood what our forefathers warned us about and have since hell our guns high and for all lawful purpose and I ask whether in fact Bill, we have become Satan when we see a Congress and a US Senate go along, tag along and allow sanctions against the soldiers of Lucifer to be lifted and now enable the regime of thugs to spawn more terror among the innocents and it is we who have supported such terror by such travesty?

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
PO Box 1612
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645
chris.tingus@gmail;com

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 17, 2016 @ 8:14 pm

The last debate of the DEMS tonight 9PM [1/17/2016]!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 18, 2016 @ 2:02 am

Flint Michigan made the debate. And the President’s EMERGENCY declaration under the Stafford Act first ever for an environmental disaster. Authorizes expenditure of $5 Million and after notifying Congress more can be expended. Not a report and wait requirement.

The so-called CLEAN WATER ACT [CWA] enacted in 1972 under President Richard Nixon as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act again proved faulty in policing water pollution and laxks funds for emergency response?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 18, 2016 @ 2:02 am

Flint Michigan made the debate. And the President’s EMERGENCY declaration under the Stafford Act first ever for an environmental disaster. Authorizes expenditure of $5 Million and after notifying Congress more can be expended. Not a report and wait requirement.

The so-called CLEAN WATER ACT [CWA] enacted in 1972 under President Richard Nixon as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act again proved faulty in policing water pollution and lacks funds for emergency response?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 18, 2016 @ 2:11 am

According to testimony before Congress in 1989 concerning the Exxon Valdez Pil Spill, FEMA’s testimony that a legal opinion existed that prohibited FEMA from recommending a Stafford Act declaration of disaster or emergency was barred if adequate legal authority and funds existed for response then NO FEMA RESPONSE AUTHORIZED, but it turned out despite this testimony by FEMA’s Acting General Counsel NO SUCH LEGAL OPINION EXISTED. So instead the position offered as part of a Q&A in the record of the hearing.

Within days this position was almost totally repudiated but if it had persisted would have required the declaration package to establish no legal federal response authority or funding existed elsewhere in the arena of federal authority.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 18, 2016 @ 2:25 am

A Cumming backgrounder:

http://fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/history.pdf

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 18, 2016 @ 8:53 am

Enough! This bias and divisiveness and play on votes must stop – as I have said before many times, good ‘ol Ms. Hillary should be held under House arrest for suspicion in breach of faith – treason not only at the “Benghazi Massacre” standing shoulder to shoulder in blatant lie with Barack Hussein Obama but for her indifference, her apathy to enable those who seek our demise to read sensitive government documents – a crime! Enforce our laws!

Three (3) of our proudest and to those we all hold in esteem and rely on in our 911 desperate calls seeking help….

Three Police Officers gunned down over night and good ‘ol Ms. Hillary “firing” its base to continue this divisive rhetoric when indeed it is our brave law enforcement officers who protect the community – while there may be bias and tainted folks on both sides, enough of this crap from the Black community – again, ALL Life Matters – if there is a bad cop, well, then it is up to everyone to weed out anyone whether White, Black, Asian, whatever, however our Black, White, Asian and whatever Police Officers who are there in our 911 desperate call in need –

Three police officers gunned down by some real thugs – really? It is time that Police Departments figure out who on their department whether Black, White, Asian or whatever may indeed have bias and rid them of our streets, however good ‘ol Ms. Hillary and this Barack Hussein Obama and their biased demeanor and playing into such less than factual – bias – on our streets only leads to such violence and a Black community like all others who have met with bias and to continue on this ML Day to get an education, spin family values rather than crime and get on with Life and be productive as many Blacks, Whites, Asian and whatever – Italian, Greeks, Jews, Irish who have all met bias and prejudice and let’s us not every forget what Armenians and the Hebrew have had to endure as no one among us but them have seen 6 + million men, women and children stripped naked and marched into the gas chambers – get a Life and All Life Matters and again, this is 2016 and we have much to get done and re mend the fences that this Barack Hussein Obama and the likes of Frank Marshall and good ‘old Ms. Hillary and Billy Boy not truly interested in the kids in Chicago gunning themselves down and having little hope and few really giving a dam about Black Life on the streets of Chicago and elsewhere — where is the family value when we hear of the support in late term abortion and where are the training tools given to these kids to become competitive….what a bunch of crap – political spin to enable the Clinton Foundation to weave its way to more monies in its coffers for Chelsea, Hillary and Billy Boy who stained the Oval Office and was impeached!

No wonder why many of us are turning to Bernie or even the Donald – enough of this as we are all faced w/increasing bills, failed political leaders from local, state and federal in stemming spending and family values and education, jobs, jobs and jobs must be the talk of the day, not the trash on the streets whether White, Asian or Black and whether cops or civilians who use a gun for anything other than for – all lawful purpose —

There are 300+ million legal firearms throughout our beloved Republic where as Blacks, Asians and Whites We stand together and for the enforcement of laws and steadfast towards the Constitution!

As I have repeatedly said, it is time that a Republican led Congress and Senate step to the plate and do its job to thwart this attack from within because from our perspective, we see you as a Republican led Congress as well, blatantly failing to address the real concerns of all Americans who do not see color, however see a lack in family values, jobs, jobs, and jobs and only see increases taxes and fees and where WE have seen little increase in wages along the way for our nation is bankrupt and wallowing in ineptness and led by those we have entrusted by precious vote to enforce laws and do away with Sanctuary Cities and put up a damn wall whether the “Mexicans” build it or Donal Trump and his construction company build it – stop illegal immigration and NO, we shall never give up our guns for WE, Blacks, Asians and Whites, the same Whites in the majority who voted by the way (twice) for barry Obama and deceived like all, We together will not allow our police officers to be gunned down when it is in fact our brave “first responders” throughout every community who are simply attempting to keep peace and enforce laws the politicians from the Oval Office down and to the State Department who knew good ‘ol Ms. Hillary was sharing “docs” sensitive to our national security w/those seeking our demise as everyone of us knows the hacking from China, Russia, etc. and again, Barack Hussein Obama and his “apologies” for America and for his inspiration to promote divisiveness and his Justice Department as well, enough of this crap!

We here on “Main Street USA” whether Hebrew, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or whomever have had enough of this attack on our Judeo-Christian values and our beloved Republic and whether it is “Bernie” or the”‘Donald” God Bless us all and it is time that police departments stop responding to any calls unless there are at least two officers on scene – it is apparent that the spinning of Barack Hussein Obama, the same now we see in his support of the Muslim Brotherhood and these thugs in Tehran, enough of this crap —

We all look forward to the next election and for us all to take back our country and determine together how the kids in Chicago can best be helped and for them to be persuaded to stay in school and for unwed babies to decline where folks today even working as a Mother and Father and a family and two incomes or more are having a real challenges whether Asian, Black, White, etc. for we are human beings, children of the Lord, peaceful in our ways and while we might not embrace one another or even family at times, We have far more similarities than differences so whatever your challenge, remember, we are a great nation and we shall overcome whatever challenges given education and jobs and to be productive, not to be “enslaved” by government in 2016!

God Bless us all and God Bless America! Enough of this divisiveness and keep a watchful eye and pray for our police officers, men and women who are committed to the community who also see no color when they respond to calls in desperate moment – whatever the community, w/o our law enforcement, our nation will only fall to more lawlessness, the same we see among those we have elected unfortunately….

Remain vigilant in every way….

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 18, 2016 @ 9:20 am

….and further William, we are paying what – interest from 1979 or some date back in – interest – to the Iranians – are you kidding? Why not take this type of monies and give it to help the kids in Chicago and get them off the streets, bolster family values and jobs and help to create an environment of hope and safety, a feeling of well being in Chicago neighborhoods, but good ‘ol Ms. Hillary and Barack Obama could give a damn about the Black community — where are his jobs and how many visits in these last seven and now eight years had Barry Obama and Michelle Obama made to Chicago – yes, the same ambulance chasers to a Civil Rights matter when in fact more often than not, there are no Civil Rights interfered with as we saw right from the get go in Cambridge (MA) when we saw the Oval Office engage a local Cambridge Police response and then hold a beer fest on the WH lawn!

How much monies in interest is being paid Bill to these thugs in Iran when We, Hindus, Asians, Indians, Black, Whites, Hispanics, fellow Hellenes, Italians, Americans are struggling in middle America never mind that food banks cannot even keep food on their shelves – yes, where is “Bernie” and where is the “Donald” for we have had enough of the spin!

We are a bankrupted nation and bankrupted by the likes of the Clintons, the Bushes and by these liberals and conservatives whose own agenda is NOT the agenda of the majority of us –the majority who have had enough of this “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington charade” –

Christopher

Comment by Tom Russo

January 18, 2016 @ 5:37 pm

WRC Wrote:

“One of the reasons DHS was established was to protect the PRIVACY of citizens and residents of the US as HS policy and issues developed over time! What has happened to this mission?”

With most of infrastructure in the private sector, was it realistic to expect DHS to accomplish this mission? The nation experiences privacy failings often and I suspect it is failed public/private partnerships.

And then there is companion mission to provide for the nation’s security…a balancing act that seems to continually teeter tooter.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 19, 2016 @ 8:36 am

Tom! Thanks for comment. It is true that much of the infrastructure of the USA is privately held–typically the figure of 80% is utilized in discussion. But to the extent studied fro Pharma products to the Internet close study reveals a system of corporate and private sector socialism exists in the development and R&D stages with government 80% responsible for that funding.

It is true that coal is now a resource limited in utility for energy production but I was amazed to find out that in China almost 100% of coal mining governmental and in the USA 40% of all coal production on federal land.

My bottom line: Government encouragement of exploitation of the continental sized resources of the U.S.A. by private persons the real history behind much of US wealth.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 19, 2016 @ 8:38 am

A major toxic spill into the water supply of a city in W.Virginia occurred in the last several years. Can a link be found to that event and the governmental emergency response and litigation against the perps?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 20, 2016 @ 8:15 am

Should FEMA become a part of EPA? FEMA has not been part of the discussion in the GOM oil spill or EXXON VALDEZ. Yet John Macey was offered what became the SUPERFUND PROGRAM in EPA and see SARA Title III.

Is not the mitigation of natural hazards part of the ENVIRONMENT?

President after President seems to want to trigger the DRF [Disaster Relief Fund] for environmental protection and response!

President Ronald Reagan’s first declaration of a Presidential disaster was guess what–the sewers of Louisville, KY which had 4 square city blocks blown up by the Ralston Purina Company pouring HEXANE into those sewers which then exploded.

Many in FEMA IMO cannot spell EPA!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 20, 2016 @ 1:43 pm

BTW FEMA has roughly 6000 FTE positions not counting its Corps and DAE employees. EPA has close to 18,000 not counting temps and contractor staff. And note EPA routinely violates the so-called SERVICE CONTRACT ACT by stockpiling hires to be with contractors IMO!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 21, 2016 @ 4:42 am

Apparently the DC Metro area is the likely strike area for a major snowstorm the 22nd-24th of January.

Did you know that President James Earl Carter issued the first Presidential disaster declaration ever for snow–Buffalo, NY, area which had over 19 feet in a short time. 1979!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 25, 2016 @ 10:38 pm

Tom! All impoundments of water courses need emergency operting plans. Are they a requirement in S.C.?

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