This is a section of Paterson, New Jersey. The Pasaic River crested, overflowing the woefully inadequate spill basin, or dam system, or what ever system was in place.
The problem - FEMA, the agency that was created in 1979, that in the past has routinely had money allocated by Congress in order to provide catastrophic emergency aid. FEMA is down to 1 billion dollars. 1 billion dollars. Can FEMA help the state of New Jersey. Not quite. New Jersey has about $7-8 billion dollars worth of damage. New York has 1 billion dollars worth of damage. This means FEMA does NOT have enough money. FEMA, whose purpose is to provide assistance to states to help their residents. When properly funded, FEMA can do it's job. FEMA can fulfill it's purpose.
Congressman Eric Cantor indicated FEMA may be able to do what it is supposed to do but Congress WON'T be allowed to provide any aid, or to replenish the money FEMA needs because - because - because - hmmm - let's see, because Congress feels there is plenty of time to look in other areas of the budget to cut spending in wasteful areas BEFORE it provides aid to the citizens who are need emergency services across the East coast due to Hurricane Irene.
So the person or persons who lived in this house are supposed to wait until Congress figures out the cuts before they receive aid.
There are millions of pictures of people who have lost everything; whose jobs have been swept away by flood waters, who Congress could help but WON'T help because according to Speaker Boehner and Congressman Cantor, it's more important to go for more budget cuts, and make sure that those who are are financially in the upper 5% of the country do not have to pay taxes than it is to help the citizens of the United States.
Right now one can look at different pictures of third world countries after a natural disaster has struck and look at pictures of the aftermath of the floods that devastated Connecticut and Vermont and feel there isn't a difference. Here are two pictures from the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
Here are two areas in Vermont.
The destruction is the same. The ruined property is the same. The discarded furniture, the broken, shredded remnants of where people resided, the violently overturned earth; and ominously dark water convey a feeling of death. Congress can help.
Congress has the ability to help. Congress can quickly vote to okay the bill for extensive interstate highway building, repair, and maintenance. Congress can vote to approve more money for FEMA so that the agency can provide aid to all of the states who have suffered devastation.
Will Congress "do the right thing?"
Can Congress "do the right thing?"
Will the response the citizens of the United States get from Congress is that when there is a catrstrophe, Congress WON'T respond?