Archive for January, 2013

Alan Greenspan- I didn’t think bankers would lie. Hahahahahahaahahaha

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Alan Greenspan does not believe human tendencies apply to bankers.  Alan Greenspan must think we are fools.  Alan Greenspan is obiously a fool.

“Through all of my experience, what I never contemplated was that there were bankers who would purposely misrepresent facts to banking authorities,” Alan Greenspan, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, said in a phone interview. “You were honor-bound to report accurately, and it never entered my mind that, aside from a fringe element, it would be otherwise. I was wrong.”

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Socialism actually saves you money as opposed to paying for some things through the market. The market wants you to think differently of course so they can take your money unnecessarily

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

EXAMPLE  American style capitalistic program for college: If you pay (average) $20,000 annually for four years of college, that will total $80,000 + interest for student loans. The interest you would owe could easily total or exceed the $80,000 you originally borrowed, which means your degree could cost in excess of $100,000.
 
EXAMPLE  European style social program for college: Your college classes are paid for through government taxes.  When you graduate from that college and begin your career, you also start paying an extra tax for fellow citizens to attend college.
 
Question – You might be thinking how is that fair? If you’re no longer attending college, why would you want to help everyone else pay for their college degree?
 
Answer – Every working citizen pays a tax that is equivalent to say, $20 monthly.  If you work for 40 years and then retire, you will have paid $9,600 into the Social college program.  So you could say that your degree ends up costing only $9,600. When everyone pools their money together and the program is non-profit, the price goes down tremendously. This allows you to keep more of your hard earned cash!
 
Health care is another example: If your employer does not provide health insurance, you must purchase a policy independently.  The cost will be thousands of dollars annually, in addition to deductible and co-pays.
 
In Holland, an individual will pay around $35 monthly, period.  Everyone pays into the system and this helps reduce the price for everyone, so they get to keep more of their hard earned cash.
 
In the United States we are told and frequently reminded that anything run by the government is bad and that everything should be operated by for-profit companies. Of course, with for-profit entities the cost to the consumer is much higher because they have corporate executives who expect compensation packages of tens of millions of dollars and shareholders who expect to be paid dividends, and so on.
 
This (and more) pushes up the price of everything, with much more money going to the already rich and powerful, which in turn, leaves the middle class with less spending money and creates greater class separation.
 
This economic framework makes it much more difficult for average Joes to ”lift themselves up by their bootstraps” and raise themselves to a higher economic standing.
 
So next time you hear the word “socialism” and “spreading the wealth” in the same breath, understand that this is a serious misconception.
 
Social programs require tax money and your taxes may be higher. But as you can see everyone benefits because other costs go down and, in the long run, you get to keep more of your hard earned cash!
 
Democratic Socialism does NOT mean taking from the rich and giving to the poor.  It works to benefit everyone so the rich can no longer take advantage of the poor and middle class.

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A screaming preacher from shortwave radio

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

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Rachel Maddow Obliterates the Republican Lie that Obama has Blown Up the Deficit

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

You would never know it from the way the deficit peacocks are crowing against this administration, but the deficit is now more that two hundred billion dollars smaller than it was when President Obama first took office. We are currently witnessing the fastest deficit reduction in this country since the end of World War II. That alleged big spending liberal, Barack Obama, has already signed into law $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction measures over the last decade. And that total could be even higher except that the deficit peacocks on the other side of the aisle in Congress keep balking at reduction ideas like cap and trade, and the Dream Act, and closing tax loopholes. All of which would reduce the debt and the deficit, and all of which are policies that Republicans used to like, until President Barack Obama said that he liked them too, then they turned against their own ideas.Even the dreaded Obamacare was one of the biggest debt reduction proposals considered in Washington since the Clinton era, and Republicans hate that with the heat of a thousand suns. So some talk the talk, and others walk the walk.

There is a school of thought that says that deficit reduction shouldn’t actually even be a national priority right now. As we slowly recover from the most brutal recession since the Great Depression, there is a strong case to be made that the government should just borrow away. The government should take advantage of how low interest rates are, should take advantage of a market in which the world is eager to loan us money right now. We could borrow like crazy right now, invest that money in job creation, and infrastructure, and economic growth. We could worry about debt reduction when we are fully back in our feet. If we took that strategy we would get fully back on our feet faster, and frankly in a more sustainable way, if we used that spending to invest in our economic strength.

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Unintentional shootings

Friday, January 11th, 2013

PROBLEM: Easy access to firearms leads to unintentional shootings in every age group in the U.S.

DID YOU KNOW? States with high household gun ownership have more unintentional shooting deaths than states with low household gun ownership.

•In 2010 in the U.S., 606 people died from an unintentional shooting (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)).

•In 2011,14,675 people were wounded in an unintentional shooting but survived (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).
•The mortality rate from accidental shootings is 8 times higher in the four states with the most guns compared to the four states with the fewest guns (Miller, 2001, p. 481).

•For kids ages 5 to 14, the mortality rate is 14 times higher in high gun states than low gun states (Miller, 2001, p. 481).

•For kids ages 0 to 4, the mortality rate is 17 times higher in high gun states than low gun states (Miller, 2001, p. 481).

•For every age group, where there are more guns there are more accidental deaths (Miller, 2001, p. 483).

•For adults, keeping a gun in the home quadruples the risk of dying of an accidental gunshot wound (Wiebe, 2003).

DID YOU KNOW? A third of homes contain guns, many of them readily accessible.
•Thirty-three percent of U.S. households contain a gun (Pew, 2009), and half of gun-owning households don’t lock up their guns, including 40 percent of households with kids under age 18 (Johnson, p. 175).

•Both firearm prevalence and questionable storage practices (i.e. storing firearms loaded and unlocked) are associated with higher rates of unintentional firearm deaths (Miller, 2005, p. 665).

•A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide (11x), criminal assault or homicide (7x), or unintentional shooting death or injury (4x) than to be used in a self-defense shooting (Kellermann, p. 263).
•Most unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home (65 percent), based on data from 16 states. The most common context of the death (30 percent) was playing with the gun (Karch, 2010).

•In almost half of unintentional shooting deaths (49 percent), the victim is shot by another person. In virtually all of these cases, the shooter and victim knew each other (Hemenway, p. 1184).

DID YOU KNOW? Unintentional shootings are a problem among children, teens, and young adults.
•For 5 to 14 year olds, the U.S. unintentional firearm death rate is eleven times higher than the combined rates of 22 other high-income developed countries (Richardson, p. 4).

•In 2010, 134 children and teens ages 0-19 were killed in an unintentional shooting (NCIPC).

•In 2011, 2,886 children and teens ages 0-19 were treated in an emergency room for an unintentional gunshot injury (NCIPC).

SOLUTION: We make it too easy for dangerous people to obtain dangerous weapons. There are only a few gun control laws on the books, and even those have loopholes. We should make it harder for convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and youth to get the guns in the first place. We can do this by passing effective laws that make sense.

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Rep. Kyrsten Sinema Sworn Into Congress without a Bible

Friday, January 11th, 2013

In case you were wondering, newly-elected Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the sole religiously “unaffiliated” member of Congress (but, whatever you do, don’t call her an atheist), was recently sworn in by Speaker of the House John Boehner:

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IMF Chief admits Republican austerity plan was a horrible idea for the US as it failed where it was implemented

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Consider it a mea culpa submerged in a deep pool of calculus and regression analysis: The International Monetary Fund’s top economist today acknowledged that the fund blew its forecasts for Greece and other European economies because it did not fully understand how government austerity efforts would undermine economic growth.

The new and highly technical paper looks again at the issue of fiscal multipliers – the impact that a rise or fall in government spending or tax collection has on a country’s economic output.

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Krugman explains more here
Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.
 
In fact, outside of that post-WWII era, the only time the deficit has fallen faster was when the economy relapsed in 1937, turning the Great Depression into a decade-long affair.
 
If U.S. history offers any guide, we are already testing the speed limits of a fiscal consolidation that doesn’t risk backfiring. That’s why the best way to address the fiscal cliff likely is to postpone it.
 
Yet more proof that the fiscal cliff is a manufactured crisis of minimal importance.
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So when it comes down to it….thankfully we didn’t listen to the Republicans and President Obama walked this economic/political tightrope PERECTLY!

Paul Krugman Explains the Keys to Our Recovery to Bill Moyers

Friday, January 11th, 2013

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The Hidden History of the Second Amendment- It was added to the Constitution specifically to keep slaves in line

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Professor Bogus argues that there is strong reason to believe that, in significant part, James Madison drafted the Second Amendment to assure his constituents in Virginia, and the South generally, that Congress could not use its newly-acquired powers to indirectly undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, on which the South relied for slave control. His argument is based on a multiplicity of the historical evidence, including debates between James Madison and George Mason and Patrick Henry at the Constitutional Ratifying Convention in Richmond, Virginia in June 1788; the record from the First Congress; and the antecedent of the American right to bear arms provision in the English Declaration of Rights of 1688.

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The Hidden History of the Second Amendment

By Professor Carl T. Bogus
Roger Williams University School of Law
as published in the U.C. Davis Law Review

Synopsis

In his recent U.C. Davis Law Review article “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment,” Roger Williams University School of Law Professor Carl T. Bogus offers a thesis that could forever change the way Americans view the Second Amendment: James Madison wrote the Second Amendment to assure the southern states that Congress would not undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, which were then the principal instruments of slave control throughout the South.

The story begins in Richmond, Virginia in the summer of 1788. Since it had been proposed by the convention in Philadelphia two years earlier, the Constitution of the United States had been the focus of an intense struggle. By its own terms, the Constitution required ratification by at least nine states; if that were not achieved the United States would not come into being. The Federalists were working hard for ratification, but anti-Federalists were opposing them with equal vigor. Although eight states had ratified the Constitution, most of the remaining states seemed to be leaning the other way, and it was uncertain whether a ninth state would be found. The last and best hope was Virginia, where the Federalists and anti-Federalists were about equally divided.

It was with high drama, therefore, that the Virginia ratifying convention convened in Richmond in June 1788. Madison led the forces for ratification, and as its principal author, no one understood the Constitution better. Yet the opposition was equally formidable. The anti-Federalists were led by George Mason, the most intellectual of the anti-Federalists, and Patrick Henry, who was considered the greatest orator of the day.

Mason and Henry made many arguments against ratification, but one of the strategies they devised was particularly shrewd. Virginia was nearly half black, and the white population lived in constant fear of slave insurrection. The main instrument of control was the militia. So critical was the militia for slave control that, in the main, the southern states refused to commit their militia to the war against the British. The Constitution, however, would transfer the lion’s share of the power over the militia to Congress. Slavery was becoming increasingly obnoxious to the North, and southern delegates to the Philadelphia convention demanded and got an agreement, somewhat cryptically written into the Constitution, that deprived the federal government of authority to abolish slavery. Mason and Henry raised the specter of Congress using its authority over the militia to do indirectly what it could not do directly. They suggested that Congress might refuse to call forth the militia to suppress an insurrection, send southern militia to New Hampshire, or�and on this they harped repeatedly�disarm the militia. For Virginia and the South, these were chilling prospects.

The Federalists prevailed, but just barely. Although Virginia ratified the Constitution, Madison limped out of the Richmond Convention. Half of Virginia was still anti-Federalist, and the anti-Federalists were determined to end Madison’s political career. Losing a bid to the United States Senate, Madison was reduced to running for a House seat. Patrick Henry had Madison’s congressional district gerrymandered to include as many anti-Federalist areas as possible, then recruited a rising young star�James Monroe�to run for the seat.

Monroe campaigned as a champion for a bill of rights. Madison had previously been opposed to a bill of rights, but it was not a popular view. Cognitive dissonance set in, and Madison persuaded himself that he had only been opposed to a bill of rights prior to ratification. He promised the electorate he would support adding a bill of rights to the Constitution.

Madison won the election, and he went to Congress politically committed to supporting a bill of rights. When he drafted that document, he included a provision that with minor modifications became what is now the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In his 99-page article, Professor Bogus argues that the evidence�including an analysis of Madison’s original language, and an understanding of how he and other founders drew on England’s Declaration of Rights�strongly suggests that Madison wrote this provision for the specific purpose of assuring his constituency that Congress could not use its newly acquired power to deprive the states of an armed militia. Madison’s concern, Professor Bogus argues, was not hunting, self-defense, national defense, or resistance to governmental tyranny�but slave control.

The “hidden history” of the Second Amendment is important for two reasons. First, it supports the view that the amendment does not grant individuals a right to keep and bear arms for their own purposes; rather it only protects the right to bear arms within the militia, as defined within the main body of the Constitution, under the joint control of the federal and state governments. At the time, the southern states extensively regulated their militias and prescribed their slave control responsibilities. Second, the hidden history is important because it fundamentally changes how we think about the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment takes on an entirely different complexion when instead of being symbolized by a musket in the hands of the minutemen, it is associated with a musket in the hands of the slave holder.

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FOX News mocks Al Gore selling Current to AlJazeera….however anti-US news network in the Middle East is owned by FOX News

Friday, January 11th, 2013

As the ink still dries on the Current TVAl Jazeera deal, Fox News has unsurprisingly sounded the alarm on Al Gore’s “anti-American” nature. However, as Jon Stewart pointed out on last night’s Daily Show, somehow they’ve overlooked boss Rupert Murdoch’s twenty-percent stake in Rotana, an Arab station co-owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and accountable for airing Valley of the Wolves, a film in which American soldiers massacre Iraqi civilians and sell their organs to Jews. “Rupert Murdoch profiting from the airing of that type of anti-American propaganda?” says Stewart. Say it ain’t so. Stewart did concede that “Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel has broadcast some very hateful stuff,” and that it’s a subsidiary — along with Al Jazeera English, the news station that will be airing in Current’s place — of the Qatar-based buyer, the Al Jazeera Media Network.

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How people die – lots of gun deaths

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Notice that Suicide, firearm homicide and accidental firearm discharge add up to 3 entries for guns.

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U.S. Is Unhealthier Than Any Other Rich Country, Report Says

Friday, January 11th, 2013

The report, based on findings from the Institute of National Medicine and the National Research Council, looked at health stats of people younger than 50 in 17 wealthy countries. A panel of experts reported that Americans are less healthy throughout their entire lives and die earlier than people who live in those 16 other countries, which include Japan, Switzerland, and Australia.

The basic takeaway is that, at every stage of life, Americans are sort of screwed. In general, we’re more likely to die before age 50 than people in any other country in the report. Our infant mortality rate is higher than all the other countries and American youth have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy.

Drug use and violence are particular problems in the states: Deaths from alcohol and drug abuse are more common here than in any other country included in the report. And the report notes that the rate of firearm violence is 20 times higher than in 22 other wealthy countries.

The report also found some gender differences. Only about one third of deaths among American males are disease-related; other causes of death include murder, traffic accidents, and suicide. For women, on the other hand, more than half of the deaths are disease-related.

Pretty much the only piece of good news for Americans is that we aren’t doing worse in terms of cancer screening and mortality, control of high blood pressure and cholesterol, smoking rates, and suicides, though it’s unclear exactly how advanced we are in these areas.

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More concerning the Founding Fathers and gun nuts

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

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The Nazis never confiscated guns

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

And the truth is that no gun law was passed in Germany in 1935. There was no need for one, since a gun registration program was already in effect in Germany; it was enacted in 1928, five years before Hitler’s ascendancy. But that law did not “outlaw” guns, it just restricted their possession to individuals who were considered law-abiding citizens, and who had a reason to own one. And there’s no reason to consider that law particularly significant, either; the NAZIs didn’t seize control of their own country with gunpowder. They used a much more potent weapon: propaganda.

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The Second Amendment and what the Founding Fathers thought

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Thom Hartmann explains the Second Amendment.  It was created to protect the American government.

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Republicans do not understand how the government works

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Thom Hartmann explains the punches that the Republicans throw often times come back at them.

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Thom Hartmann talks to Alex Jones about the Piers Morgan interview

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Yes Alex Jones did prove that the gun nuts are nuts.

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The Second Amendment has been reinterpreted to fit gun manufacturers and their profits

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

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Glenn Beck merely stole the insane paranoid schtick from Alex Jones

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

In the world of nut case right wingers there is no creativity. 

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Glenn Beck says Alex jones is crazy

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Want to know who the media wants to make the face of the pro-gun argument in America? Look no further than conspiratorial radio host Alex Jones, best known for his 9/11 Truther theories and his love of Charlie Sheen’s hernia. Jones is the man behind the petition to deport CNN host Piers Morgan for his views on gun control. Morgan invited Jones onto his show to debate the gun issue yesterday, and not surprisingly, Jones made a fool of himself, giving the left the perfect poster boy for their attempts to paint every logical conservative as an extremist nut job.

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Bill Moyers Essay: Remember the Victims, Reject the Violence

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

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Gun nut killed by gun

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

An operator of a highly popular YouTube channel dedicated to high-powered guns and explosives was found mysteriously shot to death, authorities said.

Keith Ratliff, who was a business partner at FPSRussia, YouTube’s ninth most popular channel with more than three million active subscribers and a combined half billion views, was discovered on a rural road in Carnesville, Georgia.

Ratliff had a single gunshot wound the head and police are treating his death as a homicide.

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‘1776 Will Commence Again If You Try to Take Our Firearms!’: Watch Alex Jones Lose His Mind on Piers Morgan’s Show

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Hours after he was arrested for refusing to take off his shoes at a TSA checkpoint, Alex Jones lost his damn mind during an interview with Piers Morgan on Monday night. Jones, the conspiracy mad radio host who helped start the petition to have Morgan deported for his gun control advocacy, said all sorts of amazing insane stuff — it definitely merits watching in full — but here are some highlights.

When Morgan asked about the relatively low level of gun-related violence in Britain, Jones barely let him finish before launching into a bizarre rant that somehow managed to include references to Mao, Castro, Stalin and the recent gang rape in India.

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Limbaugh and Beck guilty of PAYOLA?

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Dick Armey completely implicates Limbaugh and other RW talkers in an interview after leaving FREEDOMORKS

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The law regarding this issue is here

More analysis from the interview is located here

Germany makes twice as many cars and pays their workers twice as much. WHY?

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

In 2010, Germany produced more than 5.5 million automobiles; the U.S produced 2.7 million. At the same time, the average auto worker in Germany made $67.14 per hour in salary in benefits; the average one in the U.S. made $33.77 per hour. Yet Germany’s big three car companies—BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), and Volkswagen—are very profitable.

How can that be? The question is explored in a new article from Remapping Debate, a public policy e-journal. Its author, Kevin C. Brown, writes that “the salient difference is that, in Germany, the automakers operate within an environment that precludes a race to the bottom; in the U.S., they operate within an environment that encourages such a race.”

There are “two overlapping sets of institutions” in Germany that guarantee high wages and good working conditions for autoworkers. The first is IG Metall, the country’s equivalent of the United Automobile Workers. Virtually all Germany’s car workers are members, and though they have the right to strike, they “hardly use it, because there is an elaborate system of conflict resolution that regularly is used to come to some sort of compromise that is acceptable to all parties,” according to Horst Mund, an IG Metall executive. The second institution is the German constitution, which allows for “works councils” in every factory, where management and employees work together on matters like shop floor conditions and work life. Mund says this guarantees cooperation, “where you don’t always wear your management pin or your union pin.”

Does such a happy relationship survive when German automakers set up shop in the U.S.? No. As a historian observes in the article, “BMW is a German company and it has a very German hierarchy and management system in Germany,” yet “when they are operating in Spartanburg [in South Carolina] they have become very, very easily adaptable to Spartanburg business culture.” At Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, the nonunionized new employees get $14.50 an hour, which rises to $19.50 after three years.

The article’s author, Kevin C. Brown, asked Claude Barfield, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, why the German car companies behave so differently in the U.S. He answered, “Because they can get away with it so far.”

Read the complete Remapping Debate article here.

A Republicans explains exactly why Republican positions do not work.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

When your stance is, “I am in this for ME.” well you are going to be stepping on toes very soon.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is going after his fellow House Republicans after party leaders pulled a Hurricane Sandy relief bill from a floor vote on Tuesday, saying that New York and New Jersey residents should stop giving these lawmakers political contributions.

“I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” he said in an interview on Fox News. “Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”

The House adjourned on Tuesday night without passing the $60.4 billion Sandy relief package that the Senate approved last week. The 113th Congress will be sworn in on Thursday, meaning that the House and Senate would have to restart the entire legislative process if it takes it up.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) told CNN that money will be approved in the next Congress.

“FEMA has plenty of money, there’s no immediate needs,” he said, referring to the federal agency that distributes disaster relief. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said in early December that the agency had $4.8 billion to distribute and could fund Sandy programs through early spring — a comment that House Republicans have pointed to as a reason not to rush the bill.

In a follow-up interview on Wednesday morning, King criticized Rogers for his comment.

“First, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” said King on CNN. “Besides that, Hal Rogers has no problem coming to New York and raising money to put money in his pocket when he wants to raise it from New Yorkers. Secondly, the FEMA money was limited to $31,000 [for individuals]. That’s not going to rebuild businesses.”

“Hal Rogers can play his game. He can suck up to the Republican speaker if he wants to, but … stay out of New York. Raise your money down in Kentucky,” he added.

King also raised the possibility that he would vote against reelecting House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to his leadership post in the 113th Congress, saying, “My world turned upside-down last night, so I’m holding every vote in abeyance for now.”

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