The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in charge of dealing with disasters in the USA. Attention has turned to what the presidential candidates would do with FEMA given Obama’s belief that the state should provide essential services and Romney’s desire to privatize everything. Read the extract below and then ask yourself whether you would trust any private company to put your child’s life first before the profit motive. 

Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which passed the House but not the Senate, envisioned a 41 percent cut next year for the section of the federal government that includes FEMA. In addition, Ryan’s committee specifically pointed out that President Obama has declared a record number of disasters during his term.

Here is that exchange from the June debate between Romney and CNN’s John King:

KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Mo. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with [disaster], whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say, ‘Do it on a case-by-case basis,’ and some people who say, you know, ‘Maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role.’ How do you deal with something like that?

ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.  Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep?  We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those
things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot–

KING: Including disaster relief, though?

ROMNEY: We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/politics-of-fema-mitt-romney-suggested-less-federal-involvement-paul-ryan-budget-scrutinized/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter




I live in Britain and I set the alarm clock for 2am to watch the second Presidential debate. It was certainly worth hauling myself out of my warm bed during a cold and rainy night to catch Mitt Romney put women in boxes. I am not American and, it goes without saying, I cannot vote in this election but my interest lies in the fact that American social and political trends always make their way across the seas to the UK. 

So can the UK now expect binders full of women to be the new catchphrase for equality rights? I certainly hope not because one of the mindsets feminists have fought against and continue to fight against is the placing of women’s issues in situations and locations that suit the patriarchy. Women figure in all layers of life and in all spheres of life. 


While Romney did not and will never grasp this fact he did the next best thing in patriarchy terms. He trumpeted the fact, allegedly false, that he promoted women to positions of high-power. Equality legislation has made it easier for men to play the equality card by hiring women and playing to the ‘women on boards’ debate while making cuts and demeaning women in other ways. It is easy and lazy chauvinism. 

Amidst all the twitter jokes, slurs and twitpics what is lost is the fact that Romney can only equate female rights to the workplace. Granted that the question was phrased in terms of pay rights but Obama was able to extrapolate his answer to include the role of women as mothers, nurturers and to highlight the difficulties faced in overcoming adversity both at home and in the work place. Obama said:

“And, you know, I was raised by a single mom who had to put herself through school while looking after two kids. And she worked hard every day and made a lot of sacrifices to make sure we got everything we needed. My grandmother, she started off as a secretary in a bank. She never got a college education, even though she was smart as a whip. And she worked her way up to become a vice president of a local bank, but she hit the glass ceiling. She trained people who would end up becoming her bosses during the course of her career…And that’s an example of the kind of advocacy that we need, because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family. This is not just a women’s issue, this is a family issue…”


A vote for Romney will be a vote for the decimation of women’s rights. You know that saying ‘in your backyard’? Ann Romney’s daughter-in-laws have spoken about how she taught them to buy nice shoes and not bother their husbands with talk of domestic difficulties when they returned from work. There lurks the nugget of the rollback of women’s rights should the Republican candidate win.