A State of Emergency for Inauguration? Huh?

By SHARON K. GILBERT
January 14, 2009

IT’S SAID that millions of Americans (and possibly international tourists) will soon descend upon the historic streets of our nation’s capital to witness the inauguration (some say ‘crowning’) of Barack Obama.

Fearing his budget couldn’t stand the strain, DC’s mayor has asked the Bush administration for help–and he got it–in the form of a ‘national emergency’ declaration.

The reason, according to White House spokesman Scott Stanzel, quoted in an article at MSNBC.com, is that such a declaration would free up FEMA funds to supplement the mayor’s spending deficit. Huh?

An article in the Wall Street Journal’s online ‘Washington Wire’ site claims that an unnamed Washington ‘spokesman’ asserts that this is the first time a state of emergency has been issued in connection with an inauguration.

Is there no other way Bush could have opened the financial floodgates for Mayor Fenty? Why, you might wonder, does it matter?

It matters because a ‘state of emergency’ carries a lot of centralized powers with it–including the option to declare martial law and/or suspend the constitution. Remember, these monies are coming out of the FEMA budget–which means FEMA is in charge now.

So, if you’re planning a trip to DC next week–you might want to reconsider.

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