Every day that we delay professionalizing FEMA and depoliticizing it is another day that taxpayers' money is being spent by an agency which has been demonstrated under these circumstances to be incompetent.

The problem is the agency we are appropriating money to has demonstrated with great clarity that it is spectacularly dysfunctional.

[Obey struggles to balance the demands of his faith with the obligations of pluralism -- and for this, he receives few rewards. Recently, he offered an amendment to increase funding for child care, job training and domestic abuse programs as a way of] taking some of the pressure off women to have abortions. ... whose concern for life ends at the checkbook's edge.

Appreciated that a Christian would speak out.

I think this goes far broader than public broadcasting. I think across the board there is an effort by Republican ideologues to force institutions across society to bend to their will. You see it in [House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay's raising hell with the courts and demanding they pursue his brand of justice. . . . You see it in this action here.

[Obey is unbowed.] I think if you asked God, he'd say the Ten Commandments were a road map for living, ... Instead, you have these self-appointed pharisees who think the Ten Commandments can be turned into a stiletto to use against their political opponents.

What that, in essence, says is that you're not going to worry about the biggest disasters that could occur, you're only going to worry about the smaller ones.

This is on a magnitude we've never done before.