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Sandy engulfs U.S. East Coast, flooding New York; 13 dead

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The NY stock market will be closed tomorrow.

Just talked with my brother. His beach house is now completely under water. Now he is at primary home 40 minutes away from Manhattan that may be under water tonight and he has no electricity. This is a huge storm.

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This is prime time for the Republican candidates to reiterate their total opposition to FEMA and let every state fend for themselves!

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Global, hope your brother and any family stays safe.

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SushiSake3Oct. 30, 2012 - 09:07AM JST

Global, hope your brother and any family stays safe.

Thanks, SushiSake.

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I'm reading it's weaker but larger than Irene.

The article's "The storm, a deadly combination of a rain-sodden post-tropical cyclone" was an interesting choice of words. - rain-sodden.

.

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@yabits, people probably thumbed you down for linking the storm to the election, but you raise a good point. In the primary debate in 2011, Romney said states running their own disaster relief is preferable to federal assistance, but then took it a step beyond that he said the private sector can do it best of all. So to expand your statement, the goal is that every man, woman and child should contact customer service at the relevant local or multinational corporation to get immediate help. But in practice, GOP leaders in places like Mississippi after Katrina were quick to declare their entire state disaster zones to gain access to federal relief. The theory about private sector as first responder is quick to fall by the wayside in a real disaster.

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Sandy?? Kind of sounds like a stoner surfer dude??

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Conservatives en mass are going to be begging for help from the Big Government they so often claim they want out of their lives.

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So to expand your statement, the goal is that every man, woman and child should contact customer service at the relevant local or multinational corporation to get immediate help.

Thank you for your comment, TorafusuTorasan.

Yes, natural disasters like this are things that test our core values. Romney's statement that response to disasters would ideally be handled by the private sector is equivalent to saying that members of society should treat the misfortune of others as a perfect opportunity to profit at their loss. After all, that is the primary motivator of the private sector: the profit motive.

I note that Governor Chris Christie is on TV at the moment praising FEMA and President Obama for how they have responded to their needs.

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How about putting the politicking aside during the natural disaster?

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No internet in half the greater NYC area, and probably no power either. That by itself could top 20 billion in lost income.

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The communication between my brother and me has been cut off. I do not know what's going on.

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At 23:20 EDST 11 people are reported dead in the area. What a tremendous and unnecessary loss. Freedom of choice (to stay and disregard the required evacuation order) has caused these deaths. It is extremely sad, but only an arrest can make them move to safer areas. This just doesn't happen in the USA.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

spoke with my bros who's on lower west side. Still had internet and power but large areas of lower Manhattan have the power turned off to protect systems against sea water. It's going to be a rough ride for many.

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This is terrible.

It's also quite bizarre - here in Tokyo, it's overcast, while Manhattan is now a swimming pool by the sounds of it.

This close to the election, I think Rommey's comments that Yabits mentioned could well be a deal breaker for the president.  There's just no way anyone can take Romney seriously anymore.  Business nous?  No, his comments portray him as a callous, uncaring, profit-motivated individual, which is actually and not surprisingly in perfect harmony with his 47% comments.

Like 9/11 was bush's time to shine, I feel history is making this Obama's moment. 

All Romney can do is talk.  Obama can make things happen and I truly hope this unfolding disaster buries once and for all conservatives vocal distaste for 'big government.'

I also hope Sandy motivates the president to get off his arse, put confronting climate change front and center, and kick off a public debate on introducing a carbon tax.

Yes, another tax. 

The ocean wafers that Sandy skimmed across were the warmest on record. Scientists have long been aware that warm water strengthens hurricanes.

Do Americans need any more proof that human activity is warming the planet??

Put the silly bickering and social issues aside - the effects of climate change are - as I have been saying on this site for more than a year - are THE most serious threat our species faces.

It's time to pull our heads out.

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Just learned New York Harbor received 33 ft high wave.

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Watched a bitt on CNN during lunch. SHTF in many places. Where were people supposed to go? Texas? The storm is that big. Can't exactly evacuate 20% of US population in a week. The storm is going to affect much of the US east of the Mississippi and Eastern Canada in one way or another.

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Global, can you check Google Earth for info and images?

I don't know how often images for the US are updated.

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I think Rommey's comments that Yabits mentioned could well be a deal breaker for the president.

I am reluctant to link this disaster to election campaign when everyone is suffering including my brother. As Yarbit mentioned the whole nation is watching this disaster how Obama can lead us in time of crisis.

I just want to remind you again that a big hidden agenda of GOP is a privatization of every government function except militatry. That's their interpretation of small government. It will never work, and I am for Obama.

.

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SushiSake3Oct. 30, 2012 - 01:02PM JST

Global, can you check Google Earth for info and images?

I don't know how often images for the US are updated.

Wow, how come I did not think of that. I will do that. Thanks, SushiSake.

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SushiSake, Google Earth is not updated.

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Was it Bush snr who said "It's the economy, stupid."?

Perhaps now is a good time to rethink that.

Because without a stable climate, we won't have stable economies.

Or reliable food supplies.

Or regular employment.

Let's face it, the fundamental, bottom line critical necessity for the survival of a species is ..... a stable climate - one in which farmers know which months to sow, when they can expect seeds to germinate, and when rains will fall.

All of this is going out of whack in our generation.

Talking about jobs, the economy, social issues, gay marriage, etc., yes, they all have their place, but STABLE CLIMATE TRUMPS ALL.

When you really think about it, relatively stable climate is the key reason we're alive and well fed.

Exhibit A: Drought stricken America

Exhibit B: New York and Atlantic cities.

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Heard one report that the NYSE was under 3 feet of water. (Though that was a couple hours ago and have heard no further confirmation) Subway tunnels full of seawater, damn what a mess! NYU Medical Center being evacuated. Lost contact with my son a couple hours ago due to blackout, but he is far enough inland that I'm not too worried. Communities on Long Island sound seem to be getting it pretty bad. Will see in the next couple days how the Obama administration handles this, but have already heard that Republican NJ governor Chris Christie is giving them praise. If the administration proves to be on top of this would think it would help Obama's chances.

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"How about putting the politicking aside during the natural disaster?"

Agreed! yabits? Tora? Sushi? global?

I hope no one else dies from this.

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For all those who always point out how many people die in Japanese typhoons, please take note.

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Serrano, look on the bright side, maybe a fee fat sewer rats will also die from all of this extra water??

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sushi, the idea of stable climate is a myth. There's never been one.

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Unfortunately, it will probably get worse. Now, we're seeing the damage from the storm surge coupled with the high tide (notice the full moon lately?), but tomorrow, it will collide with a nor'easter over the Appalachians and bury everything in heavy, wet snow. It'll take until election day to dig out.

Good luck, everyone.

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LagunaOct. 30, 2012 - 02:01PM JST

Unfortunately, it will probably get worse.

Just heard that next water surge will hit the shore at 9 am tomorrow morning. The worst time is yet to come.

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Lower Manhattan takes a bath. The Heights are nice and dry, though.

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Agree with Serrano -- leave Obama and Romney (and Bush) out of this.

Its extremely difficult to get relief to low-lying areas whether its FEMA or local emergency services. Vehicles are useless and there are only so many helicopters available for this type of action. All the literature on disaster preparedness says you should plan on not receiving help for 48 to 72 hours and prepare your needs accordingly.

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What can we read between the lines here? Quote: The Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, just north of Atlantic City, was already on a scheduled outage as Sandy made landfall, and the industry regulator said there was no immediate danger. “Water level is rising in the intake structure due to a combination of a rising tide, wind direction and storm surge,” the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said, adding that inspectors were working with the firm to ensure safety.

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Something has just exploded in NYC, and it is spreading fast at 80 mph wind

.Can you watch LIVE CNN in Japan to see what's going on?

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Yes, an electricity sub station exploded in NY. Caught on camera.

To answer my question above about the nuclear plant situation, see the article below.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/superstorm_sandy_puts_njs_oyst.html

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more than 5 million without power. It always amazes me that an advanced country like this still uses a system of power cables and poles which fail every time there's a major storm or tornado.

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As sad as this is, I fear there will be more "super"storms like this in the future. Global warming.

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Hurricanes have pummeled the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf regions all through recorded history, but seem worse recently since recent measurement technology provides so much data and the populations have increased greatly. The following url has a lot of illuminating information :

http://www.hurricaneville.com/historic.html

This storm will undoubtedly be the most economically devastating in US history.

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Has this storm weakened at all as it goes inland? If not, it's going to plow right through NY (as it has been doing) and do damage to other states and Southwestern Ontario as well (my hometown's down there). Just curious. It won't do quite as much damage if it does because it'll be inland and away from the ocean, but still.

Hang in there, everyone, and stay safe!

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Considering that FEMA was widely criticized in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I find it odd that some posters here are demonizing Romney for suggesting that state and local government is more efficient.

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nandakandamandaOct. 30, 2012 - 02:29PM JST

Yes, an electricity sub station exploded in NY. Caught on camera.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=276rB2ISc-0

Now that's what I call a lightbulb.

To answer my question above about the nuclear plant situation, see the article below.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/superstormsandyputsnjsoyst.html

Oyster was offline anyway, and for some time now. The residual heat is negligible, and even in passive mode it can operate just fine for days and weeks on end.

Indian point had one reactor idled just in case, since within an hour the heat of the reactor goes below 2%, and requires that much less energy to remove. No issues at all so far, and none expected. Even when the entire NE corridor lost power the reactors were fine, and unlike fukushima they don't keep backup power in unsealed basements.

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It's now officially become Franken-NorEaster. It's going to continue wreaking havoc as it lumbers west, then northeast.

It's dumb how CNN only shows info for the US and everything mysteriously stops at the border.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The subway might smell a little sweeter, after a bath...

a power sub-station exploded in a burst of light captured by amateur photographers as a massive blackout left much of Manhattan, and some 500,000 homes across New York City, in darkness.

NYC doesn't have "homes", it has residences...

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http://live.nydailynews.com/Event/Tracking_Hurricane_Sandy_2#ixzz2AjblQOCp

turning into a major disaster in NY, it is

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An out-of-control six-alarm blaze is ravaging the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens and has destroyed at more than 50 homes

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Globalwatcher Any news from your brother and home? Hope they are well and safe. Will pray for all.

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How about putting the politicking aside during the natural disaster?

I have no shame whatsoever in expressing my pride in the civic ethic that people can turn to their federal government -- "we the people" -- in a time of disaster and expect them to be fully prepared to render all manner of assistance. That is the liberal ethic I have maintained throughout my life.

I understand why those who would be ashamed of values that make it OK for the well-off to find ways to profit from the losses of others in a disaster like this to the point that they would want everyone to disregard them. Or to try to deflect genuine values and consequences as mere "politicking."

The lessons of Sandy should be learned and applied to the decisions we citizens have to make in the days ahead.

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At the rate the storm and resulting effects are assessed, I wouldn't be surprised if the election isn't "delayed" as the infrastructure has been compromised. I doubt the nation will be capable of holding accurate voting in the aftermath.

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Please put aside the politics during the disaster.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

How about putting the politicking aside during the natural disaster?

The undertaker says, "Worry about the cost of the casket later." The doctor says, "Worry about the cost of the treatment later." But later is always too late.

Herve, people in the path of the storm are suffering, but those outside of it are not - so why shouldn't we comment on the politics? After all, if we take Romney at his word (or words - granted, that is a dicey measure), he would prefer to return disaster relief to the states or privatize it completely because "we cannot afford it."

Great. New Jersey, you're on your own!

Some might say that he was simply stating that implementation should be left to the states, but they would be ignoring both reality and what he said: States are already given great leeway in directing how and where FEMA aid goes; and Romney specifically mentioned cost, not implementation.

Romney's words leave little room for interpretation. They also may have no meaning at all, With this guy, it is difficult to tell. A moment like this is a perfect time to discuss this - not after next week, after the cleanup has started and Americans have already chosen their next president.

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Romney has announced that he will hold a "storm relief" event - in Ohio.

With all due respect to the former governor, while Iran does have outlets to several seas, Ohio has none. The disaster zone is on the other side of a mountain range called the Appalachians, perhaps visible from your Jetstream. Politics certainly played no role in where you chose to hold your "storm relief" event - heck, it might have been Wisconsin! or Nevada! - but one does wonder how you will get all those canned goods and blankets you collect to anywhere near where they are needed.

<http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/264739-romney-ryan-announce-storm-relief-efforts-for-tuesday >

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More dead in Maryland. Even in Michigan we're getting some freakishly strong winds and the lakes look downright evil. Nothing like what they're getting on the east coast but for my area it's insane.

I have no shame whatsoever

I noticed.

Romney has announced that he will hold a "storm relief" event - in Ohio.

And your guy is doing the same thing in Colorado via Bill Clinton and Joe Biden who is also in Ohio. I don't think you'd get many people willing to go out to a donation center in New York at this moment in time anyway.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Herve, people in the path of the storm are suffering, but those outside of it are not - so why shouldn't we comment on the politics? After all, if we take Romney at his word (or words - granted, that is a dicey measure), he would prefer to return disaster relief to the states or privatize it completely because "we cannot afford it."

Exactly. We can't control all of the impact of what nature throws at us. And that's why we as a community of people work cooperatively to help those who have been made victims, and not to view their suffering as a profitable business opportunity.

And to help people requires planning and preparation. Planning and preparation require policies and resources being put into place long before a disaster hits. And policies and resources are dedicated as a result of a basic philosophy -- one that gives the federal government, and not local governments or the private sector the mandate to bring it all together -- so that there's as much coordination and as little reduplication of effort as possible.

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It is never too soon to start learning the lessons that disasters like Sandy have to teach us. Repeat: It is never too soon to start learning the lessons.

Of course, we've learned from past disasters, which is why government agencies like FEMA came into existence in the first place. I don't understand why some Americans are opposed to FEMA, and why they believe that the states and the private sector could handle these better, but I understand why'd they'd callously try to stifle any discussion on the impacts their philosophies would have in disasters like this when presented with one happening right now.

It is because I care about victims of disasters -- past and present -- that I am writing earnestly in the attempt to prevent a future disaster. Giving rein to a philosophy that would cause some to seek the profit motive in conditions like the one Sandy has caused would be a major disaster in itself.

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Just talked to a cousin in Chicago, she just told me her street was without electricity, heavy winds last night, not too sure if this mess from Sandy can also make it windy all the way out to Chicago, but do hope people are safe and can get their electricity etc..back as soon as possible!

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Do you see any more efficient, effective way than FEMA to accomplish this? Because Romney apparently does. Is that not cause for serious consideration before choosing the nation's leader?

Laguna, your comment is right on the mark, and completely appropriate for this event.

Mere sympathy does not get the victims anything. It's just an emotion. It is the actions taken to bring relief to the victims of tragedies that means everything. No entity has ever proven to do it so well on a large scale for Americans as our federal government.

From the posted topic:

“The election will take care of itself next week,” Obama said. “Right now, our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives… and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track.”

Spoken as a true American who fully understands the role of government. Are there any lessons from a disaster like Sandy that citizens should be taking into the voting booth? I realize this is very unfortunate and embarrassing for the Repubicans, whose candidate has gone on the record in favor of handing the responsibility for disaster management to local governments and the private sector. I regard their protests to have little or nothing to do with the victims of Sandy, and everything with seeing themselves as victims of their own stated philosophies at this most "inconvenient" time, a week before election day.

As for me, I will continue to support the first responders and our government agencies backing them up, and providing aid to the victims, just as I support the aid and relief to victims of other disasters like the meltdown of the economy. I will proudly pay the taxes which support these efforts. That's about the best way we Americans can support those of us who truly need the help.

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We are just giving critiques of Romney's rhetoric.

These aren't critiques. A critique would gauge a viewpoint by it's merits and deliver an assesment based on those merits. This is a snipet from an article that accurately sums up my view on what posters have been saying on this topic.

The Grey Lady opened this morning's editorial. Let's just focus on one sentence that is Exhibit A for how politics makes people stupid:

"Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of "big government," which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it."

Which is why Romney wants to eliminate it. It's not that the GOP nominee thinks that federal disaster mitigation and response is frequently less effective than locally directed efforts. No, it's the opposite--because federal coordination is "vital," this Republican wants to euthanize it, because that's just how venal he and his party are.

This is the mirror image to the ludicrous right-wing claim that because President Barack Obama is the son of an anti-colonialist, he therefore governs with evident malice towards America. Rather than trying to understand why people might disagree with their public policy preferences, adherents of this rhetorical tack are instead trying to circle the wagons around their own tribe, consigning everyone else to the category of Evil or Stupid. This isn't an argument, it's an admission that you've given up arguing.

I'm not saying your wrong or that Romney or anybody else is right and I'd be happy to discuss the manner in a more appropriate forum. But as you've presented it to this point in time I'm saying you lot are political parasites that are no better than those you seek to decry and marginalize.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@The Question telling us to go comment on "articles about the election"

Did you read this article? It talks about the election starting in paragraph five. The last few paragraphs are all about the election. Skimming it again, there are more references to Obama and Romney than I counted in my last post.

Can we at least agree that Hurricane Sandy is just one big detail in the story of the election, not the other way around. Do you think historians will write books about Sandy with footnotes about the Obama/Romney showdown? Storms should be given the kind of serious academic scrutiny that presidential elections get?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is never too soon to start learning the lessons that disasters like Sandy have to teach us. Repeat: It is never too soon to start learning the lessons.

Okay, I did read more. Is your implication that Obama somehow 'handled' this better and therefore has FEMA in better shape to handle emergencies. Take it from someone living in NY - it's our police officers, firemen and emergency teams handling things on the ground right now, not fed assistance. Oh, they'll be here to be sure, and great to have them. But to act like this administration 'really had it together' is a bit of a stretch at this point. Maybe this can be ascertained down the road, but not now. I do realize that days before the election you guys want to take credit wherever you can, but come on.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't think you'd get many people willing to go out to a donation center in New York at this moment in time anyway

My state is sending over 50 ambulances to the East Coast. Indiana is sending 75 fire tracks. Many other states will do the same as I understand.

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It talks about the election starting in paragraph five. The last few paragraphs are all about the election. Skimming it again, there are more references to Obama and Romney than I counted in my last post.

Largely because it's a national disaster and every reference to either candidate revolved around how they are both stressing caution and supporting relief efforts. The fifth paragraph that you reference even explicitly states that the storm has overshadowed the election. What I've seen are partisans trying to drag politics back center state when every reasonable poster seems content to focus on the storm, the the thing that's killing people and wrecking homes.

Can we at least agree that Hurricane Sandy is just one big detail in the story of the election, not the other way around.

As a man who couldn't care less which one of these jokers gets to sit on the bureaucratic throne of failure that is DC I can honestly say that Hurricane Sandy and its effects on human and economic safety are much more important. I don't see any substantive difference in the candidates.

Storms should be given the kind of serious academic scrutiny that presidential elections get?

Andrew, Irene, and Katrina have certainly had quite a bit of academic scrutiny assigned to them. Even with the political connotations associated with Katrina each of these storms wrought far more destruction than than can be assessed in a in such limited terms as partisan bickering.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

As a NYorker I'd rather worry about getting our citizenry out of harm's way rather than immediately making an idiotic, ill-timed political statement about it.

And, as a resident of Georgia, I will worry about all of our citizenry having the necessary resources and procedures in place for disasters like this -- natural and man-made.

One of the most important ways we do that is via the ballot box. The timing could not be better as election day is close at hand.

Okay, I did read more. Is your implication that Obama somehow 'handled' this better and therefore has FEMA in better shape to handle emergencies

We have had examples of administrations whose FEMA leadership did not handle the events very well. I clearly recall one group trying to make political hay via blaming the Democratic mayor of the city under water, as well as the Democratic governor of the state -- as a way of trying to absolve the gross unpreparedness and mismanagement at the federal level. There is no need to imply that President Obama is handling this better, but that judgment is still pending. (President Obama, at least values FEMA, and the role of the federal government.)

But to act like this administration 'really had it together' is a bit of a stretch at this point.

New Jersey governor Christie has been effusive in his praise to this point.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Here's a question for The Question (at the risk of being called a politcal parasite again):

What changed between fall 2011, when Romney favored eliminating FEMA, and fall 2012, when Romney now saying the opposite that FEMA is needed and will not be eliminated. Does the answer include a five letter word starting with S?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My state is sending over 50 ambulances to the East Coast. Indiana is sending 75 fire tracks. Many other states will do the same as I understand.

My statement was in reference to where Romney, Clinton, Biden, and Ryan are holding their fundraising events. Both parties are sponsoring fundraisers in swing states away from the full brunt of the storm because they are more likely to get individual citizens out to their events. It wouldn't make sense to hold a fundraiser in New York, it would inherently dangerous to ask people to leave their homes in those states.

I made no mention of the donated services of emergency responders which are likely to arrive on the east coast in force no matter which politician is holding what fundraiser wherever they may be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bah, there'll be time for the bickering later, especially if Obama is perceived to have messed up the response.

Looks like a bad one, I really feel for those involved - I lost everything in a house fire a few years back and no amount of insurance money makes up for the personal stuff that gets destroyed.

Every once in a while the ocean let's us know how small and insignificant we really are. Best of luck to those affected.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What changed between fall 2011, when Romney favored eliminating FEMA, and fall 2012, when Romney now saying the opposite that FEMA is needed and will not be eliminated. Does the answer include a five letter word starting with S?

Frankly Romney could say he plans to replace FEMA with an army of faeries that can build a shield generator on the moon to protect us from such disasters. He's a spineless centrist that talks a big game but probably wouldn't change anything just like how the encumbant didn't deliver any substantive changes. FEMA was retooled considerably after the disastrous way it handled the hurricane in 2005 during the Bush administration and the process continued into the Obama administration.

Your boy and Romney are two sides of the same coin which is why I don't give a rip about what they say. I watch what they do and neither of them looks like they're going to do anything different than the other. So yes, I throw around the term parasite because that's what both sides do. They latch onto whatever news they can and pump as much political animosity into it as it can hold.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Frankly Romney could say he plans to replace FEMA with an army of faeries that can build a shield generator on the moon to protect us from such disasters. "

I think you're confusing him with Gingrich :D

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Removing politics from this disaster would be like removing Santa from Christmas.

The shape of the government’s response to the next massive disaster that hits the U.S. could depend very much on who is leading the nation at that time.

That person is going to be elected in 6 days time.

The structure, state and capabilities of FEMA that the winning candidate and their party desire could well determine how many people live and how many people die when the next disaster hits.

If that’s not worth discussing – NOW – I don’t know what is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

**Sandy leaves 33 dead, 8.1 million without pow

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is prime time for the Republican candidates to reiterate their total opposition to FEMA and let every state fend for themselves!

Funny when "W" was in office, FEMA was a dirty word that meant incompetent Federal Government. Now that Obama is in office, it means a "savior."

Not to get too political on this disaster, and I am by no means a spokesperson for Romney, but what I take away from his comments about a smaller FEMA is that it is more up to the individual to make sure that they are prepared for a disaster. For those who chose to stay in the areas, they were given ample warning. If they chose not to move out willingly, then they are their own victms. It is up to each person to make themselves ready for such events. I don't need the big hand of government handing me a flashlight and batteries, and leaving me to wait at the Superdome until they come in and help.

Of course I understand that there are those who will not be able to fend for themselves, and that is where the government should help. FEMA does have a role, you can't just move a building out of the way of a storm, and they do have the resources to coordinate disaster relief over broad areas. But I would not just sit by and wait for them to come and pick me up.

If anything, both sides showed more concern about politics rather than true concern. Obama tries to act like he is concerned but where was this concern when the BP oil spill occured in the Gulf? Politicans just simply tried to "out prepare" each other to make sure that their side will not catch the blame for losing the election, and not too worried about the people affected.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And, as a resident of Georgia, I will worry about all of our citizenry having the necessary resources and procedures in place for disasters like this -- natural and man-made.

The best way to do that is for each citizen to have some responsibility and to prepare for themselves. I am not talking about building a bunker, but I don't need the government telling me to make sure that I have a flash light and batteries, and keep a few days supply of food and water with me. A responsible person would try to think that far ahead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you see any more efficient, effective way than FEMA to accomplish this? Because Romney apparently does. Is that not cause for serious consideration before choosing the nation's leader? If you think not, you have some serious priority issues.

As I stated earlier, FEMA was a dirty word when "W" was in office for not doing enough for Katrina. Now they can do no wrong. But if you want to say that Obama improved FEMA, you can, but then you have to accept the fact that they dropped the ball with the BP Gulf oil spill as I stated previously.

I think Gov. Christie of NJ said it best when he told people not to be "stupid" and go try to surf and swim and if you live along coastal areas to move futrther inland. Sometimes plain talk will go a long way.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

President Obama and the Democratic Party to the American People of the East Coast Seaboard:

"I'm from the government, and I am here to help."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I was able to speak with my father this morning (Tuesday morning, U.S. time). He lives about 21km southeast of Philadelphia. He said he never lost power, never got flooded, and only saw a few dead branches down in the yards and streets around him. He didn't even lose any shingles from the roof. Aside from the shore areas, it seems as though some of South Jersey got lucky.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Actually, I always find a crisis brings us otherwise mean human beings together:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57542354/gov-christie-obama-deserves-great-credit-for-storm-response/?tag=MaxDeep

"Gov. Christie: Obama deserves "great credit" for storm response"

Kudos for honesty from Republican Christie there, especially with an election a few days away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

DTA

You praise Chirty? Well, he just said this:

"

The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit," Christie said. "I've been on the phone with him, like I said, yesterday, personally, three times. He gave me his number at the White House, told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it. It's been very good working with the president, and he and his administration have been coordinating with us great. It's been wonderful."

Yeah, when push comes to shove, even Republicans know big storms require bog govt.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As I stated earlier, FEMA was a dirty word when "W" was in office for not doing enough for Katrina. Now they can do no wrong.

FEMA became a dirty word when W was in office. They were, generally speaking, a highly-respected and competent organization under every prior president since its establishment by executive order in 1978. Which brings us to the problem with those leaders who claim to hate "big government," and extend it to mean just about every government function under the sun. Under Bush II, FEMA's upper management was staffed by appointed hacks. The leader, "Brownie," had previous experience with running horse shows.

It goes to show that when you hate government and call it incompetent, you're going to appoint people who will prove you right. That is why it's literally a matter of life or death for people to choose the right leaders: ones who understand and value government's role and responsibility in disasters like this one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It was a scary night but we were fairly lucky comparing to other places. Wind was worst than Irene but the rain wasn't as heavy (which is a really good thing.)

(Here we go, more Bush bashing and Obama boots licking schmoe from Obama hardcore fans. Heck, like as if Obama would be dumb and perform poorly to affect his election.)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Did it shut down the fossil fuels commodity exchange???

A symbolic semblance of justice handed down against the perpetrators of global warming?

I feel sorry for all those who suffered otherwise, and I hope the call private equity to account on public election day.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Without federal help, city of Nappanee pulled together in recovery

http://www.etruth.com/article/20121015/NEWS01/710159960?template=nappaneetornadoart

It obviously isn't possible to evacuate New York or New Jersey and anyone who tried would quickly run out of gas and turn into a stranded commuter. This article is still a nice story about an Indiana community near me that ended up being grateful for the lack of government recovery interference after a major tornado struck the area five years ago. Of course to imply that society would be better off without FEMA and other assisted help in much more major disaster situations is totally off track but I do agree that one of the worse problems is the false sense of security some people have in the government coming to save them so they don't prepare themselves. Then they suffer more than others that didn't have such faith in the government and prepared for a natural disaster. Emergency management bureaucrats have a role as long as the citizens also take responsibility and don't assume anybody is coming to save you in an emergency, prepare yourself and people in your local community.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The politicizing of this event is petty and deplorable.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Sorry, pal. When one party wants to eviscerate FEMA's, and thus the feds, ability to help the people and property in harms way, and the other doesn't

this is political.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

We have dead people, people whose homes have been flooded, the NYC subway system is also flooded, rendering it useless, and we have people trying to put some kind of political spin on this tragedy because the presidential elections are next week?? Very, very low blow in my opinion, time to pull together help in what ever ways we can, even if it is just a simple phone call, to see how our family or friends are doing in that part of the world.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

EM, we're on the same page.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lizz, hear, hear!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

For once, Herve, I agree with you. While I think touching on politics is going to be inevitable to an extent, FOCUSING on it is something else, and not the important thing at this time... by any means.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Smith

The important thing is to help the areas devastated by the storm. And part of doing that includes re-electing Obama.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

An ounce of prevention...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smith, agreed.

Others, whatever.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JTDanMan: "Smith. The important thing is to help the areas devastated by the storm. And part of doing that includes re-electing Obama."

So we shouldn't help them until next week? No, and even Obama said this himself -- the election will take care of itself next week, the focus should be on helping the people NOW. This issue is not about politics. If anything it's about how nature trumps all the doings and goings of our silly little species and our politics. Politics will play a very large part in the aftermath and reconstruction, for now, though, it should take a backseat for at least a little while longer. I'd much rather see Obama (and even Romney) in or near the disaster zones coordinating relief work and rescue than see them in some state campaigning and talking about what they WOULD do in the case of disasters and that you should vote for them as a result.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So we shouldn't help them until next week?

People are not binary in nature. We can help survivors as well as discuss the important points of what this disaster has to teach from a policy level. So one does not preclude the other.

even Obama said this himself -- the election will take care of itself next week

The reason the election will "take care of itself" is because while President Obama and his team are focused on the situation in the northeast, millions of Americans are discussing how disasters like this one relate to our decision of what kind of government we want to have. These discussions need to take place.

Politics will play a very large part in the aftermath and reconstruction, for now, though, it should take a backseat for at least a little while longer

There are many dimensions of a problem. Those involved at the front lines need to focus on the local strategy and the logistics and tactics to implement that strategy. They are the ones who can't afford to spend time on the politics. Those who are not at the front lines, or indirect lines of help should not be making up excuses for not taking responsibility to tackle the underlying policy and philosophical dimensions of this issue. You actually don't think it matters that Ryan and his colleagues have been trying to gut FEMA? (And what that would have meant for the victims of Sandy had they succeeded a decade ago? Wasn't a taste of New Orleans enough?)

It takes less than 10 minutes to cut a check to the Red Cross, living as I do 1000+ miles from the damaged areas. We citizens, therefore, have a lot of extra bandwidth to take every advantage of this important teachable moment. I am hoping, smith, that you are intelligent enough to see the attempts to stifle discussion on the political ramifications of this event for what they are, since they know that time for important decision-making is short. Don't fall into the trap of degrading one of the highest responsibilities of a citizen by calling it "politics."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smith

Partisanship aside, here is how it really works: (I apologize for the length, but there is a lot here to say)

One week before the Presidential Election, a major storm blasts the east coast, putting thousands out of their homes, millions without power, and causing billions in damage. Whatever should be is one thing.

Moral injunctions aside, anyone who thinks that politics is not in play no doubt also believes in Santi Claus, the tooth fairy and every little girls does get a pony. Not should, but does.

For the White House, the trick is to be political but not make it look political. That is why Obama goes to inspect the storm damage and act like he is coordinating relief efforts. When in truth, he is not. Its an act. A photo shop. His role started in the beginning of his administration by beefing up FEMA after the Bush years let it slide, and letting them loose a week ago to prepare for the storm impact. Which, of course, the Right Wing noise machine actually criticized... That is all politics.

But that don't stop Obama from going to noncompetitive states, like New Jersey, and saying things like: "I want to repeat my message to the federal government: No bureaucracy, no red tape. Get resources where they're needed as fast as possible" makes him look decisive and presidential. That is politics.

Let me repeat that, 'cause it is important. It makes him look decisive and presidential. And it doesn't make a wit of difference to the actual disaster relief, though it may make people feel better that their president has taken notice of their plight or the plight of their fellow Americans. That is politics.

Also, every trip he makes to some hard-hit area is major news and will be on every television set in America--for free. Romney doesn't get equal time and don't you think Obama is not aware of this and will milk it for all it is worth. That is politics.

Obama can also thank FEMA people for working 24/7 to provide relief. And let the media report that Romney wants to abolish it. In Ohio, if you recall from yesterday's news, Romney was peppered by reporters with 14 questions about his statement earlier this year about abolishing FEMA. He refused to answer. Now that is politics. And when independent voters see Obama working with FEMA to help people get on with their lives and then hear that Romney wants to abolish the agency, it can't be helpful to Romney.

That is politics.

So far, federal officials have gotten good marks for their relief efforts. Even Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), a Romney surrogate, has said: "The president has been outstanding in this." Obama and Christie will travel together to inspect the storm-damaged New Jersey shore today. Why are they working together?

Yep, you guesses it: politics. For Obama, this is an implicit appeal to those voters who see bipartisanship as the holy grail of politics. For Christie, hanging out with the President gives him some national publicity, which people may vaguely remember in 2016 if Obama wins and Christie runs for President in 2016.

Romney is going to start campaigning again today, (politics) but Obama is going to own the news cycle today no matter what Romney does. More politcs. Romney has to be exceedingly careful not to attack Obama (more politics) while Obama is out there "helping" people (as if walking along the beach with Christie helps anyone -- and more politics.) Romney would be advised to be positive today and talk about how he managed crises in the companies Bain owned, but being positive does not come naturally to him.

While Obama can't campaign now, he has a not-so-secret weapon: Bill Clinton. Clinton--who is more popular than Obama is--is free to continue campaigning since Clinton has no official duties. Clinton is also a master at "I feel your pain" campaigning and can explain in simple terms that Obama can't campaign now because his top priority is helping people. Romney has no official duties, either, but if he campaigns aggressively while people are suffering, the optics looks bad.

That is politics, politics, and more politics,.

If there are no major slip-ups and Obama gives the impression of working 24/7 this week to help people, the storm may end up being a net plus for him. But he has to avoid mistakes at all costs since they will be magnified immensely.

All politics.

Politics is about power. The power to cut more taxes on the rich, or not. The power to regulate Wall Street more or less. The power to give affordable health care to the American people, protect religious freedom, the rights of the unborn, the women's right to chose, the ability to force people who work for you to attend political rallies of your choosing, to label foodstuffs with GMO

The power to invade Iraq.

If you honestly believe that a terrible storm is going to stop all that, then I got a bridge I wanna sell you. For cheap. If you honestly want your political candidate to take the so-called high road, and lose power to the other guy by doing so, I recommend you enter the priesthood.

Politics is about power. Not moral injunctions, not what ought to be, but what is.

You bet this storm is political.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If there are no major slip-ups and Obama gives the impression of working 24/7 this week to help people, the storm may end up being a net plus for him. But he has to avoid mistakes at all costs since they will be magnified immensely.

A great point in a very well-written post. The same anti-democrats who decry what they refer to as "making politics" out of the response to the storm would not hesitate for a split second if President Obama slipped up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Perhaps Holland can help come up with a protective plan for the US East Coast. My cousin is still without power in Jersey.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yabits,

Thanks for your kind words. As for the Republican's whining about Obama making political hay, of course they are.

They are hypocrites.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Go to Jersey shore hurricane news on Facebook. My hometown was destroyed. Family safe but still with no power. I find it interesting how power companies from all over the east coast and other states are crossing boarders (with asking for federal government permission) heading to help. People have been getting aid since the storm past, power is getting restored little by little, and people have already started rebuilding the shore area. The pride, power and enthusiasm of all the people, and I repeat all the people up and down the coast is outstanding. No one is waiting for hand outs from the federal government, they are all putting their own resources together and pulling through. I'm confident they'll be ready for next summer. Great job to all. I hope the People of Japan can learn something from this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

in addition to American military help, in addition to Americans over the many decades buying japanese goods

Hah! You reckon the Yanks bought Japanese goods to "help" the Japanese? They bought them because they were high-quality, well-priced, and because they were incapable of building their own stuff at a reasonable price.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Apologies, just noticed it. Ment to say "without" asking for federal government permission.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some good comments on this thread yet there are those who for some reason have an ax to grind. Too bad.

"The massive storm stretched over hundreds of miles and paralyzed several major cities as it brought coastal flooding and hurricane-force winds to the densely-populated East Coast and blizzards to the mountainous interior." Let's not forget that this storm reached all the way in the Midwest of the U.S. The Great Lakes region had hight winds causing larger than normal waves on those big lakes.

Just a thought here, since I personally haven't heard any one single person mention this let alone the media in japan. If anyone wants to help out the folks who were hit hard on the East Coast the Red Cross is a good place to start and or any NPO that will help those affected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course bureaucracies take their time to deal with natural disasters. That is just the way it is.

What is fascinating (but alas predictable) is to see how the mass media are treating the desaster. Remember when Katrina hit under GWB? Every problem was squarely blamed on the national government from day one.

This time around everybody else gets blamed, but not Obama.... who ironically did go out of his way to use the desaster as a photo op and electioneering prop... remember his pompous declaration that he would personally take any phone call about any problems? Yeah, right...

Anybody looking for a demonstration of media partisanship and journalistic malpractise need not look further.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A mountain of destruction and suffering

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WilliBNov. 04, 2012 - 05:11PM JST

What is fascinating (but alas predictable) is to see how the mass media are treating the desaster

WilliB, do you know what we think about Brits? Cold hearted SOB. Your comment like this confirmed our analysis over Brits are correct. No sense of humanity, or just ignorant. I tell you there are so far over 100 dead and infrastructures are still broken. My brother and his family have been sleeping in sleeping bags, no water, no heat, eating can food and crackers. No Brits, go home where you belong.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Every problem [with Katrina] was squarely blamed on the national government from day one.

Not true. It took 3-4 days to reveal the true incompetence and inadequacy of the federal government's response. Later investigations revealed the faulty design of the levees -- something that the federal government has to take the blame for too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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