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Birds of a Feather

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So Bloomy endorses Obama. Unless you have absolutely no prior knowledge of the New York mayor, this should be no surprise in any way shape or form. Some like to remind that Bloomberg ran as a Republican. That’s true, and it’s because the Dems already had a candidate that year. That Bloomy ran as a Republican was always an opportunity thing, and never an ideology thing.

Bloomberg endorses Obama because Bloomberg and Obama share the same ideology. It’s OK if you like Bloomberg and his policies (well not really but more on that later), but chances are great that if you do, then you also like Obama too and agree with his policies. After all, these are birds of the same feather, their policies are irons shaped in the same forge.

Bloomberg is famous for his recent large soda ban; an idea that government is so all-knowing, so powerful, that it has the wisdom to dictate the very size of the drinks we choose to consume. He’s enacted several other government-driven efforts to legislate the amount of salt and fats in the foods we buy. None of these laws have helped even one citizen be healthier, because good health doesn’t originate from government, it comes from a personal choice to become more healthy. But in the minds of liberals who see government as the solution to all of our problems, these laws are interesting and novel experiments proving the good that government can do.

If that last part sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Obama shares the same ideology as Bloomy. No, Obama hasn’t proposed any limitations on the size of soft drinks, nor has he legislated fats or salt (though his wife is on a crusade to ensure the rest of us eat healthier than she and her husband do). However, the root of Bloomberg’s follies, the idea that government is the solution to our problems, is on display throughout Obama’s platform and his spoken words.

What’s astonishing about all of this is that so many New Yorkers really can’t stand the mayor, yet these same New Yorkers will assuredly vote en masse for his ideological doppelganger, Barack Obama. They are against the nanny state in practice, or when it directly affects them, but they support it fully in the abstract. Of course, the government takeover of your healthcare is hardly an abstract, but it’s not quite as in your face as telling you that you can’t have a little extra salt on your food if you so desire.

I watch the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and see the endless, painful lines of New Yorkers just trying to get to work. A task made exponentially more difficult thanks to Bloomberg’s unreasonable dictates as to how many people can be in a car, and the resulting enforcement of which, causing hours-long lines on our bridges and tunnels. Driving around town (thankfully, I had filled up prior to the storm) and seeing all the mile-long lines in front of our gas stations, I wonder, if we had a mayor who understood the struggle it takes to commute into work day in and day out, even via automobile, would we be in the predicament we are in, four days after the storm? And if we had a president who actually viewed our fossil fuel infrastructure as the crucial component of day-to-day life that it actually is, might our country have been better prepared for the damage caused by Sandy?

Instead, we have a president who would rather sink billions on green energy vapor ware, and a mayor who views his job as dietician of the republic. So when a major storm hits, the best we can do is dispatch the government sanctioned militia, setup queues and let the common man wait for his bread and toilet paper.

Americans have a choice coming up this Tuesday: do we want an America led by people who want to regulate our salt intake and spend the national treasure on shaky investments that have little to no return for actual Americans in their actual day-to-day life? Do we want leaders who view government as the cure for our ills, who think those elected have a greater amount of wisdom than the people they lead? Or do we want leadership that understands that what makes America great is its people, and not its government? Important decisions await us next week. I implore you to make the right one.

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About The Obnoxious American

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Here goes OA on another “Obama’s destroying America” rant.

    And if we had a president who actually viewed our fossil fuel infrastructure as the crucial component of day-to-day life that it actually is, might our country have been better prepared for the damage caused by Sandy??

    Really? Did you know that America is – as of earlier this very year – a net oil exporter? Yes, we’re drilling more oil than we’re importing thanks to government regulations from agencies like the EPA…AND we’re on track to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil by 2020.

    But I get it, Obama’s SO bad for America’s oil infrastructure. And Obama’s SO bad that all the damage and loss of electricity and lack of access to gasoline because of Sandy is actually all his fault, never mind that Sandy was a once-in-a-lifetime storm!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And OA –

    None of these laws have helped even one citizen be healthier, because good health doesn’t originate from government, it comes from a personal choice to become more healthy.

    Really? Well, if we’d just listened to the marketplace, our cars wouldn’t have seatbelts for all seats, much less airbags. If we’d just listened to the marketplace, our national smoking rate wouldn’t be down to 19.3 percent now vice 45 percent back in 1954 – because cigarettes were GOOD for you, according to the marketplace!

    OA, I’ve lost two members of my family – , my uncle a few years back, my mother this past July – to smoking. I was there for her hospice care and watched her die, watched her mouth fill with brown stuff that her liver could no longer process, and she essentially drowned in it and died. She had smoked since she was a teenager, and had tried SO hard, so many times to quit, but she just couldn’t do it, just like so many millions of other Americans.

    Why? Because cigarettes are designed to be addictive. If our government could have had the ability to tax the hell out of cigarettes like they’re doing now – or ban them outright if I had my way – maybe my mother and uncle would be alive and healthy today.

    If we’d only listen to the marketplace and not the government, we wouldn’t be able to read how much transfat is in the food we eat, or know how whether this or that food has high-fructose corn syrup instead of regular sugar.

    Bloomberg shouldn’t have banned soft drinks above 16 ounces – he should have taxed the hell out of them. It works…and the extra money would go to pay for the effects that those soft drinks are having on the American people.

    OA, there’s several reasons why non-OPEC first-world nations are ALL socialized democracies…and if you want to live someplace that isn’t a socialized democracy, then you’re going to live in a third-world nation. Socialized democracy doesn’t guarantee that a nation will be a first-world nation…but it sure as hell looks like the LACK of socialized democracy guarantees that one will live in a third-world nation.

    Your choice, OA – first-world socialized democracy, or small=government, low-tax, deregulated third world nation. That’s the choice you have, whether you like it or not.

  • The Obnoxious American

    A few points Glenn:

    This notion that this storm is a “once in a lifetime” is nonsense. Mind you, I was directly in the path of the storm. I live here, so I’ve seen the damage. As hurricanes go, this was a relatively weak category 1. It’s not a “superstorm”, it’s not evidence of AGW. The only remarkable aspect here is where it came ashore and in retrospect, how poorly we were prepared for it.

    And that’s my point. A more pro-energy president, perhaps we would have had more resources. Sure, some stations are closed because of power outages, but plenty have power and are just out of gasoline. Why?

    And this canard that Obama has been good for oil development in the US is just that – a canard. It’s been thoroughly debunked, so please stop parroting it. Obama has been antithetical to all fossil fuels. What was it he said about building coal plants? That’s right – you can do it if you want to go bankrupt. All the drilling that’s happened has been on private lands where he has no say, drilling on public lands has declined. Even the liberal fact checkers agree with that.

    And like all liberals, when faced with facts turn to emotional anecdotes. I’m really sorry that you had family members who didn’t have the discipline to quit smoking. But it was still their fault that they got addicted and ultimately they paid the price. Just about EVERYONE whose ever taken a drag on a cigg knows what the health effects are, and people 40 years ago were quite clear that smoking was bad well before they started putting warning labels on everything. That is why despite the disgusting anti-smoking ads out there today, showing cancers and tumors and surgery and whatnot, people STILL smoke. Because they are willing to trade future unhappiness for temporary comfort.

    None of that is a good reason for the government to come in and tell me I can’t make the decision to engage in behavior even if it’s bad for me. It’s a little something called freedom, because in real life, freedom means responsibility.

    As far as your non-points on transfats and corn syrup, who is advocating for not providing ingredient labelling? Not me. I’d just like to be able to buy something with sugar, transfats, and in any quantity I desire. THAT is what we’re talking about here.

    Lastly, your false choice is laughable. Obama has already turned us into a third world nation – he’s been steadily devalueing our money, bypassing our founding documents, and increasing his own personal power despite the wishes of those he’s supposed to represent.

    The choice is between a government out of control with no bounds under Obama or a return to the greatness of American freedom and the potential, not guarantee of a positive outcome.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    A more pro-energy president, perhaps we would have had more resources. Sure, some stations are closed because of power outages, but plenty have power and are just out of gasoline. Why?

    Might have a teeny tiny bit less to do with Bloomberg and with the administration’s energy policy than with the fact that gasoline doesn’t fall out of the sky but has to be delivered – via oceans and waterways that were unnavigable due to the storm and roads and bridges that are either super-congested or were damaged, submerged or washed away by the floods.

    I mean, seriously: blaming the government for an infrastructure failure at this point is as boneheaded as Bloomberg’s insistence that the New York Marathon was going to go ahead this weekend, a decision which I hear he’s just reversed.

  • Clavos

    The only unusual aspect of Sandy was her size — the area she covered (but only briefly) immediately after landfall. The flooding was a function of the low terrain (especially in New Jersey) and the fact that the area she hit is one of the world’s most densely populated (and developed — all that concrete and asphalt makes it very difficult for the water to drain efficiently) metro areas.

    The only “storm of a lifetime” aspect of Sandy was the incredible hype the MSM and especially the talking heads on TV, lavished on it.

    She hit shore as a Category ! storm; the lowest a storm can register and still be labeled a hurricane, and within an hour after landfall, her winds were down to 35-40 Kts, less than she gave us here in Florida when she came through this neighborhood a week earlier.

    I saw a figure of 10K homes destroyed by Sandy; Andrew, a Cat. 5 at landfall, the highest ranking in the Saffir-Simpson scale, destroyed more than 80,000 homes here back in 92.

  • Clavos

    …gasoline doesn’t fall out of the sky but has to be delivered – via oceans and waterways that were unnavigable due to the storm and roads and bridges that are either super-congested or were damaged, submerged or washed away by the floods.

    Which conditions should have been foreseen by both the pols and the oil companies, as we do here in Florida. Further, Florida passed a law years ago mandating generators as part of a gas station’s safety equipment. The result of those two preparations? No more gas shortages or panicked lines at the stations. Even our biggest Florida-based grocery chain, Publix, equips all its stores with generators now (on their own — no laws), so we no longer have the runs on the groceries that cleaned them out years ago.

    Surviving a hurricane with minimal loss of life and damage to property is all about preparation. Probably because we get so much practice at it, we in Florida: state and municipal governments, utility companies AND the population, are better at it than anybody else (especially FEMA, which invariably gets here late and a dollar short).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    This notion that this storm is a “once in a lifetime” is nonsense. Mind you, I was directly in the path of the storm. I live here, so I’ve seen the damage. As hurricanes go, this was a relatively weak category 1. It’s not a “superstorm”, it’s not evidence of AGW.

    I never said it was proof of AGW. If you’ll listen to the climatologists, they’ll tell you that AGW doesn’t cause such storms – it only makes them much more likely. And as far as it being a “relatively weak category 1″, that’s true as far as wind speed went…but you obviously weren’t paying attention:

    A typical category 1 hurricane would only have hurricane force extending several tens of miles from the center. Sandy’s wind field is not concentrated near the center and hurricane force winds extend over 200 miles from the eye. As a result, significantly more seawater that normal is being driven toward the coast. The central pressure of the storm would be more indicative of a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane.

    It wasn’t the strength, Warren – it was the sheer SIZE of the storm – and that’s not counting the damage done by the storm surge (during a high tide, no less) up and down that entire four hundred mile diameter of hurricane-force winds. That’s why it caused $50B in damage…and that is why it was called a superstorm.

    And that’s my point. A more pro-energy president, perhaps we would have had more resources. Sure, some stations are closed because of power outages, but plenty have power and are just out of gasoline. Why?

    Hm, let me see here – is Obama in charge of gasoline distribution of Exxon, Shell, et al? Um…no, he’s not. Nor can he issue an executive order telling Big Oil to have gasoline supplies ready to go to gas stations over literally thousands of square miles of disaster area. Or are you not aware of this fact?

    And this canard that Obama has been good for oil development in the US is just that – a canard. It’s been thoroughly debunked, so please stop parroting it. Obama has been antithetical to all fossil fuels. What was it he said about building coal plants? That’s right – you can do it if you want to go bankrupt. All the drilling that’s happened has been on private lands where he has no say, drilling on public lands has declined. Even the liberal fact checkers agree with that.

    Hey, I’m only telling you the END RESULTS, which are (1) America’s now a net oil exporter, and (2) we’re on track to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2020. Do you dispute either of those? Because if you can’t, then it sure looks to me that if we’re a net oil exporter for the first time in 50-odd years AND soon to be the world’s biggest producer of oil, it’s pretty obvious that Obama’s been pretty good for Big Oil.

    So it seems to me that however good you think your arguments are – and I can dispute them if I want to take the time – the END RESULTS show the fallacy of your arguments.

    AND Obama has absolutely NOTHING to do with coal plants closing down. Cheap natural gas – and the laws of the marketplace – has EVERYTHING to do with coal plants closing down as this article by the right-wing Wall Street Journal makes clear.

    But it was still their fault that they got addicted and ultimately they paid the price

    BLAME THE VICTIM – that’s the Republican way! I hate to tell you this, OA, but it’s all too often not at all a matter of self-discipline, but of BIOLOGY:

    Scientists say they have pinpointed a genetic link that makes people more likely to get hooked on tobacco, causing them to smoke more cigarettes, making it harder to quit, and leading more often to deadly lung cancer.

    Oh, but I forgot – you’re strongly conservative, which means that any science that doesn’t agree with your preconceived notions is automatically wrong no matter how much proof the scientists present. c.f. AGW

    None of that is a good reason for the government to come in and tell me I can’t make the decision to engage in behavior even if it’s bad for me. It’s a little something called freedom, because in real life, freedom means responsibility.

    I’ve got no problem with YOU doing stuff that’s bad for YOU – I just want YOU to pay up front for what you’re doing to yourself before taxpayers like me have to pay for it. That’s why I disagreed with what Bloomberg did and said he should just have slapped a big tax on big soft drinks.

    As far as your non-points on transfats and corn syrup, who is advocating for not providing ingredient labelling? Not me. I’d just like to be able to buy something with sugar, transfats, and in any quantity I desire. THAT is what we’re talking about here.

    But wait! It was YOUR people who were against such labeling. It is that which you hate above all else – government regulation – that is forcing Big Food to put those labels on what they’re selling us. Or would you agree that maybe, just maybe some government regulation of Big Business is a very good thing (esp. since it’s a hallmark of ALL first-world nations)?

    Lastly, your false choice is laughable. Obama has already turned us into a third world nation – he’s been steadily devalueing our money, bypassing our founding documents, and increasing his own personal power despite the wishes of those he’s supposed to represent.

    OA, if you think America’s a third-world country, then you’ve got very little experience in third-world countries. I’ve got a house in one and spent four months out of the past year there. Tell you what – next time I go to the Philippines, you fly over there and I’ll be happy to show you around. I’ll take you to the nicest neighborhood in Manila – the one with the Maserati and Lamborghini showrooms – and then I’ll take you about a half kilometer away where the street urchins crowd your car begging for a few pisos.

    Again, if you think America’s a third-world nation, then you haven’t a clue as to what third-world nations are really like.

    The choice is between a government out of control with no bounds under Obama or a return to the greatness of American freedom and the potential, not guarantee of a positive outcome.

    “Out of control with no bounds”? You mean like when Bush lied us into Iraq? Or how about Iran-Contra (which was a bigger scandal than ANYthing on the Democratic side since Vietnam)? And how about YOUR BOYS who took us from having a surplus under Clinton to the biggest economic crisis since the Depression?

    OA, there are those who would call Obama a great president. I would, except for a few things that I think he’s done wrong, like failing to send everyone involved in torture to appear before The Hague in war crimes trials, and his use of drones over nuclear-armed Pakistan (see my most recent article). BUT on the day he took office, he not only faced the worst economic crisis since the Depression (AND two wars), but after seventy-two in-session days of having a supermajority in Congress (NOT two years, but seventy-two in-session days), he also faced the most obstructive Congress since the Civil War (as the filibuster records make clear). In other words, only Abraham Lincoln and James Madison have ever faced a worse situation in office.

    Think about that, OA – only Abraham Lincoln and James Madison have faced a worse situation in office, and Obama’s situation – economy going off a cliff, two wars, the most obstructive Congress since the Civil War – was NOT of his own making. Personally, given what he’s faced, I’d say he’s not bad, not bad at all…

    …and if he were a Republican president – given that we’ve got the lowest tax burden since the early 1950’s, the lowest corporate taxes since 1972, the lowest rate of growth of government spending since Eisenhower, and lowered the deficit by eight percent (betcha didn’t hear THAT on Fox News!), you would be hailing Obama as the second coming of Reagan.

    But he’s a Democrat, and Thou Shalt Not give him credit for doing anything right, no matter how right he is.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    It wasn’t the strength, Warren

    Glenn, The Obnoxious American and Warren are not the same person. The major clue to this is that Obnox is intelligent.

    Again, if you think America’s a third-world nation, then you haven’t a clue as to what third-world nations are really like.

    But perhaps he does know what hyperbole is and how to use it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    No more gas shortages or panicked lines at the stations. Even our biggest Florida-based grocery chain, Publix, equips all its stores with generators now (on their own — no laws), so we no longer have the runs on the groceries that cleaned them out years ago.

    So why didn’t Exxon and Shell and Arco have generators set aside in New York and New Jersey or Virginia or the Carolinas? I mean, they’re part of the all-knowing and all-wise marketplace, so they should have done it already, right?

    I know you listed an example of regulation by state and local governments, but isn’t it a core belief of conservatives that almost all regulation is a Very Bad Thing?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Probably because we get so much practice at it, we in Florida

    Exactly, Clav: you’re in Florida. Not only are you plumb centre of Hurricane Alley, which means that you lot have had more practice at preparing for and clearing up after the buggers, you’re also a peninsula, which makes you a relatively small target.

    By contrast, the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area not only does not receive as many hurricanes but is also the most densely populated part of North America. I don’t know if anybody’s done any serious number-crunching on the subject, but I do wonder how much economic sense it would make for a region that only experiences something on this scale every few decades to invest so heavily in preemptive countermeasures.

    They actually were very well prepared, but there’s a limit to what preparation can do for you when all of the shit hits the fan and clogs it up, as opposed to most of it missing, hitting the wall and sliding down out of harm’s way.

    Hindsight is a great thing, and with our changing climate and rising sea levels the frequency of this sort of storm surge in any coastal area is likely to get much more frequent. Lessons have been learned. Lessons that were also learned in Florida, but not before the place got clobbered by a few doozies first.

  • The Obnoxious American

    We may not be hurricane alley, but personally, I’ve lost power every year for at least a day or two, due to some storm or another. And we’ve had city-wide blackouts several times in the last decade.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh please…you canNOT be comparing what New York normally gets to the hurricanes that come to the Gulf Coast and Southeast every doggone year!

  • Kenn Jacobine

    It is very simple – there are gas shortages in the Northeast because the fascist governors there are interfering with the market. They are threatening business owners with anti-price gouging laws. Prices rising in reaction to a future event is a good thing. It prevents shortages that are anticipated by the price increasers. There would be gas in NYC right now for emergency use if prices were allowed to rise like the market required before Sandy preventing every Tom, Dick, and Harry from filling up unnecessarily.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Filling up unnecessarily? Kenn, you’ve lost it.

    Your bizarre version of reality dissolves completely in the event that price rises, preventing NYC/NJ residents from filling their tanks, had resulted in hundreds to thousands more deaths because people weren’t able to evacuate…

  • Igor

    @3-Obnox: It’s a duck? Well, OK, what kind of duck? Teal? Mallard? Ruddy Duck (the kind whose beak turns bright blue in mating season)?

    “And this canard that Obama has been good for oil development in the US is just that – a canard.”

    Just that! You mean, ‘literally’?.

    How curious. Now, if you were a clever Frenchman making an amusing point at table, where everyone understands that ‘canard’ means ‘backwards’ because a flying duck looks like he’s flying backwards because his wings are at the aft of his body, one could possibly figure out what you mean.

    But I believe that you are neither clever nor French (and Quebecois doesn’t count)!

    So I surmise that you mean ‘untrue’. But then I am left to wonder why you chose the inappropriate ‘canard’ and have to conclude that such a reach was intended to add luster to your statement by making your language seem more eloquent than it really is.

    Well, you failed. You just look foolish. Although some will be generous and let you go your way.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Doc,

    Simply not true. People were warned about the storm way in advance and had time to put enough gas in their tanks to get away. Instead at a below market price they overconsumed and filled up more than they needed thus causing shortages now. This is a law of economics – it is not a bizarre version of reality. As harsh as that sounds, economics has nothing to do with emotion. It is all logic and many times we don’t like the consequence, but that is why our larger economy is so screwed up.

  • Zingzing

    So the reality is that people should have left their homes and jobs days in advance, and since they didn’t they should have been paying exhorberant prices on gas so that the survivors wouldn’t be facing a shortage but they are because fascism.

    Fascism is a meaningless word.

  • Clavos

    So the reality is that people should have left their homes and jobs days in advance

    That’s not what he said. He said they had notice of the storm days in advance and should have used that time to prepare, including filling your gas tank, which we do here in Florida.

    When Andrew threatened, I was working in San Antonio, but my wife was still in our house in Florida, as was the boat. I flew back a couple of days ahead of the storm to help her prepare. It’s what you do if you want to survive and not lose everything you own.

    Likewise,as Sandy approached here, I spent the better part of a day prepping the boat (which is now home).

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Of course there is a lot of moral hazard built into government actions as well. Zing won’t let a major storm inconvenience him because he knows the nanny state will come to his rescue in an emergency. Why prepare for a storm when Uncle Sam will be there to bail you out? Meanwhile, folks who do not live in high risk areas are called on time and again to bail out the fat cats with beachfront property. Merchants in the line of the storm are harassed by shameless politicians over raising prices to market levels. Zing never considers the business owners who are affected by tragedies. I guess they are the rich his president continuously speaks ill of?

  • Igor

    Well, anyhow we came through the storm pretty good now that “Heckuva-good-job” Brownie is gone (I understand he’s a rightwing radio talker now) and Obama kept FEMA together in spite of Romneys threats and promises to eliminate it.

    I guess if Romney is elected he’ll get rid of FEMA and erect sky-box viewing stands in storm-prone areas so that he an his rich friends can watch the peasants scurry around trying to save themselves when the next hurricane hits.

    By getting rid of FEMA and ignoring Global Warming Romney should increase the drama and entertainment value of storms a lot.

  • Zingzing

    Kenn won’t let a cliched moment pass. Why deal with reality when you can just make something up? Kenn never thinks about people living in different circumstances than himself, but he knows their minds deepest works because he has cliches and fascism, the two things which can be used to explain everything.

  • Zingzing

    So, clavos, they should have filled their gas tanks days in advance, then… Gone about their daily lives and… Not used any gas…

    Storm prep in Florida is not the same as storm prep in new York. I’m not prepping my boat.

  • Clavos

    So, clavos, they should have filled their gas tanks days in advance, then…Gone about their daily lives and… Not used any gas…

    Don’t play the moron, zing. One obviously leaves the gas tank for near the end.

    And you’re wrong. Storm prep in Florida and NY are very similar, even, for many, including the boats, as there are tens of thousands of boats in the NY area and its suburbs. Over the years, I’ve sold several Florida boats that went to New York. But, in any case, the preparation is nearly identical; both for boats and dwellings.

    Did NY (and NJ) authorities ever order an evacuation? If so, did people do so?

    If people in the northeast didn’t take the warnings seriously and carry out their own preparations, that would go a long way toward explaining why there were so many casualties and why so many things went wrong.

  • Zingzing

    “Don’t play the moron, zing. One obviously leaves the gas tank for near the end.”

    Cool, so 15 million people leave the gas tank for near the end…

    “Storm prep in Florida and NY are very similar…”

    So how does Florida deal with the subways? New York city presents a load of challenges you simply don’t see in Florida in such conditions. But you knew that was the point…

    “Did NY (and NJ) authorities ever order an evacuation? If so, did people do so?”

    Of course. And many did. So many, it took my friend 5 hours to get out of the Lincoln tunnel after leaving his place in the village on Sunday afternoon. He was still less than 60 miles from NYC at 5 am the next day, although I don’t quite know why.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    As zing says in so many words, you’re comparing apples and oranges – or in this case, the Big Apple to the Sunshine-with-lots-of-oranges state.

    The northeast has a far higher population density, with much more comprehensive public transportation systems. What’s more, if someone gets extra gas, where in their apartments and condos are they going to store it? And if they get generators, where are they going to put them, much less safely operate them?

    But your aim isn’t to understand the root of the problem, is it? Your aim is to try to find some other excuse to attack FEMA. And that leads to the next question – let’s say FEMA goes away, and a disaster hits that devastates most of a state. When the disaster recovery efforts don’t go well then, what’s going to happen? Either you’ll blame it on state government – “governments never do anything right” – or you’ll say that disaster relief should somehow be privatized, or some other such nonsense…

    …because you will never, ever be satisfied with the efforts of a government agency – ANY government agency. And worst of all, you don’t see what’s logically wrong with that kind of viewpoint.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    If people in the northeast didn’t take the warnings seriously and carry out their own preparations, that would go a long way toward explaining why there were so many casualties and why so many things went wrong.

    Proportionately speaking there actually weren’t that many casualties and I don’t think much did go wrong other than that a large, low-lying and heavily populated landmass got in the way of one of the biggest and ugliest storms in living memory.

  • Zingzing

    NYC definitely escaped the worst of it. Other than lower manhattan and SI, it wasn’t bad at all. And less than a week later, this city seems to be mostly functioning, or at least functioning well enough. Really, nothing went desperately wrong. New Orleans during and after Katrina went wrong. NYC got lucky, not because of its preparations, but not because those preparations failed or were insufficient either.

  • Clavos

    zing AND Glenn,

    The difference in population density means authorities have to take into account some volume-related considerations, but WHAT has to be done is intrinsically the same.

    As for the subways, zing, the solution is obvious: warn people beforehand that when the rains start, the subways will be shut down; at a certain point during the approach of the storm, you curfew the population; get them off the streets and inside. because of volume of citizens, and the orneriness of New Yorkers, you might have to use troops to enforce the curfew, but that would be better than having thousands of casualties.

    Glenn, I didn’t attack FEMA in any way, but its a good thing that we s
    don’t rely on it here; our state and local governments are much more effective and already here, with more experience than FEMA so FEMA’s role is usually setting up their trailer camps for those left homeless after the storm has cleared through, which is usually when FEMA shows up — although since we tightened up the building codes, there are fewer of the homeless to deal with these days.

    So, Glenn, if the people of New York want to rely on the feds in the form of FEMA, that’s fine. But in their own interests and those of their citizens, the state and municipal authorities had better know well beforehand what they will do and how they will do it, and then they need to start demanding backing from FEMA well in advance. Nobody will do it as well as the local authorities (nobody knows their towns — the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the locals, and if they sit around waiting for the Feds, they’ll have another Katrina on their hands, for that’s exactly what happened over there: the locals (except for Barbour of Mississippi) didn’t have a clue as to what to do, nor how to do it — especially that moron New Orleans mayor, Nagin, who incredibly, left the school system’s entire bus fleet sitting idle in their yard while he agonized over how to evacuate the city, a task that, in the end, was not carried out.

    This paragraph slays me, Glenn. You despairingly (and ineffectually) wail,

    “The northeast has a far higher population density, with much more comprehensive public transportation systems. What’s more, if someone gets extra gas, where in their apartments and condos are they going to store it? And if they get generators, where are they going to put them, much less safely operate them?” As if to say, “It can’t be done; the sky is falling.” Well, it’s a damn good thing the New York and New Jersey authorities didn’t just sit around wringing their hands like that, or a hell of a lot more people would have died. They still have a lot to learn, though.

    And lay off the asinine trying to predict what I’ll say and do, Glenn; you look stupid doing it, and it’s arrogant and condescending. Argue what’s at hand — you can’t see into the future any better than any other clairvoyant.

  • Clavos

    And zing, I agree with your #27. All of it.

    Surprise!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    As for the subways, zing, the solution is obvious: warn people beforehand that when the rains start, the subways will be shut down

    They did.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Um, Clav –

    You really must stick close to Fox News these days, because according to the Republican governor of the hardest-hit state – Chris Christie, FEMA did just fine, thank you very much:

    New Jersey’s Chris Christie — a Republican whose state bore the brunt of the storm — told CBS News on Tuesday that “cooperation has been great with FEMA here on the ground,” while Delaware’s Jack Markell — a Democrat — told CNN that people in his state have been “really, really impressed by the response of FEMA.”
    The agency is now aimed at “leaning forward,” moving supplies like food, water, generators, blankets and cots into an expected disaster zone ahead of time, said Lockwood, the deputy emergency management director in New Hartford, Connecticut.
    “Before, they would have to wait for a call from a state before they started moving material,” he said. They still need a request from a state to distribute those supplies, but “They have things on the ready in a very immediate location.”
    In New York, for example, FEMA has publicized assistance, including rental payments for those whose homes are uninhabitable. Individuals can apply for grants for home repairs and to meet disaster-related needs. Money also is available for construction of a home.

    Do you see that, Clav? Do you see that FEMA CHANGED the way they prepared and responded to a large disaster?

    From another source:

    For Staten Island resident Deb Smith, whose house was flooded by the storm surge from Sandy, FEMA has been a savior.

    “What a hell of an organization. I got on the phone with them yesterday, I got my claim number in already, the guy said he’s going to call me in a couple of days,” she says. “He’s going to come out and estimate, and they said, listen, whatever doesn’t work, they’re going to help us put stuff in storage.”

    The reviews are almost as glowing from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other local officials in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. They’ve praised FEMA for being prepared before the storm and responsive immediately afterward – which did not happen when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in 2005.

    And then there’s Mr. I-wanna-be-McCain’s-VP Joe Lieberman (from the same reference):

    “FEMA is a very different organization than it was during Katrina,” says Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

    Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which helped spur post-Katrina reforms at the agency. Those changes, Lieberman says, have proved themselves during Sandy.

    “[FEMA] was proactive, and it didn’t used to be. It doesn’t wait for the storm to hit; it pre-positions personnel, equipment, food supplies, water, etc.,” he says.

    FEMA had hundreds of thousands of liters of bottled water, along with millions of meals, cots and blankets stockpiled, which were moved into the region ahead of Sandy.

    And there’s more:

    Rowan University Professor Robert Fleming, a national expert on emergency preparation and response, gave the agency high marks for its efforts. Weather-related disasters are especially hard to manage, he said.

    “If you look at the magnitude of the storm, and the challenges it presented, it was a really coordinated plan,” Fleming said. “Clearly they did things in the way of pre-positioning of assets, and even in advance of the storm hitting, getting the appropriate declarations. A whole lot was done to mobilize resources.”

    IN OTHER WORDS, Clavos, this ain’t your Dubya’s FEMA. They DID – and are still doing – a damned good job, and on a scale that no state-based agency could hope to match. Now I realize that all this runs completely counter to what you Just Know to be true, that the federal government never ever ever does anything right…

    …but most of the people on the ground there see what FEMA is doing for them. Yes, you’ll find this or that situation that FEMA hasn’t managed to everyone’s satisfaction, but that’s just cherry-picking. In the BIG picture, they’ve done very, very well.

    But don’t feel bad – Your Boy Romney bought $5,000 worth of cans of food (the Red Cross specifically asked for cash and blood and NOT food), then gave them out to rally attendees outside the rally so they could be filmed bringing them inside to donate! You can read here what the Red Cross thought about Romney’s efforts.

  • Clavos

    One of the reports you copied and pasted, Glenn, quoted a FEMA official as saying that they don’t move into a state until that state calls them. From that I can only conclude that Florida doesn’t call them until after the storm has exited the peninsula, and sometimes not at all, as was the case with both storms that touched Florida this year,.

    I’m not surprised Chris Christie waxes enthusiastic about a federal agency; he’s been Obama’s fellator for some time now.

  • Clavos

    As for the subways, zing, the solution is obvious: warn people beforehand that when the rains start, the subways will be shut down

    They did.

    And did the people heed and stay out of them?

  • Zingzing

    You can’t get in if they’re closed, clavos… What an odd question…

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Clav, leave moving the goalposts to Warren, who’s our resident specialist at it. You’re better than that.

    Whether people heeded the warnings or not is irrelevant to the question of whether the storm preparations were well-handled by the authorities.

    If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you’re so eager to call this as a disaster exacerbated by government incompetence that you’re not actually paying attention to whether there’s any evidence of such exacerbation.

  • Zingzing

    If anything, I’d say the gov’t was spooked and went a little overboard. The parts of the city that weren’t affected still had to deal with a municipal gov’t that treated the whole city as a disaster area, even though large swaths of it had a few branches in the street at worst. My neighborhood (in brooklyn) was up and running on Tuesday, my office (in upper midtown) was fine by Wednesday, but mass transportation between the two was crippled until Thursday, and still limping too much for me to go to work on Friday (I could have made it, but work still shut down). I lost a week of work, but because a state of emergency was declared, I’ll get my damn money. FEMA! Protecting the contract worker!

  • Clavos

    You’ve got me 180 degrees wrong. Doc. What I’m saying is that it was far from being a disaster in the same sense both Katrina and Andrew were. I can’t recall ever seeing a storm at category 1 get hyped by the media as much as Sandy was.

    Sorry for the “odd question,” zing, but I’m not a New Yorker, and haven’t ridden a NY subway in nearly 60 years.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    What I’m saying is that it was far from being a disaster in the same sense both Katrina and Andrew were.

    Tell that to the folks dealing with the loss of their homes and loved ones in NJ/NY, Clav.

    No-one’s claiming Sandy is worse than Katrina was, but Andrew, despite being a Category 5, only killed 65 people and caused $26 billion worth of damage – about half what Sandy is expected to cost. (That’s 1992 dollars, but still.)

    It seems to me you’re promoting a narrative of wimpy northerners who can’t cope with a bit of wind, versus you hardened Floridians who brush off hurricanes as if they were flies on your sandwiches.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    One of the reports you copied and pasted, Glenn, quoted a FEMA official as saying that they don’t move into a state until that state calls them. From that I can only conclude that Florida doesn’t call them until after the storm has exited the peninsula, and sometimes not at all, as was the case with both storms that touched Florida this year,.

    I guess you didn’t read what I posted (in boldface). Here it is AGAIN:

    “[FEMA] was proactive, and it didn’t used to be. It doesn’t wait for the storm to hit; it pre-positions personnel, equipment, food supplies, water, etc.,” he says.

    FEMA had hundreds of thousands of liters of bottled water, along with millions of meals, cots and blankets stockpiled, which were moved into the region ahead of Sandy.

    But don’t let reality interfere with your government-is-always-wrong-all-the-time fantasies, now.

    You’ve got me 180 degrees wrong. Doc. What I’m saying is that it was far from being a disaster in the same sense both Katrina and Andrew were. I can’t recall ever seeing a storm at category 1 get hyped by the media as much as Sandy was.

    That’s because there hasn’t been storms like Sandy. Sure, it was ‘only’ a Category 1 storm…but its range of hurricane-force winds was four hundred miles wide (see my comment #7 for the reference), unlike normal hurricanes where the range of hurricane-force winds is much smaller. What’s more, Clavos, is that you’re forgetting that the winds aren’t what cause the most damage – it’s the STORM SURGE…and this one was over four hundred miles wide, during a high tide, no less.

    Sandy didn’t cause catastrophic damage like Andrew did, but Sandy did cause great damage over a much wider range than Andrew did. That’s why it was called a superstorm by many climatologists with a LOT more education and experience than you. Oh, but I forgot – you already know everything you need to know, and everything else is just rubbish.

    I’m not surprised Chris Christie waxes enthusiastic about a federal agency; he’s been Obama’s fellator for some time now.

    Y’know, I searched long and hard for examples of Christie complimenting Obama on ANYthing before Sandy. I found several instances where he insulted the president, but the only thing I found where he was ‘fellating’ in the least was one where he AND Jeb Bush were complimentary of Obama’s efforts to reform and improve education. Other than that, it’s just one long string of one insult after another. Until Sandy, that is.

    But if we listen to you, well, Christie was verbally ‘fellating’ Obama before Sandy. So…care to back that up? Can you show ANYthing to prove that you – like the rest of right-wing punditry – have decided to throw Christie under the bus and condemn him ONLY after his post-Sandy reactions, all for having committed the worst crime in all the right-wing world, violation of the First Commandment of the Right Wing – Thou Shalt Always Accuse Democrats and Liberals of Doing Wrong, and Never Admit They Do Anything Right?

    Maybe you can show something – you’ve surprised me before. But if your past conduct is any guide, you won’t answer this question at all because you won’t be able to find anything to back up your assertion about Christie. But we’ll see – your turn!

  • Zingzing

    “Sorry for the “odd question,” zing, but I’m not a New Yorker, and haven’t ridden a NY subway in nearly 60 years.”

    That’s obvious, but the bigger question is do you know how a city that depends upon a subway deals with the millions who suddenly do not have transportation? Dealing with a natural distasater up here means something much different from what it means down there. I think this city handles it better. But it’s still a bitch.

  • Clavos

    Tell that to the folks dealing with the loss of their homes and loved ones in NJ/NY, Clav.

    Doc, of course it’s an unmitigated disaster to them, but that’s not how these things are measured.

    In Andrew:

    28,066 homes were destroyed…

    107,380 homes were damaged…

    250,000 people were left homeless…

    700,000 people were evacuated…

    82,000 businesses were destroyed or damaged…

    Homestead Air Force Base was literally wiped from the map…

    1,167 mobile homes were destroyed (Andrew only spared 9 mobile homes in the area!)…

    1.4 million homes were left without electricity for up to six months…

    Andrew caused all that destruction although it was just 60 miles across, but was a Category 5 storm packing winds of up to 200 mph. In comparison Katrina was over 400 miles wide, but only category 3 at landfall, and 2003’s Hurricane Isabel, at landfall (in N. Carolina) a Category 2 storm (105 mph) was over 800 miles wide!

    The dollar amount of the destruction from Andrew was in excess of $26 billion. Prelim estimates for Sandy are in the $50 billion range, but prelim estimates are often much higher than final figures. However, Andrew did not directly hit a single city (Homestead at that time was barely a town; some would say only a village; in any case, south Dade county was lightly inhabited back then) in Florida, whereas Sandy was all over both NJ and NY, so damage is likely to be higher as measured in dollars.

  • Clavos

    do you know how a city that depends upon a subway deals with the millions who suddenly do not have transportation

    Of course not, but I don’t have to. The better question is do the people who DO have to in NY know?

  • Clavos

    …but its range of hurricane-force winds was four hundred miles wide (see my comment #7 for the reference)

    Um, no, the total diameter of the storm was 400 miles — and the hurricane winds weren’t that widespread even in your reference, which was an article in Forbes quoting their “chief meteorologist” (not the National Hurricane Center, who are the source), who, at the time the article was written, was forecasting 200 miles of hurricane force winds. But that was not what happened. At landfall according to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane force winds, which at that time had diminished to 80 mph, were found only in the southern quadrant of the storm. Further, within a couple of hours after the landfall, there were NO hurricane force winds, and in some parts of the storm winds had subsided to under 50 mph.

    the winds aren’t what cause the most damage – it’s the STORM SURGE…and this one was over four hundred miles wide, during a high tide, no less.

    Again, no. Per the NHC, the storm surges were concentrated in New York Bay and rose highest at King’s Point, L.I., The Battery (southern tip of Manhattan), and Sandy Hook in NJ. They peaked at about 14 ft, and as the storm moved ashore, receded quickly. The flooding that occurred away from the coast was rain generated. There were no storm surges recorded north of the city.

    In other words, by the time the storm came ashore, its winds and surges were considerably weakened from what had been forecast. Not surprisingly, since tropical cyclones get their strength from warm water, they die quickly over land.

    That’s why it was called a superstorm by many climatologists… The “superstorm,” “Frankenstorm,” etc. BS was media hype. While the storm was alive, I read every single word put out by the NHC. Not once did they use either of those terms or anything resembling them, and those guys are the ONLY real pros when it comes to tropical cyclones; everyone else gets their data from them.

    Y’know, I searched long and hard for examples of Christie complimenting Obama on ANYthing before Sandy.

    I didn’t say he had; you misinterpreted my words that way. You do that a lot.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I didn’t say he had; you misinterpreted my words that way.

    Then what did you mean?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I didn’t say [Chris Christie] had [complimented Obama before Sandy]; you misinterpreted my words that way. You do that a lot.

    Really?

    I’m not surprised Chris Christie waxes enthusiastic about a federal agency; he’s been Obama’s fellator for some time now.

    Ah. I guess that ‘some time now’, in Clavos World, means “in the past eight days” since eight days had passed between when you posted that from when Sandy had struck.

    Um, no, the total diameter of the storm was 400 miles

    REALLY?

    Well, here’s what the National Hurricane Center said:

    HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES…280 KM…FROM
    THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 520
    MILES…835 KM.

    Um, that’s a 520-mile RADIUS…which of course meant tropical-storm-force winds of over a 1000-mile diameter.

    And then you can go HERE (also from the National Hurricane Center) to find out how widespread the rain was from North Carolina to Maine, and then there was the snowfall – it was a hybrid storm, remember – that ranged from North Carolina (up to 24 in) inwards to Kentucky (up to 18 in) and up to Ohio (up to only 4.5 in) and Maryland (up to 29 in). It wasn’t ‘just’ a hurricane, Clavos.

    And when it came ashore, >it wasn’t done:

    In the Great Lakes region, Sandy has halted shipping operations, and wave action is building in places like Michigan’s “Thumb Area” near Port Huron. Lake Huron’s low water levels, however, mean that officials aren’t overly concerned about shoreline flooding. In Chicago, officials are warning residetns and bicyclists to stay away from Lakeshore Drive, as massive waves began to crash against the breakwaters, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

    Tuesday 9:25 a.m.

    Sandy continues to churn and covers almost half the United States. In Chicago and Wisconsin, meteorologists are warning of high waves churning up in Lake Michigan today – as high as 27 feet.

    “Covers almost half the United States”. They probably forgot to include the word “continental”, but you get the point. Sandy wasn’t ‘just’ a Category One hurricane.

    You also said:

    There were no storm surges recorded north of the city.

    REALLY?

    Actually, Clav, the storm surge stretched from North Carolina to Connecticut. Not only that, but the National Hurricane Center said (after being ‘dewonkified’ on this Weather Underground page):

    This morning’s 9:30 am EDT H*Wind analysis from NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division put the destructive potential of Sandy’s winds at a modest 2.9 on a scale of 0 to 6. However, the destructive potential of the storm surge was record high: 5.8 on a scale of 0 to 6. This is a higher destructive potential than any hurricane observed since 1969, including Category 5 storms like Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Camille, and Andrew.

    Okay? It wasn’t ‘just’ a Category One hurricane, Clavos. Even before it hit the coast, it was the second-largest Atlantic storm on record…and that was before it became a hybrid storm.

    It’s so easy to sit on the dock down there in Miami and pish-posh what you see on the news…but really, Clav, you should learn just how much you have left to learn.

  • Igor

    @45-Glenn: thanks refuting Clavos’ #32.

    Among other things, I don’t think he realizes how low it makes him look to use lurid language.

  • zingzing

    igor, do you object to the use of the word “fellator”? that’s pretty tame compared to what he could have said. just think of the possibilities. if it starts with a jubbly mass of naked chris christie staring lustily at the oboner, you’re on the right path. (seriously, don’t be such a spoilsport.)

  • Clavos

    he realizes how low it makes him look to use lurid language.

    He realizes, Igor. He just doesn’t give a crap.

  • Clavos

    Then what did you mean?

    That he’d been at it for about a week.

  • Clavos

    I guess that ‘some time now’, in Clavos World, means “in the past eight days…

    Exactly.

  • Dr Dreadful

    [facepalm]

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I think it would enrich American political life and the debate here if people tried to make constructive arguments for something than bitchy critical arguments against things.

  • zingzing

    well, a week is certainly “some time,” but you can forgive glenn for thinking the phrase meant something different. just as igor can forgive you for that horrible, terrible image you put in his head. a penis in the head is far worse than a misunderstanding about the meaning of a phrase, so you’re *getting off* light on the exchange.

  • zingzing

    “I think it would enrich American political life and the debate here if people tried to make constructive arguments for something than bitchy critical arguments against things.”

    that’s a terrible idea. i’m agin it.

  • The Obnoxious American

    It’s astonishing to see all you tackle Clav meanwhile NYC didn’t do fine, and the preparations sucked.

    I live here. There are STILL Gas lines and it’s been a full week. Subways are still unreliable in some parts. The PATH is down. Areas near the shore in many cases are still closed.

    We weren’t prepared in any way, shape or form. Bloomberg failed this state. Maybe wherever you folks live you’re getting selective news. I watch the local news, I drive around the streets. This is New York’s Katrina and where is Obama? On the campaign trail.

  • Igor

    @47-zing: I find Clavos’ posts often abusive so I’ve quit reading them, mostly. Usually he doesn’t have compensating facts and arguments.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I live here. There are STILL Gas lines and it’s been a full week. Subways are still unreliable in some parts. The PATH is down. Areas near the shore in many cases are still closed.

    Don’t know if you noticed, Obnox, but a hurricane just hit town. Made a bit of a mess.

    This is New York’s Katrina

    Not even close.

    and where is Obama? On the campaign trail.

    What did you expect? Obama throwing the election? Would you really have preferred another 4-8 years of Democratic complaints about an illegitimate president?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc, for a supposed progressive, you’re sure fine with the status quo when a liberal is in charge.

    I’m willing to bet most New Yorkers are fuming with how Bloomy handled this one. From the whole idiocy surrounding the marathon, to the FEMA generators not getting handed out, to the checkpoints on the bridge creating hours long lines to enforce a 3 per car limitation JUST FOR FUN.

    Zing made some claims in #27 which are simply not supported by the facts. What happened in NYC’s response to the hurricane is a microcosm of the Obama presidency – yes, Bloomberg and the state was handed a mess. But YES, they made it worse.

  • Clavos

    I guess that ‘some time now’, in Clavos World, means “in the past eight days…

    Exactly.

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    The NHC bulletin you link to in your comment #45 was issued a full 32 hours before landfall. By the time the storm actually made landfall, here’s what the NHC had to say (this is a cut-and-paste directly from their 2300EDT Discussion, 3 hours after landfall):

    Post-Tropical Cyclone SANDY

    ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
    TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

    POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE SANDY DISCUSSION NUMBER 31
    NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182012
    1100 PM EDT MON OCT 29 2012

    SATELLITE…RADAR…SURFACE…AND RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT DATA
    INDICATE THAT SANDY MADE LANDFALL NEAR ATLANTIC CITY NEW JERSEY
    AROUND 0000 UTC. THE INTENSITY OF THE POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE WAS
    ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 80 KT AT LANDFALL WITH A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF
    946 MB. AT LANDFALL…THE STRONGEST WINDS WERE OCCURRING OVER
    WATER TO THE EAST AND SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER. HURRICANE-FORCE
    WINDS GUSTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED ACROSS LONG ISLAND AND THE NEW YORK
    METROPOLITAN AREA THIS EVENING. IN ADDITION…A SIGNIFICANT STORM
    SURGE HAS OCCURRED ALONG A LONG STRETCH OF THE MID-ATLANTIC AND
    SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND COAST.

    Do you see what it says, Glenn? The strongest winds “near” 80 KT — just about 90 mph, “were centered over the water to the east and southeast of the center,” NOT over the entire span of the cyclone. You were right about the range of the surge; I missed seeing that the first time I read it.

    You can quote me sources such as the Christian Science Monitor and wunderground until you’re blue in the face, but I said days ago upthread that the press hyped the crap out of this story; it was they who came up with the totally unprofessional “superstorm” and “Frankenstorm” names for it. The ONLY info about these storms in our part of the world that counts is the info coming from the NHC. When ships at sea are worried about the weather that may affect them, they don’t read the MSM, the Weather Channel, Weather Underground, etc.; they go directly to the source from which those others create their hyperbolic reports that sell papers and air time.

    You say, “.but really, Clav, you should learn just how much you have left to learn.”

    Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion; it is, after all almost a free country, but over my lifetime I have experienced more than a dozen hurricanes (one of them at sea in a boat less than 35 ft. long), and have taken classes taught by personnel from the NHC, including Max Mayfield, former director of that facility; as well as college courses at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, where my first wife was a Grants Coordinator, which entitled me to nearly free tuition. I’m pretty sure I know a hell of a lot more about tropical cyclones than you, bro.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Well said Clav, it suits Glenn’s argument to make more of the storm than it is. Superstorm, frankenstorm, terms derived in part to provide cover for failed liberal leadership, before, during and after the storm.

    Christie may have talked up Obama, but let me ask you fellers – WHO DO YOU THINK HE’S VOTING FOR? That’s right. It ain’t Obama.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Doc, for a supposed progressive, you’re sure fine with the status quo when a liberal is in charge.

    Well, since Blogcritics didn’t have a Politics section in 2005 when Katrina hit, we’ll never know, will we?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc, BC has had a politics section in 2005. Believe me, I know.

    The Status Quo claim is because of your defense of Bloomberg’s job as mayor, the president’s job during this crisis.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I stand corrected. BC did have a Politics section in ’05.

    It did not, however, have a Dr Dreadful.

    I don’t think I’m defending either Bloomberg’s job as mayor (a few comments back I remarked on the idiocy of his insisting that the Marathon went ahead – a spectacular misjudgement that may end up costing him his job) or Obama’s reaction to the crisis. But I’m highly sceptical of the eagerness of some to make political capital out of the situation, and in particular of the claim that the local, state and federal governments made things worse than they would otherwise have been. Who’s to say, for example, that if there hadn’t been enforcement of a 3-per-car limit and consequently there had been immense jams all over the city, you wouldn’t have been berating Bloomberg for that as well?

  • Costello

    Rather stunning to watch Oby reveal what little he knows. Frankenstorm was a media creation to generate viewers not part of some govt cover up. And Christie may not vote Obama but he’s certainly not voting Romney and pushing back his run for President to 2020.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Um, OA – I hate to tell you this, but the federal government is not in charge of distributing gasoline to your local Chevron stations. And when a place has gotten hit by 11-14 foot storm surge, it’s NOT going to immediately jump back into service. It’s not the wind that does most of the damage – it’s the storm surge.

    But if you’re just that disgusted with NYC no matter how hard they try – ’cause I’m sure you can just see how everyone’s sitting on their keisters just waiting for the guv’mint to make it all better – then please, by all means move to a red state. Go to MS where I’m sure you can see just how much more civilized and cultured they are compared to those lowlifes in the Big Apple!

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn, If Obama loses, you and the rest of the left will need to revisit your strategy of erecting strawmen every time you encounter an argument you don’t like. I never suggested all of those things.

    And BTW, now Forbes is suggesting the same thing I did.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Costello,

    You can be sure that Christie will most assuredly vote Romney. He’s been out there campaigning for Romney just about every day prior to Sandy hitting. And you think I’m displaying what little I know?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    Are you saying you really are not aware of the voter suppression efforts by the GOP, particularly in Ohio?

    And this might shock you, but most liberals aren’t surprised at Christie voting or Romney – of course not! What got our attention – but was also not surprising – was how much the Republican punditry suddenly hated him for having the sheer gall to actually acknowledge that Obama did something right.

  • Costello

    I do think so because you can be sure no one will ever know for certain what he does in the voting booth. If you think every politician has voted for every candidate he has campaigned for, you are poorly versed in politics

  • Zingzing

    Obnoxious, where do you think the gasoline comes from? From within NYC? I think it might be coming from outside the city, where they are still dealing with some power outages. (also, bloomberg is the mayor of the city, not the governor of the state, so I wonder how “bloomberg failed this state.”) the subways are a bit of a mess, but they’re running, and have been since a few days after a large chunk of them was flooded with water. If the L and G lines had busses running along their lines, my commute would be almost perfect. As it is, it’s manageable… You seem to think you’re living in an apocalyptic wasteland, so I’m thinking you’re thinking the gov’t should have made everything perfect for you despite a ridiculous storm. Why don’t you just buck up and stop bitching like the rest of us? There’s going to be some inconveniences. If you want a gov’t capable of negating the effects of a storm such as this, vote for that gov’t. It won’t be small, and it won’t be cheap, and you might just have to shell out a bunch of tax dollars to cover it. Are you willing to put your wallet where your mouth is?

    By the way, if you’re living in this city with a car, you deserve the headache. Is street cleaning tomorrow morning?

  • Zingzing

    “This is New York’s Katrina…”

    If you really think so, you’re nuts. But I don’t think you really think that. It’s pretty obvious you’re just being hyperbolic. Get a grip.

  • Igor

    Well, Sandy proved one thing (vis a vis Katrina), reagan was wrong: in the case of FEMA government IS the solution.

  • Clavos

    in the case of FEMA government IS the solution.

    That has yet to be determined; it’s still an unholy mess up there.

    The fat chick hasn’t sung yet.

  • Igor

    It’s all over but the shouting.

    Government support of FEMA in Sandy worked after the failed stand-offish approach of Katrina.

    Government IS the solution.

    There is no way that ‘private enterprise’ can accomplish what the government FEMA agency accomplished in sandy.

    Another dismal failure for ‘privatization’.

    We need strong and capable government agencies to do What Must Be Done, i.e., things that mere businesses have no hope of doing. In fact, they have no hope of doing. In fact, what they have an interest in failing!

    The worst thing is that in the last 30 years we have undermined and demolished good government agencies that have done so much to further the interests of American citizens. Attempts to replace those agencies have failed far and wide.

    And, at the same time, the attempt to privatize has increased debt and budget failures, in spite of starving worthy and critical government agencies in order to feed more money into the private sector.

    Time to face up to it, boys, Reagan was wrong. Time to abandon failed policies. Time to get things back in balance.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    There’s only three alternatives to FEMA: let the states do it, privatization, or the Ron Paul solution: you’re on your own.

    1. Let the states do it. The problem with this is that when it comes to multistate disasters, the infrastructure that any such state agency needs is overwhelmed. What’s more, if the state underfunds their local emergency infrastructure (call it SEMA vice FEMA, I guess), then when disaster strikes, either their governor goes hat in hand to the surrounding states for help, or the people are SOL.

    2. Privatization. Really, do I need to explain why this would be a bad idea of epic proportions? When people are wiped out by disaster, how would they be able to afford a privately-run aid service? By selling their kids?

    3. Ron Paul solution. He once suggested that when disaster strikes, it’s the peoples’ fault that they live where it struck, and that they should just be able to rely on charity from local churches and the like. So…what church or group of churches is going to cough up $50B worth of donations to cover something like Sandy, or even the billions that Katrina cost? Ron Paul needs a reality check in the worst way.

    The RIGHT solution, then, is to have a federal agency that is led and funded properly, and is thus able to get help where it’s needed most even in multistate emergencies.

    Yeah, I know, you won’t agree to that since you are Absolutely Sure that anything the Feds can do, the state and/or Big Business can do better, but the reality is that the most efficient, most capable way to have a response agency for disaster is to have it on the federal level. Why is it the most efficient? Because not every state needs to prepare for truly large-scale disasters like hurricanes and/or Richter-scale 8 earthquakes and/or tsunamis. If there are 50 SEMA’s, and each one has to be funded well enough to meet the largest expected disaster to hit that state, then in the big picture that would be FAR more expensive than a FEMA…because while large disasters hit almost every year, such disasters very rarely hit simultaneously. It is much cheaper to be prepared to respond to one or two large disasters than to be prepared to meet fifty…because each and every state would want funding to meet whatever large-scale disaster it’s at risk for.

    The most sensible and best solution, therefore, is a properly-funded and well-led FEMA.

  • Clavos

    It’s all over but the shouting.

    Crap. It won’t be “all over” for weeks, possibly months.

    Another dismal failure for ‘privatization’.

    Only in your senescent mind, Igor. Privatization did not even figure in the Sandy aftermath

  • Zingzing

    My commute this morning and this evening went smooth as butter, if anyone’s asking. It’s not quite ideal again (my normal commute is a breezy 25 minutes on express trains), but there were no lines and everything seems back to normal in the parts of town I visit on a normal day. A friend of mine just moved to low-lying Redhook, however, and his place is pretty messed up. I’ll admit that my neighborhood and the places in the city I frequent were not the hardest hit, but the response by the gov’t seems to now be proportional to the amount of damage in the area. Lower manhattan is still inaccessible by train from Brooklyn, and the flooded coastal areas are still having some troubles, but what the city gov’t could get up and running again is up and running again. Really, other than public transportation being shut down for a few days and my internet being spotty, this storm has passed me by. I know it’s worse for others in this city, but I’ll not ask much more for myself. (other than my wages from last week, which I can supposedly get back because of the declaration of a disaster…)