An October surprise named Sandy

  • Article by: DAVID ROTHKOPF , Foreign Policy
  • Updated: October 30, 2012 - 9:07 PM

She's raising issues the country and its candidates have ignored.

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lancetraxOct. 30, 12 8:04 PM

Oh please. Can't a storm simply be a storm? Do we have to make it political. People are suffering, but some love it because it gives a chance to get on a pulpit about a topic that people have lost interest in. Give me a break with your sky is falling crud.

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pumiceOct. 30, 12 9:46 PM

Regarding Hurricane Sandy: Kind of a slap upside the head for the "Starve the Beast" crowd, isn't it... At the Republican debate which followed the Joplin, Missouri, tornado Mitt Romney said that it would "Absolutely!" be better to move disaster relief to the states: "I would go even further and send as much as possible to the private sector." Equally clueless House Republicans through their spokesperson Rep. Cantor said that they would not authorize additional funds for FEMA unless there were spending cuts elsewhere.

Romney said that the talk shouldn't be about what to cut, but rather about what to keep. When the moderator followed up by asking about Romney's insistence that he'd move as many government services as possible from the federal government to the states and the private sector--whether that really did include disaster relief, Romney said, "We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all."

Judging by Governor Christie's effusive praise for President Obama's handling of the Hurricane Sandy catastrophe, the jury has returned on the morality of using federal resources for the common good of millions of people whose lives were devastated so completely and so quickly. What would be the alternative? Let states go bankrupt? Tell millions of storm victims to refugee to... where? Utah??? I wonder if Romney still thinks FEMA should be turned over to the private sector....

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crystalbayOct. 30, 1210:48 PM

This October Surprise conveniently showcases our president's excellent skills at handling a large-scale crisis. The situation calls for utmost presidential behavior and he is, of course, delivering just that. This puts Romney in the unfortunate position of looking crass and unfeeling if he continues his stump speeches lying to Ohio about the auto bailout or shipping car jobs to China. What's a desperate guy gonna do with THIS dilemma??? I'm just waiting for the wing nuts to insist that Sandy was a conspiracy to make Obama look good!

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borisbadenovOct. 31, 12 6:57 AM

"This October Surprise conveniently showcases our president's excellent skills at handling a large-scale crisis". He hasn't done anything yet. What on earth are you talking about?

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borisbadenovOct. 31, 12 7:02 AM

No one denies that climates change. They always have and always do. Now, let's suppose we could adjust the earths temperature down by .2 degrees centigrade to get it back to the temperature it was 100 years ago. Does that mean we wouldn't have a storm? The worst hurricane ever was is 1900 in Galveston, TX. Did global warming cause that?

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pumiceOct. 31, 12 7:11 AM

Re: "People are suffering, but some love it because it gives a chance to get on a pulpit about a topic that people have lost interest in." Are you writing of Ayn Rand's rugged-individual crowd, lancetrax, and their claim that states shouldn't rely on federal disaster assistance?

One of the charges made during the closing of this campaign is that President Obama is playing small ball. From Romney's call to turn disaster relief over to the state(s) which suffered the disaster (or, better yet, to the private sector), and from his pathetically inadequate response to Hurricane Sandy, we can all judge for ourselves who's playing small ball. A small-ball effort is sufficient to clean up a football field, but only the federal government has the capacity and the will to devote the resources needed to clean up a megalopolis and a huge area of hinterland after storms as devastating as Sandy and Katrina. When done as well as this administration is doing it (according to New Jersey Governor Christie), FEMA is a perfect exemplar of how a truly exceptional nation provides for the common good of its citizens when they are in dire need.

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pumiceOct. 31, 12 7:22 AM

Re: "The worst hurricane ever was is 1900 in Galveston, TX." The death toll attributed to the hurricane which devastated Galveston, Texas, in 1900 illustrates how far science has come, borisbadenov. Meteorologists can predict weather much more accurately than they could in 1900, and they can track the path of a hurricane so government can evacuate people in the path.

Moreover, Sandy affected a much larger area with a much, much larger population than the 1900 hurricane which killed 8,000 and caused $113 million in damage (today's dollars). There was no FEMA to provide disaster assistance; FEMA was not created until 1978.

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kindaliberalOct. 31, 12 7:46 AM

BORISBADENOV says,"He hasn't done anything yet. What on earth are you talking about?"----What on earth are you talking about? Didn't you see Chris Christie republican Governor from NJ saying how well Obama and the Feds are doing responding to the disaster. Meanwhile, I wonder if Eric Cantor from Virginia is going around telling his constituents he still doesn't want to fund FEMA?

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jdlellis1Oct. 31, 1210:06 AM

Please people, stop and think a moment, tornado's, hurricane's, earthquake's flood's, have been occurring on earth for thousands and millions of years through various heat and cold cycles. Not every event that occurs is the result of global warming. Those shallow enough to make such an conclusion are carry forth a political agenda and ignoring facts like, this is not the first such storm to take this course (e.g. look at the shape of the east coast). My global warming litmus test for global warming alarmists is to identify the "Tumscugi" (sp) incident in Russia about one-hundred years ago. Millions of trees uprooted or damaged in an area the size of Rhode Island. Conclusively, not a meteor. However, Russian, U.S. French and other scientists to this day cannot agree on the cause.

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traderbillOct. 31, 1210:44 AM

Nobody is saying that 'every event' is caused by global warming, but look back to Katrina and the number of catashtrophic hurricanes, tornadoes, a drought unmatched since the dustbowl, and fires. Last winter they were skiing in Arizona and unable to do so in Colorado. Hope you enjoyed last summer because there will be more coming to a beach near you...soon! Who stands to gain from ignoring global warming: big business because it cuts into their profits. There was a time when they were concerned about the long-run but the CEO's know that the problems will occur after they are gone and have their nice goodbye kisses tucked safely away.

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