Hurricane Sandy batters the East coast as I write. Bloomberg reports estimates of damage from the storm at $20 billion. Approximately $5 to $10 billion of those damages are insured.
1) This storm is consistent with arguments for human contributions to global climate change. Why are the "left-wing" mainstream media not focused on this manifestation of a theory much bally-hooed by the Republican Party and its crowd? If the media really were "left-wing," they would be all over the topic. They would show recent episodes from the History Channel about world climate change and human contributions to the change. Unfortunately, the History Channel features a lot of so-called reality shows. (One could argue that is history, but here I mean "Pawn Stars," its more specific spin-off "Cajun Pawn Stars," "Counting Cars," "American Restoration," etc.) Instead there were a lot of remotes of reporters battered by wind and water who told us how bad the weather behind them was.
2) President Obama has handled this crisis much better than his predecessor handled Hurricane Katrina. "W" spoke with reporters in what looked like an airplane hangar and gave his famous "You’ve done a heckuva job" comment to his head of FEMA. Bush’s comments were general, about how people needed to focus on the future. President Obama cut short a Florida—oops! Swing state!—campaign appearance to return to D.C. to coordinate responses to the storm.
3) On the other hand, on MSNBC and CurrenTV (yes, Matt Stone, I still watch CurrenTV), clips were shown of former Massachusetts Governor Romney stating in primary debates that we should hand the duties (and money) for FEMA to the States. The Romney camp, yesterday, issued statements to deny Romney, as President, would disband FEMA. One projection of his budget shows a reduction of FEMA’s budget from $13 billion to just over $1 billion. For a national agency with such massive responsibilities, that is to disband.
4) Individual states should not have FEMA’s money to handle responses to a storm, in this instance larger than any to hit the coast (according to the National Weather Service). When this country wages war—actual, declared wars should be the way in which we commit our troops, per the Constitution—we do not deploy the 11th Indiana Infantry or the 5th Virginia Artillery. We deploy the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. The Framers of the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation with the document they put together in Philadelphia in large part because there are jobs the national government should do and can do better than the individual states. Marshaling the country’s resources to confront a disaster the size of Hurricane Sandy is just such a job. Resources and coordination are critical in these disasters.
5) There are contractors already on the way to the East coast. A lot of the money, as much as (possibly) half, to repair the coast will come from the pockets of insurance companies. The balance probably will come from the Federal government. That means people will be employed in construction. Stores will spring up and sell goods to the people in construction. After the Chicago fire, modern-day Chicago was made possible by its reconstruction.
6) And one last point—this storm is consistent with the theory that human beings contribute to global climate change.
Many people have lost their homes in this storm. Lives have been lost. If the President somehow bungles this, he should pay for his mistakes at the polls. If he does the right job, that is validation that he should occupy the office of President.
Do we really want a President who does not believe in evolution? Romney said that during one of last spring’s debates. Of course, at other times he said he believes in evolution. Then he didn’t. Then he did.