Tuesday Reads: Mostly Hurricane Sandy

Good Morning!!

Superstorm indeed. I just saw on the weather channel that we’re having high wind warnings and may even get snow here in central Indiana today. Exhaustion finally set in for me last night from drive 1,000 miles, so I’m writing this at 5:30 AM.

I had MSNBC, CNN, and the weather channel on a few times during the night, but most of the news was still about New York City only. You’d think something would have happened in other parts of New York state that was worth covering. Of course I don’t want to minimize how bad things are in NYC, It’s just that with a storm so huge, you’d think there might be some TV coverage of other places.

This morning they were actually talking about the snowstorm in West Virginia a little bit, but I have no idea if the storm did anything in New England. So let’s see what’s happening out there–largely in link dump fashion.

MSNBC: Sandy slams Northeast: 7M without power, nuclear plant on alert, homes swept away

Superstorm Sandy hurled a wall of water of up to 13 feet high at the Northeast coast, sweeping houses out into the ocean, flooding subway tunnels in New York City and sparking an alert at a nuclear power station in New Jersey.

At least 10 people were killed, more than 7 million were without power as the historic storm pounded some 11 states and the District of Columbia. More than a million people across a dozen states had been ordered to evacuate.

Power outages are expected to be widespread and could last for days. NBC meteorologist Bill Karins warned to “expect the cleanup and power outage restoration to continue right up through Election Day.”

The New York Times has massive coverage and lots of photos: Storm Barrels Ashore, Leaving Path of Destruction

The mammoth and merciless storm made landfall near Atlantic City around 8 p.m., with maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. That was shortly after the center had reclassified the storm as a post-tropical cyclone, a scientific renaming that had no bearing on the powerful winds, driving rains and life-threatening storm surge expected to accompany its push onto land.

The storm had unexpectedly picked up speed as it roared over the Atlantic Ocean on a slate-gray day and went on to paralyze life for millions of people in more than a half-dozen states, with extensive evacuations that turned shorefront neighborhoods into ghost towns. Even the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty left to ride out the storm at his mother’s house in New Jersey; he said the statue itself was “high and dry,” but his house in the shadow of the torch was not.

The wind-driven rain lashed sea walls and protective barriers in places like Atlantic City, where the Boardwalk was damaged as water forced its way inland. Foam was spitting, and the sand gave in to the waves along the beach at Sandy Hook, N.J., at the entrance to New York Harbor. Water was thigh-high on the streets in Sea Bright, N.J., a three-mile sand-sliver of a town where the ocean joined the Shrewsbury River.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen,” said David Arnold, watching the storm from his longtime home in Long Branch, N.J. “The ocean is in the road, there are trees down everywhere. I’ve never seen it this bad.”

But, you know, global climate change–that’s not happening. It must be gay marriage that’s causing this.

There was a huge explosion at a Con-Ed power plant in lower Manhattan during the night. Here’s the viral video.

50 homes destroyed as six-alarm blaze rips through Queens

I’m relieved to see that Sandy’s wrath wasn’t quite as bad in New England.

Boston escapes major damage from Sandy: Fierce winds knock down trees, rattle houses, and cut electricity to thousands.

Sandy wreaks havoc on Conn. shore towns; 2 dead

Superstorm Sandy lashes NH with strong winds, rain

Maine gets high winds, heavy rain from superstorm Sandy; tens of thousands in the dark

Sandy brought snow to West Virginia.

President Obama signs West Virginia Emergency Declaration

And in Virginia…

Superstorm Sandy to stick around Virginia 1 more day with rain, wind and snow

In other news…

Think Progress: PA radio station runs misleading voter ID ad

Everyone’s talking about how Mitt Romney recommended getting rid of FEMA and making state handle their own disaster responses, but of course now he’s flip flopped once again, according to Politico: Romney would give more power to states, would not abolish FEMA

Here’s something incredible from Bloomberg: Romney Avoids Taxes via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations

In 1997, Congress cracked down on a popular tax shelter that allowed rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money.

Individuals who had already set up these vehicles were allowed to keep them. That included Mitt Romney, then the chief executive officer of Bain Capital, who had just established such an arrangement in June 1996.

The charitable remainder unitrust, as it is known, is one of several strategies Romney has adopted over his career to reduce his tax bill. While Romney’s tax avoidance is legal and common among high-net-worth individuals, it has become an issue in the campaign. President Barack Obama attacked him in their second debate for paying “lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less.”

In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years. At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires, according to tax returns obtained by Bloomberg this month through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Wow! This guy is the champion of sleezeballs! Too bad no no one is paying attention now that Sandy has taken over the next few news cycles.

The Hill: Bill Clinton: Mitt Romney’s Jeep-to-China ad is ‘biggest load of bull in the world’

Former President Clinton and Vice President Biden blasted Republican nominee Mitt Romney over a campaign ad that says Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China because of President Obama’s policies.

The Hill kinda-sorta tries to make it sound like the ad is OK and the Obama campaign is just whining!

The Obama campaign has complained about the Romney campaign’s Jeep ad, which links the president to a report saying Chrysler plans to move its Jeep production from the U.S. to China.

Chrysler released a statement on Monday saying it had no plans to stop producing Jeeps in the U.S.

The statement said, “U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation.”

Yeah, because there’s two sides to every story even when one is a bald-faced, blatant, dirty lie.

Now it’s your turn. What’s going on where you are? I sure hope all you Sky Dancers are staying safe and warm.


80 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Mostly Hurricane Sandy”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    I know how difficult it is to live without power for an extended period of time. Mine was out for nearly 2 weeks during a FL very humid summer. The cold showers actually felt good & I looked forward to going to work. There was AC there. I hope everyone gets their power back really, really soon.

    My conjecture is that NYC gets most of the attention is at least twofold. First, most networks are based there along with most of the reporters & show hosts. All they need to do is look or walk outside to cover “the story.” Second NYC considers itself the center of the universe. I came to that conclusion from growing up in Miami in the 50s & 60s & living amongst a large number of NY refugees. I learned quickly from them that FL just didn’t do things like “they” did in NY – and NY did it better.

    I saw the Romney charitable trust story yesterday – I think here on SD, but I’m a bit muddled this AM. Working for a non-profit I’ve heard of CRTs but didn’t understand what they were. Many large non-profits had that in their “other ways to give” portfolios. Not to downplay what Romney did, I think lots of other wealthy people have taken advantage of this. Now there are managed “community giving” non-profit entities. The funds are placed in them, the donors get their tax deduction & then they designate donations to their favorite charities throughout the year. We’ve received donations as small as $25 from these community organizations.

    Get some rest bb. Those long drives take a lot out of you. Hope all is well with your home and there are no problems when you return. I’m sure your mother was comforted to have you with her during this scary time.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I actually lost my power for several days this September. It was awful, but not as bad as when I lost it for 5 days after Hurricane Gloria. It was cold outside then.

      As for the NYC-centric coverage, of course it’s because the media is there and they are lazy. But New Yorkers are by far the most provincial people on the planet anyway. Bostonians are provincial too, but they can’t touch New Yorkers on that score.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Jeffrey Goldberg actually got some answers from Romney about Iran, by e-mail I guess.

    Apparently, donors were getting nervous after the third debate, so Goldberg wrote to Romney and asked some questions. Interesting article at Bloomberg.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      So the possibility of nuclear annihilation should be “played” like a poker game? I feel sooooo comforted – NOT! Romney’s plan? You want the nuclear bomb, Iran? Well, here it comes.

    • RalphB says:

      Don’t forget Goldberg is one of the neocons who helped get us into the war in Iraq. I read everything he writes with that in mind.

  3. janicen says:

    Schools are closed and, businesses and government offices are either closed or opening late here in Richmond. I’m not sure about the extent of power outages but I think we are relatively lucky. We didn’t lose power here at my house at all despite winds and wind gusts peaking during the night. One thing that struck me when I got up during the night and heard the winds howling and battering the house was the enormous size of the storm. Here we were getting battered in Richmond, Virginia right at the same time the storm was wreaking havoc as far north as NYC and as far west as West Virginia. That’s one huge effin’ storm!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Actually it’s impacting states much further west than WV. Ohio is expected to get snow today and we may get it here in Indiana. We are going to have high winds all day and either rain or snow. In Cleveland, Lake Erie had 8-10 fit waves.

      I’m glad you’re OK, Janicen.

  4. ecocatwoman says:

    The Weather Channel said some part of WV got 18 inches of snow. They also showed an beachfront area, I believe in NJ, where a parking meter was buried half way in sand. In another place a beachfront home had a front & one side wall gone, with 2 sides & the front remaining. The constant battering of the waves ate up coastlines & dunes. The damage done is devastating.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Huffington Post got knocked out, so any links to them just go to a plain page with stories listed.

  6. Eric Pleim says:

    Just a rainy day here in Chapel Hill NC. It was bad at the coast, and bad (unusual snow) inland, but not here. Our flight to Boston for today got canceled though, but we found one for 7 am tomorrow. If they decide to cancel that we’re screwed.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    NYC is a huge mess! I keep remembering Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” where it depicted it underwater and yesterday they felt a 13 foot surge sweep across the city.

    Though I feel somewhat lucky to have escaped the worst of the storm where I am it still makes me nervous to consider what effect this could have on election turnout where it appears that every vote will definitely count to the finish.

    After listening to the latest lie from Romney’s ad about the Jeep manufacturing going to China when that has been repeatedly debunked, it anguishes me that many people were too busy with the storm itself to bother with this latest “whopper” that would surely bury him in normal times.

    If this lying sack of sh*t manages to pull out a win after lying this much time and time again, I can only imagine what lies ahead.

    Disaster.

  8. janicen says:

    Chris Christie was on CBS This Morning and actually praised President Obama for his leadership and rapid response. Christie knows the election is over and Obama is going to win so he’s teeing up his own run for the White House in 2016.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Oh, janicen, I do hope you are right!

        Voter turnout will determine this outcome and the thought of that lying creep actually winning the race is frightening. This is a man who wants to eliminate FEMA along with so many other government programs and I cannot imagine what individual states are up against if this happens.

        It still boggles my mind that a man with such few scruples and integrity can be this close to winning.

    • NW Luna says:

      Well, that’s magnanimous of Christie. Anyhow I’m sure he wants smooth relations since his state is so hard hit.

      Surely everyone can see that huge disasters such as this are not jobs for the states alone.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “Surely everyone can see that huge disasters such as this are not jobs for the states alone”

        Absolutely right!!! What’s the point of a government that unites the States if not to take advantage of the power of all of us together? Having a stake in the well-being of all of our citizens, in every state, is what has made this country strong. This should be a lesson to those who think we should outsource vital government services to businesses like Blackwater, that drain the taxpayer dry, while offering inferior services and corrupted management.

    • peggysue22 says:

      I was really happy to hear Christie give a shout out to Obama and FEMA. Jersey took the brunt of Sandy. The shore points are a disaster from everything I’m reading and seeing on the news. I’ve already contacted friends who are further inland and they’re okay. My in-laws outside Philly even managed to keep their power [my brother-in-law was not so lucky].

      I’m listening to Romney now. He sounds small in comparison to the mega efforts going on all along the MidAtlantic Coast and NYC. On the car radio, I heard Christie has already surveyed the damage from helicopter. He’d expected to set down and walk through some of the areas but the damage was so extensive, there was no place to land.

      It’s going to be a long haul for coastal residents. But the loss of life has been low considering the extent and fury of the storm. Good to hear Obama, Christie, the other governors and FEMA personnel are working together and acting like leaders. Wonders will never cease! But I’m glad and relieved that it’s happening.

  9. quixote says:

    I hope all the SkyDancers are safe and that if you’re in the zone, things get back to tolerable soon!

  10. peregrine says:

    Truthfulness from the Great North State: The lower edge of the storm did reach the Carolinas, however, benignly. Monday was windy, temp. 56/36, chance of rain: 30%. Today’s forecast is: windy, 49/37, a chance of showers. All month our temps had been in the 70s.

    The other news you may have missed is a group of Black ministers have blasted Franklin Graham for challenging the President Obama’s spiritual beliefs. The group met here and read an open letter to Graham in response to a series of full-page ads with a photo of Billy Graham asking voters to elect candidates who support “biblical principles.” The Grahams endorse candidates who support the nation of Israel, “the sanctity of life”, and the “biblical definition of marriage”, in case you were wondering.

    I’ll quote from newspaper’s reporting of the state’s NAACP president’s response:

    “State NAACP President the Rev. William Barber accused Graham of ‘being seduced by the sirens of money and power,’ and of ‘cherry-picking the easy parts of Christianity’ that serve his partisan politics. In doing so…Graham has ignored the broader messages of the Bible to help the poor, feed the hungry and treat the sick.” Charlotte Observer, 10-30-2012

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Franklin Graham: the modern day answer to Elmer Gantry.

      Just like his father Billy who, with so many groveling at his feet, was exposed as an anti-Semite.

      However, Rev. Barber and many in the black community reject gays and their rights as strongly. Not much difference between these two when it comes to practicing “Christianity” when you analize it further.

      Why these pols seek benediction from these charlatans is beyond me.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        You know the Graham website called Mormonism a CULT, right up until Billy endorsed Romney. SHOW THEM THE MONEY!!!!!!!
        .

      • peregrine says:

        You’ve missed the greater point, Pat, even if it may only be regionally recognized. The Black ministers stood up to the Grahams in their support of Obama’s Christian values. I was glad to see the Grahams challenged on their partisan views as I would rather Billy Graham had not befriended and “advised” many of our past presidents, and I wish he had not tried to influence this presidential race. There was a recent picture taken at Graham’s mountain home where 93 year old BG gave his blessing to Romney to win-over any lingering evangelical distrust of Romney’s Morman Christianity.

        None of these events would matter one whit if NC’s presidential race wasn’t tied.

  11. ANonOMouse says:

    The moral of this story, Listen to your elders.

  12. RalphB says:

    Wonkette actually does a better job of covering the latest smear than most and delivers actual facts in the mockery.

    Fox News Reveals Obama ‘Watched’ Benghazi Attack But Failed To Invade Grenada

    • peregrine says:

      I clicked on that link, but I recalled how nasty the boys at wonkette and rumproast were in their hatred for Hillary ’08 and couldn’t read the post. I’ve moved on in voting for Obama, but I refuse to read some people however clever they may be. I’m not knocking you, Ralph,
      for linking it. There are some blogs that I’ll never visit again.

  13. Fannie says:

    Obama’s message this week should be a bold one: “Together WE CAN do just anything”……….
    He just proved it with NJ, and NY, and all the other 23 upcoming states that we the government will help get them back on track……………….And that includes WOMEN………..

    It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizens, nor yet we, the male citizen but we, the whole people, who formed the Union, men, their rights, nothing more, women their rights, nothing less………………………….Susan B. Anthony

  14. dakinikat says:

    Omigawd Romney is on TV comparing this storm to a mess on the football field he had to clean up in high school. Unfugging believable …

    • dakinikat says:

      Mitt’s campaigning in Dayton and pushing folks to bring canned goods calling it a “relief” event now … he’s boxing up canned goods as a photo op …

      • RalphB says:

        Did no one tell him those photo ops are just gonna make him look like an opportunistic douche? Or am I wrong about that? Seems dumb and disrespectful of the public.

      • dakinikat says:

        He’s got some cw singer from some group called Alabama that’s going to talk about his tornado experience … yeah, that sure makes it a ‘relief’ event doesn’t it?

        I’m speechless … there are fires burning, people being rescued from their homes, and all kinds of first res ponder things still going on and this is the best he can muster? To reframe a campaign rally as a “relief” effort by asking folks to bring in canned goods for him to box?

        That is really the worst optic I think I’ve ever seen in a campaign … wtf were they thinking?

      • RalphB says:

        One can only hope the American people give him an appropriate response. wtf is right!

      • dakinikat says:

        It seems ghoulish … sheesh … this insensitivity dressed up as sensitivity is just sending my cynical meter off the scale

      • dakinikat says:

        I just heard that Romney called all Republican governors yesterday impacted by the Hurricane and not Democratic ones … wtf?

      • RalphB says:

        This may go along with the canned goods photo ops. Rmoney may be getting more desperate.

        WaPo: Romney expands false Jeep-to-China ad campaign

        Mitt Romney’s new television ad suggesting that the auto bailout will result in American jeep jobs getting shipped to China has been widely pilloried by news organizations, both nationally and in Ohio. The Romney campaign’s response: It is expanding the ad campaign.

        A Dem source familiar with ad buy info tells me that the Romney campaign has now put a version of the spot on the radio in Toledo, Ohio — the site of a Jeep plant. The buy is roughly $100,000, the source says.

        The move seems to confirm that the Romney campaign is making the Jeep-to-China falsehood central to its final push to turn things around in the state. The Romney campaign has explicitly said in the past that it will not let fact checking constrain its messaging, so perhaps it’s not surprising that it appears to be expanding an ad campaign based on a claim that has been widely pilloried by fact checkers.

    • RalphB says:

      Well, that’s helpfully stupid of him. Remarkably so in fact.

      • dakinikat says:

        I just heard it live … he thinks cleaning up after a hurricane is like cleaning up the field after a high school football game …

        Hey, you just lost everything … have a can of peas and vote for me and I once cleaned up after a football game with a bunch of folks …see how experienced I am!!!

      • peregrine says:

        I saw Romney in Kettering, OH telling people that one or two people need to begin helping like cleaning a trashy football stadium. Each person needs to clean one line (lane or aisle in the stadium) and when everyone else pitches in the stadium will be cleaned in no time. A storm of this magnitude needs the help of the government and the community. Only the government, however, can marshal the large forces and equipment to help 60M people. dak, zombies have eaten Mitt’s brains while he was making up and telling more lies!

        • dakinikat says:

          Evidently, he doesn’t know what it takes to remove huge trees blocking roads for miles and miles and miles. They’re working down the street again trying to clean up fallen trees from Issac and that was 2 months ago and a category one storm. He’s just got no clue about reality at all.

        • dakinikat says:

          Romney “relief event” collects canned goods in Ohio. Red Cross responds: We want money, not cans. You are NOT helping. http://trib.al/yVUxGK

          • dakinikat says:

            Red cross trucks serve real food to real people. They also buy things in bulk like brooms and buckets to hand out to folks. They’ve got them in warehouses and they are already there. They just need to be paid for to replenish them. What a marrooonnnnnnnnn!

      • Fannie says:

        I wish Romney would get dropped out of a helicopter into one of those sewer plants that’s all messed up.

      • peregrine says:

        dak, I remember watching those horrible Katrina pictures on tv where people were being recued by helicopters from their roof-tops, people in wheel-chairs were strode around unattended, and the shelters were swamped. I sent money, what I considered a nice donation, the first of the week, and after, yelling at the tv that these people should be helped, sent the same sum again at weeks’ end. GWB looking over NO from the window of Air Force 1 is etched in my memory. I’ll send the Red Cross money this time.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I just about upchucked when I heard that one. All I could think about was how he bullied other kids in high school.

      • RalphB says:

      • peregrine says:

        I’ve been reading that twit wrong. I read, “Romney: you’re fired and here’s some canned goods” (ha!) It doesn’t make sense to me since Obama has been doing a bang-up job helping governors with the disaster Sandy left behind. But then republicans don’t make sense to me.

  15. RalphB says:

    Cleveland Plain Dealer just hammers Rmoney!

    Flailing in Ohio, Romney rolls out Jeep ploy

    Mitt Romney is desperate to convince Ohio voters that he’s the candidate most committed to the U.S. auto industry — no matter how much confusion he must sow to do it.

  16. dakinikat says:

    How Romney says he would like FEMA to work is exactly how FEMA already works http://wapo.st/VBnJ4w

  17. pdgrey says:

    Morning Skydancers! I hope all are OK. Charles Pierce tries to help the people how Mittens “helped” the Commonwealth. first comment is great.
    The worst thing about Romney is we never know what the worst thing is.
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/mitt-romney-mothers-day-floods-2006-14260979

  18. HT says:

    Just saw the video of the Con Ed explosion. I don’t think a can of peas and a broom can clean that one up. To Quote Bugs Bunny – what a maroon.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Right that, Ralph. Romney brings a whole new definition to the term Dumb Ass.

      And YES HE IS a total maroon!!! 🙂

  19. HT says:

    One other thing, nothing can erase the fact that people died, or lost everything during the storm, which is why I find Mitt’s using this storm as a campaign device totally repugnant.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “which is why I find Mitt’s using this storm as a campaign device totally repugnant”

      Ditto……Republican, Repugnant, are the same thing.

  20. ANonOMouse says:

    Yes, WE PLAN

  21. ANonOMouse says:

    “On Monday, a fresh Pew poll mirrored Dimock’s prediction. With just eight days remaining before the election, the survey found that 50 percent of likely women voters favor Obama, as opposed to 44 percent who favor Romney.”

    If Pew has Obama at 50%, he’s probably at 60% among likely women voters. Again, they’re missing that 18-30 demo who overwhelming use cellphones only. The majority of these young women aren’t going to vote for a man who wants to own their ovaries.

    • HT says:

      WRT the cellphone thing, both my kids, and every one of their friends do not have landlines – only cells, so your prediction is probably correct. One other thing, not one of them would vote for having their rights restricted, but if they were polled, they’d lie, just for the “halibut”.

  22. dakinikat says:

    OMIGAWD. The twitter troll last night that was sending out all of the false crap twitters–including the one that the NYSE floor was flooded–is a Romney/Republican Campaign Operative.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jackstuef/the-man-behind-comfortablysmug-hurricane-sandys

    During the storm last night, user @comfortablysmug was the source of a load of frightening but false information about conditions in New York City that spread wildly on Twitter and onto news broadcasts before ConEd, the MTA, and Wall Street sources had to take time out of the crisis situation to refute them.

    What leads a person to do such a thing, which his critics have likened to shouting “fire” in a crowded movie theater? It’s unclear. But perhaps it has something to do with the nature of anonymity. If there are no consequences for posting false “BREAKING” news, there’s an incentive to do it to an accumulate a large audience

    and

    @comfortablysmug is Shashank Tripathi, a hedge-fund analyst and the campaign manager of Christopher R. Wight, this year’s Republican candidate for the U.S. House from New York’s 12th congressional district.
    FEC documents show Wight has paid Tripathi thousands of dollars this election cycle as a “consultant.” @comfortablysmug has been a vocal supporter of Mitt Romney and posted tweets suggesting he attended this year’s Republican convention. He’s listed here by a local Republican group coordinating volunteers for a Romney phone bank. He’s 29 years old.
    For years, he’s been a prolific commenter at NYmag.com and a popular conservative presence on Twitter. In 2008, he penned an entry for the site’s popular sex diary feature that “detailed a week of obsession, rough sex, and Ambien.”

    Republicans are sick sick sick individuals. They are either poisoned by greed or extreme religious views.

  23. dakinikat says:

    Slate ‏@Slate
    The latest images of #Sandy’s destruction in Manhattan and Brooklyn are hard to believe–PHOTOS: http://slate.me/T120mB

  24. pdgrey says:

    Yesterday I missed Pierce, maybe someone else put it up. But pierce defending Nate Silver from the crazy people, I looking at you Fox, Dancin’ dave, and David Brooks, trying to attack him as “Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice”. Pierce called Dick Morris The Human Turnip!!!
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/nate-silver-critics-14261107

  25. pdgrey says:

    “Heck of a Job Brownie” said today he is stunned at the rapid response from the President and it raises “questions”
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/30/bushs-disgraced-fema-director-stunned-at-sandy-response-why-was-this-so-quick/