I’m staying at a local hotel, not feeling well, and not sure if I can find a place with heat/electricity later today.
Shelter situation solved for the tonight, thank goodness.
All over the media there’s a big push to show Obama as some kind of savior, saying “we leave nobody behind” and forgetting Benghazi, where four were left behind. The NYTimes pushes the idea that “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” and Taranto takes them to task,
The title was “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” and here’s the nut: “Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of ‘big government,’ which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it.” That’s a straw man, as the Times itself admits at the end of the editorial by linking to a Politico story reporting “Romney would not abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”
“Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” Politico quotes a Romney spokesman as saying. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”
It’s not clear if the Times disagrees with Romney’s actual position, which more or less describes the status quo. If you spent hours yesterday watching local TV news in New York, as we did, you saw a lot of Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and you heard a lot about state and local policemen, firemen and other emergency personnel. The federal government’s role was largely invisible.
The Times is also aghast that supposedly “Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job.” For our part, we’d like to thank Con Edison for the uninterrupted electricity.
Let’s stipulate that FEMA is a vitally important agency, a point on which there seems to be no serious disagreement anyway. How exactly does that make the case for “big government”? FEMA’s annual budget is $14.3 billion, according to lefty Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein. That’s approximately 1/272nd of total federal spending, estimated at $3,888.4 billion by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
To be sure, there are other crucial government functions, such as defense, that cost more than FEMA does. But the Times has it utterly backward in suggesting that necessary government justifies extravagant government–that FEMA’s work somehow redeems everything from ObamaCare to Solyndra to Big Bird. (Speaking of which, further to the Times’s contempt for profit-making companies, yesterday afternoon all of New York’s commercial TV stations pre-empted their regular programming for news of the approaching storm. PBS’s Channel 13 was showing a cartoon.)
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Washington demobilizes for the storm.
Making our point symbolically, Government Executive reports that most of the federal government responded to the storm by shutting down: “Washington-area federal agencies will remain closed Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy continues to unleash its wrath up and down the East Coast. . . . Emergency employees are required to report to work. Everyone else affected will be granted excused absence.”
And here’s President Obama, speaking yesterday afternoon at FEMA headquarters: “My message to the governors, as well as to the mayors, is anything they need, we will be there. And we’re going to cut through red tape. We’re not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules.”
Even the most leftist president in American history is suddenly touting deregulation. Of course, he’s faced with responsibility to act in an emergency, not to mention a tough re-election challenge. The only real-world pressures on the Times editorialists were a deadline and an empty page. Still, you’d think a modicum of professional pride would stop them from filling it with such nonsense.
Fernandez, 41, defeated incumbent Mayor Pedro Sabat of the center-right National Renovation party in Nunoa, a district of the capital. A socialist and veterinarian by trade, she served on the local council in the district after growing up in Cuba, where her mother Beatriz lived in exile after President Allende died during Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 coup.
The left’s biggest victory was in central Santiago, where Carolina Toha defeated Pablo Zalaquett of the ultra-conservative Independent Democratic Union. Toha served as former President Michelle Bachelet’s spokeswoman, and her father, Allende’s vice president, died after being jailed and tortured.
Some of my sources in the country believe that the particularly nasty campaign may have turned off citizens from participating; many of the right-leaning mayors were targets of mud-slinging, obnoxious claims by the left. Student demonstrations, while stirring the left, may have demotivated others now that voting is not compulsory.
Does this mean the democratic process has been undermined? We shall find out by next year’s presidential election.
For now, Sebastián Piñera’s odds of re-election are not looking very good.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Madonna drew boos and triggered a walkout by several concertgoers after she touted President Barack Obama on her “MDNA Tour” in New Orleans.
The Material Girl asked during Saturday night’s performance: “Who’s registered to vote?” She added: “I don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama.” Drawing boos in touting Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, Madonna followed: “Seriously, I don’t care who you vote for … Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote.”
Aside from the amazement that she’s still performing her shtick while well into the sixth decade of her life (she was born in 1958), the fact is that she got boos and a walkout over Obama while in New Orleans.
Apparently internal polls have prompted the Obama administration in the last month to double down on the young and hip vote to ensure that this cohort turns out on election day to help stem the erosion elsewhere. Thus the president hits the celebrity shows, the cool radio venues; in punkish-style calls Romney a bulls****er; and now releases a video of a young hip woman (with a visibly large tattoo or bad bruise on her upper arm), Lena Dunham (ironically the identical last name as Barack Obama’s mother and grandparents), who in not so disguised terms Sandra Fluke–style equates her sexual life with voting for the president, emphasizing the young cool lifestyle of today’s 20–30-something unattached young woman.
Obama’s own cue balls shriveled. Biden had offered up a deft campaign slogan encompassing both domestic and foreign policy: “Osama’s dead, and General Motors is alive.” But, as the al-Qaida connections to Benghazi dribbled out, leak by leak, the “Osama’s dead” became a problematic boast and, left to stand alone, the General Motors line was even less credible. Avoiding the economy and foreign affairs, Obama fell back on Big Bird, and binders and bayonets, just to name the B’s in his bonnet. At the second presidential debate, he name-checked Planned Parenthood, the General Motors of the American abortion industry, half-a-dozen times, desperate to preserve his so-called gender gap. Yet, oddly enough, the more furiously Obama and Biden have waved their binders and talked up Sandra Fluke, the more his supposed lead among women has withered away. So now he needs to enthuse the young, who turned out in such numbers for him last time. Hence, the official campaign video (plagiarized from Vladimir Putin, of all people) explaining that voting for Obama is like having sex. The saddest thing about that claim is that, for liberals, it may well be true.
Both videos – the one faking Obamagasm and the one faking a Benghazi pretext – exemplify the wretched shrinkage that befalls those unable to conceive of anything except in the most self-servingly political terms. Both, in different ways, exemplify why Obama and Biden are unfit for office. One video testifies to a horrible murderous lie at the heart of a head of state’s most solemn responsibility, the other to the glib shallow narcissism of a pop-culture presidency, right down to the numbing relentless peer-pressure: C’mon, all the cool kids are doing it; why be the last holdout?
If voting for Obama is like the first time you have sex, it’s very difficult to lose your virginity twice. A flailing, pitiful campaign has now adopted Queen Victoria’s supposed wedding advice to her daughter: “Lie back and think of England.” Lie back and think of America. And then get up and get dressed. Who wants to sleep twice with a $16 trillion broke loser?
If you live in Princeton, you can count on extended power outages, which means no blogging if my neighborhood has no electricity – almost a certainty.
Here in Princeton, with the combination of Third World infrastructure (i.e., electrical cables not underground, and not enough cell phone towers) and huge number of large trees, most people prepare by mobbing the Princeton Shopping Center, especially McCaffrey’s Supermarket.
Of course, I had to stop by and check ou the place. The parking lot was nearly-full, but I was able to find a spot right in front of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, and picked up some fuel for my small camping stove. It turns out they had them on sale. During the last power outage, I had stopped at Radio Shack and bought a cell phone recharger for the car. (Call ahead and ask if they have any in stock.)
I walked by McCaffrey’s, which of course was packed. I only needed some powdered milk and a newspaper but decided against it when I saw the lines. It looked like people heading to a Romney rally. Since the store was out of powdered milk, I decided against standing in line for 1/2 hour just to buy a paper.
The most important thing we did, and have always done, is CLEAR THE AREA OF POTENTIAL FLYING OBJECTS. Anything and everything in our yard AND the neighborhood that could be turned into a missile (including that 100lb garden pot you don’t think can fly…it can), goes into the garage.
Most importantly, you must get all your preparations done TODAY.
Once you have that done, stock up on wine, get all your laundry washed and dried, make sure all your battery-powered gadgets are fully charged, and hope for the best.
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”
Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
Let’s try this again … you had your people under attack, you had drones on site, you had a spec ops guy on the roof lasing the mortar team and Panetta claims they “didn’t know what was going on?”
That says a hell of a lot more about Panetta and Obama than anyone else. Anyone worth their salt goes for over kill, not “wait and see” in a situation like that. Situations like this are why you have contingency plans and units designated as Quick Reaction Forces (QRF). You can always recall your forces. And, if you give even a stinking whit about force protection you go in and secure the area and personnel who were under attack anyway.
Having not only secured Putin’s endorsement , but also imitated his message (Putin called his U.S. counterpart “a genuine person”; Obama’s ad says “You want to do it with a great guy”), today Obama’s on MTV.