Shorter Question Everything
• A $20 Billion, 1000-Year Frankenstorm? Sandy Slams East Coast, Smashes All-Time Records. UPDATE (9:22 EDT): CNN’s meteorologist just said: “There’s no one that’s not 300 years old that has seen anything like this.”
• A fire that broke out in Queens around 11 p.m. during the pounding rains and rising floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy ultimately destroyed 50 homes as nearly 200 fire fighters waded through submerged streets to rescue trapped New Yorkers.
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) continued his praise of President Barack Obama’s work responding to Hurricane Sandy, using a press briefing Monday evening to note that he appreciated the “leadership” Obama was showing in the emergency. Christie, a prominent surrogate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said that he and Obama had a private phone conversation on Monday to discuss how the federal government could help New Jersey. He said that Obama told Christie that he could call him directly over the next 48 hours if the state government had issues with federal response to the hurricane in New Jersey. “I appreciate that type of leadership,” Christie said of Obama.
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared the devastation from Superstorm Sandy in his state to be a “major disaster” and “devastation,” but he also stated that working with President Obama on securing resources for the state has been “great.” “The president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit,” Christie said. “He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it. It’s been very good working with the president and his administration. It’s been wonderful.”
The New Jersey governor even took his message to Fox News, saying that Obama had helped “tremendously.”
“I spoke to the president three times yesterday,” he explained. “He called me for the last time at midnight last night asking what he could do. I said, if you can expedite designating New Jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us to get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to help clean up the damage here.”
“The president was great last night,” Christie continued. “He said he would get it done. At 2 a.m., I got a call from FEMA to answer a couple of final questions and then he signed the declaration this morning. So I have to give the president great credit. He’s been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He’s been very attentive, and anything that I’ve asked for, he’s gotten to me. So, I thank the president publicly for that. He’s done — as far as I’m concerned — a great job for New Jersey.”
Fox News co-host Steve Doocy wondered when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was going to get some of the same benefits from the hurricane with a photo op in disaster-stricken New Jersey towns.
“Over the last couple of months, you have appeared throughout the country, Governor, on behalf of Mitt Romney,” Doocy remarked to Christie. “[W]e hear that perhaps Mr. Romney may do some storm-related events. Is there any possibility that Gov. Romney may go to New Jersey to tour some of the damage with you?”
“I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested,” Christie replied, immediately shutting down the idea. “I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could [sic] care less about any of that stuff.”
• Romney meddling in Hurricane Sandy relief, but only calling GOP governors. Is this what he’d be like as a president? He’s now in a full-blown Hurricane Sandy recovery mode, coordinating relief efforts with GOP governors, even though it’s not entirely clear what Romney knows about disaster relief, or how a presidential candidate who’s not in office can even offer any assistant at all, other than some of millions as a donation to the Red Cross. Romney has found that disaster “opportunity” he was looking for throughout the entire campaign. Mitt Romney continues to interfere with Hurricane Sandy response in an effort to use Sandy as an “opportunity” to bolster his presidential bona fides. Romney’s calls are taking up the time of governors who should be focusing on saving lives. Romney knows that. So why is he calling them? What did they discuss? Did the campaign come up?
• While New York City is quite literally drowning, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan flip-flopped tonight on their promise not to hold any campaign events tomorrow, out of respect for the disaster this country is facing. Romney and Ryan will be holding separate “hurricane relief” events tomorrow morning, while America deals with a national catastrophe. Paul Ryan’s event takes the cake. Paul Ryan will be “visiting” two storm relief efforts in Wisconsin to “thank” volunteers – it sounds like he’s actually visiting campaign offices that are somehow doing something for hurricane relief. It seems they didn’t learn their earlier lesson about impeding storm relief efforts by holding these phony events that don’t address the real needs of the disaster relief agencies: money. Which means whatever they’re doing for storm relief – and it isn’t entirely sure what, as they say they’re “delivering” needed items, delivering them where exactly? – will stop for a few hours while Paul Ryan comes by with the Secret Service. Ryan’s event smacks of the phony visit he made to a closed soup kitchen a few weeks ago, where he pretended to clean dishes just until enough photos were taken, then the dishes were abandoned. Romney/Ryan voters then tried to destroy the soup kitchen.
You’re on your own
• As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the east coast, GOP strategist Ron Bonjean just said on CNN that Mitt Romney is right, FEMA should be closed: I have to say that I don’t think anyone, most people don’t have a positive impression of FEMA, and I think Mitt Romney is right on the button. I don’t think anybody cares about that right now.
• If those hit were wealthy, would he have helped?: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney argues that federal disaster response should be handled at the state level, but when disaster struck Massachusetts on Oct. 9, 2005 when heavy rain storms caused the Green River to rise to historic levels and begin flooding into Greenfield, Mass, he was missing in action, according to some of the state’s local politicians. For days, Greenfield residents were on their own, with limited outside help. “We really didn’t get the response we were looking for,” she says. “I had to declare a state of emergency … We really needed help desperately, desperately.” On the first day, Forgey says she did not hear from Romney. Nor the second day. Nor the third. Romney wasn’t in Massachusetts when the flood hit, and the emergency did not alter his plans. The Associated Press reported at the time that the governor had been scheduled to speak to an economic club in North Carolina. “If the governor thought for one second he was needed here today, he would be there,” a spokesperson told the AP.
What some are saying
• Pastor: Blame gays for Hurricane Sandy. In an “urgent call to prayer,” founder of Defend and Proclaim the Faith Ministries and amateur “end times” Bible analyst John McTernan has proclaimed that “God is systematically destroying America” for our misdeeds. He’d like you to look at the record. “Just last August, Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans seven years later, on the exact day of Hurricane Katrina,” he writes ungrammatically. “Both hit during the week of the homosexual event called Southern Decadence in New Orleans!” Strangely, both also hit at the height of hurricane season. COINCIDENCE?
• McKibben To Romney: ‘Please Explain Again Why Slowing The Rise Of The Oceans Is Such A Silly Plan?’.
• FOX news attacks Obama for cancelling campaign events to deal with Sandy. If Obama hadn’t cancelled, they’d whack him for that too.
• A Canadian utility company sent electricians to the neighboring US state of Vermont to help restore power after powerful storm Sandy whips through, Hydro-Quebec said Monday. “Vermont asked for our help. And so we sent 25 teams, that is some 50 workers to help with the clean-up,” Hydro-Quebec spokesman Yvan Cliche told AFP.
• Southern Ontario, Quebec and parts of the Maritimes continue to be lashed by superstorm Sandy — which has killed one woman in Toronto and left thousands without power — as the massive weather system churns its way north.