Posts Tagged ‘disaster’
January 3rd, 2013 at 2:13 pm
Christie Gets More Mileage Blasting GOP Over Sandy

After Chris Christie’s latest Hurricane Sandy-related misstep, don’t expect GOP bigwigs to be lining up behind any potential presidential bid in 2016.

First, there was Christie’s grinning, bear-hugging performance benefiting President Barack Obama at Mitt Romney’s expense.  Though politics should cease when disaster strikes, it was particularly irksome to many on the Right that the Republican Christie seemed to go out of his way to call the Democrat Obama “outstanding,” “wonderful,” and “deserv[ing] great credit.”  Occurring as it did in the final weeks of the presidential campaign, not a few politicos think Christie was not-so-subtly trying to shore-up his standing in a Blue State by hurting the GOP brand.

Now, Christie is back at it with his temper tantrum over the pork-laden Sandy relief bill that failed to pass the House before the 112th Congress ended.  Blasting House Speaker John Boehner and others for essentially lying to him, Christie accused House Republicans of “selfishness and duplicity,” “palace intrigue,” and “callous indifference to the people of our state.”

But as the Heritage Foundation, the Weekly Standard, and others have noted, House Republicans didn’t vote against disaster relief; they voted against awarding more than double the amount of requested relief to areas and projects that have nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy.

Thanks to Senate Democrats and liberals at the Obama White House the Sandy relief bill included such spending priorities as $28 billion for future disaster-mitigation projects, $100 million to Head Start, and $17 billion in Community Development Block Grants.  All of this and more is on top of the $20 billion scheduled to go to people and places actually impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

These non-Sandy-related giveaways were designed to get Red State senators to support the pork, but House members couldn’t swallow the bill after being served a bitter fiscal cliff deal.  To compensate the real victims of Hurricane Sandy, Boehner has promised to consider and pass a series of relief measures as early as tomorrow; without the wasteful, unrelated spending, of course.

As Christie gears up for what may be a tough reelection as New Jersey’s governor this year, polls show that his praise for Obama and tough talk on Hurricane Sandy have boosted his approval ratings in his Democrat-heavy state.  If all his high-profile Republican-bashing gets him reelected, it’s likely worth it for conservatives because of the fiscal reforms Christie is stewarding in the Garden State.  But if Christie decides to take his show on the presidential circuit, don’t be surprised if he finds a chilly reception among those for whom a discerning eye on government spending is a virtue, not a vice.

November 1st, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Obama’s Failures with Natural Disasters

Polls show great public approval for Barack Obama’s “handling” of Superstorm Sandy. I see nothing other than a president doing his job… plus a little posturing. Now, how do I know it’s posturing? Because his supposedly grave concern now is belied by his past actions when responding to disasters.

When Nashville suffered horrific flooding in 2010, where was Obama? Nowhere to be found. He certainly didn’t visit, and didn’t do much to urge the rest of the country to come to Nashville’s aid.

Where was Obama when Hurricane Isaac devastated several parishes in Louisiana?  Unfortunately, making racial issues out of hurricane response is a favorite pastime of the President’s…and despite his earlier standard of the imperative of “waiving the Stafford Act,” he still refuses to waive the Stafford Act for Isaac victims.

When the BP oil spill happened, even James Carville blasted Obama’s apparent lack of interest or energy in responding, and Obama was quickly at loggerheads with Gov. Bobby Jindal, and he proceeded to defy even Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu by putting a moratorium and then still slow-walking permits on new Gulf drilling — in defiance of a federal judge’s order, so egregiously that the Obama administration was found officially in contempt of court.

Of course, in a disaster in large part of the administration’s own making (a sin of omission of course, not commission — by repeatedly declining requests for more security), Obama or someone on his team refused to send assistance to the consulate in Benghazi, Libya even as a terrorist firefight continued there for seven hours while Americans were in danger, and then his team falsely blamed the attack on a video and otherwise tried to pretend it was anything but an Al Qaeda or terrorist effort, and continues to stonewall/engage in a horrific cover-up about what truly happened.

All of these failures in disaster response contrast with Mitt Romney’s record of immediately taking charge to find (successfully) the lost/kidnapped child of an associate — and to rescue people whose watercraft sank on Lake Winnepesaukee, and otherwise to respond forcefully and or thoughtfully and from the heart to numerous other personal tragedies suffered by both friends and strangers.

So, excuse me for being cynical about Obama’s “great” response to Sandy. When an election is on and his momentum is slowed, he does well for the cameras. Otherwise, he just can’t be bothered.

September 27th, 2011 at 12:33 pm
Communities, Not Congress, Fund Disaster Relief

The Heritage Foundation has a masterful indictment of Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) ham-handed attempt to use a FEMA budget bill to score political points.  Last week, Reid deliberately killed a House-passed continuing resolution funding FEMA for $3.5 billion while cutting $200 million in subsidies similar to the Solyndra loan fiasco.  Angry at the cuts, Reid sidelined the House bill and introduced his own with no cuts and more spending.

Yet when the Senate sensibly defeated Reid’s proposal, he chastised the chamber in a bizarre floor speech that tried to pin blame on Republicans for leaving disaster victims out in the cold.

Besides refusing responsibility for holding victims hostage so more green jobs could be subsidized, Reid’s implication was that without billions in taxpayer money, citizens would be left to fend for themselves.

As Heritage shows, Reid’s argument is simply not so.  With just a bit of calling around, the think tank found that disaster victims in Pennsylvania were being assisted by the Wyoming County United Way, the Seven Loaves Soup Kitchen and the Weinberg Regional Food Bank.  Each of these private voluntary groups reported record numbers of donations and applications to assist.

As with any disaster, everyday Americans don’t wait for the government to mobilize.  Instead, they roll up their sleeves, stuff sand bags, serve hot food and help the devastated rebuild their lives and communities.  For statists like Harry Reid, people die without the government.  For those living in the real world, it’s people – not bureaucracies – that make recovery possible.

March 11th, 2011 at 6:34 pm
Mid East Wars, Asian Quakes Reawaken Emphasis on Foreign Policy

There is never a dull day in the Oval Office.  In the midst of budget fights and 2012 politicking, President Barack Obama surely does not relish the foreign policy “distractions” that are dominating the news cycle, if not his personal schedule.

But Obama can’t continue to avoid his office’s innate leadership responsibilities in the wake of yet another humanitarian crisis.  First, he dithered while an enormous oil leak ravaged the Gulf of Mexico.  Then, he looked the other way while Middle East protests pushed the region into chaos.  If Obama lets this pitch from wrecked Japan sail by with America’s big stick resting on his shoulder, his disastrous responses will be the perfect metaphor for his catastrophic presidency.