Posts Tagged ‘Isaac’
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.

October 10th, 2012 at 6:49 pm
Obama’s Hurricane Hypocrisy — with More Details

I had a big story today at the Daily Caller about how Barack Obama first was directly told that the Bush administration was releasing federal money to Louisiana post-Katrina and letting LA use that same federal money as the Stafford Act “match” for the rest of the federal recovery money — in other words, that the locals actually put up not one red cent — but declared himself unsatisfied even with that. THEN he, Obama, voted AGAINST a bill that provided Katrina recovery funds while waiving the Stafford Act. Then, in the now-infamous Hampton University speech, he blasted Bush for not waiving funds that Bush already had de facto waived and that the Senate then had waived while Obama had voted against the bill providing the waiver.

NOW, with Obama as president, he has REFUSED to waive the Stafford Act for LA victims of Hurricane Isaac.

One’s head spins at the multiple hypocrisies.

But now I would like to hash out some details. It is true, as Media Matters has reported, that Obama had voted for an alternative version of the Katrina relief bill that also waived the Stafford Act “match” requirements. The overall bill provided not just Katrina relief but also provided for better military support related to the war in Iraq. Obama voted for a bill that did all that while requring a specific timeline for troop withdrawal for Iraq, and issued a statement saying he had voted against the bill that actually did pass because it provided for no such timeline. But this is not a good excuse; in fact it raises serious questions about his judgment.

Because Obama’s desired timeline requirement would have been imposed just as the famously successful “Surge” in Iraq was going on and in a key phase. The timeline would have undermined the Surge. And Obama’s holier-than-thou intransigence wasn’t popular even among the anti-war crowd in his own party in the Senate: The bill that passed without a timeline did so by an 80-14 vote, including overwhelming support among Democrats.

Among those liberal Democrats who voted for the bill waiving the Stafford Act, despite its lack of an Iraq timeline, were Joe Biden, Richard Durbin of Obama’s home state of Illinois, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and West Point graduate Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a military procurement expert who had voted against authorizing military activities in Iraq in the first place.

By the time of the vote, of course, Obama was running for president. He was obviously playing up his timeline thing as a sop to the liberal base of his party for presidential primary purposes; while most Democrats, as we have seen, obviously thought it irresponsible to vote against the bill that actually passed just in order to make a point — an ill-timed, indeed dangerously timed point — about wanting to pull the troops home.

In short, Obama’s explanation doesn’t mitigate against the charge of hypocrisy; it just adds irresponsibility on top of the hypocrisy.