Tag Archives: #Sandy

Bloomberg and the runners walk back their imperial mistake

Even after Mayor Michael Bloomberg relented and canceled the New York City Marathon, it is still confounding to think he held out as long as he did.

It was a delayed obvious decision, delayed by wrong-headedness and Bloomberg’s frequent tilt toward an imperial mayorality. As the New York Times reported:

Behind the scenes, there were also concerns about what the world would see: images of runners so close to neighborhoods that had been battered by the storm, at a time when gasoline remained in short supply and mass transit was still not fully functioning.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Deputy Mayors Howard Wolfson and Patricia E. Harris all argued for calling off the event.

Look, runners will run. I have friends who run “only” 15 miles when they’re sick and should be in bed. They run more obsessively than the post office delivers the mail. But sometimes they have to be hauled in with a bit of reality.

How could the mayor play the tune that, just as after 9/11, the marathon would be a uniting force for New Yorkers? In the case of 9/11, first of all, that was also an arguable call. But at least there was a two-month interval between the event and the race. In this case, the victims and homeless and powerless are still in the process of being rescued and restored.

Tweets are saying that the thousands of runners and the generators and the food should be put to good use in helping people in need. Sounds like a great idea.

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We have witnessed the October surprise: right-wing extremism is on the way out.

We have witnessed the October surprise. Right-wing extremism is on the way out.

The surprise came in two forms – most visibly when the governor of New Jersey turned to the president of the United States and began working with him to rebuild the ruined New Jersey coast.

Chris Christie told Republican ideologue television anchors at Fox that he didn’t give a damn about politics – he cared about saving his state.

“I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics, and I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power. I’ve got devastation on the Shore. I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”

In an October flash, the extremist Republican rhetoric about less government washed away in the reality of the storm called Sandy.

The other October surprise came earlier in response to John Sununu, Mitt Romney’s water bearer and a worthy Halloween ghoul. Sununu brought racism to the fore by saying that former Secretary of State Colin Powell supported President Barack Obama because of their skin color.

Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell’s former chief of staff, responded angrily. Wilkerson, a university professor and retired army colonel, who by the way is not African-American but is a registered Republican, said this on national television:

Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that’s despicable.

The presidential election on Tuesday has to do with a return to sanity. The victory of President Obama and the sign of a new pragmatic wave – personified by the likes of Christie and Wilkerson – shows that progress can be made.

Christie found a mission – statesmanship over ideology. Wilkerson dared to voice an uncomfortable truth.

The election next week could restore balance. A victory for President Obama is now linked to new moderation in the Republican Party and a return to two-party politics that works. A vote for the president helps to sweep away the dogged ignorance that has captured the conservative spectrum in this country.

Much is at stake on Tuesday. Vote.

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Fox Trims Cuomo on New York, #Sandy and Global Warming

FOX Business Network was one of the few national outlets to carry New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s extensive comments on damage and recovery in the New York City area. But when Governor Cuomo began discussing global warming, Fox cut the feed.

The governor’s detailed report on status, first response and rescue, priorities for New York City included his contacts with President Obama, FEMA’s role, and the arrival of a U.S. Army water mitigation team to work on pumping away water.

Governor Cuomo next began speaking about the need to not only rebuild – as a long-term project—but that “we need to rebuild in a more intelligent way.” He then said that whatever some might say — adding “this is not a political statement” – weather patterns make it clear that something has changed in climatic conditions and that the city must be prepared for that. Those who deny weather changes, he said, are wrong.

“There’s no such thing as a 100-year flood,” he said. “These are extreme weather patterns. The frequency has been increasing.”

Cuomo is probably the first major politician during this disaster to discuss that element of the problem. But within seconds and a sentence or two, Fox swiftly cut off the governor’s remarks. A director somewhere realized what Cuomo was saying and didn’t want to continue to broadcast what he had to say. Fox could probably say they needed to break in after the long remarks, but it didn’t seem that way.

Anyone surprised?

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