The Hurricane Irene ‘scaremongering’ was sooo disappointing…

Aren’t you glad you didn’t write this column? (source: dceiver)

Here’s a couple more…

Ron Paul always has me when he talks about ending the wars and military spending…

…but then he keeps talking about other things, and that’s when he loses me again. This past week, I finally realized that Paul is really no different from the teabaggers and fundamentalist RWNJs:

Via Charles Johnson: The hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas in 1900, with winds up to 145 mph, was the deadliest in US history. Official reports put the death toll at about 8,000, but many believe the true number was much higher. So many people were killed that it was impossible to bury them all; the stench of bodies could be smelled for miles. For weeks after the storm, funeral pyres burned as workers kept pulling decomposing corpses from the rubble.

Sounds horrific, doesn’t it? But to Crazy Uncle Ron Paul, those were the good old days.

GILFORD, N.H. — After a lunch speech today, Ron Paul slammed the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and said that no national response to Hurricane Irene is necessary.

“We should be like 1900; we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960,” Paul said. “I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district.”

And what’s “the most important issue of our age,” according to Paul? Via Matthew Yglesias:

“I talk a lot about right-to-life,” said Paul, who called it “the most important issue of our age.”

[...] President Paul won’t be able to repeal federal drug legislation without backing from Congress, which won’t happen. Like any president, President Paul will need to work with members of Congress and will need to set priorities. The abortion-banning movement clearly has a lot of support in Congress, and I think we should take Paul at his word that his top priority as president will be to work with those forces to try to ban abortions.

His desire to send the world economy into a new depression with tight money policies is also something many members of Congress back, as is his view that U.S. policy toward unauthorized migrants should become harsher. These, rather than big picture drug law reform, are the likely domestic policy outputs of a Paul administration. The good news is that he’d likely pursue a very restrained foreign policy for four years until the depression induced by his monetary and fiscal policy ideas led to a new administration.

But Paul’s most recent pronouncement is really the final straw for me — he clarifies in the video below that he doesn’t believe in evolution.


Via Matthew Yglesias: [...] a lot of progressives seem to be slightly confused as to who Ron Paul is. They think he’s like that one rich uncle you have, shares a lot of your basic values but hates paying taxes and seems to take a dim view of poor people. The reality is that Paul is much closer to Pat Buchanan, a socially conservative nationalist whose idea of nationalist foreign policy is to withdraw troops from South Korea and deploy them to the Mexican border. Given what a strong force nationalism is in American life, I do wish that we had more nationalist isolationism and less nationalist enthusiasm for global contrast. But Paul’s view is that the quest to ban abortion is “the most important issue of our age,” his signature economic policy idea (“End the Fed!”) is a crank slogan that has nothing to do with free market economics, etc. Fortunately, in Paultopia there won’t be any public schools, federal funding of scientific research, etc., so it probably doesn’t matter what he believes in evolution.

Paultopia sounds a lot like Bachmanntown, Romneyfield and Fort Perry — all suburbs of Bushville. I wouldn’t want to live near any of them.

Irene was “hyped?” Not to the residents of Vermont and upstate New York…

…not to those still without power, not to those who lost their homes, or the families and loved ones of the 38 (so far) who lost their lives, and not to any who will have to clean up, repair, and rebuild. Can any hurricane seriously be ‘over-hyped’ after Katrina?

inothernews: Media who are doing or who have done Irene “hype” stories should be forced to decamp and head to upstate New York and Vermont, because STFU already.

Was media coverage over-hyped?

Video from Vermont:

Vermont towns battled floods of historic proportions as the rainy remnants of Irene finally spun into Canada. Dramatic, amateur video of the flooding shows a washed out bridge and a flooded neighborhood. (Aug. 29) —

Photos: Sundog on the East Coast

Water, water everywhere.

breakingnews: Photo by Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State, of storm damage in Margaretville, a village in Delaware County. August 28, 2011.

inothernews: Right by a reservoir that’s over capacity. The homes around it are inundated. Rockland County.

katiewashere: Asbury Park didn’t have a sand dune system. (Photo via hundreds of people on Twitter)

skibinskipedia: Coney Island, Sunday morning.

Hang on, NYC!

okayjosay: Hardcore Hardware (Brooklyn)

More curiosity than damage on New York’s East Side: A sense of calm pervaded the downtown area near New York’s East River on Sunday morning, as residents emerged from their homes to inspect the damage caused by Hurricane Irene more with curiosity than with anxiety.

NASA satellite capture: Irene over New York

NASA Satellite Confirms Irene as a Big Rainmaker, She Makes Landfall in NYC

satellite image of Irene The GOES-13 satellite captured this stunning visible image of Hurricane Irene at 8:32 a.m. EDT, just 28 minutes before Irene’s landfall in New York City. The image showed Irene’s huge cloud cover blanketing New England, New York and over Toronto, Canada. Shadows in Irene’s clouds indicate the bands of thunderstorms that surround now tropical storm Irene. (Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project) › Larger image

Source via: @anncurry

Hurricane Irene: it’s bad, but it could have been so much worse

Millions without power and/or phone service, flooding, downed power lines, about 6,000 flights cancelled, 11 deaths reported in five states, and probably billions in damage. The good news is that Irene has been downgraded to a tropical storm and should move out of the U.S. by tonight.


Hurricane Irene Reaches New York City
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Tips for what to eat during a hurricane or other disaster

From Autumn Roth, intern, Mayo Clinic:

First, while it may seem obvious, it is important to eat the food from your fridge first, the freezer next, and after that move on to foods you may have stocked in your pantry. Do not discard frozen and refrigerated foods right when the power goes out. I was surprised to learn that foods from a well-stocked freezer will last up to 48 hours!

Second, make sure you have a manual can opener. Although it seems obvious, it is easy to forget that your electric can opener will not work.

Finally, stock up on some tasty condiments and seasonings. Certain condiments like mustard, ketchup and relish are good for days with no refrigeration. And these will help you spice up the usually bland pre-packaged foods.

Oh and one last note – grab some powdered milk. Even if you’ve forgotten the hand cranked can opener, you can always just add water and have the breakfast of champions anytime of day.

Hurricane Irene: Google’s interactive map

Go here »

Caturday: how to hurricane proof your cat


Hurricane Irene safety tip

@Seth_Fried | Via

Hurricane Irene aftermath: pic of shark swimming in the streets of Puerto Rico


This shark is swimming the streets of Puerto Rico after Irene. – @ESPN_Colin

Be safe East Coasters! Interactive hurricane evacuation map from PRI

Go to this link for the map

And this FYI from Bob Cesca:

Eric Cantor is holding the entire east coast of the United States hostage. Unless he gets spending cuts, he’s refusing to fund disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Looks like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will extend his requirement that federal disaster relief be paid for by cutting spending elsewhere in the budget to Hurricane Irene.

“We aren’t going to speculate on damage before it happens, period,” his spokesperson Laena Fallon emails. “But, as you know, Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts.”

Clay Bennett

Consequences of budget cuts, demonizing government: response to extreme weather imperiled

And just when the East Coast needs government the most — the earthquake in Virginia yesterday combined with the approach of Hurricane Irene. From Think Progress:

Last week, Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), warned that federal budget cuts will force the agency to go without building a satellite that helps detect extreme weather events five years from now:

Without money to build a new satellite, the federal government will no longer be able to forecast severe weather events far enough in advance for communities to take life-saving action five years from now. That was the message that Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, delivered on Wednesday at a town-hall-style meeting in Denver. [...] “Whether the gap is longer than that depends on whether we get the money”— $1 billion — “in the next budget,” warned Dr. Lubchenco, an environmental scientist. “I would argue that these satellites are critically important to saving lives and property and to enabling homeland security.”

Unfortunately, some of the nation’s budget cuts are already hurting the ability of local communities to respond to the incoming Irene. In Palm Beach County, Florida, budget cuts have forced a cutback in the emergency management budget by 16 percent. In South Carolina, another state likely to be battered by Irene, budget cuts have led to a third of the emergency management divisions’ staff being lost. “We’re going to do what we can with less and we think we can be effective in that regard,” said Joe Farmer of the division.

As the far-right continues to demonize government and demand even more austerity, it is important to remember that government spending on things like disaster preparedness not only keeps important employees working but is crucial to saving lives.

But according to Teaparty Republicans, feds who don’t carry guns are just the unnecessary, nonessential, paper-pushers who basically suck at the federal teat anyway. It’s also more important to get those tax cuts for the wealthy extended by cutting some waste, like the government responding to extreme weather emergencies. Heaven forbid we take in more revenue so we can cut less to balance the deficit.