As a guy who lived in New Orleans before, during and after Hurricane Katrina, I get a little bent out of shape with the constant, often inaccurate, allusions to the federal response to that storm.
The fact of the matter is there are plenty of fingers to point for why New Orleans turned out the way it did. FEMA is among them but certainly not alone.
That brings us to Sandy. Obama made a point to direct the federal government to temporarily do away with all that unnecessary red tape so storm victims could get some relief and emergency crews could do their job. Oh, he also worked in his campaign and MSNBC slogans all at once! Coincidence, I'm sure. Those comments come around the 4:30 mark.
And what about the outstanding federal response to Sandy that is so much different than that of George W Bush's FEMA? Some people in Staten Island don't think so:
Staten Island officials sounded increasingly desperate today, asking when supplies will arrive. They blasted the Red Cross for not being there when it counted.
“This is America, not a third world nation. We need food, we need clothing,” Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro said today. “My advice to the people of Staten Island is: Don’t donate the American Red Cross. Put their money elsewhere.”
The Red Cross and the National Guard arrived in the area late Tuesday and are distributing food, water and gas – and city officials say things are much better.
Molinaro urged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday to cancel Sunday’s New York City Marathon. The race’s staging area is on Staten Island and Molinaro said it would be “crazy, asinine,” to have the race after what has happened.
“My God. What we have here is terrible, a disaster,” Molinaro said Wednesday. “If they want to race, let them race with themselves. This is no time for a parade. A marathon is a parade. Now is the time to put your shoulder to the wheel. If they want to prepare for something, let them prepare for the election, not a marathon.”
“Do you realize how many police officers you need for a marathon?” he asked. “There are people looting stores on Midland Avenue. There is looting taking place in the homes on the South Shore that were destroyed. That is where we need the police.”
I know what you're thinking: FEMA is different from the Red Cross which is different from state government which is different from local government. Exactly. That's why it's so disingenious for the blame Bush for everything bad related to Katrina (I'm no defender of Bush in that regard, just making a point about finger pointing) and praise Obama because he made a strong declaration about cutting red tape and the great work the Red Cross was doing.
The people in Staten Island and the Alabama utility crew probably don't think so.
But everything's great. Obama and Chris Christie came together and look how well it worked out.
Never mind all these headlines, though:
And where are all the people in the media blaming Obama for people who have to dumpster dive because relief efforts aren't getting to them?
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