Remember Hurricane Katrina, the “worst natural disaster in history”? With an estimated $125 billion in damage, the effects are still lingering today.
And it was all Bush’s fault, from start to finish, from the inadequate berms protecting New Orleans to the looting, the rapes and the inability of FEMA to get water to refugees in the Superdome — or so we were told.
The reality was somewhat different as many of the post-disaster delays were the fault of foot-dragging and red tape imposed by the Democrats in charge of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.
Now comes Hurricane Sandy, with damages already estimated upwards of $50 billion, and the media paint a completely different picture. The story we are being fed today is that Hurricane Sandy has given Obama the chance to look presidential just before the election, especially by reaching out to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is apparently more than willing to lick the hand that writes him a check.
Further, the hurricane is giving the media a chance to paint Romney as a callous villain because of his comments about letting states handle disaster relief rather than FEMA and because — gasp — he hasn’t endorsed the absurdity that is the theory of man-made global warming (something liberals now think is a slam dunk because, Lord knows, there have never been hurricanes before now).
The media even got on Romney’s case for trying to help by bringing supplies to the Red Cross in the aftermath.
Once again, the reality is different from the media picture.
Residents of Staten Island, one of the hardest hit areas, by many accounts are feeling abandoned as large numbers of them suffer through days without food, water or shelter.
“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials on Thursday, according to ABC News. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”
At least 19 people died on Staten Island in the storm, including a father and son whose bodies were found locked in a final embrace. (The total death toll at this writing has been reported at 105.) More than 80,000 people on the island have been without power (3.5 million are still without power throughout the hurricane zone). Large numbers are homeless as the hurricane ripped apart homes, leaving behind just floorboards and other debris scattered throughout still-flooded neighborhoods.
Two young brothers, 2 and 4, were among the dead, swept out of their mother’s arms as a 20-foot wave washed over the island. Their bodies were discovered just Thursday.
Community leaders expressed anger at the Red Cross, which they feel has been too slow in responding to the desperate need in the area. Some residents complained the Red Cross was handing out hot chocolate and cookies instead of blankets and food.
“This is America, not a Third World nation. We need food, we need clothing,” Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro told ABC. “My advice to the people of Staten Island is: Don’t donate the American Red Cross. Put their money elsewhere.”
Molinaro also had some choice words for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, he of the soda and trans fat bans. Bloomberg earlier in the week decided to go ahead with the New York Marathon, which has its staging area in Staten Island. It was not until Friday night that he gave in to criticism and canceled the annual event.
“My God. What we have here is terrible, a disaster,” Molinaro said. “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? 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.”
In New Jersey, volunteer engineers and power workers from Alabama who had come to help restore power in that state were turned away by union thugs who refused to let them work unless they affiliated with a union. There is a recording making the rounds that shows the union workers calling the volunteers “scabs” and other insults.
In Bridgeport, Connecticut, utility workers were pelted with eggs and other objects after the city’s mayor complained the power companies were restoring power to rich neighborhoods first and leaving the poor in the dark.
There are widespread reports of looting, including incidents of looters dressed as city workers to gain access to homes. In the heart of New York City, there have been complaints of people defecating in apartment hallways and public areas because there is no running water for toilets.
In many areas hit by the hurricane, residents are waiting as much as six hours in line to get gasoline for their vehicles. There are numerous reports of fistfights and at least one reported confrontation where a driver pulled a gun on another motorist.
Despite all this, the liberal media are reporting that Obama’s handling of the situation may give him a boost in the polls, maybe even enough to win re-election.