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Obama Starting to Get Soaked by the Hurricane

by Keith Koffler on November 2, 2012, 11:25 am

Forget all the photo ops President Obama staged with Chris Christie. A new batch of images is on the way.

Obama has declared FEMA ready, and Christie said the federal response had been terrific. But just as it took a few days after Hurricane Katrina to see the true devastation and the insufficiency of the response in New Orleans, the reality of Hurricane Sandy for New York and New Jersey is now sinking in.

I can’t say whether or not FEMA or local officials did the best the could under the circumstances. I can say that what Americans are seeing now and will continue to see are scenes of abject devastation right here in the United States of America, and bewildered victims wondering where the help they were promised is.

Reuters today summed up the peril for the person in charge, Obama:

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator Richard Serino planned to visit Staten Island on Friday amid angry claims by some survivors that the borough had been ignored.

Scenes of angry storm victims could complicate matters for politicians, from President Barack Obama just four days before the general election, to governors and mayors in the most heavily populated region in the United States. Obama so far has received praise for his handling of Sandy.

“They forgot about us,” said Theresa Connor, 42, describing her Staten Island neighborhood as having been “annihilated.” “And (Mayor Michael) Bloomberg said New York is fine. The marathon is on!”

Adding to heated tempers, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut drivers were also confronting a shortage of gasoline. Even before dawn on Friday, long lines of cars snaked around gasoline stations around the area, and police were in place at many spots to keep the peace between furious, frustrated drivers.

While the slight rise in the unemployment rate may not on its own have much impact on the election, a synergy may develop between the enduring joblessness, the metastasizing questions about Benghazi, and the struggle for subsistence playing out on cable TV to give Americans the sense that the country is in really bad shape.

Which it is.

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Star November 2, 2012 at 11:28 am

You know New Yorkers and New Jerseyites–they don’t sugarcoat!

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JustSaying12 November 2, 2012 at 11:36 am

It’s not FEMA was not ready, it’s simply not a fast response unit. The system has been the same for decades. In the first few days of an emergency, it’s local and state officials who are the first responders. Then the feds move in. Every single disaster has had the same response over the past few decades.

What is different this time? Obama made it sound like FEMA and other federal agencies were on the scene from Hour 1 and they weren’t. Also a momentual mistake by doing a quick photo op and getting back on the campaign. He should been at the WH all week long running the government (his day job he often forgets) and then gone to the sites this weekend.

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Brenda A. November 2, 2012 at 11:51 am

“What is different this time? Obama made it sound like FEMA and other federal agencies were on the scene from Hour 1 and they weren’t.”

‘Obama makes it sound’ like a whole bunch of stuff.

Having been through a hurricane myself, I know the best thing a person can do is be prepared in advance. The gov’t help will take time and be frustrating.

What does the gov’t do well?

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JustSaying12 November 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm

“What does the gov’t do well?”

Tax you. That is about it LOL! I would say our boys & girls in the military are an example of what government does well but they are often stuck in red tape so much, they hardly ever get to do their job properly. Just read some military books that are coming out by our soliders especially Mark Owen’s about the Bin Laden raid. He states several times about how the changed in the rules of engagement has made his job that much more difficult. And I wonder what administration change those rules of engagement LOL!

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Julie Brueckheimer November 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

In an analogy to football you could say that Obama, Christie and Bloomberg declared victory after the initial kickoff.

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JustSaying12 November 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Yep but the one it will only hurt politically is Christie and possibly (long term) Obama if he wins. Short term, the superstorm will not have a positive or negative effect on Obama but it could long term. Bloomberg is as a joke and this is the final nail in the coffin. He had no chance of winning another term or even a different political office, this just made it even more certain.

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Lizzy November 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Bloomberg is a jerk and Christie a fool. I watch these poor people in
disbelief. So much suffering and no help in sight and Obama gets a pass again is there anything the media wouldn’t give him a pass on?
The mess in the East well Obama is the CIC you can tell cause he’s
starting to wear the bomber jacket so everyone will know! All you need to say is if this had been Bush. Now Bloomberg is going ahead
with the Marathon beggars belief as one man said from Staten Island
people are dead and people will get sick and die and we’re having a
race?

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gobnait November 2, 2012 at 11:54 am

Reports coming out that out-of-state non-union electrical crews are being turned away in NJ by union crews.

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The Original November 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

We must be on the same wave length.

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Susan November 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Texas sent crews and equipment to help too. Wouldn’t doubt they were turned away because we are also a right to work state.

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Just2old November 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I lost power here in Virginia due to a downed line in front of my house at the height of the storm. A crew from NC showed up first thing in the morning and we had power a couple of hours later. Virginia ia a right-to-work state as well. Of course it didn’t help with the eight inches of water in my basement!

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Susan November 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Yikes, hope you were able to get it pumped. Thank goodness you are safe and have the lights back on.

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Just2old November 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Thanks Susan! We’re safe…that’s all that counts, right?

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Susanjaye November 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Heard the same thing from a relative living down south. Companies were told that if they wanted to assist in NJ, they had to join the union.
I live in NJ and still waiting for power!! Since my family is not a member of the union or the mob , it is going to take awhile. So sad, I thought gov. Christie would not tolerate this BS.

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Reality Chex November 3, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Union -OR- mob???

They are the same thing… Both get their power via protection payments, bribes, intimidation, and (when necessary) violence.

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The Original November 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

It is just awful what is being ignored on Staten Island. It isn’t just lack of gas. They don’t have food.

Hannity said last night that the NYC area may not be getting electricity until 11/11. They don’t have much in the way of food. Something needs to be done IMMEDIATELY.

Guiliani said on Hannity that he put in as many generators after 9/11 that he could install in NYC that would fall under EPA regulations.

Did you hear that NJ wouldn’t allow lineman and repairmen from AL because they weren’t union people. RIDICULOUS!

Something absolutely has to be done that will help make cities able to survive after such destruction.

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JBH November 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Sounds like red tape to me. The most EPA would allow? Let people live in the middle ages to protect our environment for a couple days!!

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Sadie November 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Obama’s pledge omits unions.

“We are not going to tolerate red tape, we are not going to tolerate bureaucracy,” Obama said. “And I’ve instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team. You return everybody’s phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it’s the mayor’s, the governor’s, county officials.

“If they need something, we figure out a way to say yes.”

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DeniseVB November 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Remember the Red Cross saying don’t send us food and clothing we need cash ? The people on Staten Island are begging for food and dry clothing ! No one has seen the Red Cross yet :(

Would love to see the Romney bus full of “stuff” show up on the island now :) Bet it was turned away……

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Lizzy November 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I never give to Red Cross always Salvation Army. I had a very unpleasant experience with the Red Cross during the Vietnam war.

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Not Nabob November 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm

The Red Cross must have figured out a way to make cash palatable and filling to satisfy the need of the hungry. I’m underwhelmed at this development.

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blondie November 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Everyone that criticized George Bush over Katrina needs to give him a big fat apology. Showing up for a love fest photo op immediatly does not make government move any faster!!Theres a picture of Facebook going around of Bush on a plane overlooking Katrina and beside it a picture of Obama hugging weeping woman. The caption is something like,”
which President would you rather have. We Democrats care about each other” Lot of good its doing them now that Obama did a drive by!!
Things are only going to get worse as the temperatures are about to dip and a new storm said to be moving in for next week.

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JustSaying12 November 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/nyc-marathon-diverting-resources-using-generators-for-media-tent-110212

Backlash over the NYC Marathon still being run is growing, as it should. They can easily postponed it for a few weeks, or even run two next year. It’s going to take weeks to get everyone back on their feet and your postponing due to running some stupid marathon.

Oh and some idiot in the NY Times (typical), said it was similar to 9/11. One difference: They ran the marathon almost two months AFTER 9/11.

Seriously what is wrong with people?!?!?!?!

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mo1 November 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm

The New York Post has pictures of three generators sitting in Central Park to run the “tents” for media, staff and others at the Marathon. Those generators it reported could power 400 homes (not sure if 400 in total or each). They probably could power some gasoline stations.

Mike Bloomberg is out ot lunch, just like Obama.

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JustSaying12 November 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

“They probably could power some gasoline stations.”

Indeed and that is going to be a problem through next week which they could help make a real difference immediately with those generators.

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Mr. T. November 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Leave it to the Dems to still be comparing Obama to Bush four days before the election…when he’s running against a different guy!

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Langley Spook November 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

“Obama hates NY & NJ people.”
~Kayne West

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Scullman November 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

While people are shivering and hungry, and after 19 bodies have been recovered in Staten Island, two 30 thousand watt generators are warming up the press tents in Central Park, for Mayor Doomberg’s N.Y.C. Marathon on Sunday.

We’ve already given him an unprecedented Third term.

Can I hear a fourth?

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blondie November 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Can Mayor’s be impeached? Bloomberg should stick with what he does best,”food police”.

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Julie Brueckheimer November 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Cancelled now, I read. He must have taken a lot of heat for his initial decision. He endorsed Obama because O would handle global warming better? NYC ought to be concerned about its energy policies right now, something Romney would be good at. A great part of the problem in NY and NJ is that they have turn-of-the-century electric grids as the rest of the country does. And I’m not talking turn-of-the-21st century, either.

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srdem65 November 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

MrRomney and a whole lot of sensible people knew that the first thing needed in a disaster after the first responders leave is food, water, and clothing. Blankets, baby supplies, simple medical supplies are needed, too. FEMA comes in much later with money, and money is the one thing that has no value when there’s nothing to be bought. Food stores are closed, clothing stores won’t reopen for months and millions of people are stuck.
Stuck like flies on stickypaper in NYC, with no job to go to, no vehicle to drive away in, no one to turn to but themselves.

This is not an ordinary natural disaster, where victims can be housed and fed at the school gymnasium, or the church basement or where supplies can be trucked in from neighboring cities.
If there are 5,000 people in one city block, where are they going to be housed safely in NYC or how can emergency vehicles be dispatched to places where traffic is blocked by debris or even moveable vehicles?
There’s simply no where nearby to put the thousands of damaged vehicles or the scooped up debris from trees and homes.

My heart goes out to the NYers who will never recover, whose lives will never be the same again. Winter is right around the corner and will prevent rebuilding or recovery until Spring, if that..

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Sadie November 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm

My brother, a NYC resident, is a teacher in NJ. No work this past week and since he drives to work, I can’t imagine how he will commute next week. I am wondering how long before food deliveries to NYC and NJ will begin to feel the impact.

srdem, winter is nipping at our heels in the n.e. corridor and the weather report for next week doesn’t look good either with a possibility of another round of rain to hit the same areas.

There are hundreds of unused federally-owned buildings, some of which are in NY State and NJ. If the president needs a “shovel ready” project – start sending generators/supplies, MREs and buses to get the displaced to them.

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srdem65 November 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Watching new video of the devastation is heart-breaking and, well, just awful. Where are all those who lost their homes going to spend the winter in NYC, are there facilities with heat and water available?Thousands of homes and apartments might never get rebuilt or if they do, it will be a year before they’re finished.

I feel bad that so many of those injured in every way are waiting for the almighty government to come to their aid, They believed that government was the answer, the “nanny state” will take care of everything, when we know different. Their Mayor, who pretends to care about their BMI and salt intake, or whether they might breathe in some second-hand smoke, is making the running of a marathon the city’s priority instead of feeding, clothing, and the health of those in need.

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veritaseequitas November 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Well you know, The O Team will probably say “I didn’t promise that help would arrive immediately, these things take time.”
Just how self involved is it possible for one perosn to be when there is so much suffering going on and his main concern is his photo op?

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Just2old November 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Keith, it’s not the sense that the country is in really bad shape….it’s the reality!

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DeniseVB November 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Latest Staten Island visuals are heartbreaking and half the storm casualties occured there :( It’s become NY’s 9th Ward.

DHS and Cuomo are just NOW lifting restrictions for fuel to be delivered and non-union relief workers can come in. Those should be in place when a “state of emergency” is declared before the storm hit ?

I remember Katrina well and Bush got hammered for this.

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Lizzy November 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I know the military have huge tanker trucks that are almost a tank with
a nozzle attached why haven’t those been sent yet?

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JustSaying12 November 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

It’s not just the fuel. It’s the electricity to run those gas stations. Too bad everyone doesn’t have a electric car..oh wait a minute, that is right….the electricity doesn’t work!

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Susan November 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Not so sure electric cars will ever be a safe bet after seeing what Sandy did to a bunch of Fiscar Karmas in New Jersey…

http://updates.jalopnik.com/post/34669789863/more-than-a-dozen-fisker-karma-hybrids-caught-fire-and

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mo1 November 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

In the Mid-Hudson Valley, about 60 miles north of NYC, gas stations are limiting the amount of gasoline that can be purchased to 12 gallons and some stations are running out of gas. And most of this area HAS electricity. But Cuomo says don’t panic. Right. People may not panic, but they will evaluate government’s performance, I hope. .

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Langley Spook November 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm

“Obama hates NJ & NY people.”

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Not Nabob November 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Yes, but regardless he is their savior. Remember it will be someone else who is blamed for the incompetency. Obama is the new Untouchable. Or so he (they) think.

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tnewp1 November 4, 2012 at 12:43 am

Where is Hillary? Obama needs her stupid excuses now more than ever!

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Girly1 November 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Bloomberg ignores Brooklyn Borough president’s pleas for National Guard because ‘they carry guns’. The UK Mail relates the true horror of looting – the MSM is covering it up. Bloomberg should be run out of town on a rail!!!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2225663/Superstom-Sandy-looters-brag-Twitter-Even-momma-got-outta-house-loot-new-shirt.html

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Sadie November 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

May Joe can get Amtrak up and running again to help Bloomberg on that rail suggestion.

I am not shocked or surprised by the photos, it’s the end result of the “gimme-gimme” my free stuff community. Never saw one photo of the crap from Japan, who suffered greater consequences following the earthquake and tsunami.

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JustSaying12 November 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Unlike us, they still have a society based on respect and honor.

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Arthur Marcus November 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

SIMPLY PUT YOU ARE BEYOND STUPID

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Julie Brueckheimer November 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Right on, plus Hannity is calling Sandy Obama’s Katrina. About Christie, the more I think of his lavish praise of Obama, the more angry I’m starting to get. I recall now what a bomb his RNC keynote address was: all about himself. His ego is as big as his bod, and visions of 2016 are dancing in his head.

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Sadie November 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Julie – Amen to your post. He ate his chances for 2016 by allowing the unions to run off the linemen from Alabama/Texas. I believe Romney recognized Christie’s character flaws early on.

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AZ Granny November 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm

How did things ever get into such a mess that you have to be union to provide help in NJ? People need help now and I’m willing to be they wouldn’t care if the line crews paid union dues or not. Simply unbelievable that anybody in this situation would turn away help.

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Julie Brueckheimer November 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm

“He ate his chances”, hee, hee.

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Mr. T. November 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Just watched “Special Report” on Fox – Dr. Krauthammer said Sandy was a gift to Obama because it stopped Romney’s momentum in the final days of the campaign. Bill Kristol said Romney wasted an opportunity to “break the tie” by not bringing up Benghazi. Neither sounded terribly optimistic about next Tuesday, falling back on the longstanding view from some “inside the tent” that Romney wasn’t doing enough…or saying the right thing…or whatever.

Hope the governor proves them wrong one last time!

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Not Nabob November 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm

If his Arrogancy is getting soaked, then his highless better pull them ears up and around to protect his make-up.

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Megan November 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I just had this conversation with my husband tonight – when Bush had Katrina and FEMA dropped the ball, it was all “Bush hates black people.” Today, our President takes a quick tour, and goes campaigning while FEMA drops the ball again. If this were a Republican president out campaigning immediately following a disaster of this size, all hell would break loose. But the media? Silent. Unreal.

Then again, I should have expected as much, what with their silence over the fact that Obama went to a Vegas fundraiser the day after the recent terrorist attack and murder of our ambassador. I see this stuff, and am astounded that the current poll numbers are as close as they are.

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Not Nabob November 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Sadly most Americans pay little attention to the day to day happenings that affect this country.. Busy playing games or messaging or whatever on their electronic gadgets in free time to notice their livelihood is being sucked from them. This country is the 21st century version of the Roman Empire.
Pilgrim.

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Michael Combs November 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

It’s Bush’s fault!

The buck stops with Bush!

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wolfgang Halbig November 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm

The Hurricane SANDY should have had F.E.M.A. better prepared. Yes, the President came to visit but went back home to his nice warm bed and food.

He left millions without power, gasoline, food and water.

Have we not learned yet as to what the response should be?

We know that there will be power outages.
We know that gasoline will be inn short supply.
We know food and water will be in short supply.
We know that a place to sleep will be in short supply.

Now knowing those facts what could they do before the hurricane strikes?

Have gasoline trucks fully loaded to dispense gasoline knowing that the power at gas stations may be out when needed in numerous hurricane struck areas.
Those trucks should have been filled and staged outside the disaster area for immediate relief.

Same for food and water.

Generators should have been provided as soon as possible in a staging area for those who could still use the generators in their home. Don’t wait ti’ll they have to go to Lowes.

I thought by now that we had a plan. Those Americans suffering today should not be dumpster diving for food.

That is not the America I know.

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vlutz November 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Maybe the Democrats are topping the Bush debacle in New Orleans – at least they had more help back then, looks like New York,a Democrat stronghold is being taken for granted…. by Democrats,wonder if they will ever wake up from their trance in NY,Democrats are using your loyalty,they care little for your safety,but watch,NY will be out there voting for that loser Obama on Tuesday again and forever, and they dare accuse Republicans as being stupid,look in the mirror New Yorkers,your loyal following means little to your party,the Democrats. They tell you they are doing you a favor giving you “free gas”, kind of shows you how low an opinion they think of your intelligence Good luck NY

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James Ahern November 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Aw, Bronco O. should name a Natural Disaster Czar along with the Business Czar, Jobs Czar and Utilities Czar. They collectively could hold never ending meetings at lucrative vacation hot spots (at tax payers expense, of course). This might not alleviate the misery from Sandy, but may boost allegiance to the Democratic Party, Mayor Bloomberg and last and definitely not least (size wise) Governor Christie.

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Dan Shays November 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Gas lines. Sacked embassies. Inept leadership. It feels like 1979 all over again.

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bob November 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

You don’t need power to pump gas. Just a hand pump—-1930s style I pumped a lot of gas by hand —-alot of work but can be done.

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