Tag Archives: derecho

Hurricane Sandy: Obama’s Social–Worker–in–Chief Moment

Obama urging the National Weather Service to find more bad weather before the election.

Obama urging the National Weather Service to find more bad weather before the election.

Hurricane Sandy — much like Barack Obama — turned out to be an over–hyped phenomenon that failed to deliver. Our portion of the storm in Northern Virginia was so weak the Multicultural Commissars didn’t even bother to give it a Hispanic name, like last summer’s “derecho” (formerly known as “severe thunderstorm”).

I tried to lend a hand and come up with a culturally–sensitive name, but Spanish for “Sandy” is still “Sandy,” making it tough to appear cutting edge during a TV broadcast.

“Hurricane” translates as “huracán” and the resulting “Huracán Sandy” fails to advance the cause of linguistic arrogance. It doesn’t compare with changing the perfectly good name of “Bombay” to “Mumbai.” All that did was confuse millions of Americans looking for a particular large city in India. (The Indians already knew where it was.)

Besides, where does one draw the line? Does the “pecan sandie” cookie become the “sandie pacana?”

There were houses smashed by downed trees in my neighborhood — certainly a disaster for the affected homeowners — but nothing to compare with the “derecho.”

Even during the height of the hype, my household preparations were limited to bracing for a potential power outage. Since our family has never associated bowel movements with natural disasters, we even missed the ‘Assault on Food Lion.’ Because we don’t feel compelled to buy a pallet–load of toilet paper anytime it’s overcast for three consecutive days.

The local paper wrote of a Dominion Power repairman that just missed being drowned by rising floodwaters. But who noticed the unsung American Disposal Services crews braving wind and rain to pick up household trash during the beginning of the blow? While government employees, enjoying the shutdown, watched from their front window.

Naturally Obama’s media amen chorus and the administration itself, are doing their best to politicize the storm. There was extensive damage in New Jersey and New York. So the WaPost proclaims, “Storm provides Obama with a commander–in–chief moment.” Which only goes to show the mainstream media (MSM) thinks we’ll believe anything.

The attack on the consulate in Libya provided Obama with a genuine “commander–in–chief” moment where he could have affected events on the ground, which is something “commanders” do. But Obama failed miserably.

Hurricane Sandy provides him with a Social–Worker–in–Chief moment, a situation with which community organizers are much more comfortable. Obama took a helicopter tour while the wind was still blowing. Yet FBI investigators had to wait weeks before they could visit the ruined consulate in Libya, only to discover the scene hopelessly compromised by hundreds of journalists and sightseers who didn’t wait for administration approval.

And to show benighted conservatives how fortunate we are to have Obama in the White House, the WaPost adds: “Rarely, if ever, has a president had to deal with such a major disaster so close to Election Day…”

What’s “rare” — in fact unprecedented — is the MSM allowing an administration to take a bye on a disaster like Libya so close to an election. Governors in New York and New Jersey call Obama for help and he’s Johnny–on–the–spot. SEALs in Libya call for backup during an attack that kills four Americans, including the ambassador, and get an administration brush off.

If only Libya had a few more votes in the Electoral College.

The story also includes a breathless blow–by–blow of his day.  During a videoconference Obama uses the MSNBC slogan as he orders the bureaucracy to “lean forward on this.”

Then he holds a conference call with utility executives and “underscore(s) the urgency of restoring electricity,” as if the people at PEPCO were unaware their customers depend on electric power.

This is busy work in a pathetic effort to look engaged and presidential. It compares unfavorably with Obama’s trip to a Las Vegas fundraiser the evening we learned of Ambassador Stevens’ death.

The New York Times editorial page weighed in with, “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” possibly indicating the NYT believes severe weather to be a recent invention.

Maybe they have a point. How could we do without FEMA officials “embedded in states’ emergency operations centers” getting the latest from local police, local fire and local officials. Then trying to decide how to give tax dollars taken from the states, back to the states after Uncle Sam has taken his cut for overhead, motivational speakers and government employee awards.

How did we survive disasters before Jimmy Carter’s FEMA got involved?

When I think of the abandoned buildings, the decaying harbor and the rusting trolley cars — all this could have been prevented if only Washington had helped after the San Francisco earthquake.

To say nothing of the vast desert, formerly known as Chicago, after the fire of 1871…

Participants Revolt Against The Derecho Project

Sustainable Living: So simple a caveman can do it!

Sustainable Living: So simple a caveman can do it!

It’s unfortunate The Derecho Project — the largest urban global warming mitigation experiment in history — has proven to be an abject failure. Really a shame, too since the project’s design was almost perfect.

The sample was composed of liberal environmentalists in Maryland, D.C. and Arlington who should have been eager to personally have a role in reducing the nation’s carbon footprint.

Final selection for participation in The Derecho Project was entirely random: if a tree fell and knocked out a family’s power, they instantly became part of the sample. No lengthy interviews, affirmative action hurdles or concerns about income disparities since the threat of climate change demands immediate action.

It was a golden opportunity for “green voters” and anyone with an authentic Ken Salazar 10–gallon hat to put their lifestyle where their affectations are. It’s no longer enough to read the Chevy Volt review in the Consumer Reports Auto issue and dream of becoming a climate warrior.

Over one million Maryland, District and Northern Virginia residents were saved the trouble of traveling to the Amazon to sample carbon–neutral living at its finest. This eminently sustainable lifestyle was right here and didn’t involve an encounter with touchy–feely TSA guards. But what did progressives do when they were finally on the front lines of the battle against climate change?

These green exemplars didn’t behave any better than warmist deniers. They huddled in the nearest Starbucks and whined on their Facebook pages about the inhuman hardships they were suffering, all the while estimating how long it would be until the truffles defrost.

If these had been conservatives instead of “environmentally conscious Democrats” they could have turned a quick profit by selling carbon offsets until power was restored. (Then used the money to buy a gasoline generator in preparation for the next Act of Pepco.)

The eagerness of these progressives to re–embrace the electric power grid made them no different from the conservative control group that continued to use electricity blissfully unaware of how their selfish lifestyle threatens to submerge the Solomon Islands beneath the Pacific.

Where were the hardy greens recharging their iPads with solar panels, cooling their house with wind power, enjoying a siesta to adapt their body clocks to new temperature realities and using methane gas from their compost heap to cook dinner?

These examples were nowhere to be found. MD, VA and DC progressives weren’t any more prepared for sustainable living than your average Wal-Mart shopper. Instead we read about extension cords from houses with power snaking across driveways, alleys and streets to reach those without power. Which sounds a lot more like a PWC trailer park than it does Takoma Park.

Having sampled for a week the carbon–neutral lifestyle their environmental policies would condemn third–world residents to for a lifetime, progressives are now screaming for vengeance on any and all power companies.

The WaPost quotes Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D–Tumbrel) demanding Pepco be hit with large fines. “You get to $20 million, you get to $30 million, to $40 million, then you start getting people’s attention,” Berliner said as he confused a quasi–judicial proceeding with an auction.

Large fines sound good and make for a great copy point in a re–election brochure, but fines alone won’t bring true accountability, because a fine doesn’t hold those at the top personally accountable.

The top executives don’t pay fines. The money comes out of stockholder dividends, which in turn penalizes investors — who may have been out of power themselves — and pension plans. The executives have to answer hostile questions during hearings and may hear rumblings in board meetings, but that’s about it.

Real accountability only comes when the executive feels your pain. My solution is any time more than 500 customers lose power, regardless of the reason, regulators flip a switch and all Pepco’s top executives lose power, too.

The executive’s electricity returns after the last customer rejoins the grid.

Finally, am I the only conservative bothered by the media’s use of the term “derecho?” What happened to “severe thunderstorms?” When I was a boy in Oklahoma — one of the largest consumers of thunderstorms and tornadoes in the nation — weather poodles never used this word.

But now its suddenly “derecho” this and “derecho” that. Could it be because “derecho” is also the Spanish word for “right turn?” Is this yet another mainstream media attempt to persuade the public to subconsciously associate conservatives (the “right wing”) with disaster and privation?

How about using the German word for environmentalist? If we’re going foreign, “umweltschützer” not only has that continental flair, but just saying it sounds like thunder in the distance.