Hurricane Sandy has resurrected a debate about the proper role of government in disaster relief. Some argue that the disaster response proves the effectiveness of big government. Others say a federal role should be reserved for only the largest disasters, and, in some ways, federal government policy has done more harm than good.
An ideological split on the proper role of the federal government is illustrated this week in the debate over disaster relief by the editors of two of America's leading newspapers: the conservative Wall Street Journal and the liberal New York Times.
"A big storm requires big government," the NYT editors wrote Monday. They excoriated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for suggesting in a June 2011, primary debate that state governments and private organizations could provide effective aid at a lower cost than the federal government. more >>
As much of the U.S. took part in the usual Halloween festivities last night, residents in the Northeast were still coping with the widespread damage caused by the monster storm that hit Monday. By mid-evening Wednesday, the death toll from superstorm Sandy had reached 72 people and about 6 million homes were still without power.
Financial experts predicted an estimated $20 billion in damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in business loss as a result of the storm.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared that Halloween trick-or-treating be postponed until next Monday, saying that it was too dangerous for children to participate in the tradition while floodwaters, downed electrical wires, power outages and fallen trees continued to be a problem, various news agencies reported. more >>
Pennsylvania has been mostly leaning in President Barack Obama's direction during the presidential campaign. Recent polls, though, show the race within the margin of error for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Hurricane Sandy may have thrown an additional twist into the state's 20 Electoral College votes. The part of the state most impacted by the hurricane also happens to be one part where Obama gets much of his votes.
Pennsylvania, shaped like a rectangle, is favorable to Republicans in what is known as the "big T" -- across the top and down the middle; and, is favorable to Democrats in the two bottom corners -- the urban areas of Philadelphia to the east and Pittsburgh to the west.
Obama is leading in all the recent Pennsylvania polls, but within the margin of error. The Real Clear Politics average of five recent polls shows Obama leading by 4.6 percentage points, placing it in "toss up" category. The Philadelphia Inquirer shows Obama with the largest lead at six percentage points. Gravis Marketing shows Obama's smallest lead at three percentage points. more >>
As Americans throughout the East Coast reel from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the question many victims and viewers are asking is "Where was God?"
It's what many people ask in their hearts following a tragedy. Best-selling author Max Lucado sought to answer the question Tuesday as some 8 million people were left without power and at least 50 people were found dead.
"What we have seen off America's eastern coast, the disciples saw on the Galilean Sea," Lucado stated on his website. more >>
Christian relief organizations began to provide food and shelter along the U.S. East Coast to people suffering in the devastating aftermath of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday. By nightfall, the region's death toll reached nearly 50 people and millions remained without power or mass transit.
"We all watched this unique 'superstorm' coming from far off, and could see the potentially devastating course," said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, yesterday. "Sadly, it seems that the worst fears were realized and millions of people are now hurting as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I'm not sure that there are words that can adequately describe the enormity of this massive disaster. We'll do all we can in the face of this catastrophe to offer emotional and spiritual care and the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ."
The team's chaplains trained in crisis-response deployed Tuesday morning from Charlotte with three mobile office units, and were scheduled to head toward northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. After an initial assessment, additional chaplains will arrive from across the United States later this week, said leaders of the renowned evangelist's ministry. more >>
Despite early voting already in process in several states and Election Day just a short eight days away, both presidential candidates briefly suspended campaign activities as Hurricane Sandy came crashing into the Northeast coast on Monday. But now in the wake of Sandy, will Romney find it an uphill battle to re-engage voters and make his case on why he should be in the White House?
"Any forward momentum Romney had has now been halted. And President Obama's greatest campaign tool, Air Force One, has been grounded for the last two days," Republican strategist Scott Reed told Politico. Reed suggested the center of campaign activity would move to the Midwest and West in the final stretch, "Be prepared for non-stop campaigning the last four or five days."
Since President Obama's disastrous performance in the first presidential debate, Romney's campaign has been on an upward trajectory with only minor diversions, such as his 47 percent gaffe, which didn't slow his momentum much. The most recent Pew Forum poll showed Romney in a virtual dead-heat with President Obama in the most important of all swing states: Ohio. more >>