With just one week until election day, Hurricane Sandy is already having an impact on political campaigns. If power outages last a week, the effects could still reverberate on election day itself.
Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have suspended campaign activities as the Northeast braces for the storm.
With government shutdowns across the region, it also means that many early voting locations have temporarily shut down as well. Campaigns will have to curtail their door-to-door canvassing efforts. And news coverage that would normally be devoted to talking about the election will be spent talking about the storm. more >>
With Hurricane Sandy nearing landfall in the Northeast, some liberal publications have dug up old comments Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made about federal disaster aid. The debate over whether disaster aid is best administered by the federal government or state and private agencies resurfaces often during national disasters.
During a June 13, 2011, Republican presidential debate, Romney was asked about reducing the national debt. The host of the debate, CNN's John King, then asked if federal disaster aid is also an area where he would give more responsibility to the states.
"Absolutely," Romney answered. "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. more >>
Web users were in awe Monday morning of an image showing Honor Guards standing on duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in the face of adverse weather as Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast.
"Soldiers stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Guarded non-stop since 1948. In Sandy's path they continue," shared Kristy Bolsinger as she re-tweeted the popular image on Twitter.
Tyler Borchers was so impressed that he used only one word to react to the striking image: "Powerful." more >>
As Hurricane Sandy targets the East Coast, nearly 8,000 airline flights have been cancelled. Mass closures of schools and public transit systems have resulted; hundreds of thousands of residents have been told to evacuate their homes. Federal government offices in the Washington area are closed today. The New York Stock Exchange is closing its trading floor as well, its first weather-related closure in 27 years.
What does "Frankenstorm" mean for the presidential election, now just eight days away? Politico suggests five possibilities. One: it could slow Mitt Romney's momentum by lessening his ability to campaign in states affected by the storm. Two: it could give President Obama a natural advantage as he exercises his duties in response to the emergency. Three: it could affect last-minute TV ads, as people without power won't see them. Four: it won't affect early voting much, as most of the states in the storm's path allow such voting only for absentees. Five: it could hamper Democrats' efforts to get out their vote.
As our country braces for one of the most destructive storms in years, it's natural to ask: why would an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God allow such a disaster? If God is sovereign, he must either cause or allow all that happens. However, as I often say in dealing with evil and suffering, he then redeems for greater good all he allows. How might he redeem Hurricane Sandy? more >>
Residents along the East Coast of the U.S. who are in the predicted path of Hurricane Sandy have been marveling at the possibility of encountering what meteorologists and the media are calling the "perfect storm", "Frankenstorm" and a "snor'eastercane", due to the unusual combination of snow, flooding and high winds the storm is predicted to bring.
Hurricane Sandy, which has been barreling its way through the Caribbean at top speeds Thursday, was expected to soon impact the East Coast, eventually coming alongside Florida on Friday and reaching as far north as Massachusetts by next Tuesday, according to CNN.
The hurricane is said to bring by that time a combination of "steady gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and possibly snow," the Guardian reported in an article titled "Hurricane Sandy barrels towards the US – will it really be the end of days?" more >>
A report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that 2011's natural disasters each caused at least $1 billion in damage. Ranging from blizzards to brushfires, the collection of natural phenomena is costing American taxpayers in total $52 billion.
"In many ways, 2011 rewrote the record books," said Chris Vaccaro, a NOAA spokesperson, in an e-mail. "It's taken a huge financial toll with high economic losses and a heavy loss of life with more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and more than 8,000 people injured."
Vaccaro said his organization has overseen data collection on disasters as varied as blizzards, heat waves and floods since 1980. He said that a major factor in increasing damage and fatalities was La Nina, a cyclical climate pattern that reroutes typical storm patterns, sending them in unfamiliar directions. He said they hit high-population centers they'd normally leave alone. more >>