Josh Marshall checks in from the disaster:
What I found so surreal about this storm is that in Manhattan at least there really was barely a storm at all. For whatever reason, through the period when there was the worst part of the damage the ‘rain’ never got worse than maybe a slight drizzle. Really no more than that. It got windy. But not all that windy either — though there were definitely gusts that were quite unlike anything normal. So through Monday night everything was pretty normal — just a wet and dreary Fall evening. Except for the fact that if you walked into certain parts of the city, you walked into the ocean.
It was a vaguely carnival-like atmosphere. Certainly it was the topography. But the water had stopped right at the eastward edge of 10th Avenue, almost like the cops had told it: this far, no further bub. A scattered crowd of people were out just taking in the sight. Cars who apparently hadn’t heard we were in the midst of a Hurricane kept coming up only to be turned around by two or three NYPD cars there to block off the area. Oh, then there’s that woman riding up the avenue on her bicycle. Over the bullhorn the cops let her know that that probably wasn’t a hot idea since the water can be electrified.
Meanwhile, Paul Krugman wonders why the right wingers hate FEMA:
So let me just take a moment to flag an issue others have been writing about: the weird Republican obsession with killing FEMA. Kevin Drum has the goods: they just keep doing it. George Bush the elder turned the agency into a dumping ground for hacks, with bad results; Clinton revived the agency; Bush the younger ruined it again; Obama revived it again; and Romney — with everyone still remembering Brownie and Katrina! — said that he wants to block-grant and privatize it. (And as far as I can tell, even TV news isn’t letting him Etch-A-Sketch the comment away).
There’s something pathological here. It’s really hard to think of a public service less likely to be suitable for privatization, and given the massive inequality of impacts by state, it really really isn’t block-grantable. Does the right somehow imagine that only Those People need disaster relief? Is the whole idea of helping people as opposed to hurting them just anathema?
The only thing that makes sense is, there's a lot of profit in helping disaster victims, isn't there?