Hurricane Irene and the Financial Crisis

Two disasters, partially of the government's own making

Watching Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York order businesses to close and citizens to evacuate their homes in advance of Tropical Storm Irene reminded me of the actions taken by President George W. Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis. 

The similarities are striking. In both the financial crisis and Irene, the government actions taken were exceptional and involved depriving people of private property without the due process required under the Fifth Amendment.

In the financial crisis, Bush and Paulson seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in what Paulson later described as an ambush. They did in essence the same thing at AIG, without shareholder approval, in what AIG’s former chairman Maurice Greenberg, a large shareholder, has called a violation of the law of Delaware, in which AIG was incorporated. 

In Irene, the mayor and the governor took away not a company that belonged to shareholders, but rather the use of apartments and houses and commercial properties that had been owned or rented by individuals.

In both the financial crisis and Irene, the justification for these extraordinary actions was the ultimately un-provable contention that without them, things would have been even worse. Paulson wrote that he had “no other choice” to “protect free enterprise capitalism” from the risk of a catastrophic global meltdown. Bloomberg reportedly “decided that the risk of inaction was intolerable,” with his defenders evoking New York City underwater in a Katrina-style deadly disaster. 

In both the financial crisis and Irene, political party labels were largely irrelevant. The fact that Paulson and Bush were from the putatively pro-free-market Republican Party did not stop them from seizing companies, and the fact that Christie is a Republican and Bloomberg is a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent did not stop them from ordering people out of their homes. 

In both cases, the actions were spurred and facilitated by a pliant press. With Irene, the Weather Channel played the role that CNBC did in the financial crisis, the wind-blown reporters in waterfront storm gear standing in for the business reporters reporting from stock-exchange trading floors. Just as Paulson’s actions attracted little criticism from major press outlets across the political spectrum, Mayor Bloomberg’s shutdown of New York City was hailed, with a news article-valentine in The New York Times describing him as “a decisive crisis manager” and “a reassuring father-figure” who “had done much to repair his reputation for C.E.O.-style leadership.” 

In both cases, there was a display of faith in central planning as opposed to Hayekian distributed knowledge. Rather than letting shareholders or market forces decide the fate of AIG, Fannie, or Freddie, the government stepped in. And rather than letting individuals decide whether to stay or go ahead of Irene, the government made the decision for them. 

In both situations, there is an argument that the government’s actions actually made things worse. In the financial crisis, the seizures probably contributed to the sense of crisis and panic and made it harder for other financial institutions to raise capital. Layoffs and the stock market decline both got worse after the AIG and Fannie and Freddie seizures. Bloomberg argues that the evacuations saved lives, and perhaps they did. But there was a large cost to shutting down New York City and the Jersey shore for an entire weekend. Some individuals may have left New York City or the New Jersey coast for other places, such at Vermont or the Catskills, that turned out to be hit even worse by the storm. 

In both events, unelected technocrats played a big role. In the financial crisis, it was Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner, who stayed on after the Bush administration to serve President Obama. In Irene, it was the meteorologists and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, William Craig Fugate, an Obama appointee whose prior job was as director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management under Florida’s Republican governor, Jeb Bush. 

In both cases, critics of the government’s actions are marginalized in the political and press conversation as a wild-eyed extremist, anarchist, fringe. Yet who were the real destroyers of order here—the skeptics, or those in government who use a predicted emergency to seize property and power, close businesses, or force people from their homes? 

Ira Stoll is editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com and author of Samuel Adams: A Life.

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  • White Indian||

    Fiat Money is a disaster, just like fiat agriculture.

    Individual empires have suffered cyclical collapse since civilization began. The Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires are classical examples. These civilized empires initially expanded, funded by their base of arable land, grazing areas and forests. As they reached out, conquering new lands and peoples, their growth was fueled by slave labor and appropriated resources. Their growth continued until the ecological base of the empire was exhausted. At that point, the empires imploded. Sumeria and Babylonia stripped their lands through overgrazing and deforestation. This brought down huge amounts of erosion material that threatened the irrigation works. They also inexorably salinized their soil by irrigation.

  • Nah||

    "the First Families land, with Land Title from a big-government "

    1) Why is it the "First Families land?" What property of being on it first grants eternal ownership?

    2) The so called, but historically inaccurate "First Families" have no title at all. None, so they have no ownership whatsoever.

  • White Indian||

    You had to slaughter them, commit genocide, to invade and occupy it, right? And completely annihilate their Non-State society, right?

    That's the way agricultural civilization (City-State) works. It's externally aggressive and internally repressive.

    EnTitlement only equals abstract ownership in a City-Statist society.

    "Nah" is a Statist bootlicker.

  • ||

    HEY YA HEY YA HEY YA WHITE INDIAN HEAP GOOD AT TROLLING HE INVOKE SPIRIT GUIDE IN WARPATH AGAINST LIBERTARIANS

  • anon||

    We could've done all those things. Good thing we mostly bought the land from them.

  • Nah||

    You still didn't answer the question.

  • White Indian||

    Nah, just because a woman doesn't understand security well enough, leaves her door open, and gets raped, doesn't mean the rapist was somehow "right" in raping her.

    The First Families were deliberately killed and driven off. When you have to do that - you're wrong morally.

    So, yes, I answered your question.

  • Custer||

    We missed one! Oh well, he is a most ignorant POS.

  • ||

    I am so goddamned sick of this romanticized narrative of Indians. They lost. That simple. Like lots of peoples in lots of parts of the world. There was a battle and they lost it.

    Besides, they routinely killed each other, often committing atrocities to the losing tribe; they were basically nomads, like the Americas version of the Huns; and they no ownership of anything.

  • White Indian||

    Libertarian/Neo-Con argument of "might makes right."

    Yeah, you're goddam sick of it, because you throw away your Non-Aggression principle in a New York second when it comes to grabbing more stuff.

    Basically, the agricultural City-State (civilization) is aggressively invasive, and occupational. No, paleolithic people were not as violent as "civilized."

    You're just talking out your neo-con ass, not knowing a single anthropological or archeological shred of empirical data that debunks your lies.

  • ||

    I agree with you that it sucks that white people invented tribalism and injected it into what had been a perfect world, but all the baddies who did that stuff are long since dead. What are you gonna do with your pet angries? Invent a time machine to go back and punish the offenders?

  • anon||

    Most species fight over their domain, not just homo-sapiens. Come on scrub, get your shit together before accusing others.

  • anon||

    Fuck, come to think of it, even PLANTS fight for scarce resources (light, water). You're a fucking moron.

  • Sy||

    they also lick their own assholes

  • Pip||

    "You had to slaughter them, commit genocide, to invade and occupy it, right? And completely annihilate their Non-State society, right?"

    Right, because every square inch of North America was covered, COVERED, with Indians. Just like ants on a piece of candy.

  • Custer||

    Flies on shit! Smell same, too.

  • Sy||

    Well yes. Part of the reason the colonies were so succesful was because after disease took out 98% of the coastal indian population they had cleared land and infrastructures to serve as a template.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Fiat Money is a disaster, just like fiat [sic] agriculture.


    You can't even handle semantics.

  • White Indian||

    You can't handle semantics, evidently.

    Fiat means "by command."

    Fiat money, you're familiar with.

    Totalitarian agriculture, or "fiat agriculture," is what I'm comparing with fiat money.

    Now go suck more City-Statist dick, Old Mexican.

  • Custer||

    USSR fiat ag, US not so much.

  • anon||

    Yeah. Because billions of people starving to death would be -real- cool.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm looking forward to seeing Fiats on American roads again, though I admit just to see how fast the new ones break down compared to the older ones.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    " just like fiat agriculture."

    Fiat agriculture?

    I never knew Italian cars grew out of the ground.

    Does that work for German, Japanese and Korean cars too?

  • ||



    The Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires are classical examples.
    ~ White Indian

    The well-known Ancient Babylonia of Hammurabi happened about 1770 B.C. It is not a classical example.

    The Greco-Roman world, which happened between the 8th century B.C. and 5th century A.D., would be construed as a classical example.

  • White Indian||

    Wrong, dipshit.

    "Serving as a standard, model, or guide: the classic method of teaching arithmetic" is a primary meaning.

    "Of or pertaining to Greek and Roman antiquity, especially with reference to literature and art" is a secondary meaning.

  • ||

    We must order people to evacuate. Injuries would have a significant impact upon interstate commerce when the injured seek medical treatment. The government must regulate all interstate commerce. Everything not forbidden is henceforth complusory.

  • ||

    I eagerly await Krugman's lament that Irene didn't destroy Manhattan.

  • Everyone you know||

    We eagerly await your painful demise.

  • Almanian||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! GOOD ONE! MOAR PLEAZ!

  • Almanian||

    Also:

    PWNED

  • ||

    Obsess much? From a smartphone? Projection is fucking hilarious.

  • Warty||

    No, no, idiot. We're the ones who are obsessed.

  • ||

    Right, of course. We're obsessed, even though we're not the ones who continue trying to post after being banned. From a smartphone. Got it.

  • ||

    Your never-ending psychodrama with the phantom "rectal" is fascinating. Of course it is not you who is obsessed. Your incessant chatter about it proves it conclusively.

  • Truth||

    We're obsessed

    no do in this fight, but you're here pretty much every fucking day, saying you're not obsessed because someone else is a little more obsessed is like saying you're not an addict because you only suck dick, while someone else goes around the world.

    Stop deluding yourself.

  • Etc.||

    +1

  • Derivative||

    I'd rather say that whole weather system is biased toward disaster rather than just blame Bbg or Christie.

    Calling a Cat 1 a "major hurricane." The over extension of the Feds. Etc, Etc.

    If you ran a major tri-state area nightmare of a public transit system, would you go all anarcho-libertarian when your weather.com screen shows you a picture of a storm half the length of the east coast?

  • O2||

    ive been thru a cat 1 on the gulf coast. its strong & goes on for hours

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Double Asshole,

    ive been thru a cat 1 on the gulf coast. its strong & goes on for hours


    And you wet yourself. How sad.

    I've been through two Cat 3 that made their mark in a city 200 miles INLAND, with record flooding: Monterrey, MX. You're a pussy.

  • Nah||

    I've been through three since 2004.

    ALL of which "made their mark in a city 200 miles INLAND".

    YOU sir, are the pussy.

  • ||

    I went through the worst part of hurricane fucking Andrew. Whole neighborhoods destroyed. Ships left on the shore. Fucking 2x4s through trees and shit.

    The worst part about Andrew though wasn't the storm; it was the shotgun pointed at my 16 year old head by officer friendly because I was outside on my own property after curfew.

    Anyone who would argue that a cat 1 is a major hurricane is a dumbass.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    I've lived on the gulf coast all my life and have experienced many hurricanes and tropical storms. We would throw parties and have a good time while category 1 storms passed.

    Since today is the 6th anniversary of Katrina I will admit that I evacuated for that bitch.

  • Mensan||

    Back in 2004 I went through a Cat 4, a Cat 2, and a Cat 3 over the course of 6 weeks. We were without power for 3 to 6 days after each one. The only damage was the gutters and some shingles were ripped off the roof, and six large oak trees in the yard blew over (four were uprooted, two broke in half).

    That same summer my brother rode out Ivan in Pensacola which took off the entire second floor of his apartment building, and leveled the place where he worked, so he was left homeless and unemployed.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    Living on the MS coast, I remember that year. Florida caught hell.

  • Top This||

    I once drank 5 hurricanes and fucked a double amputee.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'll bet the cat didn't enjoy it as much as you thought it did, stOOpid.

  • ||

    I eagerly await Krugman's lament that Irene didn't destroy Manhattan.

    One cannot be wrong *all* the time.

    Not even Krugabe.

  • White Indian||

    Krugbutt's "broken window fallacy" is as stupid as asserting that cutting down the forests and ecologically degrading the land base is development: the "development fallacy."

    It's amazing how civilized people equate destruction to opportunity to profit, but I don't see you're any better than Krugabe.

  • Nah||

    "the First Families land, with Land Title from a big-government "

    1) Why is it the "First Families land?" What property of being on it first grants eternal ownership?

    2) The so called, but historically inaccurate "First Families" have no title at all. None, so they have no ownership whatsoever.

  • White Indian||

    I answered your question above.

    You libertarians propertarians are always trying to fuck people with your trickery and fine print "contracts" and bullshit.

    You'll go as far as sadistically beating the shit out of a "slave mom" with a sick child, because you consider her your "property."

    Yeah, you're sick in head defending genocide with legalistic crap.

    If voluntary slavery is legal, we can consummate this financial arrangement, to our mutual gain. If not, not, to the great loss of both of us. Slave-master Rafe would never shell out the cold cash if, after he paid, I could haul him into court on assault and battery charges when he whipped me. Then, without this financial arrangement...

    Voluntary Slave Contracts
    by Walter Block
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block134.html

    Financial arrangement indeed.

    Ya'll are like the war street banksters of morality. Lower than whale shit in the Mariana Trench.

  • White-Feather-up-my-ass||

    Our first families had property and you took it away. Waaaaaaaaahhhhhh. Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who the hell is talking about cutting down "all the forests"?

    Dumbshittery abounds.

  • anon||

    I really like how White Trash never engages me. I guess he finally understands how futile and absurd his straw man arguments really are.

  • creech||

    I swear I saw the local news interview any number of people at the Jersey Shore who stayed in their houses in defiance of "orders." Was there any instances of people being carted away at gunpoint for saying they would remain at home?

  • ScottyB||

    None. In fact, Bloomberg stated explicitly that they will not be arresting anyone or forcing anyone to move.

    I find it pretty amazing that people can find fault with how various local, state, and the fed gov't handled this potentially horrible situation. Even limited-gov types need to recognize that disaster preparedness is one of the most valid functions of gov. Jeesh.

  • Mensan||

    That's what was confusing me about the article. Having grown up and spent most of my adult life in Florida, I'm pretty familiar with hurricane evacuations. I've always understood a mandatory evacuation to mean that if you choose to stay, you're on your own, and no emergency workers will be coming to help you if you get into trouble.

  • Realist||

    Did it ever cross your mind to use your own head? It was obvious the was way over hyped!

  • ScottyB||

    Where do you live? The damage is really extensive in the NYC suburbs, NJ, LI and upstate. Was not overhyped here at all.

  • ||

    What do you cOnsider "extensive". Because a tropical storm isn't capable of "extensive" damage.

  • BigT||

    Covered bridges washed away in VT

  • Realist||

    OMG! The humanity???? LOL

  • Realist||

    Please!!!

  • Jeff P.||

    Did anyone hear an EAS alert? Nice to know weekly tests weren't for nothing...

  • Mo||

    The "mandatory" evacuations were not people getting kicked out, it was the government telling people that if you're in trouble, we're not risking money or lives to save your stupid ass, which is perfectly legit.

    What is the argument that the warnings may have made things worse during Irene? Some people may have gone to places harder hit? That's quite an argument.

  • ||

    What is the argument that the warnings may have made things worse during Irene? Some people may have gone to places harder hit? That's quite an argument.

    How about people now having a seriously naive understanding of the strength of a hurricane when a tropical storm is mis-labeled? How about all of the problems that inevitably come with crying wolf? How about next time there is a weather emergency people will have less of a sense of urgency when evacuating. How about every dollar spent on a summer storm is one fewer dollars to spend on a real emergency?

  • Mo||

    About a quarter of my office isn't in today because of downed power lines and the commuter rails are not running because of mudslides, flooding and downed wires. So, while the effects were not as bad as they could have been, there was still significant damage. Also, as of midnight before it hit NYC, it was still hurricane strength and expected to keep that power through the city. We were fortunate that it weakened up the coast.

  • Realist||

    "About a quarter of my office isn't in today because of downed power lines and the commuter rails are not running..." Those loser fucks are just taking advantage of the pussies "running" the east coast governments.
    Transportation isn't running because the government shut it down!

  • V||

    In some places the tracks were flooded and blocked by downed trees. Living in NYC, I say it would have been absolutely absurd to have public transportation running during the storm.

  • Jennifer||

    Yeah, I'm quick to criticize the government in most situations, but criticizing the response over Irene is ridiculous. It's not possible to predict hurricanes with 100 percent accuracy, for one thing. I personally suffered no ill effects from the storm (I live in central Connecticut about 30 miles inland from Long Island Sound), so my personal preparations turned out to be unnecessary, but less than a mile from me there are major roadways not merely flooded, but completely washed out. About one-fifth of my city is still without electric power, a couple of buildings in town collapsed into the river, and poor Vermont got slammed much harder than anyone expected. The idea that no warnings about this hurricane were necessary because it only gave New York City a grazing rather than a gut-punch is ludicrous.

  • ||

    Sorry, this is a vast stretch.

    Evacuation orders of urban areas have become more strident because of New Orleans. Seeing bodies floating in the street while schoolbuses line a flooded parking lot has been (rightly) deemed a gross failure of good governence. The weather forecasters overshot the storm severity, but had this come ashore in New York as a strong Cat 2 or weak Cat 3, this article wouldn't have been written.

  • anon||

    Ahhh the old "it could have been worse!" logic.
    I could've been hit by a bus on the way to work today. should we consider banning buses?

  • jacob the barbarian||

    Krugabe was right. A solid Cat 3, and we could have had a much needed population draw down. Think of all the economic activity it would have spawned? The broken windows alone could have saved O'bumbles presidency, and our march towards Socialist Utopia. Expecting people to fend for themselves is racist.

    Now, the bodies floating in the water that could easily be blamed on either the T-party, deniers or GWB. The trifecta would be blame all three. This storm was caused by T-partiers drving to their SUV's to their riots at congressional townhalls, and going to vote last fall. Their SUV's need to be impounded for the good of the mankind and the children. Al Gore is correct, all deniers are racists.

    George Bush is always wrong, but, talking about private property like as if it belongs to the individual and not to the state is beneath contempt. The premise of this article is racist.

  • anon||

    I often wonder if the entire concept of "private property" is not considered treasonous by the current administration. Or any recent administration for that matter.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    that's because you are not willing to sacrifice. Death to all the traitorous running dog speculators!

  • White Savage||

    Agree. No property (except it belonged to us first)

  • Realist||

    Anything that reduces the number of chickenshit, liberal New Yorkers is a good thing.

  • Tony||

    Government literally cannot win this here. If there were bodies in the streets, who'd get the blame?

  • jacob the barbarian||

    I would blame you.

  • ||

    You argue this was a no-win situation. This means there was no right move. If there was no right move, the gov did not make a good move. Unless the gov made a good move, it is stupid and pointless to congratulate em.

  • Tony||

    Actually I take it back. Libertarians wouldn't blame government if there had been disaster. What are they gonna bitch about, not enough FEMA funding?

    To libertarians, Katrina was the model of how society should handle natural disasters, I guess.

  • ||

    Wasn't there a mandatory evacuation for Katrina? Was that a good move? Did the city, state, and federal govt. do a good job in that case?

  • ||

    katrina was basically a model of what happens when a society that was never weaned from the govt tit faces a situation where personal responsibility is involved.

    It was interesting how Ray Nagin always seemed cool and dry.

  • Tony||

    I find that depending on people's personal responsibility will usually result in disappointment.

  • ||

    Um, no. Katrina was greatly worsened by FEMA's failures. FEMA actively prohibited local and private aid after Katrina, despite its own failure to help. That's right - centralized government monopolizing the lack of help to hurricane victims.

  • ||

    The way I recall, the govt. ordered a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans... but people were very disappointed in how the govt organized the evacuation. People were also upset with how the govt failed to maintain the levees built by the Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to a 60s federal program. I have a foggy memory of a tribunal finding the govt at fault for bad levee maintanience or something. I know people were and are very upset with how the govt managed the whole situation. Weren't some uniformed NOPD cops convicted of murdering evacuees trying to cross a bridge? I remember that the Dept of Homeland Security tried to take charge but the gov. of Louisiana fought to keep control.

    Anyway, it's been 6 years so my memory is a bit sketchy. Possibly the disaster was caused by libertarianism run amok.

  • Realist||

    Blame??? Blame??? Credit you mean!

  • ||

    Al, stop. As with Katrina, those in Irene's path had several days to make a decision. Hurricanes don't sneak up on anyone. If you are on the coast, it is a good idea to go inland; if you don't, have provisions and understand you'll be on your own for a while. Floating bodies are not indicative of bad govt; they are indicative of people either not paying attention to what was happening or being unable to do anything for themselves, in NOLA'S case, the latter.

  • Carol||

    Exactly. Further, hurricane season comes around every single year. If you live on the coast (I do) and you don't prepare then you have no one to blame but yourself. Not being a victim isn't rocket science but it does involve taking responsibility.

  • Mr. Soul||

    Was there a course of action open to both Christie & Bloomberg that would have been correct in both circumstances (deluge & nothing)? I think so. Stating a bad storm is coming and your on your own. They do not have the right to mandate me from my home.

  • Carol||

    You are under no obligation to go anywhere during a mandatory evacuation. I stayed put during Charley. If you decide not to go you accept that you are on your own. Admittedly there are wusses that change their mind once it is too late but there's not much that can be done about that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

  • ||

    Eeee....I dunno. I wouldn't equate a mandatory evacuation with seizing banks. Perhaps the mandatory evacuation was wrong but it's certainly nowhere near the level of wrong that seizing banks/AIG were. Not even close.

  • ||

    In Irene, the mayor and the governor took away not a company that belonged to shareholders, but rather the use of apartments and houses and commercial properties that had been owned or rented by individuals.

    The governors and mayors did no such thing. Plenty of people stayed in their places and kept their stores open. What a stupid horse shit of an article!

  • ||

    This article makes little sense. After Katrina we criticized Mayor Nagin for not evacuating soon enough. Now you are criticizing Christie and Bloomquist for not making the same possible mistake. Sure it turned out fine but if you were in their position would you take the chance? What's worse cleaning up some mess or trying to find humans still alive which thus detracts from everything else? So long as there was no forced evacuation I think they did the right thing.

  • O2||

    evac deniers should be fire-hosed into a FEMA camp & waterboarded till they fess-up...plus their guns confiscated

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Double Asshole,

    evac deniers should be fire-hosed into a FEMA camp & waterboarded till they fess-up...plus their guns confiscated


    And "reeducated" - don't forget that, oh fascist one.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The stOOpid is strong in this thread.

  • Realist||

    "After Katrina we criticized Mayor Nagin for not evacuating soon enough."
    Speak for yourself. New Orleans is a shit hole and it is BELOW sea level. Any body who lives there is a god damn idiot.

  • ||

    The mandatory evacuation zones merely exist to provide a best guess of what areas will be dangerous to life and limb if the worst case scenario plays out. As was commented above, if you chose to stay in a mandatory evac zone, you are completely responsible for your own safety if things turn out badly. No first responders will be risked to save you.
    I've lived in mandatory evac zones in Florida, and the most that local authorities will do is urge you to leave. If you don't want to leave, they will be happy to lend you a permanent marker to write some identification on your leg, so that it will be easier to identify your body if the storm hits your area.
    Your property will not be confiscated, anymore than your property would be confiscated if there was a gas leak and you were ordered to move out of the danger zone until the leak is repaired.

  • T||

    The biggest issue, based on my experiences watching Galveston Island, is not the evacuation. It's getting back in after the storm. That's why a lot of us in Texas refuse to leave. They often won't let you go back to your own property for several days.

  • Spartacus||

    This happened in Florida too, after Charlie. Residents of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel weren't allowed back on for several days, and there was nearly an armed rebellion. Of course, if you had a boat, you could get back much more easily.

  • ||

    amen T...saw in Florida and on the NC coast. It's a lot easier to accept that power is going to be out for a couple of days, but you can start cleaning up almost immediately. Few days have nicer weather than the ones right after a hurricane.

  • ||

    Dept. of Futurespeak Memo:

    MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDER*

    (*evacuation 100% optional)

  • Old Mexican||

    In both the financial crisis and Irene, the government actions taken were exceptional and involved depriving people of private property without the due process required under the Fifth Amendment.


    What do you mean exceptional????

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "With Irene, the Weather Channel played the role that CNBC did in the financial crisis, the wind-blown reporters in waterfront storm gear standing in for the business reporters reporting from stock-exchange trading floors"

    This reminds of one unintentially funny episode I saw on the Weather Channel where one of the intrepid, wind-blown reporters stated editorializing about how dangerous and stupid it was for (other)people to be out there when he saw some big pick-up truck come up on the street behind him.

    Of course there has never been any necessity for reporters to be standing out in the wind either, since all the information they are imparting could just as easily be read off a teleprompter by somebody sitting in a studio.

  • T||

    Every schmuck reporter on a beach in a hurricane thinks they are going to be the next Dan Rather.

    I just enjoy watching them drink seawater. Watching Geraldo sputter his way up out of the drenching he got in Galveston during Rita was particularly sweet.

  • Wow||

    Ha ha! A tipped-over chair! 25 dead, massive flooding, millions without electricity...it never happened!

  • ||

    Please think of the children!!

  • Realist||

    "Watching Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York order businesses to close and citizens to evacuate their homes in advance of Tropical Storm Irene reminded me of the actions taken by President George W. Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis."
    But the government and media made the best of it. Now the state and local governments can claim billions in losses and use the federal money to buy more votes.

  • hmm||

    Subtext and picture win! What a most excellent choice.

  • BigT||

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
    H L Mencken

    More true every day. Media and govt both profit from perpetual crisis.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    FEMA: This is Peggy.
    Citizen: Peggy? OK. We need some relief, the dyke has broken and the town has flooded.

    FEMA: You should not use bad word. How did you break poor woman?
    Citizen: *thinking WTF! *saying: What poor woman?

    FEMA: dee dyke.
    Citizen: *thinking YOU MORON! *saying: Dyke is another word for Damn.

    FEMA: Now you use another bad word. Only nice speakings please.
    Citizen: YOU MORON!

    FEMA: You are crating hostiyle verk envorment.
    Citizen: What!!

    FEMA: Now will transfer to super genius manager.

    FEMA: Transfer!

    FEMA: Transfer!

    FEMA: Transfer!

    FEMA: Transfer!

    FEMA: This is Peggy.

    FEMA: Hello?

  • Blue sky||

    Winter is coming, we prepared a rich style, high inventory, high discount prices, attentive service to prepare for 2011 Christmas and New Year 2012, what are you waiting.

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