I spoke to the president three times yesterday… I said, if you can expedite designating New Jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us to get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to help clean up the damage here. The president was great last night. He said he would get it done. At 2 a.m. I got a call from FEMA to answer a couple of final questions and then he signed the declaration this morning. So I have to give the president great credit. He’s been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He’s been very attentive, and anything that I’ve asked for, he’s gotten to me. So, I thank the president publicly for that. He’s done — as far as I’m concerned — a great job for New Jersey.New Jersey Governor Chris Christie • Lauding President Obama’s attentiveness in the face of Hurricane Sandy, in an interview on Fox and Friends this morning. Christie’s rhetoric on the President’s leadership abilities hasn’t always been so glowing — back in May, he excoriated Obama as “walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch of leadership.” But now, faced with a climactic disaster in his state, Christie and Obama have made nice, to the vast betterment of the citizens of his state. Obviously, holding off on political rivalries during such a chaotic and traumatic event is the right thing to do, but Christie deserves a major measure of credit for recognizing Obama’s efforts for his state. When asked whether Mitt Romney would tour some storm sites, he went much further than he needed to, showing a sincerity unbound by partisan priority: “…I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff.” source
The rest of the family members miraculously were virtually unscathed — a couple of scratches, but nothing to them. What they have is the horror of what happened to the two boys.New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Larry Ragonese • On the death of two young cousins, aged 2 and 7, at that state’s Parvin State Park very early Saturday morning. A tree fell on top of the family, which was huddled together in a single tent amidst the storm. It’s just one of the tragedies of the extreme weather seen along the East Coast this weekend, a mixture of incredibly strong storms and record heat. In Atlanta, for example, it hit 106 degrees yesterday, an all-time record for the city. Power grids remained severely damaged throughout the region, and many were suffering from heat exhaustion, which led to the deaths of two young boys in Tennessee. Just a tip to everyone: Find AC and stay inside, but don’t be jerks to each other.
I think it’s the best vacation ever. This is what the real world is about. There’s a lot of people that need help.New Jersey resident Mark Stein • Discussing the outcome of his family’s planned vacation in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The Steins arrived in Manitou Springs just after midnight on Saturday for a week of hiking, whitewater rafting, and more. Unfortunately, 15 minutes after falling asleep, they were forced to evacuate along with many residents of the city. Now they’re helping people who aren’t nearly as fortunate as they are — people who lost their homes and lives. It’s nice to know that some people still see the bigger picture, isn’t it? source (via • follow)
» The AP also reports that federal authorities no longer plan to attempt to deport Ravi to Pakistan, where he is currently a citizen. LGBT groups have decried the move, including Garden State Equality Chairman Steven Goldstein who called the release “practically a Monopoly game’s ‘get out of jail free’ card — a travesty of justice.”