- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

“Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather,” says Al Gore, commenting on Hurricane Sandy in his personal blog.

“You can be sure that the ‘tabloid climatologists’ will pervert science and try to claim Sandy as some sort of ‘proof’ of man-made global warming. The new normal for climate activists is their ever shifting claims as they morph the entire anthropogenic global warming argument to focus on extreme weather,” offers Climate Depot founder Marc Morano, countering Mr. Gore, Meghan McCain and other “warmists” speaking out on the hurricane, plus the press coverage they engender.


Major weather events and catastrophes are tricky business for both President Obama and Mitt Romney. As Hurricane Sandy ebbs and cleanup continues, both Mssrs. Obama and Romney must appear presidential and authentically concerned with the outcome without appearing to be politically opportunistic or mawkish. NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd says it’s a “true high-wire act for President Obama and his administration every hiccup could get amplified; that’s the real political danger for the president. Then again, he has the bully pulpit and a job to do.”

Mr. Obama’s newly emerged alliance with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, meanwhile, plays well in Newark, as well as Peoria, Sandusky and Richmond. But Mr. Romney is not without his own finesse. His campaign was offering modest hurricane relief efforts four days ago, and ahead of the Obama campaign. And Mr. Romney has had his moments on camera in the last 24 hours where his leadership and sincerity were in evidence.

Mitt Romney, might be in the trickier spot,” Mr. Todd observes. “He has no job to do right now — he can’t look overtly political. Romney is doing a relief event, which means no politics. But the setting? It’s very political: Ohio.”


Forget voodoo economics. Zombie money helps the economy. While the National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend $8 billion on Halloween this year, other analysts put the figure at more than $10 billion, adding a spectrum of revelry expenditures that the retail group missed — including liquor sales, limousine and taxi fares, extra hotel expenses, food sales outside of candy, pumpkins, homemade costumes and tickets to commercial haunted houses, which amount to $500 million a year, according to the Haunted House Association, a very well organized industry group. Indeed, the walking dead have boosted the economy, and vampires certainly do not suck the life out of it.

“Back in 2011, we tallied up that zombies were worth more than $5 billion to the economy. That zombie tab has only grown, due to one more Halloween and due to more movies and events. Vampires were tallied up at about $10 billion to the economy, but they would also now be worth more because there has been one more Halloween, another ‘Twilight’ movie and on. As far as costumes, it is pretty funny that Big Bird costumes were reportedly sold out,” says Jon Ogg, an analyst with Wall Street 24/7.


“Which is scarier? Halloween, the current election or being buried alive? That’s what I have asked myself,” says Curtis Lovell, a California-based celebrity escape artist whose role model is the great illusionist Harry Houdini.

“I can freely answer this question, since I have been buried alive, locked inside boxes of water, hung upside-down from helicopters and even cut Paris Hilton in half,” Mr. Lovell tells Inside the Beltway. “You might think I belong in a straightjacket like the most rabid politicians.”

Well, maybe. He does have practical advice for those who feel that the shrill media, endless campaign ads and the presidential election are closing in on them.

“The key elements to any escape is to stay focused, don’t panic and do not to get permanently trapped,” Mr. Lovell advises voters. “And don’t allow all the tricky speeches, the political ads and political parties to trap you this election either. Go with your gut feeling and escape from the cuffs of the political madness and vote for who you feel is the right person.”


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