Friday, September 09, 2005

pinions of buddy don: a few questchuns

who shoulda led the effort to git reddy fer the hurricane everbidy knew wuz a'cummin?
  • the mayor of one of the cities that wuz hit?
  • the guvner of a state with a budget of $17 billions?
  • or the hed of the fedrull agency thats spozed to direck our efforts to manage emergencies?
fer that matter, duz innybidy know whut leadership wood even look lack?

after this:
Blanco declared a state of emergency on Aug. 26 -- a day before Bush declared a federal emergency in Louisiana. (You can see Blanco's official declaration in PDF format here; the Washington Post has corrected its article.) On Aug. 28 -- the day before Katrina made landfall -- Blanco followed her declaration with an official letter (PDF) to Bush that requested all manner of emergency supplies her state would need for the aftermath.

[George] Haddow [deputy chief of staff at FEMA under James Lee Witt] says that these requests should have been enough -- more than enough -- to prompt a full-scale federal response.
could it be this?
Under the Clinton administration's FEMA, with Witt as the head, a storm of Katrina's magnitude would have prompted federal and state officials to actually meet in order to coordinate their response. "You were all working together to anticipate needs," Haddow says. "You're all sitting in the same room when the things happened -- the Midwest flood, the Northridge quake, the Oklahoma City bombing and all the disasters we responded to. We were in the same room together and nobody had to point fingers."

Close coordination with state officials was key to the Clinton administration's capacity to act quickly in the heat of a disaster, Haddow says. "We had a really solid partnership, so we received solid, timely information from the ground. Then we managed that information and turned it into a mission assignment." In other words, when people on the ground needed something, they knew who in the federal government to ask, and when the federal government had extra resources at the ready -- cops from Chicago, say, or water from Wal-Mart -- it would know where to send them.
or wood it be this?
Contrast that situation to what happened after Katrina, when both Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, and Michael Brown, the FEMA director, admitted to several reporters that they had no idea that people were starving at the New Orleans Convention Center, even though the grim scene there had been played and replayed on television all day.

The Bush administration's distance from local disaster-relief officials is by design. From the moment Bush stepped into office, he's been determined to move away from the coordinated state/local/federal disaster-relief approach used by Clinton. Instead, as Joe Allbaugh, Bush's first FEMA dirctor, told a congressional panel in 2001, Bush wanted to pull the federal government out of the disaster-relief business and aimed to "restore the predominant role of state and local response to most disasters." The federal government became even less involved in natural disaster relief after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when FEMA's mission was shifted toward responding to terrorist attacks. In 2002, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA -- which Clinton had elevated to a Cabinet-level agency -- was made one department in the massive bureaucracy. As a result, although George W. Bush has a nickname for FEMA director Brown ("Brownie"), Brown enjoys far less clout under Bush than Witt enjoyed under Clinton, which Haddow says is an "incalculable loss of influence" for FEMA.
how did folks reack to real leadership when fema ackshly wurked? heres a eggzample of whut wuz writ in 1997 by a feller name of james bovard about clintons fema:
Since early 1993, the Clinton administration has delivered a total of over $25 billion in disaster aid, including over $7 billion from FEMA. From the beginning, Clinton understood the political possibilities of disaster relief. In an era when public perceptions are increasingly dominated by the television news, Clinton and his tear ducts have been in the right places at the right times.

In July 1993, massive floods struck the Midwest. ABC's Brit Hume reported that when Clinton visited Iowa flood victims, he was playing the role of the "comforter"-"almost the national chaplain to those in distress." The New York Times and USA Today ran a front-page picture of Clinton hugging a 24-year-old woman as she cried on his shoulder. Clinton promised Midwesterners at least $2.5 billion in aid and later upped the ante to over $4 billion.

When Clinton was asked whether the billions of dollars of flood relief would cost more in taxes, he answered,

"No, no. This is a one-shot, one-time expenditure that will slightly increase this year's deficit. But this year's deficit will still be much smaller than we thought it was going to be in January so we can manage it."

This is typical liberal magic economics-the notion that government can give away billions of dollars and yet never cause any burden on taxpayers.
how duz that square with this?
President Bush sent Congress a request for $51.8 billion in additional hurricane relief yesterday, raising Katrina's cost to the federal government to $62.3 billion so far, easily a record for domestic disaster relief.

Separately, Republican leaders moved to try to contain the political fallout from Katrina, forming a joint House-Senate review committee of senior lawmakers who will investigate the government's preparation and initial response to the catastrophe. Democrats called again for an independent probe similar to the investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The mounting cost of the hurricane and its aftermath comes at a time when federal budget deficits were finally in retreat after three successive years of rising red ink. Katrina's impact, coupled with the stubbornly high cost of the war in Iraq, will probably keep the deficit well above $300 billion and near record territory in 2006, budget analysts said.

And White House budget director Joshua B. Bolten made it clear: "This will not be the last request." Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was spending just over $500 million a day, an unprecedented rate, House Appropriations Committee aides said. But over the weekend, Bolten said, that "burn rate" soared to more than $2 billion a day as FEMA began signing contracts for the construction of temporary housing.
how duz fema gut time to ast the press not to dishonor the ded on the streets of new awlins by takin thar pitchers but barely have time to honor them same bodies by pickin em up n givin em a deecent buryall?

how has firefighters gut time to handout leaflets?

ifn thay aint no time to ast why hep wuz so fatally slow in cummin (blame game) or fatally flawd in eggsequeshun, how kin thar be time fer

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