Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina and New Orleans

My brother just did a great piece at Philly Bits about Katrina. I provided him some info. Go read it, it's great.

I loved New Orleans. Great fucking town. If it rebuilds, it will never be the same. I don't know if it can rebuild at this point. After you read my brother's piece, you'll know the greater implications for our nation. We may be well and truly fucked.

Meanwhile, the New York Times opines "George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration: a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end."

David Brooks, also at the Times, talks all over the place. I'm not sure I even understand what the fuck he means. He's like that guy that traps you at a party or a bar and just drones ON and ON about his philosophy, which has nothign to do with anything. SOmeone stop this man before he pontificates again!

Josh Marshall has some good links about FEMA, and its systematic dismantling under Bush (so much for those rumors of concentration camps, I guess. I hope). I haven't read everything there yet.

The washington posts's editorials on the topic are worth linking to only because they are a perfect example of inadequacy: no attempt to determine accountability from either of our two glorious parties, one represented by a jackass, the other an elephant, connoting one who holds grudges and can't do much other than stomp all over the little people. So FUCK YOU washington post. I won't even link to your trashy dogshit.

I will close with another link to Josh Marshall, who says it really really well.

I'm sorry. I know we're supposed to be observing an accountability free moment for the president. But there are just too many examples out there of the ways in which his policies have contributed to and accentuated this crisis
: systematic cuts in levee and pump construction around New Orleans (second article here), phasing out FEMA and the apparently the whole concept of national coordination of the response to natural disasters. That's a great idea, isn't it? Similar failings are discussed by Bruce W. Jentleson and Juliette Kayyem at TPMCafe. And, of course, example after example of cronies running critical agencies. Anyone want to give a buzz to Joe Allbaugh over at New Bridge Strategies?

The scene of any natural disaster, especially one of such grave magnitude, will invariably be chaotic. Much won't go according to plan. But a lot of people seem to have been caught unprepared in this mess, a lot of preparedness agencies appear to have missed a few beats in getting on top of it.

Yes, let's save everyone and everything we can. People on the scene and in the surrounding region are pulling together in amazing ways. But no more letting this man's failures become his own argument against accountability. It's always been a live-for-today presidency.

But enough of my complaining, give til it hurts: Red Cross.


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