Cost of the War in Iraq
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Disaster Mismanagement

Yesterday I blogged quoting Chertoff the Creepy, Homeland Security Secretary when he said, "The Government's response to this disaster is a source of pride to me." Yet today he says this "Local and state resources were so weakened, said Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, that in the future federal authorities need to take "more of an upfront role earlier on, when we have these truly ultracatastrophes."

Now you aren't proud of the effort? What happened between yesterday and today Michael? Finally actually read some reports? Turned on Fox news? What changed your pride there? How about actually going there yourself Chertoff? How about showing some leadership if you want us to have confidence in Homeland Security being in charge of everything from FEMA to the Border Patrol?

From the NY Times; But furious state and local officials insisted that the real problem was that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which Mr. Chertoff's department oversees, failed to deliver urgently needed help and, through incomprehensible red tape, even thwarted others' efforts to help. "We wanted soldiers, helicopters, food and water," said Denise Bottcher, press secretary for Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana. "They wanted to negotiate an organizational chart."

In one of several such appeals, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, called on President Bush on Sunday to appoint an independent national commission to examine the relief effort. She also said that she intends to introduce legislation to remove FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security and restore its previous status as an independent agency with cabinet-level status.

As much as I hate to agree with anything Hilary the Horrible brings up, she is absolutely right on this one. Chertoff obviously isn't capable of handling managing so many different departments so FEMA should be removed and given seperate authority in a disaster as it was intended and as it was before it became part of Homeland Insecurity.

I enjoy this part more though. Hilary the Hun is wrong that we need a whole new commission, committee, agency, department, or any other new entity to review, discuss, or investigate anything. The last thing we need is another group of people trying to figure out what all the other groups of people are doing or have done. Get this Hilary the Hag, we don't need anymore departments, commissions, or anything else like that. We have enough bureaucracy now. Thats the problem.

From the NY Times; When Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water, FEMA officials turned them away, he said. Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish's emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA, Mr. Broussard said.

This is what happens when you put politicians in charge of anything. This is what happens when our elected officials like bush put their cronies and buddies in charge of departments to give them nice well-paying jobs insted of putting in people that can actually get the job done.

A note on Wal-Mart though. Did you know they refused to accept FEMA vouchers to purchase goods there? These vouchers are money in the bank and even if it took time to get the money later, Wal-Fart has the resources to wait for it. Not accepting these vouchers held up the relief effort as well. Wal-Mart isn't giving in people's time of need, they are selling and doing a booming business during the disaster and they have the nerve to be picky about where the money comes from. So much for walmart giving a damn about anyone.

From the NY Times; One sign of the continuing battle over who was in charge was Governor Blanco's refusal to sign an agreement proposed by the White House to share control of National Guard forces with the federal authorities. Under the White House plan, Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré would oversee both the National Guard and the active duty federal troops, reporting jointly to the president and Ms. Blanco.

"She would lose control when she had been in control from the very beginning," said Ms. Bottcher, the governor's press secretary.

Someone claims they were in control? What exactly have you been doing MS. Governor? If you were in control you have proven you can't handle your job either. Not a surprise.

From the NY Times; Ms. Bottcher was one of several officials yesterday who said she believed FEMA had interfered with the delivery of aid, including offers from the mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, and the governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. Adam Sharp, a spokesman for Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, said the problem was not who was in command. FEMA repeatedly held up assistance that could have been critical, he said. "FEMA has just been very slow to make these decisions," Mr. Sharp said.

Well . . . Duh!

From the NY Times; In a clear slap at Mr. Chertoff and the FEMA director, Michael D. Brown, Governor Blanco announced Saturday that she had hired James Lee Witt, the director of FEMA during the Clinton administration, to advise her on the recovery.

Oh great! Another Screwup Politician in the mix. That'll fix everything.

From the NY Times; From our friend Chertoff the Careless again; "What happened here was that essentially, the demolishment of that state and local infrastructure, and I think that really caused the cascading series of breakdowns," he said.

Oh that explains everything. The local people scewed it all up. THEY HAD A FLOOD AND A HURRICANE MICHAEL! The departments you are in charge of were supposed to go in, restore order, get food and water to the people, then begin evacuating them. They chose "none of the above" and instead argued over who was in charge. If the people who work for me are arguing about who is in charge then I have not done MY job in preparing them and I have created the atmosphere of ineffectiveness and inactivity. If I was in charge and this happened then I would have to take responsibility. It's lonely at the top. So Michael the Moronic, it's time you stepped up and claimed responsibility if you are in charge of this mess.

From the NY Times; But Mayor Nagin said the root of the breakdown was the failure of the federal government to deliver relief supplies and personnel quickly. "They kept promising and saying things would happen," he said. "I was getting excited and telling people that. They kept making promises and promises."

Isn't that what politicians do Mayor?

Scott Shane and Eric Lipton reported from Washington, and Christopher Drew from New Orleans. Jeremy Alford contributed reporting from Baton Rouge, La., and Gardiner Harris from Lafayette, La.

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