Friday, September 30, 2005

Hurricane Bush Roars into Action

Evan Thomas of Newsweek writes that the president spent a restless night at NORCOM.

According to Thomas: People kept waking the president for updates (The jokes just keep getting better and better!) making the president puffy eyed by morning.

and he seemed cranky and fidgety. A group of reporters and photographers had been summoned by White House handlers to capture a photo op of the commander in chief at his post. Bush stared at them balefully. He rocked back and forth in his chair, furiously at times, asked no questions and took no notes. It almost seemed as though he resented having to strike a pose for the press

Evans relates how Governor Perry told his people of Texas:

"If you're in the storm's path, you need to get gone. You need to be on the road," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday, as Rita strengthened in the gulf.

Blanco got even more colorful:
She warned stay-behinds to write their Social Security numbers on their arms with indelible ink.

Check out the rest of the article from links below:

My comments:

As I remember from other news: the result was massive freeway congestion (and it took 24 hours or more for the TX governor to reverse the Southbound lanes so the congestion could ease) altercations and price gouging at service stations--by people with gas cans charging into a line getting some gas and taking it out to people far along the half mile line where they got $20 dollars for $5 worth of gas.

People in the mess described it as "hell", "the worst evacuation ever", etc.

What could be done? People at the scene said that once police arrived much of the problems at stations and on freeways eased. Where were these officers before?

Also get those freeways heading the right direction.

Thirdly figure out that port cities are all our problem, not just a local problem and find ways to protect them. Did you know that most DHS money passed out after 9/11 went to interior red states instead of to ports and other cities (often in blue areas) that are most likely to be hit?

As I said below America's port cities may need to 'secede' to deal with their own disaster preparation before another Rita, Katrina, or terrorist attack. Did you buy a TV, stereo, digital camera, shoes, or clothes last year? Thank a port city. And if you don't want prices on those commodities to triple, think about how the US can protect its ports.

Also, we need to have plans in advance that show what areas need to be evacuated in the different kinds of emergencies. The Rita evacuation was only good in the eyes of the Bush administration talking points writers and their loyal repeaters. And reading official documents we find that certifying all this planning is the duty of FEMA and DHS officials. FEMA is supposed to make sure the planning and training is done for evacuations, etc. And after the federal government has declared a national emergency everything becomes their problem and their responsibility according to Clinton's FEMA people. Maybe that's why FEMA worked under Clinton.

There are other big questions. Bush has handled his falling polls from his administration's delayed and/or inept response to Katrina by door stopping the portal to the national treasury wide ajar. (It was already blown open by 2 congressional pork bills this year.) Unfortunately the vault had no cash for either, but there's plenty of IOUs.

Fareed Zacharias ponders on the way the Bush administration and Congress has outdone President Johnson's "Butter and Guns" fiasco and cites one way to put a finger in the dike.

The New York Times article raises questions about the hurricane rebuilding contracts of which it reports 80% are "nonbid".

BTW, Did you know that Halliburton and Bechtel received nonbid contracts before the people of New Orleans received their first large scale relief in food and water from the federal government?

Evan Thomas's article is at: Rita's Lessons

And to finish: Mike Brown is back. Yes, indeedy Mike Brown is actually still being paid by FEMA as a consultant. He headed to today's Congression hearing where he claimed that La and New Orleans officials caused the disaster. The man's learned his talking points well.


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