Thursday, September 08, 2005

Paying the Piper

So I had the opportunity on Wednesday afternoon to participate in a conference call with Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack who gave an update on the situation surrounding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After a brief status report, Vilsack proceeded to tear into FEMA Director Michael Brown like it was nobody's business. Vilsack said that Brown completely fumbled a earlier briefing with Governors and other leaders.

More to the point, he said that Brown 'didn't have a clue', 'was in way over his head', and then stated that he had 'no confidence in Brown's ability' to handle this type of situation. Vilsack praised the Governors of the various states as extraordinary leaders, but said that they were 'stymied' in the efforts to help by incompetence at the federal level.

When the inevitable hearings take place, you can expect Governors (of both parties I think) to do everything short of laying the corpses at Brown's doorstep. He is the clear frontrunner in the race to wear the jacket on this one. (But Barbara Bush should get some type of honorable mention for her inane and offensive comments.)

When it comes to dealing with the displaced storm victims, we are in uncharted territory. There is no question that other states are going to permanently absorb some of these folks and questions will have to be answered about the costs of so doing. Latest word is that Congress is going to authorize an additional $51.8 Billion later this week to deal with the situation.

Issues from education to housing to employment are hard enough to deal with already, but now many states are going to find themselves with thousands of new residents with thousands of additional needs. The quick focus is going to be on pouring money into the disaster areas, but attention (and resources) must also be paid to the other states that are stepping up in this time of crisis. We are all in this together.

Was this avoidable? Katrina obviously wasn't. But the aftermath...look at my last post and decide.


At September 8, 2005 at 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katrina taught me this lesson: I'm going to buy a gun in the near future to have on hand if anything crazy happens here.

At September 8, 2005 at 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget bullets too

At September 8, 2005 at 3:44 PM, Blogger ArchPundit said...

I'm a big Vilsack fan from going to school in Iowa--he ran well after I left, but it was still good to see. I've never heard of Vilsack being that upset.

Check out ArchPundit for the most recent ting on Brown's background.

At September 8, 2005 at 7:56 PM, Anonymous Theo McCarthy said...

It's important to take the time in the wake of this disaster to point out that the deaths of thousands of Americans due to conservative policies is nothing new. As of 2002 we knew that over 18 thousand Americans were dying of treatable and preventable diseases because they did not have health insurance, and they didn't have insurance because Conservatives consistently blocked all efforts to insure them.

This is the simple truth that Katrina has made undeniable; Conservatives are willing to let innocent Americans die by the thousands, year after year, for the sake of their ideology.

here is the article that proves it

At September 9, 2005 at 7:20 AM, Blogger JohnGalt said...

Rep. Fritchey -

I'd like to know what you think about the previous post.

Do you think

"Conservatives are willing to let innocent Americans die by the thousands, year after year, for the sake of their ideology."

I know you can't be held responsible for what other people post on your blog. But I'd like to hear your thoughts as a political leader in the community on it.

If someone makes a public accusation like this, would you back this belief, refute it, or say nothing about it?

At September 9, 2005 at 10:38 AM, Blogger Michael said...

I know here in Portland, a lot of us are actually looking forward to New Orleanians moving here. The main differences between Portland and New Orleans are:

- It's colder;
- The government isn't as corrupt;
- Oregonians put mayonayse on damn near everything.

By the way: if you buy a gun for disaster situations, your best bet is a shotgun. A handgun is only good for concealed carry or as a backup. Don't bother with an assault rifle unless you really know how to use one (e.g. Army training).

And you'd also do well to get a bunch of good hand-held, 8 mile radios, and if you can swing it, a sattelite phone. Cell phones are worthless once FEMA comes in.

As for conservatives and ideology, all I've got to say is this: when people who believe government is the problem are put in charge of government, it's almost inevitable that they're going to do a lousy job.

At September 9, 2005 at 12:23 PM, Blogger Common Sense in Illinois said...

This might become moot. CNN is reporting that Mike Brown is being pulled out of NOLA and will be replaced by Vice Admiral Thad Allen of the USCG.

Of course, having the guy back in Washington might serve to let the real punching begin...

At September 9, 2005 at 10:31 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Mr. Galt,

As far as the statement is concerned, in general, I tend to be pretty respectful of a wide spectrum of viewpoints. My view is that I can't expect people to respect my positions if I don't respect theirs. Now obviously, respect doesn't equate with agree with.

With specific reference to the statement, I think that there are ideologues at both ends of the spectrum whose viewpoints cloud wise judgment. Some liberal agendas may have the adverse impact of overly governing society, while some conservative goals have likely thrust us into unwarranted engagements.

I would like to think that no viewpoint would consider our citizens as expendable for the gains of others, but at the same time, I think that history may put that wishful thinking to the test.

At September 10, 2005 at 12:02 AM, Blogger drone1047 said...

I've been away for the week...blissfully choosing to ignore the news while on vacation. No really! What did Bar say?! I'm dying to know!

At September 11, 2005 at 8:14 PM, Blogger dewittdem403 said...

The Sunday editorials were interesting. Andy Rooney's reminded me that no matter who or (swallow hard here) how the guy holding the keys to the Oval Office deserves to have the title President before his name. So, in deference to Andy, I'll be calling him President Bushie from now on. Molly Ivins's column is right on the money. While President Bush (see, I did it!!!) holds up his Casey-at-the-bat right hand to still the growingly angry crowd, his attack dogs are out laying the blame on everybody within 500 miles of New Orleans. Everybody, except of course, "you're doin' a helluva of job, Brownie" who has been recalled to the bosom of Georgie (ok, not so respectful). But the most disingenuous of all was Bill O'Reilly. He had the balls to lay the blame for drowning in New Orleans on the drownees themselves. And why did they drown? They didn't take advantage of the educational system that's been provided them. This is the same O'Reilly who denounces the education system in America as bankrupt but now he invokes as the savior of the poor, the miserable, and the dying. Nice flip-flop, Bill! Now, do us all a favor and get in your SUV and go home.


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