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Re: Katrina emergency response

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Scott, William N. wrote:

Arn't the local and state people the first responders?

I always thought that FEMA waited until called in on an emergency basis.

Of course they do, that stands to reason.

I'm not sure what Harold is referring to, here (unless he means "first response when Fed assistance is requested by the state's governor" etc.)

I do agree with him that the "upper echelons" of orgs like FEMA are pretty much window-dressing. I doubt VERY seriously whether who heads up FEMA at any given point in time has anything whatsoever to do with FEMA's performance, unless it's someone who's there for a VERY long time and has the chance to initiate changes.

Federal bureaucracies in particular are notoriously resistant to change. When the gub'mint decided to emasculate CIA in the 1970s, they pretty much had to find an excuse to fire any and everyone who had "power" (mostly they did this by charging them with misconduct based on NEW rules handed down by the Church commission, rules that weren't even in effect when these people supposedly "violated" them). That was the only way they could destroy this "evil" organization and "save" the world from American depredations ('course the same cast of characters who were in on that deal, were the ones screaming loudest about how the CIA had "failed" the nation in not keeping up with terrorism--these people are silent in the face of Able Danger, of course).

The scheiss regarding the FEMA flunky who wouldn't authorize equipment movements, etc., until all the forms were filled out in triplicate (and the fowls of the air ritually sacrificed and their entrails examined, etc.) is so typical.

FWIW, I'm not fan of Mr. Clinton, goodness knows, but I doubt his not having a FEMA head for four months made one whit's difference in the way that organization functions (or fails to). But the notion that somehow all of these problems are NEW, or that they're the direct result of "tax cuts" (especially in light of the fact that gub'mint REVENUES ARE GOING UP) is just so much bilgewater.

I continue to be amazed at the ignorance displayed on that score. (Except I suspect it isn't ignorance at all, but willful mischaracterization for political purposes--disgusting).

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