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Re: ITEM: "A Barrier That Could Have Been"

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Matthew Stuart wrote:

I don't think anybody is blaming the current administration for the fact that the levee system was not sufficient to withstand a storm of Katrina's magnitude, instead I think a lot of people are simply questioning how the initial response was handled...and I do think you should consider a second career as a radio personallity.

I suggest that we're right back, full-circle, to where we were at the beginning of this conversation, and so I'll recap:

1) The Federal Government cannot, for legal as well as practical purposes, be a "first responder." For one thing, they have to be invited in. The States are sovereign, and they have jurisdiction in such matters.

2) The indications are that 95% of the problem stemmed from (a) inability of the state and local authorities to respond to this emergency as they are obligated to do; (b) political calculation on the part of state and local "leaders" in assessing whether they ought to allow the Federal to operate freely, and (c) a decision on the part of state and local "leaders" in Louisiana NOT to allow non-governmental agencies--particularly the Red Cross and Salvation Army--access to the shelter sites in New Orleans just prior to and just after the storm struck. Their reasoning, or so it is reported, is they didn't want to "encourage" people to flock to the Superdome, the Morial center and other such places because they wanted people to LEAVE (however, out of the other side of their mouth, they directed folks to those shelters, apparently knowing there was nothing for them there).

3) The Federal authorities have done their job, but politics invariably gets in the way. Some of the problems are self-inflicted as befits the corrup, bloated bureaucracy that is SOP in government at all levels (but certainly increases as you go up the "chain"). Brown's fatal flaw, IMO, is his consideration of "politics first." He's the perfect example of the sort of "squeamish Republican" that, because he worries about how the Press is going to portray events, would rather be immobilized. You cannot afford this in this kind of job. The MSM will NEVER report anything that ANY non-Democrat administration does in a favorable light; it's not in their template. They are as partisan as anything, and they favor Democrats at all costs. This isn't even a debatable point any more, as we observe the one-year anniversary of "Rathergate."

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