Saturday, May 12, 2007

Katrina revisited

I just wanted to note an article in the Post by John M. Barry about the nation's still inadequate response to hurricane Katrina. His article should be read in full, but his main point is that much of the continued devastation still being faced by the gulf coast is the result of infrastructure changes (levees, canals) to the Mississippi river made for the benefit of the nation as a whole rather than to Louisiana in particular. That being the case, not only is it the nation's responsibility to amend these effects, but also it is the nation as a whole that will suffer if changes are not made (though certainly Louisiana will suffer most directly.

Like I said, read the article.

Also, in other Louisiana news, outgoing governor Kathleen Blanco expresses her outrage at the Federal government's continued foot-dragging response to the needs of Katarina's victims.

"It's all political," she began. "You know, this country's run on politics. But when a disaster comes that is not what you expect, you expect a human reaction, not a political reaction. And I will tell you, there's a void," Blanco drawled, "a total void of human response. And it's extremely discouraging as an American citizen. It makes me angry and extremely disappointed."


The experience of securing that funding and trying to get access to it has not been pleasant. "I absolutely hated the idea of having to go to Washington, D.C., to deal with the last Congress, because their attitude was brutal," she said. "The old Congress made us feel like we were pretty stupid for standing in the way of the hurricane and that we were asking for far too much assistance.

"They ignored the fact that it wasn't the hurricane, per se, that caused our damage," Blanco explained in a forceful, yet measured, tone. "It was the failure, an engineering failure, of the federal levees that caused our enormous grief. If we had not had levee failures, people would have walked home, and today we would not even be sitting here talking about it." She did say the new Congress was "definitely more interested in trying to help us."

No doubt the Iraq war will remain BushCorp™'s signature disaster, but the politicization of government agencies whose missions should make them apolitical (FEMA, Justice, etc.) are the starkest domestic evidence of the failures of Bushite Republicanism.

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