:: Friday, September 02, 2005 ::

Soledad O'Brien vs. Michael Brown
Pouring my morning cereal, I watched CNN's Soledad O'Brien rip a new one in Michael Brown, the head of FEMA. Maybe she was just playing the part of enraged and self-righteous journalist, but I could swear tears were welling in her eyes when she asked Brown why the federal government's response to the Gulf Coast disaster was so slow in coming. She asked Brown whether he felt pride in FEMA's accomplishments when he saw the images pouring out of New Orleans, or whether he felt that the feds had dropped the ball. His response -- halted, slow in coming, much like the relief -- was that he feels "heartbreak" when he sees the images. This, the morning after Brown indicated that "things are going relatively well" with the effort.

Now, I'm not one who expects the government to solve all of society's ills, and in fact relief organizations, charitable groups and ordinary citizens (hat-tip to a small victory) are of great help in countless ways. But the government should have the logistical network, the personnel (those who aren't in Iraq or Afghanistan) and the ability to spring into action. Rumsfeld likes to tout the idea of an "agile" fighting force, but what we're seeing right now in terms of our civil response to this disaster is anything but agile.

You might also want to read this New York Times op-ed: "A Can't-Do Government". Or maybe you're already tired of the Monday morning quarterbacking. If so, read this.

:: Andrew 07:37 + ::

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