Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Column day

First things first: On my way to Malkin's new column, I found this headline from Jonah Goldberg:
In Katrina's aftermath, racial generalizations aren't helpful


Okay, on to Michelle. We're going to start towards the middle of the column and work backwards, then make a little time for the end. Just call me Tarantino.
If the White House's purportedly brilliant strategists had any sense, they would advise Bush to fire Federal Emergency Management Agency head Michael Brown in a heartbeat. Brown is the most cretinous of political cronies, a college roommate of a former FEMA official with no prior experience in disaster management before he was hired in 2001 -- unless you count managing his own checkered job history.
Bravo. Bravo, I say. Make an example of whoever dared to appoint this dirtbag.

Who was that, anyway?
Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.
Oh well, I'm sure it'll come to me.


It was Bush, of course, and despite Malkin's distaste for the "most cretinous of political cronies", she's ready to give him a pass. Just prior to the above paragraph:
Despite the abject failures of local and state officials to prepare for the worst, abide by their own evacuation plans, maintain an effective police force, and crack down on looters, Sen. Clinton's commission would only examine the "adequacy of federal response efforts."

Translation: Bash Bush.
Isn't that what you kind of did, just now?

But moreso, Malkin seems to forget one important fact: Sen. Clinton has no authority over local government, or state officials, or the New Orleans police. She does, like all Senators, have a stake in the federal government. Seems perfectly appropriate to me that a member of the federal government wants to understand the role the federal government played in this disaster.

And it did play a role. On August 26th, Gov. Blanco initiated the State Emergency plan, and on August 28th, she asked President Bush to declare an "expedited state of emergency", stating "Pursuant to 44 CFR ยง 206.35, I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster..." That's the basis upon which FEMA is called into action. And once it's called into action, it has its own responsibilities...responsibilities which it utterly failed to live up to, in some cases perniciously.

That's not just Mike Brown, although he bears the lion's share of responsibility. That's the federal government, and a Senator is perfectly within her rights to ask for accountability. But wait...
Dead bodies are still floating all over New Orleans. Hundreds, if not thousands, of children are still searching for their parents. Wiped-out communities are still awaiting water and power.

So, what is armchair first responder Sen. Hillary Clinton's first response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster?

A commission.
Well, first of all, let's not throw terms like "armchair first responder" around.

Second of all, it wasn't her "first response." Her first response was to accuse oil companies of growing fat off tragedy. But that's neither here nor there.

Third of all, do you know who else called for an investigation on Monday? Yeah, you guessed it. Ghoulish.


No time for the end. That's okay. You're not missing anything except another round of kvetching about the 9/11 commission.