A lot of us watched former FEMA Director, Michael Brown, during his televised testimony yesterday and my regret is that the testimony, televised, didn’t happen sooner. Also, as with a lot of others, I have found this rush to clamp the jaws down on Brown to be a tad suspect, moreorless like Brown has been sent out to run ahead of the pack — question is, to flush out the others or to be the entire, meager snack where blame is to be found for FEMA, and therefore, as to answering for issues of delays and mishandling of federal assistance to those struck in the paths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Brown’s response to Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays’ growling was commendable and I only wish Brown had had this opportunity to speak out so directly prior to the media’s (and the Democrats’ accordingly) maelstrom about Brown as to whatever felled any restraints (whatever remained) within the City of New Orleans. Shays couldn’t have been more eager to deflect attention onto Brown if he’d worn a large button to that effect — I’m suggesting here that Brown is the bunny and perhaps there are more bunnies or there are bigger bunnies but running down Brown and calling that a meal is just too easy.
Other areas in the country were affected (and terribly so) by one or both of these two recent hurricanes and yet the focus remains on New Orleans, Mayor Nagin and Louisiana’s Governor Blanco and just about every possible Louisiana elected, or not, locatable. Not too impressed by any of them, I do admit. Sixty-five billion already provided in aid is not enough and now Louisiana alone is asking for “$42 billion” more and that comes with Louisiana’s additional contingency that they have exclusive dispensation of that huge, huge amount of taxpayer dollars. It’s a lot of money, and American taxpayers are right to open wide our eyes while still wanting to aid our fellows — not aiding is not the point, never has been the point, won’t ever be a debatable point for most Americans — but otherwise trying for sense in the preposterous and alarming conditions and ongoing statements from and by Louisiana’s various. And then there’s the “$250 billion” for the fully affected area, including Louisiana, that’s already been presented as needed and necessary. The amounts are mindnumbing as is the devastation, I realize, but allowing Louisiana access to any money…the issue just cries out for an out-of-state administration of the process. As do the many other suggestions of questionable credibility growing in and from that state:
New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass resignation yesterday but it looks like he did so just hours after it was identified that the Mayor and him have been reporting (about) “1,700” police in the City’s employ (and paying and equiping them) but the truth is only (about) “1,000” have been identified (from Tony Snow’s radio broadcast on Fox News, “BAD BOYS: …the FBI investigating the police who abandoned their posts during Hurricane Katrina so far say that of the 500 screened so far, 84% don’t exist”).
Reasonably, most people doubt that such a significant discrepancy would be unknown to both Nagin and Compass and it seems likely that Compass departed in some associated schedule. Nagin having sent his police force out of town (to Las Vegas and elsewhere, no less) for “rest and relaxation” now looks like a possibile lamb run — those additional salaries and for how long and a big Hurricane and federal forces on the horizon and what to do, what to do…I now wonder if the full and awful delay by Nagin and Blanco was for purposes of cover. It’s inexplicable but Michael Brown and FEMA sure do come in handy to redirect any bloodhounds on anyone’s trail otherwise. Because I can’t be the only person who found it more noteworthy that the very next day after Hurricane Katrina met New Orleans, New Orleans’ newspaper, the Times-Picayune, was calling for Brown’s resignation (FEMA had no constitutional authority to service New Orleans at that point, and it was nonsensical to the issue that day, that blame, to bring Brown/FEMA into the issue and yet that’s what New Orleans did), blaming FEMA and the inevitable and always handy President Bush for New Orleans’ suffering, describing underserivce by FEMA dollars — and yet since that time, it’s been made known that New Orleans had the federal dollars and yet spent them on “research” as to a bridge or bridging Lake Pontchartrain.
will be is testifying today before the Senate Finance Committee. Blanco, so far, has been given a relatively finicky hand to-date, as if she is perceived as not an adult in full but a jeopardised quasi-adult. a sortof suffering, threatened belle who should not be bothered less she cry out for the vapors and need a pressed, perfumed handky and a freshly-made-just-for-her lemonade under a live oak, but spare the horses, don’t bring them near, lest they bring flies nearby.
Perhaps the Senator from Connecticut and the rest on this Committee can apply that roughly hewn judgement where it truly belongs and that is as to the Louisiana electeds who failed to prepare, provide, save lives and avoid corruption even a tad as much as they have so far avoided being held accountable for all the suffering that has followed. Poverty is not so radical in that area for no reason. Blaming Michael Brown for the suffering that ensued following the hurricanes of late is nonsense — perhaps trendy, easy, works for liberal media and Democrats, but, like I said: it’s nonsense.
Cartoon graphic, Copyright Glenn McCoy 2005.