Go read

Read this piece from the Salt Lake Tribune, and tell me how the Arabian Horse Association CEO we have in charge of FEMA doesn’t get fired. Choice quotes:

As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters – his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week – a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta.

Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.

Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA


Firefighters say they want to brave the heat, the debris-littered roads, the poisonous cottonmouth snakes and fire ants and travel into pockets of Louisiana where many people have yet to receive emergency aid.

But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew’s first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.

Hat-tip: Josh Marshall

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Catching up

A vacation last week left me unexpectedly without internet (and TV) access, so I’m doing a lot of catching up. Not surprisingly the literal and figurative debacle in New Orleans is taking much of my time, and generating much of my anger. It’s unusual for me to agree with Andrew Sullivan, but in this case I think he’s right. A conservative government only has to do three things, which I’ve seen summarized as ‘internal order, external defense, and maintenance of currency’. Only three things, and the government couldn’t even manage that.

More on old and new topics to follow.

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