Thursday, October 25, 2007

Taking Credit

Here’s another interesting take on the response to the California wildfires. President Bush and his administration as stated through press secretary Dana Perino, have taken credit for the fantastic disaster response to this natural disaster.
“Lessons were learned, communications have improved and state and federal agencies are now able to work more closely together.”
In addition, President Bush states,
“because of the declaration I signed yesterday, there will be help for the people of California.”
Sounds like taking credit to me.

Let’s see…. Disaster response in liberal Southern California, bastion of the upper middle class, largely white communities is very effective. Lots of services, places to go, and helpers for the evacuees. 500,000 have been evacuated and most will return to scarred but intact communities. A large stadium all set up with cots, blankets, food, sun screen, yoga instructors, exersize classes, bottled water and entertainment for all. President Bush wants to visit and get involved… He must feel real comfortable in that environment. Not surprising that the emergency services worked like they were supposed to.

The good folks in California are also doing this emergency work without the help of the National Guard which is off keeping us safe in Iraq. The President’s war has taken most of the Guard and it’s equipment and has forced these local officials to forage and fight for funding and materials. This makes the success of the coordinated emergency effort a story to tell proudly.

Here’s what I remember: 1.1 MILLION evacuees from New Orleans and vicinity during Katrina; 500,000 STILL displaced. Folks with NO services at a large stadium for DAYS. President Bush famously absent and unwilling to get involved with the folks from the lower 9th ward. Hmm… didn’t feel comfortable? Hmm….

Credit where credit is due you say? Well, according to the USA Today, Mimi Hall writes that

"experts said credit for the good response goes to California's officials, emergency workers and residents, most of whom followed instructions to leave their homes for safer ground."
The whole emergency effort was staged by LOCAL officials. The best news evidently was that FEMA stayed away and the Federal government didn’t respond! Thank goodness, fighting wildfires is not in their job description.

Credit? Get back Mr. Bush! Stay away. We know who’s doing the job in California.

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