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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Disasters serve their purposes

I have to pay the administration a compliment. James Lee Witt of FEMA has done a really good job of working with governors during times of crisis.
-- Candidate George W. Bush, in his first debate with Al Gore in 2000 (via Arianna Huffington). So, of course, as soon as aWol is appointed president, what does he do but replace Witt with his campaign manager Joe Allbaugh, whose only disaster training came, well, in being aWol's campaign manager. Of course, Allbaugh appointed his college roommate Mike Brown, of Arabian horse fame, to be his assistant.

Arianna's post documents some of the many ways that the Repugs are trying to cash in on the disaster that they have made so much worse, including suspending the Davis-Bacon Act requiring federal contractors to pay decent wages, easing environmental requirements, and of course privatizing everything--including FEMA. Arianna adds:
In truth, the piecemeal privatization of FEMA started soon after Bush took office -- and is one of the reasons it has stumbled so badly in Louisiana and Mississippi. Ezra Klein offers chapter and verse on this and on the chutzpah of the GOP attempt to use the Katrina fiasco to privatize FEMA: “The car broke because Bush slashed the tires and now his allies are trying to convince us that the real problem lies with the whole ‘car’ concept.”
Actually, the real problem lies with the whole "Bush" concept.