Where is the federal help? | SummitDaily.com

Where is the federal help?

Hurricane Katrina revealed, to most people for the first time, what true poverty is. But it also reminded us that, contrary to the claims of the Bush apologists, some disasters are beyond the capabilities of any city or state to cope with. Federal help is necessary. Under Bill Clinton, FEMA was a top-notch agency, one which even then-governor George Bush praised. It was run by an emergency management professional, James Witt, who delivered massive help to cities and states who needed it, because they could not go it alone. The federal government has resources, and mobility, that no states have. Yet FEMA director Michael Brown waited more than five hours after the levees began to flood to make his first request for FEMA personnel to help the city, and then it was for a paltry 1,000 FEMA employees.But the blame goes higher: Michael Chertoff, secretary for Homeland Security, another appointee with no emergency management experience, waited for more than 36 hours to invoke federal jurisdiction. He appears not to have even been aware of what his powers even were. And Bush? While the waters rose, and the people cried for help, he played golf, went to a birthday party, and got a new guitar, until someone finally told him, two days after the flooding began, that he really ought to cut his vacation short and do something. In short, he demonstrated his total ignorance of the degree of suffering the hurricane had inflicted on the poorest among us. The Bushies may think that was enough, but the rest of the country is finally starting to realize how little understanding and empathy our frat-boy-in-chief has.

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