Thursday, April 27, 2006

Senate declares FEMA defunct

It's difficult to deny that the biggest disaster of Katrina, after the loss of life, was the response of our Federal Emergency Management Agency. Mis-management would be more apt a label. However, it's difficult to see how this will help. With the November elections bearing down like a freight train on the GOP's hopes of maintaining control of the House and Senate, a Senate panel has declared the agency DOA and declares the only fix is to dismantle it entirely and start from scratch. Chertoff, being a little put off by the infringement on his territory, claims it's a lame plan and he has his own fix in the works. Both schemes call for throwing more money and personnel at the problem.

How is it these Beltway brainiacs don't remember that the agency was working pretty well before the Bush administration "reorganized" it into its present chaotic state and absorbed it into the Homeland Security department? How about simply reverting to the old system that was already in place? The sticking point, as always, is that it would require a GOP controlled Senate to admit that a program created under a Democratic administration had been working well enough. I suppose it would be unrealistic to expect our legislators to form a plan that put the safety of the people over saving face for the party.

The only sensible suggestion put forward is that the head of the agency in whatever incarnation, report directly to the President. Of course, that assumes that the President would actually be actively engaged in the operations and not on an uninterruptable vacation. Nonetheless it would be a good fix for future administrations, if our nation manages to survive this one.
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