Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Daniel Weintraub and Republican talking points about Katrina

Daniel Weintraub has become the Sacramento Bee's primary political columnist. And, he frequently writes about education and school related events. These opinions have been the subject of prior posts on this blog.
However, today's column on the Katrina response is particularly interesting.
Look at it. I think I see the Republican talking points here. While even George Bush now admits failure by FEMA, Weintraub does not deal with the Bush Administration failures, only the failures of the state and local officials. hmmmm.
Is this writing is revealing of Weintraub's sources or his perspectives?

Daniel Weintraub: First responders in a major disaster: You and I

By Daniel Weintraub -- Bee Columnist
Published 2:15 am PDT Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Story appeared in Editorials section, Page B7
"Now that the dust, or the muck, has begun to settle in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, this is a good time to consider how Californians might respond to a disaster of similar proportions.

The first and most enduring lesson from Katrina may be this: Be prepared to take care of yourself, and your neighbor if possible, for at least three days after any major disaster. Don't expect to get help from anyone, including government. If help comes, great. But don't assume that it will….

Katrina exposed vast weaknesses on both fronts along the Gulf Coast and especially in New Orleans. City and state officials did not do enough to protect their fellow citizens from disaster or prepare to respond if one hit. Evacuation plans were not followed, buses were left unused in parking lots that later flooded, police could not or would not show up for duty, the American Red Cross, designated by the law as the first responder for evacuees, was blocked from entering the city with food and water, and the governor refused to sign a request turning over control of the National Guard to President Bush.

Given the scope of local and state incompetence, if not corruption, the president should have acted sooner to try to take over the response, even if it meant going public with delicate, behind-the-scenes negotiations and declaring the obvious: Louisiana officials were overmatched and needed to be shoved aside, even if they resisted."

For comparisons, see the analysis by the Los Angeles Times linked to a prior posting.

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