09/05/2005: The Purpose of Government...
Crooks and Liars provides a transcript and video of Bob Schieffer’s commentary on the bAdmin's efforts:
"SCHIEFFER: Finally, a personal thought. We have come through what may have been one of the worst weeks in America's history, a week in which government at every level failed the people it was created to serve.
There is no purpose for government except to improve the lives of its citizens. Yet as scenes of horror that seemed to be coming from some Third World country flashed before us, official Washington was like a dog watching television. It saw the lights and images, but did not seem to comprehend their meaning or see any link to reality.
As the floodwaters rose, local officials in New Orleans ordered the city evacuated. They might as well have told their citizens to fly to the moon. How do you evacuate when you don't have a car? No hint of intelligent design in any of this. This was just survival of the richest."
Well, I for one give my DOG more credit for behaving humanely and with more concern for my welfare than any of these White House Cretins, Apparatchiks and Criminals. But Thanks, Bob Shieffer and others, for pointing out these failings from the Top-Down management at ALL levels of Government this week.
And this from Bilmon at Whiskey Bar:
"Paul Krugman's column in yesterday's New York Times argues that the Cheney administration's lackadaisical response to Hurricane Katrina is a symptom of a much larger problem -- the GOP contempt for government:
At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures.
I was thinking about posting something along those same lines -- along with a modest proposal to chaingang all the conservative pundits and politicians who've spent the past twenty five years trashing the federal government, and put them to work stacking sandbags down in Louisiana. And while we're at it, we could take all the think-tank libertarians and corporate bunko artists who promised us their blessed free market could and would solve all human problems, and use them as filler for the sandbags.
But after thinking about it, I realized Krugman got it wrong -- or at least partially wrong. This catastrophe isn't a product of the anti-government biases of the conservative true believers; it's a product of the uses to which government has been put by the Mayberry Machiavellis and their GOP ward heelers in Congress.
Even the legally blind can see the Rovians are serious about the essential functions of government. It's just that in their value system, funneling federal money to sympathetic interest groups while simulatenously redistributing the tax burden away from those same groups are the two essential functions of government.
Likewise, the Bush family is prepared to spend almost unlimited amounts of federal money on preventative measures -- that is, on efforts to prevent them from losing an election...."
UPDATE: Click on the "more" button to read further.
Here’s as good an intro about the Purpose of Government and the Failures of the bAdmin from Paul Krugman (NY Times):
"Each day since Katrina brings more evidence of the lethal ineptitude of federal officials. I'm not letting state and local officials off the hook, but federal officials had access to resources that could have made all the difference, but were never mobilized.
Here's one of many examples: The Chicago Tribune reports that the U.S.S. Bataan, equipped with six operating rooms, hundreds of hospital beds and the ability to produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water a day, has been sitting off the Gulf Coast since last Monday - without patients.
Experts say that the first 72 hours after a natural disaster are the crucial window during which prompt action can save many lives. Yet action after Katrina was anything but prompt. Newsweek reports that a "strange paralysis" set in among Bush administration officials, who debated lines of authority while thousands died.
What caused that paralysis? President Bush certainly failed his test. After 9/11, all the country really needed from him was a speech. This time it needed action - and he didn't deliver.
But the federal government's lethal ineptitude wasn't just a consequence of Mr. Bush's personal inadequacy; it was a consequence of ideological hostility to the very idea of using government to serve the public good. For 25 years the right has been denigrating the public sector, telling us that government is always the problem, not the solution. Why should we be surprised that when we needed a government solution, it wasn't forthcoming?
Ideological cynicism about government easily morphs into a readiness to treat government spending as a way to reward your friends. After all, if you don't believe government can do any good, why not?..."
And this from Bob Herbert (NY Times):
”…Mr. Bush flew south on Friday and proved (as if more proof were needed) that he didn't get it. Instead of urgently focusing on the people who were stranded, hungry, sick and dying, he engaged in small talk, reminiscing at one point about the days when he used to party in New Orleans, and mentioning that Trent Lott had lost one of his houses but that it would be replaced with "a fantastic house - and I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."
Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever by a president during a dire national emergency. What we witnessed, as clearly as the overwhelming agony of the city of New Orleans, was the dangerous incompetence and the staggering indifference to human suffering of the president and his administration.
And it is this incompetence and indifference to suffering (yes, the carnage continues to mount in Iraq) that makes it so hard to be optimistic about the prospects for the United States over the next few years. At a time when effective, innovative leadership is desperately needed to cope with matters of war and peace, terrorism and domestic security, the economic imperatives of globalization and the rising competition for oil, the United States is being led by a man who seems oblivious to the reality of his awesome responsibilities.
Like a boy being prepped for a second crack at a failed exam, Mr. Bush has been meeting with his handlers to see what steps can be taken to minimize the political fallout from this latest demonstration of his ineptitude. But this is not about politics. It's about competence. And when the president is so obviously clueless about matters so obviously important, it means that the rest of us, like the people left stranded in New Orleans, are in deep, deep trouble.”
Karen on 09.05.05 @ 05:59 AM CST