. I hereby assume the role of wise guy, back seat driver, fool's bellweather, and couch potato know it all (and I do). It is clear to me at this time that there are not enough whiners and complainers like myself. 'Not nearly enough poorly thought thru advice. And so in my esteemed and cocky opinion in New Orleans I declare: "Bush did it right." . Everyone else called in sick.

With disasters it is imperative that local leaders step up and form command centers with early high level meetings to identify and marshall local leadership; to evaluate resources and missing resources; to begin stop gap measures; and to marshal major volunteer deployment and enthusiasm. High school and college students often form the front line of these efforts and they often consist of setting up safe zones, establishing radio communications to the stricken community (and to volunteers), eliminating health hazards, coordinating distribution of supplies and doing the grunt work of establishing the conditions for rebuilding using youth, volunteers and available materials. This is not the Federal government's business unless the disaster has literally wiped everyone off the map (perhaps a close call in this one). But even then: Uncle Sam usually does loan assurance, emergency food and water, lockdown and MP duties, & maybe bulldozing and mass transit where needed. Bush did his job (and since I really dislike Bush it galls me to say it). He did it fast. He sent the right size response based on recommendations. FEMA is a communications tool, thats all they were ever designed or asked to be!

Floodlit safe zones should have been created by local leaders within a short boat ride of every house and boats should have quickly approached & surveyed and secured several hundred thousand residences(and then should have stayed in place). None of this happened. Instead Red Cross stepped in and did what it could. A loose infrastructure of boat fanatics should have appeared in every neighborhood going door (or roof to roof) to door to door. Eventually they did! But local leaders failed to coordinate, waiting instead for God or country. Floatilla's of tankers full of sand should have quickly sealed the levies and we should have seen thousands of volunteers and local seagoing cranes working on those levies not federal helicopters. The Fed stepped in and did the job, did it fast, did it right.

So what happened??? This is not about politics. Several one hundred year floods hit Fort Wayne, Indiana and each time the response was nearly perfect under Democrat leadership. When the Mississippi floods hit Iowa it washed away whole cities but the responses were good under Republican & Democrat leadership, about as good as could be expected. In New Orleans police "chiefs" were begging for leadership on national TV two days after the flood. Whoops! These are the leaders. Leading was their job. They didn't do it! The Feds are/was/were/will be the backup guys. They did/are doing/will do their job. (EOF almost)
In one complaint compatable radios were not in the hands of people at a life threatening scene. Helicopters could not talk to the ground. You know who releases those radios and usually decides what frequencies and equipment to use??, the city. Talk of graft and boondoggle has surrounded the stories of levy non-maintenance, with hundreds of millions of fed dollars never reaching target.. So why not nationalize the levy system. Why should gangs of good old boy thugs be rewarded for killing tens of thousands of people?? I vote we bop 'em.
Good job George Bush!