Modern Republicans have left all that behind. They don’t like government; they want, in Lovable Furry Old Grover Norquist’s famous words, to shrink government to the size at which it can be drowned in the bathtub. Consequently, when they get into government, they quickly fill its halls with two kinds of people: people who are charged with the task of destroying the agencies they run, and people who have no idea whatsoever about how their agencies work."
Pandagon: Libertarian Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
It's a strategy we all know--given a responsibility you don't want, one way to get out of it is to fuck it up so badly no one ever asks you to do it again. Basically, the Norquistian theory that the federal government can't do anything right became a self-fulfilling prophecy. From that viewpoint, FEMA's failure to evacuate New Orleans before the hurricane and their failure to respond quickly in order to save lives afterward went pretty much according to plan--I have little doubt that the spinmeisters are working on a way right this minute to use this as leverage to make the argument that asking for help from the federal government will fail you every time, not just when a bunch of heartless incompetents are in charge.
Corrente: Christmas Came Early
...[T]his is the age of laissez-faire government. The free market will determine how much aid goes to those in need, and the cost of gas will be determined by whatever the traffic can bear. The private sector knows best, and this government has become merely a spear-carrier and comfort woman to the CEOs of the world. And the private sector knows that the people imprisoned in the cauldron of New Orleans were the least of the consuming masses, and the least of assets to 4th quarter profits and bottom-line accounting. When government abdicates the very skeleton of its duties to private interests, are we surprised to find that even the most crucial, life-or-death things only get done if they balance positively against somebody's cost-benefit analysis? These are the people who brayed proudly how they were going to get rid of their own functions, then set about proving it time and again in Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Housing. And now we are surprised that they sat on their hands while thousands died? This is their ideology in action. This is who and what they are. This is George Bush's gift to you.
China Miéville: The Politics of Weather
So why the tardiness, and the failure to learn lessons? Well, you know that thing about capitalism and the free market being the most efficient system available? Want to hear something hilarious? New Orleans' seemingly unintentionally accurately named 'catastrophic hurricane disaster plan' was privatised last year.IEM, Inc., the Baton Rouge-based emergency management and homeland security consultant, will lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for Southeast Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under a more than half a million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Thanks to that, as Dewberry, a partner in this noble venture put it a while back, '[h]ad one of the devastating hurricanes targeted New Orleans and southeast Louisiana, state and local officials would have been ready'. So how's that working out?
IEM stands for Innovative Emergency Management. I guess 'Climb for your life!' and 'Run to the football stadium!' are pretty innovative. To be fair it must be hard to focus when you're so freaked by the impact on insurance, let alone oil prices.
And The Politics of Weather 3: The Shyness of Experts
You can still find the verbatim copy from the press release in the Insurance Journal. There are also details available from a New Orleans business provider, where we learn from IEM Director of Homeland Security Wayne Thomas that his company's 'approach to catastrophic planning meets the challenges associated with integrating multi-jurisdictional needs and capabilities into an effective plan for addressing catastrophic hurricane strikes'. Right. So, the IEM team's approach isn't to siphon off tax money, spout management shit, provide a demonstrably catastrophically inadequate plan, then fuck off like craven fucking caveworms and hide the evidence when the fucking corpses start piling up?