James Carville, hardly anti-Obama, seems to agree:
From CNN's "Anderson Cooper Show"
CARVILLE: The people here have been so let down. The federal government let us down. They're killing the economy here. People in the interior department that issue these things don't have the foggiest idea about life here, they don't have the foggiest idea about what's going on, and they have got to do something about this because the federal government is about to kill us.
The problem isn't Republican or Democrat, the problem is Washington, D.C. As I write in Warnings, the culture of our nation's capital is where the problem lies.
As the insiders in D.C. say, "nothing succeeds like failure." What that means is there is little money for proactive measures to solve problems. But, when there is a failure, the money flows in gushers.
Don't believe me? Consider this quote from today's Wall Street Journal regarding the new financial services bill that just passed Congress:
What started as a promise to streamline and modernize the financial system turned into 2,300 pages of new agencies and new powers for the very authorities that fomented the financial crisis.
See what I mean? The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) completely failed to prevent the 2008 financial meltdown and the Madoff fraud, so the 'solution' is to give them more money and power. In a rational world, people would be fired given this level of incompetence and the agency disbanded. Instead, they are rewarded.
Please let me state again, this has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat but everything to do with the dysfunctional culture of Washington.
So, since the Federal government cannot be counted on when there is a major crisis, here are a couple of thoughts regarding disaster preparation and response:
- Expect the unexpected. Washington, D.C. had an earthquake today. Boston and NYC have had earthquakes. San Diego once had a hurricane and California will have one some day in the future. We will have a volcanic eruption in the West sometime in the coming decades. Everyone should have at least three days of water and easily prepared food (we do!) in their homes along with flashlights and extra medicine.
- I don't allow the gasoline supply in my car to drop below a quarter tank. Most all of today's pumps require electricity.
- A number of companies sell a separate battery that can be attached to a cell phone. Get one so that you have a few hours of extra power for your cell phone. Remember, your recharger won't work during an extended outage.
- It may be counterintuitive, but the bigger the city (denser the population), increase your preparations (i.e., a week of food). How many grocery stores are there in NYC relative to population? Not many oil refineries, food warehouses, or locally grown food there, either.
I would also urge everyone, regardless of your other political views, to start pressing candidates for national office what they propose to do to change the culture of Washington. If we are going to pay federal agencies (FEMA, etc.) literally billions to deal with disasters, we need to be getting value for our hard-earned taxes.