Thursday, January 24, 2008


Some quick comments I posted on various threads at Street Prophets today.
The Surge is like temporarily funding extra police to suppress street corner gang activity in a specific neighborhood. It's working, but the gangs are still there. & the people we're protecting from the gangs aren't showing much interest in taking advantage of it. & the gangs are on the move. & it's so expensive that the city can't afford to pay overtime to the snow plow drivers. & we're running out of cops & have to hire private security guards at twice the cost.

FEMA = fire & rescue. It's not overcentralized. Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. The mayor thought hiring his golf buddy's wife's brother was a good idea. When the plane crashed into the hospital, turned out it wasn't such a good idea.
That's why we think of Hillary Clinton as "establishment." She views policy in terms of continuity & adjustment rather than change. GWB turned out to be radical because his administration believed that real change was possible. Of course, everything changed for the worse.
I wonder if experience is overstated, because an inexperienced GWB brought people into his administration like Cheney & Rove who were just as good at manipulating & bullying as Lyndon Johnson was himself. My concern is that the Democratic congressional leadership isn't up to the tasks at hand regardless of who is in the Oval Office. Hillary's establishment support in New York & New Jersey is based on what those politicians believe is best for the states; our percentage of the federal tax dollar. Just as the local Repugs know Giuliani is the best bet for a windfall in Homeland Security funds. So I hardly blame them.
Without the 9/11 attacks, the Bush adminstration would have been much more gradualist. His ratings tanked after Katrina, when the gradualist policies of ignoring or underminding federal agencies were exposed. Screwing up FEMA was a betrayal not only of his Bible Belt supporters, but of everyone living in places subject to weather events of Biblical proportions. People who couldn't care less about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Dept. care a lot about what happens after an F4 tornado comes to town.


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