Monday, October 29, 2012

Preparing for disaster - that's what good government does

Sitting here on a clear crisp late fall day in the midwest, its hard to imagine what life is like today for people in the northeast as hurricane Sandy hits.

But I do think of something I noted during hurricane Irene...FEMA has prepared for this.
If the possibility of escaping from New York seems like something only for Hollywood to you, you probably do not work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In May 2009, the Obama administration conducted a simulation exercise around the possibility of a Category 3 hurricane hitting New York City, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday.

The National Level Exercise, as it is known, was part of a coordinated effort by federal officials to prepare for a variety of disaster scenarios, including one very similar to what is likely to take place this weekend. President Obama himself participated in the exercise, one of the first of its kind by the new administration.

"The federal government's preparation for this storm didn't just begin as the clouds started to gather and form a tropical depression," Earnest told reporters traveling with President Obama to Martha's Vineyard.

"The federal government and this administration in particular is constantly exercising and preparing and testing and evaluating our readiness for situations like this," he said.
Preparation can't stop the toll the winds, rain and snow from Sandy will bring. But it does mean that when our fellow citizens need us the most - our federal government will be there representing the helping hand each of us would like to offer.

I can't imagine a more powerful message about what is at stake over the next 8 days in this election.


  1. I've said before that the modern GOP has become precisely what Edmund Burke critiqued in the liberalism in his day: ideas, without regard for practical consequences.

    I'm all in favor of devolving as much decision-making capacity to the most local level there can be. However, there are many problems that have a scale that's larger than localities, or even than states. Hurricanes, for example, don't stop at the State line.

    You could take this farther to the obvious international level. Wanting to build and strengthen international institutions, despite GOP demagoguery on the UN, etc., is an appropriate response to problems that are global in scale.

    You can't have this conversation in an intelligent, polite fashion with your average GOP partisan. The argument, rationally, shouldn't be about if we need federal solutions to national problems, but what the precise contours of those solutions should be. But, like Burke wrote about the Jacobins, the GOP is not about governance. All they have is (diminishing) mass mobilization with rhetoric to increase corporate power.

  2. Just days before the election and the President gets to look all Presidential, on a national stage. It's a slam dunk and Mitt already knows it!