Much ado, from Toby Harnden,Telegraph (UK):
The surf may have told a story but so too did the sight behind the reporter of people chatting and ambling along the sea front and just goofing around. There was a man in a t-shirt, a woman waving her arms and then walking backwards. Then someone on a bicycle glided past.
Across the screen, the “Breaking News: Irene Batters Long Island” caption was replaced by stern advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): “Stay inside, stay safe.”
The images summed up Hurricane Irene – the media and the United States federal government trying to live up to their own doom-laden warnings and predictions while a sizeable number of ordinary Americans just carried on as normal and even made gentle fun of all the fuss.
Just not that much wind.
More, from a breathless LSM, from AFP :
Obama takes charge at hurricane command center
“The President was briefed on the current track of the storm, the weather impacts being felt so far and efforts to pre-position response and recovery assets,” said a statement released by the White House.
“The President asked to be kept apprised of developments throughout the night and said that he wants the group to re-convene tomorrow morning.”
Evidently the moron, sorry Ace, who wrote the headline does not know the difference between being briefed and being in command.
Reax, William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection :
He took charge? What exactly did he do in the few hours after he rushed back from vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, barely having time to scrape the grass off his golf cleats?
He did nothing, but he sure looked good doing it.
I would have preferred to quoted Kathleen, but alas the Professor will just have to do.
More reax, from Jazz Shaw, Hot Air :
We were beyond ready. Or perhaps it might be better described as having been ready to a ridiculous degree. While in no way seeking to diminish the importance of being prepared for natural disasters, we just witnessed a week long, fully televised, over analyzed, painfully punctual dog and pony show which will be, I’m afraid, the new normal in 21st century America
I am sorely tempted to endorse Ron Paul’s idea to abolish FEMA, From RCP :
Rep. Paul trashed FEMA as “deeply flawed” and continues the path of dependency on the government. “It’s a system of bureaucratic central economic planning, which is a fallacy that is deeply flawed. FEMA has been around since 1978. It has one of the worst reputations for a bureaucracy ever,” Mr. Paul said. “I want to transition out of this dependency on the federal government.”
Ron Paul says the states should decide if they need federal help instead of the government forcing itself on states that are threatened by natural disasters.
“We are out of money. This country is bankrupt,” Paul stressed after explaining FEMA was in “big trouble financially” as well as the federal government itself.
Clearly with respect to Irene, FEMA’s role was to act as a dog and pony show. Given the weather technology available to state and local governments, I see no need to federal government to either manage or second quess state and local disaster preparation.
I still consider Paul less than sane, but heck even the insane are not always wrong.