NBC: FEMA chief relieved of Katrina duties

While I still maintain that the overwhelming blame and responsibility for the post-hurricane disaster lies squarely at the feet of local and state authorities, I’ve been less than impressed with FEMA. This move is probably motivated by political expediency more than anything, but it’s still probably the right thing to do.

Now they just need to do something about the people who created the mess that Michael Brown did a bad job of cleaning up.

UPDATE: From the FEMA web site:

Some things FEMA DOES NOT do:

  • Physically rescue people or serve as “first-responders” in a disaster — that is the responsibility of local and state police, fire and emergency personnel.
  • Building dams or levees or activating sand-bagging activities — generally the responsibility of local/state officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Taking “charge” of recovery effort — FEMA works jointly with state and local officials.
  • Running temporary shelters or disaster feeding stations — generally the responsibility of such organizations at the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army.
  • Making weather predictions, fly into hurricanes or predict when rivers will surpass flood stage — generally the responsibility of the National Weather Service.
  • Ordering evacuations of communities due to natural disaster — generally the responsibility of state and local officials.
  • Setting building standards or setting zoning regulations — generally the responsibility of local and state official, with suggestions from FEMA.
  • Calling out the National Guard — generally a state responsibility.

The bottom of the page says “Last Updated: Tuesday, 26-Apr-2005 18:51:00 EDT” Last Updated: Friday, 22-Oct-2004 00:00:00 EDT which is obviously just another lie on the part of the feds.

UPDATE 2: Three last thoughts. First, I’m going to quote myself and post a comment I left over at Wizbang earlier today:

In a month or so we’re all going to be treated to pictures of unused relief supplies and told how the feds wasted taxpayer money sending too much food and water, and that resources would have been better used elsewhere.

And yes, it’s going to be Bush’s fault.

Secondly, I’m wondering about the death toll. I initially thought it was going to be 1,000 to 1,500 based on nothing but a wild guess. As the hand-wringing over Bush’s inadequacy wore on and dire predictions rolled in, I started to think it was more likely to be in the 5,000 or so range and said so. But now I’m wondering if the dire predictions of multi-thousand or even ten thousand dead were nothing more than the blame-Bush crowd trying to hype up his “failure”. I certainly hope that’s the case.

Last, local authorities do not have the legal right to confiscate personal weapons, do they? As far as I know, despite headlines to the contrary, martial law has not been declared. I might be wrong about both points.


  1. If the death toll (currently in the ballpark of 400) doesn’t go much higher, the effort of certain people on the left to make this seem really, really bad and then pin it on Bush will backfire. Well, not really backfire, because they won’t ever get called on it. But at least it won’t work.