Don’t expect anybody to throw a tea party, but Big Government finally got one right.
On Monday, six years to the day after Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and obliterated the notion of a competent federal government, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate offered an anecdote that showed just how different things were with Hurricane Irene.
On the podium in the White House briefing room, he recalled the satellite images of Irene’s path. “Do you remember seeing the satellite, how big that storm was and how close it was to the state of Florida?” he asked. Fugate, the former emergency management chief in Florida, said that a decade or so ago, “Florida would have had to evacuate based upon this track.”
Instead, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s improved models predicted landfall in North Carolina, and, in fact, “the track was only about 10 miles off of where they actually thought it was going to come ashore.”
This was just one piece of the overall anticipation of Irene and response to the storm that has earned high marks for FEMA and NOAA. Like the killing of Osama bin Laden, it was a rare reminder that the federal government can still do great things, after all other possibilities have been exhausted. Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, “Hurricane Irene and the Benefits of Big Government” (via inothernews)
You know, in the abstract, people say, ‘Big Government is a bad thing, we need to shrink the Government.’
Now we see what Big Government is. Big Government is the satellites that give you these images and this data so we know where the storm is going, and Big Government is FEMA and all the others who step in to help these people when they’re hurt by this.”
~ Dana Milbank on Republican partisanship regarding Hurricane Irene