Friday, August 26, 2011

Quotable: Gail McGovern, Red Cross CEO, On Hurricane Irene

"It's going to be huge. From a time perspective this can take weeks, maybe even months, to respond to."

Is it just me, or is this statement totally unacceptable? Understand, I'm not blaming Ms McGovern — she is simply providing solid information based on the realistic assessment of, apparently, our limited capacity to respond to Hurricane Irene.

My question is this: To what extent is Ms McGovern's unacceptable assessment governed by the ignorant Tea Party luddites wagging the dog and Republican House Leader Eric Cantor, who shamelessly sucks up to them, insisting that any emergency response spending will have to be offset by corresponding budget cuts elsewhere? Private NGOs like the American Red Cross, for all their good works, do not by definition have the capacity and resources of the federal government. Haven't we learned anything from Katrina? It's for responding to catastrophes of this scale that government exists.

When will this Teabagger madness end?

This is the richest, most powerful nation in history. That we cannot respond to a potential natural catastrophe more timely than the response time to the Haiti earthquake, or the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, is to concede that the crazies holding our government hostage have succeeded in turning the United States into a helpless, poverty-stricken banana republic.

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