Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Baby With the Bathwater

WASHINGTON, April 26 —The Federal Emergency Management Agency was so
fundamentally dysfunctional during Hurricane Katrina that Congress should abolish it and create a new disaster response agency from scratch, according to a draft of bipartisan recommendations proposed by a Senate committee.

Not necessary. Just get competent people to run it, let it report to the president, and give it a bigger budget.

The new agency, which would still be part of the Department of Homeland Security, should be more powerful, with additional components that would give it a budget twice as big as FEMA's, the report's draft recommendations say.

It would assume functions spread throughout the department, like preparing for disasters or terrorist attacks, protecting the nation's infrastructure and distributing grants to state and local governments. And during major catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina, the agency's director would report directly to the president.

Uh...right. Like I was saying. But forget the Homeland security connection. Let it be a free agent like it used to be -- when it was effective, like under Bill Clinton.


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