I was sad when my child died from exposure until
I met a man who was criticized for not doing his job.

In a week of appalling statements coming from people whose job it is to make non-appalling statements, this one takes the cake, the pinata, and the inflatable jumpy thing:

MCINTYRE: And as to your question about political, I talked to a lot of people at the Pentagon today who were very frustrated about the fact that the perception was being created that the military didn’t move fast enough. And they did it somewhat as political. They thought that part of the motivation was the critics of the administration to make the president look bad.

And they seemed to question the motives of some of our reporters who were out there and hearing these stories from the victims about why they had so much sympathy for the victims, and not as much sympathy for the challenges that the government met in meeting this challenge.

Dead senior citizens & babies = lots of time on the phone and paper cuts.

Yeah. Sounds about right.

Meanwhile the members of the Bush Summer 2005 Incompetency Tour are going, “We rock, man!”, all evidence to the contrary:

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, two divergent — and incongruous — views have emerged over more than three long days of misery.

In the hurricane-ravaged city, where people are thirsty and hungry, living in squalid conditions and in fear of armed bands of marauding looters, the response is seen as confused, ineffective and puzzlingly slow.

“Why is no one in charge?” asked one frustrated evacuee at the Ernest Morial Convention Center, where thousands have waited days for help. “I find it hard to believe.”

Yet, 80 miles away at the Federal Emergency Management Agency command post in Baton Rouge, FEMA Director Michael Brown told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Thursday evening that “considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.”

His view was not shared by some of the local officials trying to cope at the scene of the disaster.

Terry Ebbert, New Orleans’ homeland security chief, told WWL-TV that he thinks FEMA’s response to the disaster has been an “embarrassment.” Walter Maestri, the emergency management director in suburban Jefferson Parish, said FEMA and other federal agencies are not delivering help nearly as fast as it is needed.

Yet, back in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told CNN Thursday that he believes he thinks FEMA and other federal agencies have done a “magnificent job” under difficult circumstances to deal with the unprecedented disaster, citing their “courage” and “ingenuity.”

Insisting that aid is coming as fast as possible, Chertoff said, “You can’t fly helicopters in a hurricane. You can’t drive trucks in a hurricane.”

Such explanations likely would have been of cold comfort to the crowd of hot, thirsty, bedraggled people outside the convention center, even if they could have heard them.

I didn’t think it was possible, but Michael Chertoff just made Tom “Rainbow Warrior” Ridge look like MacGyver.

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