From Wednesday’s WaPo:
* If the reason Bush returned to Washington is that he is more effective here, then why didn’t he come back two days ago?
* If the White House considers the return from vacation largely symbolic, then what is the symbolism of his long vacation during a war?
* Could Bush and the federal government have done more to prepare for hurricane recovery? Unlike the Asian tsunami, this hurricane was forecast days ahead of time.
* Did any of his previous budget decisions allow the hurricane to cause more damage than it might have otherwise?
* Are National Guard troops and equipment required to restore order in this country many thousands of miles away?
Update Brad DeLong has a roundup of the Wide World of Incompetence that has been the disaster preparation and relief effort so far.
My favorite item is from Marty Schwimmer at Corrante:
After CNN reported today that helicopters were diverted from plugging the levee breach on Tuesday, in order to rescue individuals on rooftops, I wondered what is involved in securing sufficient helicopters in a national emergency.
It took me two minutes of Googling to identify the Erickson Air Crane Company and obtain their email address and phone number. The Air Crane is one of the most powerful helicopters in the world (used for lifting trucks and putting out fires, for example).
I emailed them today asking if anyone had contacted them about the levee. They replied immediately that while they had put out the word to government entities, and while they are a DOD-listed contractor, they had not been contacted by any Government entity as of Wednesday evening.
The levee broke on Monday night. I assume that a governor, or a general, or maybe a President would have gotten the CEO of this company (and other companies like them) on the phone and said “get over there ASAP.”
And Kevin Drum has the timeline, as well as this pearl of wisdom from the Beloved Leader:
“I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.”
Only those, as Kevin notes, who were paying attention.