Een my country we have problem.
«Their government has proved itself incompetent. Yes, it could act quickly once it had decided to act - but it idled for days. This disastrous performance will surely saddle the remainder of George Bush's presidency, just as the botched Desert One rescue of American hostages from the besieged US embassy in Tehran hobbled that of Jimmy Carter. Americans expect competence from their leader as a minimum requirement. And if an image of a crashed helicopter in the Iranian desert could undo one president, surely pictures of an American city reduced to a Somali or Bangladeshi kind of chaos spell disaster for this one.
It is conceivable that Americans will now call a halt to their quarter-century experiment in limited government - and the neglected infrastructure that has entailed. There are some tasks, they may conclude, which neither individuals nor private companies can do alone - and evacuating tens of thousands of people from a drowning city is one of them.
When corpses float in the streets for five days, the indispensable nation looks like a society that cannot take care of its own. When Sri Lanka offers to send emergency aid, the humiliation is complete.»
Meanwhile, in Texistan and environs:
«[FEMA Director] Brown himself has minimal experience of managing emergencies. In the Seventies, he oversaw the emergency services of Edmund, a town in Oklahoma. For the 10 years before he came to Fema, he was a lawyer for the business interests of a wealthy family in Colorado. He was also the head of the International Arabian Horse Association.
However, he was an old friend of Joseph Allbaugh, who ran George W Bush's election campaign in 2001 and went on to run Fema, bringing in Brown as his deputy. When Allbaugh left in 2003 to join a private company that is winning contracts in Iraq, Brown took over. He may yet be sorry he did.»
Meanwhile, a happy thought from a few days back:
«Ashworth says the fact that the public still expects inflation to be contained despite oil prices at $65 a barrel is an indication of the confidence Greenspan has been able to command. 'We believe in the Fed's ability to deliver low and stable inflation,' he says.»