The consumer confidence index is now at it's lowest point since Bush Sr. was in the White House. This is an aberration, due to the shock of Hurricane Katrina and the huge jump in prices at the gas pump, and the pundits expect the statistic to recover quickly... but I'm not so sure that it will. Gas prices are coming down already, but I'm not sure that the impact on mood and confidence has even bottomed out yet. I expect the impact to outlast the actual emergency by quite a long time.
In another note, the recent worsening of the situation in Iraq is getting short shrift from mainstream media and blogs during the aftermath of Katrina. Nearly 1000 people were killed in a stampede caused merely by the rumor of a suicide bomber, but bloggers were mainly paying attention to Katrina that day. Almost 150 killed in one day and more than two undred killed and hundreds more wounded by insurgents this week in Iraq, while Katrina still dominates the news and blogs. I mention this for a couple of reasons, but the main one is this: for all the talk about making America safer, it is painfully apparent that we are not. Katrina was an aberration, not an unexpected event, but an uncontrollable event; but the damage to New Orleans by a few well-placed terrorist car or boat bombs would have been even worse. There would have been no warning. 80% of the citizens would not have been evacuated in advance. The advance planning and staging of resources that were done for Katrina, inadequate as it proved to be, would not have been in place at all. Meanwhile, as we spend billions in Iraq and have a massive counter-insurgency force operating there, we still can't stop terrorist attacks there. So let's stop kidding ourselves about how we're making America safer. We're not.
1. Jeff Crossett09/18/2005 06:34:08 PM
Yet, returning to the status quo does not make much better of an argument. We definitely need a different way to go about it, and we need to ask alot more tough questions instead of ignoring them.
2. Richard Schwartz09/18/2005 07:32:25 PM
@Jeff: Quite true. Furthermore, if there are structural problems in DHS that contributed to the lack of preparedness in NOLA, they are bi-partisan problems, not Bush problems. I suspect that there are such problems, and big ones, too. But I think that the priorities dictated from the top are the biggest problem.