Monday, September 19, 2005

 

My Carter-like Malaise....

Reminding me why I don't like Big-Goverment....

Truth be told, my lack of postings is more than just having a full plate in the office. I'm deeply pessimistic about the current state of affairs in terms of Iraq, New Orleans, and the general direction of the country - I feel as if I'm entering a personal "malaise" unseen since the time of Jimmy Carter.

It is apparent looking back on Katrina, that the failure of government occurred at all levels and unfolded in a stunning manner. Some elements of the federal response seem to be going well (Army Corps, Coast guard rescues, etc.), while others, FEMA, EPA and what not, seem to be stumbling or uncovering new problems that will delay reestablishing the gulf coast.

What's most depressing is the enormous, big-government response to the catastrophe. While the level of destruction requires enormous expenditures to restore public infrastructure, help the displaced and so forth, I have zero..ZERO confidence that Bush or the GOP led Congress can cut spending to help pay for the $200 billion plus tab. And of course many elements of the reconstruction plan read as if they were written by Ted Kennedy....

Bush's response, from a leadership point, has been underwhelming too. Delivering a decent speech last week, promising all the money in the world, with no consequences or tax increases or whatever. He's even been using a mad-libs like talking points, borrowed from Iraq, to describe federal efforts. "We won't give up, we will prevail.." only leaving out the "evil doers" part, but that's parenthetical...you know Nagin/Blanco being really at fault.

So yet another round of government failure, in an era when the GOP controls all branches of government. The response, not independent investigations or calls for accountability, but rather, throwing nearly incomprehensible amounts of money at the problem and expanding the size and reach of the feds even further. Dear Lord!....

And what of New Orleans? That wretched, yet beguiling town of jazz, booze and hedonism? One can only imagine the havoc that the federal reconstruction effort might inflict on the storied city. Bold concepts of "New Urbanism", mixed use whatevers and Disney like reconstructions of neighborhoods are just the begining. Efforts to reconfigure the city will no doubt make use of the controversial Kelo decision to allow for private companies to seize land for new development. Clearing out concentrations of poor and or minority residents to allow the building of urban condos for the never to return yuppies in and around downtown. Or even, as I've read, turning the poorer neighborhoods into industrial zones to help create jobs...At this stage I just can't see a new city, designed by a committee, emerging as anything vital or interesting at all...that of course may change...but for now, it just seems so bleak.

And then there is this crap from NASA. Taking us into the future by using technology that is older than I am...and as I am fast approaching my -gasp! 35 year on Earth, that's pretty old. Only in the world of the Federal Government can reusing current and old hardware for space missions still cost $5 billion to develop and put into service. What a waste.

But for now, I'll put on my little happy face, head out to my meetings on the Hill and compliment the "Emperor" on his nice new set of clothes. . .

And in the mean time, to stay sane, I'll focus on what works...private citizens, most charities, blogs and of course...that dreamy new iPod Nano....

Comments:
Yeah, I think a lot of people are feeling that malaise you speak of.
 
We should all buy ipod nanos....that'll make us feel better!....
 
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