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I read this astonishing article from the Salt Lake Tribune twice, and only on a second reading did I realize the essential absurdity of it.

This is the article, which you may have seen already, about 1,000 highly trained search-and-rescure firefighters who left their homes to volunteer in the Gulf, and found themselves instead sitting in hotel in Atlanta for two days being trained to be "community relations workers" for FEMA, a job which would consist exclusively of handing out fliers with the phone number 1-800-621-FEMA.

Fortunately, 150 of them were suddenly rushed onto planes to get to New Orleans, where they were pressed into service as a backdrop for a Bush photo op.

"There are all of these guys with all of this training and we're sending them out to hand out a phone number," an Oregon firefighter said. "They [the hurricane victims] are screaming for help and this day [of FEMA training] was a waste."

It's all too much to believe -- the wasted days, the misuse of skilled volunteers, the photo-op. But then I realized the most ridiculous thing of all:  NOBODY IN NEW ORLEANS HAS A WORKING TELEPHONE YET!

I'm sure those brochures will be very helpful, though, once everything's back to normal.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on September 7, 2005 | Permalink


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Socks, THEN shoes. Socks, THEN shoes.

Posted by: ferd | Sep 7, 2005 5:00:53 PM

Need to edit last line: NOBODY IN NEW ORLEANS [add HAS] A WORKING . . .

Posted by: William Bennett | Sep 7, 2005 5:37:42 PM

I've been mentioning the James Kroeger article, The Republican Nemesis, on blogs like this because I feel so strongly about its potential to make the Democrats the majority party again.

It's lengthy, but it's packed with insights into why Democratic campaign strategists fail when they go up against the Republicans.

Here's what others have been saying about The Republican Nemesis.

Posted by: Linette | Sep 8, 2005 2:56:32 PM