Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Larry
When taking the long view of the long slide of the Bush administration into the toilet, a key juncture was its belated, ham-handed and hubristic response to Hurricane Katrina.
Good news has been hard to come by since then, but the New York Times reports that Donald E. Powell , who is coordinating federally-funded Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts, is winning over hearts and minds in that ravaged region and, most importantly, apparently has the president's ear. Details here.
Meanwhile, Cyclone Larry, a Force 5 hurricane as powerful as Katrina, has made landfall in the northern Queensland region of Australia, causing catastrophic damage but, as of this writing on Monday morning in the eastern U.S., has not taken a single life. The Sydney Morning Herald has the story here.
This begs the question: What do the Aussies do differently?
The Dear Friend and Conscience (DF&C) has travelled extensively in the affected area and has the answer:
* The government will not permit any construction unless it is cyclone proof, which is why many buildings and homes lost their roofs but are otherwise intact.
* The emergency response system is sophisticated and battle tested. In other words, it works.
(Hat tip to Tim Blair for the Cyclone Larry link.)