So Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the Gulf States the week of the GOP convention. Today was John McCain's 72nd birthday and the anniversary of Bush and McCain sharing birthday cake in Arizona while an American city drowned.
With Gustav poised to make an impact on the GOP convention, King had this to say "If it does work out well, it will probably be a small plus for us," said New York Rep. Peter King, top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, which oversees federal disaster response operations. "Obviously, if it doesn't work out well, then the Republicans are going to have a problem."
Here is a post from this site post-Katrina about King and his committee chairmanship "From 9/16/06: What the FEMA is up with Peter King?
We've been going over King wanting to be the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee during the past few weeks here at King Watch Central and with each passing day, more questions arise about his qualification. Right now, he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology.
Notice the words "Emergency Preparedness."
What just recently occured that showed us we are NOT prepared? A devasting hurricane.
Before we go any further though, we have to throw some history in here...
Back in the day - before Bush - FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was made a Cabinet level position by President Clinton. Clinton appointed James Lee Witt, a man with a decade of Emergency Management experience, as head of FEMA.
After 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security was created and Bush drop-kicked FEMA out of the Cabinet and into DHS. Bush then took a man with no emergency management experience and put him on charge of FEMA. Director Micheal Brown is a political hack with a patronage job
Back to today... DHS and FEMA are answerable to congress. The Homeland Security Committee has oversight of the department. FEMA is now deep in the bowels of a department created to protect us from terrorism.
Do you see the emerging problem?
FEMA which deals with all sorts of crisis from natural to man-made disasters is placed under the control of a department charged dealing with only man-made disasters.
So where are we going with this and what does King have it do with it?
King's sub-commitee over-sees "Emergency Preparedness."
BUT the problem seems to be the focus is only on terrorism. From the sub-commitees website:"Preparedness for and collective response to terrorism, including federal support to first responders; terrorism-related incident management and response; consequence mitigation; Department of Homeland Security-administered homeland security grants to first responders; conduct and coordination of exercises and training relating to mitigating the effects of and responding to terrorist attacks (including nuclear, biological, radiological, and chemical attacks on civilian populations); federal government coordination of terrorism-related emergency preparedness and response with and among state and local governments, the private sector, and the public; research, development and deployment of technology for combating terrorism; adaptation of existing technologies to homeland security prevention priorities; coordination and enhancement of Department of Homeland Security interaction on science and technology matters with the private sector, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, the National Laboratories, and other scientific resources; Department of Homeland Security-based science and technology entities and initiatives; conducting relevant oversight; and other matters referred to the Subcommittee by the Chairman."
See the many uses of the words "terrorism" and nothing about "natural disasters?"
That is a big issue.What is the sub-commitees role in over-seeing FEMA and natural disaster preparedness?
Go through the full commitee website and the stated mission for each sub-commitee is all about "terrorism."
Now King's sub-commitee should be dealing with the over-sight of FEMA disaster plans right?
What exactly was the sub-commitee's role in making sure FEMA natural disaster planes were up to snuff?
If King wants to be chairman of the full Homeland Security Commitee he needs to show he was an effective sub-commitee chairman."