Responsibility for What?

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More hurricane “blame game”: the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan research organization, looked into the question of whether the governor of Louisiana did everything she could to take the “necessary and timely steps needed to secure disaster relief from the federal government.” And the report says… she did. So that undercuts recent White House attempts to use the “chick governor excuse” for the slow response to Katrina, although it certainly doesn’t get the Mayor of New Orleans off the hook — and I suspect he’ll still come out of this looking quite bad. (See, for example, this.)

Meanwhile, there’s not much to say about the president purportedly taking responsibility for the federal government’s response to Katrina this morning. More precisely, he said, “And to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility.” Okay, but what does this even mean? To what extent does he think the federal government didn’t fully do its job right? Does he think he should be responsible for appointing largely unqualified GOP operatives to head positions at FEMA? Is he planning to take any action to fix things? Appoint an independent commission to look into the matter? This may well be the first time in memory that Bush has semi-apologized for anything, but it doesn’t really seem all that significant, when it comes down to it.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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