Worse than Katrina

I expected Obama to be worse than Bush in many ways. I did not, however, expect his administration’s response to a natural or environmental disaster to be even more incompetent than the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina:

Sixteen barges sat stationary today, although they were sucking up thousands of gallons of BP’s oil as recently as Tuesday. Workers in hazmat suits and gas masks pumped the oil out of the Louisiana waters and into steel tanks. It was a homegrown idea that seemed to be effective at collecting the thick gunk…. But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that [Louisiana governor] Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

Unbelievable. I am a confirmed skeptic – nay, utter cynic – regarding government competence, and yet no matter how pessimistic my view of federal government agencies, they always manage to fall short of even my lowest expectations. Keep this in mind the next time you find yourself thinking that more government regulation is capable of preventing or solving ANYTHING in a reasonable manner.

Doing nothing is to be vastly preferred to actively working to prevent others from fixing the problem. You have to feel sympathy for those poor state and local officials who have been waiting for two months for the federal agents to ride in and salvage the situation, only to discover that the cavalry is fighting on the side of the Indians.