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If you haven't been under a rock the past week, there were fires to the West, the South and the North. Normally, I'd file this post under the next cycle of California Encyclicals, but instead, this proves what is going well in Southern California.
The San Fernando Valley was safe (save from traffic accidents and road closures), but others weren't. Before I get political here, please make a donation to The Red Cross for the survivors.
Now let's go over the winners and losers of the Fires:
LAFD, SDFD, and all the Fire Departments involved -- They did the hard work. Give them support during their fund drives and wish them well. They kept Los Angeles and San Diego safe.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) - By being bi-partisan in his effort (welcoming President Bush, working with local Democrats in Malibu), he played a great role here. He might not help Republicans win in the next election, but he has proven he can carry the day.
Mayor Jerry Sanders (R-San Diego) - San Diego was a corrupt city before his election as mayor. By working to clean out corruption, he made it easier for the Federal officials to get in.
The City of San Diego -- A healthy two party system, clean of corruption, and a military town; San Diego showed how cities can tackle crisis that occur.
David Geffen - Democratic party contributor who refuses to open to the beach to the public, but opened his homes to his neighbors. Kudos from the Valley.
City of Malibu - They kept their (rich) citizens safe.
President George Bush (R-TX) -- Activated FEMA after the call from Governor Schwarzenegger, their earlier disputes melted away against the backdrop of the fires. Sometimes Republicans working together can be a good thing.
John Garamendi and Barbara Boxer - Context and timing. Disagree with International policy? Fine. "Act civil?" There is only one President at a time, Lieutenant Governor Garamendi, he came here about the fires. Next year, I heard rumors of an election for another President; Couldn't both Boxer and Garmendi wait until the fires had cooled? No, they proved to be partisan hacks.
The City of New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana - A one party state with a history of political corruption could not get their own house in order for the Federal Agencies. For all those who complain, answer me this: What role does a Mayor and a Governor have in an emergency? It always takes three days before the Federal Agencies arrives. That is the same number under President Clinton and President HW Bush. However, tired of excuses, Louisiana elected Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-LA). Maybe Louisiana is on the way to becoming San Diego.
Enviormentalist Lawsuits - Lawsuits show up if people want to clear brush or to adapt anything in the forests. Enviormentalists used to be about "Conserving", but with these fires, the collective total of lawsuits are killing trees while the fires are killing people. Battle in the court of public opinion not just in the legal courts. Judicial fiats are not a way to prove your point.
With tonights rain, the fires should have cooled, so should the political rhetoric during an emergency.