Friday, October 18, 2013

How bad is it?

On to talking about the troubles of the exchanges.
NRO's Yural Levin gives a lengthy assessment, with insights from his time in the Bush White House during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.
All of that said, I want to end with a caveat. The character of the conversations I had with these very knowledgeable individuals in the last few days reminded me of something: It reminded me of the daily intra-governmental video conferences and calls in the wake of hurricane Katrina in 2005. I was witness to many of those, as a White House staffer. What I saw in the first days of the disaster quickly fell into a pattern: local, state, and federal officials on the ground would report on what they knew directly—which was often grim—and then they would pass along information they’d heard but hadn’t gotten first hand, which was often much more grim but almost always ultimately turned out not to be true. Some of these stories went public (remember the shootings at the Superdome? They never happened). Some didn’t. They were often reported with a kind of detached authority that made them believable, and they were a function of living in panic amid an unbelievable situation over time.
We have a bunch of unknown unknowns at work.
The skeptics had a strong case before, and he's more weight for that.

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