Without strict building codes and widespread advance warning protocols, millions more could have perished in the earthquake and tsunami that together devastated wide swaths of Japan last week. How does the GOP respond to this tragedy? By defending their drastic cuts to vital emergency services provided by agencies such as the National Weather Service and US Geological Survey.
On The Ed Show last night, The Nation's Chris Hayes explained that even from "a sort of libertarian perspective," advanced warning systems are an indispensable "public good." So what are Republicans thinking? "One of the things we learned during Katrina is that it`s very easy to not pay attention to the aspects of the government that provide emergency services," Hayes says. If the GOP succeeds in cutting back funding for agencies that regulate building standards and facilitate emergency evacuation, how will the US fare in the next unanticipated disaster?