Damn them

There is so much so terribly wrong in this lead to today’s Washington Post report on the government scandal of New Orleans:

Tens of thousands of people spent a fifth day awaiting evacuation from this ruined city, as Bush administration officials blamed state and local authorities for what leaders at all levels have called a failure of the country’s emergency management….

Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state’s emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. “Quite frankly, if they’d been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals,” said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly….

Yesterday, Mayor Ray Nagin said he told the governor and the president to sit down and get their acts together. This is precisely what he meant. Note also that the mayor said he’d be happy to hand over authority to Gen. Russel Honore if that would get things done.

They should be ashamed of themselves. No one is in charge. And people are dying because of it.

: There is hard work and heroism everywhere. There is tragedy everywhere. And there is shame in too many places. Here‘s N.O. Mayor Nagin in the Nola.com breaking news blog:

Nagin’s ire began to rise anew as he recalled a foiled strategy to send able-bodied refugees over the Crescent City Connection to the high ground of the West Bank.

“We were taking in people from St. Bernard Parish,” he said. “If we had a bottle of water, we shared it. Then when we were going to let people cross the bridge, they were met with frigging dogs and guns at the Gretna parish line. They said, ‘We’re going to protect Jefferson Parish assets.’

“Some people value homes, cars and jewelry more than human life. The only escape route was cut off. They turned them back at the parish line.”

: It’s not just about politics and greed. It’s still about incompetence and bureacracy. Another Washington Post story asking what went wrong:

The killer hurricane and flood that devastated the Gulf Coast last week exposed fatal weaknesses in a federal disaster response system retooled after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to handle just such a cataclysmic event.

Despite four years and tens of billions of dollars spent preparing for the worst, the federal government was not ready when it came at daybreak on Monday, according to interviews with more than a dozen current and former senior officials and outside experts.

Among the flaws they cited: Failure to take the storm seriously before it hit and trigger the government’s highest level of response. Rebuffed offers of aid from the military, states and cities. An unfinished new plan meant to guide disaster response. And a slow bureaucracy that waited until late Tuesday to declare the catastrophe “an incident of national significance,” the new federal term meant to set off the broadest possible relief effort.

: The Post does have a great package today. Another explains why so many could not leave.

: Doc calls the Katrina Scandal the War on Error.

  • Stijn

    You’re absolutely right. Damn them. If ‘only’ flooding would have taken place, we in The Netherlands (we live our lives well below sea level as well) would ‘only’ have wondered how a government could have let people live at such jeopardy for such a long time.

    But letting people die of sheer ignorance is a rightout shame. Shame on you, completely incompetent politicians (to whom it may concern)! What on earth is wrong with that “great country” the USA used to look like? What’s wrong with you?? I can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it…

    Looks like it’s time for some sort of constitutional debate over there? It’s by far not a shame to improve on some of the thoughts that the Pilgrim Fathers layed down in a consitution, instead of sticking to them in such a rigid way… Hello, hello?? Since they left the city of (a.o.) Leiden the world -and its consitutions- have evolved over time…. Federal Government should have some tools to act, shouldn’t it?

    Wake up America, this is the 21st century! Come on, people are dying!

  • http://http:www.rightnumberone.blogspot.com RightNumberOne

    Jeff,

    There’s no mystery what went wrong here. The people of New Orleans placed their trust in a moron – Ray Nagin.

    Nagin had to be practically BEGGED by President Bush to order a mandatory evacuation. Then, once he did, he totally abandoned his most impoverished citizens by NOT USING city buses and city-owned school buses to transport the infirm out of New Orleans.

    Nagin should be arrested for criminal negligence.

    New Orleans had a well-defined hurricane disaster plan. Nagin completely ignored that plan. He has had to be pushed and prodded to do the right thing at EVERY TURN.

    That he has the GALL to suggest that other people need to get off their asses and do HIS JOB FOR HIM just sickens me.

    The “John Wayne dudes” are now in charge. That’s why, if you are keeping up with current events, Mayor Moron is nowhere to be found.

  • syn

    The President HAD NO FEDERAL AUTHORITY in the State of Louisiana due the the fact the the Governor DID NOT ISSUE AUTHORITY FOR FEDERAL CONTROL until Wed 31st.

    Jeff: Why did the Governor of Louisiana PREVENT the Federal government from assuming control of the State of Louisana.

    Nagin’s had no plan for evacuation, a phone call after the fact complaining about the disaster Hagin caused in NOT HAVING A PROPER PLAN in place is a careless way to govern.

    Gleeming over the law is an obtuse way to justify the the State of Louisiana’s leadership failures. Unless given the authority to do so, the President cannot come to the rescue in order to save an idiot Governor and useless Mayor.

  • syn

    By the way, the Governor asked for assistance (meaning just give her a bunch of money) which the President had already issued in his State of Emergency declaration on Saturday. The governor of Louisiana did not authorize the Federal government to assume control. Plus, she failed to follow proper procedure by sending that letter directly to the WH instead of sending it to FEMA!

  • http://http:www.rightnumberone.blogspot.com RightNumberOne

    Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is on top of things, though.

    Two days after the hurricane, she signed an executive order finally taking control of the school and municipal buses away from Nagin.

    Of course, by then, the school buses were sitting in 7 feet of water, completely useless to anybody and now causing an environmental disaster as their diesel fuel fouls the water surrounding the Ray Nagin Memorial Motor Pool.

    Here’s the governor’s executive order, signed just after the barn door closed:

    http://www.gov.state.la.us/Press_Release_detail.asp?id=991

  • http://www.agoyandhisblog.com goy

    Nagin has no business issuing orders to ANYONE at this point – let alone the two people who advised him to evacuate his city while there was adequate time to do it. He should just shut up now.

    Jeff, this crap you’re quoting from the WaPo is just more lefty echo chamber BS. It is not “asking” what went wrong, it is pointing fingers.

    “Failure to take the storm seriously before it hit and trigger the government’s highest level of response.”

    BS: a national emergency was declared before the storm ever made landfall on the Gulf Coast. Triggering the government’s highest level of response — deploying the National Guard — MUST BE AUTHORIZED BY STATE GOVERNORS. The WaPo knows this, and so do you. If the feds had spent million$ staging a NG deployment before they even knew where to deploy, and the storm had miraculously blown itself out east of New Orleans, you and CNN would be spewing bile about wasted government spending, disrupting the lives of our already-traumatized Guard members, and blaring on about how it weakens our forces in Iraq. Go ahead – deny it.

    “Rebuffed offers of aid from the military, states and cities.”

    BS: unsupported, unsubstantiated drivel just rattled off to add to the list.

    “An unfinished new plan meant to guide disaster response.”

    BS: The “new plan” is being developed to replace the existing plan, which was and is still in effect. The only plan that mattered here was the New Orleans disaster plan, which was shredded by Nagin as he fled the city and abandoned the poor, elderly and infirm when he had the means to get tens of thousands of them out. But of course WaPo would rather not discuss THAT plan.

    “And a slow bureaucracy that waited until late Tuesday to declare the catastrophe “an incident of national significance,”

    BS: AS IF a public declaration of rhetoric has ANY bearing on the legal, logistical issues involved in providing, mobilizing and deploying federal aid! Time for a reality check, WaPo! This statement was issued AFTER the failed communications systems in New Orleans (thank you once again, Mayor Nagin) FINALLY got the word out that the levees had failed and the city was flooding. THAT was certainly an “incident of national significance”.

    The feds did everything by the book in this crisis. The Coast Guard worked miracles saving lives. The Navy was steaming to the area while Katrina was still blowing through the rest of the country. The National Guard pulled off a *miraculously* timely response in getting aid into NO once the Governors authorized their deployment.

    The simple, shameful truth here is that LA State and NO City officials **simply didn’t hold up their end of the log here**. But they get a free pass from you, Jeff, and the rest of the lefty media because there’s someone else who can be conveniently blamed, facts be damned.

  • kat

    Yeah, but she’s on a roll now.
    {Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state’s victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.}

  • http://spleenville.com/wordpress/ Andrea Harris

    Jeff, you may want to ask yourself why things didn’t fall apart this bad in Mississippi and Alabama. Could it be that their state and municipal governments are a teeny bit more competent than Louisiana’s appears to have been?

  • Harry

    Jeff, have you seen the links to the web site where you can view the full text of the official City of New Orleans disaster and emergenvcy response plan?

    In it, you can see where the mayor is supposed to order a mandatory evacuation if a Category 3 or stronger hurricane is forecast within 72 hours.

    Why didn’t Nagin do so??? What’s the point of having an emergency plan if you’re going to “wing it” when faced with an actual threat?

    While FEMA’s response has been bumbling, the simple fact is that a lot of people died because of the fecklessness and political cowardice of the mayor of New Orleans and governor of Louisiana. A lot of people would still be alive now if Nagin and Blanco had gotten their butts in gear and acted as leaders a week ago at this time.

    There’s a part of me that says people in the media are afraid to give Nagin and Blanco the criticism they have richly earned because they’re afraid of being called racist and sexist. That’s too bad, because people needlessly died because of those two fools.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    The President HAD NO FEDERAL AUTHORITY in the State of Louisiana due the the fact the the Governor DID NOT ISSUE AUTHORITY FOR FEDERAL CONTROL until Wed 31st.

    Wrong! FEMA was activated by a declaration of a state of emergency on August 27th — two days before Katrina made landfall. Once FEMA arrives on the scene, they assume primary responsibility for command and control in coordinating the disaster relief effort at the local, state, and federal levels.

    Right now FEMA director Brown and DHS secretary Chertoff are attempting to hide behind pre-9/11 notions of disaster relief, passing off the failures onto the state and local levels when they know damned well that since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security the buck stops with the federal government:

    In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort.

    But instead of admitting that they dropped the ball, Chertoff and Brown have now decided to blame the victims instead. Sickening.

  • http://www.drcookie.blogspot.com JennyD

    The NY Times ran a timeline of the story and local, state, and federal responses. To be honest, it looks as though everyone did basically what they were supposed to. If anything, it looks as though the local guys were slow off the dime. The state and federal people were ready to move, but the local guys stalled. I don’t have a link; I read it on actual paper.

  • Grray

    FEMA.org: ‘As it has for more than 20 years, FEMA’s mission remains: to lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of “A Nation Prepared.” ‘

    Now some here are telling us that FEMA couldn’t do anything because it doesn’t have authority. Even if this was true (it isn’t, as Jerey showed you), whose would be responsible for a situation where the fed agency for emergency missions is seriously crippled in a desaster that’s too big to be handled by a single city or state? There is a republican senate, a republican house and a republican White House. GWB restructured FEMA, completely destroying the apparatus build under Clinton and strengthened under the leadership of emergency managment expert James Lee Witt. GWB installed two of his buddies at FEMA’s helm, who didn’t have the necessary experience in doing the job.
    And now Rightnumberone, goy, and others, want to tell us that the buck stops at Nagin and Blanco? They’re thinking the readers here are completely stupid?

  • observant

    The emergency response is clearly the purvieew of the Department of Homeland security, as declared in their mission statement. Local govt dysfunctionality is a contributing factor, but the feds had first responder responsibility, and didn’t show up until Friday. The Natl Guard was called but not deployed until they received the og order from bush — on Thursday. Bush’s negligence, and the ineffectiveness of DHS/FEMA is criminal, not political, but criminal. Where did all those DHS billions go, anyway?

    http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home2.jsp
    Preparing America

    In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America’s families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.

  • Ravo

    afraid to give Nagin and Blanco the criticism they have richly earned because they’re afraid of being called racist and sexist. That’s too bad, because people needlessly died because of those two fools.

    100% Correct

    Anytime African Americans die, the predictable characters play the race card. This time they had to jump all the guilty parties before finding a white face.

    Not only is it a one way racial card…..worse, they are avoiding putting the guilty on the carpet because their skin is not white.

    But the card must be played, so they skip to the next white face and yell racist at the presidential level. I can only marvel at Bush’s graciousness. We have a President, finally, who isn’t obsessed with the polls of mushbrains and is content to let long term history reveal the truth of things.

    To call Bush a racist is beyond comprehension.

    The charge is so ludicrous, it will/has indeed in many ways, already backfired as most dishonesty eventually does…the Dems just won’t learn.

    I shudder to think though, what these charlatans would be doing to the mayor and the governor if their skins were white and thus were made to answer for their criminal negligence. The entire nation would be suffering now with riots clamoring for their hides. No one would even be trying to frame this on the President if they had a white mayor and governor to scream racist about.

  • Robert

    Jeff, seriously. Take a pill. Bush saw that she wasn’t cutting it and he tried to get control so he could save lives.

  • Kevin

    “Rebuffed offers of aid from the military, states and cities.”

    ———————————

    That is already well-documented. And it is becoming increasingly apparent that FEMA was more concerned about demands for administrative control over the efforts than actually DOING something.

    A mandatory evacuation of a major city, even if the residents had TWO days to do so, would be a monumental undertaking which would have required more than just pressing school buses into service and adding to the obvious bumper-to-bumper traffic jams that other residents experienced attempting to leave the area. The state of Louisiana was without half of their National Guard equipment and at least 30 percent of their National Guard units, with other states experiencing the same drain on available resources.

    While it may appear that Mississippi has fared so much better, I’m not sure that has been the case at all. Just because the Republican governor kisses the White House butt in every statement doesn’t mean he didn’t drop his own ball. All he did was go on television and “beg” people to leave before the storm struck – I’ve seen no reports of the state commandeering school buses or troop carriers to ferry out the elderly or poor. Moreover, their coastal cities are much smaller than a metropolitan area of well over a million, yet a bottle of water didn’t appear in these places either until the President magically stopped by on Friday.

    The disaster scenario for this region isn’t some big surprise, even though it appears both FEMA and that worthless DHS are spending lots of time spinning how they were so caught be “surprise.” That’s a load of crap. They were caught with their pants down and with senior White House officials on vacation and obviously disinterested in the disaster unfolding in a regional port area of national importance.

    There are many questions that need to be answered, but I refuse to believe that the Mayor of New Orleans or the Governors of Mississippi and Louisiana were as callous as the President of the United States in withholding water and food deliveries until he could get a nice photo opportunity. The LAST thing this Nation needed to hear was the President talking about rebuilding Trent Lott’s damned mansion while babies were dying of dehydration in the Convention Center of New Orleans.

    While FEMA and DHS were haggling over control and withholding precious rescue equipment, generators and troop support, the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana should have accepted El Salvador’s offer to send troops to help patrol the stricken metropolitan area and told our federal government to go to hell.

  • http://www.usagestatistic.com Jerry

    I think they should add another 10 billion in the Federal relief package and build more refineries here in America. After all the whole nation is feeling the gas prices go up as a result of Katrina. The President should have been quicker to act as well as the rest of our always fast acting and honest Governments around the world lol. I remember when gas was 89 cents a gallon and for 10 bucks you could get almost 11 gallons I put 10 bucks into today and got 3 gallons. I am only 27 years old so I am not talking about 1960, 70, or even 80 1990 just almost 8 9 years ago.

  • Kevin

    Robert – if that was the case, the President had plenty of time to figure that out much earlier in the week, especially when the Mayor and both governors – yes, including the Republican one in Mississippi, were begging for immediate assistance.

    When the President finally flew over the area on Wednesday, people on rooftops needed something more than just another presidential prayer and an offer to have Air Force One drop some pieces of cake.

  • http://Blainesprouse.com Fiddler

    You folks need to get a grip and place the blame for this fiasco where it damn well belongs—on the door-step of George Wimp Bush. This is the biggtest failure of federal government in the history of the United States. He was too busy giving speeches tryint to justify his Iraqi War which he got us into with nothing bur lies to lead this country in response to this national Disaster.

    THis is the result of FEMA being dismantled, more or less, and placed under so-called Homeland Security. Are we feeling secure right now, folks??? I know I sure am confident that if a major terrorist attack comes this Buch Administration will be up t the task!!

    This was crippling of FEMA was anticipated a year ago. READ THIS IF YOU WANT THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT CAUSED THIS UNNECESSARY LOSS OF THOUSNADS OF LIVES:

    http://www.indyweek.com/durham/2004-09-22/cover.html

    Stop blaming the poor, unfortunate LA Governor and Mayor Nagin; they may have not responded as quickly as they could have, but the fact is that the magnitude of this catasrophe MANDATED AN IMMEDIATE FEDERAL RESPONSE by FEMA and federal troops, those that are designated to respond to these kinds of disasters

    And the way these poor evacuees have been treat is criminal, simply becuase they are poor, disabled and/or black. THey were shipped out, after days and days and days of waiting, like animals, in buses, not told where the bus would be going, even after asking. Would you want ot be treated like that??? I thought so.

    Bush is absolutely the worst so-called president we have ever seen. ANd I do not care whether you agree, disagree, or could care less, because history will bear me out.

  • cowboyneok

    The FREEPER comments on here are laughable. No matter how you try to spin your lies the BUCK continues to filter down to the little guys with you!

    Bush was just on television begging money from the middle class and poor. Later today, he will be insisting on the repeal of the Estate Tax for the ultra-wealthy because they need “tax relief.”

    You pathetic bunch of right wing SCHMUCKS have been absolutely WRONG about everything. By the way, WHERE IS FUCKING OSAMA BIN LADEN? You fucktard Republican Neo-Cons waiting for him to SUCKER PUNCH us again while we are bleeding from Hurricane Katrina?

  • cowboyneok

    You fucktard Republicans = Are you fucktard Republicans…

  • cowboyneok

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/3/22494/85287

    Dutch viewer Frank Tiggelaar writes:

    There was a striking discrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.

    ZDF News reported that the president’s visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of ‘news people’ had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time. The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.

  • cowboyneok

    WHY DOES SENATOR FRIST HATE AMERICA? FROM AMERICABLOG.ORG.

    Doesn’t he know that this is no time to criticize? People are busy wrapping themselves in the flag for immunity so to criticize is so completely un-American. I may not like the guy and while I may have issues with his medical senses (his Schiavo diagnosis) at least he is there getting a first hand experience with everything that has gone wrong.

    “No coordination with how many people will be coming in the door 10 minutes later,” he told The Associated Press. “That’s sort of the most disappointing thing. It’s probably the greatest failure.”

    “Given the escalation of catastrophe that occurred over the first three days, absolutely I would have liked to see the federal government respond quicker, more rapidly, with better command and control centers and much improved communication,” Frist said.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Where does this come from? This weird fetish over the President showing up in person in the middle of a disaster area where people are having difficulty moving in and out on the first day? While many criticisms concerning the relief effort are valid, this is particularly foolish and inane.

    When he does show up… when it’s feasible… it’s still a negative to these folks. It almost leads one to suspect that this is the complaint of people who, oh, let me hazard a guess here, hated Bush to begin with and wouldn’t be happy with anything he did short of choking on a pretzel and dying.

    I went through a flood myself once… nothing as major, obviously, but there were some local deaths and destruction of property. We were unprepared, but we made makeshift sandbags on the fly to stave off the rushing water off of the nearby mountains. Afterwards, the difficulty was digging my car out of the ground (it sank into the mud) and finding a way to get supplies. I only tell this story to say that the last thing any of us would have wanted is a politician standing in the yard telling us that things are going to be all right.

    Who we *did* rely on in the aftermath was radio. We wanted information. What was going on, what could be done. I would have been furious if the airwaves were clogged with, instead of information and directions, people whining and complaining about their usual political foes.

  • http://Blainesprouse.com Fiddler

    There is no end to the lies that this administration will tell to try to avoid any responsibility for there criminally neglignet failure in New ORleans. “Homeland Security” Secretary Jerkoff said yesterda evening in his press conference that there was no way anyone expected the levee to break after the hurricane. Oh, and remember Bush’s interview a few days ago with Diane Sawyer, “no one expected the levee’s to break.” Do these people really expect the population of the UNited States to believe these lies???

    Read this, and you will plainly see that this PRECISE scenario was predicted a year ago:

    http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/wwl091404danger.118803ee2.html

    Wake up America, its time to impeach and/or call for Bushe’s resignation. THis entre administration should be jailed for the thousands and thousands of lives that they have beenresponsible for taking, from Cindy Sheehan’s son and the other tropps and innocnet civilians in Irag, to all of those that unnecessarilly perished in New Orleans while waiting for the help they deserved and rightly expected from the federal government.

  • http://www.feedwriter.com Greg Burton

    The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005, and continuing.

    The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures,
    ——————————————————————
    That was issued the 27th.

    The Red Cross couldn’t establish any relief stations or bring in food until Saturday. FEMA told them not to. Read this again. FEMA prevented the delivery of food and water.

    The helicopter to repair the levee was pulled off it. FEMA?

    500 small boats staffed by 1000 people and lead by a state senator were told to go home and not allowed to do rescue. By FEMA.

    Paperwork for National Guardsmen to arrive was requested Sunday, delivered to the governors Thursday. By FEMA.

    No permission for Forest Service firefighting planes that were ready to go. By FEMA.

    No use of Amtrack to evacuate, though they’d volunteered, until Saturday. By FEMA.

    I’m not going into the shoulda coulda wouldas before hand. Just currently documented facts, folks, and until you can deal with them I’d advise you to stop picking your blame targets.

  • Ravo

    You don’t need to wait for history…you just need to read THE LAW.

    (Italics = From other posts)

    In a nutshell: BY LAW the President of the United States is not granted the power to supercede State power. The President of the United States cannot overrule the Governor’s power. He can advise but he cannot ramrod Federal power over States power. The President cannot call upon LA State Guards and he cannot issue mandatory evacuations.

    This is the way it is supposed to work….the city asks for help from the state then the state asks for help from the federal government. In the case of the Louisiana and New Orleans situation, both failed to provide the neccessary means to aid and secure their populace until such time that Federal aid and assistance can arrive

    In this case…Bush actually had to call THEM, exasparated, and begged the local idiots to hurry up and take these steps so the feds could take over.

    The President is not at each locality. The local governments in the rest of the affected area of 90,000 sq. miles were busy monitoring their own localities and busy taking the required steps. Nagin had an obligation to call for Mandatory evacuation 72 hours before a Category 3 storm. He still hadn’t done so till when…24 hrs?

    The Governor of LA prevented the Feds from assuming control of the State of LA. She did not issue the necessary authority until Wed the 31st.

    Gleeming over the law is an obtuse way to justify the the State of Louisiana’s leadership failures. Unless given the authority to do so, the President cannot come to the rescue in order to save an idiot Governor and useless Mayor.

    Nagin had to be practically BEGGED by President Bush to order a mandatory evacuation.

    Then, once he did, he totally abandoned his most impoverished citizens by NOT USING city buses and city-owned school buses to transport the infirm out of New Orleans.

    By the time….

    the Governor asked for assistance (meaning just give her a bunch of money) which the President had already issued in his State of Emergency declaration on Saturday.

    The governor of Louisiana did not authorize the Federal government to assume control. Plus, she failed to follow proper procedure by sending that letter directly to the WH instead of sending it to FEMA!

  • Chas

    The Chicago Tribune had a puff piece about Nagin yesterday, what a wonderful guy he is for having been born poor in New Orleans and now “fighting” for his city, i.e., complaining about the federal government. It hasn’t yet occurred to the Trib that this idiot left a fleet of 260 city buses siting in a parking lot, waiting to be flooded. Sort of like the Egyptian air force in the Six Day War, uselessly destroyed on the run-way; except the Egyptians didn’t have clear warning, days in advance. If Nagin had any sense, he could have evacuated the most vulnerable groups, starting with the most easily findable: in hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement homes.

  • Lupe Smit

    I read the NO hurricane preparedeness plan. I believe that Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco are to blame. Then we can talk about the Feds…..

  • http://www.xrdarabia.org/blog John Burgess

    Jeff, thanks for providing a handy cesspit into which the anti-Bush crap can be dumped. You’re doing a noble service, though that may not have been your intent.

    But you really need to step back and take a hard look at whose feet the major blame for the disaster may be laid. There are lots of feet out there, starting with the Mayor of New Orleans.

    The pictures of those unused school buses disqualifies any blame-tossing outside the incompetence of the Mayor. And what about the NO city buses? Still sitting in garages.

  • http://www.feedwriter.com Greg Burton

    Carson, it really doesn’t matter whether Bush went to the disaster area or not. What matters is that he, personally, didn’t actually address the nation about this disaster for 48 hours. Would that have helped with relief? If that was all he did, no. Would it have helped with morale? Yes.

    Leadership means leading, not photo ops. Leadership means being out in front when you need to. Across the country, hundreds if not thousands of Republican business leaders know that, and are in shock that their leader failed to lead.

    And where was the Presidential declaration to lower the flags? After 9/11, it was the next day. It hasn’t happened yet for this, but the flags will be lowered because the Chief Justice passed.

    The President is not responsible for the hurricane. He’s responsible for the people he appointed, and his personal reactions. Just like all of us. He’s responsible for the results of his budget priorities, just like any CEO.

    It is not bashing to assume that the President of the United States has the same responsibilities for his actions and his staff that any businessperson accepts and understands.

  • http://Blainesprouse.com Fiddler

    Amen, Greg, you are absolutely right. But Bush adn Co. are NEVER WRONG!!!! They are infallible because he was chosen by God; just ask him!!

  • Grray

    Some apologists here are posting a lot of statements which seem to be quite dubious. It’s time for them to get their record straight and provide proof for their claims.

    - We all remember Bush taking much time for a V-J day speech, playing guitar and vacationing until Tuesday evening. He did return to his post on Wednesday morning. This just doesn’t look like he was very compassionate about the emergency efforts. He didn’t seem to be worried about the handling of measures after he issued a pre-storm emergency declaration that puts federal agencies on alert to provide aid on Saturday 08/27.
    http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050828/NEWS01/508280312/1002/NEWS
    Where is evidence that Bush wasn’t satisfied with the efforts of Nagin and Blanco during this time? Why didn’t he get more actively involved if this was the case?

    - 3800 soldiers of Lpoisisana’s National guard were on duty on hurricane monday. It was obvious that those alone wouldn’t be sufficient in case of emergency, so Blanco accepted New Mexicos offer to send their NG on SUNDAY. Washington didn’t sign the necessary papers before late TUESDAY after the catastrophe. http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20050903024609990001
    Regarding this performance, what exactly would have been gained if the feds had the sole authority in the desaster area from the start?

    NO mayor Nagin is constantly blamed for not having done enough to evacuate about 100000 residents of NO who stayed despite the warning. Imho, he could have used his assets more rigurously in this task – especially school busses. Still, fact remains, the vast majority of inhabittants of NO were in secure areas prior to the storm, but FEMA wasn’t able to evacuate just 20000 citizen from the superdome until Saturday evening.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9156612/
    How exactly should have Nagin evacuated the poor, elderly, or disabled citizens and those lacking means of transport and finances regarding NOs limited resources? How could he have provided the necessary shelter, food, water and medicine for those people without help from the feds? If there were flaws in Nos plans for the emergency measures, why didn’t FEMA step up to his task and engage in correcting them?

    Most important, Bush declared: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees”.
    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/news/050901a.asp
    Brown and Chertoff offered similar statements. If this is correct, Nagin and Blanco can’t be blamed. If this is wrong, The Bush administration lied to the public. What is it?

    Imho this all shows that Nagin and Blanco were fulfilling the task (not without making errors, sure) on the city and state level. Who wasn’t fulfílling it’s duty to support them on the federal level was FEMA. No amount of finger pointing can change the documented evidence.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Greg, your complaints lead back to the reality of dealing with a disaster. People scrabbling for supplies and keeping alive couldn’t give a flip whether flags are lowered or not. That’s a game for people trying to score cheap political points.

    Besides, flags going down for victims of a storm, even as the nation struggles with the aftermath, would tell me as a survivor that my city and I have already been given up for lost. It’s like pulling the sheet over the body. I may be wrong on this point, but I think that this is actually inappropriate at this time.

    Much as I’m pained to see people having to react to the blame game with counter charges against Nagin et al, that graveyard of buses says a *lot* more about what went wrong than whether or not you think the President is uplifting or not.

  • http://www.feedwriter.com Greg Burton

    It’s not just New Orleans:

    Jefferson Parish President:

    Sir, they were told like me. Every single day. The cavalry is coming. On the federal level. The cavalary is coming. The cavalry is coming. The cavalry is coming. I have just begun to hear the hooves of the calvary. The calvary is still not here yet, but I have begun to hear the hooves and were almost a week out.

    Three quick examples. We had Wal-mart deliver three trucks of water. Trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back, said we didn’t need them. This was a week go. We had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a coast guard vessel docked in my parish. The coast guard said come get the fuel right way. When we got there with our trucks, they got a word, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. Yesterday, yesterday, FEMA comes in and cuts all our emergency communications lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in. he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards said no one is getting near these lines.
    —————————————-

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Imho this all shows that Nagin and Blanco were fulfilling the task (not without making errors, sure) on the city and state level.

    Oh, you apologizing apologists being apologetic!

    Seriously, why is it that errors by your hated Bush (taking a moment out to play guitar, which affected absolutely nothing but leftist blood pressure) rises to the impeachable level, but more pointed errors by Nagin and Blanco are quickly swiped away with “not without making errors, sure”? Why am I so confident that a sentence about Bush by the usual suspects would never end with “we all make mistakes”? (Because he’s the president! Hrrrgh!!! He must be perfect because Clinton was impeached for a blowjob! Argh!!! My veins have burst!)

    I’m willing to admit that Bush and his administration made errors. In a disaster of this magnitude, it would be incredibly if there weren’t mistakes made. But the real scandal here is the political gamesmanship by people who would not be happy even if he *did* personally swoop in and save everybody with his scary superpowers.

    It’s a magnified replay of “uniter, not divider”. Bush stepped in after his stint as Texas governor, after having forged fine working alliances with local Democrats, confident that he could work with Democrats nationally by always including them, making them part of the reforms (which he did). Instead of reciprocating, the nastiest traits of leftists nationally were released, slapped him away at every turn, and then blamed their own divisiveness on *him*. Similarly, there is absolutely nothing — nada, zero — that Bush could do to make people who already hated him happy during this massive crisis. The people who should be counted on to work together are instead — once again — yelling and squealing, helping to excerbate chaos, confusion, and anger — then blaming it on everybody else.

  • http://www.feedwriter.com Greg Burton

    The Times-Picayune:

    “Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

    Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.”
    …….

    In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, “We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day.”

    Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.
    ——————————————-

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers

    Not to divert the subject, but I keep hearing over and over the magnificent reaction and efforts and accomplishments by Wal-Mart — the private sector giant that the left has been trying to shut down at every turn for years.

    Beloved leftist bureaucracies fail us, are proven to be inadequate when it comes to actually accomplishing things. Surprise!!!

    Perhaps we should privatize FEMA? No?

  • http://www.feedwriter.com Greg Burton

    Carson, your feelings (second paragraph) may be shared by some – and many (including me) would have welcomed even the symbolism of leadership. I don’t hate Bush – don’t like his politics, but I don’t hate him in the least. But I can accept your personal feelings on that while disagreeing.

    What I can’t accept is the belief that it’s either rescue people or address the country. If it’s important to fly back to Washington, fly back to Washington and pass on the speech. Result? No guitar picture, no appearance of indifference. And no bashing on that account.

    I’ve been through natural disasters, too, Carson – floods, earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, and one volcano. And there is ALWAYS time to console those without hope, to rally those who might falter. If your people are your priority, you do it.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    OK, Greg, it might be too big a generalization for me to say this is all about people who *hate* Bush. Some here clearly do; go to some Democratic boards, and you would need a buzzsaw to cut through the Bush hate, it’s so thick.

    But even those who seem to just kind of dislike him vaguely seem to see an aloofness and uncaring nature that I guess a lot of us don’t see. Maybe I’ve lived in Texas too long; his manner, demeanor, and choices seem normal and human to me.

    I look at motives, for one thing. What was Bush’s motive for playing guitar? He was meeting someone, probably someone who had already been scheduled. He was being gracious, even though it did result in a photo. What’s the motive of most of the people trumpeting that photo as proof that he’s not compassionate? They disagree with him at the very least, hate his guts at the most. Regardless of the temperature of the dislike for the man, *that* is cold politics.

    A good comparison would be the Goat book incident from 9/11. Many of us who are at least indifferent to Bush understand why he didn’t rush out of the classroom, and understand why he didn’t need to, anyway. People with a political grudge couldn’t stop themselves from hyping it into something sinister or, at best, evidence of duncery. It was actually the compassionate thing to do to stay with those kids for a few moments to assure them that the President wasn’t a panicked fool. (Meanwhile, of course, Kerry admitted to being stunned for a full 45 minutes, which is just as understandable, but hardly more uplifting or confidence-inspiring)

  • Gray

    ‘Beloved leftist bureaucracies fail us, are proven to be inadequate when it comes to actually accomplishing things.’
    WHAT!?
    Since when is the Bush administration a leftist bureaucracy? Or are you speaking about the Blanco adminsitration, but then I’m surprised that you love them?

    The strong emotions evolving from the Katrina catastrophe are putting a strain on us all, Carson. It isn’t a shame to call for professional help when you notice that you seem to lose the grip on reality under that stress.

    If you feel ok again, I’d like to see some evidence supporting your assessment of ‘more pointed errors by Nagin and Blanco’, though. So far, you have only offered unsubstantiated blabber (hey, no offense, this is perfectly understandable since you seem to be under a lot of pressure).

  • Gray

    Carson, maybe there’s a misunderstanding here. This isn’t about blaming Bush for playing the guitar while there was a state of emergency on monday. It was perfectly ok to do so if in his opinion the people in charge of the efforts had everything under control (it just isn’t a convincing show of compassion). But some here are stating that Bush was worried at that time about the efforts of Blanco and Nagin. But this isn’t supported by this evidence. If it was true he should have had other priorities on Monday.

  • John

    What the Homeland Security law allows and what actually can be done in foresight are two different things. To assume Bush could have ordered FEMA to take control of the operation immediately after Aug. 28, when he made his evacuation request to state and local officials, would assume that Nagin, Blanco and the others were not competent before the fact to handle a situation like this. That may or may not be true, but given the potests from both the far left and the far right over the Patriot Act the past several years, having FEMA unilateraly seize control of operations normally delegated to the governor and local mayors would have produced howls of protest, if the storm had veered furuther to the east or continued west past the bayou area.

  • http://Blainesprouse.com Fiddler

    Lies and spin, that’s George W. Bush’s answer to ALL questions about his incompetence the the criminally negligent response to this disaster in New Orleans!! WTF would happen if terrorists decided to attack?? I feel very secure, don’t you folks???

    George W. Bush is without a doubt the largest security threat facing America today!!! George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Conde Rice, et al. (the list goes on and on, Gawd, talk about “birds of a feather!!) These are all a greater threat to the United States’ security than Osama Bin Laden or any of his henchmen.

  • Gray

    ‘To assume Bush could have ordered FEMA to take control of the operation immediately after Aug. 28, when he made his evacuation request to state and local officials, would assume that Nagin, Blanco and the others were not competent before the fact to handle a situation like this. ‘ John (above)

    ‘President Bush has issued a pre-storm emergency declaration that puts federal agencies on alert to provide aid, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Saturday night, adding that FEMA representatives told her such a move is highly unusual.’ Shreveporttime, 08/28/05
    http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050828/NEWS01/508280312/1002/NEWS

    This is NOT about competence. This is about that it was clear on saturday that the impact of Katrina would propably overwhelm the city and state emergency resources. Pres. Bush acknowledged this and rightfully ordered
    FEMA to prepare. This was two days before the recovery missions would start, so they could have deployed in force to be guarded against all outcomes. It was obvious that even the most competent mayor and governor couldn’t handle the emergency measures alone facing a hurricane impact of this dire consequences. As it became clear to the public, FEMAs relieve efforts were nowhere near sufficient. So this failure is to be blamed on FEMA leader Brown and his superior DHS leader Chertoff.

  • samuel h. nelson

    wrongminus # 1 go fuck yourself asshole!!

  • Gray

    Beware of your language, Sam, JJ does kick commenters if they are using words like these.

  • Eileen

    That Shreveport Times article provided by Gray is instructive.

    It is dated August 28th, Sunday. The day before the hurricane was due to hit.

    “Nagin said the Superdome might be used as a shelter of last resort for people who have no cars, with city bus pickup points around New Orleans.” His evacuation plan ‘might’ include using the buses to take people into the heart of the city due to be struck by a cat 4 or 5 the day before the storm was going to hit. I was incredulous when I learned this on the news last Sunday. The thought, ‘what is this guy, NUTS?’ was unavoidable. Talk about evacuation actuation at its finest. And obviously NO effort was made to evacuate any area hospitals or nursing homes, either. Evacuation actuation at its finest.

    And Blanco:

    “We know that we’re going to take the brunt of it,” Blanco said. “It does not bode well for southeastern Louisiana.”

    Blanco probably will be in New Orleans today encouraging people to leave, said Denise Bottcher, her press secretary. Earlier, she enlisted the help of about 50 southeast Louisiana legislators to urge residents to evacuate.” Emphasis on the word PROBABLY. Active involvement in evacuation actuation, clearly. Way to enforce that evacuation order.

    “There were about 700 people at a Little League baseball game Saturday and “nobody seemed to know there was a storm,” Blanco said she was told by Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans.” How’s that for ‘effective’ dissemination of the order to evacuate? These statements, again, were made by Blanco and Nagin the day before the storm.

    As for your own quote from this article, Gray, I guess that accounts for why Blanco is STILL resisting efforts to allow the feds control over evacuating NO? She expected the feds to save her butt but won’t allow them the power to do so even a week later.

    I see how this is all FEMA’s/Bush’s fault. I really do.

  • http://www.sundriesshack.com Jimmie

    Being an emergency services worker myself, for quite a few years, one of the first things you learn about a big disaster is that there is a natural flow to things.

    If, in a case like a hurricane, where you see it coming and ave time to pre-place resources beforehand, the first groups to act are the local governments. They assess what they have and decide if the likely need is going to be greater than they can handle. If that’s the case, they call on the State government to move resources to their areas of need. The State allows that to happen by declaring a State of Emergency. The local government remains in control, though.

    If more than one local area is going to be affected, the State takes control. They run things from a remote command center (one that won’t be affected directly by the disaster). The State can draw on Federal assets once the President declares a State of Emergency. The control remains with the State government, though.

    The Feds only take control when it is clear that there is more than one state heavily involved and there’s no way to divide the area of responsibility by state.

    Right now, there are three distinct “areas” of relief: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia. As best I can tell, the State governments are still very much in charge there, telling FEMA what they need. FEMA’s main responsibility is resources – getting them where they have to go and reaching outside the state to get more.

    The problem in Louisiana is that the State and Local governments haven’t ever actually taken control of the situation. Mayor Nagin has pretty much handed over any responsibility for his job here to the Governor, who is doing…well, it’s hard to say what she is doing.

    The FEMA Director on the scene is a lot less in charge than most people think. He has coordination control over all the national assets that have been brought in, as well as control of the military assets. But the Governors still retain control of their own state assets and the FEMA Director isn’t going to move until the Governor tells him where any additional assets need to go and in what quantity. They’re not going to let private relief efforts go tear-assing around the area without someone knowing what they’re doing, where they’re going, and if they’re going to be secure.

    The biggest problem FEMA’s encountered is that there was absolutely no security in place at all – even at the Superdome. They can’t move civilians in there to feed, water, and treat survivors until they are absolutely certain those civilians arne’t going to get shot, mugged, or raped. Were I the FEMA guy on the scene, I wouldn’t have let a single truck move until I had police and troops in place to assure that my other people weren’t going to get killed by the gun-toting maniacs.

    Had Mayor Nagin or Governor Blanco bothered to simply secure the Superdome – and only the Superdome – relief efforts would be much farther along than they are now.

  • Gray

    ‘Were I the FEMA guy on the scene, I wouldn’t have let a single truck move until I had police and troops in place to assure that my other people weren’t going to get killed by the gun-toting maniacs.’
    Hey, Jimmi, I seem to remember that’s exactly what FEMA did! All evacuation operations came to a standstill after the first shots were fired. Of course, it would have been even better if FEMA would have helped to alert the neighboring national guards before the hurricane, so that they could be in force in NO during monday to provide security. Too bad that Washington did fumble Gov. Blanco’s request and withheld the necessary papers for the assistance of the New Mexico national guard til Tuesday…

  • Uncle Fester

    Well, the truth is coming out now- see this from Instapundit:

    UPDATE: On the other hand, a reader sends these comments:

    Buried at the end of the WaPo’s critical article on FEMA’s decline is this crucial paragraph:

    Other federal and state officials pointed to Louisiana’s failure to measure up to national disaster response standards, noting that the federal plan advises state and local emergency managers not to expect federal aid for 72 to 96 hours, and base their own preparedness efforts on the need to be self-sufficient for at least that period. “Fundamentally the first breakdown occurred at the local level,” said one state official who works with FEMA. ‘Did the city have the situational awareness of what was going on within its borders? The answer was no.”

    Measuring from the passage of the storm from the target area — say 1500 hours on Monday, THE PLAN would therefore expect federal aid at the earliest at midday Thursday.

    Does this excuse any bureaucratic errors that we will find to have been made? No. But it should put the federal response in perspective.

    Oh, and all the blithe comments on how quickly we were able to get troops to Iraq and the Navy to Sumatra shows a short-term memory loss. The buildup for Iraq took place over a period of months, and the Navy’s trip from Asian bases to the Indian Ocean, unimpeded by crumbled infrastructure, took a number of days.

    As I’ve noted before, it’s not like calling Domino’s. I think that all the efforts at politcal point-scoring now are misplaced. There’s plenty of blame to go around, and plenty of opportunities to figure out how to do better in the future. Those are likely to get lost in the fog of name-calling.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: This story from the Washington Post suggests problems with coordination between state and federal authorities:

    Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said. . . .

    Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state’s victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

    I’m all for federalism, but this doesn’t seem like the time for that sort of thing. I’m not clear on what legal authority the President has to simply take charge over a governor’s objections; I’m not aware of that problem coming up before. Presumably Congress could — subject to some fairly limited Constitutional constraints — address this via legislation if necessary, though it’s probably too late for that to do much good now.

  • Casey Kelley

    WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US? September 4, 2005

    Our country is being laid bare before an astonished and titillated jury – people all around the world. There are no secrets left. We elected this administration when we should have known better. Bush’s shame is our own and people around the world know it.

    In the months and years to come, we will all learn the details of the horrendous governmental failures in New Orleans and the rest of the battered coast. Today, already, we know the worst: President Bush could have picked up the phone and ordered help for those suffering people we all have been watching on our TVs, day and night for DAYS. He could have done something. If such an idea was beyond Mr. Bush’s reach, any of a dozen top aides could have given him a little nudge. “Uh, sorry to interrupt your holiday, Mr. President, but I think it might be a good idea to, uh, hmm, do something?” Instead, the president and his closest, best and brightest advisers chose to believe their own spin, not their lyin’ eyes. “Help is on the way!” they said. There was no outrage, no phone calls, and no commands.

    When he finally did emerge from his cocoon (on day 5, after a few jolly fundraisers and a bike ride or two), took a look-see around the shattered land and even shared a few hands-on comforting moments with actual victims, he seemed to wake from his slumber. He convened a meeting and made calls and gave orders and, to all appearances, really seemed to do something.

    More repulsive than the president’s personal failure to act when it would have really made a difference; more craven than his policy and budget decisions that effectively cancelled on-going repairs of the failing levees; the worst thing about the president (and his people) is that they really don’t care that much about the horrendous suffering we have all seen. The president and his advisers are not as competent, obviously, as they think they are, but even they are capable of better than this. Maybe if those folks living like animals on the streets were white…and rich … the administration could have understood and done something a lot sooner.

    Today I learned that FEMA turned away truckloads of Red Cross supplies that were headed into the city on that first Tuesday. Their reasoning? FEMA believed that, by making things too comfortable for the victims of this disaster, they might stick around and not evacuate as ordered. Too comfortable to evacuate? Were they serious?

    The only way to understand the criminal neglect of the suffering people in New Orleans is to see the government’s response through the prism of racism and utter disdain for the plight of the poor in this country. Dissing the poor and ignoring their despair is woven into every policy and institution of this administration. I am enraged.

    What about that world jury? They see the U.S.A. as a scary war machine, willing and able to send its military anywhere on earth to promote its perceived interests, but unwilling and apparently unable to help its own people in a disaster. They see George “Bring ‘em on!” Bush as a ridiculous, arrogant cowboy who would have provided eight years of comedy if he had not proven to be so dangerous. If it were not for the innocent victims of Katrina, they would see this catastrophe as more or less our karmic reward for the death and destruction we have caused elsewhere.

    What has become of our country? What has become of the respect and affection we used to enjoy throughout the world? What has become of our basic notion of government? What, in God’s name, has happened to us?

    Casey Kelley
    Fairplay, Colorado

  • Gray

    Jimmy, good report on the procedure of the emergency measures and the roles of Gov. and FEMA, thx. We have some differences in assessing the performance of the players, though:

    ‘The problem in Louisiana is that the State and Local governments haven’t ever actually taken control of the situation.’

    Hmm, imho that’s not fair. Under your explanation, government is in control but FEMA has to support them. That’s my understanding, too. Since most of the state was a desaster area, La was dependent on FEMA to provide the assets. But Brown and co. didn’t deliver. We all remember the desperate pledges on TV for assistance. Blanco was in charge, but she had not enough manpower, reansportation means, supplies. It was FEMA’s duty to empower them. They failed. Blanco lost control over the area, but it was because of the criminal neglect of the feds.

    I guess you won’t agree with this, but then you should prove first that FEMA did it’s job. For god’s sake, it took them 6 days to evacuate the superdome, those results are not acceptable.

  • Gray

    Uncle Fester, it’s surprising that the federal emergency management agency of the most powerful nation in the world would need 72 to 96 hours to deliver support. This seem to be very low expectations. Nevertheless, even if the procedure couldn’t be accelerated, this puts the deadline for preparation to Tuesday or Wednesday at most. Naturally, the clock starts ticking when the president orders preparation, and he did so on saturday. Where was the FEMA support on tuesday and wednesday, when all those oficials were on TV complaining that they haven’t got the promised supplies?

    ‘Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said. . . .’
    It’s a publicised fact that Blanco declared state emergency on friday before the hurricane. And what is a ‘multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance’? The official doesn’t say anything about contacts between FEMA and La, but this is the issue. ‘Multi-state mutual aid’ describes federal authority, that’s FEMAs job. Nevertheless, there were talks between Blanco and NewMexs Richardson on sunday, resulting in the allocation of NewMex national guard. Sadly, Washington did fumble the necessary papers til Tuesday.
    There is no problem with charging the governers with the emergency missions. But if a desaster is to huge for a single state to handle it, the nation has to bloster it with resources, supplies and manpower. The best general is virtually powerless without troops and ammunition. It was FEMAs job to allocate the reinforcement, but they didn’t deliver.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    It’s no use arguing — the Right have received their marching orders: destroy Ray Nagin and Governor Blanco at all costs. Never mind that this tactic turns the entire premise of post-9/11 Federal emergency preparedness responsibility and the mission of the Department of Homeland Security on its flipping head. The Republican spin machine knows that it if it can’t tar Nagin and Blanco for this fiasco that their Dear Leader is going down in flames, and that simply can’t be allowed to happen. Would that they could have commanded such resources to prevent the humanitarian catastrophe in New Orleans from occurring in the first place, but helping people isn’t exactly their stock in trade.

  • Gray

    Yup, Jersey, that’s what I suspect, too. The GOP needs a scapecoat, they have to get Bush out of the sights. Nice that you’re back, though. I need a break :(

  • kat

    I am hearing that the mayor’s police have shot 8 Army Corps personnel and killed 5 or 6. I am sure Bush is to blame.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Why do the facts hate America?

    Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana
    Office of the Press Secretary
    August 27, 2005

    The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005, and continuing.

    The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn.

    Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.

    Representing FEMA, Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named William Lokey as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.

  • Jacknc

    Mike Brown of FEMA is in way over his head–as is Governor Blanco.
    Thank God for LTG Honore and the “Truth Squad” of Shep Smith and Geraldo Rivera of FoxNews. They are Emmy award winners all the way for their actions to get help for the victims on the overpass and the Convention Center!
    Jacknc

  • http://www.sundriesshack.com Jimmie

    Gray, I have a hard time believing that Blanco was in charge considering the two times I saw her on television she was either in tears or near tears. I fully understand her reaction to be a natural and human one, but it’s not one that she had the luxury of having. New Orleans needed a leader, but they never got one. They got slow reactions, half-decisions (a “mandatory” evacuation that wasn’t mandatory?), and confusion exactly when clarity was most needed.

    Here’s my essential problem with Blanco. She did all the right things on paper but all the wrong things otherwise. She declared a state of emergency on August 26th (according to her own press release) but didn’t act on what she had declared. She didn’t mobilize the transportation she had available to her. She didn’t bring up nearly the number of Guard personnel she had available (last I heard, she used less than half of what she had).

    Heck, I’ll give you a very simple example – something I think we both can agree would be common sense. Before the hurricane it would have been a relatively simple matter to have every bus in New Orleans gassed, with a driver, standing by northwest of the city. It would also have been very simple to have the police department – every single officer capable of putting on a uniform – inside the Superdome already, with a mobile command post that she could have gotten from virtually anywhere, right next to it. She could have choppers, equipped with loudspeakers, ready to fly once the hurricane had passed to tell people to get to the Superdome where they would be shuttled to waiting shelters outside the city. And she could have set up those shelters. She had time and all the authority she needed to get all of that done, but none of it happened.

    Instead, the city had to wait until FEMA got there. And what did FEMA find? The Superdome was basically Thunderdome. The Convention Center had become a makeshift shelter (because I never recalled it being part of the emergency plan) and was cut off from the relief civilians by roving bands of criminals shooting at anything that moved. The police department – the first line of law and order – was broken, scattered, and in some cases participating in the barbarity. The Guard was….somewhere. I don’t even think the Governor knew where her people were.

    How, exactly, was FEMA supposed to get relief to people in anything approaching a sufficient quantity given that New Orleans looked like “Escape from L.A.”? Should they have just thrown the relief supplies to the mob and let them scrabble over each other to get it?

    The simple truth was that in the matter of two days New Orleans got completely out of control because the people who had been in charge weren’t acting like they were in charge. They let the situation get way out of hand with no idea, and no real attempt, to regain control of the situation.

    Now we expect FEMA to ride in like a White Knight and magically turn barbarism back into civility and relative organization in the same amount of time? If you really thing about what has happened, and what ocntinues to happen, I don’t think you can be all that critical of the guys who got there expecting to be able to help and instead found Bartertown.

  • Gray

    Jimmy, ‘a “mandatory” evacuation that wasn’t mandatory’ is afaik the best you can get. If you think otherwise, pls post the laws that would allow the state to evacuate citizrn by force BEFORE a desaster.

    ‘ She didn’t bring up nearly the number of Guard personnel she had available (last I heard, she used less than half of what she had).’
    I’ve read that several times, but the numbers are confusing. It’s still not clear how many are in Iraq. If she got half of the actual number that’s quite good regarding the short notice. This alert was not like preparing for Iraq with several weeks of forewarning.

    But even if she could have raised 7600 – how many troops are allocated in the area now? 40000, 50000? You can’t raise so much troops without fed support.

    ‘Before the hurricane it would have been a relatively simple matter to have every bus in New Orleans gassed, with a driver, standing by northwest of the city.’
    I would have put them in an even safer zone, Lafayette or so, but ack. Nagin did s**** this up. He could have ordered his drivers to prepare, even if he wasn’t sure about his legal standing in the evac problem, as I read here. Heck, he could have told the drivers to take their families, drive to Lafayette, and wait for orders.

    ‘The Guard was….somewhere. I don’t even think the Governor knew where her people were.’ it’s 3800 people for a country half the size of Britain, Jimmi. Be realistic.

    ‘How, exactly, was FEMA supposed to get relief to people in anything approaching a sufficient quantity given that New Orleans looked like “Escape from L.A.”?’
    Well, with common sense I would say, take all federal trucks and those of the neighboring states and start a schedule. Food and water in, refugees out. The federales have more resources than the state of La. If you think Blanco and Nagin could have handled it, why not the FEMA?

    ‘I don’t think you can be all that critical of the guys who got there expecting to be able to help and instead found Bartertown.’
    I’m exactly THAT critical, Jimmie. If you work for the federal EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT agency you should be prepared for anything but a pleasurecruise in case of emrgency.

  • John T

    Just think, two weeks ago the Bush haters annointed the crackpot Cindy Sheehan as their very own Moses, destined to lead them to relevance.

    Now they are hoping to ride the floodwaters of Katrina toward the same end.

    Next week they will begin posturing in anticipation of the upcoming battle for control of the supreme court.

    Let’s go over the script:

    Bush is stupid

    Bush is a fascist

    Bush is a racist

    Bush is extreme

    Bush believes in God and Prays (see stupid)

    Bush is a warmonger

    Bush is a pawn of the Corporate Feudal Overlords, especially Halliburton and the Oil Conglomerates

    Bush is Evil

    The beauty part of this script is that it can be and is applied in any and all situations, with very little modification needed.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Whoever’s babbling at any particular moment: unsubstantiated blabber

    We point to a graveyard of buses which could have saved lives. You point to a photo of the president playing the guitar. We point to mistakes actually made, you point to second-hand stories about FEMA officials mysteriously withholding aid… why? Nobody ever says. But it must be Bush’s fault! Bush must have told FEMA workers to do inhuman things because he’s “scared of Negroes”.

    Eileen quotes a news report that describes the disaster area as being roughly equal to Great Britain, someone immediately lights into her for making up stuff without bothering to check, and insults her, to boot. A very quick search confirms the fact, however, yet the accuser never acknowledges that he was in fact the one making up facts on the spot.

    Countless people who are actually involved in these rescue operations testify that the people howling have their heads up their collective *sses. Friends that we know escaping the area testify that the central reason things are going wrong are because of the long-standing corruption in local government. The left mostly just have each other howling loudly about Bush. At every turn, the actual facts… not cherry picked quotes, but the actual facts… prove the majority of the leftist howling to be just what it is, just an extension of the same howling we had *before* the disaster.

    I mean, there is literally no difference in the tone or substance. For the most part, the Cindy Sheehan howling has just been pushed over and wrapped around the disaster.

    And that is not something to be proud of.

  • Angelos

    The president of Jefferson Parish

    Sir, they were told like me. Every single day. The cavalry is coming. On the federal level. The cavalry is coming. The cavalry is coming. The cavalry is coming. I have just begun to hear the hooves of the cavalry. The cavalry is still not here yet, but I have begun to hear the hooves and were almost a week out.

    Three quick examples. We had Wal-mart deliver three trucks of water. Trailer trucks of water. Fema turned them back, said we didn’t need them. This was a week go. We had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a coast guard vessel docked in my parish. The coast guard said come get the fuel right way. When we got there with our trucks, they got a word, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. Yesterday, yesterday, fema comes in and cuts all our emergency communications lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in. he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards said no one is getting near these lines.

    The guy who runs this building I’m in. Emergency management. He’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said. Are you coming. Son? Is somebody coming? And he said yeah. Mama. Somebody’s coming to get you.. Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday. And she drowned Friday night. And she drowned Friday night. Nobody’s coming to get us. Nobody’s coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody’s promised. They’ve had press conferences. I’m sick of the press conferences. For god’s sakes, just shut up and send us somebody.

  • Angelos

    Letter to the President:

    State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: “Buses! And gas!” Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

    In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, “We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day.”

    Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

    Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, “You’re doing a heck of a job.”

  • kat
  • Angelos

    And don’t forget, the state of emergency was seclared Saturday the 27th, and FEMA authorized to act at its discretion….

    And this gem:
    While federal and state emergency planners scramble to get more military relief to Gulf Coast communities stricken by Hurricane Katrina, a massive naval goodwill station has been cruising offshore, underused and waiting for a larger role in the effort.

    The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore.

    The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents.

    But now the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty. A good share of its 1,200 sailors could also go ashore to help with the relief effort, but they haven’t been asked. The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship.

    Captain ready, waiting

    “Could we do more?” said Capt. Nora Tyson, commander of the Bataan. “Sure. I’ve got sailors who could be on the beach plucking through garbage or distributing water and food and stuff. But I can’t force myself on people….

    “I figured we would be a big help in New Orleans. We’ve got electricity, and the police could have charged up their radios. We’ve got water, toilets. We’ve got food.”

    Or this one:
    Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the [Army Corp of Engineers] commander, conceded Friday that the government had known the New Orleans levees could never withstand a hurricane higher than a Category 3. Corps officials shuddered, he said, when they realized that Katrina was barreling down on the Gulf Coast with the vastly greater destructive force of a Category 5 — the strongest type of hurricane. Washington, he said, had rolled the dice.

    Bow about this?
    The United States has accepted an offer of UN assistance following the Hurricane Katrina disaster which has devastated New Orleans and other communities along the US Gulf coast, a UN spokesman said.

    What, Bolton didn’t tell them to fuck off?

    Uh, Kat, that’s not true, and you know it… Or maybe it’s your reading comprehension that needs work. Police killed people who were trying to shoot the contractors.

    I like that I knew the levees broke Monday, but Chertfoff didn’t until Tuesday. Must not watch the news…

  • kat

    {Uh, Kat, that’s not true, and you know it… Or maybe it’s your reading comprehension that needs work. Police killed people who were trying to shoot the contractors.} I know that now. At first CNN was reporting that police had shot Army Corps guys. I should check the web before believing MSM. I apologize. I have been wrong once in a blue moon. What kind of idiots shoot att contractors attempting to make repairs?

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the [Army Corp of Engineers] commander, conceded Friday that the government had known the New Orleans levees could never withstand a hurricane higher than a Category 3

    No kidding!!!! We’ve been around and around on that, already! But the construction should have begun in the 60s or 70s. Funding picked up in 2003 over 1991, but that’s not enough time to make up for decades of inaction.

    Meanwhile, we have an old New York Times editorial categorizing attempts to shift money to these problems in Mississippis as a “boondoggle”.

    Anyone who cares about responsible budgeting and the health of America’s rivers and wetlands should pay attention to a bill now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The bill would shovel $17 billion at the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and other water-related projects — this at a time when President Bush is asking for major cuts in Medicaid and other important domestic programs. Among these projects is a $2.7 billion boondoggle on the Mississippi River that has twice flunked inspection by the National Academy of Sciences.

    The Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs accuse the corps of routinely inflating the economic benefits of its projects. [Such as saving countless lives] And environmentalists blame it for turning free-flowing rivers into lifeless canals and destroying millions of acres of wetlands — usually in the name of flood control and navigation but mostly to satisfy Congress’s appetite for pork.

    This is a bad piece of legislation.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    I meant to say “problems on the Mississippi River’ and not “in Mississippis”… typing too quick, sorry.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    I should have also boldfaced the bit about people on the left opposing these flood control measures because they would create “lifeless canals” and destroy wetlands.

    There is little accountability for the left’s actions, though. There is no attempt by the press to highlight their own callousness and lack of compassion, and always putting their pet political desires ahead of the safety and well-being of countless citizens.

  • Barry Dauphin

    Jeff,

    Sorry you are dead wrong here. If you are buying into to Nagin’s press coverage, then you have not been paying attention from the beginning. Nagin has been blaming people (especially the Administration) himself too, but you overlook that. Watch a tape of nagin’s press conference ordering the mandatory evacuation and ask yourself if that press conference would have convinced you to leave. You’re way off on this one.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Oops, bad link, too! That link is to the more recent “Waiting for a Leader” attack by the NYT. Unfortunately, the full article I quoted is only available via Lexis-Nexis. You’ll have to go here for excerpts.

    My apologies, I rushed that post because of time.

  • Shield 72

    I am sick of this.

    Let’s sprinkle magic rescue powder over a city where there are psycho citizens shooting at rescuers.

    Let’s ignore the hundreds of thousands of victims in South Mississippi and South Alabama, not to mention South Louisiana.

    F you. You have no idea what it takes to rescue 50 people, much less 50,000. You have no idea what it takes to support a rescue force beyond 12 hours.

    Over the next three weeks, every single asshat who thinks the federal effort was slow will be shown to be a complete sphincter-blink. What’s happened in NO will eventually be shown to be the next closest thing to magic in the Western world, regardless of political persuasion.

    Someone will put up detailed, checkable references to the event chronology, and it will show every g-damned thing happening on time and in correct priority, with only the occasional tactical screw-up.

    Where do we think the rescuers come from? They came from hundreds of miles away, carrying their own logistical tail to keep them alive.

    FU, mainstream media. FU Mayor Nagin. FY Governor Blanco. We came to dig your ass out of the hole you dug and you spit on us. FU.

  • http://mistersnitch.blogspot.com/2005/07/podcasts-small-videos-big-profits.html Mr. Snitch!

    Congratulations on finding a new low for pandering! Here’s something from a first-class writer who gets what actually happened. http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/343324p-292991c.html

    Soon will the lawsuits come rollin’ in, and the State and muni governments won’t be able to dump the blame on someone else any more. Then we’ll hear a different tune from the MSM, and from you too I suppose (although more than a bit late).

    Your limp pandering also demeans Guiliani and the brave cops and firefighters who stayed at their posts and ran into a doomed building on 9/11 because that was their duty. You saw what a dedicated public official looks like, you saw what integrity looks like. The New Orleans cops JOINED the looters for God’s sake. NO’s mayor sat on his ass and complained that it was all too much. Did Guiliani do that when the city started to panic? When Bush showed up in NYC, he looked to Guiliani for support NOT the other way around.

    You don’t have a clue what happened. All you know is which way the wind is blowing. Tomorrow it will blow from another direction, and you’ll flap that way. Whatever’s safe.

  • Gray

    Crimson, Carl Strock is just one of those yes-sayers that are regularly promoted by the Bush admistration. His predecessor was fired for critizising the shortfunding of the levees:

    ‘I’m not saying it wouldn’t still be flooded, but I do feel that if it had been totally funded, there would be less flooding than you have,” said Michael Parker, a former Republican Mississippi congressman who headed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from October 2001 until March 2002, when he was ousted after publicly criticizing a Bush administration proposal to cut the corps’ budget.’
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0509010170sep01,1,5853346.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

    Generally, I’m with you regarding the fact that billions are wasted in the engineer corps’ budget. But there were only some dozen millions missing in the funding to complete urgent levee wqorks at Lake Pontchartrain.

    ‘I should have also boldfaced the bit about people on the left opposing these flood control measures because they would create “lifeless canals” and destroy wetlands.’ In fact, all experts are positive that the wetlands are part of the natural protection against hurricane waves. They are diminishing because of the dams and the canalisation of the Missisippi.

    Oh, and last but not least:
    ‘Eileen quotes a news report that describes the disaster area as being roughly equal to Great Britain, someone immediately lights into her for making up stuff without bothering to check, and insults her, to boot. A very quick search confirms the fact, however, yet the accuser never acknowledges that he was in fact the one making up facts on the spot.’
    The whole states of La and Missisippi combined are as big as Britain. But not all of them is a desaster area. Eileen just read it in the MSM and posted it without checking. I googled the info and did the math. And I told her that this doesn’t make sense and that she should recheck her source. If you think this is an insult, you’re an incredibly sensible person (but, to be honest, I don’t believe that).

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Gray to Eileen: Not all of the states is a desaster area, so pls check this fact again. Sry, I’m too tired to help you get the other facts straight.

    “I’m too tired to help you get the other facts straight” is a condescending insult. Eileen didn’t say what you said, that “all of the states” are a disaster area, she was quoting the statistics that were provided by the press.

    We quickly followed that up with what’s probably the original source, Reuters:

    Federal disaster declarations covered 90,000 square miles

    (234,000 square kilometers) along the U.S. Gulf Coast, an area roughly the size of Britain. As many as 400,000 people had been forced to leave their homes.

    The disaster area in question isn’t just strictly two states, but along the Gulf Coast. It is possible that Reuters’ information is in error; it would not be the first time.

    Eileen just read it in the MSM and posted it without checking. I’m doing that, too. I don’t have the surveying equipment necessary, nor the time or means to travel to the area and measure the disaster area myself. However, Eileen did quote it from a legitimate source, whereas you based your opinion on your personal reckoning that the measure is not the size of the disaster area in total, but the size of two states.

    You now say you Googled and did the math, but you are assuming that your quick tally is more reliable than numbers provided by Reuters. Sorry, we don’t have any reason to trust your quick tally, especially since you didn’t tally the disaster area, but just the mass of two states. Surely the storm didn’t observe precise state boundaries.

    This isn’t a big deal in itself, but it is a good example of a lot of political argument that I see on internet forums. X quotes a reputable source, Y refutes with what is questionable reasoning, possibly irrelevant information, or links to other rants; X provides documentation for original comments, Y continues bragging that he’s “won”, simply because he considers his reasoning superior, and as the possessor of superior reasoning is also the most qualified referee. Y can’t imagine that anyone can refute his superior reasoning, so all subsequent refutations are invisible. If challenges occur, then it’s back to linking irrelevant or questionable information, just as that Jefferson Parish President president letter that keeps getting posted over and over, even though it falls far short in explaining *why* certain things are happening.

    And, as a matter of fact, I think somebody in one of these threads claimed just that, that all “wingnut” arguments have been essentially beaten, which is as fanciful as the belief by many on the left that they have effectively discredited claims that Dan Rather’s memos were forgeries by pointing to high-end typography machines, or some stranded Japanese soldiers after WWII who were never informed that the war was over.

  • http://Blainesprouse.com Fiddler

    This is the proof that the Federal Government dropped the ball, not the local and state folks. That’s the spin that Karl Rove/Bush want to put on it and are doing their damndest to promote in their never-ending press appearances and photo-ops.

    Here are links to the full text of the National Response Plan.

    http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/NRP_FullText.pdf

    Memorize Page 43-44 like your life depends on it.

    Basic gist:

    In times of catastrophe when local and state resources are overwhelmed – the feds are to step in immediately.

    First order of business: save lives and protect infrastructure.

    The protocol of coordinating with state and local governments should not delay the deployment of federal resources.

    This the Katrina August 6th PDB. Learn this, memorize this and spread it around PRONTO!

  • owl 1

    Angelos and Greg Burton…..about that performance by the Jefferson Parrish president….it was a good one! I commented on this at Jeff’s post of it. If you read my 2cents, I forgot to add the fellow I knew, well his first plane ended up in a tree. He walked away without a scratch.

    Casey, you need a couple more coated Bushhater pills.

    Barry, I saw Nagin’s evacuation press conference. Sounds like a different fellow now, huh?

    Politics are local. The local, on the spot election judge, has the power to say if you are on the list or not. The DA has the power of almost God about deciding “if a crime has been committed”, hence if you are a possible criminal. The police chief has the ability to harrass you. The committees decide if you get your plumbing permits. LOCAL.

    Eileen, are you familar with LA politics over the last several decades. I am not over the last few years, but I grew up knowing about them. It would surprise many.

  • Eileen

    Owl 1,

    Not particularly, other than reports of X or Y scandal via that pesky MSM over the years. The reports I’ve read/seen this week are edifying about the current state of affairs, as are commenters here who are ‘familiar’. Then there’s my father, a *staunch* Democrat who used to report directly to Cabinet for HUD in the Johnson administration, and who commented to me this week after the levees broke with all those people who hadn’t been evacuated: “And we’re dealing with LA and NO, the most corrupt state and city in the country.” I believe him.

  • Eileen

    If you find the time, Owl, tell us more?

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  • http://none dorothy petrolia

    I am a former resident and a former state employee. I now live in Lafayette but I still call New Orleans home,I lived there over 70 years. I say but for the grace of God,that could be me. Quit playing the eame game,that solves nothing but if you have to blame someone blame the federal goverment. I worked for DOTD in the maintenace as a secretary to the maintenance engineer and he told me repeatly,Dot if a 4 or 5 hurricane ever hits n.o.there won’t be a city of New Orleans Every year we submitted request for the levees and every year we were turned down for lack of money,bull.They all had their pet projects they needed to get re-allected. They were warned years ago but could care less for the safety of the people. I don’t know where my former boss lives,we lost connection,but where ever he is,I know his heart bleeds for all the diplace people of N.O. God Bless you Mr.Bob Roth,DOTD District Maintenance Engineer for District 02 in Bridge City ,Louisiana.,you were right but God knows you tried but they wouldn’t listen,now maybe they will.

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