Stop the cover-up now

After every scandal comes the coverup. Katrina is a scandal. The cover-up is underway. Read Brian Williams’ blog:

At one fire scene, I counted law enforcement personnel (who I presume were on hand to guarantee the safety of the firefighters) from four separate jurisdictions, as far away as Connecticut and Illinois. And tempers are getting hot. While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won’t be any pictures of this particular group of guard soldiers on our newscast tonight. Rules (or I suspect in this case an order on a whim) like those do not HELP the palpable feeling that this area is somehow separate from the United States.

At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media… obvious members of the media… armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It’s a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.

FEMA also tried to order that the press not take pictures of bodies. Here‘s Josh Marshall on this.

If there were ever a story that demands the bright light of public scrutiny, this is it. And that is not just so people can be fired — though I’m still waiting for Brownie to get the axe — but so we can keep watch on dangerous government incompetence on behalf of our fellow citizens and so we can learn and prevent it the next time.

This is a story in which we can play some part: The survivors will soon start telling their stories. And we should be flooding the government with FOIAs.

: Reporters Without Borders issues a statement of concern about two incidents of violence against journalists.

  • David

    If this is the way they act on American soil with American citizens just think what these same types of people must be doing “Over There” where no one is looking or even cares what happens.

  • I worked for about 15-years in local TV news around the U.S. Many, many police officers and fire fighters take great delight in obstructing media coverage of disasterous events. I’ve seen several photographers arrested for shooting video from a spot that one agency authorized him to shoot from – but another agency objected to. This in one city with one government and a single tragic event. I’m not surprised there is a great deal of turmoil in New Orleans.

  • AlanC


    Here’s another example of your blind spot on this disaster “… be flooding the government with FOIAs. ”

    THE government? Was their only one, probably you mean federal, involved here? Does the gov’t of New Orleans get a pass? Does the LA state gov’t get a pass?

    Oh, BTW, why don’t I ever see anything about the area hardest hit by Katrina? Biloxi and Gulfport and the whole MS coast got hit much harder than NO by the storm itself, why no coverage of those areas, too many success stories?

  • Gray

    Hey, what did you expect? What’s working in Iraq will be working in La, too. The Rove spinmachine is revving up. No pictures of dead bodies that will make the Bushies look bad, but a continous flow of misinformation instead.

    Rove does know very well that the TV media has to fill 24 hours of airtime every day, but he is pulling the strings so that they’ll report following republican talking points.
    Same old, same old…

  • Gray

    Success story in Biloxi, AlanC? It was a PR success allright:

    ‘ARD correspondent Christine Adelhardt, who witnessed Bush’s visit to Biloxi, was shocked about the extent to which the event was staged. The President brought with him vehicles to cut though the debris and rescue search teams, for which Biloxi had waited for days. But they did not go to work where the victims were, but only served as photogenic background props in remote areas of the town, she reported.’

  • Andrew

    From Kevin Drum today (

    A FAILED CEO….I’ll confess that even I’m getting a little weary of the relentless post-Katrina fault finding, much of which has now deteriorated into nitpicking over even the minor acts of disarray that are inevitable following a disaster like Katrina. But every time I start thinking we should ease up, the White House delivers yet another outrage:

    At a news conference, [Nancy] Pelosi, D-Calif., said Bush’s choice for head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency had “absolutely no credentials.”

    She related that she had urged Bush at the White House on Tuesday to fire Michael Brown.

    “He said ‘Why would I do that?'” Pelosi said.

    “‘I said because of all that went wrong, of all that didn’t go right last week.’ And he said ‘What didn’t go right?'”

  • Gray

    Denial. Total denial.
    You think you saw the Brown clown on TV, telling bald faced lies that were contradicted by the news coverage?
    You remember feeling flabbergasted when you perceived that he had no clue what was going on?
    It didn’t happen. The repub spinmachine is working hard to erase these memories by using their weapons of mass disinformation.

  • This could be worse – – as I commented at my blog ( ) this looks like total incompetence followed by attempts to cover it up at best, and it could just be racism

  • tonynoboloney

    I know I will have the minority veiw in here but……… I think the media did a piss poor job thus far reporting the events of hurricane Katrina. Note the stories in the links provided, the filming of bodies yet to be identifyed, gimme a break! how would you like to see the body of your loved one for the first time being retrieved from an attic on CNN live all day long? Reporters at the scenes of fires and shoot outs with looters are just extra security risks for the teams trying to do their jobs. And what reaction by the National Guard to the press could you expect, the press spending the last 8 or 10 days screaming 24/7 that the guard was remiss in their duties, that somehow they were responsible for the carnage wrought by Katrina. No I do not believe the press did a good job at all. What I saw was hyper overreaction to the events that unfolded since this tragedy happened. The entire American MSM goulishly converging on New Orleans, and the Superdome reporting rapes and murders which as yet have been substantiated, reporting that bodies were “stacked like cord wood” in a cooler of the dome only to find out there were 6 or 7 bodies there. Raped 7 year olds, slashed throats, the list of the macabe goes on & on and did nothing to help in the understanding of what really took place there. Reporting ad nausium on N.O. as if this storm were a local event, almost completely ignoring the fact that the entire Gulf Coast, including other major cities in 3 other states were totally devastated. No, I do not believe this is a shining moment in American journalism. Not to metion the hasty decision by most news outlets to politisise this event very early on doing almost no investigation as to who was responsible for what, making public unfounded accusations against any and all those fully engaged in the relief effort. Turning reporters away from the Dome, a site that has now become a “crime scene” seems the prudent thing to do as an investigation will probably not be mounted until the rescue efforts and retrieval of the victims in N.O. is accomplished.

    The effort to shine “the bright light of of public scrutiny” “so we can keep watch on dangerous government incompetence” adds nothing to to this terrible human tragedy. The press in its zeal for transparency does great disrespect to the victims, and the 10’s of thoudands of relief workers trying to do their jobs.

    As an aside, I will post no more comments on the Katrina situation at this site. I am insulted and disgusted by much of the attitude I find in here. I am sickened to the point that it is effecting my “real” life. I will continue to donate to the relief efforts and intend on defending my government, National guard, police, firemen, Red Cross, the politicians and all who selflessly are working to restore order and relieve suffering in this American human tragedy. The press can go to hell!!

  • Gray

    The Cover up continues – ‘Republicans block efforts to amend relief bill, hold vote without providing copy of bill’

    No pictures, no reporters, no discussion in congress. All parts of the same spinmachine.

  • Gray

    tonynoboloney, to cut your unnecessary long comment short: The MSM shouldn’t report from the desaster area, I didn’t like their coverage.

    I want to answer with a quote of a guy called John you might have heard somewhere:
    ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’

  • The press can go to hell!!

    Yeah, how dare they make us feel uncomfortable about the safety of our nation while it’s in the hands of total incompetents and a commander-in-chief who refuses to reward failure with pink slips!

    Ah — finally we’ve arrived at the final stage of the GOP spin machine: when all else fails, blame the media. When last I checked, the media wasn’t getting in the way of first responders in New Orleans. Who has made such a claim? If anything the media has helped them, especially in the case of the Convention Center, which the rescuers were apparently completely unaware of (a lie, of course, but let’s humor you for a moment) until the media brought it to their attention.

    And as for the media focusing only on New Orleans — that’s just patently false. Granted, as the magnitude of the disaster unfolding in the city became apparent, N.O. had gradually received more and more of the coverage, but when Katrina hit we were getting news from all over the Gulf Coast. Do you forget Anderson Cooper in Biloxi? Jim Cantore in Gulfport? Please, let’s not manufacture grievances when there are so many legitimate ones to go around.

    Show me an instance where the press has insulted the victims of this disaster. If anything they have given voice to the voiceless in their hour of need. Show me an instance where the press has hampered relief efforts — last time I checked, it was FEMA and Homeland Security who was preventing a small army of would-be helpers from getting involved.

    Time to face facts. All the spin in the world isn’t going to save the hides of the people who dithered while thousands died. Not this time. No wonder you’re bowing out of the argument!

  • You know what Jeff, it’s a bit hard for me to get all worked up and weepy for the media right now.

    Why don’t you report some REAL NEWS?

    The Red Cross says that the Governor of the State of Louisiana has ordered the Red Cross not to enter New Orleans.

    Think about that Jeff. There are thousands and thousands of people in New Orleans who need food and water, and the Governor is PREVENTING the Red Cross from entering to provide those basic necessities. Only 80% of New Orleans was flooded Jeff. That means 20% was not. There are PEOPLE in those areas who need the Red Cross.

    You know, I really feel bad for the news reporters who aren’t allowed to just do whatever they want in New Orleans, but we can all hug them at the Pulitzer ceremony.

    News needs to be reported.

    Instead of whining, why doesn’t the media start asking Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco why they are using their power to prevent the Red Cross from feeding those still legally in New Orleans?

  • Linda Edwards

    It was the feds that prevented the Red Cross from entering and you know it. Why do you keep trying to perpetuate the lies? Again and Again and again, see here on Red Cross’ website.,1096,0_682_4524,00.html

  • rightnumberone, a lie repeated is still a lie.

  • Linda,

    Here is what the website says:

    “The STATE Homeland Security Department had requested–and continues to request–that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.”

    You either cannot read, or you are blinded by your insistence that this is a federal problem. Do you HATE BUSH that much that you cannot even read correctly?

    Governor Blanco, a Democrat, controls the National Guard – not the federal government. Not George Bush.


    “Acess to New Orleans is controlled BY THE NATIONAL GUARD and LOCAL AUTHORITIES and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans AGAINST THEIR ORDERS. ”

    Read that again and get over your blindness.

    The National Guard for the State of Louisiana, controlled by Governor Blanco, has ORDERED the Red Cross NOT TO ENTER New Orleans, despite the fact that there are THOUSANDS of innocent people legally in their unflooded, and undamaged homes.

    The state of Louisiana is being run by IGNORANT PEOPLE who need to be RELIEVED of their duties.

  • David

    >Why do you keep trying to perpetuate the lies?

    They use Firemen as props while thousands are dying and in harms way so why would it really surprise you when they tell little lies in hopes of shifting the blame. They’ll do anything to protect the doffus in office.
    As specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew’s first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.”

    “Oblivious, In Denial, Dangerous”

    God help us all!

  • Jeff,

    How is it that you have converted a REQUEST into an ORDER.

    From the Reuters story YOU linked:

    “When U.S. officials ASKED the media not to take pictures of those killed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, they were censoring a key part of the disaster story, free speech watchdogs said on Wednesday.”

    Hystrionic BS.

    ASKING the media to have some respect for the families of the dead is NOT CENSORSHIP. Nor is it an ORDER to do anything.

    Do you really think we can’t see the difference.

    I have no doubt that CNN will be airing every dead body they can find.

    What CNN will NOT DO, is ask why Democrat Ray Nagin didn’t use every bus at his command to get people out of New Orleans BEFORE THE STORM, as he was EXPECTED to do according to the City of New Orleans OWN Hurricane Disaster Plan.

  • Is there anything so wrong about evacuating a city flooded with water more than 100,000 times as bacteria-laden as sewage? From the reports of deaths from infection already happening, it seems like a sound plan to get everyone out. And I’d really hate to see Red Cross workers getting illnesses from wastes, trying to help those who are simply refusing to leave, helping them to stay where it’s dangerous.

  • Ravo

    Rightnumberone, Linda said talking to me was a brick wall, but they see “national” guard and can’t get their heads around the fact that:

    AS LONG AS THERE IS EVEN ONE NEW ORLEANS POLICE PERSON, that person is SUPPORTED over the National Guard. Not the other way around as you seem to think Linda.

    BLANCO controls the Guard.

    Q: So is it fair to say it is the National Guard that’s keeping law and order in New Orleans?

    GEN. BLUM: No. As long as there’s one uniformed police officer in the city of New Orleans, we will send as many National Guard soldiers to augment, support and work in support of that lone law enforcement officer as necessary. So if hypothetically there’s only one left, who’s in charge? It’s still that lone police officer supported by the National Guard in their role as military support to law enforcement.

    Blanco would have to issue martial law to make it otherwise. She’s refused all along. The feds hands have been tied,…all along

    from elsewhere..lost the links….

    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.

    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 [FINALLY] 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**.

  • Ravo

    Marym…I think evacuation is sensible to avoid a plague. I think Local, State, & Feds all agree on that one.

    Blanco made a decision to not encourage people staying so is keeping the supplies away.

    It looks a cruel decision…immediately the leftists see “national” guard, gleefully think Bush and gleefully attack. An opportunity for the left to point to the bad repubs for keeping supplies away…only it backfired because the order comes from Blanco, not Bush.

  • Ravo

    Just on CNN…of all places….

    Planes had come to a shelter to evacuate 80 “medically challenged” patients to safety, and were NOT allowed to take them…due to orders by the GOVERNOR.

  • FEMA to Mac and Linux users…

    You’re Screwed

    I’m not a programmer but shouldn’t we add this to the list of FEMA f-ups?

  • Ravo

    Too bad marital law wasn’t declared from the get go. If you insist Bush take blame, he would have had to be allowed to be in control from the 26th when he made federal help available for the asking.

    Local and State donkeys stubbornly held on to their “power” using red tape, the pain and grief are massive, and now they desperately seek to pass it on to all those who had less control over the situation than they did.

  • Brian


    I’ll read Marshall’s post on the dead, but I don’t see why this is so important, re the dead bodies. This isn’t Iraq. It’s the aftermath of a natural disaster where people tend to die. Are you actually going to look at a dead and bloated body and be ablt to say, “Aha! Another one for Brownie!!”?

    C’mon, have some taste.

  • Brian

    Okay, I read Marshall’s post. Stand-out quote:
    “But a blanket ban serves only to prevent the public from knowing what really happened last week.”

    I know what happened. We ALL know what happened. An enormous natural disaster affected a region of our country. In such circumstances, people die. It’s a given, and it’s a miracle of sorts if it doesn’t happen. How does my seeing a dead body pulled from the aftermath give me a better understanding of “what really happened”?

    If you’re going to press for this nonsense to be televised, then to be consistent, please also press for the media to cover the bodies that’ll be pulled from the convention center and the Superdome who were murdered. This can serve your political motives as well, because you can blame it on government (i.e. Bush) too.

  • Glyn

    Yes natural disasters happen. But we in the rest of the world have been jaw-droppingly amazed at how inept the American response has been.

  • Jennifer

    God, Ravo, you’re such a slimeball.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. The city is a public health night mare. The Red Cross is a volunteer organization, a private one. Not a government one. The government (pick one) would be negligent to send them into the city. Instead they have positioned them around the city to receive the evacuees.

    This disaster is a failure on every level of government, you hear me? And right now the people in South Louisiana think their governor and the mayor are heroic. Understand that? Because us natives KNOW the reality. And little more could be done with the resources at hand. And little more could be done after the fact when the entire city had it’s freaking hands and head cut off. Can’t ask for help, can’t help itself.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, you really really don’t.

  • Brian


    Never underestimate America. New York is thriving now, and was not long after 9/11 was cleaned up. New Orleans will come back as well, stronger than ever. We were slow out of the gate on the response, but once we hit our stride, nothing will hold us back. We’ve done this time and time and time again.

  • Linda Edwards

    I guess it would depend on who’s National Guard units prevented the Red Cross from entering, as units from other states were arriving. But this will surprise you when I say you’re probably right on this point.

    Actually, I had started off by defending the Mayor’s decision to use the Superdome as the primary shelter for evacuees. In accordance with the NO Evacuation Plan, the city sent RTA buses out to collect evacuees to the shelter, and that part of the evacuation was a success because the Superdome held. The Red Cross agrees. And I still see lots of folks perpetuating “misinformation” about that. R#1, please link to where it says in the NO Evacuation Plan that the Mayor’s required to evacuate people to points outside of NO. It doesn’t for good reason. It’s logistically impossible. The Plan only says to evacuate people to shelters.

    I had previously stayed out of the National Guard issue because I hadn’t had time to research it yet. But I’ve read an interview with the Red Cross President who said that although the original plan was for the Red Cross to go to the Superdome to provide relief, but that the city officials asked them not to come due to safety concerns. The city officials were told by FEMA that relief was on the way to them, so there was no need to put additional Red Cross people at risk. Unfortunately, the relief came days later than they were told it would come.

    So believe it or not, I concede that one point. Hey, at least I’m not a brick wall.

  • Angelos

    “It appears Hurricane Katrina has provided FEMA with an excuse to “dry run” its unconstitutional powers in New Orleans, rounding up “refugees” (now called “evacuees”) and “relocating” them in various camps. “Some evacuees are being treated as ‘internees’ by FEMA,” writes former NSC employee Wayne Madsen. “Reports continue to come into WMR that evacuees from New Orleans and Acadiana [the traditional twenty-two parish Cajun homeland] who have been scattered across the United States are being treated as ‘internees’ and not dislocated American citizens from a catastrophe. Some FEMA facilities are preventing these internees from leaving on their own. Reports of mandatory registration and the issuing of FEMA ID cards suggest that FEMA, an agency that is rife with right-wing security goons and severely lacking in humanitarian workers, has other motives in treating poor and destitute American citizens as prisoners in their own country.” Call it REX-84 revisited.”

    The media is being kept out of these internment camps too. American citizens, devastated and destroyed, are not told where they’re being taken, then locked up behind armed guards and barbed wire.

    Is this a secret deal maybe, keep the “riff-raff” away from the local citizenry, in Utah, in Texas, etc.?

    Another beauty:
    “FEMA’s deceptive role really did not come to light with much of the public until Hurricane Andrew smashed into the U.S. mainland. As Russell R. Dynes, director of the Disaster Research Center of the University of Delaware, wrote in The World and I, “…The eye of the political storm hovered over the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA became a convenient target for criticism.” Because FEMA was accused of dropping the ball in Florida, the media and Congress commenced to study this agency. What came out of the critical look was that FEMA was spending 12 times more for “black operations” than for disaster relief. It spent $1.3 billion building secret bunkers throughout the United States in anticipation of government disruption by foreign or domestic upheaval. Yet fewer than 20 members of Congress, only members with top security clearance, know of the $1.3 billion expenditure by FEMA for non-natural disaster situations. These few Congressional leaders state that FEMA has a “black curtain” around its operations. FEMA has worked on National Security programs since 1979, and its predecessor, the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency, has secretly spent millions of dollars before being merged into FEMA by President Carter in 1979.”

  • Ravo

    Jennifer…I didn’t say the Red Cross should or should not be sent in.

    Linda was indignant because they were kept out. She was castigating the Feds. She is upset the National Guard are preventing it….not realizing the National Guard is following the orders from NO and LA, not Bush.

  • The city is a public health night mare. The Red Cross is a volunteer organization, a private one. Not a government one. The government (pick one) would be negligent to send them into the city.

    Why? Maybe the Red Cross should be told what the risks are and allowed to make their own decisions about whether the public health risks are something they are willing to take on. They probably ought to keep out of the areas that are still lawless, but where the gangs and looters have been driven out, I would bet there is a lot the Red Cross could do to help, and would be willing to take some risks for.

    Keep in mind, the original order was to keep the Red Cross away from the Superdome, with the apparent end of getting all the people out of the Dome, not by evacuating them, but by starving them out. Real nice.

  • Ravo

    Has it occurred to you Angelos, that those bands of thugs that were shooting and looting now most certainly are among the evacuees?

    None of us know the circumstances behind why some are
    being screened, so shut up and stop putting your country down constantly.

    But then, I seriously doubt though you are parading as one, that you are even an American as you give so much comfort to our enemies.

  • Jennifer

    Starving them out? You are an idiot. A complete idiot. You have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m hearing stories from my family (some of who are evacuees) who are helping the evacuees from the Superdome and Convention Center. You are a flaming idiot. All you’re doing is riding this for your political agenda and you STINK for it, you hear? You stink.

  • Ravo

    Linda…there is just so much information flying around, – it all gets jumbled. In the old days, we had to wait until the dust settled…lol.

    From what I understand, Fema too, was ready days before they were allowed to go to work, for the same looting and shooting reasons. The National Guard was on the scene immediately…when permission was finally given by the Gov. for the Guard to bring things under control.

    But really, what can any of us be sure of…nothing really…until the dust settles.

  • Oh, all of you just shut the hell up, way to many chief and not enough indians..
    Thomas C. Smith

  • Jennifer

    This blaming of the local authorities has got to stop. The local government’s capacity to respond to the disaster was severely compromised by the hurricane and flood. This was way too enormous to be handled by the state and the mayor alone. Unfortunately, no one knew that until it was too late. But the mayor was out making noise to get help as soon as it was apparent that he could not execute the plans that the city had in place. And the governor, too.

    Everyone here acts like the governor and the mayor sat on their thumbs like there was no storm coming up the Gulf. Bullshit. They were completely overwhelmed by it.

    And you know what? You’re right, there were no comprehensive disaster plans in place for a hurricane and flood like this. That’s true. Know why? Because the state couldn’t get funding for it. And some of Louisiana’s governments didn’t care so much (again, thank you Edwin Edwards). But in the end, it’s the nation’s shame that they didn’t want to protect the coast with the money the coast lobbies for.

    and that’s the truth.

    These leaders did what they did with what they could.

  • Angelos

    Ah Ravo, the last resort of the batshit insane winger – question the patriotism of those who question dear leader.

    Thank you, come again!

  • “The effort to shine “the bright light of of public scrutiny” “so we can keep watch on dangerous government incompetence” adds nothing to to this terrible human tragedy. The press in its zeal for transparency does great disrespect to the victims, and the 10’s of thoudands of relief workers trying to do their jobs” SO SAYS Tonynoboloney…

    You are right, there, Tony, you in a very small minority here!!! ANd rightly so. Let the media do their jobs for once. This attempt at a cover-up by Bush and Co. WILL NOT STAND.. THey must be held accountalbe for the thousands that have died directly because of their hubris and incompetence, hiring people like Brown who have no expericen whatsoever in disaster and emergency situations. THIS IS A MASSIVE FAILURE OF THE FEDRESL GOVERNMENT TO DO WHAT THEY ARE THERE TO DO!!!!

  • Linda Edwards

    Ravo, I’m willing to wait until the dust settles on the National Guard issue. It is complex and there are definitely many versions out there, some true and some not true. But there’s one thing I know for sure. Bush made his declaration on 8/27, which was supposed to put FEMA’s wheels in action. There was no reason the airdrop of food, water and medicine couldn’t have started days earlier than it did. The Northern Command said they had millions of MREs ready. Perhaps those people may have had to sit in filth a couple of days until the evacuation arrangements could be completed, but especially water and medicine (insulin, blood-pressure medication, antibiotics, clean bandages, the basics) airdropped would have saved many lives.

  • Richard

    you know i can’t believe some of you people, you’ll defind this administration at any cost even that of those who died while waiting for help. every excuse offered is so weak it makes me want to scream. but worse are you numskulls that are willing to defend this man. at what point do you stop towing the party line and regain your humanity. this is not about right or left, its about right and wrong and this man has not displayed he’s right for the job.

  • It’s amazing how legalistic the apologists have become in their defense, as if Bush like an univited vampire had been kept from intervening in New Orleans by some mystical force field. Too bad that whole line of argument is debunked by Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-5:

    The Secretary of Homeland Security is the principal Federal official for domestic incident management. Pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Secretary is responsible for coordinating Federal operations within the United States to prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. The Secretary shall coordinate the Federal Government’s resources utilized in response to or recovery from terrorist attacks, major disasters, or other emergencies if and when any one of the following four conditions applies: (1) a Federal department or agency acting under its own authority has requested the assistance of the Secretary; (2) the resources of State and local authorities are overwhelmed and Federal assistance has been requested by the appropriate State and local authorities; (3) more than one Federal department or agency has become substantially involved in responding to the incident; or (4) the Secretary has been directed to assume responsibility for managing the domestic incident by the President.

    It would be difficult to make the case that under this directive either Brown or Chertoff would have to wait for the Governor’s say to start relief efforts on their own initiative. In fact, the document goes on to say:

    The Federal Government recognizes the roles and responsibilities of State and local authorities in domestic incident management. Initial responsibility for managing domestic incidents generally falls on State and local authorities. The Federal Government will assist State and local authorities when their resources are overwhelmed, or when Federal interests are involved. The Secretary will coordinate with State and local governments to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training, and exercise activities. The Secretary will also provide assistance to State and local governments to develop all-hazards plans and capabilities, including those of greatest importance to the security of the United States, and will ensure that State, local, and Federal plans are compatible.

    There’s much less weasel room here than the apologists think there is. In fact most of their arguments only hold water in a pre-9/11 mindset. If we’re going to hold Ray Nagin and Governor Blanco to the letter of their disaster plans, we should hold the DHS and FEMA to the same level of documentary scrutiny, should we not?

  • John T

    Jennifer, I think I’m hearing you.

    As you may know I have spoken out against the Liberal knee jerk response of blame the Bush Administration. I still feel this way.

    You said: “The local government’s capacity to respond to the disaster was severely compromised by the hurricane and flood.”

    No one in their right mind can disagree with you on this point.

    We can never know what was in the minds of the Mayor and Governor during the critical time in the lead up to landfall, we can only speculate. We all must give them the benefit of the doubt, as I have been willing to do with President Bush.

    This is a catastrophe, the worst of which can overwhelm the best of human planning.

    My best guess is that we all had hoped that New Orleans had dodged a bullet, but as it turned out she didn’t.

    Ultimately there will be consequences for all involved. Victims, survivors, administrators, responders, care-givers, families, and bystanders alike.

    What does it say about us when we are too willing to think the worst of the other without considering the enormity of this tragedy first?

  • Jennifer
  • Jennifer

    I am not left nor right. I am, like most people from New Orleans, just a little bit different and a lot more centrist.

    Yes, I am defending the governor and the mayor because they are the leaders of my state and city. And yes, I am mad at the feds for the FEMA debacle and for denying us the money to prevent this from happening.

    But to blame one man or woman and one administration is foolish and it just pisses me off. We don’t need another cook in the freakin kitchen. We need help.

  • Ravo

    LInda, I understand and had the same thoughts. Someone bought up an issue about people being trampled to death, until enough security forces were there to prevent it.

    An overwhelming job it was, if only they’d stepped aside early on and allowed the feds to come in and do the job..not stymie them, then use the delay for the nastiest kind of politics. Doing so just feeds the most rabid of our enemies.

    At this point, we’ve all second guessed and it’s all been said.

    Yes JE, we should hold them all to the same level of documentary scrutiny. The problem is, all the puzzle pieces need to be on the same table at the same time in order to get the whole picture.

    A big job, as we see even here.

  • Ravo

    P.S. (I don’t mean that the mayor or gov used the delay for nasty politics…I mean the armchair generals have)

  • Ravo

    The Howard Dean’s etc.

  • Hen o’ the woods

    Of course the GOP will orchestrate a coverup comensurate with the scale of the disaster. Calls for media to refrain from publishing pics of dead bodies is just the tip o’ the iceberg. The story below is a truly amazing first hand account of two conventioners stuck in NO. I hope that someday the criminal, racist conduct of “rescuers” is exposed, and hope Bush and his criminal regime are executed for their crimes against humanity.


    Hurricane Katrina-Our Experiences
    Larry Bradshaw, Lorrie Beth Slonsky

    Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen’s store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen’s windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry. The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen’s gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters. We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the Walgreen’s in the French Quarter.

    We also suspect the media will have been inundated with “hero” images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the “victims” of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed, were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators. Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, “stealing” boats to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded. Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.

    On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and friends outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them. We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the “imminent” arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived to the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

    By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the “officials” told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City’s primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City’s only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, “If we can’t go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?” The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile “law enforcement”.

    We walked to the police command center at Harrah’s on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, “I swear to you that the buses are there.”

    We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched pasted the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm. As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions.

    As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

    Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O’Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses. All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot.

    Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become. Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let’s hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts. Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!). This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community. If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the ugliness would not have set in. Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

    From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway. The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. “Taking care of us” had an ominous tone to it. Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, “Get off the fucking freeway”. A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water. Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of “victims” they saw “mob” or “riot”.

    We felt safety in numbers. Our “we must stay together” was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups. In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

    The next day our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards. They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks they were assigned. We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush landed briefly at the airport for a photo op.

    After being evacuated on a coast guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas. There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches. Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children, elderly, disabled as they sat for hours waiting to be “medically screened” to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases. This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker give her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street offered us money and toiletries with words of welcome. Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.

  • Ravo

    Everything I read of the above account before they were evacuted by the Coast Guard, was under the total control of either the city cops or state of LA.

    Yet this Hen clown wants our President “executed for their crimes against humanity”.

    (Wearily)…yes, including the National Guard, who answers to the local police, not vice versa(they really ought to strike the word “national” and maybe the misconceptions would stop. Even if there were only one city copy left standing…as reiterated endlessly heretofore…the “national” guard would stand ready to serve UNDER him or her AND OBEY HIM OR HER.


    The President has no power over the National Guard. They are sent at the assist those police and sheriff’s and remain under the control of the police and sheriff’s.

    When was marital law declared?

  • Jennifer

    Why didn’t the governor give up control?

    Because if the governor did that then the feds would have martial law over the entire state. Then it would be too easy for the feds to make sure that all the blame lay at the feet of Louisiana. And Gov Blanco wanted to protect Louisiana. In return for not handing over control, she was met with resistance at every turn from the feds when she used her power to authorize help.

    Why did this happen? Well, the US government has always fought to own New Orleans. They fought the Spanish, the British, the South, and now the State to control New Orleans. Why? Simply because of how important New Orleans is to the economy, uniquely situated between a the largest river access to the entire country and a giant lake. Whether it’s for agriculture or oil, it’s all about money.

    Rave, stop trumping this shit up about the governor. You’re not telling the whole story and trying to look like a fact stater. You’re just finger pointing.


  • Jennifer

    Look, you want to know what the people are saying? They love Nagin and Blanco. My parents, who are die-hard Republicans and voted for Bush, love Nagin and Blanco. They are fuming at FEMA for blocking the delivery of food and water. They are furious because they think that the feds are fighting Blanco because she’s a Democrat and because she won’t give up control. They think the feds are withholding because they want to pressure the state into giving control over to the feds. THAT’S what the locals think.

  • brian

    I don’t think pictures of the bodies should be shown. Maybe thre reporters could give a daily body count if they feel the government is covering up the deaths. In a way showing the nameless faceless bodies dehumanizes the victims and desensitizes the american public to the horror of what happened. And as for the blame game if people would stop and put politics aside for a moment they would see there is plenty of blame to go around. All levels of government failed the people of New Orleans, City, state, and federal. No one walks away from this without guilt as does anyone who doesn’t try to offer help. As with the reportes in this situation why not spend some time making the news instead of writing the news. If your presence is hindering relief efforts step aside. If your help is needed step forward. You can’t view yourself as a reporter you have to see it as another human.

  • Pingback: Hammer of Truth()

  • Ravo


    When Hen said he want the feds executed because he thinks the guard there IS already under martial law and IS under the fed’s control….and I set the record straight on that. Get over it.

    The Feds followed the law, and the law says they can’t do certain things without permission. The Gov withholds that permission and some try to make it look like it to look like the Feds are witholding aid…rather than the delay being at the Gov’s hands. To the point where this lie gets people so mad, they call for execution? And that’s OK with you?

    Did you just say the mayor and gov refused marital law that would have gotten things done —- so they could avoid being blamed? A delay that cost time and lives.

    As a result, the Pres that could not come in as fast – and you are saying it’s OK to let all these guessers now throw all the blame at him, saying that all the criticized stuff the National Guard is doing (at the Gov’s direction) is at Bush’s direction (when it is not), and let Hen go unchallenged when he says the Feds deserves captial punishment for the orders the Mayor and Gov are having the Guard follow.

    And that should be left unchallenged….yeah, right.

  • Eileen

    Taqiyya talkers in our midst; duly noted.

    I saw dead bodies as well as the convention center and the superdome today on MSNBC. One body lying in water wasn’t even covered. Guess Satan isn’t doing a very good job of covering up and shutting out, as ‘reported’.

    I personally don’t need to see dead bodies to know they’re there. How classless, clueless, insensitive and disgusting can you get?

    Jennifer: I daresay you don’t have a lock on speaking for the locals, Jennifer. Many who read and comment on this blog have, or did have, relatives and friends in NO. Many of us are also reading multiple sources to obtain information. Apparently you’ve also been in all meetings and etc. conducted by or between Bush, Blanco, et al., judging by your comments. Do you have any authority for what you state ‘as fact’? There are a whole lot of so-called facts flying around here. Slit throats/no slit throats; rapes/no rapes; Feds denied Red Cross access/no, the state denied access. And etc.

    Cite some legal authority for me while you’re at it, eh, re the scope of martial law, who may impose it, under what circumstances, and any/all jurisdictional issues related to local, state and federal roles during times of natural disaster or regional threat.

    Cite some authority to back up your ridiculous statement that the Feds have always fought to “own” the city of New Orleans in modern history.

    Jennifer to Ravo: “You’re not telling the whole story and trying to look like a fact stater.”

    Sorry, Jen, but that’s the way I’m reading you.

  • Jennifer

    GET OVER IT? Why don’t you kiss my ass? That’s my freakin city! Why don’t you get over your agenda and pay attention? Why don’t you go down there and see what’s going on for yourself instead of posting your stupid partison bylines? I’m freakin sick of it.

    I don’t care about this Hen whoever.

    I’m sick of you and others like you and your stink of political agenda. Look at you, no blame to the fed, none at all, must be those dummy dems in Louisiana. I’m no dem, but your line stinks. Don’t ask ME to eat a bullshit sandwich. And don’t expect me and people like me to nod politely when you say such crap like, “Oh, well, I’m just reporting the fact because, you know, I know it all. In fact, I was there and saw it with my own eyes.” And don’t freakin act like you every paid attention to Louisiana before this. Repeat: You don’gt know shit.

    We can talk all day about FEMA being led by a poop, appointed by the Pres. We can talk all day about FEMA disallowing aid. We can talk all day about the Mayor and the Governor underestimating the levees, or not having resources to use those city buses. Lookit, those buses? Who was going to drive them? And what roads? there’s few ways into and out of New Orleans

    Whatever, what’s the point of this? It’s not just you I’m raging at. It’s every dumb tool who thinks he’s know it all and wants to spend time telling everyone about it.

  • Jennifer

    Eileen, you’re asking me to be calm and academic when my city is dying.

    Naturally I don’t speak for all locals. I just spend my spare time combing through coverage and talking to relatives. My family immigrated from Italy and Ireland through New Orleans and never left. My grandfather’s body could be one of the ones dis-interned for all I know. I’ve got generations of family there. I talk to my family there every day. I’m speaking for them.

    Some of the citations you’re wanting me to hunt up for you so I will be too busy to say my piece have already been put up, both here and elsewhere. I’m sure you’ve already seen them. I’ve already posted links, all over.

    You call me a hippocrate? You’ve got nerve. Let me hear from one of you that has talked to someone from there?

    And now you’re going to start in on ME? Because I’m defending my state? I’ve already said that when the dust settles it will show there was catastrophic failure on every level. But I don’t care right now. I want the finger pointing to stop and the assistance to start. And I keep getting goddamned caught up in a pointless defense because of the “I’m just telling the truth, Jen, get over it” crap.

    The levels of my frustration cannot be contained by your calm and detached post.

  • M.Gaines

    Forget about the party, think about humanity. Ignoring the plea for help in New Orleans is just plain WRONG!! What if members of your family were trapped in that disaster? Would you feel differently?

  • Eileen


    “I want the finger pointing to stop..” Well, then, YOU stop it, eh? And don’t claim you haven’t. Finger pointing begets finger pointing. Anger and name calling begets more anger and more name calling.

    You’re not the only one upset by this disaster, m’dear. My heart aches non-stop for you, yours, mine and Ours. But your anger and cussin’ ain’t going to help solve any of this.

    People around here who pull up a single disaster plan or Presidential declaration, or Etc., and then purport to be armchair lawyers are – well, entertaining at best. They only prove their lack of knowledge as they claim to be AHA experts.

    Sorry, I get sick of the taqiyya trash talkers fomenting hatred around this place, and I get really tired of all the anger and blame….and incredible factual distortion and deception.

    Not many seem to want to wait to learn the ACTUAL Facts before they make blanket judgements.

    I say we must.

  • Eileen

    And Jennifer…here’s a genuine hug and a pillow. May that pillow cradle you and your tears. And when you don’t feel it’s comfort as you cry out your anguish or (try to) sleep, may you please punch the livin’ daylights out of it.

    Stay strong, sista.

    We are all grieving here.

  • Sorry, I get sick of the taqiyya trash talkers fomenting hatred around this place, and I get really tired of all the anger and blame….and incredible factual distortion and deception.

    People who disagree with you aren’t terrorists, Eileen. Knock off the “taqiyya” crap in these threads unless you don’t want to be taken seriously by anyone here.

  • Jennifer

    Eileen, don’t ask me to act with the dispassion you have.

    Am I running around “cussin” and finger pointing? Yes, and it frustrates me because it’s a distraction I’m getting caught up in.

    Lookit, here I am, hearing my people get disparaged and hearing how we deserved it and how the city should be bulldozed and hearing right against left. It’s just your bad luck I’d had my fill when I stumbled onto this blog.

    Because I can’t stand to hear it anymore. I want it fixed and I want you people to know how much you don’t know what your’re talking about.

  • elizabeth

    Not to worry,all. Barbara Bush has toured the reception site in Houston and says it is all wonderful. “The response was a success for the evacuees who were underprivileged anyway” and she also stated that many of them “were faring better than before the storm hit” “What I am hearing, which is kind of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas.” “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.” Hope they, who have last their homes, possessions and some of them family members remember to be properly grateful. Does this mean they won’t be invited to a Barbeque over at Barbara’s? The callousness of these statements boggle the mind.

  • Eileen

    “People who disagree with you aren’t terrorists, Eileen. Knock off the “taqiyya” crap in these threads unless you don’t want to be taken seriously by anyone here.”

    Obviously, I don’t refer to all who disagree with me as a terrorist, JE. I engage with many of them, often. But I call it when I see it. My prerogative, not yours. [Thank God I’m not a dhimmi, ready to be intimidated and controlled.] And I *do* question those who try to shut me up or attempt to denigrate me for noticing when they spout their trash. Don’t YOU, JE?

  • Ravo

    Jennifer, I don’t think a soul here feels you “deserve” anything but the best. It’s obvious you’re at the end of your patience. …and no doubt with good reason.

    I myself posted, (before you got here I think)…. to please let’s let the dust settle. It’s just that when something is posted such as the “Hen” poster claiming person A should face an execution for the direct actions of a group it’s undeniable fact only person B had authority over, someone has a responsibility to not let that stand.

    I hope your days get only better.

  • I’ve got a question or three dozen at this point. I’ve been busy working on the Recovery 2.0 project, rather than watching this tiresome exercise. But mebbe some of the folks here can figure this out.

    Federal declarations of emergency include a list of counties or parishes that FEMA can assist in, and funds be released for. They’re issued before the disaster area declaration, presumably so that pre-staging and co-ordination of relief efforts and any possible preventative action can occur. Disaster declarations occur when there is a specific disaster area – after the event has happened.

    Now in civil engineering (and I think law, but not sure there), the person who signs off on the document has the responsibility and liability, not the staffers who might have contributed to the document.

    So, if an emergency declaration didn’t list any of the parishes most likely to be hit with the disaster, would FEMA be able to do anything in them? And if that happened, would the person in whose name it was issued be responsible?

  • Linda,

    Thank you for at least admitting that you might have prejudged federal efforts. I wonder now if you would expound on what you think about the Democrat effort at the state level to prevent the Red Cross from feeding black people stuck in New Orleans.

    As to your question regarding the evacuation of the city. Your assumption is that people would need to be evacuated to somewhere outside the city. That assumption isn’t necessarily true. There are many parts of New Orleans which are not below sea level.

    The city has a comprehensive Hurricane Evacuation Plan. It can be found here:

    I have read it. You should too. Mayor Nagin should too.

    It says (in a nutshell) that the Mayor is responsible for evacuating the city. He orders it, oversees it, decides who is evacuated, etc. He has total responsibility for all hurricane evacuations.

    As with any plan, there are contingincies for those who are too old or infirm to evacuate themselves. It is the city’s responsibility to provide transportation to evacuate these people. It promised its citizens that it would do that.

    However, this part of the plan was not implemented by Mayor Nagin. And so possibly tens of thousands of old and infirm New Orleanians have perished.

    The city didn’t make any efforts to evacuate people who could not evacuate themselves. Hospitals containing premature babies were not evacuated. Nursing homes full of infirm older people were not evacuated, despite the clear duty to do so contained in the plan that I linked to above.

    Of special interest is this duty mentioned in the plan:

    “D. Regional Transit Authority

    * Supply transportation as needed in accordance with the current Standard Operating Procedures.

    * Place special vehicles on alert to be utilized if needed.

    * Position supervisors and dispatch evacuation buses.

    * If warranted by scope of evacuation, implement additional service.”

    Mayor Nagin told the populace to walk to the Superdome; despite the presence of literally hundreds of city-owned buses parked a few blocks from the Superdome. You’ve seen pictures of those buses in their flooded lots.

    Mayor Nagin then left New Orleans and went to Baton Rouge, where he ensured his own safety.

    The tens of thousands he left behind drowned.

  • Jennifer

    I apologize for the rampant craziness of my last few posts. I am tired.

    I know my cousin is still in the city working. I know my parents and the people in my little town are trying to deal with the people flowing through town, their stories. I know my city will never be the same. The places I spent and where my family lives. Even rebuilt. Perhaps it will be better. And I demand that flood and storm and wetland protection be top notch, too. But I keep thinking about how the drive into New Orleans over the Bonnet Carre spillway on I-10 will not look or feel the same.

    I worry about all the poor blacks who will never return to the city that generations of their family were born in. I bemoan the uncovered rot of poverty and race in our country (though I do feel it is improving, unlike others). But the blacks are vital to the very fabric of New Orleans. And where they are now, they’ll get the same kind of jobs that keep them poor and they won’t have the means to come home. And New Orleans will turn into some version of Cape Cod.

    But I just want everyone to talk about that. Not about right versus left or state versus feds. When dust does settle it’s going to settle all over everybody. But at least then we can start cleaning it off. Right now, the disaster is still happening.

  • The bickering and finger pointing can wait til later. In La. and South MS, we need the basics:electricity, communication, food, water, and ice. (not to mention the trees off of our homes) God bless those who are helping and I say to the others Help or get out of the way and let the cards land where they may AFTER this emergency..\from one who is there

  • RN1 – do tell where you got the idea that Nagin left the city for Baton Rouge. You’ve said it before – but everything I’ve read – from the 29th on – has placed him in New Orleans. As far as I know, he set up headquarters at a Hyatt across from City Hall. So – please document, or quit wondering why I mentioned lying the other day.

    And I’m really quite serious about the answers to the questions I asked in the post above your last one. I don’t know the answers – do you?

  • The Bush White House, if nothing else, is a marketing machine, a triumph of style over substance. In the summer of 2002, Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card admitted as much, declaring the time for selling the planned war with Iraq was not yet ripe, “from a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

    Therein lies the problem for President Bush in the marketing of his administration’s abysmal response to hurricane Katrina. Bush has no product. Even worse, he has no pitch man, or worse still, pitch woman. In a nutshell, George W. Bush needs the Lisa Beamer of New Orleans. But sadly for President Bush, in New Orleans, the color of suffering – and heroism – is black.

    For the full story, see:

    “Where’s the Lisa Beamer of New Orleans?”

  • atkjoh

    Anyone who defends the actions of any government officials (to include NO city, LA state, and federal) involved with the Katrina disaster is tragically missing the point. Even if the government relief efforts in Mississippi and Alabama were PERFECT ( they were not) and the media kept totally quiet for all those days it took for FEMA to take action it would not excuse the incompetance and ineptitude that may result in the death of as many as 25,000 people. How many of those deaths could have been avoided? How many families may have avoided unimaginable economic and social devastation? To not show the bodies and not allow those very people who were FIRST on the scene to report what is presently going on in NO in order to protect reputations and image may be the right thing politically but it is absolutely immoral. I would think that our morality as Americans and as human beings would have us demand that we see what’s going on down there, regardless of how it may reflect on government officials in NO, LA, and Washington. We owe it to every single person affected by this tragedy and its aftermath to insist, or better yet, demand that the press be allowed to report what is happening, get thorough and honest reports on the progress of the relief efforts, and have an INDEPENDENT investigator evaluate the response of all government officials and recommend corrective actions if necessary at some point in the near future. It’s time we as Americans stop the apathy and let our sympathy be reflected through something other than our wallets. Namely, sending letters and phone calls to our public officials and local press expressing our desire to get at the truth and correct any government deficiencies involving this tragedy. Don’t let those unfortunate people along the affected areas of the Gulf coast die and suffer in vain. Get involved and let someone know we are tired of the piecemeal censorship inflicted by our government and press in times of crisis and we’re not going to take it anymore!!!!

  • Meka

    There is no time for blame at this point, there are still bodies to recover and lives to be renewed, including women and children…

  • Meka

    State evacuation map & routes

    The state’s evacuation plan goes into effect when any slow moving Category 3, and all Category 4 & 5 hurricanes pose a direct threat to this area.

    Once the state plan goes into effect, everyone south of Interstate 10 will be ordered to evacuate. Remember, it usually takes four times longer to reach your destination during an evacuation.


  • Gailmelo

    This is an outrage. I try very hard to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I tried to believe that the Bushies were misguided, but not outright evil (except perhaps for Rove and Chaney.) But alas I was truly mistaken. The behavior of this administration toward the people of New Orleans, especially the poor (read African American in this case) has been so heartless, irresponsible and generally abhorent that words fail me. The only hope we have to stop the EVIL behavior of this Federal Government is that the media and the people continue to shine the spotlight not only on the aftermath of Katrina but on the government’s heartless treatment of its citizenry and stupid blindness to the needs of our world environment. Oh, I forgot about Iraq….how silly of me.

  • After reading many of these notes, I started to think back on some video I saw on CNN where people outside the Superdome were filmed chanting “We want help!”
    I was thinking of all the police officers, firemen, and all the many others who were risking their lives to help people.
    They weren’t shouting “We want help!”, they were helping to save lives!
    Many of them had lost their homes and didn’t know where their families were, but they were still trying to help others. Not chanting “We want help”!
    This is what has made America the great country she is, people who do everything they can in a time of crisis to help their neighbors, and those in need.
    These true Americans more than make up for the “occupants” of our nation who give nothing and expect to be given everything.

  • Jim Parham

  • Blaming the victims just doesn’t cut it for most of us. Even if they publicly said “We want help”. They weren’t in the superdome because they wanted to be, they were directed to go there.

    It seems the serious disconnect was between public image and actual action, and the weakness of those in charge at all levels seems to have been overexposure in words, and underexposure in action. A background in putting policies into effect might seem like something to include in future appointments, and in legislative review of appointments. A little too much rhetoric seems to be a bad preparation for actually holding public office.

    The media has been courted for its agreeable attitude, and no wonder it got upset when viewing the actuality instead of all the pretty pictures.

  • I guess we’ll hear the truth when the first responders start talking about it. They, after all, were the one’s who were there. And if the Admin starts to Tar and Feather them, and if the talking heads start to smear them, then we’ll know what’s up…

  • Nancy

    I have just about had it with the whining and political spinning the media is doing. During the crucial first days of reporting the story, when the media seemed to have the only access to the flooded areas, why weren’t they getting their hands dirty and helping to get people out of the areas, give victims much needed water, and just lend assistance. Every single person who could have been helped in those first days would have made a differnce. I saw too many reporters railing against the government, pointing out the thirsty and stranded victims, and doing nothing except verbalizing their disdain for the government. Here we had huge numbers of media trucks & crews going in & out of these areas, and wouldn’t it have been far better to see these talking heads physically helping the victims rather than just talking about the need. Hey you guys, you’re there, do something to really help insted of just talkiing about it! Granted there were a few reporters who did help. but these were the exceptions. And now while the police, fire, and military are working 24-7 to get things done, give them the space to work. Maybe I am alone in this, but in times of vital emergency, I see no need for total media access when time is essential and the media adds nothing accept spin. Obviously the police and military are going to have weapons, hello. Why challenge except for trying to create a story where there is none. If the media would concentrate on assiting rather than creating stories at a time such as this, we would all be better off – especailly the vicitims. Set an example rahter than create strife.

  • Brian

    I would like to ask everyone to stop the finger pointing for just a moment and realize a few things about this unfortunate catastrophe:
    1. The amount of damage that Katrina inflicted on the area is of a scale not seen in the US in many of our life times.
    2. The entire infrastructure of EMS failed in the areas hit by Katrina resulting in lost communications between EMS personnel.
    3. There are thousands of potentially dead bodies that everyone acknowledges and are preparing to gather and identify.
    4. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are now homeless and being sent all over the US. Many of these people are still missing loved ones. These people have no homes or jobs and their future is uncertain regardless of their previous social history.
    5. Many of our service man and women have never been in a situation such as this and don’t know how to respond, especially on their “home ground”. They have been briefed on the supposed dangers in the area, many of which were exaggerated by the press and led to a heighten sense of risk. This is the main reason weapons were pointed at people.
    6. We have seen how seemingly good people turn violent and almost primitive in nature when there is no one around to enforce the law.

    Now for the obvious to all the Monday morning quarterbacks criticizing the government’s actions:
    1. FEMA is still broke. The members of FEMA are doing their job as written but the actual program itself is broken. The red tape involved has definitely contributed to the mass confusion and ineffective rescue and relief efforts.
    2. The areas affected were not prepared for this magnitude of storm. So called evacuation shelters had little or no food available not to mention toilet facilities. This is not the fault of President Bush and his administration but the local and state government.
    3. Mandatory evacuations ineffective. Anytime a mandatory evacuation is given people need to get out and not remain behind. The people who ate strong headed, looking for a thrill, or just plain stupid place undue burden and risk to EMS individuals who have t rescue them during the storm or it’s aftermath. The local and state government should be responsible for getting these people out of the area by providing transportation to those that need it and adequate shelter facilities outside the area. There was plenty of advance notice about the storms intensity and expected landfall area.
    4. An excuse to bash and slander President Bush. It is obvious to those watching the news how every report has been slanted to slamming the President and his response to the storm. The President certainly has some say in what can happen but it is ultimately the local and state government job and infrastructure that handles emergency efforts in any particular area. When the area is damaged or impacted enough, the President will declare the area a “disaster area” thus authorizing additional funds and resources to the area. The National Guard and active military have both been activated or deployed to the area. Why was there a delay? FEMA is broke and the communications between ALL the relief organizations is terrible.

    NOW instead of jumping on the blame game and flooding all the new reports and other types of journalism with these negatives that are already known lets start figuring out how to fix the problem for future cataclysmic situations so we can better respond as a nation. Put your efforts and hostility to use in a more useful direction that will benefit the victims of Katrina. I ask each of you reading and/or responding this entry – WHAT ARE YOU DOING OR HAVE YOU DONE TO HELP THESE PEOPLE?



  • Pingback: The insanity continues: Responses to Hurricane Katrina - IO ERROR()

  • ‘Blame game’
    ‘Bush bashing’
    ‘Race card’

    Any more buzzwords for those who aren’t interested in the news, and trying to stifle any reports that might not favor their personal or political agendas?

  • Angelos

    We NEED to keep pressuring for answers, even if that does mean blame. Because even with the situation being a clusterfuck already, your Dear Leadership is just compounding the disaster.

    Let’s see:
    1) the Republicans announced a bipartisan committee to investigate government failure, but failed to include any Democrats.

    2) “Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives limited floor consideration of the $52 billion Katrina relief bill proposed by President Bush and voted to reject any Democratic efforts to amend the bill to include a wider array of relief measures, RAW STORY has learned. Democrats said no one had even seen a copy of the legislation. Voting along party lines, Republicans denied a measure that would have allowed for two hours of discussion and opened up the measure to be amended.”

    3) The $50 billion in recovery funds? To be administered by FEMA!! You know, the shell of an agency, with the director with the falsified resume? Oh, you didn’t know? See, at first, we just though he was unqualified, what with his getting fired from a horsey club not translating well to coordinating massive emergency operations. Well, it got worse. He hadn’t practiced law in 15 years before he became legal counsel to FEMA. His resume item of “assistant city manager with emergency services oversight” in Edmond, OK? He was an intern in college. “Outstanding Political Science Professor [at] Central State University.” He never tought there. “Director at the Oklahoma Christian Home since 1983”?. No one there’s ever heard of him. More here.

    This rampant corruption and cronyism has to stop. Lives are at stake. Our nation is teetering on the brink, and these people just don’t fucking care.

  • Linda Edwards

    Careful R#1, do not (deliverately) misquote me. I only addressed the one point, that city officials, who had originally arranged for the Red Cross to come in to NO to help provide relief, ended up asking them not to come in because the situation in NO had deteriorated so badly that they were concerned about the safety of the Red Cross personnel. NO had been told FEMA was on their way, so had thought they were making a prudent decision. That’s it! The FEMA response was abysmal! And it’s the feds that have the adequate resources to handle this situation. The state didn’t have millions of MREs sitting in warehouses for these situations, they don’t have the budget for that. But the feds do. Per the Northern Command, they were only waiting to be given the orders to take the MRE’s to NO.

    Now, I have said over and over that the city doesn’t have a plan to evacuate to points outside the city (neither does FL), so I don’t understand why you’re insinuating that I said they did. You’re obviously not reading, or else making up your own interpretation. I’ve also linked to the City’s Evacuation Plan, and I’ve read it.

    As I’ve said, the evacuation plan was to evacuate residents from their homes via the RTA to designated shelters, which they did all day on Sunday. The shelter of last resort was the Superdome, which turned out to be the right decision, considering that the Superdome held up to the storm.

    There’s no way in the world that a city with limited resources can evacuate to points outside the city. Where are they going to take 100,000 people? There aren’t enough buses or drivers to do that. And sending out massive numbers of buses would only make an already congested traffic situation even worse, which could have left thousands of people exposed out on the road when the hurricane hit.

    Every nursing home and health care providor in NO must submit evacuation plans and are responsible for the care of their residents. For those special needs people in their homes without transportation, you must be on a list so that the city knows where to find you. If you had read the plan, you would know that a special needs person must be pre-qualified, and must be pre-registered. If you were watching the same NO that I was watching, you would have seen the hundreds of special needs people in the Superdome and Convention Center. You know those people. They were the ones that were dying of heat exhaustion and lack of medicine because of the slow pace of the FEMA response. They were the onces that were being covered and pushed to the side with their I.D. pinned to their shirts.

    Please note: If you take the time to look up the evacuation plans in Florida (which gets hit with more hurricanes than anywhere else), you will find that the NO evacuation plan is no less comprehensive than theirs. In fact, the fact that NO runs the RTA to move people to the designated shelters is more than what I’ve found elsewhere. Waveland MS evacuation plan said, if you hve special needs, you better have someone lined up to get you out. Waveland didn’t make any provisions to help anyone evacuate.

    So why do you hold the NO officials to a higher standard than any other hurricane-prone area? You seem to be so deperate to blame Nagin that you’re just making up half the crap you’ve written.

  • Linda Edwards

    One last thing R#1, then I’m done with this.

    “Pre-disaster scenarios estimated that 100,000 or more residents would not have the transportation means to escape the city. In the interest of protecting these residents several “refuges of last resort” had been designated in advance, including the Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center. Beginning at noon on August 28th and running for several hours, some city buses were redeployed to shuttle local residents to the refuges. Several hundred school buses were not deployed due to the City being unable to find drivers. By the time Katrina came ashore early the next morning the Superdome was housing over 9,000 residents along with 550 National Guard troops. The elevation of the Superdome is about three feet (1 m) above sea level, and the forecasted storm surge was predicted to cause flooding on that site. The Superdome had been used as a shelter in the past, such as during 1998’s Hurricane Georges, and because it was estimated to be able to withstand winds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and water levels of 35 feet (10 m), it was considered one of the best options available at the time. The mayor told those coming to the Superdome to bring blankets and enough food for several days, warning that it would be a very uncomfortable place. [11]”

  • Linda,

    You should do a bit more digging. So far, you have been incorrect on key points of your arguments. (Remember, you started off by calling me a “liar” when I said that the Democrat Governor prevented the Red Cross from entering New Orleans.)

    You have stated as an undisputed fact that “The state didn’t have millions of MREs sitting in warehouses for these situations, they don’t have the budget for that.”

    You are, of course, incorrect.

    I am deliberately not linking to the source of this information. Let’s see how good you are at confirming whether I am lying or not. If you think I am lying, I will in 4 seconds post a link detailing why I am not lying.

    You and many others seem to have gotten over your outrage that the Democrats are CONTINUING to keep the Red Cross from feeding poor, black people in New Orleans.

    This “starve them out” strategy seems to be OK with you and other commenters, as I haven’t heard one additional peep about it now that we know it’s the Democrats who are starving them out.

    Where is the outrage for this racist, inhuman behavior on the part of a white Democrat governor in Louisiana? White people aren’t being starved out. They have plenty of resources to get food and water.

    It’s only poor black people who will be affected by Governor Blanco’s order keeping the Red Cross out.

    It’s patently racist.

    Where is Jesse Jackson? Where is Al Sharpton? Where is the principled left?

  • Jeff,

    Surely you are going to make a correction to this sentence:

    “FEMA also tried to order that the press not take pictures of bodies.”

    If the New York Times makes an error of fact, you frequently demand that they print a correction? Terse letters are sent to the “readers representative.” Do you hold yourself to these same standards?

    Should we forgive errors of fact on one of the nation’s leading blogs?

    That doesn’t sound like a good prescription for the future of “new media.” In fact, it sounds a lot like the “new media” once it gets big, is just as unaccountable as the “old media.”

    Do you have an ombudsman that I can contact about this?

  • AH, RN1, good to see you this morning. Now where was that link about Nagin leaving for Baton Rouge? I haven’t seen it yet, odd that…..

  • Greg,

    Working on it. Back shortly.

    Are you outraged that Democrat racists in Gretna blocked routes out of New Orleans at gunpoint while Democrat racists inside New Orleans kept the Red Cross out and are attempting to starve poor, black residents of the city to get them to leave their homes?

  • Meanwhile, in the reality-based community:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown (search) is being removed from his role managing Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

    If the Feds were truly doing everything by the book, why then would Bush — who stands by his men no matter what — ask Chertoff to cut this guy loose?

    Again, you apologists are about to be sold short. Have fun fighting the rear guard action as your fearless leaders scramble onto the last helicopter out of Saigon…

  • RN1 – good, keep looking. And while you’re looking, see if you can find the answer to these questions:

    Now in civil engineering (and I think law, but not sure there), the person who signs off on the document has the responsibility and liability, not the staffers who might have contributed to the document.

    So, if an emergency declaration didn’t list any of the parishes most likely to be hit with the disaster, would FEMA be able to do anything in them? And if that happened, would the person in whose name it was issued be responsible?

  • Jersey,

    I suspect that Bush has recalled Brown (reports of his firing are premature despite what headline writers are telling you) to have him explain why he padded his resume. You see, that’s the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. Republican’s believe in accountability. If Brown did pad his resume, I have no doubt that George Bush will fire him.

    Incidently, when Michael Brown was nominated in to be Deputy Director of FEMA, Democrats, led by Chairman Joe Lieberman, investigated his background as part of their advice and consent duties in the US Senate.

    The Democrats-controlled Senate committee spent almost an entire 43 minutes grilling Brown about his qualifications to head one of the most important offices in our government.

  • Greg,

    The problem I’m having finding good documentation about Ray Nagin’s whereabouts the night before and the morning the hurricane hit is that I believe that he may have sent just his wife and three children to Baton Rouge to ride out the storm while the rest of his citizenry was told to walk to the Superdome, and those who couldn’t walk were left to drown.

    None of the thousands of reporters covering Nagin will ask that question; so it is left to me, I guess, to root out the facts on this one.

    I’m still attempting to document whether Nagin himself left town.

    Incidently, I’m not criticizing Nagin for having his wife and children evacuated. Rather, I’m juxtaposing Ray’s concern for his own family against his concern for the ordinary citizenry which placed him in a position of power and responsibility and who pay his salary.

    He took care of his own; and I applaud him for that.

    He failed the most vulnerable citizens of his city by refusing to properly implement the city’s own Emergency Hurricane Evacuation Plan. Those vulnerable citizens are now dead because of Nagin’s criminal negligence.

    And for that, he should be arrested.

  • Angelos

    Holy shit!

    “You see, that’s the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. Republican’s believe in accountability.”

    You have GOT to be kidding me.

  • Jennifer

    Oh, yi. The ignorance here makes me tired and sad.

  • RN1 – let me make it easy for you. He stayed in NO, and was evacuated from the City Hall Emergency Response room when it started flooding. He set up a command post at the Hyatt. There are literally dozens of reports on this – based on AP articles.

    What you said was “Mayor Nagin then left New Orleans and went to Baton Rouge, where he ensured his own safety.

    The tens of thousands he left behind drowned. ”

    And now you say “I’m still attempting to document whether Nagin himself left town.”

    Right. You threw accusations recklessly – and at this point, I believe deliberately. That’s lying.

    How bout answers to the other questions I have?

  • Greg,

    Where did Ray send his wife and three kids? Down to the Superdome, or did they go to the Convention Center?

  • Whodat

    Jennifer you wrote “This disaster is a failure on every level of government, you hear me? And right now the people in South Louisiana think their governor and the mayor are heroic.” That doesn’t follow. But the first part is right on. And I’m agreeing more and more with Angelos these days. We must continue to demand answers and after the answers demand action.

    Bruce Larson needs to go a few days without proper food, shelter and water and then cry about those who are working and those who are merely ‘occupants’ that ‘expect to be given everything’. You mentioned the police officers–you mean the ones that up and left? No, I suppose you weren’t referring to them. I could be wrong but you’d probably be complaining without AC or hi-speed cable for a day let alone what these people went through for 6 days–on top of being around for the worst disaster in our country’s history.

    I’d be yelling too. But it would be more along the lines of we DEMAND help.

  • Greg,

    This little contest is hardly sporting, so I’ll throw you a bone.

    Did you know that Ray Nagin isn’t really a Democrat.

    He’s really a Republican.

    Run with it kid.

  • RN1 – old news. I don’t care. And there’s no contest – you lie, then you try to change the subject. That’s not a contest, it’s a pathetic excuse for discourse.

    Please try to focus, though – if an emergency declaration is made, is the person whose name it’s sent under responsible for the content?

  • Greg,

    Not sure what you mean by your question (perhaps you can expound on it).

    However, Ray Nagin was the Mayor of Orleans Parish. The Hurricane Evacuation Plan places the responsibility for evacuating the poor and infirm squarely and solely on the Mayor.

    Read the plan:

    “Authority to issue evacuations of elements of the population is vested in the Mayor. By Executive Order, the chief elected official, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, has the authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane. ”

    Three paragraphs later:

    “Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator. ”

    I agree, with you BTW. Doesn’t matter whether Nagin was a Democrat or a Republican. I think all incompetent Republicans should be fired or quit.

    I also believe all incompetent Democrats should be fired or quit.

    All criminally negligent Democrats, those who have negligently failed in their duties resulting directly in citizen deaths, should be arrested forthwith.

  • Greg,

    Democrat governor Kathleen Blanco is today preventing the Red Cross from entering New Orleans to feed the estimated 10,000 black people who haven’t left New Orleans.

    Do you think she is a racist?

    After all, the white folk left in New Orleans are getting 3 squares a day.

  • Rightnumberone,

    So Brown has been taken off Katrina duty for resume-padding? If that were true, you’d think he would have been immediately relieved of his post altogether and not just taken off the operation he had botched.

    Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, my friend.

  • It’s a simple question, should be easy to answer Let me rephrase it for you:

    Are elected officials responsible for the declarations they sign? Yes or No.

  • Dean

    Linda Edwards wrote: “It was the feds that prevented the Red Cross from entering and you know it. Why do you keep trying to perpetuate the lies? Again and Again and again, see here on Red Cross’ website.”

    From the Red Cross website you pointed people to:

    “Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

    The state Homeland Security Department had requested–and continues to request–that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city. ”

    Ok… Why do you insist that the *federal* government is blocking the Red Cross, when the Red Cross says that it is the “National Guard and local authorities” and the “state Homeland Security Department”.

    State and local authorities are the ones blocking the Red Cross, not federal authorities.

    Your post makes absolutely no sense at all. Unless you are under the mistaken belief that the National Guard is federal – its not, it reports to the Governor of the state; or that the state Homeland Security Department is somehow federalized under DHS – it’s not, it reports to the Louisiana Military Department.

    What point are you trying to make?

  • Dean,

    There are many comments in this thread. And I encourage you to read them all.

    Linda has already acknowledged how wrong she was for calling me a liar on that point and has admitted that it is Kathleen Blanco, Democrat, keeping food away from the estimated 10,000 poor black people left in New Orleans today.

  • Greg,

    I won’t fall into your lawyer trap.

    Make your point … THEN ask your question. THEN I will answer with facts documented as best as I can (considering I do not work for CNN).

  • Dean,

    Right now there are National Guard troops from several states and active-duty members of the armed forces all over Lousiana and New Orleans that are most certainly not under the control of the Governor. There are plenty of people down there right now who don’t answer to Blanco that could very well be blocking access to the city.

    That the Red Cross is loathe to put the blame on the Federales is not surprising, given the organization’s extremely close relationship to FEMA. I don’t blame them for not wanting to bite the hand that feeds them, but as public opinion against the morons in charge reaches a tipping point it would be unfortunate if such a well-respected outfit such as the Red Cross lost respect and trust by engaging in the Republican spin machine’s attempt to make local and State authorities the “bad guys”.

  • I’m not making a point, I’m asking a question. I do that, because that’s what I have, questions. Why in the world do you think it’s a trap? Personally, I think all elected officials are responsible for what they sign.

    Do you feel otherwise?

  • Jennifer

    I don’t understand the gleeful persecution of others, R#1. You are almost jumping on your seat to point out the rival political membership of Blanco and then accusing her for an act of inhumanity, coming one hair away from claiming that Blanco’s actions are of criminal intent. And your insinuation is that this is so because she belongs to the rival party.

    And all I think about during the day and when I read this tiresome and naive tirade is how my cousin hasn’t left the city yet and who knows when he will. He’s a police officer there. He’s Republican, but I doubt he’s thinking about it right now.

  • Jersey,

    You are incorrect sir. The National Guardsmen from all states are under the direction of Governor Kathleen Blanco. Governor’s from other states signed them over to her; not the feds.

    No National Guardsman is under anyone’s orders but their commander in chief … and that is none other than Kathleen Blanco.

  • Jersey,

    Are you suggesting that the Red Cross is lying about who is keeping them out of New Orleans?

  • Greg,

    I currently have no opinion about whether “elected officials are responsible for what they sign.” I am not informed enough about the ramifications your hypothetical to have an opinion.

  • Rightnumberone,

    (Re: National Guard from other States) Interesting. What’s your source on that? Shouldn’t they technically be answering to the President?

    What about the military? Surely Northcom hasn’t ceded control to Blanco as well.

  • Rightnumberone,

    No — I would say that the Red Cross is not lying but being very diplomatic. Not that I necessarily blame them for not wanting to threaten their good working relationship with FEMA, but that means if FEMA ends up going down in flames the RC may lose a lot of clout as well. And that would suck.

  • Jennifer,

    Let me be clear. I am not a “hair away” from accusing governor Blanco of criminal negligence.


    Her delay and inaction, in my opinion an act of criminal negligence, has resulted in possibly thousands of deaths.

    This is not BECAUSE she is a Democrat. But she IS a Democrat. When we go to the polls, we get to choose whether we want Democrats in office, or whether we want Republicans in office.

    That’s the choice we get.

    We can base that choice on whether we think our Democrat leaders have done a good job with the grave responsibilities that come with their office; or whether they are so indecisive in the face of criticial emergencies that their indecisiveness causes loss of life.

    I did not come to this conclusion because I hate Democrats, or because I don’t like Governor Blanco. I came to this conclusion the same way that Ray Nagin did. Here’s what he told CNN:

    “NAGIN: She [Blanco] said that she needed 24 hours to make a decision. It would have been great if we could of left Air Force One, walked outside, and told the world that we had this all worked out. It didn’t happen, and more people died.”

    Finally, I think that Governor Blanco’s decision to starve out the final residents of New Orleans – denying the Red Cross permission to feed them – is heartless and without any hint of compassion for these poor people.

    Even Marie Antoinette, when told there was no bread, was willing to let her minions eat cake.

  • Jennifer

    Our state (and by extension the country) has just gotten into a major traffic accident with Mother Nature.

    And what does R#1 think to do? Throw rocks at us. Kick us while we’re down. He’s not motivated by compassion for his countrymen.

    you don’t care about us. All you care about is how happy it makes you to throw your punches.

  • Jersey,

    All members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard are under ultimate control of the President.

    ALL National Guard troops, whether they are from Louisiana, or other states, are under the control of Governor Blanco.

    She refused to allow the federal government to coordinate the commands of these troops.

    My source for this information is a detailed report of Blanco’s political maneuverings in the New York Times this morning.

    Here is a (rather long, sorry) link to the NY Times’ story:

  • Jennifer

    No, see, your accusation is that (1) her intent is criminal, ie, she intended to leave people in the city, and that (2) she is deliberately withholding food and water with the intention of harm.

    Those things are preposterous. They are also slander.

    And above all, they’re a painful deflection away from the disaster that is still happening in slow motion.

  • Jennifer,

    I am extremely saddened by these events, but the people of New Orleans were not felled by Mother Nature.

    You see, the people of New Orleans expected to one day face this. That’s why they spent their hard-earned tax dollars building levees and paying city commissions to set up Hurricane Evacuation Plans.

    They expected the leaders to execute the plan. To come get them when the hurricane comes.

    Those particular leaders did not; costing thousands of the poorest, most infirm of their contituents to drown.

    Should we hold those leaders blameless?

    Should we allow it, by our inaction, to happen again and again and again.

    I believe that would be morally wrong.

    Because I do care about the people of my home state.

    Democrat (Blanco) or faux-Democrat but really Republican (Nagin) alike should be made to pay for their criminal negligence.

    How else can we ensure the safety of our most impovrished, most infirm, most vulnerable of brothers and sisters?

    Hurricane season isn’t over, you know.

  • Jennifer,

    Truth is a defense against slander.

    Everything that I have heard out of the Red Cross indicates to me that the reason they are not in New Orleans is because the Governor believes that their presence in New Orleans would encourage people to stay in New Orleans.

    So says the Red Cross on their website, which I refer you to here:,1096,0_682_4524,00.html

    That is the “starve them out” approach. And that’s sickening.

    It is, in my opinion, and the opnion of the Red Cross, that the Governor’s aim is to limit the amount of food and water that people have so that they must leave the city or starve to death. She may have a good reason to do that, however, I am not convinced of that, yet.

    It may be inconvenient for people to be there, but they have a right to be if they so choose. Many know this and are not ever leaving. There are many parts of New Orleans which are not underwater, and never were under water and, other than a lack of electricity and potable water, are perfectly habitable.

    However, the governor is still refusing to let the Red Cross in.

    And I agree with Mayor Nagin when he said that Governor Blanco’s indecisivness resulted in additional deaths – seeing as how she needed a 24-hour timeout to make a decision all the while knowing that a city in her state was filling to the brim with water.

    One need not have “intent” to be criminally negligent. One can be criminally negligent through their own inaction. Ask any lawyer.

  • Linda Edwards

    On BBC: Northern Command was in position, before the hurricane hit, waiting for Presidential orders, that didn’t come, apparently until he returned to the WH on Thursday evening .It seems he only began to act on Thursday, after he got back from his fund-raising,cake-eating, guitar playing trip to California on Thursday. PAPERWORK NEEDED TO GET THE TROOPS EN ROUTE DIDN’T COME FROM WASHINGTON UNTIL LATE THURSDAY.

    This was on the episode of BBC World News which played on a local (Philadelphia area) PBS station at 6:00 am this morning. . The BBC announcer was interviewing Lieutenant Commander Sean Kelly whom she referred to as Leftenant Commander. This is the entire interview with no missing context.

    Announcer: The relief operation is the largest ever conducted in America. It’s being coordinated by the US Northern Command in Colorado. Leftenant Commander Sean Kelly explains how the relief effort is being organized.

    Kelly: US Northern Command is the command that coordinates the military support for our federal and state agencies. They call up and request a capability and we try and provide that capability, whether it’s medical resources, search and rescue helicopters, food, water, transportation, communications; that’s what we provide.

    A: So it sounds like you’re providing a bit of everything. I mean, do you know how much you’re actually providing?

    K: Right now we’ve got 4,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine and coast guardsmen supporting this. They’ve delivered more than 9 million meals, I can’t remember how many millions of liters of water.

    A: 9 million meals? Do you actually have 9 million meals?

    K: It’s those “meals ready to eat”. The packaged meals that the Army takes out with them out in the field. We have 9 million of ’em ready. I know at least 100,000 went to the Superdome the other night to help the people out there in New Orleans. So they’re staged at various places throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

    A: Now I’m sure you’re aware of the criticism that the authorities have been slow to respond to this. When did you get the order to start relief work?

    K: NorthCom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready for the storm when it hit Florida because, as you remember, it crossed the bottom part of Florida, and then we were planning, you know, once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast. So what we did was we activated what we call defense coordinating officers to work with the state to say okay, what do you think you’ll need, and we set up staging bases that could be started. We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it’s search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready. The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can’t just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission.

    A: Now I gather that your engineers are also involved in pumping some of that flood water out of the areas.

    K: Yes,

    You still haven’t explained why you didn’t tell the truth about NO buses.

  • Linda,

    What did I say about NO buses that you find objectionable?

  • Angelos

    Blanco declared a State of Emergnecy, and asked for help before the damned thing hit.

  • Angelos,

    You sir, are correct. That means that Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin had 3 full days to evacuate New Orleans before the flood, but chose not to do so.

    Instead, they opened up the Superdome and told people to go there if they could, in contravention to the established Hurricane Evacuation Plan for the city of New Orleans.

    And they knew, after the experience with Hurricane Ivan, that the Superdome was unsafe as a refuge; that there would be no food, water or adequate security there. Mayor Nagin even told people to bring their own food, as if a 90-year-old black woman can bring 6 days worth of food with her and walk to the Superdome.

    Thanks for helping me to demonstrate just how criminally incompetent the Mayor and Governor were.

  • Angelos,

    Please quote from the proclamation anywhere where Governor Blanco asks for help?

    I don’t see it. Perhaps I am so blinded by my hatred of Bush that I cannot read this document.

    Or perhaps, this document contains no requests for any help.

    It does, however, order the STATE department of Homeland Security to provide “emergency support services.” The STATE department of Homeland Security, as I’m sure you know, is not affiliated with the federal Department of Homeland Security.

  • RN1 – so “Republican’s believe in accountability”, but you can’t answer yes or no to a question about an elected official being responsible for what they sign? Lessee – if I sign a promissary note, I’m responsible for it. If I sign a contract without reading the fine print, I’m responsible for it. But you aren’t willing to say that an elected official is responsible for what she or he signs?

    I see. It’s conditional, then, this accountability. So either you’re not a good Republican, or your early statement was, to quote an old Republican line, “inoperative”. Or you’re a hypocrite.

    You want a link to Blanco’s request for help – hint: look anywhere on the web. It’s a PDF file. It’s easy to find. She requested help on August 26. But you could find it, just like you could find any number of articles describing Nagin in New Orleans the entire time.

    That makes you a hypocritical lying troll, doesn’t it? Sorry, I confused you with someone who might have a modicum of integrity. My fault for wanting to believe the best of people on all sides. No, don’t apologize, there’s no need. Just…. go quietly. You’ve outraged enough people, and the only blame you’ve established is your own.

  • Greg,

    Please link to a “request for help” from Governor Blanco on August 26, 2005. My Googling skills pale in comparison to your own.

    That would help me establish that Governor Blanco had 3 days to help Mayor Nagin evacuate all those poor dead souls that are floating in New Orleans today, as the Hurricane Evacuation Plan promised that they would do.

    Perhaps then, Jennifer will understand where I’m coming from.

  • BTW,

    I’m not a good Republican. I’m a Democrat. Always have been (as just about anybody else born and raised in Louisiana has been.)

  • Jennifer

    R#1, you don’t need to tell me about NOLA and the levees and the wetlands.. I lived there until 3 years ago. I got my BS from USL when it was still USL. I studied ecology. Boy did I know about those levees. I also knw plenty about the way they’ve been ignored by the nation. How all the other spending on wetlands is called pork simply because you can’t see the results or because it didn’t involve a major port city.

    Maybe you do care about my family and the huge loss to this country that losing the black culture will mean. But you’re hardly showing it. You’re just going after the little guy and completely ignoring the whole picture.

    You’re meanspirited in the doing, too.

    Here, you want anobjective breakdown of what went wrong…though parts of it are naive:

    Today I heard (again) about how Nagin went on TV and radio and strongly urged people to leave even though he hadn’t called for an evacuation. Then I heard about how he sent the firetrucks and emergency vehicles into the streets announcing on bullhorns that people needed to leave.

  • Ravo

    We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it’s search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready.


    The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can’t just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission.


    Did Bush have to go around Blanco and utilize the Insurrection Act?

    While the governors of both Mississippi and Alabama put in a formal request for federal assistance before Katrina even made landfall, the governor of Louisiana refused to relinquish any of her power for the good of the people. Now she and her party point the finger of blame at the White House.

    Liberal blogs and websites are pointing to the Department of Homeland Security’s website which states that it can take control in any disaster, natural or otherwise, but this is not true. The Department of Homeland Security can only work with the state and local officials in organizing relief efforts such as food, water, and shelter. There is no military arm of the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the military is what was needed and everyone knew that.

    Instead of asking why the Democratic leaders of Louisiana failed the people, these sites post disgusting pictures of floating bodies with the message: “George Bush did nothing.” The truth is, the Democratic governor wouldn’t allow Bush to do anything. That floating body belongs to Governor Blanco. She is the one who “did nothing.”

    Roving bands of violent criminals quickly took control of the streets. While Mayor Nagin did declare martial law, it was a toothless declaration. The New Orleans police department was instantly overwhelmed. Many policemen just threw up their hands and walked off the job. Some joined the looters and were videotaped by MSNBC “shopping” in the local Walmart. The handful that was left on the job did their best but the best they could do was try to stay alive in a now lawless and dying city.

    Because there was no one in charge, the initial rescue operations were feeble at best and there was chaos. The scope and magnitude of the disaster, which covers an area the size of Great Britain, still had not been realized by Governor Blanco who steadfastly refused to declare martial law and officially request that the federal government “send in the troops.”

    It has come to light that all during the night on Friday, September 2, the president of the United States was forced to “negotiate” with Governor Blanco for the lives of the suffering and dying people of New Orleans. She feared that allowing the federal government to take control would make her administration appear as though it had failed. How she would be judged was more important to her than the lives of those people who were dying in the squalor. How many died as Blanco maneuvered to protect her reputation?

    The Posse Comitatus Act prevents, by federal law, the president of the United States from sending federal troops into any state without the direct request of the elected governor of that state. A frustrated President Bush could only stand by and watch as the horror unfolded until he received the request for help. Despite the finger-pointing at President Bush, there was little that he could do until he was formally asked for assistance. No matter how loudly the liberals scream, they know full well that the president was helpless to do much of anything.

    As the death toll rose and the animalistic behavior of some of those who chose to remain within the city became public knowledge, it was obvious that authorities needed to regain control. As the scenes from New Orleans, now a national disgrace, were being beamed around the world, a shameless Governor Blanco only cared about her own political image.

    There is reason to believe that President Bush, running out of patience with Blanco by Saturday morning, used the only option that remained to him. It is being reported that Bush went around Blanco and utilized the Insurrection Act to federalize the National Guard and send in active military troops to take over the rescue and put down the lawlessness that had taken over New Orleans. The forces that Bush had poised to move into the city, swung into action. It was no accident that the major, organized rescues began when the sun came up on Saturday morning. At 6:30 AM, when the sky over New Orleans was suddenly filled with military helicopters and military convoys poured into the streets, they were there because of President Bush, not Governor Blanco.

    The largest military evacuation the world has ever seen moved with the precision and efficiency that is only seen within the military. With men like Lt. General Russel Honore, 1st Army Commander and Army Brigadier General Mark Graham in charge, law and order was quickly restored, and an endless line of helicopters and boats began removing the stranded people and taking them out of the hell-hole called New Orleans. Those forces were ready to act because the President of the United States had positioned them to be ready.

    Everyone demands answers and everyone wants to put the blame for this catastrophe on someone. The most convenient person to blame is President Bush. In truth, he is the least responsible on the local level. While the liberals feel this is the perfect time to make political hay because so many African-Americans are involved, the first line of defense for those people, the mayor of New Orleans, and governor of Louisiana, both Democrats, are the leaders that failed them.

  • Jennifer,

    I totally believe your heart is in the right place, and I have no intention of questioning your motives the way that you question mine.

    I believe that Ray Nagin was WRONG to send firetrucks and emergency vehicles in the streets telling everyone to leave. He knew well in advance that many people could not leave that way.

    That was irresponsible. In my view, it was criminally irresponsible and constitutes negligence for which he should be arrested.

    What Ray Nagin should have done was exactly what the Hurricane Evacuation Plan for New Orleans expected him to do, authorized him to, and gave him the power to do: to send BUSES into the streets to pick people up and TAKE them to safety (not to the Superdome, where he knew there would be no electricity, water, food or security.

    The plan anticipated that there were hundreds of thousands of poor black people who couldn’t evacuate any other way. That’s why there was a plan.

    Mayor Nagin told everyone to get to the Superdome and to bring their own food.

    He cannot be allowed to lead people into death ever again.

  • Jennifer

    Please don’t patronize me. All I have done since I heard about the hurricane headed to Louisiana has been talk to family when I can reach them, watch the news, and read the internet. I know what happened and I see a catastrophic paralyzation of every level of government. I see years of Louisiana and Federal government neglect that could not have been surmounted by one mayor and one governor and one president. While it’s been known for years that a bad storm would kick New Orleans no one was prepared for exactly what that would mean.

    You know, we’re not even talking about the huge loss of culture. The black community is vital to New Orleans culture. And many will not return.

  • Ravo

    I see years of Louisiana and Federal government neglect that could not have been surmounted by one mayor and one governor and one president.


    The projects to have levees that could have limited the storm damage, have been talked about and not acted upon for at least 30 years.

  • Jennifer

    As for Blancos delay after meeting with Bush. She was told that in order to recieve assistance from the feds she would have to turn power over to the feds. Considering the horrible way FEMA and the DHS handled this I don’t think she was negligent. Why would you turn power of your state over to an agency that couldn’t get there before Wal-Mart?

    And then this:
    “When Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water, FEMA officials turned them away, he said. Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish’s emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA, Mr. Broussard said. ”

    You should hear what the people in my hometown are saying about that! They are furious.

    So, what did she do? She hired James Lee Witt, the director of FEMA during the Clinton administration.

    Look, I don’t doubt that there’s plenty of blame to go around at the local level. But there’s just as plenty to place on the feds and our president (what FEMA, there’s no FEMA, just a DHS run by a horse lawyer). And right now the community of New Orleans and St Bernard and Plaquemines don’t need all the finger pointing at them. Because when you start assigning the blame to a mayor they elected and a governor they elected, etc, these people are not going to say, “Oh, yeah, let’s get em!” They’re going to close ranks on you and say,”What you say about my mayor?”

    You say it’s your home state? You don’t sound like a native to me. Have you been to see the bonfires? Or go to the Andouille festival? Did your grandfather live off Canal? Did you walk to the corner store from your brother’s old duplex near the dental school? Ever get stuck on the Causeway on a foggy day? Ever see the Bonnet Carre spillway open?

  • Jennifer

    Too busy looking those things up on google to respond?

    Look, I just want you and others to stop the bad mouthing. I want to start talking about how we’re going to make it better.

    I don’t want to hear about not rebuilding New Orleans. I want to hear about making it so that the next time a giant traffic accident happens with Mother Nature that all we have to do is dust off and pick back up.

  • Ravo

    The military was there before Walmart…they followed the storm. BY LAW, they were kept away by your Governor. That is why Walmart got there first.

    We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it’s search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready.

    Now please read the emboldened carefully:

    The Department of Homeland Security can only work with the state and local officials in organizing relief efforts such as food, water, and shelter. There is no military arm of the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the military is what was needed and everyone knew that.

    BY LAW, they could not go in until authorized. Your Governor refused.

    Once the military was allowed in***:

    The forces that Bush had poised to move into the city, swung into action. It was no accident that the major, organized rescues began when the sun came up on Saturday morning. At 6:30 AM, when the sky over New Orleans was suddenly filled with military helicopters and military convoys poured into the streets, they were there because of President Bush, not Governor Blanco.

    The largest military evacuation the world has ever seen moved with the precision and efficiency that is only seen within the military. With men like Lt. General Russel Honore, 1st Army Commander and Army Brigadier General Mark Graham in charge, law and order was quickly restored, and an endless line of helicopters and boats began removing the stranded people and taking them out of the hell-hole called New Orleans. Those forces were ready to act because the President of the United States had positioned them to be ready.

    *** How did the military come to be allowed in? Did Blanco relent?
    Did Bush use the Insurrection Act? I don’t know if it is known yet. I haven’t heard.

    There is reason to believe that President Bush, running out of patience with Blanco by Saturday morning, used the only option that remained to him. It is being reported that Bush went around Blanco and utilized the Insurrection Act to federalize the National Guard and send in active military troops to take over the rescue and put down the lawlessness that had taken over New Orleans.

  • Jennifer

    You’ve ignored the whole FEMA thing. You know, the FEMA debacle? So why would Blanco turn it over to them?

    I don’t blame her.

    No one knows, yet, what really went down. And what I fear is that the whole story, at the end of the day, is a blame game that leaves the feds clean (can we say Republican run investigation) and leaves all the blame at the door of New Orleans. But hear you me…if that happens you will find that the people of Louisiana will not forget it.

    I’ll say it again…I’m no Dem, but I’m no Republican, either. I will always be from Louisiana and my loyalties lie there.

    I really hope someone who can, steps up and champions New Orleans.

  • Jennifer,

    Have you ever walked through 2 miles of bayou in nothing but ratty jeans and tennis shoes at 3 in the morning to take a picture of a dead body that drove off the Causeway. So that others might take more care driving it?

    I have.

    Have you ever sat in a courtroom day after day after boring day, watching the system chew up black people and spit them out … just for that one day that you could catch the district attorney letting a white drug dealer off by lying to a judge?

    I have. That district attorney doesn’t have a law license anymore. Because I helped convict him of perjury.

    I spent my formative years crawling all over the Louisiana that you claim to know so much about, camera in hand, notepad in hand, documenting everything I saw. Righting wrongs where I saw them. Speaking truth to power.

    I was also born and raised in Louisiana. It is my home.

    I do not need Google to know it.

    And you will not take it from me because you cannot win a principled debate.

  • So don’t lecture me sweetheart.

  • Jennifer

    Ok, so you’ve proved you’re older than me.

    But you have not proved that you have an objective eye, or that your motivation is the well-being of my people.

    As to your question:

    I’ve waded in hipboots through plenty of bayous. Hell, I’m from Lutcher. Born at Lakeside. And who’s this district attorney? I’m related to one, Noble, so I’d be aware of who you’re mentioning. Notebook in hand? For what? A newspaper? Which one? Who ARE you? I’ve been to your website. There’s nothing there about you. Just about your opinion.

    Principled debate? That is NOT what you’re doing! You’re witch-hunting. You’ve ignored the fault of the nation and focused solely on the local government. I mean totally IGNORED. And you’ve clearly lost touch with the people of Louisiana.

    And you don’t need to remind me about the racism problem in this country. It’s the only thing about my country I feel is shameful. There is plenty to change, but not plenty to be ashamed of.

    As for my *claims*, well, if you knew anything you’d recognize my references. And here’s a question…if you’re not black…what’s your faith, or the faith you were raised in? Answer that and I will judge the validity of YOUR claims.

  • I recognize you.

    You have referred to my “Louisiana credentials” and having failed in that flailing, now you are referring to my “religious credentials” so that you may judge me on that basis.

    “What’s your faith, or the faith you were raised in? Answer that and I will judge the validity of YOUR claims.”

    Hitler did the same thing with the Jews.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • The Lost Dog

    I was gonna point out a few things and ask a couple of questions, but the ignorance of FACTS in these comments is appalling. Trying to discuss anything with this bunch is like talking to my bath tub. Welcome to the new millenium, you ignorant bastards. It’s hard to believe that there are this many people in the whole country that believe in magic wands, much less on this one web site. You are a scary bunch – the exact bunch that Krushev predicted (in the fifties!)he would bury the US with. Jennifer, you are a perfect example. You obviously know absolutely NOTHING about which you speak, and yet you are so PROUD of yourself! Blanco was never asked to turn “everything” over to FEMA, nor could she if she wanted to. Blanco is so totally inept and incompetent that it is hard to believe, and she, and she alone, is responsible for the delay in getting troops to NO. Bush PERSONALLYY begged her to cede authority to the feds, BUT SHE REFUSED. I have no problem with anyone who disagrees with me, but I do have a problem with stupidity. Twenty minutes a day on the web, and you might have some inkling of what really happened in NO. But, let me guess. You, like so many others in this group, are not even a little bit ashamed of your ignorance, are you? Hey, why not? Just wear it like a badge of honor, huh? Good for you!

  • Jennifer

    Uh, Lost Dog, obviously you have been a victime of MSM.

    See here:

    Ashamed? Yes, of our American shame. Example? Of a native who wants the focus to be on rescue and restoration. Ignorant? Please…I live this. You do not.

    PROUD? YES! I am PROUD that I was born at Lakeside, PROUD that I was raised briefly outside New Orleans. PROUD that all of my family came to this country through New Orleans and never left. PROUD that my husband is Cajun. PROUD that I have an accent that people think I come from Brooklyn. PROUD that I am from the best place in this country.

    Yes, I am PROUD and that is why I am MAD. Because of jerkoffs like you that only care about furthing your stinking political agenda than furthing the salvation.

  • Ravo

    Again…wearily. FEMA is not marital Law.

    There is no military arm of the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the military is what was needed and everyone knew that.

    The US President – getting framed.

    Marital Law means turning it over to the military. FEMA is NOT military (martial law).

    FEMA is rescue, and the military (martial law) was the only one who could make it safe for them to do their jobs, when those they came to rescue fired upon them. FEMA is not the military(martial law), it does not, will not, cannot go into unsecured areas and do battle with thugs.

    And the Governor said no.

  • Ravo

    And those in the Superdome, waited and waited and waited…

  • Jennifer

    R#1, you are deflecting. If you are from south Louisiana you know why I ask about your faith. It’s a matter of simple epidemiology.

    The white population of south Louisiana are largely raised as Catholics. We all know that. And the blacks are largely Baptist. We all know that, too, those of us who are from there.

    That’s why I ask. Shame? Right. It’s definitely shameful to ask people what their faith is…yes….so shameful to have faith….

  • Jennifer

    Uh, Ravo, uh, are you blind and dear and can’t read, either?

    We know that help was asked for (see previous links), that help was slow (doesn’t even need links though some have previously been provided), so that the local government lost faith and trust (see previous links).

    It wasn’t until today that the feds got on the ball and got a real leader out to lead FEMA. Bye Brownie.

    Let me restate…I am not politically motivated. I am New Orleans motivated.

  • Dog,

    I understand your frustration, however, I would encourage you to avoid name calling. Jennifer made a mistake questioning my religion as a means of judging my claims, and questioning whether I was really from Louisiana.

    I understand that. I think she’s probably reconsidering her rash comments, probably said in the heat of the moment.

    I don’t take them personally. And I’m sure Jennifer is spending some time now reconsidering her attack on my religious upbringing. I’m absolutely certain that if she was raised in Louisiana, then she was taught by her parents that a person’s religious affilitation, or racial makeup, or wealth, has nothing to do with that person’s intellect.

    My parents taught me that. Things cannot have changed in Louisiana that much in the time I have been away from it (in physical spirit, but not mental spirit.)

    It is important to ask questions. I have never defended, for example, FEMA director Michael Brown, because I had serious questions about his credentials to hold the position he has.

    Much like what happened in New Jersey, where the Democrat governor Jim McGreevy was caught hiring his gay lover as the director for Homeland Security in that state, and was forced to resign in disgrace, it is important to question the credentials of everyone involved in the process of ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable citizens.

    Al Queda is watching to see if we will.

    Mayor Nagin, for example, came to the job having experience, not in governing, or in evacuations, but from the cable television industry. I recommend him highly for that industry. I cannot now recommend him leading one of the largest cities in this country, despite the fact that he only became a Democrat so that he could win that election.

    These are hard questions.

    They must be asked. Those who hold power don’t want them asked, of course, so they cannot be held to account.

    I would ask you Lost Dog, to ask your questions. Jennifer needs you to ask them. And to do so in as professional a manner as you can muster given the emotion of the situation.

    They will get answers.

    Some of us will ensure that they get answered.

  • Jennifer,

    Are you still IN New Orleans?

  • Jennifer

    Lots of info about both good and bad at the local level.

  • Eileen

    “You’ve ignored the whole FEMA thing. You know, the FEMA debacle?”

    I see you’re still into not pointing fingers, Jen?

    “No one knows, yet, what really went down.”

    I could not agree with you more, Jennifer.

    I look forward to a complete vetting of *the facts*. To repeat, I predict a silver lining of Katrina will be to firmly establish the ability of the federal government to ‘step in’to any state, or several at once – even in advance of a projected natural disaster – without the requirement of receiving formal state requests for aid or the invocation of rarely used, ancient acts. Federal vs. state jurisdictional issues in times of crisis are going to be examined very, Very carefully; the War on Katrina has yet to be waged. But the results of that war are going to inure to all of our benefits when the next big crisis hits.

    I was pleasantly surprised by that NYT article. Thanks, RN1. For the first time in a long time I noticed a hint of balanced reporting. And we *begin* to see how those very states rights vs. federal powers questions impacted our response, or lack thereof.

    Here’s one other silver lining I predict. We will completely revamp emergency planning based on projected scenarios in which local emergency support is wholly obliterated due to the disaster/threat itself. [And that is *the* reason the Feds will find newfound powers to definitively act WITHOUT formalistic state requests or cooperation.] Again, this will help us to better respond and prepare for ‘the next time’.

    Now I have a question. Why did Blanco ‘need 24 hours’ to respond to reported Presidential pleas for federal intervention?

    I don’t want to be cynical so I’m not going to state my fears in this regard. For now, I’ll just say that I’d love to have been a fly on her wall for those 24 hours.

    The facts, please, nothing but the facts. No judgment until we have all the facts. No blame games… Well, it’s obviously too late to expect that one. MSM calls the shots in that regard, literally and figuratively. For now. But Americans like me are sick of the MSM political machine and its agenda driven coverage. May *the facts* of Katrina come back to bite them big time. We’ll end up with better coverage as a result.

    Three silver linings: as hellacious as this calamity is, at least there’s that.

    Have a good weekend, All.

  • Jennifer

    No, I have lived near Atlanta for the past 3 years, for reasons of education. I am 30 years old.

    I was born at Lakeside, raised in Lutcher. All my family lives in New Orleans except my parents. i went to hight school in LaPlace. I went to USL for my BS and LSU for my MS. Right after that I moved to GA. But Louisiana and New Orleans is my HOME. Always will be. We’d been planning to come back, to live IN New Orleans, once my Cajun husband (born in Gueydan and raised in Lafayette) finished school. But those plans are scrapped. I dont’ care about my plans. I care about my city.

  • Jennifer,

    You should have some shame. For you did not just ask what my religious upbringing was; you need that information so that you can judge me.
    I quote you:

    “…what’s your faith, or the faith you were raised in? Answer that and I will judge the validity of YOUR claims.”

    I would refer you to Malachi 3. You will find it in just about any King James version of the Holy Bible that both the Catholic and Baptist faiths hand out during their sermons.

    For He is the only one who will judge the validity of my claims by the faith I have in Him.

  • And Jennifer,

    I would encourage you not to abandon your plans, your hopes, your dreams.

    New Orleans needs you.

    Don’t give up on her.

  • New Orleans, after all, hasn’t given up on you.

  • Ravo

    Uh, Ravo, uh, are you blind and dear and can’t read, either?

    We know that help was asked for (see previous links), that help was slow

    I’m feeling just as frustrated with you. For Goodness sake, the help required due to the shooting and looting was military, it was ready willing and able from the *****beginning***, and it was REFUSED! Nothing got done until the military did it.

    FEMA is NOT the military. The National Guard is UNDER the govenors control.

    It was the military that was there, that was needed, and that was refused.

    We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it’s search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately

    And Bush is being framed – blamed because it wasn’t used promptly, when the LAW required he wait upon the Gov.

    Will you “get” the FEMA thing straight…?
    There is no military arm of the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),

    They won’t work where guns are pointing at them.

  • Jennifer

    R#1, you deliberately misunderstand me. My point is, I’m spellling it out, is that natives from south Louisiana are largely Catholic if they claim a faith. This is overwhemingly so. Not politically correct? Absolutley, but still demographic. So, pardon me if I ask the faith credentials of someone who blasts the Louisiana people.

  • Jennifer

    Right, Ravo, but when FEMA had previously shown itself to be completely incompetent why woud woud we expect our mayor to defer power to that terrible orginizattion?????

    FEMA help was requested before the hurricane hit….

  • Jennifer,

    I am not criticizing you for ask me my faith, but for asking me my faith so that you could, as you put it: “judge the validity of [my] claims.”


    Malachi 3.



  • Oh,

    And please be careful with the term “natives.”

    In South Louisiana, that word has a connotation that you might want to avoid in Atlanta.

  • Jennifer

    I am getting the spam filter…entering numbres and letter so that my post is approved. Shortly the filter will deny my posts altogether until tomorrow afternood. I suspect this is some nameless and faceless computer filter.

    While you may be sick of hearing from me, I am nor avoiding the discussion…just fyi

  • By the way, Jennifer,

    The graphic you linked to suggests that the vast majority of residents of Orleans Parish claimed no religious affiliation in the year 2000.

    I was however, amazed at the explosive growth of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod – up 29%!

    Not casting aspersions or anything, but, WHOWOULDATHUNKIT? You know, this being Louisiana and all – and NOT WISCONSIN!

  • Jennifer

    As someone raised Catholic, I haven’t read the Bible. Catholics dont put much literal stock in the Bible and all that…so sorry, cant’ tell you about Malachi other than what i’ve read on my own. Nothing impressive.

    As for prayer? I am no longer Catholic but I am very spiritual. I pray for those stranded and I pray for stength and leadership.

    I am mad because you are dtracting from that./

  • Jennifer,

    Now you have me wondering about the statistical correlation of New Orleans cops looting Wal Marts following the greatest natural disaster the United States has ever known, to the rise in the number of adherents of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

    Makes me wonder whether those Winsconsin Lutherans are really committed to change in New Orleans or not.

    I’m just sayin’.

  • Jennifer

    No longer beign Catholic had more to do with there being very few Cathoilics in Georiga than anythign else…..not some fundamental break with Catholicism. But you knw how we Catholics are…..we don’t take Communion if we feel we don’t deserve it……

  • Jennifer,

    As a person of faith, I would encourage you to read the Bible.

    There is much in it that would benefit you.

  • The Lost Dog


    Quit while you are ahead. You are only making my point for me. On second thought, don’t quit. Keep showing that you have absolutely no idea what the facts are. The most amusing part is your charge of FEMA screwing everything up. How about an example? Do you even know what FEMA stands for, or what it is they do? Or are you just going by what people who are as ignorant as you have said? As much as we all wish it, neither the government nor George Bush possesses a magic wand. no matter what you were taught in school. I mean, where does one start trying to explain anything to one as clueless as you? You do, however, get a gold star for CARING, and that’s all that really counts in this world, right?. Don’t feel bad, though. You have a lot of company. As a final thought, I also find it amusing to see that you presume to know ANYTHING about me, much less how I have personally responded to this catastrophe. I guess that way you can dismiss what I say because I just don’t CARE as much as you do. Thank you for making my post look like a prophecy.

  • Jennifer

    Please don’t ask me about statistics….that’s wht my MS from LSU is in…Masters of Applied Statistics. I make my living teaching basic stats and consulting on medical research……….

    A correlation between the number of cops looting WalMart (overstated, according to my cousin) and the members of a church? What would you measure to test that??? How many times you read the Bible? Is that a count or just a yes/no question? Are the answers multinormial,?

  • Dog,

    Asking Jennifer to quit making her points stifles the debate.

    We don’t want that.

    We want to ask questions, probe who had responsibility to do what in this crisis, and to make sure that the debacle that is New Orleans today never happens again.

    So, let Jennifer ask her questions. Let her make her points. There is absolutely no reason to bash her.

    We should encourage this debate. Not stifle it.

    Only good can come from it.

  • Jennifer

    Lost Dog,

    You really don’t know what you say.

    Hell, I admit neither do I.

    I am motivated by the destruction of my city.

    What are you motivate by?

  • Jennifer,

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed learning that you are a statistics major. NOW WE CAN GET SOME ANSWERS.

    Assuming that I have 8 cops on video looting various Wal Marts, stealing shoes and helping others to loot (say, hundreds), and assuming I don’t have cameras all over New Orleans, but only at the Wal Marts, and assuming I have 27 new adherents to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, please correlate the ratio of both:

    a) the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod effectiveness over 10 years in ensuring that new members are not also looting policemen (thus, giving us some insight into their “religious teachings” so that we may “judge the validity of their claims”)


    b) the effectiveness of the Police chief of New Orleans to hire honest cops.

    Extra Points: Explain why New Orleans, given the explosive growth in the last 10 years of the population of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod members, has so many murders per capita, almost exclusively among the black population, with blacks overhhelmingly being both the victims and the perpetrators.

    Is it because there are so few blacks in Wisconsin?

  • Jennifer

    That’s ridiculous. For one, as a statistician, I cannot answer a quesion liek that with only statistics quoted to me. I need to see more literture and data that I can analyze on my own. Not likely to happen.

    Correlations need something called observations to be calculated, which means something called error will be applied.

    Don’t have data on the population of Wisconsin.

    However, I can tell you a lot about the major cause of spinal cord injury in children, or about cardiovascular disease in infatnts…..sorry. …

  • Ravo

    Right, Ravo, but when FEMA had previously shown itself to be completely incompetent why woud woud we expect our mayor to defer power to that terrible orginizattion?????

    FEMA help was requested before the hurricane hit….

    Talking with you is very scary. You can’t seem to comprehend the simplest concept.

    One last time…the power would be deferred to the military.

    FEMA IS NOT in any way [military] or the MARITAL LAW SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN DEFERRING TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jennifer,

    At least I know you can take a good statistics joke.


  • Linda Edwards

    R#1, again, per the link I sent to you before, the NO buses ran on Sunday starting at noon, evacuating people from their homes to shelters. Assisting people to evacuate to shelters is what the NO plan calls for, it does NOT call for NO to evacuate people outside the city. What’s wrong with you that you keep insisting on something different? The shelter of last resort was the Superdome. Per the Red Cross website, this decision saved lives. I’ve pointed this out to you many times, you continue to deliberately ignore it.

    At that time, there was enough food to last a couple of days. There was electricity. AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE SUPERDOME SURVIVED THE HURRICAN. It also survived the flood, except it was surrounded by water. THAT’S NOT WHAT KILLED PEOPLE. After the electricity went off, the backup generators kicked in, giving at least a dim light. The food and water ran out on Wed, the same day the toilets gave out.

    Bush declared a state of emergency on Sat, FEMA required 72 to 96 hours to be in high gear. If FEMA hadn’t been so incompetent, that means that FEMA should have been operative at the Superdome and Convention Center no later than Wednesday, when the supplies that were laid in had run out. Had FEMA been there when they were supposed to, when they had promised they would, the ensuing chaos wouldn’t have happened. THAT’S WHEN THE UNNECESSARY DEATHS OCCURRED, when FEMA didn’t arrive when they were supposed to. The first airdrops of food and water didn’t start arriving until late Friday, and there was only a little bit dropped. The larger quantities of supplies didn’t arrive until Gen Honore (bless his heart, the man is amazing) arrived on Saturday.

    Why don’t you check Florida’s emergency evacuation plan. It says “Get your self out”, just like NO’s. It says, “if you can’t get out, go to a shelter”, just like NO’s plan. That NO had food and water for even a couple of days was out of the norm. Some FL plans say if you have special needs, transportation TO A SHELTER will be provided IF you pre-register and are pre-qualitied, and so does NO’s. Every plan I saw said bring your food as you will not be fed at the shelter. That NO had food and water for even a couple of days was out of the norm. Some plans say if you’re special needs, you better darn well make sure you have your own plan on how to get to a shelter.

    You’re being dishonest when you keep insisting it was the NO Mayor’s responsibility to evacuate everyone to points outside of the city when you know damned well that it’s not in the city’s evacuation plan, and besides, it’s a logistical impossibility. I’ve been in the international logistics business for 26 years, and I know what’s involved in getting things from point A to point B.

    Think about this, if you can. Once the buses rolled in to NO and they started evacuating the Superdome and the Convention Center. it took several days to move all those people out, about 35000 people in all. Now just imagine having to pick people up from many many points throughout the city, 100,000 of them. Even if they had started on Saturday, they wouldn’t have made a dent in getting people out of NO before the outer bands of the hurricane hit. AND, the buses would have unnecessarily added to the severe traffic congestion they were already experiencing. As I said, it’s a logistical impossibility, and that’s why it’s not in the emergency plan to do it. IT CAN’T BE DONE.

    You’re trying so hard to pin this FEMA disaster on Nagin, and it’s starting to look ridiculous. MS had the same slow, sorry response from FEMA, and Nagin didn’t have anything to do with that. But we did see how well FEMA could respond last year in FL, but then, they were motivated to do so.

  • Ravo

    General Honore is part of the military. The military that was kept.
    The military that was there since the beginning …but was kept out.

    The military that was needed to accompany FEMA, (most cities do not NEED the military to accompany the FEMA rescuers) that at first was not allowed in to do so.

    The largest military evacuation the world has ever seen moved with the precision and efficiency that is only seen within the military. With men like Lt. General Russel Honore, 1st Army Commander and Army Brigadier General Mark Graham in charge, law and order was quickly restored, and an endless line of helicopters and boats began removing the stranded people.

    How did Bush FINALLY get the Governor’s permission to allow the military to do it’s job. That is the question. Or didn’t he.

  • The Lost Dog


    “You really don’t know what you say.

    Hell, I admit neither do I.

    I am motivated by the destruction of my city.

    What are you motivate by?”

    First, let me say this. I chose to use your post because it was the last one before mine when I started typing. Just the luck of the draw.
    Second, you’re right. You don’t know what you say. I DO know what I say. I spend a lot of time looking for facts on the internet, because the MSM is not worth the powder to blow it up. If you bother to do your own research, you will find that the MSM (for the most part) is an arm of the Democratic party. Have you ever heard the phrase “lying by omission”?
    This is the largest disaster in our history. I see the left screaming about how FEMA and Bush are to blame and that they are incompetent, blah, blah, blah… GEORGE BUSH DID NOT DESTROY YOUR CITY – A HURRICANE DID. MAYOR NAGIN AND GOVERNOR BLANCO WERE ALMOST CRIMINALLY UNPREPARED. THIS IS NOT DISPUTABLE BY ANY SANE PERSON.
    What I DON’T see is one single FACT to back up these charges that the lefties have leveled. I have been all over the blogs, and can’t find one single person who will give me a reply to the question – “Just what exactly did FEMA do wrong?” I’ve asked you, and you haven’t given me a reply, either. I don’t care where you grew up, or how much you love N.O., or even how beautiful it is. That’s not what I asked. I want to hear some FACTS, not left wing propaganda or, “I CARE more than you do.”
    The left, as usual, is playing to ignorance. They are even climbing on the backs of the dead in your beloved city for fund raising. This whole thing is a big pile of BS, and the people pushing it are counting on the ignorance of you and others like you. If you really have a masters in statistics, you should be smart enough to ask the same questions I do, and demand FACTS, not bulls**t. And without FACTS, it IS BS.
    What is my motivation? I am pissed off that such a pile of dung could be whipped up with no FACTS to support it, and that so many people are absolutely clueless as to what is involved in a disaster of this magnitude. This is NOT comparable to a dog peeing on your living room rug. There is no power on earth that could make everything right overnight for the millions upon millions of people who’s lives have been totally destroyed by Katrina. The fact that sleazy little worms like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are trying to make political hay out of this JUST REALLY PISSES ME OFF! You can hate Bush all you want, but how about a fact or two to convince me that FEMA or Bush did anything wrong? Why don’t YOU ask this same question, and see if you get an answer? Besides some general blather about Bush being incompetent or a stupid chimp, you won’t get one. Insist on some FACTS, and you might find out all by yourself why I am so upset..

  • The Lost Dog


    Here is something I found within two minutes of my post. It is from Powerlineblog

    The city of New Orleans followed “virtually no aspect of its own emergency management plan” during the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina, reports the Washington Times. New Orleans also ignored various federal guidelines, including the one stating that the Superdome was not a safe shelter and the one stating that school buses be used to evacuate residents. So the biggest mistake the federal government made here was probably that it forgot to tell the mayor and the governor to follow the plan. It reminds me of former Redskin coach Norv Turner’s comment after quarterback Gus Frerotte injured himself by head-butting a wall following a touchdown — “I forgot to coach him not to do that.”

    The article also confirms that FEMA was in New Orleans as the storm approached working with the Louisiana National Guard, which delivered seven trailers of food and water to the Superdome on August 29 (Monday) and another seven trailers the following day.

  • Excellent collection of facts and rumors:

    “In 1995, the Washington Monthly wrote about FEMA’s miraculous turnaround after its abysmal performance dealing with Hurricane Andrew. In that story was this tidbit from Jeffrey Itell, who conducted a massive study of FEMA’s operations, which uncovered that FEMA had extensive powers according to the Stafford Act that, to everyone’s detriment, it was not exercising:

    We found that without state requests, FEMA could assess the catastrophic area, assess what assistance the state needed, start mobilizing that relief, present its recommendations to the governor, and, if necessary … get in the governor’s face to force the issue of accepting federal help.

    This should all still apply — unless the Department of Homeland Security nullified these common-sense FEMA powers when it subsumed the agency a couple years ago. (If it did, DHS has a lot of explaining to do.) ”


  • Election Monitor

    I guess the most tragic thing for all those poor black folks in the lower 9th and E. NO is that there wasn’t an election scheduled for Monday when the hurricane hit. Had there been, you can bet that the Dems would move heaven and earth to get them loaded up on all those empty school busses.

    Unfortunately, black lives aren’t as important as black votes to the Dems and never have been. Doubt me? Who gets sold out when it comes to giving blacks a choice and a chance at better education, impoverished blacks or the teacher unions? Who gets sold out when it comes to flood protection, impoverished blacks or the environmentalists? Who gets sold out when it comes to illegal aliens that undercut the labor market, impoverished blacks, or the immigrant lobby? Well, that’s easy… who has more money, impoverished blacks or the special interests? All that’s left for the poor blacks are scraps of public assistance.

    While so much of the south has prospered, NO has lagged behind in every aspect… jobs, education, crime… and the folks who feel that most are impoverished blacks in NO. Now who is to blame for that? Bush or the corrupt Dem politicians that have had a chokehold over Louisiana politics for the past half century?

    The local response in this disaster is just what you’d expect. Garbage in, garbage out. Failure to follow their own plan, failure to evacuate, failure to learn the lessons of Georges and Ivan, failure to staff a large enough police force, failure to harden communications equipment (backup power?), failure to act quickly, failure to let relief organizations operate. Failure followed by finger pointing. What did everyone expect? Really, what did everyone expect would happen?

    But at the same time, lets not forget something crucial. We don’t know how many died and more importantly, WHEN they died. I suspect (and pray) that when the last chapter is written in this disaster — after St. Bernard and E. NO are finally drained — we will find that the vast majority of deaths were from people who perished during the storm. And although the City might have been able to do better at evacuating people, they surely wouldn’t have gotten everyone.

    Why do I suspect this?

    Because people just don’t die of thirst and starvation in 48 or 72 hours, and all but the very weak can easily last 96 or more. Does anyone remember how long Teri Schiavo lingered? Nine… ten… eleven days?

    No, when the bodies are found, I believe that the vast majority will have died during the storm. This is tragic, and some of it may have been prevented, but the storm itself will be the sole producing cause of most. And I believe that Ray Nagin will be ashamed to look at himself in the mirror for the rest of his life when he realizes that he might have been able to save even five, ten or dozens of those folks had he gotten them out of the way of the storm. But he didn’t even try.

  • I just want to comment on the topic of banning photos of dead bodies. I posted this on another blog as well.

    I don’t think they should publish photos of the dead… How would you feel if you find out via a photo that someone you love is dead? Additionally, what purpose do the photos serve? Sensationalism. That’s it, plain and simple. It doesn’t help anyone. It can only hurt. You guys all want to cry foul, and proclaim that your free speech is being stepped on. Well, let it be stepped on. These people need help, and taking photos of dead bodies does no such thing.

  • Election Monitor


    The purpose served is much more than simple sensationalism.

    The deceased in NO are props, useful corpses for inflaming ill will against George Bush. They were happy to use Casey Sheehan as such a useful corpse, but for them, this is much much better.

  • gg

    Skeletons (Real Ones) in Bush’s Closet

    There are some very troubling developments regarding the collecting of
    bodies in NOLA. The company hired to do the collection is Kenyon
    International. Kenyon International is owned by SCI, a major Bush
    contributor. SCI was involved in a scandal called “Funeralgate” wherein
    thousands of
    bodies were improperly and fraudulently disposed of in mass graves of in
    violation of numerous State and Federal laws on numreous occasions. Rather
    than prosecute the company, the then Governor George W Bush and and his
    campaign manager and future FEMA director Joe Allbaugh seemingly helped the
    company engage in a coverup. Both Bush and Allbaugh were named as defendants
    in a lawsuit regarding the issue.

    The fact FEMA and the Bush Administration seem to be intent on blocking
    media coverage of the collection of bodies, and unsubstantiated rumours of
    “mishandling” of bodies in NOLA already circulating should lead to great
    concern among the public. Is the Government planning to cover up the number
    of dead in NOLA as they covered up the Abu Ghraib scandal?

    One thing is certain: reporters for the Dallas times caught Police and
    National Guardsmen red handed in this video
    telling the media they were rounding up dogs to be collected by the ASPCA
    and other animal groups, when in fact they were caught “exterminating” them
    on camera. If the government will lie about that, what else will they lie

    The American people deserve to know the truth. The collection of American
    bodies should not be farmed out to a Bush political crony, one which he
    seemingly helped cover up the “mishandling” of bodies…a felony. SCI’s
    criminal practice of “mishandling” bodies should preclude it from engaging
    in or profiting from the recovery of American bodies anywhere, but
    particularly in NOLA…the outcome of the investigation is too important to
    leave to a company with such a tainted past, particulary one that is so
    incestuously connected to George W Bush, and particularly when the Bush
    administration has so much to lose from an accurate body count.

    The US media must be allowed to report on a crucial element of one of the
    gravest governmental crises in American history. Congress should demand that
    Kenyon International be FIRED immediately from any and all recovery efforts
    in NOLA, and send an independent oversight group to be present in NOLA and
    the surrounding area during the body recovery to insure the American people
    are not being duped. These are not hanging chads, these are American
    citizens.The present leadership within FEMA and the Bush administrationhave
    proven themselves unworthy of American trust.

    Following is a list of links detailing some very disturbing allegations of
    criminal activity directly involving GW Bush, Joe Allbaugh, and the company
    entrusted by the American people to recover the dead abandoned by the Bush
    administration after hurricane Katrina…are you listening America?

    Please dont just read this info, do something about it!

    Contact Congress and the National Media to launch a formal inquiry, help
    disseminate this info on the blogs. Its time to bring back accountbility to
    our government.

    Permission to use this post for any reason is granted Universally without
    charge or obligation.

  • Angie

    I am from a small town south of N.O. I watched as they seem to have concentrated more on the ” CONTRA FLOW ” plan than anything else. The shelters in N.O. weren’t opened until the last min. Now everyone wants to know what happened??, Knowing that they were looking at a disaster of this magnitude. Makes you say HMMM

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