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Times-Picayune Editorial, Open Letter

Katrina Times-Picayune Op-Ed

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#21 Spectacles

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 09:25 PM

Anarch, you did a good deed today. You hooked me up with fafblog. Yay!  I can still laugh!  Even if I probably shouldn't. ;)

Did you see the latest--the Do-It-Yourself Emergency Management Guide?

http://fafblog.blogspot.com/

Edited by Spectacles, 06 September 2005 - 09:27 PM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#22 Anarch

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 09:38 PM

Of course!  Fafblog is genius. I love that graphic! :D

#23 Nonprofit

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 01:53 PM

I wonder if this open letter writer reads Times-Picayune paper. Or they would know that it was their own city that let them down. Their own goverment that opened the flood gates.

http://www.gopusa.co..._katrina1.shtml

Quote

In December of 1995, the Orleans Levee Board, the local government entity that oversees the levees and floodgates designed to protect New Orleans and the surrounding areas from rising waters, bragged in a supplement to the Times-Picayune newspaper about federal money received to protect the region from hurricanes.

"In the past four years, the Orleans Levee Board has built up its arsenal. The additional defenses are so critical that Levee Commissioners marched into Congress and brought back almost $60 million to help pay for protection," the pamphlet declared. "The most ambitious flood-fighting plan in generations was drafted. An unprecedented $140 million building campaign launched 41 projects."

The levee board promised Times-Picayune readers that the "few manageable gaps" in the walls protecting the city from Mother Nature's waters "will be sealed within four years (1999) completing our circle of protection."

But less than a year later, that same levee board was denied the authority to refinance its debts. Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle "repeatedly faulted the Levee Board for the way it awards contracts, spends money and ignores public bid laws," according to the Times-Picayune. The newspaper quoted Kyle as saying that the board was near bankruptcy and should not be allowed to refinance any bonds, or issue new ones, until it submitted an acceptable plan to achieve solvency.

Blocked from financing the local portion of the flood fighting efforts, the levee board was unable to spend the federal matching funds that had been designated for the project.

By 1998, Louisiana's state government had a $2 billion construction budget, but less than one tenth of one percent of that -- $1.98 million -- was dedicated to levee improvements in the New Orleans area. State appropriators were able to find $22 million that year to renovate a new home for the Louisiana Supreme Court and $35 million for one phase of an expansion to the New Orleans convention center.

The following year, the state legislature did appropriate $49.5 million for levee improvements, but the proposed spending had to be allocated by the State Bond Commission before the projects could receive financing. The commission placed the levee improvements in the "Priority 5" category, among the projects least likely to receive full or immediate funding.

The Orleans Levee Board was also forced to defer $3.7 million in capital improvement projects in its 2001 budget after residents of the area rejected a proposed tax increase to fund its expanding operations. Long term deferments to nearly 60 projects, based on the revenue shortfall, totaled $47 million worth of work, including projects to shore up the floodwalls

No new state money had been allocated to the area's hurricane protection projects as of October of 2002, leaving the available 65 percent federal matching funds for such construction untouched.

"The problem is money is real tight in Baton Rouge right now," state Sen. Francis Heitmeier (D-Algiers) told the Times-Picayune. "We have to do with what we can get."

Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Mark Drennen told local officials that, if they reduced their requests for state funding in other, less critical areas, they would have a better chance of getting the requested funds for levee improvements. The newspaper reported that in 2000 and 2001, "the Bond Commission has approved or pledged millions of dollars for projects in Jefferson Parish, including construction of the Tournament Players Club golf course near Westwego, the relocation of Hickory Avenue in Jefferson (Parish) and historic district development in Westwego."

There is no record of such discretionary funding requests being reduced or withdrawn, but in October of 2003, nearby St. Charles Parish did receive a federal grant for $475,000 to build bike paths on top of its levees.

This open letter writer should know this, before writing some dumb ass letter to the paper.  

http://www.post-gaze...5249/566101.stm

Quote

FEMA is not a first responder

Don't be so quick to pillory the federal response in New Orleans. Immediate emergency management is primarily a local and state responsibility

The key to emergency management starts at the local level and expands to the state level. Emergency planning generally does not include any federal guarantees, as there can only be limited ones from the federal level for any local plan. FEMA provides free training, education, assistance and respond in case of an emergency, but the local and state officials run their own emergency management program.

Prior development of an emergency plan, addressing all foreseeable contingencies, is the absolute requirement of the local government --and then they share that plan with the state emergency managers to ensure that the state authorities can provide necessary assets not available at the local level. Additionally, good planning will include applicable elements of the federal government (those located in the local area). These processes are well established, but are contingent upon the personal drive of both hired and elected officials at the local level.



I've reviewed the New Orleans emergency management plan. Here is an important section in the first paragraph.

"We coordinate all city departments and allied state and federal agencies which respond to citywide disasters and emergencies through the development and constant updating of an integrated multi-hazard plan. All requests for federal disaster assistance and federal funding subsequent to disaster declarations are also made through this office. Our authority is defined by the Louisiana Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act of 1993, Chapter 6 Section 709, Paragraph B, 'Each parish shall maintain a Disaster Agency which, except as otherwise provided under this act, has jurisdiction over and serves the entire parish.' "

Check the plan -- the "we" in this case is the office of the mayor, Ray Nagin who was very quick and vocal about blaming everyone but his own office. A telling picture, at left, taken by The Associated Press on Sept. 1 and widely circulated on the Internet shows a school bus park, apparently filled to capacity with buses, under about four feet of water. If a mandatory evacuation was ordered, why weren't all the taxpayer-purchased buses used in the effort?

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<snip>


It seems that the mayor of New Orleans is leading the effort in not taking responsibility for his actions. The emergency managers for the state of Louisiana do not have much to say either. The failure in the first 48 hours to provide direction for survivors is theirs to live with. When FEMA was able to take over, it started out behind and had to develop its plan on the fly. Now the federal government has established priorities -- rescue the stranded, evacuate the city, flow in resources and fix the levee. It appears that now there is a plan and it is being systematically executed.

Oh letter writer,  perhaps you should know what your own Governor has done to your city by thinking for 24 hours.  

http://transcripts.c.../05/ltm.01.html    

Quote

AMERICAN MORNING 9-5-05

S. O'BRIEN: There are people who say your evacuation plan, obviously in hindsight, was disastrous.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS: Which one?

S. O'BRIEN: Your evacuation plan before -- when you put people into the Superdome. It wasn't thought out. You got 20,000 people in there. And that you bear the brunt of the blame for some of this, a large chunk of it.

NAGIN: Look, I'll take whatever responsibility that I have to take. But let me ask you this question: When you have a city of 500,000 people, and you have a category 5 storm bearing down on you, and you have the best you've ever done is evacuate 60 percent of the people out of the city, and you have never issued a mandatory evacuation in the city's history, a city that is a couple of hundred years old, I did that. I elevated the level of distress to the citizens.

And I don't know what else I could do, other than to tell them that it's a mandatory evacuation. And if they stayed, make sure you have a frigging ax in your home, where you can bust out the roof just in case the water starts flowing.

And as a last resort, once this thing is above a category 3, there are no buildings in this city to withstand a category 3, a category 4 or a category 5 storm, other than the Superdome. That's where we sent people as a shelter of last resort. When that filled up, we sent them to the Convention Center. Now, you tell me what else we could have done.

S. O'BRIEN: What has Secretary Chertoff promised you? What has Donald Rumsfeld given you and promised you?

NAGIN: Look, I've gotten promises to -- I can't stand anymore promises. I don't want to hear anymore promises. I want to see stuff done. And that's why I'm so happy that the president came down here, because I think they were feeding him a line of bull also. And they were telling him things weren't as bad as it was.

He came down and saw it, and he put a general on the field. His name is General Honore. And when he hit the field, we started to see action.

And what the state was doing, I don't frigging know. But I tell you, I am pissed. It wasn't adequate.

And then, the president and the governor sat down. We were in Air Force One. I said, 'Mr. President, Madam Governor, you two have to get in sync. If you don't get in sync, more people are going to die.'

S. O'BRIEN: What date was this? When did you say that? When did you say...

NAGIN: Whenever air Force One was here.

S. O'BRIEN: OK.

NAGIN: And this was after I called him on the telephone two days earlier. And I said, 'Mr. President, Madam Governor, you two need to get together on the same page, because of the lack of coordination, people are dying in my city.'

S. O'BRIEN: That's two days ago.

NAGIN: They both shook -- I don't know the exact date. They both shook their head and said yes. I said, 'Great.' I said, 'Everybody in this room is getting ready to leave.' There was senators and his cabinet people, you name it, they were there. Generals. I said, 'Everybody right now, we're leaving. These two people need to sit in a room together and make a doggone decision right now.'

S. O'BRIEN: And was that done?

NAGIN: The president looked at me. I think he was a little surprised. He said, "No, you guys stay here. We're going to another section of the plane, and we're going to make a decision."

He called me in that office after that. And he said, "Mr. Mayor, I offered two options to the governor." I said -- and I don't remember exactly what. There were two options. I was ready to move today. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision.

S. O'BRIEN: You're telling me the president told you the governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision?

NAGIN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: Regarding what? Bringing troops in?

NAGIN: Whatever they had discussed. As far as what the -- I was abdicating a clear chain of command, so that we could get resources flowing in the right places.

S. O'BRIEN: And the governor said no.

NAGIN: She 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.


S. O'BRIEN: The mayor making it clear that much politicking was going on, even as people here were continuing to suffer. The mayor clearly thinking that the governor did way too little, way too late for her part.

Later Soledad O'Brien From CNN  AMERICAN MORNING
interviewed the governor, Kathleen Blanco.

Quote

S. O'BRIEN: There's been much written about kind of a power tussle between you and President Bush and the mayor. Specifically the mayor was telling us about a flight on Air Force One, and he said that you and he and the president were all in a room and finally you and the president went separately to have a meeting. Twenty-four hours, is that right? Is that what came of our that meeting on the tarmac with the president?

BLANCO: They gave me a very complicated proposition to look at. It didn't help our effort in that instant moment. I needed a little time to understand exactly what it meant. We went forward, all of us, all the resources were there. Nothing stopped. We ended up, um, coming to terms and agreements, and I think that the effort is going great.

Blanco needed 24 hours to think,  while the folks in her state were dying. Sheeez.....Do Nagin and Blanco even know what mandatory evacuation means?  They did nothing to get the folks out of the soup bowl.  All those buses just sitting there.  Not getting the National Guard in the areas BEFORE the levees broke.  Putting all those folks in the Superdome without food, water and the National Guard for security.  What the hell were these 2 dummys thinking?

All emergencies practices are the obligation of the LOCAL, COUNTY, and STATE goverments. The Federal government cannot send troops without a request from the Governor of a state or in cases of insurrection. While FEMA can provide management, money, food, etc., at request of the local & state governments, they can't just walk in and take over on their own.

RuReddy

#24 Lin731

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:18 PM

Quote

Blanco needed 24 hours to think, while the folks in her state were dying. Sheeez.....Do Nagin and Blanco even know what mandatory evacuation means? They did nothing to get the folks out of the soup bowl. All those buses just sitting there. Not getting the National Guard in the areas BEFORE the levees broke. Putting all those folks in the Superdome without food, water and the National Guard for security. What the hell were these 2 dummys thinking?

Mind telling me how 1,500 cops were going to evacuate a city of 500,000? Mind telling me how a state with a 20 to 30 percent poverty level was going to have the means to get themselves out of the way?Mind telling me why we can afford tax cuts for the very wealthiest and a huge bridge in Alaska, while we knowingly leave a city with 500,000 vulnerable to a PREDICTED LEVY BREACH and less than 20 percent of the required funding to fix said levies? Mind telling me how many days it took the head "dummy" to order the National Guardsmen that were ALREADY IN PLACE WAITING FOR HIS ORDER TO GO TO WORK to actually GIVE the order? So to answer your question, apparently the 2 lower level dummies were waiting for the Head Dummy to do HIS job. It took DAYS for the Head Dummy to order the guardman that had been stationed there twittling their thumbs to go in.

Quote

All emergencies practices are the obligation of the LOCAL, COUNTY, and STATE goverments. The Federal government cannot send troops without a request from the Governor of a state or in cases of insurrection. While FEMA can provide management, money, food, etc., at request of the local & state governments, they can't just walk in and take over on their own.

RuReddy

THE REQUEST WAS MADE ABOUT 3 DAYS BEFORE THE ORDER TO SEND THE GUARDSMEN IN WAS GIVEN. As for FEMA...apparently they can't do they're job but they certainly were adept at keeping out others more capable of doing it...Like the Red Cross. When you have news crews, celebrities, locals with their own boats etc...getting in and out, bringing in supplies, setting up generators etc...apparently they were more capable than FEMA.

Edited by Lin731, 07 September 2005 - 02:19 PM.

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#25 Spectacles

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:18 PM

Quote

Ru: I wonder if this open letter writer reads Times-Picayune paper.

The writer is one of the editors of the Times-Picayune, so I reckon he/she reads it from time to time.

Look, I'm not about to get into it anymore with Bush-cheerleaders who are SOOOO worried that their hero might be tarnished by the federal government's p-poor response to this catastrophe that they have to keep hammering the state and local officials of Louisiana--or the VICTIMS of the storm.

An appropriate response to "gee, the feds screwed up" isn't "nah-ah! the state and local people screwed up!" An appropriate response is "Yes, they did. So did the state and local officials. Anyone in government who's responsible for leading the preparedness and response to this nightmare ought to be held accountable--local, state, and federal. Period."

Now, maybe that's your intent, Ru. But if your aim is just to take a page from Rush Limbaugh's playbook and try to spin this so that ALL the blame is on state and local officials of Louisiana--or the "lazy and stupid" who didn't evacuate because they'd been lobotomized by liberal policies (Rush's main talking point)--then by all means go ahead but realize that to most discerning people you'll have no credibility.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#26 HubcapDave

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:20 PM

Thansk for the counterpoint RuReddy. Bottom line on this: nobody at any level of government is covered in glory when it comes to the preparations beforehand, or the evacuation afterwards.

They are covered in something much less nice.

#27 Lin731

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:41 PM

Quote

They are covered in something much less nice.


Amen HubcapDave, they certainly aren't, they screwed up bigtime too but they aren't the only ones covered in something "much less nice" than glory over the way this was handled
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#28 Cait

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 03:48 PM

Spectacles, on Sep 7 2005, 12:18 PM, said:

Now, maybe that's your intent, Ru. But if your aim is just to take a page from Rush Limbaugh's playbook and try to spin this so that ALL the blame is on state and local officials of Louisiana--or the "lazy and stupid" who didn't evacuate because they'd been lobotomized by liberal policies (Rush's main talking point)--then by all means go ahead but realize that to most discerning people you'll have no credibility.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



http://www.dhs.gov/d...theme_home2.jsp

Quote

Emergencies & Disasters

Preparing America

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

The reason the Fed's have the primary responsibility in disaster is because local and state governments can be crippled by .. hey.. the disaster.

That's not absolving the locals or the state for their part in this, but the truth is [whether any of you want to admit it or not] is that this level of screw up doesn't happen unless government fails the people on ALL levels.  

You might like to be able to point a finger and say "It's all his/her fault", but the truth is EVERYBODY dropped the ball.  It must be comforting to be able to point a finger in only one direction, but you should understand that some of us are worried about the next time a disaster happens. We all have a vested interest [and tax dollars] in making sure that we're protected.  You're gonna have to live with that, because that's not going to change.

I know it is difficult when leaders are shown to be human and have feet of clay every now and again.  My mother still cannot accept that Nixon had to resign.  She still claims he was the greatest leader this country has ever seen.  She's also a voter who calls Republican HQ to make sure she won't accidentally vote for a Democrat in a nonpartisan position.  Some of you would like her a lot.

It was heartbreaking for her when Nixon fell from grace, and she just went into denial when the whole Watergate thing exploded.  So I can understand the need to defend your illusions of greatness and go into denial.  But folks, Bush is only a man.  He can make a mistake and not be the devil incarnate.  But he can make mistakes, not only in the management of his office, but in the people he hires.  He is human, and beyond that, he needs to be held accountable for his actions [or inaction] the same as the rest of us are.

I'm sorry you've lost your hero, and feel the need to defend the indefensible.  But mistakes were made at every level, including the Federal.  I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you.

And if you're looking for one person to point the finger at in hopes of getting the Fed's off the hook you only show yourselves to be in serious denial. Luckily there are a lot of us who aren't in denial and we have the '06 elections coming up to voice our opinions.

Edited by Cait, 07 September 2005 - 03:53 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#29 Zwolf

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 03:59 PM

^^^  What Cait said.  Best post I've read in a while. :)

Cheers,

Zwolf
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And I'll feel even better
When your life has nothing to do with mine."
-Pittbull, "No Love Lost"

"There are things that I'd like to say
But I'm never talking to you again
There's things I'd like to phrase some way
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'd put you down where you belong
But I'm never talking to you again
I'd show you everywhere you're wrong
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you."
- Husker Du, "Never Talking To You Again"

#30 MuseZack

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 04:11 PM

HubcapDave, on Sep 7 2005, 07:20 PM, said:

Thansk for the counterpoint RuReddy. Bottom line on this: nobody at any level of government is covered in glory when it comes to the preparations beforehand, or the evacuation afterwards.

They are covered in something much less nice.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey, I'll gladly see Nagin and Blanco swing (metaphorically), right along side Brown, Chertoff, and Bush himself if it comes to that.  I'm all for making the lot of them get on their hands and knees and clean the Superdome with their tongues.  Just make sure we assign the square footage for each by levels of culpability is all I ask....

Edited by MuseZack, 07 September 2005 - 04:11 PM.

"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
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#31 Zwolf

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 04:22 PM

I found this pretty interesting...

Also Blanco's 8/27/05 letter to Bush.

Cheers,

Zwolf
"I've moved on and I'm feeling fine
And I'll feel even better
When your life has nothing to do with mine."
-Pittbull, "No Love Lost"

"There are things that I'd like to say
But I'm never talking to you again
There's things I'd like to phrase some way
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'd put you down where you belong
But I'm never talking to you again
I'd show you everywhere you're wrong
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you."
- Husker Du, "Never Talking To You Again"

#32 Spectacles

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 04:31 PM

Quote

Cait: The reason the Fed's have the primary responsibility in disaster is because local and state governments can be crippled by .. hey.. the disaster.

That's not absolving the locals or the state for their part in this, but the truth is [whether any of you want to admit it or not] is that this level of screw up doesn't happen unless government fails the people on ALL levels.

Exactly (and thank you for saying everything far more diplomatically than I did).

It seems to me that state and local officials can be faulted for the evacuation (as can the company that supposedly drew up New Orleans' hurricane plans)--which I thought had some problems. But the feds step in after the disaster, and they stepped in with too little too late, not just in New Orleans, not just in Louisiana, but in Mississippi as well.

As for the catastrophic failure of the levees, I see that as the federal government's fault. Year after year, LA congressional representatives have asked for funds to strenthen those levees and year after year Congress decided to gamble--and the people of New Orleans lost, big time. (And yet Congress didn't bat an eye at spending 140 million dollars to build a bridge to nowhere in Alaska in the recently passed highway bill.)

Damage estimates are now running at 200 billion dollars. That's almost equal to the cost of the Iraq War.

Granted, that's total storm cost, so it includes the utter devastation of Mississippi's coast, but regarding New Orleans, talk about pennywise and pound-foolish. That expensive levee project would have been a mighty good investment.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#33 Eskaminzim

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 04:51 PM

Fanfurkingtastic post, Cait!!!

I do, however, have a question (well, more like a long-winded comment, but bear with me, please.)

You write:

>>Luckily there are a lot of us who aren't in denial and we have the '06 elections coming up to voice our opinions.<<

Do you really think we (as a whole) will?  I honestly don't.  The '06 elections are so far away, and the American public seems to have the attention span of a six year old child with ADD who's just had ten cans of Mountain Dew.

George W Bush was (and is) a president in popular trouble.  For quite awhile now, his approval ratings have been going down the toilet.  With failed social security initiatives and the quagmire in Iraq, he needed something to turn the ship around, and he needed something big.

Katrina could have been a GODSEND to him.  As Americans, we've proven time and time again that we'll rally around anyone who is strong, forceful and decisive in times of trouble, no matter WHO they might be.

All he had to do was to BE THE PRESIDENT, and his approval ratings would have shot through the roof.  What do I mean by BE THE PRESIDENT?  Well, I don't mean that he had to DO anything specifically.  More even than Hollywood stars, for the President of the United States, IMAGE is EVERYTHING.  (Just ask Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon).  

We didn't even need him to fly Air Force One down to NOLA and rescue the sick babies from Charity Hospital.  What we needed him to do was CARE...and tell us that things were going to be alright, and follow through on that.

Well, he stumbled.  He should have flown from his vacation house long before he did.  Yes, I know that he's got everything in Crawford that he has in DC to be able to do his job, but that's not the point.  The POINT is that a city was dying, and the President needs to be seen in WASHINGTON, because that, TO US, means that he thinks this thing is goddamned important.

As I said, it's IMAGE that counts.  Not what you can do where.  The President needs to be in the White House during a national (or homeland) emergency where thousands of his own people are dying, not on his vacation ranch in Crawford.  He seems much more....Presidential that way.  And not all the after the fact photo ops in the world are going to change the PERCEIVED fact that he didn't think Katrina was important enough to leave his vacation for.

Even if folks on the net think differently, his STAFF knows he blundered, or they wouldn't be racing around so much trying to put out fires.  

I think everyone here knows the meaning behind the phrase "strike while the iron is hot".  His staff does as well.  And people, the iron is blazing right now.  And IF investigations were to go on right at this moment, Bush and his staff know that he'd get way caught up in the crossfire and go down hard.

Which is why they're deliberately coining "blame game" and using the phrasing "we can't deal with that now when we're still trying to rescue people."  It would seem alot more sincere if Bush hadn't made the gaffes he did in the beginning.  Now it's pretty obvious they're using the phrase to buy time.

They ALSO know that the Dems know the meaning of "strike while the iron is hot", but what they also realize is that the Dems on the hill have all the balls of a neutered sand flea.  They know that all they have to do is use the guilt wording of "don't play the blame game now when we're busy trying to rescue people" and most of the Dems will back down faster than you can say Jack Sprat.

And so the iron begins to cool.

Another thing Bush and his staff know is that sooner or later, some sports star/entertainer is going to be found dead with a gerbil shoved up somewhere private and a bunch of kiddy porn mags in his stiffening hand and the American public, so angry and calling for Presidential blood now will go haring off after the latest scandal of the week.

And the iron will cool some more.

But that still won't be enough to guarantee success.

No, you can't really guarantee success via American indifference.  You need righteous indignation and anger to fuel your victories.  Right now Americans are mad at their President and other levels of government...but give it enough time and just the right spin, and you can turn their anger onto a far different (yet still connected) target that will guarantee that He will, in the end, come up smelling like a rose.

Who?

Well, think about it.  Right now, despite isolated postings here and there, most of the American people are behind the victims of this tragedy.  It doesn't matter what color their skin is, or how much money they make, they've been hurt, and as Americans, we are generous when we see that.  The President or his staff tries to blame the victims, and they'll get their heads handed to them.

But...what about two or three months down the road?

Let's face facts here.  Not all the victims of this disaster were saints.  Not all were sinners, either.  They were all human, like we are, with good sides, and faults.

So, two months from now, you see on FOX, or Rush, or Hannity, or a blogger here or there, a headline that reads something like "It's two months since Katrina and a thousand people are still living in the Astrodome, refusing to get jobs, living off the sweat of the American working public."

Almost nothing angers Mr. or Ms. John Q Public than someone living off their taxes and refusing to work because they feel entitled to the charity they're receiving.  And honestly, I've been hearing that from some of the evacuees already in interviews.

Before long, the American public, so behind the victims of this disaster that they gave in unprecidented amounts, will turn on these same people with all the viciousness of a rabid dog on a hot summer's day.

And THAT's the very moment that the "investigations" will start.  And any anger that Americans feel about their President now will become adoration.

IMHO, as always.

#34 Anakam

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 05:05 PM

Spectacles, on Sep 6 2005, 08:32 PM, said:

Cait, on Sep 6 2005, 02:17 PM, said:

Anarch, on Sep 6 2005, 10:24 AM, said:

Quote

So where is the anger at the Govenor for sitting on his hands and not calling up those not federalized members of the national guard?

One should note at this juncture too that Blanco requested members of the New Mexico NG and that request was accepted on the 29th/30th... but the White House failed/refused to authorize the transfer of troops until the 2nd.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


OH dear lord is this true?  Is this true?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I've been asking myself that question for days and over so many things, Cait....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Me too.  I'm a 'lazy activist liberal'.... but this is rapidly removing the 'lazy' from that label.

Very rapidly.  I may have to post how I truly feel in my LJ; if I do it here, the staff will get annoyed with me and I'll have to cut out the bad words. ;)

This cannot be dropped, and I hope there'll be international pressure as well.

BTW, I think this is a good editorial too; so far all I've heard with regard to accessibility has been from people who are not from the region, I believe.

For the record, I either blame a lot of people or I'm just frustrated if I'm sounding cranky.  With regard to Gov. Blanco, she hasn't been out there spinning and yelling and cussing and laying the blame elsewhere, AFAIK, and for that she, well, doesn't have my respect, but I don't think as much less of her as I do some of the other 'leaders' involved in this.
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#35 offworlder

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 05:17 PM

well the Blanco letter is really what I wanted to see, thx, even if I have no real right to see it, or right to any expectation, no one has any obligation to show it to me, we who discuss often think we have some right to full info, public access, ("what secrets are you trying to hide Mr Official?"), &etc - but it's nice to luck out
;)
she requested not only declarations of emergency then sit back and Feds just know everything, but specific requests of specific resources and depts and listed her counties et al, including public asstc and counseling for evacuees! :)

But: the Feds nowhere in all that were told that their help was needed in actually evacing, actually plucking, actually flying or driving anyone out of flooded areas. Now before yall start yelling and arguing: this letter was before the levies broke in fact before any damage yet, as it should have been, but the Feds rallied to the evac'd-to areas, the Baton Rouges and such, expecting that LA was on the folks who hadn't left the downtown yet >> I saw nowhere did anyone request the feds to actually go into the downtown or the dome and bring them, them standing and stuck, anything. Now, the Coast Guard did because they don't have to be requested to make rescues in accidents and disasters, they just go and chopper to victims like in a boat sinking off the coast ....... but I still think a fed like a Fema person in LA who did see the folks stuck should have to comm. access to get Wash. to order in rescuers more, to those convention and dome places, once the problems are seen and more known, like on Wed.
It just may be that too much was beginning at places too far from the scene ............. people remarked that aid went to Sumatra faster, but that's not really true, most of that was pallets of food and water flown over, and that was days after wasn't it? how could they have gathered that up and embark in less than three or four days?

Any way, the feds knew evacuees would be in Baton Rouge and even Lafayette and such, but there doesn't seem to have been any plan, fed or local, to come IN to the downtown flooded areas to victims trapped. Remember those statements others posted about the mayor saying the downtown folk not out would be 'on your own'?

So: how can the feds have rescue to 'go in' in bulk numbers, staged on some kind of 'one hour' alert status or such, at any kind of an efficient cost factor? I don't really see it in our budget concious era.
But it was nice to see her official request.
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#36 Cait

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 05:31 PM

Eskaminzim, on Sep 7 2005, 02:51 PM, said:

But...what about two or three months down the road?

Let's face facts here.  Not all the victims of this disaster were saints.  Not all were sinners, either.  They were all human, like we are, with good sides, and faults.

So, two months from now, you see on FOX, or Rush, or Hannity, or a blogger here or there, a headline that reads something like "It's two months since Katrina and a thousand people are still living in the Astrodome, refusing to get jobs, living off the sweat of the American working public."

Almost nothing angers Mr. or Ms. John Q Public than someone living off their taxes and refusing to work because they feel entitled to the charity they're receiving.  And honestly, I've been hearing that from some of the evacuees already in interviews.

Before long, the American public, so behind the victims of this disaster that they gave in unprecidented amounts, will turn on these same people with all the viciousness of a rabid dog on a hot summer's day.

And THAT's the very moment that the "investigations" will start.  And any anger that Americans feel about their President now will become adoration.

IMHO, as always.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Just wait until the flack comes in about what victims did with those $2000 debit cards.  Which btw, is a waste of tax payers money.  It's not enough to really help those people, but it is just enough to use come election time to blame the victims.  No one will remember what a stupid idea it was to just issue cash to people who had no place to live and no jobs.

You wait and see.  The finger will get pointed at how they wasted money, and no one will see it for the payoff that it was.  It's not enough to help, but it is enough to quiet the "noise" from the Astrodome.

Those people are being set up to be the '06 GOP spin.  "We gave them the money" "We did our part."  "It's not our fault that they spent it on booze and drugs."  

Just wait.

It's the most blatant manipulation of victims I've ever seen.

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Rule#6: Remember the future.

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#37 Anastashia

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 06:13 PM

Semantics maybe, but the levees never failed, it was the flood walls, which IIUC are much more fragile.
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#38 Hibblette

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 06:38 PM

Hey Offworlder reading the letter to me is pretty enlightning.

I think she did everything by the numbers and was even outlining how her state would do things by the numbers.

but

Quote

But: the Feds nowhere in all that were told that their help was needed in actually evacing, actually plucking, actually flying or driving anyone out of flooded areas.

In my opinion the Feds that were a part of this that were being called to help they are suppose to be experts.  They are suppose to know that N.O. is beneath sea level.  That the levees could bust...possibility is one of the steps of being prepared.

They should have at least anticipated.  

Geez are none of these people scouts?

Again totally want to underline what Cait said:

Quote

The reason the Fed's have the primary responsibility in disaster is because local and state governments can be crippled by .. hey.. the disaster.

Now I'm not saying this because of me being a Democrat for all I know Blanco could be a Repub.  They have had Repubs in the governors seat in LA.  I haven't looked up to see what her party is.  I'm sure some of you will enlighten me.

To me it isn't about party.  It's about the failure to get in there and help these people in a most expediant and intelligent manner.

Blanco's letter pretty much shows me she did everything that was necessary to ask for Federal help.

People in the middle of the crisis or catastrophe are not going to think rationally-this is why mistakes are made.

But the ones who are sitting back in Washington-looking at reports and requests and the Weather station should be making the decisions that are best for the people.

This is sickening. :dontgetit:
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#39 Anarch

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 07:02 PM

Pretty much the entire state and local governmental apparatus involved were Democrats, Hibblette, with a somewhat chary qualifier on Nagin (former Republican, switched a week before the election, helped Bush campaign and fund-raise in NOLA).

#40 Hibblette

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 08:00 PM

Thanks Anarch.

I've been out of touch with Louisiana politics-we've got problems of our own in Texas. :hehe:
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