DEBACLE

Katrina Timeline

1.

I’m a little disappointed with my peers. They either have no idea of what’s going on in New Orleans or they unknowingly reveal their prejudice towards blacks with ignorant comments. The first one is, “They should have left the city. It was a category five hurricane.” Arguments to show that the affected were poor and car-less is met with statements such as, “Well I would have started walking.” Yes, escaping a 200-mile wide hurricane by walking 15 miles a day is the rational thing to do. They don’t want to hear that Greyhound bus service shutdown on Saturday because then they would have to strain to come up with the next comment: “Well they shouldn’t be looting. They are hampering the effort.” I can’t help but think of the movie Die Hard when Bruce Willis blows up a couple terrorists by throwing down an improvised explosive device through an elevator shaft. The explosion infuriates the FBI, who calls him on the walkie-talkie to complain about the shattered glass. Bruce Willis says, “Glass, who gives a fuck about glass?” Those who are focusing on the looting try to use that as some sort of proof that Katrina victims deserve their situation, like a poor person deserves to live in a ghetto because they “don’t work hard enough.” Explaining them the social causes of poverty and race it met with a confused, blank stare, since you share with them facts that their daddy didn’t teach them while growing up. It’s a shame how racist beliefs prevent otherwise normal people from empathizing with those seriously in need.

2.

Many say that it is disgusting of the left to politicize the issue and blame Bush during this crisis. Coming from those who politicized a blow job and used it to impeach a standing President, I’d say they have a lot of nerve. This administration has failed the people of New Orleans and I’ll be damned if no one is going to be held accountable. While George Bush was strumming the guitar, and Condi Rice was shopping for shoes and playing tennis, the relief effort for perhaps the biggest natural disaster in the history of this country was bungled beyond belief. And I almost forgot about Dick Cheney, who is still on vacation. It’s not that unexpected to see the administration so detached from reality for they have done it with the economy and they have done it with Iraq, painting a lessening insurgency on its “last throes” as violence continued to intensify. Even respected journalists are tired of the conservative spin. The crucial moment after the hurricane passed to restore order was missed, allowing groups of thugs to terrorize the area, providing the government with a much needed excuse of why relief could not be provided in a timely matter.

3.

The administration’s hype since 9/11 of increasing security for Americans and protecting the homeland has turned out to be one big sham. Billions of dollars have been spent on the Department of Homeland Security, but apparently only to respond to fantasy terrorist attacks and not natural disasters such as strong hurricanes which are sorta known for hitting this country. The joke of the organization known as FEMA has been revealed, and other than providing flood insurance I’m not really sure they have any other duty except for giving television interviews to let everyone know that “help is coming” (while criticizing hurricane victims at the same time). FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security should have a plan to deal with every possible natural disaster that occurs in this country, especially the one concerning the flooding of New Orleans which has been discussed plenty in scientific and media circles for the past decade. Unfortunately, the flooding is getting played out exactly as described. When President Bush says, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees,” he is either lying or showing his true incompetence as leader of this country, something he’s shown many times already with his handling of domestic terror policy, the economy (more tax cuts!), and lies about the invasion of Iraq.

If the government takes over three days to simply drop food and water for 60,000 stranded people, I shudder to think what would happen if there was a large terrorist attack in a major US city. Our inability to handle this disaster has exposed our vulnerability, but as long as we search every passenger that borders a plane, the window dressing of security is good enough to give the impression that we got things under control.

4.

The latest talking point coming from the administration and other conservatives goes something like this: “There will be plenty of time to assign blame for the delayed rescue effort.” Another simple deflection that in this microwave-speed culture works time and time again. Several months from now as the people of New Orleans build a life in some new place, everybody will forget about the abysmal relief effort, the human suffering, and the casual response of our politicians, instead focusing on increasing gas prices and how it is too expensive to fill up the Ford Explorer to take Cody to soccer practice. I have lost all hope that the people of this country will actually care to remember something that happened more than a month ago.

117 thoughts on “DEBACLE

  1. Muffin

    Blah blah blah.

    I guess the starving, dying people outside the convention center deserved what they got, cause the Mayor of NO was unprepared.

    I won’t mention the FEMA budget cuts, or the obviously clumsy bureacracy that exists over at DHS. I won’t mention that one third of the national guard who should be deploying in LA tonight are instead pounding sand in Iraq. I won’t even mention how outrageous it is that a government agency with a 42 billion dollar budget takes 5 days to organize anything like effective relief, or wonder about how prepared they are for domestic terrorist events like a “dirty bomb” explosion.

    I guess you’re correct – the most powerful man in the national government, George Bushie, shouldn’t be held accountable for this failure.

    Lemme ask you something, chief. Do you know when the first American soldiers entered Afghanistan after September 11th? September 13th. Save your ad hominem attacks and explain to me why the feds can’t deploy troops – active duty troops in the US today – to a disaster site 300 miles away for FIVE days. Explain that to me, if you can.

    Oh yeah – and next time read the article I link before you spout off about my “anecdotes”. Douche.

  2. Muffin

    Fuck, I’m still mad.

    ” However, just irrationally lashing out at one part of the problem, while completely ignoring the underlying root cause of this tragedy doesn?t do anyone any good.”

    Well if you fucking read the editorial I linked to, skippy, you’d have read this;

    “Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. “The New Orleans hurricane scenario,” The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, “may be the deadliest of all.” It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.”

    So let’s talk about root causes asshole, and who dropped the ball.

  3. kanan

    Guys,
    Let me give you some info. Before the Bush government came to power, Dept of Homeland Security and FEMA were two seperate entities. However when the D.H.S started running low in funds (Because we are attacking every second country) they took over FEMA and transferred $75 million (from FEMA to the war in Iraq) which was meant for hazard mitigation and flood plain mapping. The levees that were breached were an issue and brought up before only to be ignored by the gov (they cut funds on all levee projects). So is the Bush government responsible for this??? hell Yeh! Would the liberals have done a better job? I don’t know.

    FYI: I am a Hydrologic Engineer and my firm is a sub contractor for FEMA working on flood plain mapping.

  4. greg

    People are dying, Doug, but at least there’s the “silver lining” of partisan political advantage. It’s not the Republicans politicizing this horrible disaster….

  5. jd

    Not unlike what is going on in Africa, when you are black and/or poor, there is less of an urgency to respond. Pathetic.

  6. Leia

    For everyone that thinks this was “unavoidable” and that Bush shouldn’t be taking any blame, you really should be looking at what he has done during his presidency in regards to preparing for natural disasters. There have been many mentions as to what he has done to FEMA and the National Guard, but what about the levees that he couldn’t forsee breaking?

    “How do you justify cutting $250 million in scheduled spending for crucial pump and levee work in the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA), authorized by Congress in 1995?”
    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001054151

    This is the first year in thirty seven years that the levees have not had work done. I can’t help but wonder, if the work had been done, if some of the city and it’s rich history could have been spared.

    Great post DCB.

  7. madman

    If anyone failed here, it’s the local and state governments. A black mayor and a city aparatus that has been run by mostly blacks. A state government who didn’t seem to notice that NO actaully belonged in the state. I am no fan of Bush, his responses have been mediocre at best, but people have to ask tough questions, not just find someone to blame for.

  8. DCB Post author

    “The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows.

    And before joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a deputy director in 2001, GOP activist Mike Brown had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position.

    The Oklahoman got the job through an old college friend who at the time was heading up FEMA. ”

    http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=100857

    The Kanye West “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” video.

    http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Kayne-West-Bush-Black-People.wmv

    Also,

    I wrote, ” Even respected journalists are tired of the conservative spin.”

    Typical conservative response, “That?s because they?re liberals, too.”

    Slate: “The Rebellion of the Talking Heads

    “In the last couple of days, many of the broadcasters reporting from the bowl-shaped toxic waste dump that was once the city of New Orleans have stopped playing the role of wind-swept wet men facing down a big storm to become public advocates for the poor, the displaced, the starving, the dying, and the dead.”

    Phil, wake the fuck up. Your opinions are the most disturbing in this thread.

    CNN, “The big disconnect on New Orleans
    “Diverging views of a crumbling New Orleans emerged Thursday, with statements by some federal officials in contradiction with grittier, more desperate views from the streets.”

    Potentially staged photo ops:
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/bush-tour-a-photo-op-says-senator/2005/09/04/1125772395413.html
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104×4597216

    NY Times: As White House Anxiety Grows, Bush Tries to Quell Political Crisis
    “Faced with one of the worst political crises of his administration, President Bush abruptly overhauled his September schedule on Saturday as the White House scrambled to gain control of a situation that Republicans said threatened to undermine Mr. Bush’s second-term agenda and the party’s long-term ambitions.”

  9. Phil

    Why are my comments most disturbing? Because you 100% of the blame on Bush, and none on the people actually running the state and city of New Orleans, Lousiana and I disagree?

  10. I'm Black

    First i want to say that i’m African-American. Second i want to say that the media’s focus on looting and the ramifications on how the country and world view AA’s is nothing new. We’ve been demonized in the media for the last 30 years. Its easy to not have sympathy for N.O. because you’ve been conditioned for it.
    I actually don’t find Bush as culpable as many other people do. It is hard for the human mind to understand the magnitude of destruction caused by this hurricane. Its the size of kansas according to news reports. I just hope and pray for two things.
    1. That the country will restructure how we handle emergency management from managerial level all the way down to ordinary citizens.
    2. That people won’t let a few looters define the way you feel for all AA’s you encounter throughout your life. There’s good and bad elements in all hues.

  11. kanan

    I am a liberal, but I don’t think the colored community as a whole is trying to make a effort to reform. Giving an ethnic spin on the whole thing is BS.
    I think Bill Cosby was really harsh but I think he spoke the truth and besides self pity is not going to help and neither is the solution. If Kanye West felt that strong about Bush he should have rallied his ass off the previous elections getting votes for Kerry. Where was he then? :((

  12. I'm Black

    Kanan. Your comments made me laugh. I thought i was reading a arryan message board. Thanks dude, thanks for totally missing the point.

  13. kanan

    LOL..I am sorry, I just thought you were getting all worked up “We?ve been demonized in the media for the last 30 years” mmm…OK but are you relating that to the hurricane victims? I just think that if you are poor you will suffer, no matter what, race is not the factor. Yes I do pray for the victims.

  14. CatCiao

    Just say N.O to the GOP – Bush wants Roberts as Chief Justice – Nice strategic move and timing Karl…

    Delay, Delay Delay –

    Push back until 2006. Fight, Fight, Fight. Bush is getting weaker everyday.

    Soon we will have a 5000 – 10,000 body count on Katrina. All but 500 of which died because of the levee and ship canal walls breaking.

    Gas and oil prices are expected to continue to rise. Natural Gas prices will skyrocket.

    Rove will be indicted by November. At that point solid support for Bush should be in the 30-35 percent range. That means Democrats even if they are in the minority should be in the position to tell Dubya to take a flying leap.

    Filibuster being over ruled, Nuclear Option bring it on. With the mid-terms approaching only Republicans from the most solid/worst Red-neck districts will continue to drink the kool-aid.

  15. Marc

    I can’t agree with all this blame on Bush. Not that there is needed qualification but I am NOT a Bush supporter.

    Exercise a little logic here. Read about what has really been going on.

    FEMA is the root and cause of all the issues. Though I have to agree that the Local and State authorities did nothing to secure relief before it was needed. Let’s be honest here though, they didn’t think it would be that bad. They thought, “We’ll put them in the super dome, then when it blows over everyone will go home”.

    These thoughts of course being flawed in the first place. As there is plenty of proof well documented that a category 5 storm hitting the vicinity of New Orleans would be disaterous. Selective amnesia or faith in a non existant God I’m sure.

    Barring all the things that could have better prepared these people that were never taken care of, look at some of the more obscene actions by FEMA.

    The most disheartening has already been mentioned. The director of FEMA “didn’t know” that there were people in the convention center. For crying out loud, Osama Bin Laden hunkered in is palatial cave knew about people in the convention center. Great information gathering on FEMA’s part.

    A police unit from Virginia traveled 30 hours with their own food, supplies and equipment (tent’s etc) to Mississippi to help rescue people and control violence. FEMA turned them away.

    Wal-mart sent 3 Tractor Trailers filled with bottled water to the grief stricken area and were turned away by FEMA.

    Half of the world (who doesn’t hold the USA in high regards) have offered help, supplies, people and were categorically turned away, a slap in the face to those extending a helping hand. (Ok, we can blame that one on Bush. Idiot)

    FEMA’s complete lack of organization, intelligence or care has caused THOUSANDS of deaths. The stories of FEMA’s incompetence go on ad nauseum. Look for a discovery channel special on it next year for sure.

    We can of course link the issues with FEMA back to the Bush Administration. 44% of the funds allocated to support the levee system in New Orleans has been diverted to the War in Iraq since 2001. A noble cause right? Wait, someone remind me why we’re in Iraq, I’ve already forgotten!

    The constant tear down and failure to rebuild the marshlands off the coast of Louisiana. This is huge. Those marshlands quell a lot of hurricane damage by absorbing the storm surge.

    The list goes on, poor organization, coordination and overall leadership. I’m assuming Bush assumed that FEMA would have it under control. Much like your mom trusts you to mow the lawn when she’s away on vacation.

    When Bush visited the grief stricken areas hit by Katrina, he should have seen incompetence and started rolling heads. This we can all agree on. I think we can all also agree that he didn’t crack the whip until public opinion of him was getting lower than it already is. I’m guessing one of his aides had to point it out to him. “Uh, Mr Laughident….you should make it look like you care.” so now he is working oh so hard on fixing what went wrong.

    Ok, so as my thoughts progressed when writing this, I can see that there is a fair amount of blame to put on Bush for failure to act and take initiative, but the brunt of this has to lay in FEMA’s incompetent lap.

    One more thing: There is also something to be said about the dispicable acts of the people who are “victims”. Instead of helping each other out, and working together for a solution, I see a lot of people either complaining about needing help or looting shit like TV’s and non essential items. Killing, raping, and general violence. This is inexcusable. In the event that there is a vacuum of federal support, the moral and ethical solution is to band together to help the greater good of everyone. Not yourself. These people should be ashamed.

    As for the people who did nothing but complain about needing help. This is indicative of why they need help in the first place. The “welfare” mindset is one of the most dispicable mindsets I can think of. People who want everything done for them so they don’t have to do anything is disgusting. I know this as I have a half sister who is on welfare. She continues to have kids because the government pays her to have them. She doesn’t work and has 5 kids. She also has a house and a bigger TV than I do. Your tax dollars hard at work.

    Finally, from DCB:

    “Our inability to handle this disaster has exposed our vulnerability, but as long as we search every passenger that borders a plane, the window dressing of security is good enough to give the impression that we got things under control.”

    The truth shall set you free.

  16. Anonymous

    World Trade Center=mostly white victims=immediate response

    New Orleans=mostly black victims=5 days response

  17. Anonymous

    And yes, that did sound like an Aryan message board. Don’t white people remember that slavery existed in this country? But then it was outlawed so, poof, black people should be just as rich as whites are and the only reason they don’t have the opportunity to go to college is because they are lazy! White people like to think that there is no more racism in this country and everything is just fine, or else they have to face the fact that white people subjugated and ravaged other races since the beginning of time. I am white, but I’ll never try to rewrite history. Those who blame the City and People of New Orleans are cold. It’s just a natural diaster, plain and simple. However, the lack of response by our federal government was quite telling.

  18. Anonymous

    “World Trade Center=mostly white victims=immediate response

    New Orleans=mostly black victims=5 days response”

    A building collapsing in the middle of a city is hardly comparable to an entire city underwater. The infrastructure damage in New York was nothing compared to that in New Orleans.

  19. MD

    Folks,

    You may want to check out the blog kept up in New Orleans by this guy, who is still posting. He’s running off of generators. Very enlightening.

    BTW, Bush diverted $2.3M from last year’s and this year’s budget request that was intended to bolster the levees in New Orleans. Yes, that funding went to Iraq.

    Also, to Phil – FEMA falls under Homeland Security. The guy who heads Homeland has no prior experience managing emergencies. Prior to this job he was the head of the Arabian Horse Association. Yeah. He was a good choice. The National Guard came in late as it was his responsibility (and/or the President’s) to mobilize them. They waited three days.

    And, to ChristianGirl. I assume God was also angry at the 250,000 people swept away by the Tsunami? I mean, if we follow your logic, then DC, New York, San Francisco and LA are next right. It’s really too bad that there are so many Christians who only read into damnation and not compassion. Why don’t you go to the Gulf Coast and help out? That would be the Christian thing to do, don’t you think?

    Sorry for the long post.

  20. Anonymous

    the people who failed were not the Federal Government but the Local government.

    Here?s Ten Things you perhaps did not know, that might make you think differently about exactly who is ?at fault? for ?all of this.? (Two overly-general, and constantly thrown around terms I?ve heard all week.)

    1. In the case of Katrina, there was huge fleet of school buses the mayor could have dispatched to aid in evacuating people unable to leave on their own. Instead, the buses sat in parking lots that later flooded, making them unusable when tens of thousands were stranded in the flooded city.

    2. One of the primary reasons why the National Guard did not arrive sooner, was the fact that the Governor (Katherine ?Cry, Cry, For Us..? Blanco) HAD TO ASK for the troops from the federal government, and that she refused at first, fearing that it would ?complicate? the security situation on the ground. Contrary to popular belief, the President does NOT command the National Guard in any state. State governors do. Until she authorizes the Guard to be ?federalized? they can?t do anything at the behest of the president. Such niggling details.

    3. Though the city’s crime rate is ten times the national average, U.S. news outlets downplayed the connection between New Orleans’ outsized criminal element and delays in rescue efforts. Even as murder rates continued to decline in other cities in recent years, the murder rate in New Orleans crept up. The police were plagued by allegations of corruption and brutality, and, according to The Associated Press, only had ”3.14 officers per 1,000 residents – less than half the rate in Washington, D.C.”

    4. Though the U.N.’s own top official for disaster relief has called Katrina one of “the largest, most destructive natural disasters ever,” shamefully only a handful of nations ? at last count just 25 nations of the 191 countries in the United Nations ? have come forward to offer assistance.

    5. Guess who IMPLORED Governor Kleenex to issue a rare MANDATORY evacuation of the city BEFORE the Hurricane struck, saving tens of thousands of lives? That?s right, the Dunce In Chief, George W. Bush.

    6. The same guy who Kanye West claims ?doesn?t care about black people? has more black people in higher positions of authority in his cabinet than Bill Clinton had in two terms. Pesky facts.

    7. Despite a modest cut in funding to the Army Corp. of Engineers and the levee projects in New Orleans, the Corps admitted last week that the two levees which failed were both complete and in ?good condition? and not part of the levees that were targeted for improvement.

    8. I love how people say that Bush should have ?known this was coming? and done more to avert it. Well sure, I suppose, but how about the f?ing Mayor and Governor taking a beating first? Go to http://www.nola.com and read about the 5-Part series written by the Times Picayune in 2002 (FIVE PARTS!) that basically laid out this disaster in shockingly accurate detail well in advance. How about the fact that the city and its leaders learned almost NOTHING from what was a dress-rehearsal last summer on Hurricane Ivan. Even lesser hurricane Georges in 1998 did a lot of flooding damage in parts of the city. But yeah, it?s Bush?s fault.

    9. No matter how long it took for rescue buses to arrive, how can you combat the off-the-charts ignorance of the following snippet from a news article. When asked if he was glad to see rescue workers finally arrive, a man said: “Hell no, I’m not glad to see them. They should have been here days ago. I ain’t glad to see ’em. I’ll be glad when 100 buses show up,” said 46-year-old Michael Levy, whose words were echoed by those around him yelling, “Hell, yeah! Hell yeah!” “We’ve been sleeping on the … ground like rats,” Levy said. “I say burn this whole … city down.” REACT: Why yes indeed, burn that sucker down! And then we?ll blame George W. Bush!

    10. In the end, some 100,000 estimated people were evacuated from a major metropolitan city that was 80% flooded with toxic waters. All told, there will be far less than the ESTIMATED 10,000 to 25,000 deaths predicted by government agencies in their simulated ?models? of a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane hitting New Orleans on the nose. This was done under the strain of a hostile criminal element in the city that went unchecked by local police. This was done under the strain of a mayor and governor that made both critical mistakes in the early hours of the crisis.

  21. Anonymous

    Actually, if the president or congress declare a national emergency, the National Guard can be called into service by the president.

  22. Anonymous

    Blame must be spread around all the way – locals failed, state failed, the feds failed. The fucking feds TURNED AWAY Wal-Mart, who had clean water and supplies there on DAY 2. They told the Red Cross to stay out, so that they wouldn’t attract more people to the city.

    There is plenty of blame to go around, and the feds’ stupidity is in large part to blame. Don’t let them off the hook so easily.

  23. Anonymous

    Barb Sr. weighs in with her own glowing commentary as only a Bush can:

    “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”

    Please.

  24. single mother

    This is to Marc and his half-sister problem, maybe she doesn’t believe in abortion. Can you think of every time in your life you ever had unprotected sex (or protected sex with a condom malfunction, whatever) and what would happen if a child was created each time? What the hell would you do if you had to support all those kids? You would bolt, which is why we have mothers on welfare in the first place. Do you think if every father was taking care of his responsibilities we would still have as many women on welfare who cannot work? There is no way your sister can get a job now because she would not be able to afford child care. She would have to make $150,000 a year in order to work and pay for child care. Maybe you should offer to babysit one day and see what the hell she goes through EVERY DAY. You really shouldn’t judge others until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. If you judge your own family that way, I can only imagine what you think of strangers less well off than yourself.

  25. Marc

    Single Mother,

    Talk about assumptions!

    You assume that the father’s of her children split, when in reality, they too are welfare recipients. Why? Because they are too lazy to work and provide for their family!

    I used to try really hard to help her out. The state tried really hard. Day care isn’t an issue because her kids are in school.

    Even when they wern’t in school, the state paid for child care, alas my sister couldn’t hold a job at Taco Bell. It’s so much easier to do nothing than to actually do something.

    If you’re having kids everytime you fuck, either a) get fixed, b) use some kind of protection, or c) stop fucking.

    It’s amazing to me how you’d stand up for her. She can’t buy her kids school supplies, so the state does that for her. I wonder how she affords to smoke 2 cartons a week?

    Please.

    My other (full blooded) sister had no problems working full time, raising her child (with no father) and still getting her Bachelors and Masters degrees.

    Don’t presume to lecture me on this issue as I am certain I have more experience in dealing with welfare cases. Unless of course you are on welfare and a single mother. Then I invite you to close your legs and get a job. As harsh as that may sound, it’s my truest feelings. If you aren’t prepared to care for a child then don’t have sex. Or, have sex, but use common fucking sense. (AKA protection).

    I have had sex without a condom, and while birth control and a condom would have been more ideal, the birth control didn’t fail. However, had it failed and I needed to take care of my responsibility; I am both financially and mentally competent to raise a child.

  26. Marc

    Also:

    “If you judge your own family that way, I can only imagine what you think of strangers less well off than yourself.”

    I’ll admit being judgmental can be, and often is, abrasive. However: We all have the same opportunity. Some of us have to work harder than others. You can either be resentful of the person it comes easy to, or you can stop comparing yourself to others and do what’s right for you.

  27. greg

    Good points by Anonymous. I think it’s important to remember that the politicians don’t live in a vacuumn. Their very careers are at stake, so one must realize their propensity to shift blame away from themselves (think NO’s raving mayor and LA’s “the buck passes here” governor).

    This applies mostly to the local politicians, whose entire constituencies were affected by this and who will be running for re-election, but to a lesser degree to Bush and fellow Republicans. While the storm will be a faint memory for most Americans come election season (meaning the storm will have little national political impact), those in Cajun country will likely remember the preparation and response of their local leaders in this crisis.

    Blame goes all around. The federal government, and yes, ultimately Bush are responsible to some degree. The head of FEMA should be fired immediately and Chertoff should be interrogated harshly by the President. Sadly, I don’t think this will happen in this administration.

    That said, it is the local officials who are the most responsible. If Uncle Sam didn’t do enough, it is their responsibility to finish the job. After all, it’s their own homes and businesses that are on the line. The relationship between federal and local governments isn’t and shouldn’t be that of a parent and child, but of partners. Uncle Sam isn’t New Orleans’ daddy.

  28. DCB Post author

    greg, you must have not gotten the republican memo today..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspecial/05bush.html

    “WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 – Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

    It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.”

    We are about to witness the Swift Boating of state and local officials to deflect accountability from the white house. Pretty disgusting.

    http://blog.dccc.org/mt/archives/003439.html

  29. greg

    DCB: And your point is….?

    Like I said, all politicians are seeking to deflect blame from themselves, including the administration. It’s just that those in Louisiana are much more responsible for the handling of this disaster than Uncle Sam. They are also much more vulnerable to political fallout than the administration, due in large part to this.

    Tell me, do you not think that officials in Louisiana have much more direct and immediate responsibility for preparing and responding to a natural disaster than the feds?

    Look, I think you’re politicizing this way too much. My impression is that you think I’m some partisan Republican hack, and I’m not certain what it would take for you to change that perception, but let’s be clear: I support a full accounting of responsibility for preparation for and response to this disaster. I’m convinced that there is responsibility at all levels of government, including that of the Bush Administration.

    That said, the evidence is pretty clear that Blanco and Nagin did a piss-poor job. The more and more I read about this, the more and more this view is reinforced.

    What I really hope is that you aren’t “swift boating” the Administration to deflect responsibility from state and local officials.

  30. DCB Post author

    NO Mayor: Failed to evacuate the poor. Though after the hurricane hit, there was very little he could do.

    Louisiana governer: ??? I haven’t heard what the state was doing in the immediate days after. I’m sure this will surface soon, but I can gather it wasn’t enough.

    Bush: Strumming the guitar. When a state declares a federal disaster, which the govenor did, the job turns to FEMA to respond. Bush oversees FEMA.

    On the Dept of homeland security’s web page..

    “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.”

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

    5 days is not swift. But at least no arabian horses died.

  31. greg

    The issue with the mayor and governor is primarily their preparation for the hurricaine, not necessarily their response to it (although there have been many problems there too). If Blanco had accepted Bush’s request for unified federal command prior to the disaster, if Nagin had actually been serious about evacuating people, there wouldn’t have been people there to die in the first place. The point is that a lack of preparation and an inability to take the threat seriously on the part of local officials caused people to die.

    I don’t know what you’re trying to do with your comments, but you don’t need to convince me that FEMA bungled the recovery big-time. You don’t need to convince me that the head of FEMA needs to be canned. This should be obvious to anyone. I just want to be sure this isn’t the latest in a long line of irrational and partisan witch hunts against President Bush.

    Now maybe you’re starting to understand why many conservatives like myself have little faith in government. The handling of this disaster is a perfect example of the ineptitude of government.

  32. single mother

    To Marc: You win, your sister’s a scumbag. I know the type. My point is, you can’t judge EVERYONE on welfare. I have some very good friends who have been off and on welfare, it happens because someone gets sick, they lose a job (for valid reasons), their boyfriend leaves them high and dry. You really shouldn’t judge everyone who is getting assistance from the government. I just think everyone should try to be more compassionate to the circumstances of others.

  33. I'm Black

    Its everybody fault. The Prez, Fema, Homeland Security, State, City, and the citizens. Oh and Category Five Katrina too!!!

  34. The Senator

    Whose using my Moniker. Hey marc is your sister single? I could use a could lay. Oops did I say that outloud. Will the real Senator please stand up .

  35. Marc

    Not to beat a horse, that if not already dead, is in mortal danger of expiring but if someone needs temporary help, or what I like to call a “hand up”, that is one thing. Most of us have needed a hand up in our past.

    The issue with government assistance is people looking for “hand outs”. It’s a drain on the economy and it really pisses me off to see people on welfare who can’t take care of their children, or buy food but they have the newest nike shoes, tommy hilfiger and beer and cigarettes.

  36. The Senator

    This is the real Senator and I think it is getting old now that people are using my moniker! By the way to change the subject is Mardi Gras still on this year??

  37. single mother

    Marc, It sounds like you’re just envious of people with Nikes and bigger TVs than you have. It is not a drain on the economy either, that is a common misconception. Less than 1 percent of the entire federal budget goes to need-based programs for our citizens. You act like people are getting a lot of money. I think you need to do some more welfare research. Now prescription drugs are not even being funded for people on Medicare after January 1. My mother is supposed to pay $170 a month for Lipitor when she only gets $580 a month to live on. She is disabled.

    No offense, but you sound pretty ignorant and hateful. Sorry you can’t afford that flat screen.

  38. The Senator

    Single mother your mother is taking lipitor because she spent her welfare money on fatty greasy food. Perhaps if she ate better and didnt have high cholesterol she wouldnt need to be taking lipitor in the first place. Vote Republican vote for god

  39. Mellow Yellow

    I see where Marc is coming from. Not saying all single mothers are like this but to me MOST single mothers are just laying around at home collecting checks. Trust me i know. They just take advantage on buying things like shoes and bigger tv’s. While most ppl work hard and get really nothing. Seems like the bigger the salary the bigger the bill.

  40. single mother

    To Senator: We are actually vegetarians so I guess those commercials about cholesterol being hereditary really are true.

    And to Mellow Yellow: I work full time, raise a young child, have a bachelor’s degree from a well-respected school, and go to school at night for a doctorate. But when I was pregnant, alone, and unemployed, I did get welfare and food stamps.

    We are a country full of people who judge others, and it’s just not right. If America wasn’t so obsessed with material goods, then people wouldn’t feel like having Nikes and big TVs is the only thing that can make them worthy of any respect. And did someone really just write vote republican vote for god? How more close-minded can we be?

    At least this DCB post touched on many important issues and really was a “cultural commentary.” It is scary to live in a country with so many self-obsessed and close-minded people, but it is encouraging to read some of this crap and realize that I’m lucky to be surrounded by many educated, non-hating people who share my views and do not judge others based on their economic circumstances or even their bad choices in life. I always try to imagine what it would be like to be in someone else’s circumstances. So I will try to imagine growing up in the suburbs with mommy and daddy being happily married and buying me everything I ever wanted and then teaching me to vote like a good little republican.

  41. Marc

    You’re a hypocrit single mother.

    You’re judging and assuming all sorts of things.

    So, which one do you want to be today? The pot or the kettle?

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