Democrats & Liberals Archives

Inspector Bush Is On The Case

I’m glad to see President Bush will personally lead an investigation of his handling of the Katrina relief disaster. With President Bush at the helm, applying his keen intellect and razor-sharp analytical mind to the most poorly executed relief effort in decades, I’m fully confident that he’ll root out the problems at every lower level. He’ll really get to the bottom of the failure…

Seriously, this is just as wacky as his initial refusal to investigate the 9/11 attack. He needs to stop the ass-covering and political games, and fix the problems before the next major disaster. He needs to appoint a bi-partisan (or non-partisan, if such a thing exists) commission to figure out what happened and make recommendations to improve the system.

Anyone who thinks President Bush -- the guy who didn't want to know how the 9/11 attacks got by him, or how his intelligence community failed him in Iraq -- will do a thorough, objective investigation, is living in a fantasy world of spin. America's response to a major natural disaster or terrorist act is far too important to be playing games. We absolutely need to get this right.

President Bush must appoint an independent commission to investigate the Katrina relief disaster. He can play Sherlock Holmes (or Inspector Clouseau) on his own time, like on his next five-week vacation.

Posted by American Pundit at September 7, 2005 7:01 AM
Comments
Comment #78648

Seriously, this is not brain surgery. THIS fix, unlike the 9/11 fix, is so terribly simple, that even the intellectually inept could handle it. What takes Bush out of the ballgame is the financing.

As it happens, there are numerous abandoned military installations, and coincidentally, more being added every day. Some of these bases, in strategically located areas, could become FEMA supply centers. Certainly we’d need quite a few near areas prone to Hurricane devastation. We’d need even more in readiness to respond when the big one hits California. It would be wise to put one near any active volcanoes. And naturally we’d need something near hisotrical and likely terrorist targets. Perhaps it might take someone more intellectually gifted than I to determine locations and supplies required, but the general idea is to have the product ready for fast and effective distribution.

Ahhhh, but how to pay for it. I can hear the neo-cons now, “Friggin’ liberal thinks he can make it all better by throwing money at the problem.” Well, frankly, yeah. We just threw $10 Billion at FEMA after the problem. And himself says we’re going to need $40 Billion to fix up NOLA.

So where does the money come from. Hell, where does the money come from to fix up NOLA? The answer is a windfall profit tax on American Oil companies and a tariff on imported oil. Yeah, yeah, I know, Bush said “OVER MY DEAD BODY”.

And I say, whatever it takes.

Posted by: Thom at September 7, 2005 7:38 AM
Comment #78649

I think that now is the time, and it is proven, that we americans evaluate our own government as (we the people) and get some average jo’s in office to fix these problems. We have tried military leaders, we have tried booksmart college prep’s, now lets get some real people in office that actualy have inhaled and get this once beautiful land together.

Posted by: James Torbert at September 7, 2005 7:42 AM
Comment #78650

Bush needs to bring this job to independent investigators, so that there’s no temptation or appearance on his part of trying to duck the blame. Making this an in-house investigation will only create the appearance of impropriety, if not create the fact of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2005 7:57 AM
Comment #78654

Heh. Good Luck with that. This will end up like Abu Graib and Guantanamo. Only Enlistedmen and Sergeants will be convicted while every Officer “disappeared” while the prisoners got naked.

Posted by: Aldous at September 7, 2005 8:13 AM
Comment #78658

They’ve (BushCo) already begun laying the foundation for this round of “fall guys”

Haven’t you heard?
They will be investigating the failure of FEMA
FEMA!!!
Well the heads of FEMA must roll (Brown especially)
But comeon — The BUCK stops at the President!!

But, oh yea, it was the CIA’s fault that there were no WMD’s found in IRAQ — not the guy (Pres Bush) DIRECTING which “intelligence” he filters to present to the American people and the congress.

And it is FEMA’s fault for the bad response, NOT the guy who can order FEMA out (but then that would have meant interrupting his vacation and his pre-scheduled photo-ops, etc)

My only question is — how distorted and how much manuevering is going to go on to “Prove” that Brown was not at fault — and once again they will crucify some lower level smuck for this debacle.

Leadership?????
Naaaa — real hard when you’re constantly pointing with one hand and covering your butt with the other.

Posted by: Russ at September 7, 2005 8:29 AM
Comment #78660

Oh yea.
Here is to all of you Bush Apologists (and you know who you are)

I do not HATE Bush — he’s not worth it
I am totally disgusted by him, and embarrased that this moron is the Pres of the US!
This is absolutely the LOWEST point in US history!!

To visit a storm savaged area, but only visit Trent Lott’s home, and JOKE about how the NEW HOUSE will be better and he’s looking forward to visiting it!! Golly jee whiz, poor Trent Lott — lost his HOUSE!! (which one??) Does not visit the REAL victims that have lost everything, — and does not go to the Superdome because it would “appear elitist”!!!!
(but then, after what his mom said, is it now no longer any wonder he has turned out the way he has)

Posted by: Russ at September 7, 2005 8:35 AM
Comment #78663

Thanks for the post, Pundit. What continues to amaze me is the utter lack of accountability. Truman said that the buck stopped with him…yet time and time again, Bush has ducked that buck or passed it on to others, refusing to accept responsibility for his actions and inactions. A national distater calls for a national response. The only person who can wield that power is the President. End of story. We don’t need a commission to tell us that.

And not to open another can of worms, but did you read the latest brain blast from Rick Santorum? He wants to penalize people for not heeding evacuation orders. You can read that post here: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050907/ap_on_re_us/katrina_santorum

Posted by: Mister Magoo at September 7, 2005 8:47 AM
Comment #78664

To all
Reading the posts here lately reminds me of a pack of hyneas fighting over the carcass of a dead animal.
You people react to every horrible event almost with glee….
As usual,during the last 10 decades,going back to the Ted Roosevelt administration,only the Republicians snubbed their noses at the containment problems in New Orleans….according to every post that I have read here the last few days,the Democracts since then,Clinton,Carter,Truman,Roosevelt ect are without sin….what a party the Democrats are,indeed.
I have yet to see anyone here parrse out the tragedy into what it was…..two,not one catastrophies…the hurricaine first…and the resulting breach of the leevees.
Had not the second took place you guys would be whining about something else.
Surely,Bush wasn’t playing the violin as people were drowning…yet reading your posts that is what we are to believe.
Believe me,as the sword which is placed in the fire gets stronger,so will our response for the next catastrophe.
Better,much better communication is necessary at the state and federal level when such an event occurs.Believe me,every second of the first four days will be parsed out,analyzed….and changes will be made.
If Brown didn’t do the job,he will be replaced,as will other Federal employees..If state bureucrats didn’t do the job,so will they.
This event will be micro- analyzed and brutal lessons will be learned.
The end result will be a system far more competent and efficient.
Here a million ot two poor souls have suffered terribly .
Forget the untold billions in destruction…..money can be replaced…we are the world’s richest country.
The human suffering,the tragedy is what we have to learn from.
The end result,rest assured,will be a more efficient response so that if an event were to happen in an even bigger metropotitian setting,the brutal lessons of Louisiana and Mississippi will be learned.
Pundit…you are a smart guy and I enjoy reading your sometimes off the wall comments…as a matter of fact,I went into the archivies and read them all as background.I’d say that while I disagree with about 75% of your politics,if you put your sword back into your sheave for a while and stopp being so bloody reactionary to everything that occurs in this world,your blood pressure would probably return to normal.
Here are the fact:There is no one,no one remotely on the Democratic horizon that can beat the Rublician candidate in the next election.
If its McCain-Guilliani,write the check to the Republician Party now.
The American people have ingrained in their heads that the Democratic Party is the party of Kennedy,Kerry,Dean,Moore and now Sheehan….and that will not play in Peroria as they say.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 7, 2005 8:48 AM
Comment #78665

To all of you.

Firstly, Lack of response?…. Hey people. FEMA is not a first responder… Local gov’t agencies are the first line of defense. So put the blame where it belongs.

Posted by: joe zeek at September 7, 2005 8:48 AM
Comment #78666

P.S.- I am sure if there was a (D)President in office and a (R)mayor and governor in nawlins’ This bashing would be the other way around. ..

Funny isn’t it.. That the party that propagates lack of personal responsibility and a society of “it’s not your fault your on welfare” is the first responder when it comes to bashing the republicans.

Posted by: joe zeek at September 7, 2005 8:59 AM
Comment #78670

Given the ability of the naysayers who post here to analyze a problem, assign blame and propose simple solutions, one should be nominated to bring Watchblog to President Bush’s attention so that he can simply connect the dots.

Let’s communicate the information to where it is needed most, which is not each other.

Posted by: steve smith at September 7, 2005 9:15 AM
Comment #78675

—-
Firstly, Lack of response?…. Hey people. FEMA is not a first responder… Local gov’t agencies are the first line of defense. So put the blame where it belongs.
—-
The local and State governments did respond immediately - after the hurricane. In New Orleans, they had evacuated 80% or more of the city (no facts on the other devastated areas…) Shelters had been set up and were operating, emergency services were responding to calls, etc. It was many hours later - when the federally owned and managed levy system started to fail - that the real disaster happened.

So - it’s not the lack of ‘first responders’ - it’s the lack of follow through and support systems that are FEMA’s responsibility. This also involves destruction of a major energy and shipping port - under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security.

I think there were failures at all levels. Anyone who feels that some should be let off easy are basically ‘spinning and dodging.’

Posted by: tony at September 7, 2005 9:31 AM
Comment #78677

The responsibility for New Orleans started with the MAYOR(D) of the city. The next in line is the GOVERNOR(D) of the STATE.
Placing all the blame at the FEDERAL level?
Just who’s asses were the D’s in LA kissing while ignoring the needs of the masses BEFORE this disaster?
If Bush had gone in and taken control at the beginning there would be screaming about how the Federal Government isn’t supposed to do that and how they just shoved those D’s out of the way. We would be hearing about how Bush is the dictator some D’s claim he is and how he should have given those D’s the chance to do their jobs BUT instead he gets the blame for not moving fast enough.
Just reading this thread alone explains why there aren’t more articles on this in the right column.
The D’s aren’t in charge but they always knew what to do.
It simply amazes me that there isn’t a D in every office in the land.
D’s have all the answers except the most important one of all … how to win an election.
People are not convinced that the D’s can do better just because they say they would have done things differently.
You need a new game plan. Your leaders will need to prove they can do better and stop using the excuse that they ‘have no power’ to do anything except run their mouths.

Posted by: bugcrazy at September 7, 2005 9:50 AM
Comment #78685

The President said this morning that the investigation will have to wait because people right now want problem solving for the region and its people now.

‘Problem solving’, two words this President should not use given Katrina’s aftermath and Iraq’s aftermath. He’s had 4 years of problem solving time to insure multi-governmental and inter-governmental office and agency response to the next catastrophe, which he said he would deliver.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2005 10:24 AM
Comment #78686

Bugcrazy,

Well said. Everybody is a genius after the fact. Truth is nobody knows that anyone or any other party would have done any better (at any level).

One thing I do know is that by law (we are a nation of laws) the Local and State governments must ask for Federal assistance before the Military or FEMA can respond. That is the law. If Bush would have sent the Feds in before that point he would have done so against the law. If people have a problem with that law then work to change it. Personally I would disagree with that completely as that would give the Feds much more power than they should have but that’s just my opinion.

What needs to happen is to move forward and learn from the mistakes that were made at all levels. Beyond that there is no point in arguing over every little “what if” that should have or should not have happened. All of the woulda, coulda, shoulda regarding FEMA, buses, Army COE funding, etc that is being done by both sides really makes no difference at this point. We need to concentrate short term on how to deal with the current tragedy. In the long term we can have an investigation (my choice would be non-partisan), if people are determined to have been negligent then replace them, and learn from the mistakes that were made for the next time.

Posted by: BradM at September 7, 2005 10:24 AM
Comment #78687

I think there were failures at all levels. Anyone who feels that some should be let off easy are basically ‘spinning and dodging.’

I’m in agreement: there were failures at all levels of government.

The mayor of N.O. hasn’t said why, when thousands of people were at the Superdome & Convention Center, there wasn’t enough security there. Were there not enough police in the city? Did he not ask for National Guard? And in the aftermath, no one has said if any food, water, and medical supplies were supposed to be standing by. Were they? I can think of a lot of other questions to ask.

And I ask the governor: did you mobilize all the guard and other personnel you planned on for such an event? Were there provisions made of where to put hundreds of thousands of evacuees?

And I ask Bush: Why has FEMA’s budget been cut so much? Why did you appoint a Director of FEMA who has no experience in running emergency services, or even a large organization? Why did the FEMA director not know about the situation at the convention center, when everyone could see it on TV?

I have no knowledge of who historically “calls the shots” in response a natural disaster, but I know FEMA has always played a big role.

Based on what Bush has said so far — “Brownie, you’re doing a great job” — I don’t trust Bush to appoint anyone to any investigation of this tragic, tragic disaster.

Posted by: steve at September 7, 2005 10:25 AM
Comment #78694

Just “how much” understanding is required from the American people? The Iraq war now proven to have been based on lies by Bush - almost 1900 dead, cost= approx. 1 billion/week. Medicare costs purposefully understated by 100% - the official who tried to state the real costs fired. Tax breaks for the rich that begger logic…the Republican Senate still ahs hopes of eliminating the inhertinace tax for the rich. Social Security scam to enrich his Wall Street buddies. Horse judges installed to lead FEMA? How much understanding????

Posted by: Gary Hankin at September 7, 2005 10:54 AM
Comment #78695

A Legal Point of Order is required by both sides on this matter. Did Katrina cause the Levees in NO to break or did Poor Maintenance cause the Levees to break at the mosi inopportune time? The question while rational carries some very serious consequences.

Consider the facts; A Decllaration of Emergency was issued by the Local, State, and Federal Authorities prior to Katrina making landfall. Upon Katrina making landfall, Mr. Chertoff declared the National Respone Plan activated. Seeing that NO was spared the worst of the storm, TV showed America that local citizens was going back into the streets. Sure wind damage was done to some buildings, but the fact still remains that NO was dry.

Now, fast forward some 12-14 hours later. With Katrina well pass NO, a second State of Emergency began when citizens alerted officails that a section of the Levee on 17th St. started to leak and eventually broke. Was this break caused by the water overflowing the Levee’s wall? No. Was the Levee breeched by the water current being greatly increased due to the hurricane force winds? Undeterminable gicen the fact that no data exist to prove or disprove this point. Thus, the Legal Point of Order and case can be made that NO faced not one, but two State of Emergencies that day. One from Katrina and one from “Poor Maintenance” caused by improper funding from Local and State Officails as well as The Army Corp of Engineering.

Why is this timeline so important? Because if Katrina caused the Levees to break than the Federal Government must absorb the entire cost. However, if the Levees broke due to Poor Maintenance than the Local and State Government must pick up the entire cost. Given the amount of money involved a Legal Conundrum was created halting All Emergency Responses from all levels of Government until the Legal question could be answered.

Now, the Republicans must face the fact that on Tuesday or Wendsday (not sure exactly which one)President Bush said that they (The Federal Government) was not formally informed about the situation in NO. Thus leading Reasonable and Logical Citizens to believe that a Second Declaration of Emergency was required before FEMA could act even though according to Mr. Chertoff had already declared the National Response Plan be put into action on Monday.

Therefore, who is to blame for not immediately responding to the Crisis in NO? Homeland Security & FEMA. Why? Because it is reasonable and logical to asume that in the event of a Man-made or Natural Disaster that something like this could happen. For example, say America gets hit by a Bio-Chemical agent near a Nuclear Plant that takes out the operators of that site 12-14 hours later. Is it not reasonable and logical to expect that a Meltdown would occur in the preplanning stage given the capibilty for some agents to linger and drift in the air for hours? Or would it be more reasonable and logical to assume that a second Declaration of Emergency would have to be signed by Local, State, a Fedral Officails before someone could go into the nuclear plant and shut down the reactor?

Given what has been stated in Public and not having concrete evidence that this was what caused the slow response of our government one can only wonder. However,if this poor high school graduate can figure this out over a cup of coffee why does President Bush and Congress want to spend millions to do the same? Anyone have an answer?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 7, 2005 10:59 AM
Comment #78700
You people react to every horrible event almost with glee….

Looks more like outrage to me.

Surely,Bush wasn’t playing the violin as people were drowning…

Of course not. He was playing the guitar. And Dr. Rice was out shopping for thousand dollar pairs of Italian shoes. And VP Cheney was buying a $2.9 million house that “backs up in spectacular fashion to an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay.”

The D’s aren’t in charge but they always knew what to do.

Apparently. I don’t remember a catastrophe of this magnitude during the Golden Age of Clinton. In fact, I don’t remember a catastrophic failure of this magnitude at all — and I go back to LBJ. So, I suspect it’s not so much partisan as it is our current leadership.

BTW, I’ve heard quite a bit of criticism for first responders. President Bush cut funding for first responders for the last three years. I’m not surprised there are still communications problems, since Democrats have been saying for years that first responders don’t have adequate communications equipment. This is Homeland Defense 101, and the Bush administration failed.

What needs to happen is to move forward and learn from the mistakes that were made at all levels.

Exactly. ALL levels. And we’re only going to get whitewash from an investigation personally led by President Bush. We need a bi- or non-partisan investigation. The security of this country is too important for President Bush to screw around playing political games.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 7, 2005 11:07 AM
Comment #78702

At this point the disaster is hurting Reds and Blues alike. They are ALL involved in this.
Many of our so-called ‘leaders’ jumped in front of cameras as fast as possible to make sure ‘the people’ know that it wasn’t their fault because they knew this was going to happen and the ‘other guy’ failed to do something about it.
They are ALL making themselves look less than qualified to be leading anything.
Many of them don’t seek higher office(pres.) or take the initiative to correct problems because they know the blame will lay at their feet. They prefer to say ‘See. I told you so. I told you he/she should never have been in charge.’ The ‘I told you so game’ should also include the fact that these people didn’t do enough to prevent what they claim they knew would happen.
Question?? Was Brown ‘approved’ to be the director of FEMA? or did Bush simply give him the job?

Posted by: bugcrazy at September 7, 2005 11:13 AM
Comment #78706
Exactly. ALL levels. And we’re only going to get whitewash from an investigation personally led by President Bush. We need a bi- or non-partisan investigation. The security of this country is too important for President Bush to screw around playing political games.

AP,

You’ll get no argument from me on that. The investigation should be non-partisan. It’s never the correct thing to do to have a person (at any level) who is involved in something lead an investigation on how it was not handled properly. Pretty simple conflict of interest IMO. BTW, I have a feeling that we would disagree on what we believe the findings of that investigation would be however :)

Posted by: BradM at September 7, 2005 11:21 AM
Comment #78709

Heh. I doubt it, Brad. While the Bush administration’s callousness offends me as an American, I have an open mind about the cause of this relief disaster.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 7, 2005 11:26 AM
Comment #78717

Bush-bashing is getting old; Let’s ALL bash the 49% of the American public (probably a little less than that) who keep voting him in! The only reason he is President is more affluent, materialistic, so-called conservatives go to the polls than liberals. People vote for the party more than the person. Republican voters just outnumber Liberal voters. So logic dictates that the best man for the job is not always voted in.
The past 5 years or so reflect this.

Posted by: Ken Watts at September 7, 2005 11:56 AM
Comment #78721

hey Ken,

The reason we have a Republican president is not because there are more of us. It is the mere fact that between LA and NYC there are over 200,000,000 people that dont give a care about what the liberals in charge of the leftist media in America’s cities feel is important.

Posted by: joe zeek at September 7, 2005 12:05 PM
Comment #78723

Ken

Please….if Gore had been elected president,your wife and kids would be wearing burkas now…..jeez….

Posted by: sicilian eagle at September 7, 2005 12:06 PM
Comment #78725

Furthermore…

Until your party stops thinking that everyone else that doesn’t think like them is stupid you will never win an election..

ala Michael “I am a big fat slob” Moore .

and I quote ” Well in 20 years in wont matter because white people will be a minority” We have our recruiters secretly placed in Juarez and Chihuahua and we are only helping immigrants sympathetic to our cause across the river..

Posted by: joe zeek at September 7, 2005 12:11 PM
Comment #78728

Mr. eagle,

Misdirected head-hunting with severe global ramifications may someday lead to my wife and kids wearing burkas.

Posted by: Ken Watts at September 7, 2005 12:18 PM
Comment #78729

The investigation should be non-partisan. It’s never the correct thing to do to have a person (at any level) who is involved in something lead an investigation on how it was not handled properly.

The model for an investigation like this was the Challenger investigation of 1986. Remember Richard Feynman demonstrating what happens when you put a piece of sealant in ice water for a few minutes? How it gets hard and breaks apart? We need people like that for this (we needed them for 9/11 and Abu Graib as well, but those “investigations” have already passed).

Someone who can show that a radio for city police won’t work when a communication tower is blown over by the wind …

Someone who can show how the force of water can destroy a levee …

Someone who can show how people react in different ways when under pressure …

Someone who will get to the FACTS!!!

Posted by: steve at September 7, 2005 12:24 PM
Comment #78748

steve, I agree. And President Bush is not that man. Putting himself in charge of the investigation is just idiotic.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 7, 2005 12:51 PM
Comment #78750

joe zeek, Michael Moore isn’t even a Democrat.

And sic, if Gore was President, bin Laden’s head would be on a pole in front of the Whitehouse, and the entire world would be free, prosperous, and safe from the scourge of radical religious fundamentalism.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 7, 2005 12:54 PM
Comment #78751

Steve, I agree completely. Well said!

Posted by: BradM at September 7, 2005 12:56 PM
Comment #78763

Based on a Gallup poll released today, the American people get it that government at all levels must bear responsiblility for the relief efforts following Katrina. Portions are listed below.

I have taken the responses out of table form so that it will fit here. The questions asked respondents are italicized.

Despite widespread criticism of the response by Bush and, separately, the federal government, to the problems caused by the hurricane, the public seems on balance only mildly critical. Forty-two percent say Bush did a “bad” (18%) or “terrible” (24%) job, but 35% rate his response as either “great” (10%) or “good” (25%).

For Federal Agencies the numbers are again 42% negative (“bad” 20% and “terrible” 22%) and 35% positive(“great” 8% and “good” 27%).

State and Local Officials 35% negative (“bad” 20% and “terrible” 15%)and 37% (“great” 7% and “good” 30%).

Do you think — [RANDOM ORDER] — has/have done a — great, good, neither good nor bad, bad, or terrible job — in responding to the hurricane and subsequent flooding?

When asked to identify who was most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane, 38% of Americans said no one was really to blame, while 13% cited Bush, 18% the federal agencies, and 25% state and local officials.

Who do you think is MOST responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane — [ROTATED: George W. Bush, federal agencies, (or) state and local officials], or is no one really to blame?

The public tends to be upbeat about the efforts being made to deal with the disaster. Sixty-two percent feel the progress being made in the region is satisfactory, while 35% say it is not.

Based on what you have seen or read in the past day or two, do you think the progress made in dealing with the situation is satisfactory, or not?

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 609 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Sept. 5-6, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is 4 percentage points.

What I found interesting is the results of the last question listed above. A full 62% say that the progress of the relief efforts have been satisfactory. I think this shows that the American people realize this was a disaster on a magnitude never before experienced in the US. With such a magnitude there will inevitably be mistakes made and that we need to address them when the arise, learn from the outcome and incorporate what we learn into future plans.

Posted by: Kirk at September 7, 2005 1:16 PM
Comment #78765

Da plane. Da plane.

And sic, if Gore was President, bin Laden’s head would be on a pole in front of the Whitehouse, and the entire world would be free, prosperous, and safe from the scourge of radical religious fundamentalism.

Welcome to Fantasy Island.

Posted by: Kirk at September 7, 2005 1:22 PM
Comment #78791

Pundit
You’re serious,right?

I mean Gore and the pole thing?

You mean the guy who invented the internet,right…that guy…right?

I thought this was a politicial thought forum…not a comedy forum.

No offense,Pundit,but that is probably the dumbest thing I think you have written to date…and I really like your writing too…but a head on a pole…jeez….where do I start….

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 7, 2005 2:56 PM
Comment #78812

Despite widespread criticism of the response by Bush and, separately, the federal government, to the problems caused by the hurricane, the public seems on balance only mildly critical.

One thing these numbers do not show is how world opinion will be affected by this.

I strongly believe that the images of poor Blacks stranded at the convention center for several days, with no help, will create a lasting image around the world that the United States does not care about people who are poor.

And, with this administration, I believe this is true.

Posted by: steve at September 7, 2005 4:09 PM
Comment #78829

Steve,

I strongly believe that the images of poor Blacks stranded at the convention center for several days, with no help, will create a lasting image around the world that the United States does not care about people who are poor.

What about us here in Texas opening shelters to 230K people?

What about the record donations to the Red Cross and others?

What about the people who are taking complete strangers into their homes?

What about the real-estate investors who are allowing the evacuees to live rent free in their homes and apartments?

What about the $2000 debit cards being issued to every displaced adult?

What about the job programs being opened up to the evacuees?

What about the schools opening up to the children?

This is just a short list that I can come up with off the top of my head. Do you really think the rest of the world is that stupid? Do you think that they have not seen the billions of dollars and man hours poured into disaster relief around the world not just here at home? And where have those relief efforts been most prominent, in poor countries helping poor people.

You go ahead and drink your Kenedy/Moore/Dean coolaide if you want to. Nothing I could say here would change your mind. But before you take that next big gulp take the time to actually look into what the US and American citizens have done and are doing for those who have been the victims of disasters around the world.

Posted by: Kirk at September 7, 2005 5:07 PM
Comment #78830

Stop the calls for an investigation! We don’t need one.
This just in: Bush’s mom just informed the media that the “refugees”/”victims” are in fact not victims or refugees at all. She said that because they were poor to start with, their lives have been enriched by the experience.
That make this a practical vacation get-away,sorta like Club Med but with raw sewage and death.
I guess she was referring to the free vacation to Houston, TX.(Beating the person next to you to the bus)
The fine dining experience (eating MRE’s next to a rotting corpse.)
Luxury accomodations(A cot on the floor of the Astro-Dome)
I’m glad that elitist Kerry didn’t get elected.
So we now know, thanks to Bush’s mom, that this is a wonderful thing happening to the fine folks of New Orleans and we should all be so lucky.
Bush sucks!
His mom too!

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 7, 2005 5:08 PM
Comment #78841

kirk,

I don’t disagree that the actions you point out will help the poor. They will.

And no: the rest of the world is not stupid. But they will recall — and the images from the immediate aftermath of the storm will reinforce that — the the U.S. government did not get those people out in time. They were there, stuck at the convention center or Superdome for several days. And they were overwhelmingly poor and overwhelmingly Black. The image would be very different if those people had represented a cross section of America.

If people everywhere remember Bush standing on the rubble of the WTC, then people everywhere will remember poor, Black Americans stranded in the middle of New Orleans for three days after the Hurricane struck.

That’s the image the world will remember.

Posted by: steve at September 7, 2005 5:44 PM
Comment #78842
Stop the calls for an investigation! We don’t need one. This just in: Bush’s mom just informed the media that the “refugees”/”victims” are in fact not victims or refugees at all. She said that because they were poor to start with, their lives have been enriched by the experience. That make this a practical vacation get-away,sorta like Club Med but with raw sewage and death. I guess she was referring to the free vacation to Houston, TX.(Beating the person next to you to the bus) The fine dining experience (eating MRE’s next to a rotting corpse.) Luxury accomodations(A cot on the floor of the Astro-Dome) I’m glad that elitist Kerry didn’t get elected. So we now know, thanks to Bush’s mom, that this is a wonderful thing happening to the fine folks of New Orleans and we should all be so lucky. Bush sucks! His mom too!

Andre;

You obviously missed the last four minutes of that interview where Barbara Bush stated that many of the refugees may permanently relocate to Texas and that is scaring the heck out of her.

I think the American people have seen and heard enough about the incompetence of this administration.

I think it is time to kick open the white house doors and drag george and his croonies out of the white house and toss their sorry asses into the streets of NO with the rest of the rats feasting on rotting corpses.

Posted by: Pat at September 7, 2005 5:58 PM
Comment #78845

Andre,

Have you taken the time to go find the tape of the interview yourself or are you just swallowing hook line and sinker what you are fed?

Here is a link to a site with the raw tape of the interview.

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/shows/2005/09/05/PM200509051.html

Barbara Bush did not say any of the CRAP that you are spewing. What she did say is that most want to stay in Texas. Everyone is overwhelmed by the hospitality. So many of the people in the arena here were underprivledged anyway so this is working very well for them…It is touching me just as it is you, I feel like I have cried for weeks.

Barbara Bush is not saying that living in the Astro Dome is a vacation for these people. She is saying that these people have an opportunity brought about by this disaster to better their lives through the job/education opportunities being offered in Houston.

I’m glad that elitist Kerry didn’t get elected.

At least you are right about one thing.

Posted by: Kirk at September 7, 2005 6:09 PM
Comment #78851

Kirk,
However, did you notice that Barbara Bush said nothing about them making a Livable Wage? Even if they stayed in Texas. Sure she and others in Texas are gald to have more low wage workers in their state, this way their corporations and stockholders can make the money of these citizens that The Rich in NO was making.

By the way, do you want to bet that President Bush will mandate that all these funds must be used to employee Americans instead of our neighbors to The South?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 7, 2005 6:27 PM
Comment #78898

—-
She is saying that these people have an opportunity brought about by this disaster to better their lives through the job/education opportunities being offered in Houston.
—-
I was sure no one would agree with Barbara on this… but … she’s saying (if you noticed the little chuckle in mid-speech) that all the help has somehow allowed these people are coming out ahead… ‘they were underprivileged’. Of course, if you forget that their lives are in utter ruin and chaos, and that they are probably missing family members, lost all of their possessions…

She means well… but there is ABSOLUTELY no way that you can say that ‘this is all working out very well for them!’ Cots and free water does not replace a person’s life.

Posted by: tony at September 7, 2005 10:10 PM
Comment #78917

Henry,

They were making a living wage in NO?

Everything I have read here says that these were the poorest people that could not afford to leave before the storm.

Have you bothered to check into the jobs being offered here in Texas. Obviously not based on your statements. We definately do not want more low wage workers in our state. We have enough people to support through our taxes thank you very much.

Texas has opened schools, job assistance centers, housing assistance centers etc. to help the victims resettle. Many of those interviewed on our local news here in Dallas have said that they do not want to return to NO. They say that the hospitality shown by Texans has been overwhelming and they see opportunities here they never had in NO.

Posted by: Kirk at September 7, 2005 11:50 PM
Comment #78919

The total blame should fall on the Govenor of Lousianna, and the mayor of New Orleans. They knew the storm was coming, they had sufficent time to get people and equipment in place.
They failed on their part. The Govenor has the ability to activate the National Guard. She could have had supplies lined up and ready to go. It is not the blame of FEMA or the Bush adminstration. To get supplies to the area. Plus it takes time to get sufficent supplies and material in place to complete a hugh task this turn out to be.

Posted by: Jarred at September 8, 2005 12:03 AM
Comment #78924

Kirk,
What do you consider “A Livable Wage?” $8.00/hr; $10.00/hr; or what? Check out the U.S. Code Rules and Regulations on Minimum Wage if you need help. Housing cost on avergae between $800-$1,000/mth and by HUD & Banking Standards should come to 30% of a Families Income. Thus, simple Math places a “Livable Wage in the neighborhood of $40-50,000.00/yr.

Know any McD’s that pay those kind of Wages?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 8, 2005 1:33 AM
Comment #78927

It’s beyond me how anyone can NOT bash bush. BASH him hard and often.
Did the Louisianna State government let it’s people down? Yes, of course it did. Did the NOLA municiple government let it’s people down? Yes of course it did. But they didn’t let me down. I live in Wisconsin. There’s only one level of government that let our nation down last week and that was the federal branch. And as a result of the failure of the federal branch of government, thousands of American citizens died and tens of thousands were injured.

When bush declared a state of emergency on August 27, 2005, it carried the weight of declaring the federal government in charge of the emergency. From that point on, in was no longer the responsibility of the city or the state to request anything. From that point on, it was up to george w. bush to get off his butt and start leading. But for bush, that declaration was nothing more than a photo op.

OF COURSE the administration wants to delay the investigation until the emergency passes. God forbid they shouldn’t have time to get their stories straight, even if their story amounts to nothing more than “No one could have imagined…” or “We didn’t know exactly WHERE Katrina would hit.”

I hope that next august, when dubyah takes his five weeks off, those who lost loved ones in the carnage of Katrina will hold a vigil outside his ranch in Crawford. And I hope every good democrat will contribute funds to support such a vigil.

Posted by: Thom at September 8, 2005 6:33 AM
Comment #78968

Kirk,

“So many of the people in the arena here were underprivledged anyway so this is working very well for them..”

You can’t spin this.
This is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve heard. Brown who heads FEMA saying the victims who could not afford to evacuate were partly responsible for their situation was worse but Barbera Bush should keep her comments brief during photo-ops. Her son learned his lesson. He puts on a staged major Hollywood production when he does his,let’s pretend we care about the people, photo-ops. 50 firemen, that’s big budget.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 8, 2005 11:26 AM
Comment #78987
No offense,Pundit,but that is probably the dumbest thing I think you have written to date…

Um… No offense, sic. But it’s no dumber than what you wrote,

Please….if Gore had been elected president,your wife and kids would be wearing burkas now…..jeez….

Every once in a while you get beyond the partisan bullshit and post something worth reading. You should do that more often.

And Kirk, I’ve got news for you. The rest of the world is repulsed by the Bush administration’s handling of the relief efforts. Shroeder just used it to clobber his conservative opponent in the German presidential debate.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 8, 2005 12:21 PM
Comment #79329

I am really an outsider and probably do not have any business getting involved. But I live in a third world country i.e. the island of Jamaica (Caribbean) and we have seen many, many things. But we have never seen anything remotely close to what has happened in NO. We had one of the biggest earthquake in Port Royal in 1692 (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/pages/history/story001.html), and we have seen some horrific hurricanes in recent times namely Gilbert in 1988 and Ivan in 2004. If there is a threat of a hurricane, one of the first things a poor little third world country like us would do is to send transportation to the people of Port Royal, as they are right on the Caribbean Sea, and to other flood prone areas and transport them to shelters. We would do this a day or 2 before a hurricane is scheduled to make landfall. And may I add that we receive our weather information from the weather channel and other meteorological agencies based in the great U.S.A. In my view, whomever or whatever is responsible for such devastation and total disregard for human lives lies in the answers to the following questions. Was this devastation caused by hurricane Katrina itself or by the inadequacy of the levees? After the hurricane had passed residents were back in their houses cleaning up and trying to make it home again. This would have been the end. Mark you, there would still be some level of displacement as the utilities would have been out of service for some time but believe me, they would have survived. But then the levees gave way and all hell broke loose. The levees were whose responsibility? If they were the responsibility of the local government, did they have enough funding to maintain them? Did colour or class have anything to do with the blatant lack of care and compassion for the residents of LA? I am one of those blacks who is tired of hearing my fellow blacks complaining that it is their skin colour why they have not achieved certain things and the constant living in the past. My favourite line is let it go and move on. I am a strong believer in working hard for what you want and I live by one of our Jamaican saying if yuh want good yuh nose haffi run (some of you may not understand this). Our forefathers endured slavery and all manner of abuse, but if we have not learned from these experiences and move on, then, their efforts would have been in vain. I have always believed that the experience of Rosa Parks on the bus, the efforts by the great Martin Luther King, the work of members of the NAACP (both black and white members) who led the onslaught against discrimination and segregation in the United States, and others too numerous to mention made a tremendous impact. And whilst I knew that racism still existed I did not think it was this prevalent and for it to happen on such a large scale. I guess some would concur that this was pure naivete on my part and I would have no other choice but to agree. But the fact is RACISM is what happened in NO. I have to ask if New York, being what it is today, needed to be protected by levees, would there be any cuts in their infrastructural budget? Would their levees be able to only withstand hurricanes at up to a category 3? The answer is no, and their levees would be able to withstand up to a category 20 hurricane (if this exists). Lastly, I promised myself that I would not mention this but…, Mother Bush needs…you know what she is not worth the time and the effort.

Posted by: Lilac at September 9, 2005 1:28 PM
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