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September 20,2006 | CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — The owners of a nursing home where 35 patients died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were indicted Wednesday on charges of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirm…
The Manganos have argued that their hurricane plan -- to keep frail residents in place with food, water and generators rather than risk moving them -- was a responsible course of action, and if the levees had held, the tragedy would have been avoided.

So poor planning is a criminal act. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

If we are going to indict these clowns, why stop there? Bush, Brown, and Chertoff are just as guilty as these guys. Republicans would probably want to throw in Blanco and Nagin, too. That's fine. It's like when a bunch of crooks rob a bank and one of them shoots the guard. You go after the whole crew and let them argue about who was responsible.

If the government officials I cited aren't guilty of negligent homicide, they're certainly guilty of fraud. New Orleans residents were paying taxes to all of these levels of government, and were supposed to get something in return. Bush apologists argue that people expect too much from the federal government. Fine then, let's have truth in advertising and abolish FEMA. The feds can simply declare that people who live in frequent disaster areas will get no help, whether they are poor people living in Louisiana or wealthy beach-dwellers in Florida. I look forward to the day when that happens, because the Cubs will win the World Series and I'll be on a hot date with Scarlett Johansson. (Note to wife: "Hot" because we'll be in New Orleans. Duh!)

I know how posters on this site like to go after the straw man, so don't try to lump me in with people saying that the levees were blown up intentionally. That's a crazy theory, and I doubt very many people believe it. The levees were just shoddy and inadequate. If you want to see what a decent levee system looks like, check out the Netherlands. Comparing a Lousiana levee to a Dutch levee is like comparing a tricycle to a Hummer.

Posted by Woody Mena at September 21, 2006 8:02 AM
Comments
Comment #183006

I like the way you lay all the cards on the table.

If conservatives genuinely believe that it wasn’t FEMA’s responsibility to adequetely safeguard these people (“adequetely” being an admittedly subjective term), then, yes, let them call for the abolition of FEMA.

If liberals (like me) think this was a gross exhibit of human failure (and I do), then the Dems down in Louisiana share in the blame as well. (And I agree with that.)

But I’ve yet to hear a conservative argue that all FEMA is supposed to do is pass out cookies at a Red Cross Shelter, which is where their logic leads when they refuse to lay blame on Bush, Brown and Chertoff.

Posted by: Steve k at September 21, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #183020

The Federal Gov’t is responsible for the evacuation of a nursing home in Chalmette.

Yes, and they’re also responsible for the profit margin of a McDonald’s in Juneau.

You liberals kill me. First you re-write history and now you’re re-writing federal code.

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 21, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #183021

Ken Strong writes:

You liberals kill me. First you re-write history and now you’re re-writing federal code.

Pass me the FEMA cookies Ken …

Steve K

Posted by: Steve K at September 21, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #183023

Steve, you are so right and what about how its republicans who are the reason for gas being so high when they wont let us drill anywhere for our oil, yet it’s all our fault there is record high gas prices, and letting evey terrorist gov’t try to flex their muscles on the US. The list for cause and effect is endless because they are a hateful party with no ideas and the only thing they are good at is adding negativity in the system cause there bitter about being useless otherwise with no power.

Posted by: joe at September 21, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #183031

I totally agree that FEMA screwed up. All it takes is a ride through MS and LA to see the mess-ups.

I just got back from the area after going down with a group to try to help with the continuing clean up. After two weeks down there, this is what I personally saw.

Blue tarps are everywhere, covering the roofs of what look like they might have been homes at some point in time. Mud is piled up against the walls of these same homes, and everything looks totally desolate. Even the few people you see appear to be walking around, still dazed a full year after the hurricane.

In one area along I-10 there are miles of ‘FEMA’ trailers, lined up in a swampy region literally sinking in to the mud.One can also see the rust forming on them. It is obvious that they were simply dumped there. As one travels down I-10 one sees more and more examples of this stupidity.

The trailers are all very small, barely livable for one person, let alone an entire family of 3 - Mom, Dad, and one child. Of course I guess size doesn’t matter if no one can get to them any way.

Even today, there are signs posted all around begging for employees, who aren’t there because they the have no place to live. Remember one must have an address before one can get paid - Taxes, Social Security and all that.

Businesses such as Lowes or Home Depot are having problems locating the supplies they need, let alone finding the employees to be able to work - again with the homes. People who can’t work due to lack of housing can’t afford to buy materials to fix up or build new homes.

I don’t blame Bush for the hurricane, and it is quiet possible that since we’d dodged bad hurricanes for server al years that no one actually paid any attention to FEMA and those that should have kept it up-to-date were simply slack in doing their jobs.

One could conceivable blame the Clinton Administration or Bush Senior’s Administration for not staying on top of FEMA.

Blame however is not the problem. The problem is there are still very few governmental agencies who are not all tied up in knots and the people STILL need help.

And FEMA appears to have just gone home…

Posted by: Linda H. at September 21, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #183032

It’s all moot, and the rebuilding dollars a waste. Reason: Global Warming. When the oceans rise just 4 inches or less, New Orleans will cease to be, forever. And the oceans are rising. My 15 year old daughter will see New Orleans all but disappear from the map, as a result of more catastrophic floods over her lifetime. I am convinced of this from the evidence now assembled.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #183034

Joe,

I am not sure I understand what you are saying, it can be politically read both ways…

Posted by: Cliff at September 21, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #183036

Cliff,

Agreed. I don’t get Joe’s point.

And I’m still waiting for those FEMA cookies from Ken.

Posted by: Steve K at September 21, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #183040

Linda H.

I too have been down there twice, my wife is going down again soon for the fourth time.

We have found what you are talking about. But, the main problem is in the local area, NOT on the federal level. Victims cannot get their federal monies because they need proof of building permits and available contractors. These are in scarce supply. I have gone down with licensed plumbers and electricians who cannot work because the need tested by the local government to work. These local commssions have not changed a single thing about the way they do business to allow for outside help. They have not increased their inspectors or thought any different of the circumstances they find themselves in.

Nagan’s plan is a joke. His idea is to let the parishes put together their plans and then he will adopt these as a master plan. It is laughable.

The funny thing about this whole thing is that faith based organizations are providing the lions share of relief and assisitance to the area.

Posted by: william at September 21, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #183041

FEMA is a waste of money. Just like 90% of all these federal programs. The only thing the federal gov’t should be doing is protecting our borders.

In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief for French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo (now Haiti) to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison said disapprovingly, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

Posted by: JimmyRay at September 21, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #183048
If we are going to indict these clowns… Posted by Woody Mena at September 21, 2006 08:02 AM
It’s amazing how callous we’ve become. It’s just too easy to find fault in a few health care providers who trusted their local infrastructure to help them provide for their patients needs than to hold accountable those responsible at the Federal level.
You liberals kill me. First you re-write history and now you’re re-writing federal code. Posted by Ken Strong at September 21, 2006 11:22 AM
This would be funny if some people didn’t actually believe it. I’ve heard that goldfish don’t go insane in their little bowls because by the time they swim back to the same spot they had forgotten they were there already. BTW; The Ministry of Truth has job postings… Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at September 21, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #183052
Who is the brain that thought a million people living below sea level was a good idea?

I used to think the same thing until I learned about the Netherlands. Amsterdam is about 12 feet below sea level. Part of Rotterdam is 23 feet below sea level. You just need to invest in decent levees instead of giving the money to corrupt political hacks (at all levels of government).

It isn’t just the Gulf Coast that is vulnerable either. Manhattan would be vulnerable to a big enough storm.

David Remer,

Wouldn’t raising the sea level by four inches just make the water 4 inches higher in NOLA?

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 21, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #183054
The only thing the federal gov’t should be doing is protecting our borders.Posted by: JimmyRay at September 21, 2006 01:13 PM
What about the regulation of interstate commerce???? Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at September 21, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #183056

I think it’s the way local, state and federal agencies mishandled the aftermath that disturbs everyone.
The president does not neccessarily have to drive a truck load of supplies to these people but at least be aware that it’s happening.Admit FEMA is a poorly run organization and not say “good job Brownie.”
After all that do not have the balls to use this disaster and the people ravaged by it for a photo-op.
I think one man summed it up perfectly when he suggested: Go F**ck yourself Cheney!”
pure poetry,

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 21, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #183057

Woody, great post!

What FEMA did, or rather did not do, for Katrina victims, demonstrates the basic philosophy of Republicans: You must depend on yourself in this “ownership society.”

Republicans believe in self-reliance. Democrats believe that we are all in this together. Republicans say, don’t ask for government help merely because you are the victim of a hurricane. Democrats say the government must do its best to help all citizens that are in trouble through no fault of their own.

FEMA in Democratic hands would have performed a lot better.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at September 21, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #183058

What I want to know is who’s going to sue the Gretna police, who, hours after Katrina hit, refused to let victims cross the bridge on foot from NO into Gretna to get away from rising waters.

Let’s call that little incident what it was—out and out racism. Only lynching them from the bridge would have made it any more vicious.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 21, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #183075

John Kerry mentioned the importance of restoring the wetlands in the Gulf in 2004.
Seeing how it’s a natural barrier to storm surges.
He proposed taxing big oil to pay for it, considering they had a large hand in the depletion.
Great article in National Geographic for reference.
We are loosing an area the size a football field a day down there, as Mr Remer noted.

Posted by: Justin P Anderson at September 21, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #183077

Anyone who hasn’t should read Chris Rose’s reports on the Times-Picayune’s website. He is neither Dem nor Rep, and is winning awards around the country for his insight into the situation that still exists in New Orleans.

Posted by: David S at September 21, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #183081

Paul Seigel That was the perfect way to explain the difference in Dems. and reps.

Posted by: Jeff at September 21, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #183108

William

The funny thing about this whole thing is that faith based organizations are providing the lions share of relief and assistance to the area.

I wish it was funny. I’ve been down three times and my husband heads back next week.

I still maintain that FEMA left their job only partly done, and did a lousy job at that. Yes, the local people are mostly in charge and they are useless as well.

David R. Remer,
Where do you propose all those in New Orleans go? Why not tell all the people in California they have to move too, because of the earthquake threats,fires and mudslides, or all those people in the mid-west to move because of dust storms, and tornadoes, and all the people on the east coast to move because of hurricanes,the high probability of a major earthquake, or blizzard?

Please tell me where you think all these people, all effectively caught in the Global Warming area should go.

Posted by: Linda H. at September 21, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #183110

How do you spell incompetence? George W. Bush? Republican? Nagin? FEMA? Congress? The list goes on and on.

It’s all the same. When all the idiots running things are gone and a new government is built from the ground up by mere mortals like ourselves, this country can start over again and be proud. The problem is that our government has forgotten that they are here for us.

Posted by: J. H. at September 21, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #183164

Woody asked: “Wouldn’t raising the sea level by four inches just make the water 4 inches higher in NOLA?”

I don’t know the exact ratio, but a 4 inch increase in sea increases storm surges substantially. A 4 inch increase in water per square inch, is an enormous volume of water. Push it up over a rising coast line and you get substantially higher waves.

It’s similar to the increase in devastation if a hurricane storm surge hits at high tide vs. low tide. High tide surges travel further inland with larger volumes of water.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2006 5:09 AM
Comment #183173

Sorry, this may be long, and it may be off subject just a might, but here goes:

A year ago talking to my best friend in a bar about the unbelievable government reaction to Katrina in New Orleans, I almost lost my best friend. We have been friends for over 30 years. (My friend is retired military, and a Republician). After a heated conversation of over an hour (from my side of course, pointing out that the Army Corp of Eng. was a Fed program and that NOAA was a Fed program and that FEMA was, of course a Fed program — all failures under this Administration), my friend said, “You know, I dont appreciate you sitting here bashing MY PRESIDENT”.

I thought for a moment about all the rancor that was comming down the aisle from the other side, during Clintons Adminsitration, (the only thing of substance being of course “Monicas dress”, and I was in shock to understand where that was coming from. All I was saying was about the failures of this Administration, they were all true, all facts, this was not bashing a person, this was bashing failed policy, really. And, there is a difference. One is out of meanness and for political gain. The other being the truth of enormous failure. I must have looked like a deer caught in the head-lights when my friend said, He is after all MY Commander in Chief and he is YOUR President too.” I said, “OH no you dont, he not MY President!”.

And, at that moment I almost lost my best friend forever. It took a long time for me to convience my friend that I was just as big of an American and as supportive to the military as anyone. And, that being against the “President” didnt mean that I was against “America”. We have since patched up our relationship, but it will never be the same.

I still do not understand the mindset that says its “ok” to send billions in aid and supplies and monies and volunteers to another country for help, in less than a month after Katrina, (and that “help arrived in less than 48 hours half way around the world), but at the same time it is still “ok” to tell the people of New Orleans, “well sorry, you people should have left when you were told to”. I still do not understand how a mindset like that, is considered “American”, but how my mindset is “Un-American” (And, bashing my president).

Now, its one year later. Our government has abandoned New Orleans just like we knew it would. We are still in an occupatioon of another country. And, Bush said last week that he could not go into Packastan to get Osama because, “Packastan is a soviergn country”. Well, what was Iraq? A duck? Now this week Bush has reviersed that and said that if he knew where Osama was, he would go get him (at the same time he has advised his republician friends to stand ready for a mid-Oct. suprise).

One year later, and it is public knowledge that Bush has committed at lease a dozen impeachable crimes and at least the same amount of crimes that could be tried in a court of law for violations of “war crimes”. (The Genieva Convention). And, yet when some mention this fact, they are still called, “Bush Bashers”, or “Un-American”.

So, this is my point. It is a question for all Liberals here, and for all Democrats. (No trolls-we already know how you feel).

Recently, the President of another country said some things about Bush at the U.N. They were not kind, but many of us here, in the States, have been thinking the very same things about Bush for a long, long time. Now, Democrat leaders are saying, “That is MY President, you cant say those things about MY President”. The thought being of course, that WE ARE Americans, and no one can bash OUR President, but US.

Here is my question. WHY?

Did Chavez say anything that was not true? OK, maybe the “Sulfa” remark was a bit over the top, but really, did he lie?

Is freedom of speech only granted to those that we agree with, and only to Americans?

Is it “Un-American” to point out that this government has strayed from American values? That this government has failed its people and the people around the world? Do we think that they just wont notice? Do we think that this government and its policies only effect, .. Americans?

I know the arguement that “we must respect the office, if not the person”. But, when you have a President that is hell bent on tearing apart the Constitution by “re-interperating” it. When you have an Adminsitration that is so out of control that the rest of the world is in danger. Where do you draw the line?

Do WE, as Democrats, have to say, “This is our President, dont tread on him”, to still be worthy to be called “Americans”? If so, then what makes us any different than the Republicians? They turn a blind eye to everything that this Administration has done. They support THEIR President, no matter what outrageous things, he has done, to our country or any other country around the world.

So how far really, does this country have to go, for real Americans to say, “Enough already”!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 22, 2006 8:27 AM
Comment #183175

PlayNice,

You’re right. Long post. :-)
I think the root of the problem you’ve noticed is the “politics of fear and division” that was made popular by the Reagan administration. It uses the inate BigBrother instinct of the conservative to get votes without regard to the damage it does to our republic. It makes the Con believe that “not Con” in UnAmerican. The irony is that such thinking is UnAmerican in the first place.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at September 22, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #183178

playnice,

Well said.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 22, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #183179

Your right Dave,

Well said. And you cut right to the point in just a few words.. :-)

” The irony is that such thinking is UnAmerican in the first place. “

That is what has been driving me crazy.

Thanks!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 22, 2006 9:58 AM
Comment #183188

Bravo, Playnice and Dave!
The Republicans of course hate it when others compare their mindset with the word fascist because of what the Nazi’s did, but fascist is the correct word to use on their current positions, the utterly blind defense of this administration, and their complete demonization of everything a Liberal thinks, says or does.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 22, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #183191

Careful Adrienne :-)
The Republicans can now use “The Nazis were “socialists” not Fascists” talking point…

PlayNice,

Thanks back at ‘cha.

BTW; I’m trying to “play nice” again and be a calm rational intellectual, but by golly it’s proving difficult.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at September 22, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #183198

Good dialogue Dave and playnice… Funny how others words can open up our own thoughts and differing opinions. I’m a self-described bush bash-er, and I’m not hiding under my desk to say that. I don’t “bash” him because he is President of the greatest country in the world, but because he is an idiot and has been the major cause of that same country losing its’ standing, support and admiration throughout most of the rest of the world!! The part that isn’t right in saying that is because he isn’t smart enough to have done half of that on his own, without the other hands up his puppet butt and the others words fed through the tape pack in his back.
It’s about the same thing as knowing we may have monsters for children, but we don’t want to hear it from the other parents!! Sad thing is that it won’t be easy for whoever moves into the Oval Office to clean up the mess left behind by Dubya!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 22, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #183201

Dave:
“Careful Adrienne :-)
The Republicans can now use “The Nazis were “socialists” not Fascists” talking point…”

Well, they can try Dave, but the fact is, the word Socialist in “National Socialist German Workers Party” didn’t really mean anything. In Nazi Germany, actual Socialists (and Communists also) were eavesdropped and spied on, and when der Fuhrer took full control, were then put into prison camps where they were severely abused, and tortured, and killed.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 22, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #183226

someone stated:
“One could conceivable blame the Clinton Administration or Bush Senior’s Administration for not staying on top of FEMA”

“FEMA in Democratic hands would have performed a lot better”

Point of reference
Prior to 9-11 FEMA was a cabinet level agency — reporting directly to the President
Under Clinton, FEMA was headed by an EXPERIENCED, Qualified Emergency Management Person and was widely regarded as a well-run agency that did an outstanding job
Oklahoma City
Columbia disaster
Numerous Hurricanes
(Even 9-11 at the WTC)
I have friends who are on the response teams

After Bush and especially after 9-11
Incompetent/unqualified person put in charge
Reduced in level to be under “Homeland Security”
Focus on Security rather than Disaster Response (regardles of whether disaster was natural or man-made)


Clinton CANNOT be blamed
The DEMS DID run it better.
PERIOD

Posted by: Russ at September 22, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #183232

Playnice:

Your post brings up some interesting points—what is ‘off-limits’ for non-Americans to say regarding American policy?

Chavez is an interesting animal—much of what he says I agree with, still…. I don’t see him discussing pre-emptive invasions of countries that don’t tow the Bolivarian line, for instance.

I am watching his behavior closely—which is difficult to do when the MSM is taking the administration line and trying to demonize Chavez.
I am pretty certain that his more outrageous pronouncements are for effect—but he provides a voice for South America that has had enough of elitist dictatorships that are puppets of American hegemony.

Frankly, I find him very interesting; he bears watching.

As for losing friends over political beliefs, I can identify. It is regretable, and can often be painful. But I think that such personal challenges are important, as they measure the timber of belief through self-examination: “Did I go too far, am I being unfair? Do I need to modify my stance with some humility? True friendships can weather such storms.

And tommorrow is another day.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 22, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #183236

Russ, you’re absolutely right, of course. I briefly thought about taking that comment on, but nothing one can say about how much more competent a president Clinton was ever registers on the righties who come to post in the liberal column of WB.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 22, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #183255

Russ

Interesting choice of disasters. What exactly was difficult for FEMA with OK City and the Columbia disaster.

Also, I do belive that rolling FEMA into Homeland Security was passed by Congress.

Posted by: Keith at September 22, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #183298

Russ;

Liked your post very much, and I feel that it is quite true and fair. However, you forgot one small thing.

You forgot that after 9/11 and under Bush when it (FEMA) was moved to “Homeland Security”, it was also de-funded, (just like the levy project by the Army Corp of Engeneers, in L.A.).

Posted by: PlayNice at September 22, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #183299

Keith,

Whether it was done by Bush or Congress, it was tantamount to the same thing (we are dealing with a one party, one branch, government here. There are no checks and balances. Whatever Bush wants - Congress - The Senate - and Tthe Supreme Court - will fall in line with.)

Posted by: PlayNice at September 22, 2006 8:07 PM
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