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Chertoff describes Katrina Response

USATODAY reports Chertoff told senators he accepts responsibility for “many lapses” during the catastrophe that left 1,300 dead and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. There’s a lot of this “I accept responsibility” going around in the White House these days.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff testifies before a Senate committee, courtesy Tim Dillon, USA TODAYThis picture appears to indicate the amount of time, effort, and planning the Homeland Defense Department and FEMA put into preparing for the next natural disaster. Prior to Katrina, there was the fraud, waste and abuse hearings and investigations in the aftermath of Florida's destructive hurricane. But, not a word of it was learned from or, taken to heart as the amount of waste, fraud, and abuse in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita dwarfed that in Florida which became a scandal. The amounts of wasted tax dollars are now in the hundreds of millions.

In the real world, people get fired for this kind of colossal failure to prepare for and do their job. Of course, we all know, Wa. D.C. is not part of the real world the rest of us live in. Actions such as these are apparently endearing to political leaders calling forth the circling of wagons to defend such ineptitude and incompetence. A few are even promoted - all the way to President. American politics is a very odd beast. A beast that is killing our future by thouands of bites and scratches, resulting in a kind of slow hemorraging death in the form of incompetence, deficits, and national debt.

Some argue the debt is not exceptional compared to past levels. To them I respond, in the past we had a future of unparalleled economic growth ahead of us. Today, we have a future of unparalleled global competition unlike any in the past. Managing today's debt without robust economic growth in the future is a whole other potentially lethal beast we have not faced before.

Posted by David R. Remer at February 16, 2006 08:37 AM
Comment #125858

They all say they accept responsibility.
But, none are really held accountable.
The thousand points of light are more like a death of a thousand cuts.

But, haven’t you heard?
Everything is “very good”.
Debt is not too high.
And, increasing foreclosures for a whole year are nothing to worry about … they are simply getting back to historical norms.
And, since interest rates are low, there’s room to borrow a lot more!
And, pay no mind to trade deficits, $8.2 trillion national debt, a nation floating in $40.2 trillion of nation-wide debt, falling median incomes for 4 years, energy vulnerabilities, corruption in government, rising inflation, rising interest rates, crumbling infrastructure, election fraud, government FOR SALE, 66% Debt to GDP (up from 33% in 1980), unsecure ports and borders, pensions $1.6 trillion in the hole, declining quality and increasing cost of healthcare and education, abuse of eminent domain laws, corporate fraud, corporate welfare, foreign policy that alienates allies, the ever growing size of government to nightmare proportions, troubled entitlement systems and 77 million baby boomers about to start making less, paying less tax, spending less, and wanting their benefits, etc. Never mind any of that. You are a pessimist if you let any of that bother you.

But, your viewpoint might differ, unless you have some of those rose-colored glasses they are handing out over in the rose-colored column. If not, you may indeed have difficulty seeing how everything is very good.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #125864

OK - you’ve got you iPod on, it’s a wonderful sunny morning and you strolling down the street listening to a little Bobby McFerrin.

As you step out to cross the street - the only thing going wrong is your failure to hear the sirens of the oncoming Firetruck.

That’s how I see this rosey-viewed picture unfolding…

Posted by: tony at February 16, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #125879

The reason that they’re all willing to accept the responsibilty is because they know they won’t be held accountible. If there were consequencies for their actions, or lack of actions, they’d all be playing the blame game.
This is why we have defict spending, a growing national debt, and general incompentence.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #125881

BTW, with Chertoff taking the responsibilty for the problems after Katrina, does that mean that Brown will get his job back?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #125899

Chertoff found it more important to make a speech in Atlanta about Avian flu while bodies were floating around the flooded streets of New Orleans. Thousands of people died while he refused to declare the storm an “Incident of National Significance” delaying the federal response. Since then he’s ignored the victims of Katrina while changing the subject to immigration all the time.

If he TRULY accepts responsibility for “many lapses” during the calamity that left 1,300 dead and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, then he’ll step down immediately. The same goes for White House head of homeland security Frances Townsend, her chief of staff Ken Rapuano and Andrew Card. All took vacations during the storm and Rapuano abandoned the situation room after the levees breached…

Where is the accountability??

Posted by: Tom Collins at February 16, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #125901

I called my senators and congresman and demanded that Chertoff be fired. People died while he refused to go to New Orleans or call the storm an “Incident of National Significance” delaying the federal response.

Chertoff MUST BE FIRED!!!

Posted by: Sean Timmons at February 16, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #125907


Shocking analogy. I saw a women jogging do that very thing once (almost). Fortunately, it missed her by inches. You should have seen the look on her wide-eyed face as she stopped at the very last split second and the truck whooshed by her within inches of hitting her. She knew she had just barely missed being splattered all across the intersection. The siren was very loud. As I saw it unfolding, I could not understand why she did not hear the siren.

And, that’s where we may be headed in the not too distant future. There are sirens, but nobody is listening. That is because a few are telling them everything is “very good”, and voters are always the last to know what is going on, until it is too late.

Ron Brown,
Cronyism, too, is part of the root problem. Appointing friends (i.e. Brown, Miers, etc.), especially when unqualified, is a bad idea. If FEMA appointments got as much attention as Supreme Court appointments, Brown may not have ever been appointed. Nope, he won’t get his job back. However, I think he is still drawing a salary. Funny how that all works. They’ll just move ‘em around, and they’ll still be on the dole somewhere.

I think all of this “taking responsibility” brings new meaning to the phrase.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #125929

Who says the debt is not greater now than before? That’s a lie. I believe it became a record just the other day.

Bush et al should be fired. There is not one other comparable situation where employees who have catastrophically failed like they have would be allowed to continue on with their jobs.

Posted by: Max at February 16, 2006 01:00 PM
Comment #125938

David, don’t you think the fact that USAToday decided to use that particular picture is actually a commentary on what they think of all this new responsibility-taking of Chertoff’s?

He should be fired of course — but instead he’ll probably end up getting the Medal of Freedom like the rest of the Neocon incompetents.

“this “taking responsibility” brings new meaning to the phrase.”

Indeed. Neocon’s always bring brand new meanings to all ordinary phrases — generally they tend to mean the exact opposite of whatever it is they’re saying. For instance, in the article we hear him accepting responsibility, but then at the end it says:

“Chertoff defended his decision to fly to Atlanta for an avian flu meeting the day after the storm. He insisted it wasn’t proof he was disengaged from the crisis.”

Still defending the indefensible. Still insisting he wasn’t disengaged from the crisis though it is clear that he WAS.
This reminds me so much of Bush during Katrina: didn’t cut another of his vacations short, went to a GOP fundraiser, helped McCain cut his birthday cake, and then claimed Brownie was doing a “heckava job” — while people were dying because of all their mistakes. He too dishonestly defended the indefensible, while obviously disengaged from the crisis — it’s so sickening.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2006 01:23 PM
Comment #125952
… don’t you think the fact that USA Today decided to use that particular picture is actually a commentary on what they think of all this new responsibility-taking of Chertoff’s?
How funny ! I hadn’t noticed it.
Still defending the indefensible. Still insisting he wasn’t disengaged from the crisis though it is clear that he WAS.
Then, to top it all off, in the end, he blamed it on Brown .

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 01:48 PM
Comment #126145


Nobody cares about all of this: “I take responsibility” ?

No ?

This epitomizes what is wrong with government, and voters that tolerate it.

Nobody is really accountable.

But, guess what. Voters will pay. Politicians all have golden parachutes.

You and I will suffer for incumbent politicians’ irresponsibility, and they won’t suffer at all.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 09:24 PM
Comment #126212

I din’t think he would. But if Chertoff is responsible then Brown isn’t according to DC logic. In that case according to their logic he should get his job back.
Your right about cronyism. It’s rapent up in DC. Always has been and it’s past time that crap ends.
I’m not so sure that if FEMA got the same attention that the Supreme Court does that Brown wouldn’t have still got the job. I don’t think that all the Supreme Court justices are qualified for their jobs.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 17, 2006 12:57 AM
Comment #126577

Since the federal government can’t seem to do anything very well for $2.2 trillion per year, we should cut out most all of bloated waste except for just enough to provide national defense, and let state and local governments do the rest.

We don’t appear to be getting $2.2 trillion worth per year. Just more bloated and incompetent government.

Just excuses and empty promises to “take full responsibility” while remaining totally unaccountable.

In fact, these people will never be fired. They just get moved around, and keep drawing a paycheck.

Therefore, when they say “take full responsibility”, it means totally nothing.

So, what good is the federal government ?

Sure, mistakes happen. But that isn’t what we are talking about here.

OK, government is necessary, but not if it is incompetent, bloated, irresponsible, greedy, and oppressive and has a habit of doing the following:
[] What about the tens of thousands of cases of eminent domain abuse ?
[] What about the pork-barrel, graft, and corporate welfare, while troops risk life and limb?
[] What about Spc. Sean Baker, beaten and brain damaged at Guantanamo Bay ?
[] What about no WMD?
[] What about unfair taxation?
[] What about wire-tapping and unlawful search and seizure of citizens without a warrant?
[] What about ignoring Habeas Corpus? What about secret prisons?
[] What about the negligence and incompetence in New Orleans?
[] What about the USPS stealing mail in my area (5000 people affected); stealing it our of those blue mailboxes ?
[] What about the rampant election fraud and no one held accountable ?
[] What about the refusal of bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians to pass any common-sense reforms ?
[] What about abused presidential pardons, even for felon buddies that pled guilty, like the 140 felons pardoned by Bill Clinton ?
[] What about perverting the laws to do the very thing the laws were originally supposed to prevent ?
[] What about the growing problem of coporations stealing pensions and disability (such as ASRCO) ?
[] Despite warnings about New Orleans, they did nothing. Funds to strenghten the levees was plundered and redirected.
[] Despite warnings about securing cock-pit doors and illegal immigrants movements, they can’t connect the dots or prevent planes from being used as missles.
[] Despite warnings about illegal aliens, and New Mexico and Arizona declaring a state of emergency, and a Dallas policemen (among numerous other victims each year) is shot and killed by and illegal alien 13-Nov-2005.
[] Despite warnings about Social Security, Medicare, and 77 million retiring baby boomers, they continue to plunder (steal) the surpluses that would now keep them solvent. And, to make it worse, they pander to buy votes for a prescription drug plan that will cost several hundreds of billions more per year (and escalating fast, with the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs).
[] Despite warnings about $8.2 trillion National Debt, $32 trillion private debt, huge trade deficits, and more deficits planned for years to come, they keep on spending, borrowing, and printing money more.
[] Despite warnings about pension systems, the PBGC and pensions are $1.6 trillion in the hole.
[] Despite the complaints, they ignore many tens of thousands of abuses of eminent domain from 1998 to 2002 and who knows how many since 2002.
[] Despite the warnings, they ignore sea port security. In fact, they are selling port operations to foreign nations.
[] Despite warnings, the administration was totally unprepared to enforce order (i.e. to prevent looting and chaos) in Iraq.
[] And, what about this while our troops risking life and limb?
[] And, despite all of the above, they still feel they deserve special perk$ , and tax-payers get to pick up the bill.

So, seriously, what good are they ? Who needs that ?
That’s why I’m voting out incumbents, every election, always, until no more irresponsible incumbents are left. And you should too ! That’s what we were supposed to be doing all along.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 17, 2006 05:07 PM
Comment #126658

Isn’t it amazing that not one of our resident far-right wingers have dared to make a comment to this thread?

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2006 08:23 PM
Comment #126671

Sorry, I was emailing it to all my friends

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 17, 2006 08:55 PM
Comment #126751

Check this!

I loved the article. Though, I had one concern. I thought that the whole shooting incident was to divert attention from the CIA leak. Actually, now that I think about it, I think the Watchdog author posting this article was trying to detract attention from detracting attention from the CIA leak, by writing that the shooting was to detract attention from the Patriot Act legislation. Whew! You can’t trust anybody. Posted by: goodpoet at February 17, 2006 10:44 PM

This is your sign.
White Noise

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 18, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #126779

Did anyone pick up on the discrepancies in the 1963 case of religious freedom?
Wasn’t the Warren court the first Activist court?
The articles of the constitution define the jurisdiction of cases to be heard. The Warren
court exceeded that jurisdiction by granting an appeal to a case of one citizen vs. one
citizens own state. This is not defined in the article of the constitution. This case should
have never reached the supreme court because it was between a citizen and her own state. The Warren court violated it’s mandate by interfering in the matters of one state and
it’s citizen. Constitutionally that case should have been resolved at the state level. It was a
state program (unemployment compensation) adhearing to it’s policy. Not a dissagreement between states, countries, citizens of states vs. other states or countries.

No business of the U.S. Supreme court had this case yet it has dominated the Supreme
court and it’s lower courts from it’s very conception. Who said life doesn’t begin at

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 18, 2006 01:25 AM
Comment #126801

Isn’t it amazing that not one of our resident far-right wingers have dared to make a comment to this thread?

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2006 08:23 PM

How far right do you call far right? I’m about as far right as you can get. The problem is that most of those yaall call far right aint.
If your wanting a statement supproting Chertoff’s so called taking responsibilty, you’ll have to ask the near right for that.
If you want to really know how someone on the far right feels about it. Then you’ve got it. IT SUCKS. He ought to be fired just like Brown.
Anyone can take responsibilty when they know that their job is safe. I’ll bet that if he thought there was a remote chance he’d be fired, he’d be blaming everyone from just below him down to you and me.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 18, 2006 02:33 AM
Comment #126804

I’m woundering about that picture in the thread. Is Chertoff showing how much he really gives a damn about the victums of Katrina?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 18, 2006 02:36 AM
Comment #126972

“How far right do you call far right? I’m about as far right as you can get. The problem is that most of those yaall call far right aint.”

Point taken. I should have said resident Neocon’s (or Bush Apologists).
You seem like an old-school conservative to me Ron, and that’s fine by me — maybe since I consider myself an old-school liberal! The country was a better place when the power struggle went back and forth between the likes of us.
A lot more friendly, too! ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #127020

How right you are Adrienne. We may have disagreed but always respected the each others opinions. And each other. The Neocon’s and Neolib’s of today do neither.
I also beleive that a lot more positive things got done back then. Both sides worked together and compromised more. Today’s idea of compromise is you do it my way or the highway. There also wasn’t the petty name calling and didtoo didnot that I see today.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 18, 2006 01:12 PM
Comment #127021

I get the idea that Cheertoff is pulling a Nixon on us. You know, “I except the responsibility but not the blame.”

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 18, 2006 01:15 PM
Comment #127483

What ever it is, it must be contagious:

I think you’re right. They’re all sayin’ the same thing.
“This is how much regard we have for you dumbass voters that keep returning us to office every election.”?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 19, 2006 03:38 PM
Comment #127486

Or, they could all be saying/asking: This is 7 inches.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 19, 2006 03:40 PM
Comment #127532

I sent it to everyone and then I came back and found the trash. I hate it when I screw up. I really hate it when you do. I do it more than you so I still owe you.

It’s unfair to take a series of events and try to draw a conclusion. You don’t have all the pictures so the conclusion isn’t valid. Just funny.
Not your second post there, just the first with the montage.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 19, 2006 06:39 PM
Comment #127542

I asked this guy at work how much his parents spent on his k-8 education. He said it was expensive. I asked him how much a year was expensive and he said $300 a year.

When I told him the public school spends $3300 a year per student he just couldn’t believe it.

This guy was making $13 an hour. He could read and do math, didn’t steal, lie or take advantage of his boss.
He has no idea who Gilligan is but I’m educating him when ever the opportunity presents itself.

The point I’m making is He will also educate his children for $300 a year, make $13 an hour and not know Gilligan long after GWB is gone.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 19, 2006 07:59 PM
Comment #127573

Please see:
Please, always draw your own conclusions.
But, ask yourself.
Have you been manipulated?
That is the question we always should have been asking.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 19, 2006 09:56 PM
Comment #127794

That is, notice how they always avoid being held accountable.
Even if caught red-handed, they get pardons (even if they pled guilty).
Even if fired, they keep drawing a salary.
Even if convicted of a felony, they keep collecting their pensions…and they are very nice retirement plans too.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #127968

Let’s hope the dumbass voters show how much regard they have for this bunch of fools up in DC and vote them out.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 20, 2006 07:31 PM
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