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I too demand an investigation. Not sure where it will end up, but it should start here.
Update 2: A surely unimportant fact that should be kept somewhere handy in the coming days:
In a bold and potentially risky move, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin crossed party lines Monday to endorse Republican Bobby Jindal, who is locked in a tight governor's race with Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, the Democratic standard bearer in the Nov. 15 runoff.That quote from the New Orleans Times-Picayune appears in our coverage of the event - back in November 2003. My comments then:
In recent days, Nagin said he faced considerable pressure from the state Democratic power structure to go with Blanco, citing U.S. Sens. John Breaux and Mary Landrieu in particular.
Without naming names, Nagin said Blanco supporters attached words like "risk" and "consequences" and "repercussions" to the prospect of his backing Jindal.
"They talked about this not being in the best interests of the city of New Orleans and that they would let people know that," Nagin said.
Using what he described as the "hip hop vernacular" favored by his teenage sons, Nagin hinted that Blanco's backers issued threats, indicating that "if we get in we're going to basically ice you out."
Still, one could argue that the mayor is merely politikin', (as in covering all his bases) since he can be fairly well assured his town will be well treated by a Democratic Governor once they've "mended fences" (though "ice out" may take some time to get over) should his candidate not win.But surely that's all in the past, and today is a new day.
Nagin singled out Gov. Kathleen Blanco for criticism, saying that the governor had asked for 24 hours to think over a decision when time was a luxury that no one, especially refugees, had.Days later, Nagin would request a forced evacuation of those few who refused to move:
?When the president and the governor got here, I said, 'Mr. President, Madame Governor, you two have to get in synch. If you don't, more people are going to die.? Blanco and Bush met privately at his insistence, Nagin said, after which Bush came out and told Nagin that he had given Blanco two options, and she requested a full day to decide.
?It would have been great if we could have walked off Air Force One and told the world we had it all worked out,? Nagin said. ?It didn't happen, and more people died.?
As floodwaters caused by Hurricane Katrina began to slowly recede with the ruined city's first pumps returning to operation, Nagin late Tuesday authorized law enforcement officers to force the evacuation of the estimated 10,000 residents who refuse to heed orders to leave.Ice would probably be nice, but in that hot Louisiana sun you'd just get rapid meltdown.
But in a Wednesday interview with FOX News, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she had not signed off on the decision.
"The mayor certainly has ordered that but the governor, and that would be me, would have to enforce it or implement it. We are trying to determine whether there is an absolute justification for that," she told FOX News.
"I think the most important thing driving that decision would be the possibility of disease. If indeed the disease problem is evident, is inevitable, we'll have to move to the next stage," she said.
And developments suggest that "next stage" may come soon. Floodwaters in New Orleans contain bacteria associated with sewage that are at least 10 times higher than acceptable safety levels, making direct contact by rescue workers and remaining residents dangerous, the first government tests confirmed Wednesday.
Update 3: Gotta love those quotable pols. Last week Blanco sent a clear message to the suffering people of New Orleans - the troops are on the way:
A fed-up Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco warned the lawbreakers that extra troops have already arrived in the city, and others are on the way -- and "they're locked and loaded."
She said Thursday night that 300 soldiers from the Arkansas National Guard had arrived -- "fresh back from Iraq."
"These are some of the 40,000 extra troops that I have demanded," Blanco said. "They have M-16s, and they're locked and loaded ... I have one message for these hoodlums: These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so if necessary, and I expect they will."
I can't understand how there was such a total paralysis at all levels of government.
And using school buses was such a no brainer (see http://thielen.typepad.com/politics/2005/09/was_anyone_doin.html) yet no one even tried.
But not only do we need an investigation, the ones who were clearly incompetent need to be fired now - before they screw up the recovery.
This explains a lot.Posted by Jim O'Sullivan at September 8, 2005 02:45 PM
2006: Ladies and gentlemen, the Governor of Louisiana, the honorable Russel Honore.
D or R, I don't care.Posted by Beauregard Lafitte at September 8, 2005 02:50 PM
Oh, so she kills a few thousand New Orleans folks for spite and then blames the Pres? Hardly. Quit watching Fox News. You wingnuts are crakpots. Face it - Bush blew it big time, his drinking buddies in Homeland Security and FEMA haven't got a clue, and their racism is exposed for what it is. Stop supporting genocide. Stop watching Fox and learn to think for yourselves.Posted by Anti-Wingnut Spray at September 8, 2005 02:57 PM
I think that Grandmother Blanco is in a lot of trouble. Or should be. I don't think that the MSM will be able to get her out of it.Posted by Drugstore Cowgirl at September 8, 2005 03:08 PM
In the words of the CT governor, Jodi Rell,when told that she could keep her fighters at Bradley AG Base, "Our authority has been recognized". Blanco's authority has likewise been recognized. Both are morons. The cause of women has been set back 200 years.Posted by Cinder at September 8, 2005 03:09 PM
So we're supposed to believe your ravings instead? Give me a break. I'll take facts from the horses mouth instead of lunatic conspiracy theories borne out of hatred for Bush, thank you very much.Posted by indolene at September 8, 2005 03:24 PM
All of this is going to become moot when people become aware of the fact that the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security PREVENTED the American Red Cross from providing relief to the evacuees at the SuperDome and the Convention Center because by doing so, they would attract evacuees and discourage people from leaving the city (of course, Louisiana had not provided any means of allowing these people to leave).
In other words, it was the intent of the Louisiana government that these people not have food, water, and adequate relief from the Federal government (or anyone else).
If you don't believe me go to the Red Cross webpage and look up the Q&A as to why they are not in New Orleans.
As soon as this fact gets traction -- and it will have to be a blog-inspired item since the MSM is ignoring it (other than FOX), Blanko will be on her way to impeachment, if not criminal liability.Posted by Paul T Graham at September 8, 2005 03:42 PM
Is it possible the Mayor and Gov were each trying to hold back hoping not to have to spend money out of their own budgets? If the damage hadn't been so great it would have gone unnoticed The Feds would have taken care of everything.
The BDS-suffers and media bobble-heads who shot off their mouths too soon and too loud (and who will continue to shoot them off, since they are too drunk with hatred to see what they are doing) remind me of Wile E. Coyote hanging in mid-air just after running off a cliff, and just before demonstrating, yet again, the First Law of Cartoon Physics.Posted by LagunaDave at September 8, 2005 03:54 PM
Maybe the Mayor of New Orleans and Governor can learn something from our Mayor in Jacksonville and our Governor Bush. Preparations for Natural Disasters start with Local, State, then Federal.
The city of Jacksonville inserts a handout "Eye on Storm" at the start of Hurricane Season in our papers. Radio and TV Stations constantly prepare the listeners and viewers.
As I understand, the city of New Orleans had an evacuation plan, but it wasn't followed. The plan even included ways to evacuate those without transportation. Why didn't they use those School Buses?Posted by Auggy at September 8, 2005 04:13 PM
the mayor cursed and the governor cried.
meanwhile, hundreds of school buses sit flooded, unusable.
havoc. death. destruction. looting.
then, in the words of patton from the movie of the same name "now comes the American army."
immediately things began to get better.
coast guard. army. navy. marines. guard. reserves.
is there anything our military can't do?
they are the best this world has ever seen.
well if you let the red cross in now people aren't going to wanmt to leave.so in that case it's understandable why the state don't want them there.but everything else the city,state and fema did was a screw-up.when they rebuild they should start by making n.o. a landfill then build on top of it.plus hurricane season ain't even over yet.Posted by tommy at September 8, 2005 04:33 PM
All the BS in the world won't change the fact that a Dem mayor and a Dem gov utterly failed the city and state. Puts the fallacy of the compassionate left to rest. America is still a 2-party system, one that DOES things and one that CAN'T. America moves forward, not because of the 2-party system, but in spite of it.Posted by t-ham at September 8, 2005 04:33 PM
The link to the Q&A on the Red Cross site is
Anti-wingnut: "Oh, so she kills a few thousand New Orleans folks for spite and then blames the Pres? Hardly."
Er, did anyone say she did it out of spite? I think we're agreeing it was incompetence and indecision.
Anti-wingnut seems to be proof that liberals live in a fantasy world. The frustrating thing is that their arguments are also based on fantasy quotes from imaginary opponents.Posted by Grimmy at September 8, 2005 04:38 PM
Of course, Giuliani had had a similar falling out with Pataki over Rudy endorsing Cuomo, but somehow they managed to work together.Posted by Crank at September 8, 2005 04:49 PM
The fact is that the Mayor of Louisiana directed evacuees to the Superdome and (I guess) the Convention Center -- both with limited to no food, water and sanitation -- and then the Louisiana government prevented the Red Cross from providing assistance to those locations because they wanted people to leave -- even though the resources that Louisiana had to move that many people were sitting under water.
I doubt that this was an intentional infliction of suffering on those poor people, but it was and is criminally negligent.Posted by Paul T Graham at September 8, 2005 04:51 PM
Paul T, respectful disagreement. The decision to block the Red Cross was intentional. It has been stated too many times that the gov wanted the people to leave, so she denied them basic needs like food and water, as well as basic security. The outrage is that there was no transportation provided for them to leave, so she must have been counting on suffering and deprivation to drive them out.
With all of the speculation that the state of LA has squandered the federal money, it is time to demand an accounting. It is impossible to believe these actions are the result of incompetence. There is too much maneuvering to be the result of stupidity. And why did she give control of the state effort to a former Clinton official, James Lee Witt?
Is she angling for a position in a possible Hillary administration? Or was she looking for someone that knows how to hide corruption?Posted by Scott at September 8, 2005 05:27 PM
It wasn't ALL levels, you idiots! It was local and state. Everything starts from there. That's the way they system is supposed to work. The locals know the problems, assess the damage, request aid. The governor sends in state emergency management people, then the National Guard if necessary. FEMA and the feds are next, responding second once the storm has passed. Just because no one imagined a city and state government could be so corrupt and incompetent doesn't mean the Feds messed up.Posted by rivlax at September 8, 2005 05:31 PM
And BTW. How did she get control of killer squads of National Guard from Arkansas? I confess ignorance. I thought that by the time the Guard arrived from other states, they were under federal control. And these guys are "fresh back from Iraq?" I didn't realize that we sent the Guard to Iraq to get rested. Help me, please. Anyone.Posted by Scott at September 8, 2005 05:32 PM
Paul and Scott,
One wonders why they couldn't do both. Provide food, water and security at the Superdome, and at the same time start moving people out using the same vehicle used for delivery, plus whatever buses, trucks, etc you can round up. Seems like a no-brainer to me. That means doing two things at the same time, which might be one (or two) more things than Blanco could do.Posted by Steve White at September 8, 2005 05:33 PM
You heard it here first.Posted by Knemon at September 8, 2005 05:37 PM
Steve, completely agree. Instead, she intended to starve them out. Period. That's it. A democratic governor willing to sacrifice a lot of black people. Either someone is trying to create a crisis to hurt the President, or she is hiding something. It's time to audit the books.Posted by Scott at September 8, 2005 05:37 PM
Greyhawk I posted a follow up to your terrific article on my site. I grew up in New Orleans and am now living in Baton Rouge. All my life I have been involved in the charade that is called politics in Louisiana. My perspective is here.
The Blame Game and why it matters!
In the end we all must look in the mirror and point the finger at ourselves. We failed, we got exactly the government we deserved and worked for.
Baton Rouge La
I agree with rivlax. Not saying the Feds were perfect, but it takes days to mobilize and coordinate Federal Assisance (NG, Army, FEMA ect..). It is the job of the local governments to hold things up and lead in the meantime. Absolute incompetence and lack of prior planning lead to many of the issues that occured in the first couple days. Local and state officials are simply trying to pass the buck to avoid getting crucified.
And to anti-wingnut guy. Place the blame where it belongs, starting with your local and state officials. And yes, FEMA was run by a "friend" of Bush Sr, but guess what hero, he was there during your precious Clinton's time in office as well. Stop being blinded by your absolute hatred of Bush and honestly look at facts and I'll lsten to you.
Mike Webster...Thanks. Good to see people still respect our military.Posted by rick at September 8, 2005 05:44 PM
Well said, Rick. Is anyone asking why the citizens of Mississipi suffered less than the citizens of New Orleans? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the Miss gov and the mayors of those cities did the right thing and got as prepared as possible? Is that because he isn't corrupt? Maybe he's smarter. Or maybe he was a Republican, and didn't have a damage control plan that consisted of blaming the President.Posted by Scott at September 8, 2005 05:50 PM
National Guard troops may be shared between states and retain their chain of command to the governor of the requesting state via a letter of agreement from the sending state with concurrence of the fedsPosted by Jett-Parmer at September 8, 2005 05:52 PM
Paul, would you kindly learn to READ before you attempt to WRITE?
I quote, directly from the site you linked (empahsis mine)
"Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane."
Just so you understand this, let me explain it in simple terms: Louisiana created a STATE department with almost the exact same name as the NATIONAL one.
And the state department, at the orders of Gov. Kathleen Blank-out, prevented the Red Cross from making humanitarian deliveries to the Superdome.
Oh and to the others asking about the buses... they did look into it, but the lawyers for both sides got in the way. So, typical La. hacks, they let it drop instead of finding a way to make it happen.
If you want to know why I registered Republican (although I cross over from time to time), you need look no further than the legacy of Louisiana's Democratic Party, especially their governors. Corrupt, venal, incompetant. And that's their good qualities.Posted by ubu at September 8, 2005 05:54 PM
Your Trackbacks aren't working (or so it seems) so let's pretend this is a trackback:
Nagin bails... and not the way everyone else in New Orleans is... We predicted that Nagin would soon face criminal charges as his culpability in the deaths of tens of thousands of New Orleans' citizens came to light. The Mudville Gazette demands an investigation - and has some definitie ideas about where to start it.
Posted by Mr. Snitch! at September 8, 2005 05:55 PM
Well, this confirms what I've been seeing with mine own eyes on tv. The governor of Louisiana has acted in an amost criminal manner in her handling of the crisis. There were screw ups by a lot of people, but hers really stands out. On top of it, she continues to make it worse. It's a disgrace to the nation.Posted by Matt at September 8, 2005 05:58 PM
Everyone should also refer to the DHS National Response Plan, and specifically to ESF (Emergency Support Function) #6 - Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services.
Under ESF #6, DHS and FEMA specifically name the American Red Cross as their “primary agency for mass care under ESF #6…and [which] coordinates the Federal mass care assistance in support of State and local mass care assistance.”
Mass Care is defined as "the coordination of non-medical mass care services to include the sheltering of victims, organizing feeding operations, providing emergency first aid at designated sites, collecting and providing information on victims to family members, and coordinating bulk distribution of emergency relief items."
So, when you hear the media and the Democratic congressmen (who are - Pelosi and Leahy come to mind -- really sinking to levels of contempt that have been unimaginable after the Civil War) ask "Where was the Federal response?" The answer is that the Federal response -- statutorily the American Red Cross -- was specifically denied access by the government of Louisiana to the evacuees.
Those are hard facts.
jett-parmer, I assume that your post was for my question of Natl Guard control passing to another governor. However, it raises other questions. I thought I read that Bill Richardson (N.M-Democrat) wanted to send troops to LA but Washington delayed the transfer(?). Maybe I read that wrong, but I sure thought that was reported.
A second issue: Did Huckabee (AR-Republican) actually put his Guard under Blanco's control? Seems like a (politically) suicidal move, considering the mess down there.
Just wondering.Posted by Scott at September 8, 2005 06:09 PM
Ubu...might I suggest that you learn to read before you write that someone else learn to read before they write?
I am not sure how you could have divined from any of my postings that I was defending the government of Louisiana. Quite the contrary. In my very first posting, I concluded that, if this information becomes more widely understood, Blanko faces impeachment if not criminal liability.
My last posting, hopefully, is clear enough so that you understand where I stand.Posted by Paul T Graham at September 8, 2005 06:10 PM
I can't believe that the governor would think people even with food, water and a port-a-potty would want to hang out at the Superdome. Or she was afraid that more people would come to the Superdome if the Red Cross was there. Wouldn't be easier to evacuate people if there all in one place? This dumbass needs to be recalled.Posted by GEB4000 at September 8, 2005 06:11 PM
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: looking for blame is one thing; but I really think we should cut to the chase on this one, and that is that Bureaucratic Befuddlement prevents aid getting to where it is needed. It seems like media personnel could get there easily enough, as did some corporations and churches: so why not put aid in their hands (via tax credits) and relegate the super-aiders (or non- aiders) out to pastures (or their favorite drinking holes)? It would be a lot less expensive and the aid would get where it is needed quickly.Posted by mary ropiequet at September 8, 2005 06:15 PM
Please read the posts on the Red Cross. This had nothing to do with bureacracy.
This was a decision that somebody made in the Louisiana executive branch that aid -- which was available and ready to be provided -- should not be provided to the evacuees at the Superdome and the Convention Center on the basis that such aid would discourage people from leaving those sites. Unfortunately, those people, by definition of where they were, did not have the resources to leave those sites and neither Louisiana nor New Orleans could evacuate them until the U.S. Military intervened.
No bureacracy. Just a monumentally, if not criminally, stupid decision.Posted by Paul T Graham at September 8, 2005 06:21 PM
Shift blame all that you want, and there is plenty go around, but that doesn't change the fact that at a critical moment, the president failed to lead.
No big surprise to anyone who has payed attention to his management of the war in Iraq.
Point to you. My humblest apologies for the friendly fire incident.
Know a cheap podiatrist? I seem to have misplaced one of my feet...Posted by ubu at September 8, 2005 06:28 PM
It's all about the Louisiana Democrat machine, with Blanco at the center. Nagin is talking straight with the Republicans and pointing at Blanco. Blanco is pointing at the President. In this standoff, I would not put my money on Blanco and the Demopork triumvurate she formed with the state's Senate delegation and congressional back scratchers: they are corrupt to the bone. Indeed, let the investigations begin.Posted by Jelly Roll at September 8, 2005 06:30 PM
I find it amusing and ironic when the moonbats quote the Kos Kool-aid Klub or the NYT and challenge conservatives to "think for themselves", "stop watching Fox", etc.Posted by G8rRanger at September 8, 2005 06:36 PM
hey Clark! Enjoy what you're hearing on Air America today because the FCC will probably have to shut them down after their scandal comes to light. President Bush and Max Mayfield, of the national Hurricane center, spent 48 hours trying to convince Blanco and Nagin to make the evacuation mandatory. I would call that leading, but the politicos in LA ignored him and will reap what they sow soon enough. Remember Clark, More money has poured into LA to help the levee system under the Bush administration than any other President. That was in todays Washington Post, you can look it up!Posted by Ken Atlanta at September 8, 2005 06:46 PM
An excerpt from the President's National Response Plan:
If an emergency involves a subject area for which
the Federal Government exercises exclusive or
preeminent responsibility and authority, the
President may unilaterally direct the provision of
emergency assistance under the Stafford Act. The
Governor of the affected State will be consulted
Baltimore Sun had an interview yesterday with Admiral James Loy, who developed Homeland Security's National Response Plan and was Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security until Feb of this year. He's pretty scathing in his criticism of the White House's slow response --
The person who really screwed the pooch is this matter has NOT been mentioned in the
news media at all. That's the White House aide who is the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security -- Ms. Frances Fragos Townsend . See http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/townsend-bio.html She's the one who should have
informed the President that he needed to take charge when the National Weather Service announced on Aug 26 that a Cat 4-5 hurricane was headed to New Orleans.
Posted by Don Williams at September 8, 2005 06:48 PM
Something else the Washington Post might ask Secretary Chertoff is why the Signatories of the National Response Plan include the Red Cross Director and heads of other private organizations but does NOT have the signature of a single State Governor or big city mayor, even though the Plan is supposed to prescribe how state, local and federal governments will work together.
How, exactly, would you expect the President to deal with the fact that the governor of Louisiana refused to follow the DHS National Response Plan?
She, believe it or not, has total jurisdictional authority over law enforcement and National Guard in her state and, in theory, they are to follow her orders.
Should Bush have declared an insurrection and used the U.S. military to take over Louisiana? Would that be the type of leadership you want from Bush? Or would you have assaulted him for his unilateralism and claimed that he was trying to take over as dictator?
Would a Federal takeover of Louisiana have sped the relief and evacuation efforts or would that have simply created a more nightmarish situation?
Posted by Paul T Graham at September 8, 2005 06:59 PM
Did the levees have to fail, or was it human error?Solomon2 at September 8, 2005 07:01 PM
I'd just like to review planned and actual sequence of events -
Big Hurricane coming
Standard Scenario - evacuate as many as possible(someone dropped the ball pre-storm, but then, there are always people who don't want to leave)
Storm Surge Predicted to Top Levees - wait for storm to pass, turn on pumps, as water recedes, bring in Red Cross etc.
Storm Passes - misses New Orleans, people partying in French Quarter, everyone goes to sleep.
Levee's break(water flowing over top of levees was in the plan, the levees breaking..rendering pumping plan useless
Water rises in New Orleans - not the best idea to send thousands of ground based rescuers into an area where flood waters are RISING.
Water stops rising...ground based rescuers begin to arrive.
A fundamental assumption in all Hurrican Relief plans is that the flooding and wind situation will have stabilized within 12 hours of the storm.
The situtation in New Orleans was that the flooding situation didn't stabilize until 24 hours after the storm.
In essence it was a double catastrophe, the first was a Cat 4 hurricane, which the city survived, the second was the failure of the levees.(The question of the failure of the levee's is whether they were predicted to breach in a Cat 4, or was the prediction that they were insufficient height, water slurping over the top is different to emptying out the lake)
IMHO The initial assumption was that the people in the Superdome would be there for one night. The reality, due the the second catastrophe(broken levee's with rising flood waters) was that it ended up being a lot longer than the hurricane disaster plan called for.Posted by Soldier's Dad at September 8, 2005 07:06 PM
So, Don, the federal government "exercises exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority" over New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast, eh? Gee, I just can't understand why I never realized that before.
Right on Ken! Leninites like Clark can only use empty rhetoric and name-calling in their flaccid, impotent arguments. These neo-socialists fail to grasp that federal funding was first cut to NO under Chairman Clinton. (A convenient memory lapse, I guess...) Of course, however, this is spun as Bush's fault, as is everything else which is perceived as negative. Newspeak lives on...Posted by BTK at September 8, 2005 07:12 PM
Bush created this local breakdown so his cabal of neo-con oil cronies could get in there and take over the gulf oil supplies. Isn't it obvious?Posted by Morgan at September 8, 2005 07:17 PM
Everyone, top to bottom, tripped over their own feet in this tragedy, but blaming and flaming Bush first on this is a little like blaming the cherry for a bad ice cream sundae...One that was built and mismanaged long before he ever got to the plate.
Anything that happens towards the restoration of that corner of the Gulf Coast has to be done with a full knowledge that at some point in the future this is going to happen again. (Not might, not could...WILL. Fooled twice is a poor excuse for a management plan.). Any stick that gets built, any dam that gets placed and any waterway that gets managed has to be worked over with the thought, "How will this handle what happened here with Katrina...?"
Anything less than that effort in rebuilding and Democrat, Republican or Independant won't matter, just like it really doesn't to the dead, injured and misplaced this time.Posted by 52Ranger at September 8, 2005 07:20 PM
Interesting post. It has nothing to do with the matter at hand, but interesting nonetheless.
You see, Don, providing food and water and sanitation to people who have been evacuated at the direction of state and local officials is an area that the Federal government has neither exclusive nor preeminent responsibility.
I am sure that there are provisions allowing the Federal government to take over in the event that state and local officials are incapacitated or dead, but, unfortunately for the poor of New Orleans, that was not the case here.
I am sure that the planners never, in their wildest dreams, anticipated that state and local officials would evacuate tens of thousands of poor people, and then refuse to allow the American Red Cross to assist them.
Don, let me make sure of which side you're on. Did I just read:
"If an emergency involves a subject area for which the Federal Government exercises exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority, the President may unilaterally direct..."
Did I miss something? Did the Federal Government have exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority over the state of LA? When did that happen? Hopefully you are saying that the President was limited in his options BECAUSE he does not have such powers over the state of LA.
As far as Townsend's responsibilities: if the President is forced to wait on Blanco to cooperate, what is Townsend supposed to do? Maybe she did tell the President. Maybe that's why the President had to call and tell Blanco to get those people out of NO. It doesn't matter if Townsend did it or not. She can't declare a state of emergency.
This whole attack on leadership is crap, and the liberals know it. We are a nation of laws and they apply to the Federal Govt as well as to us. If Blanco and Nagin want to multiply the effects of a disaster, that's not Washington's fault: Bush, Brown, or Townsend. Or Cheney, or Rove, or anyone except those idiots in LA. The liberals know it, but they have the MSM pushing their cause... wait, isn't that redundant? Aren't the MSM and liberals the same thing? Sorry.
Look at their record:
Bush lied about Iraq- except he used data gathered by Clinton's CIA. I guess his CIA should have exposed the lies.
The National Guard Memo - except it turned out to be fake, even though it was true.
The Downing Street Memo - "Fixing the data", except for those little problems of British phrasing and American phrasing.
Valerie Plame - Surely Rove is going down on this one. Except that he didn't do it. It appears that a reporter did it. Like the one in jail.
Now the leadership issue. Bush failed because he didn't realize the utter moral failure of the governor and the mayor. And Bush screwed up again when he didn't realize that they would try to starve their people at the Superdome. And the massive screwup for not taking over the buses and getting the people out of there. And the overwhelming screwup of giving Blanco choices and waiting for her non-action. Didn't he realize that not only was there a Cat4/5 hurricane coming, but that the intellectual and moral level of the state was so low that only HE was able to solve their problems?
Regarding Guard troops under state control.
EMAC - the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. An interstate mutual aid agreement between Governors which allows Guard troops from neighboring states to help out in emergency situations. They report to and serve at the request of the Governor. They are not federalized.
It's the Governor of the state who needs the help who has to pull the trigger.
Our state declared a state of emergency on Sept 1, this allowed our Guard to report to LA, as well as a list of other things, such as removing weight restrictions on trucks hauling emergency supplies..etc.
My Governor is Vilsack...you may have heard of him last year when his name was being thrown around as a running mate for John Kerry. When we received the notification I wondered why he had waited so long to do this - until I began checking out the state government sites of all of our neighboring sites. They ALL declared the state of emergency on the same day, Sept 1.
The way I understand it, the compact is between Governors, it has nothing to do with Washington.Posted by Tink at September 8, 2005 07:40 PM
Thanks, Tink. But that makes the comment that N.M. troups were held up by Washington red tape questionable. I found the article at
"New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday."
Now I have to believe the reports that people have orders to shoot to kill in New Orleans. The governor gave those orders.
Darn, Bush says, she beat me to it.Posted by Scott at September 8, 2005 07:50 PM
A lot of blame to go around for this crisis. Clearly the 100 year event of a Cat 4-5 hurricane hitting New Orleans has been soundly ignored for a number of years now - Blame that on everyone ;-). That said here's my blame game.
1. Roy Nagin Should have had a plan in place to move the poor out. That means using the school buses, New Orleans Metro Transit Authority etc. Not doing so is incredibly stupid and reckless.
2. I think Blanco's dithering around cost us about a day. It was dumb and a time waster. She appears to be a pure pol without the ability to make a decision quickly. She's a very poor decision maker and a lousy executive.
3. FEMA's response was atrocious. We now operate under the National Response Plan which means FEMA can largely ignore the locals if they are screwing up. I think that Mike Brown should perhaps go back to judging horses - his previous job.
I think the president thought his staff had this in hand. He didn't expect it to be the confused mess that it was. There are defenders of the Administration that will say "You know how long it takes to mobilize X" (Being the Army, National Guard, FEMA workers). Well yes I know - Mobilization should have started from the declaration of the Federal disaster area on Sunday. It didn't. FEMA had all the authority it needed Sunday to move quickly. It didn't. Mike Brown is a Bush appointee who wasn't in FEMA during the clinton administration, he was Commissioner of Judges and Stewards for the Arabian Horse Federation.
My larger concern is this how we would respond to a terorist attack? If the levees had been blown instead of destroyed by hurricanes, the effect would have been the same and far worse as there wouldn't have been any warning. These sorts of issues were supposed to be resolved by the National Disaster Plan - Which NO ONE followed. We are at war people and this sort of response at a time of war is horrible. We are in no way ready to deal with another 9/11 and we should be.
BSDPosted by Brian DeSpain at September 8, 2005 07:58 PM
You guys don't get it. After Sept 11, Homeland Security was created not just to deal with disaster AFTER it happened but to PREEMPT it from happening to the extent possible.
The White House became preminently responsible for New Orleans when the National Weather Service said on Feb 26 early 27 that a Cat 4-5 Hurricane was heading toward it. The National Response Plan noted that the Secretary of Homeland Security takes charge either when a State Governor says the state can't handle it OR WHEN DIRECTED BY THE PRESIDENT. See page 9 of Section III (Roles and Responsibilities) at
Secretary Chertoff declared New Orleans an "Incident of National Significance" on August 31 so he could take charge of the disaster relief effort. Why didn't he make that declaration 5 days earlier on Aug 26 -early Aug 27?
I notice that you guys are not trying to contradict Admiral James Loy's criticisms ( Loy was Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security till Feb 2005)Posted by Don Williams at September 8, 2005 08:00 PM
1) The major story re New Orleans has not been recognized yet. New Orleans was not just a failure in Homeland Security's disaster relief. Rather, New Orleans showed a MASSIVE failure in Homeland Security's defense against terrorism.
2) A look at the map shows that 3 terrorists with 3 truck bombs could have sealed off the New Orleans evacuation in mid-execution early Sunday morning -- leaving 500,000 people in flooded New Orleans vice 100,000.
3) Since many refugees would have been trapped in traffic jams out in the open when the hurricane passed through, the death toll could have easily exceeded 100,000.
4) Look at each of the three exits from New Orleans. Interstate 10 east of New Orleans passes over Lake Pontchartrain on a 5 mile long bridge. Route 190 passes over Lake Pontchartrain on a bridge roughly 20 miles long. Interstate 10 west of New Orleans passes over a large lake just west of the International Airport. Truck bombs detonated on each of these bridges would have halted the evacuation because the massive traffic jams on the bridges would have prevented repair crews from fixing the bridges in time.
5) Note that these strikes would not have even required suicide bombers -- each terrorist could have set a 1 minute timer in his locked truck and fled on a partner's motorcycle before the explosion. The truck bombs are easy to make -- look at what Terry McVeigh did in Oklahoma City.
6) Any claim by Bush or Chertoff that the attack did not occur because they have rounded up all the terrorists is ludicrous given the thousands of illegal aliens that cross the Mexican border every month.
7) Ask Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff why: a) we are still this vulnerable 4 years after Sept 11. b) why FEMA's basic concept -- a rushed evacuation of 500,000 people under a looming disaster --was so greatly flawed. c) why he did not forestall the need for the evacuation by insisting that a tiny part of our $2 Trillion/year federal budget be devoted to building up New Orleans' levees , given New Orleans' huge importance.
New Orleans is not some chicken shit town. It is the major port which controls the outlet of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River which carries the products of the states of the Midwest
for shipment to/from the rest of the world.
New Orleans is also the port which receives many of the oil tankers coming in from overseas. It is one of the most critical nodes in our national economy/infrastructure. To fail to defend it is inexcusible.
At the end of the day, the question is: What leader had the resources and what did he do with them?Posted by Don Williams at September 8, 2005 08:11 PM
Actually, I think the dems have a secret weather machine. Pelosi ordered the creation of the hurricane to force the evacuation and relocation of thousands of democratic voters to area such as Ohio, Florida and New Mexico. ;)Posted by Wrathbone at September 8, 2005 08:12 PM
What's your legal citation for the principle that a president becomes pre-eminently responsible for a city when the National Weather Service says there's a hurricane heading toward it? I would be extremely interested to see it. If there's legal authority somewhere for the proposition that governors and mayors are supposed to step out of the picture in favor of the President the minute a hurricane shows up on the radar, I will have to bow to your apparent theory that the whole mess is all Bush's fault. But first, I'd really like to see the citation.
As for Loy's criticisms, I can't contradict them because I haven't got time to fight my way through the Baltimore Sun's registration wall so I can read them. If they are as scathing as you suggest, I am sure other papers will pick them up and I'll see them soon enough.Posted by Beatrix at September 8, 2005 08:17 PM
I would say that the Governor acted in a petty fashion and left the Mayor to fail as payback for his supporting her opponent. I don't see any stretch-in-imagination needed to see that. She is a Democrat after all. Is there an example of a leading Democrat that isn't petty I've missed?
Did Blanco expect "as many" to die? Maybe not. But she "knew" her actions of not being in close contact about New Orleans emergency plans, not readying the National Guard under her command, blocking the Red Cross after the storm and hindering the Presidents attempt to help her out of the quagmire she created, would cause immense difficulties for the most vulnerable citizens and potential deaths.
This was criminal action, clearly.
The big question is WHO in the National Democrat leadership was advising her. Because, someone was. Blanco didn't screw up this bad by herself. This puppetmaster may also be criminally liable.
Is there a FOIA request that can be made for the Governor's phone records from the time when the President called her before the storm and up until now?
The nation deserves to know which other Dem's thought it OK to withhold aid from New Orleans.Posted by TrueLiberal at September 8, 2005 08:26 PM
I think that even 8th graders know that the US gov't is not a first responder. Let's get the real facts to the people who have the real power.Posted by rschaar at September 8, 2005 08:27 PM
Ok, Don, I checked out the Baltimore Sun as you suggested. I gotta say, Don, "scathing" means something different where you are. Did you notice that other former FEMA officials were also quoted? See below. Here is a quote from the Admiral and others. Notice that he says that the emphasis has been shifted way from disaster response, which includes Congress and the people. Case of changing priority?
"Loy acknowledged that a post-Sept. 11 focus shifted resources away from disaster response, but he said that the shift was driven not just by the administration, but also by Congress and the public.
What was lost in that process, said current and former FEMA officials, were relationships with state officials that were nurtured through periodic planning and training exercises.
The focus on terrorism has taken away the impetus behind developing "the day-to-day working relationships as part of the planning activities of the federal offices and their state and local counterparts," Botterell said."
Important, yes. Scathing, no. Please elaborate on your comment:
"...does NOT have the signature of a single State Governor or big city mayor, even though the Plan is supposed to prescribe how state, local and federal governments will work together."
Were the states excluded from participating, or did they simply decide not sign it? If the states could sign, but decided not to sign, that would be a breakdown at the state level. Which is pretty much what we saw.
Please clarify the comment. If the states have not signed on, then the President must basically invade a state to help it. I don't think that was the plan.
Don, buddy, thanks for the security analysis for the city of New Orleans.
What do you suggest Homeland Security do? Should they take control of the Department of Transportation and completely redesign the highways around new Orleans? Post permanent guards on the levees, with shoot to kill orders? Should we stop every truck into New Orleans and look for bombs? How about if we just concentrate on trucks that are being followed by terrorists on motorcycle?
Actually all of these things are possible if we are willing to remove all state responsibility for the well being of their citizens. Give it all to the Feds. And that's probably what the liberals want to do. Based on what we have seen from Blanco, it is looking better all the time.Posted by Scott at September 8, 2005 08:40 PM
When a Leftie says "you guys" (i.e. conservatives? Republicans?), watch out. Scathing remarks will follow.Posted by norm at September 8, 2005 08:49 PM
You read like the paid shill that you are.Posted by Lime at September 8, 2005 08:50 PM
Some excerpts from the Baltimore Sun article re Admiral Loy's comments on how Homeland Security handled New Orleans:
"WASHINGTON - The retired admiral who played a key role in drafting the Homeland Security Department's catastrophic emergency plan said the agency was too hesitant in executing it in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Retired Adm. James Loy, who until February was acting secretary of the department, said in an interview yesterday that the need for an immediate federal response was "pretty evident" but that the department did not act fast enough to take the lead.
The National Response Plan, completed last December, makes the secretary of Homeland Security the top authority in a catastrophic emergency. Loy said the plan, which he still believes is a "very good product," was supposed to resolve the question of who's in charge. But "turf protection crap" got in the way, he said. ...
...Brown's boss, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, also did not act with great urgency. He waited until Aug. 30 - a day and a half after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast - to invoke the National Response Plan to take control of the disaster.
In doing so, Chertoff declared the situation an "incident of national significance," which put him in charge of the overall effort - trumping the authority of state and local officials and FEMA, which was folded into Homeland Security after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Once Chertoff made the declaration, he designated FEMA's Brown as his top man on the ground.
The plan was designed to cut through bureaucratic red tape, but its execution got bogged down in it, said those who watched the response up close.
The problem, said Loy, was that the plan was tested on what will probably turn out to be the largest natural disaster in the country's history. "There was no crawl before you walk," he said.
The plan allowed Brown to call the shots on how state and federal resources should be used, including the Defense Department. Instead, Loy said, the federal government used a slow "bureaucratic licensing process," in which it waited until local and state governments were overwhelmed before stepping in and waited again before asking the Pentagon, "the ultimate resource provider," to help.
"For God's sake," Loy said, the Defense Department gets "$450 billion a year to do what the federal government needs to get done."
The Pentagon has been careful to act only when invited, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld yesterday went out of his way yesterday to note that "the way it's arranged under our constitution ... the state and local officials are the first responders."
..."Loy said the execution of the new national plan was also impeded by mixed messages. FEMA's Brown is Chertoff's man on the ground, Loy said, and yet everyone from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore were holding news conferences as if they were in charge.
"I would have expected the principal federal official [Brown] would have a once-a-day news conference down there," Loy said, adding that there's ample guidance in the national plan. "Heck, we even developed a public affairs index to the plan."
...In response to the criticism of a lack of control on the ground, Chertoff recently designated Vice Adm. Thad Allen, chief of staff of the Coast Guard, to run the effort in New Orleans.
Loy, a former Coast Guard commandant, called Allen "one of the most capable officers" he has worked with and one who doesn't wait for an invitation to act. "
Given the death toll in New Orleans, I consider Loy's comments "scathing".
Corruption and incompentency are not exclusive to big cities but seems to be able to hide there until media attention via a natural/unnatural disaster comes. The blame game is childish...just fix it before the next one.Posted by Ann Wrinkle at September 8, 2005 08:59 PM
OK, I'm a bit unsure of the posting rules but if Governor Blanco HIRED the former FEMA Director Witt on Saturday... Now, what did he say & when did he say it re: allowing those Red Cross supplies into the Superdome & Center??? Seems unlikely that the former Director of FEMA would not have known about those Red Cross Supplies being turned back....
AP Article published Sep 3, 2005
La. gov. hires former FEMA director Witt for Katrina recovery
The Associated Press
The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency joined the Louisiana government Saturday to help direct the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
James Lee Witt, who ran FEMA from 1993 to 2001, said he will stay as long as he as needed.
"He will sit at the table for me, and he will be my voice at the table," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said.
Louisiana officials are getting stretched too thin and need help, she said. "I like to hire the smartest people in the country," she added.
Witt has more than 25 years of disaster management experience. He was appointed to head FEMA in 1993, after President Clinton took office. FEMA had been strongly criticized in 1992 for its slow response to Hurricanes Andrew and Hugo; after Witt took over, it won praise for its vigorous reaction to Midwest floods and the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles.
Blanco said that when she told Mike Brown, FEMA's current head, that she hoped to hire him, "he said, `That is absolutely the right thing to do. He will make a huge difference.'"
At the National Hurricane Conference in March, Witt said putting FEMA under the Homeland Security Department hurt its ability to deal with natural disasters.
On Saturday, he said, "Now's not the time to point blame at anyonePosted by SgtsLady at September 8, 2005 09:10 PM
Re what could have been done, it's obvious.
The importance and vulnerability of New Orleans was obvious years ago. But because $100 million was not spent, the taxpayers are now going to have cough up around $150 BILLION to fix this mess.
When I look at the responsibility for this, it hard to ignore that the Republicans have controlled Congress since 1994. Certainly they have since Sept 11, if you count conservative Democrats like Bureaux and Zell Miller. A new broom sweeps clean.
To those who assure me that there will be plenty of time for the "blame game", I would note that this hypocritical footdragging is why the two Enron CEOs are walking around free and unindicted years after tens of thousands of Americans lost their life savings. Why the person(s) who revealed the identify of a clandestine CIA officer are walking around unpunished.
Re what could have been done in the week prior to Katrina's landfall, I would note that Navy ships can steam at 20 knots --covering about 500 miles in a day. Even Katrina's winds did not extend out much beyond 100 miles. Navy ships should have been docking in New Orleans early Tuesday morning (Aug 30) and unloading massive amounts of troops and supplies. Barges coming down the Mississippi should have been doing the same. Of course, this would have required Homeland Security to get their thumb out around Aug 27.
Don, Perhaps the reporter from the Baltimore Sun should have done more homework on that article and the quotations used, because CNN.com posted this article several days ago that refutes the assertion that FEMA has not been developing relationships with local officials regarding disaster response.
Re tiredmom's comment "CNN.com posted this article several days ago that refutes the assertion that FEMA has not been developing relationships with local officials regarding disaster response"
Yeah, well, we saw how those FEMA "relationships" worked out in New Orleans, didn't we??
Sadly, we certainly did. All of FEMA's predictions came true and no LA official (specifically the LA Dept. of Homeland Security) would let the Red Cross in when they were needed. (They were pre-positioned and ready to go.) Remember that the Red Cross is named by FEMA and DHS as one of their "primary agencies for mass care." See Paul T. Graham's posting above for citation. The breakdown in the relationship with FEMA clearly was initiated by the state of LA. FEMA had been maintaining an ongoing relationship with them as evidenced by the CNN article. Therefore, some of the "scathing" criticism in the Baltimore Sun's article is factually incorrect.Posted by tiredmom at September 8, 2005 09:56 PM
With due respect, I don’t think that we are the ones who are missing the points on this board. And I appreciate the pain that you must be going through facing facts that are so difficult to reconcile with your blind faith that the Bush Administration is inept or immoral or both.
Regarding your 8:00 pm post:
Your first point is non-sequitor. You argue that the Feds become preeminently responsible when the NWS forecasts a hurricane strike because the National Response Plan notes that DHS takes over when a governor claims that the state can’t handle an emergency or when the President directs it. Obviously one thing has nothing to do with the other.
Your second point is disingenuous. Hurricane Katrina made land-fall at 7:00 on August 29. In the immediate aftermath, on August 29, it appeared that New Orleans had escaped the brunt of the storm and the major issues to address were elsewhere in Louisiana, in Mississippi, and in Alabama. Throughout that day and the next, levees were successively breached in New Orleans and the situation eroded despite efforts by the ACE to seal the breaches. It was not until late August 30- 31 that the efforts were ceased as futile, and the true enormity of the situation was full recognized. For example, it was not until that day that Nagin called for the evacuation of the Superdome. So, to suggest that DHS should have designated levee breaches starting the afternoon of August 29 that worsened significantly through August 31 as an Incident of National Significance on August 26 or 27 would suggest that DHS has the ability to foresee the future actuality of a flood.
Most importantly, within 24 hours of the designation of the situation as an Incident of National Significance – that is by Friday September 2, the evacuations were in full force by way of a massive effort by the U.S. Department of Defense. As a citizen, I am perfectly fine with that level of responsiveness -- assuming, of course, that the Red Cross and private relief organizations can assist the people in the meantime.
The damage to our national psyche came from the horrible images that we all had to digest and the pain suffered by the poorest of the poor in New Orleans happened prior to September 1-2, and we now understand why we were seeing what we were seeing. The government of Louisiana did not want people in New Orleans to receive the aid and assistance of the American Red Cross before they were evacuated.
I don’t want to get into legal niceties. Either Governor Blanko had the authority to prevent the Red Cross from entering New Orleans after the flood (which I believe) – in which case she must be impeached – or she did not have that authority (which I do not believe) – in which case she and everyone who carried out these acts must be arrested and tried as insurrectionaries.
Regarding your 8:11 pm post:
You are correct about terrorism but the implications are probably not what you think.
The hard fact is that if a terrorist were to have blown the levees around New Orleans, we would have suffered enormous casualties – far worse than what we actually experienced. No “response” plan imaginable can change that fact, and if I have a problem with the administration on this, it is that they seem to have left the American people with the false impression that we can somehow suffer such an attack and avoid dire consequences through the magic of Homeland Security.
All that the best response plan can accomplish is to minimize the duration and extent of suffering, not eliminate it.
That is why it is of paramount importance that we prevent such an attack and kill terrorists first. Of course, our efforts to do this through such prophylactic measures as the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, military tribunals for terrorists, military action in the middle east, and on and on are under constant bombardment by the very same people who are condemning Bush for not having saved every single life in New Orleans.
So, if things were up to such “patriots” as the ACLU, America would redeploy our resources and attention away from capturing and killing our enemies, and instead spend it on creating the false illusions that we can survive the then-inevitable attacks from our enemies.
I know who I want protecting me and my family.
In my opinion, the focus is misplaced. In order to save a significant number of lives, the botched pre-storm evacuation would have to be corrected/studied. Yes, the feds and the state/locals bungled the post storm aid and search rescue effort, but this caused a delay of maybe 2 or 3 days?
The fox reporters such as Shep Smith and Geraldo were obsessed with the squalor at the Super Dome, overpass and Convention Center, but there must have been some water, because I saw no evidense of mass deaths of dehydration - I did hear antectodes about elderly and sick people expiring in the extreme heat - I have no reason to doubt these reports, but the numbers would be probably less than 100. How many people died as a result of the lawlessness during this period? Some, but again less than 100.
Check out yesterdays print WSJ. It has some compelling stories of people surviving the flood waters, foraging abandoned houses and stores for supplies, finding and using boats to escape. It also sadly recounts an older lady who was swept away and drowned. Her family had to leave her body on a roof top.
Here's my point, most of the dead (we think thousands) died in the initial surge of flood waters. The vast majority of people who got into a roof or attic were eventually rescued and managed to survive the delays in help.
I was not proud of the slow response, but I think it is far less agregious than the earlier incompetence of the pre-storm evacuation.Posted by Phil V at September 8, 2005 10:59 PM
First off, FEMA is NOT a first responder. I was at the FEMA warehouses in Atlanta loading trucks to go out to the disaster area before the Hurricane hit. Believe me there is plenty of paper work involved trying to get anything done at FEMA, even more now that it is wrapped up in Homeland Security. Remember, Bush was reaching across the aisle when the Dems were demanding to place FEMA under Homeland Security, after 9/11. W did not want to sign that bill but he did. Now the Dems want it back out as well as Republicans.
Military response was well underway before the Hurricane hit, as well. The Navy had ships being loaded in Norfolk and they were recalling personnel to the ships before the hurricane hit. Max Mayfield of the NHS and Bush was urging the LA politicos to evacuate.
The Feds followed our constitution, believe me we were all wondering if insurrection would be used while we were loading the trucks.. We were all scratching our heads regarding Nagin and Blanco.
I do have a question, why hasn't the main stream media reported the Red Cross being dissed by Blanco while they were trying to bring in supplies to the Dome and Convention center, before and after the storm?
Look enough is enough. I keep trying to find articles about people complaining about the response to the hurricanes last year in Florida and can't find any. All I can find are the idiots that tried to swindle FEMA out of cash in Miami when Miami wasn't hit at all, LAST YEAR. The FEMA accountants finally found them as they will FIND anyone trying rip the Feds off this year.
I'm not a big fan of Brown's but there are a lot of Dems that work for FEMA and I have heard from several that they are tired of the rhetoric they are hearing from their leaders on the left. I AM TOO! We have been working our asses off this year, most of us are on salary too, not overtime.
Then the Coast Guard are saving people in the early hours after the levees broke and then the race baiters come out in force. I saw white people saving black people. Jesse needs to open his eyes and see the folks who are the real heroes in all this, our first responders, who saved HIS people.
So Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid Mr. Dean and especially Ms. Landreaux should keep their mouths shut and stop using this tragedy for political gain.. I for one will probably never vote democrat again.
Ms. Landreaux I hope the investigation should begin at your doorstep.. What did you do with all that money from the past 5 years. 1.9 billion and NO flooded.. Now they'll probably get 50 to 75 billion after all is said and done..
My hats off to Haley Barbour for showing real leadership in getting relief to his state. Mississippi got screwed at the start because of all the noise in LA some trucks slated for MS were diverted to LA so we could save their butts..
Can we all just take a deep breath?
Ophelia is gaining strength in the Atlantic and we are already getting ready to respond, luckily FEMA's office in Orlando is still operating and Jeb Bush has his collective ducks in a row.. Bring it ON!Posted by Ken Atlanta at September 8, 2005 11:18 PM
Show me or name me ONE DEMOCRAT who has a message of hope and optimism - as opposed to doom, gloom, hate, spite...Posted by Susan Skinner at September 8, 2005 11:22 PM
Re Ken Atlanta's comment "First off, FEMA is NOT a first responder"
If Ken Atlanta is really associated with FEMA he should know what's in the National Response Plan.
Again, LOOK at Homeland Security's National Response Plan. Specifically, at the section titled "Proactive Federal Response to Catastropic Events" On page 43 of Section IV (COncept of Operations):
"The NRP establishes policies, procedures, and
mechanisms for proactive Federal response to
catastrophic events. A catastrophic event is any natural or manmade incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale,
and/or government functions....
Protocols for proactive Federal response are most likely to be implemented for catastrophic events involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive weapons of mass destruction, or large-magnitude earthquakes or other natural or technological
disasters in or near heavily populated areas."
So what is the Proactive Protocol? Again, READ it:
Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited or, under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of catastrophic magnitude.
Identified Federal response resources will deploy and begin necessary operations as required to commence life-safety activities.
Notification and full coordination with States will occur, but the coordination process must not delay or impede the rapid deployment and use of critical resources.
States are urged to notify and coordinate with local governments regarding a proactive Federal response."
In other words, Homeland Security is supposed to
go in and do it's job regardless of what the States say. So why was the Proactive Protocol NOT initiated on the morning of August 27? Homeland Security has known for years what a Cat 4/5 storm would do to New Orleans. Why the footdragging for 4 days until Chertoff declared New Orleans an "Incident of National Significance" and took over on the 31st?
Note that if Katrina had not suddenly eased to the east at the last minute, New Orleans would have suffered far worst than what ended up happening.
Please stop making a spectacle of yourself. You are making us think that you are cut from the same cloth as those whose hatred of George Bush – Nancy Pelosi is a good recent example – has no limits in common decency or common-sense -- and we don't want to think that of you. If Ken is someone who has been supporting FEMA – and the people in New Orleans -- and we have no reasons to doubt him, you should be ashamed of yourself for casting doubt on that because you think he hasn’t read the innards of the National Response Plan and come to the same – inaccurate – conclusion that you have.
Refer to my earlier posts. There is simply nothing in the National Response Plan that addresses the unbelievable scenario in which a Governor who has NOT been physically incapacitated by a disaster, who doesn't ask for help, who specifically makes it clear that she is not overwhelmed vis-a-vis governence – and who doesn’t have obvious evidence of a mental incapacitation – refuses to accept the Federal government’s assistance in providing relief to its citizens who are in dire need thereof. There is nothing in the Plan because no rational person could have conceived of this. And we will all just have to wait and cross our fingers that someday we will know why she did this.
Would you seriously want a face-off between the Louisiana National Guard and Police and Federal law enforcement and/or military forces? Would you really think that that would have helped things to mover faster?
We wouldn’t be discussing any of this had not Governor Blanco refused to allow the American Red Cross (i.e. the Federal Government) to attend to those at the Superdome and the Convention Center.
Posted by Paul T Graham at September 9, 2005 12:19 AM
Hurricane Katrina has pointed out many failings of an entrenched bureaucracy that cares only for the "game"(regardless of political party), and I see many sucked in. All I see professional politicians doing is finger pointing, blame assignment and business as usual; I am completely embarrassed and disgusted. The hundreds/thousands of "little people" who have stepped in are true heroes, hell if you just sent in money to the charity of choice you're more of a hero that the grandstanding self-serving do nothing windbags on TV. The only authority figure I've seen with hero qualities in this tragedy is Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the only person of authority to actually focus on the problem rather than focusing on political gain.
As for the our elected officials and their appointed minions -
1) Has anyone proposed the fast-track development of an inland petroleum refinery?
2) Has anyone proposed going back to the Energy and Transportation Acts to strip out the pork to pay for Katrina rebuilding?
I dread the constant bickering and endless commissions to come.
I never said I worked for FEMA. I should have said I was watching the trucks loaded for the trip to the disaster, for that I apologize. I was working for an independent producer and we were working on a feature on how FEMA prepares for a disaster.
I have read the protocol but I believe in this highly political atmosphere Bush was trying to give these leaders a chance to lead.. How do you think people would be reacting now if Bush had the military go over the heads of LA officials. I'm sure Move On would be using terms like dictator, power hungry etc.. I guess you can say damned if you do or don't...
You claim 4 days of foot dragging, I see only 2. Tuesday morning until Thursday morning when the military got involved and General Honoree took over. I know, the pictures weren't there but trust me. Units were mobilized and moving. Remember at this time there was only one way in and one way out by roads. That got better once a bridge on Hwy 90 was repaired. That also cost delays, this was the one highway working during the first 72 hours. The Army Corps of Engineers were working on the levee and bridges shortly after they let loose. I'm not trying to let Bush completely off the hook, but he wasn't "oblivious" like Pelosi said.
My hopes are to get FEMA out of Homeland Security and let them do what they do best assess the damage and be in charge of the clean-up and rebuilding infrastructure. I think we need a Federal First Responders unit of Homeland security. Coast Guard was already doing their job just hours after the storm past. Maybe we need Army or Marines to go in and establish security and work on rescueing the victims and establishing communications.
Don, you have to agree though to use this disaster for political gain is wrong. How about a constructive dialogue? Another Commission will oonly whitewash the mistakes made. Congress is to blame too and we need to have out front and honest hearings. The 9/11 Commission was all political, they have left out the most important aspects of that disaster and it looks as if we are about to find out more, does Able Danger mean anything to anyone?
The media is not helping either. Just report the truth and keep your political comments to yourself when people are suffering.
This story is only 5% through.. there is plenty more to come.. Don you are well informed and I appreciate your comments. Maybe we need to ammend our constitution to give our commander in chief total control of these situations. But you can bet local and state officials will scream if a President goes over their head, especially if they are not a particular political persuasion.
Let''s keep race and politics out and pray for the families of the dead and celebrate the real heroes who are working tirelessly to solve the problems and help the victims of this disaster.
Don, if you are ever in Atlanta let's go out and have a beer and discuss further. I'll take you to the FEMA warehouse and let you talk to my friends who do work there.
The President has no legal authority to overthrow the state government of Louisiana just because they are incompetent during a natural disaster. Blaming the President for not doing something impeachable is beyond belief.
All of DHS and FEMA disaster relief is in support of, and subject to the control of, the state government.Posted by SPQR at September 9, 2005 01:02 AM
Ken, you have real class. Thanks for your common sense.Posted by beatrix at September 9, 2005 01:06 AM
I appreciate the offer, Ken. I'm not currently planning to being in Atlanta anytime soon, but if I do find myself there, I will email you.
I concur about the failure of the 911 Commission.
I worked on intelligence systems in the 1990s and had 4 SCI clearances. I think that some of those on the Commission --like Bob Kerrey -- had some rocks they didn't want turned over.
I am not particularly well informed or intelligent. I simply know that the federal government doesn't take a crap without writing 50 pages describing exactly how it intends to pull paper off the toilet roll.
It would have taken very little for our enemies to have turned this goatf%$#^k into a huge nightmare.Posted by Don Williams at September 9, 2005 01:20 AM
Everyone screwed up. For years & years people have been saying "if a hurricane ever hits N.Orleans the levies will fail and ----". They were said to withstand a cat 3 hurricane. Why? Why not build them for a cat 5? It was the levy breaking that did the most damage to the city. And then used as excuses why food and water did not reach the people at the dome. Did anyone see CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Etc, Etc? How did they get there with their crews and trucks? But no one else could? Another thing, The Salvation Army got to the people in Miss days befor FEMA. THEY ALL SCREWED UP, FROM LOCAL TO THE PRESIDENT. Homeland Security?!! GOD HELP US.Posted by Ms Louisiana at September 9, 2005 01:45 AM
quote: "Why not build them for a cat 5" --
I would tend to think that it is not possible to build a Cat 5 levee system in New Orleans. I look at the canals in New Orleans extending deep in to the city. ( http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/response/Lakeview.asp ) So it is not just perimeter levee's but canals reaching miles into the center of the city. If you made the levee's and canals to withstand a category 5 hurrican... there would be no land area for buildings.... Hmmm; maybe that is the answer.Posted by Dasher at September 9, 2005 01:56 AM
Blanco is all talk, and nooo action...except for biting, scratching and clawing, of course.Posted by rorschach at September 9, 2005 02:10 AM
Re Dasher's comment: "it is not just perimeter levee's but canals reaching miles into the center of the city"
Exactly. It was the levee on the 17th St canal that broke.
So why didn't they have measures to plug the canal
entrance at Lake Pontchartrain? If they can build locks for the big ass Panama Canal, they could have built locks for the canals going into New Orleans. And built up the levee holding back Lake Pontchartrain. ( Yahoo.com has online Maps you can pull up)
Yes, it would have cost a million or two. Do you know how much we will have to pay to fix this mess?? $100 Billion so far just for the initial response -- and hundreds of billions more to restore the city.
Won't spend the money to restore? WRONG.
New Orleans is the outlet of the Mississippi River transport system --which carries the bulk cargo/products of the Midwest for shipment to/from the rest of the world. If you want to
get a small picture of how badly we're REALLY REALLY screwed by the incompetence that let this city flood, try reading Stratfor's commentary at http://www.stratfor.com/news/archive/050903-geopolitics_katrina.php
Ms. Louisiana: hope you and your loved ones are OK after the storm.
There may be a couple misunderstandings in your post:
And then used as excuses why food and water did not reach the people at the dome. Did anyone see CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Etc, Etc? How did they get there with their crews and trucks? But no one else could?
This was the question everyone wanted an answer for and now we have one. The LA state police, under direction of the state authorities, barred the Red Cross (which was sent by FEMA, under statutory authority) from entering the city. They admitted journalists, but turned away relief organizations with food and water.
Another thing, The Salvation Army got to the people in Miss days befor FEMA.
This is another misunderstanding. FEMA coordinates the Salvation Army (and Red Cross, and other relief organizations) as part of its disaster response. It must, since FEMA itself only has 2500 employees and there are tens or hundreds of thousands of people who need food and water. So it uses the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc in a similar way to how it uses other assets - it dispatches them to provide food and other comfort to people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, until more permanent infrastructure (which FEMA also sends) gets there.
So when the Salvation Army "got there", that is when FEMA "got there".
That was the plan, and it seems to have worked very well (and kudos to the Red Cross and Salvation Army folks), except in New Orleans where the Red Cross and Salvation Army, sent by FEMA, were not allowed into the city by your governor.
This is what we have learned over the past few days and what is (gradually) becoming known to and reported by the media.
It is a tragic shame, but we should not overlook the fact that nobody died of starvation or dehydration at the dome (at least I have not seen it reported). While the pictures on TV were disturbing, it is a mistake to blow them out of proportion. Those unfortunate victims may have been hungry or thirsty for a few days (although 7 trailers full of food and water, sent by FEMA, did arrive on August 29 and another 7 trailers on August 30) their lives were not placed in danger by that. The breakdown of law and order undoubtedly killed more people than any temporary shortage of supplies. And the hurricane and flooding, against which there was no defense available, killed many, many more.
Don quote: "So why didn't they have measures to plug the canal entrance at Lake Pontchartrain? If they can build locks for the big ass Panama Canal, they could have built locks for the canals going into New Orleans. And built up the levee holding back Lake Pontchartrain."
Because to have stong levees you need horizontal as well as vertical space... I think they would have to tear down buildings all along the canals and levees to do that.
Also the Panama Canal is above sea level for the most part. the locks raise ships up and then back down... much better situation than a city that is below sea level and is sinking several inches each year... New Orleans is not a viable location for a city.Posted by Dasher at September 9, 2005 03:06 AM
Time-Life Books has just announced their premier Fall, 2005 publishing event:
"Leadership" by Mayor Ray Nagin
Reserve your copy now.
Hey anti-wingnut spray!
So it's OK that Nagin gets a pass for being a black male Democrat, despite that he's a corrupt and hotheaded charlatan that refused to utilize city buses because they weren't as comfy as Greyhound coaches?
And it's OK that Nagin gets a pass for being a white female Democrat, despite that she was flappingly indecisive and hysterical when the chips were down, and told the Red Cross to stay away?
But then it's all Bush's fault because he's the white male Republican, and he shouldn't expect those swamp-livin' Creoles, Negroes, and Cajuns to be the bulwarks against chaos that local and state authorities are supposed to be in an emergency?Posted by Anti-Moonbat Spray at September 9, 2005 03:38 AM
Re Dasher's comment: "Because to have stong levees you need horizontal as well as vertical space... I think they would have to tear down buildings all along the canals and levees to do that. "
No. If you look at the map of New Orleans (available at Maps on Yahoo.com ), you see that
water flows into the long (miles) canals from Lake
Pontchartrain. It is surely easier to build a lock to keep water from Lake Pontchartrain out of the canal (3-5 feet elevation) than to do what the Panama canal locks to --float huge ships hundreds of feet up and down in elevation.
If you have a lock to shut off the inlet of water into the canal from Lake Pontchartrain, then you don't need to worry about building up the miles of canal perimeter -- since you have blocked water from coming into the canal.
As far as the New Orleans levee holding back
Lake Pontchartain itself --i.e, the northern border of the city -- the map shows plenty of lake front acreage.
The cost would have been trivial compared to the hundreds of billions that are going to have to be spent now. Congress should be held responsible for letting this disaster happen.
As far as New Orleans being a bad place to have a city, there are very strong reasons why it exists
where it does. (See the Stratfor article I gave above.)
Reasons that Andrew Jackson and James Madison understood back in 1815. But whereas Madison and Jackson had the wit to float large numbers of men and supplies quickly down the Mississippi to help New Orleans in an emergency in 1815, that concept apparently escaped the rocket scientist running FEMA.
Don FEMA has about 4,000 employees, almost all of whom sit at desks with workstations and phones co-ordinating resources.
Guys at desks. THAT sure sounds like First Responder to me /sarcasm.
It saddens me to see my Party blow it once again in BDS. Dems "do" Big/Competent government best in the tradition of FDR. THAT legacy has been thrown away, ground down, or disparaged by the 1968 Generation. FDR today would be a Republican, sad to say.
THIS should be an opportunity for Dems to propose long term solutions:
*raise the sunken parts of New Orleans above Sea Level.
*Fix the Lake Ponchartrain ecological disaster, restore the wetlands, and rebuild the city.
*Address the generations long poverty-building culture, Housing Projects, education and public safety disasters.
*Push economic development that raises incomes of the poorest because poverty just kills.
This used to be what Dems did; instead of endless gotchas.
The danger here is that the lawyers will control the debate. Varifrank suggests the corruption and incompetence in Dem Circles are so big, and so telling, that New Orleans will be the new Love Canal times a billion, with massive negative fallout for Dems associated with lawlessness, incompetence, corruption, and over-lawyering ...
"Nagin said late Saturday that he's having his legal staff look into whether he can order a mandatory evacuation of the city, a step he's been hesitant to do because of potential liability on the part of the city for closing hotels and other businesses."
Dems have huge exposure here too, merely playing gotcha when they have the biggest targets on their backs, is dumb. Offering a genuine alternative of programs to me seems not only good government but smart politics.
Actually, what I think is good government is to pick up a 2x4 plank and beat the living heck out of any elected official and Executive Branch officer responsible for this. I really don't care if they are Democrats or Republicans -- although I note that the Republicans have controlled all 3 branches of government the past 5 years.
Bush's own budget shows that by 2008 the federal government will owe $3.8 TRILLION more than what he promised only a few years ago. That's the optimistic estimate -- probably has gone up another $400 Billion in the past week.
A few years ago the Republican Congress tied the government up in knots for a year while they investigated Clinton's sex life and conducted the second impeachment we've had in our nation's history. Meanwhile Bin Ladin made his plans.
Now the Republican Congress is saying "Don't play the blame game". Ignore the Enron CEOs walking around free as birds.
Ignore the vicious destruction of a CIA agent who risked her life for this country time and again. Ignore Iraq. Ignore New Orleans. Ignore the fact that the baby boomer generation will end up like the New Orleans refugees because there's no money for their medical care or retirement -- since Republican Congresses since 1994 have looted the Trust Funds.Posted by Don Williams at September 9, 2005 06:13 AM
Can I ask one more question here: did anyone see folks lined up on the highway, prior to the hurrican making land, begging for a ride out of town? Does anyone have any instances of women with children who asked to evacuate and were not given a way out? I didn't see this but maybe I missed something. I've been through high winds before. I'd have been out of there if I had to sleep out in a tent in another state.
Wow i just have to say its interesting watching the timeline unfold and slowly beginning to realize that everyone enjoys blaming bush for everything. However i would like to point out that a sensible GOVERNOR would have allowed the federal goverment to do their thing day 1 of the disaster relief at least then its off their plate. Obviously this didn't happen so its a bit one sided to blame a commision for outdated equipment under funding and the the president for not acting fast enough. And i would like to point out that 2 count that for the nut jobs TWO of bush's highest advisors are MINORITIES.
Sorry had to get that outPosted by Vardos at September 9, 2005 07:07 AM
Oh and btw Don it is a little hypocritical for you to say things along these lines cause most of the crappy things Bush has had to deal with stem from the fact they were enacted in the CLINTON administration, and it takes a noticeable time lag for anyone to realize if a president is good or not. Clinton wound up getting everything that Bush Sr actually put into affect. So to say republicans do it all is a bit, i don't know, along the lines of ignorance. By and by i am a democrat though conservative, by the general definition of I WANT to see a strong goverment. However i pose one question to you how would Gore have done on 9/11 or how about the fact that if we withdraw in either Iraq or Afghanistan they will think we have given up the will to fight? That kind of action will only provoke them into more and more bombings. And i can say this all with conviction cause i study root causes and am in the military, granted my thoughts are my own but i actually strive to learn about my advisary through scholars that have already completed their research.Posted by Vardos at September 9, 2005 07:30 AM
These are some intelligent posts. They make me think of what we should do about rebuilding. I just heard (O'Reilly interviewing John Stossel) that FEMA will pay each homeowner about $250,000 to rebuild. I wonder if it wouldn't make more sense to buy the property outright and return it to it's natural state. Move the major employers, including the oil industry, inland as much as possible. The remaining residents would probably work for the tourist industry, because the French Quarter WILL be cleaned up. They would enjoy a rise in property values and quality of life. I'm sure this would make the environmentalists happy too, and we won't have the pay to rebuild these homes the next time something like this happens. There might be some unintended consequences of the gov't owning so much property, but I'm not sure what they might be.
But whatever we do, I think it would be crazy to rebuild the city without Cat5 levees.
Thanks for your measured posts. I do want to correct one thing though:
"You claim 4 days of foot dragging, I see only 2. Tuesday morning until Thursday morning when the military got involved and General Honoree took over. "
FEMA officially called on DoD assets Tuesday at 3pm. Honore was in charge at that moment and coordinating military response. His physical office wasn't set up until Wednesday, but assets started pouring into the region off ships starting Tuesday. More and more each day until the tipping point was reached where people noticed them. On Friday the media finally noticed Honore (as if he hand't been working since Tuesday.) So the only delay I see is from Tuesday morning until Tuesday afternoon.
The information on military assets and ship deployments etc can be found (not easily, no perma links) at www.navy.mil.
Blanco’s better known as the “Queen Bee” and she’s got a hell of a stinger. She’s very vindictive.
The last budget she gave her allies plenty of pork and cut just about any district that didn’t support her.
There’s supposed to be an impeach Blanco rally at the state capital Saturday. It should be interesting.
Having lived on the Gulf Coast for 20plus years, we know not to expect FEMA for 3 to 4 days. They are not first responders. It is the local and state government responsibility. Fortunately, our governor, Bob Riley is very competent.Posted by Mayles at September 9, 2005 04:31 PM
On the question of rebuilding NO, it is a must, and it can not be simply for tourism. The Louisiana Purchase would have been worthless if not for the port city. I is a crucial hub for not only petrolium, but other imports and exports as well. Most grains and other commodities flowing out of the mid west go down the Mississippi. It is a crucial and cheap transportation vein through the country that must be kept open.
Bottom line is that whatever it takes to get this port back on it's feet must be done, or we will face serious economic ramifications costing much more money wise than what it would cost to rebuild.
As for building a levy that can withstand a Cat 5 hurricane, it's not possible. That's why it is called a natural disaster. This will happen again and we will have to rebuild again. That's the way it is.Posted by rick at September 9, 2005 04:43 PM
You are right in saying that if we rebuild, this will happen again. In October 2004 the National Geographic published the following article:
Sounds familiar, no?Posted by RickG at September 9, 2005 06:28 PM
Thanks for the link.. You're right! I found the info, sure wish the MSM could do the same. So who said the Feds were slow to react? I guess the journalists were wrong after all.. But we won't hear the MSM retract any comments, Mr. Russert, I respect your ability as a journalist, please check these links and tell your viewers on Sunday you were mistaken last Sunday on Meet the Press.
BTW, not sure if this is true, but I read that several Red Cross Volunteers were flagging down Network trucks and cars and asking them to take supplies to the victims on those overpasses.
Remember the water truck we saw on Thursday afternoon during Shep Smith's show on FOX? Well that driver deserves a medal. I'm wondering how the hell he got past the authorities. Security on those roads were tight.
What do you think about the democrats not wanting to be a part of Frist's and Hastert's Hurricane Katrina commission? If this is true, I'm wondering what they are trying to hide? Who are they trying to protect? Mary Landreux? Not sure, but if they do not participate it will be very telling and these people do not deserve to serve in Congress. This is their job, right?
I am sorry, but what was the point of Gov. Blanco going to Pres Bush and asking for a early declared state of emergency? I certainly thought that it was to guarantee federal assistance early. The federal government did NOT do anything to get ready for this much anticipated even. They could have made ready many, many resources to be immediately available to move when needed. This was not done. That goes back to the Pres. Yes, Mr. President, I think you have done a horrific job so far, both here and in the war in Iraq. You need to learn to take responsibility for your actions as everyone else is beginning to pay for you.Posted by napias at September 9, 2005 11:13 PM
To napias and Don, the two of you are so patheticly ignorant of logistics, especially in disaster areas with blocked and/or destroyed roads and docks, and the power and responsibilities of the different levels of local, state and federal government you only deserve scorn. This is not Star Trek doofuses! There are no ships with warp drive, there are no trucks with anti-gravity, there are no transporters, there are no magic science fiction devices!!! This is not a TV show or movie where things happen fast just because the script says so!!! The "Federal" Starship Enterprize cannot just fly in, declare they are in charge, and magically make everything okay!!!
We kept hearing "the Nat'l Guard is on their way, The food & water is on the way, FEMA is on the way". Everyone is to blame. But if Gov Blanco had called in the Guard on day one it would still take four days for them to get there.Let's hope this will give them an opportunity to cut out the Red Tape. Any time we have a national disaster make it mandatory for the Guard to come immediately. Take charge and stop the looting, etc.BTW, the Coast Guard did not seem to wait for permission to start rescueing people.Posted by Lucile at September 10, 2005 02:53 AM
P.S. So if FEMA was doing such a GREAT job, why was Michael Brown 'RECALLED'?Posted by Lucile at September 10, 2005 04:03 PM
Michael brown was called back to Washington because the media is so unhinged the focus had to be taken off him and onto the rebuilding of the cities.. By the way, napias, the national guard was ready to move but were not allowed, plus, the feds had people all over the place ready to help. The Governor has to ask for the help! You know the storm just didn't hit New Orleans. Haley barbourt doesn't seem to have the same problems in Mississippi like Louisiana, I wonder why? Florida offered their services but were rebuffed, Red Cross and Salvation Army were rebuffed and there was only one way in and out and the governor was inexcusable when she only mobilized 3000 troops before the storm hit of her 60,000, that's right she had 60,000 at her disposal but she didn't want to mobilize more, why not? Mary Landreux also has some questions to answer like where is the money that was suppose to be spent on the levees and the security of the levees.. Bet you don't know it was spent somewhere else. Open your eyes napias. This hurricane was a NATURAL DISASTER. The destruction of New Orleans was a man made disaster, gaining strength over 4 decades of Democratic rule. Why do you think the Dems don't want to be a part of an investigation? Are they trying to hide something? Like the truth? Where is the money Mary? That's the question I want to ask. Now Louisiana is about to get Billions more and I wonder if it's safe in the hands of those ridiculous, corrupt leaders in Louisiana?Posted by Ken Atlanta at September 12, 2005 02:13 AM
I saw an interesting show on the Discovery Channel about the Mississippi River and the levee system. The river has attempted to change its course and tried to go due south a few miles west of New Orleans. As is their job the Army Corps. of Engineers keeps repairing the levee system so that the river can continue to run through New Orleans. Instead of rebuilding New Orleans below sea level probably might be a good time to consider letting the river change its course and then relocating the city to the edge of the river since by the time we are done rebuilding the city it will probably cost more than starting over in a location that is already on higher ground.Posted by Henry at September 12, 2005 11:29 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(110) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)