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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 6, 2005 10:25 PM. The previous post in this blog was Operation Roundtrip. The next post in this blog is Coulda been a contender. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2005

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job"

The same former frat president (now our President) who's ultimately in charge of federal disaster relief is also sticking our necks way out on the economy, war and peace, the "struggle against tera" (or whatever it's called these days), international relations, energy policy, civil rights... As I've been saying since the election, we as a nation will now get what we deserve. Thanks to everyone in the red states, and to the Democratic National Committee, for making it happen.

Comments (43)

Oh, and let's not forget the environment.

On 9/11, the Mayor of NY stepped up big time and took charge of the worst disaster in American history. The Governor of the state was ready to be in charge also, and together these two men lead our Country through it's darkest days. Yes, the President appeared on site to lend support, but the local and state leaders were clearly up to the task of leading when the bell rung.

In Louisiana, the elected State officials were nowhere to be found, 1/3 of the police force ran out on the job, and the Mayor of New Orleans spent his time looking for TV cameras so he could blame someone else. These people were good at being elected, knew how to control the power prior to the floods and were well prepared to take all the riches which come from elected or appointed positions.

Too bad they didn't know how to lead,like Rudy did. Blame it on Washington is a story that the media will repeat for years, but the undeniable truth is that local and state leaders didn't know how to step up when it was time to lead. This would appear even more apparent when you see the difference between the progress going on in saving Mississippi, while looters run through waist high water in New Orleans carrying 42 inch plasma TVs.

"College boys from LSU, went in dumb, came out dumb too." Randy Newman, "Rednecks"

whatev.

Is this the Daily Kos? I'm noticing definite "chicken little" and "Bush dogpile" themes on this otherwise commendable blog.

In any event, I too thank the DNC for their actions. Their campaign strategy of re-polarization of the American public was a good one. They just misunderestimated the respective numbers of protons and ions.

Hey now - not everyone in the red states. Some of us true blues are stuck in red states, outnumbered by a majority of imbeciles who voted for our schmuck President.

To me it looks like a before/after split. Before Katrina hit the performance of the state and local government could have been a lot better. After Katrina hit, the federal government could have performed a lot better, too. Anyone who thinks President Bush is a good president based on this is either lying or a moron. There simply isn’t any other conclusion. Run the old test: What if Clinton had shown this quality of leadership? Would you be saying, “I have to admit he did one heck of a job here.” When the president used that phrase and the one about no one anticipating the levies breaking, he was also lying or else he’s a moron. The Bush crowd has to deal with the fact that his leadership was so bad that Bush himself was forced to admit the response was “unacceptable.” Yet his sheep-like minions rush to accept it.

BTW, another good story in the aftermath is Rumsfeld's appearance at a SD Padres' game 24 hrs. after Katrina hit (see www.kazablog.com for more).

Did any of us (red or blue) vote for the President to re-appoint his Sec. of Defense? Usually in a second term, it's "all change". I note many Rs have been calling for Rumsfeld's head for months...this President is dividing his own party now, Scott R!

Funny how we should blame the residents of New Orleans for not evacuating, since they knew this was coming, but we should not blame the feds, since they had no way of knowing that this was coming.

If someone could explain that to me, I'd love to hear it.

And the dogpile and Republican-bashing continues...

Nothing that the federal government (led by Bush)could have done would have satisfied Bush's critics.

Every choice comes with a cost.

When someone builds his house on a flood plain and loses everything in a flood, who is to blame?

When someone builds his home on a fault line and perishes in an earthquake, who is to blame?

When someone tries to race a train to the crossing and loses, who is to blame?

When someone is told to evacuate his home in the face of imminent danger and does not, who is to blame for his death?

The finger-pointing has been going on for too long in this country. It's time for people to start taking personal responsibility for their individual choices.

I have sympathy for those who were physically incapable of evacuating (the elderly, handicapped or hospitalized) and I will support any relief effort that helps only those individuals. But for those able-bodied people who could have left but *refused* to leave for whatever reason? As far as I am concerned, they gambled with their lives and some paid the ultimate price. Their choice, their cost.

While my last post adhered to the 150-word rule, it should be "levees" instead of "levies" making me come off as somewhat of a moron myself.

Gary, 9/11 and Katrina are apples and oranges. Giuliani had water, power and communications in the city following the attacks. NO had none of those, except sporadic comm lines, b/c FEMA was cutting the emergency communications lines of the local authorities (see Broussard interview on meet the press). Local authorities were begging for help but FEMA put thousands of volunteer firefighters in a day of sexual harassment training before deploying them to tell people the 800 # for FEMA and also decided that 50 of those volunteer firefighters needed to accompany President Bush as he toured the city. FEMA also turned back a flotilla of 500 boats and 1000 volunteer rescuers that the locals had requested.

Too bad the flooding was caused by NO's inability to fund $60-million in levee improvements. What a shame. I mean, even little ol' Portland can build a $42-million aerial tram [rim shot].

Scott r, let me add a few to your list:

When someone chooses not to rescue themselves from a burning building, who is to blame?

When someone chooses to drive late Friday nights and gets hit by a drunk driver, who is to blame?

When a woman chooses to wear provocative clothes and gets raped, who is to blame?

It truly is depraved and inhumane to blame the victim.

The feds are NOT first responders -- that's the job of the city and state. NO's evacuation plan calls for implementation 48 to 72 hours before gale-force winds hit. Mayor Nagin made the evacuation mandatory at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, less than 22 hours before landfall. At that point, Katrina was a category 5 storm.

The National Hurricane Director called Nagin Saturday night to say an evacuation was needed. Bush called Nagin Sunday morning to urge an evacuation -- Nagin says the decision had already been made, but the fact that the president (who lacks the authority to order such an evacuation) felt the need to call and ask, tells you he was concerned with the timeline going on in NO.

By contrast, St. Charles Parish, directly west of NO, issued a mandatory evacuation Saturday at 9 a.m.

The plan also called for the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents using local buses. That, obviously, was never done. Instead, they were directed to local shelters like the Superdome, but told to bring their own food, water & blankets -- "as if planning to go camping."

Could the feds have done better? Undoubtedly. Gov. Blanco issued a state of emergency sometime on Saturday, at least a day and a half before landfall, requesting federal assistance. What happened in that period of time? Either somebody is making s**t up, or there were some things we don't understand. Heads will likely roll at FEMA, and probably justifiably.

But it's a much broader issue, and I ask you to try putting down your Bush hatred long enough to recognize that. Of course, according to Bill, I'm just lying or a moron, so I guess there's no room for debate or discussion. Just name calling.

C'mon Matt, you've got to be kidding. You're comparisons are laughable.

If someone was warned beforehand that they'd be hit by a drunk driver or stuck in a burning building, they'd take action to avoid said situations. The victims of Katrina were warned (albeit belatedly) that a hurricane was on the way. Many voluntarily chose to stay.

Holding George W Bush accountable is not the same as hating George W Bush.

But it's a much broader issue, and I ask you to try putting down your Bush hatred long enough to recognize that.

It's less hatred, and more sad realization that he prioritized political connections more than actual aptitude. Unless you can think of some other reason why he appointed the former lawyer (and a fired one at that) for the Arabian Horse Association as the director of FEMA?

By all means, hold W accountable. But focusing the blame on him, or raising Mr. Brown's former employment as a red herring, tells me you have no interest in accountability or looking at the broad picture, only vindictiveness against a president you don't like.

That pic of several hundred school buses in a flooded parking lot, Mr Mayor? Coulda shoulda used 'em? Account for that, please.

Remember that the theme of the New Republican Era is that "The Goverment that governs best, governs least." Therefore as our President would conclude, "The besterest Government would be the one that doesn't do nothing at all."

To me “name-calling” implies using terms that are not associated with the issues at hand, and are probably not intended to convey truth. If someone watched this performance by George Bush and still proclaims that he’s a good president, there are only two conclusions I can honestly reach. I tend to believe there are more Bush supporters who are lying to support their guy, than actual morons, but I don’t think they really believe this was the level of work that a good president would have achieved. This isn’t spin. I don’t have “blind hatred” for him. I shook hands with him twice and chatted with him for around 10 minutes. I thought he was pleasant, but I didn’t get the same feeling of a great man that I got, for example, when I met Rudy Giuliani. Still, if I hurt any of my fellow bloggers feelings, I apologize.

To get a disaster area declared, the governor must state that local resources are exhausted. If the President agrees, it is declared a Federal Disaster Area and the Federal Government assumes responsibility to supplement the state effort to have effective disaster relief. United States Code Title 42 § 5191(a) (see http://www.fema.gov/library/stafact.shtm#sec202). The President may use “any Federal agency[’s]” “personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and managerial, technical and advisory services” and “coordinate all disaster relief assistance (including voluntary assistance). ” 42 § 5192.

Blaming local officials is a red herring, because they have already admitted to lacking resources and the Federal Government, has already agreed to assume the role of a first responder to supplement effective relief.

What part of "several hundred school buses in a flooded parking lot" did you not get, Matt?

"College boys from LSU, went in dumb, came out dumb too."

No one in this picture is dumber than George W. Bush. No one. Not even close.

America loves its dum-dum. And so people suffer and die.

I am so sick of reading criticisms of the people who didn't evacuate. I can see lots of reasons people didn't leave. There have been so many hurricanes in the past that didn't turn out to be as bad as expected. Many people are descendants of families who have lived there for several hundred years, and want to stay and guard what very little they have. One man said in an interview "I'm feel lost. I've never been outside of New Orleans before." Some people stayed with their pets. Social Services in Louisianna available to the poor aren't nearly as good as here in Oregon. Outsiders just can't comprehend the level of poverty most of these people live in. How can ANY of us say what we would do in the same circumstances?

Incorrect, Matt. Read the full Stafford Act:

http://www.fema.gov/library/stafact.shtm

On Aug. 27, the governor requested assistance under the Stafford Act:

http://www.gov.state.la.us/Press_Release_detail.asp?id=976

The presidential declaration was effective the same day:

http://www.fema.gov/news/dfrn.fema?id=4489

Nowhere in Blanco's letter was a request federal troops. Blanco should have requested military assistance in her Aug. 27 letter, but she probably didn't want to foot the indemnity bill. Nagin and Blanco are not red herrings - they're caught red-handed.

Nowhere in Blanco's letter was a request federal troops. Blanco should have requested military assistance in her Aug. 27 letter, but she probably didn't want to foot the indemnity bill.

Amazing how the deflection of blame from Bush in this incident exactly mirrors the deflection of blame from Bush on the debacle in Iraq. It's not his fault--it's the fault of the generals who didn't tell him they need more troops! (Except the ones who did, and who were subsequently fired.) Gee whiz, guys, the commander in chief of the frickin' military shouldn't know what to do--he should wait and get advice from the governor!

Amazing that the GOP loves to praise Bush for being "steadfast" and "bold" and "decisive," yet when something like a hurricane happens, where is he? Strumming his guitar in San Diego, clearing brush from his ranch in Texas, waiting for someone else to tell him he needs to get off his butt and actually do something.

Dave J - Apples and oranges are nice, but they don't compare all that well. You can't possibly be attempting to equate the federal government's requisitioning of its own troops to the federal government's noninterference with the police power of a state, can you?

I've heard about this concept called Federalism. Kind of the foundation of our Constitution.

Unless, of course, a brain dead victim really needs him. Then he's decisive.

Keith Olbermann nailed it:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8514671/#050905a

When Bush puts his arm around an incompetent like "Brownie", he makes it easy to blame him for this mess.

Scott, you're quoting the same act I am.
One of us is wrong.

Why don't you direct us to where you think you're right.

By the way: Federal agencies are not Federal troops.

Oh, and also:

Title 42 § 5192(b)"Whenever the Federal assistance provided under subsection (a) with respect to an emergency is inadequate, the President may also provide assistance with respect to efforts to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe."

The Governor of the state is specifically requesting Federal invovlement. That is Federalism is action. Reread that statute Scott.

You can't possibly be attempting to equate the federal government's requisitioning of its own troops to the federal government's noninterference with the police power of a state, can you?

I guess the only similarity would be that Bush bungled both.

A mediocre student went on to be President and then began spouting off about accountability in schools: “An education system that is not accountable is one where schoolchildren are just shoveled through. How do you know if you are succeeding if you don't measure?” (Ohio, 2001)
Yet, now that many people in America are demanding accountability of him for his poor grades on Katrina, his supporters are shoveling the BS about not pointing fingers. The Bush people performed at a mediocre to failing level. If they were an elementary school, they’d be shut down.

Matt:

You said "By the way: Federal agencies are not Federal troops."

Exactly my point. As such, federal troops must be specifically requested. All that was requested was $9 MM - no troops.

As for the applicability of section 5192(b), on August 27, how could the federal government have known that the federal assistance it just authorized, at the very request of the governor of Louisiana, would be inadequate?? One has to presume that the governor of the state in question would know the situation on the ground better than someone in Washington!

The Governor received what she requested. That's the problem - in hindsight, she didn't request the right assistance.

Nowhere in Blanco's letter was a request federal troops.

So you're telling us that the reason the Federal response was delayed was because of a problem with the paperwork? The vaunted anti-bureaucracy forces of the Republican-controlled executive branch let a little red tape stand in the way?

Huh.

So you're telling us that the reason the Federal response was delayed was because of a problem with the paperwork? The vaunted anti-bureaucracy forces of the Republican-controlled executive branch let a little red tape stand in the way?

Next excuse will be that Blanco used type 11 font, when the directions for that particular form clearly specify that type 12 font must be used.

Pathetic, isn't it? The legendary "decisive" President, brought to his knees because the right form hadn't been filled out by a bumbling governor.

Honestly, I don't know what's more pathetic--Bush, or the crazy lengths his sycophants are going to to deflect blame from him.

Alan - the same body of law that you consider "paperwork" and "red tape" when it comes to the federal response to Katrina is quick to be touted as "due process" and "civil rights" in other contexts.

To be consistent, maybe you think the laws and procedures enshrined in those concepts should be disregarded as well? Unless, of course, you want it both ways.

Pfft… whatever Dave J. The first response to a disaster lies squarely on local and state governments, not federal. Bush and co might not have been as decisive as you liked, but Blanco and Nagin screwed the pooch and it cost lives.

I don't know what's more pathetic; those Bush-haters who'll try and blame him for anything and everything, or the corrupt, ineptitude of Louisiana's government.

"the same body of law that you consider "paperwork" and "red tape" when it comes to the federal response to Katrina is quick to be touted as "due process" and "civil rights" in other contexts."

You know, the wide variety of possible responses is quite overwhelming. Here's a small selection:

The reasonable rersponse: True enough. But in the context where it's called "due process" it's meant to protect citizens from the abuses of government. In the context where it's called "red tape" it's used to cover the government's ass when it actively abuses or neglects to protect citizens. Which meaning do you suppose applies here?

Playing dumb: So, you consider civil rights and due process to be equivalent to red tape?

Playing dumb and mean: So, part of the red tape the Republicans mean to cut is due process? That explains Alberto Gonzales' appointment!

Genuinely appalled: You can't be serious. You're actually defending someone failing to put the troops on alert for possible SAR duty because the paperwork wasn't in order?

Take your pick. You dug your own rhetorical hole, now go lay down in it. Better hope it doesn't flood.

Alan - The "reasonable response" you posited is marginally better than the others (which you properly recognized as being rather meritless), but still misses the point.

Spin it however you like, the fact remains that you referred to the federal government's noninterference with state sovereignty as "red tape". It cannot reasonably be disputed that the Stafford Act contains mechanisms to protect states from potential abuses of the federal government. And despite the circumstances, we denizens of the 50 states wouldn't want it any other way.

I'm quite comfortable (and dry) with my rhetorical question. Are you comfortable with your position?

So Scott R, you strongly oppose Bush v. Gore, where the federal government interfered with the Florida Supreme Court's interpretation of a Florida statute, right? Surely you believe states should be protected from federal interference that stops vote-counting, since you believe states should be protected from federal interference that stops dying.

This is pathetic, in the true sense of the word.

I can't tell which fact is more disturbing:

A. Critical thinking no longer exists in American politics. All issues are decided in advance by partisan affiliation.

B. Our president spent more time talking about oil, his history of imbibing in New Orleans, and his good buddy Trent Lott's porch than the 10,000 or so lives lost in New Orleans.

I am a critic of this administration, especially as it relates to their truthfulness and motivations. But does it matter any longer? What is the point of engaging in political discussion?

Does it matter any longer? Ahh, great question. I think the thing that really broke my heart more than even the war in Iraq was the fact that the United States leadership created circumstances in which detainees were killed during interrogation. I’m not naďve enough to think it never happened here before, but damn it, it used to be illegal. This craven group of phonies, desperately trying to prove how tough they are, sanctioned torture, and that is still impossible for me to get around. The hurricane showed the arrogant incompetence of this spoiled group but their twisted rotten morality has been on display for years now. So does it matter any longer? Maybe not but I want to be able to say I shouted in the face of the new emperor and his craven cronies for as long and as loud as I could. We owe it to America.

Publius-

Verbal Kint: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Me: "The greatest trick politicians ever pulled was convincing the people that politics don't matter."


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Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 315
At this date last year: 168
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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