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Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Whose fault is it?

Ours. All of us.

Comments (27)

This is the best line:

"reporters are paid off by the white house, and a gay hooker is discovered getting a day pass into the west wing for a year and youre all whatev."

One of your many fine posts was from a Generation Xer who blamed our current plight on the Baby Boomers. That took me aback as I had excluded myself from the guilty ones, but if this is a generational thing, I’m also to blame. The people now in charge are the ones I drank with at keggers in college and smoked joints with back in the dorms. We’re one generation in from the desert too long, and unfortunately, it’s going to take catastrophic events to grow another group like our parents. Tom Brokaw got it right: They really were the Greatest Generation. When I see our current “leaders” in action it’s like watching a phoniness seminar. There was a time when I hoped my people would take America to a whole new level of excellence. Now I worry that we’ll go down in history as the ones who destroyed it.

Not me. I voted for the war hero, not the coked-up frat boy.

I NEVER voted for that malicious fool. Some forms of evil are easily recognized.

Am I sensing a shift, Jack? A few days ago, weren't you saying this type of criticism was bad for the country?

Now you're linking to a post that basically indicts anyone who ever voted for George W. Bush.

Elections matter. They have consequences. Consequences when it comes to social policy, economic policy, foreign policy and, yes, even natural disaster prevention and relief.

This is heresy in the USofA, but I'm beginning to believe the parliamentary model is preferable. In that model, a government is elected to carry out a platform but if some disastrous thing happens, the opposition can propose a motion of "no confidence". If passed, the government can be thrown out long before the end of its term. Here all we have is impeachment (or in some local jurisdictions, a "recall" procedure), which is an entirely different thing and requires high crimes and misdemeanors.

PS: I'm a third-party voter and have never voted for a winning candidate for President.

Sorry- but I'm not taking any of the blame and you know what- that's just what the Bushie's want us to do, take some of the heat off of Bush.
#1 Many of us did not vote for Bush.
#2 I think Kerry did win the 2004 election, but Diabold changed votes in Ohio in order to skew results.
#3 None of us regular folks can arrange for military troops, airlift food and water and move the Red Cross into place. Those things have to happen by executive order. Only when Mayor Nagin went on CNN and sent out an SOS begging for help did the bushies start to realize "whoops we have a big PR problem here, we'd better get moving. Bush has shown his complete and utter disregard for the poor of America.

Tony Pierce is a moronic race-baiter and no serious person takes him seriously. He's simply passing on his typical Bush-hating spew.

The sad thing about this kind of idiotic criticism is that it prevents us from getting to any genuine mistakes Bush and FEMA may have made because it's such an obviously partisan smoke-screen that no responsible person wants to endorse it.

The mayor of New Orleans had something like 1,000 buses on hand that he could have used to evacuate people, and instead of using them he ran away. Any other failure pales in comparison with that one.

See Brad DeLong's blog for some insight into the New Orleans evacuation plan.

Brad's a lefty but he's not a moron.

I don't know where you got the figure of 1,000 buses, but even if there had been that many, that wouldn't have evacuated everyone. NOWHERE did I hear of Mayor Nagin "running" away. The running or evading was done by Bush and Brown. The N.O. police force had 1,900 officers. They were completely overwhelmed by the situation.

How you can compare Bush's non-actions with Nagin's actions is beyond me. What, you think Nagin can just pull the neded stuff out of the air?

Here is a response to Brad Delong's blog post. It is the best I've read and I totally agree with it. (Jack, this is probably too long but please read it .)

In re unused buses and NO admin having failed more than the Feds; well, the study suggested 100-200k wouldn't evacuate, and that is what happened. NO's mayor was two days late in ordering the evacuation and must be blamed for that; when the NOAA + Mayfield shifted that forecast track Friday PM, you evacuate right then and hope the absence of others earlier leads more of the diehards to leave. Inexcusable--and yet Mayor Hagin has been an essential and efficacious leader since that decision.

I'm not quite sure how you get the diehards out, though--can't possibly get all of them without going house to house and forcibly removing people and who has the numbers needed to do that--NO with 1500 policemen? In two days? Forcibly remove 100,000 people scattered around the city? There are -still- people who won't leave their homes.

Brad, it is a rush to be a contrarian--so easy to be intoxicated with one's own intelligence and ability to see outside the paradigm of those who generally believe as you do. This most recent product of such a sensation is even worse than the results of your encounter with Gunter Grass some months ago.

Put it this way: imagine that you are President, even -without- a competent and well-funded government (which I passionately hope results from this)--what can you do starting on Friday? WHAT CAN YOU DO? Your job, as CEO of this pseudo-corporation that is government under your august person, is to intervene, to get involved, to resolve bureaucratic impediments, to act in response to circumstances, and not to become obsessed with jurisdictional concerns, organizational charts or areas of responsibilities. Only you can do this. Only you can attend to such minor details as accepting aid when it is offered (who wanted to step in Wednesday? Castro with 1000 doctors and airplanes, two hundred miles away. The UN. The Israelis. The Germans. The Swiss. Wal-Mart. And on, and on.). As saying to hell with posse comitatus and sending the goddamn 82nd airborne (who knew they were stateside--what a piece of luck) in on Monday night, when the NO Picayune reported that the levees were breached. For sending every naval and airborne asset as close as they can without seriously compromising national security. We'll sort it all out later, because our people, our fellows, are in desperate need. As suspending all jurisdictional concerns for the duration of the rescue and recovery operation. As getting the hell down there. As tasking your best people with ensuring that everyone is making intelligent decisions about the allocation of resources, and making sure yourself that these decisions are well founded and well made.

This was a disaster of vast scale whose proportions were clear to one with knowledge and the powers of reason on Monday at about 10 pm CDT and whose potential for being so was clear to such a person at about 4pm CDT on Friday. It stretched for hundreds of miles --it is becoming more bothersome to me by the minute that MI devastation is becoming subsumed and hidden within that in NO in the national consciousness--what was done by nature is much worse there, although what was done by humans is not.----It was not just NO who was crying and begging for aid as the heat rose and most of those alive there feared that they would die from exposure.

Who has the resources to respond to such a thing? I ask you, who has the resources to respond? And how did they respond? Vacation, vacillation, and shoe shopping. How did their appointed representatives respond? With concern for process, fear, incompetence, and above all a desire to ensure that one's ass is covered to the best of one's ability.

The counter-spin has begun already. State and local officials bear the primary responsibility. Why is George Bush the focus of criticism amidst such a profound and shocking disaster? This is not the time to play the "blame game" or to play politics, but to move on and help those in need.

Brad Delong, this is the time not to lose yourself even for a moment in the personal delights of righteous and contrarian rhetoric but to marshall those who respect your opinion and can be influenced towards the greater good. This is it, this is enough, this is a potential tipping point for all those who harbor suspicions about Bush, the far right, and the Norquistian vision of gated communities, a microscopic government, and the persistence of wealth regardless of what one contributes to society. This is the time for you and us all to write our Congressional representatives and to talk to our friends and to exert our moral force upon those around us. How long are we upon this earth and what is to be done? We will see nothing other than what has been done, nothing at all.

Nicholas Mycroft

The N.O. police force had 1,900 officers.

And a third of them went AWOL.

Ahhh, nothing like the sound of hysterical shrieking from the seriously Left and anti-Bush crowd whenever there's an opportunity to display their Move-On induced hallucinations. Sure, t
there's plenty of blame to go around but it starts at the local level and the facts of just how unprepared and unresponsive both N.O. and the state of Louisiana were are starting to emerge. But no matter, it's all Bush's fault and, besides, he didn't really win the election... How pathetic. And please, don't bother with the Kerry as hero crap - his RVN "experience" will always be highly suspect to those who saw firsthand his ilk getting their tickets punched for later use.

Richard & Ronald-

I refer you both to page B7 of today's Oregonian. commentary- "An open letter to the President" from the Times-Picayune. Here is first hand testimony from reporters who witnessed all of it. Versus right wing rhetoric from you armchair republicans.

I've seen the piece in question, all my pinko commie friends are e-mailing it like mad.

The reporters in question were in a position to see dead bodies, but not to see whose decisions, if anybodys, caused them to die. In most cases, you're looking at people who chose to stay and "ride out the storm", some in hopes of acquiring a big-screen TV at a steep discount, others because Nagin and Blanco didn't roll the buses. They had the buses, of course, and drivers, and a plan, but not enough time after dilly-dallying around all day Saturday.

I used to live in just outside New Orleans in Kenner, LA, and later in Houston, and I've been through a few hurricanes, Lily; have you, or are you just an arm-chair Portlander looking to take some cheap shots at the President?

Incidentally, there are now reports that Bush asked Blanco to approve the use of troops to forcibly evacuate New Orleans started on Saturday. She "thought about it" for 24 hours and said no.

I don't have the proof of this, so I'm reserving judgment.

Is an armchair republican the current party line replacement for neocon? Sorry, can't plead guilty to either.

One of the things I've learned over the years is that there's often a considerable disparity between what's in the media and what's actually going on. If I was in New Orleans I'd be mad as hell too - mismanagement and irresponsibility seemed to be the norm in those first few days. I just happen to think that this is turning into another example of the same old anti-Bush crowd using this disaster for their political purposes along with some serious CYA at the local level as Richard points out.

In the final analysis I suspect it'll come down to those &#*&*%$ nutria.

If I had to see three heads roll, they would be Brown, Chertoff and Blanco, in that order.

Actually I was born and raised in the south.No hurricane experiences but plenty of tornados.

I blame the guy who appointed a former lawyer for the Arabian Horse Association as his frickin' head of disaster relief.

Open question to all Republicans: please, tell me ONE good thing about Brown's qualifications. Tell me how this guy was qualified to run FEMA. Just one thing.

Blame the local officials. Do everything we can to protect the president.

1000 buses and no disaster response professionals to drive them. Were you expecting evactuated, un-emergency trained transit employees to drive them? Richard, you proved the point of FEMA's incompetance right there. New Orleans was incredibly short on manpower. Its up to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (hint: what they do is in their name) to find the trained professionals to make up the shortfall.

And where is the logical answer why Bush was on Vacation until Wednesday? He IS Commander In Chief of the military and the boss of FEMA.

You are blaming the homeowner whose house burns down for 1) not owning a fire truck themselves (and settling for a garden hose and a telephone), and 2) not telling the fire department how many trucks/firemen to respond.

I expect the professionals at FEMA to TAKE CHARGE AND CONTROL. Its their only job. Its their name.

That's rich, Matt; in a time of crisis wait for "disaster response professionals" to drive buses. Nagin & Blanco had time to gather police, fire and EMS personnel (as well as the LA National Guard and volunteers) to canvass the city and evacuate as many as possible.

Nagin and Blanco new the levies could fail and evacuation plans already in place were insufficient; they dropped the ball, period. I wouldn't be suprised if those two dolts conspired to blame the feds for their own incompetence and stupidity.

Get some insight here:

and here:

The feds didn't respond as well as they should have. Hell, even the Red Cross is an absoulute no-show in many areas (what are they doing with all the billions in contributions?) But, the situation with the poor, needy refugees in NO is the state and local governments fault.

Jack, what I imagine you must know about tax law, I sometimes claim to know about human psychology, in how people 'believe,' how the human brain is built, physiologically, and why we behave as we do.

I already have someone helping me with my tax exposures, but I thought to introduce here someone who may offer ideas about our psychological exposures. This was prompted by your comment that you "didn't know if you buy that" (about peak oil), you were unsure what to believe.

The Silence of the Scams: Psychological Resistance to Facing Election Fraud

Visit also: Commonwealth Institute -- Ideas for the Common Good.

1) Can we stop blaming the 30% of NO police officers, many of whom are probably DEAD.

2) What is it with the right aiming for veterans who, after serving honorably (and finishing their committments), decide to join another party? Kerry, that dude in Ohio, who's next? What an insult to imply that someone left the US to risk their lives with an American uniform on to pad their political resume.


3) Fault also belongs to anyone who drooled with delight over a tax cut, without asking the serious questions about where cuts were coming from.

Please, reflexive Bush defenders, keep up the charade. We know that your false ideology of limited government is too important to risk in the face of dismal performance.

How many ways do we pay for your tax cuts? Hint: the actual dollars are not the most important factor. You lemmings will say anything, on any issue, to guard your C- student at the helm.


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