Monday, September 12, 2005

From the AP:

Bush said Congress should consider whether the federal government should have more authority to step into disaster areas without a request from the states. He said lawmakers should examine what happened and make recommendations for change so the government can prepare for future disasters, including the possibility of a biological attack.

Wow. He is good. Look at that quote. There is so much going on in it. First, it deflects criticism of the federal government's mismanagement of the Katrina disaster by implying that the federal government didn't have a request from Gov. Blanco. She asked for "everything you can give me" from the federal governemnt, but you can't attack Bush for being inaccurate because he never mentions her or accuses her of failing to ask for help. He just implies it.

Next, he implicitly blames Congress ("Congress should consider...") and thus suggests the bungling was the fault not of an inept executive but of the legislature's failure to allow the federal goverment to "step into" disaster relief like it surely would have if only it had been allowed, or asked to do so.

He works in WMD talk to keep playing the terrorism card, and at the same time his suggestion (that Congress trample over states rights) is politically hard to argue with right now because if you state the obvious (that the federal goverment should not interfere with a disaster until asked to do so by a state) you simultaneously make his case that the federal government isn't at fault here, and at the same time you look like you support "red tape" over saving lives - the exact position he wants you in if you are one of his critics.

Well, i'm not running for office, so I'll say it: NO. No Congress should NOT allow the federal government to "step into" a state's domain if the state doesn't ask for it. AND the bungling and failures of FEMA AFTER they WERE asked for assistance should be thoroughly examined by a bi-partisan commission instead of white-washed or delayed until it can't impact an election. It SHOULD impact an election.

Am I playing the "blame game?" No, I'm playing the "accountability and responsibility game." It is my obligation as an American citizen, and anyone who isn't willing to hold their government and their president accountable should leave this republic, because YOU are the enemy of our revolution.


1138 said...

From what I can determine, everywhere FEMA did step in the first thing they did was flat shut down any and all operations in progress - and foot dragged on reactivating them, and still are.

No the last thing we need is total federal control.

an american said...

Yeah, this administration is in full CYA mode. Their hands were tied because everyone else is more powerful than they and didn’t allow them to do their job. Poor us. Funny how those sentiments aren’t quite expressed in the state of emergency issued by Bush three days before Katrina hit. You can read it on the White House site…

Gee, in that document I see language like HS/FEMA is federally authorized “to coordinate all disaster relief efforts…” Here’s one entire line: “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.” Nowhere in that document does it say anything about having the authority to act only if a mayor, governor, or Congress say they give their permission.

In addition to pointing fingers at local and state authorities, it’s kind of funny now that they feel the need to add a federal component. But of course they limit that to Congress; couldn’t possibly be the administration came up short. Plus we all know that Congress is still infected with some of those damn Democrats. That’s why things don’t get done or get screwed up, not by the “good guys” who have all the buttons.

But others on the enemies list will come under fire in the weeks ahead. Erase all the lines of accountability to you on the organizational chart and fire shit at all others. Some will stick for those that have their particular hot buttons. One example is the Justice Dept. sending email to U.S. attorneys in the Gulf area asking if their offices have had to defend levee maintenance and building by the Corps of Engineers from environmental groups.

Yep, it’s the environmentalists’ fault. They kept us from doing our job. Great, using the Justice Dept. for the national need of spin control. How long before we learn real evildoers in this were also the ACLU, organized labor, pro-choicers, the AARP’s secret gay marriage agenda, etc.? Welcome to Bushyworld.

vrangel said...

Nothing works perfectly in a natural disaster. Local, state and fed powers made their share of mistakes but I fail to see how casualties could be a whole lot lower. Yeah, people were in bad conditions for a few days but they will live.

What I am totally pissed off about is that Bush wants to spend $200B of taxpayers money there. Like our deficit isn't big enough. Let LA find the money if they want to rebuild below sea level in hurricane prone area. Why I should pay for that ?
And I wonder if Constitution even allows disproportionally large share of fed money to be spent on a single state. They say they need it ? So do I.

this we'll defend said...

Well, Vrangel, while it is true that nothing works "perfectly" ever, that is a pretty forgiving standard. How about what works "well" versus what "doesn't work worth a damn while Americans die?" I don't have a problem seeing how not only fewer people could die, but also how fewer people could be raped, how fewer people could be robbed, and how thousands and thousands of people (including children and babies) could have avoided several days of hell and fear while it appeared they had been abandoned.

It is true that Bush will mis-spend the billions he so cavalierly dispenses, with most of it benefiting the already rich. But that is nothing new. However, unlike the hundreds of billions of dollars the radical right fringe has stolen in a reverse robin-hood scheme, this money is needed to rebuild a great american city. Hundreds of thousands of people who called the city home depend on their fellow americans. That is why you, and I, should pay for it. It isn't as easy as giving our tax dollars to Halliburton or oil companies, of course, or as easy as giving the incredibly wealthy "tax breaks" but sticking our kids with the bill. But it is much easier to justify.

This radical regime has taken huge steps to cripple the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, and in less than 8 years (we still have years to go on this national nightmare). Our debt, like Rome's, may be the end. We should give Bush a fiddle and call him Nero.

As for whether the Constitution allows a "disproportionate" amount of spending to be spent on a single state - yes. The Constitution's only limit on how our dollars are spent is that Congress is in charge. They pass the spending bills, and the President can veto or sign. Congress can override a veto with a 2/3rds majority. Other than that there are no restrictions.

vrangel said...

"That is why you, and I, should pay for it."

Only voluntarily, my friend. They can collect their flood insurance and go build elswhere, like you know, somewhere above sea level maybe? This is a big country.
If someone wants to build on the bottom of an ocean I don't think I "should" pay for it.

By the way President's proposal to give feds more power stems from LA state being not only inept but obstructionist as well. Feds can only do what state asks, unless there's an insurrection. Bianco did nothing herself and resisted feds every step of the way, stupid bitch.

Red Cross (FEMA official partner) asked to preposition supplies at Convention Center - noooo, it would draw people to it unnecessarily.
Result: people came there anyway and there was nothing.

Bush asked her on Wednesday prior to hurricane to transfer National Guard under fed command for emergency - noooo. So there was no NG when levees broke.

Even mandatory evacuation was declared only after Bush personally asked her to do it on the phone.

In the end stupid bitch goes on TV and gives teary "I feel your pain" press conference.

And of course lefty media blames Bush for everything as usual. And of course Buggieboy eats all that tasty propaganda because he only reads NYT and watches CNN.
I am sorry, these are not places to get informed. You are better off following instapundit links.

Finally, I do not support that proposal for greater fed powers. If people do not elect serious people to run their states let them live with consequences. Luckily for me this is not the case in NY .

vrangel said...

Off topic: Bush approval sank to 39% all time low recently. And Zogby ran a poll , Bush vs recent Presidents. All , including Carter, beat Bush handily.
But guess what, Bush still beats Kerry by 1%. Hehehe...

this we'll defend said...

Vrangel, I missed our debates.

Your claims are untrue and rise to the level of outright lies. I am not calling you a liar, you are repeating what you heard. But it isn't true. See

I don't expect you to pay for somebody to establish a new city below sea level, but for a city as old as New Orleans (founded in 1718) I see part of our social contract with each other, as citizens, is to protect, defend, and indeed, rebuild our cities. New York is vulnerable to terrorism, so why should my tax dollars go to help NYC? Why should my tax dollars provide assistance to those foolish enough to live in New Orleans where it floods, or California where there are earthquakes, or Florida where there are hurricanes, or the northeast where there are blizzards, or Oklahoma where tornados blow through and it is windy all the time because Texas sucks? Well, because we are Americans and we consider ourselves part of the same nation, that's why.

Amazingly, the same conservatives that justified our invasion of Iraq because they wanted to "liberate the Iraqi people" are the same ones telling New Orleans to go to hell. I guess Iraqi citizens are just more valuable than all those poor and black American citizens, huh? Now wave your flag and talk about patriotism and how much you love "freedom."

We rebuild New Orleans because it is a great American city.

Yes, local government is blameworthy, but the idea of FEMA is that local resources have been overwhelmed - HENCE THE NEED FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE AND FEDERAL DISASTER RELIEF. Sorry for shouting, but the idea that local officials are to blame for the inept FEMA is so ridiculous it makes me angry. Local officials didn't order FEMA to make stupid decisions, to misroute water and firemen and police and troops, to turn away WalMart trucks loaded with aid, to ignore the increasingly urgent and panicked demands of the local officials you now try to blame.

If local officials could handle it there would be no need for a federal declaration and no need for FEMA to step in, would there? Of course not. therefore blaming overwhelmed locals for federal mis-steps is simply despicable. Hell, I knew about the hungry people at the Convention Center before Brown AND before Chertoff. I saw the babies dying of dehydration while Brown and Chertoff held "media events" and press conferences.

Your claim that "there was no national guard when the levees broke" because Gov. Blanco wouldn't federalize them is simply wrong. The fact they weren't (and shouldn't have been) under federal control doesn't mean they didn't exist. After seeing how inept FEMA was I wouldn't turn my troops over to FEMA either. Blanco was asking for everything the federal government could send her. The response was for her to turn over the LA national guard in the midst of unprecedented disaster. Imagine - she asks for aid and the response is "give us your guardsmen."

Despicable. And the "lefty media" is reporting facts that inconveniently show the lies of the government. How "lefty" of them to report truth.

vrangel said...

"FEMA to make stupid decisions, to misroute water and firemen and police and troops"

I don't think you clearly understand what FEMA is and what it isn't. They don't command any police, firemen and troops. Its a small agency with tiny staff and large pocketbook. They work through local responders. And it worked quite well in Florida where serious competent people are in charge.

Right now new hurricane is out there and mayor Nagin says he has 500 schoolbuses ready to evacuate people if need be. Of course he had 1200 buses before Katrina and did nothing.

N.O. wasn't built under water. City center is intact. Its later urban sprawl that got us where we are now.

vrangel said...

I followed your link and its all about who and when declared state of emergency in LA.
I made no mention of it in my post.

So anyway, how would you rate performance of LA local and state powers ? Are you saying they did a great job or something ? They were overwhelmed, nothing is their fault ?

1138 said...

Vrangel forgot that he said this: "Bianco did nothing herself and resisted feds every step of the way, stupid bitch."

There is no debate here, the federal government requires no approval from state and local authorities to render aid, only to act in a law enforcement capacity and even then a president that is being a leader can over ride an out of control state authority (Little Rock September 25, 1957).
What we experianced was a lack of leadership.
Local authorities be damned the president had an obligation to the citizens and failed to engage AGAIN.
He went into hiding on 9/11 and he failed to surface following Katrina.
Had Nagin quietly accepted the situation and not raised the alarms through the media the death toll may well have been larger (and I note that we still have no numbers on missing).

Why do we rebuild? Because New Orleans and the Louisiana Mississippi gulf coasts are a major part of the life blood of the US economy. If the arument concerning danger is used an excuse then we must abandon Florida, California, portions of Texas and Hawaii.

There's enough blame to go around, but the one thing that stands out is that a President who was charged with American safety on 9//11/2001 was still asleep at the wheel on 9/1/2005 and relied on a bureaucracy to do the leading for him instead of leading it.

The ratings are not the simple result of 'popularity' being damaged by the media, they are the result of facts.
This guy has had enough OJT to be beyond these kind of mistakes.

vrangel said...

Read this story about 60 buses that were not flooded, were sitting on a parking lot 5 miles from Superdome whole time and were at mayor's disposal. The road was open and mayor could empty Superdome in a day.

Here you go, pictures, maps and all:

1138 said...

Vrangel, and that's your excuse for the failure of the federal government?
Your excuse for FEMA actually blocking aid to those who needed it?
60 school busses that lacked the capacity to hold even 5% of those in need?