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September 19, 2005

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Comments

Syl

I thought I saw Hillary making hand signals from the gallery.

BumperStickerist

This search does not bode well for James Lee ordering much of anything evacuation-related

Bill Clinton doesn't fare well either

Probably because FEMA directors and Presidents make resources available to communities and their leaders.

A nice primer on multi-state evacuation and the role that FEMA can play... written in 2002.

In the course of looking up Hurricane Floyd stuff for parallels to the highly efficient FEMA! with mastermind James Lee Witt and Clinton at the peak of their logistical prowess, they were the high-water mark, so to speak, this came up in the What Ever Happened to Category:

Release Date: July 27, 2000 Release number: R4-00-07

ATLANTA, Ga. -- A proposed museum on Mississippi's Gulf Coast Gulf Coast showcasing the latest in hurricane resistant technology has received $100,000 in start-up funding from a federal grant program designed to promote both a greater awareness of natural disaster impacts and the benefits of disaster-resistant measures.

The planned Wade Guice Hurricane Museum is to be located at Biloxi, in Harrison County. The facility will feature the latest in hurricane-resistant construction technology, which will be integrated into the museum's education mission.

Thousands of visitors are expected to view the innovative structural techniques yearly through the use of cut-away panels located throughout the building. The museum's site is in an area raked by Hurricane Camille 31 years ago, the last Category 5 storm to strike the U.S. mainland. A Category 5 storm is the severest of all tropical cyclones.

The museum was finished and opened up under George W. Bush's regime.

Not for nothing, there is a question of the role that the local media played in the state of preparedness of the community.

Here's an example of how that worked A Lady Called Camille where local television helped raise public awareness:

8/10/2005 Cable One to air ‘Camille’ documentary Aug. 17 Residents in Biloxi and along the Gulf Coast will have a chance to revisit the devastation wrought by Hurricane Camille during the cablecast of the documentary “A Lady Called Camille,” which Cable One will air Aug. 17, the 36th anniversary of the Category 5 storm making landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The 30-minute documentary, which features actual footage from the aftermath of the storm, will air at 10 a.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Aug. 17 on Cable 13 on Cable One systems across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Cable One is airing the program as public service and as part of the City of Biloxi’s efforts to help educate residents on the dangers of hurricanes.

Camille, with winds in excess of 200 mph and a 25-foot storm surge, swept across the Coast on the night of Aug. 17, 1969. The storm, which at the time was the most severe to strike the U.S., caused billions of dollars in damage, with 134 deaths and 23 persons missing from the Gulf Coast area. A nationwide relief effort, which included scores of military and civilian volunteers and businesses, helped Biloxi and surrounding communities in the aftermath of the storm. President Richard M. Nixon visited the Coast in the days after the storm.

The Camille cablecast, which Cable One expanded from Biloxi cable homes to a Coastwide cable audience last year, is part of Biloxi’s efforts to educate residents about the dangers of storms and flooding. The city’s efforts, which include annual citywide mailouts to flood-prone properties and information on the city web site, meant more than $100,000 in flood-insurance discounts – about $50 per flood policy – for Biloxi residents last year alone.

“A Lady Called Camille,” which was created by the National Office of Civil Defense shortly after the hurricane, shows preparation and recovery efforts that were organized largely by the legendary Wade Guice, former Harrison County Civil Defense Director whose wife, Julia, served as Biloxi Civil Defense Director at the time. The duo are seen at their posts at the outset of the film.

Copies of “A Lady Called Camille” are available for $19.95 each from the Biloxi Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, which is also home to the Wade Guice Hurricane Museum. Details: 435-6320.



SteveMG

Buses.

What I found fascinating was how Mr. Clinton didn't break under that intense and challenging questioning by Stephanopoulous.

Buses.

Georgey didn't let him get away with anything.

Buses.

And didya' know, Mr. Clinton just missed getting Bin Laden too? Osama barely got away. So says Mr. Clinton.

A bus just missed him.

SMG

creech

Of course it's Dubya's fault. If so many troops hadn't been in Iraq, he could have used them to force people in Biloxi to view "A Lady Called Camille." Why isn't he calling for a FEMA babysitter for everyone whose income is below the poverty threshold?
If fifty years of government paternalism has destroyed the initiative of such people, then it is government's duty to be in loco parentis. (Not just for hurricane evacuations, but for sterilizations and other "bad choices" such people may make.)

Steven J.

For FLOYD, Clinton returned to DC before it made landfall. CLinton also declared a pre-emptive state of emergency.

Where was Bush? In Arizona and California while his cronies and political hacks botched the operations.

Joe Mealyus

Today's Daily Howler adduces the same quote - he thinks Clinton is *avoiding* criticism of Bush. He highlights the "maybe the mayor, maybe the governor" part (there is slightly different wording and punctuation in the DH and JOM versions, but in either case the meaning of "a little bit of it" seems unclear).

I think Clinton wants to praise his own (Witt) FEMA as being more responsive to the poor than Bush's FEMA - but I'm not so sure that he's trying to criticize Bush's FEMA for not having the buses ready. (It would have been nice if Stephanopoulos had asked a follow up along the lines of "are you saying that under Witt, FEMA would have induced New Orleans to reform its evacuation plans at the last minute?"). I think it only seems that way because he doesn't want to appear overly critical of his fellow Dems in Louisiana.

Steven J.

If fifty years of government paternalism has destroyed the initiative of such people

LMFAO - it hasn't destroyed the iniative of CEOs, CFOs, accounting firms and brokerages from looting the American public.

You might also recall that the S&L scandal was a direct result of deregulation, signed into law by the moron Raygun.


gmax

I vote door number three. He is just running his mouth. On those jammed freeways he was going to put Allied vans full of poor peoples stuff? Hell we cant even put parents and children all back together yet. Can you imagine the warehouse of color tvs that got shipped to the wrong place! soething else to yell racism about too. That whilte guy got his tv back.

And Steven J, I remember a lot of the S & L scandal and in particular the Keating five. Sen Cranston and Sen Glenn etc All dems except for the Dems favorite Republican McCain. The S& L scandal was the direct result of raising deposit insurance to $100,000 ( done by Democrats ) such that the failure of an institution does not back up on depositors at all. A Moral peril that our intervention into the capitalist system with regulations introduces. Depositors dont worry if an institution is safe, since the Federal government will just make it good. So they put no pressure on the institution to be conservative in their investments. Not very capitalistic. But from your comments I take you to be a government employee lifer or a union steward. So you dont care as long as the government or the union stick around (you got yours).

TM

I'll put this in an UPDATE, even though it can't be right:

On September 27, 1998: Hurricane Georges forced large scale evacuation of the City of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf coast as Georges approaches the mouth of the Mississippi River, ultimately making landfall at Biloxi, MS. That evacuation effort was the largest effort in US history at the time, overwhelming the infrastructure of the region for several hundred miles. The Louisiana Superdome was used as a last resort evacuation shelter for the first time.

No way! That would never have happened if DeWitt and Clinton had been in charge!

John Thacker

You might also recall that the S&L scandal was a direct result of deregulation, signed into law by the moron Raygun.

Any such remark about the S&L crisis ignores the impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The tax reform eliminated many tax shelters and loopholes, broadening the tax base and lowering rates. This is, on balance, a good thing. However, that meant that investment prices for tax shelters went down dramatically. There were quite a bit of inefficient, even money-losing, real estate investments that were profitable to have "for tax purposes." They considerably lost value after the tax reform-- one reason why Donald Trump hated the 1986 Act. Remember that, even when regulationed, S&Ls could invest in real estate-- that was the only thing they did invest in, after all.

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 broke the tax shelters and left lots of banks holding bad loans, since the collateral on those loans were no longer good. In the long run it's a good thing-- better for the economy to have money invested in actually profitable investments rather than unprofitable ones with tax advantages. In the short run it meant covering lots of losses, since the rules were changed after the loans were made. But it's much better than being like the Japanese and just encouraging loans to buy money-losing real estate until it swallows up everything.

The problem was a tax system that encouraged investing in loopholes and tax shelters. The Tax Reform Act fixed the problem at immediate pain, but long term benefit. Doing nothing and pushing the crisis off to "later" would have hurt the economy in the long run. Directing money away from tax shelters into profitable investments certainly boosted the economy.

BumperStickerist

Give Clinton credit though - the speeches made in New Zealand regarding Hurricane Floyd in preparation for the plane ride back to DC were ~ mwa! ~ magnificent.

No word on whether they actually meant anything But Clinton was *excellent* in his speechifying.

Regarding Hurricane Georges, TM - you've got it all wrong.

Presidential Action In A Time Of Need.

President Clinton has moved decisively to ensure that those areas most affected by the hurricane {Georges} receive immediate assistance from the federal government:

Steve J., apparently, isn't familiar with video-conferencing, the phone, or whether it's a good idea to pull senior agency administrators away from their staff so that the Sr. Admin type can meet with the President face-to-face.

Because, that 'face-to-face' benefit, if any, would probably apply at the agency level as well.

kim

Oh, I thought he meant the moving vans were for people to live in.
===================================================

Randy (Internet Ronin)

Good point. It is James Lee Witt, not James DeWitt, BTW.

Paul Zrimsek

Anyone who attributes S&L deregulation simply to "Raygun" (how clever!) is ignoring a good deal more history than just the 1986 tax reform.

kim

Dewitt Clinton, the Father of the Erie Canal.

I collected typewritten slips and I believe that was one. They generally do not fall into the class of Freudian slips, more like neighboring synapses, than an unconscious association.

At any rate, they are fun.
===================================================

kim

Sj is just emptying the chambers of his spraygun.
==================================================

Eric Faulkner

It frightens me to death how crazy you people are.

DaveP.

Yeah, that idiot Reagan. All HE ever did was win the Cold War when all the SMART people KNEW that we couldn't win such a thing and had to learn to deal with the Russians (oh, if that ignorant cowboy had only listened!), start the greatest continuous economic boom this country has ever known (he should have listened to his wise advisors and kept the tax rates high!), rebuilt the American military and restored its heart (as if the great President Carter hadn't left it in good enough shape!), made the name of America synonimous with freedom (how DARE he!) and by his example encouraged millions living in socialist dictatorships to strive for freedom (didn't they know when they had it good?!).


Steven J. has it right- the man was a failure.
At least, by any standard that the likes of Steven J. wold understand.

(PS: Steve's right about Bush, too: He should have packed up his entire entourage, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer's money and thousands of valuable man-hours of time, and interrupted the disaster relief efforts with a personal photo-op visit to N.O.- just like President Clinton would've- because THAT would've made things go ever so much better...)

kim

It drives me crazy how morbid you are.
======================================

Steve White

In *my* fantasy plan, we will have buses, and right behind them will be moving vans, and right behind them will be vans staffed with physical therapists, manicurists, and a masseuse, and right behind that will be a van with some grief counselors, separation counselors, and, well, counselors.

You forgot the caddies. After all, after evacuation, moving vans, therapy and counseling, comes golf. How are the poor going to golf without caddies?

kim

That's it. For 200 billion dollars you can equip every man woman and child with an electric cart.... for golf or getaway.
==================================

TM

James Lee Witt! D'oh! That explains the paucity of Google hits for my searches (although I was not having a pure brain lock).

TM

Great "DeWitt Clinton" guess by Kim, I see.

kim

Maybe he was reminiscing.

"Back up that moving van. Let me give you a little bit."
===================================================

kim

For awhile I thought It was the name of Clinton's stepfather, so I googled. It was a wisp of a 4th grade memory, that made me wonder.

We've been discussing canals.
==============================

kim

George and Billy traded tat for tit.
Couldn't make sense of one little bit.
It's all about class.
They couldn't get gas.
No blood for oil except when I need it.
===========================================

TrueLiberal

And when Bill Clinton was President he rushed massive Federal Aid and FEMA management to save the people of Chicago from a killer heat wave.

Oop's. Clinton never sent FEMA or provided any guidance. More people died in Chicago over that week then in Louisiana from Katrina. Most of the dead were elderly and poor and were buried in a mass grave.

Some "leadership". What a putz. I guess Bush cleaning up North Korea and having Israel acknowledged by Arab countries is making Billy-Boy jealous that he failed to do either in his 8 years.

kim

How long would it take for the riggers at Pope AFB to airdrop a 100K golf carts into the city?
===============================================

Syl

Don't forget the clubs and balls! Golf's no fun with hockey sticks.

And gophers! Gotta have gophers!

kim

There it is. The Heart of a Goof.

Where did Myrtle Beach's poor go?
====================================

TM

Some quick hits on Chicago 1995. I blame the Reagan tax cuts.

Tom Grey

I think the lowest lying areas of New Orleans should be rebuilt ... as Golf Courses!
For flood protection! With "marsh" and "swamp" as well as "bogs" (trolls and ogres are native) as well as sand traps.
All prior residents should get lifetime free passes to all new New Orleans golf courses!


It would be nice to know the FEMA response timelines in prior hurricanes.

I'm sure that Clinton dominates Bush when it comes to being good on TV -- and Brown was rightly fired ... for being bad on TV.

Steven J.

"Maybe the mayor, maybe the governor, but definitely the President...".

Exactly right. Bush once again fails our country.

Steven J.

More people died in Chicago over that week then in Louisiana from Katrina.

Another lie, courtesy of the RNC via Matt "The Eggman" Drudge.

Steven J.

Yeah, that idiot Reagan. All HE ever did was win the Cold War

Raygun no more won the Cold War than Noxin put a man on the moon.

Steven J.

The S& L scandal was the direct result of raising deposit insurance to $100,000

Wrong again. It was the direct result of deregulation:
December, 1982--Garn - St Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 enacted. This Reagan Administration initiative is designed to complete the process of giving expanded powers to federally chartered S&Ls and enables them to diversify their activities with the view of increasing profits. Major provisions include: elimination of deposit interest rate ceilings; elimination of the previous statutory limit on loan to value ratio; and expansion of the asset powers of federal S&Ls by permitting up to 40% of assets in commercial mortgages, up to 30% of assets in consumer loans, up to 10% of assets in commercial loans, and up to 10% of assets in commercial leases.

http://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/s&l/

Steven J.

Steve J., apparently, isn't familiar with video-conferencing, the phone, or whether it's a good idea to pull senior agency administrators away from their staff so that the Sr. Admin type can meet with the President face-to-face.

I am aware, Bush isn't. He wasn't really aware until after he saw the DVD his aides made THR night.


Steven J.

i>start the greatest continuous economic boom this country has ever known

Continuous? Have you already forgotten the Bush I recession?

CAMBRIDGE, December 22, 1992 -- The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met by conference call yesterday. The committee maintains a chronology of the U.S. business cycle that is widely used in the analysis of business conditions. In its meeting, the committee determined that the U.S. economy reached a trough of activity in March 1991.
Previously, the committee had determined that the economy reached a peak of activity in July 1990. The eight-month period between July 1990 and March 1991 is a recession in the NBER's chronology. The committee thus determined that the recession ended in March 1991 and that an expansion began at that time.

http://www.nber.org/March91.html

Steven J.

(he should have listened to his wise advisors and kept the tax rates high!),

Doofus Raygun had to restore his insane tax cuts.

Steven J.

made the name of America synonimous with freedom

Not freedom but dead nuns in El Salvador. BTW, tell us again how Casper Weinberger got those 5 felony indictments?

Steven J.

A Moral peril[s]

I got your "moral perils" right here, pal:

Ken Lay, Jeffrey Stein, Reliant Energy, HealthSouth, AIG, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Dennis Kozlowski, Mark Swartz, JP MOrgan Chase,Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Bank of America Corp., Andersen Worldwide, Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse First Boston, Merrill Lynch & Co., Henry Blodgett, Citigroup Inc., WorldCom, Adelphia, NYSE specialists.

(NOTE: this is only a partial list)

MarkD

Steven J, the Weinberger indictment, no politics involved there, right? I'm sure you're going to follow with a statement about how Clinton should have been removed from office for perjury, but they couldn't do it because he was too busy stopping Osama from blowing up embassies and ships...

Just asking, seeing how it must be that phase of the moon.

Appalled Moderate

I am going to quote out of a column out of last Wednesday's Atlanta Journal Constitution, where the former NO Police Chief, (now Atlanta's police chief), talks about the use of the Superdome in 1998.

"When I heard Mayor Nagin say, 'We're going to use the Superdome,' I wasn't surprised at anything that happened," Pennington said. "When I was police chief we took people to the Superdome [during Hurricane Georges in 1998], and it turned out to be a disaster. The power went out; there were assaults and looting of property from inside the Superdome.

"When it was all over, [then-Mayor] Marc Morial, myself and others said we would probably use another venue [the next time]. We would try to use buses to evacuate people to venues in Baton Rouge or other places."

In other word, there were Lessons Learned from hurricane Georges that were ignored. If we have to hold Bush accountable for failure to plan for the predictable, than Nagin needs to get held to that standard, too.

The ajc's registration can be a bit of a hassle, so I'm not providing the link. It was in a Cynthia Tucker column in last Wedneday's opinion section.

Appalled Moderate

The ajc article I'm citing is here:

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/tucker/2005/091405.html

I am a little surprised it's not been picked up by the right. This revelation is of a piece with the school bus snafu (and Nagin's attempted premature reopening of the city and his uninformed wailing about 10,000 casualties.)

Po Boy

Wow. A top federal official is ARRESTED and you're busy haranguing Clinton?

From the Carpetbagger: "Here's the story in a nutshell: Despite not having any relevant experience, Safavian was tapped to be the most powerful procurement official in the federal government, where he proceeded to do secret favors for Abramoff, his former employer. When a General Services Administration ethics officer asked about his surreptitious activities, Safavian lied about it.

And just to make this story truly hilarious, also consider the fact Safavian's wife is — get this — the chief counsel for oversight and investigations on the House Government Reform Committee. And what does that committee do? It oversees government procurement."

And one of the guy's last acts was to give every government "relief" employee a credit card with a $250,000 line.

And you're worried about Clinton???

This country really is too stuffed with idiots to maintain viability.

BumperStickerist

Here are Clinton's contemporaneous comments regarding Hurricane Floyd.

The tale begins in New Zealand, makes a stop at Hawaii, and continues on to Washington DC.

Presidential Records Archive is the source. This archive gives Clinton's public remarks. A search of 'Hurricane Floyd' has Clinton saying the following.


Quick observation - Clinton actually played a round of golf in New Zealand as Hurricane Floyd churned towards the US. President Clinton and his partner won the round, beating the club pro and his partner. The stakes were a Diet Coke.

----------------------------

First, a bit of golf:

Exchange With Reporters Following a Round of Golf in Queenstown, New Zealand

September 14, 1999

Q. How's your golf game today, Mr. President? Did it improve as you went along?

The President. It got a lot better. It had nowhere to go but up when I started. No, we did better, and we won the match, thanks mostly to my partner here. But we did okay. We played the way partners should play. When I had a good score, he didn't; when he had a good score, I didn't play good. We wasted no shots.
....

Hurricane Floyd

Q. What have you heard about the hurricane?
Q. Are you monitoring Hurricane Floyd?

The President. Yes. I talked to Mr. Witt this morning, and he told me he would call me back in about 12, 14 hours and let me know where it was. I've not talked to him since I got up this morning.

Q. It sounds like a monster storm, sir.
The President. Yes, he said it's going to be huge. And we didn't know at the time how many States would be hit for sure. But all the experts think it's going to be a very, very large storm. We'll just have to hope for the best.

-------------------------------------


Later, in New Zealand:

Pres Conference:
Hurricane Floyd

I hope you will all indulge me just one moment. This is my only chance to speak not only to you but to the people of the United States today. And since we're here to talk about the weather, you should know that my country is facing one of the most serious hurricanes ever to threaten the United States, if the predictions of its force and scope hold true.

This morning I signed an emergency declaration for the States of Florida and Georgia to provide for assistance for emergency protective and preventive measures. I have been in close contact with our Vice President, Al Gore, and our Director of Emergency Management, James Lee
Witt.

They are working around the clock to prepare for the storm. I ask all of you here to remember my fellow Americans, and after we finish the state dinner tonight, I am going to fly home, and we will make the best job of it we can.
___________________________________

Press conference in New Zealand:

Hurricane Floyd

Q. Mr. President, you spoke earlier today about Floyd being one of the most serious hurricanes ever to threaten the United States. You've been briefed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Can you tell us what they've told you and what everybody can expect? And sir, are you satisfied that Federal and State agencies have done everything possible in the way of mobilizing personnel and equipment?

President Clinton. Well, I think we've done everything we know to do.

Let me say, I just got off the phone with Dan Goldin, our NASA Administrator, and we were going over all that has been done in the event Floyd strikes Cape Canaveral. And as I'm sure you all know now, there are essentially two problems that literally threaten our space program. One is that we have our space shuttles in those big silos that are protected, and they're built to withstand 25 miles an hour winds.

Right now, Floyd is coming in at about 145 miles an hour. Even if they withstand, which I think there's a good chance they will, the other thing we had to worry about is the flooding. We can get several feet of floodwaters in the Cape Canaveral area. And the NASA people have been working furiously to lift everything they can possibly lift as high as they can possibly lift it.

As you know, a lot of individual citizens have been boarding up their homes. There have been a lot of relocation, a lot of evacuation. We have granted preemptive emergency declarations, which is virtually unheard of. I think it was absolutely the right thing to do. The Governors of Florida and Georgia were strongly for it; I think South Carolina will join.

All I can tell you now, Terry, is I think we have to wait and see what happens. We have taken every step that I am aware of we can take. I had a long talk with the Vice President and James Lee Witt today; they're on top of it.

The key will be, I think, when this storm hits--and it won't be long now--where does it come in? Will it come in as far south as Cape Canaveral and move up, or will it hit further north? How long will it last? And we'll just have to keep working, and things may occur as it goes on. But I think there's been a truly extraordinary effort to prepare for this by State and local and national officials. We've worked together; we've done the best we could.
__________________________________________

Remarks on Hurricane Floyd
in Honolulu, Hawaii

September 15, 1999

Good morning. Let me first say it's good to be back on American soil after a very good week at the APEC conference in New Zealand. I'm especially anxious to get back to Washington to help to deal with the
problems caused by Hurricane Floyd.

I have just had telephone calls with our FEMA Director, James Lee Witt, who has been giving me regular updates. And as you know, the storm currently, in its rain form, is battering Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, and is targeting the entire Northeast.

These States are now engaged in the largest peacetime evacuation in our history.

Yesterday I announced emergency declarations for Florida and Georgia. Today I am issuing similar declarations for South Carolina and North Carolina. I have just spoken with both Governor Hunt of North
Carolina and Governor Hodges of South Carolina.

I've assured them that we would do everything we can to help them, and they've given me updates on the problems that they expect to encounter, particularly problems for the farmers in those areas, who, if there is severe flooding, could well lose their entire crops.

Let me commend the efforts of FEMA, the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and the other Federal agencies and State and local officials who are working around the clock to protect people and property.

Their efforts, along with new technologies, have enhanced our ability to predict and prepare for these storms. I hope that every
citizen will heed the warnings of the officials and the recommendations to take every action to protect their families and stay out of harm's way.

Meanwhile, we will continue to take extraordinary measures to protect lives and property from Hurricane Floyd.

As always, in times of crisis, I am inspired by the way our people come together and work together. It proves that the American spirit is stronger than the force of any storm. We will keep working on this.

We're going to leave here in a few minutes, and I'll be getting regular updates. It does seem that the entry point of the storm has moved considerably north from where it was predicted to move. But it is still very, very powerful, and if the present predictions hold clear, there'll be a lot of wind and an enormous amount of water on the coast in South Carolina and North Carolina within the next few hours.

Thank you very much.

----------------------------------------

After Hurricane Floyd passed through, Clinton made some lengthy comments about the recovery. This document Clinton's post-Floyd comments about the performance of FEMA and show the role of the Governors in the process.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

From the 1999 Presidential Documents Online via GPO Access [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:pd20se99_txt-27]

[Page 1756-1758]

Monday, September 20, 1999

Volume 35--Number 37
Pages 1725-1767
-----------------------------------------

Gary Maxwell

Steven J either you are a complete idiot or deliberately ignor facts that dont fit your story.

First off I was a regulator during the S & L crisis. Banks dont fail immediately but linger and grow weaker over time. It takes some time to even notice there is a problem. On construction notes for example interest could be deferred during the construction period. In this situation a note can not even be in default, even if the underlying value has disappeared or just eroded.

Deposit insurance does create a moral hazard. When was the last time you read a counter statement of your bank? You simply dont care if they are reckless or not. Its all up to the regulators to figure it out on a post audit basis.

And as some other astute readers here pointed out, Congress ( ie Dem controlled) changed the tax laws dramatically. Assets in real estate could be depreciated over 18 years in many cases but over night went to being depreciated over 30 or more years. The value the market placed on the ability to shelter outside current income through paper losses of depreciation was the tablecloth that Congress yanked out from underneath the china. Unforutnately the trick did not go as planned as the china ( real estate ) hit the floor all over the place. Two courses in economics in college could have told anyone that such a result was not only likely but entirely predictable.

BumperStickerist
I {Steven J.} got your "moral perils" right here, pal:

Ken Lay, Jeffrey Stein, Reliant Energy, HealthSouth, AIG, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Dennis Kozlowski, Mark Swartz, JP MOrgan Chase,Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Bank of America Corp., Andersen Worldwide, Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse First Boston, Merrill Lynch & Co., Henry Blodgett, Citigroup Inc., WorldCom, Adelphia, NYSE specialists.


hmmmm, all of whom committed their crimes prior to Bush taking office.

Thank God we had a moral, legal-minded, business-savvy President in 2001 to take on those law-breakers.

Of course, that list of rogues gives also gives lie to the "Clinton Boom" as being nothing if not completely founded on large companies deceiving workers and cooking the books. But it was fun while it lasted.

Also, that link was from the 'Government Printing Office' Access site. The search string didn't copy.

One other thing, per the presidential archives, Bush received briefings regarding Katrina August26th

... of course, Bush then rode his bicycle, so he must have forgotten all that briefing material.

Because Bush is, you know, stupid.


Po Boy

BS-the head of federal procurement was just ARRESTED.

Take it into 2005 already. Your lengthy excerpts of 1999 Clinton transcripts is scary-but not for the reasons youu think.

spongeworthy

Once they deny Reagan won the Cold War I just tune them out. I understand the desire to bring light to the world but it's just not going to happen.

RR didn't do it single-handedly and circumstances surely did contribute, but these numbnuts actually live and breathe by denying Reagan had anything to do with it. Like the collectivism they worship was a cinch to self-destruct and it was mere coincidence it did so on Reagan's watch.

Let them wallow in their delusions and use your time more productively, I suggest. Read People magazine or something--it's a step up.

BumperStickerist

Yeah - the links didn't work to those posts.

Apparently, you find actual contemporaneous information about prior events 'scary'. That's understandable, you're a Democrat and have reasons for your Fear.

I understand that you're stricken and afflicted with Savafian ... to the point where you don't realize that the head of procurement is the 'Former head of procurement'.

And that this arrest could be interpreted, by some, as an example of the ruthless law-and-order approach to a Bush presidency. After all, how can a Bush crony be ARRESTED instead of just let go with a wink-and-a-handshake.

Clearly, somebody must have not gotten the memo.

So, my apologies for the lengthy exerts showing Clinton's approach to Floyd in a topic about presidential approaches to disasters

- I'm sure your lips must have grown tired as you read your way through them.

And, by all means, let's get rid of corrupt public officials. Let's just not think that Dubya is the first president to have this sort of thing happen.

Appalled Moderate

Bumper:

When any head of procurement is arrested for activities related to a corrupt lobbyist, and that officer has been entrusted with continuing an initiative designed to streamline (or short-circuit, depending on your point of view) the procurement process, that's not a small thing. Doesn't mean Bush or anyone else knew anything about this. It does mean it's a story worthy of coverage.

BumperStickerist

True, as a functioning adult member of society I, for one, do not have a problem with two, maybe three, possibly as high as five, things going on at one time.

Po Boy, apparently, has some sort of zero-sum issue that demands consideration of an issue cease upon the introduction of a new topic, one deemed more important to Mr. Boy.

TexasToast

spongeworthy

Actually, people like Zibgnew Brazinski were predicting the collapse of the Soviet Union as early as the late 60s. I wrote a senior thesis on the topic. Reagan may have accelerated the process with his military build up, but the Soviet Union rotted from within. They lost, but we didn't necessarily win. As Bumper suggests in another context, it's not a zero sum game. The bipolarity of the cold war was stable - what we have now is anything but. Post collapse of the SU, we suffered the worst attack on american soil in our history.

J Mann

Jeff Goldstein linked to what must be the best gotcha quote about Witt's performance in Floyd:

Does that mean Clinton's FEMA was the model of government efficiency and effectiveness? Or was it closer to the DMV and post office? Just ask the tens of thousands of people left stranded up and down the Eastern Seaboard by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

"We're starting to move the trailers in," said then-FEMA director and current Hillary favorite James Lee Witt, nearly a month after Floyd first hit. "It's been so wet, it's been difficult to get things in there" — an explanation that sounds familiar.

Witt was also a guest on Jesse Jackson's CNN show, "Both Sides Now," in Floyd's aftermath. Jackson complained then that "bridges are overwhelmed, levees are overwhelmed, whole towns underwater. . . . (It's) an awesome scene of tragedy."

Gee, where have we heard that recently?

From Investor's Business Daily

Thomas

What did FEMA do about an evacuation plan for NO when Clinton was president?

"As far back as eight years ago, Congress ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a plan for evacuating New Orleans in a massive hurricane.

"The money instead went to studying the bridge that spans Lake Pontchartrain, officials say."

That was Mr. Witt's leadership in action!


http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/12675370.htm

tyree

David Adesnik, master of the dug-up quote, offers an excellent nugget of wisdom from William Jefferson Clinton: "There is nothing patriotic about hating your country or pretending that you can love your country but despise your Government."

Cecil Turner

"That was Mr. Witt's leadership in action!"

Looks like he also had ties with the folks who did the current NO disaster plan (June 3, 2004):

IEM, Inc., the Baton Rouge-based emergency management and homeland security consultant, will lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for Southeast Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under a more than half a million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In making the announcement today on behalf of teaming partners Dewberry, URS Corporation and James Lee Witt Associates* [. . .] *James Lee Witt Associates was a member of the original team, but did not participate in the project.

Jim O'Sullivan

I thought it also worthy of note that Bill all but admitted that Hillray's running in '08, and desribed her stratety for getting there: positioning herself as a "fact-based" moderate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, we're just about out of time. What's the Democratic bumper sticker in 2008?
CLINTON: Let's get the country back together, move the country forward again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Not buy one, get one free?
CLINTON: No, get the country back together, move the country forward again. I have no idea what's going to happen. My family has an election in 2006, and I don't want to look past it. You know, I always say if you look past the next election, you may not get past the next election.
The country in 2008, and I think in 2006, will be in a desperate mood to come together and move forward. I think they're going to reject ideological solutions that are not fact-based, and I think they're going to want a government that works.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President, thank you very much.
CLINTON: Thanks.

jcrue

Steven J.

Just wanted to bust your bubble.

Here's the picture you didn't think existed.

The caption? "President George W. Bush is handed a map by Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin, center, during a video teleconference with federal and state emergency management organizations on Hurricane Katrina from his Crawford, Texas ranch on Sunday August 28, 2005."

Is that yours or John Kerry's education to are operating under?

Have a better day.

Steven J.

JCRUE -

Yes and despite being briefed, Bubble Boy still claimed that no one could imagine the levees breaching.

Bush is not only incompetent, he is a liar.

Steven J.

Thank God we had a moral, legal-minded, business-savvy President in 2001 to take on those law-breakers.

In Bush's first budget, he proposed large cuts in the SEC budget:

Bush Budget Proposes SEC Staff Cuts
WASHINGTON, Apr 09, 2001 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- President Bush's budget proposes staff reductions in securities
fraud investigations and enforcement even as the Securities and Exchange Commission acknowledges that the jumpy
stock market brings more opportunities for abuse.

BTW, why did Bush's first SEC head, Jarvey Pitt, resign? Could it be a lack of morals?


Steven J.

Steven J, the Weinberger indictment, no politics involved there, right?

None at all. Weinberger is just another in a long line of GOP traitors like Oliver North.

Steven J.

these numbnuts actually live and breathe by denying Reagan had anything to do with it.

I don't deny that Raygun had anything to do with it, just as I don't deny that Noxin had anything to do with putting a man on the moon.

In both cases, they were the recipients of plans made long before they were on the scene.

cathyf

Gary Maxwell, your analysis was excellent but incomplete. The fundamental cause of the S&L collapse is that the whole S&L business model only works in periods of low inflation (or deflation, as in the depression.)

The system was set up so that banks and S&Ls had their interest rates set by law. S&Ls were allowed to pay 1/4 point more in interest than banks, and in return they were chartered with lending money to home owners. With 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Then we had the stagflation of the 70's. The real interest rate is the nominal interest rate minus the rate of inflation. When inflation rates hit double digits, and bank and S&L rates were fixed back in the 6% range, real interest rates became negative. And not just a little negative, but a humongus transfer of wealth from depositors to borrowers.

The borrowers had their 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at whatever had been the prevailing rate when they bought their houses. A lot of them were in the 3% or 4% range. The loan document is a legal contract and the S&L couldn't raise the rates. The borrowers, however, had no legal obligation to keep their money in the S&L, and they looked at the real negative interest rates and took their money elsewhere. Some went into investments (stocks, bonds, real estate) and a lot of it went into this newfangled financial instrument called the "money market fund."

This was a clever instrument specifically designed to get around banking regulations by purporting to be an investment in a security. It had no law forcing it to pay below-market-rates of interest, no deposit insurance, and it paid significantly higher rates on deposits than banks or S&Ls. Banks and S&Ls were forced to raise their deposit rates or they wouldn't have had any deposits. So the government repealed the rules limiting the interest rates that banks and S&Ls could pay and allowed the rates to be set by the market. Which meant that they were paying out way more in interest than they were taking in each month, and it also meant that there was no way that the government could continue to create the 1/4-point advantage for the S&Ls.

It was obvious that you can't sustain a business when you have to pay depositors way more in interest than you are earning on your loans, so this caused the government to deregulate the industry to allow them to enter lines of business which were profitable. A lot of what they did was extremely risky (and the moral hazard of deposit insurance applies here.)

Other people have talked about the tax reform and how it eliminated many real estate tax dodges. But probably even more important was the elimination of hyperinflation in the early 80's. Inflation is a terrible thing that has a bad effect on the economy, but eliminating inflation is very bad for certain economic actors. Suppose you were a farmer and you borrowed money to buy land, assuming that prices would be driven up by inflation, and you could pay off your mortgage with the rising prices (and essentially pay a negative real interest rate.) Then the anticipated inflation didn't come. And maybe you could refinance, but it wouldn't be at a negative real rate, and so you went bankrupt. Same thing happened to commercial real estate.

As anyone who lived through the 70's will tell you, the economy was seriously broken. Fixing it in the 80's was very good, on balance. But any change has winners and losers, and the S&L industry simply could not exist after the ravages of the 70's. The most honest critique of the whole deregulation scheme is that it was overly ambitious. They thought that they could create enough wealth through the deregulation that it could make up for the S&L capital destroyed by the inflation of the 70's. It was a nice thought, but not even close...

cathy :-)

Steven J.

David Adesnik, master of the dug-up quote, offers an excellent nugget of wisdom from William Jefferson Clinton: "There is nothing patriotic about hating your country or pretending that you can love your country but despise your Government."

Tell that to Grover Norquist and the criminal Club for Growth crowd.


Gary Maxwell

Steven J :

I take back my rpevious statement. There is no confusion. You are simply an idiot. Plain 4 door variety at that. When confronted with facts you change the subject and rarely have any facts yourself to go along with your invective. You want to talk about scandals in office? How many of Clinton's cabinet members were investigated? too many. Hell Henry Cisneros was convicted. And he is not the only one.

And this thread although highlacked by you repeatedly is about Clinotn statements. And Clinton performance under quite similar circumstances. I know I know "What about Halliburton

Gary Maxwell

Cathy:

Your analysis is spot on. I appreciate the thoughtful response. quite a contrast to another poster who will remain nameless...

I would contend that deregulation was flawed as it was incomplete. They deregulated one side of the balance sheet first and then only belatedly let them go to higher earning assets later. A day late and billions short sadly.

And no S&L had any understanding of financila concepts like duration and could not possible have been able to competently hedge their interest rate risk since they had known none of it. so rate shock hit them incredibly hard.

But at least through the wrenching changes we got a very knowledgeable and nimble financial sector. The surviving institutions including S & Ls are part of the reason we have such a good economy in the 90s.

Harry Arthur

In both cases, they were the recipients of plans made long before they were on the scene.

Learned something new today. The plans for winning the cold war were actually passed to Reagan from Jimmy Carter, Jerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and Jack Kennedy. Did I go back far enough?

I'll buy Jack Kennedy as a cold warrior, perhaps even Lyndon Johnson. Ford didn't really have enough time to do much. Nixon, maybe, but he was busy with burglaries and coverups. Jimmy Carter? Sorry, got to draw the line somewhere.

Actually, I'd argue that Reagan created a "tipping point" for the evil empire with his confrontational approach mixed with negotiation and "trust but verify" attitude. Of course I'd put more than a little credence in Lady Thatcher's take on the history of the cold war and she gives the majority of the credit to Reagan. Works for me.


cathyf
But at least through the wrenching changes we got a very knowledgeable and nimble financial sector. The surviving institutions including S & Ls are part of the reason we have such a good economy in the 90s.

I'm a lot less sanguine than you are. I've been in the derivatives business for 20 years, and the amount of self-delusion and plain old idiocy is astonishing... I think that fannie mae & freddie mac are going to explode in a mess similar to the S&L debacle when the real estate bubble bursts. I think that the 1998 LTCM meltdown / bailout created huge moral hazard, and the hedge fund industry could be next.

Maybe I'm just old and cranky, but I've had front-row seats to watching so many high-flyers crash and burn over the last 2 decades that it is my default expectation...

cathy :-)

Gary Maxwell

Cathy

I am now in the real business as an investor. I have buildings in three states. There is no commercial real estate bubble and I have looked and am not convinced that there is a real estate bubble even in residential. Yes I know that some markets are outrageously priced but a lot of that has to do with the regulations in place in places like California where it can take up to three years to get a new subdivision mapped. Studies for birds and bugs and Thompson kangaroo rats ( no joke) are one of many hurdles to getting approval to put in lots. When anything's that hard to get, you create artificial bottlenecks which drives up the price. Do you see California becoming less nutter soon?

Now Fnma and Freddie are another unneeded govt intrusion into the market. Does anyone really believe there would not be single family mortgages made if these quasi govt ( full faith and credit ) entities were privatized?

And the mortgage industry did go wild with subprime lending for awhile but after some spectacular failures have generally cleaned up that act.

Hedge funds. Like George fing Soros? Could he please go bust? I would attend the bankruptcy hearings just to laugh in the gallery. He cant be that bright he bet big money on John Kerry.

kim

What he spent on Kerry and Moveon was chump change for him. He's used to risking money orders of magnitude greater. At more peril to you, though, than to him.
==============================================

Gary Maxwell

Kim

A lose bet is a loser bet. My granny used to say a fool and his money are soon parted. Not soon enough in this case but maybe its coming.

kim

Money can't buy ya' love.
==========================

cathyf

The problem with these big losers is that the rules are different for them than for you and me. It's like Trump had a negative net worth in the millions, and he still bought Marla Maples that huge diamond.

The old saying is: "If you owe the bank $100,000, then the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $100,000,000 then you own the bank..."

cathy :-)

Harry Arthur

The housing prices in Fairfax County, VA, are crazy, but I don't believe we have a bubble either. Neither is our problem excessive regulation. Our "problem" is too many jobs (every county should have this problem) and too few places to build. Therefore, the housing prices in the county are bid up while the surrounding counties continue to grow exponentially.

Our very real problem is infrastructure. I commute 28 miles each way and spend approximately an hour on the road each way every day. Traffic here is bad but somehow most of us like it here and want to stay. On topic, however, perhaps the prices will moderate at some point as one would expect, but a bubble - doesn't look like one to me. Of course it's likely there are smarter people with a different take.

Harry Arthur

Actually, I'd argue that Reagan created a "tipping point" for the evil empire with his confrontational approach mixed with negotiation and "trust but verify" attitude.

Did I forget to mention standing against the wind of conventional wisdom to put Pershing missles in Europe? Against some significant protest from the left (that "knew" the USSR was rotting from within).

And of course Reagan was also stupid, unlike those who opposed his policies, who were sophisticated negotiators who thought it beyond the pale to actually stand toe-to-toe with the USSR. Why surely he would get us into a nuclear confrontation with his over-the-top rhetoric and his far too simple accounting of geopolitical realities.

Sound familiar? Reagan was the prime architect for, at a very minimum, the final push that sent the evil empire into oblivion. TT, you're right, it was "simpler" then when both countries had thousands of nuclear warheads targeted at each other's cities. Personally, I'm not at all missing the "good ol' days".

kim

All the world is divided into two classes. Those who don't know which way interest rates are going and those who do not know that they do not know which way interest rates are going.

Shakespeare: Never a borrower or lender be.

Rabelais: The more you owe the more people who hope for your success. The more you loan the more people who hope you die.
==================================================

kim

MAD, and fall-out shelters stocked with 3 weeks of rations, and not enough for your neighbors. Cobalt Bombs. Thanks, but no. You can stay there, if you like.
============================================

Steven J.

HARRY - Did I go back far enough?

No, not even close. Start with Truman, Marshall and Kennan.

Steven J.

How many of Clinton's cabinet members were investigated?

Raygun had over 100. Quiz: Before Weinberger, who was the last Secretary of Defense to be indicted for what he did as Secretary?

kim

Alright, I agree, Kennan was a warrior. Maybe you're not so dumb after all.
============================================

Harry Arthur

HARRY - Did I go back far enough?

No, not even close. Start with Truman, Marshall and Kennan.

OK, I missed three. I'd say that's better than "not even close" but why quibble? My point still stands. Sure, Reagan stands on some broad shoulders, as does any great leader, but it was still he who created the final "tipping point" in the face of almost total oppostion from the left (sorry, "progressives") both in this country and Europe. I'll stick with Lady Thatcher's assessment of his achievement.

cathyf
All the world is divided into two classes. Those who don't know which way interest rates are going and those who do not know that they do not know which way interest rates are going.

Good one! Back when I first started in the business I worked for a small family-owned trading firm. The company was strictly scalpers and arbitragers -- trading rule #8 summed it up the best: "No wishing, no hoping, no praying, no speculating." My boss was the head quant, and he and the partners got into a spirited argument one time about the stock market. It was at about 1200 or so, and my boss said that he thought that it would see 1000 again before it saw 2000. The argument (like many disputes among traders) ended in a friendly bet. So, anyway, the dow got to about 1995 or so and was obviously going to go above 2000 soon, and the partners informed my boss that no, he couldn't write a check, and no, they didn't want crumpled tens and twenties. He needed to get a nice crisp $100 bill, and they were thinking of framing it. My boss replied that if they were going to frame it they needed a quote: "If I knew which way the market was going I wouldn't be working for these clowns!"

cathy :-)

kim

Funny.

My quote's not original but I can't source it for you. Sorry, and sorry to the author.
==============================================

sophy

I do not know how to use the habbo coins ; my friend tells me how to use.

LOTRO Gold

When you have LOTRO Gold, you can get more!

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