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September 03, 2005

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richard mcenroe

New Orleans had a disaster plan . You tell me if they even read it.

Jim E.

That's totally awesome that you would make a needless dig at Hillary in a post related to the debacle in New Orleans.

richard mcenroe

Rehnquist just died.

boris

They did have a plan, and they had warning, but in the home of jazz they decided to play it by ear. Unfortunately their ears were tin their notes were off key and when the cacophony turned from disaster to catastrophe the jam turned to a nasty rap.

cathyf

If you want a concrete suggestion, here's my opinion. Most of the disaster planning in this country is done by a private charity, the Red Cross. Which has suffered from bruising negative publicity when they have used donated money to do disaster planning and preparedness.

So, gang, you get what you pay for. Or in this case, you don't get the things that you convinced yourselves and your neighbors not to pay for.

If you go to www.redcross.org to donate, the first catagory says "2005 Hurricane Fund" while the second one says "Disaster Relief Fund." Nobody knows how much money people will donate in the next weeks or months, so we have no idea whether there will be money left over when the Katrina relief operations end. If you want any leftover money to get spent on disaster planning, training of volunteers and staff, hiring of staff to run preparedness and training programs, etc., then select the "Disaster Relief Fund" not the "2005 Hurricane Fund".

cathy :-)

syn

I live in NYC, after 9/11 I stocked my emergency system to the hilt, however, after the level crime exhibited in NO I plan on going through the process of hopefully obtaining a gun permit and learning how to shoot. Problem is, NY is one of the hardest places of obtain a gun permit.

I'm hoping the NY legistation, Governor, the NYC mayor, city council and NYC populace will learn from the mistakes made in NO's and come to their senses by changing the gun laws in the city of NY allowing for single females such as myself the ability to defend ourselves if lawless hell breaks out.

Patrick R. Sullivan

It's pretty obvious from today's Meet the Press that New Orlean's has the politicians it deserves. Of all the blithering idiots who've appeared on camera, Aaron Broussard--apparently a parish (county) official--came with a prepared speech that he had to look down and read from in order to get in his digs at Bush. Designed to shift attention away from himself.

And he still ended up crying like a four year old. Not a Giulianni kinda guy.

TexasToast

Patrick Sullivan

I don't cuss online - but that comment makes me want to. Its obvious that you really don't give a rat's behind about the suffering these people are going through - its all about protecting GWB so he can protect the rest of us from insurance fraud.

richard mcenroe

TexasToast — You have ignored every piece of information I've seen posted on every board you've been at. Your obsession with Bush borders on something clinical.

TexasToast

I haven't ignored anything - I see it all too well. I'm watching our government lie to shift the blame somewhere - anywhere - else.

I have read your posts - I learned something about guard deployment I didn't know - and I thank you for that. I have also read the statements of government officials whose job is homeland security - and I don't feel very secure if this is the response I can expect from my government if someone decides that my hometown is a nice place to "make a statement".

What wins a football game? - defense. We have been focused the last 4 years on offense and the other team can score every time they get the ball. Its time we drafted a middle linebacker - not a converted placekicker.

TexasToast

From page 43 (page 61 of the PDF) of the National Response Plan of HSD.

Guiding Principles for Proactive Federal Response

Guiding principles for proactive Federal response include the following:
■ The primary mission is to save lives; protect critical infrastructure, property, and the environment; contain the event; and preserve national security.
■ Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited or, under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of
catastrophic magnitude.
■ Identified Federal response resources will deploy and begin necessary operations as required to commence life-safety activities.
■ Notification and full coordination with States will occur, but the coordination process must not delay or impede the rapid deployment and use of critical resources. States are urged to notify and coordinate with local governments regarding a proactive Federal response.
■ State and local governments are encouraged to conduct collaborative planning with the Federal Government as a part of "steady-state" preparedness for catastrophic incidents.

They don’t and didn’t have to wait for the state to ask – although Louisiana and NO asked repeatedly.

syn

I can only imagine that if the President of the United States susperseded LA State government and taken contral of LA State WITHOUT THE GOVERNOR'S AUTHORIZATION, the very first words spoken by LA State (who are ALSO are elected to serve their populace) would be "Bush is a Dictator, he superceded our power!".

THe Exempt Media will carry forth that message by showing images of suffering children and dying eldery, sick & fragile living in decay,wreck and ruin using perfectly perfect reporters sobbing speeches about why The Federal Government superceded LA State Government powers, why the Federal military is rounding up victims (are they being taken to a secret concentration camp), has the Dictator President executed Mayor Nagins?

I am at a loss as to why some Americans have forgetten how sacred to our existance is that separation of State Power and Federal Power. This separation can never be violated, even in the most extreme of situations, it is what prevents despotism from overtaking our populace.

We must insure that all Governors learn from the disasterous mistakes made by the LA Governor. We must not allow Governors the opportunity to renege their duty to safeguarding the United States.

syn

Texas Toast
It does not state anywhere that the Federal Government can procede without authorization from the Governor.

The "standard procedures regarding requests can be expedited, or under extreme circumstance, suspended in the immediate aftermath etc.." means that the Governor authorization will be expedited faster but should an extreme situation arise in which she cannot or was unable to authorize then the Federal government could move in.

THe Feds and the President were on the phone with the Governor imploring her to she issue authorization, which she finally did on Wed and now, look at how rapidly the situation improved.

Look at it this way, the Governor actually performs tasks much like the President performs tasks, only on a smaller scale. LA State is a mini-State which, combined with a bunch of other mini-State forms into the United States of America. The Federal Government is simply a tool to assist and defend help all the mini-states which are in the control of Governor. The power of the Governor GIVES AUTHORIZATION FOR to the Federal government, not the Federal government giving power to the States. This prevents America from becoming a totalitarian Dictatorship.

Of course, Leftists have been madly working towards insuring that the Federal Government assume all power by wiping out State power. Stalin is their guy.

OT: One of the reasons why abortion continues to remain a hot topic of concern is because Federal power overtook States power and the American people in all the mini-States were denied a voice (just like a Totalitarian Dictatorship).

Patrick R. Sullivan

TT, New Orleans has roving gangs shooting at the people trying to help them. 200 N.O. cops resigned rather than try to deal with that. I've seen video of uniformed N.O. police officers looting a Wal Mart.

Louisiana and New Orleans have been notoriously corrupt for generations. The public safety organizations don't exist to protect the public as much as for self-aggrandizement. And their leaders are overly-emotional nincompoops. Think Rudy Giuliani would have thrown a public tantrum instead of doing his job?

Etienne

Good idea, syn, get a gun. The fact that Louisiana is the most heavily armed state in the nation surely had nothing to do with their problems down there.

I thank God every day I live in this magnificent liberal section of the country where we have meaningful gun control and - guess what! - a low murder rate, especially a low gun homicide rate. Gee, I wonder if there's any connection!

Funny I was discussing this just recently on this board, the Southern gun love and all the death it creates. Now syn wants to get in on the fun. Unfortunately, she'll just have to go on living in a city where her safety receives excellent 24/7 protection from her excellent well funded government. Poor syn, dreaming of conservative paradise, while reaping all the benefits of a liberal reality.

Etienne

Patrick, I think if we are going to compare Giuliani's job to that of Nagrin (?), we'd first have to see how Giuliani would have done if the entire tristate area was inundated with 20 feet of water within 24 hours of 9/11.

Comparisons of these two events is ridiculous.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Etienne, Nagin isn't responsible for a 'tri-state area', but he is responsible for his little burg of a mere 450,000 people. Giuliani had control of 8,000,000 people and pulled off his rescue--without much, if any, help from FEMA--with grace and dignity. Nagin had several days warning, Giuliani, zero.

New Orleans murder rate is 10 times the national average, and only 1 in 4 who are arrested for murder are ever convicted. Which is why people were shooting at rescuers, they're criminals to begin with, and they're on the streets.

New Orleans didn't even have an emergency radio network for police and fire to communicate with one another. Nor to communicate with FEMA. The people closest to the problems are the ones who have to solve them, and they failed massively.


Etienne

It is utterly asinine to compare 9/11 to this hurricane. Giuliani had an INTACT infrastructure to deal with - water, electricity, hospitals, not to mention the finest emergency response team on the planet, paid for by the tax dollars of a hardworking, liberal minded citizenry that respects and trusts its government. Rightfuly so. Good government is transparent, accountable and worth every damn penny it costs.

Maybe the rest of America will start to understand that.

Etienne

Patrick, this is tongue in cheek, but might put it in a bit of perspective: It's">http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2005/09/its_all_giulian.html">It's Giuliani's Fault

A little taste: Why?  Because the response by the City of New York on 9-11 was so good that it masked the corrosive ineptitude and contempt for governmental competence that, in the absence of the best emergency response and crisis management system in America, is so bad that people die for lack of water, basic medical care or a bus ride. 

Does anyone have any doubt that if the response in NYC to 9-11--an on-the-ground response that was almost entirely local--does anyone doubt that if the response to the WTC attacks was anywhere near as bad as the response to Katrina, that Bush would never have been able to soar in the polls, launch the cynical and evil fearmongering that morphed into warmongering, and eventually his reelection last November?

We here in NYC didn't need the Incompetent Prince to pretend to lead us - luckily for us. But the people in New Orleans did need him to take charge and lead, instead of golfing partying and makeing speeches comparing himself to Winston Churchill.

All this buck passing by Repubs is only making them look like cowards on top of their demonstrated incompetence and negligence.

Jim E.

syn wrote: "Some Americans have forgetten how sacred to our existance is that separation of State Power and Federal Power. This separation can never be violated, even in the most extreme of situations."

Never? Do you think President Lincoln was a horrible despot? Just curious.

Jor

Drum has interesting remarks on FEMA under Bush. Iraq repeated in New Orleans. I'm not sure who this is a surprise for.

Jor

The incompetence, mendacity, and disregard for other americans is so clear here -- im eager to see links to appologias. Even the national review and Fox have caved. This is what happens when you put an idiot in charge.

richard mcenroe

Jor — Don't call Mayor Nagin an idiot. It upsets Etienne and Texastoast.

But hey, New Orleans is okay, now, folks! Sean Penn has arrived!

Mescalero

Since when will Hillary fix things like this? We all know from the Able Danger fiasco that the Clintons were more concerned about attacks from the Stalino-Fascist ACLU than the Islamo-Fascist Al-Queda!

MaDr

Definitely Bush's fault. Prevention or defense is 90% of the battle. That dumbass Bush first wrote the most shortsighted emergency procedures for NO and LA. Then he compounded it by not following the plan. You know - evacuating the 100,000 "recognized" citizens in need of transportation by bus. Sending citizens to two structures (Superdome and Convention Center) that were NOT shelters and hence didn't have stocks of food and water. Then he didn't violate the constitution by calling up the LA National Guard and requesting that the other state's governors send help from their Guards. The blithering idiot should have realized by Wed when the LA governor still hadn't acted, that he had only one choice - invade LA.

Harry Arthur

decision-making at the mayoral level in New Orleans.

more decision-making in New Orleans.

205 unused buses submerged in water.

New Orleans compared to anywhere else in the country where we’ve experienced hurricanes.

New Orleans business as usual?

I guess my most pressing question is: When did the governor of LA actually request federal help and how long did it take to get it to her? There seems to be some ambiguity on that. Several sources seem to suggest that it was as late as mid-week. I've also read several posts that it was requested and denied by the WH. Doesn't seem to pass the common sense test to me given that Bush declared the area a disaster area at least a few days prior to landfall, and requested that the LA Guard be activated, but of course I could be wrong.

Another question: What is and/or should be the federal government's role in drafting local disaster response plans? Or in assessing the adequacy of local disaster response plans?

If the federal government determines that the local and state government has not produced a competent plan, and elects to impose an appropriate plan on the local government, what should the federal role be in ensuring they are read, comprehended and practiced. Training and equipping are whose responsibility?

It's clear that at least NO was not ready for a major disaster. I can't help but think that the results would have been similar, or worse, had this been a dirty bomb or bio attack as Etienne has accurately suggested elsewhere and with which Newt Gingrich strongly aggrees.

Are there other large cities that are in similar shape? Perhaps not an excellent parallel, though probably more apt than NYC on 9/11, but I don't recall San Francisco experiencing anywhere near these problems when the last major earthquake decimated their infrastructure. My recollection is that their local and state response was adequate to the initial tasks of search and rescue, evacuation, and peace keeping.

If the federal government is ultimately responsible for a significant role in the aftermath, it would seem to me that "all" a terrorist organization would need to do would be to create several simultaneous emergencies in say, San Francisco, Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, and Miami and the federal government would be immediately overwhelmed. Unless the local and state agencies are ready at a level far above that in NO and LA, my estimation is that a meaningful response is not possible. Just a thought.

My problem with the NO response was that they had something like 5-7 days to implement their disaster plan and in the end it appears their plan was part of the disaster.

I'm not a Bush apologist on this, just trying to get to the bottom of some of the rhetoric. The fact that local and state officials were poor decision-makers doesn't for one minute excuse poor or delayed decisions by the Bush WH. That, for me, remains a largely unanswered question that ultimately begs resolution.

Harry Arthur

TT, a snarky side note: What wins a football game? - defense. You might want to select a better metaphor (I'm no English major so don't actually know if that's a metaphor), everyone knows a good offense wins football games. Of course, it's actually both.

I am curious about your statement that Louisiana and NO asked repeatedly for federal help. I understand your assertion, and if true, I share your criticism of the federal government and ultimately Bush, but I'm just not seeing the evidence that the WH ignored repeated requests for assistance.

Quite the contrary, the evidence I see has the WH repeatedly asking NO and the state to take action that wasn't taken, at least not in a timely manner, and I would submit that there was plenty of time to act, especially given that this was expected to be a CAT 5 storm that was on a direct collision course with NO.

I'm willing to discuss the assertion if you can point me to one or more reliable sources.

Harry Arthur

ET, Good government is transparent, accountable and worth every damn penny it costs. As a social and fiscal conservative, I couldn't agree more.

Rich Lowry in his recent article in NRO suggests the following:

To the extent that it has been made especially dangerous to be black in New Orleans, it is a product of a culture of governmental corruption and incompetence, including rotten policing, that goes deeper than any simplistic racial demagoguery can capture. Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans is black. He has been a reformer, but it would take more reform than one mayor is capable of to change New Orleans. Nagin’s predecessor, Marc Morial, was black too, and a business-as-usual politician. This summer, aides, friends, and an uncle of the former mayor were indicted on corruption charges.

Harry Arthur

More in this article from Sunday's WaPo. Please pardon the extensive quote but the context is important - I've tried not to be selective.

Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

"The federal government stands ready to work with state and local officials to secure New Orleans and the state of Louisiana," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said. "The president will not let any form of bureaucracy get in the way of protecting the citizens of Louisiana."

Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

Bush, who has been criticized, even by supporters, for the delayed response to the disaster, used his weekly radio address to put responsibility for the failure on lower levels of government. The magnitude of the crisis "has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities," he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable."

In a Washington briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said one reason federal assets were not used more quickly was "because our constitutional system really places the primary authority in each state with the governor."

Chertoff planned to fly overnight to the New Orleans area to take charge of deploying the expanded federal and military assets for several days, he said. He said he has "full confidence" in FEMA Director Michael D. Brown, the DHS undersecretary and federal officer in charge of the Katrina response.

Brown, a frequent target of New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin's wrath, said Saturday that "the mayor can order an evacuation and try to evacuate the city, but if the mayor does not have the resources to get the poor, elderly, the disabled, those who cannot, out, or if he does not even have police capacity to enforce the mandatory evacuation, to make people leave, then you end up with the kind of situation we have right now in New Orleans."

New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas acknowledged that the city was surprised by the number of refugees left behind, but he said FEMA should have been prepared to assist.

"Everybody shares the blame here," said Thomas. "But when you talk about the mightiest government in the world, that's a ludicrous and lame excuse. You're FEMA, and you're the big dog. And you weren't prepared either."

In Baton Rouge, Blanco acknowledged Saturday: "We did not have enough resources here to do it all. . . . The magnitude is overwhelming."

State officials had planned to turn to neighboring states for help with troops, transportation and equipment in a major hurricane. But in Katrina's case, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were also overwhelmed, said Denise Bottcher, a Blanco spokesman.

Of course the WaPo has their take, as the LA governor's office has theirs, and the WH has theirs. This may be the point that syn has been trying to make.

It seems to me the revealing point in the article is: Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

Still looking for any reluctance on the part of the WH to provide federal aid and assistance. The lack of decision-making at the state level is more than troubling. Not sure what conclusions we may yet draw from any of this information.

kim

Well, hurricane destruction alone would not have created an unmanagable catastrophe of this magnitude. What turned this monumental was the flooding from Lake Pontchartrain. Had New Orleans not been under sea level we would be dealing with an Andrew like mess. The irony of this situation is that New Orleans was in a unique predicament. It should have accurred to any number of people that it would need a unique disaster plan in case of flooding. They had what, a century or two to come up with one? No true planning genius arose for the Confederacy of Dunces to denounce?

Or has there been? I'd not be the least surprised to find archived plans that might have been very helpful last week. They'll emerge over the next few months. It will be most instructive to see why they were ignored.
==============================================

Etienne

This is a complex question,and the drastic political consequences on both sides is not making truth finding any easier.

However, I am reading the following AP article, Congress Likely to Probe Guard Response , and the following things jump out at me:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday.

and this...

Because the agreement that was already in existence for states to contribute Guard troops to Louisiana did not include a provision on their use in law enforcement, Blum said, Gov. Blanco had to get separate written agreements authorizing Guardsmen to do police-type duty.

and this...

Bush had the legal authority to order the National Guard to the disaster area himself, as he did after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks . But the troops four years ago were deployed for national security protection, and presidents of both parties traditionally defer to governors to deploy their own National Guardsmen and request help from other states when it comes to natural disasters.

In addition to Guard help, the federal government could have activated, but did not, a major air support plan under a pre-existing contract with airlines. The program, called Civilian Reserve Air Fleet, lets the government quickly put private cargo and passenger planes into service.

The CRAF provision has been activated twice, once for the Persian Gulf War and again for the Iraq war.

What has been frightening to most of the people I've spoken to is the feeling that for all these years, we had been assuming government emergency response was being fine tuned and modernized to deal with terrorism. Now that we have a natural disaster, we find that all we have is the same old unimaginative, inflexible bureaucratic nightmare (basically business as usual four years after 9/11). Now this was not a national security disaster, but is there one intelligent person who now thinks we have efficient contingency plans in place for dealing with that either. Clearly, if evacuation and response plans had been developed to deal with a terrorist attack, and if we had a bold imaginative leader in the presidency, then those plans could have been converted in a flash to be used in this case. Lesson: There are no such plans. We are all sitting ducks.

I have been considering all the levels of this disaster on the political level, but I think they can all be summed up by the concept that we are reaping the rewards of negligence to domestic policy by this "government", and passing the buck off to underfunded state governments is not going to be the honorable or acceptable response of the strongest country in the world.


kim

Hey, the sun shone on water and heated up a hurricane. All your shining of political energy on this problem is just heating up a political storm to cause massive destruction to all of us. I told you earlier it is tacky to make political points out of this NATURAL disaster. All we should do is draw lessons, and learn. Frankly, it's bad karma for you to blame those not resposible.
==============================================

Etienne

I guess you think it's tacky then to have the < a href = "http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspecial/05bush.html?oref=login"> White House being blatantly political then.

I mean, Condi yukking it up on Broadway and spending thousands on new shoes while American citizens floated dead in the streets of New Orleans....there's no political questions there, i'm sure.

We had a natural disaster followed by a failure of leadership. Two stories. One not preventable. One a disgrace.

Etienne

< a href = "http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspecial/05bush.html?oref=login">Fixed the link.

Etienne

Sorry. Guess it doesn't want to be fixed.

kim

I'll reluctantly admit that failure to plan for the eventual flooding of New Orleans was both preventable and a disgrace. I'll also argue that the local leadership failed far more spectacularly than did national leadership.
============================================

boris

See ... the connection between Condi buying shoes and hundreds of poor folk drowning in their attics is pure moonbattery. Putting that into a discussion is as relevant as barking at the moon. But then .... that's what moonbats are for I guess.

In a more perfect world fed boots might have arrived on Thursday instead of Friday. The degree of betterment would be slight compared to the greater loss since most died on Tuesday. The moonbats would nevertheless be barking just as loud even so.

On the other hand had local boots been more perfect the betterment would have been significant.

kim

Moon bats mad for man boots?
=============================

kim

Had there been boots, had they prevented this, they'd have been jackboots.

The left half of the Democratic Party is now displaying symptoms reminiscent of those of a Borderline Personality, the old Sociopath. Kerry is iconically so.
===============================================

kim

Don't knock boots.

Oh God, I can't stand it.
==================

Etienne

No, boris, it's not moonbattery. It's significant as an image of negligence and apathy. Images are how most Americans absorb their news. They don't like to read. You should know this. Your party's media machine has exploited it to great effect.

I would say that at the least Condi's behavior sealed the deal on her never running for elective office, had she planned to. But on a larger scale, it is a symbol of the kind of people that Bush has staffed our "government" with, and that is going to continue to be significant. Any spin on why he hired a lawyer for an Arabian Horse Association to run FEMA, especially since the Arabian Horse people fired him? How carefully do you think Bush vetted Brown's credentials for this critical job? How much do you think he gave a shit about FEMA, or any government agency, since he despises government and is part of the conservative movement to destroy it? My guess is that government under Bush has now become nothing but a patronage system, a place for old friends and cronies to do some looting prior to their magnificent tax payed retirements.

kim

Aren't the Arabian Horse people kinda jumpy?
=========================================

Etienne

Harry, you might want to take note that the Washington Post has issued a retraction of the article you posted:

A Sept. 4 article on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina incorrectly said that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) had not declared a state of emergency. She declared an emergency on Aug. 26.

In fact there is copious documentation of her letter to Bush onAug. 26, declaring a state of emergency and requesting all federal assistance "Under the provisions of [the relevant federal law], I request that you declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period beginning August 26, 2005, and continuing ... In response to the situation I have taken appropriate action under State law and directed the execution of the State Emergency Plan on August 26, 2005 in accordance with Section 501 (a) of the Stafford Act. A State of Emergency has been issued for the State in order to support the evacuations of the coastal areas in accordance with our State Evacuation Plan ... Pursuant to 44 CFR § 206.35, I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster..."

So you might want to stop peddling that lie. You might also note who is coordinating the response at the WH, none other than Turdblossom himself. Not that any of this is political of course. Ask kim. That would be both bad karma and bad taste.

kim

Are you, Etienne, figuring out how to prevent a recurrence, or are you just interested in trampling on the victims in order to have a platform for protest.
=================================================

boris

symbol of the kind of people that Bush has staffed our "government" with

Clearly, based on your own screed, either Condi is a clueless idiot poltroon or you are a moonbat.

Hmmm ... so tough to decide ... let's see ... Condi, brilliant musician, genius level acedemic and advisor, effective diplomat in the war on terror ...

versus what ???

Racist depictions of her by leftwing moonbats? How are such hateful attacks justified? There's nothing evil or incompetent about this person at all.

It's one thing to disagree with someone's philosophy or politics, but the spewing of vilest poison at every perceived opportunity is simply pathological.

boris

So you might want to stop peddling that lie.

Proving once again that any error made in good faith by non moonbat commenters is considered a lie.

Etienne

I can't figure out how to prevent a recurrence, kim, that's not my job. My job - and yours- as citizens is to find out why our tax dollars are so misused by this incompetent government we have, and why the proper qualified individuals have not been upgrading our emergency responses in the FOUR YEARS since 9/11.

In addition, in our new alternate media, our job is to prevent Spin Meisters like Karl Rove from continuing to pull the wool over the eyes of his employers - we, the people. The man lied to the Washington Post. They printed it. Now Harry and conservative bloggers everywhere are running with the lie.

Time for that shit to stop once and for all.

Etienne

Racist depictions of Condi Rice by lefties? WTF? This only confirms the suspicion that Repubs appoint minorities to important positions to immunize them from legitimate criticism.

No one mentioned Rice's skin color. They mentioned her insenstive behavior as a senior administration official. Does being black mean she is not accountable to the people?

We can see in every sad photograph out of the Gulf where the racism lies. It is institutional and profound and no one looking at it can question whether we continue to be a shamefully racist society.

kim

OK, don't figure out how to prevent a recurrence. That bell tolling for you is falling on deafened ears.
===================================================

Aaron

The Mayor and Governor bear 95% of the responsibility - sure the Dems can misdirect all they want but the PROOF was found - buses rotting in water and not being used all the meanwhile the mayor is crying about buses.

You can cry all you want about building super strong levees that can withstand anything, etc., etc., but when you see the price-tag, you might blink. Same with getting a city ready for a 7.0 magnitude quake that hits it head on - there isn't much you could do except design one story concrete homes with no windows.

good luck.

kim

And please don't try to deny that conservative black people are scandalously savaged by liberals. It's shameful and deeply hypocritical.
=================================================

boris

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

There are several things that are jumbled together in these stories. The state of emergency document from Aug 26th was apparently a request for federal funding. Turning over control of the LA national guard to the feds had still not occurred at the time of the WaPost article.

The term "state of emergency" may have more than one application. Funds and/or federal control for instance. Jumping to the conclusion of LIE for what might be misunderstanding or error is just typical brain damage in moonbats.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'...we are reaping the rewards of negligence to domestic policy by this "government", and passing the buck off to underfunded state governments...'

If state government is 'underfunded' that is the choice of the taxpayers of the state. Who probably rightly think that the likes of Edwin Edwards would not spend their money in ways that would be beneficial.

What New Orleans reaped was what was sown by forty years of corruption and 'victimhood'.

Lesley

Ours has become a strange and dysfunctional culture: we stand in front of microwave ovens and scream "HURRY" or think that all our nation's challenges can be resolved like a one-hour television episode. Truthfully, I am amazed at the quickness of the Federal response given the complicated logistics involved. That said, the lesson I take from Katrina is that the buck stops with each individual able-bodied citizen taking responsibility for his/her own family. My sorrow is reserved for the elderly, the infirm and the children. Lest you think I am too hard-hearted, I was suddenly widowed nine years ago and left to raise three young children, (at the time) 5,9, and 11. We've survived tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms, and floods - believe me, I know what disaster is, and in every way, shape and form. You are your own, best, first responder. Plan ahead.

Etienne

Well, you're right about that Patrick. People get the government they deserve. Unfortunately the people who mostly died in this storm were likely to be the people least likely to vote at all. The idea behind liberal governance is that the strong not abandon the weak, as a system built solely on the principles of personal profit is most liable to do.

I am reminded again and again how fortunate I am to live in that part of the country where liberal governance has been strong. I have no complaints. I'm proud of our liberal government policies and the modern, educated society we enjoy here. If there were a movement for the glorious Northeast to secede from the Union, I woudn't be opposed to considering it. However, since we are still nominally one country, and we here have to live with the "president" that you red staters have given us, it is expected that the misgovernment and corrupton of those states is going to come under the microscope now. I doubt very much that you can make the case that the problems of the South are due to the Democratic party or liberal policies. Quite, quite the opposite.

MaDr

Here's what I think I know about the NG situation (think because the MSM often gets it wrong).

Blanco's 8/26 emergency declaration did not mention/request NGs

Approx 1/2 of the LA NG was on duty but not until 8/30. Still don't know if they're all deployed yet. The first non-LA NG arrived one day later (8/31). First NG units arrive in NO on 9/02.

The LA NGs commander said his efforts were not hindered by a lack of rescue assets because of Iraq deployments. The LA NG assets in Iraq were Abrams, Bradleys, and an artillery brigade. There are available within the USA approx 750,000 National Guardsmen ready to respond.

The facts that I have yet to uncover will tell us 1) when did LA order the mobilization of their NG, 2) when did LA request and complete the necessary paperwork/documents to formally request and allow the use of non-LA NGs, 4) when did other governors receive the LA request and when did they execute the necessary orders/documentation to allow their NGs to be used in LA, 5) when did the Pentagon receive those documents and transmit the necessary orders to the state NGs, and 6) from receipt of orders/authorization, how long did it take the state NGs to start rolling?

boris

the strong not abandon the weak, as a system built solely on the principles of personal profit is most liable to do.

Truth by assertion! In actual practice members of individualistic and self reliant cultures do better protecting each other than passive wards of the nanny state. But of course, that happens to be a fact rather than utopian moonbat dogma so I'm sure you're unaware of it.

Steven J.

MADR - "1) when did LA order the mobilization of their NG,"

I'm not sure when this happened but LA declared a state of emergency on Thursday, Aug. 26th. From the NO Times-Picayune, we learn that 150 LANGs were at the SuperDome on Monday before Katrina hit and more were waiting to come in.

LINKS:

http://gov.louisiana.gov/2005%20%20proclamations/48pro2005-Emergency-HurricaneKatrina.pdf

http://www.nola.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1125283562138730.xml?nola

http://www.nola.com/newslogs/breakingtp/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_Times-Picayune/archives/2005_08.html

Steven J.

BORIS - In actual practice members of individualistic and self reliant cultures do better protecting each other than passive wards of the nanny state.

Jeez, remind me again why the FDA and SEC were created?

Steven J.

LESLEY - "Truthfully, I am amazed at the quickness of the Federal response given the complicated logistics involved. "

Look, Chertoff was relying on the WaPo instead of getting first hand information. Brown was lying his ass off all last week. Bush, as usual, didn't have a clue --> "No one could imagine the levees breaching"

Steven J.

Proving once again that any error made in good faith by non moonbat commenters is considered a lie.

Posted by: boris

The WaPo error wasn't made in good faith. They should no better than to trust an Administration official. The official was lying as part of a Swiftboating campiagn to deflect criticism from Pres. Fredo.

Steven J.

3 QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED

Aaron Broussard, the President of Jefferson Parish, was on Meet the Press and gave very moving testimony about what happened. If you haven't seen it, I encourage you to go to Crooks & Liars and watch.

Mr. Broussard also mentioned 3 puzzling actions by FEMA officials and I think we all deserve to find out exactly why these actions were taken:

We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel." Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines."

Etienne

members of individualistic and self reliant cultures do better protecting each other than passive wards of the nanny state.

Not to be overly repetitive here, but I live in an individualistic and self reliant culture - which is also the proud practioner of proven effective liberal economic and social policies - beautiful New York City, New York State and the entire gloriously liberal Northeast.

Guess what? We're neither passive wards nor looking for a nanny state. And I'll stack our emergency response up against any red state, any day, any situation. You're using the wrong calculus, boris, a common problem. There is nothing in liberalism that denies self reliance. It just recognizes the REALITY that God didn't really make all of us equal, and that working for the common good is a noble ideal that benefits us all in the end.

The pictures out of New Orleans, of exactly what people were left behind, without so much as airdropped water in their hour of need, speaks volumes about how your "self reliant" culture took care of one another. Self reliant should not mean "every man for himself" but in your soon to be defunct conservative "utopia" that's exactly what it has come to mean.

boris

The looters and victims in NO are not part of anybody's "self reliant" culture. Sorry to boggle your mental levee with logic and fact.

boris

Actually the moonbat lies flying around need a good "swiftboating". Thank God for those guys who took on the "fake but accurate" MainStream Media and MoveOn morons and kicked butt.

Etienne

Uh, boris, those victims and looters are in every way a part of your downhome culture. You have met the enemy, buddy, and he is you all. Just cause you don't like their looks doesn't make them any less yours. THIS is what your delightful Darwinian paradise looks like. Every man for himself, indeed. Exactly how the criminals with their AK-47s feel down there on Bourbon Street. There's but a hairsbreadth of difference between the conservative agenda and the law of the jungle.

And yes, thank god for the Internet. Rove has already had one of his lies (to WaPo and Newsweek) shot down. It's getting hard for that pasty fat boy to keep a good propaganda machine in motion.

MaDr

I had forgotten a piece of the NG puzzle, that is a DoD News Transcript of 9/03. Although it doesn't give the dates I'm looking for it does explain why things might have taken so long.

The State (cooperative) EMACs had not anticipated the erosion of local law enforcement, so no provisions were made for using outside NGs for law enforcement. To use outside NGs in this capacity required seperate agreements which apparently had to be hammered out during the evolving crisis.

richard mcenroe

MaDr — One thing I am not clear on is why the four LANG engineer battalions that have boats and bridging equipment do not appear to have been among the mobilzed units.

btw, go here for an excellent perspective on the Guard issue. The author is a Florida Guard officer and Iraq vet with extensive hurricane experience.

Les Nessman

Et:
"Uh, boris, those victims and looters are in every way a part of your downhome culture. You have met the enemy, buddy, and he is you all."

Those victims and looters in Los Angeles were part of the 'downhome culture' too, I guess. The looters during the NYC blackout must have been from downhome also.

boris

Moonbat logic: looters = "self reliant"

I seriously doubt they are Adam Smith capitalists, Ayn Rand readers, or Ronald Reagan fans. But hey, display your utter idiocy for all to see and enjoy. What a textbook case in moonbat projection. The very wards of the nanny state and their predators are in fact a "system built solely on the principles of personal profit". ie Looting Mugging and Rape.

There you go. Perfect.

Steven J.

MADR -"The State (cooperative) EMACs had not anticipated the erosion of local law enforcement"

The loss of 200 cops wasn't the problem but merely a symptom.

MaDr

Richard

I appreciate the link. I've been catching the occasional "logistics" info, but I keep forgetting, and only remember after reading one - these guys are dealing with an area the size of Britain. I gasp, am awed, then realize I can't really get my mind around something that big.

I was previously connecting to the LANG website but haven't been able to for the last two days. Other than sporadic news reports, like on the 256th, I have no idea which LANG units are deployed or where or when they got there. I find it curious that I couldn't find LANG info or links on the LA gov website, their EMAC, or their Katrina site.

Besides the info above about the governors not anticipating the need for NGs in law enforcement roles, I've read (and read between the lines) to come up with a few more possible explanations for the NG response time. Governors were reluctant to expose their NGs (like the NGOs were)to an unsecured, orderless area. When the governors started talking law enforcement roles for the non-LA NGs, there were two concerns - will they have reasonable, clear rules of engagement (martial law had never been declared)and yes, money. Since it hadn't been comtemplated, would the Feds reimburse the non-LA NGs for law enforcement.

When Congress created the Department of Homeland Security, created the reporting hierarchy, established the different agency budgets, and allocated billions to the states to upgrade, primarily their planning and first response capabilities, I didn't pay attention. After seeing the early turf battles and initial misspending of state funds I gave up - business as usual, but everything will come out in the wash.

My bad.

MaDr

Steven J

"The loss of 200 cops wasn't the problem but merely a symptom."

I'll bite - a symptom of what? I really don't know yet (and may never). I have been waiting to find credulous, not rumor or speculation, as to how many NO cops walked off the job or joined the looters (while still on the job) and when. I've heard walk-off estimates as high as 400 and "joined the looters" as high as 50. I've seen nothing yet that leads me to believe there's a reasonable estimate. I've heard and tend to believe that a combat unit's effectiveness is seriously degraded at 20% attrition. I assume there's no valid comparison between military
unit and police effectiveness - hence no estimation of attrition vs effectiveness. I'm late to game, I'll readily admit. Are there any articles I can refer to (pre-Katrina), assessing the adequacy of the # of NO cops for regular duty and emergency duty. At first blush, based upon population, the size of the NOPD does not seem to be inordinately out of line with other American cities. Yes, I realize # of cops depends on more than population - that's why I'm interested in (Pre-Katrina) articles evaulating the adequacy of the NOPD.


Steven J.

MADR -

A great wealth of info can be found at the NO Times-Picayune site: www.nola.com

Steven J.

MADR -

Also check out wwltv.com

Steven J.

MADR - I'll bite - a symptom of what?

THIS:

Urgent Weather Message from NWS New Orleans

WWUS74 KLIX 281550NPWLIXURGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA

1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005


DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED

HURRICANE KATRINAA MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED STRENGTH...RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969. MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER. AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED.


CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE. HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY...A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT. AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...


AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK. POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...


BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE KILLED.AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR HURRICANE FORCE...OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE..


.ARECERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET...DO NOT VENTUREOUTSIDE!LAZ038-040-050-056>070-282100-ASSUMPTION-LIVINGSTON-LOWER JEFFERSON-LOWER LAFOURCHE-LOWER PLAQUEMINES-LOWER ST. BERNARD-LOWER TERREBONNE-ORLEANS-ST. CHARLES-ST. JAMES-ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST-ST. TAMMANY-TANGIPAHOA-UPPER JEFFERSON-UPPER LAFOURCHE-UPPER PLAQUEMINES-UPPER ST. BERNARD-UPPER TERREBONNE-1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005
LINKS FOR THIS MESSAGE:
http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=8544
http://kamala.cod.edu/offs/KLIX/0508281550.wwus74.html

richard mcenroe

A briefing on the Federal military response to Katrina...

Steven J.

PROTEIN WISDOM IS A BUSH WHORE.

MaDr

Steven J


I might be missing your point, so bear with me. Is the point that the storm was the "problem" and any police shortcomings only a symptom (or result)? Makes sense as a first approximation. I'll wait for more information on how other areas/parishes surrounding NO made out as well as neighboring MS. NO isn't the "Gulf Coast", so when the information is available, I'd like to compare how everyone did, what they did similarly and differently, and try to ascertain what works and what doesn't. Nothing (human) every works perfectly, but it'd be nice to know why does (and maybe even determine why - it worked better).

Forbes

TM: I see I'm late to the party. Perhaps the slings and arrows are over. But I'll give your original post a shot at a response.

(One caveat regarding federal response time. Lead federal response time is 48 to 96 hours due to the logistics of manpower, materiel and distance to be overcome to respond to the state of emergency. At a minimum, the initial period is the responsibility of the state/local officials, which is the purpose of their emergency preparedness and response plan. Additionally, bureaucratic scale increases as the responding agencies move from local to state to federal, compounding institutional barriers to prompt response.)

Let me try to offer some analysis of the situation in NO.

There are two components to the story, emergency preparedness, and disaster recovery.

The NO & LA levee and canal systems are a result of three decades of planning, engineering, and construction, and are pretty much a continuous work in progress. They are designed to withstand the effects of a Category 3 hurricane.

An emergency preparedness plan should be designed to deal with the contingencies associated with a Cat-4/5 hurricane, where storm conditions would overwhelm the flood protection systems. Such a preparedness plan would include the identification of the “at risk populations” of the elderly, infirm, and immobile that will require special assistance and/or transportation. At risk populations include those citizens without adequate resources that will require public transportation to public shelters.

Given a forecast of a Cat-4/5 storm, evacuation is necessary, rather than an option. The reason for the evacuation, now obvious to all, is the public health catastrophe that follows in the wake of the natural disaster. Aside from the infrastructure damage due to flooding, airborne debris in 74+ mph winds can be deadly. Resulting damage to infrastructure will limit the ability—for myriad reasons—of local public safety (police, fire, ambulance) emergency services from performing their regular duties.

Irrespective of the breech of the levee(s), thousands of square miles of infrastructure (utilities and bridges) and roofs/housing have been destroyed by the hurricane resulting in the loss of food (electricity, refrigeration), sanitary conditions (electricity, pumping stations), and housing for millions of people in the Gulf coast region. The affected populations will suffer this hardship for as long as the recovery takes—months, not weeks.

That tens of thousands of able bodied people were allowed to remain behind in area that would suffer severe damage and flooding resulted in a life hazard of unacceptable proportions. (A Cat-4/5 hurricane with Cat-3 protections equals flooding. This is not rocket science, nor does it require the “imagination” many people seem to lose in these tragedies.) The reason it is unacceptable is that the utility/infrastructure/housing damage caused by such storms (and lengthy recovery associated therewith) are not imponderables. Allowing people to remain behind turned what should have been an evacuation and recovery, into an emergency rescue operation.

The result is a rescue operation that preempts disaster recovery efforts, and the related priorities of manpower and materiel. Helicopters, water-borne craft and their manpower must be diverted to rescue operations from supplying food, water, and other vital supplies to the displaced and homeless.

Emergency preparedness officials must plan for the worst, and not hope for the best—hope is not a plan.

Lots of people, besides the mayor and governor, involved in emergency preparedness planning in NO and LA—police chiefs, fire chiefs, state national guard adjutant-general, etc.—have plenty to be embarrassed regarding their inability to implement their emergency response plan. Not many of us have the luxury to explain that the reason their job didn’t get done is because the president failed to call in the Army—to do the job for you.

The failure to evacuate is the cause of the human catastrophe. The severity of the storm will dictate the severity of the damage--the worse the storm, the more inaccessible the region will be, compounding the problem of recovery and rescue. Since we cannot control the path of a hurricane, we must get people out of its path. This should not be difficult to understand, though apparently it is, for some.

Most of the arguments put forth by critics of federal responsiveness results in the following proposition:

Should the federal government assume the responsibility for development and execution of local emergency preparedness and response plans?

(Forget the constraints of the existing legal framework.)

The human catastrophe is a result of tens of thousands failing to evacuate, and not a result of mankind’s inability to overcome the logistical impediments of a destructive storm.

Locating the decision to evacuate the Mississippi delta in Washington, DC, rather that in NO or LA is an unserious suggestion.

But then there’s been a lot of silly and unserious talk.

My two cents.

Steven J.

MADR -

At the wwltv site, I found a quote from Chief Compass that said 400-500 out of a total of 1600 officers can't be found. Sorry, I didn't save the precise link but it's in today's UPATE section.

richard mcenroe

The levee has been plugged and pumping begun. "Mayor" Nagin said this is "the kind of progress I expected sooner."

Steven J.

FORBES - "The human catastrophe is a result of tens of thousands failing to evacuate"

27.5% of NO lives below the poverty line. They did not have the means to evacuate.


Steven J.

FORBES -

Knock of the Bush Whore BS. Here's what DHS & FEMA are SUPPOSED TO DO:

In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort.
http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home2.jsp

Of course, while fighting terrorism was the reason for the Department’s creation, it is not our sole function. The budget supports the Department’s other functions, including responding to natural disasters, securing our coasts, and providing immigration services and enforcement are all essential parts of our mission. We owe it to the American people to bring the same dedication and energy to these tasks as we do to preventing terrorist attacks.
http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=45&content=4387

Testimony by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff Before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
March, 9, 2005
(Remarks as Prepared)

Steven J.

The levee has been plugged and pumping begun. "Mayor" Nagin said this is "the kind of progress I expected sooner."

He's not the only one who expected it sooner.
Read what Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, had to say:

MR. BROUSSARD: Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.


MTP Transcript for September 4
Michael Chertoff, Marc Morial, Mike Tidwell, Mark Fischetti, David Wessel, Haley Barbour & Aaron Broussard
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9179790/

richard mcenroe

More naval stuff to piss off Steve J.

Harry Arthur

Et, you stated the following to me: So you might want to stop peddling that lie.

Then you stated the following about me: Now Harry and conservative bloggers everywhere are running with the lie.

Sorry you feel that way, but if you had bothered to read my posts in context you would have come to the conclusion that I was genuinely interested in the truth no matter where or to whom it lead. I still am. As I also clearly stated, I am no Bush apologist. If his administration is guilty of malfeasance in reacting to this disaster, I will be one of the first to make that observation. If FEMA reacted poorly or incompetently, I will be one of the first to call for the resignation or termination of Mr. Brown and any of his staff who are complicit. As I have repeatedly also stated, this is too important to leave to partisan politics and finger-pointing. And I have strongly agreed with your observation that there are national security implications here.

You might also have noted that I have agreed with several of your observations regarding the actual vs perceived readiness of our cities, and how the experience in NO may indicate that our level of readiness for a terrorist attack is not what we think it is or have been told that it is.

Nowhere have I EVER peddled [a] lie on any blog site or in person. To question my integrity when you don't even know me is the most pathetic form of ad hominem. I'm more than agreeable to admit that my understanding of the facts was wrong, AS IT APPARENTLY WAS, no thanks to the accuracy of the WaPo article.

The problem we have here is that none of us knows exactly what actually occured vis-a-vis the interaction between the NO administration, the state of LA, and the federal government. At this point we are all guessing - all we can do for the time being is to rely on the media and our own assumptions. My source was the WaPo, hardly a conservative source, thinking that they probably had a fairly good take on what happened. The article seemed to be a fair balance of criticism directed at several levels, including the WH. Unfortunately they did not have all the facts and I stand corrected.

Quite frankly I'm getting tired of even trying to have a civil discussion with you. You have clearly decided to make debating points and political points based on your pre-conceived notions about Bush. I doubt you have any serious interest in getting to the bottom of this fiasco unless you can blame a conservative in the process. Fine, have it your way - you've lost me as a listener and you've lost the opportunity to have an intelligent dialogue with me.

You might want to look up the definition of lie. Your statements give no evidence that you understand the meaning of the term. It most certainly does not mean to make an honest but factually incorrect statement. But, then again you've also demonstrated convincingly that you haven't the slightest understanding of what conservatives actually think about government, it's place in society, self reliance or virtually anything else we believe, arguing rather that this catastrophy somehow validates your stereotype of a conservative straw man.

I was actually on the verge of posting an observation to several of the others here on why I agreed with several of your salient points, and why we ought to argue in a more civil tone, rather than calling each other liers and moonbats, but why bother. Have at it.

richard mcenroe

Steve J. — "They did not have the means to evacuate." Keep pushing that rope. Their counties were declared a disaster area FOUR DAYS before the storm. They took no action, not stocking shelters, not rolling buses, not mobilizing their own Guard units.

Steven J.

RICHARD - They took no action, not stocking shelters, not rolling buses, not mobilizing their own Guard units.

1) The LANG was mobilized and was in NO before Katrina hit

2) They did stock the SuperDome with the food and water they had.


3) To borrow from Ann Coulter, the only question now is: Impeach or Assassinate?

Steven J.

RELEVANT NAVAL STUFF

BBC VIDEO - LT. COMMANDER KELLY, NORTHCOM - http://news.globalfreepress.com/movs/katrina/BBC_Katrina.mpg
WARNING: THIS FILE IS 27.3 MB
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:
When the BBC noted the criticism of the government's slow response, Lt. Commander Kelly explained that NorthCom was ready to go well in advance of Katrina making landfall, but suggested the president didn't make the right call at the right time.
"Northcom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready when it hit Florida, because, as you remember, it hit the bottom part of Florida, and then we were planning once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast.
"So, what we did, we activated what we call 'defense coordinating officers' to work with the states to say, 'OK, what do you think you will need?' And we set up staging bases that could be started.
"We had the USS Bataan sailing almost behind the hurricane so once the hurricane made landfall, its search and rescue helicopters could be available almost immediately So, we had things ready.
"The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can't just act in this fashion; we have to wait for the president to give us permission."

I repeat, there is only 1 question remaining:

Impeach or Assassinate?

kim

Dance of Deception, by Harriet Lerner is a good book to get a grounding in what it means to lie or not lie, Etienne.
===================================================

Steven J.

BTW, the same question applies to Chertoff:

SECAUCUS — Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it all, starting his news briefing Saturday afternoon: "Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater..."

Well there's your problem right there.

Harry Arthur

Forbes, as usual a cogent and thoughtful analysis. Seems to fit the facts as we know them at this point.

SJ, They did not have the means to evacuate. Steven, I would respectfully submit that the facts at this point disagree. There were literally hundreds of buses available to the mayor. There were something on the order of 5 to 7 days advance warning that this CAT 5 storm was headed directly at NO. As Forbes observes, the levees were known to have been engineered to survive only a CAT 3 storm or less.

These buses, of course, are now submerged, but they weren't in the runup to this disaster. I don't believe Forbes is suggesting, nor am I, that the poorest people had the personal resources to leave - they clearly do/did not - but arguably the city of NO had the resources and somehow did not arrive at a decision to use them.

On Monday, after storm passage, everyone breathed a short sigh of relief, "knowing" they had dodged a major bullet because at the last minute the stormed turned slightly to the east as it made landfall, then the levees breached. The rest is, sadly, history.

Another problem that I do not believe we have adequately explored is the decision to recommend to the populace that did not evacuate to proceed to the Super Dome to ride out the storm. Unfortunately, this is what happens when, even if you have a plan, you shoot from the hip.

The Super Dome is truly an engineering marvel, designed to survive even a severe storm such as this CAT 4 storm, but as far as I can tell it was never considered in any of the pre-planning to be an emergency center. That means there were apparently no pre-positioned survival supplies or capabilities provided such as water, MREs, adequate sanitary facilities, standby power, law enforcement, medical aid and supplies, etc, etc. It was assumed that these people would weather the storm there and return home the next day. When the levees breached this assumption was rendered irrelevant, placing the inhabitants in a dire survival situation.

Clearly, there was a massive failure to either plan adequately or to follow adequate plans if they existed. Whether this should have been or was a federal responsibility begs to be argued at length at the congressional level. I will state again for those who have not read my previous posts: though I am a conservative, I am not a Bush apologist. We need to follow the time line and the responsibility for systemic and management failures wherever they lead and demand appropriate action by our elected representatives based on that analysis. I do not believe that accountability is in any way antithetical to conservative principles, nor is taking care of poor people who cannot take care of themselves.

For example, there is at least anecdotal evidence that FEMA's capabilities have deteriorated subsequent to its inclusion within the Department of Homeland Security. If this is shown to be the case, one can argue that perhaps FEMA ought to be pulled out of DHS as a separate agency. The DHS might have oversight responsibility and might assume "command" of FEMA in a terrorist attack scenario but perhaps for "garden variety" natural disasters FEMA needs to operate independently. Perhaps it ought to have its own budget with a director who reports directly to the president. Perhaps there is too much bureaucracy in the DHS that has caused an unacceptably slow response. I just don't know, but again, I believe we all need to demand, through our elected representatives, corrective action if warranted.

The response to Katrina, at many levels, was pathetic at best. Can anyone really come to any other reasonable conclusion?


Bostonian

Steve J. "27.5% of NO lives below the poverty line. They did not have the means to evacuate."

It's a pity about those buses, then, isn't it? Are you blaming GWB for Nagin's failure to use them?

Steven J.

It's a pity about those buses, then, isn't it? Are you blaming GWB for Nagin's failure to use them?

Who would drive them, to where and would there be any food, water or shelter?

richard mcenroe

Steven J — So now you're saying we should impeach or assassinate Bush for failing to violate the Posse Commitatus Act?

Steven J — There's only one choice: ignor or laugh at?

Steven J.

There were something on the order of 5 to 7 days advance warning that this CAT 5 storm was headed directly at NO.

That is simply not true.

richard mcenroe

Steven J — Are you saying they have buses for which they have no drivers? They had FOUR DAYS to evacuate. They had years to plan and establish emergency stores.

Forbes

HA: Thanks for your kind remarks.

StevenJ: It's my experience that one's knowledge and experience regarding an issue are inversely proportional to the vulgarity and vituperation included in their comments. If the shoe fits...

Harry Arthur

SJ, Impeach or Assassinate? Truly a hateful statement. Way over the line, sir.

For the record, I don't care if Ann Coulter said it first or not, it's no more rational coming from her than from you.

Now your argument has gone from a reasonably cogent analysis with which reasonable people can chose to agree or disagree depending on their analysis of the facts available to absurdity.

You're treading the say path as Et. You convince no one; no one listens to your argument; and you will have no place in a civil, intelligent dialogue. You marginalize yourself with such over the line rhetoric and you invalidate any reasonable assertions and observations.

Just what our country needs. Truly pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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