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September 10, 2005

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TexasToast

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.

The president was asked whether people should be worried about the government's ability to handle another terrorist attack given failures in responding to Katrina.

"Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question and it's in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond," Bush replied.


Good for GWB! We might just be making some progress here.

Etienne

Harry Arthur, thanks for showing your true colors. I've been pretty naive, but I see where you're coming from now. If Democrats lay down and accept the abusive invective of Republicans, they're accused of being weak. If they stand up for their principles, they're accused of being insane. I don't back down from bullies, in real life or online, and I won't do it here.

Thanks, Tex. I'm always happy to see your sig when I read through the posts...And you're right. Bush finally did something right here. Watch for an all out humility offensive. I wonder if this means Karen Hughes is handling this one. Doesn't sound like Karl's style.

Po Boy

Well if the right wing defenses proffered on this thread were the best they had, no wonder GWB is ready to take some responsibility.

What choice did he have? His defenders stupidity was starting to rub off on him, and more stupidity is not what Bush needs at this point.

Paul Arthur

Here's my question. Anytime anything of any kind of importance happens the left in this country wants to immediately place all blame on Bush. In recent memory I note the following:

1. 9-11 Bush should have seen something like this coming and stopped the plan entirely.

2. Iraq war...quagmire blah blah blah...No WMD...Bush lied...

3. Karl Rove, the brains behind Bush, leaked Valerie Plame's name to the media...Bush probably told him to do so.

4. Bush's personal fault that Cindy Sheehan's son died.

5. Bush's fault that the hurricane victoms are suffering now.

The list goes on and on. So the question is, is Bush truly evil as one would have to be to commit all these acts? Or is the left in this country merely attempting to throw as much mud as possible hoping something sticks?

Po Boy

Worse than evil, stupid.

Paul Arthur

Po Boy, it is my experience that when one in losing an arguement they then proceed to attack the person instead of the facts (called ad hominem and discussed ad nauseum here).

Now I'm not saying that's what's happening here but...

Po Boy

I'm saying Bush is worse than evil, Bush is stupid. Which stupidity leads to the incompetence on grotesque display.

It's a paraphrase of the old diplomatic expression "worse than a crime, a mistake." (Iraq war anyone?)

Of course, since you thought it was about you, perhaps you are stupid as well. As a presumed Bush supporter, you're already suspect.

Paul Arthur

Wow Po Boy, what a convincing argument. You know what, I'm going to go today and switch my voter registration to Democrat. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Seven Machos

Why would the left want someone so stupid to try to intervene in a natural disaster? Wouldn't a total moron only make it worse by intervening, especially over such brilliant Dems?

Po Boy

Paul Arthur if dead American bodies floating in water for five days cant convince you, I'm sure my little comments wont.

Po Boy

So Bush is already taking responsibility and you guys are still denying he has any. Amazing.

Although it's true, Bush's mea culpa is surely at the advice of a political aide, I'm sure there's a faction in the White House who advocated continued stonewalling. So maybe your faction will come back to power soon.

Paul Arthur

Po,
I hope this doesn't sound too calus. But when it comes to saving people who are ALIVE versus gathering the bodies of dead...the choice has to be with those who are alive.

And also, I've never said once that Bush doesn't share any blame in this. Actually if you read my previous post a while back I wrote

"What this comes down to is that this was a NATURAL DISASTER and that there is probably enough blame for the preparation for and response to it to go around several times."

I've never said that Bush doesn't share blame, just that it shows the focus of the left when the one person they immediately go after no matter what happens is the idiot/Evil genius Bush.

Po Boy

Well-PA-I wont point you to any of my past comments-since my computer was lost in the flooding-I'm just coming back online.

But dont think I dont think our local "leaders" serve blame. They deserve jailtime.

Blanco and Nagin-just pathetic. The entire Louisiana legislature should be sent to prison. (A considerable percentage indeed has) The entire population of Louisiana is substandard in intelligence.

I used to have a "It's not the heat, it's the stupidity" bumpersticker on my car.

A few years back the two candidates for governor were a crook and a KKK man. That's the fault of the Louisiana people. So the blame starts with the people of Louisiana and ends at Bush.

Now if someone wants to say the state has no blame, I'm glad to set them straight. But likewise for our federal fools. In the shorterm-they were best positioned to help-and they did not.

cathyf
...expecting overwhelmed local officials to create inventories of needs...was inexcusable...
Etienne, you keep repeating this over and over again, like somehow it's going to get less moronic the more times you say it. On the other hand, however, you appear more moronic each and every time.

The US has spent decades responding to natural and man-made disasters of all sizes. There is a system, and different people have their roles. Local police, fire and ambulance; state police and National Guard; FEMA and the regular military; local, state and national disaster charities with their volunteers, supplies, educational resources and staff support. Billions of taxpayer dollars and charitable donations and millions of volunteer hours have been spent preparing for, planning for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. Thousands and thousands of disasters big and small over decades.

So now one state, and mostly one city within that state, can't hold up their part of this joint operation. In a disaster where this state isn't even the hardest hit! So clearly it must be everybody else's fault. The other parts of the team did what they were supposed to do, and then when they realized that the LA state and NO city officials were completely incompetent they went in and improvised as best they could.

So it's bushitler's fault that FEMA couldn't read minds and know that everything that NO and LA was saying in disaster planning over the years was just kidding? It's "inexcusable" to be surprised and need time to come up with alternate arrangements when people don't do what they agreed to do in planning sessions, and what their counterparts in the next state over were doing under even more adverse circumstances? And what their counterparts in other states had been doing for decades? What their predecessors had done in previous disasters?

cathy :-)

Paul Arthur

Po,

Now that I can more understand. Btw, I'm truly sorry for any loss you've experienced.

I do think an honest investigation needs to happen though, where we figure out what was done wrong as well as right so that we can handle a situation such as this (or a terrorist attack) better in the future. And if there are any specific people who were negligent they should be help accountable to the degree of their negligence.

Syl

So the Bush haters think Bush finally did something right, but, wait, he really didn't because Karen Hughes made him do it. Why Karen? Because accepting responsibility isn't Rove's style and everybody knows Bush is only a puppet and Rove and the neo-cons pull all the strings.

Have I got it right?

But if Bush is only a puppet then why do you hate him so much and call him incompetent? After all, he's the victim of the string pullers. And you know he's stupid so he can't be blamed for not knowing he's being manipulated.

How many know Talabani was at the White house today and spoke on tv? How many would rather blame the Iraqi people for what Rove and the neo-cons made Bush do? The Iraqi's can fend for themselves, doesn't matter how much they thank us. Doesn't matter how much they want democracy. Pooh on them. Bush is bad so they are too.


Seven Machos

Goodnight, Jim E.:

"This accusation that the levees were blown for political reasons fits with an overall pattern consistantly persued by this administration. Indeed, it fits with the objectives outlined by many in the neo-con camp, with the past support of the Bush family of eugenics, and with the recent callous remarks..." -- Daily Kos Diarist Brenda speculates that the levees in New Orleans were deliberately blown to flood the city.

TexasToast

Actually 7M, I think it was God punishing Pat Robertson for advocating that the government disobay the ten commandments and "take out" Hugo Chavez. Looks like God kinna overdid it......

kim

Why do you think, Po, that federal troops were supposed to be there within 24 hours. Was that in any plan? Can it be done?
===============================================

Cecil Turner

"Real lovefest here."

Man, no kidding. Can't we all just get along?

"The fixations with the mistakes made by the locals (school busses and the like) are just spin to cover up what they clearly understand, but will never admit - their own failings."

The finger-pointing started with those trying to blame feds for what are primarily local failings. And I'm a lot more impressed with specific instances of fed errors (like JayDee's bit about bungled bus/ambulance requests above).

"Which stupidity leads to the incompetence on grotesque display."

Except the bulk of the incompetence in this particular case was displayed by local authorities who failed to follow their own plan. Blaming the feds for sunken buses or sending people to shelters not identified in the plan (and resulting slow relief shipments) is not persuasive. And the root cause of all of those is Mayor Nagin's late evacuation order.

Etienne

So,Seven Macho lurks at Kos,for the sole purpose of lifting the crackpot theory of one lone poster (among thousands) and brings it here as if it represented anything more significant than any one of his own asinine rants.

As for the "if Bush is so stupid, why do you care what he does?" question, it's an excellent point. Except we are stuck with this imbecile for three more terrifying years.

On the upside, he is extremely good for one thing. Laughing one's ass off:

"Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit card's maxed out. No one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished.


"Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

"But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.

"On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.

"So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: 'Take a hint.'"

- Bill Maher

kim

Well obviously Bill Maher doesn't know what an ill-advised luxury tax on yachts did to a largely domestic and largely blue-collar yacht building industry.
==================================================

kim

No problem, those boatbuilders weren't building a liberal paradise.
====================================================

kim

Oh please don't tell me rich liberals own yachts.
================================================

Po boy

Heap all the blame all Nagin you want. The guy is a piece of crap to me.

But dont get fooled by a mandatory evacuation order. Ordered or not-people were still not going to leave. Look at how many people are still there even after all this.

We got screwed by prior hurricanes that missed us. People evacuated N.O. for Ivan last year and got stuck in massive jams-11 hours to make it 90 miles. If the storm had hit-it would have struck a long line of people stuck in the cars on an interstate.

Instead as hurricanes do, it turned at the last second, and hit Florida. It was a sunny day in New Orleans. Of course it was a massive traffic jam to get back in. Many people, including some of my own family, vowed never again. They stayed in N.O. even after the mandatory order. And these were people who 1. had a car and 2. could afford a hotel.

Not having the Dome better prepared was pretty dumb, but in 1998 for Hurricane Georges, the only other time they let people in the Dome, the storm again turned east, and the Superdome ended up being looted. People were leaving with chairs, barstools, whatever they could carry. The general feeling in the City was no more Dome.

Besides even if miraculously the bus thing got pulled off ( a fantasy) but even if did-where the hell were 100,000 people going to?
Even now they're scattered around 30 something states.

I agree this was piss poor planning by the State and City. I even think it rises to criminal negligence and louisiana officials should be jailed.

But it is what it is. The state and local governments are staffed by fools. Anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention already knew that. The thing is this wasn't even a direct hit on New Orleans. It veered east at the last second and dropped to a cat 4. But that's still a major deal.

Why is state and local incomptence something a competent federal government cant forsee and plan for?

When I left my house on Saturday with my essentials it was a 5 coming right to NO. I fully expected to never see my house again.
Everyone with any knowledge should not have expected to see New Orleans again.

This is why I dont understand why the Feds were not more prepared. Driving out of town i was listening to the radio to the declaration that Bush had already declared it a national emergency.

The weasel words that everyone awoke Monday or Tuesday thinking New Orleans had dodged a bullet is total bullshit. The people who stayed in N.O. e.g. my uncle, were already dodging flood waters by 10 that Monday morning. They started leaving their house while hurricane force winds were still raging.

The Federal govt had to be there with short term relief. It should have started on Saturday with the emergency declaration. Nothing happened after that to ever say there was no emergency.

Instead they had to show Bush a DVD on Thursday to get it through his skull what was happening.

Why do people run for office? Isn't to help people? So goddamn it help people.

Longterm blame-jail the Louisiana officials. Shorterm blame-where were the feds when we need them.

And dont think this was just Louisiana. In Mississippi there were people lying on the beach for three days with gaping wounds awaiting medical attention before some help showed up. The governor's not bitching just to keep attention off himself and the fact he's ex-RNC and a kissass in general. Why-he wants fed funds to rebuild the coast.

But anyone who didnt know the Coast was going to get wiped out completely by Saturday is a fool. Again where was the preparation?

And when they say dont rebuild New Orleans-watch out. New Orleans flooded because of human incompetence as to levee maintenance.
This was the first time and can be prevented with better engineering. But the same Gulf Coast was wiped clean in 1969 in Camille, and can not be protected, no matter what. So why rebuild that?

kim

I love it. Why can't the federal government foresee and forestall local and state incompetence?
===================================================

Po boy

Because they're incompetent themselves is the only answer Kim.

Or you have a better one?

Po boy

Indeed, why is it funny? The people of Louisiana are a pretty dumb lot, and as a result were governed by fools.

Unfortunately, the same goes for the country as a whole.

Bush vs. Kerry is really not that far above (crooked) Edwards vs. (KKK leader) Duke.

kim

By God, the federal government's data-mining capability should have figured out which of the New Orleans residents were going to be foolish enough to continue to shelter at home after a weather service report that their roofs would be ripped off. Why didn't Bush's minions forestall that?

As for where would 100,000 go? This has got to be the silliest argument for letting them stay. Where did the other million refugees go?
==============================================

Po boy

It's not an argument for letting them stay-it's the goddamn reality on the ground and was always going to be.

Mandatory evacuation is not the equivalent of forced. Did you really anticipate New Orleans police were going to go door to door, drag people out of their homes, and throw them on a bus. 100,000 people. In 48-72 hours?

Cause if you did, well, you must work for FEMA.

kim

Po Boy, the capacity for being incompetent at the local level is beyond the capability of the federal government to forestall. Your vision only works as a centrally planned police state. I'll temporarily forgive you your vision because you are presently the victim of local incompetence which central planning and a police state might have prevented for you.

I'd have a different solution to your problem. Demand local accountability. You do vote, don't you. Maybe you need to do a little more than that if you are still feeling frustrated. Blaming distant deities is not going to help, except maybe to make you feel better.

However, it doesn't make me feel any better to know that your misinterpreting all this is leading to inadequate understanding of the errors to be corrected.

Your bias is endangering your future, and mine.


And again, how would you have prevented the mess that was 100,000 left in a doomed New Orleans?
===============================================

Po boy

Good god-you are actually stupid. Not just pretend dumb, but like actually dumb. Forgive me, dear, I didn't understand you had no reading comprehension whatsoever. Your last comment indicates you understand nothing I said. So sayonara.

Harry Arthur

Et, Harry Arthur, thanks for showing your true colors. I've been pretty naive, but I see where you're coming from now. If Democrats lay down and accept the abusive invective of Republicans, they're accused of being weak. If they stand up for their principles, they're accused of being insane. I don't back down from bullies, in real life or online, and I won't do it here.

Actually, I think you're missing my "true colors" and unfortunately it's caused you to attempt to put words in my mouth and beliefs into my head, to which I simply don't subscribe. I recommend that you read your comments above to yourself while looking in the mirror.

You are arguing against two strawmen located at the extremes. There is a middle ground which at least some of us seem to have been unable to find - stand up for your principles without the added vitriol and extreme mischaracterization of those who disagree with you. I know, I know, the other side does the same thing. So what? Most of the time these guys are just jerking your chain for an easy reaction.

I think that by any reasonable standard I've taken either a "let's wait for the facts to come out and see approach", or in the absense of evidence to the contrary, assumed good intentions by folks on either side of most arguments.

I do tend to draw the line and I do get a little irritated when annonomous posters who don't know me assume the worst about me, accuse me of a lack of integrity, or assume that because I'm a conservative who happens to live south of the Mason-Dixon line that somehow that's either a character defect, mental defect or both.

I also try to remind myself that when it appears someone is being obtuse that the fault may be with me in my inability to make a cogent and logical point. Finally, sometimes I just have to agree to disagree with folks - doesn't mean either of us is a bad person - we just see things through a different lens.

On the instant subject, which by the way is buses in New Orleans, not the last election, nor the next election, nor WMDs, nor the Iraq war, nor Medicare, nor the FCC, nor the state of health care in the US, nor any of the other "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" tangents posted, I've stated explicitly several times that the failures of the federal government in dealing with this disaster are clear and warrant intense scrutiny and criticism and that Bush has responsibility as a leader for any such failures.

I've also posted articles that were balanced enough to recognize failure at all levels and a comment or two in sympathy with the difficulties faced by the first responders, including the mayor and governor. My intent at each stage of the discussion was to find the truth. For this on at least two occasions it was blithly assumed that I was a liar and was continuing to spread lies. While on that subject, American Liberal is another one who needs to find a dictionary and look up the clear meaning of the word "lie".

Does it accomplish anything at all to assume that it couldn't possibly be Bush, on the strength of his own character, assuming responsibility for federal failures? No, it must be one of his "handlers" because after all he's a total moron who "couldn't light a BBQ" if he tried. Or it must be an act for political purposes. But then again he's also an evil genius. I would love to have a nickel for every unsubstantiated or patently ridiculous assertion I've read on this thread alone.

Of course I've been nasty enough to have taken issue with the recommendation that we assassinate the president or vice president of the United States or even some of the "milder" comments about Bush in particular and conservatives in general that have been tossed to and fro. I've actually taken pains not to respond in kind. I've also suggested that such ridiculous rhetoric serves no useful purpose (unless of course you just want to hear yourself rant), alienates the majority of your intended audience and certainly convinces no one. That is still my assertion.

To suggest that this is some malady infecting only Republicans strains credulity. It certainly didn't start with his presidency, but I clearly remember virtually the same attitudes, comments and, yes, extreme vitriol from the left side of the isle with respect to Ronald Reagan. I think it must be a tenant of lefty thinking that conservatives are stupid by definition - kind of a basic law of nature. The fact that every republican president, governor, mayor or dog catcher is a moron evidently proves the case. Of course Reagan was also a war-monger, did everything he could to trash the environment, didn't like black people - it all sounds so familiar. Talk about a "republican play book".

By extension the people who elect all of these republicans must be equally stupid. Of course they are - they live in all those poorly educated, unsophisticated, south of the Mason-Dixon line, red states where people from the enlightened liberal blue states are moving.

kim

The federal weather service told y'all that your roofs would be ripped off. You stayed, and now cry that the federals blew it.
==============================================

Po boy

Actually Kim-I am sorry to be so rude. I think you're more scared than dumb.*

I just saw society breakdown. It scared me shitless. There was no order whatsoever. Very frightening. Civilization is a thin fabric indeed.

By refusing to indict the feds along with the state and local fools, I assume you and others are clinging to a thread of a security blanket, i.e. your distant deity, Bush, could have swooped in at any time to restore order, and he will be there for you and your family when you need him.

You cant admit he won't be because, really, then you're truly on your own. And that's scary. I know. I'm a grown man and and I've never known fear like I felt it last week.

I hope you never experience that feeling. Again, I'm sorry i was rude.

*OTHOH you might well be dumb

kim

Nah, you were the one expecting the distant deity to make it all well.

FEMA response came as well as could be expected given the magnitude of the disaster, and the local disarray.
========================================

Etienne

Harry, it's clear you have one way hearing when it comes to vitriolic rhetoric. Did you sleep through the Clinton years perhaps? Are you unfamiliar with Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, who was responsible for this gem :

BECK: Let me be real honest with you. I don't think anybody on talk radio -- I don't think anybody in their right mind is going to say this out loud -- but I wonder if I'm the only one that feels this way. Yesterday, when I saw the ATM cards being handed out, the $2,000 ATM cards, and they were being handed out at the Astrodome. And they actually had to close the Astrodome and seal it off for a while because there was a near-riot trying to get to these ATM cards. My first thought was, it's not like they're going to run out of the $2,000 ATM cards. You can wait! You know, stand in line. Maybe it's because I'm the kind of guy, when I go to a buffet, I either have to be first in line, or I'm the very last. Because I know there's going to be extra food, and I just won't stand in the line. I'll wait until all the suckers go get their food, and then I'll go get mine. Or if I'm really hungry, I hate to admit this -- and really, I don't even have to be really hungry. If I'm really being a pig, I will kind of, like, hang out around the buffet table before the line is -- you know, chat with people right around the table: "Oh, they just opened the line! Let's go!" And then you're first in line.

When you are rioting for these tickets, or these ATM cards, the second thing that came to mind was -- and this is horrible to say, and I wonder if I'm alone in this -- you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year. And I had such compassion for them, and I really wanted to help them, and I was behind, you know, "Let's give them money, let's get this started." All of this stuff. And I really didn't -- of the 3,000 victims' families, I don't hate all of them. Probably about 10 of them. And when I see a 9-11 victim family on television, or whatever, I'm just like, "Oh shut up!" I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining. And we did our best for them. And, again, it's only about 10.

But the second thought I had when I saw these people and they had to shut down the Astrodome and lock it down, I thought: I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims. These guys -- you know it's really sad. We're not hearing anything about Mississippi. We're not hearing anything about Alabama. We're hearing about the victims in New Orleans. This is a 90,000-square-mile disaster site, New Orleans is 181 square miles. A hundred and -- 0.2 percent of the disaster area is New Orleans! And that's all we're hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones we're seeing on television are the scumbags -- and again, it's not all the people in New Orleans. Most of the people in New Orleans got out! It's just a small percentage of those who were left in New Orleans, or who decided to stay in New Orleans, and they're getting all the attention. It's exactly like the 9-11 victims' families. There's about 10 of them that are spoiling it for everybody.

Stop denying that these people speak for your party, just as you imply that the ad hominem spewing posters on this site are somehow rather more entitled than am I to their frustration.

The rancor in this country today is very largely the responsibility of the bilious right wing and their massive, well funded propaganda machine. Sean Hannity rails every day against the "partisanship" of the left, knowing full well that every drop of food that he forks into his face is courtesy of the partisanship he gleefully creates himself.

Po Boy

"FEMA response came as well as could be expected given the magnitude of the disaster, and the local disarray."

So you're still in "Brownie, heck of job" mode.

Well Brown has resigned and even Bush is way off this message. Got to keep pace girl.

Syl

Po boy

I'm sorry for what you went through. I can't even imagine it. Even though we saw a lot of the horror on TV. I hope it doesn't take you too long to recover, on all levels.

But troops aren't going to be there within 24 hours. No way. Not with the devastation for miles and miles around. And troops weren't going to be put up in an armory in the city with the chance of flooding and the armory and equipment destroyed by the hurricane. That's why even the Red Cross set up outside the city.

It does no good if those who are to help after a disaster get caught it in and thus are rendered uneffective.

Even the ships moving towards NO before the hurricane even arrived, didn't get there right away. The Bataan had two helicopter squadrons rescuing people and bringing them to the 'empty beds' by Wednesday.

Cecil Turner

"Why is state and local incomptence something a competent federal government cant forsee and plan for?"

I think that may be the best anti-fed argument. The NO plan was unrealistic (particularly on your point about where to relocate the 100,000), they hadn't exercised properly, and oversight is a federal responsibility.

But I think the focus on relief efforts is misguided. The evacuation was the critical point in the process, and almost all the subsequent problems are directly attributable to that not going well. The logistics prior to the storm hitting were manageable . . . afterward it was a single avenue of approach through a flood zone.

And while I agree the bus evacuation wouldn't have been totally effective, it could have been far more so than it was. Even one run of the buses could have reduced the stranded Superdome crowd by half. If Nagin had given a timely evacuation order (72 hours before landfall, instead of 20), and they'd tried to implement the bus plan, at the very least they'd have gotten some folks out and had the buses available for subsequent relief.

Syl

Etienne

If you think it's so bad, then why don't you rise above it. I don't care who you blame the rotten discourse on, the fact is you do it yourself.

It's the outrage I can't stand. From anybody. I've been that way since a little girl. I just think outrage is so stupid because nobody's perfect. In fact it was just the other day that I remembered I've been turned off by outrage for over fifty years.

And outrage is your specialty.

Po Boy

Again I agree. And I will never defend our local fools. But we all knew by Saturday night that the bus plan had not been carried out.

As for the single avenue approach-sorry that's right but wrong. For vehicles-true. But New Orleans is fundamentally a PORT. The Convention Center is literally right on the River. The Superdome is only ten blocks from the river.

AFAIK -No obstacles to navigation were present in the river from Baton Rouge on Tuesday after the storm. Rogue barges etc. could have been handled by tugboats. Why were barges with supplies not sent down?

I'm not just jumping the feds here. The State could have done this too.

I'm just still boggled by all the incomptence on display. That levee breach filled with White sandbags you see on TV-the 17th street canal-that's about 7 blocks from my ex-home.

Notice a bridge about a block from the breach? (Down-canal from the breach mind you) That bridge has just been officially "floodproofed" by the ACE- After three years of traffic nightmares and $4.9 million of all of our taxes, they literally just finished a few months ago.

So we have a floodproof bridge and a flooded city. And people wander why I'm so pissed off.

Po Boy

Indeed-come to think of it-I'm wondering if it was the construction on the bridge that weakened the levee there.

Cecil Turner
kim

Yeah, really, PB, you can be pardonned. This was a hard rain on us all.
===================================================

Harry Arthur

Et, in answer to your rhetorical question: "Did you sleep through the Clinton years perhaps?" I said the following just a few days ago on September 10 in a comment to you on another thread:

It was no more productive when, during the Clinton administration, those on my side of the isle alleged that president Clinton was at least indirectly responsible for killing several people who might have had dirt on him and Hillary, including Vince Foster. Or that when he attacked Afghanistan and Sudan with cruise missles that he was "wagging the dog." I'm sure you can think of others that you found particularly annoying.

Think back to your reaction. Did you learn anything from the people espousing those views. Did we cause you to think seriously about anything? Did you consider our "arguments" meaningless? Of course. The purpose of a civil discourse is not so that we can all have a big group hug. There's nothing wrong with strong disagreements backed up by solid evidence or a logical argument. I'd suggest that even an occasional good-natured snarky comment or a little dry humor is OK from time to time.

The purpose of civil discourse in general, however, is to have your agument heard ...

So, no, I didn't sleep through the Clinton years. As I clearly indicated, the right was often over-the-top then as the left is now and as the left was during the Reagan years. And of course you could have made the very same comments about Clinton supporters during his difficulties that are now being made here about anyone who makes a Bush-favorable argument, and I'm sure you did. I suppose that when Hillary is elected in 2008 the tables will turn yet again and we'll direct the full vitriol of the right against her ... and on and on and on. It won't be any more productive then than it is now or was in the 70s.

I've heard your argument before and it is no more pursuasive now: "Of course I hit him, he hit me first. Did not. Did to. Did not." Play over and over for maximum effect.

As for Glenn Beck. What can I say? If you listen carefully he often uses tongue-in-cheek satire to make his point. I'm sure you can find even more outrageous comments than the one cited above, but even if totally serious in any comment cited, what is that supposed to tell me? That people on the right say stupid things also? OK. Al Franken, Michael Moore, George Soros, most of Hollywood, any commentator on Air America, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, Paul Begala, Raum Emanuel, Cynthia McKinney, these are all reasonable, sensible and rational people, right? Their statements and allegations about Bush just policy differences?

Here's an unsubstantiated allegation: The rancor in this country today is very largely the responsibility of the bilious right wing and their massive, well funded propaganda machine. Bilious? Just a few stereotypes in there also. To coin a phrase, "it takes two to rancor."

I think what really might be bothering you about Hannity, Rush, Glenn, et al, is that they are so popular and the attempts by the left to duplicate their appeal have been dismal failures, see Air America. Couple that with the fact that the generally liberal-left MSM no longer exercises monopolistic control over the media and the microphone, and what you have is an alternative voice in both am radio and the internet that is virtually democratic (small d) news and commentary.

I'm not sure who is responsible for the "well funded" aspect of talk radio, other than the vast audience and associated advertising it commands. Perhaps we can talk about the funding "issues" with Air America on another thread at another time. I can't help but wonder, though, if this is just a huge propaganda machine, why are they so popular and why have the liberal attempts to launch "equivalents" such as Air America been such total failures. Why is FOX News gaining viewers and CNN, MSNBC and others losing viewers? Right wing propaganda is somehow more interesting than left wing propaganda?

Or are we back around to the "the American people (those in the red states at least) are just a bunch of uneducated, uninformed, unsophisticated, tractor-driving, trailer park-living, greedy, self-serving rubes" argument? The argument I've heard you make about southerners. The only problem with that criticism is that the majority of the exciting twenty-first century ways of working and thinking are happening in the South these days.

Unfortunately, it seems that it's the right today with any new ideas whereas the typical response from the left is primarily criticism, generally ad hominem, with few alternative ideas. Truly a shame. I remember earlier days when "liberal thought process" wasn't just an oxymoron. Even the college campuses are becoming more conservative, though they have a long way to go in that direction.

Personally, I think the American people are a lot more "with it" than many on your side of the isle give them credit for. As always the mood of the electorate and the truth is almost never on the extremes - it's generally to be found somewhere around the middle. And the American people are firmly in the middle on virtually everything.

Harry Arthur

PB, I think Cecil said it best: I suspect the after-action on that project is going to make interesting reading . . . in about 18 months. Certainly don't begrudge you the anger, either. For what it's worth, you have my utmost sympathy and condolences.

And you have mine also. I cannot imagine what it must have been like in NO after the levees breached even if well armed. I've heard just today about nursing home residents abandoned to the flood. How terrible. I'm saddened beyond words that people were failed on multiple levels.

There are simply no excuses at any level. I can only hope that we will learn enough from this disaster to minimize the chance that this could ever happen again.

Regardless of where we stand politically, we are all Americans first and we're in this together. My best wishes to you and your family.

kim

Where's Creepy Dude?
====================

Harry Arthur

Good question, kim. CD, if you're out there, we're wondering how you're doing, especially your grandmother. Talk to us. What's going on down in LA? Are we making any progress?

Best to you. Keep safe, friend.

kim

His last communication was desperate and powerful.
===================================================

Etienne

What does it say about America that loathesome voices like Limbaugh et. al. can be so popular? Not sure. What does it say about America that Desperate Housewives, Fear Factor and Trading Spouses are so popular? Nothing very complimentary, I'm afraid.

I'd have to say though, if conservatives are endorsing the viewpoints of Limbaugh, his repetition of the deliberate mispronounciation Mayor Nay-ger, his denigration of an Iraqi War vet running as a Democrat as a "staff puke", his likening of a mother losing her soldier son to him losing his keys...I'd have to say the only logical conclusion is that the heart of American conservatism is a very dark and revolting place.

kim

I thought of you, Etienne, when I thought of my responses to Po Boy, and Creepy Dude. Here is the problem: In responding to your inauthentic voice I've unfairly diminished the testimony of those two, among others.

Go yak it up at the office. They're all ears there.
===========================

kim

You too, TT. I know Kansans who brag about being North Texans.
=====================================================

kim

I mean, TT, that you are among the others that I've brushed unfairly with the broad swath(ticket, please) of Anti-Etiennism.
=============================================

Etienne

kim, congrats on being the poster girl for modern conservatism - in all its self righteousness, nonsensical contradictions, hypocrisy, self aggrandizement and cold heartedness.

I don't accuse you of being inauthentic though. You represent a dreadful, and all too representative, measure of where America stands in 2005.

kim

Hey, I'm independent, always have been. You don't hear me bashing gays or thumping bibles. The Swifties radicalized me, as well as the MSM portrayal of Iraq. Well, Krugman has helped, too.

I'm a lot more open to novel ideas than you are. Your ideology is codified, if not petrified.
==============================================

Po Boy

Actually this is creepy dude. But I'm a po boy now. Thanks for asking Harry and Kim.

Most of my family is living in temporary apartments in Baton Rouge. Everyone is physically safe, so we're all incredibly lucky and thankful for that.

As for my grandmother, HA-her spirit and focus is really sustaining us all. Being 91, she had already long lost her focus on material possessions, and always tells us that family is all you got in the end. Its so true.

kim

Good, good, news.
===================

kim

Gotta PayPal account?
=======================

kim

I'll not soon forget your last communication as Creepy Dude. You brought me there like only Ambrose Bierce can.
===================================================

Po Boy

We're ok for money Kim-you're too kind. Again we are very lucky.

We might need a new copy of "Gone with the Wind" soon though.

kim

or Confederacy of Dunces?
==========================

Po Boy

That was pretty funny, Kim.

Actually those two titles sum up the situation here pretty well.

kim

Well, you've retqined your sense of humour.
============================================

Po Boy

Oh, we never really lost that.

In fact, when we first heard "Armed Gangs Running Wild in New Orleans" we said "oh good, life is already returning to normal."

kim

That was supposed to be retained, not regained.

Armed gangs, the birth of civilization.
========================================

kim

It's obvious that your sense of humour was among the valued possessions you gathered with you before fleeing, along with your grandmother, who had the original stash of it.
=================================================

Harry Arthur

Welcome back CD/PB, In fact, when we first heard "Armed Gangs Running Wild in New Orleans" we said "oh good, life is already returning to normal." I'm still laughing historically! Glad to hear you are surviving. Your grandmother is absolutely correct IMHO, I'm only 56 but I see the wisdom of your dear grandmother's belief more every day.

Take good care of each other and thanks for lightening my life today. Isn't it supposed to work the other way around? Thanks anyway!

Steven J.

KIM - Joe Wilson lied

Wilson told the truth:

http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/chap4.html

ISG has not found evidence to show that Iraq sought uranium from abroad after 1991 or renewed indigenous production of such material—activities that we believe would have constituted an Iraqi effort to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program.

So far, ISG has found only one offer of uranium to Baghdad since 1991—an approach Iraq appears to have turned down.

kim

SJ, you are sadly out of touch. Joe Wilson was not talking about the ISG. He lied about what he had done, and he lied about his wife, and he lied about Yellow Cake forgeries, and he lied about lying. I'll bet he lied about Baghdad, 1991, too.

And what about Wilson's own report, which documented a contact in 1999, that most observers(including the CIA) believe was about Yellow Cake?

Etienne: Have you seen Talabani's speech on your precious television?
===================================================

kim

SJ, go read Joseph(The Politics of Truth) Wilson in the February 6, 2003 LATimes. In an op-ed, he argued that we shouldn't invade Iraq because Saddam would use his chemical and biological weapons on our troops.
================================================

Steven J.

KIM - SJ, you are sadly out of touch. Joe Wilson was not talking about the ISG. He lied about what he had done

Wilson said that he found no evidence to back up the claim that Iraq was actively seeking yellowcake. The ISG supports his claim.

kim

But he did find evidence.

And he lied about so many other things. Why do you give him any credence whatsoever?
==============================================

boris

Some use the terms evidence and proof more or less interchangably.

Then there is the very common shifting of standards of proof.

The thing is, none of that really matters until the shooting stops. Really stops, cease fires don't count.

kim

The Politics of Truth, forsooth.
Joe Wilson, you're Tartuffe.
===========================================

vch

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Wilson/Plame