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Thread: After we're all done blaming Bush . . .

  1. #1
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    After we're all done blaming Bush . . .

    This from the People's Republic of Oregon favorite liberal hangout....

    [B]After we're all done blaming Bush . . .
    Thursday, September 08, 2005
    DAVID REINHARD [/B]

    President Bush and his federal government are to blame. Yes, conduct your investigations. Do all the after-action analysis, but Bush and his federal government are to blame. Forget the fact that an epic act of nature ripped across the Gulf Coast and breached New Orleans' levees. Ignore the fact the Hurricane Katrina response involved officials at every level of government in three states. We know Bush and his federal government are to blame.

    In their new book, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner discuss "conventional wisdom." It's a term coined by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who held that it's always simple, convenient, comfortable and comforting. I thought of this often while watching the last week's creation of a Katrina "conventional wisdom" in certain quarters. On the left, among Democratic partisans and in some media precincts, it's the now a given that Bush and his federal government are to blame.

    Many of our compatriots, it seems, have jumped to their pre-Katrina battle stations in the storm's wake. You might think a natural disaster of this magnitude might prompt some fresh thinking or a sense of proportionality. You might think all the death and devastation would usher in a truce in our political wars, at least while others are out saving lives, clean up and burying the dead.

    Not for some. They have looked at Katrina through the same lens they donned beforehand. If they were keyed up about global warming, Bush was to blame for the hurricane because he opposed the Kyoto Accords. If they opposed the Iraq War, he's to blame for an alleged lack of National Guard troops in New Orleans or for taking away funds for levee building and water projects. If they've spent their careers looking at everything through the prism of race, he's is to blame because he doesn't care about Katrina's victims because they're black. Even anti-Bush celebs were back on the scene after Katrina.

    The silliness of this opportunistic hogwash is clear even to many Bush-bashers. But there's one element of new Bush-and-his-federal-government-are-to-blame conventional wisdom that's worth considering. It's the new conventional wisdom's "failure of leadership" claim. This line, of course, comes from the same folks who've spent years belaboring Bush's "failure of leadership" in all areas. A large subset believes "Bush is an idiot," and their contempt for him couldn't be clearer. If Bush hurled himself into New Orleans waters to save a drowning baby, many would probably have faulted him for not being a better swimmer or for engaging in a photo-op.

    Never mind that some of the charges this time around -- he failed to send in troops to New Orleans quickly enough, his administration failed to deploy the USS Bataan to the area -- collapse on inspection. Blame-Bush cries largely ignore the fact that officials at other government levels played key roles in this disaster.

    Yes, it's important to figure out what Bush's federal government might have done better, but the "Bush-administration-is-to-blame" crew ignores the actions of New Orleans and Louisiana officials with front-line responsibilities. Why did Bush have to urge New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to order an evacuation early on? Why wasn't busing providing for people who made it to the Superdome, since they learned a year earlier in Hurricane Ivan that this was needed? Why did the city's buses remain parked? Why wasn't the Superdome stocked with supplies in the absence of busing? Why did the locals fail to implement their own emergency plans? Why didn't state officials allow the feds and first responders in sooner?

    The failure to even focus on these questions suggests some critics are uninterested in a balanced exploration of the issues. They're only blame-gaming.

    Bush backers should not fall into the opposite trap. They shouldn't offer up knee-jerk defense of the administration. Mistakes were made. Of course they were. There always are in undertakings of this nature and magnitude.

    Happily, the public seems to understand this. Opinion polls are quite balanced on Katrina and its aftermath. This won't make the "Bush-is-to-blame" folks happy, but a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that only 13 percent said Bush is "most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane" 18 percent said "federal agencies" and 25 percent "state and local officials." Thirty-percent said no one is to blame. Maybe the new conventional wisdom is not so conventional.

    [url]http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/david_reinhard/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1126177369278000.xml&coll=7[/url]
    ----------------------------------------------------


    Amzaing in that it ties together many of the arguements that have gone on here the past week....

  2. #2
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]
    Bush backers should not fall into the opposite trap. They shouldn't offer up knee-jerk defense of the administration. Mistakes were made. Of course they were. There always are in undertakings of this nature and magnitude.

    Happily, the public seems to understand this. .[/QUOTE]
    It's common sense, and a common sense, rational approach to the situation. The hysterical rant of the blame game comes from the far left, not the grounded folks who are realistic about what happened, and the logistics of how it is unfolding.

    It was a catastrophic storm, leaving horrific conditions, and it seems a monumental effort will be needed to clean it up.

    Also, the inherent nature of bureacracy will hinder itself from actually getting the jump on a situation.

    Plus, the judgment of fallible humans confronting a life and death crisis isnt always perfect. There werent too many survivors at Waco, for example.
    And that was on a smaller scale, and didnt even involve a catastrophic natural disaster.

  3. #3
    The big thing is will lessons be learned from all of this? Perhaps in the short term yes but in the long term I've got no confidence at all. When the next next disaster rolls around will there be a much better response? Yes, no doubt about that.

    The next time a group of experts says they really need funds to do things like upgrade levees will they get the funds? Perhaps in the short term. I think the blame game of what happened after the disaster is overshadowing of where the real blame game should be focused, could this catastrophe have been prevented.

  4. #4
    you guys want to talk about common sense?

    Katrina will be the worst national disaster maybe in American history.

    This horror is going to drag out for months. There's no Rove spin that will misdirect the media or bamboozle the common folk.

    common sense dictates the President is the man in charge of the country.

    When worst case scenarios are 3 days out that's enough time to save people's lives.

    What is this bulls--t blaming the mayor and the governor like they are real leaders? It was and is a desperate situation.

    He can't stop hurricanes but the government has an essential responsibilty to look out for the welfare of the people first and foremost.

    Could NO be saved? the city no, but people yes. The elderly, infirm (in hospitals for example), disabled, and yes even the indigent and poor.

    No not everyone would have been saved. But at least pretend you are trying.

    When you turn on the TV and Gingrich is reminding Bush how to "act presidential" that's a sign of things gone horribly wrong.

    you guys might love Bush but he's incompetant. He shouldn't be running the cash register at a wal-mart. everytime something effed up happens he's on vacation. It's a worldwide joke.

    The Buck stops HERE!

    [IMG]http://www.jfklibrary.org/images/whgde40.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by bitonti; 09-08-2005 at 10:59 PM.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=bitonti]

    What is this bulls--t blaming the mayor and the governor like they are real leaders? [/QUOTE]

    First response, where was it? Did Bush F-up Mississippi and the many other hurricanes he dealt with, or was New Orleans susceptible to real catastrophe? This is tragedy here, not political opportunity. Too many Democrats have already f'd up and pointed fingers to deflect their own blame. The facts of what happened won't change, it was foolish of many to be political when this tragedy was (and still is) fresh. Moveon.org might have pulled some of their ads, but they can't take back their actions. Many Democrats have been disgraceful, but even their miscalculations are smaller than the enormity of Katrina's damage. I wonder when the super partisans will pick up the fact that no one is really in the mood to have hearings and commence official blame games while there is so much work to be done. They're not getting anywhere in their Bush hatefest, so they should be getting the picture.

  6. #6
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    [B]White House considered siezing control of La. from its' inept leaders [/B]

    Political Issues Snarled Plans for Troop Aid
    By ERIC LIPTON, ERIC SCHMITT
    and THOM SHANKER

    This article was reported and written by Eric Lipton, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 - As New Orleans descended into chaos last week and Louisiana's governor asked for 40,000 soldiers, President Bush's senior advisers debated whether the president should speed the arrival of active-duty troops by seizing control of the hurricane relief mission from the governor.

    For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effort.

    Instead, the Washington officials decided to rely on the growing number of National Guard personnel flowing into Louisiana, who were under Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's control. The debate was triggered as officials began to realize that Hurricane Katrina exposed a critical flaw in the national disaster response plans created after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to the administration's senior homeland security officials, the hurricane showed the failure of their plan to recognize that local police, fire and medical personnel might be incapacitated and unable to act quickly until reinforcements arrive on the scene.

    As criticism of the response to Hurricane Katrina has mounted, one of the most pointed questions has been why more troops were not available more quickly to restore order and offer aid. Interviews with officials in Washington and Louisiana show that as the situation grew worse, they were wrangling with questions of federal/state authority, weighing the realities of military logistics and perhaps talking past each other in the crisis.

    To seize control of the mission, Mr. Bush would have had to invoke the Insurrection Act, which allows the president in times of unrest to command active-duty forces into the states to perform law enforcement duties. But decision makers in Washington felt certain that Governor Blanco would have resisted surrendering control of the military relief mission as Bush Administration officials believe would have been required to deploy active-duty combat forces before law and order had been re-established. While troops can conduct relief missions without the legal authority of the Insurrection Act, Pentagon and military officials say that no active-duty forces could have been sent into the chaos of New Orleans on Wednesday or Thursday without confronting law-and-order challenges.

    But just as important to the administration were worries about the message that would have been sent by a president ousting a Southern governor of another party from command of her National Guard, according to administration, Pentagon and Justice Department officials.

    "Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?" asked one senior administration official, who spoke anonymously because the talks were confidential.

    Officials in Louisiana agree that the governor would not have given up control over National Guard troops in her state as would have been required to send large numbers of active-duty soldiers into the area. But they also say they were desperate and would have welcomed assistance by active-duty soldiers.

    "I need everything you have got," Governor Blanco said she told Mr. Bush last Tuesday, when New Orleans flooded. In an interview, she acknowledged that she did not specify what sorts of soldiers. "Nobody told me that I had to request that. I thought that I had requested everything they had," she said. "We were living in a war zone by then."

    The governor illustrated her stance when, overnight Friday, she rejected a more modest proposal for a hybrid command structure in which both the Guard and active-duty troops would be under the command of an active-duty, three-star general - but only after he had been sworn into the Louisiana Guard.

    Also at issue was whether active-duty troops could respond faster and in larger numbers than National Guard soldiers.

    By last Wednesday, Pentagon officials said even the 82nd Airborne, which has a brigade on standby to move out within 18 hours - could not arrive any faster than 7,000 National Guard troops, which are specially trained and equipped for civilian law enforcement duties. In the end, the flow of thousands of National Guard soldiers, especially military police, was accelerated from other states.

    "I was there. I saw what needed to be done," Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in an interview. "They were the fastest, best-capable, most appropriate force to get there in the time allowed. And that's what it's all about."

    But one senior Army officer expressed puzzlement that active-duty troops were not summoned sooner, saying that 82nd Airborne troops were ready to move out from Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Sunday, the day before the hurricane hit.

    But the call never came, in part because military officials believed National Guard troops would get there faster and because administration civilians were worried that there could be political fallout if federal troops were forced to shoot looters, administration officials said.

    Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, the director of operations for the military's Joint Staff, said that the Pentagon in August streamlined a rigid, decades-old system of deployment orders to allow the Northern Command to dispatch liaisons to work with local officials in advance of an approaching hurricane.

    The Pentagon is reviewing events from the time the hurricane reached full strength and bore down on New Orleans and five days later when Mr. Bush ordered 7,200 active-duty soldiers and Marines to the scene.

    After the hurricane passed New Orleans and the levees broke, flooding the city, it became increasingly evident that disaster response efforts were badly bogged down.

    Justice Department lawyers, who were receiving harrowing reports from the area, considered whether active-duty military units could be brought into relief operations even if state authorities gave their consent - or even if they refused.

    The issue of federalizing the response was one of a number of legal issues considered in a flurry of meetings at the Justice Department, the White House and other agencies, administration officials said.

    Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales urged Justice lawyers to interpret the federal law creatively to assist local authorities. For example, federal prosecutors prepared to expand their enforcement of some criminal statutes like anti-carjacking laws that can be prosecuted by either state or federal authorities.

    On the issue of whether the military could be deployed without the invitation of state officials, the Office of Legal Counsel, the unit within the Justice Department that provides legal advice to federal agencies, concluded that the federal government did possess authority to move in even over the objection of local officials.

    This act was last invoked in 1992 for the Los Angeles riots, but at the request of Gov. Pete Wilson of California, and has not been invoked over a governor's objections since the civil rights era - and before that, to the time of the Civil War, according to administration officials. Bush administration, Pentagon and senior military officials warned that such an extreme measure would have serious legal and political implications.

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said that deployment of National Guard soldiers to Iraq, including a brigade from Louisiana, did not affect the relief mission, but Governor Blanco said her state troops were missed. "Over the last year we have had about 5,000 out, at one time," Governor Blanco said. "They are on active duty, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That certainly is a factor."

    By Friday, National Guard reinforcements had arrived, and a truck convoy of 1,000 Guard soldiers brought relief supplies - and order - to the convention center area.

    Homeland Security officials say that the experience with Katrina has demonstrated flaws in the nation's plans to handle disaster.

    "This event has exposed, perhaps ultimately to our benefit, a deficiency in terms of replacing first responders who tragically may be the first casualties," Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland security, said.

    Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security, has suggested the active-duty troops be trained and equipped to intervene if front-line emergency personnel are stricken. But the Pentagon's leadership remains unconvinced that this plan is sound, suggesting instead that the national emergency response plans should be revised to draw reinforcements initially from civilian police, firefighters, medical personnel and hazardous-waste experts in other states not affected by a disaster.

    The federal government rewrote its national emergency response plan after the Sept. 11 attacks, but it relied on local officials to manage any crisis in its opening days. But Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed local "first responders," including civilian police and the National Guard.

    At a news conference Saturday, Mr. Chertoff said: "The unusual set of challenges of conducting a massive evacuation in the context of a still dangerous flood, requires us to basically break the traditional model and create a new model, one for what you might call kind of an ultra-catastrophe. And that's one in which we are using the military, still within the framework of the law, to come in and really handle the evacuation, handle all of the associated elements. And that, of course, frees the National Guard up to do a security mission."

    Mr. McHale, while agreeing with the problem, offered different remedies. "It is foreseeable to envision a catastrophic explosion that would kill virtually every police officer within miles of the attack," he said. "Therefore we are going to have to reexamine our ability to back-fill first responder capabilities that may be degraded or destroyed during the initial event."

    He continued, "What we now have to look toward is perhaps a regional capability, probably within the civilian sector, that can be deployed to a city when that city's infrastructure and first responder capability has been destroyed by the event itself."

    [url]http://nytimes.com/2005/09/09/natio.../5IdUAAQpAtOGxw[/url]

    [IMG]http://www.blindmanphoto.com/images/Stop-Blaming-FEMA.jpg[/IMG]

  7. #7
    CBNY that's a great article did you read it? or just the headline?

    ps the flooded area not on the screen is huge. 60% of new orleans is not on that map.

  8. #8
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    COuld you have imagined the howling of the lunatic fringe if Bush had invoked the Insurrection Act? lol - there would have been red-faced libs all over keeling over from heart attacks :yes: . And headlines screaming "Bush seizes control! US now a dictatorship!" (wait - isn't that already on moveon.org? :rolleyes: )

    I say: fight fire with fire. Ratchet up the Right to counter the Lefty Lunatic mouth-foamers' BS. Naggin and Blanco cried while people died!!!!! :steamin:

  9. #9
    Entitlement

    Many Americans , especially leftist Liberals , feel that they are " entitled " to be sheltered from discomfort.

    Entitled to have government solve their problems. Entitled to the Governmwnt to do something about a poor education, poor diet, lack of personal responsibilty, and poor choices.

    It is the Governemnts fault thatyou choose to live in an area that is subject to flooding. It is the Governments fault that you fail to have the basic essentials for a disruption.

    If you live in a flood zone, you should be able to get out. if you can't you shouldn't be living there.

    Easy.

    Blame Bush.

    Easy.

    Blame others

    Easy.



    " The Big Easy "



    It is the South.



    Aniamls have thew sense to move from flood plains, where there isn't any food , where they might get killed.

    in the " Big easy" , they stuck around chanting " Help us now " , " Help us Now "



    And now you have the usual Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton Road Show.



    That's the real shame.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=GetaLife]Entitlement
    [/QUOTE]

    I don't disagree but the gov't's response has been downright liberal - they are giving out 2000$ debit cards, talking about keeping vicitims on unemployment for a year, the gov't is buying pre-fab houses etc. It's an absolute spend fest, and not in the spirit of fiscal conservatism.

  11. #11
    Anyone who continues to blame bush for this and downplay the role of local and state officials has simply lost all cred with me on this. The End.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Jetcane]Anyone who continues to blame bush for this and downplay the role of local and state officials has simply lost all cred with me on this. The End.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly, exactly....

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=jets5ever]Exactly, exactly....[/QUOTE]

    yeah it's really openminded to issue blanket statements that are meaningless

    neither of you guys actually find people credible when they disagree with you, so what's new?

    according to the credibility police i have been lacking for years! this is not new or specific to this event. You guys have been playing the credibility card for years.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]yeah it's really openminded to issue blanket statements that are meaningless

    neither of you guys actually find people credible when they disagree with you, so what's new?

    according to the credibility police i have been lacking for years! this is not new or specific to this event. You guys have been playing the credibility card for years.[/QUOTE]

    No, credible disagreements can and do exist - I have said so many times.

    Anyone who blames Bush for Hurrican Katrina is clearly not credible, IMO.

  15. #15
    There was a national poll the other day where only 14% blamed bush as the biggest reason for the katrina problems.

    You are much closer to the lunatic fringe than you are willing to admit.

    Also, disagreeing has nothing to do with credibility.
    Failing to digest concepts and facts that destroy your argument causes you to lose cred.
    Last edited by Jetcane; 09-09-2005 at 12:37 PM.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=Jetcane]There was a national poll the other day where only 14% blamed bush as the biggest reason for the katrina problems.

    You are much closer to the lunatic fringe than you are willing to admit.

    Also, disagreeing has nothing to do with credibility.
    Failing to digest concepts and facts that destroy your argument causes you to lose cred.[/QUOTE]

    it's not even concepts...it's practical law, systems put into place by local authorities which are not acted upon, etc...

    you can debate a concept until the cows come home yet when local officals say "in an emergency we are going to do A-B-C" and don't do it....

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]it's not even concepts...it's practical law, systems put into place by local authorities which are not acted upon, etc...

    you can debate a concept until the cows come home yet when local officals say "in an emergency we are going to do A-B-C" and don't do it....[/QUOTE]

    It's also the concept I pointed out to him last week- something called the Tenth Amendment, that reserves all rights to the States that are not expreslly delegated to the feds. I am sure he failed to digest that concept.

  18. #18
    Isn't Bush the top dog?? Sure the blame should go around to all the local and state higher ups. But why isn'r Bush partially responsible?? The buck stops here. Some of you guys sure know how to praise Caesar but don't or won't blame him for anything.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=FloridaJet]Isn't Bush the top dog?? Sure the blame should go around to all the local and state higher ups. But why isn'r Bush partially responsible?? The buck stops here. Some of you guys sure know how to praise Caesar but don't or won't blame him for anything.[/QUOTE]

    Partially responsible for what?? Have you been following along [I]at all[/I] ?!
    How about we blame him for things that are really his fault? :rolleyes:

  20. #20
    Read the timeline posted here, and some of the other articles about first response, and then get back to us.

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