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Author Topic:   Help Lizard Breath Save Bush from Hurricane Katrina
berberry
Inactive Member


Message 151 of 205 (242777)
09-12-2005 11:30 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by Monk
09-12-2005 10:30 PM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
Monk writes:

quote:
I don’t blame Bush for not spending billions in south Louisiana to upgrade the levees or restore the wetlands.

I don't blame him for not spending the billions since no other president has, but I do blame republicans in general for stopping federal funds for levee maintenance in New Orleans. It costs a few million a year (that's million, not billion) and has been authorized by every president and congress since Johnson. I'm not talking about the multi-billion dollar proposal to upgrade the levees. I'm talking about merely maintaining what had already been built, kinda like we do with interestate bridges. And remember, it wasn't the blow that flooded New Orleans. It was the breach in the levees that occurred after the brunt of the storm had passed. Had the levee been properly maintained it's quite likely that it would have held.

quote:
...FEMA and Mike Brown should have seen the confusion between state and local officials and stepped in. Bush declared a state of emergency before Katrina hit, so at that point FEMA should have been ready to take command.

Confusion had nothing to do with it. Once a federal emergency declaration had been requested and granted, FEMA was in charge. Not "ready to take command" but "in command". That's the way disaster management is supposed to work.

The logic behind this is simple. Disasters have a way of interrupting and sometimes destroying the usual lines of communication. Local and state leaders may not be able to control relief operations simply because of the disaster itself, so once a federal emergency is declared by the president FEMA is supposed to provide active oversight of all relief and rescue operations.

Overall I agree with your much of what you say in this post, but I wanted to offer these caveats because I think they're important.


"I think younger workers first of all, younger workers have been promised benefits the government promises that have been promised, benefits that we can't keep. That's just the way it is." George W. Bush, May 4, 2005
This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by Monk, posted 09-12-2005 10:30 PM Monk has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by Monk, posted 09-13-2005 10:14 AM berberry has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 89 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 152 of 205 (242793)
09-13-2005 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Monk
09-12-2005 10:30 PM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
I doubt that Bush was overly concerned about this any more than he would be concerned about earthquakes in California or another major terror attack on US soil.

you heard it here first, folks. bush has little to no concern about terrorism either. which doesn't really suprise anyone, given how he ignored cia intell just like he ignored noaa intell here. starting to see a pattern?

Don’t they have TV’s on Air Force One? Wasn’t there anyone on that plane that could possibly discern the gravity of the situation by watching the friggin’ TV?

what, you honeslty think the president believes that nasty liberal media?

And we are not speaking of minutes or hours, we are speaking of DAYS. I can understand minutes or hours. But days!!!?

yeah, i think that says it all. 7 minutes? forgivable in hindsight. but what did we really expect? what was he going to do? show up and have pictures taken? it's not like he's gonna hand out water or pull people from submerged homes.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3930 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 153 of 205 (242822)
09-13-2005 5:41 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Monk
09-12-2005 10:30 PM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
Congratulations Monk, you get a POTM from me with this. And its not a condescending thing. I honestly think this was a courageous act. It is dealing with mounting evidence head on, rather than skirting the issue.

I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask whether Bush should have thought more about New Orleans over what could happen in other specific cities around the country. He is not clairvoyant. He delegates that responsibility (evacuation planning) to state and local officials working in concert with Homeland Security and FEMA.

I agree, though would point out that it didn't take a clairvoyant to be concerned about the potential of Katrina to do more damage as it already had done damage in Fla. I think he should have at least gotten a bit more hands on with regard to making sure (ie putting pressure on) managers to get him reliable estimates of what could happen and what the responses would be. But that could just be the fact that I'm a news junkie and would like my leadership to be as well.

I don’t hold Bush responsible for preventing an act of nature. And I don’t blame Bush for not spending billions in south Louisiana to upgrade the levees or restore the wetlands. I don’t believe any single person is responsible for that. It’s the nature of politics. Without a major vocal champion to fight for the project in Washington, it wasn’t going to happen.

I agree with this and have stated so already. This issue stretches back and hits all parties. I will only note, as I said in the other thread, that it was the Reps which created the atmosphere which prevented anyone (dem or rep) from initiating massive spending projects. The era of the "tax and spend" label was initiated wholly by Reps.

I agree however, that the dems (and non partisan hack reps) should have had more backbone on important projects such as this.

But I do hold Bush responsible for the reaction to the event.

That is exactly where I lay blame as well. And I agree with your assessment regarding the blame which hits state and city officials. Heck, you didn't even mention NOrleans police officers which fled, rather than do their duty. Each one gets a raspberry.

It could have been a defining moment in his presidency, a chance to rise above the mediocre, a chance to show critics they were wrong about him. He could have at least held a news conference and commented on what was going on at the Superdome and the Convention Center.

Agreed. And I want to take this moment to explain something to you, which perhaps may bridge our differences in the future. I have felt the above at every test of Bush's presidency.

I did not go into his presidency thinking this guy was the worst possible thing for America. Before the election itself I felt he and Gore were about the same, with a few steps in Bush's favor.

After the election (and during the crisis regarding the election) I was disappointed to see him and his crew reverse their stance (they said explicitly Gore should not take this to the SC), as well as lying about the nature of the Fla ballot (they had a person make public statements comparing Chicago ballots, the one I happened to have used, which were downright lies). This is not to mention the extremely shoddy decision that the SC used to push him into office.

But that is politics after all. Gore did some reversals himself, so who was clean? So I sat back to watch where Bush would go. I was hoping he would turn out for the best, and in any case much better than Gore.

It is at each stage of his presidency, each critical point, where I have lost my enthusiasm, and indeed felt shocked... shocked in the same way you are showing here. He has even reversed important platform positions, including longheld traditional conservative positions I happen to like (and why I thought he had an edge over Gore).

But it was patent cronyism and mismanagement which seemed to rule his administration. If there is one thing I can grant Bush, he is loyal to his friends. But that is not synonymous with being loyal to his office and so the American public.

Thus I hope in the future, you can view my position in this light, rather than the one you usually put me into. My breaking point may have come sooner than yours, but the idea is the same.

I believe this goes for Crash as well, since he even voted for Bush in 2000.

Throw a bottle of water out of Air Force One as you pass over it.

I was considering saying the same thing in one of my posts. The fact that you just said it says a lot more.

Clinton will always carry Monica with him. Bush will always carry Katrina.

That says even more.

I actually do hope Bush can salvage something, only I hope it can be done in ways that are not political in nature. If he can do it without partisan political maneuvers, that means he will effect some real change for the nation, and that's what the nation needs. This could have been an epiphany for him, or at least a wake up call.

Carter was not a great president, but he sure became a great person and leader. If the same happens for Bush... why would I want to stop that? However if it is a return to politics as usual, I hope Karma hits him right in the nuts.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by crashfrog, posted 09-13-2005 7:24 AM Silent H has responded
 Message 156 by nator, posted 09-13-2005 9:15 AM Silent H has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 154 of 205 (242831)
09-13-2005 7:24 AM
Reply to: Message 153 by Silent H
09-13-2005 5:41 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
I will only note, as I said in the other thread, that it was the Reps which created the atmosphere which prevented anyone (dem or rep) from initiating massive spending projects.

I wasn't sure when Monk said it, and now I'm puzzled because you seem to agree - exactly what is this "atmosphere" that you guys are talking about? The only atmosphere I can discern in Congress right now is an atmosphere that rubber-stamps any profligate spending increase that the President asks for.

"Wasn't going to happen?" The political reality is that if Bush had asked for it, Congress would have bent over backwards to deliver it. It's not like they act like they're going to run out of money or something.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Silent H, posted 09-13-2005 5:41 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 155 by Silent H, posted 09-13-2005 7:52 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3930 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 155 of 205 (242838)
09-13-2005 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by crashfrog
09-13-2005 7:24 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
exactly what is this "atmosphere" that you guys are talking about? The only atmosphere I can discern in Congress right now is an atmosphere that rubber-stamps any profligate spending increase that the President asks for.

From early to mid 80s the reps began a campaign to label liberals and democrats. Despite bankrolling the S&L bailout which was welfare for the rich, not to mention the excesses of gov't military spending under Reagan, the reps managed to hang a name on dems by the early 90s.

While Clinton was in the White House this "tax and spend" label was effective, especially given the congressional victory reps won early on, in halting dem backed programs.

You could see this in the absolute retreat from socialized medicine, and then Clinton's cave in on welfare.

This lasted as long as reps needed it to last politically. After 911, Bush was given carte blanche and reps have entered a phase of tax-future-citizens and spend. I agree that if Bush had raised this as a need for national security it would have been funded.

However the subject was already pretty much dead as a doornail politically, and certainly for Bush it was something in the past, rejected or ignored by both dems and reps. Dems shoulder the blame as much as reps in ignoring this. Reps however do shoulder the blame for creating the "tax and spend" climate which needlessly ended debate on worthwhile topics. That they then turned hypocrite is nothing new.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 281 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 156 of 205 (242870)
09-13-2005 9:15 AM
Reply to: Message 153 by Silent H
09-13-2005 5:41 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
quote:
Carter was not a great president, but he sure became a great person and leader. If the same happens for Bush... why would I want to stop that? However if it is a return to politics as usual, I hope Karma hits him right in the nuts.

The thing is, Carter was always a very good man, who was taught and lived a good value system which emphasized helping people, always doing one's best, and making a real difference through public service.

He is also a very entrepenurial person with good business sense and is a pretty charismatic leader and talented diplomat who is not averse to hearing bad news if it's the truth.

None of these things are true of Bush and never have been, so my hopes that he will retire to do great things for the country is very small.

I predict that he will end up more like OJ Simpson, who searched tirelessly for Nicole Brown's killer on the golfcourse.

This message has been edited by schrafinator, 09-13-2005 09:17 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Silent H, posted 09-13-2005 5:41 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by Monk, posted 09-13-2005 10:19 AM nator has responded
 Message 165 by Silent H, posted 09-13-2005 12:40 PM nator has responded

    
Monk
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 157 of 205 (242892)
09-13-2005 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 151 by berberry
09-12-2005 11:30 PM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
but I do blame republicans in general for stopping federal funds for levee maintenance in New Orleans. It costs a few million a year (that's million, not billion) and has been authorized by every president and congress since Johnson. I'm not talking about the multi-billion dollar proposal to upgrade the levees. I'm talking about merely maintaining what had already been built, kinda like we do with interestate bridges. And remember, it wasn't the blow that flooded New Orleans. It was the breach in the levees that occurred after the brunt of the storm had passed. Had the levee been properly maintained it's quite likely that it would have held.

The Orleans Levee District is responsible for the maintenance of 129 miles of levees and floodwalls, 190 floodgates, 100 flood valves, and two flood control structures. It is not the politicians in Washington who provide funding for routine levee maintenance. The District is funded primarily by two millages: 5.46 mills authorized in the Louisiana Constitution and 6.44 mills authorized in a general election.

Funding for the levee is only partially from fed funds via the USACE, the balance is through state and local mill levies,(taxes). Cutting USACE funding would only affect a portion of the overall Orleans Levee budget.

The estimated $70 million shortfall certainly had an impact on several projects. But, that amount would not be nearly enough to provide the final funding necessary to solve New Orleans flood issues.

Even a properly maintained Cat 3 levee system will not withstand Cat 4 or 5 force. There is no evidence to suggest proper maintenance of the Cat 3 levee system would have made any difference in this storm.

Confusion had nothing to do with it. Once a federal emergency declaration had been requested and granted, FEMA was in charge. Not "ready to take command" but "in command". That's the way disaster management is supposed to work.

There are two official declarations that can be made by the President in times of emergency. One is a general state of emergency and the other is a major disaster. Before the storm hit on August 27, the President declared a “state of emergency”. This action released federal resources from FEMA to “help” meet immediate life-saving and life-sustaining human needs and protect property in addition to other emergency protective measures. Debris removal and emergency services are provided to assist law enforcement with evacuations and establish shelters.

quote:
It's always the state's call. The state tells what kind of help they need. We don't come in and take over," said Philip Clark, spokesman for FEMA's Region III which includes Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. "The Congress assumes responsibility begins at the local level and moves up. Congress didn't mean for FEMA to come in to every disaster. Source

This “state of emergency” action is more of a supportive role to state and local governments. It is not a declaration of martial law or federalization of the entire situation. It was at this point that FEMA should have been ready to take over should a major disaster be declared.

On Monday August 29, the President declared a “major disaster”. This IS the declaration that gave FEMA the authority to take over from local and state authorities.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 151 by berberry, posted 09-12-2005 11:30 PM berberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by jar, posted 09-13-2005 10:26 AM Monk has responded
 Message 161 by berberry, posted 09-13-2005 10:46 AM Monk has responded

  
Monk
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 158 of 205 (242895)
09-13-2005 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 156 by nator
09-13-2005 9:15 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
The thing is, Carter was always a very good man, who was taught and lived a good value system which emphasized helping people, always doing one's best, and making a real difference through public service.

That may all be true, but my point was in regard to his management style and his lack of the ability to delegate authority without keeping intimately involved. In other words, micro management. If taken to extremes, this can cause as many problems as the "hands off" management style employed by Bush.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by nator, posted 09-13-2005 9:15 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 166 by nator, posted 09-13-2005 4:07 PM Monk has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 159 of 205 (242898)
09-13-2005 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by Monk
09-13-2005 10:14 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
Would you agree that at least since the 2000 study, the results of a Cat 4 or Cat 5 Hurricane making landfall on or just to the east of New Orleans should have been clear to Federal Emergency folk?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by Monk, posted 09-13-2005 10:14 AM Monk has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by Monk, posted 09-13-2005 10:43 AM jar has responded

  
Monk
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 160 of 205 (242912)
09-13-2005 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 159 by jar
09-13-2005 10:26 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
Would you agree that at least since the 2000 study, the results of a Cat 4 or Cat 5 Hurricane making landfall on or just to the east of New Orleans should have been clear to Federal Emergency folk?

Yes, but again it’s just one of many potential disasters that could occur. We can all sit back with hindsight and say this event should have been the top priority. But why? Why should this have been more important than any number of other major disasters that could occur? Take for example a Cat 4 or 5 storm hitting Houston:

quote:
A landfall here would allow its powerful upper-right quadrant, where the waves move in the same direction as the storm, to overflow Galveston Bay. Within an hour or two, a storm surge, topping out at 20 feet or more, would flood the homes of 600,000 people in Harris County. The surge also would block the natural drainage of flooded inland bayous and streams for a day or more.

Coastal residents who ignored warnings to flee would have no hope of escape as waters swelled and winds roiled around their homes. Very likely, hundreds, perhaps even thousands, would die.


Source

I’m sure Federal Emergency folk were aware of the New Orleans disaster scenario as they are aware of Houston and many others.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by jar, posted 09-13-2005 10:26 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 162 by jar, posted 09-13-2005 11:11 AM Monk has responded

  
berberry
Inactive Member


Message 161 of 205 (242916)
09-13-2005 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by Monk
09-13-2005 10:14 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
Again, Monk, I'm not trying to seriously dispute anything you've said, just adding what I believe is important context.

quote:
The estimated $70 million shortfall certainly had an impact on several projects. But, that amount would not be nearly enough to provide the final funding necessary to solve New Orleans flood issues.

No, but that's not what I said. The $70 million is a hell of a sum for a relatively poor city of 1 million people. Given the profligate spending that is routine for this administration and congress that $70 million seems mightly paltry. The republicans somehow manage to find many, many more millions to build bridges to nowhere in Alaska but they can't spare $70 million to maintain a levee system in a crucial port city of over a million people.

Maintenance of that levee is a compelling national interest, and it's just the sort of thing that Homeland Security is supposed to be monitoring. It wouldn't matter one bit if it had been the state of Louisiana rather than the congress that stopped the maintenance funding. It would still be the business of Homeland Security to see to it that the infrastructure of an important port city like New Orleans is being maintained.

I'm not saying that Homeland Security should take charge of infrastructure maintenance in local areas, only that they MUST monitor it.

quote:
On Monday August 29, the President declared a “major disaster”. This IS the declaration that gave FEMA the authority to take over from local and state authorities.

Unless this is just an FYI I don't see your point. We agree. Your consistency is impressive. I have a higher opinion of you than I do of most conservatives.


"I think younger workers first of all, younger workers have been promised benefits the government promises that have been promised, benefits that we can't keep. That's just the way it is." George W. Bush, May 4, 2005
This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by Monk, posted 09-13-2005 10:14 AM Monk has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by Monk, posted 09-13-2005 11:21 AM berberry has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 162 of 205 (242923)
09-13-2005 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 160 by Monk
09-13-2005 10:43 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
I have not said that it should be top priority.

But let's look at the two examples given so far; Major hurricane striking major metropolitan area.

In either case, the planning would be the same. There would be:


  • need to evacuate people including many who rely on public transportation.
  • knowledge of the location and specific needs for critical care individuals.
  • housing for an indefinite period of time.
  • alternate routing to get repair and rescue personell and equipment into the affected areas.
  • supplies.
  • public advisories and public service announcements.
  • alternative communication equipment.
  • the knowledge of resurces that could be employed and plans to activate those resources.

All of these could be done in advance and would be general in nature. If you have a list of military base housing that could be used, it does not matter if the refugees are coming from Houston, New Orleans, LA or Mobile.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by Monk, posted 09-13-2005 10:43 AM Monk has responded

Replies to this message:
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Monk
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 163 of 205 (242929)
09-13-2005 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 161 by berberry
09-13-2005 10:46 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
The republicans somehow manage to find many, many more millions to build bridges to nowhere in Alaska but they can't spare $70 million to maintain a levee system in a crucial port city of over a million people.

Maybe so. Reps and Dems both like to spend millions. Who in Congress doesn’t? But I still must return to the point. I don’t hold Republicans responsible because it would not have made any difference.

Even a properly maintained Cat 3 levee system will not withstand Cat 4 or 5 force. There is no evidence to suggest proper maintenance of the Cat 3 levee system would have made any difference in this storm.

Unless this is just an FYI I don't see your point.

My point is to counter accusations that FEMA should have taken control over state and local officials prior to the storm. These arguments are not valid because FEMA didn’t have authority to do so. The President declared a “state of emergency” on Saturday. This is authority to help, not command. At the time, this course of action seemed appropriate because this was before the ineptitude of the Governor and the Mayor became apparent.

Once the President declared a “major disaster” on Monday, then FEMA should have stepped up to the plate.

Between Saturday and Monday, FEMA was in a supportive role. If you recall, immediately after the storm and prior to the levee breach, the destruction in NOLA was not that severe. Despite mounting problems at the Dome and Convention Center, FEMA’s role at this point was to help by taking directions from state and local officials.

It wasn’t until late Monday or Tuesday that the real disaster began with the levee breach. On Monday, the President declared a “major disaster” and that’s when FEMA and that idiot Brown should have been in charge. That’s what a “major disaster” declaration is all about. It assumes state and local authority has collapsed.

Up until this point IMO, the President had done his job.

I have a higher opinion of you than I do of most conservatives.

Thanks berb. I assume your opinion is based on more than my trashing Bush upthread. :)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by berberry, posted 09-13-2005 10:46 AM berberry has not yet responded

  
Monk
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 164 of 205 (242949)
09-13-2005 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 162 by jar
09-13-2005 11:11 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
All of these could be done in advance and would be general in nature. If you have a list of military base housing that could be used, it does not matter if the refugees are coming from Houston, New Orleans, LA or Mobile.

Yes, that's all true. And I'm sure plans are in place that cover the topics you raise. The problem, of course, is that a plan is only effective if it is implemented.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 162 by jar, posted 09-13-2005 11:11 AM jar has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3930 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 165 of 205 (242953)
09-13-2005 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by nator
09-13-2005 9:15 AM


Re: LB, Monk, Tal, and other Bush defenders
None of these things are true of Bush and never have been, so my hopes that he will retire to do great things for the country is very small.

I agree that Bush is not the same as Carter, and the differences make it less likely he will be as effective post-pres as Carter was.

But, and this may surprise many, I do not believe I can say he is not a "good" man. My moral system doesn't really include that kind of language but I know what you were driving at. I really think he means well on a human level. I just think he does not have the intellectual capacity to reach good conclusions on what to do, and does not have the overt drive to do things well (excel) that involve helping others. That makes him a less efficient person, even if he happens to want to do good and means to do good.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
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