The Lickspittle Sycophant Responds

As a bedtime gift for you, the angry and stupid left:

The absence of large portions of the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama National Guards is dismissed as unimportant, because after all, 3,500 guards are available in LA, 1600 in MS, and 750 in AL…those numbers are perfectly sufficient! Or maybe not. Oh, and what about their equipment, trucks, helicopters, halftracks, and etc?

But even more, Trevino states “Show me, please, that the funds were diverted specifically for the war; and that they would have averted the present disaster.”…

So, Trevino, Cole, Erick, and the rest of you shameless, heartless, blind idiots, here’s the data…

So, Trevino, Cole, Erick, and other lickspittle, lapdog, sycophantic propagandists…them’s the facts.

A city is destroyed, and in large part this disaster was eminently preventable…but the money, planning, coordination, and people necessary to accomplish that prevention and mitigation were diverted from already identified urgent needs and projects and sunk into the bloody sands of the Iraqi desert and siphoned into the bulging pockets of your campaign contributors and rich beneficiaries of your stupid tax cuts.

Happy now?

I am sure the other ‘lickspittle, lapdog, sycophantic propagandists’ will respond tomorrow to the ‘facts’ as outlined by this impenetrable fool, but just so you haven’t missed the premise, I will restate it for you:

“Bush is to blame for the levee breaking because if just a few more million had been spent the Category 4-5 hurricane would have been stopped in its tracks by a decades old levee project designed at best to stop Category 3 hurricanes.”

And there you have the angry left in all their incomprehensible glory.






154 replies
  1. 1
    chadwig says:

    I guess this is where you paint with a broad-brush in a fit of petulance because you have been called out by name by one of hundreds of incidental posters on Kos. Of course he’s wrong, so ignore him and move on, don’t paint with a broad brush as thought his opinion represents anyone beyond himself.

  2. 2
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    I’m not a great one for blame at the moment of a catastrophe; data sucks, people react emotionally, and seriously, at the moment, who cares? But it’s a truism that it’s guns or butter, not guns and butter. Of course there are things we could be doing other than Iraq. Whether that would have included something that would have saved NO is another issue for another time.

    But again, at the moment, who cares?

  3. 3
    Alonso says:

    The point is not that the disaster was preventable, but that the response to it cannot be as swift and efficient because our resources to deal with this (National Guard, equipment) is overseas. It also hilights the fact that the allocation of national resources is a zero-sum game – while we might like to pretend that there is an unlimited amount of dollars, there is a very quantifiable number of soliders, boats, helicopters etc.

    just my .02

  4. 4
    Stormy70 says:

    Thanks for tucking us in, John. Go here for the good news. Go out on a good note, because the rest is heartbreaking.

  5. 5
    jobiuspublius says:

    Category 4 Hurricane Katrina did not flood the city entirely. Having the category 3 levees break make it worse. Are you saying that the levees are entirely insignificant? They are holding back 20 feet of water. No?

  6. 6
    John S. says:

    Thanks for playing political football – yet again – over a sensitive issue that shouldn’t include a game of political ‘gotcha’.

    I’m amazed you didn’t find a way to bitch about Cindy Sheehan in there somewhere.

  7. 7
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    Yeah, because the National Guard is much better used refereeing 3,000 year old grudge matches in Mesopotamia than pulling drowning people off rooftops in their hometown. Absolutely silly to even question that set of priorities.

  8. 8
    RedDan says:

    Hello, John.

    Pleased to make your acquaintance.

    I am sorry if the venom got under your skin, but a bit disappointed that you neglected to actually address the substance of the arguments.

    The fact of the matter is that the levees were identified as a problem as far back as the beginning of last century.

    They were specifically targetted for shoring up and reconstruction in the late 1990’s, and hundreds of millions of state, local, and federal dollars (mostly federal via the ACE and FEMA) were slated for research, modeling, construction, planning, and studies on preparedness and so on and so forth.

    That money (SELA is the biggest project) was diverted started in 2002.

    There are numerous accounts that indicate that the reason for that diversion was very clearly Iraq, and nothing else.

    The guardsmen and their equipment are at half-strength or less. The coordination and planning is and has been abysmal at all levels.

    Why?

    Because the money and people to fund and staff such coordination, modeling, planning and implementation dried up 3 years ago and went to Iraq.

    Read the thread, read the supplemental links provided by several commentators.

    The data is there for you to see.

    That you choose to ignore the basic, documented facts of the case and continue to defend Bush and play stupid games indicates that my description and venom are warranted.

  9. 9
    ppGaz says:

    Well, and then you have this, supposedly sent via email to a blogger from an “anti-choice organization:”

    Louisiana has 10 child-murder-by-abortion centers – FIVE are in New Orleans
    http://www.ldi.org (‘Find an Abortion Clinic [sic]’)

    Baby-murder state # 1 – California (125 abortion centers) – land of earthquakes, forest fires, and mudslides
    Baby-murder state # 2 – New York (78 abortion centers) – 9-11 Ground Zero
    Baby-murder state # 3 – Florida (73 abortion centers) – Hurricanes Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne in 2004; and now, Hurricane Katrina in 2005

    God’s message: REPENT AMERICA !

    So, you know, in the face of calamity, there are going to be people and groups who just want to use the calamity as a prop.

    The Bush campaign wanted to pimp 9-11 footage last year, apparently.

    Bush Pimps Death and Destruction

    What goes around, comes around, so they say. Thank heavens BJ can get in on some of the fun!

    Me, I’m writing an article for publication:

    “Denny’s Senior Shrimp Meal: Republican Abuse of Elderly Shrimp?

    I don’t want to be left out.

  10. 10
    Katherine says:

    The Kos poster has no way of knowing that that project would have made a difference; you have no way of knowing that it wouldn’t have. This was a category 4 storm at landfall and New Orleans didn’t get the highest winds. It might have made the difference. It might not have. Neither of you know. You should both shut up.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    Yeah, there’s just no way the current (or last 4 or 5) administrations could know that the big one could do this much damage. They would have had to read the report.

    No doubt RedState and crowd will find levee predictions made under Clinton. And the crowd will coo, and it will be a Bush vs. Clinton thing all over again.

    There are few things the gov’t should be decent at, and for me, the only important one is to protect the people. Gov’t failed us (and yes, that includes Bush) utterly and completely on 9/11. And yes, Gov’t failed us again in New Orleans.

    OBL gave us plenty of warning. The engineers, planners and scientists have been warning us about New Orleans for a long, long time.

    It’s time that we stop forgiving and apologizing for leadership. But no. Let’s turn this partisan, and then maybe no one will be held accountable.

  12. 12
    RedDan says:

    Katherine,

    You do know that the levee that they stopped working on (17th Street Canal near the Railroad Bridge) was the same levee that was the first to fail…right?

    “One project that a contractor had been racing to finish this summer: a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site of the main breach on Monday.”

    From the editor and publisher link.

  13. 13
    RedDan says:

    Oh, and John?

    “Bush is to blame for the levee breaking because if just a few more million had been spent the Category 4-5 hurricane would have been stopped in its tracks by a decades old levee project designed at best to stop Category 3 hurricanes.”

    This is a strawman.

    It was not the Hurricane, nor was it the storm surge, it was a failed levee in less than expected flood conditions.

    No one is talking about stopping the hurricane, no one is talking about the perfect engineering job.

    I am talking about projects left incomplete due to diverted funds…specific projects identified as critical by the Corps of Engineers and others, and slated for work…the ones left incomplete…failed.

    Funny about that.

  14. 14
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Um, Mr. Cole…did you actually read what the diarist wrote?
    Because your reaction to what was essentially a fairly well-sourced diary seems to me to be way out of proportion. Sure, he mentioned you by name, but his ad hominems were less than you regularly tolerate here in these comments.

    He hardly suggested that Bush could have averted this disaster singlehandedly, but clearly a number of policy decisions had been made by the current administration that *had a direct bearing* on N.O’s preparedness for a CAT-4 hurricane. Too, the numbers under discussion (in terms of what had been cut) are at least an order of magnitude larger than “a few more million”.

    Why have you become so shrill lately? Still not sleeping? This Sheehan thing has clearly put you off your game.

    That said, one of the things I’ve noticed about the media (and I guess, by extension, bloggers) is that the first thing they do in times of crisis is look for someone/thing to blame. Perhaps the idea that there are horrible things in the world that happen completely randomly makes one feel one’s mortality all the stronger. I dunno.

    But Cindy Sheehan blames Bush for the war; the Righty bloggers blame Cindy Sheehan for some imagined future insurgent act (she supported the terrorists, remember). Bush blames Carter, and Clinton for 9/11, and yet nobody really seems to care how true any of these claims are, as long as it wins points for their side.

    It seems to me that in the post mortem of Katrina, it would be wise for everyone to understand what could have been done to mitigate the damage wrought by the hurricane. If, after such an investigation it turns out that some of these mitigating projects had been planned and were scrapped as a result of someone’s policies, we ought to be able to say so. Indeed, every damned local, state, and federal politician better pay attention, in order to (hopefully) aid them in making better budgetary choices in the future. Don’t they have any risk modelling experts for chrissakes? I know, I know, these people are scientific types, so they can be ignored with impunity.

  15. 15
    rilkefan says:

    That someone smart as Trevino is asking so dumb a question (prove a counterfactual) shows that he’s actually afraid the admin screwed up the policy and politics here.

  16. 16
    cd6 says:

    “Bush is to blame for the levee breaking because if just a few more million had been spent the Category 4-5 hurricane would have been stopped in its tracks by a decades old levee project designed at best to stop Category 3 hurricanes.”

    Improving the levees certainly wouldn’t have hurt. And the failure at 17th or whever that just ruptured today is the final straw that had them order the full evacuation of the city, isn’t it? So the levee survived the hurricane only to fail a day later? Its not unreasonable to assume that an improved levee wouldn’t have failed.

    Of course, I skipped out on as many civil engineering courses as possible in college, so my levee-knowledge isn’t what it could be.

    I was the poster on RS that trevino was responding to when he asked about the money. My ire was more towards the missing national gaurdsmen than the money for projects. Those guardsmen would come in handy right now, to quell the looting and help evacuations/cleanup thats going to be needed.

    It’s a shame that this whole thing has gotten so childish. The dkos poster, while taking my side, was a bit over the top with the namecalling. Of course, so is “angry and stupid left”

  17. 17
    Far North says:

    The right would never take shots at their opponents to score a cheap political point, now would it?

    Fer chrissakes, John, anytime anyone speaks out against the Iraq adventure, they are labeled by prominent right wing spokepersons as aiding and abetting the enemy. Condemning “the angry left in all their incomprehensible glory” is like me saying the Republicans cheered Pat Robertson for promoting assassinations of foreign leaders.

  18. 18
    demimondian says:

    Its not unreasonable to assume that an improved levee wouldn’t have failed.

    Well, actually, it might be.

    Levees typically exhibit two different failure modes: catastrphic failure when overtopped, or gradual failure when undermined. The latter mode is slow and delayed, and, for earthworks, depends on how thick the levee is at its base, and how saturated the soil at the base of and underneath the dike is. In this case, the levees had, no doubt, been overtopped during the storm, and the ground on both sides was saturated. That’s a recipe for undermining a dam.

    I’m not going to pull a Frist and diagnose the situation from a video, so I could be wrong. If, however, the leveee failed because it was was undermined along much of its length, then, no, reinforcing the levee almost certainly would not have helped. Levees either work everywhere along their lengths, or fail. There’s no middle ground.

  19. 19
    rilkefan says:

    demi, the link says that the levee was meant to be raised six feet to compensate for sinkage – the project being 20% from completion due (perhaps only partly) to Bush-era budget cuts. I assume this would have reduced the overtopping.

    What the import of the following is, I can’t say:
    “Unfunded projects include widening drainage canals, flood- proofing bridges and building pumping stations in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. The Corps also wants to build levees in unprotected areas on the West Bank.”

  20. 20
    RedDan says:

    demimondian,

    Engineers who work on levees know this, and surely one of the main things that is done when increasing the height, strength, length, or width of a levee or seawall or revetment is checking the integrity of the foundation.

    In fact, it is one of the main things that is done, especially in a place where the ground is silty/muddy and saturated to begin with.

    Increased armoring of the base of the levee, construction and sinking of new pilings, foundation piers, and etc are among the prime tasks that are undertaken when shoring up any kind of retaining wall.

    One would think that the very first thing the engineers and construction folks would do when going about their work would be to check the soil condition under the levee.

  21. 21
    ch2 says:

    I’m quite puzzled.

    You have not rebutted the DKos poster in any meaningful way. And now you claim the left is incomprehensible ?

    Ridiculous projecting.

  22. 22
    Ancient Purple says:

    It seems to me that in the post mortem of Katrina, it would be wise for everyone to understand what could have been done to mitigate the damage wrought by the hurricane.

    This is the pure money quote of the debate.

    The sad fact is that we probably will spend lots of time with Congressional committees looking into the issue and a big report issued, but in the long run, the Gulf Coast and New Orleans will still be as vulnerable as ever.

    I only need to point out how much safer our ports are from terrorism post 9/11 as proof of my claim.

  23. 23
    Steve says:

    I realize accusing John of selectively editing quotes to make a point is totally last week. But you didn’t really capture the essence of the diarist’s numerous facts and quotes by delecting all of said facts and quotes. For example:

    It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.

    — Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

    Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

    Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as federal tax cuts — was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

    The argument is reminiscent of Bush’s claim that if intelligence had told him exactly when and where al-Qaeda planned to attack, he would have done everything in his power to stop it.

    The argument progresses like this. A war is fought in Iraq, taxes are slashed at the same time, and various government programs fall by the wayside, programs designed for our protection. And then when disaster strikes, the onus is placed on the liberals to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that money could have been spent to prevent this exact disaster; and if there is any room to nit-pick that conclusion, and there always is, then it’s just “no harm, no foul.”

    That said, I don’t like to play the blame game while a disaster is still unfolding any more than anyone else does; but since John chose to engage this argument on the merits, I feel compelled to respond. Also, every time I feel a twinge of guilt because my fellow dkos posters are pointing the finger at Bush, I remember this post by RedState favorite Nick Danger, seeking to blame the New York Times (and Larry Johnson) for failing to predict 9/11. The date on his post, to save you from clicking the link:

    Posted on 09/11/2001 6:05:46 PM PDT by Nick Danger

    So it’s hardly the angry left that has a monopoly on fingerpointing, and I completely don’t get why those who favor shrinking the size of the government refuse to admit that shrinking the size of the government has consequences. Anyway, I gave to the Red Cross days ago, so I don’t think writing this comment has any adverse effect on the rescue effort in New Orleans.

  24. 24
    KC says:

    I almost feel bad for posting this because the last thing I want to do is get involved in some tit-for-tat stuff on Katrina’s aftermath. But I figure some will eventually.

    Also, did anyone see Hannity and Colmes tonight? Hannity was really going nuts over the looting thing. A good portion of the show was Hannity ranting about looting while showing images of mostly African American people breaking into stores or walking in water with bags and carts. What was funny though, was that when he interviewed the Attorney General of Louisianna, the AG told him to cool down and get a grip. To paraphrase, he basically told Hannity that people needed food and water and that there were more important things to worry about when a major city was filling with water. Hannity got the wind knocked out of him, deservedly so too.

  25. 25
    RedDan says:

    Ancient Purple,

    Even more important, it behooves us to understand what was already slated and planned in terms of construction and preparation…projects that were abandoned, delayed or shelved due to funding shortfall.

  26. 26
    Ancient Purple says:

    Interesting that you link to E&P, KC. That article toward the end says that there was serious consideration of launching a body of research on how to prepare for a Category 4 or 5 hurricane, but the funding was diverted away from research to cover the cost of the war in Iraq.

    While the study, according to the article, would have taken four or more years to complete, I would believe that we might all feel a little better know that at least something was in the works.

    Right now, there is nothing.

  27. 27
    p.lukasiak says:

    As tragic as Katrina is, one must ask why we have a major city below sea level surrounded on three side by water in an area known to have catastrophic hurricanes every few decades….

    …..and why our Federal Tax dollars should be spent in continuing this folly….

  28. 28
    Joe Albanese says:

    John is getting entirely too predictable. The problem with the world is obviously the “angry and stupid left” – a refrain we are hearing on an increasingly shrill and frantic pace. I think with the images I am seeing on my TV screen, that now would not particularly be the time to score some cheap political points but I guess to John it is only yet another opportunity to selectively find quotes to bolster his “the left is crazy” mantra that he has adopted of late.

    Of course there are no examples of right wing stuidity on Katrina right John?

    How about from Rush Limbaugh and Jonah Goldberg:

    But wouldn’t you know, the biggest dittohead on the block, Rush Limbaugh, is calling the storm Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel and warning that the left is going to use this tragedy against the right. Jonah Goldberg, who has never seen a bad joke bandwagon he could resist jumping on with both feet, blogged, and I quote, “It would be pretty cool if Fox played to caricature and repeatedly referred to the hurricane as Katrina vanden Heuvel.” Not satisfied, he went on to imagine the headlines, “The destruction from Katrina vanden Heuvel is expected to be massive…The poor and disabled are particularly likely to suffer from the effects of Katrina vanden Heuvel

    Or how about Fred Barnes who blames the victims for … well… for being victims:

    During the 8/29 edition of Special Report/Brit Hume, Barnes had the nerve as Hurricane Katrina’s damage was unfolding to complain about people living in particular areas because the government would have to assist them while he has his own nice beach house in Vero Beach.
    BARNES: …But my problem with it is that, in some of these areas, like a below- sea-level city like New Orleans, they’re not — they want the rest of us to insure their risk. As people who live on the San Andreas Fault in California, where they know there are going to be earthquakes, people who live along the Mississippi River in these low farmland areas…

    HUME: Floodplains.

    BARNES: … near the river, the floodplains. They know they’re going to flood. And when these things happen, they want the taxpayers all over the country to pay, and they do.

    HUME: So they can rebuild, right?

    (LAUGHTER)

    BARNES: Yes, right, exactly.

    .

    yuk yuk yuk heh John? That right wing humor really cracks me up.

    So someone on the left raises questions about OUR government and how they have decided to allocate funds to prevent, prepare or deal with such a crisis as we are currently seeing happening in the Gulf coast but that is just stupid lefties. How dare they question OUR government’s actions? but the right can blame the victims for living in harm’s way and to enjoy a good laugh at their expense to boot.

  29. 29

    […] John Cole, I’ll see your “angry and stupid left” and raise you one “deranged, homicidal and sub-human right”: The people most stressed out by the July 7 mass murder attacks in Britain? Muslim Londoners. The stress caused by the terrorist bombings in London on 7 July 2005 was far more keenly felt by Muslim residents compared with other inhabitants, a psychological study reveals. Sixty-one per cent of Muslim commuters surveyed suffered substantial stress in the days following the first terrorist attacks on the city’s transport system – almost double the proportion of stressed Londoners from other faiths. From comments: suboptimal 8/29/2005 08:59PM PDT Bullets can cure stress, quite effectively. Game over. […]

  30. 30
    Catch says:

    Stress test

    John Cole, I’ll see your “angry and stupid left” and raise you one “deranged, homicidal and sub-human right”:

    The people most stressed out by the July 7 mass murder attacks in

  31. 31
    Joe Albanese says:

    Oh and John why did you find it necessary to paraphrase RedDan rather than use his own summary. He actually said:

    A city is destroyed, and in large part this disaster was eminently preventable…but the money, planning, coordination, and people necessary to accomplish that prevention and mitigation were diverted from already identified urgent needs and projects and sunk into the bloody sands of the Iraqi desert and siphoned into the bulging pockets of your campaign contributors and rich beneficiaries of your stupid tax cuts.

    but I guess that wasn’t “stupid” enough for you so you decide to put words into his mouth and this is what YOU come up with:

    “Bush is to blame for the levee breaking because if just a few more million had been spent the Category 4-5 hurricane would have been stopped in its tracks by a decades old levee project designed at best to stop Category 3 hurricanes.”

    Now that seems fair to me.

    And there you have the angry John Cole in all his incomprehensible glory.

  32. 32
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Note the end of the E&P story:

    “The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back this spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history. Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze. Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project — $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million — was not enough to start any new jobs.

    “There was, at the same time, a growing recognition that more research was needed to see what New Orleans must do to protect itself from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. But once again, the money was not there. As the Times-Picayune reported last Sept. 22:

    ” ‘That second study would take about four years to complete and would cost about $4 million, said Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi. About $300,000 in federal money was proposed for the 2005 fiscal-year budget, and the state had agreed to match that amount. But the cost of the Iraq war forced the Bush administration to order the New Orleans district office not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money, he said.’

    “The Senate was seeking to restore some of the SELA funding cuts for 2006. But now it’s too late.

    “One project that a contractor had been racing to finish this summer: a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site of the main breach on Monday.

    “The Newhouse News Service article published Tuesday night observed, ‘The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress earlier this year to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana’s coast, only to be opposed by the White House….In its budget, the Bush administration proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana’s chief hurricane protection project. Bush proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need.’ ”
    _______________________

    Looks like a pretty solid J’Accuse against the current administration on this one. Now note (as one comment above has) the stupidity — there’s no other word for it — of John saying the Bush Administration is blameless because it cut funds needed to protect the city against a Category 3 hurricane and it was a Category 4 one that actually came along!

  33. 33
    John S. says:

    I love the cheap refrain of “nothing could have been done — it’s a natural disaster”. All these people really must be crazy, then:

    Sidney Coffee, executive assistant to the governor for coastal activities, said about 1,900 square miles of wetlands have disappeared from the area since the 1930s, and the receding continues at a rate of about 24 square miles per year. The erosion has a direct impact on New Orleans’ ability to absorb the blow of a storm like Katrina, she said. For every 2.7 miles of wetlands, storm surges are reduced by about one 1 foot, she said.


    Source

    Gee, I guess not dredging up the wetlands wouldn’t really have helped, as the hapless Demimondian claims.

    And I suppose the fact that Wetland Loss Averages “One Football Field Every 45 Minutes” really hasn’t really harmed New Orlean’s ability to cope with a storm of this magnitude. Yes, the ASCE really were off their rocker when they stated:

    The coastal area currently provides a buffer from hurricane storm effects to approximately 2 million residents who live within the 19 coastal parishes (counties). The loss of coastal area means that this population, which includes the City of New Orleans, will experience the full force of the hurricanes, including storm surges that top levee systems and cause severe flooding as well as high winds.

    Just more doom and gloom from a bunch of scientists looking for more government funding, right? I mean, nobody seriously saw this coming, except maybe the guy who penned the article last year titled Wetlands loss leaves city a hurricane hit away from disaster. Just another liberal media crackpot. Let’s hear what our reliable and non-partisan government had to say on the matter last year:

    The barriers are the first line of defense against combined wind and water forces of a hurricane, and they serve as anchor points for pipelines originating offshore.

    Miles of hurricane protection levees will be exposed to open water conditions, forcing widespread relocation and abandonment of coastal communities. Wetlands create friction and reduce high winds when hurricanes hit. They also absorb hurricane storm surges.

    Source

    Well shit, I guess in the face of the fact that a lot of this WAS avoidable, and people have been talking about the danger for years, let’s just brand the left as ‘lickspittle, lapdog, sycophantic propagandists’. Then we can just glibly term their reaction as blamnig Bush for the hurricane and ignore any sort of responsibility the government – both state and federal – had in protecting its citizens.

    And there you have the angry right in all their incomprehensible glory.

  34. 34
    Dave Ruddell says:

    You know, this has to be one of the few blogs out there that a) has at least a decent sized readership and b) the majority of the readers (or at least commenters) disagree with the blogger a majority of the time. Any other candidates?

  35. 35
    circlethewagons says:

    I thought it was America’s embrace of abortion and “the gays” that caused the hurricane.

    No?

  36. 36
    Bob says:

    Seems to me that there were complaints last year about the insufficiency of Nat. Guard response to hurricanes in Florida last year. How much of a part this plays in the recovery isn’t known yet.

    Hurricanes are good arguments against the unreined free market. In order to put things back together, and put things back better so that it won’t happen like this again, you need a government that doesn’t kowtow to corporate profits in the face of this public distress. Disasters like this are the reason for socialism.

  37. 37
    Krista says:

    That’s right. And all of those tornadoes in the God-fearing, Bush-voting heartland? Well, they must all be closet, baby-killing liberals.

    Makes sense, right?

    Right…the weather is a sentient being, and it watches Pat Robertson on TV.

  38. 38
    John Cole says:

    Gee- John S. This has what to do with a bunch of people, prior to even knowing for sure what happened, accusing Bush of being responsible for a failing levee?

    That said, I don’t like to play the blame game while a disaster is still unfolding any more than anyone else does; but since John chose to engage this argument on the merits

    Hunh? I am simply shocked that people are even accusing the administration of shit before anyone even kows what has happened? They haven’t even begun to stop the water from flowing, let alone pump it out, let alone find and bury the bodies, and Red Dan is using stories with old quotes asking for more money as proof of what happened.

    No reports of what actually happened. Just noting that one of the two breeches was in a previously recognized weak spot.

    Personally, I am going to wait until we know what happened. You know, actual facts, before speculating.

    It was not the Hurricane, nor was it the storm surge, it was a failed levee in less than expected flood conditions.

    No one is talking about stopping the hurricane, no one is talking about the perfect engineering job.

    I am talking about projects left incomplete due to diverted funds…specific projects identified as critical by the Corps of Engineers and others, and slated for work…the ones left incomplete…failed.

    You have provided not one whit of information from reports in the last few days, just old quotes and rehashes of a budget battle. You might try here:

    Mr. Hall said that as the surge from the storm swept in through Lake Pontchartrain – actually a broad inlet off the gulf – it began sloshing over the vertical steel and concrete wall and the earthen berm behind it.

    “Once it got over, it began to scour down at the base of that flood wall on the protected side,” he said.

    The rising waters in the canal pushed in on the high part of the retaining wall while water cascading over the top ate away at the base, Mr. Hall said, adding: “The effect is like a high-low tackle in football. You hit the head and feet at the same time from opposite directions, and it goes down.”

    I will wait until I know what is going on before I decide whether or not to pin this one on Bush. You apparently can’t be bothered. There is, after all, a body count to pin on Bush.

    And btw- you might do a better fucking job identifying the ‘lickspittle sycophants’ and Bush apologists. I don;t know what website you read, but I am not a Bush apologist. That doesn’t mean I am going to run out and hold hands with lunatics like you as you try to blame every god damn thing on Bush, but I am hardly an apologist.

  39. 39
    Birkel says:

    I get it! Bush could’ve stopped a hurricane but chose not to do so! That darned evil Bushy McChimpHitler Halliburton bastard!

    Hmmmm…

    Do any of you on the Left want to win elections anytime soon? I’m just askin’…

  40. 40
    jobiuspublius says:

    I just finished channel surfing network TV. It’s pretty much business as usual. Katrina gets about as much weight as the shuttle and most channels are running the usual crap non-stop. Hey, it’s only a national disaster, smile and wave the silicone, boop boop bee doop.

    I’m listening to Springer on the radio. He’s discussing the damage and recovery. He played a clip of a man who had his wife washed away.

    Interviewer: Holding back tears “Where are you going?
    Man: Bawling “I don’t know. I’m lost. She’s all I had.”

  41. 41
    MI says:

    Sorry, John, gotta throw in with the consensus on this one.

    Dave Ruddell, haha, it’s one of the things I love about this site. It makes for a great dynamic since most of the dissenting voices are thoughtful and intelligent, not shrill and trollish. No, I can’t think of any other blogs like this, I think it’s pretty unique.

  42. 42
    SRN says:

    Birkel:

    No one is blaming Bush for causing a hurricane. People are blaming him for causing a fiscal situation where a vulnurable city could not complete projects critical for flood control.

    Grow up.

  43. 43
    Joe Albanese says:

    Birkel said:

    I get it! Bush could’ve stopped a hurricane but chose not to do so! Do any of you on the Left want to win elections anytime soon? I’m just askin’…

    Huh? nobody on the left said anything remotely resembling that that I have seen. The only person that said something like that is the lickspittle sycophant John Cole.

  44. 44
    MI says:

    jobiuspublius, fuck.

  45. 45
    jobiuspublius says:

    Birkel: Once the damage in assessed and Dear Leaders performance is reviewed, look forward to seeing fewer friends of Dear Leader in congress next year. Let’s see which one of his buddies can run for office and cover up for him at the same time.

  46. 46
    jobiuspublius says:

    It’s a post Katrina world.

  47. 47
    Brian says:

    The liberal media just isn’t reporting the GOOD NEWS in New Orleans.

  48. 48
    Luddite says:

    John has been quite the shrill, bitter bitch this month.

  49. 49
    Mike says:

    “But wouldn’t you know, the biggest dittohead on the block, Rush Limbaugh, is calling the storm Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel and warning that the left is going to use this tragedy against the right. ”

    Ummm, that’s EXACTLY what the left is doing.
    You’ve got German Leftists decrying the fact that we didn’t sign Kyoto and blaming us for our own suffering.
    You’ve got RFK Jr. writing on Huffington blaming Haley Barbour.
    You’ve got this “RedDan” blaming Bush (like ANYBODY on Kos blames anything on anyone else).

    So instead of pulling together as a country, getting the people of these places back on their feet, you got these clowns pointing fingers and trying to score political points. Fuck ’em all.

  50. 50
    John Cole says:

    Huh? nobody on the left said anything remotely resembling that that I have seen. The only person that said something like that is the lickspittle sycophant John Cole.

    WTF are you talking about? I am reacting to people accusing Bush of essentially causing the levee to fail.

  51. 51
    Jorge says:

    An ex-Mayor of New Orleans was on CNN this morning pleading for the POTUS to do a mass mobilization of the army in order to rescue the people trapped in New Orleans. His estimate is that as many as 80,000 people could be trapped in the city. That’s just New Orleans.

    On top of that, as many as 1,000,000 people have more than likely lost their jobs and homes. I don’t think anyone has wrapped their head around this problem yet. On top of that, a major US city and port is shut down for the foreseeable future.

    Once the shock wears off, we are going to see that Katrina might be much more devastating to our country than 9/11.

  52. 52
    BinkyBoy says:

    This is just another perfect example of the left coordinating against John Cole. We want him to be a –how did that go– lickspittle, syncophantic Republican. I mean, shoot, why would we want one more prominant blogger encouraging people to vote Democratic or Independent and to stop drinking the Kool-Aid?

  53. 53
    John S. says:

    WTF are you talking about? I am reacting to people accusing Bush of essentially causing the levee to fail.

    You are reacting to a red herring by grossly misstating what many people here are expressing. The government had ample warnings of this type of a situation, and did nothing to rectify the problem.

    If you want to simplify this scenario to a bumper sticker to avoid placing the responsibility the government has to its citizens, then fine. But the former Governor of New Orleans was just on CNN pissed off about Bush, too.

    When Soledad O’Brien told him Bush will be there Friday, he responded, “That’s just not good enough. 20,000 people trapped in the SuperDome are going to drown.”

    I guess he’s just another crackpot trying to make political hay about the President, though, eh John?

  54. 54
    John S. says:

    Correction: Former Mayor of New Orleans

  55. 55
    BinkyBoy says:

    Once the shock wears off, we are going to see that Katrina might be much more devastating to our country than 9/11.

    So when do we attack Antarctica?

  56. 56
    John S. says:

    That doesn’t mean I am going to run out and hold hands with lunatics like you as you try to blame every god damn thing on Bush, but I am hardly an apologist.

    What a wonderful world you must live in John. I’m a lunatic for stating the reality (that plenty of people foresaw this circumstance and very little was to done to act on those warnings), and you’re hardly an apologist, despite the fact that you’ve spent the last 2 days issuing a blanket pardon for the Bush administration regarding their handling of this disaster…

  57. 57
    Vlad says:

    ” I am reacting to people accusing Bush of essentially causing the levee to fail.”

    And you’re doing it in what strikes me (and apparently a lot of other people) as an unreasonable and strident fashion. I don’t know what it is, but you really seem off your game lately.

    Nobody is saying that Bush WANTED the levee to fail, but it does look like there’s a fair bit of evidence that this could’ve been prevented or mitigated if the funding and National Guardsmen hadn’t been diverted to Iraq.

  58. 58
    Jorge says:

    John S.,
    I saw the same interview. It was really chilling. There was a desparation in the man’s voice that really got through to me.

  59. 59
    jobiuspublius says:

    China just made news. It’s agreed to let the UN help it over-haul it’s legal system for the sake of Human Rights. John Bolton seems to be out of the loop.

  60. 60
    Krista says:

    I saw that clip too about that poor man losing his wife. It really choked me up. Maybe better civic planning could have kept this from being as bad as it was. Maybe not. Playing armchair quarterback isn’t going to do those people a lick of good. I’m curious about everybody’s opinion on this: do you think New Orleans can be rebuilt? And do you think it SHOULD be rebuilt?

  61. 61
    Joe Albanese says:

    lickspittle:

    WTF are you talking about? I am reacting to people accusing Bush of essentially causing the levee to fail.

    I know. We are not to have any ACCOUNTABILITY in this administration. Can’t have that.
    Iraq has WMD? Slam Dunk. No accountability.

    Do back flips to justify torture and lo and behold we get Abu Gabib. No accountability.

    Memo warning: Bin Laden determined to stike inside the USA, and no action whatsoever? No accountability.

    Rich need some more tax breaks. Record surpluses wiped out and replaced with record deficits. No accountability.

    General Shenseki says we need couple hundrend thousand troops in Iraq and is ridiculed by adminstraion as being “wildy off the mark”. No accountability.

    We’re told that the war would be relatively “self financing” with Iraq oil paying. 200 billion dollars later. No accountability.

    Funds requested by the experts to strenghten the very same levee that has now been breeched? no accountability.

    why would I assume it to be any different?

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    Nobody is saying that Bush WANTED the levee to fail, but it does look like there’s a fair bit of evidence that this could’ve been prevented or mitigated if the funding and National Guardsmen hadn’t been diverted to Iraq.

    No, there isn’t. There is evidence that future projects and studies to propose future upgrades have been cut, but there is no evidence that anything was done that failed to prevent this disaster.

    And I don’t know what you guys think the National Guard could have done. Even if every man on active duty and in the National guard were there, it could not have prevented this disaster.

    What I am reacting to are these accusations before it is even known what happened. The reports I see state that this was an inevitable breach due to the scope of the storm. The breach has been made worse because, as is always thecase in disasters, the efforts to plug the breach failed.

    IF this is Bush’s fault, somehow, I am not going to excuse it. How could I? Why would I? I am not personally wed to the man. I am reacting to the immediate urge by some on the left, absent facts, to simply say ‘this could have been prevented and Bush is to blame.’ That is sheer lunacy.

    And when the thousands of bodies are found in Alabama and Mississippi (which they, I am afraid, soon will be), how will this be Bush’s fault?

  63. 63
    Jorge says:

    I can’t even wrap my head around the concept of abandoning a major US City with that much history and commerce. This is way, way above my paygrade.

  64. 64
    Mike says:

    “John S. Says:
    Correction: Former Mayor of New Orleans”

    I assume you mean Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, a guy that was prominent in Al Gore’s presidential bid, would have probably gotten a high level cabinet job if he’d won, a supporter of affirmative action and prominent Democrat?

    Yeah…can’t imagine he’d say anything political against Bush.

    Then there’s this of course:

    “An investigation over contracts let during the administration of former Mayor Marc Morial rolls forward with last week´s indictment of Morial´s uncle, Glenn Haydel, accused of bilking the Regional Transit Authority of over a half-million dollars in a bond refinancing scheme.
    That followed the recent indictments of three other Morial associates, including a former city official, who are accused of skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars from a massive energy-savings contract. The former project manager for the contractor, accused of taking kickbacks, is cooperating with the government, along with five subcontractors who allegedly funneled money to defendants, according to prosecutors.”

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    I’ve got some advice for the “Blame Bush” morons on my blog.

  66. 66
    Vlad says:

    “And I don’t know what you guys think the National Guard could have done. Even if every man on active duty and in the National guard were there, it could not have prevented this disaster.”

    No, but I bet they’d be a big help in preserving public order, rescuing stranded victims, or rendering emergency medical care. There are individual Americans who will die because those guardsmen weren’t there for the aftermath.

    They couldn’t have stopped the storm, but they damn sure could’ve stopped something like this: Late Tuesday, Gov. Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher described a disturbing scene unfolding in uptown New Orleans, where looters were trying to break into Children’s Hospital.

    Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 kids inside the hospital. The director said the hospital is locked, but that the looters were trying to break in and had gathered outside the facility.

    The director has sought help from the police, but, due to rising flood waters, police have not been able to respond.

    Bottcher said Blanco has been told of the situation and has informed the National Guard. However, Bottcher said, the National Guard has also been unable to respond.”

    Think those amphibious vehicles might’ve come in handy?

  67. 67
    RedDan says:

    John,

    I read your “perceptions” piece over at RedState, in which you referred to the deranged opposition party eager to exploit suffering and grief, poo-poohed the criticisms of the response, planning, preparedness and general abilities of this president and his cabinet, got in a few digs at Clinton in the meantime, and carefully noted Bush’s appearance in Florida…but failed to mention a critical difference between then and now, which is that then was an election year and Florida the critical state…and now is an off year and New Orleans is hardly critical to any Republican, being that it is the city of sex, sin, and lots of democratic voting black people.

    Now, answer me this: were those particular levees identified as threats before this hurricane season, yes or no?

    Were those particular levees, along with the pumping stations, canals, bridges, and other critical pieces of infrastructure actually proposed, slated, and planned for strengthening and refurbishing under the SELA plan, yes or no?

    Was the money for those projects delivered, yes or no?

    Were the projects halted before completion, yes or no?

    Was the site of the first breach the same place as the incomplete piece of construction they were “rushing to finish,” yes or no?

    Simple questions.

    And, in my opinion the answers are damning.

  68. 68
    trentbaur says:

    John,

    It’s not blaming Bush for the failed levee. It’s pointing out the disasterous consequences of Bush’s fucked up priorities. If the reports i read are accurate, NO was denied 17 of the requested 20 million dollars. 17 million??? After passing a 286 billion dollar pork barreled transportation bill, the administration felt the need to deny NO’s request, after FEMA declared NO the third most vulnerable city to a catastrophic event.

    It’s not even fucked up priorities, it’s no priorities. Bush doesn’t have an ounce of that “thing” that makes people do the “responsible” thing. You know, the thing that makes people put money into savings instead of spending it at the mall.

    Time and time again, Bush’s actions show an absense of that sense that most of us has. (See: heeding Clinton’s warnings about Al Qaeda taking up all his time. See: Post Iraq plan. See: Tax breaks for the rich at the expense of the deficit. See: Distributing Homeland security funds on a per capita basis. See: Going it alone in Iraq. See: Refusing to go it alone with North Korea. See: Fucking off allies)

    He just doesn’t care. He’s going to do the things that he wants the way he wants, facts be damned.

  69. 69
    Jorge says:

    Mike Says: “I assume you mean Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, a guy that was prominent in Al Gore’s presidential bid, would have probably gotten a high level cabinet job if he’d won, a supporter of affirmative action and prominent Democrat.”

    Um, I’m fairly certain from looking at pictures of Mr. Morial that you assume incorrectly.

  70. 70
    BinkyBoy says:

    All you liberals ganging up on poor John, Jay, Stormy and the others are only encouraging them to stay republicans with all your “facts” and “analysis”.

    I just wish for once all you lefties would grow up and let the Republicans take their fingers out of their ears and stop singing la-la-la-la-la.

  71. 71
    RedDan says:

    John,

    And when the thousands of bodies are found in Alabama and Mississippi (which they, I am afraid, soon will be), how will this be Bush’s fault?

    Answer: It won’t.

    Bush is not responsible for the Hurricane, the floods, or the storm surge. He is not responsible for the destroyed oil rigs, the flooded refineries, or the drowned roads.

    I was extremely specific, and remain extremely specific. The levees were identified as threats, and money was slated for ongoing construction projects aimed at increasing their height, width, and strength, as well as increasing the number and power of the pumping stations. That money dried up in 2002, and even deeper cuts were and are slated for next year.

    The projects were not completed, and “coincidentally” the very place where construction ceased is where the levees failed.

    And the Nat. Guard with their vehicles, boats, helicopters, generators, and an extra 6000 or so people are not available…and note that in one of the links in my piece, there is an August 1 story wherein a LA national guard colonel specifically talks about wanting that equipment back for hurricane season….

    Bad planning, stupidity, irresponsibility have made what would have been a horrific event in any case, even worse.

  72. 72
    Mike says:

    “Jorge Says:
    Mike Says: “I assume you mean Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, a guy that was prominent in Al Gore’s presidential bid, would have probably gotten a high level cabinet job if he’d won, a supporter of affirmative action and prominent Democrat.”

    Um, I’m fairly certain from looking at pictures of Mr. Morial that you assume incorrectly.”

    I don’t think so:
    http://www.blackamericatoday.c.....icleID=587

  73. 73
    Ancient Purple says:

    IF this is Bush’s fault, somehow, I am not going to excuse it. How could I? Why would I? I am not personally wed to the man. I am reacting to the immediate urge by some on the left, absent facts, to simply say ‘this could have been prevented and Bush is to blame.’ That is sheer lunacy.

    Mr. Cole, I will give you that we have absolutely no guarantee that things would have been different if the project monies had not been diverted. But I am curious as to why there is not some culpability on the part of this administration for diverting the funds to begin with.

    You seem to want to take the tact that unless we can be absolutely certain that throwing money into levee studies and support would have made a difference, the money can be used better elsewhere. Well, I don’t.

    I would much rather take the chance of spending some cash for long term goals that may or may not work then spending nothing and knowing that it will absolutely fail.

  74. 74
    John Cole says:

    Now, answer me this: were those particular levees identified as threats before this hurricane season, yes or no?

    Yes. And the entire levee system was believed to be suspect to a storm of this magnitude, which is why they were considering an upgrade from cat 3 levee protection to cat 5.

    Were those particular levees, along with the pumping stations, canals, bridges, and other critical pieces of infrastructure actually proposed, slated, and planned for strengthening and refurbishing under the SELA plan, yes or no?

    The entire levee system is under a constat state of construction, strengthening, and rebuilding. There is a reason they call it the sinking city.

    Was the money for those projects delivered, yes or no?

    Yes. Perhaps not all of it, but you still do not know the extent to which that had any impact whatsoever. As we are little over 24 hours into the breach, you would think you might wait just a minute toassign blame to Bush, let alone actually find out how and why the levee systems failed. Most of the cuts you refer to are for projects that would not have been completed for years (the current project was, as you have noted without irony the ass-end of a ten year project), and still were not of the standard that would have stopped disaster following a direct hit from a storm of this magnitude.

    Were the projects halted before completion, yes or no?

    No projects were halted yet that I am aware of (I will suspend judgement until this plays out- a novel idea, RedDan), there were some that were slowed down, and some thatwere scheduled that would not go through.

    Was the site of the first breach the same place as the incomplete piece of construction they were “rushing to finish,” yes or no?

    I don’t know. One of the breaches was near the “brand new hurricane proof” Old Hammond Highway Bridge. I don’t know which breached first, nor I do know the exact cause.

    Nor, might I add, do you. You have no idea if there was ANYTHING that could have been done, or if the funding had any impact other than symbolic.

    Like I said, if it turns out Congress did cut funding that dcould have prevented this disaster, I am not going to excuse the behavior. But, unlike you, I am going to wait to FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED before trying to achieve political gain from this tragedy.

  75. 75
    Jorge says:

    “I don’t think so:
    http://www.blackamericatoday.c.....icleID=587

    Um, that isn’t who I saw on CNN. New Orleans does have more than one living former mayor. The man on CNN was white haired, had no facial hair and looked to be at least in his late 60’s.

  76. 76
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Firstly, John, you’re making the flypaper argument all over again. Why do we have to wait until every last drop of water has evaporated before we start to try to understand a) if the damage could’ve been at *all* mitigated, b) if plans that might’ve mitigated the damaget were delayed or cut, and c) how we can make sure that in the future budget priorities are responsibly risk-scored? Can’t we both be praying for the people who are clearly suffering, as well as demanding answers *at the same time*?
    I’ve donated to the Red Cross. Twice. I have sent links to all of my family and friends so that they too can donate. There’s not much else I can do except stare agog at the footage I see on the news channels. There are lots of people at Kos putting their money down to help. There were many that offered up their places for people (are they officially refugees yet?) fleeing the danger zones to find safe haven. I noticed you didn’t cherry pick one of those diaries to represent the “angry and stupid left”.

    Secondly, I still think that you jump the non-sequitur shark when you conflate a reasonably well-sourced and somewhat thoughtful examination of the potential consequences of the Republican Administration’s policies (vis a vis the damage assessment) with Bush Hatred. There were Dems that voted for the war, that continue to support it. And if it turns out that there are *not* enough Nat’l Guardsmen to do the work that they are needed for in LA or anywhere else, those Dems bear almost as much responsibility as their Republican counterparts (I might even make the argument that they bear more, but don’t want to completely throw this thread off course). I don’t hate Bush, but I think he’s woefully underequipped to do the job he’s doing, and his Administration’s policies are, I believe, hurting this country in both the short and long term. If I want to criticize, does it have to come from hate?

    I really enjoy reading this blog, even though I’ve only lurked for the last six months. I recognize that you take a lot of heat in the comments, but it has been mostly in the last month or so, in response (I believe) to more targeted posts painting “the left” with as broad a brush as possible, almost always in the worst light, often by cherry picking comments from the most extreme posters on Kos.

    I hope whatever it is that has got you all shrill shakes loose its hold on you, and your blog returns to one of the last places on these internets where fair-minded people of different minds can debate. You didn’t used to bait people on the left in your front-page posts. Wha hoppened?

  77. 77
    trentbaur says:

    You seem to want to take the tact that unless we can be absolutely certain that throwing money into levee studies and support would have made a difference, the money can be used better elsewhere. Well, I don’t.

    Have you forgotten? The unknown is unknowable!

    I started reading this blog after it was recommended on a liberal site as being rational and fairminded. But John Cole’s leaning on Rumsfeldian arguments has been sending this blog further and further into the “hack” category.

  78. 78
    John Cole says:

    It’s not blaming Bush for the failed levee. It’s pointing out the disasterous consequences of Bush’s fucked up priorities. If the reports i read are accurate, NO was denied 17 of the requested 20 million dollars. 17 million??? After passing a 286 billion dollar pork barreled transportation bill, the administration felt the need to deny NO’s request, after FEMA declared NO the third most vulnerable city to a catastrophic event.

    You will get no beef from me about complaining about congressional spending priorities. If we have determined that New Orleans was worth keeping (I would vote yes), I would argue it is a legitimate federal function to fully fund levees that far exceed the current projects.

    But that in no way means that the blame for the current breach rests on a few short-term budget cuts. We don;t know if even if the current cat 3 levees had been fully funded if it would have prevented this mess.

    Well, RedDan does, apparently.

  79. 79
    John Cole says:

    Firstly, John, you’re making the flypaper argument all over again. Why do we have to wait until every last drop of water has evaporated before we start to try to understand a) if the damage could’ve been at all mitigated, b) if plans that might’ve mitigated the damaget were delayed or cut, and c) how we can make sure that in the future budget priorities are responsibly risk-scored? Can’t we both be praying for the people who are clearly suffering, as well as demanding answers at the same time?

    I have no problem with a search for answers. Which is why I am waiting to hear WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE I START BLAMING BUSH. RedDan isn’t engaging in a ‘search for answers.’ He is in the pinning blame stage.

  80. 80
    trentbaur says:

    Like I said, if it turns out Congress did cut funding that dcould have prevented this disaster, I am not going to excuse the behavior. But, unlike you, I am going to wait to FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED before trying to achieve political gain from this tragedy.

    Your Boy In Power and his non-existent sense of responsibility fucked up and an entire city has paid the price.

    But that’s par for the course for this President, no?

    9/11, Iraq, New Orleans

    Every business dealing he ever did ended in failure. Why would you expect that to change now that he’s President.

  81. 81
    BinkyBoy says:

    John is only moving farther and farther to the right because so much of the left is forcing him to, don’t you guys understand that?

  82. 82
    Vlad says:

    “The man on CNN was white haired, had no facial hair and looked to be at least in his late 60’s.”

    According to my quick googling, he was probably Maurice Edwin “Moon” Landrieu. 75 years old, white, mayor from ’70 to ’78. All the ones before him are dead, and all the ones after him are black.

  83. 83
    Veeshir says:

    I love this site sometimes. This is one funny thread. Nobody, and I mean nobody, seems to understand what John wrote in the original post and nobody, and I mean nobody, seems to have read what he wrote in the comments.
    It looks like so much fun I think I’ll play too.

    John, how dare you blame Mr. Hall for the disaster? You know your boy Al Gore is to blame but you just go and attack poor Mr. Hall.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  84. 84
    Dave Ruddell says:

    If the problme was that funding was cut for the levees, how is this entriely the fault of Bush? Certainly Congress deserves some of the blame as well?

    I have the feeling there will be plenty of blame to go around after this one is all sorted out. Mind you, I suppose John is right; maybe we should wait until it’s all sorted out until we start assigning blame.

  85. 85
    Vlad says:

    Hm, it’s even more interesting than that. He’s the father of Senator Landrieau, he was involved in the planning and construction of the Superdome, and he was Secretary of HUD under Carter.

  86. 86
    trentbaur says:

    John is only moving farther and farther to the right because so much of the left is forcing him to, don’t you guys understand that?

    We’re FORCING him? Whatever happened to the conservative sense of personal responsibility?

  87. 87
    Vlad says:

    “Whatever happened to the conservative sense of personal responsibility?”

    They couldn’t fund it; needed the money for Iraq.

  88. 88
    DougJ says:

    John, why are you so blindly supporting the president on this one? I’m a big supporter of the president, as you know, but I’m ready to hear the facts and arguments on this one before I start defending or accusing anyone.

    People have every right to criticize government responses to natural disasters. If they don’t, the government will have no incentive to improve its readiness.

    When it comes to the war, I think that criticism and dissent make us look weak and embolden the enemy, but for something like this, I say criticize away. We need to get to the bottom of what could have been done differently, so that we can prepare better for next time. Let the blame fall where it may — and I have no idea where it will fall, it could easily be that previous administrations screwed up on this, or that no one screwed up at all. But the levees are man made, although the storm was an act of God, and maybe we could have spent more time and money on building them better. I’m not sure how much that would have helped, but I’m all for people brining it up and discussing it.

  89. 89
    BinkyBoy says:

    trentbaur, thats only for everyone else, don’t you get it?

    IOKIYAR! And since idiocy is ok if your a republican, then by presenting facts, presenting a well-thought out analysis is only forcing the right to take stronger and stronger idiocy stances.

    I think some scientist somewhere had a theory. Analysis in = idiocy out in proportion.

  90. 90
    Mike says:

    “Jorge Says:
    “I don’t think so:
    http://www.blackamericatoday.c.....eID=587”

    Um, that isn’t who I saw on CNN. New Orleans does have more than one living former mayor. The man on CNN was white haired, had no facial hair and looked to be at least in his late 60’s.”

    As I said, I wasn’t sure who he was referring to since no link was provided. If this guy you mentioned was the one that said it, then I retract what I said. What was his name, do you recall?

  91. 91
    DougJ says:

    One more thing: I am all for an honest accounting of the costs of the war and if one of them is a lack of National Guard over here to help with this, then that’s how it is. What I am against is MSM misrepresentation of the real successes in Iraq and left-wing efforts to undermine the president in terms of the war. That doesn’t mean I want to turn a blind eye to the real costs of the war. That’s because I’m confident that the rewards have and will continue to outweigh the costs. We don’t need to mispresent the real costs to justify the war.

  92. 92
    Vlad says:

    Landrieu is the man on the far left of this photo.

  93. 93
    trentbaur says:

    People have every right to criticize government responses to natural disasters. If they don’t, the government will have no incentive to improve its readiness.

    Exactly.

    I think the Big Picture discussion that needs to go on is the dialogue over the role of government. I’m all for less government, but the Right has gone way too far demonizing the government’s place in our lives. America is as great as it is BECAUSE of the government, not in spite of it. And the Right is endangering that positive aspects of government involvement in our lives.

    Things like proactively shoring up levees.

  94. 94
    Jay says:

    John, why are you so blindly supporting the president on this one? I’m a big supporter of the president, as you know, but I’m ready to hear the facts and arguments on this one before I start defending or accusing anyone.

    Uhhh…where exactly is John “blindly supporting the President?” He’s rightly admonishing those whose knees have jerked back a mile to blame the President for what has happened barely a day after the hurricane swept through the region.

    If Hurricane Georges didn’t take a sudden turn to the east 7 years ago, we wouldn’t be having this conversation because NO would have ceased to exist. I’ll bet money that none of the lefty wingnuts so happy to blame President Bush for what happened with Katrian, would have been blaming President Clinton for that mess.

  95. 95
    Joe Albanese says:

    Just to show you how bi-partisan I am let me add that what I’ve seen of Democratic Governor Blanco is not very impressive. I know this is a disaster of unprecedented magnitude but her appearances on TV leave a lot to be desired. I saw her on Larry King last night and on severals shows this morning as she does not inspire confidence in our government.

    Repeatedly she said the Super Dome HAS to be evacuated, but when asked how she proposed to do that exactly she had no answers. No answers? If she doesn’t know who the fuck does? That must have been very reassuring to those in the super dome that are watching the waters rising around them by the minute.

    She was equally ill informed, fuzzy and non responsive to just about every question. When asked how is the project going to correct the breeched levee she said she didn’t get a report yet this morning. WTF? You didn’t ask Governor? Your major city is drowning, people trapped, looting going on, and you don’t know the answer to that question? Why go on television if you dont’ have any answers?

    As a life long New York democrat I had no love for Rudy Guilianni. I disagreed with a lot of his policies but he showed what leadership is all about. After 911 he took control. He conveneyed a sense that things were going to be taken control of. He had tons of information that axnious New Yorkers wanted to know about. He calmed and reassured us at the same time in no less a hectic situation. The Governor, as far as I am concerned failed on all accounts. “lets all pray” is not a plan.

  96. 96
    BumperStickerist says:

    Could some of the folks on the Left address two issues before resuming the general Bush bashing –

    1) Do you think that environmentalist organizations and their use of litigation played any role in developing or improving the levee system for hurricane preparedness?

    After all Environmental Impact Studies take time to work their way through court.

    As do other eco-involved issues, for exampl, this was part of a court case briefing:

    Comments on behalf of Louisiana Audubon Council and Gulf Restoration Network re: a 2.7-mile segment of the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection Levee (Objecting to the issuance of this project until the Corps issues a Record of Decision or Statement of Findings for the programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on the entire levee protection project, and an adequate environmental assessment has been conducted for the 2.7-mile segment.)
    (December 8, 2003)

    Both of which were preceded by litigation like this:

    cite

    MEMPHIS, Tenn., September 14, 1999 — On September 8, 1999, the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana released its judgment in favor of the defendants in the lawsuit filed by the Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund, Inc., in December of 1998.

    Defendants listed in the lawsuit were H. Martin Lancaster, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works; Major General Pat M. Stevens IV, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Major General Robert B. Flowers, Division Engineer of the U.S. Army Engineer Division, Lower Mississippi Valley Division; Colonel Gary W. Wright, District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The Earth Justice lawsuit challenged the adequacy of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Corps’ Mississippi River Mainline Levee Enlargement and Berm Construction Project. The project consists of 1,610 miles of authorized levees and berms and associated seepage control measures along the Mississippi River in seven states.

    That particular case took about a year to get through the system. Those are general examples of what a couple of special interest groups can do to any levee project.

    So – while we can have fun talking about Chevron, Exxon/Mobil, and such, let’s not forget about the contribution of our good friends on the Eco-Side of the equation to the current situation in New Orleans… .m’kay?

    If the Chimp had cut his vacation four weeks short, rounded up some buddies at the Corps of Engineers, hopped in some contruction vehicles and driven to the levees to effect repairs while Katrina was still a tropical storm … some eco-weenie would have filed an injunction.

    2) Shoud we federalize the construction and maintenance of levee systems?

    Then again, the logistics of actually repairing the levees come into play. –
    This article talks about data modeling a hurricane and tidal damage in New Orleans . It was written in 2002.

    The article discusses the responsibility of levee maintenance. A survey revealed 16 low spots on one leve and point out that, ultimately, it’s the property owner’s responsibility (which, to me, is worrisome).

    The role of technology in avoiding disaster is discussed as is the role the Corps of Engineers in these projects.

    None of which absolves Bush of whatever Evilness he’s bound to have done, given his Evil Bushness … blood in the sand, blood for oil, et cetera, et cetera …

    though I think the Mayor and the Governor shoulder more of the immediate responsibility for the current situation in N.O.

  97. 97
    Jorge says:

    I am almost certain that it was Maurice Edwin “Moon” Landrieu that was on CNN.

  98. 98
    Capriccio says:

    9/11
    Iraq
    Rising oil prices
    Record setting deficit
    New Orleans

    I think the message is clear. God really, really hates George W. Bush.

  99. 99
    trentbaur says:

    If Hurricane Georges didn’t take a sudden turn to the east 7 years ago, we wouldn’t be having this conversation because NO would have ceased to exist. I’ll bet money that none of the lefty wingnuts so happy to blame President Bush for what happened with Katrian, would have been blaming President Clinton for that mess.

    That’s because Bush is known for cutting funding to states and social programs because goverment is the problem, not the solution.

    Clinton was considered as a “tax-and-spend liberal” so it would be absurd to acuse him of penny-pinching.

  100. 100
    Caroline says:

    What I don’t understand is why conservatives aren’t kicking W’s butt. At a very minimum, he could have cancelled picking and grinning at a hootenanny. Can’t you see the split screen ads now-W pickin’ and grinnin’ while the levees break.

    CNN is reporting that he is going back to Crawford instead of going to Washington. He can say he isn’t going on vacation but his actions are showing differently.

  101. 101
    Mike says:

    “Vlad Says:
    “The man on CNN was white haired, had no facial hair and looked to be at least in his late 60’s.”

    According to my quick googling, he was probably Maurice Edwin “Moon” Landrieu. 75 years old, white, mayor from ‘70 to ‘78. All the ones before him are dead, and all the ones after him are black.”

    Okay, thanks so I retract my statement about Marc Morial. I’ll make this one instead:
    I assume you mean Democrat Maurice Edwin Landrieu, father of Democratic senator Mary Landrieu and Democratic Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu (the guy that spent $955,000 redecorating his office and home), and former head of HUD under prominent moonbat Jimmy Carter.

    Yeah…can’t imagine he’d say anything political against Bush.

  102. 102
    rick says:

    Some of you people are crazy. I’ve got it..Let’s build a gigantic force field over the entire US. Then we will be protected from terrorists and NATURAL disasters.

    Good Lord people, if your grocery store ran out of oranges, you would blame Bush b/c he diverted some funds that caused the frost to wipe out Florida and California’s crop.

    Funds have been diverted from construction projects since we’ve had roads. Every president (from both parties) has done it. When you only have so much to spend, you spend it on what is more important. Which was a more likely threat…another terrorist attack, or a catagory 4 hitting the “weak” levies of Louisiana. Everyone agreed it was a terrorist attack when these funds were diverted. Hindsight is 20/20 and you all thought the same thing Buch did. Didn’t hear anyone complaining that the levies weren’t getting fixed when you were worried about getting attacked in California, NY or wherever you are from.

    There is also the fact that FUNDING for the ARMED FORCES (active, Reserve, and National Guard) has been getting cut for years (again by both parties). Maybe that has something to do with the shoddy equipment ect…

    Some of you have gone off the deep end…
    Not everything is about Iraq.

    Just my 2 cents..

  103. 103
    John S. says:

    Mike-

    So eager to discredit the source and disregard the message – no matter what the relevance.

    You drink your GOP kool-aid well.

  104. 104
    Vlad says:

    “Yeah…can’t imagine he’d say anything political against Bush.”

    On the other hand, he’s got sort of a vested interest in people not drowning in the Superdome, since he was one of the main people in charge of building the thing.

    I’d have to think there’d be a limit to the willingness of a retired federal judge to engage in purely partisan sniping, since he’s spent the last 20-ish years at least trying to appear fair and open-minded.

  105. 105
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Mike, is that a template you use? Can I borrow it?

    Does that mean that every time a poster quotes someone on the right, we can play the 6-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon game that ties them to anyone else we choose, only so that we can impugn their motives? Because its inconcievable that anyone, anywhere, could actually have pure motives for saying or doing something, because you’ve gazed into their souls, and know what they’re thinking?

  106. 106

    Government failed New Orleans

    This is an open letter to John Cole at Balloon Juice — someone I admire very much as a reasonable person who just happens to not share my political beliefs. Specifically, John’s frustration at some on the left to point…

  107. 107
    DougJ says:

    though I think the Mayor and the Governor shoulder more of the immediate responsibility for the current situation in N.O.

    That is probably true, most likely true in fact. And if people want to criticize them, they’re more than welcome. But let’s not turn this into liberal versus conservative, Red versus Blue or whatever. I don’t know that liberals and conservatives have different views about hurricane preparedness anyway.

  108. 108

    My thoughts on how Bush could be partially to “blame”, but more importantly government for the last 100 years has been to blame.

  109. 109
    trentbaur says:

    Rick, it’s completely reasonable for people to be pissed about the ill-formed priorities of the current administration and their Congressional foot soldiers. We’re talking about an entire city here.

    We’re also talking about more than the cut funding. From what i’m reading, we’re talking about the gutting of FEMA in general. We’re talking about putting the country’s finances into a state where it has no wiggle room for catastrophes like this. (And hoping to make it worse by repealing the Estate tax.)

    It’s a general indictment of the Republican Party’s priorities that are making this country worse off than it was. In a sea of negative consequences from their miserable policies, this is an especially acute one.

    You’re damn right we’re pissed.

  110. 110
    ppGaz says:

    So instead of pulling together as a country

    That’s beyond irony. Someone on the right, lecturing on “pulling the country together?”

    If you wait long enough in the blogosphere, you will see everything.

    If George W. Spud hadn’t squandered the unity of the country and the confidence that was placed in him 3 years ago, he’d have some left to work with today. He did squander those things. He doesn’t have much left today.

    Tough shit. Fuck him.

  111. 111
    Jorge says:

    Maurice Edwin Landrieu lost his home and all of his possessions to Katrina. And what he was doing on TV wasn’t bashing Bush . No, with an almost broken voice he was begging the President to mobilize the army to save the lives of the tens of thousands of people trapped in New Orleans. I’m not sure how this man became the enemy.

  112. 112
    Jay says:

    That’s beyond irony. Someone on the right, lecturing on “pulling the country together?”

    It is? Coming from the “Squatter Chimpy McHitlerburton stole the election in 2000!!!!” crowd, that’s pretty rich.

    Like I said elsewhere, Bush could create a cure for AIDS by himself and there would be people who would do nothing but bitch about he had neglected those who suffer from heart disease.

  113. 113
    ppGaz says:

    Like I said elsewhere, Bush could create a cure for AIDS by himself

    Yes, of course he could. Very salient comment.

    The President of Intelligent Design will be the one who single-handedly finds a cure …. for anything. His love for science is well established.

    I can just imagine the spate of Reader’s Digest articles that will follow that great event!

  114. 114
    John Cole says:

    What continues to amaze me is that I am in no way absolving Bush or Congress if this was the fault of a decrease in funding. I am, instead, ridiculing the knee-jerk claims that it is, when we simply don’t know yet.

  115. 115
    trentbaur says:

    Like I said elsewhere, Bush could create a cure for AIDS by himself and there would be people who would do nothing but bitch about he had neglected those who suffer from heart disease.

    Except, he WOULDN’T because that would help dem-der-fags.

    We know what Bush will do and won’t do because he has demonstrated his priorities over the years. He doesn’t care about Americans. He only cares about his kind of people. That’s not acceptable for a public servant.

    Sorry Jay, i don’t know how you can cry foul when people call the Republicans on their divide-and-conquer attitude towards the country.

  116. 116
    Alexandra says:

    One point is: Are the efforts that are taking place NOW sufficient? This is a crisis. People are dying as we speak. Are the resources there, is the organization there, to try to save every precious life? I fear that there is mass disorganization. We need a “shock and awe” battle of overwhelming force to get people to food, water, and safety RIGHT NOW. What happens in the future can wait. But people need to be taken out of immediate harm’s way. Today, tomorrow, and the next day.

  117. 117
    ppGaz says:

    I am, instead, ridiculing the knee-jerk claims that it is, when we simply don’t know yet.

    Hmm. If only we’d followed that paradigm back in 2002 wrt WMDs and Saddam’s “connection” to 9-11.

    Tsk.

    Oh well, can’t cry over spilt milk.

  118. 118
    trentbaur says:

    I am, instead, ridiculing the knee-jerk claims that it is, when we simply don’t know yet.

    But we can’t know the unknowable, so we can never say anything.

  119. 119
    BumperStickerist says:

    ppgaz –

    First Bush would have to establish that the water that had spilled over the levee was somehow connected to the water in the lake.

  120. 120
    Jay says:

    Yes, of course he could. Very salient comment.

    The President of Intelligent Design will be the one who single-handedly finds a cure …. for anything. His love for science is well established.

    The point, aside from the one on your head, is that it wouldn’t matter. It just wouldn’t.

    No matter what happened, you people would be blaming Bush for what’s going on in NO right now. The whining at the moment is about the supposed diversion of funds and the cutting of essential programs that would surely would have prevented all of this (yeah right). If there was no Iraq war and the tills were overflowing, people would be complaining it wasn’t enough.

    There’s two statements that are synonymous with the psychosis of Chimpy McHitlerburton hatred. It’s an affliction that just causes such people to say the following:

    After bad news is reported: “It’s Bush’s fault!”

    After good news is reported: “Yes, but that’s not good enough.”

  121. 121
    ppGaz says:

    No matter what happened, you people would be blaming Bush for what’s going on in NO right now.

    Really? Where do “you people” get that idea? Produce my post where I have blamed Bush for what is going on in NO right now.

    I render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. I blame him for generally fucking up my country and for deliberately dividing it against itself. But not for New Orleans.

    Katrina is just God’s way of punishing bad people, just as Pat Robertson has said about these things in the past. You see, I listen to and learn from the great rightwing thinkers of our time.

  122. 122
    Mike says:

    “John S. Says:
    Mike-

    So eager to discredit the source and disregard the message – no matter what the relevance.

    You drink your GOP kool-aid well.”

    As do you on your side pal. As do you.

  123. 123
    Mike says:

    ImJohnGalt Says:
    “Mike, is that a template you use? Can I borrow it?

    Does that mean that every time a poster quotes someone on the right, we can play the 6-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon game that ties them to anyone else we choose, only so that we can impugn their motives? Because its inconcievable that anyone, anywhere, could actually have pure motives for saying or doing something, because you’ve gazed into their souls, and know what they’re thinking?”

    I figured you already had. Don’t you realize that the Repuglicans are evil, heartless bastards, Didn’t you get the memo?

  124. 124
    trentbaur says:

    No matter what happened, you people would be blaming Bush for what’s going on in NO right now. The whining at the moment is about the supposed diversion of funds and the cutting of essential programs that would surely would have prevented all of this (yeah right). If there was no Iraq war and the tills were overflowing, people would be complaining it wasn’t enough.

    He is judged based on the pattern of his behavior. His decisions and actions have consistently failed to meet the standards that we expect from our presidents. And we have never seen reason to believe that Mr. Stay-The-Course, Never-Admit-A-Mistake will change.

    Would you like to present one?

  125. 125
    vinc says:

    And I don’t know what you guys think the National Guard could have done. Even if every man on active duty and in the National guard were there, it could not have prevented this disaster.

    Oh sheesh, the story I read right before coming here:

    With law enforcement officials and National Guardsmen focused on saving lives, looters around the city openly ransacked stores for food, clothing, appliances — and guns.

    “We don’t like looters one bit, but first and foremost is search and rescue,” Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Wednesday. She said she has asked the White House to send more people to help with evacuations and rescues, thereby freeing up National Guardsmen to stop looters.

    “We need to free up the National Guard to do security in the city,” Blanco said.

    And yesterday I remember reading a story about how the guardsmen were completely overwhelmed and didn’t have the manpower to deal with all the dead bodies…

    I agree with John that it’s too early to assess the causes of levee damage. But denying that guardsmen would help here is just stupid. And saying, “oh we can’t know whether guardsmen would help” is a copout.

  126. 126
    Mike says:

    trentbaur Says:
    ” His decisions and actions have consistently failed to meet the standards that we expect from our presidents. ”

    He’s not your President remember? He’s our President, you don’t have one right now, at least that’s the position many on the Left take these days.

  127. 127
    ppGaz says:

    He’s our President, you don’t have one right now, at least that’s the position many on the Left take these days.

    Uh, no. That’s the right’s position. “He’s our president, and the rest of you can go fuck yourselves.”

    The left generally believes that we have one president too many at the present time.

  128. 128
    Mike says:

    “ppGaz Says:

    Uh, no. That’s the right’s position. “He’s our president, and the rest of you can go fuck yourselves.”

    Well I can’t speak for the Right in general, but that pretty much does describe my attitude, at least with regards to the Lefty Moonbats in the country.
    So yeah, the Moonbat Left? They can go fuck themselves, but whomever happens to be President doesn’t change that attitude. It’s pretty much constant.

  129. 129
    Vlad says:

    “No matter what happened, you people would be blaming Bush for what’s going on in NO right now.”

    I can pretty much guarantee that if he’d cut short his vacation to devote some effort to the crisis at hand, I’d view it as an unusually intelligent and compassionate move on his part.

    Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see him at a cowboy music photo op when I checked the news this morning.

  130. 130
    Alexandra says:

    The point is not whether or not people are blaming Bush for not doing enough to help New Orleans. Didn’t the Republicans make a huge deal of blaming Clinton for forest fires? There will always be people blaming the leader for things that happen on his watch.

    The point is whether people are justified in blaming Bush for not doing enough. And if there is evidence that shows that he has not done enough. I would have to say that the post on DKos that you helpfully linked us to is pretty compelling evidence that he has not and indeed is not doing enough at this important time. It also seems that there are other “levees” that are breaking down–our national debt, our rising gas prices, our estrangement from the rest of the world, and especially this profoundly unsuccessful war. It is a humbling reminder that bold action is no substitute for wise action.

  131. 131
    Trent Baur says:

    Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see him at a cowboy music photo op when I checked the news this morning.

    Of course you did.

    Because that’s what he did on 9/11. And that’s what he did for the tsunami.

    And that’s what he’ll do during the next big disaster. It’s the Bush way.

  132. 132
    ppGaz says:

    Well I can’t speak for the Right in general, but that pretty much does describe my attitude, at least with regards to the Lefty Moonbats in the country.

    Good, glad we got that out of the way. Because if you keep it up, you could end up with a civil war in this country. Now, I won’t have any compunctions about shooting your ass when that day comes. None whatever.

    BTW, I’m a dead shot ;-)

  133. 133
    Trent Baur says:

    It also seems that there are other “levees” that are breaking down—our national debt, our rising gas prices, our estrangement from the rest of the world, and especially this profoundly unsuccessful war. It is a humbling reminder that bold action is no substitute for wise action.

    So well said…

  134. 134
    Jorge says:

    Goodness. Even with out the Levy’s, Bush has been reading “My Pet Goat” for over 48 hours since this Hurricane hit. An American city was levelled (Biloxi), about a million Americans are homeless and one of our major cities and ports has become unlivable. Oh, and the south east oil and natural gas supply has been cut off.

    And its taken the President about 56 hours to hold a meeting with the head of the agencies working on this disaster. This is literally the biggest natural and man made disaster in the history of the US. And the POTUS again failed to act immediately. He’s finally addressing the country tonight at 5 PM. Where the heck was he Monday night? Tuesday night? Wednesday morning?

  135. 135
    Jorge says:

    Levees – typo above

  136. 136
    DougJ says:

    Let’s stop name-calling here and stop saying that one side hates America and the other side is sycophants and so on. Two points:

    (1) This truly is a time for the country to come together.
    and
    (2) We do need to think about what could have been done differently here. No one is saying it could have been prevented, not here at least. And while the left is likely to be much more insulting towards Bush than they should be here, as long as it is done in the spirit of examining what went wrong, that’s okay.

  137. 137
    Birkel says:

    I asked you a while back if you were happy with the new crowd you had attracted and you didn’t answer, Mr. Cole.

    But the LLL’s have certainly taken a fancy to you. Kinda fun to read in a traffic accident sort of way. Everything is a political football to be scored against the opponent.

    Earthquakes cause tidal waves to devastate Aceh and Bush is bashed for not giving enough even though it was the most given (actually given, that is–not promised). A hurricane hits Louisiana and Bush is blamed for everything in sight. Fun little worlds your fans keep.

    Not much for winning elections, sadly.

  138. 138
    Alexandra says:

    Well said, Doug.

    On a separate but related note, even conservatives are questioning if Bush’s actions LOOK good. Here’s what the Corner’s Byron York wrote–

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/

    “Cheap shots, aside, there is a legitimate question here. Even given the wonders of modern communications which allow him to stay in touch with virtually everyone virtually all the time, does the president really need to spend five weeks of the summer based at his home in Crawford? What would be wrong with a two-week vacation? After all, he goes to Crawford at other times of the year, and, of course, he can spend all the time he wants there when he is no longer president.”

    The guitar playing is not going to make him look very on top of things. And it’s not just that it makes the right look bad, which of course it does. It’s that it has the potential to make people who are despairing and need help–or who have loved ones who do–feel deeply concerned that the man most empowered to help them or their loved ones is indifferent to the crisis at hand.

  139. 139
    Jorge says:

    “Not much for winning elections, sadly.”

    Maybe we should take up gay bashing. I hear that works to win elections.

    OK – that was a cheap shot.

  140. 140
    neil says:

    Typically, John Cole comes charging out of the gate ahead of the facts, screaming that whoever is to blame, it could not possibly be the man in charge of the government.

  141. 141
    ppGaz says:

    (1) This truly is a time for the country to come together.

    When did you arrive at this conclusion, DougJIncorporated?

    Today, when you calcluated that your usual off-the-wall “culture war” spew wasn’t going to go over as well as it usually would?

    You guys need to have a meeting of your writers and come up with a new strategy. “The country” ain’t coming together behind (all of) you, pal(s).

  142. 142
    tBone says:

    It would have been nice if all of you could have at least waited for the floodwaters to recede and the bodies to be buried before you resumed your idiotic partisan pissing matches.

    DougJ is by far the most reasonable commenter on this entire thread (a sentence I never thought I’d type). What the hell is the matter with you people?

  143. 143
    ppGaz says:

    What the hell is the matter with you people?

    Gee, I dunno …. maybe several months of watching “DougJ” (if there be such a person, a matter still in doubt) be a complete raving lunatic around here?

    DougJ has a way of morphing quickly and seamlessly from one thing into another. Almost as if he were actually a group of people putting us on.

    Today he is being a “reasonable commenter” (according to you?) Tomorrow he will be a space alien.

  144. 144
    tBone says:

    Today he is being a “reasonable commenter” (according to you?) Tomorrow he will be a space alien.

    Hey, no argument there. (My comment wasn’t directed at you, BTW – I wrote it after slogging through this monster thread and yours hadn’t been posted yet when I started reading, so the placement was unintentional.)

    Anyway, I’m just fed up with the partisan bullshit when there are still people in NO fighting for their lives. If DougJ can be reasonable today, why can’t the non-chameloid lifeforms follow suit?

  145. 145
    DougJ says:

    Ppgaz, why do you have to be so hostile all the time? What I had hoped is that everyone here would feel differently after seeing what’s going on in New Orleans. I know that I do. If that makes me seem like “a group of people” to you, then maybe you don’t really understand that people are complex, not just a stick figure painted red or blue.

    I’m not writing anything hostile to those on the other side of the political spectrum for the immediate future. I think it is time for a lot of people on both sides to back off. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t criticize the authorities — Blanco, the New Orleans mayor, and yes, president Bush — but maybe for a few days we could stop insulting each other and — I know this is hard — maybe even turn the cheek when others insult us.

  146. 146
    DougJ says:

    The guitar playing is not going to make him look very on top of things.

    Agreed. It’s just a picture and I don’t think it means anything (and I think the left is being grossly unfair in yakking about it so much, to be honest), but you’re right, it sends the wrong message. And you have do have a right to harp on it.

  147. 147
    ppGaz says:

    Ppgaz, why do you have to be so hostile all the time? What I had hoped is that everyone here would feel differently after seeing what’s going on in New Orleans. I know that I do. If that makes me seem like “a group of people” to you, then maybe you don’t really understand that people are complex, not just a stick figure painted red or blue.

    Are those my only two color choices?

    But all seriousness aside, Doug, it’s not so much that you seem like a “group of people” as you seem … well … schizophrenic. As if you were …. beside yourself.

    I know this is hard—maybe even turn the cheek when others insult us.

    Our heads would have to be on ball bearings, Dougie.

    Just a couple days ago, you wanted protests “shut down” because the Founders wouldn’t have approved.

    Today, we should “be nice” because of Katrina.

    Doug? Bite me.

  148. 148
    DougJ says:

    As if you were …. beside yourself.

    I am beside myself. This is a horrible tragedy for the Gulf coast. Not just in terms of the loss of life, which is bad enough, but because New Orleans isn’t like anywhere else in the world. It has its own unique culture, one that has been there for generations. And now it may be done.

    So, yes, I’m beside myself.

  149. 149
    ppGaz says:

    So, yes, I’m beside myself.

    I’ve given up trying to figure out if you are serious any more.

    If you are, hang in there.

  150. 150

    Grant Rant

    Here’s a Jack Grant rant I fully support. Listen, one reason I haven’t written anything about the various attempts by the left and the right to politicize Katrina is that they really are beneath notice. That sort of behavior really…

  151. 151
    Bob says:

    If you cut funding for emergency preparedness and an emergency happens, you wear the crown. The clown wears the crown.

  152. 152
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Let’s keep two things straight:

    (1) Even if you think the Iraq War is justified — and I’m convinced that we should be engaged in major military actions abroad, mainly to stop nuclear proliferation, although I think Iraq is the wrong place for them — you are still faced with the task of proving that Bush was justified in making additional cuts in the nation’s disaster budget for the sake of those damn tax cuts.

    (2) No, Virginia, nobody is saying that — even if the levees had held — there wouldn’t have been huge casualties in Alabama and Mississippi and the rest of Lousiana. Nor is anyone saying that even maintaining the previous level of funding would definitely have been able to stop a Level Four hurricane. What the Times-Picayune (or the officials talking to it) have been saying is that, thanks to Bush’s cuts, the levees might well not have held against even a Level THREE hurricane — and that, had the requested funding been available, it might have been possible to establish partial protection against even a Level Four or Five one.

  153. 153

    Why am I so angry?

    A few folks have asked that question in comments and emails. Why are you so angry about this? Here’s why. A row of school buses sits in floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005 east of New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) 68, coun…

  154. 154
    Wouff Hong says:

    Why don’t the media speak up about this and place the blame where it belongs on Bush and his mismangement of
    this country, his lies etc. His address to the nation was
    a farce, no compassion what so ever. His statement that
    Lousiana and Mississippi were under water (no kidding Sherlock, good observation) as they just came out of a
    hurricane. They way this goverment treats its own citizens,
    you have to be fresh from another country to get humane
    treatment. It really burned me to see our people (that’s
    right Bush) to suffer they way they have with no food, water, rescue and dispair. I ask if we can drop food, water, and rescue in other countries we sure as heck can
    do it here!! Now to the BIG ONE, publish the articles when
    Bush slashed the 11 billion dollars from New Orleans that
    was slated to fix up, strenghten the water defences so
    the city could stand up against something like this, the
    warnings were there for years, but some dirty little war
    overseas along with Home Land Security another talking
    head and do nothing mob. So Bush thans for wiping out
    my favorite historic city. I am glad the media on the ground embarrassed the government with their questions
    and video.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Why am I so angry?

    A few folks have asked that question in comments and emails. Why are you so angry about this? Here’s why. A row of school buses sits in floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005 east of New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) 68, coun…

  2. Grant Rant

    Here’s a Jack Grant rant I fully support. Listen, one reason I haven’t written anything about the various attempts by the left and the right to politicize Katrina is that they really are beneath notice. That sort of behavior really…

  3. Government failed New Orleans

    This is an open letter to John Cole at Balloon Juice — someone I admire very much as a reasonable person who just happens to not share my political beliefs. Specifically, John’s frustration at some on the left to point…

  4. Catch says:

    Stress test

    John Cole, I’ll see your “angry and stupid left” and raise you one “deranged, homicidal and sub-human right”:

    The people most stressed out by the July 7 mass murder attacks in

  5. […] John Cole, I’ll see your “angry and stupid left” and raise you one “deranged, homicidal and sub-human right”: The people most stressed out by the July 7 mass murder attacks in Britain? Muslim Londoners. The stress caused by the terrorist bombings in London on 7 July 2005 was far more keenly felt by Muslim residents compared with other inhabitants, a psychological study reveals. Sixty-one per cent of Muslim commuters surveyed suffered substantial stress in the days following the first terrorist attacks on the city’s transport system – almost double the proportion of stressed Londoners from other faiths. From comments: suboptimal 8/29/2005 08:59PM PDT Bullets can cure stress, quite effectively. Game over. […]

Comments are closed.