Bush Speaks

It will be interesting to see how this statement is treated:

President Bush said Tuesday that “I take responsibility” for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

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

“To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” Bush said.

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

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

He said he wanted to know both what went wrong and what went right.

As for blunders in the federal response, “I’m not going to defend the process going in,” Bush said. “I am going to defend the people saving lives.”

He praised relief workers at all levels. “I want people in America to understand how hard people worked to save lives down there,” he said.

Other than the long proccess of reconstruction, that is the chore, really. Finding out what the actual failures were among the numerous alleged failures, why they happened, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

*** Update ***

I assume, perhaps unfairly (I am as jaundiced as everyone who comments here), that this will be a representative sample of responses from some quarters:

Now that Bush has taken responsibility, he must resign. He has pleaded guilty. He has admitted that he was complicit in the deaths of thousands of people.

Haul his ass in front of the House of Representatives for an impeachment trial, and then ask him to confirm that he admits responsibility. If he denies this, he will look like a flip-flopping liar; if he confirms that it was his fault, Congress will be forced to impeach him.

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292 replies
  1. 1
    Kimmitt says:

    I’ll tell you, I was flabbergasted to read that; it seems profoundly out of character.

  2. 2
    Mr Furious says:

    That is so astonishingly close to an actual apology and admission of responsibility/accountability that I almost cannot believe the words passed his lips. Think Fonzie trying to say “I was wr–, I was wro–”

    Seriously, is there some greater context left out here or what? I mean he threw plenty of qualifiers in there, but it’s more than I ever expected from him. Especially after he let Brownie “retire” on his own.

  3. 3
    Mr Furious says:

    Damn! Almost first.

  4. 4
    Trent says:

    Seriously, is there some greater context left out here or what?

    Even he can’t ignore the writing on the wall…

  5. 5
    jg says:

    Finding out what the actual failures were among the numerous alleged failures, why they happened, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    Simply, go back to work. You and your staff and your cabinet. Go back to work when something happens. I have no problem with presidents and people in his administration take vacations. I kid but I really don’t care as long as they come back to work in an emergency. Thats an important first step in the federal response. I’m sure they’d all come back in the event of a terrorist attack but they have to come back for all emergencies.

  6. 6
    jg says:

    I think calls fro impeachment are pretty silly but the republs opened this can of worms when they impeached the last guy for cheating in his wife. Bad precedent.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    I think calls fro impeachment are pretty silly but the republs opened this can of worms when they impeached the last guy for cheating in his wife. Bad precedent.

    They impeached him for lying under oath. He was lying about an affair, which made him a sympathetic figure to many, but he was not impeached for the affair itself. That is a mischaracterization.

    If you disagree with me, think about it this way- they would have impeached him for anything they could have, and lying under oath is what they had.

  8. 8
    Krista says:

    It does seem stunningly out of character, doesn’t it? He’s always had such an aversion to taking responsibility or admitting that his government isn’t perfect. My skeptical side thinks that someone on his team figured out which way the wind was blowing and knew that this was the only thing that might help. But my frosted side – I mean, my optimistic side – thinks that maybe, just maybe, he’s finally clued in enough to realize that the buck really should stop with him.

    I don’t know…this is so the last thing that I was expecting. I bet there are a lot of people out there with their jaws agape right now.

  9. 9
    srv says:

    So he gives a question in response to the “can we handle a terrorist attack”. Hmm. Must make the faithful feel warm all over.

    I am going to defend the people saving lives

    Always first to throw himself on the invisible hand grenade. Who will stand between those lefties and the Coast Guard…

  10. 10
    jg says:

    They impeached him for lying under oath.

    But why was he on the stand. What was the offense that led there is my point. It wasn’t to the level of removing ht echief executive and now we have a sliipery slope where people yell ‘impeach’ for everything.

    IIRC he wasn’t impeached for lying under oath. He was impeached for continuing perjurious testimony from his first deposition in his second deposition. Weird. They couldn’t get him for perjury but they got him for continuing a perjurious line of testimony?

  11. 11
    Trent says:

    They impeached him for lying under oath.

    John, i’m glad that you view lying under oath as such a bad thing. We’ll remind you of this if/when it becomes one of the indictments against Rove and company in the Plame scandal…

  12. 12
    cd6 says:

    I assume he took responsibility because blaming all the hurricaine related SNAFUs on “a few bad apples” didn’t play well with the focus groups

    This is kind of funny considering how many people had launched into “Bush had nothing to do with it since it’s not his job” defenses the past 2 weeks or so I’d see on redstate and the like. Well, I disagree and now Bush disagrees as well…

  13. 13
    Vladi G says:

    Is he sorry for the slow response, or is he sorry for the cronyism and the elevation of stunningly incompetent people to posts for which they were incredibly underqualified. I’m guessing it’s the former, with no regard for the latter.

    That’s a very important question and it’s in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond,” Bush replied.

    Here’s a suggestion. How about hiring people who actually have a clue about disaster preparedness and response for disaster response and preparedness jobs? Couldn’t hurt.

    It’s great that he’s taken responsibility, but when I was a kid, I said I was sorry a million times for things that I went right back out and did again. What will be more interesting is seeing what he does to rectify the mistakes.

  14. 14
    Nikki says:

    This is the first time he’s ever taken responsibility for anything and it just so happens that his numbers are in the low 40s, high 30s. Coincidence? You decide!

  15. 15
    Doug says:

    It’s probably been mentioned down stream, but Mike Allen had a Time article that described the Bush administration’s post-Katrina strategy as:

    Part one: “Spend freely, and worry about the tab and the consequences later.”

    Part two: “Don’t look back.”

    Part three: “Develop a new set of goals to announce after Katrina fades.

  16. 16
    Trent says:

    It’s great that he’s taken responsibility, but when I was a kid, I said I was sorry a million times for things that I went right back out and did again. What will be more interesting is seeing what he does to rectify the mistakes.

    Well, this IS a first. Everything starts with the first step.

    Not that i’m deluded enough to think that he’s had an epiphany about his piss-poor and corrupt leadership ability.

    But it’s the same sense of satisfaction as when Nanny 911 disciplines a spoiled child for the first time. (HA!)

  17. 17
    guyermo says:

    so, now that he has assumed culpability, I’m wondering the status of his investigation to what whent wrong. he’s admitted fault, so is that the end of his investigation, or will we receive an ‘honest and open’ investigation like we got from the Pentagon after Abu Ghraib

  18. 18
    Steve says:

    I respect him for making this statement. It’s a presidential thing to say.

    What continues to trouble me, though, is not whether FEMA was slow to show up with food and water or whatnot, but Bush’s own seeming lack of interest as the disaster unfolded. I mean, you have Clinton flying back from New Zealand so he can be at his desk when Hurricane Floyd strikes, and then you have Bush playing guitar and eating cake. That bothers me even if Bush steps up and takes responsibility for all the other stuff.

  19. 19
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    Part two: “Don’t look back.”

    Oops.

    I guess they’ve finally figured out that the defiant two year old act, fiercely denying that the milk was spilled, and if it was spilled they had nothing to do with it, was getting old even with the base. As a surprise, this does rank up there with an Osama video in which he tearfully pleads “can’t we all get along?”

    If this followed up with real changes (start by moving FEMA back out of the DHS monstrosity) and not just another whitewash, all to the good, but you’ll forgive me if I reserve judgement for now.

  20. 20
    Krista says:

    I think a lot of us are going to be reserving judgement for now. It was definitely the right thing for him to say — but I want to wait and see if it’s going to be followed up by the appropriate action – getting an independent party to analyze the situation to determine, as John said, what the failures actually were, and how to make sure that they don’t happen again.

    And in regards to that later comment that was added – taking responsibility for something is not the same as admitting fault. If I hire someone in good faith, and they screw up a major project, then yes, it is my responsibility for having hired that person. Is it my fault the project got screwed? No…I don’t think that it is.

    Besides, if Bush hasn’t been impeached over all of the stupid things he’s done over the years, why impeach him over the first smart thing he’s done in a long time?

  21. 21
    Trent says:

    so, now that he has assumed culpability, I’m wondering the status of his investigation to what whent wrong. he’s admitted fault, so is that the end of his investigation, or will we receive an ‘honest and open’ investigation like we got from the Pentagon after Abu Ghraib

    The PResident just SAID he’s sorry. That’s unprecedented, but let’s not expect him to actually CHANGE. He’s still gonna rule like a dumbass.

  22. 22
    jg says:

    He should be impeached for lying us into the war in Iraq but he won’t because they rolled out the lie so that it reflects back on the intelligence agencys instead. He’ll definately finish his term.

  23. 23
    Defense Guy says:

    Good for him. It shows leadership at a time when we need it. Next step is an accurate accounting of what went wrong, and how to do better in the future.

  24. 24
    jg says:

    There it is. Thanks DG. I wasn’t going to post it until one of you said it. He’s ‘showing’ leadership. He’s ‘being’ presidential. The buck stops on his desk. He’s not to blame but he will ‘take responsibility’. Its th ‘classy’ thing to do. So many people are going to hear what he said and think we are living in a time of our country’s greatest president.

  25. 25
    Trent says:

    He should be impeached for lying us into the war in Iraq but he won’t because they rolled out the lie so that it reflects back on the intelligence agencys instead. He’ll definately finish his term.

    Depends on the midterm elections. An impeachment could happen.

    Although, even with a sweep of Congress, i think hunkering down and reestablishing Congressional equality with the Executive Branch is more politically wise. As well as some legitimate investigations on Abu Gharib, Gitmo and all of our fucking tax money lost in Iraq.

    Make him sweat the last two years.

  26. 26
    Defense Guy says:

    jg

    Why do I get the feeling that you would crucify him either way? If he does take responsibility you will cry for his blood and if he doesn’t take responsibility you will cry for his blood. So where does that leave us?

    If it was showing leadership under Clinton to take responsibility then so it should be under Bush. I don’t understand what’s wrong with that.

  27. 27
    rayabacus says:

    Good for him. It shows leadership at a time when we need it. Next step is an accurate accounting of what went wrong, and how to do better in the future.

    And what went right. There were a lot of good things done. A lot of good people did some quick thinking on their feet, overcoming some unexpected changes in plans and procedures. Good people showed initiative, which is hard to do in a beauracracy.

    We need to find out those things that did not go right and we need to determine why they did not go right, but we need to recognize those people that performed admirably.

  28. 28
    Defense Guy says:

    raybacus

    Good point. I should have had that in there as well.

  29. 29
    sean says:

    if he is accepting responsiblity today then why the need for a primetime address tomorrow night?

    maybe he can quote Nixon:

    I shall leave this office with regret at not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving as your President for the past 51/2 years. These years have been a momentous time in the history of our Nation and the world. They have been a time of achievement in which we can all be proud, achievements that represent the shared efforts of the Administration, the Congress, and the people

  30. 30
    Geoduck says:

    It occurs to me that it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility that, if there’s another mega-disaster on his watch, Bush could resign. And not because of any deep moral principle: the man simply hasn’t shown a propensity towards genuine stick-to-it-iveness in his career. When things finally truly go south and start getting tough for you personally, you just walk away and let Dad’s cronies once again clean up the mess. It’s easy to “stay the course” with stuff like Iraq; he’s not the one getting chewed up in a desert by murderous fanatics. I wonder if being President has suddenly stopped being fun for George Bush.

    That said, I was amazed at the apology. We’ll see what comes of it.

  31. 31
    SeesThroughIt says:

    This is the first time he’s ever taken responsibility for anything and it just so happens that his numbers are in the low 40s, high 30s. Coincidence? You decide!

    Coincidence? I think not!

    I actually had to do a web search to make sure some newswire hadn’t accidentally picked up a story from The Onion and ran it. That’s kind of sad. But even sadder is the fact that it has taken five years, thousands of deaths, countless obfuscations of the truth, and now the plain-as-day screw-ups in the wake of a massive natural disaster to finally get a tiny bit of integrity out of Bush, albeit heavily qualified integrity (watch Bush’s escape hatch be the phrase “to the extent the federal government didn’t do its job right,”–remember he’s saying this as the White House is spinning furiously and trying to peg all blame on those damn dirty state/local Democrats.)

    Honestly, given Bush’s track record, I this is only happening because his polling numbers are hitting rock-bottom. His support has largely been stripped down to his die-hard base–that 35 or so percent of the population we’ve mentioned here before.

    The sad thing? I guarantee you he’ll get a polling bounce from this. A bunch of those Republicans who have decided not even they can stand by Bush during this will now decide, “Well…he said he was sorry” and support him again. So much for people waking up.

  32. 32
    TallDave says:

    I can’t decide which is funnier, the calls for impeachment or the forecast of a Dem sweep of Congress.

    Here’s the escape clause in Bush’s sneaky little mea culpa:

    “To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right”

    We still haven’t seen any errors by the feds on the scale of Nagin’s people not following the city’s evac plan, Blanco’s people refusing to allow food and water into the Superdome after Nagin’s people put them there, or Blanco’s dithering over inviting the feds in.

    Bush’s people know when all the facts come out, the admin won’t look nearly as bad as the Democrats. But hey, don’t say he didn’t “take responsibility.”

  33. 33
    Mac Buckets says:

    You really wonder what the liberal/Democrat response will be? Let’s think back. The most prominent time that the left chastized Bush for not admitting a mistake was in the Iraq War aftermath. When Bush finally, after months of brow-beating by the press to “admit his mistakes,” said “we miscalculated” about certain aspects, the Democrats distorted his statement, took it out of context, and whined about how Bush “admitted” that the entire War was a “miscalculation.”

    They’ll do the same here. That idiot at Kos has already started. Look for more hopelessly logic-free “Bush took responsibility for all the hurricane deaths” screeds to come, intentionally ignoring the “to the extent that the federal government didn’t do its job right,” of course. Where that idiot gets impeachment from a poor show of federal disaster support just shows how loony some of those Kos folks are.

  34. 34
    slide says:

    I think Krista got it right when she said

    My skeptical side thinks that someone on his team figured out which way the wind was blowing and knew that this was the only thing that might help.

    Someone in the white house realized that this is going to be looked at very carefully and his adminstration is not going to come out looking very good. The WSJ already has a story with emails and documents that paint a pretty pathetic picture of FEMA and how this was handled. The arguments that John Cole and Patrick have been making just wasn’t going to wash in light of the evidence they know will be coming out in the next few weeks. You just KNOW its going to be bad if Bush is admitting that things weren’t done properly.

  35. 35
    jg says:

    jg

    Why do I get the feeling that you would crucify him either way? If he does take responsibility you will cry for his blood and if he doesn’t take responsibility you will cry for his blood. So where does that leave us?

    If it was showing leadership under Clinton to take responsibility then so it should be under Bush. I don’t understand what’s wrong with that.

    I think he’s taking resposibility because the polls are low not because he thinks he did wrong or is to blame. My opinion. His track record backs my opinion. I’m not sure it matters if I would crucify him either way. Doesn’t change that he is ‘showing’ leadership rather than actually being a leader. A leader gets back to work immediately, Bush shows up late, acts surprised, makes an ass of himself thanking people for their work then later as his numbers tumble, ‘accepts responsibility’. Fake leadership but you guys think its real. Worse you think I’m agaisnt Bush because I’m left.

  36. 36
    jg says:

    We still haven’t seen any errors by the feds on the scale of Nagin’s people not following the city’s evac plan, Blanco’s people refusing to allow food and water into the Superdome after Nagin’s people put them there, or Blanco’s dithering over inviting the feds in.

    Blame game?

    Feds don’t need an invitation.

  37. 37
    Defense Guy says:

    Yeah, given the response from so many of the reasonable folks here, it is a wonder the man doesn’t apologize more often. You demand it, and then when he gives it to you, you beat him about the head and shoulders with it. Such class.

  38. 38
    TallDave says:

    Feds don’t need an invitation.

    Posse Comitatus.

  39. 39
    Trent says:

    If it was showing leadership under Clinton to take responsibility then so it should be under Bush. I don’t understand what’s wrong with that.

    Because it took Bush almost 5 years to accept responsibility for anything.

    There were a lot of good things done. A lot of good people did some quick thinking on their feet, overcoming some unexpected changes in plans and procedures. Good people showed initiative, which is hard to do in a beauracracy.

    None of which can be attributed to PResident Bush.

    We still haven’t seen any errors by the feds on the scale of Nagin’s people not following the city’s evac plan, Blanco’s people refusing to allow food and water into the Superdome after Nagin’s people put them there, or Blanco’s dithering over inviting the feds in.

    I asked yesterday for proof the Blanco blocking supplies from entering New Orleans. I’ve read it was FEMA blocking people. Either cite some reliable proof or stop making this claim.

    Same goes for “dithering over inviting the feds in.” The feds didn’t need to be invited. I read the 5 page form that she wrote and signed on the 29th or 30th asking for help.

    Prove it or stop catapulting yer propaganda lies.

  40. 40
    jg says:

    So we’re not allowed to run his apology through the sincerity meter? we should just bathe in his words and go about our day?

    Am I supposed to believe you would feel this way about any president? I have a friend who’s constantly saying you have to support your president yet when I said even if he was a democrat he just smiled. You’d smile too.

    I love my country, not its leaders or any particular party.

  41. 41
    Trent says:

    And, NO, i do NOT view Nagin and Blanco as blameless.

    But i do view them as two people in the MIDDLE of a catastrophe trying to cope as best they can with the limited resources and power that they had.

    Bush was on vacation, riding his bike, enjoying the sun, eating some cake, playing the guitar, with the entire federal government at his disposal.

  42. 42
    Mike S says:

    the Democrats distorted his statement, took it out of context, and whined about how Bush “admitted” that the entire War was a “miscalculation.”

    Boo, friggin, hoo. Whining from the party that has made mis-characterising their opponents words is just flat out rich. And even if President Bush did not admit to miscalculating the entire Iraq war, it’s pretty obvious that he and his administration did.

  43. 43
    Mac Buckets says:

    Yeah, given the response from so many of the reasonable folks here, it is a wonder the man doesn’t apologize more often. You demand it, and then when he gives it to you, you beat him about the head and shoulders with it. Such class.

    I said after the Iraq “miscalculation” remark that Bush should never admit another mistake again, based on the dishonest and malicious way the media pounced and the Democrats lied about what he said then. I’ll probably be proved right — let’s see how dishonorable the Bush-haters are as they conveniently forget the “to the extent that…” part.

  44. 44
    jg says:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2005/...../#comments

    I don’t subscribe to the WSJ but they seem to think the feds can step in without an invitation.

    And, NO, i do NOT view Nagin and Blanco as blameless.

    But i do view them as two people in the MIDDLE of a catastrophe trying to cope as best they can with the limited resources and power that they had.

    They showed up. Thats what leaders do. They show up and lead. they might fuck up but its better than staying on vacation then 2 weeks later trying to act presidential.

  45. 45
    slide says:

    For those of you that were praising Christopher Hitchens on the Iraq War, chew on this from Hitch:

    “CATASTROPHIC INSOUCIANCE”:
    “It’s one of the two or three best-known risks to the United States, is that the levees protecting New Orleans could break. I know that and I live in Washington. It’s also, I’m afraid to say, the only thing the President has said about this that anyone can remember. I mean, he didn’t get there – it isn’t that they didn’t fly to the city beforehand, which he could easily have done on that kind of warning, and say, “Look, I’m the President of the United States, we can’t lose or even risk losing one of our great historic cities. I have come to make sure that all the state and city officials have got everything they could possibly want in advance.” For example, a few piles of bottled water wouldn’t have come amiss if there’s going to be suddenly too much water but none of it drinkable. Elementary things like that. He didn’t do that. Then he did a fly-by from his holiday retreat, and then he got there too late and then he said something completely idiotic. So I really can’t see there is any forgiveness for that. And remember also, that he did interrupt his holiday not very long ago to pay attention to something that was none of his business at all as President. Namely, the alleged living condition of an actually dead woman named Terri Schiavo.” – Christopher Hitchens, telling the truth. Yes: the contrast between the president’s urgent response to the religious right on Schiavo and his lackadaisical early response to Katrina is striking. And telling.

    sounds like he has finally sobered up..
    link.

  46. 46
    circlethewagons says:

    I miss the Darwinian fart jokes already.

    I guess those were simpler times (the hours between 9:54 and 12:58). Sigh.

  47. 47
    Mac Buckets says:

    Boo, friggin, hoo. Whining from the party that has made mis-characterising their opponents words is just flat out rich.

    Translation: The Democrats have license to lie whenever they want because they say the GOP as liars, too. How convenient for them.

  48. 48
    slide says:

    off topic for a moment, but speaking of Hitches, he will be debating Iraq with Galloway on C-Span 2, Saturday night. That should be very entertaining.

  49. 49
    Defense Guy says:

    I don’t really care what you believe or don’t jg. It is clear from your words that you have drawn your battle lines, and you will be damned if you will bend one inch to meet those on the other side.

    Don’t assume you know anything about the way I’d vote, because your words indicate you don’t. I’ve never voted party. I also have yet to vote for a losing presidential ticket, since 1988. You want Bush out, and yet you don’t even realize what a gift that would be to Cheney. President Cheney, 4 more years. Yeah I like the sound of that.

  50. 50
    stickler says:

    It occurs to me that it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility that, if there’s another mega-disaster on his watch, Bush could resign.

    Yes, it is entirely outside the realm of possibility. Bush will never resign. Ever. Even if his incompetence, petulance, and laziness deliver the Republican Party its greatest electoral disaster since 1932, he will not change course.

    I mention 1932 for those Bush apologists on this site who continually point to the underwhelming 2004 victory as if it were some turning point to permanent Republican dominance. You want Republican dominance? Look at the elections of 1920-1928; they kicked the Democrats all over the place. Hoover even got a few Southern states in 1928, in a landslide victory.

    And then, circumstances changed. A lot. Hoover’s leadership wasn’t even all that bad: study up on the man, he was lucid, well-read, activist, and scrupulously honest. How do you think Bush’s leadership compares? How does he handle reverses? If Bush’s screwups do to our economy what Katrina did to the Gulf, how will Bush & Co handle it?

  51. 51
    slide says:

    John Kerry on the Bush responsibility moment:

    “The President has done the obvious, only after it was clear he couldn’t get away with the inexcusable.”

    Flame away.

  52. 52
    ImJohnGalt says:

    It seems to me that in order to lead, you need to be out front. Bush and his team have been behind since day one. If anything, President Bush has just caught up. I’m not sure how that exemplifies “leading” anything. That said, I hate all politicians and their weasel words [“to the extent…”].

    Still, I was gobsmacked he even uttered the word “responsibility”. It’ll be interesting to see how this manifests itself.

  53. 53
    TallDave says:

    LOL Thanks for more easily debunked amusement Trent. Ten seconds with google and:

    On the Fox News Channel just a little while ago, Major Garrett, one of Fox’s star reporters, and author of The Enduring Revolution, broke a very disturbing story for those on the left that want to play the blame game regarding the reaction to the Katrina. Here’s his interview with Hugh Hewitt moments ago:

    HH: Joined now by Major Garrett, correspondent for the Fox News Channel, as well as author of The Enduring Revolution, a best seller earlier this year. We talked about that. Major Garrett, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

    MG: Hugh, always a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

    HH: You just broke a pretty big story. I was watching up on the corner television in my studio, and it’s headlined that the Red Cross was blocked from delivering supplies to the Superdome, Major Garrett. Tell us what you found out.

    MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They’re not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdom, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don’t I see that?

    HH: And the answer is?

    MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state’s homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.

    HH: Now Major Garrett, on what day did they block the delivery? Do you know specifically?

    MG: I am told by the Red Cross, immediately after the storm passed.

    Now, let the Fox-bashing begin! I’ll be laughing, because CNN had the same thing:

    In a September 2 interview, Evans explained to CNN host Larry King that the Red Cross was not in New Orleans because “it was not safe to be in the city, and it’s not been safe to go back into the city … We were asked — directed — by the National Guard and the city and the state emergency management not to go into New Orleans because it was not safe.”

    The feds didn’t need to be invited.

    Posse Comitatus Act. Or he could have declared LA in a state of rebellion. I’m sure that kind of heavy-handed tactic would have played well.

  54. 54
    Defense Guy says:

    stickler brings up the 1920’s and Hoover, because you know that was such a winner in the 2004 elections. How I long for a loyal opposition that retained some intelligence, political ability and class.

    Screw it, death to the donkey.

  55. 55
    McCitation says:

    “…the 49% of Americans who have been complaining for five years about George W. Bush being a dictator are now vexed to the point of utter incoherence because for the last fortnight he has failed to do a sufficiently convincing impression of a dictator.”

    http://www.two–four.net/weblog.php?id=P1878

  56. 56
    slide says:

    Professor Todd Gitlin has this take on Bush’s moment of resposibility:

    Any serious taking of responsibility entails probing the error–its roots, its dimensions. In Bush’s case, this would entail:

    –acknowledging that he routinely appointed crony incompetents to run FEMA and other federal agencies;

    –acknowledging that this was the wrong thing to do;

    –acknowledging that many terrible things happened as a result;

    –acknowledging that he was otherwise occupied when the safety of America and Americans was at stake.

    Anything less is pure blather. Journalists who let Bush get away with this glop now would be regressing to the bad old days of flabby deference they purport to be putting behind them.

    .

  57. 57
    TallDave says:

    Hey, where are all the calls for Nagin and Blanco to be impeached?

    Oh, right — they’re Democrats. Based on the Kennedy Precedent, drowning people is A-OK if you’re a Dem.

  58. 58
    Mike S says:

    Uh oh. It looks like the blame game against Blanco is running into a little trouble from the Congressional Research Service. pdf file

    In addition to finding that “…it would appear that the Governor did take the steps necessary to request emergency and major disaster declarations for the State of Louisiana in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina. (p.11)” The report found that:

    * All necessary conditions for federal relief were met on August 28. Pursuant to Section 502 of the Stafford Act, “[t]he declaration of an emergency by the President makes Federal emergency assistance available,” and the President made such a declaration on August 28. The public record indicates that severa additional days passed before such assistance was actually made available to the State;

    * The Governor must make a timely request for such assistance, which meets the requirements of federal law. The report states that “[e]xcept to the extent that an emergency involves primarily Federal interests, both declarations of major disaster and declarations of emergency must be triggered by a request to the President from the Governor of the affected state”;

    * The Governor did indeed make such a request, which was both timely and in compliance with federal law. The report finds that “Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco requested by letter dated August 27, 2005…that the President declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period from August 26, 2005 and continuing pursuant to [applicable Federal statute]” and “Governor Blanco’s August 27, 2005 request for an emergency declaration also included her determination…that ‘the incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of disaster.”

  59. 59
    Trent says:

    I’m open to being wrong TallDave, but i need more than a man on the street Major being quoted by FoxNews.

    Some people are saying FEMA blocked them, others saying state. If it was the state officials, then there’ll be more than enough substantiation to prove it.

    There are reports that FEMA made firefighters sit in an Atlanta hotel room. So it’s possible it was BOTH.

  60. 60
    Mac Buckets says:

    John Kerry on the Bush responsibility moment:

    I thought we all stopped listening to that guy a LONG time ago.

  61. 61
    Trent says:

    The Governor did indeed make such a request, which was both timely and in compliance with federal law.

    Hey TallDave, lifes a bitch when you only quote FoxNews.

    But AGAIN, Blanco and Nagin should be held accountable for their failures, just like PResident Bush.

  62. 62
    slide says:

    TallDave…. bull shit as this proves:

    The [non-partisan] Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report Tuesday afternoon asserting that Louisiana governor Katherine Blanco took the necessary and timely steps needed to secure disaster relief from the federal government

    The report, which comes after a request by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) to review the law and legal accountability relating to Federal action in response to Hurricane Katrina, unequivocally concludes that she did.

    The report found that:

    * All necessary conditions for federal relief were met on August 28. Pursuant to Section 502 of the Stafford Act, “[t]he declaration of an emergency by the President makes Federal emergency assistance available,” and the President made such a declaration on August 28. The public record indicates that several additional days passed before such assistance was actually made available to the State;
    * The Governor must make a timely request for such assistance, which meets the requirements of federal law. The report states that “[e]xcept to the extent that an emergency involves primarily Federal interests, both declarations of major disaster and declarations of emergency must be triggered by a request to the President from the Governor of the affected state”;
    *The Governor did indeed make such a request, which was both timely and in compliance with federal law. The report finds that “Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco requested by letter dated August 27, 2005…that the President declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period from August 26, 2005 and continuing pursuant to [applicable Federal statute]” and “Governor Blanco’s August 27,2005 request for an emergency declaration also included her determination…that ‘the incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of disaster.”

    .

  63. 63
    TallDave says:

    Mike S,

    Uh oh, looks like someone is confusing a DCCC campaign ad with an objective source.

  64. 64
    TallDave says:

    ROTFLMAO Trent!! IT WAS ON CNN TOO!

    You could have saved yourself some embarassment by simply reading the rest of my post.

  65. 65
    Mac Buckets says:

    supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of disaster.”

    Yeah, Conyers would never lie about Bush. cough cough

    So what do you call Coast Guard helicopters, out-of-state National Guard, etc. Think those qualify as “supplementary Federal assistance?”

  66. 66
    Defense Guy says:

    I suppose, in the order of fairness, I must concede that I did not vote in 2000, due to an untimely move. If I had, my streak would have been broken.

    The apology from the top is a sign for those below to do the same, those who fail to do so will pay the political costs.

  67. 67
    over it says:

    My cousin just sent this to me.

    Do you think that it has any bearing on Bush taking responsibility now rather than earlier?

    I am still of the opinion that there are many responsible parties…but I did find this to be interesting.

  68. 68
    Mike S says:

    The Democrats have license to lie whenever they want because they say the GOP as liars, too. How convenient for them.

    Translation. Republicans are allowed to lie with impunity, if a Democrat does it I will stomp my feet like the petulant child I am. My country party, right or wrong. But they’re never wrong.

  69. 69
    slide says:

    sorry Mike S you beat me to it……

  70. 70
    Trent says:

    ROTFLMAO Trent!! IT WAS ON CNN TOO!

    Care to address the facts that were laid out??? Or are you just gonna crow on your “score”?

  71. 71
    Zifnab says:

    stickler brings up the 1920’s and Hoover, because you know that was such a winner in the 2004 elections. How I long for a loyal opposition that retained some intelligence, political ability and class.

    Screw it, death to the donkey.

    Bag in the Dems as you like and label them as you choose, it really fails to make a diserning point other than you don’t like Dems.

    As for the fate of Bush and his continued occupation of the White House, I still think the cleanest and most efficent means of getting the gunk out of office is a recall election, California style. I’m sure you’ve heard the idea mentioned before and for all general purposes it seems the most effective route. Successfully impeaching Bush (a hard sell as it stands) would only leave Cheney in charge. While I’m confident he’d go the way of Ford after the Nixon debacle, that’s still two more years of evil Republicans in office. And even if you succeed in impeachment, it was the Democratic party that ousted the President, not the people of the United States.

    A recall election is the perfect way for that 38% approval rating to rear its ugly head. If the US populace is so strongly against the President, then don’t leave his justice in the hands of a partisan Congress or a Supreme Court paralyzed by fear of Judical Activism. Take the power to the people.

  72. 72
    Mac Buckets says:

    Translation. Republicans are allowed to lie with impunity, if a Democrat does it I will stomp my feet like the petulant child I am.

    Only I never said that Republicans were allowed to lie. You did say that Democrats were allowed. Slight difference.

  73. 73
    over it says:

    Oops…looks like Mike S beat me in posting that. Sorry for the duplicate info.

    Still curious as to whether or not you guys think that it has any bearing on Bush taking accountibility today.

  74. 74
    TallDave says:

    Trent,

    Yes, the fact is: Blanco’s people blocked the Red Cross and Salvation Army from bringing food and water to NOLA.

  75. 75
    slide says:

    Yeah, Conyers would never lie about Bush. cough cough

    Its not Conyers report moron its a report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. The REPUBLICAN CONGRESS’S CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.

    …but fox must know better

  76. 76
    TallDave says:

    Hey Mike S, does this mean you’ll accept links from official Republican sites as “[nonpartisan]” too?

    What a hoot.

  77. 77
    stickler says:

    Defense Guy eloquently opines:

    stickler brings up the 1920’s and Hoover, because you know that was such a winner in the 2004 elections. How I long for a loyal opposition that retained some intelligence, political ability and class.

    Screw it, death to the donkey.

    Hubris, meet Nemesis.

  78. 78
    Mike S says:

    Uh oh, looks like someone is confusing a DCCC campaign ad with an objective source.

    Yeah, Conyers would never lie about Bush. cough cough

    The response of idiots. Read it you pathetic fools. It is a report from the Congressional Research Service, requested by Conyers. Or are you too stupid to understand plain english?

  79. 79
  80. 80
    slide says:

    Still curious as to whether or not you guys think that it has any bearing on Bush taking accountibility today.

    like I said earlier, they KNOW what an investigation is going to show. The WSJ article, the report from the NON PARTISAN CRS, and all the investigative journalism now coming to light will put a very harsh spotlight on the shortcomings of the Bush adminstration.

  81. 81
    Trent says:

    Or are you too stupid to understand plain english?

    They watch FoxNews, don’t they?

  82. 82
    slide says:

    Or are you too stupid to understand plain english?

    Bingo !

  83. 83
    Mike S says:

    Hey Mike S, does this mean you’ll accept links from official Republican sites as “[nonpartisan]” too?

    Are you really this stupid or are you just trying to mimic your leaders?

  84. 84
    Mac Buckets says:

    They watch FoxNews, don’t they?

    No.

  85. 85
    TallDave says:

    I hate to break this to you Mike S, but your DCCC campaign ad says nothing anyway.

    If you read the report it says “The public record indicates that several additional days [after the 28th] passed before such assistance was actually made available to the State.”

    Well, duhhhhhh. #1, on the 28th the hurricane hadn’t arrived yet. #2, FEMA gudelines specifically state it will take several days for aid to arrive. Those cool transporters you see on Start TRek that instantly transport stuff around? Yeah, those don’t actually exist. It takes time to move stuff.

    Next time, try not quoting DCCC talking points.

  86. 86
    slide says:

    One thing I have to hand to the Kool-aid drinkers on the right… they are persistant little shits. Facts be damned.. we have our spin.. our talking points.. and by gosh we’re going to stick to them come hell or high water (no pun intended)

    Rove’s little soldiers.

  87. 87
    Jorge says:

    “The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state’s homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.”

    Um – I have a question here. Does anyone know if the LA Department of Homeland security answers to the Governor or to the National Department of Homeland security?

  88. 88
    Trent says:

    Next time, try not quoting DCCC talking points.

    Dude, we don’t have talking points. Believe me, we’d like to see some!

    We gotta do this on our own.

  89. 89
    Mac Buckets says:

    Its not Conyers report moron its a report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. The REPUBLICAN CONGRESS’S CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.

    …but fox must know better

    Your tired FOX drivel aside (do you work for CNN?), you didn’t answer my question: Don’t Coast Guard, out-of-state NG, etc., count as “supplementary federal assistence” in your book? Let’s not pretend there wasn’t an immediate (and even pre-emptive) federal response.

  90. 90
    SeesThroughIt says:

    TallDave, I think you have a future as some D-list Sean Hannity in some jerkwater burgh in the middle of nowhere.

  91. 91
    JonBuck says:

    I’m actually amazed he said this. He knows just how politically damaging it could be. But at the same time… I remember reading how JFK accepted responsibility for the Bay of Pigs screw up, and it actually helped him.

    Still, credit where credit is due.

  92. 92
    TallDave says:

    And so, bereft of supporting facts, the defeated lefties skulk back to their natural habitat, throwing feces as they leave.

  93. 93
    Andrei says:

    “It will be interesting to see how this statement is treated…”

    All I have to say is about damn time. I now anxiously await for the actions to back up the words.

  94. 94
    slide says:

    So far I give TallDave three Rove Gold Tops for excellence in spinning… and MacBuckets gets two. If you get ten Rove Gold Tops in one thread you are awarded the honorary Medal of Freedom award.

  95. 95
    TallDave says:

    Trent,

    Apparently you don’t realize Mike S post came directly off the DCCC website.

  96. 96
    Boronx says:

    Good for him. It shows leadership at a time when we need it. Next step is an accurate accounting of what went wrong, and how to do better in the future.

    I’m in agreement with Defense Guy. My head is about to expl@#^@#@$^sdfgsfht.hnt ,nh,

    …phew, that’s better. While I’m surprised at this move, I’ll be totally shocked if he takes the next step, with emphasis on the accurate. It seems likely he’d have to implicate himself.

  97. 97
    Mike S says:

    So the answer to my last question is yes. You have been trying to pin the blame on Blanco for not doing what she was supposed to do in order to get fed assistance. When you are shown to be the idiot you are, you try and act as if it is something it is not. Then, in an idiotic attempt that would make Darrell proud, you try and claim ot proves your point.

    Somebody needs to Tell Dave that he is an idiot. It appears it didn’t take hold when his family did it.

  98. 98
    jg says:

    You want Bush out,

    I do? I don’t recall ever saying I want him impeached. I said there was a reason to do it but not that I wanted it. Cheney’s already in charge so untwist your panties.

    The left isn’t even listening to those onthe left calling for impeachment so the right should ignore them too. Lets stay focused here. No fortuitous diversions allowed.

  99. 99
    TallDave says:

    Well, a last summary of the facts before I go:

    1) State and local officials, according to both Fox and CNN, blocked the Red Cross from providing aid.

    2) FEMA responded in an appropriate time frame.

    3) Quoting easily debunked DCCC talking points does not win arguments.

    Toodles!

  100. 100
    jg says:

    1) State and local officials, according to both Fox and CNN, blocked the Red Cross from providing aid.

    Who cares about FOX or CNN? We all know what only matters is tommorrows headlines.

  101. 101
    BumperStickerist says:

    But i do view them as two people in the MIDDLE of a catastrophe trying to cope as best they can with the limited resources and power that they had.

    Add {a slow moving, highly predictable} before ‘catastrophe’ and tack on {which had a two-to-three day lead time} afterwards. Also, strike ‘limited resources and power that they had’ and replace with ‘unlimited authority to commandeer any private property in their jurisdiction during a state of emergency’. (the cite to that authority is used by the Governor in her subsequent Executive Orders) and you’ve got it, Mike S.

    As for Governor Blanco’s Timely Appeal for Federal Resources, the hitch in that giddy-up is that the federal resources are provided but, once there, are under local control.

    You’ll note that Blanco’s order simply says that resources are needed beyond what the state can handle.

    That does *not* cede control of the use of the federal resources to the Feds, especially not FEMA. Basically, it’s ‘Here are the 100 Generators you ordered – where do you want them?’

    Had Blanco specified in her request that what the state was lacking was an understanding of how to manage the resources or follow a plan, then you might have a point.

  102. 102
    TallDave says:

    LOL Mike S, I’m the “idiot?” Yet my obvious, even to an “idiot” like me, points remain unanswerable by your vastly superior intellect.

    Well, duhhhhhh. #1, on the 28th the hurricane hadn’t arrived yet. #2, FEMA gudelines specifically state it will take several days for aid to arrive. Those cool transporters you see on Start TRek that instantly transport stuff around? Yeah, those don’t actually exist. It takes time to move stuff.

    Well, good luck with that.

  103. 103
    Defense Guy says:

    Defense Guy eloquently opines:

    I’m not sure how eloquent it was, but it did have the distinct ring of being true. It was already tried, and it did fail miserably. By all means cling to the failures.

  104. 104
    Mac Buckets says:

    So far I give TallDave three Rove Gold Tops for excellence in spinning… and MacBuckets gets two. If you get ten Rove Gold Tops in one thread you are awarded the honorary Medal of Freedom award.

    Coast Guard helicopters, slide. Answer the question.

    “We are indeed fortunate to have an able and experienced director of FEMA who has been with us on the ground for some time.” Monday, August 29, Louisiana

  105. 105
    Krista says:

    All I have to say is about damn time. I now anxiously await for the actions to back up the words.

    Precisely. This is like when your friend was involved with a jerk who wants her back. He’s saying all the right things, and you really hope he means them, but you’re still skeptical. In the meantime, your friend has already dropped her panties.

  106. 106
    slide says:

    and TallDave earns his fourth ROVE GOLD TOP for some truly remarkable spin:

    2) FEMA responded in an appropriate time frame.

    Congratulatons…. the rovester would be mighty proud… doing a heck of a job.

  107. 107
    Mike S says:

    Apparently you don’t realize Mike S post came directly off the DCCC website

    It’s a good thing that breathing doesn’t require actual thought. Otherwise you would be dead.

    The pdf link I gave was from the DCCC website, it takes you to a copy of a report, issued by the Congressional Research Service, that makes those claims. TellDave, who must be Darrell’s twin, would like everyone to believe otherwise.

    Davey, your doing a heck of a job.

  108. 108
    Zifnab says:

    2) FEMA responded in an appropriate time frame.

    So wait, did they get there before or after the Red Cross was blocked off? Cause I thought for sure that Brown didn’t even hear about people needing disaster relief until September 1st while he was being interviewed.

    I suppose showing up three days late to the party is sort of like responding in time.

  109. 109
    Trent says:

    LOL Mike S, I’m the “idiot?” Yet my obvious, even to an “idiot” like me, points remain unanswerable by your vastly superior intellect.

    It’s because your points as soooooo dumb and sourced from the freeper board. And FoxNews.

    It’s like arguing with someone arguing emphatically that gasoline is drinkable. Where do you start?

  110. 110
    Jorge says:

    Again – does anyone actually know if the LA Department of Homeland Security answers to Blanco or is an office of the National Department of Homeland Security?

  111. 111
    Trent says:

    The pdf link I gave was from the DCCC website, it takes you to a copy of a report, issued by the Congressional Research Service, that makes those claims.

    Damn tricky internets linky-things.

  112. 112
    Trent says:

    Again – does anyone actually know if the LA Department of Homeland Security answers to Blanco or is an office of the National Department of Homeland Security?

    I hunted around and it looks like it’s just the state version of the DHS. I’m going to guess that it reports to the state.

  113. 113
    Boronx says:

    They impeached him for lying under oath.

    The point of law was lying under oath.

    The story was sex, cheating. That’s what it meant to hearts and minds around the country. (If you don’t believe this, you’re not in touch with the pro-impeachment base)

    But they impeached him because he beat them, they hated the poor, hick out of towner, and they felt (and still feel now that they’ve got it) that power is their right and they can do whatever is necessary to hold on to it.

    Clinton was more effective and smarter than them, and that just drove them nuts.

    Add to that the vision both he and Bush I had of an enduring international order to shelter America into her golden years as the world’s superpower…well, it’s no secret anymore what the nutcases think of that idea.

  114. 114
    Veeshir says:

    Man, this comment section has become truly funny. Why, this thread even has the “Clinton’s impeachment was all about sex” line. That’s just too funny.

    I’ll jump in, uninformed and ignorant as the rest.
    From the “Smoking gun proof of Bush’s culpability” from Rawstory.
    Federal emergency assistance available,”
    That looks an awful lot like medicine, food, water and medical personel.
    And the President made such a declaration on August 28. The public record indicates that several additional days passed before such assistance was actually made available to the State;
    So Bush made the requisite statements but they weren’t implemented?

    The National Guard is under the direction of the Governor of the State. That’s what was needed from day one when the NO police dept. failed to keep order. Sending in Drs, nurses and FEMA people with Care packages is pretty stupid when they need people to protect them.

    And the Red Crosswasn’t allowed in, not by Bush, but by NO authorities.

    It must be nice to be able to blame all the bad things in the world on one person. Too bad it just isn’t so.

  115. 115
    Defense Guy says:

    Yes, this is all well and good, but how does it affect gay marriage or tax cuts for the rich?

    I think the way to resolve this all is to give the church a stronger role in policy and to institute ID as a replacement for Darwinian evolution in our public skools. That and invade Iran and Syria, of course.

  116. 116
    Zifnab says:

    They impeached him for lying under oath after they ran him down from Whitewater to Filegate to Monicagate. Like John said, they got him on lying because it’s the only thing they could get him on. Period.

    And when you’ve got a majority in Congress, why not just abuse the fuck out of it.

  117. 117
    jg says:

    In the meantime, your friend has already dropped her panties.

    Is she stil single?

    Talldave, if you had linked to an article from a republican website that had actually been written by another party and all you got back was ‘its a republican website’ from the guy you were arguing with, how would you respond?

  118. 118
    MisterPundit says:

    What Bush did took a lot of balls. This is NOT how the game is played in Washington, and it’s damn refreshing. God on him!

    Let’s hope the local government officials in Lousiana (Blanco, Nagin, et al.) show the same character and integrity and take responsibility for their department’s screwups as well.

  119. 119
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    One thing I have to hand to the Kool-aid drinkers on the right… they are persistant little shits. Facts be damned.. we have our spin.. our talking points.. and by gosh we’re going to stick to them come hell or high water (no pun intended)

    Rove’s little soldiers.

    Pulling bloated corpses out of hospitals in the drowned ruins of a major American city: just another day in Bush’s America! Kim Jong-Il would kill for worshipers like these. “FEMA responded in an adequate timeframe!” “The Worker’s Paradise awaits!”

  120. 120
    slide says:

    Again – does anyone actually know if the LA Department of Homeland Security answers to Blanco or is an office of the National Department of Homeland Security?

    They report to the State.

  121. 121
    Mac Buckets says:

    Cause I thought for sure that Brown didn’t even hear about people needing disaster relief until September 1st while he was being interviewed.

    The deal with the interview is that Brown said the Governor hadn’t told FEMA about the Convention Center being used as a staging area until Brown heard it from the interviewer on Thursday.

  122. 122
    Trent says:

    Can the tin foil hats explain why it’s not possible that BOTH the federal response AND the state response might have been lacking?

    And that NEITHER fact excuses or eliminates the other???

    Is that too many thoughts bouncing around in there?

  123. 123
    RSA says:

    Defense Guy wrote, way upstream:

    Why do I get the feeling that you would crucify him either way? If he does take responsibility you will cry for his blood and if he doesn’t take responsibility you will cry for his blood.

    So when someone accepts responsibility for the incompetence of people he’s hired, you’re saying that the case should be closed? That works for two-year-olds, I suppose: “Now that you’ve said you’re sorry, everything’s better.”

  124. 124
    Trent says:

    Yes, i’m quoting myself:

    Is that too many thoughts bouncing around in there?

    PResident Bush:

    I can do more than one thing at one time. By the time I’m finished president, I hope you will realize that the government can do more than one thing at one time, and individuals in the government can.

    Sad

  125. 125
    BadTux says:

    I’d feel a lot better about this if Bush had elevated a career FEMA staffer rather than David “Commander Duct Tape” Paulison to the job of FEMA head. Paulison, in case you don’t read the news, was the guy responsible for logistical planning for the aftermath of the hurricane, i.e., the guy responsible for making sure that food and water and portable toilets got to where they needed to be. Paulison is most famous for his “duct tape and plastic sheets” response to how Americans could prepare for a terror attack. In other words, Bush elevated yet another fox to watch the henhouse.

    Regarding Nagin and the evacuation plan, I’ve read the evacuation plan (which apparently people reciting right-wing talking points have not done), and the evacuation plan calls for a two-part evacuation in the event that there is insufficient time to fully evacuate New Orleans, i.e., evacuate to a safe spot first (the Superdome) then evacuate to high ground after the disaster passed. As far as I can detirmine, Nagin followed the plan exactly — all the way up to the Phase II evacuation, which was out of his hands by that point because his city was drowned (and don’t talk to me about “high ground”, “high ground” and “New Orleans” are a contradiction in terms, how would putting buses on freeway overpasses where Category 4 winds would tumble them like dominos accomplish anything other than blocking the freeways in the aftermath?). How was he to know that the state and feds would squabble over responsibility for FIVE DAYS before Phase II would begin?!

    There’s a lot of blame to spread around here, but Nagin doesn’t get any, in my book, because I’ve lived in the area and know just how hard it is to evacuate a million people over three (3) highways. Unlike you armchair commanders, I’ve been stuck in the continuous traffic jam leading out of New Orleans when a hurricane warning was issued. Knowing what I know from actually having *BEEN THERE* in previous evacuations, I gotta say that people who think Nagin did a poor job of evacuating New Orleans don’t know **** and aren’t letting that stop them from pulling **** out of their a** as part of some demented “blame game”. I’ve been there, and fully evacuating New Orleans with less than 72 hours notice was *NEVER* going to happen — no matter who was mayor of New Orleans (unless maybe God Himself came down and accepted the job). Given that, Nagin did the second best thing he could do — get people to safety in the Superdome (which was designed to withstand 200mph winds). And frankly, I think folks ought to be giving him a medal, rather than ragging on his a**, because undoubtedly this saved a lot of lives that otherwise would have drowned.

    In the end, this all falls down to a question of leadership. It is clear that Blanco failed the test, she dithered and did not take charge. It is clear that George W. Bush failed the test, at least for the first five days of the crisis — it was not until he met with Blanco and Nagin on the Friday after the hurricane that he stepped up and gave the kind of leadership that a President needs to give. In the end, I’m not sure what can be done to make the nation safer in the next three years, because we aren’t getting new leadership in that time, and that’s what we’re lacking — leadership, someone willing to take charge, make the hard decisions, and do what it takes to save American lives regardless of what political or legal BS might happen afterwards. I guess I just need to stock up on the MRE’s and make sure my backpack is full of survival supplies (tent, sleeping bag, spare clothing, etc.), because it’s obvious that if the Big One hits (I’m currently on the west coast as part of Louisiana in exile) I’m going to be on my own.

    – Badtux the Louisiana Penguin

  126. 126
    tBone says:

    I suppose, in the order of fairness, I must concede that I did not vote in 2000, due to an untimely move. If I had, my streak would have been broken.

    Defense Guy, you voted for Clinton twice and would have voted for Gore in 2000? (Insert dropped jaw here.)

    Based on my own voting record, I guess I’m qualified to call you lefty scum now.

  127. 127
    slide says:

    MacBuckets:

    The deal with the interview is that Brown said the Governor hadn’t told FEMA about the Convention Center being used as a staging area until Brown heard it from the interviewer on Thursday.

    ROFLOL…. oh, this is precious… MacBuckets…. you get your third ROVE GOLDEN TOP for extraordinary spinning….. you outdid TallDave on this one. lol….

  128. 128
    Trent says:

    There’s a lot of blame to spread around here, but Nagin doesn’t get any, in my book, because I’ve lived in the area and know just how hard it is to evacuate a million people over three (3) highways.

    SUCH a good point. I lived there once too and it’s not like there are roads leaving town in every direction. You can go Weat or East and you probably wouldn’t head east into the hurricane. The highway across the lake is barely an option. I didn’t like going over that on sunny days!

    But isn’t that the Republican way? Oversimplify everything and say “Shoulda known better”.

  129. 129
    Mac Buckets says:

    Can the tin foil hats explain why it’s not possible that BOTH the federal response AND the state response might have been lacking?

    And that NEITHER fact excuses or eliminates the other???

    As Jeff said in his brilliant Fisking of the Newsweak Bush-is-the-root-of-all-evil article, “Bush failed to anticipate that the City of NO wouldn’t follow its plan (what there was of one), that the Governor didn’t understand her function in the chain of command, and then—once he did know—his management style prevented him from wresting control of the state from Blanco.”

    And he made a bad speech.

    Pulling bloated corpses out of hospitals in the drowned ruins of a major American city:

    Meanwhile, Democrats blame Bush that people die in floods when they aren’t evacuated. I think we all agree that this kind of illogical, hateful whining says miles more about Democrats than it does about Bush.

  130. 130
    jg says:

    Its amazing that Bush saying the words, ‘I take responsibility’, is such an event.

  131. 131
    Defense Guy says:

    Based on my own voting record, I guess I’m qualified to call you lefty scum now.

    On some issues I certainly resemble that comment you fascist repug.

  132. 132
    Mac Buckets says:

    ROFLOL…. oh, this is precious… MacBuckets…. you get your third ROVE GOLDEN TOP for extraordinary spinning….. you outdid TallDave on this one. lol…

    All snark, no meat from slide again. Are you Joe Albanese in drag?

    What part of this do you have a problem with? I have a link to the video, and it’s just as I stated. Please, just say something relevant for once.

  133. 133
    slide says:

    To the person that was wondering of the report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clearly stating that Governor Blanco had done everything necessary to request aid from the federal government, was the reason for Bush’s Responsibility Moment, Josh Marshall seems to think so:

    The shoe drop behind the responsibility moment?

    Back on September 7th, Rep. John Conyers wrote to the Congressional Research Service (one of the few parts of the government that can legitimately be called non-partisan) and asked them to review the record to see whether Gov. Blanco of Louisiana took the necessary steps in a timely fashion to secure federal assistance in the face of hurricane Katrina.

    The report came back yesterday. Yes, she did.

    .

  134. 134
    jg says:

    Meanwhile, Democrats blame Bush that people die in floods when they aren’t evacuated. I think we all agree that this kind of illogical, hateful whining says miles more about Democrats than it does about Bush.

    The fact that you really think any democrats believe that says miles more about you.

  135. 135
    Trent says:

    Meanwhile, Democrats blame Bush that people die in floods when they aren’t evacuated. I think we all agree that this kind of illogical, hateful whining says miles more about Democrats than it does about Bush.

    This is totally contrived and has no connection to your post.

    A lot of the rage is at Bush’s appointment of corrupt cronies to such important positions. How many miles does that say about PResident Bush?

    And now it’s Bush’s MANAGEMENT STYLE that caused the problem. He’s not incompetent and corrupt, he’s just different! He’s got his own unique style! Just as good as yours and mine, just different!

    Tell me more…

  136. 136
    tBone says:

    On some issues I certainly resemble that comment you fascist repug.

    Watch it – I’ve still got my jackboots in storage and I’m not afraid to use them.

    Your streak made me realize that in the 5 presidential elections I’ve been eligible to vote in, I’ve never voted for the winning candidate. I may have to pull a George Costanza “do the opposite” in the next election and vote for the guy I want to lose.

  137. 137
    Trent says:

    All snark, no meat from slide again. Are you Joe Albanese in drag?

    Personally, i’m getting a kick out of the ROVE GOLDEN TOPS. lol

  138. 138
    tBone says:

    Your streak made me realize that in the 5 presidential elections I’ve been eligible to vote in, I’ve never voted for the winning candidate.

    Correction – that should be “the 4 presidential elections I’ve been eligible to vote in.” I don’t need a Dukakis vote added to my already-pitiful record.

  139. 139
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I suppose showing up three days late to the party is sort of like responding in time.

    Haven’t you heard of being fashionably late, you Philistine?

    Bush, Blanco, and Nagin all screwed up, though I’d say the former two bungled to a more severe degree than the latter one. Every rational person I’ve talked to about this say pretty much the same thing. Yes, there are some on the far left who want to pin everything on Bush, but I’ve found that when pressed, they will also say that yes, Blanco and Nagin screwed up. In all honesty, the only segment of people I’ve seen trying to absolve anybody is the far-right, who are trying to claim that Bush is blameless and everything is the fault of Blanco and Nagin. This, of course, is an absurd claim.

  140. 140
    slide says:

    What part of this do you have a problem with? I have a link to the video, and it’s just as I stated. Please, just say something relevant for once.

    The excuses the excuses the excuses. The dog ate my homework, the check is in the mail, I won’t c…. I’ll leave that one out, but nothing but excuses. So the guy running the Federal response to Katrina doesn’t know that there are people at the Convention Center the fourth day after the storm hit, and your excuse is well, the Governor didn’t tell him? lol Ok. fine. I’ll not dispute that. Fine. You’re ok with that are you? And you guys are ok with Chertoff saying when he read in the tuesday morning papers “NO Dodged the Bullet” failing to mention that it was widely reported all the previous day that the levees had been breeched? but this lack of “situational awareness” is ok with you? nobody told him I suppose that the levees were breeched? The governor didn’t call him either I imagine? … its fine… just fine and dandy… Marvelous job the feds did. Just marvelous. So on top of things… Great Leadership.

    Does ANYONE wonder why Iraq is such a mess? These guys don’t have a clue. None. Zero. Nada. They are the most incompetent, lazy, careless, hacks that I have ever seen running the country. A total disgrace and embarassment to the whole world.

  141. 141
    Defense Guy says:

    tBone

    My streak may well be broken in the next election, as there is a possibility that Hillary could win. I will be glad to see a strong woman candidate, for the sake of all the little girls and women out there who see the top job currently available as Senator, but just will not be able to vote for her myself. I will not abstain just to keep the streak alive, and the streak is really only technical at this point for reasons already mentioned.

    Dukakis, Ha. The name alone probably doomed the poor man.

  142. 142
    Trent says:

    Does ANYONE wonder why Iraq is such a mess? These guys don’t have a clue. None. Zero. Nada. They are the most incompetent, lazy, careless, hacks that I have ever seen running the country. A total disgrace and embarassment to the whole world.

    9/11!!! 9/11!!!

  143. 143
    JohnD says:

    They didn’t impeach Clinton for lying under oath. They impeached him as revenge for the Democrats’ attempting to impeach Nixon and uncovering the crimes of the Reagan White House during the Iran-Contra Affair.

  144. 144
    Mac Buckets says:

    and asked them to review the record to see whether Gov. Blanco of Louisiana took the necessary steps in a timely fashion to secure federal assistance in the face of hurricane Katrina.

    The report came back yesterday. Yes, she did.

    And she got it. “Assistance” is not the same as “the federal government taking charge of the entire relief effort.” Granted?

    Coast Guard helicopters were there, pulling people off of roofs. The USS Bataan was there offshore. Brownie and FEMA were there. Out-of-state National Guard were mobilized.

    The feds gave “assistance” like they were asked to do. What part don’t you get?

  145. 145
    Defense Guy says:

    Does ANYONE wonder why Iraq is such a mess? These guys don’t have a clue. None. Zero. Nada. They are the most incompetent, lazy, careless, hacks that I have ever seen running the country. A total disgrace and embarassment to the whole world.

    Curious, and if what you claim is true, then what exactly does it say about those that you support that they simply cannot beat the man, and actually are losing ground in Congress?

    (He asks knowing full well that the answer will be STOLEN ELECTION.)

  146. 146
    Mac Buckets says:

    The fact that you really think any democrats believe that says miles more about you.

    It was a direct quote from a post on this very page. You think he was a Republican?

  147. 147
    DougJ says:

    I don’t think calling for Bush’s resignation is that out of line. A lot of Bush’s allies are calling for Blanco’s resignation, which also doesn’t seem that out of line. But it seems to me, if she should resign, then so should Bush.

  148. 148
    Mac Buckets says:

    So the guy running the Federal response to Katrina doesn’t know that there are people at the Convention Center the fourth day after the storm hit, and your excuse is well, the Governor didn’t tell him? lol Ok. fine. I’ll not dispute that. Fine. You’re ok with that are you?

    I merely stated what he said, not what I thought about what he said. Don’t let that stop your ranting!

  149. 149
    Trent says:

    It hasn’t been that many elections.

    People didn’t know better in 2000
    9/11 trumped 2002
    Iraq trumped 2004

    Now the consequences of their incompetence and corruption is laid out on center stage for the world to see and the Iraq and 9/11 dots are there to be connected.

  150. 150
    slide says:

    This pisses me off:

    Outside one house on Kentucky Street, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne Division summoned a reporter and photographer standing nearby and told them that if they took pictures or wrote a story about the body recovery process, he would take away their press credentials and kick them out of the state.

    “No photos. No stories,” said the man, wearing camouflage fatigues and a red beret.

    On Saturday, after being challenged in court by CNN, the Bush administration agreed not to prevent the news media from following the effort to recover the bodies of Hurricane Katrina victims.

    But on Monday, in the Bywater district, that assurance wasn’t being followed. The 82nd Airborne soldier told reporters the Army had a policy that requires media to be 300 meters — more than three football fields in length — away from the scene of body recoveries in New Orleans. If reporters wrote stories or took pictures of body recoveries, they would be reported and face consequences, he said, including a loss of access for up-close coverage of certain military operations.

    Who’s in charge?

    These guys do whateve they want, court ruling or not.

  151. 151
    slide says:

    sorry.. wrong thread

  152. 152
    tBone says:

    I will be glad to see a strong woman candidate, for the sake of all the little girls and women out there who see the top job currently available as Senator, but just will not be able to vote for her myself.

    If Hillary gets the nod, and someone from the Bush/DeLay wing gets the Repub nomination, I think I’ll be staying home on Election Day 2008, getting quietly but completely shitfaced.

  153. 153
    ppGaz says:

    I am just back from … being out of touch (no tv, no newspapers …) so this is literally brand new news to me.

    At first blush, I’m surprised, and I have to say, I give the man his props for making this statement. I respect people who take responsibility, and I respect him for saying this.

    As for talk of impeachment and resignation? That’s just silly. I don’t think that kind of talk is warranted, and I don’t think that it’s helpful for people to be talking that way.

    I suppose all the ppGaz fans and haters out there are going to be shocked at my response here. Well, too bad. I’m a reasonable person and I have a lot of regard for reasonableness, no matter where it comes from.

    I will wait and see what follows this and what comes of it, of course. And I also fully expect that the lowing herd of Bush-huggers will not be deterred in their zealous tunnel vision of defending their man no matter what. But if Bush is sincere in making this statement, then I’m fully sincere in cogratulating him for making it.

  154. 154
    Mac Buckets says:

    So I take it from the silence that everyone is now satisfied that the Conyers-spun CRS report is not the smoking gun that the Bush-haters seem to have thought it was.

    All that the report says is that Blanco requested federal assistance in dealing with Katrina. And she got it, hence the Coast Guard helicopters, the USS Bataan, etc.

  155. 155
    Defense Guy says:

    If Hillary gets the nod, and someone from the Bush/DeLay wing gets the Repub nomination, I think I’ll be staying home on Election Day 2008, getting quietly but completely shitfaced.

    I find this quite sensible. You sir, are a credit to your nation.

    I really don’t know who it will be from the Republican side, but am leaning towards McCain or Giuliani as the likeliest, although I wouldn’t rule out Frist as a possibility. Of course, 2006 will be interesting all on it’s own.

  156. 156
    Chris Johnson says:

    ..okay, I can’t pass this one up- apologies in advance.

    “Screw it, death to the donkey.”

    Well, ya managed to drown a fair number of them, bully for you.

    sheesh…

    And I’m given to understand our president does not like to acknowledge wrongdoing, so I suspect his little speech was mostly saying “Remember, I’m in charge here”. Which was true during the disaster, and look how well that worked. I’m not that interested in whether Bush feels he outranks the people on the ground as the levees broke.

  157. 157
    DougJ says:

    If Hillary gets the nod, and someone from the Bush/DeLay wing gets the Repub nomination, I think I’ll be staying home on Election Day 2008, getting quietly but completely shitfaced.

    That will make two of us. I think that’s where we’re headed, though. I see it as Hilary vs. Allen most likely. Still holding out hope for Schweitzer versus Hagel (McCain minus the ego and the dislike of the 1st Amendment), but I don’t see it happening.

  158. 158
    Defense Guy says:

    Chris Johnson

    Hey man, don’t look at me. I was nowhere near the non-existant weather machine at the time. In fact, the last time I saw it, Lott was tinkering with it.

  159. 159
    DougJ says:

    If you disagree with me, think about it this way- they would have impeached him for anything they could have, and lying under oath is what they had.

    Nevertheless, it does open the door for impeaching future presidents.

  160. 160
    Nash says:

    They impeached him for lying under oath. He was lying about an affair, which made him a sympathetic figure to many, but he was not impeached for the affair itself. That is a mischaracterization.

    If you disagree with me, think about it this way- they would have impeached him for anything they could have, and lying under oath is what they had.

    A direct question. What do you think are the odds that President Bush has NOT lied to federal investigators, including Fitzgerald’s people, concerning Plamegate?

    And don’t even bother to tell me how he wasn’t under oath–you can talk to Martha Stewart about that if you have any questions.

    Think it’s possible?

  161. 161
    Mac Buckets says:

    Def G —

    Ixnay on the Eather-Way Achine-May. We’ve only just worked the kinks out of the Ove-Ray Ind-May Ontro-Cay Evice-Day — see PGaz-Pay’s last Ost-Pay.

  162. 162
    docG says:

    Has anyone noticed how broken our two party system is? The left wing and the right wing have gotten so close to the edges, that the middle has collapsed.

  163. 163
    Mac Buckets says:

    Has anyone noticed how broken our two party system is? The left wing and the right wing have gotten so close to the edges, that the middle has collapsed.

    Since the middle don’t mind as much who’s in power, the passion, the money, and the media coverage are towards the extremes. The votes, however, are believed to be in the middle.

  164. 164
    Boronx says:

    If Hillary gets the nod, and someone from the Bush/DeLay wing gets the Repub nomination, I think I’ll be staying home on Election Day 2008, getting quietly but completely shitfaced.

    I totally sympathize, but Hillary won’t be straining at the leash to preemptively nuke anyone, so I will get off my ass for that one. Heck, if Defense Guy gets the nod for the dems, I’ll vote for him over Jeb/Cheney/Whoever with the certainty that I had done my tiny part to ensure the future of this great nation.

  165. 165
    scs says:

    All of you who are asking for reliable sources as to why the Red Cross wasn’t in the rescue areas earlier. It’s because of the L.A. STATE Office of Homeland Security. It wasn’t on just Fox News, the Red Cross said so THEMSELVES in their web page linked to by a poster here in an earlier segment about a few days ago. (too lazy to look for it now – but just go to the Red Cross web site) They must have been pretty pissed at the state to actully point fingers on their website.

    I think the whole fiasco was a result of security not being more available in N.O. earlier. FEMA can only allow in what the state allows. The state calls the shots. The reason the state was not allowing FEMA and others in, in a more timely manner was because they were afraid there was not enough security for the relief workers. Possibly they were afraid of lawsuits. After all, if you allow shipments of water to the convention center with little security, you are probably going to get a stampede as 20,000 thirsty people rush forward to get water. The people were also effectively imprisoned by state officials and not allowed to walk across the bridge to get out of there, I’m thinking because they were afraid what 20,000 thirsty and hungry people would do in a residential neighborhood. I’m wondering if this is where racism plays in a little.

    Anyway, the reason there was no security was that Blanco did not call in the National Guard earlier. I heard Mayor Nagin talk on TV and he implied that the dispute may have come down to money. I’m wondering if we will find out later that Blanco did not call out the guard because she did not have enough money for them and wanted the Feds to pay for it. Bush didn’t want to pay for it unless he had full control. Hence the delay in security for those few days. I think the delay in security was behind everything else. We should learn lessons about how important security is for the next time.

  166. 166
    Tim F says:

    The left wing and the right wing have gotten so close to the edges, that the middle has collapsed.

    You say that as if it’s an accident rather than a strategy.

  167. 167
    Otto Man says:

    Still holding out hope for Schweitzer versus Hagel (McCain minus the ego and the dislike of the 1st Amendment), but I don’t see it happening.

    That would be a win-win matchup for the country. Count me in as another Democrat who doesn’t want to see Hillary get the nod in ’08. I have no problem with her on her own, but I doubt I’d like the Clinton Dynasty any more than I’ve enjoyed the Bush Dynasty.

    Schweitzer-Obama 2008. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

  168. 168
    CaseyL says:

    scs is still insisting the State level authorities are mostly to blame, in the face of an independent report concluding otherwise.

    scs, you’re just as cute in your totally clueless way now as when you were insisting a few days ago that Kerry could and did award himself his very own medals in ‘Nam.

    What color is the sky on your planet?

  169. 169
    Defense Guy says:

    Heck, if Defense Guy gets the nod for the dems, I’ll vote for him over Jeb/Cheney/Whoever with the certainty that I had done my tiny part to ensure the future of this great nation.

    If nominated, I will only run if, like Teddy Kennedy I may do so without wearing pants. However, when I create a cabinet position for the department of G-d, you are so going to have to repent for your sinful ways.

  170. 170
    scs says:

    Are you saying the Red Cross is lying? And pleeeease, I said that Kerry wrote the after action reports that were used as a basis for his superiors to award him his medals. Those are just facts. I’m sorry that facts are so troubling to you.

  171. 171
    Tim F says:

    scs, you’re late to the party. Folks have linked upthread to the congressional research report showing that Blanco crossed every i and dotted every t, or something to that effect. She made every request that one can reasonably make, the government made the appropriate promises, and there things sat. For four days.

    You can interpret facts however you see fit, but at least keep your facts updated. Reportage done in the heat of a disaster is often unreliable to the point that you could call it ‘reliably unreliable.’ Allow some time for reflection and proper investigation and the truth will come out, as it doing now.

  172. 172
    scs says:

    For CaseyL – What I posted earlier – Words Don’t lie

    Just want to make sure everyone sees this on the Red Cross website that DougS supplied (bold by me):

    http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,......html#4524

    >Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?
    Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

    The state Homeland Security Department had requested—and continues to request—that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
    The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.

    The Red Cross shares the nation’s anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.

    The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.

    The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.

    As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.

    Seems like the Red Cross is comng down on the state side.

    September 7th, 2005 at 8:59 pm

  173. 173
    CaseyL says:

    Bush’s statement is an eely one:

    “To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility.”

    Try parsing it.

    “To the extent the federal governmetn didn’t fully do its job” – what does that mean, exactly?

    Does it mean “I’m taking on a collective responsibility on behalf of what others failed to do, even though I didn’t actually not do them, personally, and therefore it isn’t me that actually screwed up”?

    Because that’s a non-apology apology. That’s an apology that looks all noble and selfless and stuff – until you realize it’s yet another evasion of actual personal responsiblity.”

    C’mon. Think over all the apologies you’ve had to make in your life. You know there are some that you just plain didn’t mean – that you really weren’t sorry for, or didn’t think you should be blamed for – didn’t you word things to maximize getting off the hook while minimizing actually admitting to anything?

    This is an example of that.

    ‘Coz, see, if Bush meant it, he wouldn’t say weird stuff like “To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job…”

    No, he’d say – simple and heartelt – “I am sorry, so very sorry, that I appointed unqualfied political hacks to run an agency that’s important to American security and safety. I’m real sorry that my speeches about keeping America safe didn’t translate into policy and personnel decisions that actually made Americans safer.”

    But he didn’t say that.

    Instead, he weasel-worded it.

  174. 174
    scs says:

    TimF, Yes Blanco asked for help and she got some – the Coast Guard, loans, etc. What she DIDN’T get was Federal troops. So, see my post above as to why I think she didn’t get them. Apparently, she had a dispute with Bush over control and money of them. I’m not saying Bush is blameless in this dispute. I don’t know what happened there. Anyway, I think THAT was the key reason the whole fiasco happened. Security is key.

  175. 175
    Mike S says:

    Mac Buckets Says:

    So I take it from the silence that everyone is now satisfied that the Conyers-spun CRS report is not the smoking gun that the Bush-haters seem to have thought it was.

    All that the report says is that Blanco requested federal assistance in dealing with Katrina. And she got it, hence the Coast Guard helicopters, the USS Bataan, e

    No. I just got tired of arguing with people too dumb to to read where the report came from Why continue arguing with cultists?

    The response was a joke. But since it was a response from a Republican administration, the cultists won’t admit it. “Woo hoo, we sent some Coast Guard choppers and a ship. A couple days later we sent a few more ships, that only took a few days more to get there. We didn’t send the 82nd AB because as everyone knows the only thing they are capable of is doing police work. God knows they would be incapable of doing search and rescue.”

    For the past week and a half, the GOP has been claiming that Blanco is at fault because she did not do what she was supposed to. This report proves that she did. So in typical Republican fassion, that talking point is ignored as if it never existed and a new one is begun. When the new one is proven inoperable, lo and behold there will be a brand spankin new one. It’s the New Rpublican way of governing. “Ignore the facts please, we’ll tell you what happened. And if that is proven wrong just wait, We have plenty more spin where that came from.”

  176. 176
    Tim F says:

    she had a dispute with Bush over control and money of them.

    You are presenting Bush as an engaged party, which seems completely unreasonable to me. Bookended by his making a declaration of disaster and being shown the extent of the damage on a DVD the following thursday it’s fair to say that Bush was a complete non-player in the story.

    What that means is that Blanco had a dispute not with Bush, who was enjoying his vacation, but with whomever she could get on the phone. As it turns out she was able to reach precisely nobody with the authority to deploy troops or reassign National Guard from other states.

    Again, interpret the facts how you will but the facts themselves are not fungible. Blanco certainly had a dispute with the federal government, but that dispute wasn’t with Bush. It was with the DC phone system and the random vice-undersecretaries whom she was able to reach as the crisis unfolded.

  177. 177
    scs says:

    Fine. maybe you are right. Like I said, I don’t know how the dispute happened, I just know there was a dispute and this dispute led to the lack of immediate security which led to the other ill effects.

  178. 178
    narvy says:

    A few questions for those of you are so proud that Bush has contradicted your assertions of his blamelessness.

    1. It would have been nice if he had done this a few days ago, say when Brownie who did a heckuva job was removed, or even earlier. If he’s responsible now, he was responsible then. Why didn’t he speak out?

    2. Do you think he really feels responsible? That this isn’t a damage control ploy?

    3. Do you think there should be no repercussions? “Okay, I’m responsible for this monstrous failure, now let’s move on”? Personally, I think impeachment would be nice, but I think the probability of that is lower than Bush’s poll numbers.

  179. 179
    narvy says:

    I give the man his props for making this statement. I respect people who take responsibility, and I respect him for saying this.

    I would, too, if I thought he was sincere. This an effort to try to rehab his broken image.

    And you, ppGaz, have allowed yourself to be hypnotized into believing it. I never imagined that could happen. I am inconsolable.

  180. 180
    scs says:

    You know what I think is funny, I have posted that excerpt from the Red Cross website several times. I have never seen one person comment on it, even though I think it’s a very important piece of information. Gee, why is that, I wonder?

  181. 181
    Defense Guy says:

    scs

    Perhaps because it’s been talked about to death. Your premise that it has the Red Cross coming down on the states ‘side’ is not entirely supported by the actual statement. What’s more, the part you highlighted actually helps to refute your claim. So there is that as a possibility.

  182. 182
    tBone says:

    I really don’t know who it will be from the Republican side, but am leaning towards McCain or Giuliani as the likeliest, although I wouldn’t rule out Frist as a possibility.

    I could live with either McCain or Giuliani, although I think they’re both a little squirelly. I don’t see any possible way Frist could get the nomination, given the flip-flopping he’s done lately.

    Still holding out hope for Schweitzer versus Hagel (McCain minus the ego and the dislike of the 1st Amendment), but I don’t see it happening.

    That would be a win-win matchup for the country.

    Totally agree. And since we’re in Fantasy Land now, I’d also like a million dollars and a pony.

    If nominated, I will only run if, like Teddy Kennedy I may do so without wearing pants.

    Fine, but I don’t want to hear anything about a “mystery bulge” after the debates.

  183. 183
  184. 184
    Tim F says:

    scs,

    there was a dispute and this dispute led to the lack of immediate security which led to the other ill effects.

    I can’t speak for anybody else, but I would be more than happy to agree with this statement. What matters to me is who was disputing and about precisely what. Since we now know that whatever jam-up happened at that level, answering that will in large part answer why the gross fuckup happened in the first place.

  185. 185
    Mike S says:

    You know what I think is funny, I have posted that excerpt from the Red Cross website several times. I have never seen one person comment on it, even though I think it’s a very important piece of information. Gee, why is that, I wonder?

    You know what I think is funny? I have seen you post that and seen quite a few responses to it, including some that you responded to. Yet you claim that seen one person respond to it. Gee, why is that, I wonder.

  186. 186
    jg says:

    there was a dispute and this dispute led to the lack of immediate security which led to the other ill effects.

    To paraphrase KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions (80’s rap group)

    …’and the presidents still on vacation’

  187. 187
    ppGaz says:

    And you, ppGaz, have allowed yourself to be hypnotized into believing it. I never imagined

    Don’t be silly, dude. I saw the quote, got a second source, and wrote the post, all the space of maybe 3 minutes. No hypnosis involved.

    And …

    I will wait and see what follows this and what comes of it, of course. And I also fully expect that the lowing herd of Bush-huggers will not be deterred in their zealous tunnel vision of defending their man no matter what. But if Bush is sincere in making this statement, then I’m fully sincere in cogratulating him for making it.

    The thing requires follow-up. We’ll see. And the knee-jerk “Bush at any costs” crowd gets no pass from me. AFAIC, they have no credibility on any subject whatever. They’d be defending Bush if he admitted to planning 9-11. They’re idiots. They don’t even have enough sense to realize that the war in Iraq is a huge clusterfuck of larger scale and a more troubling origin than the shortcomings exposed by Katrina.

    Not only that … that “that” is a lot … turning FEMA around and making sure that a Katrina-like collapse of government doesn’t happen again ….. hugely difficult. Is this government up to it?

  188. 188
    John S. says:

    At the very least, Bush should be censured.

    If he hasn’t already done enough to receive an “official” rebuke for his other missteps while in office, this should definitely put Congress over the top.

    But, seeing as how it is controlled by Republicans, I guess we’ll have to see how they feel about their chances for re-election next year. That will be the real factor in whether or not they decide to censure Bush.

  189. 189
    Soul says:

    Defense Guy,
    Are you only able to read 20 words at a time and still comprehend?

    >Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?…
    …..Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

    WHAT PART OF THIS STRATEGY DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?????
    good LORD! You need a tutor.

  190. 190
    The Comish (sic) says:

    TimF:

    [quote]”You are presenting Bush as an engaged party, which seems completely unreasonable to me. Bookended by his making a declaration of disaster and being shown the extent of the damage on a DVD the following thursday it’s fair to say that Bush was a complete non-player in the story.”[/quote]

    Except, of course, for [takes deep breath]: declaring a federal emergency in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama days (note the plural) before the hurricane hit; making federal aid, workers, and supplies available for state relief and rescue operations; receiving numerous briefings from weather advisory services on the strength and trajectory of the hurricane; pre-positioning federal workers and supplies so they could be brought in as soon as possible after the hurricane; telephoning Blanco to urge her to call for a mandatory evacuation; making a statement to reporters prior to the hurricane’s landfall that citizens should “move to safe ground” and “listen carefully to the instruction provided by state and local officials;” positioning the military in the Gulf to follow the hurricane toward land so that it could begin assessing damage and conducting rescue operations in the hours after the hurricane made landfall; having numerous conversations with state and local officials over the ensuing days, including personal meetings with Blanco and Nagin; viewing the damage from the air; giving a speech on the relief effort; visiting the effected states; urging Blanco to allow the federal government to take over the rescue and recovery operations; speaking to the press almost daily about the recovery and rescue efforts (including a statement on September 2nd that the results were “not acceptable”); and asking for and receiving the resignation of FEMA’s head.

    In other words, you’re exactly right that Bush was “disengaged,” as long as you ignore the vast majority of the facts. Your statement insults the intelligence of its readers.

    TimF (cont’d):

    [quote]”What that means is that Blanco had a dispute not with Bush, who was enjoying his vacation, but with whomever she could get on the phone. As it turns out she was able to reach precisely nobody with the authority to deploy troops or reassign National Guard from other states.
    Again, interpret the facts how you will but the facts themselves are not fungible. Blanco certainly had a dispute with the federal government, but that dispute wasn’t with Bush. It was with the DC phone system and the random vice-undersecretaries whom she was able to reach as the crisis unfolded.”[/quote]

    You really need to stop getting your “facts” exclusively from the comments on Daily Kos.

    First of all, if Bush was on “vacation” when the hurricane hit, then why do you suppose others have criticized Bush for giving a speech on Medicare when the hurricane hit (remember the “Bush was playing golf” meme that’s been debunked?), for speaking with Michael Chertoff about illegal immigration (while also being briefed on the hurricane and flying to Phoenix for more public appearances), for giving a commemoration on World War I, and for giving a speech in San Diego on the war in Iraq? Does that sound like a “vacation” to you? Face it: he was working. You’re just not honest enough to admit it.

    Second, your suggestion that Blanco was never able to get Bush on the phone is a flat-out lie. According to Blanco, she had several telephone conversations with Bush before and after the hurricane. She and Nagin also say they spoke with Bush in person. She says she had disputes with Bush. If you know she’s lying, please provide evidence of that.

    I believe Time magazine reported that at one point, Blanco called the White House and Bush was unavailable to speak with her. So Blanco was transferred to Dept. of Homeland Security adviser Francis Townsend — which ain’t exactly the same thing as getting voicemail — and Bush called her back to address her concerns within hours. But I can’t imagine why the President’s top priority wasn’t hearing what the governor of Louisiana had to say *at that exact momment*. What else could he have been doing? I mean, it’s not like the hurricane hit THREE OTHER STATES over an area as large as GREAT BRITAIN or anything. And the rest of the business of the world had pretty much stopped, right?

    So, in sum, it appears that you’ve simply made up a post wihout reference to any sort of truth. Not much of a way to win an argument. But I guess you work with what you’ve got.

  191. 191
    jg says:

    First of all, if Bush was on “vacation” when the hurricane hit, then why do you suppose others have criticized Bush for giving a speech on Medicare when the hurricane hit (remember the “Bush was playing golf” meme that’s been debunked?), for speaking with Michael Chertoff about illegal immigration (while also being briefed on the hurricane and flying to Phoenix for more public appearances), for giving a commemoration on World War I, and for giving a speech in San Diego on the war in Iraq? Does that sound like a “vacation” to you? Face it: he was working. You’re just not honest enough to admit it.

    So Bush wasn’t on vacation he was working? On everything but the hurricane? So when he cut his vacation short what did that mean if he wasn’t on vacation, he was working?

  192. 192
    SeesThroughIt says:

    If nominated, I will only run if, like Teddy Kennedy I may do so without wearing pants.

    I would like to state, for the record, that I would vote for any candidate who ran his/her campaign sans pants.

    jg: I was just listening to that BDP song five minutes ago. Original vinyl 12-inch. I’ve been playing the hell out of it in clubs of late.

    “Not only newspapers, but every single station/You only get to hear the president is on vacation….Rewrite the Constitution or the Emancipation Proclamation/We fight inflation, yet the president’s still on vacation!”

  193. 193
    Mike S says:

    Does that sound like a “vacation” to you? Face it: he was working. You’re just not honest enough to admit it.

    So you are calling Bush a liar? It was his spokesman who said that he was ending his vacation early to return to DC.

    As far as the rest of your comment goes, if you are claiming that all of that was done by Bush himself then it stands to reason that every single thing that went wrong is also his fault and his alone.

    I’ve seen a lot of Bush cultists, but you take the cake. To think that your leader, Praise be to Bush, was responsible for each and every thing you list is funny to say the least. No wonder Rev. Moon is so involved with the GOP. You guys are insane.

  194. 194
    BumperStickerist says:

    Maybe this will work better…

    FEMA won’t accept Amtrak’s help in evacuations

    FEMA turns away experienced firefighters

    FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks

    FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel

    FEMA won’t let Red Cross deliver food

    FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans

    FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid

    FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board

    FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck

    FEMA turns away generators

    FEMA: “First Responders Urged Not To Respond”

    Ummm, yeah – ‘cept that ‘Dept of Homeland Security’ mentioned throughout those articles is the Louisiana Dept. of Homeland Security.

    That local state and municipal agencies are responsible becomes clear if, say, any of the ‘It’s Bush’s Fault’ crowd would simply read two paragraphs past the headline.

    an example:

    The {note: Louisiana} Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans,” said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

    “Right now access is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities. We have been at the table every single day [asking for access]. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders.”

    ——————————

  195. 195
    The Comish (sic) says:

    jg:

    [quote]”So Bush wasn’t on vacation he was working?”[/quote]

    Correct.

    jg:

    [quote]”On everything but the hurricane?”[/quote]

    No. He was working on preparation for the hurricane and other things. I’d encourage both the fatuous and deliberately uninformed (such as yourself) to re-read my post above listing some of the things Bush did with regard to the hurricane during the time that you claim he was on vacation. A few of them are: declaring a federal emergency in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama days (note the plural) before the hurricane hit; making federal aid, workers, and supplies available for state relief and rescue operations; receiving numerous briefings from weather advisory services on the strength and trajectory of the hurricane; pre-positioning federal workers and supplies so they could be brought in as soon as possible after the hurricane; telephoning Blanco to urge her to call for a mandatory evacuation; making a statement to reporters prior to the hurricane’s landfall that citizens should “move to safe ground” and “listen carefully to the instruction provided by state and local officials;” positioning the military in the Gulf to follow the hurricane toward land so that it could begin assessing damage and conducting rescue operations in the hours after the hurricane made landfall; having numerous conversations with state and local officials over the ensuing days.

    So are you arguing that that stuff doesn’t have anything to do with the hurricane, it isn’t work, or are you just ingoring all facts that don’t fit your predetermined narrative?

    jg:

    [quote]”So when he cut his vacation short what did that mean if he wasn’t on vacation, he was working?”[/quote]

    It means an untrue liberal meme is being circulated through the media like a fart through an air conditioner. The mere fact that you and your friends refer to it as a “vacation” does not make it one.

  196. 196
    Arthur Prysock says:

    Two words: “Negligent Homicide.”

    If this administration was a corporation and Bush was its CEO, the lawsuits’d be piling up at his door right now.

    But instead this is govt, and all we can take his little mea culpa for is it is a response to bad polling numbers.

  197. 197
    Arthur Prysock says:

    Comish: So when Bush says he is taking a vacation he isn’t really going on vacation?

    This is very confusing. Please explain.

  198. 198
    Mike S says:

    The mere fact that you and your friends refer to it as a “vacation” does not make it one.

    Ummm. Does the “mere fact” that the White House said it was a vacation make it one?

  199. 199
    DougJ says:

    From the New York Times

    To Eat Or Not To Eat? Different Parties, Different Answers

    The nation seems every bit as divided over President Bush’s recent decision to east a baby as it is over issues like abortion and the war in Iraq. A recent New York Time-CBS News poll shows that 42% of Americans disapprove of the decision, while an almost equal number, 40% approve. The remaining 18% had not heard about the baby eating incident or had no opinion. “I’ve never seen the nation so divided as it is right now,” said veteran political analyst Charles Cook.

    Democrat Nancy Pelosi was unsparing in her criticism of president Bush: “At best, this was thoughtless. At worst, it was murder.”

    Republicans were quick to dismiss such complaints as “hysterical”. Senator Sam Brownback said “there are some on the extreme left that want to play the blame game right now, but I think it’s sad that Democrats are trying to make political hay out of the death of a young boy.”

    Senator Rick Santorum went a step further, saying that by criticizing the White House, the Democrats were in effect taking aim at those “on the front line”, the White House kitchen staff: “I will not stand by and here the MoveOn crowd take politically motivated pot shots at the kitchen staff, who work hard long hours doing a tough job.”

    These comments aside, momentum is building for an investigation into the baby-eating incident. President Bush pledged “I want to find out if something went wrong with my eating of the baby. And what went wrong, we’ll fix. And what went right, we’ll duplicate.”

    One White House official, who asked that his name not be given said that the baby-eating has become a cause for the sort of jocular bonhomie for which this White House is famous: “There’s been a lot of joking, with Bush now calling Karl Rove “baby turd blossom” and so on. There’s almost a self-congratulatory air to the way they’re treating this. There’s a feeling that this is something Clinton was never able to do, something his father was never able to do, and that this is something he can be proud of.”

  200. 200
    DougJ says:

    To be continued…

  201. 201
    John S. says:

    It means an untrue liberal meme is being circulated through the media like a fart through an air conditioner. The mere fact that you and your friends refer to it as a “vacation” does not make it one.

    This is preposterous…Bush wasn’t on vacation? Of course he was. Can he work while he’s on vacation? Of course he can – anyone can these days. Is working on vacation as productive? Not usually, unless Bush is superhuman and defies the usual tendencies most people have while on vacation.

  202. 202
    The Comish (sic) says:

    Mike S:

    [quote]”So you are calling Bush a liar? It was his spokesman who said that he was ending his vacation early to return to DC.
    As far as the rest of your comment goes, if you are claiming that all of that was done by Bush himself then it stands to reason that every single thing that went wrong is also his fault and his alone.”[/quote]

    Now, wait a minute. Did *Bush* call it a vacation or did his spokesman? Because apparently, we can’t attribute actions to Bush that other people did. So if Bush’s spokesperson said that, it wouldn’t make Bush a liar. Unless, of course, you’re a hypocrite.

    Plus, Bush’s spokesperson didn’t call it a vacation. The reporters asking questions did.

    http://talkradionews.com/newsa.....icleID=487

    And I’m not claiming that Bush did all those things alone. I’m claiming that he was involved in all of them to some degree or anohter. He obviously wasn’t “disengaged,” as he was accused of being. The facts clearly support my position. But the facts haven’t stopped you guys from sticking to your side before, and I doubt they will now.

    Mike S:

    [quote]”I’ve seen a lot of Bush cultists, but you take the cake. To think that your leader, Praise be to Bush, was responsible for each and every thing you list is funny to say the least. No wonder Rev. Moon is so involved with the GOP. You guys are insane.”[/quote]

    So, just to be clear, you have no response to any of the *facts* I’ve asserted, which disprove the assertions made by you and others. Your only response is to call me names, insult my motives, respond to points I didn’t make, and pussy-foot around the “Dear Leader” ban. In other words, standard operating procedure.

  203. 203
    BadTux says:

    Mike, there’s a saying in the military, “Lead, follow, or get the f*** out of the way.” I.e., in any situation, there needs to be a leader, there need to be people working on the problems posed to them by the leader, and everybody else who doesn’t want to get with the program just needs to get out of their way and let them do the job that needs doing.

    Mayor Nagin’s pleading that “there’s too many cooks in this kitchen”, his incessant pleading that somebody needed to take charge and make things happen and coordinate all the idiots who were working at cross purposes, was exactly right. And if the job is too big for the locals because they either don’t have the resources or are incompetent, that means the Feds need to come in — and the Feds don’t take orders from the locals, so that puts the ball right in the President’s court. At that point when Blanco finally managed to get ahold of the President and made her vague request “Send me everything you have”, the President should have appointed one point person to be in charge of the entire rescue and recovery effort — the *entire* effort — regardless of whether he’d be stepping on the locals’ toes. Preferably someone from the military, since this was a logistics problem and there’s one sure thing that the U.S. military is good at, and that’s logistics, the art of getting men and supplies from point A to point B under tough conditions (there is a saying in the military, “battles are won with tactics, wars are won with logistics”). He should have given that one person complete and total authority for the duration of the emergency to use any Federal resources and any Federal manpower to do what it took to save American lives.

    Sure, the President would have gotten some friction from the left-wing nutballs (and some right-wingers) if he’d come in hard and led from the beginning doing what was necessary to save people’s lives irregardless of what the locals were (or were not) doing (why in the *world* would the President of the United States give a **** what the governor of some two-bit state was asking or not asking him to do when the life of Americans was at stake?!). But you know what? For me, saving even one (1) human life would make all the friction in the world worth it.

    But then, that’s probably why I’m a lowly Louisiana exile, rather than being President of the United States.

    Face facts, guy: Bush didn’t lead. Not until it was too late for at least dozens of people who died in the aftermath when they probably would have survived if evacuated to safety earlier. I don’t know what to do about that other than stock up on MRE’s, since Bush is our President for better or for worse for the next three years, but it’s disappointing, at the very least. This wasn’t the George W. Bush that, the night of 9/11, showed up at the White House and addressed the nation over the objection of the Secret Service which wanted to keep him a secure “undisclosed location”. That President was on the ball. This President Bush was AWOL for four days, and people died because of it. I don’t know how anybody can put a good gloss on that one. Though kool-aid drinkers sure seem to be trying.

    – Badtux the Louisianian in Exile

  204. 204
    The Comish (sic) says:

    You folks all seem very sure that Bush’s spokesman said he was on vacation at the Western White House. By all means, post a cite that shows he said that, and I’ll admit that he was on a vacation.

    But MikeS gives a prime example of why the point needs to be made. TimF derisively referred to Bush being on “enjoying his vacation” and thus being unavailable on the phone, suggesting that he wasn’t working and was unavailable to do essential work. MikeS then moves the goalposts and sys that “of course” he was working, just not as effectively (which can’t be disproven, since it’s not based on any facts).

    I submit that if you’re working, you’re not on “vacation,” as was implied by TimF. I think the dictionary backs me up more than MikeS, who apparently thinks “vacation” means “working from somewhere other than the usual office.” But it shouldn’t matter because I’m willing to concede that Bush wasn’t at the White House.

    Can we agree on that? Or are you using the term “vacation” for some other purpose? Maybe to create the false assumption that the President wasn’t, in fact, working at all?

  205. 205
    DougJ says:

    To Eat Or Not To Eat? Different Parties, Different Answers (continued)

    THE RACE CARD

    Some say that the fact that the baby was black may have played a roll in the president’s decision to eat the baby. White House press secretary Scott McClellan, however, says “While the president may prefer dark meat when it comes to turkey or chicken, when it comes to babies, he’s an equal opportunity eater.”

    White House spokesman Dan Barlett said “It just so happens that there was an African-American woman in the kitchen staff who had her baby with her. The president would have been just as happy to eat a white baby. That’s something we’re looking into for the future.” Condoleeza Rice, perhaps the most prominent African-American in the administration said “Hunger doesn’t discriminate and neither does the president.”

  206. 206
    John S. says:

    Comish-

    So you are purporting that Bush spent 5 weeks on his ranch bicycling, clearing brush, etc. and wasn’t on vacation?

  207. 207
    tBone says:

    You folks all seem very sure that Bush’s spokesman said he was on vacation at the Western White House. By all means, post a cite that shows he said that, and I’ll admit that he was on a vacation.

    OK, his spokesman never said Bush was on vacation. I guess he wasn’t on vacation.

    Also, his spokesman never said that Bush does not eat babies and wear shoes made from puppies. Therefore Bush was dining on infant el dente and jogging in Fidos while he was not on vacation in Crawford.

  208. 208
    JoeTX says:

    If Bush was so attuned to what was going on, why is it that a DVD of media reports was required to brief him on how BAD the situation really was on Thursday night, for him to view on his way to Alabama on Friday morning?

    What does this say about Bush, his management style and his chain of command?

  209. 209
    Mike S says:

    Facts? You posted a litany of things done by a very large group of people. Then you attributed them to your God.

    Considering the fact that I have never gone on a vacation without doing some work, according to you I have never been on vacation. You, however, may want to consider taking one soon.

  210. 210
    John S. says:

    I guess some things never change:

    President George Bush left Washington for his parents’ summer home yesterday for a month-long holiday, to growing criticism of his relaxed schedule. A defensive White House insisted that the criticisms were nothing but “silly pot-shots”.

    August 2002

  211. 211
    DougJ says:


    To Eat Or Not To Eat? Different Parties, Different Answers
    (to be continued)

    OVERPLAYING THEIR HAND?

    Nevertheless, many caution that the Democrats must be careful not to overplay their hand. “If this is seen as mere partisan bickering, or if the Democrats are seen as shrill, that could really hurt their chances in 2006,” according to Mr. Cook.

    Indeed, it is possible that the entire incident will burnish the president’s image as a straight shooter and “regular guy”. Political scientist Larry Sabato says “From one perspective this could help him. It shows he gets hungry just like everyone else. And when he’s hungry he does things he shouldn’t just like everyone else. In this political climate, it’s almost better to eat a baby than to eat sushi or drink expensive coffee.”

    Daniel Pislowski an unemployed steel-worker from Allentown, PA said “I like that he ate the baby. I might have done the same thing. Maybe it’s wrong, but, hey, we’re at war. You’ve to support the president, support the troops.”

    Darla Jones, an office worker from Shaker Heights, Ohio wondered how Democrats would have dealt with the situation: “He was hungry, he ate the baby. I don’t see a Democratic plan to deal with his hunger.”

    Many Democrats are in fact beginning to feel pressure to come up with an alternative to baby eating. One plan that is under consideration is ordering take-out food. The fear, however, is that this plan will be seen as the sort of costly government program that voters distrust. “Sure, he could have ordered a pizza, but the taxpayer’s going to be left footing the bill,” said Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Freedom.

  212. 212
    The Comish (sic) says:

    JoeTx:

    [quote]”If Bush was so attuned to what was going on, why is it that a DVD of media reports was required to brief him on how BAD the situation really was on Thursday night, for him to view on his way to Alabama on Friday morning?”[/quote]

    He didn’t require a DVD of media reports to tell him how bad the situation was. Note that the speech in which he told reporters that the relief effort had been inadequate was from the Rose Garden, before he allegedly watched this DVD. The fact that he viewed the DVD merely means he’d been doing things other than watching television, and had been getting his information from other sources, like FEMA, the Red Cross, national weather advisory services, the military, the Dept. of Homeland Security, satellite pictures, and the local and state governments of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.

    To be honest, I don’t know why he watched the DVD. But if I had to guess, I’d say he probably watched the DVD of the media’s coverage to take the temperature of the *media*, and prepare for the kind of questions he’d be facing from the local and national media while on site. But, just like you guys, I’m just speculating (although my speculation is grounded in the facts).

  213. 213
    The Comish (sic) says:

    JohnS:

    [quote]”Facts? You posted a litany of things done by a very large group of people. Then you attributed them to your God.”[/quote]

    This is a perfect example of why it’s pointless to talk to simpering morons. I’ve already pointed out that I did no such thing. But your simple mind is incapable of dealing with contradictory facts. So you just block out the proof that you’re wrong and keep repeating what you read on Pandagon.

    Read my posts. When you can muster an actual response based on facts, not childish (and lame) insults, please let me know.

  214. 214
    JoeTX says:

    “The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.”

    Presidents at the time?

    Andrew (2004) = Bush 41
    Hugo (1989) = Bush 41
    Iniki (1992) = Bush 41
    Frances (2004) = Bush 41
    Jeanne (2004) = Bush 41

    Seems like the family Bush has a problem with Hurricanes!

    Also, linking to a blog as an authoritative source? Come on, give me a break. At least most of the blogs I read on the left link to authoritative sources.

    Also, if you go to the source blog, Jason keeps talking about resupplying the “Astrodome”, the “Astrodome” is in Houston, the “Superdome” is in NO…

  215. 215
    JoeTX says:

    Opps, but Bush 43 down for those 2004 hurricanes..

  216. 216
    tBone says:

    When you can muster an actual response based on facts, not childish (and lame) insults, please let me know.

    Says the guy who 5 sentences earlier was calling people “simpering morons.”

  217. 217
    JoeTX says:

    Its amazing, anytime a MSM article is critical of Bush, they are labeled as “liberal”. That is bullshit. Please explain the “liberal” MSM carrying Bush’s water for the last 5 years and their cheerleading rah rah during the run-up to the Iraq war.

  218. 218
    The Comish (sic) says:

    BadTux:

    [quote]”At that point when Blanco finally managed to get ahold of the President and made her vague request “Send me everything you have”, the President should have appointed one point person to be in charge of the entire rescue and recovery effort—the entire effort—regardless of whether he’d be stepping on the locals’ toes.”[/quote]

    But the President appointing one person to be in charge wouldn’t be merely “stepping on the locals’ toes.” It would have been *a violation of the Constitution*. It would have required Bush to invoke the Insurrection Act and declare martial law in the states hit by the hurricane. Please note that a) there was no insurrection; and b) (I believe) the last time the Insurrection Act was invoked was during the Civil War, when there was an actual insurrection.

    Not to mention the fact that it would have pissed off more people than just the governor of Louisiana. Can you imagine the field day the partisans here would be having? These folks think Bush is a fascist as it is (they’ve apparently not studied much history), so can you imagine their cries if he’d sent the military in to invade four Southern states over nothing more than a disagreement over the best way to get aid to the States’ citizens?

    And if Bush appointed one person over all relief efforts, that person would have taken over the relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, despite the fact that the vast majority of problems in relief and recovery were located within New Orleans. While I feel terrible for the folks that were stuck in NO, violating the Constitution, invoking the Insurrection Act, and invading four states seems like an awful lot of hay to make over 20,000 citizens in New Orleans that would be out of there in a few more days.

    Bush did all the law authorized him to do: he provided all the assistance requested, and he asked for permission to federalize the operations. Blanco wouldn’t let him. There was nothing else he ocould do short of declaring war against the state of Louisiana.

  219. 219
    Peter Osterhausen says:

    Well, I think we have a winner! The coveted Bush Apologist Of The Day Ostrich Feather Fanny Duster w/ Dung Beetle Cluster goes to…

    … The Commish!

    Congratulations Commish! Your convulted monkey dance of an explanation of how President Bush’s vacations aren’t really vacations, and besides only the liberal media actually ever called them vacations, was truly inspired.

    What ever do they put in that Karl Rove Kool Aid, anyway?

  220. 220
    The Comish (sic) says:

    tBone:

    [quote]”Says the guy who 5 sentences earlier was calling people “simpering morons.””[/quote]

    You seem to have missed the relevant words in that sentence: “response based on facts.” While I did imply that Mike S is a “simpering moron,” my criticism was based on the fact that MikeS was incapable of offering *facts* to support his contentions. Which, I should note, he still hasn’t done.

  221. 221
    The Comish (sic) says:

    JoeTX:

    [quote]”Its amazing, anytime a MSM article is critical of Bush, they are labeled as “liberal”. That is bullshit.”[/quote]

    If you’re talking about me here, I never referred to the media as “liberal.”

    And anybody that thinks the media has been carrying Bush’s water for the past 5 years needs to read more (*cough*TexasNationalGuard*cough*WarInIraq*cough*ConnectionsBetweenIraqAndTerror*cough). I’d suggest starting with Daniel Okrent:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....A9629C8B63

    “Is the New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?

    Of course it is.”

    [Note — I dont think the media is reliably liberal. But studies show they tend to lean heavily toward the left in their own personal philosophies, and I think that has a usually unintentional effect.]

  222. 222
  223. 223
    The Comish (sic) says:

    Peter Osterhausen, anytime you want to rebut any of the factual statements or arguments I’ve made, feel free to do so. But I can’t help but notice that none of the left-leaners have done anything more than call me a sycophant. If that’s all you’ve got, then I’ll sleep well tonight knowing I’m on the right side of the argument.

    I eagerly await someone coming in here to tell me I’m “under Karl Rove’s spell,” but I won’t hold my breath that someone is actually going to make an argument or provide any supportive facts.

  224. 224
    slide says:

    The Commish:

    You folks all seem very sure that Bush’s spokesman said he was on vacation at the Western White House. By all means, post a cite that shows he said that, and I’ll admit that he was on a vacation.

    The Response:

    SAN DIEGO – President Bush will cut short a month-long vacation at his Texas ranch to return to Washington Wednesday [two days after strom hit] to help oversee a massive recovery effort from Hurricane Katrina, the White House said.

    Bush had been scheduled to return to Washington on Friday, but White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president decided to return earlier because of the hurricane. Hundreds are feared dead in Mississippi as a result of the storm, and floodwaters have poured into low-lying New Orleans.

    Can we end this silliness now?

  225. 225
    John S. says:

    Comish-

    I know you think you deftly “handled” me, however this statement:

    Facts? You posted a litany of things done by a very large group of people. Then you attributed them to your God.

    That you eviscerated me for:

    Read my posts. When you can muster an actual response based on facts, not childish (and lame) insults, please let me know.

    Did not come from me.

    When you can muster an actual response based on something I said, not real (or imagined) comments from others, please let me know.

  226. 226
    The Comish (sic) says:

    slide, the debate wasn’t whether Bush was in Texas or Washington, DC. I admitted he was in Texas (note where I said “on vacation at the Western White House,” which refers to his ranch in Crawford, TX, as well as my later admission of such again). As I said, my problem is with the contention that he was on “vacation” and thus unavailable to do work when the hurricane hit.

    I stand by what I said earlier: that the President was working throughout his stay in Texas.

  227. 227
    slide says:

    The Commish:

    Second, your suggestion that Blanco was never able to get Bush on the phone is a flat-out lie.

    The Truth:

    Early Wednesday morning, Blanco tried to call Bush. She was transferred around the White House for a while until she ended up on the phone with Fran Townsend, the president’s Homeland Security adviser, who tried to reassure her but did not have many specifics. Hours later, Blanco called back and insisted on speaking to the president. When he came on the line, the governor recalled, “I just asked him for help, ‘whatever you have’.” She asked for 40,000 troops.

    .

  228. 228
    John S. says:

    [Note—I dont think the media is reliably liberal. But studies show they tend to lean heavily toward the left in their own personal philosophies, and I think that has a usually unintentional effect.]

    Note: Statements like “studies have shown” followed by some inane (and often disputable) factoid without the aid of a source is usually a case of the classically fallacious argumentum ad verecundiam.

    Particularly when other studies have shown otherwise.

  229. 229
    tBone says:

    my criticism was based on the fact that MikeS was incapable of offering facts to support his contentions.

    Well, one of his “contentions” is that Bush was on vacation. He is not alone in that contention.

    BTW there’s a blockquote button in the toolbar, no need to use [quote] incorrect tags. [/quote]

  230. 230
    The Comish (sic) says:

    John S, you’re absolutely right. The statement that I attributed to you was actually said by Mike S. I apologize for my error.

    I also see that I atttributed a statement that you made to Mike S. Again, I apologize for that. My response to that post (correcting the references to “MikeS” with “John S”) is as follows (feel free to respond):

    You folks all seem very sure that Bush’s spokesman said he was on vacation at the Western White House. By all means, post a cite that shows he said that, and I’ll admit that he was on a “vacation.”

    But John S gives a prime example of why the point needs to be made. TimF derisively referred to Bush being [] “enjoying his vacation” and thus being unavailable on the phone, suggesting that he wasn’t working and was unavailable to do essential work. John S then moves the goalposts and s[a]ys that “of course” he was working, just not as effectively (which can’t be disproven, since it’s not based on any facts).

    I submit that if you’re working, you’re not on “vacation,” as was implied by TimF. I think the dictionary backs me up more than John S, who apparently thinks “vacation” means “working from somewhere other than the usual office.” But it shouldn’t matter because I’m willing to concede that Bush wasn’t at the White House.

    Can we agree on that? Or are you using the term “vacation” for some other purpose? Maybe to create the false assumption that the President wasn’t, in fact, working at all?

  231. 231
    John S. says:

    Comish-

    As I said, my problem is with the contention that he was on “vacation” and thus unavailable to do work when the hurricane hit.

    Not neccessarily “unavailable”, but certainly not as well equipped – by the President’s own admission:

    But after receiving a briefing early today on the devastation Katrina unleashed, the president decided that he needed to be in Washington to oversee the federal effort, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

    Source

    So if the President decided he needed to be in Washington to oversee things properly, do you disagree with him?

  232. 232

    Yes, while Bush wasn’t on vacation during his vacation he worked very very hard while he was taking 5 weeks off. And today the fruits of that extraordinary effort were celebrated as the President of the United States proudly proclaimed his incompetence and culpability in an apology to the nation on behalf of his administration and himself for the lousy job of done in the Katrina.

    Here’s a thought: If Bush had spent those 5 weeks laying drunk in the front yard of his Crawford play ranch rather than working so very very hard, would thousands of New Orleans still citizens be alive today?

  233. 233
    slide says:

    The Commish:

    In other words, you’re exactly right that Bush was “disengaged,” as long as you ignore the vast majority of the facts. Your statement insults the intelligence of its readers.

    The Disengagement:

    On the September 1 broadcast of ABC’s Good Morning America, President Bush told host Diane Sawyer, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees” that protected New Orleans from flooding

  234. 234
    BadTux says:

    Well, Commish, you know, if I have the power to save a life, I don’t give a flyin’ flip what some dusty piece of paper says about whether it’s legal to do so or not, I’m going to save a life. It shames me that you and others like you feel different, that you think a bunch of words on paper are more important than the lives of dozens of American citizens who died because the bickering and bureaucratic BS delayed the assistance they needed.

    But then, I care about my fellow Americans. Unlike some people, apparently, who care only about whether the paperwork is filled out correctly and the legal i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed… Americans dying because the President of the United States fails to lead and cut through all that bull**** is a failure of leadership. Plain and simple. And it is shameful that you are trying to make excuses for that failure to lead. Indeed, that you say that a bunch of legal bull**** is more important than American lives… I don’t know what to say. I really don’t. Because those are not the values of the America I grew up in, so many decades ago.

    – Badtux the Louisianian in Exile.

  235. 235
    John S. says:

    By all means, post a cite that shows he said that, and I’ll admit that he was on a “vacation.”

    You “parse” with the best of them. And falsely misstate very well, too:

    I think the dictionary backs me up more than John S, who apparently thinks “vacation” means “working from somewhere other than the usual office.

    Which of course, I never said. I did say his would be able to work, but “not as effectively”. Which I derive from comments made by Scott McClellan in my previous post.

  236. 236
    The Comish (sic) says:

    slide, read the next paragraph after the one you quoted. I believe you’ll see that I talked about that. Moreover, that incident doesn’t prove the assertion that Blanco was *never* able to get Bush on the phone. Just that — at one point during a couple weeks — Bush wasn’t immediately available to speak with her.

    Unless you contend that the delay of a couple hours for Blanco to make her request — which she later admitted she didn’t know what she wanted to ask for, but just pulled a number out of thin air — made some difference in the outcome of this tragedy, I’m not sure what your point is.

  237. 237
    slide says:

    The Commish:

    He didn’t require a DVD of media reports to tell him how bad the situation was
    To be honest, I don’t know why he watched the DVD. But if I had to guess, I’d say he probably watched the DVD of the media’s coverage to take the temperature of the media, and prepare for the kind of questions he’d be facing from the local and national media while on site.

    .

    The Truth:

    President Bush knew the storm and its consequences had been bad; but he didn’t quite realize how bad.

    The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.

    How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less “situational awareness,” as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century—is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.

    .

  238. 238
    The Comish (sic) says:

    John S:

    Note: Statements like “studies have shown” followed by some inane (and often disputable) factoid without the aid of a source is usually a case of the classically fallacious argumentum ad verecundiam.

    Particularly when other studies have shown otherwise.

    Fair enough. This is a point I didn’t want to belabor, since I never called the media liberal anyways. Hopefully, we can leave this argument for another day.

    [Thanks to tBone for showing me the toolbar]

  239. 239
    The Comish (sic) says:

    tBone:

    Well, one of his “contentions” is that Bush was on vacation. He is not alone in that contention.

    John S would probably point out that this is an argumentum ad populum, in which you argue that you’re right because other people agree with you. It does nothing to prove you’re right or wrong.

    [thanks again for showing me the toolbar]

  240. 240
    slide says:

    Commish, I’m not going to debate you. I am just going to post YOUR comments next to news reports and let the readers decide who is being more accurate and who is being totaly disingenius. You parse words with the best of them and I’m not about to get into little word games. All the evidence points to a President that was completely out of it. Disengaged is a mild word to use for the leader of the country that went about business as usual as an American city was in the process of being lost with thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. Strumming his gitar couldn’t have been more symbolic if his name was Nero and he was playing the fiddle….

  241. 241
    The Comish (sic) says:

    John S:

    Which of course, I never said [that “vacation” means “working from somewhere other than the usual office”].

    Then perhaps I’m misattributing quotes again. Who said this?

    This is preposterous…Bush wasn’t on vacation? Of course he was. Can he work while he’s on vacation? Of course he can – anyone can these days.

    I believe that was you. And of course, you seem to be saying that Bush is on vacation, despite admitting that he’s working. So by all means enlighten me on my error. How do you suppose that Bush was on vacation, if he was working and it had nothing to do with his location? What is your definition of “vacation”?

  242. 242
    slide says:

    The Commish:

    In other words, you’re exactly right that Bush was “disengaged,” as long as you ignore the vast majority of the facts. Your statement insults the intelligence of its readers.

    More Disengangement:

    On the Monday that Hurricane Katrina landed and the Crescent City began drowning, Bush was joshing with Senator John McCain on the tarmac of an Air Force base in Arizona, posing with a melting birthday cake. Like a scene out of a Michael Moore mockumentary, he was heading into a long-planned Medicare round table at a local country club, joking that he had “spiced up” his entourage by bringing the First Lady, then noting to the audience that he had phoned Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff from Air Force One. “I said, ‘Are you working with the Governor?'” Bush recounted. “He said, ‘You bet we are.'” But the President was not talking about the killer storm. He was talking about immigration, and the Governor was Arizona’s.

    .

  243. 243
    scs says:

    Okay Mike S, I take back that no one has commented on my Red Cross post. But not many have, compared to the fast posting criticisms of FEMA. And still people insist on here that it was FEMA that kept out the Red Cross from the Convention Center when the Red Cross themselves said it was the L.A. State Office of Homeland Security (an agency run by the state of Lousianna, for those who still don’t know). So I felt I had to post it again on this segment, and the previous posters who said that that was a myth propagated by Fox news, have yet to correct themselves. That’s mostly what I meant by no comments.

  244. 244
    slide says:

    More Disengagement:

    Louisiana officials say it took hours for Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to reach Bush (although when she did, he talked to her soothingly, according to White House officials). “His inner circle takes pride in being able to tell him ‘everything is under control,’ when in this case it was not,” said a former aide. “The whole idea that you have to only burden him with things ‘that rise to his level’ bit them this time.”

  245. 245
    slide says:

    Bubble Boy:

    A related factor, aides and outside allies concede, is what many of them see as the President’s increasing isolation. Bush’s bubble has grown more hermetic in the second term, they say, with fewer people willing or able to bring him bad news–or tell him when he’s wrong. Bush has never been adroit about this. A youngish aide who is a Bush favorite described the perils of correcting the boss. “The first time I told him he was wrong, he started yelling at me,” the aide recalled about a session during the first term. “Then I showed him where he was wrong, and he said, ‘All right. I understand. Good job.’ He patted me on the shoulder. I went and had dry heaves in the bathroom.”

    .

    Such a strong, in command, leader.

  246. 246
    The Comish (sic) says:

    John S:

    So if the President decided he needed to be in Washington to oversee things properly, do you disagree with him?

    No, I don’t disagree with the President’s decision to go back to Washington. I don’t know what the capacity of his Crawford ranch is. But then again, neither do you. So I guess we’ll both have to take the President’s word on the appropriate time to go back.

    I’m willing to bet that his trip back to Washington was more symbolic than anything else. The people want the President to seem as Presidential as possible when a disaster strikes, and that includes taking his place in the capital (even if the capital is actually hundreds of miles *farther* from the disaster). But I appreciate your non-partisan admission that the President correctly went back to Washington at the appropriate time.

  247. 247
    Big E says:

    ::from an online article by David Corn:

    The final report of the independent and bipartisan 9/11 commission (the creation of which the Bush White House initially opposed). The chapter entitled “Heroism and Horror” opens with these lines:

    Emergency response is a product of preparedness. On the morning of September 11, 2001, the last best hope for the community of people working in or visiting the World Trade Center rested not with national policymakers but with private firms and local public servants, especially the first responders: fire, police, emergency medical service, and building safety professionals.

    The chapter ends this way:

    Civilians and first responders will again find themselves on the front lines. We must plan for that eventuality. A rededication to preparedness is perhaps the best way to honor the memories of those we lost that day.

    After Bush received the 9/11 report, he said, “I look forward to studying their recommendations, and look forward to working with responsible parties within my administration to move forward on those recommendations.” But he never moved forward on the first response front. The Katrina screw-up exposed many of the problems that hindered the rescue workers of 9/11: poor communications, lousy coordination, insufficient resources. (As the Times-Picayune of New Orleans noted, if Harry Connick Jr. was able to get into New Orleans after the storm and help neighbors, why couldn’t the federal government?) But the tragedy is not merely that we—by which I mean they—did not learn from 9/11, but that the warnings that came after 9/11 were not heeded by the Bush administration.

    In June 2003, nearly two years after that horrible day, a task force assembled by the Council on Foreign Relations released a report with a chilling conclusion: the United States was drastically underfunding local responders and remained dangerously unprepared to deal with a catastrophic attack on U.S. soil. The task force—which included former Republican Sen. Warren Rudman, former Admiral William Crowe, former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former CIA chief and past FBI director William Webster—noted:

    According to data provided to the Task Force by emergency responder professional associations and leading emergency response officials from around the country, America will fall approximately $98.4 billion short of meeting critical emergency responder needs over the next five years if current funding levels are maintained.

    A $100 billion shortfall? How unprepared can a nation be? Though the task force’s focus was on terrorist attacks, its findings were relevant for non-terrorism catastrophes. It reported that “on average, fire departments across the country have only enough radios to equip half the firefighters on a shift, and breathing apparatuses for only one-third. Only 10 percent of fire departments in the United States have the personnel and equipment to respond to a building collapse.” It noted that “most cities do not have the necessary equipment to determine what kind of hazardous materials emergency responders may be facing.” (It also found that “police departments in cities across the country do not have the protective gear to safely secure a site following an attack with weapons of mass destruction.”)

    The Bush administration, by then mired in the quicksand of Iraq, did not mount a crash program to enhance and support first responders. In fact, it did the opposite. The following year it slashed federal funding for first responders by 30 percent, which entailed defunding entire programs, such as SafeComm, which aimed to insure that the communication systems of various responders are interoperable. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge defended these budget cuts and said the Bush administration had engaged in tough “balancing” of fiscal and security needs. At the same time, the Bush administration was pushing for more tax cuts that would benefit wealthy Americans.

  248. 248
    The Comish (sic) says:

    slide:

    On the Monday that Hurricane Katrina landed and the Crescent City began drowning, Bush was joshing with Senator John McCain on the tarmac of an Air Force base in Arizona, posing with a melting birthday cake. Like a scene out of a Michael Moore mockumentary, he was heading into a long-planned Medicare round table at a local country club, joking that he had “spiced up” his entourage by bringing the First Lady, then noting to the audience that he had phoned Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff from Air Force One. “I said, ‘Are you working with the Governor?’” Bush recounted. “He said, ‘You bet we are.’” But the President was not talking about the killer storm. He was talking about immigration, and the Governor was Arizona’s.

    There it is. Because the real problem is that that the President didn’t emote enough. If only he’d furrowed his brow, torn his lapel, maybe even squeezed a few tears, that would have driven the storm away and held up the levee. If only he’d cared more.

    Sure, he pre-positioned rescue workers and supplies, including the military; sure, he was kept up to date on the storm and its strngth and where it was suppoed to hit; sure, he made contact with local and state authorities and advised them on their courses of action; sure, he addressed reporters and advised and reassured citizens on what to do; sure, nobody realized the severity of the situation NO was about to face (leading to headlines the next day about how NO had been spared). So I guess in the absence of any lapses in his actual actions, we can always criticize the heartless bastard for not freaking out, shreaking like a little girl, and declaring that End of Times was nigh. Because that’s important in a President.

  249. 249
    CaseyL says:

    But I appreciate your non-partisan admission that the President correctly went back to Washington at the appropriate time.

    He didn’t say that. He didn’t say anything remotely like that.

    Bush apologists on this board are now reduced to defining “vacation” like nobody else on earth defines it, redefining “leadership” to mean its opposite; ignoring non-partisan response studies in favor of days-old discredited stories; and misquoting other commenters.

    It must really suck to be a Bushie these days.

    But, hey, y’all have 5 years’ practice believing six impossible (and mutually contradictory) things before breakfast; so maybe this isn’t so much of a stretch for you after all.

  250. 250
    The Comish (sic) says:

    slide (quoting Time):

    “His inner circle takes pride in being able to tell him ‘everything is under control,’ when in this case it was not,” said a former aide. “The whole idea that you have to only burden him with things ‘that rise to his level’ bit them this time.”

    Just out of curiosity, how do you suppose a former aide knows what the hell was going on “in this case”? Somebody’s pulling things out of his/her ass.

  251. 251
    narvy says:

    I’m willing to bet that his trip back to Washington was more symbolic than anything else. The people want the President to seem as Presidential as possible when a disaster strikes, and that includes taking his place in the capital

    Right on all counts. Your remarks can be read to mean that you think the people’s desire for a Presidential president is somehow shallow or silly. If that’s a misinterpretation, I apologize. Your bet about “symbolic” is at odds with the protestations of your fellow Bush supporters that his belated return to Washington shows how seriously he took the situation.

  252. 252
    narvy says:

    It must really suck to be a Bushie these days.
    But, hey, y’all have 5 years’ practice believing six impossible (and mutually contradictory) things before breakfast

    CaseyL –

    The contortions and inconsistencies of the Bush guys keep getting curioser and curioser.

  253. 253
    Slide says:

    The Commish:

    There it is. Because the real problem is that that the President didn’t emote enough. If only he’d furrowed his brow, torn his lapel, maybe even squeezed a few tears, that would have driven the storm away and held up the levee. If only he’d cared more.

    You know I am going to agree with you for once commish… oh, not about the silly nonsense (which even you must know is a stretch) that its about emoting and the like, but your last line, “If only he’d cared more”. Yep. We finally reach agreement.

    Someone that really cared would not be out “joking” and yukking it up when an American city is in peril. Again, I’ll use my analogy, instead of a Cat 5 storm heading to New Orleans, think of it as a missle. A missle launched from some “evil” enemy, and heading for one of our cities. A missle that is only traveling at 12 miles an hour however. Do you think ANY president would be out yukking it up? Making jokes? Strumming his guitar? Even if he had told his underlings to do everything they could in advance? Wouldn’t you want a leader glued to the sitution? Monitoring every report first hand to see how it is going? Thats what a leader does in a crisis. And a Cat 4/5 hurrican heading to NO is a CRISIS. One that the Fed gov’t was well aware of. One that they had “gamed” with horrific results. One that, according to their own projections, could result in the death of tens of thousands of americans and the displacement of hundreds of thousands. A HUGE crisis unfolding in slow motion, but out Leader? Business as usual it seems. But, we all KNOW that Bush is not a leader. Bush’s second MY PET GOAT moment. How many more times do you need to be convinced that that guy just doesn’t have what it takes. Or that he “just doesn’t care enough”?

  254. 254
    narvy says:

    Re Presidential caring:

    Weren’t Bush’s caring credentials established by the alacrity with which he flew back to Washington from Crawford to sign the Terry Schiavo legislation?

  255. 255
    John S. says:

    I don’t know what the capacity of his Crawford ranch is. But then again, neither do you. So I guess we’ll both have to take the President’s word on the appropriate time to go back.

    But we do know the capacity of the ranch. If it were as well equipped and functional as the White House, there would have been no reason for Bush to have returned at all. As for this added dimension of “appropriate” you have thrown in:

    But I appreciate your non-partisan admission that the President correctly went back to Washington at the appropriate time.

    Again, your penchant for distortion is phenomenal.

    In fact, since the President decided to go back on Wednesday, I think his return to Washington was two days late – not the appropriate time, as you seem to think.

  256. 256
    JoeTX says:

    His “ranch” at Crawford was VERY well equipped. It had a room with a blue curtain and a sign that said, “Western White House”. What more does he need? I hear he has a fully stocked video conference room, but since he doesn’t like to hear bad news and doesn’t watch TV, it must not be used much….

  257. 257
    Tim F says:

    If we’re reduced to arguing whether Bush was on ‘vacation’ then this thread has well and truly jumped the shark.

  258. 258
    CadillaqJaq says:

    In order to make the Dem/Liberal factions deliriously happy, I think GWB should announce his resignation and hang around until President Cheney is sworn in. (I can hear him laughing all the way back to Crawford, TX.)

  259. 259
    Defense Guy says:

    Soul opines:

    Are you only able to read 20 words at a time and still comprehend?

    >Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?…
    …..Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

    WHAT PART OF THIS STRATEGY DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?????
    good LORD! You need a tutor.

    Yeah, no freaking clue what you are on about. I can tell you are outraged about something, but it doesn’t really mesh with what I was talking about. We all need something, and apparently what you need is to have your meds upped, or to have your mommy take away your PC privileges. Take care now.

  260. 260
    Defense Guy says:

    To the screaming ‘but he was on VACATION’ crowd. A word for you.

    Relax

    Take a break.

    The reason modern presidents amscray in August is because all the other branches are gone (on vacation no less) as well. The truth is, that it does not mean a vacation like you or I would think of it. In fact, modern presidents get very little ‘me’ time.

  261. 261
    DougJ says:

    The contortions and inconsistencies of the Bush guys keep getting curioser and curioser.

    Luckily for Rove, these bozos who worship Bush as a warrior-God will believe anything. When I was faking right-wing DougJ, I got Darrell and Tall Dave to say they also had also seen or heard things on Fox News that never happened. That I completely made up.

    These people are utter and complete morons. There is no use trying to have a serious discussion with them. Better just to make fun of them and save your energy for arguing with the more reasonable Bush apologists — like Defense Guy. I can see Defense Guy following the cult down to Jonestown but I don’t see him drinking the Kool-Aid. I respect that.

  262. 262
    slide says:

    The reason modern presidents amscray in August is because all the other branches are gone (on vacation no less) as well.

    Even when we are in the middle of a WAR like Bush keeps telling us? Even when we know a terrorist attack is a matter of WHEN not IF? Are we just hoping the terrorists are on “vacation” during August as well? My, my what low expectations our republican friends have of our government.

    Oh, btw, thanks for the link which describes that LONG vacations that Truman took.>

    — Truman spent nearly half a year in Key West during his seven years in office ,

    Hmmmm… if my math is right that is about 170 days out of 7 years. Wow.. what a slacker. But then again, look at bubble boy’s numbers:

    President Bush broke Ronald Reagan’s all-time record for most presidential vacation days. “The old record was 335 days, though Reagan took his sweet time of eight years to accomplish this feat. President Bush did it in nearly half the time. And with another two weeks of vaction on tap, he’s obviously not content with simply breaking the record, he’s going to smoke that record right out of the hole.

  263. 263
    slide says:

    The Comish:

    But the President appointing one person to be in charge wouldn’t be merely “stepping on the locals’ toes.” It would have been a violation of the Constitution. It would have required Bush to invoke the Insurrection Act and declare martial law in the states hit by the hurricane. Please note that a) there was no insurrection; and b) (I believe) the last time the Insurrection Act was invoked was during the Civil War, when there was an actual insurrection.

    The Truth:

    In short, DHS secretary Michael Chertoff abdicated his existing responsibility to activate federal forces without waiting for any request from Governor Blanco, and wasted at least 36 hours of critical time before empowering FEMA to act. And the system wasn’t the problem, it was the White House.

    The federal official with the power to mobilize a massive federal response to Hurricane Katrina was Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, not the former FEMA chief who was relieved of his duties and resigned earlier this week, federal documents reviewed by Knight Ridder show.

    Even before the storm struck the Gulf Coast, Chertoff could have ordered federal agencies into action without any request from state or local officials. Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown had only limited authority to do so until about 36 hours after the storm hit, when Chertoff designated him as the “principal federal official” in charge of the storm.

    Chertoff – not Brown – was in charge of managing the national response to a catastrophic disaster, according to the National Response Plan, the federal government’s blueprint for how agencies will handle major natural disasters or terrorist incidents. An order issued by President Bush in 2003 also assigned that responsibility to the homeland security director.

    But according to a memo obtained by Knight Ridder, Chertoff didn’t shift that power to Brown until late afternoon or evening on Aug. 30, about 36 hours after Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi. That same memo suggests that Chertoff may have been confused about his lead role in disaster response and that of his department.

    On the day that Chertoff wrote the memo, Bush was in San Diego presiding over a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

    And playing the guitar.

    Chertoff’s hesitation and Bush’s creation of a task force both appear to contradict the National Response Plan and previous presidential directives that specify what the secretary of homeland security is assigned to do without further presidential orders. The goal of the National Response Plan is to provide a streamlined framework for swiftly delivering federal assistance when a disaster – caused by terrorists or Mother Nature – is too big for local officials to handle.

    .

  264. 264
    DougJ says:

    Excellent Knight-Ridder article. I think Chertoff should go too.

    I wonder if being head of DHS is just too difficult a job for one person. Ridge was supposedly ineffective as well. And I have no reason to think ill of him — in fact, from everything I know, he’s a very competent guy.

    I think maybe DHS was a BIG mistake. Bush was right about that. He should have stuck to his guns and ignored the commission.

  265. 265
    ppGaz says:

    I got Darrell and Tall Dave to say they also had also seen or heard things on Fox News that never happened. That I completely made up.

    These people are utter and complete morons. There is no use trying to have a serious discussion with them

    Also, they have no interest in “serious discussion”.

    Whether they are entirely blameworthy (here) or not, not sure. That’s because I am not sure that “serious discussion” is something that is on the table here at BJ. I don’t have any particular reason to think that it is.

    “Serious discussion” requires some groundrules and some agreements on process, otherwise ….. you get Darrell Threads. No such groundrules are in place, and no agreements on process (or any aspect thereof) have been asked for or agreed to by participants, that I am aware of.

  266. 266
    Defense Guy says:

    DougJ

    We could talk all day about what’s wrong with president Bush. The real stuff, not the phoney baloney crap that so many take as the gospel truth. But then I believe that we could probably do the same for most of the politicians that we have had the (mis)fortune of living under.

    I just don’t happen to believe that he is worse than any of the other jokers we’ve had. At times thay are truly brilliant and at others, just pathetic.

    I tend to give Bush more breaks than others simply because these are the worst of times, and not due entirely to his actions. The actual partisan hatred alone has gotten so out of hand, that it amazes me. It’s gotten bad enough that I simply won’t talk politics with some of my friends because I would like to keep them as friends, and I live in DC where the usual rules of no politics in bars is mostly waved.

    Anyway, I think you are wrong about TallDave. He is one of the more funny folks out here. I don’t really know enough about Darrell to say either way.

  267. 267

    WRT the CRS report, here’s what the final paragraph says:

    From the above review of the statutory authorities under the Stafford Act, the letters of Governor Blanco to President Bush requesting first a declaration of emergency and then a major disaster declaration in anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Katrina, as well as the President’s response to those requests in declaring a state of emergency in Louisiana effective August 26, 2005, and continuing, it would appear that the Governor did take the steps necessary to request emergency and disaster declarations for the state of Louisiana in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina. In response to the Governor’s requests, it appears that the President did take the steps necessary to trigger the availability of Stafford Act emergency assistance and disaster assistance, by declaring first a state of emergency, and later a major disaster, and authorizing specific Stafford Act assistance to be made available to the State of Louisiana to respond to the effects of the Hurricane. We hope that this will be of assistance to you.

    Interpretation: both Bush and Governor Blanco did what they were supposed to do as regards the declarations of disaster and emergency and the obligatory response to those declarations. This is not to say that these declarations is all that there was to do, though. Let’s not act as if that were true, ok? And let’s also not act as if by requesting these declarations, Governor Blanco could simply wash her hands of all responsibility for further action. If Bush were simply unwilling and/or clueless, the requests to Governor Blanco to hand over leadership of the recovery effort to the federal government make no sense.

  268. 268
    slide says:

    Excellent Knight-Ridder article.

    Yes, the article really puts the rest the arguments that it was the locals not requesting help that is the cause of all the problems. If only Chertoff had followed their own plan, lives would have been saved. The fact that they didn’t follow the plan is just breath taking, even to some Republicans as this snippet shows:

    A former FEMA director under President Reagan expressed shock by the inaction that Chertoff’s memo suggested. It showed that Chertoff “does not have a full appreciation for what the country is faced with – nor does anyone who waits that long,” said Gen. Julius Becton Jr., who was FEMA director from 1985-1989.

    “Anytime you have a delay in taking action, there’s a potential for losing lives,” Becton told Knight Ridder. “I have no idea how many lives we’re talking about. … I don’t understand why, except that they were inefficient.”

    Pretty stong indictment, especially seeing as it comes from Reagan’s former FEMA director. (unless he is a secret left wing partisan BUSH hater.)

  269. 269
    slide says:

    Interpretation: both Bush and Governor Blanco did what they were supposed to do as regards the declarations of disaster and emergency and the obligatory response to those declarations.

    Wrong. The CRS report was ONLY dealing with the provisions of the Stafford act as that was what they were asked to do by members of congress. It did not address at all the provisions available to the Executive Branch under the National Response Plan. Thats a whole other issue which the above mentioned KR article addresses in dept.

  270. 270

    Wrong. The CRS report was ONLY dealing with the provisions of the Stafford act as that was what they were asked to do by members of congress.

    So, my conclusion regarding the CRS report…how is that wrong? I mean, I pretty much disclaimered it so that there’s no way on Earth you could find fault with it. My entire point, had you bothered to read, was that the CRS report doesn’t say anything unpleasant about either Bush or Blanco.

  271. 271
    slide says:

    I stand corrected. Re-reading your post you did say,

    This is not to say that these declarations is all that there was to do, though. Let’s not act as if that were true, ok?

    .

  272. 272

    Cool. And here I was, braced for a huge though unproductive argument.

  273. 273
    slide says:

    Cool. And here I was, braced for a huge though unproductive argument.

    Nah, I only save them for John.

  274. 274
    DougJ says:

    The real stuff, not the phoney baloney crap that so many take as the gospel truth. But then I believe that we could probably do the same for most of the politicians that we have had the (mis)fortune of living under.

    I can’t agree. I don’t mean that there are ideological problems. I’m not into ideology and I don’t think most people should be either (though I think most are). I would vote for Jack Welch if I could: what matters is performance.

    The Bush administration is the most incompetent administration of our life times. Carter was fairly incompetent, but he didn’t try to do as much. This administration simply botches everything it puts its hand to: the budget deficit, Iraq, hurricane relief, and, quite frighteningly, dozens of things we don’t know about. Why is it a disaster? Poor management style. Bush is a secure, not interested in detail, and favors old buddies and people who tell him what he wants to hear.

    This it not about liberal versus conservative, democrat versus republican. It rarely is, honestly, at the executive level. I don’t know why so many Republicans stand by such an incompetent administration. It is something I will never understand. But it’s shameful, and if they really cared about the country, they would knock it off.

    I am proud to say that I am a Republican who voted for Kerry in 2004. And I’d do it again. I don’t especially like Kerry, but it is very, very unlikely his administration would be as incompetent as this one.

    There is no way that you can look at this White House and not be struck by its incompetence. I supported the war, and I will would have if I had know there were no WMD (though it might have dampened my enthusiasm). I would not have supported it if I had known how incompetent the planning was.

    Sorry I’m going on and on, but I personally feel betrayed by this administration, as an American and as a conservative. We deserve better.

  275. 275
    DougJ says:

    One thing to add, Defense Guy: I don’t think these are the worst of times for the country. The hurricane was terrible, but don’t get me wrong, but the crack epidemic of the 90s did a lot more damage to our nation’s cities as a whole. Crime in general is way down, teen pregnancy is down, a lot of test scores are up. I could go on and on. I don’t think much of any of that is due to government. In the case of crime, in particular, I am sure that the cause is cultural (I think that culture is the most important factor in most things that go on — someone, I think George Will, said that was what makes you a conservative, the belief that culture is more important than government). Our culture in many ways is in very good shape right now. In many ways, these are the best of times.

    But, politically, these are indeed the worst of times. Bush — or more properly Rove — is a cause, though, not a symptom.

  276. 276
    Mr X says:

    *Bush’s “Leadership” Moment Came and Went*

    Instead of 7 minutes, he gave us three days this time.

    It’s TOO LATE, Dubya! There is nothing you can do now that will reverse time, and undo the death and suffering your lack of leadership allowed.

    Actually *being* responsible is well beyond Bush.

  277. 277
    slide says:

    Doug J:

    This it not about liberal versus conservative, democrat versus republican.

    I couldn’t agree more. This is not about ideology anymore. Protecting american citizens, being engaged, being a leader has nothing to do with political affiliation. Putting political hacks in charge of all the government levers is not about right or left. Going to war without a real plan is not ideology.

    This group in power now does not have the interests of the American public as its highest priority. Its about power. Its about amassing as much wealth as they can possibly. A disgraceful adminstration that history is going to be very very unkind to.

  278. 278
    Defense Guy says:

    DougJ

    It is perhaps telling that in all the words that you used to refute my simple statement, you used not one to indict the worst of our actual problems. It seems as if even those who would be otherwise reasonable, just will not stop looking past the first causes to the response.

    Interesting that the best of times actually contains the highest risk the world has ever known of seeing a western city laid waste by the genie that escaped the bottle. All a matter of perspective I suppose.

  279. 279
    slide says:

    a perfect example from Kos

    Bush with Blanco, Louisiana governor:

    [Blanco] says that two days after Katrina, desperate for help, she couldn’t get through to Bush and didn’t get a callback; hours later, she tried again, and they talked.

    Bush with Barbour, Mississippi governor:

    Barbour hasn’t had to wait hours to talk to Bush. In fact, Barbour said in an interview with USA TODAY, the president called him three to four times in the wake of Katrina. “I never called him. He always called me,” he said.

    Surprise! Blanco is a Democrat and Barbour is a Republican (and former head of the RNC).

    More evidence that for Bush and his Republican pals, the elephant flies above the Stars and Stripes.

    .

  280. 280
    DougJ says:

    Interesting that the best of times actually contains the highest risk the world has ever known of seeing a western city laid waste by the genie that escaped the bottle. All a matter of perspective I suppose.

    Find me a better time than this one.

    For historical perspective, do you think the state of Louisiana would have done a better job if Huey Long were still governor? I’m really not interested in talking about how incompetent the people of LA are. That’s a given, as Ronald Dumsfeld likes to say. Saying “hey, we didn’t screw up as bad as the state” is a lot like saying “hey, Abu Ghraib wasn’t as bad as what Saddam did.” I believe in accountability and standards. The “we’re not complete jackasses like some other standards” doesn’t wash with me.
    T

  281. 281
    JoeTx says:

    I am proud to say that I am a Republican who voted for Kerry in 2004. And I’d do it again. I don’t especially like Kerry, but it is very, very unlikely his administration would be as incompetent as this one.

    Same here. People think I’m some liberal because I hate Bush. I hate Bush because of what he and his buddies have done to this country (first) and the republican party (second). Half of the republican party is just yes men to Bush, and the other half are silent and allow this crap to go on. I can’t have any respect for any of them now…

  282. 282
    Defense Guy says:

    DougJ

    I’m not talking about a natural disaster. I’m talking about the man made ones to come, the ones that half this country wishes to pretend are not coming. I want to know what the fuck we are going to do about that, because I sure as shit don’t want to leave that kind of world to my kids.

  283. 283
    DougJ says:

    Defense Guy, I’m a lot less scared now having complete lunatics trying to get nuclear weapons than I was when there were complete lunatics with thousands of missiles pointed right at us.

  284. 284
    Defense Guy says:

    DougJ

    I know what you are saying, but don’t agree. It’s not the counry with a 1000 bombs I fear, it’s the man with 1 and no fear of death or retaliation. That man is out there, and may already have his bomb.

    Did you ever have to get under your desk in a ‘bomb drill’ during school?

  285. 285
    DougJ says:

    It’s not the counry with a 1000 bombs I fear, it’s the man with 1 and no fear of death or retaliation.

    Which do think is safer, flying or driving?

  286. 286
    DougJ says:

    Didn’t mean that last question to sound sarcastic, just trying to figure out where you’re coming from.

  287. 287
    The Comish (sic) says:

    slide (unironically quoting The Left Coaster) (emphasis added):

    Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown had only limited authority to do so until about 36 hours after the storm hit, when Chertoff designated him as the “principal federal official” in charge of the storm.

    Chertoff – not Brown – was in charge of managing the national response to a catastrophic disaster, according to the National Response Plan, the federal government’s blueprint for how agencies will handle major natural disasters or terrorist incidents.
    ….
    The goal of the National Response Plan is to provide a streamlined framework for swiftly delivering federal assistance when a disaster – caused by terrorists or Mother Nature – is too big for local officials to handle.

    Err, what exactly do you suppose is in your post that contradicts anything I said? BadTux and I were talking about Bush appointing one person to take over all rescue and recovery efforts from the states. The feds provide national *assistance* to the states (at least in the first 72-96 hours, or until the states ask for a federal take-over). Your post merely talks about the guy in charge of the *federal* or *national* effort, whose role is to support the states. That person is not in charge of the state effort.

    How about before declaring your odd declarations “the Truth” (nice use of a capital letter there, you self-important douche), you figure out what the conversation is about.

    Geez, you’ve wasted a lot of pixels. And so far, all you’ve managed to do is post some tripe about Bush not being hyseterical enough, and about Bush not wanting to hear bad news. Are you even convincing yourself?

  288. 288
    JoeTX says:

    Whats real scary is the upcoming policy change by the Dept of Defense that will allow preemptive nuclear strikes. These guys are monsters!

  289. 289
    DougJ says:

    Comish, it’s considered poor form to use both italics and bold in the same sentence.

    Also, did you really name yourself after that long-ago-cancelled ABC show? I almost have to respect that. I may have to change my name to “Square Pegs”.

  290. 290
    Defense Guy says:

    DougJ

    According to the statistics it’s flying. However, I would have to guess the accidents to fatalaties figure is higher in air ‘accidents’ then in cars.

  291. 291
    Defense Guy says:

    JoeTX

    A lack of understanding I suspect. The use of nuclear weapons is still a civilian controlled decision. That has not changed.

  292. 292
    The Comish (sic) says:

    DougJ, thanks for the tip. I’m not so familiar with blogging or blog commenting etiquette. I sincerely appreciate it.

    And actually, the name comes from a bad movie club. Some friends and I would get together over beers and make fun of bad movies. One of the movies was called Robot Jox. And one of the characters in that movie was named Commisioner Jameson (sic). You can check it out on imdb.com:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102800/

    Frankly, being named after “Square Pegs” or the tv show “The Commish” would have been better. But I am rather lacking in imagination, so I just sort of stuck with what occurred to me.

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