Ill wind may not blow to the Whitehouse

Newton Emerson is on great form in the Irish Times today. Since it deserves a much wider play on the Internet. I have permission from him to republish it on the net. It’s a rhetorical gem.

By Newton Emerson

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush’s presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term will not still be damaged in some terribly satisfying way.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term consists of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, with a clear Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, he can carry on doing pretty much whatever he likes.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the Republican Party itself will now suffer a setback at the congressional mid-term elections next November.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that people outside the disaster zone punish their local representatives for events elsewhere a year previously, both beyond their control and outside their remit, while people inside the disaster zone reward their local representatives for an ongoing calamity they were supposed to prevent. Otherwise, the Democratic Party will suffer a setback at the next congressional election.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if an official inquiry will shift the blame for poor planning and inadequate flood defences on to the White House. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody admits that emergency planning is largely the responsibility of city and state agencies, and nobody notices that the main levee which broke was the only levee recently modernised with federal funds. Otherwise, an official inquiry will pin most of the blame on the notoriously corrupt and incompetent local governments of New Orleans and Louisiana.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnist are asking how a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

The answer is that only a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should be held responsible for the terrible poverty in the southern states revealed by the flooding.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody holds Bill Clinton responsible for making Mississippi the poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as president, or for making Arkansas the second-poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as governor. Otherwise, people might suspect that it is a bit more complicated than that.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should not be concerned by accusations of racism against the federal government.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody remembers that Jesse Jackson once called New York “Hymietown” and everybody thinks Condoleezza Rice went shopping for shoes when the hurricane struck because she cannot stand black people.

Otherwise sensible Americans of all races will be more concerned by trite, cynical and dangerous political opportunism.

As the full horror of that sinks in, this columnist is simply glad that everybody cares.

470 thoughts on “Ill wind may not blow to the Whitehouse”

  1. Katie, just so you would know…

    (from NRO)

    The Levee Board’s greatest hits include:

    A $2.4 million Mardi Gras Fountain on the banks of the same Lake Pontchartrain that engulfed New Orleans.

    $15 million for two highway overpasses to speed motorists to and from Bally’s Casino New Orleans. The Levee Board is the gambling den’s landlord.

    $45,000 for a private eye’s nine-month probe into Robert Namer, a radio host and Levee Board critic. Then it blew $45,000 more for a legal settlement with Namer after he sued the Levee Board.

    Of the eleven construction projects on its website, only two appear flood-oriented. Others involve painting and coating, pouring asphalt, and installing a marine fuel tank.

    As if all this did not leave its plate overflowing, the Levee Board also owns and runs New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Its webpage boasts “Meeting rooms, free of charge” and “Full course dining with a view of the airfield in the Walnut Room.” It also announces, “We have 83 acres of prime airport land available for development.”

    The Levee Board owns and operates Orleans Marina. As its website suggests: “Bring your boat and stay with us for your convention, the Sugar Bowl, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, or any special event — or just to have a fling!”

    In addition, the Levee Board owns and manages South Shore Harbor Marina, another yacht basin with 447 open slips and 26 covered slips. “Wednesday nights are Red Beans and Rice nights,” its website chirps.

    According to a state inspector general, the Levee Board suffers from “a long-standing and continuing disregard of the public interest.”

  2. Katie, just so you would know…

    (from NRO)

    The Levee Board’s greatest hits include:

    A $2.4 million Mardi Gras Fountain on the banks of the same Lake Pontchartrain that engulfed New Orleans.

    $15 million for two highway overpasses to speed motorists to and from Bally’s Casino New Orleans. The Levee Board is the gambling den’s landlord.

    $45,000 for a private eye’s nine-month probe into Robert Namer, a radio host and Levee Board critic. Then it blew $45,000 more for a legal settlement with Namer after he sued the Levee Board.

    Of the eleven construction projects on its website, only two appear flood-oriented. Others involve painting and coating, pouring asphalt, and installing a marine fuel tank.

    As if all this did not leave its plate overflowing, the Levee Board also owns and runs New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Its webpage boasts “Meeting rooms, free of charge” and “Full course dining with a view of the airfield in the Walnut Room.” It also announces, “We have 83 acres of prime airport land available for development.”

    The Levee Board owns and operates Orleans Marina. As its website suggests: “Bring your boat and stay with us for your convention, the Sugar Bowl, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, or any special event — or just to have a fling!”

    In addition, the Levee Board owns and manages South Shore Harbor Marina, another yacht basin with 447 open slips and 26 covered slips. “Wednesday nights are Red Beans and Rice nights,” its website chirps.

    According to a state inspector general, the Levee Board suffers from “a long-standing and continuing disregard of the public interest.”

  3. This is unfortunate for appearances sake, but the levee boards other responsibility is tourism… now when we find out how much of the non levee projects came out of levee money, then we can surely bitch, but until we know for sure, we are kinda talking out our kneecaps arent we? Some or all of those non levee projects came from money earmarked for those purposes, paid by fees from the industrys which benefit from them. And from drink taxes. Not from federal or state levee money

    Now I do not doubt there was some graft, but until we can find out how much, we don’t really know enough to speculate do we?
    We do know that the levee board has funds designated for non levee activities, and legally when the army corps of engineers recieves money for levees, they are not supposed to spend it on other things.

    Since I saw a very similar article appear more than a week and a half ago, and there have not been any answers to the authenticity of the claims, Nor any acknowledgement on the rights part, of two actual budgets. Which leads me to think that perhaps this is another attempt to scapegoat. I will reserve judgement. I would think that by now in this antibush frenzy, the right wing apologists would have left no stone unturned in thier haste to absolve thier leader. If there was indeed Corps of engineer money spent on a fountain, ALL MEDIA would have reported it. Yet if tourism money was spent on a fountain, or a marina it would not make a very good story at all. Hence the non follow up. Perhaps the levee boards records were destroyed in the flood and the truth will come out later, and then I will eat my words, but until then, I will just hope for a NUETRAL investigation.

    Homeland security is after all the be all end all for this admin, and they seem to be mucking it up a bit, don’t they?

  4. Katie: “This is unfortunate for appearances sake, but the levee boards other responsibility is tourism… now when we find out how much of the non levee projects came out of levee money, then we can surely bitch, but until we know for sure,”

    Agreed… which only points out that La., especially NO, needs a major audit if this much stuff is turning up just on web searches.

  5. America is sick and tired of corrupt lying GOP politicians who are only interested in lining their own pockets, at the expense of America.

    America is sick and tired of Bushbots, who love their Party more than their country, and love nothing more than the politics of hatred, personal smear attacks and divisiveness.

    America is sick of the hypocrisy of the faux Christians in power, who can find he time to rush back to Washington for an emergency Congressional session to “protect” a brain dead white Christian woman, but who cannot cut their vacations even one day short when a city full of poor blacks is dying.

    America is sick of the taunting, the trash talking, the threats, the “Bring It On” talk from cowards thousands of miles away from the fighting. America is sick of keyboard commando’s who have never once put their own lives in danger, but cheer on war after war after war.

    America is sick of the party of hate, the party of war, the party of anger, the party of irrational Fundamentalism. You had your chance.

    Step aside and let the grownups run the show again.

  6. Katie: “This is unfortunate for appearances sake, but the levee boards other responsibility is tourism… now when we find out how much of the non levee projects came out of levee money, then we can surely bitch, but until we know for sure,”

    Agreed… which only points out that La., especially NO, needs a major audit if this much stuff is turning up just on web searches.

  7. Sadly mamapjs, I think if this much is showing up right on NOLAS Official websites, to me that means that perhaps they are not trying to hide it. And that maybe, fountain money was spent on fountains and levee money on levees. But again we do need a NUETRAL investigations, I predict that there will be many democrats who go down, right alongside the righties, so the only way to do this correctly is to appoint with no strong ties to either party or to LA govt.

    Sitting governmnet cannot be asked to investigate itself. And this reaches beyond appropriations and LA, it implicates EVERY committee as well as the DHS. There is no one nuetral available for investigations So Nuetral people need to be found.

    We Know that on TV we saw MILES of Active service escorted semis of supplies being shipped in to all the Rita states while rain was still falling, So we know it was possible for Katrina too. And we all know that Blanco did ask for supplies and help in delivering them but was not given them. Even though she gave bush as much notice as there was for rita (so did MI and AL, by the way) And we also know that hundreds of New Orleanians died form those supplies not being there.

    And now we know too that even with federal help, largely populated areas cannot fully evacuate, so perhaps we can go easy on NO. a little, in fact, I have read estimates that out of about 5 million people in ritas way, only half were evaced. well over half of NOLAS population was evacuated prior to katrina. Hmmmm….

  8. Katie

    You are a flat-earther, making things up as you go along.

    You say that hundreds of people died of hunger.

    That is an outright LIE.

    They mostly died of DROWNING.

    Because they lived below sea level and they had not been evacuated.

    Because the Mayor and the Governor screwed up.

    They should ALL have been evacuated. It was unlike Hoston where many areas had no significnt risk of flood. Virtually all of residential NO was at severe risk, from sea surge even if there were no levee breaks.

    That is what killed them. The inquests will state “Death by Drowning” And they should also state “Death by Sheer Incompetence” by the First Responders, who knew from rehearsals what the risks were and failed to tighten up their own plans.

    Just keep looking at the photos of the buses. In Texas they were being used to tke people out of harm’s way.

    In NO they were simply left in the parking lots.

    Like the man said, Don’t Get Stuck on Stupid.

  9. john in london… Flat earther? I never stated hundreds of people died of starvation, but hospital occupants died of no life support, People in the superdome died of dehydration, and lack of insulin, people (including children) in the convention ctr died of the same, one nursing home (not st ritas) did not flood until friday after the storm and many people died there, when they certainly could have been escorted to higher ground with the requested supplies. The occupants were too ill to be simply placed in a school bus, even if they weren’t flooded.

    I know you do not want FEMA to be guilty, but the answer is quites simply, FEMA is.

    Now for the last time, there were not enough buses to even make a dent in the NO population… Only 15,000 could have been moved pre Katrina. Which 15,000 then? Are you willling to decide that for Mayor Nagin? Do you not get that the buses were in “high ground” and ready to move people after the storm, except the damn levees broke. Do you not get that NO and FEMA had together conceeded that NO plans for disaster post leveee were COMPLETELY BEYOND NOs capacities? Do you not get that many of the buses you are so obsessed about were used to transport people TO the superdome? Do you not get that there were 3 days of supplies in the dome? People were asked to bring thier own, yes, but they were there nonetheless. And prior to the destruction of the water supply, water was available to the occupants of both the convention ctr and the superdome.

    Now the Superdome did not flood and its occupants did not drown, the convention center did not flood and nobody drowned there. The hospitals did not flood beyond the help of vertical evacuations there were no drwoning deaths in the hospitals.. The people who died in the mardi gras staging area did not drown, the people who died on the freeway overpasses did not drown.

    Nobody drowned in these places, but MANY died.

  10. Katie

    I am afrid you are telling lies again. In your earlier post you specifically said that hundreds of people died because FEMA failed to get supplies to them. THAT IS A HUGE, MONSTROUS LIE, yo cnnot deny this. Nowhere have I seen anyone except you claiming any such thing.

    The people who DROWNED in the nursing home died because they were not evacuated. It was not FEMA’s job to evacuate them. It was the responsibility of the city and state authorities, who groossly failed.

    The many, many people who DROWNED in low-lying areas of NO died becaause they were not evacuated by the city and state authorities, in some cases because they fecklessly decided to riksk the hurricane. Not because of FEMA – it was not FEMA’s responsibility to evacuate them, to properly warn them of the dangers. That ws the job of the Mayor and Governor, who finally acted on their responsibility for Rita.

    There were not many deaths in the Superdome and the Convention Centre. Certainly not “hundreds”.There were SOME deaths caused by lawlessness – the responsibility of the Mayor and Governor, who did not provide enough police and National Guards. And they had also failed to provide dequate food, water and sanitation. The Governor then componded this by blocking the Red Cross and Salvation Army as FEMA’s agents sending in more supplies. But again, this did not involve “hundreds” of deaths, although the culpability for extended human suffering is clear.

    There were about 40 deaths at the Memorial Hospital owing to the failure of the power system. Again, that was not FEMA’s responsibility. They should have been evacuated sooner – by the city and state.

    The people who died on the overpass -not ” hundreds” or even dozens – died because LOCAL police nder LOCL sheriff would not let them cross ot of the city. And the Governor failed to intervene. Again, not FEMA’s fault.

    In sum, can you not see that you were telling a monstrous lie in claiming that the feds were responsible for hundreds of deaths ?

    You should be ashamed of yourself. You are talking spiteful blind nonsense, padded out with big lies.

    And you still totally deny that those hundreds of buses should have been used to evacuate, not even to get EVERYONE to higher ground. There were at least 500 buses inside the city – enough to get EVERYONE out of the areas below sea level.

    You and your ilk will be nailed by this central issue – why were the buses not used ? Why did the Mayor and governor delay over declaring mandatory evacuation. And when they did declare it, why did they not get the message through properly, why did they not warn people starkly enough, why did they not use those hundreds and hundreds of buses ? They KNEW the severity of the sittion, they KNEW the risks to THEIR citizens. You know damn well they then lost control of the situation. They could not even control the NO police properly, and there were a lot of National Guards in the Convention Centre doing damn all to help there.

    Try reading this pithy view on where responsibility lies, written by a black man.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46492

  11. John in london, no I am not ashamed, nor am I telling a “monstrous lie” nor even a lie at all. you see the whole premise of NOLAS evac policiy, like the policys of EVERY OTHER MAJOR CITY is get the people that can get out, out, and maintain the safety of those who are left behind. To keep going back to the evac is truly silly of you. let it rest.

    If that were not the case and every other city were better prepared for evacuation, you would have seen an organized, divided, and smooth evacuation of Houston, Utilizing contraflow and grid procedures instead of the massive traffic jam that happened. Even though Houston had the opportunities in many ways to prevent some of the nola mistakes, thier EVAC was really NO better. In fact it was WORSE. why is this? Because evac is not always the answer. In very LARGE population concentrations, Keeping people safe until an ORGANIZED and CORRECT and SAFE Evacuation can be managed is the answer. Because busloads of old people exploding is not Ideal either. And since the superdome, the convention center, hospitals and also major hotels did not flood, safe, organized arrangements could have been made. within NOLA. Had the police had time to JUST police, and rescue and medical personel had time to just do thier jobs. But none of those things could happen, because communications were down, and thousands of people did not have food, not because of lack of preparation, but because thier food supply was under water.

    Supplies were not let in to NOLA because the people guarding nola were under orders to lock down the city, like they would be in london. Had there been a Radio for them to call someone, Or a military escort (not actively using force mind you, simply aiding in the transport, fully in keeping with our constitution dear heart) for the supplies they would have been let in. I understand that it is becoming the norm to blame, “State and Local” governments, And that the smear tactics ARE working, but that does not mean I do not speak the truth. I am FULLY aware that there is not a city of NOLAS size who would have done any more than marginally better under the same circumstances.
    People were not allowed to cross bridges in mobs out of NOLA because there was no way to control the dangerous, paniced crowds, crowds which btw, would not have been paniced had they had food, or insulin.

    What happened is partially due to nola but MOSTLY DUE to FEMA. end of story.

    Yes John in london, I fully agree that planes buses trains and riverboats ahould have been utilized prior to Katrinas landfall to quickly escort the good citizens of NOLA to Ritz carlton suites all over the US, but that is just not the way we do things here, I am sorry to say. There is no money for normal citizens of the US because they are not priorities. To blame Nagin AFTER the fact is stupid and totally false.

    We Have FEMA for a reason. and we have funded and funded and funded its Department, DHS to a degree that I do not think I have ever seen, we have taken money from EVERY kind of government, including local first response in all 50 states and diverted it DHS, because supposedly public safety is what republicans are good at…. and they FUCKED UP.

    And that isn’t even going into how I feel about living in the richest country in the world and having infrastucture that is hopelessly out of date. Where are our priorities? Why is our levee system not at least comparable to your water protection on the Thames?

  12. And John, there would have been dorownigs no matter what… Do you blmae Haley Barbour for the the Katrina deaths in Missisippi? they are directly related to the storm. Death by insulin shortage or dehydration are NOT normal storm related deaths. And there were in fact well over a hundred of those all together too, you see, 40 dead here 8 there 30 over there a dozen there and so on and so on…. pretty soon ya got real numbers don’tcha?

    Quibbling over the numbers is kind of a moot point because the autopsies are not complete yet… we just do not know. When we do then we can argue.

  13. Katie

    The LOCAL authorities FAILED to declare mandatory evacuation soon enogh, they FAILED to warn their citizens enough of the extreme danger, so a lot of the citizens opted to ignore the warnings, (Was the Governor telling sty–behinds to ink their Social Security numbers on their arms – No), the city and state FAILED to evacuate ALL people from residential areas under sea level, either taking them inland or even to areas in NO above sea level. They FAILED to even use all those hundreds of buses in NO, let alone the 20,000 registerd buses in Louisiana.

    All of this was DAYS BEFORE the breakdown of commnictions. It was the FAILURE of the First Responders – the Mayor nd the Governor – that left all those people in NO, many, many, many of them under sea level. They FAILED to evacuate the hospitals. They FAILED to evacuate the elderly from the nursing homes.

    Enough of your excuses and lies. The failure that was prime cause for most of the deaths in NO was the LOCAL failure to evacuate.

  14. john in london… Flat earther? I never stated hundreds of people died of starvation, but hospital occupants died of no life support, People in the superdome died of dehydration, and lack of insulin, people (including children) in the convention ctr died of the same, one nursing home (not st ritas) did not flood until friday after the storm and many people died there, when they certainly could have been escorted to higher ground with the requested supplies. The occupants were too ill to be simply placed in a school bus, even if they weren’t flooded.

    I know you do not want FEMA to be guilty, but the answer is quites simply, FEMA is.

    Now for the last time, there were not enough buses to even make a dent in the NO population… Only 15,000 could have been moved pre Katrina. Which 15,000 then? Are you willling to decide that for Mayor Nagin? Do you not get that the buses were in “high ground” and ready to move people after the storm, except the damn levees broke. Do you not get that NO and FEMA had together conceeded that NO plans for disaster post leveee were COMPLETELY BEYOND NOs capacities? Do you not get that many of the buses you are so obsessed about were used to transport people TO the superdome? Do you not get that there were 3 days of supplies in the dome? People were asked to bring thier own, yes, but they were there nonetheless. And prior to the destruction of the water supply, water was available to the occupants of both the convention ctr and the superdome.

    Now the Superdome did not flood and its occupants did not drown, the convention center did not flood and nobody drowned there. The hospitals did not flood beyond the help of vertical evacuations there were no drwoning deaths in the hospitals.. The people who died in the mardi gras staging area did not drown, the people who died on the freeway overpasses did not drown.

    Nobody drowned in these places, but MANY died.

  15. Katie

    Check it out – the Mayor’s cover up has begun. The NO emergency plan was freely availble to access on the Web (but I bet you never checked it out, you would rather spout political nonsense rather than deal with administrative facts.)

    But now the Plan is not available.

    Luckily the key paragraph was saved by someone who expected such a cover–up

    “As noted previously, the City of New Orleans posted an official emergency plan on its website:

    http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=46&tabid=26.

    Fortunately, knowing this might happen, I saved the relevant portion:

    “Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the mayor of New Orleans. …The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. …Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life-saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedure as needed. …Approximately 100,000 citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation.”

    Katie, THAT was the central failure. THAT is what was responsible for most of the deaths in NO. You continue to wriggle and squirm, but basically you are lying. Lying to yourself.

  16. No John, enough of your lies…

    The federal government has demonstrated it resources and capabilities post Rita.
    Millions of gallons of water, tons of foods, medical staff and supplies were at the ready, caravaning into the disaster regions in lines MILES long, even as the rain was still falling.

    And the “Local and state” authorities in texas demonstrated thier capabilities prior to Rita.
    “Local and state authorities” in texas, even with the help of the 82nd airborne (federal) botched evac even after watching NOLAS evac.
    Not because they are incompetent, but because there is only so much that can be done. Even bearing that in mind, Texas was not evacuated in even as organized a manner as NOLA was. Nola Instituted contraflow, and had a large enough fuel supply to evacuate MORE people than texas. And they did it alone, without the feds. Without the example of Katrina to work from. Had the section of storm that flooded st charles landed on houston, and no relief been available, THE SAME THING WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

    The shining evac example in texas is galveston, the mayor there began organising volunteers immediately after katrina to make sure her town, pop 60 thousand would not fuck up. And it did not. but she never had a million and a half people to evac in the first place so she had a chance for success.

    You are displacing your blame, hopefully because in london there is money available for removing people from danger just in case, but it shows a fundamental ignorance of how america actually works. Changing it would be good, but that would mean we would have to stop blaming poor people for thier situation, and we probably will not ever do that. We just ain’t that nice.

  17. People drowned. Nothing to do with food or water supplies. Everything to do with failure to evacuate.

    How many people starved to death or died of thirst anyway ? Can you point to a SINGLE report in any of the media that shows, say, twenty deaths from this cause ?

    Against how many people drowned because they were in areas below sea level ?

    Get real. Don’t stay stuck on stupid.

  18. “Since I saw a very similar article appear more than a week and a half ago, and there have not been any answers to the authenticity of the claims, Nor any acknowledgement on the rights part, of two actual budgets. Which leads me to think that perhaps this is another attempt to scapegoat. I will reserve judgement. I would think that by now in this antibush frenzy, the right wing apologists would have left no stone unturned in thier haste to absolve thier leader. If there was indeed Corps of engineer money spent on a fountain, ALL MEDIA would have reported it. Yet if tourism money was spent on a fountain, or a marina it would not make a very good story at all. Hence the non follow up. Perhaps the levee boards records were destroyed in the flood and the truth will come out later, and then I will eat my words, but until then, I will just hope for a NUETRAL investigation.

    Homeland security is after all the be all end all for this admin, and they seem to be mucking it up a bit, don’t they?”

    Responsibility, by office and by their own plan, settled squarely on the Mayor. Responsibility for first response in Louisiana, falls squarely on the local, parish and state occificals, headed up by Gov. Blanco. Gov. Blanco, by the way, has already been caught on recording devices admitting she screwed up at the start and has been playing catch-up n the whole mess. This leaves federal agencies in the tertiary position.

    Now, let us drag the time-line into this exchange. The levee breach did not occur under well after the hurricane — all parties have admitted that they thought Alabama and Mississippi were going to be the core of the emergency effort. It was not until the levee breached that New orleans became the focus. The biggest reason the effort in New Orleans went off the tracks is that the locals created a disaster through neglect and misuse of funds, as evidenced by their performance on the ground and the indictments extant *PRIOR* to Katrina.

    Now, New Orleans had a plan and a Mayor who had responsibility. The plan, in part, worked brilliantly. However, the ignored their prior experience and made the Superdome and Convention Centers havens of last resort, even thought they had not improved their utility as such in the eight(?) years since the last hurricane, nor in the year since the last close call, not even in the five months since the hurricane evacuation drill told them they had weaknesses and issues in their current plan — little things like insufficient food, water and fuel stockpiled at the sites to handle a 3-4 four day stay. This was later exacerbated by their refusal to allow the Red Cross in since that “might make the people too willing to stay” in their shelters.
    As for the Levee board, they are already on the hook for $500,000 meant to develop an improved evacuation plan — they spent it on a study of the Lake Ponchitran causeway. The state homeland security team is already under indictment for misuse of funds and embezzlement. They would appear to have done something other than the intended use for the $7.3 million dollar grant in 2003 for improved first responder communication gear, based on the simple observation that it hadn’t been improved. Not that there were that many first responders to worry about — Most of the police walked off the job, with 20% out and out quitting during the emergency response.

    Meanwhile, the feds, having to deal with a damaged area the size of the United Kingdom, complete with flooded roads, downed trees, etc., got to the city in the customary 72 hours. Florida doesn’t seem to have much trouble with that time-frame, so why does Louisiana? Could it be Florida takes the storms seriously and Louisiana doesn’t? They couldn’t fly into New Orleans naval air station, as I did years ago, since its at a heady elevation fo 5 feet above sea level and definately would have taken a great deal of effort to clear. Same with the internation and municipal air ports. Only option would be to scout out roads, do what you can with choppers and make do.

  19. Okay John since you are sort of thick, I will just pretend for your sake that EVERYONE drowned, the rows of bodies pictured in the hospitals, wrapped neatly in dry sheets, the Folks in wheelchairs pictured on the front pages of every paper in the world, the folks in the dry nursinghomes run by nuns, the people in the makeshift graves on dry sidewalks in the french quarter. The People covered in blankets on the highway captured by newscasters, the people in the makeshift morgue in the Convention center, those folks in the superdome, that nice man still seated in his lawn chair, the guy sitting dead on his dry front porch. DROWNED. arguing with you is clearly futile. And guess what, since every body drowned in the storm, our argumant is over, I did not win and you did not win.

    After Rita, portions of Louisiana that have never flooded flooded up to 8 ft. that could have happened in houston that that quadrant of the storm hit houston, in fact if Rita had hit Houston as a Cat 5 or even a cat 4 which was predicted, homes would have been flooded to the rooftops.
    And guess what John, they would have drowned there too. Because Houston was not completely empty either. there were at the least estimate, a million and a half people left. And it would have been a tragedy, certainly, but ya know what? thems the breaks.
    Several hundred people died in MI and AL Directly from the hurricaine. Are we blaming the governors of those states? Are we blaming Bush? NO and NO. We just feel terrible for those people.

    What people are angry about is the slow reponse which led to the dehydration, panic, near starvation and unneccesary death destruction and criminal behavior, and we have the right to be angry, because what if something happens where there is no warning? How many MORE people will die? We may not always have ANY opportunity to prepare, but will ALWAYS need to respond.

  20. Now for the last time, there were not enough buses to even make a dent in the NO population… Only 15,000 could have been moved pre Katrina. Which 15,000 then? Are you willling to decide that for Mayor Nagin? Do you not get that the buses were in “high ground” and ready to move people after the storm, except the damn levees broke.”

    How hard would it have been to pull the busses back to say, Baton Rogue and use them after the storm had passed? Who says the buses can’t come back once they have dropped off the first 15,000? Definationally, you can’t be on “high ground” if you are below sea-level. Likewise, how can the buses be “ready to move people” when you have already absolved Mayor Nagin for abandoning them to the storm since he didn’t have enough bus drivers? Your arguements don’t stand muster.

    “Do you not get that NO and FEMA had together conceeded that NO plans for disaster post leveee were COMPLETELY BEYOND NOs capacities?”

    Which is why monies had been provided for them to develop a better plan. Too bad the locals used that money for another purpose. Congress has been afte NOLA to get serious about this since at least 2003, if not before. Too bad the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans lacked any sort of sense of urgency on the matter.

    “Do you not get that many of the buses you are so obsessed about were used to transport people TO the superdome? Do you not get that there were 3 days of supplies in the dome? People were asked to bring thier own, yes, but they were there nonetheless. And prior to the destruction of the water supply, water was available to the occupants of both the convention ctr and the superdome. “

    The problem — the fact you keep ignoring — is that this is a replay of the what happened last time. You neglect to mention that Ray nagin cut a “public service announcement” telling the People of NOLA they were “on their own.” Throw in the fac that he has all but moved to Houston, enrolling his kids in school out there, and you might get the idea that Mayor Nagin was a little too interested in himself and not in the welfare of the people of New Orleans. FEMA, contrary to what you seem want us to infer, is *NOT* a first responder – never was, never will be.

  21. Katie:

    WAPO on New Orleans, but buses and evacuation:

    “In the months before the storm, the city’s emergency planners did debate the challenges posed by these numbers, which are much higher than in other hurricane-prone parts of the country, such as Florida. Because a rapid organization of so many buses would have been impractical, the city’s emergency managers considered the use of trains and cruise ships.”

    Cruise ships?? CRUISE SHIPS? this is even richer than Ray Nagin demanding the whole of the Greyhound Bus line. “Hey, Princess Cruise Lines… I want you to recall all your vessels and turn them over to me — just sail past the hurricane and drop ’em off at the pier! Now!”

    Ray Nagin was about as useful as teats on a boar hog.

  22. Ray Nagin has admitted delaying the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans for tourist revenue based reasons. The emergency response plan makes clear that anything above a two is something to be feared: “Tidal surge, associated with the “worst case” Category 3, 4 or 5
    Hurricane Scenario for the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area, as
    determined by the National Weather Service (NWS) Sea, Lake and
    Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) Model, could cause a
    maximum inundation of 20 feet above sea level in some of the parishes
    in the Region, not including tidal effects, wind waves and storm rainfall.”

    Now, from this same document, under assumptions, bullet point #5, “The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles.
    School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles
    provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation
    for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in
    evacuating.”

    Thusly, we can demonstrate that Ray Nagin should have known that a Cat 3,4 or 5 storm warranted an evacuation — an evacuation he delayed due to the expense and tourist reasons.

    Along with this, at bullet point #14, under assumtions: “Hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, etc. will have pre-determined
    evacuation and/or refuge plans if evacuation becomes necessary. All
    facilities will have approved Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plans
    as mandated by the State of Louisiana, Dept. of Health and Hospitals
    (DHH). Before operating permits are given to homes/hospitals,
    emergency precautions are to be taken, such as the placement of
    emergency supplies and equipment (i.e., generators and potable water)
    on upper floors.”

    Another brach of the state/local bureaucracy heard from… wonder how little the bribe had to be to pass this requirement.

    #17. As a hurricane causes the need for a mass evacuation from the
    Southeastern area, the Governor will declare a state of emergency that
    will require host parishes outside the risk area to open designated
    shelters.

    The folks in Gretna ingnored this one, unto the point of firing on evacuees.

    #22 “As a hurricane approaches land, high winds and rising water will affect
    evacuation routes, making travel hazardous. Evacuation orders will
    take this into account and provide for evacuation routes to be closed at
    the point at which travel would become hazardous.”

    Hence, Mayor Nagin should have known not to delay his evacuation order and DID SO ANYWAY.

    If you wish to read the rest…

    http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/plans/EOPSupplement1a.pdf

  23. “Responsibility, by office and by their own plan, settled squarely on the Mayor. Responsibility for first response in Louisiana, falls squarely on the local, parish and state occificals, headed up by Gov. Blanco. Gov. Blanco, by the way, has already been caught on recording devices admitting she screwed up at the start and has been playing catch-up n the whole mess. This leaves federal agencies in the tertiary position.”

    Yes he was responsible for instituting evac, which he did. As well as ANY other mayor would have. And more smoothly than Houston was able to three weeks later.

    As for Blanco, it’s very likely she willing ly took blame, because there were mistakes made, of course there were. any decent person would do the same… Why hasn’t FEMA? Why are there no federal employees willing to deviate from the Local state and federal officials line and simply state, this was MY responsibility?

    “Now, let us drag the time-line into this exchange. The levee breach did not occur under well after the hurricane — all parties have admitted that they thought Alabama and Mississippi were going to be the core of the emergency effort. It was not until the levee breached that New orleans became the focus. The biggest reason the effort in New Orleans went off the tracks is that the locals created a disaster through neglect and misuse of funds, as evidenced by their performance on the ground and the indictments extant *PRIOR* to Katrina.”

    And you know this how? Are you saying that NO was given enough money to Actually build a cat 10 levee and spent it on strippers and poker? And that the fact that federal maintenece allocations for the levy were cut by 40% during bushes terms has NOTHING to do with levees being in a state of disrepair? That it is ALL graft and no underfunding?

    “Now, New Orleans had a plan and a Mayor who had responsibility. The plan, in part, worked brilliantly. However, the ignored their prior experience and made the Superdome and Convention Centers havens of last resort, even thought they had not improved their utility as such in the eight(?) years since the last hurricane, nor in the year since the last close call, not even in the five months since the hurricane evacuation drill told them they had weaknesses and issues in their current plan — little things like insufficient food, water and fuel stockpiled at the sites to handle a 3-4 four day stay. This was later exacerbated by their refusal to allow the Red Cross in since that “might make the people too willing to stay” in their shelters. “

    The last hurricane drill was conducted by FEMA darling, and the Food was not stockpiled because under FEMA dollrs, they can buy it cheaper, and move it faster than a local governement could. If there were other cities in america who keep food stockpiles, I would be willing to blame NO, but since there are not, I won’t. Hospitals were prepared with disaster provisions, 3 days is required by fed regulation, and there ended up being enough to stretch to seven.

    “As for the Levee board, they are already on the hook for $500,000 meant to develop an improved evacuation plan — they spent it on a study of the Lake Ponchitran causeway. “

    were they studying EVACUATION as it relates to the cause way?

    “The state homeland security team is already under indictment for misuse of funds and embezzlement. They would appear to have done something other than the intended use for the $7.3 million dollar grant in 2003 for improved first responder communication gear, based on the simple observation that it hadn’t been improved.”

    I will just let ya know again now that NO had a triple redundant comm plan, that is better than most cities. My state too, recieved that communications inprovemnet grant, a much larger amount actually, with a stipulation that we are to wait unltil the FEDERAL communications commission designates a universal spectrum for emergency use. They have apparently been too busy to get on that. We have not spent the money yet either. Is there really an indictment about that communications money? Because in my state it has been GRANTED but we will not actually get it until communications are made universal.

    ” Not that there were that many first responders to worry about — Most of the police walked off the job, with 20% out and out quitting during the emergency response.”

    The police became the only emblem of authority, they were targets. Yet most of them did NOT WALK OFF THE JOB! Most of them worked an extremely hellish 7 day shift without a break, or a radio to speak to other police.And shame on you, you might have quit too after that ordeal was over. Those that did walk off, are not the whole police force. And even if they were, they never did sign up to spend seven days as a walking target for a civil servant salary. Had thier ONLY duty been to keep order, perhaps they cpould have done so. But they were rescuers, doctors, communications runners, searchers, security guards and every damn other thing.

    “Meanwhile, the feds, having to deal with a damaged area the size of the United Kingdom, complete with flooded roads, downed trees, etc., got to the city in the customary 72 hours. Florida doesn’t seem to have much trouble with that time-frame, so why does Louisiana? Could it be Florida takes the storms seriously and Louisiana doesn’t?”

    Or and let me help ya understand here, could it be that Mississippi and Alabama had water that receeded, and made some of thier food salveagable? Could it be, and I know this is a crazy Idea, that they have a LOWER POPULATION CONCENTRATION making mass hysteria much less likely?

    “They couldn’t fly into New Orleans naval air station, as I did years ago, since its at a heady elevation fo 5 feet above sea level and definately would have taken a great deal of effort to clear. Same with the internation and municipal air ports. Only option would be to scout out roads, do what you can with choppers and make do.”

    The thing with choppers, is there are big ol’ HELIPADS on rooftops all over louisiana. They can drop food, communications equipment, medicine, staff and yes, even people at a moments notice. And by the 72 hour mark, the roads were clear enough that reporters were able to drive in with no problem. Why couldnt a New mexico nat guard escorting a red cross truck? Oh because they did not get there til day 7.

  24. “Ray Nagin has admitted delaying the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans for tourist revenue based reasons. The emergency response plan makes clear that anything above a two is something to be feared:”

    But dread, the DELAY of the evacuation was really not the CAUSE of the problem… NAGIN got a larger percentage of people out more quickly than houston. end of story.
    This was a somewhat valid argumant to an average person, BEFORE we watched houston do a worse job, with federal help. and more time.

    “(DHH). Before operating permits are given to homes/hospitals,
    emergency precautions are to be taken, such as the placement of
    emergency supplies and equipment (i.e., generators and potable water)
    on upper floors.”

    All of that was done. there was only a basement generator in charity, built long before that regulation, and charity was stocked with MANY portable generators and enough fuel to keep them going for 5 days, when only three are required by fed law.

    “#17. As a hurricane causes the need for a mass evacuation from the
    Southeastern area, the Governor will declare a state of emergency that
    will require host parishes outside the risk area to open designated
    shelters.”

    Most outlying shelters were filled to capacity before the hurricaine even made landfall. The shelters had been designated, opened and filled by the time local authorities lost communications.

  25. Katie

    I am afrid you are telling lies again. In your earlier post you specifically said that hundreds of people died because FEMA failed to get supplies to them. THAT IS A HUGE, MONSTROUS LIE, yo cnnot deny this. Nowhere have I seen anyone except you claiming any such thing.

    The people who DROWNED in the nursing home died because they were not evacuated. It was not FEMA’s job to evacuate them. It was the responsibility of the city and state authorities, who groossly failed.

    The many, many people who DROWNED in low-lying areas of NO died becaause they were not evacuated by the city and state authorities, in some cases because they fecklessly decided to riksk the hurricane. Not because of FEMA – it was not FEMA’s responsibility to evacuate them, to properly warn them of the dangers. That ws the job of the Mayor and Governor, who finally acted on their responsibility for Rita.

    There were not many deaths in the Superdome and the Convention Centre. Certainly not “hundreds”.There were SOME deaths caused by lawlessness – the responsibility of the Mayor and Governor, who did not provide enough police and National Guards. And they had also failed to provide dequate food, water and sanitation. The Governor then componded this by blocking the Red Cross and Salvation Army as FEMA’s agents sending in more supplies. But again, this did not involve “hundreds” of deaths, although the culpability for extended human suffering is clear.

    There were about 40 deaths at the Memorial Hospital owing to the failure of the power system. Again, that was not FEMA’s responsibility. They should have been evacuated sooner – by the city and state.

    The people who died on the overpass -not ” hundreds” or even dozens – died because LOCAL police nder LOCL sheriff would not let them cross ot of the city. And the Governor failed to intervene. Again, not FEMA’s fault.

    In sum, can you not see that you were telling a monstrous lie in claiming that the feds were responsible for hundreds of deaths ?

    You should be ashamed of yourself. You are talking spiteful blind nonsense, padded out with big lies.

    And you still totally deny that those hundreds of buses should have been used to evacuate, not even to get EVERYONE to higher ground. There were at least 500 buses inside the city – enough to get EVERYONE out of the areas below sea level.

    You and your ilk will be nailed by this central issue – why were the buses not used ? Why did the Mayor and governor delay over declaring mandatory evacuation. And when they did declare it, why did they not get the message through properly, why did they not warn people starkly enough, why did they not use those hundreds and hundreds of buses ? They KNEW the severity of the sittion, they KNEW the risks to THEIR citizens. You know damn well they then lost control of the situation. They could not even control the NO police properly, and there were a lot of National Guards in the Convention Centre doing damn all to help there.

    Try reading this pithy view on where responsibility lies, written by a black man.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46492

  26. Jim Ausman: GOP, Step aside and let the grownups run the show again.

    The grownups? Would that be Peanut Jimmy and Slick Willy?

    One of these guys brought humiliation to America with his weak-kneed foreign policies, and the other brought ignominy on the presidency with his weak will and blatant lies.

    America is sick of the party of hate, the party of war, the party of anger, the party of irrational Fundamentalism.

    Surely, 3 out of 4 of those descriptions are far more suited to the Democratic party than the Republicans. Have you never read or heard the liberal fundamentalists spewing out their hate and anger on Democrat-supporting leftwing websites and media outlets against the president?

    Although the liberal media have succeeded in smearing Bush with blame for the NO disaster, I’m confident the investigations will reveal the utter incompetence of the local Democratic authorities in this crisis.

  27. Jim Ausman:

    It’s actually 4/4 for the Democrats

    WW1 – Wilson, Democrat;

    WW2 Roosevelt, Democrat;

    WW2, Truman, Democrat;

    atomic bomb, Truman, Democrat;

    Korean War, Truman, Democrat;

    Vietnam War – Kennedy and Johnson, Democrats

    Tut, tut, those war-mongering Democrats!

  28. Katie:

    “Responsibility, by office and by their own plan, settled squarely on the Mayor. Responsibility for first response in Louisiana, falls squarely on the local, parish and state occificals, headed up by Gov. Blanco. Gov. Blanco, by the way, has already been caught on recording devices admitting she screwed up at the start and has been playing catch-up n the whole mess. This leaves federal agencies in the tertiary position.”

    Yes he was responsible for instituting evac, which he did. As well as ANY other mayor would have. And more smoothly than Houston was able to three weeks later.

    As for Blanco, it’s very likely she willing ly took blame, because there were mistakes made, of course there were. any decent person would do the same… Why hasn’t FEMA? Why are there no federal employees willing to deviate from the Local state and federal officials line and simply state, this was MY responsibility?

    Actually, Katie, they have, but you’ve been so wrapped up in your MOVEON.ORG activities to pay attention. The FEMA head was sacked and the FEMA response graded as inadequate in parts. this does not mitigate the dact that FEMA is not a first responder and that the foundation of this was laid by the locals.

    “Now, let us drag the time-line into this exchange. The levee breach did not occur under well after the hurricane — all parties have admitted that they thought Alabama and Mississippi were going to be the core of the emergency effort. It was not until the levee breached that New orleans became the focus. The biggest reason the effort in New Orleans went off the tracks is that the locals created a disaster through neglect and misuse of funds, as evidenced by their performance on the ground and the indictments extant *PRIOR* to Katrina.”

    And you know this how? Are you saying that NO was given enough money to Actually build a cat 10 levee and spent it on strippers and poker? And that the fact that federal maintenece allocations for the levy were cut by 40% during bushes terms has NOTHING to do with levees being in a state of disrepair? That it is ALL graft and no underfunding?

    First of all, there is no such thing as a “Cat 10 Hurricane. Secondly, if you are unaware of the level of corruption in the “Big Easy,’ you haven’t been paying attention. Louisiana gets more money for Corps. of Engineers than California, to the tune of a half billion dollars difference. Thirdly, its been reported recently that the storm surge was insufficient to do the amount of damage demonstrated, suggesting a design flaw or poor construction — both local matters. As a matter of fact, a number of marginal CoEng.projects have been pushed by LA representatives over the objections of the Corps, monies that very much could and should have gone to the levees.

    “The last hurricane drill was conducted by FEMA darling, and the Food was not stockpiled because under FEMA dollrs, they can buy it cheaper, and move it faster than a local governement could. If there were other cities in america who keep food stockpiles, I would be willing to blame NO, but since there are not, I won’t. Hospitals were prepared with disaster provisions, 3 days is required by fed regulation, and there ended up being enough to stretch to seven.”

    Let us start with NYC, which, until 9/11, was near mocked, with folks saying that Giuliani had a fetish for disaster planning, with multiple command posts and contingency plans. Likeiwse, I am willing to wager that FL (hurricanes) and CA (earthquakes) are fully stocked and ready for the next problem.

    your rebuttals to the plan are incomplete and weak. What is your fetish for blaming the Feds for the city, parish and local authorities? Nagin admitted he should have called for a mandatory evacuation earlier — the plan agrees with that, Blanco admits she muffed the early contact with the Feds, suggesting ignorance and incompetance on her part.

    “#17. As a hurricane causes the need for a mass evacuation from the
    Southeastern area, the Governor will declare a state of emergency that
    will require host parishes outside the risk area to open designated
    shelters.”

    Most outlying shelters were filled to capacity before the hurricaine even made landfall. The shelters had been designated, opened and filled by the time local authorities lost communications

    ‘Cept for Gretna, which didn’t allow evacuees over the bridge. NYC can have 9/11 without incident — the crime rate was near 0 for that day, despite the police all being at the WTC — but New Orleans can’t even buy a unified radio system, but that’s the FEDS fault?

  29. Awwwww, c’mon, 6CP… lets not confuse the poor fella with anything as complicated and esoteric as facts and history. It will get in the way of his rants.

    6CP:

    It’s actually 4/4 for the Democrats

    WW1 – Wilson, Democrat;

    WW2 Roosevelt, Democrat;

    WW2, Truman, Democrat;

    atomic bomb, Truman, Democrat;

    Korean War, Truman, Democrat;

    Vietnam War – Kennedy and Johnson, Democrats

    Tut, tut, those war-mongering Democrats!

    Posted by: 6countyprod at September 25, 2005 11:01 PM

  30. Now for the last time, there were not enough buses to even make a dent in the NO population… Only 15,000 could have been moved pre Katrina. Which 15,000 then? Are you willling to decide that for Mayor Nagin? Do you not get that the buses were in “high ground” and ready to move people after the storm, except the damn levees broke.”

    How hard would it have been to pull the busses back to say, Baton Rogue and use them after the storm had passed? Who says the buses can’t come back once they have dropped off the first 15,000? Definationally, you can’t be on “high ground” if you are below sea-level. Likewise, how can the buses be “ready to move people” when you have already absolved Mayor Nagin for abandoning them to the storm since he didn’t have enough bus drivers? Your arguements don’t stand muster.

    “Do you not get that NO and FEMA had together conceeded that NO plans for disaster post leveee were COMPLETELY BEYOND NOs capacities?”

    Which is why monies had been provided for them to develop a better plan. Too bad the locals used that money for another purpose. Congress has been afte NOLA to get serious about this since at least 2003, if not before. Too bad the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans lacked any sort of sense of urgency on the matter.

    “Do you not get that many of the buses you are so obsessed about were used to transport people TO the superdome? Do you not get that there were 3 days of supplies in the dome? People were asked to bring thier own, yes, but they were there nonetheless. And prior to the destruction of the water supply, water was available to the occupants of both the convention ctr and the superdome. “

    The problem — the fact you keep ignoring — is that this is a replay of the what happened last time. You neglect to mention that Ray nagin cut a “public service announcement” telling the People of NOLA they were “on their own.” Throw in the fac that he has all but moved to Houston, enrolling his kids in school out there, and you might get the idea that Mayor Nagin was a little too interested in himself and not in the welfare of the people of New Orleans. FEMA, contrary to what you seem want us to infer, is *NOT* a first responder – never was, never will be.

  31. “Responsibility, by office and by their own plan, settled squarely on the Mayor. Responsibility for first response in Louisiana, falls squarely on the local, parish and state occificals, headed up by Gov. Blanco. Gov. Blanco, by the way, has already been caught on recording devices admitting she screwed up at the start and has been playing catch-up n the whole mess. This leaves federal agencies in the tertiary position.”

    Yes he was responsible for instituting evac, which he did. As well as ANY other mayor would have. And more smoothly than Houston was able to three weeks later.

    As for Blanco, it’s very likely she willing ly took blame, because there were mistakes made, of course there were. any decent person would do the same… Why hasn’t FEMA? Why are there no federal employees willing to deviate from the Local state and federal officials line and simply state, this was MY responsibility?

    “Now, let us drag the time-line into this exchange. The levee breach did not occur under well after the hurricane — all parties have admitted that they thought Alabama and Mississippi were going to be the core of the emergency effort. It was not until the levee breached that New orleans became the focus. The biggest reason the effort in New Orleans went off the tracks is that the locals created a disaster through neglect and misuse of funds, as evidenced by their performance on the ground and the indictments extant *PRIOR* to Katrina.”

    And you know this how? Are you saying that NO was given enough money to Actually build a cat 10 levee and spent it on strippers and poker? And that the fact that federal maintenece allocations for the levy were cut by 40% during bushes terms has NOTHING to do with levees being in a state of disrepair? That it is ALL graft and no underfunding?

    “Now, New Orleans had a plan and a Mayor who had responsibility. The plan, in part, worked brilliantly. However, the ignored their prior experience and made the Superdome and Convention Centers havens of last resort, even thought they had not improved their utility as such in the eight(?) years since the last hurricane, nor in the year since the last close call, not even in the five months since the hurricane evacuation drill told them they had weaknesses and issues in their current plan — little things like insufficient food, water and fuel stockpiled at the sites to handle a 3-4 four day stay. This was later exacerbated by their refusal to allow the Red Cross in since that “might make the people too willing to stay” in their shelters. “

    The last hurricane drill was conducted by FEMA darling, and the Food was not stockpiled because under FEMA dollrs, they can buy it cheaper, and move it faster than a local governement could. If there were other cities in america who keep food stockpiles, I would be willing to blame NO, but since there are not, I won’t. Hospitals were prepared with disaster provisions, 3 days is required by fed regulation, and there ended up being enough to stretch to seven.

    “As for the Levee board, they are already on the hook for $500,000 meant to develop an improved evacuation plan — they spent it on a study of the Lake Ponchitran causeway. “

    were they studying EVACUATION as it relates to the cause way?

    “The state homeland security team is already under indictment for misuse of funds and embezzlement. They would appear to have done something other than the intended use for the $7.3 million dollar grant in 2003 for improved first responder communication gear, based on the simple observation that it hadn’t been improved.”

    I will just let ya know again now that NO had a triple redundant comm plan, that is better than most cities. My state too, recieved that communications inprovemnet grant, a much larger amount actually, with a stipulation that we are to wait unltil the FEDERAL communications commission designates a universal spectrum for emergency use. They have apparently been too busy to get on that. We have not spent the money yet either. Is there really an indictment about that communications money? Because in my state it has been GRANTED but we will not actually get it until communications are made universal.

    ” Not that there were that many first responders to worry about — Most of the police walked off the job, with 20% out and out quitting during the emergency response.”

    The police became the only emblem of authority, they were targets. Yet most of them did NOT WALK OFF THE JOB! Most of them worked an extremely hellish 7 day shift without a break, or a radio to speak to other police.And shame on you, you might have quit too after that ordeal was over. Those that did walk off, are not the whole police force. And even if they were, they never did sign up to spend seven days as a walking target for a civil servant salary. Had thier ONLY duty been to keep order, perhaps they cpould have done so. But they were rescuers, doctors, communications runners, searchers, security guards and every damn other thing.

    “Meanwhile, the feds, having to deal with a damaged area the size of the United Kingdom, complete with flooded roads, downed trees, etc., got to the city in the customary 72 hours. Florida doesn’t seem to have much trouble with that time-frame, so why does Louisiana? Could it be Florida takes the storms seriously and Louisiana doesn’t?”

    Or and let me help ya understand here, could it be that Mississippi and Alabama had water that receeded, and made some of thier food salveagable? Could it be, and I know this is a crazy Idea, that they have a LOWER POPULATION CONCENTRATION making mass hysteria much less likely?

    “They couldn’t fly into New Orleans naval air station, as I did years ago, since its at a heady elevation fo 5 feet above sea level and definately would have taken a great deal of effort to clear. Same with the internation and municipal air ports. Only option would be to scout out roads, do what you can with choppers and make do.”

    The thing with choppers, is there are big ol’ HELIPADS on rooftops all over louisiana. They can drop food, communications equipment, medicine, staff and yes, even people at a moments notice. And by the 72 hour mark, the roads were clear enough that reporters were able to drive in with no problem. Why couldnt a New mexico nat guard escorting a red cross truck? Oh because they did not get there til day 7.

  32. Christ… I am not going to get you all to listen to any sense, you really know very little other than your save bushes reputation at any cost, even if that cost is truth websites.

    I am not a skeevy screaming liberal waiting patiently for Ben Cohen to tell me what to say. I know what I am talking about.

    Nolas Evac went according to plan, bad or good, before the hurricaine hit. It went smoothly until the requested and much needed federal respources did not show up. that is when Blanco and Nagin began to deviate from thier plans. and falter. And cotinued to falter for days while Michael brown insisted everything was being done. Blancos requests were NOT totally vague, she asked for communications, Food, Water, Medicine, More search and rescue, And a means to begin evac into large shelters that NOLA could not have provided without federal help.
    Bush and Blanco stated in two seperate press conferences that the HMS comfort had been dispatched before the hurricaine and was already on its way from baltimore. It did not leave port for two days after that conference. Blanco did not have the power to disapatch that ship on her own. who told her it was on its way? Nagin? I think not. FEMAS critical communications caravan was not released until friday after the hurricaine. Water food and Ice was not allowed entrance because the city was in lockdown, because that is what you do when complete lawlessness spreads. You do not allow trucks of VOLUNTEER CIVILIANS to be put in danger in that manner. Had they had military escorts, not to provide law and order, but to provide protection for volunteers they could have gone through.

    What is the mitigatating factor behind the turning point in NOLA? The point when it went from total mismanagement to a salveagable situation? I think that you righties and I can agree on the fact that it was General Honore. And what did he do that turned the corner? He Martialed federal resources, which blanco did not have the authority to do. And got them the hell into NOLA and took responsibility. He was able to get things done immediately. He acted like the head of the federal emergency management is supposed to do. He did browns job. And he did it very well. He asked blanco pointed questions, and figured out which resources to martial and where, and then he got them there. Apparently he realised that for governor blanco to ask for food means get me some damn food, not I need 167 42 pallet airdrops of MREs and E H2O fs Dropped at 347lon. and 64 lat. at 1600 hrs 52 mn 41 sec. but I do not want them dropped without my express orders. And until I figure out howw to ask for them in just this way. That is something that any FEMA head should know. Thats why they make the big bucks. It is thier JOB. As together as Guiliani was, he too was saying things like, GET ME WATER! and not asking in writing for the correctl military terminology for water. Nor was he specifying delivery methods, because that is not his job.

    Why would Bush, in these horrifying times of terrorism, hire his advance man to head FEMA? That would be like me hiring my babysitter to give my kid brain surgery. STUPID!!!!

  33. Katie

    Just read the timeline. The MAJORITY of deaths in NO were by drowning. There was nothing the FEDS under Honore or anyone could do about that because it had occurred early on, on the Monday. If you add up ALL the non-drowned bodies at the Superdome and the Convention Centre and on the overpass you would not get past 50.

    The blk of the NO deaths were by drowning becse the Mayor and Governor failed to evacuate, thousands and thousands of people were left in areas way below sea level. Staying behind in Houston was a calculated risk, there was not going to be complete inundtion of nearly all the city. Allowing people to stay behind in most of NO, including the elderly in nursing homes, was criminal negligence.

    All US emergency planning is based on the principle of First Responders. They failed. Heck, they didn’t even announce a “mandatory” evacuation until too late, and they then totally failed to implement it. How many people did Nagn bus out of NO ? ZERO. With 500 buses in the city, 60 per bus, that is 30,000 even for one run. He did not even move people to high grond inside the city. He was not ORDERING people to get out, to take their neighbors if they could. He and Blanco behaved like deer in the headlights. You trying to blame all the deaths that caased in NO on FEMA is plain sick as well as stupid.

  34. John, you know what you are being told, you do not know whow it actually is here in the US.
    Nolas Evac was planned alongside FEMA, as are the evacs of every major sity and most smaller ones. It went more or less according to plan. that is because AMERICA is unprepared, not just NOLA. It is because we lack the ability to use our resources correctly that this happened. That is actually why we have this mystical DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANGEMENT. Oddly enough, in theory, they are in existence ONLY to manage emergencies. And NO actually evacuated BETTER than Femas models thought they would. Buses were mobilized Pre landfall to take people to the Superdome. Not everyone took them. Drownings in fast rising water can’t really be avoided, and they would have happened in houston too, in the event that a cat 5 storm surge would have flowed up into galveston bay. Because contrary to what you think, houston was not empty either. And they had all the resources of the army at thier disposal.

    Yes the majority of the deaths may have been drowning, but we will not know that until the autopsies have been done. But at any rate NOT ALL OF THEM WERE. A very good number were due to bungling. Stop pretending that is not so.

    Yes First responders are an integral part of our disaster response, yet this administration has cut thier budgets. Why is that? Why did Clinton start the COPS program and Bush finish it, even though it was successfull? Why does AMERICA, not just Nola have FEWER firefighters, Paramedics and Hospital beds than it did PRE 9/11? Can we really expect results out of nothing?

    Our disaster preparedness is not better than pre 9/11. It is worse, it is worse because Bush Hired CRONIES like brown and chertoff to run it.

    There are probably only 6 or 7 dozen people in america with the experience to properly run FEMA or DHS, Many of them will not work for this administration, and the ones that will are not even asked, because they are not yes men. They cannot be yes men and run strategic response capably at the same time. The job requires juevos. Mark my words, when Honore exhibits signs of disloyalty, he will be marginalized.

    We have HUNDREDS of small cities that are county seats in america, with populations of 100 thousand or less, but contain strategic elements to our food supply, energy and chemical industries. These towns are equipped with fewer first responders than pre 9/11 to a letter. Usually only a Dozen or so vehicles, depending on thier proximity to a freeway. They do not call thier governors first in an emergency, nor thier mayors, which are frankly pretty much ceremonial in a small town. they call FEMA.

    In my own large city, we call FEMA first, THEN the governor. We are able to mobilize ANY local resource with clearance from either FEMA or the Governor, this is in case the governor is missing in the emergency. Fema has the clearance to mobilize FEDERAL resources, not the governor. The governor is supposed to ask for them, yes. And Blanco did. But if Blanco had drowned, FEMA could have still made food drops without opening itself up to law suits.

  35. Food drops ? Are you crazy ? What is the point of dropping food into floods ?

    There WAS more food and water available to be shipped to the Convention Centre and the Superdome. The Governor refused to let it through, refsed to send Nationl Guard escorts.

    But at least you seem to be admitting that the main cause of deaths was not starvation or thirst. You hve chnged tck. It was drowning tht was the main cse. Because NO was not evacuated properly. Partly the reslt of complacency among the citizenry, who had 80% car ownership and should have helped evacuate their less fortunate neighbours. Compounded by inefficiency by the Mayor and Governor who declared mandatory evacuation too late and did nothing to try to ENFORCE it, to support it with full use of all those buses, to scare the bejasus out of people so they focussed properly.

    Try reading the forums at the NO Times-Picayune. They are very much out of step with your constant defence of the local First Responders. They are the ones who suffered, and they want Nagin’s and Blanco’s heads.

    Period.

  36. Well I am sure that this story in todays NO P.T will get headline coverage on the BBC and RTE today.

    “Rumors of deaths greatly exaggerated
    Widely reported attacks false or unsubstantiated”

    NO Times Picayune

  37. Mayor Nagin has done a disgraceful disservice to the people of NO, and to all African-Americans. His panache for hyperbole has back-fired, and he will make a ridiculous spectacle at the inquiries. Looking forward to all the facts coming out.

    Just read an interesting piece in the NY Times. If the attitude of Blacks in New York is anything to go by, and following the Democratic fiasco in NO and LA, it would appear that the Democrats are going to be spending a loooong time out in the cold.

  38. Katie:

    “I am not a skeevy screaming liberal waiting patiently for Ben Cohen to tell me what to say. I know what I am talking about.”

    Riiiiiight… and your belief that state and local authorities are blameless, despite having both authority over and responsibility for the evacuation and immediate response to the crisis is just coincidence. (As a complete aside, I prolly dislike Bush as much as you, just for a completely unrelated set of reasons — excoricate him on something that will stick, rather than this trumped up nonsense and quit assuming others motives, esp. since you don’t like similar treatment.)

    “Yes First responders are an integral part of our disaster response, yet this administration has cut thier budgets. Why is that? Why did Clinton start the COPS program and Bush finish it, even though it was successfull? Why does AMERICA, not just Nola have FEWER firefighters, Paramedics and Hospital beds than it did PRE 9/11? Can we really expect results out of nothing?”

    Oh, I dunno, lesse. Can’t think of anything, other than it was a five year program with a sunset clause built into it legislatively when Clinton signed it. Likewise, funding LOCAL police is not a FEDERAL responsibility.

    “Our disaster preparedness is not better than pre 9/11. It is worse, it is worse because Bush Hired CRONIES like brown and chertoff to run it. “

    Remind me again, when was Brown hired and when did the “bungling” begin — prior FEMA relief efforts under Bush have not been bungled, so why this one? How can FEMA do so well in FL and so poorly in LA? What could make such a difference, eh? Could it be that Nagin and Blanco don’t run anything in Florida and didn’t take the storm as seriously as it ought have been, mayhaps?

  39. Katie:

    A few quotes and facts for you to mull, from John Fund and the Wall Street Journal…

    “Last year, Lou Riegel, the agent in charge of the FBI’s New Orleans office, described Louisiana’s public corruption as “epidemic, endemic, and entrenched. No branch of government is exempt.” “

    “Louisiana ranks third in the nation in the number of elected officials per capita convicted of crimes… In just the past generation, the Pelican State has had a governor, an attorney general, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a state Senate president and a swarm of local officials convicted. Last year, three top officials at Louisiana’s Office of Emergency Preparedness were indicted on charges they obstructed a probe into how federal money bought out flood-prone homes. Last March the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered Louisiana to repay $30 million in flood-control grants it had awarded to 23 parishes. “

    “As for New Orleans, no city in America would better serve its most vulnerable residents with a clean sweep of its institutions. Just this summer, associates of former mayor Marc Morial were indicted for alleged kickbacks involving public contracts. Last month the FBI raided the home and car of Rep. William Jefferson as part of a probe into allegations he had misused his office. “

    “He notes that the Orleans Parish Levee Board allowed money to be diverted from levees into many other projects. Those included a local casino, a convention center and a Mardi Gras fountain. “We were trying to be good neighbors,” former board member Jim Livingston (no relation to Bob) explained to me. “

  40. Katie: “Yes First responders are an integral part of our disaster response, yet this administration has cut thier budgets. Why is that?”

    Why? Because you need a basic understanding of “Washington-speak”.

    Let’s say there’s a Federal program that was funded this year for $10 billion. A politician (either party… take your pick) wants the funding to be increased to $15 billion. His opposition party says that’s too much, but agrees that an increase is needed to mean COLA. So he proposes, say, $12 billion. They negotiate and settle on $13.5 billion. Then, the politician who wanted the $15 billion calls a press conference and makes the claim that the program was cut by $1.5 billion. The news media never reports that the “cut” is only a cut of the wish list amount. Considering how the news media operates these days, it’s possible that they’re too stupid to look up the current budget to see what is being spent and honestly don’t know this is a smoke and mirrors trick to get sympathy.

    Everyone else calls this an increase reached by compromise. Only Washington calls this a “cut”.

  41. YOu guys are ALL stuck on stupid. Not me. Every last one of you. The sun does not shine out of bushes ass. his hiring practices are negligent… and that is the NICEST thing I can say. This stupid almost cultlike loyalty you have. What gives? It is actually Okay for people to make mistakes now and again. And learn from them. But this freaky need of the right to applaud him at any cost, is only encouraging him to make MORE mistakes. Our country is being looted, and it is not by [email protected]#$% in New Orleans, it is by the president and his cronies.

    Mama Pajamas. not only is there less federal money for first reponse… not more but dems like to pretend it is less, (how do you fall for that btw, all ya hafta do is look it up in your citys website?) there are LESS POLICE, LESS FIREFIGHTERS and LESS PARAMEDICS, LESS NURSES, LESS HOSPITAL BEDS less as in hundreds LESS. FEWER. NOT AS MANY. SMALLER NUMBERS than there were four years ago.

    This is not liberal hyperbole, this is fact. Plain and simple. Look up the numbers in your town. There are Fewer in New York, LA, Chicago, Boston and all over the damn country. And Likely FEWR in NEW ORLEANS too. Not to mention a skeleton national guard. That is why the commander of the NOLA nat guard mobilized the NM Nat Guard. Yet Fema did not approve them until Homore did.. That is why hundreds of firefighters from all over the country flew to fema HQ almost immediately, only to be given a day long sexual harrassment seminar and the useless duty of handing out fliers.
    While they could have been first responding.
    That is why communications equipment was mobilised from all over the country, and sat waiting for FEMAS orders to copter it in for DAYS.
    FEMA did not even bring in its OWN mobile communications systems, they are kept packed in a trailer ready to go anywhere in a matter of hours, In the belly of a national guard chopper if need be. why did they NEVER get there?

    The NOLA FIRST RESPONDERS WERE OVERWHELMED AND HAD NO COMMUNICATIONS CAPACITY WHATSOEVER! Its a bloody wonder they worked as long as they did. and it is no wonder they made mistakes. And not a one of you would have done better. And absolutely they need to be investigated, BUT SO DOES FEMA For Gods sakes. Perhaps we need to revisit our isolate and control philosophy, but the alternative to that is LARGE amounts of government spending. AND NOLA CANNOT BE BLAMED FOR HAVING A FEMA APPROVED AND AUTHORED EVACUATION POLICY. Houston Evaced earlier and got a smaller percentage of its people out. How do you explain that? Nagin should have gotten the tourists out, but where in the fuck was he gonna get the poor people out to? Nobody is addressing this. LA shelters were FULL, All of them. HOuston had not offered the astrodome as a just in case shellter.
    The superdome, Convention center and hotels could have been sufficient, but crowded for five or six days until alternate shelter could have been arranged, if there were enough staff. The three thousand national guardsmen who were currently in Iraq or the ones who were packed and ready to drive in from NM would have sufficed, and made ALL the difference.

    I guarantee you that the only thing going through the first responders’ heads was “I have to maintain the illusion of authority until more help gets here.” Meanwhile, hundreds of people a day were being plucked from thier rooftops, some of them in thier underwear, all of them hungry and scared and set down in front of the superdome, or the convention center and adding to the chaos. And to the challenge to the first responders of maintaining the illusion of authority.
    The first responders themselves were hungry, terrified and worried about thier own homes, families and survival, and did not have the luxury of sleep for days.

    Now you have spent days patronisingly insulting me and accusing me of blindly hating bush at any cost. of being a crazy moonbat, a nutcase and on and on. You rant and rant about the left politicising this, but I did not politicise this, I am calling it like I see it. And I see it from a pretty realistic perspective.

    Bush could brobably poke your moms eye out on purpose with condi’s stilletto heel and you’d still love him, but we have spent over 120 BILLION dollars on emergency preparedness in the last 4 years in this country, And Billions more on security. and we have moved BILLIONS more emergency preparedness dollars from local jurisdiction to federal. WE CAN AND SHOULD EXPECT MUCH BETTER. WE BOUGHT IT, IT IS OUR MONEY.

    Honore came in and patched things up before Blanco ceded any authority more than what she had given orally and in writing while Brown and FEMA were supposedly constitutionally paralyzed, why was he able to do it? Bush did not invoke the Riot act. NO LEGAL CHANGE WAS MADE PRE HONORE AND IMMEDIATELY POST HONORE. yet Honore did not seem to be strangled by the constitution, unable to do anything. Why is that? Perhaps it is because that is a flimsy excuse? Because our constitution is not simply a dead document, it is a document on which we BASE our laws, and we try to discern the intent the framers had in mind when we make those laws. And we can all pretty much assume that Hancock and Paine and his buddys did not mean that it was government interference to give food to a person in another state if they were hungry. And we made and legislated FEMA to do just that.

    And there were more than fifty non drowning deathts. when the autopsies are through we can speak of this again.

    And for the last time, yes food could have been dropped, on high ground, or on floats, there were dry patches all over the city. We dropped food after the Tsunami did we not? Both on Dry patches and on floats in heavily flooded areas.

    I really wish more evac had been done, And if I had my way, every city and town would have an evac grid, ample transport and alternative shelters ready to occupy at all times. This is all very expensive and is pie eyed liberal talk in this day and age. I am familiar with american disaster planning, and I can smell scapegoat here a mile away. There plan was actually typical. Better than typical. because it had FEMAS input ev ery step of the way. Except in implementation. Those soggy Buses took those who wanted to go, to the superdome. That is what florida does. The superdome did not flood.

    FEMA knows they screwed up so they are determined to make NOLA take the fall. And I think NOLA has been through enough.

  42. CNN : Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, a Republican, said Sunday he was “very supportive” of giving the military a lead role in response to major disasters.

    “After Katrina, the moment we began to turn the corner was the moment we had thousands and thousands of uniforms and boots on the ground,” he told CNN.

    Vitter’s Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mary Landrieu, said the military “has a key role to play” but was more cautious about diminishing local and state control.

    “I’m not sure the governors association or all the mayors in America would be willing to sort of step aside,” she said.

    “After Katrina, the moment we began to turn the corner was the moment we had thousands and thousands of uniforms and boots on the ground,” he told CNN.

    Vitter’s Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mary Landrieu, said the military “has a key role to play” but was more cautious about diminishing local and state control.

    “I’m not sure the governors association or all the mayors in America would be willing to sort of step aside,” she said.

    When governors and mayors are as incompetent as the Democrats in NO and LA, surely it is quite appropriate for those with a bit of sense to take over. Thank goodness for the US military and the federal agencies.

  43. Michael Brown is still on the FEMA payroll, even after forced resignation… Brwnie it seems, Is now doing a “Heckuva” job in his new capacity, which is according to himself in his sham of testimony before congress, Investigating what went wrong.

    That is not what happens in the real world when one is forced to resign for incompetence. But it is I am afraid, fairly typical of this administration.

    And 6cprod, I agree that the Army does play an important role in disasters of this magnitude, but The US national guard plays a MUCH MORE important one. In fact that is thier purpose. And thier reason for existence. And the reason for thier lack of Presence In NO earlier, aside from LANGs presence in Iraq. Is Micheal Chertoff, Browns Boss, not approving thier presence inside NO city limits, citing that troops from other states lack preparedness to go into such a dangerous situation. Apparently, Iraq is a safe enough place for the US homefront Militias, but disasters back home can ONLY be run by our elite international forces? Strange world you think works correctly.

    Katrina was SO huge that the Regular Army was maybe necessary either way, but we will NEVER know if the lawlessness could have been avoided with the early presence of national guard from states neighboring LA. Or the Full presence of LA forces. And we will never know if Federal Emergency assets could have been marshalled effectively enough to make a difference, because the moment is gone. And those assets were not directed competently. I can only imagine the frustration of Louisianas National guard troops, stuck in Iraq, watching thier home state being destroyed on the news, coming home on a short leave, and being informed that the protection of thier state, the very REASON they enlisted in the guard in the first place. Should not be thier duty. That should be left to the elite regular army, being paid more and not busy fighting overseas. How bizarre a reality is that? If this is what this “Investigation” nets, there is no reason AT ALL to have a national guard and we need to stop wasting our tax money on it. Immediately. And pay the guardsmen currently serving in the army in Iraq, Regular Army wages, and Full fledged army benefits and retirements. And the choice to say no, I joined the National Guard to protect MY nation, not someone elses, so I since I will no longer do that, I quit.

    Not being an american, you may see it differently, I do not know if your armies are seperated between home and away troops like ours, but to the americans reading this… Does that seem like supporting our troops? Typical right wing troop supporting, it just does not go beyond the yellow ribbon bumper sticker on your car.

  44. Katie:

    “YOu guys are ALL stuck on stupid. Not me.”

    Uh-huh… its all of us and all of our citations and limks that are wrong, not you…

    “The NOLA FIRST RESPONDERS WERE OVERWHELMED AND HAD NO COMMUNICATIONS CAPACITY WHATSOEVER!”

    This, two years anfter a multi-million dollar grant to upgrade thier communication capacity…

    “Not to mention a skeleton national guard.”

    There are ~12,000 National Guardsmen in Louisiana. ~3,000 were on duty out of state. Gov. Blanco could have activated those in remaining three bigade’s worth of personnel at any time, on her own authority with no one else’s say so. Had she been smart, she would have activated them prior to the storm, based on the emergency plan i posted that acknowledged anything freater than a Cat 2 storm could be disasterous.

    “Now you have spent days patronisingly insulting me and accusing me of blindly hating bush at any cost. of being a crazy moonbat, a nutcase and on and on. You rant and rant about the left politicising this, but I did not politicise this, I am calling it like I see it. And I see it from a pretty realistic perspective.”

    Yes, all your insults and CAPTIAL LETTERS make you “realistic perspective” much clearer…

    “Bush could brobably poke your moms eye out on purpose with condi’s stilletto heel and you’d still love him”

    Are you sure this isn’t moonbat hyperbole on your part?

    “And for the last time, yes food could have been dropped, on high ground, or on floats, there were dry patches all over the city. We dropped food after the Tsunami did we not? Both on Dry patches and on floats in heavily flooded areas. “

    And how, pray tell, are the locals going to get from their rooftop perches and the like to the food? Likewise, Blanco and Nagin, who had control – there was no unified comand per-Honore – put a higher priority on getting / forcing people out, not making their lives more comfortable inside the city. It was the same reason *state* authorities did not allow the Red Cross and the Salavation Army into the city to provide food and relief at the Superdome.

    “I am familiar with american disaster planning, and I can smell scapegoat here a mile away. There plan was actually typical. Better than typical. because it had FEMAS input ev ery step of the way. Except in implementation. Those soggy Buses took those who wanted to go, to the superdome. That is what florida does. The superdome did not flood.”

    Taking your statement at face value, anwer me this, since its only the third time I’ve asked it. Why does FEMA’s plans and the leaders Bush’s selected work so well in Florida these past five years and so poorly in Louisiana?

    “Except in implementation.”

    Which is, for the first 72 hours (FEMA’s typical response time) the LOCAL and STATE authorities responsibility.

    “FEMA knows they screwed up so they are determined to make NOLA take the fall. And I think NOLA has been through enough.”

    Contrariwise. Nagin and Blanco know they screwed up and want FEMA to take the fall. Its politics eight hands around. If you listen to the folks who were in the Superdome who were interviewed, their anger is toward Blanco and Nagin, not FEMA. The biggest reason Nagin and Blanco want to shift blame is they want to be re-elected.

    “And 6cprod, I agree that the Army does play an important role in disasters of this magnitude, but The US national guard plays a MUCH MORE important one. In fact that is thier purpose. And thier reason for existence. And the reason for thier lack of Presence In NO earlier, aside from LANGs presence in Iraq. Is Micheal Chertoff, Browns Boss, not approving thier presence inside NO city limits, citing that troops from other states lack preparedness to go into such a dangerous situation. Apparently, Iraq is a safe enough place for the US homefront Militias, but disasters back home can ONLY be run by our elite international forces? Strange world you think works correctly?”

    Actually, the LANG answers first and foremost to Governor Blanco. As for other units, the initial focus was not LA, but Mississippi and Alabama and their NG units would have been deployed accordingly. Lastly, there was the small matter of the trifurcated, then bifurcated chain of command — Nagin and the city forces, Blanco and the state and FEMA and the Feds. Nagin came around and started to cooperate but Blanco wanted “more time to think about it.” Paralysis by analysis.

    “Katrina was SO huge that the Regular Army was maybe necessary either way, but we will NEVER know if the lawlessness could have been avoided with the early presence of national guard from states neighboring LA.”

    Again, look at the time line. Bush declared early and all Blanco had to do was ask. She received what she asked for. If she didn’t ask for the 40,000 men she later thought she needed, whose fault is that? You want to put the full blame on the Feds and, while their is plenty of blame to go around, the Feds were not the only problem. There were a number of things that Nagin and Blanco could have done better, starting with not diverting monies from levee work to other jobs, not putting in courrupt cronies into local and state emergency positions, activating the plan in a much more timely fashion and actually following the plan. Y’know, the little things.

  45. Katie, looks like Michael is getting his revenge! Roll on the independent inquiries.

    Dysfunctional Democrats. Catchy…, and true!

  46. 6cprod…
    I believe that LA has only 7,000 plus national guard troops. 3 thousand plus are in Iraq, that leaves about 4 thousand. They were deployed. That is what I have read. from several different sources. I could be wrong, but 12000 troops for a state that small, geographically, and populationwise homestly does seem like a lot.

    I am watching on Cspan right now, the live feed of the sham of a hearing as it relates to the Katrina Disaster, and a speech/question has intrigued me, and you too may find it interesting. It answers better than I can a question you have chosen not to approve of the answermy own answers to. A questioner has asked Mr Brown, or Brownie, and I will paraphrase, but it will undoubtably be covered in its entirety in the LIBERAL media tomorrow. It is not likely that powerline will cover it, they may but chances are, only to smear the questioner.

    He said basically, Why did my first responders have to work for ten days without any FEMA relief whatsoever, Why did they have to survive on Food looted from grocery stores, clothing looted from walmart and never have any fuel delivered. Why was there never any communications delevered? Why is it that my people survived for a nearly a week week with one single personal satellite phone as thier only communications? Why are the residents of my state still to this day living in Tents looted from walmart? Never mind trailer accomidations? Why has’nt Fema delivered livable tents by now?

    The Questioner is the rep from southern MISSISSIPPI.
    like I have said before, perhaps it is not all peace love and naked bunnies there? Maybe I was not lying to you that there are reports of VALID complaints from other states too.

    That questioner also vocalized his concerned that nola was being made the scapegoat.

    Brown has stated that the thing he would do differently, if he could is to give MORE FREQUENT PRESS UPDATES!!!??? and to force Blanco and Nagin to coordinate. And those were his first two excuses. He also has blamed lack of budget, bad contractors, unreliable subcontractors, and his staff being tired and overwhelmed, he has said that FEMA has been bled dry since allbaughs appointment, and since the melding of FEMA into the DHS umbrella. He said his trucks lacked Global positioning systems so there is no way he can possibly know what supplies he has and where. He stated that he has privately predicted a meltdown of this magnitude for some time. He said if he were braver he would have retired and went public with his fears (apparently he had not even gone so public as to email the approprations committe of his fears, and was chastised for that) But he has yet to say he has ANY PART OF THE BLAME.

    All the while he has steadfastly spouted his standard federalist rhetoric, About how even though his department is penniless and completely lacks resources, the NO officials should not have lacked the resources to commandeer trains riverboats airplanes and buses to organize a full scale evac to god knows where. Because it is thier responsibility to handle the disasters, and his to stand there and look pretty until given orders.
    Lack of resources is apparently a completely rational excuse for the FEDERAL government, but not for the sates.

    He has stated he was given all he needed, and then at other times denied he had what he needed… He is a joke. Even the SUPER partisan republicans are tripping him up, and they are trying to lead him AWAY from recriminating himself, and by osmosis, the bush admin.

    There have been some valid points about NOLAS involvemnet brought up, but there is nobody from Nola there to defend themselves, so we will see what they have to say.

  47. “I believe that LA has only 7,000 plus national guard troops. 3 thousand plus are in Iraq, that leaves about 4 thousand. They were deployed. That is what I have read. from several different sources. I could be wrong, but 12000 troops for a state that small, geographically, and populationwise homestly does seem like a lot. “

    From the National Guard website:

    “Today’s Louisiana Army and Air National Guard consists of 74 units spread among 43 cities and towns of the state and numbers some 11,500 Army and Air Guardsmen. As a result of various reorganizations the present Army Guard is composed of a State Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 204th Area Support Group, the 256th Separate Infantry Brigade, the 225th Engineer Group and various Medical, Maintenance, Aviation, Military Police, Armored Cavalry and Special Forces units and the 156th Army Band. “

    Its amazing what you can find, factually speaking, with just a little effort.

  48. Katie, looks like Michael is getting his revenge! Roll on the independent inquiries.

    Dysfunctional Democrats. Catchy…, and true!

  49. Katie, I’ve just listened to Brown testifying before the committee.

    The liberal media ought to be ashamed of itself. They talk a lot of what comes out of a horse’s ass, and they have succeeded in sacrificing a good man for the sake of scoring a few political points. May God forgive for them for such hatred and animosity.

    Ramble on Katie, I’m not listening anymore.

  50. Katie, I’ve just listened to Brown testifying before the committee.

    The liberal media ought to be ashamed of itself. They talk a lot of what comes out of a horse’s ass, and they have succeeded in sacrificing a good man for the sake of scoring a few political points. May God forgive for them for such hatred and animosity.

    Ramble on Katie, I’m not listening anymore.

    Unfortunately, American news is a lot like McDonald’s food — processed, pre-packaged and generally a little overheated.

    F’r’instance, how many retractions have been seen re: the “Lord of the Flies” stories they were circulating??

  51. I am not understanding you guys, Are you thinking I have just seen a polluted liberal media ACCOUNT of the hearings? Actually I watched them. Uncut and unadorned by talking heads, it is a very handy way to get ones news actually. It makes it much easier to form ones OWN opinions. We have a network that does very little commentary, just shows events, speeches and deliberations live.

    Or are you thinking that it was liberal media REPORTERS doing the questioning of Mr Brown?? It was eleven republican senators and I believe 2 0r 3 Democrats. By far the meanest bulldog, Shays is a republican.

    The only part were brown sounded credible at all was his theatrical monologue at the beginning, the rehearsed pre written part.

    And I have to say, having watched or listened to EVERY minute of the 9/11 commission hearings as well as reading the report, I am even more certain now that there needs to be an independant commision. While the senators are doing thier level best I am sure, they are not prepared or thorough enough to have done even a cursory background investigation before starting the hearings. This is a waste of time. Politicians cannot investigate other politicians.

    And Dread, I stand corrected on the number of LANG troops, however the br Gen of the LANG has publicly stated that ALL available bodies were deployed, and that he had arranged with other states to get more ready, packed and minutes from the road at FEMAS okay. And other states NG commanders have verified this.

  52. The tipping point was the failure to properly organise the evacuation of NO, or even to properly organise even basic safety at the Superbowl and then the Convention Centre. Everything else pales in comparison.

    There was far worse physical devastation east of NO where the eye of the hurricane eventually struck, but relatively few deaths. By far the mjority of the deaths were concentrated in NO, and the subsequent suffering of tens of thosnds of people at the holding centres/de facto prisons.

    Primary failure of the First Responders to operate their own evacuation plans.

  53. John, All those points are completely valid, until you actually realize, that a full evac was not possible in the 56 hrs from the nat hurricane warnng til landfall, with the limited resources that nola had.
    seriously. We just finished watching houstons botched Rita Evac.
    Every single mayor I read interviewed said that thier town was 90 percent evacuated, yet the area they were talking about has a combined population of about 5 million and the highest estimates of evacuees I have seen was 2.9 million. That is a little under 60 % so either the media has lost a few sizeable towns that did not evacuate at all, or the Rita mayors are exxagerating just a bit to cover thier arses.

    Now you must take into consideration, that once communications go, all disater planning goes to. The primary goal has to become crowd control until communications can begun again.

    We all watched on TV and read our Newspapers as Texas did EVERYTHING Except grid evac and contraflow RIGHT, They made evac mandatory THE second they realized the storm was huge and coming thier way. they evaced ALL the vulnerable, they canvassed door to door to get an Idea who needed help, they recieved federal resources for evac amounting to millions of dollars in the form of Buses from all round the country, helicopters, paramedics and army personell carriers. There are at least 4 MAJOR freeways running out of the affected area. They did not do it alone and they did the best they could, yet people were stuck in massive gridlock for hours in the hot sun, many giving up and driving back home. some catching fire on the highway due to the overstrtched buses and still only about 60% were evaced. This is because , Our number of drivers has increased about twice as fast as our road capacity for the past few yrs. And public ond mass transport in our country is NIL when outside a metro area.

    New orleans was projected to have 300,000 people left in it after Pam, yet the estimates I have seen range from 50-150 thousand after Katrina. Kathleen blancos blunder, of strongly urging evac saturday morning and making it mandatory the next, had the effect of an organized grid evac, which is what she should have done. and the fact that all the while there was contraflow, actually evaced a huge amount of people faster. I kind of hope for her sake it was planned that way.It is a sin that evac of the poor was not planned and paid for, federally, immediately upon learning of the dire nature of thier situation, which is actually years before any of the current officials were in office. But ESPECIALLY after the Bush first 4 years. Besides energy, the only TRULY robust part of our economy is real estate, financing has been deregulated so much that moddle class people think we can afford Bigger Newer houses than ever before, and in the past four years we have built like crazy all over the country. And in the nOLA area, that meant a whole lot less drainage land. and a whole lot more flood danger.

    Nola could not have afforded a well organized ful evac on thier budget. And likey NEVER could.

    Now a question that NOBODY in the media is asking, in fact I seem to be the ONLY person who is asking it, is where were they to be evacuated to? Those shelters of last resort that popped up in houston are COSTLY… not only in dollars but in lost revenue when being used for humanitarian reasons.During the pam test there were many discussions on what to do, but the Pam exercise was only funded through the exercize phase, the final phase of that exercize, the one where they were supposed to figure those things out, was never funded. I daresay a competent FEMA director would have raised holy hell with the media, senate and congress in regards to that particular funding cut. I think its important that we figure who cut it and why via investigation. I think the blame there lies squarely with FEMA as it was a FEMA project, not a new orleans one.

    I really am not trying to be partisan, but fer f#$%cks sake! we can do much better than this.

    I am VERY relieved to read that much of the crime and lawlessness was a manifestation of paranoia during a panic situation. Every thing that I have read about major disasters says that rumours mushroom in frightened crowds to mammoth proportion instantaneously. I was very angry all along that so many people were so squarely condemning the victims for looting, and suspected that more of the looting was for survival than the media was letting on. And suspected that the reason that so many of us were so willing to believe it was that we are racist.

    I still think that the actual death toll that is not from drowning will be higher than we think, and am curious about what all the autopsies will say.

    Hopefully this will be a lesson to us, and hopefully we will realize, that while New Orleans should have had a full evac plan, Katrina did happen after the city was nearly evaced. Not all disasters can be planned and anticipated, when a truly unexpected disaster happens anywhere else, we will be even more screwed. Because we will ALL be there. Not just the poor. And what happened in New orleans, if it happened in a full city, would be MUCH MUCH worse. Unless we invest in some true homeland security.

    And hopefully we will realize that had the minimum wage been raised even once in the past eight years, many more people would have been able to afford to leave on thier own, without government help. Minimum wage increases affect not only minimum wage earners but all those jobs that are just a bit above minimum, and those are the wages of the folks who got left behind n NOLA.

  54. The tipping point was the failure to properly organise the evacuation of NO, or even to properly organise even basic safety at the Superbowl and then the Convention Centre. Everything else pales in comparison.

    There was far worse physical devastation east of NO where the eye of the hurricane eventually struck, but relatively few deaths. By far the mjority of the deaths were concentrated in NO, and the subsequent suffering of tens of thosnds of people at the holding centres/de facto prisons.

    Primary failure of the First Responders to operate their own evacuation plans.

  55. Katie: “I really am not trying to be partisan, but fer f#$%cks sake! “

    Yes, yes you are, from the very start of the thread, you have.

    Katie, upon reading your last post, I have come to the conclusion that all your rants about not being a liberal partisan are just so much smoke. If nothing else your I’m the only one right and asking all the right questions” pap makes it obvious.

    You openly ignore any facts that do not agree with your political end of sticking the Feds with 100% of the blame. The local and state level blunders, the corruption, the offers ignored (Amtrak trains, for one), the transfer of funds from levee to non-levee projects — this is all of no weight in these discussions, since it gets in the way of your Bush-bashing.

    “And hopefully we will realize that had the minimum wage been raised even once in the past eight years, many more people would have been able to afford to leave on thier own, without government help. Minimum wage increases affect not only minimum wage earners but all those jobs that are just a bit above minimum, and those are the wages of the folks who got left behind n NOLA.”

    Been reading the ACORN fliers again, eh? No tragedy to big to be turned into political grist. The fact is is that no evacuation is 100% and short of going door to door and making folks exit at gunpoint, you’re never going to get one. But to suddenly whipsaw a hurricane aftermath into supporting the fallacious notion that atrtificially inflating the minimum waage is specious at best.

  56. Dread, I’m sorry, but ARTIFICIALLY inflating Minimum wage? In a civil society, you actually do have to raise the minimum wage once in a while, nothing artificial about it. My own salary has gone up considerably in the past 8 yrs. As has yours I imagine. In low wage jobs however, salaries do not increase on thier own.
    If you started working at a corporate nursing home as a certified nusing asst for 5.25USD an hour eight yrs ago, right after the last minimum wage increase and you have been an exemplary employee, your superiors like you and you are lucky enough to have gotten all of your annual optional 10c per hour Merit increases, your salary is now only 6.05 pr hour. That is hardly enough to keep up with inflation.

    And say one nursing home closes, and you must go work for another, you start over at 5.25 again.

    Like it or not, many of our most profitable and largest employers have pay structures like this, they are unnaturally profitable BECAUSE they pay thier employees as little as they can get away with.

    Middle class taxpayers then, are stuck picking up the slack. We pay for the health care that those employees cannot afford, we pay for thier childrens school lunches as well as our own, we pay for thier day care and thier heating in the winter and the rent subsidies that they need, even though they work full time, and the jobs they do need doing AND are highly profitable for the company owners. And now we pay by watching them suffer in the NO heat and mold. with no water or food 5 days after a hurricaine that has been predicted for years. 8 yrs ago, when we last raised the minimum wage, they could have provided much of this for themselves. and its not that they do not work hard, they do. shouldn’t hard work be enough to at least survive without taxpayer assistance. I am not saying that a walmart clerk should earn as much as a neurosurgeon, but shouldn’t they earn enough to live?

    And I am very sorry to dissapoint you dear, I have never heard of acorn. this is common sense. and common decency. and would mean that we could save a lot of tax money on social programs. and I am all for paying less taxes.

  57. Stuff and nonsense. Outside of restaurant / bar jobs(where tips are part of the renumeration), try *finding* a minimum wage job. Even the fast food jockeys are at $7-9 and hour to start.

    When you increase the labor rate, you are, essentially, inflating costs. What a given price bought yesterday will not buy the same today, not because supply and demand shifted, but by legislative fiat. This, in turn, has ramifications up and down the economic chain. Increased minimum wage generally ends up in a wage inflation not quite across the board, but across all wage earners, with a bit of delay. This, in turn, increases employer costs, both in tax contributions and in wages. This, in turn, raises prices, since the labor component has been inflated. Similarly, small business, along with the retail and service sector, usu. look to downsize their staffs, to maintain profitability. A small increase in unemployment results.

    Being someone who audits HHA cost reports, among others, I have *never* seen a home health aid what made $5.25 an hour — sorry, doesn’t happen, thak you for playing.

    Several cities have instituted “living wage” regulation and I know for a fact this sort of legislation has killed a chunk of Baltimore’s economy. Liberals get all happy when they want to create these “living wage” zones, then never shop there because, as economic individuals, the legendary “rational man” of econ classes everywhere, they shop based on price.

    Riddle me this, why not eliminate this raising the minimum wage to $20 USD an hour? If a small hike is so good, why not a big one?

  58. HA HAHAHAHA!!!! you are funny darlin’ seriously.

    Look up Santa Fe NM, Almost completely low paying hospitality economy.
    They instituted a 7.50 an hour living wage act.

    Unemplyment is down close to a percent, Job Growth is up, faster than anywhere else in the state, and emergency public assistance requests are down almost 10% I JUST read that today.

    If baltimores stats are not similar, I will eat my shorts.

    EVERY SINGLE TIME MINIMUM WAGE HAS GONE UP IN THE USA THE ECONOMY HAS GROWN, NOT SHRUNK. That is because pwople at the lowest end of the pay scale, SPEND thier money, and put it back into the economy, usually into the lowest wage economic sectors, because that is what they can afford, this creates more jobs, and more profits. Emplyees AND employers win. It is a myth that raising the minimum wage hurts emplyers. Find me some data that says otherwise.

    And I think that you are quite unaware that certified nursing assts in most of the country do not get much higher than 2 dollars an hour over minimum. and that is at best, and only experienced ones.All over the south, they start at the minimum wage, unless forced by a living wage act to start higher. In Large trauma centers, highly experienced ones can hope to make 10 or 11 dollars an hour, but that is at the VERY top of the pay scale, and requires years of service, in the same hospital. And CNAs are laid off very often, sometimes just to avoid moving them to the top of the pay scale. And those jobs are highly coveted amongst career CNAs. (Yes they do exist, you see sometimes poor people with children cannot EVER afford to go to school to better thier lot) Perhaps Baltimore is a highly unionized city and offers better pay than the rest of the country, but considering that baltimores cost of living is about medium, I highly doubt your figures are not anomalous. not that I think you are lying but maybe the organisation you work for has much better than average wage policys built in it. Because not all companies are greedy, they do not need a minimum wage. Minimum wage is for the people who without it, take advantage.

    now that is not the same thing as saying that minimum wage should be 20 dollars an hour. not in the least. But every once in a while minimum wage HAS to go up. because everything else does. If we make it twenty to appease lil ol liberal me, why dont we make it 25 cents for you? People would still work for that you know. Because people need jobs. If for no other reason than to be eligible for welfare.

    if you calculated min wage along with the inflation rate from about 72 on, it would be at least 19 an hour today. But that would likely hurt the economy, but maybe a dollar every few years? Is that unreasonable?

    Wages need to keep pace with inflation, or poverty grows. end of story.

    And yes Genious ADULTS, with CHILDREN do work at the very bottom of the pay scale. and they are not always upwardly mobile. Sometimes they stay near the minimum wage for thier entire careers.

  59. “If baltimores stats are not similar, I will eat my shorts.”

    How would you like them prepared.

    “EVERY SINGLE TIME MINIMUM WAGE HAS GONE UP IN THE USA THE ECONOMY HAS GROWN, NOT SHRUNK. That is because pwople at the lowest end of the pay scale, SPEND thier money, and put it back into the economy, usually into the lowest wage economic sectors, because that is what they can afford, this creates more jobs, and more profits.”

    Uh-huh… the last time the minimum wage was raised was in the middle of the tech bubble, which distorted the data. Also, while overall employment went up, those sector of employment most sensitive to minimum wage hikes(teens, unskilled labor, etc.) were adversely affected. The overall employment level is not a good indicator of the impact of a minimum wage hike, since it looks at *ALL* employment, not just those sectors sensitive to the minimum wage rate. On a lesser point, if the economy is going gang-busters, employment is typically low and the minimum wage isn’t an issue, since there is competition for workers by employers. What good is a booming economy if you don’t have a job? For specific percentages for impact of the 90-91 wage hike on those economic classes most sensitive to changes in the minimum wage, here is a link:

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/reg18n1c.html

    “Emplyees (sic) AND employers win. It is a myth that raising the minimum wage hurts emplyers (sic). Find me some data that says otherwise. “

    Please see above; The tables you want will be most of the way down the page. Data for several years and several minimum wage hikes is included.

    “And I think that you are quite unaware that certified nursing assts in most of the country do not get much higher than 2 dollars an hour over minimum. and that is at best, and only experienced ones. All over the south, they start at the minimum wage, unless forced by a living wage act to start higher. In Large trauma centers, highly experienced ones can hope to make 10 or 11 dollars an hour, but that is at the VERY top of the pay scale, and requires years of service, in the same hospital. And CNAs are laid off very often, sometimes just to avoid moving them to the top of the pay scale.”

    Been auditing too many hospitals for too many years to let this one slide. Hospitals are sucking wind for qualified personnel, esp. care-givers. Like I said, a home health aid, who doesn’t have nearly the training you are discussing, makes more than what you’re saying CNAs do. I have audited HHAs all over the country, Katie. Not a one I’ve gone to is as low as you describe.

    “(Yes they do exist, you see sometimes poor people with children cannot EVER afford to go to school to better thier lot)”

    Free schooling to age 18… programs ranging from student loans to Pell grants to scholarships to military training… Any kid willing to finish high school with a decent GPA has the opportunity to go on to higher education — they may have to start somewhere less fun and less glamourous, but it can be done, by anyone who is willing to work at it.

    “Perhaps Baltimore is a highly unionized city and offers better pay than the rest of the country, but considering that baltimores cost of living is about medium, I highly doubt your figures are not anomalous. not that I think you are lying but maybe the organisation you work for has much better than average wage policys built in it.”

    Waht happened in Baltimore was the following: an organization called ACORN, pushed for a law requiring businesses in the waterfront district to pay a “living wage.” I seem to recall is being $12 / hr, but don’t quote me. (Ironically, ACORN doesn’t pay its people minimum wage, arguing they can hire more people if they are exempt.) Anyway,the money to pay the wages doesn’t come out of thin air, it comes out of business operations. Prices in the district are higher, fewer people shop there, thusly fewer people are hired and the whole situation is a bust.

    “Because not all companies are greedy, they do not need a minimum wage. Minimum wage is for the people who without it, take advantage.”

    The minimum wage is typically earned by unskilled labor, teenagers and the like. Its essentially a training wage. Very few people stay at the minimum wage for very long.

    “now that is not the same thing as saying that minimum wage should be 20 dollars an hour. not in the least. But every once in a while minimum wage HAS to go up. because everything else does. If we make it twenty to appease lil ol liberal me, why dont we make it 25 cents for you? People would still work for that you know. Because people need jobs. If for no other reason than to be eligible for welfare.”

    Like I asked — why not. If a small increase is good, why isn’t a large one better? Allow me to enlighted you: simply stated, the minimum wage is a price control. If the government coercively raises the price of some good (such as labor) above its market value, the demand for that good will fall, and some of the supply will go unused. Unfortunately, in the case of minimum wages, the “unused goods” are human beings. The worker who is not quite worth the newly imposed price loses out. Typically, the losers include young workers who have too little experience to be worth the new minimum and marginal workers who, for whatever reason, cannot produce very much. First and foremost, minimum-wage legislation hurts the least employable by making them unemployable, in effect pricing them out of the market. Teenagers suffer most from the adjustments required by an increase in the minimum-wage rate. These workers are generally the least experienced, least skilled, and least productive. The damage done to teenagers is twofold. First, they lose income immediately. Second, because minimum-wage legislation has rendered them unemployable, teenagers cannot gain the ex- perience and skills that would make them employable at higher wages later. If there were no floor price on labor, teenagers could offer to work for a lower price until they had gained the training, experience, and skills they needed to command a higher wage. The damage done to minority teenagers is far worse. By establishing an arbitrary minimum, government reduces the costs of discrimination. In The State against Blacks, economist Walter Williams described how minimum-wage legislation alters the incentives of employers: “Suppose that an employer has a preference for white employees over black employees. And for expository simplicity, assume the employees from which he chooses are identical in terms of productivity. If there is a law, such as the minimum wage law, that requires that employers pay the same wage no matter who is hired, what are his incentives? His incentives are [those] of preference indulgence. He must pay the black $3.35 an hour and he must pay the white $3.35 an hour. He must find some basis for choice. The minimum wage law says that his choice will not be based on economic criteria. Therefore, it must be based on noneconomic criteria. If he wishes, the employer can discriminate against the black worker at zero cost.”

    “if you calculated min wage along with the inflation rate from about 72 on, it would be at least 19 an hour today. But that would likely hurt the economy, but maybe a dollar every few years? Is that unreasonable?

    Wages need to keep pace with inflation, or poverty grows. end of story.”

    Your grasp of economics is tenuous, at best.

    “And yes Genious ADULTS, with CHILDREN do work at the very bottom of the pay scale. and they are not always upwardly mobile. Sometimes they stay near the minimum wage for thier entire careers.”

    Economic research doesn’t bear out your arguement. As a rule, the only persons who are at that wage strata are teens and other “new entries” into the market and those without skills. That said, to work a whole lifetime and not gain the skills to move up a rung or three suggests some other limiting factor on their economic mobility. You are wrong on the facts and you are wrong on the theory — there are negative impacts to increases in the minimum wages, as demonstrated by the economic analysis at the link. As I said, its amazing what you can find if you but expend a wee bit of effort and look.

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  62. Katrina is back with a vengeance. At last, some objective editorials.

    Politicians, media combine to create disastrous coverage

    and

    Too many reporters went way overboard in hurricane coverage

    What’s the saying, ‘you can fool all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

    The lies and propaganda of liberals and the anti-Bush media are coming back to haunt them. There needs to be a full investigation into the naked political agenda of the mainstream media, in coordination with liberal politicians, in relation to events surrounding Katrina.

    The media’s irresponsibility and abdication of objective and factual reporting during the Katrina crisis seems to be good grounds for the administration to restrict media activities during other times of national crisis.

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