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  1. #1101  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    What about all the money that's been sent down there and has apparently been p*ssed away?
    I haven't seen the Washington Post cover page story from yesterday linked here yet - but unfortunately I'm mobile right now and can't get to it. I'll try to remember later to post it.
    Here's the link:

    Washington Post
  2. #1102  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    It is predicted that there will be a massive earthquake along the New Madrid fault line that will cause massive flooding and cost thousands of lives. However, even with that prediction people continue to move to St. Louis MO, Memphis TN, and many other smaller towns along the river, and these same people vote down taxes to upgrade the levees.
    I see. So we will get more chances of sending humanitarian aid to the US based on you saving taxes?
    As with the majority of finacial undertakings it is a cost/risk analysis and for many many years the cost was minimal compared to the risk. Now in hindsight everyone can say the cost would have been minimal versus the risk.
    Costs are actually part of the risk.
    Risk is likelyhood of an event times damage (damage=loss due to that event or costs of repair).

    "Event" = Categrory 4 hurricane in NO breaching levees too weak for Category 4 hurricane
    "Likelyhood of that event" = once in 65 years
    "Damage" = "Flooding of NO due to Category 4 hurricane breaching levees, loss of thousands of lives, total shutdown of city for weeks or months" = approx. US$ 40 billion (just a rough estimate, the total hurricane costs are already estimated at about US$150 billion).

    So you get 1/65 years times US$40 billion = US$615 million per year.
    That's the maximum amount which you can invest into making the levees secure each year without losing money on the long run. Obviously, far less was invested in the right place, and with only a fraction of that money you could have prevented NO from drowning. It has nothing to do with hindsight because the facts were obvious prior to the event.
    Last edited by clulup; 09/09/2005 at 05:09 PM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #1103  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So you get 1/65 years times US$40 billion = US$615 million per year.
    That's the maximum amount which you can invest into making the levees secure each year without losing money on the long run. Obviously, far less was invested in the right place, and with only a fraction of that money you could have prevented NO from drowning. It has nothing to do with hindsight because the facts were obvious prior to the event.
    Except New orleans has been there for 300 years and has never had such a close call with a category 4 hurricane (remember, this wasn't even the doomsday direct hit that had been feared). People tend to not plan well for things they feel will never really happen - despite what statistics might otherwise predict.

    It's a statistical certainty that the MS River basin will see a magnitude 7 or 8 earthquake (in fact, by some calculations it's overdue). No plans for it because no one has ever experienced it.
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    #1104  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I see. So we will get more chances of sending humanitarian aid to the US based on you saving taxes? Costs are actually part of the risk.
    Risk is likelyhood of an event times damage (damage=loss due to that event or costs of repair).

    "Event" = Categrory 4 hurricane in NO
    "Likelyhood of that event" = once in 65 years
    "Damage" = "Flooding of NO due to Category 4 hurricane, loss of thousands of lives, total shutdown of city for weeks or months" = approx. US$ 40 billion (just a rough estimate, the total hurricane costs are already estimated at about US$150 billion).

    So you get 1/65 years times US$40 billion = US$615 million per year.
    That's the maximum amount which you can invest into making the levees secure each year without losing money on the long run. Obviously, far less was invested in the right place, and with only a fraction of that money you could have prevented NO from drowning. It has nothing to do with hindsight because the facts were obvious prior to the event.
    Do you have data on the hurricane that happened 65 years ago that wiped out NO?

    No one, not the US, Sweden, Germany, Italy or anyone else will spend money to attempt to prevent every possible scenario. If you think they will you are in for a big surprise.

    In hindsight yes, money should have been spent on the levee but like has been said many times before, a storm like this has not hit NO (regardless of the once every 65 year quote that keeps being tossed around) so there was a false sense of security. Just like with the New Madrid fault line it has not happened so there is a sense of security there.
  5. #1105  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Do you have data on the hurricane that happened 65 years ago that wiped out NO?
    It's not about a single specific event in history, it is what you can expect on average, given the conditions in the region of NO: http://1069thepoint.com/common/hurri...ne_return.html
    or, more specifically, here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/pdf/cat4.pdf
    No one, not the US, Sweden, Germany, Italy or anyone else will spend money to attempt to prevent every possible scenario. If you think they will you are in for a big surprise.
    Obviously nobody can prevent every possible scenario. That would be far to expensive and not economically sound. But making sure the levees in NO don't break in a Category 4 hurricane would have been an obvious step when looking at the likelyhood of the event (a scientific fact) and the devastating effect it has/had. The cost/benefit ratio is obviously in favour of making the levees ready for a Category 4 hurricane, that's not rocket science.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  6. #1106  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Darn!!! I guess there goes Joebar's fall guy theory
    Oh it'll be deflected onto somebody or something. The spin machine will not disappoint


  7. #1107  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I see. So we will get more chances of sending humanitarian aid to the US based on you saving taxes?
    clulup, I usually agree with your comments, but that's pretty out of line.


  8. #1108  
    Sean Penn has warped political views and info came out that he failed to save anyone in NO. Here's an article stating otherwise. I still think he is a fooll but respect him for all the good he has done in NO.
  9. #1109  
    Quote Originally Posted by Joebar
    clulup, I usually agree with your comments, but that's pretty out of line.
    Joebar, I usually disagree with your comments but we found common ground on this one.
  10. #1110  
    Pat " Fatwa for Murder" Robertson, has set up a special charity for Katrina survivors.

    Charity starts at home -- and Pat's Christian Broadcast Network (700 Club, CBN) is naturally one of its prime beneficiaries.

    Understandably FEMA has made Pat's "charity" its second favorite place to urge us to contribute -- just after the Red Cross.


    ...Robertson's Katrina Charity

    Operation Blessing Is Second on FEMA's List for Donations for Hurricane Victims

    By BRIAN ROSS ABC News
    Sep. 9, 2005

    Charity and religious leaders are questioning why the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated Operation Blessing as the No. 2 charity for donations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    Operation Blessing is the charity founded and still chaired by Pat Robertson, the politically well-connected television evangelist, who recently called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, we've never had anything like this," Robertson told his audience.
    "Let's rally together and do what we can."

    In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the federal government, through FEMA, issued a list of charities to which Americans should donate. On that list, Operation Blessing was only second to the American Red Cross.

    Charity leaders say this FEMA recommendation is a huge boost for Robertson's charity.

    "It could be worth tens of millions of dollars,"
    said Richard Walden, president and founder of Operation USA, a non-governmental organization specializing in disaster relief.
    However, as Robertson hosted his daily television show in Mississippi this week, other charity leaders were questioning why FEMA had recommended Robertson's operation and left others off the list, including Walden's Operation USA.

    "I was shocked," said Walden upon seeing Robertson's charity so prominently displayed on the FEMA Web site. "It stuck out for a reason because of Pat Robertson's activities over the years."



    Questions of Accountability

    Seven years ago, those activities led Virginia investigators to say there was evidence to prove Robertson "willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements." Robertson denied the allegations. He then personally reimbursed Operation Blessing. No action was taken.

    "Based on their track record, I would say that, as an individual, I would not give to Operational Blessing," admitted the Rev. Charles Henderson, a Presbyterian minister, who is the executive director of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life.

    According to its most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service, Operation Blessing gave more than half of its yearly allocation of cash donations -- $885,000 -- to the Christian Broadcasting Network, or CBN, of which Robertson is also the chairman.

    "There is no accountability when you have two boards working hand in hand like this," said Henderson. "One never knows when you're contributing to Operation Blessing whether the money is really going to the hurricane victims, or whether it's going to pay for some more television time for Pat Robertson's television show."

    Some charity watchdog groups have given high marks to Operation Blessing. Bill Horan, the charity's president, at first denied his charity gave any money to Robertson's television operation.

    "Well, that's an absolute, total and complete distortion of the truth, Brian," Horan replied. "Operation Blessing does not give one red cent to CBN."

    When he was told of the Operation Blessing documents obtained by ABC News, which show a contribution of $885,000 to CBN, Horan called it an accounting issue.

    "I'm president of a charity that's been working 22 to 24 hours a day for the last week trying to save lives down there," he said, "and I'm not going to talk any more about the issues that involve accounting."

    A spokesman for Operation Blessing later told ABC News that the charity utilizes Robertson's television network as a conduit for delivering donations overseas, and that none of the money has been used for network activities.

    As for FEMA, Director Michael Brown says that he does not know who decided to recommend Robertson's charity so prominently.




    Why, I must ask, is the Red Cross preferred over Pat Robertson's charity -- does the Red Cross have the ear of God ???

    (the video for this news story is available on ABC News' web site if you jump through some hoops -- and I have a copy I can post if there's demand...)
    Last edited by BARYE; 09/11/2005 at 01:50 AM.
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  11. #1111  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    Joebar, I usually disagree with your comments but we found common ground on this one.


  12. #1112  
    This NY Times article discusses how the Katrina failure came to happen.

    The article includes several cases of mindless obstruction by FEMA of attempts by outsiders to come assist the survivors.

    A few days ago I posted a similar list which was criticized because some of the examples cited came from blogs or were otherwise badly documented.

    Hopefully the question of FEMA's obstruction of help to New Orleans survivors has now been successfully addressed.


    ...FEMA found itself accused repeatedly of putting bureaucratic niceties ahead of getting aid to those who desperately needed it.

    Hundreds of firefighters, who responded to a nationwide call for help in the disaster, were held by the federal agency in Atlanta for days of training on community relations and sexual harassment before being sent on to the devastated area. The delay, some volunteers complained, meant lives were being lost in New Orleans.

    "On the news every night you hear, 'How come everybody forgot us?' " said Joseph Manning, a firefighter from Washington, Pa., told The Dallas Morning News. "We didn't forget. We're stuck in Atlanta drinking beer."

    ...the FEMA spokeswoman, said there was no urgency for the firefighters to arrive because they were primarily going to do community relations work, not rescue.


    ...a former mayor of Fort Smith, Ark., helped deliver food and water to areas hit by the hurricane. But he said FEMA halted two trailer trucks carrying thousands of bottles of water to Camp Beauregard, near Alexandria, La., a staging area for the distribution of supplies.

    "FEMA would not let the trucks unload,"
    Mr. Vines said in an interview. "The drivers were stuck for several days on the side of the road about 10 miles from Camp Beauregard. FEMA said we had to have a 'tasker number.' What in the world is a tasker number? I have no idea. It's just paperwork, and it's ridiculous."

    ... Congressional offices have had difficulty contacting FEMA. Governors' offices have had difficulty contacting FEMA." When the state of Arkansas repeatedly offered to send buses and planes to evacuate people displaced by flooding, she said, "they were told they could not go. I don't really know why."

    ...National Sheriffs' Association, sent out an alert urging members to pitch in.

    "Folks were held up two, three days while they were working on the paperwork," he said.



    excerpts from the rest of the article:

    ...the Path From Hurricane to Anarchy

    E. LIPTON, C. DREW, S. SHANE and D. ROHDE NY Times
    September 11, 2005

    ...FEMA appears to have underestimated the storm, despite an extraordinary warning from the National Hurricane Center that it could cause "human suffering incredible by modern standards." The agency dispatched only 7 of its 28 urban search and rescue teams to the area before the storm hit and sent no workers at all into New Orleans until after the hurricane passed on Monday, Aug. 29.

    On Tuesday, a FEMA official who had just flown over the ravaged city by helicopter seemed to have trouble conveying to his bosses the degree of destruction, according to a New Orleans city councilwoman.

    "He got on the phone to Washington, and I heard him say, 'You've got to understand how serious this is, and this is not what they're telling me, this is what I saw myself,'

    ...The Louisiana National Guard, already stretched by the deployment of more than 3,000 troops to Iraq, was hampered when its New Orleans barracks flooded. It lost 20 vehicles that could have carried soldiers through the watery streets and had to abandon much of its most advanced communications equipment, guard officials said.

    Partly because of the shortage of troops, violence raged inside the New Orleans convention center, which interviews show was even worse than previously described. Police SWAT team members found themselves plunging into the darkness, guided by the muzzle flashes of thugs' handguns, said Capt. Jeffrey Winn.

    "In 20 years as a cop, doing mostly tactical work, I have never seen anything like it," said Captain Winn.

    ...10 people died at the Superdome, and 24 died at the convention center site...

    ...a national disaster requires a national response. "Everybody's trying to look at it like the City of New Orleans messed up," Mr. Thomas said in an interview. "But you mean to tell me that in the richest nation in the world, people really expected a little town with less than 500,000 people to handle a disaster like this? That's ludicrous to even think that."

    ..."This was a bigger natural disaster than any state could handle by itself, let alone a small state and a relatively poor one," Mr. Kopplin said.

    Federal officials seem to have belatedly come to the same conclusion.
    Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, said future "ultra-catastrophes" like Hurricane Katrina would require a more aggressive federal role.

    Questions had been raised about FEMA, since it was swallowed by the Department of Homeland Security, established after Sept. 11. Its critics complained that it focused too much on terrorism, hurting preparations for natural disasters, and that it had become politicized. Mr. Brown is a lawyer who came to the agency with political connections but little emergency management experience. That's also true of Patrick J. Rhode, the chief of staff at FEMA, who was deputy director of advance operations for the Bush campaign and the Bush White House.

    Scott R. Morris, who was deputy chief of staff at FEMA and is now director of its recovery office on Florida, had worked for Maverick Media in Austin, Tex., as a media strategist for the Bush for President primary campaign and the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign...

    ...FEMA employees, wrote to Congress in June 2004, complaining, "Seasoned staff members are being pushed aside to make room for inexperienced novices and contractors."

    ...As early as Friday, Aug. 26, as Hurricane Katrina moved across the Gulf of Mexico, officials in the watch center at FEMA headquarters in Washington discussed the need for buses.

    Someone said, "We should be getting buses and getting people out of there," recalled Leo V. Bosner, an emergency management specialist with 26 years at FEMA ...

    ..."We could all see it coming, like a guided missile," Mr. Bosner said of the storm. "We, as staff members at the agency, felt helpless. We knew that major steps needed to be taken fast, but, for whatever reasons, they were not taken."

    ...the first buses arranged by FEMA were diverted elsewhere, and it took several more hours to begin the evacuation. By Friday, the food and the water had run out. Violence also broke out. One Guard soldier was wounded by gunfire and the police confirmed there were attempts to sexually assault at least one woman and a young child, Chief Swain said.

    And even though there were clinics at the stadium, Chief Swain said, "Quite a few of the people died during the course of their time here."

    By the time the last buses arrived on Saturday, he said, some children were so dehydrated that guardsmen had to carry them out, and several adults died while walking to the buses. State officials said yesterday that a total of 10 people died in the Superdome.

    "I'm very angry that we couldn't get the resources we needed to save lives," Chief Swain said. "I was watching people die."
    Last edited by BARYE; 09/11/2005 at 01:09 PM.
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  13. #1113  
    rolling on the river Styx, floating down the way to Hades ..,


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  14. #1114  
    Quote Originally Posted by Joebar
    clulup, I usually agree with your comments, but that's pretty out of line.
    Maybe my post was a bit misleading (not sure). I did not mean to say you save taxes by getting humanitarian aid. Cardio wrote
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    However, even with that prediction people continue to move to St. Louis MO, Memphis TN, and many other smaller towns along the river, and these same people vote down taxes to upgrade the levees.
    According to him, taxes are saved despite the obvious need of investing into making things safer.

    What I meant is that the humanitarian aid sent to the US became necessary because taxes were saved and/or not enough care was taken to make the levees secure for the likely case of a Category 4 hurricane hitting NO.

    Normally, humanitarian aid is sent to places which cannot afford taking care of themselves, but in NO is was different, more a question of wrong priorities.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  15. #1115  
    This NY Times article discusses how the Katrina failure came to happen.

    The article includes several cases of mindless obstruction by FEMA of attempts by outsiders to come assist the survivors.

    A few days ago I posted a similar list which was critized because some of the examples cited came from blogs or were otherwise badly documented.

    Hopefully the question of FEMA's obstruction of help to New Orleans survivors has now been successfully addressed.
    The NYT article is a very good read (despite almost all of the sources being local officials, FEMA union heads, etc...). What I found interesting (and have seen reported nowhere else) is that the Superdome did have at least food and water to last until Friday, though the convention center did not.

    FEMA made mistakes, as I believe no one here will dispute. Emergency response must be a local function and any attempt to federalize it has been misguided, to say the least. Bureaucracy kills. Big bureaucracy kills big.
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  16. #1116  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    ...

    FEMA made mistakes, as I believe no one here will dispute. Emergency response must be a local function and any attempt to federalize it has been misguided, to say the least. Bureaucracy kills. Big bureaucracy kills big.
    an incompetent bureaucracy, run by advance men (literally) and spin meisters -- people concerned primarily about appearance and PRPRPR -- $kills$ $people$.

    The FEMA created by Clinton was universally respected -- it was systematically destroyed by junior.

    Bad presidents -- as we have seen in iraq and New Orleans -- have bad conquences for good people.
    Last edited by BARYE; 09/11/2005 at 11:37 PM.
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  17. #1117  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    an incompetent bureaucracy, run by advance men (literally) and spin meisters -- people concerned primarily about appearance and PRPRPR -- $kills$ $people$.
    You mean like Clinton's Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms?
    The FEMA created by Clinton was universally respected -- it was systimatically destroyed by junior.

    Bad presidents -- as we have seen in iraq and New Orleans -- have bad conquences for good people.
    Under Clinton, FEMA was (as it should be) primarily a check-writing bureaucracy. Bush's mistake was in agreeing to try to fold it into DHS. If you believe the results would have been any different had Clinton been president, you are truly beyond the reach of reason.
  18. #1118  
    Newsweek's Evan Thomas --- someone who is a personal friend of junior's -- writes of the melt down.


    How Bush Blew It
    Bureaucratic timidity. Bad phone lines. And a failure of imagination. Why the government was so slow to respond to catastrophe.

    By Evan Thomas
    Newsweek Sept. 19, 2005

    ...who gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure of the president of the United States, or, as he is known in West Wing jargon, POTUS. The bad news on this early morning, Tuesday, Aug. 30, some 24 hours after Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans, was that the president would have to cut short his five-week vacation by a couple of days and return to Washington. The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card; his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin; his counselor, Dan Bartlett, and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, held a conference call to discuss the question of the president's early return and the delicate task of telling him.

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

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

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

    ...[bush] has boasted that he doesn't read the papers...

    ...it is not clear what President Bush does read or watch, aside from the occasional biography and an hour or two of ESPN here and there. Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him. Bush can ask tough questions, but it's mostly a one-way street. Most presidents keep a devil's advocate around. Lyndon Johnson had George Ball on Vietnam; President Ronald Reagan and Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, grudgingly listened to the arguments of Budget Director Richard Darman, who told them what they didn't wish to hear: that they would have to raise taxes. When Hurricane Katrina struck, it appears there was no one to tell President Bush the plain truth: that the state and local governments had been overwhelmed, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was not up to the job and that the military, the only institution with the resources to cope, couldn't act without a declaration from the president overriding all other authority.

    The war in Iraq was a failure of intelligence. The government's response to Katrina—like the failure to anticipate that terrorists would fly into buildings on 9/11—was a failure of imagination. On Tuesday, within 24 hours of the storm's arrival, Bush needed to be able to imagine the scenes of disorder and misery that would, two days later, shock him when he watched the evening news...

    ...as Katrina bore down on New Orleans, [Mayor] Nagin talked to Max Mayfield, head of the National Hurricane Center. "Max Mayfield has scared me to death," Nagin told City Councilwoman Cynthia Morrell early Sunday morning. "If you're scared, I'm scared," ...

    ...At dusk, on the ninth floor of city hall, the mayor and the city council had their first encounter with the federal government. A man in a blue FEMA windbreaker arrived to brief them on his helicopter flyover of the city. He seemed unfamiliar with the city's geography, but he did have a sense of urgency. "Water as far as the eye can see," he said. It was worse than Hurricanes Andrew in 1992 and Camille in 1969. "I need to call Washington," he said. "Do you have a conference-call line?" According to an aide to the mayor, he seemed a little taken aback when the answer was no. Long neglected in the city budget, communications within the New Orleans city government were poor, and eventually almost nonexistent when the batteries on the few old satellite phones died. The FEMA man found a phone, but he had trouble reaching senior officials in Washington. When he finally got someone on the line, the city officials kept hearing him say, "You don't understand, you don't understand."

    Around New Orleans, three levees had overtopped or were broken...

    ...about 8 p.m., [Gov. Blanco] spoke to Bush. "Mr. President," she said, "we need your help. We need everything you've got."

    ...There are a number of steps Bush could have taken, short of a full-scale federal takeover, like ordering the military to take over the pitiful and (by now) largely broken emergency communications system throughout the region. But the president, who was in San Diego preparing to give a speech the next day on the war in Iraq, went to bed.

    By the predawn hours, most state and federal officials finally realized that the 17th Street Canal levee had been breached, and that the city was in serious trouble. Bush was told at 5 a.m. Pacific Coast time and immediately decided to cut his vacation short. To his senior advisers, living in the insular presidential bubble, the mere act of lopping off a couple of presidential vacation days counts as a major event. They could see pitfalls in sending Bush to New Orleans immediately. His presence would create a security nightmare and get in the way of the relief effort. Bush blithely proceeded with the rest of his schedule for the day, accepting a gift guitar at one event and pretending to riff like Tom Cruise in "Risky Business."

    ...on the morning of the storm, only 82 of 120 cops had obeyed a summons to report for duty. Now the numbers were dwindling; within a day, only 28 or 30 officers would be left to save the stranded and fight the looters, recalled a sad and exhausted Capt. Eddie Hosli, speaking to a NEWSWEEK reporter last week. "One of my lieutenants told me, 'I was looking into —the eyes of one of the officers and it was like looking into the eyes of a baby'," Hosli recalled. "It was just terrible." ...

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

    ...The one federal agency that is supposed to handle disasters—FEMA—was dysfunctional. On Wednesday morning, Senator Landrieu was standing outside the chaotic Superdome and asked to borrow a FEMA official's phone to call her office in Washington. "It didn't work," she told news-week. "I thought to myself, 'This isn't going to be pretty'." Once a kind of petty-cash drawer for congressmen to quickly hand out aid after floods and storms, FEMA had improved in the 1990s in the Clinton administration...

    ...After 9/11 raised the profile of disaster response, FEMA was folded into the sprawling Department of Homeland Security and effectively weakened. FEMA's boss, Bush's close friend Joe Allbaugh, quit when he lost his cabinet seat. (Now a consultant, Allbaugh was down on the Gulf Coast last week looking for contracts for his private clients.) Allbaugh replaced himself with his college buddy Mike Brown, whose last private-sector job (omitted from his official resume) had been supervising horse-show judges for the International Arabian Horse Association. After praising Brown ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of job)...

    ...those first few days, Bush was hearing what a good job the Feds were doing. Bush likes "met—rics," numbers to measure performance, so the bureaucrats gave him reassuring statistics...
    Yet it was obvious to anyone watching TV that New Orleans had turned into a Third World hellhole.

    The denial and the frustration finally collided aboard Air Force One on Friday. As the president's plane sat on the tarmac at New Orleans airport, a confrontation occurred that was described by one participant as "as blunt as you can get without the Secret Service getting involved." ...

    ...Rep. Bobby Jindal, [a conservative Republican] whose district encompasses New Orleans, told of a sheriff who had called FEMA for assistance. According to Jindal, the sheriff was told to e-mail his request, "and the guy was sitting in a district underwater and with no electricity," Jindal said, incredulously. "How does that make any sense?" Jindal later told NEWSWEEK that "almost everybody" around the conference table had a similar story about how the federal response "just wasn't working." ...

    ...another Bush aide described the atmosphere inside the White House as "strangely surreal and almost detached." At one meeting described by this insider, officials were oddly self-congratulatory, perhaps in an effort to buck each other up. Life inside a bunker can be strange, especially in defeat.
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  19. #1119  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    You mean like Clinton's Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms?
    Under Clinton, FEMA was (as it should be) primarily a check-writing bureaucracy. Bush's mistake was in agreeing to try to fold it into DHS. If you believe the results would have been any different had Clinton been president, you are truly beyond the reach of reason.

    why the non-sequitur mention of the BATF ??

    Have you read the slew of articles from the last week --several that I've posted lengthy excerpts from -- that describe the systematic dismantling of the professional core of FEMA ??

    Under Clinton competency and professionalism was the salient characteristic of the leaders there.

    junior chose spin meisters, advance men, and failed horse judges...
    Last edited by BARYE; 09/11/2005 at 09:53 AM.
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  20. #1120  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    why the non-sequitur mention of the BATF ??
    Perhaps you missed the whole Waco, TX thing back in the Golden Age of Clinton (for whom I voted, FWIW)? We were discussing bureaucracies killing people, and you made mention of how everything was sweetness and light under Clinton.
    Have you read the slew of articles from the last week --several that I've posted lengthy excerpts from -- that describe the systematic dismantling of the professional core of FEMA ??
    Yes yes yes... I think we've established that FEMA is messed up. We've also established that FEMA is not a first response organization - it never has been and cannot be. It wasn't under Clinton and hasn't been under Bush.
    Under Clinton competency and professionalism was the salient characteristic of the leaders there.
    LOL! Do you mean competent professionals like Janet Reno? Or Sandy Berger? Ron Brown? How about the civilian bureaucracy that denied our Rangers in Mogadishu, Somalia the weapons they needed to defend themselves? Or perhaps you're referring to the foreign policy bureaucracy that allowed millions to die in Rwanda?
    junior chose spin meisters, advance men, and failed horse judges...
    On this, I agree with you. And here is a real scandal and disappointment to me as a Bush supporter. Today is the 4th anniversary of 9/11. Four years later we're staffing our emergency response assets with political cronies (and incompetent ones, to boot).

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