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How the Republicans washed out under Katrina

by Ivan Seeking
Tags: katrina, republicans, washed
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Ivan Seeking
#1
Sep12-05, 10:29 PM
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Considering that the response to terrorist attacks has been the focus and responsibility of the Republicans and this administration, Katrina shows how miserably a Republican run government has failed to protect the interests of the people of the United States. They have had four years and more money than at any time in history to ensure that any large scale emergency response here in the US is well coordinated and effective. Instead we find the coffee boy - a good buddy of Bush's - and his buddies running FEMA, and only half of the National Guard equipment, and 2/3 of the personnel, available in the critical states; which certainly cost American lives.

Above all, any emergency worker will tell you that in an emergency, time is the most important factor in determining who lives and who dies. Time is what the 40 critical patients who drowned in their hospital beds didn't have. And they have the republicans and the Bush administration to thank for it.

This - large scale disasters - was not just a priority, it was the priority for Bush, and this is the Bush legacy - the bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans.
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SOS2008
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Sep12-05, 10:33 PM
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9287435/

Photographers rarely are allowed into the forward cabin of Air Force One, but consigliere Karl Rove and other aides summoned them so they could snap pictures of the Boss gazing out the window as the plane flew over the devastation. Republican strategists privately call the resulting image—Bush as tourist, seemingly powerless as he peered down at the chaos—perhaps among the most damaging of his presidency.
Uh-oh, could Rove find himself out of favor?
"I'm unsatisfied with where we are right now," Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist told NEWSWEEK, "because I cannot be assured now that if a similar event were to happen today, that anything would be different."
The man has left the Bushies and is heading for 2008!

Katrina seems likely to blow away much of Bush's agenda, already burdened by an expensive and increasingly unpopular construction project in Iraq. Congress already has shoveled out $62 billion in relief money alone, with several times that likely to be spent on rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Democrats declared Bush's costly Social Security-reform plan dead (again), as well as his plan to repeal the estate tax. Few Republicans disagreed. Frist didn't shut the door on a tax increase, saying, "I'm not going to rule it out nor am I going to endorse it." But he noted that Congress faces "the most expensive redevelopment project the country has ever seen. I would think, and predict, that it is going to cost money."
What? You think?

"Voters see not just a failure of execution, but of the Bush brand of conservatism," he said. The alternative? Senator Clinton offered one, informally launching her 2008 run by touting the last president's record on disaster relief. She wasn't proposing another Johnsonian Great Society, but, at least for Democrats, she was offering a flashlight in the dark.
Now that really hurts.
LURCH
#3
Sep12-05, 10:42 PM
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A friend of mine runs a conservative Blog. He has heard all the partisan finger-pointing that has been going on since about the time the levy first started to crack, and still is the liberal's main contribution to the relief effort. There's plenty of blame to go 'round, but he has no time to sling mud right now, 'cause he's at the Astrodome actually doing something to help. I am signed up and waiting my turn to go to the "Big Easy", and work very hard. This is the most I've ever said on the subject, because I think it's kind of ghoulish to take advantage of these tragic deaths to argue a personal point of politics or say "I told ya so".

Besides, I need all my fingers to help sort through and package up all the donated clothing my town's local churches are preparing for shipment to TX and LA.

TRCSF
#4
Sep12-05, 10:50 PM
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How the Republicans washed out under Katrina

Quote Quote by LURCH
A friend of mine runs a conservative Blog. He has heard all the partisan finger-pointing that has been going on since about the time the levy first started to crack, and still is the liberal's main contribution to the relief effort. There's plenty of blame to go 'round, but he has no time to sling mud right now, 'cause he's at the Astrodome actually doing something to help. I am signed up and waiting my turn to go to the "Big Easy", and work very hard. This is the most I've ever said on the subject, because I think it's kind of ghoulish to take advantage of these tragic deaths to argue a personal point of politics or say "I told ya so".

Besides, I need all my fingers to help sort through and package up all the donated clothing my town's local churches are preparing for shipment to TX and LA.
Is that so? Because I see liberals placing blame where blame is due, and helping people out. While I see conservatives whining about the blame game while pointing the finger at everybody but Bush, and saying how they shouldn't help the Katrina victims anyway because they're poor and black and got what they had coming.
kyleb
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Sep12-05, 11:08 PM
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I have seen plenty of uncalled-for stuff from both sides, but I have to ask Lurch; wouldn't the you consider the "liberal's" contribution to the relief effort include to the replacement of Mike Brown, and can you at least have respect for the "finger-pointing" that prompted that change?
russ_watters
#6
Sep12-05, 11:29 PM
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Precisely how many deaths did Bush cause here? Anyone care to place an actual number on it? So far, I see 40. Does anyone want to go for 50?

edit: I missed the sarcasm in the last sarcastic thread, so I'm not sure if this thread was meant to be sarcastic or not. But I guess I'm going to have to assume it's sarcastic because what I'm seeing here is beyond irrational. Its beyond delusional. A hurricane hits and breaks levees that take decades to build, flooding a below-sea-level city in the worst national disaster in the history of the US, and the resulting deaths are somehow politically aligned? I suppose you guys blame Clinton for the Northridge Earthquake, right?
russ_watters
#7
Sep12-05, 11:45 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking
They have had four years and more money than at any time in history to ensure that any large scale emergency response here in the US is well coordinated and effective.
And by the same logic, Clinton had nearly 8 years to secure the WTC after its first Al Qaeda attack and fix our intelligence services to detect and prevent the second attack, making the second attack his fault and putting the 3,000 deaths in his stats column, right?
russ_watters
#8
Sep12-05, 11:47 PM
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Quote Quote by kyleb
I have seen plenty of uncalled-for stuff from both sides, but I have to ask Lurch; wouldn't the you consider the "liberal's" contribution to the relief effort include to the replacement of Mike Brown, and can you at least have respect for the "finger-pointing" that prompted that change?
If Brown were the real target, maybe they could get credit for that - but everyone here knows that Brown was only being used as ammo for the sake of attacking Bush.
Skyhunter
#9
Sep12-05, 11:52 PM
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Quote Quote by LURCH
A friend of mine runs a conservative Blog. He has heard all the partisan finger-pointing that has been going on since about the time the levy first started to crack, and still is the liberal's main contribution to the relief effort. There's plenty of blame to go 'round, but he has no time to sling mud right now, 'cause he's at the Astrodome actually doing something to help. I am signed up and waiting my turn to go to the "Big Easy", and work very hard. This is the most I've ever said on the subject, because I think it's kind of ghoulish to take advantage of these tragic deaths to argue a personal point of politics or say "I told ya so".

Besides, I need all my fingers to help sort through and package up all the donated clothing my town's local churches are preparing for shipment to TX and LA.
Since he is not one to toot his own horn I guess you missed this "Liberal" and his efforts.

Al Gore blasts Bush; personally airlifted Katrina victims

TERENCE CHEA

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Former Vice President Al Gore urged Americans on Friday to hold the Bush administration accountable for failing to adequately prepare for and respond to Hurricane Katrina.

"When the corpses of American citizens are floating in toxic flood waters five days after a hurricane struck, it is time not only to respond directly to the victims of the catastrophe, but to hold ... the leaders of our nation accountable," Gore told environmentalists at the Sierra Club's national convention.

Gore had been scheduled to give a speech to state insurance commissioners in New Orleans this weekend about the likelihood that global warming will spawn increasingly deadly hurricanes. He decided to take his speech to San Francisco after that conference was canceled.

"The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis, it is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences," Gore said.

Bush administration officials have said Katrina's damage could not have been anticipated, but Gore rejected that.

"What happened was not only knowable, it was known in advance, in great and painstaking detail. They did tabletop planning exercises. They identified exactly what the scientific evidence showed would take place," Gore said.

In his Sierra Club speech, the former senator from Tennessee didn't mention an act of mercy that he was personally involved in - his help airlifting some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans to Tennessee on Sept. 3 and 4. He did that at the urging of a doctor who saved the life of his son years earlier.

Dr. Anderson Spickard, who is Gore's personal physician and accompanied him on the flights, told The Associated Press that "Gore told me he wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has."

An account of the flights was posted this week on a Democratic Party Web page. It was written by Greg Simon, president of the Washington-based activist group FasterCures. Simon, who helped put together the mission, also declined an interview.

On Sept. 1, three days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, Simon learned that Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Gore's son, Albert, after a life-threatening auto accident in 1989, was trying to get in touch with Gore. Kline was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute - food and water running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and ... corpses outside," Simon wrote.

Gore responded immediately, telephoning Kline and agreeing to underwrite the $50,000 each for the two flights, although Larry Flax, founder of California Pizza Kitchens, later pledged to pay for one of them.

"None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written guarantee of payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews," Simon wrote of the American Airlines flights. "One official said if Gore promised to pay, that was good enough for them."

He also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore's cousin, retired Col. Dar LaFon, a specialist in internal medicine who once ran the military hospital in Baghdad.

Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee's support and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans.

About 140 people, many of them sick, landed in Knoxville on Sept. 3. The second flight, with 130 evacuees, landed the next day in Chattanooga.

---

Associated Press Writer Duncan Mansfield in Nashville contributed to this report.

ON THE NET

Simon's account: https://http://www.democrats.org
Thank you Al Gore for so eloquently demonstrating how "Liberals" can criticize and aid in the relief effort.

It makes me sick to think of how much better off we would have been if Rehnquist had not been so partisan and had stuck to his legal philosophy and allowed a proper Florida recount.

Bush flew over New Orleans at tax payer expense and did nothing for days afterward. Al Gore chartered his own plane and airlifts 270 patients.

I find it incomprehensible that anyone can still support George W. Bush.

Here is another example of those heartless liberals slinging mud and not helping out the victims of hurricane Katrina.

Dear MoveOn member,
In the face of the enormous tragedy unfolding in the Southeast, the response from MoveOn members and the general public to our volunteer housing efforts has been amazing and heartwarming. Since last Thursday, offers of over 150,000 beds have been posted at hurricanehousing.org, with over 50,000 of those spots in the Southeast.

The thanks that mean the most, of course, are those of the people who have found a place to stay. Here's what Mary, one of the Katrina survivors, had to say: "I bought a condo in Biloxi just 10 days before Katrina to be closer to family after my husband's death last Jan. No motels were taking reservations so I looked on the web...that is how I came across hurricanehousing.org. What a blessing in this time of need. I'll be staying with wonderful Susan and her cats for one week."

Over 1,500 people like Mary have responded to the postings, seeking housing for 11,000 hurricane victims—even as most relief organizations are still focused primarily on saving everyone they can from the most immediate dangers. With over a million people displaced, as attention shifts to finding medium-term solutions for those crammed into churches and other makeshift shelters, we expect that the housing offered so far will be snapped up.
That's where you can help:

Offer housing: If you can shelter someone in need, even if you're nowhere near New Orleans, you may be able to make a difference for someone who has lost everything. The need is most urgent in the following locations: all of Texas and Louisiana; Washington, DC; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Memphis and Greensboro, North Carolina. But victims are also being moved to cities further afield, including Boston, Chicago, and even St. Paul, Minnesota. Post your offer of a spare room, or a bed, or even a couch here:

http://www.hurricanehousing.org/?id=...bSPTsnRs.hA0jQ

Donate: We've also partnered with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As part of their effort to help victims of Katrina, they're working to match victims to available housing, and providing additional transportation out of New Orleans and emergency supplies to those affected. They're strapped for funds to do this important work, and need our help. You can donate online right now at:

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=864&t=4

We're doing everything we can to get these offers into the hands of those in need. We've set up a toll-free hotline so people without internet access can call in and get help finding housing. Celebrities—from Rosie Perez to Moby to Tim Robbins to the Beastie Boys—are helping us publicize the website and hotline through public service announcements and other outreach.

Meanwhile, MoveOn.org Political Action is readying plans to hold the Bush Administration to account for its failures in preventing and then responding to this disaster, and make sure that Congress provides the aid that's needed.

Here are a couple more stories from the victims and their families:

I went out of town for the weekend. When I found out about the hurricane, the airline wouldn't let me return home to get my things or my dog. So I had to sit and watch in horror as the waters came in and see everything from the television. I'm distraught not only because I want my dog, I want to be home, but because I only had three classes left to graduate. [Through your site] I found a place. It was a miracle. The guy renting his apt was moving and I have 30 days to stay here and that gives me time to find a job and more permanent housing. He also hooked me up with a job. I will be attending the University of Houston Monday. I can't tell you how grateful I am to people like him and others who responded and opened their homes to me.–Dara

We moved to New Orleans in 2003 and bought a house which was under 12 feet of water following Hurricane Katrina. We evacuated safely but were at a loss as to where we would go while waiting for the endless water to drain from our city. We applied at hurricanehousing.org and got two responses within 24 hours.–Ann

Today's New York Times also includes a story of a family that was placed through hurricanehousing.org. The Mixons, from a New Orleans suburb, have plenty to worry about with the mortgages on their home and a now uninhabitable rental property adding up and the possibility that their business won't survive. The offer by Shannon O'Leary and Alex McKinney in Cummings, GA, provided not just shelter near family members, but a new friendship for both couples and their 4-year old daughters in a time of trouble.
So Lurch is your post really sincere?

I think it is just an attempt to obfuscate the fact that Bush and his cronies have been exposed for the incompetents they are. So don't try to take the high road now!

Americans are coming to the aid of Americans period!
SOS2008
#10
Sep13-05, 12:03 AM
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I think it is great that LURCH is volunteering, and I agree that action speaks louder than words. However, per the example email above, I received emails from various liberal sources almost immediately, and quietly, helping to raise funds for the victims, while listening to the BS on the news.
Quote Quote by russ_watters
Precisely how many deaths did Bush cause here? Anyone care to place an actual number on it? So far, I see 40. Does anyone want to go for 50?

edit: I missed the sarcasm in the last sarcastic thread, so I'm not sure if this thread was meant to be sarcastic or not. But I guess I'm going to have to assume it's sarcastic because what I'm seeing here is beyond irrational. Its beyond delusional. A hurricane hits and breaks levees that take decades to build, flooding a below-sea-level city in the worst national disaster in the history of the US, and the resulting deaths are somehow politically aligned? I suppose you guys blame Clinton for the Northridge Earthquake, right?
OMG, it's not the "he is bad but so was he" argument? In any event, I'm not sure what the most recent count is, but it was at 154 on the 10th. I think we should be grateful it isn't as high as originally anticipated, but still sad that people died. In the meantime, I am angry that the money and effort spent on our Homeland Security has resulted in such poor protection of Americans.
kyleb
#11
Sep13-05, 12:17 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
If Brown were the real target, maybe they could get credit for that - but everyone here knows that Brown was only being used as ammo for the sake of attacking Bush.
Wow, I was just looking for a response from Lurch; never in my wildest dreams would I have expected even a if-maybe from you, Russ. I suppose I was too quick to assume that you would be just as pleased with Brown's efforts as Bush was when he commended his appointee last week. On the other hand, the way you completely brushed over Ivan's point and simultaneously squeezed in a loose correlation to Clinton just brought me right back to the good old days.

Hey it’s good to be back home again,
Sometimes this old forum feels like a long-lost friend,
Yes ’n’ hey, it’s good to be back home again...
Skyhunter
#12
Sep13-05, 12:19 AM
P: 1,409
Quote Quote by russ_watters
Precisely how many deaths did Bush cause here? Anyone care to place an actual number on it? So far, I see 40. Does anyone want to go for 50?

edit: I missed the sarcasm in the last sarcastic thread, so I'm not sure if this thread was meant to be sarcastic or not. But I guess I'm going to have to assume it's sarcastic because what I'm seeing here is beyond irrational. Its beyond delusional. A hurricane hits and breaks levees that take decades to build, flooding a below-sea-level city in the worst national disaster in the history of the US, and the resulting deaths are somehow politically aligned? I suppose you guys blame Clinton for the Northridge Earthquake, right?
Bush cut the ACE funding 80% for NO flood control. If they had hardened the earthen levee in 2002 when it was scheduled to be finished, the seawall would probably not have collapsed. The flood happened after the storm, not because the levees were overwhelmed but because they were not properly maintained! The levees are sinking, they need constant maintenance as well as upgrades. If Katrina had made a direct hit this point would be moot, but it was a cat 3/4 when it got to NO and it just missed. The disaster is a result of Bush's policies. He is to blame. He also filled FEMA with his campaign buddies and political supporters.

And FEMA disaster management response, are you saying it was a well managed effective response?

If Bush would have just taken responsibility, fired Brown, and took the lead he could have put an end to the "blame game" Instead he had to wait until he could do a photo op with fireman who would have much rather been rescuing storm victims. He responded in the only way he knows how, lots of PR and propaganda.

And you had to invoke Clinton again to defend Bush so you already lost this argument.

You will not lose your conservative credentials if you just admit that Bush & Co. have now been exposed for what they are.
LURCH
#13
Sep13-05, 12:21 AM
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Quote Quote by TRCSF
While I see conservatives... saying how they shouldn't help the Katrina victims anyway because they're poor and black and got what they had coming.
C'mon now, do you have a link to some quote that says that?

Kyleb, I can see your point, and it's not that I don't think Brown needed replacing, but no, I can't really say that I "respect" the finger-pointing at this particular time. The change of personel didn't put food or drinking water in the hands of the victims, it didn't provide housing for the displaced refugees. It could have waited till a later time, these people are in desperate need right now, and replacing one face with another in some distant office somewhere isn't the best way to help. It just seems as though some folks are less interested in the human needs of the victims, and more interested in the political symbol they can provide to rally followers to their own cause.

But we could turn this around. In the engineering thread, people are talking about what cuold be done in the future to prevent such a disaster, or at least limit its effects. Maybe we could start telling about the relief efforts we've seen and (for those of us who are able) perhaps even talk about our own participation. Look how much time we all spend discussing the theoretical; we already have a strong sense of community. This might be a chance for the people of this site to unite for a common goal in the real world. Kind-of a "PFer's reliefers" squad, y'know?
SOS2008
#14
Sep13-05, 12:31 AM
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Quote Quote by LURCH
C'mon now, do you have a link to some quote that says that?

Kyleb, I can see your point, and it's not that I don't think Brown needed replacing, but no, I can't really say that I "respect" the finger-pointing at this particular time. The change of personel didn't put food or drinking water in the hands of the victims, it didn't provide housing for the displaced refugees. It could have waited till a later time, these people are in desperate need right now, and replacing one face with another in some distant office somewhere isn't the best way to help. It just seems as though some folks are less interested in the human needs of the victims, and more interested in the political symbol they can provide to rally followers to their own cause.

But we could turn this around. In the engineering thread, people are talking about what cuold be done in the future to prevent such a disaster, or at least limit its effects. Maybe we could start telling about the relief efforts we've seen and (for those of us who are able) perhaps even talk about our own participation. Look how much time we all spend discussing the theoretical; we already have a strong sense of community. This might be a chance for the people of this site to unite for a common goal in the real world. Kind-of a "PFer's reliefers" squad, y'know?
I feel it is important that the two go hand-in-hand, relief efforts and an investigation. There is no reason why it can't be done--I don't see how it hinders the relief efforts at all, and it is good to get facts while these are fresh. Don't forget, we have had another hurricane off the Carolinas, and who knows what could happen when. People want the problems addressed immediately.
kyleb
#15
Sep13-05, 12:49 AM
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Lurch, I'm perplexed by your response. Do you honestly belive that having a man with such qualifications as Vice Admiral Allen at the helm is not providing any tangible results over his demonstratedly inept successor?
Smurf
#16
Sep13-05, 12:55 AM
P: 2,891
The problems didn't start with Brown, they're not going to end with him. It will certainly help a little, but I don't see that specifically having drastic or immediate effects.
kyleb
#17
Sep13-05, 01:09 AM
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I wasn't trying to suggest anything drastic by any means, but Lurch's no-food/no-shelter stance struck me off guard. I suppose I have just too much respect for the value of strong leadership than to be able to assume that.
LURCH
#18
Sep13-05, 01:16 AM
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Quote Quote by Skyhunter
Bush cut the ACE funding 80% for NO flood control. If they had hardened the earthen levee in 2002 when it was scheduled to be finished, the seawall would probably not have collapsed. The flood happened after the storm, not because the levees were overwhelmed but because they were not properly maintained! The levees are sinking, they need constant maintenance as well as upgrades. If Katrina had made a direct hit this point would be moot, but it was a cat 3/4 when it got to NO and it just missed.
It would seem to be moot in any case. I say this for two reasons; firstly, the work on hardening the levy did stop before it wasd completed, but the part of the levy that broke was completed, and secondly, according to the only eyewitness account I've ever heard, the levy was hit by a couple barges. I don't think there is any kind of preperation or strengthening that could have stood up to that.

Actually, I'm a bit confused as to why this huge tidbit of information has been so ignored. I heard a guy say it on a telephone inerview several days ago, and I thought, "this is a major break in the story, the newsguy who got this interview has a real scoop on his hands, he should pounce on it!". The guy lived right next to the levy right at the spot where it broke, and he said he saw two barges get shoved nito the levy by the stormsurge, and then it gave way. But when he was done speaking, the newsguy said thank you very much, sir, that was Mr [whatever his name was], from the scene; some very hard times people are dealing with in that area. And now we take you to...". I have to assume that he wasn't listening to the guy, maybe because his director was talking in his earpeace or something, but they sure dropped the ball.


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