September 03, 2005


The mayor of New Orleans has been whining about the federal response to the disaster. Drudge asks this pertinent question: why weren't the city's school buses deployed to assist in the evacuation of the city before the hurricane hit? So far, this mayor performance has been awful. Guiliani should show him how real men do it.

Posted by LMC at September 3, 2005 03:07 PM | TrackBack

You Reich-wing ruminants make me sick. Blame the blacks as usual. Did it occur to you they're too busy being oppressed?? DUH. God I hate this country

Posted by: Our Lady of Crawford, TX at September 3, 2005 04:00 PM

Mayor Nagin's diatribe was clearly a preemptive strike. He knows very well where the first fingers should be pointed and he's decided that the best defense is a good offense.

Posted by: Dave Schuler at September 3, 2005 06:41 PM

Whining? Aweful? GW was kind enough to shorten his vacation 2 days after landfall (but not before attending a fundraiser and rally in San Diego), Condi went on a shoe binge and caught a show in NYC, Dicky C was still MIA on his vacation until today. One of the largest disasters to ever hit US soil, and days ticked by before the supposed "leadership" could be roused from their headonistic pleasures. Meanwhile the mayor watched the city he loved drown and collapse into chaos. So he swore at those insensitive oafs. Good for him. One misstep by the mayor for not using the buses and he is a whining limpwrist. Yet no culpability for the choices of the federal government?

Posted by: LB buddy at September 3, 2005 10:12 PM

LB et al,

You need to realize that even in a disaster such as this, the federal government has limited authority and cannot just walk in and take over.

The ultimate responsibility lies with the state an local governments. The feds cannot take over unless they are asked to.

LB the most telling line of your comment: "Meanwhile the mayor watched the city he loved drown and collapse into chaos." The mayor should have been doing a hell of a lot more than watching.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at September 4, 2005 08:03 AM

I in no way meant to imply the mayor was just watching. Far from it. He seemed to doing everything in his power to get everyone off their asses. It does appear the federal government is now trying to blame state and local governments. Yet on the 26th, the president gave DHS and FEMA complete athority to coordinate relief efforts:

Now they are trying to say that they needed a invitation to do anything. I would like to say this is the first time this administration has tried to duck responsiblity, but it is clearly a standard tactic.

Posted by: LB buddy at September 4, 2005 09:03 AM

LB buddy has set off a lively debate. Several points I would like to address. From his initial post, he took a sideswipe at Secretary Rice and Vice President Cheney, although I don't see how they would fit into the relief picture. President Bush was hardly disconnected from the disaster at his Crawford Ranch. It is the nature of the modern presidency that the Chief Executive (regardless of party) is in constant communications with the rest of government via the latest technology during the entire four term.

The time between the storm's passing and the aggressive, full bore response was likely taken up by the need to ASSESS the impact, and then determine the CORRECT response and move the RIGHT ASSETS into the area of operations. It takes time to determine where to place the troops, what kind of troops will be needed, where they will be based, how they will be re-supplied in the field such that they do not add to the problem. Blindly throwing resources at any problem can make it worse.

I do not understate the urgency of the situation, or the local frustration - when someone calls 911 and it takes five minutes for the ambulance to arrive, those five minutes are very long indeed. When the entire infrastructure has collapsed, the response becomes alot longer, because things one would take for granted (e.g. roads, an orderly citizenry, etc)now has been addressed.

Posted by: KMR at September 4, 2005 11:57 AM

To follow up on KMR's comments-governmental response to natural disasters is in the first instance a local responsbility for the simple reason that local officials know best their needs, strengths, and weaknesses far better than anyone else. It is becoming apparent that New Orleans either had no plan for evacuating those lacking their own cars or failed to execute that plan, and that is the primary cause of the appalling loss of life. (The obvious means of evacuation is the use of city buses and school buses. The fact that the school buses were flooded as they sat in their parking lot suggests no one thought of using buses or thought it was worthwhile last week.) Mayor Nagen certainly has his share of leadership challenges--if twenty percent of the police force turned in their badges, one can only wonder that an even higher percentage of bus drivers would quit as well. Yet one of the most important aspects of leadership is motivating one's subordinates to do what must be done, particularly if they are not inclined to do it, there are no enough assets on hand, and the conditions are horrific. Such efforts may well have been beyond the reach of Mayor Nagen and the governor but their public pronouncements did little to inspire confidence.

Posted by: LMC at September 4, 2005 01:22 PM

What about the mayor himself? are they not responible for the up keep of the cities they run? why dont the mayor quit whinning and start acting?

Posted by: sniper snipe at September 4, 2005 05:32 PM

LB, your comments are quite contrary to the facts. Even Gov. Blanco admits that it took President Bush calling to get them to order mandatory evacuation. Nagin has been whining about needing troops - troops Gov. Blanco commands. And whining about needing buses when his administration let hundreds of buses get flooded out.

Nagin's "leadership" has been so effective that 2/3rds of New Orleans PD has bugged out.

Posted by: Robin Roberts at September 4, 2005 11:08 PM

Hi all:

There are two issues I want to address where I am not convinced by the arguments presented here. First is the blame being laid at the feet of local government. I am certainly not willing to make saints of Blanco or Nagin, I am sure they made their mistakes, but the efforts to smear them and place all the blame at their feet by administration shills like Brit Hume is shameful. The underlying arguments that seems to be emerging is that local officials didn't ask for help soon enough, and that no one could have seen a disaster of this magnitude coming. There is a National Response Plan created in December 2004 that gives the Federal government preemptive power in overwhelming emergencies and one of the largest natural disasters in US should qualify. Discussion of this point and linkthrough to the actual document here:
There is plenty of evidence of that many requests for transfer of National Guard troops from NM, NJ, and I think two other states, went to Washington the day before landfall and the go ahead didn’t leave Washington until Thursday. No one is apologizing for that in the administration. Also do they really want to go to the mat with the argument that they didn’t fill out the proper forms in triplicate? The Federal Emergency Management Agency is supposed to manage emergencies. The whole purpose of the Federal government is to deal with issues too large for a single state. Again, this should qualify by their own crisis plans.
The second issue is the leadership one. It was pointed out that GW could manage everything from Crawford so why criticize him for not immediately going to Washington? That would be true if he was actually doing anything about the crisis while he was in Crawford. What did GW do the day after it was clear that NO was drowning? A political junket in SD of course, where he could pal around with a country singer and enjoy some cake while pushing the war in Iraq and his Social Security “reform”. For pictures of that day see:
A real leader knows that symbolic actions can be more important than those of substance, and I think these symbolic actions speak volumes.
Similarly Condi Rice went on vacation AFTER the disaster happened. Buying expensive shoes and catching a $100 a ticket Broadway show (IF you have the connections) while people are dying in the streets of NO seems callous at best and negligent at worst. She could have been coordinating international relief efforts or rushing down to her home state of Alabama immediately after to survey the damage, but apparently she doesn’t really care unless someone is willing to name a oil tanker after her. Symbolism of actions.
Dicky C, came back from his vacation on Friday. Thanks for making an appearance Dick. Symbolism. This is the embarrassment of “My Pet Goat” over days instead of minutes. Chertoff and Brown are also embarrassments. What do you expect from someone who was fired from his last job for incompetence:

Okay I will stop now.

Posted by: LB buddy at September 5, 2005 10:05 AM

That's all nonsense. First of all, the administration didn't "smear" the local officials. The locals have been making false claims about federal support since Tuesday. Blanco and Nagin have been the ones "smearing". Gov. Blanco didn't sign the EMAC order authorizing other states' National Guard forces until Wednesday.

The national preparedness plan does not put responsibility for evacuation or rescue onto the Federal government. Disaster preparedness standards all state that the state and local government have to deal with the first 72 to 96 hours of a disaster. That's why local government are called "first responders". TPM has been misrepresenting the basic laws repeatedly. TPM has also misrepresented the request Blanco made on Aug 28th which was solely for Federal funding of post-hurricane costs. Do you know of any checks that have bounced?

Further, all that has been happening in New Orleans is an evacuation - an evacuation that Blanco and Nagin botched. The Federal role is recovery - a stage we haven't even reached yet.

Condoleeza Rice has no role in natural disasters. She controls no resources and has no domestic authority for natural disasters. There isn't any "international" efforts and Rice has no business "surveying" damage. Your criticism of her is a stupid stunt.

Posted by: Robin Roberts at September 5, 2005 06:23 PM

To blame the progressive, forward thinking
administrations of Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco is typical fascist propaganda. Everyone knows the damage was caused by the callous
disregard of the Bush regime.
Bush knew the storm was coming and did nothing to stop it. You can bet that if it was a Republican controlled city and state, there would have been a lot less damage.
Instead the paece-loving peoples of New Orleans have to endure the criminal negligence of the Federal government who are now attempting to blame their heroic Mayor.

Posted by: Lan S at September 7, 2005 10:05 AM

When I view your site the bar on the right hides the last couple words of every line of every blog entry. Is there a way to make it disappear?

Posted by: greaterthgoddess at September 16, 2005 01:09 PM
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