Oh, the lessons we learned from Katrina. President Bush's refusal to invade New Orleans tells you everything you need to know about Republican racist perfidy. The local government's incompetence tells you nothing whatsoever about Democrats' ability to govern at the micro level. Lethal storms can be turned aside months in advance by signing the right treaties. Or so they're saying in the reality-based community.
Check the blogs: They're calling President Bush's response to Katrina "My Pet Goat Part 2." It's a reference to the idea, so beloved of the Michael Moore enthusiasts and Osama bin Laden, that Bush's initial reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks was to give a what-me-worry grin and keep reading a kids' story because he wanted to know how it ended.
These people seem to believe that a complete set of evacuation plans -- including the removal of the entire city, buildings included, to Manitoba -- was slapped down on the president's desk the moment Katrina was just a stiff breeze, and Bush said nope. Call me when gas hits nine bucks a gallon, and besides, the town's just full of Democrats and po' folks.
That's what the frothier elements on the left seem to think. One Air America host said as much; various rappers and actors have blamed Bush for not calling Superman on the hot line and blowing the storm away with Superbreath.
One theory -- and it's an interesting one, as Howard Dean would say -- suspects the administration deliberately flooded New Orleans to test the nation's ability to deal with a nuclear strike. That makes sense. Sure. Why bother to drill to learn lessons that can be applied in other cities when you can drown a city and learn nothing about the hazards of radioactivity? The latter method has the added virtue of a conspiracy, which means there's a good chance someone in the chain will breach the levee of secrecy, leading to what the founding fathers called Super Extra Immediate Impeachment Plus.
Crazy, yes. But this is what it's come to. According to the choir of professional carpers, President Clinton spent half his two terms personally drawing up plans for new levees -- when he wasn't sneaking around Afghanistan in camo paint trying to apprehend bin Laden.
By contrast, the Bush Junta sent 100 percent of the National Guard to Iraq, which meant the 12th Airborne Plunger Brigade couldn't descend to the Superdome with jetpacks and unstop the overflowing toilets. Doesn't matter that New Orleans had hundreds of school buses unused for evacuation -- blame the feds who cut matching funds for bus-driver instruction back in 1927.
This level of incandescent lunacy isn't new. In the '90s there were people who believed that Clinton would use Y2K to herd us into FEMA-run gulags to have bar codes tattooed on our necks, but these people confined themselves to rants at 3 a.m. on Art Bell's radio show. By 2006 their ideological heirs on the left will be the evening lineup of MSNBC guests.
If we learned anything we can take away, it's this: You're on your own. At least keep an emergency kit on hand, the sort of thing Tom Ridge proposed, and which made the smart set hardy-har-har because it contained duct tape.
Don't rely on the government. Four years after Sept. 11, it's apparent that some local governments are not well-oiled machines when it comes to disasters -- more like a box of sand and busted gears. Blame for that can be promiscuously distributed.
Lesson two: The next terrorist attack will not unite us for a warm, hug-filled fortnight. The hard left won't wait 24 hours before blaming Bush, and the country will enjoy the sight of prominent pundits angrier at the president than at the men who nuked Des Moines.
If an attack should happen during the term of President Hillary Clinton, they'll still blame Bush -- and if she wishes to retain her moderate credentials, she'll be canny enough to repudiate the lot. They'll be stunned. They'll be hurt. After all the free-lance hating they did out of the goodness of their hearts! Where can they turn now?
The guy who took over for Art Bell still takes calls.
From Senator Ted (Swimmerboy) Kennedy
"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died."--Ted Kennedy on Hurricane Katrina
Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.
Blame Bush part XXXIII
Yesterday it was confirmed and reported that Governor Kathleen Blanco kept the Louisiana National Guard from assisting the New Orleans police department, leaving their force of 1,500 (less those who fled duty) to vainly attempt to restore order in the wake of last Tuesday's devastating flooding. About the the same time Louisiana state police were preventing radio repair technicians from entering the city to repair the damaged police scanner system, leaving the NOPD unable to communicate.
It's pretty hard to miss coverage of New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin's order for forced evacuations of those who remain in New Orleans - it was all over the news. Guess who has already subverted that effort? In a Fox News interview this evening Governor Blanco said Nagin might be the one to order an evacuation, but she controls the resources necessary to enforce it and she will not sign off on the decision. Reuters reports, Not all will help in forced evacuation of New Orleans.
Art Jones, a senior official with the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said state authorities, who are in command of the Louisiana State Police and National Guard, have no plans at the moment to participate in a forced evacuation.
"We personally will not force anyone out of their homes," he told reporters at a briefing
Then this evening Fox New's Major Garrett broke what may be the most damning story of the post hurricane period - The Red Cross was blocked from delivering supplies to the Superdome by Blanco's Louisiana Department of Homeland Security. Read that again... The Red Cross was prevented from getting supplies to the Superdome and the convention center.
Governor Blanco's administration ensured that there was no (or minimal) state presence in New Orleans; no food, medicine, or other need supplies for hurricane victims; and that vital repairs to the city's police scanners could not be completed. All of which would lead one to only one natural conclusion:
It's all Bush's fault...
President Bush and the Katrina Response
The Looney Left has been on fire trying to pin all the problems with Hurricane Katrina on Bush. Remember all the "Bush Stayed on Vacation" nonsense? From Reuters
The Looney Tunes know he is never "on vacation" but it sells well to the gullible... Maybe the power of the picture can refute the idiocy. More...
CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on Saturday because of the approach of Hurricane Katrina and his spokesman urged residents along the coast to heed authorities' advice to evacuate.
Bush, vacationing at his ranch, was being regularly updated about the storm, which is expected to hit land early Monday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency continue to coordinate with state authorities in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, and have prepositioned supplies in areas expected to be affected, he said.
The president's emergency declaration authorizes the FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide assistance in a number of Louisiana parishes, or counties.
For the first time in (I heard) 34 years the President actually declared a state of emergency before the storm even hit. Then he went a step further...
CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush, as he readied the federal government for a massive relief effort, on Sunday urged people in the path of Hurricane Katrina to forget anything but their safety and move to higher ground as instructed.
"We cannot stress enough the danger this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities," Bush said as the storm roared across the gulf toward New Orleans and other communities. "I urge all citizens to put their own safety and the safety of their families first by moving to safe ground."
With forecasters warning of a category five storm, the president made sure the federal response would not be delayed by already declaring emergencies in Mississippi and Florida just hours after a similar declaration for Louisiana. Such declarations make federal aid available to assist with disaster relief, but they are rarely made before a storm even hits.
Sorta weird to read that the way history unfolded huh?
Lastly, as has been widely reported, Bush even called Blanco personally and urged her and Nagin to declare a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. Anyone who says Bush was not on top of this is either lying or delusional.... Bush was far more on top of it than the mayor of New Orleans who had to be reminded by the National Weather Service that hurricanes were dangerous.
Of course FEMA, and the idiot who runs it, are a different matter.
Katrina Hatches New Breed of Chickenhawk
"How can these people sleep at night and how can they choke down their food knowing it is purchased off of the flesh and blood of others?" Cindy Sheehan, War Mom
As the floodwaters slowly recede to reveal a thick layer of dead democrat voters, a new breed of chickenhawk has risen from the toxic muck, demanding our children be sent into harm's way without ever having served themselves. This time, the cowardly warmongers are not the bloviating Nazi propagandists of right-wing hate radio, but outstanding members of the progressive community. Brothers, sisters, and sexually ambiguous political comrades they may be, they have nonetheless taken it upon themselves to volunteer our young tots for hazard duty in the devasted gulf region.
Our beloved Maureen Dowd, for instance, thinks the 82nd Airborne should have parachuted into New Orleans through the eye of the hurricane, yet she sat out the entire Vietnam War with a convenient case of chlamydia. The profoundly flatulent Oliver Willis spent Desert Storm shovelling pastries into his porcine cakehole, but he has no problem sending someone else's kid to wade chest deep through raw sewage. Even the saucy Arianna Huffington has joined the neo-chickenhawk brigade, insisting that Bush should have pulled the troops out of Iraq and sent them to Louisiana - a state that poses no imminent threat, and where they'd be welcomed with "flowers in the streets". But I doubt we'll see ol' Zsa Zsa chasing armed looters down Bourbon Street any time soon. She's got a blog to run!
Don't get me wrong. I love these progressive icons as much as abortion itself. Perhaps this sudden spurt of fascism is just a temporary case of insanity, like when the entire political left became flag-waving jingoists for about 10 minutes after 9/11. Michael Moore helped us get through our patriotic dementia, and were back to sneering at the Stars & Stripes before Bush could finish milking his Pet Goat. I only hope liberal intellectuals like Arianna, Oliver, and MoDo quickly regain their senses, lest people start to think they're all a bunch of blubbering hypocrites.
Fascist Stormtroopers Invade New Orleans
In the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a new progressive Eden began to emerge from the watery Hell that Bush's environmental policies created. The opressive socio-economic system created by white slaveowners to keep blacks down was crumbling before our very eyes, and the bright beacon of liberty was at last shining for America's long suffering people of color. Gone were "Law and Order", and other right-wing code words for "get the blacks". Greedy corporations built on the backs of the working poor fled for higher ground, and thousands of liberated wage slaves were free to spend their days in pursuit of intellectual and sexual fulfillment. Food, water, DVD players, and other necessities of life could now be plucked from store shelves like ripe tomatoes, without the obligatory angry glares from racist Koreans. In the blink of an eye, the heavy hand of white opression was finally lifted from the black community, and African-Americans who were born into slavery were now freer than they had been for generations.
Then, the rich white folks in their big mansions up on the hill began to sweat. With New Orleans now a free, democratic society in the truest Chomskian sense, who would work their smog-belching factories? Who would clean their houses and mow their lawns? Who would line their pockets with the blood of the working poor? Desperate, Louisiana's wealthy elite pulled their political strings and had the National Guard sent in to "restore order". Much like Baghdad, New Orleans is now an occupied city under martial law, its citizens terrorized by jackbooted fascists sent to protect the economic interests of the ruling plutocracy. With orders to shoot "looters", the distribution of goods has been taken back from The People and returned to the exploiters of labor. Racial profiling is the rule of the day, with troops returning fire on a disproportionate number of black street gangs. Little old ladies are being dragged from their homes at gun point, their Qurans mishandled and genitals mocked by uniformed, chain-smoking dwarves. Literally overnight, New Orleans has been transformed from a socialist utopia into a totalitarian conservative nightmare.
I, the formerly un-jaundiced president of the Bea Arthur Fan Club, have finally come to see my country for what it really is: Cat Poop. Pandora's Litter Box has been opened, my friends, and the new American Kristalnacht has begun.