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Monday, September 05, 2005


Criminal, agreed. Impeachment is too good. Many should lose their jobs. Many deserve to be prosecuted for gross negligence and indifference to human life. Starting with our president and the directors of FEMA and Homeland Security.

I'm curious what people think about posts like this one:


My brother is a huge Bush-basher and I really consider myself to lean a bit right of center. I'm not a fan off anybody in the government to be honest. But I am surprised how everybody seems to think that this is all Bush's fault.

I believed from the start that the failures begin with the local officials. If they were doing their job, at the city and state levels, then this wouldn't be the disaster that it is. The finger pointing that's going on with the Mayor, the Governer, and other local officials, at least to me, comes across as a lot of political CYA.

I don't think Chertoff and Brown should be off the hook either, and Bush did put those people in charge, and he takes some of the responsibility too.

So if we're going to impeach anybody, I say that we go from top to bottom and clean house. :-)

Sigh: There's no question there is something wrong with FEMA. I recall this was the case after Hurricane Andrew, too. I'm wonder what can be done to make the FEMA head a nonpolitical position?

Mark: Actually, I do agree that the local officials failed their in their role too. They should have bused as many people out prior to the hurricane as possible.

I suspect the Louisiana governor and New Orleans mayor will pay a price for their failures as well. In fact, Malkin, who I usually disagree with, gets at a point that I throw at as many people as possible: If you don't provide good education to all American citizens, disasters like this will happen again and again.

My problem is that Bush repeatedly plays up the point that the commander-in-chief is ultimately in charge of this country. Past presidents and senators are to blame as well, because they also failed to deal with the coming New Orleans crisis by repeatedly failing to invest the money to protect the city.

In the end, I totally expect the corrupt politicians of Louisiana to cover their asses, and the press should be calling them on it. But none of those people represent me. The president, theoretically, does.

And that's why I find his game of CYA while people were dying particularly galling. Had he sacked his FEMA boss and not put on the dog and pony show in New Orleans, I probably would have kept quiet.

But in the end you are right: let's go from bottom to top, top to bottom and clean house. Lets find politicians who will put children and families lives first and foremost.

Brett, you suggest making the FEMA head a non-political postion. Let's take the concept further. Can we make all of the leadership positions in our government non-political ones?

One can dream at least...

Imagine if the people in charge got there, not because they had political aspirations, but because they had leadership qualities and proved that they actually had the skills required to do the job.

I'm certainly all for that.

Bush as a person or as a leader can only be held significantly to blame if one expects the sky to darken 71 hours and 59 minutes post-disaster with twelve million FEMA parachutists who land in each and every front yard. Not!

Bush and his minions can only be suspect if at every level below them, starting with City and Parish, there were shortcomings in their emergency response (not mitigation) plans that they told the Feds about and the Feds refused to address them.

What happened down there has (as you will know as infation hits HUGE) national implications and the fact that the dipshit in charge deemed it necessary to vacation until Wednesday - three days after the storm hit - suggests to me that we ought to go from the top to the bottom, IMHO.

Brian: I hold Bush reponsible on these counts:

1. Cutting FEMA funding and transferring much of its remaining funding to homeland security functions.

2. Appointing the FEMA director and his boss, the Homeland Security director.

3. Cutting funding to shore up the levee system. (I blame past governments as well.)

4. Caring more about a Florida hurricane in his brother's state before an election than Katrina.

5. Trying to blame local officials rather than being the leader he always claims he is. Why do you think those local officials are so mad?

6. As Jim mentioned, staying on vacation for several days after the storm hit.

7. Using valuable resource to stage a "media event."

8. Read this.

Jim: I totally agree, and I like your post about how fast the government was able to mobilize for a brain dead woman, but not for a major American city.

I also recommend this article by Robert Scheer.

I think there's plenty of blame to go around, including the mayor and governor.

The mayor could've commandeered city buses BEFORE the deluge to get the poor and car-less out of town.

And who piles thousands of people into stadiums and convention centers with no authority figures or instructions? Most cities use schools and churches for shelters. Couldn't he have identified which of these buildings were on higher ground, made sure they were stocked with water and emergency rations and sent people to them?

And the Nat'l Guard is deployed by the governor, not the president. She might've anticipated the need for order much earlier. Like, say, before the storm even occurred. What were the guardsman doing while Katrina blew through? What contingency plans had she drawn up for them, what drills had they performed, what worst-case scenarios had they prepared for?

That doesn't get Bush off the hook, but it's not solely on his shoulders, either.

But it's all water under the bridge now, as they say ...

It is disconcerting to see the press underplaying the failure of the mayor and governor in this disaster.

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