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I just watched a bit of the press conference being held by the governor or Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans regarding the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans in the face of Katrina, now a Category 5 hurricane.

The levee system is endangered by the flood waters and winds that will accompany this storm when it hits landfall.

Historically, it is the National Guard, along with other emergency personnel, who attempt to provide emergency services to the community in disaster relief situations like Katrina.

And where are these National Guard right now?


Iraq.

If they are alive.

In an August 1 article, Ron Harris writes for the St. Louis Dispatch

America's citizen soldiers of the National Guard and the Army, Navy and Marine Reserves increasingly are casualties in the war in Iraq. And the nation's reliance on the Guard and Reserves is changing them.

Currently, members of the Guard and Reserves make up four of every 10 military personnel in Iraq. It's the largest long-term deployment of the nation's reserves in 50 years. And their casualties reflect that.

Men and women who just months ago held jobs such as truck driver, accountant and teacher now make up nearly one of every four servicemen and women being killed in the war.

And when they are killed, their deaths resonate differently back home, because unlike regular military, guard and reserve units are populated predominately by people from the same communities.

and this

In no state have those deaths registered more than in Louisiana. Louisiana, along with New York, has lost more guardsmen and reservists - 23 as of July 24 - than any state in the nation, and all but one of those deaths have come in the last eight months.

And like so many fighting in Iraq, the soldiers are from small, tightly knit towns - Olla, Batchelor, Opelousa, Pineville, Natchitoches, Ruston, Crowley and Houma.

Unfortunately, the citizens of the state of Louisiana are about to face the full force of Katrina without the benefit of their National Guard troops to protect them.  

This is a direct consequence of President Bush's bad decision to invade Iraq.

Bush's decision to fight terrorism by taking the battle "over there" is about to hit home.

Originally posted to Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 07:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I (4.00)
    wonder if the Bush supporters would be willing to head for New Orleans to pack some sandbags?
      All they're doing in Crawford is waving picket signs, harassing peaceful protesters.
    •  Support Our Troops (4.00)
      Take their place on the levee.

      I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

      by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 08:07:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't that what they are all doing? (3.77)
      Isn't that what they are all doing down there? So why does every topic here have to be so political? Wouldn't we all like to go down there and help those people? Is anyone living near there in this community going to volunteer regardless of who they damn well voted for?
      •  Because political decisions (4.00)
        are having a tremendous impact on pretty much all aspects of life in this country.  This is a political site.  Of course there is going to be some discussion of the impact of the National Guard's Iraq deployment in a time in which they are sorely needed stateside.

        I don't think our troops should be used for what's called nation building. - George W. Bush, 2000

        by GN1927 on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 08:49:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll Bet (4.00)
        if you canvass people sandbagging, that most of the people who stayed behind to do so are not rich Republicans.

        So I would think that yes, everyone who was allowed would volunteer to stay and sandbag, but that no, everyone hasn't.

        Everything is political.

        Especially disasters like this because public health policy determines, to some degree, who will live and who will die.

        And public health policy is being wanked around by political operatives in the Bush Administration.

        Check out which neighborhoods in New Orleans house the power plants, chemical plants, and sewage treatment plants that will be destroyed or damaged in this storm, polluting the areas around them.

        By and large, you'll find poor and working class people living near these facilities.

        Everything is political.

        I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

        by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 08:51:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Why does every topic (4.00)
        have to be so political"?????

        Isn't this a political blog? 'Scuse me, gotta go check and see if I'm still on dailykos.

        •  That's not what I meant (4.00)
          Perhaps the word should then have been "partisan." I just don't see a major hurricane that will effect people of all politics as an opportunity to drag what is going on in Crawford Texas into it, when there are people of all politics down there as well. Just tired of the partisan nastiness so many topics vear towards. Of course the fact that national guard are now in Iraq is a factor in this coming storm, and they are also there because Americans in Congress of ALL politics condoned them being sent there by voting for this war. Perhaps then to be totally fair, those in Congress on both sides of the aisle who voted for this damned illegal war should go down there and put up sandbags.
           How's that for political?
          •  Excellent Perspective (3.90)
            and not shared by the opposition.

            Actually, what is happening to New Orleans is very partisan in nature -

            Al Gore takes global warming seriously and he understands that there will be domestic disasters as a result of the trend.

            It is also quite possible that Al Gore, as President would not have taken Louisiana's National Guard and put them Iraq, where they can't sandbag the levees of New Orleans.

            I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

            by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:37:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are correct (4.00)
              Perhaps you do have a point, but the effects are not partisan. This storm will not pick and choose who or what to strike based on political allegiance, and I suppose that was really the gist of my original point. And also maybe, just maybe, the storms we are now seeing wouldn't be so strong if so many in certain circles kept thinking all these years that climate change was just a "myth", and had done more to counter its effects.

              I'm not saying this storm coming now wouldn't be as strong as it is otherwise, but we are definitely seeing much stronger hurricanes the last few years, and I do believe that is in part due to the effects of climate change which is induced by human behavior. This storm surge should it reach 25 feet will be unprecedented in the history of New Orleans. So again, while I don't think of the effects of that as political in regarding what we will need to do to help these people, I do understand that it is political in nature regarding the fact that those who need to be there to do their job for our people, aren't there because they are too busy defending the corporate backers of Bush, and yes, that is wrong. Oh, and yes, life in America under President Gore...Reflecting on the fact that we never really had that truly does sadden me.

              •  Who claimed the effects were partisan? (4.00)
                Rather, the diary is examining the effects on all of us of a national leadership which has placed its partisan agenda over our well-being.  You'd better believe we're going to talk about this.

                I don't think our troops should be used for what's called nation building. - George W. Bush, 2000

                by GN1927 on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:31:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Swamp lust (3.00)
              Even if the hurricane strength is a direct consequence of global warming (possible) New Orleans has been in trouble for a number of other unrelated reasons for quite some time now.  Sitting at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi was the city's reason for existence and now quite possibly the ultimate cause of its destruction.  Sitting below sea level with pumps running at all times and levees all around was too tenuous a situation to stay stable forever.  It was just a matter of time before something like this happened.  

              Of course I don't know exactly what will happen when the storm hits tomorrow.  But all data points to New Orlean's absolute worst case scenario come to life.  I'm not optimistic.  

              Well, the city will never really die - the tourist trade won't allow it.  I wouldn't be too surprised if it tried to go the way of Venice - though I don't think that would take, what with the gators and mosquitoes and the drunk students.  

              On that note, the dual purpose of the National Guard - emergency relief at home and emergency troop numbers abroad - has always been at odds, although their mission skills complement each other.  It's just too many demands at once - this could have happened on ANY deployment.  Civilians are going to have to take up much of the slack this time.  

          •  I'd be more appreciative of your point (4.00)
            if, for example, the diaries and comments offering free inland room and board, amazingly updated and accurate information, and requests for which emergency organizations we can donate to were limiting this concern and assistance to "democrats or liberals only."  Funny, I've seen none of that.  I have not seen a comment with a Kossack offering to house 4 people include a "only liberals need respond" disclaimer.  Rather, I see genuine concern for everyone.

            And guess what?  What's been going down in Crawford, Texas has dragged the country into "it," not vice versa.  I'm not willing to give Bush a pass when imagining elderly and infirm waiting for relief and that relief being delayed because National Guard troops can't be part of this effort.  Fuck that.

            I don't think our troops should be used for what's called nation building. - George W. Bush, 2000

            by GN1927 on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:29:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  excuse me, this is about politics and it's affect. (4.00)
      •  I agree (none)
        forget the politics and help the Cajuns---just remember they could be good demo,s.  Tkanks AlGorePatriot
    •  Great idea!! (4.00)
      Also a great idea for the peaceful protesters.
  •  R'd (3.90)
    excellent diary.

    the fact that a huge number of personnel serving in Iraq are state Guardsmen and Reservists and the impact this has on home states is conveniently overlooked by BushCo and the neoclowns in general.

    they want what they want and all else can be damned.

    however, this approach is reaching a boiling point with the finalization of military base closings in the U.S.

    for example, Illinois is to lose their National Guard fighter wing based in Springfield to the base in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. the Governor of Illinois and several surrounding states are protesting this move and will likely take the issue to court.

    another governor (I forget which state) recently successfully won a court case in which the pentagon was trying to do what they are attempting to do in Illinois.

  •  Same in CT (4.00)
    Here in ="http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=3769017&nav=3YeXdmS6">Connecticut,

    The Base Realignment and Closure commission voted Friday to move a number of military planes from the Air National Guard base at Bradley Airport. But state leaders say they'll file suit to block the move.

    Governor Jodi Rell and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal say they will file a lawsuit claiming the federal government has no right to re-align a National Guard base. That's because Gov. Rell, as Connecticut's commander in chief, has not signed off on the change.

    I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

    by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 08:14:16 AM PDT

    •  CaCa (4.00)
      sorry about that link.

      Here it is.

      I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

      by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 08:15:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And think about this (4.00)
        Remember how airports were every time there was an orange terror alert?

        Here in Albuquerque, the airport was full of National Guardsmen/women.

        So, here's the scenario:

        Dubya:  Terrorist attack!  Send in the National Guard!
        Military dude:  Um, sorry, Mr. President, they're all in Iraq.

        ----

        And don't forget the possibility of a flu pandemic, which could be come a national emergency.  How do you enforce quarantine?  Hmmm... I wonder (yes, it's the National Guard).

        To see what that might be like, here's a fake blog by a reporter covering the flu pandemic.

        In other words, to put it bluntly, we'd be fucked.

  •  As a professional urban planner (4.00)
    i know that kowledgable people have worried for years about the possible catestrophic consequences of a direct hit on New Orleans - this could be very severe - take it seriously
  •  Don't forget the PA BRAC decision! (4.00)
    I just posted a diary about the potential precedent set by Gov. Rendell's suit against Rumsfeld on this issue.

    The gist of it?

    IF a Governor is, indeed, the actual Commander in Chief of the state National Guard,

    THEN doesn't it therefore follow that the Governor should be able to order their own states' NG troops home from Iraq???

    •  Nope. (none)
      No.  The Governor is Commander-in-Chief only when the Guard is not called up to Federal service.  As soon as they are, the President becomes their Commander-in-Chief.

      -- E pur si muove.

      by asdfasdf on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:21:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Drat. I was afraid of that... (none)
        I figured as much, but boy oh boy, wouldn't that have caused MAJOR headlines??

        "LA, MT Governors Order Withdrawl Of State Guard Troops From Iraq: 'We need them back home to fight forest fires & hurricanes'"

        •  Eh. (4.00)
          It would be politically "in your face", certainly, but I have serious doubts that having an individual state pull its troops out would be politically good for us.  In fact, I think it would be actively politically bad for us.

          Moreover, ignoring politics, I'm not sure it would be a good thing for future precedent, in less idiotic situations than what Bush has currently gotten us into, to allow multiple sources of independent and potentially conflicting command in the (nationally active) military.  It seems, no offense, like very, very short-term thinking.

          I think that the actual solution would be to require that only a certain percentage of each state's Guard could be serving in Federal duty at any given time, and moreover to require that that percentage is reasonable for the purposes of allowing a state to handle potential issues typically relegated to the Guard (e.g. natural disasters, quarantine enforcement, upholding of civil order when law enforcement officials are incapable of dealing with the scope, et cetera).

          -- E pur si muove.

          by asdfasdf on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:37:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes , but whatever happened to (none)
        the 3% deployment limit on using Nat'l Guard in time of war? My husband said that was the rule during Viet Nam, and can't understand how it's possible that the rules changed so drastically?
      •  State Defense Force (none)
        This is why states should replace the State National Guard with a State Defense Force, as provided by Federal Law and the Constitution.  Several states have already SDF on top of their NG units.  The SDF is not funded by Congress, so it cannot be Federalized, and can be given appropriate equipment for the challenges it will actually face.
  •  Thats just one of the bad things about this... (4.00)
    It is the refusal of those on the right to even discuss global warming and its impact that has put us in this horrible position.

    If there had been honest discussion on it, we know for a fact that hurricanes are becoming much more frequent and stronger, thus there is no reason to not have been preparing for managing catastrophe's from hurricanes, but because they refuse to even acknowledge it exists there has been none.

    The fact that a large number of Louisiana's national guard are in Iraq is just plain unfathomable in the light of coastal hurricanes being common place

    Sheesh, this is just bad...

    •  It is Bad (4.00)
      on all levels.

      Politicians can't take reality and compartmentalize it to fight their political agendas and expect less than disaster.

      Reality always reasserts itself.

      I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

      by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:11:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, this is just making me sick... (4.00)
        Our politicians should know that we have to maintain an eye on natural disasters and always be prepared for them.

        I commented to my wife this morning that we have entered a dangerous age where agreement and disagreement are based on nothing more than ideology and tribal/political affiliation, we don't agree or disagree based on reason anymore...

        And now I see a headline on yahoo that some church members in Tennessee are saying our soldiers are getting killed because of gays...

        This country becomes more unrecognizable every day...

        :>(

  •  Coward Bush will be safe! (4.00)
    You can bet that Coward Bush will be well protected from this or any storm.  Maybe they'll take him to Colorado to hide in a mountain from "Hurricane Cindy" that is camped right outside his Coward's lair in Crawford.

    National Guard is being shot up in Iraq, so they are not available to help in Louisiana, yet Bush conned many of the southerners into voting for him with his fake religion talk.

    Watch for Bush to jump on a helicopter if New Orleans is flattened, he welcomes any diversion from the Iraq quagmire.

    Global Warming is real, but don't expect Chimpy to change his tune as the natural disasters continue.

    •  The Perfect Storm (4.00)
      Bush meets global warming meets Iraq comes home to roost as levee bursts.

      Perhaps not politically safe any longer!

      I'd say, before long, you'll see Jeb Bush at Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's side, giving her advice and support.

      To inoculate George Bush against all the bad news this hurricane will bring him.

      I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

      by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:21:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bush is probably thrilled about this... (4.00)

          It takes Cindy Sheehan, Pat Robertson, Iraq, and his woeful poll numbers off the front pages, and it gives him a chance to grandstand like a Big Hero when he goes down for his photo-ops.

          I don't think he's complaining too much about Katrina.

      Republicans oppose abortion -- it happens eighteen years too early.

      by Buzzer on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:23:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Might depend on (4.00)
        how much Katrina impacts the oil supply from the Gulf.  If prices at the pump spike significantly, this could further erode Bush's support.  (Yeah, I know that Bush isn't responsible for hurricanes, regardless of how much Robertson may think God listens to him, but Americans tend not to be rational when it comes to their wallets at gas stations.)

        What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

        by Marie on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:55:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And let's not forget (none)
          that it would also be an excellent time for Chavez to punch Bush in the nose by reducing output for a while.  How much will it cost to fill up an SUV at $5/gallon?

          What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

          by Marie on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:59:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Answering a rhetorical question (3.50)
            Cadillac Escalade ESV -- 31 gallons, $155.

            --
            The neocons will not give us our country back. If we want it back, we'll have to take it.
            --Lila Garrett

            by peacemonger on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:33:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That should pop a few (none)
              eyeballs at the pump.

              Do they still make Vespas?  That might be a franchise worth having sometime soon.

              What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

              by Marie on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 11:59:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, they do! (none)
                There's a franchise here in Portland (OR) and quite a few of them puttering around town, including a lovely tangerine-colored one (my fave color) with a matching helmet, owned by a girl with long, curly red hair. Does my heart good just to see her go by once in awhile...

                "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

                by Lainie on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 07:15:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  If Chavaz wanted to (none)
            he could have some of the spigots in Venzuela go off-line for "routine maintenance" just like the energy companies did to provoke and lengthen the California energy crisis (which could theoretically damage Bush and the GOP and bring in a possibly more Chavez-friendly Dem govt) or he could do as he's been threatening and make some big show of supplying extra cheap oil (and just when America needs it most) though I really doubt Bush would let him get away with it as they'd find legal, diplomatic loophole to block him with.
            •  What I was alluding to - (3.50)
              I suspect that Chavez isn't as lame as the DC DEMs.  He wouldn't be slow to recognize or fail to recognize that he has the advantage.  So, does Bu$hCo threaten him or offer to play "Let's make a deal?"  One doesn't need an education in US History to know that the FED always welches on deals with Indians once they've got what they want.  One only needs to know the history of the Bu$sh's that always welch on deals when they gotten what they want.  Chavez could try to appeal to the general population in the US by being generous and empathic, but I doubt that could beat the Bu$hCo propaganda machine that will go into high gear once the short-term problem is resolved.  We'll know by tomorrow if Katrina has changed the US - Venezeuala dynamic.

              What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

              by Marie on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 02:33:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Might also depend (none)
          on how bad the toll is. I pray that the Guard's inability to respond doesn't translate into death in New Orleans.

          As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

          by sidnora on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:08:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oil prices are going to go up. (none)
          The Associated Press is reporting:

          Beyond the Gulf Coast, Katrina was "unmitigated bad news for consumers" because it had shut down offshore production of at least 1 million barrels of oil daily and threatened refinery and import operations around New Orleans, said Peter Beutel, an oil analyst in New Canaan, Conn. He said crude oil could top $70 a barrel by Monday or Tuesday.

          The port of New Orleans is going to suffer some damage -- and it is a major oil importation point.

          •  Yet another reason... (none)

               ...Bush and his cabal are probably all high-fiving each other right now...

            Republicans oppose abortion -- it happens eighteen years too early.

            by Buzzer on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 11:53:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yea, (none)
              this does allow them the pretext to make some more monopoly profits. However, the stock market is going to take a hit. When oil prices go up next week, the stock market may react in panic as investors weigh the effects of the storm on oil companies and insurers. Also, property insurance rates are going to go up across the nation as insurers try to recoup their losses from Katrina. Some of these companies may even collapse.
          •  the port of Houston (none)
            is probably thrilled.  It's the second biggest oil importation/refining location after New Orleans.
  •  Natural disasters (4.00)
    There were worries at the start of the Western wildfire season about the absence of the National Guard. It is tragic to see that problem materialize in a different way.

    ... amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.

    by Blue the Wild Dog on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:18:31 AM PDT

  •  What is with the Bush Audio? (none)
    This is surreal. The quality was unbelievably terrible.

    The man needs to be hospitalized.

    http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

    by nyceve on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:39:23 AM PDT

    •  GODDAMN OUTRAGEOUS! (none)
      A piffle of concern about Katrina and then onto damage control over the failed Iraqi constitutional process for the rest of the skit.

      There is oodles he could be doing RIGHT FUCKING NOW to mitigate the coming disaster (like ordering the staging of the regional NG MASH units to pope AFB) and he pisses it away for political cover????

      WHAT THE HELL?!?! ARRGGGGH!

      •  If Bush Really Cared (4.00)
        about our national security, he'd have poured money into true domestic security measures, the American Red Cross and other relief agencies, and our National Guard with a mission to preserve and protect here at home.

        Instead, he chose to use 9/11 to PR a neo-conservative global marketing strategy and to spill American blood and money into the sands of Iraq.

        Now the people of Louisiana are facing a natural disaster, one heightened by global warming, without the necessary resources to protect themselves.

        Louisiana National Guard who signed on to protect their state as their primary mission will now bear an additional burden as they serve their stop/loss and extended duties and are suffering the anxiety, right now, of wondering if their homes, their friends, and their families are safe.

        I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

        by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:57:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bush AUDIO only? (4.00)
    And why, when more people may die in New Orleans and Mobile from this natural disaster than died in NY from 9-1-1, does he mix the IRAQ KOOLAID message with the impending CATEGORY 5 Storm Katrina?
  •  Where is Grover Norquist Now? (4.00)
    If this turns out as tragically as some are now predicting it's going throw into sharp and sober relief the role that goverment MUST play in the lives of ordinary citizens.  

    Devastated citizens and disaster victims are not going to run to Citibank or McDonald's or Microsoft for relief; they are going to appeal to the federal and state governments.  And this begs the question:  how much do ordinary citizens really share the "down the government in a bathtub" philosophy that has guided the Republican party for the past 30 years?

    "If the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make." (Henry V, v.i)

    by Fatherflot on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 09:41:27 AM PDT

    •  "Drown the Government" that is (none)
      too fast, as usual, with the "post" button!

      "If the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make." (Henry V, v.i)

      by Fatherflot on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:04:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Norquist's Infanticide Metaphor (4.00)

        Most don't support it at all. Like most of the GOP "platform" it relies on the dynamic interaction between ignorance and selfishness.

        For a lot of people things like roads, hospitals, cops, the Internets, etc. are "just there" as invisible parts of their mental landscape because they have always been there during their lifetime. It never occurs to them that those things cost money and if the money goes away (ahem, tax cuts), so the the services.

        As long as the prerequisite for that shining Paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate... I say the Hell with it. --Inherit the Wind

        by kingubu on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 11:37:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  National Guard available (4.00)
    From KWTX - Waco Texas
    The Louisiana National Guard is on alert, but thousands of guard troops from the state are now serving in Iraq.

    Nagin said 1,500 troops are immediately available, however, and another 2,500 have been mobilized.
    •  Questions (none)
      1. How much is this going to cost?

      2. How long will it take?

      3. What happens to Texas, in the event of a disaster, while they are in Louisiana helping out?

      4. Wasn't the intention of the National Guard that each state use residents to help preserve and protect their communities?

      This is bad crisis management.

      I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

      by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:07:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should have clarified the quote (none)
        This statement is from NO Mayor Ray Nagin, so I believe he's talking about the Louisiana National Guard - not Texas. It just happened that the TX news site was the only one I found that gave Guard numbers.
      •  Because I'm reading between the lines (none)
        in this Waco article and the governor of LA isn't explicit that those troops on hand may or may not be from LA because of the passive voice in that paragraph.

        The Louisiana National Guard is on alert, but thousands of guard troops from the state are now serving in Iraq.

        Nagin said 1,500 troops are immediately available, however, and another2,500 have been mobilized.

        Could be LA National Guard.  May be Texas National Guard.

        A good reporter could find out.

        I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

        by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:13:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point (none)
          I'm a terrible sleuth at "between-the-lines" reading.
          •  Citizen Sleuths (none)
            are now necessities in this new normal.

            For instance, I just looked up the Louisiana National Guard.

            The 209th PSD, which is New Orlean's Unit, is currently deployed in Iraq.

            This unit specializes in personnel services.

            The units have different functions.  They do different jobs.

            I wonder if those left in Louisiana have been trained to provide disaster relief and emergency medical services, for instance.

            I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

            by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:58:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  from the Louisiana National Guard site (none)
      linkie

      We have more than 11,000 soldiers who serve part-time in one of the oldest traditions in America, the National Guard.

      So if 1500 are ready now, and 2500 have been called up... then is it safe to say that 7000 are in Iraq?  Are there more of the guard available who have not been called up?

      •  did some more poking around (4.00)
        and found a nice history of the Louisiana National Guard here.

        And a sample of the sorts of things that they have done:

        In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, the Louisiana Army National Guard opened its armories for two days to collect goods from concerned citizens. More than 500,000 pounds of medicine, water, clothing, food and personal items were collected.

        Task Force Aguan deployed to Honduras in February for New Horizons 99-2, a six-month engineering rebuilding exercise. The LAARNG led the exercise by repairing roads, bridges and culverts and building schools and clinics. Medical personnel also conducted medical exercises to provide basic care to the population.

        In April 1999, a tornado tore through the community of Benton in North Louisiana. The LAARNG provided security, clean up and debris removal support. The LAARNG also hauled 4.3 million gallons of water to several communities during droughts and more than 18 tons of day to drought-stricken cattle farmers throughout the state. the LAARNG launched a second Youth Challenge Program for high school dropouts and will conduct a Starbase Program for select New Orleans public schools. Finally, the LAARNG was recognized for an unprecedented 10th year in a row as one of the top three National Guard organizations in the Army communities of Excellence competition.

      •  Can Someone Help! (none)
        7000 of 11,000 in Iraq seems high to me.  That's almost 2/3s.  Can someone out there give us hard numbers of Louisiana Guard in Iraq.  Even if its only 25%, that could have a big impact on being able to handle the scope of the catastrophy that is about to befall this state.
        •  I've Been Looking All Day (none)
          for solid figures.

          I talked to a friend who was in the National Guard.

          She said the problem we're having finding hard figures regarding deployment is the same problem she faced when she was writing testimony in support of state legislation regarding depleted uranium exposure.

          No one could find hard figures, broken down by state, on how many National Guard have actually been deployed.

          It's hard to budget for the health and well-being of returning veterans because of this lack of transparency, apparently.

          I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

          by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 06:19:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This should help. (none)
          At the Yellow Dog Blog, they found the spot on the Pentagon site with those numbers.  Apparently 4,109 Louisiana Reserve and Guard troops are in Iraq.

          If Bush were President when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he would have invaded Mexico.-- Cervantes

          by jem6x on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 11:23:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not enough (4.00)
      I don't think 4,000 will be anywhere near enough.  Fits the Bush war planning, however.  From the National Weather Service:


      URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
      NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
      413 PM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005

      EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE KATRINA CONTINUES TO APPROACH THE
         MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTA

      DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED

      MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER. AT
      LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL
      FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY
      DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

      THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.
      PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD
      FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE
      BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME
      WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.

      HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY...A
      FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

      AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH
      AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY
      VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE
      ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE
      WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

      POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN
      AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING
      INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

      THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY
      THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW
      CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE
      KILLED.

      Remember that surplus at the beginning of Bush's term?  Yeah, this is what it would have been good for.

      "I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in the body. Then I realized who was telling me this." -- Emo Phillips

      by captnjaq on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 05:29:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Guard members are scarce judging by AP photos. (none)
          I just went through all 161 on yahoo news and never saw more than one soldier at a time. The few that I did see were helping with crowd control at the Superdome.
  •  Why doesn't this get more coverage? (4.00)
    Its a travesty that the misuse of the National Guard by this administration has almost completely been overlooked.
  •  I remember (none)
    last summer (I think) when Governors facing horrible wildfires in their states were complaining that they did not have the Nat. Guard forces to help with the fires.  
  •  repost from (4.00)
    Darksyde's diary:

    LA National Guard Wants Equipment to Come Back From Iraq

    August 1, 2005, 9:07 PM CDT

    JACKSON BARRACKS -- When members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq in October, they took a lot equipment with them. Dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators are now abroad, and in the event of a major natural disaster that, could be a problem.

    "The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission," said Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider with the LA National Guard.

    Col. Schneider says the state has enough equipment to get by, and if Louisiana were to get hit by a major hurricane, the neighboring states of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have all agreed to help.

    "As Governor Bush did for Ivan, after they were hit so many times, he just maxed all of his resources out, he reached out to Louisiana and we sent 200 national guardsmen to help support in recovery efforts," Col. Schneider said.

    Members of the Houma-based 256th Infantry will be returning in October, but it could be much longer before the rest of their equipment comes home.

    "You've got combatant commanders over there who need it they say they need it, they don't want to lose what they have, and we certainly understand that it's a matter it's a matter of us educating that combatant commander, we need it back here as well," Col. Schneider said.

    •  Needs (4.00)
      JACKSON BARRACKS -- When members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq in October, they took a lot equipment with them. Dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators are now abroad, and in the event of a major natural disaster that, could be a problem.

      "You've got combatant commanders over there who need it they say they need it, they don't want to lose what they have, and we certainly understand that it's a matter it's a matter of us educating that combatant commander, we need it back here as well," Col. Schneider said.

      Hmmm. That's an interesting logistical question, there. I wonder: Who needs high water vehicles more — a swampland state facing a major hurricane, or an army in the middle of a desert? Oooh, decisions, decisions.

  •  too bad (none)
    if an election were coming up I would feel better about the hurricane victims being taken care of. Remember Bush passing out water in Florida last year? Jerk!

    First they came for MY choice...

    by sassy texan on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

  •  I was always afraid of something like this (none)
    when they started sending National Guard troops overseas.  But when Florida had those hurricanes, those folks were either brought back from Iraq or prevented from going over there (can't remember which).  And it made sense to ensure they were at the scene (never mind conspiracy theories involving kid bro Jebbie -- too easy).
    I agree this is not a partisan issue, but it feeds into the larger question of whether this war is a mistake.  I hope the Louisiana NG can get back to help.

    "Who are the Britons?" "We're all Britons." Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    by klamothe on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 10:55:55 AM PDT

  •  Opelousas, with an 's' on the end..... (4.00)
    that's the town I grew up in...

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

    by Cathy on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 11:09:59 AM PDT

  •  Where is Missippi's National Guard? (4.00)
    Update to news about Katrina (now a Category 5 storm) at this yahoo link (thanks to CKone), including this about the evacuation and oil prices.

    President Bush urged people living in the path of Katrina to take the storm extremely seriously and follow orders to evacuate to higher ground. A day after declaring an emergency for Louisiana, Bush declared an emergency for the state of Mississippi and pledged federal support.

    "We cannot stress enough the danger this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities," Bush told reporters on his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

    Rain started falling on extreme southeastern Louisiana by midday Sunday as the storm moved across the Gulf of Mexico toward land. Highways in Mississippi and Louisiana were jammed as people headed away from Katrina's expected landfall. All lanes were limited to northbound traffic on Interstates 55 and 59 in the two states.

    Beyond the Gulf Coast, Katrina was "unmitigated bad news for consumers" because it had shut down offshore production of at least 1 million barrels of oil daily and threatened refinery and import operations around New Orleans, said Peter Beutel, an oil analyst in New Canaan, Conn. He said crude oil could top $70 a barrel by Monday or Tuesday.

    I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

    by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 11:11:53 AM PDT

    •  I heard on MPB (none)
      (Mississippi Public Broadcasting) this morning that 40% of the Mississippi National Guard was on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm not sure what that converts to in raw numbers. If Katrina is bigger than Camille, even that 40% is not nearly enough.
  •  asdf (none)
    I just heard that they are not evacuating the prison.
    That stinks
  •  Hurricane Risk for New Orleans (4.00)
    From American RadioWorks:


    When emergency management officials think about the worst natural disasters that might befall America, San Francisco is always on the list. They say there's a 70 percent chance that a major earthquake will hit that city in the next 30 years and potentially cause thousands of deaths. But they say there's another disaster that could be far worse--and many people don't know about it. The chances that this tragedy will happen are much lower, but the death toll would be staggering. Government officials are trying to figure out if there's any way to prevent it.

    Think about the great cities in this country, and one of them will be New Orleans. On a recent evening, a scientist pulls up in the French Quarter. Joe Suhayda takes a plastic rod out of his trunk and he proceeds to show us what could happen the next time a hurricane hits New Orleans.

    "OK, this is tool that I have a range rod," explains Suyhayda. "It will show us how high the water would be if we were hit with a Category Five Hurricane."

    Which would mean what?

    "Twenty feet of water above where we are standing now," says Suyhayda.

    Twenty?

    A Category Five Hurricane is the most powerful storm on a scientific scale. Suhayda plants the rod on the sidewalk next to a 200-year-old building that's all wrought iron balconies and faded brick and wooden shutters. Every click marks another foot that the flood would rise up this building.

    I can't believe you're still going.

    "Yeah, still going," says Suyhayda.

    Until a couple months ago, Suhayda ran a prominent research center at Louisiana State University. They've developed the most detailed computer models that anybody's ever used to predict how hurricanes could affect this region. Studies suggest that there's roughly a one in six chance that a killer hurricane will strike New Orleans over the next 50 years.

    Suhayda is still extending his stick as he describes what he is doing, "It's well above the second floor, just about to the rooftop."

    It's hard to comprehend.

    "Yes," agrees Suyahada, "it is really, to think that that much water would occur in this city during a catastrophic storm."

    Do you expect this kind of hurricane--this kind of flooding--will hit New Orleans in our lifetime?

    "Well I would say the probability is yes," says Suyahada. "In terms of past experience, we've had three storms that were near misses--that could have done at least something close to this."

    Basically, the part of New Orleans that most Americans--most people around the world--think is New Orleans, would disappear.

    Suyhayda agrees, "It would, that's right."

    •  New Orleans has only one pump (4.00)
      that dates from the New Deal.

      I was born there, and still have family there.  One part of the family has headed for, of all places, Texas.  At the last minute.

      The other part is too poor to go to higher ground and has no money or transportation.

      They need at least ten or twenty pumps.

      They've been predicting New Orleans underwater for decades.  Only thing is, they had ample amount of time to prepare.

      New Orleans, soon to be the Venice of the South.  But at least Venice has taken care of some business to keep from being swallowed up by the sea.  Corruption, inertia, racism--that's what kept New Orleans from lessening the karmic retribution.

      New Orleans, gateway to the third world.  A banana republic in America's back-a-yard.

      An untypical Negro...since 1954.

      by blksista on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 05:18:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  THE BIG ONE, CATASTROPHIC (none)
    Weather Channel just reported:


    "CATEGORY 5 and getting stronger. Sustained Winds 184 (175). Minimum Pressure 902 mb (906)"

    •  Point of Reference (4.00)
      The hurricane guy on the Weather Channel just added a little bit of perspective: Waving his hands across a stretch of map between New Orleans and Biloxi/Gulfport, he mentioned the wind speed and barometric pressure and said, "That's basically an F3 tornado."
  •  Talking with a friend of mine (none)
    who is safety manager for a small town in Oklahoma, on the Texas border--they're already putting the CERT teams up there on full alert to head down to the Gulf and help out.

    And they're gonna be stretched out awfully thin no thanks to this president.

  •  From this story, sounds like at least 3000 in Iraq (4.00)

    http://www.ktbs.com/news-detail.html?cityid=1&hid=26783

    The 256th has units from Shreveport, Natchitoches, Jonesboro, Abbeville, Alexandria, Breaux Bridge, Crowley, Fort Polk, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Napoleonville, New Orleans, New Roads, Opelousas, Plaquemine and Winnfield. In addition to the approximate 3,000 soldiers from Louisiana, units from New York, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin and Illinois are attached to the brigade.

  •  Where are they? (none)
    They are in Iraq, keeping us safe from WMD, er Al Qaeda, er spreading "Democracy"... Oh fuck it, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11!!!

    Sorry, I kind of blacked out there for a moment...  

  •  I'll Bet (none)
    you could find plenty of National Guardsmen and Reservists over the state line in Bush's Texas.
  •  I Got Me Some Partisan Politics Right Here! (4.00)
    I just saw this linked over on the Katrina Open Thread. (Thanks Terre!)

    Terre got it from DU (Thanks barbaraan!).

    Partisan/Smartisan

    A Disaster Waiting to Happen

    From this item -

    But long before this hurricane season, some emergency managers inside and outside of government started sounding an alarm that still rings loudly. Bush administration policy changes and budget cuts, they say, are sapping FEMA's long-term ability to cushion the blow of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados, wildfires and other natural disasters.

    Among emergency specialists, "mitigation" -- the measures taken in advance to minimize the damage caused by natural disasters -- is a crucial part of the strategy to save lives and cut recovery costs. But since 2001, key federal disaster mitigation programs, developed over many years, have been slashed and tossed aside. FEMA's Project Impact, a model mitigation program created by the Clinton administration, has been canceled outright. Federal funding of post-disaster mitigation efforts designed to protect people and property from the next disaster has been cut in half. Communities across the country must now compete for pre-disaster mitigation dollars.

    As a result, some state and local emergency managers say, it's become more difficult to get the equipment and funds they need to most effectively deal with disasters. In Louisiana, requests for flood mitigation funds were rejected by FEMA this summer. (See sidebar.) In North Carolina, a state also regularly threatened by hurricanes and floods, FEMA recently refused the state's request to buy backup generators for emergency support facilities. And the budget cuts have halved the funding for a mitigation program that saved an estimated $8.8 million in recovery costs in three eastern North Carolina communities alone after 1999's Hurricane Floyd.

    Consequently, the residents of these and other disaster-prone states will find the government less able to help them when help is needed most, and both states and the federal government will be forced to shoulder more recovery costs after disasters strike.

    In addition, the White House has pushed for privatization of essential government services, including disaster management, and merged FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security -- where, critics say, natural disaster programs are often sidelined by counter-terrorism programs. Along the way, morale at FEMA has plummeted, and many of the agency's most experienced personnel have left for work in other government agencies or private corporations.

    I note the element of privatization here, which is so fundamental to the thinking behind our military presence in Iraq and, in general, conservative and neo-conservative ideology.

    I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

    by Patricia Taylor on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 01:13:07 PM PDT

  •  National Guard of NO dying in Iraq (none)
    to maintain the freedom for the Bush administration to leave the poor folks in NO behind to die for Rumsfeld's stupid decisions.

     

    It's the noble cause, stupid!

    by mimi on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 02:07:06 PM PDT

  •  I asked my father the same question earlier today (none)
    I made him google it with me hanging over his shoulder. They just left recently. Even if they were sent back it would still take a long time to ship the equipment needed back.

    We're fuckin ourselves "in the ass with a sandpaper condom" as one of my friends says so eloquently.

  •  Reserve Troops helping... a little (none)
    I've seen on CNN that at least a few troops are helping out with the hurricane.

    They're helping hand out ice and water, and are securing and protecting the superdome, where over 12,000 refugees are staying. But only about 150 troops are deployed there.

    I wouldn't be suprised if their forces are stretched thing with all of the reserve soldiers deployed in Iraq.

  •  This Is a political tuffy! (none)
    If the Dems. point out the lack of National Guard to help in this storm due to Iraq deployment, the Repubs. will accuse them of playing politics with a true disaster where we all should put politics aside and chip in and help.  On the other hand, pointing this out plays well whether your State is blue, red or purple because the vast majority of Americans put homeland needs ahead of those in Iraq.

    All in all, I think somebody needs to point this out to the MSM, for no other reason than its the truth, Iraq does have homeland ramifications, and if the Dems. don't start talking about the, who will?

    •  I don't think we'll have to do anything (none)
      I suspect the govs of LA, AL and MS will do it for us, regardless of party.

      They're going to be royally pissed, and rightfully so, because they're not going to have the help that should be there from the guard. Not only that, but any active-duty military who might have been able to help will also be gone.

      And so are the helicopters and planes that could carry supplies, as well as the vehicle that could get through the muck.

      FWIW, gas here has gone up about 6 cents in the last week. I don't want to even think about what it will be next week -- or next month. Or how much it's going to cost to heat my house this winter.

  •  Any idea how members of the LA guard... (none)
    ...now in Iraq are holding up? I'm sure many have family in the low lying areas. Is the military helping these troops find out where their families might be?
  •  This is Bush's Hurricane. (none)
    So the National Guard is in Iraq on a baseless, unnecessary, mission whose pretext is based on liesm deception and the false premise that they are making America safe,  while the United States citizens who actually need their protection are deprived and left unsafe.

    America is being destroyed by Bush. This is Bush's Hurricane.

  •  So what's the odds that the world won't give a f** (none)
    I'm just gonna bet that if disaster hits, the rest of the world will think we deserve it as opposed to the reaction after 9/11.  As usual though, like 9/11, the poor and the working class will suffer.  Not the elite.

    "Don't step back; step up." John Edwards - The politics of hope not cynicism

    by Cowqueen on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 08:34:15 PM PDT

  •  Dear Pat, (none)
      I have great respect for your comments.  My son is a National Guardsman in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan,  un-armored truck, 7 days a week!!!  He worked the Florida Hurricanes, 4 trips, 8 weeks last summer! Jeb Bush did not utilize them at all!  He spent his time at civic centers,auditoriums etc. instead of helping people in need. No direction and so they sat in place! Great to say you have 2000-3000 Natioanl Guard troops but if you don't allow them to help people, you make them useless and mad! I sure could have used him at our own home for clean-up!  He would have been glad to help me or others! Our government is useless!!  Not our boys!
    •  Back at You (none)
      with the respect!

      I hope your son comes home from his tour of duty safely.

      I myself have had several family members deployed since 9/11.  Two have done several tours of duty, including tours at Gitmo, in Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq (downtown Baghdad, with a dog), and Centcom Florida.

      My dad served a tour of duty as a voluteer in Vietnam towards the end.

      I know what it feels like to have family members away and at war.

      I feel our military men and women, loyally defending us and taking care of each other, are being so misused by the Bush Administration.

      I know how men in exile feed on dreams. - Aeschylus

      by Patricia Taylor on Mon Aug 29, 2005 at 12:40:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Montana (none)
    882across Montana from 7 miles east of Bainville, Mt on US 2 (northern Montana region) to 30 miles west of Troy,Mt., on the Idaho border.
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