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The last twelve hours of news coverage has been nearly overwhelming. Anderson Cooper, Paula Zahn, others, even unapologetic partisans like Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson -- everyone is asking where the government is. (No, I haven't turned to Fox News. I don't have the heart, today.) Anderson Cooper lost it interviewing Sen. Mary Landrieu, countering her litany of thank-yous to a series of politicians with his own encounter with rats eating a body that had been left abandoned in the street for 48 hours.  Paula Zahn boggled at FEMA director Michael Brown's declaration that the reason about 15,000 shelter seekers at the New Orleans Convention Center have gone without food or water since the day of the hurricane is because FEMA didn't even know the refugees were there until today.

The common televised theme is of reporters traveling to hard hit areas in New Orleans or the smaller communities, and reporting no FEMA presence, no National Guard presence, no food, no water, no help -- and this is day 5. "Where is the government?" has been the predominant theme of the day. Apologists are being met with barely concealed disgust, in more and more quarters. Bush administration cuts to the levee system are being widely reported. FEMA inaction is being roundly criticized by ever-more-urgent live feeds from disheveled media figures with stunned expressions.

The Convention Center situation appears to be horrific, with deaths of elderly and infants due to dehydration already now occurring. It's not clear if anything can be or is being done tonight, or how many will die between now and the morning, or what will happen then.

The lawlessness is rampant. It's important to note, however, that the lawlessness wasn't rampant on Monday. It wasn't rampant on Tuesday. We heard only twinges of it on Wednesday. Today, from the sounds of the reports, a city devoid of all hope devolved into absolute chaos.

It is nighttime again in New Orleans, and after four days of no food, no water, no communications, no security forces, and no apparent discernible plan that they can see, trust and hope that rescuers will arrive seems all but gone. If the forces had arrived on Tuesday, things would be different.

It is simply too stunning, too shocking, too soul-draining. Nobody knows where the emergency relief has been. Nobody can quite understand why the response to the catastrophe only now seems shuddering to life.

The politics are omnipresent, but present only a hollow shell behind which a sea, an absolute frothing sea, of much worse realizations are crowding every mind.  This was a disaster the country had been preparing for. This was one of the disasters most predicted, most feared, most planned for. There was two days of advance warning, as the massive, category 5 hurricane shifted purposefully towards New Orleans. This was no terrorist attack -- this time, there was warning. This time, there was knowledge.

And yet, the much-reshuffled domestic security resculpted as a result of 9-11 simply didn't show up. It wasn't there. FEMA, which has been hacked, shuffled, and gutted in the last few years, proved unable to respond to a catastrophic emergency situation. The catastrophic emergency situation, along the Gulf Coast, the one that sounded the alarms two days before landfall, the one that triggered the warnings of nightmare scenarios known for years in advance, and yet if there was any advance plan at all, any knowledge at all, any fathoming at all of how to respond in the fourty-eight hours most critical for the survival of the victims, it didn't show up. The roads were clogged, the islands were flooded, the levees were breached, and homeland security wasn't there, leaving each state, each town, each police force, each wrecked band of shell-shocked survivors to fend, and make do, while convoys were organized and strategies prepared with seeming obliviousness to the urgency of the numbers and clocks. There is... almost nothing meaningful to say.

The apparent and most likely explanations for the failure, known long before the fact, are almost shattering when reread today, while the ongoing catastrophe unfolds around us.

We have witnessed two disasters this week. The first was an act of nature. The second was not. The second disaster, still ongoing, is unforgivable.

That's the only word that comes to mind, a word I keep repeating to myself. These deaths, these men, these women, these infants dying now in these hours didn't have to happen. They did not have to die waiting for convoys to gather outside their city or for reservists to stand alongside their shattered police forces. They did not have to wait in darkness and fear for help to arrive, only to struggle for days without that help ever coming.

This is not politics. This is not partisanship.

This is unforgivable.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bill O'Reilly even said, on FOX (none)
    that there was chaos, and the government was nowhere to be seen.  I was stunned.
    •  Others on FOX (4.00)
      Shepard Smith and Greta Van Susteren have also been telling it like it is.  Hannity has been subdued...and at times moved to near tears.

      Like Hunter said... this is just inexcusable stuff even for FOX news people.

      I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

      by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:15:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am sure that it will happen! (none)
        If the response recently has been this piss poor WTF will happen when the hurricanes keep rolling in? We must remember that it is only Sept. 2 and the season is far from over.
        •  i was just thinking about that last night (none)
          what if there is another hurricane?  those people are trapped like rats!  a guy on cnn calling on the phone from the convention center was saying bush needs to come down there and take control of the situation.  i was thinking, do you think bush gives a good god damned about you.  do you think he's gonna come anywhere near your situation.  the closest he's gonna get is a flyby.  he's more concerned a bout the pipelines.  it's stunning!
        •  not only (none)
          is the season far from over, it isn't even halfway over.

          there's a TD forming SW of cape verde, and computer models show it developing into a hurricane and threatening the virgin islands. who knows what direction it would go after that.

          plus, there're some instabilities off the coast of florida which could develop into something..right where katrina formed.

          alcohol and night swimming. it's a winning combination!-l.leonard

          by chopper on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:05:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Shepard Smith (4.00)
        has sent many excellent reports, often exhorting FEMA or someone to send help to specific locations.  He's from the area and loves it.
        •  Shep is great (none)
          You might hate fox news but Shep has always been a great personality in my opinion.
          •  So, which part of the phrase "Getting ... (4.00)
            ... government off our backs!" don't you understand?

            Sure, when everything is going along fine, it sounds attractive. But there's a reason why men and women joined fates in government, and were willing to pay for it. They lived calamities and catastrophies and disasters - and chose to sacrifice in order to be prepared.

            This administration is a war for profit outfit, which has dismantled government in order to wage disaster in other lands, for oil.

            I would think that the Dept. of Homeland Security could at least have figured out how many people fit inside the Astrodome, and how to keep supplies going to the Superdome, in a flood?

            What have they been doing during the Bush years, besides gutting the government budget to benefit themselves and their corporate friends.

            "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

            by SteinL on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:14:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Proxy thugs (none)
              Yes, for decades they've been disappearing the government.  Or, apply the metaphor of a controlled demolition--just like they dropped WTC7.

              What we have is a gang of proxy thugs run by transnational capital.  Their snouts are so deep in slop they can't see and being professional psychopaths they can't feel.

              It's more than getting them off our backs.  It's getting them and their vile ideology out of our hearts and minds.

            •  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (4.00)
              For those of us who know our history, we can recognize that there are times when the system breaks down, and the results are so egregious that it inspires sadness, horror... and a will to change things.

              One such episode was the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in NYC in 1911. It kicked off widespread reforms in working conditions, municipal inspections of building safety... and inspired more widespread acceptance of workers' unions.

              The disaster in New Orleans... and the Gulf region in general (because the horror stories that are certain to be uncovered in the hinterlands are yet untold) may provide an opportunity for real change.

              This is an historic opportunity to challenge the blind faith in the power of the markets and free enterprise to solve all problems. To challenge the notion that government should be small enough to be drowned in a bathtub. To remind people that there's unfinished business in alleviating crushing poverty... and creating greater economic justice in America.

              I love that the title of this diary is "Left Behind"... because I woke up this morning thinking about that: the fact that the theocrats are going to blame the victims.

              We need to call out our government's lack of preparedness to evacuate the many, many poor of this region on the fact that any plan that relied on the ability of people to remove themselves who didn't own a car... or did, but couldn't buy a tank of gas on short notice... was no plan at all.

              And anyone who tries to weasel out of this administration's obligation to have such a plan is the lowest of the low. Have they no shame at all? At long last, have they no shame?

              "Left Behind" indeed. But this administration isn't Jesus, and this wasn't the rapture. And isn't a sin.

              Those who were left behind didn't chooese their fate. They didn't deserve their fate.

              And those who have been defunding government by cutting taxes on the rich and have been using the apparatus of the state primarily as a means of enriching their friends... and those apologists who have been enabling them... they all need to face the wrathful indignation of decent people everywhere.

              It is our obligation to make sure that generational reform is born from this disaster.

              Good night, America, how are you?
              Don't you know me I'm your native son?

              by Malacandra on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:06:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Whoa: BIG TYPO (none)
                I hate to find these after I post.

                MAJOR Correction:

                "Left Behind" indeed. But this administration isn't Jesus, and this wasn't the rapture. And isn't a sin.

                should read:

                "Left Behind" indeed. But this administration isn't Jesus, and this wasn't the rapture. And being poor isn't a sin.

                Good night, America, how are you?
                Don't you know me I'm your native son?

                by Malacandra on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:10:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Shep Smith (none)
            Was having no part of Bill O'Reilly's spinning last night.  O'Reilly was trying to pin blame on the governor and was talking about how awful all the looters were.  Smith's response basically was "what to expect starving people to do?"

            "Moral Values Absent Economic Justice Is Poverty of the Soul." - anon.

            by PaulVA on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:57:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I've watched more of Fox News this week than I (none)
            ever have in my life. And you're right-they are pissed too. The media is finally telling it like it is about this bunch of liars. Let the politicans keep spinning and pray that the media keeps telling the truth and explaining what really happened and is happening!
      •  FOX this morning (none)
        Just had on Tim Green from A Current Affair, who is in N.O. He too was appalled and critical over our government's response.

        When the talking head who was questioning him asked him a little too cheerily whether the worst is over, now that President Bush has ordered more troops to come and is making a personal visit, he looked angry that she was stupid enough to even ask such a question and had nothing good to say about Bush's latest moves. He said that nothing is going to get better until they get these people water and food and medical care, and get them to safety, and then repeated over and over, "The worst is yet to come." You could see the overwhelming sorrow in his eyes.

      •  Shepard Smith looked (none)
        like he was going to go to blows with O'Reilly last night.  He kept remarking that you can't understand unless you're there and that he can't see how the city can possibly be rebuilt.  He looked panicked and shocked.
    •  Lets face it! (4.00)
      Bush and his flunkies only  adhere to the loyalty policy. What I am trying to say is that competence is not a measure of performance. All that matters is that you are a "YES" man. It does not matter if you fuck up ..... a promotion is soon to come. If you question a policy a swift boating is sure to follow.
      •  This is Why Bush is Truly... (none)
        ...the CEO President.

        "This war is an ex-parrot." - The Editors

        by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:17:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Those who truly hate America, still love Bush (none)
        There's no other explanation for his persistent loyalists and apologists.  They must enjoy watching the destruction of America by catastrophic mismanagement.  We've been in a continuous state of crisis since November, 2000.

        This time, there's no one else to blame but BushCo and the Congressional Republican leadership. Next catastrophe, we can blame ourselves for not removing this Administration and its allies from office when we had a chance.

        There seems to be only one action left to us. On September 24, occupy DC, and make citizens arrests.

    •  fubar, fubar, fubar... (none)
      It's amazing to see the national TV press asking pointed questions of "leaders." Let's hopes the fog is finally lifting. I tuned in Savage last night and even he was outraged. Katie Courac interviewed the head of FEMA a little while ago. He's clueless, or else he's aping the idiot at the top. Lots of spinning there.

      It goes to show how vulnerable the country is at this moment. Homeland Security??? Just imagine the breakdown if another big storm hits, or if the terrorist unleash a big attack. Maybe this is what George secretly hopes for.

      The Fed is getting ready to go in and bust heads in NO. Now there's a prime example compassionate conservatism for you.

      •  No shit... (4.00)
        What if this wasn't water - what if it was, um - I dunno - anthrax, or radiation, or armed terrorists? Do any of you have any confidence that you'd be rescued if it happened where YOU are?

        I don't.

  •  Genocide. (3.28)
    I repeat: Genocide.
    •  No, Bush Era Ineptitude. Today I am Ashamed (4.00)
      to be an American.

      The Killer Hurricane strikes New Orleans, and then the levees burst, as predicted. And yet Amrica can't get sufficient water, food, cots, tents, and troops to the victims within three days?

      Not to mention the Governement doesn't have one collective site to link survivors with family members.

      Plus, the Search and Rescuse missions seem to be haphazard at best. Why weren't people being assigned specific streets? And why aren't previously searched houses being marked with spray paint?

      New Orleans-- 72 hours later no communications, no drinking water, not enough police/troops. Bottomline, we're not prepared for another 9/11.

      by DeanFan84 on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:22:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, that ain't ineptitude. (3.66)
        It's knowingly abandoning to their fate tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of folks whom they regard as undesirable.


        •  it's not geneological (none)
          it's mass misery... it's proof there is NO DEBATE POSSIBLE about the responsibility of a government to it's people.

          You see it's responsibility here... missing.

        •  Genocide (4.00)
          I concur: it is not unreasonable to begin using the language of genocide to describe our government's pitiful response.

          Are we marching on Washington this weekend, people?

          •  I disagree (none)
            Genocide implies malicious intent. There is none.

            Just an overwhelming ineptitude grown out of stubbornness, arrogance, and the manipulation of the public's myopic all-consuming paranoia about terrorism.

            •  Contempt for the poor coupled with (4.00)
              racism towards blacks.

              Yes, this is a crime against humanity.  And the whole world is watching this, aghast.

              See Bush dodging Diane Sawyer's questions about accountability...that no one, no one of authority was around to coordinate medical, rescue and security for these people.  He says, in effect, that aid is coming now.

              Where the fuck was it five days ago??

              I hate him.  Lord, I hate him AND his crew.

              And if Clinton doesn't stop kissing Dubya and his daddy's asses, he's effectively stripped of his 'honorary black' status for good and all.  There's a limit.

              An untypical Negro...since 1954.

              by blksista on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:27:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A key Republican strategy is (4.00)
                "starving the beast."  They want to take away
                our Social Security so we don't have money to support the Democrats (or have our lives become so desperate that we can't concentrate on politics). Cutting funds to improve the levees could be seen as part of this policy.
                To me the next step to genocide is a small one.

                "Together we will stand, every boy, girl, woman and a man."

              •  Jack Shafer on Slate (4.00)
                Wrote an excellent article here commenting on the lack of discussion about race and class by the reporters covering this horror. I particularly like this:

                But we aren't one united race, we aren't one united class, and Katrina didn't hit all folks equally. By failing to acknowledge upfront that black New Orleanians--and perhaps black Mississippians--suffered more from Katrina than whites, the TV talkers may escape potential accusations that they're racist. But by ignoring race and class, they boot the journalistic opportunity to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of a whole definable segment of the population. What I wouldn't pay to hear a Fox anchor ask, "Say, Bob, why are these African-Americans so poor to begin with?"


                Hostage smiles on presidents, freedom scribbled in the subway. It's like night and day. - Joni Mitchell

                by jazzlover on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:45:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nuff said... (none)
                Stop being blindsided people. Why is the government not there? They do not care. What is the hurry to save a thousand Black souls, a thousand poor Whites souls, a thousand elderly souls, a thousand Black and poor whites' babies souls? There is none. I am near tears typing this because although I disliked the president and his government before, I have gone beyond dislike. There is pure contempt in my soul and hate. This is a genocide, this is done with malicious intent. This will NEVER be forgotten.

                "If anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible time." - Murphy's Law

                by MyOwnWoman on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:17:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  If the national guard really are keeping (none)
              rescuers out that steps over malicious intent border:
              There are supplies sitting in Baton Rouge for the folks in New Orleans, but the National Guard has the city surrounded and is not letting anyone in or out. They are turning away people with s[QUOTE]upplies, claiming it is too dangerous. If we have planes that can drop bombs on people in Iraq, certianly we can air drop supplies into the city
            •  Genocide (4.00)
              does NOT imply malicious intent.  That is a convenient misconception.

              There is also such a thing as malicious indifference, which IMHO, perfectly captures this POTUS and his administration.

              In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

              by a gilas girl on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:01:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Genocide (none)
                Actually the definition in the Genocide Convention does include intent:

                "Article 2.  In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
                (a) Killing members of the group;
                (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
                (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
                (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
                (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

                However, if you wish to use the term more loosely, I have no objection.  Certainly, this indifference and incompetence would not be apparent if a hurricane had flooded Greenwich, CT or Palo Alto, CA.

          •  I am truly afraid (none)
            this may set off a wave of civil unrest like we haven't seen in 40 years.  Now I believe that race was not a factor in this govt. ineptitude, but I can most definitely see where those starving folks in NOLA might see things differently.  I would become bitter and suspicious after five days too.

            I pray that I am wrong.

            The truth always matters.

            by texasmom on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:18:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why are you afraid? (none)
              Sounds to me like we need some unrest if this is how the government is (not) caring for those most in need.
              •  It is certainly time for change (none)
                My mother was a part-time civil rights worker (voter rights) in the early 1960's.  We were afraid for her life.  We do NOT need any more people dying to solve inequity.

                The truth always matters.

                by texasmom on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:34:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Regardless of race (none)
                  Our world will change will we or won't we.  Gas prices are fixing to change the walmart way of life cause all goods are going up.  The only thing we are exporting is death in the form of military weapons.  We have already lost mobility.  Planes are going to bankrupt because of 20% increase in fuel. Buses, trucks all will cost more to use.  My dream of getting on the road in a camper is crushed, at least at the moment.  Just taking a trip across town will cost more.
                  But more than that I believe that people will begin to understand that governing requires more than political allegiance.  We will, hopefully, begin to look at the people who run with a different mindset.  Hopefully people will begin to understand that it could have been us, could have been them left in that godawful football field with no water, no bathrooms, no privacy, no support, no leadership, no food.
            •  Just you wait... (none)
              Once they start pulling thousands of dead bodies out of New Orleans, we'll ALL be ready to have a little unrest.
              •  Do you think... (none)
                ...that the death toll will rival that of 9/11? My husband said it last night - that's the first time I heard that.

                What do you think?

                •  It will rival 9/11 (none)
                  In this same way 9/11 rivalled OK City.  

                  This is going to end up in a different order of magnitude.

                  •  Woah. Crap. (none)
                    Man - I hope you and my husband are wrong about that, but it sure don't look good.

                    I can't believe - it stuns me - that people ARE DYING RIGHT NOW!

                    I went to a friend's house last night - he was watching the football game.

                    You tell me - on 9/11, while they were STILL PULLING BODIES from the wreckage - do you think the NFL would play a game?

                    •  If they had reacted properly (none)
                      On Saturday and Sunday, then I think the death toll would have been under a thousand.  Right now I expect it to be more like ten thousand, if not more.  Every disaster simulation for a NO flood has put the death toll far higher than that - 40 to 80 000, so I think I am being conservative here.  Moreover, the unforgivable response to this just compounds the problem.  
                •  absolutely (none)
                  I'd be stunned if there were fewer than 3000 dead after all the bodies have been counted.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:24:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  race may not have been (none)
              a factor but class sure as hell was.  Poor?  You have no voice, you do not count, your life is worthless.

              And if that fact - fact - triggers civil unrest, maybe it's damn well long overdue.

            •  If more big hurricanes hit ... (none)
              We could see a loss of civil order in much of the Gulf Coast and/or the Southeast. It's very frightening.
          •  DC in September? (none)
            Isn't there a mass rally already planned for the weekend of the 24th?
        •  Sorry, that ain't ineptitude (4.00)
          it's pure, soulless cruelty.
          But now Condi has some nice new shoes.

          Sturm und Drang -- poking at culture's soft underbelly since 2005.

          by magpie02141 on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:38:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not inept; policy priorities (none)
        People and resources expended elsewhere; FEMA allowed to deteriorate.  Flood control plans not followed and not funded.  "inept" gets it totally wrong; these were all intentional decisions, reflecting what the Bushies care about.  Krugman's op-ed gets it right:

    •  Don't encourage them (none)
      they might think they're getting somewhere.

      The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

      by peeder on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why overload that term (none)
      there are lots of other bad ones.
      •  Overt Class Warfare fits nicely (4.00)
        Doesnt have the same impact though.
        •  not for most I guess (none)
          I like it though.
        •  Yeah, but they found Fats Domino; (4.00)
          so everything's okay the way, how's Paris Hilton's new dog coming along?  Also, will Brad and Jennifer reunite?

          "We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."--Donald Rumsfeld

          by sunbro on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:47:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Urban renewal as class warfare (3.80)
          Overt Class Warfare fits nicely

          To be even more precise what is intended is class warfare disguised as "natural" disaster-driven urban renewal. The game plan is that none of the single family frame homes in black neighborhoods will be rebuilt and all the people who lived in them will be forced to relocate.

          Notice that Bush, while he said the city would rise again, also said that the "experts" would have to decide just how, that it would take "years," and that it in the end it would be a "better place for it" (translation: a  richer and more white place).

          The intent to make a basic change in the character of the city will be somewhat masked in the sort run by a few high profile building and restoration projects.  But the real key will be what will happen to all the cheap, wood frame,  residential housing that will be made uninhabitable (by usual standards) from weeks or months under water.  The Federal Government will leave the "redlining" of the rebuilding efforts to others. Will the city be willing to restore utilities to those areas?  Will financing and insurance be available for home construction in those areas?  Will there be prohibitive new building code requirements?  All Federal rebuilding aid will, of course,  be made contingent on these things so as to let others take the blame.

          But what will be done about the people who want to return and live in wrecked places without new building and without and utilities?  There will be labor jobs available, but the planners intend,  for reasons of "public order and safety,"  not to permit people to return to the poor residential areas.

          The reason the Federal planners are letting things go to hell is that that is what it will take to empty the city.  And unless they can do that now it will be hard to ever drive all the poor from their homes no mater how wrecked they are.  And if they stay there will be demands for electricity and water to be restored even without new construction.

          So here is what "they" plan:  once there are enough military forces in the area we will  see a violent "war on looters" going on against poor black people who are not willing to give up their homes, wrecked as they are. And after a certain point it will be true: anyone who survives very long there will have to have gotten supplies somewhere illegal because there will be no food and water being distributed except to those who report for evacuation.  

          The "war on looters" will soon  result in deaths to troops or police from chasing armed people through a strange Water World version of NO.  Then the holdouts will be declared "dead enders" and finally "terrorists".  Then the line will be that we need to "fight urban terror" in New Orleans so we don't need to fight it in other cities.

          Welcome to new New Orleans and to new America.

    •  GENOCIDE (4.00)
      Yes, it's genocide, and somebody ought to call the UN Security Council into Emergency Session!!  Why do u think the Bushies have always been against the International Court at all costs--because they knew they would be committing War Crimes, in Afghanistan, Iraq, elsewhere, and now in New Orleans!!!   Let's shoot the motherf...ers cuz they're pissed off we left 'em to die without food, water, or shelter!!!  Mark my words--first thing they'll do when they get the Guard in there is try to ban the cameras....can't have genocide on feeds of dying little babies....sick beyond belief!!!
    •  Oh for fuck's sake (4.00)
      Do you know anything about anything? Genocide is the systematic destruction of a particular class of people, with the open, stated intent of killing them off. People consciously going about their day for the express purpose of murdering innocents.

      The unfairness and the incompetence have fallen brutally hard on one segment of the population, but that does not amount to genocide. Many REAL survivors and victims of genocide, and their offspring, do not appreciate the conflation of that term with ordinary average political incompetence, fraud and waste.

      The tragedy in New Orleans is apocolyptic in scope, but it is assuredly NOT genocide.

      •  What do you call cutting off welfare, medicaid (4.00)
        benefits, unemployment, etc if not trying to destroy someone's way of life, to exterminate them? TO let them die on the streets like vermin? It is too genoicide.
        •  Do you speak english? (none)

          Genocide is a narrow, specific term that describes a particular, awful human practice. Don't strip it of all it's meaning just because lots of other horrible stuff is happening. Have some respect for the victims of brutal repression, thier experiences were unique.

          •  Water and food is not getting to the refugees... (none)
            National Guard, upthread, is not allowing people and supplies in.  Why?

            Ineptitude at the 17th Street Levee caused even more suffering.  Hastert tooted his horn about NOT
            EVEN rebuilding these people's lives, the pig.

            Bush kept on ignoring them until he was forced to end his meandering and footdragging...and THEN he asked his father and Clinton to get their hands dirty for him.

            Why is it taking more than five days to get the Federal government--our government, OUR employee(s) as Cindy Sheehan would deftly put it--taking care of  OUR PEOPLE?

            I don't think genocide is a word lightly bandied about.  But it is.

            An untypical Negro...since 1954.

            by blksista on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 08:11:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  genocide does not require (none)
            explicit expressed intent.  Er, Rowanda.  It doesn't require actual troops.  That is just how it was done in the past.  It could be intentional neglect.  It could be forcing them to live in squalor.  Are they just incompetent or do are they trying too hard?  I hate to burst your bubble.
            •  I'm not in a bubble (none)
              Um. Ruwanda. Where the Hutus and Tutsis were going at it with machetes and burning tires, and lining up people in churches to gun them down or toss in a grenade to a crowded building with children. If that's not expressed intent, I don't know what is. No one is lining up blacks in New Orleans and shooting them in the head. There is a chance some of those stranded may survive. If there were a genocide occurring, NONE of them would stand a chance and the troops would have pulled out long ago.

              Get a grip.

        •  Additionally (none)
          in light of the very sober comment below, even if the abuse and neglect do fall upon a particular ethnic group, the intent is still not to rid the world, or even Louisiana, of all the African-Americans. Or even the poor ones.

          Are there those among our policy leaders and those prosecuting their policies who would subscribe to a plan to rid the world of African-Americans? Of that I have no doubt, BUT, even the most casual observer has to admit that we aren't there yet.

          •  Actually (none)
            Genocide must be intentional, but the intent need not be to destroy the ENTIRE group in question, just either in whole or (substantial) part.

            E.g. if Hitler had only intended to kill Jews on the European side of the Atlantic, it would still have been genocide.

        •  um yeah. (none)
          Welfare and Medicaid are lifesavers I agre, but to make them a 'way of life."  That's the whole problem.
      •  And everyone's forgetting (none)
        That there ARE people trapped in this situation who are not African-American, and who aren't even U.S. citizens. There are tourists there also.

        When those people get back to their own countries and start telling their stories, I would bet even more sh** will hit the fan. They won't be suppressed or ignored like our own citizenry might be.

        "I must admit that I don't see a bright tomorrow; still, I must also confess that my hopes are fairly high"--Ass Ponys, "Fighter Pilot"

        by oxymoron on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:32:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Not Quite (none)
        Here's the international legal definition of genocide.  It doesn't necessarily involve killing off a group, just destroying it.  For example, international law lists causing mental harm, preventing births, and transfering children away from adults as potentially genocidal acts.

        However, the intent to destroy at least part of a group is necessary for genocide (folks upthread who say intent is not at issue are just wrong).  And I with those who are saying that NOLA ain't genocide.  The Bush administration truly does not give a good goddam about poor people, the vast majority of people of color, or anybody besides their rich cronies (who, to be fair, include several people of color). Utter indifference is not genocidal. And I'm convinced that's what we're seeing here.

        "This war is an ex-parrot." - The Editors

        by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:47:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point (none)
          Yes, I agree, intent to destroy through neglect is a standard practice of genocidal regimes. Intent and organization, over a sustained period of time, even if the organization amounts to nothing so much as a cover up of evidence.

          Humanity's lowest low may have been the attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when hundreds of thousands of innocents were slaughtered. Even those attacks do not, in my opinion, amount to genocide in that the intent was not to rid the world of the Japanese people forever.

  •  Nothing to add. (none)
    A perfect assessment.  I'm only posting because I can't recommend.
  •  Failure to plan is planning to fail (4.00)
    If you go on a long vacation, and don't plan to water your plants, you are planning to kill your plants.

    And you are an amature.  What about the professionals who are PAID to plan?

    Welcome to the ownership society. If you have not been assigned an owner, please report to Iran for duty.

    by jm1963 on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:13:13 AM PDT

  •  You nailed it (4.00)
    and thank you for saying what I couldn't.

    This administration can go to hell, and they will.

    "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

    by SanJoseLady on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:13:18 AM PDT

  •  Hunter, WOW (4.00)
    Your writing on this Katrina disaster has been transcendant.

    Impressive stuff...worthy of being on the editorial pages of our most respected newspapers.

    I suspect you will soon be receiving some offers.

    You are correct, no warm-blooded human being can excuse what is going on.  This is so far beyond party politics.  It is a matter of just having a soul.

    I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

    by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:13:34 AM PDT

    •  wholeheartedly agree! (none)
      I was just wondering if anyone had a "Tracking-All-Of-Today's-Amazing-Journalistic-Meltdowns-In-The-Face-Of-Gov't-Official-Criminal-Incom petence-And-Stupidity" thread going, cause Lord knows I saw plenty examples (Anderson, Kyra, Paula, Cafferty, MSNBC cameraguy Tony). Lo and behold,  I refreshed the front page only to find this absolutely brilliant commentary. Completely stated so much more eloquently than I ever could. Thanks again, Hunter.
      •  I was especially proud of Anderson (none)
        Anderson's made me happy in a very sick way. I can only hope we see a continued trend here. The media needs to realize they have been doing this country no favors by bowing down to the government. They have a duty to report the truth to people and tell it like it is. I only wish it hadn't taken such a tragedy. But if we are ever going to get things changed in this country, we need the truth, and we need our media to tell it.
  •  my thoughts (4.00)
    I am a new user so therefore cannot post a are my thoughts.

    crossposted at Bush and Katrina '05

    I have seen national disasters and tragedies.  I grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh, home to some of the most devastating floods recorded in history.  And I lived in NYC during
    9-11. I have experienced my share of tragedies and disasters, but nothing pales in comparison to the failed leadership in the Gulf.  

    Looking back at all of the disasters, the relief efforts during massive floods in Bangladesh to some degree, were handled more effectively in Bangladesh, than in New Orleans and Biloxi.  Not because the people received more food or aid, but because there was a genuine effort to use all resources available to do everything possible to provide hope and relief.  I don't get that sense that President Bush has even attempted to do what is expected of a civilized modern nation.  Bangladesh after-all, is a 3rd world country, the U.S. is not.  But perhaps President Bush sees all of those poor working class folks on the Gulf as 3rd class citizens.

    Watching the situation unfold in New Orleans and Biloxi brought to mind images from Bangladesh, but the anger and anguish I felt was much, much, much stronger.

    Here's why.

    Krugman Op-Ed N.Y Times

    Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.

    1. President Bush is now 2 for 2.  Third time WON'T be a charm.

    During the 2000 Presidential Elections I wasn't eligible to vote because I didn't become a U.S. Citizen until 2002.  But while watching the situation unfold in Florida, I supported Bush and preferred a Bush Presidency.  I've since come to regret my support for Bush because of his irresponsible behavior and reckless policies, but unfortunately we're stuck with him for another three years.

    It's scary that President Bush is 2 for 2, batting 1.000 when it comes to major catastropic disasters predicted to hit the U.S., as having happened under his watch.

    Can we continue to live with such failure and incompetence at the highest levels of the government?  President Bush, Senator Frist, and Republican leadership did everything in their power to save the life of a brain dead woman in Florida while they sit idle while hundreds of thousands of living, breathing, hopeless people face despair in the Gulf?  Will this be a lesson for the Bush administration?  Will they prepare for the worst, and make sure a possible Sanfrancisco Earthquake doesn't turn into even a bigger tragedy?  Will Bush go to vacation for another 300 days while the nation is at risk?  

    I pray to God that Bush does NOT go 3 for 3.  If our response to a massive earthquake in Sanfrancisco is as reprensible as our response to Hurrican Katrina, then we're in serious trouble.  

    I am ashamed for my President. And I am ashamed for my government today.

    Krugman Op-Ed N.Y Times

    First question: Why have aid and security taken so long to arrive? Katrina hit five days ago - and it was already clear by last Friday that Katrina could do immense damage along the Gulf Coast. Yet the response you'd expect from an advanced country never happened. Thousands of Americans are dead or dying, not because they refused to evacuate, but because they were too poor or too sick to get out without help - and help wasn't provided. Many have yet to receive any help at all.

    2. We live in the MOST powerful country in the world which is the United States. We have unlimited resources to help folks who are in need of emergency relief and security. We have the most sophisticated tools and technology at our disposal.  No one would ever believe that in such a nation, people would be left without water, resources, security, or HOPE for over 5 DAYS. It is unbelievable. Unacceptable.  I'm not very emotional, but I cried watching it unfold on TV.  And I felt so angry and disgusted by the INACTIONS of our state and federal Government, I had to turn off my TV.  The failed leadership of President Bush, Secretary Chertoff, Senator Landrieu, Senator Vitter, Governor Blanco, and Governor Barbour is unbelievable and unacceptable.  

    The state of LA and MS, along with the Bush administration failed these people.  It is unacceptable and reprehensible.

    My mom called me from Bangladesh in shock.  She wants to know what went wrong?  She wants to know why people are being left for dead?  She wants to know where the help is?

    Is it fair to point fingers at a time of tragedy?  It's not about pointing fingers.  It's about what's missing from the Bush Administration:   ACCOUNTABILITY.

    President Bush should apologize to the millions of people who have been affected for failing to fully fund engineering and transportation projects that would have funded the construction of levees.  He should apologize for diverting the funds to fight a war in Iraq which is questionable at best, and illegal at the worst.

    Secretary Chertoff and Mike Brown (FEMA) should resign in disgust for their failure.  They failed to plan for this disaster.  They failed to respond.  They failed the people of the Gulf Coast.  No food.  No Water.  No Hope.  Only despair.

    Even Democrats, Governor Blanco and Senator Landreau need to answer.  No more grandstanding.  No more political rhetoric.  They need to go.

    It is time for change.  The time is now.  

    This country needs visionaries.  We need bold leadership.  We need courage.  We need someone who will not only understand our needs, but produce those resources.

    After 9-11 I believed that Mayor Giuliani received too much credit, and thought that Mark Green or Fernando Ferrer would have done just as well as Giuliani.  I am not a fan of Mayor Giuliani, but this disaster has me asking:

    Where is mayor Giuliani?

    •  Hard to lead without Communications... (none)
      Who do you blame for the lack of First Responder Resources?

      Clearly the Mayor is partially to blame. But why have a Homeland Security Office post 9/11 if we are going to have better emergency plans for our urban centers?

      Chertoff should be fired.

      New Orleans-- 72 hours later no communications, no drinking water, not enough police/troops. Bottomline, we're not prepared for another 9/11.

      by DeanFan84 on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:25:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you (none)
      Thank you for your beautiful essay.
    •  We need visionaries (4.00)
      But not of the neocon variety.  Their visions have proved to be pie in the sky  wishful thinking aberrancies, weighted heavily toward Corporate domination of the world.  Fascist at worst.  And I fear the worst.

      GWB will never escape the image of his callous ignoring of this crisis.  He acted like it didn't exist.  

      How does a POTUS ignore a Cat5 off the Gulf coast?  It is unconscionable!  It is of a degree of callousness that is inexcusable!  

      How can any American allow this abomination to happen?  

      I am so heartbroken that we, as a nation, have  become so passively complicit in our own undoing that we are willing to give a pass to such massive incompetence in providing services to our own American people.

      The response to this catastrophe by our government  compounds the disaster that has been visited upon the poor people of the gulf.  They were being raped before, but now they are being murdered.

      US Gov has got to stop its murderous trajectory.

      Poor people are not our enemies.  They are Us.

      The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

      by x on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:33:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dems Don't Count!! (none)
      Did u notice, NY, NO, SF, all three cities full of sin and Democrats--who gives a f...--certainly not these guys!!!!!
    •  terrific (none)
      your words could not have been stronger or more right-on.  thank you for your terrific essay.  i am sorry our country has been SUCH a disappointment to you.  and i am sorry that there are people who STILL believe that what our state and federal governments have done are "good."  and i am sorry there are STILL americans who believe that the fault of this entire tragedy belongs to the people who didnt leave.

      chertoff, brown AND bush all need to be criminally tried

  •  well done (none)
    this is a masterful post
  •  It was supposed to be a terrorist attack (3.75)
    can't nuk Iran over a hurricane

    george though we would be pissed at somebody cause we were attacked

    then he could just drop a few bombs on Iran and everybody would cheer, no matter how fucked up the emergency response was

    now we're just pissed at george bush, and he can't nuk Iran

    what to do ...

    •  What makes you think he can't? (4.00)
      Don't put anything past them.  Desperate times my friend... they may go for broke while they still have the keys to the White house.

      I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

      by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:19:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  come on dude, you know me (none)
        I'm a realist, and i don't put it past him, but I don't think Karl rove is that dumb either

        Katrina put the econmy's balls in the hands of Hugo Chavez and Iran's leaders

        if you just lost 10% of your domestic crude oil production capacity, would you piss off the people who control 30% of the world's production capacity ???

        Hogo sells us 15% of our oil, and that number is gonna go up (Hugo really likes the Iranians lately)

        and would you really want to do anything that might tempt Iran to destroy the Saudi oil docks, rout our forces in Iraq, and chase us from the Persian Gulf ???

        we're really exposed right now. The international economic implications of this disaster are unbelievable

        •  It wasn't a real question (4.00)
          More like sarcastic/exhaustic rhetoric on my part.

          You asked: "would you really want to do anything that might tempt Iran to destroy the Saudi oil docks, rout our forces in Iraq, and chase us from the Persian Gulf ???"

          No, of course not.  But I am not the President of the United States.  I try to think logically.

          The question isn't whether i would.  It's whether he would.

          I want you to understand something.  I am operating under the assumption that Bush is a sociopath.  Completely unbound to reality...  Like an electron circling an atom - it could be argued he is not even there.  He is volatile.

          Seems obsessed with oil.  Gave a speech yesterday dedicated almost entirely to it.

          I also believe he is evil and has surrounded himself with people of similar "energy"

          What is going on with this administration is making me believe things I would never think of 5 years ago.

          I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

          by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:31:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  somebody's gotta worry about holding power (none)
            so there has to be somebody who is making reality based decisions

            and I think george blew his chance to attack Iran

            we'll be chewing on this one until Fitz hits the fan

            New Orleans is gonna be a shit hole for about 6 months, minimum. Our army ain't going anywhere

          •  Bush... (none)
            I am operating under the assumption that Bush is a sociopath. Completely unbound to reality... Like an electron circling an atom - it could be argued he is not even there.

            This might not be too far from the truth. I wonder how much Rove at al. are actually telling him?

          •  I keep saying this - with a twist... (none)
            What is going on with this administration is making me believe things I would never think of 5 years ago.

            I knew that this would happen, but I just didn't believe it could... Hence, I am just as amazed as if I had never known it.

            Sometimes your eyes lie (it all seems fine on the surface) and you just have to go with your spirit.

            If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

            by illyia on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:25:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Anyone else get the impression.... (3.50)
            ...that sociopath or not (although I think a strong case can be made), Bush is also just plain BORED with Playing President?

            He got elected, he had fun for a while - he "showed Saddam," got to play dress-up in a bunch of costumes, and even showed his Daddy that HE was better 'cause HE could get reelected!  

            And now, he just seems...done. Bored.  Enough Presidentin', wanna ride my bike, quit pesterin' me.

            It would be kind creepy-comical if the consequences weren't so horrible.

            If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

            by ChaosMouse on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:05:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, who knew... (none)
      Guess he's pretty surprised, if such understanding has pierced his brain yet... Might actually be beyond his intellectual capacity to comprehend the sea change taking place. And, as with all fearful, delusional and egotistical people, his first instinct will probably be to attack, eh?

      I know things too...
      Like fires.

      If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

      by illyia on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:20:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (4.00)
    Hunter, you're an eloquent guy.  There has never been more failed leadership.  There have never been more staggeringly incompetent, reckless, selfish, murdering, evil bastards in charge of the United States.  On so many levels, this terrible thing lays bare to anyone who could have possibly doubted it before.

    I feel like thowing up.

    Currently pursuing a degree from Colombia's esteemed Hacienda de Jornalismo

    by RepublicanTaliban on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:16:50 AM PDT

  •  Great Diary Hunter - Well said! (none)
    All I can really add is this:

    Nero fiddled as Rome burned.

    Take your country back one dollar at a time at

    by Raven Brooks on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:16:51 AM PDT

  •  Eloquence. (none)
    A jeremiad for all still-sleeping powers.

    That's the only word that comes to mind, a word I keep repeating to myself. These deaths, these men, these women, these infants dying now in these hours didn't have to happen. They did not have to die waiting for convoys to gather outside their city or for reservists to stand alongside their shattered police forces. They did not have to wait in darkness and fear for help to arrive, only to struggle for days without that help ever coming.

    This administration does believe in consequences. Just not for themselves.

  •  Ted Koppel (4.00)
    tore FEMA head Michael Brown a new one in an 8 minute interview.

    I sent the video to C&L and hopefully will post it soon. Sorry, I don't have the bandwidth to share with everyone.

    highlights from AmericaBlog:

    Koppel (on the number of people at the convention center -- the mayor says 15,000 to 25,000 and FEMA said only 5000): One of you is wrong. It's either 5000 or 15,000. Do you know?

    Brown of FEMA: Blah blah blah. 25,000.... We just learned of the convention center -- we being the federal government -- today.

    Koppel: I've heard you say during the course of a number of interviews that you found out about the convention center today. Don't you guys watch television? Don't you guys listen to the radio? Our reporters have been reporting on it for more than just today.

    Brown of FEMA: We learned about (the convention center) FACTUALLY today that that's what existed.

    (Brown responds to another question by saying troops are going to be moving in soon.)

    Koppel: Here we are essentially FIVE DAYS after the storm hit and you're talking about what's going to happen in the next couple of days.... You didn't make preparations for what was going to happen in the event that [a category four storm hit]. Why didn't you?

    (Brown then complains that poor people who don't own cars and can't afford hotel rooms didn't jump into their SUVs and head to the Hyatt in Atlanta. He then sidesteps Koppel by implying it was the city's fault for not having buses available for the very poor.)

    Koppel: I'm not asking you why the city didn't have buses available. I'm asking you why you didn't have National Guards with trucks to get them out of there. Why you didn't have people with flatbed trailers if that's what you needed. Why you didn't simply get as many Greyhound buses from surrounding states as you could lay your hands on to get those people out of there. Why you haven't done it TO THIS DAY.

  •  I think the accountability-free time (4.00)
    has expired, with extreme prejudice.

    The rhetoric of the right wing is being fixed around the policy of disinformation.

    by MoronMike on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:19:31 AM PDT

  •  Excellent post (none)
    A superior op-ed.

    Have just woken up for the day here (Ireland) to the  international news reporting that members of the armed forces who had previously served in Iraq were being sent into New Orleans with authorization (or maybe direct orders) to shoot looters.

    I need hardly remind the dKos community that desperately searching for food and looting look the same through certain ideological filters.  

    Can my heart break further?

    While we respect the right of individuals to express their own points of view, they are not entitled to their own facts.-- NAMI

    by Kalopsia on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:20:17 AM PDT

  •  Is this really America? (none)
    It's hard to imagine that the immediate, gut reaction of the government leaders wasn't "help these people." The people in New Orleans are hungry, sick, tired and dying. What coldness must it have taken to have just stood by and ignored it for those critical few days? This goes beyond mistakes, beyond incompetence -- this is inhuman.
    •  Do you believe in evil? (4.00)
      This is what it looks like.

      I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

      by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:21:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (none)
        This is what it looks like.

         These men belong in jail, not leading the country. This isn't simply incompetence and there really are no excuses.

        "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

        by colleen on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:52:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is. (4.00)
        These are the sorts of things that my Catholic-raised and now agnostic mother still refers to as "sins crying out to heaven for vengeance."
    •  They're mostly poor and black-- (none)
      Yes, this is really America.  Things haven't changed all that much in the past century or two.
    •  They didn't even evacuate the HOSPITALS (none)
      They're STILL not evacuating them.

      They have no water.

      They have no food.

      They are not far away, and other people can get to them.

      But not the Guard, not the helicopters. They can't be bothered.

    •  It is REALLY!!!! (none)
      All of its PR was never able to hide its dark side. We are NOT surprised. The Video clips of African Americans pleading for help in New Orleans will go along the clips showing the police dogs attacking the Civil Rights marchers in Alabama. Not much has changed. And you want to sell Democracy to the rest of the world?
      What is happening shows that even with Karen Hughes' attempts to create a new image for America, the old evilish tone is still there. You still cannot be trusted.

      The best way to prove the DLC is out of touch is to build a vibrant Progressive movement

      by oratorio on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:15:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Out of curiosity, I switched to "Today" (none)
      To see the bobbleheads take on things. The scenes hit me. Not like the previous ones hadn't but this one was different.

      No crying.

      No yelling or complaining.

      Just everyone looking into the cameras and chanting "HELP! HELP! HELP!"

      Over and over again.

      "HELP! HELP! HELP!"

      I know people here are listening and responding, but we don't control the government. We don't approve federal and state budgets. We can't order a rescue squad.

      This is Day Six. For anyone who has the ability to do any of the above mentioned things to reply with a simple "we're working on it" is unacceptable. And unforgivable.

      And yes, this is America.

      "'My country, right or wrong,' is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case." --G. K. Chesterton

      by Omen on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:13:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cuts to the levee system (4.00)
    Any hope we could get members of the MSM to notice how similiar the Bush administration's treatment of systems designed to prevent environmental disaster -- basically letting them wither and die -- are to the way they treated our intelligence aparatus when they first took office?  You know, the aparatus designed to protect us from terrorist attacks.  

    It's exactly the same story.  Bush diverted money for building up the levees to Iraq this time.  In 2001, Ashcroft was diverting money away from anti-terrorism to go after prostitution.

    I'm glad it looks like Bush won't benefit from this latest disaster the way he did from 9/11, but we should take it one step further and make people realize that, as Bill Maher said "9/11 was not a triumph of the human spirit, it was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation." (Again, same then as now.)

    "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the U.S." was ignored just as the condition of the levee system was ignored in this case (not to mention global warming, which we continue to ignore at our peril...).

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:23:51 AM PDT

  •  The repugs dispise government and (4.00)
    believe that government cannot do anything right (except, of course, hand out favors to friends) and for 5 years have been doing everything in their power to prove their theory correct. That is why a political hack was put in charge of FEMA. Expertise does not matter for it is only the government. That coupled with not caring about anyone who is not a rich Republican partisan has created this disaster.

    The people of New Orleans, the latest casualties of Iraq

    by Jlukes on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:23:55 AM PDT

    •  And their solution would be (4.00)
      to put Halliburton in charge of disaster recovery.

      They would certainly have plenty of bottled water available. For $3 each. In October.

    •  To be fair (3.33)
      It's not just the federal government which has failed here.  A proper portion of blame has to go to the Governor and the Mayor, both Democrats.

      Everyone fucked up.

      •  True (none)
        I made a point in a letter to the editor I sent today not to point the finger, because at this point the Bush fury is almost irrelevant. We just have to have a better response to future emergencies.
      •  I'll blame democrats (4.00)
        when republicans assign to proper portion of blame to Bush

        I always thought that a leader should have a strong chin. He has no chin and his vice-president has several. This, to me, is not a good combination

        by PoliMorf on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:35:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe that the Federal (none)
        government should have  been 100% prepared for this.  I would  not expect on a state and local level for the governments  to be 100%.  Disasters do not happen to the same state all of the time. (except for florda lately)  When you have not had a natural disaster in your state for a very long time, your emergency procedures tend to be updated and I do not think that any could have prepared mentally / realistically the devastion that occured especially after Katrina had passed.  Prepardedness only improves with use.

        At the Federal level, I feel that it should have been an entirely differnt story.   National guard troops should have been in the Gulf states helping the tourists, the poor, the hospitals ,etc evacuate.  Why weren't they there they one or two days before the storm to assist.  

        My blame is at the federal level.   Do the state and local government share? up to a point yes... could they have prepared more?  maybe... who knows?

        "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore." -Carly Fiorina CEO, Hewlett-Packard

        by baffled on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:54:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This whole sorry affair (none)
      shows why the Senate has to confirm cabinet appointments.

      If they'd paid attention, they would have realized that.

      Yes, the pres wants people he can work with. That's fine. But they also have to be COMPETENT. That's the job of the Senate - to determine if they're competent.

      But this Senate doesn't want to do its job.

  •  Another thought (4.00)
    You ought to consider sending that to some national papers as an op-ed as well.  It is that good.

    Take your country back one dollar at a time at

    by Raven Brooks on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:24:46 AM PDT

  •  Hunter, there's a great diary (none)
    by 3-card on LA-RECON that should be elevated immediately to the Recommended Diaries before it drops out of sight. I'm sure you'll agree once you've read it.

    The rhetoric of the right wing is being fixed around the policy of disinformation.

    by MoronMike on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:25:23 AM PDT

  •  Yes, Unforgivable (4.00)
    and perhaps


    Good government exists to meet the needs of the people.

    Leaders, like Bush, who feed on fear, do not work to prevent disaster.

    They thrive on it.

    Until now.

  •  Brilliant diary Hunter... (4.00)
    I am wondering if there is some way, based on this nightmare that has exposed Bush and the horrific choices he has made, that we can get the Democrats to put up a bill to Take Back FEMA...take it away from the bullshit Homeland Security front that clearly does not work. If this is how Homeland security/FEMA responds to either a terrorist attack or a natural disaster something BIG needs to be done. How much money has been sucked into this new Money Pit dept? At least lets have the Dems get our FEMA back and working with people that know how to respond to a disaster. Also does anyone else find it Ironic/odd that it was 8 months into his first term, after the SCOTUS appointed Bush POTUS back in '00 that 9/11 happened..and now this week, after 8 months into his second term we have the biggest disaster in the history of the United States. This is our FIRST OFFICAL DISASTER PRESIDENT..Looks like somebody upstairs really doesn't like this guy.

    *"I went to protest Dobson, and all I got was this damn feeding tube*

    by Chamonix on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:29:06 AM PDT

    •  Excellent idea, Chamonix (4.00)
      I'd like to see a full-court press from the public and our Congressional representation to reconstitute FEMA.  Along those lines, it would be extra spiffy if Congress were to pass a law clearly defining that the FEMA Director must be a qualified emergency-management professional.

      Realistically, this won't happen before the 2006 change of power, but boy howdy will this make an excellent illustrative example during campaign season.

      The first sign for me that FEMA was totally fucked was when my city's CERT program had to cancel classes because FEMA was no longer issuing $500 grants to cover training materials and safety gear.  I tried hard not to think about how bad things were if the $500 community grants had gotten the ax.


      You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

      by AlphaGeek on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:13:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And don't forget this time (none)
      Bush is dealing with some voo-doo spirits that have been rattled from their graves.
  •  on another board i visit (4.00)
    a good friend of mine commented

    "personally though? I tend to view all "looters" as "finders" in this particular circumstance.

    because like I say...even if they're "stealing" television television set is going to be illegal to sell in another day or two, if it isn't already. the reason is, because, its being constantly exposed to a toxic health risk, which is, standing water full of shit, piss, puke, paint chemicals, oil, tire skid marks, a shitload of drowned rats, and probably more than a few human corpses. in 90 degree weather with high humidity. gross, I know, but relevant. that water is a perfect breeding ground for the marriage of anthrax bacteria and bird flu mosquito larvae.

    that water's even grosser than a chill room, in other words.

    and any retail product exposed to the water for a week or more, will need to be seriously cleaned before any retailer can legally expect to put it back on a shelf. cleaned to the point where there's just no profit to consider.

    business leaders should just give up and publicly announce, "we hereby relinquish any products of ours found in or near the standing water, as well as any perishables such as dairy or produce, found anywhere - take em, people, and get by for another day or two" - this would be SO much more commendable, than making a multi-million dollar donation for relief funds, in a month or two once things have settled down...

    and the white house should focus on locating survivors, pumping out the water, and discreetly counting/burying the dead...not protecting all those Cheetos, iMacs and second-rate tennis shoes over at the local Wal Mart."

    and it made me wonder if the violence and desperation might be helped if they quit making these people, who are already living a nightmare, feel like criminals.  

    are they even aware that martial law is in effect?  do they understand that the orders are "zero tolerance" and "shoot to kill"?  that is just what we need - pictures of dead people clutching pampers and soda.

  •  A couple things I wonder about (4.00)
    First, is there going to be unrest in cities throughout this country because of the lack of response to help black people in a catastrophe?  This is almost to the point of Rodney King the way that the people left in New Orleans are being treated by the authority figures of this country.  If I were a black person anywhere in this country, I'd be supremely pissed at the utter lack of concern for the welfare of the black people (and yes, there are white people, but 98-99% appear to be black from TV coverage) left to fight it out and die in New Orleans.

    Second, we seem to be getting real reporting about this.  It hardly seems that New Orleans is any different than what went on (and is still going on) during the invasion of Iraq, but the reporters in Iraq had to run through the military as embedded reporters, so reporters weren't able to cover the utter despair and breakdown of society like they can here for days on end with no relief in sight and people dying in front of their eyes.

    And why is it we can send young Americans to their deaths in Iraq fighting to "liberate" the Iraqis, but we can't send in Americans to take control of the city to make it safe for relief efforts?  Why the hell did they stop search and rescue efforts to seek out and stop looters?  Here there are billions and billions of dollars of property damage done by the flooding, and they're using their resources to prevent people from taking jewelry and video cameras?  WTF??!!

    But I guess this is what you get from an administration that guarded the Oil Ministry during the looting of Iraq.

    •  Let's remember it's not just black people (none)
      In Mississippi and other parts of Louisiana there are many communities still waiting for help, some of which are mostly white.

      I saw Joe Scarborough being outraged last night about the lack of response from officials and he was reporting from a town in Mississippi.

      Anderson Cooper also did some good reporting from there.  People of all races.

      The situation in New Orleans really is mostly poor blacks that were affected but there is serious devastation all around as well.

      Just pointing that out because I don't want anyone to feel left out...

      I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

      by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:36:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What amazes me is how we in (none)
      America can be so blatantly racist. The wingnuts never get how the world looks at us especially those who are not Anglo Saxons.

      The people of New Orleans, the latest casualties of Iraq

      by Jlukes on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:44:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the worst of America (none)
    It is unforgivable.
    It is shameful.
    It is sad.

    The question we all face now is how will we endure 3+ more years with the utter failure and immense incompetence now in control of Washington D.C.

    Follow the yellowcake road 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    by oregonj on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:29:44 AM PDT

    •  Take a cue from Ka-lee-foh-nyuh (none)
      and get a NATIONAL RECALL ELECTION going - - not just Bush but the entire Administration: the Cabinet, the House & Senate "Leaders" ... wouldn't it be better to go to the expense than to live through another

      three years

      four months

      nineteen days

      and nine more hours

      of this?!!

      •  Lessons From California (none)
        The problem with recall elections is that they can be easily gamed, as we saw in California.

        Actually, as an ex-Californian who was long gone before the recall, I would have been sympathetic in theory to recalling Gray Davis, who was a cynical, ineffective, and corrupt governor.  But if you look at how things went down in that election, with the Governator ending up on top, it's hardly an advertisement for the recall.

        There are really two problems here. The first is peculiar to California. Having people vote both for a recall and for a potential replacement on the same ballot is terrible idea.  Major figures in the potentially recalled official's party are discouraged from running, as we saw in California, where Cruz Bustamante (also nothing to write home about, FWIW) had to toss his hat in the ring at the last minute. And voters have to wade through a weirdly conditional race that makes for odd politics indeed.  Recall first, then replace with the Deputy Gov (VP or whatever), or have a separate round of voting for a replacement.

        But there's a second problem which is more inherent to the recall. The only way to trigger a recall election is through a petition drive. And while these may seem like a good way to guage public sentiment, they have become something of a farce. These days, what makes a successful petition drive is money. Just as any grand jury can be made to indict a ham sandwich (why is it always ham, by the way?), any petition drive can succeed provided you pay enough petitioners to stand on a enough corners.  This gets very expensive very fast.  But given sufficient financial resources, anyone could be forced to face a recall vote. Which means that adding a presidential recall provision would really be handing the wealthy an additional way to prevent policies that hurt them from ever being enacted.

        "This war is an ex-parrot." - The Editors

        by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:05:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  seriously (none)
      we can't risk 3 more years of this. Forget politics, the country is going to be in shambles in 3 more years. Simple competency and humanity is what is required.
  •  Best collection of words entitled (none)
    "Left Behind" ever!

    All I can, Hunter, is that you've created an eloquent voice of outrage that everyone should hear.

  • (none)
    Some people in Maryland are organizing a caravan. Don't know if they have it well-thought-out or not; they sound like they're serious and anyone who's interested in doing this can e-mail them.
  •  Conservatives don't like big government (4.00)
    until they need it.

    Is this supposed to give us confidence in this government's preparedness for any kind of emergency?  This particular emergency was a well-known scenario that had been studied and predicted for years. Nobody accepting any responsibility, bureaucrats claiming ignorance and then blaming the victims.  The president fucking around for two whole days while the city floods.  

    Anonymous post from another blog:

    Suppose, instead of a hurricane, that terrorists had blown holes in those levees. The situation would be the same, except much worse: those hundreds of thousands of early evacuees would have still been there too.

    Those levees, along with many dams, were commonly known to be the only thing keeping New Orleans from being under water.

    And this would have been the response. Talk about being unprepared for a disaster, be it terror-driven or otherwise.

    •  message boards... (none)
      Our company used to have an online message board where people could post discussion topics.  Of course, around election time, things got political, even eventually it had to be taken down because people were wasting their entire day on it.

      well, it has been somewhat revived lately (although no political/religious discussion is allowed).  Yesterday, a woman who was an ardent Bush supporter posted:

      "I don't understand how these people are not being taken care of now.  I posted a question at 'Discuss Hurricane Relief' on the right hand side at this page: "

      I couldn't believe this.  I wanted to laugh in her face.  I wanted to say, "You finally got what you wanted, small federal government! And cutting the "fat" out of the budget! So this is what you voted for.  This is what you wanted.  Why are you complaining?  Oh, and you think the WHITEHOUSE is going to listen to what you have to say?  Bush was busy eating birthday cake and playing guitar when the storm was hitting.  What have they done to make you think they actually CARE what you think?"

      What is it going to take for these people to connect the dots and realize their entire ideology is INHUMANE.

      "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

      by the awful truth on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:33:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hunter, Shepard Smith echoed them all (4.00)
    He has been standing on that overpass next to the Dome, with a couple thousand people,  for 3 days straight, wondering WTF is going on. A woman had a baby and it was dying, and he flagged down a cop, jumping out in front of the car because they were flying by, and MADE them take her. Surreal.

    If I had a nickel for everytime Bush mentioned "9/11" I could raise enough reward money to go after Binladen-Jon Stewart

    by Blakbelt on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:33:16 AM PDT

    •  Yes (none)
      and then he got to argue on air with Bill O'Reilly.  Astonishing.  Shepard Smith said he wasn't sure New Orleans would be able to rebuild and O'Reilly blew him off, saying "Of course it will be rebuilt."  The credibility gap was huge.  Shepard shot back, "Well, I'm here and I've seen it for myself."  He seemed like a brother from another planet at that point, or O'Reilly did.
    •  Goiod thing he wasn't black (none)
      or they would have shot him.


  •  And now, the orders are shoot to kill: (4.00)

    Shoot to kill.

    I can't say anything more.

    Bush has got to go. Keep surfin, keep rockin, Baja Margie alias Pargie

    by Pargie on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:34:29 AM PDT

    •  There are roving gangs of armed men (none)
      Shooting at everyone randomly. They need to be shot. They were shooting wildly at families just sitting there quietly,and they shot a cop in the forehead. What else can they do? Maybe they will surrender when they see the armed troops. Lets hope.

      If I had a nickel for everytime Bush mentioned "9/11" I could raise enough reward money to go after Binladen-Jon Stewart

      by Blakbelt on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:38:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't aware of this (none)
        do you have a link?  thanks.

        Bush has got to go. Keep surfin, keep rockin, Baja Margie alias Pargie

        by Pargie on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:57:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  this is obviously not the time (4.00)
        but i wish our law enforcement could work out a consistently effective way of stopping people without killing them.  non-lethal weapons and ammo keep turning out to be lethal and/or expensive, and stuff like amadou diallo and [the man of brazilian heritage shot in london] keep happening.  
        i hope the next round of this mess is not a citywide gun battle.
      •  Can I ask (none)
        where you got this news?  There is a lot of disinformation floating around, intended to decrease sympathy for the victims.  Beware.
      •  info from whom ? (none)
        CNN had been pushing the convention center hostage-by-gunman story all night. Then they talked to someone there and it was a myth.

        Be careful what you believe, because a lot of info is coming from the government.

        Here's what a doctor wrote yesterday, in New Orleans:

        This is tough because looting is now rampant. Most of it is not malicious looting. These are poor and desperate people with no housing and no medical care and no food or water trying to take care of themselves and their families.


    •  Did I wake up in Iraq today? n/t (none)

      Take your country back one dollar at a time at

      by Raven Brooks on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:39:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have BEEN in Iraq (3.50)
        for 40+ years.

        These people have been turning every part of the world into what we see in Iraq since they assassinated JFK.

        Believe it.

        They may have human DNA...although I would actually like to see some proof of that...but they are aliens.

        Alien to human compassion, at the very least. Their every move is anti-human, and in the surveillance-protected back rooms of their think tanks, they sit and complain about how inferior humans have overmultiplied and are ruining the world.

        THEIR world.

        I'm telling you...Fallujah, U.S.A. is just one more disaster away. And when THAT happens, the velvet gloves will come off and you will see the truth of what I am saying.

        If I were the Islamic resistance, I would strike now, in the U.S., and I would strike HARD!!! The facade of "democracy" is crumbling here and the underlying  and totally incompetent rule of the BushCops is being exposed.

        Keystone Kops in military drag.


        •  I believe you (none)
          because I know it's true.  This country has gone down the tubes since JFK assasination.

          You are so correct about a Terrorist strike now, an opportune time.  You have a strategist mind. Were you a Marine by any chance?

          You know, those lousy sob's in Washington know it too, and they do nothing, nothing.

          Check out Alliance For Security, run by vet and anti-Bush Bobby Mueller.

          Bush has got to go. Keep surfin, keep rockin, Baja Margie alias Pargie

          by Pargie on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:21:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here in Oregon (none)
    Lars Larson (reprob talkradio jerkoff) was talking all about how upset he was at the sad he was...and then had the balls to say that the levees were neglected ONLY by the local government--not underfunded/funding cut by his sweet little George.  That pissed me right off.  Someone called in to call him on it, and he pulled out the righty talking point:  Don't play politics in this time of national crisis...


    •  People still listen to that loser? (none)
      I live near Portland. I remember listening to Lars on occasion before there was anything better.  (OK, there's always been something better, but I digress)

      Nowadays, the only time I hear Lars' voice is on the KPOJ commercials where Lars actually called in to Randi's show, and she tells him to kiss his hometown goodbye now that she's in town.  :)

  •  Isn't it amazing what our MSM reporters... (4.00)
    can do when they're not embedded during a major story, and they're not being shot at or threatened by their own troops... it's no wonder that the latest news is now, "The Potemkin village has no clothes!"...

    The cat is out of the bag, Bu$hCo, and there's no way you succeed in drowning it in Lake New Orleans...


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:35:51 AM PDT

  •  This is not America (4.00)
    This is HELL.

    This is DC politics amok.

    This is utter DC disconnectedness squared.

    This is proof that DC pols don't have a clue about Public Service.  This is proof that this is a government of, by & for Multinational Corporations.  This is about American Citizens without representation in Our Government.  We have no representation.

    We are ALL the People of NOLA on the dark streets.  We Are All without food & water for going on 5 days.  We Are ALL THOSE PEOPLE!

    They are Us.

    I am a well fed, comfortable in a dry house Starving Dehydrating Dying American on the desolate streets of NOLA.

    I am drained.  Dear God, take me now.  I can't stand another minute of this punishment.

    This is the naked truth about America.  We don't give a shit.  Our government could not care less about us.  

    My God.  What has become of us?

    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:37:12 AM PDT

    •  Lord of the Flies time. (4.00)
      Sometimes I think we live in an insane asylum

      The people of New Orleans, the latest casualties of Iraq

      by Jlukes on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:57:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I told you so (apologetically) (4.00)
      Two days ago I caught some flak from people on Kos for saying America was a "failed society" comparable to a Third World nation. And where are we today?
      •  Sadly, (4.00)
        we have arrived at a place unimaginable a few short years ago.

        The Clinton years were the good times for us, even with the sell-outs of our most vulnerable members.  We all had good jobs & the corps were sweating in that labor friendly atmossphere.  Today all America is in shambles.  Except for the super rich, who just love unemployment.

        A pox on all their houses!

        I'm sorry, but I am bitter about all of this.

        I am beside myself with grief today.  I am appalled.  I cannot divorce myself from the people standing in NOLA.

        I am outraged.  

        The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

        by x on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:09:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I fear for the US (4.00)
          As much a pessimist I have been since, well, since "they" tried to impeach Clinton, really, I have always been wrong by not being pessimistic enough. (I'm working on it :-))

          The US today is like one of those dystopian parallel Earths comic-book heroes occasionally find themselves stranded on, like the old Earth-X at DC where the Nazis had won WWII and the Freedom Fighters were the heroes...

          I'd like to get back to Earth-1 but I can't.

      •  "cuz take away our playstations... (none)
        ...and we are a third world nation"

          -- Ani Difranco, Self Evident

    •  America CAN be Hellish! (none)

      The best way to prove the DLC is out of touch is to build a vibrant Progressive movement

      by oratorio on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:21:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. You are wrong. (4.00)
      This IS America.

      Shed your years of educational and media conditioning and see the truth.

      This IS America.

      Black people have known this for 300 years.

      EVERY minority has known this, and every minority that COULD pass as Anglo has DONE so. Out of sheer survival necessity. Leaving the darker races to take the brunt of the shit. Only now, like in the '60s with Vietnam, YOU are seeing it on your goddamned TV. Up close and personal. The ofdicial censorship apparatus has broken down from the pressure and you are finally seeing the truth.

      You say "I am drained.  Dear God, take me now.  I can't stand another minute of this punishment."

      Unless you are stranded and in fear of death in New Orleans or somewhere else on the Gulf Coast right now, you need a good smack upside the head for that statement.

      This IS America. YOU are America. Stop whining and wake the fuck up. Own up to it, and then strap on your equipment and go DO something about it. If you can't go to the Gulf Coast...and I cannot, myself...then dedicate every hour of the rest of your days that is not occupied with personal survival to making sure that the people who have CAUSED this suffering are swept out of office and publicly punished for their crimes against humanity.

      '"I am drained.  Dear God, take me now."


      No WONDER we are headed down.


      •  Charles, I know (none)
        that you are right.  I did not know this before 2000, I am ashamed to say.  Then, I heard all these people - white people - shocked (and unforgiveably, I was one of them) that people were prevented from voting and their votes weren't counted and their voices were ignored.

        Okay, no excuses.  There is no way an African American over age 7 could have had that level of ignorance.  I didn't know this because I didn't have to know it and because I didn't want to know it.

        Now, I know it.  This is America, every bit as much as the things I still love.  Just like both Woody Guthrie and Rush Limbaugh are both part of America, just as Mother Jones and Barbara Bush are.

        Now's not the time to politicize this.  150 years ago was the time.  Now is way, way past time, and I want to eviscerate everyone who whines about partisanship now.  

      •  You are right (none)
        After a good sleep & a day away, I'm less depressed & more in fighting form.

        I'm not usually a whiner, but I was emotionally drained.  

        I am what is called  "creole", or "criolla",  but  Caribbean/Central American, not Louisanan, so, no French.  I went to black schools in NOLA for 3 years.  I do know about "passing".  White people say hurtful, rascist things to & around you when they assume you're white.  

        Thanks for the slap & the 'snap out of it.'

        I intend to fight for reparations for all the people who were stranded in NOLA. Those poor people will be rich some day soon if I have anything to do with it.  & I intend to.

        The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

        by x on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 02:05:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I seem to recall Bush in Florida last year (4.00)
    passing out water to the victims of the hurricanes last year. But I guess he only shows up to disasters during an election year.  
  •  maybe this is an exemplary case (4.00)
    establishing a new norm of governmental irresponsibility.  and just like when Operation Iraqi Liberation established the doctrine of pre-emptive war, the focus of the administration is on obfuscating the terrible edge of what is occurring, so as not to provoke a contrary response.  help is 'on the way,' while the apocalyptic nature of the situation does its work of establishing the new norm of lowered expectation.

    There ought to be a science of discontent.

    by dreamsign on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:40:11 AM PDT

  •  There's a word nobody's using (4.00)
    and it's easy to understand why. It sure looks like the administration 'deliberately' dragged it's feet, given the two day advance warning but what did they or anyone else stand to gain by doing so?

    Record prices at the pump? Is anyone that callous?

    It will be slow going putting the oil rigs back into operation but the human toll...there's just no excuse, or rational explanation...unless the administration is 'suddenly' concerned about adding to the deficit.

    Superb diary!

    Parties divide, movements unite.

    by Gegner on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:40:33 AM PDT

    •  You know I was thinking along the (4.00)
      same lines, but a much more horrific reason. They want the poor to die. They don't want to deal with them. They don't want to have to feed them, they don't want house, clothe or educate them.

      For a party that hates Darwin Theory so much, they are making it survival of the fittest.

      •  question (none)
        what was that he said a few months ago about black people dying earlier and social security?

        Not all who wander are lost.

        by petal on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:04:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo (none)
        They want the poor to die.


        For a party that hates Darwin Theory so much

        This is not limited to the Republican party. The Governor, Mayor, one Senator and so on of NO are Democrats.  Who do you imagine is responsible for emergency evacuation plans which ignored the 1/3rd of the city without the resources to leave the city and which provided them no alternative but to stay when they knew a CAT 5 hurricane was bearing down on a major metropolitan area? Evacuation plans which didn't even include hospitals or nursing homes?
        Blanco seems more angry at 'looters' than at the inability of anyone to rescue her constituents.

        "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

        by colleen on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:14:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  two day advance warning is one way of thinking (none)
      but really they've had years and years of notice that someday, probably someday soon, a big storm would probably hit NO, and not everyone would be able or willing to evac, and unreinforced levees would probably break, and supplies would be needed but difficult to pass out...
      •  I am a truck driver (4.00)
        2 hours to load food or water from warehouse. 6 hours to drive from Houston to a helipad near New Orleans. 2 hours to unload and put on helicopters. Give to people who are fucking dying. 10 fucking hours. Lets see, 4+ days a bunch of people, mostly black and poor, sit in New Orleans without food or water. Whoever is charge is the most incompetent fuck in America

        The people of New Orleans, the latest casualties of Iraq

        by Jlukes on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:49:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sunny Mike Brown (4.00)
    Cheerful FEMA Director Michael Brown tells CNN he's pleased with aid efforts to thousands of starving and dehydrated Americans, claiming that deaths of those who followed orders to evacuate to Superdome are attributable to their not heeding earlier warnings to leave the city.

    FEMA Chief: Victims Bear Some Responsibility

    Brown pleased with effort: 'Things are going relatively well'

    Thursday, September 1, 2005; Posted: 11:41 p.m. EDT (03:41 GMT)

    (CNN) -- The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday those New Orleans residents who chose not to heed warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina bear some responsibility for their fates.

    Michael Brown also agreed with other public officials that the death toll in the city could reach into the thousands.

    "Unfortunately, [their deaths are] going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the advance warnings," Brown told CNN.

    . . . .

    Brown was upbeat in his assessment of the relief effort so far, ticking off a list of accomplishments: more than 30,000 National Guard troops will be in the city within three days, the hospitals are being evacuated and search and rescue missions are continuing.

    "Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans -- virtually a city that has been destroyed -- things are going relatively well," Brown said.

    . . .

    Brown said he had to be careful about getting rescue teams to the site earlier.

    "Otherwise, we would have faced an even higher death toll," he said.

    Jackals, weasels, polecats, and donkeys. Boobus Americanus.

    by Thaxter on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:41:04 AM PDT

  •  Plea to recommend this solution. (none)
    We just posted a possible solution to this lack of action at the federal level by urging everyone to contact Governor Jim Doyle in Wisconsin about getting some real help on the way to New Orleans.

    The diary is at

    It's only an idea right now. So give Us a hand Hunter and put it up on the recommended list.


    "We drew the line in the sand, and like the fools they are, they stepped into the abyss." HMSJO

    by hmsjo on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:42:22 AM PDT

  •  The era of small government... (4.00)
    ... is over.

       (No apologies to Bill Clinton; none are necessary.)

    •  Yes, I think so. (none)
      I have never seen people so angry. People on line at Staples yesterday were shouting about Bush, I've never seen rage like this--not violent, but tense and loud.
      •  But... (none)
        Staples IS George Bush. Is an arm of BushCo.

        A big, incompetent organization that hires undereducated kids at slave wages to sell mostly bullshit merchandise about which they know nothing.

        People ought to be shouting on the lines of EVERY chain store.

        Home Depot?

        Homeland Depot.

        Homeland DESPOT.

        It has taken this kind of disaster to wake us up.

        I can't wait to see how they try to put us to sleep again.

        And the game plays on...

        HOMEBOY Security to the rescue.



  •  God Fuck George Bush (none)
    and his mother.
  •  Impeach Bush now (none)
    That's it - we must act Impeach Bush:

    Fools rush in where fools have been before.

    by Marcus Junius Brutus on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:46:05 AM PDT

  •  The days which will live in infamy (4.00)
    And no bullhorn this time.
    I hope the survivors greet Bush with feces flung at him.
  •   Sen. Mary Landrieu, (none)
    attacked by Anderson Cooper for not playing politics about this? I don't quite trust Cooper this time because didn't  Sen. Mary Landrieu bravely face the Republican majority to try getting funding for the levees?

    Her politican opponents (along with the MSM) would possibly have crippled her for life if she was seen as playing politics or playing the blame game at this tragic moment.

    Anderson Cooper, on the other hand, should have been reporting on who voted against her requests for funding, who lined their own pockets, who took home frilly pork, IMHO.

    In my dreams he'd be asking, "Will your consitituents ever be able to forgive _____ who took away funding to prevent this catastrophe?"

    •  he asked her about federal response (4.00)
      and she gave a very DC answer, thanking a number of fellow dc white folk down through f'ing BILL FRIST, at which point cooper snapped at her.

      he should report on who denied her requests for funding, absolutely, but his interrupting her today was a unique public service.

    •  Landrieu was insuffrable (none)
      Mary Landrieu was being a useless sack of shit in that interview and Anderson Cooper and everyone else knew it. Rather than announcing what relief and rescue forces were doing and how they planned to save the thousands staring death in the face, she was reciting a list of pathetic thank-you's that would have been better suited as an effete birthday toast. It was a very deserved smackdown.
    •  Mary Landrieu is a wolf in sheeps clothing (4.00)
      She showed her true colors during the ANWF vote when she bowed to corporate and oil interests.  She is so far up the Republican's asses she hasn't seen the light of day in years.  The problem for these politicians is that the platitudes spewed on the news networks are unimpressive in light of the situation.  
      Anyone who thinks that Mary Landrieu stands as the Dem representative of the people in New Orleans right now is delusional.  I spent enough years in NOLA to know that if you aren't white and connected you are worthless. (my ex boss used to call me a goddamn yankee librul because I used to complain about the David Duke mail that used to come to our office)
      I am a diehard liberal and right now I am totally and utterly disgusted with our ENTIRE government. Where the hell are they all? Why don't they get their asses down to New Orleans and earn their paychecks. Disaster preparedness my ass!
      I wrote a letter to acting Governor Cody, Senator Lautenberg and Senator Corzine to suggest that they urge the Jersey shore homeowners to open up their summer houses (there are literally thousands) to these homeless people.  Of course this will not be done.  There is no money in it for the owners and who in South Jersey would want a bunch of blacks scarring the landscape and draining our public services?  We have, literally, tens of thousands of homeless people in this country now without jobs, money or basic needs.  These morons in government are shipping them all to the sodding Astrodome!  Meanwhile we have thousands and thousands of homes that are empty right now but they are the haven of the rich and connected who would sooner step on a poor black person than offer up a home to a family in dire need.  We have hundreds of unanswered help wanted ads in windows and we have schools that are being threatened with closures for lack of students. Call me a socialist but this is fucking insane!
      What really gets up my nose is this:  My siser-in-law is from New Orleans. She is a millionaire and lives in a huge mansion.  She evacuated with my nephew and neice before the hurricane.  She had the means and the ability to leave because of her financial situation.  Now she is living in Florida and running out of cash so she is moving up here to New Jersey until she can get back into her home.  She has been offered a house at the Jersey Shore for as long as she needs it and has been given free private school tuition for my nephew.  She would have been fine either way but what about the thousands who don't have connections or are who have the wrong skin color or net worth.  This is an American disgrace, our individualistic society has come back to bite us all in the ass. We should all be ashamed to see fellow Americans sitting on rooftops in New Orleans and we should be doubly ashamed that virtually all of those faces are black.  Civil rights my ass! Equality my ass! Heads are gonna roll folks and I am looking forward to it!
  •  Can't Fucking Believe THIS!!!!! (4.00)
    volunteers told their help not needed

    As bedraggled refugees from Hurricane Katrina continued arriving in Houston on Thursday, droves of volunteers showed up to help, with many leaving frustrated when overwhelmed agencies said they weren't immediately needed.

    When June Mitchell, of Missouri City, arrived at the Astrodome, she said she was sent to the Red Cross where she had to add her name to a long list of others also eager to volunteer. She was told she would be called later to help with the phone bank.

    "I came on back home frustrated," Mitchell said. "It just wasn't right. You want to do something."

    Hundreds, if not thousands, of Houstonians jammed phone lines, crashed Web sites and lined up outside the Red Cross headquarters on the Southwest Freeway to help the Louisiana refugees. A spokeswoman with the Salvation Army said that agency also had gotten hundreds of calls.

    Denise Bishop, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross of Greater Houston, could not say how many people had contacted her agency to volunteer, but she said the response had been overwhelming. She urged patience, saying volunteers will be needed for the long-term and extra training classes are being added.

    Gloria Roemer, spokeswoman for Harris County Judge Robert Eckels' office, said that people had been advised not to go directly to the Astrodome to volunteer. Only people who have been screened and trained by the Red Cross were asked to work in the shelter.

    Several people who had tried unsuccessfully to volunteer at the Astrodome late Wednesday set up a makeshift aid station for Louisiana refugees across the street in a strip mall parking lot.

    This is the agency mentality--only those who go through training are needed, but, training is necessary for others who want to volunteer to help.

    What is not said is that some agencies receive funding related to the amounts of people who attend their training classes!  That is correct, the object of some non-profit agencies is to keep the funding coming in and whine to the public for a need for donations!

    bush jams while thousands die in NOLA=Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

    by Street Kid on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 12:56:49 AM PDT

    •  to be fair (none)
      there are real security issues associated with sending in "volunteers" to help vulnerable people, especially when the overall relief effort is totally discombobulated.  but turning people away physically, this week, is imho (to avoid stealing hunter's word) inexcusable.
      •  agree and disagree (none)
        turning people away is inexcuseable--all can agree on that.

        plans to evacuate these people should have been top priority rather than the other bullshit that ths admin has been handing out--goes w/o saying.

        disagree re:  vulnerablity of people--instead of holding their hands and playing therapist/looking to hand out bullshit excuses, the first thing to do is to get all of these people re-settled into a  home/apartment/whatever so they at least have a place to call their own.  The rest falls into place.

        Thinking back on all that has happenned to me in my life, I never thought that I would go thru all of the crap that I had to--tbi, tbi rehab, agency bullshit, and more that I have not even posted.  

        I am not trying to attack anyone, you could very well be correct in saying that these people are vulnerable.  But it has been my experience, and the experience of oher friends who have also gone thru some pretty heavy-duty shit, that once one thing falls into place, the rest follows.

        And, the one thing that is a priority is relocation to a place that one can call his/her own.  

        What I am saying is that the agencies do things backwards and that just pisses me off.  I have dealt w/so many agencies and have had to put up w/so much bullshit, and have heard the exact same crap re:  funding source that I have posted earlier.

        The fact of the matter is that what is supposedly social service is broken because things have been done in reverse order of what is really needed, in the name of funding sources.  

        I just get totally pissed when I hear some fucking excuse thrown around--have gotten the runaround so many times, and seeing this happen to the people is making me crazy!!!!!!

        (I did not mean to tear your head off and I am sorry if I offended you, as that was not my intent.)

        bush jams while thousands die in NOLA=Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

        by Street Kid on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:14:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no offense taken (none)
          it's late and there was vodka in my evening...but i do think there are several different issues here...everybody agrees on putting the refugees' interests first, of course...people in dire circumstances need to be settled in a homelike setting asap, sure, absolutely...but people who sign up to "volunteer" may also have ulterior motives, and i suspect that people have committed fraud, burglary, rape, and more in the guise of "disaster relief volunteer."  not that i doubt the intentions of anyone showing up tonight at the astrodome, or want to feed into recent racist panic about rape and burglary and such...
          anyway.  bedtime for me. :)
          and now the mayor of detroit is offering new orleansian temporary homes there.  yi.
        •  no offense taken (none)
          but i feel like your point about settling into home and my point about the risk of exploitative "volunteers" are not responsive to one another.
          and so to bed. sigh.
    •  It's ridiculous (none)
      Like you need training to hand out food, drinks, and blankets, or point toward the restrooms.

      I worked disaters for the Red cross as a 10 year old. No training needed. It's not rocket science, just common sense.

      Because oil isn't free!

      by MHoward on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:50:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe not... (none)
        ...but you do need training to work with people who've just experienced a severely traumatic event. It's entirely possible, in my opinion, that well-meaning but untrained people could do more harm than good in trying to help some of these folks.

        Yes, I think everyone is needed and that if the relief agencies need bodies, they should be able to find a way to use people who are willing to work in a way that's not going to jeopardize the most sensitive parts of the relief effort. However, our need to "do something" does not trump the well-being of the people inside.

        •  asdf (none)
          there is such a thing as being overtrained and anticipating/looking for problems when ignoring the real issue.  (some so-called "professionals" have done more harm than good under the guise of billable hours.)  you are referring to psychological trauma, whereas i and the above poster are being more pragmatic/realistic.

          bush jams while thousands die in NOLA=Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

          by Street Kid on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:10:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  be that as it may... (none)
            ...having worked in a VA hospital doing PTSD research, I can tell you right now that somebody who doesn't have any training in dealing with people in the middle of a crisis runs the risk of harming them and themselves. I'm not talking about "overthinking" or "billable hours", I'm talking about needing to know more than how to hand somebody a blanket, and pragmatic doesn't enter into it.
    •  agreed, but... (none) was posted elsewhere that early on vols were turned away by police in error due to a comm snafu. Hopefully they have got that all worked out by now.

      Also, from what I am hearing from my mom in Hou, there are many churches and other orgs doing relief efforts that I'm sure can use people. Someone mentioned the Food Bank, who will undoubtedly be feeding many of those not in the dome. Also the Humane Society, they took many of the LA animals and are needing foster animal caregivers.

      I am seriously considering going down myself to try and help for a few days if I can figure out how to get down there. Anybody want to throw some extra United airmiles my way? I need about 8000 more to get a freebie ticket...

      •  asdf (none)
        sure hope so.  these bullshit excuses are ridiculous.  (and article was linked to was from a Houston paper!)

        the churches may be some of the ones that are po'd and starting their own relief efforts and saying the hell w/the red cross--i don't know.

        bush jams while thousands die in NOLA=Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

        by Street Kid on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:21:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's really quite simple (none)
      why they don't want volunteers, furriners, or for that matter newspeople there: There will be carnage when the shooting starts, and they don't want an independent count of the body bags.

      Remember now what they'll tell us later: They had to put down vicious riots, and everyone else was already dead anyway.  Oh, and except for the rioters, maybe a couple hundred people died.

  •  it's done (none)

    The federal response to this situation has been catastrophic - the authorities were completely paralyzed during the most critical hours of this disaster. There has never been such a failure of leadership in a time of crisis - not once in our nation's history has this happened.

    There is no excuse for this kind of a systematic collapse in authority, organization, or leadership. Not only was the possibility of this event a virtual gauarantee that everyone knew of beforehand, but we also KNEW that this particular storm was indeed the worst-case scenario before it even made landfall.

    This is absolutely unforgivable. If there is not a moment of accountability, if heads do not roll in Washington and elsewhere for this, then I say we take a lesson from the people of New Orleans and take matters into our own hands instead of waiting for the bureacracy's bullshit to save us.

  •  sic transit gloria mundi (none)
    Frankly, I don't think this entire country can be brought back to, say, the level it enjoyed in the 90s no more than Russia could return to its former stature once the slide had begun.

    Too little, too late.

    This rat left the sinking ship earlier this year and never felt so preescient. If another quake hits LA, I now know what we would have faced.

    After Bush, if the Dems are any example, the best you can hope for is an American Yeltsin.

    Welcome to the third world. Sic transit gloria mundi.

    •  all I can say (none)
      is I don't like what you are saying.

      not yet.  we'll learn!

      •  Quite right... (none)
        I don't like it either. But I no longer have the 20+ years it'll take to cure the system. That's why I left.
        •  I don't blame you. (none)
          I fear we're looking at our future.

          The American people must finally react and remember... we need Social Infrastructure!  And that is what we call "government".

          •  I completely agree (3.75)
            ...Which is why I used the term "failed society" and compared the US to a third world country several days ago.

            Like the former USSR, I think the "baggage" is  just too great for a return to "normalcy" (ie: the 80s or 90s): lysenkoism in science, rampant corruption, massive inefficiency, insane military imperialism, etc, etc.  

            If I was a younger, rich guy, I think I would have stayed here. The transition from the USSR to today's Russia has not been without opportunities for some, after all.  But I'm 50 (my wife is 51) and not terribly wealthy. We left because, frankly, we didn't think we could survive in the America That's Coming.

            This wasn't late night ramblings on the net; we acted and uprooted ourselves after 25 years of life in Los Angeles and moved overseas. (blog). We may have been wrong but we certainly were serious about it.

            Just like the folks who left New Orleans, as opposed to those who stayed (even because they couldn't leave).

            I'm neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the future. History moves on. Like with the USSR, there will be some good to come out of it, and some bad too, I'm sure. Who can tell?

            Twenty years ago, if you'd told me that Ukraine would split from Russia and seek to join the EU, I'd have called you crazy. Maybe in ten years' time, California will no longer be part of the Union? Who knows?  Is that good? Or bad? I don't know. It depends who you are, I guess.

            As I wrote yesterday, Katrina is the American Chernobyl that will expose the failure of the system, and eventually (in conjunction with all the other geopolitical and economic factors discussed here) will "rewrite" the country.

            I suspect we can barely begin to comprehend the full impact now.

            I can tell you, for example, that images of the chaos have now started to filter down the media chute to my little village in Southern France, and folks are aghast - the most frequent comment I heard is, "This can't be America."

            Like with the USSR (again), the feet of clay are exposed for all to see. Even lefties who "hate" America feel "sorry" - not just because of the dead and devastation, but because you live in a country that is so obviously... what would the word be? "backward"?  "fucked up"?

            •  I think I remember that right? (none)
              you were at dkos when you did, yes?

              Yes.  It's troubling.

              I'm still hopeful it's shocking enough.

              The smoke and the mirrors and the dull illusion does get broken through by real event, reality will just not be denied.  It's patient if it takes that.

              But my optimism is just an act of will, to tell you the truth, it can easily be as you say.

    •  Strongly disagree (none)
      It's going to take a few years to get our shit together again, but we WILL pull through this.

      As much as I usually respect your opinions and writing, lupin, the above post is a load of crap.  Have you not gotten the sense that the tragedy in the Gulf Coast states does not represent the America most Americans believe in?

      Let's purge these fuckers from the White House, beat them back in the Senate, and decimate them in the House.  Let us stand together as Americans and reject utterly the false tenets of cynical neo-conservative plutocracy, and instead work together to build a nation we can all be proud of.

      I'm not particularly proud of America today, but there are signs of hope even now.  As bad as the last 5 years have been, I believe that this marks the inflection point in the curve which leads directly to the repudiation of the GOP and their false idols.


      You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

      by AlphaGeek on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:39:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  time will tell (none)
        I respect your opinion and of course only time will tell which of us is right.

        Personally, I think the US will not recover in the sense that getting rid of BushCo will not stop the combination of societal, political and economic factors that have turned it -- very much like the old USSR -- into a giant with feet of clay.

        As I wrote yesterday, I actually was in Moscow working on a joint venture in '89 at the time of prestroika, and my Russian partners, like you, thought that, give or take a few years of political adjustments, their country would soon be just like West Germany.

        We, on the other hand, thought it would take 20 years. (The JV failed, in case you wonder.) There was just too much baggage.

        Russia eventually "pulled through" the fall of the old USSR, depending on your definition of "pulling through", of course.  And in many, many respects, it is unarguably a better  place today.  For most, if not all I suppose.

        But equally, it is unarguably a MUCH CHANGED state.

        This, IMHO, is what is presently happening, and will happen, to the US.

        Yes, we will "pull through" but the country as you knew it will likely never be the same again.

        •  You are right. (none)
          Like the U.S.S.R., we have simply gotten too big and too diverse.

          Decentralization is next.

          And a lot more suffering and violence before it happens.

          Just like industry.

          No more AT&T monolith.

          Lots of smaller, more efficient companies.

          No more America monolith.

          Lots of smaller, more efficient countries.

          Northwest Coast, Northeast, Southeast, Deep South (Maybe White South and Black South...), Spanish dominated Southwest and Southwest Coast, Midwest, maybe Great Lakes Industrial, maybe some northern states joining Canada...

          It's in the works...


      •  I thought this wasn't an America most believe in (none)
        ... but then Bush was voted in again with an increased majority. So, the two possibilities are this -

        (1) this is the America the majority support

        (2) the majority didn't support and there was vote fraud

        If it's (2) then the lack of response shows that too few people care enough about having this kind of America.

        You get the kind of America the majority vote for - not the kind of America you wish you had.

        a view from abroad ....

        by icerat on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:32:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or (none)
          (3) A significant fraction of America was coerced, deluded, misled, or duped into voting for a party and an administration with an agenda not in their interests.

          I include my parents in the above category.


          You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

          by AlphaGeek on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 08:47:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Volitile - this place could ignite literally (4.00)
    Imagine This is you.  

    You wanted to get out of town but your car was out of commission. No money to fix it fast. You got some food and water and hunkered down with you child to ride out the storm. Hallelujah! you made it.

    Next thing you know folks are yelling to get out, the water is rising fast. You grab our little girl and some stuff, some pampers and bottles, whatever and you get out of there.

    You heard go to the, go to the Convention center and you followed the rules. You went. You sat. As an American, you know help is on the way. You've seen rescues before.

    You sit and you wait. You chat with the other mothers and grandmothers. Swapping stories, sharing worries. But help is on the way. Hot day. Dark, sweltering night. Cramped in a corner for safety. You don't sleep really. No place decent to pee. The baby sits in wet pampers as you try to ration them out. Water everywhere. Another day passes. Help is on the way you hear. Great! Then another. You waited for buses that came but didn't stop. Nobody has told you why. Nobody can tell you nothing. The police speed away. You haven't really eaten in 4 days. It is hot, it stinks, dead bodies piling up around you. The stink is everywhere.

    Days have passed. Sitting on some filthy street with your despondent baby in arms. No food to give her. No water. She is despondent. You look up from your perch and see the cameras on the roof. You've see the CNN guys taking pictures for days. You know the world knows your plight. Nobody can tell you anything. You talk to the other ladies youv's stuck with for safety. I am an American, damn it. I pay taxes and vote. Where is FEMA? Where is the Red Cross?

    THe next thing you see are army trucks. Finally! Food and water. Folks start craning and standing, pushing, shoving. Some fool shoots a gun. Folks start running.The military jump out locked and loaded and aimed. RIOT! SHoot to KIll.

    John Roberts- You can't book a judge by his cover.

    by digital drano on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:04:50 AM PDT

  •  Oh, One More Thing, America... (4.00)

    As you're watching all this footage of people in Louisiana and Mississippi sleeping in overcrowded gymnasiums, their homes destroyed, loved ones missing, jobs lost... just remember that YOUR money is going to pay Gaza "settlers" $200,000 to $300,000 per family to relocate from their cushy housing projects along the Mediterranean. Think any of your fellow citizens will get a deal anywhere near that sweet?


  •  The time has come (4.00)
    "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
    •  ...amen... (4.00)
      thank you vanguardia (4th sentence of our Declaration of Independence, folks), and I'm sure you would not mind if I continue:

      "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations..."

    •  Not going to happen. (none)
      Not THAT way, for sure.

      More like mob chaos and military reaction.

      Too big, too diverse, too many poor.

      More like anarchy than organized revolt, if it happens.


  •  No looters... (none)
    I propose to no longer use the word "looter" and replace it with "insurgent".
  •  I don't know if anyone has posted this... (4.00)
    But has it occurred to you that we had a much faster military response to the tsunami in December than we are having to this disaster? Ralph Cossa says "Within 24 hours, U.S. Navy P-3 Orion reconnaissance aircraft began flying missions over the affected areas to help assist in the search and rescue effort and to assess the extent of the damage." Where the hell is our military now? Oh, I forgot, it's in Iraq, and spread all over the globe to help everyone else.
  •  Chicago Snowstorm 1979 (none)
    After a series of snowfalls dumped 5 feet on Chicago, Daley protege Michael Bilandic was blamed for inadequate plowing, and swept out of office by reformer Jane Byrne.

    Corruption's acceptable if you deliver. Bilandic and Bush failed. Game's up.

    No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:11:00 AM PDT

  •  two days plus (4.00)
    "The politics are omnipresent, but present only a hollow shell behind which a sea, an absolute frothing sea, of much worse realizations are crowding every mind.  This was a disaster the country had been preparing for. This was one of the disasters most predicted, most feared, most planned for. There was two days of advance warning, as the massive, category 5 hurricane shifted purposefully towards New Orleans. This was no terrorist attack -- this time, there was warning. This time, there was knowledge."

    ah, hunter... you've gone right to the point here.

    The two days.

    And without that even... the preparation to have brought a whole city out.

    Everyone knows the diversity in a city, of means and ability.  A lot of medical cases explain why people didn't go... they had people that might die in a trip... that WOULD die if no decent place was found.

    You don't even have to mention the word "politics".

    This is about social infrastructure.  It is about social infrastructure and if this nation can't figure out who is responsible for ensuring a social infrastructure... we are seeing not just a natural disaster, but our future.

  •  Let's face it (4.00)
    The poor in New Orleans were left to victimization by criminal elements and their own just like they have long been in the poor neighborhoods of New Orleans and to a certain degree pretty much every city in America.
  •  What I'm doing this weekend to help and... (4.00)
    Well I've sat here trying to figure out what to do for the victims...sent money in, posted info on our local pac website, written public officials & newspapers, asked people to help, gave out info to everyone I could think of, purused websites trying to figure out how to offer our home but not be taken in. (still want to do that but worry about getting people who will take advantage and the other half is a hermit who has trouble sharing)

    Anyway I'm sitting here in my quilting room surrounded by lots of fabric I'll not I'm going to make small quilts so send south. IT will take time, but its better than nothing.

    It is not immediate but at least I can physically do something other than just watch this terrible tragedy unfold.

    Shame Shame Shame on this "compassionate" govt that ignores people who don't have the money to lobby for tax breaks and federal monies for their businesses.  And Homeland Security is an oxymoron!!!

    Condi is buying shoes and Bush is reading an inadequate listing of supplies on TV.  The FEMA director is an embrassment to this nation.  How ashamed I am of their efforts and the fact that John Kerry gave up Ohio too quickly on election night.

    Thanks to all who are posting as it really helps me to see all the suggestions and news posted on this website.  Hugs to all.

    "Kudos to those willing to stick their necks out over the block, before the rest of us are willing to admit we are reading the diary!"

    by midwestmom on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:21:23 AM PDT

    •  The other things that we can do are: (none)
      1. Write your congresspersons and tell them to hold the this administration responsible.

      2. Write local newspapers and ask them to hold this administration responsible.

      3. Begin to pressure your own local government on emergency preparedness issues. And don't take their words that everything is ok.

      It's now time to ask for accountability and responsibility.

      Making the world a little better place can be fun.

      by gradinski chai on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:33:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I loved it (none)
      in a sick way, of course, when Bush proudly noted that he sent 144 generators.  How many people, exactly, could that assist?

      an inadequate listing of supplies

  •  Canada's top USAR arrives in LA (4.00)
    Vancouver's Urban Search and Rescue Team finally made it to LA last night after being delayed by Homeland Security early yesterday.

    B.C. rescue team describes chaos in Louisiana

    A Canadian search and rescue team in Louisiana says conditions on the ground are so dangerous, it has to wait for order to restore before they can get to work in the devastated hurricane region.

    British Columbia's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) left for Lafayette, La. Wednesday night after being asked by state officials for assistance.

    On Thursday, the team was in Kenner, La. -- a small city of about 75,000 on the Mississippi River's East Bank -- where police described the violence and looting as "out of control."

    USAR is working with Louisiana State Troopers, as well as the National Guard.

    "It's far too dangerous for even the state troopers and police to wander out," said USAR member Brian Inglis in a statement Thursday on his team website,

    "It's absolutely crazy, the devastation is unreal -- the gunfire, the shooting, the looting is like something you see in a movie. "


    They are blogging daily events at the Team website

    In Jan 2009 it will be the "Wes Wing"

    by Best in Show on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:28:21 AM PDT

    •  What's on with the US (none)
      What is going on there in the US - the most powerful country of the world. The US are able to bring democracy to the world and when a natural catastrophe hits the US - they are not able to bring enough help within 5 days.
      Mr. Bush refuses help from around 20 countries in the world - he is managing it himself. He doesn't expect more than a little money or some good words.
      Canada could fly in in about 2 days (naow they are in LA - what do they do there?) and help with water and other technical help. Germany can fly in in about 2 days and produce fresh water, build up tents and hospitals. Where is the problem.
      The US don't need it. Putin is one of the same sort. Are they friends - Putin and Bush?
      The hell - people are in big trouble all over the world (and now in the US). Why can the western world not even helpthemselves.
      Human beeings are not perfekt - that's right. But nowhere is written, that human beeings have to be that stupid and helpless as the Bush admin is.

      Bushfire? - No! - fire Bush!

      by juergendopp on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:24:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BBC : "Scene...more Africa than America" (none)
    Completely embarassing to have the BBC talking about the USA like this.  The problem is: THEY'RE NOT WRONG!

    I'd be intrigued to have seen Gee Dub's reposnse had there been a "Ministry of Oil" office somewhere on Canal Street.

    •  The world is watching (4.00)
      Worldwide, people have been watching this in disbelief.  But, when you think about it, it's not that surprising.  The house of cards economy (cutting taxes and increasing spending) had to result in cuts somewhere and, eventually, those cuts were going to come home to roost.  Here is the result.

      In Canada, we are saying the same things as the BBC.  Rosie DiManno in the Toronto Star says today:

      I've seen better disaster response efforts for earthquake victims in India and the ethnically cleansed exiles of Kosovo.

      This is an embarassment of unprecedented proportion.  The class divide in the U.S. has been exposed for all the world to see.

      A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.

      by sharkbite on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:29:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  anderson cooper (none)
    has really stepped up today.

    i've been a fan of his ever since his World News Now days.  but back then I pigeonholed him as just another "pretty face" -- the Matt Lauer of ABC.

    I've been watching CNN on and off and he has been superb, striking just the right balance of strict factual reporting with letting his humanity show in the midst of heartrending suffering.

    historic tragic events make or break reporters, and the cream rises to the top.  this is the work that will lift Anderson Cooper from pretty boy status to take him seriously status.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:38:13 AM PDT

  •  Where are those hi-tech Command and Control rooms (none)
    being put to use. Are they just meant for looking good? I remember seeing on Tv those fancy wall to wall mounted LCD screens in Dept of Homeland Sec or FEMA control rooms. If they could only watch the feeds from various news channels the FEMA chief would not have been able to feign ignorance. I suspect those widescreens on the walls are more used to wach blockbuster movies than putting them to real use.
  •  I feel just bowed with grief... (none) part because I wonder if in the end it will even matter.  I want to believe that there will be some understanding or accountability or change because of this.  I want to believe that all these people will be allright, but I know they won't be...

    No wonder Baghdad is such a mess.  To think that we could make Iraq over into some new and improved, nonthreatening version of what we imagine ourselves to be--when we can't even keep our own people alive.

    I need to stay angry.  Thanks for writing this.      

    Hot Flash Hell - One Woman's View of Politics, Culture and Hormonal Imbalance

    by PHeggerUT on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:49:07 AM PDT

  •  This IS Unforgiveable (none)
    People starving on the streets of New Orleans is truly Unforgiveable.

    Add to that inconcievable.

    Of course, I'm talking post '60's. We supposedly had left all that shit behind.  But no.  These assholes never got over it.  Now theye want us to go back to the 20's if not the 1890's.  This is a different time.  If they can win another one after this, then all hope is lost.  

    But I will never stop fighting them.  

    I'm pissed.

    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:51:07 AM PDT

    •  Who told you that we have (none)
      "left this behind"?

      And why did you believe them?

      A cursory look at any ghetto or poor minority housing project in the nation would have put the lie to THAT idea.


      Turn off your TV and go out into the world.

      This is no "surprise", this New Orleans thing.

      America has been a disaster waiting to happen fort 40+ years.

      Wake up.


      •  MY TV has been off for a long time (none)
        You assume a lot, & frankly, I'm getting tired of your pronouncements.

        Can't you have a small bit of compassion for people who are in obvious pain?

        Honestly, SYFPH every once in awhile, whydontcha?

        If you persist in being an asshole then I'm sure you won't start whining when the good people here start smacking you in the head with whatever bricks they can find nearby.

        Come on, asshole.  Say some more stupid, insensitive shit.  I'm game.

        The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

        by x on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 04:21:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  THE question that should be asked is... (none)
    Where is the National Guard?

    The National Guard has been our primary aid enabling force for the past 50 years!  Where are they now?

    We hear reports that hundreds (HUNDREDS?!?!?) of troops are making their way to help local law enforcement re-establish order, when by all accounts THOUSANDS are needed.

    Bush is to blame and that's not partisanship talking.  This whole bungle shows why some western states were asking that their National Guard committments not be mobilized until after wild-fire season... because without this force on our soil, the dedicated service personel for these types of emergencies is not enough by itself.  Commit ourselves into a unnecessary protracted land-war in a foreign country and make no real provisions for maintaining troop strength over the long haul, while simply relying on rotating and re-rotating the permanent and part-time (National Guard, etc) personnel in and out of country, we are set up to reap the whirlwind of the first major problem (terrorist, mother-nature, or otherwise) to hit the US.  Well, here she is.

    This is a terrible human tragedy.  However, prepare for it to start affecting all of our lives.  It is scary to my mind to have the President urging people to conserve gas... saying that this early makes my sphincter pucker.  I hope this doesn't spiral, but I have a horrible feeling in my stomach that it will (rationing, economic downturn, etc).  Bush and his cronies just don't seem prepared to handle problems on this scale and don't have the judgement to even think out the potential consequences of stretching the nation's resources so thinly.

    Hunter is right.  Two tragedies happened here... the worst part is that one was completely avoidable given courage, planning, and leadership.

    •  Even the "hundreds" (none)
      of National Guard troops appear to be all but invisible.  I watched Joe Scarborough on air tonight say, "I've been here three days and the first time I saw any uniformed military or police was -- I wrote this down -- at 5:11 p.m. today."

      There's a whole lot of disinformation floating around at there.  The irony is that many of the talking heads who got us into Iraq are now on the ground in NO and the reality of the endless disinformation campaign is hitting them squarely in the face.  This could bode well for the future (we might have a genuine journalism!), although it won't make up for the sins of the past.

  •  Wow hunter! (none)
    Just a great diary. you said everything i've been thinking but can't put it into words like you did. I've Been following this storm since it was just a depression. Why is our GOVERNMENT so fucking blind and slow? Our government dropped the ball hardcore. Fucking shameful. 3rd world countries look better than us. Faith based repug science gets owned by dumbass democrats who didn't do SHIT to stock the superdome with food and water. WTF? People were evacuated to the superdome as a sanctuary. Yet they are still ignored FOUR! days later. Fuckin depressing and just outrageous. I haven't cried since i was 14, but the superdome situation is just so sad and frustrating.
  •  helping out (none)
    This is one place to help.
  •  WTF, CSM? + Canada's DART turned back yesterday (none)
    From the Christian Science Monitor:

    Katrina and the neighborhood
    The Monitor's View

    "So far, local, state, and national officials have shown a good measure of competence in handling Katrina before, during, and after it hit."

    from the September 02, 2005 edition

    Sounds like Christ, Scientist, has been cooking up some crack...

    Just shocking.


    From Canada's National Post (our PM talked to Boosh today on the phone):

    "(Prime Minister Paul) Martin said Bush didn't ask for help, but predicted he will.

    " "They're in the process of trying to put all the co-ordination together and they're going to take us up on it," the prime minister said in Edmonton.

    " "They're trying to determine their needs right now."

    "White House spokesman Scott McLellan said a number of countries have offered aid.

    "We are open to all offers of assistance from other nations, and I would expect that we would take people up on offers of assistance when it's necessary." "

    When?... What?!?

    I'm a Canuck and am still outraged that Homeland Security refused our elite DART disaster relief team on Wednesday. I guess we all must be a security risk now... our highly trained and disciplined soldiers might use our Hercules fleet to mule down kine bud or even (gasp) some softwood lumber.

  •  Why are the media not quoteing this guy! (none)
    Tonight, FoxNews ran a banner headline, "N.O. mayor issues S.O.S."

    Even FoxNews buried the truth way down deep. Here's what the mayor ACTUALLY said......

    The CEO of the hospital, along with a physician both heard this today from the mouth of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on a local radio station. This is a close paraphrase, I am told:

    "I want the fucking president to get down here right now! He flew over in Air Force One - and what the fuck good does that do? I want the fucking military down here! I know I¹m going to lose my fucking job and I don¹t fucking care, because this place is a fucking jungle......

    The Jefferson Parish president, reportedly violently angry, chimed in to add that "the U.S. is at war with itself, and we surrender. The U.S. can help all the countries in the world, but can't help the city of New Orleans...."

  •  Logistics (4.00)
    If Bush can command a jet in South Dakota to fly to Iraq, drop a bomb or two, and fly back to South Dakota without landing...

    why can't Bush command a helicopter to fly from the Armstrong Airport to the Superdome and drop water and food and fly back to the Airport without landing?

  •  Harrowing NOLA Blog (none)

    Old people trapped in attics for days with no food or water, open warfare near the Convention center--eyewitness accounts and pleas for help.

  •  I just heard a man cry (4.00)
    about what is happening to people in NOLA.

    My heart breaks every minute now.

    If my heart can break anymore it will be in tiny shards on the floor.

    I am approachig maximum heartbreak.

    Dear God, I pray, help my brothers and sisters on the dark streets of NOLA now.

    Avalokistesvara, hold them in your Infinite arms of Compassion!

    Avalokistesvara! Give me a way to assist them today.

    Dear God!  Make us a better people!  Make us give a damn.  Make us help.  Make us good.


    Avalokitesvara, bring your compassion to the hearts of all my countrymen/women.  Make us all kind.  Make us all feel this pain.  

    For the benefit of all beings.


    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:33:51 AM PDT

    •  men crying (none)
      in the past few days I have seen more men crying in public than in the rest of my 48 years of life combined.  and admitting it.  and not trying to hide it.  and not being ashamed of it, but rather wearing it as a badge of honor that differentiates real men who have real human feelings from heartless compassionless GOoPers who don't give a d@mn about the kind of people who are suffering in the Gulf Coast region right now.

      I echo your prayer in my own way:  may the Lord who looks down on the world, and hears the cries of those in distress, send help and comfort in this very hour, in ths very moment, to those who need it so desperately.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:38:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CNN Reporting Explosions (none)
    erupting in a large area of New Orleans
  •  This is Criminal (none)
    Criminal is the word that has echoed in me all evening. Bush deserves to be impeached, but he also deserves to burn in Hell for this momentous failure of caring.
    •  We cannot wait for Hell to do its job. (none)
      We have to do OURS first.

      If not impeachment...then  we are going to see the dogs of chaos let loose in this country.

      Sooner rather than later.

      Bet on it.

      That sound you hear in your subconscious?

      That's bin Laden laughing in triumph.


  •  Hunter, Thank you!! (none)
    I said my thoughts upthread-I just pray that the city survives today.
    All this is so frightening and truly "unforgivable"!!!!
  •  One thing that I learned from my days (none)
    in the military is the art of leadership. One of the key things to being a good leader is the ability to look ahead and plan for it. I'm an old Cav guy and we called it "leaning forward in the saddle". What the hell am I talking about? The local government sent people to the Superdome for safety. If the local government officials had leaned forward in the saddle just a little, they would have had MRE's and water already prepositioned at the Superdome. City busses and other vehicles could have and IMHO should have been used to evacute those citizens without transportation. Don't hope the levees hold you plan on them colapsing fully and completely and when they don't, no harm no foul, but you would be prepared.

    I could carry this post on all day listing what I think the failures were. Bottomline, there was no leadership from the local, state, or federal levels and there still does not appear to be any leadership. Some one in that chain has to step forward, marshall resources and get in there and do something to get those people out and then worry about cleaning up. "Move America Forward" was pretty adept at organizing a bus caravan to go to Crawford to protest against Cindy, I am quite sure they could organize another bus caravan to go into New Orleans and bring these people out.

    Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

    by p a roberson on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:10:02 AM PDT

    •  There WERE MRE's and water (none)
      But, not four days worth.  In the first couple of days of people in the superdome, they were receiving a couple of MRE's and water per day.  Of course those soon ran out.  

      Who expected that five+ days later, FEMA, whose job it is to take care of crisis just like this, has not been able to replenish supplies of water and food OR remove the refugees to safer ground.

      America works best in spreading democracy when people over the world see something they want to emulate. Richard

      by Mlle L on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:24:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A cartoon character president (none)
    Playing cowboy and fundraising, ever gladhanding as a cultural gem is erased from the land.

    The emperor without clothes.

    Maybe, just maybe, the blind will see again.

    But at what cost?

  •  Mike Brown lying ass off on FOX 6 AM (none)
    Claims that FEMA has been feeding and evauting people at the convention center for days... this after admitting that FEMA did not know they were there until yesterday.

    He also blamed the whole communications problem on the Mayor.... this after the Mayor embarassed the entire Federal effort by resorting to his "desperated SOS" via the media.

    It is disgusting... does anyone TIVO fox? Check the about 6:08 AM EDT. You will be amazed at the lies.. and of course there is no challenge by the Fox Commentators... they could use Anderson over on Fox!

    Ask Three Poeple a Day: What Noble Cause?

    by Random Excess on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:17:21 AM PDT

    •  This morning they are spinning hard (none)
      FOX was doing good for the last couple of days and then this morning it looks like they got some memo that told them to turn the bullshit back on.

      I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

      by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:19:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A call for Happy News (none)
    Just heard it - James Marks, CNN military analyst, has called for the media to broadcast more happy news - to focus more on what the uniformed services are doing at this minute in order to give people the idea that help is on the way.  Like those people in the convention center can watch television!

    Then, a long recitation of statistics - lots of them.

    He's now claimed there is a "seamless" connection of local and national efforts.

    My Liberal Values: a clean earth, universal access to health care, human and civil rights, a broader distribution of wealth, and a global perspective

    by Pellice on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:18:15 AM PDT

    •  Well it worked in Iraq (none)
      the media strategy that is- focussing on what individual units are doing to give the impression of a troop presence. Only now its happening in the States people have other means of finding out the truth.

      You must be the change you wish to see in the world- Mahatma Gandhi

      by limaike on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:52:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  happy happy (none)
      i knew at some point some fucking crackpot would say that the MEDIA isnt broadcasting all the good things the Feds are doing in New Orleans.
  •  I have begun to weep (none)
    I cannot say when I will stop.

    I hope I will not join you all tomorrow or the next day b/c I need to do some other things .  Be strong.

    I will see you in PastorDan's Brothers & Sisters prayer meeting on Sunday.  I'm always there. Join me. We can cleanse our souls there.

    I offer my heartbroken prayers and I'll try to do the best that I can.  I'll give some more cash to the RC.  I'll do the best that I can.

    Bless us all. We try to be the good guys.

    Let's all be the good guys. As best we can.

    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:19:14 AM PDT

  •  Where are the NOLA police? (4.00)
    I keep reading reports about large percentage of the NOLA police not showing up? Has ANYBODY considered the fact that these people also live in New Orleans and 1) may be victims of the flooding or 2) have families that they have to support or 3) any and all of the above.

    Give them a break! That is why we have a FEDERAL government. To provide OUTSIDE support.

  •  Thank you for expressing what I feel (none)

    We have all been abandoned.

    A government that cannot protect its people.

    My husband pointed out that the survivalists - who hole up in the woods or enclaves with supplies, living off the grid, etc. are having the last laugh.

    They will be the only ones left.

    I am not a tin foil hatter. But I am despondent. I have not slept all night.

    My government cannot, will not protect me.

    What do we do now?

  •  This is your President, looking after America ... (none)
    and Americans everywhere.

    "This is not politics. This is not partisanship.

    This is unforgivable."

  •  FEMA (4.00)
    FEMA = Fuck 'em all.
  •  No wonder Iraq is a mess (none)
    these are the guys that are running things... the gross incompetence is shameful.

    AirAmerica was pointing out to their viewers that FEMA kept referring to the those "that chose not to evacuate," showing that it seems they have an attitude of "blame the victim."

    From what I've seen and Bush's response of "zero tolerance" it is clear that these people are just clueless and heartless and incompetent bastards.

    And then there was Rush's statement about why people don't have cars... I keep wondering who these people are!

    "Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life." Cindy Sheehan

    by Dunbar on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:40:24 AM PDT

  •  Mayor of NO lashes out (none)
    I just heard the Mayor of NO lash out at all the bureaucrats, all the delays, all the total incompetence of FEMA, the Federal Government and didn't pull his punches at all.

    I do remember he told them to get their asses on a plane, no more news conferences, and get their asses in gear.

    He did say that one guy that the Prez sent got off a copter, started cussing and people started jumping. That's what's needed here. Someone who actually knows what LEADERSHIP IS!

    If it wasn't so sad, if the situation wasn't so horrific, I would have stood up and cheered.

    He says he was promised this, that and the other and NOTHING has come through. He said to watch out for the spin and things are improving, the broken levee was supposed to be in the midst of repair and NOTHING has been done yet.

    If anyone can find this call (I heard it on CNN), I'd appreciate it.

  •  The right wing PR response (none)
    is to blame the victims, er, excuse me, "looters."
  •  You know what is really scary? (none)
    This wholesale ineptitude on the part of our federal government is in itself a national security threat.  Do you think that the terrorists are paying close attention to this clusterfuck?  You betcha they are.  This shows just how vulnerable we are.

    Our country performed admirably after 9-11.  There was professionalism in the search and rescues and the clean-up in NYC and Washington afterwards.  What has happened since then?

    Ask Chimpy.  BushCo has dismantled and severely underfunded everything needed on our domestic front.  Why?  The money is needed to fuel this "war" in Iraq.  Iraq is one huge money pit.  It's getting progressively worse in Iraq day by day, and BushCo just continues to throw money at it.  Our troops over there are still not sufficiently armored, Halliburton and companies are shorting our troops, feeding them outdated and rotten food.

    Congress has just authorized $10 billion for this disaster.  Where is the money coming from?  We don't have it!  Bush and the GOP are still forging ahead with more tax cuts for the rich this fall.  We're broke people.  Where's the money coming from?  We are the world's largest debtor country, and very dependent on the kindness of Asia to fund our debt.  So where's the money coming from?  Think about it.


  •  Just as when (none)
    his father didn't respond to hurricane Andrew in a timely manner, GWB keeps up the tradition of recent GOP admins, in GOP America you are on your own unless you are a member of the con elite, in DEM America we are all in this together as has been proven over and over again, obviously the GOP has other priorities for our treasury, like their own and their friends bank accounts, the people, they are on their own, as this tradegy proves.

    Under Clinton FEMA was an efficient entity, under the Bushs it was and is a political tool, unacceptable and outrageous.

  •  HEy I would love to help but............. (4.00)
    Some moron thought it would be more important tosend this reservist to Iraq a second time rather than be on hand to help my country when it needed me.

    I am sorry America.

    Marine Officer in Iraq

    •  Hey . . (none)
      Stay safe, so you can come back to help us take back OUR country.
      •  I promise......... (4.00)
        When I get back I will get involved in the process. I will commit myself to the political eforts to remove them fools and incompetents who are now occuppying the halls of government in my great nation. Starting at te top there must be a cleansing of the selfish, social darwinistic republicans.
    •  You only do what you are orderd (none)
       I have thought about how the troops in Iraq must be feeling and can't even imagine those who have family in the affected areas. You cannot be here but that is not your fault and stay safe.

      If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

      by arkdem on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:39:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think an addition to the U.S. flag... (none)
    should be the words...

    "America...Shoot to Kill"


    "America... Capture or Kill"

  •  Soledad O'brien chews out FEMA head (none)
    Soledad O'Brien chewed the fuck out of FEMA director! Finally!

    She asked Brown, how was it possible that CNN crews had better intel. than FEMA about what was going on at the Convention Center.

    CNN also played Mayor Nagin's raging radio interview.  

  •  Reporters - what they used to be (none)
    I just heard Soledad.

    And I remember that this is what the press is supposed to be like. We shouldn't be surprised when they don't let the spin take over. But we are.

    The Mayor's interview was something I've never heard from a Mayor.

    I really do think that there is a lot of racist overtones to the lack of help from the Feds.
    They really don't want these people voting and they'll go to any extreme to stop them.

    I'm almost hoping that Bush will be shouted down.
    These people are not going to listen to any bullshit from anyone.

  •  FEMA (none)
    I can't believe FEMA Director Michael Brown's comment that everything is going "relatively well." The whole disconnect from reality thing must be an administration-wide issue.

    What saddens me is that it is going to take higher prices at the gas pump to wake the majority of people from their slumber and get them starting to really question what these, uh, folk, are doing to this country. Whatever it takes, I guess, but you would hope that something more substantial would be the impetus (not to say the gas prices aren't substantial... up 54 cents in one day to $3.09 up here in VT... curious to see where it is today).

  •  Hunter (none)
     All I can say is Thank You for this diary! The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness we all feel for these poor people is overwhelming. Where are all the big diesels that usually come rolling in full of food water and clothes?
    I am not hearing anything about such efforts.
     Why no "real" food/water air drops why why why?
     I mean they are constatntly show sandbags being dropped but no food/water to the convention center? I am so far beyond anger and rage, just empty and stunned now.

    If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

    by arkdem on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:30:29 AM PDT

  •  asdf (none)
    Michael Brown is a moron.  He spent the entire day yesterday spewing lies and propaganda and now continues this morning.  Isn't he supposed to be doing something other than interviews.  We are supposed to be the greatest country in the world and our emergency management has just shown us that they can't handle a disaster.  What about the next terrorist attack?  Where is all the money going?  We have to have telethons to raise money?!  Where are our tax dollars going if not for situations like this?  Oh yeah, into the pockets of all the "haves" so that the have nots of New Orleans can just rot in the sun.  I hope this whole administration burns in hell.
  •  There was a flood in Boscastle, Cornwall last year (4.00)
    I am sure most of you are familiar with the location; Cornwall is a seaside town in England and a big river runs through it.

    We had torrential rains all throughout Britain last year as the result of a hurricane that happened ages ago. (I think it was Ivan. Although Ivan never was going to hit Britain, we got thanks to the transatlantic water corridor--sciencey stuff) Anyway,the residents of this tiny village knew there would be some flooding, but they didn't know all hell would break loose and that is exactly what happened.

    The town washed out to sea. Houses, business, cars, you name it, out it went. Some of these houses were hundreds of years old and fell apart as if they were made of cards.

    Not one person died as a result. I don't even think a dog died. I realise that New Orleans isn't a quaint town in a small city, but the people of Boscastle had NO WARNING. There were helicopters there within minutes airlifting people to safety. People did have to abandon the town.

    Boscastle survives on local business and tourism, thus it doesn't have the manpower or the money of a major US city. And Britain doesn't have same amount of  money or resources as America.(No school buses, etc.)

    This simply never should have happened. Everyone with half a brain realises the geography and topography of Louisiana and any wearnear the Gulf Coast. The US Government should have been prepared even if no one could have predicted a hurricane the force of Katrina. For Christ's sake, don't these people realise that the Gulf Stream is responsible for hurricanes?!

    A year on, and Boscastle has been rebuilt. There are old and new businesses, and they have built up their flood defences. Will this happen in the US? Like hell it will.

  •  The question . . . (none)
    As we fight to save our people the question that needs to be asked to everyone is this, and im sure its been raised somewhere on Kos already but hey i dont read everything . .

    If this haphazard mess is how we react to a natural disaster that we knew was coming, how would this adminstrations plans handle a random unexpected attack from a terrorist with a dirty bomb or biological weapon?


    The book title . .
    "When America Fell Asleep: The Bush Presidency"

  •  Hunter, your blog-diary was sent to NYT. (none)
    Too well done - I could not resist.
    Thank you for putting it all so well, and I hope you do not mind. Full credit to you, and Kos.

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:38:27 AM PDT

    The only thing that her stupid, ignorant, scared from the beginning like I said the other day behind can do is complain about rights over human rights!

    The only freaking thing she can talk about is looting!  Every "boot on the ground with a gun in his hand" should have crates of food and water to give out, but that skank is repeating the GOP line over and over about looting!

    She makes me sick!  FEMA makes me sick!

    What did Brown do before Bush returned a favor to him by making him FEMA director because we know how Bush works?

    Other than Nagin, every elected official is screwing up!  Including Blanco.  Democrat or not, she needs to be kicked out of office just like Bush!

    Brown said they are leaving the ports for New Orleans ON SUNDAY!  This Sunday, not last Sunday!  Aid is leaving on Sunday, but yet they have boots on the ground who can shoot and kill looters on the spot?

    I can't stand that ineffective, idiot Governor!

    "Make the truth your litmus test."

    by independentchristian on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:39:40 AM PDT

  •  asdf (none)
    Are there road blocks or something to not allow average citizens in to help?  Can a caravan of people just go down in their cars filled with food and water?  And then bring people out in their cars?  If that is the only way?
  •  Why? (none)
    Why aren't Dems going over the head of BushCo. and doing more?
  •  The Governor of Louisiana (none)
    "(does not) even know what day it is"

    She just tore herself apart on CNN attempting to explain the timeline of relief efforts.  Her guilt is apparent by the highly defensive interview.  Had she been an adequate leader, I suppose she would have chosen words to inspire and spread hope to the thousands of people who so desperately need it.

    •  She's done (none)
      I saw that interview. O'Brien really tore into her, and she was evasive and defensive. Her career in politics is over.

      The reporters on the ground are tired, dirty, and extremely fustrated at watching people starve and die right in front of them. They are all demanding answers.

  •  Great job, well phrased... (none)
    Saving a copy of this for posterity.

    Very nicely done.  Thanks.

  •  great post, Hunter (none)
    Simply put, this is why we have blogs: to tell the truth.

    Further, my sentiments exactly:  it's unforgiveable.   This disaster was avoidable and its right there for everyone who has eyes...and a see.

    And it's not over.  We've just now still beginning the completion of evacuating a major U.S. city...which will take days more....and we currently have hundreds of thousands of American citizens who are refugees.

    This is not over.  Keep the pressure on.

  •  WWL-AM Interview (none)
    I've ripped entire interview yesterday with the status on the ground of New Orleans directly from the mayor UNCENSORED (pretty much the full interview with no cuts or bleeping) in torrent form here:

    Very very very moving.

  •  Lord of the Intelligently Designed Universe (none)
    Lord of the Intelligently Designed Universe, whoom his supporters claim was so intelligently devised to be dumb that he has turned out dumber than a rock will no doubt try to pour salt over peoples wound today by touring the affected regions and hampering the search, rescue and feeding missions. His Duhness will require huge security detail without which he cannot put a step forward and if somebody says cheese in the presence of the camera do not even bet a single penny on whether the Chimp is going to grin or not. Creation of people like Dumbya should put the theory of Intelligent Design to rest.
  •  Soledad O'Brien (none)
    really stuck it to FEMA director, Mike Brown, a little while ago.  She angrily asked how it was possible that FEMA didn't know about the people at the convention center.  He said he learned of it from the news coverage.  Soledad also noted that two days after the Tsunami there was a food/water airdrop in Banda Aceh.  She asked Brown why it took four days before we airdopped food/water, etc.  Brown's answers were the typical bumbling, 'I feel their pain' kind of bullshit.

    Soledad was really pissed.  

    That's where I saw the Leprchaun. He tells me to burn things! -R. Wiggum

    by Blue Neponset on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:54:55 AM PDT

  •  Sounds very much like what happened... (none)
    ...after the fall of Baghad! Plan? What plan?
    "The lawlessness is rampant. It's important to note, however, that the lawlessness wasn't rampant on Monday. It wasn't rampant on Tuesday. We heard only twinges of it on Wednesday. Today, from the sounds of the reports, a city devoid of all hope devolved into absolute chaos."

    The best way to prove the DLC is out of touch is to build a vibrant Progressive movement

    by oratorio on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:56:55 AM PDT

  •  No more shining city (4.00)
    This is Bush's America.

    This is what we can all expect if disaster visits us.

    This changes nothing for Bush.

  •  You're right about the media (4.00)
    I have been stunned by their outrage and willingness to express it.

    I have seen several incidents where various FEMA mouthpieces where talking sunshine and daisies and various reporters have said "B.S." Bluntly and with detail and specificivity.


    Apparently, (totally unlike the aftermath of 9/11), the media has decided that the Federal Government is a free fire zone. None of the patriotic bull crap.

    I wish I had saved a comment someone made about the Coingate scandal here in Ohio. Basically, they said:

    "when your enemy is trying his best to shoot himself, stay out of the way."

    Maybe we don't have to politicize this issue. What's the Latin phrase "The thing speaks for itself?"

    •  A picture is worth a thousand talking heads (none)
      Yes - it was heartening to see the newsmen and newswomen growing bolder. Their disgust with yesterday's endless stream of administration hacks and flacks was evident. And it was becoming more pronounced with each new horror of this tragedy.  

      But even more telling for me was the split screen technique used by the various news networks. In one small part of the screen you saw and heard an administration talking head spouting bullshit. But in the other portions of the screen the networks showed simultaneous video of the destruction and the people begging for help.

      The news networks might just as well have pasted a label to each speaker's head: hypocrite - liar. It was very effective. Kudos to the producers for showing the truth while the lies were being told.

      There may be hope for the news media afterall.


  •  Rome? Washington? (none)
    We are in the third act of the Fall of the Roman Empire (and it remains to be seen how many acts are in this play). Everyone sees it but refuses to believe it. The parallels are uncanny -- a military too dispersed, gov't officials fragmenting into power pockets for selfish gains, racial/religious strife, class gaps and social division. The whole thing finally came crumbling down. But what the Romans did not have was the entire house of cards collapse in front of everyone on the planet on television.
    •  Several of us have made the comparison (none)
      The realization is dawning on people.  Historians will ultimately write about all that's taking place and let me tell you -- Bush's legacy won't be pretty.

      I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

      by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:25:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Fox and Friends" back to GOP spin (none)

    I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

    by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:16:03 AM PDT

      •  Too much for synopis, but here's an example (none)
        5 crappy buses come down the highway and they cover it right on cue like it's the freaking fall of the Berlin wall... calling it a MASSIVE CARAVAN and that now the people will finally be safe.  Then they constantly credit President Bush by name and how he is "right on top of the situation"

        It's constant, it's intentional, and they're very good at it.  But I see through it. muahahaaha!

        I voted for John Kerry and don't regret it.

        by diplomatic on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 09:11:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  White people (none)
    I watched a CNN piece this morning that showed NO in happier times.  What struck me were the crowds of tourists---they were mostly white, seemingly middle class people.

    I think it's absolutely disgusting that in all of the newscasts, we're seeing the exact opposite.  I've only seen a few white people in the sea of desperate and angry black faces.  

    •  There are poor white people in the Dome (none)
      and at the Convention Center, but there are only a few of them.  Those are the people who could not afford 'white flight.' The walking took the bus rides into Houston.

      Many are in hospitals, in extremis.  Most whites live across the River or in the 'burbs.  And they, too, are catching hell.

      An untypical Negro...since 1954.

      by blksista on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 08:23:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hurricanes Floyd and Andrew (none)
    I lived in Eastern NC during Floyd.  Remember Gore standing on the streets in Tarboro.. with the flood waters rising???  I Do.. Remember the tent cities set up what seemed to be  immediately after ANDREW in South Florida?  I do.  This is what happens when a ignorant, self-centered, arrogant government takes perfectly good plans and trashes them days after taking office. yesterday had great information on how FEMA and its current director have no longer planned for actual emergencies. THIS is shameful and today.. my IMPEACH THE GOP sticker I have had for years is being put in the window of my car.  We need a national call for resignations of FEMA Director Brown and DHS Chertof.  Those two couldn't plan themselves out of a Republican Fundraiser.  HA.  I am glad that the SLM is finally asking the questions.. too bad I missed Ted's asking of Brown.. Don't you people watch TV??  Priceless.
  •  Put us on the bus! (none)
    The southern wailing continues,
    and too little is being done,
    violence roams the streets,
    despair is everywhere,
    the sick and the weak are dying.

    Calling all Americans to help our own,
    these are our poorest of the poor.
    three leaders rise up to the call,
    in Cincinnati John Cranley remembers,
    "When we had our flood," he said,
    "we had help from all over the country."
    Laketa Cole and David Crowley agreed.

    I don't want to wait until next Tuesday
    - after the holiday weekend -
    I'm a Cincinnati Firefighter send me now.

    We'll take that bus that my Congresswomen has,
    she's wants it only for her swearing in party,
    at a time like this in America,
    what's wrong with that picture?
    We should send it to New Orleans,
    and for the suffering we'll find a home,
    use it for our country's largest ever catastrophe,
    is not the time to sing the songs she speaks of...
    99 bottles of beer on wall?
    Is this woman lost?

    Americans are dead or dying!
    Congresswoman Schmidt!
    Americans are trapped in their attacks!
    We need to help the living,
    we need to bury the dead!
    And that $8,000 earmarked for your party,
    should be given to a Red Cross cause.

    Put us on the bus.
    Send us now!
    I'll Go!

    Peter Deane

  •  It's unforgivable - Let's march to Washington (nt) (none)

    To resign is a noble thing to do, Mr. President.

    by mimi on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:28:36 AM PDT

  •  FROM APRIL 2005 (4.00)
    Congressman Wexler is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

    April 27, 2005

    Michael Chertoff, Secretary

    United States Department of Homeland Security

    Washington, D.C. 20528

    Dear Secretary Chertoff:

    I am writing to request your assistance with regard to an issue of growing concern, the continued mismanagement of hurricane recovery assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). I remain deeply troubled by the accounts of corruption and fraud, which have surfaced about FEMA's disbursement of funds during hurricane recovery efforts in Florida. I strongly urge you to assist myself and other concerned Floridians in shedding light on what appears to be blatant mismanagement and to make public information pertaining to inspectors and aid recipients given the magnitude of this problem.

    As you are aware, I have worked closely with FEMA officials since the initial siege of hurricanes this past summer to this point. While I greatly appreciate the work FEMA has done in helping Floridians recover from last years unprecedented series of hurricanes, I am deeply concerned about what appears to be the incompetent administration of federal assistance, including both the funding of fraudulent requests as well as the refusal of funds to legitimately impacted communities. News accounts have reported that over $30 million in disaster relief money was dispersed to residents of Miami-Dade after Hurricane Frances, which made landfall over 100 miles north of the county. At the same time, Palm Beach and other affected counties have been waiting in line, struggling to get the funding they rightly deserve.

    As you know, rather than work constructively to fix these problems, FEMA continues to deny any wrongdoing and blames their illegal reimbursements on a computer glitch rather than owning up to mistakes and working to correct the fraudulent payments. While some sort of computer error may have contributed to the problems, it is difficult to believe that this alone was FEMA's only error. In response to this continuing refusal to address the growing problems, on January 24, I sent a letter to President George Bush, calling for Brown's resignation; however this request was ignored by the White House.

    Since that time the reports of mismanagement and fraud have only increased. There are new and disturbing reports that FEMA relied on inspectors with past criminal records such as embezzlement, drug dealing and robbery to inspect victims' homes after the hurricane. Additionally, there have been fourteen Miami-Dade residents who have received aid from FEMA and have been indicted for fraud. Of those individuals, three have pleaded guilty. Given the litany of problems that have surfaced, I am writing to renew my request that Under Secretary Michael Brown be removed from his position as head of FEMA.

    In short, the public in South Florida has lost confidence that FEMA can fulfill its mission of assisting communities recovering from disasters. Secretary Chertoff, it is critical that you immediately address FEMA's monumental mismanagement and waste of taxpayer monies. To this end, I urge you to hold Under Secretary Brown and FEMA officials responsible for their actions, particularly as the legitimate needs of countless Floridians still recovering from Hurricane damage are being denied due to lack of funds. I look forward to working with you to shed light on these problems and ensure that such glaring mistakes are never made again.

    With warm regards,

    Robert Wexler, Member of Congress

  •  Natural vs. National (none)
    For those wondering why the government, including sock puppet Scotty McClellan, are focusing on the Natural Disaster meme:

    Natural Disaster - There is nothing we could do, it is an act of God.  Any suggestion of blame is sacrilege.

    National Disaster - Nation = United States; United States = President; President = George W. Bush; GWB = Republican; therefore, National Disaster = Republican Disaster

    Katrina was a Natural Disaster, from yesterday on is a National Disaster.

    •  I wonder how many hours did Rove spend (none)
      coming up with the right phrases to describe this "natural disaster," and how much time was spent disseminating the talking points.

      I was actually watching some of Fox News last night, though mostly CNN and Keith O., and someone should alert Mehlman that Fox News apparently did not get the memo.

      "Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." - Adrienne Rich

      by marjo on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:48:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (none)
      Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding were natural disasters.  

      The handling of the relief efforts has been an unnatural disaster.

      A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.

      by sharkbite on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:38:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Situation in CC of NO described as genocide (nt) (none)

    To resign is a noble thing to do, Mr. President.

    by mimi on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:40:35 AM PDT

  •  No Poor Left Behind (none)
    Ever Again
  •  The evacuation of New Orleans (none)
    ...won't be considered a 'success' by the Bush Administration until the body count is as high as the one in Iraq.

    / snark

    "There's no limit to what he [Bush] could do. He could destroy the Earth." - Klaatu

    by carneasadaburrito on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:41:09 AM PDT

  •  This.... is CNN? (none)
    Soledad O'Brien just mentioned that this is 4 years after 9/11 and the government doesn't have a plan for reacting to disaster?  One we knew was likely and one that had several days to plan for.

    She just asked, "Why are so many elected officials praising their response?"

    This is CNN?

    Wow.  Who knew it would take the demise of an entire American city to put the journalism back in CNN?

  •  Apparently local officials in NOLA (none)
    like the mayor, the director of preparedness, the police superintendent, and the director of NO homeland security are ALL politicizing the event, according to the NYT.

    They're all saying that federal help is aWol.

    "Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." - Adrienne Rich

    by marjo on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:45:58 AM PDT

  •  Well done Huter (none)
    And to all the others.
    Remember, government is not he solution, it is the problem. And for decades they have hammered away at this theme, and at the gov. And now....
  •  Where is our united front? Our public voice? (none)
    I've been getting all my news from the blogs, and while the rage, frustration, heartbreak is well articulated here.  And this isn't a political tragedy, but a human one.  

    But it IS a political tragedy, in that short-sighted political considerations led to insufficient protections and crisis management.  There needs to be a united front drawing the connection between the scope of this tragedy and the proper role of government, and how good government reflects the best impulses of humanity.  To educate, protect, care for the less than able.  

    Michael Chertoff's recent memo intoned that 'ultimately the individual is responsible' in times of tragedy.  I wonder:  does he blame the victims of the World Trade Center bombing because they, too, weren't able to get out in time to save their own lives?  

    I can't stop crying.  

    Sturm und Drang -- poking at culture's soft underbelly since 2005.

    by magpie02141 on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:50:42 AM PDT

  •  It's Clear Now (4.00)
    This inability to respond to a disaster on our own turf makes it abundantly clear why Iraq is such a disaster.
  •  Ted Koppel... (none)
    on Nightline, he was so awesome last night questioning the FEMA director.  That was the first time I had heard his bullshit.  I almost knocked my tv off the stand I was so furious.

    Fringe is the new black. - Me

    by chillindame on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:54:58 AM PDT

  •  BUSH: THE END. Bumper Sticker. (none)
    Bumper Sticker


    All proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross.

    Get out of control, but appear under control. It's not bad to alarm other people, though - it's good for them.
    - Hunter S. Thompson

    by bisenbek on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:56:01 AM PDT

  •  Freerepublic had one link (none)
    To Katrina story.  Tehy butchered the WSj article to contain no trace of Bush criticism.  Please read the comments.

  •  BUSH: THE END. (none)

    Bumper Sticker


    All proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross.

    Get out of control, but appear under control. It's not bad to alarm other people, though - it's good for them.
    - Hunter S. Thompson

    by bisenbek on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:56:30 AM PDT

  •  What was once anger.. (none)
    ..has turned into a smoldering rage.  I'm overcome with a dire prophesy.  Anyone who thinks this is the last of the shit we're going to have to take from the craven idiots now in power will soon have a rude awakening.  They will not stand idle while their popularity ratings sink to nothing.  They will act the only way they know, and it will be criminal, horrific, hellish.  They will import Abu Ghraib onto our own shores.
  •  I kept hearing Chertoff etc saying... (none)
    that this was really two disasters, as though that excused their pitiful response.  

    They kept saying (Prez included) that no one expected that there would be a disaster of this size.  (lie)  

    Chertoff said the hurricane was category 1 in Florida.  (lie, and Larry King did not correct him)  

    They were saying that the scope of this is bigger than anything they could imagine.  (well, we already know they couldn't imagine planes flying into buildings.  oh wait, another lie)

    If there was anything at all to this whole Homeland Security bullshit for the past four years, they would have been ready.  Who ever told them that a terrorist attack couldn't be this devastating?  Who's to say that terrorists couldn't have bombed the levees, for example.  Did anyone run that scenario?  What about terrorists poisoning a large water supply for a major city -- did they run that one?

    What about a nuclear bomb?  What about that one?  The truth is, they never bothered to take any of this homeland crap seriously.  They never intended to evacuate anybody.  Their whole strategy is, put the lying GOP in bunkers and go bomb innocent countries.

    I did not think I could hate the fuckers for their lying incompetence any more than I already did.  But there is no bottom to this willful arrogant incompetence.  Like the soil of NO, it just keeps sinking.

    "Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." - Adrienne Rich

    by marjo on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 05:58:39 AM PDT

    •  Category 1 (none)
      Katrina was Cat 1 in Florida - it stepped up when it hit the Gulf.  But that should have been anticipated given the temperature of the water in the Gulf.  It's like bring a pan of hot water onto a stove and wondering whether it will maybe start boiling or something.
  •  asdf (none)
    This is what happens when Bush cronies are put in positions of authority instead of competent people.  This is why Iraq is a mess and this is why FEMA is useless and this is why our government can not be counted on in time of crisis.  We need to get rid of these people, starting with Bush and cleaning out all the cronies and hangers on that do nothing but get paid with our tax dollars.  
  •  here's what help SHOULD look like (none)

    [Our oldest gets to drive this baby.]

    It was built from the ground up for missions exactly like this disaster. Others from it's group are underway towards the Gulf Coast right now.

    But is THIS ship available?


    Guess why....

    (because it's going to the Middle East... again...)

    Bush sucks

  •  Idiot in Chief on TV (none)
    People working Hard.  Planning beginning. Long term Planning.. THIS MAN MAKES ME CRAZY!!!  With anger.. Yelling at the TV.. ASSHOLE.  Disgust.  Talking Head on NBC.. Chris Matthews.. said that BUSH is going to fire people.  LMFAO.. Bush doesn't know how to FIRE PEOPLE.  HA!!! Big Firings at the Top Chris Matthews Says.. HA.  I would love to see BROWN, CHERTOFF, and the Director of the American Red Cross. ALL SHOULD BE GONE by Monday.  
  •  What about the fire(s)? (none)
    Is there any updates about the big fire? With all the oil on the water and toxic fumes and stuff, I could see this kicking another mega-shitstorm.

    (And that too could have been taken care of if they'd had men on the ground two days ago.)

  •  Bush vacation fundamental to slow response (none)
    The absence of the CEO to tell the critical agencies to go into action after the hurricane even hit, let alone before it, is the underlying cause of the government's slow response. With an administration staffed with timid party hacks, initiative is particularly lacking, because bureaucratic activity must above all "stay on message", and if the message is not forthcoming, nothing happens.

    Seeing what has happened with Katrina also helps to understand what happened with 9/11 when the apparatus of the government was almost completely unalarmed and non-responsive to the warnings that were picked up before hand.

    Pipe dreams are not an exit strategy.

    by TrainWreck on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:12:08 AM PDT

  •  Katrina Vanden Huevel on C-Span (none)
    I love what this woman says, I just get tired of how slow she talks at time.

    "Make the truth your litmus test."

    by independentchristian on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:12:57 AM PDT

  •  Where are the Bimbo Twins when you need them? (none)
    The only way to ensure help for New Orleans is to airlift the Bush Bimbo Twins into the city. Drop one at the Superdome and one at the Convention Center. And leave them there until the situation is stabilized.

    In fact, I suggest that we utilize them in all future disasters. That way they will at least be good for something.  

  •  miles o'brian CNN (none)
    Really awful stuff. CNN just reported witness accounts of gangs brandishing AK-47's roaming the streets, and corpses with heads blown off. The AK-47 can shoot bullets through concrete cinder blocks. New Orleans has disintergrated into Somalia! This is an outrage.
  •  Promotions (none)
    Looks like promotions are in store for a bunch of people in our federal government!  </snark>
  •  AVIAN FLU!! (none)
    I got news for all of you. If you think this is bad wait until natures next assault begins on all ofhumanity. The Avian Flu which kills 50% of the people that contact it is about to make the leap from bird to man to man to man and when it does hundreds of millions could die. Is our Gov't preparing? NO!!!All Bu$h cares about is his buddies and their wealth.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees"

    by Blutodog on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:26:48 AM PDT

    •  don't get them started (none)
      that flu business is another cash cow for big pharma and gov't enforced vaccinations - like the anthrax vaccine that trashed many soldiers.  Are you willing to put your body in the hands of these criminals?  

      Isn't it pathetic?  No trust at all in this gov't!

  •  It seems to me (none)
    The cause of this disaster is that people put levies on the Mississippi (causing the ground to sink and destroying the wet lands, built a city below city leaving space for one levee where 3 would be safe and mother nature provided the spark with Katrina.

    No one seems to realize that this is different than past events.  

    Yeah, we helped the tsunami victims, but not until after the water receeded.  

    If the victims are cut off from relief, the relief is cut off from the victims.

    A large area of destruction is being handled, not just New Orleans.  There is only one 2 lane road into the and no one has any idea what shape it is in.

    We could have quickly dumped manpower into the area, and if that had occurrred, we would now be yelling that we should have not done that until the situation and requirements became clear because that would have created even a bigger mess.

    I don't know what more could have been done than is being done.

    I see only one lesson to be learned from this and New Orleans fell flat on its face.  A system is required to forcably remove ALL nonessential people from the city everytime there is a reasonable threat.

    The situation is dire.  Dedicated people areall doing their darnest to provide relief.  

    I do not buy into the finger pointing, "ain't it awful" and who is to blame mentality displayed here.

    It happened.  It is unprecedented.  We are doing everything we can as quickly as we can in terrible conditions.  This was bound to happen, it has happened, now we know what it is like.

    •  rant following (none)
      A convoy of buses set up from every state not affected and the people could have been evacuated by now.  It is the lack of leadership and the lack of imagination that has created this bottleneck of relief efforts.  Five days... five days without food, water, money and now hope.  There should be blame!  It starts at the top with authority figures who really don't seem to have authority but are being paid to do a job.  Incompetence at every turn.  Unnecessary fear of people who are just in dire straights.  They aren't criminals.  Sure there are some bad people in every crowd, but the majority just need our help.  What is the problem.  5 days - FIVE DAYS and just a drop in the bucket of the help that is needed has arrived.  No coordinated effort.  No plan for the possibility of no electricity and no plan for loss of communications.  NO PLAN?!  Come on.  This is not a surprise!!  No one should be left off the hook as far as I'm concerned.  Michael Brown should be immediately fired but knowing Bush he will probably get a medal.
      •  They already had enough buses in the area (none)
        Think School Buses.

        I believe they already had enough buses in the area to have evacuated many thousands of N.O. residents who wanted to leave but couldn't -- had the officials thought through the possibilities. And after the tragedy struck, thousands of school buses could have been convoyed into the area from unaffected areas of LA and the surrounding states of Texas and Arkansas - if they were really serious about saving lives. (Same goes for the Gulf Coast residents in MS and AL who were unable to leave.)

        So transportation should not have been an issue. The question of where to put the refugees was the problem. And I suggest the answer should have come from the hypocrite ministers of the region -- those ministers who have thousands of churches that stand empty for most of the week. I guess it's one thing to talk about doing God's work on earth and quite another to actually get off your ass, make a tough decision and do it.

        How much would it have taken for each church to provide shelter for a couple of dozen desparate people? By sharing the burden, the burden would have been light.

        In the face of their own failure to act, I wonder what can these ministers possibly say to their congregations. Or will they just sing and amen their way through another week?  

    •  I might agree (none)
      If I were confident that the federal government had done everything it could to prepare for this emergency. Instead, I am confident that the federal government has done everything it could not to prepare for this emergency.
    •  Failure of Infrastructure (none)
      For crying out loud, we're a first world country!  We are supposedly the world's superpower! And yet we cheap out on preventative measures.  "All that could've been done" SHOULD'VE been done years ago, i.e. protect the wetlands, and shore up the levees.   And if you're talking about the emergency response, it's a global embarrassment.  

      It's a bit like if you knew that someday a big bill would be coming due, and instead of preparing you cut your savings rate, broke ties with the bank and all your allies, and instead gambled what little nest egg you had.  What do you know, that big bill arrives, and you whine you had no idea it was going to come NOW. It's STUPID, that's what it is.

      And no one can claim with a straight face that we did all that could be done, or are doing so now.  

      Sturm und Drang -- poking at culture's soft underbelly since 2005.

      by magpie02141 on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:57:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wall St. Journal readers give the Govt. an F (none)
    There is an online survey on the WSJ site with the question.

    "How would you grade the federal government's handling of the hurricane so far?"

    At 9:20am EST the 5862 votes were cast with these results.

    A   7%
    B   9%
    C  10%
    D  20%
    F  54%

    This is not a random sample, it is a sample of those who are willing to pay to subscribe to the WSJ online.  It is not, by any account, a group of raving liberals.

  •  we need help (none)
    From Jackson, MS. A few personal stories that I know about directly. Remember that we are two hundred miles north of the coast. People are at the breaking point. It must be hell on earth in New Orleans.
    A friend's office in Baton Rouge closed at noon yesterday, because people are worried about robberies and lawlessness. The state capitol building is on lockdown.
    A woman from Slidell drove 150 miles to Jackson last night for supplies. She left her husband and children with nothing. She arrived with no gas or money. Strangers filled her tank and bought food for her. She headed back down south. Did I mention there's hardly any gas? Many people can't get to their families to help.
    A man in Tylertown, MS, was held at gunpoint while thieves siphoned gas from his truck.
    A man died in Laurel. His family had no place for the body. They finally found a funeral home 60 miles away.
    In small towns over the south of the state, there is no relief effort. No power, no food or water, no national guard.
  •  There should be a law... (none)
    restricting the amount of time spent on camera shots  
    of specific products being donated.  In no way should any advertiser make money off this.  Maybe I'm overeacting, but I just say a huge palet of Hugies diapers.  Surely "we appreciate" your donations, but kindly cover the labels.
  •  Convoy on I-20 . . . (none)
    So Redstate is saying that one of their own is witnessing history as they put it and saw a convoy heading to New Orleans of many many different types of trucks on I-20. Would like to see that. .  i hope its true and just not BS.
  •  Securing Oil Fields vs. New Orleans (none)
    I find it very amusing how quickly the Bush Criminals ordered the securing of the oil fields in Iraq after the invasion, yet were unable (unwilling) to mount a similar effort for their own.

    Compassionate Conservatism: Great in theory... terrible in practice.

  •  IMPEACH (none)
    Bush is a fucking asshole and needs to be impeached,  END OF STORY!
  •  UNFORGIVABLE (none)
    Could someone with the no-how make a bumper sticker with the single word "UNFORGIVABLE"? It's the best short expression of the outrage I feel that I can think of.

    But if what you do to survive / Kills the things you love -- Springsteen, Devils & Dust

    by lesliet on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:41:06 AM PDT


    "Make the truth your litmus test."

    by independentchristian on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:41:37 AM PDT

  •  I think it is clear that Bush (none)
    And his administration have never showed leadership on anything.  I have always believed that the only reason things have not completely fallen apart is that the government is too big for leaders to totally control at this point.  So when the Administration came in and wanted things to go in x direction, they kind of did.  But many aspects of government just continued on the same way, ignoring what was happening above.  However, there are certain things that require true leadership and direction from above.  This does not mean micromanagement, but leadership.  The war would be one, and this disaster relief would be another.  Clearly, both have been abject failures.

    You all have to admit, if all the crazies were not around life would have less purpose

    by genethefiend on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 06:58:09 AM PDT

  •  Where are the Democrats? (none)
    We've got Mary Landreau and Bill Clinton kissing ass all over the media. Who, besides the on-site media, is screaming about this?
  •  Proxy thugs (none)
    No matter how you describe it--as a disappearing, as a drowning in a bathtub, as a controlled demolition--they've brought our government almost to an end.

    We do not have government officials.  What we have is a gang of proxy thugs run by transnational capital.  Their snouts are so deep in slop they can't see the consequences of their crimes and being professional psychopaths they can't register the growing anger and frustration.  We have never been so vulnerable.

    It's more than getting them off our backs.  It's getting them and their vile ideology--greed, power, and the use of organized violence as a tool--out of our hearts and minds.

  •  Is there anything WE can do? (none)
    At this point, we cannot rely or depend on the "guvrrerment."  We need to think of something to DO to HELP these people.  Can we all somehow organize?  I've given money -- at this point, I feel I need to DO something as this is beyond anything I've ever seen in my lifetime.  

    The Moral Majority is neither.

    by Barbara H on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:07:16 AM PDT

  •  You nailed it Hunter (none)
    All I can say is thank god that Saddam didn't have WMD's. Given the absolute incompetence demonstrated at all levels of this administration in dealing with Katrina I shudder to think what the federal response would be to a nuclear attack by "terrorists... uhh.. I mean insurgents... no make that Islamic extremist... oh shit... I don't know what we are calling them now so let's just say evil guys" on a major US city.
  •  Bravo Hunter (none)
    Your work these past couple of days has been remarkable.
  •  Matthew 25:27 (none)
    "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."

    The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

    by jamfan on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:38:01 AM PDT

  •  I realize this thread is long but (none)
    Props to Anderson Cooper.  I used to think he was a pretty boy trying to mature from a fun loving frat boy to a gravitas saturated "Reporter".  

    He did it this week.  I've watched all of the CNN reporters on the ground going from "Wow! Look at this wind!" to "oh my fucking god, please somebody help these people." Even Aaron Brown barely contained his disgust at FEMA, Bush at all last night.

    Maybe we'll get our news network back after all.

  •  Cnn now! (none)
    Cong. Black Caucus speaking!

    If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

    by arkdem on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 07:42:34 AM PDT

  •  thank you Hunter (none)

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" -Yeats

    by jethropalerobber on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 10:27:37 AM PDT

  •  He had 8 minutes worth of talking points? (none)
     Its good to see Ted getting a shot at this clown. Utterly worthless and incompetent. He should have asked if assistance was delayed overnight for the presidential cheerleading tour.

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