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I posted a diary here at the time, but you may have missed it or forgot it, so I'll remind you:

On Thursday afternoon after Hurricane Katrina hit, House members got an e-mail that the House was convening in special session the next day to pass emergency Katrina relief. The e-mail gave a big wink and nod that we didn't really need to come, that there would only be a voice vote so no one would ever known whether we showed up or not.

It wasn't convenient, but I kind of thought it was my job to show up, and Raleigh is only 40 minutes or so flying time from Washington, so I went.

We had a quick debate and a voice vote, and then other members were allowed to speak after the vote. I wanted to express my sympathy for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, especially since many North Carolinians have suffered greatly from hurricanes in the last decade.

As I listened to what other members said, I changed my mind about what I was going to say. I had heard Scott McClellan say on television the day before that "now is not the time for finger pointing." And then I heard Republican after Republican say exactly the same words on the House floor, almost like they were not exercising independent judgment, but mindlessly parroting talking points prepared for them by someone else. Almost.

So when it was my turn to speak, this is what I said:

"...Mr. Speaker, I share the anger of many Americans at how shamefully inadequate our government's response has been. Tens of thousands of Americans are living outside the walls of civilization. They are without food, they are without water to drink, they are without medicine or medical care, they are without effective shelter, they are without the protection against violence that law provides.

"The failures that led to that are not the failures of the last four days; but of the last four years.

"There have been repeated warnings that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were vulnerable to precisely what has occurred and yet our government was stunningly unprepared."

I then rattled off all the members who had just said "now is not the time for finger pointing." No, finger pointing would be partisanship in the face of a national tragedy. How distasteful.

I've never been one to flinch at the charge of partisanship, so I raised the distasteful subject:

"...Mr. Speaker, there has to come a time for accountability. If there is not accountability for the stunning failures that we have seen in our government's response to this hurricane, we will fail again and again.

"I know that this administration thinks that accountability is an ephemeral thing. If there is an attempt at accountability too soon, it's finger pointing. If there is an attempt at accountability too late, then it's something you should get over. There is just a moment for accountability.

"Mr. Speaker, tell me when that moment will be. Tell me precisely when the moment will come for accountability for the failures of our response, for the failures of our planning that have led to the devastation and the hardships that we are seeing now.

"And Mr. Speaker, tell me where the line forms to ask hard questions. I yield back the balance of my time."

So where do things stand with accountability now, six months later?

I'm sure you've seen the video in the last day or two of administration officials warning President Bush in the hours before Katrina made landfall that the levees surrounding New Orleans might not hold and the consequences of a failure of the levees would be catastrophic. A story in the Washington Post this morning said that "to critics...[the video] reinforces the conclusion that the government at its highest levels failed to respond aggressively enough to the danger bearing down on New Orleans."

Well, yeah.

But the Administration was ready with its response to the video:

"...Bush advisers worry that it will reopen old wounds and complicate the President's efforts to bring together quarreling parties to focus on reconstructing the city and the region.

"'We're going back over very, very old ground," said White House spokesman Trent Duffy. "The real danger here is it threatens to unravel the good relations we've built with state and local officials.'"

Yes, it would really be distasteful partisanship to try to gain political advantage by opening old wounds. So as predicted, the moment for accountability as come and gone.

And we missed it.

My friends all say I'm insufferable when I'm right.

Originally posted to Rep Brad Miller on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 10:19 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you Rep. Miller.. you ask.. (4.00)
    .. what has become of accountability?

    It is still being parroted in the corrupted press as 'the blame game'

    Another Orwellian victory for the criminals running our beautiful land into the ground

    Thank you for any attempts yet to come to return the accountability for this grim failure, and remove the idea that it is a game.

    If you consider using for your image hosting - save $5 - use my coupon on the 'Referred by' mYYrlt9brzUDE

    by Blue in VA on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 10:23:35 AM PST

    •  To the "Blame Game" (4.00)
      I just really wanted to hear every single Democrat say as sternly as my Mother or Father would, "This is NO Game.  Real people have died as a result of total inaction and incompetence."

      I think that would have stopped that insidious little phrase pretty quickly.

      •  Absoultely. Thousands have died, over 1000 missing (4.00)
        still after 6 months.

        Hundreds of thousands are homeless, jobless, and feeling hopeless.

        Power, water and basic city services have not been restored in many areas.

        How DARE any member of my government say it is inappropriate to ask questions, investigate, and come up with solutions! That is what I am paying them for. It is their freaking job to put aside partisanship and fully investigate one of the worst tragedies on our soil.

        This is no game. It is literally about life and death. It is also what our Congress is tasked to do.

        Thank you, Rep. Miller, for doing the right thing.

        Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

        by land of the free on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:34:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I tried to ask (4.00)
          Last October, I went to a town hall meeting held by my repub rep.  My second question to him was about the federal Katrina response (there were only five other constituents there and he was already a little bit "testy" with me from my first question regarding voting reform issues).  His first words were I'm not here to play the blame game.  I didn't mean to be rude, but I kind of cut him off and said, "I'm not playing a blame game, either.  I sat and watched, horrified for days at what was happening there and I could not believe what I was seeing.  I just want to know what happened."  His reply was to the effect that "I don't know what happened.  There is going to be a bi-partisan investigation and we'll find out from that".  I also remember him saying something about the lack of state and local response.  So, while he said that he wasn't going to play the "blame game", he did manage to take a shot at the state and local response.

          "You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own set of facts." - Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) 1/25/06

          by Ellicatt on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:37:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Accountability and Blame (4.00)
            You got it right here.  There is a difference between accountability and blame.  Accountability is giving an account of what happened.  Blame is personal; it is saying what happened is someone's fault.  Fingerpointing is someone saying it is someone else's fault.  Blame is a game when people start blaming before there is a complete account of what happened.

            Partisanship is the reason we never get accountability.  It is not just that people in one party blame people in another party (ie, "someone else") for what happened. It is that, in their partisan zeal, they are so anxious to start fingerpointing that they destroy any chance we might have had of ever finding out what happened. When the fingerpointing starts, when the blame game starts, when the calls for punishment and censure start, the wagons circle.  And then we do find out what happened.  We do not have accountability.

            Because we do not find out what happened, we do not learn from the experience.  Because we do not learn from the experience, the same thing will probably happen again the next time.  And the next time.  And the next.  Partisans are not seeking accountability.  They do not want to learn what happened.  They do not want to prevent the same thing from happening next time.  They want to play the blame game.  They want to punish someone else.  Partisans are not only doomed to repeat history, unfortunately, they doom the rest of us along with them.

            Anyone who has said that this was Bush's fault, FEMA's fault, the Republicans' fault, or anybody's fault, has been playing the blame game and, because they have started playing this game before we have gotten a full account of what happened, the wagons have circled predictably, and now we will never have accountability. The day the partisans stop reacting to these tragedies with blaming and fingerpointing, the day that the only thing coming out of their mouths is We want to know what happened...that is the day we will get accountability.

            •  So you're playing it too? (4.00)
              Anyone who has said that this was Bush's fault, FEMA's fault, the Republicans' fault, or anybody's fault, has been playing the blame game and, because they have started playing this game before we have gotten a full account of what happened, the wagons have circled predictably, and now we will never have accountability.
              So the ones who are supposed to be the grown-ups in this situation have instead taken their ball and gone home, and it's all the fault of those who've "played the blame game".

              I'm not buying it. A certain Democratic president had a sign on his desk that said "The Buck Stops Here". A President who wanted to set an example for strong leadership, even after such a massive foul-up, wouldn't give a damn about the blamers and finger-pointers. He would look them all in the eye and tell them, "You're right. I blew it, and people died as a result. I can't ever express how sorry I am about this. But I'll do everything I can to make sure this never happens again, on my watch or any future President's watch".

              A President like that might actually score some votes with the voters. Too bad (for him) that this President isn't strong enough to taking that on. Too bad (for our country) that he isn't wise enough to learn from his mistakes.

              "Stay the course" isn't a plan. It isn't a principle. It's a tantrum.

              by Nowhere Man on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 08:37:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hate having to repeat myself, but: (none)
                "Blame is a game when people start blaming before there is a complete account of what happened"

                I don't need the people who said that this was Bush's fault, FEMA's fault, the Republicans' fault, or anybody's fault to give me an account of anything.  They were not involved.  Nothing happened with them.  If they want to circle wagons, fine.  They have nothing inside the circle that I need to know.

                And if you can't come up with any options for dealing with the Katrina mess besides 1) taking your ball and going home or 2) blaming people for the mess before you have an accounting of what happened, you should come over to the thread where I'm lamenting the fact that Dems don't seem to have any idears.

                As for the rest of your post...Bush is no Harry Truman, I'll give you that.  And yeah, I wish Harry were in the White House instead of GW, too.  But he isn't.  There are a whole bunch of things that were and never will be again, and other things that aren't and will never be, and things that are and will always be.  I'm going to focus on things that are and things that could be and leave poor old Harry to spin in his grave.

                •  You seem to be confusing (none)
                  (in your language, if not in your intent) the blamers and the blamed: which side are you saying is circling the wagons?

                  I didn't say that the Democrats (the "blamers", I guess you'd call them) are taking their ball and going home; I said it was the Republicans doing that. And I didn't say that we need the "blamers" to tell us what happened; that's the job of the current government. What I said is that the Administrations's response to the "blame game" is to take their ball and go home -- or as you seem to be saying, to circle the wagons -- and refuse to discuss this issue of "blame".

                  That's just plain childish. If my child breaks a lamp, and I ask him how it happened, he might naturally try to dissemble. That is, if that happened tomorrow, he might. (Or he might be honest; he's pretty mature for a 7 YO.) But if he's 18 or 22 or 55 when this happens, I'd expect him to 'fess up right away; I'd be very disappointed if he didn't.

                  If our elected officials mess up, they need to 'fess up. It should not matter whether we're pointing fingers or even pitchforks. If they blew it, they should account for it. If they had an ounce of maturity and wisdom among them, they'd realize that it's more important than their goddamn egos. It's literally a matter of life and death, because if they don't tell us what happened, and why, there's no way to stop it from happening again. And if they won't do it, it ain't our goddamn fault, it's theirs.

                  The burden -- not the blame, the burden -- is on them.

                  "Stay the course" isn't a plan. It isn't a principle. It's a tantrum.

                  by Nowhere Man on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 09:51:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, I misunderstood you (none)
                    "I didn't say that we need the "blamers" to tell us what happened"

                    I wasn't talking about what anyone needs.  I was responding to a post by someone who said that they wanted to know what happened.

                    "That's just plain childish."
                    "they need to 'fess up"
                    "they should account for it"
                    "The burden -- not the blame, the burden -- is on them"

                    I wasn't talking the maturity of the Administation, or about what they need to do or should do, or about burdens being on or not on anyone.  I was talking about the effect of blaming on the odds of finding out what happened.  

                    I contend that, if you start blaming people, they will circle the wagons, take their ball and go home, or whatever you want to call it.   And then you are not going to find out what happened.  If that is your goal, and you engage in this behavior, you will not reach your goal.

                    "It's literally a matter of life and death, because if they don't tell us what happened, and why, there's no way to stop it from happening again."

                    On this point, I certainly agree.

                    It's all a matter of what your goals are.  If you want to find out what happened, so that you can stop it from happening again, then don't blame, because that is not going to get you there...ask what happened.  If you prefer to blame, blame away.  It's your choice.

                    •  I agree that (none)
                      it's better to ask questions than to quickly place blame without knowing all the facts.

                      And I also agree that it's the nature of immature people (which, sadly, means most of us) to become defensive when fingers get pointed their way.

                      But although I think you're making some valid points, I don't think they apply well to this situation.

                      For starters, when the defensiveness results in the loss of a chance to learn from the situation, the responsibility still remains with the ones who failed, not with the ones who pointed the fingers. In other words, defensiveness is not a valid excuse, even if it is an all-too-human reaction. This is especially true when the responsible party is also in a critical leadership role.

                      And it's also been the nature of this administration to spin the questions themselves as "the blame gamne". This effectively results in any analysis of the failures, no matter how dispassionate, being quashed.

                      In the end, it's better to lay blame (thus keeping the discussion open, even if not amicably) than to remain a silent accomplice.

                      "Stay the course" isn't a plan. It isn't a principle. It's a tantrum.

                      by Nowhere Man on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 02:17:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Still disagree (none)
                        There are many choices other than laying blame or remaining silent. Lately I have concluded that "A failure of imagination" is the phrase that best describes modern America.  Few people can imagine anything beyond either/or, pro/anti, left/right.  Surely this must be the hallmark of a dying civilization.

                        This is a democracy. We The People are always responsible. I am responsible for Bush being elected in 2000. I am responsible for the Patriot Act. I am responsible for Iraq. I am responsible for the failed Katrina relief efforts. I am responsible for everything that has happened that I did little or nothing to prevent.  I was not worried about the levees in NOLA before Katrina hit.  I did nothing about them.  I am not only as responsible as Bush, I am more responsible, because I'm a citizen in a democracy.  

                        The primary responsibility for the behavior of my government falls on me, not its elected officials.  They are just hired hands. If they are not listening to me any more, it's because I did not speak up for so long, they began listening to others.  If they think they have the authority to do whatever the hell they want, it is because I have voted them into office and then gone back to my life for so long, they have naturally grown accustomed to my expecting them to do whatever the hell they want, as long as they don't bother me about it.  As long as nothing they do adversely affects my self-interests. I am responsible for that, not them.

                        Above all, I am responsible for my choices and actions as a citizen.  Mine, and mine alone.  What anyone else does is their responsibility. It is not my responsibility to rail at them about it or point fingers at them.  This is not holding anyone accountable for anything, it is just railing and pointing fingers.  It is throwing stones in a glass house that is barely standing from all the stones being thrown by citizens who don't want to accept responsibility for this sad democracy.

                •  Armando is not here, it seems, (4.00)
                  so I guess I wil have to say it:

                  Sir or Madam, that is completely idiotic. Check out the last five years and see what happens when we "wait to find out what happened".

                  "Unaffiliated" my ass.

                  Come see TV from the reality-based community at

                  by MarkInSanFran on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:13:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Damn right n/t (none)

        "So this is how liberty dies - with thunderous applause." -- Senator Amidala, "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith", 2005.

        by InsultComicDog on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:40:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  BULLSHIT - BULLSHIT - BULLSHIT !!! (3.95)
      Hold their damn feet to the fire!!!

      You know the biggest problem with Democrats? They let the Republicans box them in till they're little Rove puppets. The Republicans are smart enough to come out and say "oh - anyone who brings that up is 'against the troops' or 'playing the blame game' or 'reopening old wounds' or 'playing partisan politics'."

      Well God damn it - stop giving in to the Republicans!!! Call them on their bullshit!!!

      Attack the Republicans on their utter failure and negligence to act in the face of a foreseeable disaster that took days to move across the radar screen!

      Attack the Republicans on their use of our troops as speech props and photo-op backgrounds as they, the troops, are lied to over and over about why they had to go to Iraq and with insufficient equipment and what the situation on the ground really is!

      Attack the Republicans on why they are giving away American security and safety and well being and our Constitutional rights to multinational corporations who seek only to exploit and plunder America!

      Attack the Republicans on their vitriolic will to breach national security for political means and question why the Pentagon needs to spy on peace activists and people who have differing points of view in the manner of a dictatorship!

      Don't buy in to their "ah, now you had to go and say that" framing! Stand up for what's right. Get other Democrats on board, and soon enough, you'll box the Republicans up in their own lies, rather than the Republicans constantly placing a pillow of labels over the Democrats mouths and smothering our dissent until we suffocate to silence!

      I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

      by Reality Bites Back on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:06:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  why you yelling at my post? (4.00)

        If you consider using for your image hosting - save $5 - use my coupon on the 'Referred by' mYYrlt9brzUDE

        by Blue in VA on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:11:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry Blue (4.00)
          Didn't mean that directed at your post. I accidentally hit reply and started typing.

          In fact, I completely AGREE with your post and am giving it a 4!

          This Orwellian bullshit and manipulation of the 'corrupted press' has got to stop!

          And Democrats have to start getting the spine to ignore all these 'blame game' labels intended to shut them up, and come back fighting even harder - and smarter.

          I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

          by Reality Bites Back on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:26:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Shitbull shitbull shitbull (4.00)
        I realized recently - you know how we (rightly, for the most part) complain that Democrats can't stand up to corrupt Republicans?

        What we're finally learning is that Republicans can't stand up to corrupt Republicans.

        This isn't as simple as the "Dems are spineless, and Repubs are malicious" meme. With Katrina, with the NSA spying, with the Dubai ports thing - we're seeing that it's the same for everybody. Nobody on either side of the fence can stand up to this stench-entrenched administration.

        Are many Repubs complicit and conniving? Sure.
        Should the Dems have stood up earlier? You bet.

        What I see now is that the Rove crowd's got everyone by the short curlies. It's not just the Dems who are impotent - it's anyone who dares, however briefly, to stand up for what's right.

        Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do. - James Harvey Robinson

        by pi1304 on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:42:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great point! (4.00)
          Rove has the Republicans on a shorter leash than the Democrats. He'll just call them up and threaten them directly. And having such a dictatorial structure to their party, similar to an organized crime syndicate, the Republicans cowardly cower in fear of their party bosses' retribution. The Democrats, however, have got to gnaw their way through the leash.

          If they would just not give in, the Republicans would realize their stupid name calling doesn't work with them and they would be forced either to moderation (whereby they actually have to face the music) or to insanity (whereby they resort to slanderous attacks). Either way, they are revealed as the incompetent criminals that they are, or the vicious criminals that they are.

          At least they would be revealed for what they are - which is the purpose of an opposition party - to hold the "majority" party accountable so they have to compromise and cannot run ramshot over the Constitution.

          I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

          by Reality Bites Back on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:28:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  don't give the republicans an excuse (4.00)
            They fall in line behind Rove because they wholeheartedly agree with this administration on just about everything. You better believe those robotic Katrina talking points were considered good strategy by most of them, and they were every bit as indifferent as Bush.  No doubt they agreed with Barbara Bush when she commented that those po' folks were doing quite well by themselves in that nice shelter, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
            •  While I agree that we need to refer to all (4.00)
              Bush policies and crimes as Republican policies and crimes, I still cannot believe that every one of these lock-step storm troopers of evil Republicanism are bad at heart. I believe that some of them would like to be able to actually do what is right for America instead of committing treason by letting multi-national corporations subjugate Americans to death. But if we can at least get those Republicans pissed off enough to start attacking their own party bosses, then we can divide them into the psycho-loyalist America-hating corporatist, fascist, fundamentalists, and all the other people who think they're somehow voting for "family values" and "conservative fiscal policy." Divided and fighting among themselves will weaken them massively, especially if they have hundreds of viscous primaries where they tear themselves to pieces.

              But yes... on the surface any government failure should not be referred to as a Bush failure, but a Republican failure, and we should accuse Republicans like McCain, Specter, Snow and others of willingly and eagerly stoking the flames of burning America - since they are.

              I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

              by Reality Bites Back on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 02:27:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Recurrent R talking point: Bush criticism (4.00)
        On Iraq: partisan sniping that helps the insurgents and dead enders;.

        On Dubai Port deal: insults our Arab friends and discourages US investment;

        On NSA domestic spying: aides the terrorists;

        On Katrina: opens old wounds and disrupts positive state and local relations (this is a new one);  

        On Plamegate: jeopardizes intelligence sources and methods and attacks the noble public servant Scooter Libby;

        On 9/11: casts aspersions on Intelligence Community;

        On Alito: slanders Italian Americans, politicizes the judiciary, and undermines judicial independence;

        On tax cuts: class warfare;

        On corporate subsidies: hurts jobs.

        Rethug spin machine in operation - always hide behind someone else

      •  Hear Hear!!!! (none)
        Well God damn it - stop giving in to the Republicans!!! Call them on their bullshit!!!

        Stand up to the bullies!!!

    •  Conyers talks about impeachment in (none)
      the context of accountability. He believes there is a moral obligation to impeach Bush - to hold him accountable for his actions just as "Joe Blow" Americans are held accountable on a daily basis.  Conyer's fear is that the Dems do not have the balls to do what is morally right and that they will run away from impeachment because it could upset their Republican light images and not be politically expedient.  With Republicans, I expect lies, crimes, and cronyism.  It is Dems that I am most angry at.  When only 9 Dems vote against the unpatriotic Patriot Act, they send a message that this party is useless.  For people like Conyers, Feingold and levin who keep fighting the fight, I can't help but wonder why they just don't abandon ship.  

      Dean speaks for me!

      by dkmich on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 04:54:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have a saying in my home.... (4.00)
    I would rather be loved than right.  But sometimes you are just plain right, as you were in your speech.  

    Thanks for the post, and as for accountability, there will be none while the republicans sit in Washington appointing cronies, and blaming Clinton for all of their failures.

    I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

    by panicbean on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 10:25:27 AM PST

    •  How odd. I would prefer the opposite. (4.00)
      ie, to be right rather than to be loved. Righteousness is its own reward. As is love, of course, but if I had to choose between one or the other (and they certainly aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, as the statement makes them), I would choose to be right.

      Why? If the prerequisite of being loved is being wrong, then I am selling out myself for someone else's adoration/respect. But, if I am right, I am true to myself and what I believe and sacrifice nothing except the devotion of others who apparently don't like the truth so much as to condition their love upon it's abdication. Thus, I see being right as the more moral, self-respecting choice.

      •  Doesn't the answer... (4.00)
        "Is it better to be right or loved" really depend upon just WHAT we want to be "right" about?  Somehow I think it matters far more to be right about things that really matter.

        Winning a card game with a kid, or backing down when you really do think Aunt Bertha's hat is awful, even letting a 3 year old wear mismatched socks--these are situations where being "right" is unimportant.  But when lives are at stake--totally different thing.

  •  2000 still missing? (4.00)
    What is being done to find these people and when does missing turn to presumed dead?

    My guess is after the November election.


    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Stay strong, Brad. (4.00)
    You may be insufferable when your right (I doubt it) but at least you're right. That is far more appealing than being insufferable when you're wrong,  a practice your colleages across the aisle have raised to an art form.

    Please continue to speak the truth and stand for integrity and responsibility and competence. America will continue dying, quite literally, until we get these principles on the agenda.

    Please consider cross-posting this at BlueNC.  We appreciated you stopping by with some State of the Union commentary. And we'd love to see more of you.



  •  Bravo! (4.00)
    I. am. sick. and. tired. of. this. administrations. lack. of. accountability.

    How many other Reps echoed your sentiments.

    I'm recommending. It makes me happy to hear there are a few elected reps. who are not just towing the line.  

  •  We Told You So... (4.00)
    is the new motto for anyone who has been awake for the last six years.

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 10:36:56 AM PST

  •  Thank you for your diary (4.00)
    and for your service. IMO, we have more than an accountability gap, we have a veracity gap as well. Whenever we get close to holding someone accountable for some dispicable act they just lie and claim that it never happened. We have Bush claiming that know one anticipated the breaching of the levees while we here on the Kos were anticipating that very thing. Up is down, black is white, and lies are truthiness.

     I watch CSPAN sometimes, when the horse manure gets too thick I just have to turn it off, I don't know how you can keep your sanity.

    •  You think I've kept my sanity? (4.00)
      •  Sounded pretty sane to me (4.00)
        Maybe like me, you have moments of "conditional sanity" followed by long stretches of what I euphemistically refer to as "normality". :)
      •  It must be (none)
        incredibly difficult to be an elected offical and yet feel so powerless.

        Please, please, keep going. We need you and your voice desperately.

        If things get too bad, use my signature line!

      •  Brave soul. "very, very old ground" (none)
        has me spitting nails and tearing my hair out, I can not begin to imagine what it did/does to you.

        Very, very old beautiful ground was desecrated and is left to rot while it still holds the untended graves of the dead, who cry out for the return of their living children.

        I guess horror and sanity and fury have to learn to live together in times like these, but it is no mean feat.  

        Brave souls, keep braving...

        "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order" Carl Jung

        by Unduna on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:32:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who are you... (4.00)
    ...and how did you become so articulate?

    Brilliant.  Just brilliant.

    Some things are not for sale. Send the Republicans home in 2006.

    by The Termite on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 10:47:06 AM PST

  •  May I please adopt you (4.00)
    as my Representative? If I ever get a Representative of my own, I hope he or she speaks the hard truth, as you have.
  •  Thank you, Rep Miller... (4.00)
    for posting here.

    I was watching CSPAN the night you made those remarks and I felt proud to have at least one Representative from my home state express real concern not just for the victims, but for the establishment that victimized them.

    Too many of your colleagues have neglected their duty of oversight and even when one or two summon the courage to ask a question, they quickly drop the issue if pressed by the White House.

    We need more Representatives like you who are in Congress to serve the people, not the administration or their party.

    Thank you for all you do.

    We are the people we are looking for.

    by working for change on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 10:49:26 AM PST

  •  I don't even know you but I love you. (4.00)
    Your words poignantly convey what we've all seen with our own eyes.  You managed to hit the nail directly on the head.  

    Just when will accountability happen?

    Please keep pulling back the curtain.

  •  Right is right (4.00)
    No need to apologize for that.
    What's insufferable is Bush and his maladministration.

    Tnank you for your hard work.

  •  Thank you Congressman. (4.00)
    The FedEx guy came so I had to cut out of my earlier comment.  I appreciate so much the fact that you made it to the debate and that you listened to and thought about what the opposition was saying and adjusted appropriately.  I feel like our party does that so rarely.  

    Thanks for not being bullied into holding your toungue.

  •  You Rock! (none)
    Damm, why do I have Doolittle?  Arghhhh!

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -Governor George W Bush (R-TX)

    by espresso on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 10:59:12 AM PST

  •  Can you send your speeches and talking points (4.00)
    to Rep. Jim Cooper (Dino)- TN. For some reason he keeps getting a copy of the Republican talking points and forgets that he is a Democrat. Oh yeah, be sure and kick him in the pants before another 'labor' type vote comes up.

    (Walks off shaking my head and muttering to myself that I knew my husband should have taken that job in NC instead of the job in TN....or maybe we should have just stayed in Ft. Lauderdale where Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would be my Rep. Either place and I would have had a REAL Democrat representing me.......)

    •  Amen to that, sister! (none)
      I sent Cooper an e-mail after his CAFTA vote and very politely asked him to explain his support for the measure.  Did he reply?  Of course not, the Benedict Arnold . . .

      "The palace is not safe when the cottage is not happy." -Benjamin Disraeli

      by meg on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:55:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey Girl! (none)
        Good to see you around these parts again! Email me sometime, I have a Nashville DKos group ready for another meet-up.
        •  Good to be back! (none)
          And thrilled to hear that you organized a Nashville dKos group! I need to get involved in something or I will lose my mind, so count me in. I have lost your e-mail address but I have your phone number. I'll give you a shout tomorrow.

          "The palace is not safe when the cottage is not happy." -Benjamin Disraeli

          by meg on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 01:19:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Let America be America Again" (4.00)
    Representative Miller,

    Your message reminded me of a poem by Langston Hughes.  To me, this poem is not only a reminder of our American history, but also a reminder that those who would roll back the progressive reforms of the last 60 years should be careful what they wish for.

    Let America Be America Again      
    by Langston Hughes

    Let America be America again.
    Let it be the dream it used to be.
    Let it be the pioneer on the plain
    Seeking a home where he himself is free.

    (America never was America to me.)

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
    Let it be that great strong land of love
    Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
    That any man be crushed by one above.

    (It never was America to me.)

    O, let my land be a land where Liberty
    Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
    But opportunity is real, and life is free,
    Equality is in the air we breathe.

    (There's never been equality for me,
    Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")


    I will not include the entire poem, since I do not have permission from the copyright owner (the Estate of Langston Hughes).  But I will quote another portion of the poem that's near the end:

    O, let America be America again--
    The land that never has been yet--
    And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
    The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--

    Who made America,
    Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
    Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
    Must bring back our mighty dream again.

    You can read the entire text of this poem here

    I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

    by homeland observer on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:02:48 AM PST

    •  That homeland thing has been bugging me.. (4.00)
      When exactly did that start? Homelands to this born in the sticks citizen used to come from

      And it's always been uncomfortably close to a 'fatherland'

      If you consider using for your image hosting - save $5 - use my coupon on the 'Referred by' mYYrlt9brzUDE

      by Blue in VA on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:04:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  'used to be where people come from' (none)

        If you consider using for your image hosting - save $5 - use my coupon on the 'Referred by' mYYrlt9brzUDE

        by Blue in VA on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:05:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  homeland (none)
        Langston Hughes put quotes around the phrase "homeland of the free."  I'm not sure why he did that.  At one time, I thought he used the term "homeland" as an ironic allusion to South Africa.  However, I believe the poem was published before the "homelands" were established in South Africa.

        According to the references I have consulted, the "homelands" were established in South Africa in 1958.  This involved setting up territories that black people were assigned to.  Every black person was assigned to a "homeland," whether they lived within one of the designated territories or not.  They were then given the "right" to vote within their "homeland," but not in elections for the South African goverment.  It was an interesting system, don't you think?

        I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

        by homeland observer on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:28:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Spot on (none)
        re the "homeland/fatherland" resonance. It still creeps me out every time I hear it (maybe because I'm Jewish?).

        I fantasize about the time when the fascist tide has receded and we'll be able to change it to something reassuring, rather than fear-inducing. But we've got so much other work to do before we get to the point where we can worry about correcting names.

        -8.25,-8.36 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:57:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's never too late (4.00)
     Come in Jan when we assume back the House, Once again you will have a chance to bring us Justice , and if not Justice, at least Mercy. In Jan. it will be time to bring forth the Articles of Impeachment. This should be the 1st. matter of business. As a Rep. I asked that you pledge your support for this time of accountability. I also hope you will be just as " Insufferable" then. It's never too late to provide the people Justice, if it were , there would never have been the retroactive things we have done before like saying we were sorry for the treatment of Japanese- American citizens, etc. Keep up the good work!

    -8.63 -7.28 When Bush is in your face, may the wind be at your back.

    by OneCrankyDom on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:07:25 AM PST

  •  Robots (none)
    What does Rove have on these people that makes them fear to go against the White house?  I am totally disgusted with all these ass holes that want to just put a good face on thisngs and not own up to their jerk off errors.  Not swearing people in, simply means that it is ok to lie, George has taught us that.  Sayig that we are only going to talk for 40 minutes and them we are voting is not in the best interests of the people.  these people in Congress and the Senate that act like Robots, need to be gone and I for one will work my ass off getting them gone.

    I only hope that the Democratic party doesn't fall on their asses in the meantime as they appear to be doing.  They cannot be picking and choosing who they want to run or they are as bad as the Rethugs.  They need to start listening to the people just as much as the repugnants, or they also will be gone.

    No one is listening to the people!!!  They want leaders, not robots.  You sound like someone who could take a lead but there is not enough yelling.  Clean that place up!!!  Washington DC is not only a joke at home but abroad.  You all appear to be fools.

    The shrub needs to be pulled he is terrifying

    by libbie on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:08:10 AM PST

  •  I don't like "you go!" posts (4.00)
    But I'll do one here.

    That's the best (I think) member diary I've ever seen here. Obviously personally done. Most likely for the very purpose of the diary. And just plain well-written. Excellently done.

    Now, just so this isn't a complete fan-boy comment, I want to add:

    I'm straddling a line with the "I told ya so" with so many people. In a way, I want to scream at them, "Why didn't you f***ing listen to me back in 2000? Or 2002? Or 2004?" But I suppose that isn't charitable, and it doesn't do any good in the long run.

    You, though, Congressman, in the odd reality-distortion field of GOP DC, where the truth still hasn't sunk in ... well, yelling "I told you so" isn't just an option for you. It's an obligation.

    PubliusTV: A Collaborative Media Network

    by BriVT on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:09:08 AM PST

  •  We're so proud (4.00)
    Thank you, Brad, for being such an outstanding rep.  In a state where it sometimes feels like I'm surrounded by the willfully ignorant, your wisdom and willingness to stand up and speak truth to power is truly inspiring.  

    Anyone who wants to share Brad needs to move down here to Raleigh NC. :)

    We're very lucky to have you working for us, Brad.  Keep up the good fight, and we'll keep on fighting from this end.

  •  Thank you for your service (none)
    and leadership.  

    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:14:03 AM PST

  •  The moments of accountability (none)
    that matter most will come in the elections of 2006 and 2008.

    The accumulation of Republican incompetence, indifference and deception should prompt all but the walking braindead to vote them out of power.  

  •  Time to Clean House (4.00)
    Republicans are so afraid of this weak president, even when it means that American lives on our own shores have been (Katrina) and will be (Dubai Ports) lost.  The President avoids personal responsibility to the point of  lying about what he knew and when. And rather than accept the mantle of personal responsibility that this dying presidency has shed, elected Republicans still make excuses like bad parents who are too cowardly to discipline a child out of control.

    Thanks for being insufferable.

    Support the project that believes in the best our community has to offer! Support YearlyKos

    by gina on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:18:30 AM PST

  •  Thank you! Keep asking the hard questions, and (none)
    while you're at it, please draft Articles of Impeachment.
  •  Thank you (none)
    "...Bush advisers worry that it will reopen old wounds..."

    Those wounds, despite the band aids the administration continues to apply (when tourniquets are needed), have never closed.

  •  Can someone remember to save the photo (4.00)
    of McCain cutting his birthday cake with Bush during the Katrina calamity?

    I think it might become a useful campaign commercial in 2008.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:21:03 AM PST

  •  Dear Congressman Miller (none)
    Good for you.  Democrats should keep in mind that it is impossible to effectively manage an organization (in this case, the federal government) which you do not like and for which you have no respect.  That is one of the essential problems with today's Republicans, and is one -- but only one -- of the reasons the Bush administration is so dangerously inept.
  •  Never was a moment (4.00)
    For someone to be help accuntable, they at least need to see themselves, and be seen, as help to the rule of law.

    As we now know, the law does not apply to those with e regal mindset, like Bush.

    As for the Accountability moment, it's like 7-up:
    "never had it, never will".

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:26:40 AM PST

  •  The accountability moment (4.00)
    is in November.  At least, it had better be.

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:29:30 AM PST

  •  Momentus (none)
    I remember your comments when you made them. I am glad you are insufferable when you are right. The moment may have passed, but November will be momentus! A moment for us!

    They know they screwed up, so they are using the only defense they have. Don't talk about it. So it is all the more important that YOU talk about it. Thanks for letting us be a part of it.

    A President in his own league. The Bush League!

    by Tuba Les on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:29:50 AM PST

  •  Thanks (none)
    Thanks Brad!

    I'm so glad I was able to vote for you! Keep up the good work.

  •  Duffy is ludicrous (none)
    We're going back over very, very old ground said White House spokesman Trent Duffy.

    Then why, every time there's a valid criticism of this administration, do all the talking heads bring up Bill Clinton? Talk about "old ground?!"

  •  The correct response to this is.... (none)
    ...yes, we must move forward.  But we must also make sure that those who made these errors are replaced by people who are more responsible and thorough.  It's nothing personal.  It's just good government.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:42:01 AM PST

  •  Please do not give up and imply (none)
    that "we missed it". Please do not let the Republicans box us into being 'against the troops' or 'playing the blame game' or 'reopening old wounds' or 'playing partisan politics' when we speak the truth.

    You must ignore their labels that are akin to a child's "I know you are but what am I?" name calling and call them on their lies.

    Hold the Republicans accountable for that which they deserve to be held accountable for. People are tried for crimes years after they are committed, so there's no reason to believe the crimes of Bush should be forgiven simply because they have been able to distract us for a few months. Just like someone can be charged for murder 20 years after the fact, the criminality and negligence and incompetence of the Bush administration that has directly resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans on 9/11, in Iraq, in Katrina, in the coal mines, and any person poisoned, mutilated, or crushed by removing some hard-fought regulation intended to protect the American people, are a standing testament to the nature of this administration that will not wane and that should NEVER be forgotten, dismissed, or excused!

    I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

    by Reality Bites Back on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:46:38 AM PST

  •  Please point this finger at bush for me (4.00)
    next time you see him...

    And keep asking the hard questions...thanks.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

    by darthstar on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:50:21 AM PST

  •  Thank God for Brad Miller (none)
    Well done, Congressman.  I may not be in your district, but your district starts right across the street. I figure I have two great Congressmen, you and David Price.

    To the rest of you, please note that this kind of solid, thoughtful leadership is under attack in the 13th District in North Carolina, because Vernon Robinson has filed to challenge Brad.

    Yes, THAT VERNON ROBINSON.  The "black Jesse Helms."  The man who was too far right to win the republican nomination in another district last year.  He says things like:  "Brad Miller is out of touch with the voters on EVERY issue. He voted in favor of partial-birth abortion, flag-burning, a handgun ban, higher taxes, and homosexual marriage. And he voted against protecting the Pledge of Allegiance, displaying the Ten Commandments, supporting our troops, and securing our border."

    So, you know, he's a nut, but he's a serious opponent, and he raised over $3 million for the primary in 2004.  So Brad has his work cut out for him.  Robinson is going to go nasty and negative and, more importantly, he's going to go national.  The man attracts attention like flies.

    PLEASE go to Brad's website and learn all you can about him.  This post is simply further evidence that he's one of the most thoughtful, real and dedicated Congressmen we have in Washington, and he's under attack by the worst element of the Republican Party.

    If you like what you see here, and at Brad's website, and you want to see more of it, do what I did, please, and CHIP IN.

  •  That is their MO (none)
    They realize that the average American has the attention span of a hyperactive cocker spaniel, and all they need to do is deflect criticism until the noise dies down.

    Too many important stories have simply gone away - please make sure this one doesn't!

    Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog. -- Ronnie Earle

    by John H on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 11:58:11 AM PST

  •  The moment is now, let's seize it (none)
    and thanks for the great diary.

    I can suffer you just fine if you keep on the same way.

  •  Right-not rocking the boat. (none)
    The situation is made more complex because everyone has a different viewpoint as to what happened, and how it is being handled.  Mississippi knows it is getting it's hands greased due to the connections of Lott, Barbour, and Cockran, and is keeping mum on that.  

    New Orleans did not vote for Bush, so it is significant that the people lining up (and receiving) for the pots of money are well-connected contractors.

     The real sense I get from people is this:  Katrina was a massive screw up, but if you don't play nice, you won' get a dime to recover. Gene Taylor has done everything he can for the local people, and this is a real opportunity to gain ground support for the Democratic party in Mississippi.  Jim Hood is pursuing the class action lawsuit against insurance agencies. This is not going unnoticed.  Most people  call this work a  bi-partisan effort, and people are uniting politically in the state.

    Some considerations:

    People who were sent packing were mostly the so-called "undesirables". (not my sentiments) The relocation process worked.  It cleared the coast of those people working paycheck to paycheck, those without connections, family, money, or otherwise scraping the bottom of the barrel. This has effected the demographics of the coast, and paved the way for high rises instead of neighborhoods, and shopping plazas instead of public housing. (Much public housing was demolished).  

    Now the speculators are moving in, and people who have some money are buying up land like crazy from people who can't make it.  The houses stand empty for miles and miles, and when they sell they aren't being bought by families, only speculators holding the property.  

    Any money sent from Congress need to have oversite.  The smell of corruption is in the air, and everyone knows that the Federal money is being squandered while people still can't go home.  This is still being mishandled, and it is sickening.

    I live here, I am rebuilding, but every day I have to ask myself and my family whether to stick it out, or will they win?  

  •  Voting Machine Reform (none)
    we can't hold people accountable if we the people we elect aren't given the offices they have won.

    Frames not Names!!!!

    by bikko100 on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:05:42 PM PST

  •  Thank you, plus a suggestion (none)
    Thanks so much for this update.  Knowing that we have good Democratic House Reps pulling for these key issues is inspiring.

    OK, now my suggestion:  The word 'accountability' is not good for public debate.  It is just too bureaucratic sounding, too formal.  We hold people 'accountable' in legal proceedings.  What we want is to engage the emotions of the American public.  The Democrats in Congress have been pushing 'accountability,' now, for months--and it is not being picked up by the public.   Not once in any conversation that I have with ordinary people have I heard someone say that word.  

    My suggestions is that Democrats in Congress try to come up with a better way to say what they mean when they use that word.  Something of the order, 'Pay for what they did' or 'answer to those who died.'

    Something...anything but 'accountability.'   We who are not in Congress need to hear our Democratic representatives speaking the same language that we speak--not the talk of a bureaucrats.  

    Thank you again for the diary, and for considering this suggestion.

    •  What about responsible? (4.00)
      I actually like and use the word accountable alot, but maybe others don't.  The phrases "pay for what they did" and "answer to those who died", sound very vengeful to me.  Certainly something that is there for the tapping in the American populace, but not an emotion I support tapping.  That very thing helped get us into this mess in Iraq.  

      An alternative is some version of the phrase, "hold them responsible for their actions".  Responsible is a word that pretty much everyone should be familiar with, and it is evocative of maturity, fairness, and justice.  Just a thought.

    •  ok, but you have to pick a different term/phrase (none)
      that is also going to engage those who don't want to believe the government intentionally killed people/let them die.

      Someone has to be accountable, or at least responsible, for letting Americans down. "Responsibility" is the word I like. I expect my government to do everything it can before and after such a predictable disaster to help its citizens. It was truly irresponsible for the government to stand by and try to figure out what to do for days, weeks, now months (and likely years) while people died, while they continue to suffer.

      I expect more from America.

      Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

      by land of the free on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:25:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point.. (none)
      .. in light of the times, a day of Reckoning might be in order.. for reasons which - although 'dead issues' to the criminals - still haunt many of the living

      Damn those who would squander our bravest

      If you consider using for your image hosting - save $5 - use my coupon on the 'Referred by' mYYrlt9brzUDE

      by Blue in VA on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 01:13:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  moment of truth? (none)
      How about "moment of truth" rather than "accountability moment"?  To me this phrase refers more to the spirit of justice and the letter of law.    It also allows more rhetorical variation:  When will truth be allowed it's moment?  When is it time for a moment of truth -- if not now, when?

      I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

      by homeland observer on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 02:57:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Overwhelm them with your Rightness! (none)
    Yes, remind them that mistakes will be repeated if they are not addressed... hurricane season starts in 3 months and they need to know you are prepared to say "I told you so!!!"
  •  Kos, Miller 4 James Lee Witt Next Hurricane Season (none)
    Please the both of you, Kos and Rep. Brad Miller, ask James Lee Witt, a true expert, to speak at the yearly Kos meeting about what he recommends for this upcoming Hurricane season to improve survivability specifically. And, then of course report on it here. Lousiana hired James to help post Katrina.

    Thank you Rep. Miller and please advise the public because the upcoming hurricane season is now even scarier with this don't believe in science group in charge.

    many purple, blue, yellow and green dogs are a majority.

    by Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:26:05 PM PST

  •  The ONLY accountability (none)
    moments that really matter are the ones that happen on Tuesdays in November.
    •  I don't think the families of the dead and missing (none)
      would agree with you there.

      Yes, election days are when we can formally hold them accountable for their misdeads. However, we can demand accountablility every day of the week. We can demand that they act in a responsible matter, that they do their jobs, that they make sure they do the work so tragedies like this don't happen again.

      Hurricane season is only a few months away. Meanwhile, many families cannot find their loved ones.

      Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

      by land of the free on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:53:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The buck never stops here (none)
    with this administration. Accountability is just more collateral damage in the war on terror along with prudent government. We could not have avoided this disaster, but we could have been prepared to respond to it much better than we did. But August is the President's vacation month and he does have his life to live.

    The priorities of this administration have always been questionable along with its abilities to govern. More effort goes into finding legal loopholes that allow prisoner abuse and illegal wiretapping to continue than to preparing for and responding to a natural disaster, devising a national medical health insurance program, providing adequate benefits for our veterans, reducing the national debt, and a host of other important duties of government. This administration has been allowed to shirk its responsibilities under the guise of fighting terrorists. Yet they still have not fully implemented the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

    The video clearly indicates that almost no effort was made by the White Houese to address the impending disaster in New Orleans. When you consider the amount of effort went into building a case for invading Iraq, for circumventing the Geneva Convention rules for prisoner treatment, for attempting to discredit Joseph Wilson's findings on the Niger yellowcake, the feeble response to the Katrina disaster is an unforgiveable, criminal act.

  •  When is it OK to look for who is at blame? (none)
    We were told that during the crisis was not a time for finger-pointing--OK, we can all understand that, though many of use thought the level of incompetence shown and the fact that people's lives were in danger warrented some on the spot management changes.

    So was waited. We watched people suffer and die, we continue to watch mismanagement to this day.

    Now they tell us, it's over, this is not the time for finger-pointing, but for healing wounds? No! This is not the for finger-pointing, there is never a time for finger-pointing. This is time for evalutating what went wrong and who, if anyone was not effective in their job. This is a time to learn from mistakes and replace people who can not do the job that needs to be done.

    There is never a time for finger-pointing, they have that right, but there has to be a time for evaluation. They just know they did a terrible job and saddly, we know they will do a terrible job again.

  •  This needs repeating (none)
    We have good Democrats, they just don't get enough play.  I believe you're my three sisters' Representative, sir, and I couldn't be more pleased.

    Americans are held accountable for our debt, our performance at work, our driving records, etc.  Voters should respond well to the issue of accountability in governance.  Sock it to em, sir.

    Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

    by soyinkafan on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:53:46 PM PST

  •  Partisanship (none)
    Instead of making it an attack on the Republicans, attack what they did.

    Attack how they did it.

    Make suggestions about what should be done better or differently next time.

    Part of that discussion can fairly include how so many of them were discouraging 'finger pointing' because seemingly most of the finger deserved to be pointing at them while at the same time THEY were in many cases baselessly pointing fingers at local and state officials.

    If you make it 'I want accountability to be discussed because I want things done better next time (oh, and btw it will get those in trouble who did it wrong this time, but that's NOT my point in doing so)', I think that philosophy will be tougher to refute.

    I think it is quite fair to object to the Administration's attempt to bury this subject as they have done to so many other troubling aspects of their political machine.

    The White House tried that yesterday - they had a press release that claimed that the videotape did not provide damning evidence. But it did. Much of what was on that videotape was already known. Much of what the White House did was NOT fatally flawed. But in a few cases it was flawed, dangerously flawed with deadly consequences for those on the Gulf Coast, with lasting repercussions for generations to come. Bush was told that the levees might breach. He was told that the intensity of the storm could not be definitively established, nor could he be told exactly where it would hit, but he was told that given many of the expected outcomes, it would swamp New Orleans because of breached levees, yet 5 days later he said that no one could have anticipated the breach of the levees.

    He minimized the expected outcome in a clear effort to cover up the shortfalls in his administration's immediate response to the disaster.

    IF they thought that levees were gonna fail and the city was gonna flood, then they should have had a plan in place to evacuate all those people that were expected to not leave the city. They should have begun to implement this plan at noon on Saturday, when they were told that it was quite likely that Katrina was the type of storm that would do that kind of damage. No one KNEW that it would do that kind of damage, but if it did, NO local or state disaster office could handle it, and so it was FEMA's job to step up, at noon on Saturday, and begin to plan for a flooded city from which all the people needed to be evacuated.

    And they did not do that. And because by Thursday someone had pointed out that they did not do that, Bush tried the CYA move of suggesting that no one thought it would happen.

    And now we have video that proves that many people thought it would happen, and Bush was told this.

    When new evidence is shown, or evidence that was known before is widely dispersed, then new comments should always be welcomed. When the Bush Administration suggests otherwise, they should be called on that, and asked why it is improper to discuss newly uncovered evidence, or evidence that was not widely disseminated. It is NOT partisan to discuss new evidence. Trying to cover up or ignore new evidence that makes one's own party look bad IS partisanship.

    And partisanship, when trying to make things better in the future and hold those responsible for errors in the past responsible for those errors is NOT appropriate.

    ...but not your own facts.

    by slouise217 on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 01:05:12 PM PST

  •  Tar and Feather Time (none)
     Tar and feathers used metaphorically or literally for blatant corruption of those in high places that disregard common decency of law and order in a civilized society; a rational response; maybe.
     Knowledge of destruction and no responsible actions by the only people who make a difference other than to pursue their political activities such as playing a guitar and eating cake while innocents drown and suffer. Reality is given to "Nero playing fiddle while Rome burns" and "Let them eat cake" while mobs ensue. Do things have to get any clearer?
  •  They actually let you speak? (none)
    On the House floor? Damn nice of 'em. How much money did you have to send to the RNC for the favor?

    A camel is a cat designed by lobbyists for the hump industry

    by bobinson on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 01:22:12 PM PST

  •  "Ukraine" 'em! (none)
    In the American Revolution, the government was so impervious to the citizenry that we had to get together and overthrow the British-industrial-military-colonial complex.

    What are our choices for change now?

    The so-called, "Global War On Terror" IS Terrorism!

    by november3rd on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 01:23:06 PM PST

  •  pointing fingers (none)
    "Pointing fingers" and "the blame game" is about diverting any responsibility away from one's self - it is never time to play those games.  It is always time to admit to (and learn from) your mistakes.  It is always time to demand that people who have made bad decisions fess up.  It is always time to fire those who are clearly incapable of success, who are willfully negligent, who are dangerously reckless.

    ...complicate the President's efforts to bring together quarreling parties to focus on reconstructing the city and the region.

    If the administration were magically given genuine compassion, courage, and intelligence by the Blue Fairy tonight - they'd begin tomorrow by accepting responsibility for these (and other) errors as failures of leadership - having taken on all the blame, they might then actually get all those competing factions to start working together... who knows? Maybe even showing some guts would convince others down the chain to admit to some of their own mistakes.

    We didn't "miss it" - "it" was never going to be there to miss!

    Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

    by mik on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 01:24:42 PM PST

  •  The Dem. Party Needs More Like You (none)
    Thank you for posting this information about your important statements on the House floor.

    I no longer live in the South, but I lived in Houston during a time when friends and relatives were devastated economically by hurricane Andrew.  The Republican majority simply doesn't get that this is about the people suffering because of the administration's incompetence (the Bush I administration was incompetent as well in its response to Andrew).  

    If only more Democrats would take a stance for the voters instead of the donors, like you have on this issue, I have no doubt that the Party would retake both house of Congress this year.  I have my doubts that the party will do so, only because I'm not seeing enough Democracts like you.

    Again, thank you.

    Democracy depends on informed activism.

    by Juan Pablo on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 01:29:28 PM PST

  •  It is time for the Blame Job. (none)
    If this administration is too inept to track the preformance of it's constituent departments and officials, then it can not be trusted to manage this country through our daily affairs much less our times of crisis.

    This is life and death.  Playing word-games and shielding cronies is the worst set of choices.

    This monstrous government machine needs a tough group of strong individuals that will take on the challenges of leadership.  Primary among those challenges is taking the risk of loosing your job if you don't perform.

    This monstrous government appears to be led by unscrupulous strategists that have managed to enrich the wealthiest class of Americans and the energy companies while depleting opportunities and hope for the rest of us.  Indivuduals that played key roles in campaign fundraising for the Cheney-Rove team are now occupying offices that require expertise in order for the jobs to be done right.  The jobs are not being done.  Americans are dying at home and abroad.  No one has the stregth of character or conviction to take responsibilty.

    This is life and death, but the priorities of the White House are always to shroud cronies from accountability by attempting to injure those seeking information.  Taking or accurately assigning reponsibility is not a priority.

    This monstrous government is represented to America and the world by a man that claims stregth by closing himself off to all opinions but his own.  That is a fundamental sign of weak character.

    This will probably get worse before it gets better.  Death of Americans or anybody else hasn't stirred any of these guys to action.  Being motivated by election isn't enough - obviously.

    This is life and death.  It isn't politics or elections or speeches or anything else.  It is just simply the choice between building a country that will survive or one that will succumb.  Our lungs are shrinking and our heart is beating meekly.

    This is life and death.

  •  I Can't Recommend This Enough! (none)
    Rhetorically (and I mean that in a positive way), this is the equivalent of Reagan's "There you go again" with Jimmy Carter.  We must define the debate.

    I'm about to go for a walk with my Dad.  The topic will be -

    "I know that this administration thinks that accountability is an ephemeral thing. If there is an attempt at accountability too soon, it's finger pointing. If there is an attempt at accountability too late, then it's something you should get over. There is just a moment for accountability."

    I love it.

  •  Punchy and succinct! But we better not miss that (none)
    accountability moment.  

    We've got mountains of incompetence, a president who sees no problem with people who don't perform their jobs (maybe cause he isn't doing his either), and not one appointee big enough to accept responsibility for the chaos, death and destruction being spread from prescription drugs to New Orleans to Iraq.  When that accountability moment comes -- it's going to be time for new management.

    Don't live in NC, but have plenty of friends down there who must be real glad you're there.

  •  Thank you Representative Miller! (none)
    We have all learned that accountability is something the Republicans avoid like the plague.  Their's is a system of blaming everyone else for thier actions while calling for everyone else to stand up to the test of personal responsiblity.

    Republican neo cons can be such pathetic creatures.

  •  Please Mr. Representative (none)
    Be my guest and keep pushing for an accountability moment.  Democrats may not be able to force one, but at least people will remember at election time that at least they never stopped trying.

    Success isn't always the measure for winning something.  Sometimes just not giving up and fighting the good fight can be enough.

  •  Heh! (none)
    Good for you, and please keep fighting the good fight.  

    Democracy is wasted on Americans.

    by lightiris on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 02:07:54 PM PST

  •  Georgie Bush never learned (none)
    about accountability from his "wonderful" Mom (rhymes with rich) and Dad.  So it is impossible for him to accept it now from the American people, all of whom he considers beneath him. Thanks for being a straight-up guy.  We need as many as we can get now, since they are so scarce in Washington.  
  •  Good work! (none)
    You're completely sufferable.  I enjoyed your blog--thanks SO MUCH for making your comments back in September.  

    Go Heels.

  •  How about ... (none)
    handing out an oversized letter "A" to each parroting Repug in the House who refuses to accept accountability.

    A la Hester Prynne, they can pin them to their chests.

    Just think of what else the "A" can stand for.

    Rep. Miller, thanks for the diary and your guts. More, more, more of both.

    Against silence. Which is slavery. - Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 03:24:31 PM PST

  •  As one of your constituents in Raleigh. . . (none)
    I'm really proud you're my representative. I've never felt that way before. Thanks so much for standing up for what's right in Washington.
  •  Keep it up (none)
    I remember that particularly satisfying outburst... Thanks for it. That's the kind of attitude we need daily in opposition to the BushCo idiocracy. Keep it up.
  •  Bush accountabily moments... (none)
    ... are like rainbows.  You can see them clearly, but they are always either behind you or ahead of you.  Bush isn't a teflon president - he's a leprechaun president, protecting his pot of gold reputation by hiding it in a rainbow where nobody can find it.
  •  Bush and his supporters sound just like... (none)
    A horrible drunk surrounded by enablers.

    I mean think about you know someone who is so under the influence of booze that his/her life is just a miserable existance? All excuses and no accountability. And all his/her family tip-toes around the elephant in the room...further enabling the behavior.

    We need this ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION in re-hab!

    Then they need to work collectively on the AA Steps where you accept responsiblity and then ask for forgiveness.

    An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. - Arab Proverb

    by Esjaydee on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 05:54:35 PM PST

  •  Summarizing the Republican Vision (none)
    Our grandchildren will work for their grandchild for free. At least those not abroad securing resources for them.
  •  just a quick pat on the back (none)
    Rep. Miller,

    Solid, solid post.  You really nailed their game.  We've got to somehow create a coalition of Reps that are prepared to stand up to it.

  •  Thank you for your courage in these evil days! (none)

    It's time to be a Democrat!

    by annefrank on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 09:55:33 PM PST

  •  So (none)
    So, what are you going to do about it?

    Listen.  Don't expect any help, whatsoever, from the Federal government. None.  It will not be forthcoming. I mean, really.  

    Any one of us can write a very compelling diary about what this administration has done (and failed to do).  That's not hard.  The hard part is, what do we do going forward?  

    We can bitch and moan, but what are we going to do about it?

  •  Thank you, Representative Miller. (none)
    One of the things we've been missing is lack of our legislators getting on their two feet and challenging the Republican talking points.

    Something that also needs emphasizing repeatedly:  what happened to the Gulf coast and especially NOLA can happen to anyone.   Tsunami on the east or west coast?  The New Madrid fault or the faults in our west coast states letting loose through their length?   The volcano under Yellowstone blowing?   That could effect past Chicago and the same in other directions.  More hurricanes   maybe Cat.5+ slamming ashore on the east coast or maybe around Houston?   or the rest of the Gulf coast again?   Though that might take care of some of the cleanup  that hasn't been done yet.  Dustbowl?

    This is us.  If it can happen to anyone else's home town it can happen to our home towns.   Will they care if my part of the country is razed by tornadoes that destroy the infrastructure for hundreds of miles?  Couldn't happen?   yarite   And global warming is a myth and changes in weather patterns due to it are also myths.

    Its my family and yours at risk if this kind of behavior is allowed to continue or just shoved off so we won't play the "blame game".

    Pogo?  "We have met the enemy and it is us."  We have met the disaster and it is ours.

    Being liberal means one is for civil liberties, equality, social justice, fairness. ... How can someone be too liberal? Dr. P.Z. Myers

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:08:22 AM PST

  •  Speaking of accountability (none)
    Rep Miller, I sincerely hope that you and other likeminded representatives hold these criminals all accountable when you take the House majority back in November.

    -7.38, -5.74 This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone.

    by DisNoir36 on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 06:06:54 AM PST

  •  Rep. Miller, thank you (none)
    I must admit I wasn't familiar with you or your work before reading this post, but my heartfelt thanks for your service. Not only does it sound like you talk the talk in the halls of power, but you also sound very down-to-earth in your responses on the comment thread.

    We need to get you some more allies - will be working hard on that this year. There's someone running in my CD (open seat!) who sounds just like you, and I'll be helping to send him down there.

    -8.25,-8.36 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 08:03:29 AM PST

  •  And - I almost forgot - (none)
    always stay as insufferable as you are! ;^)

    -8.25,-8.36 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 08:04:33 AM PST

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