Saturday, September 03, 2005

 

Some Thoughts on Katrina and its Aftermath

-Watching Fox and CNN gives completely different perspectives. (Natch) I watched Soledad O'Brien dress down the head of FEMA, Michael Brown. It was a rant. By the end, I thought she was possessed by Kayne West. Shep Smith had his own moment of on-air anger frustrated with the speed of the relief efforts.

-New Orleans as metaphor for Iraq. I think most people have the same frustration with the Bush administration'ss light touch and inability to communicate their message. I know I wanted to see lawlessness stopped but I didn't want anyone shot for trying to get food and water or even clothes for that matter. I would have loved to have seen the preparations that were being made and the progress relief aid and National Guardsmen were making to the disaster area. I think it greatly helps someone's state of mind to know when they can expect relief. However, I don't want to hinder the process of relief by putting reporters in the mix. Nor do I think we need to scrutinize the efforts of FEMA down to the individual level when they are preparing a response.

-We are starting to hear about all the steps that could have been taken to prevent all those people being trapped in New Orleans. Could the Mayor and Governor done more, yes. So why was Mayor Nagin on radio swearing like a sailor? Hmmmm, guilt?

-I watched Real Time with Bill Maher this week. His panel was Michael Eric Dyson, Bradley Whitford and Mary Francis Berry. Maher started the discussion by pointing out that there was no one on the panel with a conservative perspective but that was alright because he was so angry with the Bush administration because of the mishandling of the disaster relief. Then the most vile Bush bashing I have heard in a while began. I thought I was watching a thread from Democratic Underground being read aloud. Berry was compelled at one point to say the local authorities held some responsibility for what happened. You know things are getting a little loony when Mary Francis Berry is the voice of conservatism. Maher thinks that the mishandling of the relief efforts will be Bush's Waterloo. I think he will come out of this looking pretty good. (See below)

-Former Congressman from Louisianna, Bob Livingston was just on Fox saying that New Orleans would be rebuilt. The more I thing about it the more I am sure that it will never be the same city and that it good. I heard Mayor Nagin talking about the big drug problem within New Orleans. He said that the situation on the ground is extremely dangerous because the addicts were running around trying to get a fix. They were breaking into drug stores looking for something to take the edge off.

-Livingston said that we would rebuild Miami or any other other city after a disaster. I can't help but think New Orleans is incredibly vulnerable to a terrorist attack. A few well placed bombs and you could take out the city, again. I am sure that New Orleans will be drained and that the French Quarter, Superdome and business areas will be functional but vast areas of poor residential homes will be abandoned and eventually bulldozed.

-After more thought I am sure it is in Bush's character not to want to brag or criticize others in a crisis. That is why we don't see a Republican Begala or Carville running out to a talkshow to assassinate the character of Mayor Nagin. There are Republicans who look into Nagin's culpability but it is a more decentrallized effort. Like Buckhead who broke the fake but real Bush National Guard papers. I think this is why Bush's opponents keep getting bushwhacked. Those with Bush Derangement Syndrome run with any potential scandal or misstep by the President without first scrutinizing the truth of the charges. Bush or his surrogates do not respond and this encourages the critics to take it further. From the 2000 election to the looted museum to the Plame affair to the missing WMDs, the left assumes the worst and cries foul and usually looks foolish. Bush keeps his mouth shut (and a tight rein on leaks) and he comes out looking like his opponents are nuts. So I can hardly blame him for keeping his mouth shut when it comes to the current round of charges. Still, there is a price to this policy. I know Bush's supporters get frustrated by this lack of concern for public relations. Also, I can't help but think the left is getting more shrill because of their lack of success. Some thoughtful members of the left have said that they must change their rhetoric. However, the usually response has been exactly what Bill Maher's panel said. In a nutshell, it is time for the Democrats to grow a pair.

-If anybody knows where I can find the Kanye West rant video, let me know. I have only seen clips and I especially want to see the part where West says that Bush does not care about black people. The look on Michael Myer's face is of total shock.

DIEGO:

the federal plan advises state and local emergency managers not to expect federal aid for 72 to 96 hours, and base their own preparedness efforts on the need to be self-sufficient for at least that period. (Wash Post via Instapundit)

Louisiana disaster plan, pg 13, para 5 , dated 01/00: 'The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating'... ( from Drudge, see photo of some of the 255+ unused buses here - no one has yet claimed they were inoperable).

From NOLA: Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

Bush needs to carefully defend himself on this issue. Some Democrats and the MSM will try to damage him politically. He should not resort to finger pointing but he cannot allow the current rhetoric being spewed forth to go unchallenged. Let the people of NO say whatever they like, they are suffering and will say things in frustration that are understandable given their situation. But politicians and the like should not be allowed to rant without consequence.
(all emphasis mine)

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