The legitimate complaints against Bush regarding the response to Hurricane Katrina

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. The point is politics.

    If the constant attacks on Clinton during his second term, when the republicans knew that they did not have the votes in the Senate to impeach him taught us anything, it was that influencing public perception to even the slightest degree can have a monumental impact on the next set of elections.

    Had the republicans simply not tried to fight a battle they could not have possible won, i.e. to remove Clinton from office.....had they kept their mouth shut and not generated such negativity toward Clinton, Gore would have been president in 2000.

    This is politics, and the seeds planted now reap rewards in the future.

    #21     Sep 3, 2005
  2. ush: "This Is Your President Speaking"

    What Should Have Been

    by James Boyne

    Bush: “This Is Your President Speaking”
    (What Should Have Been)

    By James Boyne

    This is your President speaking: Katrina is on the way. It will hit the Gulf Coast in two days. I’m canceling my vacation and all other business and flying back to the White House. I’ve called Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condolezza Rice off from their hiding places and told them to man their posts.

    This is your President speaking: Katrina has hit. I’ve ordered the entire military to converge on the Southeast US and prepare for the evacuation of ½ million people.

    This is your President speaking: The levee has been breeched and the situation is much worse than anticipated. Every helicopter, every army bus (and we have 10,000 available), every cargo plane, and every other piece of rescue equipment has been ordered to locations in the Southeast to standby for immediate use. General Schwarzkopf, General Tommy Franks and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff will be cocoordinating the rescue efforts.

    This is your President speaking: I’ve ordered all commercial planes from Delta, US Airways, American and other airlines (airlines that the US taxpayers have footed their bill for their continually bankruptcies) to maintain all planes that are in the Southeast US to stay their for immediate Federal use in the evacuation. The CEO’s of those airlines will all meet and provide all services requested by the President or my Cabinet members or the military. Disruptions in all domestic flights can be minimized if the cooperation of the CEO’s.

    This is your President speaking: Day two: All buses operated by Greyhound and other buses will now be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and the US military for use in the evacuation. All buses available from anyone are urged to converge at a staging point just west of New Orleans for ample gas will be available that is being commandeered from Exxon, Mobil, Shell, etc.

    This is your President speaking: I am announcing what is called a “price delay”. All gas prices for gas can only reflect the situation and market demands that were in effect two months ago. I am rescinding the $15 billion Energy Bill that was basically just a tax gift to Exxon, Mobil, Shell, Citgo, etc.

    This is your President speaking: 50,000 Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force personnel are being sent to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to help with security and evacuation. Haliburton will NOT be part of any private enterprise contracts.

    This is your President speaking: I have authorized the immediate cash give-out of $100 to all residents from New Orleans for their immediate use in their most immediate attempts to survive. It will be handed out by US soldiers on the streets to the crowds of people. The purpose is to just get some immediate cash in the pockets of the people. Much more help is on the way.

    This is your President speaking: Bottled water and sandwiches are being rushed to New Orleans by every available means right now----by helicopter, by ship, by plane, by bus and by donkey cart. We used donkey carts and horseback transportation in Afghanistan. We can use it here. I’ve ordered AirForce I and my helicopter to be made available in this relief effort. AirForce I is being loaded right now with bottled water and food for New Orleans. On the trip back it will pick up as many evacuees as possible and transport them to my ranch in Crawford where temporary housing will be set up on part of my 1600 acres. I encourage all Americans who can take in homeless people to do so on a temporary basis until we can get more permanent housing ready.

    This is your President speaking: New Orleans and the devastated areas will be rebuilt. Homes will be reconstructed, fast. I have asked President Jimmy Carter to coordinate the most massive rebuilding effort the nation has ever undertook with the ideas from Habitat for Humanity and with Federal money and assistance we will make New Orleans home once again to the millions that have been devastated.

    This is your President speaking: I’ve just announced that I will rescind the Bankruptcy Reform Bill. Many tens of thousands will be declaring bankruptcy. The Bill which I originally signed which takes affect this October, I admit was just a gift to the credit card, financial services and banking industry. It was designed to kick people when they are down. That’s not right. So the Bankruptcy Reform Bill is being rescinded. It was a bad bill.
    #22     Sep 3, 2005
  3. Continued:

    This is your President speaking: I’m and rescinding any and all future tax cuts. The $350 billion tax cut for the wealthy was not a good idea. We could use that money now. I encourage all wealthy people, possibly people who make over $200,000 a year, to send as much cash as possible to the relief effort.

    This is your President speaking: I’ve ordered all National Guard locations that for the most part are empty most of every month to open up their doors to take in refugees.

    This is your President speaking: Estimated destruction for Katrina may be over $100 billion. That sounds like a lot of money. But I’ve already spend over $300 billion in Iraq and I have nothing to show for it. I guess I made a slight error in judgment. So, signal or no signal, I am pulling the troops out of Iraq.

    If the Iraqis aren’t ready to march to the beat of Freedom and Democracy now, they never will be. We’ll continue to help them but at a much, much reduced level. I am diverting the money to the Southeast where people will be given, not loans, but cash payments for their property that was destroyed. I have introduced a bill in Congress that will make it mandatory for insurance companies to insure all people in need of flood insurance at a price that is affordable. If the insurance companies refuse to work with me, I’ll work out the details for them. For decades, they’ve been making a fortune off the backs of the American people anyway. We have to get real.

    This is your President speaking: I’ve announced a plan for Universal Health Care for all citizens of New Orleans as a pilot program for Universal Health Care for all Americans. Prescription drugs that can save lives and that can stave off chronic diseases, illnesses, and injuries will be available for free to all that require them. Drug companies will be reimbursed by the Federal Government to provide them with a reasonable profit, and no more. It’s a matter of national security to have healthy Americans. If the drug companies don’t like it, they can go to hell and get into the business of making potato chips or something else.

    This is your President speaking: We certainly need prayers. But what do prayers and God have to do with raising oodles of money to build mega churches. Any church that can afford to buy an entire stadium and spend $95 million to renovate it-----well, there’s something askew there. So I am calling on all churches to distribute their donations back to the people for food, clothing, medical help, utilities, and education. I am sure God will still accept us in Heaven even if we don’t build huge, multi-million dollar monuments to Him. Let’s back to reality.

    This is your President speaking: After this disaster has been resolved I will be asking my entire Administration and Cabinet to offer me there resignations and I will be choosing a new team to get America moving again. “We haven’t turned any corner and aren’t near any corner to even turn”. “Small businesses will never be able to ban together to get cheap health insurance. That’s a crock of shit.” “The economy isn’t strong, it’s teetering on the edge. I’ve spent way to much money”. “The tax cut for the wealthy was a big mistake. It accomplished nothing and didn’t create a single job.”

    This is your President speaking: Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela have offered to send help to the hurricane victims. That’s great. We can use all the help we can get and it will be much appreciated. Castro has offered to send 1600 doctors and medical personnel as well as medical supplies. We sure can use that kind of help. I hope I can return the favor to Cuba when they experience their next hurricane.

    Mr. Chavez has offered to sell some oil at a reasonable price----a price much more reasonable than we can get from other sources. We’ll take it. And thanks to all who have offered help

    -----------While I’m at it, I think I’ll end that ridiculous 45 year embargo against the island of Cuba. How absurd. What does it accomplish other than adding misery to one of our neighbors. The embargo is hereby ended by Presidential decree. I’ll sign it into law today. The people of Cuba and all Americans can now freely travel to that nation to visit relatives, to vacation, and to conduct business. Thanks Fidel. We’ll work out the details in the coming months.

    This is you President speaking: Lastly, I’m concerned about the pets---family pets. Pets, dogs and cats, are part of people’s families. They should not be abandoned. I’ve instructed all rescue personnel to evacuate pets with their owners. I am arranging the ASPCA to arrange for special facilities for pets where they can be cared for if separated from their families. I have instructed special relief supplies of pet food, fresh water, leashes, pet cages, muzzles, pet mediations, and hundreds of veterinarians in order to help the many dogs, cats and other animals that are suffering, that are homeless and that are in distress. A registry of lost pets is being set up so people can find pets that are lost.

    “This is hardly the ownership society. If I don’t get unemployment and gas prices under control it’s going to be the foreclosure and bankruptcy society soon.”

    “I tried to stay the course on the fight against terrorism but it’s proved to be the wrong course so I am going to change course.” “The troops will be coming home soon. That’s the signal.”

    We can do it together. May God bless ‘merica.

    James Boyne
    #23     Sep 3, 2005
  4. Mvic


    When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities- Hume

    Like that of appointing a total fuck up like Brown to a position where he would potentially be responsible for thousands of peoples lives in a disaster situation, and then praising him for a job well done while people are still dying because of his massive failure to do his job.
    #24     Sep 3, 2005
  5. Im kinda glad that actually wasnt a serpents tongue, sticking out of dubyas mouth in that photo of him playing guitar.
    It might have well have been though.
    #25     Sep 4, 2005
  6. SERPENTS tongue, people!!!!
    Look at the shot!!!!!!!!
    #26     Sep 4, 2005
  7. This is ZZZzzzzzzz speaking: I am an obfuscating moral relativist idiot having a Depends moment.
    #27     Sep 4, 2005
  8. Hap, from here in ET to DC the right is out of it. This is not and will not be your finest hour. Should have been too.

    10B for the Gulf
    13.5B for Israel.

    Here's 118, 447 beds arranged already by Guess Who?.

    #28     Sep 4, 2005
  9. An Angry 'Times-Picayune' Calls for Firing of FEMA Chief and Others in Open Letter to President On Sunday

    By E&P Staff

    Published: September 04, 2005 10:40 AM ET

    NEW YORK The Times-Picayune of New Orleans on Sunday published its third print edition since the hurricane disaster struck, chronicling the arrival, finally, of some relief but also taking President Bush to task for his handling of the crisis, and calling for the firing of FEMA director Michael Brown and others.

    In an "open letter" to the president, published on page 15 of the 16-page edition, the paper said it still had grounds for "skepticism" that he would follow through on saving the city and its residents. It pointed out that while the government could not get supplies to the city numerous TV reporters, singer Harry Connick and Times-Picayune staffers managed to find a way in.

    It also cited "bald-faced" lies by Michael Brown. "Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach," the staffers pointed out. "We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry."

    Here is the text.


    We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to make it right."

    Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

    Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

    How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

    Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

    Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.

    Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.

    Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

    We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.

    Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don’t know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city’s death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.

    It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren’t they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn’t suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?

    State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

    In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

    Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

    Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job."

    That’s unbelievable.

    There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.

    We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.

    No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn’t be reached.

    Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.

    When you do, we will be the first to applaud.
    #29     Sep 4, 2005
    Despite Warnings, Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects
    To cut spending, officials gambled that the worst-case scenario would not come to be.
    By Richard A. Serrano and Nicole Gaouette
    Times Staff Writers

    September 4, 2005

    WASHINGTON — For years, Washington had been warned that doom lurked just beyond the levees. And for years, the White House and Congress had dickered over how much money to put into shoring up century-old dikes and carrying out newer flood control projects to protect the city of New Orleans.

    As recently as three months ago, the alarms were sounding — and being brushed aside.

    In late May, the New Orleans district of the Army Corps of Engineers formally notified Washington that hurricane storm surges could knock out two of the big pumping stations that must operate night and day even under normal conditions to keep the city dry.

    Also, the Corps said, several levees had settled and would soon need to be raised. And it reminded Washington that an ambitious flood-control study proposed four years before remained just that — a written proposal never put into action for lack of funding.

    What a powerful hurricane could do to New Orleans and the area's critical transportation, energy and petrochemical facilities had been well understood. So now, nearly a week into the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, hard questions are being raised about Washington officials who crossed their fingers and counted on luck once too often. The reasons the city's defenses were not strengthened enough to handle such a storm are deeply rooted in the politics and bureaucracy of Washington.

    With the advantage of hindsight, the miscues seem even broader. Construction proposals were often underfunded or not completed. Washington officials could never agree on how much money would be needed to protect New Orleans. And there hung in the air a false sense of security that a storm like Katrina was a long shot anyway.

    As a result, when the immediate crisis eases and inquiries into what went wrong begin, there is likely to be responsibility and blame enough for almost every institution in Washington, including the White House, Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers and a host of other federal agencies.

    For example, Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the Corps commander, conceded Friday that the government had known the New Orleans levees could never withstand a hurricane higher than a Category 3. Corps officials shuddered, he said, when they realized that Katrina was barreling down on the Gulf Coast with the vastly greater destructive force of a Category 5 — the strongest type of hurricane.

    Washington, he said, had rolled the dice.

    Rather than come up with the extra millions of dollars needed to make the city safer, officials believed that such a devastating storm was a small probability and that, with the level of protection that had been funded, "99.5% of the time this would work."

    Unfortunately, Strock said, "we did not address the 0.5%."

    Corps officials said the floodwaters breached at two spots: the 17th Street Canal Levee and the London Avenue Canal Levee. Connie Gillette, a Corps spokeswoman, said Saturday there never had been any plans or funds allocated to shore up those spots — another sign the government expected them to hold.

    Nevertheless, the Corps hardly was alone in failing to address what it meant to have a major metropolitan area situated mostly below sea level, sitting squarely in the middle of the Gulf Coast's Hurricane Alley.

    Many federal, state and local flood improvement officials kept asking for more dollars for more ambitious protection projects. But the White House kept scaling down those requests. And each time, although congressional leaders were more generous with funding than the White House, the House and Senate never got anywhere near to approving the amounts that experts had said was needed.

    What happened this year was typical: Local levee and flood prevention officials, along with Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), asked for $78 million in project funds. President Bush offered them less than half that — $30 million. Congress ended up authorizing $36.5 million.

    Since Bush took office in 2001, local experts and Landrieu have asked for just short of $500 million. Altogether, Bush in his yearly budgets asked for $166 million, and Congress approved about $250 million.

    These budget decisions reflect a reality in Washington: to act with an eye toward short-term political rewards instead of making long-term investments to deal with problems.

    Vincent Gawronski, an assistant professor at Birmingham Southern College in Alabama who studies the political impact of natural disasters, said the lost chances to shore up the levees were a classic example of government leaders who, although meaning well, clashed over priorities.

    "Elected politicians are in office for a limited amount of time and with a limited amount of money, and they don't really have a long-term vision for spending it," he said.

    "So you spend your pot of money where you feel you're going to get the most political support so you can get reelected. It's very difficult to think long-term. If you invest in these levees, is that going to show an immediate return or does it take away from anything else?"

    Gawronski said flood control projects do not have the appeal of other endeavors, such as cancer research and police protection. At the same time, Congress habitually approves billions of dollars for highways and bridges and other infrastructure that politically benefits individual congressmen.

    Gawronski called it inexcusable for the United States to have been "gambling so long" that the old levee system in New Orleans would hold.

    "Disasters are often low probability, high consequence events, so there's a gamble there," he said. "It's not going to happen on my watch, there's the potential it might, but I'll bet it won't."

    In the case of New Orleans and flood control, another factor was at work: the reputation of the Corps of Engineers. Over the years, many in Washington had come to regard the Corps as an out-of-control agency that championed huge projects and sometimes exaggerated need and benefits.
    #30     Sep 4, 2005