« No Child Left Behind Act Continues to Shock and Awe | Main | Bush to Refugees: Let them eat shit »

September 01, 2005

Comments

Cheryl

No matter what Bush could have done in the past, it would not have prevented what happened. Nothing would or could or can stop such a thing as mother nature, high winds, rains, storms, and ect. Granted, the levees needed to be reinforced, but no one could have predicted things were going to get this bad. Also, this is not the time to try and blame anyone for anything. 1st-it sounds really ignorant. 2nd-if it is meant to be, then it will happen no matter what is done. Bush is not to blame for the level of disaster or the storm. It happened. Mother nature did it. Only one person could have controlled what happened and that was/is God. Instead of starting trouble, why not use your time wisely to help those who need it? I know they would appreciate it. One more thing, there is nothing to be gained by blaming anything on anyone.

jack

Cheryl... go back and read the timeline before you comment.

Bush cut the New Orleans levee funding down to 20% of what was needed for the U.S. Corps to maintain them. They needed rapair and Bush refused them. They asked for FEMA grants and they were denied them.

Everyone involved knew this would happen if there was a large storm, and they warned. There was planty of warnings. If the Levees had been repaired, New Orleans would not be flooded.

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] ranks a hurricane strike on New Orleans as “among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country,” right after a terrorist attack on New York City."

Cheryl, so if FEMA tells Bush this, and he still goes ahead and cuts the New Orleans urban flood budget by 80% and sends the money to Iraq... who's fault is it that New Orleans is flooded?

James

We should have known that the first person to comment on this timeline would be defending "our glorious leader." Get a clue Cheryl and stop trying to defend your nitwit president. The man is totally inept and has bungled everything he's ever come into contact with. When is America going to wake up and realize this? How many more 9/11s and Iraqs and New Orleans type disasters have to happen before people realize that his lack of leadership coupled with bad policy making are dragging this country down to depths unheard of in the past? When are the "sheeple" going to stop defending this inept shepard?

Daniel

Nice to know he had time to get in a round of golf...

Wow

Spread the word on this link, it needs to be heard. Bush is to blame for this!

Listen Up

Listen up folks, when wickedness so infuses a city that God himself comes calling on it, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. I am guessing that when a major earthquake wipes out LA and San Fran you guys will blame a president for that as well. God is in charge if you want to blame someone, talk to him.

Dave

Yes, indeed, further proof that all evil in the world for years to come is because of one man, President Bush. Because CERTAINLY the exact levees which failed would NOT have failed if FEMA had gotten more funding.

Indeed, the Army Corps of Engineers employs psychics who knew exactly which levees would fail and so those are the exact ones which would have been fixed. Not sure why they didn't employ these psychics who knew which levees to fix prior to 2002 when they were getting full funding, but I'm sure if we dig deep enough, that problem will be traced to President Bush too.

Let me know when the next disaster happens so I can find out how President Bush is to blame for it.

Dear Listen Up...

God may have created hurricanes, but he didn't cut off all the funding for flood mitigation in Louisiana to fund his war in Iraq.

No, that would be George Bush.

The levees continually settle downward, you see, so they needed ongoing maintenance... it wasn't a matter of guessing which ones were going to fail, or "fixing" them in a previous year and they would be OK forever.

As for God being behind natural disasters, I've heard he helps those who help themselves, so we really shouldn't abdicate our own intelligence and capabilities.

trapped in superdome plz send he;lp

The problem with Bush is that it is so 1980's. landing strip and shaved are currently in. Unless of course your a hippy liberal in which case you like alot of hair and bush. Therefore liberals support bush.

WTS 1992 ford ranger, lightly flood damaged

How to remove water stains from wooden furniture:
1. Apply a small amount of non-gel toothpaste to a damp, clean, lint-free cloth.
2. Rub toothpaste over the water spot.
3. Remove film with a clean, damp cloth.
4. Dry with a clean, dry cloth.
5. Polish.

what a blatantly biased absurd waste of my time. Just like this site.

joe

you are all idiots. Even if the levees had been raised back to their original levels to adjust for the settling it would not have prevented a CAT 5 hurricane from breaching them.

Del

Bush should not have cut those levee funds. He was gambling with one of America's great cities. Im sure he regrets it now, but Im afraid I don't have much sympathy for someone thats so incompetent.

I think we have another WaterGate on our hands :-) , but with this one its real water, flood water heh.

How the hell do you know Joe? They didn't fail during the storm, they failed afterwards. Maybe just a little more oomph in the infrastructure would have stoped the breeches.

Oh, I'm sorry, you probably aren't listning to this 'cause Rush is on.

Kyle

HAHAHA trying to blame a hurricane on the president, you are a fool. Did you care this much before the hurricane hit? no...so obviously you're just looking for someone to blame.

Chill out and smoke a bowl.

Jenny

What part of this don't you understand...

Bush cut the funding for the New Orleans levee maintenance by 80 percent. He was warned repeatedly of the danger. The U.S. Army Cops of Engineers begged FEMA for 3 years for flood-mitigation grants to fix the levees, but they were denied every time.

Curt

Finding someone to blame is a lot different than exposing (and hopefully learning from) serious mistakes and errors in judgement. Sure, it is apparent that this blog hates Bush, but regardless, the questions raised are MORE THAN valid. In fact, I fail to see how forcing the Army Corps of Engineers and other workers to function on 20% of their budget (and in a recognized problem area, no less) could NOT have affected the levee system.

Doug

The Mayor and Governor did a great job getting ready for this !!! They knew for over a week that Katrina was coming and that it was going to be bad. They ordered and evacuation less than 24 HOURS before katrina hit. After the levees broke the again waited to order yet another evacuation.
YOU MORONS KNEW IT WAS COMMING AND DID NOTHING.

Why did't you mobilize the NG a week before katrina hit !!!!! Why didn't you assh@les have have 300 trucks of food and supplies ready ?? Why didn't you start evacuating 3 days before ??
If katrina didnt hit well so what,but by getting ready alot of this could have been avoided. Its not like 911 because you idiots had advanced warning. YOU SHOULD BE TOSSED OUT OF OFFICE. HOW DARE EITHER OF YOU BITCH ABOUT THE FEDS WHEN YOU LET IT HAPPEN. !!!!

The levees were built 25 years ago to withstand what we now call a category 3 hurricane, but they were just subjected to a strong category 4. The funding cuts were programmed for NEXT year, and the report recommending levee improvements came out in May. I don't see how even you could be stupid enough to believe that any amount of funding over the past three months would have made a difference. Oh, yeah, I forgot. You're a liberal. Of course you're stupid enough.

ktchong

Let's forget about the lack of funding for levee maintenance. Here is what's important:

Why has it taken so long for the adminstration to respond??

People are dying because they have no foods, no water. People are dying because the government is too incompetent and has not responded fast enough.

It shows the complete incompetence of this adminstration.

Doug,

Louisiana levee maintenance funding was systematically cut by 80% over the the past 4 years...

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] ranks a hurricane strike on New Orleans as “among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country,” right after a terrorist attack on New York City."

So, why wasn't this a priority?

"As for God being behind natural disasters, I've heard he helps those who help themselves, so we really shouldn't abdicate our own intelligence and capabilities."

Sorry to say but this is NO WHERE in the bible! Also, Democrats are the Liberals, LOL. Lastly, Obviously to think that one can take a swamp & change its whole course by putting up levees, etc. & change the natural flow of its surroundings isn't too bright.


Jenny

RE: "Obviously to think that one can take a swamp & change its whole course by putting up levees, etc. & change the natural flow of its surroundings isn't too bright."

I wonder how holland manages to do it?

Mark

Everyone blames the president, who ever is in office at the time.

The City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana should have stepped up with their own emergency funding when the federal money fell through. They are the ones to blame and I'f be setting city hall and every state building I could on fire right now if I was such a victim.

Also the people should have gotten out of there. I live in CA and I've known for years that New Orleans is a dangerious city in terms of storms. I personally would never live there because of the flood potential.

Leah

The state of Louisiana did not have the amount of money necessary for such an endeavor. In general, the far southern states are afflicted by poverty, and are routinely neglected by the federal government. States receive a large amount of their money from the federal government--even the wealthier ones. It is ironic, since Louisiana is a red state--so many of the poor Southern people cast their votes for Bush, but he merely uses them, then casts them aside.

Marc

"If the Levees had been repaired, New Orleans would not be flooded."

Really Now go back and actually read the funding proposals and what was cut. Reed what that wrok entailed.

You will soon notice ALL the work, even IF DONE would have brought the levee system up to it's designed level.

And that level is... to stop flooding up to and including a cat 3 storm.

What was Katrina? Right, a cat 4 bordering on cat 5, you all actually can think for yourselves rather than follow lemming like behind Atrios and dKos.

Well maybe not.

christie bennett

this is a horrific time for new orleans and to put blame is not the issue, nothing and i mean nothing can stop distruction. hurricans are tragic and mind blowing you can't stop them. what we need to do right now is pray and help our fellow neighbors. to fix this problem will take a life time. we need to take care of all the people in the united states first before we go helping others. we put all these people in office and now we want to blame one person stop giving him so much power. i feel that if we as citizens can start electing people that will get the job done and stop this going after people that can't stop distruction.

christie bennett

this is a horrific time for new orleans and to put blame is not the issue, nothing and i mean nothing can stop distruction. hurricans are tragic and mind blowing you can't stop them. what we need to do right now is pray and help our fellow neighbors. to fix this problem will take a life time. we need to take care of all the people in the united states first before we go helping others. we put all these people in office and now we want to blame one person stop giving him so much power. i feel that if we as citizens can start electing people that will get the job done and stop this going after people that can't stop distruction.

Damian

Hey guys remember when that other big Hurrican hit NO in 1969 and that was the worst hurrican to hit the US up until recently? Remember that? Why didn't they reengineer the levees then? You mean in over thirty years, the elected officials of NO and Louisiana couldn't figure out a way to do that?

Oh, sorry let's forget history and go for the easy kill because being partisan reactionary passes for civil political discourse in this country. Some of you people make me sick. But let's get to the bandwagon bickering....

BUSH YOU FUCKING FAGGOT!

The levees breached after the storm - as a result of weakening during it. The levees were a fraction of the condition they needed to be in, because of massive and crippling budget cuts by the administration.

They screwed up FEMA by forcing it into another organisation (DHS).

It took them nearly five days to really do anything about it - five days AFTER the hurricane hit.

The administration has displayed horrible judgement throughout the past five years. It's a pity it took NO getting destroyed for everyone to get a clear view of how much damage Bush has done to the country.

Damian - that sort of construction is largely federal responsibility. H.W. Bush and Clinton both worked on restoring the wetlands around NO (which reduces storm surge), and at least maintained the budget for flood control. W. removed the wetlands restoration in 2003 and opened the land to developers, and cut the budget for flood control by 80%. He was also the one in office for FEMA's offical warning on the situation (which also warned that a terrorist attack in NY would be devastating) in 2001.

bwah!

More Liberal Lies

1. You posted the first page of the SELA report but not the second. Could the reason be that the second page shows that the project had nothing to do with the failed levees? The project was for canals and pumps for the Mississippi side and for improvements to the other side of Lake Pontchartrain (little work on levees was involved).

2. The Corps of Engineers spokesman said the failed levees were finished and in good shape.

3. From a 2001 Scientific American Article –
. . . Len Bahr, head of the governor's Coastal Activities Office in Baton Rouge, . . . Throughout the 1990s, Bahr says with frustration, "we only received $40 million a year" from Congress, a drop compared with the bucket of need . .

4. The National Guard is jointly controlled by the President and State Governor. The Governor still had 2/3 of the Guard at her disposal. You no longer see the Democrat Governor or Mayor on television because it was obvious they were clueless. The President finally had to step in to get things done, that is why it took so long.

The trouble is Liberal Lies don’t work anymore!

Nicole Tipper

though i cannot blame Bush for the disaster as I would like to he can and should be blamed for not making it a priority to set the right people in command and have a prepardness in order. It is absolutley inhumane to put these people through what they are going through. we are the richest country in the world and we cant help our own??? COME ON!!

Conservatives can't handle the truth

Please keep updating. This is sorely needed as the media for the most part has failed in holding those responsible accountable to the thousands who died and robbed and raped waiting for help.

Can't believe people are still playing politics when people are dying

If you read your own information before you posted it, you would notice false statements like "..Louisiana was hit hardest" regarding Andrew 1992. The associated link states "Andrew caused 23 deaths in the United States and three more in the Bahamas. The hurricane caused $26.5 billion in damage in the United States, of which $1 billion occurred in Louisiana and the rest in south Florida. The vast majority of the damage in Florida was due to the winds."

A couple more items worth noting. 1.The same arguments about slow federal response were present during Andrew, and rioting broke out in several areas of south Florida. The man in charge? Our boy Bubba.
2. Anyone who has taken 8th grade civics knows that the president doesn't spend anything (outside of an emergency discretionary fund). The House of Representatives has final say on all funding bills. The White House merely submits a budget for congressional approval.

While cuts in Feb 2005 for levee improvements looks like a smoking gun, I suspect that there was not enough time to prevent this disaster. This mistake was made many years ago, when a large city was built under sea level.

Joe

Everything I read on the internet is true, the Ledge of Stupidity proves it!!!!!11oneeleven

The retired head of the Army Corp of Engineers said on TV this morning that even if President Bush had put $50 million dollars into the NO infrastructure when he entered office, that it wouldn't have made a difference. He said the plans that were put into effect in the sixties are still only about 80% complete, transcending presidents and political parties.

Another Army corp of engineers official said that budget cuts had no effect on the levee system. But they WERE hobnailed in their efforts by environmental groups. I'd like to see what comes out about what they were not allowed to do by any wetlands groups....

IMO the blame for this falls first and foremost at the feet of the mayor of NO and the governor of LA. And the main stream media and the dems aren't going to touch them with a ten-foot-pole. No sirree. Best just to blame it all on Bush.

Why didn't the mayor mobilize those hundreds of drowned school buses to get people out? That was part of his own disaster plan!! Why did Bush have to tell the governor to call for mandatory evacuation? Why couldn't those elected officials get their act together? They'll all just turn and screech at Bush, and the media will happily join in while truth is lost in the noise. But - not everybody is dumb enough to believe them.

LePoissonDeNoel

No one could've seen this coming.

Oh wait...

http://205.188.130.53/ngm/0410/feature5/index.html

An almost EXACT prediction of what happened here, and it's from October of LAST YEAR.

TheOzz

Interesting, but lacking in facts. You have no idea what the President knew and when. Even still you leave out some pretty interesting facts.

How about including when the evacuation order was given and when the hurricane actually hit? How about including a link to the evacuation plan for the city that did not even mention how to deal with a storm bigger than a CAT3? Three of the events in your timeline happened in the Clinton administration. If we are going to point fingers at Washington then why is Clinton not blamed also?

Keith

Greetings.

I flew over most of the posts. Please pardon me if this has been addressed.
Please see the official FEMA site, and find History. There you will find the following line.

1993, President Clinton nominated James L. Witt as the new FEMA director. Witt became the first agency director with experience as a state emergency manager. He initiated sweeping reforms that streamlined disaster relief and recovery operations, insisted on a new emphasis regarding preparedness and mitigation, and focused agency employees on customer service.

Early in bush's first term, He replaced J. L. Witt with a repukelian hack from His election campaign.
I suggest, as I don't doubt that the order for the new FEMA administration was to work the Norquistian agenda of selling off as much of FEMA as could me found practicable to do so, to privatization.
Work to run scenarios, and game disasters in advance I suspect was suspended, as well as planing to pre place mitigation supplies in advance of any pending situation, as any reasonable person might have thought FEMA was doing as Katrina mussed Florida's East coast.

Anastasia

Okay, this is pretty funny. People who don't even know eachother arguing over something so simple.

It's not exactly Bush's fault...it's mother nature's. But he could of helped prevent it and ya'll know that. If not prevent than make is less horrific. It's not his fault, but you know he must feel somewhat guilty.

It's impossible to get along in this world being biased about everything. Why don't some of ya'll open up your minds a bit and become understanding. We would all get along much better.

I'm 16 for Christ sakes...

Chris

Are you people serious?

It was not 5 days before the Feds responded. It's time to cut through the lies about this. First of all, the Coast Guard began pre-positioning helicopters around the Gulf coast a full three days prior to landfall. The storm passed - and imagine are collective loss of memory - the initial reaction was one of relief as "it missed us."

While city and state officials dawdled after the storm passed - when tens of thousands could still have been evacuated in city SCHOOL buses - the pressure built up on levees built to withstand the impact of Cat 3 storms.

The feds sent federal troops, federalized guard troops, Coast Guard, FEMA and additional assets within 48 hours after the levees broke (not 5 days) and it became clear the state and city had done virtually nothing to remove its own citizens or provide security.

All the lies in the media, all the whining from abroad, all the fictitious racist claims by nasty filthy racists like Al Sharpton cannot cloud reality for rational, reasonable people who recognize that the aftermath of Katrina is the result of a collective 5 minute attention span and a culture of entitlement that is eroding the thrift and drive of our nation.

"If only the Feds would take care of us." They are just racist cause they left all the black folk behind and call those thieving, raping, murdering thugs shooting at helicopters "looters." GROW UP.

Before you even consider this tripe as an excuse to make political hay, consider for a moment that the BLACK mayor of N'Oleans PAID FOR AND EVACUATED THE TOURISTS by bus - not the black residents of N'Oleans. And oh by the way - the VAST majority of residents who were successfully evacuated (either by themselves of with assistance) were black.

It was the Democratic (oh how they love black folk - despite blocking civil rights legislation for three decades) governor of Louisiana who FAILED to active the 2/3 of her guard force at home and available for duty - not in Iraq.

Just grow up. We could spend days here on this topic and it all come down to one thing - ARROGANCE. Yes they were arrogant. Even after the storm passed the Mayor had still not ordered a complete evacuation. The governor had no plan in place - and still does not. Go ahead blame it all on FEMA and the FEDs. They are not the fools who milked billions of our tax dollars over decades to divert the Mississippi - weakening the delta and allowing the buffer zone to disappear - so that they could arrogantly live under sea level at the mouth of one of the greatest rivers on the planet!

No, rather than assessing the damage and working on solutions to overcome the hit to our national economy and rebuild people's lives, we are spending 500-700 million dollars a day looking for people who, in large part, had no desire to get the hell out of Dodge when they were told to. That effort would be better-spent re-locating folks to outlaying communities and working rebuilding the city 100 miles north! Now you Bush haters who had to lie time and again last year finally will have your lies come true. There will be massive job losses and the economy is going to have a very difficult time remaining resilient. You were just a year too late. You can party in the streets and dance over our collective sorrow. Start turning on the political machinery of race baiting, lies and fantasy for the mid-term congressional elections – oh you already have….

shellare

You Bush-supporters just don't get it. Of course Bush, his administration, the government, anybody cannot be blamed for Hurricane Katrina herself.

BUSH IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE ~RESULTS~ OF HURRICANE KATRINA.

He and his government officials are to blame for
*LACK OF PREPARADNESS,
*LACK OF COMPASSION,
*LACK OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE

He holds the burden of the many deaths and injuries resulting from the hurricane and will take it to his grave. Saint Peter will NOT be greeting him.

Where is he today?

THE DEMOCRAT MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS AND THE DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA ARE ACCOUNTABLE.

WHO didn't call for mandatory evacuation until instructed by President Bush?

WHO had the power to call out the National Guard and waited too long?

WHO had the power to ask for martial law?

WHO didn't use the school busses as outlined in the emergency plans?

WHO left those busses to be uselessly flooded?

WHO didn't start the 72-hour evacuation plan until over 30 precious hours of it were lost?

WHO dithered and cried and pointed fingers insteaad of taking charge and taking responsibility?

THE LOCAL AND STATE FAILED. THIS WILL BE BURIED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BY THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA AND THE DEMS BECAUSE THEY WERE...WELL...DEMS. DEMS WHO FAILED.

Andrew R.

I voted Bush. He failed. I'm sorry.

Kahl W.

-The problem with America today is that you have a president who lacks the intelligence, committment and leadership skills to govern the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Bush would fail at every task that actually calls for the application of acumen, strength of character and innate compassion. Katrina is clear evidence of this and so is Iraq. It takes a certain kind of person to become the next Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy. Until the your vote is swayed only by the right issues I think you should all just shut up and grin while your twice democratically elected president does all he is capable of.

Lottie Van Emden

Hello,
This is just what I was looking for - a serious timeline. Very well done.
It is long by necessity, but the
timeline is comprehensive....
The blame game is not necessary -it does not help anyone. I reread this piece and realized it is your blog - ok.
Thank you.
LottiVan

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/03/AR2005090301680.html

From the Washington Post (all caps are mine) :

"Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials REJECTED THE REQUEST after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. SOME OFFICIALS IN THE STATE SUSPECTED A POLITICAL MOTIVE behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana DID NOT reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. AS OF SATURDAY, Blanco STILL HAD NOT DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY, the senior Bush official said."


Respect

You may not like what the president has done. But please don't use words that you would not want your 6 year old child to read.

family values my ass

Regarding the comment above...

The real vulgarity is the way Bush has treated the citizens of New Orleans.

I find your moral indignation vulgar as well.

John Meyer

The levies were built, maintained, and upgraded over decades. Funding was cut three years ago. Do they degrade that fast? No. Blaming the Bush administration for the breach is ludicrous. I am an engineer, and from a scientific standpoint your conclusion is completely unsupported by your own facts.

You can rightfully blame bush for the Iraq war. That was his doing. But the levees breaking? Not a chance.

If you start with hate, truth becomes lies, and the liar is consumed.

BTW, go back and compare the response to Andrew. You will find that it took far longer than this reponse, even though it was far easier to access the area (minimal flooding), and the affected area was far smaller (than MS and LA). People correctly blamed FEMA, not the president.

"WHO didn't call for mandatory evacuation until instructed by President Bush?"

Actually Bush didn't call the evacuation. The Mayor did. Bushes words were something along the lines of "I think people aught to get out" (sic).

There is failings across the board, however the president could of been a lot more proactive instead of playing a guitar and getting in a round of golf while people were dying. (Was he not briefed this was going on??).

Compare him to Clinton, who quit his holidays in advance of a *PENDING* Hurricane and pro-actively ensured evacuation orders were carried out.

"The levies were built, maintained, and upgraded over decades. Funding was cut three years ago. Do they degrade that fast? No."

As an engineer unless you were working on them your opinion means nothing.

There were qualified engineers already working on the levees. They made a budget of what they needed to maintain them and Bush administation slashed it.

Add to that those same Engineers are currently in Iraq.


" First of all, the Coast Guard began pre-positioning helicopters around the Gulf coast a full three days prior to landfall. "

So why did it take those helicopters a whole 8 days after they were positioned to rescue anyone? Please don't use the "They were shot at", they were already late.

Btw, go check out Bushes "Aid Package". It wasn't submitted and approved until September the 2nd (same day). Also read the wording. It appears 5billion of it can be redirected to non-hurricane related stuff.

http://www.enr.com/news/environment/archives/050901c.asp

Leaders of the Army Corps of Engineers say the city's flood walls were in excellent shape before the storm but weren't designed to handle a hurricane of Katrina's magnitude.

In a phone briefing Sept. 1, the Army's Chief of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, addressed some of the issues that have surfaced about Corps-built structures around New Orleans. Strock said that the project that resulted in the levees along Lake Pontchartrain was designed to protect against a 200-to-300-year storm, which equates to about a Category 3 hurricane, but Katrina was more severe.

Al Naomi, senior project manager in the Corps' New Orleans District, says, "The [project's] design was not adequate for a storm of this nature." He adds that to cover a Category 5 storm, work on storm protection improvements would have had to start 20 or 25 years ago.

The levee breaches occurred in areas that were "in excellent condition" before the storm and were inspected, said Naomi. He said there was nothing the Corps could have done involving the completed floodwalls that could have prevented the breaches.

Another question concerned the allocation of national resources during a war. The war in Iraq has not had an impact on the Corps budget, said Strock. According to his analysis, Corps funding "has been fairly stable" since the early 1990s and the Corps has spent more than $300 million since 2002 on storm protection in the New Orleans area. "We were just caught by a storm of an intensity which exceeded the design of the [flood protection] project we have in place," he said.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/09/0902_050902_katrina_levees.html

FROM THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ARTICLE:

***Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, chief of engineers for the Corps, dismissed suggestions that recent federal funding decreases or delayed contracts had any impact on levee performance in the face of Katrina's overwhelming force.

Instead he pointed to a danger that many public officials had warned about for years: The system was never designed to withstand a storm of Katrina's strength.

"It was fully recognized by officials that we had Category Three [hurricane] level of protection," Strock said. "As projections of Category Four and Five were made, [officials] began plans to evacuate the city.

"We were just caught by a storm whose intensity exceeded the protection that we had in place."***

AND

***Levee Upgrade

Until the day before Katrina's arrival, New Orleans's 350 miles (560 kilometers) of levees were undergoing a feasibility study to examine the possibility of upgrading them to withstand a Category Four or Five storm.

Corps officials say the study, which began in 2000, will take several years to complete.

Upgrading the system would take as long as 20 to 25 years, according to Al Naomi, the Corps' senior project manager for the New Orleans District."***

In other words, if they started upgrading these levees on day 1 of the Bush Presidency, the upgrades would not have been completed when Katrina rolled through last Monday.

Pete

"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."

Thank GOD Bush got thinks rolling!

If we relied on the "DO NOTHING" Democrats to evacuate the needy in NO it would take Days for FEMA to get there through the flooding and the Shooting.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

How many people died because the MAYOR of NO did not follow his OWN plan for evacuation with school buses (now redesignated Nagen's Navy) floating in Lake Blanco?

Here's the southeast Louisiana evac plan supplement, most recently revised in 2000. page 13, paragraph 5 states:

5. 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.

http://home.mchsi.com/%7Eidkfa/bus2.jpg

Take a look at that picture. Why didn't the local officials use these buses to evac people with no means of transportation?

Local officials were warned that the levee system would not withstand a CAT 4 or 5. They knew this yet they crammed all those people into the Superdome. WTF were they thinking?

Cheryl Cook

Bush and his administration has done more harm to the American people (in more ways than one) than any terrorist could ever do!!! Time for him to go!!!

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/091904ccktWWLIvanFlaws.132602486.html

Blanco and Nagin had a pre-test (quiz, if you will) last year. They failed it, yet they learned NOTHING from it and they failed the final exam this week. Now they are both out there trying to blame everyone else. All they really need to do is take a good hard look into a mirror.

Josh

Louisiana is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms just like the west coast is prone to earthquakes and the Midwest is prone to tornados. IT ALL COMES WITH THE GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION IN WHICH WE LIVE!! You guys are all saying "the poor people". I admit what happened was unfortunate but also was PREDICTED IN ADVANCE and people had time and opportunity to leave. Those who stayed took their chances, you were warned days in advance about the storm. Most of Lousiana is UNDER SEALEVEL, what did you think was going to happen when a storm came through? Why do you think all those leevys were built in the first place? Cuz the place FLOODS, that should've been you first clue that it wasn't the safest place to try to ride out a hurricane. If you don't like it there or think it's unsafe, MOVE, and stop trying to find someone to blame and things to complain about, I for one am sick and tired of hearing about it.

Josh

PS - If you think you can out run mother nature, you're in for a big surprise. This shouldn't be about how it could've been prevented, it's about what should be done NOW that it's happened. Stop living in the past. For those of you content on the past, the timeline shows Louisana prone to flooding for over a century. And even more so in recent decades, so you can't tell me that NO ONE there thought something like this wasn't going to happen. You are right, people knew the danger and NO ONE did anything about it, including the people who live there. They continued to live there knowing the risks, which proves they are just as ignorant as the politicians. You're also complaining about only having 24 hours notice before the hurricane? That Hurricane was predicted DAYS and DAYS in advance on The Weather Channel. Even so, if California had 24 hours notice of a major earthquake, hardly anyone would be injured, people would evacuate in a heartbeat because they ALL know how dangerous earthquakes can be. They can't predict earthquakes like they do storms, yet you don't see people spending trillions of tax dollars earthquake proofing cities on the west coast, yet everyone out there knows the risk and that the "Big One" could hit any second. Its the price you pay for the location you live in. If you want to prevent Louisana from flooding and killing people again, just evacuate the place and nuke it. The only way to make a place completely safe for everyone is to make it uninhabitable. If you want to point the finger at Bush, then you have to point the finger at yourself and every taxpayer who is going to end up paying to clean up and rebuild so the same thing can happen again in 10 years. Not that I'm sticking up for Bush, I didn't vote for the guy, but your stupidity, ignorance, and lack of common sense to get out of the way of a hurricane makes you just as, if not more, responsible for this disaster as him. No one put a gun to your head and forced you to ride out the storm. You guys are biting the hand that's feeding you and its also the hand that's going to be helping you for years to come with this cleanup and rebuilding project. So don't you think you should be more concerned about that? People who are looking for someone to blame make me want to leave the place alone and let everyone fend for themselves. When the next disaster strikes and ignorant and stupid people refuse to evacuate, I'll be sitting safe and sound at home watching it LIVE on TV for entertainment. Come on people, for once in your lives, THINK about what you're saying.

Cheryl Cook

Josh, you are missing the point. Yes, maybe some people took their chances and stayed but the majority of the people who did not evacuate did not have the means (transportation) or money to do so. They were the poor, old and/or infirmed. Don't blame them...put the blame on the government officials (yes, local, state and federal) for not taking care of those who had no way. I live in Los Angeles and it could definitely have been us. The tragedy of Katrina is that the officials did have a warning and thus were incompetent. We, in earthquake territory, will have NO warning. So, it's a wakeup call to us to be prepared because no telling when help will arrive especially while Bush is in office.

Dana

Wow!

I live in California (i.e. earthquake country) WE all know the big one IS coming and WE all know that each of us will be on our own for minimum a week after it hits. WE are all told to prepare and have food, water and first aid supplies on hand. Some of us do, some of us don't. Those that do will survive, those that don't will be standing around crying "why doesn't someone take care of me!" This country was built by people taking care of themselves. The pioneers took care of themselves or they died. Now it seems that the nation wants someone else to take care of them. You can cry and point fingers but the fact of the matter is that Louisiana is responsible for Louisiana. The federal government is not responsible for the day to day workings of a state. If Louisiana needed to fix her levees then she should have done it regardless of what the federal government did or did not do. (Let’s say you know the brakes on your car are bad and your brother was supposed to replace them for you but he didn’t. If you drive the car without fixing them yourself and crash you only have yourself to blame.) Louisiana knew that her levees were bad and should have fixed them herself. Here in California we have a problem with illegal aliens and on the next ballot we will have an initiative to create a border police force to protect our southern border. The Feds aren’t doing enough so we will fix it ourselves.

Get over your self’s. look at your own time line and ask why were so many of the local school busses parked in a low area and why didn’t the mayor order the school busses to take those with out cars to high ground while they could. Sure there were many folks who had difficulties and could not just walk out but the vast majority of the people in the areas hit could have started walking out rather then saying I can’t leave I don’t have a car and no one has come to get me.

Arrrrrgh. This is so ridicules! PEOPLE take care of yourselves. Stop asking for someone to make things all better for you. You are not babies, you are adults! Start acting like it.

David

This is Darwinian at its best. Survival of the fittest. After watching those who stayed being interviewed, you could tell that most could not and have no clue how to fend for themselves. What's sad is that a large sector of that poor black community have allowed themselves to slip back into slavery...only this time via the government.

MARVIN O. WILHITE

AFTER READING THIS BLOG... I FIND IT IS VERY EASY TO BLAME ANYONE.... ITS VERY EASY TO BE A MONDAY QUATERBACK FOR A GAME THAT OCCURED ON SUNDAY..... AFTER THE FACT.....
AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, THERE WERE BIG TIME MISTAKES MADE BE EVERYONE FROM THE CITY LEVEL RIGHT UP TO THE TOP OF THE FEDERAL LEVEL...... BUT IT IS TIME TO STOP BEING THAT QUARTERBACK... AND START THINKING ABOUT THE REST OF THE WEEK.....
AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED .. THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT ARE DOING IT RIGHT.. ARE THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE OFTHE UNITED STATES THAT ARE DONATING MONIES AND OTHER ITEMS TO THIS RELIEF...AND TO ALL THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD THAT ALSO ARE PROVIDING AID...
TO THE STATES, TEXAS, OKLAHOMA , ARKANSAS
AND WHO KNOW HOW MANY MORE STATES ARE RECEIVING THE PEOPLES OF NEW ORLEANS AND MISSISSIPPI THE MANY OTHER HARD HIT AREAS,
SHOWS THAT PEOPLE CAN WORK TOGETHER....
WELL DONE TO ALL OF THEM.....

Josh

Cheryl,

I am not missing the point. You don't need the government to act like a cattle herdsman to tell you when it's time to leave a dangerous situation and tell you where to go and you don't need them to make everything safe for you. I mean we're talking about several hundreds of thousands of people that chose to stay!! You can't tell me that ALL of those people had absolutely no way to get out, even on foot. You can still cover a lot of ground on foot in a couple days, at least enough to get out of New Orleans and the areas most prone to flooding. As for the elderly and disabled, I hate to say it or admit to it, but in times like that, it IS survival of the fittest. As much as it hurts me to say that, it is the plain and honest truth. Would you be personally willing to take on an entire bus load of elderly or disabled people if an earthquake hit LA? Do you have enough food and water to feed them? You'd be forced to turn them away for your own survival. And while we're on the subject, it does take time to get food and supplies to that area of Louisiana, most of which is DESTROYED AND COVERED IN WATER MIND YOU. So its not like you can just ship in truck loads of food and water and medical supplies. IT IS GOING TO TAKE TIME to round up all the food and water and medical supplies needed and get it there!

The first priority was to make things safe for the people who were still there. You had riots, shootings, fires, people being raped and killed. So restoring order had to be the top priority. Those poor people have been through enough, make it safe for them first before more end up dead and distraught by unnecessary means. And at the same time provide medical aid to those who needed it the most. Health and safety comes first, then you get everyone ready to evacuate. If it was me, I'd leave the place alone and wouldn't bother with the rebuild. Why rebuild it? Everyone knows its just going to get filled back up with ignorant people and in 10-20 years we'll be right back here talking about it again. Yes I admit it was a tragedy that people are dead and hurt and billions of dollars in damage has been done, and the reaction time could've been planned out a little better, but what more do you really want? Everyone is doing everything they can right now. THE POINT IS you're using these people and their misfortune to blame the government for their inadequate ability to service the needs of the people in this country. OPEN YOUR EYES! What else is new? Its been like that this since this country was founded, and everyone knows that. If you want to point the finger at someone, point it at Mother Nature or God for sending Katrina to that place at that time. I'm not a Bush fan, or a fan of the government, but I don't think this whole thing is to be blamed on the government like you or this page wants us to believe. Everyone has their own responsibilities for their own safety and survival. Some people just weren't prepared or responsible, that's all there is to it, and it goes back to the survival of the fittest thing.

This page was intended to focus on the problems with the levee system and the flooding of New Orleans and surrounding area. And when it comes to that, yes some improvements could've been made. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been dumped into the levee system over the years prior to this, and at some point you have to draw the line as to how much to time and money to spend on a project that size, and take your chances until more improvements can be made. EVEN IF THE FUNDING AND WORK CONTINUED AS NORMAL WITHOUT THE WAR, IT STILL WOULD'VE TAKEN 10-15 YEARS FROM NOW TO UPGRADE THE LEVEE SYSTEM IN ORDER TO PREVENT THIS. THAT'S WHAT MOST OF YOU DON'T EVEN REALIZE!!! When the big one hits California are you going to blame whomever the President is and government officials are at the time for that as well?

I live in the Midwest. At least once or twice a year a winter storm comes through here and knocks out the power, and dumps enough snow that you can't even get out of your house let alone go anywhere for days. And for at least a couple days and sometimes even weeks, you end up with no electricity, no heat, and no water because the pipes in your house are frozen solid. And every winter I prepare for that because I know, living in this area, its going to happen. And I can't depend on the government to come over and restore my power, my heat, and give me food and water before I freeze to death each time a winter storm comes through. Nor can I blame them for the precautions that should've been taken to help prevent it. Its a chance I take every winter, and I can't blame anyone but myself if I'm not prepared and end up being a frozen popsicle.

CHERYL, BEING OUT IN LA, YOU DO HAVE WARNING JUST LIKE I DO! YOU HAVE FROM NOW UNTIL THE TIME THE BIG ONE HITS TO PREPARE OR TO LEAVE LA!! YOU KNOW ITS GOING TO HAPPEN, ITS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME, YET YOU STAY THERE AND TAKE YOUR CHANCES JUST LIKE THE REST OF US!! You expect people to snap their fingers and make everything earthquake proof for you and everyone else out there overnight? Or how about the government gives everyone their own personal bus or helicopter so they can get to safety just as it hits? How hypocritical, arrogant, and just plain ignorant are you? I'm willing to bet if the big one does hit you'd be the first in line to complain about not being prepared and the precautions that should've been taken. The best thing you can do is prepare for the worst, but there again there's a line you're going to have to draw as to how safe you can make yourself with the money you have and the recourses available to you. You want safety? You want to be prepared for the BIG ONE IN LA? MOVE TO A DIFFERENT LOCATION AND TAKE YOUR CHANCES ELSEWHERE! The point you're not understanding is that no matter where you live on this small planet there is always going to be a threat or danger to your well being, and you're just going to have prepare and take your chances like the rest of us. You alone are responsible for your own safety and well being, not the government. So I wish you the best of luck when California becomes it's own little island out in the Pacific.

One last thought for all of you to consider - Do you think those hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana appreciate you criticizing the government's help or lack of help, for them? Are you their represenitive? Did they vote you in as their congressman or something right after the hurricane struck? Did it ever occur to you that maybe those people there appreciate what little help they are getting, and don't want you interfering with or jeopardizing that help?

mwaters

A few questions for Mr. Bush:
When did the National Weather Service Know Katrina was headed for the coast? How much time was there before she hit? One or two days at least. Why then did it take 5 days AFTER Katrina hit to get the rescue efforts really moving?
· Couldn’t you come off vacation long enough for a public address to all those in expected path of Katrina to vacate, and supervise (who am I kidding), sorry, delegate, the organization in ANTICIPATION of the disaster? Did you call any Governors to ask them to prepare their states National Guard?
· If America can air drop human relief supplies on the other side of the world in 36 hours or less, why so long for our own people?
· Couldn't we air drop some supplies to sustain the GROUPS of survivors on bridges and over passes and help those in attics and roof tops in less than 5-8 days? There were hundreds of survivors standing in the hot sun for days with no food or water while planes flew overhead. Guard troops were ready and willing to help but were STALLED. Don’t tell us our NG Troops are not up for an emergency in our own nation. If they are trained for snipers in Iraq they can handle shooters and looters state side. I just wonder how many hundreds died waiting for help.

I guess it's cheaper to bury the dead than to feed and house the survivors. What else could explain the delay? So much for "Compassionate Conservative President".

Tom Morgan

I would like to ask our "Pres" a few things myself. A few days ago you publicly told Katrina survivors you would “Make this right”. Just how will you do that? Can you bring back the dead?

How many vacations have you had since you took office? It might be easier to count your days out, than your days in office. Given your PREVIOUS absences, and lack of service, it should not surprise any American that you were AWOL from the job as President when we really needed you. When you finally popped your head up, you said "Don't buy gas if you dont need it". Golly thanks for that. We all feel better now Mr. President.

You were not as polished and rehearsed as you were after 911. But at least in your pictures your blue collar shirt sleves are rolled up. Good image choice, but you forgot your USA pin.

Maybe your Dad or his friends can brib someone to vouch for your absence this time too. Naaa, the spin doctors will handle it, and you can just blame and fire a few people. That worked with the WMD's, it should work for this blunder too. Mr. Bush don't you need round of golf or nap somewhere? All these rescue photo opps must be tiring for you.

Some are not pointing out the fact other responsible areas fell short,why? Since everyone in LA and surrounding areas knew the probability for a disaster of this magnitude existed .........

1. Why didn't the mayor take the lead and have evacuation plans? And for God's sake, why did he not have plans for evacuating jailed prisoners instead of just turning them loose like a pack of rabid dogs to prey on innocent people?

2. Why didn't the governor have National Guard at the Dome knowing they were moving thousands of people there in a state of panic which a sixth grader would recognize as a potential for chaos and crime? Why didn't the governor request federal help sooner since by law the President can't send in federal troops until the governor of the state requests it?
(Research "Posse Comitatus")

3. Why are people living in such close proximity to disaster so blase, some not being persuaded even now to leave knowing there is no city or support left nor will be for months? And it is every persons responsibility to have extra on hand to accommodate basic necessity to see you through whatever your particular part of the country has as danger.
In the Midwest it is tornados and winter blizzards, you have to be prepared. Early pioneers were aware of that reality and they had literally no support or resources compared to the poorest people of today. My grandparents were homesteaders so I heard the facts first hand.

4. Last ........... not minimizing the horrendous human suffering of those who truly could not help themselves, (the crippled, the aged, the handicapped physically and mentally, etc.) who CITY and STATE government should have provided evacuation and care for ...... there were a lot of people who just sat and waited to be taken care of. Poverty is not the reason some times, it is the lifestyle that results in poverty that needs to change. I have seen multitudes of black and white people on TV who are poor but articulate, industrious, taking initiative, and taking the lead in reconstructing their lives and others.

Rhetoric that doesn't assign responsibility to where it belongs and just says.... "It's all the President's fault," is not as informed as you think you are, certainly does not have the gumption of our forefathers who pulled themselves out of many types of calamity, and above all is pulling the American spirit down instead of trying to lift it up.
Shame on you!

Terry

There were four levels of underperformance in this tragedy. All of us I suspect can make better decisions about our preparedness for disaster but we are not equally able to reach the same levels of preparedness. Some residents made the best decisions they could and some made terrible decisions. there is no broad brush with which to paint the residents and visitors along the coastal areas. It will likely be determined that there was significant underperformance by the mayor of N.O., the governor of LA and other officials along the gulf coastal areas. The officials will have to reconcile their performance with their constituencies. It is becoming increasingly clear the federal government underperformed and the President cannot escape due criticism any more than the others involved at state and local levels. Since any of us may find ourselves as tourists in other regions of the country and that different regions have different resources and preparation, FEMA has a responsibility to to be prepared at the highestlevel and the President appoint the most qualified people. FEMA represents the continuity of response for a mobile society and we should demand high levels of performance for the agency of "last" resort in national emergency.

Gary L

I just have to laugh at you people who are so blindly willing to accept Carl Roves marching orders to blame the local government.

New Orleanian

As a now homeless resident of New Orleans, I'd like to say that I find the posts on here blaming the people of New Orleans for not evacuating incredibly insulting--particularly by the person that suggested that we should have all just started walking out two days before the hurricane hit. Yes, we know we live in an area where a disaster is likely to happen at any time, just as some of you have pointed out that the same applies for those living in California, in tornado alley, etc. I'm sure that those of you who live in areas where such disasters can occur also continue to go on with your daily lives, even while acknoweledging that the worst can happen. You can't live your entire life in fear, even though hurricane season is an incredibly anxious time for anyone that lives on the Gulf Coast.

Second, to compare a hurricane to a winter blizzard that might leave you without power for a week is also ridiculous. Although I live in the south, I haven't heard of many blizzards that completely decimate every structure in their path. In July, New Orleans was hit by Tropical Storm Alison--most of us were without power for a week, and we didn't go "whining" to the federal government to take care of us. We all know that being without power as the result of a tropical storm is a fact of life that you live with. But to cope with no power is entirely different than watching the water rise above your first floor, then your second floor, and on into your attic, where you may have to use an axe to chop your way out. Until you've gone through that or know someone who has, don't equate the two.

As to why we didn't leave. I, personally, did leave--on Saturday morning. But I've lived in New Orleans for 10 years, and this hurricane was different. In most instances, we have many days of warning--in this one, comparatively speaking, we had very little. For starters, when we all left work on Friday evening, Katrina was still a Category 1 hurricane predicted to move north into the Florida panhandle. Like most people on a Friday night, I went home, had some friends over, drank a few beers, etc. When I turned on the news late that night, the forecasters were saying we might need to watch Katrina, that she was making people nervous. When a New Orleans weather forecaster tells you that you need to keep an eye on a storm, that's basically a license to go on with your life, no real danger yet. By Saturday morning, they knew it was a very real possibility it was headed our way, and that if it hit us, it was going to be big. At that point, because I have a six-month-old daughter, I left. But consider--how many of you go throughout your weekend without watching the news or reading the paper? Surely that happens sometimes, doesn't it? As I said, on Friday, they predicted the storm would hit Florida. People breathed a sigh of relief and went on about their lives. Many of them may not have known about the impending danger until Sunday, a day before the hurricane hit. Maybe you'll say that's no excuse--I say have a little more compassion.

As for evacuation from New Orleans itself, it is a complete and total nightmare. Unlike most metropolitan areas, there is only one really viable way out of town, and that's on Interstate 10. When Hurricane Georges threatened the area in 1998, it took people 20 hours to drive 80 miles. The same thing happened last year, when Hurricane Ivan threatened. My husband and I tried to evacuate during Ivan, and we were among the people that sat, and sat, and sat on the Interstate. We went 20 miles in 5 hours, and because I was pregnant at the time and couldn't continue sitting in the car for 15 or more so hours, we gave up, went home, and hoped for the best. Luckily, as has been the case for the past 40 years until now, Ivan veered away at the last minute and New Orleans was spared. Yes, this year I left in enough time to evacuate without any major problems. But last year, I had to wait until my employer allowed me to leave, which many people must do, and we were stuck in a traffic nightmare. Sure, I could have left without permission from my employer--but try doing that every couple of weeks for six months out of the year, as false alarm after false alarm rolls through the Gulf and see how long you'll keep your job.

As others have pointed out, there are also many, MANY people living in New Orleans that do not have cars. The city has a very good transit system, including our beautiful streetcars, and it's such a small city that biking and walking almost everywhere are possible as well. Again, the suggestion that people should have begun walking out of the city is incredibly insulting.

As to the last point, as to why Mayor Nagin waited so long to call for a mandatory evacuation--voluntary evacuations began on Saturday. Everyone that lives in New Orleans knows that when a voluntary evacuation is called, it's time to get serious. Mandatory evacuations are delayed until the last possible minute because once they are called, the city MUST provide refuge for all those who cannot leave, thus the opening of the Superdome. Believe me that no one in New Orleans was waiting for the Mayor to call the mandatory evacuation before they decided to go. They were watching the local weatherforecasters, hoping against hope that the storm would turn at the last minute, as they always have in the past. They did not want to leave their homes, knowing that if the storm hit, they would be unable to return for weeks (and now possibly months, due to the levee breach), that looting would occur (as it would in ANY city where the vast majority of the population had left), etc. But they did leave--80% of the greater New Orleans area evacuated--that's 800,000+ people. Unfortunately, that also means that 200,000 people chose not to or could not leave.

As for the blame game, I am in agreement that Bush holds a lot of fault for the way the aftermath of this disaster was handled. Yes, we needed money to keep our levees in the best possible condition, and yes, that IS the federal government's responsibility to provide that funding, just as it is the government's responsibility to provides funding to other states for other types of natural disasters. If an earthquake hit California right now, you wouldn't hear me bitching about my tax dollars going to help the "refugees" of Los Angeles. But when the president replaces the existing head of FEMA with someone with absolutely NO disaster management experience, that's a problem. When the president cuts the funding to maintain the levees and the pumping systems, that's a problem. When we can airlift supplies to other countries, like Thailand and Sri Lanka, within hours of the tsunami hitting but can't do it for our own citizens, THAT's a problem.

Even I admit that this is a somewhat paranoid thought, but don't think it hasn't occurred to me that New Orleans voted for Kerry by about 75%. Yes, Louisiana may be red, but New Orleans is most decidedly blue (including myself). On the other hand, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a bastion of Republicanism. They've had food and water from the National Guard since last Wednesday (I know this because my parents live there), two days after the storm hit. According to CNN and even Fox News, New Orleans didn't get food and water supplies until Friday afternoon. Like I said, even as much as I hate Bush, I'm hoping he wouldn't withhold support to New Orleans because we're a bunch of Democrats.

And finally, yes, there was an incredibly poor, incredibly slow response to provide aid to the people of Florida after Hurricane Andrew, which hit in September of 1992. For the person who said "good ol' Bubba" was in charge then, you need a history lesson. The president in September of 1992 was none other than George H.W. Bush--"Bubba" wasn't sworn into office until January of 2003.

Astounded

It is absolutely apalling that such a time line of CONCRETE FACTS as to how Bush dropped the ball canbe provided and some people still want to play dumb.

Hurricane an act of God, yes - BLATANT NEGLEGT of preparedness for such an event God had nothing to do with...that my friend was all about George Bush and his idiotic selfish minded administration.

I would encourage to you ask yourself if whatever it is you are protecting in your life in order to put such blinders on and defend such an incompetent president is worth the toll your soul will pay later.
You must be upper class white folk who really like your tax breaks and don't mind turning a blind eye to humanity.

Shame on you.

Cassandra

Way give the victom of hurrican Katrina debit cards why not just give them jobs so that they can be dependent on themselves and feel a sence of that there is a future for them and their famlies this kind of solution is getting them to be hook on the goverment, give them jobs to clean up their own state instead of bring other people from diffrent states to do the job. The people of New Orleans is capable of cleaning up there own state. It look like to me they are getting the residents of New Orleans out there own state to bring in other people. This situation is not being handle right at all they are not looking at the future of these people they are looking at making a quick fix to the problem

SKG

1) Why Didn't Louisiana Follow it's Emergency Plan? Why isn't anyone talking about this?

2) Why hasn't anyone mentioned that a Pre-Requisite for a Federal Response BY LAW is that State Law is Executed and the Emergency Plan is Executed FIRST?

3) Why did the Governor abandon the City of New Orleans for the Safety of Baton Rouge, before the Plan was Executed?

4) Why, when the federal Government was acting in accordance with the Stafford Act, did the State of Louisiana, by its Governors acts, delay making requests when being told this storm was going to hit?

5) Why did Mayor Nagin or Governor Blanco, delay while sleeping on it Saturday night, the Mandatory evacuation spelled out in the Louisiana Emergency Plan? Saturday the Mayor said he may order an evacuation tomorrow. (Sunday)

6) Where were the Parish Presidents who were signatories to the Louisiana Emergency Plan, and why did they fail in its Execution to the plan?

7) In the Parish failure to implement, why didn't the State take over as required by the plan?

8) Why weren't the Hospitals nursing homes, etc. evacuated since the plan required them to do so?

9) Why did the Mandatory evacuation only occur AFTER President Bush called, and why did Governor Blanco stress that it was only after President Bush Called to urging the Evacuation order? Was she concerned for the Citizens, or was she grandstanding so she could blame the President if the Storm didn't hit?

10) Why were the Action Plan implementations required not done by the Local and State Government?

Is there anyone out there that can answer these questions for me?

George R Sands

Dear Mr.President AND Senator Lott and All of the Gov't and all of the present Admin.

I wonder how Mr. Brown would have responded if the people Above him had set forth a pattern of responsible leadership.It is pretty hard I would think to feel secure about moving forward in a decisive manner when your BOSS is such a bumbler I say this not to be rude but to express that we need to relieve others of their post also. I really believe most of the Presidents adm. and the President Himself Did not realize when they took their jobs as leaders what it takes to be an Honest giver to the cause of leading our country.It is VERY VERY unfortunate to have had such a storm and so much devastation and to see our people in such a mess. But storms and desasters will always come and need to be delt with and bumbling in these major disasters will also be a part of the experience of life in handling somthing of this magnitude. What is NOT acceptible is impure motives. all the way back to 911 the leadership has had to respond to their dutys and a person under trial will either respond with Honest and Careing Minds and Hearts or they will NOT. I believe Most want to do good. But when people in leadership get a little taste of what their position will expose them to they need to be carefull of the darkness of their mind and Heats or they will make selfish one sided decisions and in little things this is not as Bad But when we have major things to make decisions on the course leaders set will always lead back to their charector and then they will try to cover up their dark motive and this will always lead to distruction of others and later to the distruction of themselfs of their own hand and doing.What a mess you have made of things During your time in office Mr. President and Your Admin. Mr. Powell Got out I believe because he did'nt want to be tainted by you and the rest of this sorry bunch. I can only hope this mess of people called leaders will soon be behind us.Katrina is nothing compared to the destruction the present leadership has caused. I don't mean to be ruthless but our children will pay for this mess forever and they deserve better examples. although when they see what wormy leadership is they will surely be appalled and take a different course and that is the only good thing that will come of the last Eight yrs. It is time for all of you to Stop shifting the blame. George Sands

George R Sands

I beleive Mr. Brown is about like the rest of us here. I really don't think he is dishonest one bit. He has my support and I want him to be supported. to mash him down in this thing is in my opinion passing the buck. He may have made mistakes in the handling of the mess but kicking him around is also kicking ourselves around because I personally think he is hurting here too and wants to honestly help and do right. Can we all say that about ourselves. Their is no way to avoid mistakes in the handling of such a mess, the chaos here is beyond human control. Yes good decisions can be made but usually after the game is over. I suspect he has made several good and bad decision like all of us.But I admire him for saying he is going to hug his wife and take the bruiseing and get back to helping the people. His handling of the press may be a little off but I think he is ok and a lot more upfront with his feelings and true nature than most would be.ask George about honesty and really true feelings or ask him about phonny stuff . what answer are you getting back in your own mind about him. George Sands

Malcolm

Has anyone thought about racism in this scenario? I mean truly thought about it and not simply dismissed it as though it could not happen again in the good ol' US of A.

I think it is difficult for many to acknowledge that their governments' indifference (and by extention their own) to black people in general was a contributing factor in this horrific situation.

We see this already when people ask the question, "why didn't they.." help themselves.

They don't think about the fact that a hurricane is coming, that everyone who can leave, is attempting to do so...The school buses were a plenty, but not many people willing to stay to drive them.
They don't think that perhaps those people wanted to leave to protect their family. We look at the pictures of the buses underwater and quickly say, its their fault.
They privately think, what a pitty those black people didn't do the right things and now they blame the government (and by extension us).

I think there were many things that could have been done better before the hurricane hit...but there is no mistaking the federal government failed monumentally to provide relief for its' citizens in a time when they needed it most. This was a task that only FEMA could have done in the days immediately after the hurricane. FEMA failed in its duty, and the Federal Government admitted as much when it removed "Browny" from the central role in New Orleans...


JWS

Your timeline focuses on funding of levees for New Orleans and the surrounding areas. You take it as fact that it is the federal government's (thus the other 49 state's) responsibility to fund the development of a city this is built on a swamp and below sea level.

I realize the economic significance of New Orleans as a shipping point to the nation. But how much of the geography protected by these levees is necessary to support the shipping activities of New Orleans?

The City of New Orleans and its unique geography and vital role in the U.S economy have existed for quite some time (175+ years).

Does the criticism of the Bush administration assume that these levees should have been rebuilt to handle more severe weather in the last 5 years and that prior to that there was no such responsibility?

A difference of opinion as to how much the rest of the country is responsible for the development of New Orleans is not proof of negligence. Should the federal government be responsible for developing protections against all potential stressful conditions? What are the limits at to what geographically challenged areas should be developed?

JWS:

The money to maintain the levees was bipartisanly mandated by Congress...

it was Bush who decided to reapproriate 80% of that money to fund his illegal war on Iraq.

JWS

You didn't really answer my question. Does a difference of opinion about how much federal money should be spent to support development of a single geographically challenged city consistitute negligence?

From what I understand, the ACE money cut was cuts of future increases of funds, funding for ACE projects under Bush administration was actually higher than under previous adminstrations.

Its interesting that you use call it an illegal war despite the fact that Congress authorized it, it was a continuation of the war started by Hussein's Iraq in 1990/91. You wear your politics on your sleave. My guess is you hated Bush and the Republican Party before this and nothing he has ever done or could do will satisfy you.

JWS

I read the Los Angeles has had a significant power failure. I wonder how long it will be before people start blaming Bush.

They'll probably say he is so stupid he thought he was knocking out LA (Louisiana) but got confused and knocked out L.A. (Los Angeles). Sadly some people will believe it.

Gary L

Actually JWS, you're wrong.

The budget cuts began is 2002, even though a hurricane hitting NO was identified by FEMA in 2001 as a number one priority.

I also think it rather disgusting that you would compare the devastation in NO to a power outage in CA... do you have no sense of decency?

And regarding the "illegal war" comment... I assume that was in reference to the United Nations, who have deemed it so.

JWS

Yeah I have no decency. You all are the ones to start blaming the President out of pure hatred for something he had no responsibility for.

The bulk of this disaster was the result of a unpreventable natural disaster. The local and state actions were deficient but not criminal because of the huge stress of the situation. The Federal government that has support responsibility after 72 hours may not have been perfect but not in any way racist, evil, criminal, etc.

It is the people blaming Bush that are guilty of blatent political opportunism in the face of human suffering.

George R Sands

Yal right, my guess is that if you look at what you just said it will ring pure political my friend even in your own ear if you listen carefully. The President and the entire admstn. failed to act period. FEMA is not even remotely capable of effectively controlling and dealing with this mess without first getting the NATIONAL GUARD INVOLVED . The mess required a corordinated effort and response and the Homeland Security got in the way like most beaurocratic agencys. The President failed to Act AGAIN along with the ADMIN.Inaction is the problem here. POLITICS MAY FALL INTO IT BY PEOPLE PROMOTING IT IN A POLITICAL WAY TO SIDESTEP THE ISSUE OF INACTION. POLITICS OR INACTION IT IS STILL A VERY VERY HORRIBLE THING. THE PRESIDENT MUST IN A WAY BORROW TROUBLE because when something is brewing he has got to ask what will my roll be here , what will the govt. roll be, look ahead and consider what is the route to take, how serious will the situation be at its worst. Be in contact with the leaders and get help and advise the president must first be open and aproachable to and by leaders. most love that roll so much and it is an honor and previleged to wise men and women.Have we failed too be on the edge of the seat and feeling the beat of the music and the pulse of the nation have we lost passion for what is important or are we langering, or merely wanting to be noticed or does our position impress us and do we lack true passion and devotion to the cause. Has politics and the parties and the power of big bussiness caused us to cacoon ourselves from the purpose of: FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE. GEORGE SANDS

JWS

George Sands. What I think you fail to understand is that there is a difference between the Federal government and the local and State governments.

As is necessary in a society of laws, each government has is responsibilities, powers, and duties. The Federal government is established through the U.S. Constitution. This Constitution was established by the people via their State governments. The framers of the Constitution were very careful to transfer very little power to the Federal Government. It states clearly that whatever power is not explicitly transferred belongs to the State and the People.

It is against the law for the President, any Federal agency, or the Federal Military to take over in a situation like this. You are exactly right when you say not much could have been done without the National Guard involved. The National Guard belongs to the state and is under the authority of the Governor.

Please understand that we do not have a hierarchical structure where the mayor reports to the governor and the governor reports to the President. Each government (City, Parish or County, State, Federal) is a distinct legal entity with specific powers and responsibilities.

Almost 100% of the responsibility within the first 72 hours falls within the control of the local and State governments. Even after the 72 hour window the Federal government maintains a support role rather than direct responsibility. The Governor of Louisiana has still not Federalized the National Guard so the President has no authority to issue them orders.

It sounds noble of you to say that we should just ignore the laws of our land but you can't. You can rant and rave all you want but I thank God we have the laws and the separation of powers established by the Constitution.

George R Sands

your fully advised on the Law you think and yes I do sound noble and I think that is good. I appreciate your comments on the way I sound , and I give you credit for good hearing. But what I am saying here is still sound in context. the president would not have hurt anybodys feelings had he jumped in and said what can I/we do . wormy politic like your law which I am sure is just as off is not getting the job done. We have a country to help and in the everyday push and shove laws and all the bla bla bla is good and has it place . Here we should consider only what it takes to help and lay aside all the considerations about laws and the like. when a person is drowning do we say its not my jurisdiction I think we better consider the strict lines of the law here and maybe have a vote so call all the local, state and gov't officials in an lets have everybody stand up an state their case for or against what we should do. No somebody has got to care more that what the law allows. if we are going to limit our understanding of the laws in regard to what a leader of a nation is going to do in an absolute emergency then we will sink to the lowest level of deprivity [and it is often called politics personified and is found in our churches, schools , city ,state and federal gov't.] a good leader transcends the rule and regulations in the spirit of good and in an emergency and he does not wait for a specific code or law before he acts He just acts now and under the true spirit of the law he will be held blameless. if the councel of those who judge the laws find fault with a president who acts expediously as in a case like this all I can say is we have fallen below the farthest depths that a society can endure before all out hopelessness sets the rule of the day and of the age.I believe there is enought good and humanity in the admin. to admit they failed and we as a nation should leave all politics and blame at rest at that jucture and applaud our leaders and say at last we with you say : for the people of the people and by the people so help us "God"

JWS

George Sands. I appreciate you comments and would be comfortable to let comments go unchallenged if they stayed within the realm of your last post. Unfortunately, there a many political opportunists using this tragedy to advance a extreme hatred of the President.

I have a detailed background in logistics and if you look at everything that has been done in response to this natural disaster with an informed eye you can't help but be awed by the monumental acheivement. Unfortunately some, either through ignorance or hatred, are diminishing this great undertaking. Sure mistakes were made but that can't avoiding in such a challenging situation.

If you think about the amount of planning it takes just to move supplies from just one warehouse under perfectly known conditions then you would understand how difficult a task this has been. Even the most experienced people would have difficulty coordinating multiple sources of supplies spread across thousands of miles, loading equipment, trucks, and drivers to name just a few of the items. You have unknown shipping routes (are bridges safe? roads clear) going to places where the sitution at the destination may be changing. How many of your loaders can make it to the warehouse? Has anything changed at the warehouse since last inventoried? Do drivers know the route to the multiple destinations? How am I going to account for what gets shipped and verify that it reached its destination. You have conflicting reports coming in from possibly unreliable sources about a changing security situation. In the midst of this you have reports coming at you, how do you know who is in charge (who should you take orders from), power outages are possible, are you kids safe?. Am I going to get fired if I do something wrong. Even if I do everything right will I still have a job? There a hundreds/thousands of people with all of these thoughts running around in their heads while people are suffering.

I could go on and on with all of the issues that must be addressed. All this and 99% percent of the population has no idea about everything that goes into simple single shipment that goes to their local grocery store under perfect conditions. These "experts" demand all of this relief happen instantly.

All I ask for is a reasonable look at what is really happening.

Frank Rizzo

I think that we need to put the blame where the blame belongs. George Bush's God. GWB claims to be so religious and claims to be so compassionate. Show me some evidence of this compassion. Which God is W actually praying to? I sit in my Pennsylvania home warm/cool and dry. Most of my family lives in the south including 90% of my immediate family living in N.O or Mobile, AL. I do not feel the pain of the southerner, my family does. I feel their pain.
Hearing direct quotes from people like Pat Robertson makes me very angry. Claims that because of homosexuality New Orleans was not spared god’s wrath. Well what about Florida, what about Mississippi? Practically every significantly devastated area touched your average white bible thumpin Christian in one way or another.
It saddens me to watch the so called Christian conservatives use their "god" as their personal hit man. We are fighting so much evil in the name of "god" that we have lost sight of what really counts, people. Millions of years ago an upright walking ancestor of ours looked up to the stars and was thinking of nothing but what he/she would be eating next, or how to keep from being eaten him/herself. Then maybe a terrible thing happened to our ancestor, maybe a flood. He/she thought to themselves why has this happened to me? What have I ever done to deserve this? This ancestor of ours then maybe went looking for meaning, order or anything that would help explain what was unknown at the time. Later on, the thought of "someone else" came to their mind. Someone, if they offered sacrifices to, or killed someone else over would show favor to them. They began to pray often to this "someone else". Thousands of years go by and certain order begins to emerge. Clans are everywhere. People are broken up into tiny towns all over the place. Each one has their own special person, rock, tree or animal that they pray to. Each clan thinking theirs was the best. They killed each other over such beliefs. Soon after, some AHole figured that he can make a buck preaching doom and gloom and it hasn’t changed since. Flash forward millions of years. Hercules is the son of one of THE gods at the time Zeus. Hercules traveled the earth as a mortal helping mankind and performed miraculous deeds. Flash forward a few thousand years. Jesus, nuf said. If a person accepts hearsay and accounts from believers as historical evidence for Jesus, then shouldn't they act consistently to other accounts based solely on hearsay and belief?
To take one example, examine the evidence for the Hercules of Greek mythology and you will find it parallels the "historicity" of Jesus to such an amazing degree that for Christian apologists to deny Hercules as a historical person belies and contradicts the very same methodology used for a historical Jesus.
Note that Herculean myth resembles Jesus in many areas. Hercules got born as a human from the union of God (Zeus) and the mortal and chaste Alcmene, his mother. Similar to Herod who wanted to kill Jesus, Hera wanted to kill Hercules. Like Jesus, Hercules traveled the earth as a mortal helping mankind and performed miraculous deeds. Like Jesus who died and rose to heaven, Hercules died, rose to Mt. Olympus and became a god. Hercules gives example of perhaps the most popular hero in Ancient Greece and Rome. They believed that he actually lived, told stories about him, worshiped him, and dedicated temples to him.
Likewise the "evidence" of Hercules closely parallels that of Jesus. We have historical people like Hesiod and Plato who mentions Hercules. Similar to the way the gospels tell a narrative story of Jesus, so do we have the epic stories of Homer who depict the life of Hercules. Aesop tells stories and quotes the words of Hercules. Just as we have mention of Jesus in Joesphus' Antiquities, so also does Joesphus mention Hercules in Antiquities (see: 1.15; 8.5.3; 10.11.1). Just as Tacitus mentions a Christus, so does he also mention Hercules many times in his Annals. And most importantly, just as we have no artifacts, writings or eyewitnesses about Hercules, we also have nothing about Jesus. All information about Hercules and Jesus comes from stories, beliefs, and hearsay. Should we then believe in a historical Hercules, simply because ancient historians mention him and that we have stories and beliefs about him? Of course not, and the same must apply to Jesus if we wish to hold any consistency to historicity. Why then do we put so much faith and more importantly our contracts on people to such myths?
George W. Bush and any knuckle dragging, slack jawed, bible totin Hypocrite will eventually have to answer to someone or something. Have belief? Then you should be shaking in your HYPOCRITE boots.
Hope this made someone think a little bit.
Thank god I’m an atheist! ;)

Frank Rizzo

P.S
Fluoride is killing us. The scrapings of fertilizer plant smokestacks are being dumped into our cities drinking waters and we are being told it is "good for us". In truth, no one else wants this crap so it is being dumped upon the American public. Don't believe me? Google Fluoride, what is it or Effects of Fluoride and see for yourself. WAKE UP AMERICA!!
NO MO GOP!

Frank Rizzo

http://www.nofluoride.com/

Nathan Austin


Now that President Bush has publically stated that he takes full responsibility for what went wrong with the extremely slow response to the people affected by hurricane Katrina, I would like to add my thoughts.
Why would the man in charge of this country put a man as head of FEMA, knowing he had NO experience with emergency management of any kind? Why is it even possible for positions like that to be filled with unquallified individuals? Since he claims responsibility, as should the Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans, they should be held accountable for the needless premature deaths of hundreds. Hell, if you or I break the law we would be held liable. Why shouldn't they? If we don't do something to stop this kind of good ole boy government without real consequences for nothing less than total negligence, we are to blame. Now, I'm doing my part, you do yours, lets get this out to the nation, backed by the population, and into the "system" so that one day it's law.

George R Sands

jws thanks for your concern for our country,and for having and shareing a sence of what is happening, I am sure it is all a mess, I am sure most don't know a whole lot about logistics and especially the knowledge it would take to coordinate every aspect of this thing. and yes I think for sure that we do need to appreciate the sacrifices and the hard physical work and the hard mental stress this effort will cause.Not to be caty but to assure you that this is probably the biggest need we have at this time , to coordinate the relief effort and find a way to best use the resourses at hand so as to keep the helpers busy and not standing around. expedience and efficents will be a dirrect result of people leading the opperation. thanks for your honest sharing of your concerns and thoughts to me and to all. George Sands For the people and by the people and of the people

John

I'm glad to see there are a few intelligent people reading this load of garbage. George Bush accepted blame a slow federal response because that is what good leaders do even though he is not to blame for any of it. N.O. mayor Nagen is a racist, socialist piece of crap and the Louisiana governor is an inept a governor as can be found. They are the ones who actually shoulder the blame for any deaths caused by this natural disaster. It just goes to show that socialism along with unqualified state and local governments is disasterous to the country. The entire city should be given up to mother nature. Bulldoze it, plant trees and abandon the area. Everyone was warned plenty of times that this was going to happen. Every hurricane season the news reports that "if this hurricane strikes N.O. it is going to be sitting under water." When my children are warned repeatedly not to do something or they will get hurt and they do, and do get hurt I do console them, but I don't feel sorry for them, I tell them "I told you so!" Well New Orleans, "You were warned!" I don't feel sorry for those people one bit and it ticks me off that tax dollars are going to be used to rebuild this corrupt community of brain dead morons.

George R Sands

well john/jws the same I suspect
I only argee that the mess in New Orleans is as I stated a Priority and that yes it is going to be difficult to coordinate clean up ,rescue, and rebuilding and the like. Geo.Bush did not need a degree in logistics to step up and offer help , he in my opinion has bumbled in so many big things concerning the need of the people and this just adds to his apparent ineptness as a leader ,again I don't think He ever realized the amount of emotional stamina it takes to run a nation, the attention it requires , or the amount of openess to other leaders that our president needs to have in order to help americans and the world in general. But I stated that I think he has enought humanity and humbleness to admit that they were slow and not on top of the situation.I also do not think Geo Bush is one bit apprecitetive of (down deep)negative peoples support do you . I think George Bush is more impressed when good and wholesome people approve of him or disaprove of His actons don't you ? approval from ugly negetive people has never helped my self esteem or yours or Geo Bushs wouln'dt you agree.? Now not to criticise you but I believe I see a little of what I might call almost a little bit of double talk in your last letter, First I do not necessarily agree that all the letter content here is a load of garbage although I do think this last letter you put out is certainly smelly old anger and rage built up over years of negitive feelings and thinking.To say this load of garbage here would certainly imply all the letters would'nt it now ,a man of your stature would not want to implicate that he was putting out a load of garbage so I guess we can all assume that everybody elses thoughts are the only ones deemed garbabge by you, the one who seems so capable of judgeing the garbage worthyness of letters other than your own of course. as well I am not with you on your judgement of Mr. Nagen or the Gov. of Loui. What we should do with the city I will leave to people more capable in such a judgement.Yes there were warnings and sence there were so many and sence you know so much about logistics and what this was going to do why did you not call the Gov. and Mr.Nagen and tell them to get with it.Its Good that you console your children when they get hurt but to say I told you so really lets them know how right you are dos'nt it . I feel sorry for the people there and it does not matter how many warnings they had. and as far as brain dead I don't think me and you can make that assertion or excuse me I bet you can-- sorry. now one last thought about BRAIN DEAD as stated you beleive a good leader accepts blame or responsibilty when he is not to Blame well you were a good DAD right well then why did you not say that when my KIDS get hurt Kids I am to blame here for you getting hurt and I accept responsibility just becasue I am a good leader and a good Dad. I would suggest a Diet , Exercise , and lots of possitive imput to reprogram those scarred Brain cells with have been affected by years of anti social thinking would'nt you agree we could all use some help along those lines. wow. Taxes huh well I do agree there but We might need a little spent on us sometime .

The comments to this entry are closed.