Patterico's Pontifications

9/4/2005

Clueless Is Right

Filed under: Current Events,Morons — Patterico @ 11:39 pm

Jeff Jarvis quotes Michael Chertoff as saying:

We don’t ask them to pack up in 24 hours unless it’s a real emergency.

Ouch. Assuming Jarvis has quoted Chertoff accurately, that’s tough to explain away, for anyone who still insists that the Administration has handled this crisis in an impeccable manner.

I can’t find the quote in any news source. Let me know if you think it’s wrong. If it’s not, Bush has got some major ‘splainin’ to do.

106 Responses to “Clueless Is Right”

  1. Is this Jeff’s usual mode of operation, quoting someone without even saying where he saw/heard the quote? I mean, if it was on tv, then he can’t give a link until there’s a transcript or it get’s picked up and reported but something like, “I just heard Chertoff in an interview with Shep Smith on Fox say…” or something so that it can be tracked down. It just seems odd.

    Another thing…no context. Okay it’s pretty bad sounding but we’ve all seen quotes mangled to the point where what was quoted was the opposite of what was actually said.

    Also, was it a sound-bite? I mean, were those the only words that were given wherever he read or heard it? That would explain the lack of context but it would also make me more leery of passing on the quote. If I’d actually heard the entire context and thus knew that he meant to say exactly what it sounds like–in this case, blaming the victims for their plight–that’s one thing (although I think that I’d try to give some of the context anyway–characterize it if I couldn’t quote it directly). If I know none of the context of what I was passing along–maybe Chertoff was quoting someone elses words in order to rebut them and he got chopped off–then I’ve fallen, unwittingly, into the trap that I spoke of above, passing on a quote that sounds like one thing but meant something entirely different.

    I’m not apologizing for Chertoff or railing on Jeff, just exploring possibilities that are not ruled out by Jeff’s post.

    Of course, even taken as is it’s pretty much of an aphorism…as in “truer words were never spoken” if he was talking about people who just decided to ignore the mandatory evacuation (not people who, for some reason, were unable to leave). The problem is political. It’s the kind of truth that one in his position doesn’t dare say in the hearing of anyone with a microphone in hand. It’s also the kind of truth that does nothing to explain why it took so long for federal relief to get to N.O. If he was trying to deflect attention from that with this gem, he deserves to be strung up.

    Craig R. Harnon (707dda)

  2. There seems to be a lot of blame shifting due to ignorance of the government’s powers in the case of an emergency like Katrina. Accordingly, here is a discussion and analysis of governmental authority in the case of an emergency.

    FEDERAL DISASTER AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
    EXTRAORDINARY PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY
    STATE AND LOCAL EMERGENCY RESTRICTIONS
    LIABILITIES OF EMERGENCY RESPONDERS
    LEGAL CHALLENGES FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH SECTOR

    This source makes it clear that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. If a Governor or Mayor is imcompetent, the federal government does have the authority to take direct action such as declaring martial law, enforcing evacuations, etc.

    In short, they are all responsible for their inaction.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  3. I would especially like to draw your attention to this quote:

    “If the emergency arises, the army of the nation, and all its militia, are at the service of the nation to compel obedience to its laws.”

    (In re Debs, 158 U.S. 564, 582 (1895)).

    Naturally then, the military is also available to prevent loss of life. The key litmus test is “reasonable necessity”.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  4. Here is more:

    Two points deserve attention at the outset of a legal discussion of the military’s domestic role.

    First, nothing in the Constitution prohibits such use. 22 Congress has enacted prohibitions in this area, and Congress can (and has) created exceptions to those prohibitions. Second, the legal rules concerning domestic use of the military apply to the use of the military for law enforcement purposes. With regard to the subject of this volume — consequence management — there have never been significant limitations on what the military may be ordered to do.

    22 Several constitutional provisions show the framers’ intention that the armed forces be subject to tight civilian control. Congress is authorized to raise and support armies, to declare war, and to make rules for the government and regulation of land and naval forces. U.S. CONST. art. I, § 8. Additionally, the President is Commander in Chief of the military. Id. art. II.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  5. I couldn’t dispute anything you wrote so I won’t try. However, I don’t get the connection to the post–I can be dense at this hour of the night. What is your point.

    Craig R. Harnon (707dda)

  6. The connection is that the President has extraordinary authority sourcing from his oath for situations such as this.

    He dragged his feet all the while knowing that people were dying while he played a game of politics with an incompetent Governor and Mayor, neither of which he was subordinate.

    The President failed us–not just an incompetent FEMA director. The President is the one who should be held accountable.

    Since Bush has established a pattern of behavior in this area and since the stakes are likely to only increase, I suggest that he should resign or be impeached for the good of the nation.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  7. This is the joker Bush appointed as FEMA head?!

    This is the person who was supposed to manage the response after 9/11–possibly after the release of WMD in US cities?!

    Do you see the pattern here? Bush puts fraternity politics ahead of our national defense.

    Tenet gets a Medal of Freedom after blowing the Iraq intelligence (twice). We have an Iraqi constitution that is shaping up to put the Iran-beholden clerics in charge of all Iraqi laws. Iran proceeds unabated in producing nuclear weapons–we just move our estimates back. Meanwhile, it is full speed ahead for the DPRK and China–we even lost the Aegis technology to them on top of our nuclear secrets.

    So, at some point, earlier rather than later I hope, we need to hold our elected representatives accountable. Naturally, we could wait until an avoidable nuclear attack when we are forced to our knees, but do we really want to do that?

    My point is that we cannot trust Bush’s judgment nor his conscienciousness.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  8. He dragged his feet all the while knowing that people were dying while he played a game of politics with an incompetent Governor and Mayor, neither of which he was subordinate.

    Okay, I think I see Paul Deignan’s point, and it’s hard to argue with it: Bush’s failure was that he foolishly expected that the elected governor of Louisiana and the elected mayor of New Orleans would actually do their jobs — calling out the Guard, evacuating the residents, moving emergency equipment to high ground, making sure the police didn’t desert in droves or join the looters, and especially, to direct and coordinate the emergency response, so that FEMA, the DHS, and all that federal money that was offered two days before the hurricane struck could actually be put to good use.

    Bush utterly failed to anticipate that the nation’s most corrupt state and either first or second most corrupt city (Chicago has to be in the running there) would imply a governor who would collapse into a hysterical puddle of tears like some demented cross between Sen. Patty “Osama Mama” Murray and Deputy Barney Fife, and a mayor who, when his city called, dropped everything to run to the microphones and burp out an obscenity-laced tirade against the president and call him a racist.

    Thus, the federales dragged their feet — taking three whole days to realize that Louisiana was a leadership basket-case even before the hurricane. So we had US forces in NOLA on Friday instead of, say, Thursday. Impeach the son of a bachelor!

    What Bush should have done was take one look at the toads and salamanders who the good people of Louisiana had put into office — and simply order the Marines to invade and occupy the entire state right from the git-go. Maybe even in 2004.

    You make an excellent point, Paul; I’m a little surprised you would see things so clearly, but I’ll certainly give credit where it’s due.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  9. Dafydd,

    If you live next door to a drug abuser that habitually lets his children play in the street, at what point do you intervene? Before or after one of the children is run over?

    Its much the same with our government. The constitution is not a suicide pact.

    The law allows that the federal government may intervene and take what action is necessary in case of an emergency. The president can declare martial law if necessary. Of course, in a perfect world the local authorities will take the lead. Here they were criminally negligent.

    Does that mean that you stand by and watch–forsaking your oath?

    A hurricane is a national event. It is not something that snuck up on us. We knew its force and were it was headed. We knew the levees would be toppled. We knew there would be intese flooding.

    It was the duty of the the federal and state governments to see that the evacuation was run efficiently and that forces were in place to provide relief.

    Using your logic, if an enemy broke through a trenchline, you would rather blame the squad leader than send in the battalion reserves before the whole sector collapsed.

    That is the blame game that is going on here–ot works only to shield the guilty.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  10. Am I missing something, Patterico? What’s wrong with the Chertoff comment, assuming he made it?

    The first thing that should have happened was that Governor Blankout should have called up the Louisiana National Guard, 75% of whom were still right there in the state. It could not possibly have become clear in the first 24 hours that she had utterly failed to do so.

    Nor could it possibly have been clear to anybody that Mayor Nagin had no intention of actually following the well thought-out hurricane plan that was already on file in his office (supplied by previous administrations, of course).

    Nor would it be possible to leap into the gap the upon the instant of realization: we don’t have warehouses of hundreds of helos, still in their plastic shrinkwrap, ready for instant deployment at a moment’s notice. And bear in mind, the hurricane didn’t focus like a laser beam on New Orleans; the devastated area is about the size of England! What are the exact coordinates to which each newly unwrapped helo should be sent?

    The normal procedure (followed in Mississippi and Alabama) is for the state authorities to take control of the emergency response, using federal resources along with state resources to best effect. There are reasons for this: one is federalism, the other is the commonsense realization that the governor of a state and the mayor of a city should have a much better idea where to allocate people, transport, equipment, and supplies than the bureaucrats in D.C., for God’s sake.

    To be able to adjust to the state and local government vanishing act in just a single day, taking federal control of the operation and rapidly moving troops and supplies into the area even in the absence of local response is actually very impressive. (Contrast it, for example, with Bush-41′s anemic, eleven-day delayed response to Andrew in 1992.)

    But instead of praising Bush for moving extraordinarily fast, he is spat upon for not moving at superluminous velocity.

    Jumping Jesus.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  11. Dafydd,

    If you witnessed the announcement of the evacuation order (linked previously) where Nagin basically said “leave if you want, it’s everyone for themselves–we have no plans to move anyone” and understand that that great plan came only after prodding, then I think that you would realize that it was indeed clear that there was no competent authority in charge.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  12. And BTW, in the very same announcement (with Blanco at his side) he said that he expected the levees to be toppled.

    Its not the usual case that an incompetent will tell you to your face that they are going out on a spree of stupidity, but when they do, it would be a nice thing to stop them in their tracks and take charge of the situation.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  13. In fact, it is the duty of the officeholder of the President under his oath to do just that.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  14. Nor would it be possible to leap into the gap the upon the instant of realization: we don’t have warehouses of hundreds of helos, still in their plastic shrinkwrap, ready for instant deployment at a moment’s notice. And bear in mind, the hurricane didn’t focus like a laser beam on New Orleans; the devastated area is about the size of England! What are the exact coordinates to which each newly unwrapped helo should be sent?

    You pick up the phone and call General Meyers who then calls Ft. Hood and Ft. Rucker and says, “Generals, those hundreds of Chinooks and blackhawks you have there on the tarmacs,…, fuel them up, put a medic and MPs on board and fly them to NOLA. General Smith, you’re in charge. I want those people evacuated”.

    They weren’t even shrinkwrapped so no need to cut off any plastic.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  15. A few questions spring to mind. A) When was this comment made, and where, and to whom? B) Who is the “them” referred to? B1) Were “they” to pack up in anticipation of evacuation (civilians)? B2) Or were “they” to pack up in anticipation of deployment (military)? C) If B1, might this have been an exasperated response to a media question, which response might reasonably be rephrased as “We’re not in the habit of asking folks to pack up in 24 hours — as we did, you dimwit — unless we think it’s a real emergency”? Alas, I confess I don’t know if any of the preceding are material or relevant, because — as Garrett Morris might have put it — I HAVE NO CONTEXT AGAINST WHICH TO EXAMINE THE QUOTE! And in the apparently willful absence of such context, we should not assume good faith or accuracy on the part of the decontextualizer. When, where, to whom: we need to know at least these before we can hope to comment profitably, much less accept the justice of the imputation.

    porkopolitan (b7b69e)

  16. You pick up the phone and call General Meyers who then calls Ft. Hood and Ft. Rucker and says, “Generals, those hundreds of Chinooks and blackhawks you have there on the tarmacs,…, fuel them up, put a medic and MPs on board and fly them to NOLA. General Smith, you’re in charge. I want those people evacuated”.

    Right, and when the helos get there and have no fuel or maintenance, and the base they are at is hit by a Cat-4 hurricane, you have a few hundred less Chinooks and Blackhawks, and a few thousand more hurricane victims in need of food and water.

    Dafydd is right, as the eventual investigations will show: given the magnitude of the disaster, the number of people left in the lurch by local authorities before the disaster, and the lack of any local support in NO after the calamity, the Federal intervention has been a remarkable, virtually unqualified success by any objective standard.

    If you’re looking for a scandal, apparently all Mayor Nagin has done in the past few days is arrange for immediate, city-paid vacations for police and fire-fighters – some of whom apparently deserted their posts during the crisis – in Las Vegas.

    LagunaDave (4cad8b)

  17. Paul lives in a land where logistics are meaningless.

    Randy P. (fd99d0)

  18. As #1 and #14, without Jarvis providing details or context, there’s no way to know for sure what Chertoff was saying.

    But on the face of it, what’s wrong with what Chertoff said?

    To me, it sure sounds like Chertoff is saying that extraordinary steps are saved for extraordinary situations… and that Katrina was a real emergency that justified the steps that were taken…. which sure makes sense to me. Why should ‘we’ pack ‘them’ up in 24 hours for non-emergencies?

    If Chertoff was talking about evacuating people, it makes sense – I’m not packing up absent a really good reason. And it also makes sense if Chertoff was talking about moblizing the National Guard.

    steve sturm (d3e296)

  19. I am angry and frustrated too, although not to the degree Paul is. Nobody looks good here. This is very humiliating for our country. New Orleans existed on life support from a socio-economic as well as an ecological and engineering viewpoint. The pezzonovantes should have known that, when they saw a Force 5 hurricane due for a direct hit on the city. The people who were providing life support either ran away or sat on their hands. The maggots who stayed behind to loot and shoot added to the hell. The city needed strong hands to help her before, during and after the hurricane and they were nowhere to be found.

    nk (8214ee)

  20. Paul,

    From experience, it can be much harder than you realize to intervene until the damage is done. It is like the “innocent until proven guilty” theme goes for incompetence and cruelty also.

    As said above, compared to past disasters it appears the feds came in a lot earlier. No one is screaming about mismanagement in Mississippi. Is that because the devastation is not as concentrated, the feds got there faster, the governor had a better grasp on things, or it is just not as captivating for the reporters?

    Not to make any excuses, but you know that a large percent of people will criticize the President no matter what he does. I’ve heard that (prior to Katrina anyway) any such talk of a “jobless recovery” was very out of date, with continued strong job growth and low unemployment, but that didn’t get quite as much media coverage.

    See my post on “Politization..” for some sad updates.

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

  21. #17,

    I once commanded a quartermaster company. I know more about logistics than you might guess.

    What is it with these people who think that all military operations are like dealing with the social security administration? If the military was that pathetic we would have sued for peace with Pancho Villa.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  22. Scroll down a bit on Jeff Jarvis’ site and you will find this from Jeff Jarvis, 9/4/05:

    Damn them
    September 4th, 2005
    Read More: neworleans, Politics

    There is so much so terribly wrong in this lead to today’s Washington Post report on the government scandal of New Orleans:

    Tens of thousands of people spent a fifth day awaiting evacuation from this ruined city, as Bush administration officials blamed state and local authorities for what leaders at all levels have called a failure of the country’s emergency management….

    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….

    Yesterday, Mayor Ray Nagin said he told the governor and the president to sit down and get their acts together. This is precisely what he meant. Note also that the mayor said he’d be happy to hand over authority to Gen. Russel Honore if that would get things done”.

    You can second guess all you want but one thing is clear, at least to me, the President saw the LA plan failing and tried to do something about it.
    As to why he didn’t just go in “balls to the wall”…well, that would have looked really good but sure as hell would prove to backfire. The local and state governments already had plans in place, and had already started to impliment them, poorly as it turns out. So let’s just barge in there like the big bad federal gov’t and change horses in the middle of the stream.
    It is clear from the paragraphs above that the feds wanted to TAKE OVER the existing plans and Blanco fought them on it.
    As far as Nagin’s comments for Blanco and Bush to “sit down and get their acts together”, I just can’t seem to be able to picture that. Besides, it’s not like he had much room to talk, he’d already lost control of his city.

    Marv (e05868)

  23. Paul,
    I completly agree with you if dealing with logistics for assembled active military. But in another post the lawyers say you can’t use standing active military, you have to call in the guard, and I imagine the issue of logistics is getting everyone off the job, out of bed, and back home from vacation and get them assembled (I think).
    From your position of knowing what could have been done if all was coordinated I can see your anger. Even if the president can invoke special powers in an emergency doesn’t mean it would be wise to, acting dictatorial has it’s own problems. I’m sure if we could hold up two options ahead of time and their implications it would make things clearer. Instead we have the mess we are in versus whatever mess would have happened if President Bush started telling everyone, including the Governor and Mayor, what to do NOW.

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

  24. nk,

    There are two other apologies being offered up to excuse the inexcusable.

    One is that anyone that recognizes the inexcusable behavior is some sort of old marm crying about mice in the kitchen–hysterical with emotion. Oh the vapors!

    The other is that this is all about partisan politics–just more Bush bashing.

    The problem is that with so much crying wolf by the DNC many on the right are conditioned not to respond–they are deadened to what responsible government should act like and what constitutes an unnacceptable government action.

    What you need to do is remember that disasters do not differentiate between political parties and that incompetence is nonpartisan.

    America only functions as a democracy when we hold our political leaders accountable. Think of it as part of the duties of citizenship.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  25. MD,

    My references make it clear that it is absolutely appropriate to use the active military (as we are using).

    Those lawyers need to go back to law school.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  26. Respect for Nagin??? What if Guilliani had told the President to “get off his ass” (and fix his problem). He would have been made out as a moron, which is exactly what Nagin is!!!! He thinks no one will say that because of the race card, but I think this moronic black idiot is the reason of all this death and lawlessness!! The President should be praised for his SWIFT action, but will be denounced because the MSM will not call a spade a spade!

    savet (b6d917)

  27. Paul, are you seriously suggesting that you think the President should have the power to push aside the mayor of a city and the governor of a state, federalize the National Guard and use the military to force the evacuation that they hadn’t done?

    In any case, though, your reading of the legal issues appears to be deficient. There’s a long discussion here.

    Charlie (Colorado) (d794ec)

  28. Paul,

    You will recall that, despite its best efforts, the U.S. Army was unable to actually capture Pancho Villa!

    Marco

    Marco (cfc0e4)

  29. Chalie,

    Yes. I thought that was clear.

    Please read the reference EXTRAORDINARY PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY

    It should be clear to you that the incompetence of a Mayor or Governor cannot hold hostage citizens of the US.

    The oath of office requires the President to affirm that he will execute his office and do his best to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, which requires the President to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. Accordingly, “the President should have the inherent authority, in fact the responsibility, to preserve the nation, even if it means taking extreme actions not specified in the Constitution.”

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  30. Marco,

    Well, at least we didn’t sue for peace.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  31. Now Cuba, Afghanistan, and Iran are offering aid–the same aid we would not accet from neighboring states and cities in the US.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  32. Bill Whittle’s written another masterpiece:

    http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000129.html

    Roofer (09b102)

  33. Somewhere in the slums of Sadr City, there is a kid watching TV thinking, “Praise Allah, that government is not in charge over here”.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  34. “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….

    why not hte other way around? they’re trying to pull off blaming it on the locals now. It wouldn’t work if the whiners didn’t have something the locals were supposed to do to point to.

    actus (518762)

  35. I am amazed at how stupid Bush is and how smart all his critics are. Why everyone of you knew that Katrina was going to hit New ORleans and not make land fall somewhere else. And everyone of you knew that Katrina would be a force 4 hurricane that would breach the dike that was built to withstand a force 3 hurricane only. And each one of you knew that the local grovernment would not make the right decision and take the right actions, leaving those without private transportation means to drown, rather than using the publicly owned buses to transport them. And each one of you knew that the Governor of Louisiana would botch the decision to evacuate the city. MY MY MY. You’re just way too smart for me. I have enjoyed reading this blog for some time. But it’s obvious that I’m not near smart enough to continue in such august company. Why God himself must bow down to your foresight and insight. I’ll go to blogs where mere mortal understanding is the standard. I won’t be reading you at this blog.

    john (fb05db)

  36. “I am amazed at how stupid Bush is and how smart all his critics are. ”

    These things weren’t that hard to forecast.

    actus (518762)

  37. Calling Patterico,

    Please clarify legal options, legal likelihoods, illegal possibilities, and the like with what the President can and can’t do in pushing a governor out of the way.

    I heard an interview clip of the NO Mayor who essentially was saying “I couldn’t get anything done because the higher ups [gov and pres] couldn’t get theire act together.”

    Another option as to discerning who is telling the truth. Upon entering a room, the first to say, “He did it”, is actually the one who did.

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

  38. I don’t know why Paul is filling this thread with obsolete and irrelevant amateur legal opinion.

    But returning to Chertoff, Patterico, I think people are taking comments out of context to make silly attempts to score points on officials. Its just a cheap stunt.

    Robin Roberts (56a273)

  39. Obsolete?

    You must be kidding. Read the citation. It is one of the very best sources you will find on this topic–thoroughly up to date.

    Irrelevant? Hardly.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  40. Okay, Paul, I was mistaken — you are seriously suggesting that the President should, without legislative authority, be allowed to declare an emergency, wrest control of a city and state from their elected governor and mayor respectively, impose martial law, take direct command of the police forces and emergency services, and impose martial law in order to compel compliance with FEMA directives.

    In the immortal words of Mike Myers: are you mental?

    Charlie (Colorado) (d794ec)

  41. Charlie,

    The authority is already there.

    With the NOLA police force disintegrating, martial law was appropriate (although I did not suggest it).

    You suggest that the mayor and governor had control. I suggest that you are sadly mistaken.

    You also add “FEMA directives”, I stated “oath”.

    If we took a poll of what should have been done, I would win. Instead, you have this sort of lame response by LTG Blum

    Some people asked why didn’t we go in sooner. Had we gone in with less force it may have been challenged, innocents may have been caught in a fight between the Guard military police and those who did not want to be processed or apprehended, and we would put innocents’ lives at risk.

    I didn’t make that up.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  42. It gets better:

    As soon as we could mass the appropriate force, which we flew in from all over the states at the rate of 1,400 a day, they were immediately moved off the tail gates of C-130 aircraft flown by the Air National Guard, moved right to the scene, briefed, rehearsed, and then they went in and took this convention center down.

    So evacuating people from a government designated shelter after (how many days now?) is some sort of military operation that the idiots in charge need to reherse in order to “take down”.

    Mind you, these are not federal troops–they are National Guard led by the intrepid LTG Blum.

    From now on, we will have to address him as “The Most Courageous Defender of the Bureaucratic Hole Punch and Liberator of the New Orleans Convention Center”.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  43. LTG Blum — the next Bush awardee of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

    There is no doubt in my mind. The medal is being engraved as we speak.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  44. Pau, you have a perfect case but you are overarguing it. It is undeniable that we let one of our cities and our fellow citizens suffer the fate of Bangladesh. It is a big humiliation for all of us.

    nk (b923ca)

  45. Okay, so you are mental.

    You also apparently didn’t do well in your civics classes, since you are under the impression that “the government” is one unitary entity.

    Charlie (Colorado) (d794ec)

  46. Paul Deignan:

    It is this quotation of yours that, all by itself, tells me you haven’t a sodding clue what you’re talking about. At first, I thought you were keeping up; but it’s pretty clear now that your only interest in this entire discussion is as a chance to bash Bush.

    Referring to the federal response, you wrote:

    Does that mean that you stand by and watch–forsaking your oath?

    Stand by and watch? For God’s sake, according to a link to the New Orleans Times Picayune posted as part of the hour-by-hour timeline compiled from MSM sources by Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse, as of Tuesday, less than twenty-four hours after the storm struck and before the city was inundated, this is how the feds were just “stand[ing] around and watch[ing]“:

    The White House released a list of the response through Tuesday afternoon by federal agencies and the American Red Cross:

    FEMA

    FEMA deployed 23 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from all across the U.S. to staging areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Louisiana and is now moving them into impacted areas.

    Seven Urban Search and Rescue task forces and two Incident Support Teams have been deployed and propositioned in Shreveport, La., and Jackson, Miss., including teams from Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Three more Urban Search and Rescue teams are in the process of deployment.

    FEMA is moving supplies and equipment into the hardest hit areas as quickly as possible, especially water, ice, meals, medical supplies, generators, tents, and tarps.

    U.S. Coast Guard

    More than 40 Coast Guard aircraft from units along the entire eastern seaboard, with more than 30 small boats, patrol boats, and cutters are positioned in staging areas around the impact areas, from Jacksonville, Fla., to Houston, now conducting post-hurricane search, rescue and humanitarian aid operations, waterway impact assessments and waterway reconstitution operations.

    Department of Transportation

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) dispatched more than 390 trucks that are beginning to deliver millions of meals ready to eat, millions of liters of water, tarps, millions of pounds of ice, mobile homes, generators, containers of disaster supplies, and forklifts to flood damaged areas. DOT has helicopters and a plane assisting delivery of essential supplies.

    National Guard

    The National Guard of the four most heavily impacted states are providing support to civil authorities as well as generator, medical and shelter with approximately 7,500 troops on State Active Duty. The National Guard is augmenting civilian law enforcement capacity; not acting in lieu of it.

    Department of Agriculture

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Emergency Boards are coordinating agricultural-related responses at the county, state, and national levels in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and elsewhere. USDA is also coordinating damage assessments to area crops, livestock, and other agriculture-related operations. Farmers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center for additional information on assistance available.

    Department of Health and Human Services

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sent 38 U.S. Public Health Service Officers to Jackson, Miss., for deployment. In addition, HHS has 217 U.S. Public Health Service Officers on standby for deployment to support medical response in Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf states.

    Department of Defense

    The United State Northern Command (NORTHCOM) continues to assist FEMA after disaster declarations were issued for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi following the devastation caused in parts of each state by Hurricane Katrina.

    Department of Labor

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is contacting major power companies to the areas affected to provide safety briefings to employees at power restoration staging areas in affected communities. OSHA is also releasing public service announcements to inform workers about hazards related to restoration and cleanup.

    In case you lose count, Paul, that’s eight federal agencies fully involved in rescue and recovery operations less than twenty-four hours after the storm passed (I included the National Guard because the feds were coordinating the state requests). And of course, Bush started the ball rolling by declaring a national emergency two days before the hurricane made landfall; and it was Bush who called both Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin and talked them into issuing mandatory evacuation orders the day before landfall.

    But as recently as Friday, as above, the governor still refused to allow the federal government to take control of the efforts. She stubbornly hangs on, blocking the president, even after her own incompetence is made utterly manifest to everyone (probably even to herself; I suspect she’s fighting for her political survival).

    Evidently, Paul, your lengthy stint commanding a quartermaster company did not teach you that the United States is not a monarchy. George Bush is not the king, nor is he the dictator; he cannot simply issue commands and decrees. He is bound by this curious thing called the Constitution. He has only the powers that he has been granted.

    In particular, the president does not have the power or authority to order the Army to invade and occupy states of the United States that are not in actual rebellion, just because he, personally, thinks they’re running themselves badly; and the military wouldn’t obey the order even if Bush gave it. Absent changes in federal law — I notice that after you carry out the urgent task of hating Bush, you seem to have no bile left over for Congress, either — there is nothing further the president can do beyond what he is already doing.

    Not even if he were a former commander of a quartermaster company.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  47. Charlie,

    A sane reaction to an insane situation might strike us as mental until we are able to grasp the full insanity of the transit

    ….down the Potomac Mississippi river into the Heart of Darkness

    The Horror …….. the horror .

    (c) Apocalypse Now meme the original intellectual property of Paul Deignan as used in this context. No rights reserved.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  48. Dafydd,

    Please read the link I provided earlier.

    Two absurdities competing for my attention is too much (1. The president did everything 2. nothing could be done).

    Notice that there is a federal military presence in NOLA that was not there before. Did the Governor order those federal troops there? Did they step into some sort of worm hole for the past four days only to appear now?

    The whole case was that Bush should have acted sooner.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  49. Can you imagine how Paul and his fellow-travelers would have responded if the Bush Administration had immediately federalized the disaster response? No doubt we would today be reading posts along the likes of “The racists in the White House didn’t trust a black mayor or a Democrat governor to handle the hurricane and flood response.” When this matter is investigated, no doubt the Administration will receive some just criticism for their handling of things, but I’ll bet dollars to dimes that the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana will be seen to be the bigger culprits in this whole mess.

    JVW (54c318)

  50. ‘No doubt we would today be reading posts along the likes of “The racists in the White House didn’t trust a black mayor or a Democrat governor to handle the hurricane and flood response.”’

    They’d probably manage to mess it up too.

    actus (5b2f21)

  51. JVW,

    I would have said, “Yeah! Bush really does read his e-mail!”

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  52. “They’d probably manage to mess it up too.”

    Exactly. And that is why this sort of thing should always be coordinated at the most local level, not by some bureaucrat at a desk in Washington. Again, the city and state are the ones that really blew it.

    ——–

    “I would have said, ‘Yeah! Bush really does read his e-mail!’”

    Um, OK Paul.

    JVW (54c318)

  53. Can anyone tell me why we need Mayors and Govenors (I beleive the term means THE ONE WHO GOVERNS) the State of Louisiana? I say after this has happened, we need to merge it into the same category as Washington, DC! (I guess we can call it Louisiana, DC. or maybe Nagin, DC).)

    savet (b6d917)

  54. Paul Deignan:

    Please read the link I provided earlier.

    Actually, I did, Paul — evidently unlike you. As typical with lefties, your own source doesn’t say what you imagine it says. This is especially bizarre, because you are not yourself a lefty… at least, your blog doesn’t appear to be leftist at all. But you ape their worst attributes when you post silly comments like this. Why do you do that?

    The document you link is a paper, published by the “National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism” (whatever the hell that is) discussing the emergency powers that the president can exercise; under the section titled 1.1 Martial Law, it cites a couple of nineteenth-century cases that addressed the issue:

    In both Luther v. Borden11 and the Prize Cases, the Supreme Court upheld the President’s mobilization of the militia and blockade of seaports as authorized by the Commander-in-Chief’s duty to faithfully execute the laws of the land during extreme domestic emergencies.

    In fact, the “laws of the land” were being faithfully executed — just badly and incompetently. If you really believed in your sophistry, you would call for martial law to take over any state that spent less on the public schools than the president imagined would be good.

    Here is another; this one you actually quoted… in part, of course, leaving out the context:

    Similarly, the Supreme Court in In re Debs upheld the authority of President Cleveland to send federal troops to Chicago to enforce an injunction against Eugene Debs and the American Railway Union. “If the emergency arises, the army of the nation, and all its militia, are at the service of the nation to compel obedience to its laws.”

    The “emergency” in question was a strike that was illegal under federal law! Nothing about Louisiana’s and New Orleans’s incompetence was a violation of law; they were just woefully unprepared to deal with their responsibilities. This case is no kind of precedent, unless you confabulate some federal law against incompetence.

    Finally, there is this:

    In Re Ex parte Milligan14 suggests limits on Presidential authority. In 1862, President Lincoln’s Secretary of War suspended the writ of habeas corpus for persons arrested for disloyal practices. Milligan, a confederate sympathizer, was convicted of treason by a military commission and sentenced to hang. The Supreme Court overturned Milligan’s conviction because the civil courts remained open despite the proclamation of martial law. Congress had established procedures for suspension of the writ; Milligan’s conviction by military commission was contrary to overt congressional intent. The military’s action exceeded mere control of the civilian population, inserting itself into the judicial realm where there was no need for it to operate. The Court ruled that martial law is allowed only: (1) during dire conditions of necessity or war; (2) when the courts are closed; and (3) only in the actual war area.

    First, the “courts” (or in this case, emergency services) were not “closed;” there was a state response… it was just incompetent. This is akin to the courts being open — but judges and juries issuing bad verdicts, which is certainly not legal grounds to declare martial law, for God’s sake. If Governor Blankout had actually formally disbanded the Louisiana National Guard, fired all the state emergency workers, and closed down the hospitals, then you might have a case.

    But even in that case, you run into the real finding of the Court in Milligan: when Congress has already enacted specific legislation covering the exercise of emergency powers, the president cannot simply ignore those laws and just do it any old way.

    Congress has enacted just such legislation; several people uptopic cited it, but you bleeped right over it, because it didn’t say what you wanted to hear. Jumping Jesus, Paul, your own source says the precise opposite of what you argue!

    Here we have only two possibilities: either you have just lied by implication about your own source — or else you never bothered to read it before linking. Which is it?

    But your behavior is even worse. Did you bother to read the introduction to that very same document — which you linked in your first comment but haven’t mentioned since?

    Did you read the first two paragraphs of it? It’s all relevant to understanding the context of the paper; I highlighted just one facet, but the rest is important too.

    State officials have primary legal responsibility for coping with emergencies, including terrorist events. The federal government provides supplementary assistance if the emergency poses challenges that cannot be successfully met with state resources exclusively. The initial responders will most likely be local personnel: police, fire, and other emergency services. Issues within the scope of their authority are theirs to address without recourse to federal approval. Moreover, the Governor executes overall consequence management leadership, especially when extraordinary measures such as quarantines are appropriate. Yet, for numerous reasons, responsibility for managing a terrorist event’s consequences is more complicated; to characterize the federal role as “supplementary,” while legally accurate does not portray the situation.

    A terrorist event is, of course, a national security challenge that threatens every American, even those who are geographically remote from the attack site. The consequences are likely to strain any single state’s resources. Only the federal government has the depth of money, equipment, and personnel to meet the demands of a truly catastrophic attack. Other factors support an enlarged federal role. Unlike a natural calamity, law enforcement has a paramount mission; the FBI has unquestioned authority over that facet of terrorism response. Although law enforcement and consequence management are designed to operate in parallel, the overlap, integration, and confusion of obligations might blur this distinction.

    The Randroids call what you did “context dropping.” You knew very well that the author was specifically talking about terrorist attacks… not about natural disasters. In fact, he was drawing a distinction between the two. You just decided not to tell us that, assuming nobody would actually follow up your link and discover it for himself.

    You continue:

    Two absurdities competing for my attention is too much (1. The president did everything 2. nothing could be done).

    Here, you find yourself utterly unable to discriminate between the statements “nothing could be done” and nothing else could be done other than what the president is already doing.

    This is either a lie by omission (you dropped important words to make it seem I said other than what I did), or else you didn’t bother to read my comment, either.

    Notice that there is a federal military presence in NOLA that was not there before. Did the Governor order those federal troops there?

    Yes, of course! She formally requested that the troops be sent — which is required by law before they can be sent. How can you not understand this?

    Did they step into some sort of worm hole for the past four days only to appear now?

    You posted this after I listed a bunch of things the feds were doing within the first twenty-four hours. So you already knew — or you would have known, had you read any of the comments that made the mistake of responding to you — that it was less than one day, not “four days,” before federal response forthcame… including coordination of the National Guards of four states to “augment[] civilian law enforcement,” which is exactly what you’re talking about, to the extent that you’re actually talking about anything.

    This, therefore, is either the lie direct from you — or else an admission that you didn’t read my comment at all before “responding” to it (with another Bush bash).

    You are either a liar, Paul Deignan, or you are completely incapable of reading and responding to argument… a disheartening inability for a “PhD candidate at Purdue University.”

    And you are a freak: as I write this, there are 52 comments to this post… and 25 of them are from you, bashing Bush.

    You are a Bush hater, and it makes no difference that you hate him from the right, not from the left; you’re every bit as irrational as the Kossacks in your Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    And this discussion is no longer of any value. I may continue to correct your blatant misstatements of fact; but I will no longer bother “arguing” with you about them. If I just want to shout into a void, I’ll go visit the Grand Canyon again.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  55. Just saw Ray Nagin on Dateline talking about “spin”. This while we cauld see that he hasn’t shaved his beard in a week, but his “chrome dome” was well shaved. What a farce!

    savet (b6d917)

  56. “And that is why this sort of thing should always be coordinated at the most local level, not by some bureaucrat at a desk in Washington.”

    I’d say that “most local” level to deal with the devastation of a major port and the relocation of hundreds of thousands to dozens of states is the federal level.

    actus (5b2f21)

  57. I’d say that “most local” level to deal with the devastation of a major port and the relocation of hundreds of thousands to dozens of states is the federal level.

    It is being dealt with on the Federal levl. FEMA is there doing their thing. Nice how you took the word “coordinated” and turned it into “deal”.
    Almost like a magician.

    rls (0516f0)

  58. Dafydd,

    Going through your reply and skipping over the irrelevancies:

    Martial law may be unilaterally declared by the President but is not necessary as a precondition for the deployment of federal troops to domestic situations. The post notes that there are practically no limitations of the application of federal troops (and the President is the CIC so he does not need anyone’s permission to deploy troops). In particular, there is no prohibition on deploying troops in the CONUS.

    The problems arise when local officials seek to limit what the troops can and cannot do. At this point (which has not been reached) the President can trump local officials in certain circumstances. He can even federalize the state NG and declare martial law if necessary.

    In your quote, the word “faithfully” appears. That is a pivitol word. Recall that when US troops were previously deployed against the wishes of local governments the laws were not obeyed faithfully. {“Badly”, “Incompletely”} are opposites of “faithfully”.

    The test is by “reasonable necessity”. It is a very loose standard that allows wide discretion by the executive. In this conditions I am certain that the President could do as I proposed with absolutely no problems with the SCOTUS.

    In Re Debs: The quote was fine. I am sure that any permutation of the commerce clause would provide sufficient justification under this condition alone–NOLA is a port city after all. We could also say that civil rights were being violated.

    There is no takeover of the federal judiciary here. Ex Parte Miligan is totally inapplicable. Note that this case specifically noted The military’s action exceeded mere control of the civilian population,… a legitimate use of the force in Miligan–just what we want here.

    In the chapter there are mentioned several laws including IRA that the President could operate under. There (again) is no law saying that he cannot. Ergo, no legislative conflict.

    It seems to me that you are grasping at straws and trying to fill in the middle with a blanket assumption that the President cannot act unless directed by congress. The President’s powers are far more expansive. He can do just about whatever he wants unless specifically trampling on functional local authorities. That doesn’t exist here.

    BTW, you’re awfully free with the “lie” accussations. Better you should make a case. It would help if you state the facts first and what it is that you claim and how it is that you think it is different from what I have been consistently saying (the President can act unilaterally in the deployment and application of federal troops in disaster response).

    I claim that the President can do exactly what he is doing now–only he could have done it earlier. That’s not a very revolutionary stance.

    Everyone knows that Bush could have declared martial law if he wanted for NOLA, so I don’t see your point.

    P.S. It took more than four days for Bush to send troops to NOLA from the point that he should have (two days before landfall)–closer to a week.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  59. ‘It is being dealt with on the Federal levl. FEMA is there doing their thing. Nice how you took the word “coordinated” and turned it into “deal”.’

    Oh. Well, the feds should coordinate too. Ask Houston how much locals are having to deal.

    actus (5b2f21)

  60. Back to the Chertoff quote, a google turns up only blogs with links leading back to the same unsourced source, Jeff Jarvis. What are the odds that no news organization would have picked up on a quote meaning what Jeff thinks it means yet? I mean, it’s not impossible but it just seems odd to me.

    I suggest that Jarvis, not necessarely on purpose, has gotten the quote wrong or it has been cut in such a way that it just doesn’t mean at all what he thinks it means. What are the chances that the MSM would let a chance to crucify Chertoff slide?

    Craig R. Harnon (d5265a)

  61. Paul Deignan:

    I told you I’ve no interest in “arguing” this with you. This isn’t a bulletin board.

    And I’ll keep my word. This — your suggestion that Bush should have declared martial law and sent the army to take over New Orleans two days before the hurricane even struck — speaks volumes all by itself:

    P.S. It took more than four days for Bush to send troops to NOLA from the point that he should have (two days before landfall)–closer to a week.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  62. Oh. Well, the feds should coordinate too. Ask Houston how much locals are having to deal

    I’m not sure what you mean. If you’re saying that the locals in Houston (and hundreds of other communities) are the ones dealing with the refugees now, I would say that is correct. Other than that, what’s your point?

    rls (0516f0)

  63. Dafydd,

    Just where do you get the idea that I suggested putting NOLA under martial law before the hurricane?

    I said that he could deploy troops before the hurricane to assist with the evacuation. I also said that he could, if he wanted, declare martial law. I never suggested that he declare martial law before landfall.

    See, you are letting your imagination get the better of you (again). And, BTW, just what is it that you refuse to argue?

    (Now, I admit that you are not arguing–name calling, ranting, hyperventilating, etc., but not arguing. Arguing would be a great improvement, but then of course you would have to have a ……point.)

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  64. P:
    I could have gotten it wrong and if you find a transcript or corrected quote, I’ll by all means correct my post. I was sitting on the couch blogging with the TV on, as it has been constantly, and was watching the statement. I was not transcribing, nor did I record; don’t remember which channel it was because it was the kind of even many carried. But I clearly remember him talking about why it took so long to get troops (and I didn’t say which troops, because I wasn’t clear on that) up because they didn’t just get them moving immediately unless it were — and he gave a kind of wry huff, not a chortle, but an verbal shrug — an emergency. My wife was in the kitchen and we looked at each other, dumbfounded. She and I heard the same thing and reacted the same way. But, again, I certainly could get anything wrong and if you find a transcript, please do let me know; I’ll look as well.
    best
    jeff

    Jeff Jarvis (9ed82e)

  65. “I’m not sure what you mean. If you’re saying that the locals in Houston (and hundreds of other communities) are the ones dealing with the refugees now, I would say that is correct. Other than that, what’s your point”

    The feds should coordinate and deal. Why should Houston pay so much when others aren’t? the best way to coordinate that, to deal with that, is via the feds.

    actus (5b2f21)

  66. The White House released a list of the response through Tuesday afternoon by federal agencies and the American Red Cross:

    FEMA

    FEMA deployed 23 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from all across the U.S. to staging areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Louisiana and is now moving them into impacted areas.

    Seven Urban Search and Rescue task forces and two Incident Support Teams have been deployed and propositioned in Shreveport, La., and Jackson, Miss., including teams from Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Three more Urban Search and Rescue teams are in the process of deployment.

    FEMA is moving supplies and equipment into the hardest hit areas as quickly as possible, especially water, ice, meals, medical supplies, generators, tents, and tarps.

    …No troops mentioned here

    U.S. Coast Guard

    More than 40 Coast Guard aircraft from units along the entire eastern seaboard, with more than 30 small boats, patrol boats, and cutters are positioned in staging areas around the impact areas, from Jacksonville, Fla., to Houston, now conducting post-hurricane search, rescue and humanitarian aid operations, waterway impact assessments and waterway reconstitution operations.

    That’s nice. The Coast Guard is always there. These are not federal troops

    Department of Transportation

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) dispatched more than 390 trucks that are beginning to deliver millions of meals ready to eat, millions of liters of water, tarps, millions of pounds of ice, mobile homes, generators, containers of disaster supplies, and forklifts to flood damaged areas. DOT has helicopters and a plane assisting delivery of essential supplies.

    No troops here either and no evacuations–transportation w/o transporting people. In Texas “beginning to deliver” is the same as “fixing to”.

    National Guard

    The National Guard of the four most heavily impacted states are providing support to civil authorities as well as generator, medical and shelter with approximately 7,500 troops on State Active Duty. The National Guard is augmenting civilian law enforcement capacity; not acting in lieu of it.

    They have troops, its just that they are not yet deploying them. States always have NG on State Active duty just to run the day-to-day administration. They are “supporting” as in “answering your phone calls”.

    Department of Agriculture

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Emergency Boards are coordinating agricultural-related responses at the county, state, and national levels in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and elsewhere. USDA is also coordinating damage assessments to area crops, livestock, and other agriculture-related operations. Farmers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center for additional information on assistance available.

    No troops here.

    Department of Health and Human Services

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sent 38 U.S. Public Health Service Officers to Jackson, Miss., for deployment. In addition, HHS has 217 U.S. Public Health Service Officers on standby for deployment to support medical response in Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf states.

    Wow, 38 bureaucrats. Will Jackson Miss ever recover?

    Department of Defense

    The United State Northern Command (NORTHCOM) continues to assist FEMA after disaster declarations were issued for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi following the devastation caused in parts of each state by Hurricane Katrina.

    “Assist” as in “directory assistance”. You call them and they tell you the time of day and phone number of the post exchange where you can find the latest 50 cent CD.

    Department of Labor

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is contacting major power companies to the areas affected to provide safety briefings to employees at power restoration staging areas in affected communities. OSHA is also releasing public service announcements to inform workers about hazards related to restoration and cleanup.

    More “fixing to …” In this case they are fixing to tell your employees to wear safety goggles.

    What a joke. And Dafydd thought this was some general mobilization of the vast federal establishment.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  67. The feds should coordinate and deal. Why should Houston pay so much when others aren’t? the best way to coordinate that, to deal with that, is via the feds.

    In my opinion, obviously different than yours, it is being handled as it should be, by caring communities reaching out to fellow citizens in a time of need. I would think that the City of Houston would receive some type of reimbursement for expenditures, just like other cities that set up refugee centers.

    The bulk of dealing with the refugees will be done by individuals, voluntarily, without thought of compensation and by charitable organizations.

    You obviously prefer a “nanny” state, from womb to tomb. I don’t. Fortunately for me, the people that agree with me are in the majority.

    rls (0516f0)

  68. “I would think that the City of Houston would receive some type of reimbursement for expenditures, just like other cities that set up refugee centers.”

    From who? the feds? That’s what I’m talking about.

    “You obviously prefer a “nanny” state, from womb to tomb.”

    Or just from destruction of a city to resettlement. Can’t you tell the difference?

    actus (5b2f21)

  69. Paul Deignan:

    And, BTW, just what is it that you refuse to argue?

    I refuse to argue anything with hand-wavers.

    You have not contributed even a single positive piece of evidence to this entire discussion. You make wild and bizarre statements — such as saying “[the United States Coast Guard] are not federal troops” — and then just sit back and wait for others to run do your research for you.

    You don’t respond. You don’t evaluate. You don’t think. You see the word “Bush,” and your knee jerks.

    I don’t argue with knee-jerks.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  70. nk said that I already overargued my point.

    Dafydd wonders whether the Coast Guard is part of the DoD and requires research.

    Bush says that the federal response was “unacceptable”.

    I’m going with curtain number 3, Monte.

    The President failed to act proactively and should be held accountable for his failure to exercise his lawful authority over those assets esp. active duty federal troops to save life, prevent loss of property, and maintain good order.

    Nothing the Mayor or Governor have failed to do mitigates the failure of the Bush administration. In fact, the more incompetent the City and State governments, the more the Federal government was obliged to act proactively and unilaterally if necessary.

    Since Bush has established a pattern of behavior demonstrating his lack of capacity for proactive leadership, he should resign or be impeached.

    He cannot be trusted to protect the US against the proliferation of WMD or other developing threats. We cannot afford a third strike.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  71. Concerning the recent horrific catastrophe in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the events unfolding in stricken New Orleans, and down our ravaged Gulf Coast, I am glad that the evacuation, and rescue efforts, have finally gotten underway at full steam ahead, at last!

    But the moroseness, and inefficiency with which City, State, and the Federal Government have reacted to the crisis, is highly reprehensible, especially on the part of Governor Blanko who apparently “froze” for the first days of the catastrophe, instead of calling upon the National Guard, and setting in motion the “Bureaucratic Juggernaut” in response to the relief efforts, which then has taken so long to put in motion, at the “needless” expense of human lives! I hope Louisiana voters in the face of the consequences of her actions, or rather of her “inaction”, will recall her, and put someone else with a bit more backbone in her place!

    The Department of Homeland Security has also shown itself to be a complete failure, and the President ought to “shake” it up from Michael Cherkoff (a.k.a. “Michael Jerk-off”!) to the last “inept” bureaucrat down the totem pole!

    Another charge to be leveled against the Political Leadership of this Country, from Jimmy Carter down to our current President, and all the other Senators, Congressmen (sorry not feeling “politically correct” today) Governors, and State Assemblies from hence, is their blind refusal to have upgraded those Levees, made to withstand class 3 hurricanes, to be able to withstand class 5, and 6 hurricanes ( as some we have experienced in our recent past), because of the cost, some estimated 20 billion dollars, knowing full well the consequences in case of more violent storms as had been consistently predicted by scientists since God knows when, while wasting so many “hundreds of billions of dollars,” on so much “pork” throughout the intervening years; which have resulted in the massive destruction of a city, the death of thousands, and the up-rooting of half a million people!

    All of these aforementioned politicians share in the burden, and the responsibility for all the senseless deaths, the unthinkable destruction, and the havoc their lack of “foresight,” and their petty “miserliness” have caused to the five hundred thousand victims of their shortsightedness, and banality!

    Let us hope that those bodies “putrefying,” lying there by the side of our roads, and our buildings, unattended, have not come to lay there in “vain,” nor the lives they once held “sacrificed” to no purpose, and that this serves as a warning to be very much “heeded,” that in the difficult times we live in, such tragedies never again occur!

    Althor

    Althor (ee3eb6)

  72. Bush says that the federal response was “unacceptable”.

    Um…no, that is not what he said.

    He said the “results” were unacceptable.

    rls (0516f0)

  73. Rls,

    I think whatever point you had in hair splitting is lost on the dead.

    Results don’t come without a response unless you work for the Ministry of Wishful Thinking and Imaginative Fantasy (MiniWiT-ImFant) a.k.a childish dimwits.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  74. Paul, is it too much, in this country, to expect to be quoted correctly when you’re the President of the United States? Is it too much to expect that, when one’s misquoting is acurately corrected, the misquoter respond something like, “You’re right. That is what he said”…you know, an acknowledgment that one was wrong…before going on to nuance ones error?

    Craig R. Harnon (c24f4d)

  75. The quotes were on “unacceptable”.

    The fact is that a response leads to results.

    The “correction” was an inaccurate nit pick that defies all sense and in fact requires an assumption that results do not follow necessarily from a response. This was the political cover by irresponsible disasociation on Bush’s part when he stated it that is the criticism of my entire argument.

    So rls is wrong and Bush is wrong.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  76. So rls is wrong and Bush is wrong.

    Eh? I wasn’t wrong. Your quote was wrong. Results follow from response? That is quite a leap.

    I suppose the EMT that sees his dinner companion have a heart attack and attempts to save his life on top the table and is unsuccessful has good results, because his response was timely? Tell that to the dead guy.

    Results do NOT necessarily follow response. I could cite a plethora of cases where the responses were exceptional and the results were unacceptable.

    rls (0516f0)

  77. But you couldn’t do it with a significant sample size.

    And in this case, it is the results the count and only the results. And those results required action.

    They say that the path to hell is paved with good intentions. If New Orleans is a hell on earth we know that that path is also paved with apathy.

    We will soon see how many elderly people were drowned in their homes like trapped rats. We will see how many children died in attics desperately hoping for the adults that they trusted to save them as they either baked or drowned to death.

    And each one, each single child and dependent adult who waited in vain to be rescued will be remembered by people like me.

    And we will not forget who said, “No!” when we said “Go, for the love of all that is decent in this world–Go, Go, What are you waiting for!? Go—send the troops in now!”

    And we will not forget who tried to shield the guilty while they debated the virtues of wishful thinking over action.

    We are on record.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  78. People:

    You do all realize that Paul Deignan is a simple troll, don’t you? He has nothing to offer but endless sea-lawyer rationalizations why state and local failures are irrelevant and Bush is to blame for everything.

    Is it really an effective use of your time and intellectual energy extending Paul’s fifteen minutes of infamy to twenty or thirty?

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  79. Yes, I read the above.

    I think my case is made.

    Thanks nk. You are now unquestionalbly correct.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  80. Is it really an effective use of your time and intellectual energy extending Paul’s fifteen minutes of infamy to twenty or thirty

    No it is not, and I have work to do. I couldn’t resist when he conflated words. You know, dismissing them so he could make them mean any thing he wanted.

    But you couldn’t do it with a significant sample size.

    I could probably take any major metropolitan daily and cite at least one example a day.

    rls (0516f0)

  81. A singular anecdote is an insignificant sample-especially if drawn from a large population.

    Take some statistics when you go off to high school.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  82. Offhand, it sounds like it could also be interpreted as “With 24 hours to go, of course it was real emergency. Why else would we ask the guys to pack up & go there? Yeesh.”

    But rather than speculate, why not just ask Chertoff how he meant his comment to be taken?

    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.

    ras (f9de13)

  83. Dafydd,

    PD trolls various non-idiotarian sites – I see him there. His general M.O. is to insist, rather than argue, as you’ve discovered. Like many trolls, he loves to pop in early and often in order hijack the discussion. This thread was supposed to be on Chertoff’s rather inscrutable comment, for example.

    Yes, please do ignore him. The other sites all do now, as well.

    ras (f9de13)

  84. Some people seem to be taking the comments by “Paul Deigman” seriously. I think the kindest thing is to assume that he is joking. As a satire on those who think that President Bush has been given the powers of God and that light speed has been abolished (among other things), his comments in this thread are pretty darn funny.

    Suppose Deigman is serious? As I said, assuming that he is serious is unkind. But let’s do so just for the intellectual exercise. Deigman’s argument is, roughly, that if the president suspects that local authorities are going to fail, he should step in and replace them. But he hasn’t thought about the problem as far as he should have. Private individuals can be responsible for disasters, too. For instance, the great 1889 Johnstown flood was caused by a the failure of a dam on a private lake. (I am sure that Deigman wil agree with me that Benjamin Harrison should have stepped in to prevent that disaster.)

    So, following this interesting train of thought, if the president feels that some disaster might take place because of the actions of private individuals, he should take action — regardless of the circumstances.

    So far, at least in the comments that I read, Deigman seemed willing to limit this to large disasters, but I don’t see why. A president with the powers and foresight that Deigman assigns to him can handle smaller matters as well.

    For instance: Suppose we have a commenter whose arguments suggest that he is out of touch with practical realities. Let’s call him PD, just for the heck of it. Such a person might well hurt himself. Extending Deigman’s argument in this logical fashion, the president should probably send the MPs to pick up PD — for his own good, of course.

    Now I am joking. But I think that a careful reading of Deigman’s comment will suggest that he was, too. And I see no reason to have PD picked up, but as a person who tries to be kind, I do worry about him, just a little.

    Jim Miller (0259ea)

  85. Jim Miller,

    You might want to have yourself checked out first.

    I think what we are dealing with here is another case of Bush true-believer syndrome.

    (Bush suggests that no one could have foreseen the damage, and like a mass hypnotic suggestion, a whole group of otherwise rational people believe that causality fails to apply to their select portion of the universe–like so many bubbles in space disjoint from the normal flow of time, but somehow all synchronous with each other).

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  86. Here is is:

    Wishful thinking also plays a part in groupthink, which concerns group decision making.

    I think we have a diagnosis.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  87. Finally, the seven symptoms of decision affected by groupthink are:

    1. Incomplete survey of alternatives
    2. Incomplete survey of objectives
    3. Failure to examine risks of preferred choice
    4. Failure to re-appraise initially rejected alternatives
    5. Poor information search
    6. Selective bias in processing information at hand (see also confirmation bias)
    7. Failure to work out contingency plans

    7 for 7. Bullseye!

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  88. “I think we have a diagnosis.” I quite agree. See how easy it is for people who may have voted for different candidates to come to agreement as long as they are civil — and, of course, rational?

    But I would add this warning: Even the best joke can be pushed too far and spoiled.

    I note that I misspelled Mr. Deignan’s name in my first comment. My apologies for that.

    But it does make me wonder. Did he notice it and was being polite? Or did his cognitive processes slip a little so that he did not notice? The kind explanation is the first so I will stick with that, just as I will continue to believe he is joking. I am sure that Deignan always tries to be polite to everyone, even President Bush.

    Jim Miller (4ce9db)

  89. FYI,

    I noticed, didn’t care. Still don’t care.

    Last e-mail to Bush on the topic of deploying federal troops ended with:

    “Idiot!”

    Paul

    I don’t think he cares either and I doubt he reads his mail although I would expect a good operation to do some snapshot and time-series opinion tracking by demographic. Perhaps if he got 10,000 of these of Tuesday we could have saved many of those that we are sure to find in those attics.

    I know we could have saved at least a half dozen in the vicinity of the Superdome alone.

    So what is a life worth?

    Perspective.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  90. And if the 2,000 school busses had been utilized before the hurricane hit and or after it hit and before the levee broke and or after the levee broke, at 50 people per bus, 100,000 people could have been bussed out of the city in one trip per bus three days before the first federal troop hit the city. They would have found a near empty city. But then, Nagin couldn’t be bothered. He was too busy writing that “Get your ass in gear and fix this fucking mess” speech. Too bad, too. Perhaps as many as 10,000 corpses would still be walking around today. Wouldn’t that have been nice?

    But keep bashing Bush.

    Craig R. Harnon (b772b7)

  91. And if I was a citizen of LA, I would be more concerned with Blanco.

    However, for the reasons previously stated, no amount of incompetence by Blanco and Nagin mitigates in any way Bush’s culpability unless, of course, they somehow concealed their incompetence, which they did not.

    Too bad you didn’t write Bush when it could have done some good.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  92. “And if the 2,000 school busses had been utilized before the hurricane hit and or after it hit and before the levee broke and or after the levee broke”

    how are we to take seriously the guy who wants to use buses after the city is underwater?

    actus (5b2f21)

  93. Well, in fairness he did say “utilized”, not driven.

    Maybe they were supposed to weld the pieces together to make a beacon for the Mothership.

    Paul Deignan (9e57a7)

  94. Well, yes, Actus and Paul. Just a little forethought, though, and they would have moved the busses out of the flooding zone before the storm hit. Too bad you didn’t think of that before embarassing yourselves. Too bad Nagin didn’t think of that before consigning maybe 10,000 residents to their deaths. Have a nice day.

    Craig R. Harnon (b772b7)

  95. And golly. you all wanted Bush to use busses to empty the city after it was under water. Could you two be any sillier?

    Craig R. Harnon (b772b7)

  96. It is highly absurd and immoral, in the face of the magnitude of the cataclysm, that because of “technicalities” such as having to have the “request” from the “Governor” before the President could order the National Guard in, nothing was done for days while people died; their corpses left decaying by the sides of our roadways, while we waited on Governor Blanco!

    Had I been in the President’s place I would have ordered the Guard in, and damn the critics! Enough time to deal with cleaning up the “diarrhea” running down Governor’s Blanco’s legs due to her “paralyzing fear to act” later, and put “Pampers” on her!

    If the Courts had objected, let them go out and “enforce” their “mummery” themselves in their “Black Robes” like vultures, if they could as Andrew Jackson once said! But damn if I would not have ordered the US military in, States Rights or not! What, we were invading ourselves?Let “all that” unravel itself later!

    Althor

    Althor (ee3eb6)

  97. Would Dean and Kennedy and Kerry sign-off on it or use it as another reason to oppose the “megalomaniac” Bush? If the President ignores US Law of which has pledged to uphold that normally would be grounds for an impeachment. In this case it would be an example of “no good deed goes unpunished.” Checkout Hugh Hewitt if you want.

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

  98. I am utterly amazed at the level of Monday morning quarterbacking (and the level of assumptions being made without direct knowledge of events) relative to the response of the federal government. While I am certain that FEMA and other federal officials could have done a better job (it is a bureaucracy, after all) — and in hindsight you always see things much more clearly — I have one question to ask: Is it reasonable for the feds to hire the number of people that would be required to babysit all the incompetent state and local officials nationally — and task them to predict their reactions to (or lack thereof) crisis events?

    JVM (e40001)

  99. “…it reasonable for the feds to hire the number of people that would be required to babysit all the incompetent state and local officials nationally — and task them to predict their reactions to (or lack thereof) crisis events?”
    Comment by JVM — 9/7/2005 @ 5:32 am

    In the case of an event of this magnitude – yes! Or would you just a write off the “deaths” caused by their ineptitude as “collateral” damage of the (bungled) rescue efforts; just another
    “statistic”?!?!

    Althor

    Althor (ee3eb6)

  100. Quote: “If the President ignores US Law of which has pledged to uphold that normally would be grounds for an impeachment. In this case it would be an example of “no good deed goes unpunished.” Checkout Hugh Hewitt if you want.”
    Comment by MD in Philly — 9/7/2005 @ 4:55 am

    You are absolutely right as to what would have been the “Democratic” reaction had President Bush side-stepped “legal” procedures in an effort to save lives and alleviate the suffering.

    As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t doubt that in the more “extreme” circles of the “Democratic” side of the aisle, some may now be “colluding” as to how Bush was also responsible for the storm itself, and accuse him of having secretly had it “seeded” while in the Gulf so as to carry out the “racial cleansing” of New Orleans, and reduce dramatically the number of “people on welfare” in the Nation by disposing of them by “death by storm”!!!

    But the fact of the matter is that desperate circumstances require desperate measures, and in the face of a Governor frozen with fear to the point of inaction, and an incompetent Mayor, the President should have sent the troops in regardless, in spite of the consequences to him politically. At least that is my opinion.

    However, since you brought up a very good point, perhaps this unfortunate calamity will accentuate the need to grant the President the power to act independent of any request by local officials in similar extreme situations, and propel the passing of legislation to that effect on the Hill, so that this debacle need never again be repeated.

    Althor

    Althor (ee3eb6)

  101. It is actually Bush’s sworn duty to apply federal resources to the protection of the US.

    He should be impeached for not acting.

    This “not allowed charade” is absolute nonsense. How absurd.

    “Oh, the President needed permission to stop the people from being killed”. This is the propaganda of the most callous liars.

    Did Kennedgu need permission to integrate Bama? Did Lincoln need permission to preserve the union?

    What law forbids the gederal government from protecting its citizens? None!

    They say that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Here it is a bureaucratic fetish. What hypocrites they are.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  102. This should be our new rallying cry:

    Did Kennedgu need permission to integrate Bama?

    When one can grok this koan, enlightenment is sure to follow.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  103. You might not want to open your mouth when your head is embedded two feet into your lower intestine.

    The bacteria count there is 45,000 times over the OSHA standards for whooping it up.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  104. Program on the emergence of civilization.

    “14 species of large animals capable of domesitcation in the history of mankind.
    13 from Europe, Asia and northern Africa.
    None from the sub-Saharan African continent. ”
    Favor.
    And disfavor.

    They point out Africans’ failed attempts to domesticate the elephant and zebra, the latter being an animal they illustrate that had utmost importance for it’s applicability in transformation from a hunting/gathering to agrarian-based civilization.

    The roots of racism are not of this earth.

    Austrailia, aboriginals:::No domesticable animals.

    The North American continent had none. Now 99% of that population is gone.

    AIDS in Africa.

    Organizational Heirarchy
    Heirarchical order, from top to bottom:

    1. MUCK – perhaps have experienced multiple universal contractions (have seen multiple big bangs), creator of the artificial intelligence humans ignorantly refer to as “god”
    2. Perhaps some mid-level alien management
    3. Mafia (evil) aliens – runs day-to-day operations here and perhaps elsewhere (“On planets where they approved evil.”)

    Terrestrial management:

    4. Chinese/egyptians – this may be separated into the eastern and western worlds
    5. Romans – they answer to the egyptians
    6. Mafia – the real-world interface that constantly turns over generationally so as to reinforce the widely-held notion of mortality
    7. Jews, corporation, women, politician – Evidence exisits to suggest mafia management over all these groups.

    Survival of the favored.

    Movies foreshadowing catastrophy
    1986 James Bond View to a Kill 1989 San Fransisco Loma Prieta earthquake.

    They can affect the weather and Hurricane Katrina was accomplished for many reasons and involves many interests, as anything this historical is::
    1. Take heat off Sheenhan/Iraq, protecting profitable war machine/private war contracts
    2. Gentrification. New Orleans median home price of $84k is among the lowest in major American cities, certainly among desirable cities.

    Journal: 10 composition books + 39 megs of text files

    The anti-nuclear movement is a petroleum industry scam to protect their market.

    Destroyed for exploitation (a19c9e)


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