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January 30, 2009

Redemption after Katrina

Politics, not unlike life in general, is full of ironies. Last week at the presidential inauguration, I was struck by how ironic it was that America was celebrating the swearing-in of its first black president, in no small measure because of George Bush’s mishandling of the Katrina disaster.

Even some key aides now concede that Bush lost faith with the American people when they saw on television tens of thousands of their fellow citizens, mostly black, suffer and some even die in the streets of New Orleans because the most powerful government on Earth did not have the will to rescue them. It looked like a scene from a post-disaster “response” from Haiti or Pakistan or Myanmar.

Bush will have to explain all that suffering to his maker, but for the black people I saw and talked to that day in Washington, it felt like redemption.

Steve Glorioso
Kansas City

Comments

solomon

Finished mopping early ButRug?

viet-vet1970

"FEMA has been a no-show so far."

Wow! The inauguration was 11 whole days ago and our new president has yet to rebuild FEMA, an agency underfunded and understaffed for eight years during the Bush administration.

WHAT CAN OBAMA BE THINKING!!!

BudRog

GAl Dammit, where is FEMA in this ICE STORM Carnage in Kentuky and Arkansas??? People are freezing, there is no power??

I mean they have to loot WalMarts to survive! Dammit there is gunfire on the streets, people are being found dear in the gutters, nursing home victims are piling up......

Uh, well wait.....maybe that previous paragraph is uh, er, ah,

solomon

Gee, Mr Lambert

Roger Lambert

Obama and FEMA Leave Americans to Die in Kentucky

I guess what with Kentucky being a red state the heartless Barack Obama and FEMA can't be bothered helping the suffering Americans trying to cope with a massive ice storm that has left them powerless.

In some parts of rural Kentucky, they're getting water the old-fashioned way — with pails from a creek. There's not room for one more sleeping bag on the shelter floor. The creative are flushing their toilets with melted snow.

At least 42 people have died, including 11 in Kentucky, and conditions are worsening in many places days after an ice storm knocked out power to 1.3 million customers from the Plains to the East Coast. About a million people were still without electric Friday, and with no hope that the lights will come back on soon, small communities are frantically struggling to help their residents.

One county put it bluntly: It can't.

"We're asking people to pack a suitcase and head south and find a motel if they have the means, because we can't service everybody in our shelter," said Crittenden County Judge-Executive Fred Brown, who oversees about 9,000 people, many of whom are sleeping in the town's elementary school.

Local officials were growing angry with what they said was a lack of help from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In Grayson County, about 80 miles southwest of Louisville, Emergency Management Director Randell Smith said the 25 National Guardsmen who have responded have no chain saws to clear fallen trees.

"We've got people out in some areas we haven't even visited yet," Smith said. "We don't even know that they're alive."

Smith said FEMA has been a no-show so far.

Roger Lambert

OUTRAGE: Obama and FEMA leave Americans to die in Kentucky. Media firestorm in . . . well, never.

Obama dozed, people froze.

President Obama doesn’t care about white people.

Tom K

How on Earth could they fail to find enough pork in a multi-billion dollar project to fix the dikes, anyway?

Engineer

It seems to me that Katrina had very little to do with the last presidential election. It also seems to me that, no mater who the President had been, things would not have been done differently if the Mayor and governor acted in the same way. The letter writer is a well known Democratic Party "hit man" who has never exhibited much regard for the truth.

JUNGLE JACK

"...America was celebrating the swearing-in of its first black president, in no small measure because of George Bush’s mishandling of the Katrina disaster..."

... was Bush running for a third term?

solomon

The Mayor did not follow protocol.

The Gov of La did not do what she needed to do.

The Army Corp of Engineers said they were wrong in their estimates of the levies.

FEMA has admitted they did not do their job efficiently.

The White House said the situation was not handled correctly.

Bottom line: The people of the Gulf Coast region are still dealing with the aftermath.

Dan Beyer

The buck stopped at Mayor Nagin's office. He passed it on.
The buck stopped at Gov. Blanco's office. She passed it on.
And that Bush's fault?

solomon

Good morning Dan Beyer,(sorry to veer off thread)

Hope you had a good week. We missed you the day the Phelps girls stopped in, I had so looked forward to your opinion on them.

solomon

Careful TinaMcG,

Remember the rules of the Bizzaro universe.

TinaMcG

If nothing else, it was a PR disaster for Bush. First there was Bush on vacation in Crawford. The public saw his refusal to cut his vacation short as selfish and arrogant.
Then came his Air force One flyover. Then "heckuva job, Brownie", and finally -- his address to the nation with a cleaned-up, well-lit, pristine looking backdrop that made people think, 'Well, maybe it isn't as bad as we thought..."

So however you divvy up the blame, the buck stopped with Bush, and it was the big turning point in his poll numbers.

Dan Beyer

If you look at the New Orleans City Charter at the time of Katrina(you'll have to use the wayback machine on the internet to find it-the new website has been wiped clean of the original hurricane plan for the Mayor) Mayor Nagin by law was to initiate the City's long-standing, well detailed and well thought out plan for dealing with impending hurricanes. Mayor Nagin had plenty of time to activate the City's plan to use all the buses at his disposal to evacuate the citizens. He didn't.
Gov. Blanco admitted that she should have called the National Guard units at her disposal sooner, but she didn't.
At the time of Katrina, Federal Law prohibited the Federal Government from stepping in before the state does when it came to emergency preparedness.
Now I admit that's a little too complicated for the cartoon crowd to understand who thinks Bush is the dastardly villain, but that was what was happening in the real world.

Arminius

BudRog:

Yes, Steve "Pug" Glorioso seems to forget about the incompetence of Nagin and Blanco. Heck, the voters of NO even reelected Nagin. Sometimes people get what they deserve.

I guess Pug is a bit lightheaded from sucking on helium all these years.

BudRog

I am so sick of blaming for Bush for the aftermarth of Katrina, and giving "School Bus Ray Nagan" and the Governor a free pass. That is just bovine scatology.

 
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