Alarming News

August 31, 2005

It’s all Bush’s fault

Ex-Mayor of New Orleans right before implying Bush puts Iraq ahead of Louisiana:
“We really need the president of the United States to make this a priority. We have to stop the breaches in the levee.”

Ken Wheaton:
Like what? Put on his Super W cape and fly around the world backwards really, really fast? Or should W and hop in his Magic Flying Cement Truck?

Posted by Karol at 12:26 PM |
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Everybody knows that the hurricane was created by Bush’s neocon HAARP gun. Duh. Everybody’s just asking him please to turn it off so everything can go back to normal.

Posted by: Jeff Harrell at August 31, 2005 at 12:47 pm

Heaven forbid a man is upset that his town has been devestated and wants the American government which takes hard earned money from Americans to stay in America, helping Americans instead of Iraq and Iraqis. Heaven forbid that his home has been ravaged and he is stressed and wants to see the National Guard and the armed forces help out. I really don’t see his position as that unreasonable and I do not see his comments as the fierce criticism of the president and his administration as some are taking it as.

Posted by: Von Bek at August 31, 2005 at 12:51 pm

Agreed, Von Bek.

Posted by: Shawn at August 31, 2005 at 1:16 pm

It’s all Bush’s fault

It’s all Bush’s fault

Posted by: at August 31, 2005 at 1:17 pm

Von Bek,
I think you had to have seen the interview. And keep in mind this is NOT some angry guy on the street. This is one of the former mayors of New Orleans basically having a hissy fit on air while saying that the plans in place were good, but no one saw it coming. And what was really telling was that he got most upset when Soledad quoted the current mayor. Upset, sure. But it also seemed like petty politicking as well.

Posted by: ken at August 31, 2005 at 1:27 pm

I’ll concede that (I packed my tv yesterday morning-yet can’t pack the computer yet!). I rememeber him vaguely from the late 80s (if I recall correctly, he was the mayor in 1988 when Bush patria was nominated at New Orleans and he was so chummy the DNC bought him off with making him a board member or something like that).

Posted by: Von Bek at August 31, 2005 at 1:31 pm

71.2 million reduction to the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The largest reduction ever. Guess why?
Not enough national guard troops involved. Guess why?
Those of you who follow this guy around with year ears plugged saying “la la la I can’t hear you” while asshat gets on with his life playing guitar with country rock stars and not returning for Washington for 4-days, I bet you really do wish you had a little time machine.

Posted by: toby at August 31, 2005 at 2:08 pm

Bush did cut funding for New Orleans levy infrastructure to pay for the war. That’s pretty much a fact, and the Bush administration said as much a few years ago.
But so what? If this was so important to New Orleans, they should have paid for this themsleves.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at August 31, 2005 at 2:23 pm

Really? You don’t think the federal government should have chipped into infrastructure around New York either? The interstate highway system?
Hell, they’re even substantially chipping into making the abandoned elevated train above Chelsea greenspace as part of the latest highway bill.
It’s ubsurd to think that federal money’s shouldn’t go to this infrastructure, especially when considering New Orleans is one of the largest (second, I think) commercial ports in the country.
We don’t believe in funding infrastructure for commerce?
Granted, any city living in a bowl underwater is probably questionable from a sustainable engineering perspective.

Posted by: toby at August 31, 2005 at 2:41 pm

All together now: Natural disasters are not political events. Stop blaming Bush and Republicans for “global warming” fantasies that are junk science. Only Aqua Man can save us now.

Posted by: Matt at August 31, 2005 at 2:49 pm

An idiotic statement like global warming is junk science aside, that’s not what we’re dealing with here.
What Bush is being blamed for here is underfunding critical interstate infrastructure initiatives in order to pursue his crooked war.

Posted by: toby at August 31, 2005 at 2:55 pm

Toby – Nope. I don’t see any reason why the Federal government should be paying for infrastructure projects. New York can certainly develop the Highline on our own and they can build highways on our own. ESPECIALLY if our federal taxes were cut.
In fact – I’d much rather have local control over this money, as I think the money would be spent more wisely.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at August 31, 2005 at 4:26 pm

My original point was a former politician having a hissy fit on national tv. But this assumption that if Bush hadn’t spent money on Iraq, this stuff wouldn’t have happened is just plain silly. New Orleans would not have done any more to work on these levees. At most, they would have continued “studying the situation.” Katrina still would have happened. The levees still would have broken. And having extra National Guard members there right now would have done absolutely squat to prevent that or to help it. What, they’re going to shoot the water? Throw grenades at the looters?
And do yourselves a favor and don’t even go the Global Warming route. I’m sure even a basic grasp of math, along with the following chart will show you that hurricanes have increased neither in frequencey nor intensity.

Posted by: ken at August 31, 2005 at 4:47 pm

Ken, no one is saying that these things wouldn’t happen if Bush hadn’t spent the money in Iraq. Less likely, quite possibly without expenditure cuts. Yet, looking at the response already, surely the National Guard and other resources would be in the south in greater force without having us in Iraq and the next several months. It is a point of contention.
DL – how unrealistic to think New York can get along without the rest of the country. But, I’ve heard that from you before. And, as for your post about not sending money (after bragging in other comments on AL how much money you make) due to political ideology, it is no wonder they don’t vote to allow your civil rights. Seems like a little reverse biggotry.

Posted by: toby at August 31, 2005 at 5:04 pm

Nope – Had they not voted away my civil rights, I would have sent them some money.
But they did – so I’m not.
I give lots of money to charity. But I don’t give charity to those who despise me.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at August 31, 2005 at 5:33 pm

And Toby – New York pays something like $1.30 for every dollar we get back from the Federal Government.
We’d not only be fine without them. We’d be better off.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at August 31, 2005 at 5:34 pm

Toby – Here are the stats on why I think New York would get along fine if most government spending at a federal level came to a halt.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at August 31, 2005 at 6:14 pm

The New Orleans levy system was designed for a catagory 3 hurricane, not a cat 5!
The reduction in the support from the Army corps of engineers was irellevent.
President Bush declared New Orleans,
south-eastern counties of Louisiana, and coastal
Mississippi disaster areas BEFORE Katrina hit. This
was an unprecidented step, that allowed the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin work
Not only is the National Guard invloved in rescue and
clean up, but so is the US Navy. There is a Marine
expeditionary unit, comprised of at least one marine
carrier (LHA)and one command ship off the coast. A
second carrier is on its way with a hospital ship.
Today, the administration took a number of measures to
facilitate rescue and recovery. A host of regulations
of trucking hours and fuel standards were suspended.
Bush has done everything he can, except for going down
there and delaying traffic due to security.
Of course, if you prefer image over substance…

Posted by: Ron Lewenberg at September 1, 2005 at 1:02 am

Ron, awesome.

Posted by: Karol at September 1, 2005 at 2:41 am

“Just Awesome”
Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.
This picture is an aerial view of New Orleans today, more than 14 months later. Even though Hurricane Katrina has moved well north of the city and the sun is out, the waters continue to rise in New Orleans as we write this. That’s because Lake Pontchartrain continues to pour through a two-block-long break in the main levee, near the city’s 17th Street Canal. With much of the Crescent City some 10 feet below sea level, the rising tide may not stop until until it’s level with the massive lake.
There have been numerous reports of bodies floating in the poorest neighborhoods of this poverty-plagued city, but the truth is that the death toll may not be known for days, because the conditions continue to frustrate rescue efforts.
New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.
Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.
Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as federal tax cuts — was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars. (Much of the research here is from Nexis, which is why some articles aren’t linked.)
In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to this Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness:
The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.
The Lake Pontchartrain project is slated to receive $3.9 million in the president’s 2005 budget. Naomi said about $20 million is needed.
“The longer we wait without funding, the more we sink,” he said. “I’ve got at least six levee construction contracts that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about $5 million. And we’re going to have to pay them interest.”
That June, with the 2004 hurricane seasion starting, the Corps’ Naomi went before a local agency, the East Jefferson Levee Authority, and essentially begged for $2 million for urgent work that Washington was now unable to pay for. From the June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune:
“The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don

Posted by: Towoozy at September 1, 2005 at 4:04 am

Image is part of the President’s job. Showing face when a natural disaster wipes out several communities should not be too much to ask. How is this any less important than when he felt impelled to land on a jet decked out in a flight suit(like a superhero) on a naval ship, for the purpose of image/boosting morale? These people have been devastated. Don’t start moaning if Clinton turns up, as with 9/11, somebody needs to.

Posted by: Steff at September 1, 2005 at 4:17 am

Why doesn’t Bush do what he does best? Stumble over his pre-written speaches and shoot smug looks into the audience.
Sorry Karol. I just had to.

Posted by: Joe CuttheShit at September 1, 2005 at 10:41 am

Bush will fumble through the first few days as he always does with a disaster. Then he’ll figure it out, get his act together, and come through looking like a strong leader.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 1, 2005 at 10:52 am

Why are only the “niggers” still stranded in that red state hell?
Did the Bushbots dry their area with their burning crosses?

Posted by: Don Myers Myers at September 1, 2005 at 1:02 pm

Don’t start moaning if Clinton turns up
Despite the fact that it would do more harm than good? Landing on the carrier didn’t cause harm to anyone on the carrier. Having Bush fly down to the south too soon could have seriously impeded rescue efforts while people who could’ve been helping out now have to deal with a presidential visit. And while nothing, not even a small fact like that, can get between Clinton and a camera, Bush just isn’t like that. So, yes, I agree, Clinton is really good at putting on a show. I don’t look for that in my presidents.

Posted by: Karol at September 1, 2005 at 1:29 pm

Karol – Bush wants the publicity just like any other politician. He had no problem standing on Ground Zero during the rescue efforts.
I have no problem with that. But to say that Bush is not interested in the publicity is simply not true.
Expect him to be in downtown New Orleans within two days.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 1, 2005 at 1:35 pm

Yeah, in three days when they get their act straight it’ll be worse than it is now. And now, well, it is awful. Two days late and a military presence short.
There was no plan… sound familiar. Just now they don’t even have a plan to go in.

Posted by: toby at September 1, 2005 at 1:58 pm

Don’t start moaning if Clinton turns up
Bush Taps Father, Clinton for Relief Help
Nearly prophetic…

Posted by: mike d at September 1, 2005 at 2:43 pm

Geez – You guys act like this is about rescuing and helping people.
It’s obviously not.
It’s about approval ratings. It’s about spin. That’s how the political game works. I can’t blame Bush for exploiting that. Democrats and Republicans would do the same.
If we actually wanted to prevent disaster, they would have strengthened the levees decades ago. But that would have required – you know – governing. And I think it’s asking our politicians a little much to actually govern, don’t you think?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 1, 2005 at 2:51 pm

They need to spin this:
I call it “getting on with his life”

Posted by: toby at September 1, 2005 at 3:24 pm

Wow, Towoozy comment really shut some people up.

Posted by: PAUL at September 1, 2005 at 4:24 pm

Yeah Paul, those random, unsubstantiated comments about the cost of Iraq really threw us.

Posted by: Karol at September 1, 2005 at 4:29 pm

Good. One would hope there is a lot “throwing” you right now.

Posted by: toby at September 1, 2005 at 4:45 pm

Dude. Anyone who is watching what is happening in the south and can only think of Bush has issues I can’t solve on this blog.

Posted by: Karol at September 1, 2005 at 4:54 pm

can someone try Nexis too see if it’s unsubstantiated or not…
New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.
Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness
June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune reported last Sept. 22

Posted by: PAUL at September 1, 2005 at 4:58 pm

Besides Karol, his comment isn’t even about the “cost or Iraq”, it’s about the non-funding to improving New Orleans hurricane protection.

Posted by: PAUL at September 1, 2005 at 5:03 pm

hahaha this is funny.
From a New Orleans newspaper’s website.
look at the top of the page under the button Subscribe.

Posted by: PAUL at September 1, 2005 at 5:06 pm

Now there’s deflection “can only think of”.. umm.. yeah..

Posted by: toby at September 1, 2005 at 5:10 pm

You write a post on absolving Bush of any blame in Louisiana’s current dillema and when people disagree with you on it you tell them they have problems for focusing on Bush?
Look around you, people are focusing on all elements of this. YOUR POST focuses on Bush and you don’t expect people to focus on Bush in the comments?
Get real.. Or flag it.. Or whatever.. or don’t write the god damn post, but dont slam people for focusing their anger at this guy in a post that YOU wrote absolving him.

Posted by: toby at September 1, 2005 at 5:16 pm

Actually, Toby, I wrote this post making fun of people who hold Bush responsible for things like natural disasters and my point hasn’t changed. It’s obsessive. You can’t blame everything on Bush, no matter how much you’d like to.

Posted by: Karol at September 1, 2005 at 6:30 pm

Nope, I have a sore toe today.. That’s me own fault.

Posted by: toby at September 1, 2005 at 6:36 pm

Oh c’mon. You’re not trying hard enough if you can’t blame that on Bush.

Posted by: Karol at September 1, 2005 at 6:39 pm

Wow, Towoozy comment really shut some people up.
What comment? That was no comment. He copied and pasted someone else’s work product in clear violation of copyright laws. Nor is the name he posts on top the name of the person who wrote it. There is no attribution. That’s called stealing.
And, nobody reads anything that long. I didn’t. This is a discussion forum not a damn reading assignment. Now, go be a cop and arrest him.

Posted by: ll at September 1, 2005 at 8:23 pm

But it’s so easy to blame everything on Bush. That’s just the way it is. Those of us out here who didn’t vote for Bush have to deal with him for the next four years. Give us at least one year to bitch and moan about how ridiculous he really is. :-D
And I’m not Republican I’ve decided.
But let’s never talk about it again, so I don’t get confused.
Much love your way.

Posted by: Joe CuttheShit at September 1, 2005 at 8:42 pm

Karol, I linked to this post. I got a disaster scenario in response.

Posted by: PAUL at September 1, 2005 at 11:13 pm

Of course you can blame the goverment. And becuase Bush is the head of the goverment the blame goes to him. That’s part of the job of a president. It isn’t about him being able to stop the hurricane aftermath or whatever it’s just that somehow there has been a failure and the goverment needs to be blamed even if it is just to make people feel better.

Posted by: Vincent at September 2, 2005 at 10:25 am

So, Karol, are you telling me it’s okay to post entire articles written by another blogger in your comment section and neither give the author an attribution or even a link? Can I do that with your articles? Oh, wait. I guess I don’t need your permission. Well, quick then, write me something pithy I can post and claim as my own. tia

Posted by: ll at September 2, 2005 at 11:31 am
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