Home > Political Ranting > Bush Is “Not Acceptable”

Bush Is “Not Acceptable”

September 3rd, 2005

Nine days. Four days before the hurricane hit, we knew that something very bad was coming. Certainly two days before Katrina hit, everyone was seeing the worst coming. And for five days after the hurricane hit, federal assistance was pathetic.

On a variety of forums discussing the disaster response, conservatives are all singing the same song: how dare the liberals “take advantage” of this crisis, and make political attacks while people are suffering. Such calls are so hypocritical, so manipulative, you have to wonder whether to laugh or cry. Of course, it is little more than an echo of the Republican lament that Bush cannot be criticized so long as soldiers are out on the battlefield: in effect, Republicans should be shielded from attack, using the sacrifice of soldiers and the suffering of victims as human political shields. Contemptible. And hypocritical because Republicans never wasted a second attacking Clinton, no matter that there were soldiers on the ground or disaster victims in need of assistance.

And in the response to Katrina, the president deserves no breaks, no grace period, no special considerations because others are suffering because of his ineptitude.

Of course, Republicans will now claim that Bush should be given a break because he “accepted responsibility.” Like hell, on both counts. He didn’t accept blame or responsibility, he only pretended to. His exact words were, “The results are not acceptable.” It was “the results” that were “not acceptable.” Very carefully selected language, designed to keep the blame off of himself. Nothing about “my administration,” “my response,” or anything else that would make anything here his responsibility–it was “the results” which were bad. And the use of “not acceptable” leaves unclear to whom the results were unacceptable, though in context, it would suggest that they were unacceptable to Bush.

These are what you can call “weasel words,” words designed to serve a purpose that the speaker wants to avoid (taking responsibility) while at the same time giving a clear impression of the opposite (someone else screwed up, and I don’t approve). If Bush wanted to take responsibility like a man and not a gutless coward, he would have at the very least said, “we failed to do what was needed.”

And if one reads the transcript of what he said, one will note that this one sentence, “The results are not acceptable,” is couched in the middle of ‘we’re doing everything we can’ language. Look carefully, and you’ll see the “not acceptable” line is jarringly out of place. “A lot of people are working hard to help those who have been affected, and I want to thank the people for their efforts. The results are not acceptable.” Followed by “I’m headed down there right now.” In the context of his remarks, that one five-word sentence is alien, so inconsistent and out of place that it was obviously placed there for a very specific reason. In fact, since it followed the comment about people’s efforts, it even sounded like Bush was criticizing the people who were on the job and doing things, which he had to later defend himself against. But I don’t see it that way. I think Bush was coached to slip in that phrase, and he just fumbled the attempt in the middle of his fictional tirade about how they are doing everything in their powers.

And again, conservatives–Bush most of all–are telling us to focus just on what they’re doing now, and not on the failures up until now. “All that can be done is being done,” Bush tells us–so what the hell was being done the past five to nine days? He won’t answer that one. And let’s not even get into the Bush whopper that “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.” Proof that Bush is full of it here, amongst many, many other places.

What’s more is the political backdrop of this whole thing, how Bush has vacillated between showing complete disregard and unconcern for the tragedy, and then taking photo ops and news interviews to make him look endlessly concerned. But the photo ops and interviews paled in comparison to the cavalier attitude Bush and his administration took to the disaster. Bush stayed on vacation for two days after Katrina struck, six days after trouble was first spotted, when he should have been working full-time to assure that all steps for rescue and recovery were being taken; instead, he went to California on a political junket to equate Iraq with WWII, and played guitar with entertainer Mark Wills while people died in New Orleans. Condoleezza Rice was on vacation in New York buying shoes and taking in a Broadway show. From reports, Dick Cheney is still on vacation in Wyoming. So while Bush strums a guitar, Rice buys shoes and Cheney goes fly-fishing, how could this administration say that they have done all they could when it took up to nine days for them to respond? And I have to ask, when Bush diverted Air Force One to fly over New Orleans, were emergency craft told to stand off while the president was occupying the air space?

But it doesn’t stop there. While no official comments were made, there were anonymous accusations from the administration that troops hadn’t arrived because Democratic governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco had not made the necessary request for federal assistance–except that she had already made that request on the 27th, along with other pleas for more troops. Bush similarly knocked Democratic governor Blanco and mayor Nagin; while Mississippi’s Republican governor Barbour’s handling of the crisis was fine with Bush, “the results can be better in New Orleans.” As if it were all the Democrats’ fault, not his.

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was furious to the point of tears at the politics of the whole thing. From a radio interview from September 1:

I told him [Bush] we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we’re outmanned in just about every respect. …

I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. We ain’t talking about — you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here. I’m like, “You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans.” That’s – they’re thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal. And I can’t emphasize it enough, man. This is crazy. …

I don’t want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don’t do another press conference until the resources are in this city. And then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can’t even count. Don’t tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They’re not here. It’s too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let’s fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country.

The most complete transcript I could find is here. To hear the emotion and the anguish, you have to listen to the interview; I have it here on a 12 MB MP3 file–though the beginning and very end of the interview were cut off. It’s the best audio I can find. Update: here’s one that’s only 3 MB, and goes to the end of the interview.


The timing of events on Bush’s visit are very suspicious. For five days, people were dying from lack of water and medical attention, lack of buses, transports and troops on the ground. And then, coincidentally at the exact same time that Bush strolled in, five days late, all manner of supplies and personnel streamed into the area. Trucks loaded with water, waves of troops, supplies, and hordes of buses, all with news cameras pointed at them. On the news broadcasts throughout Bush’s visit, there were split-screens of the relief coming in and Bush doing his photo ops. What convenient timing–so coordinated that it could not have “just happened.” The only question is, did Bush hold back relief until he could be on the ground to take credit for it, or did Bush hold off his visit until he could be seen as the source of the relief? Neither possibility paints a pretty picture.

Red Helicopter2It has also been pointed out that in one of his photo ops, there are at least two coast guard helicopters and a number of coast guard troops standing idly by to serve as a backdrop for Bush’s photo op. These vehicles are not being repaired, and the troops are not resting up. The key fact is that they are standing idle, they are not out there doing work; they are just sitting there so that Bush can look good in front of resources for rescue, so viewers can associate him with helping out. And people are likely dying from lack of rescue while Bush pats himself on the back on national TV with the life-saving resources serving as a backdrop.

In short, Bush has used this trip and these resources for political play, letting people die so he can get some air time. He’s overseen a complete failure both in preparation and response, and his concern only comes out to win props, while stepping on the people he’s trying to get credit for saving. And he most certainly had enough time for a press interview: “I hope people don’t play politics during this period of time,” Bush told Diane Sawyer in a fit of unrepentant hypocrisy.

One last comment on this debacle. Something most people have refrained from pointing out in a political context is the fact that the victims here are by majority poor black people. And people are just beginning to ask: had Katrina hit an affluent white area and the victims were a different color, would the preparation and response been exactly as incompetent and far too late in the coming? Part of the answer came in a helicopter rescue. As hundreds of poor, predominantly black patients in Charity Hospital in New Orleans continue to suffer without power, some being given ventilation by hand to keep them alive, the private and more affluent–more white–Tulane Hospital right across the street had gotten helicopter assistance, and had already evacuated everyone. But then Tulane evacuated medical personnel on the helicopters. Instead of sending the desperately needed doctors and nurses to help people dying across the street, instead of using the helicopters to evacuate Charity Hospital patients in dire need, they airlifted “nonessential medical personnel” out instead. Meanwhile, coast guard helicopters which could have been airlifting the Charity patients out sat idle while Bush preened in front of them for the cameras.

None of this is building up to be a pretty picture. But we can be sure of one thing: President Bush will get on with his life. What a relief.

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  1. cc
    September 5th, 2005 at 23:56 | #1

    I am getting really sick of all this Bush-bashing, not just here but everywhere. There is much more at hand right now than making political points. It’s so easy for us, sitting in our nice, comfortable homes, to place blame. There is more than enough to go around, and I’m sure that after the rescue efforts are done, the authorities will get into that. But it is ridiculous to try to point all the blame on Bush for the failure of the levees. They were built in the late ’60s, and could have been fortified at anytime between then and now. What exactly did President Clinton do? He had eight years to do something. And his state was close enough to realize how important the Gulfport area was, don’t you think?

    Wasn’t it Harry Reid – a Democrat – the one who signed off on cutting the money from the budget after inspecting things? (I might not be remembering correctly.)

    And are you going to get on the New Orleans’ mayor’s case for making NO attempt to relocate disabled, elderly people in the nursing homes and elsewhere? Or patients and emergency personnel from city hospitals prior to the storm? Where’s his blame? And how about the residents who chose to stay behind for whatever reason? There were TWELVE designated pick-up spots around the city for people without modes of transportation, and for free. Instead, they chose to stay behind and ride out the storm. (There were also buses at the Superdome to evacuate people and many of them left empty.) Where’s their blame? My God, how can one expect to work miracles without a decent plan or a way to make people obey it to save their lives. Or that pitiful governor Blanco, who was more intent on demanding apologies from Dennis Hastart AND the N.O. mayor for what she perceived to be demeaning comments, than she was for declaring martial law which would have allowed the National Guard and military forced to come in on a much faster basis? I watched that moron on TV thinking PEOPLE ARE DYING OUT THERE AND YOU CAN’T MAKE A DECISION??? Does anyone know if she’s declared it even know?? There are way too many bureaucratic decisions and procedures to be followed under such critical emergency circumstances. CLEARLY, she was either unaware or indecisive when it came to making the essential CRUCIAL decisions within the essential parameters required to save lives!

    For my money’s worth, I’d like to see someone like General (Ragin’ Cajun) Honere in charge of this kind of disaster relief. The mayor of new orleans referred to him as a “john wayne” kind of character who started barking orders and made things happen. Civilian appointments for this kind of critical imperative cannot be patronage appointments–but, for that matter, if we are expecting to have the most positive response, the executive personnel (Blanco) for the state can’t be an indecisive moron either.

    I’m not letting the administration off the hook. I know all about FEMA (and the Red Cross) turning away offers of help. But consider this. Your object of much revulsion, Wal-Mart, offered a substantial amount of water. They were turned away, for whatever reason, but if only the government were one tenth as efficient as they are. Credit where credit’s due.

  2. BlogD
    September 6th, 2005 at 01:00 | #2

    Pretty much every single one of your partisan assertions is unsupported, as far as I can tell. I’ve been linking to documents and official reports and news stories from wire services and international media. All you’re giving here is hearsay which sounds like Free Republic talking points, with no citations.

    Harry Reid signed off on something? With the exception of a very short period before 2003, the Democrats haven’t had control of Congress since 1994. Reid was not responsible, and to try to single him out is laughable. Even if he did sign on to a bill with thousands of spending provisions, that hardly means he approved of the ones you’re speaking of. Show me he actively worked to cut them (and cite your source) and I’ll be impressed. Right now it sounds like you’re just regurgitating right-wing talking points. Where else could you have gotten that nugget? Where else but in right-wing rags would an active effort be made to single out Reid as having voted for such cuts at this point in time?

    Nagin made no attempt to relocate? Prove it. Show that he had the resources and fail to act. Bet you can’t.

    No attempt to evacuate hospitals? Where did you read that? Again, show that the resources were available, if your contention is that Nagin was responsible.

    Twelve free transportation pick-up spots with open seats around New Orleans? Where did you get that? Cite your source. I searched the news wires, not a mention.

    Bush’s attempts to federalize the effort were not in order to make it go faster, they were a political attempt to take credit for the belated relief effort. The Washington Post quoted a senior White House official as claiming that Bush had the authority to federalize the effort all by himself; if so, why didn’t he? of course, the same official claimed Blanco didn’t declare a state of emergency, which she did.

    Blanco did not call Hastert’s comments “demeaning” as far as I could find, and as far as his comments that New Orleans should be “bulldozed” and that rebuilding was “useless,” the comments were asinine and unfeeling, not to mention demoralizing and harmful–yet you blast Blanco for taking all of fifteen seconds to demand an apology and seem to have no problem with what Hastert said?

    I could go on and on through your points, but here’s the bottom line: you make claims with no evidence, no citations, then you get zero credibility here, and in most places outside Freeperville. Just about every single time I have had conservatives drop unsubstantiated claims here, I trace it back to ultra-right blogs and the Free Republic forums–but rarely if ever a mainstream news story or report with any real support in fact.

    I am not saying that Blanco or Nagin didn’t make errors before, during, or after the storm; that was never my contention. Blanco did waste time at points herself, and while I am unaware of any specifics, I am certain Nagin had screw-ups as well. Kindly point out where I called them blameless. I don’t think you can, though I can show you several times where I pointed out they were being blamed. I am railing against the fact that Bush did screw up, he screwed up big-time, demonstrably, in ways clearly evidenced, as I have pointed out here, replete with citations.

    But what I object to most is your making completely unsubstantiated charges without reasonable citation or evidence. Not to mention that in the public eye, Nagin and Blanco have been taking the brunt of the criticism, much of it coming from the Bush White House which has gotten far less heat. Bush screwed up royally, specifically in the areas mentioned, and then set Rove to blame Blanco and Nagin. And you have not replied to my earlier responses about how Blanco started evacuating before, not after as you claimed, Bush “implored” her to do so. Like the White House is not explaining why it claimed Blanco did not declare a state of emergency when she clearly did so.

    As for your ‘concessions’ about federal blame, if you can call them that, FEMA and the Red Cross turning down some offers for help are the least offensive of a long, long laundry list of federal screw-ups that have probably cost hundreds of lives if not more. Hell, the Red Cross is not “the administration,” for crying out loud. That’s a concession?

    All else aside, Bush is the man in charge of federal efforts, and the federal response was completely incompetent. You’re doing little else here aside from spreading the blame.

    Remember Waco? Remember how Janet Reno blamed Republicans and claimed no paper trail led to her? Oh, no, wait, she didn’t do that–she took responsibility. Not the half-asses George W. Bush “taking responsibility” which consists of weasel words couched in a rant about how everyone else was to blame. Not this Chertoff BS about how “nobody could have predicted.” She took responsibility. I haven’t seen anyone in the Bush White House do that since they came in.

  3. cc
    September 6th, 2005 at 01:04 | #3

    I’ll answer in greater detail when I have the time, but as for Nagin making no attempts, go to this address:

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050901/480/flpc21109012015

    What does that look like? And what were they doing there?

  4. BlogD
    September 6th, 2005 at 01:14 | #4

    I made a few last-minute changes to the above comment, so you may want to re-read.

    As for the photo of the school buses: that’s what you call proof? How about I show a photo of military cargo jets sitting at a southern air base and call this proof of Bush’s incompetence. You’d accept that?

    Show that the drivers were available. Show that Nagin had the authority to get them. Hell, show me that the buses were even functioning and not out of service; for all you know, that’s a repair yard for the state. For all you know, the bus drivers could not be reached and no one with the ability to drive that kind of vehicle could be found. For all you know, the lot had five times as many buses and all that could be used were used. Fact is, you have no idea what happened with those buses. That ain’t no citation, and it ain’t no proof. And sure enough, a web search shows this appearing all over the right wing blogs, and never with a shred of evidence that the buses could have been used or that Nagin or Blanco overlooked them.

    I’m not saying they didn’t overlook them–I’m saying that you’re offering nothing close to proof. If the rest of your sources are this shabby, better do better research before getting to the rest of it.

  5. cc
    September 7th, 2005 at 10:23 | #5

    Below is a link to an excellent article that was posted on National Review Online today. It discusses in detail how badly state and local governments in La. bungled prepartions for the hurricane everyone knew would come one day. The federal government deserves some blame for what happened but I hope state and local officials realize they have the primary responsibility of protecting their citizens from natural disasters and that their failure to meet their responsibilities caused the deaths of thousand of these citizens.

    Never mind the source of the article, which I know you’ll disapprove of. Just read the content. Thank you.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/regan_preston200509061439.asp

    A few passages:

    “The story of buses has become the seminal tale of dereliction in New Orleans. Though the city owned hundreds of buses, it failed to use them to move its most vulnerable citizens vulnerable either because of poverty or physical infirmity out of the bowl-shaped city to safe higher ground. Initially it seemed as if the city that knew the levees protecting it would one day break just didn’t have a plan to move so many people to safety. But it turns out that emergency-preparedness officials in New Orleans did have a plan, and they did think to use buses to evacuate the city before a major hurricane. They just decided not to fully implement it as Plan A.”

    “New Orleans is a major port of entry and exit for commerce. It’s sinking into a bowl and is threatened by a gulf, a lake, and a river. It needed leadership, but what New Orleans had was an old political machine, a corrupt police force, and no real disaster leadership. Since the state knew of the problems with that police force though, the Louisiana National Guard could have had a dedicated special force with a plan to secure the city after the big one. A whole team of fast boats and such could have been training for years and deployed immediately to not just rescue but to keep order. That’s the governor’s job to think up something creative like that, not the feds. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. And here come the ghosts.

    When you’re clearly vulnerable to a nuke-sized catastrophe every summer, and you fake your emergency preparation like you’ve got it all under control, and then you still pretend that you have things under control even after it’s perfectly obvious that everything has spun out of control, then you shouldn’t blame others for being angry at the negligence. Who would want to have that many dead on their watch? You have to assume they had done everything humanly possible to save lives. But Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin did not even come close. Neither did others before them. Local leaders kept pulling the disaster trigger, but got empty chambers. Blanco and Nagin were just the unlucky pair who got the bullet.”

  6. BlogD
    September 8th, 2005 at 10:26 | #6

    You’re right, I don’t approve of the source–and since the quote you provided shows no evidence of investigation whatsoever, it is less than worthless. Furthermore, what you quoted was not even a regular article, it appears to be nothing more than an editorial. This is not proof, this is not evidence, this is right-wing opining.

    And the vast majority of your claims still remain unsourced, uncited, unevidenced, and unproved, four days after you said you’d get back to them.

    Which is an exact indication of how seriously I take them.

  7. cc
    September 9th, 2005 at 11:26 | #7

    Sigh… Alright, Luis. Let’s try this again.

    City had evacuation plan but strayed from strategy

    By LISE OLSEN
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3344347

    P.S. The period of time from Sept. 6th to Sept. 7th is NOT four days. Relax, mate.

  8. cc
    September 9th, 2005 at 11:42 | #8

    And as for my inadequate concessions, well of COURSE I know the Red Cross isn’t part of the administration. That’s why I set it apart from FEMA by putting it within parenthesis. It was meant as an aside. I suppose if I believed that organization was a part of the administration, I wouldn’t have bothered adding parenthesis.

    And I didn’t take up much space with my ‘concessions’ because you’ve already spent much bandwidth space criticizing the administration. What’s the point of my repeating anything you’ve already said? I figured it’d be enough to just mention I did have problems with the administration’s handling. Since you need more assurance, I’ll add that for all the money that’s been expended on Homeland Security, it would appear that’s only become yet another bloated government program. The military has the advantage of strategic planning; HS and FEMA definitely do not!

  9. Luis
    September 11th, 2005 at 02:02 | #9

    Sigh… Alright, Luis. Let’s try this again.Being a bit of a drama queen, aren’t we? You have no right to act with that tone here. You’re not trying anything “again”–this is the first actual citation of a news report you’ve made, period–five days after your original claims. Photos with uncertain meanings and right-wing editorials don’t cut it as citations, and I think you’d be the first to point this out if that’s all I used in this blog.

    As for the article: the writing was messy and misleading, with some pretty serious errors, including the main contention of the entire article: that Nagin failed to carry out the evacuation when he had time to do so, that plans made previously were not carried out. The article itself says that a complete, mandatory evacuation requires two days to be successful, and Olsen’s writing makes a very clear point: that Nagin waited too long. And if one reads her article all the way through and thinks, researches, and questions, inaccuracies become apparent. Olsen left critical info out of her report, was less than clear on the timeline, and made inferences and assumptions she had no right to make.

    As for what is required when, in terms of warnings and evacuations: different levels of storm strength would require different levels of response. A Cat-3 storm calls for all sorts of measures at the local, state and federal level, but would not require the all-out mandatory evacuation. A Cat-4 would have, though.

    By late August 26th, Katrina was a Cat-2 with predictions that it could become a Cat-3:KATRINA IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS…AND KATRINA IS FORECAST TO BECOME A CATEGORY THREE …MAJOR… HURRICANE TODAY AND ON SATURDAY.It was not upgraded to a Cat-4 until early on the 28th, just a few hours earlier on the same day that Nagin ordered the mandatory evacuation. But–as Lise Olsen herself points out–the plan to evacuate takes two days. In other words, Nagin did not have the warning necessary to fully evacuate the city until just before he ordered it. Olsen’s article makes one think that he failed to carry out the plan when in fact, by the time it became necessary, it was already too late to carry it out. Olsen’s own writing makes that clear, once you have the exact dates and times of the warnings.

    As for the buses, Olsen only says that no plans were made to use them–no mention at all was made about why the buses were not included in the plan. For all we know, there was a very good reason, such as a lack of drivers, or one of perhaps dozens of other logistical factors. Olsen never says that buses were ignored or never considered. In fact, she points out that buses were in fact used–after noting they were not included in any plans. But she does not then deduce that Nagin went beyond the city planning and ordered buses used, nor did she seem capable of asking if there were reasons why the buses could not be used before the storm hit.

    Olsen’s article is a mix of unclear dates and times, filled in with uncertain causes and unlooked-at possibilities. But she makes some things clear: Nagin’s “mandatory evacuation order was issued 20 hours before the storm struck the Louisiana coast,” Olsen writes. But what she does not include is that Nagin ordered the evacuation only eight hours after the storm was announced a Cat-4, and only two or three hours after Katrina went Cat-5. By Olsen’s own reckoning, that means Nagin had less than 30 hours warning, and thus not enough time to put the plan into action.

    She may have realized this as she apparently tried to cover her tracks by adding, “About 8 p.m. [August 27th], Mayor Nagin fielded an unusual personal call at home from Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, who wanted to be sure Nagin knew what was coming.” She then directly implies that Mayfield’s call told him enough to order the evacuation; pulling the timing back that far would mean that if Nagin had acted immediately, there may have been time–but even then, it would have been 34 hours before the storm hit, with more than 40 hours needed for evacuation. So even with the bogus pullback to Mayfield’s call, Nagin still would not have had time to carry out the evacuation.

    Olsen is badly misleading about times. She writes that “Saturday evening, Hurricane Katrina had intensified to Category 4…” [emphasis mine]. Olsen failed to note the exact time of the warning, which was in fact 1 am Sunday morning–instead she misleadingly wrote “Saturday evening,” which could include after midnight into Sunday, but that is not made clear. She placed the Mayfield call at 8pm Saturday night (though she did not make clear if it was 8pm Miami of New Orleans time). By stating that the Cat-4 upgrade came “Saturday evening” and Mayfield’s call came at 8pm Saturday, she gives the clear impression that the Cat-4 warning came at about the same time Mayfield’s call did, which is patently false. It was not until after 1:00 am, 5 to 6 hours after Mayfield’s call, that the storm was upgraded to Cat-4.

    So Olsen is probably lying here, implying something she must have known was untrue; her indirect language and accusation-by-inference make that clear: had Mayfield truly given Nagin the info he needed to give the order, Olsen would have said so. Instead, she knew she couldn’t, so she implied it. Or maybe Olsen just can’t do simple addition. But this kind of thing appears throughout the Olsen article–she leaves out information that makes misleading and flase inferences inevitable. She is being dishonest.

    For example, is Olsen saying that Mayfield warned Nagin that Katrina was Cat-4 a full five or six hours before he told the public? That would make Mayfield criminally negligent, for telling Nagin and no one else. But reports of the conversation said only that Mayfield urged an evacuation, and not that Mayfield assured Nagin that the storm would be a Cat-4 or that he would put his official stamp on the prediction.

    It is also of note that Nagin was not alone: officials in Mississippi did not order mandatory evacuations until 6 am, just 3-4 hours before Nagin order his own. Obviously, at 8pm on Saturday, no one had enough info to warrant a mandatory evacuation. And Olsen’s own numbers make clear that even with Mayfield’s unofficial warning, the deadline to start the evacuation plan had passed six to fourteen hours earler.

    Olsen is wrong. And, sorry, but so are you. Nagin, by all the evidence I can see, did not have time to do what you claim he should have done.

    [comment edited 3:10 am 9/11/05 Japan time]

  10. cc
    September 16th, 2005 at 05:42 | #10

    Actually, Your Heighness, I’ve always thought of drama queens to be rather flamboyant in expressing themselves, slightly hysterical, very touchy and overly sensitive, something i could accuse you of doing. I’ve never heard of one defined as trying to take things down a notch or two and trying to get to compose oneself. And if you think I’m being insincere (“acting”), then I’m very sorry to hear that. I’m only trying to communicate my view and trying to understand. Sometimes it’s difficult to have that sentiment be mutual on the internet. I also try not to engage in ad hominum attacks, and it would be nice if you could humor me and not do the same, no matter how wrong or moronic I may be to you. Thanks.

    And the time period between September 5, 2005 11:56 PM and September 9, 2005 11:26 AM is NOT five days. It’s three-and-a-half days. But you’re getting closer… And sorry if I’m not responding so quickly. I don’t have ethernet, I’m not perpetually online. For me, it’s a priveledge.

    If using the buses we have all seen on TV was not a good plan for evacuating large numbers of citizens, then another plan needs to be designed. If the Superdome and Morial Convention Center are going to be used as a shelter, then adequate security and supplies need to be there when evacuees arrive. At least local and state officials are much better positioned to know what is needed and take steps to get it done should this ever happen again.

    There have been reports published well before Katrina hit that predicted the problems with evacuating people from the city and providing and providing for evacuees in the Superdome. I’m sure you are aware of these reports, because there’s been a lot of discussion about them in the national media. Steps should be taken to deal with these problems before every hurricane season. Most state and local officials responsible for emergency preparedness grew up in Louisiana, so they have known about hurricanes all their lives. I really don’t see any excuse for this.

    You came down on me because my conceding the federal government’s flaws wasn’t thorough or lengthy enough, yet you’ll only briefly acknowledge an eight-and-a-half hour time gap between the time Mayor Nagin could have ordered evacuations and when he did, and then say “I don’t know and will not guess” his reasons. At least hold me to the same standards you allow yourself! If you want sources, maybe you would like to read this Knight-Ridder assessment of the government’s poor handling, and I mean the government at all levels. They REALLY give it to Mayor Nagin. And I’m sure you wouldn’t think of Knight-Ridder as a crazy right-wing siite:

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/12612851.htm

    An d one more thing. Why does no one seem to recall the Chicago heat waves of 1995, in which many old, sick, and/or poor people died from the heat? No response from the federal government, although 739 people lost their lives as a result. Not only was the response time slow, it was non-existent. No one seems to criticize Bill Clinton on this, however. He was out on the golf course during all this, guzzling down water and having a great time. However, the media labeled it as the fault of the local and state governments and Bill Clinton never factored into the equation at all.

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