So, in response to some things that were said after dinner by some people, I will point out this helpful timeline of the whole Katrina thing, pointing out this:
"Friday, August 26
GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA
GULF COAST STATES REQUEST TROOP ASSISTANCE FROM PENTAGON: At a 9/1 press conference, Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander, Joint Task Force Katrina, said that the Gulf States began the process of requesting additional forces on Friday, 8/26. " Please note that this is right before the hurricane hit.
12PM CDT — BUSH “SATISFIED WITH THE RESPONSE”: 'I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results.'"
"Saturday, September 3
SENIOR BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL LIES TO WASHINGTON POST, CLAIMS GOV. BLANCO NEVER DECLARED STATE OF EMERGENCY: The Post reported in their Sunday edition “As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.” They were forced to issue a correction hours later. [Washington Post, 9/4/05]
9AM CDT — BUSH BLAMES STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS: “[T]he magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area that is larger than the size of Great Britain has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities. The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need.” [White House, 9/3/05]8:05PM CDT – FEMA FINALIZES BUS REQUEST: “FEMA ended up modifying the number of buses it thought it needed to get the job done, until it settled on a final request of 1,335 buses at 8:05 p.m. on Sept. 3. The buses, though, trickled into New Orleans, with only a dozen or so arriving the first day.” "
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Bush fucked up. Bad. People died because of his inaction, and anyone who wants to pretend that that's not the case, is either a political ideologue or not playing with a full deck. Or to busy listening to right-wing propaganda to pay attention to what has actually been going on.
Death toll, according to Wikipedia:
"The official death toll from Hurricane Katrina is now 1,213 with more than 2500 reported missing. STATE BY STATE: Louisiana 972, Mississippi 221, Florida 14, Alabama 2, Georgia 2, Tennessee 1, Kentucky 1." No word on how many drowned and how many died due to the lack of food and water and medical care in the aftermath.
And finally, I will repost the mission of FEMA, which, though others who believe in 'smaller government' (although I think it's funny/sad that a 'smaller government' means the FBI goes after pornographers instead of terrorists, and that plenty of potheads get to go to jail in the name of the 'War On Drugs') think that it should be 'shut down' along with other examples of 'big government' I'm sure. Also, should it fail in its mission, as it did in New Orleans, those in charge should be fired (or pressured into resigning, I guess, like Mr. Brown) and any that were actions taken evaluated and learned from. Government serves some very important functions. Certainly one of the most important ones is helping the citizens of our country in the event of natural disasters or other emergencies. If you see a problem with this, then I respectfully submit that you should either reevaluate your place within the social contract, and the benefits to your own person from your place within said social contract, or kindly find another country that better fits your personal philosophy. The almost Ayn Randian (without the benefit of Rand's supposed dependence upon Reason) impulse within certain 'conservative' quarters to restrict government to the military, courts and police, with an emphasis on laissez-faire capitalism that leaves the poor to fend for themselves without assistance, but coddles the rich, (certainly a very Christian attitude, camels and eyes of needles and hypocricy notwithstanding) is quite troubling. Not surprising, but troubling. The fact that the masses seem to have been buying this bullshit is even more troubling.
According to their website FEMA's mission is:
"As it has for more than 20 years, FEMA's mission remains: to lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of "A Nation Prepared." At no time in its history has this vision been more important to the country than in the aftermath of Sept. 11th."
Also, the law that established FEMA authorizes the use of DOD forces and resources in the event of an emergency being declared. Governor Blanco declared an emergency, so there shouldn't have been any problem. Any claims of local interference or obstruction of FEDERAL authorities is stupid. The fact that it took 5 Days for Federal resources to come into the city in force just shows that those in charge either didn't know what they were doing, didn't give a fuck, or more troubling, knew exactly what they were doing, but went ahead and did what they were doing (or rather, weren't doing) anyway. Military resources could have been placed very close, in Northern Mississippi, in Southern Arkansas, in Texas. We knew (hell, if I could see it coming, the frakking President should have been able to) full well what was coming and we had at least 2, maybe 3 days before the hurricane hit to set the stage for the response. You'll notice that pretty much once Bush's croney, Mr. Brown, was out of the picture things got done. Funny, that.
Finally, I'll point out how Bush's numbers are at an all time low, especially amongst African-Americans. There will be serious political consequences from all this at the mid-terms. Mark my words.
And don't complain to me that Dubya (and his neocon ilk) is a RINO. I didn't vote for him. Either time. And I'll dance a jig on the day he leaves office, and hope that he enjoys his longest and last vacation in Crawford ever. I hope he chops a lot of wood.