Just a place for a few transplanted Newfies to rant about things every once in a while.
posted by Bic at 7:32 PM
Well I'm glad to see that you're not using Katrina coverage as a political tool, because we all know that makes you sick. *cough hypocrite cough*
I'm sorry, apparently I should have marked this with a special flag for the humor impaired.If you don't see the difference in Sharp's 'news release' poking fun at Cindy Sheehan's love of media attention and the people on the far left claiming Bush is letting the victims die because they're black, there is nothing I can do for you. I'll admit some will consider it dark humor, but at least he is kidding. The people accusing Bush of attempted genocide or at the very least criminal incompetence (even though as I and many others have explained he has no legal authority in the New Orleans rescue mission) are doing so with straight faces and even worse, most, being the educated people that they are, if they were honest, would have to admit they know he has no authority. But they would never do that because they know that to lay the blame on those truly in charge, the Mayor and the Governor (and even to be fair to the Mayor, the Governor's office has held most of the power since the storm hit), gains them nothing on the political front.
I have to disagree with the second paragraph of your argument. Wouldn't a natural disaster of this size automatically default to the federal level of government? I'm pretty sure that this emergency was too big to handle even for the governor of Lousianna. I'd think that the destruction of an entire city would be a federal priority. However I'm not saying that Bush committed genocide or was negligent, but he could have at least appointed someone with actual data experience to the head of FEMA.As for your "humour" well I guess it's dark, if you can find it funny that the deaths of thousands provides a perfect oppertunity to mock Cindy Sheehan. I think that however you spin it, that's a political statement. Thus you are being hypocritical.
Err I meant actual FIELD experience.
Sorry to tell you but no, a natural disaster of this size still does not allow the federal government to seize control. The Governor must still actively transfer control to the federal government, something Governor Blanco was still refusing to do as late as Friday after repeated requests from the President.It's a safety built into the US constitution to prevent a President from becoming a dictator. For better or worse that IS the law. Even declaring LA a federal disaster area, which Bush did PRIOR to Katrina hitting, only allows the State to access Federal monies, it never transfers control to the feds.Now I will agree that a more experienced FEMA director may have helped, but if you actually look at the time table for Federal assistance, the response time for Katrina is actually faster than pretty much every other hurricane. It only looks worse because of the sheer scale of the disaster and the fact it is televised 24/7.
More discussion on what exactly Bush could have legally done over at Protein Wisdom.
I'm not so sure that legal precedent should be followed in a magnitude. Bush should have gone in even if he had no jurisdiction. I think that would be a quality of good leadership that you go in with or without permission in order to save lives.
Whoops. Ugh I meant in a magnitude of catastrophe such as this.
The entire point of having laws is to remove just that type of thing. Once you give a President the power to seize control of a State from it's duly elected government, then you are opening a can of worms that you can never put away. If this rises to the level of the Federal government overriding State rights, what would prevent the next President from lowering the bar until it was essentially non-existant. It would roughly equate to me being able to take away your cigarette, right from your mouth, because I know it is harmful to your health. People, and groups of people (this includes political entities) are all given a certain amount of freedoms, under the law, and sometimes that leads to harmful behaviours. In this case the people of LA elected what tuned out to be an incompetant Governor. Simply put, an incompetant Governor who would not relinquish command even when she knew she had lost control. Not that people should have died for that but that is the case.Even the Mayor has stated that after he had met with the President and Governor, and the President put forward 2 proposals to better handle the situation she requested 24 hours to make a decision. 24 HOURS! Even then she was using delaying tactics so she could try and save face. She then went and hired a former Clinton aide for his expert political advice .Hopefully this fiasco will lead to an system that better handles emergencies like this one (although hopefully something of this level will never happen again) but that being said, it will require Congress, the Senate, The President and the individual States to make it work.
I'm not going to succumb to calling the governor of LA or the mayor of NO incompetant. If it turns out after an independent investigation that gross negligence was indeed at play here then fine, but it is not up to you or me to try and decipher what happened. And as it is reports are scattered at best.I agree with you though that there should be a comprehensive plan in place in the event of another catastrophe such as this. And it will happen again, these things are inevitable.
The reason for me calling the Governor incompetant is that there is a comprehensive plan in place for just this type of emergency but she failed to follow almost every part of it. The Mayor was slow in enacting his part too, and failed to follow through on many portions (under the formal plan I believe the mandatory evac was supposed to be called for at least a day earlier and all publicly owned transport was to be used to aid in the evacuation), but as he cannot call out the Guard or the State police, his liability is a bit more limited.This in turn caused trouble for FEMA because their emergency response programs are based on the assumptions that the States have followed, at least in part, their own emergency procedures, which was not the case.Maybe that's not the best system to have, and maybe FEMA should run a totally redundant system to cover up for such drastic failings on the state and local levels, but that would itself cause delays as in a properly handled disaster, you would have two groups trying to perform the same tasks, wasting manpower and resources. But I'm sure that idea will be passed around in the coming months and the pros and cons weighed.I do not have the link handy but I believe the plan is available directly from the LA State government website.
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