Hey, Newt, We Lost a City. Remember?

Two words.

New Orleans.

Talking “‘”We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade,’ said Gingrich, a Republican who helped engineer the GOP’s takeover of Congress in 1994.” like losing a city to terrorism should be some unthinkable frightening event that causes us all to just hand over our Constitutional rights in fear.

Hello?

Is it me or do you sometimes feel like there is no shame among some people?

I mean, here’s one of the faces of the Republican party talking about how horrible it would be to lose a city, when the Republicans presided over us losing a city and they all sat around and hemmed and hawed over who should ultimately take the blame.

I mean, what’s the threat?  We already lost a city.  It already sucked so hard most of us about couldn’t stand it.  And the Republican administration knew the storm was coming, knew the waters were in the streets.  And they had the power right then to do something about it and instead played “Who can we screw over with this?”

And Newt Gingrich wants me to feel like I have to give the Feds more power to stop the destruction of a city?

Puh-lease.

They could have done some shit at any point along the way to ease suffering in New Orleans and instead chose not to in order to score political points.  So, what makes me think that if a city were on the verge of being destroyed some other way, they’d be any more willing to act?

Do they seriously not get that when it comes to talking about the destruction of a city, that we NOW HAVE A POINT OF REFERENCE, and using that point of reference, the Feds come out looking like the biggest bunch of evil jackasses to ever roam our countryside?

You’d think there wouldn’t be a Republican alive who wanted to inadvertently remind folks of what happens when a city is threatened when Republicans have their way.

62 thoughts on “Hey, Newt, We Lost a City. Remember?

  1. People are disproportionately terrified of violence from other people. In a thread about school shootings, I once pointed out that more people die of lightning every year than from school shootings. And yet the media goes nuts and we spend oodles and oodles of dollars and pass legislation in an attempt to fight school shootings, while we might remember to tell kids once in their lifetimes to not stand on top of a hill in a thunderstorm.

    I think the same kind of psychology is at play with people finding the idea of a city being blown up disproportionately more terrifiying than the idea of a city being flooded or earthquaked into an equal amount of destruction (did you know there’s a 99% probability of a devastating earthquake in California within 30 years?)

  2. Some points:

    ~ Newt is talking about a catastrophe that makes the 1600 lives lost in New Orleans look piddly. You’re equivacating your examples here.

    ~ Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin are Republicans? I mean, New Orleans has always been run by Dems, and LA until the past couple of decades was one-party rule and governed by a political culture of corruption that makes New Jersey look like a shining example of ethical gov’t. I’ll agree on shared blame of incompetence on all three levels of gov’t (local, state, and federal), but c’mon.

    ~ Cedar Rapids is experiencing a 500 year flood. Those folks seem to thankfully be doing alright, relative to the situation. But then that midwestern culture of self-reliance may be kicking in.

    ~ But Mack, we all know that Katrina was a mess because Bush hates niggers. Just that simple.

  3. Republicans presided over NOLA?

    I thought the mayor and governor were Democrats. They were the ones responsible for the debacle. If they had evacuated the people like the knew they had to (remember the flooded buses?), much of the tragedy would have been averted.

    Also, the Fed response to Katrina was faster than is was for hurricane Andrew. Of course, Florida had competent leadership, so things weren’t as bad.

  4. B, just curious as to why you didn’t feel it necessary to mention that you’re linking to an article from November of 2006?

  5. What political points did the Feds score by not helping more in NO?

    Lee, why do you feel like it should be necessary to mention that the article was from 2006? That actually kinda makes it worse for Newt in my mind since the whole Katrina thing was a lot more recent at that time.

  6. (Climbing up the strawman to take it all in)

    Sigh. First, one does not have to hate to be indifferent to suffering. 1600 lives lost? Are we to compare disasters by the bodycount? For three fucking days, we all watched while these people screamed for water. Katrina fueled the GOP losses in 06. Swallow that, then we can talk.

    Nagin? Are you serious? Dem Mayors mean zero. The entitiy that had the resources to aid after Katrina was the Feds, and they were busy shopping, eating, and playing cowboy. Just own this already…you’ll have my respect.

    I guess, though, you are right. Those pitiful masses that were caught unprepared for katrina deserved their fate…why, they should have merely stocked the Land Cruiser with bottled water, and made hotel reservations. Fools.

    I have to wonder about anyone that uses the words New Orleans, flood, and piddly in the same sentence.

    Y’all must sleep under your beds, pistols cocked.

  7. Because either B just happened on an article from 2006 and didn’t realize it, or she intentionally misrepresented this as something that Newt had just said.

    And Mack, you’re right in that this particular Dem mayor was worth zero. Buses under water. Buses under water.

  8. Mack,

    “The entitiy that had the resources to aid after Katrina was the Feds,”

    True. But had the levees been properly built and maintained, much of the damage to NOLA would never have happened. The responsibility for the majority of the lives lost and the damage done by the flooding should be placed on the local levee boards and the Corps of Engineers. The corruption and incompetence of decades set the stage for Katrina.

    Should the Bush Administration have done a great number of things more effectively? Yes. And there is no doubt that cronyism at FEMA was a problem. But nothing the Administration could have done would have prevented the disaster of the flooding. And the Nagin and Blanco administrations bear responsibility too.

  9. If we are doing body counts, and we are comparing the NOLA flood deaths to a terrorist attack on a U.S. city, and we are playing the blame game, then who was presiding over our national security on 9/11/01?

    Oh, I forgot: we’re supposed to blame 9/11 on Bill Clinton’s penis.

    Because either B just happened on an article from 2006 and didn’t realize it, or she intentionally misrepresented this as something that Newt had just said.

    Not that B. needs any defense, Lee, but WTF? I don’t see anything in the above post that indicates or even suggests that there is a specific time frame for Gingrich’s rantings. B. does provide a link, where anyone can go and look at the dateline for himself. Oh, I’m sorry; your arguments were crashing, so you changed the subject? My bad.

    And Mack, you’re right in that this particular Dem mayor was worth zero. Buses under water. Buses under water.

    Really. Is there some school where right-wingers go to learn the poop-flinging method of debate? Because you all seem to recycle the same tired talking points, no matter how often they get shot down.

    There is one uncontroversial fact related to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: if the levees had been upgraded according to plan, the damage to New Orleans might have been minimal. The storm never hit the city directly, it was the failure of dilapidated and overmatched levees that caused the flooding.

    Now who do you think was responsible for slashing funding to the levee project?

  10. From the Washington Post. a source a bit more reputable and evenhanded than, say… Artvoice, who you linked to.

    “But over the five years of President Bush’s administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.”

    Also…

    “But overall, the Bush administration’s funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were slightly higher than the Clinton administration’s for its past five years.

    What we’re you saying about facts there again, CS?

  11. Lee,

    If you get a chance, check out ‘Rising Tide’ by John Barry. It is an excellent history of efforts to control the Mississippi River from before the Civil War to the great flood of 1927.

    Much like the Mississippi itself, the incompetence of the Corps of Engineers and local politicians just keeps rolling along, so to speak.

  12. I thought that the US Army was in charge of the Corps of Engineers. Isn’t the Army still federally administered? This is a state screw-up how?

    Incidentally, Nagin and Blanco never got along, even before Katrina. Nagin had a long track record of supporting Republican candidates and makes an implausible poster boy for Democratic shortcomings, since he was beloved by Louisiana Republicans prior to Katrina. One suspects that the reason he was so personally outraged by the slow response is that he had made a strong effort to cultivate national Republican leaders, even (allegedly) at the expense of the state Dem party. He was Mr. Senatorial Junket in 2002 and 2003…he must have thought that all those crawdads and all that gumbo gave him a little more political capital than he actually had.

  13. Bridgett,

    Certainly the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Defense exercise control over the Corps. But that is more theoretical than practical power since Congress loves the Corps and will wreck havoc on any bureaucrat foolish enough to mess with an institution that proves so valuable to members.

    The Corps can ensure that a key piece of pork gets done or gets stopped. Congress approves the Corps’ budget and protects it from meddling reformers.

    That is a classic DC symbiotic relationship.

    As for the levees, I believe that the local boards may answer to state boards to an extent but the real power is in the local levee boards. Any involvement by the Corps would be greatly influenced by the wishes of the members of Congress and the Senate which would probably be dependent on the wishes of the local political leaders who control the levee boards.

  14. Funny how the Post (whose editorial board is not known for being openly critical of the Bush administration) fails to mention SELA. The ‘reputable’ Post fails to mention a specific program– designed to upgrade the levees– that was approved by Congress and whose budget was slashed by the Bush administration. Are you going to suggest that SELA doesn’t exist because the Post didn’t mention it?

  15. Newt is talking about a catastrophe that makes the 1600 lives lost in New Orleans look piddly

    if they couldn’t hack the “piddly” catastrophe, what on earth makes you think they can do jack in the face of a big one?

  16. They had to deal with a bigger one already, and their solution was to give money to TN to protect the Mule Days from potential terrorist threat, give embossed mugs to the Nashville police force to hand out to people who complete a civil defense course, and not give money to NYC because there are no landmarks, monuments, or institutions there that need protection. Oh, and to curtail civil liberties.

  17. Gee, I seem to remember NO getting about three days warning before Katrina hit.
    I also remember federal aid waiting for Blanco to figure which decision would make the best political sense.

    Three words? Posse Comitatus Act

    Lastly, it’s a city founded by pirates and whores. What did you expect?

  18. To quote, at length:

    Rove and Nagin were communicating through e-mail. “I heard Nagin was bragging about being in touch with The Man,” Blanco says. “Nagin took the position that they were the people who could help the most to do what he wanted. People get highly complimented when they have contact with the White House.” In this case the trade-off for Nagin was his willingness to cooperate with Rove. “I knew Ray Nagin could be easily manipulated,” Landrieu says. “I could feel it. We were all working together in a relatively small building. We were in close proximity. But I could see where Rove was going. Blame Blanco. Blame the levee board. Blame the corruption in New Orleans. ‘The reason the city is going underwater is because the city is corrupt,’ Rove was saying. ‘But don’t blame the Republicans or George W. Bush or David Vitter. We are the white guys in shining armor, and we are going to come in and save the city from years of corruption.’ That was their story and they sold it very well.”

    Rove sold the story, as he had in the past, through the media. On Wednesday, while Blanco was trying to get help from the White House, her staff began receiving calls from reporters questioning her handling of the disaster, almost all of them citing as their sources unnamed senior White House officials.

    and

    “One story,” Blanco aide Mann recalls, “would say the governor was so incompetent she had not even gotten around to declaring a state of emergency when she had actually done so three days before the storm. It was obvious to us who was behind this attack based on inaccurate information that was being shoveled to Washington reporters who were identifying their sources as senior Bush administration officials.” Blanco adds, “People at Newsweek told me the White House called them to say I had delayed signing the disaster declaration. The assumption was that their source was the political director — Karl Rove.” Not only was the attack on Blanco in print, it was also on television. “All of a sudden,” Blanco says, “a whole lot of talking heads showed up on television repeating the misinformation over and over, making it the truth.”

    On Wednesday afternoon, Blanco called Bush and told him she needed “everything you’ve got.” Since Bush promised to help, Blanco believed that assistance was arriving in the person of Army lieutenant general Russel Honore, who met with the governor. After a long and cordial discussion, Blanco asked Honore how many troops he had brought with him to Louisiana at the order of the president. “Just a handful of staffers,” Blanco heard him say, much to her amazement. “I am here in an advisory capacity.”

    and

    Of all of the stories and subplots, there would be one that, in many ways, symbolized the whole of Katrina, what it revealed about the Bush administration, and how it would affect the lives of so many people. On Friday, Mary Landrieu had been with Bush and Blanco as they toured the 17th Street Canal, where, at last, major work had commenced to repair the damage that had been caused when the levee broke. “Then, on Saturday,” Landrieu says, “George Stephanopoulos called and asked to do an interview with me, and I said, ‘George, I’m tired of doing interviews. I have to work. And nothing you are airing is accurately showing what’s going on down here.’ He wanted to go to the Superdome, and I said, ‘We still have people stranded on their roofs. If you want to tell the right story, I will help you tell the right story. You get a helicopter and I’ll go up and I will show you what is actually happening. It’s awful what’s happening at the Superdome, but the reason the people can’t understand the story is because the entire region is under 20 feet of water. People can’t get into the Superdome to help. They can’t get out. People are drowning in their homes.’

    “So George and I went up in the helicopter and for three hours his jaw was dropping. Then I said, ‘George, before we finish I have to show you one positive thing because I can’t send you back to Washington to produce a story that shows nothing but devastation and disaster.’ So I told the pilot to tack right so I can show George the 17th Street Canal and the work that was going on there. I swear as my name is Mary Landrieu I thought that what I saw with the president was still there — people working, trucks, sandbags, everything. Then I looked down and saw one little crane. It was like someone took a knife and stabbed me through my heart. I lost it.” There, in the cabin of the helicopter, as they flew above the breached canal below them, Landrieu sat devastated.

    “I could not believe that the president of the United States, staged by Karl Rove himself, had come down to the city of New Orleans and basically put up a stage prop. It was like you had gone to a studio in California and filmed a movie. They put the props up and the minute we were gone they took them down. All the dump trucks were gone. All the Coast Guard people were gone. It was an empty spot with one little crane. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen in my life. At that moment I knew what was going on and I’ve been a changed woman ever since. It truly changed my life.”

    See the whole thing here:

    http://www.salon.com/books/excerpt/2008/06/06/rove_katrina/index1.html

  19. A bunch of Dems saying it was the GOP’s fault, and the GOP saying it was a bunch of Dems’ fault. Seems par for the course.

  20. Nice source you have there. Excerpts from a book entitled “Machiavelli’s Shadow: The Rise and Fall of Karl Rove”.

    I dont have the time to track down the publisher, Modern Times, but what has come up, can be described as kooky.

    Any more info on this “indy” publishing house?

  21. To be clear…the state of the levees, and who was responsible, are important points, and I’m convinced there is plenty of blame to go around…but I believe misses the larger point.

    My chief complaint is what happened afterward. My God, we had press at the Superdome, but there was no way to get water there? What about sending what was left of the Guard to open that bridge to people willing to escape on foot? Weren’t people turned away from crossing one bridge by armed police?

    I will always believe if it had been white children suffering from a lack of water, the people in charge would have been swimming through the Gulf themselves to deliver it.

  22. And Mack, from that irrefutable info source, Wiki:

    On September 26, 2006, President Bush urged Congress to consider revising federal laws so that the U.S. military could seize control immediately in the aftermath of a natural disaster, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    These changes were repealed in their entirety in 2008.

  23. EX, forget the military…we have guard units, we have FEMA. It doesn’t take the 82nd Airborne to deliver food, water, and medicine.

    Are you really going to anchor your argument to the idea of giving the federal govt MORE POWER?

  24. Ex, what do you mean by putting “indy” in quotes? In publishing, to be an independent publisher just means you’re not some part of one of the big media conglomerates, like Bertelsmann or Time/Warner or whatever.

    Modern Times is an imprint of Rodale, which is one of the larger independent publishers. (I’m not sure if it or Perseus is bigger, but I can find out for you, if it matters.) They published Gore’s book and the South Beach diet books and LL Cool J’s work out book and a bunch of gardening books and just the kinds of things you’d expect to see on a healthy broad trade list.

    See here:

    http://www.rodalepress.com/

  25. Mack, ha, you got at exactly what I expected the Libertarians to give me shit about–me arguing for less power for the government based on their mishandling of past power. I thought for sure Ex, Sarcastro, or Coble would be in here teasing me from one end of the block to the other about my libertarian tendencies.

    Instead, Exador’s looking for secret publishing conspiracies and Lee’s arguing I’m somehow too late to make my point. (Irigaray wrote in the 80s about the philosophical cooter. Am I not allowed to engage her train of thought? What’s the cut off for discovering people’s ideas and getting to talk about them?)

  26. Since i’m such a fan of Wiki (Bridgett will surely take me to task for it):

    “There are a number of situations in which the Act does not apply. These include:

    National Guard units while under the authority of the governor of a state; ”

    So, once again, Yes, the National Guard CAN be employed while under the authority of the governor of the state.

    Who in this case was a bumbling idiot.

  27. Wow! Gore’s book!? Was it in the fiction section?

    And The SOUTH BEACH DIET??!!!

    Well, pardon me all to hell. They should be listed as constitutional scholars.

  28. What are you talking about? What does what the publisher publishes have to do with the merits of a particular author? They thought the book could sell, so they published it.

    Should folks never read a Bible because Thomas Nelson also publishes conservative memoirs?

  29. You’re the one quoting kooky sources on the internet as the basis of your nutjob conspiracy theories.

    Hold on, while I find a source that says Katrina was God’s punishment.

    In the mean time, could we get back to the fact that Katrina was not the fault of the feds?

  30. except she’s not quoting “kooky sources on the internet”. she’s quoting somebody’s book.

    you’re the one trying to smear, not the book, nor its author, but its publisher. and you seem to be failing, because apparently they’re just any other mainstream (if not market dominant) publishing house, putting out any number of perfectly unremarkable books.

    even you can do better than that, Ex. i’ve seen you do better than that, right on this blog. try harder.

  31. Anyone who has spent any time reading or writing about gardening knows Rodale as a respected and authoritative publisher.

  32. Sweet tap-dancing christ. Can we get off the publisher? I’m sorry! I apologize unreservedly. Ok?
    Can we get back on topic?
    I’m going to go back to work now. Hopefuly, this thread will get back to Katrina someday.

  33. So, who will take the blame when East St. Louis goes under due to the decrepit state of their levees? Will the Feds look the other way again when a city of a darker shade drowns? All that water is moving downstream to New Orleans eventually, so we will get a second chance to see what they’ve learned so far.

  34. I think the interesting thing is the difference between this and Katrina. Sarah Moore is all “Beyond geography, what’s another difference between the two events? The response of the government and people to the disaster … before, during and after.” as if the people of New Orleans deserved what happened to them because they expected someone to come help them.

    But really, she misses the main lesson here. The reason that no one is mad at Bush for not showing up until Thursday and for there being fewer National Guard Troops than needed is that now we know. We know we’re on our own. That we can’t count on the Feds for help.

    How could the people of New Orleans ever have seriously thought they’d be abandoned by their government and left to die?

    And how can the people of the Midwest not have that lesson in the forefront of their minds at all times?

    That’s the difference.

    It’s not that the folks in New Orleans were stupid. It’s that the paradigm has shifted. We now know help’s not coming.

  35. No, it’s that the folks in New Orleans were stupid, or more to point, dependent. Florida has been getting leveled for decades without this much whining. After Andrew hit, it took weeks for FEMA to get help in.

  36. And how can the people of the Midwest not have that lesson in the forefront of their minds at all times?

    B, you’re implying that the entire worldview of Iowans and midwesterners in general changed from one of government reliance to self-reliance within a 3 year period?

    Such attitudes are a result of rearing, an absorption of the prevailing culture, and personal character.

  37. Um, actually, the biggest difference is that a far smaller number of people have been displaced by the recent floods than by Katrina. Then there’s the difference that the people who have been displaced have been displaced from a wider geographical area; there is no huge mass of folks in any single place all needing help where they are. And the flood patterns now are such that they often haven’t had to go all that far to get to safety. I just thought that someone ought to point this out before we start making meaningless comparisons.

    And so far as Florida and Andrew go, Ex may not remember the whining, but I do. I also remember that causing the Republicans some trouble in the state for some time.

  38. They are STILL whining about it. i lived there.

    Such attitudes are a result of rearing, an absorption of the prevailing culture, and personal character.

    Wow. You forgot breeding.

  39. Hey, I was in the Iowa flood of 1993. Big differences? Let’s see — floods are very very slow and gradual, evolving over a period of about three to four weeks. Hurricanes are fast and sudden, bearing down with great force. There are things that civilians can do to steer flood waters and they did them 24/7 for about a month. Hurricanes? Not so much — you basically just have to get out of the way or hang on once the destruction of infrastructure was unleashed. The population of the entire state of Iowa in 1993? Around 2.7 million people. The population of the single city of New Orleans when Katrina hit? Around 1.4 million.

    I don’t see how one could compare the two events. It’s sort of a stupid exercise.

  40. Does anybody know the percentages of people with homeowners insurance in FL?
    I’m guessing it’s considerably higher than NO, at least it seems like I’ve heard of a lot more people in the NOLA are that lacked sufficient insurance.

    Before the anti-corporate types jump in, yeah, I know some of the insurance companies were screwing people over.

  41. Mack, are they really still whining about Andrew? My cousins stopped after, oh, about a decade. I admire your people’s tenacity.

  42. I do recall hearing that shots had been fired at a rescue helicopter in N.O. Of course, I also recall hearing, after it all had calmed down and such stories were being investigated, that it turned out not to be true. My recollections certainly seem to be different than Ex’s throughout this thread.

    Than there’s Lee. Gee, a member of the New Orleans police department is corrupt, so no one in the federal administration has any responsibility for helping out after Katrina. Got it.

  43. The police department corruption was widespread, and when the disaster struck, most just left town if not taking advantage of the situation. Though that does not imply that the federal gov’t is recused of responsibility, it does signify a citywide culture rotten and stagnant.

    And may I add that Houston, kind enough to take in the refugees of New Orleans, were rewarded with their generosity with a gigantic spike in murder and crime, something I do not think fellow Iowans will have to deal with come their flood refugees.

    So yes Mr. Mack, rearing, prevailing culture, and personal character.

    Just ask Houston.

  44. Lee, you do understand that the Iowans are mostly displaced for a few days, and that in their case ‘displaced’ often means ‘staying with friends on the hilly side of town’? Why are you trying to compare several hundred thousand long-term refugees, isolated hundreds of miles from their support systems and whose homes have been destroyed, with tens of thousands of people who need to get out for half a week and have reclaimable homes left to return to? Have you got a single reason for making this comparison that isn’t completely disingenuous?

  45. nm,

    What makes you think that many of the homes are reclaimable? I’m sure a large number of them are going to be complete losses.

    I followed along with a guy who was holed up in the middle of NO and wrote a daily account of what he experienced; plenty of looting, assault, etc. Pretty much a jungle.

  46. Oh, and Lee, about that ‘spike’ in crime in Houston:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/05/AR2006020500884.html

    the crime rate per thousand for the evacuee population is not greater than it was among Houstonians before the influx of Katrina survivors.

    But the issue facing the city, officials said, is that Houston’s 2 million population grew by about 10 percent virtually overnight, straining all key city services such as schools, hospitals, emergency services and, particularly, public safety. The addition of the evacuee population has dropped the ratio of police officers per thousand Houstonians to 1.9, compared with 2.3 before Katrina and with the national average of 2.8.

    Nothing to do with where the extra folks came from, their character, or the culture they brought with them. Everything to do with the size of the relocated population.

  47. True, Ex, I’m basing this on what has happened to my friends in Iowa and Indiana. The Indiana folks (flooding two weeks ago) thought at first that they had a total loss, but returned home to find that they just had a bunch of cleaning up to do. The friends in Iowa only had a few feet of water in their house to deal with. I realize that others may not be so fortunate. I repeat, however, that what is happening is not comparable in scope or severity to the Katrina experience in N.O.

  48. OK, I guess I don’t feel like working. I went back and read some of the NO blog. It’s a total play by play.

    More from the Police Officer. I’m typing as fast as i can while he talks to us:
    He’s only hearing bits and pieces. The people in the city are shooting at the police. They’re upset that they’re not getting help quickly enough. The firemen keep calling because they’re under fire. He doesn’t understand why the people are shooting at the rescuers. Here it is 5 days ago the Mayor said get out of town and nobody went and now they’re pissed.

    The National Guard was at the Hilton, but now the Hilton is evacuated. When they said the CBD was gonna get 6 feet of water, it seems like everyone evacuated.

    He turned the corner onto Canal Street and it looked like a flea market. People breaking into every store, going to the neutral ground (median) and trading and selling everything.

    They broke into Winn Dixie Monday Night. Do they steal food? No. Cigarettes and liquor. Store was a mess. All the meats were going to waste so the districts went over there to salvage food for officers. Many cops have been eating MREs.

    The Iberville Housing Projects got pissed off because the police started to “shop” after they kicked out looters. Then they started shooting at cops. When the cops left, the looters looted everything. There’s probably not a grocery left in this city.

    Over 30 officers have quit over the last 3 days. Out of 160 officers in his district maybe 55 or 60 are working. He hasn’t seen several since Sunday. HQ is closed, evacuated. No phones to contact them.

    “HQ, be advised, we’re going 10 7.”

    “Ok, y’all coming back on???”

    “We don’t know.”

  49. Read the link NM. I’m at work and my work computer is intentionally set up for limited internet capabilities, so I cannot Google around to research a rebuttal. But I’ll assume that I am thoroughly corrected (at least on this aspect of the debate) and that the article’s assertion that Houston’s crime spike was proportional to it’s intake of refugees is correct.

    (My teeth are currently gnashing.)

    I lay my sword at your feet, and next time I’m in Nashville (or wherever you live) I’ll mow your yard or cook you dinner or something. Maybe I’ll take you to a nice Chinese buffet.

    This does not mean I back down on other arguments I have made, for I believe that the Louisiana’s corruption and the infantilizing effect of governement dependency of many NO residents, along with widespread gov’t errors on all levels of gov’t, made what was always going to be a bad situation that much worse.

  50. That is beside the point. Even if we agree that these people shared the bulk of responsibility for their plight, the inescapable fact is that FEMA failed miserably. These people got themselves to the dome, as instructed, and there was plenty of time to at least administer basic first aid, food, and water.

    They were scared to go in. i understand that, but thats their job.

  51. I’m like B. Smooches is plenty for me.

    Likewise, I’m not about to deny the corruption rife in LA; I just think it’s way too easy to look at that and say all explanations begin and end there. And I really, truly think that there’s such a difference in scale in these two floods (not only in the number of persons displaced and the probably length of time involved; Katrina also didn’t damage all that much prime farmland, and had a much smaller impact in that way) that making comparisons of the probable behavior of the people involved is futile.

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