September 2, 2005

Katrina politics.

Kos (and presumably other sites) are savaging Bush over Katrina. What's missing is criticism of state and local government. Justified outrage about the response to Katrina is — not surprisingly — merged with the usual partisan politics. On the other side, people are excusing Bush and putting all the blame on state and local government. How hard is it to play it straight here? I'm going to try.

53 comments:

Eddie said...

It's ridiculous to blame everything on one person or another. The people who are blaming Bush have already blamed him for everything in the world from the war on Terror to their bad hairday and their sick pet dog.

MD said...

Genuine mistakes vs. gross negligence. All points inbetween. Things foreseen and unforeseen. Culpability. Human fragility and denial.

I guess we'll be arguing these points for a long time to come.

Elizabeth said...

I appreciate your keeping an even keel. I've stopped reading Kos for now, and I've posted a couple of angry notes on Atrios. It's really important now to stand in the middle and look honestly at all sides. State and local government, for example, can't be accurately characterized as GOP or Democrat. It's much more complex. Federal agencies, likewise, are complex in that they build policy over and across administrations. Congress, with its bizarre pork barrel politics, is probably the most partisan of cesspools, and it won't be hard to look at their spending priorities and associate them with party dominance.

I'm hoping for wisdom, that voters will watch this with open eyes and start to challenge the pork barrel games, the party-line appointments to committees, the spin, spin, spin on issues that never ends.

It's vital that we do. This disaster is a wakeup for us in terms of homeland security.

John Thacker said...

So, several articles (especially in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune) make it clear that the levees were not engineered to withstand a storm of this size. Indeed, additional money would have made no difference, since it was a recently repaired and reinforced (up to the level that they were planning) levee which broke.

Given that, the city should have been evacuated earlier. (Obvious in hindsight now-- how much did previous near-misses and predictions that didn't come true at the last minute like Ivan affect things?) At least on Saturday, when the President pre-declared it a disaster area, there should have been an evacuation order. Why did the mayor wait until late Sunday? According to the LA Times, Greyhound already stopped running Saturday night, to protect their employees. The trains couldn't run, as the tracks go by and on the levees. The flights were canceled. There was no way that all the tourists and people without cars could get out. Just no way.

As far as the rescue goes, I don't know exactly when the governor asked for federal troops; that request was necessary under the Posse Comitatus Act. The Louisiana National Guard, 3/4ths of which, including their Engineers (though not the Combat Engineers, whose duties are different) were in the state and other states quickly offered their troops. Yet the delay and organization seemed slow.

It seems that everyone was taken by surprise with how the storm seemed to be averted at the last second, yet the levee then broke later. More damningly, there seems to have been no real plan for rescuing people who couldn't get out. The chain of command still doesn't seem clear.

Lindsey said...

Have you read the transcript from Mayor Nagin's interview with a local radio station? Interesting stuff about the lack of help from his point of view. He's furious with the lack and aid and argues that he's done at the local level everything he can do. Also some thoughts about the violence and some topics no one is talking about, such as drug addicts, etc. It can be found on cnn.com.

in_the_middle said...

john thacker sums it up nicely, and raises the questions everyone is asking and will be asking for a long time: why was the evacuation of the immobile poor so horrendously underthought?

post-storm, fema should shoulder a ton of blame, from director brown all the way up to mr. chertoff at homeland security, who had no business publicly blaming those who didn't leave at his press conference yesterday. the 10.5 billion is going to fema. should it? i am unimpressed.

i don't think it's fair to start blaming bush or for the congressional black caucus to start their political spin machines (obliquely blaming racism), but perception is worth millions: why was there no president bush with a megaphone this time like there was after sep. 11?

regardless of who deserves blame, the white house really needs to shore up its PR problem in light of this. folks like maureen down at the times are licking their chops at the material they have at their feet, and frankly it was handed to them by an amateur inability to show better leadership, even if it was all for show. just the mere show of attention gives people hope.

there is no command and control at any level: local, state, or federal. and regardless of who you blame, it is without excuse to watch people literally die on camera when msnbc reporters show how THEY were able to get into the city with gas and food when everyone at the official level said it was impossible.

Earth Girl said...

Thank you, Ann, for trying to play it straight. That's why I'm such a faithful reader.

AJ Lynch said...

A lot of blame to go around.

Last night, Congress approved an aid package, and I bet many members didn't make the effort to vote.

I have heard Mayor Nagin is in Baton Rouge?? Is this true and if so, I expect it's sure difficult for him to lead or coordinate efforts from there. Isn't a captain supposed to go downwith his ship?

Wade_Garrett said...

Why was there no President Bush with a megaphone, the way there was after 9/11? That was a simple symbolic act, which brought comfort to those reassured by simple symbolic acts, but it didn't do much to comfort those who lost friends in the attacks.

Yesterday, Scott McClellan said that "flood prevention has been a priority for this administration from day one" and President Bush said that "nobody could have forseen that the levees would overflow." Really, sort of like how nobody could have forseen that planes would be flown into buildings?

Bush doesn't have to create more photo opportunities, as he did today with a staged-for-the-camera briefing with his shirt sleeves rolled up, as if he was personally going to start shooing rats off the bloated corpses and loading them onto trucks. No, all he has to do is to stop, and to tell McClellan to stop, rewriting history and, you know, start governing.

Elizabeth said...

AJ,

Yeah. Congress managed to convene on a Sunday to "save" Terry Schiavo.

I am looking for people to praise, too, and in fact, I expect both praise and blame will fall on the same people. I'm glad to see Bush meeting, intimately, with folks in Mississippi. I expect they're handpicked, but that'll do for now. There's a little comfort there. I'm glad Ray Nagin has stayed in the city, like a captain on a sinking ship, and despite his many failures, I pray God sends him strength and resolve. I'm sorry for the folks who find themselves doing things they're ashamed of to survive. I feel terribly guilty at how comfortable I am right now, but I'm also so so glad I took this seriously and left. Blanco and Nagin had a press conference late Friday or early Saturday, where the gravity on their faces told me as much or more than the weather channel could.

Brando said...

Ann, I doen't think this is usual party politics. I mean, Bill O'Reilly was cussing out some guy from the Heritage Foundation for not advocating that oil companies kick in millions for aid. While many of the usual liberal suspects have laid into Bush, many on the right have hit as hard or harder. One of the nations most conservative news papers, Newhampshire's Union Leader, for example, absolutely excoriated Bush.

No, whatever is going, this is not politics as usual. And it won't be politics as usual. People are waking up the the fact that here is an Elephant on the kitchen table.

But you're right, criticism needs to go down to the state and local level too. And republican or democrat, there is going to be hell to pay for this massive failure in government.

Wade_Garrett said...

One thing I would do, if I was the President, would be to go on tv and tell people like this to shut the hell up: "Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city. From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence', New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same. Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long," - Michael Marcavage, in a statement from the evangelical Christian group, "Repent America," issued Friday.

Brando said...

You gotta wonder sometimes if Evangelical Christians have ever heard of, mush less read, the New Testament.

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Compare and contrast:

Why was there no President Bush with a megaphone, the way there was after 9/11? That was a simple symbolic act, which brought comfort to those reassured by simple symbolic acts, but it didn't do much to comfort those who lost friends in the attacks.

Bush doesn't have to create more photo opportunities, as he did today with a staged-for-the-camera briefing with his shirt sleeves rolled up, as if he was personally going to start shooing rats off the bloated corpses and loading them onto trucks. No, all he has to do is to stop, and to tell McClellan to stop, rewriting history and, you know, start governing.

So, let me get this straight: you're complaining that Bush isn't down there with a megaphone comforting the afflicted, but you're also complaining that Bush is down there staging a photo-op instead of "governing."

It's amazing that your head doesn't explode.

Theis said...

Michael Marcavage may call himself an Evangelical Christian, but in reality he's a textbook Pharisee.

Charles said...

Ann, I forget in all that mess of who did what to who: Where did the Feds get the responsibility to build (or rebuild) cities, and the structures that prevent them from being flooded? That in the Constitution?

Alternately, it is fun to hear the conspiracy theory from them that Bush took the levee money in 2000 because he knew he needed it to fight the war in Iraq which he would blame on the 9-11 attacks a year in the future, to benefit the oil companies who are causing global warming which would cause a hurricane to wipe out New Orleans. And they think right-wing people are paranoid!

New Orleans does show the need for an armed and polite society for when the Democrat base is no longer spoon fed everything though... (snicker) since those are the democrat base voters doing all that looting...

Brando said...

The Republicans have spent the last three or four decades telling us the government can't help us, then put Dubya in the White House, took over all branches of government and proved it.

Too Many Jims said...

I applaud people for playing it straight but I would note that one person's "playing it straight" is another's political calculation. For example, you note: "Said Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, who strikes me as incredibly inept. . . . Some people really do deserve blame. The city and the state failed in this one, it would seem."

It is tough not to blame those we believe deserve blame.

IrishLad said...

Is it not possible that everyone has been doing what they have thought was prudent, and to the best of what they had and knew at the time? Clearly, mistakes have been made... but unless you know the future and have an unlimited ability to move heaven and earth, some mistakes, or under-performances are going to occur. It's always easy to sit around after something happens and see what should've been done instead. There are multitudes of people that could come into blame, if that's the game you're going to play, from both sides of the political divide. Are there things the mayor of NO, and the governor should've done they didn't? Probably too many to mention. Could Bush (and every president in the last 25 years), Congress, and the federal bureaucracy have done something better? Of course. Could a guy named Bob who chose to live in a house in a place that was 20 feet below sea level in a hurricane-prone area have made different decisions?

Of course, the blame game has the overarching advantage of the 20/20 hindsight never having to be tested. If everything was done that the complainers now say should've been done, inevitably something would've gone wrong, and then people would be bitching about them. How about we give each other the benefit of the doubt, not saying that every decision was right, or even made intelligently, but that people have worked to the leading edge of their ability? Second guessing that is too easy and the second guesses are never tested, so they appear infallible, but we don't know that they are.

alkali said...

Perhaps we should investigate why it is that FEMA has wasted so much time and money planning for precisely this scenario over the past two decades if, as Prof. Althouse now informs us, this is really a local and state government problem.

Anselm's Apprentice said...

I suspect the hard left won't be able to resist vocalizing their feelings right now, but I'm not sure it will advance their agenda. Middle America wants to be charitable towards all, and isn't likely to react well towards "mean" comments at a time of crisis. "Hate isn't a family value," as the bumber sticker says.

The right is likely to reduce the left's criticism to, "They blame Bush for everything--right down to the weather." The left must then respond with complex arguments about the Kyoto protocol that really won't stand a lot of scrutiny. (If the US had stopped ALL carbon emissions the minute Bush took office, it really wouldn't have changed the global climate enough to reduce the average number of hurricanes.)

Insofar as there are left-leaning voices that really DO blame Bush for everything, including the weather, there's a word for that: paranoia.

Dogtown said...

I wish you luck, Ann. I tried my criticism of Bush yesterday on a conservative blog I frequent, Polipundit, and I was taken to task by my GOP colleagues willing to rationalize anything Bush does or doesn't do.

Aside from my disgust over the Local and State authorities down there, I am also sorry that Bush again showed his aloof attitude toward an awful tragedy. He's always slow to step up to the plate and take serious action. Early this week, he was out here in California at fundraisers, talking about drug policy and VJ Day, while a tragic situation was being played out in his own country. He struck me as insensitive, willfully unaware and uninformed, and seriously lacking in leadership.

For once, I'd like to have a politician who can be the hand-holder-in-chief when the time calls for it, and be tough at the same time, able to mobilize action more effectively.

Too Many Jims said...

Charles,

You say: "New Orleans does show the need for an armed and polite society for when the Democrat base is no longer spoon fed everything though... (snicker) since those are the democrat base voters doing all that looting"

Because of the limitations of the internet or my reading ability I do not know how much you were joking but if you were serious at all, these comments are so ridiculous that it would give them too much credit to call them offensive.

The looters are the "democrat base voters"? Did Gallup come out with a poll of the looters that I missed? Or are you just assuming that the looters are "democrat base voters" because they are black? Because they are poor? Is there a party rule that poor folks, black folks or poor black folks can't be Republicans?

Personally, my guess is that the vast majority of looters are not voters at all.

With regard to your comment that "the Democrat base is . . . spoon fed everything", it may be comforting for you to look at the images on tv and think these are all welfare recipients but I wish you would realize that the working poor do exist in this country. They may take food stamps or other assistance but they are hard working honest folks. I trust you treat everyone who you know who sucks of the government tit with the same derision. I suggest you tell any friends who are farmers, who have student loans or who have taken that the home mortgage deduction (among other forms of government welfare) that they are being spoon fed.

in_the_middle said...

i agree with jim. that post was incredibly offensive, and if i were ann i'd just rip it right off of her blog. disgusting.

Bill said...

David Brooks of The New York Times writes an editorial "The Storm After the Storm" which gives light to other dissaster and how the administration with stood.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/01/opinion/01brooks.html?oref=login

Elliott said...

One of the major problems that the people who oppose Bush have with this administration is the utter lack of accountability. How do you point out one more time the incompetence without appearing partisan. You can blame people lower in the food chain, but ultimately, you know where, just like Truman, where the buck stops. Every time the Left sees this, they are told to stop playing politics. Why did Bush not clear the decks of every other issue and call everyone back from vacation. For G-d's sake, he had time to make a recess appointment, you would have thought he would have had time to make sure that Chertoff had the tools to identify tens of thousands of refugees at the NO Convention Center. After all, LIVE news reports were being broadcast from the location. I guess I'm not supposed to be playing politics with gross incompetence and lack of leadership, but I will if there is any chance that we can mitigate the disaster that has been inflicted upon this nation.

gs said...

<exasperation>On this DVD called Deep Impact a tidal wave wiped out the whole eastern USA and right afterwards they were rebuilding Washington. So what is the problem here Bush?!</exasperation>

Has there been a complete collapse of relief efforts? No. In that case, the time to criticize is after conditions have stabilized.

From this agnostic, a God-bless-you to those who are doing the dirty difficult dangerous work of containing the calamity.

MD said...

Holy Cannoli - according to the DOD website, Keesler airforce base was 95% destroyed, they are getting support themselves from other bases for the people who rode out the storm there!

I think the complete and utter destruction of so much infrastructure over such a wide area was just not anticipated, no matter the degree or amount of disaster planning. I dunno. Just reading an article on Yahoo - lots of supplies collected all over the country, but there is no place to put even if you could get it to affected areas.

Wow. Unbelievable. 90,000 miles of destruction - almost the size of the United Kingdom, according to normblog.

We may have to think about disaster preparedness in a different way than we traditionally have. Placing, say, a base or two on high alert at a physically separate place, as if it were in the same place as a storm or disaster, and have them 'tied' to the city or area that is vulnerable. A sort of virtual safety net or pairing of cities, if you see what I mean. Or is this just an asinine idea?

Sean said...

I am curious why everyone is so offended by evangelical Christians, when a brief internet will find Jews writing that the hurricane is a punishment of America for the evacuation of Jews from Gaza, Muslims who are equally that the storm is a punishment from God (I didn't read far enough to be sure for what), and environmentalists who say it is a punishment for not ratifying the Kyoto accord. Whatever floats your boat, religiously speaking. Why would Bush want to single out evangelical Christians.

Brando said...

Well, for me, Sean, whereas people on the left stess that American stands for religious freedom, people on the right tend to what to say that we are a "Christian Nation" and it strikes me that it is the Evanglical Christians who have been aloted a special say in the branding of what a "Christian Nation" means.

It is for this reason why I think Evangalical Christians deserve special scrutiny because a)it underminds values of religious freedom to brand the U.S. with one version of Chritianity and b) alot of what evagelicals say does not strike me as particularly christian.

That's my beef with the Evangelicals.

Elliott said...

Look at this article and tell me that the federal government is doing its best. I think CNN just got tired of the BS.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/katrina.response/index.html

Monty Loree said...

I blame global warming!!

Ann: As an update, I've contacted all of the credit bureaus media departments, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, and have asked for a statement as to how they're going to work with the crisis victim's credit reports.

They're all going to get back to me as soon as they figure something out. I'm not surprised.

Brando said...

everyone should listen to this interview with the Mayor of NO:

http://www.atypical.net/mm/nagin.mp3

if you want a reality check

Pastor_Jeff said...

Brando,

I'd like to meet more people on the left who emphasize freedom of religion, as opposed to freedom from religion (or at least freedom from evangelicalism). What I mainly see and here is a tolerance of everything except evangelical Christianity. Everyone thinks they're right; evangelicals are un-PC enough to actually say it.

Exactly when and how were evangelicals "alloted a special say" in what "Christian nation" means? What department is in charge of that?

I agree that people like Macavage are out of line in blaming the storm on New Orleans' depravity. In very similar circumstances Jesus clearly rejected that kind of theology (Luke 13). But he did say the takeaway for all of us is our need to get right with God or we will all eternally perish. Take it however you want; I'm just telling you what Jesus said.

jeff said...

Nagin is the biggest whiner I have ever heard.

HE and HIS city didn't utilize any of the resources on hand (seen the acres of flooded schoolbuses that could have been used for evacutation vehicles?), didn't have any plan - even after a previous exercise had pointed out the weaknesses in the city's lack of preparation - and now he's pulling this socialist whining for help from mommy.

FEMA and everything _always_ takes a few days to organize. That's a given, every situation is different. The city and state are supposed to plan and coordinate to get the efforts started while FEMA gears up.

That didn't happen. The NOLA mayor and the governor of LA (who failed in more ways than can be counted) should be tried for incompetence in office.

Brando said...

well, this probably not a place for debate on church and state, but I will say, Pastor Jeff, that i have great of respect for many Christians, christianity, and yourself. And there is no doubt that I should personally take stock in more of what Jesus said, including looking at the speck in my own eye before casting dispersions on others.

Although I can't speak for others on the left, I often react to the face of Christianity in politics, which I so often find abominable. But i know that the vast majority of Christians are not like that nor is that the true face of Christianity. Having said that, however, i still find it dangerous the Christianity being brand marketed for political consumption.

Anyway, I am also disappointed that the some on the Left have co-opted an intolerant, athiestic platform. But for most on the left I don't think it amount to that.

I truly hope God will have mercy on us, and give us strenght in this difficult time.

Sloanasaurus said...

I think liberals and the liberal media should think twice about just bashing bush for this disaster. They should keep their crticism constructive. The last thing the people of New Orleans need are alienated people in places like Northern Wisconsin and Idaho calling their represenatatives to vote against or to water down reconstruction funding for New Orleans and the region.

If people start hearing charges of racism (as to why people were not rescued), they will start turing the channel, closing their checkbooks and ignoring the whole effort all together. This will be a political disaster for New Orleans. New Orleans needs a leader to stand up there and thank America while asking for more help .

In the end we all live in a nation that operates on mutual respect and shared sacrifice. We need to be grateful to one another for help despite the mistakes that may occur.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Brando,

Thanks for your gracious words. As an evangelical, I, too, am often uneasy with Christian leaders who talk about a "Christian nation" and move beyond political engagement to biblical triumphalism. If only we were all better at actually doing what Jesus said...

Simon said...

It really isn't hard to understand. The Mayor of New Orleans is a Democrat; the Governor of Louisiana is a Democrat. And if someone has to be blamed, you have to work up the chain of authority, and since there are no Republican executive officers in the state to blame, they're left with the President.

Brando said...

I think liberals and the liberal media should think twice about just bashing bush for this disaster.

Um, Sloan, what about the conservative media? They're not exactly giving Bush glowing reports.

Elizabeth said...

Simon, Jeff, and Charles,

Too bad there's such things as selective hurricanes, because I'd like see a Cat 5 run right down your flapping lips. Anyone whose posts contain words like "snicker" and "whiners" and the partisan know-nothingness of "liberals just want to blame Bush" is someone I'd like to see taken out of the gene pool.

DirtCrashr said...

There was a Corps of Engineers plan to deal with hurricanes and the levees, securing the city against a Cat-5, dating back to the Carter Administration (1977), which was sunk by lawsuits from environmentalist groups who sued because they thought the environmental impact statement did not adequately impacts on Lake Pontchartrain’s ecosystem and damage to wetlands. (p.4 of 12)
Wetlands...
Unfortunately it was also a 25-year plan and no other subsequent Administration has done anything either, but even if they had started during Carter's time they might not be finished today (example: the Big Dig) given the famously historic rampant corruption in the New Orleans political structure.
Wasn't/isn't it kinda like Mafia City South? I've got a buddy who lives there and I've been there a few times - there's really a lot of poor people in the city with no cars at all - people walk a lot to get around and to get where they're going - and the road conditions are pretty poor too.
A much more major percentage of the city is bad, like the Hunter's Point part of San Francisco, and the rest of the nice parts are smaller than most other cities I'm familiar with, and the crime rate is high - the looting was predictable and an expected pattern of behavior, Cops included...

John Thacker said...

Here's a story from back on August 28th, when the mandatory evacuation was first announced:

Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

I don't think Mayor Nagin has any room to blame President Bush, considering that Nagin should have called for a mandatory evacuation back on Saturday, when Bush was calling it a disaster area, and without Bush having to personally call and ask for a mandatory evacuation.

dick said...

I wonder how many realize that the National Guard that is supposed to be there to help out is under the control of the state governor, not the national government. It was up to Gov Blanco to mobilize the national guard and to ask for the other governors to help by supplying some of their own national guard. The city of New Orleans should have had some sort of plan in place for something like this. Apparently there were articles written (I saw one dated 2001) talking about just this sort of emergency that were published in the Scientific American. However, the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans apparently decided that it wasn't necessary to do anything because the national government would do it all.

Mom Underground said...

I just wanted to say that reading these comments and all the differences of opinions and how they are expressed ... well, it's a relief, really, compared to other comment sections I've read today (and tried to participate in before being belittled and called a troll).

Ann, your intelligence attracts a quality readership. Thanks for trying to approach this issue in a fair manner.

Meade said...

elizabeth said: "Too bad there's such things as selective hurricanes, because I'd like see a Cat 5 run right down your flapping lips. Anyone whose posts contain words like "snicker" and "whiners" and the partisan know-nothingness of "liberals just want to blame Bush" is someone I'd like to see taken out of the gene pool."

Gene pool-editing eugenics is back in fashion with socialists? I thought that went out sixty years ago.

Ann Althouse said...

Anne: Thanks. Thanks to all the great commenters too.

Elizabeth said...

That's funny, lmeade. So people who disagree with you are socialists? Add yourself to the list of numbskulls with nothing to offer but wisecracks and cliches.

Meade said...

You mean you're not a socialist, elizabeth? My mistake then. I'm sure you can appreciate my confusion though as, historically, it's been socialists of one kind or another who've shown similar enthusiasm for selecting numbskulls and other inferior classes to be taken out of the... gene pool, as you put it.

Elizabeth said...

lmeade, it must be nice to live in such a comfy delusion. There's you and all the people who agree with you, and there's the damned socialists. Read the comments to which I was respondining and maybe you'll understand my hyperbole. If not, too bad. We've both abandoned dignity at this point, so let's move on.

Byron Black said...

Of course the Executive Branch has limited power, but the question is not whether or not the Bush administration is entirely to blame, but rather whether or not a rational president, who had the interests of the nation (including low income African-Americans) foremost in his mind, would have acted similarly both before and after the catastrophe. From what I gather the answer is overwhelmingly negative for Bush and his administration's cadre of science-skeptics. A National Geographic article published in 2004 portrays the scenario with breathtaking prescience before discussing the funding issue and environmental degradation that have exacerbated the hurricane's lethality(see link below)

http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/index.html

It is clear that there has been an on-going and substantial failure at the Federal level, and it needs to be voiced, in order to be corrected.

macinillinois said...

I've about had it with "elizabeth..." someone tells her that now's the time to stop using facile and easy blame and what does she do? She escalates her abusive, infantile assaults, ad feminam and ad hominem, and attempts to drag this previously refreshing exchange at this particular site down to the level of the kneejerks (or just plain jerks) elsewhere: bob herbert in today's NYT assuring us all that if it had been a white, affluent area, bush would have hopped to it quickly (how the hell does he know? does being an NYT op-ed columnist make one infallible and omniscient?), his equally charmless "perfesser" colleague paul krugman, as usual going far beyond criticism and into calumny (familiar with that word, Elizabeth?)

I never voted for Bush and oppose most of his major policies, but what we see here, in my opinion, is the characteristic incompetence and fecklessness, shored up (if that is the right word for it, given the nature of this disaster) by arrogant, don't-tell-me-nothing rhetoric; this is a far cry from deliberate malevolence or pervasive and deliberate racism. On the other hand, I did not spend the past week in sweltering, scary convention center or in the inundated streets of N.O.; if I had, I would have been prone to think the absolute worst of Bush as well...

p-brane said...

Not everyone at KOS is happy with city and state government:

http://tinyurl.com/dz6g5