'Abandoned By Our Own Country'

The president of Jefferson Parish in Louisiana, Aaron Broussard, appeared on Meet the Press this morning in an interview you can watch on Crooks and Liars.

Broussard reported FEMA officials who refused entry to shipments of water, turned back diesel fuel, and cut emergency phone lines:

We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast. But the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history.

In disconsolate grief, Broussard broke down at the end of the interview while telling Russert a personal story about the head of emergency management for his parish. Watch it and you'll be crying too.

In the same show, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that the federal government didn't realize the situation was bad Tuesday because newspapers said New Orleans had "dodged a bullet."

We're now witnessing our second mass evacuation in a week, as government officials try desperately to escape blame.

The man-made disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina rises from the local officials in New Orleans to the parish officials in southeast Louisiana to the state officials in Baton Rouge to the Louisiana Congressional delegation to FEMA to the Department of Homeland Security to Chertoff to President Bush, who now has the distinction of being the first president to lose a major American city on his watch since Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.

And if we don't demand real accountability from our leaders when all the rescue efforts are over and rebuilding has begun, the blame lies with us.


I am so tired of hearing all of these Louisiana democrats complaining. The mayor of New Orleans, a democrat, could have sent the entire line of school buses to the projects to evacuate people who wanted to get out. He did not. The people to blame are the New Orleans officials not President Bush. Secondly, why are all of those people, many under 40, without transportation. I can't imagine living without some mode of transportation. This is the result of democratic rule in the south. Blacks remain in poverty generation after generation and continue to not have the ability to move out of the lower class.

Ahem, Chris T..

Guess what this means..PYFUYATLI!!

Seriously, Chris T - what a fucking heartless moron.

Gee, Chris, I'm so sorry this catastrophe has made you so tired.

I don't agree with Chris about the transportation- obviously he doesn't understand the poverty that some people live in.

I do think that we need to realize that every level of government, from the aldermen and NOLA mayor to the LA governor and our federal government have failed. No one reacted as they should have. Compare the response in MS to that in LA and you can see that although it hasn't been perfect, the local response to the disaster has been far better. Since there is not standing water in many of those communities, the urgency of getting immediate federal help has been much less.

Yes, it would be nice if people had the means and/or understanding to get themselves out of danger. But they didn't and their government has been ineffective in helping them.

To a degree you are right. A small degree, be it as it may. I trained with FEMA in California some years ago. I was on the local side of Emergency Management. The system is set up so that local authorities have to initiate assistance from their state counterparts, and the state then goes to FEMA. That alone could take a day or two. So yes, the local folks probably didn't act accordingly. However, the problem is that no one ever is probably prepared for such a large magnitude disaster. All the training in the world just doesn't do it, so I suspect that the FEMA folks are just as overwhelmed as everyone else. Poor excuse for those folks affected. Heads will role, but the question will be, will preparedness change.

You Rock, Chris T. Let 'em eat cake!

Never mind W cutting $71 million of Army Corps funding for New Orleans levee improvments this year. Never mind a now infamous report on national preparedness issued September 10, 2001. Never mind the article two years ago in the New Orleans Times Picayune...uncannily accurate in its fortelling of last week's events. You correctly pointed out that the real problem is people under 40 not making it a point to buy their own transportation!

Most common folk just done get it. No matter what you do, a category 4 hurricane is a force to reckoned with. We can blame all we want but in the end, the city and state officials should stand up and say "mea culpa." Instead they are blaming everyone around them. And what about the savage band of men killing and raping. If evolutionists are telling us we are descend from apes, then it shouldn't be any surprise to anyone when we regress back into our original form. The population has nearly 3 days to evacuate but did nothing. But the blame on them for trying to ride this thing out even after Bush told them to flee. Get a grip people!

Here's two bits, son. Go on down to the corner store and buy yourself an ouce of compassion.

I'm getting a little tired of people covering Bush's ass. He refused the funding to reinforce the levees and then sent the National Guard overseas to fight in Iraq. Even worse was the slow response to the crisis. I think we need to start questioning our spending on the military and homeland security. Obviously it's not working. Bush needs to step down. Isn't that what all you neocons said about Clinton? Face it Georgie screwed up!

Chris T -- Blame the victims for having not way to leave New Orleans. Blame the poor for being poor. How Republican of you. No, you're right, it's not the fault of our incompetent federal gov't which made no effort to get troops into the city, no effort to maintain the levees after being warned they could break, no effort to show the slightest compassion for the misery of thousands in the Superdome and Convention center -- you're right, Chris, it's all the fault of the miserably poor people of New Orleans. What a pathetic commentary on the failure of the American educational system you are, sir. Oh, and those school buses -- who was going to drive them through the rising floodwaters? Would you have volunteered? What if busses had gotten trapped? Wouldn't you, then, be blaming the mayor of N.O. for incompetence? Blaming Democrats for historical poverty in the South is equally moronic. It's not Democrats that caused poverty, it's slavery and racism and national apathy. Who abandoned Reconstruction efforts after the Civil War? Republicans did. Who fought civil rights legislation in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s? That's right, Republicans. Who runs the federal govenment today which has done absolutely nothing about poverty in America while wasting billions on a stupid war in Iraq? Yes, Republicans.
What a joke to blame local government for the misery of this hurricane -- and then turn it into an anti-Democratic rant.

Drew, you said it all!! I'm just a bit surprised that the shitty, neo-cons aren't driving by yelling, 'WE DON'T CARE!!!' and celebrating their evil. I think 'neo-con' will go down in history like NAZI, and be just as repugnant.

I find myself without words to such incredible stupidity, callousness, heartlessness, and EVIL.

Thanks Drew for saying it all!!

I think we all should get a clue. The blame is equal on both sides and politics seem to be taking hold on in the aftermath. The federal goverment can be blamed for underestimating an act-of-god but not causing it. The local goverments can be blamed for not reacting to the coming storm and not getting the people out of harms way. I think we all care but the amout of devastation is overwhelming. We need to stop trying to place blame and move forward. On the topic of the poor; even animals know when to move from danger. Being poor is no excuse either to blame Bush or pick up you guos and take advantage of the situation.

Lets try one more time with spell checker...I think we all should get a clue. The blame is equal on both sides and politics seem to be taking hold on in the aftermath. The federal government can be blamed for underestimating an act-of-god but not causing it. The local governments can be blamed for not reacting to the coming storm and not getting the people out of harms way. I think we all care but the amount of devastation is overwhelming. We need to stop trying to place blame and move forward. On the topic of the poor; even animals know when to move from danger. Being poor is no excuse either to blame Bush or pick up you guns and take advantage of the situation.

C'mon, Gary, admit it. You're really David Broder. Only he would lay the happy, fair- and-balanced horseshit so thick.

This story is the very definition of politics - who gets the tax break and who dies choking on sewage in their attic. The only "sides" to this issue are the haves and the have to live in their own feces for a week.

BTW, the line between the feds and the locals ain't as distinct as you think. The mayor, despite his little populist radio rant, is a Republican sleezeball just like Dear Leader.

Besides, even if the Mayor had mobilized all the buses - where was he going to take them? The SuperDome would not have held them all. At that point, interstate co-operation or federal involvement becomes necessary. I understand that there are empty military bases in the state - why weren't these bases offered as shelter for those who could not afford hotels?

Gary let's face it your boy Georgie did what he does best KILL PEOPLE. Dont try to cover for him. The mayor of New Orleans did not send the military overseas, not did the mayor of New Orleans stop the funding for the levee. Nor was the mayor late in sending FEDERAL help. Why do you want to protect Bush? I would guess that you either
1 work in the military industrial complex
2 you work in the oil complex
3 you are pro Isreal and are happy with our foreign policy of cleaning up those "rag heads" so it is therefore ok to have our military overextended to the point we cant help our own people. Bush is the leader of the US it's time for him to step down!!!

Dear Chris T.,

I'm confused. Your comment of "democratic rule in the south" is perplexing. Last I heard, the South had been overwhelmingly voting Republican for the past few elections. Those damn Southern Democrats who voted Republican probably also wanted that $71 million pulled from the fund to reinforce the levee system. Why? Well, instead of creating local jobs, they'd much rather see that money go for the unnecessary, illegal war in Iraq.

And, yeah. it's the fault of all those people making $8000 a year for not being able to afford a car to flee the hurricane. Shame on them.

The brother of my best friend from high school decided to ride out the storm in New Orleans because he didn't want to lose any personal possessions to looters. He could afford to leave.

Others decided to stay because they did not want to leave their pets behind.

Others refused to go to emergency shelters such as the superdome because workers were checking everyone entering for guns or drugs. Some of the poor were drug addicts. They broke into pharmacies trying to get drugs. Also this criminal element in New Orleans shot at a helicopter and a rescue team.

Not everyone was too poor or unhealthy to leave. It is not popular to blame the victims but there is the issue of personal responsibility.

FEMA's response was pathetic but what about the city government? In September 2004 New Orleans called for an evacuation when Hurricane Ivan was approaching the city (it hit Mississippi and New Orleans was lucky). There were huge traffic jams. The 90-minute drive to Baton Rouge from New Orleans took some people 11 hours. The city of New Orleans and the Louisiana state government both recognized that they needed better planning and had almost a year to plan for Hurricane Katrina.

Ah, blow it out your Bowen, Barry. It's precisely that mythological Horatio Alger claptrap (created by a pedophile, BTW) that got people killed.

The state spent $7.5 million developing the "contraflow" traffic system so all those "responsible" soccer moms and NASCAR dads could get the hell out of Dodge in their Guzzlematron SUVs and put hotel rooms on their credit cards.

The govmint spent precisely jack shit on a plan for the sick, the elderly and the dirt poor. Strike that. It spent a couple grand on a friggin DVD to tell the poor wretches to rawstory.com">KISS THEIR ASSES GOODBYE.

Sven, rescue teams were spread too thin by having to peform rescue missions where no one should have been.

Even now the police are trying to get people to leave the city and people are refusing. The Associated Press is reporting: "New Orleans police officers are moving through the Hurricane Katrina-devastated city and trying to get thousands of residents who have resisted moving to leave, a deputy police chief said Monday."

Consider this quote: " ... some simply did not want to leave their homes _ while others were hanging back to engage in criminal activities, such as looting."

People keep talking about the poverty of New Orleans and I don't deny that poor people live there. People in the French Quarter could have walked to Poydras (the street the Super Dome is on). A bus ticket could have got many people to a shelter. Don't tell me that thousands of people couldn't afford a bus ticket.

Sven, public bus fare in New Orleans is $1.25.


Jeebus, Barry, did you just fall off a turnip truck?

First of all, where do you get off making generalizations based on what your brother's cousin's nephew did? The vast majority of those left behind, as you must have seen on your telamavision screen, wanted out of there. Many others couldn't move. Others choked on sewage in their attics.

OK. Actually, I used to feel much like you do. That is, until I spent two years living in central (black) Milwaukee, the most segregated city in America. I rode the bus with "those people" every day (yeah, yay me Mr. Liberal - I was there because I was broke).

I can't begin to describe to you how lifelong poverty weighs upon "those people" (black per capita income in NO parish is $11,332). Yet day after day, without fail, they would show up on the bus to go scrape up 5 bucks an hour - not including 2 hours commute - at restaurants and motels in the suburbs).

And no, they can't afford a bus ticket outta town. I suppose they could get a "payday loan" at 1800% interest, ride out into nowhere where virtually everyone hates their guts (hint, hint), go broke and spend the rest of their lives trying to pay off the bill under our brand-spanking new bankrupcy law.

To put it bluntly, "Personal responsibility" is a bitch for some persons.

I'm sure the local bus system could accomodate hundreds of thousands of people in a day or two. Heck, people could have sat on the roofs and maybe held on to the bumper...

Keep apologizing for our feckless photo opportunity puppet president.

Your team, the "Homeland Security" team, were doing exactly what and exactly where until when exactly??

I'd call that being asleep at the wheel and drivin' off the road a bit.

Still not enough, keep apologizing.

Now that Rove has securely reattached himself to the back of Bushie's head, everything will appear to be getting better on the tv. It won't be any better for the helpless citizens terrorized by this horrific event of course, but Georgie's polling numbers will surely appear to improve on tv and you'll feel somehow better about yourself, vindicated! Of course!

But you can keep apologizing for the moment, just in case.

Now just remember, as soon as Georgie's tv polls appear to have turned around , all you "concerned" conservative white holier than thou types can take a long pull from the koolaid cup again and get back to blaming those lawless poor black marauders for the pitiful situation hundreds of thousands suddenly and horrifically find themselves in.

I'm sure there's a bus big enough somewhere out there to haul 'em all away...maybe you can drive one Barry? Maybe Jesus will bring a big one over to bus them all to heaven and then this would all just blow over cuz Jesus took 'em away.

George could give Jesus an award (postumously of course) and even stop for some stirring and emotive leadership pictures with the "people" to illustrate his deep concern while he's there.

Remember your conservative values!

Thump your Bibles and pass your judgements while staring at your unholy televisions rubbing yourselves raw, continue to buy your gasoline and absolutely keep praying to your false idols on tv.

Stay the course by all means necessary and remember: Pay no attention to the men hiding over there behind the Homeland Security curtain.

The fact is, once this was declared a federal disaster the disaster management responsibility was clearly federal.

Holy smokes, Batman. Now I'm riled up enough to actually do research. See if you can follow the logic. From the Citizen Hurricane Evacuation Behavior survey conducted by the The Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Taskforce:

The role of income is not simple. If we are referring to leaving one's home, income has no consistent relationship to evacuation. In Lafourche, Plaquemines and southern Tangipahoa lower income residents were more likely to evacuate than higher income residents. But in Orleans, the higher income residents were more likely to evacuate, and in Assumption and St. James, the non-poor (over $25K income) were more likely to evacuate. Furthermore, in six parishes income bore no relationship to evacuation.

However, in six of the nine parishes surveyed prior to Ivan, residents with lower incomes were more likely than those with higher incomes to either evacuate within their parish or go to another nearby evacuating parish Many of these evacuees probably went to friends' or relatives homes, or to a place of employment, where they felt safer than in their own homes.

In the stronger storm, Ivan, low income evacuees tended to go to safe areas.

Thus, although income is not related in any consistent way to leaving one's home during a recommended evacuation, income is related to the distance traveled, especially if the storm is below a Category 4.

The number of low income residents who remain in harm's way illustrates the need for both education about the need to travel far enough and providing evacuation assistance to those without means.

Hence, COLD, HARD CASH = PROPENSITY TO GET OUT OF THE WAY OF THE STORM, not some hairbrained theory based on the behavior of your inbred relatives.

Sven, some poverty in New Orleans was caused by drug abuse. All you had to do was drive near the Desire Housing Project in New Orleans for proof. According to the mayor, after the hurricane hit, drug addicts broke into a store to steal drugs. What about personal responsibility?

It could have been worse for New Orleans. If the city was on the east side of the hurricane, many of the people that were rescued on house tops would have instead drowned.

WWL-TV in New Orleans has reported on people not evacuating because of their pets. Reporters have interviewed wealthy people that refused to evacuate before the storm because they didn't expect water to reach the second floor in their homes.

By the way, I lived in south Louisiana for almost 22 years, attended Loyola University in New Orleans for three semesters, and worked as a Red Cross volunteer when Hurricane Andrew hit Houma.

Red State, I am not a Republican (I'm an Independent) so stop jumping to wrong conclusions.

I am not apologizing for the President. Did you notice my comment earlier "FEMA's response was pathetic ..."

Your anti-religious comments are not warranted. By the way, if you go to my website, you will see that I am very critical of some religious leaders who have posted "prophecies" about how God revealed to them that He was going to destroy New Orleans. You can check out Kim Clement who prophesied "But I will keep you, and the stench of death will only last a few days."

Sven, I was criticizing the wealthy in Plaquemines when I wrote : "Not everyone was too poor or unhealthy to leave. It is not popular to blame the victims but there is the issue of personal responsibility."

My point: the wealthy in Plaquemines should have exercised responsibility and evacuated.

"The fact is, once this was declared a federal disaster the disaster management responsibility was clearly federal."

well said.

Obviously God wants them dead. He supports good honest working christian people like our president, not criminals.

Let 'em die, they're lazy and immoral democrats and as you can see they really don't count in the one true God's opinion.

Barry, I guess I'm not reading you correctly. Are you saying that everyone left in New Orleans is either/and/or a) a criminal or drug user b) really attached to their pets c) refusing to leave their waterlogged, sewage-clogged home and possessions? And where are all these rich people hanging out?

Hey Sven, don't you know that posting an opinion backed by research is frowned upon here on the internet? You're supposed to just rant anonymously, or tell us how your cousin's boyfriend was there, so you know what's going on.

Time will tell if the Gov and Mayor share some of the culpability for this "inadequate" response, but even at this point it seems that bureaucracy, especially FEMA's, is largely, if not entirely to blame. See this for more detail. One choice quote:

When Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water, FEMA officials turned them away, [Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish] said. Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish's emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA, Mr. Broussard said.
I'm sure it's because they hadn't filled out the proper paperwork. Entirely understandable.

Sven, thanks for asking those questions. I will answer them after explaining a couple of things.

The last major hurricane to hit New Orleans (before Hurricane Katrina) was Hurricane Betsy in 1965 - 40 years ago. Since then the city has been included in a number of hurricane watches but each time the storm would miss it. I believe this contributed to a false sense of security. Also, the city government lacked experience in dealing with hurricane disasters.

In Plaquemines Parish people were rescued that should not have been there. If these people had not been there, the helicopters and boats could have been sent to other areas. The refusal of people to evacuate and go to shelters caused limited government resources to be spread too thin.

Basically, I believe the hurricane disaster was made worse by 3 things. 1) people not obeying the mandatory evacuation order which forced rescue efforts to be spread out over a large area 2) local and federal government planning and action before the hurricane 3) slow and in some cases very incompetent local and federal government action after the hurricane.

Now to your questions. The answer is no. There are some people that are old,sick, or physically weak that stayed behind. We need neighbors to check on each other and help these people evacuate. Answer to the second question: if a person can buy a two story home, that person has the financial resources to evacuate. I watched a TV interview of a person that was rescued who thought he was safe because the house he was in had two floors.

I guess my main point is: The time to evacuate is before a hurricane hits and not after a levee breaks. By the way, if New Orleans had been on the east side of Hurricane Katrina, a lot more people would have died.

Well, I would submit that most people who stayed - I'll say, oh, 94.3% - did so because they 1) did not have the resources to do so 2) didn't know where to go or were afraid to do so (and very untrusting of the authorities who have screwed them all their lives) 3) thought they were "evacuating" to safety even though they didn't leave the metro area.

There are probably a thousand other reasons, both rational and irrational - but very few that were irresponsible. Since we're knocking around anecdotes, I just heard a woman say on NPR that she didn't leave initially because she worked at the hospital and owned and operated a popular bar/restaurant. She didn't want to lose her job or her aging mother. Is that irresponsible?

I also came across this story:

I am stunned by an interview I conducted with New Orleans Detective Lawrence Dupree. He told me they were trying to rescue people with a helicopter and the people were so poor they were afraid it would cost too much to get a ride and they had no money for a "ticket." Dupree was shaken telling us the story. He just couldn't believe these people were afraid they'd be charged for a rescue.

Heartbreaking? Yes. Irresponsible? I say not.

I doubt that more than a handful stayed because of their cats. I'll will grant that drug addicts and criminals are irrational and irresponsible, however.

I also think that unless we change our perception of who these people really are, this assinine mobius strip of fear and loathing between the races is going to get a lot more people killed.

Sven, it is pointless to create a list of excuses for ignoring a mandatory evacuation order. I suggest that you read the WWL-TV article about the evacuation order.

The city of New Orleans had 12 locations designated as pickup spots where RTA buses picked people up to bring them to the Super Dome. The RTA bus fare may have been waived because of the evacuation order.

If you still think I'm exaggerating about the number of people staying because of their pets, do some research first.

I live in Baton Rouge. I have had 11 inlaws living with me off and on. All but two have found some where to stay. The helicopters fly over my house constantly. You all don't get it. You're talking about poverty, drug abuse, etc. AFTER THE FACT. If you're not going to address those problems before the disaster, then you'll have to deal with the problems they cause in relation to the storm after the disaster. Are people responsible for their own lot in life? Certainly. But when they are stranded, do you leave them there to die? No, of course not. So what if they are partially or entirely to blame for their circumstances?

The director of FEMA, Michael Brown, said on Nightline in an amazing interview that he did not know about the people at the New Orleans Convention Center who were in dire need. When Koppel asked him questions, he responded as though Koppel were asking about those at the Superdome. He finally admitted he did not know that there were people at the convention center in dire need. He should have been fired on the spot. And as Rogers pointed out, Aaron Broussard, the Jefferson Parish president, told first hand about how water and diesel fuel were turned away and emergency phone lines were cut. What ever FEMA official did that should be fired on the spot and who ever's rules or manual he was following should have been fired on the spot. As I said above, are the poor to blame for their own conitions? Maybe. But what has that got to do with the director of FEMA not knowing there were people dying at the convention center? And what does that have to do with FEMA turning away aid? If we're going to start blaming the poor then we need to mandate cities - especially those run by republicans - that they must make poverty and being poor and illegal and hold them accoutable to do so. Just so kno body thinks I am making this political I voted for Badnerik, the Libertarian who ran for presid3ent. But I have always been intrigued by the fact that the conservative republicans are always for personal accoutnability except for twhen they screw up. Let's blame the poor people for being poor, not the guy who didn't know there were people and the convention center and not the agency who turned away water, diesel and cut the emergency phone lines. Amazing.

One more thing. To suggest that Ray Nagin is a political ideologue or a puppet of the left is ridiculous. Nagin, a democrat, supported Bobby Jindal, a Republican, during the last gubernatorial campaign.

Hmm. Lot's of politically oriented rhetoric...and lots of good points.

At the risk of receiving the wrath of the politically and morally outraged, might I point out that all of this is a lot better than the chronic indifference and apathy that once threatened America. ...Stop before you kill each other though...

Democrat or Republican is irrelevant. So is God Squad or Not.


Levees came down on the feds. Their job. Congress too. Congress gave 'em money, just not enough. Hm. Wonder where the money went.

an aside: The NY times accused the Bush administration of spending too much money on the special interest project in New Orleans...the levees. * eye roll *

General overall order and getting help.

Governor. Period. Her antimilitary attitude, probably drilled into her years ago by shell-shocked anti-Vietnam folks, prevented her from turning her state over to the military...for the National Guard to come in--Though she did use her own to keep the charity organizations out. (Our leaders are fussy about their hard-bodied fighting men. They command their own or whoever wants them, does without them. Our "boys" are the best, ya know. Was the Coast Guard all over it or what?)

She didn't let the Red Cross and Salvation Army go in and feed and water. Why?

She didn't want anybody settling in. She wanted everybody out. Evacuated. Her theory was okay. It's just that what she wanted what would be like me trying to evacuate a whole school with a little red wagon. No reality base. In short, I don't know what kind of Governor she is, but when push came to shove, she was in way over her head. You need dynamic, experienced, quick decision people here.

However, you wouldn't have needed as much had you prepared. Katrina didn't kill New Orleans. The levees did.

The BIG bad guy? Not the Feds.

My opinion is based on black and white. Not skin. What's written down.

Who's job was it to evacuate New Orleans? The Mayor.
He sent the citizens a dvd telling them if there were ever an emergency, they were on their own. Consider the number of elderly and poor...how many of them do you think have dvd players?
That wouldn't alleviate his responsibility anyway. He also needed to get a handle on his cops too...and get them some help. I suspect he headed for tall territory before making his phone calls to tell the President to get to work.

Speaking of Feds, lets get back to black and white. It's written down. Local and state start emergency measures...don't count on the feds for at least two days. It takes a while to mobilize large numbers of people. I would have added more time since FEMA had undergone a recent major change.

FEMA: it's a coordinating agency. Not just a rescue squad. That means it needs the locals to do their thing right in order for it to function.

The ongoing war between state and local was less than helpful too.

Everyone said Bush should have taken control when the Governor cracked. He couldn't. That would have been illegal. Real illegal. Would he have risked it if the people, the media and the opposing party were more supportive? We'll never know. If I had to guess, I'd say so. He's got backbone.

It's not relevant. He has more screaming shrews on his back for reasons that are to a large extent, figments of their imagination than any president I've ever seen. Example: the President doesn't create jobs and has little to do with gas prices. Check under M for market prices. He just takes the rap because he's the leader.

The war? Oh. Yeah. He started it, with Congressional approval. Like it or not, the radicals were getting away with so much, they finally got cocky enough to come after us. Buried deep inside of them is a man with brains. Their attempts to divide us and sabotage our economy have been respectable. They just didn't understand the "united we stand" thing well enough.

The theories that there were no wmds or that the leaders didn't collaborate or wouldn't have is just plain foolish.

Sadam had lots of notice that we were coming, remember? Any wmds were probably moved in the first few days. A better question is where are they now?

They were training terrorists in the mountains of Iraq. Sadam's people were afraid to send emails and you believe he didn't know that? Gimme a break.

Osama focused the eyes of the Islamic Fundamentalists on the great Satan, America. Now that we know them better, do you really think that talking to them would have helped? Should we have moved our troops out of the holy land? Do you think that would have been their only and last request?

Of course, everyone has their own way of looking at things. Free speech and all that..

One last thing, blame placing? That's figuring out what and who went wrong so we can try to see that it doesn't happen again.

If I were in charge, I'd probably pick up the kids, the animals and the old people, then leave the rest of 'em to settle their differences and take their chances (but only for themselves this time)

Good thing I'm not President.

Has anyone in Karl's gang
considered what might happen if God were Black?

O Dolore in mi ginocchio.

I overheard the most viciously racist commentary on one of those dreary right-wing radio talk shows the other day.

All the racism was encoded in the words "poor people".

We all know they meant the poor black people in New Orleans.

The worst part of this was the implication that they somehow deserved their condition.

Then the radio hypocrites had the audacity to accuse the poor blacks of trying to take advantage of the system to obtain unjust compensation.

Shades of Ronald Reagan!

Remember his raising the spectre of Cadillac-driving welfare queens, when the corporate monsters were sucking up a million times whatever any poor blacks might have got on welfare, rightly or wrongly?

Methinks there's something rotten in Crawford.

Bush throws around federal largesse in another belated attempt to clean up one of his messes.

Where's his commitment to fiscal conservatism?

When I look at the fiscal record of this administration, I see huge increases in the national debt to finance the war in Iraq, and the huge costs of his Medicaid benefit "reform" ( which will be paid by future generations), because HMO's are receiving huge taxpayer-funded subsidies.

Is this really the legacy that Bush wants to leave for history, which is being made now?

Fact is New Orleans and every one else in this country have known for at least 40 years that a category 3 would break the levee's. If the corrupt state would have put all the money into the levee's that they were putting into there pockets New Orleans wouldn't be homeless now. Why should my tax money go on there levee's?? isn't the States job to maintain the levee's???

Maybe they were abandoned. But what about all those other people who have been abandoned over time. Homeless, children in poverty.

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