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The King Makers

John Aravosis, best known for his unnatural obsession with Jeff Gannon, writes in Radar Magazine that GOP failure to support a "9/11 style" independent commission amounts to "stonewalling."

What's so blindingly obvious about the hypocrisy of the left on the aftermath of Katrina is that they are Monday morning quarterbacking the situation and retroactively calling for the Bush administration to have ignored the Constitution, federal, state, and local laws and just ride in and take over. As nice as it may sound in hindsight, it just isn't how the system was designed to work - by design.

The founders were properly leery of the vestiges of King George's England, and didn't just pay lip service to making the country the United States of America. They built in to the Constitution protections to state authority and command of state militias and resources. They were keenly aware of the tyranny of all power residing in the hands of one person.

The federal response to the hurricane was, by and large, pretty poor - led by serious ineptitude from FEMA - but that's not the sum total of the federal response though. Who do you think rescued all those people trapped in New Orleans due to poor evacuation planning? The US Coast Guard. They were there rescuing people while state and local officials were deserting, running in circles, or even obstructing supply efforts. What they (or the rest of the military) weren't legally allowed to do was move into the area as a law enforcement agency - something that was desperately needed. We've catalogued the missteps at the state and local level in these regards ad nauseum, but the chaos that cable news thrived on wasn't a federal issue, unless the federal government decided to declare martial law. In hindsight (given the complete breakdown of local authority) perhaps that's what should have been done, but it's not a trivial issue. It's such a rare occurrence that no examples of its use come to mind. It declares, in effect, state and local authority null and void.

Democrats (and a few Republicans) are now calling for the types of changes in the federal/state relationship that in effect creates (under disaster circumstances) that which we fought a revolution to be rid of:

Another King George.


Comments (34)

You are absolutely right, K... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

You are absolutely right, Kevin. The very first time I heard some idiot railing about "where are the troops," I realized that there are a ton of morons running around that know little or nothing of our Constitution. Why should we be surprised though? Throughout the years, we have allowed the government to become a large portion of life as we know it. How can we expect people to see that the way the government works is not the way it was intended to work?

Yeah but Blanco declared a ... (Below threshold)
el_clugston:

Yeah but Blanco declared a state of emergency and requested the troops. At that point the admin, DHS, and FEMA weren't merely able to send in the guard, but were actively being sought. Her request was sent sooner in terms of hours before touchdown than the 2004 request from Jeb for FEMA assistance in FL, but the response was about 3 days later. I guess red states only matter if they're closely divided and it's an election year.

Umm, el_clugston, have you ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Umm, el_clugston, have you looked at how long it took to get boots on the ground for some of the past hurricanes that have hit FLA?

You might want to go back and check your facts.

SAS from the British milita... (Below threshold)
joe:

SAS from the British military was used to arrest people after those London bombings. That would be wildly illegal here.

Kevin- I gotta ask. You say... (Below threshold)

Kevin- I gotta ask. You say that "the federal response to the hurrican was, by and large, pretty poor- led by serious ineptitude from FEMA."

It is a theme that many of us on the right are repeating as though fact. It is almost as if everyone has been listening to the news and figuring that because the Justice League of America didnt swoop in and save everybody with the hour after the hurricane passed, that the response was poor.

So my question for everybody here? What exactly what was it about the Federal Response that should be considered poor?

Keep in mind the scope of the disaster, the logistics of the situation, the local and state response in conjunction with the federal, and comparable responses to similar disasters in the last fifteen to twenty years.

If anyone knows a comparable timeline for a similar disaster- say, Hurricane Floyd- please include that in your answer. (Hint from The Right Place via Polipundit.

Hey Marty is right on. My ... (Below threshold)
Ohio Jim:

Hey Marty is right on. My opinion, like Marty's, was formulated while drunk. Rock on you crazy Pubes ! The reaction time of the Federal Government was spot on. I'd add one feature to the multi-bazillion Homeland Security budget - a couple interns to watch live TV. It might cut down on the whole "what f***ing people are stranded without food, water and etc.?" Drop a little food, water on them. Hey, at least they can feed the babies.

Marty,You just sai... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Marty,

You just said exactly what I've been thinking about a lot of otherwise "conservative" pundits who write about the Federal response to Katrina.

It's as though everyone on the (center)right has bought into the "FEMA response was terrible" meme from the left, and all they can say is "yeah, but wasn't as bad as those lefty's say it was".

My question is, if FEMA was so bad this time, then how come the FEMA responses last year (with all the same people) were generally timely and competent?

Seriously, other than the Left's political opportunism, and the completely incompetent state and local government in LA, what is different?

Ohio Jim,You still... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Ohio Jim,

You still sound drunk.

Go ahead, have another.

Good questions, Marty, and ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Good questions, Marty, and well asked.

Get ready for a couple of weak nitpicks with the federal response. Or, perhaps someone will find one or two substantial mistakes and think that 'proves' the entire federal response was bad.
More than likely, you'll just get asshole comments like O.J. above.

Anyone out there got proof how this total federal response was worse than other disaster responses?
No, you don't.

Posted by: Ohio Jim at S... (Below threshold)

Posted by: Ohio Jim at September 19, 2005 01:16 PM

I didn't know Traficant was out of prison already.

Yeah but Blanco declared... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Yeah but Blanco declared a state of emergency and requested the troops.

You are only half-right. She did declare a state of emergency and she did request assistance from the feds. However, requesting troops is an entirely different request under federal law. She didn't make that request until the Wednesday after the hurricane. Unfortunately, that's the law of the land. She managed to dot the i's and cross the t's on her request for federal support and the separate request for troops is listed in that exact same law, however she didn't read it or follow the instructions.

Now, we can go into an entire line of discussion about who was responsible for knowing that it was a separate request. Her emergency management head should have been familiar with the laws governing the situation or he should have been smart enough to look it up when he heard that there was a massive hurricane bearing down on him. Bythe same token, FEMA could have reminded them that troops are a separate request.

Based on the videotape of Blanco sayin, "I should have asked for troops," I would say that she made the decision that troops were not intially necessary and,therefore, did not request them. This would seem to indicate that she knew she had madea mistake.

I would also go on to say that I agree with Marty. I would suspect that the size and scope of this disaster makes it impossible to judge the effectiveness of any response. As I've stated before, the CEO of Entergy Louisiana said that the most customers they had ever had without electricity at one time was about 250,000. That includes other hurricanes and various storms. After Katrina, they had 1.1 million customers without power. For the mathematically chalenged, that's four ties the previous high total. That sounds to me like a disaster the likes of which we have never before seen.

Serious question - Is marti... (Below threshold)
Cardinals Nation:

Serious question - Is martial law even legal in the United States? Can the Constitution be suspended? I seem to remember something about martial law being declared in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor and the Supreme Court knocking it down, albeit sometime later.

No agenda, just wondering.

Does anyone know if there i... (Below threshold)
frankr:

Does anyone know if there is a manual or paper that can be consulted by Governors in cases like the Katrina disaster, whereby the proper protocol for requesting assistance can be invoked, so as not to have the same mess that the governor of Louisiana foisted upon her constituants? I cannot believe she did what she did out of anything other than ignorance. Unless she was thinking as a democrat first (Nagin and her weren't best buds)?

It's tricky. The Posse Comm... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

It's tricky. The Posse Commitatus Act of 1878 proscribes the deployment of active duty military personnel to American soil for the purposes of maintaining order or performing "law enforcement" functions. However there are notable exceptions approved by congress, such as the Insurrection Act (Title 10, Chapter 15) and the Stafford Act (Title 42, Chapter 68), that allow for the deployment of active duty personnel to an area so the Federal government can take direct control in an emergency.

The problem in Louisiana was that per the Stafford Act, Federal Troops can only be deployed at the specific request of the Governor of the state. A declaration of a state of emergency is a required part of a state deployment, but is not in and of itself sufficient to allow for troops to be deployed, the Governor must specifically ask in the declaration that the President order the Department of Defense to deploy troops. Alternately the President could have looked at the looting going on in New Orleans and the subsequent failure of local/state authorities to restore order, and authorized a Federal troop deployment under the Insurrection Act. That would have been an extremely questionable action IMO, setting a dangerous precedent and seriously undermining States' sovereignty.

Here's a scenario:... (Below threshold)

Here's a scenario:

The Feds get the lion's share of the blame for a "poor" response to Katrina.

The NHC says we're only about half way through the hurricane season, a particularly active one, with an associated forcast for two to three more major hurricanes.

Hurricane Rita (or any other storm) turns into a major (Category 4 or 5) storm and makes landfall in another area of the U.S.

Not wanting another Katrina-esque PR disaster, the President immediately federalizes troops and sends them into the affected areas within hours of the storm's landfall.

The left recruits a team of lawyers to mount a legal challenge to Bush's disregard for the Constitution, and obvious abuse of Federal powers.

SCOTUS agrees that the President acted outside his powers, and issues a reprimand of some sort.

The left then pushes towards impeachment, citing a blatant commission of a crime against the Constitution, in hopes of achieving either a removal from office or a resignation under duress.

Now, I don't think this will play out, first and foremost because I don't think Bush would fall for it, but also because I am not at all sure that the leadership on the Left can effectively implement such a grand conspiracy. Still, I can see where the talking points they're harping could lead to exactly that chain of events, if cooler heads don't prevail.

Thoughts?

All apologies to Abraham Li... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned:

All apologies to Abraham Lincoln aside, the Constitution cannot be temporarily "set aside". Article I, Section 9 does state that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases or Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." All martial law is is the temporary suspension of this privilege. Without access to Habeas Corpus, law enforcement agents may detain someone and deny them access to the courts.

What's interesting is that this is in Article I, which defines the powers of the Legislative branch. There's nothing in Article II about the powers of the Executive in times of insurrection beyond the language making the President the Commander-in-Chief. To me, this was the Founders' way of preventing the Legislative branch from acting like the Committee for Public Safety did in the French Revolution.

The rescue operation by the... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

The rescue operation by the U.S. miltary after Katrina struck was the largest and most successful since the Battle of Dunkirk. Almost 15,000 people were pulled off of rooftops and other flooded areas.The U.S. Coast Guard alone saved 6,000 people with just 17 helicoptors. The Superdome was completely evacuated of 20,000 people within 48 hours after the military took charge.

FEMA tells local and state officials they are the first responders for AT LEAST the first 72 hours. The Coast Guard began rescue operations less than 24 hours after Katrina hit.

Jesse Jackson said the image of black people standing on rooftops, reaching towards the sky for help, symbolizes racism in America. What happened to those people Jesse??

They were abandoned by a black mayor and a female governor and saved by the men and women of the U.S. military, led by BushMcChimpHitler himself.

Frankly, I'm proud of America, proud of our President, and proud of our military.

Does anyone know if ther... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

Does anyone know if there is a manual or paper that can be consulted by Governors in cases like the Katrina disaster, whereby the proper protocol for requesting assistance can be invoked, so as not to have the same mess that the governor of Louisiana foisted upon her constituants? I cannot believe she did what she did out of anything other than ignorance. Unless she was thinking as a democrat first (Nagin and her weren't best buds)?

Posted by: frankr at September 19, 2005 03:30 PM

Actually there is such a document for every state, it's called the EOP, or Emergency Operations Plan. Louisiana has one, you can find it on their website here: State Emergency Operations Plan. The thing is these plans are fairly detailed and comprehensive (read long and boring) and you're average pol like Governor Blanco isn't going to know them by heart, so they have a person, usually the State Director of Homeland Security (SDHS) or the State Emergency Management Agency Director (SEMAD) who's job it is to make sure that the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.

My own belief as to what has happened has evolved somewhat. I spent many a day screaming for this "incompetent bitch" to have her head put on a spike for her failings during Katrina, but I've mellowed somewhat. There is no contesting that Governor Blanco is at best a mediocre Governor. She's not particularly inspiring, her initial response to any situation is to propose a committee to evaluate the best course of action, and she is overly image conscious which also tends to make her risk averse. I believe that in this instance she was simply overwhelmed by the size and scope of the disaster, failed to fully understand what was required of her and her office, and ultimately was failed by those who worked for her, whose job it was to implement the EOP or failing that, ask the Feds to take over.

Bo Diddly,I believ... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

Bo Diddly,

I believe you hit the nail on the head, at least as far as the Left's reaction to Bush "prematurely" moving troops into the region and Federalizing the disaster without the local states' permission. Violation of the Posse Commitatus Act would constitute the commission of a high crime on his part and would in fact be an impeachable offense. Of course the cynical part of me assumes that the reason the Left is in such a tizzy over Bush not sending in the troops early, is because they can't nail him on this very reason.

McGehee ....You make... (Below threshold)
JEW:

McGehee ....
You make me he he

.. unless the federal gover... (Below threshold)
P. Downing:

.. unless the federal government decided to declare martial law. In hindsight (given the complete breakdown of local authority) perhaps that's what should have been done, but it's not a trivial issue.

The President can't declare martial law. The Congress has to approve it.

Hmmmm.@ Kevin... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

@ Kevin

1. "led by serious ineptitude from FEMA"

Ok then Kevin, exactly & specifically what did FEMA not do, that it was empowered to do? A lot of criticism is rather vague, like yours, and so how about some specific details.

I don't necessarily disagree, but vagueness isn't a standard that appeals so a comprehensive list would frankly be very useful.

@ el_clugston

2. "Yeah but Blanco declared a state of emergency and requested the troops."

That statement there shows you in fact have never actually read Blanco's State of Emergency request document. She basically asks for money and post-Katrina cleanup. She did not ask for any federal troops in that State of Emergency request.

@ Ohio Jim

3. "I'd add one feature to the multi-bazillion Homeland Security budget - a couple interns to watch live TV. It might cut down on the whole "what f***ing people are stranded without food, water and etc.?""

Sigh. Katrina was big enough to almost completely cover the Gulf of Mexico, and when it hit it hammered three states. Not just New Orleans, but THREE STATES. The total number of people affected are probably more than 500,000, with some people only now getting relief supplies.

FEMA gets it's directions from state and local officials who tell FEMA what to do, and where to do it. If FEMA started taking it's priorities from CNN, then it would have to do so by ignoring priorities set by state and local officials. I suggest you consider the kind of chaos that would ensue if FEMA started doing that.

In this case it was up to the state and local officials to direct FEMA into relief operations. Something that the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security prevented when that state agency prevented the American Red Cross and Salvation Army from entering New Orleans and providing those supplies to the people at the Superdome and at the Convention Center.

So on the one hand you've got CNN hammering FEMA for not providing relief supplies to the Superdome and Convention Center. On the other hand you've got the Louisiana DHS preventing the American Red Cross & Salvation Army from providing those relief supplies. With the Louisiana DHS preventing relief supplies going into New Orleans, do you really think that the Louisiana DHS was telling FEMA that such relief supplies were needed at the Superdome or Convention Center?

It's very clear that the Louisiana DHS told FEMA not to worry about the Superdome and Convention Center and that those situations were under control. And, again, FEMA takes it direction from state and local officials. Why? Because they have the authority while FEMA does not.

@ Steve L.

4. "She managed to dot the i's and cross the t's on her request for federal support and the separate request for troops is listed in that exact same law, however she didn't read it or follow the instructions."

Actually this is, IMHO, incorrect. Blanco has pushed the meme that she didn't know that a separate request was required, but that doesn't appear to be correct. Instead Blanco has made public statements, one specifically to her PR flack, that she didn't want to have federal troops in New Orleans in case a federal soldier shot someone.

Remember that whole "those poor starving looters" schtick?

@ Robert Modean

5. "I believe that in this instance she was simply overwhelmed by the size and scope of the disaster, failed to fully understand what was required of her and her office, and ultimately was failed by those who worked for her, whose job it was to implement the EOP or failing that, ask the Feds to take over."

I completely disagree. Blanco knew full and well what kind of chaos was going and she still prevented the deployment of federal troops. Even *now*, after all this time, federal troops still are not authorized to conduct law enforcement activities. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, as an example, have to conduct their missions with at least one member of the Lousisana National Guard who is the one charged with actually making the arrest.

This alone disproves your point.

Remember Gov. George Wallac... (Below threshold)
Pat:

Remember Gov. George Wallace standing at the schoolroom door back in the 1960s, refusing to allow black students to enter? I thought the Federal government sent troops in to make him enforce school integration (now there's a word I haven't heard in decades; that alone is certainly a sign of great progress). Surely they were not state troops, whom the President would not be able to command, and who would not act on their own without orders from Gov. Wallace himself. I remember that a big part of the anger at the time was about violation of states' rights, but I don't recall whether the issue focused on sending of troops or on integration alone -- probably both.

Did the Federal government send troops to Alabama to enforce integration laws? If so (and setting aside the question of racial prejudice or any other emotionally charged issue), was Gov. Wallace right to resist the efforts of the Federal government to impose its will on the state through the use of military force? Was the Federal government's action illegal? Did the Insurrection Act apply? What law did the Federal government use to justify the use of military force (or threat thereof) against a state government?

Somebody please refresh my memory of the events of that day (I was but a mere child, although I do remember seeing it all unfold on TV). And then explain how it might be relevant to the current discussion about sending troops, unbidden, to any state for emergency relief, as in a natural disaster, much less to enforce Federal law.

I am in favor of an Indepen... (Below threshold)
Martin A Knight:

I am in favor of an Independent Commission. The reason for this is as much political as it is practical. There is going to be a great amount of pressure for some form of investigation. The problem is that the White House seems to have nixed that idea when it should be out in front of it. I have finally come to the conclusion that while Karl Rove is something of a political campaign genius he seems to be utterly clueless when it comes to PR outside campaign season.

Right now, the Democrats and their Press allies have focussed nearly a 100% of the blame on the Feds to get at Bush. An Independent Commission to investigate and establish what happened and who messed up where and how is perhaps the best way to destroy the Nero (Bush) fiddling while Rome (New Orleans) burned (flooded) story the Democrats/Press have have had some success in pushing as the definitive story on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Politically, we cannot let the Press have the last word on this.

But the more important reason is this; we need to find out what exactly happened. We need to find out what mistakes were made and whether they are correctable or not. In other words, we need a good faith effort to really discover what went wrong, and just as importantly, what went right. It is incredibly important that changes are not made to the way we handle disasters based on counter-factual information and erroneous conventional wisdom. Otherwise, people would continue to lose their lives to Katrina years after it struck AL, MS and LA.

Notwithstanding the farce the 9/11 Commission almost inevitably became, I think an Independent Commission is best way to go. But what I am proposing is not a bipartisan, but a NON-PARTISAN Independent Commission. A bipartisan commission, by definition, gives partisanship a pride of place it simply doesn't deserve. The report a bipartisan commission would produce would simply be the result of negotiation by both sides so that neither side ends up looking too bad. And when it comes right down to it, it is a given that the Democrat Commissioners are not going to be serving in good faith. To whit, I have seen/heard Republicans criticizing the Federal as well as the Louisiana State and New Orleans authorities. I am yet to see a single Democrat say a word against Blanco and/or Nagin. But, strangely enough, I have heard them launch multiple broadsides against Haley Barbour and his people in Mississippi even as they shriek in protest like banshees about the Right criticizing Louisiana's Democrat authorities.

So what I think should be aimed for is a non-partisan (to the extent that is possible) Commission, with the Commission members being limited to retired Generals/Admirals (people who understand the key issues in emergency management i.e. logistics, communications, etc. things 99% of journalists seem unable to comprehend), retired Federal Judges (people who would understand the limitations of the Federal Government relative to the States - especially when the State Government is recalcitrant) and, Emergency Management officials i.e. first responders from states/municipalities other than those struck by Katrina (jsteele's own idea). Furthermore, to keep partisanship to a minimum, I would have the Commissioners selected by a blind number lottery from prior publicized pools of available candidates.

Of course, one should expect the Democrats and thus the Press to object to any General/Admiral who is not named Shalikashvili, McPeak, Clark or Crowe. But, even then, the political fallout should they in any way assist MoveOn and their other crazed interest groups in attempting to tarnish soldiers' reputations for partisan advantage would be very interesting to watch, to say the least. As for the retired Judges, these are people who have already been given the Senate's stamp of approval. And anyway, watching them try to use "She supports parental consent!" as the reason for their opposition for the judge to seated on a Commission that is all about a hurricane would also be very interesting.

PS: Of course, no matter how the Commission's report turns out, one can be certain that the Press would lead and headline their stories of it with the Federal authorities failures, even if they turn out to be caused by/orders of magnitude less in number or seriousness compared to the failures at the local and state level. But then, the playing field would still be a heck of a lot more level than it is now. Another thing one can be certain of is that the Left would claim a cover-up if the Commission recommends anything less than the impeachment and execution of President Bush.

Surely they were n... (Below threshold)
rayabacus:
Surely they were not state troops, whom the President would not be able to command, and who would not act on their own without orders from Gov. Wallace himself. I remember that a big part of the anger at the time was about violation of states' rights, but I don't recall whether the issue focused on sending of troops or on integration alone -- probably both.

They were the Alabama National Guard and they were called up by the President - Federalized, under the Command of the President. He had the authority because the State refused to enforce a Federal Law. The President is not allowed to use Active Duty Troops (Title 10) to police the citizens of the US. The only time Title 10 troops can be used is in the case of Martial Law, and Martial Law has to be declared by Congress.

The same Alabama National Guard troops that Wallace used to block the entrance to school were used to escort Meredith into school. Ironic, isn't it?

Kevin,

I think that you are falling into the "enough blame to go around" crowd. If you, or anyone else, is going to fault the performance of FEMA, you need to provide explicit examples of their failures. I'm not saying that there were not bureaucratic foul ups (as with any large elephant style Federal Program), but I think that you do a disservice to all of those FEMA people who pre positioned aid and got the job done when State and Local officials abdicated their responsibility.

PS

For those asking, the US Coast Guard is not part of the US Military per the Posse Comitatus Act.

Does anyone know if ther... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Does anyone know if there is a manual or paper that can be consulted by Governors in cases like the Katrina disaster

The Stafford Act has the specific form of requests that a state needs to make pursuant to a disaster declaration. In fact, Blanco followed the exact form in requesting assistance. She even had the paperwork posted on the state web site.

Actually this is, IMHO, incorrect. Blanco has pushed the meme that she didn't know that a separate request was required, but that doesn't appear to be correct.

Actually, based on her on-camera discusson with her aide, she made a statement to the effect of "I should have asked for the military from the beginning." Any other crap coming from her mouth is just that. She is covering her own decision with a rationale that is simply garbage.

Kevin,I don't know h... (Below threshold)
rayabacus:

Kevin,
I don't know how that post came out like that, but go ahead and delete it - I'm reposting with a *sigh* preview.

Surely they were not state troops, whom the President would not be able to command, and who would not act on their own without orders from Gov. Wallace himself. I remember that a big part of the anger at the time was about violation of states' rights, but I don't recall whether the issue focused on sending of troops or on integration alone -- probably both.

They were the Alabama National Guard and they were called up by the President - Federalized, under the Command of the President. He had the authority because the State refused to enforce a Federal Law. The President is not allowed to use Active Duty Troops (Title 10) to police the citizens of the US. The only time Title 10 troops can be used is in the case of Martial Law, and Martial Law has to be declared by Congress.

The same Alabama National Guard troops that Wallace used to block the entrance to school were used to escort Meredith into school. Ironic, isn't it?

Kevin,

I think that you are falling into the "enough blame to go around" crowd. If you, or anyone else, is going to fault the performance of FEMA, you need to provide explicit examples of their failures. I'm not saying that there were not bureaucratic foul ups (as with any large elephant style Federal Program), but I think that you do a disservice to all of those FEMA people who pre positioned aid and got the job done when State and Local officials abdicated their responsibility.

PS

For those asking, the US Coast Guard is not part of the US Military per the Posse Comitatus Act.

For Pat re: desegregation.<... (Below threshold)
Karl:

For Pat re: desegregation.

Ike and Kennedy federalized the Arkansas and Alabama National Guard to enforce the Supreme Court's desegregation decision in the face of open defiance by the Governors -- Faubus and Wallace, respectively. It was not without controversy at the time, but would appear to be legit under the Insurrection Act. The feds discussed having Bush do the same, but lawyers generally concluded that the looting in N.O. was not "insurrection" in the Way that Gov. Wallace's defiance was.

Ed,Great post, I a... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

Ed,

Great post, I agree with all of it including your criticism of me! I'm back to wanting the incompetent hag's head on a pike. honestly, between her and Nagin it's a race to the bottom as far as ineptitude in handling this situation. I think she wins largely based on her continuing stupidity and fecklessness.

Impeach Blanco Now!

"@ el_clugston2. "... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

"@ el_clugston

2. "Yeah but Blanco declared a state of emergency and requested the troops."

That statement there shows you in fact have never actually read Blanco's State of Emergency request document. She basically asks for money and post-Katrina cleanup. She did not ask for any federal troops in that State of Emergency request."


Yup, and she specifically asked for $9million for the clean-up. If that isn't enough evidence of impeachable incompetence then I say the next time Louisiana is on its own.

Yeah, agreed, as to Robert ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Yeah, agreed, as to Robert Modean's comments, Ed's post is great.

Also, what KobeClan wrote (^^).

There's a news story I have saved about a group of law enforcement who spent their own money and took their own supplies (including camping gear for themselves to remain self sufficient under the circumstances) all the way down to New Orleans from the Midwest, only to be turned away by Nagin from entering the city of New Orleans, with the statement that he "didn't have any place to put them" if they were allowed in -- they said they had their own gear, didn't need housing, he turned them away anyway. Nagin then continued to yell for help to

I'm finding Nagin's comments of today bombastic enough for tears, complaining about the General trying to be "a federal mayor of New Orleans" -- and then referring to New Orleans as some set-apart place such that it's above federal resources. For someone who thinks he's in charge, actually seems to demand people "recognize" him as such, he's sure done a lot to maintain deprivations.

I have had a few moments of sympathy for both Nagin and Blanco; however, Blanco seems entirely not intelligent adequately to lead a state and Nagin seems pscyhologically affected by grandiosity, to the point that they are both just not in touch with practical measures, easily confused to the point of inactivity of any sort that benefits anyone, themselves included.

Lest anyone complain about these perspectives on party lines, I'd have the same opinion about Nagin and Blanco whatever their party was or is not. However, had they been Republicans, they'd never have been elected nor electable, so the point here is moot.

According to their own behaviors, these two seem to have worked overtime to further pain and suffering and even if they did not INTEND that, one or both, that's what they've accomplished and seem to still be accomplishing, intent or not.

Look at the state of Alabama as example here with a Governor who had a plan, coordinated it well with nearly everyone, in state and out of state, and compare that to that of Louisiana's performance. It pretty well sums up the good and the bad among us.

A Commission -- if independent would never be respected afterward (being practical here) by whoever was efforting to protect whoever was found culpable of what, and, if Partisan, the best possible to hope for; however, if Democrats refuse to participate, well, play that as it lays.

Sorry, not "General" but "<... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Sorry, not "General" but "the top federal official in charge in New Orleans, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen" --

I've got Jimi Hendrix playing at maximum on my speaker system at the moment, hard to keep names too organized under the circumstances, at least care about them...

Hey, anyone want to make an... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hey, anyone want to make any comments about the US Public Health Service? They got a bunch of folks down to the Airport triaging folks for days as they were airlifted out of NOLA.

Hmmm, lets see, who requested that plan - FEMA.

The maligned Department of Homeland Security [DHS] includes FEMA and the USCG, which both did their jobs.

USCG is trained to work independantly and in small groups if need be, and coordinate with large groups. It did both and successfully rescued 5 times as many folks as mentioned in the post by Kobe. While not a military branch of the DOD, it is a military uniformed service.

DHS/FEMA uses a flexible response organization plan that allows for continuous evolution of the command structure and response teams as the situation morphs from chaos and confusion. In this situation, as best I can see, politics and ineptitude (or just plain stupidity) from the State O Louisiana's and Mayor of NO's postions threw a few wrenches in the works. From the exercises I've seen and participated in, I have to admit that the Federal Response and Plans have not strongly considered this kind of problem at that high level of government in the past.

For folks that wish that GWB declared Martial Law and invade NOLA, and ignore the constitutional arguements made against this action, I'm curious how they feel about letting criminals who have had their civil rights infringed off scott free. Should we suspend the Constitution and lynch the bastards?

There's a reason that our system sometimes grates on some of our sensibilities. Defending our very way of life means attention to these details, despite sometimes painful consequences.

Actually, the US Coast Guar... (Below threshold)
Mikey:

Actually, the US Coast Guard is a law enforcement agency. It's just that the general police power to protect the general health, safety, welfare, and morals of the populace is in the states, not the federal government. Federal police power is extremely limited, hence the Coast Guard's law enfocement role is limited also.




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