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What's in a Word?

I find it interesting that the media -a group of people who use words for a living- are going out of their way to misuse sets of words in the "Bush Video" nonsense.

The first one is obvious and has been pointed out by several people. For almost 6 months I've been explaining the difference between the levees being breached and them being topped. But the media is willfully ignoring the difference between the two. It is as important as the difference between suicide and homicide but the media willfully uses the wrong terms to attack Bush.

Breached... Topped... What's in a word?

The second one however is more insidious. For 6 months, the spin from the left is that Bush was clueless about Katrina because he was 'on vacation' when it happened. People on the right repeatedly made the point he had several briefings on the topic, well before the storm hit.

Now, when video tape of said briefings comes out, it is not proof the left was goofy about the 'Bush on Vacation" spin, instead the briefing morphs into a warning about the storm.

Isn't Bush getting briefings on the storm a good thing? What would the media response be if Bush and NOT gotten any briefings before the storm? Isn't 6 days of video tape proof he was taking this seriously?

Warning... Briefing... What's in a word?


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Comments (41)

Hmmm.What I find c... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

What I find curious is this whole "Bush is asleep" meme. Didn't Bush come out and request a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans right on tv?

How could he be uninformed when he asked this?

Just add the words "warn" a... (Below threshold)

Just add the words "warn" and "breach" (not "breech," Paul) to the list of words that mean whatever the liberals want them to mean. Like "is."

geeze. thanks Jason and con... (Below threshold)
Paul:

geeze. thanks Jason and considring I wrote a note to my local paper saying the same thing, you'd tink I would pay more attention.

Back in September I went th... (Below threshold)

Back in September I went through all the usual citations for the "warnings" that the levees could be breached prior to Katrina. With only one exception, they were all talking about the "overtopping". The only mention of a potential breach was a single mention NOTP article from 2002. Indeed, more articles mentioned breaching the levees as a potential solution to flooding (i.e., the levees could be breached after the storm to help drain the city), than mentioned it as a danger. Even the New York Times acknowledged this:

"What had The Times's news columns provided over the past decade to help its readers understand the New Orleans levee system? One major article that focused on levees. The 2,100-word article on the front of the Science section in 2002 made clear that a Category 4 or 5 hurricane would send water over the top of the levees. While the public editor's focus is on news coverage, there was also an Editorial Observer commentary in 2002 that took a detailed look at the problem, based on reporting in New Orleans. But neither the news article nor the editorial commentary prepared readers for the possibility of breaches in the levees or canal walls."

Less obvious is the MSM rep... (Below threshold)
robert:

Less obvious is the MSM repeating that "Bush asked no questions".

Earlier in the same meeting, but before the video clip that got wide circulation, Brown explains that Bush had called him twice already that day (it was noon) for an update and to "ask lots of questions".

You can look for excuses al... (Below threshold)
Mark Blahut:

You can look for excuses all day .
Your guy is an idoit , his leadership is sad .
He did NOTHING to help and if you are paying attention ..... He is not helping now .
WAKE UP RED AMERICA - GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF HIS ASS !
Please, go hunting with cheney , Please .

jp2 I give people lots of r... (Below threshold)
Paul:

jp2 I give people lots of room. You went 1 step too far - and you know what it was.

You've free to post all you want but don;t cross that line. And you know what the line is.

P

Mark, you represent liberal... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Mark, you represent liberals in the country quite well.

Hey Mark,You flami... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:

Hey Mark,

You flaming socialist libs offer no ideas.
John Kerry is a bigger idiot who's only impressive thing in life is managing to leech on to rich women so he can spend money earned by someone else (something I'm sure you are adept at as well). Ask the Swiftboat vets about Kerry's Leadership.
Kerry, Gore, Swimmer Kennedy, Turban, Hildebeast, Chuckie Schumer, John Conyers, Ray Nagin, & Blanco did nothing as well.

You offer no solutions, just pissing and moaning.

Typical Liberal response. No ideas, just name calling and bullshit.

Mark, please check your fac... (Below threshold)

Mark, please check your facts before your embarrass yourself further:

The Lessons of Katrina (Popular Mechanics)

MYTH: "The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history."--Aaron Broussard, president, Jefferson Parish, La., Meet the Press, NBC, Sept. 4, 2005

REALITY: Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest--and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm's landfall.

Dozens of National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters flew rescue operations that first day--some just 2 hours after Katrina hit the coast. Hoistless Army helicopters improvised rescues, carefully hovering on rooftops to pick up survivors. On the ground, "guardsmen had to chop their way through, moving trees and recreating roadways," says Jack Harrison of the National Guard. By the end of the week, 50,000 National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast region had saved 17,000 people; 4000 Coast Guard personnel saved more than 33,000.

But didn't ya'all know, lib... (Below threshold)

But didn't ya'all know, liberals are not supposed to put forth any plans, ideas, or even cohesive thought, they are only required to bash the GOP. So, the fact that a DEM mayor left HUNDREDS OF BUSSES to flood and become useless is, to a liberal, Bush's fault. The fact that a DEM governor did not step in when the DEM mayor didn't drop the ball 'cause he never held it, and let things get worse, is to a liberal, Bush's fault. So, even if Bush were swimming through the muck in NOLA saving lives and all, libs would STILL say he didn't do enough, simply because he is a conservative!

"Never forget the lessons of the Reagan years, TAX CUTS WORK!" - Anonymous

And from the same PM articl... (Below threshold)

And from the same PM article:

"Most of the New Orleans floodwall failures occurred when water up to 25 ft. high overtopped the barriers, washing out their foundations. But three breached floodwalls--one in the 17th Street Canal and two in the London Avenue Canal--showed no signs of overtopping."

Hard to anticipate breaching in instances like this I'd have to say.

Sure Bush was briefed about... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sure Bush was briefed about Katrina "It is very similar to Andrew (but) There is a big, big diference to Andrew..this is much larger than Andrew.. the greatest potential for a large loss of life"..But obviously by his canned statements. "We pray for no loss of life, of course"!(in a hurricane much larger than Andrew) Everyone showed a clear sense of urgency in the briefing, but one important person..the President..who appeared ill-disposed to change his normal, business-like or (as the case so often is) vacation-like tone.

steve, steve, steve. you le... (Below threshold)
jab:

steve, steve, steve. you lefties have been shown all the facts showing President Bush was engaged well before the storm hit. NOW, your complaining about his "tone", and he seemed, "illdisposed". what next? should he have parted his hair more aggressively on the left side of his head to show his "real compassion" for the situation. would that have done it. honestly speaking, you would never be satisfied enough, even if he had is hands against the wall, trying to stop it from failing, gasping for his last breath.

Jason: thanks for that link... (Below threshold)

Jason: thanks for that link, I had no idea that Popular Mechanics, of all places, did such an in-depth review. Thanks for the tip.

Hmmm.Your... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Your guy is an idoit , his leadership is sad .

Hey Paul can we have a comment ranking system here? I think that would be pretty interesting, particularly if such rankings could be permanently associated with specific commenters.

Personally I don't know if the above quote or theoryhead's is the more amusing but it would be interesting to see.

Jab ..No, but others at the... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jab ..No, but others at the meeting, the top experts on hurricanes were practically pulling their hair out trying to alert 'the powers that be' that this is the big one'. Admittedly ithe video is probably heavily edited and selected..(other threads on this blog will say as much) to make Bush look at his worst, but that is part of the dialetic or dynamics of politics and political journalism.

>Hey Paul can we have a com... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Hey Paul can we have a comment ranking system here?

ed I'm probably tipping Kevin's hand for him but ... um... stick around.... That's all I can say for now.

I crossed no line. By Wizba... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I crossed no line. By Wizbang's definition, anyone who "annoys" children is "molestor" of children. Just like Kennedy molested Alito's wife.

It's your own definition, at least own up to it.

Steve. I don't think you ha... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Steve. I don't think you have heard ANYONE say that there was not mountians of people saying "This is the Big one"

Bush himself said as much when he urged people to evacuate.

The point is -has been and always will be- that contrary to the spin, NOBODY, NOBODY, NOBODY, knew that the levees would crumble like a stale cracker.

You didn't know it, I didn't know it, Max freaking Mayfield didn't know it.

To pretend otherwise makes you look like a nut case.

First it is not MY definiti... (Below threshold)
Paul:

First it is not MY definition. Second, Yes you crossed the line.

No biggie, you're not banned for life or anything... just have some common sense. That's not too much to ask of an adult.

"...just have some commo... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

"...just have some common sense. That's not too much to ask of an adult."

Oh yeah? Wanna bet? LOL

"First it is not MY definit... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"First it is not MY definition."

It's your blogs definition.

http://wizbangblog.com/2006/01/31/did-kennedy-molest-alitos-wife.php

From your link:

mo·lest (mə-lĕst')
tr.v., -lest·ed, -lest·ing, -lests.

1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.

"It sure seemed to me like Alito's wife was disturbed and annoyed."

Anyone who annoys anyone is a molestor, according to Wizbang. Kennedy molested Alito's wife. Hence, if you annoy children, you are a child molestor, right? Or are you stepping away from that post?

Wait, hold on...neural conn... (Below threshold)

Wait, hold on...neural connections being made here...

The President was briefed on what could happen if a huge hurricane slammed directly into New Orleans...therefore the President knew the levees were going to fail! (in a different way than was predicted, but I digress)

The President was briefed on the fact that terrorists wanted to attack us and possibly hijack airplanes...therefore the President knew when, where and how we would be attacked on Sept. 11!

Ok, I'm starting to see how this is going with the press...somebody better call the President and tell him to pay a hell of a lot more attention to his briefings, because apparently there's a psychic putting them together!

[Could someone tell us how many things the President was briefed on regarding the Hurricane that didn't happen?]

sigh Like most of your (cou... (Below threshold)
Paul:

sigh Like most of your (cough) logic (cough) it is fatally flawed. It ain't by blog, it ain't my post.

But forgetting all that you crossed the line and are really trying to continue to do so.

Now (frankly) knock it off.

nuff said.

In regards to levys in the ... (Below threshold)
terry, associate AIA:

In regards to levys in the scenario of Katrina:

breach: is a structural failure. By bad construction/materials or unexpected loads that exceeded the designed capacity. Less likely, bad calculations or poor design.

overtopped: is a design failure. By unexpectedly exceeding the designed capacity (and contingency) or more likely, under-designing the structure for the worst possible scenario (possibly due to foolish budgetary constraints out-weighing the risk)

Both are man-made failures. Government failures. And both seemed to have happened. The limited, designed capacity of the levy system was widely known for a very long time prior to Katrina. It was also common knowledge that many parts of N.O. are below sea-level. There have beeb countless articles, documentaries, etc about this long before Katrina. Only a fool would't anticipate the destruction we saw, knowing that the levy system was not designed take a direct hit from a CAT 4 or 5 storm. And only a foolish government fails to protect life and property and then lies about it's role in it's own failure.

"I don't think anybody anti... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"
-- George W. Bush, 9/1/05, four days after being warned, on tape, that the levees were a "very, very grave concern"

"I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."
-- Then-National Security Adviser Condi Rice, 5/16/02, despite government reports in '99 and '01 predicting just that.

"I don't know of any reporting that anyone saw that anticipated an insurgency of this level,

-- Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, 12/21/04, two months after the USA Today headline "Prewar intelligence predicted Iraqi insurgency"

This administration must stay better informed..Not anticipating major events, that others are on record, as anticipating is doesn`t inspire much confidence that they are competent or perceptive.

It's amazing just how fact-... (Below threshold)
Carrick:

It's amazing just how fact-poor the left-leaning critics on this blog are. Nobody anticipated that a category one storm , which is what Katrina was win it hit New Orleans, would cause catastrophic levee failure and that's just a fact.

It wasn't overtopped & then breeched, it was breeched due to excessive rainfall and poor levee design, construction and maintenance (e.g., the large oak tree that was allowed to grow beside the levee, and whose fall may have precipitated the levee failure).

This all sort of begs the q... (Below threshold)
j.j.:

This all sort of begs the question: when the levees did break and much of the city was underwater, why did President Responsibility Era stick to his regular schedule for days on end.

Hey you right-wing chowderh... (Below threshold)
j.j.:

Hey you right-wing chowderheads. Isn't it the government's ability to anticipate that worst? Gosh, you got a Category 5 storm heading for a below-sea level city protected by aging Category 3 level levees. Even I can do the math on that.

I seem to remember that the government did an exercise before Katrina where they anticipated exactly this. Perhaps they should have paid attention to it. And maybe George "Fully Engaged" Bush shouldn't have stocked FEMA with people without the sufficient disaster preparedness experience.

Hmmm.Amusingly eno... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Amusingly enough DrudgeReport.com now has a link to an AP story about how Gov. Blanco told Bush that the levees had overtopped, i.e. water had splashed over the top of the leveee but the levees hadn't failed so the water can be easily pumped out, but there hadn't been any breaches in the levees, where the levees actually fail and it becomes impossible to pump out the water until the levees are repaired.

The extended explanation is for those people who simply cannot seem to understand the difference between "overtop" and "breach".

Hmmm.And ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

And maybe George "Fully Engaged" Bush shouldn't have stocked FEMA with people without the sufficient disaster preparedness experience.

You mean that Bush should have picked someone with experience in handling a half-dozen very powerful hurricanes striking portions of the American east coast?

Well?

More semantic ramblings fro... (Below threshold)
j.j.:

More semantic ramblings from the right wing, in this case from Mr. Ed. Overtopped? Breached? Gee, FEMA's main guy in N.O. took a chopper ride over the city after the storm, saw the breaches for himself, and reported back to his superiors. It still took hours for the White House and Bush's political appointees at FEMA and DHS to believe their own reporting.

You would think that would have been clarified immediately. This still doesn't explain why Bush went about business as usual for days after everything started falling apart. If there was ever a time to cut your vacation short and take charge, it's when ONE OF YOUR FRACKING CITIES IS UNDERWATER.

Yes, Mr. Ed. There are peop... (Below threshold)
j.j.:

Yes, Mr. Ed. There are people with out there with real disaster preparedness and crisis management experience.

Since 9-11, the watch word ... (Below threshold)
j.j.:

Since 9-11, the watch word has been to expect the unexpected. You think Bush might have asked, "Golly, we've got a Category 5 storm heading for a city protected by aging Category 3 levees, is it possible that we could be facing something worse than just overtopping? Maybe full breaches in the levees. And if that happens, are we ready?"

Any competent chief executive (especially one with a CEO from Harvard) would ask that question. Do we know whether he ever did, during this breifing or any other?

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

Hmmmm.

@ j.j.

More semantic ramblings from the right wing, in this case from Mr. Ed. Overtopped? Breached?

And your utter lack of understanding of this issue shows how ignorant you are. If you had actually responded on point then perhaps I'd take you seriously. But you veer in all directions have little ability to actually debate on point.

My point was to show that Blanco was reporting that all was well to the federal authorities. One of which was Brown, the head of FEMA.

Gee, FEMA's main guy in N.O. took a chopper ride over the city after the storm, saw the breaches for himself, and reported back to his superiors. It still took hours for the White House and Bush's political appointees at FEMA and DHS to believe their own reporting.

Because Blanco, Nagin and their staffs were reporting rumor as fact. Or don't you remember New Orleans city authorities talking about the mass rapes and murders going on in the Superdome?

You would think that would have been clarified immediately.

Really? And so what? The levees were breached. Just what could they do about it? Call 9-1-1? When you've got a 300' breach in the levee it takes a lot of work to get that plugged. Just what were you expecting the feds to do? Well? Snap a couple fingers and it's all better?

Blanco refused, outright refused, to allow federal troops to intervene in New Orleans because she was afraid it would make her look bad. Nagin couldn't be bothered to actually evacuate people even after his belated call for a "mandatory" evacuation. Blanco's staff prevented emergency aid, food and shelter from getting into New Orleans because they wanted people to not stay and instead leave the Superdome. Perhaps they should have gotten their thumb out of their ass and actually told those people.

On top of all this the frigging New Orleans government, as in Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin, were busy spreading rumors *as fact* that the city was under siege, that people were being murdered left and right and that armed gangs were roaming the city looking to rape, loot and murder.

In fact, considering what a complete shambles the city and state response was, the ONLY thing that worked well at all was the FEDERAL effort where the Coast Guard and the US Navy were able to rescue thousands of people. And the US Navy was able to intervene, even without Blanco's withheld permission, entirely because of a loophole in Posse Comitatus.

This still doesn't explain why Bush went about business as usual for days after everything started falling apart. If there was ever a time to cut your vacation short and take charge, it's when ONE OF YOUR FRACKING CITIES IS UNDERWATER.

And whose city is New Orleans? Does it really belong to Bush? Or is it really the responsibility of Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans, and Blanco the Govenor of Louisiana? Isn't New Orleans their responsibility FIRST? Aren't they supposed to be in charge?

Here's a frigging clue for you: The President and the federal government can do a lot but it requires both the AUTHORIZATION and APPROVAL of the govenor of that state. This situation goes to Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.

Which you would already know if you weren't completely ignorant.

Yes, Mr. Ed. There are people with out there with real disaster preparedness and crisis management experience.

Well then. I'd suggest a Mr. Michael Brown who was in charge of FEMA in 2004 when Florida was hammered by a half-dozen very powerful hurricanes.

You ignorant ...

Since 9-11, the watch word has been to expect the unexpected. You think Bush might have asked, "Golly, we've got a Category 5 storm heading for a city protected by aging Category 3 levees, is it possible that we could be facing something worse than just overtopping? Maybe full breaches in the levees. And if that happens, are we ready?"

Well golly gee it turns out that Bush did ask those questions.

And Katrina was a Category **3** hurricane when it hit New Orleans.

You ignorant ...

Any competent chief executive (especially one with a CEO from Harvard) would ask that question. Do we know whether he ever did, during this breifing or any other?

A "CEO" is a Chief Executive Officer. What you're trying to communicate is "MBA", which means "Master of Business Administration".

Which is a degree that you obviously neither have or understand.

As for whether or not Bush "asked" the questions you seem to believe he didn't. I'd suggest you WTFV.

I.e. Watch The F**king Video.

Learn. Comprehend. Or stay ignorant. Your choice.

Good God you liberals really irritate the crap out of me. Frankly it wouldn't be so bad if you liberals actually knew this crap. Having to repeat the same damn thing endlessly to each new crop of liberals is a bloody waste of time.

If I've got time this weekend I think I'm going to start a FAQ website just for ignorant liberals. This way conservatives and Republicans can just paste in a URL and you guys can go educate yourselves and stop wasting my time.

And yes I originally did use a few choice words other than "ignorant". Preview is my friend.

Good Lord! I think ed just... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Good Lord! I think ed just... How do the kids say it nowadats?... "pwned" j.j.!

Excellent, excellent post, ed.

Raving and ranting, ranting... (Below threshold)
j.j.:

Raving and ranting, ranting and raving. It's Mr. Ed.

Look, al Qaeda could destroy half this country, and Bush would climb out of the wreckage and defend his government and blame the press for exaggerating everything. And you and the rest of the right-wing bloggers would follow right along without thinking about it.

wow, I didn't know my "<a h... (Below threshold)

wow, I didn't know my "rules of arguing with a liberal" would apply here, I usually just use them on a local liberal site...But j.j. here is a prime example, changing the subject, personal attacks...round and round they go, where they stop, nobody knows...San Francisco maybe. The rules really do work in almost every case where the person has no actual argument (note: the rules are only for use when it is obvious that the opponent has no way to argue their case with any logic or facts) check it out, pass them along, use them in your everyday life.

The reality is that Mr. Ed'... (Below threshold)
j.j.:

The reality is that Mr. Ed's "facts" are standard issue Karl Rove talking points. Blame Blanco. Blame Nagins. Blame anybody but us. If there were failures, they weren't Bush's fault. Nothing ever is, by the way.

BTW, I meant to say that Bush bills himself as the CEO president. I saw the error after I had already hit Post. I know what an MBA is.

I've written professionally about homeland security and emergency services for many years now. I know DMORT stands for. I've covered local and regional government. I'm updating an annual document describes the capabilities of federal agencies that respond to WMD events. (Fourth year now.) I have a firm grasp of what local, state and federal governments do in emergency situations.

Everybody screwed up here. The local government. The state. And the federal government, which had ultimate control once it became a disaster. The federal response was a disaster. There's a mountain of evidence on that. Read those reports. Learn.

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

Hmmmm.

@ j.j.

1.

The reality is that Mr. Ed's "facts" are standard issue Karl Rove talking points. Blame Blanco. Blame Nagins. Blame anybody but us. If there were failures, they weren't Bush's fault. Nothing ever is, by the way.

Yet you did not refute even one single point.

2.

BTW, I meant to say that Bush bills himself as the CEO president. I saw the error after I had already hit Post. I know what an MBA is.

Then I suggest you should have followed up with a correction. Obvious spelling or grammar errors are insignificant, but something that like definitely cries out for a correction since your intention couldn't be determined.

3.

I've written professionally about homeland security and emergency services for many years now. I know DMORT stands for. I've covered local and regional government. I'm updating an annual document describes the capabilities of federal agencies that respond to WMD events. (Fourth year now.) I have a firm grasp of what local, state and federal governments do in emergency situations.

Congratulations! I never graduated high school. And my comment is just as irrelevant as yours. What you're doing is trying to excuse yourself, not respond on point.

So since you're so knowledgeable how about this:

a. Please explain in detail the impact of Posse Comitatus on federalized responses that do NOT have the expressed approval of the sitting govenor where such actions must be taken.

b. Outline the activity of federal forces that worked to rescue victims of Katrina in and around the New Orleans area. Identify the units, their commanders and their record during this crisis.

c. Identify actions taken by Gov. Blanco's staff, and implemented by the LA State Police, to prevent refugees and aid from entering into New Orleans.

d. Indentify actions taken by Mayor Ray Nagin to alleviate the distress of the refugees in New Orleans. Specify in detail the exact steps taken by the Mayor that didn't involve giving interviews and crying on national television.

Let's start with that. Since you're such an accomplished person this should be extremely easy to whip up.

4.

Everybody screwed up here. The local government. The state. And the federal government, which had ultimate control once it became a disaster. The federal response was a disaster. There's a mountain of evidence on that. Read those reports. Learn.

Amusingly wrong. You should take my advice in #3 and actually do the research rather than relying on the crap fed to you by the liberal MSM and liberal blogs.

They're willing to lie to conservatives, why do you think they wouldn't lie to you?




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