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Federal Response to Katrina Not as Portrayed

Some people get...

Jack Kelly: No shame

The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed

It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.

"Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency," wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.

But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.

Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:

"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

So they libel as a "national disgrace" the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.

And in other news, Mary Laundrieu, Ted Kennedy and Chucky Schumer have all called for a "bi-partisian commission" to determine how many poor black people George Bush killed.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Federal Response to Katrina Not as Portrayed:

» Blind Mind's Eye linked with Politics as usual is going to get us killed

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Bush Denies Racial Component to Response

Comments (21)

JACK KELLY == another in a ... (Below threshold)

JACK KELLY == another in a long line of whores for Bush

FEMA arrives empty-handed
Rebecca Neal
The Daily Advertiser/ The Indianapolis Star

Lafayette's first FEMA office opened Friday, but the center had no money or vouchers to give to hundreds of Hurricane Katrina evacuees who came searching for help.
"We're not giving anything," manager Kenneth Swain told the crowd. "We don't have anything yet to give."
The Federal Emergency Management Association's Disaster Response Center is located at Restoration Life Church, 111 Liberty Ave., across from Randol's restaurant on Kaliste Saloom Road. It is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, indefinitely.
FEMA has been noticeably absent from Lafayette since the hurricane struck, and people descended on the church looking for answers.

JACK MISSED THIS ONE -... (Below threshold)


Tucsonans treat ills in La. town that has nearly nothing left By Stephanie Innes
Published: 09.11.2005
CHALMETTE, La. - They spent four days isolated from the outside world, their remote community reduced to piles of rubble, decay and broken hearts.
Now agencies from around the country, including a medical team of 30 Arizonans, are living side-by-side with residents of St. Bernard Parish, which was so devastated by Hurricane Katrina that 95 percent of the parish will be condemned, the sheriff estimated Saturday.

"There will be nothing to save in most of these houses. We're very worried about the psychological effects," said Alan Abadie, special assistant to both the St. Bernard Parish president and sheriff. "It's obliteration. One hundred percent of the homes were flooded." And like many others he is angry at the Federal Emergency Management Agency for taking at least four days - some say five - to get to the community and now for not getting housing assistance to evacuees quickly enough.
The death toll in St. Bernard, a "big small town" of about 75,000 southeast of New Orleans, is at 100 and climbing.

"I saw on television what everyone else has seen, but I was not prepared," he said. "To see mile after mile after mile of houses underwater, total destruction, trees blown over - I was not prepared. As I've talked to people in Tucson, I've said think of Tucson from Valencia to Cortaro and between Mission to Craycroft under water, and that's just the parish I'm in right now."

And in other news, Steve J ... (Below threshold)

And in other news, Steve J fails to notice rising conservative floodwaters lipping at the edges of his reality-based foundation.

"I've weathered previous storms," said Mr. J. "This Hurricane Bush ain't no different."

Oh yea, and to have random ... (Below threshold)

Oh yea, and to have random people here and there blame FEMA is of course the reason FEMA is responsible.

I could get up on my soapbox and blame things on martians, but that doesn't necessarily make it true.

Stop saying shit and just wait for the "bi-partisan commission" to come around and focus on ALL aspects of what happened, what should have happened, and how things could have been better, and even quite possibly how they COULD have been WORSE.

Mayor Ray Nagin missed a go... (Below threshold)

Mayor Ray Nagin missed a golden opportunity to garnish national public support (even though obviously he wasn't the only city affected).

He missed cues from (I'm quoting MSNBC-or was it CNN- here)"The nation's mayor" in how he dealt with the tragedy that occured 4 years ago yesterday.

What did Rudolph Guliani do? He didn't foist blame anywhere about the disaster response. What did he do? He never complained about what his city needed. What did he do? He moved in and got stuff done. He went EVERYWHERE in New York, especially at Ground Zero, kept up appearances and assured all who were watching that The Mayor was present and keeping order.

What did Ray Nagin do? He kept pointing fingers at people. What did he do? He kept screaming about "come help us we need this". What did he do?
He left to go to Baton Rouge. He used his position as mayor to get 100 VIP's out of the city ahead of his own constituents in the Superdome. I don't recall seeing ANY television footage of him at the Superdome nor convention center.

"Lafayette's first FEMA off... (Below threshold)

"Lafayette's first FEMA office opened Friday"

...because FEMA only has about 2500 full-time employees, and they had to hire a few thousand folks, check their backgrounds, train them to handle all of the paperwork, then arrange for a place to do that work, and get computer systems online for them.

In about a week.

So, while the major evacuation centers were getting online first, people in small towns like Layfayette had to wait an extra day or so (while being fed and sheltered), and the people who were "too good" for the shelters were running up high hotel bills that are going to end up being paid for by the Feds, along with the other thousands of dollars of assistance they're going to get in a couple of weeks.

On the other hand (from past experience) if you get a job, it takes them a few days to check your references, then a couple of weeks for a paycheck to show up... if you're lucky.

Steve J-Might I su... (Below threshold)

Steve J-

Might I suggest blogger.com.

I've watched patiently as you have spammed the commetns section here. If you want to be a blogger then by all means get a blog. Please don't abuse the comments section.

Your example is Lafayette???? Lafayette is about 200 miles from the storm. i think FEMA had more imporant thigns to do.

And Chalmette was underwater for a week... Nobody could get in much less FEMA you idiot.

Yes WE KNOW you can get all sorts of media babble about FEMA-- the point is that it is not true. And your linking it 47 times won't make it true.

Again, if you want a blog, go get one. On another thread you made about 8 posts in a row.

In case you missed it, we acutioned off the right to publish a post on Wizbang for 1000 bucks. So either get out your checkbook or get your own blog.

let's add one to the list:<... (Below threshold)

let's add one to the list:

steve "i don't care about the facts" j.

Hey look the handouts didn'... (Below threshold)

Hey look the handouts didn't start as fast as Steve J(erk) wanted. There's no excuse........

It is interesting to note... (Below threshold)

It is interesting to note that during the Battle of Britain the general public perception was that the RAF was a joke and worthless. RAF fliers shot down over France during the Dunkirk evacuation had trouble getting priority to be shipped back to England. It wasn't until the smoke cleared that the public looked past the gaffs and failures to see the overall greatest effort by a small group of Western Military in history.
Source: Battle of Britain by Richard Hough

I appreciate your calling a... (Below threshold)

I appreciate your calling attention to Kelly's article, Paul. He's the leading edge of a burgeoning recognition of how relatively effective FEMA and the federal effort have been in the most difficult of circumstances.

Unfortunately, last week you were running with the lynch mobs out for the head of Brown, discrediting FEMA 's effort and by extension, President Bush's response to the catastrophe.

Are you now agreeing with Kelly's premise?

Has FEMA been relatively responsive and successful? If so, was it under Brown's leadership or in spite of him? If in spite of him, precisely what were his specific shortcomings, and exactly how did your contribution to the mob mentality and political gamesmanship of the MSM, countless pols, and the all-hate-all the-time-left contribute to either short or long term relief for the stricken citizens?

Levans you ask a monster qu... (Below threshold)

Levans you ask a monster question. If you look at the top post (Katrina Evacuaton) I have zero trouble going agaisnt group think.

My most candid answer to you is that I don't know.

In the heat of the moment it looked like FEMA was screwing up... I still think the FEMA idiot was an idiot.

I'm going to spend some time tonight reading my past posts. I might change my mind. I dunno.

But for the record, the response from Bush and the response from FEMA are different issues in my book.

More later- But I think he ... (Below threshold)

More later- But I think he was an idiot more for what he said in interviews than the performance of his organization.

For instance, it took fi... (Below threshold)

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002.

Andrew hit in 1992.

Steve J., I believe it was ... (Below threshold)

Steve J., I believe it was probably a mistype.

shut up.

JACK KELLY == another in... (Below threshold)

JACK KELLY == another in a long line of whores for Bush

STEVE J == another in a long line of ludicrous trolls.

The whole "evacuation went ... (Below threshold)

The whole "evacuation went well" thing doesn't really fly for me.

People evacuated themselves pretty good, but when it came to the rest of it, that didn't really come off. The "special needs" populations (people in hospitals, old age homes, and prisoners) weren't accounted for at all, as some of the more gruesome discoveries in the low-lying areas are showing. The old age folks and hospitals were supposed to be the first priority, not the last.

Evacuation isn't just pre-disaster.

Post-disaster, the amount of effective evac went down to near zero until the Feds paid for a bunch of tour buses (courtesy of FEMA and the DOT).

The problem with Brown's le... (Below threshold)

The problem with Brown's leadership was his background. He is a lawyer. It's irrelevant that he is a horse breeder. He is primarily an attorney. He looked at all issues from a legal viewpoint. Were the proper forms filled out, did everyone take the sexual harassment classes before they could start working? He was replaced by a General, a kick-ass type of guy that does not worry about forms, clearance, and protocol. I am reminded of a saying by Abraham Maslow: "When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail"

The same people who claim t... (Below threshold)

The same people who claim that we were welcomed as liberators in Iraq, Saddam planned 9/11, and Oswald acted alone are now trying to convince you that FEMA id doin' a great job.

I mean, who are ya gonna believe...a well-crafted press release, or your lyin' eyes?

I swear to god...if the White House claimed Dubya's farts smell like flowers, you'd post a spectagraphic analysis of his rosy butt vapors within the hour.

The same people who claim t... (Below threshold)

The same people who claim that we were welcomed as liberators in Iraq, Saddam planned 9/11, and Oswald acted alone are now trying to convince you that FEMA is doin' a great job.

I mean, who are ya gonna believe...a well-crafted press release, or your lyin' eyes?

I swear to god...if the White House claimed Dubya's farts smell like flowers, you'd post a spectagraphic analysis of his rosy butt vapors within the hour.

Clean up, Aisle 9. Clean up... (Below threshold)

Clean up, Aisle 9. Clean up... Aisle 9. We have identical gastrointestinal emanations that don't smell like flowers, so please bring Lysol. Code Blue, out.






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