Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Real Difference Between Gustav and Katrina

Katrina was the biggest natural disaster that ever hit the United States. Noone anticipated or was prepared for such damage. Besides being a smaller hurricane that did not hit New Orleans directly, Gustav was managed by a competent Republican governor who heeded the warnings and took appropriate measures to protect the city and its people.

Those whose vision are not clouded by the need to "get" President Bush will remember that the incompetent mayor of the city, Ray Nagin, ignored the warnings of the Bush Administration to evacuate the city. Who can forget the pictures of the hundreds of empty school buses standing in water as people died? Who can forget the deer-eyed look of the incompetent Governor Blanco while she dithered as President Bush pleaded with her to activate the National Guard? Since both were Democrats, the liberal press then took over to shift the blame to Bush, conveniently forgetting that Katrina also represents the biggest rescue and rebuilding operation ever.

As a victim of Hurricane Charley and three other named hurricanes the year before, the defined role of FEMA was clear - to come in after the local first responders had acted. FEMA's role was to provide emergency housing and loans and to coordinate with the Corps of Engineers for emergency assistance securing roofs. I remember also the typical bureaucracy and delays; I remember spending hours in my condominium complex signing many part forms, each one for each unit in the complex. It's clear that Katrina has changed the role of FEMA, and this is a good thing, but I am tired of listening to the myth of Katrina that this terrible disaster was all Bush's fault.

Big Lies in the Big Easy: The Ghosts of Hurricane Katrina
September 02, 2008 American Thinker (Excerpt)

"Within hours of the disaster (Katrina), when the full impact of city and state dereliction of duty became clear, the state political machine realized it needed to shift blame. In the best traditions of entrenched Democrat administrations, New Orleans Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco had placed partisan political considerations above the welfare of the people and the nation. 24 hours prior to Katrina smashing into the Gulf Coast, Mayor Nagin had not issued mandatory evacuation orders. 12 hours prior to Katrina hitting, Governor Blanco had not mobilized the Louisiana National Guard nor accepted federal aid, deferring vital decisions, even after President Bush pleaded with her. She was concerned first with the political ramifications of federal aid from a Republican administration.

Despite having comprehensive plans (very pretty on paper when soliciting Federal funds), supplies were not positioned, security was not planned, hundreds of buses remained parked. Contingencies were not planned for hospitals, fire stations, police stations, ambulances, or any other civic authority. Nursing homes were left unprotected. The obvious and glaring failure by the city and the state governments was clear, so Senator Mary Landrieu (Dem-LA) publicly placed blame on the Federal Government and President Bush. The bloated bureaucracy of FEMA was an easy target, and the rest of the Democrats in congress and the senate, as well as the usual race agitators joined the cause. The Democrats saw the disaster as a political opportunity, and knowing the truth full well, they used Katrina propaganda to hammer the administration. They took the corruption and ineptitude at the local and state level and spun it into a tall tale of federal neglect and racism.

Taking responsibility is not a leftist virtue, but blame shifting certainly is. New Orleans had warnings about the levees as well as funding for many years. The levees were their perpetual cash cow, where museums, gambling boats and marinas were built with funds earmarked for flood control, squandered for temporary and petty gain.

At the time, I was struck by the pre-programmed hostility of many of the New Orleans refugees. One man said, "I want a cool place to sleep, a shower and a check!" The calls of "It's about time" as initial deliveries of water and food arrived amazed me.

A catastrophe so large it dwarfed all previous in numbers of people affected and most of these people had prepared for it not one iota. They assumed others would care for them, expected it, demanded it and were hostile when it was not fast enough to suit them. It was the ugly manifestation of a corrupt entitlement society, the reality of a crime ridden welfare city run by cronyism and leftist politicians howling that the rest of America "owes us" and is "keeping us down" while they were guilty of corruption on a scale that swallowed millions of tax dollars every year. Billions in Katrina aid have disappeared down so many rat holes; we may never know how much has been stolen, from individual fraud to inflated city and state projects, kickbacks and contract abuses.

Governor Blanco has been replaced by Republican Bobby Jindal, who has done things right for Hurricane Gustav, mobilizing the National Guard, evacuating New Orleans and pre-positioning emergency supplies. Astonishingly, Mayor Nagin was reelected, still spinning his stupidity during Katrina into someone else's fault, cashing in on the vast amount of aid. One cannot but wonder what his bank accounts look like. How much has ended up in the coffers of democrat front groups and false charities that specialize in laundering funds is anyone's guess. CNN reports Nagin "demanded an evacuation of the city," which would be comical if it were not so obviously part of the continuing falsehood. His city is still a cesspool of crime and murder, even with the population reduced by the many citizens who did not return from the Katrina evacuation.

Republicans are hypersensitive to public perception where Hurricane Katrina is concerned, canceling much of the Republican National Convention to avoid the inevitable democrat accusations of callous unconcern. They and the rest of the nation have succumbed to their extortion, where taxpayer dollars are misappropriated by one political party for its own use, all disguised as "relief and justice" for disaster victims. Not much has changed in the Big Easy since Katrina, and while the levees should hold for Gustav, New Orleans will continue to milk taxpayer money for "Katrina Aid" for many years to come. They have convinced us that we owe it to them, all 115 billion dollars of it." American Thinker

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At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might all be true but the blame will be remembered as that of the Bush admin

It did not help any that Brownie said everything was going great well after all the media was already broadcasting images from the supercenter....he seemed totally out of touch.



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