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September 06, 2005

Comments

Charles,

Hilzoy announced at the beginning of the post that she would, right now, be dicsussing the federal aspect of the disaster and not the local. She said very clearly that there was blame enough for both, but that she had not yet gathered enough information to say anything about the local aspects. In addition, she explained that her concerns with the Federal aspect were acute, because the Federal government is responsible for keeping ALL of us safe. I'm sympathetic to her position in that regard -- if the Federal government is powerless to help us if a governor or mayor drops the ball, God help us all.

She explained what she would be writing about, why she would be writing about it, and explicitly said that what she DIDN'T discuss should not be considered a pardon for those not mentioned.

You call this politicizing. Perhaps we all have a very different idea of what the word means.

--Jeff

My favorite Bush quote on gasoline was when he urged people not to buy gas if they don't need it. Who buys gas if they don't need it?

Now, this is more about inarticulate Bush than stupid Bush; what he presumably meant was to cut back on our driving, not a dumb idea (I'm in central Miss. & you can bet I've been keeping off the road).

There is plenty wrong with Bush as it is.

"If this was about making things right in New Orleans, these anti-Bush articles would also talk about the Mayor of New Orleans and the governor of LA, both of which shoulder most of the responsibility for taking care of their people." ...commenter 'jet' at Crooked Timber

Tacitus left RedState, I presume not because those remaining behind were complete monsters, but because of a dispute over the best balance of partisanship and principle. Or an argument on how partisanship might best be served.

"actual partisan" and "unprincipled partisan."

You know, Bob, these are not actually identical categories"

I do believe that partisanship always involves a compromise, a partial sacrifice of principle. Not totally unprincipled, but not squeaky clean intactus pure either. This ain't the Warren Commission or 9/11 Commission or a court of law. We, or at least Charles and me, are advocates not judges. And there are damn important things at stake, like people's lives. And like the opposing attorneys in a death penalty case, although constrained in theorey by rules of behavior, what is important is to win. And if you don't have the facts, etc etc.

Medicaid will probably be cut 20% this month.
And everyone knows what will result. Black babies will die.

Bush must resign. Stop Bush before he kills black babies again.

I do believe that partisanship always involves a compromise, a partial sacrifice of principle. Not totally unprincipled, but not squeaky clean intactus pure either.

Right. The partisan wishes to score advantages for his side. The zealot is ready to see "his" side annihilated for the sake of principle. The ascetic personality, of whom Nietzsche observed:

"Man would rather will nothingness than not will."

Since I am a self-confessed partisan, I may as well chime in.

To be sure, we see only part of the picture so far. I predict there's much more to come about politicization of FEMA.

Consider:

  • Joe Allbaugh, former director, National Campaign Manager for Bush-Cheney 2000
  • Michael Brown, current director, Joe Allbaugh's ex-roommate
  • Patrick Rhode, chief of staff, deputy director of National Advance Operations for the George W. Bush Presidential Campaign
  • Scott Morris, deputy chief of staff, media strategist for the George W. Bush for President primary campaign and the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign.

Also, have a look at how FEMA plans to use 1,000 trained fire fighters: Frustrated: Fire crews to hand out fliers for FEMA, the Salt Lake Tribune.

I think we see a pattern here: the Bush administration's definition of emergency management is to manage appearances. From the linked article:

But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.

They are props, the equivalent of a blue background banner with "protecting the homeland" printed over and over.

Delaying mandatory evacuations had a huge impact on the storm's aftermath and contributed directly to the problems the feds eventually became faced with.

Surely you're not claiming that if the city had been able to reduce by, say, half, the number of people staying behind -- a ludicrous proposition at best, for the obvious reasons*, but let's run with it -- that FEMA would have miraculously had food and water on the scene by Monday night? The Feds' problems were the same with 100,000 people as they would have been with 1,000, differing only in scale. The levees were going to breach no matter how many people were stuck there.


*If they didn't have the means to get out at 8:30pm Saturday, they didn't have the means at any earlier point, either.

Mark Schmitt,Swopa, and the Big Lie

"this is part of the story of the Bush presidency: at each point they have created situations in which to believe the worst about the president requires a difficult and unsettling surrender of your own assumptions and sense of security" ...Mark Schmitt

"It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation." ...Swopa

Bush must resign. Stop Bush before he kills black babies again.

Shorter me: There was no scenario under which the population of the city was going to be reduced to zero, or anywhere south of 10,000. Blaming the number of stranded people for FEMA's snafus is the worst kind of excuse-making.

bob m, I prefer a tag line Slarti came up with, which I will modify slightly:

George W. Bush sucks, and is ruining this country.

Trying to fill in a bit on what steps were taken on a local level, I came across this page:

NOLA Times Picayune Archives


Saturday, 9 a.m.: St. Charles Parish issued a mandatory evacuation. "New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin encouraged Jefferson Parish officials to follow the state evacuation plan, which calls for low-lying coastal areas to evacuate first." Nagin, in an interview with Channel 4 news said all officials need to make quick decisions to handle the approaching storm

We have a shorter window to deal with this storm and we've got to ge people to start evacuating."


Katrina Evacuation Directives
Plaquemines Parish has declared a mandatory evacuation. Officials were in the process of picking up special-needs residents at mid-day Saturday. Jefferson Parish officials declared a voluntarily (sic) evacuation for most of the parish but a mandatory evacuation for the coastal areas of Grand Isle, Crown Point, Lafitte, and Barataria. St. Bernard Parish has recommended all residents evacuate, though it likely will not declare a mandatory evacuation because the parish won't offer shelters, said Emergency Management Director Larry Ingargiola.


August 27, 2005
Blanco's State of Emergency Letter

Mayor Urges Storm Preparations
"The mayor said he would stick with the state's evacuation plan and not officially call for residents to leave until 30 hours before expected landfall, allowing residents in low-lying surrounding areas to leave first. But he recommended residents in low-lying areas of the city, such as Algiers and the 9th Ward, get a head start."

etc.

And, off topic, sort of, but:

"DMort is telling us to expect up to 40,000 bodies," Dan Buckner said, quoting officials with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, a volunteer arm of Homeland Security."

Shelbyville Times-Gazette

"George W. Bush sucks, and is ruining this country."

Umm, my aim is maximum offensiveness, without violating posting rules. Originally it was "Stop Bush before he kills again."

Incidentally, I consider my tag line defensible. There are lawyers researching neglient homicide as we speak.

PS: Somebody today posted a set of "Rove rules" or political strategy. I have forgotten where I read them, but I think they are very good. Stuff like "Never defend" and "Always claim your opponent is just playing politics" Anybody notice them?

Charles: "I made nothing up about Hilzoy, Jes. I gave my opinion, and it's a fact that she made no acknowledgement of the failures at the state and local levels in the bodies of any of her many posts. This, to me, is astounding."

It would be astounding had I, at any point, tried to give a general overview of what went wrong. I have not. I made a series of posts about Katrina to provide a place for people to talk about it, using whatever was ready to hand. One of these was sardonic, since I had just seen Chertoff's claim that he didn't know about the people in the Convention Center, which I found (and still find) completely outrageous. I have also written two posts about very specific problems: the appointment of Brown, and Bush's attempt to spin the catastrophe.

If I had given a general account of what, according to me, went wrong, and had not mentioned local or state governments, you'd have a point. But since I pretty clearly haven't, I can't imagine why you think that the fact that I have not mentioned e.g. Nagin's failures -- or, for that matter, Hastert's claim that maybe we shouldn't rebuild NO, or Barbara Bush's offensive comments about this all working out well for the underprivileged, or Chertoff and Brown's claims that the levees' giving way was a surprise, or any number of other things that I might have written about -- shows much of anything at all.

"This post is a response, Hil."

-- It may be a reaction. It might have been prompted by what I said. But it is not a response. It was written as though I had not said anything at all about why I hadn't written about state and local government. Did you find it implausible? Did you think that the fact that, having written only about two specific issues, I didn't write about that one was somehow inexplicable except as a result of partisanship? I have no idea, because, as I said, you never responded. You just went on repeating the same slur as though you had no reason to doubt it.

"This isn't about your "intellectual integrity", it's about you seeing--consciously or subconsciously--part of the picture, and it inexorably flows down that same old path."

-- Here, charity requires that I assume that you do not understand the words you use. 'Politicizing' something is not allowing one's political views to unconsciously influence what one sees. Unconscious bias is not 'politicization'. Politicizing something is either importing politics into it when politics does not belong there, or using it to score political points rather than discussing it on its own merits, fairly.

That you think this has nothing to do with intellectual integrity is probably also due to your failure to understand the words you use. Which one might see as a good reason to think before you use them.

not even a slightest whiff of a word toward state and local lapses strikes me as not balanced or fair.

-- See the list above of all the other things I haven't written about. There are a lot more problems with the Bush administration's response to this than appointing Brown and trying to spin it, and I haven't written about any of them either.

"if you think I crossed a line by being "dishonest and dishonorable", well, I really don't know what to say."

-- As I said, charity compelled me not to draw this conclusion, though since you both read this comment thread and referred to my earlier comments, the alternative is looking more unlikely by the minute. Luckily, though, I now have the additional possibility of blaming it on a poor command of the English language, which I probably should have thought of sooner.

I still want some real evidence of cut throats and rapes. The accounts I have seen so far are a little too readymade.

idook -

I tried earlier today with the NOLA link.

Dear God, please let me think better of it before I ever do anything to piss off Hilzoy. Thank you. Amen.

Bodies

There are accounts of raped girls here, but that is not why I post it. Gary forgive me if you have it already.

There are no collection points or plans for gathering corpses. But that is not why I post it.

The White House Task Force on NOLA and Hurricane Recovery is deliberately excluding the Environmental Protection Agency from the meetings.

Get me some Cipro and I ain't going East for a while.

Not that it's any of my business, but can the Powers duke it out off-stage next time? This is the place for squabbling by commenters. I don't want to comment and catch a thunderbolt.

I see your point, rilkefan, but the spectacle of Hilzoy's rhetoric is too good to miss.

bob, those meetings are probably only for cabinet-level agencies.

I foresee more marriage proposals in hilzoy's future, starting with mine.

Okay, now RedState readers are going after Broussard.

I see your point, rilkefan, but the spectacle of Hilzoy's rhetoric is too good to miss.

Yes. Pass the popcorn.

Over at another blog, there's a conversation about the investigation into the Katrina response. My contribution was very long, but I'll try to boil it down to essentials here:

I don't object to investigations into the horrorshow that was the Katrina response.

But I do object to using investigations - planned, pending, or ongoing - as an excuse to not answer questions now. Disaster response and assistance has to be fixed now, because another disaster isn't going to wait until an investigation is completed. Also, most of the people who are qualified to be on an investigating committee are precisely the ones who are more needed right now to fix what's broken.

I also object to investigations that are designed to fail - by delays, stonewalling, denial of access to witnesses and documents, stacking the investigating committee with political allies, and declaring certain persons, documents or subjects "classified."

I object to investigation hearings that are held in secret; to testimony that is not under oath; and to investigation results that are not released to the public.

I object to investigations that are excuses for inaction and evasion; to investigations designed to provide political cover; to investigations that permit the Bush Administration to avoid questions now.

We know the tricks the Bush Admin and its Congressional allies have used to protect it from investigations into the energy hearings, 9/11, the Iraq War, and Abu Ghraib. I'm quite sure we'll see them again.

Anderson: "Dear God, please let me think better of it before I ever do anything to piss off Hilzoy."

-- no need to worry; it's actually pretty hard to do.

rilkefan: noted. I have no particular desire to revisit this topic (truth be told, I didn't want to visit it in the first place.)

Dear God, please let me think better of it before I ever do anything to piss off Hilzoy. Thank you. Amen.

She'll kill you with kindness. Relentless, precise, logically consistent kindness.

"rilkefan: noted."

Yes, but is CB now supposed to not reply heatedly and instead everything will continue swimmingly?

Luckily it's ime to pick up some ice cream for Mrs. R.

An item from http://www.nola.com/weblogs/print.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_Times-Picayune/archives/print074994.html>this Times-Picayune piece that Charles linked seems to need investigation.

Officials of the Army Corps of Engineers have contingencies for levee breaches such as the one that happened Monday, but it will take time and effort to get the heavy equipment into place to make the repair. Breach repair is part of the Corps’ planning for recovery from catastrophic storms, but nobody Monday was able to say how long it would take to plug the hole, or how much water would get through it before that happened.

Was there any plan (Corps, state, FEMA, wherever) to attempt repair of a breached levee prior to 80% of the city flooding as water levels equalized between there and Lake Pontchartrain? That result of a levee breaching was widely acknowledged long ago. Judging by what happened Monday and Tuesday, I'd guess "no" if forced to guess. Perhaps plans required land access, and no plans were made to attempt breach repair using heavy lift helicopters in a situation where land access might be impossible. This may be excusable (I'm not an emergency planner). It should at least be revisited going forward, however. If the loss of two bridges or roads would render the disaster plan for another city useless, then the plans would seem (again, to a non-EP) to be inadequate.

Ugh, the reporter did not see the bodies. He just reported what the guy told him: "under that blanket..." No autopsy has been done.

This from the Council of Conservative Citizens' website:

Updates! Eyewitness accounts report that at least six people have been murdered inside the superdome. One dozen or more have been raped. Most of the rape victims are very young. A seven year old girl, an eight year old boy, and numerous teenage girls. The US media is extremely reluctant to report any of this because of political correctness!

Political correctness! Whee!

They are not a credible source (to put it diplomatically). That's why I wanted to know if you had any respectable sources. No more than hearsay...

"We will never know how many whites were murdered and/or raped by blacks in New Orleans. The media will just count them as flood victims." says CofCC CEO Gordon Baum

The hate crowd is busy busy busy.

CMatt: There were helicopters en route to drop (I think) 3,000 lb. sandbags into the breach in the levee on Tuesday (right after the breach), but they were diverted to search and rescue.

There have also been some articles questioning the stories of rape etc. I'll try to find them.

Here.

Ha, hilzoy, I just came back to post that very URL!

You know what was really funny?

As I was watching the live coverage of the New Orleans events at the superdome and at the convention center, on live tv, I never once thought to myself: The city of New Orleans will soon rescue those people dying right in front of our eyes; likewise, I never once thought that the State of Lousianna would soon have plenty of rescue workers their to save those poor people dying right now on live tv. Mississippi was hit and so was Alabama, so I never figured they would be able to help.

But I did think: Where's FEMA? Where are guys from Texas or California or New Jersey or Montana or wherever that have trained for years to save people's lives in desperate situations like this? Where are they?

On the other thread, Gary posted an article describing similar rumors in the Houston Astrodome. Vehemently denied by officials and volunteers.

On the other thread, Gary linked to hispost on an article describing similar rumors in the Houston Astrodome. Vehemently denied by officials and volunteers.

"There have also been some articles questioning the stories of rape etc. I'll try to find them."

this and this? Citing this?

Oh damn. Sorry. (Just trying to increase Gary's hit, I guess.)

Always click Gary first. Just to be safe, I mean.

"Always click Gary first."

Hey! Ow! Quit poking! Ow! Quit it! Ow! Quit it! Ow! Hey! Ow! Quit it! Hey!

Could you guys start clicking on my blog (or donation buttons; you have a choice of two causes now), please, not on me? Ow! Quit it! Ow! Quit it! Hey!

hilzoy: Luckily, though, I now have the additional possibility of blaming it on a poor command of the English language, which I probably should have thought of sooner.

I think its more likely that you and Charles do not use the same (english?) language. While this makes communucation difficult at times, I think the attempt is useful (if often futile), if only as an attempt to understand an opposing mindset, language and culture.

OK, I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for this...

http://gov.louisiana.gov/Press_Release_detail.asp?id=973>Blanco's State of Emergency Declaration on Friday, Aug. 26th is for the entire state. Blanco http://gov.louisiana.gov/Disaster%20Relief%20Request.pdf>requests Federal assistance, expecting various degrees of damage to parishes as follows:

Parishes expected to receive major damage based on the anticipated track of Hurricane Katrina are: Ascension, Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington.

In addition we are expecting that the following parishes to suffer significant damage as tropical storm force wind and heavy rainfall occur in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's landfall: Alcadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Mary, St. Martin, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

Parishes that are affected by the evacuation of persons from the southeastern parishes of the state as we implement the Louisiana Shelter Operations Plan are: Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, Desoto, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn.


The White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050827-1.html>Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana contains (only) the following parishes:
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/louisiana_map.html>Lousiana parish map

In the http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050828.html>Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Mississippi:

The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Covington, Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, and Stone.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/mississippi_map.html>Mississippi counties map

Both Statements open with the paragraph:

The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of [LA, MS] and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the counties located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August [26 LA, 27 MS], 2005, and continuing.

As I said, I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. But I'll be damned if I've found it yet.

former first rule of blogging: never piss off tim lambert.

new first rule of blogging: never, no never, not even hardly ever (obscure Gilbert & Sullivan ref.) piss off the Good Professor H.

btw, as someone who is both left-handed and half-french, i found the use of the word gauche upthread somewhat ... sinister.

[snicker]

CB, I'm curious what you believe the Mayor did wrong, besides letting some school buses drown. Did he misallocate tax receipts away from disaster planning? [you're not exactly known around these parts as a high-tax high-govt-service kind of guy.] Did he fail to ensure that his citizens had cars? Or that the Mayor of Baton Rouge or Houston would accept tens of thousands of poor black refugees every time he decided to call for a mandatory invasion?

what, precisely, should have been done differently?

Fine, since no-one else will:

This isn't about your "intellectual integrity", it's about you seeing--consciously or subconsciously--part of the picture, and it inexorably flows down that same old path.

Mind-reading. Ten yards, loss of down, no biscuit for you.

Also this from Matt Welch on the rumors.

CMatt, that's astonishing. A simple map shaded to show the request and the response would be easier to grasp - sadly beyond my skillz. Maybe uggabugga or Billmon could whip something up.

So White House release includes none of the "major damage" parishes but all of the "significant damage" and "affected by the evacuation" parishes.

Is it an error in the press release? Or are they on super-duper-emergency rather than regular emergency? Or....they can't possibly that incompetent, right?

I can make the map, if Obsidian Wings can host it. From quickly going through the list, it looks like a buffer zone 2-4 parishes deep all along the coast is excluded from the list.

Fine, since no-one else will:

Why worry about yardage when the player needs to be given a suspension?

Speaking of football, this article (rather frivolous, I realize, but I hope when the Saints play on the Monday nite game, it makes all those bush voting football fans realize how incompentent this admin is. Prediction: someone from the admin shows up for the game and is booed by the crowd)

Cross posted from Crooked Timber:

"Just watched Nightline about the mandatory forced evacuation of the undamaged French Quarter.
Questions:

Who is responsible for the safety of the (hypothetical) Sargeant on the wall or antique tables and chairs at Antoine’s? If they disappear, can Bush say:”Hey, you saw the looting.”

Can they claim Antoine’s has a little polluted water damage, is unsafe, of no real value, condemn it without compensation, and build Trent Lott’s new mansion on the site?

OK, not Antoine’s, but maybe less prominent real estate?"

I mentioned Antoine's, because the owner and staff never left, and were fine. And it may be early to think about this stuff, but it you believe it (Greed and expropriation) to be a possible motive, we might view some of the behavior, like flying refugees to Utah, under a different light.

And I am curious as to the law.

from the LATimes

Like those of so many people in New Orleans, the plight of the officers at Camp Benelli began not so much with the hurricane itself but with the water that began creeping into the city the next day.

Most of the officers were bunking at the crime lab, which is in the central business district, when the hurricane hit Aug. 29. The water started rising around the building that Monday, then came in the front doors by Tuesday morning. The officers raced to the main police compound on South Broad Avenue, but the water kept rising.

Madison had hauled his 20-foot-long fishing boat into town just in case and parked it near City Hall. But without any tools, officers couldn't get it off the trailer — so they roared into the flooded streets with the trailer still attached to the hull. The water was so deep they didn't hit anything. They picked up everyone left at the police compound and fled for a Marriott hotel on St. Charles Avenue.

They were there for two days.

"Then the manager came by and said he was leaving," said Capt. R.R. Duryea, commander of the crime lab. "He told us, 'There is no help coming to you.' "

They had no place to go, no police headquarters, no operating radios.

Would someone please tell me again how the mayor or the governor is supposed to organize all those school buses out of the city?

Hurricane Katrina-Our Experiences by Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky.

These are two of the people who were attending a convention in New Orleans the weekend of the hurricane. (As far anyone can tell, this account is probably genuine: these are the names of two EMT professionals from California, and there was an EMT conference in New Orleans just before the disaster.) Their account is chilling. Read it.

Two related posts: What gives with FEMA? Am I the only one wondering if that doesn't that go beyond incompetence? and the little black dress of political reform.

Why worry about yardage when the player needs to be given a suspension?

Fine. Mind-reading: red card. Out of this game and the next!

Here's a timeline from Think Progress.

I'm not going to suggest that it is an apolitical one, mind you, but it is a timeline nonetheless.

It would be astounding had I, at any point, tried to give a general overview of what went wrong.

One sentence or few words concerning the responsibilites of state and local officials need not be a "general overview", Hil.

You just went on repeating the same slur as though you had no reason to doubt it.

Whatever, Hil. I called it the way I saw it. I believe a person can have "intellectual integrity" but still see what he or she sees. Same goes for anyone.

That's a rather extraordinary defense of relativism, Charles.

And if how I see things had anything to do with whether or not I am politicizing them, it might even be relevant.

"Whatever, Hil."

Whatever, Charles. I trust you will never object to this response.

By the way, now that you've posted this to RedState, you might look into this difference of opinion about the dating of Governor Blanco's request for a state of emergency; according to Larry Johnson, the memo was dated 28 July but was published on Lexis early on the 27th.

If Johnson's claim is true--and my Lexis connection is impossibly slow right now--then that date deserves correction.

Seems to me that a line giving context to a post in a confusion of concerns is seldom wasted. This problem might have been avoided if this blog got more conservative posts...

Okay, I get your point.

It's too bad though; there are now two completely divergeant versions of what in full view only a week and a half ago circulating around. And I'm sure that the further apart they creep now, the stupider and more mendacious the "compromise" history the commissions shake hands on will be.

St. Charles Parish issued a mandatory evacuation at 9 a.m. Saturday as weather forecasters said southeast Louisiana could suffer a direct hit from the hurricane.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin encouraged Jefferson Parish officials to follow the state evacuation plan, which calls for low-lying coastal areas to evacuate first. Jefferson officials broke with the plan to call for an early evacuation for Hurricane Dennis in July. Nagin, in an interview with Channel 4 news, said all officials need to make quick decisions to handle the approaching storm.

“The problem with this storm is that it’s going to compress everything,” Nagin said. “We have a shorter window to deal with this storm and we’ve got to get people to start evacuating.”

By the way, now that you've posted this to RedState, you might look into this difference of opinion about the dating of Governor Blanco's request for a state of emergency; according to Larry Johnson, the memo was dated 28 July but was published on Lexis early on the 27th.

It's all in this post. Blanco's memo to the president on the 28th had to do with requesting that Bush declare an "expedited major disaster area" for Louisiana. On the 27th, Blanco sent a letter to Bush requesting that Bush declare a state of emergency "beginning on August 26", and Bush did so.

Well, hilzoy, at least you still have your "intellectual integrity." Or even your intellectual integrity.

Charles, the pdf dated July 28th to which you link is exactly the same as the pdf to which Johnson links and claims was published on the morning of the 27th.

I did misstate, however, as did Johnson: the memo in question declares a disaster area rather than a state of emergency.

In case you're still interested, Slarti, here's what the DHS has to say elsewhere about http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001784.html>its mission.

I believe a person can have "intellectual integrity" but still see what he or she sees.

Charles, you may misunderstand the term "intellectual integrity". It's not the same thing as being honest (even if honestly mistaken or honestly blinded by one's own prior conceptions) -- a lack of it really is essentially what you accused hilzoy of. See this definition, for example.

Regarding the charge itself, I think that it's a difficult one to prove, since one can nearly always come up with reasons for one's apparently different standards. My only comment on this subject is that I was not at all surprised to see the bulk of the criticism from this blog's community members directed at Bush.

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