March 02, 2006

Smells like Mapes...

The Associated Press summary video (embedded in this Washington Post story) of a high-level videoconference made one day prior to Hurricane Katrina's landfall smells to high heaven.

The leaked video—heavily sympathetic to former FEMA director Michael Brown—relies on dramatic still image splices of a post-Katrina New Orleans for dramatic effect in a heavily edited montage of dramatic hypothetical situations, narrated by an AP voice attempting to weave together an otherwise incoherent 2 minute, 41 seconds of disjointed footage.

There is no way of telling, of course what the full video shows until it is seen in an unedited, un-spliced form. Until such a point as the unedited footage is made public, any claims made about this AP video should be regarded as highly suspect.

Jason Coleman covers some of the inaccuracies in the spliced video in more detail.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 2, 2006 12:00 PM | TrackBack

Ha! Just the latest media-hyped "we're gonna get that damn Bush THIS time!" story. How many can I remember? Uh, how about Bush "knew" about 9/11 before it happened? Or you'll recall "Bush was AWOL from the National Guard". Then there's that other gem: "Bush is spying on Americans!" Rush Limbaugh has it right when he calls these people the "Partisan Media". It's their refusal to just report facts fairly and objectively that's driven reasonable folks to getting news online.

Posted by: Thrill at March 2, 2006 12:34 PM

Odd how the media demands to be told everything under the catch phrase, "The people have a right to know". Yet how seldom they ever tell "The People" the whole story.

Evidently we only have a right to know what they want to tell us. No wonder they get upset when Bloggers call them to task for the shoddy jobs they do.

Posted by: WB at March 2, 2006 01:44 PM

They say you can take a horse to water but can't make it drink. That's the problem with blind partisans like "Thrill". The much maligned media did not create that leaked video. If the video exposes the hypocrisy of publicity centered adminitration, it is not media's fault. I guess these people believe Fox channel as 'fair and balanced' ! By the way are Murdock's Fox and Post not part of media ? You can't fool all the people all the time.

Posted by: concerned citizen at March 2, 2006 06:36 PM

Congrats to Jason Coleman for competing admirably for the "it depends upon what the meaning of is is" award. In his more detailed examination of the released tapes, Coleman accurately points out that "breaching" and "overtopping" are technically different phenomenon. Thus Bush was technically accurate in saying that no one (at least in the video taped meeting) expected the levees to be breached. Forget for a moment that in the minds of most folks, "overtoppping" a levee would surely constitue a type of breach. I just wonder if a president whose precision of language is weak at best was really so versed in these technicalities.

But maybe I'm misunderestimating him.

Maybe President Bush was trying to point out Homeland Security's total inability to accurately predict the events in a disaster that had been researched and discussed for years. How exactly is that supposed to make me feel better in a time of crisis?

Posted by: wow at March 2, 2006 07:31 PM

Hi "Wow",

Lemme just clue you in on a few things. Anyone who's lived under the protection of a levee (as I have) or stood beside one during a hurricane (as I also have) knows quite well that "topping" and "breaching" are two COMPLETELY different things.

The levees have been topped in New Orleans once before, actually more than once. When Betsy came through the levees were "topped" and much of the city was flooded. Unlike Katrina however, after Betsy, the pumps were able to remove the water from the city in fast order.

When a levee is "breached", you can't pump the water out, because a whole section of the levee is gone and pumping is useless.

You can try to play the "topping is a form of breach" game but that's all it is, a game.

Topping and breaching are two completly different events with two completely different causes, effects and remedies.

Your "most people" comment is most telling. Yes, most people are so uninformed that they won't know the difference, and rely on the media to educate them. The left and the media obviously knows this and is INTENTIONALLY misleading the public about what this video is saying and what officials were preparing for.

Topping DOES NOT EQUAL breaching, PERIOD.


Posted by: Jason Coleman at March 2, 2006 08:01 PM

Wow's point, well-taken, is that even YOU can't believe our incurious, detached president would know the distinction between breaching and topping.

And who cares? Do you think the victims in NOLA care about the distinction?

That's just silly.

Bush was caught, once again, in a "Hungry Caterpillar" moment. As the republicans indicated in their study of Katrina, Bush is simply not competent to lead in a crisis.

How many second chances does he get?

Posted by: JAS at March 2, 2006 08:31 PM

I guess this means Bush had it all under control after all.

Posted by: ted at March 2, 2006 08:47 PM

Jas, our "idiot" president has a bachelor's in History from Yale, and an MBA from Harvard, and was bright enough to fly a supersonic all-weather jet interceptor.

I think he might just be able to understand the difference between the equivilent of a tub overflowing, and the tub collapsing (as Jason said in his post)... even if that distinction eludes you.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 2, 2006 08:53 PM

Ted said, "I guess this means Bush had it all under control after all."

Some real experts - not media pundits or politicians - sure seem to think so.

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.

Of course, that is just citing experts, and what could they know?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 2, 2006 09:27 PM

Hi Jason (and CY),

I understand the difference between breaching and topping, and I’m not trying to play a verbal game—or if I am, well, you started it. (So there.) Are you from New Orleans? Had you ever heard anyone mention that the levees might be breached, or was that truly never considered?

As for CY, I actually do not think our president is stupid. But he’s not a very crafty off-the-cuff speaker, so I think it is possible that he does not distinguish between the two terms in question.

I also think the president is not that into micromanaging and details. One more reason he might not make the distinction.

Finally, President Bush has an excellent educational pedigree. But from what I’ve read, he squandered the opportunities that places like Andover and Yale offer. (I know less about his time at Harvard.) I have some sense of just how low the bar is for a gentleman’s C. You don’t have to know much. The president has displayed an ability to make decisions and lead with decisiveness. He has always been less skilled with details, and that’s where my question comes in.

The trouble with crediting Bush for his knowledge in this area is that people had been talking about levee breaches in New Orleans. (Times-Picayune 2002?) I don’t live anywhere near New Orleans and I knew that long before Katrina. If Bush was trying to make a distinction, his facts were still wrong.

Posted by: wow at March 2, 2006 10:04 PM

Hi CY,

Who are these folks and what makes them experts?

Reporting: Camas Davis, Nicole Davis, Christian DeBenedetti, Brad Reagan, Kristin Roth

Posted by: wow at March 2, 2006 10:10 PM

wow sounds smart, his opponents sound tart

Posted by: ameriyes_et_tu_? at March 2, 2006 10:37 PM


As a native of eastern North Carolina, I do know something firsthand of hurricanes and the flooding it can cause, but even with my experience, it only takes a minute to understand the differences between overtopping and breaching. Overtopping means water washes over the top of the levee. Breaching means the elvee fails. That complicated concept took took all of three seconds to explain, maybe five seconds if you read slow.

As for your strawmen, it doesn't matter a lot (except to them of course) who the reporters for Popular Mechanics were, because like most reporters they aren't the subject matter experts. What matters is who they talked and what they covered which you can find full coverage of here.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 2, 2006 11:29 PM

In his blind devotion to the House of Bush, Thrill brought up some excellent indictments of our Fearless Leader:

"Bush "knew" about 9/11 before it happened?": The man was on vacationing on his ranch for nearly two months, during which time the intelligence community and counter-terrorist experts were running around with their "hair on fire". He received a Presidential Daily Brief about Bin Laden and the terrorist threat which was read to him during his vacation.

"Bush was AWOL from the National Guard": He was. He has been unable to produce ANY evidence of having attended guard duty in Alabama.

"Bush is spying on Americans!": He is. And he claims he has the prerogative to do so with no oversight because he's president. I can't wait to hear you guys squeal when the next Democratic president gets that kind of power.

As for reporting "facts fairly and objectively", I don't think a right wing zealot like you would recognize a fact if it bit you in the a**

Posted by: Anonymous at March 2, 2006 11:33 PM

as i have said before, if, any of the politicians
of any party tried to combine experience with an
imagination. there would be more michael browns.
it has been over a hundred years, since, a politician was able to apply both to their work. they had to create things. show progress and keep
america moving forward.
katrina, was a disaster over night. the things hurting america, having going on for a number of
thus, any politician stepping forward to take on
the responsibility of fixing the problems in america. would end up looking like another michael
let me ask you a question. have you done anything
where you live to show a level of compassion? there two kinds of people in this world. one who
thinks sorrow and one who feels compassion. which one do you think will try harder at helping people?

Posted by: rusty at March 2, 2006 11:37 PM

"and was bright enough to fly a supersonic all-weather jet interceptor."

OOOh, throw on some sexy adjectives. It's the plane they had in inventory that wasn't a cargo plane. Any fighter (that's not a harrier) built since.. uh, Our Dear Leader's first DUI, is a supersonic all-weather jet interceptor. OK, so he was smart enough to fly a fighter. Go get 'em, maverick.

Posted by: kevinR at March 3, 2006 12:39 AM

All this parsing and "debate" really doesn't matter one whit.

As "Chief CEO", Bush did a mind-numbingly awful job dealing w/ a massive crisis. The people he was "managing" did a mind-numbingly awful job. And did he fire them? No. He did nothing. He basically nudged Brown out the door, without actually setting an example. Without taking any responsibility himself as a manager. He has eluded responsibility. [Republicans seem to like to tell other people to take personal responsibility without, you know, leading by example.]

It's time for the shareholders to fire our incompetent CEO -- impeach him.

Posted by: funhaus5 at March 3, 2006 05:12 AM

Topping can lead to Breaching. With enough flowing of water (topping) over a poorly constructed structure (levy) can lead to erosion (breaching). In any case whether it was a warning, a topping or a breaching, George Bush once again looks more like Mr. Magoo rather then the competent leader of the free world.


Posted by: John at March 3, 2006 05:59 AM

As far as I'm concerned, this is just another case of misdirection by the Bush team. What happened to the great effort to rebuild New Orleans? Where is Karl Rove? Why hasn't Rove, who is heading the rebuilding effort, said one word about the progress (or lack thereof) being made?

Bush's failure to help rescue the people of New Orleans is already known and documented. Who cares at this point... it's an old story. What's forgotten in all this is that the city still lies devastated with little being done to rebuild the neighborhoods that gave New Orleans is unique flavor of life. I'm sure there are many conservatives that prefer it that way.

And by the way Confederate Cranky... if liberalism is a persistent vegetative state, then conservatism is a persistent cancerous state.

Look to New Orleans to see just how well this silver-spoon son of a silver-spoon son can help the American people when they need it.

Good luck in the new compassionately conservative America.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 3, 2006 07:33 AM

Anonymous, can I have some of what you and David Gregory are smoking?

Karl Rove is not in charge of rebuilding New Orleans, moron. He's a presidential advisor.

Rebuilding efforts are underway, but thanks to the slow, inefficient and corrupt Louisiana government (which grafted away the money to create strong levees in the first place and caused this disaster), it takes time. Not surprisingly, you are either ignorant of the scope of the damage, which destroyed far more than a flooded New Orleans, or more likely you simply don't care.

Posted by: Steve J. at March 3, 2006 08:42 AM

I would much rather see a video than hear a "journalist's" spin on things. I don't care why you want to make excuses for this Pres., but from what I see and hear, he was told in advance and he chose to do nothing. I trust my eyes and my ears more than your spin cycle. It shows a President who is slow, incompetent, lazy and out of touch.

Posted by: Liz Ban at March 3, 2006 08:43 AM

If there was serious discussion about a "breech", why were there thousands of people still in New Orleans. Did the experts brief the White House only. Why didn't the mayor and or governor force evacuations, use school and city buses, and get the people out instead of using the Super Dome. If there was serious discussion of a breach why didn't the mayor and governor evacuate nursing homes and hospitals. So what happened here? Mother Nature exceeded expectations. Thats the definition of a natural disaster. This video and follow on finger pointing accomplish nothing, except the media enjoying another game of gotcha.

Posted by: Johnny H at March 3, 2006 08:58 AM

There seems to be some confusion on the parts of many of the contributors to this blog about the difference between facts and opinions.

While we're on the subject of facts and accuracy in reporting. It should be apparent to all but the most partisan contributors that there is a huge discrepancy between this current administrations ideologically driven presentations of reality and "just the facts".

For example; this blogs current discussion of our governments preparation for Hurricane Katrina.

Or to broaden the field a little; the rationale for the war in Iraq, citizens privacy rights vs. national security, health care, and our long term economic health to name a few.

Seems to me that the "facts" tend to support the perception that all of these endevours do have a common thread. They are idealogically conceived, publicity driven and spun, and from what I've seen so far, poorly managed and executed.

Last I heard it was the right(and duty) of every citizen to investigate their governments proposed plans, and actions further, and to make their own critical analysis and judgements.

If your not willing to take this basic step then you deserve the government you have and the blogs you read and contribute to.

Posted by: YoMama at March 3, 2006 09:07 AM

funhaus5, last time I checked Bush didn't have the power to fire LA's elected officials. So we had to sit by and watch Naggin and Blanco play slap and tickle. Then the Feds were able to move in and showed just how inept FEMA is and has been since its inception.

FEMA being unable to handle a disaster is nothing new; just ask the folks of Eastern NC who were affected by Hurricane Floyd (When Uncle Billy was in the White House). The main difference, the people of Eastern North Carolina pitched in to help each other, instead of adding to the mayhem by acting uncivilized.

Liz, sure I guess President Bush could have, umm, I don't know, flown down to LA and grabbed a five gallon bucket to help bail Lake Ponchatrain and later New Orleans. Or he could do what he did, which was oversee the recovery efforts for the Entire region that was destroyed, not just New Orleans.

What really gets under my skin is the folks focusing primarily on Naggin's Chocolate City, when areas from the Florida Pan Handle to Texas were completely cleared off the map. The only difference, the people outside of New Orleans have quietly gone about putting their lives back together, instead of whining, bitching, moaning and looking for another hand out.

Posted by: phin at March 3, 2006 09:08 AM
Last I heard it was the right(and duty) of every citizen to investigate their governments proposed plans, and actions further, and to make their own critical analysis and judgements.

So that's why Uncle Billy got it trouble he didn't get clearance to receive a hummer in the oval office.

So where was the vote prior to the Bomb being dropped to end WWII?

Maybe I skipped the day in history when they said Kennedy cleared the Bay of Pigs invasion with US Citizens.

Sorry, but there are some aspects of national security, especially in a time of war, that aren't open for public debate. Not a fan of this aspect, I hear Canada is nice this time of year or perhaps a more temperate climate, like Venezuela would be more to your liking. I'm sure Momma Cindy's got room on her next bus trip down there.

Posted by: phin at March 3, 2006 09:16 AM

how 60's retro...America love it or leave it.

Perhaps I missed something here, but you seem to be confusing apples and oranges.

Exactly what does critical thinking about our government actions/inactions have to do with national security and executive command decisions?

Is the best defense always an offensive counterattack?

Is phin short for pin head?

Posted by: YoMama at March 3, 2006 09:36 AM
Is the best defense always an offensive counterattack?

Those of us on the side that actually wins elections sure think so.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 3, 2006 09:42 AM
Exactly what does critical thinking about our government actions/inactions have to do with national security and executive command decisions?

Shall I quote: "Or to broaden the field a little; the rationale for the war in Iraq, citizens privacy rights vs. national security,...

So you weren't making inferences to the national security and wire tapping programs?

I'm all for finding better methods, however, exposing our plans, to the general public when they are largely uninformed and terrorists we're tracking can pickup on the process, is a bad idea any way you go about it.

Is the best defense always an offensive counterattack?
In certain situations, you're damned skippy it is. In other situations we should all gather around the camp fire and sing show tunes. As citizens, we elect officials and they make the determination which scenario is right.

The coddling approach of the Clinton era didn't work so well, ask the folks in Rwanda, well the folks that are left.

Prior to your asking. Yes, I believe that we have a responsibility to the world to ensure women and children aren't raped and murdered at the whim of a dictator. If that requires military action, so be it. Sorry, but I can't see ignoring or pacifying murders and rapists as a viable option, maybe you do?

Is phin short for pin head?
Now if you wanna get to the personal attacks:
YoMama so fat she went to the movies and sat next to everyone.

YoMama so stupid when she saw the NC-17 (under 17 not admitted) sign, she went home and got 16 friends.

YoMama so stupid she told everyone that she was "illegitimate" because she couldn't read.

I've got a million of them, shall I continue?

Posted by: phin at March 3, 2006 09:57 AM

Karl Rove is not in charge of rebuilding New Orleans, moron.

actually, he is, perfesser

"Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government"

heck of a job, karl

Posted by: benjoya at March 3, 2006 10:10 AM

Much is being made of the President's apparent lack of curiosity during the Katrina briefing as evidenced by his asking no questions. What's new? The possibility must be considered that Bush was just being Bush, as figurehead President having no deep sense of personal responsibility or accountability, or indeed, having nothing much of his own to contribute in this presidency, he simply is not in the habit of asking questions, has no need for the kind of information anybody actually exercising the full authority of that office would find essential. The buck doesn't only not stop at this Presidents desk, it never gets there in the first place.

Perhaps the fact the President asked no questions during the Katrina briefing

Posted by: Jay Bob at March 3, 2006 10:15 AM

Looks like our main blogger has decided to stop lurking and actually contribute something.

Is it for some good old fashioned bantam rooster strutting and crowing or some jim crow scare tactics...I keep getting the two confused.

Beyond winning elections, the problem I have with your "sides" mentality that the ends justify the means, is your inability to recognize that this short term tactic has a strange way of coming back to bite you in the a** when you least expect it.

Seem to recall reading somewhere "so as you sow, so shall you reap".

Being so blinded by the righteousness of your beliefs, that you fail to anticipate the long term consequences of your actions certainly meets the definition of an imature and defective mental thought process.

In order to continue to "win elections", and perpetuate your "sides" cycle of lowered, and "wedgie" distorted expectations on the parts of the American people. Your side (aka the Republican party) will have to expend ever increasing amounts of resouces and money to maintain its propaganda effort to convice the American people that screwing themselves over is in their best interests.

If your goal is to enrich the wealthiest 1% of the population, while decreasing the amount of total income the government takes in, while embarking on a massive underfunded spending spree. All the while setting up the remaing 99% of the population for a massive economic hit down the road, while doing little to secure the economic future of this country then your well on the way to accomplishing your goal.

Wonder what will happen over the course of the next two elections when the American people start to realize just who owns what in todays ownership society.

Got another old classic for you.....What comes around goes around. Welcome to the future.

The true measure of how effective a government program or action is will always be did it accomplish what it set out to do.

lowered or distorted expectations of the

Posted by: YoMama at March 3, 2006 10:48 AM

Yomama----In order to continue to "win elections....

OK you're kidding right. This statement from the party that promises everything to everyone. The "Universal Health Care" party. "The rich suck and we should take their money and give it to the poor" party. The "job for every American" party. Please, the Dems have been promising those below the poverty line riches that they never have (and never will) delivered.

You did get it right though...what goes around comes around, and the right is paying for the Bill bashing.

Posted by: Johnny H at March 3, 2006 11:07 AM

Look. Even the most diehard Bush sycophant caqnnot dimiss the pattern that is emerging with this President and his style of leadership. Let's look at that pattern:

--First, some agency head or field expert is running around with his hair on fire, predicting some calamity or bad result from some policy decision. Meetings are convened where the President confidently assures the hapless agency head or field expert that all will be taken care of. The air is filled with inspirational platitudes designed to send the official back to his office renewed with a sense of just how magnificinet this President is.

--Then, as predicted by the agency head or field expert, the calamity occurs--we are attacked by terrorist using airplanes, we are pulled into a devastating a costly insurgency and/or civil war, a monstrous hurricane results in a levee breach that destoys a major American city, and a deal goes through that turns the operation of our our major ports (which are already vulnerable to attack) over to a foreign government-owned company that has had a track record of security mishaps.

--Finally, the innocent are rounded up and punished while the guilty are rewarded with medals of freedom or extended tenures in their appointed offices. The innocent are fired, resign or pressured to resign, where ultimately they become targets of the Presidents vast propaganda machine on talk radio and in selected press outlets.

This pattern has been repeated so many times in this administration that it requires no listing of those who have resigned or been pushed out. Just go through the list yourselves and you will get it.

Posted by: Jaxas at March 3, 2006 11:19 AM


Do you have concrete examples of this pattern playing out exactly as you state? Somehow I doubt it.

Posted by: Steve J at March 3, 2006 11:31 AM

benjoya, Donald Powell is the Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding, not Karl Rove.

Sooner or later, you folks are going to learn to quit trusting the anonymous sources of the New York Times.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 3, 2006 11:35 AM

Johnny H...

Finally an intelligent response...

Sure the Dems have been promising a chicken in every pot for as long as I've been alive.

And it is/was equally hypocritical as the Republicans a rising economy floats all boats for the same reason... it will never be delivered.

You may want to take a look at some books that provide a justification for what I believe should be our countries priorities. "End of the Line" by Barry C. Lynn, and "Off Center" by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, in addition to "the World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman.

Programs that provide real answers to society's real issues;strategic economic development,funding for social security and medicare/medicaid, affordable health care, and an educational system that trains for tomorrows jobs.

The real key is to have government programs that actually are well thought out, designed to work, and can objectively state their goals and measure their close conjunction with state/local programs.

An example of how not to do this would be recently enacted Medicare drug prescriptions plan.

This is perhaps our fundamental difference in viewpoint, I believe that only on a massive scale can any government program be both benifical, effective and cost efficient.

Of course, this presumes that our legislators of both stripes will recognize the need to be more honest not only about the true cost of existing/future programs, but to actually engage in meaningful discussions over which programs should recieve priority.

So far, neither party has come up with any reasonable proposals towards addressing any of these issues. And as far as I can see, has it's collective head up its a** on many other existing issues that affect the present and future course of this country.

Posted by: YoMama at March 3, 2006 11:44 AM

apparently, partisan politics have become entrenched in this country to such a degree that Bush apologists would rather hem and haw to excuse the president than address the needs arising in the aftermath of a legitimate national disaster. A few comments on what folks have said already... one, does anyobe seriously believe that W could have gained admission to two Ivy League institutions - the students of both of which can all almost certainly pronounce the word "nuclear" correctly - had his last name been anything other than what it is? (I would seriously doubt that anyone currently enrolled at the Harvard Business School was a "C" student as an undergrad.) Two, to respond to the first post by "Thrill" - of course Bush did not "know" about 09.11 before it happened. He did, however, have access to analysis by intelligence professionals warning specifically that Al Qaeda planned to use commercial airliners as missiles... remember the President's Daily Brief? (well BEFORE 09.11) And he WAS AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. And he IS spying on Americans, without a warrant. These are matters of public record, and he WAS warned - explicitly, before it happened, of the possible breach of the levees. To cite Rush Limbaugh as an authority only demonstrates the partisan, commercial nature of the information on which you rely to excuse incompetence. Lastly, "phin's" characterization of the people of New Orleans as "whining, bitching, moaning and looking for another hand out" is completely undeserved and mean-spirited. My visit to that city - in 2001 - is one i remember fondly for the friendly, generous, and fun-loving people I met there, and I cannot imagine anything more small-minded and vindictive than to blame them for their reaction to an enormous natural disaster for which they were in no way responsible. This president, and this administration, have been actively BAD for America, and Bush's indifference to this tragedy alone is grounds for impeachment on the basis of sheer incompetence.

Posted by: meuphys at March 3, 2006 12:03 PM

Yo -

Man they got a good soldier in you. You drank your kool-aid and the guy's next to you.

Programs that provide real answers: These are almost always local not federal.
Oh yeah, your hypothesis that we have a "fundamental difference, is right on. I think that the more massive a program becomes the less likely it is to succed. The New Deal programs were of great benefit to a different era of Americans. What it created though was generations that now look to the Fed as mommy and daddy and expect, in fact they believe it a right, to be taken care of from cradle to grave.

Back to our original discussion. We've elected politicians that are growing the government, buying our votes and creating/continuing programs that foster dependance on the fed. The problem is both parties are doing it now, when it used to be only one.

Posted by: Johnny H at March 3, 2006 12:17 PM

RE: Rove being in charge. So several of you didn't believe the original nytimes article. A quick search of Google lists hundreds of posts and articles in leading newspapers citing the same. For example, Jim Hoagland of the WP in a Feb. 2006 editorial;
..... By asking Rove, his political guru, to lead federal reconstruction efforts, Bush clearly signals that his top priorities and concerns are political in this crisis, as in so much else.

As far as Democrats being tax and spend and promising everything to people, well, it's mostly true. However, is that worse that spending and not taxing? Bush has increased spending far faster than other presidents in recent times while decreasing income. Is that a sane policy?

If the person who commented on Universal Health care was one of the 44 million without health insurance he/she might laugh out the other side of his/her mouth. Dealing with people who often have to make the decision between medicine and food is a reality check. I doubt that a democratic administration would have passed a Medicare drug plan whose chief beneficiary is the pharmaceutical industry.

But back to the video. I agree, let's wait and see if an unedited version comes out. Do we think that Rosemary Woods edited the video?

Posted by: huffandpuff at March 3, 2006 12:27 PM


Those "hundreds of posts and articles" you cite... did you bother to see who they claimed was their source? You got it: The New York Times and it's anonymous sources. I, on the other hand, gave you a direct link to the official White House bio of the man holding the position.

A "Reality-based" community?


Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 3, 2006 12:38 PM

Republicans - the Democrats are destroying the country. Just look at what they have been doing for years.

Democrat- the Republicans are destroying the country. Just look at what they have been doing for years.

Reality - They both are destroying the country.

What needs to be done?

1. Term limits
2. True lobbing reform
3. More Public Disclosure laws for law makers

We are being pitted against each other by both sides while they pass laws that benifit the law makers and their friends. Our rights are being eroded while we sit around and b**** about how bad the other side is.

Get a clue America

Posted by: Lloyd M at March 3, 2006 12:48 PM

Sorry about the spelling. I was typing to make a point and not to impress anyone. I think our elected officials are always trying to impress someone instead of making a point.

Posted by: Lloyd M at March 3, 2006 01:06 PM
I think our elected officials are always trying to impress someone instead of making a point.

Lloyd, I think in general you are right, but every once in a great while you'll get a person more interested in substance than posing. Right or wrong, Bush happens to be of that breed, which can be as perplexing for Republicans as it is for Democrats at times.

Bush seems to feel this Ports Dubai deal should go through and he has made his position clear even though it wildly unpopular almost across the board in both parties. He is trying to make a point at the expense of great political capital.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 3, 2006 01:14 PM

I think that under any objective measure we can say that the Bush Admin. has had some major screw ups. I belive it's silly to insist in the infalibility of pres. Bush. I realize that we all have our point of views and those affect our opinions, but if we take the cold facts, this administration has had some successes, and some BIG failures:
1. Osama: still laughing at us while we toil elsewhere.
2.Iraq: Mission acomplished?
3. Medicare drug plan: flat out lie about the real cost, threaten those who might reveal it, and then play dumb.
4. Budget: biggest deficit ever, this from a "fiscal conservative". Need I say more?
5. Increased gap between the super rich and everyone else. This are the figures the administration itself released. Now, in the new proposed budget, they want to eliminate the part of the census that tracks those differences, so that we won't know anymore the gap between the rich and everyone else.
6. Dubai deal. Although it is probably okay for the company to handle our ports, a serious analysis of the deal is needed. what does the admin. does? It rubber stamps it and then Bush comes out swinging against anyone who might dare question it; he is clearly uninformed about the whole mess (by the admin.'s own admision by the way), and ebarrases himself. Even the most partisan Republicans question the thoroughness of the review.
7. The spying on Americans fiasco. The admin. does it and then says it's legal, even in the face of Republican lawyers saying it isn't so. Supporters of Bush hide under the blankets and say that it isn't true, when the president himself has admitted to it.
8. Next screw up in the following three years? Who knows

These are the things I remember off the top of my head. I think that this administration, the ideological differences with the Dems aside, has taken a really extreme view of the law and of itself. It behaves as though it were above reproach. It threatens (widely documented, even by Fox News) those who dare to disagree with it, even those from the Republican party itself. If it is questioned about the legality of a certain measure or action it has taken, it answers by saying it is legal, even though it's the courts' job to determine that, not the executive. It handles everything as though perception turned things into reality; that is, if something is blue, just say it isn't so and it will cese to be blue. This might work for some things that are based on public opinion, but it does not work on everything. A clear example of this is the budget and the war in Iraq. Saying that the deficit will disappear in the following five years does not make it so, one needs to take concrete actions to make that happen; you could argue that the administration has taken such actions, but even conservative economists that support the GOP question the fiscal strategy of this administration. The same way, saying that everything is cool and dandy in Iraq does not erase all the casualties and the cost.
This attitude reminds me of something little kids do when something bad happens or they screw up: they close their eyes tight for a few seconds hoping that when they reopen them things will be different or back to normal.

Republicans have said for many years, and rightly so, that intentions and wishes do not suffice to make something happen. It seems that with this administration they forgot their own lessons.

Where is the Republican party that took a cold look at the facts? Where is the party whose base principle was that one could not spend more than one earned? Where is the party that promotes personal responsibility? Does this responsibility not apply to the president and this administration? Because, if you notice, when anything goes wrong, it always blames somebody else, like M. Brown, who stunned them by fighting back and proving that he DID tell them that things were going to be bad before the Hurricane hit. Or should I ask this in terms the machos in the White House will understand? Something along the lines of "isn't Bush man eneough to step up and say that he screwed up, and that he will try harder"? Does he feel responsible for anything, or are disasters and mistakes always somebody else's fault.

The very worst part of all this is looking at supporters of Bush, everyday people like you and me, like many friends of mine, bend over backwards and contort to to point of distorting themselves (I say this figuratively) in order to support any and everything the administration does; I have seen people comprimise deeply held principles and beliefs in order to justify this administration, more so than at almost any other point in our history. This is grave since before, we could always count on The People, that is everyone, to keep our public officials in check. It just seems that this administration has gotten a very big blank check and people refuse to recognize that. Many posters say that the media is "out to get Bush". I ask you, did the media force Bush to do any of the things he has done, good or bad? Did the media invent the budget deficit, the mistakes in Iraq, the threats, the leak of classified info in order to attack a critic? As a matter of fact, in this last case (the Valerie Plame affair) it seems the media actually helped the administration carry the attack (the Times journalist and the guy from CNN are ardent supporters of this administration).

I believe it's time for Republicans to wake up and support Bush when he deserves it, but be critical when the situation calls for criticism. Do not make yourselves into drones, and this goes for all sides, do not prostitute your ideas to support a single person. After all, we are a country of laws and institutions, not of individual leaders. Bush will be gone in three years, and when we wake up from this drunkeness that it means to blindly support him as though he were God's messenger, the hangover will be terrible. Let's not prostitue our principles for a single person.

Posted by: R. Mendoza at March 3, 2006 01:46 PM


YES, I was born and raised in New Orleans, I went to school at Ferncrest in New Orleans East and lived in NO-E and Metarie for 2/3 of my life.

Ferncrest was on Haynes Blvd, which had the school on one side of the street, and the Ponchatrain levee on the other. On one side of our school was wetlands (since developed) and the other was a pumping station and canal.

We were all VERY familiar with topping versus breaching and the operation of New Orleans flood control system because the guys that ran the big pumps were like firemen to us when we were younger and they'd come to the school and explain the system to us quite frequently since if it rained and their pumps went down that meant an evacuation of the school.

In Metairie I lived next door to one of the flood control canals and we paid attention there too since any work done on the system normally had a direct effect on our quality of life.

Now, the question is. What do you, Wow, know about living behind a levee system holding back a lake on one side and river on the other? Are you from New Orleans, have you been there since the storm? Or are you merely getting all your information from the same media that FALSELY reported 10,000 dead, murders and rapes in the dome and convention center and which still tries to misrepresent almost every aspect of this event to the public.


Posted by: Jason Coleman at March 3, 2006 03:06 PM

and JAS, I think the people in New Orleans care about the media getting the story CORRECT and telling the truth.

When the media forces misinformation down the public's throat constantly about the storm, it's effects, it's aftermath and reconstruction, it's doing a grave disservice to those trying to rebuild and those trying to help them rebuild.

I can guarantee that people in New Orleans (especially my people) would rather see the effort being used to try and "get" the President, and blame him for a natural disaster, be used instead to educate people honestly about what needs to be done from this point forward.

People IN New Orleans don't blame Bush, they blame NAGIN and BLANCO and the various LEVEE BOARDS.

New Orleans has been through this before with Betsy. I'm sure you won't begrudge Lyndon Johnson for his "flyover" when New Orleans was flooded do you?

People know that Nagin failed them first, Blanco failed them second and Federal Government was the only ones who stepped up to the plate. The third responders and the managers had to become the first responders while Blanco cried crocodile tears for the cameras and Nagin ran off.

The people affected KNOW what happened, why it happened, and who's fault it was, and they aren't wasting time trying to drum up BS like this FALSE STORY and play partisan politics, they're too busy gutting their homes and trying to rebuild the city.


Posted by: Jason Coleman at March 3, 2006 03:14 PM

Jonnie H

Kool aid drinking huh...would that be the Ken Kesey or Jonestown brand of kool aid?

As someone who has worked in the social service field for 10+ years, with serious mental illness clients I got to agree with you that it works better at the local level when it comes to actually providing the services.

But I got to tell you with out the ever dwindling Federal support (lunch programs, medicaid payments for therapy, medicines and medical services) most of the local agencies I ever worked for and with would of folded up long ago for lack of local funding.

As for the folks who are dependent upon these essential services, well consider these long term costs of the current programs vs. a revolving door of short term treatments, incarceration, and ultimately the cost of broken lives for these individuals and their families and communities.

Dare I say act locally, but fund these programs nationally.

So I remain unconvinced that that the more massive a program becomes the less likely it is to succeed.

Perhaps if you took the time to read some of the books I recommended earler, especially "End of the Line", you would better understand that one of the paradoxes of globalization is that increasingly no one is in charge of the overall process.

Say for example health care, where companies are increasingly shifting responsiblity to the indvidual workers. Often without offering financial compensations necessary to enable them to afford their own health care.

Historically, the Federal government has been the counterweight to the huge economic and political power that industry cartels and monolopies wield. As you say the depression era model, doesn't apply any more. So what model do you think does?

In todays economy, the only things vested economic interests readily respond to are levers that affect their bottom line. And governments are currently the only entities that can effect this change thru their sheer size in select markets...

You might want to check out a very thoughtful post by a self proclaimed Republican, R. Mendoza at March 3, 2006 01:46 PM.

As he so apt puts it, "abandoning your conservative principles to win the battle" will create a political and economic chaos in this country that will take decades to unravel.

I agree with you that over the last 20 years our political process has been hijacked by both parties, bent on creating loyal groups dependent on federal progams and members of the parties.

But being afraid to question current political leadership or idealogy on either side only encourges and empowers the most radical and corrosive elements on both sides.

And ensures the present gridlocked status quo.

Posted by: yomama at March 3, 2006 04:19 PM

Apparently, you think it takes some videotape wizardry and phony editing to point people toward the obvious, i.e. that George Bush used his daddy's money and influence to get out of VietNam and that he was completely clueless as to what needed to be done in the face of a national disaster. I'm really pissed that Mary Mapes relied on on such a shaky witness to try and add one more nail to the coffin of Bush's draft-dodging past. But none of that changes the fact that he skated while others were dying. And the video took no special editing to show that Bush was, as usual, uninterested in the details of a major issue and didn't ask his staff a single probing question. So, I'm concluding that you're just a credulous fool who's enjoying the 14-1/3 minutes of fame he got from having a link on the Washington Post opinions page.

A Confederate Liberal who knows bullshit when he sees it

Posted by: Jim Philips at March 3, 2006 08:22 PM

Hi again Jason,

First off, sorry about what’s happened to your hometown. Regardless of political dispositions, it’s a lousy thing to have happen to your childhood stomping grounds, and I feel for you.

My question, though, remains unanswered. (Though an answer is perhaps implicit in your post when you say, “We were all VERY familiar with topping versus breaching and the operation of New Orleans flood control system.”) I asked if you were from New Orleans because I wanted to know one thing. The president said he did not think anyone anticipated the breaching of the levees.

As a native of the area, in your experience, was that true? Had no one in New Orleans anticipated the breaching of the levees?

Look, I’ll tip my hand before you even answer. If breaches were considered, this is where I feel like this whole debate is spin—or at least missing the point. Who cares if the media is conflating breaching and topping, or even if Bush was? If breaches were under consideration, the president said something really ignorant. The stories are right to explore how much the president really understood the situation. If he got his facts wrong during a national crisis, he ought to be chastised for that.

Posted by: wow at March 4, 2006 12:37 AM

You can skirt the real issue all you like by criticizing my motivations or by bringing up the same issues (National Guard, Bush "knew" about 9/11) but my original point is unchallenged. The mainstream media attempts to MAKE news, not just report it. They create polls with flawed internals, such as the recent CBS news poll that sought out more Democrats than Republicans to produce a result of lower approval ratings for W so that their story and every newspaper headline could say "Bush at new low point in popularity". More and more Americans no longer trust the MSM because of these shenanigans. For any of you to actually still try to argue the virtues of the National Guard story or about Bush allowing 9/11 to happen (though it's worth noting that your side is the one who won't even let us NOW do the kinds of things that would prevent another 9/11) I would remind you that even with these attacks, you still lost the 2004 election. Lesson: the American people don't respond to your reckless, hateful attacks from the fringe. What the Left learned: not a damn thing! What the MSM learned: even less. All they can do is helplessly watch the declining viewership, falling newspaper sales, and the continued rise of Fox News (and I know that you just HATE that!)

Posted by: Thrill at March 4, 2006 01:08 PM