February 01, 2009

Obama's "Katrina on Ice"

More than 700,000 homes are still without power in Kentucky due to a massive ice storm that struck the state six days ago, forcing Gov. Steve Beshear to mobilize his entire state's Army and Air National Guard, a total of 4,600 men and the largest call-out in Kentucky's history.

FEMA has apparently been a no-show.

Our Hawaiian-borne President, basking in the glow of an overheated Oval Office and dining on $100/lb steak, has been utterly disinterested, indulging himself in vodka martinis at cocktail parties, as he continues to talk up the need for the $1.1 trillion dollar "stimulus" while simultaneously trying to lower expectations of its impact, knowing how little it will actually accomplish for the economy even as it furthers his political agenda.

So please pardon some of my friends if they engage in a little hyperbole as they notice that our Freshman Senator cum President is a bit too giddy with his newfound power and the D.C. cocktail circuit to notice that as many as 1.5 million Americans are in dire straits at this moment.

After all, Barack Obama probably doesn't hate white people no matter what 20-years in the pews of a racial separatist church suggests. It's just far harder to see a bunch of white people against ice and snow.

And Caleb, while I don't doubt that the sage of hopenchange has a distinct preference for the refined metropolitan areas of the nation over areas those that bitterly cling to the Bibles, guns, and snowshovels, I'm pretty sure even he doesn't consider Kentucky "southern", even on his 57-state map.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 1, 2009 12:13 PM

My presidential expectation is frozen, sub-zero, and buried under generational debt. Burning through other people's money is the same old D.C. heat source. Toasty, mmmmm. It's good to be royalty!

Posted by: twolaneflash at February 1, 2009 12:36 PM

I read that piece at American Thinker's...

I think this could be a good blog to set up: a spoof of the news coverage of the Bush years.

I personally am going to consciously hold off on major attacks against Obama until he does stuff that warrant it. I'm specifically trying hard not to get into the "future telling" business that was the norm for the media in the first two years under Bush.

For example, the choice of Penetta for CIA concerns me a good bit, but I haven't said much about it.

I'd rather avoid the conservative blogsphere imitating not just the liberal one but the media itself.

But --- it might be nice to see a whole blog set up to mimic the Bush press as issues come up - like this ice storm one - complete with the type of hyperbole and doom-saying coverage in the Bush years.

Posted by: usinkorea at February 1, 2009 01:03 PM

Has Kentucky's Governor requested Federal help? Because if he hasn't then there isn't anything the Fed's can do. This is the same reason it took forever to get Federal help in Katrina, because the Governor wasn't willing to call in Uncle Sam.

Posted by: Stan at February 1, 2009 01:06 PM

With regard to Kentucky being southern ... he'd be wrong again if he didn't.

Mason Dixon:

Posted by: Caleb Howe at February 1, 2009 01:13 PM

Stan makes a good point. Local politicians have to request Federal help before they can get it. Otherwise it's "against the rules." Evidently Ray Nagin, New Orleans' mayor at the time of Katrina, and Governor Blanco, never took High School Civics classes or, more likely, never listened. The only Federal agency which has a mandate to intervene in a local crisis is the U.S. Coast Guard, which can act as a reinforcement of local law enforcement without being specifically requested to. The USCG did a spectacular job of rescuing citizens off rooftops and other flooded areas, while Nagin and Blanco dawdled and refused to ask for federal aid. Bush called Blanco twice urging her to request Federal help and intervention. She said she wanted to think about it.

The kicker here is that Nagin was re-elected New Orleans' mayor a few months after Katrina. What the heck were they thinking?

Marianne Matthews

Posted by: Marianne Matthews at February 1, 2009 02:24 PM

Well, he did think that Kentucky was way south in the 57 states during the campaign when actually its northwest end is adjacent to his state, Illinois.

Posted by: Al Reasin at February 1, 2009 02:27 PM

Caleb, I could care less about the Manson-Nixon Line; it is an artifact of history at best. Ask and real southerner (or a real Yankee) what the southern states are, and you'll consistently see the Virginia and points south, and on very rare occasions, Maryland.

Kentucky? Not so much.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 1, 2009 02:45 PM


Posted by: Larry Sheldon at February 1, 2009 03:00 PM

Well you can consider it however you like. I was born, raised, and reside in the south, so I guess I get to count as a 'real' southerner thanks.

Posted by: Caleb Howe at February 1, 2009 03:25 PM

Re: Kentucky, South or Not-South? Far as I'm concerned, if the natives speak with a Southern accent -- it's South. I'm in Illinois and we refer to the portion of the state that's adjacent to Kentucky as "Southern Illinois," not just for geographical reasons: They have a Southern accent.

Re: Obama's Katrina On Ice. When I read how much suffering there was I too thought about Obama's apparent lack of leadership during a weather disaster, but only as it compared to the coverage of Bush's in a similiar situation. However, unlike people who blame Bush for everything that's ever gone wrong, I know better.

That white people may be camouflaged by all that snow and ice didn't occur to me ... Funny stuff right there!

Posted by: DoorHold at February 1, 2009 03:47 PM

It sometimes appears Democrats are racist. But they aren't really. They also appear to engage in class warfare, but again not really. Democrats believe they are the Master Party, which trumps race and class every time. Non-Democrats can be divided into three groups. Hidden Democrats are people like Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders. They are treated like Democrats. Most of the lapdog media belongs to this group. Potential Democrats, like illegal aliens and career criminals are next in line. So long as they don't oppose the Democratic agenda, they can be treated as people, Finally there are the opponents, Republicans, libertarians and conservatives. They are the enemy. They are not, in the Democrats view, strictly human. They can all die or at least just shut up and pay their taxes.

Honest Democrat is a contradiction in terms.

Posted by: Ken Hahn at February 1, 2009 05:04 PM

Obama's well aware that the white "snow people" don't need rescuing from the ice. That's native ground for them. Of course, for the occasional non-white living in those flyover redneck states, it serves them right for leaving the plantation. They're of little utility to Obama now, so he can let them freeze.

Posted by: HatlessHessian at February 1, 2009 05:42 PM

why should the press be concerned.....???
Bush isn't in office, and they don't want to point any bad fingers at Obie-1-Kanobee......
so guess what..... IT NEVER HAPPENED......

people in Kentucky suck and should eat shit and die, as far as the press is concerned......

Posted by: danpa at February 1, 2009 06:01 PM

They're working on it:

Why the press doesn't want to mention it much is another story.

Posted by: arb at February 1, 2009 07:38 PM

Thanks arb. Now if Confederate Yankee would bother to do a touch of research he wouldn't make claims like FEMA is a 'no show.' More weak sauce.

And I have to ask, was Mason-Nixon a typo, or did you actually think that was the name of the line?

Posted by: SPW at February 1, 2009 08:05 PM

Bob, an Air Force buddy of mine is from Lawrenceburg, KY. Tell him he's not from the south and he might want to punch you in the mouth.

Posted by: Tim at February 1, 2009 08:09 PM


That's a Robin Williams line. He's always felt comfortable throwing gratuitous insults at Southerners. First of all, he's usually in New York or California. Second of all, he thinks they aren't smart enough to understand him.

Posted by: pst314 at February 1, 2009 10:14 PM

FEMA's working on it? That's all you got? Was that enough for you during Katrina? Amazing the things that are OK as long as a Democrat is in charge. Hey, maybe it will be alright to leave Iraq victoriously, too.

Posted by: Tim at February 1, 2009 10:38 PM

Tim, I simply posted the facts. You have no idea what my opinion is of the situation, or my pokitics in general. But here's a clue - if I disagreed with CY in general, I wouldn't be hanging around here.

Posted by: arb at February 1, 2009 11:25 PM

Not only my pokitics, but also my politics. :-}

Posted by: arb at February 1, 2009 11:27 PM

Sorry, Arb. I should have been more specific and noted that I was replying to STP, or whatever he calls himself. He seemed to think that any critiscism of FEMA is 'weak sauce' because FEMA is thinking about maybe getting around to planning to respond to this situation. That'll teach me to troll around websites and watch football at the same time.

Posted by: Tim at February 1, 2009 11:36 PM

Well, according to some local reporting FEMA is coming up with what the state is asking for Communications support and fuel supplies.

My question is why is the MSM not covering this one way or the other.

Posted by: OldDog at February 1, 2009 11:50 PM

That's the point. The point isn't that Obama's not doing enough or that FEMA was hampered by weather. The point is the press lied and made it sound like Bush could call out the national guard on his own (he can't) or that he should have parachuted in to NOLA with supplies, himself. Can you imagine if Bush had eaten steak with congress and gone to a cocktail party 5 days into Katrina? The point is the press crucified Bush for this, and the public bought it, and the press learned they could tell the public anything or NOT tell the public anything.

So, the public does not hear about this, and no one is saying "why isn't Obama doing something." The press sucks.

Posted by: Sally at February 1, 2009 11:57 PM

This from a Cincinnati paper:

"President Obama has declared Kentucky a federal disaster area in the wake of an ice and snow storm that left 600,000 residents without power.

Obama approved Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshearís request for the declaration, according to a news release from the governorís office. That will activate federal programs to assist the state in its recovery effort."

The article is dated Jan. 29th.

Posted by: Sara (Pal2Pal) at February 2, 2009 12:15 AM

The storm hit on 27th.

The point still holds. If this was Bush eating steak, watching football etc, he'd be crucified for it.

But it's Obama. So most people don't even know that these people are hurting

Posted by: sally at February 2, 2009 12:18 AM

Upon moving to Mass after growing up in St. Louis I was surprised to discover that I was from the South. Apparently anything south of Ohio is Pennsyltucky.

OTOH, my neighbor from deep-in-the-woods Kentucky claims she grew up in the Midwest. We always considered Kentucky part of the South.

Border state identity crisis. If you warrant a star on the Stars and Bars, I suppose you can go either way.

But back to the issue at hand...have there been any Sean Penn sightings?

Posted by: JohnL at February 2, 2009 06:37 AM

At the risk of sounding like Jesse Jackson, the press believe "no blame, no fame." Kentucky is a conservative democrat state - 57% to 36% republican. Both governor and Lt governor are donks and they have only 6% blacks. Worst of all, the Bluegrass State cast its 8 electoral votes against Obama, who of course, is above all criticism. Besides, the press corp is still hot on the Obama puppy story and can't be troubled by problems in the wilderness of rural America. No one in New York or Washington cares about them.

Fortunately, the people of Kentucky, like most Southerners, already have rather low expectations of Washington. Here in Alabama, ice storms are particularly destructive. Couple people who drive too fast and have no experience with "winter" conditions with a wooded, mountainous terrain and you see extended periods of lost power. I bought a generator that powers my house as long as a propane truck can get in every 5 days. My neighbors know that when the power goes down, they can come to my house to get ice, take showers, do their laundry, check their email or cook a hot meal. It's like a block party. FEMA is for wards of the state.

If I were a Kentucky conservative, I would be helping my neighbors and quietly asking my conservative democrat friends how they feel about all democrat government now. It worked for Bobby Jindal in Louisiana.

Posted by: arch at February 2, 2009 08:19 AM

As a native Kentuckian who lives along the Ohio River and has to tolerate the damned Hoosiers, and other Yankees, to the north, Kentucky is a southern state. Regardless of how the Civil War transpired, most Kentuckians associate themselves with the south.

Posted by: Tom Seaver at February 2, 2009 11:55 AM

My criticism of CY is that he publishes a post saying that FEMA has been a "no show" when that is clearly not the case. He hasn't taken anytime to look into the situation other than to cruise other blogs. Essentially his comment on FEMA is completely unsubstantiated. Hence it is 'weak sauce.'

The notion that this natural disaster is on par with Katrina seems a stretch. As of a couple of days ago, the total death toll for the ice storm was at 46. Katrina killed a little more than 1800 people and 700,000 people were displaced from their homes. Katrina was on a completely different level in terms of destruction.

I wouldn't be surprised if Obama's engagement for this ice storm is equal to what Bush has done in the past for other natural disasters. He's declared it a federal disaster, when the weather clears he'll survey the damage and meet with the citizens. It will be your standard fare, and Bush would have not done much more.

If you want true comparisons then pick any low to moderate level natural disaster during Bush's term, examine how he treated it, and then compare that to Obama's actions.

Bush's biggest mistake was he treated Katrina, from a press standpoint, like a regular low to moderate level disaster instead of the high level one. Many in the Republican party have said it was the moment Bush lost his credibility and the party started it's downward slide.

CY would like this to signal the end of Obama's political career, but that isn't gong to happen in this case. Maybe later, but not with this.

Posted by: SPW at February 2, 2009 02:01 PM

I'm confused.

How can nearly 2 million blacks get into Washington DC in sub zero temps in 1 day,

when 200,000 couldn't get out of New Orleans at 85 degrees with four days notice?

Posted by: JosephineSouthern at February 2, 2009 04:26 PM

President Bush did not treat Katrina as a "low to moderate" disaster, as SPW says. Even before Katrina made landfall he declared it a disaster, so that money and aid would be immediately available. He followed up with everything he could do on a Federal level, including FEMA. The folks who were dilatory about their response were Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco. Obama declared a disaster two days after the power outage for one million people in the middle of a cold winter. FEMA hasn't showed up yet in Kentucky... ohh, wait, I think they're thinking about it.

As a resident of Houston, Texas, I think I probably know more than most folks who only listened to the mainstream press about this. The US Coast Guard, the only Federally controlled agency which is empowered to respond to local emergencies without having to be requested, did a magnificent job rescuing folks from the rooftops of their flooded homes by helicopter, and by boat, while Gov. Blanco was still "thinkin' about it."

We have always known that Louisiana is a politically corrupt state, and they acted as we expected -- too little and too late. We sheltered more than 75,000 of New Orleans refugees here in Houston with only 24 hours' notice to prepare. That's the way we do things in Texas. The right way.


Posted by: Marianne Matthews at February 2, 2009 06:28 PM

I stated he treated it "from a press standpoint" as low to moderate, i.e. he sat in Crawford strumming a guitar and when he did come to New Orleans he made a fool of himself at a press conference where he joked about coming to N.O. in college to party. He did not have his game face on and that's what people remember. His "your doin' a heckuva job Brownie" to the FEMA director was pure comedy and undercut his legitimacy and leadership ability. Period.

Posted by: SPW at February 2, 2009 08:21 PM


You are a fool. George Bush was a caring president. Wait four years and you will understand

Posted by: arch at February 2, 2009 09:56 PM

I'm a Kentuckian, born and raised, currently freezing my rump off in the Storm the Media Forgot- and we are definitely part of "the South." Forget the Maxon-Dixon line, the beverage line is a better indicator of southern-ness. If you order tea in a restaurant and it comes on ice in a glass, you're in the south. If your waitress asks, "What kind of coke do you want?" and she's offering Pepsi products, you're in the south.

Posted by: Ornithophobe at February 2, 2009 11:39 PM


You convinced me. It don't get much more southern than that.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 2, 2009 11:42 PM

I'm not sure if it's because I'm a woman, but I'm looking at the men arguing politics about these 1.5 million people without power - and thinking it's just wrong. We really SHOULD CARE about these people - and THAT'S why it matters that Obama isn't doing anything!!!! People are dying. This isn't a political chip to play to criticize Obama and compare this to Bush on a political level. This is real human suffering, clearly more help is needed, and I want to know why this isn't being resolved. Why isn't business calling in other workers from outside states? (The power company). Why isn't FEMA doing something (not that I'm "for" FEMA - but since they stole our money in taxes - do the work!!!) It's ridiculous FEMA emergency funds were used for the Obama inauguration - while 1.5 million people go with out power in the freezing cold. This is UNAMERICAN!! The fake "President-elect's" pomp more worthy of FEMA funds than freezing Americans?? What a crock. Give us our tax money back or spend it when it's really needed. People are suffering. A REAL CRY should be going out - not this political hype stuff that makes it sound like most commenters on this post really don't care. I'm not seeing sincere concern for these people. It just doesn't sound right to me that people are crying about Bush. You care more about political wrangling than you do about these 1.5 million people... seems like. Something about it doesn't ring true to me.

Posted by: l at February 3, 2009 08:23 AM

Northwest Arkansas has been hit pretty hard by this ice storm. (Nothing as vast as Kentucky.) We have had power crews come in from as far away as Mt. Airy, NC. They had to have left NC sometime Monday afternoon as soon as the ice storm hit. I don't know who contacted them or how it was arranged but they were here. Now we do still have pockets without power. I do not have power yet, out since last Tuesday am. They are having to clear trees before things can be resurrected and that takes time. We are persevering but the novelty of it all is wearing off. We do have a generator and can make it to the gas station for fuel for it. If Kentucky was as on the ball as Ark was, they should have power crews there from other areas. I don't know if this is arranged by the power companies or the state. Fortunately the weather has not been too extreme here the last few days so things have been bearable. I understand Ky is schduled for more snow. Not a good thing.

On another note, I have never understood why people think that a particular location (say New Orleans) that took several centuries to build should be back up and running again within a few weeks or years for that matter. And what do you expect is going to happen when you build it BELOW SEA LEVEL?

Posted by: Razorgirl at February 3, 2009 12:09 PM

Actually, KY has a deal with several other states whereby they share repair crews. I've seen massive convoys of out-of-state electrical trucks moving through Louisville this week. My kids call 'em "the Lights Brigade."

Posted by: Ornithophobe at February 3, 2009 03:10 PM

remember when the governor of kentucky declared a state of emergency during Hurricane Ike
that was weird

Posted by: energon international homerule strategies at February 3, 2009 10:50 PM

SPW posts:

I wouldn't be surprised if Obama's engagement for this ice storm is equal to what Bush has done in the past for other natural disasters. He's declared it a federal disaster, when the weather clears he'll survey the damage and meet with the citizens. It will be your standard fare, and Bush would have not done much more.

First of all, the primary responsibility for disaster response lies with the community and the state. FEMA has always been an "after-the-fact" agency that handles the long-term effects. Their minimum response time is 3 days.
Secondly, what else would you realistically expect the President to do? Disaster response isn't his job, that's what the state governors and FEMA are for! Bush did precisely what he was supposed to do, which is stay out of the way of the first-responders and offer moral support.
Where the heck do people get this idea that the Federal government, much less the President, is supposed be the first responder?

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2009 02:36 PM
I stated he treated it "from a press standpoint" as low to moderate...

Because the "press standpoint" is the trooth! But I notice they didn't eviscerate Nagin who spewed idiocy after idiocy in the wake of Katrina, nor did they eviscerate Blanco the Blockade.

Getting things done is irrelevant. Gotta manage the press standpoint.

Posted by: Pablo at February 4, 2009 02:37 PM
Where the heck do people get this idea that the Federal government, much less the President, is supposed be the first responder?

From the "press standpoint". That's inoperative for the next 4 years, though.

Posted by: Pablo at February 4, 2009 02:39 PM

We live in north central Arkansas, and our power was finally restored last night. There are no words to describe the devastation.

We've been all over two counties, clearing roads and doing welfare checks. Other than the thousands of electric company personnel who responded from all over the South (our heroes) we've been on our own.

In ten days, here's what I HAVEN'T seen: FEMA. The Salvation Army. The Red Cross. The National Guard. The mobile units of ANY insurance company.

The single moment we were a blip on Obama's radar, he promised to send AmeriCorp (?!) to help clear roads. I guess they got lost, because they damn sure didn't show up here.

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