Friday, September 16, 2005

Katrina Speech: Empty Claims on Homeland Security

Katrina Speech: Empty Claims on Homeland Security

Bush said: “The government of this nation will do its part as well. Our cities must have clear and up-to-date plans for responding to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or terrorist attack.”

FACT — BUSH SAID DHS WAS PREPARED TO MEET TERRORIST THREAT: Bush, 3/2/04: “We’ll face the terrorist threat for years to come. Our government is prepared to meet that threat. One of the most important steps we’ve taken is creating the Department of Homeland Security, combining under one roof, with a clear chain of command, many agencies responsible for protecting our nation… You faced the challenges standing up this new Department and you get a — and a gold star for a job well done.” Bush, 7/22/04: “We will work tirelessly to disrupt and prevent terrorist attacks — and if an attack should come, America will be prepared.”

FACT — FORMER DHS HEAD TOM RIDGE SAID COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN FIRST RESPONDERS HAD IMPROVED: Ridge, 7/22/04: “We’ve committed unprecedented funding, training, equipment and support to first responders at the state and local levels. We’ve improved communication, coordination and cooperation between everyone involved in our nation’s preparedness and response.” Bush, 9/13/05: “Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government.”

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Posted by Think Progress September 15, 2005 9:25 pm


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  1. The President’s prime-time “Katrina Comeback” address was vintage Bush. Primarily designed to help him, and not the Gulf States, recover from his administration’s disastrous bungling of the Katrina response, Bush’s speech offered to shower money on the devastated South. But in his typical fashion, George W. Bush held no one accountable and shunned independent oversight of the response and the rebuilding. Most of all, the Free Lunch President refused to ask the American people to pay for it.

    For the full story, see:

    “Bush’s Katrina Cop Out”

    Comment by Jon — September 15, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

  2. The Duty Idiot is a disgrace to this country. He can only be speaking to those with an IQ the same as or lower than his (Which is smaller than his shoe size. I guess the Repugs think that since they own the MSM we underlings with a brain have no other source of information. Dream on fools, the South shall rise again; as will the West and the East. Those Good-old-boy-soutern-rednecks will never learn. If they ain’t dealing they can’t win a hand.

    Check out the latest of “Amurka’s Endangered Species” as we finally found a book DUHbya can read!

    Comment by Clyde the Ripper — September 15, 2005 @ 9:42 pm

  3. He certainly has a way with numbers.I wonder how many minutes/seconds it took to respond .That way we can have large numbers also.

    Comment by tim shea — September 15, 2005 @ 9:48 pm

  4. Bush cannot comprehend responsibility, neither accountability. This speech was merely a redux of speeches given many times over the past 4 years. After four years, the admin. still doesn’t have a clue about getting their act together to keep citizens safe from harm, no matter from where it comes.
    Look for them to use this to further bankrupt the government; there was no talk of suspending the tax cuts for the rich, much less reversing them. No talk of leaving the estate tax alone. This tragedy justifies more debt, but instead of cutting back programs (as they will do) they can draw upon reversing their obscene tax cuts. They can eliminate the freedom of taxation by corporations who have P.O. Boxes in the Cayman Islands. I won’t even bring up Iraq.
    This was a self-serving speech and it was transparently so.

    Comment by Marie — September 15, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

  5. I missed it– But I do know that my cellular phone doesn’t work as well as those in Ghana or Kenya.

    And I thought NYC was supposed to have coverage in the subway, etc… Are these places covered yet? All it takes are more antennas.

    Comment by MeToo — September 15, 2005 @ 10:48 pm

  6. I missed it on purpose. Walking my dog in the rain was more important than listening to a bumbling idiot.

    Comment by Susan — September 15, 2005 @ 11:14 pm

  7. Right now, Bush’s people are patting him on the back and saying, “Good job, sir! A home run if I ever saw one! I think it’s safe to say Mission Accomplished on this little exercise.”

    You’re doing a heckuva job! (cue applause)

    Comment by cynical ex-hippie — September 15, 2005 @ 11:40 pm

  8. Watch the footage of the towers coming down again. The footage speaks for itself, the towers were brought down by explosives.

    Our president is worse than Saddam Hussein.

    Comment by Susan — September 15, 2005 @ 11:48 pm

  9. “Bush cannot comprehend responsibility, neither accountability. ”

    That’s because conservatism is based on the idea that they already know the answers, and that they are ‘right’ and righteous. A principle of taking accountability is the realization that as imperfect human beings both our actions and even our beliefs are sometimes wrong - which is actually a ‘liberal’ principle. That in a nutshell is one of the main reasons I’m a liberal - because I realize that liberalism and open mind is a sign of accountability, not an escape from it (as is often leveled by the fear based idiots of the right who are frightened of the responsibility of actual accountability).

    Comment by Ryan Neat — September 15, 2005 @ 11:56 pm

  10. A man who has no conscience cannot feel guilt.
    My co-worker and I often talk politics. We try to educate ourselves, we defer to those who know more than we do on a subject — we think that’s why we are liberals.
    Ryan, we agree with you entirely. Most conservatives that we know think they have all the answers.

    Comment by Marie — September 16, 2005 @ 12:07 am

  11. Most conservatives I know are perfectly nice reasonable people who recognize that no one has all the answers and anyone can be wrong. The far right loonies seem to think they are smarter by virtue of their ideology.

    I saw a right wing think tanker debate the Sierra Club president. He said sure all these SUVs will cause stronger hurricanes, but the trade off is everyone will have SUVs to pack up and drive inland. He seriously said that. He also mentioned that the high plains stand to gain from global warming.

    Comment by cynical ex-hippie — September 16, 2005 @ 12:21 am

  12. Guess your lucky ex-hippie, all the right wingers I ever met were the radical bible thumpers, bent on trying to convert me.Could never figure out their concern of me when I was not the one commiting the sin’s,by their own standards, they were. Interesting…..Blessings

    Comment by Sharon Cox — September 16, 2005 @ 2:23 am

  13. “Most conservatives I know are perfectly nice reasonable people who recognize that no one has all the answers and anyone can be wrong.”

    Cynical, count yourself lucky. I have two conservative friends who match your experience and are kind, decent and they even try to be reasonable people. The majority I meet anymore however do not match this profile - they seem to be increasingly entrenched, radical and less informed by the day.

    As for the global warming discussion, the right wing guy is trying to find a silver lining, but this is like claiming that katrina will be good for new orleans because halliburton will make money. It belittles the tragedies that will occur because of our personal greed. It doesn’t account for the fact that those SUVs could be made more fuel efficient and still accomplish his stupid goal of affluence mobility. It also doesn’t account for the folks in the southern midwest who’s farms will dry up, and who will lose their businesses, homes and farms because of this. He trivializes and attempts to belittle a serious problem that could readily kill millions if not billions from natural disasters… Shame on him for being such a stupid tool!

    Comment by Ryan Neat — September 16, 2005 @ 3:20 am

  14. The thinking of President Bush can be summed up in just one word: simpleton.

    Comment by Hank — September 16, 2005 @ 9:02 am

  15. Most of you folks just don’t get it. The President’s message was about resolving domestic preparedness issues. While I may not agree with The President on most issues, I agree with him on this — as a nation, we don’t have domestic preparedness right at any level. The requirements are clear — get the planning right or suffer the consequences later. Heretofore, we have not done well — this problem is the culmination of a generation of innatention at the hands of numerous leaders at all levels, public and private. If we can see no further than the end of our fingers pointed in blame then we are as much at fault as anyone else for future failures. This is about more than the President — it is about all of us. Unfortunately, the patter I see listed today is shallow and not conducive to fixing the problem. I would rather have the lady that chose to walk her dog to say nothing as her comments did nothing to resolving the issue at hand. Shame on us…

    Comment by Leo — September 16, 2005 @ 10:50 am

  16. Seems the governor of LA was completely prepaired. She told FEMA in advance that she needed everything they had. The national weather service even contacted the WH to warn them before landfall.

    I just don’t buy it when junior tries to say there were failures on all levels.

    Chertoff telling fema to wait smells fishy to me. Combine that with the reports that the levees were blow up and you have yet again more scandal. Let’s face it we know what happened.

    That is why FEMA tried to censor the media in LA.

    Anyone with half a brain wants to know why private relief efforts were there earlier than national efforts.

    Were it not for private relief efforts, people in some parts still would not have any food. There are people in the gulf coast that have yet to see any national relief people.

    To date, they still haven’t been dropping food by plane. During a damn war in the Persian Gulf we dropped food and supplies to the people of the region. Don’t say things are going well because we all know better.

    Comment by kjlovell — September 16, 2005 @ 11:24 am

  17. Leo, #15, I like the way you have guts enough to step up and help me defend our president. Most of those on the right are too embarrassed. I like the take that most of the folks here “don’t get it.” Stupid asses are so uninformed. You can tell by their indepth entries that they don’t watch Fox News and don’t let Rush or Hannity explain it to them on talk radio so they can understand. That “shame on us” remark should have hurt them, but I guess they don’t have any since I can tell right off they didn’t vote for Bush.

    But tell me if I’m wrong, Leo, but Bushco has had 4 years to get emergency preparations and planning in place following 9-11 (I bet he won’t be saying “9-11″ again until this mess blows over, eh?). What’s your take on the 9-11 Commission members saying on Sept 14 that the administration had ignored their suggestions and failed to implement many of the recommendations that could have saved lives lost in the hurricane? As for ready supplies, Ft. Benning is less than 400 miles: tents, food, helicopters, everything. They can deploy within 24 hours. And that is only one base close by: others are Ft. Hood, TX, FT. Campbell, Ky, Pensacola, etc. Let me guess: you have been “Hannitized.”

    Comment by Joe Sixpack — September 16, 2005 @ 11:54 am

  18. Hey guess what. This wasn’t failure on a massive scale. It was only a failure by a few select people. You see, the little people, we’ll call them first responders, were ready to help. They were not mobilized by our “leaders”

    NPR has some new info on the fact that Michael Chertoff and others were sent many warnings regarding hurricane Katrina and chose to not do anything.

    Looky here: templates/ story/ story.php?storyId=4849706

    Comment by Spudge-Boy — September 16, 2005 @ 12:21 pm

  19. To understand the events completly we really need to have a complete reporting of the actions taken and not taken by responsiable parties. We need truth and balance in reporting the events. It is a sad commentary on our socity when the traditional outlets are afraid to critisize any aspect of the administration for fear of loosing their White House press credentials. I know there have been some critical stories in mainstream media but I am sure it is due to the overwhelming blunders made and the resulting cost in human suffering. I personaly rely on the web and NPR for most of the news I recieve as mainstream TV, radio, and newspapers appear more biased every day. And by the way…the “liberal media” is a myth. Less than 300 individules own 90% of all the media in the US and all most to a person they are Republican, right wing, conservitives. If you still believe that editors, publishers, and news directors are free to report what they choose you probly watch Fox News. So my final sally is…what is the truth?…who will report it?…and what can we do to respond? Truth is the oxygen of democracy!

    Comment by Ed Wright — September 16, 2005 @ 1:21 pm

  20. Geez, I thought for a moment GW had switched parties, thought I was listening to a Democrat until I actually looked and saw him. GW you’d better hang onto this speech writer….this one writes well; not that most of the American people believe one word of what you are saying - or have you not noticed your ratings lately.

    Yes, I agree with most all of you. This speech was nothing but George on stage. He couldn’t even contain himself at the end of it, he was swaying while he was preaching, hanging onto the microphone then the podium and back and forth - oh it was just disgusting. The performance came on TV on the East Coast just after the premiere of ‘Survivor’ with a lot of vomitting…when in fact obviously it should have been before the premiere. The illness would have then been proper!

    It now makes sense to most of us why GW has had Daddy & President Clinton raising money and he’s not been able to raise a cent for the relief, no one would have been willing to give. At least Bill & Daddy are believable.

    Time to repeal the tax cuts for the rich just as President Clinton said today, ‘I don’t need it.’ If more of the rich had this attitude where would the rest of America be now?

    Comment by Louise — September 16, 2005 @ 2:27 pm

  21. New Oreans was hit by two hurricanes. The first of course was Katrina. The second was the federal government with its slow response, corrupt doling out of reconstruction contracts to Mr. Bush’s croonies while the people who lived there and are quite capable of doing the work, are relegated to below minimum wage to rebuild their lives. The mayor of Slidell, La. stated this A.M. that gas & electric teams were being diverted (to Where?) and not being allowed into Slidell. If any American looks at the difference between the federal government’s response the the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 & the federal government’s response to Katrina it will become evident that the federal government is a very dangerous “hurricane”. We are face with a very real threat to the security and existence of the United States. Terrorist only have to sit back and let our own government destroy us, it may be too late to save us, that is my fear. We have the responsibility to bear witness to actions and inactions of the government, if as I fear these are the beginnings of the end times. God surely does NOT bless beings who are corrupt and take advantage of other beings. It is not possible.

    Comment by vickie votaw — September 16, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

  22. Louise you had a good post (20) but forget the repeal of the tax cuts. One of the main points of junior’s pathetic speech was a call for “tax cuts” to help businesses down there get back on their feet. That wind bag is just that: a wind bag. And for once I agree with extreme rightwing talk show host Michael Savage: he is nothing but an empty suit.

    Comment by Hank — September 16, 2005 @ 2:35 pm

  23. Hank,

    The ‘tax cuts’ is such a corporatist/fascist idea of solving the problem, yet it contains no accountability for what we as a nation get back for ‘relieving’ this business, and it will probably do little to help the people there. How about some REAL relief.

    1) Setting up a fund to pay for the losses that insurance companies won’t pay, or for people who didn’t have insurance.
    2) Not allowing people to be hounded to pay debts who can’t pay them because they’ve lost everything.
    3) The government either ‘guarantees’ or ‘pays’ for outstanding debt of the working poor who no longer have jobs, thereby preventing their probably already suffering credit from utter destruction.
    4) Exemptions on the bankruptcy laws specifically for the new orleans disaster - currently the new law basically makes it so they can be hounded indefinitely and all sorts of fines and fees will rack up against them.
    5) A government managed WPA for these people so they can rebuild their own town, instead of halliburton profitting from their losses while they sit by in shelter.

    I just came up with these ideas over breakfast, and yet these schmucks can only come up with ‘tax cuts’? God they’re either the greediest, stupidest, least creative or least competent people in the world! They’re the anti-west-wing, full of radical retards!

    Comment by Ryan Neat — September 16, 2005 @ 2:53 pm

  24. Yeah, Ryan, and it plays well into American society, thus I have nearly lost faith with the system. Karl Rove and the radical right have learned to tap into the greed and stupidity of the average voter, making them party to what one day will be termed one of the sleaziest and most crooked administrations in history. Its a national disgrace.

    Comment by Hank — September 16, 2005 @ 3:05 pm

  25. President Bush, asked his views on Roe vs Wade…”I don’t care how they get out of New Orelans, just as long as they get out.” That just says it all.

    Comment by Doug Miller — September 16, 2005 @ 3:05 pm

  26. As long as you can keep people is a state of fear, you ar in control and that is this administration goal

    Comment by Ray Schott — September 16, 2005 @ 3:18 pm

  27. As long as you can keep people is a state of fear, you ar in control and that is this administration goal

    Comment by Ray Schott — September 16, 2005 @ 3:18 pm

  28. As a native of New Orleans, past 20+ years in the Bay Area, I witnessed the deterioration of the Crescent City’s infrastructure every time I visited my Daddy. My friends moved out to Slidell, Covington, Mandeville in a “white flight” mentality no longer caring, even afraid to viist “the city”. They were too short sighted to understand that New Orleans’ corrupt politicians,potholes,poverty and picayunism presaged their own fate even if they lived 30 miles away. Now, the Carpetbaggers that we learned about in 8th grade Louisiana history are back representing the same party and chanting the same mantra that “the South will rise again”, only this century under the guise of the new Southern Yankees. If history repeats itself, we will kick them out again and put in our own native good ole boys,in the spirit of the Kingfish:”we know he’s a crook, but at least he’s our crook…” Those who do not study history are indeed doomed to repeat it….

    Comment by Karen O'Neil — September 16, 2005 @ 3:57 pm

  29. You can’t cut taxes with out effecting social programs and government is nothing more then a big social program / insurance program. Not that I like taxes, put I do believe in accountable and sunset clause. As for inherits taxes: Each person (your wife, you, your kids) can each inherits $500,000.00 and pays no taxes, this goes up or down from state to state. I believe the number might be higher, $3,000,000.00. In stead of getting rid of it raise the limit, if that would be fair. Most third world countries GNP, is own by less then 5 – 10 %. We are going that direction where you have two classes, the rich and the poorer. The trickle down does not work, for several reasons. 1) Just because you build it, does not mean they will come or buy. 2) It is not supply and demand. It is demand and supply. If there is no demand, why would you supply it? And last, by the time th trickle gets to the bottom it’s dried up. How many wash machine, dryers, and dish wash will the wealth buy? Look at the bright side, China is buying up all our debt so we can go to war, course, we may have to go to war with them. Also Government and corporation should have to live by the same rules, regulation, retirement and medical coverage as the average American. Such as, NAFT and GAF, it’s alright for corporation and government to out source to other countries and import, but just you try to import your medicine from Canada or Mexico, all of a sudden it’s unsafe. The drug companies must be sending all their bad production run to Canada and Mexico. You must have transparency, to have truth. Having secret evidences, freedom of information limited or stopped and your rights being denied in any country is not being transparent nor is there truth. Also one country terrorist is another country hero, i.e. Boston tea party and several wars also come to mind. This administration has really helped the American people?

    Comment by Dave S — September 16, 2005 @ 7:21 pm

  30. The President’s speech in New Orleans struck me as being an attempt to salvage his falling approval rating.

    Hurricane Katrina served as a wake up call to this country. It showed how totally unprepared we are to address a calamity. This comes four years after 9/11 and creation of Homeland and spending a lot of money. Just what has been accomplished? I personally do not feel safer in light of the way this was handled. Somehow I don’t think I am alone and I’ve finally decided to speak out.

    Our national security and ability to take care of our citizens is certainly suspect. This is way to important to be bogged down in politics. I’ve felt for a long time that the current administration was more about sound bites and spin that actually listening to the people. We need competent adminstrators, not political cronies. There needs to be a lot less red tape and bureaucracy ……serving in government is about serving the people not building a niche for any individual.

    I would add that I believe there are a lot of very good and competent people working in government positions. However I am very skeptical of their leadership and truly question the lack of common sense demonstrated in the higher level positions.

    Comment by Carolyn Eberly — September 16, 2005 @ 8:46 pm

I too am living in an alternate universe where government's complacency is deemed okay by its citizens. If someone has told me and my fellow voters that the imbecile and his administration ignore reports of fellow agencies to support their own personal agendas..... oh wait, they did. However my fellow voters are grossly naive and commited to Fox news evangelism.

BUSHIT speaks

Anyone dense enough to believe one word this man says,considering his past record,is hopelessly retarded.Bush is doing what he has done his entire life,he screws up big time then he uses someone else's money to pay his way out.This time instead of Poppy and his oil pals it's the American taxpayers and their children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren.But the dumb sheep will fall dumbly in line and screw their own children and grandchildren in the name of love for Bush.


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