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Monday, September 12, 2005

Balanced Views on Hurricane

Email from Friend: "I have been reading your blog, and I thought you might like this article from the New York Times. The general perception I am hearing on the street here in Louisiana is that Gov. Blanco is most to blame. There is a lot of anger at her everywhere you go. People are really not that angry with the federal government and the more I read the vast majority of the mistakes were made at the State and local level. I just think that to be intellectually honest, you need to look at the missteps by state and local officials as well as national figures. The Red Cross tried to move in, and the Gov. and her people stopped them. Even people I know and have talked to were not able to lend aid because of the Governor. Even now, when it is more than evident that she is in far too deep, she still refuses to give up any of her authority. There is a lot of real anger at her. I know that your blog is aimed at exposing problems in the Bush administration, but it looks like there is plenty of blame to go around." Political Issues Snarled Plans for Troop AidWASHINGTON, Sept. 8 - As New Orleans descended into chaos last week and Louisiana's governor asked for 40,000 soldiers, President Bush's senior advisers debated whether the president should speed the arrival of active-duty troops by seizing control of the hurricane relief mission from the governor. For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effors."
My friend in Louisiana brings up an interesting point. By no means do I wish to imply that there is no lack on the part of local officials. The points I have made here are focused on the federal level for two reasons. The first is that this is an administration that sold itself on its ability to defend this nation from terrorist attacks. I didn't believe it before, but more than half the voting public did believe it and it matters that this administration has failed to deliver. Their lying ways are catching up with ordinary Americans. It does matter when our President lies about WMDs and other related topics. Just because the lies initially only impact the poor citizens of another country who have died in the hundreds of thousands… Just because the lies initially only impact a small group of US citizens who signed up to defend our country… Just because the lies initially don't seem to matter to the moral sensibilities of the self-righteous doesn't mean that a tendency to have pretty word pictures in place of substance will not come home to roost. This administration has been preparing for terrorist attacks of this sort of magnitude for four years. They should be impeached for their lies. My second reason for focusing on the federal administration is the scope of their effect and my role in their existence. I did not vote for and cannot so easily comment on the accountability of the Mississippi and Louisiana Governors. I care what has happened there and I hope that Barbour and Blanco are held accountable for the failures under their administration, my interest in that process is more limited than the that of the citizens of those states. Accountability for the federal response, however, is something upon which I am entitled to insist. Bu$hco insists on calling it a "blame game." Mr. President, it is called accountability, not blame. You are responsible. The buck stops with you.

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