Via The Instapundit, Michele at a Small Victory is blogging the good news (rescues) from the Hurricane.
For my money, I saw one of the greatest things I have ever seen in one of these tragedies just a little while ago on CNN. IN the heart of ravaged Biloxi, a reporter was giving an update when behind him, marching in line down the street full of wreckage, was a drum corp/marching band leading a platoon of guys wielding rakes, brooms, andchainsaws to the cleanup.
For some reason, it was one of those silly gestures of defiance and spirit that always make me smile.
And if you haven’t already, donate:
Glenn also has a bunch of sites taking donations, and there are more sites here, including numerous religious communities, who, as always, are rising to the occasion.
For all the grief I give some of the lunatics within the radical religious right, I don’t think I spend near enough time saying how many good things religious communities in the United States and abroad do for the downtrodden. I don’t care where you go in the world, if you find someone starving, hurting, and down on their luck, you will find a Catholic nun, some evangelicals, some Mormons, or some other religious group, all doing the heavy lifting to help people in need.
And Thomas at Red State has a rundown of what corporate America is doing to help.
And while you are at Red State, help Josh Trevino kill this inevitable and stupid meme. Next, we will be hearing Bush is to blame because he wasn’t standing on Canal Street with his finger in a dike.
Another charity here.
lol…right after a write my screed against the religious nuts…you post this..lol. Well..you’re right. When are these groups and believers at their best? When they live the basic teachings of Christ…love your brother as yourself..and sacrifice. Which are basic teachings in most religions. Shared ideas about our shared lives. Which is why the “My way or the highway.” fundamentalism is counter-productive to the advancement of humanity.
I suppose it isn’t worth mentioning that last year Bush rushed right on down to Florida to pose for the cameras after the hurricane, and thus far he has been to busy on his whistle stop tour pimping his latest brilliant idea to even swing by one of the affected areas.
I guess the fact that last year was an election year had nothing to do with the President’s ‘eagerness’ in showing support for the victims in this critical swing state of mine. Not that I think Bush doesn’t care about the citizens of Louisiana and Alabama – I’m sure he thinks about them every day – it’s just that they vote so solidly Republican that he doesn’t need to put on the dog and pony show for them.
I don’t agree that the meme about how we would be better off if more national guardsmen were available is stupid.
But if Josh and you for that matter feel once again that you must defend President Bush from charges of malfeasance, then you need to talk about how even if Bush hadn’t dramaticly cut funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, preventing the levees’ completion, New Orleans would still be flooded.
Not that I would be likely to buy it, but your going to need to come up with something.
Since the levees were designed for level 3 hurricanes, and a decrease in funding didn’t ‘prevent’ the levees from stopping the inevitable failure when a level 4-5 hurricane strike hit, I don;t really think I need to come up with much, dear.
Furthermore, unlike the jackals immediately attempting to maximize political gain at every opportunity, I will wait for the actual post-mortem on this tragedy before declaring as fact things I don’t know. Like, for example, the new ‘fact’ that if only we had dumped $5 million more into the levees, they would have withstood a direct hit from a Level 5 hurricane.
You and the left might try out this strategy! Knowing things is COOL!
because he wasn’t standing on Canal Street with his finger in a dike.
Yeah, if you were going to do that, why wouldn’t you go to Bourbon street? I mean really, doesn’t make sense to go to Canal Street.
Oh, you mean like a then running for re-election President Bush that rushed on down here to Florida after our hurricane to maximize political gain by
reassuringcampaigining to Floridians?
So let me get this right. Bush is bad when he does not immediately rush to the Hurricane site, and he is bad if he does?
And I would check your dates on when Bush visited the hurricane in Florida. Hurricane Jeanne hit on the 25th, was far less damging than Katrina, and Bush went there on the 27th EN ROUTE TO A PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE:
The other times were all after events calmed down and his presence would not be a distraction.
There will be plenty of time to assign praise/blame. Can’t people just shut the hell up and give the people directly affected by this tragedy support in any way they can?
Don’t be patently false and put words in my mouth. I didn’t say Bush was BAD. I said he was opportunistic. There is a world of difference, even if you want to pretend there isn’t.
And I live here in Florida, so I think I recall the way his visits were played out on the news, and how he utilized the opportunities. Maybe you had better check YOUR dates, because we had four hurricanes last year, and he visited us on MORE than one occassion.
Here’s a link on Newsmax that corroborates MY recollection of events. The first line of that story lends us a clue:
It doesn’t make Bush BAD. It DOES make him an opportunistic politician, which was my point to begin with.
Bush is bad when he fails to lead. Bush is bad when he uses people as campaign props. Bush is bad when he wastes blood and treasure in that Iraq fiasco you love so much. It’s all a matter of how high you want to set your standards. It’s up to you. But if you want an excuse to say left, right, liberal, conservative in the broadest possible ambiguity, then have fun.
P.S. Your friend, Trevino, is waving numbers around just so he can say left. He really doesn’t have to work so hard to make non-sense.
“There will be plenty of time to assign praise/blame.”
And when that time comes we’ll get back to shark attacks and missing white women. The anvil’s hot now.
And of course, unlike you I cannot go back and edit my post, so the quote that wasn’t there when I first read your post that now is makes my link totally unnecessary, but my point stands.
Don’t pretend like Bush isn’t a politician. He is.
Of course he is. And he should be there. When his presence is not a distraction. HE will go there eventually, just as he did the numerous other times.
I mean cripes- he declared the region a disaster area BEFORE the hurricane hit. What do you want?
And I edited my post prior to you putting up your comment.
This is an interesting excerpt from the article I linked to as well:
Draw whatever conclusion you wish from this, John. I know what it says to me.
Since I was typing my post and looking for a link at the time you edited, I hadn’t refreshed the page to see your changes.
This should annoy John.
This should, too. This bit was painful: “One project that a contractor had been racing to finish this summer was a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site of the main breach.” Too bad the funding was strangled.
Is it any wonder this country is so polorized? I can’t stand much of what Bush has done to this country, nor the New Republican party. But right now there is almost an entire city under water, there are uncounted dead and millions arte left homeless.
Fuck man, I just saw a man on the street who’s wife was dragged from his arms by the flood. He was in unimaginable pain and shock. I can’t even begin to think of what I would do if my wife was taken away like that.
You want missing white women? Well there are plenty. And black ones, and brown ones… This story isn’t going anywhere. Have some fucking respect and wait a few damned days before playing political football.
I’m not trying to annoy John.
I’m just taking to task his villification of everyone to the left of center over this issue while simultaneously being obtuse to the fact that – gasp – President Bush might have had political motivations for being SO responsive to Florida’s hurricanes last year (prior to an election) as compared to his present performance, which isn’t quite as ‘brisk’.
John’s own words tell me as much:
Mike, I live in South Florida, and hurricanes have been a way of life for me over two decades, so I not only sympathize with those poor people, I empathize with them. And I don’t appreciate all this political shit about a natural disaster, but I didn’t put the political football into play on this matter. John did.
I’m merely returning the punt.
The point about religious groups reminds me of a conversation I had with an in-law the other day. She told me how she knew some people who had served as missionaries in Africa, and how their mission was strictly evangelical, they weren’t supposed to help the natives in other ways or teach them about anything except Christianity. And then there are many other church groups that are doing good works in the Third World, saving lives and uplifting people, and converting many of them along the way. Just another reminder of how religion can serve good or not-so-good ends.
I’m an equal opportunity person right now. I’m sick to fucking death of all of the bullshit.
I think I’ll just get the hell off the computer and get as far away from all of you as I can.
Mike S: What support can we give from our keyboards? If you give money, you have plenty of time to keyboard. The only thing left is go over there.
I just turned on the TV and there is no hurricane news. I get it from radio and net.
As a citizen of the great State of Arizona, I and others here – both liberal and conservative – are wondering why Fearless Leader was here in Phoenix hocking his Medicare proposals and then in California golfing while the Gulf Coast was suffering.
For the love of God, how difficult can it be for this man to see that you do not instill comfort and confidence in people by hitting the links while people die.
Thank goodness New Orleans wasn’t completely on fire as Bush would be headed to the local fiddling contest.
How about not turning their tragedy into some sort of political gotcha. At least until they can find their dead.
But I’m done. Whip your big dicks out and slap each other with them. God knows you all seem to enjoy it.
It’s comical that Red State would accuse anybody of craven partisanship when the next post over is something like this.
Not going to give ten percent of a rat’s ass what Red State thinks of partisanship if they think an Iran-Contra-style blanket pardon is cause for celebration.
Amen Ancient Purple. Mike S, was that political?
Many religious groups do massive amounts of good during times of crisis and for individuals and families during their unpublicized personal crises. Regardless of political (or religious) persuasion, give credit when credit is due. The professional helpers (state social services, professional non-profits, police, firefighters, emergency services, etc.) also do a great deal to help and deserve credit for their work as well. Even if you don’t like the politics involved in their creation.
Wow, it’s gotten pretty bad for them to piss you off Mike. The man from Alabama with the missing wife really hit home, didn’t it?
This is the same damned argument that we had about 9/11. Bush defenders went fiercely after the nonexistent argument that Gore could have absolutely, positively prevented the attacks. Obviously that’s a ridiculous and unattainable standard. The point always was that at least Gore would have tried.
Same here. You can’t claim that investing in hurricane security is worthless because it would fail to completely prevent a once-in-a-century disaster. The first obvious point is that we don’t know for sure how well properly-invested levees would have held up because we didn’t try. Working on tax money like they do, the Corps tends to overbuild things. Second, the investments were intended to protect agains more ordinary once-in-a-decade disasters and we didn’t even invest in that. So if Katrina didn’t breach the levees some lesser storm eventually would.
Iraq took that money. It was widely reported at the time of the cuts and nobody disputed it. Iraq took the LANG and the Marines’ amphibious rescue capacity, or at least quite a lot of it. Rescue and security personnel disproportionately enlist in National Guard and Reserves so Iraq took them too. It starts to add up.
It’s all a moot point.
This hurricane was an absolute disaster, and I hope the recovery is speedy. Unfortuantely, when people defend the indefensible, they refuse to accept any responsibility for the consequences of their actions, and inevitably learn nothing from the experience.
I hope this disaster teaches a lot of people some valuable lessons about evacuating when a hurricane is about to hit, renewing natural defenses around cities, etc.
But given the climate, I doubt there will be many who will come away from this learning a damn thing.
More than words can describe.
I’d say you summed it up rather eloquently.
Watching Fox New here and Neil Cavuto just said something like “Should tax payers foot the bill for those who want to live so close to the shore. We’ll be talking to one expert who says ‘no'”.
I’m sorry but that may be the most abhorrent thing I’ve ever heard on television in my life. Count me as an ex-Fox viewer.
I know that all of us here disagree about many things, but I think we can all agree that (1) our hearts go to out to these people “who live close to the shore” and (2) that New Orleans is a cultural treasure whose loss will be felt everywhere in the country, if not the world, for generations if it really is destroyed.
I’m off to the Red Cross site and I hope many of you are as well.
I’m watching this shit on CNN as the bitch Katrina moves over my head. I’m in PA. I can hear her raining out my window. I’m watching this shit on tv..and all I can say is Holy Fucking Shit! That’s the basic thought. Then all kinds of thoughts about sci-fi stories of ravaged futures. The looting…and so many of the looters are running out of stores carrying…diapers..and someone said something about a shooting and a suicide at the Dome! It’s like Red Dawn…without invadeing communists to kill. Holy Fucking Shit! Pardon my French…Quarter.
You don;t know what the hell you are talking about. Period:
From May 2005 this year. Nothing in place or proposed could protect from this type of storm. Nothing.
It is why they call them fucking disasters. Now you can go join John Aravosis and Atrios and blame this all on Bush, but I will just sit and look at you in amazement.
And I’ll sit back and watch in amazement as you continue to distort reality by equating calling Bush an opportunistic politician with blaming a hurricane on him while simultaneously comparing minimizing the damage from this storm with flat out stopping it.
I agree. This soon after the hurricane, people might acquire a blame the victim mentallity and hurt the recovery.
Emergency management needs to be reviewed, but, Cavuto is too crude to be of any use.
Mike is right, and I just got shown up by DougJ. Ouch.
When you ask the political blogosphere to hold an attitude of sober reflection for a few beats it reminds me of the scorpion and the frog. We won’t all make all the way across the river.
You haven’t even read what people are saying, have you.
First, they aren;t blaming the hurricane on him, they are blaming him for ‘being on vacation’ and ‘not doing enough.’ What the helle he is supposed to do is beyond me.
Then, they are claiming that a decrease in fudning to the ass-end of a levee construction program designed for significantly less than what they were hit with is somehow a Bush failure.
Alternately, they are now claiming an extra one thousand or two thousand troops would have done something appreciably different.
This is a disaster. Things have been set in motion to rescue and clean up. But there is little anyone can do.
And this National Guard BS- I was deployed in the Guard several times for flooding and snow duty. We cleaned up the mess. We didn’t form a human wall to ‘minimize the damage of storms’
You can’t claim Dear Leader’s hands are totally clean of this issue.
As far as I’m concerned, I do want to know what the government could have done differently to prevent this, if anything, because this could happen again somewhere. I’m sure there is something to be learned from this, not that there should be finger-pointing. Most likely, there was not much difference between Clinton’s and Bush’s policies on this sort of thing, I’m willing to hear it debated, either way.
Wow. Just…wow. That’s sick.
I suppose the Cavuto would like us all to believe that the levees were built as charity for New Orleans, not because the single largest shipping pathway in the world flows down the Mississippi river, and out into the ocean by way of the New Orleans riverport. No, it was because we’re all idiots who protect the drunks in the Square from the Darwinian consummation they so devoutly deserve.
I’m glad that my wife and I got to walk the French quarter, go up to the cathedral, walk through the Garden district, visit the Cafe du Monde. I’m glad we got to visit Tulane. I mourn the devastation of a great and glorious city, and the fact that it will never be what it once was.
I wasn’t referring to ‘the others’, but specifically speaking about my exchanges with you regarding YOUR comments. If you prefer to be deliberatley obtuse with me and obfuscate the matter, then fine. Have it your way.
I’m going to bed. Have a pleasant evening.
Doug, there won’t be many times when I say this so I wanted to say it: Great post. That Cavuto quote just made me retch in disgust. Some empathy people!
And just in defense of the left, if you read the threads at dkos you’ll find a lot of people complaining about the whole political talk at this moment. It’s just that they don’t write 10 diaries per day like the more histerical ones.
I will tell you exactly what he should be doing. He should be in Washington, DC or at an Army base near the devastation acting Presidential. You know, coordinating efforts, meeting with the Joint Chiefs to survey was support the military could provide, addressing the nation from the Oval Office in prime time telling them that all will be well. In times of national catastrophe, people are looking for signs of hope and leadership.
You will never convince me or anyone else that Fearless Leader shooting 18 holes in sunny California does anything other than send a message of “Well, sucks to be you in New Orleans, but, damn, I just made a boogie on the 11th hole.”
I really wish I could decide if Bush is acting like Nero because he is heartless or just stupid.
I agree with you DougJ in so far as this is a valuable lesson that needs to be learned.
I don’t know about Clinton here, but, it’s not the most important thing. If he failed, then he failed. It’s too late to impeach him. I never worshipped him anyway. I don’t even like to talk about him. For one reason, he’s an overblown has been.
John, I admire your effort, but you can’t reason a man out of a position he was never reasoned into.
Come on guys, who will be the first to claim this wouldn’t have happened if Bush had signed Kyoto?
Right on, Ancient Purple, he could have pulled us all together, but, he has a life to get on with. He’s like Cavuto.
You can’t tell me that having levees break helps. That 26 million Dear Leader took away could have helped. How about the 87 billion spent in iraq?
It also pisses me off when people criticize the people who did not leave. The people being rescued are the poorest of the poor, and did the best they could during a freaking Category 5 storm. These people didn’t have much to begin with, and now they are left with nothing. It’s heartbreaking. And some of you newer posters who are doing nothing but bitching about Bush, need to go back to the bottom feeding sites you came from. Now is not the time, pick a different freaking thread to rant on. The ID thread is always good for ranting and raving. You just sound like small, petty people. Big dicks indeed.
Spare us all your spewage. Being poor has little to do with evacuating an area. People stay because they don’t believe the news or they want to protect their property. It happens in all natural disasters, and has little do with wealth.
And criticizing Bush for playing golf during this disaster when last year he dropped everything and ran to Florida four times in a month is a valid criticism. I guess for the likes of you, any time is a good time to defend Bush.
You just sound like a naive little girl without a clue.
(See website re: Bubble Boy Deja Vu: MIA All Over Again)
One out of six in hurricane areas did not possess a car. How many now do not possess lives? Homes?
Oh well, piles of cells in petri dishes are so much more important.
As George Bush says, “Poor people are poor because they’re lazy.”
ps. Has Bubble Boy EVER had a real job? Not to my knowledge. Anyone else?
I predicted something like this the other day, but I didn’t expect it to be this graphic. This is probably the sickest use of a tragedy for political/religious advantage I’ve ever seen.
Anyone beside me think that JohnS is DougJ’s love child with Moonbeam Starwash?
Being poor has everything to do with evacuating an area. No car, no money, no connections. If you’re alone, maybe someone will offer you a ride, but you know, other people have other priorities in a crisis, just as they should. If you’re well connected to one of the congragations in New Orleans which has organized a ride share program, maybe your mentor can pick you up. But maybe they’re out of town, or maybe they’ve got guests, or maybe…they forget.
No matter what, you’re stranded. No money for a bus ticket out of town, and it doesn’t matter, because they’ll sell out, anyway.
Where did they dig you up?
No wonder you can’t win a national election. Link
It all becomes clear, grasshopper.
Anyone else think that someone opens a comment with an ad-hominem attack when they really have nothing substanitive to say?
You sure do like to lecture a lot on things that you think you know about, while using a gallery of fallacious arguments to bolster your non-existent arguments.
Of course being dirt poor can make it extremely difficult to evacuate, but the EXTREME scenario you painted doesn’t apply to the majority of people who stuck around for other reasons.
I was wondering the same about you, or rather, what rock you crawled out from under.
Ah…demimondian must be proud to know that the mental midget known as Stormy has got his back.
Yes, I am bitching about Fearless Leader because he has some explaining to do about how Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf Coast and he decided that the best use of his time was to play golf and try to sell his Medicare reform to seniors in Arizona.
However, I also gave specific things that I wanted to see him do. Mr. Cole seems to think that because he signed his name to a disaster declaration, that is all that he can do and so, we should cut him some slack. Well, I won’t. It is patently obscene and disgraceful that in a time of such urgent need – even if that need is just to find some reassurance from the Commander-In-Chief – the best that Bush could do was find some more fun things to do on his vacation time.
Hmm. You know, one of the hardest things to learn to do when you run a large group is stay out of the way — particularly when you would benefit from being seen.
In this case, Shrub would benefit from being seen in any of the venues that you listed. D’you think Karl Rove hasn’t said that to him? Yet he’s not come. I wonder — you know that he stayed out of Florida for weeks back in 2000. Could it be that he really doesn’t want to joggle people’s elbows until things settle down a bit?
Joggling people’s elbows didn’t seem to matter one bit to him last year when he rushed down here to Florida to take advantage of the photo-ops offered to him by our four successive hurricanes.
But then, I suppose it would be ludicrous to expect consistency from Bush, or from your commentary.
This is my first post to Balloon Juice. I’ve been lurking for about a month now. I’m a liberal, but I very much enjoy (most of the time) the exchange of ideas between the participants here.
Today is a very sad day for me. My family is originally from Southern Mississippi. I have lots of relatives in So. Miss. and in New Orleans. Two of my aunts and my uncle (on mom’s side) have lost their homes. Thank goodness they all were able to leave town before the hurricaine hit.
My aunt and cousin on dad’s side are missing. They were afraid to leave their home, even after the announcement came for the city to evacuate.
My other relatives – aunts, uncles, cousins – in So Miss are without power or clean water. The roads are closed, trees are down, and they’re all trying to pick up the pieces of their lives.
I’ve read the posts from everyone, and i’m just stunned that anyone can talk politics at this moment in time. Why so much animosity? I just don’t get it. Believe me, i’m no fan of GWB, but today is not the day to point fingers and blame the other guy.
My parents are sick to death about what’s happened, and they feel helpless to do anything at all. We’re on the West Coast, so all we can do is watch the TV and wait to hear from my aunt and cousin.
Thanks for listening to me, and I hope that y’all will try and put the sniping and snark on hold….at least for a couple of days.
Stormy70 may be correct that Bush did not play golf. In searching the news it looks like there is a bone of contention on that issue. Fair enough.
That being said, I will point you to several facts that are not in dispute:
1) While Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, Fearless Leader felt that a stump speech in not only Arizona but also California on Medicare was the top of his agenda for the day.
2) While speaking to a group of seniors at the luxury resort in El Mirage, AZ, Bush spent less than 90 seconds addressing the devastation that was occuring in New Orleans, Biloxi and Mobile. Instead, he went on for over a half hour on Medicare and also talked about the great progress being made in Iraq.
3) Today, while people were being rescued from rooftops, levees breaking, towns being leveled by storm surges, and dead bodies floating in New Orleans, our Fearless Leader was busy playing guitar and having a grand old time in Colorado.
4) Instead of heading back to Washington, DC to address the nation in prime time television with an address to allay our fears that New Orleans would become a lifeless hulk of a city, our Fearless Leader felt that an extra two hours on Air Force One would be just too much for him to take and headed back to Crawford before heading back to Washington. I guess those luxury recliners and that gourmet food aboard AF1 is just too much to handle.
According to reports, 70 people are confirmed dead, looting is widespread in New Orleans, Biloxi is 75% destroyed, 1.7 million people are without power and potable water, tens of thousands of people are trapped in the Superdome with no water, power or waste facilities (i.e. working bathrooms).
And the best the leader of the United States can do is pick guitar and enjoy his vacation.
I couldn’t agree more with you Stormy.
Has anyone thought about the long-term effects of all of this? Most of our shipping of grain from the Midwest goes down the Mississippi. Remember that N.O. isn’t just a nice place with a French quarter and jazz–it’s also one of our major ports.
Not to mention that a sizable percentage of the oil rigs in the Gulf are down for months.
Considered the expected economic impact from all of this, I want to see some evidence that our present Administration has some plans in place to alleviate the long-term damage. I haven’t seen anything yet.