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September 06, 2005

And You Thought eBay Was Just About Merchandise!

Nope...it's also the latest forum for Bush bashing in the wake of Katrina.

A friend of mine who trades on eBay sent me this link to an eBay thread. As of this writing, the link is still active. Everyone seems to be blaming Bush and his administration for the disastrous effort that has been called humanitarian aid. However, as my friend points out, there is one voice of reason on the thread. I am printing it in its entirety:

"Rarely have I seen so much ignorance displayed in a single thread. sgh, there was plenty of time to leave BEFORE the storm. There was even time to leave AFTER the storm. There was even a way for those poor people to have gotten out, if their mayor had actually FOLLOWED THE CITY'S OWN STATED EVACUATION PLAN.

Take a look at this photo: (not avail--ed.)

Those little yellow dashes are New Orleans city schoolbuses. Here's another look: (not avail--ed.)

They are less than ONE MILE from the Superdome. They were on DRY LAND before the hurricane. They were on dry land AFTER the hurricane.

It would've taken them just TWO TRIPS to evacuate everybody from the Superdome to Houston in less than 24 hours. (And yes, you could indeed get out of NOLa after the storm before the levees went, because WE PERSONALLY KNOW PEOPLE WHO DID.)

But Mayor Nagin did not use those buses to evacuate his citizens before the storm. He did not use them to evacuate his citizens AFTER the storm, while the city was still dry before the levees gave way. More here.

Nor did he use the city's regular bus system.

Oh, and as far as the NOPD not being able to communicate? They got $5M in Federal money back in 2003 to set up a disaster-proof communications system. Money's gone - but the system was never installed.

This is the way Louisiana works, folks.

Incidentally, 60% of NOLa's police force never showed up for duty during the storm. They just bailed. Or they hung around to join in the looting.

And for those of you who, like Dana (who is perpetually clueless about American law), think "the President shoulda DONE sumpin!", read this from a Washington Post story:

Shortly before midnight Friday [before the storm], the Bush administration sent [Democrat Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco] a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the stateÕs emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request...Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

That's right. The President ASKED THE GOVERNOR (as he's legally required to do) to give him the power to have the US military take over the evacuation. AND SHE REFUSED. And she didn't declare a state of emergency (which kicks in all sorts of Federal assistance) until YESTERDAY.

Read it all here.

Meanwhile, who was sitting around on vacation, who didn't come back until the end of this week? CONGRESS. Congress could have met BEFORE THE STORM to authorize a waiver of the Posse Comitatus Act, and allowed Bush to override the Governor and Mayor. But they didn't. As one blogger put it, "Why did it take Congress five days to take action? They knew this storm went to a category 5 last week before it made landfall. No matter where it hit, it had a 100% chance of doing catastrophic damage somewhere, and by Friday it had New Orleans squarely in its sights. Congress should have been back in DC by Monday to get this bill passed and hand it to President Bush, not five days later. They couldn't be bothered to come back from their August vacation more than a couple of days early."

I suggest you folks actually try to educate yourselves with more than headlines before you go pontificating about a place, a culture and a political situation about which you quite obviously know NOTHING."

Like that? I thought you might. As I said to my friend in an e-mail reply,

I received your e-mail about the eBay thread. Yes indeed, how little people know about the situationÉand itÕs because they are listening to the MSM and ill-informed celebrities like Celine Dion and Sean Penn. Any reason they can grab to blame Bush for something, they will, and logic doesnÕt enter into the equation whatsoever. The blogosphere is all over the flooded buses, NOÕs failure to enact its own evacuation plan, and the governorÕs refusal to either declare a state of emergency or let the feds take over ahead of time, but the network bigs and all of the major newspapers are either ignoring those facts or burying them because discrediting Bush and his administration is more important than anything else.

'Nuff said.

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