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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » When did governor Blanco decalre a state of emergency? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: When did governor Blanco decalre a state of emergency?
RickyB
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Please reply with your best understanding. I'll post the link when we have 5 answers.
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David Ricardo
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Friday, August 26th.
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David Ricardo
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BTW, RickyB, how dare you let reality intrude on the Bush/Rove Talking Points Memo entitled, "Blame the Locals and CYA"...hmm?

Have you no shame?

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Funean
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That's how I remember it. But I didn't hear about it till my friend Down There called me Saturday (they had been planning to come up here the next weekend, and she had become unsure as a result of the declaration).

And doesn't it last for like a month, unless cancelled earlier?

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RickyB
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David, stop ruining my presentation [Razz]
Yes, Fockin Friday. 3 whole days before landfall. So while Blanco does appear to have blundered greatly, let us please stop with the lie that she neither signed an emergency order nor requested federal aid until the storm hit.

[ September 10, 2005, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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The Drake
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I've read a memo that's been floating around. And it is filled with so many acronyms, I can't make head or tail of it. It clearly asks for money, but it is unclear what else is implied. I'm going to reserve judgement until I can ask a trusted friend in the California emergency management chain 'o command who to blame and what was requested and such.
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RickyB
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Here's the emergency state order (PDF)
http://gov.louisiana.gov/2005%20%20proclamations/48pro2005-Emergency-HurricaneKatrina.pdf

I'll try to find the request for aid link as well. From what I gather, she asked for 9 million over the weekend, then upped it to 30 million.

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kenmeer livermaile
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This particular passage through disaster reminds me of Forrest Gump playing ping-pong. However, unlike 911, the info is open. It is not Top Secret and whisked into the file cabinet. The dots wilol be connected.

Good. Let both political parties fall to pieces. If ever times were ripe for a new party to emerge. we're getting close to it.

You pronounce it 'focking', Ricky? I always thought it was 'fooking'. Long 'U'. [Wink]

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Zyne
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"Meet the Fockers." Which is okay, but not as funny as its predecessor IMNSHO.
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RickyB
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I'm sorry. whatever she asked for the first time, by Sunday, Aug. 28th, it was upped to 130 million.

http://gov.louisiana.gov/Disaster%20Relief%20Request.pdf

When did genius get his ass back from Crawford, again?

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RickyB
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I feel like Jack Kerouac... [Razz]
I guess I do, though. Eyetalian style.

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RickyB
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"Good. Let both political parties fall to pieces. If ever times were ripe for a new party to emerge. we're getting close to it."


Amen to that, but for all my respect and fond wishes for the success of initiatives like our own concord party, the fact is that even is we remain civilized about it, there are many fundamental dividing issues.

Still, a short lived third party to cut through the mess and give people hope for democracy might work.

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Lady Starkiller
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quote:
there are many fundamental dividing issues
True - but it's the disrespect from all sides more than the issues themselves that is truly dividing. I, for one, maintain that working compromises can be reached on ANY issue - if only folks'd compromise.
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OpsanusTau
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Did anyone hear This American Life this weekend?

(if you didn't, and want to, I think you can either pay four dollars to listen to it now, or wait a week and hear it for free, at thislife.org)

In in, the host points out what a lot of horsesh*t this claim that the Federal Government didn't have authority is - from the moment the Governor asked for help, they did have authority.

Then he goes on to tell some stories from inside New Orleans, about people lied to, overlooked, forced to stay inside the city by sherriffs with guns.
One lady who was at the Convention Center talks about water trucks driving right on by the people there, and police not allowing them to leave, while the gangs of armed thugs "looted" drugstores to get juice for the babies and water for the old people.

Worth a listen, anyways.

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WarrsawPact
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So, when Bush called her before midnight on Friday and asked for federal authority over evacuation, why did he not recieve it until Saturday?

From the "more light than heat" thread, we get this:
quote:
Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's 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 after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law.

A whole lot of good that declaration of emergency was, when they're supposed to hold their ground for 72 hours and still won't give the feds the ability to coordinate the guard and police units.

OpsTau - They had "authority," but it was highly limited authority that grew over the next few days.

[ September 12, 2005, 12:32 PM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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RickyB
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WP, you're talking about Friday, 4 days after the storm hit. A bit late, no?
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Richard Dey
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Which Friday, RB? Warsaw Pact is right on target.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
So, when Bush called her before midnight on Friday and asked for federal authority over evacuation, why did he not recieve it until Saturday?

Once again, "The South" screws itself over "States' Rights!" and "Local Control!".

The Feds, however, weren't real great either.

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WarrsawPact
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Mississippi did just fine. And they never had to let the Feds barge in without authority.
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Dave at Work
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Has anybody done an objective comparison of the Katrina response as compared to the response to other large storms such as Andrew? I have heard a lot of emotional handwringing and moral outrage and many good questions about where the relief was, but I haven't actually seen a comparison to other large storm responses as yet.
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kenmeer livermaile
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For what it's worth, some demographic perspective on LA's and MS' respective logistical challenges in protecting their coastal populations:

link
"Mississippi’s coastal counties’ population was 607,635, or 21 percent of the state population. Louisiana’s coastal parishes’ total population was 3,555,628, or about 79 percent the state's population."

link

"Louisiana raised its official death count to 197 on Sunday. Mississippi, the other hardest hit state, had 211 confirmed killed. There were also fatalities, though much lower numbers, in Alabama and Florida."

So MS, hit head on, lost 211 of 607K people while LA, hit not quite so hard but a sitting duck in terms of levees, lost 197 of 3.5 million folks.

Just to put it into comparative terms of the final wages of death.

Trent Lott has it in, of course, for Dubya, so take that into account when he says:

link
"Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi said: "Something needed to happen. Michael Brown has been acting like a private, instead of a general. When you're in the middle of a disaster, you can't stop to check the legal niceties or to review FEMA regulations before deciding to help Mississippians knocked flat on their backs."

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by David Ricardo:
BTW, RickyB, how dare you let reality intrude on the Bush/Rove Talking Points Memo entitled, "Blame the Locals and CYA"...hmm?

Have you no shame?

LMAO...you are the one that has no shame.

This is just simply hilarious. The catchall explanation for ANYTHING that may POSSIBLY counter the Dean/Pelosi/Soros Talking Points Memo is immediately discount it as the
"Bush/Rove Talking Points Memo."

I don't see how anyone other than people bent on blaming Bush at all costs can possibly ignore the facts that Blanco and Nagin screwed up big time here. Whether Bush was in Crawford, or D.C. or at the Superdome itself, the first response and evacuation's that SHOULD have been ordered, organized and implemented, and the declaration of martial law immediately after the storm passed were both issues that contributed far more to the disasterous aftermath than ANYTHING Bush could have done.

...must....get....Bush....

[Roll Eyes]

[ September 12, 2005, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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David Ricardo
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Methinks the Bush cheerleader doth protest too much...
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Adjudicator
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I am anything but a Bush cheerleader, and I agree with Daruma here.

The local governments have a much greater responsibility in the early phases of a disaster than the federal government does.

Here is how I see the hierarchy of blame:

1) Nagin and the city leaders should have ensured all who wanted to leave the city could do so and that the emergency facilities had law enforcement, people in charge and supplies.

2) The governor should have sent in the national guard and mobilized state assets as well as had reliable intelligence of the situation in the hardest-hit areas.

3) FEMA and other federal resources should have been communicating with state and local authorities to develop reliable information about the conditions in NO and other diaster areas. They should have been capable of providing leadership in the lack thereof at state and local levels as well as providing the resources and direction which the local govs so clearly failed to provide.

4) Bush should have been receiving reliable information from the appropriate advisers so that he could see when the whole bloody chain of command from local to state to national was broken and he could personally step it and get the right people working on the problems.

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David Ricardo
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I have already said that the local and state governments are just as complicit in the blame as the federal government. To be honest, I do not particularly fault Bush directly in the mismanagement of Katrina, but rather fault him indirectly for having incompetents under him (Michael Chertoff and Michael Brown) who dropped the ball in the face of our nation's worst natural disaster.

The simple fact of the matter is that no one comes out looking good in the aftermath of Katrina.

Unfortunately, certain individuals in the Bush Administration are more concerned with lying to reporters from the Washington Post and planting false stories about how Governor Blanco declared a state of emergency a week later than she actually declared it (Yes, Blanco is culpable in the Katrina disaster, but it's still atrocious how "anonymous Bush Administration officals" will make up lies to slander her as part of their CYA operation).

Sometimes, government officials just need to say, "The buck stops here." It's pretty pathetic when every official from the local, state, and federal government are more concerned with CYA political operations than with saving people's lives.

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Digger
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It's fairly easy to delineate the failings at all levels in this travesty.

Local: The Mayor has under his/her direct supervision the police and fire departments and by extension the EMT's and other first responders. These responders normally operate on a single call/response basis. 9/11 and the resulting Homeland Security Act was supposed to improve upon that, especially in the arena of cross-departmental communications and planning.

State: The Governor has the power to call out the National Guard and declare States of Emergengy with the pupose (in this case) to coordinate the activities of local first responder organizations and to provide additional manpower and logistics capabilities to respond in the immediate aftermath. They need some time to organize, but it would be reasonable to expect that within 24 hours, they would be on the scene.

Federal: FEMA is the point organization and has the power to call upon the rest of the Department of Homeland Security, including the military, to supplement the tasks of the National Guard, especially in logistics and manpower. They are not first responders, and potentially require more time to organize than the National Guard (who have a local presence), but one would expect them to be ready inside of 36 - 48 hours.

So, show me which level didn't fail at their assigned task?

The fact that there were still almost 100,000 people in the city 4 days after the storm passed is appalling.

In my view, this isn't a partisan issue. If blame is cast specifically at one level of the hierarchy, I think it is primarily because of the little letters that follow the names of those at the top of that particular level of the hierarchy. And I think that stinks.

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by David Ricardo:
Methinks the Bush cheerleader doth protest too much...

Gimme a B
Gimme a U
Gimme a S
Gimme a......focking break already.

Anything that could possibly explaing the current anti-Bush meme is a "Rove Conspiracy" therefore it is not to be considered in discussions as relevant. Neat little red herring you love to use at every turn in your zeal to get Bush at all costs.

Pointing that out doesn't make me a "cheerleader."

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Gimme a B
Gimme a U
Gimme a S
Gimme a......focking break already.

lol

That's funny, Daruma.

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Daruma28
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Well, I am tired of being called that.

I could write all day about the problems I have with Bush...but because I disagree with the majority of the criticisms from the left, I'm a "cheerleader."

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Well, I am tired of being called that.
I know you are.

I really meant (with utter sincerity), that's funny.

I laughed.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Well, I am tired of being called that.

It's Bush who is the cheerleader because he did, in fact, lead cheers.

At any rate -- I'm with Digger. Nobody at any leadership level of government performed competently.

[ September 12, 2005, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: A. Alzabo ]

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Daruma28
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Well I'm glad you found some humor...because I wrote that kinda irked and not trying to be funny.

But then, I'm not in a good mood today, as both my college team and my fav pro team both lost their games this weekend... [Mad] [Smile]

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Nobody at any leadership level of government performed competently.

Me three.
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WarrsawPact
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quote:
but one would expect them to be ready inside of 36 - 48 hours.
Of what?

The standard time that local and state agencies are told to hold out is 72 hours.

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Digger
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Of being notified that they will be needed. In this case, before the storm hit by more than 12 hours. After all I posted the first notice here on Ornery about Katrina the night before the storm made landfall. Already there were predictions about what could happen. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the clock started at least 12 hours before the storm made landfall.

And even granting the 72 hours you feel is more appropriate (I'm assuming after the storm passed, even), the response was still pathetic. Brown was right to resign and Blanco and Nagin should have their resignations drafted post haste.

But they won't.

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Daruma28
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It gets worse as we learn more...

From the Washington Post A Steady Buildup to a City's Chaos

quote:
In fact, while the last regularly scheduled train out of town had left a few hours earlier, Amtrak had decided to run a "dead-head" train that evening to move equipment out of the city. It was headed for high ground in Macomb, Miss., and it had room for several hundred passengers. "We offered the city the opportunity to take evacuees out of harm's way," said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black. "The city declined."

So the ghost train left New Orleans at 8:30 p.m., with no passengers on board.


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kenmeer livermaile
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"So the ghost train left New Orleans at 8:30 p.m., with no passengers on board."

With plenty of blame to go around on all partisan sides and all levels of government, it is difficult not to approach this level of incompetence, as heightened by myriad declines like the Amtrak incident, as somehow deliberate.

It sounds weird but... as the details come in it sounds less like a description of gross incompetence and more of deliberate metropolicide. I make no assertions; I'm only describing my subjective register. Increasingly, the news reports sound not like reality but like the unfolding of some corny movie like Robo Cop 2 or Resident Evil wherein a powerful crypto-establishment organization seeks to annihilate a section of town or turn a city into zombies or...

And this is without relying on the less verified/verifiable fringe information. This is just reading the goldang Wa. Post.

As Willam Gibson said when Lisa Marie Presley married Michael Jackson, "My job" (writing dystopian post fin-de-diecle urban sci-fi) "just got that much harder."

Likewise the National Enquirer and its derivative publications.

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flydye45
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Here is a question offered in all seriousness:

Is anyone ever satisfied at the time of the incident with the response of the rescue crews, federal or state? The best response I remember is the LA earthquake, but usually condemnation is the norm, whomever is in charge.

But I posted elsewhere a link where a man waited 10 days for help after H. Andrew, after being injured. If true, this makes FEMA's response here look positively prescient.

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Jesse
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An 80 year old woman was just rescued after 12 days in New Orleans....I completely fail to see the relevance of the annecdote.
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Digger
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"Is anyone ever satisfied at the time of the incident with the response of the rescue crews, federal or state?"

You may not believe me, but I generally am. To see me complaining about Katrina, something had to go pretty seriously wrong. I'm not going to trot out credentials, but I worked for a number of years in various operations roles in several organizations. I know what is involved in working unexpected problems, developing priorities for action, and executing effectively. I'm also painfully aware of the limitations faced in dealing with crises - lack of insight into the nature or scope of the problem, dealing with entrenched procedures and beuracracies that inhibit effectiveness of respose, bad performance on the part of key individuals, the whole schtick.

As such, I'm usually willing to cut plenty of slack when I see things go wrong and I see people doing their best under trying circumstances. But in the case of Katrina, the ineptitude shone through like a supernova. It was obvious that there was absolutely no consideration given ahead of time to the idea that the levees could break and inundate the city with a flood in a matter of hours. If there was a plan at all, it obviously assumed that mobility around the city would be maintained and supplies could be delivered and people in dire need could be evacuated to a better location. When faced with the reality of the situation, all levels of command froze.

Even then, the decision making, IMHO, was poor. It was obvious to me that you couldn't support 100,000 people in a city with no electricity, no plumbing, and very limited transportation options. The first order of business should have been to organize transport for the populace out of New Orleans and into an area with working infrastructure. This wasn't started for days after the fact. That alone is enough to tell you that the leadership was flailing. Only after the problems escalated did control over the situation get transferred to more capable hands.

So, tell me I have 20/20 hindsight and I won't have any defense - unless you talk to my wife who listened to me bitch and moan the whole time. There may be a post or two laying around here that will back up what I say, I can't recall. In fact, I don't think I complained at all until after 48 hours had passed and it was becoming obvious that things were not going well. I'll have to do some looking.

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