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September 5, 2005

An Open Letter to the President
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 06:01 PM * 9 comments

From an editorial in the Times-Picayune

Emphasis mine:

Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a “Today” show story Friday morning.

Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: “Buses! And gas!” Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, “We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day.”

Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, “You’re doing a heck of a job.”

That’s unbelievable.

Can we nominate these guys for a Pulitzer?
Comments on An Open Letter to the President:
#1 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 06:19 PM:

MacArthur grants accept citizen-nominations; Pulitzers I'm not sure about.

#2 ::: Jeff Funk ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 06:28 PM:

I'm going to give to the Red Cross. I gave a small donation this weekend while I was out with my friend, Sara. The bar we were at, Babylon, was selling Jell-o shots & Mardi Gras beads to help raise money. I've been glued to CNN. And I've taken a couple days off from blogging because I almost feel guilty writing about my love life when so many people's lives have been shattered.

#3 ::: Janine ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 07:29 PM:

I've been wondering that all week.

Nola.com has also re-posted their 1992 series on hurricanes here:

http://www.nola.com/hurricane/?/washingaway/

I haven't read it yet. I'm not sure my blood pressure can stand it. However, I can't help but notice that in the synopsis for part 2, they estimated that approx. 100,000 people wouldn't have the transportation to evacuate.

#4 ::: janet ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 11:10 PM:

Well said. I may even forgive them for misuse of the term "exponentially."

#5 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 12:42 AM:

From the Pulitzer site, in the entry forms:

Entries for journalism awards must be made from material appearing in a United States newspaper published daily, Sunday or at least once a week during the calendar year. While many newspapers prefer to submit entries of particular staff members or achievements, entries may be made by newspaper readers or any interested individual.

#6 ::: Rous ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 09:19 AM:

Where is the city government in all of this? Should they not shoulder some of the blame? Or the state? First line of defence should be the local boys. Why must everything fall on the federal? People think that the federal government should jump in anytime anything happens. Are we too reliant upon distant agencies? I realize that the scope of this incident is beyond comprehension, but I do not hear about the other communities demanding help. They are slowly picking up the pieces and rebuilding, where they can. Whatever happened to self-reliance? Pride in what you could accomplish for yourself?
My prayers and thoughts go out to the people caught up in this catastrophe. But, remember, the loss goes beyond the environs of New Orleans. There are others to help, also.

#7 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 09:50 AM:

Rous: there has been criticism both of the state and city governments for what happened in New Orleans. The reason the federal response is being so severely criticized is that it was both unconscionably slow (it didn't begin until DAYS after the end of the storm) and that FEMA prevented aid from reaching the city. If not doing their job and keeping anyone else from doing it isn't the epitome of criminal incompetence, what is?

#8 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 07:17 AM:
Top FEMA Deputies Make Brown Look Qualified.

Does appointing those guys rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors?

And: The chief forecaster of the National Hurricane Center had personally briefed Bush the day before Katrina made landfall.

#9 ::: David All ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 05:00 PM:

Yes, both the city & state govts fell down on the job, but that does not excuse the federal govt, especially FEMA from being equally, if not greater incompetent in their response. Given 1) all the chest thumping over the last couple of years by Bush & Co. about how the govt was ready for any emergency and 2)the emergency that happened, New Orleans being devasted by a hurricane was one of the three most talked about potential disasters in recent years,* and therefore persumerbly one that a lot of preparations had been made for. Thanks for qouting from the Times-Picayune editorial, Jim. Hope they do get a Pulitzer for it. Can only add please continue to GIVE EM HELL to all who are responsible for this diasterious response to Katrina!
*The other two were 1)another terrorist attack equal or greater to that of 9/11 and 2) a massive earthquake in southern California.

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