UK Floods, Is George Bush to Blame?

Looks like Mother Nature unleashed her wrath on the UK this past week opening the flood gates and leaving a lot of people in a bad way. I certainly pray that they are well and able to get things fixed up. I wonder how long it will be before Global Warming is tagged as the culprit.

Oh, I am being silly. Everyone knows that floods are George Bush’s fault, just like Katrina and the response…

Lets see, Katrina, people rescued by helicopter:
In the UK

Katrina, People trapped with no food or water:
In the UK
and
Here

In Katrina, humanitarian crisis:
In the UK

In Katrina, looting:
In the UK

Geez, even the best prepared nations (unlike our governed by President Bush) seem to have trouble with natural events of this magnitude. Of course, the poor response and aftermath must be Bush’s fault.

Or could it be that people act a certain way when there is a disaster and that any response will be inadequate given the nature of the devastation?

No, Bush has to be the blame, just ask any lefty with little emergency response experience and he will tell you how everything works, and blame Bush.

The prayers of the Big Dog family go out to those in need in the UK. We pray they are able to survive and rebuild.

Big Dog

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27 Responses to “UK Floods, Is George Bush to Blame?”

  1. Perri Nelson says:

    Of course, you know a “human signature” has been found in the altered rainfall patterns in the U.K and China. At least that’s what I heard on the radio this morning.

    It appears that the flooding in the UK and China has already been blamed on human-induced global warming.

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  20. Billy Joe says:

    Hi BD,

    Since this seems to be a Katrina thread I’ll put my comments here so as not to confuse our good friend Patsy.

    A couple of things come to mind:

    – I’m not from the Gulf Coast. I do not vote for Nagin, Blanco, Haley Barbor (sp?), etc.. Frankly whether they did a good job or bad job is a moot point for me because I can’t fire them on election day. You seem to be forgetting that Katrina wiped out the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast. It wasn’t just New Orleans residents that were stranded without help for more than the 72 hours you refer to as being required for FEMA to coordinate responses, etc. The fact that Mississippi got hammered and then was basically left to fend for itself (remember the dead bodies left in the streets?) is too often ignored. The view that the victims of Katrina are just lazy welfare cheats is cartoonish and unrealistic, as well. While some people chose to stay, some people were stranded in hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Some people’s cars may have been in the repair shop, and some of them may have been old and their relatives don’t live near them. The fact of the matter is that among the victims who were stranded – and often abandoned – there were veterans, taxpayers, etc. They have just as much right to expect an adequate federal response as anyone else. And let’s be realistic: only the federal government has the resources to deal with a disaster of Katrina’s magnitude. If you haven’t been down there, I’d highly recommend going. You’ll see what I mean. If you’re interested in the Emergency management angle, I’d recommend watching the National Geographic special on Hurrican Katrina. They address local, state and federal issues that occured. I’m not absolving the local and state leaders, but I don’t pay their salaries. As a result, I, along with the rest of America, should focus our efforts on the federal side of the equation.

    – DHS has a budget of approx. $40 billion/year and was created for the purpose of enhancing homeland security. Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast was predicted several days in advance. As a test of the effectiveness of DHS, I think we can say that it was a catastrophic failure though you’re free to dispute this. We should be concerned because as US citizens, we pay taxes to the federal government on the assumption that they can deliver certain services such as Emergency Management. Well, I don’t know about you, but that’s what I assume. Maybe, as a rugged conservative, you don’t expect anything from them and just pay taxes anyway?

    Whether or not I like the man, Bush is my President also. While you’d never guess by his actions, he’s not just the President of the Republican party. He’s the President of America and he has a responsibility to all Americans. What Katrina demonstrated was why Bush’s presidency is a failure (his approval ratings never recovered) and why conservatism itself is a failed ideology.

    Conservatives & the Bush Admin claim they can protect America. From terrorism mostly, but, unfortunately for them, natural disasters are also an area of responsiblity for DHS. But how did they actually protect us? Arguably from the get-go they didn’t take it seriously as evidenced by appointment of a horse judge to run FEMA. You can’t possibly be defending Michael Brown, right? As an Emergency Management something-or-another, would you put a phony lawyer (doesn’t DHS do basic background checks?) and horse judge in charge of the primary federal Emergency Management organization simply because his college roomate was your friend? If you made such a crony-ish decision in the private sector and the crony failed disasterously when the big one hit, you’d be fired. And yet Bush makes such crony-ish decisions all the time: trying to put Harriet Myers on the Supreme Court, putting Alberto Gonzales (real estate lawyer) in charge of Justice, Lurita Doan at GSA, etc.

    Conservatism itself is a failed ideology, and Katrina drove that point home. On one hand conservatives tell us that government doesn’t work and that we shouldn’t be paying for it. On the other hand, they are asking us to let them run our government which they freely admit they don’t believe can work. Is this odd state of affairs not obvious? Why would you put anyone in charge of anything if they freely tell you it will never work?

    If you were the President of the US, why on earth would you hire people who don’t believe the government can (or should) actually do anything – except for the military, which I guess is somehow immune to issues that plague other bureacracies and can NEVER be criticized? What sort of work do you think such people will do? Well, we know a lot of them simply used their jobs to redistribute our tax dollars to their contributors and engage in criminality.

    Anyway this is much longer than I planned.

    In summary, I don’t think the lessons you drew from Katrina are valid and I don’t think you actually know much about what happened on the Gulf Coast in general.

    I’d be very interested in hearing you explain the conservative contradiction: why should they be entrusted to run the government and spend our tax dollars on things like Homeland Security when they openly admit they don’t believe government can do anything?

  21. Big Dog says:

    Conservatism is not a failed ideology. You have things wrong. Yes there were people in MS that stayed behind but those who needed to be evacuated were. When people die in a disaster some will stay out a while, that is how disasters work.

    Liberalism is the failed ideology. Liberals in charge could not take 500 buses and get people out. That is a simple task. DHS is for homeland security and one can not secure against natural disasters. Look at the areas of Florida that are hit time and again. There are not these problems because the conservatives there take care of themselves and the government help comes later. Look at snow storms and tornadoes that happen in the most conservative parts of the country. People do not lie around crying that George Bush did not come rescue them, they take care of themselves.

    I know a lot of people who went there and spoke with the Coast Guard guys running things and they went fairly well. Yes there were problems as there always are in these kinds of disasters. We hear about MS because the left cried that Bush hated black people when the fact is the people could not take care of themselves. Then they turned into criminals and stole things they had no need for. In MS this was not the case and people began working the very next day to start cleaning up. When the government arrived they had more help.

    To blame government is stupid. Are you saying that government failure is why so many people died in the tsunami? Is government failure responsible for the flooding in the UK? Perhaps the incidents are quite large and require time and resources that are not and can not come immediately.

    How long did it take to clean New York after 9/11? It was not as bad as NO or MS.

    An act of nature is not a failure of government and the response was not bad and I have evaluated more than a few. The people who refused to leave added to the problem but the failure of local government to have a plan and to take care of people is the problem. Bush can not put them in the buses.

  22. Billy Joe says:

    BD,

    I guess I need to state the obvious: I understand the government can’t prevent natural disasters. They can, however, deal effectively with the aftermath. I’ll try this once more:

    I pay federal taxes (not Louisiana state taxes, Mississippi state taxes, etc.) and expect the US gov’t to provide certain services, like Emergency Management. What I’m saying is that *by definition* an ‘effective’ Emergency Management organization would be able to deal with the aftermath of a disaster – natural or man-made. Aside from the Coast Guard, the federal response was a largely a disgrace and continues to be one. How many thousands of poisonous, unusable, overpriced trailers are still sitting in Arkansas? Did you see last week that the government finally disposed of the millions of dollars worth of ice that they never managed to deliver? The disaster is still happening almost 2 years later.

    Your convenient dichotomy of criminals in New Orleans and hard working people in Mississippi is again, ignorant and cartoonish. Don’t you remember the controversies about the different captions for photos of victims? In New Orleans, the photo captions said black people were ‘looting’. In MS, white people ‘found’ stuff at destroyed stores because their homes and often their entire community was ruined. the fact of the matter is, there was looting in many affected areas and while some people were taking DVDs or whatever, others were simply taking food and water. By focusing on the racial angle though, you’re still missing the forest for the trees. Katrina was about a lot more than black people taking stuff from Wal Mart.

    New York after 9/11 and Katrina are false analogies. The WTC was limited to 16 acres of damage. Katrina was probably thousands of square miles. I understand full well that the disaster exceeded the capabilities of even the US Federal Government, but why would you put a horse judge in charge of the agency anyway? For that matter, since the entire region is wiped out/ruined couldn’t the President demonstrate his leadership by keeping the issue on the front burner or perhaps even relocate to the region so he can help speed up the recovery by pushing thru bureaucratic resistance, etc.? Bush has done neither. In fact, after his photo ops, he basically threw money at his cronies (some of whom got no bid contracts yet again) and they proceeded to hire ILLEGALS (!) to do cleanup work and then not pay them. Other workers were not paid as well but because Bush has gutted the Labor Department it’s almost impossible for them to to fight the contractors. This is what free-market conservatism looks like on the ground. You said the other day you didn’t think companies should be required to pay minimum wage. Do you think they should be required to pay anything for work performed? Anyway, the immediate aftermath was incompetently handled and it’s STILL being incompetently handled.

    You are dancing around this point and it’s very pertinent.

    Are you not upset that a horse judge was put in charge of the primary emergency management agency? What sort of leadership does that demonstrate in your mind? These are the low Republican standards I’m always railing about and that you’re always defending.

    You also don’t really address the paradox of conservatism: conservatives claim they can run the government best but simultaneously claim that government doesn’t work and we shouldn’t depend on it for anything (even though we pay taxes for gov’t services as well as their salaries).

    If you ran an emergency management company, would you hire someone who had no background in emergency management whatsoever and came right out and said “by it’s very nature, this company will never succeed in it’s mission”?

    That’s basically what Bush Conservatism is. That’s what you and other conservatives are fighting for, whether you fully realize it or not.

  23. Billy Joe says:

    By the way, there is a Mississippi blogger who covers the ongoing post-Katrina disaster here:

    http://aminthemorning.blogspot.com/

    Give it a read. She’s a great writer and it might open your eyes to how things actually are on the ground.

  24. Big Dog says:

    I can understand the idea of putting the right people in the job. The guy Clinton had in there was a former rodeo clown so he was qualified.

    I never mentioned the color of anyone looting. Now, since NO was 67% black is is only reasonable to assume most of the looters would be black. Also, more whites left when it became dangerous. The site you sent me to is wonderful. The lady claimed that the Bush administration abandoned people on roofs and in the mud when in fact it did not abandon anyone (initial response is a local government responsibility). I don’t care where people looted, those who took things that were not necessary for survival should be arrested. You can not eat a TV and there was no power to watch it.

    And, in case it escaped you, I said that it took forever to clean up New York and it was no where near as bad so there is an analogy as to the time it takes to clean a disaster.

    The government pledged 250 billion dollars and I said at the time and still hold to the idea that it needs to be hard to get so there is oversight. The politicians from that area submitted a 400 page plan to use the money and it included billions of dollars for things totally unrelated to Katrina.

    In all reality, it is not the federal government’s job to rebuild any city. It is the state’s responsibility and they should shoulder part of the financial burden. NO has wasted millions upon millions of tax dollars through corruption and graft. The levees were in poor shape because they did not spend money allocated for them on them.

    The fact is local government is responsible for the people there. The response was more than adequate but there were problems. Keep in mind, the feds show up with money and planners. They do not come with doctors, nurses and construction workers. Those items have to be procured and it can not happen overnight. Once again, parts of Florida are waiting to rebuild from hurricanes of a couple of years ago.

    The trailers were a stupid idea. The administration knee jerk reacted to all the claims of racism and jumped in to put trailers there. Most people were moved out and did not need them. Besides, the trailers just left the system open to more crime. Remember that people used debit cards to buy booze and hookers. People scammed the system when they were not even there when it happened (and did not live there).

    Conservatives can run government better. The thing you can not get past is that you think it shows they cannot because they are not running a state. Conservatives, true ones, believe in smaller government and states taking care of themselves. The reason that Louisiana is dismal is because it is being run by Liberals.

    How many disasters do we have every year that we hear little about and there are no screams about racism or incompetent government? Many because they are in traditionally conservative areas.

    I seem to recall your assertion that I should not judge debates that I did not watch (even though I did not do that). How many FEMA disasters or exercises have you been involved in as an evaluator or participant? I just want to get an idea of your perspective…

    BTW, many supplies never got there and you seem to think it was Bush. Governor Blanco refused to let the truck in because she was afraid it would encourage people to stay. She wanted them to leave. The Red Cross had plenty of food and water that was not permitted in. The military had tons of food that was shunned by people. I guess they were too good to eat MREs.

  25. Billy Joe says:

    So if I’m to understand your response correctly, basically nothing went wrong on the federal level except they got stung by charges of racism and bought a bunch of trailers they shouldn’t have bought? You haven’t really admitted anything (that’s very Republican of you, by the way) and you have basically ignored any questions about the appointment of Brownie or Bush’s so-called leadership. So in your mind, nothing was amiss at a federal level except for their lack of backbone in dealing with Louisiana (and Mississippi?) liberals.

    Who was a former rodeo clown?

    I like the fact that you support oversight of Katrina aid (and there should be oversight because of the large amounts of money involved & the potential for corruption both in the region and among the crony contractors who hired ILLEGALS that you ignored). Presumably your quest for oversight includes the Iraq boondoggle where we have spent twice as much money and accomplished even less? Or is that untouchable because it’s military?

    If Bush wants to abandon a city full of residents that have paid for FEMA, DHS, Army Corp of Engineers thru their taxes, a city that is a trade gateway, and is integral to our oil economy, he should just come out and say it. He shouldn’t say you’ll do everything you can to revive the region (again, it’s not just NO) and then not deliver. FWIW, I believe the levee failures were Army Corps of Engineer levees – not a local responsiblity. You may recall that money normally used to maintain the levees was diverted to pay for the Iraq war.

    Is Louisiana being run by ‘liberals’? I didn’t realize Lousiana residents were such flaming liberals that their government was dominated by Pelosi-types. Thank you for your astute observation. I guess that explains why they elected the hedonistic David Vitter to represent them in the US Senate.

    I imagine there are probaby a fair # of disasters that are still being incompetently handled but Katrina was so much bigger than the others. The damage stretchs from Southern Louisiana to Alabama. I’ve only seen it from NO to Biloxi, which are about 100 miles apart. I guess a more relevant question would be: When was the last time an entire American city (and region) was effectively taken off line by a disaster and it’s aftermath? When it happens again, we’ll get to see if the feds learned anything.

    I’m not an Emergency Management pro. I did visit the region though to see it with my own eyes and I’m a taxpayer so I like to know if my money is being used effectively. That’s my entire point and it’s the point that you have ignored in your attempts to assign blame exclusively on Louisiana Democrats (ignoring other affected regions). Again, I don’t pay their salaries and I don’t elect them so I don’t know why you keep going on about it when I’m referring to the part I pay for: the federal part.

    I’m glad you’re around to justify Republican incompetence though. Someone has to do it and you’re clearly a bitter-ender who inexplicably believes that only Republicans can run the government effectively AND that government by it’s very nature cannot solve our problems (except for the military which can do no wrong and subdue Islam).

    What do you do for a living? Are you an actual Emergency Management professional? if so, I’d be most interested in an actual post analyzing the federal Katrina response, minus your usual sideshows and throwaway remarks about people stealing televisions, being ‘too good to eat MREs’, etc.

  26. Big Dog says:

    Raymond “Buddy” Young, director of FEMA’s Region VI headquarters in Denton, Texas. Appointed by Clinton.

    I believe that I wrote several times in the comments that there were problems. I also wrote a number of items about it and all you need to do is search my site.

    As a taxpayer you should know that it is not the federal government’s responsibility to pay for all those problems and the amount pledged was very generous. As for ILLEGALS, I think you already know how I feel about them and the businesses that hire them.

    The Bush administration spent more on the levees than the previous administration and this is what was actually spent on the levees. The oversight of the levees in NO is a three part function with one group for each levee and they must agree but rarely do. Instead, local politicians redirected money to other areas, like casino development. I believe there might be an investigation into where the money went. The Corps warned a number of times the levees would not hold in a major storm.

    As for the people in NO, yes they deserve to be taken care of humanely but let us not delude ourselves into this crap about they pay taxes. The poverty level there was very high and a huge number paid no taxes. The American taxpayers, who have no say in how things are run there, paid for it.

    It was a nice try with Vitter but Mary Landreau is that district’s Congresswoman (Democrat), Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin are also responsible (Democrats) and NO was a heavily Democratic city. Amazingly, on election day Nagin ensures the buses are running to get the people with no transportation to the polls. If someone had told him there was an election he might have gotten those 500 buses filled with people and on the road.

    It takes time to clean up after a disaster. The feds provide the resources and the locals are supposed to get things done. Considering that they botched their emergency response at the local level, it is no surprise they are not getting the clean up affected.

    I have stated a number of times that there were problems with the federal response. However, FEMA had resources on the ground and could have done so sooner had Blanco asked for the help, especially after Bush prompted her to ask so he could get the federal ball rolling.

    I am an Emergency Response professional. I participate in no fewer than 7 emergency response drills that involve FEMA and many other agencies each year. No I do not work for FEMA. I am a licensed Medical Professional and, before I retired, I was the First Sergeant of a MEDEVAC Unit in the Guard.

    You imagine there are a fair number run incompetently? Imagine? It seems to me that every time there is a hurricane or Tornado or blizzard, states and local jurisdictions handle them and ASK for federal assistance when things get overwhelming. Denver, two blizzards back to back and no screams that Bush hates them. Tornadoes across the mid west, same result.

    NO was warned and told they should consider evacuating. They decided to make it voluntary until very late in the game. After the storm passed people laughed at dodging a bullet and then the levees broke. No more laughing.

    Take a look at the history of Louisiana politics and at NO in particular and you will see a pattern of corruption and diversion of government funds.

    As for touring the area, I did not get to go there. I know scores of the rescuers who did as well as folks in the Red Cross and Coast Guard.

    I am not excusing anyone over this. I just know where to place blame for some of it. There was poor coordination between state and federal and there was resistance from the governor to accept help early in the game. Crying on TV is not leading. FEMA responded in the correct amount of time but people expect it to show up and bam, there is everything needed and in place ready to run a city that has been destroyed and was not run well prior to the storm. It takes time and the fact that the initial responders had to spend nearly two weeks rescuing people who refused to leave or were abandoned by their local government did not help things. Helicopter rescues are terribly dangerous and time consuming. Having been responsible for a number of those aircraft I can tell you it is dangerous work.

    Nagin and Blanco acted like it was a federal failure because people were stranded and needed to be rescued but the NO evacuation plan that was developed by them called for 135,000 people to be left behind. They were willing to give up that many, why are they blaming Bush because a small fraction of that amount were affected?

    We can go round and round but the horse is already dead. The word to the wise is to be prepared to take care of yourself. It is an individual responsibility and those who become dependent on others lose the ability to think or act for themselves.