Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job"

ThinkProgress has been doing a great job pushing back against the admin's Blame America First campaign. Here's an excellent timeline of our great one's leadership during this time of crisis (or mild discomfort, for any Fox viewers out there). (Via Atrios)


Studiodave said...
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Studiodave said...

These facts are again being twisted by your close-minded liberal bias.

Perhaps the administration was in Australia (i.e. a day ahead) and that's the timeline looks that way.

You should really have your facts before you start making a political issue out of this horrible event.

We can determine accountability when it is the appropriate time - sometime after our fact finding missions on the election 2000 Florida results, 9/11 Commission findings, Iraq War, Natalie Holloway, and finally New Orleans.

Thank God our President isn't getting a blowjob for a 23 year old.

Otto Man said...

That timeline is great. Condi Rice went to see Spamalot while she was in town?? I thought the Carrie Bradshaw spending spree was bad enough, but taking in a musical comedy? Wow.

Nice to know she was booed. That sound should follow the administration wherever they go.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

They're saying Boo-ush.

Tokyo Joe said...

Who the hell cares what Rice was doing during all of this? She's the Secretary of State. her job is to develope foreign policy. That has absolutely nothing to do with disaster relief. What the hell were all those people who boo'ed her doing at a musical during a national disaster? What a load of hypocrites. Unless you expect her to actually fill sandbags or the like, I can't see what the big deal is about. I took some time off work during that time and caught a concert myself. should I be boo'ed because my day job is tied to the national government? Bush probably should have been a bit more engaged, but that's his job, not hers.

Studiodave said...

Yes, and let's be honest; she really does need to focus as much as possible on foreign policy. Maybe these PR calls are the reason they rushed the whole WMD thing.

So many social engagements, so little time.

Otto Man said...

Who the hell cares what Rice was doing during all of this? She's the Secretary of State. her job is to develope foreign policy.

Well, she's our top person for overseeing relationships with other countries. Other countries offered a great deal of help in the aftermath.

From Reuters:

"The State Department said offers so far had come from Belgium, Canada, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Britain, China, Australia, Jamaica, Honduras, Greece, Venezuela, the Organization of American States, NATO, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, South Korea, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Assistance ranged from medical teams, boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators and cash donations."

Got that? The State Department was receiving these offers, while the Secretary of State was off buying $7000 in shoes and taking in the sights on Broadway.

So, yeah, I think there was work for her to do back at Foggy Bottom. And this wasn't just about practical aid issues like accepting money and materiel. It was also a chance to heal our sagging image abroad. People took pity on us, and what was our response? "President George W. Bush said in a television interview that the United States could take care of itself."

Sorry, but I think our top diplomat would've been better used in Washington. Or hell, she was in New York. The UN Building is right there. Drop in and work a half day.

Tokyo Joe said...

WMDs? who even brought that into the Katrina timeline? This is a completely different screw-up. To bring that into this conversation is like when the conservatives always bring up Clinton and his blowjobs. Not very relavant or helpful.

All I'm saying is that to blame Rice for ANYTHING related to Katrina is like blaming my butcher for the fact my car didn't start this morning. And to mention that she dared to have a social life, just distracts from the real issues and events.

I just read that Gen Myers said that the reaction by the Govt was as quick as possible. I'm not sure I believe that, but i will admit it does take some time to mobilze aid and supplies of this magnitude.

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

Condi needn't have returned until a piece of New Orleans washed up on a Mexican beach. Then it would have been an international incident. City loss is purely domestic.

I'd like more detailed information about how Nagin, Blanco, Chertoff, and Brown were spending their days and nights from Monday morning until 7 pm Saturday, when the hellholes were finally evacuated. Did Chertoff go to bed at 11 last Friday, thinking "we'll get to the leftover people tomorrow--it's just 10 hours away"? Did Brown sip Starbucks coffee every morning while reading the sports section? Were they eating meals in restaurants? There just seemed to be so much talk and so little action. I'd like to know if they too were putting in 2 hours (at least) more than usual every day.

Otto Man said...

Guess I'm alone on this one, but I still think Rice had a role to play. Even if she wasn't at work, a high-ranking government official with that kind of visibility might have thought twice about how she spent her time.

And hell, she's from Birmingham, right at the edge of the storm's destruction. No one from home to check on?

It was a stupid PR move, yes, but the real issue still stands for me, that she had a role to play. And not a play to see.

Otto Man said...

Also, check out this WaPo article:

"Offers of foreign aid worth tens of millions of dollars -- including a Swedish water purification system, a German cellular telephone network and two Canadian rescue ships -- have been delayed for days awaiting review by backlogged federal agencies, according to European diplomats and information collected by the State Department.

Since Hurricane Katrina, more than 90 countries and international organizations offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements, in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency."

FEMA deserves a lot of blame on this end, but State dropped the ball, too.

And yes, everyone from Bush on down needs to be called to the carpet on this. From what I've seen, Nagin has been frantically asking for aid from the get-go, while Blanco seems to have lagged. Brown is completely incompetent. He didn't know about the Convention Center people even though it had been on TV for days. Chertoff isn't as bad, but he does seem clueless. Thank God he's in charge of a meaningless agency like Homeland Security.

Tokyo Joe said...

At this point, aid from other countries is meaningless. America has the resources (plenty of them in fact), but it's a matter of coordinating all of them into an organized response. The swiss aren't the only ones with water purification systems or rescue boats. We have all of that, but just throwing stuff into the mess won't help anyone. Frankly trying to accept all of those things from overseas would probably just tie up more people and brain power (which seems to be in short supply) and cause more logistical nightmares. To say that Rice should have been in DC trying to figure out which care package goes to whom is ridiculous. If we do accept aid, it will probably be most helpful that it comes in the form of cash latter.

Thrillhous said...

Grrr!! Dang blogspot ate up my eloquent and generally perfect comment! Or maybe I suck. Anyway, here's the quick and dirty version.

I hear what you're saying, Tokyo. Domestic issues ain't much in Condi's job description, although Otto correctly points out the state dept's role in coordinating relief assistance from abroad. (I would offer that the aid from abroad is not simply "care packages"; the Caribbean island nations know a buttload more about hurricane recovery than we do, for example.)

When I turned on the TV last week and saw the humanitarian crisis unfolding, I thought to myself "I wish I could do something," and I didn't just mean send money; I meant I wanted to physically be there and try to bear some of the burden, no matter how insignificant. I think a lot of people felt that way.

I understand that the various members of the admin don't all have specific disaster recovery tasks that they should have been performing. I know we can't expect high-level government officials to completely suspend their lives whenever anything important happens.

But being a member of the cabinet involves more than just your particular job description. When America suffers a disaster, show that you give a damn. Even if you don't actually care, pretend that you do.

Symbolism is terribly important during a national crisis. While we were saying "I wish I could do something," Condi, a high-profile member of the president's cabinet, was saying "that ain't my problem." At least, that's the message her behavior sent.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

America has the resources (plenty of them in fact), but it's a matter of coordinating all of them into an organized response.

Plenty of resources as long as China keeps loaning us money ...