Thursday, September 15, 2005

Greeting,

If you haven’t had the chance please read the fine Newsweek article “How Bush Blew It”, it can be found at the following URL.

How Bush Blew It

Go forth and read kids.

Now apart from the facts of how this president bad bungled the post Katrina relief efforts, one thing really grabbed me. Our President, the Commander-In-Chief, the leader of the most powerful nation ever, had to have a DVD of news footage given to him because he hadn’t seen any of it. WHAT? This is the man we trust to lead our nation? We apparently now have a president that doesn’t gather any information on his own, but instead is given filtered information through his staff.

I heard a story once that President Lyndon Johnson used to have people read him multiple newspapers simultaneously. This President can’t even be bothered to read one.

Are you really comfortable with a President who gets only filtered information? Isn’t that putting an awful lot of faith in the people gathering the information for this President?

See I bring this up because one of the most tried and true methods to solve problems is to consider all opinions and gather information from as many sources as possible. George W. Bush doesn’t even gather any, much less enough to formulate a sound reasonable opinion.

If I may be so bold, people often give Bush a pass. They bring up his faith or his resolve, but never his intellect. If all our great Presidents had one thing in common it was their intelligence. They were men capable of reason and critical thinking and were very well read. They could write their own speeches and speak extraneously. This President can’t finish a sentence without stopping midway.

America deserves better.

Sleep Tight America.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Dave of Tiffn said...

Eric -

Holy Smoke!!! First, the article from MSNBC...what a poor hunk of journalism that is. It looks to be an almost verbatim account from something you'd expect to find in the National Enquirer! Maybe I’m being too harsh, I should think it through; so let’s see, most of the situational facts come from unidentified and/or unverifiable sources. Um…nope, that’s not what I’d say was a measure of good journalism...it's garbage.

Maybe there’s something sound in the headline and tag line. They read “How Bush Blew It. Bureaucratic timidity. Bad phone lines. And a failure of imagination. Why the government was so slow to respond to catastrophe.” What this mainly boils down to is that last sentence “Why the government was so slow to respond to catastrophe.” (I’m going to assume it is referring to the FEDERAL government.) The answer can be found in a couple of the few factual bits found right in the same story:

From page 2: “Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans, didn't want to evacuate.”

From page 4: “In the inner councils of the Bush administration, there was some talk of gingerly pushing aside the overwhelmed "first responders," the state and local emergency forces, and sending in active-duty troops. But under an 1868 law, federal troops are not allowed to get involved in local law enforcement.”

From Page 5: “A debate over "federalizing" the National Guard had been rattling in Washington for the previous three days. Normally, the Guard is under the control of the state governor, but the Feds can take over—if the governor asks them to. Nagin suggested that Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the Pentagon's on-scene commander, be put in charge. According to Senator Vitter, Bush turned to Governor Blanco and said, "Well, what do you think of that, Governor?" Blanco told Bush, "I'd rather talk to you about that privately." To which Nagin responded, "Well, why don't you do that now?"

The meeting broke up. Bush and Blanco disappeared to talk. More than a week later, there was still no agreement. Blanco didn't want to give up her authority”

Reading that, it sure looks like the problem is with the Mayor and, probably mostly, the Governor - not Bush…or did I miss something?

Maybe there is some credibility with statement in the tag line that ties “Bad Phone Lines” to Bush. Hmmm....

From page 3: “Long neglected in the city budget, communications within the New Orleans city government were poor, and eventually almost nonexistent when the batteries on the few old satellite phones died.”

Nope….don’t look like it was Bush that dropped the ball there either. The best use for this story, aside from wiping up dog doodie, is labeled as “Exhibit A” as evidence in a Slander Trial against it’s author.

Now about your comments from 9/15:

Ya know, I really don't care if ANY President of the United States reads the paper at all....either by himself or if 5 people read at the same time. I don't even care if he personally watches TV news or listens to the news on the radio. We know from looking at the hack-job of an article cited above that it can be difficult to find any real facts in the mainstream media of the day. You just can't trust the media.

I really don't want the President of the United States making decisions based primarily on news reports. News reports should NOT be a major influence on how a President does his job. I do think that a President's staff should inform him about important matters and do a good job of it, working through all appropriate channels in an effort to properly advise their President.

You said "Are you really comfortable with a President who gets only filtered information?" Well, what media stories aren't "filtered" ?? The media really sucks these days....you can't trust most of what they say. Let's face it....reporters are driven by ratings, they don't do it "for the sake of good journalism"....Reporters have very little honor, and would make for some lousy Klingons :)

I say let a President's staff DO THEIR JOB and let the media entertain their "target audience", and not consider them to be Presidential Advisors.

Ya know...I've even heard people whining that the President hadn't flown over Katrina ravaged areas to personally survey the damage...to see it for himself. I guess that those people wouldn't even consider that a blind man or woman would be eligible to run for the office of President of the United States.

Now, through all of this, am I saying that Bush didn't drop the ball? No. I am saying that what I've read here and on the provided link, show me no solid evidence of the sort, albeit entertaining.

Your Blog Site is pretty cool BTW. Our politics are way different, I think.

-Dave

7:17 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the reply, it's always good to get some feedback.

In response to what you said, let me say that I have never nor will I ever give Blanco or Nagin a free pass. There's plenty of blame here to go arounnd. Though Bush is by no means blameless. His preference of doing his precious little photo-ops first looks rather pathetic. Also, his statement that he was unaware that the levees were ever an issue was scary. As soon as it was apparent that katrina was bearing down towards New Orleans the media wouldn't shut up about the levees. This president was clearly unaware of the severity of the situation. That's a bit troubling to me. I'd like to think that, and maybe I'm being an idealist, our president is well informed about the situation when this country is in trouble and needs help.

The bulk of my criticism was that President Bush has no idea of the devastation. For the leader of any nation to be ognorant of his people's suffering while the rest of the country sits in horror is unacceptable.

As far as Bush not reading the paper, I don't think our president should make his decisions based on the newspapers, but he should be aware of state of the nation. By reading the papers he would have a better idea of what the nation is thinking. By being aware of the zeitgeist he can better prepare himself for oppostion he might meet. I'd also like to think my president is at least as well read as I am.

As for your general disdain for the media I must admit the aren't doing as good a job as they should. But that is why it is important to get the news for as many sources as possible, then use your own critical faculties figure out the truth. It's not the easiest but for now it's the only way.

Again thanks for the reply.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Peyton said...

Hey Eric,

Wouldn't you think that the levee problem would be that of the Mayor of New Orleans. The condition of the levee is a local issue and not a federal issue altho it has now become a federal issue. The Mayor and the former Mayors of New Orleans probably should have thought of this problem way before the federal government.
More than likely there have been no Presidents that have memorized a speech. When President Bush made his speech and looked down at the paper a lot showed you that he is no different except I don't think he reviews his speech before giving it and others probably have. He happens to be a politician just like the mayor and governor are.
Bush has no excuse for having not caught this earlier than he did but he didn't and he is trying to play catch-up now. Not a good sign for a president.
The Mayor stood in front of a TV camera crying as to where is federal government. What was that? He is the Mayor of a city and has yet to act like one. There is looting everywhere there was flooding and he wanted the federal troops to come in and help. What happened to his police force? Where were the parish authorities? How about the Louisana Highway Patrol. We saw none of these anywhere. That should have been the first line of defense against the looting, raping and destruction. Then would come the state national guard followed by the federal government. The chain was broken instantly by the mayor and the governor.
What happened to all the prisoners in the different parrish jails. My understanding(and that is hearsay only) is the mayor granted the release of the prisoners so they would not be caught in the flood. Duh!! If this really did happen we can now say New Orleans and the surrounding area are in a little bit of trouble. Maybe that is where some of the looting started.
Now lets talk about the price for the repair. The price of 262 billion is a little on the steep side. Yes there will need to be repairs but that is an outrageous amount. I would believe in the billions but not that much. Did no one in New Orleans have insurance? If the insurance companies have to pay out and then the government also fork out 262 billion then something is wrong with this picture. I live in an area where I am 30 miles from a lake that they believe will flood one day. So they have decided to require that all homeowners in the flood zone have flood insurance. The lake as never flooded but just in case. Somebody is thinking of gouging the prices maybe.
Speaking of gouging! Increasing the oil prices because a few derricks were destroyed is a little on the gouging side I do believe. Then to blame it on the storm. We have had other storms and the price of oil was not determined by that no matter what damage it did. Just a good reason to increase the price once again and have something to blame it on. We do not rely on the oil for the gulf. And neither does OPEC. America needs to quit bowing to this treatment and finally stand up and do something about it.
Now the price has increased again because of the 'possibility' what Ophelia may do. Why are American letting this crap happen to them? We use to have the guts to stand up and say no. Are we becoming a weak nation that will cower and do as we are told even tho it is not to our benefit.

Stand up America!!

That's it for me. I'm off my little soapbox.
I love my country and will always be on and off the soapbox till someone hears me.

Butch

9:07 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Hi Butch,

Thanks for the reply. :)

Anyway as far as I can tell the levees are in at least part a federal thing. The city of New Orleans is not the sole caretaker of these levees. The Army Corps of Engineers is also a caretaker.

Bush is a lousy public speaker. 'Nuff said.

The cost of the damages in Gulf Coast is largley due to the enviromental damage and infrastructure damage (roads and such).

As far as local law enforcement at one point I had heard that 2000 NO policemen had walked off of the job and 2 commited suicide. Plus given the scope of the damage I can only imagine that they were nowhere near adequate for the task at hand.

Eric

10:32 AM  

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