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Charles deVlugt

Do you have an opinion about New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and other local officials pathetic performance?


Yes, I do. I think the order to evacuate, unaccompanied by methods for the poor and sick to evacuate was sinful. As for the governor, I think it's a shame that the administration has falsely claimed that she didn't/wouldn't declare a state of emergency when she clearly did so before Katrina hit.

The bottom line for me is this: the federal gov't has an emergency management agency because events like this are too big for the local gov'ts to handle. And their inability to fulfill their mission - which we count on as a backup for when local gov't doesn't or can't do it, is a failure of government.


Only G.W. Bush, and his incompetent administration could actually screw-up a hurricane, by making the natural-disaster, un-naturally worse. Having George in the White House is the very definition of an Un-natural disaster.

Matthew C. Aycock

I would first like to point out that the Democrat's attack on this matter is to basically accuse Bush of not caring or wanting to prevent American citizens from suffering/dying. If you honestly believe that, then you are truly naive.

Just because you do not like Bush, or his policies, does not mean that inventing things and warping things to meet your position will make you correct. I didn't attack Bill Clinton for not caring about us when he botched up things (in my opinion) or did things I didn't agree with.

Bush does care, and I firmly believe that Democrats and Republicans alike do. If not, then it is time to overthrow our government and start a new one from scratch.

Now, with that being said, I would like to remind you of principles of Federalism. The Feds could not do anything until Lousiana asked them to. Take Mississippi for instance. They got hit full on, but lost nowhere near the lives because they requested Federal assistance FAR before Louisiana. You can't seriously expect the Federal government to just flip a switch and make the water go away the second they are asked for help.

Were there problems in response by the Federal Government? Absolutely. I won't dispute this fact for one second. Should we have had better contigency plans in place at the local, state, and federal level? Absolutely.

This should be a learning experience. Not a blame shifting game that BOTH sides of American politics want it to be. Instead of spending time and money blasting the other party and/or shifting blame, we should be giving our time and money to save the lives of those that need us. I know that is what I will be doing. Will you?


I would first like to point out that the Democrat's attack on this matter is to basically accuse Bush of not caring or wanting to prevent American citizens from suffering/dying.

I don't think he doesn't care. I'm quite sure he does. I do think that the politically motivated decisions he's made - like cronyism appointments - and his deep commitment to conservative ideology resulted in an incompentent response.

The Feds could not do anything until Lousiana asked them to.

Actually, that's not true. The National Response Plan specifically states that the federal government has the authority to act to protect its citizens regardless of requests from the state. That's the plan developed under Bush. And requests were made - by all the states. Before the storm hit.

Take Mississippi for instance. They got hit full on, but lost nowhere near the lives because they requested Federal assistance FAR before Louisiana.

YOu really think MS lost fewer lives because of the timing of their request? I tend to think it's because they didn't suffer the flooding that LA suffered. MS and LA declared states of emergency on the same day. Both called for evacuations on the same day. Did the LA local gov't do a great job? Nope. But FEMA was a disgrace.

YES - this should be a learning experience. But I haven't found the Bush adminsitration to be one that's prepared to learn from their own mistakes. If I had confidence that they would take responsibility for their errors and fix things, I'd be quieter about this. But they don't have a track record that suggests that they'll take any ownership, so I think we need to scream loudly to make sure that this never happens again.

Matthew C. Aycock

Then be constructive. That is all I ask. Maybe you aren't close enough to the disaster to understand that placing blame isn't helping these hurt individuals. Being in Dallas, we are getting to see some of these people first hand. Fortunately, most people here care more about helping them than slamming the Bush administration.


Again, how is it hurting any evacuees to point out that the federal response hasn't lived up to our expectations. It may not be helping them, but it's not hurting them. And maybe it will help the next Americans that need government help in the face of calamity.

The idea that we have to choose between helping these people or criticizing the response is faulty. We can and should do both.

Matthew C. Aycock

I agree, but the major criticism and finger pointing should be postponed until after the work is done. There is absolutely no benefit to halt the processes now and create a wedge between the Federal Government, the unaffected citizens, and the affected citizens. That is what excessive finger pointing will do.


Well, we disagree on the effect of current criticism. I believe that it's spurring all parties to show that they're doing everything they can to save lives, protect the evacuees, and recover our cities, coast and country.


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