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09/15/2005 Archived Entry: "Why are some people furious about Katrina"

Some friends of mine did some research on previous catastrophic hurricane events. Despite what you may hear from the spinroom, history is the greatest telltale of what is happening down there in New Orleans.

In August, 1969, Richard Nixon mobilized the National Guard and the Coast Guard in advance of Hurricane Camille, and organized rescue and response teams to literally follow the hurricane into the affected areas, so that as soon as the storm moved out, help would already be present. Within hours of Camille's passing, over 1000 regular military troops and two dozen helicopters were added to the efforts of the National Guard and the Coast Guard.

In August, 1992, George H.W. Bush (Big George) was fighting for his job in a particularly vicious campaign for reelection (one which he would ultimately lose). Nonetheless, as Hurricane Andrew threatened South Florida, he left the campaign trail the day BEFORE the storm hit and returned to Washington where he marshaled the largest military operation on US soil in history. He sent in 7,000 National Guard and 22,000 regular military personnel and all the gear they needed to begin the clean up within hours after Andrew passed through Florida. He did this A FULL DAY IN ADVANCE OF THE STORM, and sacrificed campaign time he desperately needed in order to have a shot at victory.

Yet another August, this one in 2005, our beloved leader (George W. Bush, aka “Little George”), on vacation in Texas, goes for a long bike ride the day before Katrina makes landfall. As Katrina whacks away at the Gulf Coast, he attends John McCain's birthday party. The following day, as New Orleans' levees give way and the intense and toxic flooding begins, the Big Man saunters on over to San Diego to play guitar with a country music star then makes a speech at a military base where he makes an inept comparison of the war in Iraq to World War II and, incredibly, himself to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On Wednesday, two days after the hurricane hit, as video tape of the absolute fiasco hits the airwaves, Bush decides to end his vacation early.

George… you should have paid attention in your history class. -HP

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