Saturday, September 03, 2005

This is a massive Republican failure

Listen to this radio interview from the Mayor of New Orleans.

"They are feeding the public a line of bull. And they are spinning. And people are dying down here."

Consider that for five days there were no National Guardsmen in New Orleans. Five days. And about a third of everyone in Iraq is part of the National Guard.

The National Guard has been sent to fight in a foreign war. And then they aren't here to protect us when we need them.

And we don't have the money to fix levees because we cut taxes on the rich and pay for a war and an occupation of foreign lands.

What's going to happen to all these devasted people when they file for bankruptcy? The GOP bankruptcy bill will keep them in debt.

They better fix that bankruptcy bill.

I saw an article mentioning that the Republican Congress is thinking about tax relief for people in the area.

Are they still going to repeal the estate tax on the wealthiest Americans?

New Orleans is a picture of poverty.

And the Republicans have been forsaking the poor.

This is a disgrace.

It didn't have to be this way.


Anonymous said...

"I saw an article mentioning that the Republican Congress is thinking about tax relief for people in the area."

A lot of the people may pay no taxes anyways, and may be supported by fed programs.

Median income in Louisiana is a lot lower than the natl average. This quantifies deep underlying problems in the state, which became evident through the storm and the local and state response.

Isn't Louisiana the only U.S. state that did not adopt the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code)? (Louisiana uses some sort of system from France instead) What is your perspective on this from law school?

Anonymous said...

rehnquist (supreme court) just passed away (died)

respectful said...

If it's a massive Republican failure at the federal level, is it also a massive Democrat failure at the state (LA) and city level (New Orleans), since the governor and the mayor are Dems? Obviously city and state elected officials, who were aware of the potential tragedy, were not sufficiently prepared.

Extreme Wisdom said...

The effort to make this a partisan issue is beneath you Dan.

The real issue here is the fact that all the Bureaucracies in the US (FEMA, FBI, CIA, Homeland Sec., Public Education, etc.) use the reason for their existence as a mere pretense.

Their true goal is to grow bigger & more powerful. Nothing else.

Respectful is 100% correct in arguing that blame should be shared. It's sad to see you hyping the "talking points memo" from MoveOn & the DailyKos.

What we are witnessing in NO is nothing less than the precursor of cultural decline, and to argue that results would have been any different under Gore or Kerry would be laughable.

Your post is a transparent attempt to "get Bush" on anything. Like most past attempts, it will most likely backfire.

Bush isn't the problem. A weakened nation, ceding their responsility to corrupt and bloated bureaucracies is the problem.

When the democrats go after the corruption and greed of public bureaucracies (and steal the march from the right), they will once again take their place as a 'majority party' that has something to offer.

Anonymous said...

If someone gets in a car accident, are they supposed to help themselves? Can they help themselves?

LA got in an accident. They needed help. The fed govt. is insurance. By definition, insurance kicks in when the insured lacks resources to fix things.

People can do things to make a car accident not as severe - drive slower, drive during certain times of day, wear seat belts, drive a car with ABS, drive cars that are built safer, take drivers education courses, train passengers what to do in an accident, etc. It is not clear LA (or businesses in LA) did everything it could or should to make the accident less severe. Gun retailers need to be examined.

Anonymous said...

"If someone gets in a car accident, are they supposed to help themselves? Can they help themselves?"


If someone gets in a car accident, is he supposed to help himself? Can he help himself?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

is there any precedent for going straight from not on the supreme ct to chief justice? this seems odd.

Lazerlou said...

Yes, LA is based on Napoleonic Code. I.E. French common law.

Local goevrnemnets are not responsible for handling disasters like this at all. It is th primary responsibility of the federal governement, which is the ony government with the resources to address a problem like this. Because we had notice that this was a likely outcome of a major hurricane pointed at LA, it was clearly the federal goverment's repsonibility as soonas it became appartent this was too big for any one state to handle. I dont know where anon gets the idea that thef ed gov is for insurance. That is false. That is why FEMA exists, so states don't have to duplicate and waste efforts for disaters preparedness.

Plenty of Chief Justices of the United States have been appointed from outside the Court, BTW. No big deal. Now those that want to roll back civil rights is another issue.

Anonymous said...


this is anon. anon does not know where he got the idea that the fed govt is for insurance.

anon did not mean financial insurance. i believe in private sector, business and individuals. these people should be responsible somewhat for where they choose to live and do business, and buying appropriate financial insurance.

i mean social insurance - stability, law and order, prevention of disease and epidemics, provide safety nets for human suffering, etc.

Anonymous said...

how is the napoleonic code different? is it good, bad or neutral regarding poverty and opportunity?

i truly do not know.

Lazerlou said...

I don't know either. But I want to tell the wise guy, Mr. Extreme to maybe start thinking about getting a real education. Only uneducated hicks so fear government that they would claim the only purpose to a government bureaucracy is to grow larger.
You want pretext? Try looking at the reasons given for the BS war we are losing in Iraq that we have funded by taking loans from foreign Banks.

I'll tell you this, I promise you there would have been more money for the Army Corps of engineers if Kerry was president, and that each of those dolalrs would be worth a lot more than they are now.

I also know that the poor wouldnt be so poor is Kerry was president. Under bush, the rich get richer and the pooer have gotten much much pooer. Just a little more disposable income amongst the least well off in NO would have saved many many lives.

So extreme, my guess is by the way you write and speak you are either uneducated, unintelligent or just a kid, because here on Dan's board we expect more nuanced arguments than just bureaucracy = bad.

And if you think that some state or local governemnt has as much responsibility as FEMA for disaster prevention and recovery, you know nothing of how our government works and the role of the federal government.

You know who is to blame here? All the fucking Federalists and the thinly veiled bigotry they hide behind state's rights and the race to the bottom such rights have caused. If the federal governemnt is inept, it is partly due to Renqist and O'Connor and every other dipshit sho has contributed to the gutting of Federal power over the last 20 years.

Lazerlou said...

Federalism, e.g. the constitutional guarantee that some states will be much poorer and more racially divided and gun happy and have higher infant mortality rates than many developing countries, has essentially made basic floor standards of living and education impossible to enforce. If the Rehnquist Court didn't outright do away with the Federal government's ability to regulate, like as in violence toward women or guns in and around schools, state regulation has provided an excuse for the federal government not to act, as in the Minimum Wage.

And one last point on bureaucracy: perhaps if we paid our bureaucrats as much as, say, the managers of Goldman Sachs made, we could attract the best and brightest to run them too! Same with teachers too. Maybe if we dedicated our tax dollars to constructive purposes, rather than destructive purposes, our bureaucracies might be in better health and more effective.

Further, in the absence of government bureaucracy EXTREME WISDOM, (I can't help but giggle and think of Ed Helms on the Daily Show screaming EXTREME INSURANCE!!!!)) , I hope you are bright enough to realize that privatized and often underregulated bureaucracies take their place, bureaucracies that have no duties to the citizenry, just a purpose to profit. That California deregulation didn't work so well did it now? They can often be even bigger and more bloated than any government bureaucracy, and sometimes not even staffed by Americans (have you called your phone company's customer service reecently?) and that can be far more infuriating and inefficient, especially if their purpose is to profit and they enjoy monopoly power.

If I learned anything in lawschool, and I didn't, it was that economies of scale are always more efficient than fractionalized organization and competition, so long as there is no monopoly profiteering involved (or any profiteering at all as it should be for the power and airline and insurance industries)

Anonymous said...

one danger of centralizing everything and econ of scales is if you get the wrong person or people in charge of the central pot, or if you just get people in control of the central pot who are unlucky and wrong, you have big problems. If you do not have stuff consolidated, you may have lower risk (more diversification).

that being said, it is important to have a fed govt.

it is also important to have states. just think - IL is the only truly blue state of the top 5 states (based on population)

respectful said...

Lou: The feds can't take over without the governor's approval unless the President declares an insurrection. The LA governor refused to let the feds take over.
As far as conservatives and state's rights, since Bush was elected, it's Dems who talk states rights. On medical marijuana, for example, and on the Oregon right-to-die law, on stricter environmental standards, and so on. I was surprised the first time I heard Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. invoking states' rights.

Extreme Wisdom said...


It's good to see the minions of the left resorting to personal attacks. It reassures me that we will have little to worry about anytime soon.

The few tidbits of your post that actually addressed substantive issues were pretty laughable as well.

"The poor wouldn't be so poor under Kerry." That's hilarious.

Typical that simply taxing the productive to give to the unproductive is the only idea the left seems capable of having.

Why not lose the immature partisanship and engage in a real discussion.

My point about bureaucracies is dead on. Everytime they fail, no one is fired, and no budgets are cut.

They only get larger and more ineffective. Look at our corrupt and ineffective public education system for a primer.

As for your point about only the "federal" gov. having responsibilty for these types of situations, it is not only false, but bad policy.

Your point about "economies of scale" exposes either an age issue or ossified thinking. Networks outperfrom centralization in virtually every instance.

In the case of disasters, centralization may be a better model, but then go all the way and hold someone responsible.

If you are serious about handling these things centrally AND effectively, junk FEMA and all the other alphabet soup pork and patronage spending and give the responsibility to the military.

They appear to be the only ones willing and able to make a tough decision, and it serves no purpose to call them in so late.

I now await your throwing around more "f" words and empty class war rhetoric.

If that makes you feel more persuasive, go nuts. The law school I went to taught us slightly more effective argumentation.

Lazerlou said...

Well fuck, my republican investment banker acquaintences and the CBOT traders I know are sooooo productive. They do so much for society. All the drugs and hookers and divorce lawyers and all. At least they are fun. Nobody who thinks so simplisticly could have gone to lawschoo. Maybe Marshall or Kent, but not a real one.

Do you understand how the fortunes of the "productive" depend on the existence of cheap exploited labor, how the rich, I mean "productive", only are so becasue they are allowed to profit off the backs of the working class, and then pass the ownership and wealth to their children?

I make a ton of money and I promise you most everyone who works 60 hour weeks for wages is more productive for society than I am as a fancy lawyer. Can you understand how productivity of an individual is not measured in a vacum but is dependent on the economy as a whole? How someones wealth is entirely independent from their productivity? How the distribution of labor and wealth at the outset determines who had the jobs and money? You get how those who own and run banks and are most proximate to pools of capital are the richest, not the most productive? You understand how monetary and fiscal policy determine the speed with which money flows and how it flows?
If productiveity was truly your measure of merit or wealth, Doctors and teachers should be the welathiest citizens, not busienss school grads, or more accurately old money.

You see, fuckface how the estate tax has nothing to do with productivity whatsoever? Yet republicans are hell bent on eleimnating it for the richest of the rich. The truly wealthy are those who never had to work a productive day in their lives. So until you develop a better understanding of how economically connected and dependent we are on each other for the creation of wealth, you will forever be a simpleton hick who thinks in such simplistic ways like taxes are bad becasue they give from the productive to the unproductive, and bureaucracy is bad! (you are a hick right? You are obviously not a city person or even from cook county by your posts)

Lazerlou said...

As for states rights, Respectful, you are right, Republicans were arguing on the side of Federal regulation in the medical marijuana case and the assited suicide case. And lets not forget the Republican's love the the equal protection clause in Bush v Gore! (perhaps teh most spineless shameful and political decision ever) (and Dems spinelssly on the other side). All politicians are whores. We know that.
I'm not sure what you are talking about re: environmental laws. Republicans have been attacking the Clean air act and endangered species act as unconstitutional under the commerce clasue for a long time. Arguing states can have stricter environmental regulation wasn't a commece clause issue, if I remeber correctly, but a preemption issue. It has been a while.

Lazerlou said...

Oh yea, and most Republicans with any sack would willingly and unapologetically admit and agree the poor would not be as poor if Kerry was President. Did you not see the census figures dipshit? The number of poor and the severity of their poverty has increased dramatically under Bush.

Anonymous said...

We should consider "neighborhood emergency centers" for Chicago. These could be funded through private donations, state and local govt and a mix of business, non-profit and govt mgt.

Each neighborhood has a stock pile of stuff that helps in an emergency - water, water purification, basic medicine, tarps, battery operated radios, gross tasting yet healthy food that is cheap and easy to store, maps-

There should be tons of these centers all over the place - not any one huge central place.

Nukes, terrorism, weather --> who knows.

Anonymous said...

One more thing:

the emergency mgt centers or stock piles could be located at:

...bus stops
...el stops
...fraternal organizations sites (k-12, colleges and vocational programs)
... nursing homes and health care

the state might look into generators as well for some sites such as schools, churches, nursing homes and health care (generators provide electricity in the event of a blackout). this may already exist - not sure.