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September 12, 2005

We Don't Have Replicators And Transporters, But Our Aircraft Carriers Have Warp Drive!

From a Meet the Press transcript, caught by FreeRepublicans:

MAYOR NAGIN: My biggest mistake is having a fundamental assumption that in the state of Louisiana, with an $18 billion budget, in the country of the United States that can move whole fleets of aircraft carriers across the globe in 24 hours, that my fundamental assumption was get as many people to safety as possible, and that the cavalry would be coming within two to three days, and they didn't come.

We truly live in an age of miracles and wonders, my friends.

Russert goes on to punch up Nagin a bit:

MR. RUSSERT: Many people point, Mr. Mayor, that on Friday before the hurricane, President Bush declared an impending disaster. And The Houston Chronicle wrote it this way. "[Mayor Nagin's] mandatory evacuation order was issued 20 hours before the storm struck the Louisiana coast, less than half the time researchers determined would be needed to get everyone out. City officials had 550 municipal buses and hundreds of additional school buses at their disposal but made no plans to use them to get people out of New Orleans before the storm, said Chester Wilmot, a civil engineering professor at Louisiana State University and an expert in transportation planning, who helped the city put together its evacuation plan." And we've all see this photograph of these submerged school buses. Why did you not declare, order, a mandatory evacuation on Friday, when the president declared an emergency, and have utilized those buses to get people out?

MAYOR NAGIN: You know, Tim, that's one of the things that will be debated. There has never been a catastrophe in the history of New Orleans like this. There has never been any Category 5 storm of this magnitude that has hit New Orleans directly. We did the things that we thought were best based upon the information that we had. Sure, here was lots of buses out there. But guess what? You can't find drivers that would stay behind with a Category 5 hurricane, you know, pending down on New Orleans. We barely got enough drivers to move people on Sunday, or Saturday and Sunday, to move them to the Superdome. We barely had enough drivers for that. So sure, we had the assets, but the drivers just weren't available.

Note that when pressed on his own failings as a leader, he resorts to the defense that we've never seen such a powerful storm, and who could plan for such a thing or safely protect against it?

And yet, when the topic changes to Bush, Bush is expected to have been able to deal with it.

Seems Nagin's excuses apply only to Nagin.

Crafty. That's probably why the CIA wants to kill him.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Mr. Mayor, if you read the city of New Orleans' comprehensive emergency plan-- and I've read it and I'll show it to you and our viewers--it says very clearly, "Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the mayor of New Orleans. The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life-saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedure as needed. Approximately 100,000 citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation."

It was your responsibility. Where was the planning? Where was the preparation? Where was the execution?

MAYOR NAGIN: The planning was always in getting people to higher ground, getting them to safety. That's what we meant by evacuation. Get them out of their homes, which--most people are under sea level. Get them to a higher ground and then depending upon our state and federal officials to move them out of harm's way after the storm has hit.

MR. RUSSERT: But in July of this year, one month before the hurricane, you cut a public service announcement which said, in effect, "You are on your own." And you have said repeatedly that you never thought an evacuation plan would work. Which is true: whether you would exercise your obligation and duty as mayor or that--and evacuate people, or you believe people were on their own?

MAYOR NAGIN: Well, Tim, you know, we basically wove this incredible tightrope as it is. We were in a position of trying to encourage as many people as possible to leave because we weren't comfortable that we had the resources to move them out of our city. Keep in mind: normal evacuations, we get about 60 percent of the people out of the city of New Orleans. This time we got 80 percent out. We encouraged people to buddy up, churches to take senior citizens and move them to safety, and a lot of them did. And then we would deal with the remaining people that couldn't or wouldn't leave and try and get them to higher ground until safety came.

A mandatory evacuation calls for "encouraging" people to leave. Interesting.

He also asks him about the Amtrak train offered to ferry people out.

Also, Chris Wallace beat holy hell out of Mary Landrieu yesterday, and she came off as an idiot. (Sorry, Megan, she did.)

When asked about the fact that Bush's spending on Gulf-area flood control was slightly higher than Clinton's, she answered, I shit you not, that that was because Bush had a "surplus" whereas Clinton was dealing with the deficits of the Reagan and Bush I years.

Ummmm... Bush never had a surplus, except possibly a small one his first year in office. And this has been a Democratic talking point repeatedly endlessly for the last five years-- Clinton gave us a surplus, Bush gave us deficits "as far as the eye can see."

And yet, when convenient, Landrieu suddenly rewrites history so that it's Bush who's awash in free money and Clinton who's struggling with massive deficits.

Wallace didn't call her on this, but to be fair, the segment was ending and he didn't have enough time.

I'd like to think someone in the LLMSM would follow-up with Mary "Mathematical Genius" Landrieu's odd accounting.

I'd also like to think I can flap my arms and fly to the moon.

Oh-- and when asked about those buses that never ferried the poor out of NO, she just kept repeating that they were "underwater."

Wallace kept reminding her they weren't "underwater" before the storm hit -- you know, when you'd evacuate people in *advance* of a storm, if you could imagine such a thing -- and she kept pretending she didn't get what he was saying and noting that they were "underwater" and thus could not be used.

She either pretended, or she's as big an idiot as I'm starting to suspect.


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posted by Ace at 01:42 PM

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