Tuesday, September 06, 2005

W. vs. Clinton.

Speaking of Marie Antoinette, check out Keith Olbermann blasting George W. Bush. It's a blistering commentary, complete with the statement that Bush is a "twenty-first century Marie Antoinette."

The Daily Howler compares Daddy and W. Bush's response to hurricanes with Clinton's. I yearn for Clinton.


    As we reviewed USA Today’s coverage, we began to notice differences with the Katrina experience. In July 1996, Steve Marshall described preparations for Hurricane Bertha:

    MARSHALL (7/11/96): A s Hurricane Bertha churned toward the Southeast coast Wednesday, a massive exodus of tourist havens began.

    Officials urged at least 1 million people to leave as Bertha took aim with 100-mph winds.

    An estimated 500,000 people were ordered to evacuate six north Florida counties. About 50,000 were asked to get off Hatteras and Ocracoke islands on North Carolina's Outer Banks. And officials urged the evacuation of parts of two South Carolina counties with 380,000 residents...

    Bertha's immediate effects:

    —NASA moved the shuttle Atlantis off its Cape Canaveral launch pad to a hangar.
    —Olympic officials in Georgia moved yachts inland.
    —Navy officials ordered 54 ships out to sea to avoid being battered against the docks.
    —President Clinton canceled appearances set for today in Orlando and Tampa.

    Witt was upbeat about his agency's plans for the storm. "Everyoneis ready and on alert," he said. "I think as far as our planning efforts, we're in good shape. We have a lot of resources available.”

    Hurricane Bertha was no Katrina. But President Clinton “canceled appearances” as Bertha approached the U.S. mainland, and James Lee Witt boasted of FEMA’s preparation. In the aftermath of 1999's Hurricane Floyd, we noticed a similar theme in Lawrence McQuillan’s reporting:

    MCQUILLAN (9/20/99): President Clinton, who has picked up the moniker "comforter in chief," visits North Carolina today to meet with victims of Hurricane Floyd and confer with state and local officials to coordinate federal relief efforts.

    Clinton will go to Raleigh and then take a helicopter to Tarboro, where torrential rains created massive flooding. "We are on the threshold of a crisis," Edgecombe County Manager Joe Durham said...

    In fact, Clinton was unwilling to be away from Washington when the storm struck the East Coast last week. He called off plans to golf in Hawaii after a five-day trip to New Zealand and returned to the nation's capital.

    Aides say Clinton's 12 years as governor of Arkansas made him particularly sensitive to the need for swift federal action to help communities cope with natural disasters
    , and to the political benefits derived from meeting the needs of victims.

    Clinton took the highly unusual step of issuing disaster declarations for North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida even before the hurricane's high winds and rains hit the states.

    No, Hurricane Floyd was no Katrina. But like Bush 43 in the case of Katrina, Clinton made disaster declarations even before the hurricane hit. And oh yes, he did something else: He cancelled pleasing vacation plans so he could be at his desk when the hurricane hit. Last week, of course, Bush 43 still lounged in Crawford as Katrina bore down on the U.S. coast; on Day 2, he flew off to make a speech in San Diego even after New Orleans’ levees had breached. (The levees gave way on Monday; Bush flew to San Diego on Tuesday.)

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