Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Roberts Court Debate

This really wasnt a debate about Roberts.... it was more of a debate about varies theories of Consitutitional law. All in all the debate was very entertaining and both Professors clearly knew their stuff, however, I have to tip my hat in favor of Professor Moss in terms of a "winner" but I'll concede that he won only by a small margin... McAdams's arguments were extremely well reasoned as well.

Below are some highlights:

Do we really want a principled conservative jurisprudence?—McAdams (rhetorical question)

McAdams makes a sports analogy and asserts that the “red team” submits referees that play fair and play by the rules and that the “blue team” submits referees that constantly cheat. Therefore, what I want is good old-fashioned conservative judicial activism so that the “red team” can win.--McAdams

“I disagree with McAdam’s assertion that the Democratic Party has and is always winning. I believe that the Democratic Party is currently weaker than the Whigs before the Civil War” --Moss

“McAdams would have you believe that Democrats are the only ones that want to achieve results that they were unable to achieve in the democratic process. This completely untrue, Republicans and conservatives are currently trying to achieve results that they have been unable to achieve through the Democratic process, they are trying to turn back civil rights legislation, gun [control] and environmental laws.”--Moss

“Activism” is only what you say about the other side when you don’t like what the other side is doing. -Moss

If you are an orginalist how do you defend Brown v. Board of Education?--Moss

Brown v. Board of Education is an example of failed judicial activism that engaged in a failed social experiment.—McAdams

Correction from the comments:

I never said Brown v. Board of Education was a failed social experiment. I said that busing for purposes of racial balance, which activist judges did in the late 60s and 70s, was such a failed experiment.

I made it clear that Brown was not about racial balance, but rather said that race can't be used as a basis for school assignment.

People who laud the court for promoting racial justice have to take into account the failed social experiment (busing) that judicial activism also produced.
Thank you to Dr. McAdams for pointing that out. One problem with trying to "live blog" a debate such as this one is it can be hard to keep up at times and you miss some of the details.

Since you are a defender of judicial activism how can you be opposed to conservative judicial activism?--McAdams

I think thatthere are some parts of the constitution that should be read and interpreted narrowly and some that should be read and interpreted more broadly. --Moss

The conservative position is that clauses such as the equal protection clause should be read narrowly and democrats and liberals believe that the equal protection clause should be read broadly.—Moss

You say you don’t believe in judicial activism, but you clearly advocate for a living constitution? If the constitution is a living constitution what is your objection to taking away some rights, such as the rights of terrorist suspects to fight the needs of the current tim?" ---McAdams.

The living constitution idea doesn’t say that you erase or erode rights in the constitution, but the Court must look at the facts and circumstances of the case before it and apply the constitution to those facts and circumstances, which may be different from facts and circumstances that may have come in a previous case.---Moss

McAdams asserts that 14th Amendment applies only to race. Clearly, that is not the view of the conservative court which applied the 14th Amendment to incorrectly decide Gore v. Bush in saying that the 14th Amendment applied to a republican candidate being discriminated against by having ballots counted in a certain manner.---Moss

Is a Senator violating is oath by voting against any nominee because they are unsure of or do not like the direction by which the nominee may take the court?--Moderator

The job of the Senate is to give advice and consent it is not just to examine the nominee’s record to see if they have committed sexual harassment, insider trading, or some other major legal or moral transgression. If that were the case we would not need a confirmation process. It is the job of the Senate to give advice and consent on the direction of the court.—Moss

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

1832 to "Live Blog" McAdams v. Moss Debate on the Roberts Court at 12pm tomorrow

1832 will "Live Blog" the Marquette Law School debate on the Roberts Court between Professor John McAdams and Professor Scott Moss starting at 12pm (internet connections permitting) tomorrow.

1832 encourages readers to submit questions for the Professors by posting them in the comments section of this entry. 1832 will try to answer and/or ask as many of the questions as we can.

I just came back from the debate, unfortunately the wireless internet connection in the Law School would not let me on the internet, so the live blog was a bust. I will post commentary from the debate later tonight.

Final Update on Brent Bray's post.

Blogspot only emails me a copy of a post's orginal title (which also serves as the post's URL) since the title of the post changed several times yesterday, I had to guess at which title most of you had linked to.

Since I was doing this very late at night, after I had been studying for the LSAT for about 5 hours, I forgot to put "Marquette" before "College Republicans" thus causing yet another URL change.

To fix this I have posted a duplicate post, in addition to the one that was posted last night, so if you have not made the change on your site, your links should still work and if you already noticed this change and reflected it in your links, your links as well should still work.

Lastly, it is important to note that the content of guest blog entries are not always endorsed by 1832. As stated in the purpose of this blog, we "will offer guest blogger invites to Republicans and Independents as warranted to further intellectual development and discourse".

Proof we can still come together for a good cause.

To Benefit Gulf State Hurricane Victims
When: Sat. Oct 1st 1pm-3pm
Where: Schroeder Field

COST: $5 to play (all proceeds go to Catholic Charities for Hurricane Relief)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Investing in Our (Off) Campus

If you’ve attended Marquette University for the past four years like I have, the positive changes in the appearance of our campus cannot have possibly flown under your radar. The administration of this university and the city of Milwaukee have undertaken several projects, including the construction of Raynor Library, the revamping of Wisconsin Avenue, and other beautification projects that have succeeded in actually making our urban oasis feel like a college campus.

Unfortunately, the repairs and changes have only been made to areas south of Wells Street. And while the off-campus housing north of Wells Street is, after all, off campus, the apathy and disregard shown towards this area by university administration and student government is rather disappointing, given the fact that hundreds of upperclassmen call this neighborhood home.

The Norris Park “project” is one example of this neglect. Remember last year, when several candidates for MUSG Senate seats and various members of the organization announced plans to work with the city to overhaul this space (located in the square block between Kilbourn, State, 18th, and 19th)? Has progress been made? Not that I’ve heard of. Sure, MUSG can blow thousands of dollars on plasma screens for the AMU, pretty new archways, and concerts by B-level music acts (http://www.gop3.com/?p=429), but when it comes to an enhancement that would improve the lives of the student residents of this area while at the same time deterring crime, the issue is summarily dropped. Great.

Additionally, has anyone ever wondered why the university has allowed a 24 hour homeless shelter to continue operations less than a block away from a dorm, and literally yards from off-campus student housing? Funny thing is that I’m doing service learning at Repairers of the Breach on 13th and Vliet, and they said they couldn’t get zoning permission for overnight housing, yet a shelter exactly like that operates just a few feet from our campus. Anyway, my proposal – dip into the endowment, purchase the shelter, raze it, and construct a new dormitory.

The housing crunch is on at Marquette, despite what the administration wants you to believe. Graduate students are being evicted from the Abbotsford to make way for overflowing freshmen and sophomores, and if enrollment continues to increase, there’s no doubt in my mind that O’Donnell’s basement and McCormick’s lounges will be turned back into temporary lodging for the classes of 2010 or 2011. So why wouldn’t the school take this opportunity to remove an eyesore from campus and alleviate their accommodation issues for at least the next decade? The ball’s in their court now.


In May we lost our very own Zach Corey to the LSAT for what was to be at least a one month sabbatical, and now the LSAT has consumed my life as well. As I prepare for the Oct 1st. LSAT, I leave this space to Zach, Becca, Weaves, Nick, and Kate and I am sure that they will all do a fine job.

Zach Corey will be temporarily given full administrator powers until my return. I'm sure everyone will fear his wrath as much as they did mine.

On Oct 2nd (If I am alive after drinking myself stupid after taking the LSAT on Oct 1st) 1832 will begin to undertake construction of its new blog and future home, www.CampusTavern.com, which will launch in mid to late October.

Until then... wish me luck and feel free to bring coffee and food to the silent study rooms on the second floor of Raynor near the bridge.... a hungry and sleep deprived future blood sucking lawyer will thank you kindly and promise not to sue your ass later on in life.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Biblical food for thought

I have always said that I will not sink to the level of using the Bible for political gain. This is for two main reasons; one, I don’t think either political party has the Bible completely on their side and two, as a well-minded Liberal I do not like to push my religious ideals on others too much. That said, I cannot help but wonder how the current administration can defend it’s many policies against the very Bible that it likes so much to call upon.

The particular passage that I have in mind which makes me stop and think is Deuteronomy 30:15.
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.”

I wonder if God meant “good” things such as caring for the poor and afflicted, caring for the sick and elderly, caring for children and single mothers. I also wonder if maybe, just maybe, some of the evils He was referring to were things such as greed, war, poverty and military power…

Maybe He even meant going as far as taking the $6,000,000,000 we spend every month on the war in Iraq and using it instead to provide health care to every single child in the United States for an entire year.

Now I would never presume to speak for God (even Liberals fear His wrath!), but I think the picture I’m painting is fairly clear. As a nation so based on “moral values” I think it would be wise to hold our leaders accountable to higher standards than we currently do.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Notice On Comments

1832 is a place for a civil discussion of politics and as such, name calling, profanity, threats of violence towards anyone, whether they are bloggers or other commentators, will not be tolerated. Violators will have their comments deleted immediately and repeat offenders will be banned from commenting on this blog.

1832 currently allows for anonymous comments to be posted on this blog so that readers are not required to sign up for a blogger account. However, if abuse of our "liberal" commenting policy continues, we will be forced to change our policy to one that is much more restrictive.

When commenting on our blog please remember that we have a diverse readership that includes the various university communities, people from all over Wisconsin and the rest of the United States, and our own families and friends, some of which are very young in age.

This does not mean that you cannot express your disagreement with or even your general dislike of a blogger or commenter on 1832, you simply have to keep it from going over the top.

One of the main purposes of this blog is to create a conversation between people of differing viewpoints and backgrounds, it remains 1832's sincere hope and desire that we can have that conversation in as close to a civil manner as possible.

Thank you-
The 1832 Blog Staff

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Read This Newsweek Article

This weeks Newsweek has an amazingly well written article that peers into what was going on behind the scenes during Hurricane Katrina and why it spelled a relief nightmare. Below are some highlights:

Why having a President who doesn't read the newspaper and who is only surrounded by "yes" men is a problem:

The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.

How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less "situational awareness," as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century—is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.

President George W. Bush has always trusted his gut. He prides himself in ignoring the distracting chatter, the caterwauling of the media elites, the Washington political buzz machine. He has boasted that he doesn't read the papers. His doggedness is often admirable. It is easy for presidents to overreact to the noise around them.

But it is not clear what President Bush does read or watch, aside from the occasional biography and an hour or two of ESPN here and there. Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him. Bush can ask tough questions, but it's mostly a one-way street. Most presidents keep a devil's advocate around. Lyndon Johnson had George Ball on Vietnam; President Ronald Reagan and Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, grudgingly listened to the arguments of Budget Director Richard Darman, who told them what they didn't wish to hear: that they would have to raise taxes. When Hurricane Katrina struck, it appears there was no one to tell President Bush the plain truth: that the state and local governments had been overwhelmed, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was not up to the job and that the military, the only institution with the resources to cope, couldn't act without a declaration from the president overriding all other authority.

Why President Bush said "Brownie you are doing a heck of a job" and an inside look at the heated exchanges between local officials and the federal government:

Bad news rarely flows up in bureaucracies. For most of those first few days, Bush was hearing what a good job the Feds were doing. Bush likes "metrics," numbers to measure performance, so the bureaucrats gave him reassuring statistics. At a press availability on Wednesday, Bush duly rattled them off: there were 400 trucks transporting 5.4 million meals and 13.4 million liters of water along with 3.4 million pounds of ice. Yet it was obvious to anyone watching TV that New Orleans had turned into a Third World hellhole.

The denial and the frustration finally collided aboard Air Force One on Friday. As the president's plane sat on the tarmac at New Orleans airport, a confrontation occurred that was described by one participant as "as blunt as you can get without the Secret Service getting involved." Governor Blanco was there, along with various congressmen and senators and Mayor Nagin (who took advantage of the opportunity to take a shower aboard the plane). One by one, the lawmakers listed their grievances as Bush listened. Rep. Bobby Jindal, whose district encompasses New Orleans, told of a sheriff who had called FEMA for assistance. According to Jindal, the sheriff was told to e-mail his request, "and the guy was sitting in a district underwater and with no electricity," Jindal said, incredulously. "How does that make any sense?" Jindal later told NEWSWEEK that "almost everybody" around the conference table had a similar story about how the federal response "just wasn't working." With each tale, "the president just shook his head, as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing," says Jindal, a conservative Republican and Bush appointee who lost a close race to Blanco. Repeatedly, the president turned to his aides and said, "Fix it."

According to Sen. David Vitter, a Republican ally of Bush's, the meeting came to a head when Mayor Nagin blew up during a fraught discussion of "who's in charge?" Nagin slammed his hand down on the table and told Bush, "We just need to cut through this and do what it takes to have a more-controlled command structure. If that means federalizing it, let's do it."

I highly encourage you to read the rest at www.newsweek.com or pick up a copy at the store.

Monday, September 12, 2005

New York Times Op-Ed Declares Voter ID Law a "Poll Tax"

Today the New York Times' Op-Ed board declared Georgia's new Voter ID law that goes into effect this month a "Poll Tax" and a "national disgrace". Here is what the New York Times had to say about the Georgia law:

In 1966, the Supreme Court held that the poll tax was unconstitutional. Nearly 40 years later, Georgia is still charging people to vote, this time with a new voter ID law that requires many people without driver's licenses - a group that is disproportionately poor, black and elderly - to pay $20 or more for a state ID card. Georgia went ahead with this even though there is not a single place in the entire city of Atlanta where the cards are sold. The law is a national disgrace.

Until recently, Georgia, like most states, accepted many forms of identification at the polls. But starting this month, it is accepting only government-issued photo ID's. People with driver's licenses are fine. But many people without them have to buy a state ID card to vote, at a cost of $20 for a five-year card or $35 for 10 years. The cards are sold in 58 locations, in a state with 159 counties. It is outrageous that Atlanta does not have a single location. (The state says it plans to open one soon.) But the burden is also great on people in rural parts of the state.

The Republicans who pushed the law through, and Gov. Sonny Perdue, also a Republican, who signed it, say that it is intended to prevent fraud. But it seems clear that it is about keeping certain people away from the polls, for political advantage. The vast majority of fraud complaints in Georgia, according to its secretary of state, Cathy Cox, involve absentee ballots, which are unaffected by the new law. Ms. Cox says she is unaware of a single documented case in recent years of fraud through impersonation of a voter at the polls.

Citizens who swear they are indigent are exempt from the fee. But since the law does not define who is indigent, many people may be reluctant to swear and risk a criminal penalty. More important, the 24th Amendment, which outlawed poll taxes in federal elections, and the Supreme Court's decision striking down state poll taxes applied to all Americans, not just to the indigent. A Georgian who votes only in presidential elections, and buys a five-year card to do so, would be paying $10 per election. That is no doubt more than many people on fixed incomes, who struggle to get by but are not legally indigent, are willing to pay to vote.

Yes there is a difference between the Georgia law and the bill that has been repeatedly proposed by Republicans here in Wisconsin, but the question really is, "Does Wisconsin really want to even risk being mentioned in the same sentence as Georgia?"

I don't think so either.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

In Remembrance

I remember the events of September 11th, 2001 like they happened yesterday. We had just taken our first exam of the year in AP Statistics when I heard the news. At the time, I was pleased with my performance on the test and looking forward to the rest of this clear, warm, late summer day. As some friends and I were walking out of the classroom, an acquaintance of ours came up and asked if we heard about the plane crash. The mutual friend, Nick Klein, quickly had my attention.

As an aviation buff, I immediately wanted to learn more. As a human being, I began to worry about the safety of my aunt, who works for the US House of Representatives. And as an American, I went through seemingly every possible negative emotion within the next hour. Anger at not knowing exactly what was occurring. Disgust when I realized that it probably wasn’t a coincidence that there were multiple plane crashes along the Eastern seaboard. Sadness after realizing that thousands of lives had just been obliterated. And perhaps most overwhelmingly, confusion – it didn’t take long to understand that this was an event that would alter the course of the life of everyone in the United States, which is certainly a confusing thought. After coming home from school, my sister drove this point home when she said, “Wow, this will be in textbooks. People are going to study this. And we’re living it.” For real. I remember spending the next few days with confusion and shock, like they were shadows that led and followed me everywhere.

Perhaps my most vivid memory is sitting on the couch with my family, waiting for the events to unfold. One of my defense mechanisms for coping with tragedy is to escape, but if you wanted to watch television, departure surely wasn’t an option. The Food Network went off the air immediately afterwards, deciding to post a message of grief and solidarity over regular cooking tips. Jeopardy was preempted in favor of round-the-clock news coverage from our local NBC affiliate. Even MTV eschewed videos and typical fare like “Dismissed”, instead broadcasting CBS’ live feed from Ground Zero.

While we were letting CNN feed us the newest developments, I got a call from an old friend. He told me that his soccer practice was canceled like all other after school activities that week, and asked if I wanted to meet up at our neighborhood park, which I did. I met him and eight other friends at Pioneer Park that day, and we had a great 5-on-5 football competition, especially given the day’s events. We used to play all the time in junior high, but since then, we had all found jobs, extracurricular activities, girlfriends, or other things to occupy our time. This was the first match of the year, and also the last, and also a metaphor for what was occurring to our country, and especially our generation.

After September 11th, we haven’t had time to play around. We’ve been forced to take things seriously, evaluate threats, and abandon our carefree lifestyles. Some of us have been forced to go to war. Basically, it forced our generation to grow up. Fast. So as the four year anniversary arrives, we mourn the loss of not only our citizens and our monuments, but also our trust, our freedom, and our youth.

In Remembrance

It has been months since I posted here at 1832 and yet today was a day I could not let pass without taking note of how I feel to be an American.

I will never forget the morning our principal came over the P.A. system to make an announcement. Everyone went silent because the only time she ever came on was to announce a death. We had no idea just how different this "death" was.

9/11/01 not only brought the deaths of thousands of Americans, but death to an era of unrivaled power and domestic security. From that day on we, as a nation (whether divided during elections or united after natural horrors) have never been the same. That day, and the uneasy days which followed, taught me more about what it means to be an American than all of my 18 previous years had.

I learned that you can bend the American soul, but you can not break it. I learned that you can kill an American citizen, but not our national unity. I learned that we are not as loved in this world as we may like to think, yet we do not back down from foreign responsibilities. I learned that compassion for your neighbor is not dead within the wealthiest nation in the world, as some like to say. I learned that for all of the complaints I have with this nation, I would never want to call anywhere else "home."

With the sorrows of Katrina still fresh in our minds, I pray that we can all take a moment to remember our fallen heroes from 4 years ago. May they rest in peace and may their memory guide us and our leaders to do what is best for our nation in the years to come.

In Remembrance

1832 will not post any political blog entries today. Instead we will only post entries that are in remembrance of 9/11/01. Readers are encouraged to post their own personal entries in the comments section of this or any 9/11 entry (we may publish some comments to the front of the blog).

9/11/01—Has it really only been four years?

I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I was a senior in High School at Rolling Hills Prep and it was senior picture day. I remember I got up in early in the morning like I normally did…and I immediately turned on the TV in my room to the morning news only to see the city that I was born in, under attack.

I started yelling and running up and down the stairs telling my family to turn on the TV. I remember hearing my mom turning on her TV and saying, “Oh my god!” and then she ran to the phone to call my dad and my brother who had already left and were headed into downtown Los Angeles (my brother would find his school closed and my dad would be turned away from his office building in downtown).

I don’t know why I did what I did next, but for some reason I went back to my room and called my High School friend Erin Patrick. I can still hear her voice and the words she spoke to me that morning. She was in a panic becuase her dad was in the military and was being called in to the Los Angeles Air Force Base, but we stayed on the line trying to calm each other down until we both witnessed, together, the unthinkable happen before our very eyes—we watched the second plane strike the World Trade Center. We both screamed. Then there was silence and then we cried. We ended our phone call in tears, we were afraid, we were in disbelief, we were angry, and we were at a loss of words as to what to say to one another.

Later that morning I went to school and we took our senior pictures for a yearbook to be given out at our graduation later that year, yet I remember I could not stop myself from thinking how unsure the future now was. To make matters worse the School Headmaster had instructed all of the teachers not to allow the students to watch TV news reports of what was going on, fearing that it the news would cause the middle school students to panic. Most of the HS teachers ignored the Headmaster’s order, but many of the students at Rolling Hills Prep decided to leave their classrooms and instead listen to the radios in their cars in the parking lot.

I remember sitting in the parking lot with Crystal Hale and deciding to leave and drive to the nearest Red Cross Center to stand in line to donate blood. When we got there the line was so long it went outside the building, wrapped around outside and into the parking lot. In the moments of despair that followed the attacks, giving blood to save lives seemed to give many, including Crystal and myself—hope.

I will never forget that day. I will never forget the sad faces of seniors who somehow managed to pull off a smile for the quick flash of a camera. The memories of that day are more vivid than any photograph a mere camera could possibly capture. I can still hear the sounds of that day. I can still hear Erin Patrick's scream. I don't just remember what I felt, I still feel what I felt and when I think of the tears that I shed on that day... I shed the same tears. This is what makes 9/11 impossible to forget: you cannot forget what you still see, hear, and feel.

9/11/01-We will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

1832 Adds Carroll College Student to Blog Staff

1832 is pleased to announce that Nick Halsted, a sophomore political science major at Carroll College will be joining our blog staff in the next few days. Nick currently serves on the College Democrats of Wisconsin State Board as the Membership Director and was deeply involved with the Kerry/Coordinated Campaign's student vote efforts at Carroll College last fall.

Welcome to 1832 Nick! We look forward to your first post!

Friday, September 09, 2005

President Bush's Approval Rating Falls Below 40%

According to an AP/Ipsos poll released today, the President's approval rating has fallen below 40% to 39% with a whopping 59% of Americans saying they disapprove of how Bush is handling his job:

Overall, do you approve, disapprove or have mixed feelings about the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

Strongly Approve 20 (23)
Somewhat Approve 11 (10)
Lean Toward Approval 8 (9)
Lean Toward Disapproval 14 (13)
Somewhat Disapprove 5 (5)
Strongly Disapprove 40 (38)


Approve 39 (42)
Disapprove 59 (55)

Notice the huge and growing gap between those who strongly approve (20%) and those who strongly disapprove (40%).

The AP/Ipsos poll has a lot of information in it and I strongly recommend that readers download the pdf and look at all the questions asked. Here are some other questions and poll results that I found interesting:

Handling the situation in Iraq:

Strongly Approve 22 (22)
Somewhat Approve 8 (8)
Lean Toward Approval 7 (8)
Lean Toward Disapproval 8 (10)
Somewhat Disapprove 8 (8)
Strongly Disapprove 46 (41)


Approve 37 (38)
Disapprove 62 (59)

Amazing, over 60% of Americans now disapprove of how President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq.

On Hurricane Katrina:

69% Agree with the statement that the federal government should have been better prepared to cope with the effects of a disaster of the magnitude caused by Hurricane Katrina

vs. only

30% Agree with the statement that the federal government was as prepared as it could have been to cope with a disaster of the magnitude casused by Hurricane Katrina.

This is the problem that President Bush and Republicans are going to have a tough time overcoming: In the post 9/11 world the American public expects the federal government to to be prepared for large-scale disasters regardless of their cause. It is impossible to claim that the federal government was prepared for this.

Furthermore, it is clear that even a large percentage of those who approve of how Bush has handled the post-disaster relief efforts and his overall response, even they agree that the federal government should have been prepared to deal with a situation such as this and it was not.

President Bush has a very tough road ahead.

1832 to add UW-Milwaukee Student to Blog Staff

1832 is proud to announce that Kathleen Moen, a longtime DPW activist who is currently the Women's Issues Director for College Democrats of Wisconsin will be joining our blog staff this weekend. Ms. Moen, who is a Senior at UWM, has previously given her services to the Kerry/Coordinated Campaign, NARAL-Wisconsin, Doyle for Governor, Kathleen Falk for Governor, and many other Democratic leaning organizations.

Welcome Kate! We look forward to your first of many entries on 1832.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sorting Out Republican Spin on Katrina

In order to sort out all of the Republican spin I have compiled a number of entries from around the country into one massive entry, so beware this post is very long:

Larry Johnson of TPMcafe.com issued this post yesterday that attacks the Republican spin that is trying to shift the blame from the Bush Administration to that of state and local officials in Louisiana, some of which are flat out lies. Here are some highlights:

The Bush White House is furiously spinning to lay the blame on the Governor and Mayor of Louisiana. My position is that I think both the Governor and the Mayor can be faulted on a variety of fronts. I do not absolve them of their responsibility to properly and fully implement their own emergency response plans. However, the Governor followed the appropriate protocol and, in accordance with the National Response Plan (NRP), asked the President in accordance with the Stafford Act, to declare a State of Emergency.


Sep 07, 2005 -- 02:18:12 PM EST

Friday, 26 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana declares state of emergency

Saturday morning, 27 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency and requests Federal Assistance "to save lives and property". Note, the letter was published on 27 August 2005 on Lexis Nexis but was dated 28 August 2005. Bush received the letter on Saturday and responded on the same day by declaring a State of Emergency. Note, per the NRP, William Lokey was designated as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in Louisiana.

Sunday, 28 August 2005, Mayor of New Orleans orders Mandatory Evacuation.

(Note: In Governor Blanco's request on the 27th, there is a specific request for help with evacuation and a specific request for help to "save lives and protect property". )

Monday, 29 August 2005, FEMA Director Brown requests DHS Secretary Chertoff's help in getting 1000 DHS employees ready to deploy to the disaster within 48 hours.

Under the National Response Plane (see p. 93, Figure 11), once the President declares a State of Emergency the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to implement the Plan. Initially, DHS is supposed to deploy an Emergency Response Team to the State to provide expertise in assessing needs and determining appropriate courses of action. Moreover, on p. 52 of the NRP the President may act proactively under the Stafford Act.

Folks, these are not OPINIONS, these are cold, objective facts. However, MSNBC and other members of the Main Stream Media are confused about what is a fact and what is opinion.

Now contrast that with this nice visual timeline of the Bush administration's actions leading up to, during, and after the storm hit from Basetree.com:

Hurricane Katrina was a hurricane that at its peak had a strength classification of Category 5 before later being downgraded to a Category 4 at its second, most significant landfall. Extensive and severe damage was caused by the hurricane across the Gulf Coast region of the southeastern United States, including Louisiana's largest city, New Orleans, on August 29, 2005. New Orleans was under a mandatory evacuation order, in the days before the hurricane hit, but many residents remained in the city. The vast majority of those who stayed were likely unable to leave due to being unable to afford vehicles or bus tickets, or being too elderly or infirm to travel.
Gathering Storm President Bush clears non-native cedar from the oaks at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Aug. 9, 2002. (AP Photo/The White House, Eric Draper/File)
AP Photo/The White House
Eric Draper/File

Hurricane Katrina hit Florida late Thursday, August 25 and then moved into the Gulf of Mexico, gaining power and momentum. Meteorologists predicted Katrina would hit Louisiana and Mississippi early Monday -- most likely as a Category 4 hurricane. Gulf Coast officials asked residents to evacuate their homes.

At 5 PM on Saturday, August 27, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin announced a voluntary (later, mandatory) evacuation of the city. Greyhound, Amtrak and airlines halted service late Saturday night. President Bush was vacationing at his Crawford, Texas ranch, perhaps clearing brush as seen in the above August 9 photo.

Here is a visual timeline of what happened next:

National Guardsmen divide the long line into two, allowing the back of the line up the ramp as residents try to find refuge in the Superdome from Hurricane Katrina. August 28, 2005 Ted Jackson
Photo by Ted Jackson
President Bush makes a statement from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005, about the Iraq constitution process and Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
 Arnold James tries to keep his feet as a strong gust nearly blows him over as he tries to make his way on foot to the Louisiana Superdome. The roof on James's home blew off, forcing him to seek shelter at the Superdome. AP Photo/Dave Martin
AP Photo/Dave Martin
President George W. Bush joins Arizona Senator John McCain in a small celebration of McCain's 69th birthday Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, after the President's arrival at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix. The President later spoke about Medicare to 400 guests at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club in nearby El Mirage. White House photo by Paul Morse
White House photo
by Paul Morse
The North side of the Hyatt hotel in New Orleans was shredded by 140mph winds when Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Louisiana coast on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)
AP Photo/Dave Martin

Myrtle Jones, 80 of Rancho Cucamonga, has a moment with President George W. Bush as he talks about Medicare at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, August 29, 2005.  Thomas R. Cordova / Staff Photographer
Photo by Thomas R. Cordova
Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina fill the streets near downtown New Orleans Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

AP Photo/ABC News
Martha Raddatz
New Orleans resident Eileen Glenn, 26, is grief-stricken at a Red Cross shelter in San Antonio, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. Glenn and her four children were able to escape the disaster in New Orleans but left behind her mother and other relatives. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News, Jerry Lara)
AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News
Jerry Lara
With terrorist threats pouring into Washington and war still raging in Iraq, it is hard to find downtime if you are the Secretary of State. But on a recent trip to New York, Dr. Condoleezza Rice did just that, playing tennis with Monica Seles and, on August 31, checking out Broadway smash hit Spamalot. We caught her coming out of the Shubert Theatre after enjoying the comic merriment inside.
Broadway.com / Bruce Glikas

Condoleezza Rice vacations in New York City. (Dick Cheney, on vacation the entire time, is nowhere to be seen.)
A man pushes his bicycle through flood waters near the Superdome in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. Hurricane Katrina left much of the city under water. Officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the city, but many resident remained in the city and had to be rescued from flooded homes and hotels. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

President Bush pauses aftering having a first-hand look from the window of Air Force One of the damage to New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005, from Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Angela Jenkins screams -help us please- outside the Earnest Morial Convention Center Thursday, September 1, 2005 in New Orleans. Times-Picayune / Brett Duke
Times-Picayune / Brett Duke
In this image from video released by ABC News, President Bush is shown during a live interview at the White House with Diane Sawyer Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005, on Good Morning America about relief efforts for the Gulf Coast and the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/ABC News)
AP Photo/ABC News
Milvertha Hendricks, 84, center waits in the rain with other flood victims outside the convention center in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005. Officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the city, but many resident remained in the city and had to be rescued from flooded homes and hotels and remain in the city awaiting a way out. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

President Bush meets with former President George H.W. Bush, right, and former President Bill Clinton, left, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005. Bush, who will tour the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast region on Friday, has asked his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and former President Bill Clinton to lead a private fund-raising campaign for victims as they did for last year's Asian tsunami. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Evacuee Raymond Cooper: Sir, you've got about 3,000 people here in this -- in the Convention Center right now. They're hungry. Don't have any food. We were told two-and-a-half days ago to make our way to the Superdome or the Convention Center by our mayor. And which when we got here, was no one to tell us what to do, no one to direct us, no authority figure.
We've got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)

(Isn't that helicopter needed somewhere?)
Hurricane Katrina survivors wait for aid and rescue outside the New Orleans Convention Center. Survivors of Hurricane Katrina may have escaped death, but they face the stark prospect that the lives they knew may be gone forever(AFP/POOL/David J. Phillip)
AFP/POOL/David J. Phillip

U.S. President George W. Bush (L) speaks before departing the White House to tour areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, September 2, 2005. Relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina are 'not acceptable', Bush said Friday before heading out on a tour of storm-ravaged New Orleans and other areas of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Beside Bush is Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who will accompany him on his tour. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Buildings burn on the east side of New Orleans, LA., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005.(AP Photo/Phil Coale)
AP Photo/Phil Coale
President Bush delivering his weekly radio address Saturday from the Rose Garden, amid wide criticism for the way he has handled relief efforts.
NY Times / Dennis Brack

Democrats, liberals, and a majority of the country do not seriously blame President Bush for Katrina (we all acknowledge that many people and organizations are to blame for not properly funding, protecting, and preparing New Orleans for such a disaster). What people are upset over and blame the President for, is HIS RESPONSE to the disaster as evidenced by this poll from CBS:

President George W. Bush finds disapproval on his handling of the matter, too -- and the public now shows diminished confidence in his abilities to handle a crisis or provide leadership, as well as in the government's ability to protect the country. RATING THE RESPONSE

President George W. Bush's overall response to Katrina meets with disapproval today - a dramatic change from the public's reaction just after the storm hit on August 29th. Last week, in the two days immediately after Katrina made landfall, a majority of Americans said they approved of Bush's response, although more than a third were not sure. Now, only 38% approve. A majority disapproves.



Approve Disapprove Don't Know
38% 58% 4%


Approve Disapprove Don't Know
54% 12% 34%

This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 725 adults, interviewed by telephone September 6-7, 2005. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The "Governator" getting "TERMinated"

While I do not always like to admit it (the California recall election was/is one of the best examples of the the occasional collective stupidity that consumes California) I am originally from the Los Angeles area of the the 5th largest economy in the world. However, California seems to be recovering from the above mentioned lapse into collective stupidity as evidenced by Los Angeles recently electing democrat Antonio Villaraigosa (who I consider to be the West Coast's Barack Obama) as Mayor and as evidenced by these newly released poll numbers on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Both Potential Democratic candidates Phil Angelides and Steve Westly hold small leads over Schwarzenegger despite the fact that their name ID is no where near the astronomical level of the Governator:

43   Angelides

40 Schwarzenegger

42 Westly

39 Schwarzenegger

 Even more impressive are the downright awful re-elect numbers for the Actor turned Governor:
Re-elect Schwarzenegger?

Inclined Not Inclined

All 36 56

Dem 13 82

Ind 27 61

Rep 70 21

Male 40 52

Female 31 60

White 44 48

Latino 14 82

Other 25 63

Lib 12 83

Mod 29 62

Con 63 28
If the "Governator" looks like he is going to be "TERMinated" then chances are many other republicans are going to be "TERMinated" as well.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

NOLA.com Staff Editorial Asks Bush the Right Questions

The Times-Picayune, the main newspaper in New Orleans, released a staff editorial yesterday that hits hard at the questions that the Bush administration must answer in explaining the federal government's lack of a proper rapid response plan to the disaster:

Dear Mr. President:

We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to make it right."

Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.

Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.

Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.

Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don’t know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city’s death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.

It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren’t they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn’t suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job."

That’s unbelievable.

There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.

We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.

No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn’t be reached.

Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.

When you do, we will be the first to applaud. [1832 will join the Times-Picayune's applause when/if this happens]