Rudy Giuliani’s Response to 9/11: Slipshod, Haphazard, Uncoordinated

Giuliani is coming under more criticism for his mishandling of the 9/11 crisis. In a sense you have to give those Republicans some credit. Compare how badly Bush and Giuliani screwed up, both before and after the attack, with the public perception of the two following 9/11. They sure know how to influence public opinion better than the Democrats do. As for the latest criticism of Giuliani, the New York Times reports:

Anyone who watched Rudolph W. Giuliani preside over ground zero in the days after 9/11 glimpsed elements of his strength: decisiveness, determination, self-confidence.

Those qualities were also on display over the months he directed the cleanup of the collapsed World Trade Center. But today, with evidence that thousands of people who worked at ground zero have become sick, many regard Mr. Giuliani’s triumph of leadership as having come with a human cost.

An examination of Mr. Giuliani’s handling of the extraordinary recovery operation during his last months in office shows that he seized control and largely limited the influence of experienced federal agencies. In doing that, according to some experts and many of those who worked in the trade center’s ruins, Mr. Giuliani might have allowed his sense of purpose to trump caution in the rush to prove that his city was not crippled by the attack.

Administration documents and thousands of pages of legal testimony filed in a lawsuit against New York City, along with more than two dozen interviews with people involved in the events of the last four months of Mr. Giuliani’s administration, show that while the city had a safety plan for workers, it never meaningfully enforced federal requirements that those at the site wear respirators.

At the same time, the administration warned companies working on the pile that they would face penalties or be fired if work slowed. And according to public hearing transcripts and unpublished administration records, officials also on some occasions gave flawed public representations of the nature of the health threat, even as they privately worried about exposure to lawsuits by sickened workers.

“The city ran a generally slipshod, haphazard, uncoordinated, unfocused response to environmental concerns,” said David Newman, an industrial hygienist with the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a labor group.

Deputy Attorney General Resigns

Just as with Richard Nixon, there is a cancer on this Presidency. It has metastasized throughout the Executive Branch, with the lastest sign being the resignation of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty in the midst of a scandal at the Justice Department. Of course we know that the primary for this cancer comes directly from the Bush White House.

Pin Exchange

Via the Science Blogs feed I found this report on last night’s Student Pin Exchange. I’m not used to seeing such a variety. While I have tons of pins, most are either Disney Pins or John Kerry pins. Since 2003 I’ve even included a Kerry pin in the midst of my Disney pins which I typically wear on a camera bag strap when at Walt Disney World. The Kerry pin has received some attention.

George Bush Is No Ronald Reagan (But Neither Was Reagan)

Conservatives base their thought on mythology rather than reality. I’ve often discussed this with regards to science, including their beliefs that intelligent design is a valid alternative to evolution, and that the consensus of scientific thought on climate change can be ignored because they don’t like the findings. On foreign policy many still maintain that Saddam threatened us with WMD and plotted against us with al Qaeda. As was seen in the recent Republican debate, the ultimate demigod in the conservative mythology is Ronald Reagan. To the conservative mythology, Reagan was a supporter of small government, and inconvenient things like the facts don’t get in the way of this view.

At the Republican debate, Ronald Reagan’s name was mentioned nineteen times, and George Bush’s name was only mentioned once. Townhall has reviewed poll results from Stratigic Vision to show that, along with his drop in popularity, Bush has fallen in the panoply of GOP gods. Among Republicans this might be the ultimate measure of declining support. Polls going back to last fall show a steady decline in all regions of the country among Republicans asked, “Do you view President Bush as a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan?”