Krugming Fiskin, or Fisking Krugman, or however they say it

Our pals at Powerline keep posting posts every day.

Busy beaver John Fartknocker

So here’s this thing about how Paul Krugman made stuff up about aid not arriving in NOLA.

Now, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past however-many, it’s that John Buttraker is never right about anything, ever. His version of ‘being right’ is to temporarily control the discourse on an issue, such as the famous Dan Rather memos, so that the dumb people who read his blog can go, “Hur-hur! That settles that!” and wander blindly to the next point of controversy.

We wandered into this one blindly, not knowing what the locus of wrongness was, but knowing that it must always be something. This time it’s about the U.S.S. Bataan, the lavishly-equipped ship deployed in the Gulf that seems not to have done much of anything in terms of rescuing people or providing relief supplies. Krugman says so in his latest column, therefore he’s a bad lying traitorous liar, etc.

If you’re in the mood for some square dancing, read John’s exhaustive, rah-rah-blustery post, then click on the links to official government spokespeople he provides (including the reports on the U.S.S.Bataan’s slick website, which seem impressive on the surface, but actually describe a very low level of activity, relief-wise, until September 4th). Consider how facts routinely get molded by government PR releases, think about what a total prat John is, and then meditate on what Krugman actually said, in his column printed the morning of September 5th:

The Chicago Tribune reports that the U.S.S. Bataan, equipped with six operating rooms, hundreds of hospital beds and the ability to produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water a day, has been sitting off the Gulf Coast since last Monday – without patients.

Now, this quickly gets tiresome, which is exactly what minds such as John’s count on — because creating tangled knots of rationalization will always be easier than disentangling them. That’s how dickwads like him fool themselves and others. But here’s a list of true statements in that paragraph:

1) The Chicago Tribune reports that
2) the U.S.S. Bataan, equipped with six operating rooms, hundreds of hospital beds and the ability to produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water a day
3) has been sitting off the Gulf Coast since last Monday
4) without patients

And also without doing much else. The Jabbar Gibson renegade-bus caravan rescued more people than the U.S.S. Bataan as of September 4th, when all the earnest rescue efforts started that Assnozzle cites. Here’s an interesting quote from the Bataan’s Sept. 4th press release — and if you want to check to make sure it’s representative, go read the whole thing and all the ones before it:

?Everyone here is very excited,? Rousselow added ?We’re ready to be utilized. We have the specialties, we have the personnel to help, and we’re a very effective team.?

And not to put too fine a point on it, but the 4th was the day before September 5th — except in Powerline time, it magically becomes ‘three days prior to’:

This all happened during the three days prior to the appearance of Krugman’s column describing the “hospital beds” “without patients” aboard the Bataan.

Powerline: The ability to produce 100,000 gallons of fresh bullshit a day. And they’re always deployed.


Comments: 16


Well… they were using the ship’s helicopter pad… so technically the ship was being utilized (kind of).
But Assrocket seems to forget that in order to constitute what Krugman describes as “utilize”, you have to use some of the other shit onboard too.


OT, did you guys notice that Wolcott has added you to his blog roll. You must be funny, or informative, or something.

Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoehenheim den Sidste

This would be as good a time as any, to remind our community that the adequate plurality is:

A Condom of Gannons

God Bless America!


Did you ever consider the possibility that the website you so confidently cite might be a TOTAL FORGERY? Have you checked that ship’s website carefully against the websites of other, similiar ships? Didn’t you notice that the font allegedly used by the U.S.S. Battan seems suspiciously un-naval? Because without considering these and a million other random quibbles I reserve the right to pull out of my ass at any moment, I don’t think you have the standing to say anything that isn’t lavish and fevered praise of the Bush administration…


Interesting that Hinderaker doesn’t actually comment all that much on the original ChiTrib article, in which the commander of the freaking ship herself says they are being underutilized. And note that the Krugman article was published on the 5th, not written on the 5th, so as Krugman was actually writing the article, the Bataan was just sending out the medical teams. No, better to ignore those pesky details in some lame-ass personal attack.


Hey, Wolcott’s how I found my way here. Oh, how I’ll make you rue that day, bwahahahahaha!


For those who are interested, here is the Tribune article, in all its copyright-infringing glory (some emphasis added):

Navy ship nearby underused
Craft with food, water, doctors needed orders
By Stephen J. Hedges
Tribune national correspondent

September 4, 2005

ON THE USS BATAAN — While federal and state emergency planners scramble to get more military relief to Gulf Coast communities stricken by Hurricane Katrina, a massive naval goodwill station has been cruising offshore, underused and waiting for a larger role in the effort.

The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore.

The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents.

But now the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty. A good share of its 1,200 sailors could also go ashore to help with the relief effort, but they haven’t been asked. The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship.

Captain ready, waiting

“Could we do more?” said Capt. Nora Tyson, commander of the Bataan. “Sure. I’ve got sailors who could be on the beach plucking through garbage or distributing water and food and stuff. But I can’t force myself on people.

“We’re doing everything we can to contribute right now, and we’re ready. If someone says you need to take on people, we’re ready. If they say hospitals on the beach can’t handle it … if they need to send the overflow out here, we’re ready. We’ve got lots of room.”

Navy helicopters from the Bataan and Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida have joined the growing aerial armada of choppers that are lifting hurricane survivors from flooded surroundings and delivering food and water.

More will arrive throughout the weekend when the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and four other Navy ships, including three amphibious assault ships–really mini-aircraft carriers for helicopter use–arrive in the gulf from Norfolk, Va. The USS Comfort, a hospital ship from Baltimore, also is steaming there.

The Bataan, though, was already in the gulf when Katrina crossed Florida and picked up new, devastating energy from the warm gulf waters. The ship, sailing near the Texas coastline, had just finished an exercise in Panama and was scheduled to return to its home port in Norfolk on Friday after six weeks at sea.

Instead, the ship rode out the hurricane in 12 to 14 foot seas and then fell in behind the storm as it neared the gulf coast. A day after Katrina struck, Navy helicopters arrived from Corpus Christi, Texas, and began survey flights over New Orleans.

The initial belief, Tyson said, was that the city had been spared.

“On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,’ and everything eased up,” Tyson aid. “It was `Let’s open up Bourbon Street, have a beer, let’s go party, and understandably so. And then all of a sudden, literally and figuratively, the dam broke, and here we are.”

When the city’s levees broke Tuesday, Tyson’s pilots were rescuing stranded residents. Communications became muddled as the rescue and humanitarian supply efforts were bogged down by rising water and sketchy information. Tyson, who would get debriefings from returning pilots, had perhaps one of the best vantage points to see what was unfolding.

`Like a bad dream’

“It was like a bad dream that you knew you had to wake up from,” she said.

A 135-foot landing craft stored within the Bataan, the LCU-1656, was dispatched to steam up the 90 miles of Mississippi River to New Orleans. It took a crew of 16, including a doctor, and its deck was stacked with food and water. The craft carries enough food and fuel to remain self-sufficient for 10 days.

Moving up through the storm’s flotsam, the crew couldn’t believe the scene.

“We saw a lot of dead animals, dead horses, floating cows, dead alligators,” said Rodney Blackshear, LCU-1656’s navigator. “And a lot of dogs that had been pets. But no people.”

Near Boothville, La., the storm surge had lifted a construction crane and put it on top of a house. Near Venice, the crew members considered going ashore to examine the damage, but dogs drove them back.

“I didn’t want any of my guys in there,” said Bill Fish, who commands LCUs and who went on the river trip.

“Everything was decimated. It was the storm surge.”

Then the Bataan was ordered to move to the waters off Biloxi, Miss., and LCU-1656 was ordered to return. The landing craft was 40 miles from New Orleans, but it wouldn’t be able to deliver its cargo.

“It was a disappointment,” Fish said. “I figured we would be a big help in New Orleans. We’ve got electricity, and the police could have charged up their radios. We’ve got water, toilets. We’ve got food.”

Now sailing within 25 miles of Gulfport, Miss., the Bataan has become a floating warehouse. Supplies from Texas and Florida are ferried out to the ship, and the helicopters distribute them where Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel say they are needed.

The Bataan has also taken on a substantial medical staff. Helicopters ferried 84 doctors, nurses and technicians 60 miles out to the ship from the Pensacola Naval Air Station on Friday, and on Saturday afternoon 24 of the medical personnel were flown to the New Orleans Convention Center where they expected to augment the staff of an Air Force medical clinic on the center’s bus parking lot. The medical staff had come from Jacksonville, Fla., Naval Hospital, and they covered a wide swath of medical specialties from surgeons and pediatricians to heart specialists, a psychiatrist and even a physical therapist.

“It’s really a cross section of a major hospital,” said Capt. Kevin Gallagher, a Navy nurse who was part of the group. “We haven’t been told what to expect, but we’re going to find out once we get out there.”

Moving in, ready to go

On Friday evening the Bataan was edging closer to the Mississippi shoreline; until then, it had stayed well out into the gulf to avoid floating debris.

Closer to shore, it will be able to deploy the landing craft again, as well as Marine hovercraft that can ride up onto shore to deliver supplies.

LCU-1656 cruised 98 miles overnight Thursday with a failed electrical generator and broken starboard propeller to join up again with the Bataan, their mother ship. After repairs, it was to set out for the shoreline near Gulfport, Miss., Saturday with a 15,000 water tank lashed to vessel’s deck, as well as pallets of bottled water.

The role in the relief effort of the sizable medical staff on board the Bataan was not up to the Navy, but to FEMA officials directing the overall effort.

That agency has been criticized sharply for failing to respond quickly enough.

Tyson said the hurricane was an unusual event that has left some painful lessons.

“Can you do things better? Always,” Tyson said. “Unfortunately, some of the lessons we have learned during this catastrophe we are learning the hard way. But I think we’re working together well to make things happen.”


The lesson I’ve learned from the Katrina disaster, is that the Federal Government only gets their information from the MSM. Emergency communications systems, Military communication systems… don’t seem to be working, or paid attention to.

The Chimp Government will spring into action only after the MSM raises a stink about something, like say, 20,000 people sitting around for days dying of dehydration, hunger and disease.

So I would urge all Americans to remember, in the future, if you are caught in the middle of a catastrophic disaster, your first priority should be to get in front of a TV crew or call the local paper, cause if you don’t, you’re dead.


I move that heceforth he be called

“Kareem Abdul” Jabar Gibson

Out of respect, for being the one American identifiable as going above and beyond.


“The role in the relief effort of the sizable medical staff on board the Bataan was not up to the Navy, but to FEMA officials directing the overall effort.”

Does that explain why the navy has rented cruise ships, on behalf of FEMA?

yeah, FEMA is in charge.

as of today, not so much.

Well, at least the arabian horses got out okay.


Now, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past however-many, it’s that John Buttraker is never right about anything, ever.

Seriously. He doesn’t even deserve “stopped watch” status.


YEah, that would make him much more wrong than random, in fact it implies a designer of the wrongness. And who designed the wrong designer?

Also, I am 100% triple pissed that you busted out fartknocker for JH 1 day ahead of my intended use of it for that self-same afromentioned gas master. I will persevere and find something else.


Yo Pinko:

If you want to find something new to focus on, might I suggest that one issue that has not been addressed yet in the insanity of all this is that some company had a contract with the feds, (I would guess with FEMA, and the contract would presumably be for disaster services), and they have been basically AWOL throughout, as best I can tell. I can’t give you a lot more info, unfortunately.

I read a blog post just when the shite was hitting the fan (maybe Tuesday or Wednesday) that mentioned that this company removed a p.r. announcement about the contract they had signed with the feds from their (the company’s) website. But now I can’t find the post anywhere; I googled for it but came up empty. The blog should be one you would at least know of; I don’t read too far afield, or else I get so angry at the ignorance, stupidity and hate out there in righty-ville. I have been hoping someone would follow up on this, but so far have seen nothing. I wish I could tell you the company’s name but I just can’t remember…


His version of ‘being right’ is to temporarily control the discourse on an issue, such as the famous Dan Rather memos, so that the dumb people who read his blog can go, “Hur-hur! That settles that!” and wander blindly to the next point of controversy.

That is the best description of what goes on over there that I have ever seen. Kudos, Gavin.


IEM, Inc.


My only point of contention is that they don’t say “hur-hur, that settles it,” they say “Bwahahahaha, that settles it.”


LACJ — the post you’re looking for about IEM is here.


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