September 08, 2005

FEMA 'brownie'

Where did Bush find 'Brownie'?
He was Bush's college roommate!

September 07, 2005

FEMA's Failures

The more you know about the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, the worse it gets. Last night, the Associated Press reported that FEMA Director Michael Brown "waited hours after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast before he proposed to his boss sending at least 1,000 Homeland Security workers into the region to support rescuers." According to internal documents obtained by the AP, Brown specified that part of the workers mission would be to "'convey a positive image' about the government's response for victims" to the public. While it was sent five hours after the storm hit, Brown's letter lacked any sense of urgency -- he requested the workers arrive within two days. The letter politely ended, "Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities." Last week, President Bush praised Brown's efforts, telling him "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job."

TOP FEMA DEPUTIES MAKE BROWN LOOK QUALIFIED: Before joining FEMA, Brown "spent 11 years as the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association, a breeders' and horse-show organization based in Colorado." (Brown was forced out "after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures.") Brown's top deputies, however, make him look qualified. The number two at FEMA, Chief of Staff Patrick Rhode, was an event planner ("advance man") for Bush's presidential campaign. He had absolutely no emergency management experience before joining FEMA. The number three at FEMA, Deputy Chief of Staff Scott Morris, was a press flak at the Bush campaign. He previously worked for Maverick Media, the firm that produced TV spots for Bush's campaigns. Morris also has no emergency management experience. In contrast, the top deputies of Clinton-era FEMA Director James Lee Witt ran regional FEMA offices for at least three years before assuming senior positions in Washington."

FEMA DIVERTS VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS TO SERVE AS BACKDROP FOR BUSH: Responding to an urgent plea from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, more than a thousand firefighters volunteered to travel to Louisiana to help out. The firefighters thought they were "going to be deployed as emergency workers," but FEMA decided to use them as "community-relations officers." Many of them spent their time passing out fliers with the FEMA phone number. (Shelly Miller, a Mississippi resident whose trailer was severely damaged in the storm, said, "We tried calling FEMA. You can’t get through on the phone lines.") For 50 of the firefighters, their first assignment was "to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas." Many firefighters expressed their disappointment with their role. FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak said any firefighter that criticized the agency should "revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country."

FEMA COVERS ITS TRACKS: FEMA's slow and incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina put thousands of people in danger. The agency doesn't want the public to see the human devastation. An agency spokeswoman said, "We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media." FEMA also rejected "journalists' requests to accompany rescue boats searching for storm victims."

Blaming Bureaucracy

[From Steve @ http://whitescreek.blogspot.com/]

I see George Bush blaming the "Bureaucracy" for all the problems.

I heard the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff repeat the lie that they didn't deal with the disaster because the papers all said New Orleans dodged the bullet Tuesday morning.

Has anybody told George that he, personally, built the bureacracy that directly caused the deaths of thousands?

George Bush, personally, has now killed more Americans than Bin Laden. More citizens of New Orleans would be alive right now if FEMA had simply not existed on Tuesday morning.

Aaron Brousard, President of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans said this on Meet the Press:

"… Whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chainsawed off and we’ve got to start with some new leadership. It’s not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here. Bureaucracy has committed murder here...

Three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn’t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. Yesterday — yesterday — FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is getting near these lines…"

"...I want to give you one last story and I’ll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I’m in, Emergency Management, he’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” and he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you.” Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday… and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] ..."

"Good job, Brownie!" George W. Bush told the man he appointed to head FEMA. A man fired from his previous job running horse shows.

This morning I heard the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs say, "We got there on Friday and by then, everything was well taken care of."

“Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” and he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you.” Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday… and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] ..."

Bush To Investigate Himself??

09/06/05 "PoliticalPost.com" -- -- Bush announced today in Washington, according to the Wall Street Journal, that "he will personally lead an investigation into what went wrong with the response to Hurricane Katrina."
Wrong!!!! Not going to happen. Nope!

What the heck! Does he think we are all stupid?

Bush can not investigate himself.

In fact ... if ever there was a need for an independent investigation it is now. The staged photo op's that George Bush perpetrated on the people of America on Friday along the gulf coast demonstrates his inability to do anything that isn't purely political and self-serving.

Here are just a few questions that Bush needs to be asked by an independent investigator:

* Why did you wait until Thursday to authorize troops to be sent in to New Orleans
* Why did you think some one whose last job as president of a horse association was the right person to head up FEMA
* Were you aware that Michael Brown was asked to leave his position at the horse association?
* Did you think it was appropriate to hold your press conference in New Orleans in front of 50 helicopters preventing them from flying rescue missions for as much as a half a day?
* Did you think it was appropriate for a hurricane aid station to be built for your photo op in Mississippi only to be torn down within a few hours?
* Do you think it was appropriate to fly into Louisiana on Sunday for a private photo op and not inform the Governor of Louisiana that you were coming?
* Do you think it was a good idea to cut the funding for flood control projects along the gulf coast every year of your presidency.

The ridiculousness of the idea that George Bush would actually lead an investigation into the government's lack of response to Katrina is laughable if it weren't so completely sickening.

September 06, 2005

The Bush Agenda: Chronology To Disaster

CHRONOLOGY.... Here's a timeline that outlines the fate of both FEMA and flood control projects in New Orleans under the Bush administration:

January 2001: Bush appoints Joe Allbaugh, a crony from Texas, as head of FEMA. Allbaugh has no previous experience in disaster management.

April 2001: Budget Director Mitch Daniels announces the Bush administration's goal of privatizing much of FEMA's work. In May,Allbaugh confirms that FEMA will be downsized:

"Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program...." he said. "Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level."

2001: FEMA designates a major hurricane hitting New Orleans as one of the three "likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country."

December 2002: After less than two years at FEMA,Allbaugh announces he is leaving to start up a consulting firm that advises companies seeking to do business in Iraq. He is succeeded by his deputy,Michael Brown, who,like Allbaugh, has no previous experience in disaster management.

March 2003: FEMA is downgraded from a cabinet level position and folded into the Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is refocused on fighting acts of terrorism.

2003: Under its new organization chart within DHS,FEMA's preparation and planning functions are reassigned to a new Office of Preparedness and Response. FEMA will henceforth focus only on response and recovery.

Summer 2004: FEMA denies Louisiana's pre-disaster mitigation funding requests. Says Jefferson Parish flood zone manager Tom Rodrigue: "You would think we would get maximum consideration....This iswhat the grant program called for. We were more than qualified for it."

June 2004: The Army Corps of Engineers budget for levee construction in New Orleans is slashed. Jefferson Parish emergency management chiefs Walter Maestri comments: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay."

June 2005: Funding for the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is cut by a record $71.2 million. One of the hardest-hit areas is
the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project,which was created after the May 1995 flood to improve drainage in Jefferson,Orleans and St.Tammany parishes.

August 2005: While New Orleans is undergoing a slow motion catastrophe,Bush mugs for the cameras, cuts a cake for John McCain,plays the guitar for Mark Wills, delivers an address about V-J day, and continues with his vacation.
When he finally gets around to acknowledging the scope of the unfolding disaster, he delivers only a photo op on Air Force One and a flat,defensive, laundry list speech in the Rose Garden.

A crony with no relevant experience was installed as head of FEMA. Mitigation budgets for New Orleans were slashed even though it was known to be one of the top three risks in the country. FEMA was deliberately downsized as part of the Bush administration's conservative agenda to reduce the role of government. After DHS was created, FEMA's preparation and planning functions were taken away.

Actions have consequences. No one could predict that a hurricane the size of Katrina would hit this year, but the slow federal response when it did happen was no accident. It was the result of four years of deliberate Republican policy and budget choices that favor ideology and partisan loyalty at the expense of operational competence. It's the Bushadministration in a nutshell.

-------------------------

Henry Breitrose
Professor of Communication
Department of Communication
Stanford University

September 05, 2005

Think About It THIS WAY....

For some Americans, there is just no getting past their addiction to Bush's form of patriotic crack... "We're spreading freedom and democracy." Our boys our getting attacked every day by the people we are there to defend... and still these Bush defenders won't wake up from the fantasy.

Try to think about it this way:

Imagine if the Republican National Committee went in NEW ORLEANS right NOW and tried to do a VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE...after they botched things so badly after the storm. How would the people react?? Seriously, someone might get killed!

The people of Iraq have no power (compared to pre-war levels) and no security, and we can't understand why they won't embrace "freedom and democracy". Think about it. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bremer... they are serial mismanagers who hire cronies instead of qualified people. Bring our boys home - their leaders have failed them, made their task impossible, and there's no digging our way out.

Dr. King's spirit reaches out to us....

Don't sit and wait for this flash movie to start... you have to SCROLL DOWN and hit PLAY on the left hand side of the page.

http://www.djpauledge.com/wewillnotbesilenced/

FEMA Director

yes, Brownie was fired begore coming to FEMA. He was the head of the Arabian Horse Show Judges Association for 9 years. great preparation for head of emergency preparedness!

Category 4 Hurricane Determined to Strike U.S.

from dailykos.com

by Hunter
Thu Sep 1st, 2005 at 10:28:22 PDT

George W. Bush was once known as the C.E.O. President, a term his handlers eagerly coined in order to convey that the country would from now on be run like a business. That quickly evolved into the less flattering Enron President... then the War President... now it's looking like we can all finally settle on one. George W. Bush: the Disaster President.

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

He honestly said that. If that brings up more than a passing twinge of familiarity, being a more than remarkable restatement of Condi Rice's now-famous assertion to the Senate panel -- then I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.

But it does bring up something that we joke about often, but apparently have never taken quite seriously enough: our President is an idiot. I don't mean an average, run-of-the-mill idiot. I mean an idiot who apparently, for the entire duration of his presidency, literally was paying absolutely no attention to even the most life-threateningly critical tasks of government.

The administration specifically cut the funds to fix these specific levees, in order to specifically divert that Corps money to Iraq, despite urgent warnings and predictions of catastrophic disaster if the levees were breeched. The administration specifically cancelled the Clinton-backed flood control program to preserve and restore the wetlands between New Orleans and the gulf, instead specifically opening parts of that buffer zone for development.

Nobody anticipated this disaster? It was identified by FEMA as one of the top three likeliest major disasters to strike America. (That link, one of countless stories, was from 2001, by the way.) It has been a major disaster scenario for years. Everybody anticipated it, which makes this single statement by George W. Bush possibly the most dishonest, lying, craptacularly false thing he has ever said in his presidency -- even surpassing his now-infamous State of the Union Address. Truly, this is President Bush's blue-dress moment.

And yet, funneling the money into Iraq was more important. You better bet your crapulent, lying, one-track, drink-addled ass that's a political issue.

The Liars are Spinning. We're not fooled.

[From my friend Steve at http://whitescreek.blogspot.com/]

Is a Bush Administration official Lying?

George Bush: "The levee broke...No one expected the Levee would break."

"We were briefing them way before landfall," Mayfield said. "It’s not like this was a surprise. We had in the advisories that the levee could be topped."

Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center

And more lies:


(From Newsweek)
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco seemed uncertain and sluggish, hesitant to declare martial law or a state of emergency, which would have opened the door to more Pentagon help.

(Washington Post) today in which they reported, on the say-so of an unidentified "senior Bush official", that as late as yesterday Louisiana Gov. Blanco still hadn't gotten around to declaring a state of emergency. This, allegedly, had prevented a more rapid federal response...

The Senior Bush administration official is Karl Rove.

He's lying!

Governor Blanco issued the State of Emergency declaration almost immediately(Sept. 26)

Why do Newsweek and WAPO still print what he says and give him the cover of anonymity?

Look...For now, let us all just assume that nearly everyone in the entire Bush Administration is incompetent. We already know they are corrupt, but Americans have always tolerated corrupt officials as long as they got the job done. When they can't do simple things like get water and food to the area hit by the greatest preventable disaster in American history, we have to forget about them and do it ourselves.

I mean we have relief supplies delivered by a piano player, a couple of pro football players, and freakin' WalMart gets a bluelight special of 13 trucks worth of food and water into downtown New Orleans before FEMA gets there?

Just so you'll know, the man Bush appointed to head FEMA was fired from his previous job.

Courage,

Steve


Thanks to KOS and Josh Marshall
(links on the sidebar)

September 04, 2005

SICK OF BULLSH** EXCUSES!!!

Once again, this half-whit, spoiled, rich boy President has PROVEN to the world that he has been elevated to job for which he lacks even the MINIMUM amount of competence. If we impeached a president for lying about cheating on his wife... I ask our Congress... IS THERE ANYTHING, ANYTHING THIS MAN COULD DO TO GET IMPEACHED??

And just so you have some facts to shove down the throat of anyone who actually has the nerve to try and defend this man... Let's get some facts straight, in order of relevance:

1. The National Weather Service was telling the world (any TV's in Crawford?) FOUR DAYS before the storm hit that a Category 5 Hurricane of biblical size was heading for New Orleans.

2. The President stayed on vacation and left planning to subordinates. Thursday: Vacation. Friday: Vacation. Saturday: Vacation. Sunday: Vacation. Monday: Vacation. **Storm Hits** Tuesday: Flies to San Diego to give a "SUPPORT THE WAR" speech and go to fundraiser. Sick, just sick. Wednesday: FINALLY heads to Washington.

3. The president's declaration that "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" is a LIE, LIE, LIE that should result in his removal from office. FEMA's National Response Plan outlines several "catastrophic disasters" that would present the highest challenge... An attach on New York by terrorists, a catastrophic earthquake on the west coast, and a Category 5 Hurricane hitting New Orleans, resulting in LEVEE BREACH and flooding of the city!!

Culture of life??? What a joke. These people have the most disgusting political agenda in the history of our country. They use religion to get elected and then they turn their back on God's people. There is a special place in hell for all of them.