1. Sunday, September 4, 2005

    “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” 


    President Bush on 9/2 to FEMA Director Michael Brown (pictured, pointing)

    uh…what?

    Even right-wing cheerleader Michelle Malkin is calling Brown “utterly clueless” while calling for his head… but Michelle if Brownie is clueless and deserving of a resignation, then what’s Bushie for not only hiring him but complimenting him on Friday?

    While we wait for that answer, here’s a rundown on some troubling news that came out yesterday, followed by some good news.

    But first watch this clip from today’s Meet The Press of a grown man who has had enough and cant even keep it together any more based on what you will read below, and after you watch it you should ask yourself why is the president still in washington, and moreso, why are we still allowing him to be our leader now that it has become absolutely plain that he cannot help us when we need help or where we need help.

    He hired Brown, who had no experience. He sent the Nat’l Guard to Iraq where there were no WMDs, he flew away from the South a day after the hurricane, and he still hasnt stepped foot in New Orleans as people continue to literally drown in his failures.

    9/3 Chicago Sun-Times: “Daley ‘shocked’ as feds reject aid”
    All FEMA allowed them to send was one tank

    (Chicago) Mayor (Richard) Daley said the city offered 36 member s of the firefighters’ technical rescue teams, eight emergency medical technicians, search-and-rescue equipment, more than 100 police officers as well as police vehicles and two boats, 29 clinical and 117 non-clinical health workers, a mobile clinic and eight trained personnel, 140 Streets and Sanitation workers and 29 trucks, plus other supplies.

    9/3 RedCross.org: Red Cross Not Allowed in New Orleans

    Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

    The state Homeland Security Department had requested–and continues to request–that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

    9/3 AFP: Angry LA Senator accuses President Bush’s visit as a Staged, Phoney “Photo-Op”

    Perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street Levee.

    Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe.

    Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity.

    The desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment.

    9/3 Race has nothing to do with this? Army Times, Brig. Gen Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Task Force told the Army Times on Friday that hundreds of armed troops were going to “take this city back”

    “This place is going to look like Little Somalia,” he said. “We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control.”

    9/3 CNN.com DHS Has Failed to Release Nine Stockpiles of Emergency Gear

    Nine stockpiles of fire-and-rescue equipment strategically placed around the country to be used in the event of a catastrophe still have not been pressed into service in New Orleans… The gear — including generators, radios, breathing apparatus, cots and other items — is stockpiled by DHS in nine locations. The three closest to New Orleans are College Station, Texas; Columbia, S.C.; and Clearwater, Fla. The gear is intended to replenish or sustain up to 150 first responders.

    Contractors who maintain the gear are required to transport it to a disaster site no later than 12 hours after the initial request is made by local authorities and approved by DHS.

    9/3 NO Times-Picayune: Tons of Food Delayed When Bush Arrived

    Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, officials said.

    The provisions, secured by U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, and state Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom, baked in the afternoon sun as Bush surveyed damage across southeast Louisiana five days after Katrina made landfall as a Category 4 storm, said Melancon’s chief of staff, Casey O’Shea.

    9/3 DailyKos: NorthCom had millions of meals and supplies available, but no order from the President to deploy

    A: Now I’m sure you’re aware of the criticism that the authorities have been slow to respond to this. When did you get the order to start relied work?

    K: NorthCom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready for the storm when it hit Florida because, as you remember, it crossed the bottom part of Florida, and then we were plaining, you know, once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast. So what we did was we activated what we call defense coordinating officers to work with the state to say okay, what do you think you’ll need, and we set up staging bases that could be started. We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it’s search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready. The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can’t just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission.

    9/3 AP: Federal Paperwork Stalled Nat. Guard Response

    Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in New Orleans didn’t get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck — a delay nearly certain to be investigated by Congress.

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state’s National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn’t come from Washington until late Thursday.

    8/17/04 SP Times Hours After Hurricane Charley Hit FLA, Bush Approved Aid to Bush

    Gov. Jeb Bush sought federal help Friday while Charley was still in the Gulf of Mexico. President Bush approved the aid about an hour after the hurricane made landfall.

    By Monday afternoon, the cavalry seemed to be in place.

    Heroes

    9/1 Houston Chronicle 20yr-old Jabbar Gibson drives school bus packed with flood victims from NO to Houston

    Jabbar Gibson, 20, said police in New Orleans told him and others to take the school bus and try to get out of the flooded city.

    Gibson drove the bus from the flooded Crescent City, picking up stranded people, some of them infants, along the way. Some of those on board had been in the Superdome, among those who were supposed to be evacuated to Houston on more than 400 buses Wednesday and today. They couldn’t wait.

    The group of mostly teenagers and young adults pooled what little money they had to buy diapers for the babies and fuel for the bus.

    After arriving at the Astrodome at about 10:30 p.m., however, they initially were refused entry by Reliant officials who said the aging landmark was reserved for the 23,000 people being evacuated from the Louisiana Superdome.

    “Now, we don’t have nowhere to go,” Gibson said. “We heard the Astrodome was open for people from New Orleans. We ain’t ate right, we ain’t slept right. They don’t want to give us no help. They don’t want to let us in.”

    9/3 CNN: Foul Mouthed 3 Star General – the Black John Wayne (more on IronMouth)

    New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin calls Lt. Gen. Russel Honore a “John Wayne dude” who can “get some stuff done.”

    “He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving,” Nagin said.

    Getting food and water to the people at the city’s convention center was a difficult process, Honore said.

    “If you ever have 20,000 people come to supper, you know what I’m talking about. If it’s easy, it would have been done already.”

    9/3 Video of Normal People with Boats Volunteering to Help

    Strange Bedfellows

    9/3 CNN: Castro Offers To Send 1,100 Doctors and 26 tons of medicine and equipment.

    “Others have sent money; we are offering to save lives,” (Fidel) Castro said.

    Castro — an enemy of U.S. President George W. Bush and frequent subject of condemnation from the White House — said he would not comment on the U.S. government’s response to the tragedy because “this is not the time to kick an adversary — while he’s down.”

    donate blood via red cross + Flickr Photo Auction for Katrina + “bureaucracy has committed murder here