Saturday, September 24, 2005

Feds to the Rescue, Again!

The next time you hear someone complain about the hassle of airport security procedures, solemnly remind them that there were no aircraft hijackings committed by disabled victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Don't say the system isn't working.

Beaumont escapes severe surge
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Sept. 24, 2005, 10:12AM


Nearly 1,300 patients were airlifted out of an airport near Beaumont in a rush Thursday night and Friday morning, but only after the county's top official made a panicked call to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for help.
"We had patients throwing up. It was very ugly," said Jefferson County Judge Carl Griffith, who blamed delays on the Transportation Security Administration, which insisted every wheelchair-bound passenger be checked with a metal-detector.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Better yet, time to hang Brown

FEMA Director Michael Brown demonstrates what it means to "be prepared." Given the number of people who have needlessly died owing to his malfeasance, may I suggest he's deserving of a criminal trial, not simply a pink slip.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON - The government's disaster chief waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region — and gave them two days to arrive, according to internal documents.

Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff roughly five hours after Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29. Brown said that among duties of these employees was to "convey a positive image" about the government's response for victims.

Time to fire Brown...

There is mounting evidence that the federal government systematically and consistently has stopped relief efforts mounted by private parties and local governments in the wake of Katrina. For example, the Red Cross and similar agencies have been prevented from conducting relief operations in New Orleans. (See For extensive evidence of the feds' malfeasance, see

But here, from Meet the Press (4 Sept.) are the words of Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard -- all the evidence that's really needed:

MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.

Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer 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. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "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 on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.

But I want to thank Governor Blanco for all she's done and all her leadership. She sent in the National Guard. I just repaired a breach on my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn't foresee, a 300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two and a half days working 24/7. I just closed it.

MR. RUSSERT: All right.

MR. BROUSSARD: I'm telling you most importantly I want to thank my public employees...

MR. RUSSERT: All right.

MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They're burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And 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.

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. President...

MR. BROUSSARD: Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.

Missing Libertarian Returns...ALIVE!... to expose Bush and Co.

My recent hiatus is over. Blogging resumes, with no further interruptions nor excuses.

New Orleans: My question is how much longer the Bush administration's facade of competence will last. FEMA Director Michael "security in New Orleans is pretty darn good" Brown, Dept Homeland Security Secretary Michael "no one ever guessed the city would flood" Chertoff are two fine examples of the utter incompetence and mendacity of this administration.

Anyone paying attention to the news knew that New Orleans had a major breakdown in law enforcement (as well as as that there were thousands of people trapped in the Superdome with no supplies, something else Brown claimed he didn't know). And anyone paying attention to coverage of last year's hurricane season had ample opportunity to hear detailed descriptions from analysts of what would happen to New Orleans should class 4 or 5 hurricane strike -- predictions that were exactly on target.

George Bush continues to play CYA while people on the Gulf Coast continue to suffer and die. How much longer will W's supporters keep choking down his spin? How much reality does it take to separate a true believer from his illusory faith?

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