|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 15h 43m 32s|
CNN anchor Jack Cafferty speaks
Words speak for themselves.
Somewhere along the way FEMA became a dumping ground for the president's
political cronies with little experience in disaster relief. The agency's first
director was Joe Albaugh. He was president Bush's 2000 campaign chairman.
Albaugh brought in the current failure Michael Brown. His previous work was
with Arabian horses. The number two guy, Brown's top deputy at FEMA, is a
fellow named Patrick Rhode. He worked for the 2000 election campaign. The
number 3 guy at FEMA is Brooks Altshuler. He used to work in the White House.
His job was planning presidential trips. FEMA's long term recovery director is
a guy named Scott Morris. He produced television and radio commercials for the
Bush campaign. The federal agency charged with handling national emergencies is
staffed at the very top by a bunch of political hacks with virtually no
experience that qualifies them to respond to something like Katrina. But I
Where are the qualifications of these people? None of these guys is qualified
based on the stuff I'm reading, to head up an emergency management agency. One
of these guys worked with Arabian horses, The rest are all off the campaign
trial. Planned presidential trips. Produced TV commercials. Don't you need
somebody at the top running the organization who has some semblance of an idea
of what the hell is required when there's an emergency?
It's true. This administration is heartless and corrupt.
|Wednesday, 7 September 2005 at 19h 41m 26s|
Privatize those contracts into political patronage revenue streams
From Wayne Madsen, [source]
And why is FEMA so incompetent? It was turned into a political patronage agency
by Bush for Bush's campaign lickspittles. This from a disaster recovery
specialist with inside contacts at FEMA:
Mike Brown was Joe Allbaugh's college roommate. (Allbaugh was Bush's first FEMA
director). Allbaugh is now a consultant who makes tons of money for greasing
the skids for companies to get business with the federal government in Iraq and
with FEMA. Note to Federal law enforcement. You might want to investigate the
relationship between Allbaugh and IEM, Dewberry, and URS -- the companies that
took $500,000 to develop a "Catastrophic Hurricane Disaster Plan for New
Orleans & Southeast Louisiana," a plan they never delivered and a project for
they fraudulently included James Lee Witt Associates as one of their team
partners. The sleazy revolving door spewing out money spins very fast with the
Mike Brown had absolutely no experience in disaster management. When Allbaugh
became director in January, 2001, he politically cleansed FEMA of anyone who
was associated with outgoing director James Lee Witt, who had done an excellent
during the Clinton administration. Allbaugh was charged with cleaning out of
FEMA because of the neocon desire to rid the Federal bureaucracy of FEMA and
replace it with charitable giving as a means of disaster relief.
So Allbaugh's first priority was to gut FEMA. This became an even greater
priority after the Democrats (especially Joe Lieberman) forced Bush to create a
Department of Homeland Security. FEMA was rolled into DHS. Allbaugh was
caught by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) using the FEMA Boeing 737
aircraft for private purposes, including numerous personal trips to Florida and
political trips around the country. The Republican National Committee
reimbursed FEMA for the political junkets, but the embarrassing trips hit the
pages of the New York Times and Allbaugh chose at that time to leave and set up
his own consulting business. He left without any pressure from the White House.
In early 2001, the International Arabian Horse Association fired current FEMA
director Mike Brown as its executive secretary after a non-productive period of
employment. Admittedly, Mike Brown had spent a large part of 2000 campaigning
for Bush rather than doing his job, but the bottom line for the horse
association was that Brown neglected his duties and day to day responsibilities.
Brown was lucky. His old college roommate, Allbaugh, appointed Brown as his
number 2 within days of his firing by the horse association. This cozy
relationship was noted throughout the Allbaugh period. Upon Allbaugh's
departure, Brown was designated by Bush to succeed him as FEMA director. He is
called "Brownie" by Bush.
"Brownie" has few supporters in FEMA. In fact, the general commentary is that
he lacks basic organizational and management skills and he is a bullshit
artist, not a leader.
|Wednesday, 7 September 2005 at 16h 39m 53s|
Yes, he really is a clueless phony
When Bush comes to down with his cameras and his canned glorious speeches, all
else must come to an absolute halt.
When he flies in to Gulfport and New Orleans International Airport so he can
get some camera time for 30 minutes, all of the air traffic has to halt while
the Prez is in the area. Stopping the helicopters while the Prez cracks jokes
and praises his incompetent appointees.
When he was in San Diego on Tuesday while the floodwaters filled up New
Orleans, he visits a Naval Medical Center ...
Hundreds of patient visits were cancelled as a result, she said. Patients and
staff at the Naval Medical Center voiced concern over the shut-down of non-
critical patient care services for a photo op that never even materialized.
None were willing to go on record by name for fear of retaliation, such as loss
of jobs or revocation of healthcare privileges.
One hospital volunteer expressed shock and disappointment at the apparent
disregard for patient welfare.
"I think it's disgusting. People who are getting chemotherapy or radiation are
on a very set schedule. They are not supposed to miss a session or put it off
by even a day, because it's based on the life cycle of a cancer cell," the
volunteer said, adding that some patients had waited weeks for
appointments. "Some had to postpone for quite a while, because the radiation
and chemo rooms were full on other days," she added. "They closed everything
down just so he [Bush] could have his photo op in the lobby with the corpsmen."
|Wednesday, 7 September 2005 at 15h 32m 41s|
A Katrina response timeline
Follow the link here.
|Tuesday, 6 September 2005 at 20h 2m 39s|
This is the story of volunteer firefighters throughout the West who thought
they were going to help out in the Gulf-coast and New Orleans, but were
diverted by FEMA to Atlanta for AN ENTIRE GOD DAMN DAY so they could be trained
ATLANTA - Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of
training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?"
As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for
firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week -
a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy
Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta.
Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United
States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to
be deployed as emergency workers.
Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations
officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate
fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.
"They've got people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-
mat certified," said a Texas firefighter. "We're sitting in here having a
sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who
haven't been contacted yet."
But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of
50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The
crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated
Damn, you know its more important to be properly trained so that Mr. Bush can
look good before the cameras than it is to get people immediately where they
can start saving and helping.
What, were they so fucking worried that someone might get in on their action?
Where do these people come from?
|Tuesday, 6 September 2005 at 19h 41m 56s|
Getting paid to talk about saving the schools
How do you sell a disasterous education policy? You pay people to promote it.
DEPT. OF EDUCATION PAYS FOR OP-EDS, ADS THAT PROMOTE BUSH POLICIES, DO NOT
REVEAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS FUNDING SOURCE
Rep. Miller Calls for Recovery of Funds and for More Information in Response to
Report Showing Irresponsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars, Systemic Covert Propaganda
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Education has paid education advocacy
groups to produce newspaper opinion pieces, advertisements, and other public
materials that reached audiences all over the country without revealing that
the government paid for their production and distribution, according to a
report issued late last week by the Department’s Inspector General that
concluded that such practices were improper.
But this is not all. Ever wonder why you read those obnoxiously well-crafted
letters to the editor, or hear those talk-show callers who seem to be really
adept at nailing the recent talking points -- they seem to be too damn good,
How many people are getting paid this way to convince the rest of us out here
in the real world that absolute partisan corruption is somehow a mythical hero
who saves us from maurauders and fools?
|Tuesday, 6 September 2005 at 19h 29m 31s|
The FEMA chain of command
If Bush were to fire FEMA director Mike Brown the agency would be run by the
Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff.
The Chief of Staff is a guy named Patrick Rhode. He planned events for
President Bush’s campaign. Rhode has no emergency management experience
whatsoever. From Rhode’s official bio:
His first position with the Bush Administration was as special assistant to the
President and deputy director of National Advance Operations, a position he
assumed in January 2001. Previously, Mr. Rhode served as deputy director of
National Advance Operations for the George W. Bush Presidential Campaign, in
The Deputy Chief of Staff is Scott Morris. He was a press flak for
Bush’s presidential campaign. Previously, he worked for the company that
produced Bush’s campaign commercials. He also has no emergency management
experience. From Morris’s official bio:
Mr. Morris was also the marketing director for the world’s leading provider of
e-business applications software in California, and worked for Maverick Media
in Austin, Texas as a media strategist for the George W. Bush for President
primary campaign and the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign.
Thanks to thinkprogress.org[Source]
|Tuesday, 6 September 2005 at 19h 23m 41s|
Fire the criminals
Tonight on CNN, news anchor Cafferty speaks.
Why are we talking about the "blame game" - there are thousands of people dead
because government officials failed to do what they're supposed to be doing.
That's criminal behavior. I mean, that's no game. There are poeple dead in the
city of New Orelans and up and down the gulf coast because people charged with
seeing to their welfare failed to do that. I don't understand this relecutance
to say, Mr. Brown, you failed in your assignment. You're out of here. Go away.
Go back to Colorado and go back to working for the Arabian Horse Association
that we got you from.
Thank you , Atrios.
|Monday, 5 September 2005 at 16h 15m 29s|
How does FEMA fuck up, let us count the ways
FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations
FEMA turns away experienced firefighters
FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks
FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel
FEMA won't let Red Cross
morticians from entering New Orleans
FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid
to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board
FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck
FEMA turns away generators (See entry from 3:32 P.M. by Ben
Morris, Slidell mayor)
FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"
|Monday, 5 September 2005 at 14h 41m 26s|
The story of FEMAs demise
The story is written by the LA Times here. Read it for yourself.