frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.



Check out my old  Voice of the People page.


Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

jonsdarc@mindspring.com




Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington



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Thursday, 3 November 2005 at 18h 15m 32s

Another judge with integrity


Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.

I got this from Atrios, who quotes from a Boston Globe article here.

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. ruled in a 2002 case in favor of the Vanguard mutual fund company at a time when he owned more than $390,000 in Vanguard funds and later complained about an effort to remove him from the case, court records show -- despite an earlier promise to recuse himself from cases involving the company.

The case involved a Massachusetts woman, Shantee Maharaj, who has spent nearly a decade fighting to win back the assets of her late husband's individual retirement accounts, which had been frozen by Vanguard after a court judgment in favor of a former business partner of her husband.

Her lawyer, John G. S. Flym, a retired Northeastern law professor, said in an interview yesterday that Alito's ''lack of integrity is so flagrant" in the case that he should be disqualified as a Supreme Court nominee.

Maharaj, 50, discovered Alito's ownership of Vanguard shares in 2002 when she requested his financial disclosure forms after he ruled against her appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

...

In 1990, when Alito was seeking US Senate approval for his nomination to be a circuit judge, he said in written answers to a questionnaire that he would disqualify himself from ''any cases involving the Vanguard companies."

...

According to a 2002 court filing submitted by Flym alleging the conflict of interest, ''Alito owned shares worth $390,000 to $975,000 in seventeen Vanguard funds."

Surrounded by piles of legal documents at her temporary home yesterday, Maharaj held up one of the briefs in the case submitted to the Third Circuit and pointed to the listed parties, which included The Vanguard Group Inc., Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company, and Vanguard/Morgan Growth Fund Inc.

''How could [Alito] not have known Vanguard was a defendant?" she asked. ''He had to have."


So Alito can't recuse himself from the court, even though he said he would on a 1990 questionnaire?

It appears that Judge Alito is more "in the mold of Justice Scalia" every day. How could anyone have any doubts? Of course this judge's perspective is tainted with his own fudiciary interest, as well as his own position in the same society over which he finds himself presiding. In the Globe article, Alioto says that he is only "an investor" not an owner, apparently oblivious of his ownership of contractual rights to profit disbursement -- ie. financial gain.

It is infuriating to me, how anyone can say otherwise with a straight-face. Owners might be the big bosses, they might work at the company everyday and know the employees; but how many mom & pop self-proprietor's do people invest their money? Investors put their funds in the stocks and bonds of the financial system and corporation assets. In the narrowest sense, investors want to make a high percentage per year on their initial purchase of dividend- bearing paper. Judicial decisions that cost their investments money directly affect them financially when the corporation has to decrease the dividends.

Antonin Scalia, chief Justice of the Supreme court, went on a duck-hunting expedition with Vice President Dick Cheney weeks before a case involving documents from Cheney's 2001 Energy commmission was to come before the Supreme Court. Judicial Watch sued for those documents and was able to get some of them before a judge issued an injunction and the legal case took the path upon the 2004 Supreme Court case.

One of the documents obtained was a map of all the Iraqi oil fields marked over with 11 oil companies. What was Cheney doing in April of 2001 with all of the large energy companies? Planning for the California Energy Holdup to make a few bucks for his Enron buddies, AND preparing for the Iraq carve-up they were also planning. They knew Al Quada would soon make a terrorist attack, and they were anticipating with salivation how they could best manipulate the event for their own ends.

Yes that's what kind of men we have in the Adminstration. I admit this is rather harsh, but it is also the truth. They said so much themselves in 1997 when they signed a document which laid out their plans to invade the middle east.

This was the same court that cast the deciding vote to enable Bush into office in the first place, despite all of the many shenanegans during the recount process, and the felony lists that disenfranchised 90,000 people, most of which were not even felons because the Republican company (Choicepoint-DBA) that collected the lists were apparently very sloppy. Mind you that all of this occurred in brother Jeb Bush's state of Florida. Kenny Lay's Enron jets flew Congressional staffers to West Palm Beach to scream up a fake popular protest and slow down Democracy when the law was being followed and the votes were being counted. Meanwhile recently appointed new Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was at the time providing the guidelines and legal planning for the Bush team. I'm sure his legal advice was ... non-partisan and unbiased.

The counting of those votes were all ordered stopped by an unprecedented injunction from the Supreme court. The reasoning laid out in the decision was that it would have unnecessarily disrupted the nation, the people's will be damned.

Can you say Dred Scott? The court could have just as easily ruled that the votes of all Florida be counted, or the court could have voted in favor of democracy. The American people could have waited another 2 weeks so long as the process was fair, and without the legal manuevering and political posturing that occurred by the Bush administration. Bush was already making a pompous show about picking and selecting his cabinet within 3 days of the election. Instead of working out a way to follow Florida Law and count the votes without disarray, the Bush people sued to have the counting of the votes stopped. They would have almost had the Florida State Legislature vote for new electors that would have nullified the counting had not the Supreme Court stepped in with the historic injunction.

The supreme court could have decided and could have made any different amount of decisions based upon many different precidents. The sanctity of the vote could have been upheld. It's not hard to count votes really. The myth about the hanging chads has belittled the history of counting ballots, and ignored the long struggle of Americans to make democracy real. The constitution did not guaranteed the right of all persons to vote. Voting is a legal province of the States, and was only gradually Federalized over the last 200 years, with the civil rights struggles of the 50's and 60's representing the latest in a long struggle over equal rights and representative government. I believe election 2000 was the watershed of a new struggle.

It's called a Coup D'Etat. They stole the election and now they are destroying the nation.

We can't expect them to nominate anyone but people like themselves to the Supreme Court.


Wednesday, 2 November 2005 at 22h 31m 42s

More principles at work


Wednesday, 2 November 2005 at 22h 25m 24s

You just Gotta love those principles


Wednesday, 2 November 2005 at 19h 17m 0s

Looking in the mirror, again.


I really am a leader. I am . I am.

Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

"The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership. They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas."

What a way to complain that Senator Harry Reid motioned to convene a Senate meeting behind closed doors to investigate how the Congress and nation was lied to about the war. I suppose the principle of the truth, and a conviction about ideas concerning good government are alien notions in the addled brain of Senator Frist.

What exactly are your own principles and convictions, Mr. Frist? To attempt to politicize the death of a clinically diagnosed brain dead women. To add rider bills and admendments to non-discretionary bills that favor the corporate lobbyist groups that fund your political campaigns. To sell stock based upon insider information in order to spare your own ass. To profit off of sick people by buying up non-profit hospitals, gutting the staff and the budget at the expense of the rising costs of health care.

Most people don't get their mendacity spewed on the front page like you do, Senator Frist, and none have aided and abetted greater corruption and decay than yourself. Indeed only a pompous ass would presume his lies could spare him from the inevitable truth. You must think Americans are god damn idiots because you can't look at that man in the mirror, so you describe him to us every time you smear and denounce "the opposition."

There is no opposition. That is merely an illusion of our own fears. No one really competes either, but instead, we try to take control over others if not ourselves by "defeating" them. These are but symptoms of a sick mind riddled with mental disease.

I sense a collective purging of the veins, much like the medieval doctors would bleed their patients -- to rid them of the evil spirits who were said to lurk in the blood.


Tuesday, 25 October 2005 at 17h 8m 9s

The story of life

I thought this was cool.

"Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts."

-- Salman Rushdie


Sunday, 23 October 2005 at 17h 23m 43s

Why did they nominate Harriet Miers?

It wasn't because of her legal prowess or attention to detail.

From the LA Times

At one point, Miers described her service on the Dallas City Council in 1989. When the city was sued for violating the Voting Rights Act, she said, the council "had to be sure to comply with the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection clause."

But the Supreme Court repeatedly has said that the Constitution's guarantee of the "equal protection of the laws" does not mean that city councils or state legislatures must have enough minority members to match the proportion of blacks, Hispanics and Asians in the voting population.

....Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan...said she was surprised the White House did not check Miers' questionnaire before sending it to the Senate.

"Are they trying to set her up? Any halfway competent junior lawyer could have checked the questionnaire and said it cannot go out like that. I find it shocking," she said.


Could it be related to when she was appointed head of the State Lottery Commission ... ?

Here's how Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, on July 17, 2000 !!!, described her initial foray in the morass of Bush's Guard service: [SOURCE: Philadelphia Daily News]


The Bushies' concern began while he was running for a second term as governor. A hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers was retained to investigate the issue; state records show Miers was paid $19,000 by the Bush gubernatorial campaign.

She and other aides quickly identified a problem--rumors that Bush had help from his father in getting into the National Guard back in 1968. Ben Barnes, a prominent Texas Democrat and a former speaker of the House in the state legislature, told friends he used his influence to get George W a guard slot after receiving a request from Houston oilman Sid Adger. Barnes said Adger told him he was calling on behalf of the elder George Bush, then a Texas congressman.

Both Bushes deny seeking any help from Barnes or Adger, who has since passed away. Concerned that Barnes might go public with his allegations, the Bush campaign sent Don Evans, a friend of W's, to hear Barnes's story. Barnes acknowledged that he hadn't actually spoken directly to Bush Sr. and had no documents to back up his story. As the Bush campaign saw it, that let both Bushes off the hook. And the National Guard question seemed under control.

So far, intriguing...but it gets better, and more complicated. At roughly the same time all of this was happening, Miers was also the Bush-named chair of the scandal-plagued Texas Lottery Commission. The biggest issue before Miers and the commission was whether to retain lottery operator Gtech, which had been implicated in a bribery scandal. Gtech's main lobbyist in Texas in the mid- 1990s? None other than that same Ben Barnes who had the goods on how Bush got into the Guard and avoided Vietnam.

In 1997, Barnes was abruptly fired by Gtech. That's a bad thing, right? Well, on the other hand, they also gave him a $23 million severance payment. A short time later, Gtech -- despite the ongoing scandals -- got its contract renewed over two lower bidders. A former executive director thought the whole thing stunk:

The suit involving Barnes was brought by former Texas lottery director Lawrence Littwin, who was fired by the state lottery commission, headed by Bush appointee Harriet Miers, in October 1997 after five months on the job. It contends that Gtech Corp., which runs the state lottery and until February 1997 employed Barnes as a lobbyist for more than $3 million a year, was responsible for Littwin's dismissal.

Littwin's lawyers have suggested in court filings that Gtech was allowed to keep the lottery contract, which Littwin wanted to open up to competitive bidding, in return for Barnes's silence about Bush's entry into the Guard.

Barnes and his lawyers have denounced this "favor-repaid" theory in court pleadings as "preposterous . . . fantastic [and] fanciful." Littwin was fired after ordering a review of the campaign finance reports of various Texas politicians for any links to Gtech or other lottery contractors. But Littwin wasn't hired, or fired, until months after Barnes had severed his relationship with Gtech.


Littwin reportedly settled with Gtech for $300,000.

Hmm, maybe it's just that Miss Miers is the perfect corporate lawyer, someone who knows who to keep her mouth shut.

These storys come from the Kansas City Star and the Austin American Statesman, but I am quoting from David Sirota. [SOURCE]


With Miers serving as managing partner of the law firm Locke Liddell & Sapp, the firm "helped accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP sell a sham tax shelter" by advising investors that they "'should' be able to beat the Internal Revenue Service in court." Miers' firm "appears to have made $3.5 million on 70 such deals" which a Senate report called called "potentially abusive or illegal."

As I wrote about earlier, under Miers' leadership, Locke Liddell & Sapp was forced to repeatedly pay damages for "defrauding investors" and was building a specialty practice in union busting.


Miers was a Managing Partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp, and should have been at least aware of these illegal practices. They aren't isolated incidents either, and show a pattern consistent with possible intentional practice.

Unless of course, she was made a Managing Partner precisely because she would "not" pay attention to details.

George W. had the same problem in the 1980's when he sat on the corporate board of Harken Energy while the company was selling $10 billion in debts to a faked corporation of insiders so they could make the debt look like a sale. This is also similar to the government contracts Halliburton got while Cheney was the CEO.

Simply put, they know she is corruptible. That's why she was nominated.


Friday, 30 September 2005 at 19h 27m 4s

TV is a waste of time

I mean really. What? Are we so unable to keep our minds occupied and body active that we come to rely on the hypnotic tube for a systematic daily routine?

I listen to the radio. I get clips from different web sources, and listen while I am working on something -- one of many ongoing life-long projects. Sometimes I have a baseball game streaming in the background, but I am not really staring at the game half of the time because I'm busy doing other things. Quite frankly, I don't really understand how to religiously watch 3 hours of straight television and think I'm experiencing a relaxing event. My nerves and pulse keeps me fidgety for something closely resembling to a passion for art and truth.

Don't get me wrong. I love a good movie. I have an appreciation of genius and artistic achievement in whatever form the excellence takes. But to waste your time watching a cheapened cliche for an hour and a half is to me exceptionally annoying. I can think of an almost infinite set of alternatives I'd rather be doing.

So why do we watch stupid skits of people acting out morality shows that are so far from reality that it reminds me of two pampered housewives trying to talk ghetto. I mean, for real real. I remember back to the day when "The Jeffersons" (thanx Franc :-) was a show about a Harlem family moving into an uptown apartment, and even back then, the silly comedy was really about celebrating the success potential of an urban black family. The humor was just a sidetrack.

Let's analyze this thread some more. MASH was the most successful show in part because it met the need of the 1970's which needed an analysis of the breakdown of moral fiber in society, politics, and government. That the show was well written is not an inditement, but merely a fact. Star Trek was equally relevant to the times, but nevertheless, the main draw was due to the fundamental cultural discussion which touched the nation's nerves.

With the concentration of the media into smaller hands, the tendency to manufacture cliches is too much a function of a need to fill space so that commercials can have a medium for revenue accumulation. Television has been a vast sea of mediocrity and incredible stupidity for the last 20 years, although not without exceptions (the Simpsons, the Daily Show, David Letterman, etc.) However, the percentage of good versus schlock is way less than 0.1 percent.

But never underestimate the ability of people to become content when they are well fed and economically stable while they can sit on their ass and get pacified, excited, and emotional by the dancing lights and sounds. I myself am no different, even if my nature is quite frenetic. Like Marshall MacLuan would say in the later 1960's, "the medium is the message." Translated that means it doesn't really matter what is on the television, because it is the experience of sitting passively, imbibed with external sights and sounds, through which the medium is partaken. Our consciousness makes mental impressions and associations based upon the way in which we receive our experience. Television is a very impersonal, vicarious and potentially isolated experience because there is no way really to engage the audience into active engagement with the group, unless the entire group remains seated and receives the spellbinding phenomenom. Instead the group is a farce, celebrated for the cameras only.

I guess for me this is a philosophical predicament. I don't want to project my own anxieties of alienation and disentegration, and yet to me this seems but the prime driver of the great modern rift between society and the individual, in which the community and individual are both amorphous and concrete, rather than completely indistinguishable.


Saturday, 24 September 2005 at 8h 31m 37s

The 14 characteristics of fascist regimes

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

(Source: The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism, Dr. Lawrence Britt, Spring 2003, Free Inquiry)


Saturday, 24 September 2005 at 16h 15m 54s

Where are the grownups

Thank you.

Thank you, stupid and proudly stubborn, stillborn Republicans.

But I must ask a few questions.

When will you realize that you are all patsies for the imperialistic regime that you are enabling? When will you awake to the reality of the imperialistic mafia which appoints and anoints the multiple figureheads that sit atop the corporate boards, the top corporate executives, the heads of government agencies,and yes, even the very precious politicians whom you gleefully elect to the legislatures and Congress every year, believing the absolute sophistry of con-artists and political shysters that manipulate your good faith with what they will gloriously pronounce as "conservative principles" when the only thing they will ever conserve is ... their precious fat ass.

Wake the fuck up.

How do you like the fact that you have elected a boozer, spoiled-rotten, jack- ass president, who can't explain anything without having to practice it 100 times with his press handlers and speech writers?

Tell me, when does it make sense to appoint another political hack to replace the original political hack who was arrested at the Office of Federal Disbursement for making quite an awful lot of undocumented monetary disbursements to various front corporations, especially when she is the wife of the man named David Sefavian who was thusly arrested. He was exploiting a loophole in the recent laws passed by the Rebublican Congress that all funds below $5,000 do not have to be accounted for.

Oh, but surely she will definitely get to the bottom of whatever her husband was doing.

Incidentally, the recently hurriedly passed law governing the Katrina reconstruction increases the treshold of this loophole to $500,000 !! In case you haven't forgotten, this was the law that Republicans did not allow the Democrats to read before passing.

I suppose this is how the conservative movement described by Republican strategist Grover Norquist scales back government: "by bringing it down to a size so we can flush it down the toilet."

And Republican representative David Vitter of Metairie,Louisiana, who was vehement and constant in his denunciation of FEMA all throughout the 2 week debacle, was unable to even vote on the Republican decision to appoint a special investigation headed by a majority of partisan Republicans, instead of an independent investigation.

Can you say "Whimpee" ?

Why did FEMA and homeland security chief Chertoff halt all bus and train service to and fro New Orleans on Saturday? Why did Michael Brown tell Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco not to use the school and public buses of New Orleans to evacuate people because apparently FEMA was sending in air conditioned buses.

Those buses never showed up. But I suppose that's all the Governor and mayor Ray Nagin's fault.

This was on purpose. They wanted to take the opportunity to play the blame game and try to take the heat of the Iraq war off of the Bush administration.

Since when did "conservative principles" include covering up a vast array of complete and consummate corruption?

And while we are at it, tell me why priority number one to political hack appointee Michael Chertoff was to cancel the provisions of the Clean Air and Water Act, which he can do because President Bush mandated by federal order that the head of homeland security is in charge of all federal emergency areas. Suspending this act in the Louisiana region meant that the Oil And Chemical industries which made the pollutants that spilled and contaminated parts of East New Orleans and Chalmette would not have to pay for the costs of the cleanup. These companies, most if not all of which minimized their costs of storage by keeping toxic chemicals in heavy plastic containers sunk into the ground that leaked or did not upgrade their storage facilities. This from an industry which only last quarter made massive profits at an average rate of 36 percent above costs. That is more than 7 times the average business profit margin of 5 percent.

And why is Karl Rove placed in charge of the contracting process of the Katrina reconstruction? This is a man who only just last month called the office of a Texas state Voter Registration Board and had one of the workers fired because the state worker gave public information about Karl Rove's voting status to a reporter for the Washington Post that was doing a story investigating the legally of Karl Rove's voting status in Texas.

And in case you haven't figured this out, Karl Rove and Judith Miller were in cahoots to orchestrate the journalistic trumpeting of the weapons of mass destruction that eventually led to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame by professional henchman extraordinaire Robert Novak.

Or was it after the "war" began to sour, when letters-to-the-editor purporting to be written by various different soldiers found their way in hundreds of local newspapers across the United States, only to become discredited when the soldiers whose names were attached were found to be quite ignorant of their existence. Another oddity was their nearly complete similarity in content and progression of style.

And you don't really think Fox news is "fair and balanced" ? come on, don't excuse it by calling it entertainment. Oh, yea, great O'Reilly mouthed off about that poor little girl for a couple of shows. Showing up at church once a week does not excuse the heinous gore and perfidity of the other 6 days.

My god. Since when did Republicans want to salvage the party at expense of the country?

I mean really. I saw John McCain huge and kiss Mr. Bush on the stage after that man orchestrated the most disgusting smear campaign against him in south Carolina. Where is your sense and integrity man?

And look at the tainted lying men who head the top ranks of your party. Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Ken Mehlmann, Newt Gingrich, Arnold Schwartzeneger, Rudolph Guiliani, Trent Lott, Pat Robertson, John Bolton, Donald Rumsfeld, Condolezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, and the entire Bush family -- not to mention all their political minions and suck-ups below.

Now I am not a Democrat, but at least Howard Dean, Jimmy Carter, John Edwards, Edward Kennedy, and Nancy Pelosi do not lie and play politics to the extreme of putting the country in jeopardy.


Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 15h 40m 4s

The speech filled with Lies

Thanks to ThinkProgress.


Bush said: “The government of this nation will do its part as well. Our cities must have clear and up-to-date plans for responding to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or terrorist attack.”

FACT — BUSH SAID DHS WAS PREPARED TO MEET TERRORIST THREAT: Bush, 3/2/04: “We’ll face the terrorist threat for years to come. Our government is prepared to meet that threat. One of the most important steps we’ve taken is creating the Department of Homeland Security, combining under one roof, with a clear chain of command, many agencies responsible for protecting our nation… You faced the challenges standing up this new Department and you get a — and a gold star for a job well done.” Bush, 7/22/04: “We will work tirelessly to disrupt and prevent terrorist attacks — and if an attack should come, America will be prepared.”

FACT — FORMER DHS HEAD TOM RIDGE SAID COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN FIRST RESPONDERS HAD IMPROVED: Ridge, 7/22/04: “We’ve committed unprecedented funding, training, equipment and support to first responders at the state and local levels. We’ve improved communication, coordination and cooperation between everyone involved in our nation’s preparedness and response.” Bush, 9/13/05: “Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government.”

*****

Bush said: “I also want to know all the facts about the government response to Hurricane Katrina.”

FACT: BUSH DOESN’T SUPPORT INDEPENDENT PANEL: Seventy percent of Americans support forming an independent commission, but Senate conservatives are working to create a panel that will reflect “their dominance in Congress.” Bush plans to “lead his own investigation of what went wrong.” [Times-Picayune, 9/14/05; Orlando Sun-Sentinel, 9/15/05; The Guardian, 9/7/05]

*****

Bush said: “We will not just rebuild, we will build higher and better. To meet this goal, I will listen to good ideas from…state and local officials.”

FACT — WHITE HOUSE BLAMED STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS FOR FAILURES: Headline: “White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials” [Washington Post, 9/4/05]

Bush said: “Yet the system, at every level of government, was not well coordinated, and was overwhelmed in the first few days.”

FACT — CRS REPORT SHOWS BLANCO DID HER JOB: A Congressional Research Service report found “that the Governor did take the steps necessary to request emergency and major disaster declarations for the State of Louisiana in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina.” [Office of Rep. John Conyers]

FACT — DHS SECRETARY FAILED TO RESPOND AS HE SHOULD HAVE: Federal documents obtained by Knight Ridder demonstrated that “even before the storm struck the Gulf Coast, Chertoff could have ordered federal agencies into action without any request from state or local officials.” [Knight Ridder, 9/13/05]

*****

Bush said: “I consider detailed emergency planning to be a national security priority.”

FACT — FOUR YEARS AFTER 9/11, STILL NO NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS GOALS: On August 30, “as New Orleans was drowning and DHS officials were still hours away from invoking the department’s highest crisis status for the catastrophe,” department contractors were emailed the planned “national preparedness goal.” “The checklist, called a Universal Task List, appeared to cover every eventuality in a disaster, from the need to handle evacuations to speedy urban search and rescue to circulating ‘prompt, accurate and useful’ emergency information. … But the documents were not a menu for action in the devastated Gulf Coast. They were drafts, not slated for approval and release until October, more than four years after 9/11.” [Washington Post, 9/3/05]

Bush said: “This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. We are going to review every action and make necessary changes, so that we are better prepared for any challenge of nature, or act of evil men, that could threaten our people.”

FACT — BUSH CLAIMED TO HAVE LEARNED THE LESSONS OF 9/11: Bush: “I make decisions based upon what I think is important for the security of the American people. And I’m not going to forget the lessons of 9/11, September 2001.” [10/3/03]

*****

Bush said: “As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America.”

FACT — MILLIONS MORE AMERICANS HAVE FALLEN INTO POVERTY SINCE BUSH TOOK OFFICE: 1.1 million people fell out of the middle class and into poverty in 2004 1.4 million more children live in poverty since Bush took office 250,000 more African Americans fell into poverty over the last two years 500,000 more Hispanics fell into poverty over the last two years [Census.gov]

*****

Bush said: “And taxpayers expect this work to be done honestly and wisely – so we will have a team of inspector generals reviewing all expenditures.”

FACT — BUSH ADMINISTRATION DEMOTED CORRUPTION WHISTLEBLOWER: The New York Times on Bunnatine Greenhouse’s reassignment: “A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday…” [New York Times, 8/29/05]

Bush said: “Hundreds of thousands of people from across this region will need to find longer-term housing.”

FACT - ADMINISTRATION PLANS TO PUT PEOPLE IN TRAILER PARKS: Rather than providing Section 8 housing vouchers, Bush has requested mobile-home manufacturers to “supply tens of thousands of travel trailers and mobile homes” for victims. [Washington Post, 9/5/05]

*****

Bush said: “To every person who has served and sacrificed in this emergency, I offer the gratitude of our country.”

FACT — BUSH ORDER ALLOWS FEDERAL CONTRACTORS TO PAY LESS THAN PREVAILING WAGE: President Bush issued an order suspending application of the Bacon-Davis Act which “set a minimum pay scale for workers on federal contracts by requiring contractors to pay the prevailing or average pay in the region. Suspension of the act will allow contractors to pay lower wages.” [Washington Post, 9/9/05]

FACT — BUSH WORKING TO SUSPEND WAGE SUPPORTS FOR SERVICE WORKERS: The White House is working to “suspend wage supports for service workers in the hurricane zone as it did for construction workers on federal contracts.” [Washington Post, 9/14/05]





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