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A collection of fuck ups from our government regarding the disaster in New Orleans as taken from the katrina thread in Channel Zero:



Outside the Convention Center, the sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement. Thousands of storm refugees had been assembling outside for days, waiting for buses that did not come.



At least seven bodies were scattered outside, and hungry, desperate people who were tired of waiting broke through the steel doors to a food service entrance and began pushing out pallets of water and juice and whatever else they could find.



An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.



``I don't treat my dog like that,'' 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. ``I buried my dog.'' He added: ``You can do everything for other countries but you can't do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can't get them down here.''










Mississippi's Bay St. Louis Emergency Management Agency volunteers rescue the Taylor family from the roof of their car. They were trapped on U.S. Highway 90 since Monday.










NEW ORLEANS – The evacuation of the Superdome was suspended Thursday after shots were reported fired at a military helicopter and arson fires broke out outside the arena. No immediate injuries were reported.

The scene at the Superdome became increasingly chaotic, with thousands of people rushing from nearby hotels and other buildings, hoping to climb onto the buses taking evacuees from the arena, officials said. Paramedics became increasingly alarmed by the sight of people with guns.


Richard Zeuschlag, chief of the ambulance service that was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome, said it was suspending operations "until they gain control of the Superdome."


He said shots were fired at a military helicopter over the Superdome before daybreak.


He said the National Guard told him that it was sending 100 military police officers to restore order.


"That's not enough," Zeuschlag said. "We need a thousand."


Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard said the military - which was handling the evacuation of the able-bodied from the Superdome - had suspended operations, too, because fires set outside the arena were preventing buses from getting close enough to pick up people.


He said tens thousands of people started rushing out of other buildings when they saw buses pulling up and hoped to get on. But the immediate focus was on evacuating people from the Superdome, and the other refugees were left to mill around.


Zeuschlag said paramedics were calling him and crying for help because they were so scared of people with guns at the Superdome. He also said that during the night, when a medical evacuation helicopter tried to land at a hospital in the outlying town of Kenner, the pilot reported 100 people were on the landing pad, some with guns.


"He was frightened and would not land," Zeuschlag.











An account about what happening at the Superdome from a CNN blog. ( cnn )


A scene of anarchy'


Editor's Note: CNN correspondents report back on what they are seeing in New Orleans


Chaos at the convention center




I don't think I really have the vocabulary for this situation.


We just heard a couple of gunshots go off. There's a building smoldering a block away. People are picking through whatever is left in the stores right now. They are walking the streets because they have nowhere else to go.


Right now, I'm a few blocks away from the New Orleans Convention Center area. We drove through there earlier, and it was unbelievable. Thousands and thousands and thousands of people spent the night sleeping on the street, on the sidewalk, on the median.


The Convention Center is a place that people were told to go to because it would be safe. In fact, it is a scene of anarchy.


There is absolutely nobody in control. There is no National Guard, no police, no information to be had.


The Convention Center is next to the Mississippi River. Many people who are sleeping there feel that a boat is going to come and get them. Or they think a bus is going to come. But no buses have come. No boats have come. They think water is going come. No water has come. And they have no food.


As we drove by, people screamed out to us -- "Do you have water? Do you have food? Do you have any information for us?"


We had none of those.


Probably the most disturbing thing is that people at the Convention Center are starting to pass away and there is simply nothing to do with their bodies. There is nowhere to put them. There is no one who can do anything with them. This is making everybody very, very upset.





"A man covers the body of a man who died at the convention center in New Orleans."

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I posted this, my thoughts:


I've been paying close, close attention to this since the hurricane started. When I watch the news or listen to NPR, I'm on the verge of tears the whole time, and I'm in the Northeast, far removed from the situation. This is affecting the whole country in many, many ways and it will for a long time.


It should be said, that our piece of shit president should take a significant amount of blame for this and that should not be ignored. Flood protection programs in New Orleans that were started in 1995 had their budgets severly cut after our president decided to slaughter people in Iraq for oil. He sent out National Guardsmen to fight overseas when they should have been over here precisely for situations such as this one. He severly cut funding to FEMA literally ONE MONTH AGO, claiming it was for the war and that "we can handle a national disaster". He has been on vacation for a couple of weeks now. Everyone knew this thing was coming since Friday, a week ago. This country depends on the president to make calls such as sending out troops to help, preparing food and water for the people stuck there, and making important decisions in a time of crisis like this among other things. He waited until Wednesday to end his little decadent vacation in his daddy's ranch in Texas where he can pretend to be a cowboy who's "good people", wearing his big cowboy hat and mugging for cameras while he chops wood for publicity shots. He waited until three days after the storm, two days after the flooding started. His "assessment" of the area consisted of a fly-over in a jet. He said, Thursday morning, "who would have thought the levees would break".



There have been extensive reports done on the scenerios that would unfold if New Orleans was hit by a catagory 4 or 5 hurricane. These were done in 2000 and 2001. It is now approaching the end of 2005. Who would of thought the levees would break? Everyone. Fuck you, Mr. President.



These people looting and living like animals in the streets now were left behind by their government. These people didn't have cars, are uneducated and uninformed about what could have happened, they stayed because they couldn't leave and because all they have is that city. Now they are fucked and the facts are being supressed by government officials.


On NPR, Thursday afternoon, I listened as the news anchor was interviewing the Secretary of Homeland Security. He said to him, I'm paraphrasing, "we have reporters that are at the Superdome, at the the Convention center, they are seeing people die, people living in their own filth, raw sewege surrounding them, they have no food, no water, nothing. There are no police or troops around, no one is telling them anything." The Secretary's response: "It's important not to believe all the rumors you hear, they have water and food, there are people that are helping them out." The anchor: "Well, these aren't rumors - we have reporters that are there that we are talking to now and they are telling us these people are living like animals, without food or water and they are literally dieing amongst each other. People are getting shot and killed in these shelters, a 10 year old girl was raped multiple times. These are not rumors."



The response from the Secretary? "I'm not going to argue with you on the radio, anymore, I have nothing more to say."








Left Behind

by Hunter

Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 00:10:40 PDT


The last twelve hours of news coverage has been nearly overwhelming. Anderson Cooper, Paula Zahn, others, even unapologetic partisans like Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson -- everyone is asking where the government is. (No, I haven't turned to Fox News. I don't have the heart, today.) Anderson Cooper lost it interviewing Sen. Mary Landrieu, countering her litany of thank-yous to a series of politicians with his own encounter with rats eating a body that had been left abandoned in the street for 48 hours. Paula Zahn boggled at FEMA director Michael Brown's declaration that the reason about 15,000 shelter seekers at the New Orleans Convention Center have gone without food or water since the day of the hurricane is because FEMA didn't even know the refugees were there until today.


The common televised theme is of reporters traveling to hard hit areas in New Orleans or the smaller communities, and reporting no FEMA presence, no National Guard presence, no food, no water, no help -- and this is day 5. "Where is the government?" has been the predominant theme of the day. Apologists are being met with barely concealed disgust, in more and more quarters. Bush administration cuts to the levee system are being widely reported. FEMA inaction is being roundly criticized by ever-more-urgent live feeds from disheveled media figures with stunned expressions.


The Convention Center situation appears to be horrific, with deaths of elderly and infants due to dehydration already now occurring. It's not clear if anything can be or is being done tonight, or how many will die between now and the morning, or what will happen then.


The lawlessness is rampant. It's important to note, however, that the lawlessness wasn't rampant on Monday. It wasn't rampant on Tuesday. We heard only twinges of it on Wednesday. Today, from the sounds of the reports, a city devoid of all hope devolved into absolute chaos.


It is nighttime again in New Orleans, and after four days of no food, no water, no communications, no security forces, and no apparent discernible plan that they can see, trust and hope that rescuers will arrive seems all but gone. If the forces had arrived on Tuesday, things would be different.


It is simply too stunning, too shocking, too soul-draining. Nobody knows where the emergency relief has been. Nobody can quite understand why the response to the catastrophe only now seems shuddering to life.


The politics are omnipresent, but present only a hollow shell behind which a sea, an absolute frothing sea, of much worse realizations are crowding every mind. This was a disaster the country had been preparing for. This was one of the disasters most predicted, most feared, most planned for. There was two days of advance warning, as the massive, category 5 hurricane shifted purposefully towards New Orleans. This was no terrorist attack -- this time, there was warning. This time, there was knowledge.


And yet, the much-reshuffled domestic security resculpted as a result of 9-11 simply didn't show up. It wasn't there. FEMA, which has been hacked, shuffled, and gutted in the last few years, proved unable to respond to a catastrophic emergency situation. The catastrophic emergency situation, along the Gulf Coast, the one that sounded the alarms two days before landfall, the one that triggered the warnings of nightmare scenarios known for years in advance, and yet if there was any advance plan at all, any knowledge at all, any fathoming at all of how to respond in the fourty-eight hours most critical for the survival of the victims, it didn't show up. The roads were clogged, the islands were flooded, the levees were breached, and homeland security wasn't there, leaving each state, each town, each police force, each wrecked band of shell-shocked survivors to fend, and make do, while convoys were organized and strategies prepared with seeming obliviousness to the urgency of the numbers and clocks. There is... almost nothing meaningful to say.


The apparent and most likely explanations for the failure, known long before the fact, are almost shattering when reread today, while the ongoing catastrophe unfolds around us.


We have witnessed two disasters this week. The first was an act of nature. The second was not. The second disaster, still ongoing, is unforgivable.


That's the only word that comes to mind, a word I keep repeating to myself. These deaths, these men, these women, these infants dying now in these hours didn't have to happen. They did not have to die waiting for convoys to gather outside their city or for reservists to stand alongside their shattered police forces. They did not have to wait in darkness and fear for help to arrive, only to struggle for days without that help ever coming.


This is not politics. This is not partisanship.


This is unforgivable.






On tonight's news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. So, everything here is grounded. Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.


Canadian agencies are saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and Mississippi because of "mass confusion" at the U.S. federal level in the wake of the storm.










Mayor to feds: 'Get off your asses'

Transcript of radio interview with New Orleans' Nagin


Friday, September 2, 2005; Posted: 2:59 p.m. EDT (18:59 GMT)


New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin speaks Saturday, before Hurricane Katrina's devastation.


(CNN) -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin blasted the slow pace of federal and state relief efforts in an expletive-laced interview with local radio station WWL-AM.


The following is a transcript of WWL correspondent Garland Robinette's interview with Nagin on Thursday night. Robinette asked the mayor about his conversation with President Bush:


NAGIN: I told him we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we're outmanned in just about every respect. (Listen to the mayor express his frustration in this video -- 12:09)


You know the reason why the looters got out of control? Because we had most of our resources saving people, thousands of people that were stuck in attics, man, old ladies. ... You pull off the doggone ventilator vent and you look down there and they're standing in there in water up to their freaking necks.


And they don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed.


WWL: Did you say to the president of the United States, "I need the military in here"?


NAGIN: I said, "I need everything."


Now, I will tell you this -- and I give the president some credit on this -- he sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done, and his name is [Lt.] Gen. [Russel] Honore.


And he came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving. And he's getting some stuff done.


They ought to give that guy -- if they don't want to give it to me, give him full authority to get the job done, and we can save some people.


WWL: What do you need right now to get control of this situation?


NAGIN: I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. We ain't talking about -- you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here.


I'm like, "You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."


That's -- they're thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize it enough, man. This is crazy.


I've got 15,000 to 20,000 people over at the convention center. It's bursting at the seams. The poor people in Plaquemines Parish. ... We don't have anything, and we're sharing with our brothers in Plaquemines Parish.


It's awful down here, man.


WWL: Do you believe that the president is seeing this, holding a news conference on it but can't do anything until [Louisiana Gov.] Kathleen Blanco requested him to do it? And do you know whether or not she has made that request?


NAGIN: I have no idea what they're doing. But I will tell you this: You know, God is looking down on all this, and if they are not doing everything in their power to save people, they are going to pay the price. Because every day that we delay, people are dying and they're dying by the hundreds, I'm willing to bet you.


We're getting reports and calls that are breaking my heart, from people saying, "I've been in my attic. I can't take it anymore. The water is up to my neck. I don't think I can hold out." And that's happening as we speak.


You know what really upsets me, Garland? We told everybody the importance of the 17th Street Canal issue. We said, "Please, please take care of this. We don't care what you do. Figure it out."


WWL: Who'd you say that to?


NAGIN: Everybody: the governor, Homeland Security, FEMA. You name it, we said it.


And they allowed that pumping station next to Pumping Station 6 to go under water. Our sewage and water board people ... stayed there and endangered their lives.


And what happened when that pumping station went down, the water started flowing again in the city, and it starting getting to levels that probably killed more people.


In addition to that, we had water flowing through the pipes in the city. That's a power station over there.


So there's no water flowing anywhere on the east bank of Orleans Parish. So our critical water supply was destroyed because of lack of action.


WWL: Why couldn't they drop the 3,000-pound sandbags or the containers that they were talking about earlier? Was it an engineering feat that just couldn't be done?


NAGIN: They said it was some pulleys that they had to manufacture. But, you know, in a state of emergency, man, you are creative, you figure out ways to get stuff done.


Then they told me that they went overnight, and they built 17 concrete structures and they had the pulleys on them and they were going to drop them.


I flew over that thing yesterday, and it's in the same shape that it was after the storm hit. There is nothing happening. And they're feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning, and people are dying down here.


WWL: If some of the public called and they're right, that there's a law that the president, that the federal government can't do anything without local or state requests, would you request martial law?


NAGIN: I've already called for martial law in the city of New Orleans. We did that a few days ago.


WWL: Did the governor do that, too?


NAGIN: I don't know. I don't think so.


But we called for martial law when we realized that the looting was getting out of control. And we redirected all of our police officers back to patrolling the streets. They were dead-tired from saving people, but they worked all night because we thought this thing was going to blow wide open last night. And so we redirected all of our resources, and we hold it under check.


I'm not sure if we can do that another night with the current resources.


And I am telling you right now: They're showing all these reports of people looting and doing all that weird stuff, and they are doing that, but people are desperate and they're trying to find food and water, the majority of them.


Now you got some knuckleheads out there, and they are taking advantage of this lawless -- this situation where, you know, we can't really control it, and they're doing some awful, awful things. But that's a small majority of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive.


And one of the things people -- nobody's talked about this. Drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me, and that's why we were having the escalation in murders. People don't want to talk about this, but I'm going to talk about it.


You have drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix, and that's the reason why they were breaking in hospitals and drugstores. They're looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will.


And right now, they don't have anything to take the edge off. And they've probably found guns. So what you're seeing is drug-starving crazy addicts, drug addicts, that are wrecking havoc. And we don't have the manpower to adequately deal with it. We can only target certain sections of the city and form a perimeter around them and hope to God that we're not overrun.


WWL: Well, you and I must be in the minority. Because apparently there's a section of our citizenry out there that thinks because of a law that says the federal government can't come in unless requested by the proper people, that everything that's going on to this point has been done as good as it can possibly be.


NAGIN: Really?


WWL: I know you don't feel that way.


NAGIN: Well, did the tsunami victims request? Did it go through a formal process to request?


You know, did the Iraqi people request that we go in there? Did they ask us to go in there? What is more important?


And I'll tell you, man, I'm probably going get in a whole bunch of trouble. I'm probably going to get in so much trouble it ain't even funny. You probably won't even want to deal with me after this interview is over.


WWL: You and I will be in the funny place together.


NAGIN: But we authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq lickety-quick. After 9/11, we gave the president unprecedented powers lickety-quick to take care of New York and other places.


Now, you mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world, everybody's eyes light up -- you mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need? Come on, man.


You know, I'm not one of those drug addicts. I am thinking very clearly.


And I don't know whose problem it is. I don't know whether it's the governor's problem. I don't know whether it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get their ass on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now.


WWL: What can we do here?


NAGIN: Keep talking about it.


WWL: We'll do that. What else can we do?


NAGIN: Organize people to write letters and make calls to their congressmen, to the president, to the governor. Flood their doggone offices with requests to do something. This is ridiculous.


I don't want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city. And then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can't even count.


Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They're not here. It's too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country.


WWL: I'll say it right now, you're the only politician that's called and called for arms like this. And if -- whatever it takes, the governor, president -- whatever law precedent it takes, whatever it takes, I bet that the people listening to you are on your side.


NAGIN: Well, I hope so, Garland. I am just -- I'm at the point now where it don't matter. People are dying. They don't have homes. They don't have jobs. The city of New Orleans will never be the same in this time.


WWL: We're both pretty speechless here.


NAGIN: Yeah, I don't know what to say. I got to go.


WWL: OK. Keep in touch. Keep in touch.








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"Notice the nicely positioned Coast Guard helicopters in the background, not rescuing people and delivering supplies. Notice the uniformed personnel standing at attention in the back, providing a nice backdrop to Bush, not rescuing people and delivering supplies.


Again, politics trumps everything in this administration. "






Puff pieces, publicity shots, anything they can do to keep the American public brainwashed and under their spell.






More from DailyKos:




by Bill in Portland Maine

Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 07:01:54 PDT


Just in case you missed the amazing performance of the Republican leadership yesterday...


President George W. Bush said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." Well, no one except the entire world and even Mr. Bill.




Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went shoe shopping on Fifth Avenue, but not before she played tennis and yukked it up at Spamalot.




The Viceroy in charge of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff said "We're much better prepared than we've ever been." I'm not sure if that was before or after he reminded us that September is National Preparedness Month, so be sure to stock up on duct tape.




The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael D. Brown leapt into action, mustering all the emergency disaster management skills he learned as a lawyer for the International Arabian Horse Association Legal Department (from which he was fired). His money quote: "Paula, the federal government did not even know about the Convention Center people until today."




The Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert said, eh, maybe we should just forget all about rebuilding New Orleans. Because it might cost money and stuff.




The Pentagon, headed by Donald Rumsfeld, reassured America that, yes, the Country music hoedown with Clint Black on September 11th is still on, pard'ner! And maybe we'll even break the record for the longest line dance.




The head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, sent out an email stressing that now---for God's sake, people---NOW is the time when we must repeal that which is causing our country to go down the tubes: the estate tax.




And Vice President Dick Cheney was still on vacation.




Lookie lookie, Planet Earth, at the leadership of the United States of America. What amazing feats will they dazzle us with today??











Now this is an interesting read...


National Geographic ran this article in 2004*.2004! It gives me the



By Joel K. Bourne, Jr.


"It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the

Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as

if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage

to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm

teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising

there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as

hangovers on Ash Wednesday.


But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city.

As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million

people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however*the

car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New

Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.


The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing

a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top

of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over.

Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level*more than eight

feet below in places*so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall

washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses

of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden

District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon

Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet

(eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to

escape it.


Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by

sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later

perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It

took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was

buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were

homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the

history of the United States.


When did this calamity happen? It hasn't*yet. But the doomsday

scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency

lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats

to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a

terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens

hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too



"The killer for Louisiana is a Category Three storm at 72 hours before

landfall that becomes a Category Four at 48 hours and a Category Five at

24 hours*coming from the worst direction," says Joe Suhayda, a retired

coastal engineer at Louisiana State University who has spent 30 years

studying the coast. Suhayda is sitting in a lakefront restaurant on an

actual August afternoon sipping lemonade and talking about the chinks in

the city's hurricane armor. "I don't think people realize how precarious

we are,"

Suhayda says, watching sailboats glide by. "Our technology is great

when it works. But when it fails, it's going to make things much




Scientists have been warning about this for decades, Louisiana chose to

ignore it.















This is basically what Bush was doing from Thursday/Friday when we were finding out about this Hurricane, until yesterday.










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arson fires


When the fuck is the media going to figure out that arson is a NOUN and shouldn't be used like this?




My feelings on this whole situation are


and I don't know what else to do about it short of killing hundreds of people so I'm just going to sleep.

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The president said he is "satisfied" with the federal government's response to the Katrina disaster, although there is not "enough security in New Orleans, yet." (Full story) (Watch Bush news briefing -- 2:32)







From CNN.com. Fuck you, Bush. Fuck Bush. I'm getting a bumper sticker that says "Fuck Bush". None of this "Buck Fush" nonsense. Get to the point.






State officials have spotted a "major" oil spill in the Venice area of the Mississippi Delta region, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said Friday. A department news release said two tanks capable of holding 2 million barrels appeared to be leaking. The statement did not give the precise location of the spill. Venice is about 75 miles southeast of New Orleans.










The big disconnect on New Orleans

The official version; then there's the in-the-trenches version


Friday, September 2, 2005; Posted: 5:17 p.m. EDT (21:17 GMT)


Conditions were desperate at the Louisiana Superdome on Thursday.





NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Diverging views of a crumbling New Orleans emerged Thursday, with statements by some federal officials in contradiction with grittier, more desperate views from the streets. By late Friday response to those stranded in the city was more visible.


But the conflicting views on Thursday came within hours, sometimes minutes of each of each other, as reflected in CNN's transcripts. The speakers include Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, evacuee Raymond Cooper, CNN correspondents and others. Here's what they had to say:


Conditions in the Convention Center


# FEMA chief Brown: We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need. (See video of Brown explaining how news reports alerted FEMA to convention center chaos. -- 2:11)


# Mayor Nagin: The convention center is unsanitary and unsafe, and we are running out of supplies for the 15,000 to 20,000 people. (Hear Nagin's angry demand for soldiers. 1:04)


# CNN Producer Kim Segal: It was chaos. There was nobody there, nobody in charge. And there was nobody giving even water. The children, you should see them, they're all just in tears. There are sick people. We saw... people who are dying in front of you.


# Evacuee Raymond Cooper: Sir, you've got about 3,000 people here in this -- in the Convention Center right now. They're hungry. Don't have any food. We were told two-and-a-half days ago to make our way to the Superdome or the Convention Center by our mayor. And which when we got here, was no one to tell us what to do, no one to direct us, no authority figure.


Uncollected corpses


# Brown: That's not been reported to me, so I'm not going to comment. Until I actually get a report from my teams that say, "We have bodies located here or there," I'm just not going to speculate.


# Segal: We saw one body. A person is in a wheelchair and someone had pushed (her) off to the side and draped just like a blanket over this person in the wheelchair. And then there is another body next to that. There were others they were willing to show us. ( See CNN report, 'People are dying in front of us' -- 4:36 )


# Evacuee Cooper: They had a couple of policemen out here, sir, about six or seven policemen told me directly, when I went to tell them, hey, man, you got bodies in there. You got two old ladies that just passed, just had died, people dragging the bodies into little corners. One guy -- that's how I found out. The guy had actually, hey, man, anybody sleeping over here? I'm like, no. He dragged two bodies in there. Now you just -- I just found out there was a lady and an old man, the lady went to nudge him. He's dead.


Hospital evacuations


# Brown: I've just learned today that we ... are in the process of completing the evacuations of the hospitals, that those are going very well.


# CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta: It's gruesome. I guess that is the best word for it. If you think about a hospital, for example, the morgue is in the basement, and the basement is completely flooded. So you can just imagine the scene down there. But when patients die in the hospital, there is no place to put them, so they're in the stairwells. It is one of the most unbelievable situations I've seen as a doctor, certainly as a journalist as well. There is no electricity. There is no water. There's over 200 patients still here remaining. ...We found our way in through a chopper and had to land at a landing strip and then take a boat. And it is exactly ... where the boat was traveling where the snipers opened fire yesterday, halting all the evacuations. ( Watch the video report of corpses stacked in stairwells -- 4:45 )


# Dr. Matthew Bellew, Charity Hospital: We still have 200 patients in this hospital, many of them needing care that they just can't get. The conditions are such that it's very dangerous for the patients. Just about all the patients in our services had fevers. Our toilets are overflowing. They are filled with stool and urine. And the smell, if you can imagine, is so bad, you know, many of us had gagging and some people even threw up. It's pretty rough.(Mayor's video: Armed addicts fighting for a fix -- 1:03)


Violence and civil unrest


# Brown: I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that.


# CNN's Chris Lawrence: From here and from talking to the police officers, they're losing control of the city. We're now standing on the roof of one of the police stations. The police officers came by and told us in very, very strong terms it wasn't safe to be out on the street. (Watch the video report on explosions and gunfire -- 2:12)


The federal response:


# Brown: Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.


# Homeland Security Director Chertoff: Now, of course, a critical element of what we're doing is the process of evacuation and securing New Orleans and other areas that are afflicted. And here the Department of Defense has performed magnificently, as has the National Guard, in bringing enormous resources and capabilities to bear in the areas that are suffering.


# Crowd chanting outside the Convention Center: We want help.


# Nagin: They don't have a clue what's going on down there.


# Phyllis Petrich, a tourist stranded at the Ritz-Carlton: They are invisible. We have no idea where they are. We hear bits and pieces that the National Guard is around, but where? We have not seen them. We have not seen FEMA officials. We have seen no one.




# Brown: I actually think the security is pretty darn good. There's some really bad people out there that are causing some problems, and it seems to me that every time a bad person wants to scream of cause a problem, there's somebody there with a camera to stick it in their face. ( See Jack Cafferty's rant on the government's 'bungled' response -- 0:57)


# Chertoff: In addition to local law enforcement, we have 2,800 National Guard in New Orleans as we speak today. One thousand four hundred additional National Guard military police trained soldiers will be arriving every day: 1,400 today, 1,400 tomorrow and 1,400 the next day.


# Nagin: I continue to hear that troops are on the way, but we are still protecting the city with only 1,500 New Orleans police officers, an additional 300 law enforcement personnel, 250 National Guard troops, and other military personnel who are primarily focused on evacuation.


# Lawrence: The police are very, very tense right now. They're literally riding around, full assault weapons, full tactical gear, in pickup trucks. Five, six, seven, eight officers. It is a very tense situation here.









Your government is fucking lieing to you.










From dailykos.com:


GOP Agenda in Action - Part II; Estate Tax To Be Voted On Tuesday

by Armando

Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 14:54:43 PDT


Update [2005-9-2 17:54:43 by Armando]: Bumped by Armando. I think this is a very big deal.


Norquist's Worries were unfounded:


Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.


One stands in awe of Sen. Frist's timing. Permanently repealing the estate tax would be a major blow to the nation's charities. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has "found that the estate tax encourages wealthy individuals to donate considerably more to charity , since estate tax liability is reduced through donations made both during life and at death." If there were no estate tax in 2000, for example, "charitable donations would have been between $13 billion to $25 billion lower than they actually were."


Callous, worthless, despicable, heartless.


Nothing is beyond Republicans. Nothing.


Update [2005-9-2 16:57:48 by Armando]: Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today:


"I am surprised at the Republican leadership's insensitivity toward the events of the last week. With thousands presumed dead after Hurricane Katrina and families uprooted all along the Gulf Coast, giving tax breaks to millionaires should be the last thing on the Senate's agenda. I understand that the Senate shouldn't grind to a halt as a result of Hurricane Katrina, but there are issues that are of much greater importance both to the people directly affected by the hurricane as well as the nation as a whole than estate tax repeal.


“This shouldn't even be a choice. Families have been torn apart and homes have been washed in four states. These victims deserve the Senate's time, not the handful of millionaires repealing the Estate Tax will affect. I once again urge Senator Frist to reconsider his decision. Gulf Coast families are counting on us. They are suffering, and they have no where else to turn. We owe it to them to make their safety and survival our top priority, and we should give them nothing less. Regardless of how one feels about the estate tax, we should all be able to agree that the Senate's attention should be on the victims of this crisis.














More from dailykos:



The Clueless-In-Chief

by kos

Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 13:39:59 PDT


This would be funny if we weren't talking about real suffering. From this CNN video of Bush in Biloxi. Bush is talking to two sobbing African-American women who have lost their house, and a white guy:


Bush to women: "There's a Salvation Army center that I want to, that I'll tell you where it is, and they'll get you some help. I'm sorry.... They'll help you.....


Woman 1: "I came here looking for clothes..."


Bush: "They'll get you some clothes, at the Salvation Army center..."


Woman 1: "We don't have anything..."


Bush: "I understand.... Do you know where the center is, that I'm talking to you about?"


Guy with shades: "There's no center there, sir, it's a truck."


Bush: "There's trucks?"


Guy: "There's a school, a school about two miles away....."


Bush: "But isn't there a Salvation center down there?"


Guy: "No that's wiped out...."


Bush: "A temporary center? "


Guy: "No sir they've got a truck there, for food."


Bush: "That's what I'm saying, for food and water."


Bush turns to the sister who's been saying how she needs clothes.


Bush to sister: "You need food and water."


Damn, it reads like a Saturday Night Live skit.












I just moved from New Orleans last year, after spending 5 very important years of my life there. I read these comments asking why people didnt leave, knowing that the storm was coming and would be huge.


I worked 4 of those 5 years in the 9th ward, where the damage was immeasurable. I was a Mardi Gras float painter and worked in some of the worst parts of the 9th ward where the rent for the warehouses to store the floats was so cheap they couldnt pass on using these buildings. One of the families that I came to know while working there had like 8 people living in one barely standing house. This family only had one person working, no vehicle except for a truck that ran for like 2 weeks out of the entire 4 years I worked there. These people never had a full refrigerator or money to have one.


Point being, MANY New Orleans families in the 9th ward were in this same situation, so leaving when you know that you have nowhere to go, or nothing to come back to when you come back is a hard decision to make. I can see why many people feel so hopeless when they look at both choices, they decide to do the easiest thing and ride it out.


The looting is a touchy subject. I personally feel that taking food and water, medicine if you need it, dry clothes etc. should be expected. Taking TVS and other non-essentials is jsut pointless. If you're taking this stuff because you are planning on leaving and selling it so that you can start anew, I can understand that. However, and this part is hard for me to say, living and working in New Orleans, I have seen and experienced the mindset of alot of people who are doing this for the wrong reasons. Black or white, doesnt matter.


Shooting at the helicopters, I cant begin to formulate a reason to do this. My wife used to work in the Superdome and her co-workers couldnt even keep composure enough the tell her about what was actually happening in the Superdome with rapes and shootings. This was coming from the actual security working in the Superdome. Not a news report.



Also, when reading these posts, even mine, remember that everybody is going to vocalize their feelings on this in their own way. Even if they say something stupid to you personally, remember they are some person typing on their keyboard, spitting out their own opinions. Dont take it personally. We are all trying to deal with our own shit.


Im still trying to find a friend who I have the worst feeling tried to ride out the storm. It sucks to see people arguing about nothing at a time like this.


For everybody effected, I wish nothing but the best for you and your loved ones.






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Me from Sept. 3rd:


FEMA guy just held a press conference on CNN and claimed AGAIN that they didn't think that the leevee break would be as big as it was in a Catagory 4 storm. He said they thought there would be some overflow and maybe a small leak.


Hopefully we've all read the article published in 2000/2001 that laid out pretty much exactly what just happened.


The government is still hiding behind lies.











The Bursting Point



As Ross Douthat observed on his blog, The American Scene, Katrina was the anti-9/11.


On Sept. 11, Rudy Giuliani took control. The government response was quick and decisive. The rich and poor suffered alike. Americans had been hit, but felt united and strong. Public confidence in institutions surged.


Last week in New Orleans, by contrast, nobody took control. Authority was diffuse and action was ineffective. The rich escaped while the poor were abandoned. Leaders spun while looters rampaged. Partisans squabbled while the nation was ashamed.


The first rule of the social fabric - that in times of crisis you protect the vulnerable - was trampled. Leaving the poor in New Orleans was the moral equivalent of leaving the injured on the battlefield. No wonder confidence in civic institutions is plummeting.


And the key fact to understanding why this is such a huge cultural moment is this: Last week's national humiliation comes at the end of a string of confidence-shaking institutional failures that have cumulatively changed the nation's psyche.


Over the past few years, we have seen intelligence failures in the inability to prevent Sept. 11 and find W.M.D.'s in Iraq. We have seen incompetent postwar planning. We have seen the collapse of Enron and corruption scandals on Wall Street. We have seen scandals at our leading magazines and newspapers, steroids in baseball, the horror of Abu Ghraib.


Public confidence has been shaken too by the steady rain of suicide bombings, the grisly horror of Beslan and the world's inability to do anything about rising oil prices.


Each institutional failure and sign of helplessness is another blow to national morale. The sour mood builds on itself, the outraged and defensive reaction to one event serving as the emotional groundwork for the next.


The scrapbook of history accords but a few pages to each decade, and it is already clear that the pages devoted to this one will be grisly. There will be pictures of bodies falling from the twin towers, beheaded kidnapping victims in Iraq and corpses still floating in the waterways of New Orleans five days after the disaster that caused them.


It's already clear this will be known as the grueling decade, the Hobbesian decade. Americans have had to acknowledge dark realities that it is not in our nature to readily acknowledge: the thin veneer of civilization, the elemental violence in human nature, the lurking ferocity of the environment, the limitations on what we can plan and know, the cumbersome reactions of bureaucracies, the uncertain progress good makes over evil.


As a result, it is beginning to feel a bit like the 1970's, another decade in which people lost faith in their institutions and lost a sense of confidence about the future.


"Rats on the West Side, bedbugs uptown/What a mess! This town's in tatters/I've been shattered," Mick Jagger sang in 1978.


Midge Decter woke up the morning after the night of looting during the New York blackout of 1977 feeling as if she had "been given a sudden glimpse into the foundations of one's house and seen, with horror, that it was utterly infested and rotting away."


Americans in 2005 are not quite in that bad a shape, since the fundamental realities of everyday life are good. The economy and the moral culture are strong. But there is a loss of confidence in institutions. In case after case there has been a failure of administration, of sheer competence. Hence, polls show a widespread feeling the country is headed in the wrong direction.


Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift. There will be a reaction. There will be more impatience for something new. There is going to be some sort of big bang as people respond to the cumulative blows of bad events and try to fundamentally change the way things are.


Reaganite conservatism was the response to the pessimism and feebleness of the 1970's. Maybe this time there will be a progressive resurgence. Maybe we are entering an age of hardheaded law and order. (Rudy Giuliani, an unlikely G.O.P. nominee a few months ago, could now win in a walk.) Maybe there will be call for McCainist patriotism and nonpartisan independence. All we can be sure of is that the political culture is about to undergo some big change.


We're not really at a tipping point as much as a bursting point. People are mad as hell, unwilling to take it anymore.


E-mail: dabrooks@nytimes.com


Nicholas D. Kristof is on vacation.














another good article





Guardsmen Greeted With Applause, Anger

Sep 02 2:54 PM US/Eastern




Associated Press Writer




Four days after Hurricane Katrina struck, the National Guard arrived in force Friday with food, water and weapons, churning through the floodwaters in a vast truck convoy with orders to retake the streets and bring relief to the suffering.


"The cavalry is and will continue to arrive," said Lt. Gen. Steven Blum of the National Guard.


At the New Orleans Convention Center, some of the thousands of storm victims awaiting their deliverance applauded, threw their hands heavenward and screamed, "Thank you, Jesus!" as the camouflage-green trucks and hundreds of soldiers arrived in this increasingly desperate and lawless city.


"Lord, I thank you for getting us out of here," said Leschia Radford.


But there was also anger and profane catcalls.


"Hell no, I'm not glad to see them. They should have been here days ago. I ain't glad to see 'em. I'll be glad when 100 buses show up," said 46-year-old Michael Levy, whose words were echoed by those around him yelling, "Hell, yeah! Hell yeah!"


"We've been sleeping on the ... ground like rats," Levy said. "I say burn this whole ... city down."


The soldiers' arrival-in-force came amid blistering criticism from the mayor and others who said the federal government had bungled the relief effort and let people die in the streets for lack of food, water or medicine.


"The people of our city are holding on by a thread," Mayor Ray Nagin warned in a statement to CNN. "Time has run out. Can we survive another night? And who can we depend on? Only God knows."


The military said its first priority was delivering food and water, after which it would begin evacuating people _ something that could take days.


"As fast as we can, we'll move them out," said Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. "Worse things have happened to America," he added. "We're going to overcome this, too. It's not our fault. The storm came and flooded the city."


In Washington, President Bush admitted "the results are not acceptable" and pledged to bolster the relief efforts. He visited the stricken Gulf Coast later in the day, and pledged in Mobile, Ala.: "What is not working right, we're going to make it right."


With a cigar-chomping general in the convoy's lead vehicle, the trucks rolled through muddy water up to their axles to reach the convention center, where 15,000 to 20,000 hungry and desperate refugees had taken shelter _ many of them seething with anger so intense that it seemed ready to erupt in violence at any moment.


National Guardsmen carrying rifles and wearing camouflage gear also arrived at the Louisiana Superdome, walking in a long line past a vast crowd of bedraggled people fanning themselves miserably in the heat, waited to rescued from the heat, the filth and the gagging stench inside the stadium.


Flatbed trucks carried huge crates, pallets and bags of relief supplies. Soldiers sat in the backs of open-top trucks, their rifles pointing skyward.


At the convention center, New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass got a hero's welcome as he rode down the street on the running board of a box truck and announced through a bullhorn to thunderous applause: "We got 30,000 people out of the Superdome and we're going to take care of you."


"We've got food and water on the way. We've got medical attention on the way. We're going to get you out of here safely. We're going to get all of you," he said.


As he came down the road, elderly people gave thanks and some nearly fainted with joy. Compass also warned that if anyone did anything disruptive, the troops would have to they would have to stop distributing the food and water and get out.


On Thursday, at the convention center, corpses lay abandoned outside the building, and many storm refugees complained bitterly that they had been forsaken by the government. And at the Superdome, fights and fires broke out and storm victims battled for seats on the buses taking them to the Houston Astrodome.


Blum of the National Guard said 7,000 National Guardsmen arriving in Louisiana on Friday would be dedicated to restoring order in New Orleans. He said half of them had just returned from assignments overseas and are "highly proficient in the use of lethal force." He pledged to "put down" the violence "in a quick and efficient manner."


"But they are coming here to save Louisiana citizens. The only thing we are attacking is the effects of this hurricane," he said. Blum said that a huge airlift of supplies was landing Friday and that it signaled "the cavalry is and will continue to arrive."


As he left the White House for his visit to the devastated area, Bush said 600 newly arrived military police officers would be sent to the convention center to secure the site so that food and medicine could get there.


Earlier Friday, an explosion at a warehouse rocked a wide area of New Orleans before daybreak and jolted residents awake, lighting up the sky and sending a pillar of acrid gray smoke over a ruined city awash in perhaps thousands of corpses, under siege from looters, and seething with anger and resentment.


A second large fire erupted downtown in an old retail building in a dry section of Canal Street.


There were no immediate reports of injuries. But the fires deepened the sense of total collapse in the city since Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore Monday morning.


The explosion took place along the Mississippi River about 15 blocks from the French Quarter. It was about two miles from both the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center. The cause of the blast was under investigation.


City officials have accused the government _ namely the Federal Emergency Management Agency _ of responding sluggishly.


"Get off your asses and let's do something," the mayor told WWL-AM Thursday night in a rambling interview in which he cursed, yelled and ultimately burst into tears. At one point he said: "Excuse my French _ everybody in America _ but I am pissed."


The National Guard arrived in force after law and order had all but broken down.


Over the past few days, police officers turned in their badges. Rescuers, law officers and medical-evacuation helicopters were shot at by storm victims. Fistfights and fires broke out at the hot and stinking Superdome as thousands of people waited in misery to board buses for the Houston Astrodome. Corpses lay out in the open in wheelchairs and in bedsheets. The looting continued.


Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA just learned about the situation at the convention center Thursday and quickly scrambled to provide food, water and medical care and remove the corpses.


Some of New Orleans' most troubled hospitals, facing dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine, resumed evacuations Friday. Rescuers finally made it into Charity Hospital, the largest public hospital and trauma center in the city, where gunshots thwarted efforts on Thursday to evacuate more than 250 patients.


"We moved all of the babies out of Charity this morning," said Keith Simon, spokesman for Acadian Ambulance Service.


While floodwaters in New Orleans appeared to stabilize, efforts continued to plug three breaches in the levees that protect this bowl- shaped, below-sea-level city, which is wedged between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.


Helicopters dropped sandbags into the breach and pilings were being pounded into the mouth of the canal Thursday to close its connection to the lake.


Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, said engineers are developing a plan to create new breaches in the levees so that a combination of pumping and the effects of gravity will drain the water out of the city. Removing the floodwaters will take weeks, he said.




Associated Press reporters Adam Nossiter, Brett Martel, Emily Wagster Pettus, Robert Tanner and Mary Foster contributed to this report.

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From Dailykos:


Here they come, ready to do what they do best -- pass the buck:


Tens of thousands of people spent a fifth day awaiting evacuation from this ruined city, as Bush administration officials blamed state and local authorities for what leaders at all levels have called a failure of the country's emergency management.. . . Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday [That's only 24 [ correction on time] hours ago!], the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.


Absolutely remarkable. ONLY when the situation becomes a POLITICAL disaster for Bush do they seek to take charge. I repeat -- 5 days AFTER Hurricane Katrina hit, NOW they want control. Need it to manage the photo ops no doubt.


The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.


No kidding state official. You think they might do that?


Criminal. I guess they're going to go with the "dogs in Louisiana ate my homework" excuse again.



"" Endquote.




















"I don't think anyone could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center."

Condoleezza Rice - May 17, 2002


"And the PDB was no indication of a terrorist threat. There was not a time and place of an attack... Had I known there was going to be an attack on America, I would have moved mountains to stop the attack. I would have done everything I can. My job is to protect the American people... And had there been actionable intelligence, we would have moved on it."

Bush - April 11, 2004


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

Bush - Sept 1, 2005


"Thank God, George Bush is President"

Jerkoff Giuliani - Aug 30, 2004



Pat Buchanan (on The McLaughlin Group) - Sept 2, 2005


"It's fair game for the Democrats to attack the president at this time”

Ed Koch – Sept 1, 2005





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Don't know how true this is, but I wouldn't be surprised. Bush fakes visit to hurricane victims:



September 03, 2005


If he could go to Baghdad, why didn't Bush go to the New Orleans Superdome or the Convention Center? It was bizarre for all of the country and much of the world to be watching those scenes for days on our TVs and news reports, and for Bush's photo ops to be in areas that were far less critical. I know there are security considerations but his visit seemed extraordinarily hollow even by this administration's standard of ultra-stage managed events.


Dutch viewer Frank Tiggelaar writes:


There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.


ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.


The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.



Posted by Laura at September 3, 2005 09:54 AM













(Credits: Melissa Phillip/AP)










From http://warandpiece.com/ , David Brooks is a conservative reporter for the New York Times:



Who said it?


This is -- first of all it is a national humiliation to see bodies floating in a river for five days in a major American city. But second, you have to remember, this was really a de-legitimization of institutions.


Our institutions completely failed us and it is not as if it is the first in the past three years -- this follows Abu Ghraib, the failure of planning in Iraq, the intelligence failures, the corporate scandals, the media scandals.


We have had over the past four or five years a whole series of scandals that soured the public mood. You've seen a rise in feeling the country is headed in the wrong direction.


And I think this is the biggest one and the bursting one, and I must say personally it is the one that really says hey, it feels like the 70s now where you really have a loss of faith in institutions. Let's get out of this mess. And I really think this is so important as a cultural moment, like the blackouts of 1977, just people are sick of it.


Three guesses?


David Brooks, yesterday, on the Newshour. More:


DAVID BROOKS: But to reiterate the point I made earlier, which is this is the anti-9/11, just in terms of public confidence, when 9/11 happened Giuliani was right there and just as a public presence, forceful -- no public presence like that now. So you have had a surge of strength, people felt good about the country even though we had been hit on 9/11.


Now we've been hit again in a different way; people feel lousy; people feel ashamed and part of that is because of the public presentation. In part that is because of the failure of Bush to understand immediately the shame people felt.


Sitting up there on the airplane and looking out the window was terrible. And the three days of doing nothing, really, on Bush was terrible. And even today, I found myself, as you know, I support his politics quite often.




DAVID BROOKS: Look at him today earlier in the program, this is how Mark Shields must feel looking at him, I'm angry at the guy and maybe it will pass for me. But a lot of people and a lot of Republicans are furious right now.


CLARENCE PAGE: Including the -- up in New Hampshire, the Union Leader, the Washington Times, our friend Tony Blankley wrote a critical editorial about President Bush today. These are the kind of things, this transcends party lines.


We are talking about the institution of the presidency and the sense of well-being across the country...


The transcript suggests the program offered some of the most penetrating early analysis of the social and political ramifications likely in the wake of the failures in government witnessed collectively by the nation over the past week.















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NYT Op-Ed piece:



Op-Ed Columnist

United States of Shame




Published: September 3, 2005


Stuff happens.


And when you combine limited government with incompetent government, lethal stuff happens.


America is once more plunged into a snake pit of anarchy, death, looting, raping, marauding thugs, suffering innocents, a shattered infrastructure, a gutted police force, insufficient troop levels and criminally negligent government planning. But this time it's happening in America.


W. drove his budget-cutting Chevy to the levee, and it wasn't dry. Bye, bye, American lives. "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," he told Diane Sawyer.


Shirt-sleeves rolled up, W. finally landed in Hell yesterday and chuckled about his wild boozing days in "the great city" of N'Awlins. He was clearly moved. "You know, I'm going to fly out of here in a minute," he said on the runway at the New Orleans International Airport, "but I want you to know that I'm not going to forget what I've seen." Out of the cameras' range, and avoided by W., was a convoy of thousands of sick and dying people, some sprawled on the floor or dumped on baggage carousels at a makeshift M*A*S*H unit inside the terminal.


Why does this self-styled "can do" president always lapse into such lame "who could have known?" excuses.


Who on earth could have known that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack us by flying planes into buildings? Any official who bothered to read the trellis of pre-9/11 intelligence briefs.


Who on earth could have known that an American invasion of Iraq would spawn a brutal insurgency, terrorist recruiting boom and possible civil war? Any official who bothered to read the C.I.A.'s prewar reports.


Who on earth could have known that New Orleans's sinking levees were at risk from a strong hurricane? Anybody who bothered to read the endless warnings over the years about the Big Easy's uneasy fishbowl.


In June 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, fretted to The Times-Picayune in New Orleans: "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. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."


Not only was the money depleted by the Bush folly in Iraq; 30 percent of the National Guard and about half its equipment are in Iraq.


Ron Fournier of The Associated Press reported that the Army Corps of Engineers asked for $105 million for hurricane and flood programs in New Orleans last year. The White House carved it to about $40 million. But President Bush and Congress agreed to a $286.4 billion pork-filled highway bill with 6,000 pet projects, including a $231 million bridge for a small, uninhabited Alaskan island.


Just last year, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials practiced how they would respond to a fake hurricane that caused floods and stranded New Orleans residents. Imagine the feeble FEMA's response to Katrina if they had not prepared.


Michael Brown, the blithering idiot in charge of FEMA - a job he trained for by running something called the International Arabian Horse Association - admitted he didn't know until Thursday that there were 15,000 desperate, dehydrated, hungry, angry, dying victims of Katrina in the New Orleans Convention Center.


Was he sacked instantly? No, our tone-deaf president hailed him in Mobile, Ala., yesterday: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."


It would be one thing if President Bush and his inner circle - Dick Cheney was vacationing in Wyoming; Condi Rice was shoe shopping at Ferragamo's on Fifth Avenue and attended "Spamalot" before bloggers chased her back to Washington; and Andy Card was off in Maine - lacked empathy but could get the job done. But it is a chilling lack of empathy combined with a stunning lack of efficiency that could make this administration implode.


When the president and vice president rashly shook off our allies and our respect for international law to pursue a war built on lies, when they sanctioned torture, they shook the faith of the world in American ideals.


When they were deaf for so long to the horrific misery and cries for help of the victims in New Orleans - most of them poor and black, like those stuck at the back of the evacuation line yesterday while 700 guests and employees of the Hyatt Hotel were bused out first - they shook the faith of all Americans in American ideals. And made us ashamed.


Who are we if we can't take care of our own?


E-mail: liberties@nytimes.com









231 mill for a bridge to an uninhabited island in Alaska? And you cut the funding for flood protection in Nola from 105 million to 40 million? Still defending our government? Fucking morons.











Daley 'shocked' as feds reject aid


September 3, 2005






A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.


That truck, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested to support an Illinois-based medical team, was en route Friday.


"We are ready to provide more help than they have requested. We are just waiting for their call," said Daley, adding that he was "shocked" that no one seemed to want the help.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he would call for congressional hearings into the federal government's preparations and response.


"The response was achingly slow, and that, I think, is a view shared by Democrats, Republicans, wealthy and poor, black and white," the freshman senator said. "I have not met anybody who has watched this crisis evolve over the last several days who is not just furious at how poorly prepared we appeared to be."


Response 'baffling'


The South Side Democrat called FEMA's slow response "baffling."


"I don't understand how you could have a situation where you've got several days' notice of an enormous hurricane building in the Gulf Coast, you know that New Orleans is 6 feet below sea level. ... The notion that you don't have good plans in place just does not make sense," Obama said.


Obama said he expects his counterparts in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama will call for congressional hearings, but he is ready if they do not. "It's heartbreaking and infuriating and, I think, is embarrassing to the American people.''

Daley said the city offered 36 members 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. City personnel are willing to operate self-sufficiently and would not depend on local authorities for food, water, shelter and other supplies, he said.




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Landrieu Blasts Bush on Katrina Response

by Mike Liddell

Sat Sep 3rd, 2005 at 07:05:42 PM EST


U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., issued the following statement this afternoon regarding her call yesterday for President Bush to appoint a cabinet-level official to oversee Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts within 24 hours....


“.....But 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; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast – black and white, rich and poor, young and old – deserve far better from their national government.....
















Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not 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.


* The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.


* The Red Cross shares the nation’s anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.


* The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.


* The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.


* As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.




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Saturday, 3 September 2005, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK




Lessons in dealing with disaster


By Daniel Lak

BBC News, Mississippi


Tens of thousands of people on the US Gulf Coast have been made homeless by the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Katrina. And with the number of dead continuing to rise, Daniel Lak considers whether the US could have been better prepared.



Evacuations are taking place, but many people are still stranded

I have learned, or perhaps allowed myself, to be cynical about media coverage of hurricanes.


That is because I spent a year and a half, and four hurricanes, in Florida.


The pattern each time was typical. As each storm approached the coast, coverage of impending doom would get under way.


Meteorologists would speak of "potential for major damage and loss of life".


Wind speeds would be "hurricane force", there would be warnings of a tsunami-like storm surge that would inundate coastal areas and lay waste inland.


Hurricane Katrina is the worst storm ever to hit America and it has done untold damage to lives, livelihoods and communities


Then correspondents would appear on television, staggering and being blown about by high winds on camera and shouting in barely audible terms about what was already obvious to the viewer's eye. It was stormy out there.


Much would be made of traffic signs bending over, tree branches across roads and rain driving horizontally in the wind.


Then invariably, on the next day, under a pristine blue sky, the same reporter would intone about less damage than expected and a lucky break for so and so county.


Of course, there were exceptions.


Hurricane Charley last August ripped apart a trailer home park in a small, but deadly strike on central Florida's west coast.


At the time, I remember feeling shock at the way that comfortable lives could be scattered and broken in such a rich country.


So when I watched concerns mount about Hurricane Katrina, the odd thought of "here we go again" crept into my mind.



Psychological toll



Thousands of people have been made homeless in New Orleans

No, in the event, here we did not go again.


Hurricane Katrina is the worst storm ever to hit America and it has done untold damage to lives, livelihoods and communities.


A survivor in Mississippi called the storm "our tsunami" and that is no exaggeration.


In many ways, Katrina was worse than last year's tsunami because it lasted longer and had wind as well as surging seas to kill people and smash their homes.


But the scale of the psychological impact on survivors and most Americans is similar to that of the tsunami in Asia.


It came out of the blue, at least the intensity of the storm did, and left in its wake damage so severe, so comprehensive, so widespread that fixing it seems impossible, beyond the abilities of mere men and women.


There are other ways, though, in which this crisis is worse than many I have seen in the developing world.


I am sure President Bush and his emergency management people will get on the ball in the coming days and start to offer the sort of comfort and relief that the millions of victims of this massive event require


In India, where I spent many years covering natural disasters, there is a greater sense of resilience and urgency.


I do not know, perhaps it is the frequency with which nature's wrath hits Asian societies, perhaps the level of income, the permanent poor, are hardier and more willing to work together in times of crisis than in a place that values rugged individualism.


"Less me, and more we", as a commentator put it on a radio programme, describing the developing world.


Disaster management



The US government's response to the crisis has been criticised

Also, and I hesitate to say this at such an early stage of the relief effort here, but the authorities in India at least, and some other countries in the region, have become quite good at dealing with severe flooding, or earthquakes, catastrophic events on a tsunami scale, if you will.


Certainly quicker with both material and political comfort to survivors.


It did not take long for huge field hospitals and vast camps of toilets and clean water tanks to be set up in southern India for example, after the tsunami hit there last year, whereas here in Mississippi, the authorities are still begging people to boil their water and watch where they go to the toilet, lest they give or receive some water-borne disease.


And politicians in India, often cursed by their constituents for flocking to disasters to show their concern, compare rather well with a US president whose first big gesture after Katrina's damage became evident is to cut a five-week vacation short by two days to give the matter his full attention.


Now I am sure President Bush and his emergency management people will get on the ball in the coming days and start to offer the sort of comfort and relief that the millions of victims of this massive event require.


They had better.





In fact, it was a hurricane named Andrew in 1992 that struck south of Miami that is generally blamed for the first President Bush losing the state of Florida to his challenger Bill Clinton in that year's election.


Neither Bush senior nor the Democratic governor of Florida at the time survived that election. In Florida, they say, that is because it took them days to visit the victims of Andrew amid the wreckage of their homes and lives.


So son, George W, has a salutary lesson staring him in the face.


Not to mention a vast crowd of needy, increasingly frustrated southerners, some of whom even voted for him, demanding more action from their government than they have seen so far.


This is not to say that America's wealth and resourcefulness will not triumph eventually.


Of course they will, eventually.


Some victims' lives will be changed irrevocably for the worst. Others, the vast bulk, I suspect, will get on with it and eventually recover fully.


But in the meantime, a lesson might be learned from India, and other poorer places in Asia, on the best way to deal with disaster. Mind you it is a lesson that I doubt anyone here will heed.


From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday, 3 September, 2005 at 1130 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.

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Originally posted by fermentor666@Sep 4 2005, 02:11 AM

A five week vacation? Give me a fucking break.


he did finally admit the government wasn't moving fast enough. i wouldn't qualify that as taking personal responsiblity, though- it's like blaming the team when you dropped the ball. he was too busy hiding out from cindy sheehan and watching the grass grow. and, to add insult to injury, he was ONE state away! it's not like this happened at the north pole. he could have done something sooner- but he won't admit it. i've always thought that if you're dumb, play it straight and admit when you fucked up. don't dissemble, it's not going to work because it's hard for smart people to do...and, when pat buchanan says that you fucked up...even conservatives aren't buying his line. and, the cat's out of the bag- he can't put a lid on media coverage. this isn't iraq- we can't debrief every reporter. there's going to be a lot of outrage over this across the board, way more than there is now. i think the discontent in the US was pretty high, but this is the tipping point, i think. i just wonder how much more we, as a nation, will take...because this is a human tragedy- it transcends politics...everyone- EVERYONE- rich, poor, black, white, left or right- is pissed. and i expect them to get more pissed. hopefully, this will change some of the ways this administration does business, but thousands of deaths and an old testament-style flood in NOLA is just too much of a loss for me to think about.

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Troops begin combat operations in New Orleans to fight 'insurgents'


Joseph R. Chenelly/Army Times | September 4 2005


NEW ORLEANS — Combat operations are underway on the streets “to take this city back” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


“This place is going to look like Little Somalia,” Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. “We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control.”


Jones said the military first needs to establish security throughout the city. Military and police officials have said there are several large areas of the city are in a full state of anarchy.


Dozens of military trucks and up-armored Humvees left the staging area just after 11 a.m. Friday, while hundreds more troops arrived at the same staging area in the city via Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.


“We’re here to do whatever they need us to do,” Sgt. 1st Class Ron Dixon, of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 1345th Transportation Company. “We packed to stay as long as it takes.”


While some fight the insurgency in the city, other carry on with rescue and evacuation operations. Helicopters are still pulling hundreds of stranded people from rooftops of flooded homes.


Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and police helicopters filled the city sky Friday morning. Most had armed soldiers manning the doors. According to Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Grishamn, a spokesman for the amphibious assault ship Bataan, the vessel kept its helicopters at sea Thursday night after several military helicopters reported being shot at from the ground.


Numerous soldiers also told Army Times that they have been shot at by armed civilians in New Orleans. Spokesmen for the Joint Task Force Headquarters at the Superdome were unaware of any servicemen being wounded in the streets, although one soldier is recovering from a gunshot wound sustained during a struggle with a civilian in the dome Wednesday night.


“I never thought that at a National Guardsman I would be shot at by other Americans,” said Spc. Philip Baccus of the 527th Engineer Battalion. “And I never thought I’d have to carry a rifle when on a hurricane relief mission. This is a disgrace.”


Spc. Cliff Ferguson of the 527th Engineer Battalion pointed out that he knows there are plenty of decent people in New Orleans, but he said it is hard to stay motivated considering the circumstances.


“This is making a lot of us think about not reenlisting.” Ferguson said. “You have to think about whether it is worth risking your neck for someone who will turn around and shoot at you. We didn’t come here to fight a war. We came here to help.”






hmmmm discuss

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“We packed to stay as long as it takes.”


oh, really?...and what if this takes weeks, or months? i'm quite sure there's plenty of guns and ammo laying around, and probably some ordnance unless they got that out in time. which i doubt. the military hasn't had the best track record lately. let's see donald rumsfeld spin this one- he's gonna sound like porky pig....."buh-deah-buh-deah-bud-deah, that's all, folks!" so, when can we impeach bush, anyway? he's long overdue to get his ass served to him on a plate, along with cheney, rumsfeld, rice...throw the bums out.


“This place is going to look like Little Somalia.”


that line told me what was on that guy's mind, loud and clear...something like, "it's coon season, boys...let's get 'em." fucking cracker. and, he's a general, so he's probably not taking orders, he's dishing them out. he'd probably mobilize and deputize the KKK if he could. i'm sure david duke is in the white pages, and would only be too happy to do his part.


“We’re here to do whatever they need us to do.”


"hey, mister! over here! hey, shoot me! come on, man!"...naahh. too farfetched...unless passing out food and water gets a little mundane. i had this horrible thought a few days ago- that it's a lot easier to deal with dead people, since you don't have to worry about anything beyond burying them. oh, and maybe looking out for cameras. i wonder how many "warning shots" in the back they'll tally up. "we had to kill them to save them" could be the new army catchphrase for 2005. or, "an army of one...bullet in the head."


“I never thought that at a National Guardsman I would be shot at by other Americans,” said Spc. Philip Baccus of the 527th Engineer Battalion. “And I never thought I’d have to carry a rifle when on a hurricane relief mission. This is a disgrace.”


welcome to somalia, my man...american style. you can thank the boss for that.


“This is making a lot of us think about not reenlisting.” Ferguson said. “You have to think about whether it is worth risking your neck for someone who will turn around and shoot at you. We didn’t come here to fight a war. We came here to help.”


he's probably the smartest and most honest one out of the bunch. after all, he did mention that it's a war...that's the first one in america since, oh, about 1865. and, there's some thugged out people in NOLA i'd never want to have to meet, even with the national guard to back me up. i hope he lives long enough to get out of the game.


Spc. Cliff Ferguson of the 527th Engineer Battalion pointed out that he knows there are plenty of decent people in New Orleans, but he said it is hard to stay motivated considering the circumstances.


yeah, but you won't meet many of them...most of them are long gone. and, what exactly IS the motivation? it's a dead city, full of dead or soon to be dead people, and also a superfund site to boot. new orleans is going to be a hard sell for the realtors for a long, long time.

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NOLA has some mad thugs for sure and you know hardly any, if any, of them left the city. The thing that sucks about the whole situation is that all the fighting down there gives Bush and Cheney something to spin. Now instead of the media talking about the fact of the administration not preparing for or even dealing with the consequences of the hurricane (wonder if that had anything to do with the fact that the only people left in the city by that point were all poor and mostly black and don't vote republican) they're only gonna talk about the violence, because that's what brings in the viewers. That and some fox news bimbo shaking her tits around. Fuck amerikkka.

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The revolution is starting. I don't know how far it's going to get, but let's hope the people left there fight the good fight.

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Originally posted by Biggus Dickus@Sep 5 2005, 01:11 PM

The revolution is starting. I don't know how far it's going to get, but let's hope the people left there fight the good fight.

i don't know if they are fighting the good fight, but i sure hope that the majority of americans, and the rest of the world, pay close attention to what happens in NOLA over the next week or two. bush has declared war on american soil, and that, to me, is one of the most frightening things he's done yet. also, where's the UN in all of this? hold on, i'll find out. be right back.

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i don't agree with what most of this guy stands for, but i also believe he's one of the more intelligent, principled people on the far right. and, when pat buchanan comes right out and says something like this... well, if that's not the writing on the wall for george bush, then i don't know what is. read on-


Who Lost New Orleans?

by Patrick J. Buchanan


Even the disasters and tragedies that at first unite us in grief or anger – Pearl Harbor, 9-11 – end up dividing us. New Orleans will be no exception.


Books are yet being written on how Kimmel and Short, the commanders at Pearl, were scapegoated. Had we not broken the Japanese code? Did not FDR know by decoded intercepts the night of Dec. 6 that Tokyo had terminated talks and this meant war? Why was Gen. Marshall horseback riding the morning of Dec. 7, as aides frantically searched for him to alert Pearl?


Despite the 9-11 commission report, questions remain about the warnings received and advance knowledge President Bush had or should have had about what was coming.


With the Katrina disaster, however, we are not going to have to wait months for the accusations and recriminations. They have already begun, and will poison our politics for years. Even as the hurricane was coming ashore, Robert Kennedy Jr. was attacking Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour for his role "in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush's iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2."


Because of "Barbour and his cronies," wrote Kennedy, "we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence. ... Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and – now – Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children."


Kennedy was seconded by Germany's environmental minister, Jurgen Tritten, who mounted his hobby horse – the hurricane was the result of the global warming Bush has ignored – and rode, rode, rode.


Columnist James Glassman tore into these twin distortions of reality and exploitations of disaster. But the RFK-Tritten attack was ineffectual. No rational American is going to believe that, had Bush signed Kyoto, New Orleans would not be underwater. It is on the more serious matters that rancorous argument is about to begin, and deep divisions are about to be driven into our society.


First, it seems self-evident that those in the path of the storm who had the least suffered the most. Those who had no way out were left behind, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, perished. From TV pictures of the 20,000 crammed into the Superdome and the hundreds hauled off rooftops, most of them, it appears, were African-American.


Conversely, TV footage of looters happily at work – taking not just food and water, but jewelry, guns, electronics and booze – reveals them, too, to be disproportionately African-American.


As demands arise that the National Guard and Army shoot looters to end the anarchy, the race demagogues will go to work. For if that orgy of rioting, looting, shooting and racial assaults on Korean and white Americans that was the Los Angeles riot of '92 can be excused by apologists as a justified reaction to the Simi Valley jury's refusal to convict the cops who whaled on Rodney King, assuredly raucous voices will be raised in defense of the New Orleans looters.


But ultimately, the attacks will come around to a single target, President Bush, and they will run along these lines:


First, he was out of touch in Crawford, not alert to what was coming – and, indeed, photographed fooling with a guitar the day the storm hit. Second, despite the investment of scores of billions, the Gulf Coast, on his watch, was unprepared for a Category 4 hurricane.


Third, when the need arose for the Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard to save the poor of those states, and defend lives and property after the storm, 7,000 Guardsmen were not on the Gulf of Mexico, but in the Persian Gulf.


Bush's priorities are about to be challenged, and Katrina will turn America's eyes inward, even as the crisis on the Mexican border is turning America's attention away from the Syrian border.


The antiwar movement has a new argument: What in Iraq is more important than Mississippi and Louisiana?


As the cost of the disaster mounts, the questions will tumble, one upon the other: Can we afford both Iraq and resurrecting New Orleans and the Gulf? Which comes first? As the Gulf poor have lost most, ought not taxes be raised on the rich to pay for both?


Finally and critically, there is the question of why the levees broke and New Orleans was inundated, lost for years if not forever. As of Monday, the city had been spared. The French Quarter was dry. Then came the deluge. And there are print and TV allegations that funds allocated to strengthen the levees were diverted or cut by the Bush administration.


Soon, we will be hearing and reading of recommendations by some officials that the levees be strengthened, and of decisions by other officials that the money be used on something else.


The scapegoating has begun. It will be deadly serious. The stakes are the highest. The ultimate objective will be to break the Bush presidency. Katrina and "Who Lost New Orleans?" will be as pivotal to Bush's second term as 9-11 was to his first.


September 2, 2005



Copyright © 2005 Creators Syndicate


so, how does that sit with everyone?

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another good article by someone other than a neo con or socialist democrat, check out Lew Rockwell's "the state and the flood." google it. i dont have time right now.

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