Sunday, September 04, 2005

Daily Outrages

Whew! I finally got smart and decided to do it all in one post late at night.

First, good news, the Superdome is finally empty. People have been removed from that living hell.

It's getting old to me to catalog the horrors of this tragedy; especially with my personal failing to do my utmost to help. Unless things change dramatically, we will not be taking anyone in. We are afraid because of the baby and we are using our fears as a justification for our selfishness. I am ashamed to type this, but it is the bottom line.

Nonetheless I feel compelled to blog the deliberate incompetence and malfeaseance of the administration because I truly believe that those in the administration are dangerous criminals who will destroy this nation unless they are stopped. They now have the ability to appoint two Supreme Court Justices. This will impact the nation for twenty, thirty or even fifty years. This is serious. The will handle the appointments the way they have handled Iraq and Katrina: with self-serving incompetence, disrespect for the nation's minorities and a complete disregard for reality. So let's get started with the horrors.

  • Revisiting Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff's claim that "there was no way to forsee the two part disaster of the hurricane and the levees failing." We now have on record Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center saying that both Chertoff and FEMA head Brown were briefed by him on the possible effects of the hurricane including the failure of the levees. The money quote:
    "Mayfield said the strength of the storm and the potential disaster it could bring were made clear during both the briefings and in formal advisories, which warned of a storm surge capable of overtopping levees in New Orleans and winds strong enough to blow out windows of high-rise buildings,"

    Editor and Publisher: Hurricane Center Director Tells Paper He Briefed Brown and Chertoff on Danger of Severe Flooding
    So another lie bites the dust.

    Do you guys recall the battle Hercules had with the hydra? It was a nine headed monster and each time he chopped off a head with his sword, two more heads took the fallen heads place to bite and menace him. That's what it is like, fighting this administration, the lies just keep on coming.

  • Next up is the lie that Governor Blanco never signed a state Declaration of Emergency which prevented the Federal Government from coming to the aid of Louisiana. There are a couple of points here. First of all, we have the letter from August 28th, 2005 in which Governor Blanco asks the President of the United States to declare a National State of Emergency which would override a State declaration anyway. We also have another letter posted to the State of Louisiana website from August 26th, 2005 which declares Louisiana to be in a State of Emergency from August 26th to September 25, 2005.

    Now this lie above about the state of emergency is truly a remarkable lie. First of all, because the Washington Post and Newsweek report this claim from an anonymous administration source as though it were gospel truth. Now, the post has gone back and edited that story to correct the deliberate lie told to them by that anonymous source; as of this blog entry, Newsweek had not.

    What makes this a remarkable lie is this: the source who lied to these reporters was absolutely confident that they would not even bother to research the claim. The source must have known that a simple visit to the State of Louisiana's website would disprove his lie, but felt certain these "journalists" would not bother to do so - and he was right. Neither of them did, and only the Post has retroactively corrected the lie. Secondly, the only defense the administration has is a beauracratic the-State-did-not-fill-out-the-right-paperwork-defense. That is insane and stupid on its face. First, it appears the state did actually do the right paperwork and second the excuse itself is simply disgusting. If Bush was the strong leader he pretends to be, he would have gone and authorized any expense and effort necessary.

    All of the above comes from my reactions to posts by Joshua Micah Marshall on his truly amazing blog Talking Points Memo. He deserves full credit for the work he has done on this.

    Next outrage in line is what is happening in the small towns outside New Orleans. Today on Meet The Press, Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard was interviewed by Tim Russert. Before we go into what was said, let me note: Tim Russert is also carrying water for this administration, trying to shift the blame to the state and local authorities as this poor man is crying and repeating that FEMA has been the problem from day one. Excerpt:
    Sir, they were told like me. Every single day. The cavalry is coming. On the federal level. The cavalry is coming. The cavalry is coming. The cavalry is coming. I have just begun to hear the hooves of the cavalry. The cavalry is still not here yet, but I have begun to hear the hooves and were almost a week out.

    Three quick examples. We had Wal-mart deliver three trucks of water. Trailer trucks of water. Fema turned them back, said we didn't need them. This was a week go. We had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a coast guard vessel docked in my parish. The coast guard said come get the fuel right way. When we got there with our trucks, they got a word, FEMA says don't give you the fuel. Yesterday, yesterday, fema comes in and cuts all our emergency communications lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in. he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards said no one is getting near these lines.

    The guy who runs this building I'm in. Emergency management. He's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said. Are you coming. Son? Is somebody coming? And he said yeah. Mama. Somebody's coming to get you.. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday. And she drowned Friday night. And she drowned Friday night. Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For god's sakes, just shut up and send us somebody.

    via Atrios at Eschaton
    Now, I have gotten an email reacting to my posts accusing me of making this stuff up. Well, then I guess that in addition to faking the state of Louisiana's website, I also faked the video of this interview. Warning: it is very hard to watch. This poor man is so upset, all he wants his help for the residents of his parish. It is sickening.

    On Daily Kos, Georgia 10 (who must be one of the best and brightest minds of the progressive movement today IMO) patiently went through the Congressional Record and found literally years worth of pleas from Louisiana's Representatives and Senators for funding to improve the levees. Literally years. You can read Georgia 10's hard work right here.

    There is so much more, but I am at my outrage max for the night. Please, tell your friends and neighbors about this, please.
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