Friday, September 30, 2005

Soldiers Write/Read Letters

There is an interesting vein of letters in Stars and Stripes on neo-conservatives and PNAC. It seems these letters are educating soldiers on the neo-conservative agenda. I don't think they like what they are learning.
It starts with the letter entitled Grim Reminder of the Future. Here is the latter portion...

The PNAC document notes that “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.” Or like Sept. 11, which Bush continues to exploit. The 9/11 Commission has determined, however, that Iraq was not responsible for the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks and that it possessed no weapons of mass destruction.

PNAC predicted America’s “global struggle against violent extremism” could proceed without public interference provided the U.S. casualty rate remains below 30,000 — PNAC’s threshold of public outrage and a grim reminder of what Americans face in Iraq during its next four years of occupation.
Michele Winter
Würzburg, Germany

Then a soldier replies in a letter called Document Is A Must Read.....

In response to “Grim reminder of the future” (letter, Aug. 28), read the Project for a New American Century (a neo-conservative think tank that contains major players in our current administration) report, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” It contains a step-by-step blueprint for American policy that the government is now following. It predates the first George Bush presidency, showing that he may only be the public face of an agenda that was already laid out before he took office.

We are duty-bound to defend the republic, but anyone who considers himself a true patriot should read this text.

Alone, the mention of needing a “catastrophic event” to galvanize the nation so they could push their agenda forward is a dark foreshadowing of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It is a must-read, but it may send a chill down your spine, considering the current rhetoric being touted.

Warrant Officer 1 Gerald Kuruc

Then there is a letter in reply "Must Read" Writer A Patriot. Here is the latter portion....

The letter writer is right when he says this is a “must read” because that neo-conservative think tank has laid out the blueprints for our future, if they are to maintain control of our government and resources. They have counted on our collective complacency for years, and it is time to bring these issues to light. [W]e as a people had better start becoming aware of what is really going on in D.C.

To the letter writer: Thank you for giving me hope in the officer corps. I hope that there are many more patriots like you who are not willing to subject themselves to a “group-think” mentality because if the “fit ever hits the shan,” we, the people, will be counting on soldiers like you to defend us from our own draconian government.
Henry Hubbard
Ansbach, Germany

It's unclear if the first and last letter are from soldiers. But this is Stars and Stripes and soldiers do read these letters.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Judy Is Free

To talk tomorrow to the Grand Jury. Not sure what to make of it. I hope a bad deal wasn't made.
Like NeedleNose says may be the case.....
that means if Miller testifies she told Libby about Plame, Fitzgerald can't ask her where she got the information -- so if John Bolton or one of his aides (for example) told her as a way of laundering the leak, everyone could get off the hook ... unless Fitzgerald tries to prosecute Libby, Karl Rove et al. for disseminating the information after Miller passed it along to them.

But Digby gives me hope....
The question is what Fitzgerald got in return for agreeing not to ask Judy about her lovers sources. And don't think he didn't get something in return.
In case anyone's wondering if Fitzgerald is really the tough guy everyone thinks he is, check out this story from last week about the Governor George Ryan trial in Illinois. You'll notice that he flipped Ryans "political son" by arresting his mistress and squeezing her until she convinced him to testify:
To read the rest

Better yet read the Avenging Liberal link pointed out in Digby's update.

Perp Walk for DeLay???

DeLay must appear in Austin, TX to be Booked.
Will the Hammer be fingerprinted and photographed?

DeLay's attorneys were working out the details of when the 11-term congressman would return to Texas in hopes of saving him from further embarrassment, they said.
"What we're trying to avoid is Ronnie Earle having him taken down in handcuffs, and fingerprinted and photographed. That's uncalled for and I don't think that's going to happen," said Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's attorney.

But Earle says the Court will decide how the Bugman is to be arraigned.
I so hope for a perp walk, handcuffs and a bad photo at Smoking Gun....and Delay holding up an Ink Stained Finger only with a different meaning this time.

Nora Ephron On Bloggers on Blogging

Nothing important but some of it is funny

Now Can We Get On With the CIA Leak?

From the BBC:

Eight charged over Star Wars leak:
Eight people have been charged by US authorities with the illegal online release of the final Star Wars film before it appeared in cinemas.

Get This on a DVD for POTUS Please

Ok is anyone really surprised by this?
The Arctic ice cap shrank to the smallest size since taking records. Now what is really bad is that "the change also appears to be headed toward becoming self-sustaining."
And the scientists here agree that the influence of greenhouse gases from human-caused warming is at least an influence with many saying it is the cause.

So we are approaching a point of what appears to be no return even if we do make changes. Perhaps we can mitigate the effects or give ourselves some time but this is very bad news.
Are Americans much less the Bush administration even paying attention?

This is Going To Be A Problem

We'll regret this. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but
soon .....
From the NYT:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 - Republican members of Congress say there are signs that the Defense Department may be carrying out new intelligence activities through programs intended to escape oversight from Congress and the new director of national intelligence.
The warnings are an unusually public signal of some Republican lawmakers' concern about overreaching by the Pentagon, where top officials have been jockeying with the new intelligence chief, John D. Negroponte, for primacy in intelligence operations. The lawmakers said they believed that some intelligence activities, involving possible propaganda efforts and highly technological initiatives, might be masked as so-called special access programs, the details of which are highly classified.
Even under the new structure headed by Mr. Negroponte, the Pentagon's activities are widely understood to make up about 80 percent of an annual intelligence budget whose details remain classified but that is widely understood to total about $80 billion a year.
In the interview, Rep Hoekstra (R-MI) said the committee had been told that the Pentagon was creating parallel structures "so they don't have to deal with the D.N.I.," the abbreviation for the new intelligence chief.

So much for one central director in control of our intelligence apparatus and the move to sort out the problem of stove-piping of intelligence. We can look forward to more redundancy and I'm sure DoD will not be sharing intelligence from programs they don't even want to admit exist or render to oversight. Then there is the cost. $80 Billion and this is what we get?
Stove Piping?
No oversight?
Are these not the problems which contributed to 9/11?
Do you feel safer now?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Brownie Asked Bush for Help on Sat Before Katrina Hit

What may have been lost in the coverage of Brownie's defensiveness is that Brownie testified he spoke with Bush on the Saturday prior to Katrina striking to ask for help. Bush knew of the troubles stirring in LA from the start.

To view Video

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Devil Is in the Details....

The devils were everywhere at the Drownie Brownie Hearing...

How did Jeffrey Dahmer

come back as Shays aide?

And that big eyebrowed, smarmy lawyer behind Brownie....

It's a mystery! It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma!


The NYT has an article on the difficulties Katrina victims will face with obtaining bankruptcies given the new law. They start out like this....
When Congress agreed this spring to tighten the bankruptcy laws and crack down on consumers who took on debt irresponsibly, no one had the victims of Hurricane Katrina in mind.
Come on. That they never imagined such a thing is just bullshit. They didn't care about the possible effects on Americans as they were too busy shooting down any and all amendments to this crap piece of legislation to ensure passage for the credit card companies. They knew of the possibilities. They didn't care.

Go read A copy of the Democratic House Judiciary Staff's dissenting views on the bankruptcy bill that was leaked to RAW STORY prior to the bill's passage. It's right there...
While some people abuse the bankruptcy system, more than 90 percent of debtors file for bankruptcy due to unemployment or underemployment, an illness or accident, or divorce. The bulk of the remainder suffered from other legitimate difficulties, including activation for military service, being a victim of crime or natural disasters, or a death in the family ...

a. Concerns Regarding the Means Test

It is incorrect to assume that the effect of S. 256’s harmful provisions would be limited to individuals seeking bankruptcy relief who earn more than the state median income.

The definition of “current monthly income” used in the means test measures a debtor’s income based upon how much the debtor earned in the six months prior to bankruptcy. If the debtor lost a good job in month three and has been working at a low-wage job ever since, the income from that good job, and help from family members, would be counted as if that is what his future income would be. The debtor would be expected to pay out of income that may no longer exist. Also, the means test will pick up a variety of revenue sources – such as disaster assistance, and Veterans’ benefits – which will result in lower- and middle-income individuals being cast as bankruptcy “abusers” with income above the median.

What Happened to "Out of the Goodness of Your Heart"?

Let's just get it over with and turn the government over to the churches. From WaPo....

After weeks of prodding by Republican lawmakers and the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that it will use taxpayer money to reimburse churches and other religious organizations that have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and supplies to survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

FEMA officials said it would mark the first time that the government has made large-scale payments to religious groups for helping to cope with a domestic natural disaster.
Civil liberties groups called the decision a violation of the traditional boundary between church and state, accusing FEMA of trying to restore its battered reputation by playing to religious conservatives.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Brownie Will Never Last...... Again

My sister called earlier and said she had just heard on the CBS Evening News that Michael Brown had been hired as a consultant by the government to help in finding out what went wrong with the Katrina response.
I laughed and laughed and laughed. I heard her say to her husband, "She's laughing."
And I was. Then she said, "I never heard you laugh like this." It must have been like a slap to the face that brings a hysterical person around. Why was I laughing like this?
I'm not sure....

What else can you do?
If you don't laugh you'll cry?

Only these guys would effectively fire and then re-hire what all of America knows to be an absolute incompetent and think they could get away with it. Their greed knows no bounds. They do not know the meaning of "Enough". I had thought when Brownie was let go that they had to face up to their limits, admit a mistake and take action. Snort...boy was I wrong. What made me think such a thing? It is that after all this time (5 Bush years seems like 10) I am still rooted in and operating in this world with a sense of reason, rationality, fairness and shame when I do wrong and above all with the expectation that our leaders would do the same. Whoa isn't that a hoot?

Maybe Not. At least not on this one. This Brownie story is all over the cable news already. People will be hot about this one by tomorrow. It will not stand. I just can't wait to see how they spin it before they fire him for the second time.
It's the Great Age of Irony it is.

Up Against the Wall....

Mother of a dead Soldier

Cindy Sheehan Arrested

From Yahoo News.....
Sheehan and several dozen other protesters sat down on the sidewalk after marching along the pedestrian walkway on Pennsylvania Avenue. Police warned them three times that they were breaking the law by failing to move along, then began making arrests.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Cat Blogging: New Carrot Toy

Purchased the carrot toy on a tip from Eschaton reader four legs good. 4LG's Maxx the Lion Kitty loves it and I found so did Teddy........

. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Could He Possibly Look More

Disinterested In His Job......

Or Pouty?

Oh Oh...

From AP:

WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was updated several times about his investments in blind trusts during 2002, the last time two weeks before he publicly denied any knowledge of what was in the accounts, documents show.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Wyoming's FEMA Request Approved While WI is Denied

As in post below Wisconsin learned today that FEMA denied it's emergency disaster aid request for 3 counties hit by 28 tornados causing $47 million in damages. 2 people died, 67 homes were destroyed and 400 were damaged.
Governor Doyle had requested aid on August 25 prior to Katrina. It took 29 days to be told No. WI was informed Friday just one day before the request would have been disallowed.

Now people may say hey there is Katrina and so you just have to sacrifice as others are hurting more. Then how come this happened.......

What makes the situation more frustrating is how fast a similar disaster declaration was made out West in August, before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

According to FEMA reports on its Web site, Bush declared Wright, Wyo., a disaster area on Aug. 22, 10 days after the town of 1,500 people was struck by a tornado. Two people died, 60 homes were destroyed and another 60 damaged in Wright.

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal requested the emergency declaration Aug. 17 and got it from Bush five days later.

So let's compare......

28 Tornadoes..................................1 Tornado
67 homes destroyed .......................60 homes destroyed
2 Dead ...........................................2 Dead
state ....................................Red state
Home of Cheeseheads ....................Home of Dick Cheney
The facts regarding each disaster appear to be even. No?
So you have to ask..... was it the last 2 that swung this one.
And in case you didn't catch this...Wyoming's request was expedited quickly while WI 's request took the entire 30 day period allowed. Tomorrow the request would have been disallowed.

FEMA Denies Aid to Tornado Ravaged Area of WI

28 tornadoes touched down in 3 Wisconsin counties on August 18. It was a one day record. Damage was estimated at more than $47 million. One town (Stoughton) south of Madison was particularly devastated. The Governor had requested aid for the disaster area.

However today it was announced that FEMA denied aid......
The Bush administration Friday denied a Wisconsin request for disaster assistance for three counties hit by tornadoes.

"Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that the damage was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments," wrote R. David Paulison, acting under secretary at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in a letter to Gov. Jim Doyle.
Doyle said he would appeal the decision."I'm dismayed by this decision, having seen firsthand the damage these tornadoes caused," Doyle said in a statement. "While I understand that FEMA's resources are strained, the country shouldn't be in the position of having to choose between victims of one disaster and victims of another."

This is actually quite incredible as it was assumed FEMA would be there as it has in past disasters. American citizens need to realize just how unprotected they are at present and in the future.
It is well past time to demand an end to the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Some Good News....

Fantastic job. Kudos to the pilots and crew!

Is Bush Drinking Again?

The National Enquirer (don't laugh those folks have gotten some big scoops) has a source saying he is.
Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.
A Washington source said: "The sad fact is that he has been sneaking drinks for weeks now. Laura may have only just caught him — but the word is his drinking has been going on for a while in the capital. He's been in a pressure cooker for months.
Definitely read the whole story at The News Blog

Gravatar, Oh Gravatar, Where Are You?

Caption This.....

And this?????

Cat 4

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

From the Mercury News:
Laura Bush while promoting this weekends National Book Festival made this remark regarding her husband's 5th visit to the Katrina stricken area.

"He has to. That's his job," Mrs. Bush said matter-of-factly. "That's what happens when you run for president. You don't know what might happen like this."

Ahh RUN for president??? I thought the election was over and he IS president.
What is with these folks and Time. They are always looking forward or backward.
What About NOW???? There's no Now......

Time table for the War?? ......if we do that now, the terrorists will win later.
Can't decide who messed up the Katrina response now...later folks.
People drowning and dying of thirst on the Gulf coast.... after vacation.
Can't pay for the war now....later folks.
We'll rebuild N.O. .......we'll pay for it someday.
Global warming? ....we need more time to study it ok?
Can't fire anyone for leaking ID of CIA operative, we're investigating...later folks.
WMD's? Just wait, they'll be there, east, north, west, south.....just wait and see.
Can't blame us for no WMD now. We got a war to later on this, don't ask again.
Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US...hey that's historical.
Hurricanes? Who would ever have thought this might happen.....we can't see the future you know.

Any other examples of the Bush Time Bender???

Freedom's on the March ...Except

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai is chafing a bit.
Karzai demanded an immediate end to foreign troops searching people's homes without his government's authorization. He also said foreign governments should "concentrate on where terrorists are trained, on their bases, on the supply to them, on the money coming to them" - a veiled reference to support that militants allegedly get from neighboring Pakistan.

"I don't think there is a big need for military activity in Afghanistan anymore," Karzai told reporters. "The nature of the war on terrorism in Afghanistan has changed now.

"No coalition forces should go to Afghan homes without the authorization of the Afghan government. ... The use of air power is something that may not be very effective now. ... That's what I mean by a change in strategy."

American People Have Different Idea on How To Pay for Katrina

An AP-Ipsos poll found that:

"Given a choice in the survey, 42 percent favored cutting spending on Iraq to pay for relief efforts on the Gulf Coast, and 29 percent wanted to delay or cancel Republican tax cuts. That's a whopping 71 percent backing options that Bush doesn't even have on the table."

And that:

"Just 11 percent of respondents favored reductions to other domestic programs like education, welfare, transportation and health care. A slightly higher number, 14 percent, said they favored adding to government debt and gradually paying it back."

Bush just is not on the same page as the American people.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Here it comes....

I have been concerned that right wingers would make the lesson of Katrina to be that faith based charities should take over for government. And here it comes....
From Scarborough country:
: At the same time, what bothers me is that we have seen, by getting supplies over here from our group from Florida, the best way to do it is not through governmental groups or huge bureaucracies. It's through faith-based groups.

LOTT: Absolutely.


SCARBOROUGH: Why is it that church groups can do this so much more effectively than our federal or state or local governments?

LOTT: Because that's the uniqueness of America.

The first-responders really are always the American people. They will rise to the occasion, any occasion. There are trucks headed from Ohio and Illinois today to help the people there. And, basically, they are coming through church groups, to church groups, where they are quickly moved to the people that need it. I don't know why the federal government can't do the same thing.

But it is a problem. And we have learned over the past, certainly the last week, we are going to try to find where the problems are by talking to the mayors, the supervisors, individuals. Then we are going to find the solution to getting it direct to the people. And we are going around a lot of the bureaucracy.

But the federal government is going to have to come to terms with doing a better job. One other point. Last night, I want to a reception to thank a group called Diageo. It's an international company from London. They moved a giant generator into Pass Christian, Mississippi, within 24 hours after the hurricane winds died down. And they have been running the water system in Pass Christian ever since, private company. Nobody told them where to go. They came. They did the job.

And when I asked the chairman of the company, how can you do that, but the government hasn't been able to do it, his response was, I can't answer that, because it would incriminate too many people. But it can be done. And we are learning. We are getting the bureaucracy, the wheels turning a little bit. We made a little progress on the mobile home issue. But we still need a lot more, and we need to get them to the people.

Wingers will push this harder and harder in the weeks and months to come. They will use Katrina to justify the growing movement to place the role of government in the hands of Christian churches. They will say as above they can do the job and government can not.
Well government did the job in the past. The problem is how the government is administered under Bush. We must demand government Do It's Job and not abdicate its powers and purpose to the churches.
Usurping revenue and powers to churches is Anti-democratic and Anti-American. And the churches will have many strings attached to aid once they have cornered the market. America wake up. When they run the schools what will your children be taught? When they run social services who will be aided and what will they need to do to be eligible? And when they respond to a disaster who will be rescued?
Do you really think Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing will go into The Castro to rescue gays and lesbians when the big one hits San Francisco?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Brownie Fell on Sword for Bush, Chertoff

The Left Coaster writes:

"It is interesting that hours before Knight Ridder goes with a story that places the blame not on local officials but the Bush Administration, Bush sorta fessed up for the federal government's failings, almost as if the White House knew this was coming. It is also interesting that the day after former FEMA chief Michael Brown fell on his sword, the memo showing that Chertoff for some reason delayed and failed to act timely makes its way into Knight Ridder's hands. Obviously Brown has some friends who are going to set the record straight."

The Knight Ridder story is a must read.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Poll Results on Race Are Disturbing

Just how deep is racism in America?
From USA Today:

Six in 10 African-Americans say the fact that most hurricane victims were poor and black was one reason the federal government failed to come to the rescue more quickly. Whites reject that idea; nearly 9 in 10 say those weren't factors.

Well I know I'm the one white out of that 10...believing that if those were White Republicans left in NO, Bush would have moved heaven and earth to get them out.

Only one in five blame Bush, while one in four for blame NO's mayor and one in four blame the resident's.
"About 4 in 10 say they don't have much confidence in the government's ability to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks next time."

But then there are these numbers on Bush.......

And Bush?

His strongest political asset — the perception that he is a strong and decisive leader — has eroded to the lowest rating of his presidency, 52%. That's 8 points lower than in the previous poll, and 23 points lower than immediately after 9/11 — when his response reshaped Americans' views of Bush.

A majority of Americans say the president doesn't display good judgment in a crisis, doesn't inspire confidence and doesn't "care about the needs of people like you."

How many FEMA's are there?

Paul Krugman is asking THE important question:

But what we really should be asking is whether FEMA's decline and fall is unique, or part of a larger pattern. What other government functions have been crippled by politicization, cronyism and/or the departure of experienced professionals? How many FEMA's are there?
He offers some answers too. The media must follow up on the fine job it did in telling the story of Katrina by asking and answering these questions. And in turn our elected officials need to be held accountable for this sad state of governance. Finally the American people need to accept that the Republicans are shrinking the government to dangerous proportions. Now that they have seen the results let's ask anew........Is this what they really want?

Also be aware that the NYT will begin making you pay to read Krugman and other columnists starting September 19th. I hope this move is a miserable failure.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Great Scout Story

From the comments (thanks Sharbabe) is a link to a great "To Kill a Mockingbird" story about Scout and Atticus at Lance Mannion.

Surfers Get "Worked"





"Christian Surfers USA, a Florida-based group, has added 10 chapters in the past year and says it has reached 58,000 people in the past three years."

But I like what this surfer dude says:

"Chris Mauro, editor of Surfer Magazine, estimates that the number of U.S. surfers has quadrupled in the past decade from the 2 million adherents counted in the last unofficial surfer census.
There's all kinds of surfers with causes," said Mauro, who voices skepticism about the impact Christian surfers have on the sport's overall culture. "They aren't permeating surf fashion; these kids are sponsored by the same companies that will run women in G-strings in their ads."

To "get worked" is to wipe out and get thrown about while being held under by the wave.

CNN Prevails in Lawsuit

From CNN:
HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- Rather than fight a lawsuit by CNN, the federal government abandoned its effort Saturday to prevent the media from reporting on the recovery of the dead in New Orleans.


CNN's brief argued, "It is not the place of government to replace its own internal judgment for that of a free and independent media."

Very well said.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, word didn't get to those on the ground in NO as CNN found out today:
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): There is so much destruction in St. Bernard Parish, every street, every corner, almost too difficult to comprehend.

(on camera): Last week, you couldn't walk down this street in St. Bernard Parish. It was flooded. Now the water has receded and recovery teams are finding more bodies.

(voice-over): We came across three bodies, bodies officials did not want us to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vacate the area, please. Sir, sir, you can't be here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't. I'm not going to. Please don't.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, yes. I was told no one could be here.

LOTHIAN (on camera): Well, would you like to talk to our lawyer? You can talk to our lawyer here in Atlanta.


LOTHIAN: Would you like to talk to our lawyer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, I was told you guys are not allowed to be here.

LOTHIAN: We have a lawsuit that says that we can be here. You're defying a federal -- a federal judge's order by trying to kick us out of here. It's right here.

(voice-over): Despite a legal document allowing CNN to shoot at will, officials kept blocking our view.

(on camera): They've moved two Humvees into our view, so that we cannot see them moving the body into the truck. And they've also put sort of a wall of military and what appears to be coroner types to block our view of the body. Right now, we cannot see what's going on. We are blocked. We're prevented from seeing it.


LOTHIAN: After the federal judge voiced his concerns and after CNN contacted officials in Washington, the Pentagon sent word reiterating again down to the troops here in the field that they should not block the path of reporters.

Again, Aaron, I want to point out that CNN is not simply just trying to go out there and get gruesome shots of bodies, but simply trying to document all aspects of this tragic story.

We'll see what happens tomorrow............

Drownie Brownie Gone: How About the Rest of Cronies?

Drownie Brownie has resigned. He obviously should have been fired.
Now how about dismissing (or Bush style let them resign) the other FEMA cronies?:

Chief of Staff Patrick J. Rhode-- former TV reporter & advance deputy director for Bush's Austin-based 2000 campaign and then the White House.

Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks D. Altshuler--former presidential advance man

David I. Maurstad--former Nebraska lieutenant governor

Daniel A. Craig--onetime political fundraiser and campaign adviser

Then there are the FEMA Regional Directors......

And what other government agencies are packed with unqualified cronies?

More Lack of Planning at Homeland Security

This is absolutely amazing.

From CNN Presents: CNN Security Watch: Lessons of Hurricane Katrina

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT....But none of these scenarios, none, included the kind of civil unrest we saw in New Orleans or the disappearance of about a third of its police force, events so dramatic that for a time lawlessness and anarchy framed the Katrina story around the world. And of course, in New Orleans itself.


SESNO: New Orleans is forcing many in the homeland security and emergency management business to rethink how they train, plan and prepare.

ELLEN GORDON, NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL: Having the disaster victims themselves turn on the first responders isn't necessarily something that we've discussed and talked about in the past at any length.

SESNO: Ellen Gordon is a former emergency management director from Iowa. She led the state's efforts to recover from the disastrous floods there in 1993. Now she travels the country as part of a team from the Naval Postgraduate School, teaching governors, homeland security officials and first responders.

She says there's not been a lot of focus on how social breakdown plays out in a disaster.

GORDON: But I believe now that there will be many of us that will say we've got to take time out and discuss this and say, are we prepared to respond to this type of situation in the future.

SESNO (on camera): Still, the training manual itself may need rewriting. The Department of Homeland Security's own 15 planning scenarios from nuclear terror attack to Category 5 hurricane barely mentions serious civil unrest or the possibility that significant numbers of first responders can't or won't respond.

When I have thought about possible disasters, such as a dirty bomb attack or outbreak of smallpox in an American city, the very FIRST thing I thought about is the chaos and disorder that would result from a panicked public trying to get out of the affected area. In either scenario, one would think a first action would be to contain people in the affected area so as not to spread contamination or disease, probably necessitating declaration of martial law. Just how do you think people forced to stay would react to that? Think about it. Do you really think Americans would passively accept orders to remain in contaminated areas or would they pack up their SUVs and make every attempt to flee?I dare say they would be storming the barricades to get the hell out and they wouldn't be polite about it. They would turn on whomever blocked their access to safety.
How on Earth could professional planners not foresee this scenario unfolding? How could they not envision this happening and plan on how they would deal with it? Homeland Security faces an Accountability Moment and we need many, many answers to some very basic questions....starting with why aren't they even asking the most obvious and basic questions to begin with?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Fighting Bob Fest IV

Over 5000 People attended

(Welcome Daily Page readers!)
Clad in my Moonbat t-shirt, with my notepad and camera in hand, I boarded the bus to Baraboo, WI for Fighting Bobfest. Why a Bob Fest? --to bring people together to reinforce their hope that they can take back our government from the powers of the monied interests, just as Bob LaFollette and his Progressives did more than 100 years ago. So here are the speakers and some quotes, just the highlights. Hopefully they are all completely accurate. I was taking notes furiously.

The moving force behind Bob Fest is Ed Garvey:

The first speaker was none other than Rep. John Conyers.

He spoke of the problems in the Ohio election in '04:
"Instead of making voting easier and more efficient, they tried to discourage people. We need honest people taking care of the voting process."

On the media:
"Stop reading the junk media. Whoever invented this myth that liberals run the media?"

He spoke of the on terrorism and war:
"You can't stop terrorism with violence. We need to use more than that. We aren't decreasing terrorism we are spreading it."
To much Applause: "Pre-Emptive war is not in the Constitution."

"It's time we call these folks out and I'm calling President Bush out on everything I don't agree with. Bob LaFolette taught me the time to protest is the time your country is doing wrong. That is the highest form of patriotism."

Senator Russ Feingold followed :

"President Bush didn't have his best August vacation. Now everyone deserves a vacation, including President Bush. But it's based on doing your job the rest of the year. It wasn't Cindy Sheehan or Hurricane Katrina, it was a...
lack of Vision,
a lack of Leadership
and a lack of Candor
that made it not one of his best vacations."
"Our strongest supporters are tired of the timidity of the Democratic Party. Consultants in Washington D.C. say be Republican-light, but after 9/11 no party will win without a clear vision. Too many voters see us without a message at best or spineless at worst. ......People elect us to take a position and argue for it vigorously and even if it is unpopular at first."
'When we go back to Washington we can not ignore 2 issues:
We need to challenge the US Patriot Act and challenge the war in Iraq."
(standing ovation from crowd)

Feingold laid out 5 Myths of war in Iraq and the need to challenge them.

He finished with...
"I want to say this as sensitively as I can. Everything you are doing for Katrina is wonderful and we're doing everything we can such as we'll work to exempt the people hit by Kartrina from the Bankruptcy Bill. And I know you are doing all you can too. But as you do it don't let George Bush off the hook on Iraq."
The crowd rose in applause and chants of "Russ '08"

Rep.Bernie Sanders (I) Vermont:

In all it was a fiery speech.
Speaking on economic disparities and poverty in the US.
"I see a great middle class being destroyed."
"Obviously President Bush and his mother are not too familiar with poverty and what it's like to be poor....SNIP.... They don't know that not everyone can get in a limousine, go to a hotel and ride out the storm.....And Mr. President though you haven't mentioned it, 5 million more Americans are living in poverty since you became president."
"The true greatness of a country is not in the number of Billionaires or nuclear weapons we flaunt. It is one in which justice, equality and dignity prevail. We honor Bob Lafollette when we end the Culture of Greed which Bush and his friends are pushing....These people are like desperate and sick heroin addicts. They need more and more and more millions. When does it end?
When is their greed enough?"
"Let us be very clear. I have conservative friends, Everyone has a right to their views but when people do not tell the truth, that is different. When this president travels the country, telling people that Social Security is going bankrupt, that it won't be there for young people, this President is lying and there is no other way to describe it."
"We are fighting for our country, for the world,we have alot to do. Let's go out and do it.
(standing ovation)

Peter Leidy sings:
"Oh Where, Oh where, Oh where is Dick (cheney)?
Was very funny

Rep. Gwen Moore from Milwaukee:

Rep. Moore was great. Watch out for this woman!!!
She was funny, brave and the most genuine spoken pol I have heard in some time.
She shared her meeting with Bush at the White House as an incoming freshman rep.
"When I met George Bush in the White House he said.....You, You, You're the reason I lost WI. and I said YEAH!"

She spoke of how Bush tried and failed to get the black vote:
"They tried to convince black people to come to the dark side but they wouldn't do it."

She spoke of the many efforts to disenfranchise voters in WI calling it "ground zero for disenfranchising voters."
She also spoke of the hideous flyers that Republicans had distributed in black neiborhoods in Milwaukee in '04 to suppress the black vote. I know of these and they were bad.

She endede with:
"Katrina gave us a glimpse of what the ownership society will look like. We are all on our own unless we stick together."

She really was great. Great energy. I hope you'll get a chance to hear her sometime.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin:

The people love Tammy Baldwin. You just feel it. I felt she sort of sneaks up on you as a speaker. She had the people on their feet more, the more she spoke.
She laid out her Progressive Manifesto which included:
Enactment of Universal Health Care
Restore economic justice, the pension systen and end corporate corruption
Raise the federal minimum wage
Retain the Estate Tax
Protect privacy by fully supporting equal rights for all Americans
Take control of the Defense Budget

"Great movements are not spontaneous."
She spoke of the need to work and hold the belief we can do it. She cited Gaylord Nelson to whom this Bob Fest was dedicated.
"Gaylord Nelson didn't start with his 99 colleages in the Senate. He started with the people."

Some Strong Women....Baldwin & Moore on the ends

The event ended with some funny material by Jim Hightower. Forgive me for no quotes as by this time I just wanted to sit back and be entertained. I was.

Many groups were there offering information....

Lots of different food but the Ice Cream line was SOOO Long.....

It was a great day. We need events like this all over the country. We must be better organized, focused and work harder than they do if we are to take back this country before it is too late. Bob Fests move us in that direction.

Recall a Start

Here's the best quote I've heard on the Recall of Drownie Brownie. From MSNBC's Rita Cosby Show (that Voice oy)

"I'm sure the American public is relieved tonight. We were Stuck on Stupid way too long."......Jerry Stephens former Regional FEMA Dir.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Blame Game" Verboden :
So Let's Play the "Name Game"

I'm sure we have seen every one in the Bush Administration and all of Fox TV tell us we can't play the Blame Game. So how about the Name Game......

Submit your name for Bush's disasterous FEMA

I've heard some good ones like: Florida Election Management Agency

So leave your submission in the comments and I will post them.
Have Fun And...

*Playing the Name Game does not preclude contestants, their family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, cats, dogs, ferrets or ANYONE in the US from continuing to play the Blame Game. We in fact strongly urge all, especially the media, to play the Blame Game until all blame has been assessed and W has been impeached.

UPDATE: Submissions:

Failure Ever More Astounding
Favored Evacuees Mostly Anglo
Failing to Effectively Manage Anything

Man Hands to the Rescue

Karen Hughes is busy at her job of polishing the US image....

The problem, Hughes replied, was not a failed relief effort but a
foreign press that did not appreciate the federal government's good
"There are a lot of things being said about us around the world that
aren't true," said the woman in charge of polishing the American image
abroad. "We've marshaled the resources of our federal government" to
help fellow Americans, she said, and if people think otherwise, "we
need to aggressively challenge that idea around the world."
Too late Karen. The world saw the pictures and they are going to go with that reality not yours.
If only Bush and friends spent half as much time on governing as they do on politicking and image control......well we might have a government left. As it is we are well along the road to "starving the beast". Katrina proves that.


Pets are being rescued

But many more remain.....

To aid rescue efforts..... Please donate to Noah's Wish

Uug..What a Mess......

How do THESE people live like this.

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