Friday, September 09, 2005

UH OH...I Think My Brain Just Threw Up!!!

Have you ever read something or heard something and it was just so mind boggling that it wasn't even worth asking for clarification because you knew the twisted slop of an explanation you would receive would just make you even more you just chalk it up as one of those things that just flew...well, UNDER your head!!! If you have no idea what I'm talking about...maybe this will clear it up for you:

Dean: Race Played a Role in Katrina Deaths

Associated Press Writer

Race was a factor in the death toll from Hurricane Katrina, Howard Dean told members of the National Baptist Convention of America on Wednesday at the group's annual meeting.

Dean, chairman of the Democratic party, made the comments to the Baptists' Political and Social Justice Commission. The Baptist Convention, with an estimated 3.5 million members, is one of the largest black religious groups in the country.

"We must ... come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not," Dean said.

Dean said Americans have a moral responsibility to not ignore the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Katrina when it struck the Gulf Coast.

The former presidential candidate said the government will be judged by how it treats the old, the young and the poor.

"People are poor in different parts of the country. They are not refugees. They are Americans," he said.

Dean said that instead of considering proposed estate tax breaks, the Senate should channel the money into disaster relief.

"Shall we give that to the wealthiest people in the country, or should we rebuild New Orleans?" Dean said.

Dean also urged the government to exempt victims of Hurricane Katrina from a stricter new bankruptcy law for one year.

Ken Mehlman, Dean's counterpart at the Republican National Committee, said he hoped Dean "will match his rhetoric with his support for reforms that replace bureaucracy and entitlement with hope and opportunity."

Stephen J. Thurston, president of the Baptist Convention, said there was a lack of response and sensitivity by the government following the Gulf Coast disaster.

I didn't know Bush was the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans?! Man...he IS busy!!!


KANYE WEST is firing off at America's white leaders again a week after he shocked TV viewers on a Hurricane Katrina telethon by claiming President GEORGE W BUSH was a racist.

The rapper ignored the telethon script and attacked Bush for not acting quicker to save African-Americans stranded by the storms in Mississippi and Louisiana.
And he isn't finished yet - appearing on ELLEN DeGENERES' US television chat show this morning (09SEP05), West insisted Bush and other politicians knew America's Gulf Coast couldn't withstand a hurricane a year before Katrina hit.

He said, "Back in the days when it was time to clean the kitchen I would try to sweep the dust under the kitchen sink instead of really taking care of it, and if you spilled something on that floor all that dust came right up in front of your face. That's basically what the flood did.

"They have been trying to sweep us (African-Americans) under the kitchen sink and it was so in people's faces and so on TV... that they couldn't even hide it any more.

"Down there, people are living below the poverty level to start off with, before this happened.

"A year ago I was on tour with USHER and we had a hurricane hit Florida and everybody was saying, 'If this hurricane went to Louisiana, if it went to Mississippi, they wouldn't be able to handle it.' (That was) a year ago - and there was nothing done about it."


B2 said...

FEMA Dumps Brown As Katrina Relief Chief


Fri Sep 09 2005 10:30:28 ET

The chart topping hip hop rapper star who used a network hurricane fundraiser to charge "George Bush doesn't care about black people" was loudly and lustily booed during last night's NFL kickoff show.

The appearance of Kanye West, who was beamed into the Boston stadium via remote from Los Angeles, received a strongly negative response from the crowd.

"The boos were thunderous and lasted for much of his number," reports the BOSTON GLOBE.

B2 said...

Wed Sep 07 2005 10:42:26 ET

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 609 adults taken September 5-6 shows:

Blame Game -- 13% said George W. Bush is "most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane"; 18% said "federal agencies"; 25% said "state and local officials"; 38% said "no one is to blame"; 6% had no opinion. -- 29% said that "top officials in the federal agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be fired"; 63% said they should not; 8% had no opinion.


Government Performance -- 10% said George W. Bush has done a "great" job in "responding to the hurricane and subsequent flooding"; 25% said "good"; 21% said "neither good nor bad"; 18% said "bad"; 24% said "terrible"; 2% had no opinion. -- 8% said federal government agencies responsible for handling emergencies have done a "great" job in "responding to the hurricane and subsequent flooding"; 27% said "good"; 20% said "neither good nor bad"; 20% said "bad"; 22% said "terrible"; 3% had no opinion. -- 7% said state and local officials in Louisiana have done a "great" job in "responding to the hurricane and subsequent flooding"; 30% said "good"; 23% said "neither good nor bad"; 20% said "bad"; 15% said "terrible"; 5% had no opinion.

B2 said...

Hurricane Preparedness Is Faulted; Fewer Blame Bush for Problems


Sept. 4, 2005 — Americans are broadly critical of government preparedness in the Hurricane Katrina disaster — but far fewer take George W. Bush personally to task for the problems, and public anger about the response is less widespread than some critics would suggest.

Sampling, data collection and tabulation for this poll were done by TNS.

In an event that clearly has gripped the nation — 91 percent of Americans are paying close attention — hopefulness far outweighs discontent about the slow-starting rescue. And as in so many politically charged issues in this country, partisanship holds great sway in views of the president's performance.

The most critical views cross jurisdictions: Two-thirds in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say the federal government should have been better prepared to deal with a storm this size, and three-quarters say state and local governments in the affected areas likewise were insufficiently prepared.

B2 said...

San Diego Union-Tribune:

Authorities say they are speeding up relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina, but 80 San Diego firefighters and paramedics sent to the Gulf Coast are languishing in Houston, a fire official said Sunday.
"We're there, we're ready, it's up to (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to decide where we're needed," said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire Department.

Another Republican Senator is criticizing FEMA's performance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, CNN reports:

Sen. Trent Lott berated both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and his own state's emergency management, MEMA, for being mired in red tape at a time of urgent need given the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina.
Lott said he has been trying to get FEMA to send 20,000 trailers "sitting in Atlanta" to the Mississippi coast, and he urged President Bush during a meeting Monday to intervene. He said FEMA has refused to ship the trailers until contracts are secured.

Anonymous said...

You don't think that had this occured in an area of white people or wealthy people the evacuation would've been more prompt? I admit, I'm busy at work and didn't get the chance to read the article you posted so I don't know if there are propestorous claims that were made, however I don't think we can deny that race and social stature plays a big role in such matters and played a large role here. If New Orleans was filled with leaders of industry and large political contributors such shoddy reaction would have been lessened. Although you may take it as such, this is not a knock on your Party. It is a knock on our President but unfortunately it's more of a knock on our politics and our social structure that such large financial gaps occur and they're often based on race, religion and lack of equal opportunity... I won't even go into Capitalism and how it promotes all of the above :)


B2 said...

As stated...the resources were plenty and were available. The Federal Gov't. did their job. Who failed? Try the state and local gov't. But how can that be...the mayor is black?

"Lott said he has been trying to get FEMA to send 20,000 trailers "sitting in Atlanta" to the Mississippi coast, and he urged President Bush during a meeting Monday to intervene. He said FEMA has refused to ship the trailers until contracts are secured."

And no I absolutely DO NOT think the action would have been more prompt if it occured anywhere else. Beuaracracy held up action...not racism. It takes a sad man to twist a tragedy like this into political motives and an even sicker one to abuse the race card like this. It just makes me sick!

As you know by has been repeatedly reported that state and local government were warned about this pending devastation long ago, but chose to ignore the warning and spend funding elsewhere.

As for political motives...are you trying to claim that brushing off the largest race of voters is a good political move? If anything...Republicans are out to prove that Democrats take black for granted and would see this as a wonderful opportunity to prove they care and in doing so gain some votes. I'm proud to say that Republicans didn't treat this as a political issue...sadly...democrats are trying to make it in to one!

Why am I not surprised?!

Anonymous said...

anyone who thinks this wasn't caused by bureaucracy is smoking some good shit. now was this partially bush's fault? oh absolutely. but you flat out can't tell me that clinton's government would have been any better.

the problem is the bureaucracy. It's mindless it can't think it only cares about covering its own ass.

This is the reason why libertarians want smaller government. It is impossible for government in any form to be efficient. in this case they were pointed in the exact wrong direction due to political differences within the government itself. hate to be blunt about it but both sides share a shitload of blame in this one. there's more than enough to go around. fix the problem, rebuild the city, then make the system work better, this is not something you can get a do-over with.

now, will that ever happen? doubtful unless an autocrat somehow someway came to power. democrats only care about bigger government. republicans generally only care about defending the rich. bureaucracies protect both parties.

such is the way it is i guess.

p.s. i'm not endorsing an autocrat, i'm placing blame with the bureaucracy because of its very nature.

God said...

You are the problem... the simple-minded liberals with their shoddy agenda; Always trying to push your problems onto someone else. Why is it anyones fault that people wanted to stay in New Orleans when they WERE WARNED to leave. It was by choice they were in the situation in the first place. Some may have been poor, but they could afford bus tickets, walk 50 miles north.. anything.... stay at parks.. leave... but it is stupidity to stay. Why did the majority of people really stay then?? CRIME.. to loot, to make money off of other peoples loss. New Orleans has one of the highest crime rates in the US. Why is it that every other US city can rebuild after tragedy, but New Orleans broke into crime, raping, killing, looting. There was a pastor that wrote a letter condemning New Orleans as a city of sin, and said it would someday be destroyed by floods like the evil cities of Sadam and Gamorrah if the people didn't change. This is a town of sin, and evil, and I hope to believe most of the good people left, and the evil has been washed clean. Eventually all evil will be removed on His second coming. Until them, we will have to put up with all the lies and evil and retardedness of a currupt and lazy people, and listen to the bullshit all you liberals yell but have don't understand why you yell it. Did you know over half the time you are supporting the cause of the Devil. How great is that to know?


Anonymous said...

I have never believed in God but I have now been enlightened by his wise words posted above mine. When's your boy gettin' here? Shucks, I won't get access to Your Kingdom anyway cause I once went to New Orleans and I saw a girl who was not my wife lift her shirt and had impure thoughts. Maybe you can absolve me?

B2, why do you make everthing about Reps vs Dems? I guess it's the nature of this blog. I stated that our government (that means federal and local) did not prepare properly or act efficiently. Scientists have for years presented the views that the walls built would not be able to protect against anything more than a hurricane level 3 and would only end up acting like a basin should anything greater than that happen. They've also warned that a level 5 hurricane would hit the city soon. I believe that if that info was presented toward an area of higher economics (hand in hand with race in this country, can't deny that), it would've been taken care of. Response time also would've been much shorter.

Yes, all the people stayed behind for the crime of it, not 'cause they get hurricane warnings 4 times a year and can't afford to leave their jobs and don't want to leave their homes. It was all for the crime. That lady in the wheelchair that you saw FEMA put out into the street so they could have the hotel rooms for themselves, she stayed behind 'cause she thought this was her chance to break into a K-Mart and finally get herself an egg-beater from the Martha Stewart collection. She crazy!

Looting has occured in every city that devastation has hit. I was in NY during 9-11 when people were looting, happened in LA, I've seen it everywhere I've been... but you're right, New Orleans is the only place.

I am sorry for supporting the cause of my Master.


PS> God is right about the sinners. That's why the jails weren't evacuated and all those people died in their cells, climbing and clinging on to the bars as the water rushed in.

Thank you for removing all the sinners by sinking the city. How come you let most people live though? Maybe those people were not as bad so you only took away their homes.

PPS> God, I noticed that in your e-mail you've done a good job of generalizing (a function of a simple mind itself) all us "liberals" as a little on the dumb side. As per studies, B2 loves those, liberals have on average much higher IQs than conservatives.

God, thanks for listening, now stop looking down on me when I'm in the shower. Yes, I know I'll go blind!


B2 said...

Liberals = Book Smart.

Conservatives = Common Sense! Even the most simple minded among us can see the truth...why can't the liberals?

By the way...I wasn't deliberately MAKING it a GOP vs. Dem's issue. It just is one. I stated that Bush (a Republican) was less directly involved because he is part of the Federal Gov't. than Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (Democrat) and New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin (Democrat). made it a race issue; so I just wanted to point out that N.O. Mayor Nagin is BLACK!!! His decision to ignore warnings and turn down funding must be out of his deep rooted hatred for the enormous WASP population in NO huh?! Picking up the sarcasm?! ;-)

B2 said...,1,5736422.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

Louisiana Officials Indicted Before Katrina Hit

Louisiana Officials Indicted Before Katrina Hit
Federal audits found dubious expenditures by the state's emergency preparedness agency, which will administer FEMA hurricane aid.

By Ken Silverstein and Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.

And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.

In March, FEMA demanded that Louisiana repay $30.4 million to the federal government.

The problems are particularly worrisome, federal officials said, because they involve the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the agency that will administer much of the billions in federal aid anticipated for victims of Katrina.

Earlier this week, federal Homeland Security officials announced they would send 30 investigators and auditors to the Gulf Coast to ensure relief funds were properly spent.

Details of the ongoing criminal investigations come from two reports by the inspector general's office in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees FEMA, as well as in state audits, and interviews this week with federal and state officials.

The reports were prepared by the federal agency's field office in Denton, Texas, and cover 1998 to 2003. Improper expenditures previously identified by auditors include a parka, a briefcase and a trip to Germany.

Much of the FEMA money that was unaccounted for was sent to Louisiana under the Hazard Mitigation Grant program, intended to help states retrofit property and improve flood control facilities, for example.

The $30.4 million FEMA is demanding back was money paid into that program and others, including a program to buy out flood-prone homeowners. As much as $30 million in additional unaccounted for spending also is under review in audits that have not yet been released, according to a FEMA official.

One 2003 federal investigation of allegedly misspent funds in Ouachita Parish, a district in northern Louisiana, grew into a probe that sprawled into more than 20 other parishes.

Mark Smith, a spokesman for the Louisiana emergency office, said the agency had responded to calls for reform, and that "we now have the policy and personnel in place to ensure that past problems aren't repeated."

He said earlier problems were largely administrative mistakes, not due to corruption.

But federal officials disagreed. They said FEMA for years expressed concerns over patterns of improper management and lax oversight throughout the state agency, and said most problems had not been corrected.

They point to criminal indictments of three state workers as evidence the problem was more than management missteps. Two other state emergency officials also were identified in court documents as unindicted co-conspirators.

"The charges were made after some very extensive reviews by FEMA investigators and other authorities, who identified issues they felt were of the severity and magnitude to refer them to the U.S. attorney's office," said David Passey, the spokesman for FEMA's regional office in Texas.

Passey, while acknowledging that the state had made some administrative changes, said it had not completed the kind of overhaul FEMA said was needed.

"It concerns us a lot. We are devoted to the mission of helping people prepare for, prevent and recover from disasters and we want these federal funds — this taxpayer money — to be spent and used well and in accordance with the rules," he said.

Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington watchdog group, said recent Louisiana history showed that FEMA "money earmarked for saving lives and homes'' was instead squandered in "a cesspool of wasteful spending."

Louisiana's emergency office receives money directly from FEMA. It passes on much of the funding to local governments that apply for assistance.

The audit reports said state operating procedures increased the likelihood of fraud and corruption going undetected.

B2 said...

Storm Donations Found at Official's Home

Thu Sep 22, 7:25 AM ET

BATON ROUGE, La. - Police found cases of food, clothing and tools intended for hurricane victims at the home of the chief administrative officer for a New Orleans suburb, authorities said Wednesday.

Officers searched Cedric Floyd's home because of complaints that city workers were helping themselves to donations for hurricane victims. Floyd, who runs the day-to-day operations in the suburb of Kenner, was in charge of distributing the goods.

Police plan to seek a charge of committing an illegal act as a public official against Floyd, and more charges against other city workers are possible, police Capt. Steve Caraway said.

The donations filled a large pickup truck four times. "It was an awful lot of stuff," Caraway said.

The donated materials must be processed as evidence but eventually will be distributed to victims. "We have lots of families that are begging for these supplies," said Attorney General Charles Foti, whose office assisted in the investigation.

Attempts to reach Floyd were unsuccessful at home numbers listed under his name in Kenner. His office number went unanswered after business hours.

Philip Ramon, chief of staff to Kenner Mayor Philip Capitano, has said city officials were investigating the alleged pilfering but added that many employees were themselves hurricane victims.

B2 said...

Brown Acknowledges 'Specific Mistakes'
Sep 27 10:28 AM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


Former FEMA director Michael Brown told Congress on Tuesday he made "specific mistakes" in leading the initial federal government response to Hurricane Katrina. But Brown also blamed state and local officials for government failures.

Brown told a special congressional panel that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin were not coordinating their efforts and that he should have done more to persuade them to.

He suggested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had gotten a bum rap because many people incorrectly believe it serves as something of a federal rapid-response force.

"FEMA is a coordinating agency, we are not a law enforcement agency," he said.

"It is inherently impractical, totally impractical, for the federal government to respond to every disaster of whatever size in every community across the country," Brown said.

"It breaks my heart to think about the disasters we respond to as FEMA and to think about the disasters that we also don't respond to," he added.

Brown resigned as the head of FEMA earlier this month after being removed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff from responsibility in the stricken areas.

Brown testified before a special congressional committee set up by House Republican leaders to investigate the government's handling of one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the Gulf Coast.

Democrats, who want an independent investigation not under the control of majority Republicans, largely boycotted the hearing.

"At the end of the day, I suspect that we'll find that government at all levels failed the people of Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama and the Gulf Coast," said committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va.

B2 said...

Brown Shifts Blame for Katrina Response

Sep 27 3:46 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


Former FEMA director Michael Brown blamed others for most government failures in responding to Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday, especially Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. He aggressively defended his own role.

Brown also said that in the days before the storm, he expressed his concerns that "this is going to be a bad one" in phone conversations and e-mails with President Bush, White House chief of staff Andy Card and deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin.

And he blamed the Department of Homeland Security _ the parent agency for the Federal Emergency Management Agency _ for not acquiring better equipment ahead of the storm.

His efforts to shift blame drew sharp criticism from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike.

"I'm happy you left," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn. "That kind of look in the lights like a deer tells me you weren't capable of doing that job."

Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., told Brown: "The disconnect was, people thought there was some federal expertise out there. There wasn't. Not from you."

Brown appeared before a special congressional panel set up by House Republican leaders to investigate the catastrophe.

"My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional," two days before the storm hit, Brown said.

Brown, who for many became a symbol of government failures in the natural disaster that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people, rejected criticism that he was inexperienced.

"I've overseen over 150 presidentially declared disasters. I know what I'm doing, and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it," he said.

Brown resigned earlier this month after being removed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff from on-site responsibility. He will remain on the FEMA payroll for two more weeks, advising the agency, said Russ Knocke, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

"He speaks for himself and he's entitled to his point of view and I don't have anything to add," Chertoff told reporters in Miami. Bush and Blanco both ignored a reporter's shouted question about Brown's assertions as they inspected damage from Hurricane Rita in Lake Charles, La.

Brown joined FEMA in 2001 and ran it for more than two years. He was previously an attorney who held several local government and private posts, including leading the International Arabian Horse Association.

Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. told Brown: "I find it absolutely stunning that this hearing would start out with you, Mr. Brown, laying the blame for FEMA's failings at the feet of the governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans."

In a testy exchange, Shays compared Brown's performance unfavorably with that of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"So I guess you want me to be the superhero, to step in there and take everyone out of New Orleans," Brown said.

"What I wanted you to do is do your job and coordinate," Shays retorted.

"I'm happy to be called not a Rudy Giuliani ... a scapegoat ... if it means that FEMA ... is going to be able to be reborn," Brown said.

Criticized by Shays for failing to get better equipment to make communication easier among emergency agencies, Brown blamed those above him.

"We put that money in our budget request and it was removed by the Department of Homeland Security" he said.

Brown said he was "just tired and misspoke" when a television interviewer appeared to be the first to tell him there were desperate residents at the New Orleans Convention Center.

Brown said he learned a day earlier that people were flocking there.

He blamed "a hysteric media" for what he said were unfounded reports of rapes and murders. He characterized blunt-spoken Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the military coordinator for the disaster, as "a bull in the China closet, God love him."

And he said Americans themselves must play a more active role in preparing for natural disasters _ and not expect more from the government than it can deliver.

Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas told Brown: "I don't know how you can sleep at night. You lost the battle."

Brown in his opening statement cited "specific mistakes" in dealing with the storm, and listed just two.

One, he said, was not having more media briefings.

As to the other, he said: "I very strongly personally regret that I was unable to persuade Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin to sit down, get over their differences, and work together. I just couldn't pull that off."

Both Blanco and Nagin are Democrats.

In Baton Rouge, La., Blanco's press secretary, Denise Bottcher, responded: "Mike Brown wasn't engaged then, and he surely isn't now. He should have been watching CNN instead of the Disney Channel," Bottcher said.

Despite the appearance by several Democratic Gulf Coast lawmakers, The hearing was generally boycotted by Democrats, who want an independent investigation conducted into government failures, not one run by congressional Republicans.

Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., cautioned against too narrowly assigning blame. "At the end of the day, I suspect that we'll find that government at all levels failed," Davis said.

He pushed Brown on what he and his agency should have done to evacuate New Orleans, restore order and improve communication.

"Those are not FEMA roles," Brown said. "FEMA doesn't evacuate communities. FEMA does not do law enforcement. FEMA does not do communications."

Brown said the lack of an effective evacuation of New Orleans before the storm was "the tipping point for all the other things that went wrong."

A "mandatory" evacuation was ordered Sunday by Nagin, the mayor. However, buses were not provided and thousands of residents were stranded without transportation in low-lying areas.