THE NEWSLETTER

A Madman EXTRA

Sunday, September 4, 2005


 

The wrong men,

In the wrong jobs,

At the wrong time.

The Administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush

 

-Noah Greenberg


Ew... Shivers Down the Spine

 

Iíll bet you it wonít be long before the Dems will be yipping for his impeachment, in which case a lot of Reps up for re-election in 2006 will be climbing aboard in hopes of saving their own asses. The public is really pissed off about this.
-Lew Warden

I have but one request, as strange as it may seem. I want "G"lobal "W"arming Bush to continue as President of these United States until January 20, 2008 (this should read "2009"). This country, and the rest of the planet, couldn't take a Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney Presidency.

 

(All bets are off if unless the pacemaker fails.)


-Noah Greenberg



In regard to Grover Norquist's "solution" to help the people of the Gulf Coast (getting rid of the estate tax as a "priority"), Robert Scardapane writes:

And utterly disgusting! I think it is representative of modern day (G)reed (O)ver (P)eople party. By the way, word has it that Frist is going along with this and will debate estate tax on Tuesday. We need to smoke the Republicans if they do that. The nation is catching on that they are a bunch of weasels.



CHRONOLOGY

Here's a timeline that outlines the fate of both FEMA and flood control projects in New Orleans under the Bush administration.

Read it and weep:

January 2001: Bush appoints Joe Allbaugh, a crony from Texas, as head of FEMA. Allbaugh has no previous experience in disaster management.

April 2001: Budget Director Mitch Daniels announces the Bush administration's goal of privatizing much of FEMA's work. In May, Allbaugh confirms that FEMA will be downsized: "Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program...." he said. "Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level."

2001: FEMA designates a major hurricane hitting New Orleans as one of the three "likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country."

December 2002: After less than two years at FEMA, Allbaugh announces he is leaving to start up a consulting firm that advises companies seeking to do business in Iraq. He is succeeded by his deputy, Michael Brown, who, like Allbaugh, has no previous experience in disaster management.

March 2003: FEMA is downgraded from a cabinet level position and folded into the Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is refocused on fighting acts of terrorism.

2003: Under its new organization chart within DHS, FEMA's preparation and planning functions are reassigned to a new Office of Preparedness and Response. FEMA will henceforth focus only on response and recovery.

Summer 2004: FEMA denies Louisiana's pre-disaster mitigation funding requests. Says Jefferson Parish flood zone manager Tom Rodriguez: "You would think we would get maximum consideration....This is what the grant program called for. We were more than qualified for it."

June 2004: The Army Corps of Engineers budget for levee construction in New Orleans is slashed. Jefferson Parish emergency management chiefs Walter Maestri comments: "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."

June 2005: Funding for the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is cut by a record $71.2 million. One of the hardest-hit areas is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, which was created after the May 1995 flood to improve drainage in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes.

August 2005: While New Orleans is undergoing a slow motion catastrophe, Bush mugs for the cameras, cuts a cake for John McCain, plays the guitar for Mark Wills, delivers an address about V-J day, and continues with his vacation. When he finally gets around to acknowledging the scope of the unfolding disaster, he delivers only a photo op on Air Force One and a flat, defensive, laundry list speech in the Rose Garden.

A crony with no relevant experience was installed as head of FEMA. Mitigation budgets for New Orleans were slashed even though it was known to be one of the top three risks in the country. FEMA was deliberately downsized as part of the Bush administration's conservative agenda to reduce the role of government. After DHS was created, FEMA's preparation and planning functions were taken away.

Actions have consequences. No one could predict that a hurricane the size of Katrina would hit this year, but the slow federal response when it did happen was no accident. It was the result of four years of deliberate Republican policy and budget choices that favor ideology and partisan loyalty at the expense of operational competence. It's the Bush administration in a nutshell.

-Henry Breitrose, Professor of Communication, Department of Communication, Stanford University
-Forwarded by Jenny Hanniver



A Letter From:

Debra K. Hedding, Major, USAFR, retired
Vietnam, Desert Storm, Cold War
VFP Chapter 119 - Tampa Bay
Mom, citizen, tax-payer


Dear Tax-Paying Veterans and Friends --

For 25 years, I was of the belief that my USAF uniform was worn for the people who were paying me - Mr and Mrs. American taxpayer. Just as you did, I watched in horror, day after day, the tax-paying citizens of New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport and communities in between, begging for any help they could get. BEGGING FOR THEIR LIVES.

Keesler AFB was in Katrina's bull's-eye, taking a major hit - EXCEPT FOR THE RUNWAY. Check out the Keesler report below. So all last week I am having flashbacks of my time in the USAF blue uniform.

Between wars, I was in command and control units in the Air National Guard. MOBILITY was my middle name. Every year we practiced instant mobilizations, where we had to deploy our radar site in Air Force aircraft - get this - IN 2 DAYS from the time of notification.

Before and after Desert Storm, I was in an Air Force Reserve search and rescue unit in Portland, Oregon. MOBILITY was my middle name. This was a full time mission assigned to the Air Force Reserve. Our helicopter and C-130 crews deployed on A MOMENT'S NOTICE to pluck people off mountains, out of swollen rivers, out of the forests - some injured, some not, some dead. Lives were risked to go into the blast zone to save people from the erupting Mt. St. Helens. We flew para-rescuers to Homestead, FL to save victims of Hurricane Andrew. We flew rescuers to San Francisco after the killer earthquakes in Oakland. None of these people had to asked to be saved. THIS WAS OUR JOB. We mobilized on A MOMENT'S NOTICE. That was the name of our unit's newspaper. I was the PAO that produced it and worked with the media who covered the courageous deeds of my colleagues.

I spent my last 6 years working full time for the USAFR in California airlift units. MOBILITY was my middle name. The aircraft in my units flew HUMANITARIAN AIRLIFT missions. We flew water purifications systems and medical help to refugees in Rwanda. We flew water delivery systems and medical help to the refugees in Somalia. We flew canine search teams to Oklahoma City after the bombings. We airlifted and air-dropped food and supplies to North Dakota after a killer blizzard. MOBILITY was our game, and when we took off, you can be sure that help was on the way.

SHOCK and AWE describes me now. I am in total SHOCK over how our Gulf Coast neighbors - TAX-PAYERS who pay for our military forces -- were left to suffer and die, day after day. What happened to MOBILITY???? What happened to HUMANITARIAN AIRLIFT????

Then there's AWE - as in "awe shit" after I received the Keesler AFB damage report from a group of former USAF radar operators and ground controllers. I went to tech school at Keesler in 1972 at the height of the Cambodian bombing raids, to be trained to tell fighter pilots where to go in the war zone. But the "awe-shit" reaction was not because of flashbacks to that other war. It was in knowing that RESCUE and MOBILITY and HUMANITARIAN AIRLIFT into and out of Keesler AFB was possible before and after Katrina. These assets could have been staged somewhere nearby, gee - like at Scott AFB in Illinois - HEADQUARTERS FOR THE USAF'S AIR MOBILITY COMMAND - and then flown in to Keesler. There could have been a MASS EVAC out of Keesler after the 'cane. The Air Force practices these every day, all over the world.

I am too emotional to write to the folks at the Air Mobility Command or anywhere else. But I have included the string of addresses from those who were sending around the Keesler Damage Report. I urge you to write to them, to your congressional leaders, to anyone that could make a difference. Ask them what the hell they spent our Gulf Coast neighbor's tax dollars on, because we know it sure wasn't them. And tell them I sent you.

Debra K. Hedding, Major, USAFR, retired
Vietnam, Desert Storm, Cold War
VFP Chapter 119 - Tampa Bay
Mom, citizen, tax-payer


-Forwarded by Jenny Hanniver


 

Media Madman
Hannity doesn't even recognize someone on his side

We deal with plenty of far-right demagogues, activists, and crackpots here, but there's something truly unique about Pastor Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. It's easy to mock Pat Robertson and scorn James Dobson, but Phelps is in a league of his own.

For example, it takes a special kind of person to picket a funeral, but that happens to be just about the only thing Phelps and his "church" seem to do. For about 10 years, Phelps has gone from town to town, finding funerals for AIDS victims, so he and his sick cohorts can appear with signs and shout comments like "
God hates fags" and "God hates you."

 

Classy.

A few years back, Phelps branched out a bit, protesting gay funerals whether AIDS was involved or not, including Matthew Shepard, the gay college student beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998. More recently, Phelps expanded his repertoire a little further.

Members of a church say
God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq. [Ö]

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays.

We're dealing with a man who is beneath contempt. There are plenty of right-wing nuts out there, but to be this overcome with hatred is a sign of true sickness.

But in an odd twist, as far as Fox News' Sean Hannity is concerned, Fred Phelps is a liberal.

On the August 30 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Sean Hannity falsely blamed "the anti-war left" for a protest at the August 28 funeral of Sgt. Jeremy Doyle of Indianapolis, who was killed while serving in Iraq. Hannity read excerpts of an article on the website of Indianapolis TV station WISH describing the protest, adding, "I guess this is just another example of how the anti-war left supports our brave troops."

Hannity, in other words, is so far gone, he considers the far-right fringe part of the "left" ó and wants his national audience to believe it.

I guess I can't blame him. If I shared an ideology with Fred Phelps, I might go into denial too.

-Forwarded and commented by Victoria Brownworth



Why does everything have to be 'either-or' in the world these days???

Whether there are tax cuts or not, every major seaport, where goods and services are imported and exported, which imports and exports are necessary for the entire country, thereby need to be fully funded with the tax dollars of the American people, monies that do not belong to the government but to the people who pay it, in order to maintain a level of trade that benefits all of us. The levees of Louisiana are not strictly for the benefit of just those who are residents of that state. They are there to protect and serve the entire nation as a major trade seaport. Infrastructure cannot be sacrificed to tax cuts, and infrastructure can never become a second priority to military deployment.

Republicans and Democrats are equally insane when it comes to the tax issue. Both act as tax dollars are their personal money and both sides act as if they do not serve the American people with their positions, but some aggrandized ideal of pseudo-democracy, which is there only to collect taxes to be used for their own purchase of fancy three piece suits and other accouterments.

The leaders we need in this country are the leaders who would be embarrassed to be seen in a tax funded limo, as long as there is a child in the nation without food and health care. The President we need in this country is the one who would have fired Chertoff by the third day after Katrina without cases of air-dropped water bottles, wrapped in inflated life rafts into the flooded areas. The leaders we need in this country would be attached to neither Republican nor Democrat political parties, but would be able to think about the good of America, rather than the good of their foreign oil investments.

God help us all as the federal politicians and politically supported corporations continue to ransack America, right along with Iraq or any other country with resources they set their sights on, utilizing the disasters of mother nature, as well as the disasters they deliberately create (Iraq)

-Rhian



Bush-Speak


"Perhaps somebody close to him handed President Bush a report titled 'Katrina determined to strike in the U.S.' and he decided to ignore it."
"That's the only possible explanation for the total incompetence of the administration's response to the aftermath of the hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast."
"If terrorists had blown up some levees and flooded New Orleans, there might have been some excuse for the long lag in responding to the disaster. But the Bush crowd had to know this was coming. Everyone else did."

-Paul Mulshine, a conservative columnist in the Newark Star-Ledger

"Emergency management was never anyone's first job,"
-Health and Human Services Secretary, and former Utah Governor Michael Leavitt (R) on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer

When the National Weather Service says New Orleans is about to be hit with a category 4 (which later turned into a Category 5) Hurricane, it becomes everybody's "FIRST JOB" Mike.

"The Government was prepared, but we were never prepared for something this big,"
-Leavitt on Late Edition

Just what were you prepared for, Mike? A stampede of Arabian Horses? Perhaps this is just not the job for you, although it appears that just about anyone placed in an important position by "G"lobal "W"arming Bush in in the wrong job.

"In America, we do not abandon our citizens in their hour of need,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush

5 DAYS! If that isn't abandonment then what would YOU call it, Mr. Bush? Just why were you, GW, out making par on the back nine instead of providing your vacationing staff with leadership?

And there was our leader, "President Photo Op" shaking hands at the Red Cross in Washington today. Way to stay on the ball GW.

"The (US) government is in control in New Orleans,"
-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Late Edition

6 DAYS TOO LATE. We might as well change the expression to "6 days late and a few billion dollars short," right Mike?

"We must rebuild as RAPIDLY as we could,"
"We RAPIDLY put helicopters in the air,"
-Chertoff

Today's "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party "word of the day" is "RAPIDLY." Repetition is what it all about to the followers of Karl "The Traitor" Rove. I haven't put on Fox News yet, but you can bet that you'll hear the word RAPIDLY over and over and over again.

"Unprecedented catastrophe"
"Unprecedented catastrophe"
-Chertoff, repeated in the Late Edition interview a number of times


"Unprecedented catastrophe" is obviously the "phrase of the day."

One of the jobs coming up is, "getting people to realize that, year after year, they dodged a bullet,"
"People were not taking (the evacuation order) seriously,"
We'll "have to rally and move forward on the future,"
-Chertoff quotes from the Late Edition interview


These guys (Bush, Chertoff, Brown, Leavitt, etc) just don't get it. When the people of New Orleans were ordered to leave, they did, except for those who couldn't. Sure there were those who thought they could wait it out, but those, for the most part weren't the people we saw on TV the past six days. It is the responsibility of our government to protect its people. This includes the local, state and the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Passing the buck seems to be the favorite pastime of the Bush administration. First they tried to pass it down to the government of Louisiana and the mayor's office of New Orleans. Then they blamed "protocol". And finally, it became the victims' fault.

From Paula Zahn's CNN Show:

BROWN: I will tell you this though, every person in that convention center, we just learned about that today. And so I had directed that we have all available resources to get to that convention center to make certain that they have the food and water, the medical care they need...
PAULA ZAHN: Sir, you're not telling me, you're not telling me you just learned that the folks at the convention center didn't have food and water until today did you? You had no idea they were completely cut off?
BROWN: Paula, the federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today.

I know I've said this before, but
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Maybe you should turn on a TV or radio sometime. The "federal government" was,, obviously, the last one to know. It's embarrassing.

"This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention center and don't anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention center is unsanitary and unsafe and we're running our of supplies."
-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

I especially liked Chertoff's answer to Wolf Blitzer's question: "The government should have done a better job, shouldn't they?" It went something like this" "I think yadda, yadda, yadda, etc." Same crap, different Homeland Security Secretary. I liked that almost as much as Chertoff's tap-dancing around another Blitzer question, "Do you still have confidence in Mike Brown?"



More On "Preparedness"

 

"The number one job we have to focus on in this department is preparedness,"
-Chertoff

Isn't it ironic that "preparedness" always seems to be the job "after the fact"? Talk about closing the barn door after the horses are gone.

"Nobody's been through this (a Hurricane like Katrina),"
-Chertoff

"This storm is much, much bigger than anyone expected,"
-Brown

Isn't that what "preparedness" means? Shouldn't we expect the unexpected? Aren't we supposed to be "prepared" for the "worst case scenario?" It sounds to me like a rehashing of Bush's "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," doesn't it?

And then, after all this talk about "preparedness", Chertoff had the gall to say, "The issue isn't preparedness, it's the time it takes to mobilize."

 

Is it, or is it not about "preparedness" Mike?

 

I wish these guys would stop flip-flopping.

Here is the most unbelievable quote of all:

"When I became the director of FEMA a couple of years ago, I decided it was time we did some really serious catastrophic disaster planning. So the president gave me money through our budget to do that. And we went around the country to figure out what's the best model we can do for a catastrophic disaster in this country? And we picked New Orleans, Louisiana."

"Hurricane Katrina caused the same kind of damage that we anticipated. So we planned for it two years ago. Last year, we exercised it. And unfortunately this year, we're implementing it."
-Brown, on Larry King live this past Wednesday


These are the moments you want to close the car door on your hand to help minimize the pain in your head. Not only did they plan for this, then drill for this, they actually used New Orleans as their test city. If this is their "preparedness plan", then how much worse could this have possibly been?

If we are to believe Undersecretary Brown, someone actually DID "anticipate a breach in the levees,".

 

Just how can we believe a thing the administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush says?

And, in closing, we were left with these words of astonishment:

"We got it done."
-FEMA's Mike Brown


-Noah Greenberg


Send your comments to: NationalView@aol.com or comments@nationalview.org

-Noah Greenberg