Note From a Madman

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Full of Quotes, This One in the Lead

"This is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection - or at least amelioration - against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological. It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water."
-Keith Olbermann, from his MSNBC blog

-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane

What Others Are thinking About FEMA's Response to Hurricane Katrina

"FEMA's chief has been demoted from a near-Cabinet-level position; political appointees with little, if any, emergency-management experience have been placed in senior FEMA positions; and the small, 2,500-person agency was dropped into the midst of the 180,000-employee Homeland Security Department, which is more oriented to combating terrorism than natural disasters. All that has led to a brain drain as experienced but demoralized employees have left the agency, former and current FEMA staff members say.

"The result is that an agency that got high marks during much of the 1990s for its effectiveness is being harshly criticized for seemingly mismanaging the response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."

"There was a time when FEMA understood that the correct approach to a crisis was to deploy to the affected area as many resources as possible as fast as possible. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be their approach."
-Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA.)

"I'm a little confused as to why it took so long to get the military presence running convoys into downtown New Orleans,"
-John Copenhaver, a former FEMA regional director under President Bill Clinton and his experienced FEMA Director, James Lee Witt

It appears that experience does truly count, and the present FEMA Director, Michael Brown, just doesn't have it.

"I have a hard time believing there is any game plan in place when it comes to coordinating or pulling together this volume of business. And what happens in two or three weeks down the road when all of these people are moved again?"
-Peter Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association, referring to FEMA's attempt at procuring hundreds of buses to move thousands of evacuees

"After Sept. 11 they (the Bush administration) got so focused on terrorism they effectively marginalized the capability of FEMA. It's no surprise that they're not capable of managing the federal government's response to this kind of disaster."
-George Haddow, another former FEMA official under President Clinton and Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt

"Pleasant Mann, former head of the union for FEMA employees who has been with the agency since 1988, said a change made by agency higher-ups last year added a bureaucratic layer that likely delayed FEMA's response to Katrina.

"Before the change, a FEMA employee at the site of a disaster could request that an experienced employee he knew had the right skills be dispatched to help him. But now that requested worker is first made to travel to a location hundreds of miles from the disaster site to be "processed," placed in a pool from which he is dispatched, sometimes to a place different from where he thought he was headed.

"Pleasant said he knew of a case in which a worker from Washington state was made to travel first to Orlando before he could go to Louisiana, losing at least a day. What's more, that worker was told he might be sent to Alabama, not Louisiana, after all."

Is this how Bush protects America? Bring the national guard home now and pay attention to the first responders John Kerry said in 2004. It's time for the neocon imperialists who have ripped this country apart to say good night.

-Robert Scardapane (and Noah Greenberg)

Some Thoughts

Here's what you have to ask yourself in regard to Hurricane Katrina:
Who do you believe: President Bush and his administration or EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET

The choice is yours

"We are going to evaluate what went right and what went wrong."
-President Bush

From your point of view, Mr. President, the former shouldn't take you too long at all.
I say let's put George W. Bush's face on Mount Rushmore...

...right now.

-Noah Greenberg

And a Joke

From 2,500 feet, President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush toured the destruction of New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina. As Air Force One buzzed those stuck in the disease-filled flood waters, a young boy notices a small sticker on the back of the president's plane. It read:

"I'd Rather Be Clearing Brush"

Personally, I'd rather be removing a Bush.

-Noah Greenberg

"Ashamed" in Costa Rica

I was on vacation this past week as the disaster and devastation occurred in Louisiana, Mississippi, and the nearby coast. A world away in Costa Rica it still ripped at our hearts. There were many Americans where we were staying and we were constantly rushing to the Internet or to our rooms to check out CNN (it was our only news channel and believe me the international version is not so hot with even more repetition than the national version) and sharing every morsel of what we had heard. One couple had their families outside New Orleans and who had safely evacuated and they provided other poignant details. One question kept being asked – where is the government? (Guess we forgot that Bush is dismantling it.)

A consistent sentiment across all Americans was – we are ashamed that our government is abandoning our citizens and leaving them helpless, hopeless, and devastatingly vulnerable in their hour of greatest need. We talked a lot about being embarrassed to be Americans and that this did not represent the American we stood for. And I can’t even tell you whether some people were democrats, republicans, conservatives, right-wingers, or liberals – embarrassment and shame filled all our hearts.

And to think that Bush flew back in the middle of the night to grandstand about one brain-dead woman (Terri Schiavo) for his constituents and, when it could really make a difference, he viciously abandoned hundreds of thousands of people because attending to them did not help his political motives. Because of his actions people died. So he continued on with his vacation and fundraising as Condi shopped for shoes and theatered in NYC and everyone waited for others to react. And the head of FEMA “Brownie” was probably trying to figure out how to apply his Arabian horse show experience to the situation.

Shame on all of us if we do not work harder to expose these cruel and uncaring Bush-Turds (editorial change - this is a family newsletter). I’ve heard republicans saying critical things as if they are surprised or if they are just realizing for the first time who they elected. To them I say – there is no surprise because at least 50% of the U.S. knew this could be expected of bush – heartless, cold, self-serving, inhuman, and evil actions that kill people. -

-Casey Sweet

Media Madman - Headlines From the Recent Past

"FYI - still away from my computer, but in light of the awful disaster on the Gulf Coast I wanted to pass on these stories about how much of the federal government's tragic failures in the catastrophe were long ago the subject of serious concern in Congress. I remember these debates very well when I worked at the Appropriations Committee - Democrats repeatedly noted that serious budget cuts to critical Army Corps programs were coming AT THE VERY SAME TIME THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WAS PUSHING TRILLIONS IN TAX CUTS. Former GOP Congressman/Army Corps Chief Mike Parker's warnings in particular were very troubling back in 2002. Sadly, he was not only ignored by President Bush, but actually fired for having the guts to voice his concerns.

"What we now see is very clear: there are serious, tragic and awful consequences that result from the Bush administration's willingness to make tax cuts for the wealthy a priority over everything else - and there are serious consequences that come from the Bush administration's penchant for firing/silencing those who have the nerve to tell the truth. "

Engineers' Warnings and Pleas for Money Went Unheeded -

Assistant Army Secretary Forced Out -

White House Blistered Army Corps Chief In Memo Before Firing -

Ex-Army Corps Officials Say Budget Cuts Imperiled Flood Mitigation Efforts -

FEMA Head Forced to Resign From Last Job -

Forwarded from David Sirota by Robert Scardapane

"Creationism" in Public Schools

Recently I had a discussion with a very dear friend of mine who is a devout Evangelical Christian. Although we understand each others' point of views on most subjects, and agree more than we disagree, when the subject of Creationism came up, his answers startled me. "The Earth is no more than 12,000 years old." "Carbon dating is
God's test of faith." "The bones are phony." "Carbon testing is falsified." It was a real "who are you going to believe? me or your own eyes," moment for me. The conversation ended, although I did receive some documents that he termed "proof". I have yet to read them, but I will.

So, in relation to various chats I had with people on this subject, I have to say it, I am now for teaching Creationism , whether the Religious Right calls it "Intelligent Design" or "Creationism" or "The Great Scientific Substitute". It makes no difference to me.

I do have one condition, however: Make it an "either/ or" proposition. Either your child learns Creationism or they learn that other "wacky little science" known as...well... "science." In high school, for example, let's say from sophomore through senior year, each program would be a three year program. Then when my child with classes in chemistry, biology and physics comes up against a child who was taught "the other science", Creationism, for a place in Princeton or Columbia, we'll see what happens.

After that, I want to see that child of Creationism attempt to catch up, assuming he or she is in my son or daughter's class. I love grading on the curve.

Offering both Creationism and "Conventional Science"... you know... the one with the rocks and bones stuff... my child will have that leg up on his competition.

What about medical doctors? Do we think that a child of Creationism will be able to receive a medical degree? Just how many years would it take for him to catch up to my son academically?

The truth of the matter is when Cobb County, Georgia decided to put stickers on books that said "evolution was only a theory", it was parents that started the ball rolling and got the ACLU involved. You see, they want their children to have that "real science background."

Either way, my kids win.

-Noah Greenberg

Media Madman Quotes

The Bush administration was “Stuck on Stupid for 2 days”.
-Craig Crawford, on Chris Matthews Hardball 9/6/05
“Not going to get into the blame game” (Talking Point #1)
“There will be plenty of time for analyzing later” (Talking Point #2)
-Scott McClellan, up to his typical spin
“I think it’s called the Civic Center or the Convention Center.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers, referring to a question about the New Orleans Convention Center

Boy, no wonder they could not find the people there, they are not sure what it is even called.
RUMSFELD was asked twice in the press conference with Gen. Meyers today “Why could we not drop food on Tues/Wed instead of Thursday/Friday.” In typical Rummy babble he avoided it and Meyers piped in to say “You can never be perfect” and when again asked “Was there no way to drop food” Rummy and Meyers went on to emphasize that the “first priority is to save lives.” Hmmmm, did anyone tell Rumsfeld and Meyers that saving lives including feeding people who are starving?
MAJOR KOCH blasted the Bush admin on one of the MSNBC shows tonight and said the fact that bush did a “fly by” in the air the first time to see what occurred and did not stop on the ground said it all about his approach and lack of leadership. Koch went on to say that since he was a Bush supporter this definitely was not partisan, but that bush failed miserably as a leader.
“Ineptitude is colorblind in this case, but what I see is active indifference in those who believed that everyone could load up their SUV, put bottles of water inside, fill the tank with $100 of gas, and use your credit card to check into a hotel…The fact we all feel ashamed is good because it means our better instincts are speaking to us…our hearts are broader than our present policies…”
-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)

To hear Senator Obama acknowledge the facts and “what is so” and to point out that in our heart of hearts we all know this is shameful somehow helps bring some reality to the discussion. It’s like the fable where the child says “hey, the emperor has no clothes” and the truth and honesty wakes up the massive followers from their non-thinking states. Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish in Louisiana, was also one of these voices telling it the way it is and waking people up with his heartbreak and passion. As Air America’s Morning Sedition would say – WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

-Casey Sweet

Really - It's Time to Get Rid of These Guys

Bush has made some big blunders and has proven himself and his administration to be completely incompetent, as well as greedy and self serving. But these last moves by Bush and Co. are a blatant disregard for our country. Bush has done everything he can to demolish the lower and middle class and has helped himself and his buddies to get rich and richer. I'm angry and I wish more people would get angry. Bush has no feelings whatsoever. He is a sociopath and his paranoia is legendary. I wouldn't doubt he plans to demolish New Orleans and make the whole city a Republican Conservative Playground. He would certainly love Lake Pontchartrain to be renamed "Lake Bush".

Seriously, how many of Bush's Puppeteers and followers would have to be impeached and jailed to get us a decent President?

-Blue Dude

One Last Quote

The drop in wholesale gasoline prices `"will take time to filter down.''
Refco Group Inc. oil analyst Marshall Steeves

Ever wonder why prices go up on rumors but take time to filter down?

-Anonymous, by Request


Just a note on wholesale pricing. Many items are priced based on "replacement costs". Obviously gasoline is one of these commodities. That being said, with the fast turn-around and the daily purchase of gasoline by busy gas stations, the gas prices should have been lowered immediately.-NG

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-Noah Greenberg