THE NEWSLETTER

Note From a Madman

Tuesday, September 13, 2005



The responsibility of ministers for the public safety is absolute, and requires no mandate. It is in fact the prime object for which governments come into existence.
-Winston Churchill

Forwarded by Mr. Bluesky


Taking "Responsibility"

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush


"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility,"
-GW

By qualifying the statement, Mr. Bush, you didn't take "full responsibility." When one takes "full responsibility", one doesn't add those qualifiers. When one take "full responsibility", one doesn't speak for the other "levels of government." One says, "I am the man at the top and the buck stops here."

Has anyone seen that buck lately? Last time I saw it, former Undersecretary of Homeland Security and former FEMA head Michael Brown had it in his carry-on luggage as he was "getting out of Dodge."

"Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question and it's in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond,"
-GW, in response to a reporter's question on the Bush administration's preparedness for another terrorist attack

Ah... the Ralph Kramden answer. "Humin, humina, humina, humina..." If you have to think about it, then the answer is "no." Just what have you been doing will all that "levee money" you took from New Orleans to "pump up" the Department of Homeland Security. I know.... We just need another "FREEDOM MARCH."

"I'm not going to defend the process going in. I am going to defend the people saving lives."
-GW

It appears you're not going to answer a question either, GW.

"I want people in America to understand how hard people worked to save lives down there,"
-GW

Those must be the ones who weren't on "vacation."

"And then ultimately at the end of the day, we have to reconstitute the communities that have been devastated,"
-Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Secretary

Before we start "reconstituting communities," maybe we can start rebuilding lives first.

"The federal government can't drive permanent solutions down the throats of state and local officials. I don't think anyone should envision a situation in which they're going to take a back seat. They're going to take a front seat,"
-Chertoff

Sounds like the "feds" are ready to get out now, doesn't it? Hey, Mr. Chertoff, are you going to start "reconstituting communities" before or after you leave the state and local governments to fend for themselves?

"We're going to cut through red tape, but we're not going to cut through laws and rules that govern ethics."
-Chertoff

Is it me, because every time I hear these "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party mouthpieces use the word "ethics" the hair on my neck stands up.

Transferring blame in a brand new way, by "taking responsibility." Why, it's ingenious. I wonder if Karl "The Traitor" Rove has anything to do with this?

-Noah Greenberg



I Got Your Looter Right Here

The Missouri attorney general, Jay Nixon, filed a lawsuit this afternoon against InternetDonations.org, the hub for a constellation of Web sites erected over the last several days purporting to collect donations for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Also named in the lawsuit, Mr. Nixon said, is the apparent operator of the donation sites, Frank Weltner, a St. Louis resident and radio talk show personality with ties to neo-Nazi organizations and the notorious Web site JewWatch.com.

The Missouri lawsuit seeks to freeze the assets of Internet Donations Inc., a nonprofit entity registered with the Missouri secretary of state's office by Mr. Weltner on Sept. 2, and to shut down the dozen or so Web sites with names like KatrinaFamilies.com, Katrina-Donations.com and NewOrleansCharities.com. Those sites appear to have been hastily registered and mounted since Hurricane Katrina devastated large swaths of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi last week.

If you look at Weltner's own website (no link), he is in fact raising money for victims of Katrina. Certain victims.
 

To hell with the lawsuit, drop this man headfirst into Lake Pontchartrain.

-Forwarded and commented by Victoria Brownworth



One Crappy Governor Follows Another

 

Governor Rick Perry, Republican of Texas wants US all to contribute to three worthwhile charities to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. One of the three, which includes the Red Cross and the Salvation Army is the OneStar Foundation. Let's see if you can guess who a "founder" of the OneStar Foundation is. C'mon... this one is easy. Why it's Governor Perry himself!

"One thing about politicians, you can never overestimate their shamelessness,"
-Fred Lewis, director of Campaigns for People, a group that favors greater disclosure of political donations and limits on the influence of large donors

"Mr. Perry created OneStar as a nonprofit charitable organization in January 2004 to coordinate faith-based initiatives and promote volunteerism. Its chief executive is Susan Weddington, who left the state Republican Party chairmanship to run the organization."
-The Dallas Morning News

What a guy ...

-Victoria Brownworth and Noah Greenberg



See No Evil...

At first the evidence was scattered and anecdotal. But now it's pretty clear that a key aim of the Bush administration's takeover of the NOLA (New Orleans, LA) situation is to cut off press access to report the story.

First, there were the FEMA Advertisement orders barring members of the press from photographing anything to do with the recovery of the bodies of the dead.

Perhaps there could be guidelines about photographs which in any way clearly identified the deceased. No one wants to get first confirmation of the death of a loved one by seeing their body on the nightly news. But a blanket ban serves only to prevent the public from knowing what really happened last week. And the right of FEMA or any branch of the federal government for that matter to issue such a ban on American soil seems highly dubious to me. It's one thing with military casualties: the military operates under its own legal code and not under normal civilian rules. But this is happening on American soil. This isn't a war zone. Nor is it any longer a situation where police or National Guard troops are in the midst of retaking control from mobs or looters. This is a recovery from a natural disaster.

Now comes this post from Brian Williams, which suggests a general effort to bar reporters from access to many of the key points in the city.

Take a moment to note what's happening here: these are the marks of repressive government, which mixes inefficiency with authoritarianism. The crew that couldn't get key aid on the scene in time last week is coming in in force now. And one of the key missions appears to be cutting off public information about what's happening in the city.

This is a domestic, natural disaster. Absent specific cases where members of the press would interfere or get in the way of some particular clean up operation, or perhaps demolition work, there is simply no reason why credentialed members of the press should not be able to cover everything that is happening in that city.

Think about it.

-Victoria Brownworth


 

The United States of Halliburton?

 

Between the billions this corporation is "earning" in Iraq supposedly supplying and supporting our troops, who are DYING due to lack of proper equipment, and the billions it will earn when poor black neighborhoods are condemned to build a new fake New Orleans (a truly historic city) -- Halliburton/KBR may become the true rulers of a wholly owned subsidiary, formerly known as the United States of America. When will our people wake up?
 

-Pat Thompson



Grover's Boy
(and We Don't Mean Sesame Street)


U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., was one of only 11 members of Congress to vote against the Katrina relief bill (H.R. 3673). Let me say that again: Garrett, our congressman in northwest New Jersey, voted against helping the victims of the worst natural disaster in American history.

The Right Honorable Representative Garrett, the Earl of Sussex, will vote against anything if it slows down Grover Norquist's plan to "get (our government) down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." But I guess Garrett didn't get the memo. Norquist's plan just succeeded.

Garrett should try being more compassionate with his conservatism, and less conservative with his compassion. Some people depend on it.

-Erik Anderson, as forwarded by Eddie Konczal



An Intimate Crowd

In one of the most revolting events of the year, the Department of Defense held a pro-war rally called the "Freedom Walk". The Washington Post reports:

"Tight Constraints on Pentagon's Freedom Walk Event Remembering 9/11, Troops to Be Kept 'Sterile,' Limited to Preregistered Organizers of the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial Freedom Walk on Sunday are taking extraordinary measures to control participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined with police and the event closed to anyone who does not register online by 4:30 p.m. (Friday). The march, sponsored by the DoD, will wend its way from the Pentagon to the Mall along a route that has not been specified but will be lined with four-foot-high snow fencing to keep it closed and "sterile,"... The U.S. Park Police will have its entire DC force of several hundred on duty along the route, on foot, horseback and motorcycles and monitoring from above by helicopter. Officers are prepared to arrest anyone who joins the march or concert without a credential and refuses to leave..."

Some Freedom Walk! All they needed was barbwire and attack dogs to make it perfect. Oh yeah, Clint Black of "Iraq and Roll" fame sung a ditty or two after the "freedom walkers" completed a march for war. Simply awful!

-Robert Scardapane



In response to "After 9/11, the captive right-wing TV and newspaper press went along with every Republican lie. They scammed & conned Americans into believing that Bush had brains between the ears, and that there were lackeys on his staff or in his cabinet competent to do anything beyond warmongering, spinning lies and making excuses." Pat Thompson writes:

Let's see how long our American press, who were shocked by Katrina into developing some backbone, I am totally amazed at the so called "liberal media" who were shocked and shamed into some honest reporting, for the first time in many, many years.

 

They rested on the Monica story for almost two years, replaying every juicy detail ad nauseum. Then they played along with making our best vice president ever look goofy, when he was running against a true idiot in the 2000 race. They acted like it was normal for the Supreme Court to select our President. They gave Bush pass after pass, and even sold the lies emanating from the spin room after 9/11, and the lies leading up to the war in Iraq.

 

The media rarely covered John Kerry, unless you want to want to watch C-Span at 2 a.m. to see the speech Kerry made that day. So many people said, right up to election day "I don't know what he stands for". I blame the media for that. Then we had a very crooked election, and not one of them, except for Keith Olbermann, even reported any of the irregularities in Ohio, Florida and many other places.

 

We now have black box voting machines in so many places, that the neocon crime family can throw any election their way, and the media never says a word. The Iraq war and 1800 casualties, tens of thousands of Iraqi casualties, doesn't merit any outrage. Tearing apart Social Security is fine with them. But now finally, finally, watching our citizens drown in their homes, perish on their roofs, on freeway overpasses and in the "shelters", they did develop some backbone. Let's see if it lasts. Even Brian Williams looks and speaks differently now. It must feel good to be honest for once.



Today's Quotes

"The season has come for Americans to look homeward. Instead of continuing to spend billions in Iraq, let us husband those hard-earned tax dollars and spend them here at home."

"We cannot resolve Iraq's internal issues. It is time for the United States to begin to bring our troops home."

-Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)

***
Darn right! Support the troops, bring them home now.

-Robert Scardapane


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-Noah Greenberg