Note From a Madman

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

In response to "Danger President Bush, Danger," Perry Greenberg writes:

Robbie the Robot was not the name of the robot in LOST IN SPACE. That was the robot's name in the classic 50s Sci-Fi picture FORBIDDEN PLANET. The robot in the trashy 60s sci-fi series didn't have a name. Once again NATIONAL VIEW gets it wrong. Why I'm I not surprised.

And this guy's my brother!

By the way, it's NATIONALVIEW, all one word, you fascist.


(Say "Hi" to Mommy for me.) -NG

Bill Maher On Bush's Drinking

On "Real Time," Bill Maher spoke about the National Enquirer story claiming Bush is drinking again (something John alerted to you earlier this week). Maher joked, look at the proof: Bush is always late, runs up tabs he can't pay and gets in fights with people who weren't bothering him. Maher also called Bush a "Category 5 President."

-Forwarded by Victoria Brownworth

Excerpts from Governor's Blanco's (D-LA) Letter to President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush
August 27, 2005 - 2 Days Before Hurricane Katrina's Landfall

"Parishes expected to receive major damage based on the anticipated track of Hurricane Katrina are:
Ascension, Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington.

"In addition we are expecting that the following parishes to suffer significant damage as tropical storm force wind and heavy rainfall occur in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's landfall: Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Mary, St. Martin, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana."

"I have determined that this incident will be of such severity and magnitude that effective response will be beyond the capabilities of State and the affected local governments and that supplementary Federal assistance will be necessary."

"I request Federal assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property."

"In addition, I anticipate the need for debris removal, which poses an immediate threat to lives, public health, and safety."
-Excerpts from Governor Kathleen Blanco's (D-LA) Letter to President George W. Bush, Asking for Assistance prior to Hurricane Katrina's landfall, August 27, 2005

Today, Former FEMA director and current FEMA investigator (yes, that's right, Brownie the Clownie has been hired back by FEMA to investigate what the FEMA director, Brownie the Clownie, did wrong before, during and after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Only the Bush administration would hire a guy to investigate himself.

Because of the Bush administration's dishonesty regarding Katrina, and their willingness to say anything, Governor Blanco is now going to have to take time off from rebuilding her state to address these lies. She'll have no choice. The Bushie's who "don't want to play the blame game," is going to make it more difficult for the leaders of the state of Louisiana to complete their relief and rebuilding efforts in order to "save face."

I wonder if this went down like this?
ROVE: I understand you're having a hard time finding a new job, being a liar, embellisher and all around screw up and all, Mike.
BROWNIE: Yes sir. That must be it.
ROVE: Here's what we're going to do. We re-hire you to investigate... well... you. Then you testify and tell the congress all of the right things that President Bush did. Then you blame everything on Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin. Okay?
BROWNIE: What about me? Can I say how well I did too?
ROVE: Sure. Why not? But make sure you tell those guys in the House that Blanco never asked for help, especially in New Orleans, you know, Orleans Parrish.
BROWNIE: But she did. She sent the letter to President Bush on August 27.
ROVE: Hey. Do you want a job or not?

Click here to view the entire PDF file (or right-click to download)

AOL users copy and paste

-Noah Greenberg

Brownie the Clownie Testifies Before Congress

"My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional,"
-Former (and current?) FEMA director Michael Brown

What is dysfunction?:
Def: Abnormal or impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or social group.
"The online American Heritage Dictionary

If the Federal government of the "G"lobal "W"arming Bush administration is the body as a whole, then the Department of Homeland Security has to be considered something of an appendage. FEMA, then, is the blood clot that formed in that appendage leaving the whole body struggling to keep from falling apart.

FEMA failed.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. On the day Hurricane Katrina hit, and in the days and weeks afterwards, that weak link was FEMA, and more specifically, Michael Brown.

Does he really believe the crap spewing from his mouth? When I was a child, my father (
God rest his soul) used to tell me, "Before letting stupid words come out of your mouth, let them roll around in your head for awhile." In others words, "Shut up until you know what you're talking about." I wonder what Mr. Brown's father used to tell him?

"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."
-Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)

Why would anyone in the Bush administration surprise you at their hubris, Rep. Jefferson? After all, when asked if he ever made a mistake, their "figurehead leader", Georgie-Boy himself couldn't think of one.

"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,"

Let's review the "good job" that Mr. Brown has done, shall we?

BEFORE Hurricane Katrina:
"I don't think anybody could have anticipated a breach in the levees,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush

"No one can say they didn't see it coming ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."
-The New Orleans Times-Picayune, taken from multiple sources, regarding their series of articles on the cutting of the federal budget for New Orleans' levees and evacuation preparedness

"In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war."
-Sidney Blumenthal

"Had we had the SELA (Southeast Louisiana Flooding) project finished ... we could more efficiently move the water out of the system because it's a big drainage project,"
-Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers

"Those levees are OK under normal times but once every hundred years, that's not enough. We've all said for years that a category 4 or 5 hurricane hit just right on New Orleans, there was nothing there sufficient to prevent New Orleans from being 20 feet under water."
-Former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux (D)

"The longer we wait without funding, the more we sink. I've got at least six levee construction contracts that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about $5 million. And we're going to have to pay them interest."
-Al Naomi, Army Corp pf Engineers Project Manager

"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. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."
-Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, to the Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004

AFTER Hurricane Katrina:
"We wanted soldiers, helicopters, food and water. They (Bush and Co.) wanted to negotiate an organizational chart."
-Denise Bottcher, press secretary for Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D-LA)

"We're still fighting over authority, A bunch of people are the boss. The state and federal government are doing a two-step dance."
-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

"I started making calls and trying to impress upon the White House and others that something needed to be done. The state resources were being overwhelmed, and we needed direct federal assistance, command and control, and security -- all three of which are lacking."
-Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., (R-La.), who spent 48 hours begging President Bush to send help

"Why did it happen? Who needs to be fired?"
-Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, south of New Orleans

"FEMA has just been very slow to make these decisions,"
-Adam Sharp, a spokesman for Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), noting that FEMA continually help up critical assistance

"When Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water, FEMA officials turned them away, Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish's emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA."
-The New York Times, paraphrasing Jefferson Parrish President Aaron Broussard

"They (FEMA) kept promising and saying things would happen. I was getting excited and telling people that. They kept making promises and promises."
-Mayor Nagin

My third favorite "HUH?" is 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.

This was AFTER the hurricane hit. Everyone with a television (who wasn't watching Fox News' 24-hour coverage of Natalee Hallway) knew about the people stranded in the New Orleans Convention Center by this time. Maybe Brownie's TV broke.

My second favorite "HUH?" moment came from Larry King Live, the Wednesday AFTER Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast:
BROWN: 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 (in the drill for Hurricane Pam). So we planned for it two years ago. Last year, we exercised it. And unfortunately this year, we're implementing it.

Just what did Brownie implement? This last quote was especially appalling because Brown is trying to take credit for a job well done. At this point, it appears that he still feels that everything is going according to plan. I'm just curious as to what the outcome of fictitious "Hurricane Pam" was?

Did the fake busses come when they were needed?

Were warnings heeded from make-believe officials?

Did the imaginary citizens of a grateful New Orleans throw a parade in your honor, Mr. Brown for a "job well done?"

Maybe "Brownie the Clownie" was even waving from his imaginary convertible during Mardi Gras, after "he" saved New Orleans from Pam.

And for my favorite "HUH?" moment:
BROWN: We got it done.

Just what, in
GOD'S name did you "get done," Brownie?

Brown did admit making two mistakes:
1- Not having more media briefings
2- "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."

Talk about self-serving statements. This guy is incredible.

By having more "media briefings", just what did Michael Brown think he would accomplish? (That was a rhetorical question.) It is obvious that Brownie would have continued to shift blame (of course, the Bush administration doesn't want to play the "blame game" unless it's their turn to point the finger); and point out all the good that FEMA was doing (real or not, I'm sure that's how Brownie saw it).

And that second statement... WOW! Just when did YOU, Mr. Brown, sit down with either Mayor Nagin or Governor Blanco, before, during or after Katrina hit? Did you pick up a phone and call them? Did you send a representative? Just what did you do in your efforts of communications to bring the parties together, Brownie?

"FEMA doesn't evacuate communities. FEMA does not do law enforcement. FEMA does not do communications."

Just what does YOUR FEMA do, Mr. Brown? Does it clean up after Arabian horses?

"I'm happy you left. Because that kind of, you know, look in the lights like a deer tells me that you weren't capable to do the job."
-Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT)

"You get an F-minus in my book,"
-Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS)

And this little exchange:
BROWN: So I guess you want me to be the superhero, to step in there and take everyone out of New Orleans.
SHAYS: What I wanted you to do is do your job and coordinate.

Rep. Shays left out, "You arrogant son of a (fill in the blank yourself).

Brown "speaks for himself and he's entitled to his point of view, and I don't have anything to add."
-Chertoff, in Miami, away from Congress' questions

Way to stick up for your boy there, Secretary Chertoff

"I know what death and destruction is and I know how much people suffer. And it breaks my heart. I pray for these people every night. So don't lecture me about knowing what disaster is like."

Yep. Now Michael Brown is the poster boy of "What NOT To Do."

"I probably should have just resigned my post earlier and gone public with some of these things..."

I can go you one better, Brownie. You should have never taken the job in the first place.

I can think of one natural disaster that keeps on destroying, and it has a little over three years left in office.

-Noah Greenberg

Katrina's Aftermath in DC

The senate voted down Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) proposal to appoint an independent commission to investigate the government's response to Hurricane Katrina (as they did in regard to 9/11) 54-44 along party lines.

''We should not outsource our oversight responsibilities,''
-Bob Stevenson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN)

Why shouldn't they outsource it? they've outsourced everything else. I wonder if Lou Dobbs knows about this?

As if Frist didn't have enough problems of his own, especially with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) insider trading investigation that is getting under way regarding his "Selling High" of his shares in his family's business ' (HCA) stocks just before they hit "rock bottom."

''We need to help these individuals in crisis,''
-Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee

So the senator wants to allow Katrina victims to enter the Medicaid system. That's a nice start, but what about the other 45 million Americans without Health Insurance. I know we need to help these people, but we need to help all people who, by no fault of their own, don't have the ability to see a doctor when they are sick. If a small child develops a terrible disease in Ohio, and her parents don't have health care coverage, is she less worthy of receiving the kind of care that could save her life than a child who is the victim of Katrina?

The senators additionally want to allow an extra 13-weeks of unemployment insurance to those who lost their jobs due to Katrina. Isn't it funny (as in ironic) how these hypocrites wouldn't help anyone as they fell off the unemployment rolls due to "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's first term net job loss, but they are willing to help now. Better late than never.

I wonder if the extra 13-weeks will contribute to the rise in unemployment numbers released by the Department of Labor, or will GW and his cronies, find a way to make them disappear?

We all know that these guys are just fiddling while Rome still burns.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to "By not allowing the people of Iraq the ability to rebuild their own country, we, the US, took a tenuous situation and made it horrible in Iraq. Just what do you think is going to happen when the poor people of New Orleans see out-of-town contractors come in to rebuild their town?", Rhian writes:

Noah, I absolutely agree that the people of New Orleans should get the jobs to rebuild their own city. I absolutely agree that the people of New Orleans should be the ones who form the contracting companies to get the bids on rebuilding New Orleans.

Unfortunately, there are some problems. When Katrina hit 65% of households in New Orleans were headed by single moms, average number of children was 11. (I had to blink twice on that one, what? Statistics from Loyola) The average age of the general population was 53. New Orleans population had been shrinking for over 20 years.

Construction people are skilled, hardened, and fairly young, or are seasoned from the punitive work conditions till young doesn't matter. They have tools and transportation, minimum, or they don't work. Indeed cannot work. Basic tool rigs, called hand tools range in investment from $300 (apprentices) to $5000 (journeymen).

Even small contractors have $10,000 to $500,000 invested in licensing, bonding, insurance, training, and tool-up expense. Tool-up is the big stuff that the employees are not expected to provide when they walk on the job site. Safety is an enormous expense for every single contractor on every single job site, as workman's comp fees for construction corporations are extraordinarily high.

A contractor might bid out on a job, and include $10.00 per man per hour, just for workman's comp coverage. And, be low.

Because of safety considerations, drug testing is a big deal. There are pretty much zero tolerance guidelines for drug tests, mandatory on hire-in, across the board.

On any given job site there are five trades present. Language barriers between US citizens and Mexicans are a HUGE problem in the Southwest, affecting safety as well as friendly working conditions, but New Orleans has a singular problem with putting the local force to work, other than the fact the population base is out of proportion to supply young, healthy, drug free, predominately male employees with $300 to $5000 dollars worth of tools, with transportation, with the physical stamina to take 10 hour days six days per week, on a construction site, which is pretty standard for commercial and industrial construction. Those who come anywhere near to qualifying physically for the work, are likely to be ex-cons and/or gang members.

Ex-cons and gang members present on a job site, are not likely to be controllable in the work environment, (fights) nor are they likely to be drug free. Stealing on site is also, a safety hazard of extreme volatility. Tools are everywhere and cannot be watched constantly, and any actual work get done. Career construction people do not steal from each other. Those moving into construction work learn very quickly that their lives depend on their honesty with other employees.

Math skills are necessary. Quick and accurate, in pi, for the US not metric, which means reading a tape measure. It is amazing how few people not acquainted with construction have no idea what 3/4 inch means, and how much of a disaster and expense it is to a company when a piece of pipe, or board, or beam, is cut to 8'6" rather than the 8'6" and 3/4" that was called for.

Initial training for newbies takes two years of full time work if they have the passion for it. Most don't, can't, won't hang with it for a variety of reasons. It's hard. It makes you hurt. It's long hours and nobody is ever paid enough to have what they build (in the way of nice houses). Although, the pay scales are pretty high, it's transitory. There is no job security in construction.

Job sites are manned, and eventually finished and the job is over. Those who have been paid the most are laid off, and the lower end guys taken to the next job site, if they can and will, get there at their own expense. Higher end guys take a pay cut to get in on the next one. It is the nature of the business and feelings don't count for squat throughout the hiring, lay-offs, the work in progress or the interaction between supervisors, foreman, journeymen, apprentices and helpers. Benefits packages are laughable.
Whining is a reason to get fired.

New Orleans is not going to get built by single moms with 11 kids, over the age of 35, with no training or experience. Nor it likely to get built by the guys who are roaming around there right now, looting, raping, and being shot on sight by the National Guard, various police force presence and Blackwater ops.

Rebuilding New Orleans is, unfortunately, going to get done by those who have money, investments, experience and access to skilled manpower. However, it's not all bad. Construction people need lots of food, love to eat out, drink, party, and have to buy tools constantly, because tough as the tools are, they still break. Construction people need Carharts, tires for their trucks, fuel, commodities, need taxis home from the bars, and are quite willing to spend most of what they make wherever they are, locally. They need banks to cash checks, or arrange direct deposit, coffee, muffins, slim jims, and motel rooms, shirts, bandanas, cooling bandana rolls, hats, smokes, T-shirts, jeans, boots, (required by OSHA). Despite all precautions they do hurt themselves and need stitches, and broken bone repairs. A walk-in, sports medicine care center does really well in a construction zone.

Whole cities grow up around major construction sites. Rio Rancho in New Mexico, while an Intel plant was under construction, is a perfect example. A city who hosts construction, is a boom city. And yeah, most of the construction people will be white, or Hispanic, and yeah, they will hire whatever they can get locally, but yeah, will leave you when they leave, just like they do everybody.

New Orleans, brace yourselves and stock up on stuff to sell a whole new class of people, who get up and go to work really early, party till really late, spend money and eat constantly,

Cutting the CDC?
What a Bunch of Morons

The list of budget cuts proposed by House Republicans to save the president's tax cuts includes some frightening choices. And the big thing that sticks out is just how much comes out of Medicare. But a bit down further into the document which they put out there's a $1.8 billion annual cut in funding for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That's great thinking, seeing as though we don't need to worry about Avian Flu from South Asia or other contagious diseases any more. Because the new surge in TB, the escalating cases of AIDS, the re-appearance of whooping cough and diphtheria in the U.S., the onset of all the diseases from the Gulf hurricanes and the influx of other diseases from other nations don't threaten us at all, right? Wasn't it in 2000 that former Secretary of State Colin Powell asserted that AIDS in the developing world was a form of terrorism for the U.S. and posed an equal threat? And wasn't there a big crisis over flu vaccine last year? So slashing the budget there makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

-Victoria Brownworth

Today's "Surprising" Quote

"I'm not surprised"
-Doug Forrester on the endorsement of John Corzine by New Jersey's African American ministers

Well then, I bet "Dougie-Boy", as I'm sure President Bush calls him won't be "surprised" when Jon Corzine's list of endorsements for governor continues to grow.

Here are some of the groups that have already endorsed senator Jon Corzine for new Jersey's next governor:
New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association
Latino Leadership Alliance Political Action Committee
United Food and Commercial Workers Healthcare Division
Health Professionals and Allied Employees union
Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization
New Jersey Laborers Union
Rutgers Council of the American Association of University Professors
Council of State College Locals
Probation Association of New Jersey
Latino Leadership Alliance Political Action Committee
United Auto Workers Region 9. Members of the UAW – officially, the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
New Jersey State AFL-CIO
just to name a few..

Doug Forrester has a few endorsements of his own, but they have been limited to the likes of other "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party members such as:
Republican Monmouth County Freeholder Robert Clifton
Former Republican, Congressman, and failed candidate for governor and
US Senator (hey. that sounds familiar) Dick Zimmer
and other Republicans such as Rep. Frank LoBiondo, who recently stated:

"Hitler, in his philosophy, was, you know, he hated Jews, he was murdering Jews, and there were some people he liked. But he never went to the level that these people (fanatical Islamist terrorists) are going to,"
Rep. LoBiondo

I wonder who Rick Santorum's supporting?

-Noah Greenberg

Today's Bush Quote

"Terrorists are the kind of people who look at Katrina and wish they had caused it. We're in a war with these people."

Bush, are you just plain nuts? Conflating 9/11 with Katrina ... give it a rest.


-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg