Condi Pulls Out the “Latte Defense” Card

Condi angryJust when you think you’ve heard it all… Our ever embarrassing secretary of state says one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in quite some time.

Here’s the situation. Bill O’Reilly actually stops being a Republican cheerleader for a few minutes and begins asking some serious questions. Obviously, Condi has two options. A) Tell the truth B) Pull excuses out of her ass.

You be the judge. The quote:

O’Reilly: The truth of the matter is our correspondents at Fox News can’t go out for a cup of coffee in Baghdad.

Rice: Bill, that’s tough. It’s tough. But what… would they have wanted to have gone out for a cup of coffee when Saddam Hussein was in power?

And folks, there ya have it. The ‘latte defense’. Would they have wanted to get a cup of coffee if Saddam was in power. Let’s extrapolate that logic to further humiliate her for picking option B.

O’Reilly: The truth of the matter is our correspondents at Fox News can’t even take a shit in public restrooms in Baghdad.

Rice: Bill, that’s tough. It’s tough. But what… would they have wanted to take a dump when Saddam Hussein was in power?

Hmmm, I know I sure would have! In fact, I would pretty much rather do all the things I normally do, regardless of who happens to be in power. Heck, from New Orleans have no houses or a place to work. But would they really have wanted to have homes if John Kerry or *gasp* Michael Badnarik was in charge?

These are the tough questions we all must face.

I wish I could make this shit up.

Hat tip to for the article and vid hosting.

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Why Did This Happen?

I don’t know if this is true but if it is it proves that government workers allowed people to die after refusing to allow a doctor to treat victims.

In the midst of administering chest compressions to a dying woman several days after Hurricane Katrina struck, Dr. Mark N. Perlmutter was ordered to stop by a federal official because he wasn’t registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“I begged him to let me continue,” said Perlmutter, who left his home and practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Pennsylvania to come to Louisiana and volunteer to care for hurricane victims. “People were dying, and I was the only doctor on the tarmac (at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport) where scores of nonresponsive patients lay on stretchers. Two patients died in front of me.

Read more.

It gets worse.

Gerhart said the scene they confronted at the airport was one of “hundreds of people lying on the ground, many soaked in their own urine and feces, some coding (dying) before our eyes.” FEMA workers initially seemed glad for help and asked Gerhart to work inside the terminal and Perlmutter to work out on the tarmac. They were told only a single obstetrician had been on call at the site for the past 24 hours.

Then, the Coast Guard official informed the group that he could not credential them or guarantee tort coverage and that they should return to Baton Rouge. “That shocked me, that those would be his concerns in a time of emergency,” Gerhart said.

Read full story.

I hope this man is lying but if he is telling the truth it is just more evidence of government corruption.


Posse Comitatus Act, Farewell…

The Posse Comitatus Act is:

…a federal law of the United States (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed in 1878, after the end of Reconstruction, and was intended to prohibit Federal troops from supervising elections in former Confederate states. It generally prohibits Federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under Federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress.

It sounds like the PCA is coming under fire and that Bush and Co. are going to use the Katrina disaster to rid us of this pesky law:


President Bush’s push to give the military a bigger role in responding to major disasters like Hurricane Katrina could lead to a loosening of legal limits on the use of federal troops on U.S. soil.


Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said, “I believe the time has come that we reflect on the Posse Comitatus Act.” He advocated giving the president and the secretary of defense “correct standby authorities” to manage disasters.

Personally, I believe this SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. The PCA should remain as is.

If there are any Republicans out there who STILL believe that Bush is a conservative… you are lying to yourself.


Christians: Is this a lesson from God?

Since religion plays a huge role in the conservative constituency, I was wondering what their religoius perceptions might be on the whole Katrina disaster. Bush asks God for help in his latest radio address and constantly asks God to bless America. Is God not listening? Or maybe he’s trying to tell us something?

With a vociferous Christian representation in the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Bush administration in a country where many claim it to be a “Christian Nation,” you would think that a Christian God would show it some favor. No?

With the attacks of 9-11, the Iraq “War” and now Hurricane Katrina I can’t imagine that the faith of Christians isn’t being tested right now.

So, how do Christians view all of this? Do you share the views of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell? Just another beautiful day in the neighborhood?

Any insight would be appreciated because where I live, the normally outspoken religous folk have become surprisingly reserved…


Stripping for tax dollars…

FEMA issued around 10,500 credit cards, each having a $2,000 balance, in a pilot program attempting to give Hurricane Katrina survivors funds to purchase the necessities. I guess the word “necessary” is subjective.


On the heels of a report earlier this week that Atlanta area Katrina victims were using $2,000 debit cards to purchase luxury items like Louis Vuitton handbags, Houston police yesterday discovered the cards, provided by FEMA and the Red Cross, being used at local strip clubs.

There have been reports where people have provided false identification so that they can obtain as many cards as they can get. FEMA is still giving two grand per family through direct deposit but of course no limitations are associated with the funds. Hey, I guess they have the RIGHT to spend it as they choose, well, so says Bill Hildebrandt, chief executive officer of the Mid-South chapter of the Red Cross:

“If they make an inappropriate decision as to what to purchase, the whole issue of victims’ rights comes into play. They have a right, I guess, to be inappropriate.”

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Barr Speaks Up on a Lot of Issues

I’ve been following former GA congressman (of Monica-Gate fame) Bob Barr for some time. That he is involved with both the NRA and the ACLU shows that he defies contemporary political labeling. He has been moving further and further away from the GOP for some time, and actually endorsed Badnarik for president.

One thing concerning a lot of people in the freedom movement is Barr’s very non-libertarian track record on issues like the war on drugs and equal rights for homosexuals. Barr didn’t address either of these issues in his latest article, but he did make some of the strongest anti-GOP statements on a variety of topics I’ve ever heard from him.

The thrust of the article is that a lot of people in politics are relieved that Hurricane Katrina occurred, as it removes our attention from these issues:

“…the babblings of Pat Robertson, who apparently had pieced together a list of world leaders he’d like to assassinate, headed for some inexplicable reason by tinhorn, leftist Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.”

“Presidential guru Karl Rove probably heaved a sigh of relief that could be felt all the way from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to Austin, Texas, in response to the good fortune of having the investigation of the leak of the identity of former intelligence undercover operative Valerie Plame shifted from Page One to being buried in the food sections of newspapers across this land.”

“Even though U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) remains under investigation for illegal financial dealings involving an associate in the defense industry, at least his picture is no longer gracing the front pages of state, regional and national papers.”

“While I suspect analysis of how our right to privacy in America is being decimated by the USA Patriot Act and other government actions will continue not to be a subject of extensive front-page newspaper coverage, at least we haven’t had to read stories day after day comparing political and tribal leaders in Iraq to our Founding Fathers.”

He picked on Democrats, as well:

“Closer to Katrina’s former eye, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) has been afforded an opportunity to shift attention from the sordid story that shortly before Katrina hit, federal agents searching two of his homes looking for evidence of financial improprieties apparently found a large amount of cash in a freezer.”

“Then there is Cindy Sheehan, the sad mother of a son killed in Iraq, who in the days before Hurricane Katrina pushed much other, and more important, news below the fold in newspapers here and across America. Let’s hope she is taking advantage of this respite to reassess whether becoming the poster child for the anti-Bush crowd is the best way to commemorate the tragedy of losing a son in the service of his country.”

And we gained a glimpse of his views on Iraq:

“In the international arena, we have pervasive coverage of the hurricane disaster to thank for affording us a respite from news coverage of Iraq’s problems drafting a constitution.

Without trying to sound callous, I was growing a bit weary of hearing about whether the Shiites, the Kurds or the Sunnis were happy with, dismayed about or neutral toward the latest draft of the Iraqi Constitution.

I’m not really sure how important this debate is even to the people of Iraq, but I admit it doesn’t concern me greatly. I would much prefer to be hearing and reading about what’s happening to our Constitution in the wake of continued erosion of our civil liberties than about constitutional draftsmen in Baghdad.”

I dunno where Barr is moving politicly, but the new location is certainly closer to the intersection of Freedom Street and Liberty Lane than his old digs where Blow Job Alley crosses Drug Warrior Drive.


Consumer Confidence Falls – Is the Dollar Next?

dollar bill other currencies. And why wouldn’t they? As Congressman Ron Paul states, we have a 3 billion dollar daily trade deficit. Eventually, those people letting us purchase on credit are going to wise up and (shock) spend those dollars they’ve been collecting. The flood of dollars back on the market will (potentially) cause a snowball effect as everyone switches to a more stable form of currency that doesn’t devalue in buying power so quickly. Do the math. 10 percent more dollars on the market equals 10 percent less buying power apiece… for everything, not just gas.

Luckily, I still have some of the pre-1965 quarters that have actual silver left in them. Who knows, maybe someday they’ll make me rich. All those lotto tickets certainly haven’t helped.

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George Bush Lights Up New Orleans

Bush leaving New OrleansAccording to MSNBC’s Brian Williams, thirty minutes before his visit, they turned on. And then an hour later, they went back out (Thanks Mike Nelson!):

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It’s enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it… jump to certain conclusions.

Like what? That someone hooked a generator up to some powerline so that Bush could give another vacuous speech on top of a disaster, promising to fix all our worldly problems?

No, never.

Update: We know there’s a hilarious joke about George Bush getting lit in New Orleans so we’ll let him tell that one himself (Daily Show also hit this, shown near the end of clip):

I believe that the great city of New Orleans will rise again and be a greater city of New Orleans. (Applause.) I believe the town where I used to come from, Houston, Texas, to enjoy myself — occasionally too much — (laughter) — will be that very same town, that it will be a better place to come to.


Dare to Escape California Taxes

Alex Tabarrok over at Marginal Revolution takes a cursory look at just how difficult it is to remove yourself from the grasp of bad government these days (via Coyote Blog):

Some high income earners are leaving California because of its punitive tax rates. Could low- and middle-income workers be leaving as well? One crude measure is to examine the one-way rental rates for U-Haul vans. Using U-Haul’s website, I queried a one-way rental for a 10-foot van for October 1st, 2005.

One-Way Trip Price
Los Angeles to Las Vegas $454.00
Las Vegas to Los Angeles $119.00
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Jail those who abuse tax-payer funds…

Right now on C-SPAN they are running the Democrat’s statement on the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman from California’s 8th District, just stepped down from the podium after ranting against the President and talking about everything she’s doing to help. What caught my attention was Pelosi’s threat to contractors who might abuse government funding. To paraphrase:

If contractors abuse tax-payer money, they will go to jail…

Anyone for amending Pelosi’s statement into the Constitution and have it applied to law makers?

Update: On the same thought of holding politicians accountable, Neal Boortz wants to enact a law that would require an addendum to be added to the end of every proposed spending bill. He proposes the following text:

Every sponsor or co-sponsor of this legislation hereby affirms his or her belief that the need for the federal government of the United States to spend taxpayer funds on the purposes outlined herein is of greater importance and urgency than any spending needs which the party or parties who actually earned these funds may have, such needs being, but not necessarily limited to, spending for medical care, child care, housing, food, clothing, transportation, education, insurance, savings and retirement planning.

You know, just a simple reminder to keep things in perspective…


Wiretapping Houses of Worship

In a speech given at the Brookings Institute, the governor of one of our more liberal states suggested today that we should start wiretapping Christian churches and conducting surveillence of students coming over from Europe in order to combat religious zealotry and eurocentrist thought processes.

Yo, conservatives, does that piss you off?

In reality, it was a Republican who suggested that we treat law abiding mosques in the US in this manner, and that we place students from Islamic countries under surveillence. The Boston Globe reports:

Governor Mitt Romney raised the prospect of wiretapping mosques and conducting surveillance of foreign students in Massachusetts, as he issued a broad call yesterday for the federal government to devote far more money and attention to domestic intelligence gathering.

While it may seem a bit harsh, a Romney spokesperson puts our mind at ease, fortunately:

”The governor believes we can strike a balance between what is necessary to protect our homeland while respecting individual freedom and liberty,” Teer said.

It seems the only freedom they are concerned about protecting is their own. If you are moslem and live in Massachussetts, expect to get your ass tapped.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: In a related surveillance story, when the government watches an actual terrorist, and then screws up at catching that terrorist before they complete their mission, the answer seems to be: destroy the evidence (via cryptogon).

A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday.

The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to name the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.

Weldon declined to name the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as “2.5 terabytes” – as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.


Get Your War On is Back (with Katrina)

Get Your Katrina On

My favorite web artist, David Rees has finally updated his most awesome Get Your War On series. There’s a ton of new ground covered in the latest installment, I’m in tears laughing so damn hard because it’s so true.

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Google: Bush Ranked # 1 Failure

Do a Google search for the word “Failure” without the quotes and see what results you get. George Bush is number one and Michael Moore is number two.

Do you think Google is trying to tell us something about these two people? This could be a sign.

Also dont blame me I supported Michael Badnarik for President and he is not on the list, I knew Bush was a failure a long time ago. My only question is when will John Kerry make number three on the list.

Thanks to Who Hijacked Our Country for providing this information.

Update: A Yahoo search for failure turns up George Bush as the third link.

Previously on Hammer of Truth:
George Bush: Still a Failure, No Longer Miserable


Racism in LA, MS and AL? Never…

A majority of people surveyed agree we pull numbers out of our butts.

There has been a lot of talk about whether race was a factor in the FUBAR Katrina relief efforts. Dubya pulled a good sound-byte out of his butt with, “The storm didn’t discriminate, and neither will the recovery effort. When those Coast Guard choppers were pulling people off roofs, they didn’t check the color of a person’s skin. They wanted to save lives.”

Gallup polled on the topic, and found the following:

Six in 10 blacks say the fact that most hurricane victims were poor and black was one factor behind the failure of the federal government to come to their rescue quickly. Nearly nine in 10 non-Hispanic whites say those weren’t factors.

Most of my black friends do honestly believe that race was a factor. My white friends are a lot more split that the survey indicates, though.

To be clear, I have seen no clear-cut evidence of racism, so I’ll not pronounce my verdict on this situation, yet. But I’d like to ask a few questions to be pondered:

  1. (from the article) “If it had been a 17-year-old white cheerleader who was caught in the water, [would] somebody would have tried to get there faster[?]
  2. For a variety of reasons, the lowest lying areas in New Orleans were primarily inhabited by the poor and the black. Was instutional or societal racism involved?
  3. Rep. Baker of Baton Rouge was overheard telling lobbyists: “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”
  4. Could it be that race was not an issue, but systemic problems occurred because the most serious of the victims (of all colors) were from the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder?
  5. Post 9/11 relief efforts were considerably less FUBAR. However, the typical Manhattan resident or Pentagon employee has a much greater level of political access than the victims in the SE. Because 9/11 victims tended to better connected, did the authorities place a greater emphasis after that tragedy?

Photo courtesy of


Global Survey: Few Trust Politicians

Such earth-shattering news:

One of the most striking findings was international disillusionment with politicians. They achieved extremely low confidence ratings, with only 13 percent trusting them.

Two out of three people polled around the globe felt unrepresented by their governments.

[…]There was a global desire to put more power in the hands of intellectuals such as writers and academics, the survey showed.

They say that now, but you gotta wonder why that desire falls apart during election time. Wait, nevermind.

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Inde-Liber-Green-ulist files to run for Senate in MD

When I was working on the Badnarik campaign, Kevin Zeese was my counterpart in the Nader camp. Rumors have abounded for some time that he is running for US Senate in Maryland. They were confirmed today yesterday (I’m back in campaign mode and don’t realize what time of day it is) by the Baltimore Sun and the Business Gazette.

From the Gazette:

Zeese, 49, an attorney, is running as an Independent in the hopes of galvanizing support from the Green, Libertarian and Populist parties while attracting voters from the Democrat and Republican candidates.

He plans to make the war in Iraq a central theme of his campaign, and drew a parallel between the war and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

“Katrina is the Iraq war coming home to roost. Instead of taking care of our crumbling infrastructure, misplaced federal spending priorities have made our entire nation vulnerable,” Zeese said in a statement.

He said anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, is going to headline an event for him at the University of Maryland later this month.

I’ve met with Zeese before (pertaining to a C-SPAN panel I was on, but mostly related to Ohio recount issues), and consumed a couple of cell phone charges with him, too. He’s a good guy, knows his stuff, is well connected, and presents himself well. I’ll be watching the fundraising, but an early prediction is that this may well be a race to watch closely.

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Stop The Bop

If ever in a time our eighth amendment has been violated it is now. This is cruel and unusual punishment. It was bad enough when the song first came out and I would be forced to listen to it on the radio but now it is getting played over and over again.

“Suggested by a few members of the student council, the school is playing Hanson’s 1996 hit “MMMBop” through the loudspeakers before classes begin, between periods and during lunch. The idea? Annoy students into donating; have them pay to stop the music.”

Read more.

I imagine if they did this at my school I would pay the three thousand dollars by myself just to get the damn song to stop playing.

We libertarians should join together to stop this cruel and unusual punishment, even now I am starting to think there are exceptions to the first amendment well not really but I did get elected as vice president of the student council because of things less horrible.

Vote Libertarian for student council and we won’t subject you to this kind of punishment from your leaders.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: It’s a private school, so uhhh… sucks to be you, preppy Catholic kids.

Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, Pa.


John Roberts Umpire Tryout: Day Three

Roberts meeting SpecterWell, our coverage yesterday was more on the light-hearted side, so let’s take a deeper look at the confirmation process today (we’ll leave the heavy vetting to Wonkette). More serious coverage availiable at SCOTUSblog.

Most importantly, Roberts answered the question on every property owner’s mind: what are his thoughts on the government taking your property and giving it to another private entity. To keep with the baseball analogies, he smashed it out of the park:

“This body and legislative bodies in the states are protectors of the people’s rights,” Roberts said on the third day of his confirmation hearings.

Congress has been working on legislation that would ban the use of federal funds for any project that gets a go-ahead relying on the Kelo v. City of New London, Conn., decision.

“It’s not simply a question of legislating to address particular needs, but you obviously have to also be cognizant of the people’s rights and you can protect them in situations where the court has determined, as it did 5-4 in Kelo, that they are not going to draw that line,” Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“This body and legislative bodies in the states are protectors of the people’s rights,” Roberts said on the third day of his confirmation hearings.

So far Roberts can toe the libertarian line on the roles of the three branches of government, and he’s aptly pointed out that it’s up to Congress to write the laws and for the judiciary to say whether they are Constitutional (and not play judicial activist with bizzare interpretations). That said, Roberts has pretty much tossed this ball back at Congress and told them they need to clarify Amendment V — “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” — possibly in a new amendment ensuring that private property cannot be take for private use either.

Hey, it’s not a perfect solution, and things would have been a hell of a lot better if Kelo had gone the other way, but at least it’s a start.

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POTUS Needs to Potty

POTUS needs to potty

Ok, all joking aside (and this is funny)…

Why does president Bush have to ask for permission to take a bathroom break?

Update: From a MeFi comment:

I don’t think anyone anticipated the levees breaking.

SHENANIGANS!!! Retracted, read on: On closer analysis, I call bullshit on the Reuters caption. I have a huge problem with this: Handwriting changes after question mark, this was likely passed from Condi (she is mentioned, so that’s the most logical) someone to Bush and he was replying (style seems to switch, one is hard capitals and moves to lazy cursive).

I have a feeling somebody’s gonna dig up the CSPAN video or whatever and nail Reuters to the wall (showing Bush never started a note pass or other such nonsense, I’m sure someone’s on that road already).

Don’t forget there’s other samples of Bush’s handwriting availiable in photo format (this is called evidence, natch): Let freedom reign, handwriting GIS.

How the caption should probably read:

U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to replies to a note from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice whoever

Again over at MeFi: kokogiak points out that neither looks like Rice’s handwriting either. Someone at Reuters may have either gotten punked by a photog or is just making up captions.

Update (9/15): I’m trying to get confirmation from Reuters on who provided the caption, was it edited, etc. Here’s an email I sent to Stephen Naru, the media contact who was mentioned in this Editor & Publisher article:

I am doing some investigating into the notorious Bush bathroom note and I was wondering if you could tell me who provided the caption. Was it printed verbatim as it was received from Wilking or was it edited by someone at Reuters before being sent across the wires?

Is there a way to get ahold of Wilking? I’d like to ask him to confirm some details if that’s a possibility.

Another Update: Snopes is on the case as well. It seems the truth is still getting its boots on.

Update (9/15 evening): Photo District News got a chance to talk to Rick Wilking and Reuters photo editor Gary Hershorn about the photograph. Based on the interview, it would appear that Bush actually did write the note:

The caption says that Bush was writing the note to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice; Hershorn says Wilking saw Bush write the note and hand the note to Rice.

Hershorn says heads of state seldom attend Security Council meetings, and it’s possible that Bush was simply asking his secretary of state what the proper protocol was to be excused.

I’d like to know whether Wilking saw him write the entire note (I’ll drop my shenanigans charge if he did), but I have a feeling there’s not going to be any more to this story.

MEA CULPA!!!: I retract my shenanigans call. Editor & Publisher follows up (via Wonkette):

The fact is, according to Reuters — and this has not been widely reported — President Bush did indeed take a bathroom break after passing the note to Rice.

This apparently raised some eyebrows around the room, because American representatives (among others) have a reputation for suddenly bolting, though normally for a far different reason than this latest one. Fair or not, the European press has already had a field day with the photo, often centering on the notion that Bush had to ask Rice for permission.

[…]”Rick had no idea what he was shooting, or what Bush was writing,” Hershorn said. “If Rick knew what he was writing we’d have 25 pictures of this, not two.”

[…]Gary Hershorn, news editor-photos for the Americas at Reuters, told E&P today that the photographer, Rick Wilking, informed him yesterday afternoon that he had observed Bush pass the note to Rice, and a little later, rise from his seat, leave the room, and then return.

Ok, everyone, you can go back to making jokes about the presidential poo now (I can’t wait to see The Daily Show on this tonight).


Chertoff Delayed FEMA; Busy Restoring Pipeline

DHS ChertoffHere’s an interesting wrinkle in the Katrina debacle, it now appears that in the days following Katrina, the White House and DHS was more focused on restoring the Gulf coast oil and gas pipelines than in responding to the human emergency:

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast.

That order – to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. – delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt.

[…]Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney’s office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately.

Jordan dated the first call the night of Aug. 30 and the second call the morning of Aug. 31. Southern Pines supplies electricity to the substation that powers the Colonial pipeline.

Cheney’s office referred calls about the pipeline to the Department of Homeland Security.

Ah, so DHS was on the job of making sure the pipeline was restored, but what does this mean for Chertoff, head of Homeland Security? Connect the dots and you’ll understand why the delay in getting FEMA help into New Orleans (hint, it’s not as simple as Michael Brown being incompetent, that only compounded the delay):

But according to a memo obtained by Knight Ridder, Chertoff didn’t shift that power to Brown until late afternoon or evening on Aug. 30, about 36 hours after Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi. That same memo suggests that Chertoff may have been confused about his lead role in disaster response and that of his department.

[…]That same day, Aug. 31, the Department of Defense, whose troops and equipment are crucial in such large disasters, activated its Task Force Katrina. But active-duty troops didn’t begin to arrive in large numbers along the Gulf Coast until Saturday.

So the moral of the story is: if you want the federal government to rescue you out of your flooded house in your broke-ass neighborhood, you better hope the flooding is due to a nearby oil or gas pipeline rupturing.


Bush Seeks U.N. Support

The reason he is trying to find U.N. support must be because he can’t find support in his own country. Hispanic Business says the following:

“The heavily-criticized response to hurricane disaster has depressed US President George W. Bush’s job-approval rating to the lowest point of his presidency at 42 percent, according to a latest survey.”

Read more.

“There is broad opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq among the more than 160 presidents, prime ministers and kings gathered for three days of U.N. General Assembly meetings. Many leaders also would rather hear Bush finally relent and support an international treaty on global warming or promise to donate foreign aid at a level more proportionate to other rich nations.”/blockquote>

Read more.

I find it almost funny that anyone thinks this nation is rich after checking and finding out this country is almost eight trillion dollars in debt. And why should we be funding other nations when as Barbara Bush points out we have underprivileged right here in America.


God Outdoes Terrorists Yet Again New Orleans PicEven though it’s a week old, I couldn’t let this gem slip by from The Onion.

Here are some of the subheadlines:

  • Louisiana National Guard Offers Help By Phone From Iraq
  • Government Relief Workers Mosey In To Help
  • Refugees Moved From Sewage-Contaminated Superdome To Hellhole Of Houston
  • White Foragers Report Threat Of Black Looters

It’s good to know we’ll always have The Onion to tell us like it is.


DC Declares Itself “Disaster Area”

In just 4 easy steps, fix your city’s budget problems:

  • Step 1. Offer a place to stay to Katrina victims.
  • Step 2. When none show up, fly them in.
  • Step 3. Declare your town a disaster area, receive federal funds.
  • Step 4. Profit!

Of course, as the article astutely points out. Many of us already knew Washington DC is a disaster area, and we’ve known it for quite some time.

Actually, I’m having a little trouble keeping up with my own bills lately, so if any Katrina victims want to live in a tent outside my lawn, I’m sure we can rough up the grass and make it look disaster-ish.

On the opposite end of the spectrum. Huge thanks are in order for institutions like BU and MIT for opening their doors and letting students in with no tuition or (to my knowledge) rooming charges.

Update: What the hell is going on? A total of 28 states and DC have been approved by Bush to be declared “state of emergencies.” This seems quite peculiar. Is the entire USA going to become a state of emergency? And here I just put my tin foil hat away.

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