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    03 September 2005

    More on the Presidents photo op

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    It's now coming out that the presendital visit staged by the white house not only tied up vital personel and equipment. It was all an elaborate plan to fake progress for political cover. Senator Landreiu
    “Yesterday, I was hoping President Bush would come away from his tour of the regional devastation triggered by Hurricane Katrina with a new understanding for the magnitude of the suffering and for the abject failures of the current Federal Emergency Management Agency. 24 hours later, the President has yet to answer my call for a cabinet-level official to lead our efforts. Meanwhile, FEMA, now a shell of what it once was, continues to be overwhelmed by the task at hand.

    “I understand that the U.S. Forest Service had water-tanker aircraft available to help douse the fires raging on our riverfront, but FEMA has yet to accept the aid. When Amtrak offered trains to evacuate significant numbers of victims – far more efficiently than buses – FEMA again dragged its feet. Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency.

    But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast – black and white, rich and poor, young and old – deserve far better from their national government.

    “Mr. President, I’m imploring you once again to get a cabinet-level official stood up as soon as possible to get this entire operation moving forward regionwide with all the resources – military and otherwise – necessary to relieve the unmitigated suffering and economic damage that is unfolding.”

    How unbelievably uncalled for and embarassing. If Mr. Bush was in front of my face right now I'd spit on him, and I'd spit on Michael Brown


    Rejoice the bibles are coming

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    This is from the free republic via Public Domain Progress and the Gadflyer
    The Gideons International are sending 40,000 Personal Witnessing Testaments (New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs) to be distributed at the Astrodome and other relief centers in Houston.

    My camp in Clear Lake is the focal point for organizing Gideon volunteers to help with the distribution. We are doing this in cooperation with the Salvation Army.

    How nice they're sending toilet paper.

    Gillard is brilliance

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    What I've seen these past few days is shocking. I can't even think of a time in my life where I felt as bad and as useless as I do right now. I am so ashamed right now that I am scared to enter my feeling and beliefs into the public record. But for some of the raw anger, the pent up masses of rage I hold, I give you Steve Gillard.
    We have been screaming for two years that Bush and his team sucked. That they had no clue. They sent soldiers to be wounded in Iraq without armored anything. And you idiots cheered him on from the safety of your keyboards. We told you he was fucking up Iraq. But no, we supported Saddam, we were racist, we blamed America.

    You say this isn't about politics? Fuck you, this IS politics, real time, real life politics, where the insanity of all your ideas are exposed to the world for the fraud that they are. Tax cuts kill. Ask the relatives of the dead of the Gulf Coast.

    Well, motherfuckers, the alligators are feasting on dead nigger and there isn't an Iraqi in sight. And Bush is trying to gladhand his way through a mess which has stunned FOX reporters. I mean, Shepard Smith is calling Fox's talking heads liars ON THE AIR.

    Well, motherfuckers, and that means you, fat ass Goldberg and your master, Rich Lowry, PNAC Bitch Beinart, the racist wannabe white Malkin and the little fucktards at LGF, Bareback Andy and "Diversity" Instacracker, all you backstabbing, fag hating uncle tom ministers, you can see Dear Leader in action. America's largest port is gone, maybe forever, gas is $5+ a gallon and FEMA is coming. Whores come faster with old men than FEMA is getting to NOLA.

    How did your wartime President react? Like Chiang Kai-Shek when the Yellow River flooded in 1944, with corrupt indifference.


    Say 9/11 changed everything now, motherfuckers. Ooops, 9/11, 9/11. 9/11. Doesn't work anymore? Gee, maybe the sea of alligator MRE's once known as the citizens of New Orleans has something to do with that. Now you can shut the fuck up about 9/11. Bush just proved what would happen with another 9/11. Dead Americans as far as the nose can smell.


    A - FUCKING - men! This is not my country! Recent events are familiar in the third world, and when footage makes it here I question everything I have; I picture how much I might lose but how much better an equal world might be.

    This is happening in my neighborhood; to my peers. It has been happening since 29 August 2005 and that is entirely to long. Republicans and Democrats, you have failed the test; I will not take this.

    "Can I get another Amen? There's a flag wrapped around a score of men."

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    Mr. Bush, you're not the only one wearing the flag anymore.

    BTW, the request for federal aid went in on the 28th of August. Any appoligist that spins otherwise can fuck off!


    'F' FactCheck.org

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    Just got this
    Some critics are suggesting President Bush was as least partly responsible for the flooding in New Orleans. In a widely quoted opinion piece, former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal says that "the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature," and cites years of reduced funding for federal flood-control projects around New Orleans.

    Our fact-checking confirms that Bush indeed cut funding for projects specifically designed to strengthen levees. Indeed, local officials had been complaining about that for years.

    It is not so clear whether the money Bush cut from levee projects would have made any difference, however, we're not in a position to judge that. The Army Corps of Engineers– which is under the President's command and has its own reputation to defend– insists that Katrina was just too strong, and that even if the levee project had been completed it was only designed to withstand a category 3 hurricane.

    That is incorrect. The current levees were made to take a Cat. 3. Numerous requests were made to fund further precautionary projects to exceed the Cat 3 limit they had. I'm not saying that the levees would have made it, it wasn't the levees that failed; but the soil that connected the levees (or locks if you will). But to say that the proposed improvements would have only amounted to protection from the surge of a Cat. 3 storm is completely inaccurate and prompts serious questions about the legitimacy of the factcheck.org crew.


    02 September 2005

    Oasis? This is no oasis!

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    I would never have thought, especially after the test of 11 September, that my country would be so inept at protecting and rescuing citizens in need. This is a complete failure of our government; all flavors and all levels.
    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    But every disaster deserves its photo-op. I'm so glad they could spare the helicopter for this, I'm sure no one minds waiting an extra hour while Bush uses rescue equipment for a backdrop.


    01 September 2005

    Religious Right On Point Yet Again

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    "Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this
    act of God destroyed a wicked city. From 'Girls Gone
    Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city
    that had its doors wide open to the public celebration
    of sin. May it never be the same."
    -- Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America

    Hmmm...reminds me how Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
    Let's reminisce!:

    Falwell said, "What we saw on Tuesday (9/11), as
    terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact, God
    continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of
    America to give us probably what we deserve."

    Robertson replied, "Well, Jerry, that's my feeling. I
    think we've just seen the antechamber to terror, we
    haven't begun to see what they can do to the major

    Falwell said, "The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame
    for this. And I know I'll hear from them for this, but
    throwing God...successfully with the help of the
    federal court system...throwing God out of the public
    square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got
    to bear some burden for this because God will not be
    mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent
    babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the
    pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the
    gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make
    that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for
    the American Way, all of them who try to secularize
    America...I point the thing in their face and say you
    helped this happen."

    Robertson said, "I totally concur, and the problem is
    we've adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our
    government, and so we're responsible as a free society
    for what the top people do, and the top people, of
    course, is the court system."

    Now I ask you this. What kind of God are these
    radical right maniacs talking about? Sounds like some
    bloodthirsty vengeful Aztec diety. I may not know
    Jesus as well as Falwell, but what I know of the guy
    is that he'd generally be against widespread death and
    destruction...right? Jesus!

    -Bill S.

    Cooper vs. Landrieu

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    Cooper gets her. Must hear!!!

    Video here (Crooks and Liars)

    The Republican right wing...

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    ...would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.

    And they would sit on their ass and watch as tens of thousands of poor men, women, children, babies, and elderly bake in the New Orleans heat surrounded by water, sewage, gasoline and an abandoned city, now devoid of anyone with the means to have escaped ahead of the storm.

    Heh. The culture of life...?

    Ground zero, no order

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    From CNN (via Atrios)
    Spellman: Right now, and for several hours, a stream of people have been heading down Canal street heading for the the convention center looking for help. The Convention Center is along the Mississippi river on the southern side of town. They'll be shocked at what they see when they get there. It's thousands and thousands of people who havew been there all night sleeping out on the streets on the sidewalk wherever they can find a spot.

    There's no one in control. No national guard. No police. And certainly no FEMA.

    Inside we've gotten disturbing news of many dead bodies and nothing to be done with them. CNN's Chris Lawrence got word to us that right in front of him an infant died. That's where people are going for help and there's simply none for them.

    Kagan: And Jim, when you were talking to us earlier you were saying among these thousands of people who are there, they're there with perhaps a false hope of immediate help, that they believe they are standing by waiting for a bus or a boat or someone to come get them. There's really no indication that's going to happen anytime soon.

    Spellman: Indeed... it's rumors spreading throughout the group. The convention center sits on an area called the riverwalk which is a sort of promenade along the river. There's two riverboats, the last time I checked down there, that are sitting there, the Cajun Queen and another one I didn't get the name of. They're sitting there empty with no activity around them and many people believe these boats will take them away to safety and where they can start to regroup. Also buses, they think that buses are coming for them but there's been no indication that any buses are coming to the convention center. The only buses that we've seen leaving the downtown area are buses provided by hotels only for their guests.

    No FEMA! This is exactly what the first responders have been preparing for since 11 September 2001. This disaster is the same, just a natural disaster rather than terrorism, as a dirty bomb or a Chem/Bio attack in many respects. How can there be no authority? What have we been doing for the last four years? Where are the air drops, the water, the resources? All we have are talking heads blaming people for not leaving NOLA! Well what if you can't; what if your poor with no car, credit or a solid family to aid you; then what?

    So the guy at the head of FEMA is Mike Brown...
    A native of Oklahoma, Mr. Brown holds a B.A. in Public Administration/Political Science from Central State University, Oklahoma. He received his J.D. from Oklahoma City University's School of Law. He was an adjunct professor of law for the Oklahoma City University.

    Does a man with these credentials belong at the head of FEMA? He was an estate planning lawyer and clearly unprepared for this event. More of a timeline at the Washington Monthly.

    And how 'out of touch' is Bush? He said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." Now this is not true and was for the most part common knowledge to, well, anyone.

    31 August 2005

    Finally, Iraq is about oil

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    So once it was WMDs, but that was wrong. Then the al Qaida link, which never existed before March 2003. After a while and some truth it drifted into a human rights war. Now that the human rights spin is failing under the weight of an Islamic Republic, the reasoning is oil. Moreover, it is a war to protect oil from the terrorists that we pulled into the country.


    30 August 2005

    Unbelievable destruction and chaos in NOLA

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    not to mention where Katrina actually made landfall!

    This is from Steve Gregory's Consultant blog at the weather underground
    40,000-50,000 people in the superdome, including seriously injured people, and evacuees from the Hospitals. There are no running water or sewage facilities -- and no power. Temperatures are in he 90's within the building. One man just committed suicide by jumping. 'Unrest' is growing within the superdome - there are now military as well civilian police on the scene.

    There are now several; major fires in view of city. There is evidently a fair amount of oil and gas floating on the flood waters.

    Water is still rising and the Mayor is just now being evacuated by helicopter as City hall is now surrounded by water that can only be reached by small boat, water is about 3 feet deep at the steps of City Hall.


    This is a result of 2 MAJOR BREACHES OF THE LEVEE. The first one ,is about 400 feet long, and appears to have given way around 9PM last night. The Corp of Engineers have now said there is also a second breach as well. Within the hour the Pentagon will be taking over the coordination and manpower / machinery to assist in closing the 2 breaches.

    The COE indicates there is no other way to resolve the problem, and they will be using huge cranes, barges of sand and intend to 'plug' the breached area. Until that is accomplished, News Orleans will continue to fill up with water No time table is known on how long it will take. The COE indicated they have 'great concern' for the a specific pumping station - the largest in the world -- and it will be eventually used to drain the water out of the city after the levee has been repaired.

    This is turning into a 'slow motion version' of the worst case scenario for New Orleans. Over 1,200 people have been rescued by 40 coast guard recovery helicopters where people are standing on roofs - since yesterday. Untold numbers of dead - likely in the hundreds and possibly near 1,000 or more Disease is expected to take a heavy toll within days. This could claim thousands of lives. The key seemingly is to somehow to evacuate everyone from the city. Whether this can be done I have no clue.

    Col. Lang on the Iraqi constitution

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    Pat writes a great analys of where that constitution is at his blog here. The problem is that both sides have indicated that they reject the constitution. So their may not be a positive milestone but the point where an uncovential civil war spills out into the streets; into a nasty and brutish state of nature. So what of the conistution? The Sunnis are against it. Moqtada al-Sadr is against it. His Eminence Al Sestani rejects federalism.
    The constitution? Irrelevant at best, destructive at worst.

    What should be done? In the end we will have to take direct control of negotiations among the three contesting parties and give up a failed experiment in "democracy" building. If we do not do that ,then we face the prospect of an Iraq permanently at war with itself This place would be the focus of increased sectarian strife in the region. The additional risk of seeing a "rump Shia Iraq with a common frontier and interest in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait should be worrisome.


    29 August 2005

    Bolton ineffective at UN

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    Bolton was appointed during recess by President Bush without the confidence of the Senate and the populace. As expected, and as I have maintained, the international community will not accepted him without either. The story below may be a symptom of the distrust, just bad American policy, or a combination of the two. From the Guardian
    Britain will join an international alliance to confront George Bush and salvage as much as possible of an ambitious plan to reshape the United Nations and tackle world poverty next week .

    The head-to-head in New York on Monday comes after the revelation that the US administration is proposing wholesale changes to crucial parts of the biggest overhaul of the UN since it was founded more than 50 years ago.


    But it was revealed this week that Mr Bush's new ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was seeking 750 changes to the 36-page draft plan to be presented to a special summit in New York on September 14 to 16. Mr Bolton's amendments, if successful, would leave the plan in tatters.

    The Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that Britain was standing behind the original plan, putting it at odds with Mr Bush.


    A source close to the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan said it was too early to declare the UN plan dead. "Bolton wants to knock down the plan and start from scratch," the source said. "He will find that his opinions are not shared by most of the rest of the world."


    The revolution is complete

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    The Iranian revolution that is...

    (VIA Iran Focus through Col. Lang)

    Decades after the revolution ended its attempt to secure Shi'a Iraq for the envisioned greater Islamic state, the clerics have their victory.
    A senior Iranian cleric welcomed on Friday the establishment of an Islamic republic in Iraq and hailed the country’s new constitution as one based on "Islamic precepts".

    Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the powerful ultra-conservative Guardian Council, told worshippers in Tehran's Friday prayers, "Fortunately, after years of effort and expectations in Iraq, an Islamic state has come to power and the constitution has been established on the basis of Islamic precepts".

    "We must congratulate the Iraqi people and authorities for this victory", he said.

    Jannati, who is a top confidant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that all justice-seeking counties of the world "have no model other than the Islamic revolution in Iran to turn to".

    "Lebanese Hezbollah and the state of Iraq are not the only supporters of the Islamic revolution", he said.

    Referring to the West as Global Arrogance, the hard-line cleric said, "No matter how many stones they throw in our path, they cannot prevent the spread of the Islamic revolution in the world".


    Whether or not you think there was a plan by Iran to gain de facto control of Iraq, the outcome, as appears now, certainly favors Iran. Look out for some interesting backpedaling and backstabbing in the coming years; God forbid decades.


    28 August 2005

    Katrina will land at at least a cat. 3 if lucky [UPDATED]

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    A very serious storm. Anyone reading this in the NOLA area, or on their way out, that needs a place to shack up there is a rapid response thread here at dKos. This is a serious storm and the superdome is not a good idea. Please consider leaving immediately!

    [UPDATE] This is now the strongest hurricane ever in the Gulf of Mexico.
    I (this is Dr. Masters) put the odds of New Orleans getting its levees breached and the city submerged at about 70%. This scenario, which has been discussed extensively in literature I have read, could result in a death toll in the thousands, since the evacuation order was given too late to get all the people out of the city. I recommend that if you are trapped in New Orleans tomorrow, that you wear a life jacket and a helmet if you have them. High rise buildings may offer good refuge, but Katrina has the potential to knoick down a high-rise building. A 25 foot storm surge and 30 - 40 foot high battering waves on top of that may be able to bring down a steel-reinforced high rise building. I don't believe a high rise building taller than six stories has ever been brought down by a hurricane, so this may not happen Monday, either. We are definitely in unknown waters with Katrina.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    More info:
    [UPDATE] As if this couldn't be any worse; there are few Nat'l Guard in LA these days, they are in Iraq.



    Steve Gregory
    Hurricane Katrina is now as strong as Hurricane Camille in 1969 - but this storm is larger, and will cause more extensive damage, and if it strikes New Orleans at 'just the right angle' - will no doubt MAY lead to the greatest loss of life from a land falling hurricane in nearly 100 years.

    Dr. Jeff Masters
    Katrina is in the midst of a truly historic rapid deepening phase--the pressure has dropped 34 mb in the 11 hours ending at 7am EDT, and now stands at 908 mb. Katrina is now the sixth strongest hurricane ever measured in the Atlantic. At the rate Katrina is deepening, she could easily be the third or fourth most intense hurricane ever, later today.

    further posts will cease until this storm makes landfall and dissipates. Sorry for being an alarmist but this is the big one.

    I'm located in North Charleston, SC and offer any help in this comment here.

    I encourage others to leave contact info in the comments here but more importantly in the rapid response thread at dKos (above). Primarily those closer to groundzero, but out of any threat from the storm; which will be rather large as this storm strengthens.

    Thank you and Godspeed!

    The difference between the pro- and anti-war crowds

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    Pro-war people fire shotguns in the air, careen their trucks through symbolic representations honoring dead warriors desecrating an American flag in the process, heckling anti-war crowds shouting obscenities and telling them to go home, claiming that they are traitors, and displaying signs like this;

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    ad hominine attacks are the Republican specialty, no? Now they get in fist fights, like the true war mongers they are.

    Meanwhile, anti-war protestors grill out, have concerts, maintain a family atmosphere, wave at the pro-war crowds, and openly accept the existence and beliefs of those supporting the war because this is America.

    Two Americas? You bet! You can clearly see who is the more civilized, focused, and righteous group. Cindy's message has never wavered, while it is unclear what exactly the pro-war crowd is doing there; aside from personally attacking the anti-war crowd, it is unclear what else they are rallying around. Are they rallying to support the fixing of intelligence or the destabilization of a country; do they support government lies? I think they are holding on to the dream that this war was the right thing to do.


    The true extremists strike again

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    This time it is Fred Phelps in Tennessee
    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.

    The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars' down a highway, waving flags and screaming "God bless America."

    "My husband is over there, so I'm here to show my support," 41-year-old Connie Ditmore said as she waved and American flag and as tears came to her eyes. "To do this at a funeral is disrespectful of a family, no matter what your beliefs are."

    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. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren and in-laws.

    The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

    What a horrible pastime to hand down to your children. If God truly feels this way then I want nothing to do with him/her/it.

    This is in addition to this and this.


    NOLA in a world of trouble - > Cat. 3

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    Image hosted by Photobucket.com
    (click to enlarge)

    Let us hope that the Mayor or Gov. or whoever made the call to evacuate the city did it in time; although Dr. Masters isn't to optimistic
    New Orleans finally got serious and ordered an evacuation, but far too late. There is no way everyone will be able to get out of the city in time, and they may be forced to take shelter in the Superdome, which is above sea level. If Katrina makes a direct hit on New Orleans as a Category 4 hurricane, the levees protecting the city will be breached, and New Orleans, which is 6 - 10 feet below sea level, will fill with water. On top of this 6 feet of water will come a 15 foot storm surge, and on top of that will be 20 foot waves, so the potential for high loss of life is great. Given the current track and intensity forecast, I'd put the odds of this at about 20%.

    I remember seeing a documentary about this exact disaster some time ago. At the time there was talk of fotifying the city further against stour surge. I wonder how a security like this can get such opposition (money I'm sure). I wonder how many will be kicking themselves in the ass after this is over.



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