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I've previously diaried about how I'm receiving e-mail from CNN viewers because my three-year-old blog, The Situation Room, has the same name as Wolf Blitzer's new show.

This latest message -- addressed to Jack Cafferty -- is one of the most startling I've seen yet:

In today's segment of The Situation Room, you gave a personal response to the federal government's handling (mis-handling) of the unprecedented tragedy in Louisiana. Of specific note is the absence of coordi .nation of the
government's response by means of FEMA.

For your information:

FEMA called in a company that owns and operates a fleet of air boats, to aide with the search and recovery of citizens trying to survive the disaster and who are still in their homes, etc.  A friend of mine (from Arkansas) is one of the owner/operators of an air boat in that fleet. He responded to FEMA's request and went down to assist, all at his own expense. When there,
he reported to a FEMA manager or supervisor who told him, and I quote:  "We need your assistance and can use your help every day, there's a lot of folks who have not been found. But, you will have to pay for your own gasoline for your air boat."

The cost of gasoline for that air boat, for each day, amounts to approximately $550.00 per day, minimum.  With the current gasoline crisis, it could cost considerably more, up to $600 - $700 per day.

This young man volunteered his time AND his boat to help - and was then told by FEMA that he would have to pay, additionally, out of his own pocket, all of the costs for his gasoline - to find the people who were in flooded homes across the entire flooded area in the City of New Orleans, where FEMA is assigned.

This young man doesn't have the money to donate his costs for gasoline for FEMA's project, so, guess where he is right now: yup, on the way back to Arkansas.

Has FEMA bungled this operation?  Yes-sir-ee.

Can FEMA locate gasoline and have it trucked in, for these purposes?  Yes-sir-ee.

The consequences for this short-sighted "decision" by a FEMA supervisor?  More people dying, due to a major delay in locating them and rescuing them.

When will this "decision" be reviewed and questioned?  Not till after many more victims have died.

I want to emphasize that this is not taken from any other news source -- this story is breaking here in this diary (cross-posted at The Situation Room).

UPDATE: Commenters are asking if they can help pay the gas costs of the boat owner mentioned above. I am going to take a risk and post the letter writer's e-mail address here, without his permission. (I have replied to him, but not heard anything back yet.) Please send messages to this address, which I just set up:

boatmail [at]

I will see that it gets forwarded.

Originally posted to MaximusNYC on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:11 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This whole rescue fiasco (none)
    has gone beyond words.  There's obviously no central command down there.  Total cluster.

    "Zero tolerance" for looters?

    by Cecile on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:10:31 PM PDT

    •  I swear to you (4.00)
      that I KNOW I could do a much better job than they are and I have had no experience at all.

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:33:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Every Teenaged Waterfront Camp Counsellor (4.00)

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:47:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  here's why (4.00)
        Here's a few salient points from this article

        In June, Pleasant Mann, a 16-year FEMA veteran who heads the agency's government employee union, wrote members of Congress to warn of the agency's decay. "Over the past three-and-one-half years, FEMA has gone from being a model agency to being one where funds are being misspent, employee morale has fallen, and our nation's emergency management capability is being eroded," he wrote. "Our professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices and contractors."


        As a result, says a disaster program administrator who insists on anonymity, "We have to compete for our jobs--we have to prove that we can do it cheaper than a contractor." And when it comes to handling disasters, the FEMA employee stresses, cheaper is not necessarily better, and the new outsourcing requirements sometimes slow the agency's operations.


        But the merger into DHS has compounded the agency's problems, says FEMA employee and union president Pleasant Mann. "Before, we reported straight to the White House, and now we've got this elaborate bureaucracy on top of us, and a lot of this bureaucracy doesn't think what we're doing is that important, because terrorism isn't our number one," he said. "The biggest frustration here is that we at FEMA have responded to disasters like Oklahoma City and 9/11, and here are people who haven't responded to a kitchen fire telling us how to deal with terrorism. You know, there were a lot of people who fell down on the job on 9/11, but it wasn't us."


        Within FEMA, the shift away from mitigation programs is so pronounced that many long-time specialists in the field have quit. "The priority is no longer on prevention," says the FEMA administrator. "Mitigation, honestly, is the orphaned stepchild. People are leaving it in droves."

        In fact, disaster professionals are leaving many parts of FEMA in droves, compromising the agency's ability to do its job. "Since last year, so many people have left who had developed most of our basic programs," Mann says. "A lot of the institutional knowledge is gone. Everyone who was able to retire has left, and then a lot of people have moved to other agencies."

        there's too much crap to cut paste just go read the damned article.

        Impeach Gary Bettman

        by Edanger6 on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 08:18:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the heart of everything wrong (4.00)
          with the Bush administration -- politicization of so much that should never be political. It's been key to their success, and it's poetic justice that it's going to be key to their downfall.

          The spring is pure, but foul it once with mud and you nevermore will find it fit to drink. --Aeschylus

          by Alien Abductee on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 08:51:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Pick me (none)
        I was a temporary admin to a Disaster Preparedness Direct in a corporate environment.

        Then again, maybe I'm over qualified.

    •  There wasn't in 9/11 either (none)
      The very fact that Rudy had to step up shows it-  where was the President? where was the Governor?

      The odd thing about 9/11, though, was that people did in fact step up, Rudy being the prime example. William Langischewe (sp) of the Atlantic Monthly went so far as to argue that everybody stepped up. His epic articles talked about how junior firefighters with any PR experience soon became the spokespeople for the FDNY. Why is nobody junior stepping up now? Why do we keep on waiting for somebody small to act? Where are the big boys?

      •  9/11 (4.00)
        I remember when the 2nd plane hit the tower.  We knew something was wrong.  I called my exchange student to get my daughter from school.

        I grabbed co-workers, bottles of water and arranged for rides for other co-workers.  

        When we walked out the building, we knew about the plane having just hit the Pentagon.  You could smell the burning air.  There were people everywhere.

        I took my two 50 somethings co-workers and my 29 year old co-worker with me.  We walked from G street (2 blocks from the White House) until we could see the Pentagon burning.  We stood and watched.  Just standing there.  Watching.

        The march out of DC with co-workers was sureal.  But to watch the video, to see the pictures of New Orleans, to hear their pain and calls for reminds me so much of 9/11.  Of that feeling of not knowing anything and having no leadership around to give you faith.  To remind you that you were worth something.

        We ahve been a nation without a leader for far too long.  This man needs to be impeached.  But then we get Cheney?  We're still run by the same jackasses no matter what we do.  The kind of men who think taxes should be low and the poor are poor becasue they're lazy or deserve it.

        How is it these are the people running this country?  Running my country?!!  

        What's Bush doing?  WHAT IS HE DOING?!

      •  New Yorkers (none)
        New Yorkers are amazing people.

        Not that there aren't amazing people in LA and MS too...

        It's just that the pace of life is faster here, and no matter what profession you're in, things tend to be very competitive.  The most brilliant and driven people from around the country and around the world come here to see if they can make it.  We have a lot of talent to draw on when things go wrong.

        Also, frankly, 9/11 was small potatoes in terms of destruction compared to this.  I'm sorry to say that, but it's true.

        •  don't forget NYC's homegrown bluecollar workforce (none)
          This still makes me cry: Hardhat heroes

          Moments after the first dark smoke began rising from the north tower, construction workers all over the city began heading for the Trade Center. At 76th Street and Third Avenue, several dozen hard hats boarded a city bus and made the driver take them downtown. Others commandeered contractors' vans.

          In downtown Brooklyn, where three new high-rises are going up, workers, their toolbelts flapping, ran across the Brooklyn Bridge.

          The new AOL Time Warner tower on Columbus Circle was stripped of workers within minutes of the first attack. "Every job in Manhattan and most in Brooklyn were pretty much shut down by 10 a.m.," said Fernandes, who rode to the site in one of two truckloads of steamfitters.

          At the carpenters union headquarters on Hudson Street, more than 300 members assembled at the union's apprentice school early Wednesday morning. "We unloaded every pair of gloves we had, gave them goggles, hard hats, whatever we could find," said McInnis. "Then they marched straight down to the site. Their pass was their union card and their hard hat; they didn't take 'no' for an answer."

          That said I was able to walk home to Brooklyn that day, the situation in New Orleans is far worse.

  •  That is insane! (none)
    WTF is wrong w;/these assholes?

    "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in." George Mc Govern.

    by Street Kid on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:11:01 PM PDT

    •  I know that was a rhetorical question (4.00)
      But an answer popped into my head nonetheless: They're greedy twerps who put any amount of money before human life.

      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

      by mataliandy on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:33:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's it, you know. (none)
        <PLEASE keep in mind, these are NOT my views!!>

        That's it in a nutshell.  That's their thinking.

        It all boils down to money.  All of it.

        If someone cannot earn them money, they are useless.

        If someone is, net, having to get more out of society financially than they are able to put in, they are useless.

        If someone is good for favors later, which will then lead to increased revenues, do anything for 'em.

        If someone is the center of a firestorm which will fire up your base, get you re-elected, and let you keep making money for yourself and your friends, heck, cut your vacation short and pass special legislation to git 'er done..

        If people are dying like dogs, because they were so dirt poor as not to be able to get out, well, they probably deserved it.  And anyway, they weren't going to earn the neocons any more money.

        Iraq?  Monetary gain through military contracts.

        The environment?  Going to hell, but boy, does that money just roll in..

        The rich?  Do I even need to say it?

        Money.  You need to have it or be worth it, or you're nothing.  Less than nothing -- a drain on society.

        Money, money, money
        Must be funny
        In the rich man's world
        Money, money, money
        Always sunny
        In the rich man's world

        "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
        "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

        by Stymnus on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 09:26:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  EVERYTHING and then some... (4.00)
      to answer your question.

      "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

      by Gabriele Droz on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:48:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    This diary is breaking news -- not taken from any other media source.
  •  This Story Needs to Get Out! (4.00)
    Can you write the man back and ask him if he is willing to go on camera or talk to a reporter?  I will walk across the street and talk to my neighbor about this or next door - this is an OUTRAGE.

    Where are my tax dollars going?  You HAVE to wonder if they aren't paying people for expenses.

  •  You are forwarding these on I hope? n/t (4.00)

    GWB: best argument I know of to refute "Intelligent Design"

    by Pandora on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:14:11 PM PDT

  •  This is a class war (4.00)
    we are in. The poor in this country are becoming the "disappeared".

    A vote for a Republican is a vote for Bush.

    by Maine Atticus on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:16:57 PM PDT

  •  IF we had known (4.00)
    I'm sure we all would have stepped up and donated that kind of cash to help this guy out.  But the question is, WHY THE FUCK ISN'T OUR GOVERNMENT DOING ANYTHING USEFUL???!!??  This whole operation screams clusterfuck, as all other Bushco operations, but still this one is gutwrenching.
  •  Chertoff and Brown have to go!! (4.00)
    They are the so-called "leaders" of DHS and FEMA--they have mis-managed everthing so far; this is just one more example!!
    •  Chertoff & Brown (none)
      I am sure I read that neither of them has any experience in emergency management.

      Are these appointed positions?

      Ken Salazar (D-CO), who said he'll vote for the Flag Desecration Amendment, needs to hear from us.

      by OLinda on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:32:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read that too == (none)
        apparently Brown was previously a trusts and estates lawyer.  Makes me want to puke.

        No Republican will ever use the word "accountability" in connection with the GOP in my presence ever again, without fear of psychotic rant.  And I can rant...

        Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

        by Pondite on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:09:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You forgot college friend too (4.00)
          don't misunderestimate cronyism

          Michael Brown, a college friend of Allbaugh's who had served as FEMA's general counsel, was recruited to head the agency, which would now be part of the DHS's Emergency and Response Directorate. When the reorganization took effect on March 1, 2003, Brown assured skeptics that under the new arrangement, the country would be served by "FEMA on steroids"--a faster, more effective disaster agency.


          But the tension between Brown's competing duties has proven unavoidable. In May 2003, for example, the DHS staged TOPOFF 2--officially billed as "the largest homeland security exercise in the history of the United States"--to test the government's ability to deal with a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction. The same week of the exercise, hundreds of real-life tornadoes ripped through the Midwest, causing some FEMA staffers to find themselves torn between practicing for terrorism and handling an actual natural disaster. And while resources for the DHS exercise were readily available, according to Mann, FEMA's headquarters staff was forced, that same summer, to cancel disaster training drills due to budget shortfalls.

          Impeach Gary Bettman

          by Edanger6 on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 08:24:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  God Damn, I sure hope Al Queda Lays off . . . (none)
      until we get rid of this regime.

      What a a bunch of evil, lazy, lying, scum bastards.

      by nyceve on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:39:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Brown definitely needs to go if ... (4.00)
      he thinks that the dead bodies in the street won't lead to a health hazard.

      Here's what he said today

      UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These bodies in the street, don't they present a health hazard? Can't they picked up, scooped up, delivered and put on ice to prevent widespread outbreak of disease?

      BROWN: Well, first of all, you jump to the assumption that it will cause a widespread outbreak of disease. That is not necessarily true. And second of all, we will continue to -- we will continue to deal with that problem as best we can.

      what an ass!!!

      •  can you post the source (none)
        for that quote - where, when....   this needs to be made an issue in itself.  Unfuckingbelievable

        I support Soulforce - seeking Justice for God's GLBT children. Please join us.

        by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:34:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Holy fucking shit (none)
        UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have been reports of bodies laying (INAUDIBLE).

        BROWN: That's not been reported to me, so I'm not going to comment on -- again, that's what gets started is there have been reports of -- and so until I actually -- until I actually get a report from my teams that say, "We have bodies located here or there," I'm just not going to speculate.

        Chertoff, Brown's 'boss,' used the same dodge during his interview on NPR diaried here.

        He (Chertoff) said, in response to Robert Siegel's repeated questions about the several thousand stuck at the Convention Center, that he (Chertoff) hadn't heard of any such thing, and that he couldn't chase down every "rumor" from the 'hood.

        These guys have no fucking clue, which may itself not be as frightening as the thought that they actually don't give a flying fuck.

        "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

        by RubDMC on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 09:59:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm Surprised! (none)
        I'm surprised HE just didn't say, "Ahhh...if we just hold off long enough, the gators will take care of that mess." "Problem solved AND it will lower the final death count, just missing know."
      •  Dead bodies aren't actually that dangerous... (none)
        ...unless they're already carrying disease. There's plenty of other nasty stuff that WILL spread disease down there though. That the incompetent fools in the GOP hasn't got the LIVING out is a true scandal. Send Little Nero and friends to jail! NOW!

        "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas." -Winston Churchill

        by Johannes on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:53:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We can call it 'de-bushification' (none)
      We now see why there has been so much focus on 'de-baathification' in Iraq: these people assume (perhaps rightly) that the Baath regime was a mirror of the bush regime; in both cases, personal loyalty to the beloved leader trumps technical competence in every case . . .

      When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail Baez

      by Clem Yeobright on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 01:50:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well Yeah (none)
    But I bet FEMA execs get free health club memberships, at a $550/year value.

    Step outside of two-dimensional politics.

    by NewDirection on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:23:27 PM PDT

  •  Apparently (4.00)
    FEMA is like a front operation now. At least that's what a former FEMA biggie has told me - based on his contacts with current FEMA biggies.
    But the front is falling off with their miserable rescue coordination!
    AND THERE IS NO MONEY!!!  Only a department filled with political hacks with no expertise.
    •  Exactly... (none)
      and hmmm, I wonder if the dismantling of FEMA was undertaken by the Chimperor in Chief so that they could privatize yet another government function...i.e. Halliburton and friends, anyone??

      YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

      by molls on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:01:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fema IS an empty shell (4.00)
      Here is Chapter and Verse.   Read This Op-ed in the Washington Post called "destroying FEMA"
      It lays out chapter and verse why we weren't prepared and why our response times have sucked so bad, and most importantly it ran on Tuesday before yesterday's complete meltdown
      Why weren't we prepared? Well:

      FEMA -- is being, in effect, systematically downgraded and all but dismantled by
      the Department of Homeland Security....the advent of the Bush administration in
      January 2001 signaled the beginning of the end for FEMA. The newly appointed
      leadership of the agency showed little interest in its work or in the missions
      pursued by the departed Witt. { Clinton's FEMA head who re-oriented the agency
      into the premiere disaster response agency in the country
      Then came
      the Sept. 11 attacks and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
      Soon FEMA was being absorbed into the "homeland security borg."
      This year it
      was announced that FEMA is to "officially" lose the disaster preparedness
      function that it has had since its creation. The move is a death blow to an
      agency that was already on life support. In fact, FEMA employees have been
      directed not to become involved in disaster preparedness functions, since a new
      directorate (yet to be established) will have that mission

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:27:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder if this would be... (none)
        ...some sort of push to move FEMA's responsibilities to faith-based initiatives?

        Sadly, this wouldn't surpise me one bit.  And it's a national scandal.

        •  Looks like it (4.00)
          The more I see, the more convinced I am that this is exactly what's going on.

          Josh Marshall talks about the various charities that are listed by FEMA as places people can give to help with Katrina cleanup.  And of 18 listed, only one is non-religious.

          Fancy that.  Combined with news that FEMA's basically been gutted, and I think we have the beginnings of yet another scandal.

          Good going, freakshow wingnuts.  You have yet more blood on your extremist hands.

          •  Although Catholic Charities.... (none)
            has done and is doing a lot for me, it is amazing to me that there is only one secular group listed. People need to keep in mind that the Red Cross is a Christian organization. I have nothing against religious charities, I just think a few secular ones, like Mercy Corp and Doctors without Borders should also be included. And to put Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing anywhere on the list is unspeakable.
        •  There is also anti-FEMA paranoia (none)
          FEMA has been an element in the right's black-helicopter conspiracy theories for years.  They view it as part of an apparatus to be used to declare martial law over the entire country.

          This dismantling could well be partly in response to that.  I would not put it past Bushco.

      •  exactly (4.00)

        William Waugh, a disaster expert at Georgia State University who has written training programs for FEMA, warns that the rise of a "consultant culture" has not served emergency programs well. "It's part of a widespread problem of government contracting out capabilities," he says. "Pretty soon governments can't do things because they've given up those capabilities to the private sector. And private corporations don't necessarily maintain those capabilities."

        The push for privatization wasn't the only change that raised red flags at FEMA. As a 2004 article in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management would later note, "Allbaugh brought about several internal, though questionably effective, reorganizations of FEMA. The Bush-Allbaugh FEMA diminished the Clinton administration's organizational emphasis on disaster mitigation."

        In February 2001, for example, the Bush administration proposed eliminating Project Impact, a move approved by Congress later in the year. (On the very day the White House proposal was submitted, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake rocked Washington state, which was home to several communities where Project Impact had sponsored quake mitigation efforts.) Ending the project and trimming other FEMA programs, the White House argued, would save roughly $200 million. In its place, FEMA instituted a new program of mitigation grants that are awarded on a competitive basis.


        By ignoring the logic of fully-funded mitigation and other preparedness programs, Bush's first FEMA director earned some scorn among emergency specialists. "Allbaugh? He was inept," says Claire Rubin, a senior researcher at George Washington University's Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management. "He was chief of staff for Bush in Texas--that was his credential. He didn't have an emergency management background, other than the disasters he ran into in Texas, and he wasn't a very open guy. He didn't want to learn anything."

        Allbaugh's troubled tenure at the agency would be a relatively short one. In December 2002, he announced he would leave his post. While political observers expected Allbaugh to join the Bush re-election effort, instead he set about creating a string of lobbying firms, including New Bridge Strategies, which helps U.S. companies win reconstruction contracts in Iraq. This summer, he started another consulting company with Andrew Lundquist, the former director of Vice President Dick Cheney's secretive energy policy task force. The firm's first client was Lockheed Martin, one of the country's largest defense contractors.

        Impeach Gary Bettman

        by Edanger6 on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 08:29:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  money and organization (4.00)
    I have this little snippet from an earlier post on an open thread. Frankly, it hit me wrong slightly that they were complaining. Your diary puts in in a new light for me.

    Wall Street Journal front page article 9/1/05. Maybe registration required.

    [This is the first I heard that emergency workers were complaining]

    Emergency workers in New Orleans complained that provisions hadn't been made for them to eat or sleep. Some rescue convoys assembled to look for survivors were forced to wait for hours, while managers repeatedly altered plans for where they would be sent.

    But, in this instance, where would they eat or sleep?

    Back to your post:

    This govt. has to cut corners where it can because our money is needed for tax cuts and bombing people.

    Ken Salazar (D-CO), who said he'll vote for the Flag Desecration Amendment, needs to hear from us.

    by OLinda on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:27:42 PM PDT

    •  I heard on one of the news channels (none)
      MSNBC or CNN, that they had gotten cruise liners to agree to allow FEMA and other rescue workers use their ships--I thought I also heard them say they would not allow refugees on them--but I may be hearing things. ;)

      Good Mornin' America, how are you?

      by starkravinglunaticradical on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:04:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what about all the money we've been donating (none)
    to Red Cross and other orgs? Certainly they could use our money to fuel the rescue vehicles and boats!
  •  name confusion (none)
    Maximus, I am so glad for the mixup in names. Your information is so valuable.  Thank you.

    Ken Salazar (D-CO), who said he'll vote for the Flag Desecration Amendment, needs to hear from us.

    by OLinda on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:29:27 PM PDT

    •  It's a window into what the public is thinking (none)
      A strange, but fortuitous coincidence.  I'm going to keep posting the most interesting e-mails I receive... stay tuned.
      •  forwarding (none)
        This one needs to be forwarded to Cafferty and CNN, and others.  I hate for you to blow the deal though and let The Situation Room know of the confusion.

        Afraid it might get publicised and stop the flow.

        However - dKos is slight publication. :)

        Can you forward them without explaining how you received them?

        Ken Salazar (D-CO), who said he'll vote for the Flag Desecration Amendment, needs to hear from us.

        by OLinda on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:37:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  BTW (none)
    I hope you've been forwarding this e-mail to Cafferty, particularly this one. Maybe he'll read this one on the air.
  •  can you e-mail the sender back (4.00)
    and offer that we at dkos will pay for his friend's gas? I'll chip in and I'm sure others here will too.
  •  Excuse my vulgarity (none)
    but people are dying while our government is collectively tripping over it's dick(a).
  •  unconscionable (4.00)
    The people at FEMA and the rest of Homeland Security (hah)knew that this storm was coming for days!

    So, do we get pre-planning, placement of assets, organizing rescue efforts?  No we get delays and bungling and now, unbelievable short sighted chickenshit cheapness. While people are dying!

    This is what happens when you fire professionals, such as Witt, Clinton's FEMA head, and put incompetent political cronies in their place to do important work.

    Hey, folks, isn't this supposed to part of Homeland Security? What would their respose have been if there was a terror attack, for which, unlike this hurricane, there is no warning whatsoever? After nearly four years to get their act together!

    Bring back the adults.

    A liberal is a man so broadminded he wouldn't take his own side in an argument........Robert Frost

    by mjshep on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:41:02 PM PDT

    •  Homeland Security (none)
      After Robert Segal thanked Chertoff after grilling him on the Convention Center situation earlier this evening, his tone was dripping with irony when concluded by saying, "That was Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security."
  •  This is all reminding me of something (4.00)
    I heard about from a friend who had been traveling in outlying areas in Cambodia--there, if you are in a car accident, there is no ambulance service, and it is your family's responsibility to get you to a hospital, no matter how dire.  My friend was doing research, and her crew stopped to pick up an old woman and her son who had been riding a bike, were struck by a truck, and the perpetrators just put them to the side of the road and left....where my friend found them.  This is the sort of thing this country is regressing to--only if you can pay do you play, and privatize the very air we breathe and the water we drink.

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:42:10 PM PDT

  •  Everytime they peg my outrage meter... (4.00)
    ... something new pops up. The only thing this administration has overachieved with is making me even more outraged. This entire operation is a failure of biblical proportions.

    Count me in on chipping in for gas/fuel. I'll give up food for a day or two if it will save a life.

    "Science is defined by how you ask the question, not the question you ask."

    by themis on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:48:42 PM PDT

    •  yeah, I agree (4.00)
      short of them harvesting the organs of the dead and selling them on the black market, I just don't see how it they could fuck it up any more...

      But tomorrow's outrage will surely break new ground.

      At least my Christian metaphysics allows me the small comfort of knowing that vengeance is the Lord's....

      Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

      by Pondite on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:12:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  amen... (4.00)
        ... and this from an agnostic.

        I fear the organ harvesting idea would just be "free market" to these asshats.

        (Please pardon my anger and dark humor - its the only humor I've had for a week and its my last coping mechanism.)

        Oh, and I adore your sig line. Brilliant.

        "Science is defined by how you ask the question, not the question you ask."

        by themis on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:24:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Brave new world of free enterprise (4.00)
    Welcome to free enterprise run amok.  Of course they wouldn't reimburse him expenses (much less time and equipment rental) - he should be charging everyone he rescues.

    Call it $20/adult, $10/kid, $5/pet and he should be able to cover his expenses.  If the people aren't willing to pay, then obviously they choose to live on a rooftop without food or water.

    •  ownership society.... (4.00)
      why the hell didn't all these people in New Orleans own their own boat to begin with?'d think it was the responsibility of the government or something to bail them out.
  •  I was going to suggest this earlier. (none)
    Although I think the gas companies should give free gas to anyone involved in rescue missions, I know they won't. It is disgusting that we should have to do this, but can we create another fund for buying these people gas?
  •  Rental Cars (4.00)
    I just heard on CNN some police officers in Lafayette stopped a car with goods in it that they thought were stolen in what they believed to be a "stolen" car.  They then called the car dealership and asked them if they wanted their car back.

    Here is an idea...


    I can not believe this.  They are worrying about probably flood damaged cars and there are thousands of people trapped in their home town.  Have they no shame?!?!

  •  what (none)
    the @%**? . whats next?

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:53:13 PM PDT

  •  rise up people of the united states (none)
    RISE UP!
  •  Maximus (none)
    Do you think there is some way specifically to get that email into the MSM?  Perhaps a call to the NY Times or something like that?  That and a few others on the blog really need to get picked up and distributed.

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution. Katrina Relief Diary-$13K+ and counting

    by RenaRF on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:58:20 PM PDT

  •  Impeach (none)
    Congress should immediately impeach Brown. And Chertoff. Gross incompetence and negligence.

    Of course, we don't yet know if FEMA's goal is even to TRY and save those people, or to just make excuses while allowing them to die. They haven't done ANYTHING to prove they're trying to save them.

  •  Mayhap this isn't the place (none)
    to say this, but I will.  I keep thinking that the way I feel because of these bumblefucks, who just screw up and screw up and screw us; is it how the citizens of Iraq feel? It's like TXsharon says, SHE could do a better job.  I feel if we could just get these guys out of the way we could get the job done.
  •  No election... (none)
    I live in Florida.  Following the hurricanes, FEMA was blowing wads of cash down here like an 18 year old football player blasting a money shot on prom night.  Of course, there was an election brewing.

    Too bad for New Orleans there is no Presidential election.  Bush could give a shit less, so long as Unocal is makin' money.   YeeHaw!

  •  this is Iraq two..... (none)
    What is happening in the aftermath of Katrina resembles what life must be like for thousands of Iraqis. Bodies in the street being eaten by rats and dogs, squalid conditions, garbage everywhere, no clean water in places, no eletricity and all because Bushco is as bad at planning wars as they are at planning for disasters.

    Perhaps we should look at the violence, if there really is any in Louisiana as the work of insurgents, given that they are pissed and fed up about the same things as most Iraqis who take up arms.

    Katrina victims and Iraqis have been lied to and abused by selfish incompetents.

    This crowd in Washington makes only disasters and then lies about them. The parallels are stunning.

  •  If this was fucking Iraq (4.00)
    All the pilot would have to do is walk up to the depot, say "I need some gas money" and they'd throw a bundle of hundreds at him.  But try to save the lives of (poor) people in America, and you have to fucking donate your time and gas money.  What the fuck is wrong with this picture?  I apologise for all of the fucks, but Christ on a crutch, this is absolutely infuriating.
    •  Kuwait gave free gas for the whole war (4.00)
      but the offer ended once Curious George said  MISSIN ACCOMPISHED.
      You never heard about that?

      That must be because
      Halliburton INSISTED that the Kuwaits give it to a brand-new subsidiary named Altanmia. Then Halliburton turned around and told the US brass that that Kuwait was the one isisting that Altanmia handle the entire business and Altanmia was charging BEAUCOUP dollars.
      By the time the originally-free-fuel got into Iraq, it cost so damn much that everyone was asking why they simply did not buy it from Turkey.
      At one point, Kuwait called up the US brass and tried to cut out the Halliburton-middlemen but they tasered Cheney and when he came back to life, the Kuwaitis got right back in line, although they are still arguing that they should be paid for what they are still sending to Iraq, since the Iraq War is over, and has been for over two solid years.
      Those Arabs do not like to mess with the Cryptkeeper and so they usually back down.
      Henry Waxman, now, he don't care. He is holding investigations into the whole Halli-mess any old how.

      I wonder what will happen when Chavez forks over ready-made gasoline to help out those poor people living in the Bible belt.
      Pat might just launch the Holy Hand Grenade.
      Hope that cat Chavez has more than 700+9 lives.  

  •  Imminent domain and bush (none)
    I think its time to declare imminent domain on all of Bush's assests.  Liquidate them and send them as relief to new orleans and the gulf states
  •  Katrina Komission (none)
    There will be a federal commission to investigate the government's response to the disaster.

    This detail will surely be glossed over.

  •  The Endless Hurricane Season (none)
    The Endless Hurricane Season
    by Stephen Leahy

    Published on Thursday, September 1, 2005 by Inter Press Service

     BROOKLIN, Canada - Up to 12 more tropical storms are expected to follow Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive storm to ever strike the United States, and four may be major hurricanes, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

     Katrina, which made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast Monday, has killed at least 110 people and left a million homeless. Preliminary damage estimates top 25 billion dollars. Refugee camps will be needed to house hundreds of thousands of people for weeks and months -- and perhaps longer, experts say. And it will be another week or two before the full extent of devastation is known.

     Shockingly, there may be more storms to come. "This may well be one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, and will be the ninth above-normal Atlantic hurricane season in the last 11 years," Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of the NOAA National Weather Service, said in a statement.

     NOAA forecasts a whopping 21 tropical storms -- double the norm -- before the end of hurricane season on Nov. 30. That means the U.S., Mexico and Caribbean region could still be pounded by another 10 to 12 storms, including a major hurricane on the scale of Katrina. Fortunately, not all of these will make landfall.

     Warm water in the Atlantic Ocean is being blamed for what NOAA calls a "very active" hurricane season. Sea water at 27 degrees C. or higher puts enough moisture in the air to prime hurricane or cyclone formation. Once started, a hurricane needs only warm water and the right wind conditions to build and maintain its strength and intensity.

  •  Does FEMA really exist? (none)
    or is it just a skeleton government agency that outsources everything and hires private companies?

    To thine own self be true - W.S.

    by Agathena on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:43:32 PM PDT

  •  Every diary (4.00)
    get more unbelievable that the last.

    I'm officially, emotionally spent, I can't take it.

    You know - - - there really is evil in this world. And it really is banal, like they say. It shows it's face in broad daylight and no one sees it untill it's too late.

    I'm an artist, gotta process, gotta draw. I'm overwhelmed.

    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

    by brenda on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 08:31:48 PM PDT

  •  Air boats are ideal (none)
    Air Boats would be ideal in NO. They are small enough to go down a alley, and the only water depth they require is a heavy dew. I hope this story goes far and wide.

    The present administration is rolling back the Great Society, the New Deal, the Enlightenment, and the Renaissance.

    by JohnInWestland on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 08:54:46 PM PDT

  •  Does Bush pay for Airforce One's gas? (none)
    when he's goin' around the country takin' to folks with big signs like savin' social security and our elders' and mission accomplished .. heh heh heh
    Or takin' a cake to McCain ... or takin' Condi shoppin' in New York .. heh heh heh
    or pickin' up Cheney in WY when he decides to come back from his vacation
    Heh heh heh
    grind jaw ... photo op ...
  •  question (none)
    I hope there are some people here who can answer this: since the FEMA people are clearly not acting as emergency management personnel are supposed to act, and since it is patently obvious that their incompetence and inaction are causing the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of innocent people, what legal recourse do the survivors have? Can FEMA be sued? Can the individual nincompoops at FEMA be held criminally accountable? Is there some organization -- anyone, the ACLU, the SPLC, the DNC -- that can take the feds to court and force them to perform the tasks for which their governmental bodies exist?

    If corporate and criminal law could be applied to this situation, all the FEMA people, Bush, Chertoff, McClellan, Johanns, and all the other people responsible for this fiasco would be locked up for the rest of their natural lives for criminally negligent homicide, and the survivors would all be millionaires.

    Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

    by wiscmass on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 09:53:26 PM PDT

    •  To my knowledge (none)
      The governement entity itself cannot be sued, but individuals within that organization can be sued. The President cannot be sued, but BIll Clinton certainly was.

      The problem that comes into play, these people in New Orleans do not have the resources to mount a lawsuit and if they were to sue an individual, that person wouldn't have enough of anything to take and give to the people of New Orleans.

      I know it has been stated before and I agree with it, this situation should not be politicized, but the only way to hold the people accountable for the lack of governmental response will be at the ballot box.

      If this were Japan, the Prime Minister would have publicly apologized to the nation and would have resigned.

      Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

      by p a roberson on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 04:31:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MEANWHILE... (none)
    ...Blackwater security contractors are driving around Badghdad with suitcases full of cash.

    Somebody get me a bucket.

  •  Congressional hearings (none)
    Please tell me that the democrats in congress are going to demand hearings on FEMA and the Administration's response to this disaster as the second order of business after they pass the spending bill tonight and tomorrow.
    I desperately want to see both Brown and Chertoff dropped into the Conference center, so they can see for themselves and don't have to rely on "second hand' reports. Perhaps we could drop Bush too when he visits tomorrow.
  •  A Kevin Drum must-read (none)
    Check out Kevin Drum's "Chronology" post on FEMA over at Here's a concluding paragraph:

    So: A crony with no relevant experience was installed as head of FEMA.  Mitigation budgets for New Orleans were slashed even though it was known to be one of the top three risks in the country.  FEMA was deliberately downsized as part of the Bush administration's conservative agenda to reduce the role of government.  After DHS was created, FEMA's preparation and planning functions were taken away.

    A must read.

  •  Icing on the Cake (none)
    Just heard a report on CNN Aaron Brown, not sure if its a replay that you have missed.

    In some NO precincts between 20 and 60% of police officers have deserted, dropped their badges and walked away.

    Gone, just like the Iraqi forces that so many people are ready to blow off for not being up to snuff.

    Check a mirror.

  •  We ALREADY PAID for the damn gas (3.50)
    to fuel the rescue boats.

    I know I'm stating the obvious here, but ONE THIRD of the money we earn every day is taken by federal and state governments.  We never even see it.  What the hell is it for, if not for situations like this?

    Don't get me wrong; I donated to the Red Cross yesterday and will do so again.  But this really burns me.  The sight of Bush on TV telling Americans to "open their wallets"...  Our wallets ARE open; 33% of our earnings flows out of our wallets annually into the coffers of these fuckups.  I have already given tens of thousands of dollars this year to PAY FOR THE DAMN GAS! I said, I'll continue to donate...but this is outrageous.

  •  Strengthens my belief (none)
    That Bush will not spend a cent that he cannot send to Iraq.
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