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The right wing bloggers are running with claims by the Red Cross that state officials kept them from going in too soon. The geniuses at Powerline conclude:

The Democrats may need to re-think their calls for an investigation.

See, that's the difference between us and them. They put their party above the country, and would rather stiffle a real investigation than be forced to shoulder any blame.

We say, "investigate away", and let the chips fall where they may. If any Democrats share the blame, then so be it. We need to know what went wrong, who f'd up, and how we can prevent this sort of thing from happening again. If Blanco or another Democrats gets fingered in this epic screwup, that's okay.

But the wingers don't see it that way. "Rerthink their calls for an investigation"... Jeez. Talk about projection, as though our motivations are the same as theirs. As though we look at the Gulf Coast and think, "hmmm, how can we best protect Democrats who may have had a hand in this mess..."

Unlike them, we place country first, party second.

Armando is right -- one party is calling for an independent investigation, willing to get to the truth irrespective of which party's at faily. The other party wants a whitewash. We all know which is which.

Update: Oh, and here's the fact about that Red Cross allegation:

“MARTY EVANS, RED CROSS PRESIDENT AND CEO: Well, Larry, when the storm came our goal was prior to landfall to support the evacuation. It was unsafe to be in the city. We were asked by the city not to be there and the Superdome was made a shelter of last resorts and, quite frankly in retrospect, it was a good idea because otherwise those people would have had no shelter at all.”
In other words, the Red Cross was kept out before the storm, not after. But Like I said, that's just about irrelevant at this point. There's no doubt that state and city officials made blunders. Everyone would make mistakes in a disaster of this magnitude. Let's get them all out in the open so we can properly assess what went wrong and what can be done to fix it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:36 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  hey, bring it on! (4.00)
    let's see the whole damn mess & actually hold people responsible again.

    what a thing to start teaching our kids again, huh??

  •  I also believe Robert Novak (none)
    Is even calling for a immediate investigation.

    ''There'll be plenty of time,'' Chertoff told Russert, to ''do the after-action analysis.'' That bloodless dismissal made the human tragedy and physical mayhem on the Gulf Coast seem like a bureaucratic mistake. What Chertoff ''got down'' was the White House mantra, repeated endlessly, that the ''after-action analysis'' should not interfere with current recovery operations. It was similar to saying the Pearl Harbor attack should not have been investigated and nobody disciplined for failures until World War II was won."

    I think a immediate investigation by a panel of independant experts with power of to call witness should be about right....draft them in from around the world, let them file a report and act on it.

  •  Amen! (4.00)
    When Democrats hear about investigations, the thought is "We'd better investigate, we want to make sure this doesn't happen again."

    When Republicans hear about investigations, the thought is "We'd better noit investigate, one of us might be involved."

    It's never about fixing things, it's about avoiding the mere appearance of responsibility.

    And that's why I'm a Democrat.  I want to fix problems, not shove them into a dark corner.

    "All we have to do now, is take these lies and make them true somehow" - George Michael (1990), George W. Bush (2005)

    by Jeff Seemann on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:31:09 AM PDT

    •  Precisely! (none)
      Jeff, you hit the nail on the head..precisely.
      Therein lies a difference between Democrats and Republicans. We are not afraid of the truth coming out and we want the facts. We want to get to the bottom of things so the problem can be found and strategies developed to solve the problem.

      I can say this for sure, I do not care if Clinton was President or any Democrat was President.
      I would still be hollering for a full investigation in this instance.

      Another Day, More Recycled Republican Rubbish-- PA Democratic Committee

      by wishingwell on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:34:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Democrats: fixing problems, not fixing facts (4.00)
      You're great, Jeff.  Keep it up.

      A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

      by Webster on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:35:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now make that a bumpersticker (none)
      and use it in your commercials. This could be one of those gifts that keeps on giving to you.
  •  GOP = CYA (none)
    Just goes to show, Republicans aren't about finding solutions -- they're all about who's to blame. And it's always anyone but them.

    "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

    by CaptUnderpants on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:31:29 AM PDT

  •  Investigation, fine (4.00)
    But what we need NOW is righteous, blazing, unflagging indignation by Democrats.

    All over the airwaves, in front of every micorphone. We need some to express pure shock and amazement. Keep repeating the most basic states "It simply boggles my mind that Bush sat for 4 days before doing a thing to help. And no thousands are dead."

    Period. Over and over and over.

    We need some people who won't get drawn into minutae, who will stick to evoking the pure emotional shock of this disaster.

    George Bush prancing on the aircraft carrier: one of America's worst moments

    by grushka on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:31:31 AM PDT

  •  I Think We Should Be Calling For Convictions, Etc. (none)
    The Democratic politicians should therefore call for prosecutions.
    Thus the Republicans need to sponsor an investigation and hope for a whitewashing, but be set a few steps back in arguing to block the investigation.

    The necessary force behind all points has to account for the resistance both on our side and theird.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:31:39 AM PDT

  •  I say take this to the next level. (4.00)
    The Democrats should start accepting responsibility for the mess - This way:

    I would love to have all the Democratic Senators come out and accept responsibility for their part of this disaster.  They should apologize to the American people for giving too much lee-way to Bushes nominees and that by allowing Bush to reward his friends with positions they had zero qualifications for, thousands of Americans died last week.  

    Then pledge no more, that they will no longer turn a blind eye to the incompetence of this administration and will be taking there roles in consenting to nominees at all levels seriously.  No more back room deals and pledges to go along.  This is about the present and future safety and security of this country.

    Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

    by ETinKC on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:32:02 AM PDT

    •  While they continue to take zero blame??? (4.00)
      sorry but that is like playing (and losing) a game of "chicken".
      This is their standard M.O. no way do we hand them such an easy "win".
      •  I'm with you (none)
        It certainly isn't going to us any good to point out how we were too weak to stand up to Bush and the Republican Majority.  And anyway, it's sort of traditional to let the President get most of his appointments, we've just never had a President with such BAD judgement before.

        When all else fails...panic

        by David in Burbank on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:54:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Screw Tradition (none)
          Frame this as part of the overall investigaation into the complete failure of the federal government last week.

          It was tradition when Presidents Nominated people who were actually qualified to handle the job.  It was tradition when presidents (read Clinton) put the safety of American's above loyalty to friends and party.

          If we come out and only criticize then it is reported as Democrats are being partisan and playing politics.  If we frame it as part of the government's failure to take care of Americans first, this will fall much harder against those in power than the minority.

          Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

          by ETinKC on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:02:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, we can place the blame where it belongs (none)
        while setting ourselves up for future (i.e. Supreme court) confirmations.

        We are sorry we didn't know how imcompetent Bush's nominations were.  We should have assumed they would have fucked up FEMA like they have everything else.  We promise to no longer allow them the lattitued to continue fucking up the country...etc.

        Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

        by ETinKC on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:57:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better yet (none)
          rather than calling it OUR failure, call it Bush's failure to appoint good people and that's why NOW we need a more thorough vetting of ALL his candidates, especially the Supreme Court ones, then has been traditionally done.  Bush makes bad picks so his picks ought not to get the benefit of the doubt.

          The Senate Democrats, though spinless and arrogant in many ways, are not to blame for Bush's bad judgement and the Senate Republican's blind loyalty to Bush.  

          FEMA director Brown is just the latest in a series of bad choice Bush has made - and now it is clear how those choices affect America - starkly clear - and so now, even for fear of seeming obstructionist (which the public wants anyway), Democrats should annouce that none of Bush's picks gets through without a fight - even though we will likely loose everyone of those fights.  Until we take back the Senate and the House in 2006.

          When all else fails...panic

          by David in Burbank on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:13:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    • not a bad talking point. (none)
    •  and I know exactly when it will happen... (none)
      Right after all the Democratic senators/reps apologize and take responsibility for giving Bush war authority in Iraq.  In other words, never.

      Republicans aren't the ONLY bunch of sniveling cowards involved.

      There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

      by Leggy Starlitz on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:56:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the perfect example (none)
    of the BushCo extremists anti-America ideology.

    Their instututionalized "me and my friends first,country last" pathology needs to repudiated on every level.

    Defeat the sound-bite.

    by sbj on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:32:10 AM PDT

  •  What do they mean, "too soon?" (none)
    State officials kept the Red Cross from going in early? You mean like before the hurricane was over, or what? I'm not sure what that means.


    •  positioning (none)
      The ARC was positioning their supplies and shelters outside the damage areas. The idea was that after the storm people would be evacuated to them.
      As we saw that evacuation didn't start for days and days. So the ARC just sat with their supplies and waited.
  •  yes we do! (none)
    and let the chips fall where they may is an understatement, if I've ever heard one!  If DINO's are hurt by their inaction, tough shit, we're better off w/o them.  The same w/the closet DINO's and other sellouts.  

    Get to the truth of the matter, the bullshit is being spread around too deeply and some people are falling for it!

    bush jams while thousands die in NOLA=Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

    by Street Kid on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:32:53 AM PDT

  •  Last night (4.00)
    my husband and I were talking about Republican talking points and their effectiveness. This morning I woke up to find my newspaper with this written on the top by him, "Talking point: Democrats put the country first, Republicans put party first."
  •  Christ. (none)
    They sound like third-world politicos. The kind that don't even attempt to sound interested in anything other than political protection and/or gain. Like someone said elsewhere regarding Scotty's press conference... truth means nothing to these guys - words are merely tools to elicit a desired response from the audience.

    I see your truuue colors... shining...

  •  Cloris Leachman is on CNN right now (none)
    saying that the Turdlicans can do a fair investigation.

    (no offense to Cloris Leachman, her family, friends, or anyone else who looks and speaks just like Nurse Diesel.)

  •  Amen (4.00)
    I honestly don't care if there are Democrats implicated in the almost countless mishaps leading up to this mess we find ourselves in. Whoever screwed up should be fired (or voted out of office), and whatever systemic problems there are should be remedied. Political fallout is secondary. Fixing the problems is the first order of business.

    We can't afford to have another disaster like this.

  •  who represents me? (none)
    While I want to find out what went wrong regardless of the party affiliation of the those who erred, the simple fact is that as a Californian, my tax dollars don't go to the City of New Orleans or the State of Louisiana. Nor can I vote for officials there. My representative in this mess is the Federal government. While there my be plenty of blame to go around, as far as a failure to represent ME goes, my ire is directed entirely at the feds.
  •  So did Bush "plead" for N.O. evacuation (none)
    The right wing spin machine has sent its shills out to say that Bush had to "plead" with the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana to order an evacuation.

    Who can call on the White House to prove that? Let's see the transcript of the phone call.

    Gov. Blanco seems just about pissed off enough to ask the White House, publicly, to put up or shut up.

    •  Why (4.00)
      Why would he "plead" for evacuation if no one could foresee the levees breaking? Was he pleading before or after he went to get his guitar?

      I'm here to represent the needle in the vein of the establishment.

      by mhojo on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:36:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There have been multiple posts (none)
      quoting LA Gov Blanco @ Sun AM news conference to announce mandatory evacuation of NO stating that Bush called moments before the conference AFTER the decision had been made.

      As usual, the right-wing-regressives are full of shit.

      Democracy is a contact sport...

      by jsmagid on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:38:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right, was this "pleading"... (none)
      ..before or after Bush's air-guitar riff, before or after he cut the cake with McCain, before or after...well, you get the idea.

      By all means, let's hear the recording, George.

  •  If anything it belies their defensive (none)
    That and the fact that an ignorant populace is in their best interests.
  •  Agree (4.00)
    I definitely agree, though in fairness from the party politics perspective, most of us have less to lose. Trading the Louisiana Democratic delegation for the federal Republican apparatus seems like a good, "put ours in the hospital, we'll put yours in the morgue" trade off.

    But, that's only once you get to the question of party. As it is now, we've got bodies stacked up like cord wood. The question of who is to blame is no f*&*kin game. Heads need to roll, and if that means from POTUS to parish dog catcher, so be it.

    I'm here to represent the needle in the vein of the establishment.

    by mhojo on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:35:25 AM PDT

  •  That is exactly the difference (4.00)
    If Gov. Blanco or Mayor Nagin made mistakes then we need to know it and correct it.

    Equally I am sure that both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin or woman enough and man enough to accept responsibility for what they did and did not do and what they could have done better.

    george bush, dick cheney, Chertoff, Brown, Rumsfeld, Rice, and the rest are not man enough or woman enough to accept or acknolwedge their responsibility in these matters.

    They are cowards.

    Incompetents, careless, negligent, and cowards.

    If there is anything the right wing has proven about themselves since 9/11 it is that they are terrified little cowards afraid of the boogeyman. Afraid of gays, afraid of women, afraid of blacks, afraid of hispanic immigrants, afraid of Arabs, afraid of Democrats, afraid of Islam, afraid of Judaism, afraid of Buddhists, afraid of the French, afraid of communists, afraid of the dark of night... their cowardice knows no bounds. They cannot accept or acknowledge responsibility or mistakes because they are too afraid.

    Afraid of the truth.


    bush and cheney MUST be forced to RESIGN

    by Andrew C White on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:36:31 AM PDT

    •  Rice and Rumsfeld? (none)
      Secretay of State and Secretary of Defense have what responsibility for the appaling response of FEMA under the Secretary of Home Land Security?  DOn't get me wrong, I don't care for either of them and think they are both just as criminally incompetant as everyone else in this administration, but I don't see a need to lump them in with the rest on this, it makes us look vindictive, not concerened.  And we ARE concerned.

      When all else fails...panic

      by David in Burbank on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:01:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should include (none)
        Wolfowitz, Feith, Gonzales, Ashcroft and Hadley too. This is about more then Katrina and the Drowning of New Orleans. This is about an administration that does not care for the health and welfare of the American people. This is about an administration with a woeful track record of lies and deception, death and destruction, incompetence and negligence... as well as a form of ideology and policy, bush conservatism, that is murderous in it's neglect, obliviousness, and intent.

        We can chose to limit it to just the Drowning of New Orleans or we can chose to limit it to just Iraq or we can chose to limit it to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib or we can chose to limit it to the trampling of civil and voters rights but I think that is a mistake. Whatever issue or action it is that put these guys over the top for you or any other Citizen of the United States of America we are all in the same place now.

        bush and cheney, and their entire administration, must be forced to reisgn.

        No other response or outcome is acceptable.

        bush and cheney MUST be forced to RESIGN

        by Andrew C White on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:55:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NUmerous Diaries on the Subject (4.00)
    Said FEMA and DHS kept the Red Cross out after the Hurricane.  Red cross spokespeople described those orders as coming from the feds.

    Platitudinous speeches before friendly audiences won't calm unsettled minds. DMN

    by sophiebrown on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:37:12 AM PDT

    •  Going to the Drome was preplanned (none)
      The Red Cross should have been there with food and water BEFORE the storm.

      Accountability is NOT a Game. Gore/Clark 2008

      by mattes on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:45:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not exactly (none)

      RC claims that LA state DHS kept them out.

      Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

      by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:04:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Red Cross on NPR (none)
        A RC representative was on Npr's Diane Rehm show yesterday (Wed)along with a rep from the Salvation Army. The rep stated that the RC was kept out by the State level of Homeland Sercurity. I would imagine that the state level takes its order from the Federal Level, or at least follows its policies. What concerns me is, that they were careful to put the blame at the State level. I guess even RC plays the political game.
      •  Last weekend (none)
        The Red Cross spokesperson was quoted as saying FEMA and DHS kept them out.  Even if DHS was a reference to the state -- which was not made clear at the time -- F-ema is federal.  

        Also, from your diary there appear to be a lot of politics in the Red Cross's public statements.  (That makes me very sad.)

        I recall several really good diaries late last week where the writer called red cross and the state and federal agencies to discuss the fact that the red cross was being kept out.  I just looked and could not find them.  As I recall, the red cross clearly named the feds as at least one entity keeping them out.

        Platitudinous speeches before friendly audiences won't calm unsettled minds. DMN

        by sophiebrown on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:30:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember going to (none)
          their web-site, from a link on a diary, IIRC, they stated it was FEMA on the site. Could someone, who unlike me knows what the hell they are doing, go and find that? Isn't there some kind of cache or something?
    •  On Fox (none)
      They had a lady in Red Cross corporate (I didn't catch her name) saying it was the state. Yet all articles I've seen written about it show it was the Feds. Could be reporter screw up, could be Red Cross in cahoots with Bush. Don't know.  Don't honestly care, but thought we should be aware that I saw a human being say it was the state and then checked all the newspaper reports I could find.

      "Bush should've hired Fed-Ex. They know when it has to be there overnight."

      by MissAnneThrope on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:40:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who runs it? (none)
         Wasn't Liddy Dole the last head? I've always had the impression that there was some kind of big business connection with RC.
        •  Never mind (none)
          Just saw it down thread. Confirms my suspicions.
          •  Before I could get back here (none)
            Yes, I know. Now I'm curious, so I put in a call to the corporate Salv. Army offices. Spoke with someone who isn't prepared to go on record, but is getting me the information via email. He said that he believes the National Guard is responsible in the case of LA....and/or FEMA...not the state.  

            When I get the info, I'll diary it. He said he's just a PR person from another firm hired by SA, so he wasn't 100 percent.

            We should look into this question regarding every national charity organization and see what the answers are.

            "Bush should've hired Fed-Ex. They know when it has to be there overnight."

            by MissAnneThrope on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 12:17:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think (none)
    an investigation is enough. I would like to see an independent counsul investigate the possibility that there was criminal negligence.
  •  Red Cross refused to set up shelters in NOLA (none)
    I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere here.

    They didn't want to put their members at risk, presumably of the predicted catastrophic flood.  Makes sense when you consider the Superdome shelter was set up with virtually no supplies.  

    Don't forget, ePluribus Media isn't them, it's US. That means you too.

    by Bionic on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:41:41 AM PDT

    •  Probably the biggest single bad decision... (none) all of this was to use the Superdome as the primary initial evacuation site.  That would have worked fine in the simple hurricane scenario, but obviously not in the levee breech scenario.
    •  No shelters in flood area (none)
      After a South Carolina shelter was flooded a few years ago, trapping some shelter residents, the Red Cross wisely decided no shelters in flood areas. That pretty much included all of New Orleans and most of southern LA. The closest Red Cross shelter was 80 miles away, I believe.
      •  Wrong, 20% of New Orleans never flooded. (none)
        Please get your facts straight.

        They could easily have set up shelters in the higher parts of town.

        New Orleans-- 72 hours later no communications, no drinking water, not enough police/troops. Bottomline, we're not prepared for another 9/11.

        by DeanFan84 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 02:24:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The facts (none)
          Much of the area is below sea level and vulnerable to catastrophic flooding. Based on the danger to refugees and workers, the Red Cross has decided not to operate shelters south of the Interstate 10-Interstate 12 corridor, leaving refuges of last resort that offer only minimal protection and no food or bedding.

          The American Red Cross, which runs federally designated emergency shelters, changed its policy in the mid-1990s after a shelter in South Carolina flooded and people inside nearly drowned. Now the agency bars shelters in areas that can be inundated by a storm surge from a Category 4 hurricane -- which is all of south Louisiana.

          Local parishes plan to shelter only those with "special needs," people who cannot be moved. In New Orleans, the Superdome will be used for this purpose.

          In lieu of traditional shelters, which offer food and bedding, some parishes plan to open "refuges of last resort" -- buildings that are not safe but are safer than homes. They can house at most a few hundred people per parish, officials say. Most others will be on their own, meaning that in a catastrophic storm more than a 200,000 people could be left at the mercy of the elements.

          Left Behind

  •  Fox News viewer emails (4.00)
    I've mentioned this before, but I've got a contact who receives the viewer emails at Fox. This person had told me last month that their email was pro-Sheehan, for instance, which triggered an uptick in insults against her, followed by...abusive, disgusting viewer emails against Sheehan. Like freaking Pavlov dogs.

    This past Sunday, my friend told me that Fox email was currently running rabidly against Bush. White hot anger. That very day began the pushback and the "game" of blaming it all on locals. AS of yesterday, the shift had begun, and now - presto, changeo! - Bush is once again blameless in the eyes of his sycophants. There is also a goodly measure of racism mixed in, to the extent one of the transcribers (a black guy) has asked for a week off, can't handle it.

    The most terrifying thing about this country right now, for those of us who get to watch it up close, is that apparently our citizens are happily awaiting their daily brainwash. Weak, sheeplike, servile people. That's who we are today, all too many of us.

    •  A black guy working for Fox News... (none)
      ..has enough problems, so I'll refrain from piling on for now.
      •  A good employer (none)
        You'd be surprised. Fox is an excellent employer. Benefits package includes all health coverage to domestic partners, including same sex.

        I can attest that they have plenty of local New Yorkers working there - of all colors - who despise their politics as much as we do here. They actually do a good job recruiting from the community, including giving paid internships to local kids.

  •  One Liner of the Day! (4.00)
    Re: Geroge Bush and his response to Katrina
    From: Los Angeles Times
    Margaret Carlson:

    Tanned and rested from a vacation so long it would embarrass the French

    When all else fails...panic

    by David in Burbank on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:42:48 AM PDT

  •  Since it was in the Pam Simulation (none)
    that Red Cross would help with evacution...why didn't they BEFORE the storm?? I say she's CYAing.

    Accountability is NOT a Game. Gore/Clark 2008

    by mattes on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:43:23 AM PDT

  •  I think that we can link these threads... (4.00)
    Politics over People.

    Party over Country.

    Incompetent Buddies over Real Civil Servants.

    Tax breaks for the rich over the public good.

    George Bush = Conservatism in Action.

    America is so much better than Bush.

  •  and besides (none)
    we Democrats, like the Wingers, know that the Republicans will have the heavy lifting when it comes to shouldering the blame.  It's easy to be righteous when you are on the side of the angels.

    First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

    by DCDemocrat on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:43:51 AM PDT

  •  Rarely is the question asked.... (4.00)
    is our GOVERNMENT learning?

    "No one could have imagined....."
    that after 4 years of getting everything they want in the name of Homeland Security and "preparedness," they would be so completely unprepared.

    "9/11 changed everything...."
    Apparently not.

  •  Right-o (none)
    Incompetents deserve the boot, whether one uses the left foot or the right.
  •  It was my understand ... (4.00)
    ... that it was a policy of Homeland Security at both the state and the fed level to not allow Red Cross in.

    I have the info from Red Cross downloaded onto my computer because i knew this wuld happen.

    The state level Homeland Security refused to allow Red Cross in, BUT they were adhering to the policies of Homeland Security in general.

  •  Makes Me Proud... (none)
    Every day, the strength of my convictions is amplified. I am proud to be a Democrat, proud to be a Liberal and most importantly proud of what I represent.
    See, that's the difference between us and them. They put their party above the country, and would rather stiffle a real investigation than be forced to shoulder any blame.
    That nails it on the head. It is not supposed to be about us or them it is supposed to be about right and wrong.

    And I for one am proud to stand on the side that represents what is right.

  •  Absolutely correct... (none)
    I don't think Democrats can safely take the obvious partisan position that we're always right and they're always wrong.  It's pretty clear that lots of things didn't get done right, at all levels, and I'm sure the mayor and gov. will shoulder their share of responsibility for bad decisionmaking.  Local law enforcement will probably have quite a bit to answer for as well.  What they WON'T have to deal with is the accusation that they just didn't give a shit.  That one is reserved for George W. Bush and his minions.

    So investigate away, and let's try and make the investigation as apolitical and insulated as it can possibly be.  As I said a couple of days ago, I think the best model is the commission that looked at the first Space Shuttle disaster.  I don't remember who all was on it, but one of them was Caltech Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman.  

  •  That's a good rap (none)
    but honestly, do you really think that the entire Democratic Party structure is made of selfless saints who care nothing for the needs of the Party?  Although we're talking about the party of many heroes, we're also talking about the party of Ron Brown and both Mayors Daley and everyone at the DLC and Terry McAuliffe and Gray Davis and Jim Trafficant and, while we're at it, the  CAFTA 15.  

    I'd like this to be one of the differences between the two parties, but we're nowhere near this ideal in the real world.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:50:29 AM PDT

  •  democrats need to make a stink (none)
    if we cannot get an independent investigation.  Fillibuster and protest until the tide turns.
  •  Correction (none)
    From the Red Cross site, someone found this and posted it.  It's a FAQ, that states the Red Cross continues to not have access.

    The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.,1096,0_682_4524,00.html#4524

  •  What I have read (none)
    here and elsewhere is that the Red Cross was kept out AFTER the disaster by FEMA and possibly the National Guard.

    (The Coast Guard also kept out by FEMA, as well as dozens if not hundreds of volunteer rescuers.)

    Investigate away, you red state folks!  If Nagin, Blanco, and Landrieu turn out to be the bad guys, we'll have their heads, too!

    But, as Scottie McClellan himself said, the buck stops at the Whitehouse....

    "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

    by hopesprings on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:51:55 AM PDT

  •  We The People (none)

    Let our object be our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country. Daniel Webster

    by Luetta on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:51:58 AM PDT

  •  Wing-nuts and possibly Republicans (none)
    do not understand how we think, or at least how I think. If the Democrats were in power and they had prepared and responded with this malignant negligence and incompetent, I would be SO ANGRY that I would change my Party affiliation. (I would, of course, not become a Republican under any circumstances, unless they completely changed their philosophy which they will never do.) But I would feel an anger and contempt for Democrats EQUAL TO AND POSSIBLY EXCEEDING what I feel for these Republicans, because the Democrats would have betrayed my belief in what the Democratic Party stands for.

    Will the journalists be kicked out? Will we need an independent Katrina Body Count?

    by lecsmith on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:52:24 AM PDT

    •  I agree (none)
      And any Democrat that supported Bush in 2004, and supports him now, are people I want nothing to do with anymore. They know better.

      "no-one anticipated the breach of the levees."

      "what didn't we do right?"

      (paraphrase)"I will investigate what happened here."

      It's like:

      Richard Nixon: "I'll investigate what happened at Watergate."

      Its so ridiculous as to defy logic! And ANYONE who supports that is nothing more than Oblivious, Delusional, and Dangerous.

      Republican Party = ODD

      I hate them. I honestly do. They have no concern for the Constitution of the United States nor their fellow citizens.

      This has NOTHING do do with abortion, gay rights, taxes, nothing. This is about how the leader of this country is protecting its citizens.

      "Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life." Cindy Sheehan

      by Dunbar on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:16:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hate them too. I am no goody-two-shoes, (none)
        but I have hated only a few people in my life. In all cases, including this one, the hatred was a rational response.

        Will the journalists be kicked out? Will we need an independent Katrina Body Count?

        by lecsmith on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:20:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Dem Prez in 2009 is going to have it so easy.. (4.00)
    During a national disaster, most conservatives are not going to finger-point or play the blame game, or god help us, hold our elected and appointed officials accountable, they are going to STFU
    If, during a major national disaster, the Democratic President plays with a guitar and cracks moronic jokes, the Vice President disappears, senior cabinet members go to Broadway shows, shop for shoes, and go to Baseball games, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If, during a major national disaster, the Democratic President continues to stay on vacation, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If the Federal response after a disaster is slow and people die because if it, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If, when informed of a major terrorist attack, the Democratic President just sits and stares blankly for seven minutes, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If this President gets us into a war based on lies and then runs it poorly, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If a major terrorist attack occurs, and the leader of that attack of it is not captured, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If there are runaway deficits and the President never vetoes a spending bill, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If gas prices are 3 or more dollars per gallon, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If a top administration official purposely outs a Covert CIA agent, most conservatives are going to STFU.
    If the Democratic President appoints political cronies for important positions that exceed their credentials or experience, most conservatives are going to STFU.

    The one exception? If the Democratic President has consensual sex in the Oval office and lies about it due to embarrassment, then they won't STFU.

  •  Party/Country. (none)
    For more than 10 years the GOP has been all about party over country. From the earliest days of Clinton, when they decided that every Clinton policy had to be blocked regardless of merit but inverstigated every sneeze, until right now where they are trying to hide. Time and again they choose party.

    This is something we need to hit hard for two things. First it is a winning issue.

    But more importantly, it is what we have to do to make this country better. If a Democrat is doing wrong we must take them to account. We must do it publicly and loudly. And at the same time must make people see that we want what is best for the country.

    We get the government we deserve. If we, or they, are willing to let things slide because of a party designation, we deserve whatever we get. We deerve the corruption, the needless wars and the endless poverty.

    "of the people, by the people, for the people."

    As a matter of fact, here is my idea for a new bumpersticker.

    The New GOP.
    Of the people party, by the people party, for the people party.

  •  Does anyone remember seeing.. (none)
    .. Michael Chertoff and  Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter on one of teh talk shows on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week? Both were in high sprits and congatulating each other on the great job the other was doing. There was no talk of any issues or crisis. It was apprent even to the interviewer that both were clueless.

    Can anuone get a transcrpit of the interview?

    Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde

    by RationalMan on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:55:50 AM PDT

    •  And here are Bonnie's qualifications (4.00)

      primary    04/26/04
      McElveen-Hunter, Bonnie
      Greensboro, NC 27408
      Pace Communications/President   
      primary    03/30/04
      Hunter, Bonnie
      Greensboro, NC 27408
      Pace Communications Inc./CEO and Pu    KEATING, CATHERINE HELLER (R)
      House (OK 01)
      primary    09/24/01
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      primary    02/01/01
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      RNC REPUBLICAN NATIONAL STATE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE (soft-money donation)    $100,000
      primary    07/21/00
      McElveen-Hunter, Bonnie Ms.
      Greensboro, NC 27408
      Pace Communications/President    BUSH, GEORGE W (R)
      BUSH FOR PRESIDENT INC.    $1,000
      primary    05/05/00
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      primary    05/02/00
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      primary    11/23/99
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      primary    03/17/99
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      primary    12/06/95
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      primary    10/17/94
      GREENSBORO, NC 27408
      Senate - NC
      JOHNSTON FOR U S SENATE    $1,000
      primary    08/14/91

      Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde

      by RationalMan on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:01:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rmeeber the stink (none)
      about them reaping huge donations for the Tsunami victims that they put a third of it aside for other things instead?


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 11:52:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You Can't Cover Up (none)
    1 million displaced persons and 40,000 dead with a Congressional whitewash.


    Think 9/11 Widows to the tenth power.

    The choice is this:  

    Do we wish to learn from Hurricane Katrina or revisit the mistakes we made during the next direct hit by a Category 4/5 hurricane on an American city?

    Failure to investigate what went wrong before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.

    Political officials who want a cover up are either idiots or criminals.

    If politicians try to cover up the mistakes we made regarding this natural disaster, they will have only until the next storm to remain in power.

    •  Wanna bet? (none)
      The same underlying racism and classism that prevents 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians from bothering Americans, while bin Laden, the murderer, walks free--combined with media and message control and hype-nosis, will ensure this fades within a few weeks.

      Incompetence, corruption, profiteering, corporatism, cronyism--shared attributes of almost all our leaders at the national level--when the shock wears off, the noisy ones will quiet down: "cast the first stone" and all that...

      And the sheeple will go along...

      I've been outraged for five years now. And nothing changes. The sheep hunker down and play deader. "Our" leaders excuse and enable the evil ones.

      America--land of WORMs (white old rich men).

      Nothing, and nobody else matters.

      Half a decade of outrage---pffft! Nothing.

      Have a nice day.

      God, I'm so sick at heart. This must be what the Amerinds felt like--watching their culture and way of life die.

      I am I and you are you, and we are both each other too -- Clair Huffaker, The Cowboy and the Cossack

      by xysrl on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:37:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chin Up. (none)
        Cheney is being told to "Just go fuck himself" on national live television by a plain citizen and Mark Fiore is making stuff like this and it's whizzing around on-line and reporters are asking hard questions in press conferences, finally, and there are thousands and thousands of people who survived losing everything they have and so have nothing left to loose by speaking out about how they were abandoned by their government and there are artists like Charmaine Neville being taped and documented and bureaucrats like Aaron Broussard speaking up.

        Even if they cover up, there will be another incursion by reality into their cockamamie political agenda.

        The truth will out.  But at what cost.  That is the tragedy, in human terms.

  •  Moral high ground (none)
    Excellent entry.   This is why I feel it's so important to not cut corners or give up the search for truth just to gain a short-term anti-Bush talking point.

    As noted, the Red Cross stories about being kept out by the state HSD are one big example.   As far as I can tell the ARC has not changed its story on this point.   Now, that may be one less weapon to beat up Bush, but he's left so many others than we really don't need this one.

    When you have an administration this incompetent, it's hard to separate revelation of truth from "Bush-bashing" because the two coincide so often!   Still, it's important to stick to the former.

    Trusting Republicans for small government is like trusting Taco Bell for Mexican cuisine.

    by EqualOpportunityCynic on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:02:01 AM PDT

  •  Investigate (1.25)
    You wrote:

    "Unlike them, we place country first, party second."

    Try to explain why your party is putting Katrina footage in a Judge Roberts attack ad.

    If there was a Darwin Award for stupid political would win, hands down.

  •  Defusing "Blame Game" (none)
    I've had to come up with a retort on the fly to counteract this "blame game" bullshit, which is simply another variation on the "Support Our Troops" meme--i.e., the implicit assumption that there's something unpatriotic about criticizing our Commander in Chief in any way.

    CLUELESS DICKWAD: How dare you try to pin this on the President? What about the governor? The mayor? [etc.]

    SELF: You're right--everyone will have to take responsibiity for their actions, or inactions. But here's my concern. The governor of Louisiana is not my governor. The mayor of New Orleans is not my mayor. But the President of the United States IS my president. I have a very personal stake in knowing if he can come through in the crunch. Like you, I looked to Bush for leadership. But you have to admit, we got excuses, not action.

    In a nutshell--in simple, indisputable terms, here's the case against Bush:


    [repeat as necessary]

    "Mr. President, we're not asking you to take the blame. We're asking you to take the responsibility."

    by JasonRoberts on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:04:11 AM PDT

  •  They don't want an investigation. (none)
    There's no light hidden under their bushel basket.

    You're a Republican until it happens to you.

    by nape on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:06:17 AM PDT

  •  Blame a Democrat: Joe Lieberman (4.00)
    There is probably no Democrat more responsible for the incompetent response than Joe Lieberman.

    Yes, the mayor should have had a better evacuation plan.  Yes, the governor should have displayed more leadership as the crisis occurred.

    But the root of the disastrous response has been the appointment of incompetent cronies to senior positions on FEMA.  And no Democrat is more responsible for that than Joe Lieberman.

    As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Joe Lieberman was responsible for overseeing DHS and FEMA.  Hell, creating DHS was his idea, so he should have been paying particular attention to spot any problems that would have cropped up as FEMA was integrated into DHS.  Spotting the idiocy of appointing Brown head of FEMA should have sent alarm bells ringing.

    And Brown was not the only problem appointment.  FEMA was stocked with incompetent cronies. Where was Lieberman when this was happening?

    The irony is that Lieberman utterly failed to make any of this an issue when he ran for President.  As a so-called centrist, with beltway cred but no grassroots support, Lieberman could have had a reverse-Sista Souljah moment by attacking Bush on proteting the country, simultaneously proving that he isn't an administration suckup and demonstrating leadership on homeland security.  Instead, Lieberman proved he was politically tone-deaf and his campaign sunk like a stone.

    Anyway, Reid should strip Lieberman of his committee position to prove that Democrats can hold people accountable.

  •  Red Cross says it was *Homeland Security* (none)
    Before this goes too far, here's something to add to the foul pot: I first read in SteveRose's diary that Homeland Security prevented the Red Cross from entering the city, which ARC confirmed to him by phone. I called the ARC after reading that and was told the same thing: Homeland Security wouldn't allow them inside the city. See my comment here.

    BUT I just reread SteveRose's diary and saw that he first read it in shock's diary, which I wish I'd seen earlier... it's the most detailed and is a must read.

    In other words, there's 100% consistency in Red Cross answers that Homeland Security ordered them not to enter the city... or at least there was earlier in the week.

    •  State HSD (none)
      Nothwithstanding the dubious faith of the other responder, it's true that the ARC has said pretty consistently since last week that it was the state Homeland Security Dept. keeping them out.

      However, now that I find that Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter is a big Republican donor (see above), I'm inclined to doubt even the veracity of that report.

      Trusting Republicans for small government is like trusting Taco Bell for Mexican cuisine.

      by EqualOpportunityCynic on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:31:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not one thin dime (none)
        ever again to the Red Cross. I'm still kicking myself for the $150.00 check, I should have stopped payment.

        Fucking criminals, once Libby headed it I should have known that it was too political to trust.

  •  ...ah, I meant Dome. (none)

    Accountability is NOT a Game. Gore/Clark 2008

    by mattes on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:14:53 AM PDT

  •  it ain't gonna happen (none)
    Unfortunately there will never be a true investigation into what went wrong in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As kos said, Republicans put party before country.

    Therefore the Republican chair of the eventual investigation will look to save the asses of the 'right' people first  and look into the real problems of incompetence last or not at all. Even if a commission is appointed like the one that was appointed after 9/11, the congress still has to make laws that enforce the suggested corrections to all the problems that were incurred. Finally, there actually has to be an effective bureaucracy to implement the policies meant to save property and lives. If the goal of the Bush Administration and neo-cons in general is to deconstruct those bureaucratic systems, then what's the point of a mock investigation in the first place?

    Listen to Air America Radio, in L.A. at 1150AM and S.F. at 960AM. All others check out

    by proudprogressiveCA on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:16:51 AM PDT

  •  A CNN reporter (none)
    who weathered the storm (even after CNN tried to force her to leave NO) she was awsome.  She said that they needed the National Guard in there to control the small group of people who had broken into stores and stolen guns etc.  The President has to do that.  It wasn't safe for the Red Cross etc. w/out more control.  It also wasn't safe for the majority of people left behind there.  Oh but I forgot they're poor blacks so who cares right Mr. President?!?!?

    Its not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:22:28 AM PDT

  •  My Katrina diary (none)
    Give it a shot.  If it doesn't act as informatively as previous efforts by me, it should at least entertain you or help express your rage.

    There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.

    by wolverinethad on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:22:57 AM PDT

  •  Canadian Army got to St. Bernard Parish (none)
    five days before FEMA and the U.S. Army, Reuters reports.

    "Boasso said U.S. authorities began airdropping relief supplies to St. Bernard last Wednesday, the same day the Canadian rescue team of about 50 members arrived from Vancouver, nearly 2,200 miles (3,540 km) away.

    "They chartered a plane and flew down," he said.

    Two FEMA officials reached the parish on Sunday and the U.S. Army arrived on Monday, he said.

    "Why does it take them seven days to get the Army in?" Boasso asked."

    Will the journalists be kicked out? Will we need an independent Katrina Body Count?

    by lecsmith on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:34:45 AM PDT

  •  "A Nation Preapred" FEMA (none)
    Don't know if anyone has linked ot this before but I see useful content for diffusing the notion that a mayor has the primary role in a disaster of this magnitude.


    Based upon their written plan, I don't think they did very well.


    "Goal 2. Minimize suffering and disruption caused by disasters.

    Photo: National Guard troops transferring water and ice from a truck to a helicopter.
    Caption: The National Guard, an important partner, delivers water to a disaster area. Coordinating the swift provision of vital assistance, including food, water, and medicine, is central to FEMA's mission.

    Disasters cause suffering and disrupt people's lives and the normal functioning of their communities. States, Territories, Tribal Nations, and local governments bear the primary responsibility for responding to and recovering from disasters. FEMA--at the direction of the President--takes action when State, Territorial, Tribal and local resources are overwhelmed and the Governor requests assistance.

    In concert with its partners, FEMA will respond quickly and effectively, bringing the right people and resources to bear where and when they are needed most. FEMA will provide timely and appropriate disaster assistance to hasten the recovery of individuals and communities while ensuring that efforts to prevent, avoid, and reduce the impacts of future disasters are an integral part of every recovery. Throughout, FEMA will continue its work with States and Territories to ensure the most effective sharing of disaster management responsibilities, allowing FEMA to focus on preparing the Nation for truly catastrophic events, whether natural or man-made."

    Didn't do so well on this one either:

    "Quick and Effective Response
    Objective 2.1
    Respond quickly and effectively when States, Territories, Tribal Nations, and local governments are overwhelmed.

    a. Establish FEMA's capability to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while maintaining key, ongoing functions.
    b. Monitor potential emergencies and disasters and be prepared to deploy assets to assure a quick response.
    c. Develop, acquire, and coordinate a national operational capability, and the resources and assets to simultaneously respond to four catastrophic plus twelve non-catastrophic incidents, anywhere in the country...."

    Anyway, back to work for me. We need an investigation and lets use every tool to get it-not for partisan advantage but because it's our damn government that's supposed ot protect us and it's all a great big glossy sham as evidenced by the linked document's PDF version.

  •  TV media already completed investigation (4.00)

    "Bush should've hired Fed-Ex. They know when it has to be there overnight."

    by MissAnneThrope on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:35:45 AM PDT

  •  fyi here's what the red cross said (none)
    straight from its website:

    Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

    • Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

    • The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

    • The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.

    • The Red Cross shares the nation's anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.

    • The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.

    • The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.

    • As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.
  •  Hayek understood this conservative mentality (none)
    "the first point on which the conservative and the liberal dispositions differ radically. As has often been acknowledged by conservative writers, one of the fundamental traits of the conservative attitude is a fear of change, a timid distrust of the new as such, while the liberal position is based on courage and confidence, on a preparedness to let change run its course even if we cannot predict where it will lead."

  •  It's true (none)
    Local officials did deny the Red Cross access to the city or to people in need. LA FEMA director in Baton Rouge wouldn't let them in.

    I read this yesterday somewhere, I'll post a link to the story. Anyone else read that article? Help?

    •  Red Cross was NOT "stopped" (none)
      It is the Red Cross's long-time policy not to go into any areas that need to be evacuated like the Dome. They are civilian volunteers, not the military. The RC sets up facilities for people AFTER they have been evacuated from dangerous areas.
      This was on their website last week under FAQ, but it's gone now....
  •  Right On KOS! (none)
    glad to hear it.
  •  It's not only the Red Cross ... (none)
    International donors complain of red tape hindering shipments to U.S.
    Some waiting for word on whether aid is wanted
    Associated Press
    Originally published September 8, 2005

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden - For four days, a C-130 transport plane ready to lift supplies to Katrina victims has stood idle at an air base in Sweden. The aid includes a water purification system that may be urgently needed amid signs deadly diseases could be spreading through fetid pools in New Orleans.

    Approval by U.S. officials is the one thing that stands in the way of takeoff.

    Although some foreign aid is on the way to the United States, many international donors are complaining of frustration that bureaucratic entanglements are hindering shipments to the United States.

    "We have to get some kind of signal [from the United States] in the next few days," said Karin Viklund of the Swedish Rescue Services Agency. "We really hope we will get it."

    Aside from water purification units, the country has offered blankets and mobile network equipment.
    Swiss officials expected an answer to their aid offer by Tuesday night.

    As of yesterday afternoon, supplies were sitting in a warehouse outside Bern as authorities awaited a response, said Andreas Stauffer, spokesman for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

    $1 billion in aid The United States has accepted offers of nearly $1 billion in assistance from 95 countries, said Harry K. Thomas Jr., the State Department's executive secretary.

    One of those rejected came from Iran.

    Tehran offered to send 20 million barrels of crude oil if Washington waived trade sanctions, but Thomas said the offer was rejected because it was conditional.

    The sanctions were imposed after militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took its occupants hostage in 1979.

    Thomas said, "Every country has heard from us. All have been told their offers are being evaluated and that 'we may take your offers later.'"

    Help waiting But Poland, Austria and Norway said they had not heard back on their aid offers, and countries outside Europe said they were also waiting for replies:

    India, which is regularly hit by flooding from monsoon rains, has a planeload of supplies waiting but nowhere to send it.

    Taiwan is waiting to hear from the United States for guidance on how it wants to spend the $2 million the island has pledged before it transfers the money, according to Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Michel Lu.

    More Baltimore Sun


    That's today's paper!  And I know for a fact that Canadian ships were loaded and eager to go...all they needed was permission from the American government that their supplies, helicopters, and aid workers, would be given clearance to enter American waters.  

    This Canadian search and rescue team did reach New Orleans 5 days in advance of the U.S. Army:


    The current rescue mission, 4 Ships, 1000 aid workers, supplies including watermakers, dubbed, 'Operation
    Unison', finally was able to leave port on Tuesday:

    CTV News  

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