This video obtained by the associated press and linked from crooks and liars shows shrub sitting in via video conference on a FEMA briefing the day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. During the briefing the director of the national hurricane center talked about the potential of the New Orleans levees being breached. Even Mike Brown seemed to be on top of things. But once the storm hit nothing happened. Meanwhile shrub outright lied about no one anticipating the levees failing. Come on people, let’s impeach the guy. He is clearly a liar, and incompetent. He shouldn’t be running a hot dog cart, much less a country. Give him the boot.
Shrub actually actively disdain’s anyone who isn’t wealthy enough who bail him out of his business disasters or finance his political campaigns. Now in the wake of hurricane katrina he has suspended the prevailing wage laws in the affected areas. The purpose of these laws is to require government contrators to pay same wage as other companies in the wage for comparable work. For example, if construction contractors in an area are paying an average of $7.50/hr for laborers, any company doing a government construction contract must pay the same amount. Instead they now only have to pay the federal minimum wage which has stuck at $5.15/hr since the mid 1990’s. It is not clear what rationale shrub had for suspending the prevailing wage laws, other than to benefit the companies that are getting the no-bid contracts for reconstruction. Guess which company was the one of the first to get one of these contracts? You got it, Halliburton. To top it off no local gulf coast companies got these contracts.
The Army Corps of Engineers hired four companies yesterday to remove debris from parts of Louisiana and Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina. No companies from the affected Gulf Coast were awarded a share of the $2 billion in contracts, but the winners must give preference to subcontractors in those areas, the Corps said in a statement.
So bush buddies get big contracts to clean but they don’t have to pay a decent wage to the local people who need the help most to rebuild their lives. It also appears that shrub was in such a rush to screw regular laborers that he may have violated the law to do it. This from Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
From: TPMCafe Special Guests
The President suspended wage standards for workers on the Gulf Coast before he declared a national emergency. That means he was so focused on cutting the wages of people who’d be returning to the Gulf Coast to rebuild their lives and their communities that, in order to hasten the suspension, he failed to follow the law. And at the same time the White House was cutting workers’ wages, it was busy awarding no-bid contracts. The President has proven once again that he’s more interested in governing for the few than in governing for all of us.
The President’s pay cut affects tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Americans who desperately need a decent income to rebuild their lives. People working construction jobs in the Gulf Coast might only have earned $7 or $8 in the first place; now, the only protection left for them is the federal minimum wage, which is a disgraceful $5.15 an hour because Republicans repeatedly refuse to increase it.
What the President has done is immoral.
If you still believe that shrub is just a regular guy (did anybody ever really believe that?) and that he knows how regular people feel, it is time for a reality check. He hates anybody who is not one of his cronies.
Rick Santorum should be confined to House Arrest in what was the ninth ward of New Orleans for the rest of his life. This evil scumbag earlier this year introduced a bill in the US Senate that would prohibit the National Weather Service from providing weather information free to the public if any private company is also providing that information.
That information is available for free from the National Weather Service
But under a bill pending in the U.S. Senate, it might all disappear.
The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.
Accuweather is a company based in Pennsylvania that has contributed substantial sums to Santorums campaigns. Of course Accuweather and Weather Channel and other outlets get all their weather data from the NWS, for free. They of course do not provide that information to people for free. You have to pay in some way, either advertising or your cable bill, etc to get that information from the “private” sector. Of course we have already paid for theis information through our taxes that fund the NWS, so we have a right to get this data for “free” since we paid to compile it in the first place. So scumbags like Santorum would have people pay to generate the information and then pay some company again to actually see it. Welfare for poor people is bad, but welfare for wealthy corporate contributors is just fine.
And now Santorum has the gall to say in an interview that National Weather Service warnings were not sufficient. I posted the following warning from the NWS the day before the storm hit
EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE KATRINA CONTINUES TO APPROACH THE
MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTA
DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED
MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT
LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL
FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
He is just like all the other republican leaders, an evil, corrupt, hypocritcal liar. If that warning is not sufficient, I don’t know what is. He is all for savings unborn fetuses but once you are out, Fuck You if you actually need any help from society. Unless you of course you are big contributor to the campaign, then belly right up to the pork bar!
I found this via boing-boing. These are the words of shrub direct from a White House press release yesterday:
We’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we’re going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we’re going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is — and it’s hard for some to see it now — that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house — he’s lost his entire house — there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)
This jackass is so utterly tone-deaf to other people’s suffering (specifically anyone who is not a major campaign contributor) it never ceases to amaze me. Why would anyone support anything this joker does?
This item appeared in the Salon.com war room:
As the authorities shuffle hurricane refugees from the Superdome in New Orleans to the Astrodome in Houston and other venues scattered around Texas, ordinary people from all across America are posting offers on the Web to let people stay with them. As Salon reader Sandy Harbanuk of Juneau, Alaska, reminds us, we know of a guy from Crawford who has 1,600 acres of land and a 10,000-square-foot vacation estate he’s not using just now. We wonder if he’s going to post a note on craigslist offering to take some “good folks” in.
Maybe they could help clear the brush too! There always seems to be plenty around. You could put up quite a nice tent city on 1600 acres.
Go here to hear the uncensored version of the interview that New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin did with a New Orleans radio station last night. CNN played parts of this but censored it.
I have been hearing comments repeatedly in recent days about America coming to everyone elses aid when they have an emergency, but no one coming to our aid in this crisis. Well it appears that other countries want to help, but the incompetent political hacks running our country into the ground won’t let them. This was on Daily Kos
On tonight’s news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called “DART” which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. So, everything here is grounded. Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.
Canadian agencies are saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and Mississippi because of “mass confusion” at the U.S. federal level in the wake of the storm.
Also see the Hurricane Warning from the national weather service that I posted the day before the storm made landfall . At least one government agency knew what was coming.
This morning on Good Morning America Shrub made the following statement:
I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.
This is just one of countless versions of the same warning over the past several years,
From Gone with the Water, in National Geographic, October 2004:
The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level‹more than eight feet below in places‹so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.
Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.
When did this calamity happen? It hasn’t — yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.
Except for the water coming over rather than through the levees this is an almost exact description of the events of Monday night and Tuesday. Anyone who says this couldn’t have been anticapated, is either a pathalogical liar or far two stupid to ever be left in any position of responsibility. In president shrub’s case I fear that both may be true. This is also precisely why New Orleans should probably not be rebuilt in it’s current location. They should build a new city somewhere that makes more sense.
Dave Winer makes some good comments on the aftermath of hurricane katrina:
The disaster is continuing. The national response is wholly inappropriate. I think we have to get ready to welcome the refugees into our homes, to absorb the population of New Orleans and the surrounding area into the rest of the country. I think it’s clear that’s where we’re headed
The whole country needs to come together and help the people of the region who really need help. We also need to take a really serious look at whether New Orleans should even be rebuilt in it’s current location, or whether we should build anew somewhere else. We need to stop the political bullshit about rebuilding and look at what is really best for the people and the region. I believe that rebuilding in the heavily contaminated toxic pool that was formerly the Big Easy is a huge mistake. Whatever we do something like this is bound to happen again sooner or later. With hurricanes getting worse every year, this is likely to happen again sooner rather than later.
Over Dave Winer’s Scripting News blog he quotes the following from Daily Kos
Fair question: “How is it that today, nearly four years after 9/11, we have no cohesive plan to deal with the region’s refugees, the potentially one million American citizens without work or a home or basic care?” Permanent link to this item in the archive.
Dave’s response was:
The writer above is absolutely correct that, if we were prepared, the response to the aftermath of Katrina would be further along by now. Responsibility however is not with the administration, it lies with the electorate. We had a chance to make last year’s election a referendum on the politics of terrorism, to seriously evaluate our preparedness, if we really cared. If anything is learned from this, we have to think, we can’t delegate. We need leadership that cares, not in a superficial way. That leadership must come from us. We have some very huge decisions to make right now, and many thousands of lives depend on how well we do. That said, I have few ideas of things we can do other than give money to relief agencies, which of course, we are doing.
I agree and this goes along with the old saying that “People elect the government that they deserve” The fact that so many people in this country are so intellectually lazy that they bought all the bullshit that the republicans have spewed over the years is also a tragedy and those people must take at least some responsibility for the events of the last few years. Unfortunately all the rest of who didn’t buy into the lies also have to pay the price and the cost of democracy. People need to take more responsibility for the information that they receive. They can’t just sit back and soak up all the crap the mainstream corporate media dish out. They need to find their own news from new independant sources.
Long live Dave Winer and Kos and the rest of the Blogosphere and the Podosphere!