Saturday, September 03, 2005

This is why the response is slow:

Over at THE NEWS BLOG, there is a post which has a picture of Bush being briefed by FEMA head Michael Brown yesterday (Friday).

They got a table. They got maps on the table. Maps of the terrain. And a weather map. A five day old weather map.

Rotated, enlarged, and stretched

When planning operations, a weather map showing current (or likely future) conditions is what you want. The weather map on the table is of no use. It's not fine-grained and focused on southern Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama. It's just a gross view of the Gulf of Mexico from Sunday.

If FEMA is using five-day old maps, no wonder it took them five days to get supplies to the New Orleans Convention Center!



New Orleans convention center:
New York Times report:
... federal officials were not even aware there was a crowd at the convention center for three days into the crisis, according to Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Mr. Brown told network television interviewers on Thursday night that federal officials had learned about the refugees just that day.

"Don't you guys watch television?" Ted Koppel asked him on "Nightline." "Our reporters have been reporting about it for more than just today."

Mr. Brown, who indicated that officials had heard word of the problem earlier but were too busy dealing with refugees at the Superdome to confirm it , said, "We learned about it factually today that that's what existed."
Boston Globe report:
But what the evacuees found here in recent days was worse at times than the ruined homes they had left behind. There were promises of food and water, but there was none to be had. There were buses coming to get them, they were told, again and again. But those buses never showed.
PBS News Hour interview:
MIKE BROWN: Well, let me answer the question two ways: First, with regard to the evacuation of the Superdome and the convention center, we have had an ongoing supply food and water to there. They've had meals every day that they've been there.
White House:
THE PRESIDENT: Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.
This administration is shitting in your face.


Friday, September 02, 2005


Bush admin vs. reality:

CNN has a page devoted to FEMA head Michael Brown's statements contrasted against reports in the field. Total denial of the situation.
  • Brown: That's not been reported to me...
  • Brown: I've just learned today that we ... are in the process of completing the evacuations of the hospitals, that those are going very well.
  • Brown: I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that.
  • Brown: Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.
Actually, this is probably a good thing. We have a case now where the evidence is clear and overwhelming that the Bush administration lies. That should change a number of minds.


Mayor to feds: 'Get off your asses'

Excerpts from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin expletive-laced interview with local radio station WWL-AM.
  • And they don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed.
  • I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. We ain't talking about -- you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here. I'm like, "You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."
  • ... they're thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize it enough, man. This is crazy.
  • You know what really upsets me, Garland? We told everybody the importance of the 17th Street Canal issue. We said, "Please, please take care of this. We don't care what you do. Figure it out."     ... they allowed that pumping station next to Pumping Station 6 to go under water. Our sewage and water board people ... stayed there and endangered their lives. And what happened when that pumping station went down, the water started flowing again in the city, and it starting getting to levels that probably killed more people. In addition to that, we had water flowing through the pipes in the city. That's a power station over there. So there's no water flowing anywhere on the east bank of Orleans Parish. So our critical water supply was destroyed because of lack of action.
  • They're showing all these reports of people looting and doing all that weird stuff, and they are doing that, but people are desperate and they're trying to find food and water, the majority of them. Now you got some knuckleheads out there, and they are taking advantage of this lawless -- this situation where, you know, we can't really control it, and they're doing some awful, awful things. But that's a small majority of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive.
  • ... nobody's talked about this. Drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me, and that's why we were having the escalation in murders. People don't want to talk about this, but I'm going to talk about it. You have drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix, and that's the reason why they were breaking in hospitals and drugstores. They're looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will. And right now, they don't have anything to take the edge off. And they've probably found guns. So what you're seeing is drug-starving crazy addicts, drug addicts, that are wrecking havoc. And we don't have the manpower to adequately deal with it.
  • After 9/11, we gave the president unprecedented powers lickety-quick to take care of New York and other places. Now, you mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world, everybody's eyes light up -- you mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need? Come on, man.
  • You know, I'm not one of those drug addicts. I am thinking very clearly. And I don't know whose problem it is. I don't know whether it's the governor's problem. I don't know whether it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get their ass on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now.
  • I don't want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city. And then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can't even count. Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They're not here. It's too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country.
mp3 of the complete interview here (11 minutes, 8 meg). Worthwhile to get the full emotion of the mayor's comments, especially the last 60 seconds.


New Orleans erases 9/11 competency claims:

Everybody is talking about how the Feds are not on the job with the hurricane disaster. And that makes the fumbling pre and post 9/11 look less like an unexpected surprise and more like general incompetence.

It's hard to say how this will play out, but if Bush can emerge from this calamity intact, then nothing can damage him politically.


Bush bored with the whole affair:

Bush was briefed by FEMA head Michael Brown in a photo-op with Republican governors of Alabama and Mississippi - who both praised the Feds and themselves. The local FOX anchor and Chris Wallace discussed the event and both agreed that it was a worthless briefing (all about where the hurricane had hit and nothing about current ops) and that Bush didn't seem to care for it either. This image below is the best we can get at the moment. Bush with his arms crossed, downturned corner of his mouth, looking up and away while Brown was talking to him. Not a pretty picture.


Friday sunrise blogging:

Same place as last week.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

George Bush - man of action!

From the White House:
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

September 1, 2005

SUBJECT: Assistance to Federal Employees Affected by Hurricane Katrina

I have directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish an emergency leave transfer program to assist employees affected by Hurricane Katrina. The emergency leave transfer program will permit employees in an executive agency to donate unused annual leave for transfer to employees of the same or other agencies who have been adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina and who need additional time off from work without having to use their own paid leave.

Man, this guy is cheap.


Bush Views Something Far Away While On His Plane


President Bush flew back to Washington and peeked out the window at something so distant that it was hard to make out any detail. "Even though I can't really see much, it'll look like I'm paying attention and caring about the destruction waged by hurricane Katrina," he told aides at one point during the hastily-arranged inspection flight.

On his way to Washington, Bush stared out the window with an unfocused gaze from a couch near the left front of the plane.

The spokesman, describing the rare scene aboard the president's plane, said that aides were with Bush, pointing out various sights and that the president was hearing commentary on what he was seeing. Unfortunately, it was cut short after only ten minutes when Bush abruptly declared that it was time for him to take a nap.

Bush was expected to visit the ravaged region by week's end, but details on that trip were in flux as the White House worked to make sure a presidential tour would dovetail with his planned sixty-day Social Security Reform campaign.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Seen recently on a Yahoo Top Stories page:


The Charlie Rose Show tonight:
An hour with
Can you handle it?


Bush's latest scare tactic:

(larger x2 image here - 300k)


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The latest reason for troops in Iraq:

So far:
  • Iraq has chemical and biological WMD
  • Iraq will have nukes in short order
  • Iraq working with al Qaeda
  • Iraq connected to 9/11
  • Iraq a destabilizing force in the region
  • Saddam a ruthless dictator
  • A free Iraq will be the first step in reforming the Middle East
  • "He tried to kill my dad."
  • A democratic Iraq will be in inspiration to other Arab nations
  • We owe it to the troops that have already died
Now this (via (excerpts, emp add)
Bush: U.S. Must Protect Iraq From Terror

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

President Bush on Tuesday answered growing anti-war protests with a fresh reason for American troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields that he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.

"We will defeat the terrorists," Bush said. "We will build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary."

Bush said the Iraqi oil industry, already suffering from sabotage and lost revenues, must not fall under the control of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."
This is getting ridiculous. Apparently, in response to the public concern about high gasoline/oil prices, Bush is using that as a talking point to garner support for the war.

Who is going to buy that argument?

Bush has been peculiarly off-message recently (witness the lackadaisical response to the New Orleans disaster). Could it be that Bush's "magic" - with those who make up the Cult of Bush - has finally faded?


Nuke Fallujah!

"This page was created by a seller."   Still...


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Watching the hurricane:

Go here, , and click on the Gulf of Mexico links for Visible or IR (infra-red). At night, IR is the only way to go. Images updated every 30 minutes* and are time-stamped Zulu.

* - at least that's what we've gotten, only times of XX15 and XX45.