I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kerry Vells...sigh...again

Kerry's coming to town.
Monday, October 10th
10:00-11:00 a.m.
Macalester College, Kagin Commons

He's stomping for Chris Coleman.

But naturally he's a busy political bee pollenating all the pre-campaign gonna run again flowers but still he found time to meet with Cindy Sheehan for some Q&A...

1. What noble cause?
“This is an artsy question that is hard to answer. However I can tell you that a war based on lies is not noble, but a war based on bringing freedom to people is noble.”

2. How many more lives?
“If we can not achieve the goal of bring freedom, I do not want to see any more lives lost in this war.”

3. How many lives are you personally willing to risk?
“I will say the same thing. If this war will not bring freedom to the Iraqi people I am not willing to personally risk any lives.”

4. What are you doing to bring our troops home?
“I believe that we are in a critical two month stage right now. The Iraqi people are supposed to have an election in December.”

I'm not happy with his artful (artsy!?) answers and his 'way to smooth' delievery that really doesn't nail the truth, but Cindy seemed happy enough. Kerry is now listed on her Hall of Fame, one of only four Senators (say- where's Dayton who actually introducted the Department of Peace Legislation in the Senate?). Just what is the litmus test? Are words of more value than actions?

There's also a couple of more questions to be asked in followup like...
When does the withdrawal begin?
When will it conclude?

Let's get past the 'light at the end of the tunnel' arguments.
No document, no election, not one thing, democratic, diplomatic or military, will move Iraq forward while American boots are on the ground.

It's another endless, senseless body count war.

C'mon, John. No really tell me...

How do you ask someone to be the last to die for their country?
For what noble cause?

Kudos to Pamela Leavey at The Democratic Daily.

road rage

This handy dandy booklet of signs contains many useful (if not totally politically incorrect) messages for other drivers on the road. They even have reversed type, so drivers can read your message through their rear-view mirror.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

All We Are Saying...

I didn't make the march in WA DC this weekend...
I was tapped out from spending the week before there...
and had to play catch up at work but in heart I was there,
march, chanting, supporting, crying...enough, no more,
for what noble cause?

I did go to Belle Plaine to attend a march there
but showed late because of a meeting that went long before.
Still I help up my WAGE PEACE sign with the hopes we will.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Senator Dayton and the DOP

On September 22nd, 2005, the 44th anniversary of President Kennedy's signing of the legislation creating the Peace Corps, Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) introduced the Department of Peace legislation into the U.S. Senate, calling for an elevation of the Reagan-established "Institute of Peace" to a Cabinet-level position. Dayton's Senate bill elevates the U.S. Institute of Peace to a cabinet level department and expands its responsibilities to cover domestic issues as well as international. See Dayton's press release at http://dayton.senate.gov/news/press.cfm.

Many thanks to the Department of Peace activists from Minnesota who met with Senator Dayton this past week after the National Peace Alliance Conference in WA D.C. They encouraged Dayton in taking this bold step for peace legislation. In particular thank the three Minnesota youth leaders, Chelsea Skog (13 yrs), Eric Skog (6 yrs) and Raven Kinnell(12 yrs), who also met with the Senator. Senator Dayton said he was doing it for them, and for all our youth.

This is a huge moment for our campaign, and for the future of the Department of Peace! Senator Dayton's leadership and enthusiastic support takes us to the next level as peace activist continue to advocate for this historic legislation. The Legislation is similar to companion legislation introduced last week in the House of Representatives by Congressman Dennis Kucinich and 60 co-sponsors (H.R. 3760).

Please help continue this momentum by calling your own Senators today and urging them to support this bill. Contact your (U.S. capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121) Tell the staffer who answers your call that you want your Senator to sign on as a co-sponsor ofthe Department of Peace legislation. Request a written response explaining your Senator's position and the reasoning behind it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Senator Dayton Introduces DOP Legislation.



September 22, 2005
Contact: Press Office, 202.224.3244
Press Release Dayton Introduces Legislation to Establish U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence Bill would elevate Reagan-established “Institute of Peace” to Cabinet-level department

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Mark Dayton today introduced legislation that would elevate the current, nonpartisan, federally-funded Institute of Peace to a Cabinet-level department, dedicated to the study and development of policies to promote peace and expand human rights. Dayton’s Department of Peace and Nonviolence Act is the Senate counterpart to House legislation (H.R. 3760) introduced by Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and cosponsored by 59 members of Congress.

Speaking from the Senate floor, Dayton said, “If we are to remain the world’s leader, and if we are to lead the world into a more secure and more prosperous future, we must become better known and more respected for our peacemaking successes than for our military forces. Peace, to have any lasting value, must be advanced, expanded and strengthened continuously. Doing so requires skill, dedication, persistence, resources, and, most importantly, people.”

In addition to making it a Cabinet department, Dayton’s legislation would expand the focus of the Institute of Peace, which was established by President Reagan in 1984, to include domestic issues. The Department of Peace and Nonviolence would serve as a preventive counterpart to the Department of State and the Department of Defense, which resolve international conflicts and defend the nation from attacks.

Currently, the U.S. spends $400 billion on national defense, not including the hundreds of billions being spent on the Iraq War. The Department of Peace budget would be $8 billion annually, equivalent to 2 percent of total defense spending.

Appropriately, Dayton’s legislation coincides with the 44th anniversary of the nation’s oldest federal agency dedicated to peace. On this day, in 1961, President Kennedy signed legislation that created the Peace Corps, an idea originally proposed by Senator Hubert Humphrey in 1957.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Show me!

Kerry Vells…
said this

Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do.
Michael Brown...is to Katrina
what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq;
what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence;
what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad;
what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy;
what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning;
what Tom Delay is to ethics;
and what George Bush is to "Mission Accomplished" and "Wanted Dead or Alive."

The bottom line is simple: The "we'll do whatever it takes" administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done.…

So tell me Mr. Kerry, how do you ask a young man or young woman to be the last one to die for their country in a failed venture founded on a lie? For what noble cause?

C'mon John, set the date for their return. Show me!

Some Where Over the Rainbow

If Bush's approval rating drops any lower, he'll have to take the elevator up just to be in the basement...

Too bad it took so many deaths at home and in Iraq to bring us to this point....
President Bush's Approval Rating has tumbled five points over the past week to the lowest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports.

Just 43% of American adults now approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove.

The President's Approval Rating has fallen to 47% among those who are married. Just 38% of unmarried respondents give the President their approval. Forty-six percent (46%) of Investors Approve along with 41% of non-Investors.

Rising oil prices have pushed consumer confidence to its lowest level in nearly two years. The oil price surge has also increased support for building nuclear power plants. Confidence in the War on Terror has reached its lowest level ever.

A Four Letter Word Beginning with F

While in WA DC last week for the National Peace Alliance Conference, I took a walking during lunch...and ended up in front of the Radisson Select Hotel.

Folks were rolling out of their supersized SUVs and shiny black town cars in formal wear that sported their best jewels. It seemed like a pretty swanky affair for 2 PM... but not wanting to appear too 'small town' like... I continued on my walk around the hotel's circular drive.

It really wasn't until I saw the numerous tux attired secret service guys with their ear wires that curiousity got the better of me. I decided to go inside to find out what was happening.

Imagine my surprise when the reader board in the lobby said:

Welcome to FEMA
National Appreciation Week!

So while Louisiana and Mississippi are still recovering bodies, still in the thoes of a crisis, still digging out, still trying to recover their lost souls...FEMA muckeups eat, drink and make merry in the safety of a four star hotel.

I couldn't get close enough to see the guests but with all the secret services there had to be some politico A-list attendees, maybe even Dubya and Brownie (his hand picked minon)! Certainly nobody was mourning or sad. There were no tears to be found among the laughter of these party goers, no thoughts for victims who have lost everything including their loved ones, family, friends and neighbors.

.… there will be a special place in hell for these people who can toast champagne and eat pate while others suffer and cry...
burn baby burn.


The Blows of Katrina and the GOP

Bush used Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to dispose of more than seven decades of labor law by suspending the Davis-Bacon law. This allows Katrina contractors to hire employees at whatever wages the depressed local conditions might warrant. It’s akin to slave wages as there is no market competition left due to the Hurricane.

Congressman Gil Gutknecht from Minnesota was among the initial group who requested that President Bush suspend the prevailing wage law in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Workers in these battered regions will now suffer a double blow. First they lose their homes and their possessions. And now, they’ll be paid substandard wages.

Instead of putting a cap on the profits contractors make from Hurricane Katrina, this administration of thieves have denied the victims the chance to work their way back to their former standard of living.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Next Wave Building

From L'Fant Plaza Hotel, Washington DC 3rd Annual Peace Conference...

One goal, a Department of Peace.
To change the status quoWe don't have to accept the of violence, hate, war, destruction…
I want to make an impact on the world…for my family, friends, neighbors, community.
There is another way. A new wave of peace, building, gathering more power, spilling over with life...

Active in 46 states

265 congressional team leaders out of 440 congressional districts

40 states represented at peace conference

Strong showing from Japan and Canada

The time has come to call forth from each and everyone for the compassion, the loving, the understand and the spirit to bring about a shifting of the collective consciousness that will lead us in this new wave of peace.

Change is from thinking there is another wave.

Every surfer knows the best rideis always the next wave coming in. Wax up the boards, it's coming.

Friday, September 09, 2005

GOP Conservatives Voted Against Aid Package

Eleven House Conservatives Voted Against Katrina Aid Package! Per Oliver Willis, we find out that these 11 House GOP conservatives from the "culture of life" party all voted against the $51 billion Katrina aid package today.

Yet 7 of the 11 rushed to vote for the Terri Schiavo legislation. The remaining 4 chose not to vote (Barton, Flake, Hostettler, and Paul) although it was clear that it would pass.

So the fate of one, poor, brain-dead white woman is more worthy/valued/important than the fate of thousands of poor black people? Sometime is very seriously wrong with the values of these legislaturers. What other explanation can there be for this kind of behavior other than they are flat out evil.

Worst Disasters to Hit the US

Old news to me...
...but it's nice to see other folks catching on:

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Blame Game - Rove Starts His Assult!

We need to continue to help those in need directly and make sure our government does their job. There will be a time to figure out who specifically to blame and what to change. In the meantime, the Bush administration needs to get to work helping those in need.


Friday, Aug. 26: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declares a state of emergency in Louisiana and requests troop assistance.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Gov. Blanco asks for federal state of emergency. A federal emergency is declared giving federal officials the authority to get involved.

Sunday, Aug. 28: Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. President Bush warned of Levee failure by National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service predicts area will be "uninhabitable" after Hurricane arrives. First reports of water toppling over the levee appear in local paper.

Monday, Aug. 29: Levee breaches and New Orleans begins to fill with water, Bush travels to Arizona and California to discuss Medicare. FEMA chief finally responds to federal emergency, dispatching employees but giving them two days to arrive on site.

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Mass looting reported, security shortage cited in New Orleans. Pentagon says that local authorities have adequate National Guard units to handle hurricane needs despite governor's earlier request. Bush returns to Crawford for final day of vacation. TV coverage is around-the-clock Hurricane news.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans including at Convention Center and Superdome in "medieval" conditions. President Bush finally returns to Washington to establish a task force to coordinate federal response. Local authorities run out of food and water supplies.

Thursday, Sept. 1: New Orleans descends into anarchy. New Orleans Mayor issues a "Desperate SOS" to federal government. Bush claims nobody predicted the breach of the levees despite multiple warnings and his earlier briefing.

Friday, Sept. 2:
Karl Rove begins Bush administration campaign to blame state and local officials—despite their repeated requests for help. Bush stages a photo-op—diverting Coast Guard helicopters and crew to act as backdrop for cameras. Levee repair work orchestrated for president's visit and White House press corps.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Bush blames state and local officials. Senior administration official (possibly Rove) caught in a lie claiming Gov. Blanco had not declared a state of emergency or asked for help.

Monday, Sept. 5: New Orleans officials begin to collect their dead.

(Adapted from: Katrina Timeline, http://thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline/ )

Those are the facts. State and local officials BEGGED for help as people in their city suffered. The Bush administration didn't get the job done and when their failure became an embarrassment they attacked those asking for help.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Karl Rove and White House communications director Dan Bartlett "rolled out a plan...to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina." The core of the strategy is "to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana."

This is the same pattern of smearing that the Bush political machine has used for a decade. John McCain and John Kerry had their war records smeared. The CIA cover of Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife was blown after he criticized the Bush Iraq policy. Now, Hurricane victims are attacked when the Bush administration failed to do their duty to help them.

Timeline on Feds Response

More Facts.
From TPM Café

By Larry Johnson bio
From: Media
While watching the MSNBC program, CONNECTED, COAST TO COAST with Ron Reagan, a man from the Evergreen Foundation was on air spinning the myth that the President had to "beg" the Governor of Louisiana to take action. Having been on this show several times I called one of the bookers, Susan Durrwatcher, to alert her to the fact that this man was misrepresenting what happened. I offered Susan the following objective, documented facts (see timeline below). Susan thanked me for my "opinion" and said "we just have a different perspective". Stunned, I asked her by what standard of journalism that an objective fact was mere opinion? I asked her to simply look at the documents and correct the record. She declined. I asked her to remove me from the MSNBC list of contacts. I'm sure MSNBC won't miss me and I am certain I will have a happy life without having to subject myself to their unprofessional approach to journalism.

The Bush White House is furiously spinning to lay the blame on the Governor and Mayor of Louisiana. My position is that I think both the Governor and the Mayor can be faulted on a variety of fronts. I do not absolve them of their responsibility to properly and fully implement their own emergency response plans. However, the Governor followed the appropriate protocol and, in accordance with the National Response Plan (NRP), asked the President in accordance with the Stafford Act, to declare a State of Emergency.


Friday, 26 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana declares state of emergency

Saturday morning, 27 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency and requests Federal Assistance "to save lives and property".

Note, the letter was published on 27 August 2005 on Lexis Nexis but was dated 28 August 2005. Bush received the letter on Saturday and responded on the same day by declaring a State of Emergency. Note, per the NRP, William Lokey was designated as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in Louisiana.

Sunday, 28 August 2005, Mayor of New Orleans orders Mandatory Evacuation.
(Note: In Governor Blanco's request on the 27th, there is a specific request for help with evacuation and a specific request for help to "save lives and protect property". )

Monday, 29 August 2005, FEMA Director Brown requests DHS Secretary Chertoff's help in getting 1000 DHS employees ready to deploy to the disaster within 48 hours.

Under the National Response Plane (see p. 93, Figure 11), once the President declares a State of Emergency the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to implement the Plan. Initially, DHS is supposed to deploy an Emergency Response Team to the State to provide expertise in assessing needs and determining appropriate courses of action. Moreover, on p. 52 of the NRP the President may act proactively under the Stafford Act.

Folks, these are not OPINIONS, these are cold, objective facts. However, MSNBC and other members of the Main Stream Media are confused about what is a fact and what is opinion.

National Response Plan (NRP)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Bush's Failed Timeline

January 2001 to September 2005

From Washington Monthly http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_09/007023.php

CHRONOLOGY....Here's a timeline that outlines the fate of both FEMA and flood control projects in New Orleans under the Bush administration. Read it and weep:

  • January 2001: Bush appoints Joe Allbaugh, a crony from Texas, as head of FEMA. Allbaugh has no previous experience in disaster management.
  • April 2001: Budget Director Mitch Daniels announces the Bush administration's goal of privatizing much of FEMA's work. In May, Allbaugh confirms that FEMA will be downsized: "Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program...." he said. "Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level."
  • 2001: FEMA designates a major hurricane hitting New Orleans as one of the three "likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country."
  • December 2002: After less than two years at FEMA, Allbaugh announces he is leaving to start up a consulting firm that advises companies seeking to do business in Iraq. He is succeeded by his deputy and former college roommate, Michael Brown, who has no previous experience in disaster management and was fired from his previous job for mismanagement.
  • March 2003: FEMA is downgraded from a cabinet level position and folded into the Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is refocused on fighting acts of terrorism.
  • 2003: Under its new organization chart within DHS, FEMA's preparation and planning functions are reassigned to a new Office of Preparedness and Response. FEMA will henceforth focus only on response and recovery.
  • Summer 2004: FEMA denies Louisiana's pre-disaster mitigation funding requests. Says Jefferson Parish flood zone manager Tom Rodrigue: "You would think we would get maximum consideration....This is what the grant program called for. We were more than qualified for it."
  • June 2004: The Army Corps of Engineers budget for levee construction in New Orleans is slashed. Jefferson Parish emergency management chiefs Walter Maestri comments: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay."
  • June 2005: Funding for the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is cut by a record $71.2 million. One of the hardest-hit areas is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, which was created after the May 1995 flood to improve drainage in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes.
  • August 2005: While New Orleans is undergoing a slow motion catastrophe, Bush mugs for the cameras, cuts a cake for John McCain, plays the guitar for Mark Wills, delivers an address about V-J day, and continues with his vacation. When he finally gets around to acknowledging the scope of the unfolding disaster, he delivers only a photo op on Air Force One and a flat, defensive, laundry list speech in the Rose Garden.

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.

Actions have consequences. No one could predict that a hurricane the size of Katrina would hit this year, but the slow federal response when it did happen was no accident. It was the result of four years of deliberate Republican policy and budget choices that favor ideology and partisan loyalty at the expense of operational competence. It's the Bush administration in a nutshell.

But there's more....
From Think Progressive (http://thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline/)
Please visit their site…lots more information.



GULF COAST STATES REQUEST TROOP ASSISTANCE FROM PENTAGON: At a 9/1 press conference, Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander, Joint Task Force Katrina, said that the Gulf States began the process of requesting additional forces on Friday, 8/26. [DOD]

  • Saturday, August 27

GOV. BLANCO ASKS BUSH TO DECLARE FEDERAL STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA: “I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.” [Office of the Governor]

FEDERAL EMERGENCY DECLARED, DHS AND FEMA GIVEN FULL AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO KATRINA: “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.” [White House]

  • Sunday, August 28


MORNING — LOUISIANA NEWSPAPER SIGNALS LEVEES MAY GIVE: “Forecasters Fear Levees Won’t Hold Katrina”: “Forecasters feared Sunday afternoon that storm driven waters will lap over the New Orleans levees when monster Hurricane Katrina pushes past the Crescent City tomorrow.” [Lafayette Daily Advertiser]

9:30 AM — MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES FIRST EVER MANDATORY EVACUATION OF NEW ORLEANS: “We’re facing the storm most of us have feared,” said Nagin. “This is going to be an unprecedented event.” [Times-Picayune]

4PM – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SPECIAL HURRICANE WARNING: In the event of a category 4 or 5 hit, “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. … Power outages will last for weeks. … Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards.” [National Weather Service]

AFTERNOON — BUSH, BROWN, CHERTOFF WARNED OF LEVEE FAILURE BY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DIRECTOR: Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center: “‘We were briefing them way before landfall. … It’s not like this was a surprise. We had in the advisories that the levee could be topped.’” [Times-Picayune; St. Petersburg Times]

LATE PM – REPORTS OF WATER TOPPLING OVER LEVEE: “Waves crashed atop the exercise path on the Lake Pontchartrain levee in Kenner early Monday as Katrina churned closer.” [Times-Picayune]


  • Monday, August 29

8AM – MAYOR NAGIN REPORTS THAT WATER IS FLOWING OVER LEVEE: “I’ve gotten reports this morning that there is already water coming over some of the levee systems. In the lower ninth ward, we’ve had one of our pumping stations to stop operating, so we will have significant flooding, it is just a matter of how much.” [NBC’s “Today Show”]
MORNING — BUSH CALLS SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO DISCUSS IMMIGRATION: “I spoke to Mike Chertoff today — he’s the head of the Department of Homeland Security. I knew people would want me to discuss this issue [immigration], so we got us an airplane on — a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him. I said, are you working with the governor? He said, you bet we are.” [White House]


11AM — BUSH VISITS ARIZONA RESORT TO PROMOTE MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: “This new bill I signed says, if you’re a senior and you like the way things are today, you’re in good shape, don’t change. But, by the way, there’s a lot of different options for you. And we’re here to talk about what that means to our seniors.” [White House]
LATE MORNING – LEVEE BREACHED: “A large section of the vital 17th Street Canal levee, where it connects to the brand new ‘hurricane proof’ Old Hammond Highway bridge, gave way late Monday morning in Bucktown after Katrina’s fiercest winds were well north.” [Times-Picayune]

11:30AM — MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY REQUESTS THAT DHS DISPATCH 1,000 EMPLOYEES TO REGION, GIVES THEM TWO DAYS TO ARRIVE: “Brown’s memo to Chertoff described Katrina as ‘this near catastrophic event’ but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended, ‘Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities.’” [AP]

2PM — BUSH TRAVELS TO CALIFORNIA SENIOR CENTER TO DISCUSS MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: “We’ve got some folks up here who are concerned about their Social Security or Medicare. Joan Geist is with us. … I could tell — she was looking at me when I first walked in the room to meet her, she was wondering whether or not old George W. is going to take away her Social Security check.” [White House]

9PM — RUMSFELD ATTENDS SAN DIEGO PADRES BASEBALL GAME: Rumsfeld “joined Padres President John Moores in the owner’s box…at Petco Park.” [Editor & Publisher]
Tuesday, August 30

MIDDAY – CHERTOFF FINALLY BECOMES AWARE THAT LEVEE HAS FAILED: “It was on Tuesday that the levee–may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday–that the levee started to break. And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was going to start to drain into the city.” [Meet the Press, 9/4/05]
PENTAGON CLAIMS THERE ARE ENOUGH NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS IN REGION: “Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs.” [WWL-TV]
MASS LOOTING REPORTED, SECURITY SHORTAGE CITED: “The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked,” Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson said. “We’re using exhausted, scarce police to control looting when they should be used for search and rescue while we still have people on rooftops.” [AP]
U.S.S. BATAAN SITS OFF SHORE, VIRTUALLY UNUSED: “The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore. The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents. But now the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty.” [Chicago Tribune]

Wednesday, August 31
TENS OF THOUSANDS TRAPPED IN SUPERDOME; CONDITIONS DETERIORATE: “A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers. ‘We pee on the floor. We are like animals,’ said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. … By Wednesday, it had degenerated into horror. … At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for. There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming.”" [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/05]
PRESIDENT BUSH FINALLY ORGANIZES TASK FORCE TO COORDINATE FEDERAL RESPONSE: Bush says on Tuesday he will “fly to Washington to begin work…with a task force that will coordinate the work of 14 federal agencies involved in the relief effort.” [http:/www.nytimes.com/2005/08/31/national/nationalspecial/31response.html?pagewanted=1">New York Times, 8/31/05]
JEFFERSON PARISH EMERGENCY DIRECTOR SAYS FOOD AND WATER SUPPLY GONE: “Director Walter Maestri: FEMA and national agencies not delivering the help nearly as fast as it is needed.” [WWL-TV]
80,000 BELIEVED STRANDED IN NEW ORLEANS: Former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy “estimated 80,000 were trapped in the flooded city and urged President Bush to send more troops.” [Reuters]
3,000 STRANDED AT CONVENTION CENTER WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER: “With 3,000 or more evacuees stranded at the convention center — and with no apparent contingency plan or authority to deal with them — collecting a body was no one’s priority. … Some had been at the convention center since Tuesday morning but had received no food, water or instructions.” [Times-Picayune]

5PM — BUSH GIVES FIRST MAJOR ADDRESS ON KATRINA: “Nothing about the president’s demeanor… — which seemed casual to the point of carelessness — suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis.” [New York Times]
8:00PM – CONDOLEEZZA RICE TAKES IN A BROADWAY SHOW: “On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at ‘Spamalot!, the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance.” [New York Post, 9/2/05]
9PM — FEMA DIRECTOR BROWN CLAIMS SURPRISE OVER SIZE OF STORM: “I must say, this storm is much much bigger than anyone expected.” [CNN]

Thursday, September 1

8AM — BUSH CLAIMS NO ONE EXPECTED LEVEES TO BREAK: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” [Washington Post]
CONDOLEEZZA RICE VISITS U.S. OPEN: “Rice, [in New York] on three days’ vacation to shop and see the U.S. Open, hitting some balls with retired champ Monica Seles at the Indoor Tennis Club at Grand Central.” [New York Post]
STILL NO COMMAND AND CONTROL ESTABLISHED: Terry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland Security Director: “This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can’t bail out the city of New Orleans.” [Fox News]

2PM — MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES “DESPERATE SOS” TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: “This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention centre and don’t anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention centre is unsanitary and unsafe and we’re running out of supplies.” [Guardian, 9/2/05]

2PM — MICHAEL BROWN CLAIMS NOT TO HAVE HEARD OF REPORTS OF VIOLENCE: “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.” [CNN]
NEW ORLEANS “DESCEND[S] INTO ANARCHY”: “Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. ‘This is a desperate SOS,’ the mayor said.” [AP]
CONDOLEEZZA RICE GOES SHOE SHOPPING: “Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, ‘How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!’” [Gawker]
MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY LEARNS OF EVACUEES IN CONVENTION CENTER: “We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need.” [CNN]

Friday, September 2
ROVE-LED CAMPAIGN TO BLAME LOCAL OFFICIALS BEGINS: “Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan…to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.” President Bush’s comments from the Rose Garden Friday morning formed “the start of this campaign.” [New York Times, 9/5/05]

9:35AM — BUSH PRAISES MICHAEL BROWN: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” [White House, 9/2/05]

10 AM — PRESIDENT BUSH STAGES PHOTO-OP “BRIEFING”: Coast Guard helicopters and crew diverted to act as backdrop for President Bush’s photo-op.
BUSH VISIT GROUNDS FOOD AID: “Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, officials said.” [Times-Picayune]


9/3: “Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment.” [Sen. Mary Landrieu]
BUSH USES 50 FIREFIGHTERS AS PROPS IN DISASTER AREA PHOTO-OP: A group of 1,000 firefighters convened in Atlanta to volunteer with the Katrina relief efforts. Of those, “a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew’s first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.” [Salt Lake Tribune; Reuters]

3PM — BUSH “SATISFIED WITH THE RESPONSE”: “I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results.” [AP]

Saturday, September 3
SENIOR BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL LIES TO WASHINGTON POST, CLAIMS GOV. BLANCO NEVER DECLARED STATE OF EMERGENCY: The Post reported in their Sunday edition “As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.” They were forced to issue a correction hours later. [Washington Post, 9/4/05]

9AM — BUSH BLAMES STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS: “[T]he magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area that is larger than the size of Great Britain has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities. The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need.” [White House, 9/3/05]

New Orleans

New Orleans is the musical soul of southern jazz and blues...will they rebuilt? Should they?