Archive for the 'Hurricane Katrina' Category

Decades of incompetence and neglect by the Army Corps of Engineers allowed Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge to devastate New Orleans, according to a long-awaited report released today.
In a sweeping indictment of corps stewardship, the report alleges that agency supervisors ignored increases in the threat level for their project, knowingly built levees and floodwalls lower than […]

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Face The Nation this morning featured Senators Barack Obama and John McCain discussing the only news story in our world: Iraq. Bob Schieffer opened by saying the American public overwhelmingly does NOT support a troop surge. McCain played the emotional card, asking “what kind of message does that send to our troops” […]

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Waste and fraud are responsible for $1 billion in Hurricane Katrina missing funds, according to the Government Accountability Office, which is scheduled to release the findings of its investigation at a Senate committee hearing today. Sweet Jesus.
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It’s hard to lose a billion dollars unless you’re FEMA. The fraud, abuse, blatant waste and stupidity that followed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina stand in stark, pithy contrast to the horrific suffering of victims left stranded on roof tops without food, water, medical supplies, and hope.
Said Senator Collins, “It is my […]

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“Once again we’re seeing egregious examples of wasteful and even fraudulent spending by the Department of Homeland Security,” said Sen. Collins, in the wake of an audit of Department of Homeland Security-issued credit cards:
- More than 100 laptop computers, 22 printers and two global-positioning devices worth a total of $170,000 are missing and presumed stolen […]

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Survivor New Orleans

Mayor Ray Nagin leads the pack with 94% of precincts reporting, but it’s short of the majority required to avoid a run off election on May 20th. The historic feature of this election has been the voters, many of who walked, drove, rode, flew - whatever - from all over the country to […]

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Hurricane Sniffing Dogs?

How can you say no to a face like this? Two dozen pooches - victims of Hurricane Katrina - are hoping to be adopted by Maine’s families. See the Kennebec Valley Humane Society in Augusta.
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In the wake of the Bush video that seemed to indicate the President knew of the hurricane in advance comes another video of Governor Kathleen Blanco saying that she didn’t think the levees had been breached.
None of these people apparently watch the Weather Channel, as the National Weather Service had issued a flash-flood warning […]

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If the White House argues that the President was clueless when it came to Katrina, it makes him appear bumbling and unsympathetic. But if they claim he was fully prepared, then he appears to be totally incompetent.
Guess which spin they’ve chosen?
Critics pointing to the video of the Katrina briefing - the […]

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Although the video may show President Bush and others attending the Katrina briefing a day before the hurricane struck, that doesn’t mean he was paying attention to the video. And when he said, “We are fully prepared,” the end of that sentence - missed by most of the press - was, “… for lunch.” […]

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Katrina Lessons Learned: None

“The federal government must play a stronger role in dealing with catastrophic disasters, including using the military more,” said the White House, “because only the federal government had the resources and broad authority to react effectively. But the military will not be able to use its superior resources effectively, unless rules change to put active-duty […]

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Senator Collins scolded Michael Chertoff at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee saying, “The federal department that was supposed to lead, direct, and coordinate the federal response to Katrina was, time and again, late, uncertain, and ineffective. The Department of Homeland Security utterly failed to adequately prepare for and […]

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This week the White House is strongly defending the following:
1. The Katrina response and clean-up despite a completely damning report to the contrary.
2. The 22 hour news blackout, Cheney’s disappearing act, and Scott McLellan’s classic double-speak handling of the Vice President shooting a Texas lawyer in the face with a 28 gauge shotgun.
e. Domestic spying.
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A 600-page report issued by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives reviewing the government response to Hurricane Katrina has criticized every layer of government saying that unheeded warnings, poor planning and apathy all led to the slow emergency response. The response in general was labeled a “national failure.” See NYT
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FEMA is planning to end its hotel and motel housing program for Hurricane Katrina evacuees as of tomorrow. Officials are confident this won’t trigger a wave of homeless storm survivors, but social services agencies aren’t so sure. Yolandis Turner, one of the evacuees, says evacuees were having difficulties in finding housing and jobs […]

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Just as President Bush, VP Cheney, and a couple dozen administration officials hit the road to sing praises to Republican economic stewardship, the Labor Department reported that job growth sagged to its lowest level in a year and a half - 108,000 new jobs in December - about half of what was […]

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House members criticized the Bush administration’s handling of temporary housing aid for Katrina victims. Democrats on the Housing and Community Opportunity subcommittee accused FEMA of insensitivity and lack of focus, and railed against HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson for not even showing up. See Seattle PI
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Despite that lengthy speech given by President Bush regarding the rebuilding of New Orleans, it seems FEMA’s out of money and as of December 1, about 150,000 lost souls will have to make other plans… Merry Christmas. See Star Tribune
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As former FEMA Director Michael Brown discovered after emails surfaced highlighting “banter and trivialities.” d’OH! See MSNBC
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Senator Snowe, Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, is blasting the Small Business Administration about its inability to rapidly process applications for Hurricane disaster loans, calling their actions “indefensible and inexcusable.” See Snowe
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Chertoff blames FEMA, saying, “I think 80 percent or more of the problem goes to planning.” Marty Bahamonde, the first agency official to arrive in New Orleans in advance of the Aug. 29 storm, peppered Brown with panicky emails only to receive responses from Brown’s staff featuring commentary like, “Also, it is […]

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Senator Snowe has requested that the GAO (Government Accountability Office) investigate charges that small and minority-owned businesses have not been receiving a fair percentage of Federal and Federally-funded contracts for Hurricane Katrina relief, as required by law. See Snowe
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Hurricane Katrina necessitated waiving a few rules regarding just who got those fabulous and fat recovery work contracts. Strangely, rich white folks seem to be getting a lot of work while 1.5 percent of the $1.6 billion awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency has gone to minority-owned businesses, less than a third of […]

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Our Man Flanagan

David Flanagan, former Central Maine Power president during Maine’s famous 1998 ice storm was selected by Sen. Susan Collins, (Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs) to oversee the Katrina inquest. Flanagan will probably have to spend te winter in Washington, overseeing the day-to-day investigation until spring. […]

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For those wondering if the recent FEMA ineptitude is a new thing or an old thing:
FEMA City, a gathering of 500 trailers set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency last fall to house more than 1,500 people made homeless by Hurricane Charley has become “a socio-economic time bomb just waiting to blow up,” said […]

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