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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Katrina's big victim

Katrina's big victim
September 6, 2005
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The weather warning delivered to New Orleans on the morning of Sunday, August 28, was clear and precise: Hurricane Katrina would bring devastating damage. It would render large areas of the city uninhabitable for weeks. Half of all well-built houses would have roofs and walls fail. On and on it went. And yet, though warnings were issued and the city evacuated as far it could be, US authorities appear to have done little to be ready to help those left behind.

Exactly who is to blame for America's spectacular failure to look after its own will no doubt be determined by detailed inquiries in coming months, but without any doubt the political burden now falls heaviest on the shoulders of its President, George Bush. The sick, the elderly, the newborn left to die in squalor without food or water as armed gangs rape, loot and kill - these images from the world's richest nation are not quickly forgotten. The US, like the rest of the world, is shocked. But it is angry, too. Mr Bush has toured the devastation twice now. He has hugged the homeless and encouraged aid workers. But despite his attempts at Churchillian rhetoric, Mr Bush is looking less and less like the leader for a crisis.

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Mr Bush is burdened already with blame for his Iraq imbroglio. His poll ratings are plumbing depths rarely reached by other presidents in the past six decades. The anti-war movement is growing. Hurricane Katrina has, paradoxically, sharpened that criticism. Though previous administrations may have neglected New Orleans, reports that resources which might have gone to maintain its levees were diverted by the US Army Corps of Engineers to Iraq will tell against him. The theme "charity begins at home" has resounded like an ostinato bass note through reports of the catastrophe, as victim after victim compares Washington's energetic efforts in the Middle East and after the tsunami with its tardiness in its own southern states since Katrina came ashore.

All this has political consequences. The Republican Party holds the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress. The death of William Rehnquist, the chief justice of the US, should give Mr Bush a chance to seal his party's domination of national politics by aligning the third branch of government - the Supreme Court - with the other two. America's religious right, where Mr Bush finds strong support, wants to see a radical conservative appointed who might reverse liberal victories of the past in fields such as abortion and prayer in schools. But the loss of authority which goes with such a public failure as the Katrina debacle may well mean Mr Bush will have to compromise and choose a moderate candidate for the post. Beyond that hurdle lie the mid-term congressional elections, where Republicans can now expect a backlash against their party's administration in the White House. Despite the apparent solidity of the Republicans' domination, Katrina's gales may well have been blown it away, along with the wooden homes of New Orleans.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 08:11 AM
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Wait a minute. What about the state government? What about the governor, the mayor of New Orleans, the Police? They knew about the storm as well, what did they do to prevent any of this carnage? So, when the shit hits the fan the federal governement is supposed to step in and save the day, but in every other circumstance the feds had better stay out of our hair because too much government is a bad thing...

BLAME BUSH BLAME BUSH BLAME BUSH! Blame Bush for everything! Traffic sucked comig to work, obviously Bush's fault. Yesterday my dog attacked another dog while on a walk, OBVIOUSLY another Bush debacle.

You know, those people were told to leave but they didn't. They also chose to live in a very bad area, much like living under a volcano. It was just a matter of time. The state's big "plan" was to herd everyone into the superdome like cattle with no stock of supplies in case the worst happened. I fail to see the hand of Bush involved in any of this....But yet, he is the President, and will get blamed for everything by people. I remember when Bush won the election for the 2nd time. 1 of our female janitor's got really upset. She started to rant on and on about her air conditioning bills, about the cost of food blah blah blah... I'm looking at her and marveling and the lack of understanding...


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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For over two years I have been saying that the Mayor of Baghdad, George W. Bush, should be paying attention to America, including its massively unmet public works needs. But the President, who scheduled five weeks in Crawford, Texas, to assure ìa balanced life,î is now finding his political status unbalanced and hanging by fewer and fewer threads.



The unfolding megadisasters in New Orleans, Missisippi and Alabama have torn the propaganda curtain away from this arrogant President and is showing the American people just what results for their daily livelihoods from an administration obsessed with the fabricated Iraq war and marinated with Big Oil.

ìNo one can say they didnít see it comingÖNow in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation,î writes the conservative New Orleans daily newspaperóThe Times-Picayune. Nearly one dozen articles in 2004 and 2005 came out of this constantly warning local newspaper, citing the Iraq war budget as a training diversion for the lack of hurricane and flood-control dollars, according to Will Bunch of Philadelphia Daily News.

A hurricane like Katrina was forecast for the Gulf lowlands and New Orleans more than any predicated natural disaster in American history. No hindsight is involved. This is Bush country and he paid no attention to the warnings, official and unofficial, except to cut the Army Corps of Engineers budget for the New Orleans area by $71 million this past year, except to weaken FEMA and steer it and the Department of Homeland Security to a dangerous tilt toward terrorist risks and away from the officially predicted onset of a prolonged period of ferocious hurricanes now and in the next twenty years.

Will this no-fault ruler in the White House ever be held responsible for the consequences of his inattentions, his negligence and his boorish refusal to listen to anyone other than his cronies and patrons? Mr. Perfecto canít even admit to any mistakes, although many, many innocents have paid for them on both the American and Iraqi sides.

Letís look at one area of escape from responsibilityóthe large and ever merging oil giants whose network has provided Bush with 41 high administration officials. Reaping profits beyond their dreams of avarice, the ExxonMobils virtually won the Bush regime, wrote his energy legislation full of subsidies and more tax breaks for this pampered breed, and hover over the Congress showering their campaign money over their keystone legislators.

Gasoline was averaging $1.36 per gallon on January 3, 2000, and is now racing towards $4 a gallon, having soared over $3 per gallon in many localities this week. Oil analysts are not reporting any shortages of supply worldwide, until the rigs and refineries were hurricaned last week in the Gulf of Mexico region raised such specters. OPEC has been pumping oil at record levels. There has been no sudden spike in demand.

But OPEC is no longer the only price-fixer factor in the price of oil. Oil futures in the New York Mercantile Exchange is now where the financial action resides. Oil has now become a speculative commodity big time. So when you hear about the barrel of oilís price going up, think of the Mercantile Exchange. How does the Bush Government dampen such speculation? One way is to raise margin levels to make borrowing by the speculating traders more difficult. Nothing heard from Bush or the SEC on this point.

If the price of wheat suddenly doubled, why would the loaves of bread in your supermarkets suddenly be marked up or the loaves on their way in transit? The price hike for wheat would not have reached them. Then why does the price of oil and gasoline spike up when these supplies were already purchased at previously lower prices?

A concise answer to this question came from an unlikely source during the state of Hawaiiís antitrust suit settled in 2002. Maxwell Blecher, attorney for defendant Tosco Corp. (now Phillips Petroleum) declared in court ìHigh gas prices in Hawaii are the result of a lack of competitive market forces, not collusion. Once you decide itís an oligopoly, youíve got an explanation for the phenomenon of the high prices, the high margins, the high profits, the lack of vigorous price competition. That explains it all.î

A compelling report by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (www.consumerwatchdog.org) described the ever growing joint ownership of production, refining and distribution facilities including pipelines, by the large oil companies that people believe are competing with one another. The Bush and Clinton Administrationsí antitrust cops did nothing to stop this merged, joint venture mockery of classical competitive systems.

Nor did Clinton and Bush do anything about the gas guzzling vehicles lumbering on the highways. Worse, they sat by and watched the average decline in fuel efficiency of the motor vehicle fleet in our country go down, not up, compared to the levels in the 1980ís. To make matters worse, Bush successfully opposed a bill in the Senate by Senators John McCain and John Kerry in 2002 to require a one mpg increase in average fuel efficiency for the next 15 years. Now the people at the pump are paying the price and the winter heating oil season is around the corner.

Consumer Federation of America reports that if vehicle fuel efficiency in the last fifteen years had increased at the same rate as it had in the 1980s, ìour nation would consume one-third less gasoline.î Every penny increase in the price of gasoline takes out $1.5 billion dollars from consumers.

In our nationís past, excessive profiteering by oil companies has led to an excess profits tax. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights recommends a ìwindfall profits rebate.î

Tight refinery capacity has been viewed by officials and industry insiders as a factor in higher gasoline and heating oil prices. Why have the oil companies closed down about two dozen refineries in the past twenty years and not built new, cleaner ones on the same sites? Partly because they prefer importing cheaper refined products from abroad, which spell bigger profits.

The oil companies have longer term contracts with the oil producers like Saudi Arabia at a fixed price. How extensive are these contracts? And why, if ExxonMobil is getting crude at lower prices from these earlier contracts, is their price going up as if they are paying nearly $70 per barrel for all their crude oil?

Such questions are not on the minds of Bush and Cheney, who hail from the oil world. Imagine - experts in the industry that is gouging America that they are, and they keep leaving America and Americans defenseless.

Maybe Bush and Cheney will be defeated at the gas pumps where they cannot hoodwink so many people, as they did with their cover-ups and distractions during the election of 2004.
Posted by nimda in In the Public Interest at 19:33


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 08:53 AM
 
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just out of curiosity , where are you getting the articles written by " Page Tools " ?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint
just out of curiosity , where are you getting the articles written by " Page Tools " ?
link

http://www.smh.com.au/news/editorial...772459587.html


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 09:24 AM
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Too long


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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September 5th, 2005 8:42 pm
White House Enacts a Plan to Ease Political Damage

By Adam Nagourney and Anne E. Kornblut / New York Times

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 - Under the command of President Bush's two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.

The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett. It began late last week after Congressional Republicans called White House officials to register alarm about what they saw as a feeble response by Mr. Bush to the hurricane, according to Republican Congressional aides.

As a result, Americans watching television coverage of the disaster this weekend began to see, amid the destruction and suffering, some of the most prominent members of the administration - Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Donald H. Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense; and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state - touring storm-damaged communities.

Mr. Bush is to return to Louisiana and Mississippi on Monday; his first visit, on Friday, left some Republicans cringing, in part because the president had little contact with residents left homeless.

Republicans said the administration's effort to stanch the damage had been helped by the fact that convoys of troops and supplies had begun to arrive by the time the administration officials turned up. All of those developments were covered closely on television.

In many ways, the unfolding public relations campaign reflects the style Mr. Rove has brought to the political campaigns he has run for Mr. Bush. For example, administration officials who went on television on Sunday were instructed to avoid getting drawn into exchanges about the problems of the past week, and to turn the discussion to what the government is doing now.

"We will have time to go back and do an after-action report, but the time right now is to look at what the enormous tasks ahead are," Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, said on "Meet the Press" on NBC.

One Republican with knowledge of the effort said that Mr. Rove had told administration officials not to respond to Democratic attacks on Mr. Bush's handling of the hurricane in the belief that the president was in a weak moment and that the administration should not appear to be seen now as being blatantly political. As with others in the party, this Republican would discuss the deliberations only on condition of anonymity because of keen White House sensitivity about how the administration and its strategy would be perceived.

In a reflection of what has long been a hallmark of Mr. Rove's tough political style, the administration is also working to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana who, as it happens, are Democrats.

"The way that emergency operations act under the law is the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials," Mr. Chertoff said in his television interview. "The federal government comes in and supports those officials."

That line of argument was echoed throughout the day, in harsher language, by Republicans reflecting the White House line.

In interviews, these Republicans said that the normally nimble White House political operation had fallen short in part because the president and his aides were scattered outside Washington on vacation, leaving no one obviously in charge at a time of great disruption. Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush were in Texas, while Vice President Dick Cheney was at his Wyoming ranch.

Mr. Bush's communications director, Nicolle Devenish, was married this weekend in Greece, and a number of Mr. Bush's political advisers - including Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman - attended the wedding.

Ms. Rice did not return to Washington until Thursday, after she was spotted at a Broadway show and shopping for shoes, an image that Republicans said buttressed the notion of a White House unconcerned with tragedy.

These officials said that Mr. Bush and his political aides rapidly changed course in what they acknowledged was a belated realization of the situation's political ramifications. As is common when this White House confronts a serious problem, management was quickly taken over by Mr. Rove and a group of associates including Mr. Bartlett. Neither man responded to requests for comment.

White House advisers said that Mr. Bush expressed alarm after his return to Washington from the Gulf Coast.

One senior White House official said that Mr. Bush appeared at a senior staff meeting in the Situation Room on Friday and called the results on the ground "unacceptable." At the encouragement of Mr. Bartlett, officials said, he repeated the comment later in the Rose Garden, the start of this campaign.

:corn


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kneedragger77
Too long
OK than how's this for you :

Will this no-fault ruler in the White House ever be held responsible for the consequences of his inattentions, his negligence and his boorish refusal to listen to anyone other than his cronies and patrons? Mr. Perfecto canít even admit to any mistakes, although many, many innocents have paid for them on both the American and Iraqi sides.

Letís look at one area of escape from responsibilityóthe large and ever merging oil giants whose network has provided Bush with 41 high administration officials. Reaping profits beyond their dreams of avarice, the ExxonMobils virtually won the Bush regime, wrote his energy legislation full of subsidies and more tax breaks for this pampered breed, and hover over the Congress showering their campaign money over their keystone legislators. :


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 10:42 AM
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yup it's too long. i think bush failed since he's ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE, but so did those under him. I don't know what state/local agencies did so i can't say, but we all know the feds failed, but i'm 100% sure others did also. i didn't read those as they are too long, but i know there were lots of failures and like it or not the thing i agree w/ is ultimately bush is responsible for the feds actions...so are others though


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