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The Cowboy of 9/11 is gone.  Send in the Rodeo Clowns.

Team Bush is in full PR mode, spinning the facts and playing stupid in response to the explosion of criticism it has received about Katrina.

In typical "the Buck stops over THERE" fashion, the administration has launched a coordinated attack on state and local officials, claiming that the man-made disaster after Katrina is the fault of the Mayor and Governor.  The primary fallacy, of course, is that a mayor's response is only as good as the resources and infrastructure available to him.  When a city is evacuated and there ARE no resources or infrastructure to rely on like on 9/11, the mayor...well, he turns to the President and says "FIX THIS."

One look at the Congressional Record below proves that the state officials--particularly Sen. Landreiu--have been BEGGING the Republican Congress and the Republican administration to take action.  The GOP administration was warned--time and time again over the last 4 years as you'll see below--of the devastation.  

So the next time some winger tries to blame the mayor, or the governor, who worked with the state senators and representatives to beg for help--show them this.  Show them what is PUBLIC RECORD.  

URGENT NEED FOR CONGRESSIONAL ACTION TO PREVENT WIDE-SCALE LOSS OF LIFE AND ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION AT HOME AND ABROAD
House of Representatives, January 26, 2005
Rep. Blumenauer

  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I recently had the opportunity to view the devastation in Southeast Asia as a result of the tsunami. As appalled as I was by what I saw, I must confess that occasionally my thoughts drifted back to the United States. What would have happened if last September, Hurricane Ivan had veered 40 miles to the west, devastating the city of New Orleans? One likely scenario would have had a tsunami-like 30-foot wall of water hitting the city, causing thousands of deaths and $100 billion in damage.

   The city has always been at risk because of its low-lying location, but that risk has been increased because of rising sea levels, groundwater pumping and the erosion of coastal Louisiana. Twenty-four square miles of wetland disappear every year, since the 1930s an area one and a half times the size of Rhode Island washed away.

   Considering the reaction of the American public to the loss of a dozen people in the recent mud slides in California, it is hard to imagine what would happen if a disaster of that magnitude hit the United States.

   The experience of Southeast Asia should convince us all of the urgent need for congressional action to prevent wide-scale loss of life and economic destruction at home and abroad. Prevention and planning will pay off. Maybe the devastation will encourage us to act before disaster strikes.

Senate - March 06, 2001
Senator Edwards

  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. President, I rise today to express my disappointment in President Bush's decision to discontinue funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Project Impact.

   Project Impact is a nationwide public-private partnership designed to help communities become more disaster resistant. Each year, Congress appropriates literally billions of dollars in disaster relief money. Project Impact is our only program that provides financial incentives and support to State and local governments that want to mitigate the damage of future disasters.

   Project Impact involves all sectors of the community in developing a mitigation plan that meets that community's unique needs. [...]

   Project Impact is a relatively new program, but it has already shown important results. In his recent budget submission to Congress, the President described Project Impact as ``ineffective.'' I strongly disagree, and there are community leaders around the Nation that would take exemption to this description. For example, one of the first Project Impact communities was Seattle, WA. Experts agree that without the area's mitigation efforts spurred by Project Impact, the damage from last week's earthquake could have been much worse.

   We cannot stop a hurricane , an earthquake, or a tornado. But we can save precious lives and limited Federal resources by encouraging States and local governments to take preventative measures to mitigate the damage. By discontinuing funding for Project Impact, this administration will severely undercut ongoing mitigation programs in all 50 States. Most importantly, by discontinuing this program rather than working to refine it, the administration sends a dangerous signal to States and local governments that the Federal Government no longer supports their efforts.

House of Representatives
Rep. Jones
July 11, 2002

Mr. JONES of North Carolina. [...]

    The United States has a significant hurricane problem. ... In 1999, Hurricane Floyd brought torrential rains and record flooding to Eastern North Carolina. ... Of the 56 people who lost their lives in this storm, 50 of them drowned due to inland flooding.

    * Mr. Chairman, even more heartbreaking is the fact that these deaths could have been prevented. That is why I stand before you today to voice my full support for H.R. 2486, the Inland Flood Forecasting and Warning System Act, introduced by my colleague from North Carolina, BOB ETHERIDGE. [...]

    * Mr. Chairman, each year citizens along coastal areas do their part to protect families and communities from the effects of hurricanes, now it's time for Congress to do ours.

September 30, 2002
Senate
Sen. Landrieu

Ms. LANDRIEU. As nearly all of New Orleans area rests below sea level, a hurricane of [Cat. 4] magnitude alone on the path that Tropical Storm Isidore has taken would devastate southeast Louisiana.

   In Louisiana and throughout the Gulf South, we deal with the threat of hurricanes every year. From all reports, this storm could have been much worse, and we are thankful it was not. But I must take this opportunity to bring to light what is at stake when a hurricane or storm takes aim on the Louisiana coast. Not only is the safety, lives and property of Louisiana residents at risk the Nation's critical energy infrastructure and energy supply as well as crucial conservation measures are in danger.

  Tropical Storm Isidore should serve as a wake-up call to the Federal Government, which must do more to protect the nation's resources in Louisiana.

   Because the City of New Orleans is below sea level and surrounded by levees, every drop of rain that lands there must be pumped out. This important job is accomplished by local, State, and Federal agencies working together to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place and working much of this work is done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, in the President's budget request submitted to Congress this year, funding for the southeast Louisiana Flood Control Project, (SELA), was cut by an astonishing 50 pecent.

   The SELA flood control project is a smart investment. By investing in these flood control projects, we could prevent the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars that will otherwise be spent in Federal flood insurance claims and other disaster assistance programs. Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee understands this investment and has approved an increase for this project, which will allow the construction already underway to continue. However, this is not enough. I urge the administration to rethink its priorities and to include sufficient funding for the SELA project in its budget request for fiscal year 2004.

[She then discussed at length the impact a hurricane would have on national oil production and prices].

  Louisiana's rapidly eroding wetlands are invaluable in absorbing the surge of storm events like Isidore. Without them, one can only imagine the damage a hurricane could wreak on South Louisiana and the nation's energy infrastructure.
[...]

   Louisiana takes pride in its role as the country's most crucial energy provider. Ours is a state rich in natural resources. However, given the contribution my State makes to the Nation, it is time for the Nation to carefully consider its deficient investment in South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region and to consider what would happen if, God forbid, a major hurricane travels the same path as Tropical Storm Isidore. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is just one example of a Federal revenue stream that will suffer. It is long past time for the Federal Government to adequately and fairly invest in a State that gives so much to the rest of the country.

   As I said a few moments ago, Tropical Storm Isidore should serve as our wake-up call. The examples I mentioned today, the SELA flood control project, Louisiana Highway 1 and other highways such as Interstate 49, and our Nation's wetlands, are too important to ignore.

   It is too early to tell what the final damage will be from Tropical Storm Isidore. However, one thing is guaranteed: it will not be the last. Let us act now to invest in the infrastructure necessary to protect the life and property of our citizens.

Oct. 2, 2002
Senate


   Ms. LANDRIEU. [...]

   The reason I rise to speak about [Hurricane Lili] is not because there is a whole lot we can do in Washington, today...From Washington, we can begin to focus on the kind of investments we should be making along the Gulf Coast that help protect us against the consequences of such storms--particularly as it comes to protecting the energy infrastructure in this Nation, which is so vital and crucial to the economic stability and well-being of the Nation.

We are telling you and begging this Senate and this Congress to recognize benefits Louisiana provides to the Nation. Louisiana is proud of that, but we need extra Federal help to secure this marshland, to help rebuild it, and protect us. If Louisiana does not receive help the wetlands will disappear, and the people of Louisiana will be sitting ducks for future floods and storms.

   [...]

   There is nothing we can do about keeping hurricanes from coming ashore. We cannot prevent them. People say: Senator, can't you do something? I say: If I could pass a resolution, I would. But, of course, there is nothing we can do about that. But we can be more prepared than we are.

   While we are making progress, we have a long way to go. So whether it is at the energy conference, where I hope we will have a positive outcome, or in the new transportation bill where we can talk about the highways and evacuation routes in south Louisiana and the Gulf South need our attention. Not only do they serve as economic highways that are really necessary for commerce to flourish, but, as you know, when the hurricanes come, it is the only way for people to flee the storm. We don't have trains, as people do in the Northeast, to get out of harm's way. All we have in Louisiana are highways dangerously crowded with automobiles and pickup trucks. We need to make sure people can get north to higher ground...

September 15, 2004
Senate

  Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, I rise to speak this morning about a very important issue for the country, particularly for the gulf coast region and the State of Louisiana.
[...]

   As we wrap up our business here in Washington, the entire gulf coast, and the State I represent, Louisiana being one of those Gulf Coast States, Mississippi and Alabama and the panhandle of Florida, is under a mandatory evacuation. Why? It is because this [Hurricane Ivan] is a huge storm. It is a category 4. We hope and pray, and there are some indications, that it will change to a category 3. But it is a major storm with high winds of 165 miles per hour.

   It is not the first time a storm of this size or intensity has hit the gulf coast. We know by reading history. Several decades ago, some of us actually lived through extremely powerful and killer storms like Camille or Betsy in Louisiana and other States throughout the gulf coast that proved to be very dangerous, with loss of life and billions of dollars in property loss.

   We don't have to be reminded that Florida has just been hit in the last 3 weeks twice already. This one will be of historic devastation in Florida, having had three hurricanes hit in such a short period of time.

   I want to speak this morning about what we can do here in Washington a little better, with a little more energy, with a little more focus to help the people in Louisiana and throughout the gulf coast area. Not only do they deserve our help, but because of the energy industry and the economic benefits they bring to the whole country, they not only need our help, they deserve our help. They deserve our attention....

   The people of Louisiana know the devastation this kind of storm can bring. Let me show a picture because I think a picture is worth a thousand words. While this looks terrible and horrible--and it is very frightening, as you can see a woman, standing water rising over her waist, trying to get to safety--this is not a hurricane. This is only a tropical storm. This was Tropical Storm Isidore that hit the gulf coast in 2002. This wasn't a category 1 hurricane. We are talking about severe devastation when a category 3 or category 4 or category 5 hurricane pushes that water out of the gulf, out of Lake Ponchartrain into the tremendously populated areas around the gulf coast.
[...]

 Luckily, the Governors of these States are very skilled and able, the local elected officials have been through this many times and were quick to see the danger, even though the path could not be predicted, and were quick to call for evacuations days ago.

[...]

   We are in Iraq, in an important battle, but part of our objective there is to secure an oil supply for the region and for the Nation and to use that for the betterment of the people of Iraq, for their growth and development and the security and stability of the world, as well as to fight for other issues. We are fighting to get 1 to 3 million barrels out of Iraq, and right here in the Gulf of Mexico, today, we have a facility that has virtually been shut down because of a hurricane. Nearly a million barrels is being imported in this country, and exported, a year.

   [...]

   My point is, I hope we will again use this opportunity to focus on the critical infrastructure needs necessary for Louisiana and the gulf coast of Mississippi and Alabama primarily to protect itself not just from homeland security threats from terrorists but real threats of weather.

   [...] Yet time and time again, when Louisiana comes to ask, Could we please have just a portion of the revenue that we send?--we are not asking for charity; we are asking for something we earned; we are happy to share with the rest of the country to help invest in infrastructure--we are told: We cannot do it this year. We do not have enough money. It is not a high enough priority.

   Well, I do not know when it is going to get to be a high enough priority. I hate to say maybe it is going to take the loss thousands of lives on the gulf coast to make this country wake up and realize in what we are under-investing.

[...]

   We also have a bill through the WRDA legislation, which is the traditional funding for the Corps of Engineers, the Federal agency primarily responsible to keep the waterways dredged, to keep the levees up as high as possible, to work with our local flood control folks, particularly our levee boards in Louisiana, which are some of the most important public entities we have, that literally keep people dry from heavy rains and from floods and storms of this nature.

  [...] We do not have halfway pumping systems. We have the best in the world. We have the best engineers, the finest pumping systems. We are an old city, and we spend a lot of our money to keep those pumping systems up to date. In fact, the Federal Government has been a major partner. I am proud to have led the effort. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Control program has invested hundreds of millions of dollars, Federal and State money, to upgrade those pumping systems. So we are not Pollyanna about this. We are not Johnny-come-lately. We have great engineers. We are smart. If fact, we have taught the world how to drain floodwaters because we have been doing it the longest, for over 300 years.

   But the city can do just so much, when it has a population that is challenged. We are not the wealthiest State. We are not the richest State. We need our Federal Government to understand that we are happy to share our resources and riches with the world, but we do deserve a greater portion of these revenues to keep our people safe, to keep our infrastructure intact, and, most certainly, to be respectful of what the people of Louisiana and the entire gulf coast contribute to our national well-being and security.

   Let's pray, Madam President, that Hurricane Ivan does not hit the city of New Orleans directly. I am going to submit a front-page article from the Washington Post for the RECORD. It is an article about what that might be like. One of our emergency personnel who has been working on an emergency plan has stored several thousand body bags in the event of a major flood in the city of New Orleans. Let's hope that never happens. But I have to say, as a Senator representing the State of Louisiana, the chances of it happening sometime are pretty good. If we do not improve our transportation evacuation routes, invest in protecting this infrastructure, and focusing on reinvesting some of the tremendous wealth that has been taken from this area, and reinvesting it back, we will only have ourselves to blame.

   Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the article entitled ``Awaiting Ivan in the Big Uneasy'' be printed in the RECORD.

'Nuff said.


[Update]: By the way, if any idiot ever tries to blame the local officials for "not having a plan", please direct them to this link. That, my friends, is the State of Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Plan, that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT signs off on. The state submits its plans to FEMA for review and recommendations. Who signed off (pdf) on the LA plan? Michael fucking Brown, that's who. The asshat who is now trying to blame officials for implementing a plan HE HIMSELF signed off on.

If I hear one more person trying to put ALL the blame on the mayor and governor, in the words of Senator Landrieu, "I'm going to punch them. Literally."

Originally posted to Georgia Logothetis on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  EXCELLENT DIARY (4.00)
    great job..we need more diaries like this
    •  It is difficult to fathom... (4.00)
      ... how incredibly tragic this is... have to drag that Norquist poster back here. Because that says it all.. drown it in the bathtub.

      Great work, Georgia.

    •  keep on passing the buck (4.00)
      act like none of this was ever said.

      continue with business as usual.

      pass the bankruptcy bill.

      send another $2 billion a day to Iraq.

      call anyone who asks for accountability "un-american."

      give more $$ to big oil companies.

      what did i miss?

      oh yes, promote mike brown and chertoff to higher positions...

    •  speaking of rumsfeld resigning... (4.00)
      did you all know that the Lousiana Nat'l Gaurd wanted its equipment and soldiers back from Iraq in case of a hurricane? I sent this article to kos before, check it out:

      August 1, 2005, 9:07 PM CDT

      JACKSON BARRACKS -- When members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq in October, they took a lot equipment with them. Dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators are now abroad, and in the event of a major natural disaster that, could be a problem.

      "The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission," said Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider with the LA National Guard.

      Col. Schneider says the state has enough equipment to get by, and if Louisiana were to get hit by a major hurricane, the neighboring states of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have all agreed to help.
      [...]

      "You've got combatant commanders over there who need it they say they need it, they don't want to lose what they have, and we certainly understand that it's a matter it's a matter of us educating that combatant commander,we need it back here as well," Col. Schneider said. [...]

      The paper trail is long enough to force all these impotent assholes to resign. Yeah, I'm angry.

      •  high water vehicles? (none)
        In a desert?
        •  That was my first reaction, (none)
          then someone more knowledgable told me the troops there hate them too, because their armor is too light. So, another FUBAR.

          As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

          by sidnora on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:28:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of Rumsfeld (none)
        I posted this late last night about Rumsfeld's attitude toward the refugees he encountered in NOLA, where he walked past them without the slightest regard:

        http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2005/9/4/21727/72282/149#149

        This is based upon a Reuters report, mentioned in the NYT today.

        Splendid diary Georgia, this is great stuff. Do you have links to the Cong. Record citations?

        It's great to see you back in action. I've been so happy to see your last few diaries. Even if your hiatus was just a few weeks, I hope it helped you clear your head and calm your soul.  We all feel like Cassandras at this site, and it just beats you down that fellow citizens know little and understand less of where this country is headed.

        DowningStreetMemo.com Bush $ Cheney won't read the DSM. Get a jump on them.

        by smintheus on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:22:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for compiling this (4.00)
    I just... I have no fucking words adequate for this.  I just don't.

    I mean what do you say in the face of such callousness and carelessness?

    What do you say when giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy is more important than shoring up the levees that protect millions of lives?

    What do you say when conducting a war based on lies is more important than hearing the cries of people whose arms are outstretched to you while they die?

    We must press them on this.  We must lay this case out, and we must made the media and the people pay attention.

    The seeds of this crime against humanity were sown long before last Monday.

  •  Let's not only show it (4.00)
    the right wingers. How sending copies to the MSM and folks like Olberman, who won't hesitate to bring that up when folks try to lie about it.
    •  yes (4.00)
      This definitely needs to be sent to all the media! The White House is working hard to pin all the blame on the state and local governments. (It's hard work being president, you know.)
      •  Transparent lies and Trolls everywhere (none)
        Might they be worried?
        God knows they should be.

        From my favorite poet:

        Not many really understood what that cheap demented little fascist punk had in mind for his 4 more years. It involved the systematic destruction of everything this country claims to stand for, except the rights of the rich to put saddles on the backs of the poor and the use of public funds to build jails for anybody that complained about it.
        HST - RIP (or maybe pyrotechnics)

    •  Send this letter too. (none)
      I've been posting it everywhere and folks are gonna get sick of it soon but until they do, I'm gonna keep posting it. Excerpt it, rearrange it, sign your own name to it (okay with me except that's what Republican's do), I don't care. It's all I have to offer. Let me know when you get sick of seeing it.


      Hurricanes are a national security issue. The Bush administration just showed us how it will deal with the next 9/11, global warming, declining oil production, and epidemic outbreaks.
      ---
      Bush cut funds for the levees in New Orleans to pay for war against a country with no ties to 9/11, no ties to Osama Bin Laden, and no WMD. He gutted FEMA and staffed it, like his other appointments, with people whose only qualification is loyalty to the Republican party over and above loyalty to American people and our Constitution.
      ---
      The Result is 1800 dead troops, 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians, and God knows how many thousands dead in New Orleans. In Iraq $12 billion has been given to Cheney's firm through no-bid contracts, $9 billion has been lost (just gone, no one knows where), and 10,000 human beings have been detained without trial. Detention without trial is a fundamental violation and a threat to democracy. So is torture: Sean Baker, innocent American tortured by mistake; Maher Arar, innocent Canadian tortured by mistake; Manadel Al Jamadi, hung from the ceiling and beaten to death. Was he a terrorist? We'll never know because the Bush administration abandoned the Constitutionally mandated requirement for due process.
      ---
      The Bush administration is not protecting the American people, not upholding their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution, and they are looting the federal treasury.
      ---
      The Declaration of Independence tells us that government derives its "just Powers from the consent of the governed." It's time for Americans to withdraw our consent, using the tools bequeathed to us by the Constitution, and hold accountable what will certainly be recorded as the most corrupt administration in U.S. history. Please lend your voice in any way you can. Letters to editors and elected officials are a good start.
  •  And it's not just NO (4.00)
    help was kept out of little towns in Mississippi too. I guess there were no Arabian horses in danger.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:41:30 PM PDT

  •  It's just so glaringly obvious... (4.00)
    In black and white.  Not one warning, not a few, but so many!  From so many professionals who truly knew what they were talking about.  The whole debacle of this pathetic rescue effort just boggles the mind.  I really just can't get my head aound it.

    Thanks, Georgia, I always enjoy your thoughtful diaries.

    how long before my soul gets it right?

    by vrexford on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:42:03 PM PDT

  •  Sheesh (4.00)
    From Dennis Kucnich's speech the other day.

    Indifference is a Weapon of Mass Destruction

    Sorry for the pimpin'

    "The Administration yesterday said that no one anticipated the breach of the levees. Did the Administration not see or care about the 2001 FEMA warning about the risk of a devastating hurricane hitting the people of New Orleans? Did it not know or care that civil and army engineers were warning for years about the consequences of failure to strengthen the flood control system? Was it aware or did it care that the very same Administration which decries the plight of the people today, cut from the budget tens of millions needed for Gulf-area flood control projects?

    "Countless lives have been lost throughout the South with a cost of hundreds of billions in ruined homes, businesses, and the destruction of an entire physical and social infrastructure.

    "The President said an hour ago that the Gulf Coast looks like it has been obliterated by a weapon. It has. Indifference is a weapon of mass destruction.

    "Our indifferent government is in a crisis of legitimacy. If it continues to ignore its basic responsibility for the health and welfare of the American people, will there ever be enough money to clean up after their indifference?

    Impeach Gary Bettman

    by Edanger6 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:42:39 PM PDT

    •  Another little snippet (4.00)
      From that same speech

      "The time is NOW for the federal government to take seriously the research of scientists who have warned for years about the dangers of changes in the global climate, and to prepare other regions of the country for other possible weather disasters until we change our disastrous energy policies.

      "The time is NOW for changes in our energy policy, to end the domination of oil and fossil fuel and to invest heavily in alternative energy, including wind and solar, geothermal and biofuels.

      "As bad as this catastrophe will prove to be, it is in fact only a warning. Our government must change its direction, it must become involved in making America a better place to live, a place where all may survive and thrive. It must get off the path of war and seek the path of peace, peace with the natural environment, peace with other nations, peace with a just economic system."

      Impeach Gary Bettman

      by Edanger6 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:14:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll give you a 4 everytime (none)
      Not only cause you're always right, but because you have the Best. Sig. Ever.!!
  •  Thank you for pulling all this together. (4.00)

    Republicans: 25 years (with a brief break) of destroying good government and the nation's infrastructure.

    by lecsmith on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:43:40 PM PDT

    •  How True (4.00)
      Twenty-five years of blatant dishonesty. That has gone mostly unnoticed.

      Twenty-five years of Hot Button Issues, that had nothing to do with the future of America.

      Twenty-five years of speeches promoting fear and hatred. Ranting to the voters that the poor are dragging down this nation, while making big business the true welfare recipient.

      Twenty-five years of taking away from the people and lining their own pockets. While infrastructure was degraded.

      Twenty-five years of trickling down just enough to keep the voters in the dark. While poverty expanded and jobs were exported.

      Twenty-five years of laying this nation to waste. Climaxed by a tragedy that was preventable. The pain of this failed person in charge of aonce great nation is almost as bad as the loss of life that he has caused.

      Always Remember Katrina--- the measure of Republican leadership and proof that American life is not a priority to these murderers.

      Hopefully, America will remember on Election Day.

  •  U.S. Sen panel to meet in N.O. on coastal erosion (4.00)
    on 26 August, this conference was scheduled (I don't know if it was in fact held) But both Senators were working hard to get information out there about the causes and impact of coastal erosion.....(part of the problem with NOLA and LA)

    U.S. Senate panel to meet in N.O. on coastal erosion

    NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter will host a hearing by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in New Orleans on Friday to examine causes and impact of coastal erosion in the state. The hearing will also include a discussion of the Louisiana Coastal Area ecosystem restoration plan proposed for authorization in the Water Resources Development Act of 2005.

    Two panels of experts will speak at the hearing. The first panel is scheduled to include Major General Don T. Riley, director of civil works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Scott Angelle, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources; state Sen. Walter J. Boasso; and Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph.

    The second panel will include Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District Executive Director Jerome Zeringue; Louisiana Wildlife Federation Executive Director Randy Lanctot; Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce board Chairwoman Alexis Duval; Louisiana 1 Coalition Executive Director Roy Francis; and Shea Penland, director of the Pontchartrain Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans .

    This full-committee field hearing will take place at the Lindy Boggs Conference Center in the University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park beginning at 10 a.m.

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:47:07 PM PDT

  •  Despicable. (4.00)
    Absolutely despicable greed, incompetence, and heartless uncaring idiocy.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:49:30 PM PDT

  •  This is SO Excellent! (none)
    Superb...thank you SO much for this!
  •  Georgia10, where is your tip jar? (none)
    Soem of us would like to say a numerical thank you. This diary is an important reference.
  •  This is a great collection... (none)
    ...'Nuff said, indeed. Masterful work, Georgia!

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:53:42 PM PDT

  •  larry c. johnson (4.00)
    weighs in, saying the shrubCo had a ational response plan on file - why the !@#$%& didn't they use it?

    The provocative title is intentional. Why did the Bush Administration fail to act according to the National Response Plan they created in December of 2004 to deal with an incident like Katrina?

    What do you do when the words on the paper don't match the action in the field? People are dying today in New Orleans because of the failure to provide immediate aid; are dead in part because of the negligence of Michael Chertoff. That is a harsh judgment, but if you will take time to read the National Response Plan that was signed into effect in December of 2004 there is no other reasonable conclusion.

    it's definitely a good read.

  •  wow!!! (none)
    time to jam this down bush/nero's throat.

    resign now....we the american people will not take no for an answer!

  •  She's BACK! (4.00)
    And BETTER THAN EVER!

    Georgia10, you are a MARVEL. Thank you for doing this -- it must have been thoroughly nauseating writing it -- it sure as hell was nauseating READING it -- you know what I mean.

    •  eh (4.00)
      feel like i'm dying, but may as well go out with a bang, right?
      •  Georgia10-armed and dangerous (none)
        You earned a big old brownie tonight! Thanks for this ammo.

        Most Americans are a lot dumber than we give them credit for- George Carlin 2004

        by maggiemae on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:18:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great Job...Get this to (4.00)
        Anderson Cooper at CNN and Arron Brown at CNN...the will scream it around the world. Bush once again fucked up. He should not get anything he wants in the future. Our Democratic leaders must go on strike NOW. Stop the SENATE. FUCKING let them Kill the Filibuster, we shut down the senate..and the reason why? Bush Murdered Thousands of people in the City of New Orleans...It looks like premeditated murder to me. Shut the fucking senate down, stop the insanity. He is beyond a lame duck. The bullshit on America must end now or Bush will destroy Us all and the world.

        *"I went to protest Dobson, and all I got was this damn feeding tube*

        by Chamonix on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:29:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kicking ass and spreading ... (4.00)
        ...names. Georgia10 the way we like her.

        "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:24:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're a s/hero and an an angel (none)
        Thank you so much for doing this work; it's hard under the best of circumstances but downright heroic to come back from your much-deserved respite.

        I hope everyone sends this far and wide, especially with the Bush flying monkey squad out in full force doing what they apparently thrive to do: take down better and more decent people than them.

        Thank you thank you thank you, Georgia10.

      •  georgia10 - minor question/clarification (none)
        (with all respect and gratitude for the great diary)

        the last section of your diary refers to the State's mitigation plan as, essentially, the "missing link" between a state disaster and the feds takin action.  but the mitigation plan is something different than the plan for post-disaster response; and of course, as we're seeing now, the post-disaster response must also be broken into immediate-term, short-term, and then longer-term responses.  

        another Kossack in comments here refers to an EO re: environmental being the "missing link".  another refers to the National Disaster Plan signed by Bush in 2004, which essentially says, you don't have to come specifically ask for help from FEMA in the event of a large-scale disaster. I will do some follow up work on this myself, to see if I can add to this.  but in the meantime, I think this is a point you may need to revise in the diary.  again, with ALL respect.  

        No matter how cynical you become ... you can never keep up.

        by LegalSpice on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:52:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have the 310 page (4.00)
          Federal Disaster Plan right here and am around...oh, page 56 or so.  Taking notes, trying to make sense of things.

          The Federal Disaster Plan, when we're done analyzing it, will prove that the federal government was woefully incompetent.

          The State Mitigation Plan I linked to I think is important in deflecting criticism of the local officials.  It essentially demonstrates that the state officials were competent and their plans for post-disaster response were not only adequate, but approved by the federal government.  

          To get a sense of what the SMP is, here is a good excerpt:

          The purpose of hazard mitigation is to implement actions which eliminate the risk
          from hazards, or reduce the severity of the effects of hazards on people and property.
          Mitigation actions are both short-term and long-term activities which reduce the
          cause or occurrence of hazards; reduce exposure to hazards; or reduce effects of
          hazards through various means to include preparedness, response, and recovery
          measures.

          The State of Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Plan has been prepared in compliance with Public Law 93-288, as amended. This plan implements hazard mitigation measures intended to eliminate or reduce the effects of future disasters throughout
          the State
          , and was developed in a joint and cooperative venture by members of the
          State Hazard Mitigation Team.

          The SMP tells us the state had a plan to deal with katrina not only pre-impact, but post-impact as well.  You're right though in pointing out that this document is probably more valuable for it's pre-disaster planning.  

          As I said, I'm combing through the FDP right now, and THAT document definitely will be central in all of this.

          Both documents are necessary to deflect the administration's claims, I think.

  •  Excellent Diary. We need to send the link to (4.00)
    the NYT, WAPO and others in the MSM.  I will do my part. I urge everyone else to do theirs.  We can stop the Bush PR initiative in its tracks.
  •  Here;s another one, on video. Chertoff on 7/18/05 (4.00)
    at the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee. It's from July 19th of this year. The Democrats on the committee nailed Chertoff on his plans for a disaster. The Democrats have been screaming about this for five years. This stuff is on video and at the committee websites. Just go watch. (Skip the Rethugs and just watch all the Dems. Okay, you can watch Vitter.)

    Homeland Security Re-org Hearing

  •  The Repubs are already blaming the city residents (none)
    for not evacuating. They say it's their own fault, rendering all these other arguments moot. From there they go to plan B, then plan C, etc...

    There is going to be wiggle room under just about any circumstances for a very smart man (not George, but someone he knows.) I've watched it happen for five years. So has every one else here.

    But thanks for all the work. We'll fling it at George and see if any of it sticks.

  •  Two months ago Louisiana Senator David Vitter (4.00)
    predicted what has happened. On June 29, Vitter testified before the Senate subcommittee on Disaster Prediction & Prevention.

    Eerily, the subcommittee considered the ramifications of a hurricane hitting New Orleans two months ago. In testimony on June 29, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) rattled off scenarios of what would happen, ranging from a Category 3 hurricane, which he said would deposit 14 feet of water in New Orleans, to a Category 4 storm, which would leave 18 feet, he said. Katrina, a Category 4, has left much of New Orleans and the surrounding area under as much as 20 feet of water, as levees broke.

    "This isn't a simulation of World War Three, or The Day After movie, or of Atlantis -- although one day it could be Atlantis," Vitter said at the time. "This is a real, computer-generated, model of the impact of a hurricane hitting New Orleans." Vitter complained that Congress wasn't willing to spend the millions necessary for disaster prevention but typically rushed to spend billions after a tragedy struck.

  •  Excellent!!! (4.00)
    wild salmon just posted a diary at

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/4/223320/6973

    everyone needs to read it after reading this diary.

    For contact info after reading both diaries go to

    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/

    We have Bush dead in the toxic waters of NOLA, let's throw him, Chertoff, Brown, Cheney, Rice, Rummy, etc. a Bill Clinton anchor.

    •  thanks Ohio (4.00)
      Very kind words. I saw this message after I posted below. Now I really feel like a diary ho!

      It IS important to spread the word about EJ and how Bush and the GOP have violated the letter and spirit of the Clinton-era Excutive Order on Environmental Justice.

      It did not have to go down like this- those in positions of power CHOSE to let it go down like this.

      EJ is very near and dear to my heart and home. I work with it alot on several other issues, but the case of NOLA and Katrina is by far, the WORST case of environmental in-justice I have ever witnessed (and I am very familiar with these kinds of EJ issues).

      Bushco IS responsible and Condi should be forever inducted into the Hall of Shame for her idiotic defense of the federal response to the victims.

      "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

      by wild salmon on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:47:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No wonder Sen. Landrieu wants to punch bush n/t (4.00)

    "Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by sgilman on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:21:43 PM PDT

  •  damning stuff here georgia10 (none)
    one hell of a job.

    Like anyone who surely reads this, it only sickens me more....for a cost that will only look paltry compared to the early estimates of 25 billion dollars that it is going to take to 'fix' this, this should never have happened.

    Then there is the cost that can not have a price put on it - the environmental cost to the wetlands and estuaries and fisheries once this toxic mess is pumped out into the gulf.  Just ask Alaskans what the think of Exxon, even now, and you get the idea....

  •  And since they are so busy blaming locals.... (4.00)
    The Governor sent an urgent invitation to Bush just last month, dated July 19, 2005, pleading with him to tour the LA coastline with her to see the problems of erosion.

    Bayoubuzz.com link--Blanco letter, July, 19, 2005

    "For the Mardi Gras
    Neo-con domestic shock and awe.."--Rep. Major Owens

    by Cathy on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:25:19 PM PDT

  •  Barrier Islands and Wetlands (4.00)
    are nature's shock absorbers.

    The same thing happened in the Tsunami.  Those areas that still had coral reefs and mangrove forests, which function as barriers as well, fared much better than did those areas that had no such barriers.

    The feds gave a ton of money to Florida to restore the Everglades for the same reason and the people of Florida are benefitting from this investment.

    Lucky Florida that George's brother heads the state.

  •  any way to find out (4.00)
    whether the Army Corps of Engineers ever appeared before congressional committees, hearings, etc. to discuss SELA?

    Found this online...not sure if it's been widely circulated:

    SELA funding

    Thanks, georgia10.  The record of legislative apathy wrt infrastructure is, in this case, criminal...and personally I don't care who it makes look bad.  I want anyone who examined the issue and decided to roll the dice held accountable.  

  •  Boy Georgia... (none)
    I know you were going to take some time off from Kos, but IM SURE GLAD that you decided otherwise.

    GREAT diary.  Thanks.  Serious professional documentation.  Just what we need right now.  So glad you're here.

    "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

    by Gabriele Droz on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:30:52 PM PDT

  •  wow! (none)
    Amazing!
    Great diary.
    Thanks for this insight!

    Julie

  •  Here is one wingnut's response... (none)
    after I posted this diary on a message board that I frequent:

    http://www.bwi.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=1541&mid=57494223&sid=&tid=57493754&style= 1

    Yes they are in full damage suppression mode. And, the only damage they care to suppress is that to their damaged belief system.

    Hey, Mr. Custer-you mind if I be excused the rest of the afternoon?
    --Larry Verne

    by Big Nit Attack on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:34:53 PM PDT

    •  what an idiot (none)
      He challenges your sources - the Congressional Record????

      Oh yeah, we moonbat libs just make up shit and claim it came from the Congressional Record.

      New Orleans will never die

      by hrh on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:38:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spread far and wide! (none)
  •  Fed response violated Ex Order 12898 (4.00)
    Not trying to pimp my own diary but do not feel like repeating the details.

    I do think, however, this is very important and everyone should be aware.

    Executive Order 12898 (signed by Clinton) def. applies to the dismal and racist/classist response and planning by federal agencies and officials re: Katrina and its victims.

    Entitled: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.

    More info here

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/4/223320/6973

    "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

    by wild salmon on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:39:08 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the great diary, georgia10... (none)
    Lawyers rock!

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:58:36 PM PDT

  •  Amazing! (none)
    That is some damming evidence!
  •  Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is my Rep. (none)
    And I've never been so proud.

    . . . solutions emerge from [our] judicious study of discernible reality.

    by realitybased on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:09:12 PM PDT

  •  All of this must be on C-Span... (none)
    I keep thinking, there is a great video documentary to be made from all of this. I think as time passes, more and more of this will come out. As damning as it is in snippets, threading it all together will be a powerful indictment of the worst. president. ever. Not sure it will help much in the short run, but it might make for some interesting campaign spots for 2006... If the dems are smart enough and bold enough to make use of it.
  •  fantastic diary! (none)
    you put an amazing amount of work into this - wow!

    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

    by brenda on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:52:15 PM PDT

  •  They called it Pork? (4.00)
    Questions:
    1. Does anybody have factual evidence of the Republicans' calling Sen.  LANDRIEU's request for funds "pork"? (allegation heard on the radio Sunday).

    "They" might not believe a word WE say, but it would be nice to quote "them" back to themselves.

    2.  Was there any feedback from the conference of emergency planners who were meeting in New Orleans when they had to evacuate because of Hurricane Ivan (I think that's the one)? Mentioned elsewhere on Daily Kos that they were there. Ironic.
    ----
    FYI, See excellent set of links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictions_of_hurricane_risk_for_New_Orleans

    Scientific American published an article by Mark Fischetti in October of 2001 called Drowning New Orleans. This article begins, "A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city… New Orleans is a disaster waiting to happen."

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00060286-CB58-1315-8B5883414B7F0000& pageNumber=1&catID=2

    Read the article, plus the sidebar update:
    SIDEBAR
    August 31, 2005    
        Drowning New Orleans: Why Save a Sinking City?    
    By Mark Fischetti    

    The New Orleans area is home to more than two million people, and it fuels a unique part of America's national psyche.
    The Mississippi Delta is the poster child for problems threatening the world's deltas, coastal wetlands and cities on the sea.
    Southern Louisiana produces one third of the country's seafood, one fifth of its oil and one quarter of its natural gas.
    The state's coastline harbors 40 percent of the nation's coastal wetlands and provides wintering grounds for 70 percent of its migratory waterfowl.
    Facilities along the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Baton Rouge constitute the nation's largest port.

  •  Brilliant diary and essential work (none)
    Kos and Armando, et. al:

    This diary should be kept on the front page for a few days so all can see, link, etc.

    Bravo georgia10

    aude sapere -- Dare to know!

    by Valtin on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:30:20 PM PDT

  •  Numbers ... oh, numbers .. (4.00)

    ~Yeh ......... nuff said.

    Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation. ---Jane Addams

    by Orj ozeppi on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:30:46 PM PDT

  •  Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through... (none)
    Oh, sorry, I was channeling Ray for a minute there. ;-)

    Actually, I just wanted to thank you for this diary.  I know how mind numbing it can be to search the Congressional Record for specific items.  Lots of work went into this.

    Just curious, did you by any chance go back farther in the record or did you concentrate just on the Bush years? The reason I ask is because on 60 Minutes tonight, an Army Corps guy, (I should have taped the show for reference of names) said that as far back as 1985 (that would have been on Regean's watch) they had been asking for money to reinforce the levee and flood wall system in New Orleans.  I think he made clear they have been asking for money for this project for 20 years and had been turned down everytime.  

    Just because a person has faith doesn't mean that he isn't full of crap.-- Pastordan

    by Maggie Mae on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:34:55 PM PDT

    •  I focused on Bush years (4.00)
      to shut the wingers up.  But, there was a bill introduced in late 1999, the "LAKE PONCHARTRAIN BASIN RESTORATION ACT OF 1999".  It was introduced in 1999, and wallowed in committee with no action.  While it was mostly environmental, it did have provisions for monitoring the basin's water flow.  

      But there was very little, hardly anything, in 1999, 2000.  When Bush stepped in though, that's when congressmen began beating the drums harder.

  •  I do not believe they can put lipstick (4.00)
    on  this pig. Spin away, but it will remain horror and murder, horror and murder.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:37:30 PM PDT

    •  When more of the individual stories (4.00)
      start to come out, they won't be able to escape from what they allowed to happen, while Bush stayed on vacation, gave a speech to a captive military crowd, ate cake at a fundraiser with McCain (who should have told him to get his ass back to DC), and did nothing to help these people.

      Listening to Nagin tonight on 60 Minutes say to the reporter, "You want stories?  I've got stories."  Made me realize that everyone of the evacuees has a story to tell.  You can't cover up tens of thousands of stories that relate the actual horror that was going on there.  You also can't get rid of all the tapes of news stories that belie what Rove is going to try and put out there.

      I get the feeling, however, that the survivors are going to have to organize like the 9/11 families did to get them to put together an invesitgation in a timely fashion.  Look at what Chertoff said this morning on MTP.  (emphasis is mine)

      You know, Tim, what we're contemplating now is the fact that we are very, very much in the middle of a crisis.  There's a bit of a sense that you get that some people think it's now time to draw a sigh of relief and go back and do the after-action analysis, and there'll be plenty of time for that.  We obviously need to look very closely at things that worked well, and many things did work well, and some things that didn't work well, and some things did not work well.

      I truly believe they are going to try and say they don't need to do one, especially the more people from that area get settled into new areas.  I think they are going to start to believe that because these people are so far flung that they won't be able to join together to force them to look at their failure to respond.  I think as more and more areas (besides NO) start to get back on their feet and rebuilding gets underway, they're going to say, "See all that we have done to help?  We don't need to go back and relive the past."

      I just don't trust them to do the right thing.

      Just because a person has faith doesn't mean that he isn't full of crap.-- Pastordan

      by Maggie Mae on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:09:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NO isn't just home to poor people (4.00)
        and the others have lost not just their homes. They've lost their roots.

        People DO NOT like that. And those are the ones who will make sure that this doesn't drop.

        The artists, the writers, the celebrities -- they'll push it, and the media will pay attention to them.

        This won't die. Besides, everybody will get reminded of it everytime they go to the store, look at their heating bill, fill up their car.

        This will build. Worse than 9/11.

  •  Where the hell is the Democratic Party? (none)
    This country is in dire need of leadership.

    We need an FDR, but all we got was a lousy W.

    by jaywillie on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:44:38 PM PDT

    •  Letting the GOP go down with the ship (none)
      The Dems don't want to be too critical lest they allow the right to make that the story.  I was watching Fox when the democratic response came to Bush's radio address and they hoping it would be a partisan wack job.  When it wasn't, they were almost creastfallen.  Patience my friend, patience.

      Impeach Gary Bettman

      by Edanger6 on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:37:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  [wail] (none)
    edwards shoulda been president dammit...
  •  If I understand Republican talking points, then (none)

    • They'd rather go by the book then save lives.
    • If they see a local response they're not happy with, there's no point in stepping in to help.
    • They're willing to take good news from newspapers as gospel truth, but any other reports are mere rumors.
    • If they were in New Orleans situation, they'd die before taking food from a store.

    etc.
    etc.
  •  Add this from the public record. (4.00)
    This prescient press release (June 14th, 2004) from Aaron Broussard and Parishes Against Coastal Erosion (PACE) addresses the perils of neglecting the LA flood plaind and wetlands.

    Excerpt:

    Without wetlands to buffer storms, our people and property and the nation's energy supply are at risk. Oil and gas pipelines and facilities, which provide 25% of the Nation's energy needs, are more vulnerable with each storm.

    [snip]

    The president has supported the concept, but has backed off when it comes to funding the restoration effort. PACE believes Louisiana can no longer afford to wait. Louisiana urgently needs guaranteed resources to thwart a catastrophe that is not being given the sense of urgency that it demands.

    [snip]

     Louisiana has made a commitment. Now, it's time for the President to step up to the plate and support funding to prevent the untold damage to the ecology, economy and potential loss of life in large numbers.

    With the National Hurricane Center predicting another active hurricane season, PACE President Aaron Broussard said he fears that it is going to take a major storm and significant loss of life before the nation acts responsibly.

    What did the President know and when did he stop knowing it?

    by Pyewacket on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:33:07 AM PDT

  •  ok, so they ignored (4.00)
    pleas for help.  they ignored their own national response plan.  now it appears they may have ignored Executive Order 12898.

    "UNDERSTANDING THE HISTORY President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898 on February 11, 1994 to establish environmental justice as a national priority. The Order, entitled "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations," focuses federal attention on the environmental and human health conditions of minority populations and low-income populations with the goal of achieving environmental protection for all communities."

    "In 2001, EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman confirmed that, "environmental justice is the goal to be achieved for all communities and persons across this Nation. Environmental justice is achieved when everyone, regardless of race, culture, or income, enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn and work."  

    ...Furthermore, Section 2.2 states:

    Federal Agency Responsibilities for Federal Programs.

    Each Federal agency shall conduct its programs, policies, and activities that substantially affect human health or the environment, in a manner that ensures that such programs, policies, and activities do not have the effect of excluding persons (including populations) from participation in, denying persons (including populations) the benefits of, or subjecting persons (including populations) to discrimination under, such programs, policies, and activities, because of their race, color, or national origin.

    •  Even worse FEMA violated its EJ policy (none)
      Copy of FEMA's policy on Environmental Justice and EO 12898

      FEMA EJ Policy

      Says:

      Implementation of E.O. 12898 Concerning Environmental Justice

      On February 11, l994 President Clinton signed E.O. 12898, entitled, "Federal Actions to Address
      Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations."  

      The Executive Order directs Federal agencies "to make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States . . .."

      A preliminary assessment of FEMA programs indicates that some of the hazard mitigation projects proposed in the floodplain may potentially fall within the scope of agency
      actions which have a greater impact on minority and low-income populations.

      "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

      by wild salmon on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:31:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you must have been up past your bedtime last night (none)
        that's your diary i linked & posted, darlin'

        : p

        •  heh (none)
          Yeah- was up very late....

          actually I found the FEMA EJ policy this AM which is what I added to your message.

          I had actually thought that maybe FEMA didn't have an official EJ policy, but they do. It makes it even harder to justify their piss poor reaction to Katrina- both before she hit and afterwards. They even explicity identify that agency actions in the floodplain are their biggest EJ issue.

          Thanks for putting it out there- it is important that we all hold their feet to the fire on this one.

          "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

          by wild salmon on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:46:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  aaahh...gotcha (none)
            i just wish i understood the damn thing better...can this stick?
            •  Google for EO 12898 and EJ (none)
              That will get you some background on EJ.

              Can it stick? Well, there are two tracks: legal and political.

              The most effective EJ battles are fought in the political realm.

              EO 12898 has no enforcement mechanism, it was an order to all federal agencies to address environmental justice (ie: impacts on low-income and minority populations) in their own agency policies. So you can nail FEMA for failing to follow its own EJ policy.

              Politically speaking, FEMA cannot claim it was not aware that there was an EJ issue in its disaster response planning and implementation because it is clearly recognized in the agency's EJ policy.

              EO 12898 is the best response to those in the Bush Admin and GOP that will claim

              1. they had no idea that these minority and low-income communities would be at greatest risk,

              2. that FEMA did not know its own planning and implementation needed to  address the impacts on low income and minority populations,

              3. that the biggest risk to these populations was in the floodplain areas of the US.

              Furthermore under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), EO 12898 must be followed by all federal agencies undertaking a federal action. This will be critical to the post-Katrina restoration and environmental work that is done in coming months and years.

              EO 12898 and Environmental Justice issues related to Katrina WILL stick if people have the political will to make them stick. Heads of federal agencies, the WH, and Congress are obligated under EO 12898 to address the very issue of agency actions on these populations. They didn't and they can't claim they didn't know or didn't have to.

              So yes, it can stick- if we beat them over the head with it. The WH and FEMA have NO political cover in light of EO 12898 and FEMA's EJ Policy.
              None whatsoever.

              Sure, Bush had no use for this EO (it was signed by Clinton) and recent acts by the WH and Congress have severely cut funding for agencies to fully address these issues, but that is their responsibility.

              There is NO deniability here for Bush and the GOP. None whatsoever. EO 12898 and the FEMA EJ policy have been on the books since 1994. No excuses.

              "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

              by wild salmon on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:39:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Storm Surge Holland 1953 - A Comparison (4.00)
    In Katrina aftermath, NOLA was fully submerged making a city disfunctional, although the damage to levees was comparatively small and local.

    The damage to the Dutch dikes in 1953, 115 miles destroyed and an area of 380,000 acres were inundated . Mostly agricultural land with a number of towns, villages and cities with harbors of fishing based communities. The Dutch have lived with storms and dikes for centuries, the dikes watch was in place, but the 1953 storm was no match for the limited strength of the dikes.

    Similar to the damage done by Katrina hurricane, the authorities were warned for poor funding to have the dikes restored and meet the expected fury of a storm once in fifty years, that would flood the land.

    <click on map for animation storm surge North Sea coastline in 1953>   

    The consequences of the storm were desastreus: 1835 persons drowned, and some 20,000 cows, 1,750 horses and 12,000 pigs perished in the waves. Houses, schools, churches and other buildings: 47,300 damaged of which 10,000 irreparable. A length of 115 miles of dikes were destroyed or severely damaged by the power of the storm and waves resulting in flooding of 153,000 hectares (380,000 acres).

    A total of 72,000 persons were evacuated, therefore 1:40 were killed in the storm, approx. 2,5% of the population.

    <click on pic to enlarge>

    Flood Disaster - February 1, 1953

    .
    Sea, tides and sand dunes

    A resistance, determination to exist and fight the elements of nature.

         "God created the Earth,
          but the Dutch created the Netherlands."

    American tourists do feel a bit uncomfortable in their approach to Amsterdam Airport: "Welcome ladies and gentlemen. We'll shortly be landing at Schiphol Airport, 15 feet below sea level."

    The Dutch do fear the onslaught of rising sea level as predicted by global warming and the melting glaciers. But after the 1953 spring tide storm disaster in their southern province of Zeeland, the Dutch rebuild all their dikes to a higher level and the immense structures to withstand all storms for a thousand years, statistically.

    The design of dikes has been unchanged for centuries, and only recently has seen a first failure of a sliding dike, due to ... drought! The Dutch design of dikes can also be witnessed in France, Normandy, from centuries ago.


    Emblem of Zeeland Province

    Coastal Guide to the Netherlands
    World Atlas

    To battle the rising tide - a political lesson from the Dutch: resistance, determination and invest in a plan.  

  • Oui - Liberté - Egalité - Fraternité

    ▼ ▼ ▼ HAVE YOU READ MY DIARY YET? ▼ ▼ ▼
  •  Excellent Diary! (none)
    Thanks for all the hard work that went into this.

    Because oil isn't free!

    by MHoward on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:16:19 AM PDT

  •  Stop the Smear & Blame squad's coverup (4.00)
    Some of the bigger media whores are already back to the business as usual. Don't let them get away with it.

    These [administration] 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. (09/05/05 NYT / Nagourney & Kornblut)

    What a disgusting collection of jackals, buzzards and hyenas.

    And what an arrogant prancing imbecile they prop up as a Great Leader. Even with relief efforts running more smoothly at this stage, a phonecall from this self-absorbed prick could still mean the difference between life and death, between future misery and prosperity for thousands. And he's worried about which Leadership Codpiece to wear during his next costume jaunt. Culture of Life my everloving pink ass.

    See also Talking Points Memo's tracking of the Smear'n'Blame ops here and especially here, where the Post and Newsweek dutifully get back to the job of indiscriminate asslicking -- which is of course the important thing during national tragedies.

    (I hope this diary gets front-paged ASAP and KOSsacks stop this disgusting revisionism -- bad enough on a daily business but this coverup is over, literally, a mass grave.)

  •  They are trying to raise oil and shipping prices (4.00)
    Can someone diary this?  Mine on a similar slant (and without citations) got crowded out last night, and I think a solid case needs to be made for this argument (with citations).

    To wit, we're refusing international aid that can help:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/09/04/katrina.world.aid/index.html

    Some highlights of that report ... bolding mine ...

    "The U.S. government has received offers of aid from dozens of nations across the globe in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the State Department said.

    Neither the White House nor the State Department has said whether these offers have been accepted. "

    We have taken a piddling amount ...

    "The EU Executive Commission said the United States has asked for first aid kits, blankets, water trucks and 500,000 prepared meals, Reuters reported.

    NATO said the United States had asked it for food supplies, Reuters reported. "NATO stands ready to continue to support the United States as it recovers from this natural disaster," the alliance reportedly said in a statement."

    But there is much more offered ... WITH PETROL ... again, bolding mine ...

    "Other international organizations also offered help, ranging from medical teams to tents to cash donations. They include the Organization of American States, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and World Health Organization.

    The United Nations has offered to help coordinate international relief."

    We only accepted the offer of UN coordination this morning, and the coordinators had to go to Washington DC ... that's in the AP piece lower down.

    "China offered $5 million in aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina. If needed, the Chinese government also is prepared to send rescue workers, including medical experts, officials said."

    "The Singapore armed forces, responding to requests by the Texas Army National Guard, has sent three Chinook helicopters to Fort Polk, Louisiana, to help in relief efforts."

    "Canada has offered to help in any way it can, and its navy is preparing a ship full of emergency disaster relief supplies to be sent when a request comes.

    Cuban President Fidel Castro offered to fly 1,100 doctors to Houston, Texas, with 26 tons of medicine to treat disaster victims.

    Mexico has offered $1 million and is sending 15 truckloads of water, food and medical supplies via Texas. The Mexican navy has offered to send two ships, two helicopters and 15 amphibious vehicles.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of the United States, offered to send cheap fuel, humanitarian aid and relief workers to the disaster area."

    "Australia is giving $10 million, most of it to the American Red Cross, according to the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer."

    Could it be that the Feds WON'T take it?  Why is it going to a private org?

    France has offered mobile help from rescue teams in the French Antilles in the Caribbean, including a civil defense detachment of 35 people, tents, camp beds, generators, motor pumps, water treatment units and emergency kits, two CASA cargo aircraft, a ship (Batral Francis Garnier) and the frigate Ventose with its Panther helicopter, and a hurricane disaster unit. France also has offered assistance from the French mainland, including several aircraft. In addition, the NGO Telecoms Sans Frontieres, which specializes in restoring phone lines and Internet service in disasters, is ready to send a team of experts and equipment. Veolia Environment, which has facilities in Louisiana, has offered to make its local water management resources available.

    Germany has offered a range of assistance, including medical and transportation services, water treatment capabilities and aid in searching for victims and supplies. Germany also has said it is ready and willing to "dip into its own emergency oil reserves" to release some 2 million barrels a day for 30 days.

    Italy has offered to send aid and evacuation specialists immediately, Italy's civil protection unit said. Authorities have prepared two military transport planes to fly amphibious vessels, pumps, generators, tents and personnel to New Orleans, Louisiana, and other areas. They were awaiting word from U.S. officials, the unit said.

    The Netherlands will provide teams for inspecting dikes and for identifying victims if there is a formal request from the United States. It also will send a frigate from Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles to New Orleans shortly to provide emergency assistance, the Dutch government said."

    "Spain expects to receive a formal request to release gasoline stocks to the United States and is prepared to grant it, an Industry Ministry spokesman said."

    "Qatar has offered the United States $100 million to assist in the humanitarian crisis triggered by Hurricane Katrina.

    Saudi Refining, a Houston-based subsidiary of state oil firm Saudi Aramco, will donate $5 million to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts for hurricane victims."

    Again, what the heck?  Why aren't the Feds cutting out the middle man?  Are they TRYING to create a mess for Halliburton to clean?

    "Iran has offered to send humanitarian aid to hurricane victims, Reuters reported. "We are prepared to send our contributions to the people through the Red Crescent," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told Reuters."

    IRAN!!!!   The Axis of Evil is helping us now!
    These people don't hate us OR our way of life.  At least, not Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.  Not even Saudi Arabia.  Now, Kuwait ... they hate us.  Or maybe not ... http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/12565388.htm ... 500 MILLION DOLLARS.  500 MILLION DOLLARS.  Granted, one of the clerics there opened his mouth to say that this was the will of Allah ...
    but we didn't give 500 million dollars to Venezuela ... more on that later on ...

    We haven't accepted the 500 million dollars.
    Or anything other than EU and NATO MREs.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are other countries, poor countries and rich ones, in the CNN piece.

    And the AP and WLOX have gotten this information ... note that only the UN, EU, and NATO aid has been accepted ... and that we've turned down MORE oil ...
    http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=3806951&nav=6DJIe8wp

    "Kuwait's offer includes $400 million in oil products and $100 million in humanitarian relief, Al Sabah's spokesman told The Associated Press. Another close U.S. ally, the United Arab Emirates, is sending tents, clothing, food and other aid."

    400 million dollars of oil.  Yeesh.

    "Bitter U.S. foes Iran and North Korea -- which Washington pressured over their respective nuclear programs -- offered to help rescue efforts, and Syria -- another longtime opponent -- was among numerous Middle Eastern states offering condolences. And Arab League chief Amr Moussa said the Arab world should support the United States, which "always expresses solidarity with nations that face natural catastrophes and extends most of the aid they receive.""

    Iran, N. Korea, Syria ... yep, they hate our way of life ... no, they hate our government.  And our government is hurting us because they hate them.  Believe me, I think we should be tough with these countries and they aren't sweethearts ... but they are giving us HELP.

    "The Paris-based International Energy Agency has also said its 26-member nations would release the equivalent of 2 million barrels of oil per day from strategic reserves"

    What is our problem?  We have a president creating petrol shortages, when help could be on the way!

    And it may not just be business ... it may be swelling the coffers of religious charities over more secular ones or non-Christian ones ...

    The BBC was provided this list of charities for Britons and other people reading the International Service to help.  Keep in mind this is while our government has accepted NOTHING from Britain itself.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4204066.stm

    "Agencies seeking cash donations only:

    American Red Cross

    America's Second Harvest

    Operation Blessing

    Agencies seeking cash donations and volunteer help:

    Adventist Community Services

    Catholic Charities USA

    Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

    Church World Service

    Convoy of Hope

    Corporation for National and Community Service

    Lutheran World Relief

    Mennonite Disaster Service

    Nazarene Disaster Response

    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

    Salvation Army USA

    North American Mission Board

    United Methodist Committee on Relief "

    Operation Blessing, who has had problems and is run by Pat Robertson ... that's there ... but Oxfam, United Jewish Communities, and any Muslim charities are not.  Some foreign citizens are not going to contribute when they see this list.  Some will wonder if their contributions to other orgs will reach the Gulf Coast at all.

    And all the while, the Feds are slow to take help from these orgs they've listed ... meaning that cash contributions are just piling up.

    The domestic list, by the way, has been expanded ... either by media outlets themselves or by the Feds.  But not the one to the rest of the world.

    The BBC also specifies the offer by Chavez, in this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4214562.stm) that says that Oil may or may not go down in price:

    "One member, Venezuela - whose president, Hugo Chavez, is embroiled in a long-running war of words with Washington DC - offered a million barrels of gasoline."

    ONE MILLION barrels.  Wouldn't that help the rescue efforts and the region?

    Instead, they are getting people to hand over money to the religious extremist who has issued a fatwa against Chavez and whose org has yet to SHOW UP in the region of NOLA or in the Gulf Coast at all.

    Cronyism for Halliburton and other favored energy-related corporations, cronyism for select charities and select faiths ...

    We have to keep helping any way we can, and SCREAM for the international help to get green-lighted.

  •  Perhaps I missed this (4.00)
    as I read through this and links with weary eyes.

    I know the feds failed in the mitigation programs, levees and roads. I know they failed in the relief effort.

    Was there ever a better evacuation plan for before a storm for those who lacked transportation, funds or physical/mental health to get themselves out? Either one in place or one that failed due to funding? For hospitals, nursing homes, jails?

    I don't know if that would have been federal, state or local but this threat has been there for so long I can't imagine it was never planned for or discussed. Did it just go as far as using the football stadium? Was there a plan before they had that stadium?

    The other thing I can't find an answer to is has there been any official answer (or even questions) about why so much help was kept out or turned away from the city after the storm or why people who tried to leave on foot were turned back? By whose orders? On what basis?

    These hearings will be ugly. They should be. This was ugly.

    I honestly believe that each death because of the delays in getting help in should bring a charge of negligent homicide.

  •  Excellent diary (none)
    But you know the majority of Americans - the reaction will be:

    This is all to complicated

    followed by:

    Great! Daddy's back I can stop fretting now. (Remember 9/11 awol and vilified for three days then stands on a pile of rubble and is hailed as the greatest prez ever).

    followed by:

    Hurricane what hurricane?

    I really hope that I'm wrong.

    'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

    by stevej on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:36:44 AM PDT

  •  This is not (4.00)
    Or not primarily, about incompetence or lack of "leadership" or poor-execution-but-good-intentions.  We need to recognize that for Bush and his neo-con cronies, the situation in New Orleans is not their worst nightmare.  It is their wet dream (no pun intended).  

    These are people who work hard to conceal from the American public their fundamental, unshakeable conviction that the federal government HAS NO ROLE TO PLAY IN SERVING THE PUBLIC GOOD.  It should have no such role, it must have no such role, and they have worked tirelessly and long to turn that conviction into policy in every way they possibly can.

    The disaster on the Gulf Coast is a message in a thinly veiled code.  It says, "States, when we told you that we were going to set you free to make your own decisions, when we promised you we were going to get the federal government off your back, well, this is what we meant.  This is we meant by "individual responsibility" and "less government."  See, you are responsible for yourselves now.  Your citizens, rich and poor alike, are responsible for themselves.  The question of whether the poor of New Orleans "chose" to stay or simply couldn't leave is beside the point.  Because the point is that your problems are your own, not ours.  In the brave new world that we are bringing into being, you are your own cavalry.  You put us into power precisely so that we could leave you to save yourselves."  

    And in times of ease and prosperity, maybe that message reads better than the way it currently does in New Orleans.  Hey, go ahead and "starve the beast" if it means we get to keep more of what we have, and make our own choices and run our own show.  And on the strength of that, and some hypocritical pablum about "family values," the red-staters voted these shitheads into office.  And forgot that we human beings live -- have always lived -- on a mortally narrow faultline between safety and disaster.  And now the chickens are coming home to roost.  

    The only surprising thing is that anyone is surprised by that.  

  •  The Edwards quote (none)
    Should be sent to everyone we know.
  •  CNN just on pinning blame on Blanco (none)

    Sickening to see, but on CNN now just saw story where they said Bush was coming in today to offer help and the Gevenor has refused it. Said it is a turf war where the governor said she has been in charge of the operation. Can't believe why she won't meet with the president but is going to Houston.

    You can see the process unfold now, blame everything before today on the Govenor and Bush is coming in to save the day.

    Did anyone else see this?

    Thoughts from Connecticut -

    by ctsteve on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:12:40 AM PDT

  •  We gotta spam the MSM with this (none)
    Before they can pretend they are not aware. They wouldn't want to possibly effect upcomming elections by stating the facts.

    "Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question!" R.Piper

    by McGirk SF on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:15:04 AM PDT

  •  The Right-Wing's Strong Father Figure (none)
    Failed to protect his child.  He was an irresponsible and weak authority figure.

    The wingnuts just refuse to see this.  It's unbelievable.

  •  You guys do realize... (4.00)
    That we can mobilize an airborne brigade in 2 hours from Ft. Bragg (and other places)?

    We could have had 5k troops on the ground the day afterwards even with little advance planning.

  •  I thank you again (none)
    Georgia10.

    The truth will out because of people like you and the entire DailyKos network of truthtellers.

    Dirty water over the heads of the Republican rats.

    A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

    by Little Red Hen on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:47:23 AM PDT

  •  Federal funds for New Orleans (none)
    The only problem with your listings are that they do not go back far enough. Senators Breaux (Dem) and Livingston (Rep) have been asking for money for flood control since Carter. They have routinely had their requests slashed. Republican as well as Democrat Presidents have cut funding requests. The majority of the congressional sessions that have ignored this potential problem have been led by Democrats.
    It is important to be accurate if you are to be relevent.
  •  Georgia10 (none)
    Highly recommended and forwarded to other folks I know or who I have met who can use the talking points and ammunition as the analysis ramps up.  I think a compendium of this type is absolutely required to defeat the spin machine that is, even now, warming up to a white hot temperature.

    A question for the general community, however.  WHERE ARE THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS outside of politicians from Louisiana in SCREAMING coordinated outrage?  Why are OUR voices, out here in the netroots, the loudest and the most organized in disseminating information on this criminal and egregious lack of mobilization??

    I remain disgusted.

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution. Katrina Relief Diary-$13K+ and counting

    by RenaRF on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:21:43 AM PDT

  •  KarinaGate? (none)
    As noted, the Washington Post got burned today by a "senior Bush official" who told them that Gov. Blanco of Louisiana had never declared a state of emergency in the site -- a claim the Post printed as fact.  Yet the claim was demonstrably false and by late afternoon the Post had been compelled to print a correction.  

    This week's Newsweek contains the same false claim -- and though their recital of the anecdote is unsourced, common sense suggests that someone or some operation fed them both the same line, which neither organization checked out before running.

    Monday's Times, not surprisingly, confirms that the White House damage control operation is being run by Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett.  

    Add it up.  

    And who will report this out?  

  •  KatrinaGate (none)
    oops sorry..Karina was and old flame of mine..

    hehe

  •  Sen. Landrieu's prescient comment... (none)
    ...about insurance was right on the mark.  I heard on The McLaughlin Report this week that federal money is going to have to be spent to rebuild all those houses, schools, businesses, etc., none of which will be covered by insurance because the damage was flood-related and not wind-related.  And the city will HAVE to be rebuilt in that way if it is ever to function as the most important port in the Gulf of Mexico again.  People have to work there; the ships and trains and trucks don't just load themselves.  Even if you're a Republican and you don't have empathy for others in a human sense, you still have to begrudgingly accept the fact that they are valuable to you because they keep the nation's economy functioning.   So keep FEMA funded, Repubs, even if people drowning in a flood doesn't bother you, so we can pay a little now instead of paying a lot later.

    I sure hope we're not ignoring San Francisco and Los Angeles in this way.  It already sounded ludicrous when Dubya said that no one could foresee the levees being breached, but imagine hearing, "Hey, no one could have foreseen a major earthquake in California."

  •  excuse me, but.... (none)
    no one could have imagined the levees wouldn't hold.

    These Congressional Record transcripts are obviously about that Alternate New Orleans on Earth 2.

    "Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." - Adrienne Rich

    by marjo on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:43:09 AM PDT

  •  Please let's get this out now! (none)
    I am already hearing the wingers around me buying into this shit! We have to send thousands of emails of this info to every media outlet now! Can we have this either front-paged or an Action alert diary?
     Time is of the essence!

    If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

    by arkdem on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:52:05 AM PDT

  •  Responsibility for Dummies (none)
    This is good stuff but what's even easier to understand is emergencies and disasters such as Katrina are ultimately the responsibility of FEMA under the Department of Homeland Security, not state and local officials. It's going to be hard for Bush and his sycophants to transfer blame to Blanco and Nagin when the DHS Web site clearly states:

    "In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS."

    But God knows the wingnuts will figure out a way to make this about everyone else's neglect to spare Dear Leader from being exposed as the fool he really is.

    "I've already said too much."

    by Rp on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:53:06 AM PDT

  •  I remember listening to Landrieu begging for (none)
    help during the last Senate session. I'll see if I can find it.
  •  Gov. Blanco's letter to President Bush (none)

    Dear Mr. President:

    Under the provisions of Section 501 (a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5206 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.35, I request that you declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period beginning August 26, 2005, and continuing. The affected areas are all the southeastern parishes including the New Orleans Metropolitan area and the mid state Interstate I-49 corridor and northern parishes along the I-20 corridor that are accepting the thousands of citizens evacuating from the areas expecting to be flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

    In response to the situation I have taken appropriate action under State law and directed the execution of the State Emergency Plan on August 26, 2005 in accordance with Section 501 (a) of the Stafford Act. A State of Emergency has been issued for the State in order to support the evacuations of the coastal areas in accordance with our State Evacuation Plan and the remainder of the state to support the State Special Needs and Sheltering Plan.

    Pursuant to 44 CFR § 206.35, 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. I am specifically requesting emergency protective measures, direct Federal Assistance, Individual and Household Program (IHP) assistance, Special Needs Program assistance, and debris removal.

    Preliminary estimates of the types and amount of emergency assistance needed under the Stafford Act, and emergency assistance from certain Federal agencies under other statutory authorities are tabulated in Enclosure A.

    The following information is furnished on the nature and amount of State and local resources that have been or will be used to alleviate the conditions of this emergency:
    . Department of Social Services (DSS): Opening (3) Special Need Shelters (SNS) and establishing (3) on Standby.
    . Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH): Opening (3) Shelters and establishing (3) on Standby.
    . Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP): Providing generators and support staff for SNS and Public Shelters.
    . Louisiana State Police (LSP): Providing support for the phased evacuation of the coastal areas.
    . Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (WLF): Supporting the evacuation of the affected population and preparing for Search and Rescue Missions.

    Mr. President
    Page Two
    August 27, 2005

    . Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD): Coordinating traffic flow and management of the evacuations routes with local officials and the State of Mississippi.

    The following information is furnished on efforts and resources of other Federal agencies, which have been or will be used in responding to this incident:
    . FEMA ERT-A Team en-route.

    I certify that for this emergency, the State and local governments will assume all applicable non-Federal share of costs required by the Stafford Act.

    I request Direct Federal assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property.

    (a) List any reasons State and local government cannot perform or contract for performance, (if applicable).

    (b) Specify the type of assistance requested.

    In accordance with 44 CFR § 206.208, the State of Louisiana agrees that it will, with respect to Direct Federal assistance:

    1. Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easement, and rights-of-ways necessary to accomplish the approved work.

    2. Hold and save the United States free from damages due to the requested work, and shall indemnify the Federal Government against any claims arising from such work;

    3. Provide reimbursement to FEMA for the non-Federal share of the cost of such work in accordance with the provisions of the FEMA-State Agreement; and

    4. Assist the performing Federal agency in all support and local jurisdictional matters.

    In addition, I anticipate the need for debris removal, which poses an immediate threat to lives, public health, and safety.

    Pursuant to Sections 502 and 407 of the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5192 & 5173, the State agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the United States of America for any claims arising from the removal of debris or wreckage for this disaster. The State agrees that debris removal from public and private property will not occur until the landowner signs an unconditional authorization for the removal of debris.

    I have designated Mr. Art Jones as the State Coordinating Officer for this request. He will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in damage assessments and may provide further information or justification on my behalf.

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
    Governor
    Enclosure

  •  I just sent (none)
    this diary to president@whitehouse.gov

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. -MLK

    by JLFinch on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:08:57 AM PDT

  •  The Cowboy of 9/11 Is Gone But (none)
    Even though he is lying motionless in the dirt with a bull horn hole in his ass that enables light to pass through from one side to the other, his political team is preparing to call his ride a rodeo blue ribbon winner.

    Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party - DNC Chair Howard Dean

    by easong on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:31:37 AM PDT

  •  georgia10! (none)
    Finally had a chance to read your diary.

    This is one of the best diaries I've ever read here, by far.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  •  with all due respect miss georgia, (none)
    i think your update needs to be the first thing people read when they click in here.  it's more damning than all the congress stuff, but that provides wonderful background.

    just a random $0.02

  •  Bush on CNN now (none)
    while I am reading this diary and I swear where are all of the crazy people with guns????? Where are they?????  Put him down, like a rabid dog, I mean it, he makes me sick sick sick.

    Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    by panicbean on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:07:55 AM PDT

  •  But, no one told us...... (none)
    If it meant spending money to save lives, Bush would have vetoed any billl that crossed his desk.

    "If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever" P. Westerburg

    by mungley on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:44:57 AM PDT

  •  House Committee on Homeland Security (none)
    Here's the membership list for the House Committee on Homeland Security

    If your representative is on there, let them know what you think.  (Already dinged Reichert, our rep...)

  •  Excellent (none)
    Please, add this information to the dkosopedia, so we can have a definitive accounting of what happened before, during and after Katrina.

    -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

    by Toadvine on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:08:17 AM PDT

  •  Did I just hear Bush blame local authorities? (none)
      I am off topic, but did just hear Bush state something like that, with the Gov. of Louisiana by his side!  This woman seems to be getting the McCain, Kerry, Dean treatment and MY Country can't put up with this disgusting abuse, lying and stupity anymore! Why was the help kept out of New Orleans?  This is scaring the hell out of me besides the pain I feel for all the victims!
  •  LOL!!! (none)
    even !@#$%& michelle malkin is calling for brownie to be fired!
  •  Ummmm-Senate email/media blaster sites? (none)
    hi
    I changed computers and temporarily cant find the  websites I had where you could contact whatever senator or govt offical you wanted. I cant believe I cant find these sites. I want to do some email blasting etc-but am a bit rusty from the last time I did in 2004 with Ohio. can anyone post osme of these..........
    art
  •  Here are some further documents (none)
    worth a look, from local LA sources. First, the minutes from a June 13, 2005 meeting of the South Lafourche Levee District, esp. this section on the ongoing funding problems:

    CIAP Funding
    Mr. Curole informed the board that part of the Leon Theriot Lock Project would be funded through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program.  In answer to a question from Commissioner Lula Auenson on Corps credit, Mr. Curole responded that he had spoken with Herman "Bubba" Gesser of Senator Mary Landrieu's office, and with Garret Graves of Senator David Vitter's office regarding their unsuccessful attempts to include language into WRDA that would allow cost-share credit. He further stated that due to the tight national budget, no other entities in the nation had been successful at adding cost-share language to the WRDA bill either.  He stated that no one was giving up and that there would be future attempts to have that language added.  A lengthy discussion pursued.

    Next the August 16, 2004 minutes include the following sections, showing that preparation for hurricanes was very much in the forefront of local planning:

    UNPREDICTABILITY IN STORMS
    Based on the missed calculation in Tampa, FL of Hurricane Charley, General Manager Windell Curole told the board that the public often addresses the issue of why the meteorologists do not give them an accurate prediction of where the storms will hit early on.  He stated that he had spent a week of training in Coral Gables at the National Hurricane Center where he was involved in discussions with meteorologists on their predictions of where hurricanes will make landfall....  Mr. Curole described the level of protection our area has with the hurricane protection levee.  He also emphasized the need to evacuate to avoid loss of life whenever weather conditions bring storm surges which could overtop the levee.

    <snip>

    HURRICANE PAM EXERCISE
    Mr. Curole informed the board that he had attended an exercise in Baton Rouge hosted by FEMA.  He stated that the exercise included emergency managers and others who faced conditions in a mock category 3 hurricane which would hit the New Orleans area.  Each person was responsible for evaluating the situations and offering emergency plans for action.  Many different situations were simulated including severe flooding inside New Orleans, the hazards of contamination, displacement of people and where to put them, and the length of time it would take to make that area livable after the storm.
     
    COMPREHENSIVE HURRICANE COMMITTEE
    Mr. Curole stated that he had attended a Comprehensive Hurricane Committee meeting in Baton Rouge where discussions of levee protection, restoration plans and evacuation routes were the main topics of discussion.  He emphasized that all these issues go hand in hand and need to be dealt with simultaneously.

    And this is from the April 6, 2005 minutes:

    HURRICANE CONFERENCE REPORT
    Mr. Curole informed the members of the board that he had attended the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans and spoke with Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center. Mr. Curole explained that while four hurricanes hit Florida, they were not catastrophic, but caused a considerable amount of damage.  He stated that if only one of those hurricanes had hit our area in Louisiana, we could have had a catastrophic event.

    Then there is this Aug. 17, 2005 press release regarding the success of one of the few wetlands programs in LA that had received adequate funding recently:

    NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, announces the successful completion of the Marsh Creation and Hurricane Levee Protection Project in South Lafourche Parish, La. The project was managed by the South Lafourche Louisiana Levee District....

    "The South Lafourche Levee District produced tremendous results in creating wetlands with the funds received from NOAA," said U.S. Senator David Vitter. "This successful project illustrates that local leadership coupled with federal resources can create a winning combination for future restoration efforts."

    "This is truly one of those projects that stands out as an example of local government agencies working together to address some very critical coastal problems," said Scott Rayder, NOAA chief of staff. "This focus on natural resource restoration and the protection of coastal populations is how cooperative conservation builds citizen stewardship while it strengthens shared governance."

    NOAA awarded the South Lafourche Levee District $250,000 in grants to rebuild new marsh habitat along a 3,000 foot long area of the Levee District's Hurricane Protection Levee near Galliano. The South Lafourche Levee District rebuilt new wetlands habitat and helped protect critical hurricane protection levees from erosion to open water...

    "The most important thing we see here is the trust of a federal agency, NOAA, in putting the resources in our hands to address the needs we see growing every day in coastal Louisiana," said Windell Curole, executive director of the South Lafourche Levee District....

    Projects like the Marsh Creation and Hurricane Levee Protection Project will be highlighted at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in August.

    The White House Conference was supposed to begin on August 29. I don't know if it went ahead, and if it did, whether the recently completed Lousiana project was celebrated or mourned. $250,000, hmmm...How many minutes of the Iraq quagmire would that have financed?

    DowningStreetMemo.com Bush $ Cheney won't read the DSM. Get a jump on them.

    by smintheus on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:23:10 PM PDT

  •  Lets not forget (none)
    what the state and local WAS able to accomplish in 24 hours: they evacuated 80% of a major metropolitan city...in 24 HOURS!!!!
  •  Categorization (none)

    jotter's Lists of High Impact Diaries: daily and weekly archives (bring your own bendy straws)

    by sele on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:44:38 PM PDT

  •  georgia10 (none)
    this is the stupidest PR move yet.  There is NO WAY the public (at least most of the public) is going to buy this.  It is common sense that when people die, all these stupid rules about jurisdiction and beuracracy get throw out the window.  

    People can better understand stories of little old ladies trapped in their attic w/ water up to their neck than stories about abstract statutes and rules that supposedly prevented the federal government from responding.  

    Its not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:34:47 PM PDT

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