Saturday, September 03, 2005
CNN.com - Chertoff: Katrina scenario did not exist - Sep 3, 2005
However, experts for years had warned of threat to New Orleans
Saturday, September 3, 2005 Posted: 2321 GMT (0721 HKT)
Defending the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued Saturday that government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur.
But in fact, government officials, scientists and journalists have warned of such a scenario for years.
Chertoff, fielding questions from reporters, said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans.
"That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight," Chertoff said.
National Guard not allowing aid into the city
9:30PM Thurs Sept 1. Update: Please help spread this message:
There are supplies sitting in Baton Rouge for the folks in New Orleans, but the National Guard has the city surrounded and is not letting anyone in or out. They are turning away people with s[QUOTE]upplies, claiming it is too dangerous. If we have planes that can drop bombs on people in Iraq, certianly we can air drop supplies into the city. Our goverment is KILLING the people of New Orleans. This is the message I am now sending to all major media sources, national and worldwide, as well as posting to email lists, blogs, etc. The story is getting out that the people there are not getting supplies, but the truth of WHY is not. Please help spread the word, we must get this story out. Please so not let any more of my friends die.
FEMA "turned away Police and Doctors" at the stateline
Loudoun deputies can´t reach FEMA, Louisiana officials
September 2, 2005 12:00 am
LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - A group of Loudoun County sheriff´s deputies heading to Louisiana to help maintain order among hurricane refugees had to turn around at the Virginia border when they couldn´t get confirmation from emergency management officials, the Loudoun County sheriff said.
After attempting for 12 hours to reach officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center, the deputies were told to head home. The group of 22 officers and six emergency medical technicians was expected to arrive back in Leesburg by 2 a.m. Friday, according to a statement from the sheriff´s office.
"How many people have to die in the interim while they try to make this happen?" Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson told WRC-TV.
The deputies were to be sworn in locally as law enforcement officers in Jefferson Parish, La. near New Orleans. Their assistance had been requested by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff´s Department through the National Sheriff´s Association in an Aug. 31 letter, said Sheriff´s spokesman Kraig Troxell.
A three-week schedule was planned to rotate deputies from Loudoun County to areas of Louisiana that needed help, Troxell said. The deputies were carrying extra guns, ammunition and supplies to make them self-sufficient for seven to 14 days.
The group waited in Harrisonburg, Va. for several hours Thursday night until they were told that officials from FEMA and the state of Louisiana couldn´t confirm the request from Jefferson Parish.
The CNO directed US naval ships to gulf coast - ON HIS OWN INITIATIVE
CNN reported that Brown from FEMA is mobilizing the Boy Scouts (no online source for this, but caught it on TV).
Planes did NOT report being shot at.
Laura Brown, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman in Washington, said she had no such report.
"We're controlling every single aircraft in that airspace and none of them reported being fired on," she said, adding that the FAA was in contact with the military as well as civilian aircraft.
FEMA to Russia: Don't send aid!
MOSCOW (AP) The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has rejected a Russian offer to send rescue teams and other aid in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a Russian emergency official said Thursday.
Russia offered to send two transport planes with rescue teams, helicopters and other equipment to help deal with Katrina's aftermath.
A "flotilla of aid" TURNED BACK from New Orleans
A group of approximately 1,000 citizens pulling 500 boats left the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette this morning (Weds.) and headed to New Orleans with a police escort from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department. The "flotillia" of trucks pulling boats stretched over five miles. This citizen rescue group was organized by La. State Senator, Gautreaux from Vermilion Parish. The group was comprised of experienced boaters, licensed fishermen and hunters, people who have spent their entire adult life and teenage years on the waterways of Louisiana.
The State Police waved the flotillia of trucks/boats through the barricades in LaPlace and we sped into New Orleans via I-10 until past the airport and near the Clearview exit. At that time we were stopped by agents of the La. Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries. A young DWF agent strolled through the boats and told approximately half of the citizens that their boats were "too large" because the water had "dropped during the night" and that they should turn around and go home.
We were pulling a large (24ft) shallow draft aluminum boat that can safely carry 12 passengers and had ramp access which would allow the elderly and infirm to have easier access to the boat. We politely informed the DWF agent that the local and national media had consistently reported that the water level had "risen" during the night which contradicted his statement to us that the water "was dropping" and no boat over 16ft. in length would be allowed to participate in rescue operations.
We then specifically asked the DWF agent that we (and other citizens in the flotillia) be allowed to go to the hospitals and help evacuate the sick and the doctors and nurses stranded there. We offered to bring these people back to Lafayette, in our own vehicles, in order to ensure that they received proper and prompt medical care.
The DWF agent did not want to hear this and ordered us home. We complied with the DWF agent's orders, turned around and headed back to Lafayette along with half of the flotillia. However, two of my friends were pulling my other boat, a smaller 15ft alumaweld with a 25 hp. The DWF agents let them through to proceed to the rescue operation launch site.
What is the government playing at here? Because it sure as hell doesn't look like a rescue operation. Here comes the genocide. What the...what is going through the minds of the people in charge here? Is combat the only way they know how to relate to the world?
NEW ORLEANS — Combat operations are underway on the streets “to take this city back” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“This place is going to look like Little Somalia,” Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. “We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control.”
“We’re here to do whatever they need us to do,” Sgt. 1st Class Ron Dixon, of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 1345th Transportation Company. “We packed to stay as long as it takes.”
While some fight the insurgency in the city, other carry on with rescue and evacuation operations. Helicopters are still pulling hundreds of stranded people from rooftops of flooded homes.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Just more useless spin, putting the blame for the situation on the victims. That's all these people are good for.
Republicans urge Bush to ask Giuliani to guide relief effort
01:11 PM CDT on Friday, September 2, 2005
Devlin Barrett / Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., urged President Bush to appoint former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani or two former military officials to run the ground response in the Gulf Coast, saying local authorities are not up to the task.
Sweeney suggested Giuliani or retired generals Colin Powell and Tommy Franks could take charge of the much-criticized hurricane relief efforts.
"We owe it to the American people to have America's best leaders with experience on the ground running this," said Sweeney. "It's been painfully obvious over the last four or five days that the circumstances and challenges coming at us are new, are nothing that had ever been anticipated." (EXCEPT THAT THEY WERE!)
Sweeney said Giuliani proved his ability to lead in a crisis during the Sept. 11 attacks, adding the president should also consider Franks or Powell, men with long military resumes.
One prominent Republican, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, criticized the Bush administration for being sluggish, and urged the president to name Giuliani as the White House point person for relief efforts.
"We need to get the job done now, and I don't think anybody is better prepared to do that psychologically and otherwise than Rudy Giuliani," Gingrich said.
Giuliani has been traveling in Australia this week and only recently returned to the United States. His spokeswoman, Sunny Mindel, declined to comment Friday on calls for his involvement in the Hurricane Katrina response.
Gingrich said the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina "puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, because if we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?"
But Sweeney defended the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of the effort, blaming instead Louisiana and New Orleans officials.
"I think the federal response has been frustrated by the lack of experience on the ground from the local people to really coordinate this," said Sweeney.
No, seriously, just as the British had to wait for the chickens to come home to roost on Thatcherite policies before they could see how horrible they are for humanity, are we now experiencing the stark truth of what Bush’s policies and the culture he represents means for human life in our country? I think the answer is a resounding yes.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, wondering what is creating the complete chaos in the city. I mean, on a purely intellectual level, I understand the desperation and the plight of being poor and having everything ripped from you. I really do; and hell, if you see the people who are supposed to be “above” you pulling a virtual smash-and-grab on society, without any thought for those below them, what do you think will be your first instinct when you learn that you have to fend for yourself, that the people who are supposed to protect and help you are abandoning you? I am not in any way condoning or apologizing for the murder, rape, and violence going on in the city, but I understand how the situation has escalated to this point: the rise of the culture of greed and self-interest (otherwise known as the “culture of life”) over the culture of civic pride and duty and love or at least respect of neighbors (otherwise known as the “culture of death”).
The looters and the awful response from the Federal Government are just two sides of the same tarnished penny, symptoms of this national illness that has overtaken us. Hastert’s comments yesterday and Bush’s flippancy and rejection of foreign aid are just some small examples of this illness, this sick hubris of placing self over all other concerns, even the lives of other people.
Will America turn its back on the victims? I don’t think so. I think we can see the rejection of this hideous culture beginning to form, in the anger of those who voted for Bush and see how the administration and its representatives are caring for their people, in the faces of news anchors who are finally waking from their stupor of the past five years, and in the pain that people are facing when they go to the gas pump.
I'll make it simple for the folks who think in terms of dollars and cents rather than human lives and quality of life: we pay these people. They are our employees. What follows is supposed to be the best they can give us. Do you really believe that? Can you afford to believe that?
(From Newshounds): Mike Brown, head of FEMA was just featured, moments ago (9/1, 6:45 pm), on The Abrams Report on MSNBC. Brown was asked: "But what about the convention center? We saw some very graphic images coming from out of there, these are not people that just missed one meal or two, these are people saying officials told us to go here, there is no food, no water, is that true?"
Brown responded: "I don't know whether officals told them to go there or not, but I will tell you very candidly, we learned about the convention center today, being the federal government. We learned today that there are 3,000 people there."
(From CNN):The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday those New Orleans residents who chose not to heed warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina bear some responsibility for their fates.
Michael Brown also agreed with other public officials that the death toll in the city could reach into the thousands.
"Unfortunately, that's going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the advance warnings," Brown told CNN.
"I don't make judgments about why people chose not to leave but, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," he said.
From the Post: President Bush repeatedly requested less money for programs to guard against catastrophic storms in New Orleans than many federal and state officials requested, decisions that are triggering a partisan debate over administration priorities at a time when the budget is strained by the Iraq war.
”I don’t think anyone knew the levees would break.” – President Bush
So the Gulf Coast has gone all Mad Max, women are being raped in the Superdome, and Rice is enjoying a brief vacation in New York.
These are the guardians at the gate. These are the representatives of the new selfishness. How can we ever trust them again?
Thursday, September 01, 2005
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which takes effect October 17, includes a slew of rules and restrictions intended to curb abuse. These are expected to make it harder for individuals to file to keep creditors away, and more difficult for businesses to reorganize.
But the law wasn't directed at people who file because of catastrophes such as Katrina, in which people lost homes, businesses and perhaps months of regular paychecks. Katrina has caused widespread devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi and left New Orleans, population 462,269, virtually uninhabitable.
"People who are seriously affected by this hurricane are not going to be able to file bankruptcy by October 17," said Henry Sommer, co-editor of "Collier on Bankruptcy," a leading reference work. "They have more pressing things in their lives, like survival."
Michigan's John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee, and three other House members pledged to soon introduce legislation to provide flexibility for victims of natural disasters in bankruptcy.
Conyers' aides said legislation may be introduced next week, but aides to House Republicans said the law doesn't need amending because it only cracks down on abuse. Aides to Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), a Wisconsin Democrat, said he might try to postpone the October 17 implementation date.
- Gen. Wesley Clark 9/01/05 Cindy Sheehan, and now Condi Rice is in New York enjoying the night life. (Thanks to Cellar Door for pointing these out). I think Kvetch puts it best:
These people don't give a shit about our welfare and safety. They deserve the kind of punishment not seen outside the ninth circle of hell.
That's a sentiment I can get behind.
Bush Gives New Reason for Iraq War
By Jennifer Loven
The Associated Press
Wednesday 31 August 2005
Says US must prevent oil fields from falling into hands of terrorists.
Coronado, California - President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.
The president, standing against a backdrop of the USS Ronald Reagan, the newest aircraft carrier in the Navy's fleet, said terrorists would be denied their goal of making Iraq a base from which to recruit followers, train them, and finance attacks.
"We will defeat the terrorists," Bush said. "We will build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary."
Appearing at Naval Air Station North Island to commemorate the anniversary of the Allies' World War II victory over Japan, Bush compared his resolve to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's in the 1940s and said America's mission in Iraq is to turn it into a democratic ally just as the United States did with Japan after its 1945 surrender. Bush's V-J Day ceremony did not fall on the actual anniversary. Japan announced its surrender on Aug. 15, 1945 - Aug. 14 in the United States because of the time difference.
Democrats said Bush's leadership falls far short of Roosevelt's.
"Democratic Presidents Roosevelt and Truman led America to victory in World War II because they laid out a clear plan for success to the American people, America's allies, and America's troops," said Howard Dean, Democratic Party chairman. "President Bush has failed to put together a plan, so despite the bravery and sacrifice of our troops, we are not making the progress that we should be in Iraq. The troops, our allies, and the American people deserve better leadership from our commander in chief."
The speech was Bush's third in just over a week defending his Iraq policies, as the White House scrambles to counter growing public concern about the war. But the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast drew attention away; the White House announced during the president's remarks that he was cutting his August vacation short to return to Washington, D.C., to oversee the federal response effort.
After the speech, Bush hurried back to Texas ahead of schedule to prepare to fly back to the nation's capital today. He was to return to the White House on Friday, after spending more than four weeks operating from his ranch in Crawford.
Bush's August break has been marked by problems in Iraq.
It has been an especially deadly month there for US troops, with the number of those who have died since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 now nearing 1,900.
The growing death toll has become a regular feature of the slightly larger protests that Bush now encounters everywhere he goes - a movement boosted by a vigil set up in a field down the road from the president's ranch by a mother grieving the loss of her soldier son in Iraq.
Cindy Sheehan arrived in Crawford only days after Bush did, asking for a meeting so he could explain why her son and others are dying in Iraq. The White House refused, and Sheehan's camp turned into a hub of activity for hundreds of activists around the country demanding that troops be brought home.
This week, the administration also had to defend the proposed constitution produced in Iraq at US urging. Critics fear the impact of its rejection by many Sunnis, and say it fails to protect religious freedom and women's rights.
At the naval base, Bush declared, "We will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure" from Al Qaeda and its forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
"If Zarqawi and [Osama] bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Day-After Pill Decision Prompts a Resignation
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -- A high-ranking Food and Drug Administration official resigned Wednesday in protest over the agency's refusal to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception.
Susan Wood, director of FDA's Office of Women's Health, announced her resignation in an e-mail to colleagues at the agency. The e-mail was released by contraception advocates.
The FDA last Friday postponed indefinitely its decision on whether to allow the morning-after pill, called Plan B, to be sold without a prescription. The agency said it was safe for adults to use without a doctor's guidance but was unable to decide how to keep it out of the hands of young teenagers without a prescription -- a decision contrary to the advice of its own scientific advisers.
"I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled," wrote Wood, who also was assistant commissioner for women's health. "The recent decision announced by the Commissioner about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women's access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions, is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women's health."
Plan B's maker has been trying for two years to begin nonprescription sales, and the FDA's latest postponement of its fate was a surprise: Commissioner Lester Crawford won Senate confirmation to take his job only after promising members of Congress to make a final decision by Sept. 1.
WWL TV in New Orleans has kept a running blog of what is happening…it’s been the first thing I’ve checked as the situation has gone on. As of 8:23 this morning, here’s what has come in over the last two hours:
7:06 A.M. - Governor Blanco wants the Superdome evacuated within two days.
6:57 A.M. - Governor Blanco: "Absolutely necessary" that the Army Corps of Engineers drop sandbags into the levee breach.
6:50 A.M. - Sen. Landrieu: The whole parish of St. Bernard is gone.
6:27 A.M. - (AP) Conditions in New Orleans hospitals deteriorate.
6:22 A.M. - (AP) No time to count the dead as rescue efforts continue.
I’m also glad to see that the governor has said that saving lives is more important than shooting looters, but I’m saddened that she believes the entire city will be underwater soon. It really says a lot about what is to come.
Okay, it wouldn’t be the Junkheap without some sort of rage or humor. Here it is for you: the truth is that Katrina was a raging superfetus bent on the destruction of our nation! Here’s the text of an email received by Eve’s Apple:
From: Columbia Christians for Life
Subject: Hurricane Katrina satellite image looks like 6-week fetus
To: Columbia Christians for Life
Satellite picture of Hurricane Katrina at NOAA.com looks like a 6-week unborn human child as it comes ashore the Gulf Coast, vicinity states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida at 12:32 PM, Monday, August 29, 2005
Hurricane "Katrina" (reportedly means "Pure" in Russian) - satellite image - Monday, 29 Aug 05, 12:32 PM (EDT) - coming ashore Gulf Coast - satellite image looks like 6-week fetus
check out NOAA website: www.noaa.gov/
The image of the hurricane above with its eye already ashore at 12:32 PM Monday, August 29 looks like a fetus (unborn human baby) facing to the left (west) in the womb, in the early weeks of gestation (approx. 6 weeks). Even the orange color of the image is reminiscent of a commonly used pro-life picture of early prenatal development (see sign with picture of 8-week pre-born human child below). In this picture, and in another picture in today's on-line edition of USA Today*, this hurricane looks like an unborn human child.
Louisiana has 10 child-murder-by-abortion centers - FIVE are in New Orleans
www.ldi.org ('Find an Abortion Clinic [sic]')
Baby-murder state # 1 - California (125 abortion centers) - land of earthquakes, forest fires, and mudslides
Baby-murder state # 2 - New York (78 abortion centers) - 9-11 Ground Zero
Baby-murder state # 3 - Florida (73 abortion centers) - Hurricanes Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne in 2004; and now, Hurricane Katrina in 2005
God's message: REPENT AMERICA !
You fucking nutballs.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
FEMA listed the following agencies as needing cash to assist hurricane
American Red Cross, 800-HELP-NOW (435-7669) English, 800-257-7575
America's Second Harvest, 800-344-8070
Adventist Community Services, 800-381-7171
Catholic Charities USA, 800-919-9338
Christian Disaster Response, 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 800-848-5818
Church World Service, 800-297-1516
Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998
Lutheran Disaster Response, 800-638-3522
Mennonite Disaster Service, 717-859-2210
Nazarene Disaster Response, 888-256-5886
Operation Blessing, 800-436-6348
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, 800-872-3283
Salvation Army, 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, 800-462-8657, Ext. 6440
United Methodist Committee on Relief, 800-554-8583
Protest by Bush Ranch Readies to Hit Road
Tuesday August 30, 2005 3:16 AM
By ANGELA K. BROWN
Associated Press Writer
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - War protesters camping out near President Bush's ranch prepared Monday for a three-week bus tour to spread their anti-war message to people and lawmakers in 25 states.
Three buses were to depart Wednesday from the makeshift camp started by Cindy Sheehan along the main road leading to Bush's ranch, protesters said. Sheehan arrived Aug. 6, soon after his Texas vacation began, and vowed to stay until month's end unless he talked to her about the war that claimed her 24-year-old son Casey's life.
Since then, several thousand people have visited ``Camp Casey'' for a few hours, days or weeks.
``We had no idea the ditch in Crawford had such phenomenal acoustics,'' said Nancy Lessin, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, one of four organizations sponsoring the Bring Them Home Now Tour.
``There's a momentum building across the country ... and we intend for every member of Congress to hear our messages from Camp Casey loud and clear,'' she said.
The tour will end with the three buses meeting in Washington, D.C., for a Sept. 24 anti-war march organized by United for Peace and Justice and the ANSWER Coalition.
FreeRepublic.com and other conservative groups are planning counter events in the nation's capital that weekend, said Kristinn Taylor, co-leader of the group's Washington, D.C., chapter. FreeRepublic.com was part of a large pro-Bush rally in Crawford on Saturday.
Taylor said many Bush supporters want to make sure their voice also is heard, ``especially military families who have been serving silently with their relatives. They realize it's important for them to speak out now.''
Pro-Bush rallies also are expected in cities along the bus tour, which will follow northern, central and southern routes. In some cases, protesters may walk into the offices of a Congress member, Lessin said.
Sheehan will be on the southern route, with its first stop in Austin for a Wednesday afternoon rally. Its next event will be Friday in Houston, the district of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
Sheehan will leave the tour after that for other events, but other relatives of fallen U.S. troops and families of soldiers still serving in Iraq will be on each bus.
Bush has said he sympathizes with Sheehan, but his aides have said there are no plans to change his schedule to meet with her. His vacation is to end Friday.
Monday, August 29, 2005
And I feel fine! All props due to Capitol Hill Blue:
Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides
By DOUG THOMPSON
While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.
“I’m not meeting again with that goddamned bitch,” Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. “She can go to hell as far as I’m concerned!”
Bush flashes the bird, something aides say he does often and has been doing since his days as governor of Texas.
Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them “motherfucking traitors.” He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore “bullshit protectors” over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to “tell those VFW assholes that I’ll never speak to them again is they can’t keep their members under control.”
White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President’s honesty.
“Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say,” he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. “I’m the President and I’ll do whatever I goddamned please. They don’t know shit.”
Bush, whiles setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say the President often “flips the bird” to show his displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to “go to hell” or to “go fuck yourself.” His habit of giving people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking also recently surfaced.
Bush’s behavior, according to prominent Washington psychiatrist, Dr. Justin Frank, author of “Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President,” is all too typical of an alcohol-abusing bully who is ruled by fear.
To see that fear emerges, Dr. Frank says, all one has to do is confront the President. “To actually directly confront him in a clear way, to bring him out, so you would really see the bully, and you would also see the fear,” he says.
Dr. Frank, in his book, speculates that Bush, an alcoholic who brags that he gave up booze without help from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, may be drinking again.
“Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office,” Dr. Frank says. “Is he still drinking? And if not, is he impaired by all the years he did spend drinking? Both questions need to be addressed in any serious assessment of his psychological state.”
Last year, Capitol Hill Blue learned the White House physician prescribed anti-depressant drugs for the President to control what aides called “violent mood swings.” As Dr. Frank also notes: “In writing about Bush's halting appearance in a press conference just before the start of the Iraq War, Washington Post media critic Tom Shales speculated that ‘the president may have been ever so slightly medicated.’”
Dr. Frank explains Bush’s behavior as all-to-typical of an alcoholic who is still in denial:
“The pattern of blame and denial, which recovering alcoholics work so hard to break, seems to be ingrained in the alcoholic personality; it's rarely limited to his or her drinking,” he says. “The habit of placing blame and denying responsibility is so prevalent in George W. Bush's personal history that it is apparently triggered by even the mildest threat.” Cellar Door, signed it, and thought I'd share it here.
Tell the President, it’s time for answers. As a veteran deeply concerned about the administration’s lack of clarity on Iraq and lack of compassion on veterans’ benefits, John Kerry has added his name as the first signature on the “America Demands Answers” petition. I hope you will join him.
It is long past time for you to speak with clarity and conviction about America’s course in Iraq. The American people – and most especially the families of those serving so bravely in Iraq – deserve answers. More “stay the course” generalities aren’t what we need. It’s time for you to make it clear what your plan is to achieve America’s mission.
It’s also time for you, as President and Commander-in-Chief, to put an end to your own administration’s repeated failures to deliver the health care and services that America’s veterans so urgently need and so richly deserve.
As citizens deeply concerned about these issues, we urge you to stand and deliver. What’s the plan, Mr. President?
Your name here
'New Orleans May Never Be the Same'
By ADAM NOSSITER, AP
NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 29) - Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore early Monday and charged toward this below-sea-level city with 145-mph winds and the threat of a catastrophic storm surge.
Katrina edged slightly to the east shortly before making landfall near Grand Isle, providing some hope that the worst of the storm's wrath might not be directed at the vulnerable city.
Martin Nelson, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center, said the northern part of the eyewall came ashore at Grand Isle, about 60 miles south of New Orleans, at about 5 a.m. It was moving northward at 15 mph.
Katrina's fury was soon felt at the Louisiana Superdome, normally home of professional football's Saints, which became the shelter of last resort Sunday for about 9,000 of the area's poor, homeless and frail.
Electrical power at the Superdome failed at 5:02 a.m., triggering groans from the crowd. Emergency generators kicked in, but the backup power runs only reduced lighting and is not strong enough to run the air conditioning.
Chenel Lagarde, spokesman for Entergy Corp., the main energy power company in the region, said that 370,000 customers in southeast Louisiana were estimated to be without power.
Even though the storm was hours away from New Orleans, Karina's advance winds were already blowing slate tiles off the old roofs of the French Quarter.
The wind was blowing the rain sideways, and debris was carried up more than 100 feet. Power was on and off in sections of the city, and emergency vehicles patrolled the main streets, their blue and red lights flashing.
"I'd rather watch this than watch a movie," said Steven Grades, 22, one of the Superdome evacuees as he looked out through the windows at the gathering storm.
Katrina, which weakened slightly overnight to a strong Category 4 storm, turned slightly eastward before hitting land, which would put the western eyewall - the weaker side of the strongest winds - over New Orleans.
"It's not as bad as the eastern side. It'll be plenty bad enough," said Eric Blake of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Mayor Ray Nagin said he believed 80 percent of the city's 480,000 residents had heeded an unprecedented mandatory evacuation as Katrina threatened to become the most powerful storm ever to slam the city.
"It's capable of causing catastrophic damage," said National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield. "Even well-built structures will have tremendous damage. Of course, what we're really worried about is the loss of lives.
"New Orleans may never be the same."
Sunday, August 28, 2005United for Peace. I'm seriously considering making some sort of effort to join in. Who knows, I might even get tear gassed! Oh boy!
Also read that the mayor of Salt Lake city of all places led a several-thousand citizen protest against the war/Bush's appearance at the veteran's convention that seemed to have more than a few guys in suits and veterans last week. It seems that the message is moving beyond the normal niche of war protestors and into the mainstream. I've also noticed a lot less magnet ribbons lately. Looks like tide is turning, at last. At least, I hope.