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Author Topic: Hurricane Katrina...
Sketchpad
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quote:
Fox News Channel's Major Garrett reported Wednesday that the Red Cross had...
Oh.

Err...can you give us another source?

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Nooginstein
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Time mag - shock - is sloppy: from the Edmonston Sun:

"However, this morning, Deakins disputes Time's quotes attributed to her.

"'I spoke with two reporters from Time Magazine Thursday. I answered questions about the City of Edmond, the organizational structure and role of the city manager and his staff. My comments were in the context of the organization as it functions today. I explained that my employment with the city of Edmond began in 1997, several years after Michael D. Brown's employment by the city and that I could not speak to the specifics of the organizational structure as it was during that time. I also explained that I could not I speak to the details of Mr. Brown's role within the organization.

"'The only people who can speak with authority with regard to Mr. Brown's position in the organization are those who were at the City of Edmond during that time and worked with Mr. Brown, such as the city manager or members of the city council.

"'I regret any misunderstanding that may have occurred as a result of my comments.'

"Deakins also said that e-mail and phone calls have been pouring into her office this morning in light of the online report, including one e-mail from a person who serves as an assistant to a city manager on the East Coast and was upset at the characterization of what that job entails. Deakins said this person's e-mail said an assistant to a city manager is often the No. 2 or No. 3 person in a city government organization and has a wide variety of repsonsibilities."

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Nooginstein
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And re: the Red Cross:

The Red Cross has posted this FAQ to answer the questions about their lack of presence in New Orleans. They say: "Access to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders."

What do you know, Fox News got it right.

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Thomas
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Here is another report. This is from the Shelby Star in regards to the Red Cross being kept out

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OFFBEAT
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Interesting photo journal of the before and after Hurrican Katrina in New Orleans...

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow.jsp?mode=fromshare&conn_speed=1&Uc=11f8dl9z.4nk5zpvf&Uy=vhxvcl&Ux=1

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Charles
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Vincent
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Does Major Garrett work for Fox News?
I also heard the talking heads on Fox news stating that La. Governor didn't ask for help until after the levees broke, when the facts were that she asked for help 2 days before the storm hit.(Yeah I know I keep repeating myself...But so do they)

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Steve G
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Don't play the blame game...they're problem solvers - they solve problems!

You better get your talking points right Noogy, Thomas and anyone else who can't possibly fathom W as being anything else but perfect.

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-FP-
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Facts and Rumors: Federal Power in a State of Emergency
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Quote of the Day

"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

-- Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA), quoted by the Wall Street Journal, "overheard" in a conversation with lobbyists.

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Vincent
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Thanks for the FP. Very informative.
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SquarejawHero
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Interesting collection of quotes -

http://www.radaronline.com/web-only/politics/2005/09/words-for-loss.php

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Bowendesign.com

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CavePainter
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Thanks for the interesting photo story, Offbeat, but please remember to stay on topic...... politics, remember?
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Nooginstein
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Hey, I have no problem blaming Bush for that which he is responsible. He put an inexperienced crony in to lead FEMA - terrible decision (but, of course, that crony was confirmed by a Democratic Senate). He played guitar when New Orleans was suffering - unseemly, at best. He didn't allocate enough money to fortify the levee (of course, the Louisiana congressional delegation didn't fight this and in fact requested more moeny for other projects around the state, and it is Congress that passes budgets and controls the purse strings, not the president).

There's plenty of blame for everyone. FEMA is not known for their rapid response (it was three days before they got help to those stricken by Hurricane Andrew, and when response to disasters is quick, I think it's largely due to the preparations made by those closest to the point of impact. And the school buses left in the parking lot is a major mistake. The National Guard - controlled by Gov. Blanco - refusing to let the Red Cross into the Superdome - major mistake.

And while "The Buck Stops Here" is a nice slogan, it doesn't do much to answer the questions of what mistakes were made, who made them, and how can they be prevented in the future.

It sickens me that the Democrats were so quick to make this a partisan thing, trying to pin blame on Bush. Even scrolling through Democratic-aligned websites, like Daily Kos, you find no criticism of Democrats like Gov. Blanco or Mayor Nagin; instead, they act as though it's all Bush's fault. That's dishonest, disingenuous, and actually unhelpful. (Of course, if you scroll trhough Republican-aligned blogs like Instapundit or NRO Corner, they criticize everyone).

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-FP-
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The source is new to me, so take this for what it's worth:
http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/

September 7, 2005 --

WMR has just been informed by evacuees in Baton Rouge from Lakeview, a well-to-do New Orleans neighborhood, that the flooding of the city was caused by a loose barge striking the levee on the 17th Street Canal thus weakening the retaining wall. The breach was not caused by rising flood waters as reported by FEMA and other agencies. Lakeview is some 1.5 miles down Veterans Boulevard from the 17th St. Canal breach.
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Distraught evacuees want to know why the Coast Guard or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not secure the barge. The evacuees who witnessed the barge striking the levee also want to know why the major media is not covering this story. It is not known what company owns the barge.

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Charles
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Hey guys, I'm going to step in to keep things cool. This is why politically oriented debates are strongly discouraged. Some big lessons were learned last fall during the presidential elections and things got very very ugly. It's not going to happen again on AN.

The reason I posted the pictures of Harry Truman and his famous desk top plaque, in reference to an earlier comment I made in this topic, is that nobody - not one single public servant involved in a governmental administrative capacity, has stood up and accepted responsibility for a failure or a mistake on their end. Whether it be federal, state or local officials. To my knowledge as of this writing, there hasn't been one single instance. It just looks like the same thing over and over. Shifting blame from one area to the next. Spin control, posturing, even congratulations on a job well done in the face of this debacle.

If you want to debate the politics of the situation, my suggestion is to go to another site that is specifically set up for this kind of exchange.

This isn't about expressing your personal political opinions as much as it is sharing information and updates about the aftermath of the hurricane. Please utilize the thread for sharing information and updates without attacking each other. We're 5 pages into the topic already and we've been doing pretty good so far. Let's not have a repeat of last year. Thanks for being considerate.

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Charles
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By the way, the video link that you posted here Offbeat of the parish president being interviewed on Meet The Press was something that I happened to catch when it was broadcast. It's a very poignant reminder of the humanity of this tragedy.

Also, that photo essay you linked to was quite remarkable. It's interesting that at the beginning, at least in some parts of New Orleans, people thought that they had survived the hurricane without too much damage. Then things suddenly got worse as the water pored into town from the failed levees.

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Sketchpad
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The dates in this article are more specific than the others which give you no dates. And as I checked all three articles I see no mentioning of the National Guard under direct control of Govenor Blanco. I notice here in this article (because of the dates given) that the request by the Red Cross was issued on the third day of the disaster at time of the heigth of the violence, chaos, and shooting on sept. 1st.

From the Cleveland County Star online

Officials: Red Cross kept out of New Orleans

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (CNN) -- Louisiana officials rebuffed American Red Cross requests to enter New Orleans with relief supplies last week because of concerns over logistical difficulties, Red Cross and state officials said Thursday.

The Red Cross never launched its relief effort in the city.

The national president of the American Red Cross, Marsha Evans, first made the request to undertake the operation during a visit to the state on September 1, three days after Hurricane Katrina struck, a local Red Cross chapter official said.

Vic Howell, chief executive officer of the agency's Louisiana Capital Area Chapter, said he renewed that request the next day to Col. Jay Mayeaux, the deputy director of the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

"We had adequate supplies, the people and the vehicles," Howell said at a news conference in Baton Rouge. "It was the middle of a military rescue operation trying to save lives. We were asked not to go in, and we abided by that recommendation."

Mayeaux, appearing at the news conference with Howell, said he had asked the Red Cross to wait 24 hours for conditions to be "set" for the operation.

"To set up a feeding station to feed a large number of people, you need space. You need to escort the personnel into position. ... And we asked Mr. Howell, and he concurred, to wait 24 hours to go to set that in," Mayeaux said.

By Saturday, however, the point became moot because the large-scale evacuation of the city was under way, Howell and Mayeaux said.

"After that point in time ... their rescue operation was in full force, and they felt they had adequate supplies there to take care of it without (the Red Cross) being introduced into the situation," Howell said. "So we did not go directly into New Orleans."

The National Guard began moving large quantities of food, water and ice into New Orleans and other damaged areas of southeast Louisiana on Wednesday, two days after the hurricane struck and a day before the Red Cross made its request to go in, Mayeaux said.

The supplies were being delivered from Camp Beauregard, a National Guard base near Alexandria, 150 miles away, in the central part of the state.

So far, 16.4 million pounds of ice, 14.2 million quarts of water and 7.9 million ready-to-eat meals have been distributed, Mayeaux said.

In addition, food and water had also been stored before the storm at the Louisiana Superdome and other shelters, Mayeaux said. He added that guard troops also brought supplies.

Mayeaux said that state officials did "push" supplies into the distribution pipeline before requests were made and did not wait for local officials to request them.

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RedDiabla
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Offbeat: the photo journal link you posted was fascinating. How'd you find it?
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Sketchpad
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More interesting details at the New York Times (in case anyone is interested). [Wink]
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OFFBEAT
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Red.. it came from one of my link buddies.
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Dan P.
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Just finished going through the photo journal Offbeat posted. Really quite amazing, and with no media distortion. You get to see what really happened from day to day.

Unbelievable how he found the key to one of only two trucks remaining in that factory.

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Tobias A. Wolf
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People talk about being ashamed of the Federal and Local response; inexcusable, and disgusting, yes, but think about the fact that in reality no governmental agency that responded actually was in the black to do the job.

Our government, and thus ourselves as taxpayers, has to take a loan out to even give a blanket to one single individual displaced by the Hurricane. None of the federal relief is paid for, not a single bottle of water. Face it folks, our country is broke. It lead to the levee neglect, and the initial reluctant response to spend federal dollars on serious relief.

Smaller government, yeah, in the worst way possible. Bite it baby; hook, line, and sinker, all the way to the bottom. This is a Republican government, and what it's philosophy spells out on a fundamental level. Deal with it, vote, get involved, ...

change it.

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StephG
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An interesting topic was brought up on the Bill Maher show. It may be no coincidence that action didn't start to really happen until Sept. 1.

People in Washington may take their August vacations very seriously. A substantial portion of the federal agency structure might not have been available, management might have been unwilling to break the social code of ordering people back to work during their vacations, or may not have even been able to reach key personnel immediately because of those vacations.

If an audit is ever conducted of the federal government's emergency response, it should include who was on vacation at the time Katrina made landfall, and when they returned to work.

Congress should pass a law that requires anyone on vacation in any emergency federal agency, to return to their offices within 24 hours of when a federal emergency declaration is made. And that should apply to the president himself as well, since he's at the top of the chain.

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Animagus
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quote:
A substantial portion of the federal agency structure might not have been available... or may not have even been able to reach key personnel immediately because of those vacations.

In the days before cell phones and e-mail, I would believe that, but those days are long gone. On a recent vacation to Europe, my family and myself watched the Gaza relocation live on CNN World. What remote location were these people vacationing in? Did they not see the news unfolding, or did they see it and think to themselves "Don't answer the cell phone, don't check the e-mail"? If they themselves had families in the part of the country affected by the hurricane, where they not on the cell phones constantly checking on them?
Hmm...what key person do we know was on vacation when the storm hit? Oh, yeah, the president. I suppose, like the president, those people just didn't know about the storm until 5 days after it hit land. Are these people sending messages on horseback? I don't want to start a debate or flamewar, but the argument that they couldn't be reached isn't going to fly with me for one second. Ten years ago maybe but not in 2005.

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Sketchpad
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New detailed information about federal and state confusion and the slow response. This new article over at the New York Times titled Disarray Marked the Path From Hurricane to Anarchy is probably for tomorrow's New York Times Sunday edition.
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StephG
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There are a lot of ifs. There may even have been the belief that everything could be conducted by phone outside the office, no F2F necessary.

Suppose a lot of the people were in Europe. Generally, your regular US phones won't work there unless you get special services set up. It wouldn't surprise me if FEMA wouldn't arrange for such things.

Knowing there was an emergency, and given the type of people the administration seems to have hired, it wouldn't surprise me if they let their voicemail pick up, assuming they were on vacation and had working phones. They'd know what that call was all about.

There would be hundreds, maybe thousands of people to call. If the office was shorthanded, those calls would take a long time.

What I'm saying is, the fact that Washington takes a vacation in August, almost all of Washington, this could not have made the task of getting things up to speed easy.

And thus, another large stone of blame can be hung around Mike Brown's neck, if that's true. If he let a substantial portion of his staff take vacations at the same time, and it interfered with the government's readiness to act, it's a major flaw in the system. It could also be a major security risk against terrorism.

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StephG
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This is so shameless, it's absolutely amazing: Firms with Bush ties being awarded contracts for reconstruction.
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Steve G
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Why do you think that SOB is smirking all the time (and I mean QUITE literally)?!

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http://stevenegordon.com

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-FP-
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More:

Cover-up: toxic waters 'will make New Orleans unsafe for a decade'

Overkill: Feared Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans

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Sketchpad
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quote:
This is so shameless, it's absolutely amazing: Firms with Bush ties being awarded contracts for reconstruction.
Hmm. [Roll Eyes]

And it appears that's not all: A Shameful Proclamation

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More:

Mercenaries guard homes of the rich in New Orleans

Hundreds of mercenaries have descended on New Orleans to guard the property of the city's millionaires from looters.

The heavily armed men, employed by private military companies including Blackwater and ISI, are part of the militarisation of a city which had a reputation for being one of the most relaxed and easy-going in America.

"I spoke to one of the other owners on the telephone earlier in the week," Yovi said. "I told him how the water had stopped just at the back gate. God watches out for the rich people, I guess."


Help is scarce in lesser-known areas hit by Katrina

Two weeks after Katrina, living without electricity and other basic services -- and struggling with Katrina's destruction -- is a daily challenge for residents in rural communities stretching from Jackson southward to the ravaged Gulf Coast. This is especially true of the tiny little towns of southeast Mississippi, including this area some 50 miles from the capital city.

Nobody brings food. There are no shelters. Even if someone wanted to go to a refugee camp, the logistics would be ridiculous.

"We got hit just as bad as people farther south," said Roger Hayes, 51, of Four Points, Ala., a small town just over the Mississippi border. "But it's just so far out. We get left out a lot."


Congress probes hurricane clean-up contracts

Companies winning work include US contracting giants Bechtel and Halliburton. Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, is facing questions for allegedly overcharging on work done in Iraq. The Department of Defense was criticised for awarding Iraq reconstruction contracts to these two companies without competition.

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StephG
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FEMA director Mike Brown resigns:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9315184/

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OFFBEAT
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Cheney gets OWN3D!!!
[funny]
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/videos/cheneyowned.html
Warning: Profanity (but good use of it)

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OFFBEAT
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LMAO!!!! ROFL!!!!!!!!
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/videos/kanyewest.html
You can guess who is reading from a prompter, and who is 'winging it'?

and you can even own a commemorative t-shirt..
http://phatrags.com/pages/store/skudetail.nhtml?profile=home&uid=10493&returnURL=http%3A//phatrags.com/
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OFFBEAT
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 -
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[funny]

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-FP-
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More disastrophe infotainment:

As bodies recovered, reporters are told 'no photos, no stories'
Outside one house on Kentucky Street, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne Division summoned a reporter and photographer standing nearby and told them that if they took pictures or wrote a story about the body recovery process, he would take away their press credentials and kick them out of the state.

"No photos. No stories," said the man, wearing camouflage fatigues and a red beret.

On Saturday, after being challenged in court by CNN, the Bush administration agreed not to prevent the news media from following the effort to recover the bodies of Hurricane Katrina victims.

But on Monday, in the Bywater district, that assurance wasn't being followed. The 82nd Airborne soldier told reporters the Army had a policy that requires media to be 300 meters -- more than three football fields in length -- away from the scene of body recoveries in New Orleans. If reporters wrote stories or took pictures of body recoveries, they would be reported and face consequences, he said, including a loss of access for up-close coverage of certain military operations.


TIME has pointed out that during the Katrina attack. Karl Rove was hospitalized with painful kidney stones. Meanwhile, many rumor-mongering sites are presenting partially-unsubstantiated stories such as the following:
Cheney is too ill to run the country
The preznit and Cheney aren't talking
More on Cheney's performance regarding Katrina response

Maybe the grownups weren't available to take charge of the federal response to the hurricane, leaving the clearly rudderless Bush and the abjectly-unqualified Brown to do what was needed?

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Ganklin
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"This is so shameless, it's absolutely amazing: Firms with Bush ties being awarded contracts for reconstruction."

why is this shameless? when was the last time you recommended or were recommended by a friend for an animation job?

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www.shamoozal.com

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Dan P.
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Ganklin, that is an incredibly weak arguement. If I were the president of an animation company and everyone I hired was a friend of mine, I doubt I'd be afloat for long. The government has a responsibility to allow other companies the opportunity to compete for the contracts, because last time I checked they weren't a privately owned government.

Geez.

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-FP-
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"Shameless" might be too mild to describe some of this stuff.

Katrina body counting duties given to firm tied to Bush family

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has hired Kenyon International to set up a mobile morgue for handling bodies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, RAW STORY has learned.

Kenyon is a subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI), a scandal-ridden Texas-based company operated by a friend of the Bush family. Recently, SCI subsidiaries have been implicated in illegally discarding and desecrating corpses.

...The Menorah Gardens cemetery chain, owned by SCI, desecrated vaults, removed hundreds of bodies from two cemeteries in Florida and dumped the gruesome remains in woods frequented by wild hogs, investigators discovered in 2001. In one case, a backhoe was used to crack open a vault, remove corpses and make room for more dead bodies.

SCI paid $100 million to settle a lawsuit filed by outraged family members of the deceased.

On April 15, 1998, funeral magnate Robert Waltrip talked with Gov. George W. Bush in the Texas Capitol. That much is not in dispute. However, the content of their discussion is the subject of considerable dispute. And the actions taken by the governor's staff members, a half-dozen legislators, and Texas Attorney General John Cornyn after that April 15 meeting are part of what may be the biggest influence-buying scandal in recent memory.

The politicos and the funeral company are at the heart of a whistleblower lawsuit filed March 23 against the state, funeral home giant Service Corporation International (SCI), and Waltrip, the company's chairman and CEO. The suit alleges that Bush and other politicos worked to thwart an investigation by the Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) into improperly licensed embalmers working out of SCI funeral homes in Dallas.


More info:
http://www.hereinreality.com/funeralgate.htm
http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/vol18/issue45/pols.sci.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bush082399.htm
http://archive.democrats.com/display.cfm?id=216

For the entertainment those of you on the conservative side of the fence, Monday's DAILY SHOW had some fantastically embarrassing footage of hypocritical statements by the mayor of Nawlins and the governor of Louisiana.

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