Big oil's bigtime looting

The Boston Globe
By Derrick Z. Jackson | September 2, 2005

PRESIDENT BUSH yesterday told ABC-TV, ''there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this, whether it be looting or price-gouging at the gasoline pump or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud."

Zero tolerance is meaningless when the White House lets the biggest looters of Hurricane Katrina walk off with billions of dollars.
We are not referring to the people you currently see in endless footage, crashing through storefronts and wading through chest-high water with clothes, food, and pharmaceuticals. Some folks are disgusting in their thuggishness, but a great many others are simply desperate, having now gone three days without food or water. The latter are living out one of the most famous hypothetical problems in moral reasoning -- should a husband steal a cancer drug he cannot afford for his dying wife?

911 IN NEW ORLEANS

By Paul Rogat Loeb

We're told the 911 attacks changed everything for America--that they ushered
us in to a new and more dangerous world, where we could no longer afford old
illusions. If we take its full lessons, the disaster of Hurricane Katrina
challenges us even more profoundly.

If the comparison seems overstated, the death tolls from Katrina may well
exceed the number of those lost at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The
projected cost of rebuilding New Orleans and its surroundings is now
projected at $25 billion and may even approach the $40 billion paid out by
insurance companies worldwide related to the 911 attacks. And while New York

How Does Scotty McClellan Live with Himself?

Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour - Day 1 and 2
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan

Since I was bone tired when I finally got to a bed, I didn't write my blog last night. This will probably be the last time I write for awhile, unless I think of something exciting to say. I am on my way home until the end of next week when I head back for the Bus Tour.

Yesterday, we left Camp Casey and it was very emotional for me. Like I said before, I never thought I would feel so badly about leaving Crawford, Texas behind. But I never counted on the Crawford, Texas experience turning into the Camp Casey experience. We actually walked around most of the time with stupid grins on our faces because being at Camp Casey was such a happy experience. However, we are carrying Camp Casey with us to the nation now.

Mystery Unfolds Over Hunt for WMD in Iraq

By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent
Fri Sep 2, 2:38 PM ET

Beneath the giant dome of a Baghdad palace, facing his team of scientists and engineers, George Tenet sounded more like a football coach than a spymaster, a coach who didn't know the game was over.

"Are we 85 percent done?" the CIA boss demanded. The arms hunters knew what he wanted to hear. "No!" they shouted back. "Let me hear it again!" They shouted again.

The weapons are out there, Tenet insisted. Go find them.

Veteran inspector Rod Barton couldn't believe his ears. "It was nonsense," the Australian biologist said of that February evening last year, when the then-chief of U.S. intelligence secretly flew to Baghdad and dropped in on the lakeside Perfume Palace, chandelier-hung home of the Iraq Survey Group.

WHY NOT MARCH ON WASHINGTON

~~~~~~~
Katrina Marches on Washington?
by FluxRostrum

A thought. Which would be backed up with my complete, in-person, suppport, if there is serious interest in making this thought a reality. I am not currently close enough to NO to start the ball myself.

Evidence of bureaucratic failures in the handling of Katrina are starting to piss a lot of people off.

The fact that hotels are not offering - even temporarily - free rooms to refugees... the gas gouging... the depiction of survival as "looting", blocking domestic & foriegn workers and aid from entering the city ...

All of these issues clearly illustrate the fact that "Profit Over People" is not right or acceptable, at least in this level humanity.

More on FEMA Funneling Money to Killer Pat

By PogBlog

Fema donation page has Operation Blessing two below Red Cross.LINK

USA Today has Op. Blessing right under Red Cross. LINK

The original alert I saw on Sploid. LINK is the follow-up.

Searching for that elusive moment of accountability

by Rep Brad Miller [Subscribe]
Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 14:22:08 PDT
The Bush crowd says now is not the time for finger pointing. How distasteful it would be for partisanship to intrude in this tragic time.

What pious, hypocritical crap.

I really don't just take press releases and post them here as diaries. I won't do this again (well, not often) but this topic has been much discussed here during in last few days.

Here's what I said on the floor an hour ago:

"I know that today's session was a formality, that there would be no votes other than a voice vote, but I thought it was important to be here to show my support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in whatever way I could, however modest.

US can handle Iraq, Katrina: Bush

(Editor's note: Some lawmakers have asked for the National Guard to be pulled out of Iraq and return back to the States where they're needed at home. Are we stretched to thin? Are there enough members in Congress to support bringing the troops home to help recover from this tragedy? What do you think?)

US can handle Iraq, Katrina: Bush
From correspondents in Biloxi
September 03, 2005

US President George W. Bush has rejected calls to pull resources from the war in Iraq to handle Hurricane Katrina, saying: "We've got plenty of resources to do both."

"The people (have) just got to know, we've got what it takes to do more than one thing. And we'll secure our country from the terrorists and we'll help rebuild this part of the world," he said after touring this devastated town.

Some US lawmakers have asked that Washington call home members of the National Guard whose homes were devastated by the storm, others worry about the multi-billion-dollar pricetag of funding both ventures.

Bipartisan investigation into Katrina failures

Bipartisan investigation into Katrina failures
by kos
Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 16:29:16 PDT
This might be a good thing, if done right.

Two key U.S. senators said on Friday they will open a bipartisan investigation into what they described as an "immense failure" of the government response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who heads the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the panel's top Democrat, said they plan to begin an oversight investigation next week when the full Senate returns from a summer recess.

No whitewashes. Find out who fucked up. Republicans, Democrats, I don't care. Anyone who screwed up should be tarred and feathered.

(Funny thing is, given the two names on this effort, I trust Collins to get at the truth more than I trust Lieberman.)

LINK TO ORIGINAL

Sparking a Prairie Fire: Cindy Sheehan at City Hall

Sparking a Prairie Fire: Cindy Sheehan at City Hall

BY WELLS DUNBAR

The scene Wednesday evening outside the gates of the Capitol seemed almost like the preview to an outdoor concert, as the sweltering crowd awaited the arrival of the star performer. At about 5:30, two buses pulled up a converted navy-blue school bus, and a Ford E-450 Super Duty truck hauling a Winnebago christened The D.C. Express. Working her way down off the bus and through the crowd to a microphone was none other than Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother who has spent the last month waiting outside President Bushs ranch at Crawford, waiting for an answer to one question: Why did her son Casey have to die in Iraq?

Write your Congressmen...DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!!

LINK TO ORIGINAL

Write your Congressmen...DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!!
Here's the address:
http://www.house.gov/writerep /

Here's the letter that I wrote to mine (copy or hack away):

Dear Sir,

I am writing you to express my great sadness and anger regarding our Federal Government's handling of the Hurricane Katrina crisis. It is becoming painfully obvious that our government has abandoned tens of thousands of our most vulnerable citizens and is letting one of our great cities fall to chaos and ruin. I am writing to ask you how, nearly four years after 9/11, we found ourselves without a plan to evacuate the sick, poor and elderly from what has been regarded as our most vulnerable city? As a formerly proud American citizen, I am outraged to see images coming from our own soil that are indistinguishable from those of a third world country. The Federal Government's response to Hurricane Katrina has been irreprehensible and I am asking for your pledge that you will demand the accountability of those responsible. Please be my voice.

Sincerely,

The big disconnect on New Orleans

The big disconnect on New Orleans
The official version; then there's the in-the-trenches version

Friday, September 2, 2005 Posted: 1934 GMT (0334 HKT)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Diverging views of a crumbling New Orleans emerged Thursday. The sanitized view came from federal officials at news conferences and television appearances. But the official line was contradicted by grittier, more desperate views from the shelters and the streets.

These conflicting views came within hours, sometimes minutes of each of each other, as reflected in CNN's transcripts. The speakers include Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, evacuee Raymond Cooper, CNN correspondents and others. Here's what they had to say:

Mystery unfolds over hunt for WMD in Iraq

Mystery unfolds over hunt for WMD in Iraq
9/2/2005, 1:38 p.m. CT
By CHARLES J. HANLEY
The Associated Press

(AP) — Beneath the giant dome of a Baghdad palace, facing his team of scientists and engineers, George Tenet sounded more like a football coach than a spymaster, a coach who didn't know the game was over.

"Are we 85 percent done?" the CIA boss demanded. The arms hunters knew what he wanted to hear. "No!" they shouted back. "Let me hear it again!" They shouted again.

The weapons are out there, Tenet insisted. Go find them.

Veteran inspector Rod Barton couldn't believe his ears. "It was nonsense," the Australian biologist said of that February evening last year, when the then-chief of U.S. intelligence secretly flew to Baghdad and dropped in on the lakeside Perfume Palace, chandelier-hung home of the Iraq Survey Group.

Missing the Forest for the Uprooted Floating Trees

By David Swanson

The trillion dollar question has long been: How do we get the major media outlets in this country to notice that the White House is run by oil barons who launch illegal wars based on lies, defund everything else, and destroy the environment at every opportunity – and that this is a single, connected story?

In June we garnered a bit of interest in the Downing Street Memos story, which then dried up and went away. Then there was the Karl Rove scandal, which dried up and went away. It's not that the actual events went away. More evidence continued to come out, protests continued to grow, congressional action by progressive Dems and brave Republicans accelerated. But the media lost interest.

BRAD SHOW Saturday Night...

BRAD SHOW Saturday Night...

Highlights from our 'Operation Noble Cause' Coverage on the Ground in Crawford, TX!
Saturday Night @ 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT), ReBRADCast @ Noon ET on Sunday!
Thanks to our great engineer Otie Maclay (who we found on the side of the road on our way to Crawford), this Saturday Night's BRAD SHOW will feature many of the highlights from our 50+ hours of LIVE daily broadcasts from on the ground at Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas.

Highlights to include interviews with: CINDY SHEEHAN, JOAN BAEZ, REP. JOHN CONYERS, RANDI RHODES, Goldstart Mom KAREN MEREDITH, Iraqi Vet TOMAS ANDREWS, plus musical highlights and much much more!

Bush's Ventriloquist Declares Katrina Response 'Not Acceptable'

http://www.democrats.com/node/5923

The secret cabal that controls Bush's mouth through his earpiece declared "the results are not acceptable."

Bush mouthed the words, but his brain didn't produce them.

Just watch his delivery. Watch how he utters sentence fragments, not full sentences. Watch how he pauses while he waits for the full sentences to be delivered into his ear.

Here's the play-by-play. Every time Bush pauses, he is listening to his earpiece. Usually this is accompanied by some telltale gesture - shaking his head, clenching his jaw, or waving his arms.

"Secretary Chertoff and I just finished a meeting with [uh...] Secretary Rumsfeld, General Myers, other members of my Cabinet, as well as [uh...] General Honore, [uh...] Admiral Keating, in charge of NORTHCOM -- General Honore is active duty general on the ground in Louisiana -- and Mike Brown, who's the head of FEMA.

Ending the Impunity of the Bush White House

Published on Friday, September 2, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Norman Solomon

The man in the Oval Office is fond of condemning "killers." But his administration continues to kill with impunity.

"They can go into Iraq and do this and do that," Martha Madden, former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, said Thursday, "but they can't drop some food on Canal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, right now? It's just mind-boggling."

The policies are matters of priorities. And the priorities of the Bush White House are clear. For killing in Iraq, they spare no expense. For protecting and sustaining life, the cupboards go bare.

World stunned as US struggles with Katrina

LINK TO ORIGINAL

World stunned as US struggles with Katrina
By Andrew Gray
2 hours, 1 minute ago

LONDON (Reuters) - The world has watched amazed as the planet's only superpower struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with some saying the chaos has exposed flaws and deep divisions in American society.

World leaders and ordinary citizens have expressed sympathy with the people of the southern United States whose lives were devastated by the hurricane and the flooding that followed.

But many have also been shocked by the images of disorder beamed around the world -- looters roaming the debris-strewn streets and thousands of people gathered in New Orleans waiting for the authorities to provide food, water and other aid.

A Can't-Do Government

A Can't-Do Government
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: September 2, 2005

Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.
So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.

Places for Peaceful Protests

Friday September 2, 2005

UPDATED* BUSH in Hurricane Destruction Areas: Bush tours the Gulf Coast
today, making stops in Mobile, Biloxi, and New Orleans. In Mobile, Ala.,
the president was to get a briefing on the damage, followed by a
helicopter survey of areas along the Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana
coasts. He was to walk through hard-hit neighborhoods in Biloxi,
Mississippi. But Bush was avoiding an in-person visit to the worst areas
of New Orleans, mostly drowned in rank floodwaters and descending in
many areas into lawlessness as desperate residents await rescue or even
just food and water. Instead, the president was taking an aerial tour of

Rally to End the War in Front of White House on September 15

ANNOUNCEMENT

A rally will be held at Lafayette Square Park (in front of the White House) at 5 p.m. ET on September 15, 2005. Earlier the same day, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey will host hearings on Capitol Hill on exit strategies for Iraq. Also the same day, a coalition of organizations will hand in to Congress a petition for an exit strategy. (See http://www.peoplespetition.org )

Speaking at the rally will be Congresswoman Woolsey and other congress members who support ending the war. The rally will bring together a broad coalition, including military families and leaders from throughout the peace movement (including some not supporting the petition cited above).

Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush

Friday, September 2nd, 2005
Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

Cindy’s Fight Has Just Begun

Published on Thursday, September 1, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Dickelle Fonda

Cindy Sheehan set up her lawn chair and umbrella in a ditch on a dirt road in Crawford, Texas. She erected a banner which articulated her question to George Bush: “For what noble cause did my son die?

Appalling Language Can Be Subtle

I was horrified to come across two photos on yahoo's site--one of a black man described as a "looter" and another of two white people described as having "found" bread and soda.

Go here to see the photos:

LINK

It is such language that reveals why we are still, 140 years after the Civil War, such a racist and divided country.

How can we possibly heal the rifts after such unconscious and appalling attitudes are revealed?

Mother’s protest sparks war debate

Poltically Incorrect
Echo Online (Eastern Michigan University)
By Joel Adkins, Opinions Columnist / Staff Writer
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2005

Politics can be depressing. There have been many occasions in recent years that I have found myself shaking my head – shaking my head in a slow, somber fashion as my face bore a grimace. Indeed, there were times when, in the midst of tears, I questioned the worth of the actions of myself and others. Why not forget the problems and leave them to someone else? Why not submit to the crooks that hold all the cards and allow them an uncontested all-access pass?

Sheehan Ends Vigil In Crawford, Heads Out on the Road

ELITES TV

Cindy Sheehan and her supporters began dismantling 'Camp Casey,' the makeshift camp they had erected outside of President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch. Sheehan staged a 26-day vigil in an attempt to meet with Mr. Bush. Mrs. Sheehan's oldest son, Casey, 24, died in Iraq. Subsequent information has come out leading Mrs. Sheehan to question what cause her son died for. Mr. Bush has refused to meet with her to discuss the matter.

Mrs. Sheehan's protest has given those who oppose or question the war in Iraq a focal point for their beliefs while also serving to rally Americans who continue to blindly support Mr. Bush's policies to speak their minds as well.

Letter: Lynch should speak with constituents

Needham Times
Thursday, September 1, 2005

Democracy requires a dialogue between elected officials and their constituents. Isn't that what government by the people and for the people is all about?

A group of us from Congressman Stephen F. Lynch's 9th District requested a meeting with him to voice our concerns about the war in Iraq. At the last minute, the scheduled meeting was canceled. A second meeting was set up, but Congressman Lynch - again at the last minute - informed us that he could not attend. We did, however, meet with his aide, telling him that community forums were urgently needed so that constituents could hear Congressman Lynch's opinions on: a timetable for withdrawal of American troops, the establishment of permanent bases in Iraq, independent investigations into torture and abuse at U.S. bases and questions raised by the Downing Street memo. And Congressman Lynch needs to hear the opinions of his constituents on these topics.

Preserving support for war takes more than a clever name

The Vanguard (University of South Alabama)
Melissa Webster
Staff Writer
August 31, 2005

Recently, Bush, Inc. announced the slogan "War on Terror" would be abandoned in favor of the new slogan "The Struggle Against Violent Extremism." This was an exciting new marketing opportunity for Bush to put a new face on an old and failing product.

Alarmed the American public was growing weary and dissatisfied with the progress of the war - and Bush, Inc. in general - and faced with a continued drop in approval ratings, the Bush PR team decided a new slogan would breathe life into a dying campaign.

The political smear: why does the Right use it better than the Left?

Posted by Adam Ash on August 31, 2005 10:29 AM (See all posts by Adam Ash)
http://blogcritics.org

I’ve noticed a peculiar difference between rightwing and leftwing political attacks.

Whereas both the left and the right are equally adept at calling each other names (on the Blogcritics site, for example), the strategy of The Big Smear -- the broad wipe of a very personal and dirty accusation -- seems to be almost exclusively rightwing.

Rush Limbaugh and other rightwing commentators are consistent practitioners of The Big Smear. Notice the personal smears dumped all over the head of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war mother of dead Iraqi soldier Casey Sheehan. Leftwing commentators appear to largely steer clear of The Big Smear, as much as they like to indulge in name-calling. They seem to get enough kicks from calling Bush a chimp, which is hardly a smear, unless you’re a chimp.

Greens and Libertarians: Bring the Troops Home Now

Wisconsin Green Party
wisconsingreenparty.org

August 29th, 2005

Contacts:
Arif Khan, Chair, Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, 920-251-0844
Jeff Peterson, Campaign Coordinator, Referendum on Troop Withdrawal from Iraq 715.472.2728
Jill Bussiere, Co-Chair, Wisconsin Green Party
920.388.0529, cell 920.255.2175, jdt@wisconsingreenparty.org

The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Green Party have joined in calling for support for U.S. troops in Iraq by bringing them home as soon as possible.

The Green and Libertarian Parties both oppose the current U.S. occupation. Both believe war should be waged only to defend the United States, and that the war on Iraq did not meet that condition. Both parties' 2004 presidential candidates proposed withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Both are concerned that the longer the U.S. occupation remains in Iraq, the more long-term will be the damage. They agree the best thing for the United States and Iraq is to bring U.S. troops home as quickly as possible. "The United States was not threatened by Iraq," said Jill Bussiere, Co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party. "Many of us knew there were no weapons of mass destruction well before the invasion, and the administration knew it too, having fixed the 'intelligence around the policy' as the Downing Street memo notes. Now, we find that the invasion and occupation of Iraq have decreased our national security - just the opposite of what the administration claims."

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