BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dr. Dean to the OR, please

"Dr. Dean to the OR, please. Dr. Dean to the OR."

Dean: Race Played a Role in Katrina Deaths

The triple-headed BillSeanRush monster will try to eat Howie today.

Guaranteed.
Race was a factor in the death toll from Hurricane Katrina, Howard Dean told members of the National Baptist Convention of America on Wednesday at the group's annual meeting.

Dean, chairman of the Democratic party, made the comments to the Baptists' Political and Social Justice Commission. The Baptist Convention, with an estimated 3.5 million members, is one of the largest black religious groups in the country.

"We must ... come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not," Dean said.

Dean said Americans have a moral responsibility to not ignore the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Katrina when it struck the Gulf Coast.

The former presidential candidate said the government will be judged by how it treats the old, the young and the poor.

"People are poor in different parts of the country. They are not refugees. They are Americans," he said.
I'll try to suffer through the "Radio Factor" to get the official reaction to Dean's comments.

Turning the dial. 790 AM.

Okay....

AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!! MY BRAIN!

HELP!!!

INSTANT CANCER!!!

AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Ozzy! Oz! Please! Help daddy! Pull the plug out of the wall!!!

"Ruff!"

Hurry!!!

"Ruff!"

(Click.)

Oh, so much better. Jesus.

Good dog.

"Ruff!"

Sorry...almost died there.

I'll tell you this much: If the "big one" hits SoCal, and "the man" tells me to leave my dog behind?

Sorry, friends, I'm staying behind.

Period.

I'm not leaving my furry boyfriend.

"Ruff!"

Oz! Coyote! Kill it!

"Ruff!"

Speaking of SoCal:

California May Temporarily Relax Air Standards

Umm...
SAN FRANCISCO -- California air quality regulators want to temporarily relax gasoline pollution standards to help avert possible shortages and more price hikes stemming from the loss of petroleum imports from hurricane-battered Gulf states.

At a hearing today in Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board is scheduled to consider an emergency action reducing the standards normally in place until Oct. 31 in most parts of the state.

Essentially, the action would permit the early sale of so-called winter gasoline and waive the requirement to sell summer gasoline during the remainder of the high-ozone season.
They just want to kill us.

Whoever they are.

Trust me: The view from the top of Runyon Canyon this morning was hi-de-ous.

I assume there's still a "downtown L.A." I can't SEE it, but I assume it's still there.

*

THE TRUTH VS. BUSH-TRUTH, PART V

Back in July, Scott McClellan was getting hammered by the WH Press Corps...after the Corps realized that they'd been lied to re: Rove-Plame-Gate.

"Does the President have confidence in Karl Rove?" "Did Rove tell the President that he talked to Matthew Cooper?" "What does the President know about Rove's role in this...and when did he know it?"

Yada yada.

You might remember that McClellan responded to all those Rove-questions...by not responding:
MCCLELLAN: Any individual who works here at the White House has the president’s confidence. They wouldn’t be working here if they didn’t have the president’s confidence. That’s why I’ve stepped back from this and talked about it in the broader context.

Now, these questions are coming up in the context of an ongoing investigation. And I stated long ago, you all will remember, that the investigation is continuing. I want to be helpful the investigation. I don’t want to jeopardize anything in that investigation. And that’s why I made a decision and the White House made a decision quite some time ago that we weren’t going to get into commenting on questions related to that investigation.

Again, if I were to get into discussing this I would be getting into discussing an investigation that continues and could be prejudging the outcome of the investigation.

I’m not going to do that from this podium.
Just replace the word "Rove" with "Chertoff" or "Brown" and McClellan is doing the same thing this week.

Yesterday's WH press conference is pure comedy:
Q Scott, does the President retain confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security?

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, see, this is where some people want to look at the blame game issue, and finger-point. We're focused on solving problems, and we're doing everything we can --

Q: What about the question?

MR. McCLELLAN: We're doing everything we can in support --

Q: We know all that.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Q: Does he retain complete confidence --

MR. McCLELLAN: We're going to continue. We appreciate the great effort that all of those at FEMA, including the head of FEMA, are doing to help the people in the region. And I'm just not going to engage in the blame game or finger-pointing that you're trying to get me to engage.

Q: Okay, but that's not at all what I was asking.

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure it is. It's exactly what you're trying to play.

Q: You have your same point you want to make about the blame game, which you've said enough now. I'm asking you a direct question, which you're dodging.

MR. McCLELLAN: No --

Q: Does the President retain complete confidence in his Director of FEMA and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: I just answered the question.

Q: Is the answer "yes" on both?

MR. McCLELLAN: And what you're doing is trying to engage in a game of finger-pointing.

Q: There's a lot of criticism. I'm just wondering if he still has confidence.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and blame-gaming. What we're trying to do is solve problems, David. And that's where we're going to keep our focus.

Q: So you're not -- you won't answer that question directly?

MR. McCLELLAN: I did. I just did.

Q: No, you didn't. Yes or no? Does he have complete confidence or doesn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, if you want to continue to engage in finger-pointing and blame-gaming, that's fine --

Q: Scott, that's ridiculous. I'm not engaging in any of that.

MR. McCLELLAN: It's not ridiculous.

Q: Don't try to accuse me of that. I'm asking you a direct question and you should answer it. Does he retain complete confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said -- that's exactly what you're engaging in.

Q: I'm not engaging in anything. I'm asking you a question about what the President's views are --

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely -- absolutely --

Q: -- under pretty substantial criticism of members of his administration. Okay? And you know that, and everybody watching knows that, as well.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, everybody watching this knows, David, that you're trying to engage in a blame game.

Q: I'm trying to engage?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes.

Q: I am trying to engage?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct.
Someone had the guts to ask "Scotty" about Babs, too.
Q: Does the President agree with his mother that the homeless taken from New Orleans to Houston are much better off now because they were underprivileged in New Orleans?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think she was making a personal observation on some of the comments that people were making that she was running into. I'm not sure that that's exactly what she said, but --

Q: I have it right here if you need it.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- what we're focused on -- what we're focused on is helping these people who are in need.

Q: Does he agree with his mother?

MR. McCLELLAN: And I think that the observation is based on someone who -- or some people that were talking to her, that were in need of a lot of assistance, people that have gone through a lot of trauma and been through a very difficult and trying time. And all of a sudden, they are now getting great help in the state of Texas from some of the shelters.

Q: "It's scary that they're all coming to Texas."

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I think you can look at her comments.

Q That is what she said, though.
Last key moment.
Q Scott, you talk about looking ahead, and on that point, why should the American people have confidence? If another disaster strikes and they hear you from that podium say that the federal authorities, FEMA is working closely with state and local officials to address all the concerns on the ground, why should the American people have confidence in that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Let's, first of all, hope that nothing like this ever happens again in our lifetime.
Yeah. Let's hope.

*

More spin and Republican troops to the rescue.

Campaign Vets for FEMA Damage Control

This bit was also posted on Atrios. Basically, the GOP has moved one of it's top spinsters from the Treasury Dept. to FEMA...presumably...to beef up its damage control.

Check it out.

Then, check this out:

Firefighters: We Were Misused In Katrina Rescue Efforts - Firefighters Told Their Job Would Be To Hand Out Flyers

Quick follow up from yesterday's story:
CHICAGO -- When a group of Indiana firefighters traveled to the Gulf Coast to help in the rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, they thought their skills in rescuing people would be put to use.

But two firefighters came back to Portage because they learned their real skills weren't needed, NBC5's Phil Rogers reported.

In a document that went out from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the agency asked for firefighters with very specific skills and who were capable of working in austere conditions. When they got to a center in Atlanta, they found out their jobs would be public relations.

"Our job was to advertise a phone number for FEMA," said Portage Assistant Fire Chief Bill Lundy. "We were going to be given shirts and hats with a phone number on it and flyers, and sent to shelters, and we were going to pass out flyers."

Lundy and Calhoun said they don't want to bash FEMA or its mission, Rogers reported. They said they only want to help, and that there were plenty of other firefighters in the room who felt the same way.

"There was almost a fight," said Portage Assistant Fire Chief Joe Calhoun. "There was probably 700 firefighters sitting in the room getting this training, and it dawned on them what we were going to be doing. And then it got bad from there."

Lundy and Calhoun's first task was an eight-hour course on sexual harassment and equal opportunity employment procedures, Rogers reported. Neither firefighter would be involved in technical rescues of trapped people or any of their other specialties.

"We're trained in tactical medicine," Lundy said. "We weren't being used for that. We were being used to hand out flyers."
Got two new menus in me door this mornin.'

Bossa Nova and Rafallo's (of course).

*

THE TRUTH VS. BUSH TRUTH, PART VI:

Chertoff Draws Fire on Briefing

Dude sat down with some top politicians on the Hill...and spun:
The new criticism was set off by a private and sometimes contentious briefing that Mr. Chertoff and other senior administration officials gave to House members on Tuesday night on the status of relief efforts.

*

Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, said the message he took from Mr. Chertoff's comments regarding the relief effort was that "what you see is not really what is."

"People just looked at him," Mr. Thompson said. "He was the first speaker, and it sort of went downhill after that. People felt we are not going to get the truth here."

A few Democrats were so upset by the tone of Mr. Chertoff's remarks that they walked out of the briefing, said Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, who said he stayed for all of the remarks but became increasingly frustrated by what he heard.

"The picture was being painted that things were not as bad as they appeared to be" in news reports, Mr. Cummings said in an interview. "It reached the point where the answers didn't add up.
That's a really nice way of saying, "He sat there and lied to us. That...or the guy is really fucking stupid."

More later...

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