BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Friday, September 02, 2005

"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing."

A comment from the Mayor of NO, via CNN:
And one of the things people -- nobody's talked about this. Drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me, and that's why we were having the escalation in murders. People don't want to talk about this, but I'm going to talk about it.

You have drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix, and that's the reason why they were breaking in hospitals and drugstores. They're looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will.

And right now, they don't have anything to take the edge off. And they've probably found guns. So what you're seeing is drug-starving crazy addicts, drug addicts, that are wrecking havoc. And we don't have the manpower to adequately deal with it. We can only target certain sections of the city and form a perimeter around them and hope to God that we're not overrun.
My god.

*

The cracks in the MainStream Media are showing, people.

They're actually asking questions - and connecting the dots.

"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing."

First, Anderson Cooper's little freak-out.

Dude was talking to LA Senator Mary Landrieu yesterday:
COOPER: Joining me from Baton Rouge is Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. Senator, appreciate you joining us tonight. Does the federal government bear responsibility for what is happening now? Should they apologize for what is happening now?

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Anderson, there will be plenty of time to discuss all of those issues, about why, and how, and what, and if. But, Anderson, as you understand, and all of the producers and directors of CNN, and the news networks, this situation is very serious and it's going to demand all of our full attention through the hours, through the nights, through the days.

Let me just say a few things. Thank President Clinton and former President Bush for their strong statements of support and comfort today. I thank all the leaders that are coming to Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Alabama to our help and rescue.

We are grateful for the military assets that are being brought to bear. I want to thank Senator Frist and Senator Reid for their extraordinary efforts.

Anderson, tonight, I don't know if you've heard -- maybe you all have announced it -- but Congress is going to an unprecedented session to pass a $10 billion supplemental bill tonight to keep FEMA and the Red Cross up and operating.

COOPER: EXCUSE ME, SENATOR, I'm sorry for interrupting. I haven't heard that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. AND TO LISTEN TO POLITICIANS THANKING EACH OTHER and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated.

And when they hear politicians slap -- you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough facilities to take her up.

Do you get the anger that is out here?

LANDRIEU: Anderson, I have the anger inside of me. MOST OF THE HOMES IN MY FAMILY HAVE BEEN DESTROYED. Our homes have been destroyed. I understand what you're saying, and I know all of those details. And the president of the United States knows those details.

COOPER: Well, who are you angry at?

LANDRIEU: I'm not angry at anyone. I'm just expressing that it is so important for everyone in this nation to pull together, for all military assets and all assets to be brought to bare in this situation.

And I have every confidence that this country is as great and as strong as we can be do to that. And that effort is under way.

COOPER: Well, I mean, there are a lot of people here who are kind of ashamed of what is happening in this country right now, what is -- ashamed of what is happening in your state, certainly.

And that's not to blame the people who are there. It's a desperate situation. But I guess, you know, who can -- I mean, NO ONE SEEMS TO BE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY.

I mean, I know you say there's a time and a place for, kind of, you know, looking back, but this seems to be the time and the place. I mean, there are people who want answers, and there are people who want someone to stand up and say, "You know what? We should have done more. Are all the assets being brought to bare?"

LANDRIEU: Anderson, Anderson...

COOPER: I mean, today, for the first time, I'm seeing National Guard troops in this town.

LANDRIEU: Anderson, I know. And I know where you are. And I know what you're seeing. Believe me, we know it. And we understand, and there will be a time to talk about all of that. Trust me.

I know what the people are suffering. The governor knows. The president knows. The military officials know. And they're trying to do the very best they can to stabilize the situation.

Senator Vitter, our congressional delegation, all of us understand what is happening. We are doing our very, very best to get the situation under control.

BUT I WANT TO THANK THE PRESIDENT. He will be here tomorrow, we think. And the military is sending assets as we speak.

So, please, I understand. You might say I'm a politician, but I grew up in New Orleans. My father was the mayor of that city. I've represented that city my whole life, and it's just not New Orleans. It's St. Bernard, and St. Tammany, and Plaquemines Parish that have been completely underwater.

Our levee system has failed. We need a lot of help. And the Congress has been wonderful to help us, and we need more help.

Nobody's perfect, Anderson. Everybody has to stand up here. And I know you understand. So thank you so much for everything you're doing.

COOPER: Well, I appreciate you joining us on the program tonight. I can only imagine how busy you are. Thank you very much, Senator Landrieu.
Mary has to play the game, you know.

*

"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing."

*

Another crack in the MSM appears in Reuters:

Budget cuts delayed New Orleans flood control work

Think about this: The above mentioned article was printed THIS WEEK, not "next year."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bush administration funding cuts forced federal engineers to delay improvements on the levees, floodgates and pumping stations that failed to protect New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters, agency documents showed on Thursday.

The former head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that handles the infrastructure of the nation's waterways, said the damage in New Orleans probably would have been much less extensive had flood-control efforts been fully funded over the years.

"Levees would have been higher, levees would have been bigger, there would have been other pumps put in," said Mike Parker, a former Mississippi congressman who headed the engineering agency from 2001 to 2002.

"I'm not saying it would have been totally alleviated but it would have been less than the damage that we have got now.
Can you put a dollar value on that?

"This is not the time for finger pointing!"
Since 2001, the Army Corps has requested $496 million for that project but the Bush administration only budgeted $166 million, according to figures provided by the office of Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Congress ultimately approved $250 million for the project during that time period.

Another project designed to shore up defenses along Lake Pontchartrain was similarly underfunded, as the administration budgeted $22 million of the $99 million requested by the Corps between 2001 and 2005. Congress boosted spending on that project to $42.5 million, according to Landrieu's office.
"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing.""

*

Another crack in the MSM...as seen on CNN.com

It's an easy one, because Michael Brown, the head of FEMA, just dug his own grave:

FEMA chief: Victims bear some responsibility

Compassionate conservatism 101.
(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.

"And to find people still there is just heart-wrenching to me because, you know, the mayor did everything he could to get them out of there.

"So, we've got to figure out some way to convince people that whenever warnings go out it's for their own good," Brown said. "Now, I don't want to second guess why they did that. My job now is to get relief to them."
They didn't get out...because they were too poor to do so.

"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing."

*

Another crack in the MSM. This time...MSNBC:
"This is a national disgrace," said Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans' emergency operations. "FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control," Ebbert said. "We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."

"We have got a mayor who has been pushing and asking but we're not getting supplies," he said. He said the evacuation was almost entirely a Louisiana operation. "This is not a FEMA operation. I haven't seen a single FEMA guy."

Mayor Ray Nagin, in issuing his dire plea in a statement to CNN, said: "Right now we are out of resources at the convention center and don't anticipate enough buses. Currently the convention center is unsanitary and unsafe and we are running out of supplies for 15,000 to 25,000 people."

Dead bodies outside center Outside the center, people complained that they were evacuated, taken to the convention hall by bus, dropped off and given nothing.

At least seven bodies were scattered outside, and hungry people broke through the steel doors to a food service entrance and began pushing out pallets of water and juice and whatever else they could find.
God help them all.

"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing."

*

You kow, this would be a good time to hear from the White House re: the issue of "finger pointing."

White House Briefing: McClellan Responds to Criticism Related to Hurricane

Ready?
Q: Scott, I know the President obviously is focused on response efforts right now, but can I talk to you about preparedness? Is the President satisfied with the way assets were pre-positioned, specifically in those areas like New Orleans and Mississippi, New Orleans particularly, a place that was identified by the Red Cross as being particularly vulnerable because of its geographical location. Is the President satisfied?

MR. McCLELLAN: One thing that I think is important to keep in mind at this time, this is the immediate aftermath of a major catastrophe. This is a time when the whole country needs to come together to help those in the region. And that's where our focus is.

THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO GET INTO ANY FINGER POINTING or politics or anything of that nature. This is a time to make sure all our resources available are focused where they need to be, and that is on the people who have been displaced or the people who have been otherwise affected by this natural disaster. And that's exactly what we're doing.
Got that?

"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing!"

I'll leave you with Jack Cafferty's CNN rant.

A major crack in the MSM.

It's becoming an internet classic:
“The thing that’s most glaring in all this is that the conditions continue to deteriorate for the people who are victims in this, and the efforts to do something about it don’t seem to be anywhere in
sight. I want to read you something, Wolf. This is a quote from an editorial:

‘A BETTER LEADER would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource. The cool, confident intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months following 9/11, has vanished.’

Now that’s not from some liberal rag; that is an editorial from one of the most conservative newspapers in the country, New Hampshire’s Union Leader. the New York Times, not unexpectedly, kind of chimed in. They said the president showed up a day later than he was needed and they excoriate him for appearing ‘casual to the point of carelessness.’ Harsh words coming from FEMA’s former disaster response chief, Eric Tolber [sp?]: ‘The government was not ready and shifted its attention from natural disaster to fighting the war on terror.’

The questions we ask on The Situation Room every afternoon, Wolf, are posted on the website 2 to 3 hours before we go on the air, and people who read the website often begin to respond to the questions before the show actually starts. The question this hour is: How would you rate the response of the federal government to Hurricane Katrina?

I’ve got to tell you something, we got 500-600 letters before the show even went on the air. No one -- no one -- says the federal government is doing a good job in handling one of the most atrocious and embarrassing and far-reaching and calamitous things that has come along in this country in my lifetime. I’m 62, I remember the riots in Watts, I remember the earthquake in San Francisco. I remember a lot of things.

I have never, ever, seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled
as this situation in New Orleans.

Where the hell is the water for these people? Why can’t sandwiches be dropped to those people who are in that Superdome down there? I mean, what is going -- this is Thursday. This storm happened five days ago. It’s a disgrace, and don’t think the world isn’t watching. This is the government the taxpayers are paying for, and it’s fallen right flat on its face, as far as I can see, in the way it’s handled this thing.”
Wow.

Oh, Bush just said he's looking forward to sititng on the front porch of Trent Lott's home - once Trent rebuilds "it."

More later...

"This is not a time to get into any finger pointing!"

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