“waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region — and gave them two days to arrive,” according to internal documents obtained by the AP. (Via TPM)
in Kerr County, TX, according to CREW.
DON’T: Loot a $37 DVD player from a flooded Wal-Mart
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan: “I hope the looters are shot.”
Instapundit.com’s Glenn Reynolds: “People [looting nonessentials] should be shot.”
Atlanta talk show host Neil Boortz: “Now I’m serious here … not just saying this for effect. Shoot to kill.”
TownHall.com column: “Shoot Looters.”
DO: Loot millions of dollars from ordinary Americans by hiking gas prices across the country up to several dollars per gallon, all under the political cover of a horrible natural disaster
National Review: Gouge On: A Defense of Gas Profiteering
AEI scholar John Lott: A Look at the Positive Side of Price-Gouging and Greed
Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers just wrapped up a live press conference with Sec. Rumsfeld on the Defense Department’s response to Katrina.
Myers repeated Michael Chertoff’s debunked claim that newpapers on Tuesday had said, “New Orleans Dodged a Bullet.” But then he went a step further — Myers claimed that “most of the papers” carried that headline on Tuesday, and that the Defense Department’s response to Katrina was developed with “those words…in our minds”:
The headline, of course, in most of the papers on Tuesday — “New Orleans Dodged a Bullet,” or words to that effect. At that time, when those words were in our minds, we started working issues before we were asked, and on Tuesday, at the direction of the secretary and the deputy secretary, we went to each of the services. I called each of the chiefs of the services. One-by-one I called them and said, we don’t know what we will be asked for yet. The levees and the floodwalls had just broken and we know some of what will be asked because we had some requests for assistance already. There is probably going to be more.
Too bad Gen. Myers never received a copy of Tuesday’s Times-Picayune. The banner headline that morning: “CATASTROPHIC: Storm Surge Swamps 9th Ward, St. Bernard; Lakeview Levee Breach Threatens to Inundate City.”
The Chief of Staff is a guy named Patrick Rhode. He planned events for President Bush’s campaign. Rhode has no emergency management experience whatsoever. From Rhode’s official bio:
His first position with the Bush Administration was as special assistant to the President and deputy director of National Advance Operations, a position he assumed in January 2001. Previously, Mr. Rhode served as deputy director of National Advance Operations for the George W. Bush Presidential Campaign, in Austin, Texas.
The Deputy Chief of Staff is Scott Morris. He was a press flak for Bush’s presidential campaign. Previously, he worked for the company that produced Bush’s campaign commercials. He also has no emergency management experience. From Morris’s official bio:
Mr. Morris was also the marketing director for the world’s leading provider of e-business applications software in California, and worked for Maverick Media in Austin, Texas as a media strategist for the George W. Bush for President primary campaign and the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign.
These guys make Brown look qualified. And that’s no small feat.
about his handling of the Katrina disaster, President Bush declared today he would “lead an investigation” to find out what went wrong. No word about appointing an independent commission to do the investigating.
Today, the Washington Post printed an editorial by Ronald Rotunda defending John Roberts’s ethical conduct. Rotunda argues it was perfectly appropriate for Roberts to hear arguments about the Bush administration’s policy on military commissions in Guantanamo at the same time he was interviewing for a Supreme Court appointment with top White House officials.
Here is how the Post bills Rotunda:
The writer is a law professor at George Mason University; he rejoined the faculty in June after working at the Defense Department and was not assigned to the Hamdan case.
The Post doesn’t mention that Rotunda was working at Defense Department as a legal advisor for military commissions. In other words, he was directly involved in the exact subject of the case in controversy. When Roberts sided with the Bush administration, he validated Rotunda’s work.
Rotunda’s role at the Department of Defense is a conflict-of-interest in its own right. Nevertheless, Rotunda has repeatedly offered his analysis to the media and members of Congress without disclosing his job with the Defense Department. Here is what Rotunda said when confronted by the Legal Times about it:
I don’t know what I was supposed to do, Should I include a long list of disclosures on every piece of legal advice I give, like you get when you buy a bottle of Benadryl?
Yes. You should include relevant disclosures before you give legal advice. For more info, see The Rules of Professional Conduct.
Rotunda has a long history of using his ethics opinions to curry favor with the White House. The Washington Post shouldn’t be helping him.
MICHAEL BROWN, Director of FEMA, 9/6/05:
People want to lash out at me, lash out at FEMA. I think that’s fine. Just lash out, because my job is to continue to save lives.
JACK NICHOLSON, starring as Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men:
I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
about whether President Bush would fire FEMA Director Mike Brown” at this morning’s press gaggle. “McClellan said that while the press is interested in playing the blame game, the White House is focused on helping people.” Sound familiar?
The AP reports that Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary that came under fire for its reconstruction work in Iraq, “has begun tapping a $500 million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities that were battered by Hurricane Katrina.”
Under fire for mistreatment of whistleblowers and under investigation in Nigeria, France, and the U.S. for allegedly paying kickbacks and performing a variety of other corporate misdeeds, Halliburton’s past performance raises serious concerns about whether they’re the right company to help pull the Gulf Coast out of what may end up being the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history.
The appropriation of hurricane recovery funds also highlights Halliburton’s special interest connections to the White House. On February 1, 2005, The Allbaugh Company, under the name of M. Diane Allbaugh, registered to lobby for Kellogg, Brown & Root. The lobbying registration form lists Joe M. Allbaugh, former 2000 Bush campaign manager and former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as KBR’s official lobbyist. Read more