Urbin Report

Friday, September 30, 2005

A very corrupt politician...

It's no surprise that Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, democrat, is trouble again. She's being sued by the state Attorney General on campaign finance charges. As Jay Tea points out:

Senator Dianne Wilkerson has a spotty record with regard to money. She once served six months under house arrest for failing to file her state and federal income taxes. She's been sued over unpaid loans and bills. She's been fined for prior violations.

This time, though, the state looked at her campaign's books and are kinda curious about $80,000 her campaign's spent over the last two years. It looks like she's been spending contributions on such things as pizza, groceries, "consultant fees" to her sons, and about $18,000 in unspecified "reimbursements" paid directly to her personal bank accounts.


The Boston Herald summarizes her career nicely:
She has been subjected to a series of highly publicized financial problems: failure to pay federal and state taxes and her student loans; stiffing vendors, including her own attorneys, out of tens of thousands in fees; and violating a federal judge's order of house arrest in 1998. She has been re-elected to the state Senate six times.

Welcome to Massachusetts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Those protesters are not "anti-war"

As Christopher Hitchens points out:

To be against war and militarism, in the tradition of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, is one thing. But to have a record of consistent support for war and militarism, from the Red Army in Eastern Europe to the Serbian ethnic cleansers and the Taliban, is quite another. It is really a disgrace that the liberal press refers to such enemies of liberalism as "antiwar" when in reality they are straight-out pro-war, but on the other side.


HT to Instapundit.

Serenity blogger reviews

Mr. Reynolds has a round up.

I have the Firefly DVD set and will be watching Serenity this weekend on the big screen.

We were just discussing this example of the MSM...



Update: The LA Times reports on the sloppy reporting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Pot stills calls the kettle black...

Via Blackfive comes this observation:

...CARL MUHAMMED takes his turn at the podium, lecturing us about the deep-seated racism in American society. “You may think that you’re open-minded, but you still haven’t confronted the racism you hold in your hearts.” This from a man who just minutes earlier had been waving a Palestinian flag at a mob of angry Jews...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Color me not surprised...

Al-Jazeera Reporter Convicted of Collaborating with Terrorists.

Details here, here and here.

HT to Ace.

Seek the truth and get attacked...

Tim Russert got slammed for trying to set the record straight according to today's Washington Times Inside Politics column:

A New Orleans area politician who a few weeks ago went on national television to tearfully blame the federal government for the death of an elderly woman in a nursing home grudgingly conceded yesterday that his story was untrue.
Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard, in a return appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," appeared surprised when host Tim Russert asked him to set the record straight. Mr. Broussard, in his earlier appearance, had accused the federal government of near-criminal negligence in the death of the 92-year-old mother of the parish's emergency services director.
Mr. Broussard's account of how the woman had drowned four days after the hurricane while awaiting rescue from the federal government has been refuted by the woman's son, Thomas Rodrigue, who said his last contact with her was on a Monday -- the day of the hurricane -- and not the following Thursday or Friday, as Mr. Broussard had suggested.
She apparently died that Monday, Aug. 29, with more than 30 others in the nursing home, at a time when responsibility for an evacuation or subsequent rescue clearly belonged to state and local officials.
Mr. Broussard said yesterday that he had been misinformed, but then lashed out at those who had questioned his story. "What kind of sick mind, what kind of black-hearted people want to nitpick a man's mother's death?" he said.


Now Mr. Russert deserves some grief, but not for this. Yesterday, he devoted a full half hour of his one hour program to a "round table" of three New York Times columnists, who spent the entire time explaining their personal theories on why every ill in the world can be traced to President Bush. Imagine the massive whining from the left if Fox News Sunday devoted a full half hour to columnists from the Washinton Times and/or the Wall Street Journal Opinion Pages?

A good summary of our immigration policy...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A loosing Proposition

Cinnomon Stillwell explains in detail why gun bans are a bad idea.
Here are some highlights:

If there's anything Americans have learned from the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it's that there are times when the government is simply unable to protect its citizens. The looting of nonessential items, robberies, carjackings, murders and rapes that overtook New Orleans as chaos gripped the city demonstrated what can happen when the government loses control.

Countless stories were told about unarmed citizens who were defenseless against the criminals who preyed upon them. Only those who were armed were able to fend off the encroaching violence. In such cases, self-defense is all that's left, which is perhaps why gun sales rose exponentially in Louisiana right after the disaster. The fact that police and military units in New Orleans later began confiscating those weapons does not bode well for the city's remaining residents.

If the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has its way, law-abiding residents could find themselves at the mercy of criminals in the event of a similar disaster. Given that the Bay Area is ground zero for earthquakes, it's not a very good idea to take away residents' capacity to fend for themselves. But Proposition H, a measure on the November ballot that seeks to ban handguns in San Francisco, would do just that....
While taking handguns away from citizens, Prop. H provides an exemption for "any City, state or federal employee carrying out the functions of his or her government employment," such as police officers and members of the military or the National Guard. In other words, it creates a police state. For such an anti-authoritarian city, this seems a strange goal indeed.
...
The Committee to Oppose Handgun Ban, which describes itself as "a grassroots liberal political action committee" and whose chairman Davy Jones is a "a LGBT community leader, union member, advocate for civil rights," hardly sounds like a bunch of right-wingers.
...
Apparently, respect for Second Amendment rights cuts across all ideological boundaries. Except for those of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, that is.

HT to the Heartless Libertarian

I'm not wasting any tears over this one...

By way of Cold Fury comes this report:

JEBALIYA, Gaza Strip - A truck filled with masked militants and homemade weapons exploded at a Hamas rally Friday, killing at least 15 Palestinians and wounding 80 — including children — bringing a grisly and terrifying end to one of the last gatherings by armed groups celebrating Israel’s Gaza pullout.

The blast sent a huge cloud of white smoke over the mass festivities, a sea of green Hamas flags and thousands of people gathered at Jebaliya, a Palestinian refugee camp that was the scene of harsh fighting between militants and Israeli soldiers during the past five years of violence.

Mishandled explosives apparently caused the blast, which came a day before an agreement by militants not to publicly parade weapons is to take effect.

Well deserved, and a long overdue Honor acknowledged

Via Blackfive is the story of Corporal Ted Rubin receiving the Medal of Honor at age 76 for his actions in the Korean War.
I agree with Blackfive, the write up by James Robbins at the NRO is the one to read.

The Usual Suspects....

Ace and Stop the Bleating point out that "a mild-mannered, middle-aged former schoolteacher" is a "novice protestor" according to the journalists at the Washington Post. Ace says that it's a good thing the the WP has "Multiple layers of painstaking editorial fact-checking."
A set of practices doesn't appear to include a simple google search.

It turns out that this "novice protester" is a member of ANSWER and has been helping organize antiwar protests for years.

Ace has a damn good summary:

It has long been claimed, even by conservatives, that press bias was not intentional, and was rather simply an effect of ideological blindness and a "willingness to believe." I am strongly beginning to doubt that.

Does anyone-- ANYONE -- think that if the WaPo interviewed a pro-life protester who claimed to have never gone to prostesting first-base before in her life (assuming they even deigned to cover such a protest, of course) they would have run her claims without checking?

Our fair-and-balanced press is determined to find a "mainstream," moderate, mom-and-pop kind of uprising against the Iraq War... and war as a general matter.

And goddamnit, if they can't find that sort of popular uprising they'll just have to help ANSWER invent it, won't they?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Civil Rights Victory

Say Uncle blog reports this good news:

The United States District Court for the Eastern District in Louisiana today sided with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and issued a restraining order to bar further gun confiscations from peaceable and law-abiding victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

He's back!

Leslie Bates points outs that long time favorite, Jon Bergstrom's Attack Cartoons are back.

Cool!

Friday, September 23, 2005

What did Senator Schumer know and when did he know it?

It looks like Dick Morris was close, but it seems it's the Senior Senator from New York who is following in the footsteps of Richard Nixon.
Hugh Hewitt is looking into Chuck Schumer's brass knucles gang at the DSCC and the criminal investigation into the stealing of MD. Lt. Gov. Steele's credit history via social security number fraud.

Here is an update from Captain Ed:

Senator Chuck Schumer, who runs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has long decried the potential for identity theft and the loss of privacy in the marketplace. In April of this year, Schumer introduced legislation to create an entire new bureaucracy for "data merchants", the Schumer-Nelson ID Theft Prevention Bill. What penalties does the Schumer-Nelson bill prescribe for violations? A thousand dollars per violation, for starters, and repeated violations probably would get escalated.

So what did Schumer and the DSCC do with two staffers that got caught with Lt. Governor Michael Steele's (R-MD) credit report? Apparently gave them a two-month vacation with pay, according to the New York Post:
Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Schumer-headed Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said two staffers were instantly suspended — with pay — in July after admitting they obtained the credit report of Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is running for Senate.

Sources familiar with the situation said the committee's head of research, Katie Barge, and a deputy, Lauren Weiner, got the credit report by using Steele's Social Security number, which they say they obtained from public documents.

Records obtained by The Post show the two continued to be paid by the Democratic committee at least through Aug. 31.

Stop by and get the rest of the story.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mark these words...

Tony points out what democrat Senator Harry Reid of Nevada (and Senate minority leader) had to say about the Senate and Presidental Judical picks:

Some say that the President is entitled to deference from the Senate in nominating individuals to high office. I agree that such deference is appropriate in the case of executive branch nominees such as Cabinet officers. With some important exceptions, the President may generally choose his own advisors.

In contrast, the President is not entitled to very much deference in staffing the third branch of government, the judiciary. The Constitution envisions that the President and the Senate will work together to appoint and confirm federal judges. This is a shared constitutional duty.

[emphasis added]


I wonder how those words will taste if a democrat is elected President in 2008 and the Republicans still control Congress?
The Washington Post (hardly a tool of the Conservative Right) notes:
"during those six years [of Republican control of the Senate during the Clinton Administration], the Senate confirmed 245 of President Bill Clinton's judges. If Republicans had been applying Mr. Reid's standard, they would have been within their rights to reject them all."


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

If you take your Star Trek a bit too seriously...

...don't stop by Gabe Koerner's Really Bad Star Trek.

...or perhaps you should to lighten up a bit. If you wore your Star Fleet uniform to Jury Duty, you are taking it a bit too seriously.

Interesting observation...

Elf Sternberg made the following observation at his daughter's school:

As I stood in the office waiting for the appropriate clearance to wander the halls, I spotted a line of third-graders being prepared to lemming into their classrooms, and there in the middle of the line stood an awkward, gangly, worried-eyed tart. She wore an open V-necked pirate blouse shirt, a stiffly starched miniskirt with ruffles, and child-sized boots that when worn by her more mature counterparts are usually worn with the purpose of eliciting the reaction, "Nice boots" and all that entails.

Her parents are blithering fools.

Humbert Humbert, the protagonist of Lolita, once described his conceit: Among the universe of ordinary little girls between the ages of nine and fourteen there exists a cadre of their peers, perhaps numbering no more than one in thirty, each of whom were aware of what her puberty meant to a dangerous degree. Enmeshed as she was in her innocent schoolgirl clothes, she knew she was or soon would be devastating to men of all ages. Humbert's fatal flaw was his attraction to such girls.

But today, with Gap for Kids and its ilk there's just no such thing as the protection of "innocent schoolgirl clothes." There is no lesson in public modestly being delivered with public approval. Maybe the school that deals with pre-pubescents does not believe it needs a dress code. I have trouble believing kids have an interest in dressing in such a way unless they feel compelled by some outside forces.

There is always the possibility of a trap, as well. After all, if a teacher were to point out that this young victim-in-training was inappropriately dressed, the parents today might react with both horror at the questioning of their sartorial choices-- it is, after all, a free country-- and suspicion that the teacher made the accusation precisely because he or she found the child's dress disconcerting in inappropriate ways.
...
I sometimes wonder if I want too much: I want adults to have the freedom to be adult, to enjoy the pleasures and privileges (and yes, the responsibilities) of adulthood, and I want children to have the power to be children, to lack those responsibilities, and I want the transition from one to another to be gradual, a flowering of awareness as kids grope blindly and painfully for that maturity they need. I am horrified by the fact that some parents believe that menarche or even earlier is to be conjoined with a showering of "gifts" upon the child such as an unlocked cell phone, the password to the household's NetNanny and a thousand-dollar shopping spree at Abercrombie & Fitch.


He makes a damn good point about the teacher not being able to say anything for fear of parents bringing charges against him/herself and the school. He also points out why democrats are doomed.

I don't think Kyoto would make a difference...

By way of Mr. Reynolds comes this report of Global Warming on Mars.


"New impact craters formed since the 1970s suggest changes to age-estimating models. And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress."

Meanwhile in Iraq...


From the Department of Defense: Commander Describes Routing Foreign Fighters From Tal Afar.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2005 -- The commander of coalition troops in Iraq today described "an extremely successful tactical operation" in which U.S. and Iraqi troops all but cleared Tal Afar, Iraq, of foreign fighters.

Tal Afar is one of two major transit zones for foreign fighters coming into Iraq, Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multinational Force Iraq, said from Baghdad today. The other route is through the Euphrates River Valley, farther south.

U.S. troops from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and Iraqi forces from the 3rd Iraqi Army Division have been working for two months to plan and prepare for an operation to "restore Iraqi control to Tal Afar," Casey said.
...
The combined force killed about 150 insurgents and captured roughly 350 more. Casey said officials estimate this accounted for about 75 percent to 80 percent of the foreign fighters and other insurgents they believed were in the city. "It looked like a pretty tough fight," he said.

Strong support from the Iraqi government made the soldiers' mission significantly easier, Casey said. In the days leading up to the military assault, Iraqi government representatives spent time in Tal Afar and brokered an agreement with local leaders from all local ethnic groups: Shiia, Sunni and Turkoman.

"The other piece of this that sometimes gets lost is the Iraqi government was very much involved in setting the conditions for success," he said.

Casey explained that local sheiks signed statements saying basically: "We've had enough. We ask for the military to come in and clean the terrorists and foreign fighters out of Tal Afar."

This led to support for the mission from the city's civilian population. "That had a huge impact on what we had to deal with with respect to the population of that city," Casey said.

Stop by Cox & Forkum for more details.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Morning Quotes

"Air America.... All the taste of Howard Stern, but without the naked chicks licking Jell-o off of some intern." - Laurence Simon

"Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator. And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators." -- Democratic Senator Zell Miller

"Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an element without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency." -- James Madison, Federalist No. 10

"Undocumented immigrants?" Could it be any more PC? Are bank robberies now to be called "undocumented withdrawals?" -- Jay Tea

"I don't know where my ideas come from. I will admit, however, that one key ingredient is caffeine. I get a couple cups of coffee into me and weird things start to happen." -- Gary Larson

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pallywood

From Brain Terminal comes:

Pallywood is a short documentary, available online, that shows how freelance Palestinian cameramen are funneling staged "war footage" through major media outlets into homes throughout the world. Naturally, these staged shots are engineered for the highest emotional propaganda value, intended to get the viewer to sympathize with the Palestinian cause.

SecondDraft.org exposes how broadcast media are duped--perhaps unwittingly, perhaps not--into becoming unpaid assistants of the Palestinian media effort.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ace's Haiku Contest

The first entry:

Put me some knowledge;
Why blame Bush for Katrina
If survivors won't?

Let us not forget the Communist Chinese

The World Tribune reports:

Five Chinese naval ships, including a guided-missile destroyer, were spotted on Sept. 9 near the Chunxiao gas field in the East China Sea — the site of a fierce Sino-Japan territorial dispute, Tokyo military officials said.

A Japanese P-3C patrol plane monitored the five Chinese vessels — including a 7,940-ton Sovremenny-class missile destroyer, two 1,702-ton Jianghu I-class missile frigates, a 23,000-ton replenishment vessel and a 6,000-ton missile observation support ship — as they cruised near the gas field, according to the Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Friday, September 16, 2005

How the far left media views the Air America Scandel

Interesting article in the San Diego Indy News.

They call it "Air Enron" and view the situation as "Corporate America steals from children and the elderly and the MSM wants to hide it."

Stop by and see how the far extremist left and Michelle Malkin sound alike sometimes... :-)

Back to the Moon!

CNN reports that NASA is rolling out its plans to have humans back on the Moon by 2018.
What is more important is how that is just a step in further exploration.

It's all a matter of perspective...

The Coyote slips up in today's Prickly City.

I guess they are just "mean-spirited"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pete Wilson Has Some Suggestions

Former California Governor Pete Wilson has some suggestions for rebuilding New Orleans.

Unfortunately, this doesn't include ways for the Donks to line their own pockets.
_

Let us not forget the Air Enron Scandel...

Michelle Malkin writes:

What Air America has failed to disclose is that at least one other of its officials held a key job at Gloria Wise. Yesterday, we confirmed with Martta Rose of Rubenstein Public Relations, which is representing the Boys & Girls Club branch, that Air America's Vice President of Finance, Sinohe Terrero, worked at the inner-city charity as finance director from 2000-2002 under Cohen. Though he left Gloria Wise for Air America before the controversial loan scheme was initiated, it strains credulity to believe that Terrero was completely in the dark about what kinds of things Cohen and his former colleagues were doing.

The city Department of Investigation has undoubtedly explored these ties by now.

But somehow, Air America neglected to mention Terrero's employment with Gloria Wise in its public statements addressing the deepening scandal and the two government probes of the financial transactions between the two parties. Go figure.

So, what did Terrero know? When did he know it? Did Air America ignore his warnings and is he now paying the price? Terrero, as we first reported last week, has apparently resigned. Both Air America and Terrero have failed to return repeated calls and e-mails seeking comment, but we hear the radio network is preparing to acknowledge Terrero's departure in the midst of another cash crunch and a thicket of legal crises.

In the meantime, there's a continuing cloud over the escrow account set up by Air America's lawyers for the $875,000 owed to Gloria Wise. The liberal radio network trumpeted its long-delayed move last week to repay the loan in full, but the escrow account is controlled by Air America's lawyer and it isn't clear that the full amount was in the account when Air America made its announcement. New York City Department of Investigation spokeswoman Emily Gest confirmed this week that the agency received a statement from Air America vouching for the full $875,000--but Gest emphatically declined to say when DOI received the statement.

As we understand it, Air America continues to be in jeopardy of failing to meet its payroll--even as it hits up investors for cash to fund the Gloria Wise repayment. The Radio Equalizer reported previously on these problems here.

Maybe it's not such a bad time to be headed out the Air America door...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

When is the governments response to a natural disaster not racism?

Obviously when a democrat is in the White House.
Thomas Galvin reminds us of the "Forgotten National Tragedy: Bill Clinton and 1,000 Deaths in the "Chicago Heat Wave" of 1995"

Hillary Clinton has called for a "Katrina Commission." How come she never called for a commission to investigate why at least 1,000 Americans died in a 1995 heat wave when her husband was president?

The "Chicago heat wave" killed more people than Hurricane Andrew, TWA Flight 800, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Northridge, CA earthquake, combined.

Hillary Clinton made sure she did the rounds of the morning network chat shows on Wednesday. She told ABC, CBS and NBC that "FEMA worked very well during the Clinton administration." And, criticizing FEMA director Michael Brown she said, "I would never have appointed such a person", a statement that sounds to me like it was the first salvo in the 2008 presidential election.

Curiously, Hillary Clinton did not point out what her husband and administration did to prevent widespread suffering as a result of the massive heat wave that struck the Midwest in 1995 and was particularly devastating to the city of Chicago.

Let's review the facts:
During July 12-16, 1995, Chicago experienced unusually high maximum daily temperatures, ranging from 93 F to 104 F (33.9C to 40.0C). On July 13, the heat index* peaked at 119 F (48.3C) -- a record high for the city.
-CDC Report

Mr. Galvin points out:
However, a five day period of an unfolding natural disaster was not enough to merit any federal attention or direct help from President Clinton. Perhaps it is necessary for the federal government to step in the aftermath of a hurricane but not a widespread heat wave?

According to the NOAA:
The [NOAA] report also recommends that emergency response organizations at the federal, state and local levels recognize severe heat waves as potential natural disasters, and that areas at risk should be prompted to develop emergency response plans for severe heat waves.

Mr. Galvin then points out:
Okay, so there was a call for better federal help in the future when it comes to helping local authorities deal with heat waves. After all, it should very easy for the federal government, "the cavalry", to come in because there are no physical limitations in entering a stricken city. The city of Chicago was not flooded, buildings were not destroyed, bridges were not taken out, and trees were not blocking roads. How hard was it for Bill Clinton to make sure that FEMA was rushed to Chicago to prevent thousands of poor and urban residents from dying of heat stroke? That's a question that could have been answered by a "Heat Wave Commission."

There's more.
Go read the whole thing.

The truth behind the bus story...

Bill Hobbs points out the truth behind the far left spin.

One of the facts of the case:

FACT — NEW ORLEANS HAD LESS THAN 300 WORKING SCHOOL BUSES: "The [Orleans Parish school] district owns 324 buses but 70 are broken down." [New Orleans Times-Picayune, 9/5/05]


Hmmm....Mr. Hobbs does the math:
Nagin did leave hundreds of buses behind, unused. In fact, according to the numbers cited in that Times Picayune article, and referenced by ThinkProgress, he had 254 usable school buses.

and then points out:
he question, then, is - did he use them? The now-famous AP photo suggests that he did not. It shows a large number of school buses parked in neat formation in a flooded parking lot. That parking lot, it turns out, is about a mile from the Superdome.

Were all of them working buses before the flood? Unknown. But - again, according to the newspaper article numbers referenced by ThinkProgress - no more than 70 of them were broken down. Which means that, at a minimum, there were around 185 working buses that were left to drown in the flood instead of being used to evacuate some of the city's poorest residents.

Overall, we know - thanks to the newspaper article referenced by Think Progress - that New Orleans had 254 school buses that it could have used to evacuate people.

The photo I've included clearly doesn't show 254 or 255 buses, so why, then, do I keep repeating those numbers? The answer is that a satellite photo of flooded New Orleans shows the entire bus lot, while the AP aerial photo above shows only part of it. The blogger who found the satellite photo counted approximately 255 buses in it.
...
He counted 255 buses, the Times Picayune said that city had 254 working buses - the coincidence suggests the buses shown in the flooded parking lot in the AP aerial photo and the satellite photo are the city's working school buses.

254 buses, carrying 60 people per bus, could have evacuated 15,240 people per trip. How many trips to Baton Rouge - 75 miles away - might they have made if mobilized two days before Katrina hit? Two? That's 30,480 poor residents evacuated. Three? That's 45,720 people evacuated. The Superdome didn't need to be a shelter of "last resort" for tens of thousands of poor people to ride out Hurricane Katrina. It needed to be a central boarding station for a mass evacuation by bus before Katrina struck.

But the 254 working city school buses made zero trips.

That is undeniable fact.

Then he's back with more actual facts:
The fact is, the official evacuation plan for New Orleans stated that the city was to mobilize its school and transit buses to evacuate people from the city in advance of a major hurricane. The city failed to do so. The fact is, the official evacuation plan for southeastern Louisiana stated that transit and school buses were to be used to evacuate people in advance of a major hurricane. The state failed to do so. Santorum is absolutely correct.

As for the Globe report that FEMA only sent 100 buses when the Louisiana National Guard requested 700, consider it closely. When did the LNG ask FEMA for the buses? "On Sunday, the day before the storm..."

It is not all that surprising that FEMA could not move 750 buses to New Orleans on such short notice. It is rather remarkable they were able to get 100 buses there that quickly.

Why did the Louisiana National Guard wait until, essentially, the last minute to request FEMA to send buses?

Perhaps they were waiting for New Orleans and the state to implement its own evacuation plan, which stipulated that city transit and school buses would be used to evacuate the city's poorest residents.

Or perhaps they were waiting for an order from Gov. Blanco. She, after all, is the commander of the Louisiana National Guard.

Blanco and Nagin knew Katrina had a high probability of being a monster storm and of hitting New Orleans three or four days before it arrived. Yet Nagin failed to implement the official plan to use his city's transit and school buses to evacuate his poorest residents, and Blanco's National Guard waited until too late to request FEMA to send enough buses to accomplish the task.

If - as it seems clear - Nagin and Blanco weren't intending to implement the official evacuation plan to use city transit and school buses, the next logical question then is why did Blanco wait until the last minute to ask FEMA to send buses?

Blanco caught on tape

Paul from Wizbang has the story:

For all of you who keep blaming Bush and trying to protect Blanco, I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. Blanco got caught on tape by CNN admitting she did not ask for Federal Troops. When she didn't think the cameras were live, she made the startling admission to her press secretary.

AND that's not even the worst of it....

Why didn't she ask for federal troops? As Blanco explained to her press secretary as she wiped away tears, if troops came in, they would "put good people in jail."

She was more worried about the "poor looters" than she was the victims. This is outrageous.
SHE WEEPS AT THE THOUGHT TO THROWING LOOTERS IN JAIL!


Then she tells her press secretary, "I really need to call for the military, I mean, I really should have started that in the first call." BUSTED!

When Miles O'Brien asks her what day it was she asked for Federal troops, she tried desperately to stammer her way thru the answer like a 9th grade foreign language student trying to mumble their way the the oral part of a final exam. When pressed for an answer, Governor Blanco breaks down and has an Admiral Stockdale moment, replying:
"I don't even know what day it is."



Update: Gary from Rightpundit points out:
The second, and most significant point that even the ever insightful Paul missed, is Governor Blanco’s statement about not wanting federal troops in New Orleans because they would arrest looters disproves her spin that she thought she was asking for troops when she asked President Bush for everything he had. She can’t have it both ways.

Creating a more sensitive war zone...

This showed up in my inbox today.
It's probably humor.

RECENT ORDERS TO TROOPS IN IRAQ.


To: All Commands


Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts


Ref: ComMidEastFor Inst 16134//24 K


All commanders promulgate upon receipt. The following T-shirts are
nolonger to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian
personnel serving in the Middle East:


"Eat Pork Or Die" [both English and Arabic versions]


"Shrine Busters" [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery
shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]


"Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy" [Both English and Arabic versions]


"Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more." [Both English and
Arabic versions]


The road to Paradise begins with me." [Mostly Arabic versions but
some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs]


Guns don't kill people. I kill people." [Both Arabic and English
versions]


"Pork. The other white meat.' [Arabic version]


"Infidel" [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]


3. The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon
receipt of this directive.


4. The following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this
message:"Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range
At 0800 Daily."


"Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?"


5. All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon
receipt.

Checking what's happening at Turtle Bay...

According to this article from Reuters, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton issued a number of amendments to the recently passed "Goals" of the UN Assembly. Those amendments and US provided language on the goals of the new Human Rights Council were "denounced" by Communist Cuba and Venezuela.

If Cuba and Venezuela don't like what you are doing about Human Rights, you are on the right track!

Hardly surprising was the "insistence of Islamic countries" resulting in the deletion of wording describing the targeting of civilians by terrorists as "unjustified."

Morning Quotes

"One single object... [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation." -- Thomas Jefferson

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane." -- Jane's Law

"Remember: No matter what your politics, 50% of the country disagrees with you (unless you support Ralph Nader, then pretty much everyone thinks you’re a loon)." -- Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr

"The existential root of Libertarianism is the experience of being very bad at taking orders from morons." -- Leopold Leider

It doesn't matter how you vote, the government always gets in

"The atmosphere in which social legislation is considered is not a friend of truth." - The late Sen. Patrick Moynihan (old school liberal democrat, New York)

"Michael Moore would never withstand the scrutiny he lays on other people. You would think that he’s the ultimate common man. But he’s money-obsessed." -- Douglas Urbanski, Moore’s former manager

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The scoop on the Rokr and iPod nano

Dawn C. Chmielewski has been covering high tech for while.
She now has a regular technology column in the Mercury News.

In her current column, she gives reviews the Rokr & iPod Nano.

Ahhh...the smell of Cordite in the morning!

The latest Carnival of Cordite is out!

A Poll politicans should pay attention to.

The Washington Times reports:

By a 3-to-1 margin, Americans say border control is far more important to national security and fighting crime than gun control, according to a nationwide Zogby survey.
The survey, commissioned by the Second Amendment Foundation, found that 70 percent of the respondents said border control is more important, while only 23 percent favor more gun control. Seven percent of the respondents were undecided.
The survey was conducted Sept. 6-7 by randomly contacting more than 1,150 households around the country. The margin of error was 2.9 percent, the polling firm said.

Politicizing diasaster

Via the Washington Times Inside Politics Column comes this New York Post Editorial:

"So, while many Americans were busy contributing money, clothing and other necessities for hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast residents, what was Sen. Chuck Schumer up to?
Raising money off the backs of Katrina's victims -- for the Democratic [Senatorial] Campaign Committee"
"In one of the more cynical tricks we've seen lately, Schumer's DSCC urged visitors to its Web site to sign a petition urging the firing of Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown, the focus of much of the criticism of the federal response to Katrina. ...
"A click on the petition opened a page requesting a donation to the DSCC, the party organization focused on recruiting and supporting Senate Democrats.
"Only after the press blew the whistle did the tasteless scheme end. The committee yanked the link and agreed to donate any funds raised to charity. ...
"Chuck Schumer should be ashamed of himself."


Senator Schumer does have a lot to be ashamed of. He is, however, the only Senator from New York.
Out of the two Senators representing New York State, he is the only one who proactively provided assistance and personally went to NYC to meet with the families of FDNY & NYPD members who were killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01.

MegaTraveller on CD

For those of you who appreciate the classic SF RPG, the Mega-Traveller version is now available on CD.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Reality vs. Bush Bashing...

From today's Washington Times Inside Politics column:

"It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow," Pittsburgh Press-Gazette national security writer Jack Kelly says.
"'Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency,' wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.
"But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth," Mr. Kelly writes.
"Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that: 'The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support ... was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.'
"For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three [days].
"Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.
"So they libel as a 'national disgrace' the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history."


In the same Column the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes is quoted.
"Their criticism of Bush began soon after the levees broke in New Orleans and picked up steam once it became clear that thousands of people were stranded in New Orleans without food, medicine, or imminent prospects of being rescued. And the media, more hostile to Bush than ever, adopted the Democratic line that the slowness of rescue and recovery efforts was the fault of Bush and [Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael D.] Brown," Mr. Barnes said.
"Now, after politicizing Katrina and dividing the country, Democrats insist, disingenuously, that Bush depoliticize the issue and unify the country. He should go about this, Democrats argue, by choosing a 'unity' nominee for the second Supreme Court vacancy. Unity in this case means a candidate Democrats like. And he should jettison his domestic agenda, especially tax cuts. If Bush falls for this, he deserves to have his job rating drop"
"There's a good test of whether criticism of Bush is purely partisan. If the accuser also directs blame at Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who froze in reaction to Katrina, and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, so overwhelmed by the hurricane that he didn't carry out the city's emergency plan, then the criticism might have some merit. Another test is whether a critic cites real examples where FEMA failed to carry out one of its missions. Rescuing people from roofs isn't one of them. Most critics, like [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi, fail to offer any specifics."


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Go Navy!

In addition to playing a large part in the Katrina relief, they have a really slick destroyer on the way.
The DD (Rex).
It's fast, quiet and packs a big punch.

HT to Mark in Mexico.

Here is one they missed...

New Orleans police are going door to door and conducting home invasions to illegally confiscate legally owned firearms from Katrina victims.

According to this post by Ace, they seemed to have missed one.
It's probably a safe bet, that the man in the picture has the typical leftist views against private firearms ownership, which of course, don't apply to him...

Welcome to all Ace of Spades HQ readers!

Let us not forget

Four years ago today, terrorists attacked the United States in New York and Washington, D.C.
Another attacked was stopped by the passengers of Flight 93, at the cost of their lives.

Glenn Reynolds has a memorial post, as does Michelle Malkin, Cox & Forkum, Ace, and Jay Tea of Wizbangblog.

Political Quote of the Day

"If Senator Mary Landrieu were as good at busing black people to safety as she was at busing them to the polls to vote, none of them would have died."

HT to Paul at Wizbang.

Update: Senator Landrieu was on Fox News Sunday today. She did a good job of avoiding and ignoring any questions about accountability of state and local officals and kept on her message of blaming President Bush.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Civil Rights being violated in New Orleans

The confiscation of privately owned firearms by the government (in this case, the City of New Orleans) is clearly illegal as Dave Kopel points out:

I'll have an article on the New Orleans gun confiscation on Reason.com. But there's one part of the story that's too important to wait: the confiscation is plainly illegal. . . .

The particular Louisiana statute which allows emergency controls on firearms also clearly disallows the complete prohibition being imposed by the New Orleans chief of police.


HT to Mr. Reynolds

Friday, September 09, 2005

Let's not forget UNSCAM

By way of Mr. Reynolds comes this Wall Street Journal editorial reminding us of the corruption at Turtle Bay.

So it was that the largest fraud ever recorded in history came about. Press reports often cite the overall size of Oil for Food at $60 billion, but Mr. Volcker's report makes clear that the real figure was in excess of $100 billion. From this, Saddam was able to derive $10.2 billion from illicit transactions. But the important point is that he was able to steer 10 times that sum toward his preferred clients in the service of his political aims. None of this happened by accident. . . .

As for the U.N., it proved its worth to Saddam as the one hall of mirrors in which such shenanigans could take place. Yet even now we are told that "at least" Oil for Food fed the Iraqi people when they were on the edge of starvation, and this is accounted a U.N. success. That is false. Oil for Food offered a lifeline of cash and influence to a regime that was starving its people. The program did not corrupt the U.N. so much as exploit its essential nature. Now Mr. Annan wants to use this report as an endorsement of his "reform" proposals. Only at the U.N. could he dare to think he could get away with this.

The Coast Guard comes to the rescue!

Paul over at Whizbang reports that FEMA Chief Brown has been relieved and recalled to Washington, D.C.

CNN reports that he has been replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen.

The US Coast Guard is the worlds 7th largest Navy with a good history of saving lives under difficult circumstances.

Let's let some reality shine in...

Dr. Charles Krauthammer lays out the facts and lets the chip lie where they may.

In less enlightened times there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).

A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush.

This kind of stupidity merits no attention whatsoever, but I'll give it a paragraph. There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period. The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans. As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed those of the five preceding Clinton years. The notion that the allegedly missing revenue would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and that the reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy. The argument ends when you realize that, as The Post noted, "the levees that failed were already completed projects."


There is plenty of blame to go around, and Dr. Krauthammer assigns it in decending priority:

1. The mayor of New Orleans. He knows the city. He knows the danger. He knows that during Hurricane Georges in 1998, the use of the Superdome was a disaster and fully two-thirds of residents never got out of the city. Nothing was done. He declared a mandatory evacuation only 24 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit. He did not even declare a voluntary evacuation until the day before that, at 5 p.m. At that time, he explained that he needed to study his legal authority to call a mandatory evacuation and was hesitating to do so lest the city be sued by hotels and other businesses.

2. The governor. It's her job to call up the National Guard and get it to where it has to go. Where the Guard was in the first few days is a mystery. Indeed, she issued an authorization for the National Guard to commandeer school buses to evacuate people on Wednesday afternoon -- more than two days after the hurricane hit and after much of the fleet had already drowned in its parking lots.

3. The head of FEMA. Late, slow and in way over his head. On Thursday, Sept. 2, he said on national television that he didn't even know there were people in the convention center, when anybody watching television could see them there, destitute and desperate. Maybe in his vast bureaucracy he can assign three 20-year-olds to watch cable news and give him updates every hour on what in hell is going on.

4. The president. Late, slow, and simply out of tune with the urgency and magnitude of the disaster. The second he heard that the levees had been breached in New Orleans, he should have canceled his schedule and addressed the country on national television to mobilize it both emotionally and physically to assist in the disaster. His flyover on the way to Washington was the worst possible symbolism. And his Friday visit was so tone-deaf and politically disastrous that he had to fly back three days later.

5. Congress. Now as always playing holier-than-thou. Perhaps it might ask itself who created the Department of Homeland Security in the first place. The congressional response to all crises is the same -- rearrange the bureaucratic boxes, but be sure to add one extra layer. The past four years of DHS have been spent principally on bureaucratic reorganization (and real estate) instead of, say, a workable plan for as predictable a disaster as a Gulf Coast hurricane.

6. The American people. They have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the past 30 years -- but that is a column for another day. Now is not the time for constructive suggestions. Now is the time for blame, recrimination and sheer astonishment. Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that, as bodies are still being found and as a public health catastrophe descends upon the city, he is sending 60 percent of his cops on city funds for a little R&R, mostly to Vegas hotels. Asked if it was appropriate to party in these circumstances, he responded: "New Orleans is a party town. Get over it."

Hmmm...I don't recall seeing a report that the Mayor of New Orleans was spending money to send city employees (where were mostly AWOL during the flooding) to Las Vegas for some R&R on the front page of the Boston Globe.
Imagine the hue and cry if a Republican mayor had done that...

HT to Mark In Mexico

Early Effective Reponse is key...

That is one of the first and very important things you are taught when you take First Aid and CPR courses.
Chris Muir points ot that the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans probably never took such a course.

Keeping the facts straight

I had one commentor state that the federal DHS "discouraged the Red Cross from coming in early saying it would encourage people to stay."

Close, but no cigars on the Circus-Circus rotating bar.

Ace points out that it was actually Louisiana's Department of Homeland Security that did that.

Update: Not just the Red Cross, but the Salvation Army was kept out of New Orleans by the Louisiana DHS as well.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

When Common Sense trumps political orthodoxy

The Spoons Experince provides an example.

[Liberal] Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn looks at New Orleans and discovers -- hey, maybe guns can be useful sometimes after all!

He ulitimately remains undecided, but it's still interesting to watch his common sense and human nature at war with his political orthodoxy.

Lessons to be learned from Katrina

Mr. Reynolds has a good list.
Here is summary

1. Don't build your city below sea level
2. Order evacuations early
3.Have -- and use -- a plan for evacuating people who can't get out on their own (don't let buses get flooded)
4. Have an emergency relocation plan
5. Make critical infrastructure survivable
6. Stock supplies and prepare facilities
7. Be realistic
8. Put somebody in charge
9. Make people care

Reviewing history...

For all those who live in the world where all evil started on January 20, 2001, let us review the reality that the rest of us live in.
Via Curt & Eu Rota:

February 17, 1995

An Army Corps of Engineers "hit list" of recommended budget cuts would eliminate new flood-control programs in some of the nation's most flood-prone spots - where recent disasters have left thousands homeless and cost the federal government millions in emergency aid.

Clinton administration officials argue that the flood-control efforts are local projects, not national, and should be paid for by local taxes.

Nationwide, the administration proposes cutting 98 new projects in 35 states and Puerto Rico, for an estimated savings of $29 million in 1996.

Corps officials freely conceded the cuts, which represent only a small portion of savings the corps ultimately must make, may be penny-wise and pound-foolish. But they said they were forced to eliminate some services the corps has historically provided to taxpayers to meet the administration's budget-cutting goals.

June 23, 1995

A hurricane project, approved and financed since 1965, to protect more than 140,000 West Bank residents east of the Harvey Canal is in jeopardy.

The Clinton administration is holding back a Corps of Engineers report recommending that the $120 million project proceed. Unless that report is forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget, Congress cannot authorize money for the project, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson's office said Thursday.

On June 9, John Zirschky, the acting assistant secretary of the Army and the official who refused to forward the report, sent a memo to the corps, saying the recommendation for the project "is not consistent with the policies and budget priorities reflected in the President's Fiscal Year 1996 budget. Accordingly, I will not forward the report to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance."

July 26, 1996

The House voted Thursday for a $19.4 billion energy and water bill that provides $246 million for Army Corps of Engineers projects in Louisiana.

The bill, approved 391-23, is the last of the 13 annual spending measures for 1997 approved by the House.

One area in which the House approved more financing than the president requested was for flood control and maintenance of harbors and shipping routes by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Flood control projects along the Mississippi River and its tributaries were allotted $303 million, or $10 million more than the president wanted.

June 19, 1996

The Army Corps of Engineers, which builds most flood protection levees on a federal-local cost-sharing basis, uses a cost-benefit ratio to justify a project. If the cost of building a levee is considered less than the cost of restoring a flood-ravaged area, the project is more likely to be approved.

For years, the Jean Lafitte-Lower Lafitte-Barataria-Crown Point areas couldn't convince the corps they were worthy of levee protection. But the use of Section 205 and congressional pressure has given the corps a new perspective, Spohrer said.

But even so, when the Clinton administration began to curtail spending on flood control and other projects a year ago, the corps stopped spending on Section 205 projects even after deciding to do a $70,000 preliminary Jean Lafitte study, Spohrer said.

July 22, 1999

In passing a $20.2 billion spending bill this week for water and energy projects, the House Appropriations Committee approved some significant increases in financing for several New Orleans area flood control and navigational projects.

The spending bill is expected on the House floor within the next two weeks.

For the New Orleans District of the Army Corps of Engineers, the panel allocated $106 million for construction projects, about $16 million more than proposed by President Clinton.

The bill would provide $47 million for "southeast Louisiana flood control projects," $16 million for "Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity hurricane protection," $15.9 million for the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock on the Industrial Canal in New Orleans and $2 million for "West Bank hurricane protection -- from New Orleans to Venice."

Most of the projects received significant increases over what the Clinton administration had proposed. The exception: general flood control projects for southeast Louisiana, which remained at the $47 million suggested by Clinton. Local officials had hoped for double that amount.

February 8, 2000

For the metropolitan New Orleans area, Clinton's budget was seen as a mixed bag by local lawmakers and government officials. For instance, while Clinton called for $1.5 billion to be spent at Avondale Industries to continue building LPD-17 landing craft, his budget calls for significantly less than what Congress appropriated last year for Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity hurricane protection and for West Bank flood control projects.

September 29, 2000

The House approved Thursday a $23.6 billion measure for water and energy programs, with sizable increases for several New Orleans area flood-control projects. The Senate will vote Monday, but it may be a while before the bill is enacted.

President Clinton is promising to veto the annual appropriation for the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers, not because it is $890 million larger than he proposed, but because it does not include a plan to alter the levels of the Missouri River to protect endangered fish and birds.

May 8, 2005 (extra)

Ten years ago today, the Bonneaus and hundreds of thousands of New Orleans area residents rode out a rain unlike any they had ever experienced. The flood killed six people and generated more claims than any in the history of the National Flood Insurance Program. In its aftermath, Congress created a new role for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and federal and local governments spent more than a half-billion dollars to widen and line drainage canals, bury culverts bigger than cars and beef up pumping stations.

But not even those improvements could prevent massive flooding if a storm of similar intensity were to strike today.

Curt sums it up well,
And I will agree with GEA3 at Eu Rota, that the above should not be a slam against Clinton, just showing the hypocrisy of those on the left who want to blame everything and anything on Bush.


Update: Lou Minatti points out how money gets spent on everything except fixing the levies

Getting to the root of the matter...

Leslie Bates pointed to an online comic I used to read, called Under the Lemon Tree.

I found one strip there that gets to the real issue many people have.

While we're on the subject of online comics, Prickly City makes a good point today.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Curt is on a roll...

He has a lot of very good stuff over at Flopping Aces.

Stop by, and start reading.

The Navy's Effort

The Winds of Change has a list of US Navy ships involved in rescue and recovery operations in Katrina cleanup.

The Navy has an online photo gallery of some of their efforts.

HT to Ms. Malkin for the photo gallery link.

R.I.P. Little Buddy...

Actor Bob Denver, best know as Gilligan on the 60's TV show "Gilligan's Island", died yesterday.
According the Washington Times, died Friday at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in North Carolina of complications from treatment he was receiving for cancer.

Let's keep things "Reality Based"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Right on queue...

The Daily News reports that democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who sits in the seat of a New York Senator, has called for "a 9/11-style probe into how the federal government responded to the crisis."

While it looks like FEMA does need some looking into, I find it interesting that she makes no mention of investigations into the utter lack of preparedness of the Louisiana and New Orleans governments to handle a large scale emergency.

Update: Local infighting and finger pointing has begun between New Orleans Mayor Nagin and Lousiana Gov. Blanco.
Covered by CNN.
HT to Ms. Malkin

Who's got the biggest ship?

For all you serious SciFi fans out there, here is a Starship Size Comparison Chart.

HT to the folks at The Corner.

The Blame Game

Hardly surprising, there is an ongoing, scripted, effort to politicize a natural disaster.

One who is not, and kudos for taking the high road, is Former President William Jefferson Clinton.
Captain Ed points out that he took CNN's Suzanne Malveaux to task for playing partisan politics with the Katrina relief efforts.
Captain Ed has a damn good summary of former President Clinton's action and those of CNN.

Clinton took over this interview because he knew that Bush 41's response would just be considered the normal response of a father defending his son, and that Bush had too much class to go after Malveaux. In fact, Clinton's response aimed not just at Malveaux but the entire crew at CNN, especially Jack Cafferty, who crowed about the fact that 500 CNN viewers had nothing better to do than write e-mails criticizing the current President Bush. (Later in the segment, Cafferty upped the number to 6,000, proving that he didn't bother to listen to Clinton on his own network.)

Thank you, Mr. President, for reminding people that our focus should remain on the difficult work ahead in rescuing the victims and starting the recovery process. Anklebiters, nitpickers, and partisan hacks should step aside and let the grown-ups take over.

I'm personally not a big supporter of former President Clinton, but that doesn't stop me from giving him credit for doing the right thing.

Jeff Goldstein has a good "post-flood reaction" post.
Here are some highlights:
"...it looks like the Governor specifically has to request troops. It does not look like the President can send them in on his own authority just because a state of emergency has been declared.”
...
Couple this with Robin Roberts’ reminder that “Federal planning guidelines instruct the state and local governments to expect Federal aid to take 3 to 4 days to arrive and be prepared to handled the situation for that long”—consistent with the actual arrival of federal aid after the Tuesday levee breaks, and despite enormous logistical obstacles (the absence of infrastructure, flooded roads, and no centralized communication—which NO accepted monies to assure wouldn’t happen)—it seems to me that the FEMA response was appropriate.

He also quotes this Washington Post article:
Other federal and state officials pointed to Louisiana’s failure to measure up to national disaster response standards, noting that the federal plan advises state and local emergency managers not to expect federal aid for 72 to 96 hours, and base their own preparedness efforts on the need to be self-sufficient for at least that period. “Fundamentally the first breakdown occurred at the local level,” said one state official who works with FEMA. ‘Did the city have the situational awareness of what was going on within its borders? The answer was no."


LASunsett quotes Danielle Crittenden's post as another example of those calling for cooling heads. Here is the money quote from Ms. Crittenden:
What will the left NOT blame on a Republican president?Here is the condensed wisdom of the liberal media on why the Bush administration is ultimately responsible for the disaster of Hurricane Katrina:

LASunsett sums it up well:
What follows is a pretty good list of idiotic accusations by the usual batch of clowns on the left.

The leftists have proven themselves time and time again that they do not possess to the capabilities of holding intelligent debates. They contribute little and they achieve little. They do not stand for anything, yet they stand against anything, as long as it is the opposite position of President Bush.

Accusing Bush for all of the ills of the world is a strategy that lacks effectiveness and credibility, especially when the accusations are out of Galaxy X, and have no evidence to support their weak and faulty claims. The funny thing is, these ills all existed before Bush was President, they existed before he was ever born. But somehow, someway, he just has to be the culpable one. I guess they slept during history class.

As I've said before, in order for the democrats to regain the trust of the majority of Americans to right of Howard Dean, they have to start with being for something rather than just being the Anti-Bush team. Running against someone is a losing plan. See the Republican attempt to recapture the White House in 1996 for a prime example. The democrat Presidental runs in 2000 & 2004 qualify as well.

Cold Fury remembers the left's reaction to the DHS recommendation that Americans have an emergency readiness kit. The portion of the kit for dealing with attacks and natural disasters should have, ideally, “at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food” and a corresponding amount of water - a gallon per day per person.
Cold Fury goes on to say:
Yet when he announced the suggested measures that we all take to prepare for potential terror attacks or natural disasters, he was met with nothing but mockery. So much so, that his name is synonymous with duct tape - since that’s the only thing anybody in the MSM (or for that matter the lefty blogosphere) cared to discuss.

Thanks for undercutting it, my patriotic left wing friends, and calling it partisan scare mongering. What kind of a warped mind, can spin basic common sense as partisan bickering.

So answer me this, how many of the displaced persons in New Orleans secured a ready kit? If none, then why not? They can’t all be that poor - three days food and water is pretty cheap, especially if you’re buying the non-perishable staples (e.g. beans & stuff) recommended.

Do you remember what the left said about Ridge, that it was just foolish alarmism for political gain? The only thing the left could focus on, was duct tape. I would argue that the partisan sniping from the left, in the form of ongoing and repeated rants about about duct tape, caused people to really dismiss the message Secretary Ridge was trying to put out. The message was simple: The Feds can’t prepare for everything. You have to be ready to survive for 72 hours. After that, FedGov can get enough stuff in place to help.

He goes on to provide a long list of examples of the left attacking HSD Head Ridge at the time.
HT to Jay Tea

Update: By way of Ace comes these facts gather by NRO's The Corner that I'm pretty sure will never make the front page of the Boston Globe:

--“The mayor and the governor are negligent and incompetent. The administration has tried to smooth out the chain of command, but she won't do it. The constitution says that the governor is in charge of the Guard.” ...

--“None of those poor people were moved prior to the storm. They were told to go to the Superdome, but they had to walk there. Whose responsibility is that?”

-- “General Honore in one day got 20,000 people evacuated from the convention center with a ground and air evacuation. Have you heard about that in the media?”

...

--“There will be 50k troops there by mid-week, a combination of active duty and National Guard. Including elements of 82nd Airborne Division, First Cavalry Division, and two Marine brigades. That's in just over a week. That's amazing. But no one realizes it. They had to trot General Honore out this morning to try to explain to the media how you move troops. There were National Guard pre-positioned in the north part of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana two days the storm, watching the storm, seeing which way it was going to go, and once the storm hit, moving troops in immediately. There was a flow-plan that's been working since.”

--“The constitution says the governor is in charge of the Guard. The president would have to invoke the Insurrection Act to over-ride that. No president has done that since the Civil War. And he would have to do it over the head of the governor. Bush is not there yet.”

...

--“The New Orleans police disintegrated. The national response plan calls for state and local to be the first on the scene. But the catastrophe wiped out the whole local infrastructure and the emergency communications. 80% of the police disintegrated and they are just not beginning to re-constitute.”

Monday, September 05, 2005

Thanks!

A big thanks to those of you who have bought stuff through my Amazon links.
It helps support my reading, viewing and listening habits.

Some interesting stuff. I can tell what was bought (but not by whom...).

The usual suspects of martial arts material. Some of GM Parker's books and some of Dr. Yang's DVDs.


A copy of Heinlein's Starship Troopers (the book, not the movie), excellent choice.
To go with that the Roughnecks DVD and The Forever War. Nice.

Some Doc Savage. Great stuff.

Michael Z.Williamson's latest. That's on my list to read.
Some John Ringo as well, and the first Honor Harrington book.

There's more, all good stuff. Thanks again!

The Washington Boys & Girls Club better watch out...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

But it has a good sound track...

I've never seen the film, That Summer, but I have the soundtrack album.
Having not seen it is probably a good thing, since one reviewer calls it, "so cheesey that it would take pride of place in the cheese counter of Mrs Miggins Cheese Shop."

Great sound track though...
Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only ONes
Spanish Stroll by Mink DeVille
...and more by The Romones, Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric & Patti Smith.

As far as I can tell, still only available in the rich sounds of vinyl...

Sadly, I'm not surprised by this...

The far left extremists over at the DU respond predictably about the death of Justice Rehnquist.
NRO's The Corner links to a post that says:

Bet he died days ago and they are just announcing it now to try and take the heat off bush. One man has died, well guess what, thousands have died and more are still dying.

Mississippi Gov. Barbour takes on CNN

Mark in Mexico points out where Gov. Barbour corrects CNN's Miles O'Brien about Katrina.

R.I.P. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist

The Washington Times reports that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died yesterday at his home in Arlington.
In addition to his legal career, he served in the Army Air Corps as a sergeant in North Africa during World War II.

Update: Tigerhawk has a review of the obituaries.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

There are those on the left helping rather than blaming...

Rob points this out. Good for them.
The Moonbats should try the reality that rational people live in.

Oh ya, Rob has a funny post about the rumors on the next Harry Potter book.

At least I found it funny, but I'm enough of a geek to get the references.

Predictable...



Friday, September 02, 2005

Hate Radio

There is some vile bile coming over the airwaves these days.

Ace has the goods on one of the usual suspects, Air Enron's Randi Rhodes.

The Radio Equalizer goes into more of the sordid details, as does The Maryhunter.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A good summary on the Air America Scadal

Nicholas Varchaver has a good article in Fortune on the subject.
Here are some, ahem, money quotes:

To liberals, corporate double-speak and financial shell games rank as cardinal sins. That’s why it’s been jarring to see the progressive talk-radio network Air America accused of the kind of maneuvering that the Al Frankens of the world would normally rush to condemn.
...
Following word of the investigations (Eliot Spitzer’s state gumshoes have since joined in), Air America, whose CEO is now former record executive Danny Goldberg, retreated into opaque legalism. An official statement in late July explained that a new entity now controls Air America and that it "had absolutely no involvement" with the Boys & Girls Club. That was technically true, but it left out the fact that the new entity consisted of the same asset—Air America—and many of the same investors, including heavyweights such as RealNetwork’s Rob Glaser. In other words, the new entity looked suspiciously like the old entity.
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And a second dispute is now stoking their wrath. This suit began when Air America—er, its prior ownership entity—sued MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting, a station owner, for kicking it off the air in two cities in April 2004 because the network hadn’t paid its bills. MultiCultural won a $255,000 judgment. Not our problem, says Air America’s lawyer Michael Schlesinger of Latham & Watkins. He argues that the current owners bought only the assets of Air America’s original owner and left the debts behind. It’s "a completely new group of ownership," he says. Hogwash, says Randy Mastro of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, who represents MultiCultural: "Air America engaged in the oldest trick in the book. They tried to reorganize themselves to avoid paying their debts."


Oh ya, I found this story on the main page of cnn.com.

Putting things in perspective

Austin Bay looks at how America handles a crisis

We’ve a million people dispossessed and they are suffering. Critics grouse that the response to Katrina’s devestation has been abysmally slow. Compared to what? Slow compared to our expectations is the correct answer. Compared to every other nation on the planet, we’re moving at warp speed to address a natural disaster of extraordinary magnitude.

Watch what happens over the next week, as American aid organizations, religious groups, and willing individuals act. America’s great wealth is matched by its generosity. America is responding decisively to Katrina’s tragedy.


Go read the whole thing. He gives examples of other, non-natural disasters and how those refugees were treated, and by whom.

Flood Aid

Mr. Reynolds has a roundup.

V-J Day

Today is V-J Day. My thanks to all the surviving WWII veterans and the families of those who have passed.

Jay Tea has an interesting historical look at V-J Day.

Thoughts on using coffee grounds as compost...

I'm told that used coffee grounds make great compost, but personally I don't put decafe grounds on mine.

I just don't see Gaia as a decafe drinker...