"On Topic" With Doug Krile

Friday, September 30, 2005

Quick Friday Update

Just because I CAN!

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Link Dump for Friday

Trying something a little bit different today. I'm using a new RSS Aggregator program to breeze through the growing list of blogs that I try to read. It can automatically generate a nice list of those posts that I think you'll find interesting. Let me know what you think. Is this too bland? Enough information to give you an idea of the contents?

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ready to Roll With Some Thursday Updates

We'll get things underway with the New Orleans Police Spokesman, trying to answer questions about allegations that police officers were looting in the afternath of Katrina. He prefers saying it somewhat differently. Give me a break!

Looks like there is some payoff to all those trips to the Gulf. The polling numbers have turned a bit better for the President.

More, now, on the administration's lack of response to an congressional order that they figure out a plan to reimburse soldiers for body armor that they had to buy on their own! Senator Dodd is really angry.

Tom Delay. Indicted. The guy who's taking his place as Majority Leader isn't exactly Shirley Temple.

This video is blatantly one-sided, but well-done. Tom Delay. On FOX News last night. They've edited snippets of what he said together. Not fair. Not balanced. But entertaining.

From Bloomberg. Margaret Carlson goes into attack mode against the Bush Administration. One-sided, too. But she makes her point.

Well, guess the Washington Post might as well pile on, too. Tough words for the GOP.

The Dems seem to be mounting a focused campaign to take advantage of GOP negatives. Harry Reid seems to be at the top of the heap.

Ya KNOW this isn't unique to the GOP, but the Republicans are getting blasted for it, first. Push-polling in advance of 2006 elections.

Amazing new marketing technique. Sign up to let the National Guard recruiters contact you. And you get three free iTunes downloads. It'll probably work. But, do you really want people that desperate to get 3 free 99 cent downloads? That's trading $3.00 for.... well, I'll leave that to you to fill in.

Ya know, I may have to rethink yesterday's post about Air America. Things may not be pretty over there, in spite of what the bosses say. And, I have to remember - I bought a Sirius satellite radio because I wanted to be able to hear a broad range of talk radio. I like the idea that Air America was part of it. Until they sold out and signed an exclusive deal with XM Radio.

Yup. For real. Horrid smell. Spreading across the country. What is it?

The Breaking News of the night: Judith Miller is out of jail. Her source gave her permission to talk to the grand jury. According to THIS, he did so more than a year ago!?!? So, why did she choose to sit in jail all this time? And what happened today to change things?

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Almost to the Weekend

We're on a downhill run for the weekend. We finally got a little break in the heat around here. Supposed to get down into the upper 40's tonight. THAT's gonna be a real shock to the system when I reach out to grab the paper tomorrow!

So, stay comfortable at the computer for right now. And work your way through today's collection. Let's start with some photographs. I use that term, rather than "pictures", because Alan Chin is one of the best photojournalists around. His photographs from New Orleans say more than any words could hope to say. In Chin's words:
"I shot it in black-and-white because we live in America, so no matter what happens, we always have visual elements that are very distracting. I was one of the only people who did this in black and white. I felt it should not be distracted by color, by the fact someone might have been wearing a hot pink t-shirt. I didn't want that irony in it. I wanted to get to the heart of the matter -- to the crucial thing."

Once upon a time, I thought Rush Limbaugh was, at least, a good "entertainer". Perhaps he's just turning into a mean-spirited old man. This kind of talk isn't entertainment. And is certainly mean. What does he hope to accomplish with tirades like this?

Wonder what he'd say about this. The polar ice cap is melting. At a record rate. Oh, I know. He's saying Global Warming isn't for real.

I'm betting Rush would be all over this one, too. An Alabama State Senator says Katrina happened because New Orleans was evil. But, sir, what about the churches that flooded?
The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary was flooded by Katrina. Erwin said the Baptists knew they had put themselves on the front lines ministering in a sinful place that could be targeted.

Tom Delay's being fingerprinted (after being indicted). Bill Frist is trying to explain his Blind Trust. As the investigation widens. Not good times.

Simple math. How many Number Two guys in Al Qaida ARE there? Good question! Anybody have the answer?

Here's a military man who is really going out on a limb. He's raising some very serious, and very important, questions about Iraq and prisoner abuse. Pleading to eliminate confusion in the military. Confusion over exactly what constitutes torture. Seems absolutely amazing that there should be ANY confusion, doesn't it? Read his letter to Senator John McCain. You may have to scroll down to find it. Permalink doesn't seem to be working right.

And, then there is this news that ANOTHER judge has ordered the release of photos of the abuse in Iraq .

And there is still a little matter of body armor and protecting Americans fighting the War in Iraq. Seems there was a plan, but the Defense Department hasn't done what it was ordered to do.

This one might have slid by in the attention being paid to Delay and Frist yesterday, but some eagle-eyed bloggers snagged it for posterity. President Bush has pardoned a number of criminals. On the list for freedom: convicted drug dealers, ebezzlers, even someone who used explosives on an energy facility.

For those of you who bookmark The Drudge Report and count on that site for your news, consider this little posting at MediaBistro. They try to hold "journalists" feet to the fire. Drudge doesn't get a passing grade.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday Night Update

Just a few. But, they are pretty darn interesting. Want more? Post links in the comments. We'll return the favor.

Surprise! We won't be cutting troops in Iraq any time soon. Yup. Nuf said.

NBC/MSNBC does some checking. Oops. Prisoner abuse IS systemic. Not good. At all.

Global warming? How long can the administration ignore it.

Bill Frist. Ooops. Read the comments.

Has FEMA learned? Nope. Not according to this report.

And you just HAD to know that there would be a Delay post. Who wrote this stuff?

There have been a lot of right-wing attacks lately on Air America. Here is the official response. The numbers are up. People are listening. Things are changing.

This is just wrong. We MUST address this issue.

Another Time. Another Hurricane. And we handled it differently.

And, THIS is not good. Not good at all. If we ARE blocking health care coverage.

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If It's Wednesday, There Must Be Linkage

Lots going on today - so, let's get right to it.

Your tax dollars at work. Cruise ships in the aftermath of the hurricanes.

Do some digging in the Katrina funding bill. Looks like somebody slipped in some school vouchers.

Malkin with an interesting take on the New Orleans police "meltdown".

The big blog topic in the past 24 hours (until the Delay indictment came along) was the revelation that some of the news reports about extensive death and destruction in New Orleans just didn't pan out. Such is the danger of live television and word-of-mouth information. Now, there's another report of a major tragedy. And it appears to be legit. Prisoners. Abandoned. Hundreds missing.

Great post from Matilda's Advice and Rants, another Little Rock blog. Here's what the men face when they return to the oil rigs in the Gulf. Dayumm! They grow those snakes big down there!

Kos wraps up a number of energy-realted topics in one tidy post.

Isn't this just flat-out WRONG? A Congressional candidate who hopes the Katrina victims don't move back in. He says the district would become Republican if the poor stayed away. You can't make this stuff up!

Now, it may be Bill Frist's turn. The Blind Trust that may not have been all that blind.

And, guess what? It's official. The SEC is investigating.

And, just for good measure, Here's some early blogging on the Tom Delay indictment.

And, don't let anybody tell you the DA who got the indictment is partisan. The record just doesn't support that.

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Quotable Quotes

Somehow, I missed this when it was first printed. Thanks to Gene Lyons in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for referencing it in his opinion piece today.
The most telling description of the Bush administration may have come from a White House aide who used the term "reality-based" as an insult. According to journalist Ron Suskind, who described the incident in a 2004 New York Times Magazine article, the aide mocked the stuffy, pedantic, presumably liberal view "that solutions [to political problems] emerge from. . . judicious study of discernible reality." "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he added. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality judiciously, as you will well act again, creating other new realities, which you can study, too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors. . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." Well, history's actors are suddenly hunting for a revised script. According to The Washington Post, with the president's poll numbers sinking, White House aides "who never betrayed self-doubt now talk in private of failures selling the American people on the Iraq war, the presidents Social Security plan and his response to Hurricane Katrina." We've had quite enough salesmanship, thank you.

The entire piece is worth reading. You'll have to work your way through the guest membership thing to get to it, but it's worth it. Click here to get started.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Lots of new referrals from trackbacks tonight. To those of you finding us that way, please come back. We are trying to make a difference. Our little TV show has a growing audience. And you can help us do more. Thanks for stopping by. Come back. And comment.

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Go For It. A Few More

A smattering of updates.

Were there some lies told at the Brown hearings today? Might have been, it seems.
The torture in Iraq stories that have been circulating under the MSM? Well, they're coming to the surface.

What really happened in New Orleans? Did the media overstate the facts? Might be. But it wasn't planned and wasn't intentional.

Now, let's do the latest poll numbers. Check the Arkansas numbers. Or your state.

More on the Michael Brown testimony today. Let the finger pointing begin.

Why fighting the censors matters. It's our children.

And, here's one more. On the torture story. Strange.


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Your Tuesday Double Dose

Yes, my friends, it's a day with TWO big posts! Make sure that you scroll down and check out today's earlier posting of numerous links. I might suggest hitting that post first, since some of the links in this post are updates.

You've heard about former FEMA boss Michael Brown's testimony before that Congressional Committee today - in which he said he thought he'd done a darn good job of running FEMA. He said a lot more, though. And the bloggers have been busy comparing today's statements with earlier quotes. Darn researchers! They dig up the darndest things!

I wondered about a number he tossed out in defense of his performance. So did this blogger. She has an explanation. Problem is - it just begs more questions and answers.

So, how did he do? Brown Gets The Pinata Treatment From Congress Today. That's the headline. Read the blog. He doesn't exactly make the administration look good. Especially when he said he told President Bush and Andy Card that Katrina was going to be bad. He called them the weekend BEFORE Katrina hit. Double-ouch.

Great stuff last night on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Chris vs Congressman Peter King. They're talking about the wisdom of no-bid contracts and the President's apparent lack of information about Hurricane Katrina. Another example of mainstream media holding officials responsible and not letting them slide. Good job.

And, yes, the media HAS gotten a bit of a boost because of the hurricane coverage. Deservedly so.

From the heart. There is no New Orleans. A resident returns home.

Another problem in New Orleans. A huge backlog in criminal cases. Many now in limbo and in doubt. This could get ugly. REAL ugly.

It's a blogger vs the newspaper columnist. This just makes for fascinating reading. A blogger takes issue with what a Houston columnist wrote about Rita. A debate via email ensues. And the winner is.....

Pictures tell the New Orleans story. This guy is very good. Alan Chin is the man with the camera.

Just in case somebody emailed you what was supposed to be an advance copy of a speech President Bush was to deliver today, here's the REAL story. Not a Bush speech at all. But it's ABC News that takes the fall for the gag. Not good. Not good at all.

Why can't the children just get along? Franken and Limbaugh certainly have different views on things. Franken's blog does the math to help Rush understand something.

Arkansas Times' Blog has the lowdown on more DC attention for the Governor. And a reporter who decided to question some numbers the Gov was throwing around. 'nother oops.

And, we leave you with a photo op from our friends at Matilda's Advice and Rants. Heh Heh. Funny.

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On The Road Again

Yup. The President is on the road again. Back along the Gulf Coast. Getting the latest on damage (or non-damage) to the oil refineries. So, let's see - you have Air Force One, probably some helicopters, certainly a bunch of ground transportation - all just after the President asks all of us to trim travel plans to conserve fuel. This is not sitting well with mainstream media and the bloggers.
In fact, Bush has been flying all over the place, apparently for the sole purpose of photo-ops intended to boost his sagging polling ratings.
Every time the president boards Air Force One, it costs taxpayers about $55,000 an hour. It also, of course, uses an untold amount of fuel.
Which leads us back to yesterday. Bush wants us to avoid non-essential travel while he gallivants across the country for unnecessary stagecraft? In fact, at yesterday's White House press briefing, reporters asked if the president is willing to follow his own advice, either by curtailing his own travel, conserving energy use by the White House staff, or even using fewer cars in the presidential motorcade. Scott McClellan didn't know of any specific steps Bush was prepared to make.

COMMENT: It takes me back to a media ethics class I took years ago. The professor was arguing that reporters should not even allow themselves to have a cup of coffee with someone they were interviewing. All just to avoid the "appearance of impropriety". Seems you could apply that same philosophy to the President's trips. It is difficult to see any overwhelming benefit from them. Please, comment away. Maybe you disagree with me and agree more with this blogger. He says people just don't care one way or the other.

Here's more on the costs involved every time the President flies.

You would expect the left to be all over Michael Brown for FEMA's reponse (or lack, thereof) to the hurricanes. But, I continue to be surprised at the criticism coming in even from the right.
Brown had a deadly habit of assuming things were getting done instead of taking responsibility himself.

Many, many, interesting statements coming out of Michael Brown's testimony before that congressional committee today. Not the least of which was his allegation that a blogger defamed him. Oh, come on now!

As long as everybody is "piling on," take a look at how the Bush team is apparently trying to pay religious groups who volunteered to help with hurricane relief efforts.
This is yet another attempt by the failed Bush team to win back support from their wingnut supporters who are probably also many of the same people who have traditionally complained about the size of the federal government and taxes.

Think it's just some critic blowing smoke? Here's the Washington Post story that started all the debate.

A lot of blog postings today about the latest round of torture allegations in Iraq. Cenk Uygur writes a great column today on what the allegations mean to America. The soldiers who were there are speaking out.
We would give them blows to the head, chest, legs, and stomach, and pull them down, kick dirt on them. This happened every day. [Military intelligence personnel] wanted intel. As long as no PUCs (Persons Under Control) came up dead, it happened. We kept it to broken arms and legs.

Finally, for now, Some good news. Really. Click and read about the Iowa man who became a U.S. citizen and won the lottery all in day.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

A Few Updates for Monday

Can ya' dig it? Brownie is back at FEMA. As a consultant.

Hmmm. Interesting point. There was confusion on Wall Street today. Over oil prices. This might explain why.

Tax Cuts. Limbaugh-style.

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Can Today Possibly be Normal?

Of course not! We've just been abnormal for so long it's starting to FEEL normal. Wicked weather around here this weekend. But, as with Rita, it could have been a lot worse. So, let's give you some things to look at.

Ugly. Ugly. Nearly a mainstream story now. Do-it-yourself Abu Ghraib scandal.

Expected, I guess. Here goes Newsweek, on the attack again. Hyper-critical of the President.
The president didn't look all that relieved or happy, however. His eyes were puffy from lack of sleep (he had been awakened all through the night with bulletins), and he seemed cranky and fidgety. A group of reporters and photographers had been summoned by White House handlers to capture a photo op of the commander in chief at his post. Bush stared at them balefully. He rocked back and forth in his chair, furiously at times, asked no questions and took no notes. It almost seemed as though he resented having to strike a pose for the press.

The Bill Frist Blind Trust story was all over the talk channels on Sirius this weekend. (We spent a lot of time in the car!) Here's a link to a blog we don't frequently use. But she has links to a couple of additional sites where you can read all about it. Certainly in the "something is fishy here" category.

Oops. Our Governor attracks the attention of left-leaning bloggers. Again.

"Journalism" at its best worst. DHS - The Series. Simply unbelievable. Follow all the links. It's all there. Step by step by step.

Blaming the message or the messenger? The stories just didn't preove true.

Care to meet some real heroes? The "regular" folks who took matters into their own hands and went to help after the hurricane.

You either believe Broussard or you don't. TheJefferson Parsh President who told the emotional story of the death of the mother of one of his co-workers during Katrina. Bloggers jumped on the story, saying it didn't fit the actual timeline. Here's some analysis and a clip. Broussard is strong. Very strong.

Got accused over the weekend of posting only anti-Bush links on this blog. They are certainly in the majority, but you'll find that on many blogs, even some who claim to favor the Right. So, in all fairness, I'm digging a bit deeper into the Right. Figure you can't go wrong with Michelle Malkin for that view. But, I do hate that term "moonbats" - just because they oppose the war.

And, here's her take on the report we linked to earlier - on how some of the reports of deaths in New Orleans were exaggerated. Extremely exaggerated.

There may be some answers here, to some questions raised in Malkin's blog entry. How DID so many rumors end up being reported as fact?

Malkin gets a triple today. And, yes, I would agree that Bill Maher kinda stepped over the line. Making fun of momma is stretching things a bit.

How did the President do with Rita? Better? Worse? "Say Anything" blog says the media's not playing fair.

It's all just a game of scapegoats. Who's it going to be this time? So asks the blogger.

We've posted poll numbers for President Bush many times. Looks like British Prime Minister Tony Blair is getting the same feedback. Time to figure out how and when to get out of Iraq.

Okay, here's a pretty good left vs white on blog analysis of the anti-war protest this weekend. Gotta love the title: Protest Turnout: A Picture's Worth a Thousand Lies.

And, here's the first list of the GOP's suggested budget cuts (Operation Offset) to fund hurricane cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Interesting list. Attacked by the blogger. Visciously.


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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Friday Follies. And, Yes, Many of them ARE.

Sorry for the late posting. Doing a bit of travelking this weekend. Forgot to hit the "send" button on my way out!

Our President. Trying to be just a little humorous in talking with reporters. They want the story. He's looking for somebody named Bianca. If you think the transcript maybe didn't do it justice, here's a video clip. Uh Huh. Still ain't pretty.

Speaking of not pretty. Houston. The evacuation. And the poor. Sound familiar?

A short analysis of the latest Presidential poll numbers. Down. Again. And what we're spending in Iraq should go to hurricane relief. Instead.

This is really fascinating. Where all the Katrina evacuees went. And what it means.

Little Rock's liberal weekly, the Arkansas Times, gets referred to an interesting piece in the Washington Post that ends with a Clinton quote that says a lot:
"We are so arrogant because we are obsessed with the present," he told his guests at the conference's end. "I've reached an age now where it doesn't matter whatever happens to me. I just don't want anybody to die before their time anymore."

Frist. From the Associated Press. An SEC probe?

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

All Rita. All The Time.

Well, not really. In fact, to prove there ARE other things to talk about, here's more on the Bill Frist stock deal. This is worth keeping an eye on. Can you figure out what just doesn't sound right about his story?

Time's up. Did you figure out what it is? Cenk Uygur does the work for you right here.

Wesley Clark. ARKANSAN Wesley Clark. Staying in the spotlight, making a name for himself in DC.

Now. Rita. Watch Mr. Press Secretary dance around the inevitable question. Not just a dance. A true tap dance.

Leftover from Katrina.

Like the rain bands around a hurricane, The corruption probe of Jack Abramoff is widening. And taking in more people.

How about this for a plan to trim the federal budget and pay for the hurricane cleanup?

Did you catch it? The President spoke today. And he linked the hurricanes and terrorism. Tomorrow he's flying to Texas. But it's NOT a photo op. Really? I'll bet there are a few pictures taken.

It's always entertaining when Bill O'Reilly tangles with someone who can hold his own against him. Phil Donahue does it. And does it well.

Another media showdown. Watch as this blogger blows a Rush Limbaugh argument right out of the water. Pun intended.

I resisted putting a link up to this story all day long. Now, it seems to be everywhere. You're gonna read it somewhere, so it might as well be here. Save you the trouble of reading it in a hurry in the supermarket checkout line.

One more White House Press Briefing. Read it closely. it's a parady. Most entertaining.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Keeping Things Lively, Let's Do Some Updates

Keeping Rita in mind, here are some things that need to be done before Rita hits. And the problems likely to result if they can't be done.

Arkansas Times blog says Incredible story about the latest batch of evacuees flown from Texas to Arkansas. You run the $$$$ figures.

If it's good for the goose, then it's good for the gander. Right? The email is making the rounds. Read it here first.

Here's your nightly, frightening, update on the bird flu. Doesn't look good overseas. How long until we're dealing with it here?

Oh, sheesh. Those darn White House Reporters and their pesky questions.

A Texas blogger calls it quits. Says Rita is too big. He's leaving.

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Here Comes Rita. And She Appears to be Really Angry.

There's a more colorful term that I wanted to use, but this is - after all - somewhat of a family-friendly blog! Hurricane Rita is occupying a lot of space in the blogosphere today. Here's a great collection of links to local Texas media and local bloggers who are keeping track of things.

We are somewhat fond of pointing out contentious debates at White House Press Briefings. Here's one from New Orleans. The mayor gets in trouble and the Mr. Honore has to step in.
Honore: You are stuck on stupid. Im not going to answer that question.

Hurricane experts at LSU are saying the contractors who built some of the levees in New Orleans may have done their work poorly. And, in fact, may be at fault for the big break that flooded much of the city.

Okay. Gotta be some questions asked of Senator Frist about this incident. Sure smells that he might have known of something in advance.

The blogger is correct. With so much attention on Katrina and Rita, we've kind of forgotten about Iraq. That's bad. Catch up here.

Talk of a bit of price gouging here and a rather spectacular request from a group of governors. they are going after the oil companies, big-time.

Probably should not go here, but it is an interesting question. Who is God targeting now?

Here is your FEMA-bashing information of the day. It's been looking like they MIGHT be operating a bit more efficiently for Rita, but I'm not completely sold on the idea of progress. Yet.

The Arkansas Times posts a link to a Maureen Dowd commentary on the President's frequent trips to the hurricane zone. She uses the word "pathetic" in her description. The Arkansas Times adds that "We (here in Arkansas) get to feel his pain this weekend."

Time for the official kick in the gut. Allstate says it won't pay any flood claims from Katrina. None. Nada. Nothing.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hospital Hell - Thanks to FEMA?

Simply unbelievable. Here's how the sick and elderly lived (and died) in Katrina's wrath.

Dan Rather. On the warpath. Talking about an "atmosphere of fear" in many newsrooms. Fear because politicians apply pressure on the companies that own the media.
He said this pressure -- along with the "dumbed-down, tarted-up" coverage, the advent of 24-hour cable competition and the chase for ratings and demographics -- has taken its toll on the news business. "All of this creates a bigger atmosphere of fear in newsrooms," Rather said.

The Mirror - a UK newspaper - takes the United States to task for Katrina. Big time.
"There will be a cloud of smoke above Little Rock soon - of burned food, of anger and of shame that the world's richest nation couldn't organise a p**s up in a brewery and lets Americans starve while they arrogantly observe petty regulations." The Mirror

The Little Rock reference is apparently because much of the donated food is warehoused here.

Will wonders never cease?! Michelle Malkin writes: No More Cronyis: Bush DHS Nominee Doesn't Deserve The Job. Pretty darn incredible!

Priorities. Priorities. The FBI is not happy. We're pushing porn above terrorism. Mr. Gonzales at work.

We've often said we would NOT want Scott McClellan's job as White House Spokesman. It's starting to look like maybe he's not too crazy about it anymore, either. just going through the motions.

A good idea from McCain. A really bad response from Rep. Don Young. Young is the king of "pork". And he doesn't want to share.

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Update - Huckabee and the Blogosphere

Finished supper and was scanning some blogs, while keeping an eye on Countdown and the Hurricane Rita watch, when this one obviously caught my eye. Some left-leaning bloggers have just realized that Arkandsas Governor Huckabee MAY make a presidential bid. And they are not happy about it. The quote:
Mike Huckabee instills fear.

Why, you might ask? Read the blog. Most interesting.

I think this makes three new polls today. All showing Bush's speech last week hurt, rather than help, him.

Ooops. Looks like Rush kinda talked himself almost into a corner today! Rush, Rush, Rush. Plan, Prepare, Plan.

Here's one to bookmark. A blogger who understands hurricane forecasts. Watch him as he tracks Rita.

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Here We Go Again

Another Monday. Another week. We're still in our temporary policy of posting links to multiple blogs, instead of just focusing on two from The WB 42 5:30 Report.

So, let's kick it off today what something that was prime feeding ground for talk radio and the bloggers - Bill Clinton, breaking with protocol, chastising President bush in several areas. make sure you scroll down and read the comments.

And, from Governor Huckabee, some pretty outspoken comments on the tax issue.

Speaking of money. There's a new report out that says Bush is the biggest spender since LBJ.

Another poll. Another drop for the President. Even after the speach.

The latest from Iraq. Somebody stole a billion dollars from the Defense Ministry. Now THERE'S a government ready to act on its own.

Speaking of Iraq, let's define "success" in the war.

Now THIS is good, probing, reporting. 20 crises and FEMA has problems in EVERY one of them. It just doesn't get much worse than this.

Think about this for a while. Run the numbers yourself.

And, more numbers ($$$$) here. Profiteers. Meet one. You KNOW it will happen.

UPDATE: AmericaBlog has come up with something incrediblly telling about the status of the Bush administration. Insiders are using terms like "we're sunk". It's all reported in the ultra-conservative American Spectator.


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Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Few For Sunday

Another Louisiana sheriff is not a happy camper. And he's pointing fingers at the state and federal folks, particularly FEMA.

Sunday Special. You simply won't believe it.

TIME Magazine gets a "thumbs up" for good work with an article that digs deep into our military philosphy in Iraq. And why it isn't working very well.

OK, it's a shared "thumbs up". Newsweek gets one of the thumbs for tracking down this bit of information showing how the administration can move quickly. In handing out no-bid contracts to friends.

And, maybe, we need a little Iran action, just to fill the military down-time.
When the going gets tough for the Bush team, they start a war. The 2006 elections are right around the corner.Of course, to anyone paying attention, and I suspect the Iranians are paying attention, we seem to be a little over-extended. I wonder if Condi and Bush know that.

Can Louisiana handle what's ahead? Let's start the corruption-watch now. Quite a record they have going. Even BEFORE Katrina.

And the hits just keep on comin'. Doctors and nurses, turned away by FEMA. The worry? Lawsuits. Read all about it.

Just to help you sleep better tonight, a little update on global warming and the police ice caps. It ain't pretty folks. In fact it's pretty downright scarey.

If that doesn't give ya' nightmares, try this one on for size. Big troubles in Baghdad.

Oh, heck. One more for good measure. Really. WHY is the N.O. Mayor inviting people back in? It just ain't safe to go in the water, folks.

One more to close it out tonight. Karl Rove. Off the Record. Simply amazing.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

It Just Gets Worse and Worse

Somebody. Somewhere. Needs to get a handle on FEMA.
Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina cut its devastating path, FEMA--the same federal agency that botched the rescue mission - is faltering in its effort to aid hundreds of thousands of storm victims, local officials, evacuees and top federal relief officials say. The federal aid hot line mentioned by President Bush in his address to the nation on Thursday cannot handle the flood of calls, leaving thousands of people unable to get through for help, day after day.

From Last Night in Little Rock Blog: Weapons of Mass Destruction Found

Guess who will administer the restoration funds in Louisiana?
Senior officials in Louisianas emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.

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Lawmakers Want 9/11 Report Made Public

Give me an argument as to why it should not be made public. This just seems like common sense to me. Next thing you know, they'll do the full-scale investigation into who messed up the Katrina response, and then keep it secret! And, this cost HOW much?

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Yup. As I said earlier - there is something strange about all those double-wides moving down the freeway.

Shades of Disenfranchisement to Come

Those who do not learn from history are doomed in the future to repeat the mistakes of the past. The WaPo has a frightening look at the future of Mississippi and Louisiana residents have to look forward to.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Night Update

Another of those Friday nights when I have the time and flexibility to do some blogging and pass along some updates.

Bloggers are commenting like crazy on blogs like this one that indicate unqualified people are still being hired by Homeland Security.

Talk about the Blame Game! Bloggers say the administration is chasing environmentalists, trying to blame them for the damage in New Orleans.

Bloggers are questioning the President's "clarity" tonight. New York Times used that word to analyze the Thursday night speech. Bloggers have a clip from a news conference with the President today. You really have to watch it, but here's the content:
Reporter: What will it cost?
Bush: Well, its gonna cost whatever it costs, and were gonna be wise about the money we spend. I mean, youre ask I, I, I we havent totalled up all the bridges... and highways.

Hate to do this to you on a Friday night, but this report (From ABC News), makes the avian flu epidemic possibilities look absolutely horrific. And not that far-fetched. Frightening stuff.

UPDATE: Saturday Morning. At least we're preparing to deal with it. Although this just makes it look all the more possible.

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Friday Grab Bag

It's all over the map, in terms of topics, but it's all pretty darn interesting. Let's start with more of those "mixed messages" from the Adminiistration. The topic this time: Iraq.

Let's shift now to New Orleans. NBC's Brian Williams continues to keep his eyes open and report what the people are feeling. It's all about electricity, lights and the President.

This article about the "toxic soup" left behind in New Orleans begs the question, again. It it's THAT bad, how the heck are they letting people back in already?

Some newspaper opinions on the President's speech. It was primarily politics.

New York Times is reporting some Republicans aren't lining up behind the President's plan to rebuild the gulf coast. This blogger points out an amazing quote from a senior Republican official.

Definitely media chatter here. Inside the biz stuff. Sure looks like we're going to see a deluge of stories from New Orleans for a LONG time.

Another chapter in the "who knew what, when" debate about Katrina. This sure does make it look like ALL of the top dogs knew how bad it was and still did nothing! Complete with an official e-mail trail.

Bear with me. One more bit of "insider" information on the media. A classic exchange between Blitzer and Cafferty on CNN.

I saw a couple of mobile homes moving down the freeway on my way to work today. They both had huge banners on the back, saying "Being Transported for FEMA". I wondered at the time about how well they would stand up to a hurricane. Looks like I'm not the only one questioning that.
On the sprawling, dusty grounds of Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant and Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Tex., the recreational vehicles and mobile homes are arriving at a rate of 100 a day before being shipped out to the fringes of Hurricane Katrina's disaster zone.
Those trailers, among 300,000 to be purchased with nearly $5 billion of federal money, have become a focal point of criticism of the Bush administration's early rebuilding efforts. Some conservatives blanch at the cost. And many critics fret that mobile homes will hardly protect their residents from the next storm...."Three hundred thousand manufactured homes? People are screaming about that," fumed Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). "I tell you, FEMA is a disaster."

The big angle on the Katrina story among bloggers today seems to be the thought that all of those reconstruction billions will be handed out in no-bid contracts with little or no ability to track the $$$$$.

One more "quote" report. Presidential comments. Gotta remove that "copy and paste" function on the computers.

And, this is a nice gesture. Little Rock-based ISP, Aristotle, has donated a website to provide coordinated disaster assistance to families who relocated to Central Arkansas. Mayors from ten communities are joining together to handle the task. Nice touch. Kudos all around.

Bloggers are all having a little fun with the President's shirt from last night. Questioning whether it was mis-buttoned.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Need Another Example of How the Feds Bungled Katrina?

And this one hits right at home. Arkansas Times blog has the press release from Senator Lincoln. She's upset. Says Huckabee is, too. We all should be. Probably can be explained away by that horrible phone call to the governor's office last week - the one in which the FEMA employee asked , "does Arkansas have ANY evacuees?" Feel free to comment away.

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Conspiracy Theory? Or an Honest Concern?

I'm not jumping on this bandwagon completely. But, I've said before, that some conspiracy theories fascinate me. I've also always had this queezy feeling about the 2004 elections. It just seemed there were too many things that just didn't "feel right" about some of the outcomes. Too many reports of possible voter fraud. Too many places where the numbers just didn't add up. That being said, check out this posting about electronic voting machine maker, Diebold, and some pretty amazing "insider" allegations. If the "source" is real, this one shouldn't sit well with EITHER republicans or democrats.

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Katrina Clobbers Our Image to the World

The loss of life is horrible. The loss of property simply can't be imagined. The impact on our economy is nothing more than a guess, right now. But hurricane Katrina's impact on our image to the rest of the world is becoming front page news. The world, quite frankly, is amazed. And, not in a good way.

Direct from Baghdad. An Iraqi woman is blogging. Read the Sunday post about 9/11. Then keep scrolling down.

Latest Presidential approval polls. This from New York Times and CBS. It'll be interesting to see if anything changes after the Presidential Speech tonight.

Remember the Flight 93 Memorial controversy? Over the crescent shape that critics said honored terrorists? Looks like it's going to be changing. That's good. The critics had a point.

I don't often agree with Michelle Malkin, but I'll give her the floor for ANOTHER post today, challenging all the blogging going on over a photo making the rounds on the internet. I'd avoided posting it, simply because I didn't think it was all big of a deal. I'll let her explain.

This blogger addresses something that's been bugging me for the past couple of days. How have things managed to get so "cleaned up" in New Orleans, so soon? We've pounded with reports of the horrors that lie ahead, with leaks and spills, etc. Now, huge parts of the city are going to be opening up next week?

Go and read this one. It seems to debunk the story the Jefferson Parish guy told on Meet the Press. You know the story - about how a co-worker's mother drowned in a nursing home because help was so slow to arrive.

Oh, those quotes that come back to haunt you. Presidential postering. How times change. So do the quotes.

And, it's a question many people are asking: Where will we find the money to rebuild New Orleans. And continue the War in Iraq. AND extend tax cuts. AND fund the federal government. Even the American Conservative Union says the numbers don't add up. And that, my friends, is the oldest conservative grassroots organization in the country.

Ive said it before. I'll say it again. When will these people realize that every time they grant an interview, they're gonna put their foot in their mouth?

How long have critics of the Iraq War been predicting this would happen. Civil War. It appears it much more a possibility today.

Go and read this story about environmental damage in New Orleans. Then, somebody, tell me how they're in good enough shape to let 250,000 people return to the city next week.

I'll leave you with this little tidbit of information - Karl Rove is in charge of the reconstruction effort. It was right there in the New York Times.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Cheney Connection to Katrina

Kudos to the bloggers over at the Arkansas Times for digging deep enough into regional newspapers to come up with this report on how the VP's office pulled rank to get power back to an oil pipeline. In the process, power was NOT restored as quickly to a couple of hospitals.

Well, this should quiet those who want to throw the blame back on the state and local folks. At least in one specific (but critically important) case. The headline lays it on the line: Independent congressional study shows Louisiana governor took necessary steps to get federal aid. As the blogger asks:

So. Where was it?

And, then, there is THIS report on how Chertoff abdicated his responsibility. It's a Knight-Ridder report. They're doing their job digging for the details.

Time for a bit of self-criticism. It's about the death toll from Katrina.

And here's an example of something that deserves criticism. FOX News leaves out some key events from a Katrina timeline.

OK - The New York Times is reporting that the F.A.A. was warned as early as 1998 that Al Qaida was planning to hijack a jet and slam it into an American landmark. 1998!!!

THIS could be the quote of the day! Tom DeLay telling the Washington Times that there's no fat left to cut in the U.S. budget. Nothing. Nada. No pork. Nowhere. Read the comments. You'll find out how it's being spun by Rush and the others.

Or, maybe it's THIS quote that makes #1. It's from the Vice President. Glass half-full, sir?

A blogger snagged a most interesting story on CNN.com last night. Even has video that shows who knew what and when. Then talks about how more heads may role over Katrina.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The New Orleans Death Toll Question

You know, as soon as they started to talk about limiting media, I began to wonder. Now, it looks like things are not good, despite the court rulings.

ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE THE DEATH TOLL?
(Cross posted at Dark Wraith Discussion Forums)

From the Rigorous Intuition blogsite:

"Drowning by Numbers"

"FEMA has relieved volunteers of their emergency mortuary services in Louisiana only, and contracted out to Kenyon, a "wholly-owned subsidiary of Service Corporation International" of Houston, Texas.
(...)
"...the duties of processing Louisiana's fresh kill is consigned to Bush Texas

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Not good news. Not good at all.


US military violates court settlement over photographing & reporting on bodies in New Orleans

Constitution, my a**. Guess our soldiers learned a nice lesson from their time in Iraq. We're fighting for the flag here, to hell with the law and the Bill of Rights. Might makes right in George Bush's America.
Outside one house on Kentucky Street, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne Division summoned a reporter and photographer standing nearby and told them that if they took pictures or wrote a story about the body recovery process, he would take away their press credentials and kick them out of the state.


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Bush Takes the Blame

Still not back to normal routine with the usual on-air blog mentions. For another day or so, please accept this daily collection of posts we found interesting.

President Bush said today he takes "full responsibility" for any federal errors in dealing with Katrina. This blogger says he still wonders what that really means:
Given the efforts of Bush supporters to deflect blame to state and local officials, or to the victims of Katrina, it isn't clear that Bush believes the government he oversees was remiss in any significant degree. Still, he acknowledged the obvious: "Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," including, presumably, the government he was elected to run.

Don't let anyone try to tell you that things are just hunky-dory in New Orleans. The city is out of money.

A tale of two polls. This one says Bush is still slipping.

This one says the free fall has stopped. Take your pick. Argue/comment away.

As the blogger says, read the entire story and then forward to your friends. Assuming, of course, that you agree with it!

One of our favorite right-leaning bloggers is a bit concerned about the tone of the Roberts hearings and what Roberts is saying. In particular, it was the comments about Roe v Wade was "settled as precedent" that has him writing this entry.

And the left isn't too thrilled with what Roberts is saying, either.

Haven't had an Army recruiting update for a while. Final numbers for the year. It's just not working.

Left-leaning bloggers have been critical of the layout of the Flight 93 Memorial. That's the flight that crashed after being hijacked on 9/11. Now, those on the right are beginning to question the same thing. This is well written. And, I believe, it does raise a valid issue.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Pre-Signed Orders

Where the heck did this come from? The President Pre-Signed orders, but didn't think there was a problem in New Orleans? I think I'm confused. Straighten me out.

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The Bankruptcy Changes

We've all known changes in the bankruptcy laws are on the way. The timing couldn't be more interesting - just a few short weeks from now. The bloggers want to know if the Administration is going to give hurricane victims a break. What's going to happen to some of them if they can't declare bankruptcy.
How is Bush going to face those millions of people uprooted and financially devastated and look them in the eye and say, Screw you? I hope the MSM starts doing stories on the people devastated and how the new bankruptcy laws make their lives infinitely more difficult. When is Bush going to urge Congress repeal the new bankruptcy laws? Or has he no heart?

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It's The Duct Tape Guy!!!

Don't know whether the blogs or Olbermann picked up on this first, but the guy the President wants to lead FEMA is the guy who told us all to buy Duct Tape and plastic sheeting to protect ourselves if there's a terror attack. At first, seems most people were thrilled because he has a background in emergency management. That quickly turned tonight:
This is the same David Paulison who gave us the infamous "duct tape" scare a little over two years ago.
Americans have apparently heeded the U.S. government's advice to prepare for terror attacks, emptying hardware store shelves of duct tape.On Tuesday, less than 24 hours after U.S. Fire Administrator David Paulison described a list of useful items, stores in the greater Washington, D.C. area reported a surge in sales of plastic sheeting, duct tape, and other emergency items.

UPDATE: Here's another take on it. Blogger points out that Brown says he discussed his leaving with the White House Saturday. And Bush said he didn't know about it today.

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Back From The Weekend

We hope you all had a pleasant weekend. You'll find several updated posts if you scross down the blog. I'm sure most of you have read (or , at least, heard about) the Newsweek summary piece. It's a must-read. Now, here are a few more, just to round out your reading.

Then, from another angle, we found someone who says the government pretty much met it's normal timelines and the response was "exceptional."

The "Quote of the Day" over on another Arkansas-based blog caught my eye.

And, you kind of had to believe that this was happening. It's just that it didn't have to get to this point.
DOCTORS working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leave them to die in agony as they evacuated.
With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.

And, then, there is the report that FEMA refused to let a couple of Wal-Mart Stores re-open. Guess what the local sheriff did?

A number of National Guardsmen from Mississippi wanted to come home to help clean up their property. The military bosses said "can't do it". Not enough boots on the ground in Iraq to let them go home.

Is there a bit of oil company hanky-panky going on with the oil companies?

On the media watch. This blogger wants us all to stay on the ball and ask the tough questions.

And, pay special attention to the Bill Maher commentary - as reported in a comment on the Arkansas Times blog. File it, along with today's Newsweek, as "keeper" material. Even if you don't agree with his position, you have to admit it's well written.
And, finally (for now), this one echoes an earlier post and goes a bit farther, saying all systems worked and:
In addition, when New Orleans is restored, renovated and repopulated in RECORD TIME, this will seen as a huge triumph of the federal government's wonderful efforts (huge and comprehensive efforts which went nearly completely UNREPORTED by the MSM

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Offer of Train Space Refused

Not a pretty picture in this piece. The blogger quotes a Washington Post article that claims Amtrack offered to take hundreds of people out of New Orleans, but the city refused. If true, it just goes to support my belief that there were errors made at EVERY level of government.

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Doctors Euthanize Patients

You kind of had to think this was happening, didn't you? But, New Orleans "dodged the bullet". Read this article.

New Orleans doctors reportedy euthanized patients before leaving
Geez

Then, if you haven't already done so, read the Newsweek article coming out tomorrow. How Bush Blew It.

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Newsweek Writes: How Bush Blew It

I was just getting set to post a link to Newsweek online, then discovered John was a step ahead. Read his assessment first, then follow the link. This is absolutely mind-numbing.

NEWSWEEK: Bush didn't know the Hurricane damage was bad until THURSDAY AFTER IT STRUCK
Newsweek has just published a horrifying story entitled "How Bush Blew It." This is must-read for everyone, and this story must be shared widely. Bush should resign, now. He is the worst president in modern history. This is criminal what he did.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Not Enough Troops to Help

The Argument Continues.

Administration Refuses To Acknowledge Reality: The National Guard Is Stretched Thin

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Care to Read Something REALLY Outlandish?

Amazing. Unsettling. Read this. Comment on it. It's coming from several different blogs tonight.

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Apology?

I'm guessing that this updated blog refers to the same EMT posting that I linked to earlier. If this guy is right, I, too, apologize.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Ugly Radio

This is just bad radio. And 3 million people heard this. I wonder how many were angered. How could you NOT be?

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UPDATE: Government Backs Down

It's going to be quite a weekend. CNN has gone to court to stay in New Orleans, covering the story. Now I'm getting angry. CNN is right. They covered all kinds of natural disasters that had bodies involved. The other media giants should be joining this lawsuit. This type of restriction is just not right. And, it does does really smell of a move to keep the true visuals away from the prying eyes of the world. We wouldn't want America to look bad, would we? If I was grouchy earlier, I'm worse now. This gets my journalistic ire up. Big time.
UPDATE: So far. So good.
UPDATE (the second) CNN is reporting that the Government has abandoned its effort to stop the media from covering the victim recovery efforts in New Orleans. Good thinking. I'm wondering, though, if the only reason they back down is the fact that it looks like there are NOT as many bodies as first feared.

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Dodged the Bullet?

This is getting out of control. McClellan is still trying to force that "Dodged the Bullet" line down the media's throat! From the blogger:
Scott McClellan is lying in his daily press conference. He lies again in claiming that everyone believed "New Orleans Dodged A Bullet." In fact, the only media outlet we could find with that headline was the far right religious website WorldNet Daily.

And, then, to make his point - he links to a page that shows multiple newspaper front pages from Tuesday morning. Almost all of them use some variation on the term "Devestated". NOT - I repeat - NOT "Dodged the Bullet". Maybe it's because it's Friday. And it's been a long week. And I'm getting grouchy.

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Another TGIF Edition

Once again, we bypassed our normal format and did not feature any specific blogs on the air today during The WB42 5:30 Report. Instead, we promised a healthy collection of fresh links and did make mention of this simply incredible FEMA story coming out of the Arkansas governor's office. It'll just make your day!

New poll numbers are out. Lower than ever before for the President.

There are lots of reports that the evacuees are being held like prisoners at some of the evacuation "camps". This is a first-person account from a volunteer at a camp next door, in Oklahoma. Very ugly picture.

If you think that was ugly, consider this follow up posting on a group of EMT's who were stuck in that group on a freeway overpass in New Orleans.

CNN's Kyra Phillips is finding herself in a bit of hot water these days. Here's the link to video from yesterday. Nancy Pelosi really blasts her, live, on the air, over her line of questioning. There's a similar incident from today. I'll try to find a link to it, later.

I'm hoping this isn't widespread. Insurance companies wouldn't try to loop-hole their way out of paying for the hurricane damage. Would they?

Want to know what REALLY going on in New Orleans? This blogger is a doctor, volunteering in New Orleans. He's there. Amazing posts. Frightening.

And we'll close with a couple of introspective posts on the media. Media Presence Essential as Katrina Rescue Efforts Continue - that's the first one I want you to read. Then, read this piece about attempts to restrict media coverage.

One more, for good measure - a very good collection of various postings on the media situation in New Orleans.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Letter From Louisiana

No matter where you are, if your city is welcoming those who escaped Katrina, read this letter from the New Orleans newspaper. It says so much. Another keeper.

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Thursday Showcase

Again today, we did not feature two blogs on The WB42 5:30 Report. There is just too much going on. We simply sent viewers here to work through all that's been posted. We'll keep it simple. Just follow the links.

Some thoughts from an EPA rep.

Good Katrina Statement from Sen. Obama.

It didn't get a lot of coverage, but Howard Dean spoke his mind yesterday.

Here's the latest Zogby poll. Right now, people would vote for Jimmy Carter before George Bush.

And here's the Pew Research Poll. Bush's biggest drops were among core Republicans.

A bit of media give-and-take over the contentious press briefings at the White House.

This blogger says the state of Louisiana kept the Red Cross out, when they wanted to help.

Well, maybe not QUITE like that. Here's the explanation. Once again, I had to put a liberal blog against a conservative one. Sometimes you have to do that to wade through the "opinions".

Remember the references to the "Dodged the Bullet" headlines? The headline that served as an initial excuse for inaction after Katrina? The blogger has tracked it. Seems the White House must be reading one of the most conservative websites around for its news.

It is a bit late, but this blogger found a well-done editorial about Barbara Bush's recent foot-in-mouth episode.

Here, my friends, is an amazingly compelling story from the aftermath of Katrina. If conditions deteriorate any further, the mind struggles to imagine where the next round of shots will be aimed. Will volunteers be the targets? Reporters? One has to ask. But, then again, I can only imagine the stress on EVERYONE in that city right now.

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Enough, It's Over, says Kos

Daily Kos has just posted this well-thought-out summary of several posts and video clips you'll find that we posted last night. The key to it all is this exchange between Joe and the head of the ultra-conservative Family Research Council. Who'd a thunk these two would say THIS?

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Cheney Gets a Rough Welcome

That's putting it mildly. Send the kiddies out of the room when you watch this video from CNN. It's a Cheney News Conference and somebody in the crowd isn't happy. Not happy at all. Warning: Contains the "f" word. And, yes, it did make it on the air.

There was some followup discussion just now on CNN. Blitzer and Cafferty. Cafferty is quick. Blitzer better watch out. He's going to come out looking stupid in one of these little discussions!

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Because We All Can't Watch Everything

Geez. You need to stay up 24/7, watching TV or listening to radio constantly, to catch everything. The DVR is melting down. And I do have a real job! So, it's good when others CAN keep an eye open!

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Getting Briefed on Katrina

Go and read this post on a pro-Bush blog. So, if the President was briefed on the 28th, doesn't that just support the contention that the Administration did NOT respond appropriately? One of the commenters agrees. Go. Read.

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When the GOP Goes After Scarborough...

Happened to catch him last night. It's amazing. Talk about your political in-fighting. Crooks and Liars has the video. Joe goes off on the Republicans who want him to stop criticizing.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Not Right. Not at All

There are a couple of incredible eyewitness reports here, including one from an EMS team. There is just nothing you can say. Is there?

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Interesting Comment

A very interesting comment from a reader tonight. It's in response to the comment from another reader who said we should all come togehter and build up our hearts. You can find it if you scroll down just a bit. The frightening thing is that it echoes so many similar stories from across the country. With his permission, I'm bumping it up here, since I realize not everyone reads the comments. This whole thing is not being managed well, no matter which side you're coming from. Here's the comment:
Right, IT is a time to build up our hearts and come together and help our friends and fellow man. HOWEVER, we are trying to help and we are being turned away. I work in administration of one of the state's largest health institutions and I sent teams of nurses to each of Arkansas's largest evacuee camps and they were turned away at the gate. I sent these teams at the request of the governor's office and THEY WERE TURNED AWAY???Is there something wrong here? I think so! I have personally call the Red Cross and other aid organizations and have been bounced back and forth so many times I'm dizzy. I have tried to help and been denied! Yes, this is a time to join together, but it would be a crime against those who were uprooted from their lives, families, friends, jobs, and homes. It would be a crime against those who lost everything but the clothes on their backs to not point out mistakes along the journey back to a healthy gulf coast. We are not trying to point fingers just to cause upheaval and place blame because of our incapabilities to comprehend such a tragedy. We are trying to HOLD ACCOUNTABLE those we have entrusted to help mankind during such states of emergency.

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If True, It Is Bothersome

We do make an attempt to keep things balanced around here. So, let's tell you up front that it looks like the reports that media are being kicked out of New Orleans are not true. At least not yet. It IS true that FEMA has asked everyone not to show any bodies. Two ways of looking at that: Their way (honoring the dead) or the media way (censorship and the administration is worried about what the pictures will do). I'm going to leave the links up. For now. Just in case.

UPDATE: Looks like I was right to leave it up. Here's the update. Scroll down to the Brian Williams report. I'm getting worried. It's becoming a bit obvious, since there were no bodies involved in the latest report, that somebody just doesn't want to media in there reporting. Me thinks they've been perceived as being a bit "honest" in their recent reportage.

Man, I just read the Brian Williams blog. The key parts of the military vs media issue was covered by Kos. But, you really MUST follow that link and scroll down to read the pet story that Brian refers to. And there's a similar report from Oprah. If you're a pet love, both of these will hit you. Like a rock.
Now, a very different take on how well New Orleans has been dealing with those levees. Basically, the article says they got a ton of federal money for levee work, but spent it elsewhere.
If true, it's bothersome.

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Banning The Media from New Orleans?

There are a couple of reports like this one floating around the internet today. For now, it goes in the "unconfirmed" bin. If it turns out to be true, it is truly outrageous. Banning the media from New Orleans?!?!

Here's another version with a bit more information. The information is coming from people on the ground in the area. And they've seen TV crews turned away at National Guard checkpoints.

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It Is Time to Build Up

That's the suggestion via one of our regular readers and commenters. He says he's not the only one who thinks there is way too much finger-pointing going on. With his permission, here's what he shared.

IT IS TIME TO BUILD UP Our hearts have certainly been touched and saddened by the plight of our neighbors on the gulf coast. However, I am even more troubled by the useless rhetoric of those whose only interest seems to be finding someone to blame. I am sure in hind sight we will discover all kinds of things that should have been done differently, but in the meantime there are still thousands of people who need our attention. There will be a time for finger pointing, but that helps no one right now. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement (Ephesians 4:29) The Lord knows there are thousands who need encouragement.

As you can see, Mr. Krile, I'm not the only one who feels this way. This is your opportunity to be an encouragement, rather than a discouragement.

Thoughts? Comments?

Here's one more from those who think the buck stops locally. The description of the mayor's DVD seems to counter what he's been saying more recently.
Last July, his office prepared DVDs warning that, if the city ever had to be evacuated, residents were on their own. According toa July 24 article in The Times-Picayune (spotted by the Webs Drudge Report), Mayor Ray Nagin, local Red Cross Executive Director Kay Wilkins and City Council President Oliver Thomas drive home the word that the city does not have the resources to move out of harms way an estimated 134,000 people without transportation.
You're responsible for your safety, and you should be responsible for the person next to you, one official said of the message.

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Wednesday. And We're Not Out of the Woods, Yet

Something is just wrong. Really wrong. When the list of stories like this one just grows longer and longer. You just can't explain it away.
At a time of national disaster with so many lives at stake, how is it possible that medical professionals were rebuffed by credentialing, red tape and poor communication issues from several different emergency response groups?
I am amazed, I am angry and I am sad.

The red tape response the medical community received should make all of us angry and asking for answers.
How many people have died because they would not let us go? Yes, we need to fix the levies and rebuild New Orleans, because that is who we are.
But more importantly, we need to look each other in the eye and ask, Where did we go wrong?, because that is also who we are.

You just HAD to know THIS was coming. I'm hoping the media does their job. Don't take pictures of the dead. The media already has. This is all just so obvious. Go back again to Charmaine Neville (scroll down) and listen again to her description of the bodies in her neighborhood. That's the kind of negative PR that FEMA may not be able to overcome.

Insider talk, now. How's the media doing on Kitrina coverage? Here's an analysis. And it includes a link to the unbelievable FOX coverage from last Friday night. I linked to it over the weekend. But, if you missed it, watch it here.
Smith, Fox's principal news anchor, and Rivera, its high-priced celebrity gunslinger, reported in from the scene of devastation in New Orleans. Smith and Rivera, both usually loyal to Fox's rigidly pro-administration line, yell, cry (Geraldo) and generally register disgust as Hannity seeks to gild the Bush administration's glacial response to the crisis.

It is absolutely one of the finest moments. And, equally, surprising that it happened on FOX.

I guess I just ASSUMED (and we know where THAT puts me) that the big 9/11 celebration in DC this weekend would have been cancelled because of the disaster in the south. Nope. Party on.

Oops. Let's talk about photo ops. Firefighters on their way to Katrina. Guess what their primary assignment was? Let's just say that the President was touring the area. You can probably guess it from there. But, follow the link. Read the entire article. As the blogger says - "You can't make this stuff up." Oh, by the way, here's a big of blogosphere analysis of that incident.

Along those same lines, here's the story of a couple of Navy pilots who rescued people when their assignment was to just drop water to them. They got IN TROUBLE for it! No kidding. Again. You can't make this stuff up.

Here's a very damning hurricane timeline. And that timeline just continues to roll.

The Senate Democrats have put together a long list of questions they say demand answers. Indeed they do. I'll open it up to some of you to provide the answers. We'll see how close you can come. If any "official" response happens.

And, we couldn't wrap this up without including a link to a clip from last night's Daily Show. Watch it. For the "build a dam in Arkansas" explanation, if for no other reason.

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Maybe They Should Talk With Charmaine Neville

No Rapes, they say. No confirmation of anyone firing on a helicopter, they say. Maybe they need to watch this video. We posted it earlier today. Watch it now. If you haven't done so already.

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Bush By the Numbers

I know you have to consider the source, but this long list certainly has some extremely negative numbers for the Administration. Feel free to counter in any way you want.

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