Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Swine Diaries: Payback, American style

“Dogs look up at you; cats look down at you, while pigs look you straight in the eye.”
-Winston Churchill

The Washington Post reported that more than 90 percent of the money from federal contracts for recovery and reconstruction operations of the Gulf Coast has been spent on companies outside of the region and outside of the affected states.

Instead of local companies like Boh Bros, Construction, a large construction company originated from New Orleans but now hosted in Baton Rouge and Mobile Alabama, no-bid, federal contracts were awarded to Kellog, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Haliburton. Instead of having Crescent Environmental Services, a local company dealing with debris removal, Ashbritt, Inc. a Pompano Beach Florida company headed by Randall Perkins and who donated heavily to the Bush04 campaign was awarded the 500 million dollar contract for debris removal.

The Post reported that, in the first few weeks after Katrina devastated the region, most of the awarded contracts were on a no-bid or a limited competition basis. So, while the bodies were floating throughout New Orleans, contracts for the nation’s largest corporations and Bush’s largest political contributors were being signed.


"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, from man to pig and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which." - George Orwell, Animal Farm

This administration is all about payback; in both the front-end and the back-end. If you donate your money and energy to the Bush-juggernaut, you will find yourself on the beneficial end of a wonderful rainbow of public money. Where all of your dreams will come true and you will be rich beyond your wildest, Kozlowski-induced, dream. Where democrats dressed in togas serve you grapes and fan your pale, white, blubbery skin until you pass out from your Cristal-induced coma. Remember, this is the same bizarre world of the payback where Michael Brown, the inept, former Arabian Horse Judge manager turned head of FEMA, is still on FEMA’s payroll as a contractor in charge of the evaluation of the very same disaster that he refused to respond to.

However, if you disagree with this administration, you will be on the other-side of the payback spectrum, meeting the business-end of a political baseball bat. They will sic the public-relations pit-bulls on you and let you bleed on the side of the road like all of the other people that "hate America", while the white-bread pundits blabber on cable news shows discrediting anything and everything you’ve done previously in your life.

One can only wonder how the Bush administration plans on ‘paying back’ the angry, local contractors left out of the reconstruction plans for their own city. They’ve already gone as far as to undercut labor costs by allowing the big guys to pay under wage. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that the dissenting local contractors may find themselves in tax trouble when the audits, magically appear.

There is one thing that the local contractors can count on from the Bush administration: when they take your livelihood and rob you blind; they’ll look you straight in the eye.

Posted by john trevisani at October 5, 2005 12:47 PM
Comments
Comment #83792

John,
I couldn’t agree with you more on this issue. In fact, I just post New Orleans: President Bush’s Redheaded Stepchild on my bolg site.

It seems to me that the Republicans are mad because the Mayor and Governor did not want to allow the Federal Government to have absolute control in their state. So please read my article and tell me which one do you think it is Politically Aggravated or is it Politically Apathetic. And where is the Democratic Leadership on this issue?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 5, 2005 2:00 PM
Comment #83795

Is anyone surprised? The Bush-ilk know you only get one generation (i.e. one or two terms) to rape the till. It has nothing to do with anything other than “did you pull Bush43 out of the crapper back before he floated to the top of the cess pool?”. If yes, you get a piece of the spoils.

Posted by: Dave at October 5, 2005 2:15 PM
Comment #83810

It’s not an election year, no Bush will be running next time nationally, and Cheney won’t be running for POTUS. They simply don’t care. However they are going to pray for the people affected by the hurricanes. Prayer is our official government policy. That, and rebuilding churches, as Bush said in his address to the nation. We need the federal government to rebuild churches.

What they’re not saying is that the real bailout will be for the oil companies, since the hurricanes were aimed directly at most of our offshore oil rigs.

Posted by: ray at October 5, 2005 3:26 PM
Comment #83813

Informative and witty article JT — btw, I agree. Also very amusing replies you guys- even if the subject matter isn’t.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 5, 2005 3:35 PM
Comment #83816

Is it safe to conclude then that the general feeling is that the “out of state” contractors are actually less qualified and less equipped to do the work than the local contractors.

Being a large contractor who can “self perform” is a huge advantage in the construction business. Smaller contractors typically are difficult to coordinate the various trades.

“Self perform” in the general contractor business means that their size is such that they could build the entire building by themselves as opposed to needing one contractor to erect the steel, another to pour the slab, another to do the roof, etc. This typically contributes to higher cost, generates delays, inferior work, and so on.

Posted by: steve smith at October 5, 2005 3:48 PM
Comment #83821

The 90% of the money granted to the out of area companies is only the first wave of contracts. Of the expected 60 billion to be spent, thus far only 2 billion has been awarded.

The article of reference tells “the rest of the story”, not just the components of the story that sensationalize the piece/subject.

Posted by: steve smith at October 5, 2005 4:13 PM
Comment #83822

“So, while the bodies were floating throughout New Orleans, contracts for the nation’s largest corporations and Bush’s largest political contributors were being signed”

Yeah, it probably would have been better to let the bodies float for a few more weeks so they could have others place a bid. That makes sense.
You also should have said “while the bodies of poor black folks that Bush murdered himself were floating.”
And why no mention on how Bush created Katrina himself, made it hit New Orleans - a city which he planned and built below sea level so that black people would die - so that he could help big business make even more money rebuilding it.

Sheesh! Whats next from you guys? Bush and Cheney running around planting bombs on the levee’s?

Steve S.
Quit talking sense. If your view doesnt support the lefts view, then its wrong. No matter how much you know.

Posted by: kctim at October 5, 2005 4:19 PM
Comment #83823

Steve Smith,

How would you feel if when this thing plays out most if not all of the contracts go to Bush friends?
I’m not saying that that is the case, but what if does happen? Would you see that as cronyism?
Would you see that as killing the local economy in favor of cronyism?
Just curious.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 5, 2005 4:32 PM
Comment #83824

Sorry kctim, I just keep trying to converse in a manner that promotes sensible debate. I do realize of course that other than clicking the “post” button properly, all content of my post is incorrect and dismissed out of hand by our friends to the left.

Posted by: steve smith at October 5, 2005 4:36 PM
Comment #83826

Steve Smith
No, I think there should have been a bidding process to discourage price gouging and political favoritism. It’s one thing to say that the situation is more complicated, it’s another to recognize in what way.

I’m sure that when Bush made the cuts in spending for the Army Corp of Engineers projects to strengthen the levees, cut FEMA’s budget and piled bureaucracy on what was once a well-supported, agile agency (supposedly an ideal for the taxpayers, and when he hired cronies and politically friendly companies to do the work, he wasn’t thinking that what he was doing was putting anything or anybody at risk.

Which is precisely the problem. Regardless of his perceptions of what could be lost, what could be allowed to be done in a frivolous fashion, his judgment on those issues has been poor. Now you can go on justifying this, or you can find Republicans who you are willing to vote for who more effectively fill the jobs. Or, you can help generate further resentment and distrust of your party by continuing to give a president who’s had five years to get things right the benefit of the doubt while he demonstrates with many of his colleagues the unworthiness of their leadership.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 5, 2005 4:54 PM
Comment #83830

Stephen Daugherty,

Now, here’s what I think happened. The President got with his advisors and they discussed the best way to restore New Orleans to a manageable condition. They weighed a bidding process against a very quick decision on using contractors that had been successful at this type of work in the past.

They considered that there was no time to lose, which precluded a formal bidding process. It was decided that the out of state companies that were used could mobilize more quickly than some others that they had information on. It should be remembered that some disaster area contractors were used and did get contracts.

They ran a check on all companies in area and out to determine if there were any red flags for safety violations, affirmative action issues, etc. They may also have considered that some “local/in area” companies had lost employees to the disaster itself and would not be able to mobilize at the necessary strength.

What they were thinking about was the immediate issue not what cuts had been made in the unrelated issues in the past, filling jobs more effectively in the future, who was going to vote and public opinion on his unworthiness.

While he was about the task of saving lives and a city from further ruin he knew that there would be skeptics, naysayers, political analysts, political enemies, etc. pre judging his every move.

He had tunnel vision “deal with this disaster”.

Now, I have responded to what you think with what I think.

Andre,

Obviously we will have to wait to see how this plays out in terms of who gets the contracts. All things being equal, I personally would give a contract to the person or company most qualified to do the job. When and if that person is a “crony” it doesn’t look good and avoiding that as much as possible should be the goal.

Wasn’t there a control on that kind of thing? Is there not a procedure or law to eliminate just such happenings.

To answer your question honestly I am against “cronyism” unless there is no viable alternative.

Posted by: steve smith at October 5, 2005 5:21 PM
Comment #83838

Steve & KCTM,
Are you both telling me that if Bush and Congress would of responded to Tampa Florida and the other States hit by 4 Hurricanes in September of 2004 in the manner that they have done with Katrina and Rita that they would of been reelected?

And as far as the Contrators go, look up how many violation charges they have been found guilty on. Halliburton leads the pack and should by the Administration and Congress’s own findings be PREVENTED FROM BIDDING ON FEDERAL CONTRACTS. a href=”http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:r4sOPLgFqckJ:www.halliburtonwatch.org/news/q%26a_debar.pdf+halliburton+2003+lost+nuclear+equipment&hl=en&client=firefox-a”>Source Besides being found to have sold nuclear material to Iran and recently losing a container of nuclear waste, the Republican Leadership still want to say that this company is the only one that can do the job. If that is true than the Anti-Trust Laws on Monoplies comes into play. Both are grounds for legal actions, yet President Bush and the Republican lead Congress keeps giving them no bid contracts why?

If Rita would of hit Houston would President Bush deny them funds needed to rebuild part of his State? No! So this problem in New Orleans is either a political power play or it is the fact that President Bush and the Republican lead Congress don’t need our votes this year. Which one is it? Or is the entire Republican Party that dumb to think the average citizen can’t see what is going on?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 5, 2005 5:55 PM
Comment #83842

Personally, I would love to find fault with their choices (for the reasons that the same two companies keep getting “so much business” from the current admin), but I would have to read the contracts, first.
These may be pretty limited contracts to jump start things. If it continues on in this manner with the same companies, then I will agree that favoritism is in play.
There are many Louisiana and Mississippi contractors who are qualified to do this work, but are they suffering from catastrophic losses themselves at this moment? Are they capable of putting the workers on the ground to do the work? Surely some are, and others will be in the near future. Let’s hope that the majority of the work goes to them, and that they pay their employees fairly.
My complaint now is the lowering of wages for government-paid contracts. This should never have been allowed for an area where the workers will need the income more than in any other areas. It’s like building in a “poverty-guarantee.” At a time when this part of the country could become a “boom town”, the Bush administration chose instead to take steps to insure that no such beneficial situation will take place.

Posted by: Cole at October 5, 2005 6:28 PM
Comment #83846

Considering how much Halliburton screwed the GIs in Iraq, I am not surprised they got the job here.

Posted by: Aldous at October 5, 2005 8:10 PM
Comment #83847

It will be interesting to find out if the companies that got the rebuilding contracts are charging the government (taxpayer) the “prevailing wage” or the lower wage for labor costs. Methinks they will charge the former and pay the latter.
p.s. Am I the only one who thinks the commander-in-chief looks and acts like that puppet on a string Howdy Doody???

Posted by: warren smith at October 5, 2005 8:45 PM
Comment #83848

Henry,

If Rita would of hit Houston would President Bush deny them funds needed to rebuild part of his State? No! So this problem in New Orleans is either a political power play or it is the fact that President Bush and the Republican lead Congress don’t need our votes this year. Which one is it?

It’s really sad, that these are the ONLY two scenarios you can come up with, I guess you are partially right, something dumb is happening…

Posted by: Discerner at October 5, 2005 9:01 PM
Comment #83850

Discerner,
If President Clinton would of acted this way toward Florida during his term would not the Republican Party, starting with Rush, call it a “Political Outrage?” No, I’m trying to be nice about the political game that is being played out in New Orleans at the expense of the American Citizens. What and why I know it is a political game is that the Democrats are not yelling. Where is the Leadership of the Democrat Party? Where is the Leadership of the Republican Party?

Can you tell me why Delay or Lott is not speaking out loud for FEMA to get them help? Why isn’t Rush using the airwaves to light a fire under President Bush’s butt? What would of happened if our elected officials acted this way after 9/11, do you think for a New York minute that we would be in Iraq today? It is called CYA and the Republican Party begining with President Bush and Tom Delay do not want to publicly admit that without recalling the Tax Cuts America can not afford to rebuild New Orleans.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 5, 2005 9:24 PM
Comment #83853

Maybe someone can link a source but I read that FEMA has contracted with Carnival cruise lines for 2 or 3 ships to house NO refugees at appx twice what people pay to go on cruises?
Who owns Carnival?

Posted by: Dave at October 5, 2005 10:17 PM
Comment #83858

$236 Million Cruise Ship Deal Criticized

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/27/AR2005092701960_pf.html

Posted by: Cole at October 5, 2005 10:56 PM
Comment #83859

I’ll try that again. Just paste it into your browser

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/27/AR2005092701960_pf.html

Posted by: Cole at October 5, 2005 10:57 PM
Comment #83864

Dave,

Google search the words “Carnival cruise lines katrina fema” and you’ll find a list of stroys about the Carnival story. To put it in the down and dirty mode though. FEMA contracted with Carnival Corporation to pay them $192 million, plus $44 million for fuel and other costs according to an article in Miami Herald on Oct. 1, 2005.

The Miami based Cruise Line did give a full rebate to over 100,000 customers that they had booked for the next six months and that is why they are charging the $236 Million price tag. However, according to Senators Obama and Coburn the taxpayers are paying about $2,550 for each person living aboard the ships each week. This information came from Miami Herald’s reporter AMY MARTINEZ.

As far as the relationship between Mr. Brown and the Cruise Line I don’t know, but it is sort of strange that another FEMA mishap of paying for things in Miami has come to light considering “The Republicans are going to Clean Up Washington.”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 5, 2005 11:17 PM
Comment #83872

Heh. You forgot to mention that these Carnival Ships are NOT using that much fuel yet they are charging as if its a real cruise. They ae just docked at one place and that’s it.

Posted by: Aldous at October 5, 2005 11:49 PM
Comment #83880

Aldous,
Like the article says, they were being paid for the money that they would of made. I just wish I could get a deal like that.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 6, 2005 12:01 AM
Comment #83885

They’re charging more than twice what they would get per person, per week. You can book a cruise for $599 for a week, based on their own advertisements. Of course, I got my info from the Daily Show, so feel free to criticize my source.
But it sounds like they are charging much more than what they would have made, had they been operating normally. And they are not burning the fuel, as Aldous mentions. I guess it’s just their way of doing their part for America!
At a time when so many are donating their time and money for the cause, Carnival is sucking on the hind teet of good ol’ FEMA.
Maybe there will be a backlash and Carnival will suffer from a loss of customers who are outraged over this. I know that I will not go on that cruise that I wasn’t going on anyway!

Posted by: Cole at October 6, 2005 12:16 AM
Comment #83888

By the way folks, I know this is off-topic, but I live about 50 miles south of New Orleans, and was in the city today. Had to go over to the Univ. of New Orleans. That area is one that was flooded pretty badly.
The water marks on the houses easily covered most of the first floor on the majority of the houses that I saw. Vehicles were completely covered by water, as evidenced by the nasty residue all over them. It looks like the aftermath of a battle. Trees are down all over. The grass is all brown. About half of the buildings are damaged in one way or another, and there are the marks painted on the fronts of them by the search and rescue teams.
I saw many businesses that had been entered by smashing down doors and windows. There is still no power to the area, and I understand that the water and sewer are still not available.
The University is shut down. they are just beginning the cleanup, so it will stay that way for quite awhile. With no power, the only electricity they are getting is from the many generators that are chugging away. Some residents are returning to begin their cleanup, also. We saw a school with all of the furniture and equipment from inside, piled along the street to be picked up.
The central business district of N.O. is full of people and many businesses are open. Lots of activity there. Even went by Emeril’s restaurant and saw some cleanup going on around his building.
Just thought you’d be interested.

Posted by: Cole at October 6, 2005 12:25 AM
Comment #83889

Cole,
Contract Law and an “Idiot in Charge” got Carnival that deal. Why I have no doubt Carnival will work out a fair deal with Congress, I do have to question the No-Bid Contract that allowed this to happen.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 6, 2005 12:27 AM
Comment #83891

I found an email address for Carnival, for anyone who wishes to share their views with the company.
InvestorRelations@Carnival.com

Posted by: Cole at October 6, 2005 12:33 AM
Comment #83907

Henry,

Calm down…

It would be nice to just snap ones finger and make everything better again, but it does not work that way. My response to you was only to point out that your view of the situation will not change regardless.

First of All…
When was the last time that a city the size of New Orleans was destroyed to this degree? This has never happened in our lifetimes…I know, I know. We were supposed to be prepared for this because it might happen. Well, nobody (Democrats or Republicans)prepared for this. There is no camparison to 9/11. 9/11 covered 10 square blocks. How many square blocks is there is NO? New York has not replaced anything yet. They still have transportation, hospitals, police and fire departments, water, sewer, power…give me break, there is “0” comparison here.

Secondly,
The logistical aspects of this area are absolutely incredible. Spend just a little bit of time thinking of the magnitude of this problem. They have to do it right and planning is very key at this time. Our 30 second “get it now” culture does not or will not tolerate anything but “now”.

I say, Take your time, Do it right. We do not have the time to do it over.

Thirdly, about Tax Cuts?

To borrow a reverse Aldous axiom. “Let all the rich democrats pay more taxes. If they feel so guilty, they should step right up and do it, Start today…The extra revenue should take care of NO”

Posted by: Discerner at October 6, 2005 1:54 AM
Comment #83949

Discerner,
So using your reason and logic, Bush and Congress should not of bailed out New York after 9/11? Why should we of spent a dime of our government’s money to bail out Florida in 2004? For that matter why are we spending a Billion dollars a day in Iraq?

A 4 Trillion Dollar Budget and we are spending $236 Million dolars on a set os Cruisse Liners, but we can’t afford to pay our First Responders? If the Rich on the Right are that “Poor” you may be correct that they don’t need to ensure the Corporations that put them in office has customers.

After all isn’t one of the stances of the Republican Party to “Starve the Beast?” We see what that has got us. Care to say what will happen if the “Bird Flu” comes to town? Think Bush and Company can handle that without killing over a million people? This ain’t trash talking because these are the facts given to us by the Republican Leadership of this Nation. Clinton had faults, but Bush and Company are making Screwing Up an Art form.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 6, 2005 6:25 AM
Comment #83996

Talk about directing contracts to cronies, spending more than necessary, etc.

Our friend Hillary now proposes that all illegal aliens affected by Katrina should feel safe in coming forward to collect their disaster money.

So, come here illegally, take a job away from an American citizen, tell the government you were victimized by the hurricane and now want money from the American taxpayers/government you victimized and then go on your merry way.

Way to go Hillary, are you figuring out a way for the illegal immigrants to vote for you?

Posted by: steve smith at October 6, 2005 10:30 AM
Comment #84025

Ummm, Steve, that wasn’t Hillary’s idea.
FEMA and the INS promised no prosecution for illegals who came forward for help. Of course, the Bush administration then decided not to honor that committment. Hillary just wants us to have honor and honesty in the gov’t. (Bringing up hubbie’s BJ won’t prove a thing)

Posted by: Dave at October 6, 2005 12:39 PM
Comment #84026

Steve,
Is that like President Bush waving the ID requirerment for employment? Last time I checked the state capital in LA is Baton Rouge and it only takes a few minutes to get a certified brith certificate. Besides Hillary isn’t the one trying to block reform along the border.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 6, 2005 12:48 PM
Comment #84046

BOB DICKINSON (President of Carnival) donated more to Democrats than Republicans, according to National Election Committee.
But MICKEY ARISON (Chairman of the Board of Directors for Carnival) donated heavily to the Republicans and the Bush relection campaign.

Posted by: john trevisani at October 6, 2005 2:10 PM
Comment #84064

First they exploited 9/11. Then Terry Schiavo. Now they exploit Hurricane Katrina. Dear right wing, please just shut up already. It’s over you’ve lost. America isn’t buying your silly crap anymore.

Dammit, we told you so. I’ll say it again. We told you so. More corrupt than the Harding administration. More incompetent than Carter, Bush I, Grant or even Buchanan. George W. Bush and his administration have proven without question, the worst presidency this country has ever endured. Your conservatism has failed this country deeply and has caused so much economic and cultural pain that it will be felt by generations to come. I know it’s too much to ask, but can you please just keep your ignorance out of the voting booth the next few election days and let us put the adults back in charge before this country completely falls apart?

Posted by: roger at October 6, 2005 3:56 PM
Comment #84077

Dave and Henry,

Dave - I see no mention of Hillary’s husband’s BJ in my post whatsoever, nor will there be. You can take all the credit for including that in the discussion.

I think a golden opportunity was missed to use the opportunity to grab the illegals and send them immediately out of country. There they were, right there for the taking. Promise them immunity and bingo, GOTCHA.

A half million people outside the State Capital in Baton Rouge trying to get birth certificates would be interesting. But wait, another opportunity to nab the illegals.


Posted by: steve smith at October 6, 2005 4:35 PM
Comment #84078

Dave and Henry,

Dave - I see no mention of Hillary’s husband’s BJ in my post whatsoever, nor will there be. You can take all the credit for including that in the discussion.

I think a golden opportunity was missed to use the opportunity to grab the illegals and send them immediately out of country. There they were, right there for the taking. Promise them immunity and bingo, GOTCHA.

A half million people outside the State Capital in Baton Rouge trying to get birth certificates would be interesting. But wait, another opportunity to nab the illegals.


Posted by: steve smith at October 6, 2005 4:37 PM
Comment #84089

“First they exploited 9/11”

I know and its sickening. Why cant Americans see that WE are the ones responsible for terrorism?

“Then Terry Schiavo”

Just as sickening. How dare her parents love her and want to take care of her.

“Now they exploit Hurricane Katrina”

Good call! I cant believe they were using class warfare and even the race card, BEFORE any of the facts were known.

“Dear right wing, please just shut up already. It’s over you’ve lost. America isn’t buying your silly crap anymore”

Hell no we’re not buying it anymore. The fact that the Reps control all three houses isn’t what the people really wanted.

“Dammit, we told you so. I’ll say it again. We told you so. More corrupt than the Harding administration. More incompetent than Carter, Bush I, Grant or even Buchanan”

Hear hear! Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they found even more files hidden in the Whitehouse or more monks come forward.

“I know it’s too much to ask, but can you please just keep your ignorance out of the voting booth the next few election days”

Please, please do this for us. We cant win elections if the people show up and vote for what they want.

“and let us put the adults back in charge before this country completely falls apart?”

Thats right. We adults (the left) know more than you and know how you should live your life.
You dumb ol righties dont need religion and you dont need to be proud to be an American. Both are evil.
You only need to know that facts dont matter, we are always right.

So please, dont use your Constitutional right to vote, the Constitution is worthless.
Karl Marx’s 10 planks will be sent out after our victory to help ensure you that you made the correct choice.

Posted by: kctim at October 6, 2005 5:15 PM
Comment #84095

Henry,

So using your reason and logic, Bush and Congress should not of bailed out New York after 9/11? Why should we of spent a dime of our government’s money to bail out Florida in 2004? For that matter why are we spending a Billion dollars a day in Iraq?

I said nothing of the sort in my post. Your logic is lacking. I said “Plan and do it right the first time” not “Don’t do anything”.

Looking for anything to reverse the tax cuts isn’t always the answer for every issue and concern.

READ what I said, don’t assume you know what I meant and jump to conclusions. Although jumping to conclusions seems to be a partisan trend these days.

Posted by: discerner at October 6, 2005 5:30 PM
Comment #84099

Roger, ITA and thanks for engaging with the society for the propagation of the rpblcn faith of the confederated states of the KKK. Bush’s nomination in 2000 was proof of the cynicism and hypocrisy of the rplcns. A president whose business was incorporated in the Cayman Islands, what a patriot!

Posted by: ray at October 6, 2005 5:47 PM
Comment #84101

Obviously, kctim we DO know more than you. Far more. Thanks for providing further proof.

Posted by: roger at October 6, 2005 5:57 PM
Comment #84148

Steve,
I never said anthing about President Clinton; however, the ability to obtain a certified Birh Certificate should be required by all employers. That way when INS catched them hiring Illegals they can bust the employer too.

Discerner,
Ever since 2001 FEMA has known that New Orleans was one of the TOP THREE MOST LIKELY DISASTERS to happen in America. And to say that it is a logistical nightmare to cover a payroll for a city when all it contains is a wireless transfer of funds from one account to another is just insane. Something that most people can do online should not take an Act of Congress.

Responding to that large of an area should of been done as a point of order in our Homeland Security. What would of the President’s Administration done if New York or Washington was hit again because the focus of the media was on New Orleans? How easy would it be for someone to slip across our border during the first 48-72 hours? What if North Carolina would of been hit by a Cat 3-4 Hurricane head on at the same time? What if Rita would of hit Houston? Or the West Coast had a 4.5 or better Earthquake during the same time frame? Every one of these questions and many more should of been answered long before 2005.

We can move a million tons of goods a day across America without thought; without question; yet the Federal Government can’t find the resources to move into the area the size of England and help those hurt by a storm? Maybe “Starving the Beast” ain’t such a good idea after all, huh?

BTW, I’m not against the Tax Cuts; however, they should be done in a manner that adds to society not pass the buck to future generations. So trade the Tax Cuts for Investment in US Teasury Notes.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 6, 2005 9:50 PM
Comment #84152

Henry,

All these “what ifs” do not mean anything…I stand buy my last post…you still haven’t read it…but you can add paranoia to that post as well…

BTW - you forgot California sliding into the Pacific with a massive earthquake.

Posted by: discerner at October 6, 2005 11:22 PM
Comment #84153

Henry,

I almost forgot,

It’s amazing that prior to 2001 we didn’t know the NO could be a potential disaster if a Cat 4-5 hit it…Prior to that, all is forgiven. They just didn’t know…

Yeah Right.

Posted by: discerner at October 6, 2005 11:26 PM
Comment #84200

Discerner,
New Orleans or more directly to the point, The Port of New Orleans accounts for 1/6th of our Economy. Thus prior to 9/11, if a hurricane would of hit it, our economy would of been hurt, but not crippled. However, after 9/11 the Port became an “Economic Traget.” Sort of the same thing as the Twin Towers. Therefore, the planning on how to handle the problem of it going down to a disaster and how to rebuild it quickly should of been on Paper by the Local, State, and Federal Government as part as Homeland Security. Having opened the Port back up within a week or two shows that our Leaders did plan for that part.

However, they failed to THINK what would happen if New Orleans lost its Tax Base. While this has happened in many towns and cities before So Congress capped the program to loan the money to cover those expenses at $5 Million. No one THOUGHT of what would happen if a Major City needed help making payroll. Now we know and instead of the President signing an Executive Order to waive that part of the Law, Congress is forced to deal with the problem of helping New Orleans.

Does President Bush THINK that the City of New Orleans can keep spending money that they don’t have coming in with Taxes? If he would of done that to Tampa Florida in 2004 would you of thought he was right to allow those citizens lose their jobs only a month before the Presidential Election? Would he of carried Florida if he did?

No, Mr. Brown and Company wanted to play politics when Americans were dieing in our streets and the President did nothing except tell Mr. Brown that he was doing a good job. And now his answer is to build more oil refiners because the lack of supply is hurting our economy. Yet, NOT ONE THOUGHT has he given toward what is right for the citizens, what is in the inherent best interest of All Ametricans. Like I’ve stated before, we have to opportunity to rebuild an area in America the size of England, yet where is the Republican Leadership aiming to build “The Green Society” that we all know must be built?

Plan all you want to rebuild by 20th Century standards, but you will not do our Children’s Children a single favor. However, what you will do is pass on the cost to them.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 7, 2005 8:05 AM
Comment #84210

Your welcome Rog.
The lefts superior intellect has us all shaking. I just hope you guys will use it sometime to win an election.
I’m tired of working hard, thinking for myself, loving my family and being happy.
Hill in 08!

Posted by: kctim at October 7, 2005 9:29 AM
Comment #84230

Discerner, Henry and kctim,

I think that the no-bid contracts that have cost tax payers millions of dollars in wasted money in Iraq are not solely a Republican issue. It’s symptomatic of our government as a whole.
While the people of the United States regardless of financial situation are giving to help those in N.O. who need help, big businesses and our government are jockying for position to make a profit for themselves and their friends.
It shows that 1) Large corporations are really running the country.2) Government officials are in their positions, not to serve their country but to gain power and wealth.3)Cronyism is not just a Republican issue, they have taken it to a new high(low)but all government officials on all levels of government are guilty of this practice.
Why, if this is strictly a republican issue have the Democrats not cried out against what is obvious cronyism from this administration?
We need to take back our tax dollars and government.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 7, 2005 12:19 PM
Comment #84248

Andre,
Why I understand the need for no-bid contracts and do not want to do away with them, IMO Congress needs to use Katrina as an example so that they can stop the abuse.

We know that A; B; C; & D is going to be needed in the event of a disaster. Therefore, the Government needs to have warehoused and under contract certians Gods & Serviced. Ice is probably the most famous one by now. While needed to keep medicence cold, the idea that it is running back and forth to Maine is just Crazy. One of our shut down military based should have the equipment to store.

The problem we have today is that the Administration wants to use the no-bid in a way that they are not intended for. Carnival is a good example of this. After each major hurricane there is the need to house 1,000’s of citizens, yet instead of purchasing American-Made Campers and RV’s that can be hauled in and set up on level ground, FEMA chose to lease Cruise Liners. Besides when the Campers and RV’s weren’t being used in a hurricane, they could be used by the Parks and Rec Depts around America so that low income families could rent them at an affordable price.

What we need is to have a political party that will call these actions into question on their legality. An emergency is not the same thing as a forseeable need; therefore, Congress should call those contracts that do not meet that fine line of requirement naul and void.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 7, 2005 2:20 PM
Comment #84271

Please continue your hard work, happiness and loving your family kctim. I have no doubt you do all very well. I too am a hard working, spiritual man who loves his family. In fact, despite what Rush feeds you every day, you’ll find that liberals and progressives share those traits just as much as you. We simply don’t wear our spirituality and patriotism on our sleeves, we live them. You should try it sometime.

Now, when it comes to science, governance and understanding the world around you (not to mention spelling and punctuation) we are grateful that you are now leaving them in the hands of those who do actually know what they are talking about. I wish you and what I assume is your very lovely family the best as you do us all a favor and disengange from a process you clearly know nothing about.

Posted by: roger at October 7, 2005 3:39 PM
Comment #84277

Where some of the NO relief money is going….

On Wednesday a woman who had lost everything in the Katrina disaster and had received some or part (it did not say) of her relief cash put $20.00 into a slot machine and won $1.6 million.

It is good to see that our money is going to good use and reaping rewards.

Posted by: steve smith at October 7, 2005 4:07 PM
Comment #84291

Uh, Rog?
Do very well? Up until about 4 months ago, I supported a family of 4 on about 23k a year. But now, I have been able to complete my courses and have brought that up to around 40k a year. Not sure how I did that with rampant unemployment and end of world stuff you guys talk about, but I have.
Rush is a bore.
Im not spiritual, Im an atheist. So wearing it on my sleeve would be kind of hard to do now wouldnt it.
Your right on the nose with patriotism though, unlike at least half of this country, I am very proud to be an American and believe she comes first.

“as you do us all a favor and disengange from a process you clearly know nothing about”

Thanks, but I think the elitist attitude shown by you guys is actually going to keep me around longer.
usin dum ol redneks dont know win to quit.
git er done!

Posted by: kctim at October 7, 2005 4:31 PM
Comment #84405

Henry,

There are good reasons to have no-bid contracts and times when it is not good. If you need to move fast, you have to have no-bid contracts. If you have time to go through the long bidding process then by-all-means do it.

The other part of this equation has to do with logistics. You cannot award some of these contracts to companies with questionable capabilities as to scale, or lack of experience in certain areas, just because they are the low bidder. It is simply not worth the risk.

As to why your logic isn’t used to figure out the details…you have already answered…

Posted by: discerner at October 7, 2005 11:17 PM
Comment #84424

Discerner,

Can you name me one good reason for when we need to use a no-bid contract related to a hurricane? Tempoary Housing? No, FEMA should be able to get Campers and RV’s out of their depot to the place by rail or truck within 72 hours. Normal Debris Removal? Again no, Rakes and Shovels can be supplied by Home Depot and Lowes, as well as other Local, State, and Federal Maintenence Shops around the US. Heavy Equipment and Dump Trucks can be supplied by dozens of companies with “On Call Contracts” Ice and Food? Nope, with the Food Banks in America and our 5-10 year Warehouses we have plenty on hand that can be flown, railed, and/or trucked in. How about Infrastructure (roads, bridges, and water systems) wouldn’t that qualify as an emergency that would require a no bid contract? Sorry, with current data available and the size of the storm a click of the mouse prints out the most likely damage to these system. Knowing that the Infrastructure will be damaged by X amount give or take a basic repair contract can be arrange. So what is a good reason for a no-bid contract?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 8, 2005 3:59 AM
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