The dog wags back!

A sometimes funny, somtimes angry, but mostly progressive, blog on the politics and issues of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and America.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Greetings from Pennsylvania

(out of the blue.. state)
1. Keith blogs: always a fun read
2. (Oh, what money can buy nowadays. DL)
 Hundreds of mercenaries have descended on New Orleans to guard the property of the city's millionaires from looters.   The heavily armed men, employed by private military companies including Blackwater and ISI, are part of the militarisation of a city which had a reputation for being one of the most relaxed and easy-going in America.,16441,1567656,00.html
3. First, FEMA didn't know WHAT to do... but once it had money, it knew who to give it to. (Including Haliburton, proud owners of a new New Orleans cleanup contract. DL)
Max Blumenthal wonders why Pat Robertson's shadowy relief organization, Operation Blessing, is prominently featured on FEMA's list of charities to receive donations for hurricane relief.
4. Shouldn't the Federal Government, our protectors against terrorism (according to them, anyway) be on top of this from day one? (DL)
As rising floodwaters swamped New Orleans, Louisiana's chief epidemiologist enlisted state police on a mission to break into a high-security government lab and destroy any dangerous germs before they could escape or fall into the wrong hands. 
5. No comment...
A German inventor said he has developed a method to produce crude oil products from waste that he believes can be an answer to the soaring costs of fuel, but denied a German newspaper story implying he also used dead cats...meee...OW!.
6. Imus NEWS QUOTE OF THE DAY #4 (nothing I can improve on here.. except to recommend reading the Maureen Dowd article mentioned below. DL)

Imus to David Gregory: "Maureen Dowd of the New york Times had a good line in her column this morning, that 'The President should stop haunting New Orleans looking for that bullhorn moment.'  ( A Fatal Incuriosity, Maureen Dowd, NY Times)

NBC's Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory: "There is no question that he is trying to re-establish the 9/11 Presidency. And I think that the biggest problem for them in all of this, is no matter how hard they try to be on top of the relief and recovery now, is people just don't quite understand how they got to a place where the President has to stand out there and say 'I take the blame' after having governed through 9/11, observed, witnessed the tsunami and its effects that this Administration has been telling us for four years that another attack would be coming and now the President has to admit that there are serious questions about whether the government could respond to another major disaster. It strikes at the core of what his political identity and his Presidency is supposed to be about."

7. Now don't you all be playing "that there, uh.. blame game.. yeah... that's it." (DL)

Books Mentioned on the Imus Show: 'Attack the Messenger : How Politicians Turn You against the Media' by Craig Crawford, The Congressional Quarterly 

From Publishers Weekly In 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush successfully evaded Dan Rather's questions about his Iran-Contra affair involvement by going on the attack in a live interview on CBS. Crawford, a TV pundit and Congressional Quarterly 

8. It's a shame that someone has to tell them 10 times.. and.. after New Orleans.. they STILL don't get the message without a hammer to the head. (DL)

F.A.A. Alerted on Qaeda in '98, 9/11 Panel Said By ERIC LICHTBLAU  , NY Times
U.S. officials were warned in 1998 that Al Qaeda could "seek to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark." according to previously secret portions of a report prepared last year by the Sept. 11 commission. The officials also realized months before the Sept. 11 attacks that two of the three airports used in the hijackings had suffered repeated security lapses. A heavily redacted version was released by the Bush administration in January, but commission members complained that the deleted material contained information critical to the public's understanding of what went wrong on Sept. 11. In response, the administration prepared a new public version of the report, which was posted Tuesday on the National Archives Web site

Other deletions, however, highlighted more serious security concerns. A footnote that was originally deleted from the report showed that a quarter of the security screeners used in 2001 by Argenbright Security for United Airlines flights at Dulles Airport had not completed required criminal background checks, the commission report said. Another previously deleted footnote, related to the lack of security for cockpit doors, criticized American Airlines for security lapses.

Much of the material now restored in the public version of the commission's report centered on the warnings the F.A.A. received about the threat of hijackings, including 52 intelligence documents in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks that mentioned Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden.

9. No comment, meaning.. no comment. (DL)

Washington Post-ABC News Poll
Bush's Approval Rating Drops To New Low

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that clear majorities of Americans disapprove of the way officials at all levels of government are handling the recovery from Katrina. 
10. If we just don't look, maybe it'll just go away, like 9/11. What? That's not gone either?  (see Craig Crawford book, above)(DL)
Hiding Bodies Won't Hide the Truth
By Terry M. Neal Staff Writer Thursday, September 8, 2005
Cadavers have a way of raising questions. When people see them, they wonder, how did they get dead? When a lot of people see a lot of dead bodies, politicians begin thinking of damage control. The much-maligned Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday that it didn't want journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims.

The president's defenders have now perfected their public relations talking points: The public doesn't blame Bush. Any journalist, pundit or politician who criticizes the president is out of touch with the mainstream. Anyone who has the audacity to demand accountability is just a big old partisan meannie.