Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina: don't think of it as a disaster, think of it as an opportunity

When opportunity knocks, Halliburton answers. No joke, yet another no-bid contract for a disaster under Bush's watch goes to VP Dick Cheney's former company.

In other Katrina news, the Emperor toured what I swear he kept referring to as "this part of the world" instead of "this part of the country" where he stated the obvious [emphasis added]

President Bush landed in Mobile, Ala., Friday morning to tour the devastated area and reassure survivors that the federal government will help them rebuild. He later did a close flyover of New Orleans, where, he vowed, order will be restored.

"We have a responsibility to help clean up this mess," Bush said after meeting with the leaders of some Gulf Coast states in Mobile, Ala. "It's as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by the worst kind of weapon you can imagine." [FoxNews]

and patronized the the victims with the skill of an empath [emphasis added]

In Biloxi, Miss., Bush comforted two weeping women on a street where a house had collapsed and towering trees were stripped of their branches. "My son needs clothes," said Bronwynne Bassier, 23, clutching several trash bags. "I don't have anything."

"I understand that," Bush said. He kissed both women on their heads and walked with his arms around them, telling them they could get help from the Salvation Army. "Hang in there," he said.

Asked later how the richest country on Earth could not meet the needs of its people, Bush said: "I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results." [WaPo]

Bush clarified his description of what he considers unacceptable results (despite the above mentioned satisfactory response) as being the fact security in New Orleans was under-resourced noting 1,200 National Guard troops arrived there on Friday and that 1,200 were deployed on Thursday. PA based troops have been mobilized to aid in the aftermath of Katrina but, apparently, some units located even closer to the gulf coast have not yet received orders

“I am in an Air Force Reserve Unit located a few hours from the Gulf coast area. I have volunteered to help out in ANY way possible in the affected areas. I have been told that ‘we are waiting on orders from higher up.’ What’s taking so long? There are a lot of us reservists itching to go and help out, but we cannot until we are notified. It is both heartbreaking and frustrating knowing that we are close to the area, can offer help, but cannot.” — MSgt R
After spending the last couple of days preparing for her mission, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced plans to fly to her native Alabama on Sunday to view the devastation as a presidential emissary of concern.

Here in the Philadelphia metro area, Project Brotherly Love has kicked off. In addition to fundraising, Mayor John Street has announced that the city plans to house 1,000 families displaced by the disaster.
Street said the city would use homeless shelters, public housing units and some private housing to shelter refugees. He estimates Philadelphia could house 3,000 to 5,000 refugees from the storm-ravaged South.

"We will be prepared to receive our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans as soon as they can be brought to the city of Philadelphia," Street said. "It is our belief that we can do no less."


The city would be willing to provide stable housing for "30 days to year or more ... for these people who have nothing left," Street said.

UPDATE: W did keep referring it to affected areas as "this part of the world", I guess that will make it a little easier for him to get back to the important task of going on with his own life.

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