Chris's Rants

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Write Your Congress Critters, NOW

As an update to my previous post: if you haven't watched this week's Meet The Press, you really need to do so.

In addition to the dissembling buck passing of Sec'y Chertoff, the president of Jefferson Parish just eviscerated FEMA and DHS with charges that, if true, amount to criminal behavior on someone's part. He said that Wal*Mart had delivered 3 truck-loads of water to his parish's border on Tuesday, and FEMA turned them away saying that it was not needed. He said that a Navy ship had docked in his port with an offer of fuel, and that FEMA had directed them not to distribute it. He said that FEMA cut their communications.

Russert looked stunned and then tried to get his guest to blame the Mayor and Governor for their lack of preparedness.

Russert's guest then broke down in one of the most emotional scenes I have ever seen on TV as he described how his parish's emergency manager had received daily calls from his mother who was lying in a nursing home in St. Bernard's Parish asking him when someone was going to come and rescue her. Each day, the son would repeat what he was being told by FEMA officials, that "someone will come and get you".

She died on Friday. No one ever came.

If that doesn't break your heart, there's something missing inside you.

I will provide a link to Crooks and Liars when they inevitably post the clip.

Update: Wonkette has a rough transcript and a video clip:
MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.


MR. BROUSSARD: I'm telling you most importantly I want to thank my public employees...

MR. RUSSERT: All right.

MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They're burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night. . . Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.
If you are a U.S. citizen and you haven't yet written or called your Congress critter and both of your Senators to demand that Sec'y Chertoff and Director Brown be immediately fired for criminal negligence, gross incompetence and mismanagement and to request that there be immediate, bi-partisan investigation into exactly why the federal preparedness and response to Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish was so colossally botched, so badly delayed and so incompetently carried out, and as to whether DHS and FEMA are truely prepared to respond to a terrorist attack, much less another natural disaster, you need to do so now. Here's the link for Congress, and here for the Senate.

Tell them "you're as mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore".

There is no doubt that the individual relief workers and first responders on the ground have been performing heroic acts of selflessness for which we should all be grateful. However, the political hacks at the top of the food chain, the ones calling the shots, the ones who seem to believe they bear no responsibility at all for the things that went so horribly wrong, are so far in over their heads and so out of touch with reality it scares me.


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