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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Full Press Press

“Apparently the media is waking up from their long hibernation.”

“President Bush knew the storm and its consequences had been bad; but he didn't quite realize how bad.

The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.”
-Newsweek, September 19, 2005 issue

“Um.. the levees broke Monday. No one wanted to break the bad news until Thursday? He really does live in his own little world, doesn’t he?”

“When Hurricane Katrina struck, it appears there was no one to tell President Bush the plain truth: that the state and local governments had been overwhelmed, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was not up to the job and that the military, the only institution with the resources to cope, couldn't act without a declaration from the president overriding all other authority.”
-Newsweek, September 19, 2005 issue

“A NEWSWEEK reconstruction of the government's response to the storm shows how Bush's leadership style and the bureaucratic culture combined to produce a disaster within a disaster.”
-Newsweek, September 19, 2005 issue

“..here are a number of steps Bush could have taken, short of a full-scale federal takeover, like ordering the military to take over the pitiful and (by now) largely broken emergency communications system throughout the region. But the president, who was in San Diego preparing to give a speech the next day on the war in Iraq, went to bed.”
-Newsweek, September 19, 2005 issue

"... I went to Florida a few days after President Bush did to observe the damage from Hurricane Andrew. I had dealt with a lot of natural disasters as governor, including floods, droughts, and tornadoes, but I had never seen anything like this. I was surprised to hear complaints from both local officials and residents about how the Federal Emergency Management Agency was handling the aftermath of the hurricane. Traditionally, the job of FEMA director was given to a political supporter of the President who wanted some plum position but who had no experience with emergencies. I made a mental note to avoid that mistake if I won. Voters don't chose a President based on how he'll handle disasters, but if they're faced with one themselves, it quickly becomes the most important issue in their lives."
-Bill Clinton, My Life (p. 428)

“Once a kind of petty-cash drawer for congressmen to quickly hand out aid after floods and storms, FEMA had improved in the 1990s in the Clinton administration. But it became a victim of the Iron Law of Unintended Consequences. After 9/11 raised the profile of disaster response, FEMA was folded into the sprawling Department of Homeland Security and effectively weakened. FEMA's boss, Bush's close friend Joe Allbaugh, quit when he lost his cabinet seat.”
-Newsweek, September 19, 2005 issue

“In 2002, a pair of FBI agents showed up at a small, well-known law firm near Oklahoma City, asking questions about Mike Brown, a former employee being considered for a job at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
There, Stephen Jones, a lawyer best known for defending bomber Timothy McVeigh, recalled how he hired Brown fresh from law school two decades earlier. He'd been impressed by Brown's stint on a nearby city council.
But just a few years later, Jones and the other four partners decided to split the firm. To minimize job loss, they unanimously agreed to keep 35 of their 37 employees. Brown was not one of them.
‘He did not develop the way we wanted,’ Jones said this week. ‘He was average. Maybe that's the best way to put it.’
Brown was pleasant enough, if a bit opportunistic, Jones said, but he did not put enough time and energy into his job. ‘He would have been better suited to be a small city or county lawyer,’ he said. Jones was surprised Brown was being considered for job at FEMA but figured it wasn't impossible he could have risen high enough in local and state government to be considered for a job directing FEMA operations in Oklahoma.
The agents quickly corrected him. This was a national post in Washington, deputy director of FEMA, the arm of the federal government that prepares for and responds to disasters around the United States.
Jones looked at the agents, ‘You're surely kidding?’"
-St. Petersburg Times, September 10, 2005

“The denial and the frustration finally collided aboard Air Force One on Friday. As the president's plane sat on the tarmac at New Orleans airport, a confrontation occurred that was described by one participant as ‘as blunt as you can get without the Secret Service getting involved.’ Governor Blanco was there, along with various congressmen and senators and Mayor Nagin.”
-Newsweek, September 19, 2005 issue

“Yep.. Heck of a job you’re doing there Brownie. By the way, in case you missed the nuance of the moment, Brown is still the head of FEMA. The fact that he cannot do his job and has been taken off of the rescue and emergency response efforts in NOLA doesn’t change that. Heck, he’ll probably get a bonus for his hard work. There is nothing that you can do in this administration to make you lose a top position (except, of course, disagreeing with Dubya, but they all know better than that.)”

“Gov. Rick Perry spoke at two private events this week where a Texas minister wondered if God sent Hurricane Katrina to purify the nation of sins, including homosexuality.

The GOP leader didn't object at the gatherings in San Antonio and Houston on Thursday.
Gubernatorial spokesman Robert Black, contacted Friday, said: ‘The governor does not agree with that. But far be it for the governor to try to divine the will of the Almighty.’”
-Austin American Statesman, September 11, 2005

“Someone apparently forgot that Texas just gained about a 100,000 new voters from Louisianna. I hope he realizes it at the next election..”


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