Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where we have, unfortunately, been

Fighting the Moral Decay of "Those People"
by Hunter
Sat Sep 17th, 2005 at 17:00:54 PDT

Public drunkenness. Fighting with the police. Drug use, with few serious efforts at rehabilitation. Sexually-related breaking and enterings, and even international smuggling.

See, this is the problem with America today. And yes, I know this post is going to be controversial on a liberal site, but I think we simply must recognize the problems with having those kind of people in our midst.

I'm sorry, but this is a class thing. It needs to be talked about. It's small wonder we have a breakdown of law and order in this country, when this is the kind of rancid family histories we're dealing with.

Is it simply bad parenting? These kids don't have many good role models to look up to -- if you've got noone in your family to look up to other than drug abusers, petty criminals, etc., I really don't see how you can help turning out the same way.

Or is it deeper than that -- does genetics play a role? Is a lack of respect for the law more "hardwired" in some groups than others? What about drug abuse, surely some groups are more succeptable to it than others?

I'm not sure, but perhaps it's time to administer some sort of tests and find out. Because I'm simply not sure this cultural "melting pot" that is America can stand the strain of all these wealthy white folks invading our neighborhoods and sending things all to hell:
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) youngest son, John Ellis Bush, "was arrested early Friday and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest," the AP reports. Her is a nephew of President Bush.

"It's not the first time Florida's first family has experienced legal problems with one of their children." Noelle Bush was "sent to jail twice" for violating rules during her rehabilitation following a drug arrest. "She was jailed for three days in July 2002 after being caught with prescription pills and served 10 days a month later after being accused of having a small rock of crack cocaine in her shoe."

Update: A Political Wire reader reminds us that the Bush family's legal trouble doesn't end there. The governor's oldest son broke into an old girlfriend's bedroom window. And Bush's wife, Columba, lied to customs officials a few years back.

by Barbara
Sat Sep 17th, 2005 at 19:37:53 PDT

I have been in Bogalusa, LA for the past three days and today I lost it...emotionally. The pain and suffering, the bullshit by every fucking government agency from the locals to the FEDS.
I have managed to bully my way into the main command center and become friendly enough with the 'important' people, that I have been invited into crucial meetings that are affectionally called "OPEC" meetings because they are about draining/screwing Americans.

Yesterday I was with the "crisis manager" of Bogalusa, Tom Anderson...he's actually a detective in the sheriff's department and while he surely was nice, he's a lying SOB when it concerns what is TRULY happening in Bogalusa. More on the FLIP...PLEASE CONTINUE TO READ THIS AND RECOMMEND

I talked to FEMA reps, RC reps, State Health reps and the hospital folks and received the same "we don't need doctors or nurses to run clinics" (I've been placing medical teams)
Today at the Red Cross shelter, the doctor I traveled with...Dr. Ken Levine, was STILL seeing patients that 'didn't need him' when I left at 7 p.m.


I went to check on my little 80 year old ladies today and stopped at another house with TWO TREES still through it and the couple living there...14 days AFTER the hurricane hit, they put a sign out on their lawn that said "this is how the government treats you"...FEMA went there the next day, gave them a $2k check and wished them good luck.

These people sent their kids to Texas and want to go's a town south of Houston, the name escapes me now. These people have NOT seen the RC and scavange for food/water. She drove for an hour and waited in line for 9 hours to fill out the paperwork for getting RED CROSS vouchers and then was given a NUMBER and told to come back on MONDAY. Now you might think, well they must be in the middle of no where...WRONG, these people are on the ROAD THAT ALL THE GOVERNMENT agencies take to the main control center at least 10 times daily. FEMA never even got people to remove the trees off their roof, they had FRIENDS show up finally.

At my little 80 year old ladies home, I find out they haven't seen the RED CROSS for 2 days and they were out of food and water and needed medical attention and meds. I got them all of that.
While there, their young neighbor talked with the photo journalists who requested I talk to him and I find out that the RED CROSS REFUSED to talk to him, much less help him. This is a 36 year old man who has a wife with POLIO and they are living in a church with NOTHING. FEMA won't talk to them, they have no phone, etc.

From a member of a yahoo group:
Yes, I was literally in the middle of "Katrina". I can only speak about this incident from my own perspective. So do not interpret this as being anyone's opinion but mine.

When Katrina, hit here in Biloxi, MS, there was very little rain, it was more like some kind of a wind storm than anything else. Cocoa (my cat) and I woke up about 7 am on Monday morning to a lot of wind blowing from east to west. Cocoa sat in the dining room window and watched everything blowing by. I sat in my rocker in the living room and also watched a lot blowing by. The electricity and cable had gone out the previous night about midnight, so we were basically cut off from the world. About 3 or 4 PM that afternoon the wind started to die down and a few of my neighbors started sticking their heads out the door to see what the damage was, and what had survived.

On Wednesday following Katrina my neighbor (an elderly woman) came knocking on my door, and asked me if I could get an ambulance for her. Me and my neighbors were all unsuccessful in that attempt, the 911 system had gone down but we were unaware of it. I took my neighbor to Kesler AFB hospital because she is a retired dependent of an Air Force Master Sargent. She was in cardiac distress, she was medivac'ed to Texas where they did heart surgery, I have heard from her yesterday Friday, 09/16/05 and she is now in Florida and doing fine.

The American Red Cross finally started coming though here on either Friday or Saturday after the hurricane offering hot meals and that kind of help. My electricity finally came back on Monday, 09/05/05 (Labor Day). The water was also restored that day. We were without water or power for right at a week.

Telephone service land line/or cell has been very sporadic at best during the week before electricity and ever since. We cannot as yet dial 800 numbers at all, calls out to regular numbers seem to go fine, but incoming calls as still sporadic at best. I can't remember which day this week the cable/internet service was finally reestablished, those of you that have received a personal e-mail from me are in a better position to tell when that was restored than I am.

Our beloved President Bush, has been in and out of Biloxi, two or three times since Katrina, but as far as help goes (FEMA & etc), forget it, there has been none to speak of so far, and guys and gals that are gay (or any single people), from what I have been able to find out can forget getting any help from the government. The American Red Cross still continues to come about every day and offer hot meals at lunch time, the postal service (snail mail) is finally back up (sometime this week) and we now have contact with the outside world. Not one government representative of any kind has yet to knock on my door and tell me where I could possibly get help or to offer any kind of help. So even though we are beginning to recover we have basically been on our own. And, that is unfair for me to say that, because there have been groups of people from churches and individuals who have come forth to try and help us. I met people from Arkansaw, Texas, Georgia, Alabama & Florida, who brought water and anything else like that they could trying to help people out.

So to all of the people who have tried to help, and the people in the groups that have offered help and my personal friends, again I wish to thank all of you, not only on my behalf, but also all the people of the Gulf Coast, we could not have done it without your help.

Al Craven in Biloxi


Four years ago, the self-appointed head of his imaginary American Church, recovering coke addict and alcoholic who calls himself our President stood at Ground Zero with a bullhorn and shouted: "I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

Four years after the famous Ground Zero Bullhorn speech, no one has heard a thing. This most incompetent and irresponsible of Presidents, "fully supported" by a Republican Congress, Republican Courts, a Republican Governor of New York State and a Republican Mayor in New York City has accomplished nothing. Four years later Osama bin Laden remains free, his terrorist organization appears to be stronger than ever, we're mired down in that horrible chaos called Iraq (a war based on a series of monumental lies), and Ground Zero remains a huge parking lot for shattered dreams, memories of lost lives and failed "projects".

Yesterday, this two-legged offense to American history, the United States Constitution and decent people around the globe led a church service in the National Cathedral (again, forgetting he's supposed to be our President, not our "Pope") and made another grandstanding, smoke and mirrors pronouncement positioning himself as the savior of the elderly, the vulnerable and the poor." Not satisfied with playing defender of democracy, he now thinks he's the new Mother Theresa.

Egads! Are Americans that stupid? Will they once again swallow the trite and empty lies that spew out of this oil guzzling, planet killing, constitution trashing con artist's mouth? Are we going to allow this monster to use Katrina to drag this nation even further away from the Constitution and from the 21st Century? Are we going to allow him to define "the lesson of Katrina" as a message from God to make this a more Christian nation?

Here is the anecdotal evidence of a growing problem

What did you do today?
by tvb
Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 23:32:53 PDT

What did you do today?

I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy today.

I had been trying to avoid it but I knew there was a deadline coming. Things would be changing soon.

It was one of the biggest, saddest things I did today, this month, this year, this lifetime. When I left my attorney's office today, it felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.

Venting continues below the fold.

It wasn't credit cards that did me in. I never really used them. I keep one for when I need to rent a car, make hotel reservations, etc. but rarely ever used it otherwise. Even when I used it to guarantee the rental or reservation, I would pay cash.

It wasn't because I was stupid and didn't pay my bills. I did.

But I got sick. Real sick...sick enough to end up in the hospital. I had no insurance and the bills were beyond my means. And the hospital sued me, and they won. The bill was more than I make in a year. Then I got sick again and spent another three days in the hospital.

I don't have medical insurance because I can't afford it. It costs about 40% of what I make. I make about $100 more per month than I can to qualify for Medicaid. My job does not offer insurance.

I have some medical issues that require drugs each month at a cost of $78. These are life-sustaining drugs. If I don't take them, I die. I should see a doctor every 6 months but I can't afford it. It is also the reason I ended up in the hospital twice. If I was able to afford private insurance, it would exclude this pre-existing medical condition.

The bankruptcy filing listed $35K or so in hospital bills. Another $2000 or so was other stuff--nothing major and out of control. The judgment on the first bill was limited to what Medicaid would have paid by the judge. The difference was enormous---thousands of dollars. They were trying to sue for retail because I didn't have insurance and which was way more than HMO and Medicaid reimbursements. That was the only bright spot...that they could not gouge me further because I am poor; the judge would not give them that amount One mistake I made is that I didn't show up with an attorney that day in court but my limited budget forced me to make a decision--I knew I would lose the judgment because I was in their facility and knew my dollars would be better spent on the bankruptcy filing. In our country, dead people can't even get out of medical bills...they will sue the estate according to my attorney.

It got bad after that judgment. My parents who live in another state started to get calls. At first I couldn't figure out why they were calling there. It turns out they got that number because she was listed as my emergency contact at the hospital. The night my mom was dying and ultimately died, a debt collector called repeatedly like it was a game. She called every twenty minutes or so. This was all by a hospital that is non-profit and receives government subsidies. In court, the attorney had with him my medical records; so much for HIPAA. I guess it only applies to those with insurance.

And finally, I gave in and decided, "Screw them". It ultimately came down to those calls to my parents and then only to my dad where they would deliberately ask for my mom. I know this because they were told by him that she had passed away months ago.

When I went over the final filing today with my attorney before it was submitted (it's all done online these days), I was both angry and amused that he knew the names and addresses of all the people I owed money to. He said it is always the same people.

I know I am not alone in what happened to me. Most bankruptcies are due to medical bills
A national health care program could put an end to thousands of bankruptcies. But big business prevails these days and allows banks and credit card issuers to make a fresh start more difficult for those who did nothing to deserve it, other than getting sick in one of the few nations in the world that does not provide medical care to their residents.

My attorney indicated he has never been busier. Gee, I wonder why?

I'm lucky though. Those folks in NOLA who will be struggling (and think of those medical bills!) will not find it so easy. They need to got through income tests and credit counseling at their own expense. That is not right.

Sorry for the length. I'm venting here a bit.

Who's in Charge
Club for Growth guy says:

That sore spot was rubbed raw earlier this week when Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, suggested that the Republican Congress had already trimmed much of the fat from the federal budget, making it difficult to find ways to offset hurricane spending.

Mr. Coburn called such a claim ludicrous and other Republicans took exception as well.
"There has never been a time where there is more total spending and more wasteful spending in Washington than we have today," said Pat Toomey, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania and the head of the conservative Club for Growth. "There is ample opportunity to find the offsets we need so that this does not have to be a fiscal disaster as well as a natural disaster."
Still, after years of total Republican rule during which the president has failed to veto a single bill and House Democrats have been completely stripped of any ability to do anything, nothing will stop the Republicans for being portrayed as the party of fiscal restraint.

-Atrios 10:55 AM

Our goal is to get the work done quickly. And taxpayers expect this work to be done honestly and wisely -- so we'll have a team of inspectors general reviewing all expenditures.

George W. Bush
President Discusses Hurricane Relief
September 15, 2005

In total, 64% of the IGs appointed by President Bush held some sort of political position, such as a political appointment in a Republican administration or a position with a Republican member of Congress, before their appointments as IGs . . . .Only 18% of the IGs appointed by President Bush had previous audit experience, such as experience in an IG's office, at the Government Accountability Office, or at a private accounting firm.

House Committee on Government Reform
Minority Staff
The Politicization of Inspectors General
January 7, 2005
Janet Rehnquist, the daughter of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, will resign as inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department after a controversial tenure, congressional sources said Tuesday . . . Congress is investigating Rehnquist's work as internal watchdog of the agency, including her decision to delay an audit of Florida's pension fund at the request of Gov. Jeb Bush's office. Investigators also are looking at whether she forced out several top career staff members.

CBS News
Janet Rehnquist Resigns
March 4, 2005
A little over a year ago, Stuart Bowen Jr. was lobbying for a company looking for work in the impending reconstruction of Iraq. A former longtime aide to President Bush, Bowen tapped administration contacts on behalf of URS Group, a consulting firm, and the company eventually landed contracts worth up to $30 million for overseeing Iraqi construction projects. Today, Bowen works for the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-led bureaucracy running Iraq. In his new job as inspector general, Bowen is the corruption watchdog over more than $20 billion of rebuilding, including the activities of URS, the company he represented.

Chicago Tribune
Insiders Shape Postwar Iraq
June 20, 2004
The man who has issued many critical reports about the mismanagement and security flaws at the Department of Homeland Security was told Wednesday night that he was out of a job.
Clark Ervin made himself very unpopular by issuing a series of stinging reports on security programs that he said had failed, officials he called inept, and fraud that he suspected. His year-end report, out today, alleges that millions of dollars have been wasted or are unaccounted for by the department . . .
The White House appointed Ervin as inspector general for the Homeland Security Department only for the term of Congress. He wanted to stay on, but was informed Wednesday night that he would be replaced. "His term expired and that's that," said a White House spokesperson.

ABC News
Official Who Criticized Homeland Security Is Out of a Job
December 9, 2004
Defense Department Inspector General Joseph Schmitz was appointed to his post by President Bush in 2001 after the Associated Press reported the office "was caught cheating" and destroying internal documents. His office has broad jurisdiction to investigate all Pentagon contracts, both in Iraq and elsewhere . . .
According to the January 5, 1996, Aviation Daily newsletter, Schmitz "had a number of airline clients in his private practice" -- and as IG has subsequently refused bipartisan efforts to intervene and terminate a controversial, multi-billion-dollar Pentagon contract with Boeing. The contract would send more than $23 billion in taxpayer funds to the company, yet in return would only be allowed to lease jets, not own them. In fact, even though Schmitz himself admitted the administration "used inappropriate procurement strategies and did not use best business practices ... to provide sufficient accountability" for the contract, he claimed there was "no compelling reason" to halt the deal.

The American Prospect
These Dogs Don't Hunt
July 9, 2004
Schmitz's office on Tuesday released a 256-page report on the investigation [into the Boeing tanker deal], coinciding with a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the matter, considered the largest procurement scandal in decades. While panel members congratulated Schmitz on the extensive report, some questioned whether the inspector general was too liberal (sic) in redacting 45 sections of the report, including e-mails between key players.
The report also blacks out the names of several government aides. For instance, in one e-mail sent Jan. 19 from Roche to Schmitz, the names of a lawmaker and several administration officials who championed the $23.5 billion plan have been erased.

Government Executive
Pentagon IG: Defense official could face criminal charges
June 7, 2005
Joseph Schmitz, the Pentagon's chief internal watchdog since March 2002, has quit to join a defense contractor involved in private security services . . . Schmitz will become chief operating officer and general counsel of McLean, Virginia-based Prince Group, which manufactures items on contract and owns Blackwater USA, a security consultant working in Iraq . . .

Pentagon's Chief Watchdog Joins
Company that Owns Blackwater
September 1, 2005
Contractors are already lining up for Katrina money . . . Blackwater USA, known for its work supporting military operations in Iraq, said it would provide 164 armed guards to help provide security at FEMA sites in Louisiana.

Contracts will be FEMA's next challenge
September 13, 2005

U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA):
The President suspended wage standards for workers on the Gulf Coast before he declared a national emergency. That means he was so focused on cutting the wages of people who'd be returning to the Gulf Coast to rebuild their lives and their communities that, in order to hasten the suspension, he failed to follow the law. And at the same time the White House was cutting workers' wages, it was busy awarding no-bid contracts. The President has proven once again that he's more interested in governing for the few than in governing for all of us.

The President's pay cut affects tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Americans who desperately need a decent income to rebuild their lives. People working construction jobs in the Gulf Coast might only have earned $7 or $8 in the first place; now, the only protection left for them is the federal minimum wage, which is a disgraceful $5.15 an hour because Republicans repeatedly refuse to increase it.

What the President has done is immoral.

Male Veterinarian Appointed Acting Director of Women's Health, FDA
Posted by Rose Siding
Added to homepage Sat Sep 17th 2005, 11:04 AM ET
Symbolic of the importance the Bush Administration places on women's health, a male veterinarian has been appointed by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Lester Crawford as acting director of the Office of Women's Health. Norris E. Alderson, PhD, has spent the majority of his career at the FDA holding various positions in the Center for Veterinary Medicine.

The Office for Women's Health, which ensures that the FDA remains gender sensitive and monitors the progress of women's health initiatives, was most recently headed by Dr. Susan Wood. Wood resigned late last month in protest over the FDA's refusal to grant over-the-counter status to emergency contraception.

The incompetence and corruption of the Bush years must NOT be forgotten.

As I read articles in the aftermath of the Federal Levees Distaster (it was not Katrina), I am reminded of how much damage the Bushies did to this nation.

Yes, I remember and bear grudges. Even if they are never held legally accountable, I want their actions exposed to the light for all the world to see.

--the BB

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