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Friday, September 23, 2005

Head of disaster coordination heads to a fundraiser on Saturday

These guys are just shameless.

A catagory 4 storm is about to destry Texas and Karl Rove, the head of disaster coordination goes on a fundraiser in South Dakota this Saturday? He just proved again that he's in it to make a buck.

From Seantor Frank Lautenburg's office
In a letter sent today, United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) asked President Bush why his White House point person for disaster coordination and recovery, Karl Rove, was heading for a political fundraiser in North Dakota on the same day Hurricane Rita is expected to slam into Texas and Louisiana.

The following links are articles that discuss Karl Rove's role as the disaster point person for the White House.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/5615598.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/15/politics/15bush.html?ex=1127620800&en=9c89c3f0803834b3&ei=5070

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2005/09/15/BL2005091501098.html

A copy of the original letter sent to President Bush is attached to this release.

September 23, 2005

Honorable George W. Bush President The White House Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

The assignment of your Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl C. Rove, as the lead White House official for disaster coordination and recovery efforts raises troubling questions given his partisan political background.

As all know, Hurricane Rita is bearing down on the Gulf Coast even as the nation reels from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It would be expected that Mr. Rove would be at his post "24/7" during this crisis.

However, as unlikely as it might seem, we have learned that Mr. Rove will be traveling to North Dakota to engage in political fundraising activities. When this fearsome hurricane makes landfall on Saturday, Mr. Rove will be delivering a political speech to the North Dakota Republican Party, and will be featured as a special guest at a fundraising dinner.

I respectfully urge you to remind Mr. Rove of his responsibilities as the coordinator of relief and recovery efforts, and direct him to keep his attention focused on this critical job. There will be plenty of time for fundraising, but for now, putting lives back together and rebuilding communities must take priority over building political war chests.

Makes you wish Al Gore or John Kerry was President doesn't it?

What in the hell is the Bush administration thinking?

This is just insane.

It's amazing to watch the news when you're out of the country because you don't get the political spin and you can see things clearly.

Here's what we've seen from Cancun.

1. The planning that went into getting people out of Houston is a total mess. 100 mile traffic jams and people are sitting ducks on the bridges as the hurricane inches closer to Texas.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Sixteen hours to San Antonio and Dallas. Eleven hours to Austin. With over a million people trying to flee vulnerable parts of the Houston area, Hurricane Rita will be a nightmare even if Galveston doesn't take a direct hit. .

Trying to leave Houston on I-10, Ella Corder drove 15 hours to go just 13 miles today. Noticing cars out of gas littering the freeway, she turned off her air-conditioner to save fuel, but the 52-year-old heart patient worried the heat and exhaustion were taking a toll on her.

"All I want to do is go home," she said tearfully by cell phone. "Can't anyone get me out of here? "

Other evacuees' frustration turned into anger as the day wore on.

"This is the worst planning I've ever seen," said Julie Anderson, who covered just 45 miles in 12 hours after setting out from her home in the Houston suburb of LaPorte. "They say we've learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina. Well, you couldn't prove it by me."

You took the words right out of my mouth. If you think that's bad, just read this...

Hoping to speed the evacuation that officially began yesterday, authorities decided today to open the incoming lanes of two Houston freeways, I-45 and I-10, to outbound traffic for the first time ever. Plans to reverse the traffic flow on U.S. 290 were abandoned because of traffic problems it would create in Brenham and Giddings.

When all lanes of I-45 became outbound lanes north of Conroe early this afternoon, traffic immediately sped up. Like grocery shoppers jockeying for the fastest-moving checkout lines, northbound drivers were criss-crossing the freeway median in search of faster-moving lanes.

Drivers weren't willing to wait for the same to happen on I-10. Near Sealy, a stream of motorists who heard of the plan on their radios pulled into the inbound lanes and drove off. Their impromptu traffic management plan raised everyone's average speed from stop and go to 55 mph. At least for a while.

Incredible. There's 100 miles of traffic for the last two days and it took officals till last night to decide to open more lanes. Again, 2 million people are now on the highway and they couldn't think about opening up more lanes till last night?


We're all speechless down here watching this unfold on the news. I don't know how critical the news is in the US but the reporters on the international news is killing the Bush administration for their lack of planning...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Huston live web cam

Wow, this hurricane is something else. I'm in Cancun and last night we could see hurricane clouds, see the lightning, and feel the wind pick up. MAN, this storm is HUGE

I feel horrible for the people who can't get away from the path of this storm. Here is a link to various web cams in the Houston area. Traffic is jammed over 100 miles and people are running out of time to get away from this storm.

This is going to make Katrina look like a shower.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Racial profiling still alive and well in Bristol

If you need any clue on why African-Americans do not trust the police departments, one only need to read this article. This is just another example of something that African-Americans have been saying for years (to the ignorance of white) which is racial profiling is a common protice among police officers in many towns in Connecticut (and the nation).

From the Hartford Courant
Just as city leaders began working to heal wounds from allegations of a secret, racist radio station run by two police officers, the NAACP on Tuesday accused the police department of racial profiling in the city's West End.

"We have very, very grave concerns about what is going on in the Bristol community," Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP, told officials at the regular meeting of the city's police board.

[...]

Standing before the audience Tuesday night, Esdaile said at least two Bristol police officers have privately told him they were ordered to conduct racial profiling in the West End, a working-class neighborhood.

The allegation drew denials from the police union and embattled Police Chief John DiVenere.

"No. I can categorically deny that whole thing," union President Ken Gallup said. "The department is really coming in for a bashing right now."

DiVenere confirmed that he ordered strict enforcement in the West End because of crime complaints from residents, but he emphasized that it absolutely wasn't aimed at any racial group.

"Absolutely not, of course not. I find it hard to believe anyone would say that, or that any officer would follow an illegal order," DiVenere said.

Esdaile refused to identify the officers who spoke with him, and would not provide details of their accounts or name the official who allegedly ordered racial profiling.

"I know what I'm talking about. It came from the top," Esdaile told reporters during a break in the police board meeting. "I said the top. You take it from there."

Addressing the board, he said DiVenere must explain why some police officers were still making racist broadcasts on a pirate FM station years after the chief first heard rumors that it was happening.

"We want to know just what measures he took to be sure this was eradicated," Esdaile said. "There are just three answers: Incompetency, they just didn't care, or `I agree with everything that's going on.'"

DiVenere has said he ordered Sgt. Richard Valentine to "shut it down" after hearing rumors several years ago of unlicensed broadcasts from his home. DiVenere said he couldn't do more because no other officers would verify the rumors.

The issue explosively resurfaced last week, when the NAACP and state Rep. Roger Michele, D-Bristol, held a press conference to accuse Valentine and Capt. Daniel Britt of being involved in WNFR. The NAACP identified the unlicensed call letters as Nigger-Free Radio. Just hours after that story became public, Valentine put in for immediate retirement and Britt was put on administrative leave. Neither has publicly answered the allegation.
Crazy, just crazy.

African-American have been complaining about things like this going on in Connecticut for YEARS and nothing gets done. Hand a video camera to a African-American and tell him to drive his car to Avon after dark and watch what happens and the situation in Bristol isn't any different.

Think about this when African-Americans say that if the hurricane hit an area populated by a majority of whites, it would of recieved assistance so fast, it would make your head spin. Racism is the ugly scar on this country that we as a nation will never fully acknowledge or address and until we do somehting (or even admits that it exosts) you'll hear more stories like this happening in liberal Connecticut.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Do Shays, Johnson, and Simmons support Bush's Gulf Coast Wage Cut

Here's a breakdown of the history of President Bush's latest embarrassment fromm 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.


Where do our congressional members from Connecticut stand on this matter? Well, it seems that Rep. Miller now has a bill on the floor that will overturn President Bush's Gulf Coast Wage Cut and it seems that only democrats have signed onto the bill. Simmons, Shays, or Johnson are supporting the bill so it it fair to assume the they agree with the President's wage cut?

If I wasn't in Cancun, I'd give Johnson, Shays, and Simmons ofice a phone call and ask them where they stand.

NEWSFLASH: NEWTON PLEAS GUILTY

Finally Newton admits to taking a bribe, mail fraud, and tax evasion and now faces a maximun of 35 years in prison.

But I guess this is still the media's fault.

From the Hartford Courant
Former state Sen. Ernest Newton II, who rose from one of Bridgeport's poorest neighborhoods to become a highly visible member of the state Senate, pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges of receiving a bribe, mail fraud and tax evasion.

The case is the lastest in a string of federal corruption probes in Connecticut.

Newton, who announced his resignation last week and officially submitted it Monday, acknowledged in court that he accepted a $5,000 bribe in exchange for helping the director of a nonprofit job training agency secure a $100,000 grant.

[...]

Newton also admitted filing false tax returns and diverting $13,000 in campaign contributions for personal use, which is considered mail fraud because the financial reporting forms were sent by mail.


This is the person who blamed everybody but himself for his problems and in the end he admits to the charges the media leveled against him. How can any of his supporters still stand behind him now.

I put up a new poll on the right side of the blog about the Newton case. Take a second and vote.



The "Moses of my people" to plea guilty

Still blaming the media?
Former state Sen. Ernest Newton II told a federal judge Tuesday morning that he wants to enter a plea to unspecified charges as part of a public corruption investigation.

[...]

Newton, 49, told U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas that he understands the conflict. Nevas said he would give Newton time to meet with his attorneys before a second hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Why do I have to be out of the country when he goes to court...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Gov Rell forces NLDC to withdrawl eviciton notices

Thumbs up to Governor Rell for forcing the New London Development Corp to withdrawl their eviction notices they handed out to Fort Trumbull residents last week.

The handing out of the eviction notices was a PR nightmare and shouldn't of been done in the first place.

From the Hartford Courant
Gov. M. Jodi Rell forced the New London Development Corp. on Friday to rescind eviction notices served on residents whose homes were taken by eminent domain.

The city's development arm buckled under pressure by Rell, who could conceivably hold back state money necessary for the city's Fort Trumbull economic development project.

[...]

House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward, R-North Branford, said he wants the legislature to immediately adopt a statutory moratorium on land-takings, which would remain in effect until the General Assembly can agree on how to limit public land-takings.

"We want the moratorium to be mandatory and binding and to include the homeowners in New London," Ward said.

[...]

Using the leverage the state enjoys as a financier of the project, Rell has urged the development corporation to incorporate some of the homes into the redevelopment plan and return ownership to the holdouts.

She thought progress was being made until the development corporation served eviction notices, telling the residents they would have to pay rent and then vacate in 30 to 90 days

[...]

Legislators said the eviction notices were a political and public-relations blunder, igniting calls in New London for wholesale leadership changes at the development corporation and engaging the governor and legislators in Hartford.

Susette Kelo, the named plaintiff in the New London case and one of the residents trying to stay in her Fort Trumbull home, stood by Ward as he announced the petition drive.

"The wolves are at our door and we are asking for support. Really, that's clearly what it is. The wolves are at our door," Kelo said.

But the threat disappeared from their doors Friday as the New London Development Corp. announced it was rescinding the eviction notices.

"The governor appreciates the fact the NLDC has done the right thing and sent out this new round of letters," Everhart said. "It was unfortunate it had to come to this."

"It was stupid," Ward said.

The development corporation did not return a call for comment.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Greetings from Cancun

Spending a little vacation time in Canaun Mexico but that's not going to stop me in blogging (unless my wife gets upset).

The posts might come alittle slower here but I'll try my best to stay on top of things from here but one look at the picture and you'll know why I might miss posting for a day to two...