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Topic: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Preparednes

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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Preparednes

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    Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined senior House Democrats at a news conference in the Capitol this afternoon on Congressional action to provide disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Below are Pelosi’s remarks:

    “Good afternoon. Thank you for being here. As we gather here under the Capitol dome, we are in a state of emergency in our country. So many people have lost their lives, their livelihoods, their homes; the list of concerns is a long one.

    “I was concerned that Congress was not in session last week. I had asked for a special session of the Congress earlier in the week. Eventually we got an abbreviated form later in the week, but it really was not enough to address the concerns of the American people, the needs of the affected area, and indeed across the country.

    “Now Congress is back in session and the House Democrats’ first priority is to meet the needs of our neighbors in the Gulf Coast. We just met with Leadership and Ranking Members, and I will meet with President Bush at the White House later this afternoon.

    “We don’t stand alone – we pay tribute to the American people. Americans take seriously their sacred duty to help each other in times of national need. We have heard so many stories of the unsung heroes and heroines. I just got off the phone with Congressman Charlie Melancon of Louisiana, who told me the story of so many people who took personal responsibility for their neighbors’ welfare. You have heard all of the stories of health professionals, law enforcement officers, and everyday people helping each other.

    “The people of the Gulf Coast region were struck by two disasters – first the Hurricane, and then the failure of the federal government in their time of great need. This is not just a natural disaster; this is a failure of lack of preparedness. It’s a natural disaster, but man-made mistakes have made matters much worse, having lost many more lives.

    “Instead of unconscionably blaming others, President Bush must take charge and take responsibility, and must get it right, and that is my concern and the message that I will bring to the President: ‘Mr. President, you should have taken charge and you should have taken responsibility.’

    “After 9/11, Congress stood united to make homeland security a top priority. Yet in the four years since, our Republican Congress has given natural disaster preparedness secondary status in the federal budget, undermined the effectiveness of FEMA, and cut funding for the Army Corps flood control projects in and around New Orleans.

    “Congress also passed an energy bill that provided incentives to oil companies while doing nothing to address skyrocketing gas prices at the pump. Indeed, now you see that American consumers will be the victims of price gouging. It was bad enough before the tragedy. We need to have federal leadership to stop the price gouging, now.

    “This is no time for business as usual. Last week, we made the first step with a $10.5 billion emergency appropriation – that’s not nearly enough. When the hurricane struck Florida, right off the bat it was $16 billion – this can blow up to $100 billion or more than $100 billion, and we’re nickel and diming the region. We must remove all doubt in the minds of the people in the region that we understand the gravity of the situation, that we understand what it will need in personal and financial resources, what it will need in terms of public policy, and some of what we want to do is cut the red tape.

    “I have also called upon Speaker Hastert to establish a Select Hurricane Relief Task Force, because time is of the essence, and waiting for multiple committees to act on a crisis of such breadth is not acceptable. We need this Task Force to look back – perform an after-action review of what went wrong and how we could have done better – and to look forward – at how we can address the needs of the victims.

    “We need to cut through the red tape immediately, streamlining our safety net programs so assistance is ready and available.

    “God bless the South. The hospitality is just as it is described. It’s legendary and it is real, and people have taken people as guests into their communities. But sooner or later, sooner really, people will want to fend for themselves and we need to give them what they are owed. Whether its unemployment insurance, or disaster assistance insurance, or food stamps, whatever it is, we must cut the red tape so they can have what they need.

    “To cut the red tape, we must ensure that anyone in need of hurricane disaster-related assistance only has to fill out a single form to apply for federal benefits, including unemployment insurance, food stamps, and Medicaid; and ensure adequate unemployment compensation, paid for by the federal government, for people who are directly affected by the disaster.

    “We need an immediate inquiry into gas price gouging while we simultaneously work to restore energy capacity.

    “Families faced with personal bankruptcy because of the storm should be given relief from any unnecessary burdens imposed by the new bankruptcy law.

    “Now is not the time for massive cuts in Medicaid. It is not time to cut Medicaid. We’ll be heading to budget reconciliation. What we must do is eliminate the tax cuts for the high end instead of cutting health care for the poorest of America’s children especially in the wake of Katrina.

    “The American people expect and deserve accountability, they expect leadership, and they expect competence. They didn’t see any of that coming out of the White House following the disaster of Katrina.

    “With that, my colleagues stand here to serve as resources for any questions that you may have. They’ve all been working very hard since Katrina hit, and through the Labor Day weekend, they have worked on initiatives that can help people immediately, and that can be put into the law so we will never come into a disaster where we are falling short because the law did not anticipate. There is no excuse for what happened.”

  2. #2

    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Preparednes

    She's good, isn't she.

  3. #3

    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Prepare

    Interesting article going along with the whole lack of being prepared theme. My Philosophy professor told the class to read this article.

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?art...mber=6&catID=2

    This is an problem that has been known for at least 4 years. I think the fact that nothing was done about it is just plain sad. A lot of what has in New Orleans should have been prevented.
    Tim

  4. #4
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    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Prepare

    Man... Just the first paragraph is prophetic: (10,000 body bags, 20 feet of water).

    Disgraceful.

    - Stefan

  5. #5

    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Prepare

    What amazes me: a LIBERAL leaning friend pops in the other day and says, I'm steaming mad about Katrina. I can't believe that stupid governor and that dumbass mayor didn't do something. It's their fault that all those people died.

    Are you kidding me? I said. They BEGGED for help from Bush.

    The governor didn't even declare a state of emergency, he said. Can you believe that?

    I tried to set him straight, but he wouldn't listen. Things actually got pretty heated for a moment.

    He had made up his mind that the state of Louisiana was at fault for this mess and wouldn't hear any different. Didn't want to talk about it anymore.

    In other words, Bush's PR is working. Even on a liberal.

    Amazing.
    --
    Robert Gregory Browne
    KISS HER GOODBYE (now available)
    KILLER YEAR: Stories to Die For (Jan. 2008)
    WHISPER IN THE DARK (2008)
    St. Martin's Press
    http://www.robertgregorybrowne.com

  6. #6

    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Preparednes

    i think everyone screwed up. even the mayor. he did'nt call the evactuation till late saturday morning. i was ABC that morning slaping my head in disbelief. go back to a year ago to the same region the evacutions for the cat 2's and 3's were around pensacola and panama city were called much, much earlier. he did'nt leave enough room to the sick and elderly out. fema and homeland security proved most embrassing. a good question why does someone with NO expereince lead the department??

  7. #7

    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Preparednes

    Yeah, the more I learn the more it seems that pretty much everyone mucked this up. I'm sure there are terrorist groups out there who find this whole thing to be quite encouraging Not a happy time.

  8. #8

    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Prepare

    Quote Originally Posted by mike harper
    a good question why does someone with NO expereince lead the department??
    Go to where the buck stops, and you'll have your answer...
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  9. #9

    Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Preparednes

    Have you heard what happened after she spoke to the President?

    Loosely translated:

    NP: I think you must fire Mike Brown

    GW: Why would I do that?

    NP: For all that went wrong!

    GW: What went wrong?

    Unreal. She said he was in complete denial.

    Its so amazing. Watch any news channel and you see every republican spin and deny. "Now is not the time" and "We need to take care of the people"...

    How can anyone defend what has happened? The bottom line - there is no excuse! People died of heatstroke and starvation!!

    Too little, too late!

  10. #10

    Unhappy Re: Pelosi: This Is Not Just a Natural Disaster; This Is a Failure of Lack of Preparednes

    What is now so sad is that there are families scattered everywhere. Not since the days of slavery has there been such separation. Is this the best we can do?

    Mothers looking for their children and so fourth.
    Bela D Media | www.BelaDMedia.com

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