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Katrina Politics -- Some Photos
jerry-VA@speakeasy removethistext dot net
Rev 11Sept05; 22Aug06



St. Paul's Church in the French Quarter.

I have reviewed hundreds of media photos (AFP, Reuters, AP, Getty Images) made available jointly by SBC Communications and Yahoo. 
I only noticed 2 political protest photos.  One is above (the other was a White House picketer). 

As for "no Haliburton, contracts here"....


Haliburton (dvsn of Kellogg, Brown & Root; and the  the Shaw Group) already has the lead contract  for reconstruction of  all military bases in the area.  

"Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."  more in USA Today. If link goes dead, search on above text.

The funnel for Federal funds runs through Joe M Allbaugh, who was the  Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign manager, working with Karl Rove and Karen Hughes. In a familiar Washington career trajectory, helping with the startup business (the election) was rewarded by patronage.  In January 2001, Bush put Allbaugh in charge of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  In a familiar Washington revolving-door career trajectory, Allbaugh resigned from FEMA on 1 March 2003, and worked to get war-related contracts and now FEMA's Katrina-related contracts to companies with Bush White House ties.


If  the scattered New Orleans citizens return, they do not have to be paid the normal prevailing wage.  See:
"Bush lifts wage rules for Katrina -- President signs executive order allowing contractors to pay below prevailing wage in affected areas". (more).    Other White House goals are to give displaced students school vouchers to attend religious schools, and to channel Federal funds to faith-based relief organizaitons.   I think Saudi Arabia works this way . . .  at least say  that they are "relief organizations" and "charities". 


The turmoil of musical-chair directors at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is clear: Joe Allbaugh, Michael Brown, Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, the Coast Guard's third in command. The signiflcant move was none of this, but instead the appointment of someone to gut the agency.  That was Mitch Daniels, appointed to run the Office of Management and Budget.  Daniels believed   "Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into an oversized entitlement program. . . expectations of when the federal government should be involved, and the degree of involvement, may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level,"  as reviewed elsewhere on this site ("FEMA  hands out entitlements.  Let's fix it").  (Use browser BACK button to return).  FEMA was stipped of its Cabinet-level position and placed under the Secretary of Homeland Security, a job no one wanted to fill. 

The FEMA tragedy is not gutting the budget.  A budget can be restored with the stroke of a pen. 
The FEMA tragedy is that Presidential distain for the agency and slashed budgets made it clear to many throughout the Agency what they must do:  quit.  If you read of droves of FEMA officials in so many States quitting and wondered what could make so many people all decide the same thing at the same time . . . 

Bush+MBrownMobileAL2SeptReplaced9Sept      lMBrownFEMA-MChertoffSecyHomland-ThadAllenUSCGViceAdmiral-FEMAMediaCenterBatonROugeLA9Sept

(left) President Bush and Michael Brown in Mobile, Alabama on Bush's first visit, Friday, 2 September. 
"Again, I want to thank you all for -- and, Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.
The FEMA Director is working 24 -- (applause) -- they're working 24 hours a day."  
Full text at the White House Website.

(right photo) Michael Brown, FEMA is relieved from active duty by 
Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security.

Standing right is Thad Allen, US Coast Guard Vice Admiral,
who took  over Katrina relief efforts.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Friday, 9 September. 

Brown was ordered back to Washington, where he may continue to collect his $162,100/year salary.   However, victims may not continue to collect $2,000 in emergency cash, as FEMA was abruptly told to scrap plans to give $2,000 debit cards to displaced storm victims.  Brown resigned the following Monday.

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