What the WaPo isn't telling you about multilevel contracting

The WaPo reports on the many sub and sub-sub contractors required to perform contracts in "Multiple Layers Of Contractors Drive Up Cost of Katrina Cleanup". One example they present is that of the FEMA buses.
Now, here's what the WaPo isn't telling you. In the article, they refer to "Spanish-speaking crews" doing roofing work. That's the WaPo's euphemism for "federal money is going to those who have an 80% chance of being illegal aliens".
By using multiple layers of subcontractors, prime contractors are able to employ illegal aliens with an even greater deal of impunity than they would if they employed them directly.
The trickle-down contracting is bad enough, but what makes it even worse is that many of the jobs were given to those here illegally rather than to American hurricane victims.
The Washington Post supported illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs from American hurricane victims, so it's understandable that they would want to avoid discussing this side of things.

College students clean up New Orleans

Instead of going to the beach or the mountains, some college students on spring break went to New Orleans to help in the clean-up: "In New Orleans, an industrious kind of spring break":

The next night at Light City, off St. Claude here in New Orleans, the group from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, ate a chicken nugget (yes, singular) and, as Jones says, instant mashed potatoes that they poured straight out of the box. And nighttime? "I'm sleeping with 3,000 of my closest friends who I've never met before."

Yet, according to both president Bush and Harry Reid, there are jobs that Americans won't do. Both of them supported importing illegal aliens to do the cleanup rather than the more American choice of making sure that the cleanup was done not just by volunteers but by American hurricane victims instead.

New Orleans' upcoming crime problem

The post Trabajo -- and I DO mean "HO" describes an encounter at a gas station where a presumed illegal alien prostitute propositioned another man. All funny-weird and all, but for those who want to the real screwing New Orleans is about to get, consider this comment:

Some people I know in the law enforcement community have said that there has been a decent sized influx of Mexican gangs into the area since Katrina. It used to be our thugs were so damn mean and prone to pump lead into the competition (especially competition of another race) that the Mexicans didn't see New Orleans as being a "viable market". Since all our hard-core killers are for the most part elsewhere, the Mexican gangs are using this as an opportunity to get themselves established here. They are bringing in drugs and a LOT of prostitution of both persuasions with them.
Anyone wanna bet the Health Units are going to see a nice run of STD's in the near future??

I left the following comment:

Right after Katrina, Bush not only lifted Davis-Bacon, he lifted the hiring documentation requirements, basically giving an even brighter green light to those who want to employ illegal aliens. Connected contractors eagerly complied, bringing in illegal labor from Texas and even further afield.
And, two weeks after Katrina, Harry Reid gave the situation his imprimatur, speaking out in support of the illegal aliens.
The American thing to do would be to have established a WPA of some kind and made sure that the jobs were being done by Americans. In that case, the more serious situation described above will have been prevented.
As it is now, not only do Mexican gangs see it as a new market, so does the Mexican government. Expect to see them discussing opening up a new consulate within a couple years.
This whole situation is fertile ground for any politician who's brave and self-financed enough to do what's in America's best interest and what would make both parties look just as corrupt as they are.

Both the national GOP and Democratic leadership should be driven out of office for what they did and are still doing. Unfortunately, corruption is so pervasive in America right now that only a small number of people recognize it for what it is and are willing to speak out about it.
(Via this, which has more)

Pictures of FEMA's wasted trailers

There are some pictures inside a lot in Hope Arkansas where unused FEMA trailers are stored here. Row upon row upon row. Now, of course, I have no way to verify the report, and it comes second-hand. However, a trucker who delivered some of them claims that they're deluxe units, complete with microwave ovens, new furniture, etc. And, FEMA is stacking them close together... in soft soil... so when it rains they sink and move into one another causing damage.

"Katrina: What went right"

Retired Newsday reporter Lou Dolinar offers this look-on-the-bright-side look at the response to Katrina.
Admittedly strongly influenced by the fact that it was linked to by Insty, I'm putting this article in the "explain away" rather than "explain" column.
For instance, he says that "fewer than 1,000 bodies have been found in all of Louisiana".
The passive construction of that phrase is certainly interesting. They're still finding bodies, there are a large number of people missing for whatever reason, and no one is reporting on the large number of gunshot victims that a mortician who worked at St. Gabriel claimed to have seen. In fact, we're told that there were only seven gunshot victims in total.
Then, it says, "local communication was wiped out by the storm". Why is that? What was the status of federal communication systems? Did the feds have the proper comm equipment? I don't think so:
Art Bell: Hams weren't invited to help with hurricane
National Guard says obsolete equipment hurt relief effort
Legislators support first responders communication equipment

Michael Brown: Bush knew levees could breach; Chertoff should quit

From this March 3 CNN transcript come these claims from former FEMA head Michael Brown:
- FEMA had been marginalized.
- He thinks Michael Chertoff should quit or be fired.
- He thinks Chertoff was misleading the American public about Brown appearing on TV and characterizing it as show-boating.
And, this:

MESERVE: In the transcripts of the 29th briefing, you talk about conversations you had that morning with the president. This is the day of landfall. And you say you talked to him about a number of things. He's asked questions breaches of the levees. How did the president know to ask about breaches of the levees? Did he have reports in hand at that time already that that had happened in New Orleans?
BROWN: There's no question in my mind he probably had those reports, because we were feeding in the Homeland Security Operations Center, into the White House sit room, all of the information that we were getting. So he had to have had that information. Plus, I think the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach.
MESERVE: So are you saying when you said recently that it was baloney that the White House didn't know about the breaches on Monday night -- are you saying that the president knew about the breaches on Monday morning?
BROWN: He knew that was a potential, because my testimony has been...
MESERVE: And he knew there were reports of them?
BROWN: Well, yes. He knew about the reports of potential breaches. Now, I think we're drawing a fine line here. Because even I have testified that I didn't know whether we had a breach of the levees or the levees had been topped. But somehow in the 11:00 to 1:00 timeframe, that became clear because we had sent someone out to actually look at them and see.

Much more at the link, and a summary in the article about the interview.
In other skull news, reports are that Chertoff might be leaving, but those have since been denied.

AP clarifies Bush flooding/overtopping video

The Associated Press has issued the following voluntary confession:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ In a March 1 story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees in New Orleans, citing confidential video footage of an Aug. 28 briefing among U.S. officials.
The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.
The day before the storm hit, Bush was told there were grave concerns that the levees could be overrun. It wasn't until the next morning, as the storm was hitting, that Michael Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Bush had inquired about reports of breaches. Bush did not participate in that briefing.

What they refer to as "overrunning" is also refered to as "overtopping".
Previously: "Bush admin knew levees could fail" (hey, I was taking AP's word) and "Blanco said levees were safe (Aug 29 at noon)".

Blanco said levees were safe (Aug 29 at noon)

Around noon on the day when Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco told the Bush administration that the levees were safe:

"We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees... We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee. I think we have not breached the levee at this time."


In fact, the National Weather Service received a report of a levee breach and issued a flash-flood warning as early as 9:12 a.m. that day, according to the White House's formal recounting of events the day Katrina struck.


She reported that floodwaters were rising in parts of the city "where we have waters that are 8 to 10 feet deep, and we have people swimming in there."
"That's got a considerable amount of water itself," the governor said. "That's about all I know right now on the specifics that you haven't heard."
Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher said Thursday that "our people on the ground were telling us that there could be overtopping and breaching, but it was hard to tell" by the noon briefing.
Another official who was heard but not seen on the video was then-Federal Emergency Management Agency Michael Brown, who was at the federal emergency operations center in Baton Rouge, La. He implored officials to "push the envelope as far as you can," noting that he had already spoken to President Bush twice that day and described the president as "very, very interested in this situation."
"He's very engaged, and he's asking a lot of really good questions I would expect him to ask," Brown said of Bush. "I say that only because I want everyone to recognize ... how serious the situation remains."

Bush admin knew levees could fail

Four days after Katrina, George W Bush said:

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

However, videos obtained by the AP shows internal Bush administration briefings, including one in which Bush and DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff were told that the levees might breach:

In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.
Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."
The footage - along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press - show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.
Linked by secure video, Bush expressed a confidence on Aug. 28 that starkly contrasted with the dire warnings his disaster chief and numerous federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm...

Shown the tape, Ray Nagin says:

"I have kind of a sinking feeling right now in my gut. I mean, I was listening to what people were saying and I was believing them that they didn't know. So therefore it was an issue of a learning curve... From this tape it looks like everybody was fully aware."

However, DHS spokeshole Russ Knocke says:

"I'm not sure what is shocking about this video. There's really nothing new or insightful from it,"

There's some kind of video here, but I didn't watch it.
UPDATE: I should have watched the video. According to this, the AP report is wrong: Bush was warned the levees might overtop (water flowing over the top), not that they might breach (rupture). Since I still haven't watched the video, I'm forced to take his word for it, and something about breaching might be elsewhere on the tapes available.
UPDATE 2: Here's another video link. And, Dan Froomkin goes around the bend here, tying this latest example of Bush incompetence with his initial response to 9/11. Apparently Froomkin is one of those expecting Bush to immediately jump up and start barking orders, Harrison Ford style.
UPDATE 3: Democratic apostate Mickey Kaus says:

"Is the despised, self-parodying MSM intentionally glossing over this important difference in order to exaggerate the anti-Bush shock value of the video? I don't know--but I do know that the actual "topped" quote was hard to find in print, lending some of the stories an eerie, undocumented quality. Do reporters not print the quote because then they couldn't justify the charge that Bush lied about the "breach"? You make the call. I'm too paranoid at this point. P.P.S.: Shouldn't Bush's press operation, rather than Powerline and Patterico, be forcefully pointing all this out?"

Ray Nagin at Mardi Gras picture

(Via this)



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