A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Connecting the "No Buses" Dots: Something Stinks Here! 

[On the day of the storm, or perhaps the day after, FEMA turned down the state's suggestion to use school buses because they are not air conditioned, Blanco said Friday in an interview.

Even after levees broke and residents were crowding the Louisiana Superdome, then-FEMA Director Mike Brown was bent on using his own buses to evacuate New Orleans, Blanco said.]


[Peter Pantuso of the American Bus Association said he spent much of the day on Wednesday, Aug. 31, trying to find someone at the Federal Emergency Management Agency who could tell him how many buses were needed for an evacuation, where they should be sent and who was overseeing the effort.

"We never talked directly to FEMA or got a call back from them," Pantuso said.

Pantuso, whose members include some of the nation's largest motor coach companies, including Greyhound and Coach USA, eventually learned that the job of extracting tens of thousands of residents from flooded New Orleans wasn't being handled by FEMA at all.

Instead the agency had farmed the work out to a trucking logistics firm, Landstar Express America, which in turn hired a limousine company, which in turn engaged a travel management company.]


Landstar Express a subsidiary of Landstar whose Chairman is Jeffrey C. Crowe. Crowe is President of the highly partisan U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a donor to the RNC.

Former Chairman of Landstar is James R. Hertwig, donor to RNC $500, Bush/Cheney $1,000, Mel Martinez $500. Now Hertwig is with CSX where Treasury Secretary John Snow came from.

The pretense about "air-conditioning" screams that there is something else going on here. One has to think that a hot bus ride would be preferable to what many of these victims had to endure. One also has to wonder whether cronyism and patronage are not in play yet again.

To Recap:

FEMA discourages using buses in life and death situation because they are not air-conditioned.

FEMA insists on using buses for which it has made arrangements.

FEMA ignores the companies which actually could provide buses.

FEMA gives task to company without buses which gives task to another company without buses which gives the task to yet another company.

The company which is tasked to provide the buses is headed by a pro-Bush, pro-republican who heads an organization that is blatantly partisan.

That same company deals in trucking logistics and apparently has no buses of its own because it farmed out the task to another company which too did not have buses.

We've seen how government contracts are being awarded without bid and without any oversight as to proper completion. Now we have a company contracted to provide emergency transportation without the means to do so.


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