Gov. Blanco Slams FEMA for Slow Recovery of the Dead

Governor Blanco took matters into her own hands today, as signed a contract with “Kenyon International Emergency Services after the company threatened to pull out of the state for lack of a formal contract with anyone.” In what appears to be more of the who’s supposed to be doing what – blame game (so named by Spin Control Central), FEMA spokesman David Passey “said FEMA had expected Louisiana from the beginning to take the lead in the collection of bodies and FEMA was satisfied that the state had signed a contract with the company.” But, “Blanco said FEMA’s failure to sign a contract with Kenyon had slowed the entire recovery process. She spoke ahead of a meeting with a group … Continue reading

Senator John Kerry on Failure of Senate to Demand Administration Improve Mercury Rules

Washington really failed the American people on this one. The number of babies with dangerous levels of mercury in their blood has doubled. This is a simple question of right and wrong. Mercury pollution must be controlled better and faster. It’s unacceptable to allow President Bush to give the industry a pass when our children will pay the price. Continue reading

Kerry to offer Kerry-Landrieu Small Business Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Amendment Today in the Senate

John Kerry is expected to offer the Kerry-Landrieu Small Business Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Amendment today on the Senate Floor today. C-Span 2 is broadcasting the Senate session. Below is an advance copy of the summary of the amendment: Kerry-Landrieu Small Business Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Amendment Deferred Payments on SBA Disaster Loans: Disaster loan borrowers (homeowners or businesses) would have a two-year period after receiving a disaster loan before they would need to begin making interest and principal payments on the loan — as we did for 9-11 victims. Refinancing of Existing Disaster Loans and Business Debt: Many small businesses in the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone are paying off existing disaster loans or other business debt. This provision would … Continue reading

Roberts = Secrets

Short of that, how about the White House quit stalling and stonewalling the release of Robert’s opinions and briefs for the 16 cases that deal specifically with constitutional law while he was the Principal Deputy Solicitor General, a position, that Senator Kennedy reminds is, is to serve the people, not any specific administrion. Continue reading

Homeland Security Investigators to Monitor Katrina Contracts, Democrats Call for Independent Commission

AP News reports that a “team of investigators” are being sent to “Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast to follow the money — namely, billions of dollars in relief aid the federal government is pouring into the region without normal contracting safeguards.” This should be good news to those worried about who’s getting the contracts to clean-up and rebuild the Gulf Coast. But it’s not good news. No, it’s more of the same old, same old… the Fox is watching the Hens, once again. Par for the course for the Bush administration, as we have seen over and over again. Here’s why we need to be concerned: The 30 Homeland Security Department investigators and auditors are part of what officials call an … Continue reading

Journalists Say, Government Data Harder to Get

A report released Monday by the Society of Environmental Journalists found that delayed non-response to a FOIA request are becoming commonplace. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mark Schleifstein, hurricane reporter of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans “filed a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act, asking for any reports on spills, accidents or fires.” After badgering the Environmental Protection Agency for days to learn where dangerous chemicals were leaking after Hurricane Katrina, still couldn’t get a clear answer. More than a week later, he has received no response.