Washington post wrote:
Bill Holbrook, spokesman for Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), said ".. the notion that Katrina's intensity is somehow attributable to global warming has been widely dismissed by scientific experts."
Power crews diverted -- Restoring pipeline came first
By Nikki Davis Maute
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast. That order - to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. - delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt.
At the time, gasoline was in short supply across the country because of Katrina. Prices increased dramatically and lines formed at pumps across the South.
"I considered it a presidential directive to get those pipelines operating," said Jim Compton, general manager of the South Mississippi Electric Power Association - which distributes power that rural electric cooperatives sell to consumers and businesses.
"I reluctantly agreed to pull half our transmission line crews off other projects and made getting the transmission lines to the Collins substations a priority," Compton said. "Our people were told to work until it was done.
"They did it in 16 hours, and I consider the effort unprecedented."
Katrina slammed into South Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29, causing widespread devastation and plunging most of the area - including regional medical centers and rural hospitals - into darkness.
The storm also knocked out two power substations in Collins, just north of Hattiesburg. The substations were crucial to Atlanta-based Colonial Pipeline, which moves gasoline and diesel fuel from Texas, through Louisiana and Mississippi and up to the Northeast.
"We were led to believe a national emergency was created when the pipelines were shut down," Compton said.
White House Call
Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney's office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately.
Jordan dated the first call the night of Aug. 30 and the second call the morning of Aug. 31. Southern Pines supplies electricity to the substation that powers the Colonial pipeline.
Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Mike Callahan said the U.S. Department of Energy called him on Aug. 31. Callahan said department officials said opening the fuel line was a national priority.
Cheney's office referred calls about the pipeline to the Department of Homeland Security. Calls there were referred to Kirk Whitworth, who would not take a telephone message and required questions in the form of an e-mail.
Susan Castiglione, senior manager of corporate and public affairs with Colonial Pipeline, did not return phone calls.
Compton said workers who were trying to restore substations that power two rural hospitals - Stone County Hospital in Wiggins and George County Hospital in Lucedale - worked instead on the Colonial Pipeline project.
The move caused power to be restored at least 24 hours later than planned.
Mindy Osborn, emergency room coordinator at Stone County Hospital, said the power was not restored until six days after the storm on Sept. 4. She didn't have the number of patients who were hospitalized during the week after the storm.
"Oh, yes, 24 hours earlier would have been a help," Osborn said.
Compton said workers who were trying to restore power to some rural water systems also were taken off their jobs and placed on the Colonial Pipeline project. Compton did not name specific water systems affected.
Callahan is one of three elected public service commissioners who oversee most public utilities in the state. Commissioners, however, have no authority over rural electric power cooperatives.
Nevertheless, Callahan said he drove to Compton's office on U.S. 49 North in Hattiesburg to tell him about the call from the Department of Energy. Callahan said he would support whatever decision Compton made.
Callahan said energy officials told him gasoline and diesel fuel needed to flow through the pipeline to avert a national crisis from the inability to meet fuel needs in the Northeast.
Callahan said the process of getting the pipelines flowing would be difficult and that there was a chance the voltage required to do so would knock out the system - including power to Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg.
With Forrest General Hospital operating on generators, Wesley was the only hospital operating with full electric power in the Pine Belt in the days following Katrina.
"Our concern was that if Wesley went down, it would be a national crisis for Mississippi," Callahan said. "We knew it would take three to four days to get Forrest General Hospital's power restored and we did not want to lose Wesley."
Compton, though, followed the White House's directive.
Nathan Brown, manager of power supply for the electric association, was responsible for overseeing the delicate operation of starting the 5,000-horsepower pumps at the pipeline.
Engineers with Southern Co., the parent company of Mississippi Power Co., did a dual analysis of what it would take to restore power and Brown worked with Southern Co. engineers on the best and quickest way to restore power.
Work began at 10 a.m. Sept. 1 and power was restored at 2 a.m. Sept. 2 - a 16-hour job.
A good bit of the work took place at night.
Line foreman Matt Ready was in charge of one of the teams that worked to power the substations and the pipeline. Ready's shift started at 6 a.m. Sept. 1; he received word about the job four hours later and saw it to completion.
"We were told to stay with it until we got power restored," Ready said. "We had real safety issues because there were fires in the trees on the lines and broken power poles."
Ready described working on the lines in the dark like attempting to clear fallen trees out of a yard with a flashlight and a chain saw.
"Everything was dangerous," he said.
Ready said the crew members did not learn they were restoring power to pipelines until after the job was done.
How did they feel about that?
"Is this on the record?" Ready asked. "Well, then, we are all glad we were able to help out."
Compton said he was happy to support the national effort. But he said it was a difficult decision to make because of the potential impact in the region had the plan not worked and the area's power restoration was set back days.
"It was my decision to balance what was most important to people in South Mississippi with this all-of-a-sudden national crisis of not enough gas or diesel fuel," Compton said.
"In the future, the federal government needs to give us guidelines if this is such a national emergency so that I can work that in my plans."
Click here to download ISRAELITES
by Desmond Dekker
Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir,
so that every mouth can be fed.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.
Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir,
So that every mouth can be fed.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.
My wife and my kids, they are packed up and leave me.
Darling, she said, I was yours to be seen.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.
Shirt them a-tear up, trousers are gone.
I don't want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.
After a storm there must be a calm.
They catch me in the farm. You sound the alarm.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.
Poor me, the Israelite.
I wonder who I'm working for.
Poor me, Israelite,
I look a-down and out, sir.
The Original Post wrote:
The ACLU is putting the latest version of Creationism, aka "Intelligent Design," on trial starting Monday September 26, 2005 in a Pennsylvania courthouse. Opening statements start tomorrow.
The ACLU is suing because the school district in Harrisburg adopted a rule that Dover High School had to "teach intelligent design" as an alternative to Natural Selection.
This is somewhat similar to requiring teachers in Driver's Ed to teach students that, although most people think it's wise to drive safely, while sober and calm, that some people find driving recklessly, while taking meth, or in a constant state of road rage, is perfectly effective. Truck drivers, Air Force pilots and New York cabbies would have to be brought in as evidence that you can even hold down a job with this behavior.
We don't do that, because it would be irresponsible, and would plant stupid ideas in their head about how we drive. Similarly, teaching Creationism under any name will plant stupid ideas in a kid's mind about how we do science.
We don't do science by reasoning backward from our chosen conclusion, then selectively identify "evidence," pull it out of context, and project a fantasy of a theory that might somehow be supportable, if all of the other evidence weren't against it. That's not science, because science is a method that leads to further discoveries. Science outdates its old theories. The best way to identify good science is when it nullifies or forces radical modifications to its own prior conclusions. This will never happen with Creationism, because its purpose is to bulwark faith with pseudo-logic for those ashamed to stand naked in their absurd faith.
This is too bad, because the main benefit of believing something outlandish is that you develop character from defying the obvious truth. This can lead to the discovery of truth, on occasion, when popular beliefs turn out to be flat wrong, as in the case of Galileo's assertion that the earth is spherical. While it is unlikely that Christians will turn out to be correct about the age of the earth, the origin of life, and the way it all ends, if they want to keep their faith burnished, they will avoid bulwarking it with intellectual sophistry. It all becomes too absurd. The intelligent Christian keeps his mouth shut about how God performed his miracles. If God could engineer a virgin birth, he could do anything. One miracle per religion is enough. Believe and be saved. Disbelieve and go to the eternal pit.
As Science, Intelligent Design is a joke. And as religion, it fails the KISS test: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Lately Mr. Rove has helped lead the effort to recover from initial struggles over Hurricane Katrina by rebuilding the Gulf Coast — and Mr. Bush's image. Mr. Rove solicited policy proposals from conservative think tanks to shape the president's prime-time speech from the New Orleans French Quarter. That effort has yielded few public-opinion dividends.
Mr. Rove's attempts to build support during the past week for Supreme Court nominee Miers have been similarly unavailing. He backed her selection in White House deliberations, believing she could satisfy conservatives while avoiding a battle with Senate Democrats.
Mr. Rove has agreed to testify a fourth time before a grand jury in Mr. Fitzgerald's CIA-leak investigation, which could wrap up by the end of the month. Mr. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said last week that his client hasn't received a target letter, which would be an indication that he likely would be charged. Mr. Rove's legal problems have led to speculation about how the White House might cope without him.
Frank Luntz, Republican pollster/true believer wrote:
``Rove has always been a survivor. He's brilliant at understanding the right thing to do at the right moment. He specializes in the ability to handle a crisis. What he has done for the president, I actually expect him now to do for himself,'' Luntz said. ``He'll know what to do and what to say.''
Howard Dean, Interviewed on MSNBC wrote:
MATTHEWS: If Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, says that the vice president's office was involved in leaking the name of that CIA agent, do you believe — what do you think his status would be, the vice president, if his office was named to be involved in this?
DEAN: Well, I think that depends on what kind of evidence there is, if that's true. Obviously, the person, I think, who's indicted would have to step down immediately. And then we'd have to ask the question, was the vice president himself personally involved in this? And that of course extends ...
MATTHEWS: Do you believe it's credible that the vice president's chief of staff, his office, his operation, were involved in such a scheme to hurt somebody like Joe Wilson, that he wasn't personally involved in his own office's activities? Do you think it's credible?
DEAN: Sure — well, I don't think it's very credible that he didn't know anything about it, because the M.O. of the Bush administration is to discredit your opponents and attack them personally rather than attack them for their position, which this is an example of.
These guys are bad for democracy. They're not interested in ideas; they're interested in power. And frankly they're not very much interested in the best interests of the American people. They're interested in the power for the right wing of the Republican Party, and that's why they'll be gone after 2006.
"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either," Lott said at last week's party. Lott, R-Mississippi, made the comment Thursday on Capitol Hill during a 100th birthday celebration for Thurmond, who is retiring next month after nearly 48 years in the Senate. The comment was broadcast live on C-SPAN.
Trent Lott wrote:
"A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past," Lott said. "Nothing could be further from the truth, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement."
Some conservatives question Rove's future
Tue Nov 1, 2005 9:14 PM ET By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Breaking with the White House and fellow conservatives, Republican Sen. Trent Lott and the head of the Cato Institute questioned on Tuesday whether top White House adviser Karl Rove, who remains in legal jeopardy in a CIA-leak probe, should keep his policy-making job.
Rove was not indicted on Friday along with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. But lawyers involved in the case said Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser and deputy chief of staff, remains under investigation and may still be charged by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
The identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame was leaked to the media in July 2003 after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Despite initial White House denials, Fitzgerald's investigation shows that both Rove and Libby spoke to reporters about Wilson's wife.
Lott of Mississippi and William Niskanen of the libertarian Cato Institute both echoed Democratic calls for a White House shake-up.
"He (Rove) has been very successful, very effective in the political arena. The question is, should he be the deputy chief of staff for policy under the current circumstances?" Lott told MSNBC's "Hardball."
"Most presidents in recent years have a political adviser in the White House. The question is, should they be, you know, making policy decisions. That's the question you've got to evaluate," the former Senate Republican leader added.
Lott went further than he did on Sunday, when he urged Bush to be on the lookout for "new blood, new energy, qualified staff."
Niskanen, who served as a top economic adviser to former President Ronald Reagan, said, "Bush is going to have to sacrifice people who have worked with him to regain some initiative."
Niskanen said any White House shake-up should "start" with Rove because of his association with the leak case.
"He's provided good political judgment on campaigns, but not good political judgment on getting legislation through," Niskanen told Reuters.
So far, the White House has rebuffed calls for an overhaul in response to Libby's indictment. "Karl Rove continues to do his duties," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
When asked if Bush retained confidence in Rove, McClellan said on Monday: "People who work here at the White House have the confidence of the president."
A Republican strategist with ties to the White House said any personnel changes would be gradual to avoid the appearance that the White House was panicking.
Libby is expected to plead innocent to charges of obstructing justice, perjury and lying when he is arraigned on Thursday.
Fitzgerald was expected to decide within weeks whether to bring charges against Rove. Lawyers involved in the case said Rove provided new information last week to Fitzgerald that prompted him to reconsider charging Bush's top political adviser with making false statements.
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