Obama to Ask Supporters to Help Gustav Victims

Here's something we should all be able to agree is a good idea:

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said Sunday he will tap his huge political network of donors and volunteers to help U.S. victims of Hurricane Gustav after it comes inland. ... "I think we can activate an e-mail list of a couple of million people who want to give back," he said. Donations could include cash, goods and individual labor, he said.

Obama will wait until local officials make clear what sort of assistance is needed before asking volunteers to help. In the meantime, his website offers information for people in the area and links to relief agencies that need financial support.

Update: Obama says he is fine with McCain's visit to Mississippi because the response to a natural disaster should be bipartisan, but doesn't plan to travel to the disaster area himself until he can do so without diverting resources from first responders.

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    I commented last night (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by txpolitico67 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:52:28 PM EST
    that if Obama doesn't go to the affected regions and McCain and Palin do, that will spell TROUBLE for him.  He has GOT to get down there as well and show he is there to roll up his sleeves and do what he can to help.

    Asking his supporters to help is an AWESOME start, but do not think for one stinkin minute that if McCain and Palin are on the Gulf coast, the R's will use his body surfing pics against him while they are filling sandbags.

    Seems like proactive strategy is foreign to the Obama team.

    Right now (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:12:00 PM EST
    I think he does better to stay away.  Let the governors of the affected areas tell you what they need so that you don't get in the way of important work.  The last thing the people in the area need is a photo op visit that will serve as a roadblock between them and the services they may need.  

    After the Hurricane, by all means visit (and then only if you're going to be helpful--don't go and just hold a press conference).


    You must never (none / 0) (#32)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:29:53 PM EST
    have been in an area hit by a natural disaster.

    I don't think there is a valid argument against either one of them going.

    Count yourself lucky.  I was in Miami for Hurricane Andrew.  All local emergency resources need to be focused on relief efforts (attendng to the injured, clearing roads, dealing with downed power lines, enforcing curfews, etc.). A lot of fatalities occur after the storm/tornado/ earthquake happen due to dangerous conditions on the ground.  The first 24 hours after such an event tend to be somewhat chaotic.  Imagine dealing with all that while having to deal with a presidential candidate motorcade, security detail, providing tours to the candidates, the press that will no doubt follow the candidates, etc. The main argument against their visit is that it drains on the local resources at a time when they can ill afford it.

    As to the timing of his announcement, it's a stretch to call it a "reaction" to McCain.  This is hardly new for Obama.  He did the same thing for the Iowa floods and back in 2005 for Katrina before he was a candidate for POTUS.


    Thanks, SS (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:47:45 PM EST
    I actually looked for this info on various news sites, and didn't find it. Next time I'll try plain ole' google.

    What's the point of doing that? (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by TChris on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:49:55 PM EST
    The people at the command center have jobs to do too.  Should they be doing their jobs or should they be explaining what they're doing to John McCain?

    Obama got it right -- stay out the way until the people at the scene can assess the situation and describe the kind of help that's needed.


    Gov. Haley Barbour (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:55:48 PM EST
    invited McCain/Palin. And, as you seem to suggest, it doesn't take "people" to explain what they're doing. It just takes one senior official, and the Gov. would be there too. No one would be getting in the way of anyone at that office.

    What, Is the Phone Service Out Already? (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by daring grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:35:18 PM EST
    Why on earth would Palin and McCain need to travel to an area that is about to be hit by a hurricane simply to be briefed on what is being done if not for a cynical political photo op?

    Obama and McCain Are Politicians (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by daring grace on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:33:14 AM EST
    Of COURSE it works both ways.

    I hadn't heard there was a weather emergency or some other civic crisis in New Orleans in Jan., 2007 while Obama was there soaking up the limelight. What was going on then?

    My issue is with politicians, in this case McCain, taking the occasion of an imminent natural disaster to do a cynical photo op. THAT's where the cynicism comes in.

    Going down afterwards when the emergency is passed and things are under control and his visit is not an added distraction of resources--THAT'S SOP for politicians and no big deal. And he still gets the props of looking officially concerned and engaged.


    I don't know what you find disingenous (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:04:00 PM EST
    about Obama's comment.  He said:

    "A big storm like this raises bipartisan concerns and I think for John to want to find out what's going on is fine."
    "The thing that I always am concerned about in the middle of a storm is whether we're drawing resources away from folks on the ground because the Secret Service and various security requirements, sometimes it pulls police, fire and other departments away from concentrating on the job."

    "I'm assuming that where he went that wasn't an issue. Were going to try to stay clear of the area until things have settled down and then we'll probably try to figure out how we can be as helpful as possible."

    Also, even a trip to the storm command center pulls resources.  Exactly what do you think they do at the storm command center?  I get that they may have been invited by the governor, but the governor of MS was the former chair of the RNC.  I think the invite was politically motivated (it doesn't seem he invited Obama/Biden).


    Again, this irks me (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:24:49 PM EST
    "I think for John to want to find out what's going on is fine."

    Guess what? John isn't asking his permission.

    BHO always talks like the sun needs his permission to rise.


    Not to interrupt a fine ODS rant, (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:32:13 PM EST
    but Obama was specifically asked by a reporter whether it was appropriate for McCain to travel to MS with the approaching storm.  The line that irks you was a response to that question.

    Thanks, Indy (none / 0) (#58)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:30:33 PM EST
    That helps.

    If I'm Ever in the Path of a Hurricane (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by daring grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:38:49 PM EST
    I hope the taxpayer funded people "whose specific jobs are to take care of visitors" are assigned some more useful tasks related to my community's safety and wellbeing, and that politicians with a yen for 'visiting' engage in some more productive help and come visit afterwards.

    How Is McCain Being There in Person (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by daring grace on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:37:11 AM EST
    better than getting continuing updates by phone or any other manner of modern communication?

    I have no problem with McCain making a public record of himself as concerned sitting senator (and potential future president) staying on top of the situation.

    Why, except to make a cynical campaign photo op, does he need to do this in person?


    As to being in a disaster zone... (none / 0) (#69)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 01:06:31 AM EST
    In the early 1950's, I was traveling from Hamburg, Germany to NYC in the hold of a WW-1 troop transport, together with about 3000 other souls when we got caught in what was described as "the worst storm in the North Atlantic of the 20th. century."

    The trip ended up taking 11 days, when 5 was the norm. One solid week of terror, the likes of which even my time in Nam took a back seat. The bow lifted strait up, seemingly at 90 degrees, then stayed there for a moment as all the people screamed to their Gods, not knowing if it was going to tip over backward, or come crashing back down, smashing the hull to smithereens. When it finally crashed down, the bow would be submerged, water crashing in the bulkhead doors and pouring down into the holds where the screaming masses were awash in vomit, excrements of all sorts, and millions of gallons of frozen Atlantic salt water.

    Five days, with no let-up, every minute possibly being your last.

    I agree, if you haven't been through a natural disaster like those, it's really impossible to imagine it.

    My heart goes out to those folks in the hurricane's path.


    McCain was asked (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by magisterludi on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:23:58 PM EST
     not to come to Iowa during the floods because of the distraction from recovery, yet he went anyway. Really tasteless.

    Going down to MS now when the evac is in progress is also really tasteless.

    I'm relieved Obama didn't follow suit.


    He May Not Have Gone To Iowa (none / 0) (#12)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:41:18 PM EST
    But he did go to areas in Illinois that were also affected by floods.
    I suppose that was really tasteless too, wasn't it?

    Considering that... (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:47:20 PM EST
    ...he is the US Senator for the State of Illinois, no there is nothing tasteless about that.

    If he didn't tour the affected areas in his home state, people like you would be saying that he failed to serve his constituents.  


    So What? (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:08:50 PM EST
    Secret Service/security detail and traveling media pool with him too, hence drawing attention and resources away from the relief efforts towards him?

    I don't care if Obama's the senator of the state, because he had to know his 'celebrity status' was going to affect relief efforts there.

    He is just as 'tasteless' and despicable as McCain for going to flood-hit regions that ended up being used as backdrops for a photo-op. And trust me, both McCain and Obama will be down in the Gulf the first moment they can for the cameras next week. They're both shrewd and politically-motivated.

    Now, McCain went down to the MS relief staging HQ before Gustav even made landfall. According to Wolf Blitzer on CNN earlier, as the party's leader right now, he had to see how the planning efforts were going and to speak to the people on the ground to determine how his party's convention should proceed. Has any video footage or photos from this visit have surfaced? Not that I have seen.


    He was invited by the governor (none / 0) (#33)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:30:33 PM EST
    p.s. McCain, that is (none / 0) (#34)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:32:16 PM EST
    He was invited by the governor of Mississippi

    Haley Barbour (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by magisterludi on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:40:39 PM EST
    Governor of MS and former RNC head and biggest of big time lobbyists who could give a rats ass for humanity? That Governor?

    If you don't get it... pfft.


    Yeah the guy with the porch (none / 0) (#36)
    by ErnestoDelMundo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:36:05 PM EST
    Haley Barbour. They have several National Guard troops staked out on his porch to keep it safe this time.

    There's a mixed reaction either way (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Maggie on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:55:11 PM EST
    I'm put off by McCain swooping in cause it looks like he's doing it to score points.  But I can see why it would look good to others.

    What I like about Obama's response here is that he doesn't try to play this for politics.  He's responding.  He says he's glad McCain is responding.  I think that is a way of acknowledging that there's no one "right" way of responding.


    But frankly, I'm tired of the arrogance... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:35:00 PM EST
    Obama saying that he'd "hoped" they'd learned their lessons -- like naughty schoolchildren. Like he was the parent overseeing the lessons learned.

    Looks bad compared to McC., who is rolling up his sleeves and going down -- at the invitation of the Miss. gov.


    After the Way The Republicans Mishandled Katrina (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by daring grace on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:47:01 AM EST
    you're upset by OBAMA'S 'arrogance' as evidenced in this innocuous comment which really echoes what most Americans surely were feeling this anniversary weekend?

    "Barack Obama expressed hope Saturday that the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina three years ago would help to protect the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Gustav this time. His running mate, Joe Biden, urged people to pray that the levees in New Orleans hold."

    "...and told reporters that a properly orchestrated evacuation would be key to protecting the Gulf Coast.

    "It wasn't last time, and hopefully we've learned from that tragedy," Obama told reporters..."

    ODS, indeed.


    Again with the porch (none / 0) (#38)
    by ErnestoDelMundo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:37:45 PM EST
    This is pure politics. You don't see that?

    What is it... (none / 0) (#43)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:46:29 PM EST
    with you and the MS Gov's porch? What are you talking about? Provide some links please, or they sound like left-wing blog rhetoric.

    And yes, it's all politics. Obama, McCain, Biden and Palin are pols and "they do what they do," quoting BTD.


    it's a good move (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:11:03 PM EST
    and I've heard the Republicans are considering turning their Convention into a Red Cross phone bank or something like that to help raise funds to help out as well.

    Now if only the political parties could be that interested in helping Americans affected by a disaster when it ISN'T an Election Year, we'll have made real progress.

    Why does either Presidential (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:29:03 PM EST
    candidate do anything except issue a statement in support of those in the affected area?  Then go build Habitat for Humanity houses later.  

    To be honest (none / 0) (#65)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 01:28:29 AM EST
    Only one president has ever built Habitat for Humanity houses. The rest pound a nail when the camera is on, then get out of the sun and go to lunch as soon as the photo op is handled.

    Not only smart politics (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:51:11 PM EST
    but sounds judgment, in my opinion. A national politician going to disaster areas are a distraction.

    Very compassionate (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by americanincanada on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:25:03 PM EST
    and smart of Obama.

    However to be fair I have to point out that McCain and Palin were invited down by the Gov of Mississippi. They did not just up and go. For whatever reasons, the invitation was made, and they took it. they also did not spend much time there. They were back in Missori this afternoon at a rally with Romney and Huckabee.

    Obama's former caucus organizers CAN help... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:37:42 PM EST
    I think this is a good idea:

    "I think we can get tons of volunteers to travel down there, if it becomes necessary"...

    Obama said he first would ask officials in the affected areas what is most needed, which may not be known for a few days.

    Totally Right (none / 0) (#40)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:41:20 PM EST
    I forgot to mention this fact in my earlier comment about their visit there. Gov. Haley Barbour did invite them to the MS relief staging HQ.

    And when they returned to Missouri, McCain made a video statement about his visit, which was shown live in its entirety on CNN. He also spoke about how he wants the convention to proceed with the utmost respect to the people who will be affected by the hurricane

    The convention will proceed, but only to conduct the work that is required under federal Election laws and party rules -- to present and approve the party platform, and to formally and officially nominate the party's Prez and VP nominee.


    Where did you see this, AinC? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:41:56 PM EST
    I looked everywhere online, and could find no trace of the visit, or how long it lasted. Maybe I'm missing something.

    The article is... (none / 0) (#45)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:49:44 PM EST

    Likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are traveling to Mississippi to check on people getting prepared for Hurricane Gustav.

    McKain aides say McCain and his wife Cindy will join Palin in traveling to Jackson, Miss., Sunday at the invitation of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.


    They will receive a briefing at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency - a permanent operations center monitoring hurricane response.

    This is a good idea. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:13:40 PM EST
    I don't understand though, is Obama going to hand over the email addresses to some outside organization, or is he going to support Gustav victims from inside the campaign?  I'm a little wary of the politicization of disaster relief, of the Red Cross having the emails of all the Obama supporters.  Maybe I'm out of touch, but the email database that Obama has is apparently a big prize.  I'm not trying to be a hater here! :)

    But if he tells his supporters to donate or do good I think that is quite a good idea and a great example of the type of community action he supports.  

    It seems like (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by trublueCO on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 11:09:49 PM EST
    he means that the campaign will email his supporters asking for donations to the Red Cross, volunteering, or whatever else emergency relief agencies deem appropriate.

    I don't think that they will be handing the lists over to anyone.


    Both are right (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 10:20:11 PM EST
    If Obama went down now, the media would turn it into of circus of the 2 campaigns. Since McCain is down there on invite and out of the way of the possible disaster area and in the command center, he'll have some firsthand info/observations. If everything goes off without a hitch or not, they'll have a firsthand view of how the agencies down there are working for future needs.

    I'm so Libra  ;)

    McCain's Dog and Pony Show (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by john horse on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:02:58 AM EST
    Look, the local officials in charge of this disaster are going to have their hands full.  They don't need any distractions.

    As Will Thomas at TPM has pointed out

    Neither McCain nor Palin offer any unique advantage to New Orleans with their presence -- they are not Southern politicians, they don't have any particularly useful contacts in the area and they aren't emergency responders.

    The last thing emergency management needs before a major storm hits is to have any unnecessary personnel around.  Sometimes the best thing to do in a disaster situation is to get out of the way of the professionals so they can do their job.  McCain's visit is going to do nothing but divert time and attention from emergency management personnel that can be better spent elsewhere.

    And I'm not saying that politicians shouldn't visit disaster areas.  What I am saying is that there is a right time to visit and a wrong time to visit.  The right time to visit is after the disaster hits, when things have settled down some, and relief efforts have begun.  If McCain really wanted to be helpful thats when he would visit.  

    Savvy move. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:00:49 PM EST
    Resonates with and about Democrats being the Party that helps people.

    Better go farther than that, tho, when the smoke clears (so to speak).

    I heard one commentator suggest that the Rs coud do somethings at their convention...ie "pass the hat" or "have a blood drive or something."

    Right away, the blood drive suggestion gave rise to innumerable thoughts of slogans, signs and bumperstickers on the order of "Republicans even want your blood!"  Ick.  Of course if Democrats do it we could label it "Democrats bleed for you!"

    I know.

    I need a nap.

    Good to hear (none / 0) (#7)
    by dmk47 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:28:38 PM EST
    Very savvy move. I don't want to get pollyannish, but it's looking more and more that despite all the fretting and carping among supporters, Team O has had a plan in place for some time that finally hit fifth gear during the DNC; he's not going to be Dukakis, Gore, or Kerry laying there and taking it, and the more professional Obama-Biden looks, the more desperate and amateur the other side is coming off. Having Bush and Cheney address the nation might have done McCain more harm than good, but the chance to run a free nationally-televised attack ad against Obama was one of the last major cards they had left to play, and now, with the storm, it's scuttled. Worse, whatever programming is going to be left to the convention is going to have to be given to rearguard action defending the Palin selection. This really seems to me to be on the verge of wrapping up.

    Oh, and apart from the politics, this is exactly the right thing to do -- staying out of the way of the local governments and first responders, and only after the storms calling on the phalanxes of contributors to kick in some aid to the victims of the storm. Good on Obama in every respect.

    McCain will use Gustave to his advantage (none / 0) (#9)
    by Saul on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:29:10 PM EST
    I have said that it would be a good idea for Bush not to show up at the convention. McCain to disassociate  from Bush  What better excuse than Bush can not go because of Gustave.  Let Bush be in charge or worry about Gustave.  Also delay the Rep convention and have McCain and Palin go to New Orleans or Mississippi and be there helping. Getting their hands dirty.   Having a political party during a peoples crisis not good idea.  Then after 2 or 3 days start the convention.  McCain gets a great image of caring for the people and refuses to have a party while Gustave comes because the people come first etc etc. Plus he can say
    Obama wasn't there but I was

    If I thought about it I am sure the McCain thought about it.

    I am not a McCain Supporter I am just figuring that just might be their strategy.

    Sorry to be a cynical jerk but... (none / 0) (#10)
    by jerry on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:34:13 PM EST
    "I think we can activate an e-mail list of a couple of million people who want to give back,"

    This is not really why I put my name on email lists, and sad to say, too many of these is why I take my name off of email lists.

    There are plenty of on going tragedies in the US that Obama (and everyone else) is way too silent about.  Right now in Flint Michigan, the police are rounding up "Deadbeat Dads" and tossing them in jail for 45 days.  Many of these dads are poor, and many or most are more victims of the economy.  There are a lot of truths about so called deadbeat dads that we don't like to discuss.  Like dads have better records in payment than moms.  Like most of these people tossed in jail are being tossed in jail over small sums that they would pay, if they could.  It goes on too, but since this is a government attack on males primarily, "to protect" women, no one will discuss it.  And then in Arizona, over the summer, we regularly have hundreds of people die in the desert in ways that are preventable.  These are two issues that Obama (and others in my party) are way too silent about.

    So part of me is glad that Americans are looking ahead this time, but I find this call ahead of time to use email lists, well, mainly just a political ploy.  And it might be seen that way.

    It would seem (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:48:07 PM EST
    that you have your own personal axe to grind. Dead beat dads and how they are treated may in fact be an issue worth talking about. But what the city of Flint Michigan does to enforce the law is not exactly something the President can do much about much less a nominee for the position.

    Deadbeat dads is not my personal axe (none / 0) (#27)
    by jerry on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:14:42 PM EST
    Neither are innocent people dying in the desert.

    But even if deadbeat dads were my personal axe, what's wrong with that?  I, and many other divorced fathers, and our families would love to hear from our candidates about the abuse of the court system, about reform of child custody, about abuse and waste of government resources in prosecuting men (and women) for "crimes" they largely have no control over.  

    Or if you consider Obama a constitutional law expert, than about the unconstitutionality of family court expressed in ways that violate due process and equal protection.

    And if you don't care about that as a human being seeing good parents taken away from their children, or as a civil libertarian, seeing good people thrown in jail for little reason or seeing government seize assets without due process, then perhaps you might care about it as a Democrat wondering why it is that good people you know think so poorly of Democrats.

    But the point is, making a big fuss of Gustav at this particular time ignores the other tragedies that Obama hasn't chosen to speak about or do anything about.  Even as I plan on voting for him, I think that's more of the same, and not change I can believe in.


    There are times (none / 0) (#53)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:23:45 PM EST
    that I think free vasectomy clinics on every city block would be a good idea.  Make it easy for men to be responsible.

    This is one of those times.  Or maybe an annual tax credit for people who have had tubal ligation or vasectomies.  Start now and watch your investment grow!  

    (You know the end times are near when your local conservative leaning newspaper prints an article about couples voluntarily limiting the number of children they have.  To save the world.)


    This is a real challenge for any new... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:13:49 PM EST
    ..."movement" campaign like Obama's.  How do you properly use the data you've mined from donors. volunteers and other supporters?

    If you just ask for money, over and over again, that will alienate the small donors.  

    If you issue a "Call to Action" over an issue or problem that has a political elements, it will alienate folks who are sensitive to being manipulated.

    It will be a tough job to get a proper balance with the new technology, but whoever said that it would be easy? (Except for the salesmen on the new technologies.)


    Personally, I think they should just not do it. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jerry on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:26:26 PM EST
    I don't mind signing up for email lists that are targeted to one specific issue.  Elect Obama.  Stop the destruction of some mountain.

    What annoys me to no end is how the email lists are then reused, and even sold to others.

    At that point, I do not become an individual, I become a product, and an asset for some jerk I have no relation to.  And my inbox becomes clogged with nonsense.  And it just seems cynical and abusive.

    I wanted to elect Howard Dean.  Years later, long after he stopped running, he's telling me how important he is.

    I think a few statements by Obama at this point reminding people about Gustav, and how to donate to the Red Cross, would be important.

    Announcing that he's going to spam his mailing list, I find to just be a cynical way to keep his name in the air, and not really of too much help to Gustav's victims.

    Better would be his discussion of reform of FEMA, and communication and cooperation between state and federal government.  And a discussion of how to repair a National Guard that may not be able to help due to men and equipment overseas.


    Obama might talk about Blackwater, Katrina, Gustav (none / 0) (#11)
    by jerry on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:40:00 PM EST
    To the extent that Obama knows about Blackwater and Katrina and Gustav, I wish he'd speak to that.  To the extent that he doesn't know about Blackwater and Katrina and Gustav, I wish he'd learn.

    Amy Goodman from DemocracyNOW asks investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill how Blackwater profited off Hurricane Katrina.

    Security and intelligence expert Dr. R.J. Hillhouse reports at her "Spy Who Billed Me" blog that Blackwater has issued a shout-out for armed security officers for possible deployment under their DHS contract in the wake of Hurricane Gustav. Officers must have a firearms license - and those with revolver- only status need not apply. She reproduces this call for personell from Blackwater themselves, issued late Friday:

    Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav. Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD.
    Last time out, during Katrina, Blackwater mercenaries were patrolling New Orleans in full battle dress and with assault weapons in what some called an end-run around Posse Comitatus. It looks like they're ready to do it again.  If so, let's hope there's none of the kind of "accidents" they've had in Iraq


    I'm glad the GOP (none / 0) (#21)
    by frenly on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:02:52 PM EST
    is looking at changing their convention schedule.  It would be in poor taste to have the convention while this is happening.  Unfortunately I am little skeptical that the Democrats would've done the same thing.  Maybe it is the cynic in me.

    As for Obama saying that he would ask donors to give; I've got mixed feelings about that.  It could come across as looking like Democrats only want to send money, Republicans actually go and do the work.  I could be wrong though

    Obama did not say (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by TChris on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:05:15 PM EST
    that sending money was the only option.

    Donations could include cash, goods and individual labor, he said.

    Is Obama suggesting caucus kids go to NO? (none / 0) (#25)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:12:48 PM EST
    Obama is expressly (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by TChris on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:28:20 PM EST
    stating (not suggesting) that people need to stay out of the way so first responders can do their jobs, until local authorities make clear the kinds of help needed.

    Hi TChris , I don't think I've commented (none / 0) (#24)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:11:21 PM EST
    on one of your threads before. You were VERY quick with the delete button on the comment I posted 2-3 minutes ago about: Obama; Gustav; Climate Crisis; Coal Industry.

    Sorry you found it irrelevant and/or OT. Although, I fail to see how it is any more so than some other broader comments that are still standing. To be clear, I'm NOT suggesting that you delete those either.

    Anyhoo, it's your party, to do with as you see fit.

    Obama/Biden now on 60 Mins (sorry OT) (none / 0) (#39)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:38:59 PM EST

    There was this project I was involved with (none / 0) (#48)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:00:32 PM EST
    connected to wiki where we got together and scoured the "missing" and "looking for" yahoo type websites to set them up into one bigger...more organized database.

    They might have something like that going on for Gustav.