Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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WARNING: Do Not Read the Following Post If You Are Now Or Are About to Consume a Beverage. This <$NoAd$> Post Reveals High-Level BS, Which May Not Be Appropriate For Some Readers Prone to Spit-takes. Proceed With Caution ...

Allbaugh flew to the Gulf Coast last week. His spokeswoman, Patti Giglio, said he went to coordinate private-sector relief, but did not give specifics.

“He is putting his shoulder to the wheel to mobilize the private sector, getting stuff in, getting what needs to be done done,” she said, adding that he is not there to help his clients secure government contracts. “The first thing he says when he sits down with a client is, ‘Don’t hire me if you’re looking for a government contract.’”

This really is what the country needs. More no-nonsense, public-spirited lobbyists who will go into the disaster zones and make the trains run on time.

Read the rest of the article just out from The Hill.

For all that went wrong the last couple weeks down on the Gulf Coast, there's still at least one thing to be grateful for: Bernard Kerik could have been DHS Secretary instead of Michael Chertoff. And as poor a performance as Chertoff may have put in, I doubt he has too many mob cronies and he's clearly got some managerial experience. And, heck, we don't even have to get into Judith Regan, which is more than you can say for Kerik.

But now it seems they've brought Kerik out of mothballs to float some new Bush talking points. Heck, maybe they'll make him head of FEMA. I hear that job's opening up. And for all I know maybe he went into a public corruption 12 Step Program after last fall. So who knows? Maybe he can keep his nose clean this time.

Anyway, TPM Reader JU tells me that Bernie was on Keith Olbermann last night and floated this line.

They knew five days, six days in advance there was a category 5 storm. In a post-9/11 world, did they have protocols to evacuate? Was there a mandatory evacuation call? Did they have buses lined up? Did they have food and water lined up? These are all things that crisis managers had this day and age have to have. And I think there may be a question whether that was done or not.

That's great. They knew five <$NoAd$>or six days in advance that it was going to be a Cat 5 storm? Kerik must have an astrologer who hooks him up with the really sweet info since the National Hurricane Center said that Katrina was a Cat 2 moving toward a Cat 3 storm only two days before it made landfall on the Gulf Coast.

Do we have to endure this goof again? Can Rudy hire him back and put him deep undercover?

A collaborative project.

I had hoped to get this posted earlier today. But better late than never, I guess. Here's a bare-bones Katrina timeline we've just posted, with links to key events and developments over the last two weeks.

What we're going to do over the coming days is build the timeline out, collaboratively, with our readers. Take a look at the timeline. There are many key events that still aren't listed.

Identify the key events, as many crucial details possible and a link or links to very the key facts. Send them to us at the email address at the top of the timeline. Our crack research team will verify them and add them to the timeline. If you see errors or additions that should be made, let us know that too.

We hope to start updating this evening.

Let the crony contracts <$NoAd$> bonanza begin!

From the front page of Baton Rouge-based The Shaw Group website ...

Hurricane Recovery Projects - Apply Here!

Subcontractors/Suppliers & SBA Apply Here!

Personnel Applicants Apply Here!

The Shaw Group will assist FEMA and other governmental agencies in recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Subcontractors and craftsmen, please click here to apply for available positions: Hurricane Recovery Projects.

Frankly, if you're looking to nail down some good contracts, I'd definitely try to get into the Shaw Group pipeline, as their site suggests, since they've bought the services of our friend Joe Allbaugh.

Late Update: Everybody gets a taste? Jim Bernhard, CEO of the Shaw Group is chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party.

These guys are always one step ahead of you.

Back on Monday I told you how the Bush crony catastrophe contracts bonanza would be so big it might even tempt Bush fixer Joe Allbaugh to bring his influence-peddling racket back stateside.

Well, as TPM Reader JV points out, that ship's already sailed.

This article from the September 1st edition of the Post noted that Allbaugh was already in Louisiana "helping coordinate the private-sector response to the storm."

Now, if you figure that an article that appeared on the September 1st was probably reported out on Wednesdy August 31st, perhaps this is one of those cases that show how the public sector just can't match the pace of the private sector, seeing as Allbaugh seems to have beaten most of the folks from FEMA, the agency he ran before handing it off to Michael Brown, into the disaster area.

I also must confess that I'd been so focused on Allbaugh's Iraq operation, that I had lost track of what he was up to on the domestic rain-making activities.

First, there's Blackwell Fairbanks, the outfit he set up with Andrew Lundquist, the guy who ran Vice President Cheney's energy policy task force. And then of course there's Allbaugh's main shop, The Allbaugh Company, the one Haley Barbour helped him set up along with New Bridge Strategies, the Iraq venture.

I figure he's in Louisiana wearing the Allbaugh Company hat, seeing as how a few months back he signed on as a lobbyist for Halliburton subsidiary KBR to "educate the congressional and executive branch on defense, disaster relief and homeland security issues."