Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

In times of such stress and grief as these, it is reassuring to know we can rely on some immutables never to change.

Like Pat Robertson being a shameless nutcase, for instance.

I heard today (courtesy of this web site) that Robertson told 700 Club viewers last week that God would bring judgment on Israel for leaving Gaza.

Here's the ADL's condemnation.

Another September '04 article out of New Orleans. The lede ...

The Federal Emergency Management Agency shook up its way of distributing disaster preparedness money when it introduced its Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program in 2002. Given the program's criteria, Louisiana appeared to have been a shoo-in for federal dollars for 2003, the first year the program began awarding money. Instead, Louisiana got nothing.

See the rest.

Wes Clark has just posted a piece at TPMCafe about Katrina, leadership and President Bush.

The accountablity free moment continues<$NoAd$>. From this morning's White House briefing ...

REPORTER: There’s a lot of discussion going on about the funding of projects prior to this, whether projects in New Orleans in particular were underfunded because of the Iraq war or for other reasons. Do you find any of this criticism legitimate? Do you think there is any second guessing to be done now about priorities given that [a disaster in] New Orleans was sort of obvious to a lot of the experts?

MCCLELLAN: As I have indicated, this is not a time for politics. This is a time for the nation to come together for those in the Gulf Coast region and that’s where our focus is. This is not a time for finger-pointing or politics. And I think the last thing that the people who have been displaced or the people who have been affected need is people seeking partisan gain in Washington. So if that’s what you’re talking about, that’s one thing. Now, if you’re talking about specific areas, I would be glad to talk about some of those, if that’s what you want.

Thanks to ThinkProgress for the catch.

We mentioned earlier the quote from Mike Parker, former Republican congressman from Mississippi who briefly served as head of the Army Corps of Engineers from late 2001 to early 2002 before being canned for criticizing administration budget cuts.

He's quoted in today's Chicago Tribune saying, "I'm not saying it wouldn't still be flooded, but I do feel that if it had been totally funded, there would be less flooding than you have."

Here's a piece from March 7, 2002 from the Clarion-Ledger on the circumstances of Parker's firing. Here are the first several grafs ...

The assistant secretary of the Army, Mississippi's former U.S. Rep. Mike Parker, was forced out Wednesday after he criticized the Bush administration's proposed spending cuts on Army Corps of Engineers' water projects, members of Congress said.

"Apparently he was asked to resign," said U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the House Appropriations Committee's energy and water development subcommittee that oversees the corps' budget.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, also said Parker was dismissed.

Parker's nomination to head the corps drew heavy criticism last year from environmental groups pushing to downsize the agency, calling its flood control projects too costly and destructive.

Parker earned the ire of administration officials when he questioned Bush's planned budget cuts for the corps, including two controversial Mississippi projects.

"I think he was fired for being too honest and not loyal enough to the president," said lobbyist Colin Bell, who represents communities with corps-funded projects.

Bell said Parker resigned about noon after being given about 30 minutes to choose between resigning or being fired.

Pretty much the Bush administration in a nutshell.

For those who are interested, this article by Joe Elliston in the Independent from September 2004 is clearly one of the key pieces on the deconstruction, privatization and crony-fication of FEMA.

Read it and weep.

A TPM Reader checks in ...


I have a question that no one has raised so far. Wouldn’t part of any homeland security preparation be the handling of refugees? Virtually any serious terrorist attack (explosion, nuclear, biological) would entail a large number of displaced persons. Wasn’t anything done along these lines? I would have thought we would have pre-positioned refugee resources (tents, MRE's, water purification, generators, emergency medical care) near major population centers in the event of mass exodus. Am I crazy?


Sounds like a good question.