Saturday, September 10, 2005

Credit Al Gore FOR Bashing Bush ?

Al Gore Airlifts Evacuees
Friday, September 09, 2005

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Al Gore helped airlift some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans, acting at the urging of a doctor who saved the life of the former vice president's son. (I give credit where it is due ... kudos to Al Gore.)

Gore criticized the Bush administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina in a speech Friday in San Francisco, but refused to be interviewed about the mercy missions he financed and flew on Sept. 3 and 4. (Mixed feelings here. Where I respect the humbleness to not want to pat himself on the back, it seems now this speech was just to criticize Bush.)

However, Dr. Anderson Spickard, who is Gore's personal physician and accompanied him on the flights, said: "Gore told me he wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has." (What assets is he refering to is the question. Financial assets? If so, the again ... kudos. If he is refering to the asset of political attention to USE this situation to give an anti-Bush speech ... then 'opportunity' is the right word, as would 'opportunist fit in.)

A part of the story that for some reason is constantly ommited from MOST MSM sources ... shockingly it is included here ...

In the speech, Gore urged that the Bush administration be held accountable for the government's inadequate relief response, particularly "when the corpses of American citizens are floating in toxic floodwaters five days after a hurricane struck."

Bush administration officials have said Katrina's damage could not have been anticipated, but Gore rejected that.

"What happened was not only knowable, it was known in advance, in great and painstaking detail," Gore told the Sierra Club's national convention. "They did tabletop planning exercises. They identified exactly what the scientific evidence showed would take place." (Did the also show that if they moved in without the express request of the freaking Governor ... they would be breaking the bleeping LAW? Did they show where they had consulted with the bleeping Mayor and Governor sharing this data and giving advise that was IGNORED?)

An account of the flights was posted this week on a Democratic Party Web page. It was written by Greg Simon, president of the Washington-based activist group FasterCures. Simon, who helped put together the mission, also declined an interview. (And again ... kudos ... no self promotion ... AND didn't USE the opportunity to blame Bush, so ... double kudos.)

On Sept. 1, three days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, Simon learned that Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Gore's son, Albert, after a life-threatening auto accident in 1989, was trying to get in touch with Gore. Kline was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute — food and water running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and ... corpses outside," Simon wrote.

Gore responded immediately, telephoning Kline and agreeing to underwrite the $50,000 each for the two flights, although Larry Flax, founder of California Pizza Kitchens, later pledged to pay for one of them. (Kudos to Larry Flax.)

"None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written guarantee of payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews," Simon wrote of the American Airlines flights. "One official said if Gore promised to pay, that was good enough for them." (Kudos to American Airlines.)

He also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore's cousin, retired Col. Dar LaFon, a specialist in internal medicine who once ran the military hospital in Baghdad.

Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee's support and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans.

About 140 people, many of them sick, landed in Knoxville on Sept. 3. The second flight, with 130 evacuees, landed the next day in Chattanooga.

This is a story amoung many of tragedy occuring in N.O. Happily the person involved had 'contacts'. As I said ... I give credit where it is due, so many kudos go out here.

Along with that, however, comes the responsibility to accept criticism with your praise.

Al Gore ... Thank you for what you did.
Al Gore ... Shame on you for that speech.

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