Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"Profit Neutral???"

That's right, not "non-profit", but "profit neutral". That is Fema's glowing description of Carnival's amazing humanitarian effort in the urgent times of Katrina's aftermath. Amazingly and outrageously shameful.

I posted a piece this morning, "Citizen Carnival, not Kane", outlining an investigation led by Sen. Waxman into Jeb Bush and Michael Brown's collusion in an alleged misuse of power for profit. Upon further research I came across two press releases from FEMA that quite frankly make want to throw-up.

The first one, release date Sept. 24, 2005, quotes Michael Brown as saying he was "pulling out all the stops" in order to address the "Herculean Task" of housing the victims, and everything including "creative options" was on the table. (or did he mean under the table? hmm..)

The second one, release date Feb. 24, 2006, is the one that really sets the seasickness in motion though. Posted to appear as if it is a report on the contracts for the ships running out, it resembles a cold war type propoganda, that previously I thought only the former USSR could do so well! Starting off by commending the use of the ships as

"an innovative and successful program needed during a desperate time. ",

and quickly claiming

"There was no other alternative that met their needs in a timely fashion.",

the release begins to drone on about statistics and disclaimers to support Mr Brown's actions back in September. ( didn't they fire that guy?) Foolish statements such as "The ships did not provide fancy accommodations", ( it's a freakin' cruise ship!!!!)
The most outrageous claim was

"A recent review of the cruise ship agreement by the Inspector General of DHS pronounced the deal, 'reasonable under the urgent circumstances.' Carnival Cruise Lines has a "profit-neutral" contract with FEMA and is charging the agency only what it would earn during normal cruise operations.".

It goes on to ramble about capabilities of housing 8000 people and boasts serving 2 million meals. Do the math, 2 million meals divided over 6 months will only feed 3700 people. 8000 capacity, 3700 served, that's a whopping 46 %! ( I guess by recent Bush standards that is a pretty high percentage though...) That means Carnival got paid for more than double what it was costing them to operate, 54%!! (where's the dramamine now, ughhh...)

This has got to translate into a whole lot for the Jeb foundation, for sure. I am very interested to see where Waxman's letter to Jeb gets us.

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