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AL GORE - TWO YEARS AGO

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Bianca
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« on: August 30, 2007, 11:46:36 am »

FROM:

DAILY KOS






                                 A Reminder of Al Gore's Heroics Two Years Ago





by NYPopulist
Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 09:15:48 PM PDT




I'll give you two quotes, you tell me who said each.  The first one came in September of 2005, literally days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast:

My heart is heavy for another reason today, and many have mentioned this, but I want to tell you personally that my heart is heavy because of the suffering that the people of the Gulf Coast have been enduring. The losses that they've suffered in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, New Orleans in particular, but other cities as well, and rural areas. We are here thinking of them, thinking as well of the many brave men and women who have exceeded the limits of exhaustion as they do their duty in responding to this crisis, to the families of those responders and the families of the victims.

And the second came earlier today:

"My attitude is this: New Orleans, better days are ahead. It's sometimes hard for people to see progress when you live in a community all the time."





NYPopulist's diary :: ::

Both won Presidential elections, one in 2000, and one in 2004.  The first quote, of course, comes from Al Gore, the second from President Bush, and the difference in attitude and tone could not be more clear.  Gore's words are clearly from the heart and much meant.  Bush's are politicized, untrue, and manufactured.  But that's not the point of this diary, we've all come to expect such things from Bush (and Gore).  The point of this diary is to remind everyone here what Al Gore did two years ago in response to Katrina and just why this man should be our next President (and why he really should be our current President).

While Bush and FEMA Director Brown were seemingly still reading My Pet Goat days after the Katrina devastated New Orleans, Gore had personally and privately commissioned two planes to evacuate the as many elderly and ill men and woman out of the city as possible.  George Bush had an entire emergency agency at his dispense, in addition to probably virtually unlimited funds from Congress, yet it was our President who was criticized as hating black people on national television.  Out former Vice President, on the other hand, was busy at work and felt an obligation to do whatever he could given how fortunate he saw himself as.

"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,"

Greg Simon
President, FasterCures

That was the scene in and around Charity Hospital in New Orleans, and that's the first place Gore went.  After being notified of the dreadful conditions by Simon, Gore rounded up doctors and nurses to bring on the flight and personally called Governor Phil Bredeson (D-TN) and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta for their support and clearance to landing rights in New Orleans.

Here's an excerpt from Simon's description of how the events unfolded, starting with the landing of the first plane:

The plane’s arrival in Knoxville was described by the local paper as the "Mercy Plane" and the mayor and many of the citizens turned out to help.

By now, it was too late to return to New Orleans, load up and leave before dark and American Airlines refused to have its personnel stay in New Orleans after dark.  Gore and the team headed to Dallas for the night.  Around midnight Saturday night, the FAA called American airlines and pulled their landing slots for Sunday saying only FEMA planes could fly in.  Gore called Mineta again who promised to honor our initial agreement for two landing slots.

                                   

On Sunday morning Gore and the team landed in New Orleans to a much improved scene.  Many more patients had been airlifted out after our flight and there were only ten ambulatory patients for our plane so we took 120 evacuees with us to Chattanooga.  The welcoming reception in Chattanooga was so large that Gore said it looked like there was an ambulance for everybody on the plane.

We decided not to return to New Orleans because the medical patients we could take had been helped.  (We could not take bedridden patients on stretchers on this plane.)  Gore said that on the second trip to New Orleans, the doctors at the airport told him that the evacuation of the first 90 ambulatory patients had been the tipping point in their ability to adequately care for the other bedridden patients.  They also noted that the military evacuations did not really pick up steam until after we "motivated" them with our private effort.

That's right.  It was called the "Mercy Plane."  Likewise, they "motivated" the FEMA efforts.  Between the two flights, Gore airlifted 270 helpless victims to safety - truly an amazing effort which apparently had a rippling effect on the rest of the rescue operation which lagged behind Gore's.  But the story doesn't end there.

On May 26th, I attended a book signing in New York City for Gore's The Assault on Reason.  The event was great - the Barnes and Noble was absolutely packed to the brim, Gore gave a great speech, and the hundreds and hundreds of us there were lining up to get Al's autograph.  I soon found out that the man standing directly in front of me was present at the same time and place where Gore was evacuating people (I don't know if he himself was actually evacuated by Gore).  We talked some, mostly about the disgusting neglect on the part of the FEMA operation, both at the time of the disaster and afterwards.  Then, when we approached the table that Al was sitting at, he told him that he came to New York that day to thank him for everything he did that day.  With him, the man had a notebook of many of the names of the people Gore saved that day with contact information and everything.  You could see it in Al's eyes and hear it in his voice that he was clearly touched.  Gore profusely thanked the man for coming, talked some more about what happened, then personally told one of his aides that he would like to "follow up" with the man and wanted a copy of the notebook paper he was just presented - not for free, but because he didn't have a personal record of those he helped out those two days in New Orleans.  As the man left the table, he thanked Gore one last time for, in his own words, being the only one that acted Presidential that week.

Perhaps the most telling thing of all is that Gore absolutely refused to have anything to do with the media during the evacuations and after.  He has never mentioned it in any of his speeches or interviews in the two years since.  Folks, this is truly a courageous and selfless man who is a clear contrast to our current President who jumps at every chance of a photo-op he can get.  Please run Al, because you were supposed to be President when this happened.  Please run because you truly are a noble man fit to lead our nation.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 11:49:05 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.



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