The Era of: Knowing is Irrelevant

OK just whatdo we know about what we have here?

YesterdayCBS News reports that workers from Gulf Stream Coach relate the company knew it had a problem with formaldehyde in the trailers they were manufacturing for Katrina evacuees and one worker stated, “We were instructed to open the doors and windows so that the odor wouldn’t be as strong when the FEMA inspectors got there.”

Also yesterday the GOP tried to get ahead of Congressional hearings on the issue with their talking points, the short version being…Heck don’t blame the manufacturers, Blame the government.

Then today at the hearings the chairman of Gulf Streamadmitted they knew “formaldehyde in some units exceeded a federal health standard by as much as 45 times in 2006″ but didn’t disclose that to FEMA (much less Katrina evacuees) because FEMA already knew about the formaldehyde and so it was“irrelevant information”.

OK before I use caps let’s recap: Everyone knew but because everyone knew it was irrelevant.


WTF is wrong with these people. They all knew but didn’tDO anything. They went ahead and built toxic tin cans in whichpeople were to live.  And no one bothered at any point to say “Houston we have a Problem” and then get out their slide rules and hoses and toasters and Solve the Motherfucker.


No Gene Krantz announcing thatFailure is not an Option! on this baby. No, nowadays we get —Yeah we know, So What?!?

And for even more pitiful go read theWaPo article to get a load of how the Republicans blamed…wait for it…the federal government. Oh NOW they want to blame the federal government. They say that as though they don’tknow theyare the federal government. I guess that is irrelevant as well.

But here is aquote from Rep. Dan Burton which will make you throw up a lot in your mouth…

“Instead of beating up manufacturers, we ought to give them a little vote of confidence,” he said.

Wow–let’s all hug it out— that from the party that rails about responsibility. 

I’ve seen it all now I think. Well unless we can shoot the whole damn lot of ’em to the sun in a Katrina trailer. Of course I know that wouldn’t work andyou know that wouldn’t work but if we don’t say anything who knows what may occur.

10 thoughts on “The Era of: Knowing is Irrelevant

  1. Everytime I think of these trailers I get a massive headache.
    Everyone involved would have been far happier and healthier if FEMA dusted off the emergency response plan to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake down to the construction plans for each “earthquake shack”. I’ve had to rethink my ideas about “progress” since Americans without telephones or automobiles in 1906 did a better job of helping their fellow Americans not just in relative terms but in modern terms. That fancy Katrina Cottage that made the rounds is a glorified version of a San Francisco Hurricane Shack.
    Reporters talk about the “toxic” partisanship in DC. Well how about the the LITERALLY FUCKING TOXIC trailers that were foisted on DISASTER VICTIMS just so Republicans could allow their backers to dip their beaks in a little pork courtesy of a human tragedy.

  2. Well, sure, they were toxic and all, but a little cost-benefit analysis showed that the contract was well worth the risk.
    Especially if they knew they were never fucking gonna get held accountable for anything!
    The next time a free-market priest like Sowell opens his mouth to tell us that regulation is BAD and no company would ever try to KILL their customer base, I hope some take a filthy gym sock with FEMA TRAILERS scrawled on it and crams it down his throat.

  3. I shudder to ask: Was this a no-bid contract? And did Shrub allow sufficient regulatory oversight?

  4. Burton spouts the same wingnut line used about the telcoms. Don’t punish companies doing work for the government when they break the law – PRAISE THEM.

  5. Once again: nothing done by the current administration serves any purpose other than transferring tax and borrowed money to the bank accounts of influential repub backing corporations and their officers. Nothing means “nothing”, that’s zip, zilch, nada, zero, NOTHING.
    The “war on terror” is about the same thing – the transfer of US money and borrowed money to favored corporations.
    FISA is about the same thing.
    The tax cuts, ditto.
    Mussolini comes to mind.

  6. Assuming the legal route is out of the question, I assume that Gulf Stream has made a trailer or two before Katrina and also making a trailer or two after.
    What would it to to their corporate image for the link between them and formaldehyde to be publicised? Countdown? 60 Minutes?

  7. Just FWIW, joejoejoe, quite a few people in San Francisco would have had telephones by 1906, since they’d been in commercial production since 1877…
    (There’s even surviving film footage, and a remarkable series of photographs taken by none other than Jack London.)
    What the current US government doing isn’t evenregress (the opposite of progress); it’s a relatively new philosophy of anti-governance designed to convince people that government is the problem and to foster a sort of anti-statist anomie in people. A populace that knows it can’t trust the government (or use the government) and has been carefully inculcated against collective action of any sort is ripe for exploitation by other forms of collective action, like corporations and wealthy-against-everyone-else class warfare…

  8. Interrobang – D’oh! Next thing you’ll be telling me is an Italian invented the darn thing, not Alexander Graham Bell.

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