Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Red Cross Paid $7.00 per Danish After Hurricane Sandy (and Then Threw Them Away)

Many are not aware, but the modern-day Red Cross was created by congressional charter.  It has a government mandate to work alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency in relief efforts. President Obama is the honorary chairman and its national headquarters is just blocks from the White House.

So how are they doing? Pretty much like other government related agencies.  Pro Puublica is out with a report detailing the recent spectacular crony-like failures at the Red Cross. It follows the pattern we have seen recently with other government-related emergency organizations. It is  very aggressive with propaganda efforts, but completely incompetent in delivering on its mandate:
IN 2012, TWO MASSIVE STORMS pounded the United States, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless, hungry or without power for days and weeks.
Americans did what they so often do after disasters. They sent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Red Cross, confident their money would ease the suffering left behind by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. They believed the charity was up to the job.
They were wrong.
The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Sandy and Isaac, leaving behind a trail of
unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR. The charity’s shortcomings were detailed in confidential reports and internal emails, as well as accounts from current and former disaster relief specialists.
What’s more, Red Cross officials at national headquarters in Washington, D.C. compounded the charity’s inability to provide relief by “diverting assets for public relations purposes,” as one internal report puts it. Distribution of relief supplies, the report said, was “politically driven.”
During Isaac, Red Cross supervisors ordered dozens of trucks usually deployed to deliver aid to be driven around nearly empty instead, “just to be seen,” one of the drivers, Jim Dunham, recalls.
“We were sent way down on the Gulf with nothing to give,” Dunham says. The Red Cross’ relief effort was “worse than the storm.”
During Sandy, emergency vehicles were taken away from relief work and assigned to serve as backdrops for press conferences, angering disaster responders on the ground.
After both storms, the charity’s problems left some victims in dire circumstances or vulnerable to harm, the organization’s internal assessments acknowledge. Handicapped victims “slept in their wheelchairs for days” because the charity had not secured proper cots. In one shelter, sex offenders were “all over including playing in children’s area” because Red Cross staff “didn’t know/follow procedures.”
According to interviews and documents, the Red Cross lacked basic supplies like food, blankets and batteries to distribute to victims in the days just after the storms.
Sometimes, even when supplies were plentiful, they went to waste. In one case, the Red Cross had to throw out tens of thousands of meals because it couldn’t find the people who needed them.
The Red Cross marshalled an army of volunteers, but many were misdirected by the charity’s managers. Some were ordered to stay in Tampa long after it became clear that Isaac would bypass the city. After Sandy, volunteers wandered the streets of New York in search of stricken neighborhoods, lost because they had not been given GPS equipment to guide them.
The problems stand in stark contrast to the Red Cross’ standing in the realm of disaster relief. President Obama, who is the charity’s honorary chairman, vouched for the group after Sandy, telling Americans to donate. “The Red Cross knows what they’re doing,” he said.
Two weeks after Sandy hit, Red Cross Chief Executive Gail McGovern declared that the group’s relief efforts had been “near flawless.”
Government, and government-related, protection and emergency support is largely a myth,


  1. The Red Cross is a joke. As far as where people donation dollars go, it is mainly to staff pay, not helping people.

  2. Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General

    The quick reversal, confirmed by Mr. Koster and Ms. Kalani, was part of a pattern of successful lobbying of Mr. Koster by the law firm on behalf of clients like Pfizer and AT&T — and evidence of a largely hidden dynamic at work in state attorneys general offices across the country.

    Attorneys general are now the object of aggressive pursuit by lobbyists and lawyers who use campaign contributions, personal appeals at lavish corporate-sponsored conferences and other means to push them to drop investigations, change policies, negotiate favorable settlements or pressure federal regulators, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

    A robust industry of lobbyists and lawyers has blossomed as attorneys general have joined to conduct multistate investigations and pushed into areas as diverse as securities fraud and Internet crimes.

    But unlike the lobbying rules covering other elected officials, there are few revolving-door restrictions or disclosure requirements governing state attorneys general, who serve as “the people’s lawyers” by protecting consumers and individual citizens.

    A result is that the routine lobbying and deal-making occur largely out of view. But the extent of the cause and effect is laid bare in The Times’s review of more than 6,000 emails obtained through open records laws in more than two dozen states, interviews with dozens of participants in cases and attendance at several conferences where corporate representatives had easy access to attorneys general.
    Andy Abboud, a lobbyist for Las Vegas Sands, which donated $500,000 through its chief executive to the Republican group this year, has been urging attorneys general to join an effort to ban online poker. At breakfast, he approached Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida.

    “What are you going to be doing today?” he asked.

    “Sailing,” Ms. Bondi replied.

    “Great, I want to go sailing, too,” Mr. Abboud said, and they agreed to connect later that day.

  3. Does anyone know then if there are any good, competent, private disaster relief services. I just recently learned that Doctors without Borders was crony government crap, and now the Red Cross too!

    1. imagine the attempt to create something like this. First you'd have the wrath of all the red cross supporters to deal with. Then people would question why they should give, after all I saw red cross trucks all over the place after sandy! Bureaucrats would be forced to do whatever it takes to ensure you fail since your success would make them look bad (and the president himself is in that group). If you succeeded, the (anti-govt) story would be used for generations, similar to the steamship and railroad stories from the past.

  4. If there is a disaster, say in a certain zip code, red cross will give debit cards with cash balances to anyone who can show id with the appropriate zip code. Perhaps, you were lucky and suffered no damage or loss? Doesn't matter. If the disaster is big enough, all that matters is the zip code on the id and presto, here is some cash. What a way to preserve resources for a charity! Certainly no legitimate private charity that had to exclusively function on volunteered donations would be run like this.