* Dear Debbie Schlussel, TV shows are fiction.
* Tommy, please keep talking... Democrats, shut up and let him. Hubris is heavy, let it bury him.
* Doing your job isn't partisan.
* Some news defies description and must simply be read.
* The tool is loose. Just in time to work up justification for another war.
* The "Pave the Earth" society's in charge of Katrina cleanup.
* What, no pardon for Neil? Is anyone comparing these to Clinton's? It's only fair.
* In case the intelligence disappears out of your debate on design.
Because it's not getting enough visibility
BROWN: I just want to state publicly that ice was one of those commodities that I feebly attempted to get FEMA out of the business of ice, because ice was originally intended to be only a life-saving commodity for baby formula, medications for hospitals and that sort of thing. And ice is one of those commodities that the demand for has just grown and grown and grown. And so while I have tried to limit something, I failed miserably in that regard.
(UNKNOWN): Would the gentleman yield?
BROWN: Everybody wants ice.
JEFFERSON: Yes, I yield.
(UNKNOWN): Because I think this is really interesting, Mr. Brown. Have you ever been through a hurricane?
BROWN: No, but I've been through disasters where I haven't had power for a long time and I know that the refrigerators go on the blink and food spoils, et cetera. But I don't think that's a federal government responsibility to provide ice to keep my hamburger meat in my freezer or refrigerator fresh.
(UNKNOWN): Well, if it goes bad and, as you said, people should -- you first said just a little while ago, people should be prepared to feed themselves for two or three days...
BROWN: With nonperishable...
(UNKNOWN): ... if I may. So now you're saying, OK, they're trying to feed themselves for two or three days. We have a low-cost alternative to feeding them; we should just give them a couple bags of ice to keep that stuff from going rotten.
BROWN: No, because they can't cook it.
(UNKNOWN): Now you're saying you shouldn't do that. But let me follow up. What else do they do with the ice, Mr. Brown?
(UNKNOWN): What else do they do with the ice?
BROWN: I assume...
(UNKNOWN): Because I think we have a serious disconnect and I think I'm really beginning to realize why you were removed from this job. What else was that ice used for?
BROWN: Ice should be used for life saving, to keep baby formula fresh and for medications. And I think that's what it should be used for.
(UNKNOWN): How about keeping the dead corpses from rotting in the...
BROWN: Because you can't use it to keep...
(UNKNOWN): ... sun?
BROWN: ... hamburger meat because you can't cook the hamburger meat. That's why we say, have provisions for two or three days of nonperishable items. And I think it's wrong for the federal government to be in the ice business, providing ice so I can keep my beer and Diet Coke cool.
Heck of a job. Heck of a job.
* I always thought something was missing from the "Book of Virtue".
* They get mail. This is amazing stuff. In the 4 or so years I've been doing this site I've received no hate mail. Some pissy comments when I step on a toe and wake someone up but nothing in the inbox. Amazing.
* The "Purpose Driven Meth Addict". Nothing wins someone over to god like sharing your drugs.
* Do we collectively feel reassured when Bush tells us it's going to get worse in Iraq... *but* we're ready for them?
* The web site Michael Brown should visit. These are the people he ignored.
* This is going to be received well.
Boy, hanging out with those FEMA guys really brings out the best in a person, don't it?
-- Rep. Tom DeLay said Wednesday that he will step aside as House majority leader after a Texas grand jury indicted him on a conspiracy charge.
A house built on sand...
* What is it about the overwhelming lack of cohesion within the rank and file Democrats? Is it too much to expect even the semblance of party unity. When the deck is stacked against your beliefs and policies, you've got to shake of the bloody Stockholm Syndrome and stand up for something.
* The Governor of Arkansas invoked Godwin's law. Shouldn't this instantly make him irrelevant?
* Not new news, but Dallas has the potential for becoming a victim to a similar fate New Orleans faced. Same level of importance and focus has been applied.
* Billmon on abuse of prisoners and its impact on whether we should stay in Iraq. Go read it now.
* Our father, who art in heaven, may indictments be your game.
* Dear Leader asks that you be conservers. Do not as I, says he. Like this level of hypocrisy should surprise even the most naive.
* Keep it up kids, gonna take a big friggin rug to sweep everything under. No amount of stomping's going to flatten out the truth of the tragedy.
"My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional," two days before the storm hit, Brown told the panel.
Brown in his opening statement said he had made several "specific mistakes" in dealing with the storm, and listed two.
One, he said, was not having more media briefings.
As to the other, he said: "I very strongly personally regret that I was unable to persuade Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin to sit down, get over their differences, and work together. I just couldn't pull that off."
oh,... what's that word? The one that combines a noun and a verb and is over used on Deadwood... Oh yeah, COCKSUCKER. If any man's been more deserving of an infinite blanket party, this man (term used loosely) is.
* Saltine fantasies. File under; "you can't make this stuff up".
* It's bad enough that we're being slipped genetically modified foods without fair warning, now organic food is about to be impacted. Can't the party of smaller government keep their hands out of anything?
* Tim Russert stooped low enough to scope out a slug's belly on Sunday. Going after Broussard for his passionate and tearful plea... why? Because the time line stated was inaccurate. Not because the woman didn't die, not because FEMA had really shown up, only because he got his dates wrong. Talk about hard hitting news.
* As more and more anti-war demonstrations result in arrest, will the nation begin to reflect more on the erosion of its first amendment rights?
* More on this administration's vision as to who has to sacrifice what to rebuild post Katrina.
* How uncomfortable it must be to have your head, voluntarily shoved so far up your ass you're incapable of even entertaining the possibility of truth surrounding concerns over racism, inequality, gay rights and the environment. Judeo-Christian values he says.
* Distributing refunds to faith based charities bugs me from the separation of church and state perspective but should *really* bug the charities... once that foot's in your door, it's in for good.
* The bad penny theory proves true.
The duck on crutches offered a surprising message to the American public regarding the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. Some of us even questioned how well that level of spending would go over with the borrow and spend GOP majority. It's nice to see all is not lost. Expectations do not need lowering, they've been met.
Think they suggested rolling back taxes, reducing spending in Iraq, cutting some of the vast pork inserted into the transportation or energy bills? Nope. These are the guys who have pictures of Calvin peeing on the less fortunate on the back of their Hummers.
Some of the finer suggestions are:
- $225 billion cut from Medicaid, the last-resort health insurance program for the very poor.
- $200 billion cut from Medicare, the health care safety net for the elderly and the disabled.
- $25 billion cut from the Centers for Disease Control
- $6.7 billion cut from school lunches for poor children
- $7.5 billion cut from programs to fight global AIDS
- $5.5 billion to eliminate all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
- $3.6 billion cut to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities
- $8.5 billion cut to eliminate all subsidized loans to graduate students.
- $2.5 billion cut from Amtrak
- $2.5 billion to eliminate the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative
- $417 million cut to eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency
- $4.8 billion cut to eliminate all funding for the Safe and Drug-Free schools program
Well, they do have to fund Haliburton somehow.
* Sure, to the uneducated, it *looked* like Bush was busy keeping tabs on the incoming hurricane. The real reason Bush wasn't in Washington this weekend is that he never stays in town during a protest or rally.
* The GOP bake sale for freedom doesn't seem to be pulling in the support anticipated. Whodathunkit?
* Sometimes humor is so close to the truth it cancels out the funny.
* Explain how this shining example of honoring the troops isn't the norm?
* Here's an idea... let's question a (who gives a shit) team's need for a chaplain. nitpick noted.
When you get 40+ wind gusts, lose power and are forced to watch your koi die... it'd sure be nice to get a little rain as well.
Shorter Leah McLaren: If one of my fabulous friends did it, it must be a trend.
* Independent facts don't seem quite as threatening on their own. It's when you start connecting the dots things get scary. The GOP and supporters of terrorism?
* It's good to be armed.
* Martha Stewart's bracelet, free to a good home.
* Bill O'Reilly used to be a school teacher, right? You think his students ever got exposed to facts?
* When they care enough to send the best... the feds recommend flambe.
* Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and a hurricane is *just* a force of nature.
Links for Your Enjoyment
* Who's the best person to tie Clinton's penis to Robert's nomination? Can you get it in less than 3 guesses? No peeking.
* Too bad they can't double up on the categories. Cheney didn't get a nod for trudging through Mississippi after property shopping on the other coast.
* The Goofus vs Gallant approach to Congresscritter behavior.
* What a completely suckass performance. When a leader begins to lose party loyalists and they are rethinking previous decisions, the duck's officially on crutches.
* There's no excuse for latent bigotry, especially in a state of emergency.
* Welllllll, it ain't Perry.
Food For Thought
Abortion Alternative; Reward good behavior. Free healthcare for life and a 529 college fund for every non-aborted baby. It's like a guaranteed lottery win for the religious right.
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Can you guess who said,...
I do not see myself as a defender of the Bush presidency, and I am sure the White House does not regard me as such.
Who's wearing the pants in this relationship?
* Special Security Task? Winning the hearts and minds.
* IF, Incidental Fate, as plausible as any other alternative to the theory of evolution and catchy too.
* Squick, the sound faliing polls makes when they hit bottom.
* Clunk, the sound an old-fashioned polling booth makes when it produces a paper trail.
* D'oh, the sound an intern makes when a fax is unintentionally sent to the opposition.
* Clap, is the sound the Bush administration makes as they exit the "Brownie Zone".
* Sir, yes sir, is what you hear after Posse Comitatus is revoked.
* Gurgle, is the closest thing to a premeditated death rattle as any of us want to come.
* Boy, you think being president is hard, try foisting underfunded democracy off onto a bunch of heathens. When you're an emperor with no clothes it's hard to sinch up your belt.
* Mr. Williams, you are correct. President Bush did not *cause* hurricane Katrina. He didn't even fail at being presidential. To fail, one has to try first. Now, go pick up your check from the Treasury department.
* What about the bi-parental children? Star Parker can't come to the phone right now, she's busy sawing the rungs off the lader below her.
* Katrina tragedy; is it the loss of life and property or the predatory methods of the incumbents politicians and corporations?
* Tacky tacky tacky.
* Ain't it amazing that people can believe in a god they can't see but can dismiss Global Warming outright as the seas rise?
Last night's speech
Mixing in Iraq-ish rhetoric; "as long as it takes" & "stay the course", Bush just bit off way way more than he can chew with his rebuilding commitments. Although at face value the promises seem like fantastic ideas, the overwhelming lack of follow through from this administration is going to leave many very disappointed.
Points to Ponder
* What really went on at the UN.
* 2005's Inquisition.
* Maybe evolution does need another look... some aren't keeping up.
* This is a little late, IMO.
Enjoy your weekend... off to a class reunion, see ya Monday.
When your heros fail you and you're left with no ammunition with which to attack your manufactured enemies you wind up sounding like a cross between Lyndon LaRouche and Fred Phelps.
Democrats are so excited about Hurricane Katrina, they're thinking of moving "Camp Casey" to an area outside the National Weather Service. What they haven't figured out yet is how Richard Perle and the "neocons" cooked up a hurricane that targeted only black people. Meanwhile, rescuers in New Orleans have discovered a lower-than-expected 424 dead bodies or, as they're known to liberals, "registered Democratic voters."
Adding a premature body count to a partisan slam surpasses the limits of good taste but when you're mid-air over the shark tank, I guess you'll use anything. Time to register pityann.org.
* The government's short list of contractors must be really short. Remember the mortuary company who was sued and fined heavily for misuse and abuse of remains? Guess who got the Katrina bid?
* File under "shit that just isn't that important right now". Would someone take Mr. Newdow out behind the woodshed and firmly inform him that until we have decent education across the board, a reduced national debt, restoration on the Gulf Coast, accessible voting for everyone and true equal rights for everyone, his little wedge issue is just a nuisance?
* Massive governmental failure and it's not worthy of an independant investigation? The GOP thinks so. Time to vote the foxes from the chicken coop.
* Tom DeLay's building Grove Norquist the biggest bathtub known to man.
* Incompetence, it's what's for dinner.
This not covered in Robert's Rules of Order?
Rick Perry has two completely distinct sides of his mouth. Out of one he welcomes evacuees from Louisiana. Out of the other he lets everyone know just how divisive and loyal to his base he really is.
Gov. Rick Perry spoke at two private events this week where a Texas minister wondered if God sent Hurricane Katrina to purify the nation of sins, including homosexuality.
The GOP leader didn't object at the gatherings in San Antonio and Houston on Thursday.
Gubernatorial spokesman Robert Black, contacted Friday, said: "The governor does not agree with that. But far be it for the governor to try to divine the will of the Almighty.
Goodness our governor sure does hate gays, don't he?
* Misogyny's not dead. Dennis Prager has it on life support in his basement. Isn't it cute that he accuses the left of abusing compassion when his party ran the 2000 campaign on a faux version of it?
* As the seas rise, expect the current administration to behave like King Arnulf from Erik the Viking, "Everyone stay calm! This is not happening!".
* Sandy Berger really should have at least outed a spy or something. It's more forgivable apparently than document abuse.
* There were still state and local failures in Louisiana... however, page 11 seems to exhonerate Blanco from the FEMA blowback.
* Scariest photo, ever.
* Last throes, still throeing.
* Oh, the aesthetic horror. Oh, the callous designers. Oh the manufactured indignation. How dare they use a crescent in the design for the flight 93 crash site. Is it any wonder the Crescent City was left to fend for itself?
When it comes to Compassionate Conservativism, no one does it like Bill "Boots on the Ground" O'Reilly.
The affluent of New Orleans had options. Most of them got out ahead of the storm simply by turning their ignition key. But a professor friend of mine stayed. However, when things got rough and the levees breached, he was able to drive right out of town in his SUV.
But if you couldn't afford a vehicle, you might have wound up in the Superdome, where there were few supplies and little security. With 20,000 folks in the building, bathrooms quickly broke down, and so did civility. I covered the story almost non-stop for days. I didn't see one affluent person in the Superdome. Not one.
What he means to say is...... this.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush took responsibility on Tuesday for any failures in the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and acknowledged the storm exposed serious deficiencies at all levels of government four years after the September 11 attacks.
If we wait until he starts walking the halls late at night and mumbling all Nixon-like to the busts of those who've gone before, it'll be too late.
Amid a slew of stories this weekend about the embattled presidency and the blundering government response to the drowning of New Orleans, some journalists who are long-time observers of the White House are suddenly sharing scathing observations about President Bush that may be new to many of their readers.
Is Bush the commanding, decisive, jovial president you've been hearing about for years in so much of the mainstream press?
Maybe not so much.
Judging from the blistering analyses in Time, Newsweek, and elsewhere these past few days, it turns out that Bush is in fact fidgety, cold and snappish in private. He yells at those who dare give him bad news and is therefore not surprisingly surrounded by an echo chamber of terrified sycophants. He is slow to comprehend concepts that don't emerge from his gut. He is uncomprehending of the speeches that he is given to read. And oh yes, one of his most significant legacies -- the immense post-Sept. 11 reorganization of the federal government which created the Homeland Security Department -- has failed a big test.
Maybe it's Bush's sinking poll numbers -- he is, after all, undeniably an unpopular president now. Maybe it's the way that the federal response to the flood has cut so deeply against Bush's most compelling claim to greatness: His resoluteness when it comes to protecting Americans.
But for whatever reason, critical observations and insights that for so long have been zealously guarded by mainstream journalists, and only doled out in teaspoons if at all, now seem to be flooding into the public sphere.
An emperor-has-no-clothes moment seems upon us.
At 2pm yesterday, Bush was asked about Michael Brown's resignation by the press...
The president ducked questions about Brown's resignation. "Maybe you know something I don't know. I've been working," the president said to reporters on an inspection tour of damage in Gulfport, Miss. Bush said he planned to talk with Brown's boss, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, from Air Force One on the flight back to Washington.
Quick flight and even quicker decision making followed and by 4pm or so, they had their replacement.
WASHINGTON - Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown resigned Monday, three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The White House picked a top FEMA official with three decades of firefighting experience as his replacement.
It'd be nice to focus only on his 30+ years of experience.. but instead they gave us the duct tape and plastic "solution" man.
Go read and then wonder why it is again, we're not allowed to ask pointed questions.
For one thing, based on his Senate questionnaire, we now know that the judge is at the center of an ethics scandal. Attorney General Gonzales, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and other top officials interviewed him for the nomination in May, the very period he was hearing the Administration's appeal in the crucial Ahmed Hamdan case, a sweeping challenge to the extraordinary military commissions at Guantánamo. Indeed, Roberts was first interviewed by Gonzales on April 1, before Hamdan's appeal was heard. These secret meetings should sound an alarm across the partisan divide. Roberts and two other judges ruled in favor of the commissions just four days before the White House announced Roberts's Supreme Court nomination. Hamdan's lawyers knew nothing about Roberts's secret job interviews. As legal ethicists Stephen Gillers, David Luban and Steven Lubet pointed out in Slate, these interviews "violated federal law on the disqualification of judges," specifically the statutory principle that judges should step aside if their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned." The huge stakes for Roberts, and the equally massive stakes for the Administration in its challenge to the Geneva Conventions and other impediments to the military commissions, raise Roberts's role in the Hamdan case beyond mere appearance of conflict to the real thing. Does anyone really think that on July 19 Bush would have introduced Roberts as his nominee if four days earlier he had voted the other way? Roberts should have recused himself from the case. He could at least have notified Hamdan's lawyers of his conflict of interest. The fact that Judge Roberts--a wired-for-life GOP activist who advised the party in Bush v. Gore--didn't do either means that his impartiality fails the smell test.
Cya, wouldn't wanna beya. Of course, compared to your resume, I'm overqualified.
Hey, George... I hear Neil's available.
* Ah, the "Lest We Forget" crowd's missing a valuable piece of information... where Osama is.
* Bet Terri Shaivo's rolling over in her urn about now.
* After four years of rolling over and pissing on themselves, I guess better late than never.
* Oh dear, a conservative conundrum, suspension of the 2nd amendment.
"Television doesn't do it justice, I mean the magnitude of the challenge is almost indescribable," said White House chief of staff Andrew Card, who accompanied Bush.
Yeah, imagine how much would have been lost in the translation had the fucker picked up the phone.
The day the storm hit, she asked President Bush for "everything you've got." But almost nothing arrived, and she couldn't wait any longer. So she called the White House and demanded to speak to the President. George Bush could not be located, two Louisiana officials told Time, so she asked for chief of staff Andrew Card, who was also unavailable. Finally, after being passed to another office or two, she left a message with DHS adviser Frances Frago Townsend. She waited hours but had to make another call herself before she finally got Bush on the line. "Help is on the way," he told her.
On September 1st the Houston Chronicle informed us of the following.
The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
It only takes the DOD 3 days post-disaster to line up no-bid contracting companies to rebuild, while the rest of the administration's performance looks like this? (thx to Oliver Willis for the timeline)
Thursday, September 1
8AM — BUSH CLAIMS NO ONE EXPECTED LEVEES TO BREAK: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." [Washington Post]
CONDOLEEZZA RICE VISITS U.S. OPEN: "Rice, [in New York] on three days' vacation to shop and see the U.S. Open, hitting some balls with retired champ Monica Seles at the Indoor Tennis Club at Grand Central." [New York Post]
STILL NO COMMAND AND CONTROL ESTABLISHED: Terry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland Security Director: "This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans." [Fox News]
2PM — MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES "DESPERATE SOS" TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: "This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention centre and don't anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention centre is unsanitary and unsafe and we're running out of supplies." [Guardian, 9/2/05]
2PM — MICHAEL BROWN CLAIMS NOT TO HAVE HEARD OF REPORTS OF VIOLENCE: "I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that." [CNN]
NEW ORLEANS "DESCEND[S] INTO ANARCHY": "Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. 'This is a desperate SOS,' the mayor said." [AP]
CONDOLEEZZA RICE GOES SHOE SHOPPING: "Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we've confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo's Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice's timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, 'How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!'" [Gawker]
MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY LEARNS OF EVACUEES IN CONVENTION CENTER: "We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need." [CNN ]
In a real world where fairness was a priority, this type of incompetence would be considered criminal.
For me, watching Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco handle the New Orleans/ Louisiana debacle is like watching Moe and Curly trying to work a Rubik’s cube. Those two gave me all the relief that half a Tums did the other night after eating three grease laden chimichangas covered in Scorned Woman Habanera Pepper Sauce®. Suffice it to say, after watching this entire fiasco unfold on the Gulf Coast, that I’m not getting the “our homeland is secured” feeling from Homeland Security.
And this is probably just what OBL and his tribe from hell wants you to think—even though they have made it abundantly clear that they are going to attempt to kill at least four million of us, and that they will do it with nuclear weapons which we know are already in their possession. What Osama wants to do to us will make Katrina look like Chucky Cheese. Al Qaeda dreams of an American Nagasaki.
Ah, Dougie. Always with the happy thoughts. So if your city's decimated by Osama and the Boys, remember... it's your mayor's fault. Federal dollars are just for show and as for us not finding Osama yet... LOOK, A BIRDY!!!
Masters Of War
Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead
* Do NOT taunt happy fun ball.
* Remote dumping ground for evacuees? What year is it again?
* Neato "Looky, I pissed on 9/11" souvenirs.
* The *successor factor* is what scares me.
* When is someone going to call these numbskulls on their crappy accounting? Interesting place to start drowning government in the proverbial bathtub.
* Ahhhhh, REALITY!!! It's coming right for us!! *BLAM!* *BLAM!*
* A theory's a theory and to get well rounded education *all* views should be taught.
* Someone... and you know who... is so far back in the past she can't even see her hero tanking.
* Like mercury through your fingers truth slips.
* Think this applies to the Blackwater Guys?
* The GOP hates dyslexic "C's". Glad we're not in a holy war, you?
* I don't know if anyone in this day and age is qualified to follow in Rehnquist's footsteps.
* When options and alternatives are needed... only the minority comes through.
* Let's call a truce, you keep your religion outta my science and I'll keep my science outta your religion.
* Brown's resume is amazing, ain't it? The only thing that keeps him from being called "over qualified" is there's no time logged in the Nixon administration.
* Speaking of administrations.
* Nah, it's been done.
"I'm going to go home and walk my dog and hug my wife, and maybe get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night's sleep. And then I'm going to go right back to FEMA and continue to do all I can to help these victims," Brown said. "This story's not about me. This story's about the worst disaster of the history of our country that stretched every government to its limit and now we have to help these victims."
What kind of lame duck president turns his back on his base in their time of greatest need?
Looking only at Hancock and Harrison counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, they went overwhelmingly for the GOP in 2004. The bulk of the state's tax base from shipping, fishing, casinos and tourism comes from these counties. By all rights, they no longer exist as a revenue generator and the response Cheney got yesterday is a probably a fair indication of the overall local sentiment.
Now multiply that times 3 states, a vast number of counties, the number of US and international tourists impacted by the administrations ineptitude and you get a potentional base erosion that's going to be impossible to rebuild.
This impacted families in the south. What Bush doesn't seem to get or possibly *want* to get is, family in the south isn't just mom, pop and the kids. It's everyone; cousins, aunts, uncles, brother in-law twice removed on the mother's side, etc. This is a cascade. For every one person affected, they've got 20+ relatives in surrounding states as well.
The "Family Values" meme to which this administration clings creating artificial and inconsequential national wedge issues, is officially dead. They don't value family. They don't value human life. They value property, profits and big business over tax paying voters.
What do you get when you give tax breaks to the weathly, add in a little tort reform, sprinkle in some over-reaching changes to the bankruptcy law, toss in a healthy serving of eminent domain while creating a bloated and ineffective bureaucracy, kill planning for and under fund the protection of a major port city, flood out the underprivileged kick out the media and then scream "blame game" when the people perceive possible deception, manipulation and nefarious behavior?
How bad is it when even Tony Perkins is criticizing the government?
But the city was slow to get people out to begin with. They had a mandatory evacuation. But there's-this is a city, a big city, a large poor population that did not have vehicles. They didn't provide transportation out. They were stuck in there. They didn't provide the necessary food and water in the shelters.
And then it took the state a couple of days to decide how they were going to start getting people out of there. And then FEMA and their response I think has been a disaster on top of a disaster. I think they are just now getting a grip on this, and we are over a week after this has occurred.
If it were not for the churches and the faith-based organizations and the citizens there on the scene, and some in state government-I don't want to-there were some heroic efforts put forth by citizens and by some government officials that have done all that they can do. But the stories that are going to come from this of the-I think the inept response of government should cause us all to question what we have in place.
I'm going to hell for posting this...
From the mind of Matt Towery...
I don't blame President Bush. Does anyone really believe this obviously big-hearted man would purposely stand by and watch a city drown?
no, I think he'd avoid it by flying to the opposite coast for cake.
What could possibly drive an adminstration who claims to treasure accountability and ownership to display such torpidity? Could there be more money in being reactive than there is in being proactive? Is this nation so cold-hearted that they'd sacrifice lives to line the pockets of no-bid contract companies?
* Bush is right, he and his administration can't be held responsible. To be responsible you have be both present and engaged.
* Given the cultural divide this tragedy has exposed, are we all glad the director of FEMA's name isn't Mike Dark?
* No matter how many fully loaded reefer trucks the government tries to hide from the public eye, there will still be funerals and body counts.
* Media restriction violates the freedom we supposedly represent to the world and the first amendment.
* People like this will eventually be called to testify before congress. Oh, and not leaving the city is not the same as not being allowed.
SCLM, this is your wake up call. Do your jobs.
While the administration runs around telling the public there will be enough time for investigation later, the Hammer's out in full force. While the state of Texas welcomes the victims, it's congressman is undermining the humanity.
September 7, 2005
DeLay Cancels Katrina Hearings, Plays Politics with Disaster Relief
(Austin, TX)—The man known as “The Hammer” has enraged many victims of Hurricane Katrina by canceling hearings on the slow federal response to the disaster. DeLay claims that the problem lies with local officials in Louisiana—most of whom are Democrats—while praising the response of Republican officials in Mississippi and Alabama.
“Thank goodness New York had a Republican mayor and governor on September 11,” Charles Soechting, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party said. “Otherwise DeLay would still be insisting that it is the NYPD’s job to hunt down Osama. Tom DeLay never misses an opportunity to make this government meaner and more partisan, even in a time of crisis.”
DeLay’s canceling of the hearings and attacks on New Orleans elected officials falls in line with Karl Rove’s new strategy to “contain the political damage” from the slow response to the storm. The plan focused on shutting down attempts to investigate the government’s response and moving to blame Louisiana officials for the failures.
“It is stupid to blame New Orleans or Louisiana officials for the slow response,” Soechting said. “How can a city government respond to their own city being wiped out? How can a state government respond a disaster that spanned four states? The federal government had a moral obligation to help these people and they dragged their feet.”
Texas Democrats are quick to point out that this is not a partisan issue. The responses from many Republican officials have been commendable and their struggles monumental. But the attacks on Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana or Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans have left many puzzled. Many wonder if DeLay is using this as an opportunity to deflect attention away from the ongoing criminal investigations of several of DeLay’s political activities.
“The fact that Tom DeLay shut down an investigation of official misconduct is about as surprising as a bowl of cornflakes,” Soechting, a San Marcos attorney and former Texas State Trooper noted. “The guy is as crooked as they come, and unfortunately what may turn out to be the largest single loss of life in our country’s history still couldn’t set him straight.”
Victims of Katrina remain optimistic that the government will answer for their failures at some point. Some Republicans have joined forces with Democrats demanding justice for those hurt by the storm, prompting hope that an investigation will eventually unfold.
Fact finding and root cause analysis are not partisan, it just looks that way when the entire federal government's run by the GOP.
I used to be afraid of the possibility of martial law. The eerie feeling that the government could just swoop into a city, take control, enforce curfews and dictate the day to day movements of the populace.
Not so much any more.
My fear now is of gross and unregulated government incompetence exponetially compounded by the need to spin news and pass the buck. I fear a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who doesn't read the newspaper. I fear a President who values wedge issues, pet projects and vacation over human life. I fear a Vice President and Secretary of State whose presence is only made known once the abdication of duty becomes illuminated. I fear a Secretary of Defense who's incapable of dispatching a rescue ship to a city where it's already docked. I fear the love of loyalty and croynism over human life and a willful disregard for facts. I fear the those who want to punish victims. I fear the national media will slowly stop asking the hard questions and return the pattern of rolling over and wetting itself instead of doing its job.
But most of all, I fear our government has overplayed its hand internationally, bungled an overpriced war that's negatively impacted the national economy, created a bureaucracy so gargantuan that it can't respond to the needs of the populace in a time of crisis and insists that any investigation into a failure in action or leadership is a "blame game".
Point to Ponder
Water - 2 to 1 ratio of hydrogen and oxygen combined to form a liquid.
Loo - a toilet in England
Sorta makes New Orleans a Waterloo, don't it.
In The News
* Don't get me wrong, the rescue teams need ammenities, but then, so do those being rescued.
* Apparently airdrops of the Book of Job for the victims will help put all this in perspective.
* Somebody should Google up a few facts before writing an editorial. It's like Swift Boat Vets for Hurricane Victims.
How does this rhetoric help?
"Natural disaster is caused by the sin in the world," said Maj. John Jones, area commander for the Salvation Army, who led the service. "The acts of God are what happens afterwards ... all the good that happens."
* There's just never enough Dick when you need it.
* Gangsta Rap caused the looting. Yeah, and it's Don McClean's fault Bush thought the levee was dry.
* The loss of morality wasn't exhibited by those on the ground any more than it was by those who valued vacations over human life.
* Apparently the Astrodome's no picnic and desperately still in need of simple ammenities.
* Um, wow. That's unexpected.
* FEMA management, a comparison in results.
* The time-delay president.
* Not all of the South is quite as empathetic as you'd think. Apologies for the link but the rhetoric sounds a bit like the administration's.
* The shooting, the looting the bad bad people. How much is real, how much is hype to fill time on the news between video loops and how much is simply the exposure of our latent bigotry showing after the thin veneer was ripped away?
* How in the world do they plan to spin all this away and can they?
* How much more "avoidable" could the catastrophic loss of life have been?
* If you missed MTP yesterday and the 500,000 re-run opportunities, it's never too late. The video will change your life.
Anyone; pundit, columnist, journalist, congresscritter, preacher or average man on the street who congratulates this administration on a job well done or simply defends their methodology and delay techniques, hates America. They should be replied to in kind. They should not be listened to, voted for or shown respect. When you struggle to quickly regain composure after meeting one of these types, use the following talking point as a kindle for your fire. "Rome burned while Nero fiddled". Bush, Cheney and Rice remained on vacation until days 3, 4, & 4 respectively of this tragedy. For the team that ran on a Compassionate Conservative ticket, human life isn't worth cancelling brush cutting, golfing, fishing or show reservations for.
Pausing to remember
UPDATE: (for Lulu)
An Ocean Springs bookstore.
From the "not getting enough press" files:
What was the real motivation that removed Bush's lazy ass from his dude ranch and plonked him back down in Washington?
Was it this?
Nope, he had other things on his wee little mind.
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has used a constitutional provision to bypass the Senate and fill a top Justice Department slot with an official whose nomination stalled over tactics at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility.
Bush used a "recess appointment" Wednesday to name Alice S. Fisher to lead the agency's criminal division. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., had blocked the nomination because he wants to talk to an agent who named Fisher in an e-mail about allegedly abusive interrogations at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo.
Priorities are so subjective.
adv 1: after a long period of time or an especially long delay; "at length they arrived" [syn: eventually, at length]
Until the word finally stops accompanying the word help as it relates to Katrina's aftermath, the White House would be wise to shush the spin team. It's become painfully obvious, the degree to which the failures were intentional. Now while the guilty tell us there's plenty of time for introspection and blame, they're on a tear to shift guilt to the state. How long will America tolerate this level of abuse?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if Bush had moved as swiftly responding to Katrina's tragedy as he has elevating another one of his wonderboys all the way to the highest judicial post in the land?
CNN just told us, William Rehnquist is dead.
Time to rethink Bush's cronyism, is it not?
* A quicker refresher course in history from Greg Palast. We're repeating history and most don't know it.
* Louisiana's roots are far reaching and her children are pissed.
* Live from downtown New Orleans.
* Priorities, out of whack.
* Michael Moore. You may hate him you may love him... he's still right on here.
* But they missed the Red Cross volunteer telling Bush, all the shelters had been wiped out. It'd be ironic if it wasn't so criminally sad.
* Dear ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and all y'all... time to screw the FCC. It is now, officially ok to say CLUSTERFUCK on TV. When this is all over and the water has receded the most minding blowing fact will be that the nation's citizens responded more effectively for their fellow citizen than the government did on their behalf.
Is this what Jesus would advocate. Attacking the effect and ignoring the cause?
I say it’s Martial Law time. I say we get Pat Robertson to call for the-doctrine-of- assassination card to be played against the giddy, wading thugs who see this catastrophe as their window of opportunity. I say we demand—and muy pronto—massive numbers of our great armed forces to blitz the French Quarter. Their skills will put a stop to this nonsense, and it will free up the good guys so they can get back to their valiant efforts before the death toll rises into the tens of thousands and the Big Easy becomes the Big Sleazy.
Dear Mr. President,
Your base is eroding.
straight from email to post (thx Andy)
On June 24th, 1948 the Soviet Union blocked all access to Berlin from the west.
On June 25th, 1948 General Clay (USA) ordered a massive airlift to provide food, water, fuel, medicine, and other needs to the people who lived in West Berlin.
One June 26th, 1948 the airlift began and kept the residents of West Berlin supplied with food, water, fuel, medicine, and other necessities for 324 days until the Soviets lifted the blockade from the west.
Fast forward almost 60 years:
On Monday, August 29th, 2005 Hurricane Katrina slams the Gulf Coast. Ultimately the city of New Orleans floods as the levees and pumps fail. The people of New Orleans, much like the people of West Berlin are cut off from the world and are in immediate need of food, water, fuel, medicine, and other necessities.
August 30th, 2005 - No relief has arrived.
August 31st, 2005 - Thousands are hungry, thirsty, sick, and dying.
September 1st, 2005 - Still more dead, dying, and sick. Some have made it out of the city, others have been evacuated, others have received food and water, yet still many more are dead and dying.
September 2nd, 2005 - The commander-in-chief and president of tells an American who has lost everything in nearby Alabama to "Hang in there." while supplies begin to trickle into New Orleans. Still more are dead, dying, and sick.
What is this administration doing? President Bush is staging photo-ops with former Presidents and meeting with fed chairman Alan Greenspan to discuss the economic impact of this great tragedy. Condoleeza Rice is off seeing Spamalot in NYC. FEMA director Mike Brown is making excuses and HS Secretary Chertoff is telling the world what a great job the government is doing. Yet, thousands are still hungry, thirsty, sick, and dying.
58 years ago an administration planned and executed a rescue effort with aircraft, vehicles, and communications that pale in comparsion to the technology we have today that kept thousands of human beings alive though they had been isolated from the world. Today, thousands die while this administration makes excuses, congratulates themselves, and generally goes on about life as though there was nothing pressing going on in the world.
Where was the military presence needed after the hurricane hit? Why wasn't it staged to be available immediately? Empty buses are sent into to evacuate the Super Dome yet food and water are not available to those still in the city. Didn't anyone in FEMA or the DHS realize that the buses can carry food and water into the city, pick people up, and carry those people out of the city? Flights in and out of New Orleans are now possible. Not one single C-130 with supplies has landed and not one C-130 with refugees has departed. We parked a US Navy ship in the ocean off the coast of India to pump hundreds of thousands of gallons of fresh water to the hardest hit areas after the tsunami. Where's that ship now? Shouldn't it be parked in the Gulf of Mexico pumping fresh water to the taxpayers who's tax dollars fund it?
The best our Chief Executive can come up with is "Hang in there." and "The results are not acceptable." while thousands are in need. The monkey-in-chief here knows how pissed I am, he has heard the rants that express emotion incapable of being captured in this medium. Our government has failed us. It has failed us by failing our fellow citizens in a time of dire need. It has failed us by, again demonstrating, that although they had ample warning of an impending disaster (much as they did before 9/11) they took no measures beforehand to minimize the loss of life. Why didn't we have water, food, military troops, medicine, transportation staged nearby out of harms way and ready to pour into the region. There were only two scenarios for New Orleans based upon computer models of Katrina's path and both were really bad. Why wasn't our government prepared for this hurricane? Is there one single person out there who believes that our government will come to our aid on the next natural disaster?
I guaran-damn-tee you if a major natural disaster hit the Northern East Coast of the United States we'd not have thousands of folks from the Hamptons and Greenwich wandering around without food or water. I'm not so sure that this administration's response to a natural disaster that affected the poor of the Appalachian mountains would be any better. This administration has demonstrated a silent disregard for the poor with its budgets and now it ignores the poor while they die in the flooded streets of New Orleans. Our president is more worried about the economic impact of the loss of wells, pipelines, and refineries while assuring us that while we pay high fuel charges now, it'll all return to normal and be OK, than he was actually getting help to those who were suffering and dieing at the very moment he made that stupid speech.
It's not difficult. It's monumental but it's not difficult. There is no amount of rhetoric about hindsight, severity of the storm, not evacuating before the storm, etc., that justifies the incompetence we have seen the past week and I'm sure we'll continue to see over the coming weeks.
To all the residents of the City of New Orleans - I am truly sorry. I, like 54,000,000 others, am at fault for the incompetence that is this administration. They have failed you at the time of your greatest need. You have given us Mardi Gras, history, heritage, and some of the greatest blues and jazz we'll ever know and we have given you a man who through bullheadedness, imcompetence, and a dereliction of his duty to you as your President has allowed you to die while he addressed the nation about high gas prices.
Interesting perspective. The following is "unconfirmed" but makes sense given the island's location.
less than 2 months ago, cuba was able to move 1.7m people on short notice.
the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. people know ahead of time where they are to go.
they come to your door and knock, and tell you, evacuation is coming, then they come and tell you, now.
if no electricity, they have runners who communicate from a headquarters to central locations what is to be done.
the country's leaders go on TV and take charge. but not only the leaders are speaking. the TV weatherpeople are knowledgeable. and the population is well educated about hurricanes.
they not only evacuate. it's arranged beforehand where they will go, who has family where. not only pickup is organized, delivery of people is organized.
merely sticking them in a stadium is unthinkable. shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. they have family doctors in cuba (!), who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know who, for example, needs insulin.
if they evacuate to a countryside high school -- a last resort -- they have dormitories there.
they also have veterinarians and they evacuate animals. they begin evacuating immediately, and also evacuate TV sets and refrigerators, so that people aren't relucatant to leave because people might steal their stuff.
it's not throwing money at the problem. it's not financial capital, it's social capital. the u.s. in this sense has zero social capital.
dealing with hurricanes in cuba, as compared with how it's done in the u.s., is similar to the differences in how they deal with medicine. it's not reactive; it's proactive. they act as early as possible. the u.s. doesn't have civil defense, it has civil *reaction.*
* We have our culprit. The media. Durn them for asking the tough questions of our elected officials. Dagnabit. Who do they think they are asking for accountability as people lay dying. What do they think this is, a post 9/11 world where preparedness is job #1?
* Shoot the Looters! What is it with these people? Short change victims and then blame them for being angry. Sort of the "it's Iraq's problem now" rhetoric, ain't it?
* Why are we turning away foreign assistance? Any assistance?
All the Comforts of Home
The person who penned the official White House pool report of President Bush's Air Force One flight to California this week was certainly impressed with the onboard breakfast: "Egg quiche and bacon, fresh fruit slices and the biggest cinnamon bun you ever saw, even bigger than the ones you can buy in the mall."
Beats mingling with the downtrodden.
Dear Mr. Chertoff,
I'm officially petitioning American Heritage Dictionary to place a Wall Street Journal style picture of you next to the word "incompetent" in their next release. Until your interview on NPR this evening I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for clearing all that up.
You had at a minimum, three days advance notice that a large hurricane was headed towards the Gulf Coast and it wasn't until a day *after* the Category 4 storm hit that you launched military ships from Virginia? No amassing of Texas and Arkansas National Guard in Shreveport to ensure readiness and close proximity? On day four of the disaster, you don't even know there are 2,000+ people trapped without food and water in the New Orleans Convention Center? Yeah, *that* convention center, the one 8 blocks from the Superdome. Which, by the way, has a heliport. Are you the only one manning your fucking office? Does no one there use Google?
Days after our troops began bombing Afghanistan we were dropping crates of food from the air. Where the hell are the air drops and how did the National Guard make it to New Orleans without food and water in their transports? It's still not too late. How many of the rioters do you think would be rioting with full bellies?
You said you had emergency plans for every possible national disaster. Were you reading the one labeled "Big Fucking Hurricane in New Orleans" over the weekend. You missed a few of the finer points, mandatory evacuation for one. The buses... why weren't they positioned to be available *before* the levee failure? We all know levee failure had to have been mentioned. You weren't off golfing, strumming a guitar, workin' plans to soak the poor or shoe shopping too, were you?
If you were afraid of unauthorized action, you need to realize that you serve at the pleasure of the president who's *supposed* to be serving the public. In lieu of his planned absence, you should have acted. Forgiveness over permission. If tendering your resignation is the only way to inform the American people that their government can't function unless Dear Leader says so, then so be it. We expect and demand more from those in charge and if those in charge are not up to the scope of the job put in front of them, they should resign. Whether it's done out of duty and honor or disgrace, is up to them.
one pissed monkey
ps: pointing out failure is not partisan
"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this — whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud," Bush said. "And I've made that clear to our attorney general. The citizens ought to be working together."
Which of those concerns make the TOP of the priority list?
Offering up the single fingered strut salute, Dear Leader wound down his "working vacation".
Any vacation highlights you would like to share with the class on your first day back?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war rose in August to the highest monthly total since January, and American officials predict escalating insurgent violence ahead of a planned October constitutional referendum.
At least 84 U.S. troops were killed in August, according to a count of deaths announced by the military. Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, there have been 1,879 American military deaths in Iraq, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, with another 14,265 troops wounded.
That can't be good. How do your supporters feel about your raging failure? Blind faith still at status quo?
* Out of ammo. When Ann has nothing else to write about and is revisiting Chappaquiddick with Ted, she's jumped the shark.
* When the ruling majority begins to complain about the minority acquiring funding and momentum, their only course of action is name calling?
* Finding Joe Biden quotes in the oddest places.
* 2005 Iraq != 1787 USA. No, really.
* Uh, oh. Darwin appears to have been right. Anticipation some jumping up and down, screeching and feces tossing in the near future.
* Justification for a draft.
* Partisan, yet very very interesting.
* Honor, from within the FDA?