Archive for September 9th, 2005

Tone-Deaf And Dumb

Some more thoughts on the Katrina aftermath:

I understand the Republican strategy (which I just freudianly mistyped as “tragedy”) of trying to shift all responsibility to the Democratic state and local government. It’s craven and morally bankrupt, but Not Owning Your Fuck-Up is basic self-preservation, and is what passes for admirable behavior among politicians in general, and Republican politicians in particular. But it also looks like there is a remarkable lack of compassion for the victims among the Bushies, and outright hostility towards them by the right-wing pundits.

To recap the examples I can remember (with help from Atrios), in no particular order:

  • After remaining on vacation for a few days after the hurricane hits, Bush finally shows up and reminisces about the great partying he had in New Orleans in his younger days, talks about sitting on the great new porch Trent Lott is going to have, and tells “Brownie” that he’s doing a heck of a job. Meanwhile, Cheney is fishing and Condi is shopping and having her Grand Day Out at Spamalot and Ferragamo.
  • Barbara Bush expresses her fear of Texas being overrun by those uncouth refugees, and chuckles about what a sweet deal this Astrodome gig is for them. Tom DeLay compares it to summer camp and suggests that it’s “kind of fun.”
  • Baton Rouge Republican Representative Richard Baker expresses gratitude that God has “finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans.”

The thing here is, even if the Republicans somehow manage to succeed in diverting accountability away from the head of our entire government, that still doesn’t erase the impression that Bush and the Republicans very clearly DID NOT GIVE A FUCK. An entire American city gone, thousands dead, and Bush and his Republican cronies display absolutely zero awareness of or interest in the seriousness of the situation in any terms other than the purely political. Even if non-wingnuts can overlook or forgive incompetence, especially if it’s incompetence by proxy, can they overlook or forgive this kind of moral and spiritual vacuum?

Indeed, his choice of FEMA appointments suggests that he doesn’t much care about disaster preparedness at all. Perhaps he was counting on the next catastrophe to be the terrorist attack he’s been inviting, where wholesale casualties would give him a chance to once again wrap himself in the War-Preznit flag and bully everyone into “rallying around the president” again, as he invades Iran or Syria or Venezuela or Bhutan.

As I have said before in other venues, I think BushCo. really thought that the rest of America, or at least the Republican base, would care as little about the deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of poor and black people as they do (hey, it’s not like anyone important died, right?). I desperately hope that they’re wrong.

Another thing that seriously disturbs me about the administration’s response is the gratuitous, selfish phoniness of it, where valuable resources were diverted from relief efforts for the sole purpose of making the president look good. A fake levee repair effort was started and then swiftly abandoned after Bush posed with it. 50 of the 1,000 firemen who came to New Orleans from all over the country to help were assigned to stand-behind-the-president-so-he-can-bask-in-
your-reflected-9/11-glory duty as he toured the disaster area.

Yes, it’s appalling that the administration spinmeisters are this callous, but we already knew that. What’s chilling is that they’re this arrogant. They had to know that this sort of callousness would be absolutely devastating if it were widely reported, which means that they also knew that it would not be widely reported. This country is in serious trouble if they are right.

7 comments September 9th, 2005 at 10:35pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Favorites,Katrina,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

“I Don’t Think That’s A Total Stretch.”


Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown, the principal target of harsh criticism of the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, was relieved of his onsite command Friday.


Earlier, Brown confirmed the switch. Asked if he was being made a scapegoat for a federal relief effort that has drawn widespread and sharp criticism, Brown told The Associated Press after a long pause: ”By the press, yes. By the president, no.”


Bush administration documents have credited Brown with overseeing emergency services while working for the city of Edmond, Okla., in the mid-1970s. Brown’s official biography on the FEMA Web site says he served as ”an assistant city manager.” But a former mayor of Edmond, Randel Shadid, told AP on Friday that Brown had been an assistant to the city manager — never assistant city manager.

”I think there’s a difference between the two positions,” said Shadid. ”I would think that is a discrepancy.”

Asked later about the White House news release that said Brown oversaw Edmond’s emergency services divisions, Shadid said, ”I don’t think that’s a total stretch.”

Can I please, please start calling him “The FEMA Impersonator” now???

September 9th, 2005 at 07:25pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Katrina,Puns,Republicans,Wankers

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote:

Maybe eyeball jelly makes handy blade wax.

Today’s quote is from Screamers, a great B-movie with Peter Weller and Jennifer Rubin, based on a Philip K. Dick story. The basic premise, about killing machines that have evolved to the point where they are indistinguishable from humans. It rather reminds me of that new Battlestar Galactica that the kids are so excited about these days.

This week’s guest kitty is Monster, who my girlfriend found hiding under her car after a torrential downpour, and had to give away because her cat does not, um, play well with others.

I find your lack of faith disturbing… Posted by Picasa

3 comments September 9th, 2005 at 07:12pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

Spam O’ The Day

It’s been a while since I posted any Random Spam Weirdness, partly because I haven’t gotten much lately, and partly because Certain People always rub my nose in how much cooler their spammers’ names are.

But I just couldn’t resist this line, nominally from an eBay “Urgent Security Notice For All Clients”:

Here’s your Textbooks I’ll give you… Ralph Nader Computers

It’s brilliant, really – who wouldn’t want a Ralph Nader Computer? Or Textbooks from Ralph Nader Computers? I’m a little hazy on which it would be, but both possibilities are terribly intriguing.

3 comments September 9th, 2005 at 10:45am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Spamoptikon

Who Needs It?

Well, great:

More than half the people in this country say the flooded areas of New Orleans lying below sea level should be abandoned and rebuilt on higher ground.

An AP-Ipsos poll found that 54 percent of Americans want the four-fifths of New Orleans that was flooded by Hurricane Katrina moved to a safer location.

Umm… so what? Let’s let the people of New Orleans make that call, shall we? Was there even a need to poll on this?

September 9th, 2005 at 09:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Katrina,Media,Polls,Wankers

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