Posts filed under 'Katrina'

Technically Not Hypocrisy

I mean, as long as Brownie is consistent in his support for slow and ineffectual responses to natural disasters, then who am I to criticize?

October 31st, 2012 at 07:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Obama,Republicans,Wankers

Glenn Beck = Voldemort?

voldemort

From Dana Milbank’s Washington Sketch on Joe Lieberman’s hearings on Obama’s use of czars (oh yeah, that’s much more pressing than finding out what went wrong during Katrina):

Well, if they were real revolutionaries, they could take the czars to Yekaterinburg and shoot them, the way the Bolsheviks shot Nicholas. So far, nobody favors anything that extreme, with the possible exception of Fox News’s Glenn Beck, whom two committee Democrats referred to Thursday as the one “whose name shall not be mentioned” because of the rebellion he stirred up against Obama’s czars.

So does this make Obama Harry Potter?

2 comments October 23rd, 2009 at 07:30am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Katrina,Lieberman,Politics,Wankers

The Republicans’ Alternate Reality

Everyone should read the whole thing, but here’s the money part:

For going on seventy years the National Republican Party has consoled itself, sustained itself, and kept itself alive by telling itself and anyone who will listen an alternative history of the United States.  In this alternative history the New Deal didn’t do any good at all, the Cold War was fought and won entirely by super-patriotic Republicans, welfare not racism or systemic poverty destroyed the African-American family, anyway racism ended when Martin Luther King’s birthday became a national holiday (alternative to the alternative: racism ended with the election of Barack Obama), the 1960s are the root of all evil, the hippies and the liberals lost the War in Vietnam, 9/11 was Bill Clinton’s fault, the financial crisis was Bill Clinton’s fault, Barack Obama is turning America into a socialist dictatorship.

….The Party was taken over by the most retrograde and selfish members of its Big Business wing, which is to say by its would-be aristocrats who had to make common cause with Right Wing extremists, religious fundamentalists, and Southern racists in order to put together enough votes to win elections.  These groups had and have only one thing in common, a belief that they are the only rightful inhabitants of America and inheritors of its blessings and that everybody else is out to take away their privileges and wealth.  They are the people who self-identify as conservative, although there is nothing they want to conserve.  They are reactionaries who want to turn back time to a mythical golden age in which they ran things to their liking without any complaint or criticism from “the others.”    And as reactionaries, as people at war with progress and enlightenment, they have been on the wrong side of history since the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.  They need there to have been an alternative history of the United States in order for there to be a history in which they are not the villains and losers.

They need a history in which they would not have supported King George’s right to treat the Colonies however he wished, a history in which they would not have defended slavery, a history in which they would not have pursued their own selfish business interests at the expense of the nation’s interests and caused the Great Depression, in which they would not have argued that Hitler and Mussolini were doing some great things and maybe we could use some of their efficiency here, a history in which they would not have been cheering for a drunken demagogue as he terrified the nation and ruined countless lives with his lies, a history in which they would not have opposed the Civil Rights movement, a history in which they did not vote for a feckless and incompetent swaggering bully for President and cheer him on as he bankrupted the treasury, took us to war unnecessarily and then lost the war, let Osama bin-Laden get away, broke the Government’s regulatory system, allowed the banksters to loot and wreck the country, and, incidentally, played air guitar and went to birthday parties while a great American city sank into the poisoned water and people died waiting for him to help.

They need an American history in which their selfishness and resentments are justified and in which they, as the inheritors of an anti-democratic philosophy of government and economics that preaches that the single-minded pursuit of individual power and wealth leads to heaven on earth, are the true heirs of Washington and Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

They need an alternative history in which being angry, selfish, resentful, greedy, and defensive of nothing but their own right to be angry, selfish, resentful, and greedy is the definition of patriotism and in which instead of standing in the way of progress it’s the way to bring it about.

They need an alternative history in which acting as though the equation whatever I want = what’s best for America is true is not like insisting 2 + 2= 5.

(…)

[W]hat Jindal really did the other night was go before the American people and promise that the next time the Republicans get control of the government they will do they same stupid and evil things they did the last time.

They will let the nation drown and rot the way they let New Orleans drown and rot and then blame it on the Liberals.

Not much I can add to that.  Turning selfishness and hate into patriotic virtues is pretty much the hallmark of modern conservatism.

(h/t Julia)

March 1st, 2009 at 09:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Katrina,Media,Photoblogging,Politics,Republicans

“Like Pheasant Season In South Dakota”

Holy jumping fuck.  When the chaos of Katrina intersects with the lawlessness, racism, and corruption of Southern Republicanism, the result is far, far worse than I ever could have imagined:

A new report in The Nation documents what many have claimed for years — for some Black New Orleanians the threat of being killed by White vigilantes in Katrina’s aftermath became a bigger threat than the storm itself.

After the storm, White vigilantes roamed Algiers Point shooting and, according to their own accounts, killing Black men at will– with no threat of a police response. For the last three years, the shootings and the police force’s role in them have been an open secret to many New Orleanians. To date, no one has been charged with a crime and law enforcement officials have refused to investigate.

(…)

In the two weeks after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the media created a climate of fear with trumped-up stories of Black lawlessness. Meanwhile, an armed group of White vigilantes took over the Algiers Point neighborhood in New Orleans and mercilessly hunted down Black people. “It was great!” said one vigilante. “It was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it.”

The Nation’s article tells the story of Donnell Herrington, Marcel Alexander, and Chris Collins — a group of friends who were attacked by shotgun-wielding White men as they entered Algiers Point on September 1, 2005. As they tried to escape, Herrington recalls, their attackers shouted, “Get him! Get that nigger!” He managed to get away. Alexander and Collins were told that they would be allowed to live on the condition that they told other Black folks not to come to Algiers Point. Herrington, shot in the neck, barely survived.

And there’s the story of Henry Glover, who didn’t survive after being shot by an unknown assailant. Glover’s brother flagged down a stranger for help, and the two men brought Glover to a police station. But instead of receiving aid, they were beaten by officers while Henry Glover bled to death in the back seat of the stranger’s car. A police officer drove off in the car soon afterward. Both Glover’s body and the car were found burnt to cinders a week later. It took DNA analysis to identify the body.

(…)

Journalists have encountered a wall of silence on the part of the authorities. The coroner had to be sued to turn over autopsy records. When he finally complied, the records were incomplete, with files on several suspicious deaths suddenly empty. The New Orleans police and the District Attorney repeatedly refused to talk to journalists about Algiers Point. And according to journalist A.C. Thompson, “the city has in nearly every case refused to investigate or prosecute people for assaults and murders committed in the wake of the storm.”

This is pure, distilled racist evil right here, nurtured by a toxic smog of total impunity.  It is frightening that over 140 years after the slaves were freed, and over 40 years after the Civil Rights Act, that white people can and do still kill black people in this country for no other reason than because they feel like it.

Color Of Change is compiling an online petition to present to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, his Attorney General, and the Department of Justice to take action and seek justice.  Please sign it.

December 18th, 2008 at 10:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Katrina,Racism

Everyone Else Expected The Spanish Inquisition

YouTube Preview Image

Surprise… and fear!

Every. Single. Time.

Greenspan claimed he was “shocked” because his model “was working exceptionally well” for 40 years, adding that the crisis is “broader than anything I could have imagined”:

GREENSPAN: I also want to discuss how my thinking has evolved and what I have learned this past year. In 2005, I raised concerns that the protracted period of the underpricing of risk if history was any guide would have dire consequences. The crisis, however, has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined.

(…)

Bush administration officials seem to have a systemic lack of imagination, often claiming major — and predictable — crises simply caught them off guard:

9/11: “And I said, ‘No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon’ — I’m paraphrasing now — ‘into the World Trade Center, using planes as a missile.’” – Condoleezza Rice, to 9/11 Commission

Hurricane Katrina: “The destruction left by Katrina reaches beyond anything we could have imagined.” — Bush, 5/11/06

And Think Progress doesn’t even mention, say, the fact that Iraq was not a cakewalk… or a flowers-and-candy-walk.  Or that deregulating the food supply would result in a frightening spate of toxic food scares.

Of course, they weren’t really failures of imagination.  They were failures of interest, failures of integrity, failures of compassion.  The Republicans simply didn’t care what the outcomes were, so long as they got money and power.  To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get a man to imagine something when his salary depends upon his not imagining it.

October 23rd, 2008 at 10:33pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Iraq,Katrina,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers

And Before I Forget…

I just wanted to make a point that I forgot to make earlier when I quoted “moderate Republican” Chuck Grassley talking about the citizens of New Orleans “on rooftops complaining for helicopters to rescue them”: That this is how Republicans see the relationship between the people and the government, that people are constantly whining for government to bail them out of their petty little problems, like natural disasters, unemployment, grinding poverty, that kind of thing.

Republicans like Grassley remind me of this classic Garry Shandling bit:

I met a new girl at a barbecue, very pretty, a blond I think. I don’t know, her hair was on fire, and all she talked about was herself. You know these kind of girls: ‘I’m hot. I’m on fire. Me, me, me.’ You know. ‘Help me, put me out.’ Come on, could we talk about me just a little bit?

And, of course, when they do take action on a crisis, it’s for their own power and enrichment and nothing to do with actually helping those pesky little people.

People afraid of terrorists?  Waste thousands of lives and trillions of dollars on a pointless invasion and institute a secret regime of unlawful spying, detention, torture and murder.  Then push to make it all legal after it’s been exposed.

People getting hammered by gas prices?  Push for offshore and ANWR giveaways to the oil companies.

And so on.

7 comments August 3rd, 2008 at 11:55am Posted by Eli

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

More Proof That We’re A Nation Of Whiners

“Moderate Republican” Chuck Grassley totally proves Phil Gramm’s point:

So I don’t want anybody telling me that we have to offset a disaster relief package for the Midwest where people are hurting, when we didn’t do it for New Orleans. Why the double standard? Is it because people aren’t on rooftops complaining for helicopters to rescue them, and you see it on television too much? We aren’t doing that in Iowa. We are trying to help ourselves in Iowa. We have a can-do attitude. It doesn’t show up on television like it did in New Orleans for 2 months.

At least Grassley does offer us a slim ray of hope.  After all, not all Americans are whiners.  The ones in the Midwest, for example, are stoic and noble, God bless ‘em.

7 comments July 31st, 2008 at 08:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Katrina,Politics,Quotes,Republicans,Wankers

McCain’s Louisiana Lying

Raise your hands if you’re at all surprised.  From the Obama campaign:

During a press conference today in Louisiana, Senator McCain was asked why he twice voted against creating a commission to investigate the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.  McCain responded, “I have supported every investigation and ways of finding out what caused the tragedy.”  However, Senator McCain has voted against such measures on multiple occasions.  In response, Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan issued the following  statement:

“Whether he simply wasn’t aware of his voting record again or he was intentionally misleading the people of Louisiana, John McCain certainly isn’t offering us ‘leadership you can believe in.’”

McCain Said He Supported “Every Investigation” Into the Government’s Response to Hurricane Katrina. During a press conference today in Louisiana, McCain was asked why he twice voted against creating a commission to investigate the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.  McCain responded, “I have supported every investigation and ways of finding out what caused the tragedy.” [Fox News Channel, 6/4/08]

McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Establishing A Commission To Study The Response To Hurricane Katrina. In 2005 and 2006, McCain voted against proposals to establish a Congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local government response to Hurricane Katrina in U.S. Gulf Region.  Both proposals were sponsored by Senator Clinton.  [S. Amdt. 2716, Senate Vote 6, 2/2/06; S. Amdt. 1660, Senate Vote 229, 9/14/05]

I’m hoping that by November, “Straight Talk Express” will be nothing more than a punchline.  I am very, very happy that the Obama campaign is attacking McCain’s honesty, and spotlighting his undying loyalty to The Worst President Ever.

Honesty and independence are the McCain brand, and without them he has nothing but anger and war and lobbyists.  So if Obama can strip those positives away from him, he can pretty much forget about the Moderate/Independent/Undecided/Reagan Democrat vote.  He’ll have to rely on Dubya’s Twenty-Eight-Percenters, and they don’t trust him much either.

June 4th, 2008 at 09:00pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Katrina,McCain,Republicans,Wankers

That Hagee Endorsement Is Working Out Very Well For Him.

Yeah, getting that Hagee endorsement sure was a coup for John McCain:

On his radio show yesterday, right-wing talker Dennis Prager asked Hagee to respond to “the various charges made against him” in a fact sheet put out by the Democratic National Committee. Asked about his comments on Hurricane Katrina, Hagee said “the topic of that day was cursing and blessing”:

(…)

PRAGER: Now, they have you on Hurricane Katrina, quote, from NPR two double-o six: “All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.” Go ahead.

HAGEE: Yes. The topic of that day was cursing and blessing. Moses taught in the book of Deuteronomy that everything in life is either a blessing or a curse. There are days that things happen that at the time look like a curse. In the passing of time, they may become what appears to be a blessing. An illustration is Joseph, when he was sold into slavery it looked like a curse, it looked like the worse day of his life. When his brothers came into Egypt looking for food, what looked like a bad day 13 years before turned out to be a blessed day. What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God, in time if New Orleans recovers and becomes the pristine city it can become it may in time be called a blessing. But at this time it’s called a curse.

(…)

PRAGER: Right, but in the case, did NPR get, is this quote correct though that in the case of New Orleans you do feel it was sin?

HAGEE: In the case of New Orleans, their plan to have that homosexual rally was sin. But it never happened. The rally never happened.

PRAGER: No, I understand.

HAGEE: It was scheduled that Monday.

PRAGER: No, I’m only trying to understand that in the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God’s hand was in it because of a sinful city?

HAGEE: That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct, yes.

Granted, I’m not exactly the foremost expert on religion, but it sure does sound like Hagee is making some kind of Great Flood analogy, where God cleanses the Earth of the wicked for a clean start.  Either that, or He was simply so outraged by the idea of a gay pride parade that he wiped out the entire city.  But if God hates gays and their horrible, sinful gay parades of gayness that much, why is San Francisco still standing?  I mean, it’s in prime earthquake country, and yeah, it got hit pretty bad in 1989, but it hasn’t been totally devastated since 1906, and I’m pretty sure that was before gayness was even invented.

So what gives?  Why wipe out New Orleans and not San Francisco?  Is it all the black people and the poor people?  Is that it? Or maybe God is waiting for all the gay people to migrate to San Francisco, until it’s like Israel for gays (Gaysrael?)… so then He can wipe them all out at once, thus conserving His divine energy and reducing collateral damage to cities like New Orleans.

Um, not that I’m actually advocating that God destroy San Francisco, I’m just trying to understand the apparent inconsistency here.  Admittedly, I can’t see the entire universe, so I’m sure there must be very good big-picture explanation that I just can’t comprehend.  Or, alternatively, Hagee could just be a hate-filled crackpot who believes God to be an omnipotent version of himself, but I’m sure a Serious Presidential Nominee Of A Major Political Party would ever seek the endorsement of a hate-filled crackpot.  No, surely not.

Boy, I sure hope McCain gets some questions about this when he’s in Louisiana tomorrow.  I hope they make him angry.  You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

3 comments April 23rd, 2008 at 07:34pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Katrina,McCain,Politics,Religion,Republicans,Teh Gay

Mission Accomplished

Bravo, Dubya. Not many American presidents manage to get the word “diaspora” associated with their names in the history books.

What’s truly scary is that it wasn’t even your biggest fuckup.

2 comments December 18th, 2007 at 11:30am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Wankers

Krugtrina

The Shrill One has some very good thoughts on how the Bush administration and GOP’s response to Katrina is emblematic of their response to everything:

Two years ago today, Americans watched in horror as a great city drowned, and wondered what had happened to their country. Where was FEMA? Where was the National Guard? Why wasn’t the government of the world’s richest, most powerful nation coming to the aid of its own citizens?

What we mostly saw on TV was the nightmarish scene at the Superdome, but things were even worse at the New Orleans convention center, where thousands were stranded without food or water. The levees were breached Monday morning — but as late as Thursday evening, The Washington Post reported, the convention center “still had no visible government presence,” while “corpses lay out in the open among wailing babies and other refugees.”

Meanwhile, federal officials were oblivious. “We are extremely pleased with the response that every element of the federal government, all of our federal partners, have made to this terrible tragedy,” declared Michael Chertoff, the secretary for Homeland Security, on Wednesday. When asked the next day about the situation at the convention center, he dismissed the reports as “a rumor” or “someone’s anecdotal version.”

Today, much of the Gulf Coast remains in ruins. Less than half the federal money set aside for rebuilding, as opposed to emergency relief, has actually been spent, in part because the Bush administration refused to waive the requirement that local governments put up matching funds for recovery projects — an impossible burden for communities whose tax bases have literally been washed away.

On the other hand, generous investment tax breaks, supposedly designed to spur recovery in the disaster area, have been used to build luxury condominiums near the University of Alabama’s football stadium in Tuscaloosa, 200 miles inland.

But why should we be surprised by any of this? The Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina — the mixture of neglect of those in need, obliviousness to their plight, and self-congratulation in the face of abject failure — has become standard operating procedure. These days, it’s Katrina all the time.

Consider the White House reaction to new Census data on income, poverty and health insurance. By any normal standard, this week’s report was a devastating indictment of the administration’s policies. After all, last year the administration insisted that the economy was booming — and whined that it wasn’t getting enough credit. What the data show, however, is that 2006, while a good year for the wealthy, brought only a slight decline in the poverty rate and a modest rise in median income, with most Americans still considerably worse off than they were before President Bush took office.

Most disturbing of all, the number of Americans without health insurance jumped. At this point, there are 47 million uninsured people in this country, 8.5 million more than there were in 2000. Mr. Bush may think that being uninsured is no big deal — “you just go to an emergency room” — but the reality is that if you’re uninsured every illness is a catastrophe, your own private Katrina.

Yet the White House press release on the report declared that President Bush was “pleased” with the new numbers. Heckuva job, economy!

Mr. Bush’s only concession that something might be amiss was to say that “challenges remain in reducing the number of uninsured Americans” — a statement reminiscent of Emperor Hirohito’s famous admission, in his surrender broadcast, that “the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage.” And Mr. Bush’s solution — more tax cuts, of course — has about as much relevance to the real needs of the uninsured as subsidies for luxury condos in Tuscaloosa have to the needs of New Orleans’s Ninth Ward.

The question is whether any of this will change when Mr. Bush leaves office.

There’s a powerful political faction in this country that’s determined to draw exactly the wrong lesson from the Katrina debacle — namely, that the government always fails when it attempts to help people in need, so it shouldn’t even try. “I don’t want the people who ran the Katrina cleanup to manage our health care system,” says Mitt Romney, as if the Bush administration’s practice of appointing incompetent cronies to key positions and refusing to hold them accountable no matter how badly they perform — did I mention that Mr. Chertoff still has his job? — were the way government always works.

And I’m not sure that faction is losing the argument. The thing about conservative governance is that it can succeed by failing: when conservative politicians mess up, they foster a cynicism about government that may actually help their cause.

Future historians will, without doubt, see Katrina as a turning point. The question is whether it will be seen as the moment when America remembered the importance of good government, or the moment when neglect and obliviousness to the needs of others became the new American way.

If the American people are not paying attention to this, or noticing that this is a Republican pattern, then the Democrats should by God be pointing it out every chance they get, as part of every single electoral campaign. “If something bad happens to you, do you want the government to handle it like it handled Katrina? Or Iraq?”

I’m looking forward to Mit Romney promising “double Katrina” on the campaign trail…

1 comment August 31st, 2007 at 07:20am Posted by Eli

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

Terrible Two

I’ll sum up: It’s two years later, and New Orleans is pretty much still in ruins, and the Bush administration is obviously in no hurry to do anything about that.

If you want the definitive long version, read Jill. But prepare to be sad and angry. Or sadder and angrier.

2 comments August 29th, 2007 at 09:59pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Katrina

Simple Answers To Simple Questions

The front-page blurb for Douglas Brinkley’s op-ed about New Orleans asks:

Is the Bush administration leaving Katrina-ravaged neighborhoods to die on the vine?

Yes.

Actually, this is Brinkley’s conclusion as well, and it’s definitely worth a read. As if we needed any more proof that the Bushies are horrible, awful people.

1 comment August 27th, 2007 at 01:46pm Posted by Eli

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

The Real Villains Of Katrina

Yep, you guessed it: It’s the Scary Black People. This is, like, Olympic-level victim-blaming.

Will this country ever grow up?

3 comments August 21st, 2007 at 11:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Katrina,Media,Racism

Cause And Effect

This…

[Katrina is] the signal conservative failure, the sine qua non of all we warn about here at the blog. In fact, we could write about nothing else, and teach our lesson just as well: that conservatives can’t govern, because of their contempt for government.

It also allowed us to gauge our conservative fellow Americans’ moral level.

(…)

Conservatives, of course, claim to be patriotic. They claim to be the most patriotic souls of all. Sometimes – say it ain’t so! – they’ve been known to say other kinds of Americans are not patriotic, because they don’t believe the right things about preventive war, theology, and uncritical worship of the President (if the President is a Republican).

But patriotism has a simple definition: love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it.

This is, of course, something progressives have no problem doing. Because it means, simply, that all Americans are every other American’s concern. It means always acknowledging a national community, one to which we owe a constant obligation, parallel to our more local networks. It means that there is a certain level below which no American should be allowed to fall: in rights, in services, in solicitude from Washington. That no one who lives under that flag can ever be left behind. Even if they have the misfortune to live in a city that was hurt more by a hurricane than your city; and even if one city proves tragically less prepared to cope with a hurricane than another. That being an American means: step up. Our nation will sacrifice for you. That is what patriotism means.

Conservatives, on the other hand, were glad to let a certain group of Americans flounder and rot – to gloat that certain supposed local failings trumped national obligation, and use “clever” graphics and just-so stories to shirk that obligation.

It proves they aren’t patriots at all.

Leads to this…

The era of conservative values — a tight-fisted approach toward government aid to the poor, traditional positions on social issues and a belief in a muscular foreign policy — that emerged in the 1990s is coming to a close.

Disenchanted by the failures of the Bush administration, the public is moving away from its policies, values and ideology. This shift is an echo of the late 1960s, when weariness with the Vietnam War and discord at home resulted in a backlash against Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, and the late 1970s, when growing discontent over the stumbling performance of Jimmy Carter’s administration opened the door to the Reagan revolution.

(…)

[If] Rove hoped for a permanent majority, his hopes may have been dashed. Today, half the public — 50 percent — lines up with the Democratic Party, compared with 35 percent who align with the GOP. Even more striking is the public’s disenchantment with military muscle, a traditional GOP bailiwick. Today 49 percent think that military strength is the best way to ensure peace, the lowest level recorded for this question in the two decades that Pew has been conducting political values studies.

Here’s something Democrats can really take heart from: Public support for more government aid to the poor and needy is back. The percentage of those who say that “it is the responsibility of the government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves” has gone up 12 points since 1994, the pivotal year when Republicans took control of Congress with their promises of a “Contract With America.” Support for more government involvement in dealing with social problems is on the upswing overall.

More Americans now subscribe to the sentiment that “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.” Seventy-three percent concur with that statement today, up from 65 percent five years ago. A nationwide Pew survey last month found that 48 percent of the public sees American society as divided between “haves” and “have nots,” with as many as a third describing themselves as “have nots.” Both measures are substantially higher than in the late 1990s.

I think more than anything else, their callous, mean-spirited response to Katrina was what exposed the GOP as un-American, with no regard for anyone outside their own inner circle.

August 20th, 2007 at 08:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Katrina,Politics,Polls,Republicans

Your Republican Government

Oh. My. God.

Chairman Waxman:
“Another FEMA official wrote, the office of general counsel has advised ‘We do not do testing, because it would imply FEMA’s ownership of this issue.’ Early in the process, due to the perseverance of a pregnant mother with a four month old child, FEMA did test one occupied trailer. The results showed that their trailer had formaldehyde levels 75 times higher than the maximum workplace exposure levels recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The mother evacuated the trailer. FEMA then stopped testing other trailers.”

So, um, yeah. God forbid FEMA should want to take responsibility for the trailers they’re putting people in because their homes were destroyed…

2 comments July 19th, 2007 at 03:30pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Katrina,Republicans

Crisis Mythmanagement

One of the most repulsive frauds concocted by Karl’s little shop of horrors is the idea that the Republicans in general, and Dubya in particular, are somehow “tough on terror.” It is utter and complete bullshit. Pre-9/11, the Democrats (and Richard Clarke) were the ones desperately trying to warn the Republicans and the Bush Administration about the dangers of terrorism, and getting contemptuously brushed aside.

Now that 9/11 has shown us that Islamist terrorism can actually occur on American soil, Bush and the Republicans are like nothing so much as a man talking tough with his pants down around his ankles.

May 8th, 2007 at 04:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Katrina,Republicans,Terrorism,War

My Bush Vs. NOLA Theory

I think I have finally figured out why Bush hates NOLA so much. It’s not because it has so many poor black people, or because it’s mostly Democratic – those only explain his callous indifference.

New Orleans destroyed his presidency. That was the turning point where everyone who was not hopelessly hooked on the Republican Kool-Aid realized that Dubya’s strong-leader-who-will-protect-us-all pose was a total sham. And everything went downhill from there.

He can’t salvage his presidency, but by God, he can make New Orleans pay for not getting out of the way of that damn hurricane, and for not sitting down and shutting up and pretending to be grateful for whatever superficial days-late photo-op charity he saw fit to bestow upon them.

The history books will unanimously wonder what we ever saw in this cretinous lizard.

2 comments April 30th, 2007 at 01:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina

The Bush Administration Hates New Orleans.

This goes beyond simple incompetence. Like Bush’s refusal to waive the 10% matching requirement for federal aid, this is deliberate malice:

As the winds and water of Hurricane Katrina were receding, presidential confidante Karen Hughes sent a cable from her State Department office to U.S. ambassadors worldwide.

Titled “Echo-Chamber Message” — a public relations term for talking points designed to be repeated again and again — the Sept. 7, 2005, directive was unmistakable: Assure the scores of countries that had pledged or donated aid at the height of the disaster that their largesse had provided Americans “practical help and moral support” and “highlight the concrete benefits hurricane victims are receiving.”

Many of the U.S. diplomats who received the message, however, were beginning to witness a more embarrassing reality. They knew the U.S. government was turning down many allies’ offers of manpower, supplies and expertise worth untold millions of dollars. Eventually the United States also would fail to collect most of the unprecedented outpouring of international cash assistance for Katrina’s victims.

Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent.

(…)

The struggle to apply foreign aid in the aftermath of the hurricane, which has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $125 billion so far, is another reminder of the federal government’s difficulty leading the recovery. Reports of government waste and delays or denials of assistance have surfaced repeatedly since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005.

(…)

In one exchange, State Department officials anguished over whether to tell Italy that its shipments of medicine, gauze and other medical supplies spoiled in the elements for weeks after Katrina’s landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, and were destroyed. “Tell them we blew it,” one disgusted official wrote. But she hedged: “The flip side is just to dispose of it and not come clean. I could be persuaded.”

(…)

And while television sets worldwide showed images of New Orleans residents begging to be rescued from rooftops as floodwaters rose, U.S. officials turned down countless offers of allied troops and search-and-rescue teams. The most common responses: “sent letter of thanks” and “will keep offer on hand,” the new documents show.

Overall, the United States declined 54 of 77 recorded aid offers from three of its staunchest allies: Canada, Britain and Israel, according to a 40-page State Department table of the offers that had been received as of January 2006.

(h/t CREW)

But wait, there’s more. Consider this story from September ’05:

The Ministry of Defence in London said last night that 400,000 operational ration packs had been shipped to the US.

But officials blamed the US Department of Agriculture, which impounded the shipment under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.

The aid worker, who would not be named, said: “This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.

“The FDA has recalled aid from Britain because it has been condemned as unfit for human consumption, despite the fact that these are NATO approved rations of exactly the same type fed to British soldiers in Iraq.

Under NATO, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness.”

The worker added: “There will be a cloud of smoke above Little Rock soon – of burned food, of anger and of shame that the world’s richest nation couldn’t organise a p**s up in a brewery and lets Americans starve while they arrogantly observe petty regulations.

“Everyone is revolted by the chaotic shambles the US is making of this crisis. Guys from UNICEF are walking around spitting blood.

(…)

“It is perfectly good NATO approved food of the type British servicemen have. Yet the FDA are saying that because there is a meat content and it has come from Britain it must be destroyed.

“If they are trying to argue there is a BSE reason then that is ludicrously out of date. There is more BSE in the States than there ever was in Britain and UK meat has been safe for years.”

Bush. Hates. NOLA.

4 comments April 29th, 2007 at 01:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Republicans,Wankers

NOLA/Broder Followups

For those of you who are appalled at Bush’s mean-spirited coldness towards New Orleans, Senator Landrieu has an online petition to apply some citizen pressure to get legislation passed to waive the 10% requirement, and then override Bush’s veto. Please go and sign it.

And for those of you who are appalled at David Broder’s mean-spirited cluelessness towards Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic Caucus has got his back. Even Lieberman. David, when even Joe Lieberman tells you you’re a dishonest, ignorant hack, you might want to listen.

3 comments April 27th, 2007 at 10:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Katrina,Lieberman,Media,Wankers

Speechless

If there’s one thing that the last six years have taught me, it is that George W. Bush can always find a new depth to sink to:

The New Orleans City Business has an article on Louisiana’s effort to pressure Bush for the waiver. Though such a waiver is in the Iraq Supplemental bill which Bush will veto, we learn from the article that…

Bush also vows to veto any new funding or legislative attempt to waive the 10 percent match.

Here’s the White House justification…

The White House maintains $1 billion was provided for the 10 percent match in the $10.4 billion in community development block grants already awarded to Louisiana.

In other words Bush is saying give us back a billion of the aid we gave you and you’re good to go. Nice trick. But here is a major problem even with that…..

Bush ignores a major problem with using CDBG funds for the 10 percent match, said Landrieu spokesman Adam Sharp.

“It ignores the greater paperwork issue,” Sharp said. “Right now, each of the more than 20,000 public assistance projects require two different sets of paperwork – one for (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) to confirm that you are allowed to use CDBG funds to pay the 10 percent, and one for FEMA to confirm that disaster funds can be used for the other 90 percent. The paperwork can take months, if not years, to complete, per project. The red tape alone is enough to strangle recovery.”

Louisiana’s congressional delegation, Democrats AND Republicans alike, say they will continue to push for the waiver. Landrieu thinks the votes are there to over ride Bush’s vetoes ….

“I feel confident because the Democratic Congress is going to make sure that that happens even if the White House will not,” she said. “He can veto it. If that ever happens, I think we’ll have the votes to override him.”

I really hope Landrieu is right. I would love to see Bush show his true colors and then get overridden anyway. I can’t find the words to say how much this disgusts me. What an utter tiny-minded, petty, vindictive little bastard.

1 comment April 26th, 2007 at 10:52pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Wankers

Like I Just Said…

From the Houston Chronicle’s NewsWatch blog, by way of Think Progress, by way of First Draft:

One thing Bush likes to do in the Gulf Coast is hand out American flags to families rebuilding their houses. Long before he shows up, Bush’s advance team scouts the non-hostile property owners in a neighborhood, and later, the president drops by and gives the family a flag. The White House thinks this makes for good pictures – and maybe it did, a month after the storm. But a year and half later, with the region still a mess and so many people displaced, it seems a little tone-deaf to be handing out flags – politically, it does invite comparisons to what Bush isn’t doing in the region.

So not only is Dubya responding to massive devastation by handing out flags (because he is the very embodiment of patriotism, after all), but he’s only handing out flags to Real Americans.

I wonder if any of those Real Americans are saying, “I’ve been your loyal supporter for the last 7 years, and you come down here and give me a fucking FLAG when my house has been destroyed??? Fuck you and fuck your party, I’m voting for Gore next year like I shoulda done 7 years ago. Maybe I’d still have a house.”

5 comments March 2nd, 2007 at 12:57pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Wankers

Mission Accomplished

I think this is exactly what Bush and the Republicans want.

Between New Orleans and Iraq, it’s pretty clear that this is the last administration on Earth that you would want “rebuilding” your home.

The biggest drawback to being atheist/agnostic is not having the satisfaction of knowing that there’s a hell waiting for these inhuman creatures who corrupt and destroy all that they touch.

2 comments February 16th, 2007 at 12:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Republicans

Froomkin’s Festival Of Wankery

Just too much blood-boily goodness in White House Watch today, so I’m going to try to hit multiple highlights here:

It’s become accepted journalistic shorthand to say that the previous NSA [warrantless] spying program no longer exists, having been replaced by a new program that meets court muster. But as I first noted in my January 19 column, that’s certainly not the way Bush himself sees things. In an under-the-radar broadcast interview, Bush put it this way: “Nothing has changed in the program except for the court has said we analyzed it, it is a legitimate, it is a legitimate way to protect the country.”

And yesterday, in an interview with members of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Bush continued in that vein.

Today’s lead Wall Street Journal editorial states that “we’ve been critical of Mr. Bush, notably on his decision to abruptly change gears and subject his NSA warrantless wiretap program to judicial review. So we asked why he had made that decision after 13 months of insisting that those wiretaps were a Presidential prerogative?

“‘Scrap the program’ is not accurate,’ he insisted. ‘The program exists. And now we’ve had a program ratified by the judiciary which is going to make it easier for a future President to have this program in place. . . . It had nothing to do with diminution of Presidential authority. It had everything to do with getting a second branch of government to support that which I have done.’”

Wow. So not only does Dubya basically say that the top-secret FISA court ruled that wireless wiretapping was cool with them, so he can keep on doing it, but the Wall Street Journal actually scolds him for even letting them rule on it in the first place. Just amazing. This is probably a good time to mention once again that those warrants can be obtained retroactively 72 hours after the initial wiretap. The only way the warrant requirement can be a hindrance is if you have no grounds for one.

Okay, moving on… From an interview on Fox News with Neil Cavuto:

Cavuto asked: “How do you think the troops would feel about a President Obama?”

Bush: “Oh, I don’t know. He ain’t — look — he hasn’t got elected yet. He ain’t even got the party’s nomination either. He’s an attractive guy, he’s articulate, I’ve been impressed with him, I’ve seen him in person, but he’s got a long way to go to be president.”

Okay, I can maybe let the “articulate” thing slide as not provably a racist codeword here, because the fact is that Obama is not just “articulate for a black guy” – he’s the best speaker in the Democratic party this side of Bill Clinton, and it would be strange not to make some mention of that. But as if to underscore the point, the Leader Of The Free World, the Most Powerful Man On Earth, uses “ain’t” not once, but twice in the two sentences immediately before it. Makes you right proud, don’t it.

But this, I think this is my favorite of them all, the Wanker Di Tutti Wankers moment:

Asked about federal disaster response by Cavuto, Bush had this to say:

“I think the federal bureaucracy responded pretty quickly for Katrina — and New York. We set up the funds, we put people in place, the monies were spent, the monies were distributed.” He shrugs. “And where there is — I mean, I’m confident there’s some places where the money’s been slowly spent, and we’re constantly listening to members of the Congress to make sure that we are able to free monies that the bureaucracy is, you know, withholding money or slowing up the expenditure of money.

Yes, that’s right, it’s all the mean ol’ bureaucracy’s fault. The Mighty Decider wants nothing more than to move heaven and earth to restore New Orleans and Trent Lott’s porch to their former glory and then some, but that damn bureaucracy keeps getting in the way. (Hey, remember that time when he charmingly dismissed that EPA global warming study as “that report put out by the bureaucracy”?) You can practically see the little Grover Norquist imp perched on his shoulder when he spouts this crap. Side note: How long before he “accidentally” “mispronounces” the name of his opposition as “the Bureaucrat Party”?

Unfortunately, I’m still not done…

U.S. News reports that “Democrats on Capitol Hill are increasingly concerned that President Bush will order air strikes against targets in Iran in the next few months or even weeks. . . . Democratic insiders tell the Political Bulletin that they suspect Bush will order the bombing of Iranian supply routes, camps, training facilities, and other sites that Administration officials say contribute to American losses in Iraq. Under this scenario, Bush would not invade Iran with ground forces or zero in on Iranian nuclear facilities. But under the limited-bombing scenario, Bush could ask for a congressional vote of support, Democratic insiders predict, which many Democrats would feel obliged to endorse or risk looking like they weren’t supportive of the troops. Bombing Iran would also take attention away from the troubled situation in Iraq and cause a rally-round-the-president reaction among Americans, at least for a while.”

Attention Democrats: Voting in favor of starting a second third, even bigger war and occupation when we can’t even handle the ones we’ve got would be, um… what’s the word I’m looking for here… stupid. Half of you got railroaded into okaying the invasion of Iraq, and now you own a piece of that fiasco, to the point where the Lamont Uprising had to shame you into even making it a campaign issue last year. What possible reason would you have to want to own any piece of a war against Iran, which is far larger and more powerful than Iraq? You don’t seriously believe that it’s going to be a glorious victory you wish you had endorsed, do you? Not with this gang of incompetents in charge, commanding a broken army.

Skim skim skim… Surge… Libby… Aspens… A-ha!

Michael Abramowitz and Lori Montgomery write in The Washington Post: “President Bush acknowledged Wednesday that there is growing income inequality in the United States, addressing for the first time a subject that has long concerned Democrats and liberal economists.

“‘The fact is that income inequality is real — it’s been rising for more than 25 years,’ Bush said in an address on Wall Street. ‘The reason is clear: We have an economy that increasingly rewards education and skills because of that education.’”

Yes, of course. CEO’s make a gajillion* dollars a year solely because of their superior education. Everyone who doesn’t make a gajillion dollars a year must be uneducated and stupid. Like me.

And since no Festival Of Wankery would be complete without the Second Family, here we have Mary Cheney explaining what a baby is:

Katharine Q. Seelye writes in the New York Times: “Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, for the first time yesterday publicly defended her decision to become pregnant and asserted that same-sex couples were equally capable of raising children as heterosexual couples.”

Cheney “gestured to her middle — any bulge disguised by a boxy jacket — and asserted: ‘This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child.’”

Okay, fine, whatever. All I want is for your baby and your sexual orientation to get the exact same level of respect from conservatives and Republicans as they give to all other gay couples and their children. My preference would be for them to embrace and accept all gays as full and equal citizens under God and the law, but failing that, they should at least be consistent.

*All dollar figures in metric gajillions.

February 1st, 2007 at 07:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Democrats,Iran,Katrina,Politics,Wankers

Roadkill

(WARNING: Potentially insensitive analogy ahead)

While here in South Carolina, I saw both a dead cat and a dead dog on the side of the road (not at the same time). It’s a sad sight to begin with, and then I think about how that that cat and that dog were probably someone’s pets, and some unfortunate family is just devastated because their four-legged family member got hit by a car, and that makes it even sadder.

Now imagine that it’s someone’s mom or dad or grandma or brother or son, and they got shot or blown up for no good reason other than that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now imagine that there’s hundreds of thousands of them.

20 comments December 20th, 2006 at 03:54pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Iraq,Katrina,War

You’re Doin’ A Heckuva Job, Buellie.

Choice nugget from the WaPo’s analysis of the partisan “debate” over whether Bush was lying when he said, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees,” or just chose his words poorly (yeah, like “anybody,” and “anticipated”…):

As the debate reached a new boil, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the resignation yesterday of Matthew Broderick, the department’s director of operations coordination, who will leave March 31. Chertoff said Broderick wants to spend more time with his family, but he is the second person associated with the Katrina response to resign, following Michael D. Brown, who directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

I know Bush hires a lot of unqualified people for high-stakes positions, but Ferris Bueller?
That’s just rubbing our noses in it.

“Okay, how are we going to get all of these people out of New Orleans?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bueller?

Bueller?

Anyone?”

March 3rd, 2006 at 02:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Questioning The Unquestioning

Interesting how Hurricane Katrina actually destroys spin (maybe it’s only when it brings the eye to bear, though).

Multiple (I think) Wanker Of The Day honoree John Dickerson observes that “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees” wasn’t the only self-serving BushCo. lie destroyed by the August 28 Katrina briefing video:

Based on what I’d been told by White House aides over the years, I expected to see the president asking piercing questions that punctured the fog of the moment and inspired bold action. Bush’s question-asking talents are a central tenet of the president’s hagiography. He may not be much for details, say aides, but he can zero in on a weak spot in a briefing and ask out-of-the-box questions. I have been repeatedly told over the years that he once interrupted a briefing on national defense to pose a 30,000-foot stumper: What is the function of the Department of Defense?

(Ooo, ahh, what a bold and daring question – hell, he probably asked because he genuinely didn’t know…)

So, surely during this briefing about an impending natural disaster, the president would have had a few pointed inquiries. The experts assembled in boxes on his screen like guests on Hollywood Squares had just told him the coming hurricane “was the big one” and talked about “the greatest potential for large loss of life.” Yet according to the Associated Press, which is the only press organization that has reviewed the video, Bush didn’t ask a single question in the briefing, but told officials “we are fully prepared.”

You know you’re in trouble when Michael Brown outshines you. [OUCH!] But the president’s question-free briefing is more than a momentary bad piece of public relations. It’s a blow to a key Bush myth. The Bush management philosophy relies on him as an interrogator. He delegates, but that’s OK because he knows how to question those he empowers to make sure they’re focused. Question-asking is also a central public tool in the “trust me” presidency. We aren’t supposed to worry that the NSA wiretapping program goes too far because the president has asked all the questions. When the president was wrong about the level of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or the strength of the insurgency, it wasn’t because he didn’t ask enough questions, we have been told, it was because he was given the wrong answers.

I too remember reading multiple times about what a brilliant and incisive leader Bush is in meetings, but perhaps it’s only true in meetings about issues that Bush actually cares about. Katrina couldn’t advance the Republican agenda in any obvious way, so it was just a nuisance to get out of the way as quickly as possible. The idea that whiffing on the disaster response might be a political disaster in its own right was apparently far too abstract for anyone to grasp, and I just can’t seriously believe that any of the Bush inner circle stayed up nights worrying about the possible deaths of a few thousand commoners (See: Gulf War II, The). And if it’s not a cause that Bush is personally committed to, his default position is, “I have people who take care of that.” It never even occurs to him that he actually has to take action himself to make things happen.

I bet there were a lot of meetings like this at Bush’s oil companies, right before they went under. I bet there were some key junctures where CEO Bush could have saved those companies with swift, decisive action, and he instead left it up to subordinates (who, I will also bet, were unqualified cronies) to figure it all out while he, ah, went to Margaritaville and frolicked in the snow.

I can certainly understand the appeal of the “CEO President” concept, but I can’t understand how it can be expanded to include CEOs who have never made a company stronger, or even kept it alive for more than a few years. How could anyone expect them to do better running the biggest corporation on Earth?

March 3rd, 2006 at 01:42pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Favorites,Katrina,Media,Politics,Wankers

Bush Takes The Bullshit By The Horns

Generally speaking, I mainly read the NY Daily News for the sports (I know, it’s kinda like the inverse of reading Playboy “for the articles”), but Denis Hamill does a damn fine job of hitting Bush with the chair today:

I’m amazed that anyone is amazed that it took George W. Bush three days to show up in New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

That’s exactly how long it took him to show up at Ground Zero after 9/11.

So it mystifies me that the pundits and the cable gasbags keep telling us that George W. Bush missed his “bullhorn moment” in New Orleans.

No, he didn’t.

Because his bullhorn moment in New York City was just as late and just as disgraceful as his fumbling handling of the Katrina carnage.

(snip)

It will go down as one of the worst moments in American history because when he stood on the smoldering ruins amid the dust of the dead it was through that bullhorn that Bush’s Big Lie was first shouted to the world that the people who knocked down those buildings would soon be hearing from us.

(snip)

Historians will refocus that bullhorn moment as the point of origin to exploit a terrible attack on America for a preconceived war in Iraq that had nothing to do with our dead.

Historians also will remember that directly after the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 2001, killing 2,749, our fearless leader, with all that Texas Air Guard combat training, hopped aboard Air Force One and lammed to, um, Omaha.

Talk about heroic.

And as real heroes dug in the rubble for signs of life, shortening their own lives in the toxic air, Bush hid out. Then three days later, when the coast was clear, he arrived to shoot a Karl Rove-inspired reelection commercial and to launch a war in Iraq.

The invasion of Baghdad started in New York in that “bullhorn moment” three days after Sept. 11.

(snip)

I often ask successful conservative businessmen friends if they would let George W. Bush run their private businesses. They almost always smile and admit they wouldn’t. And yet they voted for him torun the most powerful nation on the planet.

Yowza! Read the whole thing – I left some real good stuff on the cutting room floor. I… really don’t have anything to add to it.

5 comments September 20th, 2005 at 07:03pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Favorites,Iraq,Katrina,Media,Terrorism,Wankers,War

Media, Take Heed

Frank Rich’s column on the growing cracks in the Bush administration’s imagecraft is excellent, of course, but I’m particularly intrigued by one little almost-throwaway tidbit:

You know the world has changed when the widely despised news media have a far higher approval rating (77 percent) than the president (46 percent), as measured last week in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

I seem to remember the media’s “approval rating” being well under 50% not so long ago. The fact that it appears to have cranked way up in the wake of some extremely and uncharacteristically anti-Bush reportage on the handling of Hurricane Katrina is very telling, and suggests to me that the public’s appetite for Republican propaganda has worn very thin indeed, if I may employ some Tom Friedmanesque metaphor mashing.

Will the media take notice and start doing their jobs, in order to preserve their credibility? I doubt it. I believe their primary objective is pleasing their parent corporations, not garnering ratings or respect. But if I’m wrong, or if more and more people see the media for the right-wing spin outlet it has become, it could be very very good for the Democrats, and very very bad for the Republicans.

We shall see.

1 comment September 18th, 2005 at 01:40am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Media,Politics,Polls

The Lemonade Party

I don’t always get a chance to read it, but Dan Froomkin’s White House Briefing is one of my favorite columns. It’s a great sampling of political articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts, and Froomkin is very refreshingly not-a-Republican-tool. Today he had a couple of truly infuriating posts under the heading “The Not-So-Hidden Agenda.”

Indeed…

John R. Wilkie and Brody Mullins write in the Wall Street Journal: “Congressional Republicans, backed by the White House, say they are using relief measures for the hurricane-ravaged Gulf coast to achieve a broad range of conservative economic and social policies, both in the storm zone and beyond.

“Some new measures are already taking shape. In the past week, the Bush administration has suspended some union-friendly rules that require federal contractors pay prevailing wages, moved to ease tariffs on Canadian lumber, and allowed more foreign sugar imports to calm rising sugar prices. Just yesterday, it waived some affirmative-action rules for employers with federal contracts in the Gulf region.

“Now, Republicans are working on legislation that would limit victims’ right to sue, offer vouchers for displaced school children, lift some environment restrictions on new refineries and create tax-advantaged enterprise zones to maximize private-sector participation in recovery and reconstruction.”

It is just amazing how utterly devoid of shame the Republicans are, and how completely spineless the Democrats. How can they not call the GOP on their exploitation of yet another tragedy for political gain? Heck, the Republicans make out so well from catastrophes that I have to wonder whether they really have any desire to prevent them at all.

In brief, the Republicans are masters at making lemonade out of lemons, while the Democrats could fuck up chocolate. But maybe, just maybe, the Republicans won’t have enough sugar this time. They certainly have more than enough water.

But wait, there’s more! From an LA Times article on the same topic, we get this little gem…

” ‘Bush has a very well defined vision of what government should do and how it should do it,’ said Michael Franc, a vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization consulted by the White House. ‘This is a moment to teach or explain to the American people how his values apply to this catastrophic situation.’ “

Um, hello? Heritage Foundation? The president already “taught” the American people how his values apply to this catastrophic situation. That’s why his approval rating is sinking through the floor.

September 15th, 2005 at 05:58pm Posted by Eli

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

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