Louisiana Desperately Appealed to Bush for Help One FULL Week Ago

According to Daily Kos.

Bush, however, was on vacation.

My, the shit just flies everywhere on his... [cough] watch.

"The Culture of Life": Where Were They This Week?

Looking for their next Terri Schiavo or anywhere other than at those poor, desperate, defenseless people and animals in NOLA and elsewhere.

Excellent piece; I encourage you to read the entire thing at the Progressive Programmer:

Olbermann remarked that he had heard Rush Limbaugh earlier today saying that those that were still in New Orleans deserved what they had gotten, as they had chosen to live there. Olbermann went so far as to call him, "that Limbaugh". Denouncing the inherent inconsiderate nature of such a statement.

But Sharpton made the point that struck me.

The Right, as embodied by Limbaugh, Frist, Bush, Hastert, DeLay. They would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.And they would sit on their ass and watch as tens of thousands of poor men, women, children, babies, and elderly bake in the New Orleans heat surrounded by water, sewage, gasoline and an abandoned city, now devoid of anyone with the means to have escaped ahead of the storm.This is the culture of life. The culture of life wants to save brain dead white women and unborn children. The culture of life wants you to watch endless non-news about the disappearance of one white teenager in Aruba. The culture of life wants you to support your nation as it kills tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in its Quixotic quest against a non-threat.

The culture of life wants a zero-tolerance for looters policy to sound authoritative as babies die of dehydration. The culture of life expects you to take care of yourself, and if you can't, then it is your own fault for getting into that situation in the first place. Fuck off. You had your shot. Station in life, where you hang your hat, and whether you have the $40 at the end of the month to pay for the overpriced gasoline to get out of that home in time is all up to you.
Thanks so very much to Buzzflash for this link.

While Bush Did His "I'm the Commander in Chief" Bit in Louisiana

.... food drops were suspended to the desperate and the dying.

Krugman Has the Same Questions We Do

Story here.

I only realized today - finally coming up from my shock and despair - how the rest of the country is mocking us terribly while we refuse aid those people down in NOLA and Gulfport and Biloxi desperately need.

And You Thought I Was Joking About it Earlier

...when I said watch Halliburton step in and make a bundle out of their misery - HalliCheney's modus operandi.

Posted by Vince at Spazzzdic Musings.

Passionate Words About an Abysmal, Criminal Failure

Vince Novak has some passionate words about, links to articles about, and well-placed outrage at the grave, grave conditions that are still playing out in New Orleans. He also shares some truly see-red stuff like this:

According to their website, the American Red Cross CAN NOT enter New Orleans because the Department of Homeland Security has ordered them not to return.http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,1096,0_682_4524,00.html#4524

Aparently its because it would prevent people from leaving the city.


Is This the Rapture?

I always thought there would be more music. Probably Lionel Ritchie and Marie Osmand stuff with a little pan flute and a superbly sad sounding violin.

FUCK FUCK FUCK - Rehnquist is Dead!

Oh my fucking fucking fucking fucking God.

Hugo Chavez, the Man that Great Christian, Pat Roberstson Wants to Assassinate

... has offered the US relief in the form of cheap oil but of course we did not acknowlegde his offer

Say Hello to

- and definitely drop some cash at - Liberal Bloggers for Hurricane Relief, although desperate creatures go way beyond politics.

Thanks to Skippy for the link.

Unconscionable, Indeed

Posted by Mimus Pauly at the incomparable Skippy:

john howard on the unconscionable dereliction of duty that so distinguishes awol's presidency:
    ...anyone can make excuses for why this isn't bush's fault, and isn't the administration's fault, and a lot of those excuses might be valid and might be true, but if you want to sit around making excuses for why you can't do anything, then why the fuck do you become the president of the united states in the first place?

Our Tax Dollars at ... er... It's Definitely Not Work...

From Talking Points Memo:

Clearly, the White House is pulling out every stop to argue for the impossibility of predicting what happened. But remember, everyone seems to agree that a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane would have created a storm surge that overtopped the levees. I want to go back and check all the details on this. But my understanding is that Katrina -- which was coming into Louisiana as a Cat 5 -- ratchetted down in final hours and actually hit NOLA as a Cat 3. This is part of what created that brief period in which it seemed that the city emerged more or less intact. The immediate storm surge didn't overtop the levees. But then levees failed and/or some were overtopped.

Whatever the details on that point, whether levees failed or were overtopped, the feds and everyone else had every reason to believe over the weekend that the city was going to be flooded. This scenario was not only predictable, but actively predicted as a likely scenario.
One other point: at Chertoff's press conference, he introduced someone as Deputy Director of FEMA. I assume it was this guy noted by Al Kamen in the Post's Inside the Loop column back on August 1st ...
    Michael D. Brown , who runs the Federal Emergency Management Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, sent around a memo a couple of weeks ago saying "effective immediately," his chief of staff, Patrick Rhode , was the acting deputy director.

The Anger is Palpable

People are mad - from red states and blue - wondering how we can spend so very much money on government support disaster programs and bullshit about homeland security and tens of thousands of the poor and vulnerable were left to figure out how to get themselves out of New Orleans.

Six days into it, and things are barely any better.

I've heard numerous Republicans, on screen and off, offer up this, "I am ashamed to be a Republican right now. Pure shame. It's our people in the government and they've done wrong."

I mention this because it struck me strangely to hear party affiliation brought into it. Then I stopped to think.

On One Positive Note

In Vermont today, as I suppose happened many places, dropoff sites were inundated by people, on just a few hours notice, appearing at these sites dropping off water, food, clothing, toiletries, pet food and care, blankets, pillows, batteries, and just about anything else they thought could be useful. Lots of the people donating were people who looked like they were pretty strapped for money themselves... and yet, there they were, out to help those in need.

The effort will continue tomorrow (errrr... later today) before many huge trucks load up and head to Gulfport, Louisiana, the closest they can get to the site of the worst devastation.

Quite a Price Discrepancy

Congress is talking about an emergency $10.5 billion relief package for New Orleans and Mississippi.

OK, but does anyone recall the hurricanes - of much less magnitude - that hit Florida not too long before Election 2004? They allocated $14-$20 billion initially and I read somewhere not so long ago that taxpayers actually shelled out about $30 billion in direct costs for photo ops for George Bush and his chubby baby bro, Jeb, handing out water while they blocked search and rescue operations around them.

So why does so much more devastation result in so much less funding? Couldn't be the color of the faces, could it? Not just the fact Bush isn't looking to be re-selected now.



you know things are serious when coverage actually knocks off update on the missing Natalee Holloway, Paris Hilton's last bowel movement, and what Martha Stewart is doing.

And Damn It...

It took three days for Bush to stop napping to attend to the disaster; Cheney's still on vacation, Condi finished her vacation before she returned, and Denny Hastert's only comment was he didn't think it was smart to bother to rebuild it. The mayor of New Orleans leaves the city.

No local, regional, or federal preparedness for what would happen if one of more of these levies failed and they were bound to fail.

To let people go for days without food, medical care, protection, water, and living in extremely squalid conditions, sleeping with the dead....

Sorry for the Silence

I don't know about all of you, but this week has just stunned me.

I can't eat a bite of food without feeling a bit of guilt, without wishing I could make dinner for every soul in the devastation. Nothing I've been able to do thus far feels like enough. Hell, even though they really only want guest housing close to the Southeast, I've signed my home up for temporary housing for refugees.

And the anger inside me for the lack of planning for the poor blacks or perhaps the poor in general, the staggering sums of money that go to this "security" program or that but which pays no attention to the kind of insecurity delivered by a natural disaster.

Decisions like telling everyone to go to the SuperDome long after it was closed to new people, or telling them to go to the Convention Center when no one was there to lead or feed or bus them to a new location, like not noticing that more than a third of the city had NO ability to evacuate.

The decision the other day to suspend rescue efforts and turn the attention to looting. Then, today, with Bush and the governor of Louisiana saying "Zero tolerance" and "shoot to kill" even if the looting was of people breaking into storefronts to get water and food.

But, I've got to get back here. And I apologize for my absence. Your thoughts, as always, interest me.


Don't We All Feel So Much Better?

The president cut short his vacation so he could fly back to Washington so he could visit New Orleans which is actually really much closer to Crawford than Washington is.

Sounds like a Bush move.


Some of Those Pushing John Roberts as Supreme Court Pick Are Pretty Questionable Themselves

Think Progress brings us an example.

Ronald Rotunda is the law professor who argues that Judge John Roberts didn’t do anything wrong when he “heard arguments about the Bush administration’s policy [on military commissions in Guantanamo] as he was discussing a Supreme Court appointment in private conversations with the White House.”

Yesterday we revealed that Rotunda — who is presenting himself as a neutral legal ethicist — was, until very recently, a paid military advisor to the Department of Defense on military commissions.

It turns out Rotunda is one legal ethicist with a history of questionable conduct. From Newsweek, 9/16/1991:
    How does a law professor get appointed to the federal bench? Cozying up to the White House can’t hurt. University of Illinois professor Ron Rotunda submitted his name for a spot last spring. He didn’t get the job — but he’s now part of the PR machine for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. A legal ethics expert, he’s phoned reporters, published op-ed pieces and, at the behest of White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, written an essay absolving Thomas of unethical conduct in a controversial case.

Public Not Inclined to Believe Bushie Rhetoric on Chavez and Venezuela


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "Since when did Venezuela become a threat?" asked U.S. radio sports talk show host Tony Kornheiser.
"Since gas went over $3," his co-host joked, referring to soaring U.S. prices and the fact Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East.

The Bush administration has accused leftist President Hugo Chavez of seeking to destabilize Latin American governments and doing too little to combat drug traffickers and Marxist rebels operating around its border with U.S. ally Colombia.

But Washington's campaign to raise the alarm over a major U.S. oil supplier has failed to resonate among members of congress, editorial writers, think-tank analysts and the public.
In the void, Pat Robertson, a former Republican presidential candidate and key supporter of President George W. Bush, called last week for Chavez to be assassinated for exporting communism and Muslim extremism.

As wild as his charges appeared, the attack came against the backdrop of largely unsubstantiated Bush administration accusations and Chavez said they represented the view of the right-wing U.S. elite.

"The Bush administration has tried to make Venezuela seem like a spooky, murky place," said Larry Birns of the Washington based think-tank the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. "But they have cried wolf too often. Without serious evidence, you can't take their accusations seriously."
The Bush administration distanced

E&P: Press Wants to Know

Related to that previous post about Mitt Romney, Editor and Publisher says periodicals across the US are starting to ask "Will you encourage your kids to sign up?" question of pro-war supporters. Funny, few of the pro-war supporters seem willing to have their kids go.

Massachusetts' Romney: Backs Iraq War, Won't Encourage Sons to Enlist

From the Boston Herald:

Gov. Mitt Romney, who has comforted the grieving loved ones of soldiers killed in Iraq and promoted National Guard recruitment, yesterday said he has not urged his own sons to enlist - and isn't sure whether they would.
The Herald posed the question as Romney - a potential 2008 White House contender and backer of President Bush's Iraq policy -was honored by the Massachusetts National Guard after he signed a bill extending pay for state workers on active duty.
``No, I have not urged my own children to enlist.I don't know the status of my childrens' potentially enlisting in the Guard and Reserve,`` Romney said, his voice tinged with anger.
Massachusetts residents can enlist in the National Guard up to age 39.Romney's five sons range in age from 24 to 35. Neither the Romney children nor the governor have served in the military, Romney spokeswoman Julie Teer said.
More than 1,100 guardsmen and women from Massachusetts are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, a guard spokeswoman said.According to federal statistics, 28 Massachusetts soldiers have been killed so far.
``I don't think you should be so `rah-rah' for a war that you aren't willing to send your own family members to,'' said Rose Gonzalez, 30, of Somerville, whose mother, a state employee, was deployed to Iraq in January.``If he thinks the war is so just and so important and we shouldn't pull out, then he should encourage his own sons to go.``

Rove's (Stinking, Dirty) Role

From the Boston Globe (but read it all):

SOME WHITE House sympathizers have attempted to portray Karl Rove's role in the Valerie Plame scandal as that of a statesman, seeking to provide President Bush with the best information possible on Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions so that Bush could set policy based on facts. This has been met with deserved skepticism. Rove's career, even before he became Bush's deputy chief of staff, is rich with reasons to think his motives in helping to identify Plame as a CIA agent were far darker.

After all, Plame's identity was revealed in a Robert Novak column on July 14, 2003, just eight days after her husband, Joseph Wilson, had embarrassed Bush over his Iraq war rationale. And Rove had talked with Novak on July 9.

As John Roberts, the Supreme Court nominee and federal appeals court judge, wrote last month in another context, the fact that ''sometimes dogs do eat homework" is no reason to ignore more-logical explanations.

Rove's record has been consistent. Over 35 years, he has been a master of dirty tricks, divisiveness, innuendo, manipulation, character assassination, and roiling partisanship.

"The Vietnamization of Bush's Vacation"

From the wonderful Frank Rich:

We have long since lost count of all the historic turning points and fast-evaporating victories hyped by this president. The toppling of Saddam's statue, "Mission Accomplished," the transfer of sovereignty and the purple fingers all blur into a hallucinatory loop of delusion. One such red-letter day, some may dimly recall, was the adoption of the previous, interim constitution in March 2004, also proclaimed a "historic milestone" by Mr. Bush. Within a month after that fabulous victory, the insurgency boiled over into the war we have today, taking, among many others, the life of Casey Sheehan.

It's Casey Sheehan's mother, not those haggling in Baghdad's Green Zone, who really changed the landscape in the war this month. Not because of her bumper-sticker politics or the slick left-wing political operatives who have turned her into a circus, but because the original, stubborn fact of her grief brought back the dead the administration had tried for so long to lock out of sight. With a shove from Pat Robertson, her 15 minutes are now up, but even Mr. Robertson's antics revealed buyer's remorse about Iraq; his stated motivation for taking out Hugo Chávez by assassination was to avoid "another $200 billion war" to remove a dictator.

In the wake of Ms. Sheehan's protest, the facts on the ground in America have changed almost everywhere. The president, for one, has been forced to make what for him is the ultimate sacrifice: jettisoning chunks of vacation to defend the war in any bunker he can find in Utah or Idaho. In the first speech of this offensive, he even felt compelled to take the uncharacteristic step of citing the number of American dead in public (though the number was already out of date by at least five casualties by day's end). For the second, the White House recruited its own mom, Tammy Pruett, for the president to showcase as an antidote to Ms. Sheehan. But in a reversion to the president's hide-the-fallen habit, the chosen mother was not one who had lost a child in Iraq.

John Warner: Hit Rumsfeld with the Tough Questions

From The Times:

With lawmakers facing tough questions at home about the war in Iraq, Senator John W. Warner, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, says he intends to summon Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld quickly for a hearing when Congress returns next week.

Mr. Warner, a Virginia Republican who is one of the most important Congressional voices on military policy, said mounting numbers of dead and wounded Americans, the contentious process of drafting an Iraqi constitution and the economic cost of the war were adding up to new anxiety in Congress.

"The level of concern is, I think, gradually rising," Mr. Warner said in an interview on Friday. "Our nation has given so much to the Iraqi people, and what are they giving us in return?"
I agree with Warner that it's waaaaay past time to ask Rummy the tough questions, but I disagree that we've "give so much to the Iraqi people" unless you mean death, destruction, and an end to vital life services like potable water, dependable electricity, and medical care.

Democracy, Bush-Style

Afghan women can't partipate in elections. Now, thanks to this bloody (and oh, it shall be that all right) constitution Bush insisted upon, neither will Iraqi women.

It's an excellent example of Mr. Bush's idea of democracy.

Extremist Christian Coup d'Etat!

Originally from the LA Times and again, it's the nuts all flocking to South Carolina (sorry, Jane).

To prove that he's not on vacation...

Bush jumped in to warn the citizens of New Orleans to evacuate.

You know, something a much lower level peon is supposed to do.

I was waiting for him to add, "Now don't you be thinkin' this weird, wacky weather has anythin' to do with Global Warming 'cos like I've told you before, we need hundreds of more studies all showin' us now the global warmin' exists - maybe all performed by Halliburton subsidiariies which would make Dickey Boy real happy - before we start thinkin' it's real. Intelligent design wouldn't never 'ave created a bad thing like Global Warmin'."