Simply the Best!
February 01, 2006
Like I said...
January 25, 2006
More of the Same....
From Talk Left in November....
Even some Republicans are growing weary of the administration's efforts to stonewall any investigation that might shed light on its poor performance. Rep. Thomas Davis III leads a Congressional panel investigating the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. On Sept. 30, the panel asked for "e-mail and other correspondence between officials in the White House and other agencies during the response to the hurricane, as well as agency documents dealing with specific preparations for and responses to Hurricane Katrina." A month would seem more than adequate to collect and produce that information, but the administration has stalled.
Yawn.... Do we really expect anything differen't from these guys?
UPDATE: Now it looks like they will claim something like executive privilege.... What a surprise. The worst thing about our country is the apathetic middle that allows this crap to continue.
November 30, 2005
The Cause of the New Orleans Disaster
Paul from Wizbang does a "bang up job," of exposing the real reasons New Orleans flooded. Awesome job! And in this case, I am with HIM, where is the major media on this story?
November 03, 2005
Michael Brown was drowning during Katrina...
Hat tip C&L.
October 30, 2005
Tearing apart the myths of Katrina's victims!
If you bought into the racist dribble about the poor in New Orleans getting what they deserved, read the post and make up your own mind.
October 23, 2005
This just about sums it up, doesn't it....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the midst of the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina, a Federal Emergency Management Agency official in New Orleans sent a dire e-mail to Director Michael Brown saying victims had no food and were dying.
The big question for me is, did we really learn anything.... I know, the story has been beat to death, but REALLY... Did we learn anything.
Read the rest of the article. The part about the dinner in Baton Rouge is pretty sickening. And Brown had the nerve to be outraged in the hearings following this dissaster...
September 19, 2005
Repopulate New Orleans?
Joe has a good post, on the conflict between the Bush Administration and Mayor Nagin, over Reopening New Orleans. In this case, I have to agree with the President. While everyone is concerned about a possible Hurricane with Tropical Storm Rita, my concern is more about the wisdom of people circulating in what is still arguably a disaster area. The health concerns alone, bodies still being recovered, toxic waste, etc., are enough to warrant caution.
While I understand the Mayor's desire to get back to business, I think caution is a wiser course of action at this point.
It's about time!
Former US president Bill Clinton sharply criticised George W. Bush for the Iraq War and the handling of Hurricane Katrina, and voiced alarm at the swelling US budget deficit.
And if you have ANY doubts about how poorly the war in Iraq has been executed, you need look no further than this week's Time Magazine.
Yeah it's a worse disaster than than we knew. And is beginning to look like the... shall we say it... Quagmire, that supporters are so afraid of.
In the meantime, hundreds continue to die weekly, British soldiers are torched in their tank, and it appears that the, "Last Throes," are going to last a long, long time.
As for the Hurricane Katrina thing.... I am a Gang Banger.
Update: John Kerry joins in and hammers the administration. If he had shown this kind of spirit on the campaign trail, he might be President.
September 18, 2005
News Filters out about FUBAR FEMA!
(CNN) -- As Hurricane Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast three weeks ago, veteran workers at the Federal Emergency Management Agency braced for an epic disaster.
When it's all said and done, this is going to look very, very bad....
September 16, 2005
Sticky Post - ISOU doing it's part for Hurricane Relief
All I require is a reciept of some sort showing the amount of your donation. Due to the cost of these items, minimum donation is $50. I will buy both items and the runner up will recieve whatever the high bidder did not choose. I will pay for shipping anywhere in the world.
I will also be working with my Costa Rican Business Parners to see what we can come up with. Stayed tuned for developments.
I still have hopes that we can create some sort of Bipartisan effort to raise money. I would appreciate any trackbacks and linking to this post.
September 15, 2005
Two of my favorite people on Katrina
Hmmmmm Didn't this happen before?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans on Wednesday scuttled an attempt by Sen. Hillary Clinton to establish an independent, bipartisan panel patterned after the 9/11 Commission to investigate what went wrong with federal, state and local governments' response to Hurricane Katrina.
I'm not surprised, are you surprised?
September 10, 2005
Damn, Damn, Damn!
"There are still a lot of things I want to say about Hurricane Katrina and the savage, apocalyptic vision of America that she revealed, floating face down in the water. But last night I came across an account of the search for real bodies -- not metaphorical ones -- in the stinking ruins of New Orleans. It's like something out of the charnel houses of World War II:Volunteer rescuer Gregg Silverman, part of a 14-boat contingent from Columbus, Ohio, said he expected to find many more survivors in his excursion through the city's flooded streets. Instead, he found mostly bodies.
He's right, and I can't take it anymore either... I have so much I want to say, so much anger. I want to rage against the injustice of what happened in New Orleans and elsewhere. I want someone to blame. I NEED someone to be angry with, even to HATE. I need it in a visceral way that surprises me at times with it's force. I just finished reading several posts by one of my Blog Daddies, Billmon, and I feel anger rising up in my like acidic bile, that no amount of Alka Seltzer will suppress.
I am an American, and yet I am ashamed of being an American right now... My driver asked me yesterday how a country as Rich as America could let so many die. I had no answer. Tomorrow is 9/11 and there will be solemn ceremonies and the trotting out of stories of heroism and personal reflection. I once took part in all of that. I wont tomorrow, because honestly, I don't have the stomach to look back any more. I will instead be thinking about a Disaster that did not have to happen. I will be thinking of a man desperately drowning while trying to breath through a pipe. I will be thinking about Racist cops denying people escape. I will be thinking about a Horse Breeder put in charge of saving lives. And I will be thinking about other heroes. The ones who tried desperately to help their fellows, even as their government city, state and federal failed them miserably.
The accountability argument has been made on both sides, usually drawn down party lines, and Billmon is right, it all seems pretty shallow now. There is a part of me so filled with anger that I want to stand on my roof and scream for justice, scream for retribution, but I see little changing, in spite of the outrage. When this is all over, I have no doubt that Karina will make 9/11 look insignificant in its human toll. Louisiana has ordered 25,000 body bags. Wrap your mind around that one for a minute. And yet, shamefully, I doubt that any politician or leader will drape themselves in the flag of this disaster. Instead we will likely see a whitewashing of the entire event.
So I am done. This will likely be my last post on Katrina and it's aftermath. Leave history and God to be the judge of the failures of men, because I have no doubt my country and those who support those who failed, have not the stomach for that judgement....
Some Other Posts you might want to Read:
Digby Expresses the Outrage that I feel right now.
Brother Cobb answers his Conservative Brethren's criticism of Ray Nagin, and does a helluva job of it!
And this... Cop... Should be lined up against one of the levees and shot.
No... I don't want to talk about it any more, but I am sure as hell glad someone does...
September 09, 2005
Oh the Outrage....
Wizbang points out this morning that the DNC was using a petition to fire the FEMA Director, to raise funds, you know, to do political stuff. Of course the Republicans never do such things. President Bush would never use a National Tragedy for political gain.... Would he?
While I agree that Katrina should not be used as a fundraiser for anyone other than the victims, I am a bit startled by the sheer hypocrisy.
September 08, 2005
The Boy King...
This kind of says it all, doesnt it:
We have a man-child as President of the United States. That may seem an unfair characterization, but consider the President's performance last Friday when he ventured to the storm ravaged Gulf Coast. In a revealing moment, he referred to the FEMA Director as "Brownie" and joked about his past good times in New Orleans.
September 07, 2005
The Video.... The Lies.... I am waiting for a Conservative Response
In the age of video, it is "hard work," lying...
Yeah... Real Hard Work...
Anyone who can watch this video and still claim that this is all about Bush Hatred is... well... delusional at best.
Things that make me scratch my head in wonder...
It has been a week since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, leveled New Orleans and left hundreds of thousands of Americans homeless. We saw the best of America during that time—millions of people stepped forward to offer help. Meanwhile, the Bush administration failed at their most important job: keeping America safe. The federal effort was too little, too late and it is now becoming obvious that hundreds or even thousands of people died as a result.
Excerpted from a MoveOn.org mailing. Sign their petition here.
I don't have much to say about this. I mean expressions of outrage just seem to bounce off the walls these days. These people are truly disgusting in their ability to play politics with disaster, and to put it simply... LIE. That there are people out there who still, after all this, refuse to deal with the truth is Frankly MIND BOGGLING!
Sept. 7, 2005 -- The American Red Cross has asked the FBI to investigate at least 15 fake Web sites that are designed to look like legitimate Red Cross appeals for donations to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
I knew it was only a matter of time before these dirtbags took advantage of the situation. I have actually been waiting for my first 419 letter on the subject. Anyway, take care to whom and how you donate.
September 06, 2005
Oh That Wacky Bush Family
First Barbara thinks that the victims are "comfortable," after having lost everything and in some cases everyone, that was important to them, and now George is going to "Lead the investigation into what went wrong!"
GEORGE Bush risked further antagonising his critics yesterday by rejecting calls for an independent commission to examine what went wrong in the handling of Hurricane Katrina and announced instead that he would personally lead an investigation.
I got a couple words for both of them, Barbara, shut up. And Mr. President, let me save you some time and the people some money. What went wrong was a dissasterous failure in Leadership... A lot of Leadership from both sides, but most importantly, from YOU and the group of handpicked cronies like the horsetrainer you chose to run FEMA. So it is a bit late for you to LEAD anything...
September 05, 2005
Sticky Post - Drop Cash for Hurricane Relief
"There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America."
Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of lives. Together, we're raising $1 million for the American Red Cross and prove that the liberal blogosphere can help our fellow citizens.
You can also get the advertisement on the Right for your blog, here. Please spread the word on this, and get your own ad to place on your blog.
Note: This post will remain at the Top of my blog for the next two weeks, or as long as is needed.
September 04, 2005
Best Round Up on Katrina Politics I have seen...
As usual, Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice, has the best roundup on the issue of the day. All I can say is I was surprised at the number of conservatives and moderates who actually agreed with my stance on the matter. This is a must read guys. I believe this disaster signals the begining of the end for Bush, more and more of the "faithful are begining to see the light," and when some of his most stalwart supporters in the Conservasphere use language like:
The Blogs of War's John Little's initial reaction:"I don't know what my opinion is worth in this matter, and I certainly don't mean to imply that the responders on the ground are anything but heroic, but the federal response seems inadequate, sluggish, ineffective, completely at odds with what I would have expected in a post-9/11 America. We've lost an entire city, many cities actually, and the response just doesn't seem to be rising to the level required."
I think it is safe to say he has a REAL problem...
September 03, 2005
Anyone but Bush....
Okay, I promised myself that I would not play politics today, but this is too difficult to pass up. For the last couple of days, Jay Tea of Wizbang has been OUTRAGED, OUTRAGED I tell ya! That I would the audacity to blame Bush for any of the problems in New Orleans and the surrounding area! So what do I find on Wizbang today???
"Note that the commander-in-chief of the Louisiana National Guard is Governor Kathleen Blanco (D). How she's deflected all blame for the delays in deployment is beyond me (certainly having the "D" behind her name doesn't hurt), especially when (as of Wednesday) only half of the available Louisiana National Guard was deployed for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts..."
Still no mention of the disastrous FEMA response, who I believe report to the President... Nor did I note any mention that the bulk of the LA Guard is in Iraq... Oh well. Jay will of course claim that the post was not his so he has no responsibility for it. I just wonder if he gave Kevin the same lecture he gave me....
Some Wisdom from Random Fate
You have GOT to read this post at Random Fate:
Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper abandoned the old persona to throttle Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in a live interview. (See the video or read the transcript.)
Jack does an awesome job of putting it all together, and more or less blowing most of this argument out of the water.
He also points out that there are a lot of people accountable for what happened and did not happen in New Orleans, including Democratic Leaders like the aforementioned Senator, and the Mayor who seemed to completely break down under the pressure.
I am not going to rehash or refight the last couple days of arguments about accountability, but I strongly reccomend this post, and I will echo Anderson Cooper's comment,
"I mean, I know you say there's a time and a place for, kind of, you know, looking back, but this seems to be the time and the place. I mean, there are people who want answers, and there are people who want someone to stand up and say, "You know what? We should have done more. Are all the assets being brought to bear?"
I also like Jacks final thoughts on the issue:
Who can be held accountable?
September 02, 2005
Bipartisan Relief Effort For Katrina
The Commissar and I are going to try and organize a BiPartisan Relief effort for Katrina victims, so we can put asside the political bull for a moment and work together, anyone interested in Joining, contact myself or the Commissar here or at this post. If we are going to truly make this biPartisan, then lets ask in that spirit, then lets get at it, and keep politics out of THIS particular effort.
UPDATE: Well it looks like the Commissar wants to make such cooperation a contest, which I dont agree with, so we agreed last night to support each other, but have not come to any conclussions as to how we can work together. In the interim, I will be posting my own fundraiser later this morning.
It is strange when I find myself agreeing with La Shawn Barber, at least partially for two days straight. Through Angel, who does a damned good job, AGAIN, of reminding La Shawn of the purposes of True Christianity, I discover this post:
Liberals hate George Bush, and no matter what he does, they'll use anything and anyone to get at him. I don't hate the man. I voted for him. I want him to succeed, but more than that, I want to be safe, feel safe, and I don't. The federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina has been an epic and humiliating embarrassment.
No I don't agree with the "shoot them and let God sort it out," nonsense, nor do I agree with her comments on Clinton. What I do agree with is the sense of embarrassment at a National Government that appears to be more keystone cops than effective solution providers. In this case, I share La Shawn's outrage, even if I don't completely agree with ALL of her solutions.
Instead of defending Bush, where are the rest of the Right Wing Bloggers in expressing outrage?
I see that the "Semen Wisdom" Fan club has arrived....
The idiot meter is about to go off the scale in the Hurricane Katrina debate, as scores of Jeff G fans start to stream into ISOU to defend their hero. Bring it on boys, I am not going to delete ONE idiotic, cowardly screed. I welcome you, give you a platform, a vent for your hatred. There is nothing I can write that will demonstrate BETTER what we are dealing with than to just let you go at it. So I wont delete a thing, not even the one I just read that insulted my dead mother. Yeah, bring it on, show just how much class and intelligence you have.
Welcome Washington Post Readers
Welcome Washington Post readers, as you can see, there is quite a debate going on over the Hurricane. Feel free to jump in with comments, regardless of your point of view.
Criticism about Criticism
WASHINGTON - President Bush, facing blistering criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, said Friday "the results are not acceptable" and pledged to bolster relief efforts with a personal trip to the Gulf Coast.
So Bush is now in the affected region, and has admitted that the response has been ineffective. This six days and who knows how many unnecessary deaths since the disaster first struck. There are many on the Right who don't want to talk about who's fault it is that this happened. Some want to imply that Left Bloggers are being petty. There is NOTHING petty about the death and destruction in Luisianna, Mississippi and Alabama. And there is NOTHING that would convince me that these same people would not have been all over Clinton, had this happened on his watch. Without even getting into the LA National Guard being in Iraq, or the fact that the Government cut moneys needed to keep New Orlean levy system functioning, there are still plenty of accountability issues in this case. And Bush's statement today is proof of them.
Call me petty all you like, but I do not consider it petty to hold our government accountable in times of crisis, and perhaps those criticizing the critics have not thought of this, but it has been six days since the Hurricane first hit. Look at the first line of the above article... Do you think that WITHOUT the criticism from the Left Spere, that Bush would be there today?
I have distant relatives that live in New Orleans, as well as countless personal friends and Fraternity Brothers. At this point I don't know where any of them are. I am angry and it appears that a LOT of Americans are angry. I am also dissapointed, that the President elected for Strong Leadership has so far shown VERY LITTLE strength or Leadership. Perhaps those of you who voted for him can stomach that, even EXCUSE it, I can't and won't. So dont DARE lecture me or others for "politicizing the disaster," when YOUR SIDE has politicized everything from 9/11 forward. This situation stinks with the smell of water bloated dead bodies. You are right about one thing, this event is being politicized, but not by the people calling for accountability. It is being politicized by the same people who time after time have excused the failures of this administration. There are two disasters taking place today, one is obvious, the other has been going on for five years!
And while you are pointing fingers at the Left, perhaps you should read this article about how one Conservative Magazine wants to blame the victims!
UPDATE: Jeff G weighs in on this post. As usual it's a distortion of what I wrote:
update: Here is "reasonable" lefty David Anderson, doing what he does best: congratulating himself and his ideological brethren
Welcome to the club Jeff, better late than never. I despised hypocrites a long time ago. And just to make it clear, I never accused Bush of Racism, I accused him of incompetence. Neither did I say anyone forced him to take action. What I said was that the criticism from across a broad segment of NON-Kool Aide drinking Americans forced him to move more quickly. Five days is a bit much don't ya think? But gee thanks for reading the blog and for the link. Us "wanna be pundits," take all the help we can get, even from an arrogant child who's own press and preening fan base has went to his head. Oh, and just so you know, I do understand disasters, having lived through a few of them myself. What I dont understand is people who just cant acknowledge that they are wrong. That never fails to amaze and annoy me.
The face of Pain
"It was like going to hell and back," said Bernadette Washington, 38, a black homemaker from Orleans Parish who had slept under a bridge the night before with her five children and her husband. She sighed the familiar refrain, stinging as an old-time blues note: "All I have is the clothes on my back. And I been sleeping in them for three days."
With all the stories of looting, and images of Black people in the streets, some acting like animals, stories like this one, stories of a family just trying to survive in a time of unspeakable horror, get lost.
As I look at my own children, especially little Apollonia, sleeping peacefully in her crib tonight, my heart goes out to these people. I have been through a number of dissasters in my life, most notably the Northridge Earquake, but never have I experienced anything close to what these people are suffering.
I can't help but to think that the media images of rampaging looters must be damaging to the sense of kinship other Americans have with the victims. And yet it is stories like the one above that say to us all, "There by the grace of God, go I."
September 01, 2005
Hurricane Katrina Donations
The Red Cross link for donations to help out hurricane victims....
Also, I will auction off any cartoon (the original artwork) on Zencomix and donate all proceeds to the Red Cross. If there is a cartoon you want, bid on it in the comments section at Zencomix. Minimum bid is $5
Truth, Anger and Righteous Indignation!
This is one of the most devastatingly brilliant pieces of blogging I have EVER READ! Thanks to the Brad Blog, for the heads up. It is a long piece, and brilliant every word, but I could not excerpt it in it's entirety. Go read the whole thing!
What happens when Chertoff (whose name actually means "of the Devil" in Russian) decides to forgo civil liberties in general and abuses his office, err, industrial department of Homeland Security? What happens when these Homelanders declare Martial Law in order to keep people from looting, but will not supply them with water, food, and other life sustaining supplies?
You know I finaly figured out why Jay Tea was so angry with my earlier post. Anyone from the Right who has watched what has happened in the Gulf Coast and is NOT having an "Oh Shit," moment, has got to be delusional. This disaster has absolutely stripped the myth away from George W. Bush and demonstrated not only the complete incompetence of his administration, but the callousness of it as well. It has also completely destroyed the MYTH of George W. Bush as a Leader in times of crises. This is a repeat of the Seven Minute Reading Session, as planes crashed into the towers, only this one has lasted five days. And honestly, if I was a Republican right now, I would be embarrassed beyond words.
Changing the subject will not change the facts. Shields are down Scotty, and there isn't enough Kool Aide in the world to bring 'em back up!
Angel sent me the link to La Shawn Barber's post about Looters in New Orleans. While I don't often agree with La Shawn, there are some things about her post that ring true to me.
New Orleans is a disaster, people are suffering, and criminals who roam the streets, robbing non essentials and luxury items need to be dealt with harshly. So do the thugs who reportedly are raping women and stealing relief supplies only to sell them back to victims. Do I believe people should be shot on site, no not really, not unless they are armed and presenting a threat to relief workers, law enforcement or the general public.
But I have little tolerance for scum who feed on the suffering of others. What do I think should happen to them? They should be put to work cleaning up the rubble, chain gang style, and they should be kept that way until the city is cleaned up. They should be tried by military style courts on the scene, sentenced and put to work under the supervision of the National Guard and police, at least the police who aren't stealing themselves, (What idiots).
As for shooting people on site, well if they are caught in the act of violent crime and armed, I have no problem with that.
Jack Caferty Wisdom
It looks like a Broad Spectrum of Americans are pretty fed up with the way the disaster is being handled. This today from the Situation Room:
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, and the thing that's most glaring in all of this is that the conditions continue to deteriorate for the people who are victims in this are and the efforts to do something about it don't seem to be anywhere in sight.
And then there is this, from another blog:
Yes it is unbelievable. Many of us are just sitting back trying to figure out how we got to this point as a country.
And I have tried to avoid the race card in this discussion, but when I see my people suffering, when I see the media coverage that seems to paint New Orleans as, "Niggers gone wild," I have to stand up and pay attention. And if you think I am exaggerating, read this post from Tony Pierce.
Jay's basic claim is that by criticizing the administration during the crises, that we take energy away from helping the people suffering... Sound Familiar? How about, "By criticizing the administration over Iraq, you harm the morale of our troops," or "By talking about the Valery Plame Case, you damage the investigation..." Jay... We aren't drinking the Kool Aide my man. Forget it! The time to hold those accountable for the systematic failures that led to this tragedy, IS NOW. And if not now... When? A year from now, when the pain is forgotten, and the facts convienantly swept under the rubble of the once proud cities destroyed by this? You tell me, when you and others on the Right are going to be willing to hold Bush accountable for anything? You seem to have no problem holding Clinton accountable for everything.
Our National Embarrassment
I am watching CNN this morning and the video coming from New Orleans and the Hurricane Zone is horrible. People are dying. People are without food and water. People are without hope...
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Thousands of people forced from their homes by Hurricane Katrina have crammed into the New Orleans convention center, where they've had no food, no water and no word on when help would come.
That people are still dying after FIVE days is a National Disgrace. This was an act of God, one that was expected and anticipated for days before hand. In fact, New Orleans has been a Hurricane Victim waiting to happen for years, so none of this should have come as a surprise to anyone...
The failure of Homeland Security to move quickly and have sufficient resources to aid the people of the Hurricane Stricken Region is yet another example of the ineptitude of the Bush Administration.
Those of you who voted for Bush with the idea that he was the best candidate to protect the Homeland, have now had your wakeup call. It does not matter the type of disaster. Had this been a terrorist attack, it is likely the same thing would have happened. At a time when the people of Luisiana needs them the most, their sons and daughters of the National Guard are far away fighting a useless war in Iraq. While Billions are wasted and even LOST in Iraq, the pumps and Levy's needed to protect one of our most beautiful and historical cities were neglected by our National Government.
Our Homeland Security appears to have learned nothing from 9/11. Police are not equipted to handle the scope of the disaster. Radios dont work. Police are taking gas from abandoned cars to fuel their cruisers. Coordination between FEMA, Homeland Security and local authorities has been a disaster. This disaster has been made 100 times worse by the incompetance of a Government that has bungled every major operation they have undertaken since first taking office five years ago.
This is NOT one Bush is going to be able to avoid responsibility for. Nor will it be one that Conservatives will be able to spin. It is a disaster of unparalleled proportions, and the responsibility for much of what has happened sits squarely at the door of this administration.
UPDATE: Jay Tea of Wizbang fame, has already posted a scathing comment to this post accussing Lefties of insensitivity to the problems on the ground in New Orleans:
"Things in the South are horrible. And while the Right side of the blogosphere is doing everything they can to help the people, the liberals are busting their asses, doing everything they can to make sure the "right" people get the blame. They'd much rather sit around and shriek in outrage, looking for someone to pin the blame on, than get off their self-indulgent asses, pry themselves away from their circle-jerk of political correctness, and actually step up and DO something about the problem themselves.
Perhaps Jay needs to look around the Liberal Side of the blogsphere before he makes such accusations:
And that took me all of 30 seconds and was less than 1% of my Leftie Blogroll. Jay... Piss off. Because you Right Wingers want to stick your heads up your ass and pretend that this was a simple act of God, that NO ONE is responsible for, does not mean we should do it. It is time someone called this administration to accounts for the ridiculous policy and budgetary decisions that have led to so many deaths in the South.
You and your ilk would prefer to ignore the issue of responsibility, not just because the responsibility falls at the door of the President you voted for, but because YOU are partially responsible. You voted for this man, knowing well his record. YOU pushed his credentials for protecting the country. YOU supported a WAR that has drained the country of just the resources needed to address this kind of disaster. Yes Jay, you and everyone else who supported Bush, share responsibility. So YES, you should be working hard to help the people affected. It is the decent thing to do, the right thing to do. When it is over, six months or a year from now, you can stop working. We will join you in the effort to help those in need. But we will condemn the people who are responsible, AND we will hold them accountable, whether you chose to or not. And you are part of those who we will hold responsible.
If that hurts your feelings or embarrasses you, perhaps it should. Perhaps the time has come for ALL of you to step back, get off your own high horses and realize that you made a HORRIBLE mistake. One that today is affecting tens of thousands of Americans, including one of your own. One who pooh poohed Global Warming, which may have contributed to this disaster, and who supported the very war that took the Louisiana National Guard away from home at a time when they are desperately needed. With thousands missing, and an unknown number dead, I wonder how many of those troopers can concentrate on fighting your war right now, while the status of their own families are in doubt.
Oh and Jay, while you are ranting about Liberals taking political advantage of the dissaster, perhaps you should read this Op/Ed from your own hometown and VERY CONSERVATIVE newspaper:
"Katrina already is measured as one of the worst storms in American history. And yet, President Bush decided that his plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VJ Day with a speech were more pressing than responding to the carnage.
August 31, 2005
Yes, I'll say it: Bush is to blame
[Crossposted from Loaded Mouth]
I know some people might find this hard to believe, but I've been trying not to criticize Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This is probably the worst natural disaster in the history of this country, and I don't want to contribute to the cause of any divisions in a time of national crisis.
However, there are lessons to be learned here. And since Bush and his ilk only seem to listen to dollar signs, I'll explain this in simple financial terms: When does $3.9 million actually equal billions of dollars? When you should have spent $20 million to fix the levees.
The cleanup and recovery efforts for Hurricane Katrina are going to skyrocket into the billions, but it didn't have to be this way. The catastrophe that happened to New Orleans could have been avoided if the city was properly protected by a system of levees that required federal funding to be fixed. Let us not forgot that Katrina did not cause the massive amounts of flooding we now see in New Orleans; this was caused by the failure of levees after the storm had passed. Why did these levees fail? Because Bush grossly underfunded the Army Corps of Engineers projects needed to repair them. Attytodd has used Lexis/Nexis to dig up some articles about the levee projects. Here's what he found in an article from 2/16/04 in the New Orleans CityBusiness:
The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.
The Attytodd piece is a must-read, and it has much more detail into how much the funding was undercut and why. For the sake of brevity, I'll sum it up: The levee projects were started and fully funded while Clinton was in office, but ever since Bush took office, he has cut taxes spent boatloads of money on the Iraq war.
So under the pretense of protecting American lives and cities, the funding of the Iraq war has led to the destruction of New Orleans and who knows how many deaths. Hundreds? Thousands? Bush said he would protect us from a dirty bomb, and as a result we got a dirty flood and an unwinnable war of questionable intentions.
The irony doesn't stop there, given the fact that the cost-cutting measures Bush imposed on the homeland to fund his billions in war spending now mean that we'll have to spend billions to clean up a tragic mess that could have been avoided.
Disgusting. Simply disgusting. Bush and his war buddies walk away with billions in cash because of this war, yet not a dime could be spared to fix the levees of New Orleans. Lives, homes, culture, and history all destroyed, all washed away... Does this man have respect for anything? Will he take responsibility for anything? But, more importantly, have the Republicans finally learned that tax cuts and wars aren't always a good thing, and that the homeland needs to be protected and serviced by a sound infrastructure before we can think about doling money out to the richest among us?
[Big hattip: Chrissy]
Talking Loud and Saying Nothing...
Bush is well known for his soaring rhetoric, especially when it comes to Iraq. It is a conflict born out or rhetoric, and indeed sustained by it. But the rhetoric has begun to ring hollow with a majority of the American public, and statements comparing Bush's War on Terror with the greatest conflict of the last century is well.... Ridiculous!
Accept for a moment the argument that Iraq is but one theater in a global war on terrorism. Overlook that, to the degree this is true, it's because Bush's invasion of Iraq and his many miscalculations afterward helped make it so. Even so, it would be an enormous leap to claim that the war in Iraq or the broader war on terror is the political, strategic, or moral equivalent of World War II.
Bush has not asked the American public to sacrifice for the war in Iraq. If he had, I doubt it would have taken this long for the American Public to become fed up with it. This disorganized, disjointed conflict, in which our young men and women are sent to die in a meatgrinder of RPG's and Roadside Bombs, has been a disaster from it's inception.
And despite claims to the contrary, the shortage in available Guard Units due to the war, has no doubt had an impact on the ability to rapidly respond the victims of Katrina. Would anyone argue that we are one disaster away from a tragedy of ungodly proportions. This administration is an undeclared National Disaster. We put a drunken Frat Boy in the highest office in the land, fronted and propped up by an old boy network and a political hack in Karl Rove, and NOW... NOW with thousands dead in Iraq, New Orleans wiped off the map,fiscal problems that would make The Lemon Drop Kid blush, political scandals ranging from Gay Hookers in the Press Room to Outing CIA agents for revenge, only NOW do we start looking at the five year train wreck and international embarrassment that this administration is...
It is beyond belief to me, that an entire Nation, a nation with the backbone of heroes, could be so cowed by 9/11, that we allowed this man to waltz back into the White House on an Agenda of "Fear All the Time." That Bush is President for three more years, means that the opportunities to continue to squander this nations assets, destroy our international esteem, and generally continue to FUBAR everything in sight, is a reality that we all must face, and all must take responsibility for. My ONLY hope is that in the Mid Term elections, The American people wake up and realize that the only way to apply some sanity to an America on the brink, is to throw those out, Republican and Democrat, who have collaborated with this government. Then there is a long path to getting our house back in order, and I am afraid it will be a few more years yet, before we can start the real cleaning...
In the mean time, The President continues his "vacation," while 10's of thousands of Americans in Louisiana and Alabama wonder how they are going to live now that they have no job or place to live....
Help for the Victims of Katrina
Just Do it!
Many of them are also out of work, their very lives turned upside down by this tragedy.
I remember something my mother used to say often when I was a child and she witnessed some particular tragedy... "There by the Grace of God, goes I." And it is true. Any of us, at any time can have our world turned upside down by a similar tragedy, and we are powerless to prevent it.
We all need to think about that for a bit, and regardless of our personal circumstances, do whatever we can to help our fellow Americans. Do what you can... Just do it!
Some Katrina Stuff
I am watching CNN right now, and the amount of devastation in New Orleans is nothing less than incredible. They have been talking about looting and gang activity. I noticed that most of the images we are seeing are of African Americans looting.
Sorry, but I have no patience for this kind of shit. Looters should be dealt with as harshly as possible, regardless of their race.
August 29, 2005
Is Katrina powered in part by Global Warming?
This article from Time Magazine certainly suggest that it's a possibility.
The current administration has all but pooh poohed Global Warming as an issue, even going so far as to have a "ringer," within the administration who "doctored," scientific reports to minimize the impact indicated by the reports. Paul over at Wizbang has written a couple of times on the "myth," of global warming. I believe he lives in Louisiana, I wonder how he is feeling about it about right now...
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