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Saturday, September 10, 2005

The White Cocoon

According to Newsweek, white people don't seem to think race was much of a factor in the New Orleans rescue debacle:
Twenty-two percent of all those polled say a "major reason" the response was slow was that it was not a priority because the people affected were mostly African-American. However, 47 percent of non-whites believe race was a major reason, while only 13 percent of whites believe it. And 29 percent of all those polled and 53 percent of non-whites say a major reason was that the people affected were mostly poor. (Only 20 percent of whites feel that way.)

(my emphasis)
Digby reflects on the decision by the police of the (predominantly white) community of Gretna City to shoot guns over the heads of the (predominantly black) people trying to cross the only bridge to safety and drive them back:
The reason they weren't allowed to walk out that night, of course, is simple. The police chief says it right out. They decided that saving their fully evacuated "bedroom community" from what they assumed would be "looting, pillaging and burning" by victims of the hurricane was more important than allowing people to save their own lives by walking through their town to safety up the road.

Picture for a moment young women with their children, old people, families, single people gathered together in a make-shift community in the middle of chaos approaching police officers on a bridge begging for help. Picture them being white. Do you think the police would shoot over their heads and push them back? Even if they did that would they then land a helicopter in their midst in the middle of the night, not to rescue dying elderly, but to force their somewhat safe, visible make-shift community out into the pitch black anarchy of the city?
What the fuck are these people on? From Wolf Blitzer's "they are so poor and so black" comments to the ugly attacks on the "welfare state" this whole travesty has done nothing if not exponentially underscore the racism that still pervades every scintilla of life in this country. You'd have to be blind, deaf and extraordinarily stupid to count yourself as a member of that 87%.

Paging Mr. Goldberg...


Friday, September 09, 2005

Happy Anniversary to Powerline

The Power Tools are having so much fun celebrating this, the first anniversary of their role in exposing the high crimes and misdemeanors behind some flawed paperwork in an essentially true story, that we can't help but join in.

Congratulations, guys. You continue to do yeoman's work:
There's no evidence that, with 750,000 guardsmen in the U.S., and two-thirds of the Louisiana Guard available, the deployment in Iraq is causing suffering in New Orleans or elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.
Today's AP:
The deployment of thousands of National Guard troops from Mississippi and Louisiana in Iraq when Hurricane Katrina struck hindered those states' initial storm response, military and civilian officials said Friday.
That "Time Magazine Blog of the Year" thing is getting old. I'm thinking more like "Home of the Thoroughly Artless Rimjob."


Well Hooray For FUBAR Gene Pools

It was only a matter of time.

The sensible members of my family (the Red State Liberal Senior Citizen Brigade) have wisely chosen not to pass on to me an email being circulated by one of our wingnut cousins which indulged the usual ignorant canards about how the welfare state has created the rapists, robbers and rioters of New Orleans, as well as some novel insights from a "source" into Katrina being God's judgment against a planned "decadence day" on the part of the city featuring gays and nudes.

It's called Mardi Gras, you morons.

(Note: protected static also lets us know about Gay Pride "Southern Decadence Day" that was also set for Aug 5 - Sept. 31. Damn. I hate it when reality steps on a good line.)

The other day the always astute Fallenmonk was talking in the comments about poor people in the South who were the products of the worst public education systems in the country, who left school early before the faculty for critical thinking had developed, and how they are frequently easy prey to the angry diatribes, overly simplistic world-view and emotional manipulation of the right. And I thought at the time, "bingo, that's my cousin."

But knowing my cousin as I do, I think there is something more going on here than just suicidal kool-aid gorging. My cousin is actually quite progressive in some areas -- she has a number of gay and lesbian friends whose lifestyles she defends (by which you would be right to infer that there are definitely worse bigots in my family), so I can only take word of this email to mean that she just can't admit she was wrong.

Okay, it's a family trait. It's also a strong Southern trait. And I think it's rampant right now within "the party of personal responsibility," who thoroughly believe in holding other people to standards they have no intention of living up to themselves.

Fortunately, my cousin is not alone. Much like her, Preznit Never Responsible cannot admit he was wrong as he throws Michael Brown under the wheels, so Brown is just being shuffled into background bureaucracy and Vice Admiral Allen heads to Fox News as Chief Apologist and Bush Fluffer.

I'm sure it will be viewed by die-hard BushCo. supporters as a shining example of Intelligent Design. They might be right.

(thanks to Mikey L. for the photo)


Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Judy Cycle: Will the Caged Bird Sing?

Boy Arianna is fast. I saw today's Reuters article shortly before I left to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Capote with David Ehrenstein. (Hoffman was marvelous, BTW, but then so was David E.) By the time I got home, Arianna was already on it.

It tantalizingly hints at the fact that Judy might be trying to cut a deal with Patrick J. Fitzgerald to talk. You mean the woman who once so famously and melodramatically canted: "I won't testify. The risks are too great. The government is too powerful?" Yes, that same one. Perhaps she has been looking at BushCo.'s handiwork in the wake of Katrina and figuring that they are not so powerful after all.

And I'm serious about that. Anyone who was counting on these clowns to come through on anything, especially when it comes to keeping a lid on a volatile situation such that Fitzgerald would never have a case against her if she only maintained her silence, might realistically be looking at hundreds of thousands left to rot in New Orleans and think "shit, I really better rethink this."

Funny enough, I happened to be reading Fitzgerald's memorandum in opposition to Judy's request for home confinement with a tasteful yet fetching ankle bracelet this weekend, and if you want a good laugh, I highly recommend it. It's 21 pages of pure acid wit with a little law thrown in for good measure.

Her lawyer, Floyd Abrams is a full-on, four-flushing idiot. Seriously, this is not the guy you want between you and the hangman's noose. In one motion he writes that the the courts view Judy's refusal to testify as being carried out in the "highest traditions of the press." Fitzgerald has a few choice words for that one:
First, Special Counsel takes exception to the misleading assertion in Miller's Motion that this Court has determined that deliberately defying the Court's authority after all appellate review has been exhausted is conduct taken in "good faith doing her duty as a responsible established effort not made except in the highest tradition of the press."...Far from it. While this Court most certainly recognizes that Miller ...was acting responsibly and in good faith by appealing the Court's order of October 2004, the Court has made no statement at any time condoning any putative effort by Miller to violate the Court's order after that order was affirmed unanimously by the Court of Appeals, and after Miller's petitions for rehearsing and certiorari had been denied. Indeed, such conduct is a crime.

(emphasis not mine)
Fitzgerald goes on to request that the Court advise Jailhouse Judy that if she continues to defy the order, she will not be the Maria Falconetti of her mind's eye so much as the tragically delusional Gloria Swanson of Sunset Boulevard (sorry, the residual effects of an evening spent sitting next to David E. in a screening room):
For this reason, it is respectfully submitted the Court should advise Miller that if she persists in defying the Court's Order that she will be committing a crime....It is particularly important in this case where Miller and the New York Times appear to have confused Miller's ability to commit contempt with a legal right to do so.
Anyone get the sense Fitzgerald feels he's talking to a child? He quotes Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune:
Journalists like nothing better than exposing self-seeking behavior by special interests who care nothing for the public good. In this case, they can find it by looking in the mirror.
Both the NYT and that useless carcass Bob Dole have been banging on about the need for a national shield law in the wake of Judy's tragic incarceration. But Fitzgerald in his argument quotes constitutional scholar and ACLU Board Member Professor Geoffrey Stone who advocates for a federal reporter's shield law but says no such law would extend to cover Miller's circumstances:
In the Plame case, we have a relatively unusual circumstance where the source is essentially using the press in an effort to commit a federal version of a reporter-source privilege in my view or my judgment would cover the particulars of this situation.
Fitzgerald accuses Judy of engaging in "irresponsible martyrdom," and contemptuous laughter almost leaps off the page when he addresses her "health issues:"
Suffice it to say, however, that her health circumstances obtained when Miller was dispatched to Iraq during the conduct of a war. Certainly one who can handle the desert in wartime is far better equipped than the average person jailed in a federal facility.
After reading Judy's request and Fitzgerald's brutal laceration of it, all I could think of was -- who wrote this mess, and who in their right mind would trust such a truly meager intellect to defend their liberty? Arianna's sources indicate that the NYT finally availed itself of some legal advice "different from what Floyd Abrams has been peddling. Something a lot more realistic."

Good lord. It took them how long to figure that out?


That the Benzos Talking Again, Laura?

Let's see. Laura Bush is the only woman in America who thinks the US was just struck by a hurricane named Corinna. White House spokesman Trent Duffy says Katrina shows just how important it is that we immediately add another $100 billion to the deficit this year and privatize Social Security. And on Al Franken this morning they noted that Joe Allbaugh, who preceded his buddy Mike Brown as bumbling head of FEMA, is now in Baton Rouge seeking contracts for his client Halliburton.

Idiots and crooks everywhere.

Meanwhile, the animals are running out of time. FEMA has, up until now, not allowed its rescue workers to rescue animals when they encounter them, despite the fact that owners who had to flee the hurricane without their pets are calling the Humane Society with information about where those pets were left. (And according to Skippy, forcing people to abandon their animals on the part of FEMA may be illegal.)

The mayor is threatening to close the city down before Humane Society workers on the ground can finish their work and canvas the city to find any animals left alive. Aside from the tragedy this would present, thousands of dead animals and the further health hazard they would contribute to a city already wracked by destruction seems awfully short-sighted.

Please take a minute to contact FEMA, either by telephone at 202-646-3900, by FAX at 202-646-3930, or by email here, and let them know that you support the evacuation of animals. For an agency who have so far managed to bungle just about everything put before them, it would be a good PR move at the very least.

Also, if you're a Kossack, please go there and recommend this diary to keep it on the front page.

And if you haven't given anywhere yet, or want to give some more, please consider the Humane Society. If I was struggling to get back on my feet after losing everything I can't think of anything that would be more meaningful to me than being united with my dog family.

(hat tip to Watertiger for the photo)

Update: FEMA has made no decision yet, but the US Coast Guard and National Guard troops have just begun to allow people to evacuate with their pets. Many thanks to people who have called and faxed FEMA. Please keep up the good work, the noise seems to be having an effect.

Update II: Moeman has a very artistic take on the above photo. It's a good laugh.


I Am So Loving This Idea

Kagro X tells Mary Landrieu that if she wants a real Katrina investigation not run by the Fuck-Up in Chief himself, she ought to block the nomination of John Roberts:
Senator, you need to block the nomination of Judge John Roberts. You need to take advantage of the fact that he's essentially been renominated to a new post, and you need to put a hold on that nomination. And the next nomination. And all nominations. For everything.

I know that's not how you felt before Katrina, and it may not even be how you feel after, but it's going to hurt a lot more than your threats and outrage, and it's going to get noticed.

Why do it? At its simplest, because George Bush doesn't want you to. He wants the Roberts nomination (and every other nomination) to go forward and be approved. You want what he's not been willing to give so far -- real relief for Louisianans, and probably a serious investigation (i.e., not a whitewash) into what went wrong. News flash: You're not going to get it unless you grab 'em by the short hairs and pull.
Mary Landrieu has the floor now.  She's got the mike. She's in a perfect position to put some muscle behind the exposition of this tragedy, to make sure it isn't wiped off of headline news for some new missing white woman next week. After having been the explicit victim of Bush's incompetent cronyism appointments, who better to take the lead in blocking the appointment of a man with two years experience as a judge to the highest judicial seat in the land?

You've already threatened to hit him, sister. So go on and give him a good one where it hurts.

Can you say filibuster?


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

For the Greater Good

While I appreciate the WaPo's attempts to keep Traitorgate in the headlines, really I do, today's article was a useless exercise in bringing up laws that most likely will not be used against Rove and company for the Plame leak. If they had written it expressly for the purpose of making it look like Rove will skate, they could not have done a better job. Nice work with the journalism thing, guys.

In the article, they deal principally with Section 641 in Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which has to do with embezzlement of public money. It was used successfully against a Navy intelligence analyst who leaked secret U.S. spy satellite photos to a British magazine. The WaPo dragged out a bunch of attorneys who were quick to point out that the law requires that there be an "intent to convert" purloined property into a "thing of value." The analyst was paid by the magazine for the satellite photos. Rove was not paid. Hence, they conclude, he's not guilty.

He's probably not guilty of spitting orange peels on the sidewalk in Mobile Alabama either, but I really don't know why we need an article to that effect or what that has to do with anything.

Then they trot out the shopworn Victoria Toerag one more time to indulge in a bunch of bad metaphors and pronounce Rove innocent. Yet again, they fail to bring up that bugaboo the Rethugs are so loath to mention -- the Espionage Act. And of course, there's that old war horse, the Patriot Act.

Patrick J. Fitzgerald loooooves the Patriot Act. He thinks it's misunderstood, and says to its critics, "Everyone needs to take a cold shower, calm down and have a rational discussion." He has appeared in its defense before the Judiciary Committee in 2003, again before the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in 2005, debated in favor of it before the Federalist Society, and opposed Chicago's anti-Patriot Act resolution.

Section 802 of the Patriot Act defines domestic terrorism:
(a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended--
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'.
Many would argue, myself among them, that Rove, Libby, and anyone else involved in a conspiracy to expose Valerie Plame's identity have met all three criteria for being designated as domestic terrorists.

Does Fitzgerald have the nads to prosecute Rove et. al. as terrorists? Hell if I know, but I can say that the guy is a serious as a heart attack about national security -- his specialty is prosecuting terrorists, and if the eight redacted pages of Judge Tatel's decision to throw Jailhouse Judy in the slammer are any indication, much of Fitzgerald's inquiry is concerned with the breach of national security that her exposure and that of her CIA front company, Brewster-Jennings, may have caused.

October is just around the corner, when Fitzgerald must either hand down indictments, convene a new grand jury or call it quits. Never have I wanted to see him hang 'em by their huevos more than I have this week.

I know I have expressed my concerns before about the Patriot Act. About the the First Amendment and the need to protect journalists. I officially no longer care. Too many people died this week. Not that too many people didn't die last week or the week before. But it is obvious now that George Bush is tearing the country apart with his greedy little rich-kid fists and we as a nation just cannot take it any more. Every time I sit down at the keyboard I have to fight the urge to type Sweet Jesus I hate him. And I really do not want any more reason to feel that way.

I'm hearby announcing my membership in the "greater good" club. Whatever it takes, by any legal means available.

Take. Them. Down.

Update: From Reddhead:
Guess the WH forgot that people like Fitzgerald actually do exist, didn't they? What RoveCo should do is lie low, keep their mouths shut and just wait to see what happens, but they can't help themselves. They've become so addicted to spin, so used to being able to push people around with their power and so used to the press allowing them to get away with flagrant lies, that they have that invincible, I'm smarter than everyone else attitude going strong, even in the face of indictment. Here's the thing, though -- Patrick Fitzgerald could give a rat's ass and, the beautiful thing, if they committed a crime, they will be indicted for it. Period. No pass because you have friends in high places. No pass because you like people to think you have a big brain. No pass because it might make the President look bad (and we can't have that, now can we? That's unAmerican.). You do the crime, you do the time -- isn't that the phrase on every Republican candidate's lips when they act all tough on crime in gated, suburban neighborhoods in campaign season? Well, won't it be fun when that chicken comes home to roost. It's almost October, Karl...take some long walks in the sunshine while you still can.
Amen to that.

Update #2: Jen, from the comments:
Just for clarification, 18 USC 641 does not require that the purloined article be converted into a "thing of value." It merely requires that a person convert a "thing of value" belonging to the government to his own use or gain, or to that of another. .html

In other words, the thing that is taken (which need not necessarily even be a tangible thing) has to have value to the government, but doesn't have to be sold for money to someone else to be a crime.
I'm no attorney, but if you are and you have an opinion on the topic I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments.


A Message From Kobe, Katie, Lucy and Boo Boo*

The Mayor of New Orleans has called for the immediate closure of the city and evacuation of all people, but animal rescue groups are still going door to door finding animals who were left there by their owners. If they are forced to evacuate too, animals who managed to survive the storm are doomed to slow dehydration and starvation.

Many people were forced to leave their pets behind because FEMA would not allow them to take them along. New Orleans residents have contacted animal rescue by the thousands, letting them know where their pets are and hoping to be reunited. As if their lives haven't been made bad enough. Me personally? I could get through just about anything with my dogs beside me. The loss of them, too, would pretty much destroy me.

The deadline for "closure" of the city is looming and many animals are still trapped there. Don't often ask for petition signatures, but please sign this one on behalf of George Bush's littlest victims.

*For the curious, Boo Boo is Lucy's brother (can't you see the resemblance?). He lives in Washington and has a lovely Mormon wife. Boo Boo really has the plaintive thing going on in this photo, though, so we decided to invoke him too.

Oh and they're not that good. I had food.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Blame Game

Waste of human space Scott McClellan in today's press gaggle:
MR. McCLELLAN: The time for bickering and blame-gaming is later. The time for helping people in the region is now.
No time for blame. That is unless you are Kathleen Blanco, female Democratic governor of Louisiana and obvious goat for BushCo. as the crack disaster management team whose sole mission is to save Preznit Arabian Horse Fluffer's ass goes to work. In that case a "senior Bush official" is running around telling everyone who will listen that Blanco did not declare a state of emergency and therefore no federal help was forthcoming. Had professional water carriers Newsweek and the Washington Post bothered to -- oh, I don't know, check the fucking State of Louisiana website -- they would've discovered she did so on August 26, 2005.

No time for blame. That is unless you are Democratic New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who had the audacity to speak out against BushCo. indifference and inefficiency in the wake of the storm. Monday morning quarterback, New Orleans evacuation expert and GOP bootlick Lou Dobbs goes to work and lays the blame at Nagin's feet, because of course, as Mayor of New Orleans, Nagin had the resources to instantly get three hundred thousand people out of the city and didn't use them. Oh and then there was that $71 million in levee reconstruction that Nagin slashed to pay for his war in Iraq.

Right. No time for blame. That is unless you were one of the people who "chose" to stay behind, and created so many problems for poor FEMA. So says United States Senatorial Embarrassment Rick Santorum, running for re-election in 2006 on the all-idiot ticket, who thinks anyone so lazy and irresponsible should be fined:
I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving.
You know what? I guess I would have been a lazy, irresponsible FEMA problem, because if the choice had been staying behind with my dogs or abandoning them that would've been me on a rooftop with three enormous poodles. That's why that link is over on the sidebar -- I won't even criticize FEMA for refusing to take people out of New Orleans unless they abandon their pets and their policy of putting people first, but given that choice I would tough it out with my dogs and share their fate. Both the Humane Society and the PetSmart charities are going in and helping to rescue people FEMA won't evacuate because they won't abandon their pets, as well as take care of the untold number of animals who have been abandoned and left to die.

So let's hope Senator Santorum's anal cavity is large enough to accommodate that fine, 'cos that's where he is welcome to put it, IMHO.

Right now rumor has it that FEMA is preparing for as many as 40,000 dead. I really do not think people in this country are prepared for those kind of numbers. I think people are only paying half attention to this and still have faith in the government that even though there may have been a few gaffs, they would not have let that many people die.

Meanwhile, Michael Chertoff thinks Louisiana is a city and Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) thinks it is roughly the size of Europe.

Christ you have to be stupid to be in the GOP.


Make Me Wanna Holler

A lot of people blanched when a post appeared on Kos right after Katrina hit entitled "Put the Niggers in the Superdome." They complained it was too extreme in its assessment of the inherent racism of the situation.

I was not one of those people.

And I feel quite vindicated in my conviction as the bitter race baiting of the right just gets more and more shrill in the aftermath. From the glue-sniffers at the NRO:
Under the circumstances, to say, as Steve Sailer does, that African Americans "tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups," and "need stricter moral guidance from society" does not seem to me very outrageous.
And that pretty much represents the high water mark for hate speech in all of this. Several people have sent me emails that are circulating that really defy description. It seems the right are taking a page from Karl Rove's playbook once again, who realized you can say nasty shit that will be believed on a local level that you can't get away with on a national level (like John McCain being the father of an illegitimate black child, replete with pictures of his adopted daughter from Bangladesh).

Likewise they can't go on national TV and broadcast this garbage, but it sure is floating like a pack of large, greasy turds through the all-ignorant email circuit.

Reader Susan sent me this, by one Robert Tracinski, which is actually posted on the internet but you'll have to look it up, 'cos I'm not linking to it:
There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit--but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals--and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep--on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves. All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters--not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.
And how would one know, exactly, that the people one was watching on TV were "wards of the welfare state?" Why, because they were BLACK, what else would they be? Silly white girl.

And then there is this from Derelict, whose email box seems to be flypaper for ugly racist screeds, supposedly from an "eye witness":
To be politically correct, the looters and scum of New Orleans have pretty much taken over by shooting rescue workers, cops, bystanders, anyone so they can have control or whatever. Many police officials have walked away, quit, given up because there is no plan of action towards the fucking american africans that are taken over.... Those fucking people are bitching about how they are homeless and hungry and desperate with the fucking media fueling it and meanwhile looting, stealing and shooting rescue workers.  Also, the cell phones here are fucked and FEMA has taken over many towers for their use so we can't get calls or call out except some windows of time so email is best.  I hope a big  Stealth Bomber shows up this weekend and drops about 10 MOABs on the city and flushes the damn city and all the desperate monkeys out in the Gulf.
Just one question. If you can't get phone calls out, how exactly are emails being transmitted? Did the storm miraculously leave all the T1 lines intact? Sorry, this email is pitched exactly at the IQ level of someone who would write it -- some angry, illiterate fucker in Pulaski quite unfamiliar with basic rules of punctuation and capitalization who's never seen the flood but won't pass up an opportunity to fuel the fire with race baiting. Only someone equally stupid would fall for it.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the right has never been uglier in my lifetime?

Update: TBogg and Roger are also on bigot watch over at Clownhall. Like shooting fish in a barrel.


Monday, September 05, 2005

"21st Century Marie Antoinette"

Olbermann took the gloves off tonight:
Politician after politician — Republican and Democrat alike — has paraded before us, unwilling or unable to shut off the "I-Me" switch in their heads, condescendingly telling us about how moved they were or how devastated they were — congenitally incapable of telling the difference between the destruction of a city and the opening of a supermarket.


[M]ost chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Mr. Bush has now twice insisted that, "we are not satisfied," with the response to the manifold tragedies along the Gulf Coast. I wonder which "we" he thinks he's speaking for on this point. Perhaps it's the administration, although we still don't know where some of them are. Anybody seen the Vice President lately? The man whose message this time last year was, 'I'll Protect You, The Other Guy Will Let You Die'?

I don't know which 'we' Mr. Bush meant.


For him, it is a shame — in all senses of the word. A few changes of pronouns in there, and he might not have looked so much like a 21st Century Marie Antoinette. All that was needed was just a quick "I'm not satisfied with my government's response." Instead of hiding behind phrases like "no one could have forseen," had he only remembered Winston Churchill's quote from the 1930's. "The responsibility," of government, Churchill told the British Parliament "for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate. It is in fact, the prime object for which governments come into existence."
Thanks, Keith. I needed that. Was it good for you? 'Cos it was good for me.


It's Great to See FEMA Has Finally Gotten Its Act Together

3:32 pm today, says Ben Morris, Slidell Mayor:
We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@."
Okay, scratch that. FEMA is still FUBAR. Medal of Freedom on the way.

Never in our nation's history have so few done so much to fuck up so many so fast...

Norbizness also lets us know the importance of FEMA's paperwork to protect us all from interstate invasion. And that while the Rovian spin meisters attempt to lay the blame for this fiasco at the feet of female Democratic governor Kathleen Blanco (surprise!) she actually beat Republican men Haley Barbour and Bob Riley by a day in getting her paperwork in.

In other breaking news, Condi Rice is suddenly a black girl from Alabama. Who knew.


More Useless Props for Guitarzan

The Three Stooges review a five-day-old weather map for the benefit of cameras. I guess Katrina was prettier then. Note African-American shoehorned into the picture, tail rotor of helicopter and all the bright, shiny colors.

Suppose anyone was lamenting what they should've been doing five days earlier when Katrina was still out over the Gulf of Mexico?

I'm thinking not.

(via Uggabugga)


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Rich Kids With Glass Jaws

My liberal red state senior citizen relatives are under attack from their wingnut neighbors and have taken refuge with Kevin Drum and Michael Moore, but they are noticing something that I have noticed too, both in my comments and those I find elsewhere -- never has the right been so angry, vitriolic and reactionary in defense of their president. They are grasping at every piece of detritus floating off the rapidly sinking SS Bush and holding on for dear life as they attempt to rationalize and justify the actions of their fearless leader over the past few days.

And really, what can you expect. They are backed into a corner and must either lash out in defense of the indefensible or admit they were wrong. Now you start with a group of people who felt empowered by a doctrine of intolerance, selfishness and blind aggression to begin with, who by and large were not gifted with tremendously well-developed powers of analytical thought let alone any ability to scrape themselves off the bottom rung of Maslow's pyramid, and you put them in a situation where they are faced with the inescapable truth that the man they put into office is suddenly quite obviously guilty of incompetence and indifference that resulted in the senseless murder of thousands of innocent, poor Americans. Do you really think they are going to instantly turn around and shout "my bad"?

You're talking about a group of people who pride themselves on their moral superiority, on the rectitude of their pursuit of social purity from potheads, loose women, gays and hip-hop. Who think they stand alone in their protection of truth, justice and the American Way. Who swallowed the entire load of Bushian bullshit without spilling so much as a drop. Now they are screaming like the deranged lunatics of Bedlam that the left can only point fingers, while they themselves preen and strut and call attenntion to the magnamity of their own generosity and boast of how much money they are giving to their victims, with a sly nod to the fact that the poor of Louisiana are somehow morally bankrupt (= black) and truthfully deserving of their fate.

I am reminded of the corpse in CS Lewis's The Great Divorce who sits up in her coffin and smears lipstick onto her gums.

Go ahead. Give some more. All the money in the world will not wash the blood off your hands, you ignorant fuckwits. Bill Clinton did not do this. Al Gore did not do this. John Kerry did not do this. George Bush did this. And you gave him the power to do it. One man, one vote, remember? Well we can all see now what you have wrought with yours.

After 9/11, George Bush was given a virtual blank check to prepare for disaster. He spent the money, all right -- on billions in contracts he doled out to his corporate pals for hastily purchased equipment that later had to be scrapped when they found out it was useless. Of course nobody in his junta could be bothered to lift a telephone and try to get the poor out of New Orleans before the storm struck. Nobody could make a buck off of it.

I fully anticipate more flailing ire from right-wing trolls as the days go by and stories like Aaron Brossard's hit the airwaves:
The guy who runs this building I'm in, Emergency Management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody'’s coming to get you." Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody'’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody'’s coming to get you on Friday and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] Nobody'’s coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us.
There is really nothing the right can say in the face of that, other than engage in nit-picking that is tantamount to pointing out spelling errors. One by one they will either fall to reality or sink into an inescapable morass of willful denial and delusion. Bloated with guilt and bellowing in self-righteous indignation, condemned to wander in some lower bardo of hell.

Meanwhile over on the left, I am ready to do something I don't normally do -- cheer someone for making threats of physical violence. In this case, Mary Landrieu, who says one more word out of George Bush and she'll have to punch him.

I'll hold him, you hit him, baby. You're on.