The Fifth Horseman: September 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

 

Racism: A Chickenhawk Virtue

Bill Bennett: illustrious Chickenhawker Supreme, former Secretary of Education, proud member of the GOP.

Today, we add a new title: Hateful Racist. On his radio show, Bennett said:
...if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.

Despicable. Between Barbara Bush's comments on the Superdome, "Brownie, you're doing a great job.", and this, it seems the Far Right is finally showing its true colors.

In other news, it appears the Iraqi Quagmire is not only stalled, but completely in reverse.

That's right. Things are getting worse....we're going backwards.

Exhibit A: This Story. Here's an excerpt:
In June, the Pentagon told lawmakers that three Iraqi battalions were fully trained, equipped and capable of operating independently. On Thursday, [General] Casey said only one battalion is ready.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Things are getting worse. Rather than being strengthened with time, Iraqi forces are being weakened by attrition.

Meanwhile, the Insurgency continues to grow stronger.

Freedom On The March.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

 

Tom DeLay Political Death Watch

Catchy title, eh?

The Printed Op/Ed pages have been having a field-day of Treasongate proportions (Remember that?!? Make sure you do...) over the Tom DeLay indictment. Here are some delightful tidbits for your reading pleasure.

From the LA Times:
Tom Delay has been so intellectually dishonest for so long that news that he may have been criminally dishonest hardly comes as a surprise. The question now is how much worse the political culture will become before it can get better…

But the real scandal in Washington, as someone once said, isn't what's illegal, it's what's legal. DeLay has practically made a career out of testing the boundaries on ethics — and going far beyond them politically.

Here's another, this one from the New York Times:
The imperious Texan is an increasing embarrassment to his party, turning its majority into an undisguised fountain of patronage and an ideological cudgel while skirting the bounds of campaign law…It's long been clear that the political damage to Mr. DeLay has been self-inflicted. His value as a leader was compromised well before his run-in with the prosecutor in Texas.

Wonderful...music to my ears. I have just one wish (other than a conviction): Tom DeLay being lead away in handcuffs and fingerprinted. I'm sure the photo of DeLay in cuffs would make for a wonderful framed keepsake, worthy of display above the mantle of any Progressive Home. I would pay money for it.

In related news of Chickenhawk Crookery, the SEC has turned up the pressure on Bill First, upgrading its inquiry to a formal investigation. Granted, this is hardly news on the scale of the DeLay indictment. However, it's a start.

My Ultimate Dream? Frist, DeLay, and Turdblossom taking an extended vacation to sunny Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That would be justice.

In other news, the ACLU won a battle with the Thought Police today. Following a request by the ACLU, a New York judge ordered that the Federal Government release classified photos of the Abu Gharaib torture and abuse. Judge Alvin Hellerstein made the decision, despite heavy opposition from both the military and Chickenhawk Brigade. In his decision, Hellerstein said:
Our struggle to prevail must be without sacrificing the transparency and accountability of government and military officials...[America]does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command...Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed.

Well, said Alvin. It is nice to know that, even when everyone else seems to have gone mad, small pockets of sanity still live on in the Judiciary.

In still other news, The Fifth Horseman recently got a shoutout here on skippy the bush kangaroo.

Though he hardly needs any help getting traffic, I figured that I would return the favor.

Thanks for the love, skippy. Rock on.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

 

The Hammer Goes To The Slammer....hopefully

It must be my birthday.

No joke. This is all the present I could have wanted.

What am I talking about, you may ask?

Tom DeLay has been indicted and will step down as majority leader.

A Texas Grand Jury indicted DeLay on charges of criminal conspiracy earlier today, forcing him to step down as required by the House rules.

From cnn.com:
Criminal conspiracy is a state felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. The potential two-year sentence forces DeLay to step down under House Republican rules.

Wow...just wow. The concept of Tom DeLay in the slammer is exhilarating.

Does it seem like I'm gloating?

I hope so...I am gloating. The man is a crook and, hopefully, he will get what he deserves: time behind bars. My only further wish: Indictments for the rest of the Chickenhawk Brigade of Crooks.

Well, that's all the time I have for today. As much as i would like to rant and rave for another hour, I've got stuff to do: shopping, school, social interactions, etc.

It's a nice day. Go play outside.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

 

Fun With Quotes And Numbers

As a present to you, my readers, I bring you these excellent quotes. First, I bring you Krugman with a fun new game..."Find The Brownie":
The objective in Find the Brownie is to find an obscure but important government job held by someone whose only apparent qualifications for that job are political loyalty and personal connections. It's inspired by President Bush's praise, four days after Katrina hit, for the hapless Michael Brown, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
There are a lot of Brownies. As Time magazine puts it in its latest issue, "Bush has gone further than most presidents to put political stalwarts in some of the most important government jobs you've never heard of." Time offers a couple of fresh examples, such as the former editor of a Wall Street medical-industry newsletter who now holds a crucial position at the Food and Drug Administration.

O.K., enough joking. The point of my games - which are actually research programs for enterprising journalists - is that all the scandals now surfacing are linked. Something is rotten in the state of the U.S. government. And the lesson of Hurricane Katrina is that a culture of cronyism and corruption can have lethal consequences.

Wow...just wow. I, quite honestly, could not have said it better myself. Dubya has, from Day One, appointed cronies and brownnosers (get it? BROWNnosers!) to the most vital of positions...and now we are paying for that with our lives. Disgraceful.

Also, tied for today's best quote is this gem from Frank Rich:
"Bring Back Warren Harding"

You can read the full article here. It speaks for itself.

My next two topics, I write of for my amusement.

First Up: This Daily Show Clip. As usual, it is both more truthful and far more interesting than anything else you will see on cable news. Thinks of it as my present to you.

Lastly, I present some Fun With Numbers, courtesy of skippy the bush kangaroo:

Over 100,000: Number of pro-peace demonstrators in Washington this past weekend.

400: Number of pro-war demonstrators in Washington this past weekend.

Hmmmmm....I wonder if these numbers could mean anything.... Perhaps that the American public is finally fed up with Dubya's Pointless War Of Aggression?

I'll let you be the judge of that.

Monday, September 26, 2005

 

Have No Fear....Halliburton Is Here!

Is it just me, or has the Chickenhawk Brigade’s PR work become increasingly sloppy lately?

Case In Point: This Story. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. They arrested Cindy Sheehan, symbolically dragging her away from the White House in handcuffs. I’m sure that won’t make her into a martyr.

Not that I’m complaining. Anything that gives the White House a black eye is alright by me. This just seems like a particularly clumsy faux pas on the part of the Administration. Who knows, maybe Turdblossom took this week off.

In other news...Halliburton has arrived in New Orleans.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen less than a month later, and the Gulf Coast Reconstruction efforts are firmly in the hands of Chickenhawk Corporate Cronies. From the New York Times:
More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency alone were awarded without bidding or with limited competition, government records show, provoking concerns among auditors and government officials about the potential for favoritism or abuse.

Already, questions have been raised about the political connections of two major contractors - the Shaw Group and Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton - that have been represented by the lobbyist Joe M. Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former leader of FEMA.

Get ready for a Corporate Interest Porkfest of monumental proportions. Tragedy has struck...now lets make some money off of it.

It's the Chickenhawk Motto.

P.S. By the way...Dubya is still a drunkard.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

 

On Peaceniks And Chickenhawk Crooks

It's seems that, at last, Americans are finally wising up to the crookedness of the Chickenhawk Brigade. My evidence?

This Mass Protest against Dubya's War of Aggression.

From cnn.com:
The rally stretched through the day and into the night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall.

Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that."

Maybe we're finally wising up to the inherent evil of the Iraq War. Maybe we can start demanding some accountability from the Chickenhawk Brigade. First question: Where are the WMD's? What are we fighting for? If we keep pressure of this sort on the Administration, maybe we can get some answers.

In other news, another prominent Chickenhawk is under investigation for some shady financial dealings. This time, Bill Frist is facing two investigations for ignoring blind trust rules. From msnbc.com:
Frist, R-Tenn., received regular updates of transfers of assets to his blind trusts and sales of assets. He also was able to initiate a stock sale of a hospital chain founded by his family with perfect timing. Shortly after the sale this summer, the stock price dived.

A possible presidential contender in 2008, Frist now faces dual investigations by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission into his stock sales.

Honestly, I can't say I'm surprised. The GOP is simply chock full of Crooks, Liars and Scoundrels of all sorts. Rove, DeLay, Abramoff, and Frist are only the tip of the iceberg. However, this Frist scandal causes me particular happiness. Why? I'll tell you why...

This scandal can't be good for Frist's 2008 Presidential Ambitions. However, although I hate to admit it, this probably won't kill his chances for election. If you don't believe me, consider the past two Presidential elections. After those, I have little faith in the American people's capacity to elect a decent President.

Speaking of which, I bring you this....George W. Bush: Still A Drunkard. That's right, our nuclear weapons are controlled by a "recovered alcoholic" who has recently taken up drinking again.

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

 

On Turdblossom And Torture

Remember a little while ago when I talked about Karl Rove taking the reins of reconstruction? Remember when I told you that the main purpose of reconstruction was not to save lives and rebuild but to salvage Dubya's image?

Well, I hate to say I told you so...but I did tell you. And I was right. Turdblossom is at it again, engineering the Chickenhawk Brigade's response to Hurricane Rita.

Exhibit A: This Story

From the New York Times:
President Bush was supposed to land [in Texas] on Friday afternoon on the first stop of a tour intended to make clear that he was personally overseeing the federal government's preparations for Hurricane Rita's landfall. But the weather did not cooperate.

It was too sunny.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Apparently, Turdblossom doesn't think that images of Dubya smiling in the sunshine are dashing enough. So, instead, we'll have him hide in a bunker in Colorado.

It is truly amazing how much work these guys put into Dubya's image. I wonder what kind of shape this country would be in if they put that same amount of thought and care into actually running this nation and protecting its people...

In other news, I bring you this: Bush Has Started Drinking Again. I know, it's a low blow. Yellow Journalism, and what not. But I couldn't resist.

In still other disaster-related news, I bring you a story from The Iraqi Quagmire. Thanks to three whistleblowers, new information has been revealed as to the extent of torture and abuse of Iraqis at the hands of American troops.

That's right, we are now torturing, Gestapo-style, prisoners for information. From the New York Times:
"They wanted intel," said the sergeant, an infantry fire-team leader who served as a guard when no military police soldiers were available. "As long as no PUC's [persons under control] came up dead, it happened." He added, "We kept it to broken arms and legs."

Despicable. This makes me feel sick. And you know what the worst part is?

Most of the people responsible for the torture will never be held accountable for their actions. Of course, the grunts on the ground will be given slaps of the wrist...but what about their superiors who are responsible for creating an environment that encourages torture? Like the Generals? Or Rumsfield? Or Dubya himself?

Just like with Abu Gharaib torture case, they will all get off scotch free.

Now, where is the justice in that?

Friday, September 23, 2005

 
The Fifth Horseman is taking a short hiatus. Normal posting will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

Alberto's Crusade Against Porn

Well, it seems that, in face of the disastrous Federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the Chickenhawk Brigade has learned its lesson and decided to change its ways. In fact, in anticipation of Hurricane Rita, FEMA has mobilized all of its resources and begun shipping ice to the site....in Maine.

That's right, in a stroke of sheer genius, FEMA has diverted ice intended for the Gulf Coast to Maine. It gets worse, from ABC 25 in Texas:
...the truck drivers Newscenter spoke to said they went all the way down to the Gulf Coast with the ice -- stayed for a few days -- and then were told by FEMA they needed to drive to Maine to store it.

In conclusion, FEMA = still a fucking mess.

This is especially unsettling when considered in context of Hurricane Katrina, which is currently barreling towards the Gulf Coast at a level of Category 4. Let's hope, for the sake of all the people in its path, that the Chickenhawk Brigade has gained some rudimentary intelligence since the Katrina debacle.

But I wouldn't count on it.

In other news, Patrick Leahy is a sellout.

That's right, a sellout. A collaborator. A girly man. It would be nice if, just for once, the Democrats could get their act together and present a unified front on some important issues. Say, the nomination of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, for example. I am very disappointed in you guys.

In still other news, I bring you a news item that is, at the same time, both terrifying and hilarious: Alberto's War On Porn.

That's right, Alberto Gonzales has declared a War On Porn. Apparently, with the War On Terror completely won, the Chickenhawk Brigade has decided to target its next greatest enemy: Freedom of Speech. From the Washington Post:
The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.

Next on the FBI's agenda: mandatory chastity belts.

If it weren't for the frightening implications this has for Freedom of Speech, this would be completely laughable.

Luckily for Freedom, not all FBI agents are on the same page as their batshit-crazy boss. In fact, several agents, speaking on condition of anonymity, voiced their (often amusing opinion) on Alberto's Crusade. Here are some snippets (source: Washington Post):

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror...we must not need any more resources for espionage"

"I already gave at home."

"Honestly, most of the guys would have to rescue themselves."

It is nice to know that, even in the belly of the beast, some sanity still remains. Perhaps the Universe isn't completely fucked, after all.

Finally, I present you this:

The Impeachment Report

Impeach Bush is still going strong on technorati.com

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

 

Crooks On Capital Hill

Well, my first topic is hardly worthy of the title of Real News.

But it pleases me, nevertheless. Here is the story: Bush Official Arrested in Corruption Probe.

From the Washington Times:
The Bush administration's top federal procurement official resigned Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the federal government. It was the first criminal complaint filed against a government official in the ongoing corruption probe related to Abramoff's activities in Washington.


With luck, it won't be the last. Next on my wish list: a joint Tom DeLay/Karl Rove indictment. This would be excellent, if only for the title I would give the entry: Tom And Turdblossom Go To Court.

In other happy news, it seems that some more Democrats have decided to grow some balls. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Harry Reid has announced that he will oppose the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice.

Of course, even with the support of Reid, the Democrats are hardly unified in their opposition to Roberts. This is discouraging and worrisome, to say the least. We know next to nothing about the man, yet we're ready to make him one of the most powerful figures in the nation. It simply doesn't make sense.

Still, despite the almost total futility of the gesture, Reid's opposition to Roberts is encouraging. In fact, since that awful day in January, Reid has proven to be quite scrappy in holding back the rising tide of Chickenhawk Stupidity.

So, Roberts looks to be a lost cause. He is going to be confirmed. At this point, we can do nothing about him but pray that he doesn't shape up like Rehnquist. However, O'Connor's seat on the court is still empty. So, we can't let our guard down yet. This time, the Democrats need to vote as a unified block, and demand some answers. One surprise Chickenhawk on the court would be bad enough....two would be disastrous.

Goodbye, Roe v. Wade.
Goodbye, Gay Rights.
Goodbye, Freedom of Speech.

Goodbye America.
Hello Jesusland.

Monday, September 19, 2005

 

Take That, Turdblossom!

If you will recall, I wrote yesterday about Karl Rove taking charge of the Reconstruction of the Gulf Coast. Of course, everybody knows the reason Turdblossom has been deployed: to save Dubya's reputation. Rove's job is to make people believe in the President again. That was the purpose of the President’s address last Thursday. Well, guess what?

It's not working.

In fact, Dubya's approval ratings actually dropped after his face-saving speech in New Orleans. Excellent. Perhaps the American Public is finally catching on to the Chickenhawk Brigade: they make promises, but they never actually follow through on them.

In other news, Barack Obama continued doing what he does best: being awesome. On Face The Nation, Obama discussed the stupidity of the Administration's refusal to raise taxes to pay for Katrina:
This I think is where the problem comes in. You can't fight a war in Iraq that's costing upwards of 200 billion dollars and rebuild Katrina-rebuild N.O. and respond to the aftermath of Katrina-and try to deal with all the other domestic needs that we have, and- then cut taxes for the wealthiest 1% of Americana. I mean there was talk right-immediately after the hurricane that the republicans in the senate were still going to push forward with the repeal the estate tax which is mind boggling I think. We need some adult supervision of the budget process...

Rock on, Obama. you can see the video clip here at Crooks and Liars.

In other news, I give you this tidbit of foolishness. Apparently, we are winning the war in Iraq, simply because more enemy soldiers are being killed than American soldiers.

Funny....I think I've heard that logic before. Could it have been here?

You would think we would have learned something since Vietnam. In a guerilla campaign, it doesn't matter how many rebels you kill. They'll simply recruit more from an almost endless supply of angered, young males, both domestic and foreign.

The only solution to this Catch-22 is to not have invaded Iraq in the first place. Unfortunately, it's too late for that.

In still other news, I bring you:

The Impeachment Report

Impeach Bush is still going strong on technorati.com. Keep it up, guys.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

 

Turdblossom Takes Reins of Reconstruction

That's right ladies and gentlemen. If the buzz is true, it would seem that Karl Rove has been chosen to head the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

If true, this will simply confirm what I have suspected all along: the primary concern of the Chickenhawk Brigade on the Gulf Coast is not recovery; it is saving face. If Bush actually wanted to rebuild the Coast in the best manner possible, and help the most people, he would post man with experience in rescue operations and logistics.

Instead, it looks like he wants to assign his Propaganda Chief.

Indeed, government activities in and around New Orleans have already begun to take on a decidedly Rovian slant. The Washington Post made this prediction about Dubya's face-saving speech on Thursday:
Tonight's speech promises two classic features of the Rove approach.

Bush will take advantage of powerful imagery -- the Associated Press reports the speech will be held in historic Jackson Square, with the famous St. Louis Cathedral as a backdrop -- and he won't risk having anyone around who might disagree with him or ask an impertinent question. In fact, the AP says, there won't be a live audience at all. (And even the journalists covering the event are being told they won't be allowed to stray from their press vans.)


Expect more of this, ladies and gentlemen. The President, and the entire Administration, had their noses bloodied thanks to Hurricane Katrina. To save face, and prevent an upset in the 2006 midterms, they are embarking upon a Rove-lead PR blitz. That means that all actual relief work will have to take a back seat to the President's PR-posturing and Rovian propaganda.

Also, expect to see plenty of pictures of Dubya posing with scruffy, rustic firefighters. People eat that shit up.

My next topic is one of pure amusement: Bill O'Reilly. Keith Olbermann recently bestowed upon O'Reilly the title of: Worst Person In The World. Amusing. Very amusing. You can see the clip here at Crooks and Liars.

In other news, it looks as if Rapture Rick Santorum's Senate seat is in danger In the latest polls, Santorum is trailing his Democratic challenger by 14%. Good riddance.

And, finally, I bring you this: Impeach Bush is still in the Top Ten and going strong.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

 

GOP Opposition To John Roberts

It's an odd when a Republican mayor shows more balls in opposing White House policy than most Democratic members of the Senate. Odd, but true. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Republican Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has announced his opposition to Bush's nomination of John Roberts. Bloomberg said:

Judge Roberts’ response did not indicate a commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose...There can be no turning back and for that reason I oppose the nomination of Judge Roberts as chief justice of the Supreme Court.”

Granted, Bloomberg is the mayor of one of the most liberal cities in the nation, so this announcement will hardly put his career at risk. Still, my hat is off to him for having more balls than half the Democrats in Congress. Certain Senators would do well to follow his example.

In other news, Dubya has already started sabotaging the relief efforts he promised in his face-saving speech Thursday evening. Follow this link: Bush Rules Out Raising Taxes for Gulf Relief.

That's right, people of New Orleans. You're important...just not important enough for Bush to force his rich pals to cough up any more dough.

This is especially ridiculous when considered in light of our gargantuan deficit. Although the full extent of Katrina's damage upon the economy is not yet known, it has been estimated that the reconstruction efforts on the Gulf Coast could raise the Federal deficit from its current $350 billion to $500 billion in the coming fiscal year.

So, this leaves one question: if Dubya won't raise taxes, where will the money come from? The answer is simple: budget cuts. Of what, you may ask?

Well, it is safe to assume that the cuts won't come from the Chickenhawk Brigade's beloved War Machine. If anything, they'll need more cash. I doubt that Congress will be willing to give up money from its pork-laden highway bill, either.

That leaves the usual suspects: social programs and education. The Middle Children of the Chickenhawk Brigade's domestic policy. Look for significant budget cuts from Education and Social Welfare programs in the near future.

In other news, "Impeach Bush" has reclaimed the #1 slot at technorati.com. Hat's off to the nice people of the Impeach Bush Coalition and all other members of the Impeach Bush Campaign. You guys have to be doing something right.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

 

Irresponsibility and Evasion: The New Orleans Address

Well, almost three weeks and several thousand dead Americans later, Bush finally decided that Hurricane Katrina was serious enough to warrant a speech on primetime television.

As would be expected, the Chickenhawk Brigade is practically shitting itself with glee, as it scrambles to find new and interesting ways to praise the President’s love and compassion. Perhaps worst of all is the reaction of many Democrats, too scared to call out Bush on his hypocrisy, who seemed just as eager as the Chickenhawk Brigade to praise the President's speech.

Well, fuck them. They can be collaborators if they wish. I am going to tell the truth.

I was not impressed by the President's speech. Not even close. Here are my reasons why:

1: No mention of an Independent Investigation into the Administration's dismal response to the disaster. However, this doesn't worry me that much. The vast majority of the American public, including 64% of Republicans, favor an Independent Investigation. If he ignores their wishes, the GOP runs the risk of being clobbered in the 2006 midterms. This threat of losing power is quite possibly the only thing that will motivate Mr. Bush to do the right thing.

2: Although he "accepted responsibility", the President said nothing about any sort of consequences and/or accountability for the failings of himself and his entire Administration. I guess that part is up to us.

3: Although he did accept responsibility for the Administration's failures, Dubya offered no explanations for his criminally slow response. That needs to change.

4: I saw no evidence of this masturbatory "compassion" the Chickenhawk Brigade has been raving about. In fact, Dubya seemed just as stiff and heartless as usual. He referred to his own Father as "Former President Bush", for Christ's sake. Who does that?!? Compassionate conservative, my ass.

5:Still no apology, or even bashful remarks, about his mother's racism.

And, finally, I bring you this tidbit of information from Brian Williams's blog:

In anticipation of Dubya's symbolically poignant trip to New Orleans, and his coldly emotionless speech, power was restored in the city's warehouse district. However, this was not meant to last. Williams wrote:

"And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions."
A real compassionate conservative, eh?

However, there is one bright spot. Despite the almost orgastic praises of the Chickenhawk Brigade, Dubya's Dismal Address has failed to kill the buzz for his Impeachment. In fact, the words "Impeach Bush" are, as of now, still maintain a #2 spot on the Technorati Top ten list.

Sure, it's a long shot. But being The Underdog is always so much fun. Let's Impeach the Bastard.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

 

Commission Reports and Bathroom Breaks

Before I get into the usual heavy stuff, I would like to share with you, dear readers, a story that has caused me untold joy. I am not even going to attempt to describe it myself. Just follow this link: Bush's Bathroom Break.

Amusing, very amusing. But, now we have to move onto business.

The GOP is back in true form, and has resumed doing what it does best: evading responsibility.

Yesterday, in a vote strictly along party lines, the GOP-dominated Senate voted down Hillary Clinton's proposal to create an independent commission to investigate the government's pitiful response to Hurricane Katrina.

Disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful. The GOP clearly realizes its own guilt in the horrid response, and is trying its best to hide its mistakes.

However, luckily for us Principled Left-Wingers, it doesn't look as if they're going to get away with it. From nola.com:

In a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll taken Sept. 8-11, 70 percent of those surveyed supported an independent panel to investigate the government's response to Katrina. Only 29 percent were opposed.

Additionally, it would be wise to keep in mind that the GOP tried to oppose the creation of an independent commission to investigate 9/11. And we all know how that turned out.

So, despite the GOP's best efforts, it wouldn't be wise to write off an Independent Investigation just yet. We just have to keep public outrage going to fuel calls for the creation of the Commission.

Now, on to the next topic: The John Roberts Confirmation Hearings.

Although not surprising, yesterday's spineless performance on the part of the Democrats was hardly surprising. Yet again, only two Democrats really exhibited the balls to ask meaningful questions of Roberts.

As in the previous day, Joe Biden appeared to be the most feisty of the Democrats, not letting Roberts get away with his usual stonewalling:
See, you've told me nothing, Judge.

With all due respect, you've not -- look, it's kind of interesting, this Kabuki dance we have in these hearings here, as if the public doesn't have a right to know what you think about fundamental issues facing them.

There's no more possibility that anyone one of us here would be elected to the United States Senate without expressing broadly and sometimes specifically to our public what it is we believe.

Additionally, Chuck Schumer had a few moments of scrappiness, particularly with regards to the eerie similarities between Clarence Thomas's views on privacy rights, as expressed in his confirmation hearings, and the views expressed by Thomas:
This is obviously very important, because Justice Thomas seemed to be more full in his view of privacy at his confirmation hearing than later, when he was on the court, at least if you read his decisions.

And you are not willing to say that your view is different than the view Justice Thomas stated in Lawrence.


So, hats off to Biden and Schumer for asking the important questions. Now, here's my message to the rest of the Democrats: step it up, guys! This man could be Chief Justice of Supreme Court for decades. That's a lot of time to fuck up the country by reversing gay rights, affirmative action, and a woman's right to choose. It is you responsibility, as American citizens as well as Senators, to ensure that Roberts won't reverse these milestone decisions.

That means asking the tough questions.

In other news, the words "Impeach Bush" are still holding steady at the #1 Slot at Technorati.com.

Excellent.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

 

John G. Roberts: International Man of Mystery

This confirmation process is, quite honestly, making me quite nervous. Mainly because, even after months of news reports and investigations, I still know next to nothing about where Roberts stands on The Issues. I was hoping that the start of the confirmation hearings yesterday would clear up some of my doubts.

Sadly, they haven't. If anything, the Senate Confirmation hearings only reinforced my doubts.

Roberts, a sly and crafty devil, consistently managed to answer the Committees softball questions without actually revealing anything about his stances on women's and gay rights, among other things.

Here is an excerpt of a portion of Joe Biden's questioning of Roberts:

BIDEN: Do you agree that there is a right of privacy to be found in the liberty clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

ROBERTS: I do, Senator. I think that the court's expressions, and I think if my reading of the precedent is correct, I think every justice on the court believes that, to some extent or another.

First of all, Roberts didn't really answer the question. He managed to avoid actually telling Biden his personal views, while still managing to sound reassuring to us Principled Left-Wingers.

However, I am hardly reassured.

First of all, let me take issue with this statement: "I think every justice on the court believes that, to some extent or another." This is most unsettling of all. If Roberts is indeed a justice in the mold of Rehnquist, Thomas, and Scalia, we're all fucked. The three conservative justices, like Roberts, professed to believe in privacy rights. However, according to the Three Amigos, these privacy rights don't apply to gays and women, as they have tried to infringe upon the rights of both groups numerous times.

So, you can understand why Robert's sweet nothings are hardly reassuring to me.

However, Democrats are to blame for this fiasco, as well. The Democrats were hardly aggressive in their questioning of Roberts. In fact, with the exception of Joe Biden, most of the Democrats seemed content to allow Roberts to get way with his bullshit. Of all the Democrats, Biden was the only one with enough balls to confront Roberts about his question-dodging, calling Robert's avoidance of the questions "misleading".

So, here's my message to the Democrats: Grow some balls, and start asking the tough questions. This man is being nominated for life to the highest Judicial Body in the nation. He could do some serious damage to a woman's right to choose and gay rights, if he turns out to be a Right-Wing Loony. So, start questioning him.

However, one thing about Roberts frightens me more than others. More frightening than anything else is this: The Family Research Council Applauds Roberts' Abortion Answer. The FRC is a militantly hateful anti-gay and anti-women's rights group with the ultimate goal of converting the United States into a Christian Theocracy. Their approval of Roberts alone is almost enough to make me hate the man, even if he does turn out to be a Moderate or Liberal.

Finally, I bring to you this last tidbit of information. The words "Impeach Bush" are holding steady at #1 on the Technorati list of searches.

Hats off to the folks over at the Impeach Bush Coalition for helping to create Blogger Buzz for the Bush Impeachment. This nation needs Regime change. And we need it now, before Bush can kill off any more of us through his criminal negligence.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

 

Dubya: I accept responsibility...sort of...

Well, two weeks after he killed thousands of people in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Bush has finally admitted the obvious: the Administration's Shoddy Response to Hurricane Katrina is his fault.

Now, don't get all excited just yet. Sure, Dubya admitted responsibility. This all means nothing unless Dubya actually makes some constructive changes to the nation's emergency response system.

And that seems doubtful, at best. If you'll recall, in the aftermath of another catastrophe caused by his negligence (the 9/11 attacks), Dubya vowed to increase the nation's readiness to withstand another attack or natural disaster. The result of this, no matter how Dubya tried to prevent its creation, was the Department of Homeland Security. However, being unable to prevent its creation, Dubya crippled the DHS's capacity to respond to disasters and rendered it virtually useless.

Thus, if anything, Dubya's creation of the DHS compounded the disastrous situation in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The DHS was utterly incapable of responding swiftly enough to save the lives of the people of New Orleans.

That was Dubya's response to the last National Disaster. Installing a idiotically complicated and inefficient system that had the effect of allowing thousands of the nation's citizens to drown and starve to death four years later.

So, you can probably see why i have little faith in Dubya's promise to "accept responsibility" for the disaster and implement useful changes. Actions speak louder than words. And this man's actions indicate a childish buffoon, utterly incapable of learning from his deadly mistakes. He promises to "make things better" but, like a short-sighted child, simply makes the same mistakes again.

It's what he has always done, and I see no reason to believe that he'll change his ways anytime soon. I hope, for all our sakes, that he does...but it doesn't really look all that likely.

It's time for regime change. If we impeached Clinton for a blowjob, we damn well better be able to impeach Bush for killing thousands of his own people.

And don't give me that crap about "high crimes and misdemeanors". If we can't run our Leader out of office for homicidal negligence of this sort, something is seriously wrong with this nation's political system. That means the system needs to change...quickly, before it can kill off any more of us.

Monday, September 12, 2005

 

Mary's Media Blitz

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, hitting several of the major networks.

Landrieu, as you will recall, was berated by CNN's Anderson Cooper for her supportive words of the Federal Government's pitiful response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Mary listened to these words and, surprisingly enough for a politician, seemed to actually consider them and have a change of heart. In fact, Mary made the rounds of this Sunday's talk show circuit, berating the Chickenhawk Brigade's efforts to push blame for Katrina on State and local authorities. Here are some choice quotes…

From CBS' Face The Nation:

While the president is saying he wants to work together as a team, I think the White House operatives have a full-court press on to blame state and local officials, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, whether it's [MS Gov.] Haley Barbour or [LA Gov.] Kathleen Blanco, whether it's [New Orleans] Mayor [Ray] Nagin or a Republican mayor from Mississippi.


And, from Fox News Sunday:

I'm asking the White House to stop sending out press releases blaming local and state officials.

This is a far cry from the Mary Landrieu we saw two weeks ago, obliviously praising the Federal Government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

Unlike the President and his cronies, when presented with the facts, Mary seems capable of seeing the truth. That's refreshing. We hardly see any of that these days.

Mary also spoke the truth. The Chickenhawk Brigade has been even more hypocritical than usual over the past couple weeks. Even as they denounce the "Liberal Media" for playing the "blame game", they simultaneously try to push responsibility for the fuckups onto the State and Local governments.

In other news, FEMA Director Michael Brown has officially resigned. Of course, this barely rates as news. Although Bush technically "reassigned" Brown to Washington, this reassignment was a dismissal in all but name. Good riddance. The man was utterly incompetent. It's just a shame that his incompetence killed so many people before he resigned.

Finally, I give you this final tidbit of information. The words "Impeach Bush" are occupying the #2 slot on the Technorati Top Ten list and still going strong. Although the campaign has a snowball's chance in hell of actually running Dubya out of office, the buzz it has been generating can hardly hurt the Common Cause of Principled Left-Wingers everywhere.

And, who knows? Perhaps the campaign will fuel public calls for an Independent Investigation into the government's Hurricane Katrina failures. We can only hope.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

 

Dubya's Imaginary World

The New York Times ran an excellent story today, detailing the string of catatstrophic failures in the Federal Government's response to Hurricane Katrina. In its article, the Times hit the Administration's primary failure right on the nose:

While local officials assumed that Washington would provide rapid and considerable aid, federal officials, weighing legalities and logistics, proceeded at a deliberate pace.

FEMA appears to have underestimated the storm, despite an extraordinary warning from the National Hurricane Center that it could cause "human suffering incredible by modern standards." The agency dispatched only 7 of its 28 urban search and rescue teams to the area before the storm hit and sent no workers at all into New Orleans until after the hurricane passed on Monday, Aug. 29.


Now, I'm not saying the State and local governments are blameless is the disastrous response to Katrina. However, there is only so much that the local authorities can do with their limited resources. A relief effort of the magnitude of that in New Orleans was simply too much for Local and State resources to handle. They needed Federal Aid. And that Federal Aid arrived far too late.

Newsweek also ran an interesting article: How Bush Blew It. In the article, Newsweek discussed Bush's staff and inner circle:

Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him. Bush can ask tough questions, but it's mostly a one-way street.

The President doesn't live in, or even care about, the Real World. He lives in an elaborate fantasy land in which his word is Supreme, and the opinion of all others be damned. In his World, let's call it DubyaWorld, Bush doesn't like to be reminded of the suffering of the plebeians in the outside world. He also doesn't like to be reminded of his mistakes.

Because, in DubyaWorld, whatever Dubya says is Right.

This elaborate fantasy life is bad news for the rest of us. With no one to challenge, no devil's advocate, Dubya does whatever he wants. Like go to war for nothing. Or take a three month vacation. Or double the deficit. Or ignore the suffering of people in his own nation until public outrage forces him to.

The man is like a small child. A small, selfish child who doesn't want to be told when he is wrong.

Which brings me to my next topic. The Impeach Bush Coalition. Those guys must be doing something right. For proof, examine the list of Tope Ten Searches at technorati.com. Occupying the #1 slot are these words: "Impeach Bush".

Although it is unlikely that Bush will ever be brought to justice, much less impeached, this can hardly be doing much good for his Administration. If nothing else, the Impeachment Movement will at least raise calls for an independent investigation into the government's failings in the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Maybe, then, the people of New Orleans can get some justice against the selfish man-child of a President who ignored their plight until he absolutely had to notice.

We can only hope.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

 

Bush to investigate...himself?

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. In face of increasingly vocal calls for an investigation into the Administration's Hurricane Katrina fuckups, the Chickenhawk Brigade has vowed to launch an investigation. This investigation will be conducted by none other than President Bush himself.

That's right. Dubya will be investigating his own failures.

Does anybody else see anything wrong with that? This is the equivalent of asking OJ to investigate his ex-wife's murder, or selecting a fox to investigate a mysterious Henhouse killing.

Just as bad is the GOP-lead Congressional Committee that the Chickenhawk Brigade is trying to organize for the investigation.

Ridiculous. Simply ridiculous. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Dubya and the GOP will be too busy covering their own asses and trying to deflect blame to local officials to actually do any real investigation. What we need is an independent committee , in the spirit of the 9/11 Commission, to investigate the failures of the Federal Government in its response to Hurricane Katrina. Of course, Bush knows that any independent committee’s finding won't look kindly on his sheer incompetence, so he'll try his best to stall the launching of any independent investigation. But he tried to stall the 9/11 Commission Report, and they published anyways.

In other news, the Media, continuing with its recent feisty streak, won another victory yesterday afternoon. If you recall, earlier last week, the Chickenhawk Brigade attempted to prevent the Media from reporting on the death toll and body recovery efforts in New Orleans. I guess the sight of dead bodies must have been giving some people dangerously anti-Administration thoughts.

CNN, still feeling feisty, took their case to court...and won. Rather than fight a CNN lawsuit, the Federal Government decided to allow the Media to report on recovery of the dead from New Orleans. This should be a lesson to the Administration: they may be able to suppress images of the dead from Iraq, but Freedom of the Press is still going strong on our own soil.

Disturbing as they may be, the public needs to see the images of these bodies on the News. Maybe, if they are presented with the sight of these victims of governmental negligence, the public will began to demand some accountability from the Administration that allowed 10,000 of its own citizens to die.

Which brings me to my next topic. Currently, the #2 slot on the Technorati List of Top Ten Searches is this: "Impeach Bush". This movement has been, over the past few days, gained quite a bit of attention in the Blogosphere, even spawning an Impeach Bush Coalition. Now, I realize that this is all likely just a pipe dream. It is highly unlikely that Bush will ever be impeached, no matter what the final death toll of negligence proves to be. That said, this interest in Impeachment could do some good. Even if Bush manages to avoid impeachment, as he likely will, the extra attention provided by the movement could lend some extra fuel to calls for an independent investigation into the Administration's shoddy response to Hurricane Katrina.

Bush let us all down. We pay him to protect us. Instead, through his negligence, he managed to kill off 10,000 of us. We can't let him get away with that. There needs to be an investigation, conducted by an independent commission, and there needs to be some justice.

If I may haul out an old phrase: Regime Change Begins a Home. We have never needed that change more than we do now. It's time for Bush to go back to Crawford. Permanently.

Friday, September 09, 2005

 

The Depths of Chickenhawk Stupidity

Hark! I have monumental news.

The Bush Administration has done something right....kinda...sort of...not really.

Secretary Chertoff has finally fired the criminally incompetent Chief of FEMA: Michael Brown.

This would be better news if it weren't for the fact that this didn't happen until almost two weeks after the levees broke. The only smart thing Dubya could have done (unlikely, isn't it?) is to have never hired Brown in the first place. But it's too late for that now. Dubya values political loyalty more than competence, and the lives of his citizens be damned.

However, Brown was by no means the only source of incompetence in the Administration's response to Katrina. In fact, of the many Administration incompetents, the worst of them all is the Big Kahuna: Dubya "Dumbass" Bush himself. I present to you this new information from the New York Times that reveals the utter depths of stupidity prevalent on all levels of the Chickenhawk Brigade.

Apparently, according to the Times, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco asked the President for Federal troops as early as last Monday. By Wednesday, Blanco had increased her request to 40,000 troops.

However, the first Federal troops didn't arrive on the scene until five days after the levees broke.

But that's not even the worst of it. A 7,200 man rapid-response team from the 82nd Airborne Division was ready to deployed from Fort Bragg, N.C., on Sunday morning, almost a day before Katrina hit. This team could have been on the ground in New Orleans within 18 hours. However, thanks to Chickenhawk Incompetence at the highest levels, they didn't arrive in New Orleans until five days after the levees broke.

Incompetence on this level is inexcusable. Regime Changes needs to take place now.

On a lighter note, Dick Cheney, known around the world for his tender love and compassion for all downtrodden peoples, was given a warm reception by the natives of New Orleans. For a laugh, you can view the clip here at Crooks and Liars.

Finally, I would like to finish up today's entry with a topic unrelated to Hurricane Katrina: The Religious Right. Specifically, their rabid hatred of homosexuals. I found this interesting website that presents a side-by-side comparison of contemporary Batshit Crazy anti-gay rhetoric with 1930's Nazi anti-Jew rhetoric.

Eerily similar. Surely, it must be a coincidence....right?

I think we all know the answer to that question: hate is hate, no matter who it comes from. There is no difference between 1930's anti-Semitism in Germany, and modern-day gay-bashing in the "Free World".

Hate is just as ugly, no matter who is spewing it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

 

GOP Shows Its True Colors

If there is one thing Hurricane Katrina has taught us, it is this: "Compassionate Conservatism" is a gigantic sack of shit.

Unless you're rich and/or politically influential, the GOP doesn't care if you live or die. Quite simply, the Chickenhawk Brigade doesn't care about poor people.

Here's a quote from Barbara Bush, the Mama Hen of the Chickenhawk Brigade:

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway...so this is working very well for them."

Barbara's message to the people of New Orleans: Sure you lost your home, family and worldly possessions, but it can't really matter that much because you were poor anyways.

What a wonderfully caring lady. She doesn't look down her nose at the poor even a little bit, does she?

Here's another gem of GOP compassion, this one from Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. When asked about the Administration's sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, Chertoff replied:

"You don't normally tell the National Guard to pack up and move within 24 hours unless it's, ya know, a huge emergency."


Apparently a demolished city and 10,000 dead American citizens doesn't constitute an important enough emergency to call up the National Guard.

This makes me wonder: would the Administration's response have been any different if Hurricane Katrina had hit a more influential area...say, Miami or Orange County, California.

I think we all know the answer to that question. If Hurricane Katrina had hit a rich, GOP-dominated area, or even a crucial swing state, Federal troops and aid would have been on the site within a day.

Sorry New Orleans, I guess you're just not important enough to the President. Unless you're rich and powerful, Bush and the Chickenhawk Brigade don't care what happens to you.

I've known this for a while, and I think that, at last, the rest of the country is beginning to come to their senses as well. It seems that, finally, Bush has fucked up badly enough, and killed enough people, to really outrage the masses. Observe the list of Top Ten Searches at technorati.com. The #3 slot on the list is occupied by this term: "Impeach Bush".

Of course, we all know that this is likely to prove nothing but a pipe dream. Bush is too secure to be in any real danger of impeachment, no matter how many American citizens he has murdered. However, the sheer fact that these terms even appear on the list indicates a rising tide of outrage against the deadly negligence of the Bush White House.

The GOP has had control of this country for far too long. Their negligence has now killed thousands of our own citizens. This country needs a Regime Change.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

 

The Bush Response: Lie! Deflect! Suppress!

10,000 dead. That's the latest estimate of the Hurricane Katrina death toll.

10,000 men, women and children dead thanks to the negligence of the Chickenhawk Brigade. These people have killed three times as many Americans as the terrorists in the 9/11 attacks.

However, it seems that the Bush Administration has finally marshaled all its resources, rolled up its sleeves and finally gotten to work....on salvaging Dubya's Watergate-level approval ratings.

That's right...not saving lives. Saving face.

Realizing that their murderously sluggish response to the disaster was terrible for Bush's "compassionate conservative" image, the White House has embarked on a PR blitz in a last-ditch attempt to ward off facing consequences for their failures.

Not only has Dubya taken plenty of time to pose with firefighters for patriotic photo ops (thus keeping those firefighters from actually rescuing people), the White House has gone on the attack against a pesky, unpatriotic nuisance known as "freedom of the press".

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. FEMA, under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security, refused to permit journalists to take photos of dead bodies in New Orleans.

Apparently, photos of the victims of Bush's negligence have been giving the plebeians dangerous thoughts. And, Lord knows we can't have that. No siree.

Essentially Bush is now attempting to get "harmful images" (i.e. the lifeless bodies his victims) off the air, and replace those with "happy images" of him posing with muscled, rustic firemen and rescue workers.

Don't let him get away with it.

We all know the truth by now. Bush and the rest of the Administration neglected the city of New Orleans, cutting funding for flood protection and levee support. And, now the people of New Orleans are paying for it with blood.

Of course, the Chickenhawk Brigade is going to try to push the blame on the State and local officials. Don't let them get away with that either. There is little that the city of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana could have done with only 1/3 of their usual storm-protection funds and with 35% less of their usual National Guard strength (you can thank the Iraq War for that one).

Only the Federal Government has the resources to deal with a disaster of this magnitude. And the people of New Orleans didn't see any of these resources until almost a week after the levees broke.

Incompetence on this scale is simply inexcusable. This country needs a regime change. And we need it now, before any more people die at the hands of the incompetents running the White House.

We simply can't afford to let these people control this nation any longer.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

 

Media Criticism of the Chickenhawk Brigade

Today must be my birthday. Honestly, this is amazing.

It seems that the Main Stream Media has finally decided to grow some balls, criticize the bungled Federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

First up was MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who made these statements on MSNBC.

No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn’t even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans — even though the government had heard all the “chatter” from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn’t quite discern… a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

And most 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.


Amazing. Simply wonderful. If you wish, you can view the full video here.

This was followed up by Meet The Press's Tim Russert, who leveled his own criticism of the government's pitiful response. Here's a choice quote:

And the reason that we need to figure out what went wrong is not just so's that the red guys can point at the blue guys and the blue guys at the red guys, it's because Homeland Security is supposed to make us safer. Based upon what we've seen, they have failed miserably. There will be another hurricane, there will be another terrorist attack, and when that happens, we cannot survive another response like we've seen in our southlands.


You can get the full video here.

Wow. Just wow. Perhaps this disaster has brought about a change in media for the better in the media. Maybe the media will stop spewing out infotainment and start actually asking reasonable questions of the establishment.

CNN's Anderson Cooper has started.

Hell, even Fox News correspondents have begun to question the Administration's shoddy response to the tragedy. You need to watch this video from Hannity and Colmes. Both Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera were furious about the Administration's awful response to Hurricane Katrina. When presented with the horrid truth from Smith, Hannity began his usual spinning: "...let's get this in perspective..." However, Smith cut him off, screaming "This is perspective!" Geraldo Rivera appeared on the same program, holding a child and crying, in hopes of bringing the inhumane conditions in New Orleans to light. Of course Geraldo was, as usual, grandstanding and promoting his favorite person: Geraldo. However, a kernel of rebellious altruism can nevertheless be detected at the heart of his melodramatic self-promotion. And, for a man as self-absorbed as Geraldo, this is monumentally significant.

These people aren't shrill left-wingers. They are correspondents from Fox News. And even they realized that the Administration fucked up big time. And now New Orleans is paying for that mistake with blood.

We pay these people to protect us, and they failed. Now, our own citizens are dying for their mistakes. There needs to be some accountability, and some heads need to roll. The Administration, Bush and Chertoff included, fucked up big time. And they need to face the consequences of their failure.

This is dereliction of duty, my friends. It was the duty of Chertoff and Bush to protect us. They failed. And, now, they need to pay for that failure. There needs to be some regime change around here. The nation simply can't afford to have that man in office for a second longer. Not if we want to make it out of this term alive.

Monday, September 05, 2005

 

Katrina in The News

Hurricane Katrina has spawned some interesting television moments over the past week. Perhaps most entertaining of all was Kanye West's outburst during a fundraising telethon on live TV. (I analyzed it here)

But that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the Sunday political talk shows.

Perhaps most interesting was yesterday's Meet The Press. Of Russert's guests for the day, the two most interesting were Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff and the President of Jefferson Parish Louisiana, Aaron Broussard. (Full transcript here)

Mr. Broussard became quite emotional on the show, blasting the Administration's sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina. At one point, a tearful Broussard proclaimed:

"We have been abandoned by our own country."


You can see a video excerpt here at Crooks and Liars.

Almost as interesting as Broussard was Mr. Chertoff, who immediately began doing what the Chickenhawk Brigade does best: denying responsibility for their fuckups. In fact, rather than helping to coordinate the rescue effort, Chertoff spent his time on Sunday making the rounds of the political talk show circuit, trying desperately to shift blame from the Administration on each show.

After Meet The Press, Chertoff began subtle on Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: How is it possible that you could not have known on late Thursday ... that there were thousands of people in the Convention Center who didn't have food, who didn't have water, who didn't have security, when that was being reported on national television?

CHERTOFF: Well, Chris, you know, that's one of the issues we have to look at.

I mean, we were in constant touch with what was going on in the field, getting information from state and local officials.

As it happened on that very Thursday, I was in a videoconference with state officials and didn't get any information about this.

And one of the things we will look at is, why it is in the middle of this emergent crisis there was kind of a conflict in the information.


Chertoff later dropped the subtle approach to his blameshifting on CNN's Late Edition:

The very day that this emerged in the press, I was on a video conference with all the officials, including state and local officials.

And nobody -- none of the state and local officials or anybody else was talking about a Convention Center.


Apparently, according to the Administration, local and state officials hold all of the responsibility for the disastrous response to Katrina.

Disaster response isn't the main responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. Right?

Wrong. Dead wrong. Let's examine the Mission Statement for the Department of Homeland Security:

In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.


The DHS knew that there was no food stockpiled in New Orleans...yet they did nothing about it. They knew that the levees wouldn't hold, yet they refused to evacuate the 200,000 car-less poor folks from the city. And yet, it failed to respond significantly until almost a week after the levees broke.

Not only did Chertoff fail the people of this nation, but the entire Administration failed us. This entire response was a failure on virtually every level of the Administration, all the way up to Mr. Bush himself.

They have failed us, and heads need to roll for that failure.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

 

On Rehnquist and the Hypocrisy of the Katrina Response

Well, unless you live in a cave somewhere, you've already heard the news.

Chief Justice Rehnquist is dead. Rest in peace. I may not agree with the man, but I can at least wish him peace.

That said, things are going to get increasingly interesting in the next couple weeks. Not only do we have John G. Roberts nomination to think about, we now have to fill the post of Chief Justice.

Quite frankly, this change frightens me. I know it's in poor taste to speak badly of the dead, but honesty will be necessary in this entry.

I am frightened of another justice in the mold of Rehnquist. From abortion to affirmative action to gay rights, Rehnquist has made a point of opposing any decision that could possibly increase the rights of the citizens of this nation.

Another Justice in the mold of Rehnquist could be potentially disastrous for a woman's right to choose (among other things), especially since the positions of Roberts are virtually unknown. The idea of two brand-new, anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court should be very unsettling to principled Left-Wingers everywhere.

Now, on to some Hurricane news.

By this point, all intelligent people know that Bush and the Chickenhawk Brigade don't actually give a shit about the people in New Orleans. In case you still haven't got the picture, I present you this quote by Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff. In response to a question (video clip here) about the Administration's sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, Chertoff said:
"You don't normally tell the National Guard to pack up and move within 24 hours unless it's, ya know, a huge emergency."

So apparently, to the Chickenhawk Brigade, the thousands of American citizens in mortal danger on the Gulf Coast don't constitute an "emergency". Sorry folks, you're not important to the White House. Maybe things would be better if you lived in a swing state.

Which brings me on to my next topic. On Friday night, Bush finally signed a $10.5 billion aid bill for Hurricane Katrina. Bush also visited some affected on Friday, taking time for a photo-op that tied up rescue operations and diverted rescue workers from their task of saving people, so they could stand at attention behind the President.

But I digress. That's not my main point. What I really want to do is draw a comparison between Bush's response to Florida, after it was hit by four hurricanes last year, and Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina this year.

Last year, when four hurricanes slammed into Florida, Bush was on the ground at the site almost immediately for a photo-op with his brother Jeb. Also, he awarded $31 million in disaster relief to Florida residents who didn't even experience hurricane damage.

Is it a coincidence that Florida was a swing state in an election year, while Louisiana was not? Could this have something to do with Bush's speedy response to Florida last year, and his sluggish response Hurricane Katrina this year?

I think we're all intelligent enough to know the answer to that question.
Unless helping you will win him votes or money, Dubya doesn't care if you live or die.

A real "compassionate conservative", huh?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

 

It's About Class, not Color

Well, unless you live in a cave somewhere, you've probably heard about Kanye West's remarks on live television, denouncing the Bush Administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. (Watch it here at Crooks and Liars)

Of the many quotable gems, perhaps the greatest was when Kanye proclaimed:

"George Bush doesn't care about black people."

This statement has caused an amusing amount of anger from the Far Right Wing. (See: here, here, and here).

Now, Kanye's remarks aren't totally true. It is true that Dubya doesn't care about the black people in New Orleans. But it's not because of the color of their skin. Dubya doesn't care about the white people in New Orleans either.

Why, you may ask? I'll tell you why.

George W. Bush doesn’t care about the people of the Gulf Coast because they are poor, and lack political power. The color of your skin doesn't matter to him. All that matters to George W. Bush is whether you live in a swing state or you can give money to the GOP.

Other than that, he doesn't give a shit. Dubya didn't react to the disaster on the Gulf Coast until public outrage forced him to. Only when it looked as if remaining silent would damage him politically did Dubya choose to even mention Hurricane Katrina. And even now, his reaction is pathetic.

Now, here is the interesting question: Would Dubya's reaction have been different if Hurricane Katrina hit a more politically influential area? Say...Florida or Texas? Or maybe Orange County, California.

I'm willing to bet money he would have reacted differently.

So, Kanye was half right. Dubya doesn't care about the black people in New Orleans. But it's not because of the color of the skin. Dubya doesn't care about the people of New Orleans, black or white, because they don't have the money or power to help his political career.

The man is a pure political animal. Nothing more. All he cares about is what you can do for him, and everything else be damned.

Friday, September 02, 2005

 

Anderson Attacks!

Finally, we're getting some outrage from the Main Stream Media over the government's sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina. CNN's Anderson Cooper, who has been in New Orleans all this week, verbally bitch-slapped Sen. Mary Landrieu for the government's shoddy response to the disaster on the Gulf Coast.

Here is a choice excerpt from the interview (via mediabistro.com):

LANDRIEU: Anderson, tonight, I don't know if you've heard -- maybe you all have announced it -- but Congress is going to an unprecedented session to pass a $10 billion supplemental bill tonight to keep FEMA and the Red Cross up and operating.

COOPER: Excuse me, Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting. I haven't heard that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated.

And when they hear politicians slap -- you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough facilities to take her up.


Hats off to Anderson, for being one of the first in the MSM to finally speak the truth and try to hold the government to some measure of accountability. Let's hope others in the media choose to follow his example.

On to more Katrina news. Specifically, Administration lies about their responsibility for the disaster in New Orleans.

On ABC's Good Morning America, President Bush proclaimed:

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did appreciate a serious storm but these levees got breached and as a result much of New Orleans is flooded and now we're having to deal with it and will..."


Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, engineers have been warning for years of the potential disaster if the New Orleans levees were to break. USA Today had this story: Engineers had warned of a looming disaster.

So, contrary to what Bush wants us to believe, there was plenty of warning about the vulnerability of the New Orleans levees. He simply chose to ignore it. This is hardly surprising. The man has a bad habit of ignoring the advice of his experts. This habit often has deadly results, such as when Dubya took us to war over evidence that 70% of his CIA analysts said was unreliable. Our troops and the Iraqi people are currently paying for that decision. Now its time for the people of New Orleans to pay for his decision to ignore warnings about the vulnerable levees.

The man is incompetent in the extreme. Under his watch, he has allowed thousands of his own people, and citizens abroad, to die from his bungling leadership. In the corporate world, incompetence of this magnitude would certainly result in his immediate dismissal. The man is completely and utterly incapable of leading a group of people of any sort, much less a nuclear superpower.

Sadly, we're stuck with him for another three years. All that remains to be seen is how many other people he can kill in that time.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

 

Bush Shirks His Responsibility

By this time, all sensible people know the full story about New Orleans. In the months before Hurricane Katrina came ashore, Dubya axed spending for hurricane-protection programs by millions of dollars.

Perhaps most galling of all is that Dubya cut these hurricane-protection funds even after an FEMA report that warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. Despite these warnings, Bush still insisted on cutting New Orleans flood-control funding by 44 percent to pay for his War of Aggression.

So, Bush made a mistake. A HUGE mistake. At that point, the only decent thing to do is fess up and confess to your mistakes.

However, sadly for the rest of us, Dubya is not a decent person. Not even close.

In fact, in an address to the nation yesterday afternoon, Bush did what he does best: avoiding responsibility for his actions.

In a vague speech that even conservatives at the National Review found “tone-deaf” and "pathetic", Bush talked about everything but his responsibility for the disaster in New Orleans.

Now, I know that actions speak louder than words. However, in this case, both Dubya's actions and his words seem to indicate that the man is completely out of touch with reality. Either that, or the man simply doesn't mind having the blood of thousands on his hands. Being a nice guy, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the former.

But I digress. Let me explain my statement.

Dubya's words indicate that he is unwilling to accept responsibility for his mistakes. He fucked up, and people are dying for his fuck-ups, both in Iraq and New Orleans.

His actions also indicate a complete lack of responsibility. Not only did the President cut flood-control funds to New Orleans, but his sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina indicates his complete loss of touch with reality. In fact, as late as Tuesday, while New Orleans was completely engulfed in floodwaters, Dubya still had time to give speeches in support of his War of Aggression.

Amazing. Simply amazing. While men and women were dying for his mistakes in New Orleans, he was talking about another one of his mistakes, the War of Aggression that men and women are dying for in Iraq.

The man is completely incompetent. Don't we pay this guy to take care of us? Over the course of his administration, this man has, through lies, bumbling, and outright incompetence killed thousands of people, first abroad, and now on our own shores.

And yet, we still let him keep his job. Now, where is the justice in that?

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