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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

PLAYING GAMES WITH DISASTER
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Image hosted by TinyPic.com I'm sorry miss, but the Prez said no finger pointing.

Guess who's back? That's right, the president’s chief spinmeister Karl Rove, he of Plamegate (remember that?), was on the scene yesterday charged with a mission to save whatever is left of Bush’s reputation from drowning right along with the city of New Orleans. The chief talking point? “Now is not the time to play the Blame Game.” It was uttered repeatedly as officials from the president on down came under fire from a suddenly agressive media. Of course, at the same time Team Bush implores us that "now is not the time to be pointing fingers," they engage in a coordinated effort to point their own fingers at and lay blame on the local officials in Louisiana, or at least the Democratic ones.

Now is not the time? I’m sorry, but it seems to me that now is exactly the time to play the Blame Game. While I agree that our first concern should still be helping the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, when the response to a disaster of this magnitude is so inept, so empty and so horrifying, and not a shred of accountability from the federal government can be found, these questions must be asked. And they must be asked now. Simply put, this is a complete and total failure of leadership from the top down.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com There's plenty of blame to go around!

I'm not just trying to make political hay here. I'm not exploiting this tragedy. No, what it is is pure outrage. I'm pissed. In fact I’m white-hot fuming that our government could be SO ill-prepared for such devastation. How are we supposed to feel safe with these idiots in charge? I thought these were the guys that could protect us, isn't that how they sold themselves last fall? It is for this very reason that I will most certainly play the 'Blame Game' and I will play it now. I refuse to simply sit and wait for the “appropriate time” to begin asking the questions that need to be asked. Since 9/11 happened, these fools have had four years to get their shit together, and this is the best they can give us?? The time for asking questions is now. We can't wait. There's too much at stake.

So where do we start? While local officials must share some of the blame, most of it should fall directly on FEMA's shoulders and one Michael "Brownie" Brown, the director. FEMA's list of headines from the past week is mighty impressive, have a look:

FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations
FEMA turns away experienced firefighters
FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks
FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel
FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food
FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans
FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid
FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board
FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck
FEMA turns away generators
FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"
FEMA accused of flying evacuees to wrong Charleston

So the president's pissed, right? Heads are gonna roll over at FEMA, right? Here’s Bush on Friday, touring the effected region with embattled Director Brown:
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
Gee, why don’t you just go ahead and give him a fucking medal while you’re at it.

Brownie’s “heck of a job” last week included blaming the victims, most of which had no way of getting themselves out of the city, for not heeding evacuation warnings. It also included waiting until AFTER Katrina hit to deploy any semblance of a plan for dealing with it, a plan which instructed Homeland Security personnel to “convey a positive image” as one of its primary directives. Yep, a heck of a job indeed.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Bush & Brown: Pssst, hey guys, there's a hurricane behind you.

So it’s all FEMA’s fault right? Well, not so fast. First off, who appointed Brownie to head FEMA in the first place? Well, that would be Mr.Bush. And what sort of experience in disaster management did Brownie earn the position with?

From 1991 to 2001, Brown was the Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association, an international subsidiary of the national governing organization of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Well, at least he had the experience of working with a horse's ass on a daily basis. Amazingly, Brown was even fired from that job. And the experience of Bush's appointees directly under Brownie is no better, but at least they put in some solid work to get Bush elected.

Secondly, why has FEMA been so inept and feckless in the face of such a disaster? Aren’t they supposed to be first line of response in a catastrophic instance like this? Well, they were, until Bush gutted the agency, folded it into Homeland Security and filled it full of favor appointees with absolutely no experience in disaster management. No wonder the Bushies don't want to play the 'Blame Game.'

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Knowing that Bush is ultimately more responsible for this mess than anyone, how is hearing that he’s promised to head an investigation into the matter supposed to make us feel better? Couldn’t he just look in the mirror to figure that out? In making his pledge to investigate himself yesterday, Bush said:

"Bureaucracy is not going to stand in the way of getting the job done for the people."
Earlier, Aaron Broussard, president of a devastated Jefferson Parish, said:

"Bureaucracy has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area. And bureaucracy needs to stand trial before Congress today. So I'm asking Congress, please investigate this now. Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot."
Yes, new idiots please. I'm really sick and tired of the old ones.

OTHER FUCKED UP SHIT
About:
Oh the stupid things people say.
Onion:
God Outdoes Terrorists Again
Sploid: Four Years After 9/11
Michael Moore:
Dear George
Olberman: A City Underwater
Times-Picayune: Fire Them All
LC:
Photo-Ops? Yes! Actual assistance? Not so much.
Babs Bush: Let them eat cake! (also, audio from OGM)
Russert: "To ignore what happened in New orleans is to guarantee it will happen again."

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Comments:
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It must be interesting going through life with no idea what you are talking about. Go look up federalism and try to understand what it means - especially since it is the official mandate of power since the forming of this nation. As a matter of law and policy, the only governments that had a legal right to address Hurricane Katrina before it arrived and after it hit were local and state. Those governments were "first responders" and were completely unprepared. The City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana had the major responsibility for this crisis and failed miserably. FEMA did a lousy job and big-change is needed there, but most of the damage was done by the time the federal government's role kicked in. Blaming Bush is nothing more than partisan politics and your exploiting a crisis is a disgrace. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Jim
 
You know what must be really interesting Jim? Going through life bouncing from one talking point to the next. A category 5 hurricane hitting the city of New Orleans was and is considered to be the second or third biggest threat to the nation, and it's entirely up to the mayor to respond to it? No doubt there is fault at all levels in this, but something of this magnitude, which we had advance knowledge of, has to go to the top. This administration doesn't even know how to spell accountability, let alone understand what it is. You mention FEMA and how lousy a job you think they did, why do you think that is? Bush and his cronies are ENTIRELY responsible for the gutting of the agency and loading it up with unqualified patronage appointments. The buck stops at the top. And no this is not 'partisan', this is an utter disgrace and a complete failure of government. Any fool can see that.

You and every single one of the Bush apologists who have spent the last five years covering for the severe incompetence and utter failure that this administration represents are the ones who should be ashamed of yourselves. Pull your head out of your ass Jim.

Jed
 
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