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Friday, September 30, 2005

As we rounded the corner at NW 15th St. in DC during last weekend’s march, the White House in our sites, a wicked stench fell over the crowd. Someone asked, “What’s that smell?” My answer? “That’s your government.”

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Missing a few, but pretty close to the truth. (thanks to DU's slybacon9 for the pic)

This week’s indictment of Tom DeLay is really just the tip of the iceberg, as we well know. The GOP’s stink runs far, wide and wild throughout the party. It is really quite remarkable how they’ve been able to extend the culture of corruption to unimaginable depths. Really, they ought to be commended. Look at all this stink!

Smells like The Hammer.
Image hosted by TinyPic.com As we well know, corruption runs thick through Tom DeLay’s veins (that’s assuming he pumps blood and isn’t a vampire, something the jury is still out on). But the single count of criminal conspiracy doesn’t even begin to delve into the depths of this guy’s thuggery. In addition to the shady PAC dealings he was indicted for, he’s also protected sweatshops, offered bribes to fellow congressmen, seized federal resources to hunt down political opponents, took money from children to pay for his buddies golf tournaments, getting into bed with energy company officials, regularly took money from lobbyists to fund luxurious trips to Europe and Asia, attempted to abolish ethics and change the rules in the House to protect his power. (Many thanks to ThinkProgress)

Come on Tom, admit it, “this is kinda fun, isn’t it?” Poor Jonah Goldberg doesn’t think so. Tears for Jonah? Anyone??

Smells like a Blunt Object.
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It only seems appropriate that DeLay clone Roy Blunt (R-Mo) would take over DeLay’s position as Majority Leader. After all, it was Blunt who said DeLay “takes arrows for all of us” last spring, leading one to believe that the whole lot of ‘em are corrupt. Well, duh. More details on Blunt’s breaches can be found here, here and here, but perhaps David Sirota summed it up best this week when he opined:

"The truth is, Blunt has so many connections to people and companies under investigation by federal law enforcement you'd think you were reading about a gangster, rather than one of America's most powerful politicians."

* He should be indicted just for wearing that shirt, shouldn't he?

Smells like Little Jack
Image hosted by TinyPic.com Speaking of gangsters, have you heard about this guy? Perhaps the hub of the GOP’s big ‘ol scandal ring, Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff is linked to so much corruption his photo probably heads the list when you Google the word. Not only is Abramoff one of the DeLay’s self-proclaimed best friends, he’s also linked to just about every key power player in the crooked Republican establishment. He can easily be connected to Karl Rove, John Ashcroft, Bob Ney, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed… the list goes on and on.

Additionally, Abramoff is involved with Tyco International, whose CEO Dennis Kozlowski was just sentenced to prison. Most abhorrently however may be Abramoff’s connection to a 2001 Gambino Family mob hit in Florida. See, he IS a gangster. And he’s pulling the strings of the most powerful people in government. Makes you feel good about the state of the nation, doesn’t it?

But hold on, it gets better/worse. Abramoff, who was indicted on counts of wire fraud only a month ago, is also connected to former head of procurement at the Office of Management and Budget David Safavian (i.e. the guy who inked all those no-bid contracts (Halliburton, etc.) for Katrina reconstruction). Safavian was arrested earlier this month for lying about his involvement with Abramoff. Oh, and he may have ties to terrorist organizations.

Smells like Dr. No-Good.
Image hosted by TinyPic.com Ahhhh yes, we can’t forget about the good doctor. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is like the Martha Stewart of Congress, but without the doilies. Frist, a former 2008 presidential aspirant (kiss that goodbye), is currently under investigation by the SEC on charges of insider trading. Frist dumped shares in HCA, a medical supply company founded by his father and brother, just before the companies stock plummeted. Defenders of Frist scrambled to come up with a myriad of explanations, one of which was the idea that he “doesn’t need the money.” Shortly thereafter it was reported that the sale could have yielded the good doctor as much as $6 million. Go ahead, show me someone who couldn’t use that kind of money and I’ll show you an honest Republican.

But don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not just about the money for Doc Frist. It’s about torture too.

Smells like Turd Blossom.
Image hosted by TinyPic.com “Tom DeLay is going to continue to be a strong and effective majority leader. … We strongly support Tom DeLay. He’s a good man, a close ally of this administration.” – April 18, 2005

Who said that? Come on, take a guess. Yes indeed, it was none other than our favorite spawn of Satan, Karl Rove. I don’t think I need to go into the dirty details on this guy, do I?

Smells like Big Dick & Scooter.
Image hosted by TinyPic.com & Image hosted by TinyPic.com Today’s news that Judy Miller, who Billmon refers to as “the Martyr of Times Square,” was coming out of confinement to open her trap for the Grand Jury in the Plame investigation is, at best, confusing. While it could be a positive sign that the proverbial hammer is about to come down on Rove, Cheney and friends, I’m of the suspicion she’s still cooperating with this crooked administration. Remember, she was, by far, the biggest trumpeter of the bogus WMD claims Team Bush was spouting in the run-up to Iraq.

My hunch is that while she’s squatted in prison these past three months, the administration has found a way to protect the big wigs in the Plame case, Rove and Cheney primarily. The revelation that Cheney’s chief aide, Scooter Libby, is Judy’s source only leads me to believe that he’s been set up as the fall guy, the ‘patsy’ if you will. Regardless, Cheney, Rove and Scooter’s involvement stinks to high hell if you ask me. Read Of Scooters & Big Dicks for more.

Smells like POTUS.
Image hosted by TinyPic.com And finally there’s this guy. With all this happening on his watch, in addition to the flood of other fuck-ups committed during his stewardship, is it really so much to ask that we at least think about Impeachment? I mean, what’s it take, a blow job?

No wonder he’s lost his swagger (hey, maybe it’s with those WMDs he’s been looking for?). No wonder he may be drinking again.

The stench has got to be unbearable.

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Shakes: Blunted
Digby: Criminals Much?
Gilliard: Black Wednesday
Culture of Corruption
Think Progress: Poor Tom DeLay
Voice: You Don’t Know Jack. (But You Will)
Crisis Papers (via DU): Suppose Impeachment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Oh glory day, it has begun.
DeLay Indicted in Campaign Finance Probe
WASHINGTON - A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.
Ok, who's next?

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Why do you all look so nervous?

If Bush hadn't started drinking again as rumored, he may now. I don't even think "Chang" is going to help these guys now. Click the banner below for more.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I would be remiss not to blog about the 'other' rally in DC over the weekend. A day after 200,000 anti-war marchers encircled the White House, a whopping group of about 400 turned out to voice their support for endless, mindless war. Among them was former marine/fake reporter/male escort/White House hooker Jeff Gannon/Guckert.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Gannon looks for a 'few good men' at war rally.

Attaboy Bulldog! And hey, dude standing next to Bulldog, wasn't that mission accomplished back in May of '03? Just asking.

Support the Troops: Bring Them Home.

MM: 'Go Ahead Jeff.'
AmericaBlog: A Man Named Jeff.
Pam: You Don't Speak for Manwhores.

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown today in front of the completely not independent inquiry on the government's abject failure that was Katrina:

"I know what I'm doing, and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it."

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"So I guess you want me to be the superhero?" -- Michael Brown, 9.27.05

My god, who hired this jerk-off?

Oh, that's right, he did.


Monday, September 26, 2005

You probably didn’t hear much about it, but the smell of dissent hung thick in the DC air this weekend as nearly 200,000 turned out in the streets to raise their voices. While the target of dissent had conveniently repositioned himself in Colorado, the symbol of his rule, his Castle if you will, was completely surrounded.
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While there was nary a Democratic leader to be found (they, like the president, conveniently scurried out of town for the weekend), the march itself was actually quite emblematic of the party: Large but disorganized. Loud but lacking focus. Seriously, something needs to be done about how these things are run. As Gilliard points out, “Too many people on the left glom on to any protest and use it as their hobby horse.” I agree that groups like ANSWER, whose involvement makes it all too easy for the other side to completely discreditt these events, need to be given the heave-ho. Seriously, when the “Sonar Kills Dolphins” sign marched past me, I knew we were seriously lacking clarity of message. Sigh.

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With so many mixed messages, I sometimes question my involvement in these things. Like so many others, I have struggled with how best to get out of the mess these bastards in the Bush administration have put us in. I’ve struggled with the idea of a mass pull-out from Iraq, realizing that that path could serve to further destabilize the region. And as I marched amongst the patchwork of well-intentioned suburbanites, rabid anarchists and dolphin defenders, I found myself wondering why I was there at all. But I realized the next day that despite our wildly varying reasons for hitting the streets Saturday, there was one goal we all shared: Replace These Idiots.

While I don’t support everything that was protested against Saturday, the larger theme of revolution, whether in the form of impeachment or otherwise, is something I can stand behind. These are the fuckers who got us into this mess in the first place, so why should we continue to follow their lead? Even if you agree with the insane concept behind the war, you can’t be happy with how it’s been carried out. They’ve failed miserably, there is no denying that. Why should we trust anything they tell us when they’ve proven time and time again, and on a variety of issues, to be dishonest, corrupt and thoroughly incompetent? As Jefferson Parrish President Aaron Broussard said at the height of the Katrina debacle, “Give Me Better Idiots.”

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These are scary times folks. And these are not the people you want in charge when things are so precarious. They’ve proven that. And it’s not just Bush either, not by a long shot. I honestly believe Bush doesn’t fully understand the results of his actions. Let’s face it, the guy will never be confused for an intellectual, even the farthest reaches of the right can see that. He’s not curious. He’s not into ‘critical thinking.’ Like so many of his supporters, he’d rather be told how to think. It’s just easier that way. I think he truly believes the story he’s spouting, I just don’t think he understands it. I said the minute he was ‘selected’ president: “It’s not him I’m worried about; it’s the people standing behind him that scare me.” He’s the boy king, the pawn of much more evil men. I believe they’ll sacrifice even him if they have to, which means we gotta throw ‘em all out. The pull out we need most right now is a pull out of this current government. Send them back to whatever evil hole they crawled out of. We need new, less-dangerous idiots, and we need them immediately.

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Finally, if, like me, you’ve struggled with the question about what the correct course of action in Iraq moving forward is, read “Heart of Darkness” by Billmon. It’s disturbing, but it shines a much-needed light on the unfortunate consequences the Bush administration’s actions have and will continue to bring about.

We have to get out -- not because withdrawal will head off civil war in Iraq or keep the country from fallling under Iran's control (it won't) but because the only way we can stop those things from happening is by killing people on a massive scale, probably even more massive than the tragedy we supposedly would be trying to prevent.
Read it.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Observing their handiwork.

TruthOut: Full coverage.
MahaBlog: More coverage
MaxSpeaks: Photos from the march.
Voice: Pull Out. Like Your Father Should Have.
Juan Cole: Why We Have to Get Our Troops Out.
Sheehan: Last weekend Karl Rove said I was a ‘clown.’

Friday, September 23, 2005

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
-- Abraham Lincoln

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Hmmm, this is curious... Karl Rove said earlier this week that "there is no real anti-war movement" in this country. Funny that Rove would say that the very same day it was reported that a whopping 67% of the country opposes the war. Sounds pretty "real" to me, Karl. Where does he live again? I think we may need to expand the route of this weekend's march to include a pass by his cave.

Yes, I am one of the "clowns" who will be in DC this weekend, and I don't feel one bit silly about it. Many people have been asking me, "why bother?" The most typical comment I get is, "it's not going to make any difference," which is exactly the reason I will be there this weekend. The Karl Roves of the world are counting on complacency amongst the populace. They're surely hoping another pretty, young blonde girl goes missing on a tropical island somewhere so we'll all forget about this disastrous war, a continued pattern of cronyism and corruption, and outright incompetence at the highest levels of government. Don't let it happen.

The time for being complacent is over. This shit is important. The state of the union is not well. I'm not demanding you all come to DC and march this weekend, but I am asking you not to sit back and simply throw your hands up when you see or hear the hypocrisy. Call bullshit on it all. Demand accountability. Educate those who refuse to pull their noses out of their gossip rags and their eyes away from reality television. Every little action matters. Every time we raise our voices it adds to an increasingly louder chorus across the country. A chorus that is fed up with the corrupt, incompetent and downright dangerous establishment currently occupying the seats of power in this country. And we should all be screaming at the top of our lungs at this point.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com President Bush, We Hate Your War.

Not convinced? Want more reasons why this administration should be held accountable? There are at least 1,000, but try these on for starters:

How's that for starters?

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"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable -- a most sacred right -- a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world." -- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Alright Mayor Ray Nagin, you're turn to be in the crosshairs. What is wrong with you? Your decision to bring 180,000 residents back into New Orleans before all the toxic gumbo had even been pumped out was asinine. At least you came to your senses yesterday when Rita began to rear her ugly head over the Florida Keys. But really, where's your head at?

Image hosted by TinyPic.com 'Go that way! Now come back! Now go away again!'

You captured a lot of attention and a lot of empathy those first few days, particularly your scorching appeal for Bush & Co. to "get off their asses." But then, slowly, your role in the entire mess became clearer, culminating with the release of this infamous photo:

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And now, as the feds and the president question your hasty decision to repopulate the city, you go and get all macho, telling the very people you begged for assistance that "you were in charge" and that you didn't need their help. Listen buddy, after your little slice of the incompetence pie was revealed, your credibility is shot. I've said every moron involved should be 'shitcanned', and you, Mr. Nagin, should not be one to escape the forthcoming canning of shit.

Your recent Clash-inspired proclamations have left many residents confused, frustrated or just plain pissed. Many who'd just made their way back were fed up and refusing to evacuate a second time. Annie Lewis, a property owner in the historic French Quarter, said "it'll take a gun to my head." Careful what you ask for Annie, that Nagin seems pretty unstable -- and he just may be packing.

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'Georgie, I think this the beginning of a beautiful disaster.'

Beatles: Lovely Rita
NYT: Clinton smacks down Bush.
Kerry: 'This is the Katrina administration.'
Kos: Alaska is keeping their bridges to nowhere, dammit.
Jon Stewart @ The Emmys: Puppies & Kittens for Everyone!

... and set to music! Remember that song I posted last week, the one you were urged to 'blast from the fucking rooftops'? Well, thankfully, it's been given the video treatment. Check it out.

I'm sure Laura Bush will find it absolutely disgusting. All the more reason to watch it, no?

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Big Pimpin: Probably not the best way to win the support of the black community.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

You know how Bush supposedly "doesn't care about black people"? Well, the feeling is apparently mutual. This, earlier in the week, from comedian Damon Wayans:

"I'll send my sons [to Iraq] if [Bush] sends his daughters. Put those two drunk bitches on a plane and let them go fight. At least I know my sons would be getting some on the way."

Said one clown Image hosted by TinyPic.com to the other Image hosted by TinyPic.com. Bozo.

A few other random bits that slipped through the Days news filter this past week:

Friday, September 16, 2005

I missed the president's speech last night (bad American!), but I woke up to the following headline in the Daily News:

Prez: 'I'll Handle Recovery Effort'

Phew! And here I thought they'd appoint someone incompetent to the task. Actually, Bush isn't the one truly in charge, that would be Karl Rove, the president's top aide, chief leaker and master PR man. My reaction to that? WTF?? Seriouly, why put a spinmeister in charge of a disaster recovery effort? Well, at least we know that if any uppity diplomats question the validity of the White House's relief effort, their spy wives will be outed.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com 'How come my porch hasn't been rebuilt yet ya bastard?'

To be fair, Bush's speech did seemingly convey the compassion some had cried for -- three weeks ago. However, while the speech was chock full of emotional platitudes, it lacked specifics. For one, there was no reversal on the issue of whether or not to appoint an independent investigation, something the GOP Congress is refusing to do. Additionally, there was little detail as to how the federal government would pay for "one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen" (second only to Iraq of course). There was no promise to set aside his plans for a second round of tax cuts, and no hint that he would abandon his flailing (and expensive) effort to privatize social security.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com It's hard (and sweaty!) work pretending to care. (Reuters)

So how will we pay for it? Thankfully, the Cato Institute, a conservative thinktank, has the answer: We should cut $4.6 billion from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the very group responsible for shoring up New Orleans' levees, and cut another $4.2 billion from Homeland Security grants. Ahhhh yes, logic loses again in Bush's America.

By the way, does it surprise anyone that the quickest responses to the Katrina disaster involved allowing contractors (i.e. Halliburton) to cut wages for workers directly involved in the reconstruction, handing out no-bid contracts to firms friendly to the Bush administration (i.e. Halliburton), and easing of environmental standards across the board? It shouldn't.

Looking for some good news? The bars and clubs on Bourbon Street will be among the first businesses to re-open. And thank god for that... if any town could use a drink right now, it's New Orleans.

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Now if only I could find my beads.

Hooray! The Lights are on in N.O... until Bush leaves.
Wonkette: LiveBlogging Bush's Speech
Fleshbot: Boobs4BourbonSt.
Reuters: Consumer Sentiment Slumps
ThinkProgress: GOP Talking Points

Thursday, September 15, 2005

So, uh, wow. The president actually took responsibility for something the other day, how wild was that? My reaction was similar to that of Jon Stewart... but without the exploding head. I guess that 38% approval rating scared the bejeebus out of Team Bush, eh?

Image hosted by TinyPic.com 'Oh, so that's what that word means...'

Five years after 9/11, why is the president still asking whether we are "capable of dealing with a severe attack"? Shouldn't that have been priority #1 all along? And how hard do you think it was for Bush to actually say he took responsibility? I think someone mentioned that old scene from Happy Days, where The Fonz had to muster up all his courage just to tell someone he was wrong about something. I bet it was something like that. Of course, Fonzie could start a juke box with his elbow, so he's clearly still light years ahead of Bush in my opinion. But that's beside the point.

The point is this: One instance of accepting responsibility in five years does not a leader make, particularly when the list of mistakes and misdeeds is soooo freakin' long. Bush will take to the airways tonight to outline the components of his Katrina aide package (i.e. the Halliburton gift basket). Anyone think he'll take responsiblity for some of his term's other 'accomplishments'?*
Doubt it. Frankly, I'm just hoping he can get through the speech without having to take a 'pee break'.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Everybody Poops.

Seriously, isn't it about time we started talking about the 'I-word'? Or, as Bill Maher suggested, how about a good 'ol fashioned Recall? Whew doggie!

New Rule: America must recall the president. That's what this country needs. A good, old-fashioned, California-style recall election! Complete with Gary Coleman, porno actresses and action film stars.

Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you anymore. There's no more money to spend. You used up all of that. You can't start another war because you also used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people.

Yeah, listen to your mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit card's maxed out, and no one is speaking to you: mission accomplished! Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service. And the oil company. And the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or spaceman?

Now, I know what you're saying. You're saying that there's so many other things that you, as president, could involve yourself in...Please don't. I know, I know, there's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela, and eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church and Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote. But, sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man.
Bill Maher

But hey, at least he didn't use the White House to get a blow job. That would be unforgivable.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com So much cooler than Bush.

*Many thanks to ThinkProgress for the list.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Earlier today...

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Brown resigned Monday after coming under fire over his qualifications and for what critics call a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina's destruction.
Well good, that solves that problem then. Glad we fixed everything. Wonder who Bush will put in to replace him? I can hear George now: "Oooh! Oooh! Is that fat, funny guy from Hee-Haw available? He'd be awesome!" You know, I'm really thinking someone else should be doing the resigning up in here.

The president, during his photo-op (erm, tour) of New Orleans today, was apparently caught unaware by the news that Brownie had resigned. When asked by a reporter, Bush responded:

"Maybe you know something I don't know."
Sounds like a good motto for his entire term, doesn't it? Quick, someone put that on a t-shirt! Hey Brownie, go ahead and get yourself that margarita now, you deserve it. Or hey, maybe try one of those 'Hurricanes' from Pat O'Brian's. Get it? Hurricane? Ha.

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'See Mr. President, when you liposuction a horse's ass, you want it to plump up nice and fat just like so... What? What hurricane?'

Hey Brownie, you can go ahead and get yourself that margarita now, you deserve it. Or hey, maybe try one of those 'Hurricanes' from Pat O'Brien's. Get it? Hurricane? Hilarious, no?

In other developments, the New York Times ran the following 'no shit' headline today:

Bush's Status With Blacks Takes Hit

You don't say? You know what, I don't think this is going to help any either...

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You can listen to the track here (from AllSpin). Or just go buy the t-shirt.

UPDATE: Well, unfortunately the Hee Haw guy didn't get the job, but the genius behind the 'duct tape defense' did, so huzzah to that. The New New Orleans will apparently be covered in plastic sheeting and electrical tape. Hooray.

Newsweek: How Bush Blew It
Kos: GOP Shamed Into Helping People
WaPO: Steady Build-up to a Complete Meltdown
Andersen: Will Katrina Change What 9/11 Didn't?
ShakesSis: Meet Dr. Marble, the Guy Who Told Dick to Go Fuck Himself.

Friday, September 09, 2005

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Sampled below are a few reader letters to the editor from today's NY Daily News, plus my response if I were to ever become editor of Gotham's second-raggiest tabloid... I can't even begin to fathom what letters from NY Post readers might say.
While it is true that the response to Katrina from the federal government was not as fast as it could have been, it should be noted taht state and local governments have primary responsiblity in dealing with local disasters.
– David Reniewich, Brooklyn
And just how do you categorize a direct hit from a Category 4 hurricane which wipes out an entire region of the country, displaces more than half-a-million people and has been repeatedly cited as the second or third biggest threat to the nation as just a "local disaster"? I suppose 9/11 was pretty much just a "Lower Manhattan" disaster, eh?
The real blame for the New Orleans disaster should be directed at the forefathers of the city, who, a couple of hundred years ago, basically said, "Let's dig a hole in the ground, below sea level, and put a major city in it." I'm surprised the terrorist never tried to flood the city by blowing up the vunerable, easy-to-get-to levees.
– Rick Riepl, Roseland, NJ

Hey, lay off, they were probably drunk. And yeah, that's productive, blame a bunch of guys who've been dead for hundreds of years. Someone better launch an independent investigation into Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville right quick! (hey, how convenient, something else to blame the French for!)
How long will it be before we have a "Help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina" bracelet?
– Michael Schmitt, Milford, Conn.
Yeah, those goddam bracelet people must be stopped. I'm so sick of them! Can't we just bring back the ribbons, or maybe switch to "Relief Anklets" or something?
Had the same effort and organization put forth in sending our troops into Iraq was carried out with Hurricane Katrina, maybe less suffering and loss of life would have occurred.
– Curtis Izen, Merrick, L.I.
I see your point Curtis, however it does appear as though the same amount planning did go into Katrina relief efforts as went into Iraq, only with more body armor.
My newspaper was late yesterday; I blame President Bush. My soup for lunch was cold; I blame Bush. Our cat missed the litter box; I blame Bush. And as why I have yet to win the lottery, I blame Bush. To the angry left and Michael Moores of he world, a little advice: Hate consumes you, not those you hate.
– Dan Otto, Wyoming, Minn.
Hey Dan, when your cold soup and cat pee unnecessarily kill scores of civilians, let me know. A little advice: Your stupidity consumes you.

Stop trying to make excuses. Stop blaming the likes of Kanye West, the New York Times and moral decay. There's plenty of blame to go around, but those aren't the parties most responsible. It is crucial to have an independent investigation, not some Republican-led 'show' hunt. Everyone found to be responsible – locally, nationally, Republican, Democrat – in any way should be shit-canned immediately. Stop hiding from accountability. The system is broke and we gotta fix it. Fast. And I have a pretty good idea about where we should start...

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Indeed. You suck President Bush. And my soup is cold.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

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Unable to resist the lure of open waters to fish, the president has decided to extend his vacation by a few days. After some fishing in the genteel city of N'awlins, Bush plans to bike Biloxi. As soon as the trails are dry that is.

(not sure who to credit for the photoshop, but thank you whoever you are)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Please DONATE first, then read. Thank you.
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.'

Image hosted by TinyPic.com

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.

Oh the stupid things people say.
God Outdoes Terrorists Again
Sploid: Four Years After 9/11
Michael Moore:
Dear George
Olberman: A City Underwater
Times-Picayune: Fire Them All
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."

Image hosted by TinyPic.com

No, it's not a new VH-1 show, it's the tag-line for President Bush's hurricane week. Good thing he took all those weeks off so he could make good, crisp decisions. Time Magazine offers up a recounting:

It isn't easy picking George Bush's worst moment last week. Was it his first go at addressing the crisis Wednesday, when he came across as cool to the point of uncaring? Was it when he said that he didn't "think anybody expected" the New Orleans levees to give way, though that very possibility had been forecast for years? Was it when he arrived in Mobile, Ala., a full four days after the storm made landfall, and praised his hapless Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director, Michael D. Brown, whose disaster credentials seemed to consist of once being the commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association? "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," said the President. Or was it that odd moment when he promised to rebuild Mississippi Senator Trent Lott's house--a gesture that must have sounded astonishingly tone-deaf to the homeless black citizens still trapped in the postapocalyptic water world of New Orleans. "Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house--he's lost his entire house," cracked Bush, "there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

Bush seemed so regularly out of it last week, it made you wonder if he was stuck in the same White House bubble of isolation that confined his dad. Too often, W. looked annoyed. Or he smiled when he should have been serious. Or he swaggered when simple action would have been the right move. There was no breaking off from his commemoration in Coronado, Calif., of the 60th anniversary of victory over Japan, but there were videoconference calls and the like. The White House is "very, very slow sometimes," says a former Administration official.

Besides, members of the A team were on vacation: chief of staff Andy Card was in Maine; Dick Cheney was in Wyoming; even Condoleezza Rice was out of town, shoe-shopping in Manhattan. Many of Bush's best p.r. minds, including media adviser Mark McKinnon, were in Greece at the wedding of White House communications director Nicolle Devenish. Had they been around, perhaps Bush would not have been accompanied only by his dog Barney when he returned from vacation in Crawford.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com

See what happens when you leave the child president alone with only his dog.

Also, The Daily Show did its usual brilliant job last night, detailing the president's difficult week. Check it out here, courtesy of One Good Move.

Gilliard: Best. Post. Ever.
Kos: See Bush Respond (slideshow)
A Katrina Timeline
Operation Enduring Vacation

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Tuesday, August 30, 2005.

On the night July 18, 64 CE the Great fire of Rome erupted. The fire started in densely populated areas like the Suburra, in which had been built the insulae, wooden dwellings, built on three or four floors. Nero was reportedly vacationing in his native Anzio but had to return in haste. The fire burned for a week. Rumor circulated that Nero had played his lyre and sang, on top of Quirinal Hill, while the city burned. (FROM WIKI)

And yeah, you did have something to do with it.

E&P: Editorials question Bush's response, preparedness
ABlog: He also ate cake, went to a country club, and yukked it up with the geriatric set.
And Condi? She played tennis, took in a Broadway show and bought some shoes. (Gawker)
Flooded New Orleans? The EPA just calls it 'Lake George.' (Wonkette)
Cafferty: What is going on? This is Thursday! This storm happened 5 days ago. This is a disgrace. And don't think the world isn't watching.


I can't say it any bettter than this...

From Hunter @ Kos:
George W. Bush was once known as the C.E.O. President, a term his handlers eagerly coined in order to convey that the country would from now on be run like a business. That quickly evolved into the less flattering Enron President... then the War President... now it's looking like we can all finally settle on one. George W. Bush: the Disaster President.

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

He honestly said that. If that brings up more than a passing twinge of familiarity, being a more than remarkable restatement of Condi Rice's now-famous assertion to the Senate panel -- then I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.

But it does bring up something that we joke about often, but apparently have never taken quite seriously enough: our President is an idiot. I don't mean an average, run-of-the-mill idiot. I mean an idiot who apparently, for the entire duration of his presidency, literally was paying absolutely no attention to even the most life-threateningly critical tasks of government.

The administration specifically cut the funds to fix these specific levees, in order to specifically divert that Corps money to Iraq, despite urgent warnings and predictions of catastrophic disaster if the levees were breeched. The administration specifically cancelled the Clinton-backed flood control program to preserve and restore the wetlands between New Orleans and the gulf, instead specifically opening parts of that buffer zone for development.

Nobody anticipated this disaster? It was
identified by FEMA as one of the top three likeliest major disasters to strike America. (That link, one of countless stories, was from 2001, by the way.) It has been a major disaster scenario for years.

Everybody anticipated it, which makes this single statement by George W. Bush possibly the most dishonest, lying, craptacularly false thing he has ever said in his presidency -- even surpassing his now-infamous State of the Union Address. Truly, this is President Bush's blue-dress moment.

And yet, funneling the money into Iraq was more important. You better bet your crapulent,
lying, one-track, drink-addled ass that's a political issue.

Read the rest.


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