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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Chief Justice William Rehnquist died Saturday at age 80.

It amazes me, within minutes of his death, CNN runs a retrospective.

My heart goes out to his family, and on a selfish note, my heart goes out to the people of the united states... because now bush get's to nominate two supreme court justices.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09/03/2005
Landrieu Implores President to "Relieve Unmitigated Suffering;" End FEMA's "Abject Failures"
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., issued the following statement this afternoon regarding her call yesterday for President Bush to appoint a cabinet-level official to oversee Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts within 24 hours.

Sen. Landrieu said:

"Yesterday, I was hoping President Bush would come away from his tour of the regional devastation triggered by Hurricane Katrina with a new understanding for the magnitude of the suffering and for the abject failures of the current Federal Emergency Management Agency. 24 hours later, the President has yet to answer my call for a cabinet-level official to lead our efforts. Meanwhile, FEMA, now a shell of what it once was, continues to be overwhelmed by the task at hand.

"I understand that the U.S. Forest Service had water-tanker aircraft available to help douse the fires raging on our riverfront, but FEMA has yet to accept the aid. When Amtrak offered trains to evacuate significant numbers of victims -- far more efficiently than buses -- FEMA again dragged its feet. Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency.

"But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast -- black and white, rich and poor, young and old -- deserve far better from their national government.

"Mr. President, I'm imploring you once again to get a cabinet-level official stood up as soon as possible to get this entire operation moving forward regionwide with all the resources -- military and otherwise -- necessary to relieve the unmitigated suffering and economic damage that is unfolding."

Today's aerial tour of the 17th Street levee will be featured tomorrow on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Later, Sen. Landrieu will also appear on CBS's 60 Minutes.

Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in New Orleans didn't get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck — a delay nearly certain to be investigated by Congress.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday.
AP

Explain to me how or why the bush administration shouldn't be held responsible?

"I am a uniter... not a divider"

As the events of Hurricane Katrina play out a dividing line has emerged. This country which has become increasingly divided has split as to the reactions towards the events regarding the rescue and relief efforts.

A lot of the extreme right feel that liberals and the left are quick to blame bush for the disaster, they also automatically drop the "bush haters" bomb as an attempt to discredit the validity of any arguments questioning the administration. Questioning the validity of the arguer while ignoring the argument is a tactic people use when they are unable to debate the merits of the argument.

Since the "bush haters" argument keeps coming up, I want to break down the legitimacy of the "bush hater" argument.

Why do we "hate" bush:

1. He lies. This is not in contention, read any transcript from state of the union addresses and you'll see this is true. The biggest lie being "Iraq had weapons of mass destruction".

2. He's a divider, not a uniter. bush claimed he was a "uniter not a divider", well that's not technically a lie, but since his election in 2000 this country has become the most divided its been since the civil war. I've never heard the "we won, get over it" argument more in my life. This is a president we're talking about, not a baseball game. You can't talk about the future of our country in terms of "we won, you lost, get over it".

3. He plays on people's fears. Gay marriage was pretty much the reason why this man is in office. He stirred up the homophobia pot to help ensure he would win the election. Yet now that he's won and controls the house, senate, and the supreme court how is it no ant-gay marriage legislation has been presented? Because it was a tactic he used to get votes.

4. He's always on vacation. No president in history has been on vacation as much as he has. No hard working american goes on vacation as much as he does.

5. He's a hypocrite. He claims to be a christian yet does not abide by any of the tenants of the christian religion. I'm not a religious person but if you use your "faith" to help win votes, you should at-least live up to what your faith prescribes.

6. He doesn't care. The hurricane was categorised as a category 5 storm on sunday. Bush didn't address the problem until thursday. How may lives could have been saved if he cared? Or if he wasn't on vacation, yet again.

Despite any reports or arguments about wether or not this disaster could have been prevented, the simple fact is that his reaction to this event has been unacceptable. The federal governments reaction has been slow and lacking, when the media can organize faster then the federal government, this is a national embarrassment.

When bush finally did go to examine the damage, he went for a photo op. All of the images I've seen of N.O. have black faces, and not light skinned black, huge groups of blacks, yet bush manages to meet with a white guy and two photogenic ethnic women. "Even the Harry Connick, Jr. made it to the Superdome, and he's a fucking pussy." -- Wonkette.

bush's reaction to the hurricane: golf, birthday party, guitar playing. condeleza rice: shoe shopping, spamalot, tennis playing.

Why do we hate bush? How can you not?

Even conservatives are criticising his response to this disaster, its time to stop the blind support for this ineffectual leader, and open your eyes. I realise that its hard to admit that you were wrong, to allow your pride to be damaged, but its ok. Realising your mistakes and learning from them is more honorable then to blindly follow the pride train off of a cliff.

The argument that liberals and bush haters are enjoying the goings on because it makes the president look bad is unethical. No one, I would hope, on either side wanted this to happen, nor are they happy with what's going on. Arguments about the ineffectualness of bush as a leader have been going on since he took office, this is just another example to how ineffectual he really is.

An analogy even conservatives should understand...

The CEO of an airline company is given a federal grant to help modernize their airline. Instead of using the money to upgrade the plane, the CEO uses the money elsewhere. A flaw is announced in the engines currently on the airline's planes.

Suddenly, the airline's planes are crashing as a result of the flaw, the CEO is made aware of the situation, but instead of canceling flights or even addressing the situation he plays golf, goes to a birthday party, and plays guitar.

FINALLY three days later he ends his vacation, and a few days later finally addresses the situation.

Should the CEO be help responsible? Should the CEO be fired? Or is it dishonest to lay blame on the CEOs shoulders?

Accountability? Or hater?

Hey I've been accused of being a bush hater:

First the Bush haters, most of whom have simply reposted Blumenthal's accusations.

He also stated:

"There are far fewer blog entries from the right, I guess because they are busy writing checks or lending a hand instead of talking pot shots at people doing their best in an incredibly bad situation."

Hmmm maybe there hasn't been any entries, cause they're too busy playing golf or being on vacation like the president was during the start of the emergency?

Maybe they're out buying expensive shoes or seeing spamalot...?

Maybe they just don't care.

Kanye West at the NBC Concert for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Fuller transcript from Tracy and Eric: Kanye West at the NBC Concert for Hurricane Katrina Relief:

Mike Meyers reads off prompter … switches to black singer, Kanye West:

"I hate the way they portray us in the media.

"If you see a black family it says they are looting if you see a white family it says they are looking for food.

"And you know that it’s been 5 days because most of the people are black and even for me to complain … I would be a hypocrite because I would turn away from the TV because it’s too hard to watch. I’ve even been shopping before giving a donation and so right now I’m calling my business manager what is the biggest amount I can give.

"And just to imagine if I was down there, those are my people down there. So anybody out there who wants to help with the set up, the way that America is set up to help … The poor, the black people, the less well off as slow as possible. I mean, Red Cross is doing everything they can.

"We already realize a lot of the people that could help are at war now fighting another way and they’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us."

(Mike Meyers tries to get back on prompter, reads from script and then camera cuts back to Kanye. He pauses before

Kanye West: "George Bush doesn’t care about black people."

Then camera abruptly switches to another black actor [Chris Tucker]

crooksandliars.com

Friday, September 02, 2005

Add this to the stupid insensitive things bush has said

"We got a lot of rebuilding to do.... the good news is and it's hard for some to see it now but out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic gulf coast... out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- the guy lost his entire house -- there's going to be fantastic house. I look forward to sitting on the porch. Out of New Orleans is going to come that great city again." -george w bush jr 9.2.2005 on cnn

These boots were made for walkin...

Air america radio just reported that Condeleeza Rice was shoe shopping in Ferragamo's and a woman came up to her and said "How dare you shop for shoes while people are dying" and Rice had her security forcibly escourt the woman out.

UPDATE:
Link

Bush: Now is not the time to play politics or pleases stop blaming me.

the bush administration has been severely criticised for their response, or rather, lack of response in regard to the hurricane rescue operation. As reports continue to turn up about his lack of initiative in deal with the problem, about mismanaging funds and just down right ignoring the problem all together, people's anger are justly pointed in his direction.

Is it fair or dishonest to expect more out of this administration then any other? Well considering that the worst terrorist attack on american soil and the worst natural disaster both occurred on his watch, and both have been said to been preventable had proper funding and attention be paid to it, then yes, it is fair to lay the blame squarely on his lap.

Despite anything that may or may not have been done ahead of time, its the lack of response that is the most telling. Considering that most of the survivors are poor and black screams volumes as to why the national guard and f.e.m.a. took so long to respond, or why it took bush two days to end his vacation and return to the white house.

but the problem extends outside of the immediate situation, the fact that Louisiana was so quick to revert to a third world status, with looting and near animalistic behavior on the part of its citizens, and the lack of response by the federal government just shows our enemies how ill prepared we are for a large scale attack on us soil.

And that's what scares me.

Our enemies are sitting back and analysing the goings on, the reaction times, and disorder caused by a hurricane. In their minds they are contemplating what would happen if a man made disaster were to occur, how effectively it would cripple us and how successful their attack would be.

A lot of people feel that bush is winning the war on terror, but I disagree, in my eyes all bush has done is show how incompetent our military and leadership is to our enemies. Countries have stopped fearing the united states, they now look at us as a laughable institution the united states has become.

We may not have gay marriage but we also do not have the fear or respect of the rest of the world.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

CNN has a really good arial map.

Probably the most insensitive thoughtless comment a leader can make.

Right now the days seem awfully dark for those affected -- I understand that. But I'm confident that, with time, you can get your life back in order, new communities will flourish, the great city of New Orleans will be back on its feet, and America will be a stronger place for it.george w bush jr September 1, 2005.

Why didn't the federal government evacuate people sooner? Why did it take so long for the federal government to respond?

Almost as bad:

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levies." -george w. bush jr.

Evidently he didn't read this

A picture is worth a thousand words...

I invited people to share images of the devistation in New Orleans... words escape me.

Waiting for a Leader

George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration: a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end.

Images

"What you haven't seen images of: white people, F.E.M.A., or national guard" Randi Rhodes in regards to footage of the hurricane.

I added a section to my site:
Katrina Gallery I invite you to add your own images, I just ask that you don't try to take advantage and hack the site. Please be on your best behaviour.

Bill Schorr's Editorial Cartoon

Live from a NO Data Center...

http://www.livejournal.com/users/interdictor/

OH-MY-GOD

bush actually said "it takes a long time to 'float em' there'" in regards to why the relief effort is taking so long

Just a thought...

The worst attack on american soil since WWII and the worst natural disaster since the San Fransisco earth quake, both are said to be have been avoidable and both occurred under the watch of george w. bush jr.

How'd you like to have that on your tombstone?

"No One Can Say they Didn't See it Coming"

Some times spam is a wonderful thing... opened my inbox this morning to find this:

By Sidney Blumenthal

In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.

Biblical in its uncontrolled rage and scope, Hurricane Katrina has left millions of Americans to scavenge for food and shelter and hundreds to thousands reportedly dead. With its main levee broken, the evacuated city of New Orleans has become part of the Gulf of Mexico. But the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature.

A year ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to study how New Orleans could be protected from a catastrophic hurricane, but the Bush administration ordered that the research not be undertaken. After a flood killed six people in 1995, Congress created the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, in which the Corps of Engineers strengthened and renovated levees and pumping stations. In early 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a report stating that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S., including a terrorist attack on New York City. But by 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war. In 2004, the Bush administration cut funding requested by the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for holding back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent. Additional cuts at the beginning of this year (for a total reduction in funding of 44.2 percent since 2001) forced the New Orleans district of the Corps to impose a hiring freeze. The Senate had debated adding funds for fixing New Orleans' levees, but it was too late.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which before the hurricane published a series on the federal funding problem, and whose presses are now underwater, reported online: "No one can say they didn't see it coming ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."

The Bush administration's policy of turning over wetlands to developers almost certainly also contributed to the heightened level of the storm surge. In 1990, a federal task force began restoring lost wetlands surrounding New Orleans. Every two miles of wetland between the Crescent City and the Gulf reduces a surge by half a foot. Bush had promised "no net loss" of wetlands, a policy launched by his father's administration and bolstered by President Clinton. But he reversed his approach in 2003, unleashing the developers. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency then announced they could no longer protect wetlands unless they were somehow related to interstate commerce.

In response to this potential crisis, four leading environmental groups conducted a joint expert study, concluding in 2004 that without wetlands protection New Orleans could be devastated by an ordinary, much less a Category 4 or 5, hurricane. "There's no way to describe how mindless a policy that is when it comes to wetlands protection," said one of the report's authors. The chairman of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality dismissed the study as "highly questionable," and boasted, "Everybody loves what we're doing."

"My administration's climate change policy will be science based," President Bush declared in June 2001. But in 2002, when the Environmental Protection Agency submitted a study on global warming to the United Nations reflecting its expert research, Bush derided it as "a report put out by a bureaucracy," and excised the climate change assessment from the agency's annual report. The next year, when the EPA issued its first comprehensive "Report on the Environment," stating, "Climate change has global consequences for human health and the environment," the White House simply demanded removal of the line and all similar conclusions. At the G-8 meeting in Scotland this year, Bush successfully stymied any common action on global warming. Scientists, meanwhile, have continued to accumulate impressive data on the rising temperature of the oceans, which has produced more severe hurricanes.

In February 2004, 60 of the nation's leading scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, warned in a statement, "Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policymaking": "Successful application of science has played a large part in the policies that have made the United States of America the world's most powerful nation and its citizens increasingly prosperous and healthy ... Indeed, this principle has long been adhered to by presidents and administrations of both parties in forming and implementing policies. The administration of George W. Bush has, however, disregarded this principle ... The distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends must cease." Bush completely ignored this statement.

When the chief of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the Justice Department was ordered by the White House to delete its study that African-Americans and other minorities are subject to racial profiling in police traffic stops and he refused to buckle under, he was forced out of his job. When the Army Corps of Engineers' chief contracting oversight analyst objected to a $7 billion no-bid contract awarded for work in Iraq to Halliburton (the firm at which Vice President Cheney was formerly CEO), she was demoted despite her superior professional ratings. At the National Park Service, a former Cheney aide, a political appointee lacking professional background, drew up a plan to overturn past environmental practices and prohibit any mention of evolution while allowing sale of religious materials through the Park Service.

On the day the levees burst in New Orleans, Bush delivered a speech in Colorado comparing the Iraq war to World War II and himself to Franklin D. Roosevelt: "And he knew that the best way to bring peace and stability to the region was by bringing freedom to Japan." Bush had boarded his very own "Streetcar Named Desire."

Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Clinton and the author of "The Clinton Wars," is writing a column for Salon and the Guardian of London.

'It's like being in a Third World country'

That catchy phrase was being used here but they've since changed it... maybe someone caught on to how completely stupid that sounded.

This whole situation in New Orleans is both an example of the best and worst in people. The funny thing is that I haven't heard the word "National Guard" used much... I have see "New Orleans police halt rescue efforts to stop looters", and CNN ran a story on tv talking about how police officers from around the country and Canada were flying to New Orleans to help stop the looting...

Uhm... ah... guess that whole sending the National Guard to Iraq sounds stupid now... and now stories are appearing that this whole mess could have been avoided:

It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.
-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004

So let's take an accounting... National Guard in Iraq, fighting a war based on lies told by president bush, money that was supposed to be used to stop floods in New Orleans moved into the president's budget, president bush finally gets off of his but and returns to the white house...

Why did you people vote for this man again? Oh... yeah... cause stopping gay marriage... more important then stopping the worst disaster in us history since the earthquake in San Francisco.

There's this part of me that believes that behind every disaster there is a conspiracy... I can't help it, that's what comes with having an intelligent mind. It also doesn't help that yesterday on Springer on the Radio, Jerry mentioned that developers may opt to only make beach front condos and forget to build low income housing for the thousands of poor and minorities now homeless...

There is a part in you that says "no human being is capable of such a thing" this is what prevents you from believing in conspiracy theories... but given human history, human beings are capable of so much worse. In England the king used to have people flayed and their intestines burned in their face while they died...

Diverting funds so that a natural disaster could free up beach front property in a predominantly black area... not so cruel and unusual.

So CNN is now talking about the National Guard... guess they aren't all in Iraq.

Whoa... someone on CNN has balls... he just asked Lt Colonel in the Louisiana National Guard why so slow on the deployment of troops... granted the answer was very rehearsed... but still.

Again... IRAQ.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Take them brush clearin' muscles to Mississippi...

So my boy pointed something out... why doesn't Bush go and pitch in? I mean he's real good at clearin brush why not use them muscles and do something meaningful for a change?

Just a thought

I love you Jerry but...

Who'd have thunk I would love Springer on the radio, his show annoys the hell out of me but his radio show is great.

My only complaint is that Jerry has one of his producers call in pretending to be some random caller... ok... I have this uncanny ability to recognize voices... its really disturbing sometimes, especially when a voice gets stuck in my head. So I started to notice that someone kept calling in with a very distinctive voice... well the man who's voice it belongs to just went on air.

The thing is that the springer line is ALWAYS busy, so its not like they don't have people to talk to, so why have this guy call in over and over. Granted I listen every day so I recognized his voice.

So Jerry, please, stop having your boy call in... I'd like to get through some time, save some air time for ACTUAL callers.

Otherwise, keep up the good work.

And in the rest of the country...

It wouldn't be Bush if he didn't take advantage of the diversions going on in the south...

New Rules Could Allow Power Plants to Pollute More

The Bush administration has drafted regulations that would ease pollution controls on older, dirtier power plants and could allow those that modernize to emit more pollution, rather than less.

The language could undercut dozens of pending state and federal lawsuits aimed at forcing coal-fired plants to cut back emissions of harmful pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, said lawyers who worked on the cases.


Poverty Rate Continues To Climb

Despite robust economic growth last year, 1.1 million more Americans slipped into poverty in 2004, while household incomes stagnated and earnings fell, the Census Bureau reported yesterday. The number of Americans without health insurance rose by 800,000, to 45.8 million.

The Census Bureau's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance sheds light on voter discontent with the economy in the face of seemingly strong economic data. The broad data draw a picture of a labor market still struggling to find its footing, three years after the 2001 recession.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Oy...

So I have this quote in the upper right, its my favorite bible verse... but I'm not religious. I only put it up there cause a lot of christians claim to be christians then act like hypocrites. Its a reminder that if you plan to live by the bible you should read the bible.

So now I get comments from religious people who don't read my blog just see the quote.

Please READ MY BLOG, and keep your crazy religious crap to yourself.

That is all

Maybe I'm really a conservative...

You know I REALLY want to care... I REALLY REALLY want to care about the people affected by the hurricane... but for some reason I am having a hard time doing it. I know that makes me a horrible person, but I just don't care. All I can think of is all of my tax money going to pay to make repairs and how we're stuck with bush because of these fuckers.

About how everytime one of these things happens (and it seems to happen a lot lately) tax money, which primarily comes from blue states, goes to states that are red.

How fucked up is that... I thought bush was a uniter not a divider.

Someone mentioned that trailer park jokes aren't funny because the people who live in them are poor and can't afford anything better. Well I've pretty much adopted a "You get what you deserve" attitude towards people screwed by this administration.

If I was a religious person I would see the irony in the bible belt being hit so badly by a hurricane... if I was a religious person I would wonder if I did something to offend god...

But that's just silly.

How do you feel about homosexuality now?

I know this is probably the worst thing to say after the devastation that just went on in the south, but considering that most of the money to pay for their recovery will be coming from blue states, California and New York primarily, and those two states have a high percentage of homosexuality... I just have to ask...

How do you feel about the tax money of homosexuals being used to pay for your recovery?

Sort of makes denying them marriage sound stupid right? Not good enough to be granted equal protection under the law but good enough to rebuild your trailer park.

Oh, quick word... DON'T LIVE IN A TRAILER PARK IN THE MIDDLE OF HURRICANE CENTRAL...

That is all.

UPDATE:
At first I was very apathetic about what was going on... this bothered me. A friend of mine tried to reassure me that that's what differentiated me from conservatives, because I was concerened I didn't care.

Well after immersing myself in what has been going on, I do care... I care mostly because these people got screwed. The fact that this could have been avoided just like 9/11 really irks me and bush's lack of leadership on all of this... well that speaks to itself.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Is the irony that transparent?

Dear Mr. Bush,

I realize that being a president is a hard job, you have to lie to your people, put the interests of your friends and family above those of the country, and contradict yourself on a daily basis. Clearing brush off of your ranch on your 5 week vacation, having to ignore people object to your performance, but you of all people should recognize the irony in your statements regarding Iraq?

Is it that transparent?

You talk about how the Iraqi people must compromise, to unite around their differences and make compromises...

Compromise... that's the ironic part, since you didn't notice it. Mister president, you need to learn how to compromise, you need to recognize your failings and mistakes. The sign of being an adult is to recognize you made a mistake, accept responsibility for it, and learn from your mistakes. This is what being a responsible adult means.

You also have to learn how to compromise, if you make a decision that people don't like, accept it and move on. No one is an island, John Bolton was a wrong choice, you must realize it, he promoted terrorism against the U.N., not someone who should be dealing with them on a daily basis.

I realize being president is hard, but being an adult shouldn't be as hard. Your campaign rallied on the idea of putting adults back in the white house, so far, you haven't succeeded.

Its time to do as you say, follow your own words, its time to unite the country and accept opposing view points. Its time to put the needs of the country above those of special, political and private interests.

Its time to be an adult.

Its hard to expect the Iraqi government to do this, when they have you as a role model.

God bless the U.S.A.