Before I get into the events of last saturday,

Recent events concerning the "investigation" into the Katrina debacle warrant notice.

To any sane american, the news that "Heck of a Job" Brownie had been re-hired by FEMA comes as a shock. His new job? To investigate his own errors, during and after Katrina! Now- the last time I "investigated" myself, I was told I'd go blind, and have to start shaving my palms, but that's netiher here nor there...

Naturally, after a rigorous self-examination, Brownie came up with conclusive proof that, indeed, he did "a heck of a job", and that all of the fault lay at the feet of the state and local authorities, and presented his ironclad case, before an all-republican congressional committee (a tad more about that, later.)

Unfortunately, his testimony was a pack of lies that, naturally, went unchallenged by the GOP. Foremost among Brownie's fabrications was his implication that Governor Blanco hadn't requested a Federal Emergency Declaration in New Orleans.

This, of course, is perjury.

BTW- this congressional committee was boycotted by the democrats, because the republicans refused to make it a bipartisain effort. This was a soviet-style, one-party inquest that was railroaded into being in a desperate GOP attempt to cover up the failings of the executive branch. It was shameful, un-democratic, and downright unamerican.

In other words- it's what we've come to expect from these idiots.

First off- once again, screw the corporate media- during my lunch break, today, I picked up a copy of the NJ Star Ledger to read over my egg rolls and hot and sour soup, and looked for any articles relating the the march on Washington- I turned to page three, and there it was, direct from the AP:


Now- before you get all riled up about the low figure cited- the article was all about the pro-war freeper counter-protest, giving only a few sentences of mention to the hundreds of thousands who were ALSO marching "to support our troops." The article neglected to mention that these sad, sick bastards "supported the troops", by supporting a war that has long since turned into a meatgrinder for both Iraqis and Americans, whereas we felt the best way to support the troops was to ensure that this unconsitutional, immoral war is brought to an end, as soon as possible.

Is there any paper that doesn't use the AP as a wire source? I feel a boycott brewing within me...

Rush Limbaugh has obviously dipped back into the oxycontin- today, he claimed that the UPJ protest drew 30 people, total. Strange, I counted 30 people waiting in line in front of me to use the port-a-potty, during a break from the march. Again- maybe I've been brainwashed, but I could have SWORN I saw more than 30 people- after all, Rush is always right...

Secondly, Bush, the coward, dissappeared, during the march, ostensibly to "monitor hurricane Rita". In a frenzied effort to make bush appear "in control" during Rita landfall, Rove plunked Bush a safe 1000 miles away in Colorado, trussed up in his "flight suit mark 2": the hastilly-buttoned work shirt, with his sleeves rolled up, lookin' all ruff n' tuff n' ready for the impending crisis.

Naturally, the folks who were ACTUALLY in charge of the hurricane monitoring wouldn't let anyone incompitent as Jesus Jr anywhere NEAR their sensitive equipment, fearing that he'd spill his half-melted Jim-Beam-laced Icee on their workstations. So, Bush retreated away from the cameras, to watch the football game, while stuffing himself with pork rinds and pretzels that had been carefully de-salted by his secret service detail.

Ya know- I find my job so damned easy, these days, with this site- Bush's presidency is effectively over, and I feel like I'm throwing dirt on dirt. But, I know that the Bush bowl continues their war against the american people, even as I type this update. As I stated before, even if Bush's approval rating descends into the single-digits, he will continue with his ruinous policies, without so much as a heartbeat's hesitation. After all- there are still millions of working poor to be driven into poverty. There are other wars to start. More arabs to kill. More americans to marginalize. More taxpayer dollars to squander. More tax cuts to the wealthy that desperately need passing.

But I will address these concerns, in coming days.

For tonight, I will leave you with another photograph of one of the long-haired, dope-smoking communists that I marched with, this last saturday:

Let's start off, with a funny bit- check out this video.

What's funny about this press conference sinppet? Well- ya see- Bush's handlers had told him: "When you're taking questions from the press, and things are looking tough, be sure and call on "Bianca"- she's one of our people, and she'll throw you a softball, adoring streak of BS that'll make you look good on camera."

But- whoopsie-do! "Bianca" was nowhere to be seen. Seems that now that Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove is busy politicizing the Katrina cleanup, the white house staff just can't keep their ducks in a row.

Honest to goodness- can this administration get any more incompetent? Just wait a few more weeks- they will...

This is the last update before I head down to DC, to attend the March on Washington to end the war in Iraq. This is gonna be BIG- far bigger than the taxpayer-funded "freedom walk", on the 11th. This is gonna be one of those events that fills the Washington Mall. The corporate media will, of course, not dedicate one second of coverage to it, so if you wanna tune in, check C-span.


When I awoke this morning, I checked out the news on the BBC, and was greeted with quite a sight. The exodus from the gulf coast, in anticipation of Rita landfall is without a doubt, the greatest mass-mobilization of citizenry this country has ever seen (correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't seem to recall another situation in which over a million people have been issued a mandatory evacuation order, in this country.) Add to this, the displaced people from the Katrina disaster which are being moved from their temporary shelters, further inland. I'd not be surprised to learn that over two million are scurrying for cover, at this hour.

The scenes on the freeways leading out of the threatened areas look like a linear superdome, with suffering, gridlock, and people expiring by the roadside. The only difference is, this time around, is that federal assistance is slightly more visible (the governor of Texas is a republican, after all.)

As one of the few republicans with whom I still maintain a passing acquaintence recently said: "Gee- we humans like to think we can screw things up- but time after time, nature teaches us who the real bastard is"

Now- I spend a tad too much time, monitoring the "christian" conservative right in this country, than is good for me, and It was only predictable, in the wake of Katrina, that these slimeballs would start saying that the storm was God's Judgement" for the "Sin" that runs rife through New Orleans. Naturally, in making this assertion, these walking feces ignore the thousands killed, displaced, and left homeless, in the neighboring states of Alabama and Mississippi, but one grows used to idiocy, when listening to these morons.

Now- for just one second, I'm going to take on this twisted line of thinking, and ask, supposing, for the time being, that, indeed, that these storms are, indeed, "The Punishment of God".

Notice that all these storms are hitting states that have gone republican, for the past few elections? Perhaps, this is God's punishment, for these states' republican tendencies.

Notice that these storms are hitting the areas, most integral to the oil processing/refining industries? Let's assume, for a moment, that this is God's punishment, for us having an infrastructure so heavilly based upon fossil fuels.

Similarly, these states are the places where the racial and economic divide are widest- maybe this is God's warning, that we should forge a more just and equitable society...

Lastly: Massachusetts has just pretty much institutionalized gay marriage- how come Boston hasn't been hit, yet?

Just a few thoughts...

See you on Sunday...


Before I proceed: My e-mail is still down. I had a LOT more that I wanted to present, tonight, but Comcast is still screwing me around. A tech is due to come over and (hopefully) fix it, on thursday, but there's no promise. I'll be off to DC on the following day, for the big March on Washington, on the 24th.

That having been said:

Yay for Bloomberg, and the NYPD- seriously...

Cindy Sheehan arrived in NYC yesterday- and when she was speaking to those assembled in Union Square, her mike was pulled, by thugs who wore the uniform of the New York City Police Department.

God Bless you, Mayor Bloomberg- every time I go into the city, I see those police cruisers with "Courtesy, Professionalism, and Respect" emblazened on their ass-ends. Remember when they were placed there? Let me remind you:

They were a token bunch of words that your predecessor's advisors came up with, after Abner Louima was raped with a toilet plunger, by similar NYPD thugs, back in the last decade.

Nice words, comforting words- but just words, in the end..

The NYCPD scumballs who perpetrated this act are no better than the brownshirt thugs who waded into socialist rallies, in 1930's Berlin, splitting heads, and quashing dissent by brutal force.

The reason for this police action? Because the Union Square Camp Casey folks were ostensibly using a "public address system" without a permit. Yep- alla that noise out of a ten-watt speaker was just such a horrific breach of the peace, that the cops just HAD to put an end to it...

Okay- enough sarchasm- I know a majority of you haven't ever been to NYC, much less Union Square, so lemme describe your average weekday afternoon in that area:

Union Square is a one-block park in lower Manhattan, bordered on both sides by two of the busiest traffic arteries in NYC- Broadway on one side- Park avenue on the other. Needless to say, the traffic noise, on the average day, is far and away greater than that which was pumped out by the Camp Casey folks. Add to that, the noise issuing from the half-dozen boomboxes that are always rolling through the area, and well- one has a hard time believing that the squawking from a rigged PA system is warranting the police action, that took place.

It's sorta like when I'm walking about in NYC, and someone complains about my cigarette smoke- yeah, right- you have a dead bum's corpse rotting in a doorway, fresh dog feces in the gutter, and the fumes from a homeless guy's fresh urine wafting about, on just about every street corner- and that's all fine and good- but add to that a few molecules of cigarette smoke, and suddenly, it's all too much.

And people say New Jersey is nasty...

There is so much that's going on-

Bush is tanking fast, in every poll, no one is buying Bush's assurances that the white house is well-suited to investigate itself- Karl Rove (fresh from popping out kidney stones from his withered man-bit), has taken over the hurricane relief effort, for the white house (why the hell did Bush appoint a political director to handle a humanitarian crisis? Simple- Turd Blossom was able to turn two decorated veterans (McCain and Kerry) into terrorist-loving draft-dodgers- if he can pull that off, he's sure to be able to turn this disaster into a net plus- but I have a feeling that Rove's met his match- time alone will tell.)

Now- some are saying that the Bush "presidency" is over

And that he'll never recover from his abominable performance, over the past two months- but as we've learned, in recent days, a month is a long time in politics. It is easy- damned easy (especially for us who have been fighting this administration for the past five years), to sit back, and assume that Bush's downward spiral will continue. But we cannot let these bastards off the hook, for one second.

Bush may be on the ropes- but so was Muhammad Ali, in his legendary fight with Foreman, yet Ali was able to recover, and claim victory, from the jaws of what everyone expected to be an ignomous defeat.

We need to keep the pressure on- and redouble our efforts. We have over a year to work, harder than ever, before the Bush bowl tries to steal the 2006 elections- and we can't afford to give them any quarter. Don't ever, for one damned second, think that Bush is down and out- keep piling it on- counter every corporate media lie, every Simple Scotty talking point, with the truth, and never- never- NEVER relent. These scumbags deserve not one thought of mercy, or accomodation- we're fighting for our country, and for our future- never forget that.

The following article was featured on Mr. Cranky's movie review site- well put:

Unlike all these bleeding-heart liberals who are shouting every chance they get about this supposed tragedy in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina and the imaginary lies President Bush used to start the war in Iraq and the various acts of terrorism around the world, I believe it's time we focus on the real reason we're in these messes we're in. The problems in the world and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina can all be traced back to one thing, one single source: In 1997, then President Bill Clinton received oral sex from an intern, Monica Lewinsky, and lied about it to the American people and to Congress.

When a President receives oral sex from an intern and then lies about it, the gravity of such an act cannot be overstated. It is, quite possibly, the single most heinous act ever committed by a President of the United States. Even if President Bush did lie to the world about his reasons for starting the war in Iraq, the ramifications of such a lie are dwarfed in comparison to lying about receiving oral sex. Although many people have suffered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the response by FEMA was obviously inadequate, the responsibility for that response does not lie with the current administration, but with the Clinton Administration.

Once Bill Clinton received oral sex from Monica Lewinsky and then lied about it to the American people and Congress, he set in motion a series of events that would eventually result in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the War in Iraq, and the poor response to Hurricane Katrina. Let's take a look at how these things happened.

Once President Clinton's blow job became public knowledge, terrorist organizations around the world realized that United States security would soon be compromised because public employees would no longer have enough confidence in their leader to do their jobs correctly. Terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda rightly concluded that Americans no longer had faith in their government or faith in their President. Americans realized that if the President could receive oral sex and lie about it, then the morals for which their country stood had been severely compromised and since those morals form the foundation of American society, American society was compromised. The lie about oral sex would spread through American society like a cancer, eating away at everything from highway infrastructure to airport security. This was precisely the time when Al Qaeda planned its attack.

Given this explanation, it was President Clinton's lie about receiving oral sex from Monica Lewinsky that ultimately forced President Bush to attack Afghanistan and then Iraq. Much like Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein immediately recognized that Monica Lewinsky's blowjob would cripple any American response to Iraqi aggression. It was at that time that he began development of his weapons of mass destruction. Since Americans now lived in a land without moral standards, Hussein realized that he could build weapons of mass destruction without fear of reprisal. It was only President Bush's bravery and willingness to stand up to Hussein and re-establish our moral backbone that prevented a world-wide catastrophe. President Bush had to do this because President Clinton eroded America's moral backbone by lying about receiving oral sex from Monica Lewinsky.

Although Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast nearly seven years after President Clinton received oral sex from Monica Lewinsky, that act still stands as the primary culprit in the government's response to the tragedy. Having lived with the shame their President spread on the nation, government employees no longer possess the willingness or the energy to respond effectively to tragedies. They know that their jobs no longer have any meaning and that people around the world look upon them as pariahs without morals because their President, who received oral sex from an intern, undermined everything that American government stands for. In other words, if American government can stand for lies and pornography and the like, how can any government worker do his or her job correctly? Not only this, but since 1998, studies have shown that applicants for government positions have consisted primarily of people with low morals and ethics. By and large, they are people who are interested in holding government positions because they know that lying and cheating is a part of government work. As a result, the effectiveness of government offices across the board has suffered dramatically and the American people can no longer have faith in the effectiveness of their responses to any given situation.

If only President Clinton has stopped and thought about the long-term effects of his tragic decision as Monica Lewinsky was kneeling before him, we could have prevented 9/11, prevented wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and organized a more effective response to Hurricane Katrina.


The recent statement by Kanye West, that "Bush doesn't care about black people", was born of a furor that we all share, after seeing what we have, down in New Orleans, over the past two weeks. However, like all that results from furor, it is limited in vision, and comprehension of the bigger picture.

Bush, indeed, doesn't care about black people- but he also doesn't care about white people. He doesn't care about asian people, arabic people, indigenous people of any stripe, or any other race. He doesn't care about the servicemen and women he sent to Iraq- whatever their race. He doesn't care about the millions who have slipped into poverty, since he took office- whether they be black, white, or whatever.

Bush, quite frankly, couldn't be bothered to wipe his ass on anyone who doesn't make less than $200,000 a year, and then, only if they're republicans. One might also say that he reserves his care for massive corporations which, even though they exist on paper, hold all of the benefits, and none of the liabilities, of "personhood".

Just thot I'd point that out...

In recent weeks, the opposition to Bush has been rightfully, and understandably focused on the utter failure of Bush's policies, on the homeland front.

However, the past few weeks in Iraq, have been equally damning- contrary to Cheney's assertion that the Iraqi resistance was in it's "last throes", carbombings and attacks have increased in both frequency and deadliness, in recent days. While US and "coalition" troops continue to die, to prop up a weak government that has recently bolstered itself by issuing a constitution that would make the late Khomeini proud, Bush surrogates continue to preach a "stay the course" policy, which is utterly at odds with reality.

It's only a matter of time, before full civil war breaks out. One might think that the neocons would see this as a challenge to their strategy, but they doggedly continue their rhetoric, saying that "this is only a phase," en route to a golden future. This line of thinking would be funny, if it were not so deadly. They're determined to fight, until the last drop of other people's blood is spilled, and none remains.

Bush's "relief and rebuilding" plan for the gulf coast, beyond being the traditional "dollar late and a day short" policy that earmarks the republican agenda, is abominable.

I'll tell you, straight up: when I watched Jesus Jr's speech, the other day, I spent half the time screaming at the TV, and the other half, weeping in disgust. Yeah- Bush made a lot of positive noises. If one might, for one second, ignore the fact that every word that has ever issued out of his mouth has been just that- words- one might get the impression that he came to a personal epiphany, after suddenly realizing that there are actually poor people in this country, and felt the need to address the myriad problems that "small government" conservatism has inflicted upon us all.

But- Bill Maher put it best: Bush, in making this speech, was like the abusive husband, who, after a five-year frenzy of drunken wife-beating, tries to make good, by presenting the victim of his abuse with a bouquet of flowers, expecting that this half-hearted gesture will make everything right.

And what a bouquet it is- 200 billion of defecit spending, a vast majority of which will be shuttled to religious organizations (I hear the Scientologists have descended on New Orleans with a vengeance), and no-bid contracts for Halliburton, KBR, and other corporate republican contributors. It almost brings a tear to the eye- this generosity (actually, it makes me want to puke, more than cry- but that's neither here nor there.)

The real disgrace? Where this money is coming from- it's common knowledge that Bush has pretty much ruined our economy, and turned Clinton's record surplus into a defecit that boggles the mind. Where will Bush find the money to shuttle towards this massive reconstruction effort?

Repealing the tax cuts to the richest 2% that he's shuttled through the congress in recent years? Dream on. The rich weren't asked to sacrifice one penny, while we bankrupted ourselves with the war in Iraq, and they can rest easy, between their silk sheets, that they won't have to pay one cent more, in taxes, in the difficult fiscal times ahead. Being rich, after all, is such a great burden- why should a single millionaire be asked to give up one more cent of their hard-won stock dividend earnings, simply because some poor people drowned? To think otherwise would be positively marxist, dont'cha know?

So- the question remains- where will this money come from? Here's a hint- the republican-controlled congress is due to pass a bill that cuts funding to Medicaid (a government program that is often the last resort for the millions of impoverished and needy, for healthcare) by 13 billion dollars.

Yep- the Bush bowl will use this disaster, as an excuse to cut back or eliminate the few remaining public programs that aid the most disadvantaged in our society. In addition- look for Amtrak to be either eliminated, or privatized. Goodbye to funding to the arts, education, AFDC, public broadcasting, AmeriCorps- watch, in coming weeks, as the religious right rejoices as the last taxpayer funds are pulled from planned parenthood (and watch them further rejoice, as the Roberts court repeals Roe Vs Wade, early next session- but that's another subject entirely.)

I am willing to tentatively predict that Jesus Jr, and his cohorts in congress will actually forego the permanent abolition of the estate tax, in the wake of recent events- a small concession that will inevitably be hailed by the corporate media as a "brave and bold policy change."

Our country is already bankrupt, and so far in the red that (again), it will take generations of democratic presidents and congresses to fix it. What we're looking at now, is the permanent destruction of the middle class, the permanent abandonment of the poor, and the permanent formalization of a naked plutocracy.

This is a cynical, heartless "relief effort" that makes one think that all judgement has fled, and that there is no hope.

And ya know- that's precisely what the Bush bowl wants us to think.

They want us to give up. They want us to see this heartless fiscal boot descend upon the last few glimmers of hope in this country, and just throw up our hands, and surrender. They want us to be cynical- even more cynical than they are. They want us to assume that because they choose to ignore the will of the people, that will means nothing.

Screw that...

We can sit, and lament this horrific administration, this callous disregard, this sick abandonment of the promise that our nation once stood for. We can just throw up our hands, and say that we can't do anything, because these bastards hold all the reigns of power, and we're but lowly citizens.

Screw that.

We can mope about, and ask "Where are our Martin Luther Kings, our Sojourner Truths, our Waclav Havels, our Nelson Mandellas, our Gandhis?", and sit on our asses, waiting for them to appear, or:

We can take a look in the mirror, and realize that we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Yes- you- YOU- are the solution. YOU are the one who can make a change. YOU are the spark that will light a fire whose fierce light will dispell the darkness that engulfs our nation, and banish the spectres of greed, ignorance, and provincialism that have held sway, for far too long.

Again- YOU are the solution- get off your collective asses, and make it happen.

Yeah, yeah- I know- you don't have much time- you don't own a car- you live in a solidly red state- you don't know how. Sorry- those are weak excuses.

When I was in College, a debate was sponsored by the university I attended, between a white South African landowner, and a black South African ANC activist (apartheid was still extant, in those days), and I remember, to this day, the black activist describing how his mother walked a ten-mile round trip, daily, for over a year, to ensure that he'd be able to get proper education, so that her son would be able to rise above the squalor of the township that he had been born into. Every day, she had to expose herself to the groping full-body searches of the guards that controlled the checkpoints that led out of the barbed-wire enclosure that she and thousands of other "bantus" were forced to live within. She walked this distance, and suffered this indignity, every day, for one hope- that maybe, through this herculean effort, better things would come.

She fought this indignity, this oppression, this injustice, and won.

Let me ask you- if one, illiterate woman, living in a nation that officially decalared people of her color as "inferior", was able to make this effort, for nothing more than a dream of better things to come, why can't you do the same? Why can't all of us?

YOU have the power to stem this tide- YOU have the power to take this country back.

People routinely ask me: "What can I do? I want things to change for the better, but where do I sign up? Where can I go?"

Dennis Kucinich had the best answer for this:

"You've answered your own question- you reached out to me- keep reaching out- Reach out to your friends, your family, your co-workers, and community of faith. More likely than not, they are every bit as concerned about how things are going, as you are- build networks- build coalitions- make change, in your own life- be an example, encourage others, and be the change you want to see."

Each and every one of you is an inspiration, a movement, a hope, and a promise, waiting to happen- embrace your destinies, and let us, together, stem this blood-dimmed tide. Some might say it is far too late- I, for one, say that it is never too late. Redemption lies within us all.


Didja like that show, tonight, America? Gone are the crowds of adoring GIs- tonight, Bush strode, alone, towards the microphone, in 2005's version of the infamous flight suit- a wal-mart worker's shirt, fresh from the plastic wrap, with the sleeves rolled carefully into place, by his handlers, assuring the sheeple that he's ruff, tuff, and ready to "git to work!"

PLEASE, please, please, people. This was another last-ditch effort by Rove, to salvage his charge, and it just doesn't sell...

Bush's words, tonight, were, well- words. Time and time again, we have learned, through painful experience, that not a single word uttered by this son of a bitch can by taken, at face value, other than as a textbook example of "hypocrisy."


Cover your ass, republicans- it's your only hope- if you think Bush's speech tonight solved your problems, you're sadly mistaken- throw up as much dirt as possible- and hide... I'm not going to address his rhetoric, in any way, tonight, because it was all, well- bullshit. Seriously- not one, single word that he spoke tonight, will bear any resemblance to the events that will follow, in coming days, weeks, months, and years. It was all scripted, engineered to placate the standard media whores (In particular- Wolf Blitzer nearly creamed his pants, breathless, recounting the "points" of Bush's speech, tonight- that guy has serious problems.)

Here's the real deal:

Bush's "Enterprize zones" will be wild-west territories, that will be fought over by major corporations, in which privately-owned property will be handed over to major coproations, under the guise of "eminent domain". A few bits will be thrown to (christian) "faith-based" organizations, but overall, expect vast swaths of monoculture strip-malls, corporate farms, and wal-marts to crop up, in the affected areas. Incentives, such as tax cuts, will be given to the corporations, while the rest of the people are left to scrabble for survival.

New Orleans will no longer be the impoverished city it once was- under the Bush plan, it will be turned into a dishonest, Disney shadow of what it once was. An overwhelming majority of the poor that left, will never return, and the slums will be magically transformed into a disingenuous playground for the rich tourists, who are sure to return. (The one upshot of this, is that the poor, blue voters of the former New Orleans, will be spread, accross the south, hopefully, tilting the balance, in times to come.)

How will the two above points come to pass? Easy! Bush, along with his republican majority in the congress, decided to waive the prevailing wage exemption, in the affected areas. What does this mean? Basically, it means that those who are left in the area, desperate for work, in the wake of a disaster that has destroyed their jobs, are generously given a chance to work for 12 hours a day to build this corporate Disneyland for less than 9 bucks an hour (federal overtime restrictions notwithstanding- also passed by Bush, and his republican cadres.) This means that this playground for the rich, will be built by those most desperate for employment, at a wage that is slightly above the poverty level. Sweet, heh?

And lastly- I have no doubt that Bush will, as he has in times past, shove a few more nails into the coffin of the "small government" legacy, left to the conservative movement, by Reagan, and spend as much money as it takes, to cover his ass, while the federal defecit continues to break records, over the next few years. At the same time, he'll continue to press for greater and greater tax cuts, leaving a debt that will take generations of democratic presidents to fix.

Now- as exciting as this latest and greatest failure of the Bush bowl has been...

Previous failures continue to arise- specifically, today, the recent insurgent bombings in the "land of Success" formerly known as Iraq. Last I checked, around 170 have died, in just the past 48 hours, in the land of peace and democracy that the neocons assured us would arise, when we invaded...

I hate republicans- I really do. Notice that, yesterday, when the vote came up to call an independent commission to investigate government actions, in the wake of Katrina, EVERY REPUBLICAN VOTED AGAINST IT- even the delegation from Louisiana? New republican slogan- "cover your ass". Sick, sick, sick, bastards to a man. Who cares, anyway, what happened down there, after all? Hell- considering the republican rhetoric over the past three weeks, one would figure that it was all the fault of Mayor Nagin and Governor Landrou- you figure the republicans would LEAP at the opportunity to prove it- if the facts backed them up- but, well- oops!


I think I would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen the above photo. And the image of all those school buses up to their hubs in flood water is a justified focus of rage of those who ask the legitimate question: why weren’t they used to ferry people out of the path of the storm. By my count, there are 300 buses in the photo.

I’ll be generous and assume that’s half of them.

Let’s say that on Saturday, 27 August, when Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco declared a state of emergency, the following happens. I don’t know the precise time of the order, but I’ll be kind and say it was issued sometime before dawn on the 27th. Let’s say 0300.

At 0300 then, phone calls go out to the 600 bus drivers, who were put on standby alert the day before. They are ordered to report to the lot no later than 0500. Now these men and women will have heroically kissed their families goodbye, trusting that their spouses and children will pack up the family car and drive north to safety. They are met in the lot by 600 police officers and sheriff’s deputies who will literally ride shotgun on each bus.

At 0600, the drivers roll out to a predetermined pick up spot and open their doors. They are on a tight schedule. In order to have any chance of moving enough people out of New Orleans, they must load their passengers and roll quickly. Assume it takes them 30 minutes to load and that they close the doors and pull out by 0800 Saturday morning.

A full-sized school bus can carry approximately 60 adults. I’ll be again generous and assume that an additional 20 children could be carried on their parent’s laps. Of course there’s no room for more than minor luggage — perhaps something half the size of what airlines allow as carryons — and no pets

So, for the first run out of town, our 600 bus drivers and 600 law enforcement personnel have 48,000 passengers. That’s a very respectable number. The busses drive north, assisted by a disaster-plan-mandated bus lane that additional police are maintaining so that the busses, which have to make a return trip, don’t get trapped in traffic.

Where do the buses go? Houston was one obvious choice. Distance? Approximately 350 miles from New Orleans. At say an average speed of 50 miles an hour (remember those special bus lanes?) that’s a seven hour drive. Figure two highly efficient refueling stations: one at the midpoint and one at the end point.

If 150 buses, carrying 12,000 evacuees (approximately the number the Astrodome was able to handle) make that trip, I don’t think that a drive time of seven hours plus another two hours for refueling and bathroom visits is unreasonable. Total drive time, nine hours one way, 17 hours roundtrip. Where do the other three, 150-bus convoys go? Good question. A glance at the map suggest that Memphis, Little Rock and Birmingham could be candidates with about the same drive time.

The cities have pre-positioned cots, water, food and medical supplies for their 12,000 guests who are processed by efficient city and state personnel.

The 600 buses that left New Orleans at 0800 with 48,000 passengers Saturday morning, roll back into the Big Easy at 0100 Sunday. The buses are met by another 600 drivers and their accompanying law enforcement personnel. The buses refuel and now, under pressure from the approaching storm, are at the Phase II collection points by 0300.

Another 48,000 passengers are loaded and by 0500 the buses roll again. Another nine-hour drive later, the buses unload their passengers. It’s now 1400 on Sunday. In two hours, the National Weather Service will issue a special hurricane warning. There are still people in New Orleans that must be gotten out. The bus drivers refuel and head back for one more trip, arriving in an already rain drenched city at 2100 Sunday night.

The bus drivers switch off one last time with the original drivers and law enforcement personnel. Water is beginning to wash over the levees. The buses are back at their pickup points by 2300 Sunday and the last of the citizens to be evacuated thankfully climb on board. The doors close one last time and with police escorts clearing the way, the last of approximately 100,000 citizens without cars or other transportation escape their doomed city.

In less than 48 hours, the heroic bus drivers evacuated as many as 144,000 people, from a metropolitan population of approximately 1.3 million. Depending upon plans, somewhere between four and 12 cities will be caring for at least 12,000 and perhaps as many as 36,000 refugees each.

That’s the fantasy.

Anyone who has ever taken part in disaster planning or in any military action knows that no major city in the world is capable of pulling something like this off. Should the buses have been used? Hell yes. Would they have made a difference? To the people who got on them, they would.

Would they have provided The Answer? Not a chance.

There is only one organization in the world with the budget, personnel and mandate to come even close to something like this: The Federal Emergency Management Agency. And we now know how ready it was.

(my own addendum):

estant christian ones) are the only salvation for those who are betrayed by a republican govenment that doesn't care one whit, for human life.

The Bush bowl tried to cover their ass, in this regard, by casting off Brown- that didn't work, so, now, Jesus Jr has decided to accept responsibility for failure of the federal government (of which, FEMA is a part.)

So, Again, let's stop the "blame the victims" game, shall we, you few remaining freeper lurkers? You've been silent, since the day Cindy Sheehan rolled into town, and effectively castrated your beloved leader, but I know you're still out there.

Aww- look at the little, wee "president", standing before the cameras, and warbling out a few, tepid, dishonest PR talking points that don't even sound good, much less amount to a hill of beans. If he's responsible for the gross failings of the federal government in this regard, he needs to leave, before his propensity for gross negligence and criminal dereliction of duty kills again.

But dig this- Here's what Bush is gonna do: He'll use this as an example to forward the conservative philosophy (that has snce become a self-fulfilling prophecy), that "This proves that that Big Government isn't the answer." He'll argue that this is why we should give even BIGGER tax cuts to the rich, and why "faith-based organizations" (mainly prot Oh- he'll also balloon the federal defecit, with unfunded mandates to all levels of the government, ever maintaining the brilliant republican strategy of shutting the barn door, months after the horse has disappeared over the horizon.

This article emerged, today, showing that a bipartisan committee found that the Louisiana governor actually did exactly what she was supposed to do, under the circumstances, leading up to Katrina.

So, I guess it's all Mayor Nagin's fault, now- right, freepers? (Oh, and of course, it'll ALWAYS be Clinton's fault.)

Ya know- in the past couple of days, I've noticed something about Bush's extemporaneous speechifyin' over the past few weeks.

You remember when you were in junior high, when you were assigned "Giants in the Earth" to read for english class, but instead, spent your evenings watching TV and eating cheetoes, until the night before the exam? You remember that watery feeling of dispair that you got, walking into class, knowing you were going to fail this test, concerning a book you never read?

You see that watery feeling, in Jesus Jr's eyes, every time he steps before the cameras- that uncertainty and terror of being totally unprepared for the task in front of him...

And then, Bush begins to speak-

Fast-rewind- you're back at school, on that fateful day, and you're confronted with the question:

What impact did the harsh conditions of the 1800's midwest have upon the protragonists?

Your answer? Naturally:

"The hardships faced by the main characters were harsh, as detailed by the author, throughout the book. Weather conditions, troubles raising crops, and maintaining communities were commonplace. The author brings us into their lives, and we see these problems reflected in the troubles the characters encounter, in their daily lives"


Utter BS- but in the end, it garnered you a "C", simply because your teacher had a grudging respect for anyone so skilled in the use of obfuscation. However- doesn't that BS answer sound just like a standard Bush speech?

"The troubles of those hurt worst in this catastrophe are huge, and beyond words. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered in this calamity, and can be assured that we understand the troubles that they are gong through, in their darkest of times. As the measure of this disaster become clear to us, you can rest assured that we will act with utmost urgency, to alleviate the suffering of those most hurt by this disaster." (not an actual Bush quote- but pretty much on-par with everything he's said, in the past two weeks...)

Equally BS- and, again, the corporate media gves Bush a grudging "C" and lets him pass...


Why did Brownie quit? I thought Jesus Jr. Told us he was doing "a heck of a job...."

Well- Bush SAID he was doing a "heck of a job", because, well, once, again, Bush didn't know what the hell he was talking about...

Ya see- Bush, fresh from two more days of vacation, and a hard day o' speechifyin', and golfin', had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA of what was going on, in the disaster area. You thought Brown was incompetent? A full 24 hours after Brown admitted that he didn't know about the suppurating boil of human misery that had sprouted at the superdome, Bush flew to the rescue on Air Force One, watching a DVD of news broadcasts, from the past 48 hours, to bring him up to speed, with what's going on.

Dig that- consider that- as bad as Brown was, Bush was worse.

Consider that- digest that- make it part of yourself, and understand, fully, what this means....

BUSH HAD NO IDEA OF WHAT WAS GOING ON, long after Brown showed his ass on national TV...

I was following the news, hourly, 48 hours, before hurricane landfall...

My fellow americans- it's now official:

If you have basic cable, and watch five minutes of CNN (even Fox "news) in times of crisis- you're more informed about current events than the most powerful man in the world.

What's truly frightening, is that, as "president" of the United States, Bush had unequalled access to the news, from both his incompetent advisors, and every news agency on planet earth.

There are two options here:

Either he had a malicious underling, who, siezed with his/her love for communism, Bill Clinton, and gay marriage, intentionally withheld this information from the "president", in hopes of advancing their radical eco-terrorist/feminist agenda, should Bush fail,


Bush told all of his advisors and media watchers to keep off his back, while he avoided Cindy Sheehan, and relaxed in his air-conditioned rancher, while watching the "Sgt. Bilko" movie, over cases of schiltz.

Call me a liberal tree-hugging, america-hating dope-smoking FM-type extremist, but seriously- those are the only two options I can concieve of...

Actually, that's a lie... In the latter vision, Bush is also wearing a scandalously revealing brazilian speedo- but, not surprisingly, the fabric in the crotch hangs, empty, and flaccid. Rubbing his miniscule privates, absently, Bush takes moments between slugs of malt liquor, to peruse the local feed 'n seed mass-mailer, and finds himself inexplicably excited by the halftone black-and-white images of cattle hooked up to mass-milking machines.

Just as the speedo starts to show a tad of volume, Laura arrives: Lit to the gills on a curious mix of absinthe, gin, vodka, rye, ritalin, crack, and near-lethal doses of progesterone, hauling a cotton sack, filled to the brim with feces and dead fetuses.

Tossing the sack aside, Laura lunges across the room, tackling George in a trademark WWF "Good Night Irene" sleeper hold, and kisses him savagely, panting desperately into his hair-clogged ear: "Your breath smells of the steam that rises from fresh vomit."

George counter-attacks, taking advantage of a weak point in Laura's defense, pins her to the ground, and while whispering "Show me what you got, BITCH!", shoves a syringe full of methamphetamine into her buttocks, which are covered with boils the size of potato pancakes...

The savagery continues, in my sick dream- George takes a tukey baster- and loading it up with clippings from the New York Post, chicken grease, and elephant snot, and, insane with desire...


Does the aforementioned offend you? Am I going too far in criticizing this administration, through gross parody?

Tell me- what's more offensive to you- what inspires you to take action- a few ribald words, posted on a website, or the images of the dead and dying in Iraq, and our nation's gulf coast?

I'm through with laughing at the incompetence of this administration. It's long since gone beyond being the butt of jokes worldwide, to being a national disgrace.
Long have I said that I Hate Republicans

Am I willing to temper this rhetoric, now that a definite change has taken place, in our national discourse, and people are finally waking up?

No, and no, and no again.

Bush was never elected, and wasn't re-elected. Millions have sunk into poverty, under his watch. Civil liberties have been quashed, under his watch. Our national dignity, and honor, have been lost, under his watch. Tens of Thousands of Iraqis and Americans are now dead, as the result of his policies.

If you supported this "president", and want to repent, go to a site more forgiving than mine. I don't care if you fault me for "divisive rhetoric"- if you supported Bush, at ANY time, during his corrupt rise to power, you're guilty in the crimes he has committed, and continues to commit, every day...

We're not talking about a blowjob, here,- we're talking about criminal dereliction of duty, on the part of the "president", all the way down. Yeah, Nagin, Landrou, et al, made the mistake of assuming that an administration that could send troops, money, and infrastructure halfway around the world within 24 hours in the name of securing oil, might be able to help them out, in a similar fashion, when disaster struck.

Seriously- these local officials had the TERMERITY and the GALL to assume that the federal government would help them out, 72 hours after they applied for help? Nagin is such an UNGRATEFUL BASTARD, after all- how dare he criticize the "great job" that Brown was doing, while seeing his city drown, due to an 80% decrease in federal funding to repair the levees that Jesus Jr approved, personally?

This incompetent, callous, uncaring, racist, selfish, arrogant administration MUST GO NOW.


To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush:

On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel?

How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows?

That's right. Horse shows.

I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.

Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer?

When you look at Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, a man with little experience in national security, do you feel secure?

When men who never served in the military and have never seen young men die in battle send our young people off to war, do you think they know how to conduct a war? Do they know what it means to have your legs blown off for a threat that was never there?

Do you really believe that turning over important government services to private corporations has resulted in better services for the people?

Why do you hate our federal government so much? You have voted for politicians for the past 25 years whose main goal has been to de-fund the federal government. Do you think that cutting federal programs like FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been good or bad for America? GOOD OR BAD?

With the nation's debt at an all-time high, do you think tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea? Will you give yours back so hundreds of thousands of homeless in New Orleans can have a home?

Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us? Hurricane Katrina came in and blew off the facade that we were a nation with liberty and justice for all. The wind howled and the water rose and what was revealed was that the poor in America shall be left to suffer and die while the President of the United States fiddles and tells them to eat cake.

That's not a joke. The day the hurricane hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water.

It would take ANOTHER day before the President would do a flyover in his jumbo jet, peeking out the widow at the misery 2500 feet below him as he flew back to his second home in DC. It would then be TWO MORE DAYS before a trickle of federal aid and troops would arrive. This was no seven minutes in a sitting trance while children read "My Pet Goat" to him. This was FOUR DAYS of doing nothing other than saying "Brownie (FEMA director Michael Brown), you're doing a heck of a job!"

My Republican friends, does it bother you that we are the laughing stock of the world?

And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain?

Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters. We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together. The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever.

Are we safe? Do you really feel safe? You can only move so far out and build so many gated communities before the fruit of what you've sown will be crashing through your walls and demanding retribution. Do you really want to wait until that happens? Or is it your hope that if they are left alone long enough to soil themselves and shoot themselves and drown in the filth that fills the street that maybe the problem will somehow go away?

I know you know better. You gave the country and the world a man who wasn't up for the job and all he does is hire people who aren't up for the job. You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans. Please fix it. Bush is yours. And you know, for our peace and safety and security, this has to be fixed. What do you propose?

I have an idea, and it isn't a horse show.

Does anyone out there have a list of the few democrats and republicans who are seeking a shred of accountability from the Bush Bowl?

We need to flood their offices with "thank you" e-mails. The leader of the democratic party in the House finally came out and stated the plainly obvious. She's under a lot of media scrutiny, and is not backing down one inch. If anyone out there has such a resource, lemme know

Secondly- go out there, and engage in conversation- fill folks in on the facts. Today, at work, I ate a horrid lunch at the horrid "deli" in the horrid "atrium", and EVERYONE is talking about this- people are seeking answers, pelted by a corporate media that is constantly feeding them contradicary garbage. Inform yourself, and be prepared to tell the real deal. This weekend, take some time off, with your friends- go out, have a few drinks, a few rounds of poker, or a few episodes of "red dwarf", and when the topic arises in coversation, make sure that everyone goes away, a little wiser.

To aid you, in this, here are some links to...


Just like for 9/11 and the Iraq war, sourced timelines are key in cutting through the Bush Administrations efforts to obfuscate the TRUTH.  Here are some of the timelines that are beginning to take shape:

Very Brief Visual Timeline

More Detailed ThinkProgress Timeline

Very Detailed Wikipedia Timeline

Very Detailed Dkosopedia Timeline

We've all seen Cheney getting a dose of his own medicine
, but here are a few more bits of media:

Pelosi refuses to back down- Right on, Nancy!

Bush's Vacation, 2005- A picture is worth a thousand words.

What the hell?- Again, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Oog- there's SO much more- But it will have to wait for the Uber-Update, on saturday.

I have to repeat it, here, and now:


The enormity of this catastrophe is yet to be comprehnded, in this country, and around the world. The human suffering, loss of life, and economic impact (50 billion was added to our federal defecit, today), has already eclipsed that resulting from 9/11, and we ain't seen nothing yet.

Reports of aid being withheld, under orders of FEMA- local authorities sending out armed guards, to prevent federal authorities from depriving buildings of electricity- people literally caged into pits of misery, with no food, water, or medical care. I am no conspiracy theorist, but dammit- this looks more and more like a pogrom against the poor. There's no other damned explanation. Even taking into the callousness displayed by this administration, time, after time, this goes beyond the pale.

The federal incompetence continues- and the Bush Bowl continues to dig themselves deeper, every day. Iraq, By the way, continues to descend into a certain civil war.

Bush's day of Prayer? Now- I don't mean to cheese off you folks out there who believe in God, whatever form He, She, or "Bob" takes, but praying ain't gonna do one damned bit of good, right now. One common thread is woven into all faiths: God's will is manifested by the actions of God's creation.

Instead of praying, spend that time donating to a charity, either financially, or with your time. Help out a local church or charity that is trying to alleviate the scourge of poverty. Spend the time you would, praying, writing to your congresspeople, demanding an end to the war in Iraq, and demanding answers from a government that abandoned the neediest, in their greatest hour of need.

Become the change you wish to see...

Until saturday...

Oh- one last note: The "100 schoolbus" defense of the Bush Bowl being offered by the freeper crowd is bullshit- sorry to state it so plainly, but it just is.


Seriously- I'm damned sick of this- we're asking for answers, from the government that we pay for with our taxes. It's not a "Game", you talking heads of the right-wing pundit corps... The callous indifference of this bunch of killers squatting in our whitehouse is compounded by their utter lack of any honor, of dignity. A TRUE president would step up to the plate- Bush hides behind empty words.

Now- you republicans, out there, who are still clinging to Bush, out of sheer determination:

If you wanna be a republican, fine. You wanna vote republican, because you're a conservative, and you have no other choice? Fine-

But you have to stop viewing politics, and the fate of our nation, as if it were pro football. Yeah- I know- you want to cheer for your team, defend it when it's down, and rally around the "star player"- it's fun, I know...

Let me break this gently... Your star lineman has just tested positive for steroids, while sniffing coke with a prostitute in the back of a '78 chevette. The Quarterback was found vacationing in an shack in the wyoming foothills, watching "scarface" over and over, in a room littered with dead boy scouts. The rest of your team was found in a dirty basement in singapore, chewing gum, and betting on cockfights while trading in teenage vietnamese male whores.

Keep your ideology- keep your party- it's all good... However- I have to ask all republicans, here, and now:

Rats have the brains to leave a sinking ship- why can't you muster the same mental fortitude?

Stand with the rest of America, and demand accountability from the people whom you rallied around, for so long- they owe you, at the very least, that much...


And it's time for you to contact your congresspeople, and urge them to stand with the few democrats, and fewer republicans, speaking out, on this matter. Spend five minutes, from your day, writing and calling your respective congresspeople, and urge them to demand accountability, in this atrocity.

Seriously- do it NOW...


What- you still here? Have you followed the link above, and contacted your elected officials? Good- now: The Media links...


The Daily Show takes no prisoners- Last night's AMAZING show- these guys are taking no damned prisoners...

White House Spokesman spends another 40 minutes, breathing heavilly, and never answers one, single damned question.- This guy has NO shame- just like his masters.


The Bush Bowl's refusal of aid from Venezuela, is predictable, yet again, shameful.

Listen, George, you cretin, I know that you hate Chavez, because he nationalized Venezuela's oil industry, thus effectively removing any chance for your oil buddies to make a few extra million, but for the love of all that is merciful- this guy, after having your buddy Pat threaten his life, last month, is offering tons of drnkng water, medcal aid, water purifiers, food, fuel- the very things that your government denied the victims, for close on to a week.

What say you drop your neocon ideology, George, FOR ONE DAMNED SECOND, and accept help, when and where it's needed...

I remember- back when a horrific earthquake hit the Iranian city of Bam, the Iranian government said that it would "accept any aid-excluding any that is offered by Israel".

George Bush's foreign policy, now, is officially on par with that of Iran, when it comes to politicizing foreign aid.

Ditto with the thousand-plus doctors that Castro offered. WHAT THE HELL? I know you right-wingers think that accepting medical aid from folks like Castro is "humiliating"- well- welcome to the club- we on the left have been humiliated by our government for well onto five years, now.

But- ya know what's REALLY HUMILIATING? Seeing people dying of starvation, on the streets of one of the greatest cites in MY COUNTRY. You know what makes me bow my head in shame? Seeing pictures of tens of thousands of people, locked up in a feces-strewn arena that can only be described as a concentration camp, without food, water, or comfort.

But no- no- and no, again.

This is only part of a larger pattern, folks- Not only did our government not let Venezuela, or Cuba offer succor, the evidence is coming out that time, after time, after time, and time again, relief efforts were impeded my FEMA. This is looking more and more like a progrom. More, in coming days...

Scott McLellan goes into an insane CYA mode
- 41 minutes of pure spinelessness- Realplayer. This is priceless.

Governor Blanco's Request for assistance, dated 8/28- PDF

Kieth Olbermann knocks it out of the park- WMV- amazing.

Good lord- the news is pouring in, faster than I can cover it, in the short hour I have to deal with this. Please- go to Buzzflash, and Crooks and Lairs, at least three times, over the next 24 hours. These guys have a better staff, HTML architecture, and resources, than I do. News is breaking, hourly.

If you haven't donated to The Red Cross yet, do so, now- they accept donations as small as a dollar (and to you Alex Jones folks, e-mailing me with BS about the Red Cross being an "evil, corrupt" organization- go and burn in hell- right now. Go away- leave me alone- don't darken my site with your presence, ever again.)


Okay, let's assume the freeper babble, and the Fox "News" commentary is 100% correct- Mayor Nagin was smoking Crack, and Governor Blanco was watching "Monk" DVDs, when the hurricane hit the gulf coast, and danced, arm-in-arm, on the bloated bodies of the dead of New Orleans. Let's assume that every bit of blame for the damage in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, lies solely on the shoulders of these two people (who just happen to be democrats.)

I'll give you ALL of this- have fun with it.

But, you were the people who told us, time and time again, that we were the ones who didn't care about our nation's safety. You were the ones who kept doggedly believing that Bush was the man we could rely in case of a national disaster. He was the one, you told us, would keep us "safe".

Gee- we see his grand plan, in retrospect, now, eh? So much for his vaunted powers as "protector of the homeland".

We saw your golden boy act- day by day. We saw him relax on his ranch, for days, while doom approached. We saw his response, when he played golf, and strummed a guitar, as Katrina made landfall. We saw the magnificent "threat response system" that Bush forged, in action, over the past week, as thousands starved in a feces-streaked superdome. We saw his magnificent cabinet, in action- whether it be Condi Rice shopping in manhattan, as Katrina made landfall, Cheney off the radar, or the horse-racing fixer Bush appointed as director of FEMA, showing his ass, daily...

Tell me- are you proud of what you've wrought? Do you still feel safe? If a backpack nuke went off in downtown L.A, would you still think that Bush and his "crack team" were such great folks, FIVE DAMNED DAYS LATE, in rendering federal assistance?

Shut up- just SHUT UP. You are KILLING PEOPLE- do you REALIZE THIS?

When we tried to warn you about the dangers of Bush's planned invasion of Iraq, you called us "Traitors"

It's time for you to shut up.

When we warned of the dangers of having a huge percentage of our national guardsmen and women, fighting halfway around the world in an illegal and unjust war, you said we were "coddling terrorism."

It's time for you to shut up.

When we warned about Bush's drastic cuts to our national infrastructure (including an 80% cut for the Army corps of engineers budget for the levees in New Orleans), in favor of tax cuts for the richest 1% of americans, you called us "communists" and "class warriors"

It's time for you to shut up.

You've prattled on for well onto five years- you've dominated the press, and the national discourse. Your heroes- Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh- WE'RE SICK OF IT.

Your spin ends now.

It's time for you to shut up...

Everybody in the blogosphere should become well-versed in the National Response Plan (NRP) - PRONTO.

On page 43 of the NRP the section is titled, "Proactive Federal Response to Catastrophic Events"

This like the August 6th PDB and all of the endless documented reports and news that the Bushies overlooked on their way to eat cake and buy shoes ARE HARD FACTS THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED.

The National Response Plan was accepted and implemented by Bush Administration in December 2004.

The NRP establishes policies, procedures, and mechanisms for proactive Federal response to catastrophic events. A catastrophic event is any natural or manmade incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions. A catastrophic event could result in sustained national impacts over a prolonged period of time; almost immediately exceeds resources normally available to State, local, tribal, and private-sector authorities in the impacted area; and significantly interrupts governmental operations and emergency services to such an extent that national security could be threatened. All catastrophic events are Incidents of National Significance.

Implementation of Proactive Federal Response Protocols

Protocols for proactive Federal response are most likely to be implemented for catastrophic events involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive weapons of mass destruction, or large magnitude earthquakes or other natural or technological disasters in or near heavily populated areas.

Guiding Principles for Proactive Federal Response

Guiding principles for proactive Federal response include the following:

  • The primary mission is to save lives; protect critical infrastructure, property, and the environment; contain the event; and preserve national security.

  • Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited or, under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of catastrophic magnitude.

  • Identified Federal response resources will deploy and begin necessary operations as required to commence life-safety activities.

  • Notification and full coordination with States will occur, but the coordination process must not delay or impede the rapid deployment and use of critical resources. States are urged to notify and coordinate with local governments regarding a proactive Federal response.

  • State and local governments are encouraged to conduct collaborative planning with the Federal Government as a part of "steady-state" preparedness for catastrophic incidents.

    Implementation Mechanisms for Proactive Federal Response to Catastrophic Events

    The NRP Catastrophic Incident Supplement (described in the Catastrophic Incident Annex) addresses resource and procedural implications of catastrophic events to ensure the rapid and efficient delivery of resources and assets, including special teams, equipment, and supplies that provide critical lifesaving support and incident containment capabilities. These assets may be so specialized or costly that they are either not available or are in insufficient quantities in most localities.

    The procedures outlined in the NRP Catastrophic Incident Supplement are based on the following:

  • The pre-identification of Federal assets and capabilities;

  • The strategic location of pre-identified assets for rapid deployment; and

  • The use of pre-scripted mission assignments for Stafford Act declarations, or individual agency authority and funding, to expedite deployment upon notification by DHS (in accordance with procedures established in the NRP Catastrophic Incident Supplement) of a potential catastrophic event.

    Agencies responsible for these assets will keep DHS apprised, through the HSOC, of their ongoing status and location until the JFO is established. Upon arrival at the scene, Federal assets will coordinate with the Unified Command, the SFLEO, and the JFO (or its forward elements) when established. Demobilization processes, including full coordination with the JFO Coordination Group, are initiated either when the mission is completed or when it is determined the magnitude of the event does not warrant continued use of the asset.

    So there it is folks. Coordination need not DELAY efforts to save lives and protect infrastructure.

    Things continue to spiral downwards, even as the six-day-late relief effort begins in earnest. Dysentery has shown up, among the teeming thousands who are making do in the Astrodome, and is certain to spread, and be joined by other epidemics, unless proper steps are taken (and considering the lackadaisical behavior we've seen from FEMA, over the past week, I'd not be in the least surprised, if cholera breaks out, before steps are taken to address this ticking time-bomb.) It is estimated that as many as 80,000 are still in New Orleans, still awaiting relief, and the death toll is expected to top out at 50,000.

    The callousness of Bush, FEMA, and Homeland Security continues, and snowballs:

    Can anybody say - Evacuation and Levee repairs stalled for 5 days?

Michael Chertoff walked out, for a press conference, today, and said (paraphrasing:) "It's coming apparent to many that this disaster was a hurricane, followed by a massive flood."

Well, COCK-A-DOODLE-DAMNED-DOO, Mike. Strange, I came to that conlusion A WEEK AGO, and I'm just a guy with an internet connection and cable TV. Now- I hate to be glib about this- but if a guy like me, in New Jersey, has a better grasp of the matters on the ground in the affected areas the the head of Homeland Security- there's something SERIOUSLY wrong here.

Next, in the continuing lineup of BushCo atrocities, are the facts that:

1: The NO Times-Picayune reports, that while Bush did his photo-op in Mississippi, three tons of desperately-needed food relief was left roasting in the sun, because relief flights were cancelled during his visit, for "secutiry reasons"

2: Laura Bush shows up at the Lafayette CajunDome, for a photo-op with seven hand-picked photogenic evacuees. Nice, but the room the secret service cleared out for the event, was the only room with proper internet and phone services, and was being used to coordinate relief efforts. All relief work stopped, for eight hours, while Laura made reassuring noises at the cameras. Adjacent food serving areas, and the women's showers, were shut down, as well, for the duration.

Shamed into news conferences and media events by their arrogant inaction, these cretins are only making things worse.

Now- it is time for the democrats to speak out.

It is strange the republican pundit corps, overall, are directing more ire towards Bush than the ostensible opposition party.

Over the past five years, whenever the Bush Bowl overflows, and disaster results, I have only seen Dennis Kucinich, and the Congressional Black Caucus asking questions, and acting like a decent opposition. This has to end, NOW. The democratic party has to stop sitting around, spinning their wheels, and waiting for Bush to hang himself.

Bush has hung himself, time, after time, after time, and has only survived, because the democratic party has refused to step up to the plate. If there is ANY hope of restoring honor and dignity to our government, it is now, and it can ONLY come from the democrats.


We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we're going to make it right."

Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It's accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

Despite the city's multiple points of entry, our nation's bureaucrats spent days after last week's hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city's stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.

Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.

Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

We're angry, Mr. President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That's to the government's shame.

Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don't know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city's death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.

It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren't they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn't suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn't have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn't known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We've provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they've gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

Lies don't get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You're doing a heck of a job."

That's unbelievable.

There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.

We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We're no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.

No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn't be reached.

Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.

When you do, we will be the first to applaud.

Now, before I depart, tonight, you american visitors need to see what the rest of the world is saying about this whole sorry mess:

In a calamity of biblical proportions, the question that refuses to go away is why the administration of President George W Bush responded so inadequately to a disaster that was waiting to happen.

Hurricane Katrina - Too little, too late from US government, IRISH EXAMINER

America is also angry with rescue services that left thousands to die, and angry with President Bush, who during a national crisis continued vacationing and muttering cliches.
America's Yom Kippur , YEDIOTH AHRONOTH (Israel)

The decline in internal security was also evident in the authorities' failure to detect and prevent the attacks of September 11, 2001. Four years on, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath are a stark reminder that Mother Nature can unleash dangers as destructive as any terrorists.
Brutal side of US exposed in New Orleans , THE COURIER-MAIL (Australia)

The hurricane has left the US grappling afresh with issues of race and class in a society that is getting more polarised.
Katrina selects its victims , DECCAN HERALD (India)

There was something terribly discomforting about George W. Bush's visit to the ravaged Southeast of America.
Bush and Katrina: Affair to remember , GULFNEWS.COM (UAE)

Outsiders don't come here. Cops don't come here. And, in the maddened wake of Hurricane Katrina, rescue teams haven't come here, either.
The human baggage of Iberville , Toronto Star (Canada)

Bush will be left to explain why thousands of Louisiana National Guardsmen were not available to help feed, protect and evacuate the citizens of New Orleans because they were in ... Iraq.
Bush at bay, The Guardian (UK)

President George W. Bush pays back the good Christian Americans who elected him despite his illegal act of slaughter in Iraq by sitting in his Texas ranch for two days after the most horrific suffering was visited on the area around New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
George W. Bush abandons Americans, Pravda (Russia)

Now, before the few remaining desperate freeper hordes descend upon me, saying "why should we care about whut them FUR'NERS think?", I feel that facts speak for themselves: In a time in which our own government has failed us, on every level imaginable, it is long past high time for us to abandon the geopolitical provincialism that has marked this Bush "presidency." For the past five years, the Bush Bowl has dismissed the rest of the world, in favor of their narrow-minded outlook of Pax Americana, and Unilateralism. Despite this, the vary nations that we have spurned, are now offering us tremendous quantities of aid.
It is time to rise above the small-mindedness that has dominated the american vox populi, for far too long. We're but one nation, on one continent, on a fragile globe, and we NEED to respect the rest of the planet, if we're going to survive.

The right-wing punditry of this country...

The Coulters, the Limbaughs, the Becks, the Savages, and the rest of these hatemongers, have spent the past five years saying that whenever we, in the opposition, question the slightest thing that this corrupt and disastrous administration does, we're "undermining the war on terror".

Well- the incidents in New Orleans, the unforgiveable lack of response by our government, and the horrors that resulted, have given an object lesson as to the unpreparedness of our nation, and I GUARANTEE YOU, those terrorists who are seeking to strike at our nation have taken great comfort, from what they've seen.

Thanks to Bush's cutbacks to first responders, national infrastructure, public works, emergency services, the "terrorist threat" knows that were are vulnerable, weak, and will crumble, when a heavy hit is aimed at the right target. It doesn't matter how many american flags you fly from your car's antenna- nor does it matter how many "remember 9/11" stickers you plaster on the rear bumper of your Hummer. The degree to which you blindly follow the latest idiotic policies spewed forth from the Bush Bowl doesn't matter, when it comes to concretely protecting our nation from threats, natural, or manmade.

To address these threats, it takes leadership, consensus, sound policy, and above all, responsibility- all of which were sorely lacking, in the past week.

Chertoff continues to defend the actions of this misbegotten administration, saying that "we hadn't adequate warning" of what was certain to unfold. Again- if this leper had spent five minutes, watching TV, last friday, he would have gotten AMPLE WARNING. This cretin, this fool, this utter idiot- words again fail me...

If Bin Laden himself had gone on the airwaves, and announced that, in two days, his agents would blow up the levees in New Orleans, Chertoff would have ignored the warning, and claimed innocence, days afterwards- FIRE THIS GUY, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

And finally:

if the following article doesn't make your blood boil, I don't know what will... Bush's "Faith Based Initiatives" program is shuttling millions to religious charities, and barring secular agencies from participating in the relief effort:

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government released a list of charitable groups collecting contributions to help Hurric The Federal Emergency Management Agency list was posted on the agency's Web site and published in major newspapers yesterday. After the American Red Cross, which was named first, the next organization was Operation Blessing, a group based in Virginia Beach, Virginia and founded by televangelist and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson.

``How in the heck did that happen?'' said Richard Walden, president of Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based secular group that has been conducting disaster relief work since 1979 and was not on FEMA's list. ``That gives Pat Robertson millions of extra dollars.''

FEMA spokeswoman Barbara Ellis didn't return three phone calls seeking comment. Alyssa McClenning, a White House spokeswoman who handles inquiries for its office of faith-based programs, said any questions ``should be directed at FEMA.''

Donations for hurricane relief efforts have topped $93 million so far, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. President George W. Bush, in remarks on the hurricane over the past two days, has encouraged contributions to the Red Cross, the nation's oldest relief agency. He also has promoted organizations affiliated with churches and religious groups.

``Government agencies are working with faith-based and community groups to find shelters for thousands of displaced persons,'' Bush, who supports giving government grants to religious organizations for social programs, said yesterday.

Secular Groups

Besides the American Red Cross, the only other secular group listed on FEMA's Web site is Chicago-based America's Second Harvest, which is one of the nation's biggest hunger-relief organizations. The list includes relief groups representing most major denominations and religions, including Lutherans, Presbyterians, Jews, Baptists and Catholics, as well as the Salvation Army.

At the bottom of the FEMA Web site list is a statement saying that ``this list of organizations is provided by the National Organization of Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster'' and that ``listing of or omission of an institution or organization on this Web site does not refer to programmatic capability nor does it confer any official status, approval, or endorsement of the institution or organization.''

The American Council for Voluntary International Action, a Washington-based umbrella group for international relief agencies, says 29 of the 160 organizations in its network are responding to the disaster. ``Most of them are not on this list,'' said Jim Bishop, director of humanitarian policy and practice. ``Some of them are upset.''

Registered With FEMA

Kristin Vischer, a spokeswoman for Robertson's group, said Operation Blessing is registered with FEMA. ``That's probably one of the reasons we're there,'' she said. ``We've been working with FEMA since at least Sept. 11 on disaster relief,'' she said, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Robertson, 75, who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, recently sparked controversy by suggesting that the U.S. assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He issued an apology for his remarks Aug. 24.

Walden said the FEMA list will be a major influence on where charitable donations are directed.

Impact on Donations

``If you're on the list from day one or two it means the difference between having a significant amount of financial resources to do your work or not having it and having only to go to your traditional donors,'' he said.

Matthew De Galan, chief development officer at MercyCorps, a secular relief and development organization in Portland, Oregon, agreed that the omission could hurt efforts to raise money.

``If you're left off the FEMA list and you don't get in the newspaper, there is the potential to lose some critical resources,'' De Galan said. He said his group is raising a record amount of money despite the omission and said he doesn't ascribe any motives to the content of the list.

``Disasters are chaotic things. People have lots of decisions to make quickly,'' he said. ``It doesn't seem to us not being on the list has hurt us significantly.'' The group raised at least $500,000 yesterday, he said.

Walden said the list is a departure from how the administration has handled previous disasters.

``To my knowledge they have never done it before with such a narrowly focused list of religious groups, some of whom are not known for being relief groups,'' Walden said. ``It looks like they were chosen for one of each religion.''

Beth Walsh, communications director for AmeriCares, an international relief group based in Stamford, Connecticut, called the published list ``odd.''

She said AmeriCares has asked FEMA to be included.

``We haven't gotten a response yet,'' she said.

De Galan said his organization has made a similar request.

The aid has FINALLY begun to trickle in to the affected areas,
and while I do not in any way wish to denegrate the downright heroic efforts of the people working their tails off to save lives, the response of our government has only taken one step up from "Horrific", to "Disastrous."

I see a CNN reporter, gesturing towards a line of 6 port-a-potties, showing them off as an example of the herculean relief effort.

So, we've sent six reeking public toilets to a crowd of thousands, a week after the incident. MRE and water drops are GREAT ideas- (I actually LIKE MREs- the ham, and the beef stew are my faves-) but why the hell did it take so long?

We all know the answer, don't we? Good- I don't want to have to repeat myself.

This is standard Bush administration Policy: a day late, and a dollar short.

Now- as badly as Bush has performed in this debacle
, the prizewinner for "Most Appalling Cheesehead, Overall" has to go to "Homeland Security" chief, Michael Chertoff. This utter moron, totally unqualified for his job, and elevated to his post through cronyism that would make Hoffa blush, MUST RESIGN, or be IMMEDIATELY FIRED.

This guy stood before the cameras, and said that it was a "Rumor" that 25,000 human beings were seeking shelter at the superdome, and wasn't actually true. Chertoff, in true Roveian fashion, is refusing to admit to a single mistake, or regret.

In his speech today, Chertoff spent ten minutes talking about the hurricane, re-hashing what WE'VE ALL SEEN ON OUR TELEVISION SETS FOR THE PAST SIX DAYS, as if it was "big news."
Chertoff could only say "we didn't expect such a disaster could occur". Dismissing, for a moment, the continued warnings of just such a storm issued by FEMA, and the continued budgetary cuts to Army Corps of Engineers, one can only shake their heads in wonder, at such a statement...

What if this had been a terrorist attack? Would he say the same thing, five days after the dirty bomb/backpack nuke went off? "Uhh- we had never anticipated such a thing as two terrorist attacks happening in the same area." This guy is a national menace, and is pathalogically unfit for the position he holds.

John Rabe, one of the reluctant heroes that tried to stem the tide of blood that was The Rape of Nanking,
lamented in his journal that, in times of crisis, and war, it is the poor who suffer the most. When danger approaches a community, the rich can pack up, and leave, at their leisure. The ones left behind are invariably those who lack the means or ability to leave- the sick, the elderly, and always, always, always: the economically disadvantaged.

Such is the case, again, in the wreckage left behind by Katrina. But here's what gets me:

Poverty is a daily, evil crisis within our country, it is generational, and it is growing. Those who have been in power, republican AND democrat, have been slow to address this problem, with a few bright and shining exceptions.

Why did it take a hurricane, for us to sit up and take notice of this issue, in earnest? True- people like you and I have been screaming about this issue for years- but why did it take such a grotesque tradgedy, for the sheeple to sit up and take notice?

The huddled masses camped in sports stadia and conventon centers have given the silent, ongoing atrocity of domestic poverty a face- this time, it is overwhelmingly black, but make no mistake: poverty knows no color. It is a blind, indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction that lashes out and destroys all who are unfortunate enough to fall victim to it.

One of the oft-repeated conversation-stopping devices the right has used to defend their irresponsible policies is that "Everything changed on 9/11". At this early juncture, it is clear the Katrina catastrophe will eclipse 9/11, in deaths, damage, cost, and overall human misery. I respectfully posit that, just as 9/11 changed so much, Hurricane Katrina, likewise, "Changes Everything."

One of the first things it must change, is our public discourse about issues such as poverty. Then, we need to change our thinking about the environment, our public policy, our taxation, our national defense, healthcare- the list goes on and on.

This changes everything.

Now, I hate to rag on the few extant diehard supporters of Bush- I'm actually beginning to feel sorry for them.
I have a soft spot in my heart for endangered species, after all. However, when the creature facing extinction is a 30-foot crossbreed between a slug, sea cucumber, and godzilla, and eats babies while crapping out 500-pound balls of toxic waste and depleted uranium, one feels the need to hasten the process of evolution, and just wipe the buggers out.

Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, and the rest of these cretins have resorted to a most shameful tactic, in their quest to maintain Bush's godhood: Blaming the victims. According to them, it's the Mayor of New Orleans' fault that his city is dying. Wow- thanks for clearing that up, guys! Oh- and dig this- the people who were forced to sit out the storm, because they didn't have the ability to leave the city? It turns out that THEY are responsible for their condition, because they're too poor to buy a car- DECENT americans own CARS, ya know? It has also surfaced that those who are questioning the government's actions in the wake of hurrican Katrina are "demeaning the hard work of the relief agencies". Oh, please.

The ultra-right christian taliban elements who claim that Katrina is a "punishment from god", because of the Gaza pullout, abortion, or lascivious scenes on popular sitcoms, need to be deported, and dropped, naked, in the middle of the sahara desert, with only a ten-pound sack of human feces, to serve as nourishment.

There have been many good articles published, in recent days-
and I have to mention them here- take some time to actually click the link, and read the story, please!

Dangerous Incompetence, By Cindy Sheehan

Bush's visit to food distribution center staged, According to German media


Ending the Impunity of the Bush White House, By Norman Solomon

United States of Shame, By Maureen Dowd

And there are SO many more- just go to Buzzflash, and Common Dreams. But, one article, in particular, I will quote, in full, here:

Indifference is a weapon of mass destruction

Floor Statement of Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich:
The Supplemental for Hurricane Katrina

“This amount of money is only a fraction of what is needed and everyone here knows it. Let it go forward quickly with heart-felt thanks to those who are helping to save lives with necessary food, water, shelter, medical care and security. Congress must also demand accountability with the appropriations. Because until there are basic changes in the direction of this government, this tragedy will multiply to apocalyptic proportions.

“The Administration yesterday said that no one anticipated the breach of the levees. Did the Administration not see or care about the 2001 FEMA warning about the risk of a devastating hurricane hitting the people of New Orleans? Did it not know or care that civil and army engineers were warning for years about the consequences of failure to strengthen the flood control system? Was it aware or did it care that the very same Administration which decries the plight of the people today, cut from the budget tens of millions needed for Gulf-area flood control projects?

“Countless lives have been lost throughout the South with a cost of hundreds of billions in ruined homes, businesses, and the destruction of an entire physical and social infrastructure.

“The President said an hour ago that the Gulf Coast looks like it has been obliterated by a weapon. It has. Indifference is a weapon of mass destruction.

“Our indifferent government is in a crisis of legitimacy. If it continues to ignore its basic responsibility for the health and welfare of the American people, will there ever be enough money to clean up after their indifference?

“As our government continues to squander human and monetary resources of this country on the war, people are beginning to ask, “Isn’t it time we began to take care of our own people here at home? Isn’t it time we rescued our own citizens? Isn’t it time we fed our own people? Isn’t it time we sheltered our own people? Isn’t it time we provided physical and economic security for our own people?” And isn’t it time we stopped the oil companies from profiting from this tragedy?

“We have plenty of work to do here at home. It is time for America to come home and take care of its own people who are drowning in the streets, suffocating in attics, dying from exposure to the elements, oppressed by poverty and illness, wracked with despair and hunger and thirst.

“The time is NOW to bring back to the United States the 78,000 National Guard troops currently deployed overseas into the Gulf Coast region.

“The time is NOW to bring back to the US the equipment which will be needed for search and rescue, for clean up and reclamation.

“The time is NOW for federal resources, including closed Army bases, to be used for temporary shelter for those who have been displaced by the hurricane.

“The time is NOW to plan massive public works, with jobs going to the people of the Gulf Coast states, to build new levees, new roads, bridges, libraries, schools, colleges and universities and to rebuild all public institutions, including hospitals. Medicare ought to be extended to everyone, so every person can get the physical and mental health care they might need as a result of the disaster.

“The time is NOW for the federal government to take seriously the research of scientists who have warned for years about the dangers of changes in the global climate, and to prepare other regions of the country for other possible weather disasters until we change our disastrous energy policies.

“The time is NOW for changes in our energy policy, to end the domination of oil and fossil fuel and to invest heavily in alternative energy, including wind and solar, geothermal and biofuels.

“As bad as this catastrophe will prove to be, it is in fact only a warning. Our government must change its direction, it must become involved in making America a better place to live, a place where all may survive and thrive. It must get off the path of war and seek the path of peace, peace with the natural environment, peace with other nations, peace with a just economic system.”

So Say We All.

First off- before my self-indulgent commentary, You all need to watch this video:

This is insane- this is outrageous- this is unconscionable. Is THIS the government we pay for, with our taxes? Is THIS our country? Starving refugees, corpses roasting on the side of the road? Thousands shuttled from one sports stadium, to another?

Bush spends five minutes, looking at the destruction, from above, issues a glib statement, and tells us that all will turn out sunny, in the end.

24 hours later, things continue to spiral out of control. The reports out of New orleans are sickening- people sleeping in sewage, or exposed to the elements. Babies left to die on the side of the road. People dying from starvation, and disease.

The whole world is watching- this isn't just a local phenomenon. What does the rest of the world think, of this country, when they see scenes from this hellpit that once was New Orleans, and see what is happening here, in this greatest and most wealthy of nations?

Worse still: What do they think, when they look at these images, and notice that just about everyone in these pictures are black/african-american?

What kind of signal does this send to the world? Good lord...

I am without words...

George, I hate you- I loathe you,
and there are not enough toilet bowls in the universe to contain the vomit that rushes at near-supersonic speed towards my gorge, whenever I see you.

But, George- I want you to go down to Louisiana- I want you to make a speech, outside of the Superdome.

Seriously- I want to work with you- I want to make this your ULTIMATE photo-op. Karl Rove might be good, but I'm like beef gravy on mashed potatoes- smoove, and delicious...

Here's what you need to do: I want you to land in the midst of the teeming refugees, on a jetpack, that honks "The Yellow Rose of Texas". You'll be wearing a flight suit, with your crotch distended grotesquely, between the straps of your parachute harness (Stuff a few balloons down there- make it REALLY big.) Make sure you have a bullhorn- and make sure you use it...

Make sure ALL the news cameras are there- make it a choreographed event- make sure that Fox "News" gets exclusive shots of your head, framed by the sun, as you descend, earthward, into this pit of misery. As you land, a great banner proclaiming "Humanitarian Crisis Averted", will unfurl, behind you.

And here's the juicy bit....

There will be no security detail, no snipers, no helicopter surveillance. After all, you're there to speak heart-to-heart with the american public, and those who have suffered so much.

Think of it- you settle to earth, with the grace of a dove, doff your Jeff Gordon crash helmet, and:

As the cameras from the hovering news helicopters focus in, you begin...


(followed by clumsy adjustments to the megaphone, which issues forth a twenty-minute barrage of earsplitting feedback, before subsiding,)

you repeat: "My fellow Americans- I share your sense of loss, and know it has been hard"

Imagine it, George- you're there, among the cretins you rule over, so callously... You have two Hallmark Teddy-Bears augmenting your genetalia, and you're in the ZONE!

The camera zooms slowly out, as you continue spewing your drivel. First, we see only you- then, we see the pavement around you. Then, encroaching on the edges of the picture, we see the crowds. You appear presidential, magnificent, and the camera pans back further...

And then, we see you, in the middle of a crowd of newly-homeless, desperately poor people- 99% of which are minorities, who haven't had food or fresh water, in four days. The camera pans further back...

we notice corpses are littering the area- left to the elements with but a white sheet to give them a shred of dignity- the space between you and the crowd gets narrower....

Fill in the blank, George. I REALLY want you to go down to New Orleans...

I'm pretty sure that just about everyone has been watching as New Orleans sinks into muck, looting, and human misery. The pictures and video coming out of there have been eerie, and shocking. Now- I'm not faint at heart- when you follow the daily news from Iraq, you get numb to this sorta thing- but still: you expect to see scenes of such humanitarian disasters playing themselves out in far-away, underdeveloped countries- not here in the United States. The images out of Biloxi, and other communities that were wiped out, are equally unsettling.

The worst are the shots from news helicopters, showing people who have been stranded on their rooftops for three days, without food or potable water. One hears reports of dead bodies, left to rot, as the urgency to save the living is so dire. For a change, the mothers screaming in grief on our televisions, are doing so in american english.

With a million-plus left homeless, a death toll that is is sure to reach into the four-digit range, an entire city deluged, and the billions of dollars in damage, I am sure that all Americans, right or left (with the exception of George Bush and Rev. Phelps,) are together in hoping that things improve there, as quickly as possible. No one, (with the exception of the aforementioned,) enjoys the sight of suffering, or would ever think of exploiting this tradgedy for political gain.

However, during the darkest of times, facts must still be presented, and questions must still be asked.

I say "facts", because facts are neither democratic, nor republican. They are morally neutral, and beyond politics.

Consider the following prediction, from the Houston Chronicle, back in 2001:

New Orleans is sinking.

And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster.

So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country.

The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City. The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all.

FEMA has been warning the powers that be in this country for YEARS of such an incident. This in mind, consider the following fact:

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune Web site, reported: "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."

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: "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."

Editor and Publisher

So- to recap the facts:

Bush was warned of something like this happening, and when it came time to give a paltry sum to prevent just such a disaster, the money wasn't there- it was being spent in Iraq. (side Note- the cash might have been there, even taking Iraq into consideration, had Bush not rammed his tax cuts for the richest 1% of our country through congress.)

The hurricane was a natural disaster- but the flooding of New Orleans wasn't- it wouldn't have happened, had the levies held. The levies didn't hold because THEY WEREN'T COMPLETELY AND ADEQUATELY BUILT, for lack of funds.

Funds withheld by Bush, so he could continue this illegal war in Iraq.

Now, you on the right can get all rowdy, I refer you to the words of our second president, John Quincy Adams:

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence"

Now, I beg your leave to editorialize, not on the storm, but the response of the "president":

Bush, after being shamed into a new "feed the meatgrinder" tour, by Cindy Sheehan, and his own callous hubris, has rolled from a frying pan, into a roaring fire. The memory is still fresh of Bush interrupting his vacation to sign the "Terry Schiavo Bill." This time, he sat in his air-conditioned ranch, for 48 hours, after hurricane landfall, while reports of tradgedy poured in.

Shamed once again into action, Bush decided to "cut" his vacation by 6 hours, to address the situation...

Or so we were told. In fact, he headed out to California, to deliver another "Yay, War" speech, follwed by a round or two of golf in Arizona. Now, I could curse a red streak over this inane behavour, but let the notoriously conservative Manchester Union leader have its say:

AS THE EXTENT of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation became clearer on Tuesday — millions without power, tens of thousands homeless, a death toll unknowable because rescue crews can’t reach some regions — President Bush carried on with his plans to speak in San Diego, as if nothing important had happened the day before.

Katrina already is measured as one of the worst storms in American history. And yet, President Bush decided that his plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VJ Day with a speech were more pressing than responding to the carnage.

A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource to rescue the stranded, find and bury the dead, and keep the survivors fed, clothed, sheltered and free of disease.

The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, has vanished. In its place is a diffident detachment unsuitable for the leader of a nation facing war, natural disaster and economic uncertainty.

Next, Let's hear from Newsweek:

Beyond the poll numbers, the Bush administration faces some immediate, urgent challenges—and serious questions about its response to the disaster. For all the president’s statements ahead of the hurricane, the region seemed woefully unprepared for the flooding of New Orleans—a catastrophe that has long been predicted by experts and politicians alike. There seems to have been no contingency planning for a total evacuation of the city, including the final refuges of the city’s Superdome and its hospitals. There were no supplies of food and water ready offshore—on Navy ships for instance—in the event of such flooding, even though government officials knew there were thousands of people stranded inside the sweltering and powerless city.

Then there’s the speed of the Bush administration’s response to such disasters. Just one week ago the White House declared that a major disaster existed in Louisiana, specifically most of the areas (such as Jefferson Parish) that are now under water. Was the White House psychic about the disaster ahead? Not exactly. In fact the major disaster referred to Tropical Storm Cindy, which struck the state a full seven weeks earlier. That announcement triggered federal aid for the stricken areas, where the clean-up had been on hold for almost two months while the White House chewed things over.

Now, faced with a far bigger and deadlier disaster, the Bush administration faces at least two difficult questions: Was it ready to deal with the long-predicted flooding of New Orleans? And is it ready to deal with the long-predicted terrorist attack that might some day strike another of our big cities?

The only things I have to add are:

The reports from CNN are troubling, indeed, but a question comes to the fore, again, and again: "Where's the National Guard?" The former mayor of New Orleans was on TV this morning, with tears in his eyes and voice, BEGGING that Bush send the army in.

Well- 1/3 of our national guard is over in Iraq. There are national guardsmen from Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, in Iraq, watching their homes being swept into ruins, their towns destroyed, and their families left homeless. The army? They are every bit as overextended, in Iraq.

There is no codpiece big enough to make Bush look good, this time around. When gas hits 4$ a gallon, next week, the Depression will begin.