katrina and the waves

8/31/05

To answer Ken Sumka’s question from a few days ago, I told Tessa the day Katrina hit that every paper would have this headline. Two days later, only the Brits had thought of it, so it appears that we are getting older and nobody remembers our little novelty songs anymore.

This has to be one of the worst weeks in the news in recent history: to wit, 1000 people were trampled to death in Baghdad, and Hurricane Katrina is turning out to be the most devastating natural disaster we’ve ever known, soon to trump the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco.

This is a perfectly dreadful time to get political, and while Bush has no control over the weather, all I really wanted him to do was act Presidential. In fact, I’m desperate for him to do so, but instead, we got this picture yesterday:

bushgit.jpg

And that’s not all. I mean, I know this is going to enrage the conservatives who frequent this blog, and I can hear the chorus of “you’ll blame the Republicans for anything” and all that shit, but the facts show that Bush systematically railroaded and under-funded every attempt to fix the system of dykes and levees around New Orleans. They cut New Orleans flood-control funding 44% to pay for Iraq, and the National Guard is busy getting blown up in the Middle East, thus there weren’t enough troops to stop the looting and help find survivors.

Shit, why do I even bother finding those links? It’s all too unbelievably sad. I lived through September 11th with my girlfriend-now-wife Tessa in downtown Manhattan, and I’m here to tell you that this is way worse. In the final tally, almost as many people will have died, and the blow to America’s history – and culture – is incalculable.

God loves to kill poor people, and this disaster was no exception. The two neighborhoods I lived in for a short while – the French Quarter and the upper Garden District – were largely spared, but the poor parts of the Ninth Ward – pronounced “nite woid” if you met someone from there – are under water.

[Quick digression… the true Cajun accent sounds exactly like a very ugly Brooklyn dialect. The Acadians – refugees from France and then Nova Scotia – settled in two places during the 18th century, around New York City, and in the bayous of the Gulf Coast (some of them stayed in Maine, hence “Acadian National Park”). “Acadian” became “Cajun” down south, and the two peoples evolved very differently, but the accent remained the same. My old girlfriend from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi sounded exactly like a cab driver from Flatbush.]

With all the people dead, homeless and suffering, it seems hopelessly self-involved to bemoan your own loss, but New Orleans was truly a place where I first felt freedom in all its guises, where anything could happen, and later on, when I had some money, it usually did. God, the architecture was so beautiful – you could wander down the wrong street and yes, you might get your ass kicked, but the shotgun houses lining the roads were so heartbreakingly cool. Even the ones in disrepair just made you want to spend a year there fixing them. Now those blocks are gone.

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at Audubon Park last year – I have no idea what is there now

We should have been more prepared than this. If this is any indication how America will respond to large disasters, man-made or from nature, then we’re going to have to get really good at kissing certain towns goodbye. What the hell have we been doing for the last four years?

Now comes the big questions on whether or not to rebuild – some people think the entire city should be abandoned forever. Even if you do fix it, who would insure a city lying so far below sea level? I say that’s bullshit. If we can grow babies in petri dishes and record quasars from the Big Bang, we can sure as fuck rebuild New Orleans and devise a pump system that can withstand a Category 5 storm. A category 6 storm even, god dammit.

I’m in absolute mourning, and I’m done blogging for the week. Why did a storm have to take away such a wonderful place? How is New Orleans under water and yet Dallas sits pretty? Up the East Coast, in Atlanta and Charlotte, rumors of “America is out of gas” is causing panic, with cars snaking around the block. Since 9/11, we have always waited for the other shoe to drop, but perhaps it is a huge shoe that gently drops for years. I was reminded of the brilliant line from Marlowe, when Dr. Faustus asks the Devil how he got out of hell. “Why, this is hell,” the Devil replies, “nor am I out of it.”

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Michael Jordan hits gamewinner against Georgetown, New Orleans Superdome, 1982

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me and Tessa at Saints game in the Superdome ten months ago

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refugees in the Superdome yesterday

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0 thoughts on “katrina and the waves

  1. Dan in L.A.

    Since Byron Sanders’ hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi was devastated by Hurrican Katrina, I challenge all UNC supporters to make a $41 (or more of course)donation to the American Red Cross in the honor of Byron Sanders for the disaster relief fund in his area.
    Let’s show Byron and the country the true spirit of Carolina.
    https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp is the direct link.
    Should confirmation of donation be sent to the basketball office
    UNC Basketball Office
    P.O.Box 2126
    Chapel Hill, NC
    27515-2126
    After you fill out the first page with your info and selected the gift option, you will find options on where to send the gift notification.
    (sorry for spamming, but I am hitting up all the huge Heel hangouts)

    Reply
  2. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Ian! God does not love to kill poor people. And, why would you say such a thing when you profess not to believe in God? I understand that you are mad and in mourning, but that is a cheap shot.
    You know who loves to kill people? People love to kill people. And people love to loot from each other. And people love to price gouge each other. And people love to threaten each other with guns. If you want to find true evil, it is not in a political party, or in a higher being, or in a natural weather event. You’ll find the most basic evil in human beings.

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  3. CL

    “Katrina and the Waves” isn’t forgotten; it’s that it would have been inappropriate to write jokey headlines in this case. Give us media folks some credit!
    I agree – everyone knew this was coming sooner or later (as evidence, one only has to look to the entries in your blog on the subject). I think there is a human aversion to preparation past a certain point…I’m on the Emergency Preparedness Committee in my hometown and a lot of the response we got from officials when we tried to find out what to do in the case of a nuclear attack is that there would be nothing much we COULD do.

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  4. Jason Savage

    yeah, New orleans is a truly incredible place. when it is restored – that’s *when*, not if – i highly reccomend to anyone and everyone a trip to Jazz Fest. my favorite memory is of watching the Neville Brothers close out the festival with “Amazing Grace” on a Sunday evening as the sun sets and I’m deep into a Dixie beer. heartbreakingly cool, indeed.
    here’s hoping that the city, and every last place ravaged by the hurricane, finds their way again.

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  5. J Boogie

    Clinton had 8 years to fix those levees, why couldn\’t the liberal brainchild fix them during the 8 year term ???
    Why couldn\’t all the Liberal millionaire give money to fix them ? Kerry the Billionaire had money to build 6 mansions for his family, the Kennedys blew huge amounts of money on their mansion, Streisand spent $ millions on her mansion.
    Perhaps if JFK was more focused on New Orleans instead of blowing millions to go to the Moon so we could plant a flag there, more would have survived. Perhaps if Clinton put the safety of New Orleans above banging fat interns, more would have survived.
    If we need more money for New Orleans, cut all money going to NPR today, eliminate the federally funded DNC talking point radio station today.

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  6. Beth

    Do we really have to make this a political discussion? It’s a natural disaster, and I know we can extrapolate from there to say “woulda coulda shoulda” and “Bush’s speech yesterday blew,” but what good will it do? I liked what Laurie had to say–it’s true, sadly–but the flip side is that people can also be amazing and rise to the occasion in truly inspiring ways. At a basic level, I hope we all send money; I hope people continue to help in any way they can. I thought Pierce Lewis, as quoted in yesterday’s NYT, put it well: New Orleans is “an inevitable city on an impossible site.” This is also an interesting article that voices the fighting spirit: http://travel2.nytimes.com//2005/09/01/garden/01fred.html

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  7. Chris M

    NOLA is a very old city that has had more than its share of natural and human disasters. While it was part of a Spanish colony, a fire destroyed all of what is now the French Quarter. Since it was rebuilt while under the Spanish, this explains why, if you look closely, the French Quarter doesn’t look particularly French.
    I dig NOLA very much. It is well-known to be populated by people who do, or don’t do, what they damn well please. Anyone who has been to there knows that being responsible, cautious, sober, and prudent are not the ways its people. That’s what made it a great place to visit — but not such a desirable place to live and work for most. It is no secret that the 500,000 people who lived in NOLA knew full-well the risks and that there were potential measure to reduce those risks. As did the state and the city governments they elected year after year. But, even though they lived there, the local and state government didn’t do “enough” to reduce the risks posed to their own city. Why? Because they didn’t want to. And they didn’t want to pay for it. And they certainly did not care what any of us thought about it.
    But who among us spent much time thinking about levies and escape plans? We had fun going to eat, drink, and make merry in NOLA despite that other long-standing (and related) dark side of the story — the Third-Worldish poverty and dysfunctionality among its majority black population. We knew this was going on while were there enjoying ourselves, and we knew we were leaving it behind when we went home.
    It will take a lot of time, effort, and money get through this tragedy, but when we do NOLA will not, cannot, be quite the same. That probably won’t be entirely a bad thing when thousands of poor people move into new and better housing subsidized with federal tax dollars. Some good things will be lost as well, but the music, cuisine, culture, and spirit of its people will survive.

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  8. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    You know, I find myself agreeing with J Boogie about Clinton and all, and then again, I also agree with Beth. Why make all of this political?
    I also re-read my earlier comment, and I think I need to see my psychiatrist for a medication adjustment. My mindset appears to be a bit too dark. Although, I have to admit that all the news reports show that it is a little too “Lord of the Flies” down in New Orleans, and it is very disheartening. You compared 9/11 to Katrina. I don’t remember reading about people going berserk on 9/11 like they are now during Katrina — shooting helicopters, destroying ambulances????– how do you explain the differences here?

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  9. KTS

    Sorry Beth, but as horrific as this disaster is, politics are gonna be discussed. Bush’s response was, as usual, to retreat into his pretend-to-be guitar-playing world. That’s our Prez! And as long as you’re quoting the NYT, let me quote the Drudge Report: “Eyewitness: Sec of State Condi Rice laughs it up at ‘Spamalot’ while Gulf Coast lays in tatters. Theater goers on New York’ City’s Great White Way were shocked to see the President’s former National Security Advisor at the Monty Python farce last night — as the rest of the cabinet responds to Hurricane Katrina…”
    These people – Bush, Rice, Rove, Cheney – have no compassion. The worse the situation is, the more they retreat into their bubbles. Expressing the certainty that all will be right in the end. Like little children trying to play serious.
    The division between rich and poor in this country has just been made more obvious by Katrina. Shoot the looters! And it’s only growing greater. The vast majority of people who read this blog have money, I would bet. It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be poor, if in the unlikely circumstance you ever were. Ian is right. It’s completely synchronistic at this time in American history that the poor get drowned while the rich get saved.

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  10. kjf

    I have never been to New Orleans and I now regret all the times I was too busy to accompany friends and family who went on and on about the city. Next time was always my answer. Stupid me.
    LFMD- I think the explanation for why people acted differently during 9/11 is because the terrorists attacked targeted office buildings not the entire physical city and not people’s actual homes. The people in New Orleans had their entire city attacked by an outside force and lost their homes, their possessions, and in some cases friends, family, and pets. Their city is uninhabitable. People during 9/11 were not living in a place like the Superdome where according to press reports people are walking in human waste. (See cover story on Washington Post today where the living conditions are described) The horror is the same but the impact on the day to day living conditions are different. Just a thought.

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  11. LFMD

    I understand your point KJF. And I also am berating myself for never having visited New Orleans when I had the chance. What shocks me is that everyone in New Orleans seems to be turning against each other. They are making it nearly impossible for the police and rescue workers to help! If I am wrong, blame the news that is communicating all of this to me.
    And KTS made me think that the rich in the Garden District should not get too smug over surviving Katrina. Their homes are a prime target in this Lord of the Flies environment.
    And I really liked what Chris M said! Interesting points.
    And CL is right! Katrina and the Waves would just be too tacky for any self-respecting media type to use.

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  12. Matt

    “This is a perfectly dreadful time to get political…”
    But you will anyway.
    By the way, the purpose of having a National Guard isn’t to have them sitting around waiting for floods and hurricanes to happen.

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  13. Kevin from Philadelphia

    No, but I would think that the LA and MS national guard units would be fairly helpful in this situation for S&R and keeping some semblance of order in the city. Corps of Engineers units might just be useful too, but what possible good could common sense preparedness do in this type of situation, right?

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  14. ken (sumka)

    Ian- When I wrote that, the full devastation of Katrina wasn’t apparent yet, so after seeing CNN and all of the terrible images and hearing the the gut-wrenching stories, I felt bad about my comment in retrospect and almost e-mailed you to delete it. I wasn’t trying to be glib, just trying to beat copy editors to the punch.
    Though I felt worse when after the devastation, I recieved a torrent of phone requests from insensitive listeners asking me to play songs like “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin, “Underwater” by Midnight Oil and “New Orleans is Sinking” by Tragically Hip.
    FYI, I recently learned that when he died, Paul Desmond bequeathed all of his royalties for co-writing “Take Five” to the Red Cross, so everytime it’s used or played, they benefit.

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  15. scruggs

    I can’t comprehend the situation down there. As a parent, I don’t know how I’d handle the desperation folks are experiencing as their kids are starving with no diapers, formula, water…Others watching their elderly relatives die from dehydration…Nurses having to manually operate ventilators due to power loss. What kills me is by and large its the poor that were left to fend for themselves. Reduced to be treated like subhumans/animals. For most, they were down and out and living paycheck to paycheck to start with and now have absolutely nothing left. Are authorities not surprised at the chaos that ensues when supplies aren’t getting to the masses?
    GET THESE PEOPLE FOOD AND WATER ALREADY…NOW!
    Oh, and please stop shooting at the rescuers.

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  16. suzie

    Hey Ian!
    I love the blog, and have been lurking about for a year. BUT, I disagree that it is faulty or inefficient engineering that is to blame for this disaster. If you build in a flood plain, you will experience floods. It is really that simple. Check out this site (http://www.thehollandring.com/1953-ramp.shtml) about Holland’s 700 year struggle with flooding, and the massive engineering that has gone into preventing it. While you’re at it, check out John McPhee’s book “The Control of Nature” where he discusses the Army Corps of Engineers’ extensive attempts to save New Orleans from the Mississippi. It is important to realize that we (engineers) can do our best, but Mother Nature will always hold the winning card. The underlying mistake is allowing destruction and development in wetlands. Sorry, I’ll get off my engineering soap box now. Thanks for the wonderful daily reading.

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  17. lee

    It seems only fair to attack Bush for his role in what could have been done to prevent this including cutting $71.2 million from the New Orleans branch of the US Army Corps of Engineers, shelving a study of how to protect the city from a Cateroy 5 storm. Clinton didn’t cut that money out. http://www.americanprogress.org
    The Times-Picayune’s website also reports that Bush very recently declned to take an aerial tour with the governor of damaged wetlands and a ship channel through which, if restored, could reduce a hurricane’s effects.
    So you’re right, CLinton didn’t “do” anything either, but he also didn’t kick the legs out from under or turn a blind eye to these programs that could have helped prevent the situation we’re facing now.

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  18. Matt

    “It seems only fair to attack Bush for his role in what could have been done to prevent this including cutting $71.2 million from the New Orleans branch of the US Army Corps of Engineers.”
    That’s not the outrage. The outrage is that even a dime of federal money was spent on their levee system in the first place. Why should taxpayers in, say, Iowa, pay for the decision of people in coastal New Orleans to live below sea level? That’s a state and local responsibility. You want to live there, you pay for it.
    P.S. The New Orleans government is notoriously corrupt and incompetent, even more so than Washington. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn in the next few weeks that they didn’t follow their own disaster planning. City and state officials, after all, are the first responders, not the feds.

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  19. lee

    By the way, Matt, you’re wrong about the role of the National Guard. This is from the Army’s website:
    The National Guard has a unique dual mission that consists of both Federal and State roles. For state missions, the governor, through the state Adjutant General, commands Guard forces. The governor can call the National Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, fires, earthquakes or civil disturbances.
    In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard for participation in federal missions. Examples of federal activations include Guard units deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo for stabilization operations and units deployed to the Middle East and other locations in the war on terrorism. When federalized, Guard units are commanded by the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating.

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  20. KJ

    No true Cajun is ever going to claim that Flatbush accent. That’s Yat talk. True Cajuns kept going the hell west, to the dismal swampy lands of southwestern Louisiana. Because, after all, why not look for someplace even more miserable than the convergence of rivers and gulfs? (And 28 feet above sea level, which helps.)
    A Cajun accent is not in your face Justin Wilson (when sober) but more of a lilt, an opening in the back of the mouth. Sing-songy at times. In NC I got my SWLA accent fix when I heard Jake Delhomme from Breaux Bridge (Carolina Panthers) speak on TV.
    An excellent transcript of a show talking about New Orleans dialects can be found here:
    http://www.cnam.com/downloads/yyr_ts.html
    And a good explanation of Cajun (incl. a cultural Cajun) is here:
    http://www.cajunculture.com/Other/cajun.htm
    Ya you right, chile.
    Admittedly, I am slightly snarky about New Orleans due to the fact that I lived in Lafayette, and for many years afterwards when I’d go back for vacation I would say “I am going to Louisiana.” People would reply, “Have fun in New Orleans!” And I had to remind them that NOLA was not the only town there (or the only one worth visiting, anyhow).
    Anyhow, cheers and hello.

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  21. KTS

    This really is becoming a Third World Country worthy of Imelda Marcos. From Gawker:
    “Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!” Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the woman.”

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  22. caveman

    I love the Texas Hold ‘Em website linkage that goes on here day after day….
    “I see your Salon.com and I raise you NPR.org”
    “I see your NPR.org and raise you a US Army official website.”
    “I’m going all in with giveitafknrestwiththelinks.edu”

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  23. Matt

    No, Lee. I never said the National Guard doesn’t help out in the event of natural disasters. I said the purpose of having one wasn’t to sit around waiting for them to happen. Or maybe you never wondered what all those APCs, TOW missiles and constantino wire were for.
    And just to call caveman’s all-in, the WSJ’s James Taranto writes: “Some people respond to a horrific natural disaster by taking cheap shots at their political opponents. Others respond by stealing TV sets. The underlying impulse knows no boundaries of social class.”

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  24. jkuhne

    Being licensed in civil engineering and geology, having a large personal interest in history and historic preservation, I could go on this topic for quite awhile but only have a few depressing points. Believe it or not, I’m a pretty optimistic person:
    1) Human psyche in general will not tolerate the aesthetics and financial burden required to engineer things in a much more protected and usually workable fashion.
    2) The geologic record shows that even if we placed considerably more emphasis on getting past #1, there are cataclysmic events that will always destroy the engineering, and, humankind has prospered because we have yet to see a true extinction event (aside from the ones we are slowly propogating). There are climate possibilities that render global warming irrelevant, not in our current frame of reference, but definitely in the big picture. These are of such a scope that we really shouldn’t worry about them.
    3) Modern human places are usually rendered by accident. The first great port city on the Misssissippi was supposed to be at the “red baton” on the riverbank. The second explorers got tired and stopped at NO before reaching Baton Rouge. They found a way to make a little money so they stayed. The city was founded by complete random chance and has been doomed ever since.
    4) The black population in NO is one of the least identified and probably most miserable minority groups in the country. Their cultural presence in the city’s most notable exports don’t hint at the misery of the past few decades. The disparity of wealth is outrageously extreme. As a visitor you can’t do anything about it, mostly because you won’t see it. This is the nature of a tourist based economy. The last physical expression they have is to be desperately violent, forgive them that.
    Whatever you see in the news, open up your wallet and send the money. Don’t worry about Bush, he isn’t worried about you. Don’t debate the rebuilding, Hastert is completely correct in questioning that. Hopefully emotion will prevail and it will regain some sense of it’s previous identity. Even with that amount it will possess more interest than most cities.
    I think I have only one original quote from my life: “The most interesting and beautiful places are the most geologically interesting”. Geologically interesting means dangerous and doomed, someday, maybe soon. Visit those places as often as you can, but for now:
    Send the money, I know you have some.

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  25. David

    “I don’t know when I started spelling it wrong.” Years, ago on this blog, is that how they do it in England?
    Ian, I love you man, [via what you’ve revealed on your blog – several night of insomnia this week and now I’ve read it all, and most of the books in the house as well] but, your understanding and sense of what God loves or desires is considerably amiss here.
    The poor historically settle where they can. The divide between the rich and the poor is unfortunately one of the marks of every empire. All of them. Witness North Carolina, and where we placed our nations capital city. Both swamps and therefore cheap real estate. Edward Teach was a hero to New Bern, and a villain to VA and SC because he was robbing from the rich in those colonies and spending it with the poor in NC. Beach front property was something my grandfather always avoided, he’d seen too many hurricanes, and he’d witnessed the depression so he avoided a lot of stocks as well. But, below sea level real estate he would certainly he considered a gamble. Human pride consists often in repeatedly doing what we’ve been warned against doing, and rationalizing the process. Whether it be living below sea level with multiple warnings, living on volcanic flood plains, or maintaining that a two party political system will ever fix anything other than the status quo.
    You have some smart readers Ian. I appreciate all the links and research you’re provided and the forum opportunity everyone has had to respond and comment here. Much applause.
    I was going to try and lighten it up with of course W didn’t fund “Dykes“, but that would be as bad as the “Katrina and the Waves headline” and it wouldn’t show how racked with physical pain I was as I tried to watch five minutes of the coverage last night. Please don’t think everyone in Washington even the people you mentioned are heartless. Cheney loves his daughter. Is going to laugh it up at Monty Python worse than anything else anyone is doing in order to take a small break from having their heart ripped out and cowering in depressive thoughts? Well, perhaps they should have been going to Fleet Week.
    But, America as a whole does not want to see the poor. Not in Interview with a Vampire, not when there’s tits to look at at Mardis Gras, not in Girls Gone Wild videos, not on spring break, and not on historical, culinary, musical, romantic or alcoholic vacations. It’s too much like work to have to consider their plight.
    And when we’re at work, for most of America, it’s too much of our own problems we have to deal with to consider the poor. I mean truly consider and not just pass a thought about it. Because, we don’t want to be poor. We might have been that once but, “I swear never again.” We must rise from the poor. We must go from rags to riches. Believe it or not, God is on the side of the poor. Just think of what your Sunday school lessons told you of how he came into the world. God became flesh. Poor miserable flesh. That which could command all the elements and even called them into being, gave up command of even his bodily functions as a bare defenseless baby. God is on the side of those who do care; not necessarily on the side of those who say that they are on God’s side and don’t demonstrate care.
    ‘A fellow shopper, [Did you catch that part? Gotta love the American sense of (i’m) propriety. I bet she had her eyes on that very pair of shoes.] unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing…

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  26. kent

    Here’s a link worth visiting:
    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/01.html#a4740
    Watch Anderson Cooper lose it and go on a Hunter S Thompson-esque rant about the lack of help for flood victims. And he was berating a Democrat!
    Of course we can’t blame Bush for the levee breaking. But in politics, the right empty gesture can help, and Bush was days late in making a clumsy, obviously empty gesture. Faced with every situation Bush tries to fake it. And if you look at that guitar picture, he’s playing a G chord one fret too high. Let me see… got a guitar right here … yep, sounds like crap.
    And I don’t care if it’s below sea level — rebuild the city. Make the dikes higher and stronger.
    The real tragedy of New Orleans will be that the poor people who live there will just have to leave, and many of them will end up in worse situations somewhere else. The poor neighborhoods are a total loss, and there will be 100,000 or more poor people with no place to go, no possessions, and no jobs.
    And you don’t have to believe in Heavenly Father living in the sky to talk about God. Everyone believes in God, really, they just don’t agree on what that means. God may kill a lot of poor people, but as Tevye says in “Fiddler on the Roof” God must love poor people, because he makes so many of them. For every dog turd you step on, somewhere there’s a daffodil.

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  27. LFMD

    I finally had a chance to watch some of the news coverage last night, and once again I have concluded that I am full of crap. I freak out when the laundry washing machine or the dishwasher in my house doesn’t work or when I have car problems! I cannot imagine what would happen to my fragile, spoiled American mental state if I were in the same position as those folks in NO. Good grief! The woman whose 2 year old was put on a bus as she was shoved on the ground, and the bus pulled off to God-knows-where, separating a mother from her toddler who probably can’t tell anyone his name or anything. The same woman was carting her little beagle around in a plastic container, trying to save her pet. It all completely broke my heart!
    If that were me and my daughter and my beagle, I would be mad as hell, screaming and going crazy. Doing whatever I could to save myself and my family. I did not really realize just how bad it was down there when I commented yesterday. I am an anti-bacterial-gel-carrying, spoiled American, and the image of me and mine having to walk through human waste, in the heat, without food or water, having lost my home and all of my possessions, is just too horrible to bear. I would be going berserk with the best of them.
    And, by the way, my God cares about the poor people. Helen’s Catholic School principal sent a letter home to all the families yesterday, asking for all sort of donations because some of the parents at the school are headed down to NO to volunteer. I am sending all that I can.

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  28. emma

    I do have to add that I heard this morning on NPR on my way to work someone from the Corps of Engineers being interviewed saying that if they had gotten the $71 million that it would not have been used on the levees that broke. The Corps had already determined that those levees were sufficient and would not have been rehabbed.

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  29. Beth

    I’m confused.
    And I’m a small thinker, so please be gentle with me.
    I totally understand why the people in New Orleans are enraged. They’re hungry and thirsty and scared. They still don’t know if they’re going to live and how.
    But why are those of us who aren’t dealing with basic survival needs already pointing fingers and scrapping over politics? Is it because that’s all we can do in response, other than send money, which of course helps eventually but feels so effete right now?
    I love Anderson Cooper, but I thought he’d lost his shit in that video (thanks for posting the link, Kent). Is that kind of rudderless rage helpful right now? It will be at some point–I can’t even put into words how much I detest this administration–but is it doing anything in the crunch?
    Maybe I’m just being naive or dumb, because anger might help push through more money and aid faster. But really, we know everything we need to know about Bush and how he behaves in our country’s times of need–why would we expect him to act any differently now?
    Are we responding with anger because we’re bewildered? Because we’re not accustomed to disasters happening on our turf and our watch? Is there something better that those of us who aren’t suffering primal needs can be doing with the pain?

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  30. scruggs

    Anderson Cooper did seem to lose his shit, but its got to be hard (no, not as hard as for those actually living in that horror, but still) for these reporters to be down there close to the problems, see people dying right in front of them, bodies in the streets eaten by rats, frustrated parents with dehydrated kids. They are seeing this madness and know help is not getting there fast enough and in the amount necessary, and they themselves are helpless…so it has to affect them.
    Of course, the NO mayor is losing his cool, too.
    “They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn – excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed,” Nagin said.

    Reply
  31. salem

    I almost puked watching my President and the Alabama/Missippi Governors today. Everyone *#@%!* congratulating the FEMA director and themselves! Anyone with their boots on the ground and their hand reaching out for a victim should be viewed as a hero and a saint, but for any official or director of operations to praise or feel worthy of praise is this failure is an abomination. The truth died again today.

    Reply
  32. Salem

    I haven’t seen Shephard Smith on FOX today. I wonder if his opinion of the relief effort is too critical for FOX to air. The man is in the heart of New Orleans and they don’t give him much air time. If FOX tries to candy coat this thing I can see them losing journalists.

    Reply
  33. KTS

    Just got finished watching Condi expressing concern about the poor in America, and how “freedom is on the march” in Iraq. She looked visibly shaken. (As did Bush earlier.) I don’t think her apparent compassion, while wearing her new Prada shoes, is because she’s realized the error of her ways. She’s cold and calculating. Her shakiness today was caused by the sobering realization that her bubble is bursting out of control.
    Beth, the reason I keep berating Condi, Bush, Cheney, et al., is because these creeps are the people who are effectively trampling upon the Constitution. Jefferson didn’t want a warmongering police state on the eve of destruction, and neither do I.

    Reply
  34. badbob

    Can’t any of you Compassionate-Mensans comment on where the evacuees are being taken?
    Thats right Blue-folks…TEXAS..but we won’t mention that, will we?
    Do you folks know what logistics is? Napoleon could tell you. Your lack of analytical reason is the reason you’re not in charge.
    re Auduobon Park and the old homes Ian: I heard an interview w/David Brinkley who stayed with his wife and baby and subsequently had to evacuate. He said the area remarkably remained intact and although a lot of the 300 year old oaks were lost the antibellum homes made it through..shotgun shacks fared worse. Of course y’all will of course believe this report because one of your own (Brinkely, remember him?) reported it……
    Can’t politics and shrillness ever stay of nothing?
    B2

    Reply
  35. kjf

    its hard to keep politics out of this when the politicians, by their own admission, made mistakes.
    and take a look at the resume of the head of FEMA who is totally incompetent. the guy’s previous job had him in charge of horse shows for the arabian horse association and he got FIRED from that job! if he cant run a horse show at a state fair how the hell did the people of NO have a chance with this clown at the helm. prior to that he was an attorney who did estate planning and family law! i understand that people get jobs in govt from patronage but when that job is to head up FEMA i would surely hope that the person at least has some experience with emergency management not with training judges for horse shows! the costs of failure, as we are seeing now, are too high.
    it is so awful to watch this suffering and even when you send money you feel so damned powerless.

    Reply
  36. oliver

    I voted for Kerry and I’d just like everybody to know that I accept full responsibility for this whole Katrina fiasco–the lack of preparedness, the slow response, the looting, the weather, all of it. I’m truly sorry.

    Reply
  37. badbobusnret

    A few truths, for those who have ears and eyes and care to know the truth:
    1.) The hurricane that hit New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama was an astonishing tragedy. The suffering and loss of life and peace of mind of the residents of those areas is acutely horrifying.
    2.) George Bush did not cause the hurricane. Hurricanes have been happening for eons. George Bush did not create them or unleash this one.
    3.) George Bush did not make this one worse than others. There have been far worse hurricanes than this before George Bush was born.
    4.) There is no overwhelming evidence that global warming exists as a man-made phenomenon. There is no clear-cut evidence that global warming even exists. There is no clear evidence that if it does exist it makes hurricanes more powerful or makes them aim at cities with large numbers of poor people. If global warming is a real phenomenon, which it may well be, it started long before George Bush was inaugurated, and would not have been affected at all by the Kyoto treaty, considering that Kyoto does not cover the world’s worst polluters — China, India, and Brazil. In a word, George Bush had zero to do with causing this hurricane. To speculate otherwise is belief in sorcery.
    5.) George Bush had nothing to do with the hurricane contingency plans for New Orleans. Those are drawn up by New Orleans and Louisiana. In any event, the plans were perfectly good: mandatory evacuation. It is in no way at all George Bush’s fault that about 20 percent of New Orleans neglected to follow the plan. It is not his fault that many persons in New Orleans were too confused to realize how dangerous the hurricane would be. They were certainly warned. It’s not George Bush’s fault that there were sick people and old people and people without cars in New Orleans. His job description does not include making sure every adult in America has a car, is in good health, has good sense, and is mobile.
    6.) George Bush did not cause gangsters to shoot at rescue helicopters taking people from rooftops, did not make gang bangers rape young girls in the Superdome, did not make looters steal hundreds of weapons, in short make New Orleans into a living hell.
    7.) George Bush is the least racist President in mind and soul there has ever been and this is shown in his appointments over and over. To say otherwise is scandalously untrue.
    8.) George Bush is rushing every bit of help he can to New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama as soon as he can. He is not a magician. It takes time to organize huge convoys of food and now they are starting to arrive. That they get in at all considering the lawlessness of the city is a miracle of bravery and organization.
    9.) There is not the slightest evidence at all that the war in Iraq has diminished the response of the government to the emergency. To say otherwise is pure slander.
    10.) If the energy the news media puts into blaming Bush for an Act of God worsened by stupendous incompetence by the New Orleans city authorities and the malevolence of the criminals of the city were directed to helping the morale of the nation, we would all be a lot better off.
    11.) New Orleans is a great city with many great people. It will recover and be greater than ever. Sticking pins into an effigy of George Bush that does not resemble him in the slightest will not speed the process by one day.
    12.) The entire episode is a dramatic lesson in the breathtaking callousness of government officials at the ground level. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had gotten her way and they were in charge of your health care.
    God bless all of those dear people who are suffering so much, and God bless those helping them, starting with George Bush.
    Get Off His Back
    By Ben Stein
    Published 9/2/2005 11:59:59 PM

    Reply
  38. badbobusnret

    A few truths, for those who have ears and eyes and care to know the truth:
    1.) The hurricane that hit New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama was an astonishing tragedy. The suffering and loss of life and peace of mind of the residents of those areas is acutely horrifying.
    2.) George Bush did not cause the hurricane. Hurricanes have been happening for eons. George Bush did not create them or unleash this one.
    3.) George Bush did not make this one worse than others. There have been far worse hurricanes than this before George Bush was born.
    4.) There is no overwhelming evidence that global warming exists as a man-made phenomenon. There is no clear-cut evidence that global warming even exists. There is no clear evidence that if it does exist it makes hurricanes more powerful or makes them aim at cities with large numbers of poor people. If global warming is a real phenomenon, which it may well be, it started long before George Bush was inaugurated, and would not have been affected at all by the Kyoto treaty, considering that Kyoto does not cover the world’s worst polluters — China, India, and Brazil. In a word, George Bush had zero to do with causing this hurricane. To speculate otherwise is belief in sorcery.
    5.) George Bush had nothing to do with the hurricane contingency plans for New Orleans. Those are drawn up by New Orleans and Louisiana. In any event, the plans were perfectly good: mandatory evacuation. It is in no way at all George Bush’s fault that about 20 percent of New Orleans neglected to follow the plan. It is not his fault that many persons in New Orleans were too confused to realize how dangerous the hurricane would be. They were certainly warned. It’s not George Bush’s fault that there were sick people and old people and people without cars in New Orleans. His job description does not include making sure every adult in America has a car, is in good health, has good sense, and is mobile.
    6.) George Bush did not cause gangsters to shoot at rescue helicopters taking people from rooftops, did not make gang bangers rape young girls in the Superdome, did not make looters steal hundreds of weapons, in short make New Orleans into a living hell.
    7.) George Bush is the least racist President in mind and soul there has ever been and this is shown in his appointments over and over. To say otherwise is scandalously untrue.
    8.) George Bush is rushing every bit of help he can to New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama as soon as he can. He is not a magician. It takes time to organize huge convoys of food and now they are starting to arrive. That they get in at all considering the lawlessness of the city is a miracle of bravery and organization.
    9.) There is not the slightest evidence at all that the war in Iraq has diminished the response of the government to the emergency. To say otherwise is pure slander.
    10.) If the energy the news media puts into blaming Bush for an Act of God worsened by stupendous incompetence by the New Orleans city authorities and the malevolence of the criminals of the city were directed to helping the morale of the nation, we would all be a lot better off.
    11.) New Orleans is a great city with many great people. It will recover and be greater than ever. Sticking pins into an effigy of George Bush that does not resemble him in the slightest will not speed the process by one day.
    12.) The entire episode is a dramatic lesson in the breathtaking callousness of government officials at the ground level. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had gotten her way and they were in charge of your health care.
    God bless all of those dear people who are suffering so much, and God bless those helping them, starting with George Bush.
    Get Off His Back
    By Ben Stein
    Published 9/2/2005 11:59:59 PM
    13) If this had happened, exactly as it did- natural disaster to flooding event, to any other city in the world (Paris, Moscow, London, Bejing- you name it) the folks there would still be waiting for the US to arrive. George Bush would have sent that aid.
    14) There is only one version of the “facts” and only one version of the truth…….
    B2

    Reply
  39. Kevin from Philadelphia

    Not to move to quickly from one tragedy to another, but as of 32 minutes ago, there is a SECOND vacancy on the Supreme Court, as Chief Just William Rehnquist has died this evening. Chief Justice Antonin Scalia . . . I wonder if it is too late to move to New Zealand?

    Reply
  40. tregen

    badbobtard: Since you felt free to post anothers thoughts, I’ll meet your post and up you one Gillard.
    A note to our conservative friends:
    WE TOLD YOU SO
    Ever wonder why New Yorkers detest George Bush?
    Because we experienced his incompetence up close and person. We knew this guy was full of shit, absolutely full of fucking shit, after they started to play games with the funding and gave Wyoming terrorism money. We knew he was an assclown then.
    We thought DC 9/11 was a comedy, because the Bush we saw hid in AF One like the scared bitch that he is.
    But did you listen?
    Fuck no. Until last week, Ann Coulter was calling New Yorkers cowards for not endorsing Bush’s folly in Iraq.
    We have been screaming for two years that Bush and his team sucked. That they had no clue. They sent soldiers to be wounded in Iraq without armored anything. And you idiots cheered him on from the safety of your keyboards. We told you he was fucking up Iraq. But no, we supported Saddam, we were racist, we blamed America.
    You say this isn’t about politics? Fuck you, this IS politics, real time, real life politics, where the insanity of all your ideas are exposed to the world for the fraud that they are. Tax cuts kill. Ask the relatives of the dead of the Gulf Coast.
    Well, motherfuckers, the alligators are feasting on dead nigger and there isn’t an Iraqi in sight. And Bush is trying to gladhand his way through a mess which has stunned FOX reporters. I mean, Shepard Smith is calling Fox’s talking heads liars ON THE AIR.
    CNN rips Bush in print and online after nearly five years of sleep.
    Instead of hearing what we had to say about Bush, you called John Kerry a coward, mocked Max Cleland, blamed everything but herpes on Bill Clinton. You enabled Bush into this mess and now you’re shocked?
    Now, Fox can be outraged, now, Wash Times and Union Leader call Bush weak? Well, his coward ass disappeared in 2001. But you rather blame Michael Moore for that.
    He can’t even explain the Iraq war to a grieving mother.
    So what did you do?
    Write the most vile things about her and her dead son. Attacked her patriotism and her honesty.
    Well, motherfuckers, and that means you, fat ass Goldberg and your master, Rich Lowry, PNAC Bitch Beinart, the racist wannabe white Malkin and the little fucktards at LGF, Bareback Andy and “Diversity” Instacracker, all you backstabbing, fag hating uncle tom ministers, you can see Dear Leader in action. America’s largest port is gone, maybe forever, gas is $5+ a gallon and FEMA is coming. Whores come faster with old men than FEMA is getting to NOLA.
    How did your wartime President react? Like Chiang Kai-Shek when the Yellow River flooded in 1944, with corrupt indifference.
    Bush, the man your fever dreams built into the next Winston Churchill when he is really the live action Chauncey Gardiner, has failed to everyone, in plain sight, without question. Rick Perry is trying to save his ass, but it ain’t working. NOLA looks like ANGOLA and that ain’t flying.
    Say 9/11 changed everything now, motherfuckers. Ooops, 9/11, 9/11. 9/11. Doesn’t work anymore? Gee, maybe the sea of alligator MRE’s once known as the citizens of New Orleans has something to do with that. Now you can shut the fuck up about 9/11. Bush just proved what would happen with another 9/11. Dead Americans as far as the nose can smell.
    Drunken Chris Hitchens muttered some nonsense about blacks having it so good here. The poor man needs to stay in his bottle or go to Betty Ford before someone beats his treasonous ass stupid. Islamofascism means what, now motherfucker? Shove Islamofascism up your well travelled ass. The most dangerous thing to average Americans is not some mullah in Iraq, not even Osama Bin Laden, but George Bush. If he doesn’t get you killed in Iraq, he’ll fuck up saving your city so it turns into Escape from New Orleans. Armed junkies roaming the streets, looking for a fix, robbing and looting like Serb paramilitaries and about as sober.
    George Bush’s ineptitude has killed far more Americans than Osama could have dreamed of.
    Some of you still try to see the clothes on the Dauphin, but he’s as naked as Peter North around Jenna Jameson. Bush fucked up so bad, FOX turned on him like a rabid dog.
    You can’t hide behind racism forever. Bush fucked up, Bush is a weak, callous leader and the world knows this like it knows few other things. And all the stolen TV’s in the world cannot hide that.
    Steve Gillard

    Reply
  41. Matt

    It’s never too late Kevin. I’ve been to Auckland and found it a lovely city. New Zealand is as fine a place as any, I suppose, to enjoy the fruits of modern liberal policies. Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol is working out so well for them that they’re planning on withdrawing from it entirely, after incurring a bill of about $1 billion along with major business losses in the private sector. And to think the NZ government thought it would actually make money!

    Reply
  42. tregen

    Did Bush really “stage” a relief center and repairs on a levy for photo ops? I find that hard to believe but if true I would have to guess that even hard core Shrubites would be pissed…. Matt, any idea if this is true or just left wing blabber?
    BTW, what are the chances of low income housing being built in NO to replace the housing for the poor? I can almost see the developers loading up their dozers right now. Free Land. I guess if some wealth developers get involved at least the GOP will be more interested in levy construction.

    Reply
  43. KTS

    Tregen, you have every right to be pissed; no apologies necessary. I loved your comeback quote to bob’s double-quote of that smarmy ass Ben Stein.
    Matt, read Maureen Dowd’s column in Saturday’s NYT. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it.
    Oh, and according to that famously liberal newspaper, published in the red state of Texas, the Houston Chronicle:
    “The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.”

    Reply
  44. KTS

    Fuck it. I think Maureen’s column is so good, and if Big Bad Bob can get away with his double posts, I’m going to post Ms. Dowd. I don’t want it lost:
    September 3, 2005
    United States of Shame
    By MAUREEN DOWD
    Stuff happens.
    And when you combine limited government with incompetent government, lethal stuff happens.
    America is once more plunged into a snake pit of anarchy, death, looting, raping, marauding thugs, suffering innocents, a shattered infrastructure, a gutted police force, insufficient troop levels and criminally negligent government planning. But this time it’s happening in America.
    W. drove his budget-cutting Chevy to the levee, and it wasn’t dry. Bye, bye, American lives. “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees,” he told Diane Sawyer.
    Shirt-sleeves rolled up, W. finally landed in Hell yesterday and chuckled about his wild boozing days in “the great city” of N’Awlins. He was clearly moved. “You know, I’m going to fly out of here in a minute,” he said on the runway at the New Orleans International Airport, “but I want you to know that I’m not going to forget what I’ve seen.” Out of the cameras’ range, and avoided by W., was a convoy of thousands of sick and dying people, some sprawled on the floor or dumped on baggage carousels at a makeshift M*A*S*H unit inside the terminal.
    Why does this self-styled “can do” president always lapse into such lame “who could have known?” excuses.
    Who on earth could have known that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack us by flying planes into buildings? Any official who bothered to read the trellis of pre-9/11 intelligence briefs.
    Who on earth could have known that an American invasion of Iraq would spawn a brutal insurgency, terrorist recruiting boom and possible civil war? Any official who bothered to read the C.I.A.’s prewar reports.
    Who on earth could have known that New Orleans’s sinking levees were at risk from a strong hurricane? Anybody who bothered to read the endless warnings over the years about the Big Easy’s uneasy fishbowl.
    In June 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, fretted to The Times-Picayune in New Orleans: “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.”
    Not only was the money depleted by the Bush folly in Iraq; 30 percent of the National Guard and about half its equipment are in Iraq.
    Ron Fournier of The Associated Press reported that the Army Corps of Engineers asked for $105 million for hurricane and flood programs in New Orleans last year. The White House carved it to about $40 million. But President Bush and Congress agreed to a $286.4 billion pork-filled highway bill with 6,000 pet projects, including a $231 million bridge for a small, uninhabited Alaskan island.
    Just last year, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials practiced how they would respond to a fake hurricane that caused floods and stranded New Orleans residents. Imagine the feeble FEMA’s response to Katrina if they had not prepared.
    Michael Brown, the blithering idiot in charge of FEMA – a job he trained for by running something called the International Arabian Horse Association – admitted he didn’t know until Thursday that there were 15,000 desperate, dehydrated, hungry, angry, dying victims of Katrina in the New Orleans Convention Center.
    Was he sacked instantly? No, our tone-deaf president hailed him in Mobile, Ala., yesterday: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
    It would be one thing if President Bush and his inner circle – Dick Cheney was vacationing in Wyoming; Condi Rice was shoe shopping at Ferragamo’s on Fifth Avenue and attended “Spamalot” before bloggers chased her back to Washington; and Andy Card was off in Maine – lacked empathy but could get the job done. But it is a chilling lack of empathy combined with a stunning lack of efficiency that could make this administration implode.
    When the president and vice president rashly shook off our allies and our respect for international law to pursue a war built on lies, when they sanctioned torture, they shook the faith of the world in American ideals.
    When they were deaf for so long to the horrific misery and cries for help of the victims in New Orleans – most of them poor and black, like those stuck at the back of the evacuation line yesterday while 700 guests and employees of the Hyatt Hotel were bused out first – they shook the faith of all Americans in American ideals. And made us ashamed.
    Who are we if we can’t take care of our own?

    Reply
  45. Matt

    “Oh, and according to that famously liberal newspaper, published in the red state of Texas, the Houston Chronicle:
    “The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.”
    And this means… what exactly?
    As for Maureen Dowd:
    “And when you combine limited government with incompetent government, lethal stuff happens.”
    I don’t know about the limited part, but Louisiana sure is an incompetent government.
    “W. drove his budget-cutting Chevy to the levee, and it wasn’t dry. Bye, bye, American lives.”
    I know Bush Derangement Syndrome has liberals red-lining right now, but get a grip folks.
    “Who on earth could have known that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack us by flying planes into buildings? Any official who bothered to read the trellis of pre-9/11 intelligence briefs.”
    Uh, no, that brief warned they might hijack planes to win the release of al Qaeda prisoners, not use them as missiles. Does Dowd believe this or is she that stupid? Or does she think we’re that stupid?
    “Who on earth could have known that an American invasion of Iraq would spawn a brutal insurgency, terrorist recruiting boom and possible civil war?
    What are we now, into the third year of waiting for the impending civil war?
    “Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished…”
    The Army Corps of Engineers has an annual budget of $4 billion. As someone above mentioned, Gen Strock of the Corps told NPR that the appropriation in question wouldn’t even have been used on the parts of the levee that failed. They had already determined (mistakenly) that those parts were sufficient. So the 1.5% decrease isn’t to blame for what happened in New Orleans. But there was plenty of money around to upgrade the levee system if that had been a priority of Louisiana.
    “Not only was the money depleted by the Bush folly in Iraq; 30 percent of the National Guard and about half its equipment are in Iraq.”
    Which National Guard? Louisiana’s? Perhaps Dowd should ask why Gov. Blanco didn’t get around to mobilizing the LA NG until after Katrina struck and the suffering had began (it takes days to get it going after the order is given), after Bush asked her to. I know were talking about Maureen Dowd here, but no serious person believes that the 3,000 LA National Guardsmen who are serving in Iraq, a small part of LA’s Guard, would’ve made any difference in the first 3 or 4 days of the disaster. Even still, there is a war on and that is their primary mission.
    “Just last year, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials practiced how they would respond to a fake hurricane that caused floods and stranded New Orleans residents. Imagine the feeble FEMA’s response to Katrina if they had not prepared.”
    Ha! See this:
    http://junkyardblog.net/archives/week_2005_08_28.html#004751
    Scroll around there and notice pictures of the hundreds of buses parked in flooded lots around the city, unused to evacuate people even though the city’s disaster plan specifically called for them to be mobilized to get people out beforehand.
    Just how incompetent are Louisiana state and local officials? Many areas in Mississippi were similarly wiped out, flooded, and a similar portion of their NG are forward deployed, yet notice the difference. Anarchy doesn’t reign. It’s not too much to expect a state to meet some minimum level of preparedness and maintain some semblence of order for a day or two in the aftermath until the feds greater assets arrive. When the complete story comes out about how obscenely incompetent the actions of state and local officials were — and it will become painfully obvious — there will be hell to pay. They realize this, I think, and that’s why they are in such high CYA mode right now.
    Also, and I’m sure I’m just being cynical, but do you suppose the reason that the manifest failures of state and local officials have gone largely uncriticized by journalists and columnists like Dowd has anything to do with the fact that they have Ds after their names?
    “…the blithering idiot in charge of FEMA”
    Uh, two of the most blithering idiots are the Louisiana Governor and New Orleans Mayor. Scroll around the above link again and see why. Until this comment I’ve been reluctant to point fingers this early when there are more important things to concentrate on, but after reading all this gratuitous Bush-bashing, enough is enough.
    “When they were deaf for so long to the horrific misery and cries for help of the victims in New Orleans…”
    The N.O. mayor didn’t bother to start evacuating the city until the day after President Bush declared it a disaster area, and then only after Bush called Gov. Blanco directly and urged her to give the order. (The mayor could’ve done so by himself if he had wanted.) The president probably saved lives yet Maureen Dowd and Steve Gillard, whoever he is, thinks he’s responsible for deaths? If these are the voices of the Democratic Party it’s no wonder they keep losing elections. Keep politicizing this thing and Republicans will make even greater gains in Congress next year.
    And whatever happened to a decent respect for copyright laws? Ever hear of the limitations of fair use?

    Reply
  46. badbobusnret

    Fucking-A Matt!
    There is only one version of the truth!
    re the rest of your diatribes- Cheney in WY and Rice in NYC, etc. where the hell was the Viper (Dowd)? Sitting on her gelatinous ass in the Hamptons coloring her hair? It’s Labor Day weekend for G-sakes. Heck- the French have been off for over a month….
    WTF, does any of that have to do with a hurricane followed by a flood in one of our cities?
    re Rehnquist. Would you all please move to Canada now? Please?
    re double post- I sincerely apologize..it was attributed. Infuriating isn’t it? being called on the facts that is..
    B2

    Reply
  47. tregen

    So, did Bush fake the relief center and the levy repairs? Matt? Badbob? I haven’t been able to find anything saying that this is not true….. I”m sure you guys will point me in the right direction. Did Bush actually believe that “No one thought the levies would break”(or something like that?)

    Reply
  48. Matt

    No tregen, Bush didn’t fake anything. I suppose it’s only a matter of time, however, before the meme picks up in liberal circles, much like the bogus one about him serving a plastic turkey in Baghdad. I still see that one every now and then. [chuckle] I don’t know what to tell you about the other comment as I didn’t hear him say it. It doesn’t sound right though, does it? That’s so unlike Bush. After all, he’s known for being so good with the spoken word.

    Reply
  49. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    When Bush said in one of his press conferences that Trent Lott lost his house and that Lott’s house will be rebuilt and Bush can’t wait to sit on Lott’s new porch, hee hee hee (I am paraphrasing, but you know what I am talking about), I let go of the last shred of “like” that I had for the man. I had a flashback to the way I was back when I was a Democrat, back when I had so much disdain for wealthy, privileged, good old boys for whom life is one big exclusive party, removed from the reality of the average, suffering American. I am so done with this Compassionate Conservatism nonsense. Kanye West was right. And I hope that George Bush goes down in flames over this hideous national tragedy.

    Reply
  50. Matt

    So George Bush hates black people, eh, LFMD? Sorry, but that’s about as stupid as it is disgusting. And if Kanye West is “the smartest man in pop music,” maybe that’s what’s wrong with pop music.

    Reply
  51. David

    Liberally quoting:
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” — The Book of Matthew
    Politicians suck, period. Public servants rock.
    That is Haliburton’s business.
    C’mon Dowd makes her bread tweakin’ the nbose hairs of the Texas politics, and riding their coattails into Washington. She a skilled wordsmith, but that doesn’t make her an expert on espionage, or anything else for that matter.
    If it was an internet search they were doing would you be surprised the Navy used Google? Or that they use Microsft Powerpoint for their presentations?
    Yep, it looks likes a misplaced “G” chord. Good call. What a twanger he is.
    Off to work on meekness…

    Reply
  52. David

    If a man is crossing a river
    And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
    Even though he be a bad-tempered man
    He will not become very angry.
    But if he sees a man in the boat,
    He will shout at him to steer clear.
    If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
    And yet again, and begin cursing.
    And all because there is someone in the boat.
    Yet if the boat is were empty,
    He would not be shouting, and not angry.
    If you can empty your own boat
    Crossing the river of the world,
    No one will oppose you,
    No one will seek to harm you.
    —from, The Empty Boat, Chuang Tzu

    Reply
  53. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Matt — step off the ledge for a moment. I do not think that Kanye is the smartest man in pop music. Bono is (whom I love more than Tom Cruise, but I digress).
    My point in giving props to Kanye is that he voiced what millions of people across the US and across the WORLD are thinking. Do I personally think that Bush hates blacks as an entire group? Of course not. Do I think that he has responded too little too late to the plight of the poor blacks in the lower socio-economic grouping during this tragedy? YOU BET I DO. Does this slow, somewhat insensitive reaction (Oh, what a blessing that Trent’s multi-million dollar home will be rebuilt! I was SO concerned about him all this time!!!) have the appearance that our President does not care about the folks at the bottom of the economic food chain? YES IT DOES. In our bottom-line analysis, all this amounts to one conclusion, and Kanye articulated it in the knee-jerk, black and white fashion that we all understand.
    I was proud of Bush back in 9/11 — I thought he handled himself well as a leader. I felt as though he CARED and he meant business when he said that “I hear you, America hears you, and they will all hear you soon”. I actually rallied behind him. When he cried with all the families, I cried too. I knew that he meant what he said, and I felt as though he handled it all better than automaton Gore ever could have.
    But this. . . . this is a damn shame. Everything he has done and everything he has said have been public relation disasters. Around the world, people cannot believe that this is all happening in our country. I can’t believe it either. And when he yammers on about Lott’s house and tells some poor woman to “hang in there”, I can only conclude that he does not care nearly as much as he should.

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  54. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    OK, I just caught up on the news, and I see that Bush has nominated Roberts as chief justice. WTF?????? Stupid idiot. How do you nominate someone who has not even passed the selection process as a regular SC justice to be the Chief Justice??? Why didn’t he select one of the current justices, with a proven record to evaluate as the Chief? I guess that it would have taken too much effort to analyze the current justices’ opinions and voting records. . . . just nominate the new guy. No one knows anything about him. . . let’s make HIM the CHIEF! Yeah, great idea!
    George is taking the easy way out every way you look at things, and the next presidential election cannot come fast enough. I do not know who is advising Bush, but this is turning into the public relations fiasco of epic proportions.

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  55. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Need. Photos. Of. Lucy. and. Chopes. Soon. Please.
    I can’t take much more of this bad news. . . please send me a little smiling face or a furry little face soon to rejuvenate me and restore my faith in humanity.

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  56. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Please send a photo of Chopes, all cozy and pampered and loved in his home. Some of the many images that have depressed me beyond belief are those of starving pets, dogs in trees, drowned animals. For all of the crap that we hear about Bush’s pets Barney the Dog and India the Cat and deceased Spot (the pets even have their own sites within the White House website — check it out if you dare), Bush’s “relief efforts” can’t even save these poor little family pets. I wonder how Trent Lott’s pets are. Were their doghouses spared??? Oh, how I have worried about them!!!
    I feel like saying to Bush, “goddamnit, your slow response resulted in grandmothers dying, babies dying, and even pets drowning. All of your efforts couldn’t spare anybody or anything. This is not the America I know, you fucking idiot. We may as well be living in a Third World Country. And by the way, I can’t fucking afford to drive to my Insurance Job anymore.”

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  57. badbob

    C’mon folks. One way ticket to Toronto is only $175 from NY!
    I think Michelle Malkin has a great compendium of info and links in her
    “ALL DELUSIONAL POLITICS IS LOCAL” post. Un-friggin believable…
    FACTS- Katarina was a hurricane which “damaged” (thankfully, did not utterly destroy) levees in several locations which led to devastating flooding…
    Monday night, after the hurricane had passed, most folks in NOLA for the weekend were looking forward to this:
    http://www.southerndecadence.com
    We’ve all seen the hundreds of city buses under water in that parking lot.. how dat?
    Love him or hate him GW (or Chimp, if you must)had very little to do with the cause (nature), the subsequent flooding (inadequate levees) or the resultant mayhem of the mandatory evacuation put into effect last Sunday. A day later than GW (Chimp) begged the “leaders” (rhymes w/incompetants)to put into effect.
    “gris-gris”
    B2

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  58. Matt

    I’m supposed to believe that the remark about Trent Lott, who is the president’s friend, has turned you against Bush, causing you to now hope he “goes down in flames”? Right.
    As I pointed out above, the president’s actions before Katrina struck probably saved lives — African American lives. The “slow” reactions were by the LA governor and NO mayor. It is ludicrous to blame the failure of local officials on the president. Have you even looked at the city’s disaster plan?! It’s on the web! I’d ask you to step away from the ledge, Laurie, but I see you’ve already jumped.
    Final points: 1) “The smartest man in pop music” is a label Time magazine gave to West; and 2) Who would you have preferred as CJ? Scalia or Thomas? Bush wasn’t going to elevate one of the others. It’s also not the first time in SC history that a CJ was a new nominee.

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  59. scruggs

    LFMD, I thought Celine Dion, wildly enough, summed up my frustration in her Larry King interview. Go check it out.
    I don’t think Bush hates black people. I think he’s just indifferent, and his own little reality is one of very little struggle and strife (except for that time when his bottle of Jack had run dry). I’d love to see him APPLY himself after being handed so much on a platter…education access, wealth, business contacts, political ascension (after skewering honorable McCain in SC, for shame). Champion of moral values my a$$, doing right by the poor and disenfranchised is the most represented moral value in the bible (well, I think 2nd in the OT to idolatry).
    And the good ole boy network has always been in place on both sides, but it is ludacris that “Browie” is chief of FEMA. Nice resume! He’s as qualified to be head of emergency management as my math degree makes me fit to be a neurosurgeon. I also was surprised Bush is nominating Roberts for CJ, I figured Brownie was a shoe-in!
    Finally, I was frustrated during the week at how devastated, scared, and ignored these “refugees” would be feeling, and I wanted to be in a place where finally they could feel comforted and feel some respect and concern. I was able to work the sat. night shift at Georgia Tech’s coliseum shelter. Folks were arriving in the middle of the night, exhausted, with at best a plastic grocery bag of stuff. As I worked to help individuals sort through donated clothes to piece together an outfit or two, as well as pick up toiletries, the #1 question I got was if there was a church nearby for Sunday services. These people had no sleep, had yet to find spouses and even their young children, but it was priority #1 to make it to worship first thing in the morning. So, if God hates poor people, they haven’t picked up on it yet. If anything, they feel blessed and thankful, even now.

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  60. kf

    to LFMD… i knew it was only a matter of time before we welcomed you back to coastopia.
    as for the director of FEMA – i think he is proud of his efforts as i have not read of the deaths of any arabian horses!
    RE: john roberts for chief – lets face it – he’s going to be confirmed. our only hope is that perhaps the fact that he is the chief may make bush more willing to nominate someone who is not as much as an ideologue as i fear roberts to be. and perhaps w’s low approval ratings may make him have less of a stomach to deal with a more controversial nominee.

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  61. scruggs

    kf: maybe they used the arabian horses to evacuate the superdome and it was cut from the CNN feed. every evacuee gets to keep their horse. genius!
    (obviously, I’m the only one having to work on Labor freakin’ Day)

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  62. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Scruggs, you ROCK! You make us Carolina Proud.
    And, thanks for making me laugh. I will have to find that Celine Dion interview — I had no idea that she was so insightful!
    I think that I have cracked the case on who the next nominee will be for the Supreme Court. George will probably name his nephew, George P. Bush. Isn’t he the one they call “P”? The one that George 41 called one of his “brown grandchildren” long ago? The one who was pushed onstage to court the Spanish-speaking vote? Didn’t he just graduate from law school — that will make him the perfect candidate! If Brownie can head FEMA, than P can certainly be a Supreme Court justice. Not sure if he passed the bar exam, but that’s a minor detail.

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  63. scruggs

    ok, one more story before I salvage what’s left of the holiday:
    I met one woman at the shelter sat night who was 4 months pregnant and had just gotten in from NO with her own mother and her 7 year old daughter. However, her 4 year old son (her “little baby”) had been with his father and other grandmother elsewhere in town the night the storm hit, and she had been unable to locate them since. Given the law of averages, her son probably ended up somewhere in Texas, who knows when or how they’ll be able to touch base. But the first thing she does before getting food or clothes for herself is to go over to the makeshift toy area. She wanted to pick out something to save for when she finally sees her little boy so that he can have something to play with. She was so excited to find some dinky little matchbox car because “he just loves anything with wheels.”
    When I made it home around dawn, I crawled into my 2 year old’s bed to crash with him and snuggle. That lady is my hero.

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  64. CL

    Yo, LFMD, an acquaintance of mine who lives near Baton Rouge just said this to me in an e-mail:
    >>Seriously, there are so many hard-working people here from so many other states, I have been in awe. And LSU Vet school has been taking in tons of pets and caring for them until someone claims them.

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  65. kjf

    and i also saw a report that they are now letting people bring their pets with them if they agree to evacuate. apparently that is one of the reasons people didnt want to leave their homes.

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  66. Kevin from Philadelphia

    The stories from Georgia and LSU vet hospital make me feel a little better about all of this, but just a very little. By the By, there are NO requirements for being nominated to any court, let alone the Supreme COurt, in the Constitution. President Bush could literally nominate one of the twins, but whether a nominee makes it to a court is up to the Senate. So I wonder, how FEW qualifications would a nominee have before a mojority of Senators put their rubber stamp back in the drawer and actually examined who was up for appointment.

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  67. Matt

    Kevin, are you suggesting Judge Roberts is unqualified?
    By the way, only 3 of the 16 CJ ever appointed were elevated from associate justice, so LFMD’s criticism of the move is way off base. Besides, nominating Roberts to head the Court spares us from a third confirmation hearing. If nothing else, that’s nice.

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  68. LFMD

    CL and kjf: thanks for making me feel better about our furry friends in the Gulf Coast.
    Matt — I never said that I had Constitutional Law support for not liking Bush’s nomination of Roberts for CJ. I just didn’t like it. It seems very lazy to me. Like the big business trend of bringing in a new CEO to a company from the outside, to the disdain of all the hard-working folks who could have been chosen internally. Hopefully, if Roberts is confirmed, maybe he will be a surprise for conservatives. He could be the Justice Warren of his day.
    Oh, and yes, I have made the leap off the ledge a long time ago. But it had nothing to do with politics, my friend!

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  69. david

    The French American International School in San Francisco my boys attend, is recieving several French only speaking refugee students (at least one is second grade) from New Orleans.

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