Saturday, September 10, 2005

Blackwater Mercenaries are Being Stationed in New Orleans

Both Americablog and Truthout are reporting that Blackwater mercenaries are patroling in New Orleans. My question would be WHY????

Anyone else out there disturbed by this? Perhaps we should be asking our favorite MSM stations to inquire (you know, like actually do a little investigative journalism...).

Feingold '08?

Grandpa looks at the candidate from his home state (here and here). Most definitely worth a read.

More thievery

From the Sister.

The Man Who Should Have Been Our President

Al Gore helped airlift some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans, acting at the urging of a doctor who saved the life of the former vice president's son.
Read the whole article. It will make you wring your hands and wish for what should have been.

And while our former vice president was cutting red tape, chartering planes at his own expense, and flying sick people to hospitals in Tennessee, where was our current vice president? Oh, let's see...vacationing in Wyoming? And when he did make an appearance, a week later, it was only for a photo op. What a useless bunch of retards we have in office now.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Hurricane Relief

Go see Charity Folks auction site. Looks like Showbiz is cleaning out its attic for this cause. Other stuff too.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Princess Shayna says she's happy to see Mike Brown out of Louisiana. She also says you should stop over at our friend Jane's blog and donate to the animal rescue efforts in the hurricane area.

Not much posting from me in the last few days. Just a lot of stuff going on. I'll be back in full force on the weekend.

"Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney"

A fine idea. Here's a bunch of stories on that from Google.

Bush lifts wage rules for Katrina


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage.
Bush's action came as the federal government moved to provide billions of dollars in aid, and drew rebukes from two of organized labor's biggest friends in Congress, Rep. George Miller of California and Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, both Democrats.

"The administration is using the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to cut the wages of people desperately trying to rebuild their lives and their communities," Miller said.

"President Bush should immediately realize the colossal mistake he has made in signing this order and rescind it and ensure that America puts its people back to work in the wake of Katrina at wages that will get them and their families back on their feet," Miller said.

That's about par for that asshole: stick it to labor. What's the matter Georgie? Not enough money left for your friends at Halliburton if you let Americans make a decent wage to rebuild America instead of Iraq?

FEMA Head Relieved Of Duty

From Yahoo News

WASHINGTON - Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown is being relieved of his command of the Bush administration's Hurricane Katrina onsite relief efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced Friday.

He will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts, Chertoff said.

Earlier, Brown confirmed the switch. Asked if he was being made a scapegoat for a federal relief effort that has drawn widespread and sharp criticism, Brown told The Associated Press after a long pause: "By the press, yes. By the president, No."

Yeah, right. That's why we have the press. This is what they're supposed to do. For once, it seems to be working.

Brown doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground about disaster relief. I'm glad he's out, and will soon be out of FEMA as well, although he claims his departure was planned anyway. It's really no big deal: he's a political nobody and is being relieved as part of the Chimp's PR spin. It remains to be seen what kind of medals he will be awarded.

I'm glad they're putting a Coastie in charge. Those guys understand saving people from water.

DeLay PAC Indicted in Scandal

From Reuters via Truthout

A Texas grand jury has indicted a political action committee formed by US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as well as a powerful business group on charges they violated the state's campaign finance laws, officials said on Thursday.
Earle has said DeLay is under investigation and a spokesman for him said on Thursday the investigation into illegal campaign finances continues.

They're closing in on you, Tommy me boy. I'll be glad when they get you.

Katrina the Good

The lovely and beautiful Katrina vanden Heuvel via the wonderful Pauly:

As Republicans desperately cry out of one corner of their mouths to stop the blame game, they have been blaming everyone but themselves since this catastrophe. Let's look at their ever-evolving buck-passing strategies.

[. . .]

Blame the Victims: Both FEMA's Michael Brown and Homeland Security's Michael Chertoff, the Mutt and Jeff of this calamity, have blamed careless, destitute New Orleaners for not evacuating. "Those who got out are fine," Chertoff told NBC's Tim Russert. FEMA sought to excuse its delays in entering the city by blaming the looters.

Blame the Locals: In a stroke of political luck, both the New Orleans mayor and Louisiana's Governor are Democrats. As the New York Times reported, Karl Rove's PR strategy is to shift the blame to the state and city officials. All Sunday, White House officials and Fox News played this card. Expect more of this line of attack.

Blame the City: In perhaps the most bizarre excuse, Chertoff pointed the finger the city of New Orleans itself, saying, "It is a soup bowl. People have talked for years about whether it makes sense to have a city like that."

[. . .]

But far be it we blame the Republicans, the clowns who are actually responsible. That would be 'playing the blame game', right Snotty, you lying suck-ass?

DSM Update

Downing Street Memos: Action Item

Remember those?

The resolution of inquiry (H. Res 375) introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) now has 65 co-sponsors, and will come to a vote in the House International Relations Committee on September 14th, where it has the co-sponsorship of most of the Democrats and one Republican.

If passed, it will require the White House and the State Department to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq." To pass, it needs all the Democrats and three Republicans. The more Congress Members not on the committee who co-sponsor, the more likely some committee members are to vote yes.

So . . .

Email Your Congress Member

Phone and Fax Your Congress Member

Or call the switchboard tollfree at (888) 818-6641

More info here.

Also, don't forget about the Sept 15 and Sept 24 rallies. (Patrick at Yelladog has some thoughts (and clarifications) on the rallies to check out, too.) ~Shakespeare's Sister

Stolen fully and completely from the Sister because it's IMPORTANT!

Thursday, September 8, 2005

About time

"How can it be that [the Saturday Night Live character] Mr. Bill knows more than Mr. Bush?" - Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) on the Senate Floor today.

The Talking Heads Are Revolting -er- Rebelling...

A twofer at Truthout about the reaction of the press corpse on the Gulf Coast.

Newscasters, sick of official lies and stonewalling, finally start snarling
The rebellion of the talking heads reached its culmination today as contrasted "the official version" of events in New Orleans with its "in-the-trenches" account by its reporters and authoritative sources. Muted compared to the on-air growling, the Web story still portrays the government as a pack of liars, or worse, as bumbling idiots. The broadcasters' angry dispatches break with the "public face" they usually give their work: polite, patient, neutral, generous. A steady diet of such confrontational reporting would probably be as edifying as a Jerry Springer show. But when the going gets this tough - when government incompetence and lies become so insurmountable - sometimes the only way to get the story is by getting mad.
Forgive some of us for not celebrating the press's coming-out party. The fact that this kind of aggressive questioning of people in power during times of crisis now passes as news itself only highlights just how timid the mainstream press corps has been during the Bush years.
It's hard to decide which is more troubling: that it took the national press corps five years to summon up enough courage to report, without apology, that what the Bush administration says and does are often two different things, or that it took the sight of bodies floating facedown in the streets of New Orleans to trigger a change in the press's behavior.
For years, frustrated news consumers have wondered what it would take to finally awaken the press from its perpetual, lazy slumber. Now we know the answer: one ravaged American city and a few thousand dead civilians.

Let's hope their sack keeps growing. We've needed them for five years. Let's hope and pray they don't wimp out again.

Que Ironico Es?

Houston Chronicle

Laden with humanitarian aid for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, a Mexican military unit crossed into U.S. territory today.

Carrying nearly 200 unarmed soldiers, doctors, nurses and engineers, the convoy of dozens of trucks entered Texas at Laredo this morning with mobile kitchens, water treatment plants, bottled water, blankets and canned food for people displaced by Katrina.

Bottled water? From Mexico? Bwahahahaha! Kaopectate too, I hope!

Some Mexican commentators have pointed out the irony of Mexico sending troops to territory it once owned. But Mexican officials have played down that angle.
Mexico also has sent a naval vessel laden with boats and other equipment to the mouth of the Mississippi River near Biloxi, Miss.

Why do I get the feeling that Gulf Coast residents are going to have their pick of nice Mexican trucks to drive around in? And that there might be 200 sets of abandoned Mexican Army uniforms found lying around?

In all seriousness, I find it commendable that a nation of poor people is coming to the aid of poor people in a rich country. Muchas gracias, mis amigos y hermanos.

A dress rehearsal for martial law?

When I put on my tinfoil hat, I usually pull it down over my eyes and ears to obtain the maximum effect. This piece on the World Socialist Web Site is chilling nonetheless.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the disastrous delay in providing aid to the city's beleaguered citizens was in large part a matter of waiting until this massive military force was ready to deploy.
While no doubt incompetence and indifference played a major role, there is also strong evidence that aid was deliberately withheld by the White House and the Pentagon as part of a strategy for asserting unfettered military control over the city.

In response to my post referring to Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard's comments on Press The Meat:

Both hurricane victims and public officials have given multiple accounts of US authorities actively turning back aid and blocking rescue attempts in the days that followed the breaching of the city's levees.
Finally, he said that just a day earlier FEMA agents had come in and "cut all of our emergency communication lines" without any warning. The local sheriff, he added, had the lines reconnected and then posted armed guards to see that they were not cut again.

This last, and most sinister, example is in keeping with the Pentagon's "information war" doctrine, which demands the complete control of communications in an area targeted for invasion and occupation.
In reality the US ruling elite and both major parties have used September 11 as the pretext for implementing far-reaching attacks on democratic rights and breaching legal barriers - such as Posse Comitatus - against the use of military force against the American people.

Just last month, the Washington Post published an article revealing that US military's Northern Command had developed a series of "war plans" for the military "to take charge" in domestic crises. (See: "Pentagon devising scenarios for martial law in US".)

While apparently these plans involved a response to supposed terrorist attacks, including the detonation of a nuclear device in a major American city, the catastrophe that struck New Orleans provided ideal conditions for testing the plans out.
The deliberate denial of food, water and means of escape to tens of thousands of suffering New Orleanians in order to prepare a massive military exercise is a crime. It is moreover a warning that the deepening of the social crisis in America raises the threat of military repression and dictatorship.

<\tinfoil>? Maybe so, maybe no. Read the article. Socialists may be paranoid nutsos, but they're not stupid.

FEMA Detainment Camp?

UPDATED: Here's the link to the original story. Like I said, I have my doubts. Anyone here from this part of Oklahoma? Real verification would be nice.

I'd like opinions on this story. I'm taking it with a grain of salt at the moment because I'm not familiar with this website. Go read:

I just got back from a FEMA Detainment Camp

I'm extremely depressed to report that things seem to only be getting sadder concerning the people so devastatingly affected by Katrina last week. Two car loads of us headed over to Falls Creek, a youth camp for Southern Baptist churches in Oklahoma that agreed to have its facilities used to house Louisiana refugees. I'm afraid the camp is not going to be used as the kind people of the churches who own the cabins believe it was going to be used. .....

FEMA will not allow any of the kitchen facilities in any of the cabins to be used by the occupants due to fire hazards. FEMA will deliver meals to the cabins. The refugees will be given two meals per day by FEMA. They will not be able to cook. In fact, the "host" goes on to explain, some churches had already enquired about whether they could come in on weekends and fix meals for the people staying in their cabin. FEMA won't allow it because there could be a situation where one cabin gets steaks and another gets hot dogs - and...

it could cause a riot.

It gets worse.

He then precedes to tell us that some churches had already enquired into whether they could send a van or bus on Sundays to pick up any occupants of their cabins who might be interested in attending church. FEMA will not allow this. The occupants of the camp cannot leave the camp for any reason. If they leave the camp they may never return. They will be issued FEMA identification cards and "a sum of money" and they will remain within the camp for the next 5 months.

My son looks at me and mumbles "Welcome to Krakow."

My mother then asked if the churches would be allowed to come to their cabin and conduct services if the occupants wanted to attend. The response was "No ma'am. You don't understand. Your church no longer owns this building. This building is now owned by FEMA and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. They have it for the next 5 months." This scares my mother who asks "Do you mean they have leased it?" The man replies, "Yes, ma'am...lock, stock and barrel. They have taken over everything that pertains to this facility for the next 5 months."

The Interdictor

If you haven't heard of the Interdictor yet, go check him out. He's been holed up at his job in New Orleans since before Katrina. Here's a favorite recent post from his Live Journal Blog:

September 7, 2005 Last Night

Sometime around midnight, a squad of 82nd Airborne guys accompanied by a US Marshall busted into our Data Center with their M4-A1s to investigate the lights and movement. Personally, I know they were just bored -- there's no way they honestly thought there was some kind of threat up here just yards away from several huge military and police presences. Anyway, they came up and demanded to account for us all. That means they told Donny, who was still up, to come wake up Crys and me in the side closet room type area where we sleep. I could hear Donny telling them that I was exSpecial Forces as he came to get me. He stuck his head in and explained the situation while I made Crys get up and get dressed. We came out and I gave the Marshall a sheepish look which said was this really enough fun for to relieve your boredom? He kind of knew they shouldn't be up here -- I think it was Crystal's being here which really made him snap out of it. He began apologizing and I could tell the yound soldiers with him were really shy about having seen Crystal come out too.

But I didn't let them all off that easily. "Hey, I understand. I know you guys are just doing your job." He kept apologizing. Then I put them to work. "So wait, how did you get up here anyway? We locked this building down....

The Marshall claimed that one of the emergency exits -- the one on the Lafayette Square side had been open. I knew this was bullshit. For one thing, Sig and I tied down and concealed that door. It would have taken a group of guys to open it. For another Lafayette Square is to the south of our building. The only lights visisble are from Poydras to the north. Am I to believe that they bypassed the obvious entrances (also locked down) to look for one they didn't even know existed and it just happened to be open?

No, they searched for a way in, and by the time they got around back and found the emergency exit, they were ready to break in, so they did.

"Wait, we secured that exit. That means that this building might have other people in it," I told them.

They all knew what was coming next. If it was their job to check on lights and movement to look for people who didn't belong there....

I asked them to sweep the building for us.

And they did. All 27 floors of it with no elevators.

If you want to play soldier with me, I will make you play it a lot longer than you had in mind.

Crystal and I went back to bed secure in the knowledge that a US Marshall and a squad from the 82nd Airborne cleared 27 floors and the roof of our temporary residence. And then they secured the door they must have spent 45 minutes breaking into.

Most restful sleep I've had all week.

What Do They Have to Hide?

via Prairie Weather: From Brian Williams at MSNBC:

An interesting dynamic is taking shape in this city, not altogether positive: after days of rampant lawlessness (making for what I think most would agree was an impossible job for the New Orleans Police Department during those first few crucial days of rising water, pitch-black nights and looting of stores) the city has now reached a near-saturation level of military and law enforcement. In the areas we visited, the red berets of the 82nd Airborne are visible on just about every block. National Guard soldiers are ubiquitous. At one fire scene, I counted law enforcement personnel (who I presume were on hand to guarantee the safety of the firefighters) from four separate jurisdictions, as far away as Connecticut and Illinois. And tempers are getting hot. While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won't be any pictures of this particular group of Guard soldiers on our newscast tonight. Rules (or I suspect in this case an order on a whim) like those do not HELP the palpable feeling that this area is somehow separate from the United States.

At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media... obvious members of the media... armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It's a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.

Death in the City

via Greatscat:

The NYT:
In the downtown business district here, on a dry stretch of Union Street, past the Omni Bank automated teller machine, across from a parking garage offering "early bird" rates: a corpse. Its feet jut from a damp blue tarp. Its knees rise in rigor mortis.

The sight of corpses has become almost common on the mostly abandoned streets of New Orleans, as rescue and evacuation operations have taken priority over removing the dead.

Six National Guardsmen walked up to it on Tuesday afternoon and two blessed themselves with the sign of the cross. One soldier took a parting snapshot like some visiting conventioneer, and they walked away. New Orleans, September 2005.

Hours passed, the dusk of curfew crept, the body remained. A Louisiana state trooper around the corner knew all about it: murder victim, bludgeoned, one of several in that area. The police marked it with traffic cones maybe four days ago, he said, and then he joked that if you wanted to kill someone here, this was a good time.

Night came, then this morning, then noon, and another sun beat down on a dead son of the Crescent City.

That a corpse lies on Union Street may not shock; in the wake of last week's hurricane, there are surely hundreds, probably thousands. What is remarkable is that on a downtown street in a major American city, a corpse can decompose for days, like carrion, and that is acceptable.

Us and Them

A photo essay to the words of Pink Floyd's Us and Them. And here it is set to the music (for those not Pink Floyd fans who don't hear the song in their heads).

I don't believe for one minute in a petulant and vengeful Deity that murders people to score debating points. However, if I did actually put my faith in such childish superstitions, I think I would be be much less inclined to blame gays for every single bad thing that happens and pay very close attention to the fact that God is at His most wrathful when foolish men in great nations make monsters into kings.

Via BatB.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Pelosi Climbs Bush's Frame

I haven't seen any links to this, but I saw it with my own eyes on CNN. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was discussing her chat with the Chimp about the delay in relief response in New Orleans. Disclaimer: this may be very slightly paraphrased, but correct in essence.

"I asked him what he was going to do about all the things that went wrong.

"His response was 'What went wrong?'

"He's oblivious. In denial. Dangerous."

Mrs. Pelosi, next time you're in Truckee I'd like you to be my guest at Casa Baeza. We'll shoot the works! The large appetizer plate!

Update, 4:37 PM OWT:

Link at Americablog

Freedom of the Press? Puh!

Go read Mr. H.


I'm flabbergasted:

[. . .]

Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.
Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.

[. . .]

You have highly trained firefighters doing this? It would be the same if Harry paid me to mount and balance tires all day, a waste of resources. Why aren't people screaming for impeachment?

Thanks: Billmon via Riggsveda


More stupid shit:

PENSACOLA, Fla., Sept. 6 - Two Navy helicopter pilots and their crews returned from New Orleans on Aug. 30 expecting to be greeted as lifesavers after ferrying more than 100 hurricane victims to safety.

Instead, their superiors chided the pilots, Lt. David Shand and Lt. Matt Udkow, at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their assignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military installations along the Gulf Coast.

[. . . ]

Flying over Biloxi and Gulfport and other areas of Mississippi, they could see rescue personnel on the ground, Lieutenant Udkow said, but he noticed that there were few rescue units around the flooded city of New Orleans, on the ground or in the air. "It was shocking," he said.

[. . .]

Lieutenant Udkow said that he saw few other rescue helicopters in New Orleans that day. The toughest part, he said, was seeing so many people imploring him to pick them up and having to leave some.

"I would be looking at a family of two on one roof and maybe a family of six on another roof, and I would have to make a decision who to rescue," he said. "It wasn't easy."

[. . .]

The order to halt civilian relief efforts angered some helicopter crews. Lieutenant Udkow, who associates say was especially vocal about voicing his disagreement to superiors, was taken out of the squadron's flying rotation temporarily and assigned to oversee a temporary kennel established at Pensacola to hold pets of service members evacuated from the hurricane-damaged areas, two members of the unit said. Lieutenant Udkow denied that he had complained and said he did not view the kennel assignment as punishment.

[. . .]

In protest, some members of the unit have stopped wearing a search and rescue patch on their sleeves that reads, "So Others May Live."

Link via my man Dave

"Dive the French Quarter"

Read about Will Durst's Escape from New Orleans.

May God watch over you New Orleans. And please survive, so we can come back and help drink your economy back to health.


More is Better, Right?

Bill McKibben on global warming at TomDispatch. Not long as Tom's Dispatches go.

Which leads us to the second problem: For the ten thousand years of human civilization, we've relied on the planet's basic physical stability. Sure, there have been hurricanes and droughts and volcanoes and tsunamis, but averaged out across the Earth, it's been a remarkably stable run. If your grandparents inhabited a particular island, chances were that you could too. If you could grow corn in your field, you could pretty much count on your grandkids being able to do likewise. Those are now sucker's bets -- that's what those predictions about environmental refugees really mean.

Here's another way of saying it: In the last century, we've seen change in human societies speed up to an almost unimaginable level, one that has stressed every part of our civilization. In this century, we're going to see the natural world change at the same kind of rate. That's what happens when you increase the amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere. That extra energy expresses itself in every way you can imagine: more wind, more evaporation, more rain, more melt, more... more... more.
Our rulers have insisted by both word and deed that the laws of physics and chemistry do not apply to us. That delusion will now start to vanish. Katrina marks Year One of our new calendar, the start of an age in which the physical world has flipped from sure and secure to volatile and unhinged. New Orleans doesn't look like the America we've lived in. But it very much resembles the planet we will inhabit the rest of our lives.

I've never previously thought that being my age was an advantage in that I won't live to see the worst of it. There's a fresh buncha babies named "Katrina" that will, though. To them I say: I'll duct tape a paddle to my coffin when I go. If you see it floating by, feel free to use it as a raft.

Less Gas = More Money

From The Foundation For Taxpayer And Consumer Rights:

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today exposed internal oil company memos that show how the industry intentionally reduced domestic refining capacity to drive up profits. The exposure comes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as the oil industry blames environmental regulation for limiting number of U.S. refineries.

The three internal memos from Mobil, Chevron, and Texaco (Click here to read the memos.) show different ways the oil giants closed down refining capacity and drove independent refiners out of business. The confidential memos demonstrate a nationwide effort by American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying and research arm of the oil industry, to encourage the major refiners to close their refineries in the mid-1990s in order to raise the price at the pump.

Looks like it worked, huh? And they're getting billions in subsidies of our tax money on top of record profits.

I gotta change my strategy: Now we have to keep Bush alive. The sonofabitch owes me money.

Gee, that explains it...

Sometimes I think people become Republican politicians because they're too retarded to get a job. From CTV:

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said the administration is "getting a bad rap" for the emergency response.

"This is the largest disaster in the history of the United States, over an area twice the size of Europe (my bold)," Stevens said. "People have to understand this is a big, big problem."

Protecting his "bridge to nowhere", no doubt. Idiots like this are our real big, big problem.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Oh, isn't this rich:

Interviews with evacuees in Houston, which is expecting many thousands of evacuees to remain, suggest that thousands of blacks who lost everything and had no insurance will end up living in Texas or other U.S. states.

From MSNBC. Italics are mine.

Thousands of poor, uninsured African-Americans living just down the road from the House of Bush. That's got to be a nightmare for Barbara "underprivileged" Bush. I guess the chickens are coming home to roost.

Seven hundred plus New Orleans residents are expected here in San Diego. I'm glad. This place needs some Southern flavor. Maybe I'll hook up with one or more of them, and they can teach me how to make decent Southern-style biscuits.

A question

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.


[. . .]

The president said after meeting with his Cabinet today that he intends "to lead an investigation to find out what went right and what went wrong" in the government's reaction. [my em]

[. . .]

You're fucking kidding me, right?

Thanks: Pam

*Do It Yourself

Just great

A follow on to my post yesterday:

LONDON - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday that Iraq has become an even greater "center for terrorist activities" than Afghanistan under the Taliban.

Annan, speaking to British Broadcasting Corp., said many young Muslims are angry, and their anger has been exacerbated by what is happening in Iraq.

[. . .]

We're fighting them there . . . to make more of them there . . . so they'll come here and kill us. As we saw with Katrina, our homeland certainly isn't secure. Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

Hat tip: Ms. Julien

RS3M Spins Up...

Pretty much negating my last post, the Repubs done floored it and popped the clutch. From the Pensito Review, via Mike the Hawk.

Predictably, the Bush message-meisters are launching a trademark hardball, all-politics-all-the-time campaign to rewrite the events of last week to so that the administration's worst week becomes someone else's fault, and someone else's problem.
Of course, if the media refuses to be supine to Rove's campaign, he can use the trustiest arrow in his quiver of dirty tricks - the old bromide of liberal media bias. Ascribing criticism in the media has worked reliably for the GOP for two decades because the myth has become gospel to millions of Americans.

But the media have a weapon on their side that they have been reluctant to use against the GOP barrage - and maybe they'll be motivated this time to bring this powerful force to bear. The weapon is the facts in the case. FEMA screwed up. The aid was demonstrably not forthcoming when it was needed. The buck stops at the top. Period.

Oh, sure. Bush's slimiest machine, besides Rove himself of course, is his buck-deflector, which inexorably pushes the buck-stop outwards and downwards. I think Bush gets away with a lot because people don't believe a president could be such a chronic whiner. Now hear this: he is.

Waiting for the word from on high...

The American Reporter

A deafening silence haunts the American conservative echo chamber.

It has now been four days since the levees in New Orleans broke, and yet, not a word of comment on the disaster from either George Will or Robert Novak, the doyens of conservative opinion making here in the United States. Will's two op-eds since the day after Katrina have been, "The role of judges cuts both ways" and "Questions for Sen. Schumer" (Sep. 4), while Robert Novak wrote an obituary column about his friend Jude Wanniski ("Father of supply-side," Sept.1) and a column on the estate tax ("Estate tax politics," Sept. 3).

Something is terribly amiss.
Karl Rove had better hurry up and get those talking points out. Silence and desperate, feeble random spinning, he knows better than anyone else, have never worked as a PR strategy.

The RS3M* must be slipping. Don't worry. They'll catch up.


Republican Spin, Slime, and Smear Machine (y!abctp!)

Judge Not

Alan Dershowitz

My mother always told me that when a person dies, one should not say anything bad about him. My mother was wrong. History requires truth, not puffery or silence, especially about powerful governmental figures. And obituaries are a first draft of history. So here's the truth about Chief Justice Rehnquist you won't hear on Fox News or from politicians. Chief Justice William Rehnquist set back liberty, equality, and human rights perhaps more than any American judge of this generation. His rise to power speaks volumes about the current state of American values.
Within moments of Rehnquist's death, Fox News called and asked for my comments, presumably aware that I was a longtime critic of the late Chief Justice. After making several of these points to Alan Colmes (who was supposed to be interviewing me), Sean Hannity intruded, and when he didn't like my answers, he cut me off and terminated the interview. Only after I was off the air and could not respond did the attack against me begin, which is typical of Hannity's bullying ambush style. He is afraid to attack when there's someone there to respond. Since the interview, I've received dozens of e-mail hate messages, some of which are overtly anti-Semitic. One writer called me "a jew prick that takes it in the a** from ruth ginzburg [sic]." Another said I am "an ignorant socialist left-wing political hack... You're like a little Heinrich Himmler! (even the resemblance is uncanny!)." Yet another informed me that I "personally make us all lament the defeat of the Nazis!" A more restrained viewer found me to be "a disgrace to the Law, to Harvard, and to humanity."

All this, for refusing to put a deceptive gloss on a man who made his career undermining the rights and liberties of American citizens.

He has a few words about Stanford Law in the old days, too. Go read.

They shoot horse thieves, don't they?

From AntiWar:

Ben Morris, Slidell mayor: We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@."

Fuckin' A, Mr. Mayor.

The War on Weather

Go see Tom Tomorrow.


I was watching some Gulf Coast coverage last night and the commentator was out in some little town with a name like Ododiodeaux interviewing the Mayor about FEMA's lack of response. She said, "Around here, FEMA stands for 'Forget Everything but Metropolitan Areas'."

I guess she hasn't been watching TV.

Forward Progress

America, at its core, is a progressive nation. It is a nation focused on moving forward. Founded on the idea of escaping religious persecution, America has always been an ideal of progress and the relentless pursuit of that goal. We don't always get it right. Throughout our history the forces of evil - greed, prejudice, hate - have occasionally taken the reigns of power and exerted their darkness over our people. But because America is about progress, about reaching for the stars and trying again when you don't quite get there, these enemies of progress inevitably fail. They may appear to have the support of our people, but inevitably the good triumphs.

It is time for a new Progressive Era in America. Progressives understand what conservatives do not, that looking backwards, looking to some mythical image of 1950s era domesticity as the paragon of freedom is a fool's game. As such, progressives must now more than ever embrace the values of progressive culture wholeheartedly without delay. [my em]

[. . .]

Go read the rest at Oliver Willis or I'll subject you to another excerpt from one of my books that illustrates this point.

Calling 'bullshit'


[. . .]

But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans - even though the government had heard all the "chatter" from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn't quite discern . . . a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection - or at least amelioration - against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

[. . .]

Hat tip: Atrios

Monday, September 5, 2005


To Gord's post below. Wanker Scott catalogs FEMA's 'turnbacks' replete with lotsa links.

Yeah, we're winning

Puh. Via Rising Hegemon:

BAGHDAD, Sept. 5 -- Abu Musab Zarqawi's foreign-led Al Qaeda in Iraq took open control of a key western town at the Syrian border, deploying its guerrilla fighters in the streets and flying Zarqawi's black banner from rooftops, tribal leaders and other residents in the city and surrounding villages said.

A sign newly posted at the entrance of Qaim declared, "Welcome to the Islamic Kingdom of Qaim." A statement posted in mosques described Qaim as an "Islamic kingdom liberated from the occupation."

[. . .]

Is this a fucking joke or what? Hello, McFly! Time to either institute the Draft or cut and run. Pick one, Chimpy. We're losing, you fucking twit.

You want a plan?

The Dems have a plan.

Katrina Relief Plan for Senate Action This Week

Although the Congress last week appropriated $10.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Defense Department, it is clear much more will be needed given the enormity of this disaster. While government authorities and others assess the scope of the problem and decide how much additional funding will be needed to address specific problems, there are a number of legislative items the Senate can and should promptly approve that can help Katrina’s victims. After the Senate has completed action on this emergency legislation, we hope the Senate will quickly provide significant new funding, and consider other substantive proposals that could help address short- and medium-term needs. These proposals must be followed by a much broader, long-term effort to rebuild and rehabilitate the Gulf Coast region and substantially improve efforts to prevent, mitigate and respond to future disasters.

The following are just some examples of proposals that Senate Democrats believe deserve immediate Senate action this week:

Get the rest below the fold . . .

Incompetence? Or Worse?

Here is the transcript of the conversation between Tim Russert and Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish LA. It raises serious questions.

MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.

Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back.

They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel."

Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.

Examples of incompetence, indifference, and arrogance on FEMA's part abound, and I fear we've only seen the tip of the iceberg.

The turning away of the Wal-Mart trucks (Irony alert: Wal-Mart outperformed the Federal government! How bad is that?) and the refusal to allow the transfer of badly needed fuel are bad enough.

The cutting of the comm line disturbs me. We had a saying in my Comm Platoon in the Marine Corps that "Communications lends dignity to what would otherwise be considered a brawl". It was a semi-humorous understatement.

Communication is EVERYTHING in any kind of serious situation. It's a lifeline. Think about it. You can't communicate by voice more than about a hundred feet. Beyond that, you need telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphores, runners, carrier pigeons, smoke signals, any means of extending the range of the human voice.

Without reliable communications, people die.

Why did FEMA cut their comm line? I think this is important and needs to be looked into.


From one of the links in Fixer's post above:

Nearly every emergency worker told agonizing stories of communications failures, some of them most likely fatal to victims. Police officers called Senator Landrieu's Washington office because they could not reach commanders on the ground in New Orleans, Mr. Sharp said.

Killed by Contempt

Paul Krugman

But the federal government's lethal ineptitude wasn't just a consequence of Mr. Bush's personal inadequacy; it was a consequence of ideological hostility to the very idea of using government to serve the public good. For 25 years the right has been denigrating the public sector, telling us that government is always the problem, not the solution. Why should we be surprised that when we needed a government solution, it wasn't forthcoming?
That contempt, as I've said, reflects a general hostility to the role of government as a force for good. And Americans living along the Gulf Coast have now reaped the consequences of that hostility.

The administration has always tried to treat 9/11 purely as a lesson about good versus evil. But disasters must be coped with, even if they aren't caused by evildoers. Now we have another deadly lesson in why we need an effective government, and why dedicated public servants deserve our respect. Will we listen?

This administration is exactly the antithesis of a "force for good". Katrina has pointed that out in no uncertain terms.

Even Fidel

The Cubans do a better job of protecting their people than we do:

Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died.

What is Cuban President Fidel Castro's secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America, "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go."

"Cuba's leaders go on TV and take charge," said Valdes. Contrast this with George W. Bush's reaction to Hurricane Katrina. The day after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Bush was playing golf. He waited three days to make a TV appearance and five days before visiting the disaster site. In a scathing editorial on Thursday, the New York Times said, "nothing about the president's demeanor yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis."

[. . .]

Regardless of what you think about his politics, you gotta hand it to Fidel. You gotta respect a guy who, for so long, has given the finger to so many American Presidents and lived to tell about it.

Hat tip: Big Brass Blog

Spin begins

Go see Shakes:

. . . I actually can't decide what the most disgusting angle of this story is. . .

Good God

Disturbing stuff from Echidne:

. . . "There's simply not enough resources," Jones said. . .

Insulting Potemkin

Billmon admits he does it:

[. . .]

Of course, calling Bush the Potemkin president is actually a gross insult to the genuine article -- Prince Grigory Potemkin, the man who allegedly had fake villages constructed on the shores of the Dnieper River in order to impress the Czarina Catherine during an official inspection tour.

[. . .]

But history also tells us the real Prince Potemkin was a hard-working, conscientious public servant who carried out his duties with considerable skill. At this point, it's looking less and less likely that history will ever say the same about Shrub.

[. . .]

He goes on to draw parallels between Bush and the last days of the Nazi regime:

[. . .]

For many Germans -- fanatical Nazis as well as the naive and the weak-minded -- believing Hitler's absurd promises of ultimate victory was the only alterrnative to accepting a world in which evil (Bolshevism, world Jewry) had triumphed and good (National Socialism, the Aryan superman) had failed. Such a world was either unimaginable, or unendurable.

Likewise, for the conservative ultras to accept Bush's failures now would be to admit the patriotic demi-God constructed after 9/11 by the White House propaganda machine (and, ironically, by the mainstream media ) doesn't exist. All that would be left would be the real Bush: the incompetent, arrogant rich kid who's failed at every significant job he's ever held -- from CEO of Arbusto Energy to commander in chief of the planet's most powerful military machine. For many Bushistas, this is equally unbearable.

[. . .]

An excellent post, though I don't completely agree with his final conclusions (I still have faith in my fellow Americans they will correct their political mistakes), I do believe we have some serious work to do on our system of government. Don't groan, but yes, it's time for another excerpt:

More below the fold . . .

Sunday, September 4, 2005


So far:

Premeditated Murder of US troops in Iraq: 1900 (to be amended as the bodies pile up) counts.
Negligent homicide for the deaths of American citizens in New Orleans: Thousands.

Do you think Bush should be impeached? Do you think Bush should not be allowed to finish his term? Do you think being allowed to resign is inadequate punishment? Do you believe he should be tried for every count above in a court of law along with the charges of fraud perpetrated against the American people? Do you think the death penalty is a legitimate punishment? Do you think every member of his cabinet and the leadership of the Republican Party should also face the same charges?

I do, on all counts.


The Mrs. and I are sitting here, waiting for the NASCAR race to kick off, and we are (of course) talking about the New Orleans horror. Mrs. F came up with the perfect thing for Bush to have done, had he any sechel.

Bush has 1600 acres in Crawford, right? What say, instead of running around, letting McCain blow him, playing guitar, whatever, what if he told the head of FEMA this:

"Hey, Mikey, I got 1600 acres here in Crawford. Tell the Army to set up tents on 1500 of 'em. However many refugees can fit, bring 'em here. They can stay at my place until we get them settled. Get it done now."

How much you wanna bet his approval rating would hit 90% two seconds after he made the announcement? How much 'political capital' would the stupid, smirking chimp get from that? Instead, he fiddled while NOLA died. Thank you, God, he doesn't have anybody as smart as my wife advising him.

And just a reminder

From your friendly neighborhood mechanic. Your oil change is gonna cost more soon too.

And another point of info: The gas station only makes 7 to 10 cents markup (not profit) on a gallon of gas. Don't get pissed at the owner when the prices go up. The only time they gouged was on the first day, when they knew the prices were going up on the gas coming in and they raised the price on the stuff in the tanks.

God help us

Stolen from the esteemed RJ Eskow blogging at Skippy's.

It's Official...

New Orleans is now officially a third world combat zone. Upon what do I base that, you may ask. I have incontrovertible proof:

Christiane Amanpour is broadcasting live from there.


Cursor usually takes Sunday off. Not today. It's all NOLA and Gulf Coast. Pick 'n click.

Bald-Faced Lies

Open letter to Bush from the Times-Picayune:

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.

I think "unbelieveable" is an apt word for just about everything anyone in this incompetent, corrupt administration ever says.

The letter also pooh-poohs the claim that New Orleans was "unreachable" by relief parties. Go read.

Think you're pissed off now?

Go read TalkLeft.

On this day...

On Sept. 4, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.

Falluja floods the Superdome

Frank Rich on how Bush's War increases peril at home, and especially in NOLA.

AS the levees cracked open and ushered hell into New Orleans on Tuesday, President Bush once again chose to fly away from Washington, not toward it, while disaster struck. We can all enumerate the many differences between a natural catastrophe and a terrorist attack. But character doesn't change: it is immutable, and it is destiny.

As always, the president's first priority, the one that sped him from Crawford toward California, was saving himself: he had to combat the flood of record-low poll numbers that was as uncontrollable as the surging of Lake Pontchartrain. It was time, therefore, for another disingenuous pep talk, in which he would exploit the cataclysm that defined his first term, 9/11, even at the price of failing to recognize the emerging fiasco likely to engulf Term 2.
But on a second go-round, even the right isn't so easily fooled by this drill (with the reliable exception of Peggy Noonan, who found much reassurance in Mr. Bush's initial autopilot statement about the hurricane, with its laundry list of tarps and blankets). This time the fecklessness and deceit were all too familiar. They couldn't be obliterated by a bullhorn or by the inspiring initial post-9/11 national unity that bolstered the president until he betrayed it. This time the heartlessness beneath the surface of his actions was more pronounced.

Go read. The last sentence sent a chill up my spine:

The world is more perilous than ever, and for now, to paraphrase Mr. Rumsfeld, we have no choice but to fight the war with the president we have.

Indifference is a Weapon

Dennis Kucinich goes off on the administration pretty good at The Nation.

"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?

For a newlywed, I'm surprised at his energy! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!)


If one more Republican 'warns' the Dems not to use this for political gain because 'it could backfire on them', they're gonna have to cut his head off to push my foot out his ass.

*Shut the fuck up.

What a dickhead 2

Orrin Hatch proves it once again. He was on Little George this morning and TT caught it.

"The state government wasn't very well prepared, and the city wasn't well prepared. They're ten feet below sea level. They should have known that these things could happen."

His ass is so stretched from letting Chimpy fuck it, they're gonna have to sleeve him like the cylinders of a worn out engine block.

By the way, George Will and Cokie Roberts are sucking Chimpy's cock too. Fuck these idiots.

George is over and that big ass loudmouth is on, and I'm noticing something. The self-hating colon cowboy and Bobo Brooks are starting to turn on Bush, though they are prattling on inanely. Sully is screeching for 'more troops' and an 'expanded military' (Bobo's just doing his bobblehead impersonation) to deal with these disasters. Hello, Andy, the Chimp's fucked the military over with the Iraq war. The war you screamed so loudly in favor of. You know how you expand the military (most importantly the National Guard) now? It's called a fucking DRAFT.

On Press the Meat Timmy's reaming Chertoff .060 oversize. Timmy's actually shouting at him. Yeah! Nice to see you grow some balls, fat boy.

And one more thing. I don't ask God for much, nothing in fact, but just once I'd like the Big Guy to arrange for me to meet up with Tony Blankley in a dark alley.

Couldn't have said it better

A note to our conservative friends:


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.

I apologize to Steve Gillard for stealing this entire rant, but this has to be seen EVERYWHERE. This is the END, ladies and germs. This asshole has to GO.

No more

Exactly. From AMERICAblog:

Democrat or Republican, Congress should reject ANY nominee that the President sends them. Why? George Bush has proven time and again an inability to select the right people for the right job.

As we've seen domestically with deadly, horrifying results, in the President's choices for key security jobs post 9/11, political patronage was more important than competence with Bush. From Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff, FEMA Director Brown, and especially Patrick Rhode, the Deputy Director of FEMA, the President is incapable of selecting competent personnel for key posts. He chooses political cronies and yes-men over competence EVERY SINGLE TIME. Overseas we've seen incompetence compounded by ignorance, with the President choosing to listen to yes-Generals over more sober military leaders.

[. . .]

Bipartisanship? Puh! The Repubs should get nothing from here on out until this President is history. Do I care the Supremes are two down now? No. Do I care if there is stalemate in Congress? No. A gridlocked government at this point is far better than anything that's come out of there in 'bipartisan' fashion over the past four years. Any Dem who cooperates with Repubs on anything from now on can consider my vote lost.


MSNBC Breaking News

William Rehnquist, the chief justice of the United States, is dead. -
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening at his home in suburban Virginia, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.

We are so screwed.