Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Piling On

the scribe didn’t want to get involved with all the politics surrounding the Katrina disaster. The whole darn thing has been so discouraging as people from the highest and lowest walks of life turn the world around them into a free-for-all of violence, looting, and egotism, both metaphorical and literal.

Piling on seemed undignified.

But from Dan Froomkin at “The Washington Post,” we have this article detailing the White House’s counteroffensive in the wake of (w)’s lousy handling of the affair, which led to the unnecessary loss of life by those under his providence:

What really galls the scribe is that we can have an article that details Karl Rove’s plan for muddying up the waters, attacking the administration’s critics, and avoiding even the slightest admission of a mistake.

The report can be understood thusly: The White House plays dirty, they’re going to do it again, and here’s how they will do it.

Worse still, media outlets give voice to those this administration dispatches to do its dirty work of blaming others, spinning a disaster into an non-disaster, and putting the image of the (p)resident above those upon whose behalf he purportedly acts.

The White House issues a plan for the manipulation of public opinion and the press both reports the manipulation, as a matter of course, and aids in the effort.

Not that we’re blaming Froomkin, whom we are glad to have around.

The best piece to date on what has happened is this one found here:,1,6942190.column?track=mostemailedlink

Published in “The L.A. Times,” and written by Michael Hiltzik, the piece is the only one that possesses journalistic memory and places the administration’s response within the context of the entire reign of error over which it has presided; a piece that connects the dots.

Hiltzik gets write down to business in his lede paragraph:

“Nearly five years ago, the Bush administration rode into office bearing its cynicism about government high, like a banner.

“It promoted a massive tax cut as a way of ‘starving the beast’ of federal government. [p]resident Bush traveled the country telling us that we were overdependent on the government for help with healthcare and retirement. To those wondering what resources might see them into old age, he advised, ‘a conservative mix of stocks and bonds’.”

Which is funny only if you’re a conservative with a nice mix of stocks and bonds, and not funny at all if you’re sitting on the roof of what used to be your home waving a sign at helicopters.

Hiltzik points out that in 2001 the administration’s lead guy on such things considered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “an oversized entitlement program” and that, now, the (p)resident whines about the private sector needing “to do its part.”

That means all those companies that enjoy tax breaks in the production of widgets (and oil) and the pursuit of profit should also store up on Meals Ready to Eat and Apache helicopters for rescue efforts, just in case their region is wiped off the map.


The author spends a little time on the arrogance and ignorance of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Cherthoff ( a real charmer if ever there was one) who dismissed tales of citizen suffering as “rumors and anecdotes” when the truth is most Americans haven’t heard or seen the worst of went down in the collective hell hole New Orleans has become.

Froomkin’s “White House Briefing” piece explains that the administration was slow to react, because some key players, not unlike their boss (but unlike the rest of us), were on vacation and in no position to respond quickly.

the scribe would like to posit that they might have been picnicking in the Oval Room and still not have moved a finger, because as those of us on the left know, “compassionate conservatism” is naught but slick marketing ploy.

Bush reacted slowly because, like rapper Kanye West was censored for suggesting, he doesn’t care about black people (or poor people, or environmentalists, or unionists for that matter).

And here’s a little something on the rapper's censored remarks:

The slow response was just Bush being Bush (league). If an Associated Press accounting of his mother’s visit to the refugee-stuffed Astrodome has any veracity at all, the disdain for those in need is a family trait, like bombing things.

This is what she had to say, “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working out well for them.”

She has got to be kidding. But no, she’s not.

But back to Hiltzik before the scribe closes and goes to the bathroom to puke:

“President Bush will surely feel the consequences of his dereliction. Every policy of his administration will be viewed through the prism of the debacle of New Orleans [one can hope]. The pursuit of a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein, supported by manipulated intelligence, has sucked billion out of the treasury and removed more than 30 percent of Louisiana and Mississippi’s National Guard members from their homes, so they must watch the disaster unfold from half a world away instead of assisting their own communities. Tax cuts for the wealthy have been financed by budget cuts for disaster preparedness and other crucial programs. Four years of anti-terrorism planning have failed to produce a competent system for mitigating a metropolitan cataclysm – one that, on the ground, is indistinguishable from the efforts of the terrorist attack we’ve supposedly been girding for since 9/11.”

the scribe thanks Hiltzik for his excellent scribery and the “L.A. Times” for having the courage to run it. Thanks to them we know...

...we are on our own.

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