Tuesday Morning

Forgive my relative silence during the past weekend. Normally, I don't really blog on the weekends, but things were happening so quickly that I figured it was easier and faster to get information out in the comments on Shakespeare's Sister than it was to blog about them and hope traffic trickled into my blog.

I was also a little tied up with cleaning off my fan. It was simply smeared with something warm and brown.

And it looks like Dear Leader is having the same problem. And you know the White House has a lot of fans.

After angry complaints last week about delays in mobilizing federal help for hurricane victims, criticism of Bush's light-hearted recollection Friday of his youthful partying in New Orleans and failed efforts to blame local and state officials for problems, the president and his aides tried Monday to regain a sense of equilibrium.

Thirty-three hours after learning of Rehnquist's death, Bush announced the nomination of John Roberts to succeed him. Then he left for his second tour in four days to the disaster zone. During a visit to a shelter for storm evacuees in Baton Rouge, an unsmiling Bush said, "I fully understand there's a lot of work to be done."

Bush counselor Dan Bartlett said Monday that after the situation is under control, the president will order an inquiry into delays in federal aid. "We want to know what happened and how," Bartlett said.

I've got a clue for you, Bartlett. Talk to the guy you're counseling. For all the "understanding" he has for what "needs to be done," it's a shame his "understanding" took a long vacation when he was burgling the money that could have prevented this in the first place.

Bush's patience with federal hurricane relief efforts evaporated last week when he learned that thousands had been stuck for days in the New Orleans Convention Center without food or water. By Saturday morning, when he and other officials met in the White House situation room for an update, the president was still steaming. He had seen the disaster in person and watched horrific scenes on TV. There was talk around the table that if this disaster was a dress rehearsal for response to a terrorist attack or other national security crisis, the federal government failed the test.

Hands up from those of you that think Bush was actually "steaming" about his image and damage control, and not about victims of the hurricanes.

One, two, three... okay, all of you.

He has often been dismissive of criticism in the past, but Bush skipped his usual weekend biking outings (Gee...what a guy!- P)and went to a Red Cross operations center in Washington on Sunday. His trip Monday was meant to underscore his concern. He'll visit again. "There will be a sustained hands-on presence from the president on down, across the board of his administration for the foreseeable future," Bartlett said.

"Meant to underscore his concern." So, in other words, it was just another P.R. stunt.

If he's so goddamned concerned, why isn't he letting the Red Cross deliver food?

Anyway, Bush may want to keep the 409 and paper towels handy for those fans. Because, see, sooner or later, the water is going to drain. And what we're going to find is going to be horrific.

NEW ORLEANS - With a major levee break finally plugged, engineers struggled to pump out the flooded city Tuesday as authorities braced for the horrors the receding water would reveal. "It's going to be awful and it's going to wake the nation up again," the mayor warned.

It's about time. Wake up and see the damage this administration has caused. Wake up and see the negligence, the lack of compassion, the contempt for the poor in America that has lurked behind every policy this administration has put in place, and every safety net they have razed.

The cowed press is finally beginning to timidly ask questions about what exactly Bush has been doing for the past six years, besides fucking around clearing Brush and attending fundraisers, and why this rescue effort was such a clusterfuck. Others are not being so timid. Still others are saying things like:

"Bureaucracy has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area. And bureaucracy needs to stand trial before Congress today," Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, said on CBS' "The Early Show."

"So I'm asking Congress, please investigate this now. Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of idiots to purge.

Now is the time when we're going to have to be alert, and loud. The fake photo ops and fingerpointing by the Bush administration has already begun, and there's enough spin coming out of the White House and Fox News to send a Tilt-A-Whirl flying off its tracks into the Whack-A-Mole game. We need to keep others informed, call out the media when they're using propaganda as news, and grind the apologists into hamburger. Because ultimately, there is simply no excuse for what happened in New Orleans, and the horrible week afterwards. It was negligence, it was dirty politics, and it was simple indifference to the suffering of the poor and non-white. The people of New Orleans deserve more than food, shelter, medical care and compassion. Their country failed them; they deserve answers and justice.

There is a phrase that Keith Olbermann referred to in his editorial, and that I've seen on tons of t-shirts and bumper stickers since the great Florida Election Ripoff. "Not My President" it says, usually accompanied by a photo of Bush with his trademark smirk. I'm adopting this as my new slogan; I shall no longer refer to Bush as "President Bush." He has done nothing since he first began campaigning for the Presidency to make himself worthy of the title. This infantile, ignorant, cruel man with the attitude of Marie Antoinette, fiddling while Rome burns is not my President.

It's just a nightmarish shame that he has all the power of one.

(Cross-Posts in the night... exchanging glances...)

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