Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Armagedon is upon us. Really, I'm convinced. The Red Sox won the World Series. Martha Stewart went to prison and Michael Jackson didn't. Katrina swallowed New Orleans. And Bush uttered the words "I take responsibility".

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said during a joint news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

This is a big deal. People around the world in such places as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy, India, are following with interest. Hell, even MTV is covering it. Why is this such a big deal? It's long overdue. And, frankly, too damn little too damn late.

In midst of Katrina's wrath, people were ignored, stranded, drowning and starving, and he turned a blind eye to the gravity of the situation and didn't take responsibility. People died en mass and Bush still didn't take responsibility.

It's an all too common theme for Bush. He rushed us off to war in Iraq because of there were WMDs and Saddam had a global itchy trigger finger. Homes, schools, businesses, hospitals all obliterated. Innocent Iraqi's maimed and killed, along with our brave soldiers and those who joined the coalition. Yet there no WMDs, and Bush did not take responsibility for the families destroyed and lives lost. In Abu Grahib and Guantanamo Bay, innocent civilians were wrongly held prisoner and subjected to torture and some death. Still and again, Bush did not take responsibility.

Beware the presidential wolf in sheep's clothing, my friends.


Blogger Maine said...

First time in five years I can actually say I respect the President. Absolutely. I think anyone can make mistakes and nobody is perfect, but part of my problem with him was his refusal to admit to being human. I now feel much, much better about that.

If we can just get the guy start separating church and state, I'll be a happy camper.

Additionally, I'm gonna need to hear some of this Sound Destruction music. Get me an mp3 - stat.

10:59 AM  
Blogger araider said...

I don't understand why Bush is the only person to get blamed for the NO mess. Why aren't the local and state gov't blamed. Florida, NC, SC, get attacked by hurricanes all the time and they seem to recover quickly. Yes, Bush made some mistakes concerning the federal gov't, but the mayor and governor should be the major responsibility of their own city and state. New Orleans is probably the most corrupt city in the US. I've been there and it is a filthy shithole of a city. It stinks of urine and there's is trash everywhere and that's before the hurricane.With all the businesses and conventions being held there throughout the year New orleans didn't have funds for any prevention? That's just bullshit. I'm not really defending Bush on this matter, I'm just saying he shouldn't be THE MAJOR blame.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said...

I think it is a sad state of affairs when it is international news that our President admits a mistake. To top it off, he only did it after being hounded unmercifully for two weeks.

Maine, I'm glad you feel better about him, but I think plenty of people, including me, are a bit reluctant to believe in this sudden "turnaround".

Araider, I agree with you that there is plenty of blame for the local folks too (This week's Time magazine carries many of the details), but I'm not a taxpayer of those places and I expect that my Federal government should be able to do better than the sorry mess they produced on this one.

I think everyone involved should shoulder some of the blame, comensurate with the amount of screwups each produced. On that score, it seems to me that the Prez is at the front of the "blame" line.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

A lot of the blame is coming down on Bush because of several things.
First, FEMA was cut off at the knees under his watch and is the government organization that responds to these types of things.
Even though a disaster was declared, the responce time from them was negligent. And unlike the lies that the repugs and Fox were trying to spin about the governor not declaring a state of emergency, she did in fact and did so the day before, as did Bush.
I think a lot of people are angry at the spin from FEMA and from Bush and the RNC talking heads from the get go, too. Not just spin, but outright lies.
And unlike other disasters, here was the press, there johnny on the spot, and we watched people die while FEMA fumbled.
And make no mistake, FEMA is what we were waiting for. They are the agency tasked with getting there on time and with supplies when something like this happens.
They were also privy to a simulation through LSU and others that showed a "hurricane Pam" doing just this.
The federal money for levee upkeep and repairs had been slashed. By Bush.
All in the same year that they passed a pork-filled 200+ BILLION dollar highway bill.
Off the top of my head in just a couple minutes, these are reasons that I can think of that people would be pissed at the man in charge.
Or who is SUPPOSED to be in charge.

2:11 PM  
Blogger nedhead said...

Resonsibility? Hey, do our current crop of leaders, this does not mean accountability.

See, they got Maine. And they will get more. All he had to say was "I'm responsible" and everyone is appeased, saying, "What a big boy, mature enought to accept responsibility."

Empty rhetoric, as usual. Saying your responsible is the easy part. Do something about it.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Maine said...

You guys are right. I'm so desperate for anything from the guy that I'm willing to hold him saying "I did it" tantamount to him solving world hunger.

I did indeed drink the Kool Aid, my friends. And that shit was grape.

I'm like the lady whose boyfriend constantly cheats on her and abuses her so much that when he finally stays home and rents a movie with her for one night, she's convinced he's turned over a new leaf and starts waiting for a wedding proposal.

Still waiting for my Sound Destruction mp3's.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Sar said...

Maine - You should know that I'm probably one of the most optomistic and forgiving people you'll ever meet (I know, hard to believe with all the ranting I do, but it's true!). But you know, I can't even bring myself to give Bush an A for effort here because 1.) it's how long after the fact? and 2.) it's smacks of carefullly worded pr spin to me.
As for the mp3 - Strider, get going on that!

Araider - You're sounding dangerously like that pr spin methinks. There's so much hard evidence (easily attainable on the web) indicating help was sought at the local levels in advance of the storm and were ignored and left to continued demanding, begging and even crying for it (again, there is video evidence of this). Let's not confuse that with questionning local (and federal) leadership with why there are so many poor and impoverished families in the area. That's a whole separate issue, and you're right to make waves (no pun intended) about that! Oh, don't even get me started about the economical imbalance...

Poohbah - I agree across the board. Also, In my mind, it's shameful that Bush wasn't hounded equally unmercifully by the majority of the nation over the Iraq debacle when the reports debunking the existance of WMDs was released.
(btw, thanks for the nod on your blogroll!)

Mike - I can't help but wonder if Bush had fallen on his sword at least once in the past if people wouldn't be coming down so hard on him now. It's just further evidence of his ineptitude, because his team of spinners, I mean staffers, can't take nor be blamed for Bush's lack of common sense and decency.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Sar said...

Nedhead & Maine - you guys snuck by me while I was writing my longwinded comments! ;)

Nedhead - For a second I felt like Maine did, thinking well, better late than never, & it's never too late to do the right thing. But then I thought better of it.

Maine - That's alright, you're forgiven (see, I wasn't kidding - optomistic & forgiving!). But you're right, we're all desperately starved for proper and compassionate leadership. Just stay away from that the kool aid and rosy glasses, pal. Have a Yuengling and opt for Ray Ban's instead!

3:36 PM  
Blogger araider said...

instead of playing the blame game on all factions of the govt, they should help out all those unfortunate folks ASAP. Get their shit together so this won't happen again. And moreover gag Babs Bush for her ridiculous comments.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Sar said...

Araider - "they"...they who? "They", as in the laypeople, like myself? Are you kidding me?! Do you really think people are just sitting on their asses pointing fingers and not making an effort to help? "They" as in the world? Offers to help have been pouring in, much of which was denied by Michael Chertoff (which is also applicable to local and national level government officials). They as in the federal government? You're right. They need to appropriate generously sufficient funds for clean up and restoration. But none of that addresses the economical imbalance between the weathiest elitists whose pockets have been lined and stuffed hand over fist by this administration, while the poor went ignored. But not in absence of placing blame. Blame and demand for accountability are sadly part of the means to that end because of the stubborn, tunnel vision of this administration.

However, I agree completely with you about Babs. Our friend Tom Harper said it best, "Bush really is a son-of-a-bitch".

5:09 PM  
Blogger araider said...

No ofcourse I didn't mean the regular folks, just all the gov't folks. All I'm saying is that fingers have been pointed already and the the gov't should just get together nonpartisan and work together like Americans should.
Those who made mistakes know they made those mistakes. It's a sad but true fact that people learn from their mistakes, hopefully.
As far as lining the pockets of the wealthy, it is a capitalist country the rich get richer and the poor have no breaks. Yes, this administration is corrupt but which one wasn't?

5:29 PM  
Blogger araider said...

funny picture by the way.
I meant to tell you earlier

5:31 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

araider, I have an answer for your blame game post.
but, you and others will have to read it here:

it's at the top.
my brilliance usually is.

5:40 PM  
Blogger tlm said...

sar- "Hard evidence available on the web." That's too funny! :) I thank God I'm fortunate enough to live in a state (FL) that is truly prepared for hurricanes. Example: We had a fake hurricane "hit" Florida back in May (Hurricane Zack). Not surprisingly, all of our local disaster-related agencies performed well. (It's also worth noting that FL doesn't have to depend on the Feds for anything when a major storm is approaching. The Feds are there to assist with cleanup and rebuilding-- after the storm. This is one thing we learned from Andrew, no thanks to Bush 41.)

I just love the hypocrisy on the left. 40+ years of autocratic rule by the almighty Democratic Congresses of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's when absolutely nothing was done to adequately shore up New Orleans. Was the prospect of N.O. being demolished by a Cat. 4 or 5 storm something that just evolved in the years of the Bush 43 administration? The leadership of your party is a fucking joke, and it's quite sad that most of you are buying in to their spin.

And also... Liberals should never criticize anyone else for filling bills up with pork. Dems invented and perfected the concept of pork. (It's just too bad the poor folks of Louisiana didn't have a guy like Sen. Byrd going to bat for them. They'd have the finest levee system in the country, I'd bet.)

As araider hinted, I, too, am tired of hearing about the saintly/underprivileged/ignored people of New Orleans. The city has always been a cesspool, both in terms of political corruption and its environment. Drop the charming Cajun elements from New Orleans, and all you have left is a stinking wasteland. And as we've seen by the large numbers of folks who ignored evacuation orders (or left nursing home residents to die), it also has an unusually large portion of really stupid people, too.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

And again with the attacking of the people in NO for not getting out.
Blame game? Blaming the victims?
Where exactly is one supposed to go when one does not have a car and is living paycheck to paycheck?
get on a bus and go stay at a hotel?
with what money?
go camping?
walk away from NO in 90= degree heat and go where??

funny that you mention those decades, tlm.
those are (up to the 80's) the decades that working people were making fair wages and there was a strong middle class.
there was head-way made during the 90's, but we are back on track for the repug plan of destroying the working class.
we are all now making less money than we were 2, 3 and even 4 years ago in real dollars.
all the while, CEO pay has gone from what used to be about 50 times that of a worker in 1980 to closer to 500 TIMES that of a worker.
Since 2003, non-supervisory jobs have seen a decline in income of 1.5 percent.
at the same time, the CEO's of the largest US companies have seen their pay go up over 50 percent.
there has been a systematic shift of money from the poor and the middle class UP.
thems are the facts.
clean air acts gutted.
education gutted.
drilling in Alaska for not enough oil to drive your car across country just so a couple companies can get rich.
War in Iraq over LIES.
And there is no other way to spin that. All the Fox News reports that continue to spew the Big Lie (9-11/Iraq) cannot dispute the facts that we were lied to for war in Iraq.
This is the most criminally corrupt administration EVER.
Nixon was a fucking genius and a saint compared to this bastard.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll agree with Maine. It actually made me feel better about the President. I even agree with araider and tlm that People died because of a hurricane, because the cities didn't do their jobs, because the Governor didn't do hers because no one of either party considered the levees important enough and because the federal response was incompetent.

On the other side, though, is the fact that an unqualified crony was put in as head of FEMA after 9/11 so five years of claiming to be concerned with protecting Americans is irrevocably b.s. Don't tell me you need the right to examine my library habits if you can't be bothered to read the first-responder-in-chief's f***ing resume.

6:10 PM  
Blogger tlm said...

You have only two groups of people to blame for not getting out... a) the people themselves, or, barring that, b) the authorities in the various cities/parishes that are entrusted with having an appropriate evacuation plan. Enlist garbage trucks/city buses/school buses/whatever... Just get them the fuck out.

As some weather geek said before the hurricane season, the technology of predicting hurricanes is far from perfect, but it's good enough that NOBODY in this country should be killed by hurricanes ever again. And as I've said before (here, I think..) those New Orleans people should thank God that they had the advance notice they did. Some folks (tsunami victims, for example) never knew what was coming.

Oh, I'm all for the "blame game", Mike. Someone needs to pay for what happened down there. And someone will, I know it.

6:19 PM  
Blogger araider said...

From what I hear from the news stations (not FOX) that there were public buses ready to take people to a diffrent destination when the mayor gave the go ahead. but the mayor never did and those busses weren't used as needed. Maybe after all of this blows through, I would like to think NO would be rebuilt into a clean city that people would want to visit. Before the hurricane NO smelled 3 times worse than the NY subways

6:56 PM  
Blogger purplesimon said...

I agree with Nedhead. Does saying, "I take responsibility" really do enough? It's accountability.

Looking in from the outside, I'm surprised no one's tried to bump him off. Okay, there's the humour value, but aside from that all Bush has done is make America the most hated country in the world (sorry, but he has), fucked over your economy and done his best to destroy everything freedom is supposed to stand for.

Trouble is, here in the UK we have someone similar. A person whom I like to refer to as King Tony, El Presidente. Seems apt to me.

This isn't an anti-American rant. Quite the opposite. After Clinton, Bush must have seemed like a good idea. I like you guys, the ones I have met and communicated with regularly. I'm sure you have your bad guys, too! Your President needs to be removed and the hole he's dug for your country filled over and left to history to re-tell its sorry tale.

I've donated to the New Orleans crisis, as I did the tsunami disaster. It's ordinary people that should feel proud. The rest can hang their heads in shame.

purplesimon out...

8:24 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

Araider - Thanks, glad you liked it. I try to keep you all entertained. :) And I agree, may we all learn from this experience and may the restoration be greater than that.

Mike - indeed, your brilliance usually is, as evidenced here! Thanks as always.

Doug - Sounds like you joined Maine; tell me, was yours grape too? Having to be told to say the right thing, and so long after the fact at that, does not win favor in my book. As for your second paragraph, I agree!

TLM - Here's the long and short of it. I can't speak to the training of the NO officials in handling natural disasters as compared with Florida directly, but it's clear mistakes were made across the board, and I'll give you that. But that does not absolve Bush from of the necessary cries of discontent and frustration for reasons previously stated. The hurricane caused severe damage, yes. But the tremendous disastrous events that followed subsequently should never, ever, have happened. Not in America. Not in 2005. And certainly not after 9/11 and the establishment of Homeland Security. Everyone knew the storm was coming. Hell, even I did, and I'm just a chick in Virginia, for fuck's sake! The federal level could and should have responded in anticipation with the vast resources that are available only to them. But they didn't. They are not absolved. (Well, you got your long, but so much short, huh?)

PurpleSimon - Welcome, and fan of Chris is a friend here! :) It's interesting, disheartening, and necessary to hear from the outside world looking in. Americans' greatest vice as generally perceived by the outside world used to be arrogance simply as it related to mindless materialism. Those were the days.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sar, I think in some ways I feel better about the President in that for 5 years he's seemed unteachable, incurious and unreachable by information. The fact that, after five years he's doing something he never did before won't make up for any lives lost due to his many failures or the fact that he's clearly been pursuing domestic power not his mission or mandate. It does offer hope that the next three years may be better than the last five which have clearly been almost criminally negligent. The whole I'm so resolute I wouldn't walk around a pile of dog crap thing was getting a lot old.

10:46 AM  
Blogger GABRIEL C. ZOLMAN said...

Oddly enough, Tony Blair looks remarkably like Caligula.


11:46 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

Doug - I appreciate what you're saying. And similar to you and Maine, I'm desperate for truly compassionate and decisive leadership. But also like the lady in Maine's abusive boyfriend analogy and the adage Bush couldn't get right (see below), my optomism is replaced by guarded anticipation of continued dissapointment.

Fool me once, shame on you
Fool me twice, shame on me

It's a shame that someone as shameful as Bush has shamed our nation. (hmm, methinks that was actually kind of a Gabriel-style sentence.)

2:50 PM  
Blogger tlm said...

sar- Actually, I think it goes "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." :)

5:27 PM  
Blogger Sar said...

TLM - Yes, the Bush version! Good gravy, the man's an imbecile. And think, this is the man we (some by choice others by default) trust to spearhead our domestic policies, our economy and global relations, to name but a few. (Sorry, TLM, wasn't meaning to belittle your views there. Just a depressed observation.)

5:50 PM  
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4:05 AM  

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