“Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?”
— House Majority Leader Tom Delay, speaking to young evacuees living in a sports arena in Houston
— House Majority Leader Tom Delay, speaking to young evacuees living in a sports arena in Houston
Dr. Ben Marble was the brave patriot in Gulfport, Mississippi, who spoke for untolled millions of Americans when he shouted at the U.S. Vice President, “Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney.” Here’s what happened after he expressed his First Amendment rights in the presence of Dear Leader’s puppet master:
Two military police waving M-16’s showed up and said they were looking for someone who fit Marble’s description who had cursed at Cheney.
“I told them I was probably the person they were looking for, and so they put me in handcuffs and ‘detained’ me for about 20 minutes or so,” Marble wrote. “My right thumb went numb because the cuffs were on so tight, but they were fairly courteous and eventually released me after getting all my contact info. They said I had NOT broken any laws so I was free to go.”
So let’s get this straight: A physician with a newborn baby loses most everything he owns in the hurricane, does what most of us WANT to do and “echoes” Cheney’s words he spoke on the Senate floor last year, walks away harmlessly, mission accomplished, and then once the media cameras leave, he is treated like a foreign terrorist as Cheney’s goons waving M-16s handcuff him in front of his destroyed home? Had it not been for the media cameras filming the initial scene, I doubt Cheney’s goons would have just let Marble go after 20 minutes.
America, land of the free?
Some people disagree with Colin Powell that the failure of the federal emergency response in New Orleans “wasn’t a racial thing.” If it were really about poverty, as Bush defenders claim, then his administration wouldn’t spend so much time cleaning up his record on blacks, says the Palm Beach Post.
Poverty doesn’t polarize in the same vocal, fearful manner that race does…
If you were offended by Kanye West’s comments, you should be more offended by President Bush’s record.The unending cluelessness in this administration is getting old.
President Bush so wanted minority voters to believe that his administration “is working very well for them” that a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality was changed last year to downplay that ethnic and racial “disparities are pervasive in our health-care system.”
Because a racial profiling report by the Justice Department demonstrated that, in traffic stops, things too often are not “working very well for them,” the report was ordered to be whitewashed. A supervisor who objected recently was fired.
President Bush’s meddling with the Head Start preschool program threatens to leave thousands of poor, black children struggling to catch up. No Child Left Behind, his underfinanced genius of a PR scheme, annually leaves thousands of black children behind academically.
He so values the equity the Voting Rights Act of 1965 offered African-Americans and others that he’s made no commitment to extend and strengthen the provisions that expire in 2007. Even though unemployment rates for African-Americans are consistently almost double the rates for white Americans, and black households had the lowest median income in 2004 ($30,134) among all race groups, and 72 percent of white Americans own homes vs. only 48 percent of African-Americans, President Bush believes that the work force and the educational system are working so well that they don’t need affirmative action.
Bush is not only predisposed to racism but his policies reflect the qualities we have seen over and over this summer, from the famous, “I have to get on with my life” line regarding Cindy Sheehan to the classic, “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job” in New Orleans.
This guy doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get anything outside of his privileged circumstances and narrow life perspective (uncluttered as it is with insights from newspapers or books). He chooses faith over facts, unshakably certain that his view is the only view. Who knew levees could break? Who knew wetlands matter? Who thought terrorists could fly planes as weapons? Who thought anyone would object to leaving thousands of poor blacks treading water with nothing for three or four days? The unending cluelessness in this administration is getting old.
Reading the preview ABC offers of Colin Powell’s interview with Barbara Walters tonight almost makes me forgive him for his sins in the second Bush administration.
“When you look at those who weren’t able to get out, it should have been a blinding flash of the obvious to everybody that when you order a mandatory evacuation, you can’t expect everybody to evacuate on their own. These are people who don’t have credit cards; only one in 10 families at that economic level in New Orleans have a car. So it wasn’t a racial thing — but poverty disproportionately affects African-Americans in this country. And it happened because they were poor,” he said.
I said it almost makes me forgive him because he’s still toeing the Bush line on Iraq so closely.
Powell told Walters he is unfazed by criticism that he put loyalty to the president over leadership. “Loyalty is a trait that I value, and yes, I am loyal. And there are some who say, ‘Well, you shouldn’t have supported it. You should have resigned.’ But I’m glad that Saddam Hussein is gone. I’m glad that that regime is gone,” he said.
When Walters pressed Powell about that support, given the “mess” that the invasion has yielded, Powell said, “Who knew what the whole mess was going to be like?”
Here we go again. Who knew? Who could have imagined? Who? The same folks who require blinding flashes of the obvious to figure things out, I guess.
They say Powell still thinks of running for president himself. I’d like to feel better about that, but reading the transcript and all the justifications he provides for what he did leaves me cold. Tune in tonight and see what you think.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown is being removed from his role managing Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, The Associated Press has learned.
Brown is being sent back to Washington from Baton Rouge, where he was the primary official overseeing the federal government’s response to the disaster, according to two federal officials who declined to be identified before the announcement.
Brown will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts.
In its Inside Washington poll, the National Journal surveyed congressional leaders and Capitol Hill insiders from both parties were asked to grade the performance of the main actors on the Katrina stage. The overall grades were pretty predictable: Bush D+, Chertoff D, Brown F, Blanco D+, Nagin D+, Hastert D.
Far more entertaining were the comments from those polled. Here’s the game: Match up the comment with the actor and the party affiliation of the commenter. Answers are below.
1. “Five-week vacations while the country is at war are bad .… So, too, is appointing anyone other than experienced professionals to emergency-management positions. And never fly over disaster areas in a jet.”
2. “He’s really clueless on these issues, but has at least brought some clarity to the message.”
3. “He has led the single most inept performance by the government since Jimmy Carter’s helicopters all malfunctioned while trying to rescue our hostages in Iran in 1980.”
4. “Flat-out not up to the task of strong leadership after a disaster.”
5. “ [He] is his own disaster. The Bush administration has wisely put him so far underground now that it will take a National Guard rescue team to find him.”
6. “He may be right substantively, but it’s a case of political deafness when deftness was required.”
7. “Definitely not the Rudy Giuliani of New Orleans.”
8. “Hysterical at times, he offered a poor comparison to Giuliani’s heroic performance in the rubble of the Trade Center.”
9. “It was bad enough that Bush sat for seven minutes after he first heard of the events on 9/11, but to do nothing on the Gulf Coast for four days is beyond belief.”
10. “If Trent Lott lost his leadership post in the Senate for racial insensitivity, what should happen to [him] for writing off an entire city?”
ANSWERS: 1. Bush, R; 2. Chertoff, R; 3. Brown, D; 4. Blanco, D; 5. Brown, D; 6. Hastert, D; 7. Nagin, R; 8. Nagin, D; 9. Bush, R; 10. Hastert, R.
Rupert probably didn’t okay this caption.
In over his head: Time Magazine has looked into the resume of FEMA Director Michael Brown, and has found some, er, irregularities.
By now, everybody knows that he was the general counsel for the International Arabian Horse Association before he went to work for his college roommate, Joe Allbaugh, the director of FEMA. (Allbaugh got the FEMA job because he was a camapaign operative for Bush/Cheney in 2000.)
But the one position prior to his stint at FEMA that seemed to have had anything to do with disaster preparedness was “serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight” for a small town in Oklahoma in the 1970’s.
Wrong. Brownie, who was in his twenties, was actually an “assistant to the city manager” of Edmond, OK. In other words, he was the city manager’s administrative assistant, or secretary.
Brown also apparently lied about receiving the “Outstanding Political Science Professor” award at an Oklahoma university. In fact, he was a student, not a professor, at the school.
He also claimed to be a director of the Oklahoma Christian Home, but a spokesperson for the home said Brown “was never director here, was never on the board of directors, was never executive director. He was never here in any capacity. I never heard his name mentioned here.”
A former boss remembers Brown this way: “He did mainly transactional work, not litigation,” says Jones. “There was a feeling that he was not serious and somewhat shallow.”
But it’s too late now: The Hurricane Katrina disaster has awakened Margaret Carlson, one of the cadre of “liberal” D.C. Kool Kids whose laser focus on the Clintons’ personal lives in the 1990’s gave aid and comfort to the enemy, thus helping to deliver the White House to the Republicans in 2000.
That was then. This is Margaret now:
The Bushes have always made fun of Bill Clinton’s lip-biting, hands-on governing, but who wouldn’t prefer it to this president’s upbeat platitudes.
Who, indeed – but it wasn’t just the Bushes who derided President Clinton, Margaret. It was you, too.