Newspaper Uncovers Bush Conspiracy to Blame Environmentalists

The Sierra Club is directing people to this article in the Jackson, Miss. Clarion-Ledger:

Federal officials appear to be seeking proof to blame the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups, documents show.

Federal officials say the e-mail was prompted by a congressional inquiry but wouldn’t comment further.

The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys’ offices: “Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation.”

Cynthia Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said Thursday she couldn’t comment “because it’s an internal e-mail.”

…Federal officials say the e-mail was prompted by a congressional inquiry but wouldn’t comment further.

The Sierra Club has been refuting the Rovevelian/FOX News stories that Katrina’s damage is somehow the fault of environmentalists. But as is so often the case in Bushworld, the spin on their side translates into easy sound bites (The environmentalists are at fault. State and local government is at fault. There’s not enough proof of global warming.), whereas the facts take a minute or two to understand. And most of Bush’s followers’ attention spans are almost as short as his.

Whoever is behind the e-mail may have spotted the Sept. 8 issue of National Review Online that chastised the Sierra Club and other environmental groups for suing to halt the corps’ 1996 plan to raise and fortify 303 miles of Mississippi River levees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

The corps settled the litigation in 1997, agreeing to hold off on some work until an environmental impact could be completed. The National Review article concluded: “Whether this delay directly affected the levees that broke in New Orleans is difficult to ascertain.”

The problem with that conclusion? […]

After Disaster Comes Disease

Scary Prognosis:Jim Diaz, MD, PhD and professor of public health for the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, provided the following assessment of the current state and near future for the health of people along the Gulf Coast:

Vibrio cholerae is not endemic in Louisiana, but more pathogenic non-cholera Vibrios are, and they have already killed and will continue to do so.

I have been [back] to New Orleans, and there are no mosquitoes now; all larvae were killed by floating petrochemicals. The ARBOR diseases [Arthropod-borne viruses, i.e., arboviruses, are viruses that are maintained in nature through biological transmission between susceptible vertebrate hosts by blood feeding arthropods (mosquitoes, psychodids, ceratopogonids, and ticks). ] will return soon, principally West Nile virus — worse than in Mississippi — and spraying will be required later when the floodwaters recede.

Current mild diarrheal diseases are viral and secondary to poor sanitation and endemic RNA enteric viruses. More serious dysenteric disease outbreaks could follow among those who are not evacuating flooded areas and who are consuming contaminated food and water. Dysenteric diseases should not be a problem in well-run shelters.

Baton Rouge will probably have a hepatitis A outbreak in 4-6 weeks, but there are inadequate stocks of vaccine to respond to an outbreak.

Health Officials: Avian Flu Closer to Becoming Pandemic

Reuters: Indonesia confirmed its fourth human death from avian influenza on Friday [Sept. 16, 2005] amid growing global alarm that the virus would mutate and become a pandemic. Speaking in New York on Thursday [Sept. 15, 2005], World Health Organization Chief Lee Jong-wook said the virus was moving toward becoming transmissible by humans and that the international community had no time to waste to prevent a pandemic.

The H5N1 [avian influenza virus] has killed 64 people in four Asian countries since late 2003 and also spread to Russia. A senior Indonesian health official said tests had shown [that avian influenza virus infection was responsible for the death of] a woman who died last week in a Jakarta hospital after she was admitted suffering from pneumonia and flu-like respiratory problems.

The woman, 37, died last Saturday [Sept. 10, 2005]. She lived in south Jakarta near a chicken farm, although health officials have not said how she may have contracted the infection.

“Our task now as the government is to make sure the public do not panic. Just like when we get a bomb threat, we need to avoid panic. Up until now, there is no proof that there is human-to-human transfer,” Kandun said.

But in a stark warning, WHO Chief Lee, a South Korean doctor, said it was only a matter of time before the virus mutated. “Human influenza is coming, we know that, and no government, no leaders can afford to be caught off-guard,” Lee told a news conference. “We must pounce on human pandemic outbreaks with all medicines at our disposal and at the earliest possible moment.”

Pew Poll: Dems Gaining, GOPs Dropping

Changing tides: Results of a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center Sept. 8-11 seems to indicate the Democrats are gaining ground while President Bush and the Republican Party continue to lose it.

Only 40% approve of how Bush is handling his job while 52% disapprove. Worse yet, only 36% approve of how Repug congressional leaders are performing, and 49% disapprove. Democratic conressional leaders fared only marginally better, with a 36% approval rate, but only 45% disapproving.

To the question of which party they would vote for if the election were held today, 52% said they either would or were leaning toward voting Democratic, while 40% favored the GOPs. Asked whether they would like to see most members of Congress re-elected, 48% said no.

Asked which party they believed would handle a list of issues better, respondents chose the Democratic Party for the economy (44%/38%), Iraq (43%/38%), the nation’s energy problems (44%/31%), reforming health care (51%/28%), protecting the environment (51%/28%), improving education (44%/35%), making Social Security financially sound (45%/33%), and ensuring the government can handle major disasters (40%/34%).

The Republican Party was seen as doing a better job at dealing with the terrorist threat at home (45%/34%).

Forget Impeachment — Evict the Bushes!

Squatter-In-Chief:, the on-line casino that has garnered much media attention through its acquisition of such novelty items as the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich, Britney Spears’ pregnancy test and Pope Benedict XVI’s previously owned VW Golf, has purchased the only known deed to the White House — for $43.45 — on — from the author of “Night of the Realtors.”

While conducting research for his upcoming book “Night of the Realtors”, in which a Canadian realtor sells the White House, seller David Jenneson discovered that the U.S. Government has no deed recording the property ownership for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

According to Jenneson’s eBid page, he sent a written request to the U.S. National Archives regarding the deed. A two-month search resulted in the archives office sending a letter stating they could not find the deed for the White House. After an extensive amount of legal survey and analysis, Jenneson acquired the only known deed in existence.

“The winning bid will acquire a Quitclaim Deed for the famous property, plus a signed copy of my book Night of the Realtors,” said Jenneson on his eBid page.

Unfortunately, is treating the deed as just another oddity. If its owners were true patriots, they would rise up, deed in hand, and evict the Bushes — send ’em packing back to Crawford.

First Bush steals the office of the presidency — twice — and now he’s living rent-free at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in a house someone else owns. EVICT BUSH NOW!

The Iraqitization of Venezuela: Can the Search for WMDs Be Far Behind?

It’s sounding like deja vu all over again every time the White House mentions Venezuela. The spin sounds so much like the “sexing up” of the propaganda on Iraq before we invaded, it’s eerie. AP:

President Bush said Thursday that Venezuela “failed demonstrably” to make a concerted effort to block shipments of illicit narcotics to the United States and Europe last year.”

If all our bluster were really about drugs and not about oil, we’d be doing something constructive to wipe out drug use

Venezuela could have been subjected to a cutoff of U.S. assistance, but Bush decided to waive the provision because of national security interests.

Yeah, interests like the $1 million Venezuela donated to the Red Cross for Katrina relief. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot — the one million barrels of free oil they express-delivered.

A White House “statement of explanation” about Venezuela said 165 tons of cocaine moved through the country last year along with increasing quantities of heroin.

In early August, Chavez accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of using its agents in Venezuela for espionage, and said Venezuela was suspending cooperation with the agency. The Bush administration denied the espionage charge.

Chavez has said the U.S. government has been sticking its oil-sniffing nose in his country’s affairs for a long time, and I believe him. Where do we get off saying Venezuela isn’t democratic enough to suit us? Is Venezuela holding any “agents of interest” in offshore prisons without charges, indefinitely? Is Venezuela toppling foreign governments? Is Venezuela passing laws giving itself permission to break into its own citizens’ homes without their knowledge? No, that’s the land of the free and the home of the brave. […]

Laura Bush Gets ‘Hypocrite’ Award for ‘Disgusting’ Remark

“I think all of those remarks were disgusting, to be perfectly frank. Of course President Bush cares about everyone in our country.”

— First Lady Laura Bush, reacting to statements by rapper Kanye West and others that President Bush is apathetic about blacks. For this statement and more, she is winner of Buzzflash‘s GOP Hypocrite of the Week award

Schwarzenegger to Announce Re-election Bid Despite Donations Shortfall, Voter Antipathy

Fallen star: With his approval rating in the 30’s, and his campaign war chest already depleted, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will announce that he is running for re-election today at noon in San Diego.

With its vast and varied geography, the huge media markets and a population larger than Canada or Australia, California elections are won almost exclusively via television advertising. The governor’s enemies have been savaging him very effectively in ads that have been running since spring.

In reality, of course, the governor has never stopped running, and the Bush/Rove style permanent campaign is costing him plenty:

[Like] other major problems that Schwarzenegger faces, his poor financial shape is at least partly a self-inflicted injury. His campaign committees reported spending nearly $26 million in the first six months of the year, leaving his political accounts all but depleted by the end of June. The $1.2 million in cash left was entirely offset, and then some, by $3.8 million in debts.

His summer fundraising has yielded nearly $7.5 million in new money. But unions and Democratic Party groups are still likely to continue vastly outspending the Republican governor on TV ads in the 53 days left in the fall initiative campaign.

Even by the costly standards of California, the most expensive state for running campaigns, Schwarzenegger’s spending on consultants, pollsters and other vendors has been lavish. It included $5 million in the spring for television ads that failed to stop his slide in popularity, more than $550,000 in pollster fees and unspecified sums for ballot measures that Schwarzenegger abandoned.


Bush’s Speech: A Lexical Analysis

Words as words: This is a lexical analysis of George Bush’s speech delivered Sept. 15, 2005, from New Orleans.

Bush used a total of 1,785 words, 929 of them different words. The lexical complexity of the speech was 52 percent, and the readability factor based on the Gunning-Fog Index was 10.6, where 6 is easy and 20 is difficult. The readability factor was 44, where 100 is easy, 20 is difficult and optimal is 60-70.

Bush averaged 1.68 syllables per word and spoke 162 sentences that averaged 20.8 words per sentence. Bush’s longest sentence was 54 words:

We have also witnessed the kind of desperation no citizen of this great and generous nation should ever have to know, fellow Americans calling out for food and water, vulnerable people left at the mercy of criminals who had no mercy and the bodies of the dead lying uncovered and untended in the street.

Bush used mostly short words, 680 three-letter words, and only one 15-letter word. There were no words or phrases repeated at any statistically significant rate in the 20-minute address.

This speech is comparable to most of Bush’s speeches. He tends to rate in the 40s for readability and in the middle of the difficulty factor (except for the State of the Union speech, which was especially difficult to understand). He uses a lot of little words, but significantly, he did not repeat key words or phrases often in this speech, also a departure from the State of the Union address and other policy-oriented elocutions.