Friday, September 09, 2005

The Blame Game

The Administration doesn't want us to play "the blame game," but with such a catchy tune at the ready it's impossible to resist. So when they ask who's responsible for the Katrina Catastrophe be sure to sing out loudly:

Brownie, Brownie bo brownie
Bush’s crony, fo frownie
FEMA phony mo mownie

Let’s do Chertoff:

Chertoff, Chertoff, bo berthoff
Banana fana fo fertoff
Bush appointed this Jerk-off

Let’s do Bush:

Bush, Bush bo bush
He’s to blame! fo fush
Let’s impeach him! mo mush

The Blame Game . . .

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Yet More Houston

Kate's down in Houston and working hard.
Lot's to read over at Broken Windows. I was going to excerpt some but I think you should go ahead and read everything. It sounds like the nitty gritty stuff is being done by volunteers and there are a ton of those.

Meanwhile one interesting side effect of the belated dispatch of troops in New Orleans is that journalists are now being denied entry into the area.
At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media... obvious members of the media... armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It's a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.

It's a shocking scene to contemplate and very emblematic of how the administration sees this crisis. The media is their pet gone rabid and they must put it down somehow. Which isn't to say that media coverage has been flawless, but it has been postively breathtaking to watch Paula Zahn, Ted Koppel, hell even Joe Scarbourough call out Bush, Cheney, Brown, and Chertoff for gross incompetence. One would think that if the prospect of tens of thousands of people dying couldn't stir Bush to action, the prospect of those tens of thousands of people dying on television could. The fact that Rove could not anticipate this kind of thing happening is illustrative of how dangerously superficial the business of governance is to these people. Some of us knew that already.
Above all, spend no money

It strikes me that one possible explanation for the feeble FEMA response is that the directive from within Homeland Security was for FEMA to sit on the sidelines showing itself ever at the ready (so many mre's shipped, blah, blah, blah) until local and state resources were exhausted. The FEMA guys would come in only for targeted events when the cameras were rolling. That's one way to understand "Brownie's" injunction in his memo to his staff before Katrina hit to ``convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organizations and the general public.''

While all the rest of us were thinking that Homeland Security was funded to direct and coordinate first responders in the case of an attack or catastrophe, Chertoff and Brownie saw themselves as backups whose first job was to keep federal expenditures as low as possible (how else are you going to justify further tax cuts?) even as FEMA patches and t-shirts were prominently displayed. Now the people in the Mississippi & Louisiana gulf have paid dearly--and so will we all.