THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
29 September 2005
 
It Says Libby, Libby, Libby On The Label, Label, Label

Judith Miller is free, and her source on Valerie Plame was "Scooter" Libby, Dick Cheney's chief of staff, as many of us had already speculated.

Now, this means that highly placed officials in both the President's office (Karl Rove) and the Vice President's office (Libby), at about the same time, were engaged in an effort to tell journalists that Valerie Plame, Joseph Wilson's wife, was a CIA agent.


I think they call that conspiracy and treason. I wonder what Fitzgerald's indictment will look like.

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28 September 2005
  No DeLay!

He's gone, he's gone! The Bugman is no longer in the House leadership!

And here's the indictment, plus his ridiculous denials.

One down, more to go. Justice is served and America is
far better off. For one thing, without DeLay, dissenting Republicans are going to feel much freer about speaking their minds.

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27 September 2005
  Arnold For Sale

Buy yourself a governator!

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The Meth-Driven Life

Hey, remember that inspiring story of Ashley Smith, that woman in Atlanta held hostage by that fellow who shot all those people in the courthouse? Remember how she said she read him bits from "The Purpose-Driven Life" and made him give himself up? And all the media attention she got, and all the Christians calling it a triumph of morality?

Well, it was more like a triumph of methamphetamine. She offered him some of her stash of it; turns out she was a bit of an addict to the "crack for crackers."

Always turns out like this. Always. And yes, I'm laughing my head off at this.

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Religion Is Bad For You, Part 2

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

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26 September 2005
  $600

Apparently Bush asked Americans(when was this?) to donate money for the reconstruction of Iraq. (What, has Halliburton not been paid enough?)

It netted $600.

First time as tragedy, second as farce.

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25 September 2005
 
Bush: Socialism For The Rich

Only there's already a word for that. Anyway, here's Andrew Sullivan's take on Bush's big-spendin' ways.

I used to write sentences that began with the phrase: “Not since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society spending binge. . .” I can’t write that any more. Johnson — the guns and butter president of liberalism’s high-water mark — was actually more fiscally conservative than the current inhabitant of the White House. LBJ boosted domestic discretionary spending in inflationadjusted dollars by a mere 33.4%.

In five years, Bush has increased it 35.1%. And that’s before the costs for Katrina and Rita and the Medicare benefit kick in. Worse, this comes at a time when everyone concedes that we were facing a fiscal crunch before Bush started handing out dollar bills like a drunk at a strip club. With the looming retirement of America’s baby-boomers, the US needed to start saving, not spending; cutting, not expanding its spending habits...

Here’s Peggy Noonan, about as loyal a Republican as you’ll find, in a Wall Street Journal column last week: “George W Bush is a big spender. He has never vetoed a spending bill. When Congress serves up a big slab of fat, crackling pork, Mr Bush responds with one big question: Got any barbecue sauce?”

All I can say is this, cons: you broke it, you own it. No use whining now. Welcome to the world you've been making the rest of us live in the past five years. Happy now? No? Poor things.

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24 September 2005
  Religion Is Bad For You

Tell me, how many non-religious people would have done this because they said they saw "demons" in the crowd?

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23 September 2005
  How Raging An Alkie Do You Have To Be...

...to be openly taking swigs off a flask at your feet on live television, as sad Bush apologist Christopher Hitchens (whose eyes are also as red as the display on my alarm clock) is on Real Time With Bill Maher right now?

I suppose you'd have to be drunk to be a former Trotskyist and defend George W. Bush. But then, it might just be cameraderie between fellow pathetic drunks.

___________________

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Pope By Default

Pope Ratfucker, it appears, only became pope because the guy who actually would have won the vote didn't want it.

Must be interesting to be God's second choice.

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  " The president we get is the country we get."

From last year, a devastating speech by the great E.L. Doctorow (author of my favorite novel, the Book of Daniel) on George W. Bush and his corrosive spiritual effect upon America.

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Drinking or Coking?

More support as to the truth of the Enquirer story that Bush has begun drinking again, and speculation that maybe it's a cover story for something worse: that he may have been using coke again.

Which we really want at a time that his polls are severely down and he has little to use, and a delicious red button so very nearby. Where's Kissinger when you need him?

I guess we can at least rest assured that Bush isn't ranting to a picture of Lincoln, because he probably removed the portrait when he found out Lincoln was gay.

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22 September 2005
 
Pork In The Treetops

You've never seen it before, you may never see it again. But here's a link to a Bob Novak article. But, you may say, he's a fascist shill and the prince of darkness. Why link to this piece of utter crud?

Because the devil sometimes speaks the truth.

For two full days, George W. Bush was bashed. He was taken to task on his handling of stem cell research, population control, the Iraq war and, especially, Hurricane Katrina. The critics were no left-wing bloggers. They were rich, mainly Republican and presumably Bush voters in the last two presidential elections.

The Bush-bashing occurred last weekend at the annual Aspen conference sponsored by the New York investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. Over 200 invited guests, mostly prestigious, arrived Thursday night (many by private aircraft) and stayed until Sunday morning for more than golf, hikes and gourmet meals. They faithfully attended the discussions presided over by PBS's Charlie Rose on such serious subjects as "global poverty and human rights" and "the 'new' world economy." The connecting link was hostility to President Bush.

There's much more. Have a read.

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Whatever You Do To The Least of These

Despite all the claims on TV of the greater preparedness of Houston for Rita, some things don't change. For instance, Houston too seems have seen that the upside of a hurricane like this is that it'll thin out their poor people quite a lot.

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  Bush Drinking Again?

Maybe, maybe not...

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20 September 2005
 
Vatican Shielding War Criminal

Which, of course, goes well with having one as their pope.

In other news, Pope Ratfucker has been shielded himself, by the U.S., from being sued for his part in covering up all the child rape his priests have committed. Meanwhile, though he's doing nothing about the pedophiles in his church, Ratfucker is doing all he can to get rid of the gays.

At this rate the Catholic Church will soon lose not only most of its best priests and keep all the evil criminals among them instead, but all legitimacy in the eyes of its adherents. Way to go, Pope! Praise Jesus!

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Jeb Bush's Invisible Imaginary Friend

What the living fuck...?

“Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.

“I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.”


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Bush Aide Arrested

...for trying to obstruct an investigation linked to the ongoing Abramoff/Delay scandal.

Canaries can sing very prettily, I hear. But he doesn't need to; they already have his e-mails explaining that Abramoff did in fact bribe DeLay with a trip to Scotland. Looky here!



Tom DeLay in prison greys. What a lovely thought.

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19 September 2005
  History Shots

This is pretty cool.

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18 September 2005
 
Was The 2004 Election Stolen?

It would certainly explain George Bush's strutting about like he didn't care about the outcome during the debates.

This purports to be from a "Diebold insider", alleging that it was in fact stolen. Have a look, and judge, for yourself.

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17 September 2005
  Little Nervous?

President Bush immediately after his speech Thursday night:


I'd be sweating too if I had just blamed God for my own fuckups.

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15 September 2005
  President Asks For Potty Break

Jesus Christ, I hope this isn't true.

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14 September 2005
 
Bush: Emboldening Our Enemies

Here's what Iran thinks of us post-Katrina, thanks to Bush. Hope he enjoyed the vacation.
In remarks that appeared on Ansar-e Hezbollah website on Sunday, a top official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the devastating hurricane had exposed America's vulnerabilities.

"The mismanagement and the mishandling of the acute psychological problems brought about by Hurricane Katrina clearly showed that others can, at any given time, create a devastated war-zone in any part of the U.S.", Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, the official spokesman of the IRGC, said.

"If the U.S. attacks Iran, each of America’s states will face a crisis the size of Katrina", he said, referring to the massive hurricane which hit the southern coast of the United States. "The smallest mistake by America in this regard will result in every single state in that country turning into a disaster zone".

"How could the White House, which is impotent in the face of a storm and a natural disaster, enter a military conflict with the powerful Islamic Republic of Iran, particularly with the precious experience that we gained in the eight-year war with Iraq?" he said.

Jazayeri said the hurricane havoc showed that "contrary to public perception, the strength of America's leadership is like a balloon, which can easily burst".
Again: thanks a fuck of a lot, Georgie. And does he think that he can protect us in such a case? Recall that a couple of years ago he said "I don't think it can be won" in regard to the "war on terrorism." And yesterday? He said this:
"Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question and it's in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond."
I've got a better idea. Let's find a way of ejecting your ass from the White House so that someone who knows what the hell he's doing can do the job and stop wasting our time and sanity.

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13 September 2005
 
Looks Like He Thought of One Mistake He's Made

Bush, to his credit, just copped to responsibility for the utterly hideous Federal handling of the Katrina disaster.
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do it's job right, I take responsibility."
Hedged a little and full of qualifiers, but it is the first time any of us have seen him admit to being wrong, so it's a start.

But I imagine the GOP has privately been threatening to skin him alive for making 2006 so difficult for them, so I don't think this was his idea. I also don't think--or hope--that this will make anything go away. And frankly, it's 2 weeks late and billions of dollars short. When you consider that he didn't even realize the press knew of Brown resigning--when it was the press who asked him to comment on it after it was announced--there's a much bigger problem this has all revealed that they desperately want us to ignore.

He doesn't know what the fuck he's doing. And we all can't help but notice now. And he knows it, and he's scared. Good, he should be. After 4 years of the kind of events he's had to deal with any other man would be more seasoned than FDR at being a leader by now. But Bush?

Bush seems to have spent the last 4 years asleep. He's actually gotten worse. But then, he's also experienced none of it till now. Admitting the bungling of the response to FEMA is fine, but it's also like saying the sky is blue at this point. In fact, Bush is the last person in the world to say, or realize, that it was his fault. Literally, the last person in the world. Bush freezes and does nothing when Americans die, but jumps to sign legislation that makes the Religious Right happy. When he has the right motivation he forgets vacation time.

His priorities are not a president's priorities. That's most of the problem. And his distraction of us has been broken and he doesn't know how to survive without it.

Consider this: it was not till Thursday that Bush was shown the damage. He didn't bother to find out for himself; Dan Bartlett had to make him a DVD. Till then he looked, unintentionally, even more the fool as he blamed news reports for soft-pedaling it, repeating the never-printed urban legend headline "New Orleans Dodges Bullet" as an example, as all the other folks who got the talking points memo echoed. But no such headline existed, and no such news existed. Indeed, it was because the feds were so slow to get on the ground that the media was able to cover it thoroughly, critically and damningly. He didn't know they'd been attacking him, and he thought he could hide behind a week-dead talking point but he was really standing there with what's left of his dick in the wind and had no idea.

Bush doesn't watch or read the news; that's the only answer. Not even Fox. Nothing. He simply assumed a cowed press was still in effect and that they were repeating those talking points too.

Why is he in that office? What does he do exactly?

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12 September 2005
 
MyRant: Steve Bissette Has Hisself A Blog!

One of my personal heroes, former Swamp Thing, 1963, and Tyrant artist/writer Steve Bissette, has joined the blogosphere!

Actually, I think it's been around a bit, but I just heard of it. So sue me. Anyway, it's excellent. You should check it out.

Another of my personal heroes, Jamie Delano (Hellblazer, 2020 Visions, Outlaw Nation, and a whole lot more) has one too but he doesn't add new stuff as often as I'd like. Hint hint, Mr. D.

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  Signs of Life

A left wave is starting to build in the world.

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President Clueless

From Salon:
CNN is now airing footage of an interview today with President Bush. Asked to comment on Brown's resignation, the president said he hadn't spoken with Chertoff yet and therefore didn't have anything to say. "Maybe you know something I don't," he said.
Does Cheney tell him anything? Actually, it appears his aides are terrified of giving him bad news. Even that he has to cut short his vacation because of, well, a fucking hurricane destroying the Gulf states.

And speaking of which, things are getting leaky on the right:

On the September 11 edition of NBC's syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, New York Times columnist David Brooks revealed that he has learned from private conversations with Bush officials who "represent" what "Bush believes" that from its earliest days, the Bush administration adopted a policy of shielding itself from political damage by never publicly admitting any mistake -- even if it meant lying to the media and the American public. The fact that Bush doesn't admit mistakes has been reported by the media for years. For instance, in the September 11 edition of The New York Times, David Sanger reported, "Mr. Bush, his aides acknowledge, is loath to fire members of his administration or to take public actions that are tantamount to an admission of a major mistake." Brooks himself has previously noted the Bush administration's unwillingness to admit to mistakes. But what Brooks's September 11 account adds is that Bush is being intentionally dishonest -- in Brooks's words, "totally tactical and totally insincere" -- in resisting such public admissions and in blaming others when failures are too obvious to deny.

Moreover, on the Matthews Show, Brooks disclosed that "from Day One," the Bush White House "decided our public relations is not going to be honest," and that "privately they admit mistakes all the time." Brooks's revelation would appear to be of major significance, particularly in light of recent attempts by Bush administration officials to shift culpability in the Hurricane Katrina disaster away from the White House. But while he claimed on the Matthews show to have debated this strategy with administration officials "since Day One" -- indicating that he has known about it from the beginning -- a review of his columns and television appearances since Katrina struck reveals that Brooks has refrained from telling viewers and readers that the administration's campaign to rehabilitate its public image over the poor handling of the Katrina crisis by blaming others was apparently another manifestation of this dishonest strategy.

Huh!

So they're fucking liars and that's all there ever was to it. Just as I and so many others have said from before day one. Ah, vindication...

My first reaction was, of course, "Well, duh." But still--The obvious truth spoken (though, interestingly, not written), if belatedly, by David Brooks, one of the administration's most reliable apologists. The right, except the most extreme sections(and that is something disturbing to which attention should be paid), are unhitching their wagons from Bush; they have finally seen that he's going down, and might take them with him.

The cats are out of their bags and don't look likely to be herded.

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  Reap the Whirlwind

The astute Simon Schama on Katrina.

Historians ought not to be in the prophecy business but I'll venture this one: Katrina will be seen as a watershed in the public and political life of the US, because it has put back into play the profound question of American government. Ever since Ronald Reagan proclaimed that government was not the answer but the problem, conservatism has stigmatised public service as parasitically unpatriotic, an anomaly in the robust self-sufficiency of American life. For the most part, Democrats have been too supine, too embarrassed and too inarticulate to fight back with a coherent defence of the legitimacy of democratic government. Now, if ever, is their moment; not to revive the New Deal or the Great Society (though unapologetically preserving social security might be a start) but to stake a claim to being the party that delivers competent, humane, responsive government, the party of public trust.

For the most shocking difference between 9/11 and Katrina was in what might have been expected in the aftermath of disaster. For all the intelligence soundings, it was impossible to predict the ferocity, much less the timing, of the 9/11 attacks. But Katrina was the most anticipated catastrophe in modern American history. Perhaps the lowest point in Bush's abject performance last week was when he claimed that no one could have predicted the breach in the New Orleans levees, when report after report commissioned by him, not to mention a simulation just last year, had done precisely that. But he had cut the budget appropriation for maintaining flood defences by nearly 50%, so that for the first time in 37 years Louisiana was unable to supply the protection it knew it would need in the event of catastrophe. Likewise Fema, which under Bill Clinton had been a cabinet level agency reporting directly to the president, had under his successor been turned into a hiring opportunity for political hacks and cronies and disappeared into the lumbering behemoth of Homeland Security. It was Fema that failed the Gulf; Fema which failed to secure the delivery of food, water, ice and medical supplies desperately asked for by the Mayor of New Orleans; and it was the president and his government-averse administration that had made Fema a bad joke.

In the last election campaign George W Bush asked Americans to vote for him as the man who would best fulfil the most essential obligation of government: the impartial and vigilant protection of its citizens. Now the fraudulence of the claim has come back to haunt him, not in Baghdad but in the drowned counties of Louisiana. In the recoil, disgust and fury felt by millions of Americans at this abdication of responsibility, the president - notwithstanding his comically self-serving promise to lead an inquiry into the fiasco - will assuredly reap the whirlwind.

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Falling on His Butterknife

Michael Brown is resigning!

Back to the horsy show for you! I mean as an audience member, not an official.

And here are 45 more corpses he made; hospital patients left for a week, all dead.

Thank you so very much, Michael Brown. You're proof that malice and anger are not nearly as destructive as plain old laziness and a refusal to care.

He ought to be tried for mass manslaughter at the very least. But he's a rich boy with rich friends, and so we know another rich man's welfare job will be found for him.

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  Impeachment and Some Pertinent Sandy Denny

Talk has begun in many places and gaining traction.

*******************
And now, one of my favorite songs, because this bit has been running through my mind in the past couple of weeks. (And also because there's never a bad time for the late, great Sandy Denny...)
They put up the walls with no more to say
Nobody stopped to ask why it was done
The stream was too far and the rain was too high
So into the city the river did run
Because of the architect the building fell down
Smothered or drowned all the seeds which were sown
I wish I were somewhere, but not in this town
Maybe the ocean next time around
Sandy Denny, "Next Time Around"


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11 September 2005
 

Excuse Me?

Something you really don't want to come across at a time when we have an embarrassed president under ungodly pressure in need of a distraction.

Has to do with the pre-emptive use--by this president--of nukes. For even less reason or provocation, than his war on Iraq.

Which was planned, and has gone, so well.

The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The document, written by the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs staff but not yet finally approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, would update rules and procedures governing use of nuclear weapons to reflect a preemption strategy first announced by the Bush White House in December 2002.

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"Left Hand, let me introduce you to Right Hand."

Thank god FEMA is on the job. Otherwise a crack team of Mexican disaster specialists wouldn't have been promptly(and to the great confusion and anger of the Mexican government) assigned to San Antonio.

What the fuck is wrong with the Bush administration? Is being terminally retarded part of their job descriptions?

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  Karl's Panicking

Lawyer Is Fired After Talking About Rove

A lawyer with the Texas secretary of state was fired after she spoke to a reporter about presidential adviser Karl Rove's eligibility to vote in the state.

Elizabeth Reyes, 30, said she was dismissed last week for violating the agency's media policy after she was quoted in a Sept. 3 story by The Washington Post about tax deductions on Rove's homes in Washington and Texas.

Scott Haywood, a spokesman for Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams, confirmed Reyes' firing but wouldn't discuss specifics. He had earlier told the Post that Reyes "was not authorized to speak on behalf of the agency."

Reyes told the Post on Friday a superior told her that her bosses were upset about the article. Williams has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Republicans, including President Bush, who relies heavily on Rove for political strategy.

While Reyes said she didn't know she was talking to a reporter, she said the press policy doesn't bar her from speaking with the media.

"The policy allows us to talk to members of the media," she told the Post. "The policy says if it's a controversial issue or a special issue, it needs to be forwarded on to someone else. Just talking to the media doesn't violate it, as I read it. ... Karl Rove didn't come up. It wasn't something you could classify as controversial."

She said she sent a certified letter to Williams's office asking that her dismissal be reconsidered.

The Post earlier reported that Rove inadvertently received a homestead tax deduction on his home in Washington, even though he had not been eligible for the benefit for more than three years. Rove was eligible for the deduction when he bought the home in 2001, but a change in the tax law in 2002 made the deduction available only to property owners who do not vote elsewhere. Rove is registered to vote in Texas.

The tax office admitted the mistake, saying it failed to rescind the deduction, and Rove agreed to reimburse the city an estimated $3,400 in back taxes, the Post reported.

Rove is registered to vote in Kerr County, Texas, where he and his wife own two rental homes that he claims as his residence. But two local residents told the Post they had never seen Rove there.

The Post reported Saturday that when its reporter called the Texas secretary of state's office for her story, she was told the press officer was on vacation and she was transferred to Reyes.

The attorney told the reporter that it was potential vote fraud in Texas to register in a place where you don't actually live, and she was quoted as saying Rove's cottages don't "sound like a residence to me, because it's not a fixed place of habitation."

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  Called That One

As I was saying...
Population shifts caused by the exodus of hurricane victims from the Gulf Coast could have ripple effects for years to come in Louisiana political races and perhaps beyond.

How big depends on how many people stay away, which ones stay away and where they end up putting down roots.

The early thinking is that the evacuees least likely to return to their homes in Louisiana may be the poorest -- and thus, Democrats for the most part. That would hurt the party in a state where Republicans already were making inroads.

If the lion's share of those leaving settle in Texas, that could work to the advantage of Democrats in President Bush's home state.

"I'm believing that the greatest displacement occurs among those who are traditionally Democratic voters," said Elliott Stonecipher, an independent political consultant from Shreveport, La.

"Based on sheer demographics, those who are Republican voters have the wherewithal and, we believe, the will to go home and rebuild," he said.

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  Where's Your Feather Now?


collage (c)2005 JLRoberson.
from a photo by James Nielsen(c)2005 AFP/Getty.

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10 September 2005
  Disappearer

U.S. Can Confine Citizens Without Charges, Court Rules

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  How Could I Forget

Go fuck yourself indeed, Mr. Cheney.

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  Warnings

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  "These Things Happen."

There is nothing they will not say, and this is the best excuse they have. Are they really this stupid?

From James Wolcott:

Today, James S. Robbins pulled a Mailer on NRO, using not automobile accidents but a household item found in every medicine cabinet as his point of comparison.

"Of course, the parallels between 9/11 and Katrina are at best inexact. Hurricanes are more frequent than terrorist attacks. They are more predictable. And they are often more devastating. Katrina is a case in point — the number of deaths may go well beyond those incurred on 9/11. But that will not in itself make the hurricane a more significant event. One cannot gauge the magnitude of events simply from body counts. Aspirin abuse accounted for about twice the number of American deaths in 2001 than the September 11 attacks, but who noticed?"

Robbins did. You can't put anything past this guy.

A more vulgar effort to shrink Katrina's impact as a national tragedy was made by Jack Burkman, a member in good standing of the vile order of Republican strategists, who said on MSNBC, "I understand there are 10,000 people dead. It's terrible. It's tragic. But in a democracy of 300 million people, over years and years and years, these things happen."

When political whores take the long view, you know they're running scared.

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  What Do You Consider Fun?

Tom DeLay: absolutely certain there is no hell, apparently.

While on the tour of a shelter with top administration officials from Washington, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, DeLay stopped to chat with three young boys resting on cots.

The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked, ``Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?''

They nodded yes, but looked perplexed.


Behind the president's public embrace of Mr. Brown was the realization within the administration that the director's ignorance about the evacuees had further inflamed the rage of the storm's poor, black victims and created an impression of a White House that did not care about their lives.One prominent African-American supporter of Mr. Bush who is close to Karl Rove, the White House political chief, said the president did not go into the heart of New Orleans and meet with black victims on his first trip there, last Friday, because he knew that White House officials were "scared to death" of the reaction.

"If I'm Karl, do I want the visual of black people hollering at the president as if we're living in Rwanda?" said the supporter, who spoke only anonymously because he did not want to antagonize Mr. Rove.

********************

The Gulf Coast looked, said Bush, like it had been hit with "the worst kind of weapon." The President is right, responded Representative Dennis Kucinich. "Indifference is a weapon of mass destruction." While most of the affluent of New Orleans left by car or plane, the poor had no way out. They were told to go to the Superdome and convention center, where--unbelievably--there were inadequate supplies of food and water, no electricity, befouled sanitation facilities and no police protection. When it came time to rescue and relocate the displaced, the Bush Administration placed the onus on state and local officials and called on citizens to give to charities. But faith-based disaster relief is no substitute for an effective, organized, rapid government response.

Since New Orleans is a major center of oil imports and refining, Katrina roiled already tight energy markets. Gas companies, wallowing in record profits, took the occasion to gouge Americans at the pump. The companies' rapacity and the country's vulnerability are direct results of Bush's Big Oil energy policy, his failure to lead a drive for energy independence by investing in conservation and in renewable and diverse energy sources. Instead of calling for an excess-profits tax on oil companies to help pay for the rebuilding, Bush immediately asserted that no tax increase was necessary.



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09 September 2005
  Pointing at Brownie

Heck of a job.

Everyone's prayer got through! The terminally incompetent Michael Brown has been removed from hurricane relief operations.

How long before he's just plain fired? I give him a week.

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  Open Letter from Michael Moore

Friday, September 2nd, 2005
Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.

Yours,

Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
www.MichaelMoore.com

P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.

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Michael Brown: FEMA Head, Resume Padder

From, as much as I hate to link to them, Time:

Before joining FEMA, his only previous stint in emergency management, according to his bio posted on FEMA's website, was "serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight." The White House press release from 2001 stated that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 "overseeing the emergency services division." In fact, according to Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city of Edmond, Brown was an "assistant to the city manager" from 1977 to 1980, not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees. "The assistant is more like an intern," she told TIME. "Department heads did not report to him." Brown did do a good job at his humble position, however, according to his boss. "Yes. Mike Brown worked for me. He was my administrative assistant. He was a student at Central State University," recalls former city manager Bill Dashner. "Mike used to handle a lot of details. Every now and again I'd ask him to write me a speech. He was very loyal. He was always on time. He always had on a suit and a starched white shirt."

In response, Nicol Andrews, deputy strategic director in FEMA's office of public affairs, insists that while Brown began as an intern, he became an "assistant city manager" with a distinguished record of service. "According to Mike Brown," she says, "a large portion [of the points raised by TIME] is very inaccurate."

Brown's lack of experience in emergency management isn't the only apparent bit of padding on his resume, which raises questions about how rigorously the White House vetted him before putting him in charge of FEMA. Under the "honors and awards" section of his profile at FindLaw.com — which is information on the legal website provided by lawyers or their offices—he lists "Outstanding Political Science Professor, Central State University". However, Brown "wasn't a professor here, he was only a student here," says Charles Johnson, News Bureau Director in the University Relations office at the University of Central Oklahoma (formerly named Central State University). "He may have been an adjunct instructor," says Johnson, but that title is very different from that of "professor." Carl Reherman, a former political science professor at the University through the '70s and '80s, says that Brown "was not on the faculty." As for the honor of "Outstanding Political Science Professor," Johnson says, "I spoke with the department chair yesterday and he's not aware of it." Johnson could not confirm that Brown made the Dean's list or was an "Outstanding Political Science Senior," as is stated on his online profile.

And why did previous FEMA head Joe Allbaugh(the scumbag who right now is busily helping his clients profiteer from this disaster, and ought to be prosecuted for this) say he picked Brown to succeed him? "I hired him solely on his ability as a strong ethics attorney," he said.

Fire Brown yesterday.

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Hey Tom, Your Shoelace Is Untied

Oh, look. While DeLay probably wasn't looking, his PAC just got indicted, just as Jack Abramoff was not too long ago. Yes, I am laughing about it.

How long before DeLay himself is invited to the pokey?

It takes a while, but eventually all bastards get theirs.

Incidentally, when DeLay was trying to shove the redistricting of Texas down Democrats' throats, the Democrats in the Texas legislature left and went to New Orleans to deny a quorum. DeLay--who is no longer, of course, and wasn't at the time, in the Texas legislature--had Homeland Security immediately send a helicopter to bring them back. So that was a priority for DHS, but Hurricane Katrina was not.

Something to keep in mind...another would be: I wonder, given his claim he believes in God(though how he could and still do all he does with a clear conscience is beyond me), if Bush wonders, if he had met with Cindy Sheehan, would he now be in the shit he's in?

Nah, I'm sure he doesn't even think about that. God's poetic justice is for other people, not Dubya!

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08 September 2005
 

Female survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were urged by government rescuers to flash their breasts in order to receive help in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

That according to English tourists who are now just returning to the United Kingdom, relating their horror stories to British media.

Ged Scott, 36, of Liverpool, was on his annual vacation at New Orleans' Ramada Hotel with his wife Sandra, 37, and their 7-year-old son, Ronan.

"I could not describe how bad the authorities were, taking photographs of us as we are standing on the roof waving for help, for their own personal photo albums, little snapshot photographs," Scott told BBC News.

Scott said there was a group of girls standing on the lobby's roof, calling out to passing rescuers for help.

"[The authorities] said to them, 'Well, show us what you've got' – doing signs for them to lift their T-shirts up. The girls said no, and [the rescuers] said 'well fine,' and motored off down the road in their motorboat. That's the sort of help we had from the authorities," he said.

New Orleans is noted for women flashing their breasts in public, especially during the annual Mardi Gras festival.

Scott called the relief operation "horrendous," noting police officers had taken "souvenir" photographs of stranded people begging for help.

"The only information we got from anybody in authority was if a policeman came past and we shouted to them out of the windows. The only information we ever got off them was negative, 'Do not go here. Do not go there'. There was no, 'Are you OK? Are you safe? Have you got water?' Most of the time they would ignore us."

Scott recounted that at night, police completely vanished, leaving stranded hotel guests and staff to defend themselves.

"You would hear shots ringing out during the night and that was one of the most worrying things, because we had no security," Scott said. "We patrolled the halls and checked the doors throughout the night in the hotel – but if someone had wanted to come in, there was not much we could have done about it."




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I Repeat

Fire FEMA head Michael Brown. Fucking now. Every minute this moron is in office Americans are in danger. Keeping him as FEMA head counts as treason, in my view.

But I mean, Jesus--Even Ann Coulter Jr., or Michelle Malkin as the rest of the world knows her, is calling for his head.
The disastrous aftermath is neither entirely the fault of local and state officials nor entirely the fault of the feds. If someone is a worthless sack of bones, I'll say so. And I don't care if he has "Bush appointee" stamped on his forehead or a GOP elephant tattooed to his backside. Brown's clueless public comments after landfall are reason enough to give him the boot...and he should have never been there in the first place.
Get the clue, George. You're even losing your devoted cultists. Or did you only care about them when they agreed with you? Were you just using them too?

What do you want to bet that, in a year or two, when investigations have gained such momentum they cannot be stopped anymore, they'll claim Bush had Alzheimer's all this time?

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  Enough

It's time to impeach the monster in our White House before he kills again.

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07 September 2005
  Fire Michael Brown

For God's sake! Get this asshole out of the way. He's still delaying rescue efforts, this time with firefighters.

I've known so very many people who were fired for less. Why is this incompetent upper-class retard allowed to remain? Oh wait, I may have answered my own question.

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Thousands More

This is what happens when you leave people to die. This. And the fucking Republicans are talking about penalizing the victims.

What, will you fine them the pennies on their eyes? Oh, wait, there are no pennies and there are no eyes.

Bodies found piled in freezer at Convention Center

By Brian Thevenot
Staff writer

Arkansas National Guardsman Mikel Brooks stepped through the food service entrance of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Monday, flipped on the light at the end of his machine gun, and started pointing out bodies.

"Don't step in that blood - it's contaminated," he said. "That one with his arm sticking up in the air, he's an old man."
Then he shined the light on the smaller human figure under the white sheet next to the elderly man.

"That's a kid," he said. "There's another one in the freezer, a 7-year-old with her throat cut."

He moved on, walking quickly through the darkness, pulling his camouflage shirt to his face to screen out the overwhelming odor.
"There's an old woman," he said, pointing to a wheelchair covered by a sheet. "I escorted her in myself. And that old man got bludgeoned to death," he said of the body lying on the floor next to the wheelchair.

Brooks and several other Guardsmen said they had seen between 30 and 40 more bodies in the Convention Center's freezer. "It's not on, but at least you can shut the door," said fellow Guardsman Phillip Thompson.

The scene of rotting bodies inside the Convention Center reflected those in thousands of businesses, schools, homes and shelters across the metropolitan area. The official death count from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana was 71 as of Monday evening, but that included only those bodies that had been brought to a make-shift morgue in St. Gabriel.

Nearly a full week after Hurricane Katrina, a rescue force the size of an invading army had not yet begun the task of retrieving the bodies Sunday. What's more, officials appeared to have no plan.

Daniel Martinez, a spokesman for FEMA working on Interstate 10 in eastern New Orleans, said plans for body recovery "are not being released yet."

Dozens of rescue workers questioned Monday said they knew of no protocol or collection points for bodies; none said they had retrieved even one of the many corpses seen floating in neighborhoods around the city as they searched for survivors.

Scores of rescue workers this week repeated the same mantra, over and over: We can't worry about the dead; we're still trying to save the living.

But as rescue teams across the city said they had checked nearly every house for survivors, the enormity of the death that lay in Hurricane Katrina's wake came into sharp focus even as the plans for taking care of the dead remained murky.

Mayor Ray Nagin, addressing the potential body count for the storm for the first time, said the storm may have claimed more than 10,000 lives.

In a news conference Monday morning, Deputy Chief Warren Riley said his department was "not responsible for recovery."

"We don't have a body count, but I can tell you it's growing. It's growing," he said.

As the rescue missions covered more and more ground but yielded fewer survivors, New Orleans Police Deputy Chief Steve Nicholas said that the time has come to start dealing with the dead.

"I know we're still rescuing people, but I think it's time we start pulling out the bodies," he said.

The highest concentration of casualties from Hurricane Katrina likely will come in the Lower 9th Ward, St. Bernard Parish, areas first inundated on Aug. 29 with floodwaters that engulfed second story homes in minutes. New Orleans also will likely see mass casualties, New Orleans Police Capt. Timothy Bayard said.

"We're going see a lot more bodies out of New Orleans East than we anticipated," he said.

In just one subdivision, Sherwood Forest, survivors who showed up to the Convention Center on Monday said police told them roughly 90 people in the subdivision had died.

In St. Bernard, 22 bodies were found lashed together. Officials surmised the drowning victims had tried to stay together to keep themselves from being washed away in the storm.

Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu said "more than a thousand" people had died in St. Bernard. "When the death toll comes out, it's going to be a jolt for everybody," he said. "I'll be surprised if the casualties in St. Bernard are less than a thousand."

Even Uptown near the river, one of the few spots of dry land, a body lay in front of a white wooden shotgun double at 4732 Laurel St. The body of an older woman lay under a gray blanket, pinned down at the corners by brick and slate, adorned with a plastic-wrapped flower bouquet. Above her, a yellow cardboard sign quoting John 3:16 had been taped to the window.

Alcede Jackson
Rest in Peace
In the loving arms of Jesus


Given the length of time many had been dead, and in the water, some of the bodies already might be unrecognizable, and some may never be recovered.

Many trapped by flood waters in shelters found their own ways of dealing with those who died in their midst.

Near an elementary school at Poland and St. Claude avenues, Dwight and Wilber Rhodes, two brothers, said they had tried to save a middle-aged man and woman at the Convention Center who appeared to have drowned.

"We performed CPR on them, but they were already dead," Dwight Rhodes said. "So we took the food out of the freezer and put the bodies in."

Of the four bodies that lay just inside the food service entrance of the Convention Center, the woman in the wheelchair rattled Brooks the most. When he found her two days before among the sea of suffering in front of the Convention Center where one of the last refugee camps evacuated, her husband sat next to her. He had only one concern when Brooks and some of his comrades carted her away.

"Bring me back my wheelchair," he recalled the man telling him.

One of the bodies, they said, was a girl they estimated to be 5 years old. Though they could not confirm it, they had heard she was gang-raped.

"There was an old lady that said the little girl had been raped by two or three guys, and that she had told another unit. But they said they couldn't do anything about it with all the people there," Brooks said. "I would have put him in cuffs, stuck him in the freezer and left him there."

Brooks and his unit came to New Orleans not long after serving a year of combat duty in Iraq, taking on gunfire and bombs, while losing comrades with regularity. Still, the scene at the Convention Center, where they conducted an evacuation this week, left him shell-shocked.

"I ain't got the stomach for it, even after what I saw in Iraq," said Brooks, referring to the freezer where the bulk of the bodies sat decomposing. "In Iraq, it's one-on-one. It's war. It's fair. Here, it's just crazy. It's anarchy. When you get down to killing and raping people in the streets for food and water … And this is America. This is just 300 miles south of where I live."
If I could ask God for only one favor right now, I would wish what happened to the people in that convention center upon the entire motherfucking Republican party.

God will not be mocked, you bastards. If I were you I'd stop invoking his name right the fuck now.


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  Are You Shocked? Part 2

Oil companies have been systematically and deliberately closing their refineries to increase profits for quite some time. Even when we're supposedly at war. You know, just like they did in the 1970s.

But hey, if you were them and had a country like the US full of lazy suckers stupid enough to never look for alternative fuel sources, wouldn't you cheat them?

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  Are You Shocked?

The Army is recruiting among refugees in the Houston Astrodome.

After all, what better opportunity to fix those Iraq manpower needs than among people who have no homes to return to? What a happy coincidence for the war effort.

And our manpower needs at home? Oh, who cares about that even now?
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is (chuckles) working very well for them."
Barbara Bush, Houston Astrodome, September 5, 2005

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We Are All Accomplices
Bush's people are doing their best to chant the words "blame game" until they have fully exorcised public fury against them for standing by with their thumbs up their asses while a city died. Even the media are now starting to pick up this thread, that to criticize this administration, to point out what we all saw happen, to point out that gee, they don't even seem to give a shit and are already forgetting about it--and would like us to do the same, thanks very much--is somehow to delay the rescue operations.

I'd like to see how they hide the stink of their crimes once the bodies in the houses emerge from the water being pumped out now. But then, if they can prevent us from seeing photos of soldiers who died for this country, why not photos of a city full of dead bodies in New Orleans?(click and find out that indeed they have already done this)

But you know, they're right in a way. We are all complicit in their deaths.

We are complicit because we allowed this man to be appointed president before the votes were counted in 2000.

We are complicit because we let him spend most of his presidency vacationing.

We are complicit because we didn't keep asking why the Air Force was told to stand down on 9/11, and didn't keep asking why Bush took no action then to help Americans then either, and didn't call them on their lies afterward, about who was responsible for taking no action, about why they didn't want a commission to investigate it.

We are complicit because we never asked why it was more important that the government have the power to look at our library records than for potential terrorists to be denied access to firearms.

We are complicit because when the man in charge of security on 9/11 told us that our government let us down, we did not stop that government when its only response was to destroy the reputation of that man, and any other who pointed out that they had failed us, were likely to fail us again, and didn't care to fix a single thing.

We are complicit because we let this president lie us into war and squander lives, treasure, equipment, our national reputation and our moral code on a war of choice against a country that never committed a single act against ours that any of us can name, a war that did not even bring us cheap oil, not to mention anything like peace or security anywhere.

We are complicit because we let him crow early about victory and then dare the enemy to attack our troops, which he did not equip properly and still doesn't.

We are complicit because we listened to him and didn't so much believe him as accept, because we assumed there was nothing we could do. At which point there wasn't.

We are complcit because we let him ruin the security of the CIA for petty political payback, and thus the security of this country, and let him, indeed, be careless with that to a fault while scaring us every minute and never asking why, if we were in so much danger, he wasn't doing anything to actually defend us or protect us from danger.

We are complicit because we never questioned why it took him forever to get up from reading My Pet Goat or read a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US" but was willing to rush back to Washington to sign a bill to save a single dead Florida woman's life.

We are complicit because we allowed him to become president again despite his hands still dripping with our blood, because we allowed him to claim his opponent would get us killed.

We are complicit because we do not remember that words mean things and lead to actions, because we act like everything will have a happy ending and that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

We have dishonored every death from 9/11, from Iraq, from Afghanistan, by not questioning the president, by allowing him to weasel and bully his way out of accountability every time he has done the same dishonest thing; by agreeing to the spell he has put over us, in which for some reason our minds start to short-circuit when we begin to realize the enormity of our foolishness.

Because they understand that public image and approval ratings, ultimately, mean nothing if our anger never translates into action, and it never does. If we never hold him to account, it doesn't matter what kind of monster he is, because either way he'll still be president, and being president, by any means necessary, is the whole ballgame, with or without honor. In fact, having no honor to lose probably makes it easier. Low expectations have always been his friend.

Our president does not care if he is good. The power is enough. And how much respect can he have for a country that despises him and still elects him?

We let New Orleans die because we let this incompetent bastard have our highest, most sacred office. If we did that, we must not care about the possible consequences. We have treated casually what generations died to achieve, and are we now shocked at the consequences?

This is what it looks like when you let that happen. Cities die. Americans die. How many deaths have we endured because this man has been president?

We had better learn to live with them because we asked for it. We put him in charge and didn't think it would make a difference who was in that office. If that's the course we decided on, no matter if we think it was foolish now, then we must accept that the guilt is ours as well. We all killed New Orleans, and every baby who died is smeared red on each of us, just the same as if we had hired a train engineer who was drunk and derailed the train, killing everyone aboard. What did we expect? We knew the engineer was a drunk, but we trusted it would work out, not because of any reason but because it was easier than worrying too much about it. And then we act surprised when babies starve to death and cities are left to die.

If you put a fool in power, he will do foolish things. That's what fools do.

You do not criticize a monster. You do not stand in front of a dragon and whine that his breath is a little too hot, and ask if he can eat the virgin a little more politely.

You stop him, that's what you do. Who are we expecting to come in and do so? It's our job and we won't.

Bush knows we won't stop him, that we can't stop him, and that we will make no sacrifice to stop him. And he's laughing, laughing every day about it.

We have pissed on the legacy of our ancestors and our suffering is deserved. We have lost America for no better reason than, maybe, we were bored with it. This is what it looks like when you let that happen.

Remember feeling safe?

You must not have liked it very much.

We lie in the bed we have made, try our best to keep our eyes fixed on the cracks in the ceiling, and think of England as he does what he likes. Have you learned to enjoy it yet? You will. Or, anyway, you may as well.

Stop them, or shut up and go back to watching American Idol.

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