Friday, September 02, 2005

(Three posts on Katrina today; scroll down to get them all.)

By the Banks of Lake George
All across the country this afternoon, Americans who do not have their heads up their asses found themselves talking back to their TV screens while Bush spoke from the disaster zone. Reader KN read the transcript, ended up doing the Internet equivalent of talking back to the TV screen, and was kind enough to send along the result. (KN is in italics.)
Today, our President travels to the storm-ravaged South to be with The People. Or at least fly over them and wave. He wants to understand those who are really suffering on the Gulf Coast. Like Trent Lott...

"We got a lot of rebuilding to do.... the good news is and it's hard for some to see it now but out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic gulf coast... out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- the guy lost his entire house -- there's going to be fantastic house. I look forward to sitting on the porch." (Laughter.)

Funny. Ha.

It is such a hard, hard job being president, with comforting the afflicted and all... "And the federal government's job is big, and it's massive, and we're going to do it."

But we must be sure to reiterate the call to open season on black people:
"And I want to thank you for your strong statement of zero tolerance."

To Bush's credit, at least he does remember, back from some campaign speech he made once, just how hard it is to put food on your families: "And that's a primary mission, is to get food to people. And there's a lot of food moving. And now the -- it's one thing to get it moving to a station, it's the next thing to get it in the hands of the people, and that's where we're going to spend a lot of time focusing."

Of course, this food won't be served without a lot of bullshit: "And I'm down here to thank people. I'm down here to comfort people."

...for a whole five minutes from the safety of the New Orleans airport.

Thank goodness, though, for strategery: "I'm down here to let people know that we're going to work with the states and the local folks with a strategy to get this thing solved." (Shouldn't a strategy have been hatched for this inevitability YEARS AGO?)

Nevertheless, when it all boils down, all you really need is love---creepy Republican love:
"Now is the time to love a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourselves."

...and show that love by using cute frat-boy nicknames: "Again, I want to thank you all for -- and, Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. The FEMA Director is working 24 -- (applause) -- they're working 24 hours a day." (With those kind of hours, you would think "Brownie" would find the time to get his head out of his ass.)

Bush must know what's ahead of him....
"And I'm not looking forward to this trip." Yeah, just wait until Ray Nagin gets ahold of his ass.

At least our President has a frame of reference for this catastrophe: "It -- for those who have not -- trying to conceive what we're talking about, it's as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by a--" (...shuffles through his mind for the name of one of those thingys Uncle Dick says we've dropped on Iraq...) "---the worst kind of weapon you can imagine."

Thank heavens, our fearless leader is boldly (if belatedly) stepping into the fray:
"And now we're going to go try to comfort people in that part of the world."

Good fucking luck. You might want to take some food and water with you. And plenty of Secret Service. There aren't too many happy people down there on the shores of Lake George.
I believe KN's summed it up quite nicely. The speech is more evidence that this man, even after two days back at work, still just doesn't get it. If he really thinks the disaster is like the Gulf Coast being obliterated by "the worst kind of weapon imaginable," why isn't he acting like it? The Lott joke, the feeble and false-sounding "love your neighbor" thing, and the frat-boy nickname for the head of FEMA (last job: asked to resign by the International Arabian Horses Association, an organization that no longer exists, as its judges and stewards commissioner, for incompetence) all delivered with his trademark smirk, are grossly, hideously inappropriate.

(Blogger exhales heavily here, contemplates beer selection in refrigerator.)

There is much, much more to come in this story, and developments, well, they develop minute by minute, which you know if you've been watching TV or reading on the Web. My go-to blogs for breaking news the last couple of days have been Political Animal, War Room, Eschaton, Daily Kos, Think Progress, and AMERICAblog. Pandagon has been great at finding provocative tidbits, as has Steve Gilliard's News Blog. Also Digby and the Rude Pundit. All of these sites except the News Blog are on the blogroll at the right. I mention all this because I am now going to disconnect from the firehose for a while. The Wisconsin Badgers open the football season at home tomorrow, and it's Taste of Madison weekend, too. The weather is going to be beautiful, and The Mrs. and I are going to enjoy it.

We hope you enjoy your weekend as well, to the greatest extent possible, all things considered.

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