Monday, August 28, 2006

Commemorating failure

This time, he's punctual. Probably because the staff had time to plan the photo-ops in advance.

President Bush marks the anniversary of the hurricane that still haunts his presidency with worries a new tropical storm could bring the first test of his promise that the botched post-Katrina response will not be repeated.

As Ernesto cut a path through the Caribbean, Bush prepared for a visit Monday and Tuesday to the region that is little recovered from Hurricane Katrina's devastating strike last August. Forecasters believe Ernesto, which grew into the first hurricane of the season Sunday and then weakened back to a tropical storm, will emerge with some force into the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

The latest tracking indicated the system would most threaten southern and western Florida, a predication that seemed to shift New Orleans out of the expected danger zone.

Regardless, with Bush's image as a leader still tarnished by the halting federal response to Katrina, the president wants to make clear that he has been fully engaged in planning for Ernesto as he vacationed over the weekend at his family's summer home on the Maine coast. Aides noted he was briefed regularly and said White House representatives were coordinating with emergency management officials.

A poll earlier this month found two-thirds of Americans still disapprove of the president's handling of Katrina. Democrats are converging on the Gulf along with Bush, intending to make the case that the president and his Republican Party should be held accountable for failing storm victims — not just at first, but still.
Hey George, rather than bullshit photo-ops with rubes excited to pose with a celebrity or the few remaining GOP supporters that your advance team can scare up -- been there, done that -- why not mark the one-year anniversary of Katrina by re-creating your actual response to when the hurricane struck?

You could start by cutting a vacation short -- you were just in Kennebunkport, so that would work.

On Thursday, you could fly over the region in Air Force One, re-creating your original three-day delay in acknowledging the disaster. Maybe you could get your mother to go back on Larry King and say, "People came up to me all day long and said 'God bless your son,' people of different races and it was very, very moving and touching and they felt like when he flew over that it made all the difference in their lives." Sure the idea of members of the Great Unwashed being able to just walk up to your mother and speak is ludicrous. But Larry didn't blink then and surely won't this time either.

I know it seems like a lot of time to fill between now and Thursday, but I'm sure you can find something fun to do between now and then. After all, you did last year.

Boy, that sure looked like a hoot.

Then, on Saturday, you could fly on down to Alabama and give the nation an update on the progress of the rebuilding of Trent "All These Problems" Lott's porch. If his house has been rebuilt, and I'm confident it has, you could set right down for a photo-op right there on that very porch. Think about it, you'd finally be living up to a promise -- you said you were going to sit on that new porch, and by God there you are doing it. Let's see the Democrat party spin that against you.

Then maybe you could publicly praise the work of a crony appointed to a key national security position right before he resigns in disgrace. I wouldn't suggest R. David Paulison, though. Remember how hard it was to find a replacement for Brownie? But that Chertoff fellow looks like a good choice -- remember the report that said Indiana has more terror targets than New York?

Better yet, why not do the people of that region a favor and go back to forgetting about them? Why not let people who really are trying to rebuild the region go about their business instead of interrupting them so they can pose for pictures that make you look like you give a shit? Haven't they suffered enough?

Thursday, August 17, 2006


The "warrantless" part was probably the tipoff.

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which involves wiretapping conversations between people in the U.S. and people in other countries.

The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.

The ACLU said the state-secrets argument was irrelevant because the Bush administration already had publicly revealed enough information about the program for Taylor to rule.
Well, this gives the douchebags at Fox News a reason to dust off the phrase "activist judges."