GEORGE BUSH’S PROBLEM inevitably will come out, top White Houses say on condition of anonymity. The forty third president of the United States suffers from PDD, Presidential Deficit Disorder. The latest outbreak of the syndrome was revealed with the news Karl Rove shook down the Governor Blanco of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina so George Potemkin Bush could look good. Or look better. Because it looks pretty pathetic when you looking good matters more than people’s well being.
White House senior adviser Karl Rove wanted it conveyed that he understood that Blanco was requesting that President Bush federalize the evacuation of New Orleans. The governor should explore legal options to impose martial law ''or as close as we can get," Vitter quoted Rove, according to handwritten notes by Terry Ryder, Blanco's executive counsel. . . . A Blanco aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the people around Bush were trying to maneuver the governor into an unnecessary change intended to make Bush look decisive.
PRESIDENTIAL DEFICIT DISORDER formerly known Potemkin Hysteria often reveals itself through an overpuffed chest, a high pitched voice, and a bi-polar need and fear of bright lights and attention.[via Sukabi/ASZ]
AS GEORGE BUSH LOOKS “GOOD”"You come to these FEMA centers, you sit all day," said Myrna Guity, 43, whose import business was wiped out by the storm, along with her home in New Orleans East. "You get no answers to your questions. They're evasive. You're constantly 'pending.' What are you going to be doing, 'pending' for the rest of your life? I've lost everything."
MARDI GRAS WILL return, perhaps in a lighter form, but the city of New Orleans remains dark. A city of many colors may return more white. The power company is in the red, bankrupt. Tons of trash still stink in daylight. Residents of New Orleans feel trashed and left in the dark.
Nighttime tells the truth. Nighttime tells that the city is not whole. Then, the great expanse of the city's center and much of its lanky eastern edge lie dark and silent and creepy. Block after block of homes, mile after mile, rot in pitch-blackness.
THE CRESCENT CITY may have gone around the bend and not come back. MORE TO FOLLOW
"You have to do it with candor. To do it otherwise gives you no credibility," Brown said Wednesday. "I think people are curious: 'My gosh, what was it like? The media just really beat you up. You made mistakes. I don't want to be in that situation. How do I avoid that?' "
RIDING ON the City of New Orleans, penny a point. Ain't no one keeping score. Well some are. The question again begs asking: who would hire this kid except for his connections? AP notes: Brown said officials need to ''take inventory'' of what's going on in a disaster to be able to answer questions to avoid appearing unaware of how serious a situation is. Lance Mannion: . . . this is like Custer setting up as an expert in White-Indian relations. Marie Antoinette going into social work. James Dobson offering advice on child rearing. Sister has more over at the other boy genius's house. I can’t even imagine how he will decide to price his services. Great tips like “Don’t send emails about shopping and dining while in the midst of a crisis where starving people have just lost all of their worldly possessions” are simply priceless. MP: Sorry and sorrier. The Heretik would just like to say Oy. And Oyer.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED KATRINA READING KATRINA CATCH 22 [WaPo] Federal officials are encouraging Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina to turn over the job of removing storm-related debris to the Army Corps of Engineers. The incentive is simple: The Corps will do it free. . . The Corps turned over the work to its prime contractor in the state, Ashbritt Inc. of Pompano Beach, Fla., at a price of $17 per cubic yard. Just how much the Corps is driving up the cost of the cleanup is unclear, but debris removal is one of the most expensive parts of the recovery. FEMA has spent nearly $500 million already, said spokeswoman Nicol Andrews, not including the four contracts worth up to $2 billion for debris removal the Corps signed shortly after the disaster. Estimates for the total debris left from Katrina reach nearly 100 million cubic yards, with one cubic yard roughly equivalent to the volume of a three-square-foot box.
BIG WHEELS KEEP ON TURNING And The Heretik sees Proud Mary and everybody else in Katrina's wake burning. As eyes shift elsewhere, attention to small details like who gets paid and where they are from plus a whole lot of money get swept under the carpet.
THE FORGOTTEN [WaPo] Billy McDonald, the white-haired mayor whose house was reduced to a concrete slab by 55-foot-high waves, works out of a trailer. He doesn't expect the word "recovery" to roll off his lips for many months. "Lots of folks don't have flood insurance; lots of folks don't have jobs; lots of folks don't have hope," McDonald said. "We're a hurting place." This is the other land laid low by Katrina's fury. Like New Orleans to the west, hundreds of square miles of Mississippi coastland look little better than they did in early September, and many people here harbor anger that the federal government has fallen short and that the nation's attention has turned away. At least 200,000 Mississippians remain displaced, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is short at least 13,000 trailers to house them. THE HERETIK NOTES sadly New Orleans had a charm and attraction even in its darkest hour. What people expressed about that city at the time of Katrina reflected what Americans thought about race, religion, the will of god, willful neglect, and a late turn of the century, turn of the stomach pain in the gut. Few reflect now on that time of darkness now. It is old news. Ole Miss, Mississippi, was old news even before it was news. Mississippi had none of the glamour of NOLA. But Mississippi was as worse off as its neighbors to the west and is not much better.
MORE ON THAT HECKUVA JOB Stacy at Cafe Politicosteams more than milk for latte: it's a world where incompetence pays off
IF LOOKS COULD KILL maybe they will. Brownie sinks further into the mud. Heckuva job. [story]
The correspondence that surfaced yesterday reads like an "SNL" skit. Brownie e-mailing his spokeswoman Sharon Worthy, days before Katrina crashed into Louisiana and Mississippi: "Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?" Days later, after Brownie was reckless enough to appear alongside Bush in a long-sleeved white shirt, came this urgent advice from Worthy: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working." Look more hard-working. Key word: look. Forget results. It's all about image.
LOOKS MORE like another disaster for the man who put Brown in his place: George Bush. Potemkin shirts available in size XXXXXL, pre-rolled up sleeves only.
THE REPUBLICANS ARE CUTTING THE BUDGET in Congress to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief [story] at the same time the government isn't spending the money it has for Hurricane Katrina relief.
Beginning this week, the House GOP lawmakers will take steps to cut as
much as $50 billion from the fiscal 2006 budget for health care for the
poor, food stamps and farm supports, as well as considering
across-the-board cuts in other programs. Only last month, then-House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) and other GOP leaders quashed demands
within their party for budget cuts to pay for the soaring cost of
IF THAT FIFTY BILLION DOLLAR SUM sounds familiar, that's because it is somewhere close to the fortyfive billion FEMA still hasn't spent for relief. [story]
FEMA, which received almost $60 billion of the $62 billion in emergency
funds, had "obligated" or assigned only $15.6 billion as of last
Wednesday — less than a third of the money available — according to a
weekly report the agency sends Congress.
BUSH HAS SAID he won't cut and run in Iraq, but it appears he is willing to cut relief efforts and run away from real solutions in the storm struck south of the United States. Even when the money is there, Bush won't spend it on people who really need it. He will, however, spend money when the photo ops end.
Since Bush came to office, federal spending had grown by a third, from
$1.86 trillion to $2.47 trillion, while record budget surpluses turned
to record deficits.
IS THIS A CASE of government at work or is Bush so lazy he can't even spend money he already has?
Shades of Iraq,
the reconstruction money Congress approved for reconstruction in the
Gulf isn't even being spent. As of last Wednesday, FEMA had received
$60 billion, and assigned $15.6 billion.
The excuse explanation is that Bush is being very careful
not to get in the way of local initiative. Fixing things is not the
federal governments job. (Ever get the feeling Bush took this job
because he thought it was the world's easiest gig -- nice costumes, no
I mean, it's pretty bad when even Jack Kemp won't buy your spiel about the limits of government. [Body and Soul]
AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL where George Bush got his MBA, the course is taught famously by the case study method. Here Bush is a case of dollars and no sense.
IN RELATED NEWS a noted drug addict in favor of harsh drug sentences for people other than himself ODed on the Republican philosophy [story]
I love being a conservative. We
conservatives are proud of our philosophy. Unlike our liberal friends,
who are constantly looking for new words to conceal their true beliefs
and are in a perpetual state of reinvention, we conservatives are
unapologetic about our ideals. We are confident in our principles and
energetic about openly advancing them. We believe in individual
liberty, limited government, capitalism . . .
CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS like the heavy hitter Rush Limbaugh may need to come up with a new word to conceal their own true beliefs, to convey what they say, and what they do. The word would need to incorporate looking in the mirror, but also being seen through as well. A see through mirror for now would seem to fit the bill.
PLUS MORNING IN THE LAND OF MAYHEM [WaPo] As Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans on Aug. 29, Michael D.
Brown, then director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
appeared confused over whether Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff had put him in charge, senior military officials could not
reach Brown and his team became swamped by the speed of the unfolding
disaster, according to e-mails to and from Brown.
THE HERETIK SADLY NOTES he doesn't know what is worse: the utter inaction and lack of concern at the start of the storm or lack of concern and action after. What is obvious is that if there isn't a camera around, no concern or action are needed.
RIGHT PLACE, WRONG TIME is the story of disaster [story]. When people say something couldn't have happened at a worse time, they forget cataclysm has no clock. Right place, wrong time goes through my head when I see this from Steve Soto at The Left Coaster:
The quake struck Saturday. Within two days, the Bush Administration
had already started delivering blankets, tents, food, and water. Plus,
water, food, blankets, and medicine for 2500 families will arrive in
Pakistan tomorrow. More importantly, heavy lift and supply helicopters
and engineering support will be there immediately.
Now, tell me again, how many days did it take the Bush
Administration to get the same supplies and equipment into New Orleans
and Mississippi in the wake of Katrina?
RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE runs through my head. It's an old Mack Rebbenack song. You may remember Mack as the New Orleans musician as Doctor John, The Night Tripper. A more generous man you could not meet. Pakistan is this month's disaster. Bush seemed to forget the Katrina disaster before it happened, but we are in danger of forgetting New Orleans now.
THE HERETIK GOT THIS by email from Bill Quigley last night. There is no link, just Bill's words which come in full:
They are doing it again! My wife and I spent five days and four nights in a hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. We saw people floating dead in the water. We watched people die waiting for evacuation to places with food, water, and electricity. We were rescued by boat and waited for an open pickup truck to take us and dozens of others on a rainy drive to the underpass where thousands of others waited for a bus ride to who knows where. You saw the people left behind. The poor, the sick, the disabled, the prisoners, the low-wage workers of New Orleans, were all left behind in the evacuation. Now that New Orleans is re-opening for some, the same people are being left behind again.
When those in power close the public schools, close public housing, fire people from their jobs, refuse to provide access to affordable public healthcare, and close off all avenues for justice, it is not necessary to erect a sign outside of New Orleans saying “Poor People Not Allowed To Return.” People cannot come back in these circumstances and that is exactly what is happening.
There are 28,000 people still living in shelters in Louisiana. There are 38,000 public housing apartments in New Orleans, many in good physical condition. None have been reopened. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimated that 112,000 low-income homes in New Orleans were damaged by the hurricane. Yet, local, state and federal authorities are not committed to re-opening public housing. Louisiana Congressman Richard Baker (R-LA) said, after the hurricane, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”
New Orleans public schools enrolled about 60,000 children before the hurricane. The school board president now estimates that no schools on the city’s east bank, where the overwhelming majority of people live, will reopen this academic school year. Every one of the 13 public schools on the mostly-dry west bank of New Orleans was changed into charter schools in an afternoon meeting a few days ago. A member of the Louisiana state board of education estimated that at most 10,000 students will attend public schools in New Orleans this academic year.
The City of New Orleans laid off 3,000 workers. The public school system laid off thousands of its workers. The Archdiocese of New Orleans laid off 800 workers from its central staff and countless hundreds of others from its parish schools. The Housing Authority has laid off its workers. The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office laid off half of its workers.
Renters in New Orleans are returning to find their furniture on the street and strangers living in their apartments at higher rents – despite an order by the Governor that no one can be evicted before October 25. Rent in the dry areas have doubled and tripled.
Environmental chemist Wilma Subra cautions that earth and air in the New Orleans area appear to be heavily polluted with heavy metal and organic contaminants from more than 40 oil spills and extensive mold. The people, Subra stated, are subject to “double insult – the chemical insult from the sludge and biological insult from the mold.” Homes built on the Agriculture Street landfill – a federal toxic site – stewed for weeks in floodwaters.
Yet, the future of Charity Hospital of New Orleans, the primary place for free comprehensive medical care in the state of Louisiana, is under furious debate and discussion and may never re-open again. Right now, free public healthcare is being provided by volunteers at grassroots free clinics like Common Ground – a wonderful and much needed effort but not a substitute for public healthcare.
The jails and prisons are full and staying full. Despite orders to release prisoners, state and local corrections officials are not releasing them unless someone can transport them out of town. Lawyers have to file lawsuits to force authorities to release people from prison who have already served all of their sentences! Judges are setting $100,000 bonds for people who steal beer out of a vacant house, while landlords break the law with impunity. People arrested before and after the hurricane have not even been formally charged by the prosecutor. Because the evidence room is under water, part of the police force is discredited, and witnesses are scattered around the country, everyone knows few will ever see a trial, yet timid judges are reluctant to follow the constitution and laws and release them on reasonable bond.
People are making serious money in this hurricane but not the working and poor people who built and maintained New Orleans. President Bush lifted the requirement that jobs re-building the Gulf Coast pay a living wage. The Small Business Administration has received 1.6 million disaster loan applications and has approved 9 in Louisiana.
A US Senator reported that maintenance workers at the Superdome are being replaced by out of town workers who will work for lessmoney and no benefits. He also reported thatseventy-five Louisiana electricians at the Naval AirStation are being replaced by workers from Kellogg Brown and Root – a subsidiary of Halliburton
Take it to the courts, you say? The LouisianaSupreme Court has been closed since the hurricane and is not due to re-open until at least October 25, 2005. While Texas and Mississippi have enacted special rules to allow out of state lawyers to come and help people out, the Louisiana Supreme court has not. Nearly every person victimized by the hurricane has a price-gouging story. Yet, the Louisiana Attorney General has filed exactly one suit for price-gouging – against a campground. Likewise, the US attorney has prosecuted 3 people for wrongfully seeking $2000 FEMA checks.
No schools. No low-income apartments. No jobs. No healthcare. No justice.
A final example? You can fly on a plane into New Orleans, but you cannot take a bus. Greyhound does not service New Orleans at this time.
You saw the people who were left behind last time.The same people are being left behind all over again.You raised hell about the people left behind last time. Please do it again.
THE HERETIK KNOWS disaster strikes in a stroke. Memory is short. Compassion is universal, but we forget. Let us remember those who need us wherever they may be.
RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING WHAT'S GOING ON? [Body and Soul] on problems with Red Cross and charity relief plus paying subminimum wages to construction workers with suspension of the Davis Bacon Act. More from CN Todd.
YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT from reading the Washington Post. George Bush continues to lose his grip on language and on reality. Nobody says a word about it. Is the media inability to note this mental problem part of a gentlemen’s agreement similar to not publishing pictures of FDR in his wheel chair or something darker? [White House transcript] Here’s part of the WaPo account:
President Bush, saying "gas prices are on our mind," today
promised that the government is again prepared to tap into the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve to alleviate any crude oil shortages caused
by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."It's important for
our people to know that we understand the situation and that we're
willing to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to mitigate any
shortfalls in crude oil that could affect our consumers," Bush said. [WaPo]
BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PEOPLE who lampooned the guy who voted for the war before he voted against it. Bush on gas:
Governor Perdue of Georgia I thought did a -- showed some leadership by saying we've got to -- anticipating a problem, here's what we need to do to correct it.
There's going to be some -- by the way, and here's what we have done and will continue to do. We have suspended certain EPA winter blend rules so that it makes it easier to import gasoline from overseas. In other words, there's a supply of gasoline in Europe, and by suspending these rules, it's a lot more likely to be able to get gasoline into our markets. And so while there's a shortfall because of down refining capacity, we will work with -- we have instructed EPA to leave the rules in place, or to suspend the rules that were in place, keep the suspension in place, which would make it easier to increase supply, and continue to get supply of gasoline here. And that's important for our consumers to know.[White House]
BUSH COMES ACROSS even less cohererent when he discusses poverty. Somebody needs to tell Bush that rote recitation is no longer an answer. First Bush offered No Child Left behind as the fix for Katrina's revelations of racial and class disparity:
And we need to address that, whether it be
rural or urban. And I have done that as the President. I have said that
education systems that simply shuffle children through are -- can be
discriminatory in nature. And, therefore, we've got to have high standards
and high expectations and focus money on Title I children to teach -- so
that they -- so that children can learn to read. And we're beginning to
make progress. [White House]
BUSH SAYS THINGS AND TAKES CREDIT for what has not been done, or for what he dreams has been done. The ownership society will save us all, just because Bush says so:
I have said that ownership is a way to counter poverty and being stuck in impoverished situations, and so homeownership is up. And business ownership is up amongst minorities.[White House]
THE WORLD MUST BE as George Bush sees it. With once small problems in both language and in reality growing greater, much concern rises now in The Heretik's mind. As Bush alluded to in his New Orleans address, he continues to push for another kind of suspension, the kind found in martial law, the kind that would require overturning the Posse Comitatus act.
I want there to be a robust discussion
about the best way for the federal government, in certain extreme
circumstances, to be able to rally assets for the good of the people. I
don't want to prejudge the Congress's discussion on this issue, because it
may require change of law. [White House]
WHEN THE PERSON IN CHARGE wants more power even as he reveals he doesn’t have the power to command words, only one word suffices: scary.
RECOMMENDED READING MARTIAL LAW? [Corrente] Am I the only one who finds it creepy that Bush is turning to the Army
as the only government institution that works in emergencies? And am I the only one who wonders how broad Bush's definition of "emergency" is going to end up being?
THE HERETIK FINDS IT creepy. And scary too. Maybe Bush is still lost in his I'm a War President mode.
WHAT IS AT RISK HERE? [CNN] The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 bans the armed forces from participating in police-type activity on U.S. soil. Gene
Healy, a senior editor at the conservative Cato Institute, said Bush
risks undermining "a fundamental principle of American law" by
tinkering with the Posse Comitatus Act.
THE HERETIK FINDS IT astounding that Bush in the most banal ways would yet again use a disaster to destroy liberty. See 9/11 and the Patriot Act.
BUSH IN A NUTSHELL [Political Animal] First, he talks about conservation but asks only that people "pitch
in." He is unwilling to propose any serious government action to reduce
Second, he talks about environmental restrictions disliked by the
energy industry. On this score, unlike the first, he is happy to
propose government action.
Third, at the end of a discussion directed solely at oil use,
he suggests that nuclear power is part of the answer, seemingly
oblivious to the fact that nuclear power is a source of electricity, an
industry that uses virtually no oil. Increased use of nuclear power
would have no effect on oil consumption at all. So there you have it. An instinctive aversion to using government
power when it's opposed by the industry industry, even though
conservation measures could have a big impact on oil use; an almost
palpable eagerness to use any excuse to strip away environmental rules
the energy industry dislikes; and a bland ignorance of basic energy
policy that would embarrass a high school student.
This is the Bush administration in a nutshell.
THE HERETIK ASKS if this is the Bush administration in a nutshell, is the guy in the nutshell nuts?
UNDER THE CONE OF SILENCE [Steve Soto/Left Coaster] A man who claims he pays no attention to polls suddenly is talking
about gasoline supply and demand, and the best he can do is make a
pitch for more nuclear power plants, which will do about as much to
heat homes this winter and put more gas in everyone’s tank as Don Adams
can right now. Not any mention of raising CAFÉ standards passed his
lips, though. Maybe Bush and Cheney can retreat to the Cone of Silence
to figure out what to do next.
MORE TO FOLLOW NOT EXACTLY CLEAR [Froomkin/Wapo] Bush, who is not known for his strict adherence to grammar when speaking extemporaneously, was unusually unquotable yesterday.
Here's a topic Bush knows a lot about: Oil. But his remarks
were full of fragment sentences, as well as small-bore statistics and
Blogger HOLDEN blisteringly calls attention to some of the harder-to-follow passages.
THE HERETIK SAYS not exactly clear, by the way, he wrote--understatement.
SOMETHING IN THE AIR [Avedon Carol] . . . anyone who saw him drooling in the
debates last year should already have tumbled that Bush has some
problem we're not being told about, but there definitely does seem to
be something going on when so many people are spilling the beans. Is it
repudiation time, or are they just getting ready for Bush to say, "I
don't recall," at his impeachment hearings?
THE HERETIK CANNOT RECALL when things have been more strange, but then there always is today.
AS HURRICANE RITA ROMPS THROUGH THE GULF ready to mess with Texas, now is the time to remember the creepiest moment in George Bush’s Let’s Save My Presidency, Let’s Save the Gulf Coast Part One Speech. George Bush would like the military in on disasters as soon as possible.
AS THE EYE OF THE STORM HITS, keep an eye out for Bush. And keep the other eye out for leaders who would be commanders in chief of an army actively policing this land. Bush's posse of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice is bad enough. He doesn't need to re write the Posse Comitatus Act.
RECOMMENDED READING [hat tip: Avedon] KING OF ZEMBLA IS ON TOP OF WHAT COULD GO DOWN Zemblan patriot J.D. directs us to a WaPo blog by William M. Arkin, author of Code Names,
who offers further evidence that the Bush administration is using its
own malfeasance to argue for -- what else? -- an unprecedented
expansion of executive power:
Sen. John Warner (R.-VA) asked Donald Rumsfeld last week to conduct a
"thorough review" of presidential authority to use the armed forces to
"restore public order" in an emergency like Katrina. His letter
(PDF) unleashed a torrent of speculation that lawmakers will soon
modify or even repeal the Posse Comitatus Act, to some a thread-thin
security blanket between civilian rule and martial law.
. . . . Warner, of all people, should be well
aware that long before Katrina, the military began rewriting its
policies, manuals, and war plans associated with what it now calls
"defense support of civil authorities." Post 9/11 military contingency
planning for "emergency" and "immediate" response by the Pentagon is
already in the process of marginalizing any previously perceived legal
constraints . . . Even before Katrina, contingency planners at
the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the military's new homeland
security command in Colorado Springs, were given marching orders by
Rumsfeld to plan for the worst possible contingency domestically. The
resulting plan, currently in draft and called CONPLAN 2002 (watch this
space), is predicated on a scenario in which the Defense Department
would have to take "the lead" from the Department of Homeland Security,
civil agencies, and the States, that is, to act without civil authority. I think we call that martial law.
THE HERETIK NOTES it's not time for the nuts, not yet. Arkin has another pointed piece that pops the Bush trial balloon of ever ballooning power here.
BUSH WILL BE DEPLOYED EARLY [Froomkin/Wapo] With another monster hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast,
the White House is focused on not making the same mistakes again,
either procedurally or politically. That means being fully prepared to deploy a massive federal response -- and the president himself -- at a moment's notice.
THE HERETIK SAYS By the time Bush gets to Texas, the residents will have had enough wind and water. Bush needs not to blow as much as he did during Katrina
LATEST ON RITA'S RAMPAGE [WaPo] The National Hurricane Center in Miami, in its latest advisory at 8
a.m. EDT, said Rita's winds had reached 170 mph with higher gusts,
making it a Category 5 storm, the highest ranking used by the National
Hurricane Center. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 70 miles
from the massive hurricane's eye, the advisory said
IN THE OZ LIKE WHITE HOUSE LAND OF WIND AND BLUSTER, the flood has followed the tornado to swamp W with news someone may have the guts soon to tell him. This Duke of Deception and Misdirection is going down. Down in the polls [Rasmussen]. Down. [cnn] Down. [USA Today]
"Bush stands at a precipice," says Carroll Doherty of the non-partisan Pew Research Center. "He's lost ground among independents. He seems to be starting to lose ground among his own party. And he lost the Democrats a long time ago."[USA Today]
Doherty is wrong. Bush isn’t at a precipice looking over the depths. The White House continues its jolly jaunt into the drink.
By a record 66%-31%, independents disapprove of the job Bush is doing as president.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan says the president "knows a
leader must govern based on what he believes is right, not based on
polls." Bush is "working to address the priorities that Americans are
most concerned about," he says.
Unfortunately for Bush, people no longer believe he knows what is right. W is already in the abyss looking up at the maelstrom, swirling above him, unlikely to ever resurface.
RECOMMENDED READING PRESIDENT AT PRECIPICE [Echidne of the Snakes] Say that very fast a few times. Then apologize
to anyone who happened to be within your saliva range. The title comes
from one description of yet another bad poll for George Bush. The USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll
suggests that George is not the likeable president the so-called
liberal media likes to tell us. In fact, his disapproval rating is at a
new high of 58%, and he is doing poorly even in the category of
boldness: for the first time the majority doesn't find him that strong
or decisive as a leader.
THE HERETIK NOTES even JOHN KERRY has finally said something:
If the president won’t stand up and provide Americans with answers,
then we must be willing to stand up and propose our own solution.
THE HERETIK ONLY HOPES the Democrats offer more than the "a better plan," Republican light that nobody swallowed last November. Still there is hope.
THE HERETIK AGREES the Republicans are down, but now are we going to build New Orleans back up? It is not a cliche to say it will take um vision. Shades of Bush pere and the vision thing.
VISIONS OF NEW ORLEANS [EJ DIONNE] If the rebuilding of New Orleans is to be something other than a new
government disaster, a coalition of the skeptical and the visionary
will have to stand together and confront the lobbyists and the
corporate welfare artists.
FOUR YEARS AND SEVEN DAYS AGO I began to bring forth on this continent, an age old new vision, conceived in Tragedy, and dedicated to the proposition that some occasions are created more equal for our political opportunity. NOW WE ARE ENGAGED in a great civil war in Iraq, and a testing here again in the south of our own nation. Can any nation so conceived and so dedicated long endure? We are met on a great wasteland of my vision. We have come to dedicate the larger portion of our future fortune, at this final resting place where so many here lost their lives that that blind vision might live. It is not altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
BUT, IN A LARGER SENSE, WE CAN NOT DEDICATE -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men and women, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget how some died here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought in two dubious presidential elections have thus far so ignobly advanced.
IT IS RATHER FOR US to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these unfortunate dead we take increased devotion to our misguided cause for which the forgotten dead gave the full measure of their lives -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under me, shall have a new birth of tyranny-- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall perish from the earth.