I think it's panic mode at the OK Corral; I think these assholes are finally starting to realize that the whole world's been watching this unfold, and they can't just drop it all down the memory hole like they do with everything else. When one of the biggest talking points on the left the last day or so has been the on-air meltdown on Faux News, of Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera, you know that all the regular Faux viewers saw that too.
And they have to make a decision for themselves now -- whether to continue believing the word of an entire administration that dicked around on vacation and p.r. after the storm hit, or to maybe take the word of the people on the ground there. Unless they need to tell themselves that Shep and Geraldo are part of the VLWC in the media too, which they very well might, if only to keep their heads from exploding.
Yeah, well, not a damn thing's been done right yet. I don't know what makes Newt think that's suddenly gonna change. It's going to take a lot of good faith effort on the part of the administration to undo even part of what has transpired.
And note how the article carefully refers to the "perception" that they failed to respond adequately. Oh yes, it's all in your heads, folks. Those dead babies, those floating bodies, those dead folks slumped over in wheelchairs? Just perception, dear boy.
People saw this [photo from Rigorous Intuition]
while reading about Bush fucking around in San Diego until Wednesday, Cheney holed up in Wyoming until Friday, and Queen Condi taking in Broadway shows and buying shoes on Thursday. These people, to put it quite bluntly, are scum. No amount of harrumphing and obfuscation will change that.
Not that some of them aren't trying their damndest:
Um, no one has suggested that Bush called up his bestest friend God and caused the hurricane. What they have rightly pointed out is how his programs drastically undercut and underfunded New Orleans' efforts to protect itself in the event of this eminently foreseeable catastrophe. In the more immediate sense, people have also expressed frustration with Bush for -- for the 800th fucking time now -- dawdling and pimping his political bullshit at a moment when lives really were in the balance, when his countrymen truly needed him to be there for them.
Stein is being willfully disingenuous and intellectually dishonest here (and throughout), and I am immensely disappointed to say I regret that I ever considered him a decent and gracious person. This is beyond the usual tendentious hackery we're all accustomed to; it is truly beneath contempt.
He waited three days to get started. That is simply inexcusable. Stein certainly wouldn't have forgiven Clinton for such indifference. Furthermore, his mealymouthed attempt to gloss over the logistics of rendering aid is, again, disingenuous. One would think that if they could use all the help they can get, FEMA wouldn't have told the Red Cross to stay out of New Orleans.
One might get the idea that they are more concerned with evacuation and pacification than triage, if one were inclined to make judgments according to observed actions, rather than the usual "feel your pain" boilerplate.
That's an absolute baldfaced fucking lie, and Stein knows it. 30% of the National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast states are in Iraq. High-water amphibious vehicles were taken from Louisiana's National Guard to dump off in Iraq, where they're pretty much useless except for surfing the Tigris. Quite a few reliable reports have already emerged specifying how the SELA fund, specifically earmarked for levee improvement and maintenance, got hijacked for use in the war.
Stein ends his idiotic tirade with another lie followed by a non-sequitur:
From our vantage point, the callousness seems to be all at the top echelon. New Orleans' mayor and Louisiana's public officials have all responded passionately, with conviction and purpose. You know when people are defending their homes, and when people are just waltzing through canned photo ops in a desperate damage control strategy.
I don't think I heard anything about Mary Landrieu going shoe-shopping after the hurricane hit.
As for the gratuitous swipe at the right's favorite monster, I'll just say this: during the Clinton years, I liked Hillary even less than I liked Bill. She struck me as a ball-breaking power-hungry diva who didn't seem to realize that people had elected her husband and not her.
And while I am not thrilled with her cynical tacks to the right to position herself for '08, I understand that the game has certain rules. But the bottom line is, I don't think for a second that a President Hillary would piss away 72 hours on useless cheerleading stops while a major metropolitan area was being obliterated.
As for health care, the American health care system is fucked, pure and simple. Would Hillarycare have been some sort of miracle cure? Maybe, maybe not. Would it hurt to give it a shot, rather than force 50 million Americans to choose between health coverage and survival?
At any rate, I couldn't read through Ben Stein's cheap hit piece without feeling embarrassed for him. For such a smart and erudite person, he has chosen to be a lackey and a toady to some pretty disgusting and worthless people. First Nixon and now this slug.
Kevin Drum has a worthy quote from the frustrated Mary Landrieu, as well as a take on how the rest of the world perceives the situation.
He's right. It is criminal, it's disgusting and pathetic. I hope Ben Stein and the rest of the dwindling coterie of bootlickers take a moment to ponder the sheer moral cowardice being played out here by their idols.
An even better rundown from abroad is here, from the London Guardian Observer. The whole thing is appalling, but here's a choice excerpt:
And on and on. This is untenable -- the republic simply cannot survive in its current state of disintegration. Remember folks, the revolution will not be podcasted.