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The AP Katrina Video
March 2, 2006 11:26 AM   Subscribe

"In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage."
posted by muckster (162 comments total)

 
Al Qaeda Determined To Attack Inside United States
posted by wakko at 11:29 AM on March 2, 2006


what i'm trying to say is that these people just don't give a fuck.
posted by wakko at 11:29 AM on March 2, 2006


This time he's impeached for sure.
posted by mullingitover at 11:30 AM on March 2, 2006


Hell, the Quintana FPP was more 'best of the web' than this NewsFilter.
posted by NationalKato at 11:32 AM on March 2, 2006


This time he's impeached for sure.

If I got a nickel everytime I heard that.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:33 AM on March 2, 2006


I ask this in everyone one of these sorts of threads. Does anyone expect anything to come of this new? It seems clear to me American's honestly just don't give a fuck -- or at the very least not enough American's give a fuck.

Bush could cook and eat a baby on TV and people would shrug their shoulders. It is scary just how untouchable the man is.
posted by chunking express at 11:33 AM on March 2, 2006


NationalKato proves me point: people really don't give a fuck.
posted by chunking express at 11:34 AM on March 2, 2006


chunking, it's not that I don't give a fuck. I do. But isn't posting this to the Blue kinda like preaching to the choir? I mean, we have at least one thread daily about Bush's fuckups. What're we going to do about it in the real world?
posted by NationalKato at 11:36 AM on March 2, 2006


Okay, fine. Like we don't know that FEMA was already crawling to the scene before the hurricane hit. Like we don't know Bush had to call up Nagin and ask "Uh, dude? You gonna urge your folks to bug out or what?" well before the hurricane hit? Like we don't know Blanco and Nagin tossed their disaster prep plans out the window and tried to wing it?

Damn. Is this the best we can expect from the news any more?

Ooooh. "Dramatic and sometimes agonizing". Man, THAT sure typifies reporting any more. Accuracy, however, takes second place to dramatic presentation.
posted by JB71 at 11:37 AM on March 2, 2006


Well, if he ate a white baby there would be some discomfort. Otherwise, it would be fine.
posted by owillis at 11:37 AM on March 2, 2006


Bush could cook and eat a baby on TV and people would shrug their shoulders.

Wrong. This is exactly what it would take for him to get into serious trouble. Anything else and he walks away, but people draw the line at eating babies.
posted by mullingitover at 11:38 AM on March 2, 2006


And if that baby had blonde curls? Woo-boy!
posted by stinkycheese at 11:39 AM on March 2, 2006


And he lied about it all again just the other day with Vargas on ABC.-- ... VARGAS: When you look back on those days immediately following when Katrina struck, what moment do you think was the moment that you realized that the government was failing, especially the people of New Orleans?
BUSH: When I saw TV reporters interviewing people who were screaming for help. It looked — the scenes looked chaotic and desperate. And I realized that our government was — could have done a better job of comforting people. ...

And--he doesn't care about the trouble people were in, but about comforting them? All hat, no cattle, and people died.

and then there's this: Media Sat On Katrina Video For 6 Months
posted by amberglow at 11:39 AM on March 2, 2006


Bush didn't ask a single question.

I've heard this about quite a few of Bush's briefings. Any other president would say something like, "How many people do we have to get out of there?" or "Who can we send?" or something. The man just sits there, like a tree stump, hoping someone else will do something.
posted by kozad at 11:41 AM on March 2, 2006


Well, if he ate a white baby there would be some discomfort. Otherwise, it would be fine.

Cheney could shoot the baby in the face and then serve it up with chips and slaw. The only thing people would be upset over is that they can't get the recepie for the bbq sauce he was using.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:41 AM on March 2, 2006


Q: Will Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana will vote GOP in 2008?

~~~GAY ADOPTION!~~~

A: Hell yeah! [insert rebel yell]
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:42 AM on March 2, 2006


posted by chunking express Bush could cook and eat a baby on TV and people would shrug their shoulders. It is scary just how untouchable the man is.

Dick Cheney would first shoot the baby, and then blame it for getting in the way of his buckshot. Bush would then cook it and eat it, saying the baby was linked to al-Qaeda.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:42 AM on March 2, 2006


chunking express: I mean, we have at least one thread daily about Bush's fuckups.

In all seriousness, I like following Bush's fuckups on the blue. I mean, I'd rather he weren't in power and/or fucking up, but as long as he is, I like seeing threads following that here.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:42 AM on March 2, 2006


Mr_Zero beat me to it.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:43 AM on March 2, 2006


The important thing about this footage is it contradicts official statements from Bush.
posted by stbalbach at 11:43 AM on March 2, 2006


What was it that Clinton did, that landed him in front of a live TV camera, grilled with stupid questions for what seemed like weeks on end?
posted by Hanover Phist at 11:45 AM on March 2, 2006


For what it's worth, I appreciate the occasional NewsFilter / ImpeachmentFilter.
Partially this is because I'm too lazy to go to CNN, but also it's because there are some very knowledgeable folk here. On more than one occasion, I've seen genuinely useful insight into national events posted right here.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:46 AM on March 2, 2006


I guess my only problem with the FPP was that I prefer NewsFilter posts - especially ones culled from Yahoo news or CNN - to posit some sort of question or commentary besides what is within the news article.
posted by NationalKato at 11:47 AM on March 2, 2006


The man just sits there, like a tree stump, hoping someone else will do something.

During the Katrina teleconference Bush was actually surreptitiously reading "My Pet Goat" in his lap.
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on March 2, 2006


A big part of all of this that fewer people are repeating is that days later, Bush told us "I don't think anyone could have anticipated the breach of the levees."

But in this video, he's listening (supposedly), while Mayfield says: "I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not but that is obviously a very, very grave concern."

So the question: Is he stupid, or lying, or both?
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 11:51 AM on March 2, 2006


Q: Will Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana will vote GOP in 2008?

~~~GAY ADOPTION!~~~

A: Hell yeah! [insert rebel yell]
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:42 PM CST on March 2 [!]


Never really heard a rebel yell. Maybe on the dukes of hazard.

Course, I'm not sure black people really adore chicken or aisan people are really bad drivers. You'd know though, wouldn't you jesse [insert bigot].
posted by justgary at 11:51 AM on March 2, 2006


New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reacts to the AP video.
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on March 2, 2006


Mark Dacascos: And tonight's secret ingredient is... baby!!!
Alton Brown: That's the "other, OTHER white meat, Kevin."
Kevin Brauch: "Baby: it's what's for dinner." Nice use of the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me quotes in that dish, Alton.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:54 AM on March 2, 2006


You'd know though, wouldn't you jesse [insert bigot].

Ventura? Jackson? James?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2006


~~~GAY ADOPTION!~~~

One of the "wedge issues" for the 2006 midterm elections --

Massachusetts Governor Romney shifts on adoption by gays.

Seven quit charity over bishops' effort to prohibit gays from adopting children from Massachusetts Catholic social service agencies.
posted by ericb at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2006


Bush is untouchable until "official" outrage is declared by the ruling class- through its media (al la Nixon, Clinton).

As powerful as they seemed, Nixon and Clinton were outsiders. Bush & Cheney ARE the ruling class- so don't expect any impeachment proceedings.
posted by wfc123 at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2006


justgary, Bush could nuke Talladega Speedway and Alabama would still vote GOP in 2008.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:56 AM on March 2, 2006


dougunderscorenelso:

There's a big difference between a breech and overtopping - think of the difference between water sloshing out of a full bathtub, and the full bathtub collapsing. The two aren't the same - nowhere close.

(And I could wish the levees had the integrity of a bathtub, BTW. I've NEVER had one breech on me.)
posted by JB71 at 11:57 AM on March 2, 2006


What're we going to do about it in the real world? -- NationalKato

One thing you might try doing in the real world is go play in other topics if you're not interested in reading about FPPs like this one.

I'm all for intelligent MeFi meta-discussions about national apathy, but rushing in here to post the boilerplate comments "this is not the Best of the Web" and "this is just a NewsFilter item that doesn't belong in the blue" is not a helpful strategy. I am interested in FPPs like this, even if you're not. And a chorus of "Who cares? Joe Sixpack is just going to ignore this!" posts is strictly self-fulfilling prophecy.
posted by digaman at 12:01 PM on March 2, 2006


The day after Katrina, President Bush posed for a photo-op with Country Western singer Mark Wills in Coronado, California. By the end of the week, Bush had decided to cut short his 5-week summer vacation and return to Washington. (at right)
posted by amberglow at 12:02 PM on March 2, 2006


As powerful as they seemed, Nixon and Clinton were outsiders. Bush & Cheney ARE the ruling class- so don't expect any impeachment proceedings.

This is a good point. Clinton went down for such little transgression compared to what we already know Bush has done, yes; but there were people out to get Clinton from the very beginning. These were powerful people who hated him for being an outsider. Bush et al. are so connected, and the people trying to unseat him are so powerless, it's not a fair comparison.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:04 PM on March 2, 2006


Next time Bush heads to the Ranch, I'm headed for my underground bunker.
posted by almostcool at 12:07 PM on March 2, 2006


How Bush Blew It
"It's a standing joke among the president's top aides: who gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure of the president of the United States, or, as he is known in West Wing jargon, POTUS. The bad news on this early morning, Tuesday, Aug. 30, some 24 hours after Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans, was that the president would have to cut short his five-week vacation by a couple of days and return to Washington. The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card; his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin; his counselor, Dan Bartlett, and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, held a conference call to discuss the question of the president's early return and the delicate task of telling him. Hagin, it was decided, as senior aide on the ground, would do the deed.

The president did not growl this time. He had already decided to return to Washington and hold a meeting of his top advisers on the following day, Wednesday. This would give them a day to get back from their vacations and their staffs to work up some ideas about what to do in the aftermath of the storm. President Bush knew the storm and its consequences had been bad; but he didn't quite realize how bad.

The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.

How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less 'situational awareness,' as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century — is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace."

[Newsweek | Sept. 19, 2005]


posted by ericb at 12:07 PM on March 2, 2006


Is this 1300 dead the agreed upon figure? Obviously it's difficult to calculate something like that but I swear that's the first I've heard of an actual count and suddenly I'm hearing it everywhere.

Where on earth did this footage come from?
posted by minkll at 12:08 PM on March 2, 2006


JB, thanks for the clarification.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 12:08 PM on March 2, 2006


Where on earth did this footage come from?

My guess is from Michael Brown.
posted by empath at 12:10 PM on March 2, 2006


President Bush on ABC News this past Tuesday:
"Listen, here's the problem that happened in Katrina. There was no situational awareness, and that means that we weren't getting good, solid information from people who were on the ground, and we need to do a better job."
posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on March 2, 2006


empath -- I agree. Michael Brown has been on a PR offensive this week -- particularly with multiple segments of his interview with Brian Williams playing throughout this week on NBC Nightly News.

In watching the videos -- and reading parts of the transcripts, my opinion is changing vis-a-vis Brown. It's clear that he was set-up as the fall guy for the massive fuck-up and incompetence exhibited by the federal government before, during and after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.
posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on March 2, 2006


Well, time to riot in the streets. See you all later.
posted by boo_radley at 12:14 PM on March 2, 2006


Not a problem, Doug. It's just odd that the AP can't tell the difference between the two.
posted by JB71 at 12:14 PM on March 2, 2006


Well, these recent "revelations" won't do anything to shore up his plummeting poll numbers, which are reaching Nixon-in-'74 territory [Washington Post poll story]. Let's see Scott McClellan put a happy face on this clusterfuck.
posted by mosk at 12:16 PM on March 2, 2006


"Listen, here's the problem that happened in Katrina. There was no situational awareness, and that means that we weren't getting good, solid information from people who were on the ground, and we need to do a better job."

What a cock.
posted by Mr_Zero at 12:17 PM on March 2, 2006


has there ever been an administration that's held the american press as tightly by the neck as this one? what's the deal with this pattern of the media sitting on stories that make the bush admin look bad?
posted by lord_wolf at 12:17 PM on March 2, 2006


There was no situational awareness, and that means that we weren't getting good, solid information from people who were on the ground

Bush is going to be saying the same thing after Iraq explodes in a full-scale civil war, which is starting, oh, um, like today.

You know that guy in highschool who would drink a couple of six packs and wreck his daddy's car, and blame it on the other driver? You know the guy who would knock up his girlfriend, break up with her, and then blame her for not taking the Pill? You know the guy who would borrow money from you, lose it in Vegas, and then never call you again?

That's who's President.
posted by digaman at 12:19 PM on March 2, 2006


Wasn't this kind of information well known for years and years beforehand? I'm not really shocked by this just becuase I thought everyone knew that this was just a disaster waiting to happen. Of course Bush knew.
posted by MattS at 12:22 PM on March 2, 2006


You spin me right round baby, right round.

White House, Dems wrangle on Katrina video -- Congressional leaders 'falsely attacking' Bush, president's spokesmen say.
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM on March 2, 2006


The release of this footage is just about the only thing that could make Brown look better. Talk about falling on a sword, Jesus--it wasn't that the people underneath him weren't listening, it was the frickin' president who wasn't.

Anyways, yeah yeah, teflon president. But the poll numbers (34%) matter. As I mentioned in another thread, I'm hoping for 25%. There is no good news on the horizon, with the possible capture of ObL. Even that's not enough, now that most Americans are convinced that it was Saddam who crashed the jets into the twin towers.

Americans are painfully slow to react to the obvious. But when they do, look out.

Doin' a heck of a job, Rovie.
posted by bardic at 12:23 PM on March 2, 2006


(If I was ever in a room with Bush when he said "we need to do a better job," it would be the perfect "What we, white man?!" moment. Just sayin'.)
posted by bardic at 12:24 PM on March 2, 2006


The White House's press release: "Setting The Record Straight.'
posted by ericb at 12:25 PM on March 2, 2006


Brian Williams' interviews with Michael Brown - Part 1, Part 2.
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on March 2, 2006


The man just sits there, like a tree stump, hoping someone else will do something.

While I fully agree with the tree stump comparison, he'd have to possess the tiniest shred of empathy or conscience to actually hope for somebody to do something -- because that would at least mean he'd both understand and give a fuck that the situation was dire. I've actually known tree stumps that were superior to Bush in this regard.
posted by scody at 12:27 PM on March 2, 2006


Froomkin today on Scotty and Bush.
posted by bardic at 12:28 PM on March 2, 2006


Seeing as FEMA is part of he Department of Homeland Defense, seeing that it was rolled into that organization by Bush, and seeing that he has spent billions of dollars on that department and housed it with his cronies, using the same "I was given bad information" line that Bush used with the doctored WMD data is particularly galling.

I mean, where does the buck stop?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:29 PM on March 2, 2006


I've just realized that the Bush Administration has turned me into a nihilist again. Congratulations, Karl.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to crack open a beer, put my feet up on my desk, and laugh my ass off as the world continues to slide into the abyss. WOO-FUCKIN-HOO!
posted by keswick at 12:30 PM on March 2, 2006


The man just sits there, like a tree stump, hoping someone else will do something.

Follow the money. "Who are the top 3 companies contracted to clean up the mess?"
posted by Mr_Zero at 12:30 PM on March 2, 2006


where does the buck stop?

With whomever gets a blow job from an intern.

Shit, at this point, I'll get a job as an intern and blow him myself if it means we can impeach the motherfucker already.
posted by scody at 12:30 PM on March 2, 2006


Scody, thanks for taking one for all of us.
posted by Mr_Zero at 12:31 PM on March 2, 2006


I should say he "staffed" it with his cronies. FEMA isn't living at Karl Rove's house.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:33 PM on March 2, 2006


"And at the end of the fifth he's walking in like 'HEY!'-
Legenday K.O.
Yes, yes, posted before but that lyric.....
posted by PHINC at 12:33 PM on March 2, 2006


Party at keswick's office!
posted by ericb at 12:33 PM on March 2, 2006


Scody, even that wouldn't work.
posted by bardic at 12:34 PM on March 2, 2006


Poll at MSNBC [47617 responses] -- "Vote: Has your view changed on federal response?"
Yes. President Bush appears disengaged while ex-FEMA boss Michael Brown is clearly concerned. -- 80%
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on March 2, 2006


Newsfilter? Sure. But posts like these are valuable if only because they let me know what the Bush defenders' spin will be, in this case, something along these lines.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:37 PM on March 2, 2006


President Bush was also told in early October 2002 that the Energy Department and State Department thought Iraq's aluminum tubes were "intended for conventional weapons," and was told five times, from the spring of 2002 through early January 2003:
that U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that it was unlikely that Saddam would try to attack the United States -- except if "ongoing military operations risked the imminent demise of his regime" or if he intended to "extract revenge" for such an assault, according to records and sources.
In the State of the Union address on January 23, 2003, the president said the aluminum tubes were "suitable for nuclear weapons production," and made repeated claims that Saddam Hussein would attack the US or cooperate with terrorists, which was the opposite of the intelligence community's consensus assessment.

There's a big difference between a breech and overtopping

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the overtopping caused the breaches.

my opinion is changing vis-a-vis Brown

He certainly seems to have been more competant than they made him out to be (and he's proving to be excellent at payback), but he was still overwhelmed during the crisis and basically blackmailed the White House before his testimony last month. If the president had provided a legal defense, he would've taken the Fifth.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:39 PM on March 2, 2006


"And at the end of the fifth he's walking in like 'HEY!'-

I love that line, if only because it makes Bush sounds like Dwayne from What's Happening!
posted by jonp72 at 12:39 PM on March 2, 2006


What was it that Clinton did, that landed him in front of a live TV camera, grilled with stupid questions for what seemed like weeks on end?

Here's the thing.

Take two groups of fifty people each, raised in the US, and put each group in a room. Let them talk to each other for days on end until nobody has anything left to talk about.

Now, drop a sealed envelope into each room. The first room gets an envelope that says "The president failed to secure adequate provisions for an weather disaster despite being warned beforehand, and thousands died or went missing. He then lied on national television about being warned about the disaster beforehand." The envelope dropped in the second room says "The president got an extra-marital blow job, then lied about the affair under oath."

The first room will discuss the information they received. Some will say he should have secured preparations, some will say the states should have done it, some will say that you can't predict the weather well enough to truly prepare. Mostly, though, people will want to talk about the imminent disaster and resulting deaths itself, because this is far more interesting and important than whether or not someone lied.

The second room will discuss the information they received. Almost all will say that extra-marital affairs are wrong. All will say that it is wrong to lie under oath about anything. Most importantly, all will recognize that it was a mistake caused entirely by a bad judgement call on Clinton's part, so they're free to blame him without fear of contradiction. And, in the absence of anything of real interest or importance to discuss, they will talk about the blow job and the lie until it is blown entirely out of proportion.

And that's one reason why the Clinton thing went the way it did, even though it was of no real importance or interest: it was an issue that everyone could feel solidly "right" about, and there was no greater issue at hand to discuss or worry about, so the issue expanded to fill the void of interest.
posted by davejay at 12:39 PM on March 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


kirkaracha -- great retort (with citation to the U.S. Geological Survey) to the apologist spin!
posted by ericb at 12:42 PM on March 2, 2006


"For an weather disaster." Argh.

[smacks own head]
posted by davejay at 12:42 PM on March 2, 2006


Federal response to Katrina Fastest of all Hurricaines Ever
posted by ParisParamus at 2:17 PM PST on September 12

posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:43 PM on March 2, 2006


Davejay, if you were trying to make Dougunderscorenelso cry, mission accomplished.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 12:47 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'd better have a banner made. :)
posted by davejay at 12:49 PM on March 2, 2006


my opinion is changing vis-a-vis Brown

Yeah -- I think Brown was unqualified for the position and appears to have mismanaged much during Katrina. Until yesterday he was being portrayed by Chertoff and the Bush administration as a "loose cannon" who was not communicating with Chertoff and the DHS. These videotapes do show that he was communicating with all relevant superiors. Bush and Chertoff have been attempting to steer blame on a single individual -- when in fact they are the two government officials who are/were ultimately responsible for the hideous response to the disaster. As has been stating above, where the heck does the buck stop with these guys?
posted by ericb at 12:53 PM on March 2, 2006


Just a Pickin and a Grinnin.
posted by Otis at 12:53 PM on March 2, 2006


Just a Pickin and a Grinnin.

Fiddling while Rome burned.
posted by ericb at 12:55 PM on March 2, 2006


thanks davejay... and here I thought it was because the republicans were a bunch of assholes.
ok, seriously, I know little of American politics and procedures, but the lack of repercussions Bush has ever had to face, has me stymied. From my northern vantage point, it looks more and more like a dictatorship down there every day.
posted by Hanover Phist at 12:56 PM on March 2, 2006


The White House's "Setting the Record Straight" relies on quotes from the August 29 videoconference call on Katrina. According to Newsweek, the White House told Congress the transcript of that conference didn't exist.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:57 PM on March 2, 2006


Poll at MSNBC [47617 responses] -- "Vote: Has your view changed on federal response?"

Yes. President Bush appears disengaged while ex-FEMA boss Michael Brown is clearly concerned. -- 80%


It's called a straw poll. The tape's pretty damning, but only partisan bloggers with too much time on their hands give a rat's ass about this sort of entertainment-value survey.
posted by raysmj at 12:57 PM on March 2, 2006


it looks more and more like a dictatorship down there every day

Nonsense. A dictatorship might include such things as a puppet leader installed by a suspicious electoral process or judicial coup, a willful manipulation of the press, an undermining of a democracy's systems of checks and balances, and a sense that the laws of the country do not apply to its leaders. None of which is true of Bush.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:59 PM on March 2, 2006


kirkaracha, I noticed that too. Weirdly, the transcripts that were "lost" are now being used to defend Bush, in light of the video being so much more damaging. Strange days.
posted by bardic at 1:00 PM on March 2, 2006


It's called a straw poll.

Granted it's not a scientific poll and one obviously tinged with the liberal bent of the majority of bloggers who have nothing better to do than read about current events. /sarcasm/

Let's go with a scientific poll -- CBS Poll [PDF] -- (February 27, 2006):
"...on the assessment of [Bush's] handling of the response to Hurrican Katrina, only 32% approve.
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on March 2, 2006


astrozombie: *shudder*
posted by empath at 1:06 PM on March 2, 2006


I realize it's way up in the thread, but I really like what Squid Voltaire has to say, and I echo the sentiment. I appreciate it when issues are brought up here and offered for discussion (or dissection).
posted by malaprohibita at 1:10 PM on March 2, 2006


Quick, someone check over on the weird meat thread for blond baby recipes. If Bush killing, cooking, and eating a little white wanker on Fox News is going help get our country back, fire up the barbecue.

There’s only one answer to the Bush question, and that’s to take back the House and Senate in 2006.

Forget 2008, if we don't overcome rigged voting machines, and get some oversight and balance at the mid-term, we may never see another free election.
posted by BillyElmore at 1:12 PM on March 2, 2006


Am I the only one who actually feels good about the fact that apparently the government has a reliable, useful video conferencing system? And, further, in light of said revelation, wonders where such a video conferencing system was on 9/11?

Eh - I'm just sick of this shit - looking for some kind of good side.
posted by odinsdream at 1:12 PM on March 2, 2006


A dictatorship might include such things as a puppet leader installed by a suspicious electoral process or judicial coup, a willful manipulation of the press, an undermining of a democracy's systems of checks and balances, and a sense that the laws of the country do not apply to its leaders.

You forget Poland Torture.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:12 PM on March 2, 2006


Yeah, but who's going to win American Idol? Now THAT'S important!
posted by AspectRatio at 1:16 PM on March 2, 2006


More People Know American Idol Judges than the First Amendment.
posted by ericb at 1:18 PM on March 2, 2006


Next up will be an attack--by them, but made to look like the "evildoers" did it. Mark my words.
posted by amberglow at 1:21 PM on March 2, 2006


Oh, c’mon,I don’t think anybody anticipated that federal disaster officials would warn Bush that the levees would break...
*spins off into infinite regress*
posted by Smedleyman at 1:21 PM on March 2, 2006


Next up will be an attack--by them, but made to look like the "evildoers" did it. Mark my words.

Are you trying to say that our own government would kill a few people in a staged attack, so that the huge profits being made by a few corporations can continue? And to keep people from asking why the country is being chopped up, sold off and bankrupted all at the same time?
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:25 PM on March 2, 2006


I'll tell you what: I think people that are comfortable with breaking the law to cover up institutionalized torture would be comfortable with a lot of other things.

You may think it's all ultimately for the greater good, but if yoo think that torture is OK, what exactly wouldn't you think is OK?
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:31 PM on March 2, 2006


Blumenthal: A Deluded King and His Court Lickspittles--...The greater Bush’s difficulties, the more precipitously he falls in the polls, the more he is beseeched by anxious Republicans, and the harsher the realities, the tighter he clings to his self-image. Cheney and the others encourage his illusions, at least partly because the more intensely Bush embraces the heroic conception of himself, the more he resists change and the firmer their grip.

“It is an infallible rule,” Machiavelli wrote in his chapter on flatterers, “that a prince who is not wise himself cannot be well advised, unless by chance he leaves himself entirely in the hands of one man who rules him in everything, ...


yup, Mr_Zero, that's exactly what i'm saying.
posted by amberglow at 1:31 PM on March 2, 2006


> we weren't getting good, solid information from people
> who were on the ground

Well, duh. When the water's over your head, you're not on the ground.
posted by hank at 1:43 PM on March 2, 2006


yaawwn.
posted by a3matrix at 1:44 PM on March 2, 2006


bardic, on poll numbers: I doubt we'll see 25%, the Crazification Factor is 29%.

wfc123 makes an excellent point about "official" outrage. There's a sense that it doesn't count unless a Big Voice says it. After all, we're on the internets: our next-door neighbor is Gene Ray. We're outraged, but we don't matter because we're not in a position to do anything about it. Now in a democracy, even unofficial outrage eventually bubbles up and makes itself felt, but it takes a lot longer.
posted by JHarris at 1:47 PM on March 2, 2006


Astro Zombie: I honestly can't tell if you're intending to be ironic or not.
posted by JHarris at 1:49 PM on March 2, 2006


Ironic.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:51 PM on March 2, 2006


Damn that Bush. He could have stopped that fucking hurricaine. Oh wait...
posted by b_thinky at 1:52 PM on March 2, 2006


... The Freepers (part of that hardcore ~30% still supporting this knob-end president) manage to blame: 1) black victims of Katrina, 2) the AP for obtaining the tape, 3) everyone down in the Gulf, because they should have been watching the Weather Channel (and I suppose that somehow lets the Chimp off the hook?!). This is the Republican Base ... (actual quotes and pics follow--pandagon)
posted by amberglow at 1:56 PM on March 2, 2006


b_thinky; that was very incisive of you.

JHarris; crazification factor is the exact term I was trying to think of - I'm sure plenty of others have independently decided that there's an inherent buffer percentage of people who will vote for anything.
posted by odinsdream at 1:58 PM on March 2, 2006



posted by ericb at 1:59 PM on March 2, 2006


... If you are going to lie about not knowing how bad a disaster will be -- then you should be certain that no video of you being told it will be a disaster exists. In this case, there have been so many preceding lies, the hope this Administration can hold onto at this point is that the American public will just chalk it up to the way things work in Washington. ... (Firedoglake)
posted by amberglow at 2:01 PM on March 2, 2006


Never really heard a rebel yell.

Really? You don't get out much do you?
posted by Pollomacho at 2:14 PM on March 2, 2006


God, amberglow. It's what I imagine an online forum might look like among Soviet apologist apparatchiks.

"If they didn't want to starve, the should have moved out of the Ukraine."

"What, is Stalin supposed to just swoop down and solve everybody's problems?"

"You don't have to worry about Gulags if you aren't committing any crimes."

Do these people have no sense of shame?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:18 PM on March 2, 2006


Worth reading:
At the hospital, this unlikely A-Team—a blind man and a woman in a wheelchair—set up their antennas and gasoline-fired generators, got on the air, tracked the approaching storm and rode it out.
posted by ColdChef at 2:23 PM on March 2, 2006


Sadly, this is only the second best of the web.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:31 PM on March 2, 2006


JHarris: Thanks for that Kung Fu Monkey link. That was very interesting.
posted by mosk at 2:58 PM on March 2, 2006


Rebel Yell?

Well, we don't hear Billy Idol much around the South any more, but when I was in Kentucky we heard in the bar every night.

Isn't this a repost? We all already know the President of the United States, George W. Bush, is a liar. We must have learned it in a previous thread.
posted by ?! at 3:13 PM on March 2, 2006


> Spent some times in stormy weather
Under clouds of my dilemma
Now there's nothing much to do
But sit and rot in front of televisions
Staring back at me
I'm just waiting for the microwaves
To wash me into the sea

You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they

Out of focus ideology
Keep the masses from majority
Experts, brain washed, tumble dried
Left to bleed whilst vultures glide

You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they

You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else
You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else

posted by dhartung at 3:15 PM on March 2, 2006


Are you trying to say that our own government would kill a few people in a staged attack,

Yes.
posted by MikeKD at 4:01 PM on March 2, 2006


You'd know though, wouldn't you jesse [insert bigot].

Ventura? Jackson? James?


Shake it like a white girl!

Well, we don't hear Billy Idol much around the South any more, but when I was in Kentucky we heard in the bar every night.

You know, I grew up in Louisville, then lived there for 3 years as an adult, but I even saw Rebel Yell until I moved to CA.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:13 PM on March 2, 2006


never even
posted by mrgrimm at 4:13 PM on March 2, 2006


I guess Kanye earns as many points as Michael Brown on this one.
posted by Mach3avelli at 4:19 PM on March 2, 2006


who gets to deliver the bad news?
I think I just found my dream job:

"Hey, Sparky, we just went over the 30,000 dead Iraqis mark. It's a good thing we've only lost 2000 soldiers, right?"
"Say there, Chimpy McAwol, that hurricane you ignored just drowned a major American city. Have a pretzel."
"Yep, the other retard shot a guy yesterday. I don't know why, maybe he was drunk or thought the guy was black or something. I didn't tell you sooner because Dick said not to and he's the boss."
"That guy you were looking for? Osama something? Turns out he's Laura's yoga instructor."
"Looks like Abramoff and Delay are toast. You did destroy all those pictures, didn't you?"
"Uh-huh. Lesbians. Both twins. The video is on the Net. Hey, that's a new vein on your forehead, isn't it? You'd better take a spin on the old Segway to calm down."
posted by forrest at 4:25 PM on March 2, 2006


My opinion of Michael Brown continues to evolve/devolve (?).

Reality check: Who said what about Katrina? -- New video contradicts former FEMA head’s recent statements.
"NBC News has now obtained the videotape of a key private meeting between federal and state officials on Monday Aug. 29, the day Hurricane Katrina hit. Though Michael Brown has been critical of President Bush, the tape shows Brown praising the president that day, saying they'd already talked twice." [more]
posted by ericb at 4:27 PM on March 2, 2006


Democrats Want Independent Katrina Probe.
posted by ericb at 4:29 PM on March 2, 2006


As for Clinton... his main problem was not the BJ but his spectacular failure to own it... sort of like when he smoked pot but didn’t inhale; which sort of brings to mind Kerry voting for the 80 million before he voted against it. Or was it the other way around? Who cares.

The last worthwhile Democratic contender was Robert Kennedy... a man with a mission and money.

The big Dems can’t be human beings in public because they share vital organs with big money. The Republicans are big money, so its easier for them.
posted by Huplescat at 4:34 PM on March 2, 2006


Yes. Clinton has never owned up to his mistake.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:48 PM on March 2, 2006


forrest, god knows he needs someone to do it
posted by amberglow at 4:58 PM on March 2, 2006


As Clinton says so poignantly in that link, Astro Zombie:
"So nothing -- not piety, nor tears, nor wit, nor torment -- can hspace=10 vspace=5 align=left ALTer what I have done."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:02 PM on March 2, 2006


Yes. Clinton has never owned up to his mistake.

His use of the passive voice to avoid self-blame is brilliant. I really miss having a president who can put a sentence together.
posted by JekPorkins at 5:03 PM on March 2, 2006


Blowjobs were done.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:06 PM on March 2, 2006


So he's HTML literate, weapons-grade pandemonium. Should we hold that against him? I liked how he would indicate that he was speaking ina very small voice by simply saying aloud the FONT SIZE code.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:06 PM on March 2, 2006


May be a tasty morsel but it is not "confidential." Every network and news service had a copy since soon after it happened . . . I think distributed by FEMA.
posted by elmaddog at 5:55 PM on March 2, 2006


I remember when we used to be outraged about Jeff Gannon. That seems so quaint now.
posted by tizzie at 6:44 PM on March 2, 2006


Actually the Dubai Ports World deal might end up costing Bush a lot more than his innumerable real fuck-ups, because in this case he has support neither on the right nor on the left, and even Republicans are starting to stand up to the White House -- well, at least until Dick Cheney starts shooting them in the face too.
posted by clevershark at 6:59 PM on March 2, 2006


I just couldn't stay angry at Gannon when I saw his naked photos.

Hawt.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:59 PM on March 2, 2006


mrgrimm: I applaud you for having the good sense to frequent better bars than where I worked or played pool.

"What I want the American people to know, what I want the Congress to know is that I am profoundly sorry for all I have done wrong in words and deeds. I never should have misled the country, the Congress, my friends or my family."

That's right. Passive as hell. And, my god, you can't get more obtuse than that.
posted by ?! at 8:26 PM on March 2, 2006


?!, I was referring to this passive voice wonder: "Mere words cannot fully express the profound remorse I feel for what our country is going through, and for what members of both parties in Congress are now forced to deal with."

It's brilliant use of the passive voice, because it allows Republicans to say "see, he put the country through this, and he's forcing us to deal with it," and allows Democrats to say "the republicans are putting the country through this, and the republicans are forcing us to deal with it.

It's brilliant. And it's passive voice.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:35 PM on March 2, 2006


some reminders of Aug. 30th
posted by amberglow at 9:19 PM on March 2, 2006


"The remorse that is felt by me over what has happened to our country, and that has to be dealt with by members of both parties, cannot be expressed in words."

That would have been passive voice.
posted by muckster at 10:16 PM on March 2, 2006


yeah, dhoyt Jek, there's nothing passive about his voice in that statement. if he feels remorse for what the country's going through, that means he's saying "i'm sorry for putting you through this."

he's owning up to what he's done directly. it shows far more character than just about anything that has ever passed through Bush's sneer.

how should he have said he's sorry for his highly problematic indiscretions?
posted by Hat Maui at 11:39 PM on March 2, 2006


Dhartung just made my night, what with the Super Furry Animals and all.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:26 AM on March 3, 2006


It ain't easy is hard work being dictator King. - GWB
posted by nofundy at 5:18 AM on March 3, 2006


"what members of both parties in Congress are now forced to deal with."

Read the Wikipedia article again, you morons. Call me dhoyt because I think "what they are forced to deal with" is passive voice? When you're done reading about what passive voice is, if you still don't get it, go back to school and ask for your money back.

I didn't say Clinton didn't "show character." How should he have said that he's sorry for his highly problematic indiscretions? However the hell he wanted to. I'm just glad he said it articulately and utilized a grammatic device in such a clever way.

But let's illustrate the difference between the active voice and the passive voice, since Hat Maui and Muckster seem to think I'm stupid for knowing what it is (hint for Hat Maui: Passive voice doesn't refer to whether the speaker's actual voice seems to be passive or not):

Passive voice: "Mere words cannot fully express the profound remorse I feel for what our country is going through, and for what members of both parties in Congress are now forced to deal with."

Active voice: "Mere words cannot fully express the profound remorse I feel for what our country is going through, and for what I have forced members of both parties in Congress to deal with."

But go ahead and call me dhoyt because I'm so dumb that I recognize Clinton's brilliance and I know what passive voice is.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:34 AM on March 3, 2006


Do we really need to parse it for you? Of the three clauses in that statement, only one, a dependent one at that, is in the passive voice. And as ?! points out, the whole argument is moot in the first place because elsewhere, Clinton gave a proper straight-up apology. But well done on the insults and the derail, JekPorkins. I might even say: brilliant.
posted by muckster at 9:18 AM on March 3, 2006


GOP growing increasingly angry, frightened by Bush's missteps.
posted by ericb at 9:45 AM on March 3, 2006


Last week it was the CBS News Poll -- Bush's approval at 34%. This week --

CNN/USAT/Gallup poll has him at 38% and Quinnipiac University at 36%.

Heck of a job, Bushie!
posted by ericb at 9:50 AM on March 3, 2006


Before Katrina Struck, Michael Brown Warned Bush ‘The Levees Could Actually Breach’
posted by ericb at 9:52 AM on March 3, 2006



posted by ericb at 9:53 AM on March 3, 2006


So finally the GOP is pissed and slightly baffled. Took 'em long enough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2006


Mere words cannot fully express the profound remorse I feel for what our country is going through at the hands of greedy neocon monsters. Members of both parties in Congress are now forced to deal with the destructive legacy of George W. Bush.
posted by BillyElmore at 10:42 AM on March 3, 2006


A heckuva job by 'Brownie' after all?
"Experts now say that former FEMA Director Michael Brown was less to blame than his boss for bungling the response to Hurricane Katrina."
posted by ericb at 3:40 PM on March 3, 2006


Human Events ("The National Conservative Weekly") is reporting that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has "only a few days left" in the Bush Administration.
posted by ericb at 3:51 PM on March 3, 2006


man, dJekt, you're sure sensitive about your understanding of passive voice. thankfully, it's totally clear that your admiration for Clinton's cleverness hasn't even the slightest touch of disingenuousness.

but you really should be more "right" before lashing out.

having said that, it's truly a sorry thing that you were made to go through this debunking. we can only hope that your pain will not be suffered for too long.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:42 PM on March 3, 2006


"The [AP video]tape adds to a growing body of evidence that the disaster was a failure of execution, not prediction."
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on March 4, 2006


excellent visual analysis of the video and pics of the briefing: ... And what are the primary visual references evoked from this clandestine scene? How about, leader of the free world meets 7-11 shoplifting cam? Or, Prez caught on undercover surveillance video? (Maybe the AP should have run the tape by the FISA court first.) What about, President in a box? Or closet? (Physically, the space itself seems to evoke a cheap hotel room used for drug deals, or one of those cop TV show interrogation rooms.) More powerful than all, however, is the read in which the viewer (finally) look down on Bush while he must answer to us. In the meantime, he sits under those lights like he's some kind of perp (or meatloaf under the heat lamp in some Texas road side diner). ...
posted by amberglow at 2:12 PM on March 4, 2006


George the Unready
posted by homunculus at 2:59 PM on March 4, 2006


Yesterday the AP issued a correction.
In a Wednesday story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his Homeland Security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees in New Orleans, citing confidential video footage of an Aug. 28 briefing.

The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.

The day before Katrina, Bush was told there were grave concerns the levees could be overrun.

It wasn’t until the next morning, as the storm made landfall, that Michael Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Bush had asked about reports of breaches. Bush did not participate in that briefing.
In other words, there isn't any story here. Bush told the truth -- it was the AP which was lying.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:16 PM on March 4, 2006


Was Bush lying? I guess it all depends what "is" is. Or, in this case, what "anybody" is.

You see, when Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breeching of the levees," what he meant was that Somebody hadn't.

And you have to be pretty powerful, pretty rich, and pretty Republican to be Somebody.

So, while you, I, the people of New Orleans, Louisiana politicians, just about every journalist in America, and those so-called-experts with all their edjumacation warned us of the potential for levees to be breeched and the city flooded during a CAT-5 hurricane -- which Katrina was until shortly before landfall -- well, we're obviously not Somebody.

And Bush only listens to Somebodies... not us nobodies.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:41 PM on March 4, 2006


Monday August 29th: Water overtops levees

Tuesday August 30th: LEVEE BREACHED: St Bernard lakeview levee breach threatens to inundate city. Bush gives medicare speechs for handpicked audiences, cuts cake with McCain.

Wednesday August 31st: Bush gives V-J Day commemoration speech, later plays guitar onstage with Mark Willis. Returns to Crawford for last night of vacation.

Forget playing semantics about warnings... Bush didn't do anything after it was a natural fact that levees had breached and the city flooded.

And Den Beste, all I can say to you is to quit making excuses. If warnings weren't good enough to spur him to immediate action, then how about the actual occurrence?

If he's not responsible, then replace him with someone willing to take responsibility. The criminal incompetence, deceit and lickspittle excuse making is as pathetic as it is deadly.
posted by edverb at 4:46 PM on March 4, 2006


Could you please explain the difference in effect between breaching and overrunning? Wouldn't the flooding be the same? Shouldn't the disaster relief plans be the same?
posted by Staggering Jack at 4:55 PM on March 4, 2006


Could you please explain the difference in effect between breaching and overrunning? Wouldn't the flooding be the same? Shouldn't the disaster relief plans be the same?

and wouldn't a leader ask these sorts of questions? Bush didn't, apparently.
posted by edverb at 5:08 PM on March 4, 2006


Overtopping vs. breaching is a distinction without a difference. The overtopping of any water retention structure like a dam or levee is always regarded as an dire emergency that generally leads to catastrophic failure of the structure, often within minutes.

The reason is that the structure is designed to withhold the relatively static water on the facing side. But when water goes over the top, it then falls in a torrent down the back side, converting potential energy into kinetic energy, forming a waterfall that erodes the underpinnings of the structure. This can happen surprisingly quickly.

Dams are always built with emergency spillways that are several feet below the top of the dam so that water will be released before overtopping can occur. The spillways are constructed of reinforced concrete to withstand the overflow. For a levee, their is no spillway because the river itself is the only place the water can safely go.

This catastrophic failure due to overtopping is exactly what was reported by the USGS in their failure analysis. It was not unexpected.
posted by JackFlash at 6:35 PM on March 4, 2006


Okay -- now the Bush apologists are attempting to argue the difference between 'overtopping' and 'breaching.' Give it up. As JackFlash points out, a catastrophic failure is a catastrophic failure no matter how the flooding started.

Our 'chief executive' and his appointed team failed miserably in their 'execution' in handling the emergency response -- as pointed out by the Washington Post...and as any sentient person soon realized while watching the television news from Sunday through to Friday of that horrific week.
posted by ericb at 6:47 PM on March 4, 2006


Steven, if you've only come back here to play dodgeball on behalf of an imbecile, I hope it's working out well for you.
posted by dhartung at 9:38 PM on March 4, 2006


Good Republicans please don’t look at the blatant fact that neocon rulers sat on their hands and knowingly let New Orleans drown.

Nothing to see here folks, just a few drowning Democrats, please move along. A little land clearing for golf courses and seaside condominium, is all, Halliburton has everything under control.

Look instead at the difference between the city flooding by breach or overflow of the levees. See! That explains everything. Bush didn’t lie after all. Bad things happen that aren’t Bush’s fault. That’s all.

If those filthy underprivileged people standing in sewage for seven days without food or water had only known they would die by overflow and not a breach. It probably would have made watching dead grandma being eaten by rats, feel things were really working out quite well.
posted by BillyElmore at 6:47 PM on March 5, 2006


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