This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

In response to President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's (34 percent) and VP Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney's (18 percent) approval ratings, please note the following "observation":

To whom it may concern:
Those attending the Support Dick Cheney Dinner take note: The meeting at the DC Denny's has been moved by management from the back room to a large booth in the front room instead. There just aren't enough people to justify the use of the "big room".

-Scooter Libby

-Invented by Noah Greenberg

1300 Dead and 2300 Missing

President Bush plays dumb (I know, I know... We wonder if it is really playing). "The ignorance defense", one that no court of law in the land will allow is employed readily and steadily by President Bush and his "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party subjects whenever it suits them. It turns out that before Hurricane Katrina, Michael Brown actually did something we all thought he was unable to do... His job (unless it was all for show). The problem is, however, no one else did theirs, and that includes, more than anyone else, the "photo-op president", "G"lobal "W"arming Bush.

"I'm also concerned about that roof (on the Louisiana Superdome). I don't know if that roof could stand a Cat Five hurricane,"
"I'm concerned about EMS and medical and how they'll respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe (should the Superdome roof collapse),"
"Everyone in FEMA is actually on call,"
-FEMA director, Michael Brown to among others, officials from the soon-to-be-hit Gulf States, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and President Bush, via teleconference while he was at his ranch in Crawford, TX

The video tape, obtained by the Associate Press, clearly shows Michael Brown leading (see? He can "lead" something) "a meeting of the absent minds" and President Bush waiting and listening before finally contributing his two cents.

"I want to assure the folks at the state level that we're fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm to help you deal with the - with the loss of property and we pray for no loss of life."
"We are fully prepared."

From the surface, it just appears that, despite the warnings from experts and his own people, that President Bush and his "close advisors" thought that all would turn out okay. They were wrong. They obviously thought that the storm would do less damage than the experts predicted it would. They were wrong. They, obviously, were expecting a storm whose damage would have been just bad enough to have "President Photo-Op" come down to New Orleans, stand on a pile of rubble that used to be someone's dream, put his arm around a construction worker, smile and say "we will rebuild this home."


"This Hurricane was much larger than Andrew ever was,"
"I don't think anyone could tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not, but it's, obviously, of very, very grave concern."
-the meteorologist addressing the president and members of FEMA and the gulf states at the teleconference

I guess GW was clearing brush during this part of the phone call.

"I hope people don't draw conclusions from the president getting a single briefing. He received multiple briefings from multiple officials, and he was completely engaged at all times."
-Trent Duffy, a Bush spokesman

And it appears that he ignored all of them, Mr. Duffy. Spin, spin, spin.

"I was listening to what people were saying they didn't know, so therefore it was an issue of a learning curve. You know, from this tape it looks like everybody was fully aware."
-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, referring to the tape

The Bush administration has become more than adept at being both "aware" and "shocked" at the same time. They say "we're prepared" before a catastrophe; tell us all that "we're on it" as the catastrophe continues; then appear "surprised" at the outcome and scope of it all.

"We know that there are tens or hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana that need to be rescued, but we would just ask you, we desperately need to get our share of assets because we'll have people dying not because of water coming up, but because we can't get them medical treatment in our affected counties,"
-a Mississippi state official's plea that fell on deaf ears

Chertoff: "Are there any DOD assets that might be available? Have we reached out to them?"
Brown: "We have DOD assets over here at EOC (emergency operations center). They are fully engaged. And we are having those discussions with them now."
Chertoff: "Good job."

The truth is that there were no "assets on the ground". Either Brown was handed empty promises or they were expecting the storm to mot be all that bad. Ask yourself this question: Why would the Bushies videotape themselves having this meeting, then not fulfill their promises to the gulf state representatives present at the meeting if they actually heeded the warnings of the experts?

Maybe they were having a "Nixon moment".

If the storm passed without breeching the levees, the Bush administration could have said that they were well-prepared for the worst. Who would have known? Bush would have flown down for his photo-op and his approval ratings would have soared.

I bet even Fox News would even have stopped their round-the-clock coverage of Natalee Holoway to show Bush's "rubble-stance" three- or four dozen times.

"I don't think anyone could have anticipate the breech of the levees,"
-GW Bush regarding Hurricane Katrina's effects

Too bad the Bushies damage control only happens after the fact and only applies to covering their own asses.

President Photo-Op obviously didn't take Hurricane Katrina seriously.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to "Senate majority leader, and presidential wanna-be, Bill Frist (R-TN) now says that all is needed is a 45-day review before his senate will allow the sale of America's strategic ports to the UAE . Let me put this as plain and simple as possible (in case there is anyone reading who is still a Bush supporter - small, simple words): Bill Frist is a punk. The congress and senate must pass a bill that will deny the transfer of our safety to a pro-Taliban, anti-Israel nation (or is it nations?) like the United Arab Emirates. And when (or is it "if"?) President 'G'lobal 'W'arming Bush decides to make his first and only veto a stupid one, the congress and senate will be able to show their mettle and override his traitorous actions," Anonymous writes:

I told you to hide and watch. All the Republicans need is a bit of cover to let it all go away. In 45 days, there will be a lot of other things on the front page, and the Dubai deal will slip through while no one notices. There will be hearings, but most of the important questions will go unanswered because of "national security." If a straight-up vote were held today, the over-under on Republican votes against the deal in both chambers combined should be ten or a dozen. And, I'll take the under. This is all posturing, rhetoric with no substance. If it ever comes to a vote, and I doubt that it will, I will still take the under.

Reminds me of the Patriot Act. In December, it was front page news, and the president suffered a stunning defeat. But, he has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, the Patriot Act doesn't even make the front section nowadays even though it's up for a vote. The Dubai deal has pushed it to the background. And, something else will push Dubai off the front page, and it will just slip right on through.

For me, one crucial point in the Dubai deal is port records. As I understand it, even when foreign corporations manage a US port, they are required to keep port records in the US where they are subject to subpoena. But that clause was deliberately omitted from the Dubai deal. Those records can be kept in Dubai, where they cannot be subpoenaed, or not even kept at all. That means that, if we got lucky and found an atomic bomb in a container, we would not be able to track the container's history unless the government of Dubai allowed us access to records. I wonder why that clause in a standard agreement is so important that it was omitted from this one. Is there something that folks expect will need to be hidden? What might that be?

I surely hope that someone with access to sources is following the money trail on this one. This kind of a deal doesn't just happen. And a hundred million dollars to Katrina relief doesn't cut it, after all, there is only the usual FEMA/Halliburton cut on that amount. There is money going somewhere, and I hope that someone is looking for it.

Today's Quote

"Due diligence in this Administration means counting the money before the bagman leaves."
-from a post by Jane Hamsher, regarding the Dubai deal

I wish I'd said it first.

-Victoria Brownworth

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-Noah Greenberg