• Is This Impeachable?

    Via Jeff Dubner , what the FUCK is wrong with our President? The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.) Dubner compares it to Dukakis's bloodless abdication of vengeance against the hypothetical guy who raped and murdered his wife. But it's worse than that. It's like Churchill comforting bombed out Britons with the prospect of all the fine curry joints that'll soon open where their homes used to stand. So you know what? If he can take this lightly, we can play a little game. Using Bush's above quote as inspiration and stylistic template, jump in the time machine and put Bush on the podium after other great disasters and calamities. What does he think about the plague? The sacking of the Temple? The burning of Rome...
  • Ideological Casualties

    Over at the blog of my soon-to-be employer , they've got a great discussion of the ideological ramifications of Katrina, both for big government liberalism and small government conservatism. Bush, of course, has been this strange mixture of government growth and administrative incompetence, almost as if he's running a kamikaze mission to prove the Republican case against government. But conservatives, generally, are all for the private market and individual charity. If Bush really was so uncomfortable with government involvement, he could still do a bang-up job relying on his church/industry connections to create a parallel and powerful rescue effort. The government could take care of the basics, but the private and theological spheres could provide much of the material, cash, and space. In doing, Bush would help discredit Big Government and legitimize the conservative philosophy. He hasn't. And that he's hasn't demonstrates his basic absence of a driving ideology. He's neither able...
  • I'll Be Back (As Soon As Things Blow Over)

    This is the most spectacular dodge I've ever seen. The California State Senate passed a gay marriage bill yesterday. It may or may not pass the Assembly, but no matter, Arnold probably won't sign it. Why? Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's spokeswoman said he preferred to let judges sort out the legality of gay marriage This is a job for an unelected, unaccountable, judiciary! Glad to know our action hero governor has the courage to really swim against the tide on this. Turns out protecting John Connor is way easier than rejecting your own party's bigotry.
  • A Small Man

    I have to say, none of this really makes sense to me. America is not a country that lacks for cars; why isn't the Superdome totally evacuated? America is not a country that lacks for copters -- why does CNN keep spotting stranded families waving sheets for help? For that matter, why don't we just conscript CNN's copters to help them? We are not a country that lacks for food, so why aren't trucks barreling in with rations? We are not a country that lacks for homes, why isn't Bush going on TV and, with the Astrodome full, asking private citizens to open their doors? For that matter, why doesn't Bush just fire back up the network of evangelical churches he used to win the election? They could sleep thousands in their pews and call on their congregations to provide hundreds of thousands of beds -- and they would. Why isn't Bush coming on TV and asking Americans to send blankets, to send canned foods, to donate to a relief effort, anything? Why isn't he leading, why isn't America...
  • At Least Someone Did

    Matt pens the post I've been trying, and failing, to articulate for three days now. Just go read it.
  • Donate

    C'mon folks -- the blogosphere gave more than this to Paul Hackett...and great as he is and important as his race was, it all just pales in comparison. If you can just give a dollar, give just a dollar . It'll be appreciated, I swear it. But don't donate from here. John Rogers is matching donations over at his site, which means your one dollar becomes two, your two dollars four, and so on. Go there and give . And if you're not yet convinced, read this and then go there and give. I'm putting in another $50 -- surely you can match a stingy college student, right?
  • A New WPA?

    Brad writes : More practically, though, I wonder what will be left of the city once the devastation clears away. A variety of people are going to have to leave the city for months on end. What will they do? What happens to their jobs? If they can get by on their savings, and the kindness of family members, good for them. If not—if, say, you live paycheck to paycheck and need a job immediately, well, you're going to need to go to some other town, find work, get an apartment or place to live, and stay there for those intervening months. By the time New Orleans is inhabitable again, how many people will actually drift on back? True enough. But what of those interim folks? The ones who can get by for a month or so, but then will need something? And what of all those who have businesses in New Orleans and don't want to leave the city? Well, what about a modern-day WPA ? New Orleans is going to need a lot of rebuilding. And while I agree that it'd probably be smartest to pack up and move...
  • Larnin'

    This Editor and Publisher article on whether or not Katrina had to happen this way is great. Single best thing I've read on the hurricane by far.
  • A Zen Level of Focus

    Looks like the whole Bush administration has absorbed his lesson about going on with your life in the midst of massive human suffering: According to Drudge , Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has recently enjoyed a little Broadway entertainment. And Page Six reports that she's also working on her backhand with Monica Seles. So the Gulf Coast has gone all Mad Max , women are being raped in the Superdome, and Rice is enjoying a brief vacation in New York. We wish we were surprised. Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we've confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo's Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice's timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the...
  • I'm Beginning to Believe the Bush Administration Suffers From a Paucity of Imagination

    Remember this ? On May 16, Rice held a press briefing; she insisted that no one could have envisioned the events of September 11. “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people…would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile,” Rice said. And how we later learned this , from Bob Woodward and Dan Eggan? But a 1999 report prepared for the National Intelligence Council, an affiliate of the CIA, warned that terrorists associated with bin Laden might hijack an airplane and crash it into the Pentagon, White House or CIA headquarters. The report recounts well-known case studies of similar plots, including a 1995 plan by al Qaeda operatives to hijack and crash a dozen U.S. airliners in the South Pacific and pilot a light aircraft into Langley. And now we have George Bush, on this morning's GMA : "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." But hey, funny thing : In the event of a slow-moving Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane (with...