Monday, September 05, 2005

Landrieu Threatens To Punch Bush (+ How To Help Those Still Stranded In N.O.)

Today's Washington Post reports that Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (the same Senator whose Congressional Record comments from 2003 I posted earlier, begging her colleagues and the Bush administration not to defund the flood prevention and levee protection programs in Louisiana, to no avail), furious at Bush's insufficient response to the Katrina disaster and to his blame-shifting, exlaimed,

"Would the president please stop taking photo-ops, and please come and see what I'm trying to show him?" and then she actually threatened to PUNCH Bush or anyone else trying to put the blame for the federal government's ineffective response to Katrina on local officials.

The Post also notes (probably smarting from being deceived by Rove into printing a lie yesterday):

"As president, Bush typically has been loath to admit mistakes, and this situation is no different.

"A senior White House aide said there was no reason for Bush to return to Washington to deal with the disaster before Wednesday, though he was told of the gravity of the situation in briefings late into the night on Monday. Bush cut short his working vacation at his ranch near Crawford, Tex., but spent Tuesday night there. The aide said Bush wanted to allow his Cabinet and staff time to get back to Washington and in place to brief him.

"Democrats say Bush would have been better positioned to demand a speedier response if he were in Washington, or at least to offer Americans a symbolic show of his involvement by cutting short his time away from the White House.

"One reason for the slow White House response, said a Republican who has been in contact with several officials, is that so many high-level officials and aides were on vacation. Vice President Cheney, for instance, was in Wyoming and did not return unil Thursday, and Nicolle Devenish, the president's top communications adviser, is getting married in Greece with a number of mid-level aides in attendance.

"Bush's first speech to the nation has been widely criticized as unemotional and too bureaucratic in tone. In subsequent appearances, Bush seemed at times tentative and distracted -- and not always sure of the message he wanted to leave. On Friday, Bush said he was "looking forward to my trip" to see the storm wreckage only to say "I am not looking forward to this trip" when he landed. The senior aide said Bush wanted to accomplish one major goal with those initial speeches -- underscore "the enormity of the problem" and the government's plan to respond accordingly. Critics say he failed to reassure a distraught nation. . ."


In other news today, two dozen queerfolk trapped in New Orleans went on with their annual gay pride Southern Decadence celebration on Bourbon Street, much to dismay of many rightwing bigots who have blamed gays (and abortionists) for Katrina, which they call God's wrath, hit just in time to stop Southern Decadence. But Decadence went on. God bless.

Also, with no formal estimate of the death toll (but it's looking like 10,000... or more...), rescue teams are saying that people are still stranded and dying in their homes and they can't get to them all.

The Coast Guard is collecting names of people who are stranded and doing its best to get to them:


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