"Can I please go wee-wee, Ms Rice?"

I don’t vouch for the accuracy of this photo, but found it on Yahoo, credited to Reuters.

Apparently, Mr Bush needs to ask permission from Ms Rice to go to the Men’s Room.

Voice of reason in Bushspeak world

Clinton is has finally broke with tradition of the muted ex-Presidents and emerged as a lone voice of reason in the screaming chorus of sycophants.

In point form:

  • Bush invaded Iraq “virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction.”
  • There had been a “heroic but so far unsuccessful” effort to put together an constitution that would be universally supported in Iraq.
  • The US strategy of trying to develop the Iraqi military and police so that they can cope without US support “is the best strategy. The problem is we may not have, in the short run, enough troops to do that.”
  • On Hurricane Katrina, the authorities’ failed to evacuate New Orleans ahead of the storm’s strike on August 29.People with cars were able to heed the evacuation order, but many of those who were poor, disabled or elderly were left behind.”If we really wanted to do it right, we would have had lots of buses lined up to take them out.”
  • “When James Lee Witt ran FEMA, because he had been both a local official and a federal official, he was always there early, and we always thought about that.But both of us came out of environments with a disproportionate number of poor people.” (Witt was FEMA’s head during Clinton’s 1993-2001 presidency.)
  • On the US budget, Clinton warned that the federal deficit may be coming untenable, driven by foreign wars, the post-hurricane recovery programme and tax cuts that benefitted just the richest one percent of the US population, himself included.
  • More quotes from Clinton:

    “What Americans need to understand is that … every single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows money from other countries to finance Iraq,Afghanistan, Katrina, and our tax cuts.”

    “We have never done this before. Never in the history of our republic have we ever financed a conflict, military conflict, by borrowing money from somewhere else.”

    “We depend on Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Korea primarily to basically loan us money every day of the year to cover my tax cut and these conflicts and Katrina. I don’t think it makes any sense.”

    Firms with White House ties get Katrina contracts

    New Orleans Journalism

    Here’s a personal account, well-told in pictures and captions, of how New Orleans was hit and how one person escaped.

    The New Orleans video

    UPDATE, Sept 12: Wow. Over 1,000 downloads over at ClipShack after Dvorak blogged it.

    Have added the video at Ourmedia.org.

    Otherwise, click on image below:

    or follow this
    NewOrleans link

    Boom, bust, decay, and the house of cards

    Microsoft’s Steve Balmer threw a fit when he heard Mark Lucovsky was defecting to Google. He picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office, according to court documents. Mr. Ballmer then said: “F***ing Eric Schmidt is a f***ing pussy. I’m going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f***ing kill Google.” (via Searchblog)

    But the intriguing thing about this piece of information is Ballmer’s belief that: “Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.”

    Henry Blodget in a WSJ op-ed says there are four phases of Internet development,akin to other industries: boom, bust, mature growth and decay.

    “The growth of the Internet has paralleled that of most industries based on revolutionary technology. Canals, railroads, telegraphs, telephones, cars, radios, personal computers – all progressed (or are progressing) through four phases of development: boom, bust, mature growth and decay.”

    He says we are now in a state of Mature Growth.

    So next up, another boomlet, then perhaps Decay? What happens in a future world when everyone has broadband on every mobile device ever invented? Will we need all that information?

    Emperor Bush Plays Guitar While Americans Drown

    Spotted these two pics on Yahoo News. Nothing can infuriate the public more than seeing their president indulging in photo ops that are in direct contrast to the disaster pics post-Hurricane Katrina. This was taken Aug 30, the same day thousands were caught trapped and drowned in their homes.

    News item: President Bush Plays Guitar

    News item 2: New Orleans Left to the Dead and Dying

    Flyover President and the Drowning of New Orleans

    From HuffingtonPost.com:

    The Flyover Presidency of George W. Bush
    By Arianna Huffington

    The president’s 35-minute Air Force One flyover of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama was the perfect metaphor for his entire presidency: detached, disconnected, and disengaged. Preferring to take in America’s suffering — whether caused by the war in Iraq or Hurricane Katrina — from a distance. In this case, 2,500 feet.

    Apparently, the president “sat somberly on a couch on the left hand side of the presidential jumbo jet peering out the window” at the catastrophe below, joined at different times by White House staffers including Karl Rove and Scott McClellan. McClellan later quoted the president as saying, “It’s devastating. It’s got to be doubly devastating on the ground.” Ya think?? Hey, here’s an idea, Mr. President: maybe you should, y’know, get off the plane and see for yourself?


    Bush’s Role in the Drowning of New Orleans
    by Van Jones

    Don’t say that a hurricane destroyed New Orleans. Hurricanes don’t drown cities.

    It was a “perfect storm” of a different kind that put that great city underwater: Bush-era neglect of our national infrastructure, combined with runaway global warming and a deep contempt for poor African-Americans.

    The result: catastrophe. The flooding was not a result of heavy rains.

    It is a result of a weak levee — one that was in mid-repair when the storm hit. And that levee, which has held back floodwaters for time beyond memory, collapsed for one simple reason: Bush refused to fix it last summer, when local officials were begging him to do so. Instead, he diverted those funds to the war effort.

    In other words, the dollars that could have saved New Orleans were used to wage war in Iraq, instead. What’s worse: funds that might have spared the poor in New Orleans (had the dollars been properly invested in levees and modern pumping stations), were instead passed out to the rich, willy-nilly — as tax breaks.

    With those two simple steps, Bush squandered the hard-won Clinton-era surplus. He left the national piggy bank empty for fixing and maintaining basic U.S. infrastructure. (And what was Clinton doing next to the president, giving him cover at a time like this?)

    Had the levee repairs been completed in a timely manner (two years ago), Katrina would have hit hard, destroyed buildings and probably taken some lives. But it would NOT have cracked open the floodwalls and submerged an entire CITY. It took Bush’s criminal neglect of his domestic duties to produce that outcome…


    The Stilwells’ Adventure

    Good reporting rarely comes this good:

    Posted on Thu, Sep. 01, 2005
    The Stilwells’ Adventure
    by Tony Gnoffo
    Philadelphia Inquirer

    As Katrina bore down on Biloxi, Gary and Valentina Stilwell decided they’d be better off hunkering down in their 19th-century Creole cottage a few blocks from the beach than to try to evacuate and get stuck in traffic on some bridge.
    So as the storm gathered strength Monday morning, they lit cigarettes, stood on their back porch and watched the water lap at their rear steps. They watched first with bemusement, then concern, and finally dread as water overtook their efforts to move furniture out of its grasp.

    “When we were up on the second floor,” Gary Stilwell said, “we could hear the furniture bumping against the ceiling” below….


    Americans learnt nothing from tsunami relief

    (All pics from Nola.com)

    Again, President Bush is slow to react when disaster strikes. Hurricane Katrina has devastated whole parts of his country leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and desperate for food and relief.

    Here’s a quote from Nola.com

    New Orleans in anarchy with fights, rapes
    9/1/2005, 9:50 p.m. ET
    The Associated Press

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday, as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out and storm survivors battled for seats on the buses that would carry them away from the chaos. The tired and hungry seethed, saying they had been forsaken.

    “I’m not sure I’m going to get out of here alive,” said Canadian tourist Larry Mitzel, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. “I’m scared of riots. I’m scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire.”

    Four days after Hurricane Katrina roared in with a devastating blow that inflicted potentially thousands of deaths, the frustration, fear and anger mounted, despite the promise of 1,400 National Guardsmen a day to stop the looting, plans for a $10 billion recovery bill in Congress and a government relief effort President Bush called the biggest in U.S. history.

    New Orleans’ top emergency management official called that effort a “national disgrace” and questioned when reinforcements would actually reach the increasingly lawless city.

    About 15,000 to 20,000 people who had taken shelter at New Orleans convention center grew increasingly hostile after waiting for buses for days amid the filth and the dead. Police Chief Eddie Compass said there was such a crush around a squad of 88 officers that they retreated when they went in to check out reports of assaults.

    “We have individuals who are getting raped, we have individuals who are getting beaten,” Compass said. “Tourists are walking in that direction and they are getting preyed upon.”

    A military helicopter tried to land at the convention center several times to drop off food and water. But the rushing crowd forced the choppers to back off. Troopers then tossed the supplies to the crowd from 10 feet off the ground and flew away.

    Compare this to an article on tsunami relief in January, 2005:

    Desperate villagers mob helicopters as US Navy begins tsunami relief operation
    – DENIS D. GRAY, Associated Press Writer
    Saturday, January 1, 2005

    Desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid Saturday as the U.S. military launched its largest operation in the region since the Vietnam War, ferrying food and other emergency relief to survivors across the disaster zone.

    From dawn until sunset on New Year’s Day, 12 Seahawk helicopters shuttled supplies and advance teams from offshore naval vessels while reconnaissance aircraft brought back stark images of wave-wrecked coastal landscapes and their hungry, traumatized inhabitants.

    “They came from all directions, crawling under the craft, knocking on the pilot’s door, pushing to get into the cabin,” said Petty Officer First Class Brennan Zwack. “But when they saw we had no more food inside, they backed away, saying ‘Thank you, thank you.'”

    “The mob decided how we distributed the food. There were so many hands outstretched I don’t think any package touched the ground,” added Zwack, of Sioux Falls, S.D.

    Here is what Bush said flying 1,700 feet above New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast in the safe comfort of a speeding Air Force One: “It’s devastating, it’s got to be doubly devastating on the ground.” At one point, the president saw a hard-hit coastal community and told his staff, “It’s totally wiped out.” (Link)

    Duh. Get with it already!

    B.S. Protector

    Bill Moyer, 73, wears a “Bullshit Protector” flap over his ear while President George W. Bush addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

    It seems Hear No Evil makes sense in a time where truth does not seem to prevail.

    Go make your own here.

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