Halliboogeyman

Hurricane Halliburton
By John Nichols
The Nation
Sunday 11 September 2005


With the wheels rolling for the purchase of his own $2.9 million home on the east coast, the Cheney was more or less ready to commiserate with the folks who had lost their homes on the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, not all of the locals were prepared to thank the vice president for finally showing up.

Cheney was greeted in Gulfport, Mississippi, by a survivor of the disaster who – recalling the veep’s blunt salutation for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy during a visit to Capitol Hill last year – repeatedly shouted: “Go f— yourself, Mr. Cheney.”

Class envy? Charming. And a dash of ad hominem too. How witty.


If Cheney had actually interacted with anyone on the ground, however, he would have heard a lot more. But the vice presidential visit was merely the latest in a series of photo opportunities by administration aides who are scrambling to undo the damage done by their plodding and disengaged response to a catastrophe that was made much worse by initial federal neglect and incompetence.

Hmm. First he knocks Cheney for not visiting quickly enough, then calls his visit a mere damage control photo op. Something tells me there’s no pleasing Mr. Nichols.


Joe Allbaugh, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has a new job. He’s lobbying for the Halliburton subsidiary in Washington and elsewhere. Conveniently, Allbaugh showed up in Louisiana on the day before Cheney’s visit with the purpose, in the words of a Washington Post report, of “helping his clients get business.”

Even if Allbaugh drops the ball, Halliburton is well covered.

The vice president can always be counted on to “make certain that we’re doing everything that needs to be done.”

And then the big scary corporation popped out of the closet and gobbled up all the funding that should have gone to our soft headed bleeding heart liberal causes instead. BOO! Why make an argument based on fact when sarcasm and innuendo are so much more entertaining?

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The Fourth Estate’s Fifth Columnists

Jack Kelly: No shame
The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed
Sunday, September 11, 2005

“The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.”

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

Reporters are supposed to at least pretend to be objective and unbiased, aren’t they?

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What War?


Terror war all but forgotten on home front
September 11, 2005
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST


It wasn’t a “tragic event” or even one of a series of unfortunate events. It was an “attack,” an “act of war.” I sat at the lunch counter with a guy who’d tuned out the same station on the grounds that “I never heard my grampa talk about ‘the tragedy of Pearl Harbor.’ ” But, consciously or otherwise, a serious effort was under way to transform the nature of the event, to soften it into a touchy-feely, huggy-weepy one-off. As I wrote last year: “The president believes there’s a war on. The Dems think 9/11 is like the 1998 ice storm or a Florida hurricane — just one of those things.”

. . .

Only a tiny minority of Muslims want to be suicide bombers, and only a slightly larger minority want actively to provide support networks for suicide bombers, but big majorities of Muslims support almost all the terrorists’ strategic goals: For example, according to a recent poll, over 60 percent of British Muslims want to live under sharia in the United Kingdom. That’s a “moderate” Westernized Muslim: He wants stoning for adultery to be introduced in Liverpool, but he’s a “moderate” because it’s not such a priority that he’s prepared to fly a plane into a skyscraper.

. . .

So four years on we’re winning in the Middle East and Central Asia, floundering in Europe and North America. War is hell, but a war that half the country refuses to recognize as such staggers on as a very contemporary kind of purgatory.

Great article, but I have to disagree with that final point. The problem is not that half the country refuses to recognize we’re at war. The problem is they support the other side.

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All About The Poor

Black lawmakers angry about federal response to Katrina

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black members of Congress expressed anger Friday at what they said was a slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina.”It looks dysfunctional to me right now,” said Rep. Diane Watson, D-California.

She and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, along with members of the Black Leadership Forum, National Conference of State Legislators, National Urban League and the NAACP, held a news conference and charged that the response was slow because those most affected are poor.

Pay no attention to the race-related labels. It’s all about…the poor.

Many also are black, but the lawmakers held off on charging racism.

“The issue is not about race right now,” said Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio. “There will be another time to have issues about color.”

Yes, still plenty of time to play the race card.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Illinois, said too much focus has been placed on the looting, taking away from what should be the priority: getting food, water and stability to the tens of thousands of displaced victims.

It’s OK to focus on bad news when it comes from Iraq. But newspeople have a responsibility to edit out anything that might make black- I mean poor people look bad.

Watson and others also took issue with the word “refugee” being used to describe hurricane victims.

“‘Refugee’ calls up to mind people that come from different lands and have to be taken care of. These are American citizens,” Watson said.

Added Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland: “They are not refugees. I hate that word.”

Yes, let’s frame this properly. How about “victim”? Fits perfectly with the epidemic of victimology sweeping the US today.

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AP Bashes US, Part 32767

Countries Pledge Hurricane Aid to U.S.
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

The United States historically has aided victims of disasters, but it is not universally recognized as providing the level of aid expected of a rich nation.

The United States, which has the world’s largest economy, lags behind other rich nations in the percentage of its giving to nations in Africa, the world’s poorest continent.

The Associated Press historically has reported on disasters, but it is not universally recognized as providing the level of unbiased information expected of a news organization.

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Politics + Technology = Nonsense at the Speed of Light