Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Week That Was

On Sunday, everyone was waiting for Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 storm, to directly hit New orleans. At the last minute, the hurricane veered east, degrading to a Category 4, and smashing into the Gulf Coast, just east of downtown New Orleans.

While everybody else was waiting and worrying the President was eating a birthday cake with John McCain, a person he doesn't even like. Mmmm, that icing sure looks yummy!
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On Tuesday, as the levees breached, and Lake Ponchartrain poured into the City, killing hundreds, perhaps thousands, and rendering hundreds of thousands of people, most of them poor, immediately homeless. Many were on their roofs. Dead people began floating in the rising water. Another levee breached.

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As this was going on, the President was in San Diego, saluting veterans of World War 2, comparing himself to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and pretending to play a guitar with country star Mark Wills. Boy oh boy, he's rockin'!

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The disaster began to unfold further, and food and water began to run out. The poor people were stranded in the SuperDome, a giant football stadium, with no air conditioning. People, including babies, began to die.

Everyone had known the storm was coming for at least a week, and apparently no one had done anything. The city began to run out of water, and there was no gasoline available.

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Speaking to Diane Sawyer on Thursday, the President said "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," which is probably why this video is so heartbreaking.

Meanwhile Condoleeza Rice spent Thursday September 1 "here on three days' vacation to shop and see the U.S. Open, hitting some balls with retired champ Monica Seles at the Indoor Tennis Club at Grand Central."

According to a gossip site, but apparently confirmed, the Secretary of State also saw fit to go shoe shopping:

"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 woman."

The news began to come out that the administration had not only neglected to coordinate emergemncy services, it had systematically cut funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, underfunded the Army Corps of Engineers, who maintain the levees, and diverted funds for the City's levees against Lake Ponchartrain to Iraq, where, incidentally, he had also sent 6,000 members of the National Guard and their equipment, which being made for the swamps of Louisiana are not so useful in the desert. The President's earlier statements seemed to be rendered moot.

It was about this time the administration and its partisans began to say "Let's not play politics with this," because it would be unfair to start blaming anyone.

Truly, examples for us all.


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