September 5, 2005

Can you handle the truth?

Like many long suffering Americans, Steve Giliard has had it with Bush and his disasterous lack of leadership. He writes an open letter to Bush supporters which is required reading. Read it and share your thoughts.

We can all thank those valiant "less government" conservatives for being directly responsible for the inadequacy of the life-saving efforts in N.O. One could only wish that all those who have labored so long and hard to slash government agencies could be put to work filling sandbags for the rest of their lives.

But Billmon at Whiskey Bar points out that the right actually isn't against big government, as they've actually squandered record amounts of tax dollars, bloating government spending beyond record levels and far surpassing anything the "tax and spend" Democrats have every done. It's just WHAT they think is worth spending on and what they don't that is the difference. And one of the things they don't want to spend money on is programs to protect and help people who make less than, say, $350,000 a year.

Read his excellent post.

I've been meaning to note, but haven't had the chance, that when Bill Clinton came into office, FEMA was a backwater of the federal government, inefficient, underfunded, and beset with low morale. He ordered James Lee Witt to reorganize and reinvigorate the agency, and by all accounts across the board, Witt was amazingly sucessful. The times it was called on to provide relief efforts went smoothly and efficiently. FEMA went from being a joke to one of the most respected agencies in government.

But right after Bush got in, they started letting it fall apart, cutting funding and giving it almost zero priority. After all, the very wealthy can take care of themselves, why spend money on protecting poor people?

We are now reaping the effects of that neglect and attitude.

Even the always judicious Bill Clinton couldn't avoid mentioning today that he'd increased funding and attention to FEMA, but, he said, since then, he didn't know what had happened to it. Of course, he had Bush Sr. standing right next to him, but even so, he had to point out that Junior has made a mess of it as gently as he could.

And why wouldn't Clinton be pissed? Bush has decimated the agency he'd built up to a well-functioning and effective force for good. Bush's agenda for his entire first term was simply to undo everything and anything Clinton had achieved. Now we see the results.

And one other thought. A person doesn't have to know all the facts about Bush's incompetency. Even if they only saw or read all the Bush-friendly press and all the other crap out there all they'd have to do is have even a rudimentary capability to judge character to see the man is inept, doesn't care, and is an elitist, shallow, immoral, and weak person.

I've often wondered how people could be so incredibly bad at judging people.

We all develop this ability. We have to. We meet people on the street, we deal with people daily in business, etc. Even when we're trying to meet a special someone, we have to use our ability to size up others based on what we see and hear. It's essential to our life and our well-being.

Then how can ANYONE look at and listen to Bush and come away thinking he's competent? And he's been showing us he's an idiot for YEARS. So how do people manage to keep telling their inner voice, "No, no, no, no, NO! He's really a great, warm, compassionate leader" in the face of such blatant evidence?

For instance, one can tell that despite his goofiness, and his being committed to serving the world's elite and a host of other views I find repugnant, Bush Sr. has a part of him that is a very decent man. You can just tell. He's human and has a human concern for other people.

You can tell that despite their views, Bob Dole, Pat Buchannon, Bill Kristol, to name a few on the right, still have a part of them that is appealing and human, and their hearts are in the right place, so to speak.

But how can people look at Bush, listen to him struggle to remember the lies he's supposed to say, tortuously laboring to say things he doesn't feel, watch his extreme discomfort and inability to fake that he cares about anything but his elite supporters and killing people, and still think he's a man of high character? It's as plain as the nose on your face that he's faking his way through everything. I mean, just listen to and watch the man, and you can tell all you need to know.

If by some miracle someone had been spared the massive amounts of pro-Bush propaganda and then watched Bush on TV over any length of time, I can't imagine any but a few not coming away saying, "What's with this guy? I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him."

And Dick Cheney? HA! How can ANYONE listen to his diabolical hiss of a voice, see the cruel sneer, and feel he's a decent guy? He voted AGAINST freeing Nelson Mandela, for God's sake!

How did Rove get so many to ignore their basic, inate ability to judge character?

And as an aside, I've opened up comments to anyone again. We'll see how it goes.


At 9/05/2005 3:17 PM, Blogger Zanla said...

You would actually have to find Dick Cheney to hear from him. Lies are easy for people to believe if they are willing to ignore the facts that are in front of them.

At 9/05/2005 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you prob. blame the romans for pompeii. The French built a city underwater in a hurricane zone. Tradgey is not a big suprise.
as for the politics that you spread on this. Nice work. Keep blaming bush for everything from noises outside your house to solar eclipses. It makes anything that is not you look sane.

At 9/05/2005 3:34 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You're a pinhead, OK? (gee, I sound like O'Reilly.)

Again, EVERY time one of you chuckle-heads decides to post something here, you have to freaking INVENT a straw man and then knock it down.

Of course, no one's blaming Bush for the noises outside my home, everyone knows that's from the ditto-heads I keep chained in the back yard, but solar eclipses are caused by the ignorance of right-wingers when it passes between the sun and the earth.

Bottom line, are you trying to tell us that Bush and the federal government, who, I might remind you, has been in Republican hands for 5 disasterous years now, don't deserve to be blasted for their disgraceful response and lack of planning?

At 9/05/2005 3:57 PM, Blogger Jackscolon said...

A question:

If FEMA had reacted perfectly, would any of the credit have gone to Bush?

I doubt that it would, and I think that illustrates how little the current administration has to do with "emergency response" besides signing the budget every year.

Also, I think that you would have to admit that the total destruction of infrastructure has to play at least some role in the timing of federal response. Seriously, how do you bus food and water in and survivors out when the roads are under 10 feet of water and the gas stations don't work?

At 9/05/2005 4:44 PM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

How did Rove get so many to ignore their basic, inate ability to judge character?

Fear. The 9/11 attacks were a victory gift to BushCo. After cutting out watching TV news, I still have not gone a day since that tragedy without hearing it quoted somewhere in the media.

Bush invokes the 9/11 atrocity like a parent threatening children with The Belt. There is more than enough evidence to prove there was foreknowledge of those attacks. They were allowed to happen.

Fear and strategy, that's how Karl Rove gets people to act against their gut-level survival instincts. He and George W. have turned American into the burning World Trade Center, and its citizenry into people who would prefer to try their luck with an 80-story dive to the pavement rather than remain in the inferno. You get people frightened enough, you can get them to do anything. The law calls this kind of manipulation "duress." It's how Saddamn Hussein ruled.

And remember, a colossal "failure of imagination" occurs once every 24 months under Emperor George W. Bush, costing uncountable lives, tens of billions of dollars, and the peace of mind of tens of millions of citizens. And he has time for one more before 2008.

At 9/05/2005 4:48 PM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Forgive me, Dope, if I'm overstepping my bounds here, but I brought the ballpeen hammer I use on belligerent anonymous posters on my blog.

Dear Anonymous Poster: I enabled the "anonymous" posting feature on my blog because I never tire of the feeble scratchings of cowards.

Please do give me a present. Stick you head in a blender and press the mince button.

At 9/05/2005 5:14 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Hi Dope, yes I saw an early CNN report about the Katrina tragedy on Thursday Sept 1st and there was Bush saying some drivel about something - way before the Whitehouse had woken from their slumber and figured out that he wasn't in Crawford battling Cindy Sheehan anymore.

Someone snoozed a bit early on because CNN had an image of Bush speaking and underneath him was the typwritten statement "Not Acceptable". I found that exact image very humorous and quite correct as an assessment of the situation now and for the past several years in our Country.

For God's sake, (and yes Bush you are supposed to be Christian) take care of our own countrymen and women...... Do something.

Just because we don't have a clearly defined "evil dooer" or a "terrist" for Bush to point at does not mean we can sit on our hands as a people and let it the suffering happen.

Dam -- now the Whitehouse has gotten their act together - today the CNN reports show images of Bush hugging some "black" serviceman in New Orleans. he has his sleeves rolled up and he's saluting the soldiers - even though he was such a poor example of an enlisted man in his own day. Yup - the propoganda is gonna be spread about how Bush is for everyone regardless..... what a crock of sh---t.

At 9/05/2005 9:48 PM, Blogger diehard said...

How come when we have all these disasters under the Bush appointed Presidency and the buck doesn't stop with W. 9/11,Iraq,$3a gallon gas. And now thousands dead. Well he used 9/11 as a political tool to help himself.
Bill Clinton got aheem...'serviced' by an intern and we beat the heck out of him.
I saw Clinton on TV the other morning and for a minute I thought the last 5 years had just been a bad dream!!!

At 9/06/2005 4:55 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Well Diehard, if this was the UK and we had our capital in London, Bush could be a bad memory in a short few weeks.....

At 9/06/2005 4:55 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Well Diehard, if this was the UK and we had our capital in London, Bush could be a bad memory in a short few weeks.....

At 9/06/2005 5:04 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for your view. I disagree. While you do have a point.. that if everything had gone smoothly, Bush may not have been personally praised for it, I think he would have. And if he wasn't, Rove would make DAMN SURE that he was.

But here's where you've slid into the Bush world.

Sometimes, you shouldn't be treated as a hero for simply performing your job.

So if Bush had ensured that FEMA was well funded and made it a priority, and everything had gone as well as possible, then Bush would definitely get the gratitude and thanks of thousands for whom the effort gave relief and even saved lives.

He could have made his little photo ops and claimed credit for a successful relief effort, and rightly so. I think he would have gotten praised by all sides.

BUT.... why should Bush get credit for doing what a president is SUPPOSED TO DO?

Do you get my point? When did we get to the point where a leader is excused time and time and time again for horrible incompetence under his leadership?

He is either a leader and RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTIBLE for what happens under his command, or he's not. Simple. Which is it?

Is he responsible for ANYTHING WHATSOEVER?

To hear folks such as yourself and others, it appears not.

Why the knee-jerk impulse to excuse Bush's every failure? Just curious.

This is the way it works in government, or any organization for that matter.

If you are the president or CEO and your marketing department is full of incompetent people and you have cut their budget steadily over the years, and your company posts a loss, do the stockholders give the CEO a pass? Hell no! The CEO is toast!

SOMEONE has got to be in charge, yet you and other Bush appologists seem to think Bush isn't in charge of ANYTHING.. that is if it goes horribly wrong, as almost everything he's done indeed has.

Bush yammers about "personal responsibility" and "accountibility" all the freaking time.

So why is he NEVER responsible or accountible for ANYTHING?

And yes, Bush IS accountible for this and the deaths and destruction which resulted from the lack of planning and inadequate, disorganized, and pathetic initial response.

His administration has steadily CUT funding for relief agencies.

And one solid FACT is that, despite studies, exhaustive scientific analysis, the fact that prentitive measures were clearly identified and even begun, Bush, since he doesn't like that "sciency" stuff and perfers faith based disaster protection, told them to go to hell.

Funding earmarked for the already begun levee improvement program was STOPPED and the money diverted to Iraq.

What more do you need to know?

And I tell you what Colon, if it was YOUR every possession and YOUR family who were left to rot in their attics, you'd sure as HELL be blaming Bush! Because you'd realize that if he was any sort of competent leader, he'd ACCEPT responsibility for the way he's chosen to spend money and support and structure federal agencies, and the results from it.

Bush A. Cut funding for FEMA, B. Put incompetent people in charge, valuing rewarding his pals over placing competent people in charge, C. Had DETAILED reports predicting EXACTLY what would happen if a storm of this magnitude would occur, if levee improvements were not made, and simply ignored them, stopping levee work already begun, and actually CUT funding for the critically needed improvements in New Orleans.

I mean, what more proof do you need that BUSH is responsible for this??!!

How can you credit him for the few things that go well, yet when his incompetence and efforts to dismantle every New Deal program to help and protect people results in record disasters, you excuse his sorry ass?


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