Katrina 2 Years Later

Its been 2 years since Katrina hit New Orleans. We are still paying the cost of compassionate conservatism.

(Image from Suspect Device via Blue Gal)


Where Are We Getting The Troops?

Sydney Morning Herald:

THE US President, George Bush, has given his strongest indication yet that he intends to continue with plans to increase troop numbers in Iraq after the September 15 report to Congress, when he delivered an upbeat assessment of military progress and a more positive view of the political outlook.

Where are we getting these troops, and why is Bush about to go against the advice of the general he (and breathless Republicans) urged us to wait for?

Will we let this slide?

Will the sight of a Republican standing up to his party and his President urge us all to take a bolder stand?

Bush’s Vendetta

Adam Sutler

“I want our fellow citizens to consider what would happen if these forces of radicalism and extremism are allowed to drive us out of the Middle East,” Bush told the veterans in Nevada.


He continued:

“I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want everyone to remember *why* they need us!”

2008 can’t come soon enough.  Let’s make sure we don’t elect another Sutler.

Beijing to Surfers: BOOOO!

Beijing is planning on using animations to scare web users into compliance with Communist party rules (Yahoo via Slashdot):

The animated police appeared designed to startle Web surfers and remind them that authorities closely monitor Web activity. However, the statement did not say whether there were plans to boost monitoring further.

Big Brother is watching. And Uncle Sam is looking the other way. Unless we’re talking about trade issues. Then you’ve got our attention.

A bit more on the imagery being used.  Did you ever have a teacher who eschewed the red pen in favor of the pencil?  Your paper still was covered in notes and markings.  But didn’t that D look better in a dull gray, rather than in an imperious red?

The Chinese government is exercising an authority that is neither legitimate nor comforting.  In fact it is downright frightening.  You could go to jail and be tortured.  Be blacklisted and tracked.  All for reading and expressing your opinion.  A stern police officer, representative of the thugs who would be sent to bash your skull and drag you in for questioning, would be a constant reminder of the nature of the beast.  Softening the blow, however little, invites victims (in this case Chinese citizens) to play along with the myth that such poisonous domestic monitoring is natural.  Good, even.

By making the cartoon officers so stereotypically “good”, you are sending the message that “Hey, I know you’re following our really nice laws, but please be careful not to make a mistake, ok?”.

Either way, it is a symbol of oppression, and one that will be shoved down citizen’s throats on a daily basis.

There are ways to fight back.  Check out CitizenLab.

Larry Craig Isn’t Gay!

Well he isn’t.  He’s Bi-Curious.  Get it right people.  There’s no problem here (Mike by way of Pam):

“Senator Craig’s situation is exacerbated by the fact that he has a voting record that is counter to the interest of lesbian and gay Americans. All too often, closeted men like Senator Craig use their voting record to hide their truth from the American people. With this news now out in the open, I call upon Senator Craig to reevaluate his votes on issues like the Federal Marriage Amendment, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the Defense of Marriage Act.

No contradiction whatsoever (Amanda):

[…] look at Craig’s voting history and really soak in that this is a man who votes by the principle of no panty drawer unsniffed, no phone untapped, no surreptitious glances between young lovers (particularly of the same sex) unregulated. He must know at all time what you’re doing not only with your genitals but with your foot taps.

Is the foot-tapping law unjust? Absolutely.

Is it just for Craig to be hoisted by his own petards? Absolutely.

Pffft.  Whatevs.  All I can say is someone is going to look fabulous the next time the Defense of Marriage act comes up.

Hillary Scores a Hit on Gonzales Resignation

In an otherwise bothersome post (how is singing the same song on Gonzales bad?  So you don’t like it when Dems provide a united front?), Don Frederick (LA Times) has a really nice catch:

It said: “The second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is one more reminder that the president must appoint someone to lead the Department of Justice with the leadership and competence necessary to defend the Constitution.”

At first blush, the connection between the catastrophe that afflicted New Orleans and defending the Constitution struck us as puzzling.  But it made more sense in light of speculation that Michael Chertoff, head of the of Department of Homeland Security, could be Bush’s choice to succeed Gonzales.

Both Chertoff and his agency were roundly criticized for the poor federal response to Katrina.  Clinton seems to be sending a clear signal that Bush should think twice about asking the Senate to confirm Chertoff as the next attorney general.

And the Republicans should think twice about letting him get away with another recess appointment.  Sneaking Chertoff in will not go unnoticed, and would speak volumes about the Republican party’s vision for ’08 and beyond.  Meanwhile, tip of the hat to Hillary Clinton.  Starting to build pressure against Chertoff now is a really good move.

Goodbye Gonzales (See You In Court)

Alberto Gonzales has resigned.  While I’m happy to see him leave, the next guy isn’t likely to be Johnny Justice:

For starters, W. will try to put one person forward, the dems will nix them, and W. will appoint in the middle of the next vacation of congress. This person will simply replace gonzales and will ensure that no real investigation occurs until the end of W. time.

Gonzales replaced this guy, after all.  Its not going to get better folks.  Bloggernista some of the reactions from Congress.  This one quote by the delusional McConnell was priceless (Guardian):

“It is my hope that whomever President Bush selects as the next attorney general, he or she is not subjected to the same poisonous partisanship that we’ve sadly grown accustomed to over the past eight months,” McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.

Poisonous Partisanship.  Bitterly ironic quip, given that is precisely what Gonzeles, Rove and Bush are being investigated for.  And they are still very much under investigation:

“This resignation is not the end of the story. Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House,” Reid warned.

Right on!  We’ve got to encourage our Congressional leaders who are actually doing something to keep fighting.  This is about more than just the Attorney General (Guardian, emphasis mine):

Thousands of documents released by the Justice Department show a White House plot, hatched shortly after the 2004 elections, to replace U.S. attorneys. At one point, senior White House officials, including Rove, suggested replacing all 93 prosecutors. In December 2006, eight were ordered to resign.

They considered replacing every federal prosecutor.  I hadn’t realized that before, and seeing it now, its startling to say the least.  Gonzales may be headed out the door, but we need to make sure we hold him and this entire administration accountable for what they have done to our political system.  And we need to make damn sure another Republican doesn’t get into office in 2008.  Otherwise what Bush, Rove and Gonzales attempted, Rudy “Caligula” Guiliani and his own troupe will achieve:  A one party US.