Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bush's Next Seven Minutes

Four years ago, Bush spent seven minutes in a classroom reading a book about a goat while the Twin Towers fell. This past month, Bush spent another seven minutes stumping about the Iraq War, followed by a harried "ooops, I did it again..." in which he realized the country wasn't as forgiving this second time. Bush is about to address the nation about Hurricane Katrina. Here is my live-blog. Keep refreshing for more. @9:02 Bush says hello. His visual director should be ashamed, not only does that collar and that hunched over posture make him look like he's missing a neck, but his shirt camoflauges with the background. @9:06 Bush sounds behind the times, as if he's out of the loop. He's telling us things we've already known for hours and days. As if, even now, the president, even now, isn't briefed one what's really going on. Tell me something I don't know, Mr. President!! @9:08 Wow. Bush just gave me a 1-800 number. I feel like he's trying to sell me an As-Seen-On-TV compilation CD. @9:09 Here, it comes. Bush says he has asked for $60 billion dollars in helping Katrina victims. Let's be clear -- I believe he's talking about the tax cuts passed by the House and the Senate earlier today. That's tax cuts for Katrina victims and for anyone donating to the Katrina rebuilding effort. That's not really money given to help the effort -- that's a loan shark giving you a couple extra days before he comes to collect. 8% of bankrupt is still zero dollars in an evacuee's pocket. @9:13 So far, we've heard some great idealizing: Bush has talked about how he'd like people to hire locals and send more federal aid. But where's the concrete plans? Whoa... Bush just addressed the race issue, but did you catch how it's in the context of Louisiana? He describes the area as one plagued by "racial discrimination" and he describes ambitions of more minority-owned businesses and less racial discrimination. Bush doesn't deal with accusations of his own racism -- after all, it's those rednecks who're racist, not the one on the small screen. Clever sleight of hand there, President Bush. @9:14 He's going to listen to some good ideas for how to help? Oh, goodie, nice to know Bush has no real idea how to do this himself. @9:15 Bush has suggested the creation of a couple of funds for victims: federally funded accounts to provide stuff like $5,000 for evacuees looking for job training. Given the Bush Administration's already flagrant deficit spending and tax cuts for the wealthy, not to mention the expensive war being waged in Iraq, how does Mr. Bush plan on paying for this? By making you and I, the twenty-somethings just entering the workforce, bear the brunt of his spending -- we will be paying for Mr. Bush's foolhardy and extravagant money-sense. It's young people like us and our children who will be paying for Mr. Bush's mere eight years in office for decades into the future. @9:20 Gotta love how Bush just slipped terrorism into his declaration that all cities must be prepared for natural disasters and terrorist attacks. He wants the DHS to review all the city's emergency plans -- for a second, my heart skipped a beat, I thought he would say he wanted to review the very need for the existence of the DHS. But, of course not, Bush obstinantly refuses to see that there's anything wrong with this behemoth he created. FEMA couldn't act properly not because they weren't prepared; most of the good employees in FEMA knew they would be screwed when New Orleans' levies broke, but being rolled into the DHS was its undoing. The emphasis on terrorism meant no one cared about little things like natural disasters. They were reviewing how to deal with an anthrax attack but bomb dogs won't help you when your house is floating away. Reviewing will do nothing if FEMA has no ability or desire to change their policies. @9:22 Bush has now asked that the government review its own response to the hurricane. Oh, that'll be objective. @9:24 He's done? He spoke for 22 minutes. 22 minutes!! Well, that cinches it, Bush had nothing to say. He couldn't stretch it to 30 minutes! Obviously, this was all about pulling up Bush's plummeting poll numbers. Even Bush's acceptance of responsibility is anti-climactic given that that cat was let out of the bag a day or two ago, and besides the fact that he's done nothing with that responsibility.Accepting responsibility, alone, does nothing if Bush isn't willing to address what he plans on doing to embrace the consequences of his mistakes. Obviously Bush and company are unwilling to deal with the racial and economic issues so what good is his responsibility? Really, this is too little, too late.


Blogger jose said...

Funnily enough, Bush's production crew provided their own blue lights to swath the cathedral so that it would match his attire. The propaganda is well-orchestrated, from the Mission Accomplished banner to the fake Thanksgiving turkey in Iraq, to the more subtle lighting in this event. Imagine Leni Riefenstahl at work. Hmm, I've just Godwinned this.

But yeah, it ends up looking pretty cheesy like he's vacationing at the Magic Kingdom, kicking back and relaxing with the shirt cuffs. I imagine they were trying to make it look like he was busy rescuing people from the floodwaters.

Good points on the tax cuts disguised as a relief package.

9/16/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just out of curiousity... what would your plan be?

9/16/2005 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

for what? for Katrina relief?

Spending federal money to aid Katrina victims is not, in and of itself, a bad idea -- I have a problem with spending money with no idea where it's coming from.

My suggestion would be that

a) the bulk of the money should not come in the form of tax cuts for victims because that doesn't help the victims rebuild. I like the idea of establishing funds for victims to get money from, I just don't like how Bush doesn't account for where the money is coming from.

b) Bush needs to suggest where he will get the money for his funds from -- either cut spending elsewhere or roll back his tax cuts. Either way, there is absolutely nothing defensible about his brand of deficit spending and nobody under the age of 30 should be supporting his proposal.

Also, Bush needs to establish an independent committee to investigate the response to Katrina. Bias is such an obvious issue here I don't understand why people aren't up in arms over it.

FEMA should be taken out of the DHS and in fact I'm of the mind that the DHS should just be disbanded entirely. There's far too much red tape involved in DHS such that the whole point of increasing communication amongst the different organizations has failed utterly. However, what has succeeded is the unnecessary emphasis on terrorism that the DHS instituted in every aspect of its domain. FEMA was busy preparing for anthrax attacks and a second airplane bombing that they were grossly unprepared for a flood and most other natural disasters. Given that the DHS isn't doing its job and has in fact hindered FEMA's ability to do its job, I think that's a good enough reason to suggest that the DHS is unnecessary.

What else? Oh, yes. My plan would not be to use Hurricane Katrina as a photo-op for lagging approval ratings.

Does all that answer your question?

9/19/2005 05:46:00 PM  

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