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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Treading Water

“There are at least three reasons why the hurricane may mark a turning point in the US debate over the role of government. First, the deep tax cuts enacted in 2001 - which President George W. Bush now wants extended permanently - left no room for government initiatives that might have prevented the catastrophe and increased capacity to respond.

The Louisiana Army Corps of Engineers had identified some $18bn (£9.8bn) in projects to shore up the levees and improve flood control in New Orleans after last year's vicious hurricane season. Despite warnings from local emergency officials that New Orleans would face disastrous flooding even with a category 3 hurricane (Katrina landed as a category 4), none of those projects was funded. Instead, Army Corps funds in the region have fallen by nearly half since 2001, and the Bush administration has proposed a further 20 per cent cut next year. Hurricane prevention was among dozens of domestic programmes that have been chronically underfunded as taxes have fallen and scarce revenues have been diverted to the war on terrorism.
Second, despite huge increases in spending to fight the war in Iraq, the hurricane revealed how thinly the US military has been stretched. National Guard units, under the control of state governments, are supposed to be the front line for rescuing people and maintaining law and order in natural disasters. But 3,000 of Louisiana's guard troops are in Iraq, as are 4,000 from Mississippi, and many of those back home have recently finished gruelling tours in Baghdad. The hurricane forced local authorities to seek help from guard troops in nearby states, but aid has been far too slow in coming for many of those stranded....”
-Financial Times, September 3, 2005

“It isn't easy picking George Bush's worst moment last week. Was it his first go at addressing the crisis Wednesday, when he came across as cool to the point of uncaring? Was it when he said that he didn't "think anybody expected" the New Orleans levees to give way, though that very possibility had been forecast for years? Was it when he arrived in Mobile, Ala., a full four days after the storm made landfall, and praised his hapless Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director, Michael D. Brown, whose disaster credentials seemed to consist of once being the commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association?...”
-Time Magazine Online, September 4, 2005

“It isn’t Dubya’s fault though. Nothing ever is, and all of you concerned citizens should just learn to shut up and not be so partisan. You’re politicizing this by complaining about the people dying and stuff. You should be unbiased and just realize that those thousands of deaths were just meant to happen. Nothing could have been done any better that it was. As always, our Fearless Leader did the right thing, and any critique is only because people blindly hate Bush’s politics. Nothing to see here. Move along.”

“Late last week, Bush said he was unhappy with the overall response, but the aide made it clear he was most upset with the local plan -- not his own administration's efforts. Bush lost patience with local officials when he learned that thousands of people were sent to the New Orleans convention center for relief only to learn their was no assistance for victims there, the aide said, calling this the ‘tipping point.’ Bush infuriated Blanco and other local officials when he sought late Friday night to federalize the relief effort and seize control of National Guard and other operations. The governor refused, and tensions between the federal and local officials worsened.”
-Washington Post, September 5, 2005

“Emphasis added.. And what was Dubya doing as New Orleans was sinking? I’ll give you a clue.. If he’d had a fiddle he’d have been playing it.”

“President George W. Bush shares a laugh with Myrtle Jones during a Conversation on Medicare Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.”
-Whitehouse.gov, August 29, 2005

“President Bush plays a guitar presented to him by Country Singer Mark Wills, right, backstage following his visit to Naval Base Coronado, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005.”
-Associated Press, August 30, 2005

“But ever storm cloud has a silver lining.”

“What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle)--this is working very well for them.”
-Barbara Bush, September 5, 2005

“Yep. Those lucky homeless people. Dubya really did learn compassion from his mother.”

“Aaron Broussard, president of decimated Jefferson Parish in Louisiana, broke down in tears on NBC's ‘Meet the Press’ as he chided officials. ‘Nobody's coming to get us,’ Broussard said, his head sagging. ‘The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God's sake, shut up and send us somebody.’"
-Washington Post, September 5, 2005


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