White House swings into action…. to shift blame

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 5, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

This entry was posted on
Monday, September 5th, 2005
11:30 am and is filed
under George W. Bush.

New York Times – White House Enacts a Plan to Ease Political Damage: Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.

No. It can’t possibly be true. Can it?

Well, take a look at this lie that blew through the Washington Post yesterday. (The article in question now carries a correction.)

And, yes, last night we all saw Condi Rice on our televisions, praying in church for the dead and the dying. Not practicing her backhand, shopping for shoes, or laffing it up over ‘Spam-a-lot’.

And today, you can expect to see more presidential hugs. Lots and lots and lots of them.

Rove has his work cut out for him, that’s for damn sure. And he may have to change gear suddenly if Cheney decides to ditch the puppet before he loses an arm.

Independent – Apocalypse in the USA: It is not just that he has handled the crisis badly. His first response was a bemused look, reminiscent of his mental paralysis at the news of 9/11. He then committed a terrible blunder, telling disaster victims to “take personal responsibility”. The individualist message was miscalculated, offensive to the altruism that disasters always ignite. Next, the President seemed to think that it was more important to stop the looting than to save lives. His gaffes don’t end. In storm-torn Biloxi on Friday, he referred two distraught women, who collapsed in his arms, to the Salvation Army shelter.

M. Kane Jeeves – The worst President ever!: Under Bush’s leadership, federal flood control spending for southeastern Louisiana has been cut from $69 million in 2001 to $36.5 million in 2005. Federal hurricane protection for the Lake Pontchartrain vicinity in the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget sunk from $14.25 million in 2002 to $5.7 million this year. Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu pleaded for $27 million. No deal. Iraq was more important.

Time – Dipping His Toe Into Disaster: 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? “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” said the President. Or was it that odd moment when he promised to rebuild Mississippi Senator Trent Lott’s house–a gesture that must have sounded astonishingly tone-deaf to the homeless black citizens still trapped in the postapocalyptic water world of New Orleans. “Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house–he’s lost his entire house,” cracked Bush, “there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.”

But there is hope. Equally compelling facts and figures about Iraq failed to stop the insanity or bring down the Bush administration, because of the useful presence of the boogey-man.

So what Rove needs to do is to get ‘experts’ to start asking questions about possible sabotage of the levees. No facts or evidence required… just a few well-placed questions ought to do it. That’s how The Osama Solution works.

UPDATE – Daily Kos – A brush with Bush in NO: It actually couldn’t have been a worse experience; a team of us were working to put up a website with directions to every Red Cross shelter in the region when we were evicted from the computer room by the Secret Service. There’s only one room in the Cajundome with telephones and internet access for refugees, and Laura Bush shut it down for eight hours (along with the food service rooms to the side and the women’s showers). You may have seen it on CNN; apparently seven refugees were allowed back so Laura could help them in front of the cameras.

UPDATE – MyDD – Chertoff Still Uninformed About Katrina Details: I say uninformed because I really need to believe that the Secretary of Homeland Security is not lying for political reasons right now…

UPDATE – Halliburton to the rescue!

UPDATE – Sell the Ranch!

UPDATE – Did Newsweek get spun too? Bugger Sell The Ranch, let’s have Burn The Source.

UPDATE – Denny Hastert’s Dark Calculus

UPDATE – Open Letter to the President

UPDATE – Remember seeing George Bush on TV yesterday, wearing the Red Cross like a cloak of invulnerability and asking you to give “cash-money” to the cause? Well…. Red Cross NEVER allowed into New Orleans

See also: Katrina medical help held up by red tape. And this: In St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, just south of New Orleans, victims of the hurricane are still waiting for food and water and for buses to escape the floodwaters, Melancon said. And for the entire time Bush was in the state, the congressman said, a ban on helicopter flights further stalled the delivery of food and supplies.

UPDATE – Police looting in Wal-Mart

UPDATE – More on Karl Rove’s lie machine.

1 Comment

  1. KathyF says

    And did you hear Frank Luntz, Republican pollster, on BBC radio this morning? Comparing the Republican governor's response to the Democratic governor's response.They're trying to turn this into a blame Blanco event, while at the same time criticizing the media for blaming anyone at this time of crisis.Ugh.

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