September 03, 2005

The Antoinette Party

I just wanted to throw a brick through my television when I heard Sen. Trent Lott blithering away on all the old talking points that no one who's seen the pictures and read these stories could possibly take seriously. What do you suppose the citizens of the devastated Mississippi coast will think about this? Emphasis mine:

... COOPER: I asked someone here that I told them I was going to be talking to you tonight. And they wanted to ask, was part of the problem that a lot of these National Guard troops are in Iraq or overseas? I mean, are the forces so depleted, is that an issue?

LOTT: Anderson, only the news media is asking that question.


COOPER: Sir, I can guarantee you that is not true.

LOTT: I've been digging through rubble in my own yard...

COOPER: Sir, a man who lives right here on this corner was asking me that question.

LOTT: No, that is not accurate. We've got the National Guard troops that we need. They're coming in there. They're coming in 1,200 a day into Mississippi. We're going to have 6,000 to 7,000 in Mississippi alone, not just Mississippi National Guardsmen, but Alabama, all the way to Michigan are going to be there. We're all pulling together.

Look, I don't want to minimize the difficulty or the magnitude of this problem. It's a big one, we've to get everything in there that we can. But we've had problems like communications. When you get stuff there, distribution center, the people can't get there. You've got to get it out into the community. We have a problem with fuel. I've got people that want to go -- my own son hadn't been there because I told him if you in there, you can't get back because you won't have gas.

COOPER: Right, well I can tell you now -- there's a gas station down here that's charging about $5 for a gallon of fuel, and the line is two miles long. But it is not just the news media that is asking these questions. There's a man named Charles Kerney (ph) who lost his home. He came up to me today, heard an interview last night, and he said, "I want to know, I mean, why aren't there more National Guard? And it's not enough," he said.

And I'm telling you what he said, and wanted me to ask you. He said, "It's not enough to hear that they are coming in the future." He wants to know why they aren't here now. I mean, should troops have been pre-positioned?

LOTT: Anderson, when you're hurt, even when people are pre- positioned -- some folks don't seem to realize, you have to clear roads, first. You have to get in there. And that's what you do the first day. For the first day, you're trying to clear the roads, get everything assembled, you know, find people that are...

COOPER: So you're happy with the federal government response?

LOTT: Look, I'm one of them. And I...

COOPER: Well, I know. I understand that. But you're pleased with the federal government response?

LOTT: I am pleased with the federal government response. And by the way, while they're hurting, and I understand it, this is not a time for complaining. This is a time for specifying what help we need, and let's make sure we get it in there. I'm really shocked at some of the comments that are coming, you know, a day or two or three, a week from now.

Look, if they're not doing their job, I'll be the first guy to complain. I'm not a shrinking violet. But I've dealt with the magnitude of this problem. I understand the transportation, the communication, all that has to go on. And remember, the disaster that went over New Orleans and hit us is still going on. They're under water. They're three fires in New Orleans. I looked at it today.

At least our disaster was three days ago and I could go stand in my community and say, "Well, here's where we were." But they're still dealing with it right now. And they're scared, they're panicked. It is a devastating thing, don't let me minimize that.

COOPER: In retrospect, was it a mistake for the federal government in the last couple years to cut the budget for the army corps of engineers in southeastern Louisiana for hurricane protection? Was it a mistake to cut some of the federal funding for flood control in that region?

LOTT: Yes, I do think that's been a mistake. People that don't live in flood areas of the country -- and lots of the country don't really fully understand good work the corps does and how badly we need it. Yes, I don't think it was a wise decision. I think we should put more into flood control problems.

But, you know, you've got papers like the "Washington Post" editorializing against what the corps does when they build levees and they build pumps. But yes, we ought to be putting more into it, and I vote that way every year.

...COOPER: I can't get over this image of this woman laying out in the street for 48, you know, 72 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, and like I said, what do you think this mother feels when she came in with a healthy baby and now her baby's in like a comatose state?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And may die because he didn't get water, water, not something remarkable, water.

...COOPER: I mean, you know, throughout the week we've heard politicians say, well, you know, they understand the frustration of people down here. The truth is people aren't frustrated here. People are dying here. They've died here in Waveland. They're dying still in New Orleans so it's not just frustration. It goes much deeper than that. ...

If you didn't see the show, just read the rest of that transcript. It's just ... I've run out of adjectives for how mad I feel that this is happening.

But Sen. Trent Lott votes for levees and pumps every year. Well, huh. Does that mean that if I search the Thomas database for the massive budget packages that stripped New Orleans levee funds to the bone, that I'll find a 'nay' vote from Sen. Lott? Does that mean that I'll find amendments attached to those bills which he championed, but sadly failed to get past his colleagues?

This man is so disconnected from reality that he thinks he can blame this monumental cock-up on the Liberal Media bogeyman. He's still playing the game, still running interference for the clueless Marie Antoinette administration. A bunch of useless, posing, costume wearing, 'country' house having, cowardly aristocrats who can't even take care of their citizens as well as Cuba.

I guess the losers can eat their empty promises.

Posted by natasha at September 3, 2005 03:56 AM | US News | Technorati links |

Hanging isn't good enough, beheading isn't good enough, they should be drawn and quartered.

Posted by: Adam Selene at September 3, 2005 09:25 AM

I believe in reincarnation, so I pretty much think of death as perhaps a little too forgiving for some crimes. These heartless bastards deserve to live out the rest of their natural lives as relief workers in the world's most devastated and poverty stricken third world countries after they finish a sentence of permanent community service helping the people of the American South rebuild.

Posted by: natasha at September 3, 2005 02:21 PM