September 07, 2005

The Cleanup, The Outrage

The Senate Democrats' relief plan calls for easy access to healthcare, housing assistance, cash, temporary debt suspension and help relocating for the displaced. I doubt Barbara Bush would approve, while Sen. Santorum suggested penalizing those who stayed behind and Sen. Trent Lott looks poised to cut in line for aid.

It's possible that the death toll may be around 40,000 and FEMA is reported to be dealing poorly with the bodies. While these people were dying, Bush spent an extra 3 days on vacation, Rumsfeld enjoyed a baseball game and Rice bought pricey shoes and went to a show.

FEMA used first responders as photo props and wasted valuable time putting them through community relations classes when they could have been out saving lives. Adding insult to injury, the people managing this on the ground are still turning away aid.

Juan Cole compares Fallujah to New Orleans. SensibleShoes compares the federal response to the New Orleans crisis to the federal response to the 1906 destruction of San Francisco.

Tim Russert is mad at the feds and really let them have it on Imus this morning. In synopsis, Virginia Dem tells the White House that, "when [the] MSM is debating whether your failures were due to racism or incompetence, no spin will save you." Certainly, no spin can make last Tuesday's front pages less damning, or get past Brian Williams' firsthand account of the poor ground operation.

Kos has the president's response in pictures, though I think the effort was pre-emptively surpassed by driftglass' response in pictures with Pink Floyd lyrics.

I swiped the driftglass link from DC Media Girl who points up a 'man of god' who's happy about the loss of New Orleans and some other guy who thinks only black people commit crimes.

The water that spilled into New Orleans has already spread death and destruction, but pumping it out may devastate the Gulf ecosystems. Toxic poisons from household chemicals, chemical plants, fuel from cars, tankers and filling stations, as well as rotting bodies and the disease organisms festering in them will all be along for the ride when they drain Lake New Orleans.

Avedon Carol has also been combing the web for informative and infuriating stories about the aftermath of Katrina and has provided the defining quote of this entire experience, imo: "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice." -- Vernon Schryver

Also, check out Making Light, whose posts I'll try and link to in more detail later, but for now just go over and start reading.

At this point, I think all the good adjectives that could possibly describe the administration's initial response to Katrina and their subsequent mugging for the photo-ops have been used. Shocking, heartless, callous, incompetent, outrageous, reckless, feckless, venal, criminal, comatose, useless, inept, irrational, infuriating, lackadaisical, unserious, worthless, racist and asleep at the switch, all taken. The next time the Marie Antoinette administration screws something up, and they will, we will all have to dig a little deeper through the thesaurus.

Seriously though, let's none of us compound the failure of the administration by a failure of public generosity. Please help. Victims across the gulf need everything from a few dollars to a place to stay, while the efforts to help them rebuild could take years and could cost as much as $150 billion.

Red Cross

Habitat for Humanity

Northwest Medical Teams

Hurricane Housing

Posted by natasha at September 7, 2005 01:30 AM | US News | Technorati links |

So far I've heard that the EPA is going to be excluded from the post-disaster assessment, and that the press and the local coroners will be kept entirely out of the body collection effort by the feds.

If this is true, we may be looking at a big-time cover-up by the Bush administration.

Posted by: serial catowner at September 7, 2005 04:26 PM