The Katrina story is so big, so faceted, it's like a big sparkly ball spinning at the prom, where a girl can never quite get a fix on what spot to watch until she wakes up in the back seat of a '57 Chevy, down by the levee, another slice of American Pie. This week Dubya is the Savior of the Gulf, flying this way and that, rolling up his sleeves, revealing his mighty lumberjack arms, buttoning his shirt with the grace of The Fridge, Getting It Done, Bro. And one of the jobs on his mighty plate is this investigation of just what went wrong, anyway. He's going to get to the bottom of it, by gawd, while he holds up this beam so that crane can drop the last load of fiberglass reinforced super duty cement in place so we can get old I-10 rolling again, out of Slidell and into the west. What a guy!
The ball spins on. On Monday the New Orleans Saints played a home game in the Meadowlands in New Jersey and got whupped by the Giants. On Tuesday the Iraqi Defense poobah under Paul Bremer's puppet regime was indicted for stealing a billion green backs. Also on Tuesday, New Orleans was re-evacuated just in case Rita comes ashore nearby. Closer to home, gas was at $2.89 at our closest gas station, and I said, "Wow, hon, it's come down," and Libby said, "COME DOWN?????" And by then it'd gone up.
Today's news is a White House led investigation of what went wrong. Friends, you had better keep your panties on. There is nothing to investigate. That's right, let me say it again, because the spinning ball has distracted you. There. Is. Nothing. To. Investigate.
"What has happened down here is the wind has changed." What we saw is what we saw. There are facts, available now to all who could stomach to watch. They will not change. One hundred and fifty-four hospital patients and rest home patients died, abandoned, in hospital facilities in New Orleans, after the storm had passed. For example. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, run by cronies appointed by George W. Bush, gutted by decisions made by George W. Bush, overseen by George W. Bush from his ranch in Crawford and from various political venues out in the west, failed the desperate people of New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast for over a week, live and on TV. It took his quaking staff making him up a DVD of TV footage to even get his attention. When the sentry says, "But I was asleep, Sir!" we do not go, "Oh, ok, musta been that delicious turkey dinner."
This does not need to be investigated. What an investigation does is discover the facts, find out what went wrong, perhaps after several years of political "compromise" come up with a 10-thousand page monograph detailing all the ways that all the things that went wrong went wrong. This is not a mysterious airplane crash, a TWA 747 exploding in plain view just off New York City for no apparent reason, with some eyewitnesses asserting that they saw a missile. This isn't a deal where you have to assemble a million bits of plastic and metal retrieved from the ocean floor, in some big hanger some place, and then walk around and around the mess for months, scratching your chin.
We know what happened. George Bush, our President, utterly and completely failed in his job. So did his associates and minions. The resignation of Mr. Brown is pointless and laughable. Mr. Brown did his job--he destroyed FEMA. The plain fact is that George Bush is unfit to be President, that his Administration is unfit to govern. Running around after the failure and trying to mime what "doing a good job" might look like does not change the facts. It's like the little bad boy who jumps up to do the dishes after he's been caught with his hands in mom's underwear drawer. The problem is that there is absolutely no recourse open to the voting public at this time with which to express our complete lack of confidence in Mr. Bush's abilities. Hey, can we courts martial the guy, he is Commander in Chief, isn't he? Let's ask Judge Roberts.
Mr. Bush holds all the political cards at the moment. The first calls for an investigation were voted down 54-45, straight party line vote, in the Senate. (Soon even the Republicans will realize that they actually "need" an investigation; the vote will reverse and some Dems will tag along, and we'll get to watch more theatre.) The vote to confirm Mr. Bush's toady John Roberts will proceed on similar lines. Does any one doubt that the elegant waltz that Roberts performed before his jury of inside the beltway peers was NOT performed in interviews he must have had prior to his nomination with Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the bunch?
Perhaps there is absolutely nothing the voting public can do between now and '06. Sometimes things can't be repaired. Custer couldn't find an elegant road out of the valley of the Little Big Horn. As Rita barrels towards Galveston and nearly one fourth of the US gasoline production capacity, and gas prices climb again, and we start to face lines and shortages and the inability to afford to get to our jobs, I'm reminded of what I have read about Herbert Hoover, a much smarter guy who simply had no ability to think "outside the box." It's going to take some competent Democrat to come in and begin to do the much needed job of "President" again. If we don't find one soon it may truely be too late. But let's remember this too: America had to endure Hoover for two years after the big market Crash in '29. I expect those folks felt sorta like this.
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September 22, 2005