"In 2001, when George Bush became president, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a report stating that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely potential disasters - after a terrorist attack on New York City."
Wow. I read this article by Sidney Blumenthal last week in the Guardian and was struck by the existence of yet another document explicitly laying out a future disaster that had been ignored by the Bush administration. First it was "Bin Laden Determined to Attack the United States" which somehow seemed too "historical" to grab Condoleezza (Can we stop calling her Condi please? It's far too humanizing. Like giving a nickname to a bone disorder or bad shrimp) Rice's attention. Then it was Joe Wilson's discovery that Iraq hadn't tried to buy nuke ingredients from Nigeria. And blended amidst those reports were dozens of others outlining the dangers of global warming and the concerns over reconstruction in Iraq or reports showing that weapons inspectors had found no WMDs in Iraq or that stem cell research could be the biggest medical breakthrough of the century. But somehow these reports just didn't "feel" right to George W, Dick Cheney, Condi (aw screw it, it does have a flow to it) and Rumsfeld. See, these guys operate off of their "gut" a lot. W Bush has bragged many times about it. But after their frankly horrific track record maybe someone should suggest going off of the Bush "gut" scale. Maybe we could try something like, oh I don't know...science? Or facts... or research... Or caring about the welfare of the Nation rather than corporate profits. Hell, I'd even accept the metric system. Anything but the W Bush "gut" method. Because it is very, very apparent that his gut sucks. Or to put it in a more delicate way: his intuitive faculties are wanting.
Some say that W is a raging fool and the worst leader our Nation has ever known. And by "some people" I mean me and sixty percent of the country. But to just call W and his rogues gallery of corporate hit men fools is too let them off the hook. These guys aren't just severely and shockingly incompetent. They're crooks. And these crooks are far too busy looting our government to worry about routine things like hurricanes or reasons for starting a war or the environment or anything that doesn't put billions into the pockets of companies they will soon be working for again. And nothing makes you less wise than greed. Picture a bunch of cartoon pigs eating into a mountain of pudding until they eat so much it caves in on them. That's the Bush administration. A bunch of pigs caught in a pudding cave in. And after realizing their greed just caused a cave in they just shrug and continue to eat.
And to think, many of the answers to these catastrophes were in those beautiful neglected reports. Each one spell checked with a hard stock title page and probably delivered in a gorgeous crisp manila envelope or titanium steel brief case. Written in a new courier or Times Roman font and printed on high-resolution government paper. Assistants and government aides were probably nervous to get the reports to the Oval Office on time. "Oh, the President must be waiting for this report on the chances of a devastating Hurricane hitting New Orleans..." a twenty three year old graduate of some Midwestern college who had just moved to DC to make 23 thousand a year had probably thought. "After all, this is what Presidents are concerned about." Meanwhile George W was talking on the phone to his buddy from Monsanto or Shell about how to cut more regulations out of the law and give more tax breaks to big companies and millionaires. Or he was simply sleeping with his head on the desk and a long stream of drool coming out of his mouth whilst dreaming that Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro are asking him for hitting advice.
And here's the worst thing of all: he's still got three years left. Three... more years... of this. I wonder if every person who voted for Bush and chanted "Four more years!" feels kind of queasy now. Our country is legitimately teetering because of this criminal spoiled fool. We must get him out. And because it seems our Nation is drawn to these Republicans like a moth to a blowtorch we must focus on finding a Republican candidate who is not a retarded corporate shill who thinks science is a theory. I guess it's McCain. Obama is the only Democrat out there with an honest to God soul. He and Barbara Boxer should run a no double speak and straight forward campaign. Forget courting the undecided voter. It has destroyed the party. Let's drop the hammer and see what happens.
So as a pile of ignored rotting reports sits in the White House dumpster we have to break out the electron microscope and start looking for the silver lining. The only ones I can find are the fact that W Bush is completely exposed. It's done. Everyone knows. And those that pretend they don't know probably don't know anything to begin with. My friends and I are guessing what the approval rating will be like we're predicting the line on a Suns Mavericks game. I'm going with 31% and my buddy says 28%. Either way it's over.
The other silver lining is that a new journalist that has emerged. A real honest to God, ask the questions that need to be asked old fashioned tough journalist. During this whole debacle in the Gulf Anderson Cooper was alone in challenging politicians and expressing outrage. I had always thought he was a glorified wise cracking ESPN announcer but he really stood up and became a reporter. Here's to hoping he keeps it up.
And for all those sixth grade teachers out there, don't ever, ever let your kids get away with asking, "Why do we have to do this book report or this science report? We'll never need to know this in the real world."