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(bumped -- kos)

This is it. This is absolutely the most fucked up thing ever done by this president, in a long list of fucked up things. Josh Marshall:

On the Al Franken show this afternoon I mentioned this article from today's Salt Lake Tribune which tells the story of about a thousand firefighters from around the country who volunteered to serve in the Katrina devastation areas. But when they arrived in Atlanta to be shipped out to various disaster zones in the region, they found out that they were going to be used as FEMA community relations specialists. And they were to spend a day in Atltanta getting training on community relations, sexual harassment awareness, et al. This of course while life and death situations were still the order of the day along a whole stretch of the Gulf Coast.

It's an article you've really got a to read to appreciate the full measure of folly and surreality.

But the graf at the end of the piece really puts everything in perspective, and gives some sense what the Bush administration really has in mind when it talks about a crisis. The paper reports that one team finally was sent to the region ...

As specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.

And I'm not even talking about the "community specialists" nonsense, which is fucked up enough. It's this shit:


Bush's use of firefighters as human props doesn't win the "most fucked up" prize because it was the most costly for the nation -- the Iraq War wins hands down. It doesn't win because it caused the most deaths, or damaged the reputation of the U.S. the most, or harmed national security by outing undercover CIA agents. In the greater scheme of things, this may seem as small fry compared to the long stream of serious failures in this White House.

It's the most fucked up because it is easily the most crassly political act ever taken by this administration. Bush is so thoroughly a PR vessel that he can't even tour a disaster zone without his human backdrop. He's been a PR marionette for so long -- clear brush for the cameras! -- that he's become thoroughly incapable of keeping it real. God forbid he try to connect with people, get a better understanding of their efforts to cope with real disaster. That's not worth his time. Nope, it's got to be turned into a frickin' Bush campaign commercial. Everything is political. Everything.

It suddenly puts those Coast Guard helicopters in that photo op in clearer perspective, doesn't it? With the assembled military and Coast Guard personnel standing at attention in the background.

This is a clear signal of the depravity of this administration, were everything is political and nothing can be real. Nothing can be done simply because it's the right thing to do, or it's the best thing for America. There is a "real" America, and then there's Rove's America, where firemen serve the Republican Party and their leader, not people in distress. The Republican banner flies over the Stars and Stripes.

There is no excuse for this. None. And yeah, the corporate media has expressed the outrage we all feel, but they better not let this one pass.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:36 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Put this on the main post quickly! (none)
      lest the Righties grasp onto the request for pictures as a sign that we can't prove it.  

      "Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of." ~Arthur Dent, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

      by Entheate on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:35:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OMG (4.00)
      sweet Jesus. I can picture the conversation that preceded this photo...

      Rove (handing Bush a 4x6 card with instructions written on it in sharpie pen): Ok, this bit is really important: as you walk towards the cameras, make sure you get real close to the firefighters, and as they're about to take the picture, start rolling your sleeves up. It's kind of allegorical.

      Bush: Ali who?

      Rove (slaps forefead): never mind. Just do what it says on the fucking card, ok?

      •  LTEs: Mention Shrub AND the GOP! (4.00)
        My LTE.

        Fire and rescue companies nationwide have sent highly skilled emergency workers to aid in the Katrina disaster and aftermath. Men and women, driven by humanity and armed with skills and the determination to use them, volunteered to leave their homes and wade into waters rife with toxins, poisonous snakes, and bloated rotting corpses, and enter dangerously ruined buildings, to save lives and aid the injured, sick, and abandoned.

        In a report from the Salt Lake City Tribune, we learn that FEMA knew just what to do with these generous souls: turn them into leafleteers, passing out FEMA's 800-number to a population still largely without phones. So, off went the dutiful firefighters and EMTs to FEMA community relations and sexual harassment seminars, while New Orleans ironically and siumultaneously drowned and burned. According to the Tribune, worse was to come.

        Finally, 50 firefighters were dispatched to Louisiana's devastation. Their mission? Stand behind President Bush for his photo opportunities. They weren't there to secure the area, or maintain safety, or deliver any of the assistance they are trained for. They were there to be props, like the Coast Guard choppers and rescue personnel, who acted as a backdrop for President Bush's photo op a few days earlier, when his first visit grounded all air traffic, including rescue and supply-drop helicopters.

        When public relations and cheap political theatrics trump the welfare of the injured, the shell shocked, the ruined citizenry awaiting deliverance from disaster and death, this is an increasingly familiar situation in Republican governance, and in fact there is a legal phrase which covers it.

        Depraved indifference to human life.

        I'm the plowman in the valley with my face full of mud

        by labradog on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 06:36:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Watch the video (none)
      at It's called

      Pres.Bush in Mobile, Ala. (09/02/05) About 1/3 of the way through if I remember right.

      When I saw it for the first time I thought the fireman looked like props (they looked bewildered at their function, Did they put dirt make-up on them?),

  •  what has the world come to? (4.00)
    Bush acts like he's the president in a bad action movie. It's fucking scary.
  •  What to say? (none)
    Really. What to say?
    •  I don't know (4.00)
      But I know one thing no Democrat should never let a republican say "now is not the time to bring politics into this"  From the time Bush set foot in Katerina's path everything about the administration has been politics and it shows in how horribly the releif effort has been.
    •  Say? (none)
      Say "I'm having a very "Meet John Doe" kind of moment.  Not sure that translates,  but it's a movie with Gary Cooper where this reporter fakes a column by writing a letter from a guy who claims he's going to end it all by jumping off a building at midnight on New Years Eve because the world's so brutal, crappy and fake.

      I'm picking out my building right now.

      "As peace is of all goodness, so war is an emblem, a hieroglyphic, of all misery."

      by MissAnneThrope on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:08:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing to say. Lots to scream. (none)
      I wasn't going to the Sept 24 protest before but now I'm showing up with two signs:

      Iraq War = Katrina Deaths

      Tax Cuts = Katrina Deaths


    •  It's been said! (4.00)
      What to say? It's already been said:

      That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

      -- from the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, in congress
      July 4th, 1776

      Accountability moment, my ass!

      by orthogonal on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:44:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's do it! (none)

        We all know it, but for whatever reason, that unshinable TURD remains in control, in power, and in charge of America's destruction.  

        Been said before, but if this WERE a Dem presiding over the worst administration in history, the Repugnican response would already be underway with trials, impeachment proceedings, and we'd ALREADY have changes.  Instead we are being further dragged into oblivion, in debt up to our eyes with the Chinese and everyone else, and his fat cats continue to count their increases in salary.  

        We keep saying it, know it, believe it, and even seem to want it.  But 'it' ain't happening.  Jr. continues his destruction on our freedom and way of life, because he simply does not give a shit.  He doesn't have to.  

        Healing BEGINS with impeachment...

        by valeria on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:12:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FEMA (none)
          FEMA which since early 2001 IIRC has been placed under direct control of Dick Cheney by Bush has the role of replacing civilian gov't if a catastrophic disaster occurs which impedes normal gov't.
          Since 9-11 FEMA can supercede the civilian gov't under a Red Alert (high possibility of a major terrorist attack). Note that an actual occurance doesnt have to happen!
          So what consitutes a threat? Pretty scary stuff.
  •  The Virtual Presidency (4.00)
    With Repubs who hate government, they don't want government to do anything.  But they know the public wants certain things from government, so they parade Bush around like HE'S a prop to convey the image of government actually doing something.  

    It's all a charade.

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:29:43 PM PDT

    •  Besides, Other Than Rummy, Cheney... (none)
      ...and the neocons, who see a role for the military in foreign, imperialistic endeavors, they don't have anyone in this administration of "Mayberry Machiavelians" (to use Diullio's term) who actually care about policy or public administration.  I mean, remember the post earlier today with the backgrounds of the clowns at FEMA?

      If it's not punative or imperialistic, they have zero interest, and zero competence.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:32:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its an obsession. (none)
        Bush is obsessed with the War in Iraq like kids are with video games. Only this is much worse. Lives are on the line, and he doesn't recognize it.
        •  It's an obsession with besting his father... (4.00)
          I'm serious.. Think about it.

          He wants to play the Texan, despite being born in Maine. His father prefers Maine.

          He wants to be the macho, gunslinger. His father is a slight-build man who was the UN Ambassador and called off his Gulf War "too early."

          He wants to be the fun guy, the party animal. His father is stiff and extremely self-controlled in public.

          He wants to be the huggy-feely, caring guy who gets all the chicks. His father is aloof, dispassionate and distant, unable to comprehend the problems of normal Americans.

          A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

          by mustang dvs on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:45:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And the irony of it all: (4.00)
            He is so much more cold and distant than his father. And I thought Bush I was cold and distant.
          •  it's been talked about before (none)
            that many of his characteristics are like an alchoholic who has not gone through recovery.

            sadly for him and horribly for us.

            he's a dry drunk with all the obsessions, control issues, and inflated ego.  we don't see the other side of that when he doubts himself; that is hidden and private.

            he just quit with no getting to the core of it; perhaps it's his father and he is the adult child of an alcoholic.  perfectly functioning but with these crazy traits.

            Let's Revisit The Progressive Era

            by sudiepatou on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:09:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  he's (4.00)
              a textbook the psych texts on it...he fits the bill...

              *failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest

              *deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure

              *impulsivity or failure to plan ahead

              *irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults

              *reckless disregard for safety of self or others
              consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by

              *repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations

              *lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

              anything up there that DOESN'T describe the shrub?

              Visit me at: or

              by Myrrander on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:57:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  In Alcoholics Anonymous (none)
              We call this type of "recovered" alcoholic a 3 stepper. They get to the third step and stop. I have seen long term soberiety in these types, I wouldn't call it quality soberiety but they manage to stay off the sauce. Most are plagued by any number of problems releated to thier mal-adjusted ego's. Depression, unrealistic fears, obsessive behavior are some of the common problems these people face.
          •  "He wants to be the macho, gunslinger." (none)
            Well, that explains why he walks like he has a rash in his armpits.. I always wondered about that.

            What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

            by Demfem on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:25:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  In this case ... (none)
      ...a charade parade. I'm surprised he didn't wear a helmet and waders.

      "For God's sakes, shut up and send us somebody." (Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish)

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:44:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Odds of this appearing anywhere near Network TV (none)
    •  Wrong answer. (4.00)
      Copy the link from the Salt Lake Journal and put it in an email to ONE OF THESE ADDRESSES AT A TIME.

      DON'T SEND A BULK EMAIL TO ALL OF THEM. Do it one at a time for however many addresses you want to hit. And make sure to put the final passage of the article: "But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas." ...somewhere UP FRONT in your email.,,,,>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ombudsman@npr.or,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      •  Great (none)
        I'm working my way through the Post. Let's flood the zone, as they say.
      •  Linux script (none)
        For any of you out there in UNIX land who don't have the time to write a shell script to automate the sending of a mail one at a time, I'm going to whip up something for you and post it here tomorrow. It's 1AM here, and I'm going to bed now. Tomorrow I'll follow up with the script to send the mails.
        •  This script should run on... (none)
          ... Mac OS X then (in the command line), correct? I will look for your post tomorrow. Thanks.
          •  It will work (none)
            You should be fine with OS X, as long as your 'mail' program is set up to deliver mail for you.

            You should test it out first by sending a sample mail to a gmail account or something.

            Just type 'mail <e-mail address>'

            There will be no prompt. Just start typing some test message. To end the message, type a period character on a line all by itself.

            If that works, then the script will work for you.

        •  The script (none)
          There's a place at the bottom for you to put
          your own name or signature.

          -------------cut here---------------------

          A=" \
          ombudsman@npr.or \

          for i in $A; do
          echo "Mailing to address: "$i
          mail -s "Please talk about this story" $i << delim
          The Salt Lake Journal has covered a story about firefighters who
          volunteered to help in New Orleans, but FEMA is wasting their talents
          by putting them in a hotel and giving them sexual harrassment training.
          What was their first assignment? To stand beside President Bush as he
          tours devastated areas.

          This is the kind of irresponsibility that ultimately goes up to the
          President. His cronyism resulted in a man with no disaster experience
          being placed in charge of FEMA. It's a disgrace, and I would like you
          to talk about it.

          Read the article in the Salt Lake Journal to get started.

          Thank you for your time,


          ------------end of script --- cut here -------

      •  Done and... (none)

        Cheers.  Thanks for the addy's.

        Visit me at: or

        by Myrrander on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:04:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bcc is another helpful technique (none)
        Obviously it's most effective if the email looks like it has only one addressee. But if for whatever reason you can't do that, it's helpful to realize that you can paste the whole list into the "bcc" field. Then put something like your own email in "To".

        The recipient will realize they are not the only recipient, but they won't know for sure that there are so many others.

        I also am under the impression that emails to the media are a little more likely to be taken seriously if you include a full signature: name, address, phone.

      •  You can BCC the whole lot... (none)
        "Blind Carbon Copy," maybe with a FOX news address in the "to" field.

        Everyone seems to be chasing FOX, and they'll just see FOX in the "To" and their own address in the CC field.

        Maybe that will get them hopping.

  •  How many people died (4.00)
    For that photo op.....How long did that delay them?'s murder...simple people can't do that.....
    •  It's the Deep South, No murder trials for (none)
      neglecting to rescue Black people.

      New Orleans-- 72 hours later no communications, no drinking water, not enough police/troops. Bottomline, we're not prepared for another 9/11.

      by DeanFan84 on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:17:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are those rolled up sleeves supposed to show (3.75)
    that Bush is hard at work? Since he's such an excellent brush clearer he should be fine at hacking through destroyed buildings, downed trees. Get the man a chain saw!

    God he is a feeble excuse for a human. I cannot imagine any self-respecting firefighter allowing themselves to be used in such a blatant manipulation.

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all- John F Kennedy

    by vcmvo2 on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:31:15 PM PDT

  •  fuck! (none)
    This makes me want to heave---is anyone in the mainstream media on to this now that they seemed to have grown a pair???
  •  They care more about damage control... (none)
    Incredible. Will we hear this on the news?

    Probably not. There is probably a good explanation though (yeah right!).

    This guy is incompetent.

  •  Commander Codpiece (none)
    has now transmogrified into Emperor Fire Captain.

    It's enough to make one self-immolate.

    "Pro-life" really means "pro-criminalization"

    by Radiowalla on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:32:24 PM PDT

  •  Add the flotilla of 500 boats turned away (none)
    and the caravan of Virginia sheriffs turned away.

    Who's keeping the long running list of willful criminal negligence.

    Willful negligence in the face of imminent danger -- this is the story of NOLA, not Katrina.

    •  running list of negligence (3.50)
      I will. Let's begin:

      • Virginia sherrifs? Any Virginia Kossacks care to call them? I hadn't heard of this

      • Apparently, Sen. Landrieu was pissed that levee repairs apper to have been part of a photo op

      • the two sisters. They were interviewd by Aaron Brown later that same evening. Anyone have a line into his prod. staff? Personally, this one doesn't twig my Rovedar

      • the firemen. 'nuff said

      • the grounded Coast Guard helicopters sitting in the hangar (and personnel at attention)

      • the cleared airspace (!) during his overflight

      • Laura's pointless waste of time and space in an emergency centre

      Any more? Perhaps there should be 'pedia entry. With images.

      And can someone confirm that Junior was out golfing on Friday? Is that Sept. 2nd?

      "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

      by subtropolis on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:16:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He will fall (none)
    Bush will be forced to resign over this.  The $64,000 is who gets to tell him. I bet it will be McCain!
    •  Not McCain (4.00)
      His mouth is too full of cake.

      "Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of." ~Arthur Dent, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

      by Entheate on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:38:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Think of the consequences, though... (none)
      If Dubya resigns, we get stuck with President Cheney and VP Hastert.  And that still leaves all the cronies in place. Nothing really changes.

      No, they've all got to go. Every single appointee, every single policy wonk turned department head, every single Bush crony. Every single one.

      That's the only way to stem the damage, to stop this great nation's hemorrhaging. I fear that waiting until January 20, 2009 isn't a viable option.

      Is there even a Constitutional provision for indicting the entire Executive branch?

      A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

      by mustang dvs on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:38:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no automiatic succession to VP (4.00)
        The Speaker of the House only becomes president if both executive offices are vacant.

        If the vice presidency is vacant, the president norminates a VP, who takes office when both houses by majority vote approve hm/her

        •  My Constitutional Law's rusty (none)
          Thanks for the correction -- it's actually a bit of a relief.

          Unfortunately, I can't see the Congress voting to impeach. Hell, I can't even see the measure actually making it to the floor.

          A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

          by mustang dvs on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:47:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bush fired! (none)
      If Bush goes down, all that means is the puppet is gone. Those who pull the strings will remain.



    •  Nice fantasy (none)

      But that is what it is.  A wild fantasy.  There is nothing (and I mean abso-fukin-lutely NOTHING) that would get Bush to EVER resign.  He could be caught on tape behind the Whitehouse with a gun to the head of a critic and it would come to nothing.  Bush would swagger, his base would swoon, the majority of the public would say, "Sheesh! Mumble-mumble.  Damn, gas is expensive", and that would be that.  Bush will not resign and there is no way, short of a Dem takeover of at least one segment of Congress, that would ever trigger a true and good-faith investigation of ANYTHING BushCo has done to the US or the world.

      Bush is there to stay until the very last instant of his illegitimate term...and if he can finangle it somehow, beyond.  Perhaps an opportune "emergency" could be confabulated at the end of his term that would be turned into a reason to keep Bush going to "see us through" the emergency."

      Again, nice fantasy though.

  •  So, um... (4.00)
    who WERE those two well dressed sisters that Bush met somewhere in devastated Mississippi?

    Has their trail gone cold? I remember seeing them on CNN.

    "You know there's no crooked politicians. There's never a lie because there is never any truth..." -Lenny Bruce

    by Skubwa on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:33:27 PM PDT

    •  You know, I've been wondering too . . . (none)
      figuring that they'd show up as an interest story in the Clarion-Ledger or something. But not a peep as far as I know.

      "Props" for sure, but we already knew that.

      •  Not sure that they were propos (none)
        But they were certainly South African. Not that thats a bad thing -- I am ex SA myself which is why I recognized the accent.
        •  The Bassier sisters (none)
          According to the caption on this article, they are Kim Bassier (21) and Bronwynne Bassier (23). Now if you go to Infospace you will find only three phone listings for a Bronwynne Bassier MS -- age 29, 35, 39 -- I'm afraid I don't get that. I used Google Earth to zoom in on a satellite image of the address listed. Pretty nice neighborhood, quite a few pools in the backyards. But would Gautier be regarded as part of Biloxi, it's closer to Pascagoula?

          Would it be prying to investigate this some more?

          The poster above thinks they are South African, someone else swore that they were Carribbean.

    •  I just posted (none)
      On them below.  I called them the Ringer Sisters, because I know there is NO WAY they were survivors, looking like they were getting ready for prom.  I contacted CNN and MSNBC to find out more about them, I still haven't received an answer back on their names.  I'm almost willing to bet my family that those girlies were props.  Did you notice how they were attached to the shrub from the outside to the inside.  Every time an adult got too close, they would hug the shrub.  My ass.
      •  Something I just realized (none)
        Ever notice how much Shrub likes women of color? He spends far more time hugging Condi on camera than he does Laura, and every chance he gets in this video he's putting his arm around a black woman.

        just sayin' that it seems almost Jeffersonian, if'n you get my drift...

        Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
        - - - -
        Support ePluribus Media!

        by Timroff on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:57:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  don't know if they're ringers (none)
        The older one said they'd come back from wherever they rode it out to check up on their place (which is gone). So, the clothes they had is the clothes they had. No dirt or arm slings because they weren't home when the surge came.

        Later, Aaron Brown interviewd them, so concentrate on his production staff.

        Incidentally (or not), they had changed their clothes by then.

        "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

        by subtropolis on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:01:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You expect him to mingle with the plebians? (4.00)
    It's pretty obvious that the President finds everyday Americans "icky."  Their rampant "poorness", potential differences of opinions and the possibility that they might see through his 'macho-man' fascade obviously bothers him.

    Seriously, though... It's pretty clear that when his handlers don't micromanage every single moment of his public appearances, the 'compassionate conservative' bullshit falls away in favor of the smirky, pampered, irresponsible child that is the true George W. Bush.

    A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

    by mustang dvs on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:33:28 PM PDT

  •  Does it EVER FUCKING STOP (4.00)
    with this president?  I have been spending the last three days volunteering locally, getting ready to host 100 evacuees locally.

    Our community has risen to the occasion, doing more then anyone could imagine, no photo ops, no PR, just doing what is needed.

    I am ASHAMED to know that Bush is president.

    "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

    by SanJoseLady on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:34:22 PM PDT

  •  That's what he's done all these years. (none)
    His job is to be in front of the cameras, while Dick Cheney does the real governing. Only Cheney was on vacation when all this happened and couldn't be bothered to come back.

    The ghoulishness of Bush's failure to lead is now hitting close to home.

    •  I don't buy it (none)
      I still don't believe that Cheney was on vacation. Ol' IronHeart was in a hospital somewhere, I'm sure of it. And despite recent "sightings" has anyone published a photo of him other than the one of him walking with Rove (at least I think it was Rove...) that is suspiciously reminiscent of a scene earlier in the year... ?

      Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
      - - - -
      Support ePluribus Media!

      by Timroff on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:00:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Take the tinfoil hat off... (none)
        ...Cheney was at that worthless press conference yesterday, sitting right next to the Dumbass in Chief. I saw it on CNN.

        Of course, I suppose it could have been the Animatronic Cheney...

        •  I'm leaving the tin on, thank you! ;-) (none)
          But whereinthehell was he during the -- what is it, 9, 10, I lost count somewhere.... -- days prior to the press conference? Why wasn't he rushing back to Washington to help call the Senate together and attend the emergency funding meeting? Why wasn't he calling Governors from other states and arranging relief caravans?

          He was under the knife, I tell you,

          Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
          - - - -
          Support ePluribus Media!

          by Timroff on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:32:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  CRIMINAL (none)
    This is absolutely criminal. The Bush Administration should rot in jail until they all die of old old age....
  •  Wake up redstaters! (none)
    If this doesn't get through the thick skulls of the redstaters, they're certifiable.

    We've been seeing the polls drop, maybe at long last they'll go where they should have been in 2000.

  •  At this point, my outrage meter is broken... (4.00)
    my heart feels like a big knot in my chest.

    Worst. President. Ever

    In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith. - J. William Fulbright

    by IndigoBlues2 on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:35:08 PM PDT

  •  FEMA Director Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin (4.00)
    •  So far, my favorite quote (none)
      "Floodwaters were still rising as much as 3 inches an hour in parts of New Orleans late Tuesday. In other areas, they were beginning to subside. "I don't want to alarm anyone that New Orleans is filling up like a bowl," Michael Brown, FEMA's director, said. "That isn't happening." --- Wednesday, August 31

      You're walking, and you don't always realize it, but you're always falling. --- Laurie Anderson

      by baggy on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:44:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  stage assistants (4.00)
    The media already gave him a pass on:

    1. Grounding all helicopters for hours for the photo op while people were dying by the score.

    2. Setting up fake food distribution points for the photo op, promptly removed after he left.

    3. Using helicopters for fake levee breach repairs for the photo op, halted immediately after he left.

    And don't forget Laura Bush and the stopping of a Red Cross operations room for some eight hours for her photo op.

    At this point, the media are simply too complicit in all of it to be able to lift the veil. They have become little more than stage assistants.

  •  Why don't they just hire actors? (none)
    It would be cheaper and look just as convincing.

    I remember the flap about Reagan running for president - "An ACTOR? As PRESIDENT??"  Reagan puts Bush to shame.  He was a better president, and a far better actor.

    New Orleans will never die

    by hrh on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:38:00 PM PDT

  •  rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (none)

    bush jams while thousands die in NOLA=Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

    by Street Kid on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:39:40 PM PDT

  •  1-800-621-FEMA (none)
    Is real useful where there are no working phone lines. I wonder if that came up in 8 hours of training.

    If it were actually useful "Community Relations" then maybe this could be forgiven just a little bit. But this is ridiculous.

    •  No help from that number (none)
      I called the number and of course, got a recording.  I was welcomed to the FEMA hotline, then asked to press 1 for English.  After that, I was warned that if I tried to defraud or lie, I would be in deep shit and that any information I would give them could be shared.  Then the perky voice told me that because of the numbers of people that were seeking help, my call would be disconnected and I should try again later.  I could use the website to apply for aid.  Then they disconnected the call.

      Do these firemen know what happens to the people who try to get help from this number?

  •  This administration is going down (none)
    and I'm fucking drooling over it.  Do not get me wrong - I hate the ineptness, I want desperately for no more to be found dead.  But he and his charade of a presidency are over.

    That is, if we on the ground continue to make it happen.  Repeat after me:  the American people deserve a competent, transparent, accountable government.

    "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

    by matthewc on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:40:59 PM PDT

  •  Resign Now (none)
    First fire Brown and Chertoff though.

    I'm not left or right. I'm ahead. Progressives for the future!

    by weirdscenes on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:41:07 PM PDT

  •  Presidency by photo op (4.00)
    It really isn't all that surprising or shocking to me, given the longterm modus operandi of the Mayberry Machiavellians.  

    When BushCo took power, the Rove Strategy was that everything would be played for political gain -- and doubly so, when the President was in any trouble with his popularity.

    They decided, with cold cynical logic, that Republicans winning elections depended almost completely on controlling the media images, period.  And, they rationalize, the Gulf Coast tragedy is no match for the "tragedy" involved if liberals are allowed to retake power.  It's all about fear and hatred of liberals.

    That kind of fear and hatred is going to get some Democratic leaders killed one of these days.  Maybe in the case of Paul Wellstone, it already has.

    •  Rove plays to Bush's base, not the general public (4.00)
      Rove's underlying strategy is to keep the base on side.  That's to whom the fakery is directed.  It doesn't matter if 50 to 55 percent of the rest of the public think it's all BS, because Bush is safe as long as his base support keeps him above 40 percent, or at least the low 40s.  He can't be dislodged by any impeachment proceeding.

      Bush's base WANT to believe.  That's what has made his six-year charade so awesomely successful.  It comforts them.  The problem is that those pesky dead bodies keep floating up in New Orleans, making it hard to keep the propaganda on track.  But make no mistake, this stuff is not aimed at people who were not voting for Bush in the first place; it is aimed at the base.  He keeps himself close to 40% in the polls and he is in the clear. Governing has nothing to do with it.

      •  Rove has been "faking it"since (none)
        His own election in high school.  He "out-did" his opponent with flash...because he had no substance.

        _The poor object to being governed badly, while the rich object to being governed at all_ G.K. Chesterton

        by rosabw on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:54:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  that's just sick (none)
    the more I read and hear the more its hard to ignore that Bush and Co. just don't care about America. Not even one little itty bit.
  •  There's something even worse about this (4.00)
    How can I express my thought...

    basically, the sight of Bush parading around with firemen in full firefighting regalia, is absurd on its face. He's obviously nowhere near the action; they're obviously props for photo ops.

    Here's the kicker. It doesn't even matter. America is so somnolent that they just want a photo op. Just seeing the firefighters and Bush is enough. They don't need it to make any logical sense, and to explain it to them would be met by a shrug.

    The notion of America as a self-correcting democracy is far gone. THis is just another nail in the coffin.

    George Bush prancing on the aircraft carrier: one of America's worst moments

    by grushka on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:44:06 PM PDT

    •  just another TV commercial (none)
      in the opiate of the masses.

      You're right, it conveys a "feeling".  It's an "image piece".  

      And people are so used to the shit that it actually works.

    •  not to mention (none)
      the fact that these firefighters are now not available to their OWN local communities (you know, where their families and friends live) to fight fires.

      If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up... - Hannah and Her Sisters

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:51:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The cost of a photo-op (4.00)
    I hope I read it wrong, but I came across a report today that nearly made me physically sick.  It stated that while Bush was in NO for his photo-op (and I assume for his return visit as well) ALL AIRCRAFT in the area were grounded, for security reasons.

    I saw the pictures, and remember thinking what an a$$hole he was, using Coast Guard helicopters that could be saving lives for props (and their crews, and many other Guard members).

    But, if the report was true, then the WHOLE TIME he was there for his self-indulgent, make-Der-Leader-appear-to-care photo shoot no rescue aircraft were flying.  How many preventable deaths do you think that act represents?  How about his second visit?

    I think this is an idea that we need to get out there - in case is isn't already.  A majority of the deaths from perhaps Wednesday on (maybe earlier) were PREVENTABLE.  An honest analysis (if there ever IS one) will show that THOUSANDS of American citizens - men, women and children, died due to the actions and inactions of the current administration.  I hope the blood sticks to their hands.  I hope we have the courage and the outrage to refuse to let this get pushed to the side and forgotten.  If we don't, then we'll be the ones abandoned when the next disaster strikes.

    •  It cost a 2-ton food drop.... (4.00)
      Not only were all aircraft grounded during the President's 45 minute aerial tour of New Orleans, but his photo-op flight prevented the rescue helicopters from dropping more than two tons of food and water to stranded people on Friday afternoon.

      The food and water had finally arrived and was ready to be loaded onto the choppers when the President arrived. By the time he had left, it was too late in the day to begin the airlift -- around dusk the visibility falls off too much to ensure that the helicopters could avoid telephone/electrial lines, darkened buildings and other hazards.   So, all those poor people, stranded in New Orleans for four days, had to wait another night to get food and water because of the President.

      A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

      by mustang dvs on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:55:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it appears to be true... (4.00)
        tis supplied the link a couple of entries below to the article I read earlier.  Here's the key sentance:

        "And for the entire time Bush was in the state, the congressman [Rep.Charlie Melancon(D-La)] said, a ban on helicopter flights further stalled the delivery of food and supplies."

        To the list of post-2000 contradictions, which includes entries like "Compassionate Conservative", we can add "Homeland Security"

        •  The Times-Picayune (none)
          Is reporting that there was no ban, afterall, that it was botched communications between federal officials.

          Who knows, eh?


          it's in their archives but you have to scroll down some.

          Visit me at: or

          by Myrrander on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:28:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  And the arrogance of it. (4.00)
    This maneuver shows just how arrogant the Bush admin is (again).  Because after 9/11, firefighters are people who have pretty much automatic credibility with the American media and people.  So if you're willing to show this callous and cynical a side to "about a thousand firefighters from around the country," people who can go back home and tell their neighbors and local media how they were misused and be believed, you're willing to do anything.  Just anything.  Your belief that you will never be called to account for your actions is absolute.  
  •  The rest of that linked article is almost as bad (4.00)

    "ATLANTA - Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?"

    8 Hours of training for what? More from the article:

    Firefighters endure a day of FEMA training, which included a course on sexual harassment. Some firefighters say their skills are being wasted. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune)

    Sexual Harrassment?!!!!! Let them get to work and save some lives!!

    Just say 'NO' to torture enabling judges.

    by KingJames on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:44:35 PM PDT

    •  When rescuing women from rooftops (4.00)
      Be sure to:

      1. firstly, and most importantly, offer coverings to protect their modesty
      2. ask permission before attaching safety harness
      3. avoid touching exposed skin
      4. grasp extremities rather than torso or pelvis
      5. apologize whenever you touch aforementioned areas
      6. take regular dips in the fetid water to cool your mounting ardor

      You must be the change you wish to see in the world- Mahatma Gandhi

      by limaike on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:11:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  armies of compassion (none)
    don't use photo-ops.

    please keep this story bumped for a while.

    if ron reagan dyed his hair, and i'm not sayin' he did, it was only to show his strength to the communists - hank hill

    by leif on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:45:07 PM PDT

  •  We're ALL props now (4.00)
    We don't exist as real, living human beings to these people.

    We are pieces of stagecraft designed to feed their delusions.

  •  Note to readers... (none)
    ...make sure you click through and read the whole thing. It's very much worth it and neither Kos' nor Josh's summary really does the article justice as to the extent of this jackassery. Firefighters lied to, firefighters rebelling against FEMA, etc., etc., etc.
  •  This is a travesty. (none)
    So many lives lost to save one man's reputation. How? Why can this happen without anyone answering for the terrible breach of trust?

    The horror stories coming out of New Orleans is enough to make more people scream.

    Where is the outrage?

    On C-Span, the hate spewed by people calling in to open phones -- blaming the poor folks for saying behind is unbelieveable.

    These are the kinds of things that's encouraged by the Limbaughs, O'Rellys, Hannitys, etc.


  •  Not to forget... (none)
    Don't forget that aid flights were also grounded because of Bush's presence...

  •  Simple psychology (none)
    Rove is deeply in love with George. I'm not even trying to be funny or stupid or clever or idiotic. Rove's every move is dedicated to instilling in others the same feelings of warmth and good will that Karl feels for George, especially over their morning juice.

    Problem is, Left-brain Karl knows intuitively that Bush is actually an incompetent nincompoop, with all the charm and intelligence of a bloated decomposing body. People just ain't gonna buy. So he finds ways to mirror his feelings for George, and tap into emotional associations. Hence the fireman fetish. People feel secure with firemen on the scene, therefore their presence beside Bush confers him with gifts beyond those of ordinary men.

    •  Firemen are the iconic symbol of 911 (none)
      911 was a result of a terrorist attack on the US. So, the subtext of the photo is Bush is keeping US safe from foreign terrorists.  Seriously, Bushco. is going to shroud the Katrina disaster with their mythology of 911. Nothing, absolutely nothing takes precedent over 911, not a faltering economy, not the nations' greatest natural disaster, or the suffering of literally millions, nothing. 911 was this administration's greatest photo op and they won't let go of it.

      The saddest part of this, if the Administration had truely learned the real lessons of 911, the destruction of Katrina would be half of what we have now.

  •  It's all marketing (none)
    From the very beginning of Bush's career with Rove engineering the marionette Bush it has all been photo ops and marketing.  What do they want to hear?  What words will give the end result of power to us? I'm so cynical at this point that I don't even believe that Bush is religious - he never goes to church (or rarely) and he uses  religiousity to promote his ultra conservative views.  His pure capitalistic selfishness is cloaked in religious mumbo jumbo to pass it off on the unsuspecting religious innocents.

    AS the Dems angst over how to get their message across I think we need to seriously think about the word INTEGRITY, and the word HONESTY.  We will do as we say and not just be a marketing blitz of lies. Somehow, the American public must must realize that there is more to a President than the  PR surrounding the candidate.

    And now, all the celebs are arriving in New Orleans to further detach the grim reality from the public.  There was Oprah and all the others including Paul Simon proving what caring ones they are.  Then, how about making a real commitment to a political party and helping that party instead of the usual fence sitting and mugwamping they always do?  

    The Dems will still need all the help they can get. No matter who is the candidate.

  •  So... (none)
    Bush is the President of APPEARING to be doing something, without actually accomplishing anything?

    Yeah, that's it.  That's exactly it.

    Maybe it wasn't Reagan that was the actor in the White House.

    "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

    by Stymnus on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:49:20 PM PDT

  •  I've got nothing left (4.00)
    I'm going to bed. Maybe after a good night's sleep I'll be able to muster up a bit more outrage.
  •  Brown's memo (none)
    Remember FEMA head Brown's memo (reported by the AP and diaried by RandyMI at  Just what we want our first responders to do: "convey a positive image" about the government's response.
  •  Remember this from Isikoff... (4.00)

    March 15 issue - The controversy over President George W. Bush's new TV ads featuring fake firefighters and fleeting images of the 9/11 attacks threw campaign officials on the defensive--and raised questions about the Bush team's ability to effectively spend its massive $150 million war chest, some GOP insiders say. The president's ad team, led by Austin, Texas-based media maven Mark McKinnon, had carefully road-tested the spots in focus groups, and Bush himself signed off. But the rollout of the ads, which argue that Bush has made the country "safer, stronger," was quickly marred by charges from some 9/11 families that the Bush team was seeking to exploit the attacks for political gain. One scene shows footage of a flag-draped coffin of a terror victim; another has an American flag waving in front of World Trade Center wreckage. Publicly, Bush aides were dismissive and insisted the flap had only strengthened their plan to make 9/11 "a central topic of the campaign." "There's no way you can talk about George W. Bush without talking about September 11," said one campaign adviser. "It's like talking about Franklin Roosevelt without mentioning World War II." But privately, some GOP strategists were disturbed by the backlash and suggested the ad team had misjudged how the imagery would play. "It's quite shocking to a number of Republicans to watch them stumble out of the block like this," said one veteran GOP consultant, who added that the big question in GOP circles is "Do they [the Bush-Cheney campaign] know how to spend" their huge budget?

    Another less-publicized aspect of the ad flap: the use of paid actors--including two playing firefighters with fire hats and uniforms in what looks like a fire station. "Where the hell did they get those guys?" cracked Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which has endorsed John Kerry, when he first saw the ads. (A union spokesman said the shots prompted jokes that the fire hats looked like the plastic hats "from a birthday party.") "There's many reasons not to use real firemen," retorted one Bush media adviser. "Mainly, its cheaper and quicker."

  •  Please don't flame... (none)
    I just screwed upt the formatting.
  •  bush must resign (4.00)
    bush's resignation is the only acceptable solution.  whatever else we do, we all must demand that.  
  •  Pix of Firefighters, no Bush (none)

    Kelly Wayne Sisson, a firefighter from La Mesa, Calif., relaxes on the floor of the lobby area of an Atlanta hotel Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005, as he waits to be sent to a Hurricane Katrina area by FEMA. Hundreds of firefighters have been waiting in Atlanta for deployment orders for days.

    "No person is your friend who demands your silence" - Alice Walker

    by Son of Broccoli on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:53:59 PM PDT

  •  Bush Rollin-up his sleaves - makes me so mad (4.00)
    How can we survive 40 more months of this?

    BUSH has to go. Please Please Fitzpatrick go all the way to the TOP. We all know it does.

    Progressives - stay UNDECIDED on 2008

    by AustinSF on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:54:03 PM PDT

  •  Glad someone came forward (4.00)
    We just got back from SF where we had cable in our hotel room.  I consumed the major cable news networks and cynically called out the fire fighters, CG helicopters and "meetings with survivors" in MS as photo ops.  My husband, called me jaded and said that these could be "real events".  I'm sorry, but my staged-o-meter was pinging unnaturally high.  Higher than the Social Security "townhalls".  Especially, with the so-called "survivors" in MS.  Everyone else that was on the news looked like crap, yet they found those 2 girls who looked like they just came from getting their hair and makeup done.  All this, the day after the criticism from survivors in NO.  Extremely suspicious to me.
    •  Husband said I was "pushing it"... (none)
      Well honey, push this!  These rat bastards have me thinking I've gone right over the edge sometimes.  It's getting old.  They're getting old.  I will not rest until these people are held accountable for their Crimes Against Humanity and their treasonous betrayal of America and its people.

      Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.-Einstein

      by fooj on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:43:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember the "Hurricane Relief" banner (none)
    they hustled out with eye, Bush, and flag? Well, they've gussied it up a little, added a few more people and some color. Check it out:

    Don't you just feel like singing Kumbaya?

    I'm glad I'm not George W. Bush, because George W. Bush is going to hell

    by Alna Dem on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:59:36 PM PDT

  •  If you watch the psuedo briefing (4.00)
    Bush just nods his head the whole time except when someone started talking about the colonial pipeline.  Then he pipes up and corrects them that it is now 80% capacity instead of 50% capacity.  What a fuck!  no better way to say it.  Americans were dying and he just nods his head except to correct someone on the capacity of one fuel pipeline.  I never thought somebody so callous existed.
  •  firemen props (none)
    And I thought Geraldo Rivera was bad!  What's wrong with these idiot firemen?  They should have blasted Bush on camera.  Idiots!!!!!
  •  so instead of coming to the aid (4.00)
    of this man

    or these men

    or these women

    or these teens

    or this...girl?  woman?

    they were asked to spend their time casting the gleam of heroism on the President's shadow to salvage his credibility?

    It's beyond criminal negligence.  It's purposeful, it's...malice aforethought.

    (Photos BBC.)

    •  If they had only (none)
      added an "e" at the end of that one word, help would have arrived sooner.
      •  Yeah, they should (none)
        have planned ahead and bought that second can of spray paint.

        I know I always keep two with my duct tape and plastic sheeting.  

        I just got back from a meeting of the social action committee.  Pretty average people.  A pediatrician, a teacher, a woman who works in a children's museum, that sort of thing.

        I thought I was going to have to turn hoses on them to keep them from forming a lynch mob and attacking Washington.  They were so outraged that at times, people could not speak.  

      •  ran out of spraypaint (none)
        you can see the little dot on the pavement where he tried to start the e.

        we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
        — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

        by zeke L on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 12:05:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a .. (none)
    What a lowdown piece of shit, good for nothing we have for a CinC.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

  •  asdf (none)
    So who is going to make the MSM call bullshit on this?

    I am beyond thinking anything will get fixed like it should...I feel as hopeless as those poor souls that were trapped in N.O.


  •  can we at least those firefighters (none)
    some SAG membership.

    they're getting ripped off.

    "It behooves us therefore to see each thing directly as it is, be it the sound of a tin whistle or the elegant Lepiota Procera." -- John Cage

    by BiminiCat on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:06:55 PM PDT

  •  This can't be right. (none)
    "But when they arrived in Atlanta to be shipped out to various disaster zones in the region, they found out that they were going to be used as FEMA community relations specialists. And they were to spend a day in Atlanta getting training on community relations, sexual harassment awareness, et al. This of course while life and death situations were still the order of the day along a whole stretch of the Gulf Coast."

    This can't be right.  I work in health care and I know firemen and EMTs.  I cannot believe that they would stand for this.  At least where I live, you can't hold these people back from the fight.

    •  Some sound pissed: (4.00)
      From the article:

      "On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.

      Of course, the FEMA hacks don't give a shit:

      "Federal officials are unapologetic.  "I would go back and ask the firefighter to revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country," said FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak."

      And the firefighters say fuck dat:

      "They've got people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-mat certified," said a Texas firefighter. "We're sitting in here having a sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who haven't been contacted yet."

      Course, FEMA has its own priorities:

      "The firefighter, who has encouraged his superiors back home not to send any more volunteers for now, declined to give his name because FEMA has warned them not to talk to reporters. "

      PolisPundit - An Agenda for a New Liberalism

      by goblue72 on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:21:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  First time in my life I've said this (none)
    I'd rather have Reagan as my president right now.  At least he could have made his speeches without stealing hundreds of skilled lifesavers from the rescue operation.  And loathe him as I might, I believe that he would actually have cared about this devastation, unlike a certain sitting pretzeldent I could name.
    •  uh, hate to harsh your mellow but ... (none)
      these are all the same people handling Bush.  If Reagan were president right now, it would be the exact same people handling him.  

      Nothing would be the least bit different.

      Both W and Reagan are front men, puppets, nothing more.

  •  what an evil bastard (none)
    If only one of the Twin Towers had fallen,
    would Bush have had the Army Corps of Engineers knock down the other one so he'd have higher rubble to stand on?
  •  Aaaahh! (none)
    Me screaming. Does he have an ounce of reason, compassion or civility in his bone?

    "Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers." William Penn

    by jeeves on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:08:35 PM PDT

  •  The complete article... (4.00)
    ...also says that FEMA told the firefighters not to talk to reporters.  Why would they care? I mean, if I'm out rescuing people, I'm probably not going to run into any reporters. If reporters are around,  I suppose they would try and talk to rescue workers taking breaks, or otherwise not engaged, but who cares? (Unfortunately, EVERY rescue worker last week was "not otherwise engaged.")

    There's something fishy about that, too. I just can't imagine that it would cross the mind of a FEMA employee under any REMOTELY responsible and caring administration to  say, don't talk to reporters. That would be the last thing on their minds.

    No, this whole "rescue" brought to us by FEMA was a well-orchestrated PR con job AND a deliberate attempt to prevent any help from getting to the people in  need. And that's HUGE.  Ship them off to a "training" class first. Make them fill out a 14-page form. Tell them to call this number, then that number, then sign here. It's not a rescue attempt, it's a runaround attempt. And it stinks to high hell.

    I emailed the article to my Senators and Howard Dean with my comments.

  •  I wish that... (none)
    ... a pair of homosexual Californian firemen would cockpunch Bush and toss him in the toxic NOLA drink.

    Trying To Maintain Rationality
    econatheist's bloggity blog blog

    by EconAtheist on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:10:00 PM PDT

  •  this diary should also be a good clue (none)
    as to how much the MSM has woken up.  they have not.

    bill maher was licking coop's balls for turning over in his sleep.

    "It behooves us therefore to see each thing directly as it is, be it the sound of a tin whistle or the elegant Lepiota Procera." -- John Cage

    by BiminiCat on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:10:11 PM PDT

  •  Two different worlds... (none)
    We the simple Eloi (HG Wells, Time Machine) living our lives, looking for richness and love and goodness and beauty.

    They are the ferocious morlocks herding us into their service and eventually devouring us.

    Or another way to put it, no drive master ever entertained the complaints from a disgruntled steer. We are two different species. One utterly dominates and controls the other.

    Many Eloi are incredulous about Bush because we continue to try to superimpose decency onto a creature who has no capacity for decency and craves only power... over us all. He is not one of us, OK?

    Like all morlocks, the only thing he understands is brute power. Accept the beast for what he is, and work to organize power to overcome him. Real power. Not prissy intellectual arguments by a bunch of whimpy politicians.

    The Eloi are a passive breed. We have tried subtle negotiation and intellectual reasoning. But now we meek Eloi need Achilles as our champion.

  •  LOL!! Bush can barely keep up (none)
    Georgie is huffing and puffing, red in the face trying to keep up with the strolling, care-free, heavily geared firemen, aka "real men".

    "Wait for me guys!" "Or I'll tell Karl!!!"

  •  CHIMPEACH! (none)
    Chimpeach! Chimpeach!

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:12:49 PM PDT

  •  Let's make sure we flood the MSM inboxes with this (4.00)
    But talk about burying the lede.
  •  The Bush Administration is like The Truman Show (none)
    And, I'm not talkiing about Harry, either.
    The movie, Truman, starring Jim Carrey, where the title character lives life in a make believe set that  is manipulated by the "Creator," played by Ed Harris.

    Bush is a total cipher and unwitting Fool, and Rove is the Creator/Trickster. He and Cheney can't let Bush see the real world, because basically, he never has, and if he did, especially after this mess, he would off himself.

    The best we can do is keep trying to burst the bubble, but it is an apparently a self-healing membrane that resists puncture.

    We need to get rid of Bush's creator (the Dirty Trickster Rove) or somehow appeal to someone in his inner sanctum. Should we send letters to Laura? To Poppy? To Barbara? To Jebby? Someone needs to tell him that his legacy is fucked, that he is so destined for the scrap heap of history that the only way he can save himself is if he comes clean with the American people and admit that he is an abject failure and an willing accomplice the the charade that is his life. Only then can the bubble finally burst and enmesh the Right. Either that, or impeachment based on criminal negligence and dereliction of duty.

  •  Yawn--Old News (none)
    Anyone paying attention during the funeral of America's Greatest Ever Citizen saw the re-run of the original movie, which was produced 25 years ago.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:17:20 PM PDT

  •  Standing at attention (none)
    "It suddenly puts those Coast Guard helicopters in that photo op in clearer perspective, doesn't it? With the assembled military and Coast Guard personnel standing at attention in the background."

    When I was in the CG, we stood at attention a lot in boot camp, a few times at "A" school maybe, but after that, we just went to work... Coasties aren't good at standing at attention (like fireman)... they must have been pissed! Sick, sick, sick...

    Lead or get out of the way!

    •  But of course (none)
      They were good little soldiers and followed orders, and stood.

      It took a black kid stealing a school bus to prove what humans are capable of.

      If I was in NO, I would've refused to do that PR backdrop shit.  I think every fireman who posed with Bush failed his/her duty.

      I've put my own job on the line for less.  I've risked being fired to do the right thing.  Why the fuck are people so gutless?

      My taxes support the troops, not a yellow sticker.

      by Dragonchild on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:23:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let me guess (none)
    He's got his sleeves rolled up this time...

    ...because he's going to help load bodies into the refrigerated trucks for transport to the morgue in St. Gabriel?

    That's nice, because dead bodies are heavy, and all that lifting is hard work.

  •  Three Words - One Excuse (none)

    This is what you will hear. This is how they will save their asses.

    Mistakes were made, we're all humans after all. But this was just too big. Let's work together.

    Either you are with us or you are with the hurricanes.

    Nobody will be fired. Americans are not vengeful people. Let's move on.

    I've seen the "conservative" blogs. Nothing will happen.

    Can't nail a pudding to the wall.

  •  You mean (none)
    saving Bush politically isn't an important rescue job for firefighters? And I suppose when the 2006 calendar comes out featuring Bush and the firefighting studs you'll have a problem with that too?

    "I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." George W. Bush

    by Warren Terrer on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:35:14 PM PDT

  •  Disgusting (none)
    This is as bad as when Halliburton was awarded its no-bid contracts. I can't think of any other single action that this administration has taken in the past five years that has left me so disgusted.

    We all need to start writing our local newspapers. This story has to be made more public.

  •  The Emperor has no clothes (none)

    No wonder FOX is refusing to air this ad.

  •  "They better not let this pass" (4.00)
    I was shocked by the blunt truthfulness of the following AP story:

    WASHINGTON - The Bush White House is known for its ability to remain in control of its message and image, sliding out of crises with barely a scratch. Not this time.

    Their sudden willingness to call bullshit is remarkable. It is the key to obtaining that golden fleece of accountability.

    Just say 'NO' to torture enabling judges.

    by KingJames on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:44:09 PM PDT

  •  PR (none)
    Legend has it that the first public relations manager was Nero.

    He played a beautiful, elegant, whiny tune on his fiddle while his city burned.

    The re-enlightenment is late.

    by sinistral on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:44:26 PM PDT

  •  I am just too done (4.00)
    This is so fucked up. How the fuck could this happen?  There's no reason why so many black bodies - children -lifeless - float in the sea of debris that was New Orleans without this administration having nothing to do with it.  The media, people need to yell, make this administration take full responsibility for its actions. Why did the people have to wait for 5 days for help? Why did those in charge lock people in the dome like caged animals to be left without the necessary, basic resources to survive? Why did the MSM focus so much on looting and not the crux of the issue - SURVIVAL BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

    Fuck this administration. Fuck those that can't look pass their own racialized and classist judgements to see the humanity. Fuck those that call on Collin Powell to be the face of this travesty as if the poor, the helpless, can't stand up the to the test of 'passibility'. Fuck those that secretly revel in the objectification of dark bodies plastered helplessly across their cozy flat screens.

    I am in a vent. Sorry if this offends anyone. I am taking the next two weeks off to lend a hand (hardly enough). You'll know me if you see me. I'll have FUCK YOU WORTHLESS PIECE SHIT BUSH written all over me.

  •  I am beyond words... (none)
    These f***ers make me wanna puke.

    Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

    by caseynm on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:48:35 PM PDT

  •  Keith Olbermann (none)
    I sent the story and link to Keith for his Worst Person in the Worrrrrllld!!!

    "He's done a hell of a job, because I'm not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm." Kate Hale re FEMA Dir. Mike Brown.

    by OLinda on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:52:43 PM PDT

  •  If I weren't already (none)
    an atheist, this post right here would negate my belief in any form of benevolent deity.


    Visit me at: or

    by Myrrander on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:53:30 PM PDT

  •  Just when you think (none)
    they couldn't be any more callous and depraved, this administration sinks to new depths.  These firefighters should strap every last one of them to a backboard, and submarine them into the filthy, fetid, New Orleans floodwaters.

    "Don't blame me, I voted for the smart guy."

    by frsbdg on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:04:17 PM PDT

  •  Ohhhh mann.... (none)
    It just NEVER ends...

    For me that one puts it over the top... into lala-land. It's so maddening that I just have to let it all flush out by laughing...

    This whole thing is so sad... and SO ICONIC of where most American cities are at... the race problems, the poverty problems, etc.

    And of course there's the GLARING FUNDAMENTAL FOLLY OF THE REPUBLICAN PHILOSOPHY which is now blinding us all...

    And then these firefighters are like "dogs"... Seriously, what worse thing could you do to a man who becomes a firefighter than to PARADE him through sites of devastation as a PROP and not allow him to actually help?!?!

    BUSH IS A MONSTER. I really think these people have cracked... Bush is out of his mind... and I think Rove is looking at jailtime.

    We all do remember these are the guys with the finger on our nuclear button don't we?!!??

    If we want to be honest here... unless we try to Impeach Bush for this Brown cronyism, we aren't doing all we can to keep our kids safe.

    U.S. blue collar worker vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1998 it was 1:420.

    by Lode Runner on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:21:51 PM PDT

  •  WE were warned in OCT 2002 (4.00)
    In DiIulio's words, "there is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: complete lack of a policy apparatus. Besides the tax cut, which was cut and dried during the campaign, and the education bill, which was really a Ted Kennedy bill, the administration has not done much, either in absolute terms or in comparison to previous administrations at this stage, on domestic policy. What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis. [They] consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible." The former White House director confides, "I heard many, many staff discussions but not three meaningful, substantive policy discussions. There were no actual policy white papers on domestic issues. There were, truth be told, only a couple of people in the West Wing who worried at all about policy substance and analysis ... Every modern presidency moves on the fly, but on social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking: discussions by fairly senior people who meant Medicaid but were talking Medicare; near-instant shifts from discussing any actual policy pros and cons to discussing political communications, media strategy, et cetera ." DiIulio goes on to tell us that "the remarkably slapdash character of the Office of Homeland Security, with the nine months of arguing that no department was needed, with the sudden, politically timed reversal in June ..."
    Mysteriously, John DiIulio apologized for this candid insider's report. We may never know what pressures were exerted upon him by the Chief Mayberry Machievelli, Karl Rove.

    This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

    by Agathena on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:36:17 PM PDT

    •  Was it you (none)
      who posted a reporter's interview with DiIulio yesterday or earlier today? I read that article and was horrified with how they actually operate "behind the curtain" at the White House. It was an eye-opener, and I appreciated your link, if it was indeed yours.

      I am beginning to wonder if Republicans aren't getting a little uncomfortable about this whole thing. Starting to loosen up the collar around their necks, experiencing that little flip-flop feeling in the stomach when you've seen or heard something  that triggers disgust or pain,  having fleeting moments during their "work" days when they gaze across their mahogany-lined offices and picture the faces of those victims. If you have a shred of decency, just a tiny SHRED of decency as a human being--not as a Republican or a Democrat, but as a human being--you can't walk away from this without thinking that SOMETHING is wrong with this picture. They can't all be sociopaths.

      •  Not me. Was it a recent interview? (none)
        I often wondered what happened to DiIulio.

        We will be hearing from those insiders who are not sociopaths, those who do have some decency.

        The only way out for the main players is for them to admit wrong doing and beg foregivness but they are incapable of that kind of decency.

        Bush from day ONE set out to destroy FEMA, to distance himself from any disaster so he would never be blamed for anything. It's in

        There's no policy here, it's image. Bush did not want to be tainted by getting involved in disasters.

        [...] The Bush administration's distance from local disaster-relief officials is by design. From the moment Bush stepped into office, he's been determined to move away from the coordinated state/local/federal disaster-relief approach used by Clinton. Instead, as Joe Allbaugh, Bush's first FEMA director, told a congressional panel in 2001, Bush wanted to pull the federal government out of the disaster-relief business and aimed to "restore the predominant role of state and local response to most disasters." The federal government became even less involved in natural disaster relief after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when FEMA's mission was shifted toward responding to terrorist attacks. In 2002, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA -- which Clinton had elevated to a Cabinet-level agency -- was made one department in the massive bureaucracy. As a result, although George W. Bush has a nickname for FEMA director Brown ("Brownie"), Brown enjoys far less clout under Bush than Witt enjoyed under Clinton, which Haddow says is an "incalculable loss of influence" for FEMA. [...]

        This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

        by Agathena on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:38:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "They can't all be sociopaths" (none)
        Care to wager on that? So far, I've seen nothing to convince me otherwise.

        They're all worried that if Bush goes down, he'll take them with him.

        Same thing with the MSM. If they start showing the truth, the whole truth that is, then Joe Redstate might start asking himself, "Well, if that's what's been going on here... then what the hell's been going on for the last five years?" And the MSM will be exposed for the mewling sycophants they have been.

        Call me a cynic if you must, but I really don't think any Republican has a shred of decency left. They've hitched their cars to the GDub train and are going at full speed into the darkness of the tunnel of Fascism.

  •  God does work in damned mysterious ways.... (none)
    If these deaths help the rest of us rid ourselves of these Bush people it may end up saving the lives of millions. Bush has already pushed us a long way toward regional war in the middle east, he wants war with Iran, N. Korea, and likely Syria, plus he has been provoking the russians with his dangerous ploys in former Soviet Georgia. He is also in the process of destroying democracy forever. There just may be a God at work here after all.
  •  ALL of their heads! (none)
    This is just so fucking pathetic:

    But Louis H. Botta, a coordinating officer for FEMA, said sending out firefighters on community relations makes sense. They already have had background checks and meet the qualifications to be sworn as a federal employee. They have medical training that will prove invaluable as they come across hurricane victims in the field.

    Qualifications?! In the field?! To hand out fricking FLIERS?!! These stupid motherfuckers had so better start packing up their desks. Louis H. Botta, you're a stupid sonofabitch! Now get out of the way and let an adult run things.

    Sadly, Junior will only hold this up as another example of government waste and cut services to US citizens even more.

    I'm sending the link to Anderson Cooper – he's still in NOLA. This may just send him over the edge on the air. And paging Ray Nagin...

    "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

    by subtropolis on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:55:41 PM PDT

    •  I may throw up. (none)
      We may actually start hearing about a lot of suicides coming out of this crisis--people realizing they've really lost their way in their complicity of supporting this corrupt government.

      I don't hold out much hope for the assholes spouting this garbage from inside the administration, but the complicity of the MSM is partially responsible for the death and destruction our boy-monkey of a president has inflicted on the ENTIRE WORLD. Surely, that weighs heavily on SOME people. You are starting to see glimmers of it on T.V., and you can only hope they are all starting to see that they were fed the Kool-Aid in a MAJOR way.


    Shonda Schilling, Curt Schilling's wife, was just on MSNBC being featured for her "graciously" opening up her MULTI-MILLION dollar home to a homeless family. That is the same Boston Red Sox Curt Schilling that SUCKED UP TO BUSH and tried to persuade sports fanatics to vote for him during the World Series. Yea, they got their MILLION DOLLAR TAX CUTS and I guess they must be feelin' a little guilty? Naw, they just want more attention!!!

    Listen, Shonda and Curt, you can take your fucking "charity" and stick it up your pampered asses! You helped cause this mess by getting your mentally challenged sports fans to vote for that piece of shit! If you and NASCAR had kept your selfish, greedy asses shut during the election, I might respect your decision to house victims.

    You should have just housed about 100 victims of the hurricane and kept your pompous mouths shut for all the damage you have done by helping elect that MENTALLY CHALLENGED CHIMPANZEE DUBYA BUSH!

    Pissed off AND a bit Rude? You DAMNED RIGHT!

    I DON'T WANT TO SEE ONE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGNER FOR BUSH MUGGING FOR THE CAMERA because they opened up their homes.  Its the least those slime balls can do!

  •  Bush's next group of props (none)

    Can't you just see Bush, the callous ass, singing YMCA to the Katrina victims?

    Young man, there's no need to feel down.
    I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
    I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
    There's no need to be unhappy.

    Young man, there's a place you can go.
    I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.
    You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
    Many ways to have a good time.

    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    They have everything for you men to enjoy,
    You can hang out with all the boys ...

    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal,
    You can do what about you feel ...

    Young man, are you listening to me?
    I said, young man, what do you want to be?
    I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
    But you got to know this one thing!

    No man does it all by himself.
    I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,
    And just go there, to the y.m.c.a.
    I'm sure they can help you today.

    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    They have everything for you men to enjoy,
    You can hang out with all the boys ...

    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    Use American taxpayers' money to rebuild our country - not Iraq.

    by Sharon Jumper on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:03:38 PM PDT

  •  Judging from the look on the faces of these (none)
    men, I'm not so sure this is not the actual conversation that took place.

    I wish I could say this cynical and wasteful use of needed trained professionals is unbelievable, but at this point I can't.

    "As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality." Leonard Cohen

    by mentaldebris on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:16:20 PM PDT

  •  crassest moment by Bush (none)
    But there have been so many crass political moments.

    I nominate the first photo-op W. did -- was it Biloxi? -- where German television showed their viewers the Bush team setting up a distribution center with boxes of supplies and starting up several otheres -- and then dismantling all of them immediately after the photo-op.

    Has anyone gotten the video of this yet?  (And why, of course, didn't American tv run it?)

    KNOW (or at least regularly send emails to -- don't want to be accused of promoting SPAM).

    Oh, and someone really needs to find and interview those firemen!!!

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:25:04 AM PDT

  •  Daily Show Paraphrase (none)
    "Finnaly, after a week long delay, the president and his cabinet have swept into action to repair the devasted and storm damaged...reputation of the president."

    ^ paraphrase from Ed Helms on the daily show tonight.  

  •  "I'm basically a media creation" (none)
    Since Kos is correctly pointing out that Bush is nothing but a PR vessel, let's remember that Bush said it himself (link).
  •  That silence you hear (none)
    is the sound of the Democratic Congressional leadership.


    by DWCG on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:56:21 AM PDT

  •  Hollywood Moments (none)
    These guys obviously missed their true calling;
    the Hollywood elite would be ecstatic to have them
    on their payroll, masterfully staging and pushing
    fiction after fiction after fiction.......
  •  yep, that's pretty bad (none)
    my god.
  •  TV reporter witnessed use of fireman as props (4.00)

    Claudia Rüggeberg, reporter for the German TV station ZDF (a public station, like BBC in Great Britain) witnessed the use of help workers as props:

    Indeed, this morning suddenly help workers arrived, people who removed the rubbish, searched the houses for dead bodies, exclusively along the president's route.

    Two hours ago, the president left Biloxi, and with him all the help workers.

    Transcribed and translated by me, Source: ZDF Heute Journal, 2005-09-02

    •  Longer excerpt of transcript (none)

      I've posted a longer excerpt of the translated transcript, and my transcript in German as comment in this livejournal

      The transcribed text starts at 03:05, the quoted sentence above ('Indeed,...') starts at 03:55.

  •  One only had to notice 'Brownie' being present... (none)
    at his photo-op on Friday to see the seriousness with which Bush took Brownie's job.
  •  The reality of postmodern politics (none)
    It's all about the image that you project, not the content. In fact the image is the content.

    Let's just admit that the Republicans are damn good at marketing, however cynical they may be.

    The Dems could learn a lot from them without taking it to the Bush extremes.

    GOP: 17th century values, 21st century marketing.

    "With Jesus' teachings on the poor/The subject on which he was vocal-est/How was he hijacked by the Right-Wing?/When he was the world's first Socialist"

    by Joe B on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:10:09 AM PDT

    •  the media is complicit in this (none)
      if you have watched CNN for a long time, you realize that their announcements for the next story or news clip they are going to show has been sensationalized at least to the power of ten compared to six to eight years ago.

      It is also obvious that they use the background music almost obscenely for dramtic effects, so much so that the news anchors have to actually talk against the background music. It's simply disgusting. They are under control of some very evil marketing professionals, who use their tools ruthlessly for the profit of political manipulators on the executive level somewhere in CNN and MSNBC.  

      I can't wait til people start to boycott CNN or others, when time and time again, serious news reporting is cut off with Cialis ads and two minutes of pathetically sensationalized video and music clips announcing the next story by reporter xyz.

      In public TV the tools they use to undermine truthful coverage, is under the umbrella of the argument that "you have to be balanced and let everybody speak". Especially the Washington Journal is abused by the phone calls of viewers who are clearly staged to use the airtime to braodcast their propaganda. As the hosting anchormen/women on Washington Journal can't really correct a liar and have to stay calm, the Washington Journal is also vulnerable to being abused for propaganda, unfortunately.

      To resign is a noble thing to do, Mr. President.

      by mimi on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:38:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who hasn't heard enough by now (none)
    to be reminded of Leni Riefensthal and her renowned films which insidiously associated her adored idol Hitler and the Nazis with masculinity, manliness, strength, etc. in the biggest staged piece of suppressed eroticism and violence the world had ever witnessed.

    We call that propaganda. But the pictures of Bush play-acting beside idle firemen who want to help people, or even actors posing as firemen, and staged food distribution centers are blandly referred to as photo-ops, just as innocent as ads for cigarettes, perfume and cat food.

    The photo-op has evolved from an opportunity to score some prosaic publicity points to a full-blown deception which the news media publish as if the pictures show real news. Well, in fact, they are news, but the media omit the most newsworthy aspects of all: THE BRAZEN MANIPULATION, DECEIT, LIES. And in that respect they are complicit: MANIPULTING, DECEIVING, LYING.

    Let's start calling a spade a spade. To learn about propaganda see:

    P.S. I don't know how to make a true link.

  •  FEMA has warned [firefighters] not to talk.... (none)
    >>>FEMA has warned [firefighters] not to talk to reporters.


  •  He learned Rove's Deceptive politics well (none)
    You Hit that on the head 100%. He is as we all emember a career P.r. man and cheerleader. You cannot accuse him of being a leader. He does nothing at all unless it is for Political gain while accusing everyone else of doing it. Say one thing and do another. Screw up and deny deny is his standard administations policy. He just runs around publicizing his putting out the many, many fires that he himself creatd and we let him get away with it. What is wrong with us?
    James Joiner
    Gardner, Ma.

    James M Joiner Gardner, Ma.

    by jmsjoin on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:06:12 AM PDT

  •  Once again. (none)
    >>> Also of concern to some of the firefighters is the cost borne by their municipalities in the wake of their absence. Cities are picking up the tab to fill the firefighters' vacancies while they work 30 days for the federal government.
        "There are all of these guys with all of this training and we're sending them out to hand out a phone number," an Oregon firefighter said. "They [the hurricane victims] are screaming for help and this day [of FEMA training] was a waste."

    Once again this administration is taking our first responders off our home streets and exploiting them in an illconceived and illexecuted plan.

  •  Goes hand in hand (none)
    with this.   It wasn't just firefighters that were being used for PR:

    The government's disaster chief waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region - and gave them two days to arrive, according to internal documents.

    Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff roughly five hours after Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29. Brown said that among duties of these employees was to "convey a positive image" about the government's response for victims.

    "FEMA response and recovery operations are a top priority of the department and as we know, one of yours," Brown wrote Chertoff. He proposed sending 1,000 Homeland Security Department employees within 48 hours and 2,000 within seven days.

    Knocke said the 48-hour period suggested for the Homeland employees was to ensure they had adequate training. "They were training to help the life-savers," Knocke said.

    To help the lifesavers or to help the Rovian spin?  Note that it was 7 days out that the full 2000 contingent would arrive.

    Finally, there's this:

    The same day Brown wrote Chertoff, Brown also urged local fire and rescue departments outside Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi not to send trucks or emergency workers into disaster areas without an explicit request for help from state or local governments. Brown said it was vital to coordinate fire and rescue efforts.

    Vital to coordinate the PR message, more like.

  •  Yep it's totally fucked up (none)
    And while the Republicans may very well pull off their most outrageous miedia and PR coup, we Democrats will settle back into bickering about who should control the party agenda:  the progressives of the DLC.  

    Knock off the fighting, guys. It's way later than you think..  

  •  He's not a president--but he plays one on tv n/t (none)
  •  DUUNNNKKKKKKK...... (none)
    that was my jaw hitting the ground.
    uneffing believable.

    "a society is measured by how it treats the weak and vulnerable"
    - George W. Bush, State of the Union, Feb 2, 2005.

    by icerat on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:25:25 AM PDT

  •  sending out a cheer to NYC's Bravest (none)
    woke up this morning to watch NYC's bravest loading up supplies to join the convey of the new wave our first responders headed to the gulf....while NYC already has a substantial number of people...cops, firefighters, doctors, nurses, mash units, national guard and various humanitarians already in the region, this convey brought tears to my (hardened) eyes...because it's being led by 'the spirit of LA"  the beautiful brand new firetruck lousiana donated to NYC after 9/11.

    and now even more of our bravest have loaded up the supplies desperately needed, donned their emergency gear and are taking the good karma BACK to the people who sent it us in our time of need....

    so i am sending a great big CHEER to the guys (and gals) from NYC heading down south .... may the wind be at their backs and the toxic 'gumbo' kept away from their bodies.

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:41:36 AM PDT

  •  You Know (none)
    This sounds like something done intentionally to make it seem as if liberal social legislation is to blame for the inept response to this disaster:

    [The firefighters] were to spend a day in Atltanta getting training on community relations, sexual harassment awareness, et al. This of course while life and death situations were still the order of the day along a whole stretch of the Gulf Coast.

    Has somebody decided this is a heaven-sent opportunity to destroy the notion of the federal government attending to any kind of social welfare needs, or affording protection to its citizens?  If so, they are trying to exploit it for all its worth.  Normally I would not consider this to be a possibility, but when the Twin Towers were destoryed, BushCo. decided this was the excuse they needed to go after Saddam.

    "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

    by JJB on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:53:45 AM PDT

  •  Bush used IAFF in the Hackett vs Schmidt election (none)
     IAFF, the International Association of Firefighters pressured Cincinnati firefighters local 48 to endorsed Jean Schmidt over Paul Hackett in the OH-2 special election. I suspect the pressure came in the form of homeland security dollars from the adminstration. Many local 48 firefighters were opposed to the endorsement including Peter Deane who specializes in political endorsements for the union. His blog is here:
      Using our nation's firefighters for political gain is nothing new for the Bush adminstration. It is disgusting but not new.
  •  Orwell's vision (none)
    "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

    "We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

    "The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.?

    "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act."

  •  and let's prove the 9/11 moment was false! (none)
    please see the new diary: -- if we can prove the "I CAN HEAR YOU!" was scripted....
  •  hate this man (none)
    I hate bush so much. I hate that photo.

    This isn't going away with photo props/ops.

    This time it's not going away. there will be massive riots in the streets.

    "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause..."

    by CrazyDem on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:10:36 AM PDT

  •  What can we say.... (none)
    He's an asshole and an embarrassment to this entire nation.  We'll continue to lose ground in every possible area that he and his handlers touch.  

    ASSHOLE who is playing reverse Robin Hood.  

    Healing BEGINS with impeachment...

    by valeria on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:25:36 AM PDT

  •  Oliphant hits the nail in the head...again. (none)

    What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

    by Demfem on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:37:10 AM PDT

  •  Secret Messages? (none)
    Our POW's resisted coercive attempts to use them as propaganda by sending secret messages in the photo-ops.

    Notice all the firefighters in the photo-op are looking down as in shame while Bush is looking up and ahead.

    Agreed upon resistance?

    Perhaps we should study all the photo-op pictures and videos in more detail to see what the captives are really trying to say.

  •  Here's How Our REAL PRESIDENT Conducted Himself (none)

    Steve called back. He had found one, possibly two planes. It would cost $50,000 per flight. FasterCures would have to be prepared to sign contracts that day. I called my home office and got permission to do that. I emailed Gore and asked for his help in raising the money. He committed to paying for the planes and urged us to move forward. He also offered to bring two doctors, his cousin Col. Dar LaFon, USAF Ret'd, who served in Somalia and ran the military hospital in Baghdad after the invasion. He was board certified in Altitude Physiology and Internal Medicine. He also brought a Doctor from Vanderbilt, Dr. Anderson Spickard.

    At this point Catherine Berger pulled up a story from the DOD saying they had two medical teams evacuating people from the hospitals and the airport and that the ship COMFORT was sailing to New Orleans from Baltimore. That did not sound like it was going to help that many people for at least another day or two. We carried on. (As it happens, the COMFORT never reached New Orleans).

    Skila confirmed that TEMA would find hospitals for the patients. And then things got complicated. TEMA required a FEMA "Mission Assignment" that would follow the patients and allow the funding for those patients to follow them into whatever hospital they ended up in. Skila contacted FEMA and people with the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) who told her we could not get a mission assignment because it is a "closed loop" system only for the military and private help was not allowed or wanted. (The NDMS system is the same system DOD uses for distributing soldiers wounded in Iraq to U.S. hospitals.) We were at an impasse.

    I called Gore and explained the situation. He called Gov. Bredesen of Tennessee who put us in touch with the Tennessee FEMA people. After a brief interval, Jim Bassham and Eddie Boatwright of the Tennessee FEMA office reported back that all was clear and the TEMA people could carry out the relocation in Tennessee.

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