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This diary consists of verbal Ipecac.

Below the fold is a reprint of a three-part series I compiled three years ago called The Hurricane Katrina Hall of Shame.  It's a collection of quotes and goings-on by Bush administration officials, cronies, and other right-wing thugs over a period of three weeks after Katrina hit.  (Yes, even John McCain makes an appearance--he slept through the crisis with the rest of 'em.)

I haven’t revisited the quotes below for two years.  In 2006 I wrote: "Today they give off a stink worse than anything you’ve ever had to scrape off the bottom of your shoe."  Looking at them in 2008 they reek even worse, especially given how much rebuilding and healing remains to be done.  If for no other reason than preventing another train wreck of ineptitude like that which you see below, America needs grownups at the helm, starting with a FEMA director who knows something about FEMA'ing.

I pray that hurricane Gustav doesn’t deal an equally-severe blow to our Gulf Coast next week, not only because the last thing residents there need is another Cat-3 knocking on their door, but also because The Decider is still in charge of the show, and because our National Guard is still preoccupied "over there."

Perhaps the most depressing thought of all, though, is this: if Gustav does rip the South apart, we'll no doubt be treated to a whole new slew of comments like the ones below.  I ain't compilin' that list, though.  One was enough.

Oh, and if you do decide to proceed below the fold, barf bags are available in the gift shop.  They'll also come in handy during the RNC convention.

More >>>

The Hurricane Katrina Hall of Shame...

Prologue:

"We’ve already done a lot. Take a good look at what has taken place since 9/11, and I think you’ll be---as a citizen, concerned about your own safety, I think you’ll be pleased."
(8/2/04)

"Of course, we’re doing everything we can to protect America. I wake up every day thinking about how best to protect America. That’s my job."
(10/1/04)

"I’ll continue to act to keep our people safe from harm and our future bright."
(6/18/05)

--President Bush (via Think Progress)

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"Our Nation is prepared, as never before, to deal quickly and capably with the consequences of disasters and other domestic incidents."
--FEMA chief Michael D. Brown (3/9/05)

-

Epilogue:

"President George W. Bush joins Arizona Senator John McCain in a small celebration of McCain's 69th birthday Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, after the President's arrival at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix."
--Photo caption at the White House web site. (8/29/05)

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"We anticipate needing at least 1,000 additional DHS employees within 48 hours and 2,000 within 7 days. ... Thank you for your consideration in helping us meet our responsibilities in this near catastrophic event."
--Memo from FEMA chief Michael Brown to Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, written after the hurricane had already struck the Gulf Coast.
(8/29/05)

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Michael Brown "If you look at my lovely FEMA attire you’ll really vomit. I am a fashion god."
Cindy Taylor "My eyes must certainly be deceiving me. You look fabulous---and I’m not talking the makeup."
Brown "I got it at Nordstroms. Email McBride and make sure she knows.  Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?"
--email exchange (8/29/06)

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"Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel!"
--Rush Limbaugh, referring to the editor of The Nation magazine (Late August)

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"The destruction from Katrina vanden Heuvel is expected to be massive.... The poor and disabled are particularly likely to suffer from the effects of Katrina vanden Heuvel... Coming up: How to explain Katrina vanden Heuvel to your children..."
--National Review Editor Jonah Goldberg (8/30/05)

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A young [black] man walks through chest deep floodwater after looting a grocery store in New Orleans...

Two [white] residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans...
Captions at Yahoo News (8/30/05)

-

Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield wasn't the only VIP who joined Padres President John Moores in the owner's box last night at Petco Park. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, here to join President Bush at the North Island Naval Air Station today, took in the game, too.
--Copy in the San Diego Union-Tribune (8/30/05)

-

"It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level....It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed."
--House Speaker Dennis Hastert (8/31/05)

-

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
--President Bush (9/1/05)

-

Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleezza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes.  A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!"  Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the woman.  (9/1/05)

[In addition to shoe shopping, Rice also went to see Spamalot on Broadway, and played tennis with Monica Seles.]

-

"The federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today."
--FEMA director Michael Brown (9/1/05)

-

"I have not heard a report of thousands of people in the convention center who don't have food and water."
--Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff (9/1/05)

-

HALLIBURTON GETS KATRINA CONTRACT
--Headline (9/1/05)

-

"Last night, we showed you the full force of a superpower government going to the rescue."
--Chris Matthews on MSNBC (9/1/05)

-

"Elimination of the death tax would be a victory for fairness and job creation. Working together, we can help eliminate the burden of the death tax once and for all."
--Mass email from RNC Chair Ken Mehlman (9/1/05)

-

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
--President Bush (9/2/05)

-

Out of the rubbles (sic) of [Senator] Trent Lott's house---he's lost his entire house---there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."
--George W. Bush (9/2/05)

-

"The City of New Orleans and its residents owe the President a profound debt of gratitude."
--John Hinderaker, Powerline blog (9/2/05)

-

"There's trucks?"
--President Bush (9/2/05)

-

"...it was my belief, I'm trying to think of a better word than typical---that minimizes, any hurricane is bad--but we had the standard hurricane coming in here..."
--FEMA director Michael Brown (9/3/05)

-

"Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater..."
--Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff (9/3/05)

-

"One other factor which must be considered: Days before Katrina nearly wiped New Orleans off the map, 9,000 Jewish residents of Gaza were driven from their homes with the full support of the United States government. Could this be a playing out of prophesy?  (‘I will bless that nation that blesses you, and curse the nation that curses you’)"
--Rick Scarborough of Vision For America (9/4/05)

-

"I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, 'New Orleans Dodged A Bullet.'"
--Michael Chertoff, who saw no such thing (9/4/05)

-

"I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."
--Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, on WTAE TV (9/4/05)

-

"When Air Force One dipped below the clouds on Tuesday so the president could peer out the window down at the disaster, the image was uncomfortably imperial."
--Newsweek (9/4/05).  [The president didn't fly over the area until Wednesday].

-

"...but the media has a fascination with the blame game and instead of looking for what can we do to help now there's a lot of why didn't we do something different?"
--George H.W. Bush (9/5/05)

-

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.  And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this...this is working very well for them."
--Barbara Bush (9/5/05)

-

"I dropped a twenty in the bucket."
--Millionaire Jeb Bush, speaking from the broadcast booth on a collection for hurricane relief at the Miami-Florida State game. (9/5/05)

-

"I would go back and ask the firefighter to revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country."
--FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak, after firefighters, realizing they were being used as props for a Bush photo-op, removed their FEMA shirts. (9/5/05.)

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The nine-acre lot includes extensive gardens, ornamental pools and spectacular views of the water behind it. Deer and osprey can be seen.
--From a Washington Post article on Dick Cheney’s new estate in St. Michaels, MD, where he was mansion-shopping after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast. (9/5/05)

-

"Bureaucracy is not going to stand in the way of getting the job done for the people."
--President Bush (9/6/05)

-

"Americans don't sleep in tents."
--Unnamed FEMA official, responding to the head of the Hurricane Center of Louisiana State University who was trying to urge FEMA to set up tent cities in other states to handle the hundreds of thousands of Katrina survivors.  The story was told by Tim Russert on `Imus in the Morning' (9/6/05)

-

"Louisiana's Senator Landrieu announced on network television, ‘I might likely have to punch him, literally.’  And my question, since "him" is the President, and both punching and threatening to punch the President is a felony, has her qualifying words `might likely' saved her from arrest and prosecution?"
--Unknown reporter to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan (9/6/05)

-

"I understand there are 10,000 people dead. It's terrible. It's tragic. But in a democracy of 300 million people, over years and years and years, these things happen."
--Republican strategist Jack Burkman defending Bush (9/6/05)

-

"We really don't have time to play the political game right now."
White House Counselor Dan Bartlett (9/6/05)

-

Reporter:  Just to get you on the record, where does the buck stop in this administration?
Scott McClellan: The President.
--White House press briefing (9/6/05)

-

"What didn't go right?'"
--President Bush to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (9/6/05)

-

"This is the largest disaster in the history of the United States, over an area twice the size of Europe!"
--Republican Senator Ted Stevens (9/7/05) Europe is 3.8 million square miles, the U.S. is 3.5 million.

-

Thousands are expected to take part in the Pentagon’s America Supports You Freedom Walk this Sunday. ... It will end with a musical tribute by country music star Clint Black at the JFK Hockey Field near the Washington Monument.
--Department of Defense press release (9/7/05)

-

"Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds . . . to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans."
--Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado (9/7/05)

-

"The view that such events are caused by God is a matter of opinion---faith if you will--and are not capable of proof.  Every man must decide for himself whether or not Hurricane Katrina brought the wrath of God down on New Orleans."
--Michael Heath, leader of the Christian Civic League of Maine, suggesting that the hurricane was God’s wrath on gays in New Orleans. (9/7/05)

-

"[The National Weather Service’s warnings were] not sufficient."
--Republican Senator Rick Santorum (9/7/05)

-

"I'd rather have them here dead than alive. And at least they're not robbing you and you have to worry about feeding them."
--St. Gabriel, LA, resident Theresa Roy indicating her preference for morgues over shelters (9/7/05)

-

"And I also want to encourage anybody who is affected by Hurricane K’...K’...Corrina..."
--Laura Bush (9/8/05)

-

"...it’s a phenomenal accomplishment by everybody involved. It’s unbelievable.
--Republican Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas (9/8/05)

-

"Outstanding Political Science Professor, Central State University"
Description on FEMA director Michael Brown’s resume, which turned out to be false---he was only a student there.  (9/9/05)

-

"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans.  We couldn’t do it, but God did."
--Republican Rep. Richard Baker of Louisiana (9/9/05)

-

"The American people ... have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the past 30 years."
--Charles Krauthammer, claiming in a Washington Post editorial that the American people are partly to blame for the botched response to Katrina (9/9/05)

-

"That could be good news...for some people.  You never know how the left is gonna react to a lower death toll..."
--Rush Limbaugh, after suggesting that rescuers weren’t pulling as many bodies as expected from homes in New Orleans. (9/9/05)

-

"And in all fairness to the Dept of Homeland Security right now, I mean this is a brand new Department that was formed after 9/11.  In many ways this is a ‘learn by our mistakes and figure out what to do better’ type of scenario."
--CNN anchor Kyra Phillips (9/9/05)

-

"I’m going to go home and walk my dog and hug my wife and maybe get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night’s sleep."
--FEMA head Michael D. Brown, after he was relieved of his duties related to Katrina disaster management (9/9/05)

-

"Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?  You are becoming famous all over this country and even the world!"
--Tom Delay, to three boys sitting on cots in the Astrodome (9/9/05)

-

AMERICAN RED CROSS NUMBERS TO CALL TO REGISTER: 1-800-438-4637 (1-800 GET HELP)
--Phone number posted online by Kentucky Governor Ernie’s Fletcher’s office for Hurricane relief.

"Want to gab with the sluttiest girls your nasty imagination can dream up?  Mmmm...we can be whatever you want us to be, baby.  After all, it is your fantasy..."
--What people heard when they called the above number, which turned out to be a dial-a-porn service  (9/9/05)

-

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city.  From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin."
--Repent America Director Michael Marcavage (8/31/05)

-

"The governor does not agree with that. But far be it for the governor to try to divine the will of the Almighty."
--Robert Black, spokesman for Texas Governor Rick Perry.  During two private religious events, the governor refused to object to statements made by ministers that hurricane Katrina might have been God’s punishment on gays. (9/8/05)

-

"He did not develop the way we wanted.  He was average.  Maybe that's the best way to put it. ... He would have been better suited to be a small city or county lawyer."
--Stephen Jones, who once hired (now-ex) FEMA director Michael Brown into his law firm.  (9/10/05)

-

"...you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families?  Took me about a year. ... But the second thought I had when I saw these people and they had to shut down the Astrodome and lock it down, I thought: I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims."
--Glenn Beck (9/9/05)

-

Question: Have you accepted the resignation of Michael Brown or have you heard about it?
--President Bush: "No, I have not talked to Michael Brown or Mike Chertoff – that’s who I talk to.  As you know, I’ve been working."
--3:39 pm

"I can do more than one thing at one time.  By the time I’m finished president [sic], I hope you will realize that the government can do more than one thing at one time, and individuals in the government can."
--3:42 pm  

News conference at which Bush had to admit he didn’t know that his director of FEMA, Michael D. Brown, had resigned  (9/12/05)

-

"I came back four days early."
--Vice President Cheney, when asked by a reporter why he didn’t return from vacation until three days after the Hurricane struck the Gulf Coast  (9/11/05)

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Pick as Acting FEMA Leader Has Disaster Relief Experience
--Headline in the New York Times.  Publicized on Air America’s The Al Franken Show as a "Headline that shouldn’t be necessary." (9/13/05)

-

"Yard apes..."
--Term used by Greenville Technical College official Renee Holcombe to describe hurricane evacuees.  Holcombe was fired.
(9/14/05)

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To reach $62 billion in savings, Cato Institute analysts Chris Edwards and Stephen Slivinski have proposed...slashing energy research and subsidies just as Congress is gearing up to increase them in the face of soaring gasoline prices, cutting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' budget by $4.6 billion after its levees failed to protect New Orleans, and eliminating $4.2 billion in homeland security grants while lawmakers are debating the nation's lack of preparedness.
--Closing paragraph of a Washington Post article on the cost of paying for hurricane cleanup and rebuilding.  The Cato Institute is a right-wing think tank.
(9/15/05)

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44 to 54

--Senate vote to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.  All the "Yes" votes were Democrats.  All the "No" votes were Republicans.  (9/15/05)

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"There was rejoicing...when the power came back on for blocks on end. ... The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through.  And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed [after delivering his televised speech to the nation], the lights went out.  The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans.  It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions."
--NBC News’s Brian Williams’s, from his Nightly News blog, after Bush delivered a televised speech from Jackson Square in New Orleans  (9/16/05)

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"The only mistake we made with Katrina was not overriding the local government..."
--Karl Rove, off the record  (9/17/05)

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"I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out. And I wouldn't have rescued them."
--Bill O’Reilly (9/14/05)

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"My earmarks are pretty important to that region."
--Republican Rep. Tom DeLay, saying he wouldn’t give up any pork earmarked for his district in order to help cleanup efforts in hurricane-stricken areas
(9/21/05)

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"Kiss my ear! That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard!"
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), when asked if he’d return $223 million earmarked for the "bridge to nowhere."
(9/19/05)

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"I saw [Republican Senator from Iowa] Chuck Grassley on CNBC looking like he swallowed a giant slug when the host gingerly asked him about his indoor rainforest."
--Atrios, on the refusal by Republicans to cancel some of their pork barrel projects in order to help pay for hurricane clean-up (9/21/05)

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Want Four more years of this?  Vote Republican.
-

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Note: Many thanks to those blogs, watchdog sites and newspapers---especially Think Progress, Americablog, Eschaton, and DailyKos---whose links are still functional three years later.

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Originally posted to Bill in Portland Maine on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:43 AM PDT.

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