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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Jim Glassman 

James Glassman did write a book once called "Dow 36,000", and he still stands by the thesis. So, I was pretty sure he was an idiot. But, now I see him on last week's Real Time with Bill Maher, and, well, good God, he's far, far dumber than I thought. I mean, a flaming moron this guy is. Wow.
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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Accountability is for Suckers! 

This is something I just wrote in an email to some friends, so it's probably even less polished than most my posts, but anyway...

something i've noticed with Katrina and with Iraq re Bush and his supporters. It seems there's simply to rubric set up to measure success or failure, and therefore no matter how bad things get, Bush supporters claim that what is happening is in no way a failure. Unfortunately, some blame for this regarding Iraq lies with Democrats, who should have forced the administration to say, "what scenario, 2+ years from today, would constitute a failure of the administration's plans?" I think, ex ante, most would agree that what has happed would and should be considered a failure. But, since no one laid this out, we've seen 2+ years of moving goalposts--to the point that now, neocons on the WaPo editorial board claim that an outcome like Lebanon in the past 20 years wouldn't even be a failure.

The same is happening here. Thousands dead because no water and other supplies? Oh, that's not a failure. FEMA taking days to even realize the extent of the situation when newspapers were reporting it right away? oh, that's not failure. Unless these people are nailed down, ex ante, to admit what in an ex post world should consititute failure, they will never admit failure.

To be fair, though, even if this were nailed down, they'd make more excuses.
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Friday, September 02, 2005

Race 

I have a very bad feeling that the racial component of the disaster in the Gulf region is going to have some very negative consequences in the weeks, months and years to come. That said, maybe it should, considering the racists on TV blaming the black victims. From Tapped:
EVEN THAT GUY? I had forgotten about this until Josh Marshall posted a quote from The O'Reilly Factor last night, but Bill O'Reilly and Shepard Smith were truly offensive. What the words alone don't reveal, though, is that the footage as Smith was saying that "in large part" the looters and the stranded New Orleanians were people who, in O'Reilly's words, "didn't want to leave because they sensed there might have been an opportunity to do what they eventually did, if they stayed behind knowing," was one black man pushing another black man with no legs in a wheelchair -- but a bag on his lap! clearly looted! -- through a foot or two of water. Smith did say a few things later on that were less outrageous, in his defense, but that was their immediate reaction to the scene.
See Steve G. for some more general blogging on this issue.
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George W. Bush 

Here's what he said a few minutes ago in Mobile, Alabama:
We got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is, and it's hard for some to see it now, but out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast like it was before.

Out of the rubble of Trent Lott's house -- he lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch.
Man, Trett Lott's new house is going to be the shiz-nit! Can't wait to see it on Cribs in 2007.
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Timelines 

Tsunami Timeline:
Dec. 26, 0059 GMT Quake hits.
Dec. 26, 0130 GMT Tsunami hits.
Dec. 28, Relief operation begins.
Jan 1. US Aircraft carrier arrives in Indonesia, sending helicopters, heavy machinery, and water purifcation equipment to Banda Aceh.
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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina 

Watch this video taken by an NBC cameraman and then watch his on-screen testimony. Good lord.

Then read this Slate article.

Then donate. My employer is matching contributions. Check to see if yours is.

UPDATE: It seems to be nigh impossible to actually figure out the situation on the ground. The photographer in the MSNBC video talks about orderly masses and law-abiding citizens waiting to be rescued; his clear implication is that the rescue workers waiting due to safety concerns is bunk, or at least a result of poor information. However, I also see this, by an individual working for a private security company in N.O. In his eyes, the direness of the situation is, in part if not in whole, a result of lawlessness, looting, and more-or-less mob rule. Clearly, the city is big enough that both could be true. I've not been watching any TV news today; maybe the situation has crystalized in the last few hours. But, from where I sit, it's very confusing.

LATER UPDATE: And, even still, doesn't Digby make at least some sense here?
I Wondered About This

From Kos diarist Militarytracy:
I have also spoken today on post here with Army pilots really pissed off that when the helicopter was shot at yesterday at the Superdome, they suspended operations. What I have been told is IT IS A MILITARY HELICOPTER AND YOU ARE PREFORMING A KIND OF MILITARY MISSION AND YOU ARE TAKING FIRE SO WHAT'S THE FUCKING PROBLEM? I heard this from pilots who have served in Iraq. They are really upset right now that it is okay to take fire to liberate Iraqis but it isn't okay to take fire attempting to rescue and save people in your own country!
I've been a little bit gobsmacked by this fraidy-cat reaction to the surly thugs in the streets I've been hearing about all day. The national guard and the coast guard are trained to operate in hostile environments where people are shooting at them. And big city police forces are no slouches either.

Yet they completely cancelled the rescue operation because some bozo shot at a helicopter. And the national guard now refuses to escort patients who are being transferred from hospitals that have no power, food and water.

Gosh I sure hope someone is guarding the oil ministry.
Then again, this may merely be a boots-on-the-ground issue. A chinook outfitted for civilian rescue and transport may simply not be equipped to handle any sort of fire whatsover. I doubt it, but I guess it's possible.
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