Monday, September 12, 2005

President Photo-Op

Bush is strolling through the French Quarter today - you know, Party Central of his drunken youth. Of course, the Quarter took very little damage and any angry African-Americans have long ago left the area, so it's considered "safe" turf for the little coward.

He can strut and roll up his sleeves and look in control for the cameras, but the lead article in this week's Newsweek strips the clothes from our Chimperor and exposes him for the fraud that he is.

The article begins with a tragedy - not the hurricane, but advising Bush that he has to cut his five-week long vacation short by two days.

Sept. 19, 2005 issue - It's a standing joke among the president's top aides: who gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure of the president of the United States, or, as he is known in West Wing jargon, POTUS. The bad news on this early morning, Tuesday, Aug. 30, some 24 hours after Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans, was that the president would have to cut short his five-week vacation by a couple of days and return to Washington. The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card; his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin; his counselor, Dan Bartlett, and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, held a conference call to discuss the question of the president's early return and the delicate task of telling him. Hagin, it was decided, as senior aide on the ground, would do the deed.

The article goes on to describe how out-of-touch and disconnected from the agony of the Gulf coast Bush was:

The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.

How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less "situational awareness," as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century—is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.

Remember when the national media in 2000 thought it was cute that Bush insisted on a 10:00 pm bedtime while on the campaign trail, and cooed over the personal pillow he carried? Maybe they should have considered the possible downside of having a president who considers his bedtime more important than American lives:

There are a number of steps Bush could have taken, short of a full-scale federal takeover, like ordering the military to take over the pitiful and (by now) largely broken emergency communications system throughout the region. But the president, who was in San Diego preparing to give a speech the next day on the war in Iraq, went to bed.

Really a take-charge kind of guy, huh? This makes the White House spin that the blame should be placed on the (Democratic) state and local governments even more putrid. This president is lazy, incompetent, and completely uncaring. Good to see the media finally reporting the truth about this monster.


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