Monday, September 12, 2005

Rehnquist dies; Pro-choicers begin wigging out.

When I saw on that Rehnquist died, I flipped out. This is a horrible development -- two spots on the Supreme Court for Bush to fill with conservatives. Possibly conservatives who want to overturn Roe v. Wade. That absolutely unnerves my little pro-choice ass.

Hurricane Katrina's devastation rages on in the news every day. The class/race issue is finally hitting the fan, and about time. Four days ago, I wrote, "I can't stop looking at the photos coming in now, all the photos from and of the helicopters rescuing people on the roofs of house and supermarkets -- some of them old, some of them so young, some of them disabled, so many of them black. Hardly any whites. Guess most of the whites were able to clear out. All the people with money and cars.

These people -- thousands of them -- have been waiting for buses to come take them away since Tuesday and there is no food or water. Hardly any cops. No food, water, medicine. Two babies were born in the Superdome. Mothers with toddlers with exhausted faces, their babies looking stunned. It hurts so bad to see this photos. It's the bite of photography, how powerful it is, why it is so important. Here I am bitching about gas, waiting to go out to a party tonight, ignoring my homework while a few states away, there is such an outpouring of pain and agony I can't understand it.

There's a picture of a big, kind-faced black man, holding a tiny baby, while he drapes a blanket over the body of an eldery man, slumped over in a chair in the median. In the background hundreds of black people are camped out, waiting.

Why is President Bush on "Good Morning America?"

I find the characterization of looters disturbing. I find disheartening the fact that people are forgetting the thousands outside New Orleans that are suffering. I think that Bush and the administration declared a "zero tolerance" policy on looting while thousands of people were stranded without food, water, medicine was ABSURD. (See Matt's journal entry on the perception of white and black looters.)

Quotes and Links - Hurricane Katrina

Comprehensive Katrina Timeline

I am stunned by an interview I conducted with New Orleans Detective Lawrence Dupree. He told me they were trying to rescue people with a helicopter and the people were so poor they were afraid it would cost too much to get a ride and they had no money for a "ticket." Dupree was shaken telling us the story. He just couldn't believe these people were afraid they'd be charged for a rescue.
-- CNN's Drew Griffin in New Orleans, Louisiana

As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.
--Lisa Robetta, Salt Lake Tribune

In a reflection of what has long been a hallmark of Mr. Rove's tough political style, the administration is also working to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana who, as it happens, are Democrats.

"The way that emergency operations act under the law is the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials," Mr. Chertoff said in his television interview. "The federal government comes in and supports those officials."
In interviews, these Republicans said that the normally nimble White House political operation had fallen short in part because the president and his aides were scattered outside Washington on vacation, leaving no one obviously in charge at a time of great disruption. Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush were in Texas, while Vice President Dick Cheney was at his Wyoming ranch.

Cheney and the rest of the White House didn’t care much about how Iraq would be rebuilt following the American invasion. That was the boring part. They just assumed it would be easy. Rebuilding an entire region of the United States following a natural disaster? Dick Cheney doesn’t seem to have much interest in that either.
-- Aaron Kinney,

Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). 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.

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
-- Gandhi