Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Poll Question

Someone asked what the exact question was that led to 46% of people saying they approve of how Bush has handled the hurricane situation in the ABC/Washington Post poll. Here is the question:

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation caused by Hurricane Katrina? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or

Total Approval - 46%
Approve Strongly - 26%, Approve Somewhat - 20%
Total Disapproval - 47%
Disapprove Strongly - 31%, Disapprove Somewhat - 16%
The remaining 8% had no opinion.

See the whole survey at:


Just in case anyone is confused, although I can't imagine why in the world you would be, since this is a PERSONAL blog - what I say here - past, present and future - has absolutely nothing to do with my employer, my former employers, my future employers, my family, my friends, my neighbors, my home town, my current home, my former residences, boards I've served on, restaurants I've eaten at, plumbers I've hired, former lovers, long dead relatives, ISPs current/past or future, trips I've taken, former co-workers, future colleagues, hotels I've slept in, or any other thing you can imagine. It's just ME and my thoughts, rants, and views - no connection to any one/thing else. OK. Did I cover it all? If there's anything I left out, consider that covered too. There's no connection. OK? Good Deal. Now, we're clear.

NYT editorial - In Case You Missed It

From The New York Times

A Failure of Leadership -
"Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead"

Neither the death of the chief justice nor the frantic efforts of panicked White House political advisers can conceal the magnitude of the president's failure of leadership last week. The catastrophe in New Orleans billowed up like the howling winds of hell and was carried live and in color on television screens across the U.S. and around the world.

The Big Easy had turned into the Big Hurt, and the colossal failure of George W. Bush to intervene powerfully and immediately to rescue tens of thousands of American citizens who were suffering horribly and dying in agony was there for all the world to see.

Hospitals with deathly ill patients were left without power, with ventilators that didn't work, with floodwaters rising on the lower floors and with corpses rotting in the corridors and stairwells. People unable to breathe on their own, or with cancer or heart disease or kidney failure, slipped into comas and sank into their final sleep in front of helpless doctors and relatives. These were Americans in desperate trouble.

The president didn't seem to notice.

Death and the stink of decay were all over the city. Corpses were propped up in wheelchairs and on lawn furniture, or left to decompose on sunbaked sidewalks. Some floated by in water fouled by human feces.

Degenerates roamed the city, shooting at rescue workers, beating and robbing distraught residents and tourists, raping women and girls. The president of the richest, most powerful country in the history of the world didn't seem to notice.

Viewers could watch diabetics go into insulin shock on national television, and you could see babies with the pale, vacant look of hunger that we're more used to seeing in dispatches from the third world. You could see their mothers, dirty and hungry themselves, weeping.

Old, critically ill people were left to soil themselves and in some cases die like stray animals on the floor of an airport triage center. For days the president of the United States didn't seem to notice.

He would have noticed if the majority of these stricken folks had been white and prosperous. But they weren't. Most were black and poor, and thus, to the George W. Bush administration, still invisible.

After days of withering criticism from white and black Americans, from conservatives as well as liberals, from Republicans and Democrats, the president finally felt compelled to act, however feebly. (The chorus of criticism from nearly all quarters demanding that the president do something tells me that the nation as a whole is so much better than this administration.)

Mr. Bush flew south on Friday and proved (as if more proof were needed) that he didn't get it. Instead of urgently focusing on the people who were stranded, hungry, sick and dying, he engaged in small talk, reminiscing at one point about the days when he used to party in New Orleans, and mentioning that Trent Lott had lost one of his houses but that it would be replaced with "a fantastic house - and I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever by a president during a dire national emergency. What we witnessed, as clearly as the overwhelming agony of the city of New Orleans, was the dangerous incompetence and the staggering indifference to human suffering of the president and his administration.

And it is this incompetence and indifference to suffering (yes, the carnage continues to mount in Iraq) that makes it so hard to be optimistic about the prospects for the United States over the next few years. At a time when effective, innovative leadership is desperately needed to cope with matters of war and peace, terrorism and domestic security, the economic imperatives of globalization and the rising competition for oil, the United States is being led by a man who seems oblivious to the reality of his awesome responsibilities.

Like a boy being prepped for a second crack at a failed exam, Mr. Bush has been meeting with his handlers to see what steps can be taken to minimize the political fallout from this latest demonstration of his ineptitude. But this is not about politics. It's about competence. And when the president is so obviously clueless about matters so obviously important, it means that the rest of us, like the people left stranded in New Orleans, are in deep, deep trouble.

I agree with Newt

Well, there truly is no doubt now that the end times are near, because I agree with Newt Gingrich.

"I think it puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, because if we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?"
- Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker

Someone Else's Rant

If you're livid, but don't have the energy to vent, you might want to read this rant. Language is "intense."


Oil Prices

Steve Forbes thinks oil prices will go bust before the end of the year. He says the oil price bubble is going to be like the tech bubble was a few years ago and when it goes it will be big. He says maybe half what it is now... We can only hope he's right.



Quote of the Day

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.
--William Plomer


Life is fragile. We all know it, but it's easy to forget. In the wake of Katrina, we've all been reminded. Tell someone you love that you're thinking of them today. Because life is fragile...

Recognizing a Failure

"Our government failed those people."

That's what Bill Clinton said about the Katrina victims on Labor Day. Apparently he had not heard that 46% of people (margin of error 4% - so could be 42% or could be 50%) approve of how this has been handled. He said, "I take it now there is no dispute about it. 100% of the people recognize that it was a failure."

I know, that's what all thinking, reasonable, kind people would believe.

But the surveys tell a different story. You know how that works - surveys where people can say what they REALLY think/feel without having to defend it. Nor surprisingly, it's right down party lines.

Conservatives think everything went fine - no problems - A-OK - ship shape. It's OK to leave victims of a hurricane without food or water for five days - as long as they're people who CHOSE to stay behind because they chose to be poor. Let them live in squalid conditions at the SuperDome, drown in their homes, be without medication and die from exposure. It's all fine. The administration did a great job.

Honest to God, I truly don't know what kind of cruel,heartless, cold people I'm living with in this country. All I know is there are more of them than there are of me and I'm scared. Very scared.

Anyone who's not one of them should be. And - yes - it is an us/them thing. Gone are the days when it was just a disagreement about how to solve our problems. They don't think there ARE any problems.