Howell Raines: Bush Shows How "To Vacation Through an Apocalypse"
In a column for the Los Angeles Times, former Times Executive Editor (and eternalblowhard) Howell Raines joins the left wing in using the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina to bash Bush.
From the middle of the piece: "The dilatory performance of George Bush during the past week has been outrageous. Almost as unbelievable as Katrina itself is the fact that the leader of the free world has been outshone by the elected leaders of a region renowned for governmental ineptitude.
"Louisiana's anguished governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, climbed into a helicopter at the first possible moment to survey what may become the worst weather-related disaster in American history. Even Gov. Haley R. Barbour of Mississippi, a tiresome blowhard as chairman of the Republican National Committee, has shown a throat-catching public sorrow and sleepless diligence that put Bush to shame.
"This president who flew away Monday to fundraisers in the West while the hurricane blew away entire towns in coastal Mississippi is very much his father's son. George H.W. Bush couldn't quite connect to the victims of Hurricane Andrew, nor did he mind being photographed tooling his golf cart around Kennebunkport while American troops died in the first Iraq war. After preemptively declaring a state of emergency, the younger Bush seemed equally determined to show his successors how to vacation through an apocalypse."
Raines ends with words that Clinton acolyte Sidney Blumenthal or environmental extremist Robert Kennedy Jr. (For They That Sow the Wind Shall Reap the Whirlwind) would have been proud to pen:
"The populism of Huey Long was financially corrupt, but when it came to the welfare of people, it was caring. The churchgoing cultural populism of George Bush has given the United States an administration that worries about the House of Saud and the welfare of oil companies while the poor drown in their attics and their sons and daughters die in foreign deserts."
You can discuss Raines' rant at MRC's new blog, Newsbusters: Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias. The direct address for the node is here.
To read the rest of Raines (if you must), click here.
Iraq "Stretched" National Guard "to the Breaking Point"
White House correspondent DavidSanger is oftenhostile toward the Bush administration, and his front-page "news analysis" Thursday on Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina does not disappoint.
In "Hard New Test For President - Disaster at Home Adds to Challenges of Iraq," Sanger pushes Bush: "Not since he sat in a Florida classroom as the World Trade Center burned a thousand miles away has President Bush faced a test quite like the one he returned to Washington to confront this afternoon. After initially stumbling through that disorienting day almost exactly four years ago, Mr. Bush entered what many of his aides believe were the finest hours of his presidency. But unlike 2001, when Mr. Bush was freshly elected and there was little question that the response would include a military strike, Mr. Bush confronts this disaster with his political capital depleted by the war in Iraq. "
Sanger employs exaggeration to suggest the National Guard may not be able to handle New Orleans because of Iraq: "Even before Hurricane Katrina, governors were beginning to question whether National Guard units stretched to the breaking point by service in Iraq would be available for domestic emergencies. Those concerns have now been amplified by scenes of looting and disorder. There is also the added question of whether the Department of Homeland Security, designed primarily to fight terrorism, can cope with what Mr. Bush called Wednesday 'one of the worst natural disasters in our country's history.'"
Then: "His first challenge is to show that both his reconfigured government and the National Guard units can perform on both fronts. Mr. Bush, his aides pointed out Wednesday, declared a disaster even before the storm hit, enabling the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy early. But while the National Guard was called in quickly, there are already questions about whether the aid would be swifter if deployments to Iraq were not so intense: Mississippi has 3,800 Guard troops in Iraq, and Louisiana has about 3,000."
Sanger doesn't identify any of these "questioners."
For more Sanger, click here.
Bumiller's Anti-Bush Boo-Boo
The blogospheregets results: White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller'smisleading interpretation of a Bush quote garners a correction in Thursday's edition:
"The White House Letter column on Monday, about the prominent role of women in the debate over the Iraq war, incorrectly summarized comments by President Bush about Cindy Sheehan's protest. He said that an immediate withdrawal of American troops, as advocated by such protests, would weaken the United States and embolden terrorists. He did not say that protesters like Ms. Sheehan were themselves weakening the United States and emboldening terrorists. (Go to Article)"