Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Hand that Rocked the Cradle

I used to wonder how George W. Bush could have turned out the way he did. I never liked his father, but I never felt his father was inately useless and evil. I'm beginning to realize that Bush, the Son's failing is not in his last name, but in his mitochondria (the specific DNA which is passed from mother to child). Barbara Bush visited Katrina refugees who'd been stationed in the Astrodome, and pronounced that, since they were underprivileged anyway, "this is working very well for them."

Let's review, shall we? On August 28, 2005, after managing to survive a Category 5 hurricane, the citizens -- especially the poorer ones -- of New Orleans were rudely awakened by water streaming into their homes from the broken levee that the Army Corps of Engineers had warned for the past three years was on its last legs. Those who survived (and plenty did not) managed to get themselves to some dry, relatively safe place, and then spent several days waiting to be rescued. And waiting... and waiting... and waiting....

While FEMA director-and-Bush-toady Michael Brown insisted that FEMA was not designed as a "first response agency", (FEMA's own website disputes this, incidentally, particularly in cases where local and state agencies are clearly overwhelmed and where there exists the possibility of threats to public health -- like, I don't know, say, e. coli and decomposing dead bodies floating in water for several days on end), and further stated that he never heard anything about people camping out in teh Superdome under horrific conditions, with no food, blankets, clean drinking water, and medical attention, and under the extreme threat of physical violence (though Ted Koppel thoughtfully pointed out to him that major news outlets had been reporting on the story for nearly five days), the survivors struggled to come to terms with lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost property, lost baby pictures, lost mementos....

And when its all said and done, and a handful of refugees have found some small comfort in the safety of the Astrodome in Texas, the mother of the President of the United States is sure that, because they didn't have much to begin with, this whole Katrina thing is "working out well" for them. She did express alarm that all the refugees now camped out in the Astrodome were so overwhelmed by Texans' hospitality that they might want to stay in Texas. (GASP!)

I have a feeling... just a feeling, mind you... no concrete proof.... but a strong, intuitive feeling that Barbara Bush may well be the personification of human evil. She is the poster child for a party whose majority leader declared within a day of the New Orleans tragedy that Congress' single most important priority upon returning after summer break is abolishing the estate tax. Fortunately, they were shamed into agreeing that perhaps thousands dead and an American city submerged in water might rate some attention before we handed rich people an early Christmas gift.


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