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                                         The Bill Of Rights

             OPINION  September 11/05



                                Where The Buck Never Stops

       Vice president Cheney, otherwise known as Mr. Cool Efficiency, was not quite ready for the up close and personal huggy-kissy photo-ops favored by Bush, certainly not with exhausted African Americans who had just survived their toxic hell, who would have hugged the devil if he looked like help. So, while accompanied by Gonzales and Chertoff, Cheney avoided the poisonous stink of New Orleans, the place that has slung some invective at the Bush government, and instead went to Mississippi. He didn’t totally escape negativity, though, since a passerby let go with an expletive, followed by a local woman who commented:

       “I think this media opportunity is a waste of time and taxpayer’s money. They’ve picked a nice neighborhood (to visit) where people have insurance and most are Republicans.”

       Addressing the much asked questions: What went wrong was: no immediate help. Whereas what went right was: the excellent behavior of the majority of the people who were abandoned for so long in the convention center, in spite of their abject misery, in spite of their anger and frustration, in spite of the presence of an armed and dangerous criminal element. It was bad enough that babies died from dehydration, but people were robbed and murdered, as well.

   It’s interesting to note that FEMA’s role was redefined under Bush’s reign, folding it into Homeland Security and limiting its initiative, so that it could only react to state and local requests for aid, slowing the process. Add to this: the American Federation of Fed Employees complained last year, to Congress, that FEMA professionals were shoved aside to accommodate inexperienced contractors. (pals of the administration?) And when Katrina was racing across the warm waters of the Gulf Of Mexico, staff Watch Center FEMA officials in Washington could see what was about to happen, and they wondered why FEMA wasn't sending buses to the threatened coastal areas to evacuate the people.

       Poor New Orleans. Our American Venice has succumbed to the indifferent machinations of stupid politics, as well as the impervious mindlessness of nature, a cruel and deadly combination which has so devastated the lives of thousands, so many of whom are poor, or working poor, of whom a goodly amount, elderly and infirm, have become the bodies that were stacked on the levees.

       Our “Mission Accomplished” president, who loves invoking 9/11 whenever it’s to his advantage, was reelected because he was the self-proclaimed take-charge strong man, who would be the ultimate authority and would protect us. But whatever he was during 9/11 he no longer is. And Bush, who seems to have a congenital incapacity regarding the admission of any kind of mistake, especially as this inability relates to the appointments he has made, found himself in what would appear to be an untenable position regarding his naming of Michael Brown to be head of FEMA, the man to whom he publically said, “You’re doing a heck of a job.”

           Really?  Continued.....