Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Homeland Insecurity

It's good to know at last that President Bush can walk and chew gum at the same time. On Monday, from his first ground tour of Katrina-stricken Louisiana, fully two weeks after the storm hit, Mr. Bush reassured the American people and the world, saying "I can do more than one thing at a time."

Here he is, being quoted at CNN today: "We've got plenty of troops to do both. It is preposterous to claim that the engagement in Iraq meant there wasn't enough troops here, just pure and simple."

And as if it weren't quite so pure and simple, with the American casualty counts now rising a lot faster at home than in foreign wars, Mr. Bush reiterated his claim to having mastered the art of multi-tasking: "By the time I'm finished [being] president, I hope you'll realize that the government can do more than one thing at one time and individuals in the government can. If I'm focusing on the hurricane, I've got the capacity to focus on foreign policy, and vice versa."

Well, there you have it, pure and simple. Or is it? Pure? Simple? Up to now, Mr. Bush has wanted to focus on four things and four things only: (1) cutting taxes so the rich get richer, (2) securing contracts and kickbacks for his corporate sponsors, (3) conquering and containing Iraq, and (4) castrating the social services and federal protections of the American government. Now he's got this big fifth thing to pay attention to. I'll bet he is cursing Katrina up one side and down the other. 'Damn this storm, it's got everybody against me, they're all lookin' at me, and I'll have to stick my neck out for those people 'til I quit.'

'Hmmm, Any way we can get Bechtel and Halliburton in on this deal?'

Oh yes, Mr. President, with $100 million no-bid contracts just announced. Bechtel's up for one. Surely Halliburton is waiting in the West Wing for it's chance to sell us propaganda and pot pies down south and coast to coast.

This just in from CNN as well: "Americans seem to have shifted their focus away from Iraq and terrorist threats to problems at home. For the first time since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. four years ago, a majority of Americans responding to a poll by the Pew Research Center last week said it is more important for the president to focus on domestic policy than on the war on terrorism.

"Another poll by Time magazine found six in 10 Americans think the U.S. should cut back spending on Iraq to help pay for the storm response, while about the same number favor a partial withdrawal of troops from Iraq to help with storm damage."

All a sure sign of growing homeland insecurity. Too bad many more of the American people couldn't see this guy's snake oil salemanship coming before the 2000 election.

In recent polls, Mr. Bush's approval rating has dropped almost as fast as gasoline prices have risen, not that gas prices alone should be the measure of his ability to keep a lid on things - or walk and chew gum at the same time.

But then again, gasoline - not government - is Mr. Bush's real business.


Democracy For America is hosting a web petition to put pressure on the Bush administration for botching it's evacuation and rescue efforts. When you sign the petition, you can add comments. Here are mine:

"I strongly feel that the Bush administration's priorities are wrong. Bush clings to his war on terror and massive military expenditures (pork aplenty) while neglecting most of the rest of what the federal government should be doing for us. We (and he) shouldn't be blinded by short term profits and pork, and we don't need a war on anything, just a return to an American government which works wisely to restore, preserve and protect the long-term good of the people at home and around the world. The Bush administration's failure to set the right priorities and to be open and honest with all of us is an ongoing and devastating tragedy - and a set-up ripe for national decrepitude - and one disaster after the next."


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