Friday, September 02, 2005

Bush Learned Everything He Knows in Kindergarten

From BBC News, Pres. Bush responding to the frantic and increasingly outraged calls for help in New Orleans after three full days of mass confusion, wheel-spinning, and inaction by government authorities, while thousands of hurricane victims in New Orleans are living in the most life-threatening, desperate conditions imaginable:

"I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday. I mean I understand the anxiety of people on the ground... So there is frustration but I want people to know there's a lot of help coming," he said in an interview with ABC television.

He said the operation being mounted was one of the biggest in US history, and inevitably took time to get under way.

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did appreciate a serious storm but these levees got breached and as a result much of New Orleans is flooded and now we're having to deal with it and will," he said.

"There's a lot of food on its way, a lot of water on the way and there's a lot of boats and choppers headed that way... it just takes a while to float them."
Mr Bush said there was no figure yet for the number who had died in the hurricane and its aftermath, "but it's obviously going to be a lot".

"We do know that the storm has just blasted the Gulf coast - rural Mississippi and coastal Mississippi - much of it has been obliterated and obviously downtown New Orleans is flooded and so we're trying to get a handle on it. Our first priority of course is the search and rescue," he said.

He condemned the looting reported across New Orleans, saying: "I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this, whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving, or insurance fraud.

"If people need water and food, we're going to do everything we can to get them water and food.

"But... it's very important for the citizens in all affected areas to take personal responsibility and assume a civic sense of responsibility, so that the situation doesn't get out of hand, so people don't exploit the vulnerable."
Mr Bush dismissed criticism that he had been slow in responding to the unfolding disaster, and had not yet set foot on the ground.

"I hope people don't play politics during this period of time," he said.

"There'll be ample time for politics. But now's the time to focus attention, our compassion and our resources on helping people who need help".

He said he wanted to go to the scene but did not want to disrupt the emergency operation.

Emphasized sentences were especially hard for me to read without tearing my hair out. Can this weirdo really be the President of the United States? What planet has he been living on? Eighty percent of New Orleans is completely submerged! Does he really think what's going on in the Superdome right now is no worse than a third-grade class that's gotten a little too rowdy? Is telling people who have had no food, water, or medical care for 36 hours that it "takes a while" to "float the boats and choppers" down their way the best this creature can do?

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