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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Don't buy gas unless you need it...

Armored personnel carriers driving through local streets, searching for snipers and looters. Congress and the President rushing back from vacation to pledge billions of dollars to rebuild infrastructure -- all the while insisting electrical service is improving and people are greeting the troops as liberators. Baghdad? Nope, New Orleans.

The chickens of the Bush administration are coming home to roost in the flood ravaged city in the heart of the Red States. For example:
  • The National Guard, traditionally the major source of relief for natural disasters, is spread thin in terms of both personnel and equipment with supply lines that run to Iraq;
  • Rescuers are threatened by gun-toting residents, some of who were armed courtesy of Wal-Mart, which abandoned one of its stores while failing to secure the arms for sale;
  • Money to shore up the levees was deemed too precious to spend with soaring war costs;
  • Oil company profits, already at record levels, head skyward again as profiteers send gasoline as high as $6 a gallon in Atlanta. Never mind that much of that gasoline had been in the tanks, purchased at much lower prices only a week earlier.
And how does our political leadership respond, besides cutting short vacations? By telling people not to buy gas unless they need it, promising to crack down on looters and taking a tour of the Gulf Coast.

In response to our "response," offers of sympathy and help pour in from around the world. The same world that roundly condemned our arrogant adventures in Iraq is willing to suspend its anger to assist our very own Third World struggles. Let's see how quickly we manage to turn the world off again, as we did after 9-11. Shooting a few looters will probably do it, particularly since the overwhelming majority of those left behind to cope in New Orleans are African-American.

The Bush Administration will no doubt eventually hire Halliburton to manage the cleanup and reconstruction, blame weak-hearted Democrats and liberals for allowing the situation to become so explosive and claim that only tough GOP leadership can save the United States from Armageddon. Karl Rove is already warming up in the wings....


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