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Getting Those Priorities Straight

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Some estimates say Katrina destroyed 40,000 homes in New Orleans alone. Thousands more were wiped out around the Gulf. President Bush — arriving on the Gulf Coast — focused on one house — Sen Trent Lott’s (R-MS):

“The good news is — and it’s hard for some to see it now — that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house — he’s lost his entire house — there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.” — President Bush, September 2, 2005

It’s the kind of comment more in tune with a political fundraiser opening joke than a disaster scene. The President’s photo op upon arriving on the Gulf Coast probably did little to help the administration’s image over the last few days. It was basically a briefing of items that could have been handled on the flight down — or better yet — three days ago. It certainly didn’t make the President look like he was on top of things.

He appeared detached, as if not really listening to Gov Halley Barbour (R-MS). The President nodded his head awkwardly, in no logical reaction to anything being said to him.

Behind them were parked helicopters and uniformed crewmembers standing at parade rest. Good for the cameras — not so good for the people waiting to be airlifted out of the flood zone for days now. (WhiteHouse.gov)

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About Terry Turner

  • I thought the same thing. The man has no sense of what is and is not appropriate. Its embarrassing.

  • In that “Bush on the Couch” book, the psychiatrist who analyzes Bush from afar concludes that he has no real capacity for grief or loss and prefers to shut himself off from the serious emotional consequences of tragedy in favor of feelings of revenge and aggression. He argues that it goes back to the death of his sister when he was a young boy and says it explains why we’re never allowed to see the caskets of returning soldiers from Iraq and why Bush had such difficulty agreeing to meet the widows and families of 9/11 victims or fallen soldiers.

    I’m not one to get uptight about the jokes politicians make and I think Bush is occasionally pretty funny, but this was in extremely poor taste and fits with that character profile.

    That is all.

  • I for one wasn’t as offended by the “Where’s the WMDs” sketch at the National Correspondents’ Dinner as the author of that book and some others were.

    That night is all about self-deprecating humor and it was pretty funny.

    The misguided war, not so funny.

    But the joke was still funny.

    That is all.

  • And what’s the key phrase Bob A Booey? “In that “Bush on the Couch” book, the psychiatrist who analyzes Bush from afar concludes…”

    Let me know when you accept any diagnosis, medical or other wise, from an “alleged professional” “from afar.

    And this is just a flatout lie. “and why Bush had such difficulty agreeing to meet the widows and families of 9/11 victims or fallen soldiers.”

    He has meet over 900 families from those injured or killed in Iraq.

  • Yes, he met with those families. That does not negate the statement made. Do you know for sure that he did so enthusiastically? We do know that he refused to give five minutes to Cindy Sheehan. Yeah, he met her with a group in a carefully orchestrated meeting, but he couldn’t walk out of his vacation home to answer her question. The looming picture is of a human who works very hard to distance himself from those who think differently from him. Those TV shots today of him hugging and kissing people in Mississippi were touching, but these were evacuees for whom help had arrived. Why wasn’t he on a boat, making stops to hug, kiss, and reassure the stranded in New Orleans? The closest he has gotten to that part of the tragedy was from above, when he was safe and sound in Air Force One. It’s obvious — he tends to stay within his comfort zone. Which makes his stupid comment about Trent Lott’s house — TRENT LOTT’S HOUSE — all the more disturbing.

  • Natalie Why wasn’t he on a boat, making stops to hug, kiss, and reassure the stranded in New Orleans?

    Because he’s smart enough not to fullfill your greatest wish. That he be shot by the roving bands of hooligans, miscreants, and gangbangers that are running rampant in no small part because a good portion of the local police force up and walked away.

    Geesh, what a stupid statement!

  • Mr. Marc, sir, you obviously know nothing about me to make such a stunningly incorrect statement. That you would make such an assumption about a complete stranger simply boggles the mind.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Do you know for sure that he did so enthusiastically?”

    What the hell does that matter? He’s got a country to run. I didn’t elect him to run around and hold hands with everyone who’s got a problem.

    Likewise, he has no obligation to give that traitorous bitch Cindy Sheehan another audience beyond the one he already has.

    “Why wasn’t he on a boat, making stops to hug, kiss, and reassure the stranded in New Orleans?”

    Great, you want a President to be your mommy and daddy rolled into one.

    This is why I despise the lib view of government. You want it to be your main benefactor and protector just like one of your parents. That’s sick.

  • Correct I nothing about you. But I do know what you wrote and the comment was directed at THAT, and NOT at the rest of your personna. To be critical of a president because he didn’t wade into an obvious dangerous situation is STUPID, spin it all you care to.

    Lets have a peek at something shall we?

    Sunday a mandatory evacuation was ordered by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

    The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

    Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

    OK, lets wait for it…. here it comes.

    That damn evil ChimpyMcBUSHitlerCo, the sumbitch just doesn’t CARE. He wasn’t, dayglo gloves on, directing traffic on I-10 himself!!!

  • Mr. Marc, I didn’t say he didn’t care. I said he keeps himself at a distance. A good captain is willing to go down with her ship.

    Mr. MTSAS (aka “Schwartze” Slinger), nothing you have to say has any interest to me. If you wish to be paid any attention, direct your vileness to others.

  • Here is a good email sent to Andrew Sullivan from a Republican who is disgusted with the incompetence of the Bush Administration. The email is well written and raises some good questions.

  • No Natalie you didn’t say Bush didn’t care, you questioned whether he met with families “enthusiastically.”

    A word that carries along with it the antonyms, “idly” and “inactivly.” A valid arguement could be made “uncaring” would fit there as well.

    And of course, you admit he did meet with 900 Iraq families as fact.

    Which raises the question: Why have we not heard from even one of those 900 stating what Bush’s demeanor was during their meetings?

    Except Mother Sheehan who has turned out to be something less than honest in her depiction of her first meeting.

  • Marc,

    You’re really a silly fellow.

    I was making my own dig at the book when I put the qualifier “from afar” in there myself. Thanks for jumping all over it, but it was my point already.

    I do think the author of that book has a valid point about Bush’s orientation toward loss, grief, and death, however.

    And there have been multiple press reports about how the Bush administration won’t allow the media to cover pictures of caskets returning from battle and about how long it took for Bush to agree to meet the 9/11 widows and the families of dead soldiers. It seems like he’s gotten over the family-mourner grief anxiety a little bit, perhaps because military families support him politically for the most part, but he still doesn’t seem enthusiastic to answer to the families of victims who are upset with him.

    That is all.

  • And Mark, are you a respected professional? Are you a medical doctor? Are you a psychiatrist who has studied biographies, interviewed family members and others close to Bush, and studied years of the public record on Bush?

    That’s what I thought.

    That is all.

  • Bob A Booey

    Lets see if I can follow this logic. You say your reference to the doctor diagnosing Bush from “afar” was a poke in the ribs so to speak. Not to be taken seriously in other words.

    Then you turn around and say you support his theory.

    Can’t have it both ways guy. You either believe he’s a crackpiot looking to jump on “bash Bush in a book” bandwagon.

    Or he’s not, and believe what he says and agree with his diagnosis. To use your words, “You’re really a silly fellow.”

    While I’m here lets look at this:

    And there have been multiple press reports about how the Bush administration won’t allow the media to cover pictures of caskets returning from battle and about how long it took for Bush to agree to meet the 9/11 widows and the families of dead soldiers.

    To be fair, hmmm…, you should point out the casket policy was started by Clinton and only extended by Bush. Why wasn’t it an issue then? Or perhaps the good doctor you note also has diagnosed Clinton also.

    Secondly you note time it took Bush to meet any families. It’s widely reported he has meet with 900 Iraq families. How much time?

    Even if he started with the first casualty that would mean he would have to have met with more than one a day since. It’s safe to assume he didn’t start on “day one” so simple math instructs he has met more than one a day (presuming they are one at a time and not in groups). Need I mention the shear number (900) should dispel any thoughts of “grief avoidence.?

    Sorry guy there is no “family-mourner grief anxiety” here.

    And no I’m not any of the things listed in comment #14. But the evidence points to one crackpot doctor who looked to capitize and make a few bucks.

    Now answer my question you skillfully avoided.

    Would you accept his type of diagnosis for your family members?

  • Shark

    Shark nods off and a small cloud appears over his head…




    [Bush caught butt-fucking a nine year old girl]

    A Certain Garrulous Blogcritic GOP Apologist: “Bush was only trying to show compassion by giving her a colon exam using his penis…”


    [Bush caught blowing a dead dog’s dick]

    A Certain Garrulous Blogcritic GOP Apologist: “Bush was trying to revive one of God’s creatures by using a CPR technique he learned while in Vietnam…”


    [Bush caught beating a retarded elderly person with a sledge hammer…]

    A Certain Garrulous Blogcritic GOP Apologist: “He had a headache… and Bush was only trying to relieve the pressure…”


    [Bush caught lying about every fucking thing he does, including going to war in Iraq and anticipating Katrina’s destruction along the coast…]

    A Certain Garrulous Blogcritic GOP Apologist: “Before he was elected, Bush told you he loved “nation-building” — and a few southern states filled with negroes don’t qualify as a nation…”]


  • And I feel compelled to add and in keeping to the title of this post (“Getting Those Priorities Straight”)

    Where’s the OUTRAGE:

    “This was the worst night of my life,” one mother said.

    At one point, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses rolled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line – much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the stinking Superdome since Sunday.

    “How does this work? They (are) clean, they are dry, they get out ahead of us?” exclaimed Howard Blue, 22, who tried to get in their line. The National Guard blocked him as other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage.

    Mayor Ray Nagin has used the hotel as a base since it is across the street from city hall, and there were reports the hotel was cleared with priority to make room for police, firefighters and other officials.

    National Guard Capt. John Pollard called the decision to move the Hyatt people to the head of the line “very poor.”

    Care to comment, or just fire shots at Bush and not where much of the problem originated?

  • Shark

    I’m surprised Bush didn’t just go in and carry ’em all out on his back; according to marc, the motherfucker walks on water.

  • No he leaves that for you Shark.

  • Marc, if only your intellect matched your level of manic energy.

    There was no “casket photo” official policy in the Clinton administration. It’s not an on-the-record policy on the Bush administration — it’s something they’ve informally declared to the media is not going to happen ever, at all.

    Psychobiography of public leaders is difficult because you’re not sitting down with them on the couch (nor would they submit to such examination), but it probably still provides more insight into their character (if not any specific diagnoses) than any other sort of writing about Presidents does.

    The book isn’t a specific diagnosis, it’s a general psychological profile. And I think those can be very effective — the CIA uses psychobiography from a distance to profile foreign leaders and terrorists and the FBI does the same for serial killers and other criminals. If you’re trained in psychiatry and know the methods, I don’t see why it can’t provide better understanding.

    Of course, I wouldn’t try to have my family members diagnosed from afar, but that’s a silly, loaded question. They’re not celebrities so a physician would not have access to information about their speech, biography, and contacts to people close to them as is the case with public officials like W.

    It’s a stupid question, which is why I didn’t notice the first time it was asked. There’s no skill in evading your stupidity there, I assure you.

    Find me evidence of this “900 families” claim. Find me a link to ANY article.

    Most reports I’ve read have indicated that Bush will not meet with families who are critical of the war, was slow to meet with victims until fairly recently in the war in mass gatherings, and was unwilling to answer questions in front of 9/11 widows who wanted more transparency from the administration.

    That is all.

  • dive2day

    I have to thank Bob and Shark above for the best laugh I’ve enjoyed in days. Absolutely wonderful replies to the raving, acid attacks from Marc.

    Here’s an idea: let’s have a talk show with Bob and Shark on one panel and the manic Marc on the other. It’ll be on the comedy channel. Let’s do it during Lott’s impeachment hearing and the ratings will soar!

    The fact remains that Bush only mentioned Lott’s loss, and not the hundreds of thousands of other homes damaged. May that be because he gets so much campaign money via Lott? Let’s watch the accounting too! I bet that we the taxpayer end up paying for Trent’s new abode.

  • dive2day

    Sorry. I made an error above – I meant Bush’s impeachment hearing. If we can try to impeach Clinton for lying about adultry, then we should do the same to Bush for the same crime. Only Bush’s lies resulted in killing people. First Iraq and now NOLA. Isn’t the body count high enough yet? About 2,000 US in Iraq (10,000 maimed), 200,000 plus Iraqis + 10,000 (?) right here at home.

    Of course, we will leave this out of the comedy routine… Not too funny… And Marc – feel free to acid attact me personally as I will not be returning to this blog in the future, and won’t see your comments there. Again, thanks for the amusement! Bob’s one liner: “Marc, if only your intellect matched your level of manic energy” is one of the best I have ever read.