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Gustav Gongs GOP RNC

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The Gong Show was an old campy talent show (parody) where panelists would pull out a mallet and gong the most gruesome acts while the audience booed. Americans of a certain age will recall it as parody that made fun of the American obsession with “no talent, talent.”  But today’s potential headline: “It’s all about Gustav and the state of Louisiana” is no laughing matter. It has also been called the mother of all storms. But I was skeptical because there will never be another Katrina. Women are stronger than men.

Gustav Will Be Great, No Doubt, but Gustav You Are No Katrina.

The fact that Gustav puts the RNC on the backburner made some folks gloat that God must be a Democrat and politicos with power can’t get away with saying that, but you can. The other headline was that Bush made his way to Crawford, Texas instead of the RNC when the storm was approaching Cat 3 (just downgraded to a Cat 2) and confirmed that it was taking direct aim at the Gulf. And once the mass hits land it will begin to lose strength. The impact however could be in the oil fields. They could be more impacted by Gustav than they were by Katrina because of its tracking path due West. Expect gas to go up and McCain's poll numbers to go down.

The RNC is also feeling the winds of this misery: California’s governor has announced that he will not attend the RNC due to the budget crisis in California. But President Bush announced earlier this week that he and Cheney would not be in attendance. Bush has set up shop in Crawford to be closer to command central so that he can better direct FEMA and get to the coast when the coast is clear.

No Bush, No Problem

Bush is sending Laura (who should have been the VP pick) in his stead. Bush and Cheney will be sorely missed at the RNC. And some are spinning this as good news for the McCain camp—no Bush, no problem.

In case you were wondering if Heloise was taking this seriously see my old articles because I have more relatives living in New Orleans (pronounced nuwallens) than Chicago. So I’ve called them and they have moved to higher ground or to a second home in another state. That’s the good news, but the bad news is exactly where this storm is going to score: bull eye to the west side of New Orleans!

That’s an even worse track than Katrina and higher flood waters are predicted as the levees are overtopped by the storm surge. Officials are begging everyone to leave who has not left. In fact state that they will NOT rescue anyone left behind in the city. Kudos to Mayor Nagin and Gov. Jindal for evacuating nearly two million people from Louisiana, Nagin threatened looters with Angola. He said they would go straight to prison if caught looting, no exceptions. I wondered aloud if that threat was legal. But black people get the message and nearly no one is left in the French Quarters except Anderson Cooper.

The news coming out of western New Orleans is not good: the levees may not hold.  However, it has been downgraded to a Cat 2 as of 9:00 ET. It should be making landfall soon and track up into Texas and right through the Dallas/Fort Worth area but we will barely see rain here. The good news is that Georgia and nearby states had been in the grips of a deep drought that could be helped by rain.

The gossip on the blogs was that the GOP prayed for rain on Obama’s acceptance speech. What a surprise. They have made no secret of holding their nose as they speak Obama’s name and the fate that they hope might befall him. They are digging a ditch that they seemed to have fallen into.  Clearly the weather gods were watching over the DNC in Denver. There was no rain on that parade even though it seemed to be threatening the day before. Some crowing a cliché “Be careful what you wish for.” But there is no need to seek vengeance because it is the people of the south and the country who will ultimately suffer the bills that will come out of this tragedy.

The world will be watching and polling the impact of the GOP convention and what kind of bounce or bump McCain/Palin gets out of this unconventional convention.  Americans have boosted confidence in the Bush people to handle the aftermath of this hurricane. But I still can’t help wondering where will the greatest impact be felt this time, in our wallets or in our hearts?   

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About Heloise

  • Two things: 1. You’re right, Laura should have been VP pick. And 2. Geraldo is still in New Orleans, standing on levees like a crazed man. I think I’ll shut down my computer and grab a Long Island iced tea now.

  • Clavos

    Laura Welch, the individual, would have been a GREAT pick; unfortunately being Mrs. GWB would have made her an enormous liability, through no fault of her own.

    A shame. I think she’s one of the most sensible and decent people in American politics.

  • bliffle

    Watching TV I see that they’re evacuating New Orleans because of the hurricane that’s coming. Other Gulf Coast towns too, I hear.

    What a great idea! Better than taking a couple hundred million bucks back from the Iraq Invasion budget to fix up the levees. Why, taking $200million out of the $10billion monthly Iraq budget would undermine our ability to bomb remote Afghan villages back into the stone age and increase our Body Count (we all know how important that high body count is from it’s success in helping us win the Vietnam war).

    Watching TV I see that some people are moaning and groaning because our latest bombing raid killed 60 children and a bunch of women. So what? Their bodies count, too, don’t they? Same scoring rules as Vietnam.

    The evacuation strategy is brilliant! I can see that this is the kind of deep-thinking thoughtful strategy that is typical of our wondrous administration in DC. Don’t fix things, just evacuate the victims. Since they’ll have to pay motel owners in other states for habitation it will enrich the economy. And it’s all privatized. Whoopeee!

    GWB is going to pull this thing out of the fire yet! Have faith, all you doubters!

    So this must be the strategy for the entire country: evacuate everyone in the country to Canada. So GWB made a few little mistakes in the last 7 years (ruined the economy, destroyed our international reputation, devalued the dollar by half, blew a $trillion bankroll on a fruitless unneccessary war 10,000 miles from home) a few little tiny mistakes. we can fix it all up by evacuating everyone to Canada!

    And people STILL complain about the Bush administration!

    We’ll surge northward, 300 million strong Americans! Who can stop us? A few mounties in red coats? Don’t make me laugh. We’ll surge right over them! We’ll take Canada back from the funny-talking usurpers that live there now and always act so snooty. We’ll have them speaking proper american shortly. No more of that pretentious “abooooot” stuff, just the plain old 100% ‘merican language (plus a little Mexican, amigo!).

    We can give the country back to the indians, just like we’ve been threatening to do! The world will learn to fear us for our threats, instead of always kicking the USA around with their damn One World UN tricks and their French manners!

    And if the indians don’t WANT the country back (I suppose they’ll complain that we wore it all out, polluted the streams, killed all the buffalo, etc.) well that’s just tough! We’re not going to mollycoddle those deadbeats any more! We’re not gonna let you indians across our border into our sacred motherland of Canada! And none of those damn Mexicans, either!

    It’s brilliant! we solve the indian reservation problem and the Mexican immigration problem in one move!

    Plus, we get all those fresh natural resources to exploit. New oil fields, new gas fields, new mining options.

    We’ll have to acculturate and assimilate the pesky Canadian natives that are so backward, but we have 400 years of experience doing that in the Old 48 that we will be leaving behind. We have to suppress their desire to rebel. We’ll do it for their own good, so their objections are irrelevant.

    I think that I have finally decoded the Bush strategy for the marvelous plan that it is: Leave the Old 48 a smoking ruined wreck that no Evildoers would dare inhabit (a sanitary corridor, as it were) and move all the USA civilians north to Canada to start a new frontier nation with no government control of business, no taxes (except a few taxes on liberals to subsidize the oil business), and no OSHA!

    Oh Canada, our Motherland. Here we come!

  • jamminsue

    Biffle, what a great idea! – NOT

  • Cannonshop

    I got a better idea. Move those people out of that below-sea-level hole. Seriously- twice in three years? how many times in the last twenty? Culture is a thing you can bring WITH YOU. There are lots of ports in the U.S. that don’t get slagged every few years by weather. New Orleans is BELOW SEA LEVEL. It’s also located in hurricanes central. It’s been below sea level since the last century at least-there comes a point where the rest of us who pay taxes shouldn’t be paying because someone chose the stupidest geographic and geological spot on the map to put their house.

  • Clavos


    I’m not trying to be argumentative here, but no matter how well the various governments prepare for a direct hit by a major (Cat 3 or above) hurricane, evacuation is still a good idea, because there is nothing anyone can do about the water, both from rain and, more importantly, the surge.

    I’ve lived through hurricanes here in Florida since my teens, and the state and local governments (which are far more important in hurricane prep than the feds) have required evacuation for almost 20 years now, since Andrew, in ’92.

    In low lying areas like the north Gulf coast and all of Florida, no amount of prep or building codes (ours, since Andrew are the strongest in the nation), drainage systems, pumps and floodgates are adequate to hold back a big storm surge. For safety’s sake, evacuation is the only sure way to prevent massive casualties.

    FYI, even “mandatory” evacuation orders are optional; the government cannot force you to leave your home, and many people don’t, including my wife and me, before she was paralyzed. Now, we evacuate to a friend’s house which is built on the highest point in the county, and which he’s equipped with state of the art, top grade shutters and a generator; we’ve now ridden out three storms there (including Wilma, in ’05, a Cat3 here), in perfect comfort and safety. But, if you don’t have access to that kind of shelter, evacuation is the best defense.

  • Clavos


    I advocated not rebuilding NOLA right here on BC after Katrina; you can tell how much of an impression I made.

    I go further: I don’t think that people whose homes are seriously damaged (+50%) or destroyed should be allowed to rebuild in the same area, if for no other reason than it’s not fair to homeowners in areas not subjected to hurricanes, floods etc. whose insurance premiums go up when the insurance companies sustain multi-billion dollar losses in these catastrophes.

    NOLA isn’t the only town that shouldn’t have been rebuilt; most of Florida and all the towns along the faults in CA, as well as towns subject to repeated flooding on any river also shouldn’t be rebuilt.

    Try selling that idea…

  • Cannonshop

    Can’t sell it, Clavos, at least not in its entirety. Might be able to point out that some places (Chronic disaster areas) maybe shouldn’t be rebuilt, at least with Federal money, nor should insurers be required to insure those areas. Let people take their risks, but let them eat the consequences OF those risks. A fixed dollar-limit on what Federal Relief, and a waiver system might be a good option- i.e. if you’re too stubborn to leave, then you have to sign a waiver before the site is released, and if it happens again, you pay out of your own damn pocket.

    Disaster relief should be one time event, not a great way to get a new kitchen.

  • bliffle

    The least we could do is to stop politicians from going to the flood area. All they do is screw things up when they’re there. They make a big fuss, wreck everyones schedule, and then leave without accomplishing anything.

    Maybe we have to send some Border Patrol guys to stop them at the border.

  • troll

    …the Minutemen perhaps

  • Cannonshop

    Damned if that isn’t dead to rights, Bliffle. Politicians should NEVER be allowed near a disaster until the people who do the REAL work are finished-the damage just from the Entourage, and the snarling of traffic from the ‘security’ screw everything up for hours.