Friday, September 9


Despite the negative publicity Dubya has received for his lackluster response to the disaster called Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, he's as resolute as ever in "staying the course" -- in other words, it's business as usual for the administration. Here are just a few examples:

(1) Bush used the excuse of "a national emergency" to issue an executive order allowing federal contractors to pay substandard wages to construction workers working on the reconstruction and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

(2) BushCo continues to grant lucrative contracts, this time for Katrina-related work, to their pet business cronies. Kenyon International is a case in point. The Bush-connected company landed the contract to remove the bodies from New Orleans.

That's the same disaster management group which is owned by SCI Corp, whose chairman is Bush contributor and friend Robert Waltrip. Well, why not? When you're as accident prone as this administration, it's handy to have a few pals standing by to help out. For its part, SCI bills itself as "the largest provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services in North America", although others remember it more fondly as the firm at the centre of the scandal (lazily) dubbed "Funeralgate". That was an investigation into alleged unlicensed embalming, which almost brought the then Governor Bush to the stand when an ousted investigator sued the state. The case was settled and has since been largely forgotten. That's all right, then.

ยท Incidentally, Kenyon was also called to action in Iraq and New York after September 11.

More here.

You can bet Bush won't expect Halliburton and Kenyon and other Bush/Cheney business cronies to accept cut-rate fees for THEIR work.

(3) Bush is playing his usual sleight-of-hand by shifting blame from his own administration's failures to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, while praising Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a Republican. Avoiding the mostly-black New Orleans, he has been photographed strolling along the mostly-white Mississippi Gulf Coast.

(4) Bush has pledged to conduct his own investigation into the failures of emergency management in the aftermath of Katrina.

If this follows the pattern of his so-called search for the administration leaker who exposed a covert CIA agent's cover to revenge her husband's criticism of the war in Iraq, he will look everywhere except in his own house.

(5) After a week of candid and courageous news coverage exposed the failures of FEMA and the lack of leadership asserted by the president, the administration has declared a sort of "media martial law," forbidding the photographing of the dead and barring journalists from areas that just days earlier were open to them.

These are merely a few among many incidents and actions that illustrate the fact that Bush is a man-child who operates from a very limited playbook. It's as if Karl Rove is a coach who understands that his star quarterback is of limited intelligence and ability and so designs a mere half-dozen plays to be repeated ad nauseum. But hey, it's worked so far, hasn't it?


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