Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Bush/Katrina Instant Replay!

Throughout American households, the instant replay has become an institution among sports viewers. The NFL adopted instant replay in 1999, and it is hard to imagine what professional football would be like without it, as fans have come to rely on advances in video technology to make sure that officials get the calls right. The NBA adopted a limited version of instant replay in 2003, with equally positive acceptance. Even ice skating, in the wake of judging scandals during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, adopted a new scoring method that includes video review by judges to assess critical elements of technique. At this point, instant replay through video review is woven into the fabric of our lives and there are very few people who would argue against the value of believing what you see on the videotape, rather than what someone else tells you they saw as it was happening!

This is why the recently discovered videotapes of George Bush being briefed on the possible impact of Hurricane Katrina are so important. The briefings in the video took place on August 28, 2005, the day before Katrina made landfall, and August 29,2005, shortly after the hurricane hit. Think Progress has the complete timeline here.

The briefing was followed several days later by Bush’s famous, and now apparently obvious, lie during an interview with Diane Sawyer on September 1, 2005:

I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees

At the time, most of us in the reality-based community knew this was a load of bullshit, but there was no video available at the time, so we couldn’t look at the “instant replay” in order to prove it.

Now there is!

Bush recently made the following statement, during a February 28, 2006 interview with Elizabeth Vargas:

Listen, here's the problem that happened in Katrina. There was no situational awareness, and that means that we weren't getting good, solid information from people who were on the ground, and we need to do a better job. One reason we weren't is because communications systems got wiped out, and in many cases we were relying upon the media, who happened to have better situational awareness than the government.

Unfortunately for the President, this time we aren’t forced to accept his “bad call” as the newly released videotape allows us to immediately review the “instant replay”. In football parlance, we can see if there is “indisputable visual evidence” that Bush was lying, and it certainly appears we have such evidence. And because we are so used to believing our eyes when we go to the videotape, I doubt there is a red-blooded, meat-eatin’, Budweiser-swillin’, conservative anywhere in the country who can argue that we are better off ignoring the videotape when it’s right in front of our eyes! (Ok, maybe a Patriots fan, but that’s another story!)

At this point, we need to make sure that everyone in the country sees this video in connection with Bush’s statements. Every liberal with a Video I-pod, a Sony Playstation Portable,

or a laptop – any device that holds digital video - should download the video (Windows Media, Quicktime)and don’t hesitate to pull it out for the “instant replay” any time the topic arises in conversation – particularly with any conservative sports fan!

The appropriate conclusion to reach is that the “instant replay” shows there is indisputable visual evidence that George Bush lied about his knowledge of the potential (and for several days, the actual) impact of Katrina. Even the NFL announcers on Fox Sports would have to agree!


  1. That is a great idea. I needed an excuse to buy a new "video" ipod. Downloading episodes of American Idol just was enough incentive.

    But now I can load every clip of Bush's disaster of a Presidency - every single lie.

    Oh shoot - I'll have to wait for the terabyte ipod to come out to have enough space.

  2. Bush looked like a deer in the headlights, along with everyone else in the chain of governance. Blanco is on camera asserting hours after the hurricane had passed that the levies were holding (and on camera crying in a corner). Nagin has appeared quasi-mayoral since the hurricane, but when thousands upon thousands lay in the path of Katrina it didn't occur to him or anyone else on his staff to make use of the dozens of school buses that ended up underwater to facilitate evacuation. Thus Bush is not uniquely responsible for this disaster...everyone with the possible exception of Hailey Barbour screwed up. Nor was this a uniquely black catastrophe ("so black"). When the race of the whole city is taken into account a proportionally larger number of whites than blacks died. This was a tragedy, plain and simple. It was not a crime.

  3. Lost Wages Joe10:51 AM

    Hey AnonCon, nice try at deflecting the blame and changing the subject. No doubt plenty of individual pols and bureacrats share some blame in the Katrina disaster, but I think seenos' point was that BUSH LIED, and this time no one can make a case that he didn't.
    Now, if you're a good little Republican, you will now respond that Clinton lied, and that good little Dems like me defended him even when we all knew he lied. And you'd be right, for what it's worth. But as is the case with his lies that got us into Iraq, Bush's lies get innocent people killed. And in my book, that's a crime.

  4. Lost Wages Joe10:53 AM

    P.S.: Nice call on Pats' fans, by the way. TUCK RULE MY ASS!!!

  5. Way to go Joe.

    By the Way those school busses that everyone keeps talking about, they are driven by low wage part-time drivers - who in no way have responsibility to stay after a mandatory evacuation has been called. It was their responsibility to get themselves and their families out of harms way.

    Bush and FEMA on the other hand had promised to bring convoy's of busses to help in the evacuation.
    They never came!

    AnonCon what is your source for saying that more whites than blacks died? We still don't have any accurate count of the dead and there are thousands still missing.

  6. Proportionally more whites died.\Nation\archive\200512\NAT20051214b.html I'll qualify this by pointing out that CNS is a conservative news outlet, but if the statistics had gone in the other direction can anyone honestly say it would not have been front page news?

  7. Come on AC that story is lame and Cybercast News is probably the most right wing so called "news" site out there. The "story is from Dec. 15 so even if the numbers were remotely accurate then, they certainly are not now.

    This is quite a reach in order to try and deflect the blame.

    You are too bright to use this as your main argument.

  8. CNS News, huh? Swell source. By the way, the earth is flat. Here's my source:

    Thank you for qualifying CNS News as a "conservative news outlet." When Fox isn't conservative enough for you, you've got CNS.

    And personally, as a progressive, I don't believe it was about race, per se. I believe it was about an inept president and a corrupt administration continuing to lie, lie, and lie some more.

  9. You got it, Buzz! It wasn't about race.

    It was about the fact that George Bush doesn't like to waste his "beautiful mind" on anything that isn't going to make him and his buddies a boatload of money!

  10. I think we are supposed to excuse all the lies and ineptness because Bush said that he would be praying for "those people" down in New Orleans.

  11. I just put this up over at Daily Kos, so if you've got time to give it a recommend, I'd appreciate it.

  12. Many on the left seem to have this notion that it is all about money, that the Bush Republicans are made up of the sort of fat cat caricatures that step out of a monopoly. As regards foreign policy in particular but aspects of domestic policy as well, it is not money but ideology that drives decision-making. Whether you believe it to be better or worse (read The Assassin's Gate for a brilliant exposition on the pitfalls of ideology), the fact remains that it was not no-bid contracts or oil wealth that drove Bush and his 'vulcans' but a Hegelian devotion to advancing democracy.

    As per Katrina, many on the right have argued (and not without merit) that a dependence on government for financial and other support is the reason people were incapable of taking care of themselves before, during and after the hurricane. In a middle class or affluent community, people would have loaded up on necessities and sat out the storm or, if necessary, facilitated their own evacuation. In New Orleans, hundreds of thousands expected the government to do such things for them. That's why when people were given debit cards to fund clothing and necessities a large number bought entertainment and luxury goods instead. It is the essence of a dependency culture.

  13. That should read "step out of a Monopoly gameboard."

  14. So why not advance policies intended to help more of the poor to reach the middle class - allow them to get an education that will facilitate an ability to take care of themselves? We were doing just that under Bill Clinton!

  15. NCLB was an attempt to do just that. Understand public school reform is aimed at improving the lives of those who cannot afford private school, ie middle and toiling classes. The same goes for allowing taxpayers to keep more of their money. That extra few hundred dollars may seem like a pittance, but to a lot of people its a car payment, bills, etc. This is not to defend any and everything, only to point out that rhetoric about 'lies' and demonization obscures the truth that, by and large, each side of the political spectrum simply advancing different means of reaching what are essentially shared goals.

  16. It easy to call for civil discourse when your party is the one screwing everything up.

    The means here are everything. Just last night I heard one of the Republican talking heads say on "Scarborough" that the reason it is OK for the US to have a huge Nuclear weapons program is because when we dropped the bomb it for peaceful purposes.

    Is that what you mean by different means?

  17. We dropped the bombs to end a conflict, to prevent the deaths of our soldiers and indeed more Japanese. Ahmadinejad and his Iranian cohorts want the bomb for three reasons, to act with impunity within Iran, to increase the power of the theocracy outside its borders, and to menace Israel. Ahmadinejad is a true believer and if he believes that the means to bring about the return of the Twelfth Imam is to blow up Tel Aviv he WILL do so. The hyperbole of Scarborough Country notwithstanding, there is a difference between the American bomb and its counterparts in the nondemocratic world.

  18. yzaauzs7:30 PM

    It really strikes me as very strange the difference of how people have been treated in Katrina and 9/ll.
    Because many of those killed in 9/11 had families of means, efforts were made to compensate those families for the loss of potential money they would have acquired had their loved one not been killed. Where as in Katrina, the people were bare scraped off rooftops and bodies were left floating in the water for days. It is very hard to understand anyone blaming the people hit by Katrina. Whether they like it or not governments are to protect the people, and that means all the people. This administration has shown its true colors so often that we cannot believe they even care for this nation at all. How could they and make the decisions that are coming down. It's all too sad to face what is really happening here.

  19. Is not Bush a true believer chosen by god to spread democracy by force.

    It is all a matter of perspective. We like Democracy and are mostly Christian so we think what we are doing is right.

    But the facts are that we dropped hundreds of bombs during shock and awe and have killed thousands of innocent Iraqi's.

    Four years later all three countries of the "Axis of Evil" are more dangerous than they ever were.

    This approach to spreading Democracy is not working and it is making the U.S. and the World less safe.

    The "means" we should use to spread domocracy is to be an example to the world of what a great democratic society should be.
    This administration with its Republican Senate and Congress had a chance to prove that their ideas are the best course. Instead we are mired with one monumental scandal after another. They have managed to take what was a fairly even split in the country and turn it into a 25 point deficit in public opinion.

    The progressives are now the mainstream.

  20. To compare Bush to Ahmadinejad and then declare that your views are 'mainstream' goes to show the distance between the left and reality. There is a fundamental difference between trying to free countries from beneath a tyrannical grip and trying to spread such a tyrannical grip. People called Iraq a quagmire two weeks after the invasion was launched. That does not make it so. There was a real concern as late as 1948 that Europe was going to go Communist. The history of OIF is being written on the fly, and while no doubt grievous mistakes were made only posterity will be able to decide whether the decision was right or wrong. In the interests of time I will simply link to a longer exposition on the subject ( but riddle me this. If not assertive democracy, than what? Realism? A dogmatic adherence to a multilateralism that has proven itself inept at dealing with aggression, genocide, and even nation-building? It is in our moral and strategic interests to promote democracy. In the short-term this may be more dangerous (Iraqi insurgency, Hamas, etc etc) but this is not a strategy for the short term and it never has been.

  21. Giraffe7:16 AM

    I agree this war is not a strategy for the short term and it never has been. There is too much war profiteering to let that happen.

    I believe that the American people now have a chance to live out democracy in our country if they face the reality that our present danger is we will loose what we have if we do not change course. The present course, is disasterous for us and for the world because it is based on economic greed and nothing more. It is based on death and war machines.

  22. Lost Wages Joe10:49 AM

    We'll find-out in November whether we progressives are "mainstream" or not. Being a pessimist by nature, I suspect that AnonCon is probably correct in his implication that we are still in the minority, but every day Bush and his cronies are pushing more people into our camp, so who knows?