Monday, September 1, 2008

They Held Up

Thankfully, I was wrong. The NOLA levees were overtopped and spilled some floodwaters into town, but they held up.
Hurricane Gustav slammed into the heart of Louisiana's fishing and oil industry with 110 mph winds Monday, delivering only a glancing blow to New Orleans that raised hopes the city would escape the kind of catastrophic flooding brought by Katrina three years ago.

That did not mean the state survived the storm without damage. A levee in the southeast part of the state was on the verge of collapse, and officials scrambled to fortify it. Roofs were torn from homes, trees toppled and roads flooded. More than 1 million homes were without power.
It's still billions in damage, but it could have been far worse. Thankfully it was not. It helped that Gustav was down to a strong Category 2 when it hit and not a 4 or 5, but it seems the worst is over.

It doesn't change the fact that there's still plenty of rebuilding still left to do from Katrina, and there will be plenty more to do now.

Who Picked Palin? Part 2

I said yesterday that the important question was not why Sarah palin was picked, but who in McSame's camp picked her. McClatchy News has picked up an Anchorage Daily News article that explains just who picked Sarah Palin. Hint: it still wasn't John McSame.
Last Sunday, Governor Palin and John McCain had a conversation over the phone. Governor Palin was at the Alaska State Fair, and John McCain was at his home at Phoenix. Previously, Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager, had also been in regular contact with the Governor as part of the on-going selection process.

This past week, Governor Palin arrived with Kris Perry in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Wednesday evening. Upon arrival, Governor Palin and her longtime aide Kris Perry met with Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter of the McCain campaign at Mr. Bob Delgado’s home in Flagstaff. Mr. Delgado is the CEO of the Hensley corporation, which is Mrs. Cindy McCain's family business.

On Thursday morning, Governor Palin and staff were joined by Mrs. Cindy McCain and later joined by John McCain at the McCain family home in Sedona, Arizona. At approximately 11:00 a.m. Thursday August 28, 2008, John McCain formally invited Governor Sarah Palin to join the Republican ticket as the vice presidential nominee on the deck of the McCain family home.

The people behind the selection, and vetting of Palin, were McSame's campaign manager and deputy manager and the CEO of Cindy McSame's business. John McSame? Nowhere near that meeting. The green light was given by Schmidt and Salter, not McSame. That seems like McSame was too busy to meet with her until Thursday morning. In other words, John McSame gave Sarah Palin a phone interview for the job of Vice President of the United States, and then passed it off to his campaign guys. Only after the meeting with them did McSame meet with Palin, for the first time since February.

In other words, this is all staged. Schmidt got his orders, he gave them to McSame and green lighted her for him.

McSame's not in charge of his own campaign.

Not only that, but the people that vetted her beforehand didn't actually vet her, as Josh Marshall points out at TPM:

Earlier I noted Andrea Mitchell's reference to reports that the McCain camp had just sent a team of GOP lawyers up to Alaska to do what I guess you'd call a post-vetting of Sarah Palin. Now George Stephanopoulos appears to have more. George says the McCainers are sending a "rapid response team of about ten operatives that includes lawyers" to do the aforementioned deeper vet. A lot of attention is being given to Gov. Palin's daughter's situation. The much bigger deal is the expanding trooper-gate investigation, the fact that Palin lied in her Friday speech about her purported opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere, her apparent former membership in the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, and more. Individually, you can come to your own judgment about how consequential these stories are. What they show pretty clearly now -- in addition to the news that the McCain campaign is only now sending in a vetting team -- is that John McCain didn't do any serious vetting of Palin before he invited her to join his ticket and, he hopes, become Vice President of the United States.

Fundamentally, of course, this is about John McCain. And the real issue here is what this slapdash decision says about his judgment.

In other words, Sarah Palin was a long-shot gamble and McSame is a long-shot gambler who decided that it didn't matter who his VP was, the rest of the field couldn't get him in the White House. His people went for it and hoped it worked out later. We don't know what's hiding in her past, and what we do know about her past doesn't fill me with confidence about McSame's decision making process or Sarah Palin's, for that matter.

She's turning into a disaster.

Oh, Baby...

Sarah Palin's daughter 17-year old daughter Bristol is indeed pregnant. She's keeping the kid and marrying the father. No judgment here, a baby is a beautiful thing. A 17-year old getting pregnant isn't exactly new to the universe. All the best wishes to Bristol as she becomes a mother.

But I can tell you two things however:
  1. The Dems better be damned careful around how they respond to this one (if at all), and
  2. The theory that the McSame camp didn't bother to vet Sarah Palin at all looms ever larger as more evidence piles up on that side of the ledger.
You'd think this would be something the McSame folks would want to know ahead of time.

UPDATE: The Obama camp has made it crystal clear that Bristol Palin and the rest of Sarah Palin's family is 100% off-limits. Good for him. Any attack on Palin at all along these lines and the GOP will play the misogyny card.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

What would the Republicans do if Barack Obama took time off from campaigning to head down to Mississippi and talk about the federal response to Gustav? The Village would crucify him. We'd hear how Obama was being nothing more than presumptuous, arrogant, just another uppity Negro who was above his station. "He's not in the White House yet! How dare he!"

But John McSame is a war hero who is stepping above politics now to help people in the path of Gustav, and isn't using this to his political advantage. Why are we seeing more of John McSame than President Bush right now?

You'd almost think McSame was President right now.

UPDATE: McSame certainly seems like he's the GOP's point man on Gustav. Let McSame own the failure.

Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

Over at Martini Revolution, Alex asks:
Are they really going to say “fuck my daughters right to choose, and let the schools teach her than man and dinosaurs co-existed” and pull the lever for John McCain? A man who has said he’s willing to keep their sons in Iraq for 100 years, if he doesn’t decide to expend their lives in an invasion of Iran first?
The GOP sure as hell thinks women are particularly stupid, yes.

Paper Ma-Shame

Here's a heartwarming f'ckin story from Pam at House Blend:
Will the levees hold? Recently there was an investigation that uncovered the fact that newspaper was being used by a contractor hired by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to shore up levees in St. Bernard Parish.
And when he confronted the contractor, the contractor blamed Washington for the substandard work. "He basically told me when Congress sent down the money, it would be repaired the proper way."

But during a recent trip to the area, two years later, it was apparent that didn't happen. Much of the newspaper had deteriorated or been eaten by bugs, but some still remained. In fact WWL cameras even captured the date May 21, 2006, on a page of the Parade magazine from the Times-Picayune...The Corps also says it's satisfied with the quality of work done by its contractor. When asked by WWL if there was any shoddy work involved, Wagner said, "I don't think so at all."

I have little confidence that the levees will hold.
That makes two of us. Should these things fail again today, remember who is responsible for this.

Hint: It's not the Democrats.

Watching Gustav

Watching the coverage of Gustav this morning on MSNBC. I can't believe they're talking to Mike "Heck of a job Brownie" Brown right now as some sort of expert on the situation. Then again, Brown is a huge reminder and symbol of just how broken the Bushies are.

MSNBC is now saying FEMA expects that some of the levees in the south and west may fail again. Once again this is shaping up to be a complete disaster. Thousands are left in the city. Anyone left in there is on their own. The government's not there to protect those who can't get out. Let em die, our government says. Gustav makes landfall shortly.

We'll see. Remember this Labor Day, while you get a day off (some of us) as a reward for being the most productive workers on Earth, and this is how the government treats you in return: you're on your own.

Remember, the GOP thinks this storm will be good for them.
“You don’t wish for it, but it shows McCain dealing with a surprise — a big event that has consequences on people,” a convention planner said. “It’s redemption for the Republican Party on the competence issue. The convention ends up being about John McCain showing the best way to serve a cause greater than yourself.”
Remember in November.

StupidiNews, Labor Day Edition

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