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August 31, 2005
Dome to Dome

I'm sorry, but there's something just too ridiculous about moving thousands of people from the Superdome to the Astrodome.

Personally, if I had been stuck in the cesspool that the is now the Superdome and the feds finally came along and said, "Hey! Good news! We're loading you into buses and driving you 350 miles to another dome!" I would freak out.

"Oh, and you may be living in this dome for the next 3 months or so."


Meanwhile, Nero had this to say... "we are dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history."

Which apparently is just barely enough to get him to even act like he's doing his job.

More Disaster
The death toll rose to more than 800 this morning after rumors of a suicide bomber led to a stampede in a vast procession of Shiite pilgrims as they crossed a bridge on their way to a shrine in northern Baghdad.

Most of the dead were crushed or suffocated, witnesses said, but many also fell or jumped into the Tigris River after the panicking crowd broke through the bridge's railings.

The pilgrims were among a throng of hundreds of thousands who had converged on the capital over the preceding day to mark the anniversary of the death of Imam Musa al-Kadhim, one of Shiite Islam's holiest figures.

Fear had begun spreading in the crowd an hour earlier, after insurgents fired rockets and mortars near the shrine, killing seven pilgrims and wounding two dozen, and leading to a counter-attack by American military helicopters.

But the stampede, which caused the greatest one-day loss of life since the American invasion in March 2003, appears to have been caused by unfounded rumors of a man wearing a suicide belt in the crowd.

At least 841 were killed and at least 323 people were injured, an Interior Ministry official said early this evening in Baghdad.

New York Times

August 30, 2005
Bush's Hurricane Day

As is typical with just about everything, the longer you look at the hurricane disaster, the more you loathe George W. Bush.

Here's what Bush was doing today...


AMERICAblog is doing a great job, as always, of keeping up with everything.

Here's the worst one: it seems that the program that Congress authorized to prepare for just this kind of event, the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA, was basically defunded by the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts. More from Editor & Publisher.

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: “It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

Truly unbelievable. He still hasn't gone back to Washington, instead spending one last night in Crawford.

It's absolutely amazing that anyone supports this schmuck. Idiots.


new orleans

My god.. What a disaster.

So not only is New Orleans now 80% under water, but hordes of smiling, shirtless sons of bitches feel like the proper response is to break into stores and steal everything they can get their hands on. Thousands of people are risking their lives to try to save others, and these guys are stealing DVD players.

Where the hell is the National Guard? Oh yeah... they're in IRAQ.

Word is the president is cutting short his vacation to go back to Washington to deal with the hurricane. Americablog raises an interesting point on this. We've been led to believe that the president has all the high-tech communication equipment necessary to run the country from Crawford. He's not really "on vacation" for nearly an entire year out of five, he's working! It's "White House West." Why then, does he have to "cut short" his vacation to deal with the hurricane? It's one or the other - either he can do everything from Crawford or he can't.

Anyway, he's an asshole and we all knew that. This isn't about him.

Donate if you can.

August 29, 2005
Havoc! Please?

Well, I'm back, jet-lagged awake at 5am, and have been watching the TV coverage of Hurricane Katrina for a little while.

It's really something: not the power of this massive storm, impressive as that may be. What's really fascinating is the barely contained enthusiasm the TV people have for the destruction this storm could cause. The eye of the storm looks like it's passing a bit to the east of New Orleans, sparing that city the worst of it, and they seem a little disappointed.

The senior Senator from Louisiana was just on CNN scolding the close to 100,000 people who are still in New Orleans for not following warnings to evacuate. She stopped just short of saying they deserve what they get. No mention of the fact that not everyone can just hop in a car, or a taxpayer-funded limousine and take off.

She also took the opportunity to make a pitch for more federal funding for her state. Classy.

Anyway, we'll all keep watching the storm, most of us actually hoping that it's not as bad as predicted. TV newspeople though, are going to be pissed if they wasted all that money on those terrifying graphics. For their sake, let's hope for some pretty good devastation, but limited loss of life. That would be perfect, from a ratings perspective.

August 27, 2005
Ici le WiFi!

(n.b. - that's pronounced "wee-fee". it's much funnier that way.)

Back online, waiting for the first of three flights home.

In the meantime, may I recommend that you go "whhhhhaaaaaa??" while looking at this?

(via Luke)..

August 18, 2005
Ou est le WiFi?

Oh hi. So, I'm in France. Next week, I'll be in Italy, possibly, maybe Switzerland, or possibly still in France.

So that's why I haven't posted in a while.

France is nice. They have an interesting version of Freedom over here, but they don't seem interested in its being on the march, so, it's weird. Anyway, the wine is good.

Enjoy my vacation.

August 11, 2005
Cabbie Nabs Baddies, CBS Pens Crap Article in Response

This is a pointless, completely uninteresting story.

But wow, it sure is poorly written!

Officials say the Hyattes were still on the lam when Wagers drove them to Columbus, Ohio.

But he says little they said or did made him think anything was amiss.

"The cover story they gave me didn't really seem to wash too much," Wagers told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith Thursday. "I mean, I could kinda see through that. But I had no indication that these guys were really dangerous or they were on the run."


Didn't he notice that the woman was injured? "I didn't notice anything 'til we had gotten there. When I was dropping them off at the hotel room, she was favoring one side. I don't know actually where she was injured at. But she said … she'd gotten banged up in a car wreck she was in. It didn't raise any further suspicion."

Who's asking questions here? The article?

Strangely, there's no byline. But there is a photo of the exterior of the hotel where they were caught.


Don't Mean a Thing

Things that seem like a good idea, but are really much more annoying than they are useful: Cling Wrap.

August 8, 2005
Plug: Nextbook Podcast

Allow me to herewith offer a little plug for my dear friend Laurel Snyder's recent foray into the land of podcasting.

In keeping with her position as a professional jew, she has been doing interviews and the like for Nextbook, "A gateway to Jewish literature, culture, & ideas." It's quite good.

Word on the street is there may be some really, seriously cool episodes coming soon, but you'll only get to hear them if you subscribe to the feed.

** End Plug **

August 5, 2005

blue angels

It's that time of year again! Every August, Seattle is treated to 4 days of being under attack by jet fighters in the form of the Blue Angels performing at Sea Fair. Aptly described by a friend as "sky NASCAR", these giant wastes of taxpayers dollars whiz around the city at like 300 feet all weekend, scaring the bejeeezus out of everybody.

It's. Really. Really. LOUD.

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't enjoy fighter jets screaming around the city. It makes me uneasy. Call me crazy.

For more fun, see the Blue Angels' Frequently Asked Questions. You get the feeling that some of these questions aren't frequently asked, but that they made the question just up to have a place to put the answer.

How much fuel is used over the course of a year, including transportation, training, etc.?

Over a one-year period, the squadron, including Fat Albert, uses approximately 3.1 million gallons of fuel


What is the distance under Fat Albert's propellers to the ground?

The distance under Fat Albert’s propellers to the ground is approximately six feet.

Damn! 6 feet?! I was just going to frequently ask that!

I love the military-speak-ness of these questions and answers. It's all so.... military.

How do team members deal with the time away from home?

Individuals are made aware that they will be away from home a lot before they volunteer for duty with the team and are selected based on their ability to cope with, not only family separation, but with a strenuous practice and show schedule. Additionally, the Navy, Blue Angels, and civilian communities at Pensacola and El Centro provide a family-type support network.

Ah yes. A family-type support network. That's the best kind.

August 1, 2005
Does a Body Good

bolton and bush

Predictably, President Bush today thumbed his nose at the nomination process and highly credible, widely shared concerns over his candidates suitability and appointed John Bolton as Ambassador to the U.N. while Congress was looking the other way. The President was heard to remark, "Heh heh heh."

President Bush bypassed the Senate and installed John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Monday over protests by Democrats that the combative critic of the world body would hurt U.S. credibility.

Five months after nominating Bolton, Bush appointed him in a subdued White House Roosevelt Room ceremony with Bolton beside him and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice standing nearby.

"This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform. So today I've used my constitutional authority to appoint John Bolton as America's ambassador to the United Nations," Bush said.


This recess appointment thing is one of the stupidest loopholes I'm aware of. But of course neither side wants to close it because they both enjoy exploiting it when it suits their needs.

Regardless, we're stuck with this jackass as our ambassador to the rest of the world— a group he admits to having next to no respect for— at least until early 2007.

Maybe now that he has an important job, though, he'll wipe that damn milk mustache off. Jeez. That must have been some big glass of milk.