Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You Lying Sack of Shit

Author's Note: When I found that this piece was the second thing to appear on Google under my name, I considered taking it down. Of all of the tens of thousands of words I've published on Wet Bank Guide in the past year, I did not really want to be most remember for an angry rant. I also considered the impact it might have on anyone who was Googling me up for a pre-employment or other screening. On further consideration, I republished the piece.

If you are here as part of some pre-employment or other screening, let me tell you this: anyone from New Orleans who doesn't generally share these views is either mentally deficient, or is as crooked as a snake and raking in lots of recovery money under the table. Basically, if you require any discernable intelligence and honesty and you find this post abhorent, I strongly recommend you look outside New Orleans for any future employees.

Bush at Jackson Square

I'm sorry. I have to apologize for that language. It is an insult to every sack of shit currently lying the side yard of a garden center waiting to bring life to a garden. A sack of shit has its uses. I've spread my share of manure, including the bags I picked up once very cheaply only to discover that most garden center manure is "denatured" or some such process to make it less, um, fragrant. When I cracked that first bag of the really cheap stuff, I knew exactly what I was about.

A sack of shit properly applied helps bring life to the soil, to make a place bloom with flowers and tomatoes and all of the joys of a garden. The particular sack of shit above brings something, a particular version of bull shit that is denatured to the point of infertility. You can spread it around as much as you like, George, but from it nothing will grow.

You came and gave us the same damned speech you gave last November in Jackson Sqaure. Perhaps most of America, lulled into catatonic fear by lurking child murderers and burning airplanes, is fooled. We know you for what you are, a sack of shit that comes complete with the full smell, but not a bit of the stuff of life, the things we need to rebuild.

Virtually all of the money spent so far has gone to FEMA contractors, on lavish cost-plus, no-bid contracts to out of state companies close to your friends, the sort handed out by your friend the governor of Mississippi. Most people have received the couple of thousand in immediate assistance last September, which quickly went to replace the clothes on their backs and feed themselves.

Several thousand are still getting their rent covered, encouraging them not to pick themselves up and get back home and get to work. It seems, George, that the only thing the government did well is the same sort of War on Poverty stuff that you and your party have railed against for two generations. Conveniently, it keeps away from the city and state a lot of people who don't much like you to begin with, and never vote for you. As for the rest of us: as of last week, the grand total of Louisianians who have received direct compensation for their losses caused by the federal government: two. Show us the money.

You came down here and told us the same lies you told last September, the same ones you've been mouthing for a year while you prayed for a Red Alert to change the subject, so you could jump into your Eisenhower jacket and swagger around with your crop and boots. And you insulted us by suggesting to the over 200,000 people who've come back at their own expense and by the mold-stained sweat of their own brows that its their own fault they haven't gotten more money.

George, we had a plan. It was called the Baker Plan, and it would have done the difficult things we are asked to do: clean up not just individual homes but entire neighborhoods; tell some of our friends and neighbors that their areas might not come back. The only real problem with the plan was that you scuttled it and said, no, we won't do that. You said, go back to the drawing board and try again and try to figure out a way to do it that doesn't put the federal government on the hook for all the damage it caused. Fine, George. Whatever.

I guess it is our own fault, if the President says so. We're not like those industrious Mississippians who smartly elected a Republican governor, one who knows how to shake dollars out of the system even if most of those dollars go to his out of state consulting clients. We should have been sharp enough to realize that the country is run by racketeers, and bought our protection with our loyal votes, to make sure we'd get our share of the crumbs that fall out to the little guys like us. The trouble is, George, we're pretty simple down here. Not only do we lap up the foolishness of folks like Uncle Earl Long and Edwin Edwards, we even take all of that nonsense they teach us in Civics and Free Enterprise seriously. I mean, how gullible can you get.

Too bad you didn't share some of your real world experience of civics and free enterprise with the students at Warren Easton High School. It's good you picked a school for your little speech, somewhere where the students are required to sit respectfully and quietly while you shovel it up. I know you didn't want to venture out where my daughter's friend and her mother were caught in a traffic jam for your motorcade, an instant mob in which people of every race, creed, income and age stood out of their cars or leaned out their windows and unleashed a torrent of insult and profanity and interesting gestures as you went by. If you had stopped there to shake hands, as your predecessor might have, I wonder if you could find one not balled into a fist.

I have a bit of advice for you, George. I believe its what the guys people in your line of business call "enforcers" say when bets aren't covered or the protection money is overdue. Save us the sob speech and the bullshit, they say. Next time, don't show up without the money.

Oh wow, I thought this was the Wet Bank Guide--obviously I accidentally clicked Ashley's blog...


Hi, this is Mark filling into day for Angry Ashley on the Mad As Hell and Not Going To Take It Anymore show. Today's topic, which is smaller: Bush's brain or his penis?

Honestly, I had to change my default homepage from the blog to something else so my kids wouldn't run into that right away. It's not like they didn't sit and watch all of After the Levees with us, but I think I need to wait for that one to scroll away.

I also try to steer away from politics. That's not what this blog is about. But I can't afford to avoid it here, and if I don't let out the anger at the entire executive branch and a whole pack of the legislative as well, it's just going to explode.

And I imagine there were more than a few Republicans in that traffic jam I heard about. Sure the Jindals and Vitters of the world aren't going to upset the boat. The GOP is run too much along Soviet models, and dissent is not appreciated. The Commissars might take your apartment away.
Judicious prose & very well argued..
About as coherent as Spike Lee's film...
What can I say? I thought the news was that Bush said he was going to support money for coastal restoration. If he loves Bobby boy as much as you say, that could be the money we need for a long time to fix the coast. Because if Bobby's bill passes, or anything close to it, Blanco can start moving out of the governor's mansion now.
All I really want the feds to do is fix the coast and fix the levees. The rest is nice, but if we get those jobs done, then we will recover, and everyone will benefit.
How long did it take to get compensation into people's hands after 9/11? I think it was about a year, maybe more...
In other words, I don't get your point. It's easy to hate Bush, that's not the issue. Okay , big woo, I hate Bush. Yay!!!
And then tomorrow, he's still president. And we still need his yes because we sure as hell don't want his no.
Seems to me the Road Home money is in the hands of Blanco, not Bush...
I felt like I was being channeled. It felt good.

You know, I can't even listen to him. I couldn't be civil. How Garland Robinette didn't just slap him upside the head yesterday I have no idea, but he has much more self control than I.
I am not familiar with this Ashley blog of which you speak.

Actually, I thought I'd accidentally clicked onto Suspect Device. :P

The La. blogosphere: sucking me in just as the La. music scene did in the late '80s...
We don't need his yes. I simply don't accept that. Yes, I want Jindal's version to pass, and if it does he will slap down Blanco so hard she won't know what day it is.

Bush has said a lot of things, and they're pretty much all lies at this point. I paid a great deal of attention to the political process in this country pre-K, and spent a decade on or around Capitol Hill.

Bush is the most thoroughly dishonest and corrupt politician this nation has ever seen, not a description I come to easily. And he stands between me and the only thing I care about: the future of New Orleans.
WE certainly need his yes. He gets to veto legislation plus no doubt behind the scenes he can influence the Senate-House conference. Damn right we need his yes?
And you'd trade all that for the moral satisfaction of dumping on him, which is worth zero.
You say, well he's the MOST thoroughly dishonest? Yeah. Okay whatever that means. Like there's a contest. You think he's really really a bad guy. I mean someone is either honest or not and he's not, and neither was the guy before or the guy before that. Was Morial honest? How about Jefferson, you like him for honesty? Would you say he's dishonest or thoroughly dishonest, or how about that bag of manure metaphor? Who do you rate as an honest politician locally or nationaly-- just curious.

What exactly is the issue? To me I don't care about hating Bush or not hating him. I didn't vote for him and never would. I think he's a big screwup. But he's president right now and I just want the levees built right and the coast restored. Everything else is just the process.
We're just at the beginning of all this. Getting the 34 billion to fix the coast, that's the big game. There are a lot of players. Pooping on Bush may be satisfying but some Bush supporters are power players in DC-- I just don't think that's mature politics.
Don't forget that the Democrats ran this city into the ground. Dom't forget Bill Clinton also had 8 years to fix the levees and didn't do it. Morial was mayor 8 years, did you ever hear him say peep about levees? Did he make an evacuation plan? No he just found ways to enrich his friends and relatives. You don't puke when you see his face blah blahing on tv?
Nagin, ditto. And he gets reelected. You have to wonder about the electorate. Somebody gets you drowned and your family killed and you say, hey, good idea, let's vote for him again.
Bush at least admited he was responsible. Havent' heard that from Morial, Nagin or anyone local.
In politics you vote out people who hurt your family. If you don't, then your politics is broken.
You're saying politicians are hypocrites and liars. Wow. And the sky is blue.
Your blog exemplified getting facts together. Where are the facts here? Where's the strategy in dumping on Bush?
Bush is a turd. Nuff said. The real action is the LRA and the Politics of Recovery. Private Foundations making Private Deals. We want the Feds to restore the Coast and the rest will follow. Whoring ourselves out to Foundations must stop.
Morial and Jefferson aren't some local speciality cooked up at Galaroire's, so don't toss them up here. They are a distraction from much bigger fish, primarily the current administration. Our local guys are pikers, pure amateurs compared to the people running the federal government.

The real fact here is a second hand report of everyone, the Us and the Them, universally angry at Bush, et al. Them is a shrinking group right now, reduced to careerist politicians and people who stand to make out if Bush gets his way. The potemkin fascade of Bush's America has been ripped away down here, and people of every demographic are not happy with what they see. If that's not an important fact, I don't know what is.

The reason we're all so damned angry is the same one that set me off: Bush came down here an insulted the people who have come home but suggesting that the problem is their failure to plan, when we had the goddamn "plan" they keeping talking around and not about, the plan that clears whole ruined neighborhoods and draws the lines of where it's safe to rebuild now. And Bush vetoed that, the Baker plan, the one we really needed.

He's not for a second going to let something link Jindal's bill to go forward. He can let the Senate kill that, and take credit for whatever crumbs they throw us. And it isn't enough. It won't be enough for Category 5 protection, for the sort of coastal restoration which even in the 1980s Sherwood Gagliano said would require investment on the scale of the Interstate Highway System or the Apollo program.

It wasn't fun to write that post. I'm a 49 year old who works for a bank, not some wild-eyed Common Ground volunteer. I may be liberal, but I not only voted for John Breaux, but I worked for him, first on his campaign staff and then in DC.

I know how the game is played, but it's time take a page out of the gospel and turn over the damned green baize table. The game is rigged, and if we don't find a way to seize this moment in history to illustrate that and toss the carney's and the pickpockets out, then we may be missing the last chance we have for a very long time.

And as for Spike Lee's movie, have you seen it? Have you watched the Sorrow and the Pity? Where was the coherence, by which I take you mean narative or at least a traditional linear polemic, in that film?
The Baker Plan? A plan hated by both the fabulous Daily Kos and also the WSJ? Gee, if both sides hate it, it must be right!

As Homer Simpson said, "Wrong again, liberal media."
When I read your post I couldn't help but think of my drive through MS Monday afternoon. I couldn't, at first, figure out why all the entrances and exits were blocked by police cars, thinking maybe there had been some kind of chemical spill or something. Then I realized (duh) that there were no cars coming in the westbound lanes of I-10 and then I saw it, coming up the ramp on the other side of the highway, his motorcade. He was heading from Biloxi to Gulfport. Then finally I saw the point where the westbound lanes of 10 were blocked off and the backed up lanes of cars stretching for miles and miles and miles, and couldn't help but think, "That asshole, still putting these poor people out."

I thought it was a great post.
Thanks for your reply.
I think the lack of a plan is a local issue, as in todays Times Pic coverage, "Nagin takes a back seat." How can you blame that on Bush? The Baker plan is dead meat. You are talking about the past.
Speaking of which, Dollar Bill Jefferson and our other kleptocrats past and present are relevant, as Edwards and etc were relevant. You may not get it, but that's why people in Washington and Baton Rouge don't trust us to get our hands on the money & who can blame them? I say: question all of them, don't just waste your fire on Bush. We are suffering because of the legacy of Edwards, Earl Long and now Jefferson & Morial and his Uncle Glen and the tons of other crooks and knaves we elected over the years thinking it was all a big joke.
What I get from your reply is that you are hoping for some sort of revolutionary situation to set things right.
Frankly that's no hope at all. It's just emotion.

I realize I'm pissing in the wind since all anyoen wants to do is rant and rave about Bush for a few more days, so go ahead.
AT the end of the day the progress will be made by people who work together steadily for their goals and aims. The truth is: we need a better more accountable politics, but that has to start at the local level where we have the most leverage.
Instead of ranting and raving about Bush, put pressure on your city council person, and on Nagin and on Jefferson and on your state legislator. The most hopeful thing I have seen happen here politically is the levee consolidation bill and the election of new members to the City council. the most depresing thing by far is Nagin's fialure, utter failure to lead us since he enjoyed his election. Second behind that is the performance of the DA's office and NOPD in allowing the drug problem to reemerge with such virulence.
If we dont' get a handle on planning and on crime, you can forget about Bush anyway. I can tell you that I already see drug dealing and thugs creeping into my neighborhood and it's bad news.
RK, I'm trying to take you seriously, but when you keep saying that "all anyone [except, presumably your brilliant balanced self] wants to do is rant and rave about Bush." Have you looked through the work of Nola bloggers, Mark included, and noticed how little Bush comes up?

What you're advocating is akin to battered spouse syndrome. Maybe if we're nice to him, he'll be nice to us this time, even though it's never happened before. Here's the order of events:
1) Bush demands a plan before money gets dispersed.

2) Baker a Republican (!) from Baton Rouge (!!) comes up with a great plan that gets presented to Wahington.

3) Baker's plan is rejected.

4) No money comes to New Orleans. When asked why, Bush says it's because "they have no plan", which is flatly false. There is a world of difference btw "I don't like your plan" and "you have no plan." The former involves taking responsibility.

And your pointing to the cravenness of local politicians as though it's news is just facile. It's not that they're not wankers, it's that they're too small to matter. Read my "Blame Game" post at Levees for a fuller argument.
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