Having filled up the wife’s Suburban with gas days before, and gotten the house ready as can be, we headed off with 2 kids, 2 dogs and 3 fish that the 2 kids would not leave behind. When we left at 4:20 a.m. yesterday morning we knew things would be bad as far as traffic. Rather than joining the parking lot on I-45, which took 8 hours to drive from our location to before the North beltway on 45 (still in Houston!), we decided to use my new Microsoft GPS software and hardware and hit the back roads. Almost exactly 12 hours later, we arrived at my sister’s house in Dallas, where I’m e-mailing you from.



No Way Out: Tears, Anger As Some Try to Flee and Many Poor Are Stuck in Houston

Judie Anderson of La Porte, Texas, covered just 45 miles in 12 hours. She had been on the road since 10 p.m. Wednesday, headed toward Oklahoma, which by Thursday was still very far away.

“This is the worst planning I’ve ever seen,” she said. “They say, ‘We’ve learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina.’ Well, you couldn’t prove it by me.”

On Bellaire Boulevard in southwest Houston, a weeping woman and her young daughter stood on the sidewalk, surrounded by plastic bags full of clothes and blankets. “I’d like to go, but nobody come get me,” the woman said in broken English. When asked her name, she looked frightened. “No se, no se,” she said: Spanish for “I don’t know.”

Miles of Traffic as Texans Heed Order to Leave

as many as 2.5 million people jammed evacuation routes on Thursday, creating colossal 100-mile-long traffic jams that left many people stranded and out of gas as the huge storm bore down on the Texas coast.

Acknowledging that “being on the highway is a deathtrap,” Mayor Bill White asked for military help in rushing scarce fuel to stranded drivers.

Up to 24 Dead in Texas Bus-Fire Tragedy

A bus carrying nursing home residents fleeing from Hurricane Rita caught fire and was rocked by explosions Friday on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing as many as 24 people, authorities said.

Complete Disaster

Yesterday, Josh Marshall regarding the proposed $260 billion aid package to the Gulf:

This will be Iraq all over again, with the same fetid mix of graft, zeal and hubris. Cronyism like you wouldn’t believe. Money blown on ideological fantasies and half-baked test-cases.

You could come up with a hundred reasons why that’s true. But at root intentions drive all. You’ll never separate this operation or its results from the fact that the people in charge see it as a political operation. The use of this money for political purposes, for what amounts to a political campaign, tells you everything you need to know about what’s coming.

Today, in the New York Times:

Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government…

After four and a half years of this shit, the only constant seems to be that it can always get worse.

Ill Wind

Aside from spending the day worrying about New Orleans, August 29 was a pleasant day in Los Angeles. And yet something in the very air seemed wrong, an inexplicable soul-sucking malaise of negative energy…

Well, looking at the TPM Katrina Timeline, I just realized that Bush made a stop about 30 minutes from Los Angeles on Monday afternoon. Just so we’re clear, the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning at 8:14 AM Monday morning announcing a breach in the Industrial Canal levee. By the time of Bush’s 2:40 P.M. speech in Racho Cucamonga, there had been public confirmation of the 17th Street Canal levee breech.

The speech was largely about eliminating the social safety net for poor Americans.

I know that you wept, like many of us wept when we heard stories about people having to choose between food or medicine. Those days are gone because of this Medicare legislation. (Applause.)

You gotta admit, the boy has timing.

Here’s the bulk of his remarks from that speech about the worst disaster in American history.

This was a terrible storm. It’s a storm that hit with a lot of ferocity. It’s a storm now that is moving through, and now it’s the time for governments to help people get their feet on the ground.

For those of you who prayed for the folks in that area, I want to thank you for your prayers. For those of you who are concerned about whether or not we’re prepared to help, don’t be. We are. We’re in place. We’ve got equipment in place, supplies in place. And once the — once we’re able to assess the damage, we’ll be able to move in and help those good folks in the affected areas. (Applause.)

David also mentioned that we’re making progress overseas. And we are making progress overseas. Recently, the Iraqis came together and wrote a constitution. It’s not easy to write a constitution. Look at our own history. I was reminded that several of the delegates to our own Constitutional Convention stormed out and wouldn’t sign the document. (Applause.)

No Fatties

Continuing to update the horror show of hurricane exploitation quotes. This one from Glenn Reynolds deserves a little extra mention since it such a clear demonstration of how rich conservatives think, which is essentially that the dumb lazy bitch deserved what she got:

Most poor people in America can afford food (that’s why so many poor people are fat). They do have other problems that make preparation less likely, though (if you’re the kind of person who thinks ahead and prepares for emergencies, you’re much less likely to be poor to begin with)

So according to Glenn Reynolds, if you’re poor, you’re probably also a stupid fatty. And stupid fatties are too stupid and fat to waddle their big fat stupid ass out of town . But obviously — because they’re so damn fat — they can afford to buy a few extra fifty cent hamburgers and keep them in storage until disaster strikes. It’s just that they’re too stupid to do that!

Stupid fatty!

(And because Bush is neither poor nor fat, he is clearly not responsible for his own administration? Hmmmm…)

I have to say that the stupid fatty defense is a fairly original entry in the list of disgusting conservative disaster responses

According to Plan

Life-long Republican mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin delivered a very moving, anger-filled outburst on the radio, which has made him something of a spokesperson for all the outrage at America’s failure in the Gulf.

But it turns out he had no reason to be shocked by the abandonment of more than 120,000 of his city’s poorest and most helpless residents. Because not only was their abandonment part of his overt plan, he was in the process of distributing DVDs to poor neighborhoods which spelled out this fact.

As I write that, I still can’t believe it.

They made a DVD to give to the poor telling them that in the event of a major hurricane, their only hope for escape was to stick the DVD up their ass, spin around like a motor boat, and make a beeline for fucking Cancun.

there is more to see   → → →

Hurricane exploitation – the quotes

Writing from the hurricane ravaged front-lines of Australia, a right-wing blogger digs up up some quotes which he offers as evidence of leftist hurricane exploitation. I know it’s “Hard Work” to search for quotes, and clearly the extremist right is making “Good Progress” — which leaves them little time to dig up evidence of their own fetid verbal vomit. So I’ll help out by finding a selection of some of the choicest hurricane commentary by Republicans and Republican collaborators.

there is more to see   → → →

I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.

No one anticipated the breach of the levees?

No one anticipated the fucking breach of the fucking levees???

The lake is now level with the city and the heavy lifting helicopters needed to fill the breach have not even arrived? Four days later?

The director of FEMA is an estate planning lawyer?

As of today, in the middle of the worst natural disaster in American history, Condolezza Rice is on vacation in New York, shopping for fucking shoes on fucking 5th Avenue?

What else is there to say…

Yeah. He actually said it. No one anticipated the breech of the fucking leeves. “No one” apparently doesn’t include FEMA, who named it one of the most critical potential disasters in America, according to the nobodies at the New York Times, in 2001.

We are all at dire risk from the self- proclaimed incompetence of these monsters.

Disasterously Wrong

This is a deeply depressing lesson in the particular mode of always-right mental illness — earlier today, Glenn Reynolds admiringly linked to himself regarding the overhyping of hurricanes:

HURRICANE HYPE: I’m watching some woman from Fox trying to make a big deal out of 30 mph winds on Lake Pontchartrain. Jeez.

One month later, with Lake Pontchartrain threatening to submurge all of New Orleans, this kind of smug eye-rolling is fully revealed as the perverse backwardness of a serial killer in clown make-up. Becasue part of the reason for all this “hurricane hype” was the fact that the unfolding disaster we’re now facing has been explicitly predicted for many many years. There seems to be a running theme…

Climate disasters? Tut tut!
Oil crisis? Pish posh!
Bloody insurgency? Fiddle faddle!

There’s stubborn. Then there’s stupid. But beyond these there is a category that must simply be described as sick.


Blinded by the gloating immensity of their own bloggy asshole.

Drug-maddened sub-humans dance in around in costumes cleverly constructed from their own feces

Freak Show

You thought the “MSM” was too focused on the bloody realities of war? Not so fast! Gaze in wonder as Powerline’s hindrocket savors the magic of opposite day:

almost every major newspaper in America is committed to the proposition that we aren’t really in a war, so they aren’t interested

You thought violent right-wing extremists would only use the ashes of the WTC as hallowed ground? Gaze in awe-struck befuddlement as Ann Coulter drenches the graves of New York firefighters with a stream of her rancid urine:

it’s far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York, where the residents would immediately surrender. That strategy appears to be working. Then again, maybe it’s just that it’s so damnably hard to find parking in New York…

Even extremist cleric Pat Robertson is losing the battle against himself in the wake of his bewitching hymnal, “Onward Christian Death Squads.”

Times are tough in Cognitive Dissonance Land. Multimillionaire propagandists suddenly find themselves sputtering like mis-programmed robots, “white crosses bad, white crosses good, good bad! bad good!” while sparks fly out the back of their heads and smoke pours out their ears.

Yes, it is satisfying in it’s own way. But when violent robots get caught in their own bad programming, things can get ugly. Stuck in gunslinger showdown mode, the lunatic automatons just keep firing away…

How many of us will they take down before they return to their true calling? Namely, schizophrenically yammering at telephone poles on street corners, finger-thrusting angrily at vapor.

Also, just so we’re clear, Little Green Footballs:

Search results for conditions victory iraq (0 matches)

April Fools

Daniel Drenzer, April 11, 2003::

Given that the war will likely be completely over in 60 days (the upper limit of Nordhaus’ “best-case” scenario); the northern and southern oil fields were captured without significant damage [UPDATE: the last oil fire has now been extinguished]; oil markets have been unruffled; and none of the worst-case scenarios have come to pass, it would be safe to say that the dice came up favorably. However, both press reports and antiwar activists played up the potential trillions in economic costs.

Glenn Reynolds, April 11, 2003:


Yeah, there has been a lot of pro-war gloating. And I guess that Dawn Olsen’s cautionary advice about gloating is appropriate. So maybe we shouldn’t rub in just how wrong, and morally corrupt the antiwar case was. Maybe we should rise above the temptation to point out that claims of a “quagmire” were wrong — again! — how efforts at moral equivalence were obscenely wrong — again! — how the antiwar folks are still, far too often, trying to move the goalposts rather than admit their error — again — and how an awful lot of the very same people who spoke lugubriously about “civilian casualties” now seem almost disappointed that there weren’t more — again — and how many people who spoke darkly about the Arab Street and citizens rising up against American “liberators” were proven wrong — again — as the liberators were seen as just that by the people they were liberating. And I suppose we shouldn’t stress so much that the antiwar folks were really just defending the interests of French oil companies and Russian arms-deal creditors. It’s probably a bad idea to keep rubbing that point in over and over again.



Victor Davis Hanson, April 4, 2003:

Depressed and discredited pundits now turn to dire predictions of years of turmoil in postbellum Iraq…

Despite the protestations of a return to normalcy, this present war will ever so slowly, yet markedly nonetheless, change America’s relationships in a way unseen in the last 30 years

In the neighborhood of the battlefield, Iran is in a unique position. The illegitimate government will have to tell its own restless population why the liberation of Iraq next door is a bad thing…

The world is upside down and we should expect some strange scenes of scrambling in the weeks ahead as side-glancing diplomats and nail-biting envoys flock to meet Mr. Powell in Washington, who — far from fearing those recent idiotic calls for his resignation — will in fact emerge as one of the most effective and powerful secretaries in recent history. Such are the ironies of war.

It will all be an interesting show.

Desolate Path to Apocalyptic Ruin

Desolate Path to Apocalyptic Ruin
by Goatwhore

The seething light inhales
Breath of mourned delight
Awaiting… The storm
Blood, fire, chaos, and war
From the black abyss
Damnation… Of the pure
Fires consume eternity

The quest for higher pain
Endless trail to an extinct plain
Obsessed with the murdering hand
This numbness covers my mind
Blind… Slowly
Breaks my laws
Almighty… Gods of war
Besiege the holy throne
Light… Betrays me

This is my alone
Drifting on the winds
Beneath midnight skies
Coldness covers my latent eyes
Snake skin forms to ignite sin
Smearing the hatred of disgust
Upon the faces of the meek

Their lips burn with the taste of plagued virtues
The hands of destiny are non-immortal
Deaths foretold of past
Condemned to repeat this disease
Loss of divinity
Divine loss of sight
Black as the cold silence

I’ve felt the wars of the empires
Breaking this seal inside for the son of all wars
For the reign of a forgotten faith
Conversion of the flame to fall to sea
Filling the oceans with all, now i will become the seas

I contest this prayer to my hatred
All man’s lies fall into sea to exist
Reburn this seal for a closing of might
The divine bound to writhe into eternity
This is my blame for the loss of the sky
To declare war over these lips of spite

Elmer Rove

Army Men

James Lileks decided to vent his anger over the dead American soldiers in Iraq not by crying out for the kind of state funeral that Italy had for it’s war dead.

No, clever warblogger that he is, Lileks decided to pointlessly vent at Iraqi blogger Salam Pax:

there’s a picture on the front page of my local paper today: third Minnesotan killed in Iraq. He died doing what you never had the stones to do: pick up a rifle and face the Ba’athists. You owe him.

Actually, you owe him, mutherfucker.

After saluting flags at gas stations for the last year, while writing proud and beautiful words about Evil and Them. After praising our administration for sending our soldiers to defend our country, then winking when there was nothing to defend us from. After talking about Noble Causes while teenagers get moved around and blown apart with as much attention as plastic army toys, which is as close as their leaders ever got to war.

Now when these very real solders are dying in a very real guerrilla war with no end in sight, attempting to rebuild a destroyed nation for a people who increasingly hate them for the destruction and the invasion… now you bravely blame a man who’s relatives and friends were killed by Saddam’s men. A person who actually has to deal with the mounting pile of shit being left by a botched occupation. How witty!

You even dare to stand on the bodies of the dead men you wanted to send to their deaths while cursing an Iraqi for pointing out the epic scope of the disaster in his country. But there’s a lot more than the three dead you use as your podium.

And among those American soldiers you just noticed, there’s also more than a hundred amputees out of about 8,000 wounded. Give or take. More every day. Hey, what does it matter when there’s a Noble Cause at hand? Something so worthy that you could say it proudly to the face of an armless man. Something so glorious that it’s truly worth all the maiming and death. Something at the very core of our American values and way of life. Something like… preventing NATO or the UN from having a political role in the occupation.

You owe them all, coward.