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Am I The Only One?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Monday Morning Humorists

It's always easy to second-guess.

Liberal columnist Daniel Kurtzman is at it again with "Stupid Quotes About Katrina: 25 Mind-Numbingly Stupid Quotes About Hurrican Katrina". Considering the author, it's no suprise that the vast majority of this selections are from notable Republicans. But while several quotes would make everyone's list (such as Bush's "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" and Michael Brown's idiotic "I haven't heard any reports about people at the convention center"), many other quotes are puzzling inclusions on this list. A few examples:

"I also want to encourage anybody who was affected by Hurricane Corina to make sure their children are in school." –First Lady Laura Bush, twice referring to a "Hurricane Corina" while speaking to children and parents in South Haven, Mississippi, Sept. 8, 2005
So Laura mixed up Katrina and Corina. Big deal. The point was that she wanted parents to focus on getting their kids in school, which is key in the process of children returning to normalcy.

"It's totally wiped out... It's devastating, it's got to be doubly devastating on the ground." –President Bush, turning to his aides while surveying Hurricane Katrina flood damage from Air Force One, Aug. 31, 2005
What's wrong with this? It looked pretty horrific in arial photographs, and he was correct in saying that it was at least doubly so on the ground.

"But I really didn't hear that at all today. People came up to me all day long and said 'God bless your son,' people of different races and it was very, very moving and touching, and they felt like when he flew over that it made all the difference in their lives, so I just don't hear that." –Former First Lady Barbara Bush to CNN's Larry King, after King asked her how she felt when people said that her son "doesn't care" about race, Sept 5, 2005
What else do you expect the mother of the president to say about her son? Nothing mind-numbing about this answer.

"What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this is working very well for them." –Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 5, 2005
Barbara Bush took a lot of heat for this one, and she probably wishes she could have another crack at it. But factually, she is correct. The vast majority of the late evacuees were from the poorest neighborhoods, where people often live without bank accounts, phones, or power amidst the some of the highest murder rates in the country. The security, food, and medical attention available at the Astrodome actually is an improvement for these underprivileged families.

Kurtzman concludes with a list of quotes which were left off his already-questionable list:

"It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level....It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." –House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Aug. 31, 2005
Hastert voiced a point that millions of people have been asking each other for weeks now. While I'm sure New Orleans will, in fact, be rebuilt, this *is* an opportunity to ask if we should make changes to the city, such as reverting the lowest areas back to wetlands or building up other sections above sea level. No reason this should be on any list of stupid questions.

"You know, Tim, that's one of the things that will be debated." –New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, after being asked by NBC's Tim Russert why he didn't use buses to evacuate residents in accordance with the city's evacuation plan
Why on earth isn't this near the top of the official list?? Oh wait... isn't Nagin a Democrat? Now I get it.

"You know I talked to Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi yesterday because some people were saying, 'Well, if you hadn't sent your National Guard to Iraq, we here in Mississippi would be better off.' He told me 'I've been out in the field every single day, hour, for four days and no one, not one single mention of the word Iraq.' Now where does that come from? Where does that story come from if the governor is not picking up one word about it? I don't know. I can use my imagination." –Former President George Bush, who can give his imagination a rest, interview with CNN’s Larry King, Sept. 5, 2005
This is a very, very salient viewpoint raised by Bush, and by all accounts he his correct. Why is this even on the honorable-mention list?

"As of Saturday (Sept. 3), Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said." –Washington Post staff writers Manuel Roig-Franzia and Spencer Hsu, who didn't bother to fact-check the blatant lie peddled by the Bush administration as part of its attempts to pin blame on state and local officials, when, in fact, the emergency declaration had been made on Friday, Aug. 26
So now the Washington Post is purposely overlooking a blatant lie in order to protect the president? Thank goodness we have Kurtzman to point out the truth! Perhaps Kurtzman's point-of-view laden commentary should top his own list of stupid quotes.

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