"We have been abandoned by our country," a tearful Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press."

He details how FEMA turned away Wal-Mart trucks carrying donated water and other trucks carrying fuel.

"Bureaucracy has committed murder."

[Thanks to R.R. for this.]


Busting out with a hip-hop song faster than that guy in "Hustle & Flow," a rap group has put out "George Bush Don't Like Black People." Anyone know who this is?

Thanks to C.M. for this.



For all the ways presidential political adviser Karl Rove will be able to beat the rap for his tratorious actions — the rampant cronyism and corrupted values of the Bush administration still count for something, after all — it was still fun to watch White House spokesman Scott McClellan squirm in front of the press, which has apparently grown a tooth in its dogged questioning:

You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?

McCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it. ...

QUESTION: You're in a bad spot here, Scott... because after the investigation began — after the criminal investigation was under way — you said, October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this," from that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation?

Too little, too late, perhaps. But fun to watch nonetheless.



What a novel concept: Paying workers a living wage produces a more productive and stable workforce. So finds a BusinessWeek study, cited by friend and colleague Moira Herbst.

Costco CEO Jim Senegal has said: "We pay much better than Wal-Mart. That's not altruism. It's good business."

Go figure.


The Flash presentation shows how the current administration fans the flames of fascism.

There's also this article, listing the 14 common threads of fascism in seven historic regimes.



Mexico's decision to issue postage stamps bearing a cartoon caricature of a black child set off a furor among African American activists in the U.S.

Problem is, the more people attempt to defend it — including President Vicente Fox — the more ridiculous they appear.

Fox himself, an admitted longtime fan of the comic, told AP that the stamp recognizes a "character very loved in Mexico and that has absolutely nothing discriminatory about it ... And it appears to me that it has provoked a great national unity, because those who are making opinions from outside don't have information."


But it doesn't stop there. Novelist Elena Poniatowska, described as "a noted supporter of leftist causes" was quoted calling the criticisms "absurd."

"In our country, the image of black people is one of enormous goodwill, which is reflected not only in characters like Memin Pinguin, but in popular songs ... like 'Little Black Watermelon.'"

It's almost as if they've borrowed arguments come from the Bush administration handbook of irony, from which we've heard such ironic terms as Clean Skies Initiative and "Mission Accomplished."

Anti-reality tends to catch up to its practicioners, even south of the border, I'd bet.


Time magazine's spineless editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine practically boasted of his complete lack of understanding of the First Amendment, the concept of journalism and what a backbone is for — not to mention why his "news" magazine should go under — in his comment to the New York Times:

"I found myself really coming to the conclusion that once the Supreme Court has spoken in a case involving national security and a grand jury, we are not above the law and we have to behave the way ordinary citizens do."

Pearlstine sold out his own reporter, Matthew Cooper, who was willing to serve up to 180 days in federal prison. The New York Times's own Judith Miller has steadfastly refused to reveal her sources in the probe to find who the identity of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame.

The Times includes the following historical context:

The case represents the starkest confrontation between the press and the government since 1971, when the Supreme Court refused to stop The Times and The Washington Post from publishing a classified history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers. And legal experts said yesterday that they knew of no other instance in modern journalistic history in which a major news organization announced that it would disclose the identities of its confidential sources in response to a government subpoena.

The Times in this case fully understands what to be in the journalism business.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The Times, was critical of Time. "We are deeply disappointed by Time Inc.'s decision to deliver the subpoenaed records," Mr. Sulzberger said. "We faced similar pressures in 1978 when both our reporter Myron Farber and the Times Company were held in contempt of court for refusing to provide the names of confidential sources. Mr. Farber served 40 days in jail and we were forced to pay significant fines.

But not the clueless Pearstine, who said, "If I were The New York Times in 1978 I would have turned over the information."

James C. Goodale, a former attorney for the Times's parent company and First Amendment expert, said: "A public company must protect its assets even if that means going into contempt. It has an obligation under the First Amendment to protect those assets, and it's in the interest of shareholders to protect those assets."

Time magazine deserves to go out of business — the sooner, the better — for what it has done to damage the sacred status of the First Amendment and our press freedoms.



Time magazine, playing the role of Bush administration lap dog, has decided it would sell out the First Amendment and its own reporter, Matt Cooper, and turn over notes about the CIA leak in which an undercover was identified by name — a felony.

In a statement, Time said it believes "the Supreme Court has limited press freedom in ways that will have a chilling effect on our work and that may damage the free flow of information that is so necessary in a democratic society."

But it also said that despite its concerns, it will turn over the records to the special counsel investigating the leak.

By contrast, Judith Miller, a New York Times reporter also subpoenaed (and one of the biggest suckers in parroting the Bush administration's shoddy claims that Iraq possessed WMD), had said she would sooner do time in federal prison than reveal her sources.

It's horrifying to think of how Time might have betrayed the trust of historically important whistleblowers, such as Daniel Ellsberg, Mark "Deep Throat" Felt or even Jeffrey Wigand, the tobacco executive who bravely revealed the industry's duplicity, as dramatized in "The Insider." (CBS's "60 Minutes" tucked tail at first, fearing a lawsuit.)

By Time magazine's standards of rolling over, reporters might have gone to jail for reporting about issues of real national importance, such as The Pentagon Papers, Watergate or even a story that challenged an industry with a powerful lobby like Big Tobacco.

Time magazine is dead wrong.



Now it comes to light that the Pentagon has been teaming up with a marketing company to track students of recruiting age — in violation of the federal government's own Privacy Act.

The Defense Department began working yesterday with a private marketing firm to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches. ...

Some information on high school students already is given to military recruiters in a separate program under provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act.

It's absolutely horrifying to think that instead of seeing and treating our youth as the future of the nation, the bearers of freedom for a more enlightened tomorrow, our government sees them as mere cannon fodder.

More than Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, this is the true obscenity that we face today.



The horrifyingly blatant proposed $30 billion bailout of Boeing at the expense of lawmakers and government officials who may or may not have secured comfortable, cushy and lucrative jobs with the aerospace giant continues to reek.

The Washington Post writes in an editorial that "negotiations were rigged in Boeing's favor by an Air Force procurement official as a 'parting gift' just before she took a $250,000-a-year job at the company."

Lawrence Di Rita, that classy guy who serves as Defense Department spokesman, during a meeting that Donald Rumsfeld attended, actually said his comments "were brought to you by the Boeing Company," according to James Roche, secretary of the Air Force.

But there's enough underhandedness to go around.

Even as she was negotiating with the Air Force about whether the tanker lease was a good deal, Office of Management and Budget Associate Director Robin Cleveland asked Mr. Roche to intercede with former colleagues at Northrop Grumman to help Ms. Cleveland's brother get a job there. Within half an hour, Mr. Roche had passed the material on to the company, noting Ms. Cleveland's key position and endorsing her brother. Then he wrote back to Ms. Cleveland, "Be well. Smile. Give tankers now (Oops, did I say that? ...).

By any sane measure, the attempts at war profiteering at the cost of an obscene amount of taxpayer money appears simple financial malfeasance.