Coffins droppin' in the street
Like balloons made out of lead
Water pourin' into Vicksburg, don't know what I'm going to do
"Don't reach out for me," she said
"Can't you see I'm drownin' too?"
It's rough out there
High water everywhere
Bob Dylan "High Water (for Charley Patton)"
I was listening the Bob Dylan song “High water” with the chorus “High water everywhere,” and it dawned on me that what Bush the Decider, the Jr., and the worse president since Hoover has done for this country what he has done for New Orleans. He is running around now giving interviews in essence telling the country that his administration has done a heck of a job. They sure have! So as Bush ends his whitewashing tonight with a speech to the nation and pardons all his cronies Tuesday morning, let’s recap why the country is counting the minutes until Tuesday noon.
- We now have the highest unemployment since 1945.
- Terri Schiavo -- While he let New Orleans drown for three days, our wonderful president wasted no time getting from Crawford to Washington to sign a bill interfering in Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life medical care. Nice priorities Mr. President
- Harriet Miers for a Supreme Court role!
- Commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence, but watch Tuesday for the Pardoned for exposing Valerie Wilson (this was a pleasant surprise that he didn't pardon Libby, but the guy still belongs in jail, even though Dick Cheeney believes otherwise)
- There have been corruption, incompetence, and contracting or cronyism scandals in these cabinet departments:
Health and Human Services
Housing and Urban Development
- Let’s not forget State, whose deputy secretary, a champion of abstinence-based international AIDS funding, resigned in a prostitution scandal, or the General Services Administration, who was investigated for possibly steering federal favors to Republican Congressional candidates in 2006. Or the Office of Management and Budget, whose chief procurement officer was sentenced to prison in the Abramoff fallout. what reveals the sheer depth of the overall malfeasance is that no fewer than four inspectors general, the official watchdogs charged with investigating improprieties in each department, are themselves were investigated simultaneously — an all-time record.
- He install a political hack, his 2000 campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh, at the top of FEMA, the president foreordained the hiring of Brownie and the disastrous response to Katrina. At the Education Department, the signature No Child Left Behind program, Reading First, is turning out to be a cesspool of contracting conflicts of interest. It’s also at that department that Bush loyalists stood passively by while the student-loan industry scandal exploded; at its center is Nelnet, the single largest corporate campaign contributor to the 2006 G.O.P. Congressional campaign committee. Back at Alberto Gonzales’s operation, where revelations of politicization and cover-ups mount daily, it turns out that no black lawyers have been hired in the nearly all-white criminal section of the civil rights division since 2003.
- Gonzales’s politicizing of the Justice Department that paved the way for Abu Ghraib, the episode that destroyed America’s image (which of course Bush the Jr. disagrees with) and gave terrorists a moral victory. But his efforts to sabotage national security didn’t end there. Oh and Gonzales did a heck of a job vetting the nomination of Bernard Kerik as secretary of homeland security in December 2004.
- Paul Wolfowitz’s scandal. Not only did he help secure Shaha Riza her over-the-top raise in 2005, but as The NYTimes reported, he also helped get her a junket to Iraq when he was riding high at the Pentagon in 2003.
- The White House’s practice of bestowing better jobs on those who bungled the war might be a form of hush money. Wolfowitz was promoted to the World Bank despite a Pentagon record that included (in part) his prewar hyping of bogus intelligence about W.M.D. and a nonexistent 9/11-Saddam connection; his assurance to the world that Iraq’s oil revenues would pay for reconstruction; and his public humiliation of Gen. Eric Shinseki after the general dared tell Congress (correctly) that several hundred thousand troops would be needed to secure Iraq after the invasion. Once the war began, Wolfowitz cited national security to bar businesses from non-coalition countries (like Germany) from competing for major contracts in Iraq. That helped ensure the disastrous monopoly of Halliburton and other White House-connected companies, including the one that employed Ms. Riza.
- Carol Lam. She was fired from her post in San Diego after her successful prosecution of Representative Duke Cunningham, the California Republican who took $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Mr. Rove has publicly suggested that Ms. Lam got the ax because “she would not commit resources to prosecute immigration offenses.” That’s false. Just prior an assistant attorney general praised her for doubling her immigration prosecutions; USA Today crunched the statistics and found that she ranked seventh among her 93 peers in successful prosecutions for 2006, with immigration violations accounting for the largest single crime category prosecuted during her tenure.
- Even as more American troops were being thrown into the grinder in Iraq, existing troops lack the guns and ammunition to “effectively complete their missions.” Army and Marine Corps commanders told The Washington Post that both armor and trucks were in such short supply that their best hope is that “five brigades of up-armored Humvees fall out of the sky.”
- The Interior Department, where the inspector general found that officials “had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.” Two officials tasked with marketing oil on behalf of American taxpayers got so blotto at a daytime golf event sponsored by Shell that they became too incapacitated to drive and had to be put up by the oil company.
- Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne spent $235,000 from taxpayers to redo his office bathroom (monogrammed towels included).
- Who put that bogus “uranium from Africa” into the crucial prewar State of the Union address after the C.I.A. removed it from previous Bush speeches?