Today's Blogs

Another Katrina Deluge

Bloggers are weighing in, in partisan fashion, about the Associated Press report that President Bush was warned before Hurricane Katrina hit. They are also reacting to the suicide bombing that killed an American diplomat in Pakistan and wondering why Americans know more about The Simpsons than the First Amendment.

Another Katrina deluge: The Associated Press has acquired video footage and transcripts detailing the federal government’s preparations for Hurricane Katrina. The AP story says the material shows “in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.”

For John Aravosis of the anti-Bush, this is the last straw. He believes Bush will eventually bungle national security, but he encourages Republicans to go cannibal: “If another September 11 is being planned right now, we are dead as a nation with this man in charge. It is seriously time that Republicans joined Democrats in figuring out what to do about this man, because he is putting all of our lives in danger.” Liberal Josh Marshall, posting at TPM Cafe, thinks if the White House can really defend itself, it should release the rest of the video and transcripts that were partially leaked to the Associated Press: “The White House response seems to be that these tapes represent only a snapshot of the White House’s involvement in the Katrina response, just one snapshot in all the briefings and warnings and back-and-forths, and such. So it’s one snapshot without context. But isn’t the point that the White House won’t release the rest of the snapshots?”  

The story has some moderates asking what else is new. At The Moderate Voice, veteran journalist Joe Gandleman doesn’t hold back in response to news that the White House has released a more flattering transcript: “In other words: The administration thought they could make a point on Bush’s job performance and that would be the lead. But now it faces ANOTHER CREDIBILITY PROBLEM (add that on top of the ports issue, warrantless wiretaps, and Bush’s comments immediately after Katrina versus what the video conference snippet shows) on its hands.”

Kevin Aylward, the conservative and New Orleans resident at Wizbang, wonders if the media hasn’t taken questioning Bush’s competence to the extreme: “Is it a slow news day? In what parallel universe does video of a disaster planning video teleconferences constitute the AP equivalent of the Drudge siren? The parallel universe is the ‘Bush Controls Nature’ section of the Bush Derangement Syndrome universe.” His co-blogger, Paul, points out the AP might have been incorrect to say that Bush was warned that the levees could be “breached.” “For almost 6 months I’ve been explaining the difference between the levees being breached and them being topped. But the media is willfully ignoring the difference between the two.”

Power Line’s John H. Hinderaker offers up a lengthy deconstruction: “The AP article is fatally compromised by its factual errors, and adds nothing to our understanding of the issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina. It also raises an important point about the leaks that form the basis for many news stories these days. The AP took what appears to have been a substantial quantity of leaked material, and turned it into a brief against the Bush administration. Whether the documents themselves contain anything noteworthy, and whether, on balance, they support the AP’s tendentious interpretation, is impossible to tell.”

Read more about the AP story. ReadSlate’s John Dickerson on the topic.

Karachi bombing: A suicide bomber rammed into an American diplomat’s car Thursday, killing the as-yet unnamed diplomat and three others just as President Bush is set to visit the nation this week.

Bush critic Caelidh at Caelidh’s Web spins the incident as a response to the United States’ nuclear nannying and, well, hypocrisy: “It is about the US dictating to the world who will be allowed Nuclear technology and who will not. Don’t talk to me about ‘well they support terrorism so they are not allowed nukes…’ … We are heading into a new Nuclear age … and one that is going to be INCREASINGLY tricky to navigate if we do not step down our nuclear efforts.”

Karachi native Jammie at Metblogging Karachi wants answers: “After last weeks *peaceful* supports, was it too much to hope that this week would go by wihtout us inflicting damage on ourselves? …  What I don’t understand is why THEY don’t understand that all we really want is to to live a normal life. To not be fearful of each day passing by and to not be immune to such things either. I know this is a familiar rant and rave—but bear with me.”

Read more about the bombing.

The Simpsons: A new poll shows that Americans know more aboutThe Simpsons than the First Amendment. Bloggers aren’t too surprised, but they are still amused.

No duh, says Delaware blogger Mike Mof at Down with Absolutes. “Screw ordinary Americans. I’d like this question asked to all 535 Congresspersons, as well as the president, vice president and other sundry high-ups in the Executive Branch. We need to clean house of all the dumb fucks running this nation. We’ve got enough of ‘em in the general populace!”

For Republican and North Dakotan Rob at Say Anything it is a day of mourning our electoral process: “What’s even more sad is that many of these people vote. How informed can those votes be if they don’t even understand all of the freedoms laid out for them in the Constitution?” Misty, a contributor to Shakespeare’s Sister, a progressive blog, correlates it with the country’s low voter turn out: “People wonder why a lot of people don’t vote—it’s because of apathy through ignorance. It needs to change. I’m not sure what can be done with current set of adults but it can start with the younger generation through interesting and current government/civics classes that encourage involvement.”