Morning Report 9/09/05
Another Bible Lesson From Bush
George W. Bush still hasn't dipped his toes in the hazardous waters of downtown New Orleans, but the regime's 800-pound gorilla finally took the plunge yesterday.
Actually, it was Dick Cheney, bearing 800 pounds of bottled water on his first visit to the scene. As the AP reported:
- Seeking to counter attacks by Democrats, the vice president defended the political appointees who are overseeing the federal relief effort. Cheney also spoke of the need to address "mental health issues" among people in the stricken area; he offered no specifics.
We're the ones who are nuts for having re-installed this inept and uncaring crew last year. At least someone passing by Cheney during his stop in Gulfport, Mississippi, had the decency to shout out, "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney."
And that was before Cheney told reporters that he thinks Bush "struck the right balance" between political appointees and career professionals to oversee the relief efforts. Go back and read what Jon Elliston wrote last year about FEMA and the Bush gang, and make up your own mind about that.
With Cheney trying to earn Brownie points, Bush lectured Americans on the Bible while proclaiming yesterday that September 16 will be a "National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina."
His staff inserted the obvious passage into the proclamation:
- Across our Nation, so many selfless deeds reflect the promise of the Scripture: "For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in."
Yeah, well, anyone can quote Matthew 25:35. Bush's performance over the past five years — not only in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath but including the disgraceful treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib — reminds me of Job 22:6-8:
- You demanded security from your brothers for no reason; you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked.
You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, though you were a powerful man, owning land — an honored man, living on it.
Bush's sermonizing really gets on my last nerve. His proclamation yesterday is a pretty standard thing for presidents to do, but this one was even more full of sanctimonious God-talk than his similar proclamation after 9/11. You can't help but recall Timothy 4:2:
- Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
More searing is indicated. While Bush's pal Joe Allbaugh, the former FEMA director, is down on the Gulf Coast recruiting new work from FEMA for Cheney's company Halliburton, maybe the president could click on the progressive Christian site Sojourners for a handy 12-page anti-poverty worship kit. Full of Biblical references, this is designed to help believers prepare for next week's U.N. World Summit in New York.
While Bush is at it, he could stop to note this assemblage of factoids from Sojourners:
- POVERTY IS A NATIONAL CRISIS
As Hurricane Katrina has dramatically exposed the urban poverty in southern cities, it is important to remember that poverty is a national problem, and a growing one.
37 million — total number of people living in poverty in the U.S.
13 million — number of children living in poverty
1.1 million — number of people who fell below the poverty threshold between 2003 and 2004
4 — number of consecutive years in which the poverty rate has risen in America