Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Looking back - February 10 - updated for clarification

[Update: Please note that the "today" in the following was four years ago.]

Today I had a minor temp job, but one that could get me in the door where the accounting manager is a friend. It is in the City. As I started up the escalator at BART in El Cerrito this morning, I tripped. Landed on my face. Terrific goose egg with a bit of blood (bloodied my knees too, but that was minor). I have always thought of a goose egg as colorful exaggeration, but this really swelled up and looked just like say one third of an egg covered with flesh. Most unattractive.

There's more!

Having missed the direct train, I took the Fremont train and changed trains in Oakland, getting on one that was already full, standing room only. So I stood, read my homework about as long as I could, then gave up. Noticed I felt hot and stifled, then began to feel faint. I was trying to take deep breaths and lower my head, but there was not much room to do that. This was just as we were approaching my stop, Embarcadero, in SF. Next thing I knew I was seated and coming too with a crowd of people all around me. I flipping fainted! One nice lady was wiping me with a cold cloth, a gentleman said he had my glasses, I was still sweating like a pig and folks removed my jacket and sweater. Got escorted off the train, a BART lady waited with me until the EMTS came. Yep, they checked the vitals and blood sugar (actually mildly high), gave me oxygen and took me off to St Francis Hospital ER. EKG was fine, no blood gases suggesting heart problems. They gave me an IV to begin rehydration, though I did not end up getting much of it. Doc decided it was an ordinary fainting episode. Possibly the stress from falling earlier. Released me.

I then took the cable car to work. After that went to class, just got home.

One especially nice lady stayed with the BART lady and not only offered me an apple (I had and ate my own) but also offered to call the folks at work. I gave her my card and the name and company. She looked them up, called and let them know. What a total sweetheart.

People were uniformly wonderful. I feel fine now. Were I younger I would have felt humiliated. As it is, I just give thanks for the inherent goodness in people when someone is in need.

That's my story for today.

[Post script: It was BART that insisted I be carried off in an ambulance and taken to the ER. "Are you sure?" I asked. "Yes," said the BART official. Definitely not my idea. While I was concerned about potential injury to my face, I know my own body and knew that I was not having a heart attack or low blood sugar and would recover fine on my own. Did BART pay for the ambulance? No. Did I sue BART for my injuries? No. Did they come after me (who was unemployed) for the ambulance fee? Yes. So while the original story written that night is above, the longer term perspective is not "what nice people" but more along the lines of "those miserable $(%&)$(#$)*. Just saying. You see, my memory of the whole thing has changed for the worse as the story unfolded. Frankly, if I relived this I would sue BART, if only to cover the damn ambulance. And I only got 1.5 days of employment out of the whole adventure.]

The world had discovered that Jeff Gannon the Talon "news" reporter was really Jim Guckert the man whore.

Ah, the softball questions he tossed out at presidential briefings! We never did get a full accounting of all his visits to the White House though the logs indicate he may have spent some evenings there. This chum of Scotty's had awfully free access.

In other words, the "journalist" was a Republican operative by day and a gay male escort by night. Not that there was anything wrong with his night job.

The Rude Pundit commented at the time:
But despite the exposure of its most obvious cheerleader, we'll still have a press corps that is, at the minimum, deferential to the whims and words of the White House without any follow-up, without any accountability. With or without Gannon/Guckert, that ain't stopping any time soon. Propaganda is most effectively spread when it's presented under the guise of objectivity.

Here's an interesting comment on the economy FIVE YEARS AGO from that same Rude Pundit.
An addict'll pawn it all. The future, the present. He'll raid the kids' piggy banks and empty their college funds. 'Cause always, around the next corner, is the big win, the one that'll make 'em into a wise guy. Problem is, 'cause he's an addict, he'll keep goin' double or nothin', double or nothin'. Problem is that we're the suckers Bush keeps stealin' shit [from] to try to parlay the spot into big money. Problem is: once a gamblin' loser, always a gamblin' loser.
Some of us were worried. Most Americans, it seems, were not.

Maru the Crankpot gave us this little tidbit on honor integrity, and values:
Senate Minority leader Reid suprised to discover Bush's idea of bipartisanship is to send millions of people a 13-page-long smear job about the Senator's voting record.

The Republican National Committee is set to begin a prolonged attack against newly installed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) aimed at weakening his support in his home state as well as on the national level. Drawing on a blueprint used successfully against former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), the RNC will send a 13-page research document today to roughly 1 million people — a group that includes journalists, donors and grass-roots activists — detailing Reid’s alleged obstructionism among other topics.

Link no longer active but remember this?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. aviation officials failed to respond to dozens of warnings of a possible threat to airliners months before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a previously undisclosed report by the commission probing the assault, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

The commission report said federal aviation officials reviewed 52 intelligence reports between April and Sept. 10 that warned about Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda, the newspaper said.

The panel's report took the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to task for failing to take steps that could have deterred the attacks, the newspaper said.

The newspaper cited the report as saying that aviation officials had amassed so much information about the terrorist threat that they held classified briefings in mid-2001 for security officials at 19 of the busiest U.S. airports to warn of the danger posed in particular by bin Laden.

Still, the commission concluded that aviation officials did not direct adequate resources or attention to the problem, the Times said.
Now, what was that about the Cheney-Bush administration keeping us safe? As I recall the 9/11/2001 attacks happened when.... let's see... Bush was president. Just over a month after the Presidential Daily Briefing warned that Bin Laden planned to attack the US.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

And there was this:
Pyongyang pulling out of 6-nation disarmament talks

North Korea on Thursday announced for the first time that it has nuclear arms and rejected moves to restart disarmament talks anytime soon, saying it needs the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States.
And this:
More than 200 Fish and Wildlife researchers cite cases where conclusions were reversed to weaken protections and favor business, a survey finds.

More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says.

And let's not forget that Condi was a liar:
Although then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice wrote a March 22, 2004 column in The Washington Post that "No al-Qaeda threat was turned over to the new administration," a newly declassified document [image below the fold] tells the story.

EIGHT months before the September 11 attacks the White House's then counterterrorism adviser urged then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to hold a high-level meeting on the al-Qaeda network, according to a memo made public today.

"We urgently need such a principals-level review on the al-Qaeda network," ... Richard Clarke wrote in the January 25, 2001 memo.

At least the Australians were reporting this back then.

The Rude Pundit lays out some of the major issues of the day:
The White Noise of Scandal:
What's it gonna take for the general public to be shocked anymore? 'Cause, really, and, c'mon, this week's news alone ought to be enough to make the head of even the most casual observer of the nascent Washington scandals explode into a shower of skull and viscera, raining down on the ignorant. The White House knew the levee hadn't held and that New Orleans was being drowned a day earlier than previously admitted? Scooter Libby was told by Dick Cheney and other "superiors" to break the law and leak classified information? Tom DeLay is put on the House subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, while said department is investigating DeLay's buddy, Jack Abramoff?
Yes, ABRAMOFF, NEW ORLEANS, AND LIBBY'S TREASON were the big items. The corruption investigations related to Abramoff continue, New Orleans still struggles to rebuild, and Libby got off with a slap on the wrist.

I admit it, I still want to see Dick Cheney hanged for treason. Not to put too fine a point on it. Obama can look ahead.

And, though I admit I'm harping on this, attention must be paid:
A timeline pieced together by Senate Democrats shows that the Bush White House knew as early as 8:30 a.m. EST, August 29.

The first internal White House communication about levee failures came at
11:13 a.m. on Aug. 29 in a "Katrina Spot Report" by the White House Homeland Security Council.

"Flooding is significant throughout the region and a levee in New Orleans has reportedly been breached sending 6-8 feet of water throughout the 9th ward area of the city," the internal report said.

White House spokesperson Trent Duffy explained that Bush and his aides were fully apprised of the situation. But they didn't move a muscle.

So how come Bush, as Senator Joe Lieberman put it, "...could have woken up Tuesday morning unaware of this obviously catastrophic situation"?

At least 28 local, state and Federal agencies reported to the White House that the levees surrounding the Crescent City had broken.
[Emphasis mine]
From the Associated Press - link no longer working.

Jack Abramoff said in correspondence made public Thursday that President Bush met him “almost a dozen” times, disputing White House claims Bush did not know the former lobbyist at the center of a corruption scandal.

“The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything, who knows,” Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to Kim Eisler, national editor for the Washingtonian magazine.

Abramoff added that Bush also once invited him to his Texas ranch.

Do you miss these two?
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert engineered a backroom legislative maneuver to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits, say witnesses to the pre-Christmas power play.

I think everyone should view krazypuppy's post at Daily Kos titled "Bush Photo Essay of 9/11 & Katrina" but the material was re-hosted elsewhere and the link no longer works. I saved it all in a Word document. Ask me and I will send it to you in an e-mail attachment. The timeline of Bush inaction is stunning, sickening, infuriating.
Hours after landfall, Bush heads 1000s of miles AWAY from NOLA to sell his Medicare package to seniors in Arizona

Governor Blanco sends Bush an urgent request for emergency help.

At about 8 p.m., she spoke to Bush. "Mr. President," she said, "we need your help. We need everything you've got."

But the president, who was in San Diego preparing to give a speech the next day on the war in Iraq, went to bed.

Um. We are still on Day 1.

While shopping for shoes, Condi Rice has a patron thrown out for having the gall to call her on her shoe shopping while AMericans are dying in the Gulf.

The woman said, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the woman.

Bush FINALLY gets an idea of the magnitude of the tragedy when an aide SITS him down & plays a video of the carnage.

John Dean wrote:
Vice President Dick Cheney has stirred up an old fight in Washington. He sent a rookie, however, to make his case publicly. It did not work.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to offer what may have been the weakest legal argument for presidential power to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance since Nixon's Justice Department invoked the views of King George III.

King George III's take on the matter did not carry any weight either. Indeed, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals could barely believe the Nixon Justice Department was serious. The panel reminded the government's lawyers that warrantless searches were among the very reasons the colonies fought for their independence.

Things were not going so swimmingly in Iraq per McClatchy:
Two weeks with American units that patrolled with Iraqi forces in west and east Baghdad found that Iraqi officers sold new uniforms meant for their troops, and that their soldiers wore plastic shower sandals while manning checkpoints, abused prisoners and solicited bribes to free suspects they'd captured.

During a patrol last week in a violent west Baghdad neighborhood that's the scene of regular sniper fire at U.S. and Iraqi troops, Staff Sgt. Jeremie Oliver saw Iraqi soldiers gathered in the middle of the road, near a streetlight, making them an easy target for gunmen on the surrounding rooftops.

Thinking that something might be wrong, Oliver, 30, of Farmington, Maine, jogged over. The Iraqis were looking at pornography on a cell phone.

NEW Documents Show U.S. Torture Was Planned Long Ago

[I know: you're shocked.]

Larry C. Johnson wrote:
Douglas Feith, the former number three man at Rummy's Department of Defense and co-author of the debacle in Iraq, proved Tommy Franks right. General Franks described Feith to author Bob Woodward as:

"the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth."

Yes. Amen!! Feith displayed his utter cluelessness Friday afternoon during his appearance on the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and cemented his status as the King of Stupidity. Feith continued to insist that Saddam was in league with Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Teacherken shared this:
Five and a half years later, no one has been held accountable for taking into account only what they wanted to hear.

The quote is from Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe, who has an op ed in today's paper entitled 'This is when the war hits home'.

More on the damnable Doug Feith, one of the great architects of the Iraq disaster:
Feith never mentions to WH, Hadley, or Libby that the CIA disagreed with 50% of his material.
[An oversight, I'm sure.]

Senator Obama throws his hat in the ring:
"We can build a more hopeful America. And that is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States."
Digby and others noted Darth's bizarre "Fourth Branch" theory:
TPM , The Carpetbagger Report and others including yours truly wrote recently about this bizarre new theory that the VP's office has cooked up apparently granting him some sort of special, unaccountable status as an office that is both Executive and Legislative and so reports to nothing and no one.

Hunter wrote of Dick Cheney:
Cheney doesn't believe in merely denying reality, he believes in pinning it down, attaching electrodes to it, then just clubbing it to death for fun.
It's interesting, because once again one would think it would be a key component of rational public discourse for people to, indeed, call him out on his happy, camouflage-colored delusions. But it's somehow off-limits, in the press, to point out when a public official is an unmitigated, reality-sodomizing liar.

My clippings collection from February 10, 2008, was replete with my own posts here. So that becomes rather redundant. I can see that I had discovered The Cunning Runt by then as I saved lots of his wonderful photos.

Fr. Jake was in the throes of moving and shared an old photo of himself with his daughter.

Keith Olbermann and John Dean discuss one of my favorite topics - FISA:
KO: Tuesday we have the FISA vote. If the Democrats cave in, and they create a shield for the telecomms from lawsuits filed by Americans, never mind any prosecution, but just the civil action, does that mean the end of possibly any inquiry in any way, shape, or form into that illegal wiretapping and whatever the next stage might be of monitoring of Internet and phone communications?

JD: Well, it would certainly end the civil pursuit of that inquiry, if they do cave. And if they do cave, it's not likely they're going to be inclined to pick up a Congressional investigation which should indeed be digging into these issues and they've been very reluctant to do it so far. So this may be the end of the story we're seeing, and I think it's to the chagrin of a lot of people who thought that the law meant something and that they, indeed, were supposed to follow it.

And that's the tour for tonight. I hope it helps us have some perspective on how truly awful the Bush regime was and why we find ourselves in the messes we are in today.

If you feel like bitchslapping any Republican in the US Congress, be my guest.
--the BB


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Funny this with Katrina, over her we saw it coming in the news from Friday. Yet nothing happened.

(the Spanish press was the best informed during Katrina)

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

O, forgot...

Heal well!

Paul said...

Tack, tack, Göran. It was four years ago. The trauma is forgotten except for the bill.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Paul, I believe I'd have to call this post a tour de force.

There's talk of a truth commission now. At least, if the perps don't do jail time, light may shine on dark deeds that we may not know about.

Thanks for the gift of reliving a few of the horrors of the of the Bush years. Or maybe, no thanks.

Sleep well, love.

Paul said...

Thanks, Mimi. I was rather amazed at what lay in the archives. Of course, my outrage back then is what fueled my reading and clipping. One can only stand amazed at how certain themes keep recurring. Can you imagine reading a short post that discussed bipartisanship and obstruction in conjunction? From a few years back?

You sleep well too, dear.