The State of the Union

Is dire*. And in New Orleans, it's worse. Unless, like George Bush, you live in a bubble of pure fantasy:
A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency -- and stays at it until they're back on their feet.
Where is that? the Netherlands? Let's go!
So far the federal government has committed $85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.
Whoa. What? When did that happen? Last I heard, we were getting half of $13B. Because, you know, we lost 200,000 homes and Mississippi lost, oh, 35,000. Yeah, that makes sense.
We're removing debris and repairing highways and rebuilding stronger levees....
"Rebuilding stronger levees"? Really? There's no evidence that levees as bad as we had before (thanks, Corpse of Engineers!) will be ready by next summer, and Bush has refused to order the construction of Category 4 or 5 flood protection.

*The short list:
  • A not-exactly-free Iraq that's in a low-grade civil war and seems headed for some theocracy
  • Decimated cities, one of which is being left twisting in the wind
  • Warrantless wiretaps of American citizens
  • Possibly a federal police force with nebulous powers of arrest
  • One or more stolen elections
  • A thoroughly corrupt Republican government
  • The sale of critical regulatory functions of government to representatives of the industries they are supposed to regulate
  • A massive federal debt owed mainly to potential rivals, with only token reductions in spending taken out of aid for the poor
  • Mediocre job growth
  • An insane foreign policy used for the benefit of monied elites and the securing of access to oil and gas
  • A neglect of the environment
  • Federal indifference to the coming global difficulties posed by global warming
  • No push for reduction in burning fossil fuels, despite Peak Oil and overwhelming evidence of the human contribution to global warming
  • The suppression and alteration of government reports supporting positions contrary to those of the Administration (see global warming, cost of Medicare, etc.)
  • The appointment of a fascist to the Supreme Court
  • The suppression of dissent through influence of the news media, disinformation, misinformation, outright lying and faux news
  • A corporate-owned, increasingly consolidated national news media that distorts most stories, worships power and has for the most part abdicated its function to critically examine anything that non-Democrats do; so the press is "free," just not the press most people get their news from (apologies to James Risen and other courageous reporters)
  • They can get away with all this without abrogating freedom of speech, because character assassination is a professional Republican Washington sport and non-Bushian bloggers are inconsequential
  • An Executive Branch that refuses to stop torturing suspected terrorists
  • American citizens can be detained indefinitely without representation or judicial review
  • The inability for the minority party to hold Congressional investigations of anything and the Majority able to stonewall and/or rig investigations inconvenient to the Administration (see 9/11 Commission and every other investigation in the last 5 years)
  • The manipulation of the population through fear-mongering (see election-season threat levels)
  • Reporting in Washington is so atrocious that conservatives will read this and think I'm "fevered" instead of just reciting facts
  • It gets much, much worse, but I'm not saying anything about that

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