By Joseph Cannon on 8/31/2005, 8:16pm PT  

(NOTE to LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALL readers and the other Rightie blogsites who parrot that one with misleading headlines like "Bradblog: Don't Donate to Bush States". You may (or may not) wish to know that the following BRAD BLOG Guest Blog item by Joseph Cannon has been entirely misquoted to you out of context by your blogmasters.

Like your "President", your blogmasters seem only interested in misleading you and ensuring that you stay in the dark by giving you only the selected-out-of-context information which meets their own political agenda.

We invite you to read Mr. Cannon's entire blog item before you add your two cents in the comments section here whatever they may be. Unlike LGF and the bulk of the other rightie blogs that have misquoted this article in hopes of avoiding accountability where it belongs for this national disaster, our comments section is open and requires no pre-registration, which LGF no longer seems to allow anyway.

As to LGF's misleading update to their misleading item describing my comment here as "an uttlerly craven excuse," I promise to scratch my head and ponder for the rest of the evening what "excuse" it is they are referring to. Even LGF's reply to my comment is wholly bereft of anything that represents actual information, honesty or reality. LGF and other rightwing blogsite readers, along with all Americans, deserve much better. All opinions here are welcome. Even those with which we don't agree. BF)

Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon

I'm not going to post the piece I started to write.

My original reaction to the Katrina catastrophe was going to be: "NOT ONE DIME."

For an hour or so, I contemplated the idea of turning it into a crusade: No-one in the blue states (where the money is) should give one dime of aid to the victims of this hurricane, which devastated Bush-friendly regions.

Why did I flirt with such a callous attitude?

Because it should be obvious to all that this tragedy was not just an act of God. Dubya and his diety conspired to transform mere disaster into an unprecedented mega-catastrophe.

Scientists warn us to expect more Katrinas. Global warming --- the existence of which W would prefer to rationalize away --- caused the temperature of the sea's surface to rise in the Gulf of Mexico, thereby transforming what should have been a manageable hurricane into a monster.

The National Guard was off in Iraq stealing oil --- and everything else in that nation --- all to benefit Haliburton and the oil companies. They could have been in N.O. earlier, building levies, overseeing evacuation.

Bush financially eviscerated the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money went to his Iraq debacle.

Bush cut funding for hurricane relief and the prevention of disaster in New Orleans:

When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security --- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts --- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

The federal governmen has, in short, demonstrated an utter lack of foresight. Bush was giving specious pro-war speeches and dodging Cindy Sheehan when he should have been helping local governments prepare.

The governors of Louisiana and other affected states were reduced to begging the federal government for aid. Under Clinton, they wouldn't have had to ask: Such aid would have been understood as inevitable.

Even Bush the elder immediately sent 25,000 troops to clean up after Hurrican Andrew. Bush the younger won't be able to spare half that amount of manpower.

So why was I thinking of starting a movement against giving aid to the stricken areas?

Because these are red states. They voted for Bush. These ninnies obviously wanted these policies, and they deserve to live with the consequences of their votes.

A large part of me still believes that many of these W-worshipping numbskulls deserve to suffer and to die. They brought it on themselves. Let them look to Jayzuss for aid: It's time they stopped leeching off the more productive blue staters.

(Californians stupidly give much more to the federal government than we receive from it; the money flows in a very different direction in the red states.)

So, at least, I started to write. But then (to paraphrase the old song) I thought I'd better think it out again.

Many of the victims, the ones who have suffered the most, are poor. The hardest hit were the blue state folk living among the red state maniacs. New Orleans, we should note, went heavily for Kerry.

And that's why we must help. Although it was very tempting to say otherwise.

But let us make one thing clear: We WILL politicize this issue.

The Republicans did not shirk from making political use of 9/11, and we should not shirk from reminding the country that Bush turned what should have been a mere problem into Ragnarok.

Conservatives may accuse us of lacking taste if we use this sad occasion to point out sadder facts of political life. Cable news pundits will try to pretend that now is not the time for partisan politics.

If they say that, screw 'em.

If the Bush-voters want Californians and New Yorkers and other blue staters to fork over dough, then they damn well had better take our words as well. Republican policies caused this catastrophe. Force them to hear that message --- again and again. That message is the price of the charity they now demand.