• I know it's a tiny gesture that won't alleviate any suffering, but I'd like to remind everyone in the Gulf states that it could have been Bernard Kerik in charge of "Homeland" "Security".
• In a related note, how 'bout we just give Michael "Mr. Peanut" Chertoff and Mike "D. Stands For Delay" Brown their Presidential Medals of Freedom now and be done with it?
• I saw Chertoff four times today, including two speeches and his master of ceremonies duties for the Seven Spokesdwarfs, and I saw Mike Brown thrice. Do they not have anything else to do?
• Really, do they not have anything else to do? The whole day was an exercise in CYA by butt-naked men, although I would like to thank Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul McHale for the ten minute explanation of posse comitatus law. I trust the number of dehydration deaths in the audience during that period was minimal.
• After he spent the morning cutting the ceremonial ribbon on "September is Chew Your Food Twenty-Seven Times Month", Chertoff got down to business in the early PM, closing his speech by wishing "Godspeed and good luck to those who are suffering". He kept a straight face. Kerik wouldn't have been able to.
• Prior to that, he advised New Orleaneans to go to alternate sites as this would speed up evacuations. Apparently due to some communication mix-up he'd been informed they'd looted some electricity to go with their new big screen teevees.
• And after that, and after his fourteenth promise that food and water were on the way as he spoke, it turned out that he had no idea there were 15,000 people at the Convention Center who had anticipated his plan to speed up evacuations.
• Last word I heard, the CNN guy who was at the Convention Center and whose name escapes me, for which I apologize because he's doing a terrific job, said that one Apache helicopter had landed briefly, kicked some supplies out the door, and taken off again. This was about 8 pm Central.
• The CNN guy whose name I cannot remember is not Chris Lawrence, who was at the Convention Center earlier and who says "literally" more often than most people say "uh".
• Brown, meanwhile, joined in on the "blame people for still being there" chorus, which came pretty close to convincing me it's part of the plan.
• Michael D. Brown has worked for Bush's FEMA since 2001. Prior to that he was an estate planning lawyer and counsel for the International Arabian Horse Association.
• CNN's Pentagon reporter Jamie McIntyre said he was being given a hard time by military types who didn't think enough attention was being given to their problems.
• Nice of Condi Rice to cut short her vacation, too. We might need a CYA with some allies or something.
• My one, small laugh of the last 48 hours or so came when I saw someone refer to New Orleans as "Lake George".
• Speaking of the man who has zero tolerance for law breaking and infinite tolerance for permitting lawlessness to take hold:
Question: Regarding the president's zero tolerance for insurance fraud, looting, price gouging. Does he make any allowance for people who have yet to receive aid who are taking things like water or food or shoes to walk among the debris?
Scott McClellan: I think you heard from the president earlier today about his zero tolerance. We understand the need for food and water and supplies of that nature. That's why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help. Looting is not the way for them to do it.
• Hell, while we're at it, give Scotty one o' them Freedom Medals too.
• Plenty of blame to go 'round: Louisiana has ordered 500 school buses to aid in the evacuation. Ninety-six fucking hours after the hurricane.
• Wolcott has a letter-perfect response to the idea that now is not the time for political finger pointing. To which I can add only that what needs to wait for now, but must be demanded later, is a full set of hearings on this whole shameful spectacle. And once New Orleans is empty there will be plenty of time for a thorough investigation of the actions of its police force. A sizeable percentage of them may not belong in prisonl, but I'd like to wait and see.