January 17, 2010

Why does this not make me feel any better? And now we're going to get to see The Shrub as Molly Ivins nicknamed him on Meet the Press. Oh goodie. I don't want to disparage the relief organizations being touted, but putting Bush out there to "make sure the money is spent wisely" is the last thing I want to hear. You and Cheney going to get Haliburton down there for us George? Word is they're already "protecting" one of our media outlets down there. I'd love to know which one.

Our own web master and computer guru extraordinaire Jamie at Intoxination has a fundraiser going at his blog if you'd like to donate to MercyCorps. I welcome anyone else who has a charity they'd like to recommend to help the people of Haiti to add their links in the comments section.

Back to the subject of Bush and being subjected to hearing him speak again. I already posted Harold Ford Jr.'s nauseating response to listening to W's little speech today. Thanks Harold for making me almost as ill as I felt after hearing him talk with your fawning over him. Back when this clown was still running the country, or pretending to when it was probably actually Darth Cheney operating from his secret bunker calling the shots, I used to play a little game with some of my conservative co-workers.

I've got an XM radio at work and whenever C-SPAN or any of the news networks would have him on, I'd make sure I turned up the volume just high enough that they could hear it if they weren't too far away from the radio to see if they could stand to listen him talk since they voted for this idiot. It was always a sure way to clear the room or at least move them to a spot far enough away where they could not hear what he was saying without fail.

It just always killed me that those co-workers of mine who were these "values voters" were letting their churches tell them how to vote against their own economic interests and the interest of our union and supported Bush refused to listen to him talk. As much as they played apologists for his policies, even they couldn't stomach listening to him. Hearing him speak today just brought all of that back for me.

I really do not understand why the Obama administration thought bringing Bush or Clinton back into the mix with helping the people of Haiti was a good idea, but as was pointed out with Democracy Now's coverage, if this possibly forces the media to have to take a look at why that country is so impoverished, maybe that ends up being a good thing.

Jamie also sent all of us a really excellent post about the media and Haiti and the choice all of us need to make right now.

Media Promotes Flawed Haiti Narrative:

The paradoxes of Haiti are not all historical:

We can send money to Haiti, but Haitians can't seek refuge here.

We can support Haiti's efforts at democracy, but only if Haiti supports unfettered access by foreign capitalists to their workforce and their resources.


And in the meantime, while we are pushing for the real story, we can begin to practice pushing our own narratives instead of repeating the carefully manufactured storylines from the nightly news.


If you are not willing to press for a political advantage while you have the stage, this same tragedy will very likely happen again. If we are saving people today so they can die in sweatshops for our corporations later, THAT is a travesty

So press on, people. Press on.

Go read the whole post here.

BARACK OBAMA: You know, yesterday we witnessed a small but remarkable display of that determination. Some of you may have seen it, Haitians with little more than the clothes on their back marched peacefully through a ruined neighborhood, and despite all their loss and all their suffering they sang songs of faith and songs of hope. These are the people we're called upon to help. Those are the hopes that we're committed to answering. That's why the three of us are standing together today.

And, with that, I would invite each president to say a few words. I'm going to start with President Bush.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Thank you, sir.

I join President Obama in expressing my sympathy for the people of Haiti.

I commend the President for his swift and timely response to the disaster. I am so pleased to answer the call to work alongside President Clinton to mobilize the compassion of the American people.

Like most Americans, Laura and I had been following the television coverage from Haiti. Our hearts are broken when we see -- see the scenes of little children struggling without a mom or a dad or the bodies in the streets or the physical damage of the -- of the earthquake.

The challenges down there are immense, but there's a lot of devoted people leading the relief effort, from government personnel who deployed into the disaster zone to the faith-based groups that have made Haiti a calling.

The most effective way for Americans to help the people of Haiti is to contribute money. That money will go to organizations on the ground who and will be -- who will be able to effectively spend it. I know a lot of people want to send blankets or water. Just send your cash. One of the things that the President and I will do is to make sure your money is spent wisely. As President Obama said, you can -- you can look us up on clintonbushhaitifund.org.

The Haitian people have got a tough journey, yet it's amazing how terrible tragedies can bring out the best of the human spirit. We've all seen that first hand when American citizens responded to the tsunami or to Katrina or the earthquake in Pakistan. And President Clinton and I are going to work to tap that same spirit of giving to help our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean.

Toward the end of my presidency, Laura made a trip down to Haiti to -- to look at the emergency plan for aids relief programs down there. I remember clearly her coming back and telling me about the energy and optimism of the people of Haiti. There's just an unbelievable spirit amongst the Haitian people, and while that earthquake destroyed a lot, it didn't destroy their spirit.

So the people of Haiti will recover and rebuild, and, as they do, they know they'll have a friend in the United States of America.

Mr. President, thank you for giving me the chance to -- to serve.

OBAMA: Thank you. I appreciate it.

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