# Hurricane Katrina

Weekend thread: Reflection and self-improvement

Sunday evening marks the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Like Jews around the world, I’ve been reflecting on mistakes I made during the past year and how I can do better in the future. For those who attend services on Yom Kippur, I recommend reading those meditations at the beginning of the high holidays prayer book.

Congressman Steve King’s not the introspective type, judging from his recent interview with The Hill (hat tip to MyDD user Louisiana 1976):

THE HILL: What vote would you like to redo?

   KING: I don’t really go back and re-live that sort of thing. Some of the big votes that I’ve thought about, some of the jury’s still out. And at this point, maybe I’d answer that question another way, probably the singular vote that stands out that went against the grain, and it turns out to be the best vote that I cast, was my “no” vote to the $51.5 billion to [Hurricane] Katrina. That probably was my best vote. But as far as doing something different again, I don’t know.

So, well into his fourth term in Congress, King can’t think of a single vote he would cast differently. Not only that, when asked about any decision he might regret, King’s mind leaped to what he considers his “best vote.” A cartoon villain couldn’t have picked a more inappropriate vote to brag about.

Do you think King works hard to be offensive, or do these comments come to him with no effort?

This is an open thread for anything on your mind this weekend.  

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GOP convention/Hurricane Gustav open thread

Post your thoughts about today’s events. The front page of Barack Obama’s website has a link you can click to find ways to help Hurricane Gustav victims.

John McCain has seized the opportunity to distance himself from George Bush and Dick Cheney. They had been scheduled to address the GOP convention on Monday night, but those speeches have been canceled. Instead, Laura Bush and Cindy McCain will speak briefly on how Americans can help hurricane victims.

Meanwhile, McCain is touring the Gulf cost and talking about turning the Republican convention into a service event. Fits nicely with his slogan about “putting country first,” except when you realize that his visit is likely to distract the local officials trying to manage evacuation and disaster relief efforts.

He obviously doesn’t want people to remember that the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, Bush was celebrating McCain’s birthday in Arizona.

This diary by Muzikal203 compares how McCain and Obama have reacted to Gustav and both senators’ records on matters related to Hurricane Katrina.

UPDATE: I’ve been reading some disturbing posts about police tactics in St. Paul:

A concise roundup by mcjoan is here.

Glenn Greenwald has a lot more detail, including footage of Amy Goodman, host of the Democracy Now! radio program, being arrested while covering the protests at the RNC. Greenwald observed on Monday:

Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 — with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured.

Lindsay Beyerstein wrote this piece at Firedoglake.

Open Left has published several pieces on this, including this post with photos by Matt Stoller.

It is depressing to see such an overreaction to political dissent.

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