“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

the trifecta fuckup

One of the constants going across the Rebel in Chief’s administration is what you might call the trifecta fuckup. A monstrous fuck up happens – say, the almost insane way we now know that the U.S. “cornered” Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora, without putting troops along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan; then an excuse or a coverup will be made; and then, amazingly, the fuckup becomes a precedent for further fuckups. Since there were too few troops in Afghanistan to do the job right – why not put too few troops in Iraq, too?

The latest fuckup trifecta has roiled the Governor’s Association recently. Here's how it works. A monstrous fuckup happened – the response to Katrina that wasn’t. As we all know, and as the Bush report to itself says (which stoutly refused to point fingers – why worry about the past when we can proudly say that we have not fucked up the future?), the breakdown in that response was due, in large part, to not getting army units and national guardsmen in place in time. So, as in some textbook pool shot, we have, a, the fuckup, b, the subsequent excuse and coverup, and of course, c., the future fuckup building on a. In this case, we have the Bush administration cutting funding for the National Guard – naturally. A War Department that shells out its 200 millions gladly to Halliburton, in spite of its own audit that shows that Cheney’s company put on a squeeze that would have pleased Don Corleone’s heart, doesn’t have time for things as tawdry as keeping a standing National Guard going in a time when we all know that, due to rises in the temperature of the Gulf and the Atlantic, we are going to be going through much rougher hurricane seasons.

This was the topic at the Governor’s conference this year. From the WAPO story:

“Governors were united in their opposition to what they regard as cuts in Guard funding in Bush's fiscal 2007 budget as well as fears that the Pentagon has been slow to replace equipment that has been shipped to Iraq with state Guard units. Early this month, all 50 governors signed a letter opposing the new budget and calling on Defense Department officials to reequip returning units as quickly as possible.


Much of the focus was on the gap between the Guard's authorized strength of 350,000 and the budget, which includes money for 333,000 Guard troops. Bush and Rumsfeld said they are committed to funding the Guard at the fully authorized level. They also said the equipment sent to Iraq will be replaced and in many cases upgraded.”

In the what, me worry atmosphere of the White House, though, you can play monopoly with those promises, but don’t take them to the bank – they will bounce. The roulette wheel is spinning, and we do wonder what lucky city will take the hit come August or September. The trifecta fuckup means that, going into the future, the administration ramifies its incompetence on the political as well as the management level. After all, the black dot is most likely to fall on a Florida city – not good for Jeb, not good for the Bushes.

Well, but really, who but crazy Greenpeacers expect that the hurricane season will get worse? After all, it says in the bible that all of nature toiled and moiled in order to produce our Great President. But, hmm, what is this in this week’s Natural Gas Week?

“Even though the 2005 hurricane season was the worst season in 154 years, forecasts for the 2006 hurricane season are already signaling that the energy industry is in for another nail biter. And while natural gas prices might be depressed now over a glut of storage, futures traders say the chance of another hyperactive season in the Gulf is likely to keep prices elevated.

"The market has been so focused on lack of winter and growing storage that no one has been really paying much attention to what lies ahead with the hurricane season," one futures trader said. "The current glut of storage is more of a short-term situation, you have to look at longer-term supply issues as well. If we see anything even remotely similar to last year's activity in terms of damage and loss of production in the Gulf of Mexico, gas prices definitely will reflect it."
As scary as it sounds, Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said there's no reason to expect any change in hurricane patterns in the near future. The number of hurricanes has been increasing since 1995 and such active seasons are expected to continue for the next 10, perhaps 20 years.

Mayfield has been very vocal in preparing the public and energy industry for what very likely could be an encore season. And a developing La Nina effect, could spell even more hurricanes in 2006, he said.”

With this administration, it is always that little bit extra one admires. The trifecta fuckup is nothing without a little New Orleans style lagniappe. Why are the water temperatures rising? The Natural Gas industry is going to tell you that it is all Ms. Nina. So is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – until it was caught. According to Greenwire, February 16:

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration yesterday backed away from a statement it had released after last year's bout of devastating hurricanes that dismissed linking hurricanes to global warming. NOAA posted a corrected statement on its Web site yesterday, stating that some agency researchers disagree with that view.”

As we know, the administration is strictly Lysenkoist when it comes to science. If, perchance, we were suffering from an atmospheric crisis that demanded higher levels of oil burning and more pollution from our coal burning energy plants, you know that we would be hearing about this crisis, in serious tones, daily – and the zombie crowd would wail. But the crisis we are suffering goes against the profit margins of the oil companies – hence, we have Michael Crichton’s environmental policies in place.

What is funny – what is ironic – is that as the temperatures go up, there is actually an economic system in place that is ideally suited to adapt to it. It is called – capitalism. The state could operate as easily to jumpstart a Green economy as it has to jumpstart and maintain a war economy, with the sustaining mechanism coming from the profit motive. In other words, standard 20th century capitalism -- not the libertarian wet dream, and not the Marxist vision of the armed proletariat.

But so it goes. Another sick joke. Another Lord of the Flies day in America.

PS -- re Lord of the Flies. Kerry would have been well advised to read that book in 04. It is often said, now, that the Bush administration is incompetent. Usually, this is taken to mean that the Bush people keep doing the same thing -- as in Iraq --even though that thing has failed in the past. But this is where the true, 12 year old emotional level of the Rebel in Chief becomes an important factor. As anyone knows who has taught twelve year olds, there is a type of twelve year old who will repeat an error exactly to show it wasn't an error. This is where a form of rationality -- the iteration of the correct procedure to do something - breaks down. In the old character-based psychology this kind of thing was called stubborness, or pride, or vanity. A recalcitrant twelve year old boy who knows that he is right in some higher sense will repeat, say, the wrong answer to the problem on a test in order to show he was right all along. The repetition of disastrous policies -- for instance, the repetition of using too few troops to achieve a military objective -- is not about some hope that this time we will get it right, but rather the desire to show that we were ever wrong in the first place. The phrase, "I'll show you" could be the motto of this administration -- that is why so many of its policies seem to exist just so they can be rammed down the American throat. In this way, mistakes are transformed into expected and desired outcomes. It is even better that Osama bin Laden escaped, for instance -- it would make a martyr of him to have taken him. He's powerless anyway. He's on the run. Etc., etc. The Fox news headline that is becoming legendary: "Civil War in Iraq: a good thing" is exactly pitched to the twelve year old mentality. Similarly, with the hurricane season of 06, the cuts in the National Guard are meant to show that the administration was right, right, right to respond as it did to Katrina.

So, throw out your Prince. The best book about the twelve year old mentality in power is Lord of the Flies.

3 comments:

Amerigo Sciurofascista said...

Not just any kind of capitalism! We have the best for this kind of thing. There's enough pork and graft to be had from rapidly going green to stir the slithering soul of Dick Cheney. If he could bring himself to stop shooting his friends for a minute and think, he'd be wrapped around this like a python around a pig.

Roger, I insist that the reason they refuse to go green is because they really, truly do hate anything that makes even a tiny bit of sense. They dislike the idea of prosperity, security and loathe competence in any area. It makes them ill just to think about it.

Brian Miller said...

Mr. Scruggs: I'm quite enjoying your site (UFO Breakfast).

Amerigo Sciurofascista said...

I'm a guest at that blog. Turbulent Velvet took me in after I got out of rehab.