The aftermath of hurricane Katrina has finally reached all the way to Washington. Republican operatives were seen seeking cover in a parallel universe, while some found temporary shelter in the old rightwing structure of blaming the victims. The nominal heads of federal agencies that would, under competent leadership, spearhead relief efforts for major disasters such as the one that has devastated the Gulf states, are utterly oblivious to the realities in the water and on the ground in New Orleans and the surrounding area. Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security Director, Michael Chertoff both made statements in the corporate media praising federal agencies relief efforts while bodies of New Orleans resident are being chewed on by rats and babies are dying. Meanwhile, the present occupant in the White House, at last able to find time to focus on the tragedy rather than continue enjoying his endless vacation, is talking tough on crime and doing photo-ops. His usual posing will do him little good this time around. Under his watch the federal government has failed miserably. There's no where to hide for George W. Bush. Not behind Karl Rove, not back at the ranch, nowhere.

The Bush regime is now totally exposed to the elements, just as those poor souls down in the bayou are exposed to the rain and heat. Years of Republican cutbacks and under-funding of critical infrastructure projects, such as the levees around New Orleans, as well as the National Guard manpower and the overall economic drain of the Afghanistan and Iraqi quagmires, have coupled with the inherent heartlessness of extreme rightwing ideologies to form a perfect storm of disaster for the Bush regime and its cronies in the nation's capitol. As the horrendous stories of failed governmental relief efforts for the hurricane's victims grow, it becomes more and more apparent how unprepared and out-of-touch federal officials in the richest nation on the planet are to assist the population.

Thankfully, citizens in the U.S. are not so unprepared and disconnected. Grassroots responses to the greatest flood disaster in the nation's history are coming in from all over the country. Private organizations like the Red Cross are picking up the massive slack. When all the bodies are counted and laid to rest, when all the sick and distraught are cared for, heads will roll in DC, right up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where, recent history to the contrary, the buck really does stop. But for now, let us concentrate on our neighbors to the south. Real help is what is needed, not posturing and spin, and real help from the people is on its way.

Contact your local Red Cross here.