Kyra's Pee-Break Trumps Bush Flub

Pickin' and a grinnin'In all the excitement over Kyra Phillips' pee-break broadcast from "the situation room," we forgot to note the charming screw-up made by the guy on TV during CNN's landmark audio event.


Returning to the drowned city he would only fly above a year ago, the president once again fed New Orleans conspiracy theorists with a mysteriously flubbed line.

"The Army Corps of Engineers have been working non-stop -- and I mean non-stop -- to damage ... to repair the damage," Bush stammered. (It's after Kyra's mic is finally turned off, at 1:42 in the clip.)

Also today, after breakfast with "Chocolate Ray" Nagin at Betsy's Pancakes House, a frustrated waitress caught in the photo opportunity tried to ask Bush a question as he looked away. She then loudly asked if he was just going to turn his back on her, and he answered -- with a chuckle -- "No ma'am ... not again."

Yesterday afternoon, touring the devastated hellscape of Biloxi, Mississippi, Bush made another bizarre statement.

"It's amazing, isn't?" Bush said while looking over the devastation. "It's amazing what the world looked like then and what it looks like now."

The blunders fall into that uniquely disturbing class of Bush flubs, such as 2004's infamous "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

We think he's just in the wrong line of work. Not everybody can be a charasmatic public speaker like, uh, John Kerry or whoever! And we certainly don't follow that old CIA adage: The first time is happenstance, the second time is coincidence, but the third time is enemy action.

The AP notes:

Only half of New Orleans has electricity. Half its hospitals are closed. Violent crime is up. Less than half the population has returned. Tens of thousands of families still live in trailers and mobile homes with no real timetable for moving to more permanent housing. Insurance settlements are mired in red tape. The city still has no master rebuilding plan. And while much debris has been cleared, some remains as if the clock stopped when the storm struck.
Bush marks Katrina anniversary with prayer, pancakes [AFP]

Bush on Katrina one year later: "It's Amazing" [Huffington Post]

Bush calls for return to New Orleans [Washington Post]

Transcript of Bush's remarks in New Orleans [White House, with flub flushed down the memory hole]

Katrina: Something Besides Emotion [Harry Shearer]

-- KEN LAYNE

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