it's time to start saying it

There’s a word for what we’re seeing in New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast states. It’s one that not many people are familiar with, but it’s time to start using it to describe the situation:

malfeasance \mal-FEE-zuhn(t)s\, noun:
Wrongdoing, misconduct, or misbehavior, especially by a public official.


The AP reports a Bush photo op glad-handing visit kept rescue helicopters grounded:

In St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, just south of New Orleans, victims of the hurricane are still waiting for food and water and for buses to escape the floodwaters, Melancon said. And for the entire time Bush was in the state, the congressman said, a ban on helicopter flights further stalled the delivery of food and supplies.

And let there be no doubt, the dog was being wagged vigorously in White House attempts to shift their well-deserved blame elsewhere:

ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

No doubt at all in Senator Mary Landrieu’s mind:

But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment.


Shout it with me: malfeasance!