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The political world is now abuzz after Jeb Bush’s campaign appearance Wednesday night in South Carolina, where he praised a local supporter, state senator Katrina Shealy — by nicknaming her after a disastrous hurricane.

“In fact, when I was governor, in 16 months we had eight hurricanes and four tropical storms. One of them was called ‘Katrina,'” Bush said, as some in the audience laughed. “I don’t know why your great state senator reminds me of a hurricane, but she does. She’s strong, and she’s fierce, and she is solving problems for you at the state capitol. You should be honored to have you as your elected official, I hope you agree with me.

“That’s your new nickname — the Bush family always gives out nicknames. Yours is now ‘Hurricane Katrina.'”

Keep in mind that when Jeb was governor, as he fondly reminisced, 14 people in Florida died as a result of Hurricane Katrina — a mere fraction of the more than 1,000 who died in Louisiana, the major site of the hurricane’s landfall.

So how did Katrina Shealy take it? Actually just fine, she explained — because her family was already joking about Hurricane Katrina way back ten years ago.

“Everybody in my family, when they had Hurricane Katrina, it was kind of like a big joke in my family because I’m the feisty one in the family,” Shealy told CNN. “I’m the one that kinda bosses everybody around.”

“In fact, I’m kinda glad he said it because I can just keep on with my bad self,” she also added. “I can keep on being feisty and fierce and whatever those words are that people think I am already. When they see me coming into the room, maybe they’ll just get out of the way.”

Well, it’s good to know that Jeb Bush’s supporters are just as conscientious and dignified as he is.

Video via Jeffrey Randazzo/YouTube.

Photo: Neighborhood cleanup effort along Bayou St. John creates a trash art piece out of some of the junk to be hauled away. “Bush Mobile” is a negative reference to George W. Bush. Via user Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons, uploaded January 29, 2006.

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Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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