Sunday, September 03, 2006

The City that Bush Forgot

Tropical Storm Ernesto threw me a bit off track. I feel bad for the friends and people of the Carolinas, but I'm thankful that the weather we got was relatively mild. What if this event had been worse for South Florida, or for that matter the Atlantic Coast? Did FEMA learn anything from the disastrous response to Katrina? How long will it take before the Gulf Coast is back to being the tourist destination it had grown to be?

These questions have been brought up again in the national media, because the anniversary of Katrina was just this week. My brother in law asked me why I would not even consider supporting the Republicans in this years midterms. There were so many issues to give him, but the fact that I feel the federal government failed the citizens of my hometown probably trumps them all. We got relief to the Tsunami victims in Bander Aceh, in 2004, faster than relief got to New Orleans in 2005. I appreciate the importance of a good foreign relations stance, but that seems a bit much.

There are concerns about the initial response. Did Mayor Nagin properly assess and react to the situation, before landfall? From the outside, I would say probably not. Did Governor Blanco, react ideally to the situation? Probably not. These two officials have made mistakes since, as well. That in no way means that the federal government, and the President himself do not bear a significant amount of blame for what happened here.

A political lackey, Michael Brown, who was ignored when he requested support, staffed FEMA. President Bush was to busy relaxing in Crawford to pay attention. Vice President Cheney was on a hunting trip when this was going on. In regard to the last two, didn't Cheney shoot someone in the face the last time he went on a hunting trip? When that man picks up a gun, we should know that nothing good is going to come of it. And Bush going to Crawford spells national disaster. Heck, I'm beginning to think that Bush leaving Crawford spells national disaster.

It is the responsibility of the executive branch to support the citizens of this country. For the Republicans to say this reconstruction costs significantly more than the World Trade Center disaster is comparing apples and oranges. Was 80% of Manhattan destroyed? Not even close. Geographically the September 11th disaster covered 16 square blocks. The Katrina disaster covered 90,000 square miles. Some members of the Administration have stated that the recovery effort was bogged down because bureaucracy at the local level is getting in the way. Well, as I see it the catastrophe involved 3 different states directly and numerous other states because of the resettling of residents. Now, tell me again how it is that the federal government thinks this is an issue of a single state and its bureaucracy.

I will try and give you some numbers to figure out where most of the allocated Katrina recovery funds are; but for now I wanted to put this down on paper. By the way, before I get to actually post this, the bill for what we are doing in Iraq might be upwards of 315 billion dollars, and they don't even like us.

I have a feeling that if we sent federal troops with that budget into New Orleans, people might very well greet us with flowers and candy. Personally, I'd rather some red beans and Gumbo. Take some of that money from Iraq, and rebuild the Lower Ninth, or at least give those people the trailers they've been waiting for.

This was all brought about by a conversation I had with my brother in law. He wanted to know anything that caused me to dislike Bush so much. There are so many reasons, but the absolute failure of the Bush administration to protect the Gulf Coast or even to properly support those trying to rebuild it. I continue to wonder if New Orleans has truly become the City that Bush Forgot.

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