Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead

Attention-grabbing headline, yesno?

Well, that's what he in effect said to the City.

Oh, no, not right now. Right now he's all heartfelt condolences and massive mobilization and pulling all together and emergency funding.

That's easy to do. It's easy to react to an emergency. Especially if it's someone else's emergency. Throw money and whatever troops you have left at it.

The hard part? Doing what you can to prevent an emergency.

Those levees that broke? The Army Corps of Engineers was about 2/3rds of the way through repairing them in 2003. That's when the money stopped, and never came back.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

So, folks in the Big Easy knew that the levees were in need of repair. The Army Corps of Engineers knew it too. They actually went around and begged local governments for money to do at least some of the stuff that was left unfinished.

But it wasn't important enough to this Administration to finish.

It is possible that the levees would have broken whether or not they were properly repaired. We'll never know. But people knew that they had problems. People tried to fix the problem, but the White House didn't think it was important enough. Think about that the next time the Prez talks about the disaster.



Anonymous Boni said...

Bush is in perpetual denial. Bin Laden bent on attacking the U.S.? Nah... Levees wearing out? No way! Global Warming? Don't buy it. Giant, monster, killer hurricanes? Science fiction...
The reality is, our President is channeling Maria Antoinette. Sharing birthday cake with John McCain. (I'm surprised they didn't try to feed each other a slice like a bride and groom) Goofing on the guitar. Even the very conservative Arizona Republic newspaper wondered why in the hell Bush took the time to stop by their state when Katrina was going down and people were going under. Thousands in the South have no homes, food, water, clothing or even what could be idealistically called a future anymore. And Bush is doing what exactly??? Oh that's right, he flew overhead. What about the VP and Condi and where in the hell is our Congress? Why in the hell haven't they reconvened?
God help us all. We all should be concerned about this. A catastophe of this proportion could easily happen in LA after a major quake. Or God forbid, any city after a dirty bomb. All that strutting and posturing about homeland defense and how big and strong and tough we are. Take a good look at New Orleans everyone. That could be any one of us standing on rooftops baking in the heat and humidity. Trapped in attics trying to claw our way out. Slogging through debris clutching our kids in our arms. Or floating face down in the muck. What we are witnessing is the response of our country - the richest nation in the world - to its own people in dire need. And the response to this tragedy is stunningly mismanaged and pathetic. In fact, it's criminal. And the media makes a big deal about he shaved two whole days off his extensive 5 week vacation of brush clearing and sticking his thumb up his ass. Like he deserves a standing O for his great sacrifice. Have we all gone insane?

10:26 PM, August 31, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

I read that, too. Damned depressing.

11:24 PM, August 31, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Jesus, BP, good post. I didn't realize this. Where is the mainstream media? Flushed downstream. I"m emailing this to Olberman.

1:20 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger Rowena said...

This is an absolute disgrace. The arrogance, the short-sightedness … it all makes me sick.

3:30 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger Colleen said...

WTF was his speech. no purpose at all. i listened to it on NPR yesterday on the way home from school. "you'll be stronger for it in the end" that feeds them now. and why the fuck hasn't he been sending in the army and dropping food by the crate?

oh, wait...that's right...everyone is in iraq.


5:52 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger indygirl said...


7:38 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

You know I'm with you on this one. Now we need to Demand Accountability and Demand Transperency for how this was able to happen in the first place. No National Guard. No money. No food, no water, no shelter. Is anyone asking WHY?!!

8:34 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger greg said...

BP, well said. i was just talking to one of my daughters last night about the fact that i wouldn't be too surprised if it turns out that there was a major problem with those levees that should have been repaired, but wasn't, either due to ineptitude, lack of funding or some other outrageous reason. hundreds of thousands are now homeless, who knows how many fatalities, immense suffering and a great city in ruins. ain't government times like this i always think of jefferson's statement about revolution every generation.
hopefully god will help these people, because after george dubya gets his photo ops, they can forget about him. we can do our part too. we made a donation to the red cross, a small thing, but if we all do it. it happens that we are cleaning out the garage this weekend (sounds like fun, eh?) so we will be donating some clothes and whatever else will help, again a small thing, but if we all do it...let's keep these folks in our thoughts and prayers. take care now.

9:13 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger Mz. Pig said...

And he is so gd condescending when he is talking about the Fed's aid efforts. "Well it DOES take time to float those supplies."
"What people don't understand is that there are eight refineries down." What I DO understand is that I don't have clean water to drink, or working toilet facilities, and what I did manage to salvage is being stolen from me while I sleep on the floor of a football stadium.

4:17 PM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

It doesn't take time. As the reporters have been saying, they've had no problem bringing in themselves and their supplies. And all our idiot President can say is, "We've got good people working hard." Didn't he say that after 9/11? Maybe we'll invade Africa next. That's where most of tthe hurricanes come from, after all.

10:03 AM, September 02, 2005  
Anonymous Kerry Yamane said...

hehe =)

10:18 AM, December 05, 2005  

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