Monday, September 19, 2005
The Sanctimonious President
When you gotta go you gotta go (President at the UN)
Then there was the president's post 9/11 speech from Baton Rouge on September 15th . The surprise was that his speechwriters did not add the usual verbiage about terrorism, patriotism, and national security. Perhaps they realized that the refrain was beginning to sound like a damaged phonograph record with needle caught in a groove.
So the president spoke of grand reconstruction plans, aids to the displaced, and promised to work with the people of the area ravaged by Katrina. What all that will boil down to is something else. The usual suspects will get richer; the new New Orleans will bear no resemblance to the fabled old city. The black residents? In the rebuilt city there will be fewer of them.
And how are going to pay for the cost? The Republicans have already stated their support for the Bush tax cuts for the people at the very high end to be made permanent.
Expect cuts in services and domestic programs. The prescription drug plan for Medicare recipients is already one of the targets. Going by records of this rapacious administration and the members of Congress, the burden will fall on those who can least afford it.
Perhaps they will recommend piety, more prayers by all to compensate for lack of necessities?
Excerpts from an article by Clifford J. Levy, NY Times 9/18/05.
- "New Orleans has this incredible potential that the pundits are missing, in that the regular people of New Orleans love their city and get a life satisfaction out of it more than people in Denver or New York or Boston," he said.
- One challenge, then, would seem to be to harness this affection to energize and guide the recovery. But residents have been flung across the region. Who knows how many will return, and when. It will not be clear for months how embittered they have become from the evacuation and relief effort.
- It is widely held that for urban redevelopment to succeed, people must be actively involved at the neighborhood level. Can they trust in a reconstruction campaign mounted by the same officials who were supposed to have helped them in the days before and after Katrina? After all, New Orleans has a history of political corruption, so the people may already have had a jaded view of officialdom before the storm.
NY Times - Post Katrina Bricks and Mortals
If you missed the telephoto shot of the president's note during his attendance at UN's Summit Meeting on September 15th, go to:
Bush 'caught short' at UN summit (BBC)
As for Bush's little note... I thought it was interesting that he phrased it in the form of a question! He's the leader of the free world, for goodness sakes! He should atleast be in control of when he gets to go to the potty!