Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Topic for discussion at Thanksgiving table

Ivor van Heerden and Paul Kemp hope that President Bush will finally do his duty and commit to a Category 5 storm protection system. They hope that this "sort of responsible behavior would certainly stimulate conversation around the dinner table this Thanksgiving holiday."

Au contraire.

I suspect that, between turkey and pumpkin pie, a lot of conversation around the country will be about what a miserable failure President Bush is for not doing the responsible thing -- for not being a leader who is committed to rebuilding New Orleans, for not being the leader who doesn't just talk about studying Category 5 protection, but who boldly challenges engineers to come up with a solution, and then backs up that challenge with funding and a time table to complete at least some major component of Cat 5 protection by 2012, Louisiana's bicentennial celebration.

Whence the funding? I'm sure a lot of those people in the upper reaches of wealth statistics just don't need yet another Bush tax cut. I'd bet they'd rather see New Orleans saved. Why not give New Orleans the $5 billion annually in offshore oil lease revenues? It wouldn't cost the taxpayer one thin dime.

In the building rage that is bound to be shared by exiled New Orleanians all around the country with their families, friends, and kind strangers who have offered their homes, I'd bet Bush's approval ratings drop another 5 points after Thanksgiving.

And, in case anyone's forgotten, here again is a reminder that the people on this list need to hear from everyone in the nation, as encouraged by The Times-Picayune. They hold the power to get south Louisiana up to Category 5 protection.


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