Photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque, posted on Yahoo.
It's just shy of eight months since Hurricane Katrina blew the levees wide open and flooded New Orleans. If it had been Al Qaeda, President Bush's opportunistic cabal of image-handlers would have made him stand on top of the rubble of a devastated house with a bullhorn the very next day to proclaim that we would honor those who died, and those whose homes were destroyed, by rebuilding the city, by rebuilding the levees to withstand anything nature could throw at them, and by rebuilding Louisiana's dying coastal marshes.
I sound like a broken record according to one recent comment:
it is so bad why don't you get the hell out. All i think your doing is trying to get sympathy for the hurricane just like everyone else. ... If you know that the Bush administration sucks then you could have expected something like that so you could also expect to have to do something for yourselves in the way of help. So really...quit bitching about it and as much as i hate to quote a blathering idiot, "get off your asses and do something."
I wish I could
do something about it, but unfortunately, the gubmint takes all my money in taxes and sends it to Iraq.
I wish I could do something about it, but unfortunately, fools like you voted for an idiot to run the country.
I wish I could do something about it, but unfortunately, as a nation, we expect our government to serve us, not f*ck us over.
I'm not complaining for myself. I made out okay in the hurricane. I'm complaining for the benefit of over 200,000 other New Orleanians who haven't been able to return to their homes because the White House and Congress haven't made it a priority.
Hurricane season is right around the corner, but the levees still won't be ready, the pumping stations are still broken, people who are unemployed still find it difficult to get work in the rebuilding effort because contractors are getting away with hiring illegal immigrants (don't expect any I.C.E. enforcement against corporate lawbreakers here!), we still can't get a commitment from boneless chickenhawk Bush to build a state-of-the-art Category 5 storm protection system like the Netherlands has, and we still can't get a commitment from him to restore Louisiana's coast.
On the bright side, it's true that every time Bush comes to New Orleans, he explores the devastation a little more. I hope he keeps coming back. Hell, as much as I hate the guy, I wish I really could
cheer for him every time he comes to New Orleans. I would too.
Imagine the guy standing on a levee waving a huge New Orleans fleur-de-lis flag! That's what we need to see. That would inspire the nation. A challenge issued to Congress and to Americans to build with confidence a flood protection system that is the envy of the world would raise the stature of America. That's
Instead, where is the courage? Where is the understanding?
What's to celebrate about Bush's visit to New Orleans today
He actually got out of the French Quarter, got off of St. Charles Avenue, and toured a flood-damaged home! Then, he used the occasion to underscore the need for more funding -- piecemeal, but as I said, maybe there's hope ... certainly not
unless we complain!
After touring the ravaged home of Ethel Williams in the Upper 9th Ward, President Bush called upon Congress to make sure a $4.2 billion request to help homeowners rebuild and another $2.2 billion request to elevate and strengthen levees are "kept intact for the people of Louisiana."
He recognized the vital importance of volunteers:
Bush placed his arm around Williams, who evacuated to Texas after Hurricane Katrina, and told reporters that the metro area still needs another 2,500 volunteers to help rebuild.
"If you are interested in helping the victims of Katrina, if you want to help them get back on their feet, come on down to New Orleans," Bush said. "It's a chance to give something back to your country."
He recognized the suffering of someone who was displaced (but failed to acknowledge those who remain displaced):
In a light moment, Bush, who formerly served as governor of Texas, joked with Williams: "She's made it clear she's glad to be out of Texas and back home."
He recognized, obliquely, the importance of New Orleans' diverse communities, and actually picked up a hammer for the cameras:
After leaving Williams' home, Bush stopped at the future site of Habitat for Humanity's Musicians' Village on North Roman Street. The non-profit has plans to build 74 single-family homes on an 8-acre tract near Bunny Friend Playground, as well as seven two-family homes for older musicians and a music center, which might be named after Ellis Marsalis.
The plans also call for building at least 150 other homes nearby.
There, Bush, assisted by Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Mayor Ray Nagin and Congressman William Jefferson, raised roof beams for a single-story house currently under construction. Bush and Nagin then climbed on step ladders and drove nails into the house's wooden frame.
Yeah chickenboy, keep it up. You might even start to turn the corner on your abysmal popularity ... uh, except that Iraq war sure is a problem ... and then there's the deficit and national debt that you're passing on to future generations ... and your friends in the oil business who are making billions on the backs of hard-working Americans ... and your horrendous handling of the Iran problem ... your refusal to deal with global warming ... your lying, cheating, and stealing while robbing Americans of their liberties ... and on and on.