Topic: Bush Administraiton
Oh right, now that he’s well rested and tanned from his five-week vacation, he’s taking a helicopter tour of the Gulf region. Progress is being made, people are working hard etc. I just saw him on TV strutting around in full gunslinger mode congratulating “Brownie” on the great job he’s doing. “Brownie” would be FEMA chief Michael Brown, who as of yesterday afternoon had just found out about the deplorable conditions at the Convention Center in downtown New Orleans.
At first he said he said he thought the estimates being made by city officials of 10,000 at the Covention Center without food or water was a little high but then had to admit to Ted Koppel that it was more like 25,000. Kopel really let him have it on Nightline last night, by the way. The best part was when Koppel asked him if any of them had been watching TV the past week.
Robert Segal on All Things Considered had a rougher time with Michael Chertoff, who wasn’t about to speculate on “rumors” about what was going on at the Convention Center, even though Segal presented him with reporter John Barnett’s eyewitness account of thousands of people begging for help.
I listened to the BBC most of last night and what struck me most was their outrage over the lack of any help at all getting to New Orleans almost a week after the event. Here were reporters who have been to tsunamis, earthquakes, war zones and famines all over the world and they were in a major city in the most powerful nation on earth and what they were witnessing was disaster scenes reminiscent of sub Saharan Africa.
Various reporters kept making that analogy and they were just incredulous. How could this be happening in the United States of America? How could the American government just leave its most vulnerable citizens to rot in conditions that they described as “atrocious” and “appalling”?
I am frankly embarrassed to be an American at this point. In the entire history of this country, I don’t think there has ever been such a monumental breakdown of the most basic functions of the government. From A to Z this administration has failed in its constitutional duty to provide for the common defense. While we’re spending a billion dollars a month in Iraq, we couldn’t even spend $14 billion to make sure New Orleans' levees could withstand a category 4 Hurricane?
After NBC got done with their coverage of the Bush Hurricane Tour 2005, Andrea Mitchell read an email she had just received from Charity Hospital, only blocks away from the Super Dome, begging the media to let the government know that there were over 200 people in the facility who had been without power, water or food since the beginning of the week. All last night there were stories about Charity Hospital where looters had been trying to break in, where all there was to drink was fruit juice and where they were putting corpses in the stair wells for lack of a better place to put them because they had no power for refrigeration. Can someone out there let Brownie know about Charity Hospital?
For all of you out there who think less government is better government, I would suggest you go to New Orleans and revel in it. George Bush’s philosophy is government is the problem not the solution and he’s spent his entire time in office trying to destroy it from within and it looks like he’s pretty much succeeded. If launching a premeditated act of aggression against a weaker sovereign country, which was never any threat to us, isn’t sufficient grounds for impeachment certainly the loss of an entire American city on his watch has to be.
A lot of the estimated 120,000 refugees from New Orleans where ever they might wind up in the coming weeks will be without money. A common complaint is that their local banks have their money and they can’t get access to it. Where is all that money? Is it in vaults in the banks, which are presumably still under water or what? In the days before Katrina arrived, what precautions did the banks in New Orleans take? While the poor and infirm were left to fend for them selves as Katrina bared down, were there armored trucks headed out of the Big Easy? Just wondering.
Congress has rushed back to DC to write out a check for 10 and a half billion dollars for disaster relief. Since the government really doesn’t have that money, it will have to be barrowed from the Chinese and the Japanese, maybe we can all just write out IOUs on slips of paper too. Our credit is good, right?