Wednesday, February 01, 2006

NOLA Response to the Emperor

Last night, during the State of the Union, CNN placed one of their correspondents in New Orleans to get the immediate reaction from some of the local residents. This was one of their quotable moments:
"we thought New Orleans deserved to be more than a footnote in the President's speech"
The Times-Picayune, who had fantastic reporting during the Hurricane Katrina debacle, hit George even harder with today's editorial

Our area needs more help from the federal government. Yet the president did not announce any new initiatives to speed our recovery. He does not seem to recognize that the long-term prospects for a beloved American community are still very much in question.

Without doubt, Congress has set aside billions of dollars to assist the Gulf region after Katrina and Rita. But the spending so far has been focused on short-term problems, and greater New Orleans is still waiting for President Bush to fulfill the promise he made to this community from Jackson Square in September.

In his speech Tuesday, the president touted the benefits of home ownership for those in New Orleans and elsewhere who feel "excluded from the promise of our country." But he has yet to propose an adequate solution for the owners of about 200,000 homes that were severely flooded during and after Katrina. These homeowners are now facing financial ruin, when their only mistake was to trust in the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If the president doesn't like U.S. Rep. Richard Baker's plan for federally backed buyouts of ruined homes, the White House ought to offer an alternative that reflects the scale of the problem -- and the federal government's culpability for the failure of our levees.

The editorial continues to lambaste the federal follow-up to the needs of the gulf coast region. This failure to provide the funds, personnel, and infrastructure to the states devastated by Hurricane Katrina is one of a long list of empty promises made by this misAdministration.

George Bush loves to speak in broad terms when he speechifies. Last night's address was a tired, recycled monologue by an out-of-touch Texas oilman who has no business telling the world that "freedom is on the march" or that "America is addicted to oil". The programs he laid out were hollow shells of political rhetoric.

This country cannot afford to allow this man to continue his stagnant leadership. The checks and balances of our government must be restored by electing a Democratic-led Congress in November.

The stakes are too high. Just ask the people of New Orleans and the rest of the gulf coast. They know first-hand what type of hell it can create.

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