September 1st, 2005

New Orleans is sinking and Bush doesn't wanna swim.

I don't understand what is happening down there.

I don't understand why there aren't more federal agents. I don't understand why they can't airlift food to people who need it. I don't understand why we aren't emptying the coffers to rebuild New Orleans. I don't understand why in a national emergency our president is doing this:

President Bush announced he would cut short his vacation by two days and return to Washington today. He spoke on Tuesday in San Diego.

"Right now our priority is on saving lives and we are still in the midst of search and rescue operations," Bush said.

During Bush's appearance in San Diego he also took the time to briefly play guitar while with country singer Country Singer Mark Wills. Bush is expected to fly to Louisiana on Friday to tour parishes ravaged by the hurricane.

And then there were all the other matters of national importance he had to attend to.

I don't understand why the fuck he looks so well-rested and happy. He's the fucking U.S. President, and it shames me to see him look this content right now. He should look as pissed off and worried and angry and distraught and tired as the mayor of New Orleans, goddammit. At least that much.

I just keep thinking back to how Rudy Guiliani got in the trenches and didn't sleep for days after 9-11, how he worked alongside firemen and emergency workers, and then I see fucking Bush, that fucking fucking motherfucker, acting like it's business as usual, asking his dad and the former president to spearhead fundraising relief. He's the goddamn U.S. president, and he is DELEGATING hurricane relief to former U.S. presidents.

"In our judgment, we view this storm as a temporary disruption that is being addressed by the government and by the private sector," the president said. A temporary disruption. People are starving to death. People are homeless. The entire city of New Orleans is underwater. Schools won't open til after December. How the hell fucking temporary does he think this is?

He keeps talking about what they will do. About what the government is going to do. Why the fuck isn't the national government doing anything NOW? All I am seeing and reading about are a truly sad handful of local national guardsmen facing thousands of starving, hungry, desperate people. That's not the national government.

I don't understand why the fuck he gets to pretend that he can saunter about doing his job and saying platitudes to the American public while this is happening. I echo Peg: every time I think I can't lose any more respect for this man, he just sinks lower and lower and so much fucking lower, and I just want to scream.

But then: we knew it, didn't we? We knew that this was the man who prioritized the war in Iraq over everything else, including hurricane and flood protection for the city of New Orleans:

A year ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to study how New Orleans could be protected from a catastrophic hurricane, but the Bush administration ordered that the research not be undertaken. After a flood killed six people in 1995, Congress created the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, in which the Corps of Engineers strengthened and renovated levees and pumping stations. In early 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a report stating that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S., including a terrorist attack on New York City. But by 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war. In 2004, the Bush administration cut funding requested by the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for holding back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent.

I just.

What can you even say?

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Bush will watch New Orleans die, but at least he'll be able to play the guitar.

Wake me up when September ends.
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