Friday, September 16, 2005

Mr.President, We Need Actions, Not Words

The Bush White House is very good at staging photo-ops. Last night Jackson Square looked like the old New Orleans I had visited so many times. The advance team arranged to have St. Louis Cathedral flood-lit in the background. This image might have brought comfort to the Archbishop who is trying to set up temporary operations in Baton Rouge.

Despite the sanitized setting for the speech I could not help remembering those scenes from the Superdome and the Convention Center...just a few blocks from Jackson Square. People dying while the government figured out what to do. There was something eerie about a speech in an empty New Orleans while the inhabitants of that city are scattered in emergency shelters in faraway places.

Bush said all the right things. My concern is that the reconstruction of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast will become another Corporate Welfare Program. The Administration is going a better job of getting out those multi-million no-bid contracts than in getting financial aid to the displaced citizens.

Maybe I am too cynical. I know about the billions in reconstruction funds that have "disappeared" in Iraq. Last night Bush promised that there would be inspectors to insure that the funds would be properly spent.

Talk is cheap. Mr. President, we need actions, not words.

Update: For thoughtful insight into the proposed recovery program read this article by Paul Krugman in today's New York Times. For an even more cynical view of the reconstruction program see what Arriana Huffington has to say in the Huffington Post today. If you really want the inside scary story on what the Administration is planning for New Orleans read the most recent post in this blog.

For those who want to understand why we have not solved the "poverty problem" in America read this article: