my good friend generik found this letter from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which says it all. we can pretend that shit happens and no one is perfect, but this is pure 100% administration fuck-up. this is the result of 5 years of cuts in FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Wetlands Protection Act. this is the result of turning FEMA into a subdivision of Homeland Security, where beurocracy (spelling on that, judges?) reigns and execution of law seems like a distant wet dream. rightwingers are trying to confuse us by saying that clinton started all of the cuts when, in fact, he didn't. but they tried that with iraq, gas prices, the recession (which may be coming around again). why can't we find a politician who is willing to say "wow. i fucked up. that started and got out of control on my watch. i will make this right even though i voted to fuck it up in the first place"? leftwingers are tying themselves to the mast of a ship that blames all republicans when some republicans are not to blame. when are the "liberals" going to accept the fact that when they refuse to budge on important issues that affect all americans they, in effect, do harm to many of them? however, this letter hits the coffin nail right on the fucking head. bush and his "employees" have fucked up in grand manner.
An open letter to the President
Dear Mr. President:
We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to make it right."Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don’t know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city’s death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren’t they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn’t suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job."That’s unbelievable.There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn’t be reached.Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.When you do, we will be the first to applaud.