Bush was back in the Gulf Coast yesterday, trying to get some of the competence of the levee reconstruction workers to rub off on him as his camera crew tried to recast him as a leader who gives a damn. But in a speech given beside the industrial levee canal, he showed that he still doesn’t get it as he discussed his strategy (with emphasis added.)
The first part of the strategy is to make sure these levees are strong, and we fully understand that if the people don't have confidence in the levee system, they're not going to want to come back. People aren't going to want to spend money or invest. I just got a briefing from the Army Corps of Engineers that said we're on schedule to repair the damage by the June 1st deadline. They're identifying and correcting design and construction deficiencies so, as we go into the start of the hurricane season, the levees will be equal or better than what they were before Katrina.
Doesn’t he remember that because his administration cut funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and pork projects diverted funds to lesser value activities, the levees weren’t good enough before Katrina? It won’t be enough to make them equal to what they were. Equal to what they were got washed away!
Well, surely he is bringing all the resources available to a powerful leader like President Bush, as he promised he would do during a speech from Jackson Square, to make sure New Orleans doesn’t have to settle for the levees being equal to what they were. Surely he is shooting a little higher than that!
Um - not according to this report, which indicates that only $25 million of the $2 billion designated for Katrina recovery has been spend so far – just 1.25% of the available funds. With the next hurricane season beginning in just a few months, what will the President’s approval ratings be if another Cat 5 hurricane ends up washing away the next set of levees because he didn’t open his purse for New Orleans, while flushing billions down the toilet that is Iraq?
Good thing there isn’t a mid-term election right after this hurricane season? Oh wait . . . .
Also at ePluribus Media