New Orleans - Immediate Aftermath
Washington, DC. Sept. 19th, 2005 ----A very sad time for the United States, and a black mark against the entire political systems. In New Orleans the contractors and consultants win, and the people lose.
The whisper in DC is that even before Hurricane Katrina hit the coast President Bush threatened the Governor with delaying aid unless she handed over all power to the Department of Homeland Security, to vindicate his creating this unworkable dinosaur. That of course will never be known, but it does explain the delay, and FEMA holding up early aid. The Bush Administration is pulling out every stop to focus blame on the Governor of Louisiana, and the Mayor of New Orleans, and spin the Federal effort as being the gallant service of the Coastguard. The Coastguard did a great job, the rest........
Washington was paralyzed and Karl Rove was dispatched to work out the best spin on containing damage to the President's image. The Democrats as usual were missing, and Vice President Cheney as normal was in "an undisclosed location." This is not the way to run a Banana Republic, let alone a Superpower.
The Mayor blamed FEMA for their delay but didn't know there were 20,000 people in the Convention Center starving, thirsty and waiting for someone, anyone with a Bull horn to take charge. Billions of people around the world were watching them on TV news broadcasts, even on radio. The Internet too mirrored that information. In fact at the many Press Conferences given by the Mayor, he could have watched the plight of his electorate on one of the battery operated monitors of the assembled news crews. In fact any of the fully powered satellite trucks lined up waiting for his every word could have given him many channels of TV so he could watch his favorite HBO or BET special. But those who should have jogged down to the Convention Center with a Bullhorn stood surrounding the Mayor, getting as much air time as they could.
The Governor too was front and center, giving news conferences after news conferences, and didn't have the first idea, or clue what was, and wasn't going on. She may want to consider another career choice.
The screaming crowd of 20,000 at the Convention center made good TV, especially as the elderly choked to death in the stifling heat and were rolled into the side of the road. The media could film this again and again, but nobody thought of asking the grinning Governor and the stunned and dozy Senator by her side about the Convention Center for three days. The FEMA Director of course was having visions of better days stroking Pretty Horseys and couldn't focus on visions he could not understand! The Homeland Security Czar just wanted to interrogate all terrorists associated with Katrina, kick the crap out of them and hold indefinitely as Enemy Combatants.
The Oil and Gas situation still is not clear, but the huge windfall profits gouged out of the buying public on a key travel weekend made for great Christmas Bonus payments. The fact that many of the refineries produce industrial chemicals was of no consequence to mainstream media, with convenient sound bites of angry motorists complaining about the Gasoline shortage.
A sad period in American politics that has brought shame and dishonor on the whole political system. The bright side is that the usual suspects, able to afford $1000 a plate political fundraiser's, will receive multi billion dollar rebuilding contracts. The politicians coffers will be really full in time for the mid term elections. Maybe some of the 2000 lost children will have found their parents by them, and can watch what a sterling job the politicians at all levels did with Katrina.