George W. Bush Wishes New Orleans a Very Happy Katrina Birthday
You'd never guess our little Katrina is two years old today. Why? Because it looks like that hurricane and terrible flooding happened just days ago! Who would think a major American city would still be in ruins two fucking years after it was deluged and half-abandoned?
The Bush Administration was famously "late" getting around to even acknowledging the city's destruction. Bush Junior himself avoided the scene for three weeks, preferring to spend his time eating birthday cake with John McCain, in Arizona, telling lies about Iraq and pretending to strum a guitar with some Nashville pop singer, in San Diego, continuing his vacation, at his house in Texas, flying over the flooded city in an airplane, going home to the White House, blaming local officials for the anarchy, from the Rose Garden, and finally flying to the Gulf Coast -- but not New Orleans, where it was so dangerous that volunteer rescue crews were dodging bullets fired by crazed flood survivors and looters -- for a photo op and to praise the "heckuva job" done by FEMA chief Michael Brown and comfort the hundreds of thousands of people unable to return to their wrecked homes by predicting Trent Lott would build an even bigger beach house in Mississippi.
Then he returned to Washington, where he and his top advisers continued to lie about their response and meddle with all efforts to send help.
Finally, 18 days after Katrina struck, Bush Junior was flown to New Orleans to read a televised statement from Jackson Square, which is of course on high ground and sustained minimal damage but still had to have generators to power the klieg lights (flown in from Washington) as the rest of the city went without electricity. Huge curtains of black military camouflage were hung behind St. Louis Cathedral (lit up like the Disney Castle, on purpose) to hide the wreckage behind it. Bush appeared in just a shirt, and it was buttoned wrong.
Then he went home.
In the two years since Katrina (and Rita) killed nearly 2,000 people, half the population of New Orleans is still gone. Tens of thousands of people are still officially homeless, stuck in distant FEMA camps. Most schools never reopened, and most neighborhoods were never rebuilt. The levees haven't been rebuilt, either.
And then, today, Bush appeared in New Orleans again. His handlers realized they had totally forgotten to put him in a schoolroom to clown around with children while people died horrible deaths and a major American city was devastated, as he had done so effectively on September 11, 2001.
So, that's what he did today. Happy Birthday, Katrina!
KATRINA TIMELINE [Think Progress]
Anger, sadness mark Katrina anniversary [AP/Yahoo]