Thursday, January 26, 2006

Letter to the Editor

I'm not good at getting letters to the editor published. By the time I get around to it, I'm usually too pissed to get my point across clearly and concisely. I expect this one will be no exception, so in case the Times-Picayune doesn't publish me, here's what I wrote today:

In case the people of Louisiana needed any more evidence that the federal administration (which handily won the state in two elections) is Not Our Friend, it was right there on the front page Wednesday. Not only does King George oppose the Baker Bill, our best hope to get our people back, but he refuses to disclose documents relevant to investigations in the catastrophe.

Taken together, these two unfortunately-not-surprising stories tell us that he’s more interesting in covering his own hide than he is protecting ours. The president who lost his veto pen upon taking office has decided to use the greatest natural disaster in US history to play “conservative” in terms of how he helps his subjects—er—citizens. You can bet that he knows that the incriminations in the records are common and profound, so “executive privilege” trumps citizen privilege. How can he get away with this?

I guess having a Democratic governor doesn’t help, but what about that “compassionate” part of his identity that he likes to proclaim? I guess that only counts if Haley Barbour is your governor. The same system that failed to supervise the work of the Army Corps has failed to take politics out of the recovery, and we’re all paying the price.

But as long as Bush still has a few places he can reminisce about his drinking days, he thinks we’re doing just fine. Our city still isn’t itself, we’re missing vital citizens who want to come make a difference, but the man with the cash is too busy tearing up other countries to repair his own. Does he forget that oil comes through here too?

My initial hope after seeing the brutality unfold was that the administration would try to cover up their negligence by throwing so much money at the problem that no one could complain or want to investigate. That doesn’t appear to be happening, his claims of generosity and commitment to the contrary. Instead, we’ve all been shown that voting for Bush is not getting “our man” in office, but is to an insult to everyone in the region.

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