Thursday, September 15


The pResident's 19th televised prime-time address, this one from Jackson Square, N.O.

First of all, it looked like Bush was taped before a green screen and a shot of the cathedral was edited in.

Bush's open-necked shirt appeared to be misbuttoned and blended into the background. Bad production work here. Also, the man is not good with a teleprompter, his eyes wander and make him look shifty. (The Big Dog was master of the TP -- he appeared to be making eye contact with the viewer, as if every word was spoken extemporaneously and directly and personally to one person.) The whole thing was very ho hum, speech-like.

Litany of supplies delivered, progress made. List of all the government agencies working on the problem. $60B appropriation. 300,000+ houses unoccupable. States will be reimbursed by the federal government. Mobile homes for temporary use. Overtime pay for PD and FD. Housing for PD FD and other workers. Federal money. Federal money. Auditors to review expenditures. (Bet many Republicans will be saying, "He sounds like a Democrat.") Want evacuees to come home. He's really working hard at this, he's just not convincing. Entrepreneurs are mentioned again (Bush's favorite people). $5000 for job training, child care, etc. Homestead thing. Where is this federal land? In the same place the trailer parks are supposed to be located, 100 miles from N.O. and away from any jobs centers?

Make flood protection system stronger (strong ENOUGH?). One of largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen (like Iraq?). America will be proud. Houses of worship, over and over.

"in a time of terror threats, the danger to our nation reaches much larger than a faultline or a flood plain."

"Not a normal hurricane, and the disaster system was not equal to it." (If we have an abnormal terrorist attack, will the system be equal to it?) What's a normal hurricane, anyway?

"System, at every level of govt., was overwhelmed in the first few days."

God who welcomes us to a house not made with hands. Lots of religious references, probably to placate his base since he's going to shock them with his spending recommendations.

Despair of many touches us all.

Analogy of jazz funerals. First a dirge, then triumph. Triumph of the spirit over death. Gulf Coast coming through the dirge. We will live to the second line.

Overall, a C. This was the most animated speech I've seen Bush deliver in a long time. But it was so obviously a photo setup, and he seemed almost desperate. Promises, promises. They're so late, I don't think they will be well received -- the people of the Gulf Coast will be skeptical rather than reassured. And his base will be wondering where the money's coming from.

One more example of Bush throwing huge amounts of money at a problem that could have been prevented by a little vision and smallish amounts of money. Americans just don't trust Bush with their money anymore. He's wasted too many billions already and not demonstrated that he can be trusted to run a government that is both effective and fiscally responsible.

Interesting that he didn't mention the fact that he's put his political guru, Karl Rove, in charge of the massive reconstruction effort. Remember all the stories last week about how unprepared and unqualified Michael Brown was to head FEMA? So nothing's REALLY changed, has it? The press isn't exactly exploding with news about the Rove appointment, which only demonstrates that nothing much has changed with them, either.


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