Wednesday, October 12

NO LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR GULF COAST, JUST IRAQ

Everyone's talking about Matt Lauer's interview with George and Laura. But one part of it struck me that hasn't been widely discussed.

First, Matt asked why the plans/loans for Hurricane Katrina assistance include none of the traditional provisions for loan forgiveness, when the money we're giving Iraq requires no repayments? Bush answered that "Well, the people of Iraq are paying a heavy price for terrorism. A lot of people are dying, Matt. These people are working hard to establish democracy and they're paying a serious price. Look, I understand there are a lot of politics. One of the things that I suggested was we keep the politics out of New Orleans and Mississippi as we all work together to rebuild these communities. And we've got people here who volunteered their time, from all over the country - and they didn't say, you know, I'm a Democrat and I'm going to work here, or, I'm a Republican and I'm going to come and work here. They said, I'm an American that wants to contribute. " Huh? People are dying in Iraq, and they didn't die in our own Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as a result of Katrina? Iraqi lives, in other words (all evidence to the contrary in Bush Land), are of more value than American lives? What's politics and volunteerism got to do with Matt's question? And since when did Iraqis start paying a terrible price for terrorism -- since we INVADED their country, which had no terrorism activities before that? So is the message that we're paying them to provide a flypaper for terrorism so we can make a show of fighting it?

As Louisiana Senator (D) Mary Landrieu pointed out in her battle with her Republican senatorial counterpart David Vitter, "no other local governments in similar situations have been denied the possibility of loan forgiveness." Bush's response to Matt was that we're talking about a lot more money here than in other situations. In essence he said, we can forgive small loans, but hey, we're talking big bucks here!

The transcript of the interview is here.

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11:41 PM  

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