On Thursday night, King George will go before the nation with some major damage control in mind. He's already "taken responsibility" for some degree of the federal mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. That in itself is unprecedented for George W. Bush, a man who up until now has admitted no mistakes. It shows just how much trouble his administration is in. Presumably, tomorrow night he will dance around the issue as deftly as Karl Rove can train him to. Regardless, the Bush regime is guilty as charged, not only for their failure to act in the wake of this immense disaster, but for their historic and ongoing contempt for established science on critical environmental issues such as human-caused global climate disruption. O, did i fail to mention the diversion of critical southern National Guard troops to Iraq? Did i forget to mention years of neglect of the levees? The redirection of FEMA away from disaster management? The placement of useless political cronies into key positions in federal agencies? [add your Bush failure here].
The point here is: THEY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO SQUIRM OUT OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITY. No amount of spin or deception can excuse them from what they have allowed to happen down in the southern states. Checkout this intriguing index from the publication "Facing South":
September 9, 2005 - Issue #114
Facing South is published by the Institute for Southern Studies and Southern Exposure magazine. For more information visit www.southernstudies.org
INSTITUTE INDEX - A Tale of Two Hurricane Seasons
Amount of aid President Bush immediately requested after hurricanes hit Florida in September 2004: $12 billion
Number of hours after Hurricane Charley made landfall in Florida that Bush authorized federal assistance: 1
Date in September that a FEMA consultant wrote a memo suggesting steps to ensure the Florida hurricanes not become a "liability" for the president's re-election: 2
Days after the memo that FEMA announced the pre-storm deployment of "a powerful list of disaster response personnel, equipment and supplies" in Florida for Hurricane Frances, including 100 truckloads of ice and water: 2
Amount of Florida hurricane aid that government investigators later concluded was "questionable," including housing disbursements to families that had not asked for it: $31 million
Number of hours after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast that FEMA authorized dispatching employees to the region: 5
Number of days they were allowed to take before arriving there: 2
Number of days after Hurricane Katrina struck that administration was "still assessing" amount of aid to request: 4
Amount that the administration requested for Hurricane Katrina, the worst in history, after four days: $10 billion
All sources on file at the Institute. <<
(I've also posted their help links below) Soooo, why the disparity? Could it have anything to do with race? Again, the White House will be falling all over itself to try and disprove its racist and classist underpinnigs. Don't let your neighbors and relatives be fooled. The Bush regime charm offensive must be countered with our own defense of the voiceless: the poor and the planet. We are obliged to rachet up the pressure on those who will try to lie their way out of yet another failure, yet another outrage.
HOW YOU CAN HELP - Supporting Local Groups in the Gulf
Here at the Institute, we've received many emails and calls from people wanting to know what groups are doing good work at the grassroots level to support those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
We asked some of our friends and allies for suggestions, and they gave us some great ideas. Here are some resources for contributing to community/labor/progressive groups that have close ties to the region and are making a real difference. We'll expand on the list in future issues. Please be as generous as you can -- they need all the help they can get!
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Louisiana Environmental Action Network
Moore Community House (Biloxi, MS)
c/o Children's Defense Fund
P. O. Box 11437
Jackson, MS 39236-1437
People's Hurricane Fund/Community Labor United (Louisiana/Mississippi)
Lists of Other Local/Community-Based Groups
National Organizers Alliance
Southern Empowerment Project
Investigative Reporting Fund
As reports grow of a media blackout in New Orleans and other areas affected by Katrina, the Institute/Southern Exposure will be sponsoring investigative reporters in Louisiana and Mississippi that can bring to light the stories of those affected by Katrina, and the political and economic decisions being made in the wake of the disaster. If you'd like to support the ISS/SE Investigative Action Fund to sponsor these in-depth reports, please visit www.southernstudies.org
[Also: Food Not Bombs http://www.foodnotbombs.net/katrina.html ]