Thursday, September 15, 2005

Stunned and uprooted: George Bush talks about Katrina

Bush finally goes to New Orleans, having ensured himself of a non-hostile reception by emptying the city entirely. Did you like how he color-coordinated his shirt with the color of the lighting on the buildings? Did you like the statue of Andrew Jackson over his left shoulder? Did you pay much attention to what he said in that robotic voice? Me neither. I could swear he promised to rebuild church steeples. I bestirred myself to take a couple of notes. “We have seen our fellow citizens left stunned and uprooted.” I’m pretty sure you were already stunned, and ok, so you were “uprooted” from your vacation a couple of days early, we’re sorry you were inconvenienced.

He acknowledged that “As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well.” Poverty for Bush is always something he saw once on the teevee.

He called for a Gulf Opportunity Zone (GOZ), where there will be a few incentives for “entrepreneurs” (or storm profiteers, call them what you will), and, I’m gonna guess, a lot of relaxed labor and environmental regulations. He wants an “urban homesteading act” to give away some federal land in the region by lottery. Two weeks and that’s the best they came up with? And a generous $5,000 for job training and education (and child care while they’re looking for work). Funny, I thought the reason they have no jobs was this fucking big hurricane, not that they were untrained and uneducated.

And something about how the federal government was only prepared for a “normal” hurricane, and this wasn’t a normal one, it had, like, super-powers. And he ended by talking about New Orleans jazz funerals. He really shouldn’t be talking about New Orleans jazz funerals.

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