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Friday, March 02, 2007

President Bush gives C students a bad name

In honor of President Bush's photo-op in New Orleans today, it's my honor to re-post these oldie but goodie video clips.

...but first, a look at Bush's screw-ups.

President Bush’s Broken Promises on Katrina & Rita Reconstruction

President Bush visits the Gulf Coast today, where residents are still struggling to rebuild from the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Americans will hear the President speak about his commitment to reconstruction, but a look back at the President’s last visit to the region in August shows that many of the President’s commitments to the area remain unmet.  Democrats are committed to helping the residents of the Gulf Coast rebuild.

Broken promises on funding…

PRESIDENT BUSH:  “I felt it was important that our government be generous to the people who suffered. I felt that step one of a process of recovery and renewal is money.” [New Orleans, 8/29/06]

Administration refusing to waive burdensome matching requirements for Gulf Coast victims.  Despite a request from Senators Harry Reid, Mary Landrieu, and Joe Lieberman, the Bush Administration has refused to waive a burdensome matching requirement on FEMA disaster assistance, even though similar waivers have been granted in many other disasters and Hurricanes Katrina was the worst hurricane disaster in the history of the United States.  (Letter to President Bush, 2/9/07)

Discriminating against Katrina and Rita victims by prohibiting loan forgiveness. The Stafford Act recognizes the very real possibility that hard-hit communities may need to be excused from repayment of community disaster loans, and requires forgiveness of a loan if an independent audit determines that its recipient cannot sustain its repayment obligations after a three-year grace period.  However, for the first time in the history of the program, Congress in 2005 specifically prohibited forgiveness of loans related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  (Community Disaster Loan Act of 2005)

FEMA demands aid money back from hurricane victims. “Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters ruined everything Jessica Horne had in her New Orleans dorm room at Dillard University, so like more than 1.7 million other evacuees, she applied for disaster assistance… Horne eventually received $9,500 from FEMA. Now the agency wants the money back -- and is prepared to play hardball to get it, holding out the threat of collection agencies and criminal prosecution.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune 2/24/07)

PRESIDENT BUSH:  “All of us agree, at all levels of government, that we got to get the money as quickly as possible in the hands of the people, so they can rebuild their lives and help this city recover.” [New Orleans, 8/29/06]

Firms handling rebuilding are “understaffed and overwhelmed.”  “Their applications get lost or neglected for weeks. They can't get their calls returned. They can't get straight answers to their questions. They can't get their money.  One homeowner griped that he showed up for his appointment with a housing adviser in New Orleans only to be told he wasn't on the list, and neither were nine other people who came that day -- including two families who had flown in from other states. He said he and several other applicants got in only after complaining to the media.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1/28/07)

Broken promises on the work of the federal government…

PRESIDENT BUSH:  “To the extent there's bureaucracy standing in the way, Don Powell [Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding] and I will work to get rid of them.” [New Orleans, 8/29/06]

Bureaucratic nightmares delay needed funds. “In Louisiana, projects to rebuild a hospital along the western coast, a school-board building in suburban New Orleans and a prison south of the city remain suspended, the state says, as locals hunt for matching cash.” [Wall Street Journal, “In Katrina’s Wake, Where’s the Money?” 1/27/07]

Bureaucratic red tape hampering reconstruction efforts.  “Even the U.S. military appeared to have had problems, as the senators were told when they visited Jackson Barracks, which divides Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, right in the middle of some of the worst flooding.  Gen. Hunt Downer said that when the military tried to rebuild structures for new purposes, it, too, has been slapped with a 30 percent penalty. FEMA institutes such penalties to prevent unauthorized uses of aid.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1/30/07)

Broken promises on rebuilding communities…

PRESIDENT BUSH:  “I understand that rebuilding neighborhoods begins one house at a time, and that’s what's happening here. When somebody goes back to their home, it helps renew the community, and so part of our efforts, and part of our focus is to make sure that people can get back in their homes as quickly as possible.” [Biloxi MS, 8/28/06]

Communities are still waiting to find out if they can rebuild.  “The street can't be rebuilt until an associated seawall and the adjacent pier are reconstructed. FEMA calculates the pier alone will cost exactly $1,370,256.22.  To the surprise of locals, the Corps didn't request a congressional appropriation until November, more than a year after the storm.” (Wall Street Journal, 1/29/07)

Residents stranded by inaction. “The Department of Housing and Urban Development argued that more than 4,000 units in four developments should be demolished and the sites redeveloped…While thousands of apartments stood vacant, residents were forced to live with family, in trailers or outside the city. ‘We shouldn't be 16 months out trying to get back into our homes,’ said Cynthia Wiggins, president of the Citywide Tenants Association. ‘We're saying open them back up.’” [USA Today, 1/15/07]

Thousands of New Orleans residents find themselves without homeowners insurance.  “But the end of Emergency Rule 23, which required insurers to keep covering a property even though its risk profile had changed because a house was damaged and unrepaired, unoccupied or in a sparsely populated neighborhood, marks an important transition in the state's shattered insurance market. For tens of thousands of home and business owners, the end of Rule 23 will be a painful moment. Getting dropped by their insurance company will force them to take out coverage with the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state's insurer of last resort, make a decision to bulldoze or repair, or go without insurance coverage altogether.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1/1/07)

PRESIDENT BUSH:  “We got to make sure they have a place to move to. Trailers are only temporary. The goal is to make sure that communities are restored because there’s new homes. That's the goal. And we will help.” [New Orleans, 8/29/06]

Impacted residents still displaced. “Among respondents living in the impacted community, 83% had evacuated prior to the hurricane. Those in the community reported that they also had moved approximately three times since the hurricane, and indicated an average tenure of a little over two years at their current home. A little over a quarter of trailer park respondents are living in the same zip code one year after the hurricane as they had been at the time of the hurricane.” (National Center of Disaster Preparedness, “The Recovery Divide,” 2/2/07)

Broken promises on help to small businesses…

PRESIDENT BUSH: “And also, we've put out small business loans.” [Biloxi MS, 8/28/06]

Major problems at the Small Business Administration. “Poor planning, staff training and logistics hampered the Small Business Administration's response to the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, resulting in a backlog that reached more than 200,000 loan applications, the Government Accountability Office said Wednesday.  In a 41-page report on the beleaguered agency, the GAO cited recent improvements under new Administrator Steven Preston but said the SBA still lacks a timetable for completing a disaster management plan.” (USA Today, 2/15/07)

Broken promises on helping children return to school…


PRESIDENT BUSH:  “For children who lost everything, their homes, their belongings, and their friends, going to school can be a place where they find stability and a familiar routine.” [Biloxi MS, 8/28/06]

Children are not in school. “The leader of Louisiana's largest school system says she believes that up to 200 children in the state's biggest hurricane evacuee camp are not registered in local schools. And she says the U.S. government — citing privacy laws — is doing little to help officials identify the youths.” (USA Today 2/5/07)

Emotional and behavioral issues among children. “Over half the parents and caregivers interviewed reported that at least one child in the household had experienced emotional or behavioral issues since the hurricane, an even higher rate than reported among displaced Louisiana residents six months after the hurricane. Furthermore, there was a near fourfold increase in the clinical diagnosis of depression or anxiety in children after the hurricane, and the prevalence of behavioral or conduct problems doubled.” (National Center of Disaster Preparedness, “The Recovery Divide,” 2/2/07)

Now, keep all the info you just read in mind when you watch the following videoclips.

1. Reason enough to impeach Bush and give his ENTIRE administration the pink slip.

2. Bush's unqualified idiot who Joe Lieberman approved after 42 minutes of questioning (no wonder he doesn't want to look at the mistakes made by his favorite President and Brownie after the hurricane destroyed the Gulf Coast).

3. Cue Kanye.