By Donna Brazile... On Thursday night President Bush spoke to the nation from my city. I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush -- in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But on Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast. ... I know, maybe better than anyone, that there are times when it seems that our nation is too divided ever to heal. There are times when we feel so different from each other that we can hardly believe that we are all part of the same family. But we are one nation. We are a family. And this is what we do. When the president asked us to pitch in Thursday night, he wasn't really asking us to do anything spectacular. He was asking us to be Americans, and to do what Americans always do. The president has set a national goal and defined a national purpose. This is something I believe with all my heart: When we are united, nothing can stop us. We will not waver, we will not tire, and we will not stop until the streets are clean, every last brick has been replaced and every last family has its home back. Bush talked about how we bury our family and friends. We grieve and mourn. We march to a solemn song and then we rejoice and step out and form the second line. That line is now open to every American to join us in rebuilding a great region of this country. New Orleans will rise again. My hometown is down but not out, and with the help of every American, it will be back on its feet, bigger and brighter than ever. ... Mr. President, I am ready for duty. I am ready to stir those old pots again. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
It will take some time to rebuild the hotels and restaurants and nightclubs and casinos, (and ALL the secondary services industries which support those enterprises). Since neither the primary or support businesses that cater to tourism are operating, it seems logical to conclude that tourism on the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans is "dead" for the time being.
BUT MAYBE THERE'S A WAY WE CAN JUMP-START IT RIGHT NOW!?
Let's start a new form of tourism: VOLUN-TOURISM. What we can do is get the feds to set up some trailers and tents all over the region for VOLUNTEERS, who will:
"Voluntourists" - instead of taking an entirely hedonistic vacation - would get to see the ravaged Gulf Coast and the heroic people of the region up-close while directly helping some people there make a new and better life - and they'd also be indirectly helping the whole nation because they'd be SPENDING money in the region.
(a) pay their own way to the Gulf Coast and
(b) pay for their room and board while doing UNPAID VOLUNTEER work on a reclaimation project - like helping to build a home with Habitat for Humanity, or or helping to clean a school, or well - just about anything.
I got the idea when a fellow alum from Tulane emailed me that she was going to set up a college reunion for this Spring in New Orleans - so we could paper the city with our money while nostalgically recounting and reliving our glory days in the city we all love.
How 'bout it? How about spreading the word? Maybe we can make this happen for ALL the alumni from all the colleges down there, and for everyone else who loves the Gulf Coast and wants to participate in the rebirth of the region - and speed it along as much as possible.
It shows that the poor black people who were rescued from the horrifying chaos of Superdome and the N.O. Convention Center and who were brought to Houston DO NOT BLAME BUSH, BUT BLAME BLANCO AND NAGIN.
Here's what Lorie posted:
All of those interviewed at the Astrodome were black. They were all evacuees from New Orleans. When the first person was asked if she believed the President she said “yes.” She said that what the President said lifted her up and gave her hope. When the reporter questioned her about the slow response of the federal government, she said they did a good job once they got there and that she blamed the local and state officials, who had not done their jobs. She said they were the ones there when the storm hit and they did not do what they needed to do. Then she got on a rant about the buses that were not used. She later said she blamed Mayor Nagin personally. The others interviewed also spoke very favorably about the President.
FEMA is OBVIOUSLY not providing these evacuees with enough copies of the NYTIMES so that they won;t belive their lying eyesand "learn" - from the likes of Herbert, Krugman, Rich and Dowd - that Bush was really the problem - and Iraq. And Halliburton.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
So where did this idea of a slow response originate? I believe it came from fearful local politicians, mostly in Louisiana, eager to deflect blame to anyone else. It was picked up enthusiastically by the media. The Cindy Sheehan story was rapidly fading, so this was simply another attack by the media, beleieving they have finally got Bush. The Plame story, the Rumsfield story, Cindy Sheehan, Abu Graib, etc… etc…
White and black Americans view Hurricane Katrina's aftermath in starkly different ways, with more blacks viewing race as a factor in problems with the federal response, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday. The poll found that six in 10 blacks interviewed said the federal government was slow in rescuing those stranded in New Orleans after Katrina because many of the people in the Louisiana city were black. But only about one in eight white respondents shared that view. The numbers were similar on whether the rescues were slower because the victims were poor, with 63 percent of blacks blaming poverty and 21 percent of whites doing so. [...] Among blacks, only 15 percent said Bush did a good job in the initial days after Katrina, and 36 percent thought he did a good job in recent days. The number for whites was 49 percent for the initial days and 63 percent more recently.
Let's look at the facts - by comparing the racial divide on Katrina to previous issues which divided America along racial lines:
(1) DO PEOPLE THINK MICHAEL JACKSON IS GUILTY OR INNOCENT
"The singer Michael Jackson has been charged with child molestation.
PROBABLY NOT GUILTY
"The basketball player Kobe Bryant has been charged with rape. Do you think he is probably guilty or not?" [Base: All Adults]:
WHITE Yes 77% NO 29%
BLACK Yes 22% NO 70%
(1) My first girlfirend was black
(2) I marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - who is my #1 HERO!
(3) i even supported the BLACK PANTHER PARTY in the 1970's (tho that's something I am ashamed of now!)
(4) AND: I'm a registered DEMOCRAT - and have been since 1974!
(5) If i am a racist then BILL COSBY IS A RACIST because he makes the SAME argument as me: that knee-jerk party affiliation and the welfare state and low expectations WITHIN the black community have contributed to slow economic growth of that community.
Lookit: OJ was guilty, but blacks who had a story template that said "policemen are racist and try to frame blacks" ignored the facts in the trial - (which made OJ's guilt obvious) - and believed that oj's lawyers had raised reasonable doubt. A similar thing happened with regard to KATRINA: many blacks (and many BDS libs like my Leftie commentors) interpreted events through their story-template.
ALSO: blacks in Nawlins and elsewhere reflexively vote Democrat even tho' Dems have OVER AND OVER AGAIN let them down - Dems like Nagin and Blanco. Dems and Blacks have run Nawlins for 35 years - during which time THEY IGNORED THE POOR BLACKS AND POOR BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS IN THEIR OWN CITY! The poorest neighborhoods in Nalwins DON'T EVEN GET PATROLLED BY THE N.O.P.D.! And the NOPD is run by BLACKS! One reason that the poor balck people in Nawlins are so VICTIMIZED by crime is because the NOPD - run by blacks - and the city gov't - run by black DEMS - have been able to ignore them because the poor blacks vote with the MACHINE.
MANY MANY MANY political analysyts and BLACK LEADERS have argued that blacks would have MORE POLITICAL POWER - and get better and more effective GOVERNMENT RESULTS - (like better schools and more police in their neighborhoods) - if they DID NOT all vote Dem all the time - BECAUSE THEN BOTH PARTIES WOULD HAVE TO VIE/COMPETE FOR THEIR VOTE AND THEY WOULD GET MORE. Then, instead of getting a black mayor like Nagin (and Morial and Barthelemy and Morial before that - who have each done SHIT for them - they'd get a responve accountable government - WHICH THEY - like all Aericans - deserve! It was NAGIN - a BLACK MAYOR - who IGNORED the desperate people in the Superdome and allowed them to stay in HIS SH--TY, INSECURE, IMPROPERLY SUPPLIED SHELTERS!
BOTTOM-LINE: NOTHING - that's n-o-t-h-i-n-g I have said is RACIST. I want EMPOWERMENT for ALL PEOPLE - INCLUDING BLACK. I am arguing that blacks have been ILL-SERVED by the "welfare state" and the likes of Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Nagin and Blanco. I am arguing that blacks have been ill-served by their own reflexive connection the Democrats and to "story templates" which prevent them from coming up with effective policies - because NO effective policy can come from a faulty analysis of a problem, and "story templates" prevent good analysis. "Story templates" only reinforce pre-extisting stereotypes.
Well now, it becomes clear even to slow-wits like me. The bitter accusations against the Bush administration were a preemptive strike against Bush, and the inroads Republicans have made in the African-American community. I think what the lefties fear is, African-Americans will see that this Republican administration did a better job helping them than the local and state governments, which would cause the wrath of the electorate to fall onto the Democrat party.
So the Democrats had to resort to the lowest of tactics to keep their African-American voters in line by inoculating them with inflamed accusations of racism. Of course, this only works so well. The people blitzed by Katrina know full well that their local governmental authorities let them down. Only time will tell what effect that will have on elections, if any. But the intent of all the vitriol is clear: keep victims, mostly African-American, from viewing Republicans in a positive light by blaring shrill accusations that the “slow” Federal response to Katrina was the fault of a Republican administration full of racists…“Katrina” comes from the Greek word that means “pure” or “to cleanse.” Another word that emerges from that root is “catharsis.” Katrina may indeed help cleanse the state of Louisiana, and trigger a larger catharsis that removes some Democrat influence in the nation at large.
Autumn may be approaching, but in Turtle Bay (and Vienna) : the HEAT is on! Stay tuned...The US administration has embarked on a series of face-to-face meetings with world leaders at the UN summit to try to isolate Iran diplomatically over Iran's push to expand its nuclear programme. In support of Mr Bush's diplomatic drive, US officials have delivered hour-long PowerPoint briefings, entitled A History of Concealment and Deception, to diplomats from at least a dozen countries. The officials making the presentation, which includes satellite photographs of Iran's nuclear installations, admit they cannot say definitively that Tehran is covertly trying to secure a nuclear weapons capability. ... As well as security council members, Mr Bush is targeting the 35 board members of the International Atomic Energy Authority, the UN nuclear watchdog which on Monday will consider referral to the security council. The PowerPoint presentations have been held at the US mission in Vienna, headquarters of the IAEA. ... "This is a subject of grave concern, and it's something that we're spending a lot of time on in this administration. It is very important for the world to understand that Iran with a nuclear weapon will be incredibly destabilising." Nicholas Burns, US undersecretary of state for political affairs, said Iran was probably the most important issue being discussed on the sidelines of the summit.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
We have a solemn obligation -- we have a solemn obligation to stop terrorism at its early stages. We have a solemn obligation to defend our citizens against terrorism, to attack terrorist networks and deprive them of any safe haven, to promote an ideology of freedom and tolerance that will refute the dark vision of the terrorists. We must do all we can to disrupt each stage of planning and support for terrorist acts. Each of us must act, consistent with past Security Council resolutions: to freeze terrorists' assets; to deny terrorists freedom of movement by using effective border controls and secure travel documents; to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons, including weapons of mass destruction. Each of us must act to share information to prevent a terrorist attack before they happen. The United States will continue to work with and through the Security Council to help all nations meet these commitments.
Hamas militants have destroyed a section of a concrete barrier erected along the Gaza-Egypt border. Palestinian and Egyptian troops have been trying to shore up the barrier to stop Palestinians crossing into Egypt after the withdrawal of Israeli troops. In chaotic scenes, thousands of Palestinians have streamed over the border in the last few days without undergoing official checks. Despite this, Egypt says that its Gaza border is officially closed. ... The mass crossings have raised questions whether Egypt is be able to honour its deal with Israel and maintain security along the border, correspondents say. ... Israel fears militants will exploit the situation to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Egypt's ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Asim Ibrahim, has vowed to maintain law and order. But the diplomat expressed sympathy for Palestinians from Gaza crossing the border.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip. American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash. Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.
One day after the Israelis pulled out, the Gazan border with Egypt appeared to melt away as thousands of Palestinians used their new freedom to come and go as they pleased. What was a trickle on Monday turned into a torrent on Tuesday as Palestinians from all over Gaza headed to Rafah to cross into Egypt. They pried open doors in the massive metal security wall left by Israel and squeezed through. Before Israel withdrew, Egypt agreed to post 750 security officers on the border to prevent militants from smuggling advanced weapons into Gaza for use against the Jewish state. They Egyptian border guards are not all in place. ... Zalman Shoval, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said Israel might eventually seek international monitors for the border. "The great danger is that both people and arms could be smuggled under the unwatchful eyes of the Egyptians."
President George Bush yesterday threatened Syria with increasing isolation alleging that Damascus was "trying to prevent democracies from emerging" in both Iraq and Lebanon. Mr Bush, speaking at a press conference with the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, said he would raise punitive measures against Syria with US allies at the United Nations in New York, where he is due to address the general assembly today. His remarks echoed more specific allegations made by Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador to Iraq, in a New York Times interview yesterday. Mr Bush said yesterday: "The Syrian government can do a lot more to prevent the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq. And the Syrian leader must understand we take his lack of action seriously."
These people are coming from Syria into Iraq and killing a lot of innocent people,” Bush said following a meeting at the White House with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. “They’re trying to kill our folks as well. “And the Syrian leader (President Bashar al-Assad) must understood, we take his lack of action seriously,” Bush said. ... Khalilzad said Monday that the United States believes that Iraqi Sunnis are refusing to agree a proposed constitution because of threats from Sunni Muslim extremists who have infiltrated Iraq from Syria, where they have training camps. “Syria has to decide what price it’s willing to pay in making Iraq success difficult. And time is running out for Damascus to decide on this issue,” the ambassador warned.
EITHER WAY: GOOD RIDDANCE!
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is meeting President George Bush in Washington, for talks which could focus on a reduction of US troops. Ahead of the meeting, Mr Talabani suggested that the US could withdraw up to 50,000 of its soldiers from Iraq by the end of the year. The possible pullout was prompted by progress in preparing Iraq's own forces, he told the Washington Post. This the first time a US or Iraqi leader has mentioned withdrawal dates. ... The US has been training home-grown Iraqi troops to take over from their forces to allow a phased withdrawal. Earlier this month the US officially handed over military control of the southern city of Najaf to Iraqi forces. The move was the first of a planned series of security transfers across Iraq, paving the way for an eventual withdrawal of foreign forces.
''Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,'' Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq. ''To the extent the federal government didn't fully do it's job right, I take responsibility,'' Bush said.
But that doesn't stop the NYTIMES from MISCHARACTERIZING what Bush said (from the same article):
"President Bush said Tuesday that ''I take responsibility'' for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina ..."
Monday, September 12, 2005
The bodies of 45 people have been found in a flooded uptown hospital here, officials said Monday, sharply increasing the death toll from Hurricane Katrina and raising new questions about the breakdown of the evacuation system as the disaster unfolded. Officials at the hospital, the Memorial Medical Center, said at least some of the victims died while waiting to be removed in the four days after the hurricane struck, with the electricity out and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. Steven L. Campanini, a spokesman for the hospital's owner, Tenet Healthcare, said the dead included patients who died awaiting evacuation as well as people who died before the hurricane struck and whose bodies were in the hospital morgue. Mr. Campanini said the dead might have also included evacuees from other hospitals and the surrounding neighborhood who gathered at Memorial while waiting to evacuate the city.
The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, fired a strong warning to Syria yesterday over help that Washington accuses Damascus of giving to radical groups in Iraq. “Our patience is running out with Syria,” Khalilzad told a press conference. When asked how the United States could respond, he said “all options are on the table,” including military. “I would not like to elaborate more, they should understand what I mean,” he added.
Since Katrina, I have been debating the response with some of my MANY Leftie friends, (as a former Leftie raised by hardcore lefties in NY, NY, and I have many MANY Leftie friends - and even MORE FORMER-friends who are Lefties!).
One retort they ALL seem to make at some point goes sort of like this: "Don't give me that KKKarl Rove RIGHT-WING BLOG crap!"
They often say this after I send them something from The Washington Times, or POWERLINE, or INSTAPUNDIT, but it is just as likely to come after I send them something from the Washington Post or Fox News or a DoD briefing link or even an article they missed in the NYTIMES! IN FACT: on this blog, about 33% of all my links are to articles in the MSM - like the NYTIMES, the BBC, the WASHINGTON POST and the like! Which PROVES I am better informed than they are. HERE'S WHY:
They say that right-of-center media are bad as if:
(a) ONLY the MSM reports the truth, (and everything else is false); (b) if it ain't never been reported in the MSM, then it ain't true; (c) if it's ever been reported in any media outlet which is right-of-center then it is partisan and false, (but EVERYTHING left-of-center is objective); and (c) - HERE'S THE KICKER - if you ONLY READ/WATCH MSM/Left-of-center media then you are more informed and better informed than if you read all media - RIGHT and Left, MSM and blogs (even though all the bloggers always provide links/footnotes --- something you NEVER see in the DT-MSM!) -- as I do, and as they KNOW I DO since often I am arguing with them about how poorly the NYTIMES covers events and how this is ALWAYS biased against the Right.
"Palestinians celebrate Gaza exit - Jubilant Palestinians have taken control of the Gaza Strip following the withdrawal of Israeli troops more than 38 years after they captured the area. Thousands entered the former Jewish enclaves, some setting an abandoned synagogue ablaze in a settlement. Crowds celebrated in the town of Rafah, on the border between Gaza and Egypt. "
"Behind him, a settlement synagogue built in the shape of a huge Star of David was smoldering, fires inside sending smoke through the edges of the star. Atop the building, in the dim smoky moment before dawn, one could see a huge green flag of Hamas, with a smaller Palestinian flag flying below it. A few minutes later, a large black flag of Islamic Jihad was flying just under the Hamas flag, above the Palestinian one. Five minutes later, the Palestinian flag had been taken down altogether."
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Peace through Victory.