Carol Platt Liebau: Presidential Address

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Presidential Address

Had the opportunity to listen to the President from the car radio. It was interesting to hear people who had obviously seen the speech -- as well as hearing it -- characterize it as "well delivered." Just from listening, the President sounded sincere, but somewhat stumbly . . . obviously, however,it was even more compelling when viewed on television.

The pitch of the speech was perfect. The resolute, determined, take-charge President was on full view -- and it was clear that he has plans, big plans, for the recovery of the Gulf Coast. Along with all the plans for massive spending (hard for an efficient-government conservative like me to swallow, albeit doubtless necessary in this case), he at least made a nod toward some form of accountability for the funds.

Most importantly, he talked about enterprise zones along the Gulf Coast. It would, indeed, be a blessing if out of this tragedy came the opportunity to demonstrate the creative and regenerative potential of capitalism, unfettered by excessive government regulations.

And yes, the speech did have a slightly odoriferous whiff of big government about it. But this is clearly one of those situations where government has a role to play -- and the failure to rebuild the lives and businesses devastated in Katrina would be not only unconscionable, but also more expensive in the long run.

6 Comments:

Anonymous KB said...

I saw the speech and thought it was very good. George Bush is no Ronald Reagan, but I think the speech gave needed hope and confidence to the victims who's worlds have been turned upside down.

I disagree with commentators who compare his rebuilding plan to the New Deal or Great Society. Bush will not have government do everything, he will have government entice the private sector and the victims themselves to rebuild. It seems to be a good example of "compassionate conservatism" and the best way to rebuild that devastated part of our nation.

9:03 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

I'm not so concerned about what I heard as opposed to what I didn't hear...

no mention of exemptions from the bankruptcy bill.
no mention of easing up on tax cuts for the wealthiest or cutting the estate tax.
no mention of bringing troops home to help with rebuilding and future disasters.
no mention of any independent commission despite the ongoing hurricane season.
no mention of a preventing future hurricane disasters by targeting global warming or saving wetlands.
no mention of dropping no-bid contracts.
no mention of the administration's connections to the those who won no-bid contracts to clean up the devastated gulf states
no mention of paying reconstruction workers a prevailing wage.
no mention of putting a reconstruction expert (rather than his political expert) in charge.
no mention of removing political cronies from positions where they have no relevant experience.
no mention of restoring the levee funding cut by administration.
no mention of or explanation for why he, his vice president, etc. were awol for so many days.
no mention of punishment for anybody in his administration.
no mention of scaling back the pork-laden transportation bill.
no mention of how to pay for the reconstruction.
no mention of exactly which government land will be used for "homesteading" (the government owns a number of superfund cleanup sites in new orleans)
no mention what his 'gulf opportunity zone' proposal actually means
no mention of who this clean up czar will be (will it be karl rove, who lied before a grand jury? who lied on his tax returns? who's only claim to fame is his ability to slime opponents and threaten people into acting by his talking points?)
no mention of how hospitals will be paid for treating the uninsured injured

and definately no mention of these stories.....

report offers 'grave' view of impact on environment. as the water recedes, it leaves behind a sludge so laden with petroleum that federal officials are having trouble analyzing it. houston chronicle

katrina leaves a toxic nightmare. hurricane katrina is rapidly becoming the worst environmental calamity in u.s. history, with oil spills rivaling the exxon valdez, hundreds of toxic sites still uncontrolled, and waterborne poisons soaking 160,000 homes. dallas morning news

katrina lays bare superfund woes. the receding floodwaters in new orleans and other parts of the gulf coast are exposing hazardous chemicals and other dangerous waste. but they're also revealing the accomplishments - and the limits - of government programs designed to clean up such pollution. christian science monitor

deq: rail cars pose hazards. hundreds and possibly thousands of railcars in the area hit by hurricane katrina could be an environmental hazard. baton rouge advocate

new orleans: raze or rebuild? the water in the lower ninth ward is thickening into a glassy, fetid slick as the gasoline, oil, solvents and sewage from thousands of submerged vehicles and homes leaches out. the nation

floodwater deals blow to lake pontchartrain. the effort to bail out new orleans is sending plumes of contaminated water into lake pontchartrain, setting back years of effort to restore the lake. chicago tribune

seafood, sugar, coffee getting harder to come by. the louisiana department of wildlife and fisheries estimates a $1.3 billion loss in fisheries revenue at the retail level and a $296 million loss in oyster revenue in the next two years. the losses result from storm-induced pollution and damage to oyster beds. houston chronicle

heavy contamination of new orleans sediment hinders testing. the sediments in parts of new orleans and the surrounding parishes are so contaminated with petroleum products that the epa hasn't been able to sort out what other potentially hazardous chemicals are spread across the region. knight ridder newspapers

katrina's cost to agriculture: $3 billion and still rising. cotton fields are flattened. hundreds of chicken houses are destroyed. timber and pecan trees are splayed across the ground. more than $2 billion in agricultural damage is reported in mississippi and $1 billion in louisiana. philadelphia inquirer

environmental impact on texas unknown. scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the effect of pollution from hurricane-ravaged new orleans on the gulf of mexico. fort worth star-telegram

9:55 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Along with all the plans for massive spending (hard for an efficient-government conservative like me to swallow, albeit doubtless necessary in this case),

Carol, once again get with the Republican program. No one supports this President or the current Republican ruling class because of their fiscal restraint. The Republicans are the party of tax cut and spend, spend, spend conservatives.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

Noticed that Jill posted no mention of a source for the "no mention of" series of lies and half-truths. Perhaps because it was authored by a known anti-Bush "writer, director and producer" and a Bush- bashing independent film creator who hardly rates equal footing with any of the sources posted later which at least allege to be politically neutral.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Notice how Bachbone resorts to argumentum ad hominem rather than logically replying to Cookie Jill.

Notice beyond the logical speciousness of his claim that he's not even correct about the content. Just picking Cookie's first five no mentions, we can find the following sources.

[Bankruptcy]
James Sensenbrenner sends a big F*** YOU to Katrina victims vis-a-vis bankruptcy. Reuters

[Tax Cuts]
Bush won't consider rolling back tax cuts on the wealthiest to fund Katrina reconstruction. Fox News

[Troops not coming home]
National Guard troops in Iraq from Katrina afflicted areas not coming home, given a toll-free number to check on their families. US Army

[Independent commission]
On a party-line vote, Republican Senators kill request for an independent Katrina commission. AP

[Global warming]
Increase in number of severe hurricanes linked to global warming. Forbes


I can go through the rest of Cookie Jill's list and provide similar cites. I think the point that Bachbone has tried to purposely deceive anyone reading has been made, however.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reconstruction of New Orleans Act of 2005 brings to mind 2 words: Eminent Domain. If the Feds are gonna pay off property owners for damaged homes, why not invoke eminent domain to insure that residential areas won't be rebuilt in the worst flooded areas. We have plenty of time to decide what to do with the areas that are suseptible to more problems in the future. Duh.

11:18 PM  

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