The President and His Critics Mark Anniversary Along Coast
"One year doesn't mean that we'll forget," Bush said after lunching on fried shrimp and gumbo with community and state leaders at the small Ole Biloxi Schooner restaurant. "Now is the time to renew our commitment to let the people down here know that we will stay involved and help the people of Mississippi rebuild their lives."
In returning to scenes of one of his administration's biggest political embarrassments, Bush visited a city that remains a shell of its former self. Much of the debris has been removed and casinos are starting to sprout along Biloxi's waterfront, but empty lots abound, thousands of displaced people continue to live in trailers, and federal money is only beginning to trickle down to individuals and businesses, according to local leaders.
Democratic lawmakers and liberal advocacy groups flocked to the Gulf Coast in Bush's wake to offer their own, vastly more critical assessments of how well Bush and the federal government have performed in rebuilding communities swamped by Katrina.
No, we are confident that there is no danger that you "will forget," sir. We know that you have already forgotten.
George W. Bush. A man who thinks "empathy" is the kind of file his iPod plays.
But my favorite Katrina anniversary marker was the Yes Men event.
It may have been a hoax, but an announcement Monday that the federal government was reversing course and reopening public housing projects it had slated for demolition exposed a fault line in this city's efforts to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Onstage at an investors' conference with Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, an impostor claiming to be an assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gave a 15-minute speech announcing the supposed policy shift.
"Our charter here at HUD is to ensure access to affordable housing for those who need it the most," said the man, who called himself as Rene Oswin. "This past year in New Orleans, I am ashamed to say that we have clearly failed to do this."
HUD immediately said there was in fact no policy change.
They will likely be charged with felony impersonation of a government official who gives a shit, unlawful exposure of hypocrisy and malcious compassion.