On September 15, President Bush stood in downtown New Orleans -- bathed in floodlights powered by generators -- and made a pledge. Bush said, "Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. ... There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans." It hasn't worked out that way. A presidential adviser told TIME Magazine reporter Mike Allen that Katrina "has fallen so far off the radar screen, you can't even find it." Bush hasn't visited the Gulf Coast since Oct. 11. Most significantly, critical funding to build stronger and higher levees has not been appropriated. The New York Times notes, "Homeowners, businesses and insurance companies all need a commitment [that stronger levees will be constructed] before they will stake their futures on the city." As it stands, we "are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die."
12 December 2005
The Forgotten Tragedy
From today's American Progress Report: