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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Six months after Katrina, New Orleans is trying to rouse itself in a slimmed down version of Mardi Gras. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is still very weak.

The sad fact of the matter is through ineptitude, mismanagement and perhaps outright disaster ennui, much of New Orleans still bears more of a resemblance to a Third World country than to the vibrant, naughty city down in the Delta.

Party boy George Bush reminisced about his young and irresponsible days when he visited the Big Easy right after Katrina hit. Realizing the political blunder, he started an Air Force One shuttle mission to try to reinforce Bush 41's awkward "message, I care."

But as the Pentagon boys say, let's look at the facts on the ground -- as Bush 43 jets off to India and Pakistan to carry on his crusade against terror.

Billions of dollars have been spent on relief -- some wisely, some not. The compassionate conservatives who run Congress disagree on whether we should spend more; the Abramoff-DeLay wing of the party wants to spend it on their cronies.

Despite Stonewall McClellan's admonitions, fingers are being pointed and responsibilities are being ducked. In a sign of Bush Administration consistency, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is now defending the Dubai Ports World decision with the same vigor he defended his department's response. And with the same answer too: we didn't think there was a problem.

The blame doesn't merely rest with the federal government -- Mayor Ray Nagin and Gov. Kathleen Blanco have not covered themselves in honor. And why the Red Cross needs to spend money to burnish its image is beyond comprehension.

So laissez les bon temps roulez, Nawlins, you deserve it. You been swamped, beaten and kicked -- left in the hands of political charlatans and hacks. Eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow is another day.


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