Saturday, August 20, 2016

US V. THEM, OVER AND OVER AGAIN

You may have concluded from various news reports that Donald Trump did nothing in the Louisiana flood zone yesterday except hand out Play-Doh, but that's not accurate -- Matthew Teague of The Guardian notes that in St. Amant, Louisiana, Trump handed out diapers and water bottles. So Trump's Louisiana trip was a self-serving photo op, but not a completely ridiculous one.

However, if one of the locals quoted by Teague is any indication, you wonder why we're even talking about Trump, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton in connection to this disaster at all -- at least some of these people would have you believe that they don't need any damn handouts, from the government, an alleged billionaire, or anyone else:
“This is [Trump's] stomping grounds,” said Greg Patterson, who was cleaning muck from his store called the Pit Stop. The idea that a billionaire from Manhattan could describe the working-class corner of Louisiana as “his stomping grounds” did not strike Patterson as contradictory.

“We’ve got 2,000 houses damaged just in this area alone,” he said, stretching his arm out to the south. “These people are already back in their homes, working to repair them. It’s not like down in the Ninth Ward.”

That was a reference to one of the quarters of New Orleans that was worst hit by Katrina a decade ago. That neighborhood is mostly poor, and mostly black.

“I mean that’s a bunch of government-owned housing,” Patterson said. “Nobody here is looking for handouts or waiting on the government. These are Trump’s people.”

It was a bombastic statement, and maybe emotionally satisfying, but it was also untrue: more than 60,000 local people have applied for relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema).
Of course, people like Patterson might literally believe that they can accept aid from FEMA, or handouts from Trump, and still be "self-sufficient" -- unlike Those People in New Orleans -- because, well, y'know.

I'm reminded of the Craig T. Nelson interview immortalized by Jon Stewart:



"I've been on food stamps and welfare. Did anybody help me out? No!"

****

On the question of visit timing: Yes, President Obama waited until the end of his vacation to schedule a trip to the area. Yes, President Bush was criticized for vacationing during Katrina.

But the disasters are very different. In the current flooding, 13 people are dead and 40,000 homes have been damaged. In Katrina, at least 986 people died and 1 million homes were damaged. The current flooding is horrible, but Bush was faced with a much worse disaster, and dealt with it inadequately. In the current crisis, the heads of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security have been to flood zone, 20 parishes have already been declared federal disaster areas, and quite a bit of assistance is already being provided. If the federal response turns out to be insufficient, that's a reason to grumble about the president. But that's not what we're hearing. We're hearing payback for the criticism of Bush's apparent indifference to Katrina. But that was a much worse situation.

14 comments:

Nick said...

Also, Gov. Edwards:

"In all honesty, if he’s gonna visit, I would would just as soon it be a week or ten days, 14 days from now, because the vice president was here about three weeks ago to go to the memorial service for the police officers who were killed here, and I will tell you, it is a major ordeal — they free up the interstate for him, we have to take hundreds of local first responders, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and state troopers, to provide security for that type of visit. I would just as soon have those people engaged in the response, rather than try to secure the president, so I would ask him to wait, if he would, another couple of weeks."

Yastreblyansky said...

In any case Bush's long vacation (it was Day 28 of a Crawford stay when Katrina struck) was just a symbol of the real problem, which was the entire government's lack of preparation and incompetence, especially FEMA, and Bush's lack of awareness ("Heck of a job, Brownie") that anything was wrong with the way it was working.

Obama in contrast is confident that the federal component knows what it's doing, because it does, and everybody knows it does. The agency has been seriously reformed during the Obama presidency because Obama was where he was needed, as was already clear in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Ten Bears said...

I'll bet that white boy has already cashed his federally subsidized insurance check. Those people waste no time suckling at the taxpayer teat.

Victor said...

Ten Bears,]
Yeah.
All the while, bitching about minorities getting more!

Why couldn't your ancestors have been more strict about doing - in the words of t-RUMP - "extreme, extreme, EXTREME vetting" since about 500 years ago? ;-)

An Iroquois "Long House," with its communal atmosphere, and other Native American village life, appears to me to be far superior to modern Capitalism!

Jon Gallagher said...

"Those people" in the Ninth Ward were not coping with a flooded river (and just in case you live by a river and don't know this: RIVERS FLOOD, IT'S WHAT THEY DO!).

The Ninth Ward was coping with the failure of a canal built through their neighborhood by the US Army Corps of Engineers to carry shipping traffic between the Mississippi Rive and Lake Pontchartrain. In other words, they weren't building houses in a flood plain, then expecting the government to bail them out when the inevitable happens, like white folks do. The government brought the flood to them, and could barely lift a finger to help them.

So, hey hard working Mr Greg Patterson, consider taking responsibility for your own self, and move out of the flood plain. The Mississippi has a tendency to move whenever and wherever it it wants (see "The Control of Nature", John McPhee, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_Control_Act_of_1928, and http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/05/what-weve-done-to-the-mississippi-river-an-explainer/239058/) and we taxpayers have been on the hook for decades to keep you and yours dry. Now that Global Climate Change (that you probably don't believe in) is well past its tipping point, you need to move to higher ground.


Tom Hilton said...

In all honesty, if he’s gonna visit, I would would just as soon it be a week or ten days, 14 days from now...

Oh, and nobody finds it at all suspicious that what Edwards says he wants Obama to do is exactly what Obama is doing?

"I've been on food stamps and welfare. Did anybody help me out? No!"

Yup, that. It also reminds me of Modoc County.

Gerald Parks said...

GeraldP Aug 20 · 12:18:59 PM
Yet ANOTHER stellar example of the "thinking" that gave US(America) GOP/Republican governance in 21st century America!

Bush/Cheney 2000-2008 set the standard and tone.

Wars, invasions, loss of civil liberties, torture, mismanagement of government services, little or no government oversight/regulations on businesses, Bankers and Wall Street, huge job loses, high unemployment, squandered surpluses, tax cuts for the wealthy, near economic collapse, bluster and faux bravado when faced with any real or precieved threat!

Please note that the FIVE worst States are under GOP/Republican governce. Except for LA which only rcently replaced former (R) Gov Bobby Jendal. Who frist drove the State into a ditch and then began digging deeper!

Their governance in 21st Century American has been nothing short of dismal, disasterous, dark, draconian and deadly to American Citizens!

And now they want to elect a wannabe despot dictator with a vision of a dsyopican America!

Damn ...WE can do better than this!

KenRight said...

Bush and Cheney set the standard and tone, with Obama voting for the bankster bailout and failing to prosecute both the banksters and the war criminals.
Obama and drones. Obama prosecutes the would-be opponents/exposers of the Cheney Police State. Obama and Summers. Obama also a job outsourcing free trader. Less to see here than meets the eye.

Victor said...

KenRight(Very right),
In conservatives eyes, no matter what ANY Democrat does, it's all is horrible, hideous, traitorous, treasonous, and completely un-American!

Give it a rest, buddy.
You bring nothing new.
You're like a baby bird, you regurgitate whatever you're fed.

Come back when - IF! - you ever come up with something original.

Until then, either STFU here, or comment on some of your nutty Reich-Wing sites.

KenRight said...

As a matter of fact I admired Kucinich for his legislation co-sponsored with Ron Paul to cut off funds for your Iraq War.
Well, might as well be yours since you are voting Clinton, when you could consistently vote Jill Stein.

Victor said...

KenRight,
No wonder you fear Hillary!

Her one vote in the US Senate, moved America's military to invade and ineptly occupy Iraq!!!

JAYZOOOOOOOOOS!
Ken, you're 'right!'
And your new hero, t-RUMP, was for it, before he lied and said he was against!

Keep looking, and see if your little pea-brain can come up with something at least
a little bit original!

Until then, 'Fuck Ya la Vista, you MFing baby!!!'

Ken_L said...

I've challenged a few righties in comments threads at other sites to explain what exactly the president could have achieved by visiting the state, apart from getting in the way of the disaster response effort. The answers have in essence been "Nothing; this is payback for what you did to Bush over Katrina".

Principled, grown-up conservatism on full display.

Ten Bears said...

Bush was drunk when he went to LA, tie-less, shirt buttoned askew, hair a muss, looked like he just came from a romp with his favorite "reporter". I've got a great picture of it around here somewhere, I'll repost it at my place.

That's what they're getting even for, not any aberrant "treatment" of Bush. Their dog didn't have the grace and dignity to treat the people of LA with respect to begin with, and when he did show up, he was drunk. Staggering, stumbling, slurring his words "get the foke away from me I'm The President I can do this with out you" drunk.

Kinda' like something out of one of these newer so-called "country and western" songs drunk.

Never Ben Better said...

Ten Bears, did you ever see that live short newscast of Bush addressing a collection of troops in Iraq where he was, he must have been, similarly drunk, mumbling, confused, slurring, etc.? The soldiers assembled to hear their C-in-C looked increasingly uncomfortable, trying desperately to hang on to their dutiful grateful smiles as he rambled on, till it mercifully ended. I watched it, incredulous that they'd let him go ahead with it, as awful as he was -- couldn't anyone have come up with an excuse to put it off?

And nobody in the media said one word about it.