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We’re Not Buying the Phony Photo Op


   (Photo by Evan Vucci of the AP.) 

Karen and Karl are slipping.  Via Attytood:

And, whaddya know? Turns out that the earthy Vaccarella — a highly successful businessman in the fast-food industry — is indeed a Republican pol, having run unsuccessfully under the GOP banner for a seat on the St. Bernard Parish commission back in 1999….

And in fact, Vaccarella seemed very confident that he would be meeting with Bush when he left home, to the point where he had a date scheduled and everything:

Dinner with the President is planned for the evening of August 22nd.

As it turned out, dinner last night was with the White House aide running Katrina relief, and he met Bush at the White House today. Close enough.

Gee, wonder if this whole thing was set up by PR people to make the President look like he actually gave a damn? Golly, that George Bush sure is a can do guy — he can do what his handlers tell him in front of the camera.

Holden has much more at First Draft on Vaccarella’s "regular guy" schtick and how the White House invited him to begin with — it wasn’t just some spontaneous camper drive-by.  (Good lord, they can’t even get their faux PR right these days. I know, how about you try honesty and reality for once?  hahahahaha  Oh, good one.  *snerk*)

Meanwhile, back in the land of reality, this is how things still look in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans:


(Photo by REUTERS/Lee Celano.)

And here’s life with a lovely Katrina trailer outside her home for a woman who lives in the Lakeview area of New Orleans:


(Photo by REUTERS/Lee Celano)

You want a photo op?  How about helping these people — and thousands more like them — just to get back on their feet a little more…by actually following through on all those promises you made last year?  How about dispersing that promised FEMA money for rebuilding that the federal government is still sitting on, a year later?  That would be a great start, anyway.

Because thus far, what they’ve gotten is a lot of this:  (from the LATimes, via Froomkin)

A report being released today by top Democrats, titled "Broken Promises: The Republican Response to Katrina," features a picture of Bush during his Sept. 15, 2005, speech in New Orleans’ Jackson Square, in which he promised to oversee "one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen."

The report argues that every aspect of recovery — including housing, business loans, healthcare, education and preparedness — "suffers from a failed Republican response marked by unfulfilled promises, cronyism, waste, fraud, and abuse."

How about doing your damn job instead of constantly campaigning, posing for pre-packaged pictures and taking brush-clearing vacations?  How about some accountability for yourself and your Administration?  Is that too much to ask from the President of the United States?  Apparently so in the Bush Administration.

Had enough?

UPDATENational Geographic has a very thoughtful article on how prepared (or not) the Gulf Coast would be for another hurricane.  Including how residents would deal with the flimsy FEMA trailers they have been living in — because, you know, they can’t all hitch them to a truck and move onto the Mall in DC.  

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com