Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Deadlines All Around

Saturday, December 30 is the date for the last daily comic strip of a favorite of my family's, Fox Trot. Creator Bill Amend is taking a break from the daily comic strip grind he began in April, 1988 and will only create a Sunday cartoon strip. With over 30 comic collections published, no doubt he is in need of a break. Amend was nominated as a finalist for the 2006 Cartoonist of the Year. That would be an honor long overdue, if you ask me. Our bookshelves hold many of his books and our son has been entertained by them since he was a little guy.

Have you heard of a program created with money from Congress to build a Katrina cottage program on the Gulf Coast? A competition was held with the mission for the five Gulf Coast states to propose a plan to spend federal recovery money on quick-assemble housing. The great state of Mississippi won the largest share of the money by producing a winning proposal .

The reaction from the Governor and senior Senator of the great state of Louisiana upon learning they had missed the top award? Well, Governor Blanco blamed the disbursement on a "cruel Republican agenda" and said they expect a whole new attitude out of congress now that the Dems will head the committees. She wants $1.2 billion for her state to build the cottages. $1.2 billion.

This alternative housing pilot program was established as an alternative to the federal law limiting temporary housing to mobile homes and travel trailers. The disbursement of funds was not based on need, but on inventiveness and "ways to improve FEMA housing in future disasters", according to Gil Jamieson, FEMA Deputy Director for Gulf Coast Recovery. Mississippi had the most competitive housing proposal, he said.

The deadline for public sympathy for New Orleans seems to have passed. As long as the people of the state continue to live under the same old ways of the Dems playing the victim card and not electing responsible leadership, nothing will change. This is a state with a Democrat in the position of Governor, sr. Senator, Mayor of New Orleans, and a Congressman from New Orleans that hid cash bribes in his freezer yet remains in office, in fact just recently re-elected.

Yes, a cruel Republican agenda. That's what is keeping those poor folks down in the projects. Did you hear? George W. Bush hates black people.

As long as minorities and others looking for government assistance buy into the old lines from the Democrats, their lot in life will remain the same. As long as they are told it's because they are victims of Republicans or whatever bogeyman offered up, nothing will change. Generation after generation living in public housing and government programs begets the same. What is the incentive to get an education or a job if you know nothing else? What is the incentive to make responsible decisions with your life if you think the check's in the mail?

What is the incentive to evacuate if you think it'll all be taken care of for you when things get bad?

Mississippi was devastated. New Orleans was flooded. It was all terrible. The people of Mississippi have been overlooked for far too long. They didn't sit around in shelters and wait for buses to take them somewhere else. The mayors of the towns in Mississippi didn't have a penthouse in a tall hotel to hide out in as the storm hit and the aftermath took over. Then have the nerve to scream obscenities at the President and his team.

Nothing is perfect in this world. Sometimes harsh reminders must be made. The government is large and lumbering. A federal emergency agency is not set up to take on people for extended periods of time.

Many of the Katrina evacuees are still here in Houston. The rent and utilities vouchers are still being extended to them. Is it a surprise that every time a deadline is set for the subsidies to end that all of a sudden we have people on the local newscasts crying that no one told them and what are they going to do now?

I rarely hear anything of helping the communities in east Texas devastated by Hurricane Rita. They will receive about $16 million for alternative housing plans now. So will Alabama, also mostly overlooked.

Louisiana has been allotted millions upon millions. The 9th ward still looks like a war zone. Is that George Bush's fault? Those evil Republicans.

I understand John Edwards was there in the 9th ward today, helping clean up a destroyed home. He brought along a camera crew so you can see how he can handle a shovel. What a guy. He'll be making his announcement that he's running for President again from there. Wow. That's original. Don't worry. A Democrat will save the day. It's all politics all the time.

Symbolism over substance.

Edwards is ready for another chance to tell us all about his two Americas. And how his father was a factory worker. And how he was a lawyer representing sick children against those bad medical people. Never seems to mention all those millions of dollars he made, though. Enough that he can run for President.



Anonymous said...

Well, Karen, another gem! I can think of nothing to say but, hear! hear!

My mom talked to my uncle living near Pascagoula Mississippi today. He reroofed his own house after Katrina and several more on his street. The damage was not nearly as bad where he is, but he said he's never seen it so bad in all his years of living through hurricanes.

John Edwards again. Bah.

Anonymous said...

I long ago, fairly long ago, stopped sympathizing with the professional gold miners of a tragedy which dumped a better way to scheme the government than the one they had.
How much money do those people need I thought, non-racially, of course. What is the government guaranteeing? Was any individual aid needed other than low cost home loans after the charities aggregate came on down? The country's outpouring as I remember, was substantial. Have the professional victims even gone back to check their loss? Innovation and aid to return them to their previous life may scare the crap out of them in comparison.
The thing is, in each election, half the country seems always to see the logic of the good government life.
I'm always frightened by that. It is always so close.

srp said...

It is time that Mississippi was considered. They have set about the long and arduous process of rebuilding and in the process making their lives better. I have no doubt that the people of Mississippi will prevail.

John Edwards did his part as a lawyer blaming OB/Gyns for kids with cerebral palsy. Most of the time it is not the fault of the physician. I have seen women sue doctors for poor pregnancy outcomes when they NEVER sought pre-natal care, REFUSED to have a C-section until it was an emergency.... and lawyers like Edwards convince juries that the doctor caused the CP. He has made his riches while sparking the malpractice crisis that threatens women everywhere ... OB/GYN's now pay more in malpractice premiums than they can earn in a year... they are quiting practice. General practice docs won't deliver babies for the same reason. In some places women have to travel over a hundred miles to see an OB/Gyn. Oh, yes... let's elect him! (much sarcasm)

Can you tell I don't care for lawyers?

Beverly said...

Karen, your posts the last few days have been gems. I am old enough almosts to remember Ernie Pyle. Yes, if we only had some men like him. I think of Michael Fay and Kris Battles, the sketch artists who serve with the Marines, but their work doesn't get broadcast...too bad.

And, Yeah! for Mississippi. It's time. In reading the above comments, AC, Paul, and SRP have certainly expressed well my sentiments.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Waah, I like Fox Trot too. I've been in denial reading the strip every day.