Quick Thought about the Superbowl

It is very depressing to see that the Super Bowl Pregame show talked more and dedicated more to those who suffered through the devastion that is Hurricane Katrina than President Bush's State of the Union. It is absolutely sad that a private institution cares more about the people of the Gulf Coast than the American government.

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Ford to New York, Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead

Thirty years ago, the City of New York was bankrupt and the conventional wisdom was that New York was a city of the past.  New York was a cesspool of crime and corruption whose economic reason for being had come, and gone.

The New York Daily News ran a headline that became one of the most famous ever to appear in print: "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD".  Oh yes, the President was Gerald Ford and like the current one, he had not been elected by a majority or even a plurality of the voters, although he was selected under the U.S. Constitution.

Narrowly, the establishment decided not to give up on New York and something called the "Municipal Assistance Corporation" was formed to, in effect, re-finance the great City of New York.  It was just too big to fail.  Even as New York was being abandoned in droves by "good" people and the Bronx literally burned every night, the city was still home (at least Monday - Friday) to the tip of the top of the American elite.  

Within a year, the country had a new President, Democrat Jimmy Carter.  A lot of folks who did not like the idea of the President abandoning a great American city just might have provided Carter with his narrow margin of victory. People like Chicago Mayor Richard Daley did not like the idea of the President telling big cities to drop dead.

Anyone who can read between the lines (or even read lines) knows that President George W. Bush has abandoned New Orleans in 2006.  Speaker Dennis Hastert may have had poor timing but there can be little doubt that he spoke for his party when he questioned the expense of rebuilding of New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina.  Why rebuild New Orleans when the money can be used to finance a war in Iraq??

The difference is that New Orleans has no Wall Street and no Park Avenue.  The right people (i.e. white people, except for a few bohemians and history lovers) don't live in New Orleans. Good Republicans visit Commander's Palace, Brennan's or Antoines, even like jazz, but they don't live in New Orleans and the city is not too big to fail.  No major banks or brokerage houses are threatened.  Sure, there is Bourbon Street and it will rise again, but New Orleans is dead or at least in an extended coma. The next President and the next Congress will either bring it back to life or let it die.  President Bush has, at least, made his position clear -- bring Congress back into session to save a long gone Terri Schivo but let New Orleans rest in peace.

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