What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Unimitigated Gall of Bush's Corps of Engineers

by Ana Maria

The unmitigated gall of Bush’s Corps of Engineers Susan Rees burns my grits. First, she walks into this tiny town and announces a never-before-heard of plan from Bush’s government to buy up 2/3 thirds of our homes. Then, she has the audacity to blame our outrage on the press.

“. . . at Monday's meeting, Rees blamed the press for at least part of the ensuing public reaction.

She also described Hancock County residents and public officials as "gullible."

"We never envisioned that people were so gullible that they'd believe the federal government would come in and buy up 17,000 properties," she told the local officials.”
My outrage was at what she herself told hundreds of us at a public meeting held at the local high school. Gullible? The only gullible ones at that meeting were Bill Walker, executive director of Gov. Barbour’s Department of Marine Resources, and Susan Rees representing Bush’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Sun Herald aptly described the pair.
Walker and Rees were the same officials who threw shock waves across Hancock County in September when they held a hastily assembled public meeting at Bay-Waveland Middle School.
The pair apparently forgot that before giving any kind of a speech it is important to know who comprises the audience. One of the things that I really love about having come home to Bay St. Louis, Miss.,--one of the tiny beach towns that comprise Katrina’s ground zero—is that I’m surrounded by people who have well-refined BS detectors and who speak their mind instantly and do so in such a way that leaves no question as to their meaning. What a breath of fresh air!

God knows that whether I was living and working in the capitol of Silicon Valley, Calif., or Nashville, Tenn.—the capitol of country music, or around our nation’s capitol—Washington, DC, it always seemed to me that I needed a dictionary or a thesaurus to understand people who were born and raised right here in the USA. They didn’t seem to routinely be able to just speak what is on their minds. Too much ambiguity for my tastes.

I come from direct-speaking folk, and because many of us down here have accents similar to those in New York AND because we’re direct in our verbiage—a directness that is often associated with New York, some mistake me as being from New York. Fine by me!

Somewhere along the way, I learned that the migration patterns for the Italians and Irish were similar in New York, Boston, and New Orleans, and thus our speech patterns find kinship. With all due respect to my New Yorker friends, I have often tell folks that I’m like a New Yorker . . . with charm. You know, tell you that folks that they are idiots for their foolish comments then turn around and offer ‘em something to eat to ease their pain of facing a new piece of information about themselves. Directness with a side dish of charm. Kinda has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Well, Ms. Rees apparently is using the White House talking point to blame the press for delivering accurately the pathetically ill-designed plan to buy up the private properties in this community. I was there along with the rest of my community when she presented Bush’s wall-and-haul proposal. Wall off this beach town with 40 foot seawalls along the beach. Haul off the residents who’ve been here for decades. My own family moved here from New Orleans in 1953. That’s 54 years.

As I’ve written before I find it no mere coincidence that Bush’s “wall-and-haul” proposal was reserved for Congressman Gene Taylor’s (D-MS) hometown. He’s not offering to buyout the 9th Ward in New Orleans or Lakeview at the other end of the economic spectrum of that beloved treasure of a city. No, Bush’s Administration is targeting the itty bitty hometown of the man who is pushing through Congress a bill that will radically alter one aspect of the financial services industry—the property insurance end.
Personally, I think the discussion of the buyouts is politically motivated, political revenge because Gulf Coast Congressman Taylor (D-MS)—a man whom the Bush Administration could count on to vote with the White House on its Iraq and social conservative policies—had demonstrated clearly that his moral values included using the government levers of power to help the American people of every political, economic, and religious stripe and size.

You see, once Taylor’s ground breaking multiple peril insurance legislation is signed into law, the Big Insurance Scam days are O-V-E-R. Immediately, REAL competition for REAL insurance enters the market.
I don’t believe that the buyout plan was ever intended to do more than to mess with Congressman Gene Taylor through riling up his constituents who would then flood his office with frantic phone calls and emails taking up precious time and energy that Taylor and his staff has been using successfully to push through the U.S. House of Representatives the Multiple Peril Insurance legislation. That legislation is beginning to get traction in the Senate. Bush’s folks need a way to slow it down and kill it. I think this wall-and-haul proposal is part of the White House arsenal.

Ms. Rees can take her White House drafted talking points blaming the press for our outrage then calling us gullible for being rightfully angry that the Bush Administration can drag its oil drenched, blood-soaked feet when it comes to helping us get back ON our feet and just stick it where the Mississippi Gulf Coast sun doesn’t shine.

All the while she is over here doing the Bush Administration’s dirty work, Bush’s buddy Rush Limbaugh is pretending everything is honky dory.
You know, nobody ever talks about Gulfport Mississippi and all these places in Mississippi that were literally leveled during Hurricane Katrina, and they're back on their feet or they're in the process of getting back on their feet. You never, ever hear about the misery and the destruction that they went through, because they're not whining and complaining about it. They're out there fixing it, just like they're doing in California.
Yeah, well, if we were doing just fine, Bush and Barbour wouldn’t be proposing a wall-and-haul policy.

Alas, Bush and Barbour are in bed with the insurers while Rush and Rees parrot the White House talking points.

If both Bush and Barbour had pushed the insurance industry to pay up immediately and in full on the wind policies of our homeowner insurance policies, we would be fixing up the place. Rush Limbaugh’s comments would, then, make history reflecting reality with which everyone down here could agree. Susan Rees would be memorizing her White House talking points to deliver to another part of the nation where I would hope she would continue to experience the wrath of Americans she erroneously dubs gullible.

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
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