08 September 2005

Enter winged pigs.

Much as I hate to admit it, David Brooks' column today did not make me vomit or howl with rage and pull my hair. Crazy, I know. Usually, I go to the Op-Ed pages on Sundays and Thursdays and read D. Bro with one eye, wincing. Color slowly creeps into my cheeks and the one-eyed reading becomes two-eyed furious skimming. I throw down the paper (or less romantically click away) and screech "I fricking hate that guy." His breathy, nipple-stroking love letter to John Roberts a few weeks ago nearly killed me. It was days before I could hold down food.

But today, I say to him: "Toosh." Today, D. Bro, you win. Granted, the column is of the fairly toothless variety, but I agree with you. Post-Katrina New Orleans is an opportunity to strike a blow against poverty in the region and we shouldn't let it go by. Check him out, kids... he's rational and not fellating the Bushies today: Katrina's Silver Lining. (reg. required)

Admittedly, this is not a difficult sentiment to agree with, but it planted the seed that led me over to Slate, where I found a convincing case for NOT rebuilding the parts of New Orleans that are currently under water. These parts of New Orleans are the poorest, the schools are terrible, unemployment is high, etc. So why would we want to plonk down some new buildings and have these people live their desperate lives in the same manner when that part of the city clearly wants to be a lake?

The shocking thing, for me, was reading on in the piece and discovering that I am in agreement with Dennis Hastert. Whuuuuu? Kinda makes sense, though, right? Help the displaced rebuild their lives in better neighborhoods in other cities, as my buddy David Brooks suggests, and you can help halt the cycle of poverty that has plagued families in these neighborhoods for years. Not a bad idea. It's not about a once-great city coming back, as Bush has said by way of comfort, it's about calling the situation like we see it (shitty), and seeking to improve it. We could have spent money to improve the levees, which may or may not have withstood the storm. Now, we can spend money helping thousands of people get back onto new and improved feet. Think of it! Better homes, jobs, and schools in other communities = halting the cycles of poverty, crime, and recidivism. It's so crazy it just might work!

However, it seems more likely that the Shrub-in-Chief will give another tax cut to the wealthy and then sip lemonade on Trent Lott's new porch.

As for me - in tentative agreement with Dennis Hastert and David Brooks in the same day. Knock me over with a feather.

Here's the Shafer piece: Don't Refloat

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