A few days ago I had the lead story at the Daily Caller, about Barack Obama's multiple hypocrisies related to hurricane relief -- as a follow-up on last week's big story about Obama's race-baiting 2007 speech at Hampton University. He misrepresented G.W. Bush's record, contradicted his own record, and then failed, as president, to live up to his own standards. Or to put it another way, in sum, Obama indicated to a black audience that the Bush administration refused to help black people by failing to waive a requirement Bush actually did effectively waive, just 12 days after Obama himself had bucked a Senate majority to vote against a bill that would waive the requirement Obama criticized – and then, when president, Obama refused to waive the same requirement despite pleas to do so.
As for Bush's record (quoting from my piece): "The administration released to Louisiana $450 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, and then allowed the state to use those very federal funds as if they were local funds, for purposes of providing the 10 percent Stafford Act 'match.' From its own finances generated in-state, the state of Louisiana was not actually required to generate one red cent to attract the federal disaster-relief monies. In addition, President Bush did formally waive even the formality of the 'match' requirement five separate times for debris removal and emergency services."
To tell the truth, in my first-ever story for the AmSpec print edition, I myself criticized Bush for using CDBG funds rather than a different means of helping Katrina victims. I wrote at the time that Bush was both not effectively generous enough and TOO generous (the CDBG part was the "too generous" aspect of it) at the same time. But, once the immediate post-Katrina fumbling was past, nobody can fault Bush for his administration's effort in long-term recovery assistance, even if one can fault the way it chose to structure the effort. To suggest, as Obama did, that there was some sort of racial animus involved is just too disgustingly, demagogically, race-baitingly despicable for any serious would-be statesman ever to have done.
In addition to the fact that Obama has refused to waive Stafford Act requirements for victims of Hurricane Isaac after blasting Bush for supposedly not waiving them for Katrina victims, there also is this:
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, and others also complained that the administration had failed to deliver on promises Vice President Joe Biden made to the effect that the Obama administration would forgive $705 million in community disaster loans provided by the federal government after Katrina. Instead, the administration devised rules for loan forgiveness that only Orleans, but not the (white) surrounding parishes, could meet http://www.nola.com/katrina/index.ssf/2010/08/obama_administration_should_fo.html.
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