Saturday, September 10, 2005

LAURA BUSH, ON COMMENTS that her husband doesn't like black people:

Laura Bush described as "disgusting" comments by rapper Kanye West and Democratic chairman Howard Dean blaming her husband for the disproportionate number of black hurricane victims.

"I think all of those remarks are disgusting, to be perfectly frank, because of course President Bush cares about everyone in our country," the first lady said Thursday in an interview with American Urban Radio Networks.

"And I know that. I mean, I'm the person who lives with him," she said. "I know what he's like and I know what he thinks and I know how he cares about people."
Mrs. Bush said it was clear that poor people were more vulnerable when the hurricane hit.

"They lived in poorer neighborhoods. Their neighborhoods were the ones that were more likely to flood, as we saw in New Orleans. Their housing was more vulnerable," she said.

"And that's what we saw, and that's what we want to address in our country."

CHARLES NORMAN TODD, at Freiheit und Wissen, commenting on the recent Reuters report that Pres. Bush is going to allow federal contractors in hurricane-devastated areas to pay "below the prevailing wage" to employees working on rehab projects:

The "prevailing wage" of an area is not the minimum wage, but the typical wages and benefits for construction workers of a local area or community. But Bush seems to think that taking advantage of the situation is more important than paying a fair wage.


Yep, he did it. Bush suspended Davis-Bacon, the law requiring prevailing wages for public construction contracts, under the provision allowing him to waive the law during a national emergency. Rep. George Miller and Senator Kennedy both denounced the action:

"The administration is using the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to cut the wages of people desperately trying to rebuild their lives and their communities," Miller said.

"One of the things the American people are very concerned about is shabby work and that certainly is true about the families whose houses are going to be rebuilt and buildings that are going to be restored," Kennedy said.

So we can expect big contractor profits, bad wages and the same kind of shoddy cut-rate approach that we saw in the Bush-led preparations for Katrina.

Laura Bush is right. Her husband does not hate poor people, or black people. He cares deeply about them. He cares about all Americans. He cares about the poor, mostly black people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama who will now be able to rebuild their lives with jobs that pay less than most people in their area get for the same jobs. And he cares about the contractors, who will be able to line their pockets with the money Laura's caring husband will be letting them steal from their workers. Yep, George agrees that impoverished people living in substandard housing with no cars or access to public transportation is the issue we have to address in this country.

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