state of our union? you forgot something

President BushDear President Bush, I just watched you deliver your sixth State of the Union address, and I’m a bit disappointed. You made no mention of the problems we are experiencing recovering from the worst natural disaster in American history.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. After 17 months, that entire area of our country is still in need of help. Mr. President, do you know that there are homes there that still have not been touched since the hurricane? Do you know that there is still much work to be done to clean up the damage caused by the hurricane and the resulting floods? I’m not even talking about rebuilding; I’m talking about clean up.

I just spent a week in New Orleans working on the clean up, and I saw the need first hand. I don’t want to make this into a political rant; people have criticized all levels of government regarding the level of the response. But the fact remains that at this stage of the process, we should be further along. And if the local officials aren’t getting it done, then it’s up to our federal government to step in and make it happen.

As for your speech Mr. President, I understand the importance of the Iraq War and all of the other issues that you discussed. I’m not trying to diminish their need for attention. And I’m not asking for reckless federal spending in this effort. All I wanted was to hear you talk about it. Your speech is called the “State of the Union” for a reason. I expect you to talk about the condition of our country. And for you to not even mention this area of our country after such a disaster is irresponsible.

Under the circumstances, it’s much more important to recognize the desperate needs of our own citizens, than to recognize the accomplishments of a basketball player from the Congo.