if senators filibuster Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.
On September 15, President Bush stood in Jackson Square in New Orleans and made a promise:
And tonight I also offer this pledge of the American people: Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again.
It hasn’t worked out that way. Here’s Washington Post reporter Mike Allen today on Meet the Press:
I’m going to tell you something to amaze you; it amazed me yesterday. The last time the president was in the hurricane region was October 11, two months ago. The president stood in New Orleans and said it was going to be one of the largest reconstruction efforts in the history of the world. You go to the White house home page, there’s Barney camp, there’s Social Security, there’s Renewing Iraq. Where’s renewing New Orleans? A presidential advisor told me that issue has fallen so far off the radar screen, you can’t find it.
The New York Times says the neglect is threatening the future of the city:
We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.
Why does this president seem more interested in rebuilding Iraq than rebuilding America?
A first person account by TIME reporter Viveca Novak.
Majority Leader Bill Frist is facing two federal inquiries into his abrupt sale of millions of dollars of stock in HCA Inc., his family’s hospital corporation, shortly before a company announcement sent the price plummeting.
Frist claimed this morning on Fox News Sunday that, for the last decade, he has had “no earthly idea” how much HCA stock he owned:
For the last 10 or 11 years, I have no idea no earthly idea at any point in time how much stock of anything, not just that particular stock [HCA], but all of the stocks that I’ve owned in the past. And that’s good, because I’m able to put it aside and not worry about it.
That’s not true. During the last five years, he was aware of both the general value of his holdings in HCA and substantial purchases of additional HCA shares:
DECEMBER 2000- FRIST INFORMS SENATE HIS HOLDINGS IN HCA ARE VALUED BETWEEN $5 MILLION AND $25 MILLION: “The value of HCA stock in Frist’s trusts at the end of 2000 was between $5 million and $25 million, according to a disclosure he filed with the Senate ethics committee when he established the accounts.” [Bloomberg, 9/23/05]
MAY 16, 2002 – TRUSTEE TELLS FRIST HE PURCHASED $750K TO $1.5 MILLION IN HCA STOCK: “On May 16, 2002, Scobey advised Frist that four investments were contributed to a Frist blind trust, including HCA stock valued at $500,000 to $1 million. A second letter the same day mentions the same four investments going into a different trust, but with different valuations, including HCA stock valued at $250,000 to $500,000.” [BusinessWeek, 9/24/05]
EARLY JANUARY 2003 – TRUSTEE TELLS FRIST 15K-50K OF HCA STOCK HAS BEEN CONTRIBUTED TO TRUST: “Just two weeks before those [January 2003] comments, the trustee of the senator’s trust, M. Kirk Scobey Jr., wrote to Frist that HCA stock was contributed to the trust. It was valued at $15,000 and $50,000.” [BusinessWeek, 9/24/05]
If Frist didn’t do anything wrong, why can’t he be honest about what he knew?
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video.