September 15, 2005


Bush Plans Speech; Death Toll Rises: Aides say his address tonight will announce rebuilding efforts with a strong role for the private sector. Katrina fatalities reach 710. (Lianne Hart and Janet Hook, September 15, 2005, LA Times)

As the death toll from Hurricane Katrina climbed to 710 on Wednesday, White House aides said President Bush's address to the nation tonight would call for reconstructing the Gulf Coast using conservative blueprints and private-sector initiatives.

In preparing for his speech to be delivered from New Orleans, the president consulted widely with Republican leaders and conservative thinkers. [...]

A federal emergency bill passed Wednesday night in the Senate would provide emergency housing vouchers averaging $600 a month for as many as six months for more than 350,000 displaced Gulf Coast families.

The measure offered by Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) was attached on a voice vote to an unrelated spending bill. The Senate is slated to pass the overall bill today, but a final version needs to be worked out with the House, which passed its own version in June. [...]

At the White House, officials readied for Bush' national address from New Orleans. Aides billed the speech as Bush's chance to recover from lost political momentum and wed conservative ideals to the pressing need to redesign the broken city. The televised speech, to be delivered at 6 p.m. PDT, is expected to last about 30 minutes.

"The president wants people to think big," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "Most importantly, he believes that it should be driven locally, in terms of the vision and the planning, with the full support of the federal government."

Advisors also want the speech to hew to conservative notions of small government and ample business opportunities. Aides have broached ideas with Republican leaders in Congress and analysts at conservative think tanks.

Ideas they discussed include a strong role for the private sector and charitable organizations along with a package of housing and education vouchers and tax breaks to encourage business activity in the region.

"Bush has a very well defined vision of what government should do and how it should do it," said Michael Franc, a vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization consulted by the White House. "This is a moment to teach or explain to the American people how his values apply to this catastrophic situation."

When you can get Paul Sarbanes to propose housing vouchers the Third Way has won.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2005 12:00 AM

"Bush Plans Speech; Death Toll Rises"

The implication is: Cause & Effect. Sheeeesh!

Posted by: obc at September 15, 2005 10:22 AM

You want cause and effect, check the front page of yesterday's The Daytona Beach News-Journal. This is what passes for a newspaper in our little backwater.

Posted by: erp at September 15, 2005 11:28 AM

OK, am I going senile, or did I not spend all of yesterday morning (Wednesday) hearing newscasters talk about the presidential speech coming up "tonight" (Wednesday)?

Then I wake up today (Thursday), and there's all this talk about a speech this evening (Thursday), but no acknowledgement of any postponement from last night.

Posted by: SP at September 15, 2005 1:15 PM


Bush spoke yesterday, Wednesday, at, you should excuse the expression, the United Nations.

Tonight, Thursday, he's speaking from New Orleans.

Posted by: erp at September 15, 2005 1:58 PM

I should have been more clear, sorry. The Wednesday morning reports I heard were referring to Bush addressing the nation about Katrina.

Posted by: SP at September 15, 2005 2:28 PM

SP - can't help you. I heard yesterday (Wednesday) that Bush was speaking Thursday night. Perhaps your local media isn't very good.

Posted by: AWW at September 15, 2005 3:02 PM


What trash you have to put up with. To a kool-aid drinking moonbat that headline & picture screams "Bush did this to him"!

Posted by: Dave W. at September 15, 2005 3:17 PM

710 for a major hurricane hit on an underwater city--not too shabby. Almost as good as 1900 in conquering a major regional power.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 15, 2005 5:07 PM

Lou: We need to keep our fingers crossed, but 710 is the current 5 state total. New Orleans is still below 500.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 15, 2005 6:15 PM

Dave W. Yes indeed. That was the point.

Posted by: erp at September 15, 2005 6:53 PM