Aides say [Bush] is waiting until demonstrable progress is being made in the recovery of bodies and the delivery of checks. The solemn address is likely to link Katrina to the challenge of 9/11, as Bush has already started doing, and deliver his plan to deal with the aftermath and his reasons for being optimistic about the future of the Gulf Coast. In the meantime, Bush went before cameras to declare this Friday a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the victims of Katrina. And Republicans are also buzzing about the possibility that the White House will name a hurricane czar like Rudy Giuliani or Colin Powell, and announce a Marshall Plan--style recovery package, so that the nation can see the breadth of the government's overall commitment rather than have it dribble out piecemeal. Sources tell TIME that one idea being strongly considered is the creation of a body similar to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is what the New York state and city governments did to oversee the rebuilding of ground zero. The White House has begun talking to possible candidates to lead the effort, the sources say.Let's see: the "National Day of Prayer" went precisely nowhere. People are reeling from the loss of a metropolitan area of 1 million people, a growing story of bureaucratic and governmental incompetence, perhaps the loss of one of the great cultural centers of the world; and Bush's "big response" is a "National Day of Prayer."
Our man on their side.
And then we get a "Hurricane Czar." Too little, too late. A "Marshall-style recovery package." Except Josh Marshall points out much of it is already going to Bush cronies. Do these guys realize they are now under a microscope?
And last but not least, a "lower [Louisiana] Development Corporation to rebuild New Orleans. Great. Just great. CNN tonight showed pictures of Ground Zero, where nothing has been done yet (yes, I know, the decisions about what to do are a separate issue.). In the mind of the public outside of Manhattan, "reconstruction" and "9/11" mean "doing omething with Ground Zero." And at Ground Zero there is still: zero.
Three strikes. They're out.
Every cloud has a silver lining, eh?