NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- President Bush visited New Orleans on Tuesday, the anniversary of the city's destruction by Hurricane Katrina, and announced a full week of national prayer for the victims of the greatest natural disaster in American history, and the on-going failure of his Administration to bring relief to survivors.
"These people need prayer cause that's the only way they're gonna get fast, fast relief from my Administration," said Bush as he led a Church service at the First Republican Baptist Church on Bourbon Street.
Local, state and federal governments had all failed to meet the needs of the people of the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf coast, he said, recalling the "terrible scenes that we never thought we would see in America: citizens drowned in their attics, desperate mothers crying out on national TV for food and water, the breakdown of law and order and a government, at all levels, that fell short of its responsibilities. Fortunately, they were all Democrats."
"This anniversary commemoration ceremony is an exercise in political cover-up, with the usual inevitable invocations of God," continued Bush.
"Jesus wanted all those people to die: 1,600 in Louisiana, most of them New Orleans residents, including 300 who died in other states of the lingering health effects of the disaster, as well as 231 people in Mississippi," he asserted.
"Jesus also wanted those 250,000 homes destroyed or damaged beyond repair, and the displacement of 116,000 households, comprising nearly one million people, to mobile homes and other shelters."
Congress has appropriated nearly $110 billion for disaster relief and recovery, yet of the little actually spent to date, most has flowed into the coffers of Republican-linked US corporations under the direction of Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove, the "Republican Reconstruction Tzarina," rather than reaching the actual survivors of the disaster.
The most critical infrastructure work, the rebuilding and strengthening of the levee system around New Orleans, remains unfinished and ready to drown the city again.
"But don't worry," said Bush. "The next time New Orleans gets soaked, we'll be ready with more even body bags, more corporate relief and even more prayer, even though these people don't have a prayer."