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Karen Dalton-Beninato

Karen Dalton-Beninato

Posted: January 28, 2008 10:16 PM

State of the Union on a Clear September Day


"On a clear September day we saw thousands of our citizens taken from us," George Bush said tonight in the State of the Union.

He's right. Once the clouds cleared thousands fled, thousands died and thousands more have since perished from heartbreak. But the President was not talking about the Gulf Coast.

"New roads and hospitals are being built."

Still not about New Orleans. Charity Hospital where the late musician Ernie K-Doe, Emperor of the Universe, was born is no longer open as place of healing for the indigent. Street signs are handwritten by fed-up citizens on boulevards that should have been repaired years ago.

When Bush mentioned armies of compassion in the "Great City of New Orleans," Nancy Pelosi stood up and the Vice President did not.

The Speaker of the House also looked alarmed when Bush described "catch and release" immigrants like they're prizes in a bass fishing competition. No one stood when he suggested a lawful way for foreign workers to come to America, but when the topic was not immigration hoots and hollers sounded as old-timey as the House of Lords. The fact that Bush announced he is inviting Canada and Mexico for the "Three Amigos Summit" in New Orleans should lead to some spunky chats. Especially since many undocumented Mexicans are still rebuilding it.

As Senator Ted Kennedy caught up on some reading, Senator Barack Obama sat next to him with two fingers over his month. It looked like a secret peace sign, but your eyes can play tricks on you when there's something you really want to see.

Today in the Crescent City a policewoman was shot to death. She was in full uniform and a suspect twice her size wrestled her gun away from her. She died without backup -- part of a police force on its knees in the face of increasing lawlessness.

On the same day, Bush announced that people were reclaiming their communities. Rebuilding their lives. Sharing oil revenues. At that point he was not talking about New Orleans anymore.

But this far down the road your ears can play tricks on you when there's something you really need to hear.

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