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Our Views: Vacation or not, a hurting Louisiana needs you now, President Obama

Posted by on Aug. 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM
  • 193 Replies
1 mom liked this
Now that the flood waters ravaging Louisiana are receding, it's time for President Barack Obama to visit the most anguished state in the union.

Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected.

We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness.

Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good. But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.

Like his predecessors, Obama has no doubt discovered that crises keep their own calendar, even when commanders-in-chief are trying to take some time off the clock. It’s an inconvenience of the presidency, but it’s what chief executives sign up for when they take the oath of office.

And if the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands.

It’s a familiar sight to Louisianians: flooring, furniture and drywall heaped next to street…
The optics of Obama golfing while Louisiana residents languished in flood waters was striking. It evoked the precedent of the passive federal response to the state’s agony in 2005, a chapter of history no one should ever repeat.

The president acted prudently in officially declaring a disaster for the flooded part of the state, a key step in advancing federal aid. We’ve been heartened so far by the active involvement of Craig Fugate, head of Federal Emergency Management Agency, a far cry from FEMA’s hapless Michael Brown in the days after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was slated to visit Louisiana today to assess the damage.

But a disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the president at ground zero. In coming here, the president can decisively demonstrate that Louisiana’s recovery is a priority for his administration – and the United States of America.

The president’s vacation is scheduled to wrap up on Sunday. But he should pack his bags now, and pay a call on communities who need to know that in a national catastrophe, they are not alone.

The president’s presence is already late to this crisis, but it’s better later than never.







http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/our_views/article_f1ce22ee-64b4-11e6-b11a-a393ff25161d.html
by on Aug. 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM
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MsRkg
by Member on Aug. 18, 2016 at 12:16 PM
18 moms liked this
Flights are barely operating out of the Louisiana airports. Are they ready to receive air-force one?

Even if he doesn't fly there and commutes in through a neighboring state, are law enforcement officials ready to receive him and handle all of the security protocols that come with the president or is the time better spent handling the multitude of local emergencies and issues that are coming with the now receding waters?

A visit needs to happen, no doubt, but allowing local officials, law enforcement, and FEMA a little more time to get a better handle of the crisis, is a better use of their time right now , than managing and protecting a president and all of the hoopla that comes with a presidential visit.
Missus_Mom
by Silver Member on Aug. 18, 2016 at 12:34 PM
1 mom liked this
Not sure Obama needs to go, but saying supportive words would be nice.

Right now donating to the red cross or other charities is about all we can to to help in this tragedy.
broboxer
by Platinum Member on Aug. 18, 2016 at 2:06 PM
2 moms liked this
What I got from this opinion piece is, they're not begrudging his vacation. But, seeing him on the golf course is a little jarring considering some have lost everything. In times like these, words from the nation's leader can comfort. I admit, I don't know if he's commented or not, I really don't watch the news anymore . A flyover like Bush did with Katrina may comfort them, knowing he's in the area, has seen first hand the damage. I'm just speculating, but my heart goes out to them.

Quoting MsRkg: Flights are barely operating out of the Louisiana airports. Are they ready to receive air-force one?



Even if he doesn't fly there and commutes in through a neighboring state, are law enforcement officials ready to receive him and handle all of the security protocols that come with the president or is the time better spent handling the multitude of local emergencies and issues that are coming with the now receding waters?



A visit needs to happen, no doubt, but allowing local officials, law enforcement, and FEMA a little more time to get a better handle of the crisis, is a better use of their time right now , than managing and protecting a president and all of the hoopla that comes with a presidential visit.
whattheheck85
by Member on Aug. 18, 2016 at 2:12 PM
2 moms liked this
Bush was vilified for not stopping even though it was August 31st and 85% of the city was underwater. When I was in NOLA this last summer, my cab driver told me that it would have been impossible for Bush to land at the super dome and he (the cab driver) was there.

It is hard for me to understand why the same people are not yelling at Obama for the same.

Quoting MsRkg: Flights are barely operating out of the Louisiana airports. Are they ready to receive air-force one?

Even if he doesn't fly there and commutes in through a neighboring state, are law enforcement officials ready to receive him and handle all of the security protocols that come with the president or is the time better spent handling the multitude of local emergencies and issues that are coming with the now receding waters?

A visit needs to happen, no doubt, but allowing local officials, law enforcement, and FEMA a little more time to get a better handle of the crisis, is a better use of their time right now , than managing and protecting a president and all of the hoopla that comes with a presidential visit.
GunPowderLead29
by on Aug. 18, 2016 at 2:37 PM
1 mom liked this
Louisiana isn't the only state that's had this problem this year.
tanyainmizzou
by on Aug. 18, 2016 at 2:41 PM
1 mom liked this

No, he does not need to visit.

The last thing that state needs is diverting resources towards him so he can have the photo op pretending he cares about the damage and destruction.


However, it would be a good thing if he didn't flaunt his relaxation while people have drowned and billions of dollars in damages have happened.

Expect skyrocketing rice and seafood prices in a couple of months.

And I so hope it didn't kill the crawfish farms.

canadianmom1974
by Platinum Member on Aug. 18, 2016 at 2:49 PM
4 moms liked this
Wouldn't the 'flaunting' of his relaxation be on the media? I certainly wouldn't have known that he'd been golfing if it hadn't been reported.

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

No, he does not need to visit.

The last thing that state needs is diverting resources towards him so he can have the photo op pretending he cares about the damage and destruction.

However, it would be a good thing if he didn't flaunt his relaxation while people have drowned and billions of dollars in damages have happened.

Expect skyrocketing rice and seafood prices in a couple of months.

And I so hope it didn't kill the crawfish farms.

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tanyainmizzou
by on Aug. 18, 2016 at 2:53 PM
2 moms liked this

Playing golf while one of the states of the country he is supposed to be the President of is a disaster is flaunting.

Just stop for a week. Just a week.

Give the lip service and appearance of caring even if you don't.

Quoting canadianmom1974: Wouldn't the 'flaunting' of his relaxation be on the media? I certainly wouldn't have known that he'd been golfing if it hadn't been reported.
Quoting tanyainmizzou:

No, he does not need to visit.

The last thing that state needs is diverting resources towards him so he can have the photo op pretending he cares about the damage and destruction.


However, it would be a good thing if he didn't flaunt his relaxation while people have drowned and billions of dollars in damages have happened.

Expect skyrocketing rice and seafood prices in a couple of months.

And I so hope it didn't kill the crawfish farms.


Debmomto2teens
by Platinum Member on Aug. 18, 2016 at 3:02 PM
6 moms liked this

You should take you own advice. Just stop with the political bullshit. 

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

Playing golf while one of the states of the country he is supposed to be the President of is a disaster is flaunting.

Just stop for a week. Just a week.

Give the lip service and appearance of caring even if you don't.

Quoting canadianmom1974: Wouldn't the 'flaunting' of his relaxation be on the media? I certainly wouldn't have known that he'd been golfing if it hadn't been reported.
Quoting tanyainmizzou:

No, he does not need to visit.

The last thing that state needs is diverting resources towards him so he can have the photo op pretending he cares about the damage and destruction.


However, it would be a good thing if he didn't flaunt his relaxation while people have drowned and billions of dollars in damages have happened.

Expect skyrocketing rice and seafood prices in a couple of months.

And I so hope it didn't kill the crawfish farms.



jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Aug. 18, 2016 at 3:25 PM
12 moms liked this

......sooooo.........

the guy who has probably the hardest job in the free world, who has given up his life and safety and that of his family to serve the nation at a pittance, who must be available 100% of the time at a second's notice and deal with things we can only imagine, cannot relax because something horrible is going on in our country.

And oh yeah - if he doesn't go, he doesn't care. If he goes, he doesn't care.

Bullshit, people.

Just stop.

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