Thursday, July 12, 2007

Don't Forget Katrina

Oxfam America is a non-profit organization seeking to end global poverty, hunger and social injustice. If there every was one, spending $10-12 billion on a war to tear a country apart rather than supporting any efforts to rebuild the devastation from Hurricane Katrina and, later, Rita would be it.

Oxfam is part of a coalition starting a petition drive to call on all Presidential candidates to make recovery in this area a top priority. I'd never heard of Oxfam so I checked them out. They are the real deal with 83.6% of their donations going to programs and a minuscule 3.9% to administration. This organization takes your money and puts it to real use.

But, this isn't about money; it's about sending a message to the candidates. Go here and sign it. Here's why it's important.

When I saw this, I was certain it had to be at least an issue in the 2008 Presidential race. I was sure every candidate would have something, however minimal, about it. Here's what I found (in alphabetical order):

  • Biden - Missing in Action

  • Clinton - Has a complete Presidential Gulf Coast Recovery Agenda.

  • Dodd - His National Service issue includes disaster response service but nothing on recovery so he's MIA.

  • Edwards - (this surprised me) I found a newsletter article from August 2006 but nothing on gulf recovery. He has a lot on poverty, housing and the like but MIA.

  • Gravel - He believes the 2nd Amendment is under assault but he's MIA on recovery.

  • Kucinich - He has the most indepth issues page of all Presidential candidates. Nothing specific on recovery but a lot of his details will apply. Still, I think he should have a plan so MIA.

  • Obama - Under "Fighting Poverty", he has a section to Rebuild New Orleans. It's at the bottom of the page but at least it's there.

  • Richardson - Nope - MIA.


  • Brownback - MIA.

  • Gilmore - Like Gravel, the 2nd Amendment is big but, on recovery, MIA.

  • Guiliani - Ditto Gilmore.

  • Huckabee - Same 2nd Amendment thing but does have a Crisis Management issue that focuses on better response in the future. Alas, nothing on recovery, so MIA.

  • Hunter - Ditto Guiliani.

  • McCain - This will hurt - Ditto Hunter.

  • Paul - Nothing - MIA.

  • Romney - so much for Mormon values - MIA.

  • Tancredo - Odd. Hits the 2nd Amendment issue but one of his major issues is Political Correctedness and how it has poisoned discourse. What?

  • F. Thompson - If he has a stand on any issue, I'd be shocked. MIA.

  • T. Thompson - Ditto McCain.

That's why the Oxfam effort is so important. Almost everyone is Missing In Action.