Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., (www.intermat.tv)
a television company which executive produces programs and consults
with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc.
is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television
in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the
Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery
Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery
Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted
Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation
Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
August 29, 2007
Contemplating the breach of the levees and more
When I woke this morning I was reminded first thing [joy that
it is to have your clock radio set to NPR] that it was August
29th and we had arrived at the second anniversary of Hurricane
Katrina, a tragedy that stopped, at last, the juggernaut that
seemed to be the Bush Presidency. What all the chaos of Iraq
had failed to do was accomplished by a force of nature that
began to lay bare the sad state of Americas infrastructure
and the flawed policies and inept administration that had
allowed it to happen. Much of America began to lose faith
in Mr. Bush, a blow from which he has never recovered. It
was the point in his Presidency that his administration began
its long and continuing descent in public opinion and ability
The bully pulpit of the Presidency was revealed
in the days and weeks following the devastating breach of
the levees to be little more than a cardboard box and that
all the governmental agencies were flailing tentacles of a
failing system. Michael Brown ["Brownie, you're
doing a heck of a job."] denied anyone was in need in
the Superdome, where in reality corpses lay unclaimed and
uncared for while all suffered from lack of water, food and
sanitation in a grim scene that seemed reminiscent of third
The levees broke even though it seemed everyone knew they
would never survive a Katrina. Two years have passed and the
French Quarter has been rebuilt to its tourist haven glory
while the 9th Ward lays mostly desolate and much of the public
infrastructure still sits in ruins. Firemen cannot inhabit
some firehouses and work from trailers. Ah, yes, trailers,
a debacle of trailers followed in the wake of Katrina.
And now its two years later. New Orleans is still struggling
to return and much of the reconstruction has been the result
of private, not public, efforts. Church groups and college
students, caring souls from around the country and the world,
have descended for short amounts of time and given the city
their effort, strength and love while FEMA flailed.
And now its two years later and a bridge has collapsed
in Minneapolis, another infrastructure failure and the same
President who presided over Katrina is objecting to Congressional
efforts to provide additional funds for infrastructure repair.
Its two years later and the reigning Republican Congress
has fallen in the face of such catastrophes as Katrina, not
to mention sex scandals, Plamegate, Abramhoff, a war that
should never been going off the trolley tracks, rocketing
deficits and a rickety economy. Karl Rove has departed his
White House office and Alfredo Gonzalez is stepping down.
While Rove appears to have slipped through without any indictments,
the same may not be true for the attorney general. It seems
that Republicans are determined to end their terms mired in
more muck than has been seen since Teapot Dome [look it up].
In terms of inefficiency and amounts of bumbling, I dont
think I can think of another administration that was this
bad. Hoover, perhaps, who didnt get his arms around
the reality of the Depression until he was headed out of office.
Inefficiency has been the hallmark of an administration that
intended to govern by the kind of disciplines learned in business
school. Hard as it is to believe, this President does have
an M.B.A. It has also come to strike the country as hypocritical
that so many Republican [the party of Family Values]
lawmakers have been ensnared in unsavory scandals of a sexual
nature, including one recently busted in an airport restroom,
a few whose names were found in a Madames black book,
a Congressman who flirted with pages via e-mail, and more.
It is hard to believe and almost laughable if the consequences
werent so bad.
And yet the moon still shines down and earth still [perhaps
barely] abides and being human we will wake in the morning
with hope and do our best, we hope, to turn this all around.