Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Bushvilles

They are so named to honor the last dark time large tent cities sprung up around the country. Hoovervilles. Now, for Bush, Bushvilles.


At the press conference Tuesday night, NBC's Chuck Todd asked Obama why he hadn't asked the American people for specific sacrifices. And, Todd wanted something specific. I thought it was an odd question considering how many jobs and homes have been lost across the country. Almost everyone who has a 401-k has watched it tank. Things just aren't good. But, Todd wants more. Obama basically told him the American people are suffering enough. That seemed lost on Todd. That exchange revealed just how deep the chasm is between reality and the DC elite.

Perhaps Mr. Todd could visit one of the tent cities springing up around the country. Obama was asked about them, too, on Tuesday, by Kevin Chappell from Ebony who noted "With shelters at full capacity, tent cities are sprouting up across the country." But, that question might have gone over the heads of Todd and his colleagues.

Today's NY Times reports on the growth of tent cities across the country. Atrios calls them "Bushvilles." I imagine the people living in Bushvilles would consider it a sacrifice.



Like a dozen or so other cities across the nation, Fresno is dealing with an unhappy déjà vu: the arrival of modern-day Hoovervilles, illegal encampments of homeless people that are reminiscent, on a far smaller scale, of Depression-era shanty towns. At his news conference on Tuesday night, President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was “not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”While encampments and street living have always been a part of the landscape in big cities like Los Angeles and New York, these new tent cities have taken root — or grown from smaller enclaves of the homeless as more people lose jobs and housing — in such disparate places as Nashville, Olympia, Wash., and St. Petersburg, Fla.

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