Same Old New Orleans "Rag" time
Well the old Times-Picyanose (aka the Times-Picayune) hasn't changed its cowtow-to-the-political-powers-that-be stance. Today I watched a Congressional committee lowrate Blanco and Nagin unmercifully. At one point the chairman quoted from a report issued by Louisiana listing $180 million federal dollars received for emergency communications equipment in the past five years, with only $15 million spent. He asked #1) Why wasn't the remaining $165 mil spent on equipment, and #2) Where is the money? [Editor's note: Where's the $15 million in equipment?]
Blanco's answer after a pregnant pause: "We'll get back to you."
The T-P website publishes her speech verbatim but makes no mention of the above or of the fact that Representative Steve Buyer chastised Blanco and asked her why his constituents should pay for Louisiana's folly and misspending of hundreds of millions of federal dollars to prevent the disaster of the storm's aftermath. He cited the contrast between the LA debacle and MS and AL's preparedness and then walked out of the hearing! The T-P also makes no mention of the question unanswered by Blanco regarding what was planned to get the poor, sick, and disabled out of harm's way. As much as I am no fan of Blanco or Nagin, it was uncomfortable to watch. Unless they are subpoenaed, don't count on them returning to DC anytime soon.
When and until Louisiana gets its act together and submits specific plans to Congress, the response will be the same. Taking a shotgun approach and asking for blank checks ain't gonna work. Railing at the Feds while not taking responsibility for their failures will continue to backfire. The only hope to turn around Congress is for the quick departure of both Blanco and Nagin where some new faces can make the plea without any baggage.