Thursday, December 15, 2005

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.

Peter Fenerk


At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Giuseppe said...

A few minutes ago, a Bush aide announced he'd request 1.5 Billion from Congress to rebuild the levees "stronger than they were," but dodged anything about Cat5.

Remember how, immediately after the World Trade Center fell, Bush requested $20 Billion from Congress, but Congress doubled it, to $40 Billion. Remember? This was on day one. After that, I don't remember if more was allocated, but I suspect it was.

That money went mostly to a fund to compensate families of victims in exchange for their not suing the airlines (even though it was not at all clear the airlines were at fault). Here, the government (ACOE), in designing, building, and maintaining the levees, was clearly at fault, and Bush only asks for $1.5 Billion. This after his $15 Billion for AIDS in Africa (and last I checked, that disease is somewhat avoidable).

If you ever truly wondered where N.O. stood in the hearts of Washington or even your fellow Americans, it seems there's no more need to wonder.

They know they can show up, puke and piss on your house, and look at whom they think is your relative flash for beads. That's all they want, and all they're willing to pay for, apparently.

I wish I could say I was surpised.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger lca0529 said...

This should be sent to the letters to the editor of the TP...


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