Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A reply:

I got this from Scott. I thought it said some things well and wanted to share:

Who would have thought that something as innoculous as going to war would bite us in the ass?

Bush Traded New Orleans for Iraq There was a federal project to urgently shore up failing levees in New Orleans and build pumping stations. President Bush diverted money for that project to Iraq. Do you think Iraq was worth seeing Americans become refugees in their own country? The New Orleans Times-Picayune repeatedly brought up funding cuts for a federal project to shore up levees and build pumping stations in New Orleans, writes Will Bunch, a Pulitzer-winning journalist at the Philadelphia Daily News. The risk of flooding and hurricane damages have been worrying local officials since the 1960's. Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project [SELA] in 1995 and put the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in charge. About $430 million in federal money has been spent since then, but $250 million worth of critical projects remained. In 2003, federal funding for the project started drying up, as the Bush administration started scraping money for Iraq and homeland security. In early 2004, President Bush cut the project's funding by more than 80 percent, Mr. Bunch wrote, citing an article in New Orleans CityBusiness. In June 2004, Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi went to the East Jefferson Levee Authority, a local agency, and "begged for $2 million" the Bush administration did not want to pay for. The levee -- the one that broke when Hurricane Katrina hit -- was sinking. In October 2004, the Bush administration refused to pay the Army Corps of Engineers $15 million it needed to shore up the Lake Pontchartrain banks. And this year, the administration cut the funding by three-quarters, effectively freezing any new projects from starting. And as the researchers called for a new study on protecting New Orleans from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane, the Bush administration said no. Mr. Naomi told The Times-Picayune in September 2004: "But the cost of the Iraq war forced the Bush administration to order the New Orleans district office not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money."

Do you think Iraq was worth seeing Americans become refugees in their own country?

Well put! Scott


  1. While I don't dispute president Bush's callous ineptitude in handling the catastrophe, I also fault Louisiana legislators' priorities. The recently passed energy bill had $81.4 million in pork barrel projects for Louisiana, not to mention pork barrel projects on Louisiana state level. None of the pork projects included New Orleans levees.

  2. Ok, Well let's also fault the folks who didn't go out and put sand bags on the levee, too, eh? That will help Bush distract folks from his monumental incapability of handling his job, which is supposed to be looking out for every citizen in this country.

    The Levees specifically fall under the responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers. This is a Federal responsibility. Fixing the levees was in their bugdget requests and then it got cut.

    The point is not just that Bush is callously inept, though that should be enough, It is that he is willfully malicious when it comes to putting Americans at risk, while at the same time setting the table for the obscene enrichment of his friends.