Gray Flannel Dwarf

9/1/2005

The reality-detached community

From Reuters: Bush warns against looting, gas price gouging.

The article contains this fine gem of a quote that was, apparently, reiterated in an interview with Diane Sawyer:

He defended the federal government’s response so far to the growing crisis amid urgent pleas for help from stranded victims. He said the breach of the levees that led to the submerging of much of New Orleans had not been anticipated.

Breach of the levees not anticipated? Is this guy on back on the white stuff again? This has been known for years (search for “standring”), and they have been trying to build things up to avoid a worst-case scenario.

Of course, the fact that money initially earmarked to aid this project was diverted to fund the “war on terrah” didn’t help things any.

FEMA wasn’t alone in cutting hurricane spending in New Orleans and the surrounding area.

Federal flood control spending for southeastern Louisiana has been chopped from $69 million in 2001 to $36.5 million in 2005, according to budget documents. Federal hurricane protection for the Lake Pontchartrain vicinity in the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget dropped from $14.25 million in 2002 to $5.7 million this year. Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu requested $27 million this year.

Both the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper and a local business magazine reported that the effects of the budget cuts at the Army Corps of Engineers were severe.

In 2004, the Corps essentially stopped major work on the now-breached levee system that had protected New Orleans from flooding. It was the first such stoppage in 37 years, the Times-Picayune reported.

I thought the GOP was the party of ‘fiscal responsibility’. Right. One basic fact of fiscal responsibility is that you don’t spend on things you can’t afford to fund. The very fact that money was taken away from natural disaster prevention and recovery efforts, the fact that the federal government scrimped and pinched off enough from programmes like these, to fund some irrational war in the middle east is unforgivable. Going to war in the middle east was bad enough. Going to war on “borrowed money” like this is a disgusting notion.


cswiii @ 10:04 am