despite killing 83 trees and destroying a five-acre wetland to make room for a parking lot. It was the only entry.
Over 150 dogs and other animals are evacuated from an animal hospital, 9/1/05:
Hurricane Katrina refugees are evacuated in a truck in New Orleans, 9/2/05:
spoke about poverty and Hurricane Katrina today at the Center for American Progress. Read the transcript.
Forget the trillions in tax cuts, $200 billion for the war in Iraq and pork-laden spending bills. America’s budget problems are all President Clinton’s fault. Former Rep. Bob Livingston explains:
Watch in Quick Time Streaming.
Livingston makes a couple of points, both of which are completely ridiculous:
[U]nfortunately, you know, we had a tremendous amount of burden that was handed to us by the Clinton administration with the growth of the government scandals…
I’m not familiar with the “growth of government scandals.” I do know that under Clinton the federal workforce was cut by 377,000 to it’s lowest level since 1960. During the Clinton years, government grew slower than any time since the Eisenhower Administration. The size of government actually shrank relative to the size of the economy.
On to point #2:
[T]hen we got hit by 9/11, terrorist action which was due to the growth of the very radical Muslim element and led by Osama Bin Laden which we could have taken out in the last decade.
Interesting point Congressman. So when Clinton attacked al-Qaeda terrorist sites in Afghanistan in an effort to kill Bin Laden you must have been all for it, right? Here’s Livingston on those efforts in the Associated Press on 9/20/98:
To invert a phrase, life often imitates art and ‘”Wag the Dog” was a popular movie six months ago.
The “blame Clinton” defense appears to be in its last throes.
talks with more than a dozen “current and former intelligence officers knowledgeable about Iraq” and finds that “almost all of them now believe [the war] is not winnable militarily.”
Bush has declared that the cost of rebuilding after Katrina will “cost whatever it costs ” and has promised to “be wise about the money we spend.”
The Florida Sun-Sentinel examined 20 of the 313 disasters declared by FEMA from 1999-2004 and found that 27% of the $1.2 billion in those disasters went to “areas where official reports showed only minor damage or none at all.”
The full article can be found here. It’s not hard to understand how the agency aquired the nickname “free money” FEMA:
Misallocation: $41.4 million to 28,500 Cleveland-area residents for a 2003 storm that brought less than an inch and a half of rain; city officials documented 73 homes with only minor damage. $21.6 million went to pay for “clothing losses.” $168.5 million to Detroit residents for a rainstorm in 2000 that the then-mayor doesn’t even remember.
Scams: Scamming FEMA is notoriously easy. “All you had to do was tell FEMA stuff was ruined and they’d send you a check….If you had a little water in the basement, you could throw some stuff down there and get some money for it.”
Poor Follow-up:“FEMA rarely follows up to see how the money was spent” and one resident reports being able to rent a second house with her FEMA check.
In the midst of all this waste, many victims are still waiting for FEMA to notice them; some disaster victims in Iowa are still paying taxes on worthless land, lost in flooding.
Some left-of-center pundits offered strong praise for President Bush’s speech on Katrina last week:
Donna Brazile: “On Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined. … It is unprecedented in its scope and ambition.” [Washington Post, 9/16/05]
Alan Colmes: “I thought that he sounded like FDR and I thought he sounded like LBJ.” [Fox News, 9/15/05]
These comments were premature to begin with, since the speech contained very few details. But they were also misguided: the ideas Bush did present were right out of the Heritage Foundation’s “manifesto on post-Katrina policy,” a recipe for turning the Gulf Coast into a right-wing ideological playground.
Rush Limbaugh knows what’s going on. On Friday’s program, Rush said:
The president said we tried it your way for 60 years; we’re going to do it my way now. He didn’t put it in those words but there’s plenty of conservative policy in his speech last night in terms of how to go about spending this money and rebuilding it. And you’re going to see these policies, these philosophies, put into place. They’ve worked in other places. Enterprise zone, for example, that’s going to be targeted here in this region. …
The speech was great last night, within, you know, the limitations that we know exist. The table is set for a complete rout of the American left. They can be blown away. We can make this a Category 5 hurricane destruction of the left if this is done right. …
[T]he one thing that [the left] cannot risk is an on-site display and illustration of conservatism working. As long they can keep conservatism as something that’s just argued about, and just something that’s spoken about, talked about, “Well, they don’t fear it that much.”
This morning, the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore makes an interesting point:
When President Bush announced last Thursday that the feds would take a lead role in the reconstruction of New Orleans, he in effect established a new $200 billion federal line of credit. To put that $200 billion in perspective, we could give every one of the 500,000 families displaced by Katrina a check for $400,000, and they could each build a beach front home virtually anywhere in America.
To add some more perspective, we’ve already spent $200 billion on a war of choice on Iraq. Each month, we are spending an additional $8 billion in Iraq — enough to provide each family displaced by Katrina with $16,000.
Instead, we are making them live in old shipping containers.