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Tuesday, August 30, 2005 

Hurricane Katrina

Not much that this blogger can say about it. We now know, however, that while Pres. Bush could have spent more preventing this or could have helped more, he didn't. Now isn't the time to worry about that, though; now is the time to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We'll make sure Bush answers for his incompetence later.

Please do donate.

Update: I can't resist making this point, only because it was so obvious that I felt like I'd been slapped. Take a look at this Power Line post about Katrina. Is it coincidence that the scenes he laments are broken yachts and African-Americans "looting"? After, of course, this thought-provoking tidbit from the MSM?

"We now know, however, that while Pres. Bush could have spent more preventing this or could have helped more, he didn't."

What is your support for this statement? This is a serious question, do you have a link?

The captions are interesting, someone from the AP calls it "looting", yet the AFP (based in France) calls it "finding".

Sure, I'll give you a link.

Will this one do?

Here's the nut of it:

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune Web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming. ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

Any more questions?

Thank you, Smartie...that saved me quite a bit of research :)

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