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Aug 26, 2007

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pfknc

Apparently the free market works for New Orleans but the feds. have some responsiblitiy to bail out the CBO industry to preserve market liquidity.

So we subisdize the financial barons who screw up but fail to help our fellow citizens when agencies of the fed. govt. fail in their primary task - whether that be the Army Corp of Engineers before the storm or FEMA in the immediate aftermath.

There is enough failure to spread among many - but if we let the chips fall where they may - as Bush has and continues to do in New Orleans and the Gulf coast - we should be consistent and do the same for the CBO industry.

But alas I would hate for the financial czars to endure some suffering for their poor decisions - but then why should those who lived in New Orleans bear responsibility for their choices?

Bubba

"Bold action has been needed for two years now, yet all that the White House has offered is an inadequate trickle of billion-dollar Band-aids and placebo directives. Too often in the United States we forget that 'inaction' can be a policy initiative. Every day the White House must decide what not to do.

Gee, how is the legislation that addresses those issues doing in the Dem controlled Congress?

On what date did Pelosi put those things on a fast track basis through the House?

Oh.....really?


Then why can't Pelosi and Harry Reid look their fellow citizens in the eye and tell them what seems to be the ugly truth, instead of posturing and demogoging at every opportunity, like most of the Dem/Lefty/"Progressive" contingent is so fond of doing?

Every day the Dem leaders decide (by default, or otherwise) what to do, and what NOT to do.

The results are quite obvious.

Dave Dobson

Very valid points, Bubba. But this is a place where the executive branch is supposed to show leadership - they're the ones that decide what to do and who's in charge. Congress just supplies money and makes some of the rules. Even so, we had a Republican Congress for the first 17 months after the problem, Dems for only 7.

Also, Bush was the one who posed repeatedly in front of firefighters and equipment, and then pledged in Jackson Square that "We will do what it takes," and to get the work done "quickly" and "honestly and wisely" in September 2005.

John Burns

As usual, Bubba, you are misinformed and obnoxious, at the same time.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4200/is_20070502/ai_n19067872

May 2, 2007 - Landrieu disappointed in Bush veto:

"Bush said he vetoed the bill in part due to hurricane recovery funding, which the White House labeled as "excessive" and "extraneous." These funds include billions for levee reconstruction, flood control, crime prevention, historic preservation and small business, education and other economic assistance. The bill also includes the 10 percent local match waiver, which was provided in 32 previous disasters but denied Louisiana communities working to rebuild from hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the devastating levee breaks that followed."

So yeah, that would be a major piece of hurricane recovery legislation, passed by both houses of Congress four months after the new Congress took office. Vetoed.

John Burns

And look at this, by August 1, 2007, the Congress had passed it again.

And guess who threatened to veto it, again?

So, in sum, Bubba, despite the niceties above, you really don't have a valid point.

http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/08/white_house_threatens_to_veto.html

Compassionate conservatism indeed:


WASHINGTON -- In a sharp and unexpected blow to Louisiana, President Bush threatened Wednesday to veto long-awaited legislation that would enhance hurricane protection along a Gulf Coast still struggling to recover from the devastating storms of two years ago.

House and Senate negotiators struck a bargain late last week on a $21 billion reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act, with about 20 percent going to projects in Louisiana. The measure has broad support and is expected to get final passage this week before lawmakers leave for the monthlong August recess, and is expected to pass by veto-proof margins.

In a strong bipartisan vote, the House passed the bill 381-40 Wednesday.

But in a letter to key lawmakers, Bush's Office of Management and Budget said the price tag is too high. The administration also said the bipartisan deal shifted too much of the cost of new projects onto federal taxpayers and that it improperly green-lighted projects outside the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers.


"This is not how most Americans would expect their representatives in Washington to reach agreement, especially when it is their tax dollars that are being spent," OMB Director Rob Portman and John Paul Woodley, the assistant Army secretary over the Corps of Engineers, said in the letter.

Among other things, the bill would authorize a 72-mile system of levees and floodwalls to shield Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes from storms sweeping in from the Gulf of Mexico and up to $1.9 billion in Louisiana coastal restoration work. It would fortify New Orleans-area levees to withstand a 100-year storm and authorize $100 million for hurricane protection in Jean Lafitte and lower Jefferson Parish.

While the bill does not pay for the projects, it gives lawmakers the authorization to appropriate the money, something Louisiana has been waiting for since the last renewal of the Water Resources Development Act seven years ago. The clamor for action grew exponentially after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged 90,000 square miles along the Gulf Coast and sent more than 2 million people fleeing from their homes in 2005.

Surprise from Bush

Bush had made no secret of his concerns over the water bill, issuing two statements this spring raising objections to the spending levels. However, his veto threat took even those in his own party by surprise, particularly given his promises to improve hurricane protection around New Orleans.

"Considering the well-publicized criticism of the way the administration handled this (Hurricane Katrina) disaster, I'm stunned," said Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who vowed to "work enthusiastically" to override a veto. "I'm afraid the promise the president made to the nation in Jackson Square (to rebuild and restore New Orleans and the coast) comes across as hollow today."

Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-Kenner, a candidate for governor, called the president's statement "misguided," and Rep. Richard Baker, R-Baton Rouge, among the president's most loyal allies in the House, said he would push to override a veto.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said a veto would be a "blow to our recovery and long-term hurricane protection efforts."

The core of the president's objections is financial. He noted that the $15 billion House bill and $14 billion Senate bill somehow morphed into legislation topping $20 billion in negotiations between the two bodies.


JoeBob

Typical libthink.

You just don't get it.

End of discussion.

John Burns

Is that parody?

Ed Cone

Unto the point of mockery, methinks.

Dave Dobson

OK, maybe I retract my "very valid points" comment in light of the vetos.

Bubba

So in Burns' view, the bill should have been passed regardless of it's faults.

Typical. And expected, considering the media source and the poster.

Oh, by the way, Burns.....you wouldn't know a valid point if it smacked you across the face.

You've proven that many times over.

And you forgot to use the "billions spent in Iraq" line, too.

Maybe my shadow pal "Joe Bob" will be glad to oblige.

John Burns

Bubba,

not that this will have any effect upon your complete lack of self-awareness or your mental deficiency, but please go back and read your own post.

You accused the Democratic Congress of doing nothing. You asked where the bills were.

I showed you two of them, that even Republican members of Congress said were needed, and you ignore it.

You are officially now not worth the miniscule amount of time I was previously willing to give you.

What a joke.

Ged

Thanks for bringing the info regarding those bills to light John, I was unaware of them, as well as Bush's threatened veto.

So much for the "We'll do whatever it takes" meme to rebuild one of America's cities. There have already been billions of dollars wasted on unscrupulous contractors in the region, many hired based on Bush admin referrals, so let's just veto actual money that would actually help.

Bush is a waste of flesh. His term cannot end fast enough.

Bubba

So what's the bill's status?

Has it been passed?

Has it been vetoed?

Has it been corrected to fix what's wrong with it?

Or do you demand it be passed and signed despite the faults?

Where's Pelosi on this?

Reid?

They're not even doing the usual demogoging and grandstanding.

Or do they know that it's just another bad bill that does nothing to solve the problem?

Quote the President:

"If the majority in Congress gets its way, American families and small businesses will face a massive tax hike, It will amount to the largest tax increase in American history," the president said in a statement from the Treasury Department made after a meeting with his economic team.

"I recognize that Democrats control congress and with it the power of the purse. I also have some power and its called a veto, and I have the votes in Congress to sustain vetoes and therefore I will use the veto to keep your taxes low and to keep federal spending under control," Bush said.

Oh, but wait, I forgot......no amount of money is "too much' when it comes to using it as a BashBush/Republican talking point.

Or to fund "progressive" earmarks.

Silly me!

Ged

Oh, right! I forgot that when money is allocated to rebuild destroyed american cities then that money means HUGE tax hikes, but when the president asks for the next 100 billion dollars to bomb a foreign country in a war he lied us into, then for some reason tax hikes are not on the table.

Why is that exactly would you say?

Bubba

"Why is that exactly would you say?"


To give people like you something to obsess over in your never ending political, social and economic fantasies.

Ged

"To give people like you something to obsess over in your never ending political, social and economic fantasies."

No, I'd say it's because George W. Bush is a man who doesn't really care about the American people, the little ones anyway. He cares about supporting a war effort that fuels companies that he gains financially from as well as advancing an aging and flawed conservative agenda.

When it comes to brass tacks and doing what's in the TRUE best interests of this country, Bush wouldn't know a good bill if it hit him square in the face. There is enough evidence of this that it should be obvious to even someone of your close-mindedness, but evidently it's not.

John provided a perfect example above of what the facts are regarding Congress' efforts to get a proper rebuilding of New Orleans going, and yet here you stand, pig headed as usual clinging to "What about the bad parts of the bill?" "Why didn't the dems try harder?" The usual schtick.

It's tired and OLD.

Bubba

"John provided a perfect example above of what the facts are regarding Congress' efforts to get a proper rebuilding of New Orleans going....."

Not even close.

Where's the bill NOW?

Where's Pelosi on this thing NOW?

But don't let that disturb your next rant on this subject......

Ged

You really don't understand how our government works do you Bubba? Once a bill is defeated, it takes time and effort to build votes and tweaks legislation to re-attempt to pass it. The Dems in Congress have done this TWICE according to the info posted above. Do you think they could (or even should) bring it to the floor once a week until George just decides "You know, those people are right, I'm a prick. Let's pass this thing"?

Yeah, that would work well wouldn't it? It's called compromise and strategy. Look it up.

Anthony

"Where's the bill NOW?"

The bill has been passed by the House and Senate, and is awating either a signature or a veto from President Bush. The ball is in his court, not Pelosi's. If he does veto it, then it goes back to Congress where they can try to override the veto, or rework the bill. Hope that clears things up for you.

Ged

Nice link Anthony! I stand corrected, it's not being worked on or tweaked. It's awaiting Bush's decision as it has all month.

I'll have to bookmark this site for future reference. I think your post just about brings things full circle. Thanks!

Roch101

Bubba's world view is one of us and them. He is the decider and he assigns anybody who doesn't carry the same partisan allegiance as he to "them." It is a stunted intellect we are dealing with here, folks. Once you are identified as "them" it matters not what you have to say, what empirical evidence you may offer or how solid your logic. As a "them" you are to be argued with, stymied and disrespected no matter how lame or embarrassing Bubba's words need to be to maintain a frequently untenable, but always obstinate, resistance to the Bubba-identified "they."

Bubba does it because there are no consequences -- he thinks. Behind the anonymity of the web, there is no shame. I've met Bubba though and look forward to looking him in the eye again to see if he can hold his head high face-to-face with someone who has no respect for his buffoonery.

Bubba

"I've met Bubba though and look forward to looking him in the eye again to see if he can hold his head high face-to-face with someone who has no respect for his buffoonery."

As if......

We've seen plenty of your buffoonery elsewhere.

Keep it up, Roch.....

Bubba

"The ball is in his court, not Pelosi's. If he does veto it, then it goes back to Congress where they can try to override the veto, or rework the bill. Hope that clears things up for you."

No, t.

And the President has said he won't sign it because of it's flaws.

The ball is in Pelosi's court TO FIX THE BILL.

What part of the legislative process do you not understand?

What part of the checks and balances of our system do you not understand?

mick riggs

Bubba's not alone here. There are plenty of ultra partisan lefties as well. Terms such as "stunted intellect" or similar earlier blasts lean you and others in his direction.

I wouldnt want to see this turned into a partisan site where shouting, name calling or other juvenile behavior is the norm. You know, like the LTE area over at N&R. That place is no fun at all due to folks (mostly lefties but a few ultra righties)acting like teens jacked up on cola and pizza.

Ed does a good job at keeping the peace but still letting folks rant a bit.

Ed Cone

Commenters (and the blog) would be better served if people focused on the discussion and not each other.

Bubba raised a question about the role of Congress, it was answered pretty decisively. Move on.

The last word doesn't really count for much in a scrollable thread.

Anthony

"The ball is in Pelosi's court TO FIX THE BILL."

As I pointed out, the bill has yet to actually be vetoed, and even if it is, the veto can still be overridden and passed into law without needing to fix anything.

Here, this may help clarify things for you.

Bubba

".....it was answered pretty decisively."

Not even close.

Pelosi and the Dems have made no effort to reconcile the bill with the White House.

Like the knee jerk posters here, she and her party are simply grandstanding.

Interesting fact: The Katrina relief effort has seen more than 114 billion dollars, MORE than the Marshall Plan spent (including adjustments for current day monetary value) but yet it's NEVER enough, particularly when the subject is constantly abused as a BashBush/HateRepublican talking point.

Why is that?

John Burns

Bubba,

Contrary to your and Tom Delay;s fantasies, it is not the job of Congress to rubberstamp the President's wishes.

You refer to the things Bush does not like about this bill as "flaws." Personally, I see a multi-billion dollar wetlands restoration for the Gulf Coast to be a very very good thing.

The bill passed overwhelmingly. He hasn't vetoed it because he knows it will be repassed and he will have the first override of his term. So he is pocketing it.

There is nothing now that the Congress can do about that particular bill until it is vetoed.

Watch that video Anthony posted, it might actually help raise yourlevel of understanding of how government works.

Ed Cone

Niall Ferguson in last week's New Yorker: "A Marshall Plan announced today would therefore be worth closer to seven hundred and forty billion dollars."

The real point here is that NoLa remains unfixed.

Brinkley asks, "Why hasn't President Bush named a high-profile czar such as Colin Powell or James Baker to oversee the ongoing disaster?"

Good question.

Bubba

"Niall Ferguson in last week's New Yorker: "A Marshall Plan announced today would therefore be worth closer to seven hundred and forty billion dollars."

Sorry.....that's just not right, and Ferguson is clearly suspect when it comes to his conclusions.
Excerpts:

"Under the plan, the United States contributed about $13 billion (about $100 billion in today's dollars) toward the rebuilding of Europe."

"However, the practice of counterfactual and counterintuitive assertion through which Ferguson reaches this conclusion is less than perfectly sound. Imaginging alternative historical outcomes is an interesting and challenging exercise, but it’s not always a reliable way to approach truth."

In terms of Katrina relief, it could end up costing more than 200 billion or more.

Excerpt:

"A vital part of our response is ensuring that this natural disaster is not followed by a fiscal one. The “whatever it costs” blank check approach to rebuilding the Gulf will lead the nation to budgetary ruin. We must proceed with a smart, aggressive plan for reconstruction, and we need to have a clear sense of how we are going to pay for it."

We haven't even begun to measure the waste and fraud that is rampant in the Katrina relief funding.

Perhaps the real question to be asked is what kind of "fix" New Orleans really needs.

So as I have said before, where's Pelosi on all this?


Ged

It seems pretty clear through all of this that the one person not willing to what he must/what is right is George W. Bush. Just because the President thinks a bill's got problems, don't make it so. Thanks to his track record on hiring cronies, his backing of lost causes on social security and immigration and so many other policies, his opinion of this bill to help restore the region isn't worth the paper it was printed on.

Is there like a time limit on how long a bill can sit on the president's desk unsigned or unvetoed?

John Burns

Art. 1, Sec. 7 - If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law. "


They are currently on August recess. By agreement with Senator Reid, the President is not pursuing recess appointments, in order to keep reid from having tokeep the Senate in constant session.

I have no idea whether recess = "Adjournment" under that section,and the question is actually somewhat unsettled.

If there is a loophole around which American presidents have danced out of a sense of Constitutional propriety for 230 years, you can expect this jackass to try to drive a truck through it. My prediction, therefore, is that he will claim he has pocket vetoed it.

Joel Gillespie

I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my home, my neighborhood, my city, my life as I knew it, and for all too many, loved ones too. Everyone seemed to me to rush too quickly into statements regarding the rebuilding of New Orleans, but, I can't help but wonder, is it really a good idea. For me it's not a matter of whether money is spent there or in Iraq, but whether money shoudl be spent at all in one or the other place. Look at each on its own merits. Nor is a matter of what makes who look good. It's this: does New Orleans make sense? And as far as I can tell, the answer is no. The entire manner in which the US Corps of Engineers has handled the Mississippi river basin is questionable - basic assumptions and decisions that go back a long ways. Rebuilding seems to be unsound at so many levels to me, environmentally and financially, really really unwise. Greater New Orleans, as it has developed over the last hundred years, to me, as an outsider, is a bad idea. Conceptually, building or rebuilding a city that is mostly below sea level, or lake level, or levee level, is foolish. Subsidizing loans for homes and businesses in environmentally high risk areas seems foolhardy. Intentionally building an uhealthy and unstable ecosystem makes no sense to me. Seems in this case "nature" has had the last word, or should. Sometimes things are lost. It seems to me New Orleans as it has been known is lost forever. Makes no difference to me if the people impacted are rich or poor, black or white, republican or democrat. They should be helped relocating and the Mississippi River basin should be given back to the Mississippi River.

Ed Cone

The lack of serious leadership remains a relevant issue even if -- maybe especially if -- the solution is to relocate some large part of the population.

John Burns

Exactly.

making the decision by abanodoning the people entirely is indefensible.

Some of these people were flown 1000 miles away, on a one way ticket, by their government. They were put up by the kindnesses of complete strangers. And now they can't go home.

How do you afford to move an entire family across country on a laborer's salary?

Bubba

"The lack of serious leadership remains a relevant issue even if -- maybe especially if -- the solution is to relocate some large part of the population."

Where's Pelosi on all this?

In consultation with Blanco and Nagin?

Maybe William Jefferson can help (himself) further, if we just give him a chance.

Brian Clarey

Joel:
New Orleans is an inevitable city in an impossible landscape — that's not mine, but it's true. Many, many ships travel through the mouth of the Mississippi bringing goods to the interior of the country. Oil comes from the Gulf into the refineries through that mouth. Fishing boats. Trade goods from South and Central America, the Caribbean and West Africa. Military vessels. And the people attached to those industries need somewhere to live, stores to shop in, restaurants to eat in. It's been that way for a long time.
Also, last I checked, New Orleans was part of the United States of America. Whether you care for the indigenous people or not, they are citizens, taxpayers, voters. Why should they be forgotten in this time of need? And how could anybody assume the authority to say that we should hang one of our finest cities out to dry? As far as I can tell, the city of New Orleans is entitled to the same protection as the rest of the country.
This thing we call Katrina, which is really a man-made disaster born of negligence and incompetence, is a national disgrace. But "blamestorming" won't help, and neither will politicizing the issue.
Attention to and diligence toward the rebuilding would help. Holding insurance companies, local and federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers accountable would help. And a big check from the federal government — like the one that was promised after the storm — would go a long way towards a resolution.
But all this... this ain't helping.

Andy Vance

Subsidizing loans for homes and businesses in environmentally high risk areas seems foolhardy.

So does this policy prescription only apply to New Orleans, or to all "environmentally high risk areas?" If the latter, is the subsidy removed before or after the area is destroyed?

Bubba

"And a big check from the federal government — like the one that was promised after the storm — would go a long way towards a resolution."


You don't consider more than 114 billion "big"?

Brian Clarey

Bubba:
$114 billion would look good in my bank account, but when we're talking about rebuilding a city — its schools, its hospitals, its citizenry, its roads and the whole damn levee system — it's not so much.
And that $114 billion went to the whole region, a huge chunk of the Gulf South that was affected by the storm. New Orleans' share was a fraction of that total.
And why should there be a point where the purse strings close? The city's freakin' trashed — huge chunks of it, anyway — and it deserves better than what it's getting.


Joel Gillespie

Brian....There is no doubt that a working port of some kind is a necessity somewhere along the lower Mississippi. But modern New Orleans as a city is WAY more than a port plus the support base for a port. Thinking mainly about the port and its support is a whole different matter in terms of planning and repair. So what if New Orleans is part of the United States? Am I under obligation to subsidize or help rebuild every place in the United States just because it's the United States. I mean, if it's a stupid place to live, which New Orleans is, at least, sadly, great portions of it, then no, I don't feel an obligation to make that happen. I do feel an obligation to help people who have been displaced by these things, but not necessarily to set them back up in the same place. So I am certainly not talking about abandoning people. I am talking about abandoning a place that sits under sea, river, and lake level.

Andy...I think pretty much the same about building and living anywhere in especially high risk areas, prone to flood, hurricane, etc., yes, including very rich people along our coasts. How exactly we wean folks out of those places, or, wean them off subsidies for living there, is a good and difficult question which needs to be answered.

Somewhere in this, or maybe just along the way, there has been blame cast at the present administration for the ongoing idiocy and failure of the levee and dike system along the Mississippi - but thee approaches and policies and the system have been the order of the day for decades. Maybe the Army Corps of Engineers deserves blame for another bone headed project, but even they operated under the guidance and pork barreled leadership of people of both parties for a long time.

Ed and all...failure of leadership post Katrina has been an equal opportunity employer, mainly because the whole deal was immediately politicized all around, and folks starting pointing fingers and casting blame in every direction up and down the chain, and making big promises in order to look good when they maybe should not have made them. It was a perfect storm of the faults of our system converging in one place, which is a shame for New Orleans.


Andy Vance

I fail to see how New Orleans is an "especially high risk area" any more than, say, Phoenix or that the "subsidies" propping up such cities are any less than NOLA's were.

If government were to display the same level of incompetence or indifference as directed at NOLA, any American city would wither on the vine.

Ed Cone

There was plenty of blame to go around for the problems associated with Katrina, and plenty of politicking around the blame.

However, I agree with Brinkley's point: there has been a huge void in leadership for a long time now, and the leadership needed should come from the executive branch of the federal government. The buck stops there.

Bubba

"..there has been a huge void in leadership for a long time now, and the leadership needed should come from the executive branch of the federal government."

The "leadership" of state and local officials, and the culture of corruption that is perpetual in New Orleans and Louisiana has mismanaged the recovery.

That's where your "huge void" in leadership exists.

Pouring more money into it, as the Dem controlled congress intends, won't "help" the recovery.

But the opposition to the continued waste allows unrepentant finger pointing at the Administration for agenda points.

Go ahead. Keep it up.

Just don't expect everyone to buy in to the nonsense.

Ed Cone

Well, gosh, we disagree. Had to happen sometime, I guess.

meblogin

I was reading recently that savings are at an all time high in New Orleans as residents decide if they are going to rebuild or take their settlements and move on.

Would this not account for a fair amount of the lack of rebuilding? How much of the problem is a matter of choice?

Andy Vance

And why aren't they rebuilding? They can't get insurance because the feds won't fix the damn levies that were allowed to collapse through negligence. Some "choice."

Jeffrey Sykes

It was a perfect storm of the faults of our system converging in one place, which is a shame for New Orleans.

That's well said, Joel. I've often thought that also.

I found these two articles dealing specifically with water/sewer infrastructure (a basic building block for any urban setting) that I think shed light on the issue of what they are facing there.

I'll agree there has been a void of leadership among Bayou Democrats and White House Republicans. The people there and those displaced are the one's paying the price.

meblogin

If savings are at all time highs it sounds like insurance has paid.

Is it for certain that this subject is partisan or is there plenty of cause to blame local, state and federal gov.?

Bubba

"And why aren't they rebuilding? They can't get insurance because the feds won't fix the damn levies that were allowed to collapse through negligence. Some 'choice.'"

Let's see now:

Nagin is too busy raising money for a congressional or gubernatorial run.

The police chief and the DA are grandstanding over an out of control murder rate.

Local administration corruption and malfeasance runs rampant, with the former city council president and the former school board president pleading guilty to accepting bribes.

Disgusted with the above, corporations are moving jobs and operations out.

Upwards of 29 percent of the current population is thinking of bailing, according to a University of New Orleans study.

The state's "Road Home" project is totally stunted by bureaucratic inactivity.

And Dem presidential candidates (and others who are keen to score agenda points) continue to demagogue it up.

But somehow, it's all the Feds'(read: "Bush's") fault because "they won't fix the damn levies that were allowed to collapse through negligence...."


Yeah, right.

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