February 17, 1995
An Army Corps of Engineers "hit list" of recommended budget cuts would eliminate new flood-control programs in some of the nation's most flood-prone spots - where recent disasters have left thousands homeless and cost the federal government millions in emergency aid.
Clinton administration officials argue that the flood-control efforts are local projects, not national, and should be paid for by local taxes.
Nationwide, the administration proposes cutting 98 new projects in 35 states and Puerto Rico, for an estimated savings of $29 million in 1996.
Corps officials freely conceded the cuts, which represent only a small portion of savings the corps ultimately must make, may be penny-wise and pound-foolish. But they said they were forced to eliminate some services the corps has historically provided to taxpayers to meet the administration's budget-cutting goals.
June 23, 1995
A hurricane project, approved and financed since 1965, to protect more than 140,000 West Bank residents east of the Harvey Canal is in jeopardy.
The Clinton administration is holding back a Corps of Engineers report recommending that the $120 million project proceed. Unless that report is forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget, Congress cannot authorize money for the project, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson's office said Thursday.
On June 9, John Zirschky, the acting assistant secretary of the Army and the official who refused to forward the report, sent a memo to the corps, saying the recommendation for the project "is not consistent with the policies and budget priorities reflected in the President's Fiscal Year 1996 budget. Accordingly, I will not forward the report to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance."
July 26, 1996
The House voted Thursday for a $19.4 billion energy and water bill that provides $246 million for Army Corps of Engineers projects in Louisiana.
The bill, approved 391-23, is the last of the 13 annual spending measures for 1997 approved by the House.
One area in which the House approved more financing than the president requested was for flood control and maintenance of harbors and shipping routes by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Flood control projects along the Mississippi River and its tributaries were allotted $303 million, or $10 million more than the president wanted.
June 19, 1996
The Army Corps of Engineers, which builds most flood protection levees on a federal-local cost-sharing basis, uses a cost-benefit ratio to justify a project. If the cost of building a levee is considered less than the cost of restoring a flood-ravaged area, the project is more likely to be approved.
For years, the Jean Lafitte-Lower Lafitte-Barataria-Crown Point areas couldn't convince the corps they were worthy of levee protection. But the use of Section 205 and congressional pressure has given the corps a new perspective, Spohrer said.
But even so, when the Clinton administration began to curtail spending on flood control and other projects a year ago, the corps stopped spending on Section 205 projects even after deciding to do a $70,000 preliminary Jean Lafitte study, Spohrer said.
July 22, 1999
In passing a $20.2 billion spending bill this week for water and energy projects, the House Appropriations Committee approved some significant increases in financing for several New Orleans area flood control and navigational projects.
The spending bill is expected on the House floor within the next two weeks.
For the New Orleans District of the Army Corps of Engineers, the panel allocated $106 million for construction projects, about $16 million more than proposed by President Clinton.
The bill would provide $47 million for "southeast Louisiana flood control projects," $16 million for "Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity hurricane protection," $15.9 million for the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock on the Industrial Canal in New Orleans and $2 million for "West Bank hurricane protection -- from New Orleans to Venice."
Most of the projects received significant increases over what the Clinton administration had proposed. The exception: general flood control projects for southeast Louisiana, which remained at the $47 million suggested by Clinton. Local officials had hoped for double that amount.
February 8, 2000
For the metropolitan New Orleans area, Clinton's budget was seen as a mixed bag by local lawmakers and government officials. For instance, while Clinton called for $1.5 billion to be spent at Avondale Industries to continue building LPD-17 landing craft, his budget calls for significantly less than what Congress appropriated last year for Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity hurricane protection and for West Bank flood control projects.
From the New York Times of 13th April 2005, also via EU Rota:
Anyone who cares about responsible budgeting and the health of America's rivers and wetlands should pay attention to a bill now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The bill would shovel $17 billion at the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and other water-related projects -- this at a time when President Bush is asking for major cuts in Medicaid and other important domestic programs. Among these projects is a $2.7 billion boondoggle on the Mississippi River that has twice flunked inspection by the National Academy of Sciences.A slightly cleaned up comment over at Bradblog (the blog that stated that only Kerry supporters deserved aid):
The Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs accuse the corps of routinely inflating the economic benefits of its projects. And environmentalists blame it for turning free-flowing rivers into lifeless canals and destroying millions of acres of wetlands -- usually in the name of flood control and navigation but mostly to satisfy Congress's appetite for pork.
This is a bad piece of legislation.
Dear BradBlog,And from the Cannonfire Blog :
Bush called the Governor - a democrat no less - and told her to declare a state of emergency the day before the hurricane hit. He did the same thing with Texas and Florida and Alabama, thereby freeing up federal emergency aid funds before the storm. He triggered the National Response Plan, which provided for a cabinet level task force, the day the hurricane hit. There are seven <expletive> cabinet secretaries, and their departments - thats one half of the entire federal government - on the case. Bush also addressed the nation at 3:00 PM, three hours before your diatribe about his lack of an address to the nation. As usual, the networks (other than CNN and FAUX (ha ha)) couldnt be bothered to cover it. So its Bush's fault you didn't hear the address, I suppose.
You know why FEMA doesnt run the national response system? Because FEMA isn't a warmaking or security agency, it's a handout and coordination agency. Post 9/11, the national response system was brought under closer control of the National Security Counsel and the Homeland Security Counsel, to allow better, faster, more global response to disasters. Thats why seven <expletive> cabinet secretaries are on the case, not just the several thousand FEMA employees. Thats why HHS is putting together massive pharmaceutical packages to stave off cholera, plague & diptheria, rather than letting FEMA go around and beg for aid. Thats why the Secretary of Homeland Security is out front, rather than a guy from a sub-cabinet level agency. Thats why DHS and a major command of DOD, NORTHCOM, are working on the problem. And for what its worth, FEMA had a chance to work on the integrated national plan, and basically begged off. Contrary to what Drums poster claims, they didn't get subsumed, they chose instead to remain as independent as possible. They decided that they did well with response, but probably didn't belong in the national security planning arena - they thought that was more the business of DOD and DHS; the NSC and HSC.
Normally, I live in D.C. All the feds I know are being canvassed, and asked to volunteer for a long deployment to the affected areas, where they will give up their comfy digs around the beltway, and probably live in tents, without air conditioning, decent food or water, in order to help out. Should we perhaps also stand down the DOD, FAA, and FDA, and direct them to respond? I'd argue that there is a country to be run, half the federal government is working on the problem, while the rest of it will work double time to make sure national security, safe air travel, food safety, and the economy don't run into a brick wall.
Just because you haven't a clue about what is happening in the real world, just because you don't see the wheels turning, doesn't mean that things arent happening. I am certain that had Bush spoken sooner than he did - yesterday at 3:00 PM, three hours before your comment - you would have no doubt criticized him as taking political advantage of the situation. There is no winning for anybody who disagrees with you or your type politically, and I'm sick of it. You arent worth talking to, because everything is filtered through your pathetic lens of Bush hatred. A sparrow does not fall from the sky in your world, but for a fiendish Bush conspiracy, Halliburton pollution, and Rove-led plot.
<expletive> you, and the rest of you sorry <expletive>s that will use any excuse for some political gain, or to vent your dissatisfaction with your pathetic life at the President, whether he's at fault or not. I'm sick of your half-witted attempts at reasoning and commentary.
And for the record, from 1850 to the present, weve averaged roughly 6 Cat 4 / Cat 5 hurricanes per year. Since the early 1990s, we've averaged roughly three such hurricanes per year. Take your global warming / Kyoto theory, and shove it up your a<expletive>.
And while you're at it <expletive> you.
The Lone Star Times of Texas begins its latest pile of tripe with the following words:I left my own comment there.You know the Left is cracking up when natural disasters bring out the politics in them instead of concern for their fellow man.That's what those right-wing bastards want, isn't it? Now that their Fearless Leader has well and truly loused up, they want the left to play it nice. They want us not to politicize this disaster, even though W politicized 9/11 shamelessly.
Well, screw that.
Bush is at fault, and we must remind the world of this fact relentlessly.
If the conservative pundits take offense at that message, good. That just means they're worried that our words will have an impact.
Bush caused this catastrophe by fiddling -- or GIT-tarring -- while New Orleans drowned.
That's the message you need to hear, you barbaric, Jesus-addled, Limbaugh-tomized red-state hicks.
And you will sit there and listen to it and say NOTHING in response. We blue-staters are sick to death of your arrogant lies and smears and fake science and supernaturalistic yawpings and ludicrous self-deceits.
You literally cannot continue to exist unless we blue-staters give you money. The situation is that simple. You have been leeching off of us for years, and now you depend on our charity for your very lives.
So if you Jesusmaniac simpletons really want that cash, you will just sit there and SHUT UP and not say ONE DAMN WORD in your defense.
BUSH CAUSED THIS DISASTER. YOU CAUSED THIS DISASTER BY VOTING FOR BUSH.
You don't like that message? Then don't take our money!
If I read ONE MORE article in which a science-hating red state pundit attacks progressives, I'm going to take the money I was going to donate to disaster relief and spend it on a nice Thai meal. And I'm going to suggest that all other progressives do likewise.
I'm going to say "DROWN AND DIE, YOU ARROGANT HILLBILLY SOUTHERN-FRIED LEECHES!!"
OK, Bush is to blame.I'm not holding my breath though, as some people are so full of love and compassion that they never actually have to do anything to actually, you know, help. They leave that to the hate-filled heartless grown-ups.
For single-handedly causing Global Warming, Global Cooling, Global Climate Instability, AIDS, and the Black Death. Katrina was just a fiendish plot to kill all the blacks in the USA, and to make oil for his greedy multinational buddies from the rotting corpses.
I freely confess to being a mindless dupe who has sold my soul to Karl Rove, and take complete responsibility for using my Evil Jewish Kabbalistic powers to steal the election for my NeoCon Zionazi masters. And I did it all the way from Australia too.
I am a leech, a Neocon, and not fit to live.
Now that's out of the way, where's your money? And I want the US Red Cross Receipt Number too, not that I don't trust you or anything. Far from it, I know that as a Liberal and Progressive you have far more common humanity than my own miserable and unworthy worthless Neocon self.
My own receipt number is 1555-1161-1-253162-252544
Australians have already donated $7.6 million to the USRC, but of course, that doesn't count as we are but tools of the Republican party, wholly owned and controlled by Halliburton and the International Zionist Conspiracy.
Again though, I want to see your receipt number.
Oi Ve. And I'm not even Jewish.