How Bush's policies doomed New Orleans.
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How Bush's policies doomed New Orleans.

PHX News | August 30, 2005

Over the last coupla days there has been some wailing and gnashing of teeth over 'liberal bloggers' here on PHXNews. Of course, the story came from NewsMax, so it's crap to begin with, but I wanted to do some research and see if there was any truth to their claims.
June '05 - New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces $71.2 million reduction in federal funding

Turns out there was.

The 2006 Budget slashes funding for the US Army Corps of Engineers, NO Districts, by $71.2 million dollars. Addditionally, a study to determine ways to protect the area from a Category 5 hurricane was cancelled.

I know some of you will say "It's 2005..those cuts haven't happened yet". To you I say, I'm only getting started.

Beginning in 2001, the Bush administration has consistently cut federal disaster mitigation programs run by FEMA. I guess the policy of ABC includes disaster preparedness.

From another article-

"...Among emergency specialists, 'mitigation' -- the measures taken in advance to minimize the damage caused by natural disasters -- is a crucial part of the strategy to save lives and cut recovery costs. But since 2001, key federal disaster mitigation programs, developed over many years, have been slashed and tossed aside. FEMA's Project Impact, a model mitigation program created by the Clinton administration, has been canceled outright. Federal funding of post-disaster mitigation efforts designed to protect people and property from the next disaster has been cut in half. Communities across the country must now compete for pre-disaster mitigation dollars.


In addition, the White House has pushed for privatization of essential government services, including disaster management, and merged FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security -- where, critics say, natural disaster programs are often sidelined by counter-terrorism programs. Along the way, morale at FEMA has plummeted, and many of the agency's most experienced personnel have left for work in other government agencies or private corporations..."

Ahhh... privatization. The only other word besides 'tax cuts' that this administration knows.

From a followup to that article, we find this..

"Before FEMA was condensed into Homeland Security Š it responded much more quickly," says Walter Maestri, director of Jefferson Parish's Office of Emergency Management. Maestri has worked with FEMA for eight years. "Truthfully, you had access to the individuals who were the decision-makers. The FEMA administrator had Cabinet status. Now, you have another layer of bureaucracy. FEMA is headed by an assistant secretary who now has to compete with other assistant secretaries of Homeland Security for available funds. And elevating houses is not as sexy as providing gas masks."

Maestri is still awaiting word from FEMA officials as to why Louisiana, despite being called the "floodplain of the nation" in a 2002 FEMA report, received no disaster mitigation grant money from FEMA in 2003 ("Homeland Insecurity," Sept. 28). Maestri says the rejection left emergency officials around the state "flabbergasted."

So, all you Bush supporters, it IS true that the extensive damage and lack of preparedness is this administration's fault.

No mitigation monies in 2003...huge budget cuts forthcoming...NG troops having to be 'borrowed' to restore order...privatization of emergency managment tasks...

A recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, this time, the meal was served in LA, MS, and AL.



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