Thursday, December 15, 2005

We Are Not Crooks

I am watching yesterday’s testimony of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin on C-SPAN.org.

I see the first question asked to the Governor and her staff was not about the evacuation. It was not about the rescue. It was not about levees. It was not about how many people died. It was about how federal money given to Louisiana in 1999 was spent.

The congressman who asked the first question, because he is on the appropriations committee that will decide how much money the state gets, reffered to $170 million the state received over the past six years to improve communications during a disaster, and warned he doesn’t like that only $15 million of it had been spent and warned that he wants to know why, implying that we aren't using it properly.

WTF?

Why does everyone think we are corrupt? Why does everyone think we take money from the federal government and put it in our pockets? Is he trying to send a message, like, “We’re watching you! Don’t spend the money we give you on the wrong things!” Because, if he is, he needs to direct that message first to the top and ask Bush why he is spending never-ending billions on a war that he started over "intelligence" even the Prez says was bullsh*t.

Dammit! If this narrative keeps getting played, Louisiana might not get the full federal funding it needs because of the perception that we will steal it. This will have the same deadly results as the perception (rumor) that rescue helicopters were getting shot at: the rescues stopped, and people suffered.

If the federal government thinks we are corrupt, it won’t give us all the money we need to rebuild our cities and rebuild our levees. Or, they will slap on so many bureaucratic hoops to jump through (like oversight committees) to get to the funds that nothing will ever get done in a timely manner.

Either way, people will suffer.

We are no more corrupt than anyone else. Now, buy me some Cat. 5 levees for Christmas!

UPDATE: That's more like it!

Reuters: New Orleans levees to get $3 billion upgrade

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