Tuesday, September 27, 2005

In other news of pointless things liberals do...

A few days ago, Brett asked me to comment on the misappropriation of funds in New Orleans that were supposed to be earmarked for levees. So here goes.

First of all, New Orleans, and Louisiana as a whole, has historically had an incredibly corrupt government...almost to the point of satire. In other words, it would be comical if it weren't so true and pathetic.

So it should come as no surprise that federal money earmarked for levee maintenance and improvement was misused and misappropriated for various pet projects of the various governments. Even the frigging Orleans Levee Board is spending money on stuff that has nothing to do with levees.

Drudging up actual examples of such misuse has actually proved quite difficult, but the main ones floating around have been $2.4 million spent on a fountain memorializing Mardi Gras. Some $15 million more was diverted to riverboat casinos.

But how much money was diverted and where it went really isn't the main problem, and the fact that federal funds for levees had been reduced in recent years really don't matter at the end of the day.

There are several reasons for this. First of all, they weren't even really trying to improve the levees. Second of all, even if they had all the money they needed/wanted, the process of strengthening the levees to the point that they could've withstood a storm like Katrina would've literally taken decades, simply because of the sheer mass of the project. Some estimates put the time necessary to complete the project in the neighborhood of 25 years. Factoring in the fact that government never does anything on time, they would've had to start the process in the frigging Carter Administration to protect against a hurricane a month ago.

But no, it's Bush's fault. Just like 9/11, global warming, and poverty, blame gets put on George W. Bush for not reversing a disaster that he not only has limited power to effect in the first place, but was put into motion -- or not, as the case may be -- years before he assumed office. Mmm...I love the smell of political opportnism in the morning.


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