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liprap

Woohoo! Lovin' the blog makeover.

And I'm gunning for her for prez, myself. Mayor is a damn good start, however.

saintseester

Finally, a concise and coherent elucidation of where the money is (not). Now I have something I can give people who say to me, "But they've been given 100 billion dollars..."

Courreges

Midura's argument isn't really that compelling. She cites that most of the recovery dollars haven't been spent, but doesn't explain why that ought to be a federal concern. I would expect that local officials would be better placed to spend the money than pencil-pushers in Washington. Besides, if local officials aren't spending the money, how is that Bush's fault?

Moreover, Ed Blakely has expressed the view that he couldn't spend all the money to which New Orleans is entitled even if he had the funds. Apparently at the city-level, the planning isn't complete yet.

Finally, comparing New Orleans to Iraq is downright childish. Iraq has a population of approximately 27 million. Baghdad alone has a larger population than New York. The per capita dollars dedicated to New Orleans dramatically exceed those committed to Iraq. In any case, you're dealing with distinct policy issues, and comparing the two may make for nice political theater, but it isn't convincing.

ashley

Courreges, do me a solid on this solemn day, will ya? Go back to Houston and STFU. Comparing Iraq to an American city is childish? Fuck off and die. You're gone.

jeffrey

I don't feel like addressing Courrges's points at the moment either. Any other day perhaps....

Anyway. Just to drive the point home about the Iraq comparison, might I point you to Matt Taibbi's latest article on the INSANE amount of cash bloodily pissed away there.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/16076312/the_great_iraq_swindle

After reading that, if you don't immediately want to shoot Glenn Beck in the head for suggesting that taxpayer dollars are wasted on New Orleans, you have no pulse.

Adrastos

I liked the letter but would be willing to wager against Shelley's becoming Mayor. She has become a pretty good councilwoman though and I had my doubts about her a year ago. She's really improved.

ashley

She's the only one on the council with...well...whatever I used to have.

bill

Ashley,

couple of questions, why is this day more solmen that others, and why don't you answer the questions?

ashley

Bill, if you don't know why today is solemn, then you're probably reading the wrong blog. Seriously.

Karen

Now Stacey is using subpoena powers to have a conversation with Dept heads.
http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-23/1188368639232970.xml&coll=1

saintseester

Uh. Bill? What planet do you live on?

aaron

I concur with everything said by you on the post and the comments, Ashley.

The definition of tragedy, going back to the Greeks, is a terrible event happening to a protagonist either through hubris or through unavoidable circumstances. It is doomed to happen, nothing can be done to prevent the impending disaster. The original damage to New Orleans and the ongoing damage to New Orleans is not tragic, nor has it ever been. It's been predicted by experts and those in the government and preventable. The ongoing morass we find ourselves enveloped in is likewise preventable, and the willingness and ability to use funds of the magnitude to remediate the suffering of this city have been demonstrated in Iraq and other places.

It is not a tragedy, but it is ever so lamentable.

jimb

You've got to be kidding, Ashley. I read Owen's response. It was a reasonable response, not childish in any way, and certainly not deserving of STFU or "Fuck Off And Die".

It was simply an opposing viewpoint. If you want an echo chamber, then you're well on your way.

By the way, the Federal response to Katrina may well have been flawed, but the state and local failures were complete.

ashley

Jim, it's a bad day to try to convince me that Owen and his Houston gang have anything constructive to say...but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

It's all about the levees. The levees were built by the feds, they built, designed, and maintained them poorly, and that's why thousands died. Period.

Now, the feds and the feds alone need to do what Donald Powell said: "The Federal Government is committed to building the best levee system known in the world".

That is all we really need at this point from the feds. That is what is keeping us from recovery.

jimb

you're telling me that since the Army Corps of Engineers built the levees, that state and local officials had no responsibility whatsoever?

And even if they don't, what about the consistent welfare-state mentality of so many of the people there that just assumed that the government was going to bail them out, or the lack of local and state response in the days leading up to the disaster, or the fact that once the federal government stepped in, Ms. Blanco kept wanting to establish state control (for a change) but continue to blame the Fed? There were failures all around, including all the way down to Nagin's level (remember the flooded school buses that could have been used for evacuations instead).

I am sick and tired of the rest of the nation needing minimal federal assistance compared to NO. They pick themselves up, endure the hardships, clean up and move on. Not NO, apparently - How many still live in FEMA trailers for 2 years and still not have their feet under them?

ashley

Jim, you're trying to change the subject to one of your canned talking points.

It's about the levees. The USACE is responsible for the levees. End of story.

jimb

Canned talking points? If you say so. I suspect that it isn't so black and white about the levees, though, and if you think that the state had nothing to do with the problem, I suspect you're shutting out what you don't want to hear.

Karen

JimB..Have you visited New Orleans?

If you want to make this a personal attack on the character of New Orleanians, perhaps you would benefit from actually meeting some of "us, many of "us" living in homes which we are unable to fix because the Insurance companies and Federal Flood Insurance did everything in their power to shortchange us.

Maybe some residents of this City are not living up to your idea of a social contract but most of us are.

Take a look out of the window of your own glass house and imagine everything and everybody gone, and then you tell me how you would fix it?

aaron

We've had this argument before Jim, aired these views, disspelled the myths you think are fact. We've done it with scientific papers, eyewitness reports, testimony from the very people in power who were in control, and we've cited it all. But this isn't for today. This might be one more mental exercise for you, it's a knife dripping blood for us, still pulled fresh from a wound. Seriously, just bring this shit up tomorrow, today's not the day for you to be an asshole.

jimb

Karen, there were failures on the state, local, federal levels of government. There is also a large segment of the population who has not done their part. Perhaps you are one to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. I assume you're not still living in a FEMA trailer with no job and a plasma TV in the living room? If so, fine, but a lot of your fellow New Orleanians are not following suit. That's not a personal attack, that's a sad statement on the state of dependency created by the government.

jimb

Seriously, just bring this shit up tomorrow, today's not the day for you to be an asshole.

With that, I'm out. I haven't attacked any of you personally.

barbawit

The folks who think all of the money allocated by the feds is accessible don't understand the Paperwork required for obtaining that money. The system has been set up to make it as difficult as posdsible to obtain funds to help the recovery. While I find many of the comments by our detractors uninformed and just mean spirited it's what I have come to expect form the folks that goose step in line with the Bush administration.

dcgirl

Why should the rest of the US fund those that don't have the mental capacity to not live in a city that is basically under sea level and is sinking every year? And why is Mississippi able to pick up, rebuild, and move on without the constant crying and carping about how "enough isn't being done for ME". I think the answer is that most of the people of NO expect the government to fund and take care of everything for them and that they have no personal responsibility to (a) get out before a storm hits (duh) (b) start cleaning up themselves (saw a woman on tv that was doing that with a bunch of other women) (c)start having higher morals that are needed for the personal responsibility. Why should all these people STILL be getting free rent, etc.? They need to go out and get a job like the rest of us. I have had a total loss myself, but I didn't have ANYONE giving me free rent, free food, free news time to complain, etc.

Any bets on whether or not this post is displayed or pulled since I disagree with "Ashley". And professor, I hope you try to teach your students better than you blog.

ashley

dcgirl, I won't pull it. You're doing a good enough job making yourself look stupid.

Part of the problem of the Lone Star gang is that you don't know the facts that we've been hammering on for years, and we're just tired of repeating them.

NOLA is mostly above sea level; the levees are the problem; the levees are the responsibility of the USACE; the rest of the nation needs minimal assistance...blah blah blah.

But don't let facts get in the way of your argument. Why start now?

Markus

I want to know why I'm being asked to pay for two wars for an attack on New York, if you want to look at it that way. And how stupid could anyone be to work in a building that was a known terrorist target based on clear past experience?

Do your arguments against New Orleans look any more interesting to you rephrased in this way? Just wondering.

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