September 8, 2005


After Katrina, fewer calls for starving government and having less revenue to fund relief (Houston Chronicle, 9/08/05)

Silent for the moment are the cries to reduce revenue to the federal government and starve its ability to provide security and social services. Gone is the urge to make big government smaller. The sluggish federal response to the destruction of New Orleans and stretches of the Gulf Coast elicits angry criticism of the federal government for not acting big enough.

How can even the Left look at the local, state, and federal response to the Hurricane and say to itself the answer is to add more bureaucracy and boondogglery?

Money Flowed to Questionable Projects: State Leads in Army Corps Spending, but Millions Had Nothing to Do With Floods (Michael Grunwald, September 8, 2005, Washington Post)

Before Hurricane Katrina breached a levee on the New Orleans Industrial Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers had already launched a $748 million construction project at that very location. But the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was building a huge new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge traffic.

Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing.

In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.

Explosive revelation by Fox News' Major Garrett (Hugh Hewitt Show, 9/07/05, Radio Blogger)
On the Fox News Channel just a little while ago, Major Garrett, one of Fox's star reporters, and author of The Enduring Revolution, broke a very disturbing story for those on the left that want to play the blame game regarding the reaction to the Katrina. Here's his interview with Hugh Hewitt moments ago:

HH: Joined now by Major Garrett, correspondent for the Fox News Channel, as well as author of The Enduring Revolution, a best seller earlier this year. We talked about that. Major Garrett, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

MG: Hugh, always a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

HH: You just broke a pretty big story. I was watching up on the corner television in my studio, and it's headlined that the Red Cross was blocked from delivering supplies to the Superdome, Major Garrett. Tell us what you found out.

MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They're not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdome, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don't I see that?

HH: And the answer is?

MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state's homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.

HH: Now Major Garrett, on what day did they block the delivery? Do you know specifically?

MG: I am told by the Red Cross, immediately after the storm passed.

HH: Okay, so that would be on Monday afternoon.

MG: That would have been Monday or Tuesday. The exact time, the hour, I don't have. But clearly, they had an evacuee situation at the Superdome, and of course, people gravitated to the convention center on an ad hoc basis. They sort of invented that as another place to go, because they couldn't stand the conditions at the Superdome.

HH: Any doubt in the Red Cross' mind that they were ready to go, but they were blocked?

MG: No. Absolutely none. They are absolutely unequivocal on that point.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2005 10:51 AM

Because that act absolves their overdeveloped sense of personal guilt and makes them feel better ... especially knowing that it won't happen. It's a freebee for them.

Posted by: Genecis at September 8, 2005 11:28 AM

I've seen some of the wistful remarks about how fundig was cut for this or that evacuation drill or levee strenghtening. There is always the comment about how this wouldn't have happened if the relevant bureacracies were "fully funded." I've worked in bureacracies for years. They are NEVER fully funded. They always need more money to do some thing or another that the members think worth doing.

Posted by: Brandon at September 8, 2005 12:17 PM

"Fully funding" a bureaucracy is the equivalent of giving a 5 year old their own personal fully stocked "Toys R Us" store. A week later they'll still start whining that they're bored, and have nothing to do.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 8, 2005 12:31 PM

Never saw a fully fed tapeworm either.

Posted by: Luciferous at September 8, 2005 1:08 PM

This story is almost a complete lie.

Posted by: at September 8, 2005 4:29 PM


With multiple source and cites? How so?

Posted by: ratbert at September 8, 2005 4:41 PM

Ratbert: I'm surprised at you. When have we ever not accepted an anonymous unsourced posting on the internet as the obvious truth?

Posted by: David Cohen at September 8, 2005 5:27 PM


We don't allow them out of courtesy to the original publisher and author, nor reprinting of the entire thing.

Posted by: oj at September 8, 2005 5:43 PM

Well, I used to believe everything I read on the Internet. But, after the 2000 election, that became almost impossible. Then later, I started visiting this site. The circuit breakers failed pretty quickly....

Posted by: ratbert at September 8, 2005 11:04 PM

CNN has since run the Red Cross story so it must be true.

Posted by: George B at September 9, 2005 12:34 PM