Friday, December 25, 2009

Mary Landrieu Can't Be Bought: Louisiana, Katrina, Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Dollars

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D) says her vote cannot be bought. A bald-faced lie. She is not embarrassed, not bowed, but she is proud. After holding out on her affirmative Senate health care bill, Democrat leadership offered her a bevy of consolations, and then added $300 million for the state of Louisiana to sweeten the deal. But Mary Landriue can't be bought. See video below.

Mary Landrieu

Landrieu says she fought for every dollar of the funds to be used for "gulf coast recovery," which she intimates will relieve Medicare costs which skyrocketed after Katrina. Well, we all know that $300 million won't bring much recovery to a state who refused to maintain the levees that the federal government paid for long ago. Did we ever get an answer to: where were the city fathers in any year you want to name, looking after the City and forcing the Corps of Engineers to fess-up to the sad plight of the waterway. No, we haven't gotten an answer. I have had it with the lack of any sense of responsibility for Katina.

Tracing federal payments to the New Orleans levees shows that neither the funds requested and/or the plans laid, would have protected New Orleans against a Cat 5 hurricane. There were plans, and there was funding, but neither was adequate.

SaveBigEasy.org wants $20 billion from American taxpayers to create miracles in the Big Easy, including those sections of the City sitting below sea level. On the website, this group layouts the huge cost of the Marshall Plan and our generous donations to HIV/AIDS and the Iraq war, but there is no mention of the billions already funneled to New Orleans for the levees. No one wants to talk about that.

In July of this year, a federal judge ruled that the Army Corp of Engineers was at fault in the failure of the levees in the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish, but not the flooding of eastern New Orleans. Plaintiffs received $720,000 or about $170,000 each. Over 100,000 individuals are said to waiting in the wings for even bigger awards.

Cornell Professor Thomas O'Rouke says his team studying the Katrina disaster, finds "history and politics" are perhaps more to blame than engineering:
As soon as levees are built, O'Rourke pointed out, they become "wasting assets" as they sink into soft and compressible soil. He added that levee and flood wall systems are paid for by the federal government but must then be maintained locally, sometimes causing local governments to resist more effective designs that require higher maintenance costs. Instead of building flood gates at the head of the New Orleans drainage canals, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under local political pressure, built "I-walls" by driving sheet piling into existing levees, and many of these failed during Hurricane Katrina, O'Rourke explained.
The federal government will continue to pay, and then how will this blighted city maintain the levees, and why do we think they might, when they never have? Mary Landrieu and all the politicians taking home Obama's stash need to be booted in their next election.

In the video below, more bald-faced liberal spin - saying nothing.

Mary Landrieu "I Can't be Bought" (video)

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