Pork. The other wasteful funds.

From the Washington Post:

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.

For example, after a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations. The Corps also spends tens of millions of dollars a year dredging little-used waterways such as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the Atchafalaya River and the Red River -- now known as the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway, in honor of the project's congressional godfather -- for barge traffic that is less than forecast.


But overall, the Bush administration's funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were slightly higher than the Clinton administration's for its past five years. Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the chief of the Corps, has said that in any event, more money would not have prevented the drowning of the city, since its levees were designed to protect against a Category 3 storm, and the levees that failed were already completed projects. Strock has also said that the marsh-restoration project would not have done much to diminish Katrina's storm surge, which passed east of the coastal wetlands.

(bold mine)

I'm no Bush cheerleader or apologist. I didn’t even vote for the guy. But the attempts I've seen to pin this entire thing on the White House doorstep are daft.

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You're right Jeremy. I was

You're right Jeremy.

I was just chatting with someone who gave me a list of all the offers of help that FEMA refused last week (I don't have links or sources, just going on casual conversation).

Good ol' red tape. :wall:

I recognize that Bush isn't

I recognize that Bush isn't personally responsible for the entire mess, but at a critical time when people were wondering where the Feds were, what was going on, and who was doing what, he missed an important opportunity to be a leader. I know we don't like to follow politicians but in this rare case a Federal gov't that could have actually delivered on the service for which it charges would not have been a necessarily bad thing. The problem is that there was a vacuum of coordination for which FEMA is supposed to exist, after all. And Bush let the bureaucracy spin about instead of getting his hands dirty and making things happen.

I'm not so upset with the Administration's preparations for Katrina as I am for it's response.

Yeah, there's an important

Yeah, there's an important difference between blaming the disaster on the White House and blaming the disaster handling on them. It was Bush who created the DHS and moved orgs like FEMA under their umbrella, increasing bureaucracy. And didn't Bush appoint a crony with no emergency management experience to head FEMA?

Yep. As I've said last week,


As I've said last week, I think Kerry might've pulled off a victory if the election were in November '05. With Sheehan, Robertson, Iraq, oil prices, and especially Katrina, Bush & Co. has been continually on the defensive and battered around like a piñata over the past month or so (some of it undeservingly, of course, but that's the way the ball has bounced). Only thing saving him has been an economy that has still grown through the summer.

Want a list of head slapping

Want a list of head slapping refusals to let in aid? Try these via Andrew Sullivan.


Pulled Pork Before Hurricane

Pulled Pork
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 w...

Does anyone know if moving

Does anyone know if moving FEMA under DHS was part of the Patriot Act or one of the adopted recommendations of the 9/11 commission?