Aaron has several great pieces about Hurricane Katrina. Thanks, Aaron. My two cents is this:

First cent: I think the efforts to blame the Bush administration for this catastrophe are outrageous in their timing even if completely accurate in their accusations. How can I vote for a Democrat whose first instinct in a situation like this is to try to score political points?

A good example of the left's disingenuous posturing can be found in this column by my favorite, Molly Ivins. If you have legitimate points to make, why rely on half truths?

For example, she says:

One of the main reasons New Orleans is so vulnerable to hurricanes is the gradual disappearance of the wetlands on the Gulf Coast that once stood as a natural buffer between the city and storms coming in from the water. The disappearance of those wetlands does not have the name of a political party or a particular administration attached to it. No one wants to play, "The Democrats did it," or, "It's all Reagan's fault." Many environmentalists will tell you more than a century's interference with the natural flow of the Mississippi is the root cause of the problem, cutting off the movement of alluvial soil to the river's delta.

But in addition to long-range consequences of long-term policies like letting the Corps of Engineers try to build a better river than God, there are real short-term consequences, as well. It is a fact that the Clinton administration set some tough policies on wetlands, and it is a fact that the Bush administration repealed those policies--ordering federal agencies to stop protecting as many as 20 million acres of wetlands.

Last year, four environmental groups cooperated on a joint report showing the Bush administration's policies had allowed developers to drain thousands of acres of wetlands. [Emphasis Added]
So, let me get this straight. The instant problem might be the result of "more than a century's interference" with the river? Bush ordered "federal agencies to stop protecting as many as 20 million acres of wetlands?" As many as? How many is that? And "thousands" have been drained?

If we take what she says at face value, what does any of this have with President Bush and the New Orleans crisis? He wasn't president a century ago, and she certainly doesn't say that the "thousands of acres" drained caused the crisis. Just another cheap shot, Molly?

Second cent: While I have made a financial contribution to the crisis already, my willingness and ability to do so are tempered by the fact that tax day is a mere two weeks away. How about this: The federal government gives everyone a tax credit (not deduction, but credit) of up to $1,000.00 for monies donated to Katrina relief. Can they go on that much of a diet?

I'm not a particularly religious man, but my feelings are with those poor people, and if prayer is in your nature, please do.


Treasure State Jew said...


Thanks for the post. As I already posted, I don't think that this is the time for recriminations.

However, I have trouble understanding how a city that is tens of feet below sea level, surrounded on three sides by water, does not have a well-drilled and practiced evacuation and rescue plan in place. All of the rescue efforts so far seem to be totally uncoordinated.

From the President on down, our government needs to answer for this bungled emergency management effort.

At a minimum, I would think that Homeland Security would have a well designed plan in place; if I was a terrorist planner, hindsight tells me that the NOLA levies would have been an effective place to plant a bomb.

To help, please remember that the Great Falls and Montana Jewish communities will be selling silk magnolias (the State flower of LA and MS) at the Farmer's Market in Great Falls tomorrow morning. All proceeds will be sent to the disaster relief fund. We are calling this the MAJCO Magnolia Mitvah project.

C'mon down and buy a few flowers.

a-fire-fly said...

Excellent point TSJ.

GeeGuy said...

No one will care about a locality like its residents. This is why movement toward a centralized government is not such a great thing as it is cracked up to be.

While I agree the federal government has responsibility in these cases, simply because they have seized such responsibility (and our dollars to go with it), maybe in a year it will be a good time to reconsider whether this is the best use of our disaster money.

Treasure State Jew said...

I was struck by a report that 27 years ago, failure of the levies was predicted. A mill levy was proposed to pay to reinforce those levies. It went down, and the levies remained in their current condition.

NOLA local officials knew about this problem during the Carter administration, and have sat on their hands since.

GeeGuy said...

I guess it's not their problem, it's up to the feds.

XB234C said...

Didn't wetlands used to be called swamps? Just asking.