Molt Be Blog

Sunday, September 11, 2005

New Orleans II (brought to you by Halliburton)

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was very adamant in his interview on Meet the Press this morning that the only people who should rebuild New Orleans are New Orleanians and I'd definitely have to agree with him.
Halliburton and others with inarguable ties to Bush/Cheney have already secured contracts to help in the rebuilding effort. I've said it before and I'll say it again, projects like this are what the federal government is for. Why pay someone else to do a crappy job for which they can't be held responsible? I don't want my tax dollars making some asshole rich while he rebuilds New Orleans. I'd much rather have them spent on rebuilding New Orleans to be better than it was before while still allowing all of the former residents to move back in (not stuck in a tent city in the middle of Louisiana). Halliburton, The Shaw Group and Bechtel all have ties to Bush and are all involved in the cleanup. Granted, these are the companies that have the ability to do this, but so does the federal government. Also, it's just so insane that all of these companies have ties to Bush in one way or another. Cronyism, anyone?
Nagin is right. The people of New Orleans should rebuild it. I'm not saying they should "play a role." I'm saying they should do everything. Kick out these idiot companies that will just steal their money and produce crap. There are plenty of qualified people in Louisiana that could do this and they've definitely got the funds.

And this left wing article on the class inequality in the United States is quite a nice read.

On a more big picture note, I think this whole disaster is easily chalk-upable to the fact that planning doesn't equal action. NOLA had a great evacuation plan as pointed out by David Brooks in his NYT OpEd piece today. The Dept. Of Homeland Security probably had a pretty good plan on file somewhere ("Call FEMA") and FEMA probably also had another plan somewhere. The government even had a memo somewhere that said Al Qaida was planning on attacking the US with planes. None of this necessarily creates actions. I get things at work all the time where after reading them I think, "That's interesting. I wonder if it's my job to do something about that." Then I put whatever it was to the side and wait to see if someone asks me what I'm doing about it.
I think that last part is the key to all of this. Unless someone at the top is asking the difficult questions about the details and who is taking care of them, people won't do things. We're lazy. We're not here to work unless we have to. This is where I fault the different idiots at the top. And the fact that they're idiots leads me to fault the idiots that put them there. Bush is an idiot, but my guess is that he wasn't necessarily the one who really decided to put "Brownie" at the head of FEMA. It was probably the departing FEMA head, Allbaugh, that suggested his old college roommate for the job. Bush doesn't know these people. A team of researchers and PR fools sits around and figures out who owes who a position and who will be more willing to bow to corporate pressure and then tells Bush to nominate him. You know it's true. Not just because it would be logistically difficult for Bush to actually know who to nominate (he's not that smart, people), but because it's the only way it makes sense that such underqualified and inexperienced to be in such positions of power who also all happen to be related to Bush in some campaign/corporate fashion.
It's all right there.

Russert is doing a bit on Meet the Press now to say how necessary first responders are while we remember 9/11. Lame that more people probably died in NOLA in the past two weeks and our first responders got there after the media by 2 days because FEMA had them sitting in seminars and handing out flyers. PR people!

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