Friday, September 02, 2005

Fate Has Handed You Another Chance. Speak Up, Sir.

 
UPDATE: Thank you, President Clinton, for putting a muzzle on the press. Fate handed you the ball and you not only ran with it, you scored a touchdown. Right now the score stands at Integrity 7, MSM 0.

As ever, you were eloquently persuasive. Best of all, you shut up a reporter. For that feat alone, a medal should be struck. Bush '41 has found himself a great guard dog in you.

Eventually, you'll have to go back to trying to get Hillary elected -- a promise is a promise, after all -- but right now in the thick of it, you took care of business. CNN will be more careful about its assumptions in the future.

Gracias plena, sir. You are some quarterback.

And thanks to Captain's Quarters, whose link it is above. The hat is gratefully tipped to The Anchoress for her heads-up.


With little further ado, here is the word regarding policies and handouts for the US Corps of Engineers in New Orleans during the Clinton administration. Straight from the horse’s mouth, in this case Sidney Blumenthal via The New Orleans Times-Picayune (hat tip: EU Rota):
    
February 17, 1995
An Army Corps of Engineers “hit list” of recommended budget cuts would eliminate new flood-control programs in some of the nation’s most flood-prone spots - where recent disasters have left thousands homeless and cost the federal government millions in emergency aid.
Clinton administration officials argue that the flood-control efforts are local projects, not national, and should be paid for by local taxes.
Nationwide, the administration proposes cutting 98 new projects in 35 states and Puerto Rico, for an estimated savings of $29 million in 1996.
Corps officials freely conceded the cuts, which represent only a small portion of savings the corps ultimately must make, may be penny-wise and pound-foolish. But they said they were forced to eliminate some services the corps has historically provided to taxpayers to meet the administration’s budget-cutting goals.
June 23, 1995
A hurricane project, approved and financed since 1965, to protect more than 140,000 West Bank residents east of the Harvey Canal is in jeopardy.
The Clinton administration is holding back a Corps of Engineers report recommending that the $120 million project proceed. Unless that report is forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget, Congress cannot authorize money for the project, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson’s office said Thursday.
On June 9, John Zirschky, the acting assistant secretary of the Army and the official who refused to forward the report, sent a memo to the corps, saying the recommendation for the project “is not consistent with the policies and budget priorities reflected in the President’s Fiscal Year 1996 budget. Accordingly, I will not forward the report to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance.”
July 26, 1996
The House voted Thursday for a $19.4 billion energy and water bill that provides $246 million for Army Corps of Engineers projects in Louisiana.
The bill, approved 391-23, is the last of the 13 annual spending measures for 1997 approved by the House.
One area in which the House approved more financing than the president requested was for flood control and maintenance of harbors and shipping routes by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Flood control projects along the Mississippi River and its tributaries were allotted $303 million, or $10 million more than the president wanted.
June 19, 1996
The Army Corps of Engineers, which builds most flood protection levees on a federal-local cost-sharing basis, uses a cost-benefit ratio to justify a project. If the cost of building a levee is considered less than the cost of restoring a flood-ravaged area, the project is more likely to be approved.
For years, the Jean Lafitte-Lower Lafitte-Barataria-Crown Point areas couldn’t convince the corps they were worthy of levee protection. But the use of Section 205 and congressional pressure has given the corps a new perspective, Spohrer said.
But even so, when the Clinton administration began to curtail spending on flood control and other projects a year ago, the corps stopped spending on Section 205 projects even after deciding to do a $70,000 preliminary Jean Lafitte study, Spohrer said.
July 22, 1999
In passing a $20.2 billion spending bill this week for water and energy projects, the House Appropriations Committee approved some significant increases in financing for several New Orleans area flood control and navigational projects.
The spending bill is expected on the House floor within the next two weeks.
For the New Orleans District of the Army Corps of Engineers, the panel allocated $106 million for construction projects, about $16 million more than proposed by President Clinton.
The bill would provide $47 million for “southeast Louisiana flood control projects,” $16 million for “Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity hurricane protection,” $15.9 million for the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock on the Industrial Canal in New Orleans and $2 million for “West Bank hurricane protection -- from New Orleans to Venice.”
Most of the projects received significant increases over what the Clinton administration had proposed. The exception: general flood control projects for southeast Louisiana, which remained at the $47 million suggested by Clinton. Local officials had hoped for double that amount.
February 8, 2000
For the metropolitan New Orleans area, Clinton’s budget was seen as a mixed bag by local lawmakers and government officials. For instance, while Clinton called for $1.5 billion to be spent at Avondale Industries to continue building LPD-17 landing craft, his budget calls for significantly less than what Congress appropriated last year for Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity hurricane protection and for West Bank flood control projects.
September 29, 2000
The House approved Thursday a $23.6 billion measure for water and energy programs, with sizable increases for several New Orleans area flood-control projects. The Senate will vote Monday, but it may be a while before the bill is enacted.
President Clinton is promising to veto the annual appropriation for the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers, not because it is $890 million larger than he proposed, but because it does not include a plan to alter the levels of the Missouri River to protect endangered fish and birds.
May 8, 2005 (extra)
Ten years ago today, the Bonneaus and hundreds of thousands of New Orleans area residents rode out a rain unlike any they had ever experienced. The flood killed six people and generated more claims than any in the history of the National Flood Insurance Program. In its aftermath, Congress created a new role for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and federal and local governments spent more than a half-billion dollars to widen and line drainage canals, bury culverts bigger than cars and beef up pumping stations.
But not even those improvements could prevent massive flooding if a storm of similar intensity were to strike today.
MEMO

To: Former President Clinton
From: US Citizens

Sir: It is past time for you to heal this wound on the Left. You must address those of your following who want to blame and demonize the Republicans for Acts of God and for the Folly of Man. The former was Hurricane Katrina. The latter was the arrogance that led us to build a city below sea level in Hurricane Alley, somewhere between a big river and a large lake. The Greeks called ithubris. Please, sir, call off the barking dogs. Your masterful handling of this situation could be the legacy you always wanted. It’s yours for the taking.

5 comments:

greer rants said...

This explains why Bill
stopped the interviewer when
he and Bush 41 appeared together from continuing to
place blame on Bush and
slow response from Feds.

linearthinker said...

Your post is appreciated and will go in my arsenal for confronting the moonbats (who are restless this week).
Slightly off this immediate topic, but relevant to the Katrina nightmare, and your post "At the Green Place, It's All About Blue, White and Red": were you aware of the Wal*Mart emergency readiness and contingency planning efforts at the home office in Bentonville, AR? Wal*Mart Logistics Division has been laying contingency plans for hurricane season for months. With all the controversy surrounding relief efforts, it might be interesting to see how the "evil" Wal*Mart Corporation is contributing. It's late, so I won't/can't offer stats. It's just a thought. Is it possible that Wal*Mart may have been better prepared than Gov Blanco and Mayor Nagin?

Jody said...

Excellent info. Not that it will work against those who see Bush as the great satan...

unaha-closp said...

Bush's defence consists of "he is no worse than Clinton"?

Dymphna said...

greer rants--

Clinton proceeds with more grace in this than does,say, Carter.

Linearthinker--

The advantage that private companies have over bureaucracies is their ability to innovate. It's one that the military has in war time,when they are more easily able to break free of the inertia of "The Building" (the Pentagon).

Jody--

Bush as the great Satan is like other demonizing --- it's simply projection. Always consider the source when you hear name-calling. In fact, when adults call names, it's a good idea to consider whether you're dealing with an adult.

Unaha closp -- I'm sure sure what you intend here. The Army Corps of Engineers has been short-funded everywhere. New Orleans is not the only place with a levee. We have one in the nearest town to us. Before it was installed -- after almost a generation of hounding by the local mayor, who never,ever gave up -- the town experienced levels of floods that were only supposed to happen "every 100 years." There were three "hundred year floods" in about ten years.

Now, with the levee installed, floods are a thing of the past. The little town is prosperous now, with restaurants and shops doing a good trade and no more fear of investing in business.

Before the levee, I remember only too well watching a Packman machine floating thru the door of the restaurant where I worked...my friend's business was destroyed.

So I'm not sure what your snarky comment was supposed to convey. Perhaps that you hold Bush equally culpable? Go for it.

Meanwhile, the point of my post is that this neglect has been going on for a looong time and it is a quality of leadership when the two former presidents, Bush 41 and Clinton, step forward and offer the kind of help that can only come from someone in their position. Especially so when they cut off the comments from the biased press.