Carol Platt Liebau: Corruption & Inefficiency, Hand in Hand

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Corruption & Inefficiency, Hand in Hand

First, it was the picture of the school buses, a symbol of all that city officials could have done to evacuate their sickest and poorest residents -- if it had followed their own evacuation plan (see left). Then it was the news that Louisiana State Homeland Security refused to let the Red Cross take food and water to the Superdome before the hurricane because doing so would "encourage" people to go there.

Then it was the news that the mayor had turned down help from Amtrak, so that a 900-seat train rolled away empty, the day before the storm. (According to CNN:"The mayor's disaster plan called for mobilizing buses and evacuating the poor, but he did not get it done. He said he could not find drivers, but Amtrak says it offered help and was turned down, so a train with 900 seats rolled away empty a day and a half before the storm.")

And today, in The LA Times, we learn that:

Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.

And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.

Are you surprised?

Update: Bush-haters must be disappointed by stories like this one. Amazingly, some are more interested in misleading and out-of-context "news" that can be used to distort and blame the feds for a number of mistakes that could have been averted by a modicum of efficiency on the parts of the state and federal governments.


Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

I wish we could be surprised. The question is will the Bush-haters ask and investigate the whereabouts of those funds as carefully as they analyzed every minute the President spent before arriving in New Orleans.

Of course they won't.

5:46 PM  
Blogger ken said...

President Bush has taken responsibility for the Federal problems related to hurricane Katrina...that doesn't mean he is to BLAME as
MSM interprets it.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Federal auditors are unable to accurately account for $9 BILLION of taxpayers' money given to the Coalition Provisional Authority. Cite Heck, Halliburton's KBR unit alone has lost over $60 million of US Government property.

And who exactly is getting no bid contracts for Katrina reconstruction? The self-same careless Halliburton is one of the big winners.

Your outrage would bear a little more weight if you had ever cared to complain about any of these problems. Given how you have ignore $9 billion in missing money when it happens in Iraq, your outrage here seems unconvincing.

BTW, are you planning on apologizing to Governor Blanco? It seems you called her feckless and incompetent. Of course the non-partisan Congressional Research Service found that Governor Blanco took all timely and necessary steps to request Federal disaster assistance. Oh well, I am certain the other things you write are more grounded in reality.

10:16 PM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

Carol -

The School buses were not used 1) because city busses were being used to evacuate people days in advance 2) school busses were private property and no authority was given to take them 3) no drivers were available 4) Your President told the Gov. that a ship was on it's way (it never bothered to show up by the way...surprise surprise.

It was not the mayor or Governor that turned Amtrak away...It was FEMA. Whether they were local FEMA representatives or national, we do not know.

FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations

FEMA turns away experienced firefighters

FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks

FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel

FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food

FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans

FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid

FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board

FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck

FEMA turns away generators

FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"

11:36 PM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

To all the folks complaining about the "drowned" school buses, hey guess why they weren't used! FEMA said not to, they would send air-conditioned commercial buses to save people. Only they didn't send them until Thursday. This according to the Louisana governor.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Oh sure, Cookie Jill, life is so easy if you just go ahead and just make things up. I mean, it's not like you have documented references or anything... Oh, wait... Nevermind.

What I want to know is why do the facts hate America?

9:11 PM  

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