OK ARFCOM, I need some help. My Libtard Bush bashing professor wants a source for the info I gave him about Levee money being spent on a casino and a jet. Unfortunately I had regurgitated the info to him without having researched it myself(HAte it when I do that). This guy can really push my buttons, he constantly rails against Bush in class everyday. Today's rant was about Brown being unqualified for his position, but getting it because he was once Bush's roommate. I'll be searching the web for a source, but any help about the NO misapprpriation of funds would be helpful.
As always thank you, and God Bless America.
Just ask him to show proof that Brown was Bush's roommate. It will be tough to find as Brown bunked with the old FEMA director, and that's what the dems are spun up about.
This is good stuff, and I'll be asking him this very question.
Thank you sir.
OK I am a Celtic Reform Jew, We all love Bush...join my tribe and when he starts then itis Harassment on the basis of religious beliefs...CRDL after him....
I don't mind his whining really. When he's all upset and jumping up and down like an organ grinder monkey I know that all is right in the world. I have put him in his place a number of times. He's caught me a few times too. To be honest I enjoy a good exchange of ideas. When I can slap him around in an argument I enjoy it even more. Some of the young Brittany Spears clones in my class are getting tired of it, but others enjoy the entertainment. Let's face it, most college professors get away with murder, and it's fun to see them get called on it occasionally.
I am truly in your debt. Oh the next class is gonna be sweet.
Thanks again, may the road rise to meet your feet, and the wind be to your back.
If your professor has never heard of the Boggs Machine then he has no business being a professor.
I'd feel dumb asking a question I don't know either. What exactly is the "Boggs Machine", how does it work, and will it make me more attractive to women?
Instead of just asking him the question go out and find out what the facts are the print the sources out...then ask him the question. He will most likely try to spin his answer and then you can nail him with facts and sources!
You read my little pea brain like a comic book!
That's exactly what I intend to do. It's always nice to have the deck loaded in my favor, prior planning gives me an edge. Then when he brings it up(which he will) I'll go Black, and it'll be Speed Suprise and violence of action while his jaw hangs open.
Honestly I think he enjoys our little back and forth we have going.
whole article looks good but the quoted part is great WRT general corruption. later it also mentions the casino issue
Your grade is f@(kd no matter what the outcome.
How about James Carville.
A little more on LA corruption.
Ever hear of ABC's Cokie Roberts? Her mommy was Liddy Boggs the Dem congresswoman from New Orleans for about 30 years. Her daddy was Hale Boggs, Sr. Congressman from New Orleans for the 30 years before that. Her brother is a big democrap lobbyist (Jr.). Do a little google search on those names.
Get the source documentation, all of it, not just that article from newsandopinion.
Louisiana Officials Could Lose the Katrina Blame Game
By Jeff Johnson
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
September 07, 2005
(1st Add: Includes information about restoration of Mardi Gras fountain)
(CNSNews.com) - The Bush administration is being widely criticized for the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina and the allegedly inadequate protection for "the big one" that residents had long feared would hit New Orleans. But research into more than ten years of reporting on hurricane and flood damage mitigation efforts in and around New Orleans indicates that local and state officials did not use federal money that was available for levee improvements or coastal reinforcement and often did not secure local matching funds that would have generated even more federal funding.
In December of 1995, the Orleans Levee Board, the local government entity that oversees the levees and floodgates designed to protect New Orleans and the surrounding areas from rising waters, bragged in a supplement to the Times-Picayune newspaper about federal money received to protect the region from hurricanes.
"In the past four years, the Orleans Levee Board has built up its arsenal. The additional defenses are so critical that Levee Commissioners marched into Congress and brought back almost $60 million to help pay for protection," the pamphlet declared. "The most ambitious flood-fighting plan in generations was drafted. An unprecedented $140 million building campaign launched 41 projects."
The levee board promised Times-Picayune readers that the "few manageable gaps" in the walls protecting the city from Mother Nature's waters "will be sealed within four years (1999) completing our circle of protection."
But less than a year later, that same levee board was denied the authority to refinance its debts. Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle "repeatedly faulted the Levee Board for the way it awards contracts, spends money and ignores public bid laws," according to the Times-Picayune. The newspaper quoted Kyle as saying that the board was near bankruptcy and should not be allowed to refinance any bonds, or issue new ones, until it submitted an acceptable plan to achieve solvency.
Blocked from financing the local portion of the flood fighting efforts, the levee board was unable to spend the federal matching funds that had been designated for the project.
By 1998, Louisiana's state government had a $2 billion construction budget, but less than one tenth of one percent of that -- $1.98 million -- was dedicated to levee improvements in the New Orleans area. State appropriators were able to find $22 million that year to renovate a new home for the Louisiana Supreme Court and $35 million for one phase of an expansion to the New Orleans convention center.
The following year, the state legislature did appropriate $49.5 million for levee improvements, but the proposed spending had to be allocated by the State Bond Commission before the projects could receive financing. The commission placed the levee improvements in the "Priority 5" category, among the projects least likely to receive full or immediate funding.
The Orleans Levee Board was also forced to defer $3.7 million in capital improvement projects in its 2001 budget after residents of the area rejected a proposed tax increase to fund its expanding operations. Long term deferments to nearly 60 projects, based on the revenue shortfall, totaled $47 million worth of work, including projects to shore up the floodwalls.
No new state money had been allocated to the area's hurricane protection projects as of October of 2002, leaving the available 65 percent federal matching funds for such construction untouched.
"The problem is money is real tight in Baton Rouge right now," state Sen. Francis Heitmeier (D-Algiers) told the Times-Picayune. "We have to do with what we can get."
Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Mark Drennen told local officials that, if they reduced their requests for state funding in other, less critical areas, they would have a better chance of getting the requested funds for levee improvements. The newspaper reported that in 2000 and 2001, "the Bond Commission has approved or pledged millions of dollars for projects in Jefferson Parish, including construction of the Tournament Players Club golf course near Westwego, the relocation of Hickory Avenue in Jefferson (Parish) and historic district development in Westwego."
There is no record of such discretionary funding requests being reduced or withdrawn, but in October of 2003, nearby St. Charles Parish did receive a federal grant for $475,000 to build bike paths on top of its levees.
Earlier this year, the levee board did complete a $2.5 million restoration project. After months of delays, officials rolled away fencing to reveal the restored 1962 Mardi Gras fountain in a four-acre park featuring a new 600-foot plaza between famous Lakeshore Drive and the sea wall.
Financing for the renovation came from a property tax passed by New Orleans voters in 1983. The tax, which generates more than $6 million each year for the levee board, is dedicated to capital projects. Levee board officials defended more than $600,000 in cost overruns for the Mardi Gras fountain project, according to the Times-Picayune, "citing their responsibility to maintain the vast green space they have jurisdiction over along the lakefront."
Democrats blame Bush administration
Congressional Democrats have been quick to blame the White House for poor preparation and then a weak response related to Hurricane Katrina. U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, joined two of his colleagues from the Transportation and Infrastructure and Homeland Security committees Tuesday in a letter requesting hearings into what the trio called a "woefully inadequate" federal response.
"Hurricane Katrina was an unstoppable force of nature," Waxman wrote along with Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). "But it is plain that the federal government could have done more, sooner, to respond to the immediate survival needs of the residents of Louisiana and Mississippi.
"In fact, different choices for funding and planning to protect New Orleans may even have mitigated the flooding of the city," the Democrats added.
But Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) suggested that Waxman "overlooks many other questions that need to be asked, and prematurely faults the federal government for all governmental shortcomings; in fact, local and state government failures are not mentioned at all in [Waxman's] letter."
Davis wrote that Waxman's questions about issues such as the lack of federal plans for evacuating residents without access to vehicles and the alleged failure of the Department of Homeland Security to ensure basic communications capacity for first responders might "prematurely paint the picture that these are solely, or even primarily, federal government responsibilities.
"This is not the time to attack or defend government entities for political purposes. Rather, this is a time to do the oversight we're charged with doing," Davis continued. "Our Committee will aggressively investigate what went wrong and what went right. We'll do it by the book, and let the chips fall where they may."
The House Government Reform Committee will begin hearings on federal disaster preparations and the response to Hurricane Katrina the week of Sept. 12. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is schedule to hold hearings on the economic recovery from Katrina beginning Wednesday morning.
Money Flowed to Questionable Projects
State Leads in Army Corps Spending, but Millions Had Nothing to Do With Floods
By Michael Grunwald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 8, 2005; Page A01
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 was building a huge new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge traffic. Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing.
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.
The Industrial Canal lock is one of the agency's most controversial projects, sued by residents of a New Orleans low-income black neighborhood and cited by an alliance of environmentalists and taxpayer advocates as the fifth-worst current Corps boondoggle. In 1998, the Corps justified its plan to build a new lock -- rather than fix the old lock for a tiny fraction of the cost -- by predicting huge increases in use by barges traveling between the Port of New Orleans and the Mississippi River.
In fact, barge traffic on the canal had been plummeting since 1994, but the Corps left that data out of its study. And barges have continued to avoid the canal since the study was finished, even though they are visiting the port in increased numbers.
Pam Dashiell, president of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, remembers holding a protest against the lock four years ago -- right where the levee broke Aug. 30. Now she's holed up with her family in a St. Louis hotel, and her neighborhood is underwater. "Our politicians never cared half as much about protecting us as they cared about pork," Dashiell said.
Yesterday, congressional defenders of the Corps said they hoped the fallout from Hurricane Katrina would pave the way for billions of dollars of additional spending on water projects. Steve Ellis, a Corps critic with Taxpayers for Common Sense, called their push "the legislative equivalent of looting."
Louisiana's politicians have requested much more money for New Orleans hurricane protection than the Bush administration has proposed or Congress has provided. In the last budget bill, Louisiana's delegation requested $27.1 million for shoring up levees around Lake Pontchartrain, the full amount the Corps had declared as its "project capability." Bush suggested $3.9 million, and Congress agreed to spend $5.7 million.
Administration officials also dramatically scaled back a long-term project to restore Louisiana's disappearing coastal marshes, which once provided a measure of natural hurricane protection for New Orleans. They ordered the Corps to stop work on a $14 billion plan, and devise a $2 billion plan instead.
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.
"The project manager for the Great Pyramids probably put in a request for 100 million shekels and only got 50 million," said John Paul Woodley Jr., the Bush administration official overseeing the Corps. "Flood protection is always a work in progress; on any given day, if you ask whether any community has all the protection it needs, the answer is almost always: Maybe, but maybe not."
The Corps had been studying the possibility of upgrading the New Orleans levees for a higher level of protection before Katrina hit, but Woodley said that study would not have been finished for years. Still, liberal bloggers, Democratic politicians and some GOP defenders of the Corps have linked the catastrophe to the underfunding of the agency.
"We've been hollering about funding for years, but everyone would say: There goes Louisiana again, asking for more money," said former Democratic senator John Breaux. "We've had some powerful people in powerful places, but we never got what we needed."
That may be true. But those powerful people -- including former senators Breaux, Johnston and Russell Long, as well as former House committee chairmen Robert Livingston and W.J. "Billy" Tauzin -- did get quite a bit of what they wanted. And the current delegation -- led by Landrieu and GOP Sen. David Vitter -- has continued that tradition.
The Senate's latest budget bill for the Corps included 107 Louisiana projects worth $596 million, including $15 million for the Industrial Canal lock, for which the Bush administration had proposed no funding. Landrieu said the bill would "accelerate our flood control, navigation and coastal protection programs." Vitter said he was "grateful that my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee were persuaded of the importance of these projects."
Louisiana not only leads the nation in overall Corps funding, it places second in new construction -- just behind Florida, home of an $8 billion project to restore the Everglades. Several controversial projects were improvements for the Port of New Orleans, an economic linchpin at the mouth of the Mississippi. There were also several efforts to deepen channel for oil and gas tankers, a priority for petroleum companies that drill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"We thought all the projects were important -- not just levees," Breaux said. "Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but navigation projects were critical to our economic survival."
Overall, Army Corps funding has remained relatively constant for decades, despite the "Program Growth Initiative" launched by agency generals in 1999 without telling their civilian bosses in the Clinton administration. The Bush administration has proposed cuts in the Corps budget, and has tried to shift the agency's emphasis from new construction to overdue maintenance. But most of those proposals have died quietly on Capitol Hill, and the administration has not fought too hard to revive them.
In fact, more than any other federal agency, the Corps is controlled by Congress; its $4.7 billion civil works budget consists almost entirely of "earmarks" inserted by individual legislators. The Corps must determine that the economic benefits of its projects exceed the costs, but marginal projects such as the Port of Iberia deepening -- which squeaked by with a 1.03 benefit-cost ratio -- are as eligible for funding as the New Orleans levees.
"It has been explicit national policy not to set priorities, but instead to build any flood control or barge project if the Corps decides the benefits exceed the costs by 1 cent," said Tim Searchinger, a senior attorney at Environmental Defense. "Saving New Orleans gets no more emphasis than draining wetlands to grow corn and soybeans."
So much for the Libtards claiming Bush funding cuts caused the levees to break.
LEVEES THAT BROKE WERE COMPLETE & FUNDED SAYS CORP OF ENGINEERS.
U.S. Army Corps of
Release No. PA-09-01
For Immediate Release: September 3, 2005
Contact: Connie Gillette: 202-761-1809
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hurricane Relief Support
and Levee Repair
The breaches that have occurred on the levees surrounding New Orleans are
located on the 17th Street Canal Levee and London Avenue Canal Levee.
The 17th Street Canal Levees and London Avenue Canal Levees are completed
segments of the Lake Ponchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection
Project. Although other portions of the Lake Ponchartrain project are pending,
these two segments were complete, and no modifications or improvements
to these segments were pending, proposed, or remain unfunded.
Three major pending projects are in various stages of development: two hurricane
protection projects -- the West Bank and Vicinity project and the remaining
portions of the Lake Ponchartrain project, and the Southeast Louisiana flood
damage reduction project.
Even if these three projects in development were completed and in place, they
would not have prevented the breach and the flooding caused by the breach. Like
the levee that was breached, the hurricane protection projects were designed to
withstand forces of a hurricane that has a .5% chance of occurrence in any given
year. This translates to what is now classified as a Category 3 hurricane.
The Administration's Fiscal Year 2006 budget request for the four main New
Orleans flood control projects [West Bank, Southeast Louisiana, Lake
Ponchartrain, and New Orleans-Venice] was $41.5 million.
The perception of cuts to the Corps budget may come from a misunderstanding of
construction project funding practices or from comparing the Administration's
budget request to the Corps' project capability figures for these four main projects,
which for FY2006 totaled $142.7 million.
Annual project funding is based on a variety of factors, including an analysis of
the work that can be completed in an upcoming year and the work that already has
been completed in a previous year. Funding levels may vary as a project
progresses toward completion. Assumptions that these year-to-year changes
reflect a change in a projects' prioritization or are intended to cha nge the rate of its
progress fail to take into account the broader factors necessary to manage
resources in an organization that is simultaneously completing multiple
Additionally, project capability figures are not budget requests and do not
represent a request by the Corps for funding. Instead, project capability figures
represent the maximum amount of work on a project that the Corps estimates
could be accomplished in a given year, assuming an unlimited supply of
resources--financial, manpower, equipment, and construction materials.
Project capability amounts are rarely funded. If full capability funding were
provided for every project in a given year, it would be very difficult to complete
all the work because it would likely not be possible to secure sufficient Corps or
contractor personnel to construct all projects at the same time. The same holds
true for specific regions of the country. If full capability funding were provided
for every project in the same region or locality, completing all the work would be
very difficult given the significant strain this would place on existing contracting,
staffing, equipment and material resources.
[Quotes below are from Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, and Chief of Engineers, and are excerpted from his remarks during
a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Special Briefing for the media via conference
call on Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 1 p.m. EDT. A full transcript is available
from the Public Affairs Office at (202) 761-0011.]
There have been suggestions that inadequate funding for levee projects
delayed their completion and resulted in the flooding of New Orleans.
GEN. STROCK: "In fact, the levee failures we saw were in areas of the projects
that were at their full project design... So that part of the project was in place, and
had this project been fully complete ... [West Bank, Southeast Louisiana, and
Lake Ponchartrain] it's my opinion, based on the intensity of this storm, that the
flooding of the Central Business District and the French Quarter would still have
occurred. So I do not see that the level of funding is really a contributing factor in
There have also been suggestions that the Corps of Engineers was unable to
fully fund flood control needs in New Orleans or elsewhere because funding
was diverted to the Global War on Terror.
GEN. STROCK: "Let me also address the issue of the general impact of the war
in Iraq on civil works funding. We've seen some suggestions that our budget has
been affected by the war. I can also say that I do not see that to be the case. If
you look at the historical levels of funding for the Corps of Engineers from the
pre-war levels back to 1992, '91, before we actually got into this, you'll see that
the level of funding has been fairly stable throughout that period. So I think we
would see that our funding levels would have dropped off if that were the case; so
I do not see that as an issue that is relevant to the discussion of the flood
protection of the City of New Orleans."
Finally, some believe that New Orleans flooded because there were
inadequate coastal wetlands in Southern Louisiana to absorb the storm
GEN. STROCK: "Again, my assessment in this case is that any loss of wetlands
in the barrier islands associated with those processes did not have a significant
impact on this event. I say this because the storm track took it east of the City of
New Orleans, and most of those barrier islands and marshlands are located to the
south and west of the city; so the storm did not track through that direction
anyway, and I don't think that that was a contributing factor in the situation."