Friday, September 02, 2005

Spinning the Hurricane

As New Orleans sinks into final destruction, Shrub and the True Believers appear to have come up with an angle: we had no idea it was going to be this bad. Now it's our job to make sure the media know that that excuse is a lie.

Here's some truth that the Bushies just won't be able to handle:

Fed up with the splintered efforts, Len Bahr, then the head of the Louisiana Governor's Office of Coastal Activities, somehow dragged all the parties to one table in 1998 and got them to agree on a coordinated solution: Coast 2050. Completing every recommended project over a decade or more would have cost an estimated $14 billion, so Louisiana turned to the federal government. While this may seem an astronomical sum, it isn't in terms of large public works; in 2000 Congress began a $7 billion engineering program to refresh the dying Florida Everglades. But Congress had other priorities, Louisiana politicians had other priorities, and the magic moment of consensus was lost.

Thus, in true American fashion, we ignored an inevitable problem until disaster focused our attention.

$14 billion now sounds like really cheap insurance, doesn't it?

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