FEMA SLOWS COAST'S REBUILD + The $600 MILLION MAN - A DEBACLE
Moody's Court - a beautiful past.
Still in Katrina daze. Entrance to St. Michael's. This face expresses best my feelings about the recovery/rebuilding issues that have not been dealt with in a timely, respectful, and caring manner by the powers that be.
Well, well, well, what else did we really expect from FEMA? It's been 2 years and 5 months since Katrina obliterated the Gulf Coast and less than 1/4th. of the 10,833 public rebuilding projects are finished. Given the fact that FEMA was initially headed up by an idiot who was given the job by another idiot who moved the agency into the so-called "homeland security" department, what else, indeed, should we expect? It's all a joke, and a very bad one. It's a bad dream I wish we all could wake up from.
For one thing, FEMA's little penny counters are haggling with Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie about paying for the overtime that the fire and police departments had to work in those initial days and weeks after Katrina hit. Pathetic! FEMA isn't "satisfied" with the first responders' time sheets. Now let me see. . . umm, there's someone over there in a tree waiting for help and there is a body on a rooftop which is smashed on the ground and we have no communications, or food, or water, and the offices were gutted and filled with someone else's debris. . . umm where did I put my time sheet? And I can't find a pencil. Ahh, FEMA.
On top of that, many people are in limbo. People are still in trailers . . . with formaldehyde !!! For Pete's sake! Now that's a real pretty picture of America and what we are "supposed" to stand for. Seems to me most of the people running this country, and those who vote them in again and again just don't give a flying rat's ass about anything but themselves, money, and Iraq.
Then you have our illustrious Gov. Barbour who diverts $600 million from the HUD grant monies for AFFORDABLE HOUSING to expand the port at Gulfport! WHAT???
This expansion will encompass 210-acres which will include a new shipping terminal and channel (to be expected I imagine), BUT it will also include "three new casinos and as many as 3,000 hotel rooms." Now it seems to me, since there was separate money to rebuild the lost bridges, there should have been money in a separate package for repairing the port. And especially so if it included, of all things, casinos and hotels! You tell me why HUD money should pay for casinos and hotels?? I'm waiting . . .
To no avail, Maxine Waters, D-Calif., urged HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson to oppose the diversion plan (thank you Rep. Waters). However, Jackson said there was "specific congressional language" that kept him from denying Barbour's request. Word is, that ain't especially true. Waters stated her concern: "I am suspicious that Barbour receives favored treatment with this administration. He kind of gets his way." Duh! NSS!!
In my humble opinion, this is an outrage! But then again, "what's good for business ___" you fill in the blanks, I'm too ill over it all. I need to clear my head of this debacle so I'm going to the coast to Mardi Gras and . . . laissez bon temps roulez . . . until I return to blog again. Oh, and I won't be staying in a condo or casino!
Some Tiny FEMA Stats to mull over –
Rebuilding on the Mississippi Gulf Coast:
Total large projects: 2,564
Total large projects closed: 731
Total small projects: 8,269
Total small projects closed: 1,693
Total projects: 10,833
Total closed: 2,424
Clarion Ledger - FEMA Slowing Coast Building
$600 Million Dollar Port Deal
St. Michael's Catholic Church, gutted by Katrina. Beach Blvd., Biloxi – Nov. 2007.