I woke up today with my Angry Headache, which is what I get when I think about how much I loathe the current administration. Today's devastation is going to grow beyond the hurricane and will create deep, long-lasting wounds. Issues of class, race, economics, gasoline and Iraq are already swirling about in a lethal twist. And then Bush says this morning, "No one anticipated the breech in the levees." Is he kidding?
Just a few years ago, FEMA ranked hurricane damage to New Orleans as one of three most likely catastrophes facing the country. I specifically remember this because an earthquake hitting San Francisco was one of the three and the thought struck me, 'Hmmm, should probably get some bottled water.'
Not long after that, the Times-Picayune published a five-part series that began:
"It's only a matter of time before south Lousiana takes a direct hit from a major hurricane . . . we grow more vulnerable every day." The stories quoted flood experts warning specifically of the potential damage from rising water levels and broken levees. Again, I recall this because it was during this time my brother was getting married in Biloxi, Mississippi, just 45 minutes away.
The Fed reaction? Money was cut from flood control. The Bush administration routinely provided less than half the money the Army Corps of Engineers requested for New Orleans flood prevention. Three guesses where that money is now.
More anger to come.