by John Hawkins | September 28, 2005 8:14 pm
The National period of sensitivity expires: TBS is running “The Waterboy” twice tonight, I’d forgotten how hilariously cruel this movie is to Louisiana. Suffice it to say, poor old Mayor Nagin isn’t going down in popular culture with Rudy Giuliani. In fact, the whole state seems to be run by looters.
The state’s representatives have come up with a request for $250 billion in federal reconstruction funds for Louisiana alone—more than $50,000 per person in the state. This money would come on top of payouts from businesses, national charities and insurers. And it would come on top of the $62.3 billion that Congress has already appropriated for emergency relief.
That’s, what, well over $1,000 from every taxpaying American? Even Michael Brown is coming back from the grave to put the blame where it belongs.
“We can’t deny the point that it worked in the other states and it didn’t work in Louisiana,’’ Brown told the House Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation and Response to Hurricane Katrina. “The people of FEMA are tired of being beat up and they don’t deserve it.’’
Brown said the failure to evacuate New Orleans and other affected areas of Louisiana in a timely manner “‘was the tipping point for all the other things that went wrong.’’
“I just couldn’t pull that off,’’ he said. “My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional.’’
Democratic Representative William Jefferson of Louisiana said he was stunned that Brown put “the blame for FEMA’s failings at the feet of the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans.’’
“I think that’s a very weak explanation of what happened,’’ he said.
Jefferson, who had already had his home and office raided by the feds for apparent securities fraud, was the same guy who diverted rescue resources (including two squads of National Guardsmen, a helicopter, and two trucks) to help him get his stuff out of his flooded house. I’d say the dysfunction of Louisiana’s public servants is not just a strong explanation, it’s an incredibly generous way to describe them. Sadly, it’s like a parody of a real state.
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