Sunday, March 04, 2007

Whiplash Nagin's Latest Gambit: Lawsuits

Don Surber points out the latest craziness proffered by the Mayor of New Orleans, Whiplash Ray Nagin. He wants to sue the Army Corps of Engineers for $77 billion.
The latest legal actions were submitted just as President George Bush made his first visit to the area in six months. Mr Bush made several stops across Louisiana and Mississippi, visiting homes rebuilt since the storm with federal grants, bearing the message: “The federal government still knows you exist.”

“I committed to the people of this part of the world and the Gulf coast that the federal government would fund recovery - and stay committed to the recovery,” he said.

But locals are frustrated that of the $110bn assigned by Congress in relief aid, only $53bn has actually been spent. Outside the downtown tourist area, large areas of the city remain disrupted with violent crime and murders on the rise and access to healthcare limited.

Wayne Baquet, owner of the cafe in New Orleans where the president ate, told the Associated Press: “If you don’t get New Orleans straight, the United States will never be the same. Everybody ought to be on the bandwagon trying to get New Orleans back.”
Let's get this straight. Tens of billions of dollars was set aside by the federal government for rebuilding areas affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes, and while some areas have done a good job at using the money to rebuild, others have not.

New Orleans for example.

The state and local government in Louisiana has done an awful job of dealing with the situation. They've repeatedly reversed course on key decisions - which is why I've given Nagin the whiplash moniker.

They're still trying to get their hands wrapped around the situation and yet their lawsuit only calls for $1 billion of the $77 billion to go to infrastructure repairs. The rest is nothing more than a shakedown of the federal government to cover up the failures at the state and local level.

Meanwhile, the Times-Picayune has a story up showing that it took 6,000 years to build up Southern Louisiana's coastline, but much of it has disappeared over the last 75 years and we've got only 10 years to fix the problems. Much of the problems stem from one entity - the Army Corps of Engineers, which has been called on time and time again to ensure that flooding doesn't occur as a result of the Mississippi River. That means that the ACoE has straightened the channel, limiting where the sediment carried by the river goes.

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