Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rebuilding: Like I said before, New Orleans doesn't face the challenge of having been physically erased, like parts of Mississipi. Some infrastructure remains. Still, anyone who has ever had even a few feet of water in their house knows that the word "repair" doesn't cover it.

Another thing: if ever a city was in need of a major effort, it was NOLA. It was, essentially, still a segregated city. It had some of the worst projects and slums I'd ever seen (and, as Flyer noted, I haven't seen the worst the city had). The schools were unanimously recognized as horrendous, the police force inept, the political structure an onion of corrupt layer after layer. I don't mean to suggest that New Orleans either deserved this or should "look on the bright side." But a realist needs to look at the opportunities that have been presented. Bring New Orleans into the 21st century in any rebuilding effort, or leave it as what it naturally would be: a small, well-flooded bayou.


Flyer said...

Careful Eno, channeling Dennis Hastert is a criminal offense these days.

enobarbus said...

Luckily, I don't make my living trying to avoid controversy by retracting every statement that isn't lukewarm, pre-digested pap. You can always tell when a politician has actually stated a serious point of policy, because he will immediately "clarify" that point.

In the end, what I think means squat. This decision is already made, and New Orleans will be rebuilt where it was, consequences be damned. Hastert was right to question it, and now we see how much spine he has to fight to do this right. But if my tax dollars are spent to rebuild the city (again, fait accompli), I'd pay a little extra for some long-term thinking.

Flyer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Flyer said...

A guy named Michael Clark was on CNN last night w/ Aaron Brown. I believe Clark is a former FEMA director and he just tore to shreds the argument that this is Bush's fault for not appropriating more money to the Army Corps of Engineers to restore the levees. $100M the day Bush took office, he said, would have had almost zero impact because of the time needed to complete such a project. It's the money that wasn't spent 30 years ago, or was pocketed by the levee board commissioners, that caused this problem. Of course Brown wanted nothing to do with complex answers to loaded questions and cut Clark off in the middle of answering his last one.

Oh yeah, on point - he also said New Orleans could, should, and would be rebuilt stronger and safer, able to withstand the next big one. I think it can happen since there will be world wide attention on the effort with more experts brought in on this than any other project before. Oh yeah, it's gonna cost an effin fortune. Bush is right about one thing - that 10.5B is a very small down payment.