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September 09, 2005

Let the REAL looting begin

Headline says "Congress OKs $51.8 billion for Katrina relief."

Should have said "The REAL looting set to begin."

Halliburton, vp Dick Cheney's old firm, already has $17 million worth of no-bid work to do hurricane-damage clean-up.
Halliburton Subsidiary Gets Katrina Deal".

Former FEMA director Joe Allbaugh (who was President Bush's 2000 campaign manager), is busy assisting clients of his new lobbying/consulting firm get no-bid Katrina contracts. Bush Insider Pushes Clients for Hurricane Rebuilding.

Surprise, surprise. Halliburton, too, is among his clients. Former FEMA head and Halliburton lobbyist visits Louisiana for deals.

Then there's the Louisiana crowd. Put those guys together with billions of dollars in contracts for hurry-up work buying stuff and moving it around, and they'll sure know what to do. They're good at clean-up work, if not at disaster preparation.

Rest of us need something like 'cleaningupthecleanup.com' to keep on top of things. May already be out there. The many solid citizens out blogging these days move pretty nimbly. If you happen to know where such a site is, let me know. Meanwhile, as time permits, I'll find a few links that' may push the door open a little.

Don't begrudge the clean-up money, but sure would like to see it well-spent.

Sort of related -- did you see these stories today?

Iowa salon, bookstore benefit from Sept. 11 loans

Illinois vets, funeral homes get federal terrorism loans

Posted by jcb at September 9, 2005 03:03 PM


Here's another little tidbit to add to your hall of shame, in the LATimes today (sorry, no link due to oppressive registration): "In the wake of Hurricane Betsy 40 years ago, Congress approved a massive hurricane barrier to protect New Orleans from storm surges that could inundate the city. ... The project was stopped in its tracks when an environmental lawsuit won a federal injunction on the grounds that the Army's environmental impact statement was flawed. But the mid-l980s, the Corps of Engineers abandoned the project." Kinda sounds familiar, doesn't it?

This stuff is just now coming out, and I predict that if the Katrina debacle is honestly investigated (no ass-covering politicians or bureaucrats) there will a public demand to have all services privatized and "government" reduced to ceremonial functions only. Republicans, Democrats, do-gooder organizations, the permanent bureaucracy will be exposed as serving themselves, and not "the people." (As if some of us didn't already know this!)

I think Doc Searls had it right when he said: "In the War on Error, people will need to take the lead. Government will need to follow or get out of the way." http://doc.weblogs.com/2005/09/04 Back in the olden days we'd say Power To The People.

Posted by: paladin at September 10, 2005 01:29 PM

You and Doc Searles are right about people taking the lead.

Have somewhat less faith in "privatization," however. That can mean nothing more than some service being turned over to a company controlled by the pols and/or their buddies, and which gets lots of money and little oversight.

Privitization efforts going back to Reagan have been kind of a mixed bag. When they've been less than great, the cronyism factor if often at work.

Posted by: jcb at September 10, 2005 02:24 PM