A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Blanco's Briefing

On Friday I posted about a press conference Kathleen Blanco, DEMOCRAT governor of Louisiana, had given.

You can read the transcipt here.

Here is the portion that made me angry:

Let me take a moment away from discussing our preparations for Rita to focus on the recovery of Katrina.

We are about to send some much-needed federal relief to towns, parishes and other local governments, more than $100 million in cash or checks actually.

I just got handed this packet. These checks reimburse our cash- strapped local governments for expenses that they've already incurred dealing with Katrina. This is in addition to $218 million in federal aid that we have already disbursed.

Rita's arrival is only adding to the problems that Katrina left behind. That is why these checks are so important.

In another effort to help our local governments, today I asked President Bush to change the rules and allow FEMA to pay the base salaries of our police, deputies, firefighters and other government workers.

Now the rules only cover overtime, but many of our parishes and municipalities have next to no revenue and cannot pay the base salaries of vital workers.

My request would allow these folks to be paid. It's the only way that we can reestablish government or reestablish ourselves in the affected parishes.

On the housing front, I have asked Admiral Allen and FEMA to implement a clear plan for our citizens to move out of shelters, to move into the houses of in-laws or friends, but also, in cases where that is not possible, to help them move into hotels and homes here in Louisiana.

I support the president's goal of moving everyone out of shelters within 30 days. And certainly, because we had so many people still in shelters, our evacuation for Rita was much more difficult than a normal evacuation usually presents.

I have asked FEMA to secure hotels and motels for our evacuees, into places where we can provide them with complete services from health care and education to childcare and transportation. We have done this with cruise ships. We can do it with hotels. And I've asked them to do it immediately.

The announcement from HUD and Homeland Security today about rental assistance and housing vouchers may certainly address the needs of our friends in Alabama and Mississippi, but it does little for Louisiana citizens who want to come home.

And we'd like our citizens to be able to come to Louisiana for this interim period.

Katrina decimated our housing stock, and what was left in the area has been bought or rented. Therefore, with no housing available, vouchers do very little for our evacuees. Vouchers don't give people a way back home to Louisiana.

So I have again asked Admiral Allen and FEMA to speed up the purchase of hotels and motels where we can provide complete services for our evacuees and they can begin to feel whole.

It's very difficult to live in shelters under the conditions that they've found themselves.

I've also asked FEMA to dramatically speed the delivery of trailers for our transitional communities. (emphasis added)
I want to know when Louisiana plans to reimburse our cash-strapped federal government for expenses incurred while bailing out the corrupt and incompetent governments of Louisiana?

How much money is Louisiana going to put forward for its own citizens?

As Rush said on Friday,
"We may as well just nationalize Louisiana. That's what we're being asked to do. Just nationalize it, and call it Washington Gulf Shores, instead of Washington, DC."
Why not? We are already pumping so much money into it.

Actually, this is what I think: "Get us out! Get us out! Get us out!"

Louisiana is as big a mess as the Libs think Iraq is. So, if they think we should get out of Iraq, then they should also advocate leaving Louisiana.

Cindy Sheehan already demanded we stop occupying New Orleans. I would go further and demand the US just leave Louisiana altogether.