Shoutout: Don’t Let Bush Pull the Plug on New Orleans

From Scout:

There is something Very Important happening in Washington regarding New Orleans that is not getting attention. Bush certainly must like it that way. But if there ever was a time to pay attention now is the time. NOLA is a patient on life support and Bush is now deciding whether to pull the plug. If ever there was a time to blog about saving New Orleans now is the time.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced last week that another $6 Billion is needed to rebuild the levees for the NOLA area. Here’s a breakdown

But more than $3 billion in improvements are needed to bring Algiers, eastern New Orleans, the Lower 9th Ward, West Jefferson and most of Jefferson Parish’s east bank, St. Charles Parish, Belle Chasse and Lower Coast Algiers to the appropriate protection levels. And $3 billion more would be needed for Plaquemines Parish.

Donald Powell who is Bush’s point man on Katrina reconstruction has said Bush is making no promises regarding the needed $6 billion. The decision will be made this week or next. Powell indicated that Plaquemines Parish is on the chopping block as few people live there. This would be a disaster eventually for NOLA as Plaquemines with its wetlands is a natural buffer to the city. But there is no guarantee that the $3 billion for NOLA metro area will be forthcoming either.

Without levee protection residents and business will not return. It is that simple. This is a crucial time for NOLA which one could make a case has been lying out there for some time and known to the administration. One Republican Senator said the following

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said the announcement confirmed his warnings since November that Washington is “stonewalling” and seeking “way too little money” for levee repairs.

Stonewall indeed. No doubt Bush is counting on the fact that people have lost interest and are not paying attention. In such an environment the Denny Hastert ‘s of Washington are free in their “questioning the wisdom of rebuilding the low-lying city.” BUT a commitment to levee protection and wetland restoration can save New Orleans. As coastal scientist Roy Dokka, who helped develop part of the information that was the used for the revised levee cost, said…

“It’s a dangerous place to live, but we can live here with the right protection,” Dokka said. “It’s important that people understand that. This isn’t going away.”

But if there is no pressure it will go away. Bush will take a pass on funding proper levee construction. He will take the money that could save NOLA to buy another month of more insanity in Iraq. And all in our names. Please don’t let this happen.

If you have a blog please write about this. If you read a blog please comment on this. Here are 2 links you can use…..

Levee Repair Costs Triple: New Orleans May Lack Full Protection

LA Wants More Levee Money and Quick

I know the blogoshpere cares about NOLA. Now is the time to show it. Let’s MAKE this an issue. Don’t let Bush pull the plug without so much as a hint of protest.

UPDATE: I knew the blogosphere cared. Welcome to readers of Rising Hegemen, and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and Liberal Oasis. and Pam’s House Blend and Body and Soul and Blogsheroes and no fish, no nuts and after school snack and Citizens Against Lies and Shakespeares’s Sister and <a href="AlterNet and Echidne of the Snakes.( recent Koufax Award winner-Congrats BTW) I hear there will be a few more. If you have posted on this let us know.

Some folks are working on some things now to bring further attention to NOLA’s fight for safe levees. If you have ideas or want to be involved do email me…

UPDATE: OK here is the Action Item….Send your Mardi Gras Beads to Bush

beads bush image