Malkin is at it again. Groan. In a piece called “The Bipartisan Katrina Boondoggle” she points to Democratic ties to the Shaw group which obtained a huge no bid Katrina contract and concludes “Katrina cronyism comes in equally vibrant shades of red and blue.” However if one looks at the total picture, specifically all four no bid contracts (including Shaw’s) that are under review it would be far more difficult to argue a case for equal opportunity cronyism as Malkin’s does with her selectivity …
1) BECHTEL GROUP INC.
Contributions: More than $1.3 million since 2000, primarily to Republicans
Also: CEO Riley Bechtel served on Bush’s Export Council from 2003-2004
2) CH2M HILL COMPANIES LTD.
Contributions: Nearly $1 million since 1999, primarily to Republican National Committee and other Republicans
3) FLUOR CORP.
Contributions: More than $930,000 since 2000, primarily to Republicans
4) THE SHAW GROUP INC.
Contributions: Roughly $290,000 since 2000, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans
Also: Former FEMA director Joe Allbaugh, a longtime friend of President Bush, is Shaw’s registered lobbyist and business consultant
What is truly worse though in Malkin’s piece is her writing of “disaster socialism”…
Government sucks. It sucks billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain in the name of preventing disasters. It sucks billions more cleaning those disasters up when prevention fails. It sucks millions on top of the billions for investigations and recriminations. And then the cycle begins anew.
The Bush administration, like every administration since Jimmy Carter created the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1979, has failed mightily to break the natural disaster-federal disaster cycle. Next to the systemic breakdown on border security and immigration enforcement, the Hurricane Katrina boondoggle stands as the Republicans’ most disgraceful domestic failure. After years of hawking five-pound fiscal conservative blueprints for downsizing government bureaucracy and reforming federal spending, the GOP blew a monumental opportunity to show liberals how to end disaster socialism.
I don’t know who Malkin thinks ought to clean up the debris of cities wiped away from disasters. Does she truly believe local and state governments overwhelmed by such disasters could do so without federal aid? Or is just up to residents to rebuild homes and city infrastructure?
But more important Malkin displays her ignorance or perhaps willfull disregard of what actually occured in disaster management under George Bush. Michelle it was exactly the occurrance of a Republican push to downsize and outsource disaster management to which you refer that led to the Katrina “domestic failure.” Michelle please read this and you would know that George Bush’s FEMA was not like every other administration’s. In fact the Bush administration attempted to do just what Michelle calls for… decrease government involvement in disaster management…with disasterous results:
From its first months in office, the Bush administration made it clear that emergency programs, like much of the federal government, were in for a major reorientation.[…]The White House quickly launched a government-wide effort to privatize public services, including key elements of disaster management.
In addition, the White House has pushed for privatization of essential government services, including disaster management, and merged FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security — where, critics say, natural disaster programs are often sidelined by counter-terrorism programs. Along the way, morale at FEMA has plummeted, and many of the agency’s most experienced personnel have left for work in other government agencies or private corporations.
The Bush administration also made policy changes which canceled key core programs of FEMA’s disaster management namely mitigation programs. Those programs once had a return of every dollar invested saving two dollars in disaster recovery.
Bush’s FEMA is the poster child for the failed policy of privatizing government services but leave it to Malkin to have it ass backward wrong as usual.