Posts Tagged Louisiana
The Storm, Again
Published: August 27, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac is more than just a logistical inconvenience for Republicans gathered in Tampa: it is a powerful reminder both of Republican incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, and the party’s no-less-disastrous plans to further cut emergency-related spending.
That is not something you will hear Paul Ryan talk about this week at the convention, nor any of the other lawmakers who make simplistic promises about the power of slashing government spending. But the budgets assembled by Mr. Ryan and warmly embraced by Mitt Romney severely cut spending for emergency preparedness, exactly the kind of money needed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and scores of other states for this and future storms.
Between 2010 and 2012, House Republicans forced a reduction of 43 percent in the primary grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that pay for disaster preparedness. That is $1.8 billion that will not be available for evacuation equipment and supplies, communications gear that lets first responders speak to one another, and training exercises. (House Republicans tried to cut $354 million more in this year’s homeland security spending bill, but Democrats restored the money in a conference with the Senate.)
That spending was enormously useful during last year’s tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. Although the effects of the cuts will not be felt yet as gulf states deal with this week’s storm, they will leave the region less prepared for future hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.
The New Orleans area, in particular, will rely this week on $14 billion in levee construction, pumps and other flood control structures built by the Army Corps of Engineers since Katrina. But the corps’s construction budget has been cut by 21 percent since 2009 because of Republican pressure, hitting flood prevention especially hard.
Even FEMA’s most important activity, its response to disasters, has been held hostage by the demands of Tea Party Republicans in the House — including Mr. Ryan — for smaller government. Last year, when it looked as if FEMA might exceed its budget after a spate of disasters, House Republicans demanded that any further spending be offset by cuts in other programs they disliked.
Squeezing one program to pay for another has become a familiar Tea Party technique, but it is particularly reprehensible when emergency response is at stake. Eventually, after Democrats refused to go along, Republicans backed off.
One of the themes of the Tampa convention will be the failure of government, and the prosperity that will result if it is cut to ribbons. But in a different corner of the television screen, the winds of Isaac are a reminder of the necessity of government — its labor, its expertise, its money — in the nation’s most dire moments. It is hard to forget what happened to New Orleans when that Republican philosophy was followed in 2005, and it will be harder still to explain how it might be allowed to happen again.
- Isaac nears New Orleans on Katrina date (metronews.ca)
- Hurricane Isaac: Storm makes landfall in Louisiana (wjla.com)
- Hurricane Isaac Slams Into Louisiana (weather.aol.com)
- Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Isaac’s wrath (cnsnews.com)
- Hurricane Isaac makes landfall (wave3.com)
- Isaac moving inland into Louisiana (omaha.com)
- Isaac spins into New Orleans on slow slog inland (conservativeread.com)
- Hurricane Isaac Causes Levee Breach, Floods Section Of Louisiana (thinkprogress.org)
- Storm surges up to 12 feet predicted (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Now a Hurricane, Isaac Churns Toward New Orleans (atlantablackstar.com)
GOP: OK, It’s Romney – Also, Paul Ryan says he’d be open to vice president slot if asked – newser.com
GOP: OK, It’s Romney
ALSO, PAUL RYAN SAYS HE’D BE OPEN TO VICE PRESIDENT SLOT IF ASKED
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2012
(NEWSER) – Republicans watched Rick Santorum’s convincing victory in Louisiana last night, eyed his burgeoning numbers in Wisconsin, and … took to the Sunday talk shows today to concede that Mitt Romney would win the nomination, and that they are OK with that. A look around your Sunday dial, as per Politico:
· Lindsey Graham: “I think the primary is over. Romney will be the nominee. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. But she’s warming up. I’m very comfortable with him. He’ll get to 1,144. The last thing I want is a brokered convention.”
· Haley Barbour: “I’m not one of those that think you should say to people you’ve got to get out. This will wind down. Unless Romney steps on a land mine, it looks like he will be the nominee.”
· Paul Ryan: “I don’t know if I’d say (Romney) has it wrapped up. He is clearly on his way. I think he is becoming the prohibitive front runner. I think the sooner we coalesce around a nominee, the better off we are going to be. The prize is November, not this summer.”
· And, while Ryan’s on the subject: If he was tapped to be vice president, “I would have to consider it, but it’s not something I’m even thinking about right now. Who knows about that. It’s not a bridge I’ve even come even close to crossing.”
· Not so fast, says Michele Bachmann: “This is the people’s race and it is the primary voters who are going to make their decision. I think the quicker that the Republicans can unify behind our candidate and make Barack Obama and his failed policies the focus of this election the better off we all will be, but the people need to decide.”
- David Plouffe Lambastes GOP ‘Clown Show’ (newser.com)
- Romney’s Staff Destroying His Chances (newser.com)
- Santorum: I’m a Real GOPer for Cursing Out NYT Journo (newser.com)
- Paul Ryan would consider VP slot (twitchy.com)
- Rep. Ryan leaves open door to VP bid, says he’d ‘have to consider it’ – Fox News (foxnews.com)
- Paul Ryan Would ‘Consider’ Romney-Ryan Ticket (crooksandliars.com)
- Santorum Calls Out NYT Reporter’s ‘BS’ (newser.com)
- Santorum: ‘Of course’ I’d consider being Romney’s running mate – Fox News (foxnews.com)
- GOP: OK, It’s Romney (newser.com)
- Romney’s Staff Destroying His Chances – John Cassidy: Nothing going for Mitt but money (tribuneofthepeople.com)