The Ninth Ward of New Orleans, as shot by Scout Prime.
Christy at FireDogLake has written a post about this year’s hurricane season, which officially started on June 1st.
New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf is still a disaster area: watch the video linked to above. Disaster preparedness is far from where it should be. The levee improvements are inadequate. Reconstruction is mired in bureaucracy and stalled in incompetence. The money promised has not materialized. Only one-third of New Orleans residents have returned.
Christy links to a report put together by Nancy Pelosi, detailing the incompetence and cronyism of the Republicans, both in the immediate response and in the long-term followup.
- Up to $1 billion dollars in waste and fraud for housing contractors and payments made by the government, mainly to contractors from outside the Gulf Region.
- The SBA has rejected more than 60% of small business loan applications in the wake of Katrina. Of those that have been approved, only 4% of funds have been disbursed to small business owners at this point. (Oh yeah, I got yer business friendly environment here. What was that Republican talking point that small business is the backbone of American jobs and communities?)
- Less than 2% of all Federal aid that has gone to the Gulf Coast has been used for education expenditures.
- The Rubber Stamp Republican Congress still refuses to ease Medicare restrictions for children in the Gulf Coast region, despite the fact that there is a substantial health care crisis for children in the region, stemming from infections and other issues arising from prolonged exposure to pathogens from flood waters, stress, and other factors. (1/3 of all children living in FEMA trailer parks have been found to have a chronic illness.)
- 40,000 families are still waiting for some sort of housing assistance, meanwhile there are 10,000 FEMA trailers still parked in the mud, just sitting there unused.
- Contractors with a political connection to the Bush Administration were paid up to 15 times the actual cost of jobs contracted.