Saturday, May 12, 2007

Catching up.

I've been away from blogging for an eventful few weeks. So I missed several stories -- and I'm going to post them now, simply for the record. Most of these stories are somewhat stale, but they illustrate how the same sorry screwup agencies continue to keep New Orleans from recovery.

First there was the story about the defective pumps -- which were not able to prevent New Orleans from flooding last week. The pumps that W's brother Jeb sold us. It turns out that the specs for the big were taken from the company's catalog. Nice work. That's creative. Just let the company you want to help out write the specs for your bid request.

NEW ORLEANS – The Army Corps of Engineers, criticized for how it handled the bidding for post-Hurricane drainage pumps that proved to be defective, is defending its use of the winning bidder's own language – down to the typos – in laying out the specifications.
. . . . .
Portions of the specifications were taken verbatim from the catalog of MWI, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., company whose top officials have been major contributors to the Republican Party. MWI employed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President Bush's brother, to market its pumps during the 1980s.

The pumps proved to be defective, putting New Orleans at risk of a second flooding after Hurricane Katrina. Last year's mild hurricane season, however, spared the city from having to rely on the pumps.

But there wasn't much outrage about this nationally, since this kind of inside dealing, to-hell-with-people corruption is everyday news with this administration. And if you google "New Orleans pumps" you'll find hardly a peep out of our local congressional delegation about it all. The governor and Mary Landrieu "expressed outrage" that the pumps weren't working, but that's about the size of it. More details about MWI's sorry record is to be found at Politically OUtspoken

Not to be outdone by the Corps in reassuring the public is FEMA which announced an easy plan to get rid of dangerous formaldehyde fumes which build up in the trailers they have supplied:

NEW ORLEANS -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the risk from formaldehyde fumes in new government-issued travel trailers, which has cropped up as an issue since Hurricane Katrina, can be reduced by opening vents and windows.

While acknowledging the existence of formaldehyde concentrations in its trailers, FEMA dismissed findings by environmentalists that the trailers pose serious health risks.

Remember when the EPA secretary told New York police and firemen that it was safe to work around Ground Zero after 9/11? Such caring people.

More later.

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