What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bush’s FEMA Smells Kinda Fishy

by Ana Maria

Since moving into the White House in January 2001, the Bush Administration has been spending our tax dollars like drunken sailors on leave for a weekend in the French Quarter. Drunk with stupidity or the arrogance of power or both, Bush’s FEMA wants to be let off the hook when it comes to the costs for restocking the New Orleans Aquarium. Their refusal just didn’t pass the smell test, and now we find out just how fishy Bush’s FEMA is.

Bush’s White House is used to overpaying its high roller campaign contributors. Katrina’s aftermath provided another pond into which Bush, Cheney and their high-roller supporters could fish for the most inflatable opportunities. FEMA’s formaldehyde-filled trailers are one such example.

In south Mississippi at one point we had 40,000 people living in FEMA trailers, we're grateful for every one of them. But those trailers were delivered by a friend of the president by the name of Riley Bechtel, a major contributor to Bush administration. He got $16,000 to haul a trailer the last 70 miles from Purvis, Miss., down to the Gulf Coast, hook it up to a garden hose, hook it up to a sewer tap, and plug it in, $16,000.
Congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS)
House of Representatives debate, March 22, 2007
[Watch the video in which Taylor expertly filets Republican Congressman Tom Price on yet another pathetically uncompassionate proposal from that side of the aisle.]

OVERbilling is the kind of innovative and creative skills Bush and Cheney’s Administration reward. In the case of the New Orleans Aquarium, the Aquarium’s innovative and creative skills led them to go out to sea and catch the fish "the old fashioned way, hooks and nets." The cost? $90,000.

What keeps rolling around in my head is this line.
FEMA would have been willing to pay more than $600,000 for the fish if they had been bought from commercial suppliers.
What?! This is so nuts. Yes, I know that this is THE most corrupt and incompetent administrations in my lifetime. Thankfully, their corruption and incompetence hasn’t tarnished my internal compass of what I expect and desire—and am willing to work on behalf of—in public officials be they elected or appointed.

What gets me is that I know full well that the reason stupid decisions or foot-dragging at the lower levels of any government agency happens for one primary reason: management at the top tolerates, excepts, and/or promotes it. This administration is the poster child for this lesson in organizational behavior being set at the top and rolling down hill.

The New Orleans Aquarium is a major tourist attraction to this much beloved city. New Orleanians take great pride in it. Residents like my precious niece and her father—my brother—spend their precious free time volunteering for hours on end to help the city’s tourists enjoy this beautiful place.

Clearly, FEMA’s rationale for questioning these Aquarium costs is more than a bit fishy. Quite simply, FEMA’s foot dragging, nay-saying, red-tape creating, and obstacle course to reimbursing legitimate costs for the Aquarium as well as cities, states, and families smells to high heaven.

Requiring any of us to OVERSPEND tax dollars as if we are Bush’s best campaign buddies sucking at the government teat—to put it bluntly—stinks like dead fish.

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
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Tadpushy said...

If you think about it the New Orleans Aquarium is lucky "Bush's FEMA didn't let Cheney drop an "Bunker Buster" on the Aquarium, that would solve the demolition problem on the old Aquarium, then you could use the crater from the bomb as a "fish pond/aquarium", then Cheney could take his trusty 12 gauge and go out and shoot some flying fish to throw in it.
Problem solved, you get a pond/aquarium full of fish, the Bushies get to drop a bomb, Cheney gets to shoot something.
Everybody's happy!

Ana Maria said...

Cute and clever, TP!


- am