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Matthew C. Aycock

You make some good statements, but miss a lot of the big picture.

1. It is an undisputed fact that Karl Rove is a genius when it comes to shaping the popular attitude towards a certain agenda. Additionally, he is a master at fund raising and applying funds to achieve the results he is hired to accomplish. Do you have to like him? No. But you must recognize that he is damn good at his job, whatever it has been. Why must he need disaster response experience? What difference will that make really?

2. The reasons for making the allowances to employers in this crisis is so that they won't have difficulties finding enough contractors to do the work. Convincing businesses to move into the area also requires a certain level of relaxation on employment guidelines, as there is virtually no way to turn a profit there for a while.

3. Offshore drilling really isn't worth commenting on. The reason it makes sense now is because we already need to rebuild a lot of that area. If we want to put people in the area with money to generate capital for small businesses so that more jobs can be created...and so on, then we can rely on what has worked in the past - oil.

4. I hope that legislation is passed that removes any cause of action against the Federal, State, and Local Governments for any failure to respond to the Katrina issue SPECIFICALLY. There is no need in having numerous lawsuits against our government crop up and make this more expensive than it needs to be. Besides, do we really want 30-40% of the money that SHOULD go to Katrina victims to just go to an Attorney? If there is a problem with the amount of money that the government spends on this, then it should be resolved by voters.

Mick

Mathhew:

1. BS. Rove is NOT a genius, If he was, Bush's poll numbers would be up in the wake of Katrina. They're not. His ridiculously staged performance Thurs night was a joke.

Karl Rove is nothing but a very bright sociopath with an absurdly powerful propaganda machine at his disposal and no conscience to get in his way. His forte is deceit and slime, and when they don't work he's an old, lame tiger without teeth.

Paperwight wrote in comments at a Fact-esque post on this very subject:

People often mistake amorality for genius.

I think he's got a point.

2. A convenient explanation but it overlooks a few things. Like the fact that it was first applied to construction contracts handed out by the Federal government where the profit is built in. Like the fact that with everything there is to be done, cutting labor costs to the level of the minimum wage would hardly be expected to be the first thing on his mind. Like the fact that he's protecting corporate profits at the expense of ordinary people, people who desperately need to work while they're trying to rebuild their homes and their city. How are they supposed to do that making $5/hr? Don't you think we should be putting their needs ahead of corporate profits? The re-building of NO is going to be a boondoggle of immense proportions. Corporations are already lined up at the trough to grab whatever they can get, and the guy in charge is a conscienceless political hack. Borrowed govt money is going to be flowing like wine and most of the federal bucks will go to administration-friendly mega-corps like Halliburton who will take full advantage and over-charge like they always do. The suspension is yet another outright gift to corporate contributors who have the least use for it and at the expense of those who need a living wage to survive. It's corporate favoritism of the worst kind and at the worst possible time, totally indefensible.

3. Sneaking in gifts to the oil industry that couldn't pass even in a Publican Congress isn't worth commenting on? Why do we need to spend $$hundreds of millions$$ on new refineries when the ones we have aren't running at capacity? Off-shore drilling was limited for environmental reasons. Is the environment now to be considered expendable so the oil companies can increase their already obscene profits? There was more to NO than oil. The re-build is going to create a lot more jobs than the oil industry in its wildest dreams. Besides which, it's time to put an end to the trickle-down fantasy that increased corporate profits create jobs. They don't, and the numbers over the last few years prove it.

4. Oh good grief. So you don't want anybody to be held accountable for this mess? Because if it's going to happen, it will have to happen in the courts. Bush isn't going to hold himself accountable and neither is his rubber-stamp Congress. He's already dismissed the idea of an independent commission, and the Congressional Pub leadership says they'll go along. So who's going to speak for the people of NO if not lawyers?

I'm sorry but this is all knee-jerk conservatism at its blindest. Katrina proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the government has important purposes beyond being a corporate servant and running the military. It proved that the Bush Administration is totally incompetent, filled with political hacks who don't know what the hell they're doing and don't care. And the whole country saw it played out on television. If you can't bring yourself to admit something that obvious, you're damaging your credibility past the point of repair.

Douglas Hill

The Republicans are doing something. The Democrats, as usual, are merely whining. George Bush can't even take a pee without the left wing press looking over his sholder.

I have read that John Kerry is profiting on the backs of the Katrina victims. He is good at such opportunism.

carla

I've read that George W. Bush is a lying simpleton whose scattered appearances have to do with being on an intermittent bender. Of course that doesn't make it true, but I did read it.

What is true however is the Republican lust for using tragedy for their political and ideological gain. It's slimy and disgusting...and frankly I'm hopeful that the electorate takes notice.

Matthew C. Aycock

Carla. Please demonstrate, using examples, of how the Republican Party has used Katrina for political gain. I can accept a lot of arguments as intelligent, but this flies completely in the face of reason.

You have FAR more Democrats trying to abuse this situation. Their abuse has led to numerous deaths and losses. Instead of agreeing that we need to fix the problem, then bitch, you and most Democrats jumped on the bash Bush bandwagon. He admitted fault, now you start making up crap like he intentionally blew up the levee.

eRobin

I've read that BushCo is a coke addict and a drunk who's fallen off the wagon and is constantly fighting with his wife. This is fun!

wanda

"what I'm getting is Congress using the devastation in the Gulf Coast as a real-world petri dish for trying out Republican ideologies."

Trying out republican ideologies? This is after all New Orleans we're talking about here, right? Boy are they in for a shock. You can take the water out of the city, but you will never take the sin and debauchery out of Nawlins. Those Bible thumpers are gonna either get the shock of their lives or converted. My money's on conversion.

wanda

PS:
"You have FAR more Democrats trying to abuse this situation. Their abuse has led to numerous deaths and losses."

I'd like to see some real hard proof of such. Come on show me the proof?

You are however right about one thing. Karl Rove is a genius. An amoral, souless, integrity-challenged, genius. The good news is, it looks like he may have focus his time and energy on keeping his pilsbury doughboy butt out of jail. Which will keep him from applying too much of that 'sick-genius' to the reconstruction of New Orleans. I guess this cloud does have a silver lining.

RightWingRocker

Bush suspended wage protections for reconstruction workers, meaning companies can pay low wages for any construction jobs funded by the federal government. He's considering suspending wage protections for the service industry too.

Good. These things will help get the work done more quickly at a fair cost, using real market factors rather than by artificially inflating the per-worker wage, which keeps people out of the workforce.

... FEMA failed so miserably to respond to the disaster Katrina wrought?

FEMA is an unconstitutional, illegitimate big-government agency doomed to fail at everything it attempts.

Bush is also waiving some affirmative action requirements for reconstruction contractors.

Affirmative action is a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and is, as such, unconstitutional as well. Waiving "some affirmative action requirements" will likewise have the effect of filling the necessary jobs in a more timely fashion.

The Republicans in Congress are reportedly planning to pass legislation to limit victim's rights to sue, introduce vouchers for schools, eliminate environmental protection laws, and give tax breaks to companies working in the reconstruction areas.

All very useful and productive ways to speed up the process of getting the work done and respecting the rights of those coming to do it.

I particularly like the sly way they've included expanded off-shore drilling and new refineries in the legislation - those are things that didn't survive the energy bill.

Both things that have a genuine effect on the price of gasoline, which is essential both to the relief efforts and to the overall economy of the United States. Again, good move. However, it shouldn't take government legislation to get oil companies to increase drilling and refining capacity. The government has no business getting involved in the first place.

What I want - desperately - is for Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities.

Congress has no authority under the Constitution to oversee anything of the sort. All of the government actions in the case of the relief effort are outside of the government's authority under the Constitution and are properly left to the States and the people, per the Tenth Amendment.

Why is it that you guys (Democrats and Republicans alike) can't accept the idea of someone besides the federal government trying to solve problems? It's as if you thought the fed were somehow more intelligent than you or I.

RWR

RightWingRocker

Wanda -

Don't drown anyone in your tears.

RWR

Tom

Funny how wage constraints are applied for workers being hired by companies doing business on behalf of government, but zero budgetary, regulatory, or administrative constraints are applied to sign no-bid contracts between government and the private contractors working on its behalf. Then we wonder where all the tax-payer dollars went for the minimal reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. Assuming that folks like RWR pay taxes, aren't they at least interested in how 'their money' is being spent? Or perhaps they subscribe to the notion that paying taxes is unconstitutional and that somehow absolves them of having to think about the accountability of their representatives? And on and on it goes...

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