creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin
28 Jan 2015
Choose To Refuse: Say "No" to PARCC/SBAC Testing

__This is National School Choice Week, but I want to talk about parents' school testing choice. Moms and dads,… Read More.

23 Jan 2015
Obama's Bloody Yemen Disaster

When President Obama declares something a "success story," you know it has "TOTAL FAILURE" embedded in its DNA. … Read More.

21 Jan 2015
The "NAACP Bombing" ... or The Barbershop Bang?

COLORADO SPRINGS — From the liberal media's coverage of my beautiful adopted hometown, you'd think we … Read More.

The Bipartisan Katrina Boondoggle

Comment

Government sucks. It sucks billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain in the name of preventing disasters. It sucks billions more cleaning those disasters up when prevention fails. It sucks millions on top of the billions for investigations and recriminations. And then the cycle begins anew.

The Bush administration, like every administration since Jimmy Carter created the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1979, has failed mightily to break the natural disaster-federal disaster cycle. Next to the systemic breakdown on border security and immigration enforcement, the Hurricane Katrina boondoggle stands as the Republicans' most disgraceful domestic failure. After years of hawking five-pound fiscal conservative blueprints for downsizing government bureaucracy and reforming federal spending, the GOP blew a monumental opportunity to show liberals how to end disaster socialism.

Federal investigators now estimate the total for Hurricane Katrina waste could exceed $2 billion next year. Some $1 billion in aid has already been squandered on everything from unused trailers to empty cruise ship cabins, junkets, and disaster aid debit cards that covered strip club and champagne expenses. Investigators reportedly will release the first of several audits examining more than $12 billion in Katrina contracts next month.

Adding to this already nauseating debacle: grandstanding Democrats. According to the Associated Press, when the Dems take over in January, "at least seven committees plan hearings or other oversight — from housing to disaster loans — on how the $88 billion approved for Katrina relief is being spent." Among those chairing oversight panels: Sen. Robert "They call me 'The Pork King,' they don't know how much I enjoy it" Byrd, D-W.Va. When they hold their windy hearings and press conferences decrying wastefraudandabuse, they'll bray about countless hurricane contractors with GOP ties. They'll turn over the microphone to corporate shakedown hypocrites such as Jesse Jackson to moan about favoritism in government contracting. And they'll assail the Republican culture of corruption while looking the other way at Katrina's Democrat profiteers.

You will hear a lot about the Shaw Group, for example, which snapped up major disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Mainstream media outlets and Democrat mau-mauers have zeroed in on Shaw's "ties to the Bush White House" and the multibillion-dollar conglomerate's status as a "major corporate client of Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency."

What Nancy Pelosi and company will not mention, though, is that the Shaw Group was founded by major Louisiana Democrat player Jim Bernhard — a former chairman of the Louisiana Democrat Party who worked tirelessly for Democrat Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco's runoff campaign and served as co-chair of her transition team. Bernhard was palsy-walsy with Blanco, whom he has lent/offered the Shaw Group's corporate jets to on numerous occasions. Another Shaw executive was Blanco's campaign manager.

Democrats also plan to make hay of no-bid trailer contract awards that have benefited Republican-leaning businesses, including a joint venture involving Del-Jen Inc., a subsidiary of Fluor, which has reportedly donated more than $930,000 to mostly GOP candidates since 2000.

But what will the anti-cronyism Democrats say about Bourget's of the South — which, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, "has become the biggest Louisiana supplier of trailers to FEMA by far, collecting nearly $120 million from no-bid federal contracts?" The company had no license to sell trailers nor any experience in the industry when it secured a $6.4 million deal after Katrina hit.

It did, however, have connections. The men who own Bourget's — brothers Glen and Gary Smith — are sons of Henry Smith, the treasurer of the executive committee of the Louisiana Democratic Party. The Times-Picayune notes further: "Gary's son and Glen's nephew, Gary Smith Jr., is the Democratic state representative from Norco who sits on the House Special Committee on Disaster Planning, Crisis Management, Recovery and Long-Term Revitalization." Heckuva job, Smithies!

Katrina cronyism comes in equally vibrant shades of red and blue. Such are the rotten fruits of bipartisanship in Washington.

Michelle Malkin is author of "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild." Her e-mail address is writemalkin@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Michelle Malkin
Jan. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
Jamie Stiehm
Jamie StiehmUpdated 30 Jan 2015
David Limbaugh
David LimbaughUpdated 30 Jan 2015
David Harsanyi
David HarsanyiUpdated 30 Jan 2015

28 Aug 2009 Gadhafi's Camping Trip Is a Bloody Outrage

20 Feb 2009 Rebel Yell: Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania

30 Apr 2014 Big Government GOP's Common Core Rebrand Hustle