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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Monday, February 13, 2006


It's hard to imagine a better summarization of the Katrina reponse failures than this:

A congressional report to be released this week slams the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, calling it a "failure of leadership" that left people stranded when they were most in need. "Our investigation revealed that Katrina was a national failure, an abdication of the most solemn obligation to provide for the common welfare," the report says. "At every level -- individual, corporate, philanthropic and governmental -- we failed to meet the challenge that was Katrina. In this cautionary tale, all the little pigs built houses of straw."

Yup - I'd say that about sums things up - right up into today's failures. I can hardly wait til the report actually releases Wednesday.

And this just makes me sick:

The two audits, released at a Senate hearing, found that up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received aid under FEMA's emergency cash assistance program — which included the $2,000 debit cards given to evacuees — were based on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers, or false addresses and names.

Lovely, eh? And worst of all - FEMA and the Red Cross were actually doing the right thing there by cutting red tape and moving money into the hands of people who needed it. I'm thoroughly disgusted that people apparently took stole money so desperately needed - still - in the region.

Polimom says that's flat-out un-American. If we catch these people, can we put them on a slow boat someplace? Maybe with some leftover MRE's (about 3 days worth...)?


  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger Ray in New Orleans said;

    I don't believe that 900,000 people intended to defraud the government. That's ludicrous. I spent many many hours at the shelter trying to help people use that peice-of-shit FEMA web site, and if it's chock full of duplicate and invalid social security numbers, the fault lies with the completely fucked-up system design.

    That web site was an atrocity, and its database is likely a toxic waste dump from a data integrity standpoint.

    After everything those people had to go through to get into the system at all...hell, if I was an evacuee and FEMA's software fucked up and issued me TWO $2000 debit cards instead of one....when I'm close to homeless and need to feed my kids? I'm not gonna ask questions, I'm gonna use the second card.

    I'm going to take this audit as evidence of massive incompetence on the part of FEMA planners, not evidence of fraud on the part of almost a million evacuees. Because I know what I saw.

  • At 5:24 PM, Blogger Polimom said;

    Ray - I agree that it's hard to believe nearly a million folks did that. I further agree that in desperate circumstances, people do desperate things.

    OTOH, people were claiming to be hurricane victims all over the Gulf Coast area in the 2 or 3 months immediately following the storms, but then turned out to be vultures taking advantage of the situation.

    Perhaps they, too, were in desperate straights... but my sympathies were - and are - with the storm (and failed levee) victims, not opportunists.

    It makes me doubly mad when I consider the parsimony and apathy being demonstrated by the government, who continue to sanctimoniously hold up the "lot of money" that's been allocated already. Yes, there's been a lot of money... but to whom has it gone?

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