Run, Steve, Run
Rep. Steve King (of Iowa) just finished a splendid speech, broadcast on C-Span. He's been my favorite Congresscritter for a long time. It's too bad he doesn't seem to have the 'fire in the belly' for seeking the Presidency. He'd be the nearest thing to a new FDR, if he had the desire.....
[Edit: by new FDR, I don't mean a socialist; I'm thinking more of FDR's facility for communicating, explaining, and experimenting, with focus on results.]
The speech started with a blue-pencil analysis of the emergency request that was passed quickly by Congress. King voted against that request, because the numbers didn't make sense.
Example: 5 billion to buy 300K house trailers for relocated families; only about 10k of those trailers are actually available. The rest would be back-ordered, most likely finished a year from now. Well, where will all those people be a year from now? They will either be back home or scattered widely, so the huge trailer communities would sit empty.
He then told a long story about his trip to New Orleans, with emphasis on river engineering. What came through clearly, though he didn't explicitly say it, was that the important work down there is being done by the military and by private and church organizations. He never mentioned a FEMA operation.
At the end he recommended that Congress should consider these three points toward rebuilding New Orleans:
1. Gates at the inlet of Lake Pontchartrain.
2. Raise the pump stations and storm-proof them.
3. Floodgates at inlets of the canals.
Semi-quote from the end of speech:
New Orleans is a shipping city, with a pivotal location. With or without federal help, it will be rebuilt. Then, if 25% of the refugees decide to make their future where they are relocated, we shouldn't insist on rebuilding the residential parts of the city in the shortest time possible, just repeating the mistakes from before. That would be throwing good money after bad. The low ground should be put to some other use, possibly a park.