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1 Obama earns early praise on Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:20 pm

gypsy


Moderator
during his campaign for president, Barack Obama speaks with activist Mama Dee outside a church in New Orleans, La., on August 26, 2007.


New Orleans Economy, Population And Culture Continues Revitalization

Four years after Katrina
Reminders of the hurricane linger, but life goes on in Louisiana.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32585146/ns/politics-white_house/


updated 12:14 p.m. PT, Thurs., Aug 27, 2009

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama pledged to right the wrongs he said bogged down efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Seven months into the job, he's earning high praise from some unlikely places.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., says Obama's team has brought a more practical and flexible approach. Many local officials offer similar reviews. Even Doug O'Dell, former President George W. Bush's recovery coordinator, says the Obama administration's "new vision" appears to be turning things around.

Not too long ago, Jindal said in a telephone interview, Louisiana governors didn't have "very many positive things" to say about the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


But Jindal said he had a lot of respect for the current FEMA chief, Craig Fugate, and his team. "There is a sense of momentum and a desire to get things done," the governor said.

Added O'Dell: "I think the results are self-evident."

The retired Marine general served what he calls a frustrating stint as Bush's recovery coordinator last year. "What people have said to me is that for whatever reason, problems that were insurmountable under previous leadership are getting resolved quickly," O'Dell said.

"And I really hate to say that because (the top FEMA leaders) in my time there were good, hardworking, earnest men, but they were also the victims of their own bureaucracy."

It's not that Obama has miraculously mended the Gulf Coast since Katrina struck on Aug. 29, 2005. The storm killed more than 1,600 people in Louisiana and Mississippi and caused more than $40 billion in property damage. Hurricane Rita followed nearly a month later, with billions of dollars in additional damage and at least 11 more deaths.

On the fourth anniversary of Katrina, many communities remain broken, littered with boarded-up houses and overgrown vacant lots. Hundreds of projects — including critical needs such as sewer lines, fire stations and a hospital — are entangled in the bureaucracy or federal-local disputes over who should pick up the tab.

Like Bush, Obama has critics who say he's not moving aggressively enough.

Chris Kromm, director of the Institute for Southern Studies, an advocacy group, said the coast is "still waiting for Washington to show leadership."

In many areas, such as long-term coastal rehabilitation and rebuilding levees, it's too early to determine whether Obama will live up to the many promises he made.

But on several fronts, there is evidence of progress.

Victor Ukpolo, chancellor of Southern University at New Orleans, said the administration has been able to "move mountains" for his school, virtually wiped out by Katrina and the breached levees.



Lessons from Katrina
Aug. 20: PDT: Msnbc’s Carlos Watson is joined by Alan Jenkins, Director of the Opportunity Agenda, and Maya Wiley, the Director of the Center for Social Inclusion, who debate whether victims of Hurricane Katrina are better off under the Obama administration.

msnbc tv
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has visited the campus twice and awarded $32 million to replace four buildings.

"It's really awesome," Ukpolo said. "There's been so much progress."

Tommy Longo, mayor of Waveland, Miss., said it got so bad toward the end of Bush's tenure that "you almost couldn't get them to return a phone call, and you certainly weren't going to get them to make any big decisions."

"It has been refreshing to be back working with people who are hungry and want to make a difference," said Longo, a Democrat. "Who knows, a few years from now, at the end of Obama's term it may be back to the same ol', same ol', but it is refreshing now."

Obama backed up his pledge to name an experienced FEMA administrator by appointing Fugate, a career emergency management professional from Florida. By contrast, Bush's director was Michael Brown, a lawyer who worked at the International Arabian Horse Association. He resigned after Katrina.

In half a year, Obama's team says it has cleared at least 75 projects that were in dispute, including libraries, schools and university buildings. The administration has relied on a new, independent arbitration panel, and assigned senior advisers to focus on the rebuilding.

The administration recently reversed a FEMA rule that barred communities from building fire stations and other critical projects in vulnerable areas. Local officials said the rule could have effectively killed off some places.

The Bush administration's flat-footed response to Katrina left a lasting stain on Bush's legacy, and the sluggish pace of the long-term recovery has drawn continued criticism.

Local officials and civic leaders long have complained about the changing cast of FEMA representatives who review project worksheets and demand repeated inspections or additional paperwork. In some cases, agency workers have subtracted costs that local officials thought were settled.

Along with battling red tape, community officials say FEMA often stubbornly refused to pay for work that should have qualified for federal aid.


Under Bush, FEMA frequently argued that local governments viewed the storms as a chance to get rundown buildings replaced with federal dollars. Delays also were blamed on disarray at the local and state levels, with some projects stalled until local officials could decide their own priorities or provide documentation to make their case.

Critics countered that some Bush officials seemed more concerned with preventing fraud than getting people back on their feet.

Jindal and Paul Rainwater, the governor's recovery coordinator who once stormed out of a meeting with Bush officials in frustration, said plenty of headaches remain. Overall, Jindal gives the Obama administration an "incomplete" because there is so much still to do. A glaring example is the shuttered, 20-story Charity Hospital, which served New Orleans' poor and uninsured. The state claims it is owed nearly $500 million to replace it.

Despite high-level pleas, FEMA has denied the claim under both administrations, saying Charity wasn't properly guarded against further decay after the storm. The agency has offered $150 million, the most it says it can do. The Obama administration rejected a request to replace the hospital using economic stimulus money.

Jindal and Rainwater said the previous administration often wouldn't recognize new information or acknowledge there were real disputes. Sometimes, Rainwater said, Bush officials seemed blind to the devastation around them and said they had to be good stewards of public money.

"They never recognized the enormity of what we're working through," Rainwater said. "We're not just trying to rebuild buildings here but entire communities."

"That's the difference" under Obama, Rainwater said. "It's the recognition. ... We're all able to sit down around the table."
More from msnbc.com

2 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:54 am

SSC


Admin
If you want to read the truth on the fraud associated with Katrina google FEMA contracts for Katrina...Brown was an idiot, but no one forsaw the levies breaking, that happened during the night after the storm had moved northeast. The ball was dropped on every level and still is 4 years later and places look as they did the day after the storm. Obama has a long road to prove to anyone he is helping Louisiana and Mississippi.

3 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:33 am

gypsy


Moderator
Its a start, one has to start somewhere, those four years bush didn't~

4 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:45 pm

SSC


Admin
Just how do you know Gypsy, do you live in Louisiana..NO...I do right in the middle of the mess. Your article is political bullshit.

5 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:52 pm

gypsy


Moderator
lalalalala umm as I said the article/an the people stating it says it is a start~ so do my family,of course there is lots of work to do..the article also states in four years before obama became president, nothing was done..just reading the news, and going on peoples testaments~~

6 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:19 pm

SSC


Admin
Your family in the location they are had minimal damage anyway, mostly roof and tree damage, I have been there I know.
Bush authorized thousands of homes , thousands more of MRE's and water, bathing stations ,blue roof crews , money to reopen schools and businesses, rebuild levies, new pumping stations , new roads ,new bridges , open libraries, hospitals, recruit nurses and Dr.s...We have a long way to go but Obama can't take the credit.. Charity Hosp. should be torn down it is ancient, and make way for the new teaching corridor. Millions in subdized rent for the homeless, many projects are still underway today removal of 20,000 sunken boats , demo on 30,000 houses in and around the N.O. area. New sewage , new water lines, replanting thousands of forests lost in the storm.
Sorry Gyp but the media is trying to make Obama look successful in something and it isn't his effort in New Orleans.

7 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:37 pm

gypsy


Moderator
well ssc as I said I am going on the news I read ,hear, an testaments,even the Governor of LA saying Obama is working with the people,I am just going on the real facts of more being done in the last seven months than in the four years of bush~now if you can substantiate your opinion go fo it,I would be willing to see an debate it~many articles/news stories to credit this article, I posted.I will not get into an argument with you though,I am just stating/copying news..

8 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:47 pm

SSC


Admin
Gypsy I am not arguing I am stating fact, I live here I know I work in the recovery business..I see this every day and have for the last 4 years.

9 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:55 pm

gypsy


Moderator
well good then why would there be dissatisfaction with the people even the leaders of LA?
this article is not the only one out there. the Bush administration bungled more than it helped~ put those articles of what you state, it should be some kind of paper trail,of those accomplishments of Bushes

10 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:29 pm

SSC


Admin
41 Billion in federal funds is the figure during his administration

11 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:32 pm

gypsy


Moderator
evidently it was not appropriated for the right use, can you back this figure up, your the one disputing the article I put.. I would think you could show this statement you made? when i make such a statement, i am asked to back it up~

12 Katrina Numbers on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:07 pm

SSC


Admin
Hurricane Katrina Facts and Hurricane Katrina Information
Katrina by the Numbers
http://www.throughtheeyeofthestorm.com/KatrinaFacts.htm
Number of housing units damaged, destroyed, or inaccessible because of Katrina: 850,791

Number of churches, synagogues, and mosques damaged or destroyed: approximately 900

Number of homes destroyed by breaches in federally designed and funded levees and not covered under the federal housing recovery plan: 200,000


Amount committed to Katrina relief by the federal government: $85 billion

Spent by FEMA specifically on housing assistance for hurricane victims: less than $4 billion

Spent by FEMA on operating expenses, including salaries and expense accounts: $6 billion

Spent on administrative overhead for every dollar FEMA spends: 26 cents


Number of FEMA trailers occupied in Mississippi: 94,000

FEMA trailers still needed in Mississippi: 9,000

FEMA trailers requested in the New Orleans metro area: 69,706

FEMA trailers occupied in the New Orleans metro area: 31,517

Unoccupied modular homes purchased by FEMA and sinking into mud in Hope, Arkansas: 10,777

FEMA trailers held in staging areas and unoccupied: 20,000

Repair and maintenance requests for FEMA trailers in Mississippi: 34,000

Average cost of a single FEMA trailer per month: $3,200


Cost to taxpayers for debris removal per cubic yard: $32

Payment to subcontractors for debris removal per cubic yard: $6-10


Number of “evacuees” given FEMA emergency assistance with invalid Social Security numbers or false addresses and names: 900,000


Percentage of FEMA contracts that were “no bid” in
September 2005: 80
In October 2005: 60
In November 2005: 68
In the first half of December 2005: 50

Percentage of FEMA contracts by mid-November 2005 that went to firms in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi: 12


Number of new migrant workers to the Gulf Coast region since Katrina: 30,000

Percentage of New Orleans’ pre-Katrina residents who have returned to the city: approximately 40


Percentage of homeowner settlements with insurance companies by January 2005 after the four Florida hurricanes: 90

Percentage of homeowner settlements by February 2006 after Katrina: 70

Average homeowner claim for flood damage before Katrina: $22,084,
After Katrina: $93,118

Number of insurance companies instructed by FEMA to cease National Flood Insurance payouts due to insolvency of the federally managed National Flood Insurance Program: 96

Amount allocated from Katrina funding to date to pay National Flood Insurance Program claims: $18.5 billion

Number of insurance companies sued for refusal to pay damages: 50

Number of counts in Senator Trent Lott’s lawsuit against State Farm Insurance: 7

Insurance industry’s contributions to Democratic campaigns and PACs for the 2004 and 2006 election cycles combined: $15,101,286

Insurance industry’s contributions to Republican campaigns and PACs for the 2004 and 2006 election cycles combined: $31,282,859


Percentage of homeowners still awaiting Small Business Association disaster loan approval: 50

Percentage of homeowner SBA disaster loans that have been fully paid after approval: 6.9


Amount collected by The American Red Cross’ hurricane relief fund: $2.1 billion

Annual salary of former Red Cross CEO Marsh Evans: $651,957

Amount paid to consultants in the past three years to boost the American Red Cross’s profile: $500,000


Gallons of crude oil contaminating 2,500 Louisiana homes: 1,000,000

Number of medical professionals who volunteered with the Department of Health and Human Services after Katrina: 30,000
Number called to serve: approximately 1,400


Number of Katrina victims still missing: 1,960

Number of missing victims 20 years old or younger: 245


Gypsy you know this is a very sensitive subject to me and I feel you are trying to provoke a fight so I will not respond to your tactics.

13 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:16 pm

gypsy


Moderator
something failed

the trailers had what was it? formaldehyde an sit on the lots for months!! they are still hauling them away.
during the Bush administration, they couldn't even distribute ice..
so many debunks/not all can be named/ Bush Failed/once again in helping the people/

he should have taken lessons from Teddy!
not provoking a fight, look it up statistics are there~

14 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:40 pm

SSC


Admin
Lesson from Teddy ...hahaha..alcohol,womanizing , killing an innocent person then running away, wow..great influence, the only thing Teddy had was money and the Kennedy name. Sorry he was no saint.

Katrina campers were found to have formaldahyde levels exceding EPA levels, but..they are selling them like hotcakes down here..AS IS..a resident can buy one for $5.00...or go on line and the price starts at $15.00 and goes up. There are thousands of them within a 40 mile radius of me . There is a large compound of them close to your people I-12 west bound on the left side... Surprised they never mentioned it to you...
Also the 16x80 trailers had formaldyhyde, they carried the same warning as every trailer on the market sold thru a trailer outlet, formaldyhyde is in the glue used on counters and carpet.

15 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:03 pm

gypsy


Moderator
SSC wrote:Lesson from Teddy ...hahaha..alcohol,womanizing , killing an innocent person then running away, wow..great influence, the only thing Teddy had was money and the Kennedy name. Sorry he was no saint.

Katrina campers were found to have formaldahyde levels exceding EPA levels, but..they are selling them like hotcakes down here..AS IS..a resident can buy one for $5.00...or go on line and the price starts at $15.00 and goes up. There are thousands of them within a 40 mile radius of me . There is a large compound of them close to your people I-12 west bound on the left side... Surprised they never mentioned it to you...
Also the 16x80 trailers had formaldyhyde, they carried the same warning as every trailer on the market sold thru a trailer outlet, formaldyhyde is in the glue used on counters and carpet.
\Teddy //saint? No. but for the people yes, Ted Kennedy/yes?/Georgie no///also never said he was a saint(Teddy) no surprise here, I don't know of I /12
Teddy the greatest senator,name me a republican that was?? your comments prove nothing

selling them like hot cakes? can you prove that? so another Bush failure

16 Re: Obama earns early praise on Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:20 pm

gypsy


Moderator
SSC
A question?
Do you think as a citizen of Louisiana/Bush did his best?

17 Re: Obama earns early praise on Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:56 pm

SSC


Admin
No Gypsy I do not but he is only as good as the information given to him. As Katrina neared La. Nagin hauled ass to Houston, Blanco was taking a nap and was not to be disturbed.. As Katrina passed the levies became underminded, not just at the widening of canals but in various places in the structure. Water poured into the lower 9th ward which in turn flooded all of N.O. east , Chalmette and other areas, as the water filled canals they in turn over flowed.
The National Guard was in N.O. but no one forsaw the flooding, there had been a mandatory evacutation called, but as die hard New Orleanians they opted to stay, leaving the dome as shelter of last resort. When the worst happened there were no supplies in place and communication was nearly at a stand still. The flooding occured during the night , so news crews woke to water everywhere. The relief was very slow but Brown was calling the shots and feeding Bush the info as he saw fit. In all truth the Cherokee Nation arrived in my town before FEMA, they brought water and food, we knew many of them from a job in Idabel Oklahoma, they came to repay us for cleaning up an ice storm. Next was the Rockie Mounted Police complete with horse trailors.Around Sept 5-6 FEMA finally showed up with food blankets and water and ice. This according to Brown was suppost to have already been in place pre-Katrina. Later we learned he had not given the order to ship it in.
I feel most of the failure was on Browns back thus his resignation. Bush had appointed him so some blame must go there also.Nagin and Blanco should have been strung up from a tree..Blanco covered her ass with a host of lies. As you know she didn't run again. Nagin has taken most of the heat , I will say he told people to leave , but in N.O about 100,000 have no transportation, the RTA buses should have been used, Amtrack and Grey Hound plus school buses. These all ended up flooded and empty.
Katrina hit at Cat 3 the levies should have held but for years and years maintence was not properly done long before Bush. Every administration knew the system was faulty a quick patch was used and backs were turned. The Corp Of Engineers was in charge of the levy system,and they were exempt from law suits.
Now this is only N.O. the gulf coast has no flood walls they were hit by 32 foot tidal surge nothing can with stand that amount of water. I saw 9 bodies taken off the top of K-Mart in Waveland and countless others in the back of trucks , this was the day following Katrina. In the Bay there was a floating debris pile 2 miles wide and 3 miles long, full of animals, people and lumber and boats.
I will say when Bush got the right info things began to move here, but millions of dollars were wasted in fraud. Still today they are arresting people for scams ect. You must remember this was the worst natural disaster in history at that time. No one saw this coming.

18 Re: Obama earns early praise on Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:42 pm

gypsy


Moderator
yes it was the worse disaster.
I couldn't figure out why you were so negative about my article, it is a start an the people acknowledged him for being an easy person to talk to an start getting things done,
I hope an pray things will continue to improve,an that he does a good job.I know you don't like him , I think he is a good man.and a good president. thank you for that informative polite answer.

19 Re: Obama earns early praise on Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:34 pm

SSC


Admin
Gypsy I hope Obama does do more for Louisiana, not only with Katrina but Rita and Gustav. I know he is beginning to show some interest, but 7 months into a term he needs to hit the ground running. Many funds are held up, I see your article says he is cutting red tape. That is great but with loosened collars the fraud will continue. And once again billions will be spent in the wrong direction. Jindal is't sure which side of the fence he wants to be on. He is not very popular here. He ran as a family man , even down to delivering his baby enroute to the hospital, this all makes for great publicity, but beneath it all he has hopes for a Pres. run in years to come. He is the type of Governor who jumps at every chance to get infront of a camera.
The talk of aiding LSU on rebuilding . They are a private university, a loan maybe but not government gimme money.
Southern is one of two predomantly black schools the other is Grambling. Now you know what the media is doing with this. It will be many years before N.O and Louisiana are mended if ever, and that is if we don't catch another storm, this time of year we all hold our breath.
I would love to see Obama go after the home insurance people Alstate and State Farm should be run out the state. I was told by a friend in Fla. State Farm just canceled many policys there. The Fed Insurance for flood is so high priced the everyday person can't afford it, now they are in trouble over slow payments a huge class action suit has been filed against them. The Gov. is trying to step in and limit the amount of awards after 4 years. There is no quick fix to this the system is broken FEMA needs to totally regroup, with Calif fires and a hurricane hitting Baja today, there goes billions again. How in the world will all of this be paid for ?

20 Re: Obama earns early praise on Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:44 pm

gypsy


Moderator
I also pray nothing else hits y'all. I don't know how all of it gets paid for, there is so much corruption in everything now days, the insurance companies/health/auto/house/disaster, and personal are nothing but mafias
the horrific ice storm we had here, the insurance pay was slow coming, to repair things.

I do think Obama will do all he can to build America but it has sunk so far, it will take a long time to get back to the nation we use to be.that saddens me..

21 Re: Obama earns early praise on Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:17 pm

runawayhorses


Owner
gypsy wrote: it will take a long time to get back to the nation we use to be.that saddens me..
I don't think anyone wants to go back,.. but rather, forward...

22 Re: Obama earns early praise on Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:27 pm

SSC


Admin
I don't know about Mafia and insurance but I do know when we worked Hurricane Isabel in Suffolk Va. we had the chance to go farther north, we were approched with demands to hire locals and pay a very high wage( 57.00 an hr. for a truck driver most drivers of equipment make 300.00 a day and work 12 hrs. 7 days a week) these people were obvious Mafia . In Homestead after Andrew we had to hire Cuban mafia as guards on our equipment compound , we stayed in campers behind an electric fence but still weren't safe without the Cubans on the payroll.
Obama has his plate full a country full of corruption from the common level to the elected level. I wouldn't want to be any President trying to clean up, that alone would take years. Then the rebuilding .

23 Re: Obama earns early praise on Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:29 pm

SSC


Admin
runawayhorses wrote:
gypsy wrote: it will take a long time to get back to the nation we use to be.that saddens me..
I don't think anyone wants to go back,.. but rather, forward...

Tyler you are right there is no way to go back in time , those days are gone forever, we can only forge forward and hope it will be for the best.

24 Re: Obama earns early praise on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:06 am

gypsy


Moderator
I don't mean go back,I meant cleaning up our country to once again be proud of it~ I didn't mean go back in time~ literally
people once again caring for each other.
cleaning up the corruption.

25 Re: Obama earns early praise on Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:13 pm

rosco 357


Veteran
gypsy wrote:the trailers had what was it? formaldehyde an sit on the lots for months!! they are still hauling them away.

all mobile homes i think have levels of formaldehyde. when my kids had allergies at the lake we wondered if formaldehyde would be something they were alergic to, that was the double wide, the formaldehyde is in the paneling and such . but it fades out as the new mobile home airs out,



Last edited by rosco 357 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

26 Re: Obama earns early praise Today at 1:57 am

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