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Poll: Only 16% are angry about Gulf Coast reconstruction

According to a new poll, only 5% are pleased with the way the rebuilding is going. 26% are "satisfied, but not pleased". 43% are "dissatisfied, but not angry".
And, in the smartie category, 16% are angry.
Their opinion of Bush's handling of the crisis has fallen from 44% in September to just 32%.
Only 15% think Bush has a clear plan to find homes and jobs for the victims.
Much more in the PDF file.
UPDATE: Did CBS heavily skew the poll respondents towards Democrats and independents in order to get a desired result?

"Katrina Index: Tracking Variables of Post-Katrina Reconstruction"

The Brookings Institute has an ongoing series that sounds more impressive than it turns out to be. However, here it is.

"Women of the Storm" want more money for New Orleans

Sharply accessoried with bright blue umbrellas - the same color as the tarps that were installed by a partially-illegal workforce indirectly receiving federal money - 140 New Orleans women calling themselves the "Women of the Storm" visited Capitol Hill on Monday. They were inviting Congress members to visit their city and requesting more money for rebuilding.
They'd pick up the costs for the visit and:

Among those who made the trip on the group's chartered flight were Olivia Manning, the mother of football stars Peyton and Eli and wife of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning; Verna Landrieu, mother of Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu; and Carol Bebelle, head of the Ashé Cultural Arts Center...
The group said 55 representatives and 30 senators have visited New Orleans in the five months since Katrina...

Bring New Orleans Back releases rebuilding blueprint

Some details in "New Orleans Residents Show Anger at Forum". The "blueprints" are in the 34 Meg PowerPoint file available here. Basically, there would be a moratorium on building permits. And, residents would have to prove that their specific neighborhood could come back. If they couldn't do that, the neighborhood would be razed and the property owners would be given some percentage of their equity in the property. Listen to the NewsHour version in this RealAudio link.

Senate approves additional $29 billion bill for relief, rebuilding

WASHINGTON (AP) - Overwhelming Senate passage of a bill bearing $29 billion to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina has put the massive aid package a step away from being sent to President Bush for his signature.
Nearly four months after the maelstrom devastated New Orleans and much of the nearby Gulf Coast, the House was expected to vote Thursday on a final defense bill containing the storm assistance. The aid is mostly for reconstructing damaged buildings and aiding battered businesses and homeowners.
The Senate approved the measure 93-0 Wednesday night after the aid became entangled with - and then finally disengaged from - a fight over an unrelated effort to open oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge.
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., reminded lawmakers of victims living in tents and trailers after losing nearly all possessions in the Aug. 29 storm...

NYT: "Death of an American City"

According to an NYT editorial, we need to spend $32 billion or so - spread over several years - to improve the levees to Category 5 level. Why, that's just a third of the recent tax cuts! And, while president Bush is largely to blame, local officials must do their part as well:

We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.
We said this wouldn't happen. President Bush said it wouldn't happen. He stood in Jackson Square and said, "There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans." But it has been over three months since Hurricane Katrina struck and the city is in complete shambles.
There are many unanswered questions that will take years to work out, but one is make-or-break and needs to be dealt with immediately. It all boils down to the levee system. People will clear garbage, live in tents, work their fingers to the bone to reclaim homes and lives, but not if they don't believe they will be protected by more than patches to the same old system that failed during the deadly storm. Homeowners, businesses and insurance companies all need a commitment before they will stake their futures on the city.
At this moment the reconstruction is a rudderless ship. There is no effective leadership that we can identify. How many people could even name the president's liaison for the reconstruction effort, Donald Powell? Lawmakers need to understand that for New Orleans the words "pending in Congress" are a death warrant requiring no signature.
The rumbling from Washington that the proposed cost of better levees is too much has grown louder. Pretending we are going to do the necessary work eventually, while stalling until the next hurricane season is upon us, is dishonest and cowardly. Unless some clear, quick commitments are made, the displaced will have no choice but to sink roots in the alien communities where they landed...

Krugman on Bush: "The Promiser in Chief"

Leftie icon Paul Krugman offers this (also partially here):

[...comparison with Iraq rebuilding...]
...One FEMA program has, however, been revamped. The Recovery Channel is a satellite and Internet network that used to provide practical information to disaster victims. Now it features public relations segments telling viewers what a great job FEMA and the Bush administration are doing.
But back to reconstruction. By letting the gulf region languish, Mr. Bush is allowing a window of opportunity to close, just as he did in Iraq.
To see why, you need to understand a point emphasized by that report in The Los Angeles Times: the private sector can't rebuild the region on its own. The reason goes beyond the need for flood protection and basic infrastructure, which only the government can provide. Rebuilding is also blocked by a vicious circle of uncertainty. Business owners are reluctant to return to the gulf region because they aren't sure whether their customers and workers will return, too. And families are reluctant to return because they aren't sure whether businesses will be there to provide jobs and basic amenities.
A credible reconstruction plan could turn that vicious circle into a virtuous circle, in which everyone expects a regional recovery and, by acting on that expectation, helps that recovery come to pass. But as the months go by with no plan and no money, businesses and families will make permanent decisions to relocate elsewhere, and the loss of faith in a gulf region recovery will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Funny, isn't it? Back during the 2000 campaign Mr. Bush promised to avoid "nation building." And so he has. He failed to rebuild Iraq because he waited too long to get started. And now he's doing the same thing here at home.

"Relocating elsewhere" might indeed be part of the Bush "plan", or at least a happy side-effect of the Bush non-plan.
However, the Dems have no plan either, so, as usual, America is caught between two corrupt and incompetent parties.

"Bush's Attention Wanders From Katrina as Reconstruction Lags"

Brendan Murray of Bloomberg takes our leader to task for forgetting about his recent promises:

Just three months ago, President George W. Bush couldn't talk enough about the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast and the effort to rebuild it.
Bush traveled to the region eight times in the six weeks following Hurricane Katrina's Aug. 29 landfall. He spoke about the disaster almost every day in September and in all four radio addresses that month. On Sept. 15, during a nationally televised speech from New Orleans, the president promised that ``we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives.''
That now seems a distant memory. Bush hasn't been back to the region in almost two months, and he doesn't speak about it much anymore -- four times in November and twice so far this month, and then only fleetingly. In a 44-minute speech on the economy on Dec. 5, Bush mentioned hurricane damage in the context of urging Congress to pass energy legislation...

List of Katrina contracts

You can download several PDFs here listing various rebuilding contracts awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and dear old DoD. They also have tips on how to pay for all that reconstruction.

City park wants cleanup workers living in tent cities to pay rent

I think there's a bit more to this story than is given in City Park to squatters: Pay rent:

Officials say Katrina cleanup workers have to start paying for the space their tents and R-Vs are using in City Park, and those who don't pay by Friday will be treated as trespassers.
Pink fliers announcing the plan -- 300 dollar a month for tents and 350 dollars for campers, with portable toilets, lavatories and trash containers provided -- were handed out over the weekend.
Bob Becker, chief executive officer of City Park, says the facility will have to pay to repair at least four-point-three (m) million dollars of the 43 (m) million in damage done by Hurricane Katrina and it has no revenues.
Becker says the park has laid off more than nine-tenths of its staff.
With 23 workers remaining, Becker says it has too few workers to manage the rentals.
About one-thousand campsites are planned...

The park says it's planned 1000 campsites for workers, but it has to pay $4.3 million for repairs due to the hurricane, 9/10ths of their staff has been laid off, and there aren't enough workers to "manage the rentals". I guess they need the money to hire workers to collect the rent or something. And, I wonder how many of those living there are illegal aliens, and how many are working in unsafe conditions.


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