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Democrats: Bunnies in Alaska More Important Than People of Louisiana

Well, the Democrats have shown their true colors.

Republicans wanted to pay for the rebuilding of New Orleans with moines from drilling in ANWR. But for the Democrats, the bunnies in Alaska were to win and the devastated people on New Orleans were to lose. And the bunnies were so important to the Democrats that they even filibustered disaster relief for Louisiana to protect them.

And make no mistake, that was the choice they made.

For the people of New Orleans, time is running out. Almost 4 months after the storm, about a million people are waiting on Congress just to even see what their homes will be worth next year. The better part of a half a million people (many poor blacks) are waiting to see if they can rebuild their tattered homes. This has real world impact.

By filibustering the bill, the Democrats put off Congressional action for months until after the recess. Meanwhile mortgage payments on damaged homes are due and the mold keeps growing.

People paying mortgage payments on a home they can't live in don't have another 4 months while Democrats play games. Period.

The Democrats whine that Republicans introduced the bill with ANWR on it. What freaking difference does that make? I don't care if little green men came down from Mars and introduced the bill in a format they didn't like.

The Democrats had a simple decision to make. And they decided that it was in the best interest of the country to protect bunnies and screw the people in Louisiana.

Are they not responsible enough to realize the real world impact of their actions?

The Dem spin doctors can try to spin it all they want... I can't help but wonder if it was an earthquake in the liberal bastion of California how they would vote. Or in Florida THE swing state.

I think I know the answer. After the blacks in LA burned down their own community Democrats put money to rebuild LA onto a defense bill so their complaints about the Republicans doing this are completely hypocritical.

Bottom line: The Democrats had to choose between bunnies in Alaska and the people of Louisiana.

They chose the bunnies.

Update: Both Senators from Louisiana threatened to call Congress back into session over the Christmas Holiday if they did not do something. It is a long story but there is this thing called unanimous consent that came into play. A single Senator can make all the others come back. (might post more on it later) So the Dems approved a reduced version minus the ANWR provision.


Or a hypothetical... (with a minor language warning)

If the Dems were given a hypothetical choice, bulldoze ANWR or keep Katrina from hitting which would they pick? From their voting record I can't tell you they'd stop Katrina.

Forget drilling for oil... I don't care if they clear cut the son of a bitch to ground and burn the stumps. (Use your brian) What is more important? A few thousands acres in Alaska or a city of a million human people?

It's a no brainer.

Which probably explains why the Dems got it wrong.


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Comments (40)

Instead of waiting for gove... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Instead of waiting for government action, why don't people in New Orleans take the intiative, renegotiate their mortgages, or sell their tattered, run-down properties on the private market?

Shouldn't they be looking to private-sector solutions rather than seeking a government handout?

I apologize if I'm striking a little too personally here, but it's something that's bugged me slightly about the rush to pour government aid into New Orleans.


--|PW|--

You can't burn it down Paul... (Below threshold)
Rusty Wilson:

You can't burn it down Paul. Nothing grows there.

Rusty

PW- You misunderstand why p... (Below threshold)
Paul:

PW- You misunderstand why people are waiting.... By and large people are not looking for assistance rebuilding their homes.

First, we need to know that the Feds are going to put the levees back to where they were supposed to be the the first time. Rebuilding help at this point would be a bonus.

Why would I rebuild a $200,000 home behind a levee that was defective from the day it was designed?

And let's review, the feds flooded the damn town the least they can do is fix it.

Right, Penny, full agreemen... (Below threshold)
dodgeman:

Right, Penny, full agreement. Here's the real hypothetical - if you lost everything today, house, car, job, and had to start over with just your family and the clothes on your back, what would you do?

a) sit around for 6 months hoping a govt. check was in the mail, or

b) liquidate what few remaining assets you had and MoveOn(tm) to a new life.

I can certainly see govt. relief in terms of protection from debt (I'd certainly stop paying my mortgage bill by this point, law or no law) but what obligation do we actual have to rebuild people's homes?

However, in relation to bunnies and democrats, also full agreement.

>sell their tattered, run-d... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>sell their tattered, run-down properties on the private market?

How much would you pay for a house that might flood in a good rain storm do to incompetence of the Federal government?

They are worth about a buck apiece. Hundreds of thousands of people would declare bankruptcy.

>Shouldn't they be looking to private-sector solutions rather than seeking a government handout?

How exacty is the private sector going to build a flood wall? Are they going to charge people protection fees if their houses don't flood?

You could make an argument that private industry could build highways and charge tolls... But how to the charge people for a flood wall?... THIS IS WHY WE HAVE GOVERNMENT. They build floodwalls and charge us taxes.

Did you argue private industry rebuild the interstate highway in Northridge?

With all due respect you don't understand the issue.

The Democrats aren't "put(t... (Below threshold)

The Democrats aren't "put(ting) off Congressional action for months until after the recess". The Senate passed a $29 billion dollar hurricane recovery bill, 93-0. What was filibustered (and then dropped from the bill) was a $6 billion add-on promising ANWR money to hurricane relief. I understand you can be mad about this. But it's dishonest to talk about filibustering the bill as if no one is getting anything (as I'm sure some of that $29 billion will go to housing assistance for those with damaged homes) without mentioning that the filibuster only affected the $6 billion from the ANWR add-on, and not the $29 billion aid package that was overwhelmingly passed.

dodgeman PELASE learn what ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

dodgeman PELASE learn what you are talking about.

Nobody is asking the feds to rebuild their homes.

PW-You clearly don't... (Below threshold)
phillip II:

PW-
You clearly don't understand the situation. Sell? Get real. Would you like to buy my flooded home for enough to pay off my mortgage? To whom? We can't fix it. We can't sell it. We aren't even sure we'll be allowed to keep it or build on it. But we still owe lots of money for it. We're talking about thousands and thousands of families filing for bankruptcy in the new year. This is just too big a disaster for this commmunity to recover without help.

"Shouldn't they be... (Below threshold)
langtry:
"Shouldn't they be looking to private-sector solutions rather than seeking a government handout?"

Normally, I'm right there with you, PW. Some people may be able to do this. Many will not, for a variety of reasons. As for getting private sector funding, most mortgage lenders will be unable to underwrite a loan on a severely damaged property. Construction financing is much harder to obtain, and less well-to-do people will have a hard time qualifying under the more rigid standards such loans entail. Funding from this bill would likely allow more money to be available through government programs such as HUD (ever heard of "HUD Homes"? They are homes that qualify for government mortgages at rates that are comparable to those offered by private lenders. HUD Homes were intended for purchase by people of lower income levels, the disabled, single mothers in urban areas, etc. People within these demographics are often deemed less credit-worthy than your average middle-class singleton or married couple, and will not be able to get a loan from the more traditional sources to whom you refer.

I, too, have concerns about rebuilding any and all properties regardless of whether or not they sit in floodplains, were neglected or unoccupied prior to Katrina, etc. This bill wouldn't have circumvented such cautions: what it would provide for, in addition to reconstruction lending, is money for FEMA trailers, additional staff at the tent cities where people are living while they wait for trailers, loans, food stamp approval, etc. It would also provide for repairing schools, clinics and hospitals damaged in the storm. Those places are shuttered right now, and need to be reopened in order to serve those living in the area.

Democrats knew that, in fillibustering this bill for reasons of not caring for the Alaska Oil Drilling provision, they would be denying money that was badly needed in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. If they don't care for it, than vote it down, and regroup to pass a new version of the bill through. Instead, they took the seemingly easy way out by not taking a stand on the issue. Chances are they didn't want to spoil their Christmas vacation plans, and tough sh*t if that meant people living in misery one moment longer than they have to date.

Llama School read the updat... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Llama School read the update... I typed the bulk of it last night.

thanks.

Paul,Cool...I'd be... (Below threshold)

Paul,

Cool...I'd be pissed as well if the ANWR filibuster tabled the entire relief bill. That would be insanity.

Regards.

My point was somewhat sarca... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

My point was somewhat sarcastic, somewhat not.

Granted, I'm not living in the middle of a recently flooded area, so I don't know all aspects of the issues. I HAVE heard recent rumblings that some of the New Orleans properties are being bought up for the prospect of urban renewal somewhere down the road.

Still, a few things occur to me, one of them being that some of the mortgage companies might be willing to negotiate the mortgages rather than simply foreclose on all the properties; I expect that your average lender prefers a debt that might be paid over a worthless property plus a debt that will have to be written off.

But on to the government/ANWR issue. It occurs to me that the bunnies/NOLA dichotomy is false, created by ANWR drilling partisans who are interested in drilling in Alaska and offer the hurricane payments as a way to paint their opponents in as bad a light as possible.

IMHO, the federal government will provide hurricane assistance in nearly every scenario, whether that money comes from ANWR, higher taxes, or more government debt. Politically, there's no way for Congress to avoid the levee-building costs and assistance for hurricane victims.

Now, if you accept my Humble Opinion as a given, I think you're left with a more realistic assessment of the ANWR drilling issue. If you are a member of the Senate, and you know that hurricane relief will go through no matter how you vote, then you can discount the hurricane relief as an issue.

Once that is discounted, you need only take into account whether or not you believe in drilling in ANWR.

--|PW|--

>I HAVE heard recent rumbli... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>I HAVE heard recent rumblings that some of the New Orleans properties are being bought up for the prospect of urban renewal somewhere down the road.

You heard wrong.

>But on to the government/ANWR issue. It occurs to me that the bunnies/NOLA dichotomy is false, created by ANWR drilling partisans who are interested in drilling in Alaska and offer the hurricane payments as a way to paint their opponents in as bad a light as possible.

I'm not denying that the republicans gave them the choice... only that they picked the wrong one. Ultimately it took a (near) Senatorial equivalent to a nuke to get it thru.

(in 10 words or less, our Sens threatened to shut down the government. more later.)

PW where are you from?

If you can get down here, I'll give you a 3 hour tour you'll never forget.

Paul,your right on... (Below threshold)

Paul,

your right on, my post yesterday imagines what the reports woul be if the media trated liberals like conservatives.

something like: Today Senate Dems came out in favor of higher gas prices for the poor forcing them to choose between eating dog food and driving there sick children to the doctors.

i put up a link and trackback if you want to read the whole post.

D.C. area, since you ask. ... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

D.C. area, since you ask. Unfortunately, I can't make my way down to NO any time soon.

--|PW|--

>I HAVE heard rece... (Below threshold)
>I HAVE heard recent rumblings that some of the New Orleans properties are being bought up for the prospect of urban renewal somewhere down the road.

You heard wrong.

I stand corrected.

--|PW|--

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DOESN'... (Below threshold)

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DOESN'T CARE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE.

Paul, I do understand the h... (Below threshold)
Wildwillie:

Paul, I do understand the hardship people are going through that are from NO. I am in Houston, Texas, and we opened our homes, hearts and schools to New Orleans residents. I is costly but neighborly to do this. I am also in the healthcare business, so our hospital was tested to the max when the evacuees arrived. But, the money has to be controlled. You cannot say the feds caused the levees to break. That is not fair or accurate. Money has gone to NO for levee this and that, but it was diverted. I do not have a problem with repairing the levee's, but I would like very, very tight controls on the money. No offense meant. Merry Christmas

Willie:>You cannot... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Willie:

>You cannot say the feds caused the levees to break. That is not fair or accurate.

It's both. Do your homework. I must have made a dozen posts on it.

Search on 'katrina corps' and get back to me. The Corps of Engineers was criminally negligent in their design and building of the floodwalls. It has been documented numerous times.

The info is out there, just go read it.

or search "myth new orleans flooded"

P

Both Senators from Louis... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Both Senators from Louisiana threatened to call Congress back into session over the Christmas Holiday if they did not do something.

I'm amazed Landrieu is trying to do something right.

Myself and about ten friends plan on making a trip to NOLA soon to pump some money into the local bar economy just because we should.

I spent a lot of time in the MS gulf coast after the hurricane and unfortunately, they are still in horrible shape. So we can't go there as well.

PW, I'm a bit shocked at your comments. I'm not a big government person but this is the one time that we should expect the feds to step in and help clean up the mess that the locals are unable to do on their own.

It is our country and our people.

The levies failed, otherwise N.O. would have survived slightly scathed. A major city, a major port and of major importance to our petroleum infrastructure -- rebuilding N.O. the right way is in absolutely in the best interest of us all.

It's also an amazing and wonderful place (different from any other American city) that deserves to be preserved.

PW, I suggest you spend some time there -- it will be good for you.

Paul, PELASE yourself. </p... (Below threshold)
dodgeman:

Paul, PELASE yourself.

You may not be asking the Feds to rebuild your home, but I'm sure others are at least expecting it. You can't play both sides of the issue. In the main post you make sure to point out the half million or so POOR people, but then discuss homes of $200,000 in the comments.

I'm glad you persist in pointing out the errors of the govt and the shoddy work on the levees, built in one of the most corrupt states of the union. However, the point must be made that no other area on the Gulf Coast is subject to levee breaks like New Orleans. And there's no guarantee that new levees will be any better.

My point is that putting your life on hold waiting for the govt to act responsible is nonsense.

This is the height of demag... (Below threshold)
Chris:

This is the height of demagoguery by the Republicans, and I'm glad the Democrats didn't cave. There is no logical connection between drilling in ANWR and providing relief to New Orleans. The Republicans took a highly controversial bill and tacked on a relief amendment so they could claim the Democrats were voting against relief for New Orleans. I read a lot of your posts, Paul, and I'm very sympathetic to the plight of you and your neighbors. But your reaction is exactly what the Republicans were trying to manipulate.

The fact that they control Congress and still couldn't get the bill through attests to its controversial nature. If you want to be angry at someone, be angry at the Republicans, who are playing politics with the money you so desperately need. Do you think they had your best interests in mind when they attached the relief provison to a bill that had such a high probability of not passing? You can debate the merits of ANWR drilling all you want, but the fact remains that the Republicans could have taken a much easier route to providing you with relief, rather than using your plight to try and extort the Democrats.

Hey Chris,I'd repl... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Hey Chris,

I'd reply, but since your are spewing cross thread, just go two posts below.

Oh, and I'll take mine black and strong.

So responding to more than ... (Below threshold)
Chris:

So responding to more than one post is "spewing cross threads?" Otherwise I have no idea what you're talking about.

And didn't you mean to say "I'd reply, but I don't have a good response?" Because nothing I saw below had anything to do with what I wrote here. Or is looking for typos your idea of a response?

dodgeman You're a clueless ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

dodgeman You're a clueless idiot.

Have you been here? Have you seen it first hand? Do you any fucking clue what you are talking about?

No No and No.

Get a clue for STFU.

Chris:Politics is ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Chris:

Politics is about getting your opponent to do that which they do not want to do. That's why it is called politics and not sales.

I'm not denying the Republicans forced their hand. Of course they did. Just like every legislative body in the history of the planet has. That's why it's called politics.

If you think the democrats have never done this... well then I can't help ya, you're too far gone.

But the point you can't avoid -and no amount of whining will change it- is that at the end of the day the Republicans gave the Dems a choice... people or bunnies. And the Dems picked the bunnies. Period.

Your wining that the Dems didn't like their opinions does not change their decision.

IN FACT CHRIS, you damn them more. What you've said is that they voted against it because the Republicans forced their hand.

So in other words they didn't vote for the bunnies, they voted against it because the Republicans might get a win.

GREAT so now they screw the people on LA because they wanted to play politics for politics sake. There's the moral high ground if I've never heard it.

You're better off claiming you were protecting the bunnies than your defense.

Mesablue, Thank ... (Below threshold)
doctorj:

Mesablue,
Thank you for coming to the city. That is what a lot of people need to be doing right now. Talk is cheap but action pays the bills. Pennywitt, are you listening? Come on down. You will have a good time.

PaulYour response ... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Paul

Your response indicates to me that you will pardon the Republicans no matter what. ANWR drilling is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in Congress. It was the Republicans who attached your relief to that bill. You're saying that anytime one party pulls a stunt like that, the other party is obligated to fold. After years of debate on ANWR drilling, it's supposed to be approved because the Republicans decided to play games with your relief? I never said the Democrats don't do similar things. But in this case it's the Republicans doing it. Like I said, debate ANWR drilling all you want. But if someone believes that drilling has the potential to have long-term negative effects, are you suggesting they should approve it anyway because of a cheap stunt?

Don't you guys ever get tired of "The Democrats do it too" as an excuse? Of course they do, but in this case the Republicans did it. They didn't have your best interests at heart. They control the Congress, and had it in their power to provide you with the relief you need. Instead, they chose to use you and your neighbors as leverage for a completely unrelated cause. And all you can do is blame the Democrats for not being manipulated. Reducing it to "the Dems picked the bunnies" is beyond disingenuous.

>Your response indicates to... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Your response indicates to me that you will pardon the Republicans no matter wh

Pardon them for what? Trying to pass legislation they want?

>Don't you guys ever get tired of "The Democrats do it too" as an excuse?

Do you ever get tired of being a hypocrite? It is classic Dem tactics.. Blast a Republican for something they do all the time themselves then whine if someone mentions that they do it all the time. (can you spell NSA? Sure you can)

Charlie your very question defines the fact you want a double standard. You want your actions immune from the same criticism you want Republicans.

>They didn't have your best interests at heart.

WE WERE GETTING THE MONEY YOU DINGLEBERRY

==============

Answer 2 questions.

1) Where the Dems given the chance to pick bunnies or the people of Louisiana?

2) Which did they pick?

Chris,If your only... (Below threshold)
James:

Chris,

If your only defense of their vote is that Republicans are evil, then you have a poor defense indeed.

Where is the accountability for the vote? Talk about a partisan. A minority of Senate wants to filibuster relief for these poor people to "protect" a wildlife area and you support them.

WOW

Do you agree with their priorities?

"Pardon them for what? Tryi... (Below threshold)
Chris:

"Pardon them for what? Trying to pass legislation they want?" No, you're pardoning them for playing games with your relief. Do you honestly think this is the best and most efficient way the Republicans could have gotten the money to you?

I can't make it any plainer than I have. The choice was determined by the Republicans. What is clearly not being stated here is that you support ANWR drilling, so the Dems opposition is meaningless to you. What if they had tied New Orleans relief to a bill mandating full public assistance for illegal aliens? Or included a resolution placing full blame for the disaster on the Bush administration, and absolving state and local officials of any responsibility? Or how about immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq? Face it, if the bill it was tied to was abhorrent to you, you'd have a much easier time with this. The Republicans created this whole situation so they could have a cudgel to use against the Democrats, blaming the Dems for voting against New Orleans relief. And like sheep, you're going right along with it, except I give you credit for being aware of the whole thing. You, Paul, are being fundamentally dishonest.

And I never said the Republicans were "evil." I acknowledged that the Dems do the same thing. In this case it's the Republicans who are doing it, and it's simplistic to frame it as "did the Dems vote against it or not?"

Chris, You didn't answer my... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Chris, You didn't answer my questions.

You continue to blame the Democrats behavior on the Republicans. Did they pick bunnies or people? It really is not a hard question.

Unless of course you don't like the answer.

PaulYou're being r... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Paul

You're being ridiculous. Political issues are rarely black and white, and trying to distill an issue to "answer me, yes or no" is like something from high school debating. Instead of responding to exactly what my thoughts are, which I laid out in detail, you seem to think that your little "yes or no" move is some kind of triumph of logic, despite the fact that it's always used by people who can't marshal the facts. Instead of responding to my specific points, you seem to think that it somehow advances the conversation to engage in this moronic activity. I guess it's better than having to actually confront the fact that the Republicans felt that the well-being of you and your neighbors makes a perfectly acceptable bargaining chip. Face it. The Republicans control both houses of Congress. If they had your best interests in mind that relief would never have been in doubt. And I have yet to hear you say how that isn't so. Now I think I hear the Republicans calling, time to bend over.

This took the cake, though: "Blast a Republican for something they do all the time themselves then whine if someone mentions that they do it all the time." Jesus, your whole original post was one big whine. And by the way, as a result of the Dems fighting the ANWR provision, the relief amount approved 93-0 was $29 billion, instead of $35 billion. Meanwhile, the $29 billion is $11 billion more than Bush requested. So I guess Bush must be the real bad guy here. Isn't that right? Answer me, yes or no? How silly.

And by the way, the answer to your question about the Democrats would be "no." Since you insist on playing your little game, I don't believe bunnies were mentioned anywhere in the bill, so the Democrats couldn't have voted for them. I guess it's your move, or is that all you got?

Chris you can spin it all y... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Chris you can spin it all you want. You can give all the Clinonesque answers you want. You can blame those rascally republicans and you can portray the angelic Dems as victims.

But at the end of the day you can not change the vote.

They voted for a wildlife refuge over the people of Louisiana. Period.

If you AGREE with the vote, then have the balls to do so.

If you disagree with the vote, have the balls to call the Dems on it.

You want to talk about everything EXCEPT the vote and guess what Chris.... None of the rest matters. Senators are not hired to make speeches they are hired to vote.

Again... If you agree with the vote then have the balls to tell me that a wildlife refuge is more important then the people of Louisiana.

If you can't make that case then the Dems made the wrong vote.

BTW- You remind of of a sta... (Below threshold)
Paul:

BTW- You remind of of a stage magician... Ignore that I slipped the ball up my sleeve and only look at the empty cup.

Policy doesn't work that way.

So, I'm going to hammer this down... No more babble about who did what to who when.

Either discuss the vote or don't.

PaulI've made it c... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Paul

I've made it clear I support the vote. What I object to is the way you frame it, which is purely subjective. Continuing to repeat your foolish debating team bullshit doesn't change any of that.

By the way, I've asked several questions, as well, and I notice you haven't answered a single one.

So here we go again:
What if they had tied New Orleans relief to a bill mandating full public assistance for illegal aliens? Or included a resolution placing full blame for the disaster on the Bush administration, and absolving state and local officials of any responsibility? Or how about immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq?

Is yous stance that your self-interest is so important that you would vote for anything that's bad for the country? Way to be a good citizen.

>What if they had tied New ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>What if they had tied New Orleans relief to a bill mandating full public assistance for illegal aliens? Or included a resolution placing full blame for the disaster on the Bush administration, and absolving state and local officials of any responsibility? Or how about immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq?

None of those happened.

If you think harming the people of Louisiana was worth "protecting" furry bunnies in Alaska then more power to you.

You're an asshole but at least you're a proud one.

I just hope for your sake Chris you're never in a situation where you need help from your fellow human beings only to be told "Fuck You."

You have a Merry Christmas

Funny how you insist that I... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Funny how you insist that I answer your question, but can't bring yourself to answer mine. "None of those things happened?" Well, the vote wasn't about bunnies, either, but you seem to think that your idiotic questions must be answered.

And by the way, you're the asshole for enabling the people who use your neighbors as fodder in their political battle. But keep bending over for them. As long as they've got lackeys like you they can keep fucking with the people of New Orleans. I've had a lot of sympathy for the stuff you've written about, but seeing the way you're willing to sell out your neighbors puts all of your complaining in a whole new light.

>but seeing the way you're ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>but seeing the way you're willing to sell out your neighbors puts all of your complaining in a whole new light.

Pointing out that the Dems would protect bunnies over my neighbors is "selling them out?"

Your value system is fucked.

i was looking for somithing... (Below threshold)
rylan:

i was looking for somithing on alaskas important city and i am doing my state report on it.




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