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Dear New Orleans... Beware of the Snakes

There is the toxic soup, a prophecy once thought of as a silly doomsday prediction. Bodies are floating, submerged and just left on the side of the road and worst of all those bodies are being eyed with a lusty wrath. FEMA doesn't want you to see them because the snakes are swarming with forked tongues at the ready.

Scaly and slimy and these days even metrosexual, the middlemen are hungry.
"SSSSSixty-two billion, SSSSSo far" stated one slimeball.

According to the NYTimes, "well-connected lobbyists and consultants, are rushing to cash in on the unprecedented sums to be spent on Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction."

"No-Bid Contract" says Vice Vader's old cronies at KBR.
"Throwing money... out the door" says the past president of American League of Lobbyists, James Albertine.

James Allbaugh, the former Bush Campaign manager and the man that hired that stalwart of horsey shows Michael Brown, is ready to make his windfall. Formerly working with Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss), Allbaugh formally registered as a lobbyist for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root in February. In lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Senate, Allbaugh said his goal was to "educate the congressional and executive branch on defense, disaster relief and homeland security issues affecting Kellogg Brown and Root."

In the Sept 14th NYTimes an article titled "Official Vows Investigation of No-Bid Relief Contracts" doesn't offer any solace that the snakes will be curtailed. The article states "Spokesmen at FEMA have been unwilling to provide details of the decision-making process that is being used to award contracts for the hurricane-relief program, nor have they identified the agency officials who are making the procurement decisions."

To give a little historical background as concerned with that other failure called Iraq, audits have uncovered evidence that hundreds of millions of dollars were misspent by some contractors willing to stretch or break rules, while government officials were unwilling or unable to prevent abuses.

Make no mistake New Orleans, the power ties are salivating at the thought of the dollars that are now flowing belatedly into the gulf states and if the administration has it's way, the snakes will be in control.

9/15/05

(Note from Timb: Not only is the Bush administration awarding no-bid contracts enriching their contributors..."some call you the wealthy, I call you my base"...they have slashed wages to the people doing the work. And in what may be the most under-reported failure of Reagan-styled conservatism in the aftermath of Katrina, the floodwaters are covering a superfund cleanup site that's the equivalent of a New Orleans "Love Canal". Those pollutants have seeped into the water and are now contaminating everything that remains covered by the water. "Toxic soup" is not hyperbole, but there's plenty of money to be made elsewhere, so this gets no attention from the "compassionate conservatives" or the military-industrial media.)