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The Real Looting Has Just Begun - Carl Pope/Huffington Post

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barbaraann Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:57 AM
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The Real Looting Has Just Begun - Carl Pope/Huffington Post
Rita has shed her last rainfall over the Mississippi Valley. But the looting of America has only just begun. And we're not talking about plasma television sets here, much less loaves of bread.

We're talking about putting the whole American dream up at a fire sale. It appears that our leaders want to show the apparatchiks who presided over the "privatization" scandals of the Soviet bloc what real greed looks like.

They began before the floodwaters had even stopped roaring into New Orleans. Bidding rules were suspended, as always, for Halliburton (I wonder if Halliburton even has a department that can prepare bids for contracts!) and for other companies well-connected to the politicians who, ostrich-like, had let every community asset in the Gulf Coast be pounded to splinters. (The latest, and apparently biggest, is AshBritt, a firm based in Pompano Beach, Florida, that is closely connected to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and that got $568 million to remove debris at a rate of $15/cubic yard -- a price widely dismissed as outrageous by local officials.)

After bidding rules were dumped, on the grounds that in an emergency you couldn't expect contractors to do work for normal prices (it costs more, after all, in a crisis), fair wages went overboard. Apparently, in an emergency, while contractors are understandably greedy, employees are desperate and should be grateful for anything -- except, it turns out, African-American and Hispanic workers, because non-discrimination standards also were junked. Even while the EPA and the head of the federal relief effort were warning residents not to return home because of the risk of toxic contamination, Governor Barbour simply suspended all environmental standards in Mississippi for the duration. The nation's homebuilders suggested that we could really get the job of rebuilding done faster if we canceled all energy-efficiency standards and allowed substandard materials that have been sitting in warehouses to be dumped on the Gulf Coast -- never mind whether substandard building is really what the devastated residents who will return really need or can afford.

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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:49 AM
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1. THIS is what was keeping...
Bushco busy, even before Katrina hit, and what delayed the response of FEMA. First things first! Get those contracts lined up, figure out what land you want to grab, then clear the way for the rape of our nation.

Pathetic....simply pathetic!
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