Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Raise the White Flag

Or the beer mug. Couldn't help but think of old drinking games when I heard Nancy Parker interview the president just now. WVUE's the worst local station about making its stories available on line, but Bush began by saying that Rocky Vaccarrella thanked him for $110B and then said "$110B" a few more times in just a couple of sentences. Now, nobody seems to be questioning the amount:

ABC News:
A far larger sum -- more than $110 billion -- has been designated for the massive rebuilding project.

The Times Picayune:
When Congress allocated more than $110 billion for hurricane recovery along the Gulf Coast, some lawmakers worried it would be misspent, with one senator memorably comparing Louisiana's "culture of corruption" to that of Iraq.

Even Mary Landrieu (in the T/P article):
"It's slow and it's been frustrating," Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said. "We are grateful at the generosity of Congress, the administration and the American people. $110 billion is a huge amount of money..."

da po'blog's been all over this before, the president's aid claims are greatly overstated. Probably should have deferred to him on this one, but sometimes you just gotta type.

The numbers I'm more interested in are $320M and $718M. $718M is the amount that Entergy New Orleans is requesting to cover Katrina related losses, $320M is the amount (of that $718M) to cover lost revenue. The Picayune didn't mention those numbers in today's front page story about the company's finances, but it might be in tomorrow's (it was online tonight):
Entergy New Orleans calculates its pothole at $718 million. But St. Blanc subtracted the money the company has requested for lost revenue -- no other utility in the state has made such a request -- and puts the figure at $398 million.

Of course, I'd also like to know why the city's energy consultants sound so much like they're working for Entergy. I'm not saying that the city's high-priced advisers should be assuming an adversarial stance toward Entergy, but they seem to be assuming that they won't need to take one. And I'm still curious about the Southeastern Federal Power Consumers Group . I still think that bloggers usually end up looking foolish when they try to uncover a scandal by doing a google search, but I have to wonder.

yes check out the money trail here: money trail
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