Saturday, September 03, 2005
20/20 Hindsight or shameless opportunism?: Over at EU ROTA, the Lexis-Nexis database has provided us with the craven and shameless opportunism that is the New York Times editorial page.
First, Thursday's Times editorial on the Hurricane Katrina tragedy:
While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?
Got that? All that evil budget slashing going on in Washington that should've been spending more money on the levees. Or should they?
From the April 13, 2005, Times editorial page on a funding bill for the Army Corps of Engineers:
Anyone who cares about responsible budgeting and the health of America's rivers and wetlands should pay attention to a bill now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The bill would shovel $17 billion at the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and other water-related projects -- this at a time when President Bush is asking for major cuts in Medicaid and other important domestic programs. Among these projects is a $2.7 billion boondoggle on the Mississippi River that has twice flunked inspection by the National Academy of Sciences.
The Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs accuse the corps of routinely inflating the economic benefits of its projects. And environmentalists blame it for turning free-flowing rivers into lifeless canals and destroying millions of acres of wetlands -- usually in the name of flood control and navigation but mostly to satisfy Congress's appetite for pork.
This is a bad piece of legislation. [emphasis added]
Everyone saw this coming, except for the Times' editorial page.
What should you do if you ever see a Times editorial writer on the street? That's right, point and laugh.