USA Today caught off-balance by MRGO decision

Not only is Rick Jervis hoping that the readers will swallow his own seed of the Corps Costs Estimates of 100’s of Billions for their side of the work, he is offering the erroneous proposition that the Corps is the Lead in the solution to the Wetlands Restoration activity –this prophylactic misnomer stretches so very far from the Truth as to resemble a condom over the head of an oil derrick.

Editilla offers a whole new meaning to “hung” on the Ladder with his scatching review of USA Today’s take on the MR-GO decision.  True enough, only a Richard-head would think either/or:

The ruling could lead to billions of dollars in other legal action from storm victims, but it also leaves regional leaders with a dilemma: Should they ride the lawsuit’s momentum and try to extract potentially billions of dollars from the federal government to compensate Katrina victims? Or should they keep the focus on getting federal help for Louisiana‘s multibillion-dollar coastal restoration efforts?

Speaking of Richards, there appears to be another one on the faculty at Tulane Law:

Asking the federal government to pay what could amount to billions of dollars in payback for Katrina victims could derail the state’s effort to fund coastal restoration that could prevent future storms from causing similar devastation, said Oliver Houck, a Tulane University law professor.

“If there’s anything this administration doesn’t need right now is another $100 billion tab,” Houck said. “The money that would go to coastal restoration will now go to these plaintiffs.”

Actually, if there’s anything this administration doesn’t need right now it’s these two Richard-heads and their divisive suggestions when there are others offering well-reasoned thoughts:

Joseph Bruno, a New Orleans attorney who represents the plaintiffs in the case, said he will travel to Washington after Thanksgiving to meet with lawmakers and propose compensation for the more than 400,000 individuals in the greater New Orleans area affected by the floods. “You can’t just pay one section of town,” he said. “You have to pay it all.”

Louisiana’s coastal marshes act as natural buffers against storms and are vital to preventing future disasters, said Garret Graves, head of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s office of coastal activities. Since 1930, the area has lost about 2,100 square miles of coastal marshes — an area larger than the size of Delaware. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita mauled an additional 217 square miles of coast in 2005.

Rebuilding the marshes, along with armoring New Orleans’ levee systems, will cost about $100 billion, Graves said. Since Katrina, the federal government has spent about $15 billion on the levee system, he said.

Leaders have lobbied Washington for years to invest more in revitalizing the coast. The Obama administration has been proactive, including forming a Gulf Coast interagency working group to come up with solutions, Graves said. Last week’s ruling could steer attention away from that effort, he said.

“There’s a relation between extraordinary land loss in Louisiana and the exacerbated impact of hurricanes,” Graves said. “That’s what we’re remaining focused on.”

Those living in the affected area are similarly divided. Residents of St. Bernard Parish, which lost virtually all of its 26,000 homes in the floods, would like to be compensated for their damaged homes but realize rebuilding wetlands will protect them from future storms, said Craig Taffaro Jr., parish president.

“There needs to be a balance between individual compensation and a global solution,” he said.

There certainly is no need for more unbalanced views from  USA Today or Tulane Law.

10 thoughts on “USA Today caught off-balance by MRGO decision”

  1. Journalist Jervis and Professor Houck need to understand that the recent MRGO decision and wetlands restoration are NOT mutually exclusive. That being said, I’m going to “throw a skunk into the jury box” and address an issue which NO ONE, least of all the MSM and “the Times-Pick-Your-Nose”, is even talking about, much less reporting, namely: The CORRUPTION of the “Victims of KATRINA” litigation. More particularly, I aver that Duval-Daley-Fayard’s MRGO decision was corruptly motivated, and was primarily calculated to bestow “favoritism” on the Judge’s “close personal friend of long-standing”, plaintiffs’ lawyer Calvin Fayard (and Fayard’s clients),on whom this Judge has been bestowing “favors” since ” inheriting” the KATRINA litigation from Judge Porteous in March 2006, because of Porteous’ “troubles” with the Federal Government, which continue to this day. The MRGO decision affects ONLY the 100,000 or so people who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish. Plaintiff Norman Robinson, who lived in New Orleans East, was denied recovery by Duval-Daley-Fayard. The MRGO decision does not affect anyone who lived WEST of the Industrial Canal, namely the 400,000 to 500,000 people who inhabited the Greater New Orleans East Bank (other than the LNW and SBP). Those people are STUCK for the moment by a January 2008 decision by this same Judge, who ruled that the United States of America (through the “Corpse” of Engineers) is IMMUNE for flooding emanating from the Outfall Canals, namely 17th Street, London Avenue and Orleans Avenue. I also aver that Duval-Daley-Fayard’s MRGO decision cannot be reconciled with his earlier decision on the Outfall Canals, which is PROOF that the MRGO decision was motivated by something “other than” the facts and the law. Let’s THINK for a moment: The Flood Control Act of 1928 arguably gives the Federal Government immunity. However, it is not open to question that, by its very terms, the Flood Control Act specifically applies to the Mississippi River, although its application has been jurisprudentially expanded to include ANYWHERE affected by flooding or flood waters. Judge Duval-Daley-Fayard ruled that the Flood Control Act is inapplicable to the MRGO, because the MRGO is a NAVIGATION project, as opposed to a “flood control” project. Well, DUH! Isn’t the Mississippi River a “navigation project”? More vessels ply the Mississippi River in domestic and foreign trade in a day than ever navigated the MRGO in a year, before it was recently shut down. Calling the MRGO a navigation project, and excluding the applicability of the Flood Control Act to the MRGO, while simultaneously conceding the applicablity of the Flood Control Act to to Mississippi River is SOPHISTRY and flawed logic. Now let’s go to the “discretionary function exception to the waiver of sovereign immunity contained in the Federal Tort Claims Act”. Duval-Daley-Fayard imposed legal liability on the USA for the “Corpse” of Engineers’ violation of the law in the “Operation and Maintenance” of the MRGO, for which (he said) a certain standard of conduct was mandated, and not discretionary. Precisely the same logic can be applied to the “benign neglect” with which the Corpse of Engineers approached the discharge of their duties in the Outfall Canals, particularly 17th Street. The “difference” between Duval-Daley-Fayard’s Outfall Canal decision and his MRGO decision (other than finding the Government immune in one, but not in the other) is the fact that the Outfall Canal case was decided “on-the-papers”, without any trial, whereas there was a full-blown trial in the MRGO case. There is something seriously “wrong” here. If time and space permitted, I could furnish the readers os SLABBED with a “laundry list” of Federal Statutory Violations by the Corpse of Engineers at 17th Street, not the least of which was the failure to demand annual surveys to verify the “stability control lines” which were established when the canal was dredged in the early 1990’s, and which not only have not been performed to this day, but the erosion of which directly caused the breach at 17th Street. I fully recognize that my charges are serious ones. However, I have been NOTHING, if not entirely “consistent”, in making my charges, which I first discovered on 8/29/07, when Duval-Daley-Fayard’s “close personal friend of long-standing”, Calvin Fayard, appeared on pleadings representing the State of Louisiana in the “Victims of KATRINA” litigation, notwithstanding his serving on Committees and Sub-Committees in the litigation, appointed by Duval-Daley-Fayard. Since exposing the CORRUPTION of the litigation, I have been forced to pay a heavy price, because I have been RETALIATED AGAINST, which has included my disbarrment, disgrace, embarrassment and humiliation, not to mention being forced to file for bankruptcy. I have said it before, and I will say it again: Duval-Daley-Fayard and his “close personal friend of long-standing”, Calvin Fayard, and ALL plaintiffs’ lawyers in the litigation who are similarly situated, including Joe Bruno (among many others), BELONG IN JAIL. The CORRUPTION and CRIMES of these SCOUNDRELS in the “Victims of KATRINA” litigation make Judge Porteous, for all of his “troubles”, look like “Becky Thatcher” in comparison. I sincerely hope that the FBI is taking a long hard look at this Judge and at his rich and powerful friends. Further deponent sayeth not (tonight, at least).

  2. Thanks youzy Doucy! My Herolero!

    USA represents what I consider Constituent Media, as regards the potential for future MR-GO settlements that the plaintiff’s lawyers are lobbying to get from the Obama Admin.
    The comments sections of these Big Medias are where the Constituent Turf is either made of Grass or Astroturf.
    Rest assured, some of the commenters are your average meth-addled, or over-medicated Americans, but many are part of the PR Machinery. This is no bullshit and quite worth their money to deploy.
    This is how an article can hold a double barrel of Bias and PR and get away wit’it: the comments sections.
    But, until now, they did not know what it means to be….

  3. The use of federal laws throughout this litigation on the MRGO cover operation and maintenance and cites that as the major reason for the destruction.

    However, the Outfall Canal litigation was said to be under the 1928 Flood Control Act and the COE was immune from liability. Perhaps unknown to the Judge and those present for that quickie a similar Federal Law coming out of the Assistant Secretary of the Army that covers operation and maintenance of flood control projects. It is 33 CFR 208.10. If you take the time to find & read most if not all of that law was not followed and there must be penalties for that, liability, malfeasance, possible jail terms and restitution to those harmed for these failures to follow that law. This covers every aspect of what happened in and around New Orleans, its levees, critical stations, floodwalls and survey requirements for monitoring scour in these canals as required by that law. This is an example of blindsiding the citizens of this area. Also, nothing has ever happened to the destruction in East Jefferson by the same lack of following this law for the operation and maintenance of that portion of the LP&VHPP.

  4. Ashton… uhm, never mind.

  5. Hey Y’all, guess what? The Jacob’s campaign tried to Astro-turf yer’oh’so humble Editilla on the issue of Katrina Shorthand in her campaign ad!
    Hahahahahaha, sad.
    Oh, but this is going to get Very Rich indeed.

    This was in response to my posting/blogging about another Blogger, Huck UpChuck’s, take on Leslie Jacobs’ meet-up with the Nola Bloggers recently.
    Please see my restrained retart in the comments and Update
    This worm has only begun to toin.

  6. nowdoucit; the reason you didn’t hear it mentioned is that this one 5 page document would destroy the ruling on failed levees for the Outfall litigation.

    What was done was to apease a few and make it look like they were doing right. The extreme width of the Katrina surge covered the coast from Alabama. Mississippi and Louisiana. There was no “Golden Triangle” present in the surge that covered the shores of these states, just a 20 – 30 Surge from a Cat 5 fast moving storm that destroyed all in its path. The same surge that came through all these areas also hit the MRGO. This same surge entered Lake Pontchartrain through the marsh and three passes known as the Rigolets, Chef Pass and the Industrial Canal. It destroyed the twin spans between New Orleans & Slidell and destroyed many on the north shore here little to no flood protection was provided. That same surge spread across the lake to the West and attacked all the flood protection for Orleans & East Jefferson. The project started in 1965 and yearly inspections cited things requiring to be done. Today 40 yeard later in East Jefferson they are just getting to do some of them. Orleans Parish was also in that plan, but the Outfall Canals only came into the plan in 1989-90 time frame. If they had followed the criteria of 33 CFR 208.10 the destruction from the lake would have be avoided. What happened from the urge across Lake Borgune and the MRGO and all low lying areas from Ala to La would not have changed.

  7. nowdoucit; this is how I found it since I knew about it. I went to web and just typed in the following: 33 CFR Ch.ll[7-1-02 dition] 208.10, or you could just type in 33 CFR 208.10. I believe it is the 2nd site on the list of sites. Both should work, I find the second one to be easier for me. If you want a copy of my report that I compiled with all documentation just go to emial: [email protected]

  8. nowdoucit, I was finally able to open up your cites. The very first one is the document you want. But you have to make sure it is the version pre 2005.

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