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Blanco, Landrieu Check Dikes In Holland

We all laughed when

You know how important it is for politicians to get all the technical ins and outs of dike construction. Sending engineering types would just be a waste of taxpayers money.

From the DNC's Associated Press:

Jan 9, 5:15 PM EST

Louisiana governor, senators go to Holland

Associated Press Writer

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Kathleen Blanco left for Holland on Monday to learn how the Dutch created the huge flood-control system that protects a land much farther below sea level than Louisiana.

The trip means the Democratic governor will miss President Bush's visit to New Orleans, scheduled for Thursday. Blanco said her trip had been long scheduled when the White House informed her office about the president's trip to Louisiana.

The governor was among more than 40 government, business and education leaders – including Sens. David Vitter and Mary Landrieu – who took the trip in hopes of learning how to create levees and floodgates strong enough to withstand a storm as large as or larger than Hurricane Katrina, which overwhelmed New Orleans' flood control system.

"What I'm gathering is that we have a lot to learn on how to make levees that hold up under difficult conditions," Blanco said. "I believe it will be a very valuable trip."

Landrieu, who organized the trip, said she spoke with the Dutch ambassador to the United States after Hurricane Katrina broke New Orleans' floodwalls and levees. Landrieu said the ambassador told her about that country's flood of 1953, when 1,800 people died.

"He said, ‘Why don't you all come over and see what we've done since then?'" Landrieu recounted.

Katrina has been blamed for more than 1,300 deaths, the vast majority of them in Louisiana.

Holland recently completed a 50-year program to build dams, seawalls, and surge barriers designed to protect the south of the country against almost any storm.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and others have questioned whether areas of Louisiana 3 to 5 feet below sea level should be rebuilt or returned to marshland. Landrieu said coastal areas of the Netherlands are 21 feet below sea level.

And what bad timing, what with all of the Louisiana politicos missing President Bush's visit.

I guess it's really hard to schedule trips to Holland this time of year. Maybe they are having tulip bulb auctions or something.

Landrieu said the ambassador told her about that country's flood of 1953, when 1,800 people died.

It's a bit disturbing that this was news to the Governor.

"He said, ‘Why don't you all come over and see what we've done since then?'"

Of course it would have never occurred to Blanco to turn to Holland for expertise on these problems otherwise. Just like it doesn't occur to her to send people who might be able to do something with the information, rather than a bunch of politicians scoring another all expenses paid junket to a nice destination.

I suppose Nagin isn't mentioned because he's already booked to go back to Jamaica.

But wouldn't you love to hear Blanco explain just exactly what she has learned when she comes back from her taxpayer financed vacation fact-finding mission?

I'm sure some enterprising reporter from our one party media will grill the Governess on the subject. (Of course, I kid.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 9th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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