Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hesitantly hopeful

It keeps coming today!

From Wapo:

Feds to Rebuild New Orleans Levees:

"President Bush is requesting $1.5 billion more to help make the levee system in New Orleans stronger than it was before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.
At a news briefing at the White House, officials dodged the question of whether the levees would be built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, using broader language instead to promise that the city's citizens would be safe and the levees would be "stronger and better." ...

The additional $1.5 billion that the president is requesting would pay to armor the levee system with concrete and stone, close three interior canals and provide state-of-the art pumping systems so that the water would flow out of the canals into Lake Pontchartrain, Powell said.
Officials said the levee system would be rebuilt to its previous level of protection before the hurricane season next year, and that the process of strengthening them further would take two years."

Of course, it's not $32 billion, and they're avoiding the "Category 5" issue, but attention- and money- has been paid.

This is notable too:

In a Shift, Anti-Prostitution Effort Targets Pimps and Johns:

"A national campaign against prostitution has intensified in political, nonprofit and law enforcement circles, so much so that yesterday the House unanimously passed novel legislation, with the Senate expected to follow.

In the past, police sweeps have focused on the women. The new federal law would grant state and local law enforcement agencies funds to investigate and prosecute the men -- brothel owners and pimps."

This end-of-year legislative flurry has yielded some gems (hopefully). Here's hoping the trend continues.

***Update- more good news!
From NY Times:
Senate Is Set to Require Details on Secret Prisons: "The Senate is poised to approve a measure that would require the Bush administration to provide Congress with its most specific and extensive accounting about the secret prison system established by the Central Intelligence Agency to house terrorism suspects."

Heavy Sunni Turnout Is Seen; Attacks Are Scattered and Light: "In a day remarkable for the absence of large-scale violence, millions of Iraqi voters, many of them dressed in their best and traveling with other family members, streamed to the polls today to cast ballots in a nationwide election as Iraqi leaders predicted that the vote would split almost evenly between secular and Islamist parties."

Good times, y'all.


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