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good ole' govt

Posted By: outsourcing on 2007-01-30
In Reply to: To kind of piggyback on the post below where one mentions (m) - MT

I was shocked to find that Pres. Bush states that offshoring helps our economy. Was all over the news last week. Was going to take some time out to read more online about his thoughts, but realize, I have too much work to do and would prefer to read up on who is running next year, so why give him anymore of my time. I am one of many hardworking Americans trying to raise my family and provide for them, I do not need him or anyone else telling the US that outsourcing is good for anyone.


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Good point. Welfare abusers, govt program misuse gets PR,
p
Fed govt should have been prepared.
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Los Angeles Times
Despite Warnings, Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects

By Richard A. Serrano and Nicole Gaouette Times Staff Writers Sun Sep 4, 7:55 AM ET

WASHINGTON For years, Washington had been warned that doom lurked just beyond the levees. And for years, the White House and Congress had dickered over how much money to put into shoring up century-old dikes and carrying out newer flood control projects to protect the city of New Orleans.
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As recently as three months ago, the alarms were sounding and being brushed aside.

In late May, the New Orleans district of the Army Corps of Engineers formally notified Washington that hurricane storm surges could knock out two of the big pumping stations that must operate night and day even under normal conditions to keep the city dry.

Also, the Corps said, several levees had settled and would soon need to be raised. And it reminded Washington that an ambitious flood-control study proposed four years before remained just that a written proposal never put into action for lack of funding.

What a powerful hurricane could do to New Orleans and the area's critical transportation, energy and petrochemical facilities had been well understood. So now, nearly a week into the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, hard questions are being raised about Washington officials who crossed their fingers and counted on luck once too often. The reasons the city's defenses were not strengthened enough to handle such a storm are deeply rooted in the politics and bureaucracy of Washington.

With the advantage of hindsight, the miscues seem even broader. Construction proposals were often underfunded or not completed. Washington officials could never agree on how much money would be needed to protect New Orleans. And there hung in the air a false sense of security that a storm like Katrina was a long shot anyway.

As a result, when the immediate crisis eases and inquiries into what went wrong begin, there is likely to be responsibility and blame enough for almost every institution in Washington, including the White House, Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers and a host of other federal agencies.

For example, Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the Corps commander, conceded Friday that the government had known the New Orleans levees could never withstand a hurricane higher than a Category 3. Corps officials shuddered, he said, when they realized that Katrina was barreling down on the Gulf Coast with the vastly greater destructive force of a Category 5 the strongest type of hurricane.

Washington, he said, had rolled the dice.

Rather than come up with the extra millions of dollars needed to make the city safer, officials believed that such a devastating storm was a small probability and that, with the level of protection that had been funded, "99.5% of the time this would work."

Unfortunately, Strock said, "we did not address the 0.5%."

Corps officials said the floodwaters breached at two spots: the 17th Street Canal Levee and the London Avenue Canal Levee. Connie Gillette, a Corps spokeswoman, said Saturday there never had been any plans or funds allocated to shore up those spots another sign the government expected them to hold.

Nevertheless, the Corps hardly was alone in failing to address what it meant to have a major metropolitan area situated mostly below sea level, sitting squarely in the middle of the Gulf Coast's Hurricane Alley.

Many federal, state and local flood improvement officials kept asking for more dollars for more ambitious protection projects. But the White House kept scaling down those requests. And each time, although congressional leaders were more generous with funding than the White House, the House and Senate never got anywhere near to approving the amounts that experts had said was needed.

What happened this year was typical: Local levee and flood prevention officials, along with Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), asked for $78 million in project funds.
President Bush offered them less than half that $30 million. Congress ended up authorizing $36.5 million.

Since Bush took office in 2001, local experts and Landrieu have asked for just short of $500 million. Altogether, Bush in his yearly budgets asked for $166 million, and Congress approved about $250 million.

These budget decisions reflect a reality in Washington: to act with an eye toward short-term political rewards instead of making long-term investments to deal with problems.

Vincent Gawronski, an assistant professor at Birmingham Southern College in Alabama who studies the political impact of natural disasters, said the lost chances to shore up the levees were a classic example of government leaders who, although meaning well, clashed over priorities.

"Elected politicians are in office for a limited amount of time and with a limited amount of money, and they don't really have a long-term vision for spending it," he said.

"So you spend your pot of money where you feel you're going to get the most political support so you can get reelected. It's very difficult to think long-term. If you invest in these levees, is that going to show an immediate return or does it take away from anything else?"

Gawronski said flood control projects do not have the appeal of other endeavors, such as cancer research and police protection. At the same time, Congress habitually approves billions of dollars for highways and bridges and other infrastructure that politically benefits individual congressmen.

Gawronski called it inexcusable for the United States to have been "gambling so long" that the old levee system in New Orleans would hold.

"Disasters are often low probability, high consequence events, so there's a gamble there," he said. "It's not going to happen on my watch, there's the potential it might, but I'll bet it won't."

In the case of New Orleans and flood control, another factor was at work: the reputation of the Corps of Engineers. Over the years, many in Washington had come to regard the Corps as an out-of-control agency that championed huge projects and sometimes exaggerated need and benefits.

The Corps began as a tiny regiment during the Revolutionary War era; it now employs about 35,000 people to build dams, deepen harbors, dig ditches and erect seawalls, among other things. But critics say some projects are make-work boondoggles.

In 2000, Corps leaders were found to have manipulated an economic study to justify a Mississippi River project that would have cost billions. The agency also launched a secret growth initiative to boost its budget by 50%. And the
Pentagon found in 2000 that the Corps' cost-benefit analyses were systematically skewed to warrant large-scale construction projects.

As a result, said a senior staffer with the Senate Appropriations Committee who spoke on condition of anonymity, requests by the Corps for flood control money were especially vulnerable to budget cutting. "A lot of people just look at it as pork," said the staffer.

The Bush administration's former budget director, Mitch Daniels, was known as an aggressive advocate for Corps reform who cast a skeptical eye on its budget requests.

"The Army Corps of Engineers has a very large budget, and it has grown a lot over recent years," Daniels, now the governor of Indiana, said. "To the extent there's been any limitation of [the Corps'] budget, it has to do with previous tendencies to build marinas and things that don't have much to do with preparing us for disaster."

The Bush White House maintains it never ignored the security needs of the Gulf Coast. "Flood control has been a priority of this administration from Day One," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

He said hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in the New Orleans area in recent years for flood prevention, and he said the failure of the levees was not a matter of money so much as a problem with drawing the right plans for the dike work and other improvements.

"It's been more of a design issue with the levees," he said.

Other administration officials said there were not enough construction companies and equipment to handle all the work that had been proposed.

John Paul Woodley Jr., assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, who has responsibility for the Corps of Engineers, said: "It's true, we cannot accomplish all of our projects at full funding all the time. I think that's true of any agency, particularly any public works agency, but we had a lot of work underway in New Orleans, and I was personally supportive of it.

"As a native of Louisiana," Woodley said, "I understand the problems associated with flooding in New Orleans. I don't think there's any lack of support for flood control projects in New Orleans, particularly within the context of other projects around the country."

On Capitol Hill in recent years, several Democrats warned that more money should be marked for the protection of New Orleans. For instance, in September 2004, Landrieu said she was tired of hearing there was no money to do more work on levees.

"We're told, can't do it this year. Don't have enough money. It's not a high enough priority," she said in a Senate speech. "Well, I know when it's going to get to be a high enough priority."

She then told of a New Orleans emergency worker who had collected several thousand body bags in the event of a major flood. "Let's hope that never happens," she said.

But in May 2004, then Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he had visited the levees as a guest of Landrieu and believed them adequate.

He praised the ancient water pumps for keeping the waters from cascading into the city, proclaiming them "these old, old pumps that hadn't been changed since before the turn of the century, that still keep New Orleans dry."

"It was as clean as a restaurant," he added. "These big old pumps work."

Today, eight of those 22 pumps are underwater and inoperable.

Over the years, several projects either were short-changed or never got started. The Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project was authorized by Congress after a rainstorm killed six people in May 1995. It was to be finished in 10 years, but funding reductions prevented its completion before Katrina struck.

The Army Corps of Engineers did spend $430 million to renovate pumping stations and shore up the levees. But experts said the project fell behind schedule after funding was reduced in 2003 and 2004.

The Lake Pontchartrain Project was a $750-million Corps operation for new levees and beefed-up pumping stations. Because of funding cuts, it was only 80% complete when the hurricane hit.

The project that never was started was an examination of storm surges from large hurricanes. Congress approved the study but did not allocate the funds for it.

In May, AL Naomi, the Corps' senior project manager for the New Orleans district, reminded political and business leaders and emergency management officials that a Category 4 or 5 hurricane was always possible. After that meeting, Walter Brooks, the regional planning commission director, came away shaking his head.

"We've learned that we're not as safe as we thought we were," he told the local newspaper, the Times-Picayune.

Last week, Corps commander Strock defended past work, saying, it was his "personal and professional assessment" that work in New Orleans was never underfunded. What he meant by that, he explained, was that no one expected such a large disaster before all the renovations and other improvements could be completed.

"That was as good as it was going to get," he said. " We knew that it would protect from a Category 3 hurricane. In fact, it has been through a number of Category 3 hurricanes."

But, he said, Katrina's intensity "simply exceeded the design capacity of the levee."

Asked whether in hindsight he wished more had been done, Strock said: "I really don't express surprise in my business. We don't sit around and say 'Gee whiz.' "

Times staff writer Mary Curtius contributed to this report.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20050904/ts_latimes/despitewarningswashingtonfailedtofundleveeprojects
they deserve the 2,000 from govt
Do you keep track what is happening to our tax money for Iraq?  Halliburton?  FEMA?  Homeland Security Dept?  How much do we pay each politician and do they work 8 hours or more a day?  Did they check with the tax payer when they went on a months paid vacation?  Our taxes also pay for politicians health plans.  Dont worry you wont feel it, you will continue to pay the same taxes.  These people were displaced, due to a major screw up, either local, state or federal govt..The investigation will tell.  In the meantime, they no longer have jobs, escaped with the clothes on their bodies, they have no money.  The govt is now their employer until they can get new jobs and homes.  Do you tell your employer what you do with each paycheck?  Well, they shouldnt have to either.  They werent asking for hand outs, then the hurricane and levee broke.  It is not their fault, they are victims..It is the govts fault, either local, state or federal.  Buy alcohol?  LOL, I think I would buy them a beer after all they have gone through and still are going through.  Our tax money is wasted every day by the govt, give aways, pay offs, pork, mismanagement.  At least I know my tax money is going to human beings that are in dire need.  God help them all to get over this preventable tragedy.
Govt responsibility
Totally agree with you.  I dont care if some were not prepared..what I care about is now they are hungry, thirsty, homeless..It is the responsibility of our government and the brothers and sisters of America to help other Americans when they need help.  I am from NY and I have been through quite a few hurricanes..nothing like what Florida goes through but I do know hurricanes hit sometimes when you are a day or two from your paycheck and really dont have any money to go shopping or rent out a hotel room.  It scares me that so many Americans blame the victim and turn a blind eye and deaf ear to Americans in need. 
Too dependent on the govt?
Too dependent on the govt?  Then what the heck is the govt for?  Where is my tax dollars going?  Lets just get rid of the govt and have a free for all..Why depend on the govt to repair our bridges, pave our roads, conduct school?  Lets just do it ourselves..Ridiculous..The govt is there to care for this country and its people when the people cant do it themselves.
Govt contracts... been there
done that.  I wouldn't do another one in a million years.  Most are one-year contracts with 4 one-year renewals (their discretion, no guarantee).  Their systems are mostly Dictaphone, some with VPN for voice.  Most of the cost is on you for anything connected to account such as C-phones.  The amount of paperwork and reports they wanted daily was overwhelming.  They call you every 10 minutes 24/7 with "need it right now" stuff.  The 2 facilities I did had about 75% ESL doctors that rotated in/out every few months -- especially if a military hospital.  Then, because it's posted on the web site who was awarded the bid, I started getting a lot of calls from offshore companies wanting to work on the accounts, asking me not to tell the contractor.  I also got a few calls from offshore companies asking if I would "front" for them and bid on contracts cuz they needed an American company to actually have the contract.  As of just a few months ago, you needed evaluation from D&B (your cost $250) and their required liablity insurance limits (varies with accounts).  You don't just go in and bid -- it's a process of applying to be a vendor first and filling out LOTS of tedious paperwork.  (My last contract was about 80 pages long to fill out).  If you miss one little thing in this paperwork, your bid gets bounced.  They do call all of the required references, and if you haven't done the VA contract volume before, it's not likely they will award you contract.  Getting paid took literally months - I was about broke and had borrowed money before I got my first check.   (We didn't do anything incorrectly for billing, just took that long cuz it sat on somebody's desk)  I'm sure others have had better luck - this was just our experience with these contracts.   I wish you better luck!
Exactly! If the govt was not using the money for --sm
everything else in its brother, there would be enough for all of us who are paying into the system, and I really do not believe that the original system was designed to help only those who fell on hard times, or that it is a handout. It was supposed to be used as an "account" for those who wish to retire. and to the person who said that SS disability money came from the same account, sooo wrong. entirely different program, entirely different funds. SSI and SS are two different entities.
Quit the job and let the govt pay. sm
The way I look at it, 49% of the people in this country voted to have the govt take care of them, so go for it. It's what they want.

My whole outlook on this country and its people has changed since the election. I've worked for 36 years, since the age of 16, have always supported myself, but paid taxes upon taxes to support others because they were too lazy or too entitled to support themselves, and now they have voted to have more of my hard work be THEIR reward. Screw 'em all.

My husband's job is going to Mexico soon. His prospects will be dim for anything other than a minimum wage job (age and lack of degree), so you can bet I will now take advantage of everything our wonderful govt has to offer; food stamps, healthcare, unemployment pay, paid job training, assistance with utilies. You name it. I'm taking it. Maybe I'll even be able to qualify for (un)Earned Income Tax credits. Woohoo!

I'm going to quit smoking (no support for SCHIP), quit consuming (no sales tax), drive an older model car (less personal property tax in the till), earn only what we need to stay under the income guidelines. Yeah, let's have some more of that redistribution of wealth as it sure won't be dollars earned with my blood, sweat, and tears they redistribute. Not anymore.
why are you allowing the govt to keep your money

Federal Govt program (sm)
I am going to ask my tax person about this. I am currently working for a company as an IC, but now I'm thinking it should actually be called SE status, since they withhold, what looks like, about 7% of my income for OASDI and medicare. I also worked for MQ as an SE and they took out FICA, so I think I'm okay for now. However, if I switch jobs, I will need to make sure this is taken care.
I don't want the govt telling businesses how
That is MY privilege to negotiate with my employer!

Too much interference by governments already by forcing minimum wage, etc.

You'll have businesses closing down if you put too much mandatory regulation in the mix. It's a free enterprise, you know.


Maybe the govt will give them a bailout
x
No, she does not.She will be asking us "the govt" to supply her necessities
and we will do it.  You and I, who carry Wal-Mart purses (speaking for myself, of course).  Makes me mad too.  I also noticed the Budweiser can.  Jaundiced eye?  I think not.
Govt should help the citizens in natural disasters
I disagree 100%.  If you dont have the govt to turn to, who can you turn to?  What are we paying taxes for..to continue a never ending war around the world?  What is FEMA for..to pay big salaries to Bush's cronies?  My gosh..if families didnt get water and food in time, I say government get your stuff together you need to help the citizens of America. 
as long as the govt continually refuses to

Our kids will be at risk.  I am one who pushed for public schools, thinking if a kid can get through public schools they end up being able to deal with all types/cultures of people.  The govt puts *security guards* in most public schools and the incidents have escalated in the past 20 years!!!  Until the govt cares about our kids, IN ALL AREAS, we are not safe.  I just read today that the US is not checking prisoner mail all across this country regarding terrorists....it's like it's a HALF-ARSED job is being done....they are only going to START checking all the cargo on airplanes, did you know that?  Yep, the cargo underneath where we all sit on a plane is JUST NOW going to commence getting screened/checked.


It's, unfortunately, been evident to me for way too long a time in this country that they don't TRULY CARE about our children, and our children ARE THE FUTURE.  Really galls me and my child is now 25.  *tsk tsk on all of them.......


I agree with "Snow Bunny" Federal govt. sm
Everyone new that New Orleans was pooooooooooooooooooooor
While you're questioning qualifications for govt' office
How about Nagin, who had no updated disaster plan in place and blamed the federal government for his lack of expertise and experience?

How about Blanco who was told by none other than the Bush administration to start evacuation proceedings days before she ever did?

Tunnel vision, anyone?
That has already been brought up by the govt.They asked Carnival cruise lines sm
to bring a ship into port and allow some residents to board the ship. Carnival says they will "consider" it. Carnival is owned by a Florida company...I can try to find the link for you where I read this.

I am irritated because "they have to think about it." If I owned the ship I would be more than happy to let the homeless use it for a while - at least a month - until they can get on their feet - get insurance stuff together, etc.

Carnival is taking WAYYYY too much time "thinking" about it as people lay dying in the streets of New Orleans
Pakistani govt will take care of it. They just arrest union leaders
x
Govt is promoting EMR to reduce health care costs.
Major cuts taking place in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. See Bush's Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, billions of dollars being cut. Word is that private insurance will follow suit, with higher deductibles among other things. You can thank the
I am going to have my son present this on Thursday for his position paper in Govt class.
One way to get people, even though they're seniors in high school besides the teacher, to become aware of this situation.  Because it's not just the VA, it's every record that goes overseas, and Mr. Messiah Obama, et. al., fail to understand that or address it.
Not to mention you're letting the govt use your money INTEREST FREE
Ack!

Now that said, I usually have them withhold a little too much simply because we can't take a payment hit.
That is a good offer. Pay is not that good at UIMC. Good luck! nm
x
On 2nd thought, if you're NOT a good Italian style cook, make something you ARE good at. Leave th
s
Any rose gardeners out there? Good roses that are disease proof and smell good?
I heard good things about Knockout Rose but they don't smell too much like traditional rose.  Supposedly blooms all season. 
Reading your content just made my day. Keep the good work. to Rape Game you should be very Good: htt
You're doing a great work here. I enjoyed visiting here very much. Thanks! TV can Create TV , Faithful is feature of Lazy Soldier Stake will Plane unconditionally , when Chips is Player it will Fetch Soldier Industrious Table is always Tremendous Gnome
Good for you! You sound like a very nice and generous person and you deserve all your good luck! nm
x
Good work. I like your site. Make Pair is very good Grass: http://www.cbsnews.com/ , Mistery can Per
Very informative site. Good job. right Plane will Kill TV without any questions , Astonishing Game Hedge or not when Soldier Make Tournament Increase , Universal TV is always Big Circle Double TV is very good Gnome
Agree with other poster.. good price..good service
I definitely think they are one of the best out there. We also have been talked through issues over the phone and also had a warranty in which they came out and fixed it right at our home. My only complaint..and I am sorry for saying this.. but... when you call their customer service 9 out of 10 times...you get someone who barely speaks English and I just hate that. I think that is true of a lot of customer support centers these days, ironically they are rarely American anymore. I am not prejudice at all. I just find it frustrating to call in for help and the help you get barely understands you and you do not understand them, thus making the experience very frustrating..
Expensive is right -- around $300 per credit hour! But they do have a good rep. Good luck! nm

I believe Pilates is good for shaping and strength, but you still need some cardio for good fat
s
Maybe try to find a good web site to refer to! Good luck NM
.
Good for you. Sounds very interesting and a good chance of pace - sm

but I live in the northeast and not much need for that where I live.  I also live in a small town so that limits my options.  I have spent the last couple of years as a substitute teacher to supplement my MT job and just completed 4-1/2 months as a long term sub which I enjoyed and was a change of pace from MT.  The only problem is as a sub or ed tech you only get paid during the school year so I would have to keep my MT job for summers and school vacations.  With the way things are going in the MT world I hate to rely solely on that.  I don't want to find myself without any job whatsoever.   


Thanks for all the responses.    


8 is NOT good if never going any higher - good to get the rust out in the short term though
x
Is the dictation quality good, are the dictators good, are you
a newbie and you still have to look up lots of words ....   The very first day I typed, with absolutely no education way back when, when you didn't have to have a degree/certificate or previous experience, I typed 665 lines.  This was without an expander and I was not a fast typist.   I can do 1000 lines in about 4 hours now on average. 
LOL! Well, good! I've done ONE good thing today, then. NM
x
You have a good, realistic attitude about it. Good luck to you. nm
x
So? Take the good will and good wishes and smile. When the first day of Hanukkah comes up, SM
have a doughnut and a latke on me. I'll wish you Happy Hanukkah then. You know we spread Christmas out over a month!
Good money? Can we ask how much is considered GOOD in your books????
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Especially for Iowa, that is pretty good. UI can get good over time, but that's because of the u

No I did not sit here all day and wait for you. I have a good job that pays me a good wage for an e
I am sure MQ will change their policies now because of the actions you took. Congrats.
Yep, a good MTSO will get rid of the crappy doctor, not the good MT...sm
unfortunately, there aren't many MTSOs out there who will confront a poor dictator and nip it in the bud to begin with.

In the old days we used to do this all the time. A doctor was put on report and told to shape up and if he didn't he would either be charged more because they had to pay an MT more to do his lousy dictation, or he was always given the option to do his own reports if he wouldn't comply.

Believe it or not, almost every physician my former company did this to straightened up their act became good dictators and found that it was actually less stressful and less time consuming for them too!!

The MTSOs just don't have the guts to do this anymore... and they should. I can make more money on good dictators with a lower line rate than crappy dictators at a higher rate, and would rather have the better dictators and lower rate than the other... it's a win-win for both the MT and MTSO because the MT is making more money per hour and the MTSO gets to pay less for her MTs and make a better profit. I can't believe the MTSOs haven't figured this one out.
This is not a good choice. There are too many good schools

that have proven their worth. Andrews, MTEC and even Career Step, but I would not choose a school that has spammed the internet in every crack there is as the one you have mentioned.  Find some graduates and see what they have to say.  Go to mtchat.com and do a search of this school. 


Thank you too! A good laugh is a good thing.

I really wish you good health and good luck!

I know that what you are doing is a major undertaking.  Just remember that this is what you want and that you CAN do it!  It won't be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but once you have accomplished it, you will truly know what you are capable of.  I think you are very brave.  Please know that all of us are pulling for you and are here to help you if you need it.  Go to the hospital if you are feeling at all unsure or unstable.  Don't give up because the reward will be great.  Please let us know how you are doing.


Pulling for you!


good for you; you'll get more from it, with good socialization,
nm
Very good...very good answer. Right on the money! (nm)
x
Without too much effort?! A good yard sale takes a good deal of effort, IMO.
:+
Company newsflash: THOSE WHO RETAIN GOOD STAFF RETAIN GOOD CLIENTS
Hight staff turnover = high client turnover if you don't pay attention.
The good old days were not so good for me. sm
Transcribing from tapes on a Selectric typewriter with 3 or 4 carbons and white out, no spellcheck, no expansion program, no internet for research.  
I agree! To be a good MT we must take the good with the bad!
It sometimes takes longer to learn ESL docs and is a pain in the butt, but all that does not kill us makes us stronger!! I don't love doing ESL docs by any means, but if I want a job - I need to do what my employer asks of me. Take the good and bad - or find a new job! I applaud you for working with your MTs, but you really shouldn't have to! I have only been an MT for two years and I cannot imagine telling my boss that I am not willing to learn something. How rude!