Once again, the same massive corporations that have screwed up the
Iraq reconstruction, screwed up numerous US projects, and been fined for overcharges
and wage and safety violations, have been rewarded by the Bush Administration.
FEMA reports today
that 5 of the nation’s major corporations have been contracted to “speed
emergency housing relief” to the Gulf Coast. “Fluor Corp. of Aliso
Viejo, Calif. heads up operations for the Housing Area Command. An engineering
and construction firm, it is now in Louisiana beginning construction on temporary
housing units that will provide electricity, potable water and sanitary sewage
facilities. Bechtel National Inc. of San Francisco, an engineering and construction
firm that is now on the scene in Gulf states to provide emergency housing relief.”
This in addition to the $500 million contract KBR has already received for clean
up and repairs to Gulf Coast military facilities.
This time Bush gave these corporations an extra benefit, they won’t
even have to pay prevailing wages, as
was reported earlier. I imagine the next pronouncement will be that Gulf
Coast residents didn’t return which is why we will need Latino immigrants
and the associated illegal immigrants who will work for minimum wage or less.
But with all of these billions for these corporate contracts, we still can’t
manage to get a hot
meal and hot shower for our troops and other first responders, a task managed
on the wildfire lines across the country every single day. Paige Benson, a volunteer,
said to Anderson Cooper yesterday:
COOPER: You came in -- what are you doing here now?
BENSON: We're down here serving meals to all the troop and
to all the police officers.
COOPER: Now, you would think that there would be someone doing
that. I mean, you'd think that there would be some federal, you know, meal services
company doing that, but there's not. This is all donated food.
BENSON: Right. It's donated food from our small community.
They sent -- three people came down here with their grills and started the whole
thing. Eddie Warner (ph) got the call and he showed up here that night.
COOPER: And they thought they were going to feed a couple hundred
people. How many people are you feeding now?
BENSON: Six-thousand meals were served today.