The Washington, D.C. restaurant Art and Soul is quickly moving to chip in to support Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.
The Southern-inspired restaurant and its executive chef, Abbeville native Wes Morton, are hosting a fundraiser Thursday to support the Red Cross and Plaquemines Parish residents hit hardest by the storm.
“Too often, we forget about the long-lasting effects of natural disasters, as communities take months and years to rebuild,” Morton said. “Please help the residents of Plaquemines Parish to get the aid they need now.”
The “Beer, Bourbon and Boudin” fundraiser will include a Louisiana shrimp boil.
Tickets are $55. For more information, call (202) 393-7777.
Several national media outlets this past week highlighted the efforts by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., to protect federal emergency response dollars that many House Republicans have sought to cut through proposals by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
CBS News noted the $1.5 billion recently set aside in the federal disaster aid coffers.
“It’s a system that Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee-to-be for vice president, had hoped to scrap as a way to make his House GOP budget look smaller by about $10 billion a year. Politely, party elders told him no way, at least for now,” the CBS News report stated.
“Capitol Hill Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, and Landrieu were the driving force behind the new disaster funding scheme and made it part of last summer’s hard-fought budget pact with backing from President Barack Obama,” the report continued.
“Prior to that, the president had given short shrift to budgeting for disasters before a spate of them early last year, including tornadoes that ripped through Missouri and Alabama.”
The New York Times also piled on, adding, “The New Orleans area, in particular, will rely this week on $14 billion in levee construction, pumps and other flood control structures built by the Army Corps of Engineers since Katrina. But the corps’s construction budget has been cut by 21 percent since 2009 because of Republican pressure, hitting flood prevention especially hard.”
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee is planning to meet again on Sept. 13 to address Republican allegations that the White House and Interior Department may have falsified data from scientists to justify the offshore drilling moratorium in 2010 after the BP oil leak.
Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., on Thursday sent letters to two Interior Department officials asking them to appear at the hearing to answer questions regarding the draft moratorium report that was edited to appear as though the moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico was supported by a panel of engineering experts when it was not.
The White House and Interior Department have called the mistake an accidental typo made late at night that was quickly corrected. Some of the scientists supported a temporary halt in drilling, but they were never asked about the six-month moratorium.
The two Interior Department officials are Neal Kemkar, a special assistant involved with the draft, and Mary Katherine Ishee, a deputy administrator in the formerly named Minerals Management Agency.
Hastings said Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar has committed to the employees appearing.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, were both highlighted for very different reasons in the recent “Best and Worst of Congress 2012” in the Washingtonian publication.
Vitter tied for first in the Senate under the “Party Animal” category and also first in the “Most Likely to Star in a Scandal” section. The publication cited Vitter’s previous prostitution scandal as the primary reason.
Richmond, on the other hand, tied for second in the House as the top “Surprise Standout.” He also finished just out of the top three in the top male “Hottie” category.
The “Best and Worst” rankings are voted on confidentially by top Capitol Hill staffers and not by Washingtonian employees.
In the “Most Likely to be President Someday,” Sen. Marc Rubio, R-Fla., ranked first in the Senate and Ryan topped the list in the House.
Jordan Blum is chief of The Advocate Washington bureau. His email address is jblum@theadvocate.
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