I would answer, fairly seriously: a state that includes its southern half.
Also, Chad recently posited that we shouldn't allow those (at all levels) who screwed up during the Katrina aftermath the chance to screw up a second time. For the most part, I agree. But how can we apply this to the Army Corps of Engineers?
From today's Times-Picayune:
The engineering mistakes that led to the canal levee failures that flooded most of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina were found and then dismissed in the Army Corps of Engineers' design review process in 1990, an investigative team reviewing the failures says.
Can't unelect the Corps, can we?
One of Emily Metzgar's resolutions for 2006 is "Resolve not to view the federal government as a source of hand-outs. The federal government isn't the solution to the state's problems."
If someone wants to explain how Flood and Wetlands protection can be implemented in South Louisiana without significant help from the feds, I'm all ears. If someone can explain how the feds aren't responsible for the Army Corps' apparent floodwall construction mistakes, I'd like to hear that as well. And why are funds for the protection of South Louisiana and the redevelopment of New Orleans considered a "handout" rather than an investment?
Must Louisiana change its political culture in order to survive? Certainly. Will it also need massive federal assistance for coastal/hurricane protection? Even more certainly. Sorry if some conservatives or libertarians are disappointed that LA's fate requires a "liberal" solution, but that's the reality. We need help from the federal government: neither Rep. Baker nor Rep. Jindal nor Sen. Vitter would dare dispute that.