This is the number in dollars that Recovery Director Ed Blakely says we need to fix the City of New Orleans. This includes buildings, streets, levees, sewers and infrastructure, churches and schools. (No mention of how much goes to line local pockets.) The debate has just started on whether Blakely's estimates are accurate or if he's just mouthing off again and has lost his perspective. Regardless, that's a lot of freaking cabbage. So much that I thought I'd run through a list of what that could buy...
One-third of the War On Terror. (To date.)
17 Louisiana Road Home Programs. (But then you'd automatically need another 54 to 85 billion dollars. Let's make that 10 then.)
60 YouTube.coms (with plenty left over for popcorn.)
67 Oprah Winfreys. (How would that be for a small slice of Hell?)
100 re-makes of Warren Beatty's "Reds," adjusted for inflation. (By contrast you can buy 5 billion copies of the DVD at your local video store or 7.15 billion copies from Amazon.com)
600 Presidential candidate fields for 2008. (All candidates from all parties, based on current campaign fund coffers)
750 Louisiana Superdomes. (And Tom Benson could finally shut the fuck up about a new stadium.)
1,852 Pairs of Roy Pearson's pants. (Up from 1,538 since he reduced his lawsuit.)
6,667 Red Hot Fantasy jewel encrusted bra & panty sets from Victoria's Secret. (Christmas is coming fellas...)
13,334 FEMA trailer parks, 200-lot average. (More or less, depending on location and contractor padding costs. Note, for some reason each 200-lot park is only capable of housing 15-80 families.)
714,286 favors from former New Orleans School Superintendent Ellenese Brooks-Sims. (Ironically enough, the first favor was bought by Mose Jefferson, brother of our next subject...)
One-million favors from (current) LA Congressman William Jefferson. (But you'd better hurry.)
30-billion pounds of crawfish. (Keep in mind you'll need some extra cash for the Zatarains and boiling fixins.)
Well over 33 billion gallons of gasoline. (At 25 mpg, this will take you about 825 billion miles. That's roughly 448 million round-trips from New Orleans to Pittsburgh.)
Now that's some perspective.
Meanwhile today on "Ellen," her very special guest is Hugh Grant. Todays topic will be "Remember 10 years ago when we were almost relevant?"
UPDATE: According to WDSU, my initial source on this, they now say it's only one-hundred million dollars. Whatever. The list is still pretty good, just do your own math.