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 September 12, 2009 11:41 PM

Strained by Katrina, a Hospital Faced Deadly Choices

Overtired after the hurricane, doctors and nurses in New Orleans injected some patients with drugs. Were they trying to comfort those patients — or hasten their deaths?

August 30, 2009magazineNews
Grand Jury Won’t Indict Doctor in Hurricane Deaths
Grand Jury Won’t Indict Doctor in Hurricane Deaths

A grand jury refused to indict a doctor accused of killing four elderly patients in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

July 25, 2007usNews
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 September 12, 2009 11:39 PM

Letters: The Deadly Choices at Memorial  [ send green star]
 September 07, 2009 2:02 PM

About f**king time.  Four years late, feds are finally investigating the inexcusable actions of NOPD officers during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.  Accusations range from deserting duty to looting to murder.  [ send green star]
 September 02, 2009 6:11 PM

RaceWire: By the Numbers: Katrina families still wait for justice

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 September 02, 2009 5:33 PM

Four years ago, Digby reminds us, Peggy Noonan exemplified the spirit of piggery in the midst of a national tragedy. And the Rude One observes: "Remember: to acknowledge the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is not to remember the damage done by a storm. It is to remember the damage done by us to ourselves. It was decades of incompetence, fraud, and cruelty of governments and contractors that have left New Orleans, truly, no better off than it was four years ago. The place feels different because to be there is to realize that all the things you hoped would protect you and the city have failed, and that to be there, especially during hurricane season, is to understand that it could so easily happen again when it shouldn't and when it shouldn't have in the first place. Of course it's better. Anything is better than flood and abandonment and chaos. And of course the city feels different than before. Purgatory's always better than Hell."

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 September 01, 2009 7:29 PM

Has Obama's Post-Katrina Gulf Coast Recovery Plan Been Sufficient?  [ send green star]
 September 01, 2009 3:32 PM

Louisiana's Republican Gov. Jindal Takes Helicopter To Church At Taxpayer Expense 
...reviewed Jindal's travel by gathering helicopter records from State Police through a public information request and verifying the purpose of the trips with the Governor's Office. The helicopter records provided by State Police covered March 2 - July 20; $1200/hr to operate the helicopter ...
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 August 28, 2009 10:43 AM

Four Years After Katrina: The State Of New Orleans
New Orleans
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 August 26, 2009 8:55 PM

Katrina, Four Years Later: Expert Fired Who Warned Levees Would Burst

Tonight on Air America: Greg Palast joins Crooks and Liars' John Amato, guest host of "Clout!" on your local progressive station or streaming live on at 9pm Eastern.

This week, special for Crooks and Liars readers, download for free, Palast's film for Democracy Now!, "Big Easy to Big Empty: How the White House Drowned New Orleans."

There's another floater. Four years on, there's another victim face down in the waters of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Ivor van Heerden.

I don't get to use the word "heroic" very often. Van Heerden is heroic. The Deputy Director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, it was van Heerden who told me, on camera, something so horrible, so frightening, that, if it weren't for his international stature, it would have been hard to believe:

"By midnight on Monday the White House knew. Monday night I was at the state Emergency Operations Center and nobody was aware that the levees had breached. Nobody."

On the night of August 29, 2005, van Heerden was shut in at the state emergency center in Baton Rouge, providing technical advice to the rescue effort. As Hurricane Katrina came ashore, van Heerden and the State Police there were high-fiving it: Katrina missed the city of New Orleans, turning east.

What they did not know was that the levees had cracked. For crucial hours, the White House knew, but withheld the information that the levees of New Orleans had broken and that the city was about to drown. Bush's boys did not notify the State of the flood to come, which would have allowed police to launch an emergency hunt for the thousands who remained stranded.

"Fifteen hundred people drowned. That's the bottom line," said von Heerden. He shouldn't have told me that. The professor was already in trouble for saying, publicly, that the levees around New Orleans were no good, too short, by 18". They couldn't stand up to a storm like Katrina. He said it months before Katrina hit -- in a call to the White House, and later in the press.

So, even before Katrina, even before our interview, the professor was in hot water. Van Heerden was told by LSU officials that his complaints jeopardized funding from the Bush Administration. They tried to gag him. He didn't care: he ripped off the gag and spoke out.

It didn't matter to Bush, to the state, to the university, that van Heerden was right -- devastatingly right. Exactly as van Heerden predicted, the levees could not stand up to the storm surge.

In 2006, I met van Heerden in his office at the university's hurricane center; a cubby filled with charts of the city under water. He's a soft-spoken, even-tempered man, given to understatement and academic reserve. But his words were hand grenades: the Bush White House did nothing about the levees, despite warning after warning.

Why? A hurricane is an Act of God. But a levee failure is an Act of Bush -- of the federal government. Under the Flood Control Act of 1928, once the levees break, it's Washington's responsibility to save lives -- and to compensate the victims for lost homes and lost loved ones.

By telling me this, the professor had to know he was putting his job on the line. This week marks the fourth anniversary of the drowning of New Orleans.

Shakoor Aljuwani of the Rebuilding Lives Coalition reminds me it is also the fourth year of exile for more than half of the low-income black residents who once lived in the Crescent City. In the Lower Ninth Ward, 81% have yet to return.

And it marks the end of Dr. van Heerden's career at LSU. They got him. Once the network cameras were turned away from New Orleans, as America and Anderson Cooper shifted attention to Brad and Angelina and other news, the University put an end to Dr. van Heerden. "In 2006 they started the nonsense - they stopped me from teaching. They tried last year to get faculty to vote me out."

His contract was not renewed; he was forced out too, dumped along with the chief of the Hurricane Center who led the academics who supported van Heerden's research. The Man Who Was Right was fired.

Continue reading »

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 August 26, 2009 8:12 PM

As the anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster approaches, right-wing radio host Neal Boortz today referred to the victims of the story as human "debris." You stay classy, conservatives.

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 August 09, 2009 12:46 PM

FBI raids NOLA police over Katrina killings  [ send green star]
 August 06, 2009 7:59 PM

* NPR's Mara Liasson backed off her comments yesterday comparing "cash for clunkers" to Hurricane Katrina.

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 August 05, 2009 5:02 PM

* I have no idea why NPR's Mara Liasson would tell Fox News that the Cash for Clunkers program and Hurricane Katrina are similar.

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 August 05, 2009 12:49 PM

The New Orleans Mental Health Crisis, Exposed

Actor, author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multi-media artist

The Washington Times ran an admirable piece about the post-Katrina mental health mess, yet there is a remarkable lapse: a failure to explain why the disaster happened, why the city was inundated.

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 August 05, 2009 7:52 AM

Republian Rep. Marsha Blackburn Apologizes For "Katrina" Comment 
Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn's spokesman, Claude Chafin said she mispoke and apologized for her comments Wednesday that "we're not going to cry emergency every time we have a Katrina."
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 August 05, 2009 7:51 AM

William Rivers Pitt | Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "The city of New Orleans will be on the minds of many in the coming days and weeks. The four-year anniversary of the worst civil catastrophe in American history - one of the worst such catastrophes in all of human history - will soon be upon us. It was four years ago, the length of one presidential term, that a storm came, and the seas rose, and the levees fell and a city was, for all practical purposes, murdered right before our eyes."

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 June 24, 2009 6:09 PM

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 June 24, 2009 6:00 PM

I hate to say this but this is precisely why I didn't donate anything to any of the Katrina funds. I KNEW the majority of the funds would be misspent and/or skimmed by the higher-ups. It's what happened after 9/11, it's what happened after Katrina and it will happen again after the next disaster. Sad as it is to say, America is all about the profiteers first.

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 June 24, 2009 5:37 PM

FEMA Misspent Millions Intended For Katrina Victims
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 June 08, 2009 4:10 PM

YouTube - DN! Katrina Victims to Remain in Trailer Homes

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 May 30, 2009 4:59 PM

Hurricane Katrina victims to be evicted -- again  [ send green star]
 May 18, 2009 8:54 PM

Rumsfeld Kept Rescue Choppers From Katrina - Turf War 
Donald Rumsfeld has always answered his detractors by claiming that history will one day judge him kindly. But as he waits for that day, a new group of critics--his administration peers--are suddenly speaking out for the first time
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 April 10, 2009 12:59 PM

Chinese Drywall and the Cost of Truth-Telling

Actor, author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multi-media artist

As if Formosan termites weren't bad enough (they devour everything, not just wood), now New Orleans is coming to grips with its latest visitor: defective drywall.

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 April 08, 2009 7:31 PM

Credit where it's due: Glenn Beck's thorough debunking of FEMA camps confirms C&L's reportage  [ send green star]
 April 08, 2009 6:36 PM

It worked so well in Algiers, across the river from Nawlins, in the wake of Katrina...

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 April 08, 2009 6:13 PM

For four years, Katrina survivors have been living in these toxic boxes. But there's more to this story than mere indifference or even incompetence - there was a concerted effort to push poor people out of the area after Katrina:

JACKSON, Miss. - Thanh Nguyen will soon give up the cramped travel trailer that's been her home for more than four years, pack her belongings into an old Toyota Corolla and rely on the kindness of others for a place to live.

She has no choice: The government is taking back the trailer.

"I'm going to pack everything I have in a car and go to my friends' houses and move on and on until I find something I can afford," the Vietnamese immigrant said through a translator. "It's for however long they allow me to stay."

Nguyen is one of nearly 6,000 residents in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama who face a May 1 deadline to leave the government trailers and cottages where they have lived since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita raked the Gulf Coast.

[...] The main barrier is affordability. Following Katrina, rent more than doubled along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Much of the affordable housing stock was destroyed and insurance rates increased. Hundreds of housing units have been replaced within the last year, but "developers can't put it on line at pre-Katrina rates," Carr said.

The state also plans to transform 1,800 so-called Katrina Cottages — billed as a sturdier alternative to trailers — into permanent structures.

Nguyen, 69, lives on a $646 Social Security check, said Danny Le, who works for Boat People SOS, an organization that helps Asian immigrants.

Le said the minimum cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Biloxi is $500. He said Nguyen has applied for public housing, but hasn't received a response.

Perhaps things like this have something to do with it:

Peter Werwath [Enterprise Foundation] laid out a "Marshall Plan" to estimate how a relatively small amount of FEMA's budget could temporarily fix 150,000 roofs, install 50,000 trailers, and repair 100,000 homes. He noted the night and day difference between the progress being made in cleaning up Mississippi and the lack of activity in New Orleans, as well as the fact that FEMA had tarped tens of thousands of home roofs in Gulfport and Biloxi, while they had done very little in New Orleans.

Continue reading »

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 February 23, 2009 10:25 PM

Plenty of Nothin' for New Orleans?

Actor, author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multi-media artist

My first thought when reading no stimulus money was earmarked for hurricane recovery was, "Damn, three and a half years along, and we're not shovel-ready." But in fact, that's not the case.

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 February 09, 2009 8:11 PM

$3.9B in Hurricane Katrina Aid Is Still Unspent

I'm just flabbergasted. Knowing the extent of the damage down there, why on earth would we not be pushing to get it done? Unless, of course, this is yet another example of Disaster Capitalism and we're trying to get what's left of the inhabitants to leave and sell the land to rich people:

WASHINGTON — A massive effort to fix public works destroyed more than three years ago by the Gulf Coast hurricanes remains largely stalled, leaving more than $3.9 billion in federal aid unspent and key repairs far from complete.

The scale of that job is enormous. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has promised $5.8 billion to repair everything from flooded libraries and schools to sewer systems and roads that were ruined when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita obliterated huge sections of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005.

Nearly 3½ years after those storms hit, new FEMA accounting reports show two-thirds of the money to pay for permanent rebuilding work still has not been spent, the latest bottleneck in a recovery long beset by criticism that it has been too slow and inefficient. And despite a handful of high-profile successes, officials who had vowed to speed up the pace of repairs concede it is still going far more slowly than it should.

"I think it can go better. That's almost obvious," says James Stark, who runs FEMA's recovery effort in the region. "Public safety, health and education are critical. That's not proceeding as quickly as I think many people in southeast Louisiana would want." Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has ordered the agency to take a "fresh look" at those roadblocks. Its first report is due Tuesday.

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 February 09, 2009 11:24 AM

Massive Gulf Coast Reconstruction Effort Stalled
$3.9 Billion In Hurricane Aid Unspent
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 February 08, 2009 6:42 PM

Bombs, choppers during military exercises startle New Orleans residents
Residents in and around New Orleans have been hearing the sounds of low-flying helicopters and what sounds like bomb blasts over the past few nights, but the sounds are part of a training exercise for some of America's elite military troops. “I said, oh my God! They're bombs. That's what I thought it was, somebody dropping bombs,” one lakefront resident said.

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 January 31, 2009 9:53 PM

Katrina fried Rice - Condi tries to defend Bush's response to Katrina, but then Condi's no one to talk. (Be all that as it may, she might be right that his reasons for being so callous weren't so much a matter of ignoring their plight because they were black as ignoring their plight because they were likely Democratic voters in a state with a Democratic Governor.)

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 January 14, 2009 8:23 AM

I saw this on Huffington. Who is she?

If there is any doubt 'bout the Bush intentions wrt to New Orlean's Katriana flood victims -- READ THESE ARCHIVES !!

From our (peer-reviewed) research, it was attempted genocide. No different than what is happening in Gaza, just a whole lot easier.

This post was modified from its original form on 14 Jan, 8:23  [ send green star]
 January 13, 2009 12:13 PM

MediaWATCH: Campbell Brown Rips Bush For Katrina Remarks
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 January 05, 2009 12:30 PM

Katrina, RNC Activist Outs Himself as FBI Informant
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 January 04, 2009 11:36 AM

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 December 30, 2008 9:53 AM

Ex-Aides: Bush Never Recovered From Katrina
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 December 27, 2008 2:57 PM

Congratulations to the winners of The 2008 Golden Monkeyfist Awards.

The Delta Prime Award (with hopeful clusters)-- To New Orleans Ladder for keeping the tragedy of New Orleans and the Gulf awake in our hearts, minds, and deeds, while this sad excuse for an Administration boldly forgot.
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 December 23, 2008 7:44 PM

New Orleans Faces "The Nation"

The Nation's investigative piece on the unsolved shootings in Algiers Point in the days after Katrina is a lengthy, painstaking piece of work. And, just like much of the media coverage of the disaster three-plus years ago, it lies.

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 December 23, 2008 7:33 PM

The Grinning Skull

While the media demonized the New Orleans' black population for crimes that turned out not to have happened, they ignored the group of white men who went on a shooting spree across the river.

Read Post | Comments

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 August 29, 2008 7:34 PM

FEMA whips into Big Easy

Killer Tropical Storm Gustav lashed Jamaica with high winds and up to two dozen inches of rain Thursday night as fears grew it would become a powerful hurricane before blasting the U.S.

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 August 29, 2008 10:29 AM

New Orleans Repeating Deadly Levee Blunders
Signs are emerging that history is repeating itself in the Big Easy, still healing from Katrina: People have forgotten a lesson from four decades ago and believe once again that the federal government is constructing a levee system they can

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 August 29, 2008 10:24 AM

New Orleans Mulls Evacuation as Gustav Looms
Three years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Louisiana coast, New Orleans residents on Wednesday again confronted the prospect of an evacuation as Tropical Storm Gustav loomed.

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 August 29, 2008 10:21 AM

Two Animals of Katrina Inseparable Ever After
In January, four months after the storm, two of the many stray pets fending for themselves after the storm showed up at a construction site: One was a blind, brown-sugar tabby, dangerously undernourished; the other was a large dog, dragging behind him

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more Katrina links... August 16, 2008 5:21 PM

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Katrina & Recovery August 16, 2008 5:17 PM

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Can New Orleans Music Survive August 16, 2008 5:13 PM

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 July 17, 2008 11:34 AM

What Soledad Learned From "Black In America": Katrina's Lesson Is "No One Is Coming To Save You"
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 July 17, 2008 9:09 AM

Officials spread Katrina lie to push offshore drilling

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 July 09, 2008 4:03 PM

Report: Makers Knew Katrina Trailers Tainted

House Democrats say manufacturers knew of high levels of formaldehyde

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 July 08, 2008 10:34 PM

thats for the continous updates

the pain there never ends, there is no question in our minds that the entire fiasco is the result of old school slavery racism

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 July 08, 2008 10:29 PM

A CNN report finds that supplies meant for Katrina victims were diverted to other agencies: "The state's Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks took more coffee makers, cleaning supplies and other items. Plastic containers ended up with the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration. Colleges, volunteer fire departments and other agencies received even more. But the Mississippi hurricane victims who originally were intended to receive the supplies got nothing, a CNN investigation has found."

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 June 30, 2008 10:32 AM

McCain Holds Up New Orleans As An Educational Success Story

video_wmv Download | Play  video_mov Download | Play  (h/t Heather)

During a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials John McCain is asked what he would do to insure that all working and middle class Americans can realize the American dream of home ownership in an era of skyrocketing foreclosures and predatory sub-prime loan programs.  For reasons that presumably make sense to him, he launches into a discussion of NCLB and education funding, holding up New York City and New Orleans as examples of Republican success stories in education.  Successes, really? Talk about being McOut of Touch.

Your question comes to the heart of what Americans are sitting around the kitchen table tonight and saying “how are we going to afford our home loan mortgage payment,” some of…many hundreds of thousands have suddenly and recently lost their jobs. Owning one’s own home is part of the American dream. I made a proposal that people who are primary owners of primary residence can go down and get a FHA-guaranteed loan, a 30 year loan that’s guaranteed by the FHA at the new value of their home, so they’d be able to make their payments. Now the legislation that was winding its way through the Congress and unfortunately, again, did not pass before the United States Senate went out of session. Again, incredible that Congress should go on vacation while Americans are trying to stay in their homes. That’s why…I mean, they also re-authorized No Child Left Behind, with the lessons we learned in the intervening years since we passed it, in a bi-partisan fashion, I would fully fund those programs that have never been fully funded. But let me also say to you: choice and competition. I believe that every family in America should have the same choice that Cindy and I did. We chose to send our children to a Catholic school. That was because we were able to do so. So I believe that charter schools work. I believe that they’re not much better than public education, but they provide competition. There are two examples I’d like to mention very briefly: New York City and New Orleans. If you missed it, there is now a dramatic uptick in the performance of school children in New York City, a place where a lot of experts thought there would never be improvement. We ought to go up there and see what Mr. Klein and Mayor Bloomberg and others have done and dedicated educators have done in New York City. New Orleans, they had to start at square one, as you know. There are now 30 charter schools in the city of New Orleans. Anyone will tell you that they’re starting to see a dramatic improvement in the quality of education in the city of New Orleans. My friends, choice and competition, reward the teachers, God bless them, find bad teachers another line of work. Choice and competition.

I’ll bet Mr. “Choice and Competition” has never seen this documentary. 

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 June 27, 2008 11:01 AM

Congress' (and the President's) Priorities: ABNO

That would be "Anything But New Orleans", as reflected in the whopping bill, ostensibly to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with a number of other domestic "priorities."

Read Post | Comments

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 June 25, 2008 12:12 PM

Still Counting Katrina's Dead

While the "full impact" of Katrina is not quantifiable, the more we know about the circumstances of individual deaths, the better prepared we will be to prevent similar disasters in the future.

Read Post | Comments

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 June 17, 2008 8:59 PM

Rush Limbaugh Attacks Black Katrina victims and praises Whites as the Floods hit.

Limbaugh: I want to know. I look at Iowa, I look at Illinois—I want to see the murders. I want to see the looting. I want to see all the stuff that happened in New Orleans. I see devastation in Iowa and Illinois that dwarfs what happened in New Orleans. I see people working together. I see people trying to save their property…I don’t see a bunch of people running around waving guns at helicopters, I don’t see a bunch of people running shooting cops. I don’t see a bunch of people raping people on the street. I don’t see a bunch of people doing everything they can…whining and moaning—where’s FEMA, where’s BUSH. I see the heartland of America. When I look at Iowa and when I look at Illinois, I see the backbone of America.

Thanks to a C&Ler that emailed me much of this post. Limbaugh is an arrogant ideologue that loves Howard Kurtz and hates the black victims of NOLA. Don’t you understand, it was all their fault for not escaping Hurricane Katrina! Wake, up! You drive by media fools. They were lazy, lazy people that deserved their fate. If only they were white and responsible. Just listen to this horrific rant as Limbaugh is all ‘agush‘ with admiration over the way in which Iowa and the Midwest has responded to the flood disaster that befell the area last week. But to just congratulate the residents in their determination and courage in fighting the disaster isn’t enough for the AM talk blow hard. Limbaugh could not pass up the opportunity to once again trot out his old, well known disdain for poor blacks in the south who were victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To hear Limbaugh describe it, Iowa is more American, more honorable … you know … more white than Louisiana.

audio_mp3 Download | Play (The audio will work in just a few minutes)

It would seem that the images of floating bodies, and documented stories of elderly New Orleans residents drowning in their attics is cold hard facts surrounding humans that Rush Limbaugh thinks could have benefited by just pulling themselves up by their bootstraps a little more. Nevermind that more than 1700 human beings lost their lives on live television as America watched in horror. You don’t hear progressives saying that Iowa is any less devastating because the death toll in those floods was a total of 5. It is still a tragedy. And progressives understand that full well.

But according to Rush the story of Iowa under water isn’t a story about humans over coming adversity. It’s a story about how much more patriotic the white bread basket is than the lazy south.

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 June 17, 2008 11:53 AM

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 June 15, 2008 9:52 AM

Facing South: Gulf Coast nonprofit groups were left out as FEMA

gave away $85 million in Katrina supplies.

This post was modified from its original form on 15 Jun, 9:53  [ send green star]
 May 06, 2008 5:43 PM

Laura Bush, please stay away from Diplomatic duties


Usually when a tragedy strikes like a cyclone or a hurricane, one would think that Laura Bush would flash the face of being compassionate to all the suffering people instead of an attack dog politician. Wouldn’t there have been a better time to criticize the government?


When a country run by a despotic and isolationist regime is laid low by a massive natural disaster, the diplomatic thing to do is to respond with a show of compassion. Not kick ‘em when they’re down.

More than 22,000 people have died in the staggering devastation caused by this weekend’s cyclone in Burma. But when First Lady Laura Bush made her first-ever visit to the White House briefing room yesterday, to talk about what’s going on in that country, it was not to deliver a message of goodwill.

Rather than announce the launch of a massive relief effort that could take advantage of a rare diplomatic opening, the first lady instead tossed insults at Burma’s leaders, blamed them for the high death toll, and lashed out at their decision to move forward with a constitutional referendum scheduled for this Saturday.

The traditionally issue-averse first lady’s concerns about the Burmese junta and its abuses of human rights date back several years, and she’s been particularly outspoken since last fall.

But why respond to a catastrophe with such hostility? The awkward timing, as it turns out, may have had something to do with an event entirely unrelated to the cyclone.

“I’m going to leave tomorrow for Crawford, for Jenna’s wedding, and I wanted to be able to make a statement about Burma before I left,” the first lady told reporters.

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 May 04, 2008 4:36 AM


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 April 30, 2008 2:30 PM

 I feel like heading right down there to teach those kids

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 April 30, 2008 1:31 PM

Against Odds, New Orleans Schools Fight Back

There is still disorder in many classrooms in New Orleans, but there is also learning going on, amid the struggle.

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 April 29, 2008 2:44 PM

McCain tours New Orleans by Jess Wudrun
John McCain tours New Orleans and declares it

“safe,” by the always brilliant Jess Wundrun.

Open Thread below…

This post was modified from its original form on 29 Apr, 14:44  [ send green star]
 April 25, 2008 6:01 AM

that is a great picture of bush -- says it all !!

thumb-sucking adult

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 April 24, 2008 4:56 PM

McCain: I Would Have Reacted Differently Than Bush To Katrina
See Photos Of McCain Eating Cake With Bush During Katrina

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 April 24, 2008 4:46 PM

McCain's Pastor Hagee Says Hurricane Katrina Struck New Orleans Because It Was ‘Planning A Sinful’ ‘Homosexual Rally’»

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 April 24, 2008 4:45 PM

Flashback: As Katrina hit, McCain celebrated 69th birthday with Bush.  [ send green star]
 April 24, 2008 4:44 PM

McCain open to ‘tearing down’ Lower Ninth Ward.

As part of his “Forgotten America” tour, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is touring New Orleans today and speaking in the Lower Ninth Ward, the predominantly poor section of the city hit hardest by Katrina. According to CBS News, McCain said he was not sure he’d rebuild the neighborhood:

McCain says making FEMA an independent agency isn’t the problem. He said there needed to qualified people in the job. “The former head of FEMA was not qualified,” he said. “They haven’t always had a terrible record.”

He also told reporters he was not sure if he would rebuild the lower 9th ward as president.

“That is why we need to go back is to have a conversation about what to do -rebuild it, tear it down, you know, whatever it is,” he said.

On Tuesday, Pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement McCain sought out, said Katrina occurred because New Orleans was planning a “sinful” gay rally.

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 April 23, 2008 9:31 PM

The Lower Ninth Battles Back

The word "will" comes up constantly in the Lower Ninth Ward now; We Will Rebuild is spray-painted onto empty houses
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 April 17, 2008 9:55 PM

  • Don't forget to check out the other three NOLA/Gulf Blogathon diaries today: Louisiana 1976 offers Earth Day #1: Katrina & The Environment. commonscribe discusses insurance woes in NOLA/Gulf blogathon: Insuring profits over people. buhdydharma's contribution is NOLA Blogathon, New Orleans: Canary in the Coal Mine. (YatPundit)
  • Extraordinary Measures, Part I is mlharges' beautifully-written contribution to the marvelous selection of diaries comprising the heartbreaking, 2-day NOLA/Gulf Blogathon. (joyful)
  •  [ send green star]
     April 17, 2008 7:09 PM

    Oops! Just a Little Leak
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    Toxic Trailers Redux: When Did FEMA Know? April 09, 2008 8:22 AM

    Newly found documents show OSHA detected dangerous levels of formaldehyde in trailers used to house Katrina evacuees as early as 2005—but FEMA mass distributed them anyway

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     March 22, 2008 11:30 PM

    Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse pens a stunning indictment of Bush's legacy to NOLA post-Katrina in The NOLA Shock Doctrine.

     [ send green star]
    Lake Borgne report is OK'd March 21, 2008 7:17 AM

    Storm surge project contract next step
    Saturday, March 15, 2008
    By Mark Schleifstein

    The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday approved an environmental report on planned levees and gates to block storm surge in Lake Borgne from entering the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Industrial Canal in New Orleans, setting the stage for the awarding of a contract to design and build the project by the end of this month.

    Col. Al Lee, commander of the New Orleans District office, signed the decision record for the report, which provides a general description of the alternatives to be used in creating a barrier to surge water, the general location in which they will be built, and a description of the environmental effects expected from the project's construction.

    A second report will be presented to the public after the construction contractor determines exactly how to build the project. That report will explain in greater detail where and how the project will be built, its environmental effects, and possible mitigation measures that could be required to offset those effects.

    Expected to cost $800 million or more, the Industrial Canal protection project should be completed by the beginning of the 2011 hurricane season. However, the part of the project that will block surge from reaching the Industrial Canal must be completed by the beginning of the 2009 hurricane season.

    Corps spokesman Randy Cephus said signing the environmental report clears the way for the corps to negotiate an agreement with the state as the project's local sponsor.

    The project will protect parts of eastern New Orleans, the lower 9th Ward and Chalmette from flooding caused by surge from hurricanes with a 1 percent chance of hitting the area in any year, a so-called 100-year storm.

    It will include a gate that could be as high as 31 feet above sea level on the Gulf waterway, and might contain a similar gate on the northern end of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet. Levees as high as 28 feet would be built from the gate or gates eastward and southward along the Gulf waterway and the MR-GO to connect to 100-year levees that stretch farther east and south.

    Construction of a gate at the northern end of the Industrial Canal to block surge entering from Lake Pontchartrain would be done under a separate project.

    The corps recently received approval to reallocate about $800 million from a project to build new permanent pump stations at the end of three drainage canals in western New Orleans to the Industrial Canal project. The pump station money will be replaced when Congress approves a request for $5.7 billion to complete the 100-year levee system as part of the fiscal year 2009 budget.

    . . . . . . .

    Mark Schleifstein can be reached at or (504) 826-3327.

     [ send green star]
     March 12, 2008 12:39 PM

    I think it is time for the people of Lousiana to:

    a) get control of their enforcement officiers,
    b) throw out the federal representatives.

     [ send green star]
    The KatrinaRitaVille Express March 11, 2008 11:38 AM

    Dumbstruck by last night’s informational meeting between CDC officials and Baton Rouge area trailer residents, the KRV Express showed up in New Orleans to witness two more of the agency’s bland and depressing “dog and pony shows.” ...

     [ send green star]
     March 07, 2008 7:25 PM

    This is the quote:

    So I don't understand why more women don't relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. (Even I, who inherited my interior-decorating skills from my
    Bronx Irish paternal grandmother, whose idea of upgrading the living-room sofa was to throw a blanket over it, can make a house a home.) Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts' content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim.

     [ send green star]
     March 06, 2008 4:27 PM

    Allen: Katrina was ‘best thing to happen to New Orleans.’

    Writer Charlotte Allen responded to questions today about her Washington Post op-ed from last Sunday, which argued that women “are kind of dim.” In an online chat with readers, Allen restated a claim she’d made in 2005 that “Katrina was the best thing to happen to New Orleans”:

    I said Katrina was the best thing to happen to New Orleans because it finally opportunity to a huge number of New Orleans residents living in passive dependency on welfare to get out of New Orleans and change their lives for the better. Thousands of them did exactly that–which is why there hasn’t exactly been a huge flood of those former residents flocking back to live in passive dependency and do just that. New Orleans itself now has a chance to change into a more self-reliant city.

    Feministing is urging readers to write letters to the editor of the Washington Post. (HT: Sadly No)

    UPDATE: Turns out it was Feministing’s Jessica Valenti who asked the question that elicited Allen’s answer about Katrina and New Orleans.  March 5, 2008 4:08 pm | Comment (76)

     [ send green star]
    Half New Orleans Poor Permanently Displaced: Failure or Success? March 04, 2008 8:03 PM

     [ send green star]
     March 03, 2008 4:23 PM

    Your Right Hand Thief: Gulf Coast Recovery Czar, Donald Powell, decides he’d rather bail than follow through on his promise that BUSHCO was “committed to building the best levee system in the world.”

     [ send green star]
     February 28, 2008 11:48 PM

    One of the most shameful aspects of NOLA's plight has been its own newspapers' complicity in hiding the truth from its citizens. scorpiorising tells us Why We are Protesting the New Orleans Times Picayune. (watercarrier4diogenes)

     [ send green star]
     February 12, 2008 1:11 PM

    A Big Easy North American Union : No Security, No Prosperity Either

    Bush will host the Security and Prosperity Partnership in New Orleans this year.Going well beyond the Port of New Orleans, Security and Prosperity Partnership plans for "North American Integration" endanger port, trucking, and railroad jobs, as well as . . .
    This is the third in a series
    of video produced especially
    for Brasscheck TV on the "nuts
    and bolts" of the New World

    Videos one and two were about
    the current movement in the US to
    criminalize free speech.

    Today's video is about a complete
    restructuring of US laws and
    transportation infrastructure
    that is taking place behind closed
    doors - without Congressional
    oversight or approval.

    The liberty and standard of
    living of all Americans is at
    risk, but some cities are going
    to be drastically impacted.

    One city, already shaky from a triple
    assault by the US Army Corps of Engineers,
    FEMA, and the Bush Administration is
    going to be particularly hard it.

    And none of this is in the news,
    or at least not in a way that anyone
    but the sharpest observers can
    make sense of.

    You can support this important
    video by playing it, rating it,
    favoriting it, and commenting on
    it and encouraging others to do
    the same.
     [ send green star]
     January 23, 2008 7:45 PM

    Katrina: Conservatism's Catastrophic Success

    It's been a long time since I blogged about Katrina or its aftermath. But I was reminded of it by the steady stream of Katrina-related headlines I've been reading lately. You know, the drumbeat of actual news that barely breaks through the din surrounding stories of which starlet was just hauled out of her house on a gurney.

    They may get drowned out, or passed over as news readers turn the page or click the next, more interesting link, but if you put them together, stand back and take a good look, you can't help but get the big picture. It's not pretty, but the picture is one of conservatism's finest hour, depending on how you look at it.

    ... read more »

     [ send green star]
     January 10, 2008 4:21 PM

    We know also of such a disaster form 1 februari 1953. The people coould onlyntalk aboot the present, the wether now,, and pressed away there bad experience. Only just before dying people came loose. Always bearing that big loss inside them.

    A very big psycholgical problem. Yes gvrmnt. Maybe a criminal process from those so poor people as party against.... It is a possibility in the new ERA.

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]
    New Orleans Hires Firm For To Oversee 1B In Recovery January 10, 2008 4:08 PM  [ send green star]
     December 31, 2007 11:32 AM

    FEMA’s Katrina recovery chief retiring this week.

    Gil Jamieson, who for the past two years has overseen the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, announced recently in an internal agency memo that he will retire on Thursday. Recovery efforts under Jamieson have been “widely criticized by local residents and officials who complain that FEMA has created a maze of red tape with its interpretation of laws governing disaster aid.” Soon after Katrina, Jamieson and other top FEMA officials countermanded “a directive” by the FEMA official then-in charge of streamlining the flow of disaster aid “that would have cut through the red tape and expedited a staggering 1,029 rebuilding projects and $5.3 billion.”  11:45 am | Comment (121)

     [ send green star]
     December 22, 2007 3:52 PM

    New Orleans to Demolish Thousands of Poor™ Homes - CommonDreams.Org
    Not much discussion in US papers, however, this is what we feared to be true from the get go. Nice way to deal with the poor, and let's not forget, the black. Such an advanced nation we are.
     [ send green star]
     December 22, 2007 2:16 PM

    Brad Pitt Weighs in on Rebuildng New Orleans, Iraq, and the '08 Race

     [ send green star]

     November 17, 2007 5:49 PM

    After Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi “was required by Congress to spend half of its billions in federal grant money to help low-income citizens. … But so far, the state has spent $1.7 billion in federal money on programs that have mostly benefited relatively affluent residents and big businesses.” Just 10 percent of the funds have gone to help poor residents. 

     [ send green star]

     November 17, 2007 5:15 PM

    New Orleans Housing
    What do we want? Housing!” Movement Unites in New Orleans to Re-Open Public Housing
     [ send green star]
     November 17, 2007 4:52 PM

    Take the Long Road Home

    New Orleans' "Small Rental Property Program," has become a Kafkaesque nightmare, teasing people with the illusion of almost enough assistance to begin rebuilding, while, in fact, giving them nothing.

     [ send green star]
     September 27, 2007 1:33 AM

    Feds Drop the Other Shoe--On Public Housing

     [ send green star]

     September 27, 2007 1:26 AM

    Brad Pitt Pledges $5 Million To Rebuild New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward

     [ send green star]

     September 03, 2007 3:32 PM

    Katrina All the Time

    by Paul Krugman

    Two years ago today, Americans watched in horror as a great city drowned, and wondered what had happened to their country. Where was FEMA? Where was the National Guard? Why wasn’t the government of the world’s richest, most powerful nation coming to the aid of its own citizens?

    What we mostly saw on TV was the nightmarish scene at the Superdome, but things were even worse at the New Orleans convention center, where thousands were stranded without food or water. The levees were breached Monday morning — but as late as Thursday evening, The Washington Post reported, the convention center “still had no visible government presence,” while “corpses lay out in the open among wailing babies and other refugees.”

    . . . Future historians will, without doubt, see Katrina as a turning point. The question is whether it will be seen as the moment when America remembered the importance of good government, or the moment when neglect and obliviousness to the needs of others became the new American way.

    Read more . . .
     [ send green star]
     September 03, 2007 8:37 AM

    Tancredo wants US to abandon New Orleans
     by kos Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 12:54:33 PM PDT

    $200 billion more for Iraq? Billions in fraud and abuse? No prob! Send more! Trillions, please! But aren't you sick of all the money pissed away inside our own borders in New Orleans? If so, Tancredo feels your pain.

    GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) said Friday it is “time the taxpayer gravy train left the New Orleans station” and urged an end to the federal aid to the region that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina two years ago.

    “The amount of money that has been wasted on these so-called ‘recovery’ efforts has been mind-boggling,” said Tancredo, who is running a long-shot presidential campaign. “Enough is enough.”

    Citing administration figures, the lawmaker said that $114 billion has been spent on the effort to rebuild a large stretch of the Gulf Coast after the storm hit New Orleans in August 2005 and claimed more than 1,600 lives.

    “At some point, state and local officials and individuals have got to step up to the plate and take some initiative,” said Tancredo. “The mentality that people can wait around indefinitely for the federal taxpayer to solve all their worldly problems has got to come to an end.”

    The lawmaker criticized in particular the amount that has been wasted through fraud and abuse, estimated at $1 billion.

    Tags: New Orleans, Tom Tancredo, 2008 elections, Republicans, president (all tags)

    View Comments | 232 comments

     [ send green star]
     September 03, 2007 8:37 AM

    Tancredo wants US to abandon New Orleans
     by kos Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 12:54:33 PM PDT

    $200 billion more for Iraq? Billions in fraud and abuse? No prob! Send more! Trillions, please! But aren't you sick of all the money pissed away inside our own borders in New Orleans? If so, Tancredo feels your pain.

    GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) said Friday it is “time the taxpayer gravy train left the New Orleans station” and urged an end to the federal aid to the region that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina two years ago.

    “The amount of money that has been wasted on these so-called ‘recovery’ efforts has been mind-boggling,” said Tancredo, who is running a long-shot presidential campaign. “Enough is enough.”

    Citing administration figures, the lawmaker said that $114 billion has been spent on the effort to rebuild a large stretch of the Gulf Coast after the storm hit New Orleans in August 2005 and claimed more than 1,600 lives.

    “At some point, state and local officials and individuals have got to step up to the plate and take some initiative,” said Tancredo. “The mentality that people can wait around indefinitely for the federal taxpayer to solve all their worldly problems has got to come to an end.”

    The lawmaker criticized in particular the amount that has been wasted through fraud and abuse, estimated at $1 billion.

    Tags: New Orleans, Tom Tancredo, 2008 elections, Republicans, president (all tags)

    View Comments | 232 comments

     [ send green star]
     August 24, 2007 2:25 PM

    that is an intersting article

    a lot of people added anecdotes, so I added the following text there, and I invited people there to join our group


    Hello all, It is great that this is still in the news.. but not great that its hurting so bad after so long.

    I created a discussion group in the community website the day I saw Chertoff of Homeland Securty announce that he was holding back help.  I felt his reasons implied that there was an enemy there -- African Americans -- and there was danger to American troops.

    In my opinion, the entire disaster was based on race; America has been taught to hate Blacks since a long time ago; the hatred is in too deep to change.

    I wrote a paper for my degree based on the discussions on the group.  The group seemed to have an effect on congress, as there was a senator, Evan Bayh, in the group.  I felt at the time  that we were using the Internet to spread the truth and make things happen.

    Here is the link to the paper I wrote:

    I would also very much like to make the discussions available, because they are a real-time blow by blow description of virtually everything that happened there as it happened.

    We also had members of the discussion group on the ground -- or in the water as it were -- who were involved offically in the rescue.

    Here is a link to the group, which is still active:

    I invite anyone interested to join (!!)

    It is my feeling that this crime will be the crime for which Bush and his Administration will be punished; even though the Iraqi war has been much more damaging.  Bush, and Chertoff, attacked American soil, showing that they are not actually American, but part of some colonial structure that just won't go away.

     [ send green star]
    here's the rest of the article.... August 24, 2007 9:59 AM  [ send green star]
    keep it in the news August 23, 2007 7:58 PM

    Corinne D.
    StarsButterfliesGold Notes
    Keep it in the news 5:46 PM


    How the White House Drowned New Orleans

    by Greg Palast

    [Thursday, August 23] 
    It's been two years.  And America's media is about
    to have another tear-gasm over New Orleans.  Maybe Anderson Cooper will weep again.  The
    big networks will float into the moldering corpse of the city and give you uplifting stories about
    rebuilding and hope.

    Now, let's cut through the cry-baby crap. Here's what
    happened two years ago - and what's happening now.

    This is what an inside source me.  And it makes me sick:

        "By midnight on Monday, the White House knew.  Monday night
    I was at the state Emergency Operations Center and nobody was aware that the levees had
    breeched.  Nobody."

    The charge is devastating:  That, on August 29, 2005, the White House withheld from the
    state police the information that New Orleans was about to flood. From almost any other source, I
    would not have believed it.  But this was not just any source.  The whistle-blower is Dr.
    Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, the chief
    technician advising the state on saving lives during Katrina.

    I'd come to van Heerden about another matter, but in our talks, it was clear he had
    something he wanted to say, and it was a big one.  He charged that the White House,
    FEMA and the Army Corp hid, for critical hours, their discovery that the levees surrounding New
    Orleans were cracking, about to burst and drown the city.

    Understand that Katrina never hit New Orleans.  The hurricane swung east of the city,
    so the state evacuation directors assumed New Orleans was now safe - and evacuation could slow while
    emergency efforts moved east with the storm.

    But unknown to the state, in those crucial hours on Monday, the federal government's
    helicopters had filmed the cracks that would become walls of death by Tuesday.

    Van Heerden revealed:

        "FEMA knew at 11 o'clock on Monday that the levees had
    breeched.  At 2p.m. they flew over he 17th Street Canal and took video of the breech."

        Question:  "So the White House wouldn't tell you the levees had

        Dr. Van Heerden:  "They didn't tell

        Question:  "And you're at the Emergency Center.'


        Dr. Van Heerden:  "I mean nobody knew.  The Corps of
    Engineers knew.  FEMA knew.  None of us knew."

    I could not get the White House gang to respond to the charges.

    That leaves the big, big question:  WHY?  Why on earth would the White House not
    tell the state to get the remaining folks out of there?

    The answer:  cost.  Political and financial cost.  A hurricane is an act of
    God - but a catastrophic failure of the levees is a act of Bush.  That is, under law dating
    back to 1935, a breech of the federal levee system makes the damage - and the deaths - a federal
    responsibility.  That means, as van Heeden points out, that "these people must be

    The federal government, by law, must build and maintain the Mississippi levees to withstand
    known dangers - or pay the price when they fail.

    Indeed, that was the rule applied in the storms that hit Westhampton Dunes, New York, in
    1992.  There, when federal sea barriers failed, the flood waters wiped away 190 homes. 
    The feds rebuilt them from the public treasury.  But these were not just any homes.  They
    are worth an average of $3 million apiece - the summer homes of movie stars and celebrity

    There were no movie stars floating face down in the Lo  [ send green star]
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